Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Welcome Guest Author Ronel Van Tonder and New Release Compile: Quest Coming December 13th! AMAZON GIFT CARD CONTEST ALERT!

Following the story of two women from discordant halves of a future earth, COMPILE:QUEST tells a harrowing tale of the sinister facets of society, the abuse of power, and how human nature can overcome adversity.

Ronel Van Tonder's soon to be released, brand new novel, COMPILE: QUEST will be out December 13th.  

Here is a little about Ronel, then read on to learn more about COMPILE: QUEST and don't forget to enter the contest to win an gift card.  Thanks Ronel!

Author Bio.:

Ronel is a brand-spanking new indie author. She loves creating fantastical worlds set in the future, the mythical, and the horrific. Translate: She writes science-fiction, fantasy and horror novels.

Her life story is not particularly fascinating, but her love of technology, PC games and writing is. Beside writing, she spends her time slaying rendered baddies in the form of robots, gangsters and aliens - with any weapon that happens to be at hand.

Ronel has published her first science-fiction book, Compile:Quest. She's currently hard at work creating the second book in the Corrupted SUN Script trilogy. When she's not writing, she's gaming, and when she's not gaming she's either sleeping or eating, as these are prerequisites for a continued life on planet Earth.


In the year 2036, solar storms batter Earth crippling electrical infrastructures across the globe. Night falls and the ensuing pandemonium claims millions of lives, catapulting the world into chaos.

In the midst of this global turmoil a hero emerges. The altruistic SUN Council intercedes, constructing enormous domes on each continent to protect the world’s population from the radioactive CME’s of the incessant solar storms.

But not everyone makes it to the domes. In an attempt to survive the deadly radiation, hundreds of thousands of people dig into the earth, living in squalor under an oppressive military dictatorship.

Now centuries later, the final stage of the SUN Council’s plan to decimate the world’s population approaches. But as victory glimmers on the horizon, two women from discordant halves of this new world start to unravel the conspiracy.


Enter Ronel's Contest Today!

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Follow Ronel Van Tonder and purhase COMPILE: QUEST 

Website Link:

Social Media Links:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Welcome Guest Author Nathaniel Danes and "The Last Hero"

Welcome Nathaniel, SO happy to have you here today!  

What I found so fascinating and what really resonated with me when you contacted me is twofold:  First, your book, The Last Hero, has similarities to The Kabrini Message that I'm sure will "hit home" with our fans and readers as well - yet's it's unique and very much it's own story as well.  Also, your own personal story is so inspirational.  Again, we LOVE a good "story-behind-the-story" here at The Kabrini Message.  It's difficult for anyone to get published in these times, so when additional challenges are involved, whatever they may be, it's even more proof that what is meant to be will be and NOTHING is impossible as long as you never give up!

So, with all of that said, let's delve into a little more about you and how all of this came about!  How long have you been a writer and how many books have you published?

                I started writing about six years ago. Never tried to publish any of them for about five and a half years. Just wrote and wrote then rewrote. It was a good exercise and helped me sharpen my pen. My first novel, The Last Hero, was just published on Oct. 14 by Solstice Publishing.

Congratulations!  What is it that made you want to become a writer?

My mind is always turning. I often slip into my own imaginary worlds. It's kind of a defense mechanism. I'm going blind from a genetic disorder and it’s an escape to dream universes I don't have any limitations.
I always wanted to write down these fantasies, to get them out of my head. But, I knew I couldn’t for a long time. Then, between college, graduate school, and a professional career that demands a lot of writing, my skills rose to the point where I felt component to start trying.

That is awesome...If you can dream it, you can visit it!  What genre do you specialize in?

                Science fiction within the subgenres of space opera, military, and Hard SciFi. I like writing about the future because you have the freedom to do just about anything. I also like to write military/combat scenarios because all I ever wanted to be growing up was an Army officer but my vision took that dream away from me. Now, I live out that dream through my imagination.

Absolutely.  That is so incredibly inspiring that you have found a way to NOT let your situation have the last say on what you will experience!

What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started writing?

