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Timewalker Chronicles Book 4.5
BY MICHELE CALLAHAN
Aron of Itara, Forbidden Son, has been a prisoner of fate since before he was born. Captured as a child by the evil Triscani, it’s been centuries since he’s felt the sun on his face or the tenderness of a woman’s touch. Determined to help humanity break the elusive but powerful Itaran Triads’ hold on Earth, Aron escapes with one goal, to find the one man who can help him save humans from an eternal prison. After that, he’ll fight to the death, but he’ll never go back in the cage.
Zoey Williams watched her sister die at the hands of monsters, and no one believed her. She’s spent the last five years using her journalism skills to track aliens, investigate paranormal activity, and hunt for answers. But she got too close to the truth, and now it’s not just monsters hunting her, but her own people. Zoey doesn’t believe she needs a guardian, but once Aron finds her he can’t leave her to the vicious hunters that would turn her to ash or to the power-hungry humans who seek to silence her. In fact, he discovers that he doesn’t want to leave her at all….
Timewalker Chronicles Book 4.5
BY MICHELE CALLAHAN
“What are you boys up to?” Zoey Williams whispered the question to herself where she lay sprawled across a cold boulder, careful to keep her body flat to the ground. Her forest camo would keep her hidden from the air. She couldn’t afford to create a profile for one of the perimeter patrols to see from the ground.
She’d worked too long and too hard for this story. Tracked one of the soldiers for weeks, followed him, stalked him, and bribed several friends to get his phone and credit card records. The man she tracked was an ex-Navy S.E.A.L.
Some “ex”. The man was still in a uniform. Still carried a weapon and gear and reported to someone at Fort Carson. And most telling of all? He still disappeared for days or weeks at a time.
But, according to the government, the man didn’t even exist. If not for her informant, she never would have discovered him or his team. Her blog had brought her some strange bedfellows, and some terrifying allies.
This time, the file her anonymous friend sent to her had led her here, to this man and this mountain. She’d tracked the soldier for the last few months. Every time something crazy hit the tabloids about alien sightings, portals, other dimensions, or UFOs, this guy disappeared for a while.
He was an asshole. She knew that much. Dropped the F-bomb like it was his favorite verb, snarled at everyone he talked to, and was one of the most self-contained and brutally efficient people she’d ever followed. He was also suspicious as hell. He’d nearly caught her twice.
And in the years she’d spent as a journalist in her previous life she’d become very good at not getting caught. Very good at being a fly on the wall, unseen and unnoticed. Unfortunately, that skill had cost her everything, her identity, her family, her “normal” life.
She’d survived, and this mountain estate was her prize. There was something here, something inside the house that broadcast energy like a radio station pumping out hard metal music. Nothing shy or soft about this place. It screamed to be heard.
The energy pulsed through her body in waves, painful staccato bursts like ice needles piercing her heart.
Zoey ignored the sensation and continued taking photos of the soldiers, the house, the vehicles’ license plates, everything she could document would go up on her blog. The more she had, the more people would believe her.
She needed the world to wake up! A year ago she’d been like the rest of them. Blind. Helpless. Safe in her dream world and ignorant of the truth.
The truth. Such a small word to carry so much power.
Setting her camera aside, Zoey double-checked the antireflective cover on her binoculars and scanned the surrounding hills once more. She couldn’t shake the feeling that something was coming her way. Something powerful and very, very evil.
Movement. There! To her right and a bit farther up the adjoining swell of hillside.
She focused in and her heart froze, skipped a beat, shocked back into a frantic rhythm when she saw him.
God, he was beautiful. Dark hair that fell past his shoulders, a bare chest chiseled to perfection and abs any elite athlete on the planet would kill for. But his beauty wasn’t what stunned her.
It was the blood. And the chains. And the fact that he was moving straight toward her at an inhuman pace.
That and the terrifying creatures she spotted moving like dark water down from the higher terrain behind him. They glided like dark shadows weaving through the pine trees, so dark and fast a normal girl would’ve convinced herself they were nothing more than tricks of shadow and light.
Those things. Here.
Holy shit. She was in serious trouble.
“Careful what you wish for, Zoey-girl.”
