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My hands ran over his strong shoulders, caressing the corded muscles, before curving around his neck, intertwining and pulling at him. Everything about it felt right, except for the consequences. Mulberry's hands slipped under my shirt and he groaned against my mouth as the rough callouses of his fingers found my bare flesh. He laughed, his breath hot against my shoulder. This love wasn't a controllable force.
He brought his head up, his steady gaze held mine. His eyes narrowed as my voice failed me. He shook his head and smiled a lazy, sexy grin. Only a fool would waste an asset like you. Blue's whine pitched up. I stared across the expanse of the king-sized bed at Blue, who stood next to it, a soft whine pulling me fully out of the dream. The height of a Great Dane, with the coat of a wolf and the long, regal snout of a Collie, Blue had one blue eye and one brown.
His eyebrows were raised and pushed together, creating a crease at the top of his long snout. He was worried about me. I relaxed into the pillows, staring up at the ceiling. Just me and Blue were in the room. Mulberry was thousands of miles away. My dreams were getting more vivid.
The soft rumble of thunder sent a shiver of panic through me. I didn't look at the window, not wanting to see that the sky was blue and the Pacific Ocean placid. Not wanting confirmation that my mind was tricking me, again. That I was broken, delusional. Sex traffickers, serial killers, and superheroes…welcome to the world of Galilee Falls, Sydney Rye! It also takes place after the events in The Galilee Falls Trilogy. The life of the vigilante is a solitary one. Always in the shadows.
No one to talk to, no one to share experiences with. He gets paid to put the bad guys away, and according to the law, I am one of said bad guys. Have my own action figure. But an ordinary woman taking justice into her own hands is called a freak.
Even a terrorist because of my affiliation to the Joyful Justice Vigilant Network. More identities forced upon me. Of course he got to stay in Independence while I ran around the jungle learning how to use an M, how to build bombs, and even learning a new martial arts form from Merl. I was one of dozens there, each of us touched by evil in some way. Each hoping to make the world a better place. Few can face the truth. I hope they never are. They contact the website, looking for guidance, when the regular justice institutions fail.
I am a veteran at the whole vigilante way of life. Four years of stalking my prey at Frat houses, brothels, in their seemingly normal homes. I am more than willing to share that knowledge with others, even if their quest for justice ends when their personal wrong gets corrected.
This is not the way of life for everyone. Uncle Charlie does more for the network, giving them information only a police officer has access to. We all must do our part to make this world a better place. I just prefer drawing blood to do it. It seemed like a random question. She might need a little extra encouragement. My head ached from lack of sleep and jetlag, but I smiled. Some might call it weakness, but I never would. For covering for me, and for keeping an eye on Eliza. She drew in a deep breath to calm herself.
We said our goodbyes and I ended the call. Rolling back toward my pillow, I pressed my face into the fabric. I both loved and hated the reminders of him that still lingered even after packing up his things. I wondered if the wounds losing him created would ever heal. It had been a year and a half since his murder.
Sometimes I wondered that as well. Moving on sounded good, in the same way made-from-scratch mac and cheese sounded good on a rainy day. My body begged me to go back to sleep, but my mind was too awake. What had happened while I was gone?
An uncomfortable dread settled in the pit of my stomach. The last time something had blown up in the news, it had surrounded Joy, James, the mayor, and murder. Picking my phone back up, I brought up the latest news stories, found nothing overly interesting, then wondered about the girl Lauren had asked me to look out for.
It took me a few seconds to remember the name. My mind decided it had had enough and was ready to shut off. Ditching my phone, I crawled back under my blankets and closed my eyes.
Sydney Rye and Blue find more trouble than they bargained for when they investigate mysterious break-ins at a posh boarding school. The day started normally enough. I got up, shuffled to the bathroom, threw water on my face, and did the whole morning routine thing.
That was the end of normal. When I returned to my bedroom, I noticed Blue sitting bolt upright on his bed, head cocked to the side while he whined softly. She held her hands out wide and imploring, going for non-threatening. Her British accent surprised me. Looking back, I think sharing headspace with that ghost has improved my vocabulary.
Heart slamming into my throat, I leapt toward my end table where I keep a gun. Sensing my unease, Blue immediately took a more aggressive stance and growled at the ghost. He sounded like someone had left an angry motor rumbling. My brain scrambled for an appropriate demand or at least a good curse to sum up the situation. I came up blank on both fronts. I do not exist here and now in your room, but there is a real me. I can read minds, but I cannot control them beyond some very simple commands.
Much like you, I seek to rescue the helpless and bring wrongdoers to justice. Next week is the big week! The Sydney Rye Kindle World goes live! We're having a big Facebook party on March 18th where you can ask me and the authors anything. More importantly there will be prizes and other goodies. And this week's author will be in attendance. Give a warm welcome for…. Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books.
She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator.
Currently she calls Atlanta home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time, she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills. She is the author of the Amazon best-selling F.
I've written over ten books, mostly in the urban fantasy genre, focusing on vampires, werewolves, then superheroes. I even won an award along the way. I have a straight psychological thriller coming out later this year with Random House Alibi. I also like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain, but then again, who doesn't? How did you come to be involved in the SRKW?
How do you know Emily? I met Emily at the American Library Association's annual convention years ago. We got to talking at the Sisters in Crime booth and walked out two hours later friends. We keep in touch, and when this opportunity came up, I was honored she asked me to be a part of the event.
I'm just glad she liked my novella Nemesis or I could have lost a friend. What genre do you write in? Why do you enjoy that genre? I'm technically a paranormal mystery writer, but I consider myself an urban fantasy and supernatural romance writer.
Really my books tend to have elements of fantasy, mystery, thriller, romance, and action blended together. There's something in them for everyone. Which character or characters do you plan to focus on in your Sydney Rye Kindle World contribution? What drew you to that character? I picked the big guns, Sydney and Blue with Joyful Justice in the periphery. Strong women with witty mouths on them are sort of my specialty so I knew I could do her justice. And where Sydney goes so does Blue.
Will your contribution to the world include one of your own characters? Please introduce us to them and your own world. Sydney and Blue will find themselves in the land of superheroes and supervillains from my Galilee Falls trilogy but my heroine from that series, Joanna Fallon, gets to sit this one out. Instead Sydney teams up with Nemesis, a vigilante specializing in terrorizing and killing rapists and abusers. Like Sydney she doesn't have superpowers but they do get some help from White Knight, a character from the original trilogy.
I'd say more about him but then I'd be giving away big spoilers from the trilogy. Here's a little taste from the novella coming out next week. Sydney Rye thought she'd wiped out the Cartel responsible for killing her friend Malina, but that was only the beginning..