                The reaction of my friends and family when I told them I was getting published. It came as a total surprise to them because I’d told almost no one I had been writing. Not only am I visually impaired, I’m also dyslexic. To them, the idea I could write a book, let along get one published, seemed unreal. It’s fun to exceed people’s expectations of you.

As you know, unless you are already very famous, it seems to be all about non-fiction right now (self-help, etc.)  So getting published at this time, especially for a first time author of fiction, is an amazing accomplishment for anyone

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

                Just write and write and rewrite. Don’t give up. If you write with passion and believe in yourself, chances are someone will give you a shot. Also, don’t try to be a writer you aren't. Write what you want to read. 

Great advice.  The only way one is sure to fail is to give up!  The key is to keep trying, as long as it takes.   

So tell us all about your new book, The Last Hero.

                The Last Hero, is a full length space opera novel just released in October. It
starts off a couple hundred years in the future after first contact with a race of pacifists convinced humanity to make peace with itself and disarm.

                When we first meet the heroine, the last Medal of Honor recipient, he's selling insurance for his father-in-law. A natural warrior, he's made the best of a demilitarized Earth and become a dedicated family man. He's drafted back into active service after a third race destroys the New Earth colony, forcing a crash mobilization.

As he travels the galaxy fighting the war, he struggles with the internal conflict between his lust for battle and his father's heart which just wants to be with his daughter. The law of relativity comes into play to complicate things.

There are big space battles and large scale ground engagements to more than keep the blood flowing, but it’s a deeper story than just action, explosion, fire fight, explosion, the end.

Trent knelt down where Anna could throw her arms around his neck. She pulled against him tight and started crying again. Tears rolled down his face as he whispered, “I love you more than you can understand. I’m sorry.”
Her cries downed out his soft words.                        
After a minute, Trent summoned all of his strength to break free of her hold. Standing, he shared a look with Madison. She wrapped him in a loving, warm hug.  
This time she did the whispering, “Remember what I told you. Make them pay.”
He pulled away, nodding as he placed his hand on Anna’s sobbing head.
“I’ll see you both again someday. I promise.” The words bound him to a promise he wasn’t sure he could keep.

Contact with a race of pacifists convinces mankind to lay down its weapons and keep the peace. The last Medal of Honor recipient, Trent Maxwell, trades glory for the comforts of a family after the U.S. Army disbands. All that ends when an alien menace attacks the New Earth colony, which forces a crash mobilization. Trent finds himself reactivated and traveling through space to distant worlds, in order to stop this new enemy. During the century long journey of death, love, and loss, he also deals with the law of relativity that wreaks havoc with his daughter.

That is our kind of book - I can't wait to read it!  Where can we buy it?  

Book Links:  

Do you have and future books in the works?

                Sure do. The Last Hero is the first in a trilogy. I am editing Book Two now. Once this series is over, I will start polishing the drafts I have written for the first two books in another series.

That's exciting - glad to hear there will be two more!  You are a busy guy, but I'm sure you are an avid reader as well.  What are you currently reading and what do you like to read?  

                Exile, Star Force Series by B.V. Larson and David VanDyke. I like to read what I write, space operas, military, hard SciFi.

Thank you so much for joining us today - it has been so much fun and we look forward to having you back again for Books 2 & 3 and any and all future projects!  Please leave us with your contact links so we may stay in touch in the meantime.  All the best of luck to you and thanks again!

Nathaniel Danes is a self-diagnosed sci-fi junkie and, according to his wife, has an over active imagination. Mostly blind, he writes to create universes where he has no limitations. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Washington, DC area.

Author Links:

Friday, October 3, 2014

Welcome Back Author Ally Shields. Today is Release Day for "Cross Keys"!

Thank you so much for hosting me and my new urban fantasy release today! I'm thrilled for the opportunity to tell you a little about my book and to share a Cajun recipe, one of several I brought back from New Orleans while researching the book. (If you look around the blogs listed at the end, you'll find eight more recipes!)

