The Forever Girl
Once Circe disappeared into the crowd, Thalia smiled at Charles.
“That one”—she bit her thumbnail and indicated me with her pinky—“would be valuable.”
A vein pulsed in Charles’ neck, and a soft hum vibrated through his body. Why didn’t he just shift?
“Surely you aren’t attached?” she asked, dropping her hand away from her mouth.
“You’re outside your rights, Thalia.”
“Temper, temper.” She sighed, the sound sickening coming from her. “But, my sweet Charlie, we’ve missed you. And what of Adonis and Blake? Have you forgotten who your friends are?”
“These women know nothing.” His voice sounded rougher, more gravelly. “Do not cross me.”
“Cross you? Oh Charlie, I’d never cross you.” She patted his chest and winked. “You’ve already crossed.”
A young, scrawny vampire pushed his way through the crowd. He bowed toward Thalia. “I’m sure Charles can handle this…misunderstanding. He’s been around longer than both of us put together.” He arched his eyebrows.
Thalia stepped back, cocked her head to one side, and tapped a finger against her cheek. “Fine. We have their scents.” To Charles, she added, “Pray you handle this well.”
A couple minutes later, she followed him. Whatever he’d prepared smelled delicious. He moved around the kitchen unsure. She raised her eyebrows while she watched him. He caught the gesture and looked embarrassed. “Most of the time, I cheat and use magic so I can do something else. I haven’t manually cooked in a while.”
She looked at him wide-eyed, with her mouth gaped open. Even though he’d told her earlier, they were witches she still was having a hard time believing it. “You cook with magic, like they do in Harry Potter? That’s so cool. I know you told everyone not to use it, but just show me a little something. I won’t tell.” Awe and child-like wonder permeated her voice. “Cross my heart.” She made the sign of the cross over her heart.
She gave him a sheepish smile and looked away before she continued talking about magic, in the hopes he’d forget her listening to their conversation. “I would be the ultimate multi-tasker if I was a witch. Say ‘Abracadabra’ and make the food magically appear on the plate or something.” Willow was giddy with excitement.
Eli chuckled. “I’m not a wizard. I don’t say ‘Abracadabra.’” He shook his head.
His explanation confused her. “What does that mean? I thought wizard was a name for a male witch.”
He sighed and put down the pot he was holding. That comment appeared to get his undivided attention. “You watch too much television. First, regardless of gender, we’re known as witches, those of us that practice white magic. Warlocks are witches that practice black magic. Wizards are charlatans, posers. They don’t know magic, but are exceptional at trickery so they can give someone who doesn’t know any better the illusion they do.”
She digested the information he’d just given her.
“That’s why everyone went silent earlier when Matty referenced black magic, because none of you practice it?”
He nodded and picked up the pot of noodles. “Yes. Now may I finish making dinner?”
“So you’re not going to cook with magic?” She was expecting him to do tricks and wow her. Disappointment marred her brow, when he didn’t whip out a magic wand or say a spell.
“You just said so yourself, that you overheard me tell everyone magic is off limits.”
Her shoulders slumped in discontent and she pouted. “You can’t do even a tiny little spell?”
She rolled her eyes. “Great. A witch who can’t do any spells or magic.”
Eli looked offended. “I didn’t say I can’t do magic. I’m just unable to do any at this time.”
He bristled at her disinterest and she had to hold back a sly grin. “Wizard.” She mumbled under her breath, knowing it would get a rise out of him.
“I’m not a wizard! I can do magic!”
If she lit a match and threw it at him, he would have gone up in flames he was fuming so hard.
“Whatever.” Maybe she’d just…
On a City Street
“A reminder, Dr. Becker. If you run into anything unusual, tell me.”
She tried to make sense of what he said. “You mean at the clinic?”
“I mean anywhere. I’ve noticed you tend to run hell-bent into situations you don’t know anything about. It’s a good way to get yourself into a world of trouble.”
Carolyn mulled over his comment. “I wouldn’t do anything stupid.”
“All the same, take care.”
He certainly didn’t have much confidence in her good sense. It ought to make her furious. Instead, her body tingled. Was it the wine? Carolyn wasn’t sure. He moved closer. So close, she could feel his warm breath on her face. His expression remained impassive, yet she detected something within the silvery depths of his eyes.
His palm cupped her cheek and he said, “Are you sure it’s wise to trust me?” She didn’t have an answer since blood pounded through her veins in a most disconcerting way. His eyes held hers, and he leaned closer. Her lips parted, and she let her eyelids close against the magnetic attraction of his gaze. Would he kiss her? She waited expectantly.
