26 September 2017

Exchange at the Border bu Alexandra Goodwin



Historical Fantasy
Date Published: November 10, 2016

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A BORDER CROSSING INTO UNMAPPED TERRITORY

Mexican agave farm worker Porro Camorra never meant to do anything wrong. He is in love with his girlfriend but when she becomes pregnant, his life is in danger. Fleeing the vindictive wrath of her enraged brothers who have sworn to kill him, Porro runs for the border. But when he reaches the barrier between Mexico and the United States, he finds more than the safety he seeks. As he is thrust into a mystical realm, he must agree to a fascinating and dangerous bargain in order to reclaim his place in the world. Vivid, inventive and suspenseful, Exchange at the Border is a thrilling and colorful exploration of the timeless battle between good and evil with a story and characters that will keep you spellbound.

Excerpt
Chapter 5

It was close to noon, and the sun beat down on the desert. Despite the warnings, nothing could have prepared them for the merciless heat that awaited them. Some of them weren’t even aware of the thorns that stuck to their shoes and pants. Those wearing shorts got stung and had to stop occasionally to pull out the thorns.
One snagged Porro’s wounded leg, making the gash deeper and painful. Still, the group was upbeat. They were on their way to a better life, and all they had to do was plug along, one step at a time, each passing day bringing them closer to their dream.
Mecha and Gordo were sitting around a creosote bush, with a few acacia trees and tarbush providing a makeshift shelter. They began to weave dreams about El Norte. Lucas, their son, was well behaved. At some point, he wandered off into the brush to explore the surroundings. He imagined being the Lone Ranger on the lookout for Indians as he had seen so many times on TV. He ventured out a little bit more. Mecha took out some apples from her backpack.
“Why don’t you invite those two boys over, mi amor?” she asked Gordo. “I’ll check on Lucas in the meantime.”
“Sure.”
She disappeared behind some bushes while Gordo walked over to Porro and Marco who were sitting a few feet to the right. “You wanna join us?” he asked.
Marco smiled. Porro hesitated a little before getting up.
“I am Marco,” he said.
“And I am Porro.”
“Nice to meet you both,” he said. “You can sit with us if you’d like. We can eat together.”
Soon they were all catching up on their stories.
“I have a sister in Phoenix, Arizona,” Gordo started. “She went ten years ago, and she’s doing very well. She works for a wealthy family as a housekeeper, and she told us that her employers could use more help. The cook got married, and they asked my sister if she knew anybody that could replace her. She immediately wrote to us. We’ll have a place to stay as soon as we get there. I will take care of the yard and household maintenance, and our son will go to school with the gringos. He will be the first one in our family to get an education. He wants to be a doctor.” Gordo smiled at the thought.
Porro was about to say something when he spotted Coyote in between some branches in the brush. He got up and snuck toward the bushes. Gordo didn’t seem to notice. As he walked over to the spot, Porro heard the stir of leaves and then a muffled whimper. He tiptoed in the direction of the sounds. A few feet from where he was standing, Coyote was forcing himself on Mecha. She struggled, her body pinned to the ground while he thrust with force. Porro thought about his options. If he interfered and tried to save her, he would have to fight Coyote, and he was already a target thanks to Marco. Porro couldn’t afford to let anything or anybody get in the way of his reaching America. He needed to stay alive, and going forward toward Hope was his only option.
Mecha groaned, and Porro imagined if that were Azucena, he would want somebody to come to her rescue. He walked slowly toward Coyote, but Coyote sensed his presence behind him. Just as Porro reached to grab him, Coyote jumped away from her. He pushed Porro, causing

About the Author

Alexandra Goodwin was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and came to the United States as a student. Now that her children are grown and seeking their own futures, she pursues her passion for writing under her mango tree surrounded by blue jays and red robins that come to nest every spring.
She escapes the Florida heat by immersing herself in the cool waters of her imagination, and creates worlds she hopes to share with her readers as they come to life. She lives with her husband Craig and their two white poodles in Coral Springs, Florida. This is her first novel.

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25 September 2017

Must Love Fashion by Deborah Garland



Contemporary Romance
Date Published: August 7, 2017
Publisher: Roane Publishing

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Set in the exciting world of Prada about a former male model turned brand manager and the beautiful small town public relations specialist he doesn’t think he needs.

