Faith Bicknell Excerpt and Guest Post

When you think of paranormal romance what comes to mind first? Werewolves? Vampires or zombies? Maybe sexy demons who pine to possess their humanity again?

What about demonic motorcycles and angels cast out of Heaven? Fallen angels, you say? Uhm…not quite. Hey, I have to entice you a li’l bit!

Oh, and how about bits of history thrown in here and there and mixed well with the paranormal?

Wait. Gotta add humor where appropriate. Once you meet Ruby, you’ll hear her razor-sharp sarcasm in your head wherever you go.

And don’t forget the romance and the smoking scenes between the heroine and the hero as well as their journey as they’re pursued by demonic bikers from Ohio down through the southern states to Key West. There, a paranormal blast of magical and sexual proportions opens gates to worlds only one person has ever seen.

Seriously, though, my new novel Ruby, the White King, and Marilyn Monroe is a very, very special novel to me. I’m thrilled to see it published, and Sapphire Nights Books (www.sapphirenightsbooks.com) is a fabulous home for it. This novel has gone through several stages over the years. Yes, I said years. When I first started writing it, I was pregnant with my last child. That was seven years ago, and after about twelve revisions, which put the story through various transformations and titles, Ruby is now immortalized in ebook and print. I hope you’ll fall in love with her chaotic personality as much as I did.

Besides, what woman can resist the White King who has traveled over and over through the ages just to love her one more time?

I invite you to enjoy an excerpt from Ruby, the White King, and Marilyn Monroe. Leave a comment or visit me at www.FaithBicknell.com.

Reincarnated over the centuries. Stuck with a ditzy Marilyn Monroe lookalike. Falling for a rich albino guy. It’s just Ruby’s luck for Hell’s “real” angels to ride into this life and screw it all up.

Another rumble snared my attention, and a chill swept over my skin. I stopped with my hand on the driver’s door and listened. Motorcycles headed this way. No one I knew of in this neighborhood even owned a moped let alone a suicide machine.

An overwhelming sense of urgency flooded my body again. The visions! I had to leave now. A whimper escaped me.

“Shit!”

Terror galvanized me into action. Keys in hand, I opened the driver’s door and prepared to slide into the seat, but the sound of the bikes grew suddenly louder. First one, two, then several motorcycles rounded the corner down the street, their headlights pouring across the asphalt in silver beams. Recognizing the unfolding scene, I fought to draw air into my lungs. Fear slithered into my innards, poked its cold fingers into my brain, and jabbed my spine. For a moment I thought I’d hurl my breakfast on the asphalt.

Hide! But where?

I jerked the door shut, flattened myself across the bucket seats with my cheek pressed against the vinyl, and prayed I wasn’t seen. The choppers passed, their reverberations penetrating my body. The thunderous sound vibrated my SUV, my heart thrumming in time to the engines.

Panting, I wiggled myself into the backseat so I could watch through the hatch. A dozen steel horses turned right, taking the street that led out to I-70, some with one rider, others with two.

The low, heavy growl of another one punctuated the quiet morning. I craned my head around the driver’s seat. This straggler slowed to a crawl. Finally, he stopped in front of Mrs. Cabbershot’s home just two doors up from my apartment.

If he noticed me, I was done for. I’m not sure how I knew this, but I sat so still I stopped breathing. Specks flitted in front of my eyes, and I wondered if my booming heartbeat would give away my location. Sweat dampened my hands, and I tightened my grip on the sides of the driver’s seat.

The man glanced toward the Jeep. I couldn’t discern his facial features, but his eyes, bright yellow and glowing, surveyed my vehicle. My heart stuttered against my ribs. Fear nearly strangled me.

Please, God, don’t let him see me.

He revved the bike and approached my vehicle. Ducking, I kept my gaze level with the window’s rim, determined to see if the biker followed the others. As the steel horse passed, I saw enough of the man to know he wore all the buckles and metal trim of motorcycle garb and that his frame had to be well over seven feet, but the Harley he rode—or whatever the hell it was—was a different matter. The living head of a horse resided where the handlebars, gas tank, and the front wheel fender should’ve been. Above red, flaring nostrils, the horse’s eyes shone flaming yellow. Serrated teeth filled its muzzle, and bands of silver ran from the corners of its mouth to the rider’s hands. The thing snarled and gnashed its teeth against the bit as it rolled by.

The rider paused again, the bike’s back tire almost even with the SUV’s rear bumper. The man looked from one side of the street to the other. Something radiated from him, something primal, sexual.

The stranger parked the bike at the curb behind my Jeep. He pushed the kickstand down, dismounted, and stood gazing up at my apartment. In awe of his size and stature, I could only stare with my mouth agape, breaths tiny and quick. With purpose in his strides, he crossed the sidewalk and side lawn to the stairs leading to my dwelling and ascended them; his heavy footfalls were like drumbeats of doom as he climbed to the door.

He tried the knob, but when the door didn’t open, he placed his hands flat on the glass which began glowing crimson. Stunned, I clapped my hand over my mouth to stifle the need to cry out as I watched the molten panes collapse. They dripped down the door and dribbled onto the landing. When the glass had melted away enough, he reached through the hole and unlock the knob and deadbolt. He stooped over and stepped inside.

I turned my attention to the demonic Harley. The horse part snarled and shook its head, sending fright stomping across my nervous system. The silver reins jingled, and one fell, its tip brushing the pavement.

A squeaking noise finally penetrated the cloud of terror over my mind. I craned my head, scanning the backseat. I realized I shook so hard my sneakers were vibrating against the hard plastic of the opposite passenger door. I moved my foot and tried to steady my nerves, praying that the monster bike couldn’t sense or hear me.

While the man was in my apartment, I could’ve slipped into the driver’s seat and sped away, but I was certain he’d hear the Jeep start up and come after me. Even if I managed to reach the next street, he’d easily catch up with me on the motorcycle. Maybe my proximity was the best camouflage.

Movement caught my attention, and the horse-demon thing growled again. The biker exited my apartment and mounted the motorcycle. He drew the kickstand up with his boot, studied my home and the neighborhood for a long moment, and then pulled away. He turned at the corner, but this time, the bike looked like any other Harley, and, I realized, it was the thirteenth suicide machine.

Buzzing filled my ears, and I struggled to draw in air. Everything I’d seen had to be my imagination. Granted, I’d seen some freaky things in this world, including myself, but a motorcycle that was part demon horse?

Tingles needled my forearms and bled into my hands. Light radiated off my body, heat singed my scalp, and my fingernails glowed red like embers.

Calm. Think calm thoughts. Chocolate peanut butter ice cream, cool, sunny days, a hot bath…

The sensations began to diminish, and, jackknifing out of the back, I struggled into the driver’s seat and started the Jeep. My thunderous heartbeat crashed in my ears, and feeling inebriated with adrenaline, I took the long way around to I-70, first stopping at a mini mart for a big cup of coffee. I took the Interstate, heading due south. Somehow the dreams, visions, the voice, and the motorcycles were all tied together. I felt it in my bones.

However, not only was I in jeopardy, but so was my son. It bothered me that the first time I approached Anthony would be to warn him about a danger I didn’t understand. He’d probably think I was crazy, but I had to try to protect him. He was, after all, my son, and regardless of the terrible circumstances in which he’d been conceived, I still loved him.

I had to make sure he was all right.

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