Happy reading...and sampling of the Cajun cuisine. :)

Cross Keys (An Elvenrude Novel) by Ally Shields

Genre: Urban fantasy/Paranormal romance
Rating: PG-13

Book Blurb:
Conspiracy, murder, and magic…and the death of all they hold dear.

When the first wanderer—a common elf who isn’t authorized to use the portal—is spotted on the streets of New Orleans, the king assigns Kameo Ryndel to assist in the elf’s capture. But before she can intervene, humans with guns shoot the wanderer and steal his body. When Seth Lormarc, an Elite elf from a rival guild, appears at the scene, Kam suspects he is involved.

Seth Lormarc is in New Orleans to find out who was behind the portal breach, and his best lead is the intriguing Kam Ryndel. When he stakes out her apartment and finds her sneaking out in the middle of the night, dressed in black and leaping to the top of the nearest building, he knows there’s something unique about the beautiful elf. That kind of feat requires magic. Ancient magic.

As their paths cross during their investigations, they develop an irresistible attraction, although there’s little time for romance. The portal breach is tied to an illegal smuggling operation that has come to the attention of the human CIA. But the stakes are raised when Kam and Seth discover a band of conspirators and a rebellion deep in Elvenrude that promises nothing except destruction of their world.

Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble

Pre-release Book Trailer on Youtube:



Recipe:  One of my favorites was -

Louisiana Gumbo

12 oz boneless chicken cubed
Salt and pepper
1/4 C cooking oil
1 lb sausage
1/2 C all-purpose flour
5 T margarine
1 large onion, chopped
8 cloves minced garlic
1 chopped green pepper
1 C copped celery
1/4 C Worcestershire
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
4 cups hot water
5 beef bouillon cubes
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 C okra
1/2 pound small cooked shrimp (optional)

Heat oil in heavy skillet or dutch oven. Add chicken, brown over medium heat, and season with salt and pepper.  Remove chicken to separate container. Add sausage to oil and cook until browned. Remove and add to chicken mixture. To remaining oil in pan, add flour and 2 T margarine. Stir until brown, abut 10 minutes. Pour roux over meat and let cool.

Turn heat to low, melt 3 T margarine. Add the onion, celergy, green pepper, and garlic. Simmer 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste and half the parsley. Stir frequently another 10 minutes. Add 4 C hot water and bouillon cubes, whisk. Add the chicken and sausage mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add shrimp and the rest of the parsley 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy! Great over rice.

About the Author:

Ally Shields was born and raised in the Midwest, along the Mississippi River, and considers herself a "river rat." The setting and folklore of the river regions are often incorporated into her urban fantasy books. After  a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time writing in 2009, and Awakening the Fire, the debut novel in her Guardian Witch series, was released by Etopia Press in September 2012. There are now six published books in that series. Cross Keys is the first novel with all new characters.

When not writing, reading or spending time with family, she loves to travel in the US and abroad. 

Way too often she can be found on Twitter.

Contact the Author:

Special Thanks to the following bloggers who are spotlighting this release during the next few days (eight more Cajun recipes on their blogs!) - dates of post may vary due to time periods, etc.:

Oct. 6:  Rebekah Ganiere
Oct. 7:  Antonia van Zandt
Oct. 8:  Dani-Lyn Alexander
Oct. ?:  Theresa McClinton

Monday, September 29, 2014

TONIGHT: A Good Evening, Monday September 29, 2014 - By Contributing Astronomy Editor, Dan Matlaga

Go outside at 7:00p.m. and face the southwest.  The crescent moon is easy to spot. Look just below the crescent moon for a bright slightly reddish star like object.  This is the planet Mars.  Below the Moon and Mars is the bright red star Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius. Further to the West, or further to the right, almost out of view is the planet Saturn.

This is a multi dimensional view. The apparent close positions of the Moon, Mars, Antares and Saturn is an illusion.

A beam of light takes only one second to travel eight times around the earth.  That same beam of light traverses the distance from the sun to the earth in just 8 minutes. The light from the moon takes 1.26 seconds, Mars 12.7 minutes, Saturn 1.4 light hours.  These four objects are members of the family of objects that belong to the solar system.

The star Antares however, is so far away the light that strikes your eye this evening left the star 553 years ago.  That is to say it was produced when Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
was but a boy of ten years old.  The world had yet to hear of the artist known as Michelangelo.
What will the world be like in the year 2567 when the beams of light now leaving the star reach the earth? Just about everyone inhabiting the earth now would have been long forgotten including those whose names are regularly displayed in the headlines of today's morning news.

The name Antaries means the "rival of Mars."  Easier to understand when we use the Greek word for Mars which is "Aries," That is, "Anti-Aries." Every two years the planet Mars and Aries can be seen riding the sky together.  Since Aries is a red star and Mars is a red planet the question will arise as to which of them will outshine the other.  The keen observer might note Mars wins the battle this time because it does appear slightly brighter than Antares.

If you wait until the next evening the moon would have moved some 12 degrees to the East of its current location, Mars seems to stand still with Antares and Saturn.  It will take a few evenings to establish Mars eastward movement with respect to Antares but Saturn appears stationary

Our second scene takes place two years later.  Mars has completed one circuit around the sun, in front of each of the twelve Zodiacal constellations and once again appears close to Antares.  But now we see in two years the Moon is replaced by the planet Saturn. It took Saturn two years to appear to move from the right hand side of our first image to this, the second image. It will take Saturn nearly thirty years before it makes it's circuit around the Zodiacal constellations to once again appear with Antares.  Where will you be thirty years from now? Will this approach of Saturn in 2016 be your first and last view of the event?

We have to wait until September 8, 2016 for the appearance of the moon.  We observe Mars has moved to the East, and Saturn has taken the place of the Moon, Mars and Antares from the first view Monday evening.

With just these simple illustrations it is easy to understand how the Greeks interpreted the motions in the sky as clockwork.  The Antikythera mechanism mentioned in previous posts lend verification to the concept that far off beyond the Eastern horizon lies a mechanism capable of moving the real sky and all its individual elements at their correct speeds and headings. The mechanism was cranked by three goddesses known as the Fates.

Observers of the skies 10,000 years ago or more noted the set of five wandering "stars."  Today we call these planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Attempts were made to try to predict the position of these five with respect to the background stars.  Always their predictions had a measurable error. 

"Build better measuring devices... change the mathematical and physical models to fit the observations..." was the solution.  The same holds true today.  The positions of the planets are known to great accuracies... but there is still today an observational error.
We can determine the distance from the center of Earth to the center of the Moon to an accuracy whose error is equal to about the distance across a paper clip. Why do we need to improve on this? Because there is a measurable error.  It may take a more accurate set of gravitational laws than what Einstein provides, or perhaps there are influences we have not yet taken into account. But there is an error.

An excellent description on how we can measure Earth - Moon distance to such great accuracy can be found on Google: "Einstein the Moon and the Long - Lost Soviet Reflector."    


Sunday, August 17, 2014

No, It Is Not Too Early, by Contributing Astronomy Editor Dan Matlaga

Today is August 17th, 2014.

Exactly three years from today there will be a total solar eclipse whose path of totality cuts diagonally across the United States. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly between you and the sun. It means you are standing in the shadow of the moon.

It is not too early to type into Google "Solar Eclipse August 17 2017."

A map of the United States pops up to illustrate the path of totality. A map to tell you where you have to be in order to experience the full effect of the moon passing directly between you and the sun.  The effects of the eclipse will be greatly diminished if you step a mile or two outside the designated path. 

As the date for the eclipse looms closer, there will be reports of where you should go to get the best view.  In one location the total phase will last longer, in another the least chance cloud cover will spoil  eclipse viewing. 

It is worth investing the time and effort to experience the spectacle of a total eclipse of the sun. Authors have incorporated solar eclipses as part of their story line. (Click on the links below to learn more about the books mentioned.)

Mark Twain used an eclipse in his A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur'sCourt, for example.  

In Herman Melville's classic Moby-Dick, solar eclipses are used in three pivotal events in the novel.  

