Seven Seals Series, Book Three
by Traci Douglass
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: SpinTale Publishing
Date of Publication: October 28th, 2013
Number of pages: 261
Word Count: 70,000
Cover Artist: Kim Killion
Socially awkward geneticist Quinn Strickland has willingly forgone the pleasures in life to reach her career objectives. Alone and approaching thirty, she uses her independence to mitigate any risk of a broken heart. Her strategy works until the day a handsome stranger bursts into her lab and her orderly plans shoot straight to Hades. He claims to be her personal divine protector, a powerful, ancient warrior sent to defend a prophetic time bomb existing within her own genetic code.
The Scion’s alpha-geek Wyck is offered the opportunity of his immortal lifetime as head of his own covert operation. He arrives at a Colorado lab expecting starched white coats and sterile surroundings—not a redheaded spitfire in charge of both his project and his libido. His skills have carried him from the battlefields of ancient England to the pits of Hell and he has no plans to be felled by one woman, regardless of her shag-worthy charms. Divine duty requires him to protect the apocalyptic Seal encrypted within Quinn’s DNA, but his heart has other ideas. When his personal feelings interfere with his age-old vendetta, he’s forced to decide between desire and retribution.
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For the band of adopted heavenly brothers known collectively as the Scion, covert ops generally fell into two categories, crashing bore or glorious adventure. And after more than nine hundred years of divine missions, Wyck could tell the difference before the first volley fired.
He double-checked to make sure his ID badge was prominently displayed. Divinity had finally given him a second chance as mission leader and he intended to make sure this operation fell squarely into the epically awesome range despite his less than glamorous surroundings. This time, he vowed, there’d be no messy diversions to waylay his goals, no damsel in questionable distress to shred his heart to smithereens. Nope. This time he was fully prepared and would see his mission through to a successful end.
Wyck trudged up the sidewalk toward the imposing glass and steel Eugenicorp Labs building, craning his neck to see the top of the six-story structure. He was so engrossed in his perusal he nearly squashed a bedraggled squirrel limping across the pavement in front of him. Wyck glanced down and spotted a half-cracked acorn near the toe of his boot. Poor bugger must’ve dropped it in his hasty retreat.
His first inclination was to reach down and retrieve it, maybe place the nut near the roots of the giant tree where the squirrel now hid. But now wasn’t the time to get sidetracked. As his commander, Xander, had already warned him, such kindness had only added to his past failures.
He kicked the nut, watching as it hurtled through the open grassy area surrounding the complex, then strode through the automatic doors and into the cavernous lobby. Empty. Sterile. Utilitarian, covered in gleaming metal and glass. The décor - neutral grays and bland beiges - screamed restraint.
Okay, he amended. Maybe epic and awesome were pushing the envelope for this mission. Best to start with solidly successful. He blinked several times in the early morning sunshine and spotted the pinched, schoolmarm expression of a receptionist across the expanse.
In his experience, mulish females appeared to be the rule in academia. Just one more reason he steered clear of the smart ones and stuck to his technology. Emotional evisceration was another, but he refused to dwell on that now. Gadgets and science had always been his safe refuge. They trustworthy.
He proceeded across the pristine white-tile floor and when the receptionist steadfastly ignored him, Wyck coughed and summoned his most charming smile. “Hi, I’m Orson Parrot, the new bloke.”
The woman glanced up from her computer screen and ran a disdainful eye over him, her glare burning a hole through his extended hand. Her scowl increased as she snatched a clipboard from the desk’s immaculate surface and skimmed a bony digit down the list. She tapped her finger twice beside one line and stared back at him, her demeanor cold enough to freeze hydrogen, then pointed toward a pair of glass doors across the lobby. “Through there.”
He leaned forward to thank her only to be confronted by a strip of red fabric. Dangling from the receptionist’s hand, it swung in crazy, lopsided circles to tap him squarely on the chest. “You’ll need this,” she said, her tone a perfect match for the Queen’s after a distasteful tabloid scandal.
