Cover & Excerpt
by Ann Gimpel
Soul Storm Book Three
Some choices can never be undone.
Lara and Trevor flee Seattle in the wake of rising chaos. Like raptors drawn to road kill, demons converge on what’s left of civilization, urging it to implode even faster.
In this final book of the Soul Storm series, Lara and Trevor’s relationship undergoes stresses that threaten to annihilate them. Constantly hungry, besieged by dark forces, they need every resource they’ve developed as a couple to keep from ripping each other apart. With her mentors snared in a chokehold by Goblins, Lara has only her half-baked magic standing between survival and certain death for herself, her love, and their unborn child.
The remote location that was supposed to solve all their problems has done anything but. Though she works diligently, Lara’s crash course in magic proves woefully inadequate. Trevor’s determined to protect his family, but he’s developed a decidedly haunted edge from all the carnage.
When he’s captured by demons, Lara curses their decision to leave Seattle, risks everything to go after him, and falls headlong into a cunningly crafted trap.
Genre: Urban FantasyFor a limited time only 99¢
Content/Theme(s): Psychic, Fae, Demons, Magic, Apocalyptic, Sidhe
Release Date: January 29, 2015
Publisher: Dream Shadow Press
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…Trevor let himself out the kitchen door, Brad’s Heckler and Koch tucked under his arm. In a distant corner of his brain, he thought he must be mad to march off to face Christ-only-knew-what with a weapon he’d never fired before. Feels like it did the night I snuck out into the dark to see who had the night vision lamp. This gun didn’t do shit when Brad fired it that night. Not against Goblins. With memories swamping him, Trevor felt ill. He tightened his grip on the gun’s stock, and his breath came way too fast as he scanned the yard for movement.
The only reason he’d survived that other night was because a goddess had intervened. He didn’t figure he’d be that lucky twice. Besides, the supernatural creatures seemed to have other things on their minds. He’d cornered Elidora a couple days before to ask what was wrong. The Carlisle witch-woman mumbled something cryptic in Celtic Gaelic. Trying to decipher it after she left, he wondered if the Dreaming might not be under Demon attack.
Standing on the bottom step, with the comforting bulk of the house behind him, Trevor tried reaching out with all his senses. At first, the frantic beat of his heart drumming in his ears overwhelmed everything else. He forced himself to take some steadying breaths. Somewhere between them, he caught a sense of something not quite right, and the fine hairs on the nape of his neck quivered. He peered anxiously around the familiar yard, illuminated by strands of sunlight peeking through fluffy clouds. Nothing moved. In an effort to be methodical, he shifted his gaze from left to right, then back again.
Is something hiding in the trees? That’s what they did last time. A vision of the Goblin that had jumped Brad rose unbidden, and Trevor bit hard on his lower lip. “No Goblins,” he mumbled. “They haven’t been here since that night. No reason they should come back.”
Bolstered somewhat by the sound of his own voice, he straightened his back, seeking courage to move away from the house. None of the animals were making any unusual noises like they would if they were frightened. Whatever had stirred up the goats before must have left. He checked the safety—clicking it off with fingers that weren’t as steady as he might have liked—and patted his pocket for the spare magazines Brad had shoved into his hand, the last of the ammunition for the automatic rifle.
“Best get moving,” he muttered, striding purposefully across the yard. He glanced from side to side to reassure himself no one else was there. Deciding to check the barn first, since it was closest to the house, he altered course. When he got there, he unlatched the door and pushed it open.
“Mary, mother of God,” he gasped and fell back a step, as he took in a scene out of the nine levels of Dante’s Inferno. Something—or someone—had slaughtered the goats. Blood was everywhere. The floor was slick with it, and it blotched the walls. Nausea roiled through him. Trevor struggled not to vomit. A muted bleat came from somewhere. As he sought its source, a kid crept from under one of the corpses mewling piteously.
“Poor thing.” Trevor reached down to stroke the small creature. It shook as it nuzzled his hand. He wondered how it had escaped, then realized its mother must have thrown herself atop her child. The reality of what the carnage meant hit home. He tasted fear, bitter and acrid. A metallic taste filled his mouth, burning its way deep into his soul.
Goblins. There are Goblins here. There must be. No animal could have done this and latched the door behind him.
Trevor’s head snapped up. He felt sure he heard something, its feet slogging through the mud. Lurching to the still-open barn door, he opened fire, swinging the weapon in a broad swath, while trying to avoid firing directly at the house. He still didn’t see anything, but he knew in his guts he wasn’t alone. Hadn’t been since he set foot in the yard. That was why he felt so odd. He fired another burst, hoping against hope to hit something.
A shriek, and then another, assailed him. It sounded like someone was being murdered five feet away. He twisted wildly from side to side, but didn’t see a thing. His mind rebelled at the contradiction. He lunged to pick up the kid and make a run for the house, but something closed about him from behind. Panting hot and fast, he swung the gun barrel sideways to hit whatever was there, but didn’t have enough reach.
Laughter brayed. The same damned, maniacal laughter he’d heard the last time Goblins showed up. A cloying miasma, reminiscent of road kill lying in the sun too long, clogged his nostrils.
Even though he still couldn’t see what had him, steel bands wrapped around his chest. Breathing became difficult. He considered yelling for Brad, but didn’t want either the crippled detective or, God forbid, Lara, anywhere near what was happening to him. Fear clawed at his belly. The edges of his vision grayed as his oxygen supply diminished.
“For bloody fuck’s sake, I’m going to die here,” he growled, just before the darkness swirling ever closer dragged him downward…
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Be on the lookout for Ann Gimpel's future release(s): Earth's Hope coming March 2015, Winning Glory coming April 2015, Honor Bound coming May 2015 and Claiming Charity coming June 2015
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