A cell phone shrilled, and her eyes flew open. He uttered a soft curse and retrieved his phone. One glance at the screen darkened his face.
“What is it?”
“Sorry. This is important. I’ve got to go.”
“But…” She felt disembodied, as though abruptly awakened from a deep sleep, and pointed toward the oven. “What about dinner?”
“We’ll have dinner another day, but next time it will be on me.”
With one wicked grin, he retrieved his jacket from the chair where it hung. She watched until the door closed behind him, then pondered how to interpret what he said. Dinner? On him? What did he mean by that? A sudden burst of giggles erupted, which quickly turned into hiccups. She held her breath and counted to twenty. The hiccups subsided, but a wisp of smoke curled from the oven. Carolyn leaped up and raced for the kitchen.
Title: Finding Infiniti
Author: Rose Garcia
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Cover Designer: Regina Wamba at Mae I Design
Publication Date: July 12th, 2019
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
Blurb: The highly anticipated sequel to Saving Infinitiâcan Joe find Infiniti again or is she lost to him forever?
Joe Greg has reunited with his soul mate Infiniti Clausman only to lose her in a cruel twist of fate. Separated by time and spaceâand a memory ward that has wiped him from her mindâhe vows to do whatever he can to find her, but so far nothing has worked. Believing heâll never be able to see her again, he starts losing all sense of himself. Worse than that, he canât shake the growing feeling that Infinitiâs life is in danger...again.
Infiniti Clausman is trying to make the most of summer, but something isnât quite right. She feels like sheâs stuck, as if she canât move on, as if sheâs missing something or someone. She dismisses the sensation, calling it a case of the graduation blues, but when her psychic neighbor tells her about a quantum event thatâs been happening since the Cold Moon last December, Infiniti canât ignore the feelings any longer.
Soul mates separated. Memories forgotten. Time slipping. Joe must find Infiniti before itâs too lateâor he might lose her again, this time for good.
Welcome to Havenwood Falls, a small town in the majestic mountains of Colorado. A town where legacies began centuries ago, bloodlines run deep, and dark secrets abound. A town where nobody is what you think, where truths pose as lies, and where myths blend with reality. A place where everyone has a story. Including the high schoolers. This is only but oneâ¦
Along with its prequel, this is a stand-alone Young Adult paranormal romance in the Havenwood Falls High series of Young Adult fantasy stories featuring a variety of supernatural creatures. The series is a collaborative effort by multiple authors. Each authorâs story is a stand-alone, so you can read them in any order.Rose Garcia is a lawyer turned writer whoâs always been fascinated by science fiction and fantasy. From a very young age, she often had her nose buried in books about other-worlds, fantastical creatures, and life and death situations. More recently sheâs been intrigued by a blend of science fiction and reality, and the idea that some supernatural events are, indeed, very real. Rose is known for bringing richly diverse characters to life as she draws from her own cultural experiences. Rose lives in Houston, Texas with her awesome husband and two amazing kids. You can visit Rose at www.rosegarciabooks.com.
Author Links:Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRoseGarcia
Author Amazon Page: http://amzn.to/2BVum1D
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/RoseGarciaBooks
Havenwood Falls Novella featuring characters from the Final Life Series
Apple Books: http://havenwoodfalls.com/fi-ab
Amazon US: http://havenwoodfalls.com/fi-zon
Amazon UK: http://havenwoodfalls.com/fi-zonuk
Saving Infiniti: https://books2read.com/SavingInfiniti
The Final Life Series
Final Life: www.books2read.com/FinalLifeByRoseGarcia
Final Stand: www.books2read.com/FinalStandByRoseGarcia
Final Death: www.books2read.com/FinalDeathByRoseGarcia
First Life: www.books2read.com/FirstLifeByRoseGarcia
The Final Life Series Box Set, books 1-3: www.books2read.com/TheFinalLifeSeriesBoxset
What Comes After
Chance: Book 3 of a 3 book arc
“Good news,” Sinner grinned as he walked into the room. “I got you ice cream.”
“Are fuc- serious?” I glanced over at Payton, hoping she didn’t catch my little slip-up. Morgan stood and took Payton’s hand.
“Why don’t we see if we can find you some ice cream?”
“Can we get some for Chance?”
Payton looked at me, trying not to laugh. It was f^@king obvious that the last thing I wanted was ice cream.
“Sure. I think we should get him some Mint Chocolate Chip.”
I glared at her, but she just smiled at me. After they left, I motioned for Sinner to bring the ice cream over. I feigned not being able to move and he brought it real close. I took the cup and pushed it into his face. Ice cream dripped from his nose and mouth and there were splashes of ice cream all around his eyes.
“Feel better?” he asked as he picked up some napkins and swiped at his face.
“You know, I was just trying to do you a solid.”
“How is ice cream doing me a solid?”
“No one brought me ice cream when I was in the hospital,” he pouted. “And my d^ck was practically singed off. If there’s ever a time for ice cream, it’s when you’re almost singing soprano.”
“Yeah, see, I just have a few bullet holes. I’d rather have steak.”
“What do you have against ice cream? It’s comfort food.”
“Guys like it too.”
“Do you know any guys that sit down and say, ‘I’m feeling blue. I think I need some ice cream to cheer me up.’”
Sinner shrugged, leaning back in his chair and pouting. “I don’t see what’s wrong with it. Ice cream feeds the soul.”
I rolled my eyes at him and plopped my head down on the pillow. “Please tell me that you’re not starting in with this shit.” I pointed toward the hallway. “Go. Find me a man that can bring me a steak.”
“Nobody opens up about their feelings over steak.”
“Is that what this is about? You’re all trying to get me to share at storytime?”
“Look, we’ve all been there at one time or another. Sharing helps to set free those demons and unlock your inner-”
“If you don’t shut the hell up, I’m going to unlock my inner a$$hole and shove this table up your a$$.”
“Geez, you know, I just came in here to chat.”
“Is this seat taken?”
Jin looked up to see Jiaolong’s lanky frame standing over him. His former rival used to intimidate him, but now he was strangely glad to see him. Especially after what he’d done for Sakura.
“It’s yours,” Jin answered. He stood up to acknowledge Jiaolong with a handshake.
Jiaolong smiled, unfastening the button of his black blazer before lowering himself into the foldable seat.
“Sakura told me about what you did,” Jin said. “Thank you.”
Jiaolong shook his head, still smiling. “No, don’t thank me,” he said. “I didn’t do it for you.”
Jin rolled his eyes. He was the same old Jiaolong.
“You do know this puts us on an equal footing now, don’t you?” Jiaolong’s words made Jin straighten up in his seat.
“How so?” he asked.
Jiaolong relaxed in his seat, crossing his legs. “The serum we made is as good as your hug. Maybe even better… because it will be capable of keeping her safe even when you’re not around.”
Jin arched an eyebrow. “What are you trying to say?”
Jiaolong shrugged, his lips breaking into a grin. “I stepped aside for you back then because you could keep Sakura safe from herself while I couldn’t. But now, the serum has changed everything.” He threw his gaze back at Jin. “I guess I don’t have to give way to you anymore. Because now, I am just as capable as you.”
Jin blinked. The vein in his head started to throb. Was this guy serious? “Sakura’s already mine,” Jin declared, aware that his tone had changed. “You’re too late.”
“You’re probably right. No one else can claim Sakura,” Jiaolong said, crossing his arms as he shifted his weight in the chair. “Unless, you’re dead.” A smile spread across Jiaolong’s face.
She swallowed, and then moved away, ducking her face from his grasp, hating how he knew her weakness so well. She rose from her knees. The Djavul stared up at her a moment, then gracefully stood to his full height.
“What did they want?” she questioned.
Vojtech smiled. “You have a job to do.”
She rolled her eyes. “I know. That’s guarding you. It’s a thrill a minute.” She gestured toward the ruined soldier beside them.
Vojtech frowned. “I actually thought you were growing bored here. No attacks in three months, only this idiot sneaking around in the desert.” He shrugged. “It seems Olofsson is losing his fear of me.”
“Good.” Scarko’s words mingled with fury. “Let him. It’ll serve our purpose for the second Holy War.” She stalked back to the Warskian soldier’s head, lifted it by the scraggly, blood-drenched hair. “So, what did the gods want?”
Vojtech watched her carefully, hands clasped before him. “You’re to go to the city of Kezda. A boy there is immune, it seems, to Vrakan abilities. You are to kill him.”
Scarko dropped the head with a thud. “What?” she hissed. “Why me? I’m your guard. Send someone else.”
Vojtech smiled. “As much as I enjoy you bossing me around, the gods are not so easily convinced.” He wiped his hands on his black robes and sighed. “This boy is a street fighter,” he wrinkled his nose, “taking on Vrakan defectives from the Warskian army. While he isn’t able to die from the usual Vrakan methods—ice, wind, fire, shadows—I think your magic could kill him. That’s why you.”
Scarko left the head on the stone floor and stalked toward the stairwell, behind the Djavul.
