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NEW RELEASE: The Demon Equilibrium – Cathy Pegau

The Demon Equilibrium - Cathy Pegau

QSFer Cathy Pegau has a new FF paranormal historical romance out: The Demon Equilibrium.

Grace Carter, a “source” of magic, has spent the last nine months searching for Maggie Mulvaney, her “catalyst.” The joy of reuniting with her partner—and her lover—is thwarted by her worst fear: Maggie remembers neither Grace nor their life together in the Order of Saint Teresa, the centuries-old organization that trained them to be the strongest demon-hunting duo in generations.

When Maggie and Grace unexpectedly come face-to-face with the demon Horde, they are forced to team up once again. As they begin to piece their lives back together, they discover that their memories have been masked by someone within the Order. Should the Horde succeed in their plan, those who have committed their lives to slay worldly demons will be relegated to little more than minions as humans are completely enslaved.

Now, Grace and Maggie must sacrifice everything, possibly even their love, and their lives, in an all-out battle to save humanity.

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Silvered steel whistled past Grace’s right ear. Loose hair flipped across her eyes as she ducked to the left. She pivoted on her left foot and brought her weapon around in a low arc. She was quick, but Remy Le Forte was quicker this time. He blocked her blade before it came anywhere near his unpro-tected side.

The clang of metal echoed across the brick courtyard. Grace’s arm vibrated to the shoulder, and she almost dropped her sword. She danced away to avoid his riposte. Her chest heaved while they sized each other up. The dull sparring edge wouldn’t have cut him if she had hit, but it would have hurt. This was a training session, after all, not a blood match. Nonetheless, Grace had plenty of bruises along her sides and thighs to attest to the teaching tool’s effectiveness.

“Good,” the weapons master grunted. Sweat beaded on his bald head and ran into his mutton-chops. The armpits of his muslin shirt were stained with moisture. It had been a long hour, but he showed no sign of the lesson being over.

Grace was similarly disheveled, her shirt half hanging out of her trousers where Remy had mixed a grappling move with the swordplay. She’d been lucky to get away with only a torn shirttail and a bruised knee when she fell to the ground to escape his hold.

She shoved a handful of damp hair out of her eyes. “Can we stop now?”

Remy grinned, but he breathed heavily as well. “Getting tired, mon minou?”


Grace’s lip curled. Remy had started calling her that when she was a child. It bothered her, and he knew it. He was baiting her into making a stupid move.

Tired and frustrated, she inhaled a slow breath. Deep in her chest, the flicker of ever-present power flared. She licked her dry lips, tasting salt.

“Ah,” Remy said sharply. “No magic. You know how Sister Thomasina feels.”

With effort, Grace forced the magic inside her to subside. A source had the ability to use her power on her own, to a certain degree, but it wasn’t a good idea. In Sister Thomasina’s opinion, never a good idea for Grace. A potential for disaster was how the prioress had once phrased it.

“You’re bigger and stronger than I am,” Grace said.

“You are smaller and faster.” He held up his bruised left arm. Had her blade been sharp enough, he would have lost his hand just above the wrist. “You have some advantage.”

They circled each other as they spoke. Grace knew he was planning another attack. The question was when.

“Why are we training with these anyway? We have magic and silvered bullets for our pistols. No one carries around swords. It’s a little obvious.”

“Bof,” Remy said, shrugging. “Tradition. Besides, what if you run out of ammunition for your pis-tol, or you’re too exhausted to access your power?” He made an exaggerated expression of concern, thick eyebrows raised. “What then? Maybe you would argue the creature to death, ma puce?”

Puce? She searched her limited French vocabulary. Flea.

Grace laughed. She could be as annoying as a flea, especially when lessons went long.

“You are good with the knife.” He nodded toward her right leg, where she kept the bone-handled blade he’d given her on her sixteenth birthday in a boot sheath. “But it’s best to have a full repertoire of skills.”

Cool autumn air chilled the sweat on her skin. Grace expected Remy to strike while he spoke, catching her off guard. He didn’t. The extended pause attested to his weariness. She should exploit his fatigue.

Voices from her right caught her ear. An impossibly warm breeze carried the scent of lilac into the courtyard. She stopped and turned. A barrier of trimmed, fading bushes blocked her view of the path to the house, though there was movement beyond the branches. Who was coming? How could there be such a breeze in mid-October?

Two women came around the hedge. First was Sister Thomasina, prioress of the Order of Saint Teresa, hands clasped before her, gray habit fluttering at her feet.

But it was the other who captured Grace’s attention. Sight and sound fixed on that singular fig-ure, Grace found it impossible to move, to breathe. Pale purple edged her vision.

Dressed in a pleated white shirtwaist with a lavender bow at the throat and a long beige skirt, the young woman was a head shorter and curvier than the rangy sister. Her shawl had slipped off her shoulders, secured only by her crossed arms. A few deep red curls escaped the pins that confined her hair at the back of her head.

Across the courtyard, their gazes met and held. The woman pressed a hand to her breast.

A shimmer of heat tickled Grace’s skin. The lilac scent increased. Was the intoxicating aroma coming from her? Who was she?

Movement on her left broke through the thrall. Instinct spurred action. Unbidden, magic surged in her chest and flowed through her limbs like a river cresting its banks. Grace made a blocking ges-ture with her left arm. Her hand slammed into Remy’s descending blade, knocking it away. She straightened her arm and flicked him aside like a gnat.

“Shit!” He flew toward the far hedges.

Pain replaced the prickling in her hands as her magic subsided. Her pinky stuck out at an odd an-gle, and blood ran from a ragged gash along the side of her palm. The swords were dull, but she’d hit the edge of Remy’s weapon hard.

“I said no magic.” Remy leapt to his feet, his face and head a startling shade of red. Hurrying over, he grabbed her wrist, sending a wave of fire along her arm, and dropped his sword, defying his own rules on weapon care. “Why did you do that?”

“I-I didn’t mean to,” she said, controlling her breathing to mitigate the pain.

Author Bio

Cathy Pegau grew up in New York state reading horror, science fiction, and fantasy novels, and playing RPGs. Her novels have won Romance Writers of America Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal (FF&P) Chapter Best Futuristic Romance and Best of the Best Prism Awards. She has also won a Golden Crown Literary Society Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy. She lives in Alaska with her spouse, two dogs, and numerous roaming Moose.

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