Wyck caught the twirling lanyard, with its attached security keycard, and placed it around his neck. He couldn’t resist giving the woman a wink and a grin on his way out, and was delighted when she stiffened like rawhide. A fellow had to have some fun.
He headed toward the double doors across the atrium, his mind ticking with details. This rare shot at redemption, plus the added potential for delivering a digital smackdown to his longtime enemies, the Nephilim, had him jumping at the chance to infiltrate the Eugenicorp’s computer system. Getting back in the field again would prove more enjoyable than his usual long hours of tedious research for his brother’s quests. Not to mention turning down an assignment from Divinity wasn’t really an option. She’d given the Scion many blessings, but freewill over their assignments wasn’t one of them.
If his hunches were correct, his new logic bomb would blow the fucking cork right off the half-breeds’ schemes for a new world order. By utilizing their legitimate business arm in the human realm, Tolbert International, the Nephilim had been quietly amassing huge quantities of money for centuries, branching out into everything from pharmaceuticals to produce. The Internet had been buzzing for months with rumors of an eminent Tolbert takeover of a genetics research facility and Divinity had sent him to Eugenicorp to make sure those takeover plans didn’t include the Seal currently hosted by one head scientist or the top-secret project she commandeered.
He used his new keycard to enter a glass-lined walkway and caught sight of his reflection. Christ Almighty. He’d done a wicked job of turning his normal hipster persona into Orson Parrott—Super Brain Extraordinaire.
Attired in a scholarly turtleneck and khakis, he couldn’t have been further from his normal choice of t-shirt and jeans. Between his helmet hair and the tatty, empty briefcase he carried, there was little sign of the tousled charmer who’d enticed a cute barista to bed during his last reconnaissance mission here a few months earlier.
Goodbye quick tumbles. Hello brainy celibate.
Wyck passed from the atrium into another adjoining lobby and glanced at the office number scribbled across his palm in blue ballpoint ink. 5324. He pushed the button for the next arriving elevator, whistling while he waited.
Sure, he’d performed a teensy bit of cyber-fraud by uploading his own credentials and employee demographics into the Eugenicorp HR files and he’d picked out a nice cushy office with a window, close to his target and close to the vending machines. Perfect.
Speaking of his target, the buttoned-down woman wasn’t one he looked forward to meeting. From everything he’d read about the third Seal’s unwitting host, she was smarter than sin and as enticing as a good bout of bubonic plague. No thank you.
A determined clack of heels echoed against the tile behind him and he swiveled toward the noise, just in time to see a flash of bright red hair barge through the gathering crowd and into the elevator. People stepped back, some headed for the stairs, as if the woman now occupying the compartment might spontaneously combust at any moment.
by Traci Douglass
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Number of pages: approx. 270
Word Count: 72,000
Love, like War, will always find a way…
War has shaped every aspect of Irena Soldan’s life—her childhood, her work, her DNA. Unaware she is the genetic host of the second Seal of the Apocalypse, Irena battles for those who cannot fight for themselves. As a top human-rights operative for The Omega Consortium, her company provides both the financial backing required to undertake her task and a charismatic, publicity-loving boss to promote her cause. Life proceeds on plan for Irena until a mysterious, sexy stranger arrives claiming to be her guardian and Irena’s path takes a sudden, inauspicious turn for both the erotic and the lethal.
Chago has always been the quiet one amongst his warrior Scion brethren—the brooding, Spanish combat expert with a hidden soft side. A member of Divinity’s covert special forces, he’s protected humanity for more than a millennium. Still, his greatest joy comes not from the battlefield, but from tending the cattle herd on his remote Montana ranch.
Irena’s new assignment takes her straight to the heart of a bloody civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa and Chago’s mission demands he follow. Expecting a seething cauldron of female whoop-ass, he instead discovers a harbinger of peace amidst a world of ever-increasing violence. The explosively tense situation is further magnified by the cunning Omega Consortium leader, his ambiguous personal agenda, and an ancient foe whose audacious rise to power threatens the world’s very existence.
