Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
(A Magnus Blackwell Novel #2)
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: April 17th 2018
Genres: Adult, Supernatural
Magnus Blackwell’s past is about to catch up with him.
An evil force has seized New Orleans. Pestilence, suffering, and darkness cloak the city. The citizens are scared and need their mambo to guide them, but Lexie Arden can’t help anyone. A diabolical presence has taken Lexie’s power and severed her ties with the other side.
Magnus Blackwell is fighting demons of his own. Torn between his devotion to Lexie and a spirit from his past, Magnus’s loyalty is put to the test. He must revisit his sins to uncover the key to the hatred ripping the city apart. If he doesn’t, Lexie’s reign as mambo will end.
Their search for answers leads them deep into the darker realms of voodoo—until a desperate Lexie does the unthinkable, and Magnus can do nothing to spare her from her fate.
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Drumbeats drifted across the water. Sweat beaded Lexie’s brow, rolling into her eyes, and her hands curled, digging her nails into her palms. Her eyes fell on the glassy surface of the swamp.
The water—something headed her way across the water.
A cloud of mist rolled and built in the center of the swamp in a spot surrounded by cypress knees rising out of the water in a circle. The fog resembled cotton candy as it congealed to fluffy clouds. Then it moved, heading toward her on the shore.
Lexie’s rapid breathing burned her lungs, and a hammer pounded in her head as fear ripped through her gut.
The first glimpse of him came as an outline against the cloud. A trace of a hand, a hint of a face.
He solidified with every passing second. Blond tossed hair lifted in the breeze; concise red lips stood out from tanned skin. The mist carried him closer, and when his face fully formed, the fear cleaving her in two instantly vanished. Back in his casual jeans and fitted T-shirt, Kalfu stepped from the cloud, and his bare feet touched the boggy ground in front of her.
“I told you we would meet again.”
He took her hand and an icy dread shot through her core.
The light around him changed, and utter darkness radiated from Kalfu’s eyes, turning her stomach. It filled Lexie with a mind-numbing hopelessness and sent her resolve adrift on a dank, dark ocean.
The binds keeping her trapped magically lifted, and she crashed to her knees.
She scurried back from him. “What was that? You touched me and … I can’t describe it.”
“You wanted to know me. It’s why you’re here.” He raised his arms displaying a cold, empty grin. “In my world.”
“How did I get here, Kalfu.”
“Kal. Remember?” He crooked his finger. “Follow me.”
He led Lexie from the knoll, and the weight holding her in place disintegrated.
They walked toward a thick cloud. The mist split in the center and parted. A white stone bench and table appeared. Moonlight lit the swamp around them, highlighting the beauty of the clumps of knotted cypress trees, pools of stagnant water, and patches of mossy ground.
Lexie scanned the swamps for any signs of life. Her jaw muscles tightened as her mind raced with how to stay ahead of the evil spirit. She could never embrace such a dark entity, but then the promise of her lost power nudged her determination aside. How could she resist him when so much was at stake? Her power meant everything. It was the only way for her to stay mambo.
He motioned for her to have a seat across from him.
Lexie eased onto the bench, careful to press the rim of her short nightshirt around her thighs.
“Yes, before you ask, you’re dreaming.”
She rested her jittery hands on the table. “Okay, I’m dreaming, but why here?”
He raised a pointed finger in the air, and the music of the swamp clamored around them. The din of crickets, owls, bugs, even the hissing of water resonated in her ears until it became so loud she could not think. When he lowered his finger, the sounds died away.
Kalfu sat back on his bench, watching her. “I’m at home in the swamps.”
She crossed her arms, tucking her hands into her sides. “You should get out more.”
He laughed, and the black water around them rippled. The small waves painted with shards of moonlight carried across the swamp for as far as the eye could see.
Lexie admired the play of light and dark, momentarily swayed by the beauty of his imaginary world.
“That is what fascinates me about you, Lexie Arden. Your spirit. It makes you a formidable mambo.”
The mention of her title fortified her will. She could not play a passive game with the spirit of darkness. She needed to fight him.
“I can also see through bullshit a mile away. Why am I here?”
His sly grin added a malevolent glimmer to his eyes. “Ah, there is your courage. Once most people see my true inner self, they cower before me, beg me to spare them, or offer some sacrifice to grant their wishes, but not you.” He tapped a single finger on the table while keeping up his sinister, vacant stare. “You challenge me.”
Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.
He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.
Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.
One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.
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