GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ I Smell Sheep: March 2024

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Happy 14th Birthday I Smell Sheep + print books giveaway

I Smell Sheep has made it around the sun one more time!

A big Thank Ewe to our flock members.

I've been collecting books from Penguin Random House all year for a giveaway, and made four boxes to give away. Each box will have some other fun prizes too.
Form will close April 31st.

Fill out the form and which box(es) you would like to be eligible to win.
Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

 Box 4


Friday, March 29, 2024

Six totally odd facts about PNR Author Lucinda Wicked + excerpt

Six totally odd facts about Lucinda Wicked

I have a rabbit! She’s a bit of a celebrity in the Horror Circuit for her attendance

If its dark, spooky, morbid or mystic I am fully invested no questions asked. Bonus points if its spicy!

I can’t stand Ghostface and I think he’s really one of the stupidest horror icons. I will die on this hill.

Sam from Trick R’ Treat and Michael from Halloween are besties. Fight me. I will prove my theory.

Highly Motivated by pure spite and piping hot tea. Let’s be real, I'm always down to spill the tea.

Mothman is Real

Cosmic Requiem Circle (Book One)
by Lucinda Wicked
January 13, 2024
Genre: LGBT, Paranormal, Dark Romance
ISBN: 979-8872258339
Number of pages: 236
Word Count: 51,097 words
Cover Artist: Lucinda Wicked

Where shadows dance, and echoes of demise intertwine, Lady Death and Mistress Misery conduct the cosmic requiem, orchestrating the symphony of eternal darkness.

Slice, butcher, kill

Misery has lived the last eon by their code. Hunting everything with and without breath for the right price. Unfeeling, without mercy. A greedy overlord makes Misery an offer they can't refuse. All they have to do is kill the silver ghost

Except this ghost is not really a ghost…

Collect, collect, collect

Death has learned the hard way that solitude is the only way to safeguard her heart. Cold, ruthless and without compassion, the universe has learnt to be terrified of death. Deserting at the mention of her name.

Until there was one who wasn't terrified. One who dared hold a knife to her throat.

Death is curious…

The universe has thrown death and Misery together and an ancient force looms in the background…

Death is about to find out that there are more twisted things in the universe and that perhaps…Death doesn't have to walk alone.

Book Trailer:

Death was finally able to take a nap, she rested, moving to a beach in her dreams. As she sunbathed, she felt a ripple through her dream. An odious black thing streaking the sky. She felt a subtle tremor in the cosmic threads, a disturbance that distrusted her sleep, bathing her dream world in darkness.

“Oh for fuck’s sake.” She said, stretching her hand for her scythe. She got up and took off the sarong, slipping her arms through the sleeves of a satin robe.

With the sharp edge of her scythe, she ripped through the fabric of the dream world.

“I actually put a lot of work into creating this one. This better be worth it.” Death murmured, stepping out of the dream and entering a black void.

She found herself standing within the threading—a vast expanse where the fabric of existence intertwined.

Threads stretched in every direction, touching each other in a complex web of interconnections. Each thread was connected to another. They revolved around a small spool in the center.

She found herself, a small piece of black lopping around each thread.

“What is it this time?” She said into the endless void, her voice echoing.

Tainted threads manifested before her, the red threads had clumps of black glue choking it. Her face contorted in a grimace.

“Damn. That’s a lot of dirt. What has this soul done?” She asked. “Come. Let’s go find them. Someone has to die.” She sighed.

She stepped into Misery’s dream. She was lying awake in a dark space.

“Really? You have the ability to think of anything and this is what you choose?” She said, scoffing. “You’re unbelievable. I don’t know why I bother.” Death finished.

Deathless eyes stare back at her.

“The dark is comforting. You should know that better than anyone else. It is home to vile twisted things like us. Come lay with me.”

“Would love to but this is a bye bye text. I’m too lazy to reach for my phone. I’m killing two birds with one scythe.”“That’s not how the saying goes.”

“Who cares.”

“Where are you headed?”