Go behind the scenes in the fashion industry as Gwendolyn Mallory sets out to prove that she has what it takes to promote a prestigious brand like Prada. Andrew Morgan is already struggling to accept that his PR responsibilities have been taken away from him, but the intense attraction he has for Gwen, is just plain getting in the way of rational thinking—sleeping with a co-worker has always been on his to-don’t list. Follow the sparkling fuse slowly burning with sexual tension as Gwen brings to life a sexy devil…who just happens to wear Prada. Andrew has to have the woman he never knew he needed.


Excerpt

“Gwen?”
Her eyes lit up. “Andrew!”
She twirled in an emerald green full length gown that cinched at her waist. Her body filled out the bodice perfectly and the upper swells of her full breasts peeked through the asymmetrical cutouts in the neckline. “Isn't this the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen?”
Yes. But he wasn't thinking of the dress. “Salvatore. You've outdone yourself. I don't want to sound like a jerk, but why isn't something as beautiful as this in the show?”
The designer rubbed a chin that hadn’t seen a razor in a couple of days. “Do you know one of our models who could fill out a dress like this as well as our Gwen?”
Our Gwen?
“Salvatore, thank you.” The gown gave way at the slit, showing a firm thigh as Gwen stepped toward the designer to hug him.
Andrew’s blood boiled when Salvatore's scandalous hands sat on her waist. She was not his. The tentative hesitation in her hug however, cooled his fever. And the smile on her lips as she bounded in his direction reminded him of the woman she really was. Not all made up in a gown. As if Salvatore was trying to make her one of his models. A doll he could play dress-up with.
“Did you need something, Andrew?”
“Actually…,” he He could use a set of defibrillator paddles., “I have a gift for you too.” He swayed further into the room, his confidence returning with every step. From a linen sack, he removed a shoebox. “She should be in Prada from head to toe, should she not, Salvatore?”
The designer grumbled, appearing to regret he hadn’t thought of the obvious accessory.
“Andrew, what have you done?” Gwen asked resting her hands on round curvy hips.
“Come here, Gwen,” he commanded and pointed to her suite’s desk chair. “Sit.”
At the chair, she swept aside the long skirt made of raw silk and sat with her knees pinned together. Andrew’s jaw trembled as he sank to one knee. The shoe he removed from the box was not an original new design he could have swiped from the sample floor before they left. It was one of his favorites, a classic that had been around for years. The deep black suede gladiator sandal with satin nickel studs suited Gwen’s edgy personality. It was also the perfect complement to an elegant full length gown. The moderate heel would also cushion her ankles as she moved through the show tomorrow.
Andrew unfolded the soft tissue paper and held the shoe in front of Gwen.
“The Filettra sandal?” She looked at him, stunned.
“You know the name of this shoe?” Salvatore asked.
But before she could answer, Andrew turned to the designer. “She obviously did her homework on our products.”
“You boys really know how to make a girl feel like Cinderella!” She slipped her foot into the insole while it was still in Andrew’s hand. He leaned forward to buckle the small strap around her ankle, his chest leaning against her knee. After he repeated the same for the other foot, she stood. He’d worked for Prada long enough to know when a woman was comfortable in one of their shoes. Her toes sat perfectly against the vamp without looking crushed.
He had a feeling Gwen had stopped breathing. Andrew lifted his chin slowly. On her face was a look of controlled satisfaction.
Like maybe she would wait to show how much this really meant to her until they were alone.


About the Author


Deborah Garland is a versatile author of women’s fiction, contemporary and paranormal romances. Her books are about love and the struggles of complicated relationships, whether set in the music industry, the fashion industry or the world of academics. The heroines are strong and witty and the heroes fall hard for them. She lives on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband and their two pugs, Zoe and Harley.

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23 September 2017

Web of Lies by J.G.Summer


Romantic Suspense
Date Published: August 8, 2017
Publisher: Limitless Publishing

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My perfect life is falling apart. My wife is leaving me, and I’m fighting for our marriage, our kids—for her. Then she walks through the door, and everything changes. Beautiful, sweet Beth. She’s much too young, but I can’t stay away. Despite our secrecy, someone knows. They’re using the information to destroy me. It’s not a matter of if my marriage will survive, or if I’ll be able to find happiness with my new love…it’s a matter surviving at all. I have to unravel this web of lies before it’s too late.

