New today from Hellfire Publishing
Synopsis from Blood and Lilies:
Once cast from Heaven, Zillah has vowed to destroy God and overtake his kingdom. But a key is needed to open the gates between the two realms.
The Key to the gate walks the earth in the form of a woman...young, innocent and completely unaware of her importance in the battle between good and evil. Once her blood is shed, Zillah can open the portal to release her father...Lucifer himself.
Cara, a college sophomore, is quickly thrown into a world of supernatural, as well as learning of her true ancestry. Vampires, werewolves and the Nephilim are now a part of her real world. As the beings struggle to protect her, she fights to keep her sanity as her mortal realm is crushed.
Secrets are revealed that could shatter Cara’s new found love, as well as lead to her ultimate death. A family is torn apart as the battle to save the key leads them down a road of betrayal and heartache. Loved ones are lost, lines are crossed, and nothing is as it seems. Lies and truths twist and turn, leaving us with only one question…
Could you sacrifice the one you love to save the world?
Lyn Croft is a sci-fi fantasy writer born and raised in sunny Southern California. There, she raises her daughter, works full time, writes novels, and plays video games in her spare time.
Her new book, “Blood & Lilies ~ Bloodlines” is her debut novel, and the first in a series of epic tales for the battle between good and evil.
The evening sky pulsed, hues of deep purples and blacks engraving blurry lines above the earth. The night echoed its cries, carried by angry breezes through the hills of the land. The cemetery, cascaded in carved tombstones that sprouted from the ground, laid empty and dormant, except for the busy yet silent whispers of the dead.
The ground, wet and damp, gave way beneath Cara’s bare feet as she trudged through the mud pushing between her toes. Her eyes traveled towards the ground to study her soiled feet, finding her body was draped in a simple, yet elegant white dress that graced below her knees. The plunging neckline stopped just beneath the cleft of her breast as the thin silk straps hugged the tops of her shoulders, exposing her bare delicate skin.
She scanned around her, alone and frightened, like a young child strayed from its mother. It was so dark, and the crested moon, swarmed by rolling darkened clouds, offered no safe haven of light to guide her way. Slow and unsure, she stepped cautiously, waiting blindly for an edge that would send her spiraling down into a never-ending abyss, swallowing her whole. The shadows danced in front of her, playing tricks on her unfocused eyes as her feet took her step by step.
Where was she? How did she get here? She could hear faint whispers of the dead crying out to her from the spirit world. Their words made no sense as they all jumbled together like a soft but unmelodic hum in the air. Her ears strained to make out parts of the words, hoping to piece together some language so that she could better understand why they had brought her here.
Realization struck. The voices had guided her here. She turned around towards where the whispers grew, louder and more needing. She followed them as they increased, vibrating through her head as if they were coming from inside her brain, instead of churning in the air around her. The darkness frightened her, yet she still continued, following the only guidance she had.
She could hear it now. Through the vast echo of the whispers, she could make out her name. They called to her, begged her to come near. She obeyed.
Something hard struck her toes, shooting instant pain up through her legs, like lightning igniting through her to her very core. Her body flew forward as she reached out to stop her fall. She expected a large stone to split her head. Or perhaps the tip of a metal cross would impale her through her chest and end it all, without her knowing or seeing it in the darkness before her. But there was nothing as her body hit the soft ground beneath her.
Grass laced itself through her fingers as she looked up to the gravestone in front of her. The clouds that had hugged the moon so well broke, lighting the etched carvings before her so she could see. What she read on the engraving shook her to the core. Her eyes couldn’t process, couldn’t comprehend what she was seeing.
Cara L. Chadwick
Beloved Friend and Student
We will miss you always
Oct. 18, 1992 to Dec. 21, 2012
A cry escaped her lips as Cara pushed herself up from the ground as fast as she could, stumbling backwards. She wanted to turn away, run and never look back. There was no way in hell she was going to stay here to hang out with her own tomb. And the date…it was this Friday’s date…or had it already arrived and was now in the past? Cara realized she had no idea of what time it was, or the day, but she needed to escape and get out of this place as fast as her bare feet could carry her.
Laughter filled the air around her, swirling and vibrating through her head as Cara searched to find where it came from. She knew the sound all too well, deeply etched in her head from the nights before. From her past experiences with the twins, she knew running would get her nowhere. She was a lost cause already from the moment she had stepped foot in this graveyard; the moment she saw her own grave laid out before her, they would win.
She lifted her eyes, outlining their shadows in the darkness before her as they stepped closer. Three slim figures graced towards her, gliding as if they walked on air. Two of them were the twins, but the third was new. One she had never seen.
Moonlight shone down upon them but seemed to focus upon the one in the middle, like a spotlight specially designed just for her. It graced her with such an illuminating light, as if the lunar orb had no other job in the world but to light a path for this godly being. Cara finally made out the woman’s face. She was absolutely beautiful. Breathtaking features sat on a perfect feminine frame. Her hair was jet black, wrapping like silk around her shoulders, flowing effortlessly past her thin waist. Natural waves cascaded through her locks as it glimmered off the light, highlighting scarlet tones that glistened through her hair. Her eyes sparkled, shining like ebony pearls, even though they held no light themselves. An endless black abyss filled them, contrasting against her smooth ivory skin. The twins flanked her sides like bodyguards, each paling in comparison to her existence. Dark eyes stared at Cara, taking her in as full ruby pouted lips carved up against sharp pallid teeth, exposing a ravenous smile that threatened to consume all in her path.
Fear filled Cara’s blood as she stood before them marveled and terrified all at the same time. Her feet were helplessly stuck to the ground as if the mud beneath her toes had turned into glue, holding her prisoner in front of her grave. The air in her lungs grew rapid and short as the panic raking though her veins clenched at her chest. She grew dizzy from the hyperventilation thinking about the date on her gravesite. It must be today, right now, December 21, the day Cara would leave this earth for good.
They wouldn’t have to carry her far to bury her either. No, they could just have their meal and toss her away like a rotting apple. Her limp body would lie lifeless till passersby found her decaying corpse and tried to contemplate the irony of a deceased body being outside of its grave. Her eyes shifted back and forth between the three goddesses before her as they approached closer.
The one in the middle spoke, “Ah, Cara, my child. Do not be frightened of me.” The woman’s voice was soft and sweet, almost alluring as she gazed upon her with treacherous eyes.
Cara didn’t move. She just stared in awe and fear. Something inside her stirred as if the voice was all too familiar. Her terror began to subside, though she knew she had to fight against this. Let the fear feed her, this witch before her could be casting a spell for all she knew.
“Sweet Cara. I have waited for you for so long, and now that you are here…oh child. Come to me.” She motioned with her hands for Cara to approach her.
Though every stem of Cara’s being told her to turn away and run, her body did not obey. Instead, it followed the orders of the hypnotizing goddess in front of her. Her feet, mechanical, moved towards the predators in front of her, and there was nothing Cara could do to stop it. Control had abated her. It didn’t belong to her anymore.
The woman’s slender hand caressed Cara’s cheek, her face motherly as she stroked the child, “Oh Cara, dear. Do you know how special you are? How special you are to me?”