“Somewhere terrible. " Death said.

Misery sat up, the shadows binding her to the black space falling away. “Where are you going?”

Death looked up, trying to convince her eyes to unsee Misery soft, white, naked, eyes open in ecstasy.

“To hunt a tainted thread.” Death said mindlessly.

“I’m coming with.” Misery said.

“You’re not. You’re busted up. Why are you naked?”

“I sleep naked.” Misery said, brows scrunching in confusion.

“I did not need to know that.” Death said, making a strangled noise. “Why do you insist on coming with me, Misery?” Death questioned, her mood souring. She looked at Misery with cold emotionless eyes.

Misery, undeterred, responded, “I’m connected to the balance as much as you are. I’m connected to you. It’s a roundabout thing. won’t stay idle when darkness threatens.”

“Everybody is connected to me, little psycho. Try again. I’ll be the last to leave this universe when it ceases endless existence. I’ll turn the lights out behind me. I’ll escort your soul to the after life too. Try again, Mise.”

“I have no soul.” Misery grinned, cracking open her chest to reveal a black empty space.

Death scowled. “You’re still not coming along.”

“Yes I am. I’m coming to cover your ass.”

“Literally or figuratively.” Said Death, her lids lowering. Misery flushed, disappearing into the shadows.

“Well. I’ll see you when I’m back.” Death said.

“I’ll be downstairs in five minutes. We both need to get dressed and you take ten years to change your clothes.” Misery said at the same time, wrinkling her nose.

They looked at each other, both frowning.

“I’m coming. The End.” Said Misery, disappearing into the shadows. Death cursed, opening her eyes.

She stood up, heading to her closet. She yanked out a long flowing lace vest and a pair of leather pants. She wore a silk shirt under the vest, the lace vest on it and a corset on the whole ensemble.

The lace looked like it was sewed to the corset. She slipped on a pair of black studded six inch stilettos and raced outside, sliding down the railing to the foyer.

She rushed outside, opening her Mercedes and taking a seat in the driver’s side. She pulled out of the castle, doing a victory dance.

She dialed Misery’s number, tapping her acrylics on the screen joyfully. The phone rang from inside the car.

She looked back to see a grinning Misery lounging in the back seat.

“You have to be shitting me.” Death said, shaking her head.

“I wish. You’re not supposed to leave people you’re going out with at home.” She said, laughing. She smoothly maneuvered herself from the back seat to the passenger’s side.

About the Author:
Meet Lucinda Wicked – a seasoned cosplayer with over a decade of experience. When she's not donning epic costumes, Luci runs her own gig catering to the spooky souls out there. Stickers, sweaters, and more – she's got your eerie cravings covered. Luci's love for all things spooky is practically woven into the fabric of her creations.

But Luci is not just a business owner; she's a proud member of the LGBT+, BIPOC, and Neurodivergent communities. Embracing diversity and uniqueness is not just a trend for her – it's a way of life.

You can snag Luci's otherworldly wares at Luminous Moon Swag, whether you prefer the virtual aisles of Etsy or the online realm at And if you're in the mood for a quick cosmic escape, check out her TikTok micro-episodes featuring the Cosmic Requiem Circle.

In her spare time, you'll find Luci immersed in the magical realms of her own creation, embracing the spooky, and spreading a cosmic vibe. This is Lucinda Wicked – crafting dreams and bringing a touch of the supernatural to your everyday life.

Dive into the cosmic chaos of Cosmic Requiem: Circle of Death. Misery, a relentless hunter, faces an offer they can't refuse – kill the silver ghost. But this ghost isn't a mere apparition. Death, feared by all, finds herself intrigued. Together, they navigate an ancient force that challenges their solitary existence. Join the journey: #LGBTQ+ #BIPOC #DiverseAuthors #NeuroDivergent #SciFi #Fantasy #BookBuzz

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Excerpt: Hellbound A Coffe and Creme Paranormal Romance by Tamela Miles

It's about to get one hundred proof hot as Hell and all bets are off.