About the Author


J.G. is a Registered Nurse who went rogue. As good as she was at starting IV's, she enjoys writing the down the stories in her head even more. Most of the time the characters won't stop pestering her until she has them down on paper. J.G. can often be found with a glass of red wine or prosecco in front of her computer. She has a very dry sense of humor, and should never be taken too seriously. She loves to hear from her fans, and even those who aren't especially fond of her work. J.G. writes romantic suspense/thrillers including: A Shot in the Dark, Into the Light, The Surrender Trilogy including Surrender, Shattered, and Saved, Web of Lies and Wrecked.

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22 September 2017

The Book Knights by J.G McKenney


YA Fantasy
Date Published: July 5, 2017

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When her parents are condemned to death by Morgan Fay for the crime of reading, Arti Penderhagen becomes a fugitive. Hunted by Mordred, the sadistic police captain who recites poetry to enhance his physical strength, Arti escapes to the Isle of Avalon, a sanctuary for outlaws. There she meets an old librarian named Merl who tells her about the Grail Tome, an ancient book in Morgan Fay's possession that can alter the course of history. Can Arti steal the book in time to save her family?


Excerpt

The fire crept across the floor, devouring paper and carpet, gaining momentum as it spread. A thick, black smoke filled the room, rolling over itself like a storm cloud, ravenous flames growling hungrily as they climbed. A moment later, there was another sound: a deep, drum-like thudding, barely audible above the burning tempest. A lower section of the shelf separated from the wall, and a row of hard covers slapped the floor. More books cascaded to the carpet, and a groping hand emerged.
The girl coughed violently, retching as she labored to breath amid the thickening blanket of smoke. She squeezed out from behind the book case, reaching back to pull a duffel bag from the cavity, pushing aside the dish, cup, and utensils her father had cast into the void in the rush to hide her. The bag held provisions, preparations made for a day they prayed would never come.
Making sure her vidlink was in her pocket, she lifted the hood of her sweatshirt and with eyes clenched shut, crawled across the floor, dragging the duffel bag. Scalding heat seared her throat as she gasped for air, her face and hands feeling like they were on fire. Gulping a mouthful of acrid smoke, an intense wave of nausea washed over the girl, and she fell against the wall of books. She was helpless now, certain she was going to die.
As the firestorm raged, her mind floated away from the horror. She was a young child again, sitting on her father’s lap, following his finger as it traced words on the page. She giggled and squirmed with excitement as the story unfolded, peeking ahead, eager to find out how the tale would end. Her mother leaned toward her from the adjacent chair, her smiling face awash in the light of the reading lamp. This is our secret, Arti. You can’t tell anyone. She could hear herself answer, I promise.
When the story was done, she reached across with her tiny hand and closed the book’s cover. She smiled up at her parents expectantly, waiting to say the ritual words together. And they lived happily ever after.
From somewhere in the cloud of her delirium, Arti Penderhagen heard the books on the shelves call to her, drawing her back to the present. Words echoed from their pages, guiding her hand along their bindings, showing her the way out.


About the Author


J.G. (John) McKenney is a writer and teacher. His first novel, EON'S DOOR, received the 2012 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award, and was also a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award.

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21 September 2017

The Divinity Bureau by Tessa Clare


Dystopian Romance
Date Published: September 21st, 2017

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Publisher: Asset Creative House

The Hunger Games meets Romeo and Juliet in a stunning debut about a forbidden romance between a young activist and a government employee for a corrupt bureau that controls the population by deciding who lives and who dies.

