Three Words Promised

 

What Readers Are Saying… 

COMING SOON

Three Hearts Asunder 

 

Can one love destroy the world?

Marielle and Faris have risked it all for love: their safety, their lives, even humanity itself. Their mistakes are grave and the entire world is paying dearly. Akeelah has created a vicious, half-djinn army and is bent on killing every single human on the planet. Her powers are second only to her hatred. No one is safe, not when the creature’s goal is to rule the physical realm.

Only Marielle and Faris know how Akeelah built her army, and only they know how to destroy it. Marielle would rather forget the role she plays in this terrible game. She would rather run away with Faris, never to return—humanity be damned—but who is she kidding? There is no way she can let the evil Djinn win. Marielle’s fate was sealed the day she unwittingly gave Akeelah the answers to her thousand-year-old questions. Now Marielle’s guilt is too heavy to simply walk away. The fate of every citizen on Earth, especially her father, depends on her and the man she loves.



Release Dates  

One Wish Away — February 7, 2017
Two Hearts Asunder — April 4 , 2017
Three Hearts Asunder — May 30, 2017


Pinterest  



Sneak Preview  

Chapter 1

Millennia had not changed men. They always, and would always, enjoy a good show. And that, Akeelah could give them. Better than the one these drunken masses had come here to see. The Djinn watched from behind the veil that separated her realm from the human world. Multicolored laser lights crisscrossed above a large stage. Green, red, blue beams of lights weaved a tapestry against the dark domed ceiling, forming an intricate fabric of geometrical patterns.
     The main act was announced. Suddenly, the laser lights abandoned their straight lines and exploded into stars, organic spirals and all manner of psychedelic shapes that pulsed at the rhythm of a decibel-defying song.
     Dark figures ran up a hidden set of steps and took the unlit stage. Guided by small track lights on the floor, they found their positions behind microphones and musical instruments. The roar of the crowd rose above the pounding drums and strident electric guitars from the pre-recorded music.
     The drummer began pounding a steady rhythm. The introductory music died down, leaving behind only the cries of the incensed fans. The rest of the band joined in one by one, and finally the enticing voice of a male vocalist rang clear and powerful.
     Impossibly, the crowd grew madder still. Females shouted in near ecstasy. Males pounded their chests and pumped their fists into the air as warlike cries erupted from their throats.
     In her assorted memories, Akeelah saw a distant past in which men and women bestowed their delirium upon a different kind of performer, where even similar amphitheaters as this one had housed the feverish masses. At least then, their blind admiration had been easier to understand. It hadn’t been totally unwarranted, at least, like it was at the moment.
     Gladiators had battled for their lives, a worthy and admirable reason, if there ever was one.
     These musicians, these lip-synchers, these modern puppets battled for nothing, except for the right to sell their meager talents while someone was still buying.
     For the sake of comparison, Akeelah let the poor devils enjoy a third of the uninspired, half-synthesized song. They needed a point of reference to be able to appreciate the quality of the entertainment she was about to provide.
     Her entrance required silence, however.
     She slipped into the physical world, accompanied by her small, but powerful army. They materialize in different unseen spots. She took a few steps into the open. Her seven-foot-tall frame towered over the V.I.P. fans who were piled together close to the stage at ground level.
     She wrinkled her nose at the offensive smell of their perspiration and pushed forward. Those around her staggered, unsettled by her unexpected presence. They arrested their shouting and clapping, objecting indignantly at being displaced, though their protests died out as soon as they caught sight of her, necks craning, mouths agape.
     For good measure, Akeelah let her cold hatred pour out of her. It crawled underfoot, like invisible ivy searching for a foothold. Within a twenty-foot radius, people shuddered and went quiet, their mouths suddenly filled with the taste of impending danger.
     A path parted before her.
     Akeelah’s bare feet padded forward. Her skin shone as if with sweat, but it was dry and smooth, the black of ebony and obsidian. She wore little clothing. Her sinewy stomach and thighs were naked. Her breasts and loins covered with sheer silks adorned with jewels in all the right places. White hair fell down her back in a thick braid that touched the back of her knees.
     The Djinn extended her arms to the heavens. Her crimson-tipped fingernails were claws eager to tear innocent flesh. A piercing shriek of feedback escaped through the speakers. Then all sound ceased. The performers on stage tapped their microphones. The crowd in the stands promptly began to “boo.” But not those close to Akeelah. No. They remained tight-lipped, pushing further away from the dark giant and her trailing entourage.
     In one great leap, she took the stage and snapped her fingers. Every spotlight swiveled in her direction. The jewels in her warrior princess costume sparkled. Her ropy, long muscles gleamed even more.
     “Who the hell are you?” the leather-clad singer demanded. He looked livid, small fists tight at his side. “Get off my stage. Security! Security!” he yelled.
     No one came.
     Akeelah laughed. “All the members of security have been . . . reassigned. But they will be here shortly. You will be thrilled to see them, I’m sure.”
     The man looked around at his band members, unsure of what to do. He gave a hesitant step forward. Akeelah tilted her head to one side as if asking “and what do you intend to do?” He stopped, face twisted in a cowardly expression.
     She turned to the crowd and spoke without preamble.
     “The world begins anew today.” She had no microphone, but her voice rang loud and clear throughout, and every one of the 50,000 spectators heard her as if she stood next to them. Many cheered, thinking it was all part of the show, but it was a half-hearted demonstration compared to the hysterics they had displayed just moments ago. Most stood mute, not quite understanding the prickling feeling in their gut, the one that told them to run.