Hellbound: A Coffee and Creme Paranormal Romance

by Tamela Miles
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Coffee shop owner and sometimes barista Kian's youthful, tragic mistake still haunts him but it doesn't stop him from wanting just one week of steamy passion with beautiful Sanaa, who also only wants one week of his loving because of a failed relationship that has made her skittish.

Kian is a condemned man and, unless he learns about the power of love and redemption, this year will be his last on earth.

Is it possible that falling for Sanaa is the solution to his ninety nine problems?

Can Sanaa learn to forget her past mistake in loving the wrong guy and consider that Kian may be the one?

The only sure thing is it's about to get one hundred proof hot as Hell and all bets are off.

Author Note: This is a second edition, with some new content. The first edition was published in 2017.
"I don’t want to give anything away except to say that there is sex, betrayal, surprises, and a fight between good and evil. This was a short story but was not lacking at all."

-- Linda Tonis from the Paranormal Romance Guild
** On Sale for Only .99 cents March 28-29th!! **

“Has this suddenly become complicated for you, too?” Saana lifted her head from the rhythmic beating of his heart. They lie in darkness, languid after the loving.

“Exponentially, baby,” Kian responded, holding her close with his eyes closed. “But, emotional complications won’t stop the inevitable. By the end of the week, I won’t be a part of your life anymore. I won’t see your beautiful face wearing a sweet smile, I won’t hear you whispering in my ear as I please you. I won’t be here to see you accomplish great things in life. That will all belong to some other man.”

Sanaa sat up beside him, playing with his hair as he rested. “I could love you, Kian. Honestly. If I let myself go, I could be madly, deeply, panties-on-my-head in love with you.” She sighed deeply. “But, I think we should proceed as we agreed to. Friends with benefits. Right?” Kian opened his eyes, caressing her back. “Right.” His heart sank in his chest, even as he said the word. Leaving her to go on with her life with some other man seemed…wrong.

About the Author:
Tamela Miles is a school psychologist with Ed.S degree and a graduate of California State University San Bernardino and California State University Dominguez Hills. She is also a former flight attendant. She grew up in Altadena, California in that tumultuous time known as the 1980s. She now resides with her family in the Inland Empire, CA. She's a horror/paranormal romance writer mainly because it feels so good having her characters do bad things and, later, pondering what makes them so bad and why they can never seem to change their wicked ways.

She enjoys emails from people who like her work. In fact, she loves emails. She can be contacted at or her Facebook page, Tamela Miles Books. She also welcomes reader reviews and enjoys the feedback from people who love to read as much as she does.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$15 Amazon
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

YA epic Fantasy: The General (Heroes of the Empire Book 2) by Israh Azizi

We are thrilled to share the second epic installment in the Heroes of the Empire series, The General by Israh Azizi!

The General (Heroes of the Empire Book 2)

by Israh Azizi
November 2023
Genre: YA Fantasy/ Epic Fantasy
Mordon dedicated his life to his father; his only dream was to prove himself worthy of Verin's general. But with the ruthless Tariqin attack comes a brutal awakening. Captured by enemy forces and dragged into a war camp full of the people he was trained to kill, his hopes of proving himself worthy are dashed to pieces. When the enemy offers him a chance for a grand future, he's faced with a test that stretches him beyond his limits.

Coralie's burden has never been heavier. After the Dark Lord Prolus's recent assault and her uncle's declining health, it is up to her to keep her kingdom together. The inevitable return of the Tariqin army lurks at their doorstep and her time is running short. Coralie turns to the newest residents of Verintown for assistance. Branded traitors and hated by many in the castle, they may very well be her downfall. Using their pledge for change in her favor, she tasks them with a mission most would consider a death sentence.

Two determined warriors separated by a river of blood. Mordon must risk everything to become the man he yearns to be, and Coralie must fight to become the queen she was born to be.