Roman Irvine is a disgruntled IT Technician for the Divinity Bureau, a government agency that uses random selection to decide who lives and who dies. In a world where overpopulation has lead to pollution, a crippled economy, and a world in crisis, he’s accepted the bureau’s activities as a necessity… until he meets April McIntyre.
April has every reason to be suspicious of Roman. He works for the Divinity Bureau, which sent her father to an early grave. But he’s also sweet and loyal, and unbeknownst to her, he saved her life. As Roman and April fall deeper in love, the deeper they’re thrust into the politics of deciding who lives and who dies. Someone wants April dead. And the bureau’s process of random selection may not be so random after all…


Tessa Clare is the author of The Divinity Bureau. When she’s not writing, she’s an entrepreneur, an activist, a speaker, and the Managing Director of Asset Creative House. Throughout her early career, she was a concession stand attendant, a busgirl, a barista, a player’s club representative for a casino, and an administrative assistant. She also spent years working as a manager for Vacasa, whose business model and revolutionary marketing strategies would later inspire the groundwork for Asset Creative House. The Divinity Bureau is Tessa’s debut novel about a forbidden love between a young activist and a government employee working for a corrupt bureau, set in a dystopian world.

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20 September 2017

Adam (The Divine Bloodline Trilogy) by Tyder Lyne


Science Fiction, Dystopian
Date Published: September 19, 2017

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When the unearthing of the Ark of the Covenant results in the discovery of the bones of an angel, a government program seeks out descendants of the divine being. Scientists confirm the existence of Nephilim, descendants of the Divine Bloodline who exhibit unique supernatural abilities. These individuals soon find themselves at odds with society.

Sisters Piper and Wren knew they were different, but after the discovery, the two have evidence to explain their maturing abilities. But the government has the power to condemn and crucify Nephilim, locking them into ADAM compounds across the globe. The sisters are next, and Piper and Wren will need to act quickly to avoid being captured. In order to survive the two must embrace the stigma and master the very gifts that God has bestowed (or cursed) upon them.

Mysterious forces who have been plotting these events for decades shift the balance of power, and soon all parties involved will need to pick a side.


About the Author


Ryder Lyne was born and raised in the Grand Canyon State and currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona. Her state has influenced many of her literary works including ADAM.

She enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, hunting, golf, and spending quality time with her husband, two shiba inus, and immediate family members. Ryder played collegiate golf and lived in the woods for several months in an extreme survival bootcamp. All of these things and so much more have influenced her writing.

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19 September 2017

This Old Cafe by Marci Boudreaux


Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 19, 2017

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Jenna Reid purchased the Stonehill Café to prove to herself that her ex-husband was wrong...that she could make her dreams come true. Three years later, all she has is a crumbling building, no social life, and her bruised pride.

Pride is something Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Maguire lost long ago and isn’t likely to find living in the alley behind the café. He just needs a little time to get on his feet. In the interim, keeping an eye on the overworked café owner gives him a sense of purpose. He has no intentions of making his presence known until he hears the woman screaming late one night.

He rushes into the café but instead of finding her in dire straits, he finds a broken pipe and Jenna—soaking wet and holding a wrench. With her last bit of hope fading, Jenna accepts Daniel’s help to fix up her building, but it doesn’t take long for them to start trying to fix each other.

Other Books in the Stonehill Romance Series

Stonehill Romance, Book 1
Release Date: April 2015

Kara Martinson and Harry Canton weren’t exactly high school sweethearts, but they did share one night neither will ever forget. Twenty-seven years later, Harry surprises Kara at an art gallery opening and discovers he left her with more than just memories when he went away to college. Desperate to connect with the family he never knew existed, Harry convinces his son to move to Stonehill—and pleads with Kara to come, too.

Kara hasn’t stepped foot in their hometown since the day she was sent away to a home for unwed mothers. Now Harry’s back in her life and as they put together the pieces of his parents’ betrayal, old heartaches start to feel anew. She wants to be near her family, but returning to Iowa means facing some things…and some people…she isn’t quite ready to.

Can Harry convince her to forgive those who betrayed her so they can embrace the future they were robbed of so long ago? Or will the pain of the past be too much for Kara to overcome?


Stonehill Romance Book 2
Release Date: July 2015

Dianna Friedman never expected her husband to leave her. Who does? But she’s making the most of what she has left–a sarcastic near-grown son and a mountain of bills that just keeps growing. She’s in over her head, but she is determined to survive.

Everyone else may have seen it coming, but Paul O’Connell was blindsided by his wife’s betrayal. Determined to prevent her from bleeding him dry during their divorce, he turns to the only person he thinks can help him—the wife of his wife’s lover.

