QSFer Pelaam has a new MM paranormal/horror book out, book 3 in the Devil’s in the Detail series: “The Eye of Evil.”
Book three in The Devil’s in the Details series
Power corrupts… Sometimes it can be petrifying.
In the upcoming council elections of the rural town where he lives, Jason is working as assistant to his cousin Neil, a man who’s as narcissistic as he is ambitious.
Almost running into Morena, the fortune teller from the visiting fair, Neil is able to turn the situation to his advantage and look good in the small community by offering free seats to the fair’s big top.
Paranormal detective Garen begins an investigation into a death where the victim is turned to stone and finds an unlikely ally in the victim’s housekeeper, Chloris Webling, a woman with powers of her own. However, when they are attacked by something that kills with fang and claw, Garen needs the help of his husband Luke.
Against his cousin’s wishes, Jason begins a relationship with Anaru, the nephew of one of Neil’s competitors. Jason’s concerned that not only might Neil discover his deception and sack him, but also about the infected bite on Neil’s forehead, which seems to be getting worse and making Neil more prone to furious outbursts than normal.
Luke comes to believe that the strange growth on Neil’s forehead is a manifestation of the evil eye of the demon Balor and that the fortune teller is using Neil as a vessel for the demon.
When the battle begins, it pits Garen and his forces against Madam Morena and her deadly familiar, while Luke and Chloris track down Neil to prevent the demon from using him as a gateway into the human world.
Without taking his gaze from the door, Garen backed up two steps, raising his hands as if to ward something away.
“Vade retro! Vade retro, daemonium,” Garen yelled out, directing his power toward his unseen enemy. The snarl became a drawn-out yowl and Garen ran deeper into the house to find Chloris. “We need to go. Now! Out the back way.”
“What is it?” Chloris emerged from her living room, a suitcase in one hand and a large carpet bag in the other.
“We have an unwanted visitor. Go.” Garen pushed her ahead of him just as something big and heavy slammed against the door, which held firm but rattled and cracked ominously.
“An ordinary witch can’t pass those protections.” Chloris ran ahead of Garen and into the kitchen. “What is it?”
“I don’t know.” Garen glanced behind him as the door was hit again, and this time there was also the louder sound of wood breaking. “Hurry, Chloris.”
As the kitchen door opened, the front door gave way, splintering beneath whatever had broken into the house.
“Run as if you’re heading for the road, then veer left toward the hedge and through the gate.” Garen pushed Chloris ahead of him. “We have combined protections in place around Cen’s house, plus the operatives themselves.”
As Chloris ran the way he’d directed, Garen ran after her, then stopped, turned and raised his hands.
Something big and black filled the kitchen doorway and Garen saw the glint of fangs as it gave a malevolent hiss.
“Caligo.” Garen waved his hands, hiding both himself and Chloris behind a thick mist before firing two arrows in the direction of the door. Then he turned and ran.
A high-pitched screech pierced Garen’s ears, and he hoped his aim had been true. He risked a glance behind him. Whatever it was, the creature was already coming through the mist.
The beast that pursued them stood close to seven feet tall, although all Garen could see was its huge outline. Then black-furred, thickly muscled arms that terminated in long, sharp knife-like claws slashed at the mist to dispel it.
The beast burst forward, running toward Garen on two powerful legs. Even at full speed, Garen wasn’t sure he was going to make it to the hedge. He risked a glance over his shoulder. The hell-spawn glared at him, its red eyes set in a cat-like head, but no cat had a wide maw full of spiked teeth like this thing.
“Guardian, do you have the gift of fire?” Chloris called out from where she waited for Garen on his side of the gate.
“Yes.” Garen dropped to the ground, rolling in an acrobatic somersault to rise onto his haunches. “Ignis!” Flames flew from his fingers, and the stench of burning fur made him gag.
“Fumis!” Chloris shouted out as she spun in an elegant pirouette and thick smoke spiraled around the beast.
“Go. I’m coming.” Garen surged to his feet and raced for the anticipated safety of the hedge. The gate swung shut behind Chloris, but Garen didn’t slow down. With a running leap, he cleared the fence. Landing lightly, he dived into a forward roll, twisting to come up onto the balls of his feet, facing the gate.
In response to Chloris’ shouts for help, two operatives came at a run. They flanked Garen as he rose slowly, his gaze never leaving the gate. For a few seconds, a dark shadow blocked out the view through to Chloris’ garden, then it vanished.
“What the fuck was that?” The operative on Garen’s left broke the silence, his voice a hoarse whisper. Garen recognized him as the man he’d spoken to earlier.
“I don’t know.” Garen lowered his hands. “But I have a feeling it wasn’t an actual demon. Possibly it was something that’s been given enhanced power, thanks to demonic intervention. Have you called in for reinforcements as I asked?”
“Yes. A Priority One. They’ll already be on their way.” The man nodded.
“Good. Make sure they go through both houses and the grounds. I want this entire area as protected as we can make it, just in case we have to return.” Garen took Chloris’ elbow. “Thanks for the help, Chloris, but let’s get you away from here.”
When they reached Garen’s car, Chloris hesitated.
“Look… I don’t want to be too far away. I have a niece with a farm over toward Russell. I keep a…a workshop, for want of a better word, there. She has some powers of her own and knows the craft. Between the three of us, we should be able to complete a spell of concealment over the house to enable me to remain nearby but obscured from view.”
“Whatever controlled that creature is powerful.” Garen couldn’t deny he was tempted. Chloris wasn’t the same as having Luke with him, but he had been able to tap into her power.
“We’ll have the power of three. Besides, why would they, whoever they are, look close by for me? They’ll expect you to get me far away from here—perhaps to Auckland—to hide me in the big city.” Chloris caught hold of Garen’s arm. “Please. I give you my word that I won’t try to leave the house. Bring one of your men there if you think it necessary.”
“True. Okay. For now.” Garen went with his gut instinct. “If it seems like the ruse has been rumbled, we’ll get you away from here as quickly as possible. Let me call my captain and let him know, then I can put a spell of concealment on the car.”
Thomas didn’t answer his cell phone, so Garen left a message to advise he’d call back soon, then tapped into Chloris’ power to enchant the vehicle, swaying slightly as a wave of fatigue washed over him. I hate to do this to Luke, but I’m going to have to bring him here. It’s too taxing to keep using Chloris’ powers.
Living in clean, green New Zealand, Pelaam is a best-selling, multi-published author of M/M romance and erotica across time and space.
When not writing she can be found indulging in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation.