Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: 9/28
Number of pages: 230
Word Count: 53,317
Cover Artist: Dreams 2 Media
Tagline: He saved her life, and stole her Freedom
A reluctant knight
A magical descendent
A race against time
A freak accident thrusts Nakeeta Alva into a dangerous world of secrets, ancient spells, and a legacy she never wanted. The last in a magical line, she’s tasked with restoring the balance to a supernatural world poised for ruin.
Tasked with the care of their savior, Crewe’s main focus is survival. Used to giving orders, the knight isn’t prepared for the sassy witch’s mouth or her lure. The powerful woman reminded him of his humanity and challenged his beliefs.
Keeping her safe is his mission, but the real danger may be losing his heart.
Together, they will save the world … or die trying.
Humming pulled her from the void.
“Mama?” she croaked as she peeled open her eyes in response to the gentle voice and the light squeeze to her hand.
“My sweet child. That’s it. Let me see those pretty eyes, bug.”
The light was kinder to her retinas as she focused on the gently lined, oval-shaped face that was dear to her.
“Praise God,” her mother whispered. She stood and bent down, kissing her forehead. Her coarse curls tickled her face. Her nose twitched in response. Her mother smoothed her hair back from her face and sank back into her seat. Nakeeta smacked her lips.
“Let me get you some water.” Her mother hurried off as she acclimated herself with the waking world. How long have I been here? Her mother returned with a large, pink plastic cup with a straw. “Let’s get you sitting up.” Her mother hit the button and slowly pushed her up into an upright position.
“Yes,” she rasped.
“Here you are.” She held the cup out, and she wrapped her lips around a straw and sucked the cool water down her sore throat. The relief drew a hum from her throat. Pulling away, Keeta cleared her throat.
“I’m so sorry. Times run out,” her mother whispered.
“What are you talking about, Mom?” She furrowed her brow.
“We did our best to protect you, Keeta. Growing up we tried to keep you away from all things magical, but the power ran too deep. The spirits tried to tell me, but I was too stubborn to listen. You were my child, and I wanted the best for you. Your magic was a part of you that refused to be ignored or denied. So, we switched gears, tried to prepare you for what we knew would come, and hid you for as long as we could. I knew the moment I saw you and looked into your eyes you were the one our family had prophesied about.”
“Hid me from what?” Is this some sort of fever dream? Am I still in a comma?
“Everyone who would use you as a weapon.” Her mother’s whisper was full of sorrow and desperation.
“Use me? Mom, you’re not making any sense.” Exasperated, she huffed. Her body ached, and her head felt barely attached to her shoulders. A combination of the powerful medication and exhaustion that came from healing warped her perception. A hazy recollection of a dream tugged at her. What was I supposed to remember? Her brain protested the strain with a dull throbbing at her temples that stopped her from thinking too hard.
Her mother held her hand. “You’re different.”
“Yes, like our entire family is,” Keeta replied, unsure of what her mother wished to convey. She’d never been the type to beat around the bush before. Why hesitate now?
“Yes, but you have power. A scary amount of it. Things have always been drawn to you. Even with us cloaking you to dampen your light, it shone so brightly.” She closed her eyes and shook her head. “We tried to do right by you, Keeta. Now I’m not sure we were right.”
“Mom, you’re scaring me.” Her voice warbled.
“Destiny will only be denied so long, baby. Yours is at hand.”
Her stomach knotted. The storm that had been threatening overhead was finally breaking.
“Our family is made up of more than powerful magic workers. We descend from a long lineage of gifted magical beings. It goes back further than you can imagine, and some of the spells created and cast changed the shape of the world as we know it.” She glanced around nervously. “I’m not sure how much time we have. You’re a part of a bigger plan, Keeta. The laws keeping humans safe are crumbling into themselves. You can help change that. I won’t tell you it’ll be easy, or comfortable, but it’s necessary. If I could take this burden from you, I would.” She shook her head. “But it wasn’t meant for me.”
“I don’t understand. What am I supposed to do? Why?” Keeta shook her head. She’d never seen her mother this distraught. Dark circles ringed her puffy red eyes. Regret and apprehension stiffened her muscles and turned her dark brown eyes nearly black.
“I want to tell you more.” Her mother bowed her head. Her mouth clamped shut as if it’d been glued together. “Mmm. Mmmm.” She struggled to speak. Her face turned purple.
“Mom?” She gripped the blankets hard and leaned forward. “Breathe!”
Her mother gasped, greedily sucking in air as her slender form trembled. Tears rolled down her face in a steady stream of salty water. “I can’t. God help me, I can’t.” Her anguished cries sliced at Keeta’s heart.
“You can’t what?” she whimpered, feeling her mother’s pain as her own.
Exasperated, her mother threw her hands into the air and shook her head so hard she thought she might strain a muscle. “T-the d-deal,” she stuttered, stumbling over her words
“What deal?” Her stomach plummeted, and her heartbeat spiked. The monitors beeped nosily in response.
“The one she made to save your life,” a masculine voice answered from the doorway.
Her spine stiffened. The room felt too small. She shrank back against her pillow. His aura was dark and powerful. Nearly six-foot with pale blond hair, crystalline blue eyes, and cheekbones that could draw blood, he oozed strength and dominance.
Predator. He slammed against the wall, pinned into place. She gasped. Did I do that?
“Nakeeta!” her mother hissed.
She’d never been able to manifest her powers this way. She trembled. Images of the powerful medicine man and his words filled her brain. A headache burst through her head.
“Stop this,” her mother demanded.
I don’t know how. She wouldn’t share that weakness in front of this—
His eyes flashed red.
His thin, pink lips curved, revealing fangs. “Now she realizes. Because you are vulnerable and your brain is muddled, I will allow your impertinence to slide this once.”
“What have you done, Mama?”
About the Author:
Shyla Colt is the sassy USA Today Bestselling author of the popular series Kings of Chaos and Dueling Devils M.C. This genre-hoppers stories feature three of her favorite things: strong females, pop culture, and alternate routes to happy ever after. Listening to her Romani soul, she pens from the heart, allowing the dynamic characters, eccentric interests, and travels as a former flight attendant to take her down untraveled roads.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, this mid-west girl is proud of her roots. She used her hometown and the surrounding areas as a backdrop for a number of books. So, if you're a Buckeye, keep an eye out for familiar places.
As a full-time writer, stay at home mother, and wife, there's never a dull moment in her household.
She weaves her tales in spare moments and the evenings with a cup of coffee or tea at her side and the characters in her head for company.
You can interact with Shyla Colt online