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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Excerpt: Blood and Shadows (Ancient Dreams Book 2) by JP Roth

Blood and Shadows (Ancient Dreams Book 2)
by JP Roth
June 24, 2021
Genre: Paranormal Romance
It’s a strange thing to wake up dead, knowing you are standing in the center of unchangeable destiny—strange, yet acceptable. When the moment holds the death of someone you love—that’s where the rules of destiny deserve to be broken.

Cara Wynter read a book that told her stories of another place, a forgotten time. As she read, she remembered the man she loved—the dark stranger in her dreams, re-lived her own death in his arms. Now, he is in front of her, wanting her, loving her, desperate to save her, even from herself.

From the dark halls of Hades to the hidden mountains of Transylvania, Cara finds herself falling yet again for the man who once traded his soul to save her own. Spells, witches, mythical creatures, and ancient, avenging gods threaten her daily. Terrifying, emerging powers and twisted murders—are her new normal. The horrors she tried for years to ignore, come for her with a vengeance, dragging her into a hidden world of fantasy, and magic.

Drake closed his eyes, I thought in denial of it all. “Aphrodite told me it would be like this. In my mind she whispered of your return. She always knew what I would do, it was her love spell after all— she knows the strength of it. She knew I would always love you too much to say no. She knew I would be the one who kills you every time.”

“I don’t care if I die. I am not afraid of dying. Just don’t leave me living like this.”

On the mountain the howl of the wind rose, and the color of my soul bends with the untouched snow. In the chapel I brought his face down to mine. “Please,” I begged, letting him see the desire of my heart in my eyes. “Please, Drake, let me be with you... let me be with you, even if it’s only for thirteen more days.”

“I can’t do it,” he groaned, but I felt it in my bones, and knew it in my heart the second he caved. On the mountain I saw Arias gasp, then sigh as if she knew what was coming. In the chapel Drake went to his knees and pulled me with him. Suddenly, it felt like he pushed a giant shard of glass in my brain. I shook in his arms. Our foreheads were pressed together, and light started to gather in between us, blue streamers of

effervescence, that made a music I could never describe.

On the mountain, Drake holds my dead body, his cheek against mine.

I hear a wheezing pop and feel Drake flinch. He turns, frowns when he sees the arrowhead buried in his shoulder. He rips it out of his flesh, blood splashes my cold, grey body. He kisses my forehead, then turns to face Ares, who rushes toward us. No peasant garb for this god now—his armor blazes like supernova.

“What have you done?” shouts Ares. Crimson light shoots from the sword in his hand, and his ringing voice quakes the banks of ice. He looks at Aphrodite in astonishment, then a dull, dawning horror darkens his eyes. Ares leaps from Atheon’s flaming back. Where he lands, the ground splits, jets of water break free of the shifting cracks, and spray the sky.

“It is not what I have done!” shouts Drake.

In the chapel Drake knocked Legux to the floor and laid me on the stone table. I tugged at the hem of his black, cotton t-shirt, he whipped the material over his head, and threw it to the ground. Blue light spilling from the sword touched his skin and made him a creature of fantasy. My fantasy—my world. I felt his hand hot on my naked thigh. The glow growing between us intensified.

On the mountain, rage twists Ares’s handsome face. He walks to his goddess on shaking legs. The second he reaches out his hand to touch her lips, I realize boy-Draken had been dead right. Androsia never had a chance at this god’s heart. “You have killed her,” whispers Ares. On his cheeks I see the silver sheen of tears.

“I have not killed her,” Drake spits out each word. “She is sleeping. I pray she never wakes.”

Ares moves to my dead body. He reaches out a hand to touch a lock of my hair, deep sorrow in his eyes, sorrow I think for both of us. Drake screams the scream of a man gone mad. Blindly he swings Legux, I see the tip of the blade nick Ares’s on his neck—this cut is deeper than the last, and the cut does not close. It bleeds like a severed vein. Ares stares down at his blood, eyes wide, jaw dropped. I wonder if he is fascinated by the blood, or just that someone would dare to draw it. “You cannot mean to fight me, Draken?” I hear the pain and shock in Ares’s voice. “We are brothers,” he gasps. “I don’t want to fight you, I won’t. I never meant for it to come to this. Walk away. You are stepping in the middle of an endless war.”

“You took her! I saw you give her to Aphrodite,” spat Drake, and I saw death in his eyes. “You killed her!”

“I was not under my own power,” pleads Ares. I know he is not lying. I remember Limbo and all it told me. In the chapel we breathed to the rhythm of the throbbing lights.

Drake’s mouth was on my waist, I gasped when I felt his teeth graze my hip bone. Shivers tightened my skin. My pesky nightgown was in the way, I sighed when he lifted it over my head. The blue lights wrapping us in ribbons of moving particles were warm, and glistening. I looked down at my naked body, my hands flew up to cover my breast—a sudden wash of shyness taking control of my limbs. When he kissed my fingers, and said my name, I knew it was the sound of all his prayers.

About the Author:
Author, dreamer and wild child extraordinaire: JP Roth is an American Novelist, and owner of Rothic comics, founded in 2012, through which she has produced and published five of her original series. JP Roth in California with her beautiful family, and their adorable Bichon Frise. Her days are spent writing fanciful stories, walking on the beach, and attending comic conventions across the globe. While JP Roth enjoys travelling to exotic locations, she admittedly prefers to stay home, wrapped in a soft fluffy blanket, drinking tea and penning her next novel.


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