About the Author
Israh Azizi resides in the land of ten thousand lakes with her family and five cats. Since she was a little girl she has been a lover of words and fanciful tales. It was her dream to one day share a story of her own with the world. With sheer determination, lots of love, and a decent amount of caffeine, she managed to make that dream come true. Besides reading and writing, she has a dizzying number of hobbies, some of which include bossing around her younger siblings, experimenting with new baking recipes, and playing board games with her family and close friends. When life’s plot twists don’t cross her path and her fingers aren’t dancing across the keyboard building a fantastical adventure, she can usually be found in a quiet corner with a good book and a steaming cup of coffee.

IG: @heroes_of_the_empire @rrbooktours @israh_azizi

#rrbooktours #rrbtthegeneral #thegeneral #heroesoftheempire #hote #israhazizi #yafantasy #yafantasyseries #youngadultbooks #chosenonetrope #epicfantasy

Tour organized by


Monday, March 25, 2024

Seven Strange Facts About Tracy Cooper-Posey + excerpt

Here are six out there, but absolutely true things about me…and one lie. Which one is the lie?

1. I grew up without television or a movie theatre…or a library.
I grew up in a tiny wheatbelt town in Western Australia, that had five houses, a wheat silo and a school. The school had three rooms and no library. It was my years in Cadoux that formed my reading habit. I read to tatters every book my mother managed to mail order from the nearest city.

Bonus weird fact:
The year I left Cadoux, the town was wiped out by a massive, record-breaking earthquake. I’m pretty sure the two events are not related…

2, I was the first licensed female cinematograph operater in Western Australia.
Fast forward a few years. That grand title has a shorter name: A film operator. I was the first female in Western Australia to earn her license to run a movie in a cinema or drive-in.

In those days, some of the bio-boxes could only be accessed by going through the men’s washroom! They were so not set up for women to run a show. 😊

3. I have written 200+ books under three different pen names
I keep lists – I have to, because I can never remember them all.

I’ve been writing for a few years. 

4. I met my future husband on the Internet when it was only two years old, and I moved to Canada to marry him.
I think we might be one of the first couples to meet online, it was that new.

Bonus weird fact: We have the same birthday, which is also the day we met, and our wedding anniversary.

5. I have bumped noses with a grey nurse shark 

When I lived in Western Australia, I was a keen scuba diver. The Indian Ocean is warm, and clear, and made for scuba diving. But one day I pushed myself up from the sea floor, over the top of a short reef…and the grey nurse was coming over the top of the reef from the other side.

I don’t know who was the most startled. The shark flicked its tail and took off. So did I.

I think I walked on water, getting back to the beach….

6. I have survived a civil war
For nearly two years, my husband at that time worked with a mining company who operated a copper mine on Bougainville, in Papua New Guinea, just three degrees below the equator.

We had been there just over a year when a civil war broke out between political factions vying for control of the country. They assured us that Australians working the copper mine were perfectly safe.

Until they killed an Australian.

We were evacuated off the island in 48 hours. We spent that 48 hours grimly packing up our houses, as the company assured us they would get our possessions off the island. We didn’t believe them, of course.

Weird bonus fact:
Our possessions, in a sea container, were dropped onto the driveway of our house in Australia, six weeks later. The books smelled of the jungle for years, after that.

7. I have kissed a king
A real, honest-to-goodness king. And that’s all I’ll say about that.


So, which one is the lie?

If you guessed the last one, you’re sort of right. When I kissed him, he wasn’t a king at the time. He was a crown prince.

I have newspaper reports to prove it. 😉

Tracy Cooper-Posey

Crossroads Magic (Witchtown Crossing Book One)
by Tracy Cooper-Posey
March 21, 2024
Genre: Paranormal Women’s Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Fantasy
Publisher: Stories Rule Press
Amazon ISBN: 9781779431943
ISBN: 9781779432018
Number of pages: 306 pages
Word Count: 74,000 words
Cover Artist: Dar Dixon, Wicked Smart Designs
I’m just an ordinary, middle-aged woman, and my life is falling apart….

