QSFer K. Aten has a new FF paranormal romance out in the Blood Resonance series: “Embracing Forever.”
Sarah Colby is a musician, teacher, lover, sister, and so much more. In the past year, she learned that sometimes life takes you places you never even knew existed.
For Sarah and her sister Annie, they found out that not only were the monsters real but sometimes you loved them. Now the Colby sisters and their friends are being targeted by someone with a grudge. They must discover who is attacking the people of Columbus or risk losing all that they hold dear.
Nobel Keller is with them every step of the way but will she bring salvation or merely the end of their lives in Columbus?
They paused just inside the locker room when they heard someone yell.
“Stop! Get your hands off me!”
Sarah looked at Keller in panic. “That’s Annie!” Faster than a blur, the women ran toward the younger woman’s angry voice. When they rounded the corner into the shower area, they saw Annie pinned against the wall near the showers by the large and menacing figure of Marcel. Sarah yelled at him. “Let her go!”
Surprised by the interruption, he let go of Annie’s wrists just in time to be grabbed and slammed into the concrete floor by a very pissed off Keller. Anger seemed to boil out of the man so Keller slammed his head into the ground twice more to knock him out. They certainly didn’t want a werewolf with a temper and known self-control issues to turn furry with Annie in the room. She looked at Annie, who was busy rubbing her wrists. “Are you okay, A?”
The younger woman grimaced. “Yeah, just a little bruised. Thanks, Keller.” She glanced at her sister, who was strangely quiet. Sarah was staring at Marcel wearing a look of rage. Her fists were clenched and breathing was ragged. Concerned, Annie went to her. “Sarah?” She could feel her sister’s arm trembling beneath her hand.
Keller’s head jerked up at the strange note to Annie’s voice, and she noticed the interaction as well as the state of her lover. “Shit!” She immediately understood the problem. Sarah was caught in an emotional loop that was linked to Marcel. She immediately pulled the taller woman away from the unconscious Marcel and sent wave after wave of positive emotion through their bond. Between that and the feel of Keller’s arms around her, Sarah slowly snapped out of her rigid anger. Keller looked at Annie. “Go find Louve, please. Something needs to be done about him. We will keep an eye on Marcel until she gets here.” Once Annie was gone, Keller turned Sarah’s face away from the prone man so she could look in her eyes. Being very reflective of her moods, Sarah’s green eyes were dull and stormy with anger. Keller tried to soothe her with voice and gentle touches. “Hey, it’s okay. He’s not going to hurt anyone, it’s okay.”
When their eyes met, Sarah took a shuddering breath and a look of dismay came over her face. “Oh my God, I wanted to kill him!” She started to tremble again for a completely different reason. “I could have killed him, couldn’t I? What’s wrong with me? I’ve never felt like that before!” Her sudden lack of emotional control terrified her. She’d never been so completely taken over by anything. That, coupled with the fear for her sister, had her nerves jangling.
Keller led them both over to a nearby bench where they could still keep an eye on the man who had caused them so many problems over the past few months. “Sarah, listen to me. In much the same way your change has increased your physical and mental strength, it has also made you a lot more receptive to the strong emotions of others. Because werewolves emote so much more than humans, you were caught in an emotional loop with Marcel. It was your anger that made the connection, but it was his rage that continued to fuel yours. I really didn’t think we would encounter something like this or I would have warned you. I’m so sorry.”
Still shaken from the experience, the singer did her best to move on. “How do I prevent that in the future?”
Keller regarded her silently, aware that the taller woman was trying to push the incident behind her. “All we can really do is be diligent with our shields when being confronted by an emotional situation. I suspect you dropped all of your protective walls the moment you saw Annie in danger and your own anger just invited his in. So to speak.”
Sarah ran her hand through her dark hair and blew out a breath. It was a habit that she had unconsciously picked up from her lover. She tried to downplay her initial terror and still shaking hands with humor. “Jesus, maybe I should be taking those meditation and yoga classes with Jesse!” She couldn’t help looking worriedly toward the man who was still prone on the concrete a few yards away. “I wanted to kill him, and it took everything I had to merely stand still and not move. Could I have actually killed him?”
The bar manager followed her gaze and noticed the subtle signs that the French-Canadian was starting to come around. She turned blue eyes toward her lover. “While they are very fast, and extremely strong, werewolves are no match for us unless we’ve been severely drained. You saw what I did in just a few seconds. I fear that if your rage had taken complete hold of you, he would be dead right now.” Though the words were not what Sarah wanted to hear, she nodded in acceptance of the statement. Peering at her for a few more seconds, Keller abruptly stood. “Now, keep your thoughts well-guarded. I want to make sure he doesn’t get away or do something stupid before Louve gets here.”
Louve came rushing in just as Marcel was getting to his feet. He snarled and made like he was going to lunge at Keller, but she stopped him with a mere look. Even an angry werewolf knew when he was looking into the face of his potential death. The petite brunette walked straight up to the bloodied man demanding answers with her heavy French accent. “What is going on here? What have you done now, Marcel?”
Marcel’s handsome face turned red in anger at being singled out like a naughty boy. He scowled at his boss. “Your pet vampire attacked me when I was having a discussion with the little human.” He stepped toward the small woman in challenge.
The mottled red of his skin stood in stark contrast to his pale blonde hair. Sarah thought he looked like a boy scout, but he acted like an ass. A dangerous ass. “That human is my sister, and you hurt her when you had her pinned against the wall!” She looked around, noticing for the first time that Annie was missing.
Louve saw the searching look and reassured her. “I sent Annie into the training room with Jesse and Alain. She was still very much upset.” The Frenchwoman then turned her attention back to the man who had become such a thorn in her side. She let him come to America to work for her as a favor to his uncle. And despite the unfortunate incident below the nightclub when Jesse had been infected, she really had hoped she could help him get his anger under control. She could see now that was never going to be the case. With a brief glance at Keller, she addressed the angry young werewolf. Looking straight into Marcel’s eyes, the petite androgynous Frenchwoman seemed to grow in size as she let her alpha personality have full reign. “What is this? You dare to challenge me, to challenge your alpha?” Her power wrapped around him, trapping his own inside his skin. It wasn’t so much a chastisement as it was a swat-down. While Marcel was powerful, he was no alpha and certainly no match for Louve’s age and experience. She shook her head at his look of simmering fury. “I can no longer overlook your behavior, Marcel. You have brought dishonor to my troupe and to my name, and I’m sending you home. You will not speak with my friends again, nor will you go near them. Go pack your bags and I’ll have one month of severance pay waiting for you by the end of the day.”
Award winning author and Michigan native, Kelly Aten brings heroines to life in a variety of blended LGBTQ fiction genres. She specializes in speculative fiction, focusing on extra-ordinary women who are as flawed as they are compelling. She’s not afraid of pain or adversity, but loves a happy ending. Kelly’s goal with each new novel is to make people #Think, #Feel, and #Discuss.
“Some words end the silence, others begin it.”
2019 GCLS Goldie winner
Waking the Dreamer – Science Fiction/ Fantasy
2019 GCLS Goldie Finalist
The Fletcher – Debut