Despite the cataclysmic circumstances, an undeniable attraction ignites between Chago and Irena. Together, they must unravel the ancient puzzle of the Seals and discover her employer’s ulterior plans before they both become casualties of War. Soon, both are forced to choose between a past riddled with old torments or risk everything they treasure on a love capable of defeating evil incarnate.
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Chago walked across the open Montana field toward the broken fence in the distance. He lugged the heavy toolbox one-handed and glanced sideways to see his herd while they grazed on the nearby plain. A small calf trotted in his direction and nuzzled his hand, searching for its daily treat.
“Hola, Ernie.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out an apple. The calf chomped his prize and cantered away. Chago shook his head at the tiny cow’s retreating waddle and pushed the rim of his Stetson a tad higher before he continued on his way. After a short trek, he reached the broken section of fence and knelt to examine the damage. Hammer in hand, he squinted into the bright light of the rising sun, placed the first spike, and pounded away.
Domesticated wasn’t a word most people would use to describe him. Most said he possessed more brawn than sophistication, more muscle than grace. Chago had learned long ago to use his bodybuilder physique and unsettling manner to his advantage. Few knew the true extent of his intelligence or the depths of his emotions and he intended to keep his brawn-over-brains persona intact.
The ranch’s open expanses and fresh air suited him in a way no other place had in eons and reminded him of his human childhood in the Pyrenees. He planned to retire here as soon as he could figure out a way to convince Divinity. A millennia as the Scion combat expert had taken their toll.
Finished with his repairs, he climbed through the slats to view the other side of the fence and stopped short. A familiar burn ignited around the sigil on his lower abdomen. Duty called. He glanced toward the sky with exasperation. “Really?”
One second he was standing in the field, flies buzzing around his head. The next he was the star attraction in a white marble room. The only other occupant of the grand hall stood dead center. Her sharp gaze assessed him from top to toe.
“Chago.” The older woman’s expression held a hint of humor before she hid it behind a mask of calm.
“Divinity.” He bowed in deference and caught a whiff of fresh cow patty. Fantastic. He spied a telltale clump on the side of his well-worn boots and an image of the small calf flashed into his mind. Chago chuckled and raised his gaze to hers, his wry smile accompanied by a small shrug.
“Doing some farming?” She surveyed his overalls, her eyes bright with suppressed laughter.
“Ranching,” he corrected her.
“Hmmm. I’m afraid your recreational activities will have to wait.” She stood in front of him and craned her neck to meet his stare. “I have work for you.”
Dammit. What now? They’d secured the first Seal only months before and stopped the Apocalypse. Where was his much-deserved vacation? He looked away and sighed. No point in arguing. “Yes, ma’am.”
Seven Seals Series Book One
by Traci Douglass
by Traci Douglass
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Number of pages: 263
Word Count: 70,000
Love conquers all… but can it stop the Apocalypse?
Mira Herald is having the worst life ever. Not only is she plagued by horrific nightmares starring the Devil himself, she’s now the target of a power-hungry, rogue minion, freshly sprung from Hell and bent on her destruction. To complicate matters further, she’s acquired a stalker. One who insists he’s a divine warrior sent for her protection because she houses an ancient relic with the power to unleash Armageddon. Last time Mira checked, she wasn’t insane. Still, all this celestial mayhem is enough to drive a girl crazy.
Kagan is a member of the Scion, an elite team of immortal warriors selected by Divinity to aid mankind and save the world. After a century alone, Kagan is summoned for a new mission. He’s eager to begin. Eager until he’s informed his mission consists of protecting a woman with no clue to the power she wields. Plus, his briefing fails to prepare him for his new target’s cosmic-sized attitude problem. As Divinity’s sworn servant, he’s required to fulfill his duty. His oath, however, does not require him to be enthusiastic about his new assignment or warm-and-fuzzy toward his new compatriot. He plans a wham-bam rescue and a quick return to solitude.
