Title: The Gatekeeper's Key
Author: Alisha Payne & Nick Taylor
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Cover designer: Steven Novak
***Content Warning: Sexual situations and bad language. Magical violence***
Attacks from Hellish minions have cast the magical world into an uproar. Amid the chaos, Sorceress Krystine Iamides conceals the supernatural from humanity by using her precognitive talents. Unfortunately, luck is not always kind and fate thrusts her alongside her estranged lover while investigating a cult's ritualistic sacrifice.
Detective Jean-Luc Chevalier has a reputation for returning from the dead, as well as stealing Krystine's heart. At first, her psychic ability seems like the right investigative tool to aid his case - until it attracts a demonic entity with a taste for human flesh.
Now, as cult activities risk exposing magical society, it becomes imperative for the ex-lovers to combine their unique gifts to survive the deception at hand. Jean-Luc and Krys must discover the meaning of standing united; for divided, they will fall.
Jean-Luc capped the end of his penlight and tucked it into his leather jacket, making it too dark to make out his pale features beside her. She sensed him near and enjoyed the warmth of his breath close to her. He may have been a working man, but Krys knew from experience that he had soft, beautiful hands and a soothing touch.
“Do you trust me?” he whispered suddenly in a low voice. His breath caressed her ear.
“I do. You know I do.” Her shoulder lifted and her cheek pressed into his hand in the dark. “I’m sorry. I can do this.”
“I know you can…” Jean-Luc’s thumb continued to sweep tenderly across her skin.
Within seconds, her racing heart began to calm and the dry lump in her throat eased. Her fears seeped away. In their place, she felt a sort of cool detachment despite the overwhelming odds. There was only one thing she needed to do first.
A turn of her head and a lift of her hand brought his face to hers. She kissed him, firm and deep, daring to slip her tongue between his lips and enjoy the ardor he reciprocated. Jean-Luc’s kisses were a drug, as fine as her most beloved wine, but Krys pulled away before she completely lost herself. It was hard. Especially, since he had returned the display of affection with equal passion.
“I missed you, Jean-Luc, and I’m sorry.” She needed to say it. With the danger they headed toward, she needed him to know in case she never got the chance again. “I was going to call you this morning, I swear it.”
“I… I have missed you too, Krystine.”
Strange how something so simple meant so much to her. “Thank you for helping us.” Thank you for finding me. Again.
“There is never a need to thank me for doing what is right. This will go well, cherie, have faith in that.”
Nick Taylor enjoys writing as an outlet for her creativity. The works of Tolkien have inspired her and remain among some of her favorite novels. She is a videogamer by nature and enjoys horror movies, the outdoors, animals, and renaissance festivals. Nick currently lives in Texas where she hopes to acquire her registered nursing degree and is the mother of two beautiful children ages nine and eleven.
Alisha Payne loves to read and has always had a fondness for creative writing. She started with poetry and moved up to short stories, before eventually writing novels with her friend Nick. She loves reading a whole range of genres and authors from Tolkien to James Rollins, and blames her love for reading on her mother, who introduced her to the worlds of Pern and Xanth. Alisha is a former Petty Officer of the United States Navy, which is where she met her wonderful husband. She currently resides with her family in Virginia.
Addison never asked to become a king among the mages in his society. Now he protects the fragile balance between the mundane and supernatural realms. The job is easier said than done, even with the aid of a sultry half-dryad who possesses unique talents of her own. Crumbling truces test boundaries of the new ruler and his elite wizards as they are swept into a treacherous game of loyalty and betrayal. A sinister enemy forges deadly plans for the city of New York, and it will stop at nothing to achieve its wicked desires.
In a world where demons whisper seductions into mortal ears and fae prey upon the desperate with underhanded deals, fate thrusts an ordinary young woman and her child into the center of a building storm. In Manhattan, trolls lurk under more than bridges, gentle nature spirits become killers overnight, and necromancers raise the dead to benefit their insidious plots. To save New York City from ruin, the lives of four strangers must intertwine. If they cannot defeat their own inner demons, then all is lost and the forces of Hell will triumph.
Griffin MacNeil makes his living as a treasure hunter; an adventuring sorcerer with a knack for surviving against the odds. Exploring perilous tombs and ancient ruins for lost treasure is satisfying work, but his thoughts often travel to his first love Aisling, the best friend he left behind.
As the orphaned child of a Changeling, Aisling has a natural talent for the magical arts. Her compassion, generosity, and gift for lifting devilish curses aid her in saving lives as well as mending souls. Unfortunately, she's also inherited a stubborn streak that would make her fae ancestors proud.
Relentless mage-hunters sabotage Griffin's most recent quest in Egypt, with fatal consequences for those around him. After a rough recovery, chance throws Griffin right into Aisling's path. The unexpected meeting allows them to rekindle their friendship, but their reunion is bittersweet. With trained mercenaries annihilating wizard-kind and a demon-summoning cult on his heels, Griffin needs more than a Faerie girl and his lucky gold coin to keep ahead of danger.
For centuries, the peaceful Wakani people have enjoyed the protection granted by the nagual - fierce tribal champions able to shapeshift to a feline shape. Among them, a man named Felipe struggles to find his place and create his own path. Young, headstrong, and too inquisitive for his own good, Felipe's life takes a dangerous turn after a seductive encounter with a mysterious explorer.
Dynamite, guns, and the spread of invading civilization are only some of the perils threatening Felipe's tribe. Another hungry danger lurks just beyond the village boundaries, and it eagerly awaits the chance to make the whole tribe its prey. The inexperienced warrior becomes torn between duty and desire, but his beguiling adventurer's past makes them natural enemies. Can they overcome their differences in time to face the greater danger... or will a sinister presence consume them all?
This book occurs between The Collector's Treasure and The Gatekeeper's Key, but it may be read as a standalone series of short stories. Stories 1 and 3 contain adult content.
Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas! Take a step away from reality and enjoy these magical holiday-themed paranormal stories starring characters from A Spellbound Consortium.
A wizard cowboy named Noah enjoys a special night with his lady on Christmas Eve. Lachlan, the fairy hound, makes a new friend in the most unlikely place. The psychic journalist Krys has a special dance with the object of her affection.
In the distant future, the nations of Earth have merged beneath a single ruling body: the United Empire. Under the protection of Her Majesty's Galactic Navy, humanity has spread across our stars and entered a new Golden Age of prosperity and peaceful colonization.
Doctor Victor del Toro rose from nothing to escape poverty and a childhood on the streets. He serves the galaxy as one of the Navy's leading cyberneticists and views the Royal Marines as his family. But that doesn't mean they're privileged to know his career is a comfort from his turbulent past.
Born to influential parents, Zoe Raines' childhood dream was to make a difference without her father's money. To avoid an arranged marriage, she enlisted and risked her life to save a fellow marine, sacrificing a limb in the process. Her new prosthetic places her under Doctor del Toro's watchful eye - and his talented hands.
Age and rank should divide them, but Victor needs Zoe for reasons beyond their mutual attraction. Danger is on the rise in the galaxy, and the mass abduction of entire colonies leads to one staggering fact: someone out there has targeted cybernetic recipients. It falls to Victor to solve the mystery. With Zoe as his empathetic ear and the gun to guard his back, the doctor must discover the whereabouts of the missing cyborgs and heal his own damaged soul.
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