Lisa Shearin, National Bestselling Author

Update on the sales links & a recommendation on a great series to read

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Update on the sales link transfer — Everything has successfully moved over from NLA Digital to me, and the links are back up and functional. Whew! (That was a colossal pain in the patoot.) Huge thanks to Lori at NLA Digital, and the folks at KDP/Amazon and CreateSpace for helping me get moved and settled in!

Today’s post is another series of books that I’ve read, read again, and love. They’re known as the “Agent Pendergast” series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (or Preston & Child, as they’re known). The authors also do separate series. More on those in a future blog. Spoiler alert. . . they’re great.

Below are the synops and links for the first two books in the series. I think there’s something like 17 of them now. So if you read the first couple and love them, you’ve got plenty more fun lined up and waiting. I think you’ll especially enjoy FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast. He’s one of my all-time favorite characters.

Helpful hint: Read them in order.

Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (Agent Pendergast Book 1)

Ebook  Paperback

Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum’s dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human…
But the museum’s directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders.
Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who–or what–is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop the massacre?

Reliquary (Agent Pendergast Book 2)

Ebook    Paperback

Hidden deep beneath Manhattan lies a warren of tunnels, sewers, and galleries, mostly forgotten by those who walk the streets above. There lies the ultimate secret of the Museum Beast. When two grotesquely deformed skeletons are found deep in the mud off the Manhattan shoreline, museum curator Margo Green is called in to aid the investigation. Margo must once again team up with police lieutenant D’Agosta and FBI agent Pendergast, as well as the brilliant Dr. Frock, to try and solve the puzzle. The trail soon leads deep underground, where they will face the awakening of a slumbering nightmare..

Broken or missing sales links for my books? Be patient.

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I’ve gotten quite a few emails about the links to my indie published books being broken or even gone.

It’s okay. I’m still here, and I’m not going anywhere. : )

I had been doing my indie publishing through my agent’s imprint NLA Digital LLC. Kristin has recently decided to ramp down and discontinue that small part of her business. However, I am still her client, and she’s still my super agent, forever and ever, amen.  I’ll merely be doing my indie publishing myself. The past few years of being under the NLA Digital umbrella has been an incredible learning experience for me. Mucho, mucho thanks to Kristin, Lori, and Angie for taking such good care of me and helping me prepare during the past few weeks for taking off my publishing training wheels.

This weekend, I moved over the last of my books. The books affected by the move include:

  1. The Myth Manifestation
  2. Treasure & Treason
  3. Ruins & Revenge
  4. Wedding Bells Magic Spells
  5. Wild Card (Raine Benares novella)

The ebook versions at BN, Kobo, and iTunes are now available.

Amazon ebooks are in the final stages of being posted. They should be up in the next day or two.

I’m doing my print books through CreateSpace (the same place they came from with NLA Digital). As of this morning, they’re being uploaded to the various retail sites and should be there in the next 3-5 days.

I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

As to what I’ve been doing besides all of the above: I’m still working on The Phoenix Illusion (SPI Files 6), and still plan to have that out in the early fall.

Oh, by the way, with all the social media brouhaha going on, many are opting to curtail or even eliminate their social media accounts. Whether you decide to do that or not, there’s an easy way to continue to get all the news about my books–simply sign up for my newsletter. That way, book news, pub dates, pre-sale links, sales links, upcoming new series news. . . all of it will be delivered straight into your inbox, no social media surfing necessary. It’s quick, it’s easy, and I promise not to talk your ears off.

Here’s the link to sign up for my newsletter. 

Also, most authors now have newsletters. So go and check all your favorite authors’ websites for links, and let the news come to you. : )

Great books I’ve read lately + news on SPI Files 6 (The Phoenix Illusion)

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I’m picking back up with a blog series I started on books I’ve found that I absolutely love. With all the books out there, it can be hard to sift through and find the gems. I’ve found a few really great ones (in my opinion). I’ll try to post on this every week or two.

UPDATE ON MY OWN BOOKS: I’m writing SPI Files 6 right now (The Phoenix Illusion) which I hope to have out in the late summer/early fall. It’ll be in ebook, paper, and audiobook from Audible. More details to come as I have them.