“I’m sure he’d die by sword just fine. Tell the gods I won’t go. A street fighter—the nerve of them…”
She made to pass Vojtech, but he snaked a hand out and gently stroked her dark blonde braid, the color of damp sand. She spun around to face him, fury in her eyes. But it was equally matched in his.
“I am the Djavul of the Order of Saints, Scarko Kadezska. You will not blasphemy our gods here. You know as well as I do that we cannot resist their orders, and we should not. They have guided me thus far.” He took a step toward her, brushed a cold finger against her cheek. “You will do this, and you will return to me.”
She stuck her tongue out at him and turned, clomping up the stairs. She heard him chuckle softly as she pushed open the doors from the dungeon, the Shadows on guard making way for her, black thread entwined in their grey cloaks, same as hers.
“Watch him,” she said unceremoniously.”
All the Wrong Places
“Rachel Kennedy.” The guy wearing hipster glasses and khakis that were an inch too short and showed off his mismatched argyle socks tapped a pencil against the clipboard in his hand and scanned the room. “Ugh, Rachel Kennedy. Going once, twice…”
“That’s me,” I shouted as I stood, crumpling the eviction notice into the bottom of my bag. I waved my hands in the air as if I feared he didn’t notice me in the sea of women in their mid-twenties all vying for the same part.
He gave me a once-over and shrugged. “Right this way, Miss Kennedy.”
Well, at least I didn’t get the snort of derision that directly translates into you don’t belong here that I often get. It’s a step in the right direction.
I smiled, my lucky, last season Louboutins clicking on the dingy, white, tiled floor as I walked past a dozen other hopefuls going through their pre-audition rituals. Some closed their eyes and mouthed their monologues. Others paced the floor. One actress, whom I’ve always admired, had her yoga mat out and was in the middle of a sun salutation.
I needed some yoga right now. Or Xanex. Something to ease my nerves from this audition and the frustration about the eviction notice I pulled out of the mailbox the other day. I know I’m not rolling in the dough—anymore, since Daddy told me it was time to live on my own money instead of his—but I paid my half of rent. There may not be petrol money or much food some months, but that rent cheque clears on the third of the month like clockwork. I knew my boyfriend, Mark, had been struggling to make his half because his hours had been cut at work. Our landlord was none too pleased, but he said he’d work with me. Turns out he’s a liar, because now we’re out on the streets in a week.
Straightening my back as I walked into the dark auditorium, I pushed all my anger and nerves aside. I needed to nail this audition. My career depended on it. I hadn’t had a show since Nunsense a year ago, and with that notice burning a hole in the bottom of my designer handbag, even more was riding on this. My big break had to come soon. My mother never made it as an actress, but by God, I was going to. I was going to live the dream she gave up for me. I knew she’d never see it, but I was still going to make her proud.
The click-clack of my heels gave way to a thunk-thunk as I stepped onto the honey-coloured wooden stage. Standing center stage, I focused on the orchestra pit. Staring back at me were three casting directors, and I had to swallow back the bile that crept up my throat. I wouldn’t have a chance in hell if I spewed on the casting directors. The only person who had ever chucked on a casting director and still landed the role was Cassandra Browne. Just thinking the thought of about her sent a shiver down my spine.
Taking a deep breath, I shook the nervous energy out of my hands.
“Whenever you’re ready, Ms. Kennedy,” said a familiar older man with a bushy monobrow. Directopillar. He had a reputation for being tough to impress. But I had impressed him when I landed Nunsense. I could do it again. No. I would do it again.
I glanced at the other two casting directors but didn’t recognise them. I closed my eyes and gathered everything in me before I opened my mouth.
“Well, Tommy has proposed to me again. Tommy really does nothing but propose to me.”
Fudge cookies! I messed up my accent.
I shuffled my feet as I debated continuing in the contrite southern accent that fell off my tongue like I meant to do it. Or should I stop altogether and ask for a redo? The former would be embarrassing, the latter unprofessional. There was no way to win here. Either way I went, I was a colossal screw-up.
Directopillar paused from taking notes and glared at me, a scowl on his face. I wouldn’t be surprised if his note read, Go back home to the States.
“Excuse me, Ms. Kennedy,” Directopillar said, his proper British accent mocking me. “You are aware An Ideal Husband is set in London, correct?”
“Yes, sir.” I nodded, avoiding eye contact. I didn’t want to see the disappointment painted on his face; the tone of his voice was disparaging enough. “I just thought it might be fun to put an American spin on it. Who better to make fun of than those in the American South?”
“We will not be changing the setting.” He cracked the pencil in his hand and tossed it over his shoulder. “I will give you one more chance—and know this is not a luxury I grant many people. Please start from the top.”
