GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Spotlight: Speak Of The Devil by J.M. Gregoire | I Smell Sheep

Friday, February 20, 2015

Spotlight: Speak Of The Devil by J.M. Gregoire

Speak of the Devil (Demon Legacy Series, Bk #2)
By J.M. Gregoire

150 pages
Nearly half a year has passed since Asmodeus opened the gateway allowing an unknown number of demons to spill onto our plane of existence. A fatal standoff has left Dez on her own to hunt the stray demons down and send them back to Hell where they belong. Her life has become a never-ending cycle of violence and bloodshed, further tainted by a deepening depression and a longing for the person she had to leave behind.

When Dez receives an unexpected phone call, she makes her way to the northern Arizona desert to see an old friend. Upon arrival, there is a message waiting for her from beyond the grave, and she realizes before she can go any further, she must face the one thing she’s been dreading for months. To make matters worse, the message is meant to help her mission, but it forces Dez into an impossible choice.

Only Dez can decide which road to take, but will she be able to handle the consequences of her decision? 


“This is bullshit.”

It had been three hours since Dez sat down to start meditating, and no matter how much she concentrated, she wasn’t getting to a calm mental place. Although her words came out steady and quiet, Dez was ready to lose her mind with frustration. She sighed and opened her eyes, ready to give up for the day.

“It’s bullshit, simple as that.”

“What’s bullshit?” Vegas had taken up a piece of real estate on the floor, lying flat on his back with his eyes closed.

“This!” She gestured first toward the candles and then at her head. He turned on his side and opened his eyes to meet hers, greeting her with an arched eyebrow and a smirk.

“Every time I get even the slightest glimmer of something, it just falls away. I think I would be happier if I couldn’t feel it there at all. I am so close. It’s right there, I just can’t hang on to it.”

Vegas pushed himself up into a sitting position mirroring her own, legs crossed under one another.

“Okay,” he said, sounding supportive but still cautious, “close your eyes again.”

She did as he asked and after a moment, she felt his hands lightly grasp her own. His touch alone brought her simmering anger to a halt.
“Take long, deep breaths.”

“You sound like a yoga instructor,” she scoffed, opening one eye to peek at him. His eyes snapped open and locked on hers. Damn it.

“Eyes. Closed.”

“Yes, sir,” she replied playfully, closing her eyes again.

“Long, deep breaths.”

Deziree gave in and let go. Starting at the top of her head, she imagined each muscle, one by one, flexing and then completely relaxing, releasing all of her tension. She felt her limbs becoming heavy, giving in to the release. She pictured every stress she carried smoothly flowing out of her body, pooling away from her where it could no longer touch her.
“Visualize that space, the void.”

Dez did as he instructed, picturing herself standing there in the endless black. Everything around her was silent, except for the hypnotic sound of their matched breathing. She allowed the rhythm to let her sink into a trance, and before she knew it, she rest of the world melted away, leaving nothing but her own mind and the sweet, minty scent of lavender.

She opened her eyes again, fully expecting to see Vegas sitting in front of her. Instead, she found herself in the ether, surrounded by the void she had been imagining. She glanced around, looking for signs of life but was greeted instead by more of the same nothingness. Right off she noticed it was much easier for her to reach out with her mind. Rather than feeling strained, it felt natural.


She envisioned her reach as a pool of oil stretching and spreading outward as far as she could imagine. A few presences registered on her radar, but none with the magical signature she was hoping for. She briefly felt the presence of a demon’s mind and made a quick mental note to go out hunting later.

She kept searching, but without knowing exactly what she was looking for, she felt like a blind person suddenly expected to find their way around Manhattan. Although they didn’t have a strong presence and she barely felt them as her own mind brushed against theirs, she could feel thousands of humans, each giving off a slight hum, but no complex emotions. She assumed it was what it felt like when a human slept. Without anyone to teach her how to use her ability, everything was one best guess after another.

“I do believe you’re looking for us.”

The voice came out of nowhere with no warning, booming all around her and in her head. It was distinctly feminine, but had an undeniable power behind it. Dez spun around to the left, then back again to the right, but saw nothing. There was no discernable source of the voice, but there was no mistaking its presence either. Dez stopped moving and waited for the female to speak again. A few silent moments passed with nothing.

“Hello?” she finally called out, feeling a little stupid for talking to herself.
“I am here.” This time the voice wasn’t so loud and didn’t ring through Dez’s head. Thankful they wouldn’t be having their whole conversation like that, she decided to start the dialogue.

“Who are you?”

“That’s a question for the ages. Once we were legion. Now we are few.”

“The Daughters of Eris.”

“Once,” the female voice replied simply. “We have not gone by that moniker in a few centuries. Some would be insulted to hear you use it now.” Although it wasn’t as loud, Dez still couldn’t pinpoint where the voice was coming from. It seemed to be all around her.

“Why can’t I see you?”

“You see what I want you to see,” the voice explained. “We may be few, but we’re still powerful beyond your comprehension. For instance, if I wanted to appear to you as a child, I could.”

Suddenly, Dez heard a noise behind her. She spun to find a young girl, maybe five or six years old, skipping toward her. She wore a white sundress with little blue flowers all over it, matching white shoes, and her socks had little blue ruffles at the top. She wore her curly brunette hair up in pigtails, one on either side of her head, each held in place by a slender bow made of blue satin. A red balloon bobbled in the air, its string being tugged back and forth with each skip forward the little girl took. The girl stopped skipping a few feet away from Dez and just stared at her for a few brief moments before speaking again. Dez found the sound of the obviously older female voice coming from the little girl slightly off-putting.

“If I wanted to appear as an animal, I could.”

The little girl started skipping again, her pigtails bouncing the whole way. Halfway through a step, she dropped down on her hands and knees, and her body morphed into another shape entirely. Where the girl once skipped along, a snarling tiger had taken her place, stalking around Dez in a predatory fashion.

“Or a monster,” the voice continued, echoing in Dez’s head.

The tiger took a few steps toward Dez and started to morph again. The animal went up on its hind legs and shifted back into the shape of a person. This time, when it was done, Deziree Davanzatti was standing face-to-face with herself, staring into jet black orbs where her crystal blue eyes should have been.  A wicked smile worked its way across the face of Dez’s shadow self as it started to walk around her. Dez felt like she was being hunted by herself and the feeling was unsettling.

Okay, so this isn’t going to be a warm fuzzy meeting.

About the Author:

Bestselling author J.M. Gregoire was born and raised in New Hampshire, USA and despite her abhorrence for any season that dares to drop to a temperature below seventy degrees, she still currently resides there with her two children and her two cats. Always a passionate reader, her love of urban fantasy books eventually morphed into a love of writing them. She is currently working on the Demon Legacy series and has a Demon Legacy spinoff series, the Killer Instinct series, coming soon.

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