Author: Cari Z
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: January 30
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Genre: Romance, Action, urban fantasy, magic, magic user, psychic/soothsayer, myth/folklore, mafia, reunited, road trip, spirits, posession
Cillian Kelly can look into people’s eyes and see their fates. He’s running from a past filled with mistakes, lying low and selling his services on the sly. When he learns that Sören Egilsson, a man who sacrificed himself so Cillian could escape imprisonment two years ago, is somehow still alive, Cillian has to find out how. What he gets is the body of the man he loves possessed by an ancient spirit who draws Cillian into a battle to the death for the right to control Sören’s fate, and the power that comes with it.
Soothsayer Cari Z © 2017 All Rights Reserved My phone buzzed, interrupting my musing. I frowned as I pulled it out of my jacket pocket. Only a dozen people had this number, and I wasn’t expecting to talk to any of them any time soon. I unlocked it and looked at my new message. Move ten paces to the right. My feet were moving even before my brain caught up, obedience was so instinctual. Two seconds later, I was out of the mouth of the alley, and three seconds after that, a beat-up silver sedan coming down the road was clipped by a delivery van and veered straight into the corner of the building. It wasn’t moving fast, thankfully, but the crash was plenty loud, especially since I was just a few feet away from the point of impact. A memory flashed through my mind, one of my personal rare and painful gems. I was in the backseat of an old Lincoln, and I was very small. My feet wouldn’t have touched the floor even if I hadn’t had my knees squished to my chest, and my face was pressed to the knobby joints so hard they were leaving red blotches on my cheeks. The man driving was on a phone—an old-school cell phone, clunky in his hand, distracting. He wasn’t paying attention, but I knew the moment before the car was hit and covered my head with my hands, so when I went flying into the door, it didn’t hurt as much. Metal crunched, and bright spots flashed across the darkness behind my eyelids as the car spun and spun… I shook my head and took a deep breath, focusing on the present. The van hadn’t stopped, but I didn’t bother trying to catch its license plate number―there were plenty of people exclaiming and getting on their phones. I headed over to the driver’s side and opened the door, but didn’t reach in to touch the woman who had been driving. She was moving under her own power, picking her head up off the remains of her airbag and whimpering softly. “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…” “It’s all right,” I said gently. I might not be a martyr, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t feel compassion for another person, especially one who’d just been thrown into a wall. “You’re okay. Just a little accident. There’s an ambulance coming to help you.” I could already hear it in the distance. We were only a few blocks from a major hospital. “Can you look at me for a moment?” She blearily turned, and as soon as our eyes met, I sighed and backed out of the way. One of the employees at the auto-painting store took my place, and a second later—bam. The fucking Ace of Cups moment. Who found true love as a result of a car accident? This wasn’t exactly the heartwarming scene I’d envisioned getting me through the day earlier. “Are you all right?” the newcomer asked frantically. “What’s your name? I’m Felix. I’m gonna stay with you until the ambulance gets here, okay? Oh Jesus, are you all right?” “I’m…I think so?” the woman said, her voice gaining a little bit of strength. “I’m Paula.” “Paula, hey.” He smiled at her, and she smiled back. I rolled my eyes. “Nice to meet you.” For fuck’s sake. Well, at least the settlement from the trucking company would give them a nice nest egg to get their new place together. I turned away and walked to the end of the block before getting out my phone again and making a call. She picked up on the second ring. “Hi, baby.” “What, you can see me getting smeared across a wall, but you don’t bother to let me know about having a gun pulled on me?” “Cillian.” My mother sounded half apologetic, half resigned. “You know it doesn’t work like that.” Yes, fine, I did know that, but I didn’t feel like being reasonable right now. “So you didn’t see that this morning, then?” “Did you need me to see it?” I wasn’t about to go down the self-sufficiency road with her. It meant a surefire argument, and I was still buzzing with adrenalin from being so close to the car crash. “No,” I said flatly. “I guess not.”
Phin Has An Inkling, and Ignores It
There was money to be made off Cillian Kelly.
Not just the cut that Phin had come to expect whenever the lad stopped in at the bar, no—that was only his due, and Phin more than earned it by pointing Cillian toward likely marks and watching his back. No, the real money to be made from a man of his talents—talents that were better known than Cillian would have liked, but youth made you stupid and Cillian had already run that gauntlet—would come from turning the lad over to those who had designs on him. Phin was old-country, and even though he lived in Denver now, he kept his ear to the ground and heard what the Adroit had to say. They wanted a soothsayer, and if they couldn’t get the mother, then the son would do. And the money they were offering…
It was the amount that had initially made Phin balk, before he’d gotten to know the man in question. Twenty million dollars for a single person—there was no way that would end well. Not for Cillian, and not for whoever turned him in. One million, even two—that was a business deal. Twenty million was the kind of money that someone used to buy ultimate silence, and for a group of people so concerned with their own futures, it had been a foolish offer on their parts. No one who took that money would live to spend it. And without a future, without a guarantee, there could be no trade.
Of course, now that Phin knew Cillian—and Marisol—he knew he’d never have pulled it off anyway. Cillian might not see his own future directly, but he was surprisingly good at reading bits and pieces of it in the eyes of others. Phin would never have pulled it off. And Marisol might be as sweet as clover, but she was really a lioness in woman form, and she would protect her cub with everything from little magics to an AR-15. Again, not worth the risk.
It was a surprisingly easy decision to come to. Money wouldn’t buy Phin security, but choosing the right friends was the key to a long life in this business.
Phin was convinced he’d chosen correctly.
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Meet the Author
Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She writes award-winning LGBTQ fiction featuring aliens, supervillains, soothsayers, and even normal people sometimes.
1/30 On Top Down Under
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