Captain Ahab's leg is severed by the jaws of a giant white whale while a partial solar eclipse occurs to the north of the incident.  

While Ahab is being rushed back home to Nantucket, he is fitted with a leg made from the bone of a sperm whale. At home he and his wife give birth to a child.  Early one evening Ahab is found on the ground, his whale bone leg splintered, one piece of which has pierced his groin and all but unmanned him. This accident occurs on the date when an annular eclipse of the sun was visible at sunset from Nantucket. It is this event which sparked the mind of Ahab for a head to head confrontation with the white whale.
How can Ahab accomplish this?

He once again commands the ship Pequod.  Months after leaving Nantucket Ahab gathers the crew together aboard ship.  He convinces the crew that his vengeance is theirs.  What they want to do in life is kill Moby Dick.  Ahab nails a Spanish gold once coin to the mast. The coin given to the first crewmember who spots Moby Dick.  There is dialogue between Ahab, the crew and first mate Starbuck. What underlines this great theater, the third pivotal moment in the story, is the appearance of a total solar eclipse directly above the Pequod.

It is worth investing the time and effort to experience the spectacle of a total eclipse of the sun and no, it is not too early to start now!   

Friday, August 8, 2014

Welcome Back To Our Good Friend Milly Taiden! Check out "Unexpectedy Mated" AND Enter Milly's Fabulous Contest!!!

Unexpectedly Mated

After years of lusting over Jake Wolfe, Nicole finally got a taste of the dirty-talking bad boy. During the scenting ceremony, he showed her how explosive things can be between them. But Nicole doesn’t do love. She doesn’t even know what love is. So how can she know if a relationship with Jake would be the right path to take?

Jake Wolfe wants Nic more than his next breath. She’s curvy, mouthy and so hot his blood boils just thinking of her. But Nic’s been keeping him at a distance. And Jake is tired of her games. One fateful trip to Sin City and all bets are off. 

After a fun night of drinking, Nic wakes up married to Jake and with a second shifter wanting her for himself. She'll have to finally face the feelings she has or shut them out forever. Their newly formed bond will either allow her to open her heart to love or leave Jake without a mate to call his own.

Property of Latin Goddess Press
© Milly Taiden

Maybe Ellie was wrong. What if there were snakes there? A firefly zoomed around her. She watched the tiny bug light up the dark with its yellow glow, zipping and buzzing back and forth in front of her. Some bugs weren’t so scary. From far away. 
Her attention shot down to the blanket in the darkness. She’d swear it moved again. Her mind ran on overdrive and she knew the likelihood of her seeing shit that wasn’t even there was big. She took a deep breath and sighed. Her muscles ached from how tense she held herself. The night’s coolness did nothing to stop the heat from the earlier part of the day. Her tank top stuck to her back. She yanked on the front part and blew on her boobs. Thank goodness she was alone or she’d look so stupid doing that.
The others had gone silent. She wondered what they were up to. Where they as freaked out as her? Probably not. She’d bet Emma would live in the damn forest if she got a chance. Leaves crunched from a nearby bush. With an agility she knew she didn’t possess, she got on her knees on the blanket. The noise in the trees increased. Fear froze the blood in her veins. Her heartbeat thundered in her ears along with the sound of the harsh breaths that struggled in and out of her lungs. There was a wild animal near her.
Holy. Shit.
“Oh, hell no!” There was no way she would sit around to find out what the heck was in the bush. She struggled to her feet. Her leg had gone numb so she had to put her weight, which was not just a couple of pounds, on her other leg. Screw the video, she’d return in the morning and remove the camera.

She bent and yanked her bag from the blanket. Something poked at her ass. She turned on her heel to run. Her knees hit a big lump of...fur? Her body did a full flip over the big furry body and she landed on her back with a thud, half on and half off the blanket.

