In the long chronicle of Black Swan knights, Torn was one of only a handful who were not second sons. His particular life circumstances, otherwise known as fate, created the perfect storm
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I ne’er expected much. What would be the point? The good people of the Irish fishin’ town where I grew up made me an outcast because my da was a good-for-nothin’ drunk. Was no’ my fault. I was just a kid. I’ve been takin’ care of myself since I was eight.
I’ve been with Black Swan since I was thirteen and I’d like to tell you things were a lot better. But I’d be lyin’. Sure. They knighted me. But then they stuck me in Marrakesh, the worst unit with the worst vampire infestation in the world, and left me there to rot with Z Team. I’m no’ sayin’ I was demonstratin’ exemplary habits, but nobody deserves Marrakesh. Just when I thought it would be impossible to pull worse duty with Black Swan, I was made a floater. If you do no’ know what that is, ask Glen. He’ll give you an earful. It was worse.
So Glen, who is now Sovereign of the crown jewel of Black Swan, Jefferson Unit in New Jersey, rang me up and asked if I wanted to interview for a new gig with his wife. Of course I was eager to get out of floater rotation any way I could and said, “Why no’? It could no’ get much worse.”
That was what I thought.
It ne’er occurred to me that it could get better. So much better that I could leap right out of my skin from joy. Why? Turned out that one of the hunters who made the cut for D.I.T. is my mate. Great Paddy. I did no’ think such a marvel could be part of my lot because I’d decided long ago that fate had it in for me. I had good reason to think that. Life had given me nothin’ but shite.
Sheridan O’Malley, one of a pair of wild twins from the New Forest. She was no’ expectin’ me either, but ’tis no’ easy to walk away from love. So we had a few weeks together. Do no’ ask me for syrupy words like bliss and ecstasy. I’ll just say that I ne’er knew what people meant when they talked about bein’ happy before. But when you experience happiness, you understand why ’tis a big deal. She was everything.
Then she was taken from me.
By a demon.
Now my days are spent tryin’ to stay sane.
Hopin’ she’s okay.
Hopin’ that somehow, some way, she’s comin’ back to me.
For five years, Glendennon Catch had knocked around the globe as a floater, filling in wherever a team of vampire hunters was down a member. He’d buried six good knights and watched the life take its toll on countless others. He’d drunk his share of whiskey and bedded so many women he would hate to hear the count, but he’d never gotten over his first love. And, if he had a chance for a do-over, he wasn’t sure he wouldn’t have chosen Rosie Storm over The Order.
Elora Rose Storm had spent five years nursing a heavy heart, while on a cross-dimensional mission to make the world a better place, especially wherever she found human/animal hybrids being mistreated. She’d seen horrors, righted wrongs where she could, and matured into a powerful witch/demon with altruistic leanings.
After all that time, unbeknownst to each other, both were headed home. To Jefferson Unit.
My photographer, Invicta’s Art Photography, took my model of choice for this project, Colin Lenn, into the Las Vegas desert to get this shot for the Carnal cover and I love it.
The first book in the EXILED series is tied to Black Swan with Rosie, aka Elora Rose Storm.
The angel, Kellareal, stopped the genocide of generations of hybrids, who had been bred for research and spent their entire lives imprisoned. Against orders, he spirited them away to a place where they would have freedom and purpose.
In a vindictive fit, Rosie Storm asked her mother’s friend, Kellareal, for a place to hide from her boyfriend and teach him a lesson. Kellareal knew just the place for Rosie to grow up and learn temper control among other things. The land of Exiled.
How do you mend a broken heart? – Kellareal
Elora Rose Storm, otherwise known as Rosie, left her dimension in a fit of immaturity over not getting her way. Some might say the behavior was easier to forgive in light of the fact that she was, chronologically, only fourteen-months-old. Her witch / demon genes had accelerated her physical and intellectual growth, but her emotional equilibrium lagged behind.
The Exiled were a race of human hybrids, who, for generations, had lived their entire lives as slave test subjects. When they became perceived as too dangerous to keep, their creators planned a genocide. Against Council orders, Kellareal intervened and moved them to a dimension where they would have the opportunity to establish balance between the human population and a race of stronger, faster, fiercer hybrids who preyed on them.
Rosie thought she was getting a few weeks of asylum. The last thing she was expecting was to meet someone like Carnal.
Thank you to the reviewer committee of PRG for the nomination and thank you to Black Swan enthusiasts for voting. – Victoria