The first is the Jessica Blackwood novels by Andrew Mayne. He’s an author and magician who has worked with David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, and David Blane. He’s written several series in completely different genres (talented guy). While I’m reading more of his books, this is just the first series of his that I’ve completed and can heartily recommend.

ANGEL KILLER (Book 1) eBook and paperback

FBI agent Jessica Blackwood believes she has successfully left her complicated life as a gifted magician behind her until a killer with seemingly supernatural powers puts her talents to the ultimate test.
A mysterious hacker, who identifies himself only as “Warlock,” brings down the FBI’s website and posts a code in its place. It hides the GPS coordinates of a Michigan cemetery, where a dead girl is discovered rising from the ground . . . as if she tried to crawl out of her own grave.

Born into a dynasty of illusionists, Jessica Blackwood is destined to become its next star—until she turns her back on her troubled family, and her legacy, to begin a new life in law enforcement. But FBI consultant Dr. Jeffrey Ailes’s discovery of an old copy of Magician Magazine will turn Jessica’s carefully constructed world upside down. Faced with a crime that appears beyond explanation, Ailes has nothing to lose—and everything to gain—by taking a chance on an agent raised in a world devoted to seemingly achieving the impossible.

The body in the cemetery is only the first in the Warlock’s series of dark miracles. Thrust into the media spotlight, with time ticking away until the next crime, can Jessica confront her past to embrace her gifts and stop a depraved killer? If she can’t, she may become his next victim.

NAME OF THE DEVIL (Book 2) eBook and paperback

When a church congregation vanishes under mysterious circumstances in rural Appalachia, the bizarre trail of carnage indicates the Devil’s hand at work. But Satan can’t be the suspect, so FBI consultant Dr. Ailes and Jessica’s boss on the Warlock case, Agent Knoll, turn to the ace up their sleeve: Jessica. She’s convinced that an old cassette tape holds the key to the mystery, and unraveling the recorded events reveals a troubling act with far-reaching implications. The evil at work is human, and Jessica must follow the trail from West Virginia to Mexico, Miami, and even the hallowed halls of the Vatican.

BLACK FALL (Book 3) eBook and paperback

Magician-turned-FBI agent Jessica Blackwood investigates a series of seemingly unrelated, but equally bizarre and sinister, crimes that lead her to the Colorado desert and a town that has, simply, disappeared.

With two big cases under her belt, FBI Agent Jessica Blackwood is learning to embrace her unconventional past as the rising star in a family dynasty of illusionists. Her talent and experience endow her with a unique understanding of the power and potential of deception, and a gift for knowing when things are not always as they appear to be. Once resenting her eccentric grandfather, a brilliant magician in his own right, Jessica now sees him as a mentor and regularly seeks his advice about her work.

But Jessica’s routine surveillance operation becomes a fight for survival when a disturbed young woman, clutching a baby, shows up at the stake-out location and threatens to kill her child. On the same day, an hour after a severe earthquake rocks the eastern seaboard, a strange video goes viral. Nobel Prize-winning physicist Peter Devon has been dead for eight years, yet here he is on camera, predicting the location and date of the earthquake. Jessica is put on the case by her boss, Dr. Ailes, but when Detective Aileen Lewis reports that they’ve found a Jane Doe who matches her description of her attacker, she’s torn between professional duty and a personal desire to find out who the woman was, and why she was killed.

The investigations pull her in very different directions—until they start to converge, leading Jessica to confront something darker, and more powerful, than anyone expected. Something so twisted, only one person could be behind it…the Warlock.

As I said, I loved these books. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did! 

Upcoming books & news on The Myth Manifestation paperback

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The print version of The Myth Manifestation is now available from B&N for those of you who were waiting.

Thank you so much for all of your kind emails, reviews, and comments on The Myth Manifestation! It was as much fun for me to write as it was for you to read.

That being said, I’m now working on the next (6th) SPI Files book — The Phoenix Illusion, which I hope to have out in late summer/early fall of this year.

After that, I have six books in the queue (which will keep me busy for the next 2-3 years):

  • SPI Files 7 — The Solstice Countdown 
  • SPI Files 8 — The Pandora Predicament
  • SPI Files 9 — The Demon Directive
  • Two more Raine Benares books (from Raine’s POV)
  • A “Raine Benares World Novel” (from Phaelan’s POV)

This is NOT the order in which these books will be written. I do know that I’ll write The Solstice Countdown after The Phoenix Illusion, and probably after that will come a Raine Benares book. After that? I won’t know until the characters tell me.

