Dariel Raye & Muffy Wilson
Publication date: July 31st 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
One passionate decision can be hell for an archangel.
Gabriel’s mission from God was simple. At least that’s what he thought, until Helen Warner, his charge, loses her husband in the cataclysmic disaster perpetuated by Asmodeus, the ruthless demon of lust. Unable to stand by and watch while Helen plummets, Gabriel plunges to earth with no regard for the consequences.
Problem? Intervening without God’s permission sets him on a dangerous course rife with deadly distractions and pitfalls, including the mesmerizing affection of a witch—Narsaé. Pitted against Asmodeus and his army of demons, unexpected human emotions threaten his most basic beliefs. Gabriel must protect those he has come to love, while controlling the foreign emotions that torment him.
Can Gabriel save their home, all the besieged residents, and Watchtower 11, sending Asmodeus and his army of demons to a fiery Hell? Will he risk Heaven, immortality, and his very soul for the love of Narsaé?
Helen noticed James, her husband of thirteen years, glance lovingly in her direction. He was the strong silent type, a big man, even for Helen’s five-foot-eleven, admittedly large-boned frame. He watched the road ahead as he leaned forward to change the radio station back to the original soft rock.
Shaking her head, Helen smiled. She knew he wouldn’t tolerate her new favorite gospel station for long. This time she had timed him, and he’d made it all of…she glanced at the digital hologram on her arm…approximately five-and-a-half minutes. Her thick black cropped hair shifted slightly with the force of the wind as the car moved along. She never wore much makeup—always making do with a subtle tint to her full, well-shaped lips. Her clothes were understated and easy because she hated frills and fuss of any kind.
Few people owned or drove their own vehicles anymore. Most made their commutes through air shuttles, free transportation services for people who worked at least twenty-hours a week. The air shuttles zipped through the air on hidden railways, commissioned and supported by the national government’s alliance with major advertisers.
“We interrupt this broadcast with an emergency message from—” The announcer’s voice was abruptly cut off by more static, heavier this time.
“Wonder what’s going on now?” James asked.
“No telling. Always something. I don’t know what this world is coming to.”
Helen closed her eyes, unconcerned about the interruption. Enjoying riding with the top down in their long, antique Chevy convertible, she reminisced about her life with James. It seemed only yesterday they had met at the small teachers’ college in Gainesville. She had been in the middle of a heated argument with a chauvinistic male classmate who did not believe a woman should be head of the athletic department. Her classmate was slowly backing down, but she would never forget the way James stood beside her with his muscular arms folded, quiet yet protective.
Her smile broadened as she considered the many changes that had taken place in her life. Once married to James, she had set yet another precedent by opening her now-successful sports bar that doubled as a homeless shelter. James assisted her every evening after work except Fridays in the fall and winter months. His Fridays were usually filled with coaching high school football games. It was hard to believe thirteen years could pass so quickly.
The couple had been accompanied by static for the last five minutes, but Helen didn’t mind. She was so happy James had suggested the country drive, no destination in mind. She opened her eyes, enjoying the breeze and the closeness of her James, feeling like the luckiest woman in the world. Better yet, she knew she had to be one of the most blessed.
Closing her eyes again, she immersed herself in her own private praise session, but in the middle of her silent prayer of thanks, she heard James’ voice louder than she’d ever heard him yell before. His alarm registered inside her, and a heart-wrenching scream began to explode between her ribs before she could open her eyes to witness what appeared to be Hell opening to devour them. Debris flew at them full force, seemingly in slow motion and from every direction.
Overtaken by dark, violent clouds, she saw the air shuttles and rails fall from the sky, the heavy metal train cars flying helplessly through the air like paper on the wind just before the sun completely disappeared, abandoning them to complete and utter darkness.
Helen heard rubber fighting to maintain position as their large vehicle screeched and turned, trapped in the sudden, ungodly storm. James’ voice crescendoed to summon non-existent assistance, lost in the howling wind, and metal clashed to meld and change form as the car skidded, levitating on a heavy dark cloud. Finally, the car rolled aimlessly, colliding with everything in its path. The last thing she remembered was reaching for James as she called out, “Oh, Lord, please have mercy!”
Helen tried to open her eyes, but they seemed to be welded shut by some unknown force. She could no longer hear James, nor could she feel him. A powerful sense of foreboding overtook her, causing her normally strong heart to palpitate wildly. Someone else was there, had been there through the storm. She heard the whispers that seemed to emanate from a source connected to her heart. “Be quiet. Be still. It is out of your control, and all will work out as it should.” The voice was not one, but two—male and female speaking as one—as if unsure which would comfort her most.
Dariel Raye is an animal lover, animal rights activist, musician, and award-winning author of powerful paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy with IR/MC (Interracial/Multi-cultural) alpha male heroes to die for, and strong heroines with hearts worth winning. She is a mezzo-soprano who fell in love with books and started reciting stories at the age of 3. She also plays over 11 musical instruments.
Her stories tell of shifters, vamps, angels, demons, and fey (the Vodouin variety). Dariel is currently writing two series: “Dark Sentinels” (wolf shifters), and “Orlosian Warriors” (Vampire-like Nephilim).
Muffy, a USA Today, International and Amazon Bestselling Award Winning Author, likened in style to one of the Bronte sisters and Anne Rice, is an author of provocative romance about love, sex, hope and passion. An American author of the popular Shadow Seduction Series (a paranormal love story) and the Ribbons of Moonlight Series (a contemporary romance), she has penned several dozen other books and anthology collections.
Muffy was born in Texas to traditional parents. With two older brothers, she was the youngest, the family “princess,” indulged and pampered. Her father was a career Colonel and pilot in the U.S. Air Force which required the family to travel extensively. Muffy spent her formative years in Europe and ‘came of age’ in France which forged her joie de vivre and love for books and writing. Married and living in the tropical paradise of SW Florida along the Gulf Coast, Muffy writes and enjoys life in the sun with her husband and wee Havanese pups, Buddy and CoCo.
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DARK OPIUS BY DARIEL RAYE & MUFFY WILSON