Here's something to wet your apetite from Toni LoTempio's Raven's Kiss, her latest paranormal romance release!!
** Book Excerpt **
I glanced around. There were no boxes, no storage bins, nothing atypical of any other attic I’d ever seen. “I’ve never been in an attic this empty—don’t you store anything up here?”
“Oh, yes. My parents did,” she replied. “This place used to be chock full of boxes, storage bins, Gawd, anything imaginable. My parents were like pack-rats.” A smile tugged the corners of her lips. “They cleaned it out entirely when they moved—and that’s when it all started.”
“To be honest, it was more than likely here all along,” the Professor cut in. “But it was so crowded with stuff no one noticed. Once the room was emptied out—“
“Okay,” I balled my hands into fists, “the two of you really better tell me what you’re talking about, and damn fast.”
“Ssh.” The professor put a finger to his lips. “Listen, Raven. Can’t you hear it?”
“Hear what?” I snapped. “I don’t hear—“
And then I stopped speaking, because I did—faintly, to be sure, but I did.
Someone was singing “Raindrops keep Falling on my Head.” And very badly.
Crystal started to giggle and leaned into the Professor. “Oh, my gosh, Brammy. He hasn’t improved one iota.” She leaned toward me. “He used to sing that all the time. Made me nuts.”
“Who?” I whispered. “Who used to sing this all the time?”
Her eyes widened. “Why, Merlin Fernbottom, of course.” Suddenly she gripped my arm. “Oh, look. The rift is opening. Now we can see him.”
I turned and stared. Sure enough, where a minute ago there had been an empty attic, there was now a sumptuous living room, with a fireplace with a roaring fire, a brocaded sofa, and expensive artwork decorating the walls. I gasped and started to step forward, but my toes stopped just short of the doorjamb.
“I can’t move forward,” I cried. “It’s like there’s an invisible wall here, or something.”
Brammy laid his arm on my shoulder. “While the phenomena is occurring, you can’t cross the barrier. And you mustn’t try to disturb it. The rift cannot be broken.”
“The tear, the rip, if you will, between planes.” He put a finger to his lips. “Hush now. He’s almost here.”
As I stared, a troll wearing a lime-green robe, pink fuzzy slippers, and a white nightcap strolled into the room, still singing at the top of his lungs. He carried a tray on which rested a bowl of oatmeal, a covered dish, and a newspaper. He set the tray down on a small table, unfolded the paper, and, still humming, started to eat while he read.
“Oh, I’ll be,” Crystal laughed. “He’s still dressing the same. I guess no matter what world they live in, trolls have no sense of style, do they?”
“What,” I whispered, “Is this? Have you seen this guy before?”
“You really haven’t been paying attention, have you?” Crystal sighed. “He’s Merlin Fernbottom, and each time I saw him I was certain I was losing my mind, until Brammy explained everything to me.”
“Great,” I muttered. “Now Brammy, you can explain it all to me. What’s going down here?”
The Professor stared straight ahead, watching the troll before us. “It’s amazing,” he murmured. “He still can’t see us, or hear us—at least, not here. I still wonder, though, if there isn’t another room in his house where he can—“
“WILL YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT!” I shouted.
“Well, allright. No need to break my eardrum,” Crystal grumbled. She gave the Professor a little push. “Go on, Brammy. Tell Miss Impatience what’s happening.”
“My dear Raven,” the Professor indicated the tableaux before me with a sweep of his arm, “welcome to the phenomenon known as parallel time.”
Raven Grace was a college senior with ambitions of a career in law enforcement when she met the demon Aega, whose bite turned her from mortal to Shapeshifter. Now a member of the Recovery Organization, Raven keeps the peace between humans and errant Hellhounds, trolls, wizards and the like while trying to track down Aega and bring him to justice. After a particularly dicey encounter one night with a Hellhound, she goes to the aid of a girl who’s been attacked and near death—and is amazed to find Aega’s bite mark on the girl’s arm. Determined to get to the bottom of this, she revisits the victim’s apartment and there discovers her closet is a portal to a parallel universe, where people she knows lead vastly different lives. She also gets a glimpse of the Recovery Captain there—a six foot, redheaded Scotsman named Finn McPhee, whose sexy accent and even sexier bod sets her senses aflame. Seeking answers, Finn takes Raven to the magickal underworld, where an ancient fae informs them the demon’s quest is rooted in Scottish mythology and magick. As they delve deeper into legend, the truth comes to light—Aega is only a pawn, subservient to another, darker demon…a being who knows the truth about Raven’s heritage, and who orchestrated her return to this parallel universe for the ultimate showdown. Now, Finn and Raven find their passion for one another must take a backseat to Raven’s battle with a dark force who won’t be satisfied until he’s claimed her soul for his very own…
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