One thing I can tell you about the book I’m writing now (The Phoenix Illusion) — There will be two “guest stars” from my Raine books. Tam Nathrach and Agata Azul. Is that squeeing I hear? : )

For those SPI Files fans who have yet to read my Raine Benares books, writing the SPI Files was a natural progression from that series, as is the crossing over of characters and plots between the two.  From their covers, the Raine Benares books may look like traditional fantasy (and kinda “girly”), but they’re not. I wrote them with a modern urban fantasy tone—full of the type of action and humor found in the SPI Files. In short, if you like Mac, you’ll love Raine. And if you love Ian and Rake, you’ll go gaga over Mychael Eiliesor and Tam Nathrach. My Raine Benares novels are packed with adventure, intrigue, hot elves, and sexy goblins. There are sample chapters on my website (lisashearin.com), or you can download samples at Amazon.

Try ’em, I think you’ll like ’em.

 

Amazon link for print version of The Myth Manifestation

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The print version is starting to appear at retailers. The first up is Amazon.

Here is the link to the print version of The Myth Manifestation.

Note: It’s print-on-demand and is trade paperback size, so it costs more than the mass market version that you’re used to. We hope in the future that the printer used for POD will begin offering the mass market size, so the price will be lower.

Release day update for The Myth Manifestation

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It’s finally release day for The Myth Manifestation! I understand that the ebook is releasing without problem, but the print version isn’t showing up on retail sites yet. I am checking into this and will update you *as soon as* I have an answer for you. Hang in there, it’s coming! : )

In the meantime, over at That’s What I’m Talking About, Jen has the first part of Chapter 3 for you. Chapters 1 and 2 are on my blog (just scroll down).

I’ll send out updates throughout the day.

For the audiobook lovers, The Myth Manifestation is now in post-production. As soon as I have a release date, I’ll let you know. It shouldn’t be too much longer.

The Myth Manifestation snippet for your Friday

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Only a few more days until Tuesday when you can get your hands on The Myth Manifestation. Here’s a snippet for your Friday. . .

The thing slammed into the bottom of the elevator, sending the car—and our legs—up a good two feet. Kenji and I had instinctively grabbed the cable, which was all that’d kept us on our feet.

Then the car kept creeping upward, as if pushed from beneath, thumps and hisses coming from all around us.

Holy crap.

I did not want to look, but I had to.

I shined my penlight against the elevator shaft.

Snakes. Plural.

Not just two, but half a dozen snakes, maybe more, trying to squirm their way up from below, pushing against each other, each one the size of my thigh and plenty big enough to crush and eat us. They were eagerly squeezing themselves though the space between the elevator car and the shaft like Play-Doh in an evil Fun Factory.

Kenji and I were in total agreement on what to do next.

We screamed.

Snippet from The Myth Manifestation & BN ebook pre-order link

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Below is a snippet from The Myth Manifestation, which will be out next Tuesday, January 16.

And the ebook pre-order link from Barnes & Noble is finally live. As I’ve said, the print links will go live either Monday or Tuesday (the day of release). Sorry about that. It’s how it is when you self-pub. ; ) Audiobook is in production now.

Here’s a snippet for your Wednesday. . .

Some of the delegates were strictly nocturnal, and now was their happy hour. The other delegates fell into two camps: too pooped to party, and wide awake with worry so they might as well try to have fun.

Yes, there had been a murder committed to keep anyone from leaving. The delegates didn’t know about it, and had yet to be targeted. Since the success of the summit depended on maintaining congeniality, Vivienne Sagadraco had determined that the best way to deal with the current situation would be to carry on with the summit’s meetings as scheduled, beginning in the morning. I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, the boss was the epitome of the whole “Keep Calm and Carry On” thing. If her tea time would not be interrupted for monsters and murder, neither would the Centennial Supernatural Summit.

Rumor had it there was one heck of a poker game going on in the room Vlad had taken for his team’s headquarters. As Ian and I headed toward the lobby, one of Vlad’s people passed us, presumably on his way to the game, and nodded a polite greeting. He had a flying monkey tucked under his arm.