Grateful for the second attempt, I decided to move closer to them, so the emotion I portrayed wrapped them like a warm blanket, leaving them with a warm fuzzy that whispered, “Cast Rachel Kennedy,” for the rest of the afternoon.
I walked to the edge and dropped down to the stage, without showing the casting directors everything I owned—not that it mattered. My boyfriend, Mark, and I hadn’t had sex in so long, I think my hymen had grown back. All I needed was a pair of granny panties, and my transition back to virgin would be complete.
The Jade Hunters
“The Modeling Session”
Taking a breath and turning to the box, Reggie put on the necklace. The bright yellow citrine was cold against her breast, a welcome chill to the flame building inside of her.
“Now, if you’ll sit on the couch and hand me your robe, we can get started.”
She did as Walker instructed, foolishly turning away from him as she took off her covering, as if doing so would shield her any more than facing him would. When she turned back, he was adjusting a nearby lamp and re-checking his camera, which he’d set on a tripod. She waited for him to finish, and when he looked up, she handed him the robe.
Those eyes again. Focused on her. “Are you ready, then?”
She smiled nervously. “As I’ll ever be.”
The professional in Walker took over at that point. He began to instruct her in a tone that could only be called “matter-of-fact.”
“Sit with the vase behind your right shoulder; cross your legs, look to the left … click click click … now the right click click …now straight at me. You … you are meeting your lover and you are wondering where he is … click click … now you are confident he is coming home to you…”
At one point he moved his tripod closer, adjusted one of the standing lights and leaned in to adjust the stone, which nestled within her cleavage. His hands brushed her skin as he straightened the chain and her body responded immediately, her nipples tightening. Fortunately, he didn’t comment on it.
He continued in that manner, directing her in a calm, dispassionate voice. She, on the other hand, was positively humming inside, titillated beyond belief that he was fully clothed and she was completely naked. What did he think of her? He had to be comparing her to the historic photos of her grandmother. Was she measuring up? She shivered involuntarily.
“Would you like me to turn up the heat?” he asked.
It can’t get much hotter than this, can it? Except if maybe you were naked, too. “No, I’m warm enough,” she managed.
After the citrine shot came the tigers. He retrieved them from the jewelry box, asked her to stand while she put them on. They reminded her of the theft and her simmering anger bubbled to the surface. “Will anyone know they aren’t the originals? I would be mortified if they could tell.”
He smiled slightly. “No one but us will know and I promise we’ll re-shoot with the real tigers once we get them back, all right?”
She smiled her relief. “That was the absolutely right thing to say.”
Then she froze because Walker had begun to put his hands in her hair. To do so he moved very close to her, close enough that their bodies almost touched.
“The original had Mandy’s hair up like so,” he said, carefully twisting and arranging her hair.
Oh, she thought, but said nothing. The scant space between them arced with electricity.
As he continued to fold her mane into a loose chignon, she took in his scent; it was a cross between leather and wood and male. She fought the urge to close the distance. How could he stand this? Was she the only one feeling this way?
He stepped back from her for a moment and tilted his head while he perused her. Then, smiling faintly, he pulled a few long hairpins out of his back pocket. She held her breath as he strategically placed them out of sight, his arms encircling her. She knew it wasn’t his intent, but still she felt protected; sheltered; even treasured.
Then it was over and he stepped back, once again examining his work. She let out a careful breath and cast about for something to say that wouldn’t betray how she was feeling. “How do you know how to do that?” she asked, almost afraid of the answer.
“Tricks of the trade. On a fashion shoot you’re working with two diametrically opposed concepts: perfection and time constraints. Fixing hair quickly helps bridge that gap. I always keep a few pins in my camera case out of habit.” His eyes gleaming wickedly, he leaned in as if to let her in on a secret. “They’re also good for keeping ties from flapping, applying glue to false eyelashes, and most importantly, closing half-empty Dorito bags.” He matched her smile briefly before stepping back and once again assuming a professional demeanor. “That should do it. Ready to continue?”
She nodded, unsure how much more of this she could take.
He captured several poses and then, as he’d done with the first stone, took the camera off its stand and took a series of hand-held shots from various angles. As he moved, he’d call out a running patter of gentle commands and comments like, “Look here,” “Turn quickly,” “That’s it” and “Give me sultry.”
He paused with his camera by his side. “You really have no idea, do you?” His voice held a touch of wonder and he murmured, almost to himself, “No idea at all.”
Are you ready to discover new books and tasty food? I will be writing reviews of books and posting recipes that I have created! Hope you all enjoy!