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July's Best Reads: Dive into Summer's Hottest Page-Turners!

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Movie costumer Joey Jessop discovers a Hollywood diva's deadly secrets.


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Intelligent. Kind. Must like children. Passable looks. A man of means. Must make us laugh . . .


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She won�t quit until she gets justice.
He won�t stop until she�s safe.


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Julia Vargas is a cop with a mission.


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Every romance needs a bit of mischief. . .


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Passion has its own demands...and love, its wondrous possibilities...


Excerpt of Prime Evil by Heather Long

Purchase


Sapphire Blue Publishing
December 2009
On Sale: December 9, 2009
Featuring: Randall Oakes; Chance Monroe
ISBN: 1934657301
EAN: 9781934657300
e-Book
Add to Wish List

Fantasy Urban

Also by Heather Long:

Wolf Unleashed, January 2020
e-Book
Outlaw Wolves, July 2019
e-Book
Bitten Under Fire, June 2018
e-Book
Semper Fi Cowboy, July 2017
Paperback / e-Book
When Danger Bites, May 2017
e-Book
Ghost Wolf, May 2017
e-Book
Thunder Wolf, March 2017
e-Book
Shadow Wolf, January 2017
e-Book
Heartbreakers and Heroes, July 2016
e-Book
Snow Wolf, June 2016
e-Book
Desert Wolf, December 2015
e-Book
Single Wicked Wolf, October 2015
e-Book
River Wolf, September 2015
e-Book
Romancing The Wolf, July 2015
e-Book
Untamed Wolf, May 2015
e-Book
Bayou Wolf, April 2015
e-Book
Lust Actually, April 2015
e-Book
Rogue Wolf, March 2015
e-Book
Under a Wolf Moon, February 2015
e-Book
What a Wolf Wants, January 2015
e-Book
Wolf at Law, December 2014
e-Book
Forbidden Rescue, November 2014
e-Book
Wolf Claim, October 2014
e-Book
Caged Wolf, September 2014
Paperback / e-Book
Mischief, Mongrels and Mayhem, September 2014
e-Book
Dark Fates, August 2014
e-Book
Wolf Bite, August 2014
e-Book
Behind the Curtain, July 2014
e-Book
?Playing Against Type, March 2014
e-Book
Haunt Me, January 2014
e-Book
Waiting in the Wings, November 2013
e-Book
Taking the Stage, August 2013
e-Book
Raising Kane, August 2013
e-Book
Marine With Benefits, July 2013
e-Book
Marine Ever After, June 2013
Paperback / e-Book
Marine in the Wind, June 2013
e-Book
Plan Witch from Out of Town, May 2013
e-Book
A Fistful of Dreams, April 2013
Hardcover / e-Book
Into the Spotlight, March 2013
e-Book
Combat Barbie, February 2013
e-Book
A Marine and a Gentleman, February 2013
e-Book
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, January 2013
e-Book
Earth Witches Aren't Easy, January 2013
e-Book
The Two and the Proud, January 2013
e-Book
No Regrets, No Surrender, January 2013
Paperback / e-Book
The Marine Cowboy, December 2012
e-Book
Jacob's Trial, September 2012
Paperback / e-Book
Hels's Gauntlet, September 2012
Paperback / e-Book
Micah & Mrs. Miller, September 2012
e-Book
Yesterday's Heroes, September 2012
e-Book
Proud To Serve Her, July 2012
e-Book
Taming of the Thief, July 2012
e-Book
Her Marine, July 2012
e-Book
Cassandra's Dilemma, June 2012
Paperback / e-Book
Tell it to the Marine, June 2012
e-Book
Retreat Hell! She just got here, April 2012
e-Book
Once Her Man, Always Her Man, April 2012
e-Book
The Love Thieves, April 2012
e-Book
Brave are the Lonely, March 2012
e-Book
Cassandra's Dilemma, March 2012
e-Book
Marshal of Hel Dorado, October 2011
e-Book
Spells, Slots and Sirens, July 2011
e-Book
Seismic Evil, February 2011
e-Book
Seven Souls a Leaping, January 2011
e-Book
Prime Evil, December 2009
e-Book
Remembering Ashby, April 2009
e-Book

Excerpt of Prime Evil by Heather Long

The earth crumbled, falling on her face. Her mouth closed to avoid swallowing any. Blinded, her hands scrambled against the sides. Dirt rapidly filled the hole, blotting out the sun.