“Is that the vampire version of taking a keg to a party?” I quietly asked my partner.

“More like just a growler. But yeah.”

Chapter 2 of The Myth Manifestation

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One week from tomorrow (January 16) is the release date for The Myth Manifestation (SPI Files 5)!

The ebook pre-order links are now live. (See below.)

The pre-order links for the print version should be live either Monday of next week or Tuesday (the release date). Sorry about that. It’s the nature of the self-publication/print-on-demand beast. I’ll shout it out as soon as they’re up.

The audiobook from Audible is being recorded. Release date to come.

Here are the ebook pre-order links:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Apple
Google
Kobo

Now, on to Chapter 2 of The Myth Manifestation. . . 

Ian and I weren’t officially on duty for another hour, but we knew we’d been unofficially so the instant we’d set foot outside our hotel rooms.

When we glanced around the lobby, it wasn’t apparent to either one of us what was wrong.

The Regor Regency was a fully restored, thirteen-story epitome of art nouveau elegance.

The hotel’s defining feature was a central atrium that rose to a pyramidal skylight on the roof, revealing the surrounding Lower Manhattan skyline. The guest rooms and many of the meeting rooms opened out onto lushly carpeted walkways overlooking the atrium. The ornate, wrought-iron railing on each floor was waist-high to keep guests from taking a dive to the lobby below. It was Darwin Award–winner prevention that also looked good.

The hotel had been reopened for business for almost five years, and in that time, the Regor Regency had become the preferred destination for the well-heeled, both human and supernatural, who needed to be close to the Financial District. The logistics for the summit required a venue that was supernatural-friendly, meaning the staff had to be supernaturals themselves or some of the select humans who were in-the-know. Most of all, the staff couldn’t be the type to scream and run at the sight of guests with tentacles, wings, tails, scales, pointy ears, and/or fangs. The hotel also had to be able to accommodate the dietary and comfort needs of said unusual guests. And, most importantly, the venue had to be able to close itself to the general public (aka clueless humans) for the duration of the summit.

That meant the Regor Regency.

Plus, it was a nice touch that last year, the Regor had achieved a five-star rating. If you wanted people and not-people to make nice and work together, you’d better be sure they were happy with their surroundings.

Part of the hotel’s supernatural-friendliness lay with what ran below its foundations—several ley lines of power. They weren’t any of the four major lines that ran through the tri-state area, but rather smaller branches. The foundations of the hotel had been embedded in the bedrock right above the ley lines, which emitted a low and actually rather pleasant hum to people and beings who were sensitive to such things. After being exposed to a rudely awakened major ley line, I was officially a sensitive. As a result, the hotel’s interior was brighter and more vibrant, its cuisine more flavorful, its guest rooms more inviting and restful. I could see why the owner chose this hotel to renovate. It was a moneymaker waiting to happen.

To cover the preparations for the summit itself, plus getting the hotel ready to reopen to the public afterward, the owner had stopped taking reservations, and closed it for three weeks, citing renovations. To say that the owner was losing a lot of money from closing his hotel was an understatement, but I was sure that Vivienne Sagadraco had made it worth his while.

The owner was Rake Danescu.

Rake was a goblin, spymaster, billionaire, and presumed playboy. I say “presumed” because while I had no evidence to support that statement, he was tall, dark, blazingly hot, and his bank accounts were loaded. I felt safe assuming all of the above equaled a chick magnet; and since Rake was hot-blooded, breathing, and male, I couldn’t see him turning down the women who threw themselves at him on a regular basis.

I’d never thrown myself at him.

Maybe that was part of my appeal to him.

I still didn’t know.

By the way, Rake and I were kinda-sorta-maybe dating, and to the best of my knowledge, Rake had turned into a one-woman goblin.

I hadn’t slept with him. Not yet.

Call me paranoid, cautious, or merely sensible. Considering who and what the object of my affection was, I thought all of the above were good ideas.

But I hadn’t had to exercise any of my caution lately.

Rake and I hadn’t seen much of each other for about two months. I’d expected him to go full speed ahead after what had happened on Bannerman Island. We’d saved Ian, prevented an invasion by a race of ancient Irish gods, and as an added bonus, had made out in the woods. When it came to taking a relationship to the next level, that was a green light combined with flashing directional arrows. Instead, Rake had suddenly become “busy.”