When did I become such a cliché? I’m divorced, working a crappy job, living on next to nothing, and wondering how it all went so wrong.

Then it goes even more wrong. My grown daughter turns up after not speaking to me for two years, with stunning news of her own, and to cap it off, I’m summoned to a tiny, isolated hamlet in northern New York called Haigton Crossing, where my mother has lived for decades.

Haigton Crossing looks like a throwback to another time. For such a small place, it is stuffed full of secrets. The people there are different, including the town’s doctor, Benedict Marcus. And Haigton Crossing is way, way too small to host a murder….

This book is part of the paranormal women’s fiction series, Witchtown Crossing
1.0: Crossroads Magic …with more to come!

A Paranormal Women’s Fiction novel.

Praise for Crossroads Magic:

Love this new series. Once I started reading, I didn’t want to put it down.

Now I must wait for the next book which is pure torture.

Nice to read about a woman starting over after her daughter has grown.

As I adore everything Tracy writes...I am on cloud nine with the start of a new series.

It was wonderful to read a book about a woman who is closer to my age facing problems that I might actually have.

She explains the sights, sounds and smells in a way that makes you feel like you are there. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series!

What a delight! A heroine with some life experience, with real world problems.

A NEW Series From TRACY!!! EEEK!

Tracy's strong suit in her writing is her character development and knowing when a good twist and turn is needed to further captivate her audience.

An excellent beginning to what promises to be a most intriguing series, Crossroads Magic is a fascinating story in itself, though there are so many different directions this series could take.
Excerpt Chapter One
The only thing I was worried about as I headed back to my apartment building was the spot on the back of my hand where hot fat had left a burn the size of a nickel. Small, but mighty, the burn throbbed and ached, reminding me it was there. It was worse when the sun hit it, which it did frequently. It was one of those perfect, mild days in December, when you could actually see the sky over L.A. and it was blue.

Who am I kidding? The burn spot wasn’t the only thing I was worried about. If you were to ask me, I could rattle off a dozen major and minor problems, including the sumo-sized rat I suspect was trying to take up residence under my kitchen sink. But those were all chronic problems.

The burn on my hand was new and painful. I didn’t need new problems and was trying my best to ignore it until I could slather aloe vera gel on it. Marjorie, at the diner, had hacked off a leaf from the plant sitting in the pot outside the kitchen door when Deborah, the assistant manager, hadn’t been looking. Marj had wrapped the leaf in plastic. It was in my bag, along with the serving of pecan pie which Deborah had ordered the waitresses to throw out because it was too old. Three days old…there was nothing wrong with it, and it had more calories in it than the egg and toast I had lined up for dinner.

In this world that wasn’t the one I would voluntarily choose, today was turning out okay. Pecan pie, and Hobgoblin of History in my ears. I had been waiting weeks for book fifteen of M.K. Lint’s fantasy series. The library had doled it out to me yesterday and I was on chapter three. Harry the Hobgoblin was looking for the Fairy Eloise, this book; he’d lost her at the end of the last one, because he hadn’t closed the Doors of Eternal Flame in time and a demon had abducted her.

I like reading. I like it a lot.

My building was a white monstrosity that did nothing to enhance the L.A. skyline. The white had long ago turned to a stained, dull grey. Five years ago, a fire had broken out on the top floor and burned out a few apartments. The black smoke had billowed up out of the windows, staining the walls above them. The stains were still there and every time I saw them, I had to remind myself they were smoke stains, not black mould taking over the building. Black mould seemed more appropriate.

I turned off the audiobook, stashed my phone in my pocket and headed for the front door. I only used the front door when I came home from work. Usually, I used the side door, because it was closer to the bus stop.

There was another homeless person sitting on the front steps, leaning against the wrought iron bannister as if they couldn’t prop themselves up, their jean jacket pulled in tight. It wasn’t that cold, although this late in the afternoon, any warmth in the day was beginning to fade.
I swung around the homeless person’s worn boots, and up the steps, digging out my key.

“Mom?” The voice wavered.