"Chance!" a panicked voice howled. She opened her mouth to respond, but soil threatened suffocation on all sides.

Quiet.

She must remain quiet.

Buried alive and silent.

Dread curdled my stomach. A shiver raced up my spine. One hand on the doorknob, I breathed deeply. The taste of loam and clay lingered on my tongue. The scents clogged my nostrils and sweat made my palms slippery. Slowly exhaling and inhaling, I counted my breaths, an exercise in serenity.

Pack the dream away. Pack it away and deal with the here and the now.

The here consisted of a two hundred-year-old farmhouse on the edge of Loudoun County. The now was a few minutes after one in the afternoon. The problem was uniforms getting up and walking away of their own accord. My client, Mr. Adams, requested me-via a mutual friend-to put his house back in order. I'm Chance Monroe. My family has lived in the Leesburg area for generations. I am a hereditary hedge witch with the prerequisite wild, untamable curls to match and my grandmother's grey eyes.

Gathering my composure, I stared at a closed, slender door to what was once servants' quarters, tucked away in the back of the pantry, discreet, with easy access to the kitchen. It was warm to the touch. The old Victorian style house, built in the early eighteen hundreds, featured narrow doorframes and solid construction.

I released the doorknob long enough to dry my sweaty palms on my jeans. I finger combed the russet hair back from my face and took a moment to wrap the length into a ponytail. Like the earlier exercise at breathing, the simple action allowed me to focus. It told the rest of me to get it together because it was time to work. The duffel bag containing my supplies provided a comforting weight on my left shoulder. I opened the door, a snort of inappropriate laughter escaped before I could stop it.

I stayed on the kitchen side of the doorway, better to spot potential trouble while I was still secure enough to shut the door on that self-same trouble should it rear its ugly head. This assumed it had a head to rear. Hope for the best, but expect the worst. Gran had drummed that advice into me for years. Flexing long, slender fingers, I focused on stiffening my shields, blocking any latent energy in the room from interfering with my observations. Pins and needles raced up my arm from the doorknob, warning of fluctuating energy fields in the room beyond.

I wanted the information my five senses provided first. The mind and the heart perceive threats differently. I wanted to know what my mind thought before I got my heart and soul involved. I'd ask the Earth for her opinion momentarily.

I let my gaze roam over the contents of the room. The military uniforms stood at attention, literally. Mr. Adams mentioned his collection had walked off, and apparently, he'd meant it. The uniforms were in perfect formation, five wide and two deep, as though being worn by unseen bodies. Where their "feet" should be, men's dress shoes were lined up in formation. Save for the last. A single pair of red strappy heels at the end of the formation definitely did not match the formal blues. But they were just my size, a four narrow, and I imagined how the three inches of extra height would give me a sultry walk if they didn't break my ankles.

I couldn't help the snicker that escaped. I bet the red, strappy shoes were a bigger affront to Mr. Adams than the uniforms loitering in the room.

The room suggested classic fashion reserved for past generations where you went to your room to rest or to read. No radio, television or other electronic device to distract. Gran had liked to keep her rooms as simple. No need to fuss with a bunch of clutter where you went to bathe, dress or sleep.

A twin bed occupied one corner, with a writing desk in the opposite corner. There was a small divan, probably used for reading, along with a pair of dressers with an ironing board propped between them. The dresser top was barren, empty, and one drawer partially pulled out. An ordinary room, sad and abandoned. It smelled faintly of patchouli mixed with wood soap and furniture polish. The scent suggested cleanliness with the barest touch of femininity.