Often.

To tell you the truth, it’d been kind of hard not to take personally.

But the reason I was here wasn’t personal, it was business, and I needed to get down to it.

I slowly turned in a full circle, my seer and regular human senses wide open.

I didn’t see anything in the hotel lobby that wasn’t supposed to be there. And all I could smell was the bacon biscuit in my pocket. Though a second later, I did hear my stomach growl in annoyance at being denied its crispy, bacony goodness.

The goblin chief of Rake’s hotel security stood utterly still across the lobby in front of the door leading to the hotel offices. Goblins had black eyes and hair (which they usually wore long), upswept ears, vampiric fangs, and a predator’s senses. I’d been introduced to Gethen Nazar yesterday. He and all those on his staff were battle-hardened dark mages, like their boss, Rake Danescu. A lot of supernatural VIPs stayed here, and as SPI knew through copious experience, wherever supernatural VIPs went, trouble was sure to follow. Rake and his people prided themselves on being prepared for anything.

If Gethen Nazar didn’t know what was wrong, I didn’t feel so bad.

A low, rumbling growl made the marble floors vibrate beneath our feet.

It came from the hotel ballroom, not my stomach.

As did the crash of something large and extremely breakable immediately after.

I didn’t know what was going all Hulk-smash behind those ballroom doors, but I knew I hadn’t had nearly enough coffee to deal with it. Worst of all, I didn’t think I was gonna get to eat my bacon biscuit anytime soon.

One of the doors quickly opened, and two pale and wide-eyed goblin hotel staffers darted out, slammed the door, and threw their backs against it as something bigger than both of them put together times ten charged the door from the other side.

The resulting boom shook the floor under our feet again, and the door buckled, but held.

Barely.

My mouth was suddenly a tad bit dry. “I always thought the Hulk was a fictional character.”

“He is,” Ian said from beside me. “Unfortunately, that isn’t.”

I was fairly certain I was underqualified to deal with whatever was in there, and I was positive I didn’t want to open that door for confirmation, but that was our job. Confirm and confront things from the other side.

Sandra didn’t have to call her commando team; they’d followed us out of the dining room. They were still on duty. SPI’s second commando team, led by Roy Benoit, was on call.

Sandra called.

Ian and I hurried over to the wall to the right of the doors that had taken yet another hit. Whatever was in there wanted out. We needed it to stay in.

Gethen Nazar was already there, speaking in low tones to the panicked goblin staffers.

Goblins didn’t shock easily, and if they did, they kept it to themselves. Whatever was in that ballroom had made these goblins toss their reserve right out the nearest Tiffany window.

“That’s impossible,” Gethen was saying.

Those words coming from a dark mage said a lot, none of it good.

“It was there . . . then it wasn’t,” the staffer managed.

The second staffer jumped in. “Then it appeared again.”

The security chief slid aside a small wooden panel that was at eye level in the ballroom door, like you’d see in an old speakeasy, and looked inside.

“What is it?” Ian asked him.

“Well, I’ll be damned. It is a buka.”

I blinked. “A what?”

“It’s a goblin legend,” Gethen said. “They exist, but they’re rare. A monster used to frighten children.”

If the staffers’ borderline panic was any indicator, bukas worked their mojo on adults, too.

“It appeared out of nowhere,” the first staffer told us.

Ian and I exchanged a glance. We both knew that a lot of monsters could come out of nowhere, and that applied to the proverbial “thin air” as well. Not all air was thin, and when it came to portals or tears in dimensional walls, there really wasn’t such a thing as “nowhere.”

“Gethen, what’s happening here?”

The familiar voice came from behind us.

Rake.

He was tall and lean with shoulder-length black hair, angular features, and cheekbones you could cut yourself on. With the hotel being closed to the supernaturally clueless, Rake had dispensed with the human disguise, so his pale gray skin, pointed ears, and a pair of fangs that he knew how to use and use well—whether for ripping out the throat of an enemy or nibbling yours truly into incoherent babbling—were on full display.

The way things were going, there wasn’t going to be any nibbling on his part or babbling on mine for the foreseeable future.

Gethen answered his boss. “There is what appears to be a buka in the ballroom, sir.”