Author Bio:

Hi! I'm Milly Taiden (AKA April Angel). I love to write sexy stories. They're usually either paranormal or contemporary with a large dose of heat. My paranormal stories can be anything from wolf-shifters (my favorites) to witches, demons and anything in between. My contemporaries are usually anything from soldiers to corporate romances.
I was born the prettiest part of the Caribbean known as the Dominican Republic. Currently, I live in New York City with my hubby, the bossy kiddo and our little dog "Needy Speedy". Don't ask.
When I'm not working some really long hours at the day job, or hanging out in the awful life-sucking invention known as Facebook, messaging my bestie in the UK or shopping with my sis Julie, then I can be found watching scary movies. But when I'm not doing that, I'm usually writing because the voices won't shut up.
I am addicted to shoe shopping, chocolate (but who isn't, right?) and Dunkin' Donuts coffee.
Come on over and visit me! I love to meet new readers!

I hope you enjoyed this book. If you did, please consider writing a review.
Like my books? Want to stay on top of all things Milly? Sign up for my newsletter at

There’s a monthly $50 GC Giveaway to all the emails signed up to get the latest news on my releases.

Don't forget to enter the contest...

Scroll all the way down...!!!

Find out more about Milly Taiden here:


Buy it Now:

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

TODAY ONLY...FREE!!! eBook! "After The Frost" by P.G. Owyns

This sounds like a fabulous book and it is available for FREE today only!  I am getting mine right now!  ENJOY!!!

Free Ebook July 23rd

Book Description

 In the Pacific Northwest of 1928, Julian Powell lives a life that for most appears to be one of privilege—a perfect life in a huge house, servants, and carefully groomed grounds. No matter how idyllic it might seem, it has become a prison for Julian. His days are filled with the endless monotony of family gatherings, gossip, and brown suits. Overshadowing him is a life-long illness. Julian finds his only freedom from his overbearing family in secretly writing books celebrating the beauty of nature. Occasionally he escapes to the local bookstore, with the hope of seeing the town’s eccentric, William Neill. Julian’s life changes forever when he makes the boldest decision of his life. He leaves to take care of an ailing childhood friend, moving to a place that will take him away from all he has ever known to an unexpected new life. He becomes part of a family of his own choosing, and it brings him closer to the man that he’s been secretly falling for—a man who has a prison of his own to escape. As William and Julian struggle to overcome their pasts, will their secrets bring them together or drive them apart?

Get your Free copy here:


Please don't forget to visit the author!


Thank you P.G. Owyns and best of luck to you!  Please come back and visit again soon!

Monday, July 21, 2014

We Welcome Back Author Demelza Carlton With The "See You In Hell" Book Tour!

Check out the latest "Devilish" romantic comedy from Author Demelza Carlton!


About The Book

A devilishly hot CEO. The angelic new office temp. A match made in Heaven or Hell?

Melody Angel takes a job as a temp at the HELL Corporation. Surrounded by eternal bureaucracy gone mad, demons who love making life miserable, and dying for a decent coffee, it may take a miracle for Mel's mission to succeed. She must find out what evil plans Lucifer and his minions have in store and stop them, using any means necessary.

Adding trouble and temptation to Mel's job is Luce Iblis, the damnably hot CEO, who has set his smouldering eyes on the new office angel and he's determined to claim her, body and soul.

Can ultimate evil and angelic perfection escape a limbo of desire and find a paradise of their own?

Book Excerpt:

