About the Book
Author: A.A. Chamberlynn
Genre: Urban Fantasy
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Zyan Star’s latest job is turning into a real nightmare.
When supernatural bounty hunter Zyan Star jets down to Rio to meet a prospective client, everything goes as planned initially. That is, until she finds out the person hiring her is Raoul Cabrera, the half demon/half faery supernatural overlord of Brazil, who rubs elbows with Lucifer himself. And that he’s hired another bounty hunter, Donovan McGregor, to work with her.
Their target is a herd of Nightmares, horse spirits that torment people with visions of their worst fears before devouring their flesh. Zy and Donovan head out on the hunt, but it quickly becomes apparent that their client hasn’t given them all the facts. There’s a pissed-off, powerful witch summoning the Nightmares, and she’s out to exact some serious revenge on Raoul. Zy soon realizes she’s caught in the middle of a lover’s spat between two immensely powerful supernaturals, and it’s not clear whose side she should stand on. As if that weren’t enough, pulling off this job is going to require her to relive her worst fears and summon her own long-suppressed magical powers.
Let the supernatural Carnival begin.
Buy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Magic-Mojitos-Zyan-Novelette-ebook/dp/B011VYHFM4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Alexia Chamberlynn lives in Florida. When she’s not writing or reading, she can be found playing with horses, eating chocolate and other delicious things, drinking wine, traveling to the next place on her global wish list, or maybe doing yoga. She is represented by Sandy Lu of the L. Perkins Literary Agency. Connect with her at www.alexiachamberlynn.com.
We made our way to the Wicked Lizard to meet our potential client. It had a dingy, faded vibrancy that couldn’t decide if it was seedy or shabbily charming. Tucked away on one of the crooked back streets, it was shoved haphazardly between the other buildings. Music poured from within, and the second floor balcony sagged over the entrance, dripping with some sort of flowering vine that smelled of vanilla and childhood. Well, someone else’s childhood.
I walked through the splintered turquoise doorframe into the dim interior of the bar. For just a moment, I closed my eyes in bliss as cool air from the ceiling fans wafted over me and soaked into my skin. I sincerely hoped they had ice in this place. At this point, I would’ve traded a decade of my life for a cool drink.
The place was crawling with a variety of supernaturals, scattered about at mismatched tables. As we made our way to the back corner, we passed a group of shape shifters on the left, tigers by the smell of them. They stared at Riley, sensing his inner wolf, the frenetic tension between them palpable. Two witches up at the bar turned to give Quinn a friendly nod, and she waved, showing off by adding a bit of sparkle to her fingertips. I also identified a djinn, a faery or two, and even a ghoul, sitting by itself. Ghouls weren’t exactly the sociable type, so it was most likely planning to make a meal of one of the other customers. What I didn’t see, and would have almost zero chance of seeing outside of Ireland, was a supe like me. No, I was rare. And it was definitely better that way.
There was a rush and crush of darkness and something that sounded like wings beating. Not the feathery kind, but the heavy, leathery wings of a bat. My head spun as if I’d been thrown into a hurricane. Heat, ice and the smell of earth pressed in around me. Then everything stopped, and light returned.
I was standing in some sort of cave… no, a temple. Both, actually. Stalactites dripped from the ceiling, and carved stone pillars rose up from the floor. A set of rough stairs led up to an expansive dais. Flickering lanterns hung from the walls at intervals. As my eyes adjusted, I could see that Riley and Quinn stood beside me. Donovan, too. He looked as shocked as I felt. So, he wasn’t in on this.
Mr. Cabrelle stood before us, or rather the true form of the creature called Mr. Cabrelle. He still resembled something roughly humanoid. Huge chocolatey velvet wings hovered behind him, and patches of purplish scales dotted his skin. His eyes were the same though, only now I could see the monster on the outside. Was he some sort of demon spawn? I hadn’t sensed anything like that when we first met. But he clearly had magic at his command, deep and ancient magic. The feel of it still shivered over my skin as if I’d walked through dirty cobwebs.
He caught me watching him. “Ms. Star, Mr. McGregor, allow me to introduce my employer, Raoul Cabrera.” With his hand he swept my attention up the stairs, to the back of the dais, where a tall man sat on a chair. A throne really, of yellowed bones and sharp teeth. I almost snorted. Cliché much?
Unfortunately, clichés aside, we were in super deep shit.
Raoul Cabrera was basically the supernatural overlord of Brazil, and a good portion of the rest of South America. Rumor had it he was half demon and half faery, just about the nastiest combination of supes I could imagine. Both cruel, spiteful races, with crazy mad magical skills and an arsenal of other unpleasant talents. One major badass motherfucker, this guy. No wonder he’d used a front to hire me. Never in a million years would I have come otherwise.
Unearthly shrieks split the air as a herd of horses materialized. Well, materialized being a relative term. Wisps and streaks of glowing silver; wraiths in the night. Their eyes glowed fuchsia, and their bodies left smears of light like shooting stars, both beautiful and disorienting. Only two things about them had any solidity: their teeth and their hooves. Sparks flew up off the mountain where their feet touched the ground.
A Nightmare lunged for my face, its teeth snapping together near my cheek. I jerked my head to the side, going into a spin. My katana flashed in the moonlight. The horse spirit disappeared in a swirl of light, my sword catching nothing but air. A moment later as I landed in a crouch, it reappeared. Quick and deadly, it darted in again. My blade kissed the sky once more. But even with my super speed, I only grazed the tail-end of the thing as it whipped around. It let out a cry, taunting me as it disappeared from view once again.
A horrible human screaming rent the air. One of Raoul’s men had sunken to his knees, clawing at his eyes. A Nightmare hovered above him, its gaze hypnotic. The man didn’t seem able to look away. One of the other men stepped towards him, but a barked order from Belphegor pulled him up short. A moment later three horses appeared on each side of the fallen man, and they descended like piranhas. His screams cut off abruptly, followed by the sound of tearing flesh and snapping bones.
They came at us all at once again, a bigger circle around our smaller one. Screams, teeth and eyes first, emerging from nothingness, followed by their silvery bodies.
“Close your eyes!” Quinn yelled.
It went against all my instincts, but I squeezed them shut, before the Nightmares could lock gazes with me. My other senses kicked in. The taste of adrenaline on my tongue, the smell of blood and terror in the air, an electric hum of magic, a burning along my arm as teeth connected with skin. I swung my katana before me. Minor vibrations ran up the blade as I struck one of the Nightmares, but they were so quick, materializing in and out, that I hadn’t gotten in a lethal hit yet. Behind me, I could hear the firecracker blasts of Quinn’s magic, but I couldn’t tell if they were hitting the enemy or just the rocks around us. The rhythmic popping of the machine guns punched the night, the sound buzzing along my jawbone. Donovan and Riley’s growls intermingled with the bloody orchestra, but I didn’t hear anything that sounded like they were having better luck than I was. How much longer could we keep this up?