The memory of her sister’s laughing voice echoed in her mind and brought the pain of the last few months screaming to the surface. Those things were not going to take one more life, not while she breathed. Not while she had blood in her veins and a knife in her hand.
Scrambling to her feet, she forgot all about hiding. She pulled her knife free and raced toward the bleeding man. Why didn’t he run or yell for help? Maybe he hadn’t seen them yet.
Oh, God. They were on him.
“Look out!” She shouted a warning but knew he’d never hear her. The man’s desperate roar filled her legs with an extra shot of adrenaline. The surge was just enough to overcome the paralysis of the memories that followed on the heels of the creatures’ sickening screams. Farther down at the base of the slope the guards sent up the alarm, she felt them scrambling and running. None of them were close enough to help the chained man.
Running all out, she leapt over rocks and dodged thirty-foot pine trees. Rocks and twigs rolled beneath her feet and twisted her legs as she ran. Dried pine needles cushioned her steps and the hard branches of wild brush tugged at her clothing, tangled and yanked at the hair threatening to escape her knit hat and scratched her hands and face as she shoved her way through them. She ignored the sting and ran with her forearms raised in front of her face to protect her eyes. Faster. Faster. She had to help him. Those things couldn’t kill him. She wouldn’t watch them kill another human being. Not again. Not today.
Terror clogged her throat but she ran. Her camera and binoculars bounced painfully against her chest and back like forgotten baggage. She lost sight of him behind a clump of trees and pumped her arms and legs harder, racing around it. Faster. She had to go faster.
Eerie silence greeted her as she skirted the last tree and caught sight of the man up ahead. Beneath his grip, the last remnants of what she assumed were the alien creatures floated away in the wind like soot from a fireplace. Dust. They were no more than dust. And he had destroyed them with a touch…
The man didn’t turn to look in her direction. He flexed his hands and stared at the blood that covered his arms. Deep lines creased the corners of his eyes, not from age, from suffering. He looked young and strong, gorgeous as a god, except for those haunted eyes. The manacles rubbed him raw at his wrists and feet. Around his neck, another thick band wore his flesh away. Dried blood mixed with fresh beneath the metal restraints and remnants of the red fluid coated his body.
He looked like he’d just escaped from hell. Literally.
The man moaned in pain and collapsed, unconscious, his large frame crumpled to the ground like a pile of human rubble, and she knew she was going to do whatever she had to do to save him…
Michele Callahan is a full-time science geek and writer who often makes emergency trips to the store for coffee, pickles, or a Twix candy bar. A confirmed sci-fi nerd, she studied human anatomy, physiology and chemistry before working in the medical field for over a decade. She then returned to her first true love…writing. Michele suffers from a dangerous case of sci-fi/fantasy fever and never turns down an opportunity to sit through a Star Wars, Star Trek, True Blood, LOTR or Matrix marathon. Her favorite things in books? Courageous characters (whom she loves to push to their limits), superpowers, true love, and freakish things that can’t be explained by modern science. Her mother, an English Lit teacher, inspired her love of books and reading, and Michele is eternally grateful.
Links to Michele’s website, blog, books, etc.
Chimera Born: Timewalker Chronicles Book 4.5
Twitter: twitter.com/MicheleCallahan or @michelecallahan
Email her at michele (at) michelecallahan.com
1) The First Three Timewalker Chronicles (ebook format) to anyone who joins my New Release Alerts by Saturday, Jan 31, 2015.
2) One complete set of books to date (6 books) to one person who leaves a comment and answers the following: What would you do if you found in injured Immortal on the side of a mountain? Would you take him home? To the hospital? Would you run away? (Remember, he’s gorgeous, but you DID just watch him kill two scary creatures…)
Set includes: Red Night (Book 1), Silver Storm (Book 2), Blue Abyss (Book 3), Black Gate (Book 4), Chimera Born (Book 4.5), White Fire (Book 5), Chimera’s Kiss (Book 6 Coming March 12)
Be sure to answer Michele’s question on Monday’s interview or Wednesday’s Book Bench blogs for a chance to win a collection of six wonderful books, and don’t forget to sign up for her New Release Alerts! Don’t miss the chance to read these wonderful stories. Thanks, Michele, for sharing your story with us!