"Yep, that looks fine," Lili said, pushing the piece of paper across the table to Mel. "Just change it to the font in the style guide and you can take it up to Luce yourself."
"I…what? I thought you said I just had to write it and send it up to him," Mel protested.
Lili's eyes glowed red as if she sensed Mel's discomfort and enjoyed it immensely. "Oh, no. He came down here personally and placed the offending report on your desk. He waited a while, too, determined to make sure you understood his message. He insisted that I send you to report to him as soon as you received it."
Mel felt her jaw drop. "But…that was hours ago!" She felt her stomach and the sandwich inside it start to sink.
Lili grinned fiercely. "Then I suggest you change the font quickly and leg it up those stairs to Luce's office before you're any later."
Struggling not to swear, Mel marched back to her desk to make the letter and offending memo as perfect as she could. Fifteen minutes later, she pulled the pages from the printer and set off for the executive suite upstairs.
She kept a serene smile on her face as she strode through the maze of cubicles, nodding slightly every time she caught the eye of another demon. She'd never recognise them all, but it still seemed a good idea to stay on good terms with them. If her job survived the day and the belated dressing-down from Luce.
She shrugged. If her first job lasted less than a fortnight, so be it. She didn't much like the work, anyway, and there were plenty of demons to do it. It's not as if the HELL Corporation would miss her. She'd tell Raphael that the CEO definitely was Lucifer and let him sort it out while she went to Korea. She could taste the bulgogi already…
The cubicles were bigger now – spacious enough to take several visitors and a large meeting table between them. Mel knew she was nearing executive territory.
"Can I help you?" an imperious voice asked. Mel heard the words, along with the implied message that the owner of the voice would not help her. Mel was perfectly happy helping herself.
Mel's smile lit up her whole face. "Lili sent me to see Luce regarding a report." She proffered the papers.
The older woman's lips pursed as her deep, dark eyes narrowed. She had to be one of Luce's more senior demons. Her demeanour spoke of indescribable age and experience – all of it decidedly dark.
"I'm Mephi, Mr Iblis' personal assistant," the woman said, emphasising the demon's name. "All of his appointments go through me. Do you have an appointment?"
The woman's subtext was amazing, Mel decided. She radiated an aura that said Mel hadn't a hope of getting through her and she'd never be important enough for an appointment. Despite herself, she was impressed. She wondered how many demons balked at this formidable gatekeeper.
"I'm delighted to meet you, Mephi. I wish I'd known to call you first – but Luce left this on my desk and insisted I speak to him about it immediately. Given the urgency, I didn't dare delay." Mel let the slightest look of concern cross her face. "I haven't missed him, have I? I'll wait as long as I have to, if he's with someone. I'd hate to be the one responsible for this getting to him later than he'd like." She slipped on a sympathetic smile that suggested she wouldn’t want Mephi to bear the brunt of her boss’s wrath.
Mephi held Mel's gaze for a few seconds before she conceded her point and picked up the phone. "Mr Iblis, I have an angel here to see you." She managed to make it sound like something she'd found floating in the staff toilets.
"If you're talking about the girl standing at your desk with the papers in her hand, send her right in, Mephi," came a voice from behind Mel.
Mephi shrugged. "If you say so," she sniffed, clicking the phone handset back into place.
Mel nodded her thanks to Mephi with an unwavering smile, before turning to brave Luce in his lair. His office, she corrected herself, as she entered the airy space. She couldn't imagine a lair containing…
"Are those Pro Hart landscapes?" Mel asked eagerly. "I don't think I've ever seen the originals in oil before – just prints of them. It's the colours. They're always so vibrant, so real…"
"They are," Luce replied, "but you're not here to discuss my art collection. You've kept me waiting and I am far from happy." His eyes seemed to catch the light in odd ways, as if each was a singularity drinking the photons in, with no intention of releasing them.
Mel stepped forward and laid her papers on his desk. "The corrections you requested, along with a letter."
Luce gave the papers a cursory glance before turning the full pull of those dark eyes on Mel. "Do you know how long you've made me wait?" He lifted his chin. "Close the door."
For the first time, Mel felt a premonition of danger. The demon reclined in his desk chair with his hands in his lap, a picture of relaxed repose. Only his eyes seemed to belie the image – like a crocodile lurking beneath still, muddy waters. Did the crocodile know how much danger he was in?
"No," Mel said.

Mel Goes to Hell series

• Welcome to Hell - A Short Story (#1 in the series) - Free Purchase Links
Amazon |Amazon UK |Amazon Canada | Amazon Germany |Amazon Australia | Apple |B&N | Kobo | Smashwords | Goodreads

•See You in Hell (#2)

•Mel Goes to Hell (#3) - to be released in July 2014

About The Author

Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish. She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below.

Sensationalist spin? No - Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all.

Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.

The Ocean's Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by her suspense thriller Nightmares trilogy. She swears the Mel Goes to Hell series ambushed her on a crowded train and wouldn't leave her alone.

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