The rogue minion attacks—with the backing of a mysterious organization—and all Hades erupts, putting a fast end to any whirlwind escapes. Accustomed to staunch independence, Mira’s survival now requires full cooperation and an unwavering belief in Kagan. The battle-hardened warrior is also forced to chose: between duty and desire. Amidst the turmoil, Kagan and Mira’s undeniable passion draws them closer to each other and down a path neither expected but both yearn for, more than they ever knew.
Will love save the day? The world’s fate depends on the answer.
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“Basta!” Kagan grabbed her by the arm and twisted slightly, not enough to hurt, but enough to let her know he meant business as he directed her to a corner booth. He ignored the half-full beverages and coats scattered on the seats and shoved Mira into the confined space. When the booth’s original owners took issue with his hostile takeover, Kagan dispatched them with a lethal glare. He wasn’t sure where the girl had gotten the idea his mind was damaged, but he was damn sure he didn’t like it. He moved in behind her to block her escape.
“Oh, hell, no!” After several unsuccessful strikes to his muscled physique, Mira tried to slide out beneath the table. The angle proved too awkward. Defeated, she shoved as far away as she could into the corner and propped those killer boots on the seat in front of her in warning. “You better let me out of here, asshole, before I call the cops! I caught you stalking me, pervert!”
Kagan took a deep breath. He never lost his cool in battle, and he wasn’t about to start now. “Pervert? You’re of age, si?”
Mira glared. Kagan ticked through their earlier interactions, searching for a reason behind her intense hostility. His preternatural instincts sensed her intention before her hand reached his carotid. He blocked her quickly, locking her small hand within his and forcing it to the table beneath his own. Her pulse raced against his palm. He took another swig of beer then flashed his most endearing grin. “Let’s start over.” He released his bottle and extended his hand. “I’m Kagan.”
She refused to acquiesce. Kagan spoke in quiet tones meant to calm, to reassure. “I know I’m a stranger, but we have things to discuss.” He glanced around the crowded club, at the bodies packed tight. “We can’t do it here, though—no privacy. My apartment is close. Why don’t we go there and talk?”
Mira kicked him hard in the thigh.
“Merda!” Kagan grabbed his throbbing leg. “What’s in those damn boots? Marble?”
“Let me out of here, jackass, before I sideline your baby-maker!” Mira struggled within the tight confines of the booth. As she squirmed, the spicy scent of her shampoo wafted, and he was overcome with the strangest urge to plunge his hands into the riotous mass of her hair, to feel it curl around his fingers. She tugged on the hand pinned beneath his, and his thumb traced over her thudding veins. His heart pounding along with hers. The odd tingle sped through his torso, and his mouth turned to cotton. Her gaze blazed up at him, a swirling mix of green and golden brown. He noted the dark smudges below and wondered what kept her from slumber.
Dolce Cristo! Kagan looked away, fought for control. This was getting way out of hand. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d bedded a woman, but apparently it had been far too long.
Traci is the author of paranormal romance/urban fantasy and contemporary romances featuring a sly, urban edge, including her current Seven Seals series. Her stories feature sizzling alpha-male heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes; smart, independent heroines who always give as good as they get; and scrumptiously evil villains who are—more often than not—bent on world destruction. She enjoys weaving ancient curses and mythology, modern science and old religion, and great dialogue together to build red-hot, sizzling chemistry between her main characters.
She is an active member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Indiana Romance Writers of America (IRWA) and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Writers (FF&P) and is pursing a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction through Seton Hill University. Her stories have made the final rounds in several RWA chapter contests, including the 2012 Duel on the Delta, the 2012 Molly Awards, and the 2012 Catherine Awards. An earlier draft of the first book in the Seven Seals Series, Seal of Destiny, won the paranormal category of the 2012 Marlene Awards sponsored by the Washington Romance Writers.
Other current projects include upcoming books in the Seven Seals series, a new contemporary novella series due out in early 2014, and a new futuristic suspense series with hints of the paranormal and plenty of romance.
Website and blog: http://www.tracidouglass.net
FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/TraciDouglassAuthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tracidouglass