I whirled, my heart rate climbing, to face the woman rising from the steps, a denial on my lips.

Blue, short, spiky hair. A nose ring. Black eye makeup that had run…or that she had been wearing for too many days. The black looked like bruises.

“Ghaliya?” I asked, for the high cheekbones, narrow chin and high forehead were hers. So were the blue eyes—even if they were blood shot. The next question was right there, behind my teeth. What the hell are you doing here?

Ghaliya pulled the jacket in around her once more. She’d lost weight since the last time I’d seen her…two years, two months and five days ago. And about thirty minutes.

“The super said you’d be home around now,” Ghaliya said. She bent and picked up a small black backpack that had been sitting under her knees and straightened.

Was it possible she’d got taller? She’d been an inch shorter than me. I didn’t think she was shorter than me anymore, and I am nearly always the tallest woman in the room.

I didn’t ask why she was here. That was obvious. She needed help.

I hefted my keys instead. “You’d better come in.”

About the Author:
Google Books
Facebook Readers' Hangout

Tracy Cooper-Posey is the author of the popular Once and Future Hearts historical fantasy romance series, among others. She writes romantic suspense, historical, paranormal, fantasy and science fiction romance, plus women’s fiction. She also writes under the pen names of Cameron Cooper (science fiction) and Taylen Carver (fantasy). She has published over 200 titles since 1999, been nominated for five CAPAs including Favourite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award.

She turned to indie publishing in 2011. Her indie titles have been nominated four times for Book Of The Year. Tracy won the award in 2012, a SFR Galaxy Award in 2016 and came fourth in Hugh Howey’s SPSFC#2 in 2023. She has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at MacEwan University.

She is addicted to Irish Breakfast tea and chocolate, sometimes taken together. In her spare time she enjoys history, Sherlock Holmes, science fiction and ignoring her treadmill. An Australian Canadian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a former professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Urban Fantasy Author Eric Swett: Top 5 signs I've made it as an author + excerpt

Top Five things that would make me think I finally made it as an author:

The ultimate sign that you have made I as a writer is being in a position where you don’t have to have it as a day job. Your writing makes you enough money for you to survive on it. It is a very tangible sign of some success, but what other things mark you as a success? In my mind, here are five things that would make me think I might just have made it as a writer.

5. Getting Social Media Hate: Is there any truer sign of success than pissing someone off enough they take to Social Media and berate you and your work? Sure, they are saying bad things about you, but at least they are talking about you. Being on the receiving end of Social Media hate tells me I am certainly on my way to making it as a writer.

4. Being a guest of Honor: Going to conventions and writing events I always see the guest of honor and imagine what a nice thing it would be to have someone call me that. Getting invited to be the guest of honor or even a keynote speaker at a convention might convince me that I’ve made it.

3. Fan Art and Cosplay
: Seeing fan art of my character or people cosplaying my characters would be a big sign I’ve made it as a writer. I love seeing people celebrate their fandoms in visual arts, and seeing my works celebrated in such a way would be huge, and I would definitely feel like I was making it.

2. Books in a Bookstore
: With Amazon and e-books out there, it feels like brick-and-mortar bookstores are becoming harder and harder to find. I still love going to a nice bookstore and walking the shelves, hunting for that book I want. If I should ever find one of my books on a shelf at a bookstore, I would geek out so hard. There is something so very real about seeing your book where someone else might find it and buy it. It just hits differently than a website. If my books end up in a bookstore, then I might think I have made it.

1. Fan Fiction
: I have always believed that fan fiction is flattering. If someone took the time to write a story about my characters I would be over the moon. To see a fan make that effort and put it out there for the world to see would absolutely convince me that I have finally made it as an author. And, if by some chance, that fanfic happened to be erotic, well then I would not only count myself as a writer, but an honest to goodness superstar.

What about you? What sort of indicators would make you think you’ve made it as a writer?