Dianna and Paul become fast friends and maybe a tad bit over-dependent on each other, but who are they hurting? No one. At least not until Dianna’s life takes yet another unexpected twist and she and Paul have to step back and reevaluate everything…including what they mean to each other.


Stonehill Romance Book 3
Release Date: October 2015

No one has ever accused Annie O’Connell of backing down from a challenge. She’s tough as nails and that’s what everyone has come to expect from her. But even the strongest of people need someone sometime.

Marcus Callison has loved Annie for as long as he’s been working at O’Connell Realty. He would stand by her through thick, thin, and everything in between. If only she’d let him.

When tragedy strikes and Annie is left feeling vulnerable, Marcus does everything in his power to make all right in her world again. He just hopes it’s enough to convince her that he is worthy of breaking through the walls she has built around her heart.


Stonehill Romance Book 4
Release Date: January 2016

There is nothing Jessica wants more than to be like everyone else, but between her Down Syndrome and her colorful family, “average” isn’t part of her vocabulary. This year when she blows out eleven candles on her homemade vegan cake she makes the same wish she’s made for as many birthdays as she can remember: she wants a mother.

Jessica’s father Phil has worked his entire life to create a more stable childhood for his daughter than he had. But a supportive mother, a recently returned father, rainbow pancakes, and princesses can’t heal the dark void left in Phil’s heart which he won’t even admit is there.

When Mallory's mother’s life unexpectedly turns upside down, Mallory realizes her dreams come second to her heart, and she leaves her dream job in a big city to return home set on helping her fiercely independent mother recover. After forming a unique bond with Jessica—and a friendship with Jessica’s hot father—Mallory finds that in coming back to Stonehill she might just have found a way to make all of her dreams come true.

But as their families start pushing Phil and Mallory together, old insecurities and Phil’s worst fears threaten to break up the happy trio and catch Jessica in the emotional crossfire.



About the Author


As a teen, Marci Boudreaux skipped over young adult books and jumped right into the world of romance novels. She’s never left. Marci lives with her husband, two kiddos, and their numerous pets. She is a freelance writer appearing monthly in a variety of local magazines as well as a content editor.
Romance is her preferred reading and writing genre because nothing feels better than falling in love with someone new and her husband doesn't like when she does that in real life.
Visit her website for free reads and more!

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18 September 2017

Birthright by Nick G. Giannaras


Historical Fiction
Date Published: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Yo Productions, LLC

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As an infant, Niklas’s family escaped death when the entire royal bloodline of Livonia was murdered. As an adult, Niklas joined the Teutonic Knights in their bloody crusades across Europe to spread God’s Word. After years of service, he discovers that the army he faithfully served has ill-intentioned motives.
When Niklas and his friend defect from the knighthood, they are relentlessly pursued across the Baltic States by the wickedly led Teutonic Order. His only hope to enjoy a peaceful life is to unify the oppressed populace against their tyrannical rulers. But, political upheavals and looming enemies threaten any chance of peace. When it’s discovered that an heir to the Livonian throne is still alive, Niklas vows to help him regain his rightful place as leader. At best, Niklas’s oath can help bring freedom to people in a lost country. At worst, it can cost him his life.


About the Author


Nick G. Giannaras has been practicing Chiropractic for 20 years. He resides in North Carolina where he is active in his church, Deliverance Christian Center. He enjoys his great family amid numerous hobbies such as: tabletop wargames, creating music, painting, hunting, and fishing. He was also a Civil War reenactor for 15 years. He never considered writing as a ministry until the endeavor commenced in 2005. Nick views his books as ‘Entertainment with a message’ and prays they will reach the world with a positive impact for those who jump into his words.

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17 September 2017

Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali #1) by Falguni Kothari

★.•**•.★ Soul Warrior Book Blast ★.•**•.★ 
15th to 17th September, 2017


The Age of Kali is a series of mythic fantasy novels by international bestselling novelist Falguni Kothari. The first book of the series, Soul Warrior, introduces readers to a fictional law-governed Cosmos made up of heavenly, demonic and human realms and its protagonist, Lord Karna, the legendary guardian of the Human Realm, who is coerced into training six godlings into demon hunters against a rising demon army. The series arc interlocks into a war of domination between the Light and Dark forces of the Cosmos and the race to control the one soul capable of total cosmic annihilation, demi-god Karna's and Draupadi's secret child.


