QSFer Amir Lane has a book in a new paranormal box set:
Magic, treachery, and corruption await in these cloak and dagger thrills. 22 Paranormal Cases. 22 Records on File. 22 Supernatural Suspense mysteries to solve! This limited edition boxed set collections contains 22 files of mystery, mayhem, and paranormal danger from twenty-two bestselling, award-winning, and up-coming authors, including Amir Lane’s Gift of Shadows.
A murder victim with missing eyes is only slightly out of the ordinary for Toronto Special Crimes Detective Fairuz Arshad. When that murder victim turns out to be a phoenix, all her evidence goes up in flames — literally. As more bodies start piling up, and as the Toronto Police refuse to let her investigate, she and her dryad partner take matters into their own hands. But the deeper she digs, the more Fairuz starts to wonder who — and what — she can trust.
Amir is giving away one of his books for free – Wolf Kin:
I leaned over the bar where my ex-girlfriend had told me she was moving back to Syria and ordered a Sprite. The bartender barely had time to set the glass dripping with condensation in front of me before a man filled the small space next to me.
“Can I buy your next drink?” he asked.
“I’m gay,” I said.
I looked up to see if I recognized him. I didn’t know every gay man in the Greater Toronto Area, but I knew enough of them. He wasn’t familiar, but I shrugged and let him buy me a drink anyway. After the week I’d had, I needed it.
Back to the wall and drink in hand, I scanned what I could of the crowd. There were mostly men here, and only a few women. Habitual disappointment was drowned with the reminder that I had a girlfriend. Every now and then, my eyes flickered to the exits. The guy who’d bought me the drink chatted away, and I gave an appropriate amount of nods. I was about to go find Ariadne when I caught sight of the compass tattoo on the side of one of the men in the crowd’s neck.
I excused myself mid-sentence and, pushing my drink into whatever-his-name-was’ hand, forced my way through the crowd toward the phoenix. Our eyes met, and he froze. It was too dark in here to see what colour his eyes were, but I could certainly see them widen in a mix of surprise and panic.
“You!” I shouted.
I didn’t know how he managed to move through the crowd that quickly, but he did. I was right behind him, shoving my way past the sweaty bodies toward the same door he was moving to. He got out before I did, of course, but I was right on his heels.
“Toronto Police! Stop and put your hands up!”
Today was clearly not the day that was going to work, either. He didn’t so much as acknowledge I’d said anything. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, pretending he hadn’t heard me, and repeated myself. Still, he didn’t so much as slow down.
This was why I spent so much time on the treadmill. The space between us grew shorter and shorter until I was close enough to hear him laugh when he looked back over his shoulder. Laugh! A sharp pain ran through my side. Not now, not now. I was so close, I couldn’t cramp up now. I watched, horrified, as the distance grew again. He laughed breathlessly. Right, because after all that, I was going to let him get away that easily. I counted my steps in my head, psyching myself up to jump.
My body collided with his, sending us both to the gound. The phoenix swore loudly. I barely had time to realized I’d actually landed on him before he started fighting against me. Pain shot through the centre of my face. When I leaned back instinctively, he took the opportunituy to throw me off him. I twisted around, catching my ankles in his before scrambling to my feet. I gripped the back of his jacket as tight as I could.
“Toronto Police. You’re under arrest,” I said breathlessly.
My fingers went to my pocket for cuffs. Cuffs I, of course, didn’t have.
“You can’t arrest me! You have nothing to arrest me for. I haven’t done anything.”
I raked my brain for anything I could use. Even if I couldn’t actually arrest him for anything, I could at least bluff.
“Leaving the scene of a crime,” I said. “A murder scene, I might add.”
“First of all, I don’t think that’s actually illegal. Second of all, it was my murder!”
“The fact that it was your murder makes me want to bring you in twice as much.”
The question was, where was I supposed to bring him? I could have taken him down to the nearest precinct and let them deal with him. But what was I supposed to tell them? ‘Hey, this guy is a murder victim who probably knows who murdered him. We have forms for that, right?’ Yeah, that would work.
I decided to keep bluffing until I thought of what to do. I gave him a slight shove to get him walking, and that was evidently enough. He dug his heels into the pavement and leaned back against me.
“Wait, wait, wait! Listen, I know who you are. You’re the barrier witch. I need your help. I— I can help you! Just please, please don’t bring me in. I don’t want to die again!”
The last words made me stop. After a moment of hesitation, I let go of his jacket. He smoothed it out and turned to face me. Under the streetlight, I could finally get a good look at him. We were the same height, making him just under six feet. His complexion was almost Arab, though not quite right for any region I could think of. If I had to guess, I would have put him as Mediterranean, maybe Italian. His eyes looked much older than his face.
A slight shudder ran through me at the memory of what he looked like without those eyes. I gave no indication it was from anything other than the cold.
“If I don’t arrest you,” I said slowly, as though I actually had the capacity to arrest him right now, “what are you going to do for me?”
“I can give you the shade.”
Amir Lane is an LGBT+ supernatural and urban fantasy writer from Sudbury, Ontario. Engineer by trade, they spend most of their writing time in a small home office or in front of the TV watching every cop procedural on Netflix. They live in a world where magic is an every day occurrence, and they strive to bring that world to paper.
When not trying to figure out what kind of day job an incubus would have or what a Necromancer would go to school for, Amir enjoys visiting the nearest Dairy Queen, getting killed in video games, absorbing the contents of comic books, and freaking out over how fluffy the neighbour’s dog is.
AUTHOR LINKS: http://amirlane.com/
AUTHOR PHOTO OR AVATAR (if desired): https://dashboard.bookfunnel.com/books/56923/cover_sm.jpg