Rake paused for a moment, as if waiting for what he’d just heard to make sense. Apparently it didn’t. “A buka?”

The staffers were nodding in unison. “Yes, sir,” staffer number two said. “We were setting up the room for tonight, and it appeared.”

Rake crossed to the doors and slid aside the panel. He looked, he saw, and he carefully closed it.

He turned to us and said calmly, “There’s a buka in my ballroom.”

Ian stepped forward. “May I?”

“By all means.”

Ian took a peek, and I stood on tiptoe to do the same.

It was about nine, maybe ten feet tall, and bore a vague resemblance to a sasquatch. And yes, they do exist. Sasquatches are shy and gentle unless provoked. I didn’t know what had set this buka off, but those yellow eyes were blazing with a feeling that was way beyond provoked. It appeared to be deciding which set of antique tables and chairs to Hulk-smash next.

A normal person would think that was something you didn’t generally see in an upscale Manhattan hotel.

We weren’t normal people, and this wasn’t a normal hotel.

I drew back. “It looks like some kind of were-sasquatch.”

“Bukas are monsters native to my world,” Rake said, “specifically my home kingdom.”

“So, it shouldn’t be here.” I didn’t ask it as a question, since it was obvious that the thing was here. I shouldn’t have said it at all, but I think my mouth was killing time while my brain caught up to what my eyes were seeing.

“No, it should not be here.”

“Whatever we’re gonna do to make it go away, we need to do it quick. You’re starting to lose furniture in there.”

Sandra shouldered her way forward to take a look for herself. “All I need to know is how to kill it.”

“They’re tough and they’re fast,” Rake told her. “But they bleed and die just like anything else.”

Sandra gave a sharp nod. “Good enough.”

“That being said,” Rake continued, “some of the delegates have already arrived. A few have never heard gunfire before. We don’t want to upset anyone.”

Ian gave Rake a flat look. “So, you’re going to ask it nicely to leave?”

“The magic I plan to use is silent—at least it will be to my guests. All that will remain is a rather unpleasant odor, which the air filtration system can easily eliminate.”

“And if it’s tougher or faster than you think?” Ian asked.

I did a little internal wince.

Rake and Ian had never been what you’d call friends. More like two alpha males who had a mutual agreement not to kill each other in the immediate future. Maintaining that no-kill stance at any time beyond that was open to negotiation.

From what I had heard from others and seen for myself, Rake Danescu was quite possibly one of the most powerful dark mages on our planet right now. Ian had witnessed Rake’s magical badassery up close and firsthand. He knew what the goblin was capable of. So, Ian wasn’t questioning Rake’s qualifications to deal with the rabid goblin sasquatch; he merely wanted to cover all his bases should this not play out the way Rake believed it would.

Mostly.

Fortunately, Rake now knew Ian well enough to know this about him, and didn’t take it personally.

Mostly.

I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.

Men.

“I believe my team and I will be able to deal with the threat quietly,” Rake told Ian. “However, I am never opposed to backup—even if it is not needed.”

Touché.

The members of SPI New York’s two commando teams were qualified to take down any monster in many ways. We had humans, elves, goblins, vampires, werewolves, and a couple of supernatural species I hadn’t been aware existed until I’d signed on with SPI.

All could kick monster ass with an assortment of lethal weapons, by hand, and with magic. That being said, I suspected they had nothing on Rake Danescu’s black magic security team, who had now joined their commander.

There were only six of them. Three men and three women Rake trusted to be able to deal with anything that could happen. He took the security of his properties very seriously, especially after what had happened a couple of months ago with a certain brimstone-leaking Hellpit under his most profitable nightclub.

Rake knew how much was riding on the summit. He’d pulled the best of his security personnel from his properties around town. They could fight and they could fling magic better than our commandos. I didn’t like admitting it, but it was true. It was true because Rake and his people were dark battlemages. They didn’t just practice black magic; they were experts. Their magic wasn’t the sacrifice-a-virgin kind; it was the too-dangerous-to-be-tried kind.

These people didn’t try it. They did it—and lived.

They were all goblins. While Rake had no problem with other races or supernatural species, when it came to those who had his back, he preferred his own people.

Considering the power even I could feel that they were packing, I didn’t blame him.