Get Your Copy from AMAZON




Praise for Soul Warrior:

"A beautiful exploration of fantasy and mythology, Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali) is the latest release from Falguni Kothari and by any stretch of the imagination she’s delivered an awesome story. Rich, enchanting, evocative, she effortlessly blends an ancient Indian epic and South Asian mythology with grace and quiet elegance to create the canvas upon which her miraculous world finds form.... Beautifully written and enviably imaginative, Soul Warrior proves an exemplary example of Fantasy Fiction. Definitely deserving of your attention it is recommended without reservation!"
   —Book Viral 

"I loved the writing which... hit that nice spot between being evocative and descriptive and still keeping the story moving....It has a huge cast of fascinating characters, a deep and rich world and definitely something I’m interested in following."
   —Fangs for Fantasy 

"I loved the way Ms. Falguni has shown an eye for the details scattered throughout the novel.... Will I recommend this book? Oh yes, and be assured you will grab the next one too just to know more about the Soul Warrior."
   —Global Asian Times 

"The plot is intriguing, much in the tradition of a modern thriller.... Precisely sketched and nuanced with quirky detail, the characters enrich the story they inhabit.... The vibrant characters in the multi-hued setting are the stuff superhero animation films are made of. Soul Warrior engrosses and enthralls. A thumping good read, I would say."
   —Of Prose and Poetry blog 


Read an Excerpt:


SHUNYA: NOTHING AND EVERYTHING


Kuru Kshetra Battlefield.
        Day 17 of the Great Kuru War, seven thousand five hundred years ago.


Death is hot.

That surprises me. I’d imagined death as cold and brutal. Merciless. But in truth, death is hot as blood, and constant like a heartbeat.

Thrum. Thrum. Thrum. My lifeblood ebbs to the rhythm. My head ripped from its torso by Anjalika, the arrow of death that burns even now with the energy of the sun. Struck from behind like some novice. Felled in battle by that lily-livered usurper the Heavens smile upon—Prince Arjun. Brother Arjun.

What have I done?

I harness the thought. Cease all reflection and wrench free of my mortal body. I soar up, up into the gloaming, snapping the ties that tether me to life. Dead, I have no use for ties.

“A matter of perspective, Karna, O son of my godsire.” The unearthly words strum through the air, and I quiver like a plucked bowstring, overcome as much by the voice as its blasphemous claim. 

“Bonds of devotion nourish the soul, brother.”

There is that word again. Brother. Unpleasant laughter wells up in me. Alive, I am abandoned, denied my birthright—Celestial or royal. Death, it seems, changes everything.

A bright, nebulous light brings forth Lord Yama, the God of Death, atop his divine mount. His elephantine thighs ripple beneath a silken dhoti, ochre and crimson of color, as he guides the mammoth water buffalo to a halt. An iron medallion sways against the God’s powerful cerulean torso, its center stone an ethereal blood orange.

Hypnotic. Pulsing with life. I am drawn to the stone.

“Piteous waste,” Lord Yama mutters, surveying the carnage of war far below us.

I trace the trajectory of his gaze and behold the battered remains of my army drenched in the evidence of its mortality. Is it true? Have we died in vain?

Words form inside me and I will them out. “Shall we go, my lord?”

“Ha! Impatient to be judged, are you? Anxious to have your fate revealed?” asks the Judge of the Hell Realm. His red-black eyes burn with intelligence and compassion in a blue-tinged face that is long and lean and hard. “Rest easy, brother-warrior. You are not bound for the Great Courtroom.”
Not bound for Hell? Where then? Fear has eluded me for so long that I take a moment to recognize it. 

A hollow-bellied feeling it is, as annoying as a bone stuck in my throat.

“My lord, I have done bad deeds…terrible deeds in my life. I have waged wars, this horrendous bloodshed, and all because my pride could not—would not abide rejection. I have sinned. I must atone for my actions.”

