A Glimpse of the Past

My current series is very deliberately written from the sole perspective of Yumi Matthews.

However, sometimes, other voices demand to be heard, and even if it doesn’t fit into what I’m directly writing, I get those snippets onto paper. After all, they help to develop each character into the person I envision. It adds a layer of depth to them that I can then impart in how Yumi sees them.

So, on this Tuesday afternoon, here’s a tiny glimpse into the past, courtesy of Joshua Boulliard.


 

Everything about this place made me uncomfortable. It didn’t matter how sleek and elegant the owner tried to make it appear; I felt sleezy just for being here. I just kept telling myself that those baffoons hadn’t known what they were talking about. There was absolutely no way that she was working here, not at this Birds of Paradise strip club.

My palms were sweaty as I waited, the words of some former schoolmates dancing in my ears still. Man, you got to check out that Matthews chick! She’s got the sweetest ass in that entire club. It took most of my willpower to not go deck them, but I was still fresh from the academy. I couldn’t jeopardize my job before I even started it.

I wiped my hands against my pants legs, shaking my head at some blonde who eyed me as she walked by. The fake pout on her lips did little to entice me to change my mind. I wasn’t here to see her, and I didn’t have the kind of cash she probably thought I did. The watch on my left arm was the only valuable to my name these days, and I was fairly certain Sean bought it for me before he…

“Josh?” The catch of her all too familiar voice broke my train of thought, and I was almost glad for it. That was until reality came crashing back down on me, as I turned to see the tiny woman with glossy black hair and almond eyes.

She smiled up at me, half stepping towards me as if to hug me, the short silver satin robe riding up along her thighs. I forced myself to not smile, and to look her in the eyes, which widened as she realized that I was less than pleased to see her. “Yumi… what are you doing here?”

Happy February (and consequently New Year) everyone!

The new year is flying by, and I’m working hard at the third novel in the Between the Veil series.

I know that not everyone is a fan of sports, and well, this weekend is one of the biggest events for American sporting. I know that I have big plans to go to a Super Bowl party with my husband and friends.

For those of you who are less enthusiastic about football, I’m offering a discount for my first book over at Smashwords. Get it for a steal at $0.99 for this weekend!

Just type in coupon code: XK74W

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/583585

Make the dark scary again.

Fae, Fire & Faith

Life isn’t quite the same any more for private investigator Yumi Matthews – no matter how much she tries to pretend otherwise. Despite the cryptic new clues into her brother’s disappearance 10 years ago, she must put her investigation on hold when she gets drawn into the case of Sparrow Laurie, a missing teenaged girl. The search for Sparrow leads Yumi from the bright lights of New Orleans to the rural bayous of Louisiana where she is reunited with Ash, the rugged swamp tracker who saved her life, and two unexpected allies. As this unlikely group delves deeper into the mystery surrounding Sparrow, Yumi is forced to ask herself, what is real? What is illusion? Can Yumi truly tell the difference or will she lose her grip on sanity as she struggles with what she learns?

Join Yumi in her latest adventure, available today at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & other Smashwords affiliates.

Bargains: A Between the Veil series Short

The sweet scent of sulfur and copper mingling as one filled my nose. The abyss robbed me of such sensations for far too long. Time meant nothing here, more a human concept to try and trap eternity. I found no need for such things; yet, I craved morsels that only these fleshmongers offered. I cast my gaze out towards the pulling sensation of a summoning, beyond the veil between the worlds.

Imprisonment sapped my strength, and my sight brought the fuzzy outline of a prostrated figure before my sigils into view. Rudimentary offerings of blood and flesh teased me while the clumsy muttering of the incantation rooted my consciousness. The slightest tingle of power danced in the background. It was a crude ritual, but it served for now.

As my essence surged in the mortal realm, fear rolled through the room, causing my mouth to water. I forgot how tasty the mortal emotions could be. The puny creature chittered, stumbling over its own language. Its words were irrelevant to my kind. Whatever it requested, it mattered not. I cared for only what I gained in return.

Fear turned to terror, overwhelming the quivering fleshbag and causing it to lose its tongue and what little courage it possessed. Boredom and anger swirled through me, and I pooled the vestiges of power the paltry gifts bestowed into my very essence. It was not much, but it would suffice. I focused upon the creature, leveling my will on its. I recalled the endless stillness of limbo, and allowed it to flow from me into the mortal. The terror seeped from the room as the human babbled once more.

Images flickered through my mind’s eye, of another human, but my will focused on the offering of meat, glistening with red. It tempted me to push my mind further onto the supplicant, to force this creature to engorge itself on the flesh. I envisioned it guzzling down the blood, choking it down as the viscous fluid trailed down its chin. I held back, not wanting to waste my chance though. It was far more delicious when they abided my whims of their own accords. The tug of something disgustingly pure drew my attention back to the flood of images, shimmering with a euphoric essence and tainted by the covetous intent of the mewling wretch before me. Even I was not able to refute the pull of such purity. I yearned for my corporeal body, in order to feast upon such things.

I tapped on the door of its consciousness, promising a multitude of things relevant to its pathetic desires. The more I showed, the more excitement blossomed within it, pulsing through the room as the creature squirmed before me.

The human hesitated, and I felt the pushback against my will as it tried to free itself. I continued to channel the void of the abyss from me, to force a calm through the room. I worried that I played my hand too soon, and I needed to take care to not scare this one away. I knew not when another opportunity would arise.

I begged a simple favor, to just be free and to hide away.

I waited for the answer. I was good at waiting, even when greed and hunger gnawed within me. My imprisonment taught me that patience was useful. The worries and concerns of the mortal whipped about me. It thought it knew the risk and true weight of what I asked, but it doubted me still. A malicious grin spread across my visage, and I teased it with images of what my power could grant – of the sweet fulfilment of its darkest desires.

Hesitation fled, and it spoke the binding words needed to free me from my prison through my assistance. As soon as the words left the supplicant’s mouth, my essence fused with its mind, and I nestled myself deep within the recesses. It would take some time to get used to this vessel, and its primitive needs, but, as I said, I was patient. Besides, I’d rather twist this one’s desire to my own designs. As our minds synched on the same plane, its senses sharpened, heightening – the sulfur and copper becoming more pungent. A wave of nausea rode through the mortal shell, and it fled to another room, purging itself of its stomach’s contents.

Cool water splashed across its face moments later, and then, I saw the change had begun as my red eye stared back at me in the mirror.


Thanks for reading this short story. It’s intended to be a companion piece for my first novel, Not So Picture Perfect.

Gallery

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amberccarlyle: Not So Picture Perfect Book 1 of the Between the Veil Series Cover art by DragonReine Featuring New Orleans native Yumi Matthews. How far is she willing to go to get information regarding her brother’s disappearance? http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00NZ5HU5A/ref=redir_mdp_mobile