     “Today, humans will begin to understand their place, and it all starts right here with an extremely necessary culling.”
     Culling? Culling? Culling?
     The word ran from mouth to mouth, both as a bewildered question from those who didn’t know its meaning, and an incredulous one from those who understood too well.
     “You see, humans have become a plague upon the Earth,” she continued, explaining herself with a tired, matter-of-fact tone, like a teacher going over an old lesson. “For the sake of human rights, your species—undeserving as it is—has run amok, reproducing like cockroaches, but contributing far less. And in fact, destroying many of the wonders this physical world has to offer, destroying The Creator’s masterpiece.
     “You have abused the gifts denied to my kind.”
     Her kind? Her kind? What kind?
     “You have spewed your progeny without restraint and continue to seek greater longevity, in spite of the starving masses all around the world. You have filled the planet with your monstrous creations and have called it progress.”
     “Yeah! Damn right!” someone screamed in the crowd.
     A deep hush fell over those around him.
     Akeelah moved along the stage, her legs lithe like a predator’s.
     “So I have resolved that it is your turn to be hunted, to be cut down, to be brought to the brink of extinction. It is time you taste the bitterness of your own poison. All while I get my wish.” She pursed her lips, innocently, making it clear it was her wish that really mattered, not all the other things she had just said.
     Her body gave a violent jerk, then. The crowd gasped as she fell to her hands and knees. She shook her head violently. The tress of her white hair came undone, spilling around her face. The hair came to life, each strand a writhing snake that slithered along her back, arms and legs and slowly became fur, completely covering her black skin. Her hands morphed into two massive paws, tipped with blood-red claws. A long tail sprang from her back-end. Her face molded into a wild feline visage.
     She roared, a deafening, hungry growl that turned the stands into a spilling ant nest. Delighted, she gave another roar, a command to her half-djinn subjects to spring into action. They had been waiting patiently as she gave her speech, but now, they also morphed, taking the shape of white tigers.
     Fangs bared, they launched for the stampeding crowd, snatching them, mauling them, stealing their lives. The stands were painted red, and soon flowed like rivers of death and gore.
     Security helped too, making sure no one was left alive. The once-guards had no other choice after Akeelah’s bastard djinn used their magic to give them large teeth, claws and a killing hunger.
     Hiding from this new spectacle, the band huddled together behind the drum set, praying the tigers filled themselves on screaming fans and left them alone. Akeelah ignored their cowardice. Their time would come. Instead, she paced to and fro on the stage, her emerald tiger eyes on the carnage below.
     Her muscles yearned to pounce. Her mouth watered. But she tried to be content with the fact that this was her doing. She had made these half-djinn after Gallardo gave himself to her. She had dreamed it all. Her army was small. Thirty subjects, all capable of killing humans, most terribly unwilling, but hopelessly bound to her will. Later, she might need more of them but, for now, they were more than enough. Very little was needed to cause terror, and there was no doubt . . .
     Terror had been born tonight.
     It breathed and writhed like a demon summoned from the pits of hell. She heard it in the raw screams, the pathetic pleas, the wet sound of tearing flesh.
     It was glorious.
     From here on out, all it had to do was grow and spread, and, like a proud mother, she would make sure to nurse it, to send it on its way to roam and be free.
     With a mere thought, she wished the domed stadium ceiling to disappear. Terror was better served with an audience, and she would procure one. She used her magic to project the scene onto the thick blanket of clouds that covered the sky. The gruesome sounds of the carnage accompanied the images, spreading over a mile radius. It reached all the New Orleans residents close enough to The Superdome. In shock, they heard and watched a show worse than any ever presented at the Roman coliseum. Though, in this instance, the gladiators didn’t stand a chance.
     The wild beasts had every advantage.
     Claws ripped clothes and muscles alike. Gaping jaws silenced screaming throats. Those who didn’t succumb to the beautiful animals trampled their neighbors in a useless effort to escape the madness. No one was allowed to escape. The gates were magically shut. Running and hiding were useless against magic.
     The river of blood grew thicker. People slipped, struggled to get back on their feet, then gave up and curled up in the fetal position, wailing.
     Traffic around the stadium came to a halt. Drivers and passengers exited their vehicles and raised their eyes to the sky. More came out of the adjacent buildings and stood in the middle of the street, mouths agape, hairs standing on end. Those closer to the stadium heard the actual cries of the victims and knew in their guts the images were real not some publicity stunt to advertise the next violent Hollywood blockbuster.
     Soon, all evidence that the tigers had once been white was gone. Their open mouths dripped with blood, as did their fur. Silence fell over the stadium, a shroud heavy with spent youth and severed life.
     Akeelah closed her eyes and reveled in the lack of sound and the metallic scent wafting through the air. After a moment, she spoke again, an eerie female voice slipping over a rough feline tongue.
     “Bear witness. Spread the word,” she said to those who had witnessed the massacre on the innocuous clouds.
     Like a master magician, she performed her next trick. Her paws, tail and fur slowly disappeared. Her body stretched upward and morphed again, leaving behind the same ebony giant that had set things in motion. Her voice rang over the city. Her image shone on the clouds and people saw, witnessed, through their eyes and their phones.
     It wouldn’t take long for the word to spread.
     “Today, a new rule commences. Behold this is the age of the Djinn Empire.”

Categories