Lord Yama smiles in a way I do not like. “You have redeemed yourself admirably, Karna. You forfeited your life for the greater good today. The deed far outweighs any misguided ones. Be at peace, brother, and enjoy the fruits of your karma.”

There is but one place to enjoy such fruits—the Higher Worlds.

I’d rather burn in Hell for eternity. I say so. “I won’t live amongst the Celestials.” Coexisting with the very souls who’ve spurned me is unthinkable. Watching her—for she would surely reside in Heaven soon—will be eternal torture.

Yama shakes his head, the horns on his crown slashing to and fro. “I thought you might say that. Relax. Your destiny lies elsewhere.”

“Am I to be reborn then? Am I to begin a new life, and forget the past?” Pain, sharp as a blade, lances through me at the thought. Forget my past? My family? Even her? Was that my punishment? To forget all that made me human?

It must be so. For have I not betrayed them as surely as I’ve betrayed my prince regent?

“Human rebirth is not your destiny, either. You are chosen, brother. Your war skills are needed for a higher purpose.” The God slips off his mount, his garments rustling in agitation. “This unjust war has pushed the Cosmos to the vortex of a cataclysm. Tomorrow, the Kuru War will end. Fearing its outcome, the Celestials rolled the Die of Fate and have unwittingly bestowed on Demon Kali untold powers.” Lord Yama bares his fangs in disgust at the foolish gamble. “Imagine the havoc that asura and his minions will wreak on the weak if left unchecked. The Human Realm must be safeguarded during Kali’s dark reign.”

I can imagine the horror only too well as I have battled with evil all my life. But I am done with wars. 
I am done with defeat. I won’t waste another lifetime fighting.

“With due respect, my lord, I am not the man for this task.”

“You are not a man at all,” Yama thunders, fists shaking. “You are the son of Surya, the Sun God. Accept that you are no ordinary soul.”

I say nothing. I think nothing. I feel something but I squash it down.

Lord Yama’s thick black brows draw together. “Demon Kali will try to pervade every particle of good that exists in the Cosmos, beginning with the corruptible Human Realm. Once he obliterates all of humanity, he’ll set his sights on the Celestials. Kali will not stop until he’s destroyed our way of life. But you can stop him. You are light to his darkness. Do you understand now why you had to betray him? Your beloved humans need you, Karna. I need you. Our father believes in you. Claim your rightful place in the Cosmos.”

Impatiently, Lord Yama removes the iron medallion from his neck and holds it out. The vermillion sunstone glows as if its soul is on fire. Nay! It is my soul that is on fire.

Indescribable energy curls through me. I gasp, though not in pain. I shudder and feel myself grow large, grow hot. Was this rebirth?

I am strong, full-bodied and lethal once more. Then I roar as light bursts forth from my very core and I throb with glorious, blinding power. When I come to myself, my world has changed again. Bubbles of color shimmer all around me: cobalt and saffron, azure and rose. By karma! They are souls. Infinite floating souls.

“Behold the spectrum of life: the worthy, the notorious, the righteous and the sinners.” The God of Death’s soul was a worthy sapphire blue with a tinge of silver. “Your duty, should you choose to accept the office of the Soul Warrior, is to hunt down the red-souled asuras and crush them. Whatever you decide, I wish you a long and successful Celestial existence, Karna,” Yama booms out and vanishes into the purpling sky.

The parley has stunned me. The world of color holds me in thrall. I was dead. Yet, now I am not. A new path lies before me. Unwanted, unwelcome, I insist on principle. I close my eyes. Open them to stare at the medallion cupped in my hand—a golden-hued hand at once familiar and not—and know myself for a fool. I do want this. It’s what I am.

Bastard-born. Rebel. Son. Husband. Father. Warlord. And protector. I fist the talisman, buoyed by its concrete warmth. This is who I am.

I am the Soul Warrior.


About the Author:


Falguni Kothari is a New York-based South Asian author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a semi-professional background in Indian Classical dance. She’s published in India in contemporary romance with global e-book availability; Bootie and the Beast (Harlequin Mills and Boon) and It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! (Rupa & Co.), and launches a mythic fantasy series with Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali, #1)

I’m embarrassed to admit how many social media accounts I own :

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