Testing the empty space in the doorway with my hand, I waited for the tingling to become more electric or painful. The sensation gained no more strength than normal pins and needles. Closing my eyes, I relaxed my tight shields. Cool energy flowed over me like the promise of a breeze on a still day, but no hum of power eddied out to smack at me.

It was a positive sign promising a lack of maliciousness, I hoped. Maliciousness and moving clothing could be the work of a spirit or spiritual remnant. Those were tough to get rid of, and I'd need Pastor Tom to help me bless the house. That would cut into my fee and take twice the time.

I don't do angry spirits if I can help it. Exorcisms are hell on peace of mind, not to mention a manicure.

Cautiously, I stepped one soft, leather booted foot firmly into the room and kept the other foot firmly out, gnawing at my lower lip and wishing I'd worn sneakers instead. Keeping one foot out of the room anchored me in case my senses were lying to me and this was a trap.

A trap by what, well, I don't know, but it's far better to be safe than sorry.

I gave the unknown a few more seconds to reach out and bite me in the ass. When nothing happened, I held onto the doorframe and stepped fully into the room. Thankfully, my anxiety was for nothing. I ignored the mild sensation of letdown that nothing jumped up and said "hi," but I preferred the relief to an adrenaline martini.

I set my duffel bag on the floor. I inched my way into the room, sliding along to a clear space. I slid down the wall and sat on the floor. The uniforms remained exactly as they were when I came into the room.

Empty, posed...waiting?

The military uniforms weren't identical. They each bore piping and stripes indicating different levels of rank, and some possessed medals. If I were a smartass, I'd just call the culprits gremlins, but the likely culprits were imps. Imps were lively little spirits that earned their name from their Puck-like behavior. Pranks were the thing with imps. Stolen jewelry hanging from trees, wood furniture sprouting leaves, wool coats that baa'd or leather coats that moo'd. Their behavior was annoying and troublesome but completely unrelated to demonic imps. Personally, I prefer the former because demonic imps are reputedly mean for mean's sake. Like poltergeists and remnant spirits, you need an ordained priest to get rid of them as mentioned before. I really didn't want to involve Pastor Tom. I seriously needed the money to cover this month's bills and upon occasion, my sardonic sense of humor has been known to irritate the ordained man.

I didn't do it on purpose. I'm just not big on organized religion. I prefer my Sundays spent sprawled in a hammock with a good book or working in the garden at home.

One of the first lessons I can remember my hedge witch grandmother giving me was to relax into my breathing, imagining my shape on the inside, meshing it with the shape of my skin and balancing it all. In an ideal world, centering kept me steady while grounding gave me the anchor I needed to handle the metaphysical energies that eddied through the world. Correct breathing helped me ground and center. Closing my eyes, relaxing my muscles, I concentrated on breathing. My body relaxed and my thoughts slowed. Random observations silenced as I reached outside of myself, beyond the room, beyond the house, into the land below the building.

The Earth welcomed my contact. Existential thoughts flickered by too swiftly to grasp and comprehend. Every time it was different. Every time it was the same. The sensation was hard to describe, I've tried. I likened it to being snug in the womb, aware of the world beyond but sheltered from it.

The connection was thick, heavy and it smothered me. I am not the tree. I'm the thick roots that stretched out beneath the tree. I am the ant that made its home there. I am the foundation of the house, planted securely. All of these thoughts flickered through my consciousness. Discipline maintained my sense of self against the onslaught of awareness.

When I opened my eyes this time, I saw not only the room, but the layers of the room. I saw the construction. I saw the Earth as it was before the room existed. I saw the potential of the room as it might exist again. The memory in the wood was a bare whisper compared to the trombone of the land around it, but I listened to the whispers.

Imps.

Excerpt from Prime Evil by Heather Long
All rights reserved by publisher and author

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