QSFer Lyn Gala has a new MM horror romance out: Chaos Etched in Flesh.
Kilian Kildare is a soldier, fighting the witches and vampires who twist the gift of magic into something dark. However tragedy after tragedy have left him struggling—he’s been turned into a vampire, ostracized, and left to grieve alone. An offer to join an elite Army unit should be the answer to prayers he no longer dares to say. Instead, the move brings new dangers, and new pain.
A demon has slipped its leash, killed its summoner, and now hides within a host. The only barrier between the demon and a world unprepared for its pure veil magic is the fragile flesh of a man Kilian had once cared for. The demon is seeking a way to either kill or corrupt Stephen to escape, and Kilian finds himself guarding a man he’d rather save.
When Stephen and the Army end up on opposite sides, Kilian has to choose between them, a decision made nearly impossible because he’s not sure which side is actually protecting the world, and which may bring about destruction.
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Kilian inched forward into the junction between aisles. A curse hit him like a heat wave, and he spoke the words of unraveling, the Latin falling from his mouth faster. His own magic blunted the witch’s work, but the spell slowed Kilian’s movements. Muscles pushed against air that had grown thick as mud. A shadow coalesced into a solid shape, and he pulled the trigger, but he couldn’t move the muzzle of the gun fast enough to track the witch’s retreat.
Then she was there, her white hair blowing in a wind that didn’t exist. Her beauty had an ethereal quality that might’ve been a quirk of genetics or the result of the spell she’d used to steal youth from the children she hunted. She whispered a word, and in her hand, a sharpened pole shimmered into reality. Kilian spoke his words of undoing faster and louder, but she harpooned the pole at him. It went through his guts and pinned him to the wall like a bug in a museum’s etymology display.
“Are you the best they could send?” she asked with a derisive laugh. “And here I thought they would take me seriously after I killed the last team. They will learn, and you will carry my message.”
Kilian knew how her last message had been delivered. The team had been resurrected as meat puppets with forbidden runes etched in their skin before she transported them to the base. Their comrades had become soulless monsters who killed with the single-minded rage of a zombie. Bullets didn’t stop them because they were already dead. Coppersfield lost his arm without pausing his rampage. The horror continued until the Army witches cut the magical strings that animated the team.
Kilian was not going to allow her to use his body that way. Her magical bindings loosened as he continued his undoing spell. Reality flickered, and his sire stood behind the witch. Silas’ thick, curled beard and olive skin shone despite their dark tones and the shadowed building. That wasn’t right. In life, his sire had an uncanny ability to fade into darkness. Besides, Silas was sleeping under an altar. He looked tired, and in his hand he held the wooden disc that had been buried with him when he’d decided he no longer had the strength to remain awake.
“It has been two thousand years,” Silas said in a rough voice that echoed the last conversation they’d had before Silas had retreated from the world. “I thought a new child, one with so much passion for life, would remind me of what it was like to be alive, but it’s too much. The world changes too fast.” His features twisted in dismay.
Reality flickered, and suddenly Kilian was kneeling at his sire’s feet. “I don’t know how to be a vampire. I need you, sire.”
“I don’t know how to live in this world of yours. I barely learned how to use a phone that I speak into and suddenly the phone has numbers and then the phone has pictures, and now apparently people do not use the phone to talk at all. Now I am supposed to learn a language as confusing as Latin. More confusing. I understand Latin far more than I do the significance of sending pictures of pieces of fruit.”
“I can explain,” Kilian promised. If Silas could speak a dozen languages and command magics that fought dead flesh, then he could learn to text an eggplant emoji. Damn it, that was no reason to retreat to a sleep that sounded more like a coma.
“It’s too much,” Silas said. “It will be easier to sleep and awaken to a world that is so new that I can begin again.” Silas rested his palm against Kilian’s cheek. “Child, you know your strength. You can learn the rest without me.”
Kilian grabbed Silas’s wrist. “No, I can’t. I agreed to accept the curse of your line so that I would have you, not so that you could leave me.”
“I’ve given you three years.” Silas’s voice rumbled in warning. He had never hid the fact that he sired Kilian only for the fee the Army had promised him—money he could use for his sleep. The Army gained a valuable supernatural soldier, Silas earned money, and Kilian… life had given him few choices.
Lyn Gala started writing in the back of her science notebook in third grade and hasn’t stopped since. Westerns starring men with shady pasts gave way to science fiction with questionable protagonists, which eventually became any story with a morally ambiguous character. Even the purest heroes have pain and loss and darkness in their hearts, and that’s where she likes to find her stories. Her characters seek to better themselves and find the happy (or happier) ending.
When she isn’t writing, Lyn Gala teaches history in a small town in New Mexico. Her favorite spot to write is a flat rock under a wide tree on the edge of the open desert where her dog can terrorize local wildlife. Writing in a wide range of genres, she often gravitates back to adventure, science fiction, and stories about men in search of true love and a way to bring some criminal to justice…unless they happen to be the criminals.