 A Murder of Wizards: Apocalypse Rising: Year Two (Armageddon Angels Book Three)
by Eric Swett
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Haileybug Publishing
Date of Publication: 12/9/23
ISBN: 979-8867576660
Number of pages: 251
Word Count: 95,789
Cover Artist: Eric Swett
The Grim Reaper looks for a serial killer who is ritually murdering wizards and taunting them in the process. He needs to find the killer and stop him before his plot comes to a disastrous conclusion.

Apocalypse Rising: A Murder of Wizards is an Urban Fantasy about a fallen Angel named Justin. He just happens to be one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Grim Reaper himself, Death.

Two years have passed since he remembered who he was and what he is. He is regaining abilities and memories he lost when he chose to fall to earth and live among humans, but he has a long way to go before he can fully reclaim his title. When Justin is asked by a friend to investigate a string of supernatural murders he can't say no. Justin discovers he has a connection to the murders and has to find the murderer before their plans come to fruition.

“Don’t look.” Justin turned and pulled Lilly to him. He tried to shield her from the gore splattered about the alley. The copper stink of fresh blood assaulted them as they stood across the street from the scene. As the Grim Reaper, eons of death dulled the impact for Justin. He wanted to keep Lilly from it if possible.

“I can’t.” Lilly looked away, but it did not help. Despite being blind, the murder shone in vivid technicolor to her. Being Justin's Oracle gave her sight far beyond what any normal person enjoyed.

The pull of death drew her attention, and in her mind's eye, the scene coalesced as clearly as if she stared at it. The violence and butchery lit the aura surrounding the dead body in angry tones of black and red that shone like a spotlight upon the murder.

She placed her hand over her mouth to keep from vomiting.

The splayed open corpse's entrails hung about the alley. The smashed kidneys hung from the side of a dumpster. The lungs sat in a pile against the alley wall. The liver dripped blood into a shallow pool beside the corpse. The buzzing of flies grew louder as the dead man's evacuated bowels drew them to the feast.

The callous mess made of another human left her uneasy.

She wanted to block it out, bury her head in Justin’s chest, and flee the scene. She tried to look away, but ancient instinct forced her to bear witness to the death of a fellow human. Her instincts buzzed with warning. Her palms sweated, and her lips trembled. A predator lurked nearby, and she needed to be aware.

“Lilly.” Justin put an arm around her shoulders and turned her back to the horrific scene playing out in the alley. “It’s okay. I’ve got you.”

Justin wanted to go home and leave it all behind them. Lilly wanted to know what happened and needed him to tell her so she did not have to face it alone. The closer they got to it, the more apparent the full extent of the horror became.

“What…what is it? What happened, Justin?” Lilly held onto him tightly, seeking comfort in his strength.

He apprised the situation with a practiced stare. His experience on earth gave him some insight, but his familiarity with death brought everything into focus. He scratched at the stubble on his chin as he considered the dead man. “Looks like a sacrifice of some sort, a ritual, but not one I’ve seen before. Doesn’t appear demonic, but it could be part of a summoning. Maybe something geographical...”

“Can we go? I don’t like the way this feels. There is something wrong about this. I can't put my finger on it, but there is something dark here. It's tickling my senses, tempting me, drawing me toward it like an inevitable conclusion.” She turned her back on the scene and shuddered.

“Huh? Oh. Yeah, sure. Let’s get out of here.” Justin guided Lilly away from the murder. Justin held her hand gently as they walked. “Sorry about that. Hazard of the profession. As the Angel of Death, I've seen a lot of corpses. It’s not every day you come across something this unusual.”

About the Author:
Eric Swett is a husband and father. He has a beautiful wife named Tracy and three fabulous children (Zachary, Connor, and Kaitlyn). Between the four of them, he has absolutely everything he really needs in this world. If everything else went away and he still had them, he could die and count himself a fortunate man.

He works in IT, streams video games, and dabbles in 3D printing.

He is a self-proclaimed Geek and does not adhere to a single form of geekdom. He likes roleplaying games, tabletop games with painted miniatures, video games, comic books, science fiction and fantasy, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who.