Ian had stepped to the side to call Ms. Sagadraco to inform her of the situation. While she would be on-site this afternoon when the rest of the delegates arrived, she always wanted to be notified if a situation went south when she wasn’t there.

A buka in the ballroom definitely qualified.

Rake and his people were going to take this entrance. Sandra and her team had moved to the ballroom’s east entrance, with Roy and his folks taking up position outside the west entrance. Both had just reported that they were in position.

As the leader of his team and owner of this hotel, it was Rake’s call when to move. They would attempt to deal with it themselves with magic alone. Our two teams were backup if dark magic muscle couldn’t get the job done.

The buka had stopped pounding on the doors. While we couldn’t hear it, no one could help but smell it. The closest I’d come in my experience to a stink quite that bad was a billy goat. Don’t get me wrong, I loved goats. Cutest babies ever. But once the boys grew up . . . dang, that was some serious stink.

Rake turned to his team. “If at all possible, I want this taken care of with minimal damage.”

Meaning to everything except the buka.

“I couldn’t see the entire ballroom through that little peephole,” I told him. “That buka could have friends—or whoever brought him here.”

“There was only one,” the goblin staffer said.

“That you could see. And you said that one kept disappearing and popping back up. What’s to keep another one from doing the same thing?” I held up a hand. “I’m not disputing what you saw, merely saying it’s a possibility we should consider.”

There was silence at that.

The staffers didn’t know what I meant, but Ian and Rake did. I was a seer. My survival instinct didn’t want me going into that ballroom, but keeping our people safe by alerting them to danger that only I could see was my job. It was my job, and I was going to do it. I wasn’t asking for Ian’s approval as my partner, or Rake’s as the owner of this hotel. It was more of an FYI. I was going in there.

“Me first,” Ian said.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” I told him. “You’re the badass monster hunter. I’m here to help you aim, if needed.”

I drew my own weapon. It was the latest and greatest paint pistol SPI’s chief armorer had made for me. As a country girl who grew up in the mountains, I was a good shot. Since I’d been working at SPI, I’d become a better shot. Our agents and commandos were expert shots—when it came to what they could see.

My paint pistol and I were there to help them shoot what they couldn’t see.

SPI’s R&D department had come up with ammo for my pistol and rifle that had a much wider splatter radius than a standard paintball. Plus, the dye was brighter and had the added advantage of glowing in the dark.

If a monster was sporting any kind of cloak or veil, I tagged it so our commandos could bag it.

I’d felt silly at first, carrying guns that fired dye pellets, but after dealing with the first few veiled baddies that had nearly killed two of our commandos, I carried my lethal-by-association toys with pride and honor.

Rake was wearing a suit, a suit that probably cost a month or more of my salary. He didn’t seem concerned that things could happen to the suit that even the best dry cleaner and tailor couldn’t fix.

I found myself on the receiving end of one of Rake’s bemused glances.

One corner of his mouth twitched in a quick grin. “Worried about me?”

“You can take care of yourself. I’m worried about endangering an innocent suit.”

Rake glanced down. “Good point. At least I can preserve the jacket.” With that, he shrugged out of the suit coat with one smooth movement, tossing it over the back of a nearby chair. Then he deftly removed his cuff links, which had probably cost more than the suit, tucked them in a pocket, and rolled up his sleeves. “Shall we?” he asked.

Ian gave a sharp nod.

A rafter-shaking roar came from what sounded like the middle of the ballroom. The buka was still there, but at least it had moved away from the door.

Our opportunity to get inside without the buka getting outside wouldn’t be any better.

Rake opened the door.

A snippet for your Friday from The Myth Manifestation

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The ebook version of  The Myth Manifestation is now available for pre-order. The retailers’ sales links are listed here. The pre-order link for the print version should be live by late next week, and the audiobook is being recorded now. I don’t have the release date yet from Audible, but I should soon.

In the meantime, here’s a snippet . . .

We heard the screeching and shouts before we got back upstairs to the lobby.

Our fast walk turned into running.

When we got there, Rake and I jus

t stopped and stared.

My mouth fell open, and I didn’t even bother to close it. “What fresh hell?”

Swooping in and around the hotel’s atrium and flying through the lobby were what looked like those flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz.

Except without the cute little bellhop outfits.

They were buck naked, and I really wished they weren’t. Some things you just didn’t want flying over your head without pants.