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Please enjoy the first chapters of Silk Road!

The Silk Road. In ancient times it was a well-established trade route that began in China. But to Larien, it is the veiled entrance to the underworld where no human belongs.
Jayla Protegenu is as typical as they come. She owns a chain of gyms in the San Francisco Bay Area, enjoys popcorn-and-movie night with her two best friends and writes for her local paper. But that’s where ‘typical’ ends. As a child she learned to summon her guardian angels to keep at bay the things that prowled the night. An ability she’s kept secret all her life…until a Fallen angel answers her call.

Larien is not seeking redemption. He’s looking for the artifact that only Jayla can call power from. The woman has no idea of the extent of her abilities and he’s not about to teach her. However he is man enough to admit that this human has touched him, soul deep. And now that she is his to protect, his to love, when she’s taken Larien will search to the ends of the Earth to find her, from San Francisco all the way to…the Silk Road.

For a Fallen that has nothing but time, it is suddenly against him. And now he has to be the good guy? Damn.

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Snippet Saturday – Sweethearts

This week’s Snippet Saturday features some of the most awesome authors I know. Be sure to visit them via the links at the bottom of this post. Now, back to business – this week’s theme is Sweethearts. Valentine’s Day just passed and while I don’t have any books with that particular holiday, Valentine’s Day just wouldn’t be the same without some romance leading up to it, right?

So, here’s a Snippet from Silk Road where Larien allows himself to be as vulnerable as any Fallen can be — by showing his true self to Jayla.

Enjoy!

Excerpt from
Silk Road
Seals of Destiny Book One
by TJ Michaels

Out of the blue, she asked, “So you can change your form, right? Like the asshat that jumped me? He looked human one minute and a freaking giant the next.”

“Of course. All Fallen can take human form or revert to their working form.”

“Working form? What’s a working form?”

“I am a warring angel, so my working form is for battle. It is the form I take most often, or would take often if I still had my old job. We can also transform to celestial bodies, unless we go demon.”

“What happens if you choose Fallen demonhood rather than Fallen angelhood?”

“We lose the ability to take our celestial forms ever again.”

“Can I see? Your celestial form, I mean.” Her honey brown eyes sparkled, full of mischief. What was she up to? He tilted his head and tried to read between whatever lines he was sure were there. “Well, can I?”

I can refuse her nothing.

Without another word, Larien rose and padded to the living room with Jayla on his heels.

“Why the living room instead of the office?”

“You’ll see.”

The moment she settled on the couch he let the change explode from his very cells. His body stretched and expanded. The familiar burn of the emergence of his wings was followed by an awed gasp from Jayla.

“Wow. You have wings?! And you’re so big, uh, bigger.”

But even at eight feet ten inches this body was still restricted by flesh.

“This is my battle form.” His voice, deepened by the transformation, caused her eyes to widen even more, yet the stink of fear was absent. Humans usually pissed themselves if they managed to glimpse an angel’s battle form, Fallen or not. “But I want you to see my true form though it is dimmer than when I was eudaemon.”

Nodding enthusiastically, Jayla simply sat with her eyes aglow with wonder. The eager acceptance in her gaze never ceased to make him feel special. Proud, even, of what he was. Or rather, what was left of him.

* * * * *

Jayla was fully along for the ride. Energy crackled in the air, rode along the ridges of her spine and then sank into her blood. It pumped through her heart, infused her cells and then burst forth like an explosion of moonlight and starlight behind her eyes. It was peaceful yet so beautifully vibrant she could almost hear the hum of electricity in the room. The tips of Larien’s beautiful wings trailed the floor and then snapped out to fill the room. A variation of black she’d never seen before, the color seemed alive and swirled with luminescence. Lethal-looking talons on the end of perfectly sculpted feathers were a-glow with shimmering gold.

Wow, how did he ever walk away from such power, she wondered. Larien outshone anything her mind could even possibly conceive. When Improbael had morphed from his human form he’d grown at least a good two feet, just like Larien, but where Larien’s skin was an almost-glowing dove gray, Improbael’s Fallen demon skin had become as dank as cement—lifeless and cold like the dirty ash that remained in the bottom of a grill long after the charcoal had burned itself out.
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Midnight Riders and Bad Boys

Snippet Saturday is a brilliant collaboration by Lauren Dane and a fabulous group of authors that she’s invited to join her in posting book goodies every Saturday. This week’s theme is *drumroll* Midnight rider and bad boys! Visit the other Snippet Saturday authors via the links at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!

Enjoy this Snippet from Silk Road, Seals of Destiny Book 1
by T.J. Michaels
Copyright 2012, All Rights Reserved

Like the idiot he’d shown himself to be just within the last few minutes, Jabon opened his mouth with a snarl. “You dare touch me?” He rose and charged Luc only to slam into a wall that wasn’t there.

“This is my domain, Jabon. My Court.”

“You do not rule me. I’m a demon. Abaddon has—”

“Correction, bitch, you’re a Fallen demon, and therein lies the difference. Abaddon doesn’t own your ass. I do.”

Jabon’s expensive gray silk shirt ripped away from his body of its own accord. The sound of tearing fabric was lost beneath Jabon’s screams as another grim wave slammed into him. The silent observer felt no heat and the temperature in the room remained quite comfortable, yet Jabon’s flesh blistered and singed as if someone held an old-fashioned pitch torch to it.

“You never did understand hierarchy, Jabon. And shut up already.” Luc sounded absolutely bored as yet another blast hit Jabon. Suddenly the screaming stopped.

“Abaddon keeps order in She’ol. May even call you once in a while to Aegypto. But your leash is, and has always been, mine to pull from the second you submitted to me and went from Fallen to Fallen demon, Jabon.”

Jabon gagged, pleaded with his eyes. But he was just a little too late to appeal to Luc’s gracious side. The former Archangel was pissed. In fact, as the bystander watched the two former eudaemon, he thought back to when Luc was still the Son of the Morning. He had been created as a force to be reckoned with. Even in his diminished state, he always would be hell on wheels. It was simply a matter of displacement. While Luc had stood by the side of the creative Source, he’d been top dog in beauty, strength and skill. Today he might not have any place within the Host, but he was still powerful.

The observer stood off to the side of the room and quietly watched Luc sit back down in one of the many comfy chairs provided for guests. He extended a single finger, twirled it in the air and the skin from Jabon’s torso came away from Jabon’s body in long elastic-like strips. The Fallen demon’s mouth was open in silent agony as the blood pooled thick at his feet. Luc had been right—Jabon had never understood hierarchy.

The observer remained silent, careful not to shake his head in pity or curl his lip in disgust. It was a fucking shame, really. The only thing that kept others from taking Luc’s top-dog status…was knowledge. What Jabon didn’t understand was that no matter how much shit Luc talked, even a human could wipe the floor with him. And Luc knew it. But he sure wasn’t about to give anyone the details of that particular secret.

If a Fallen demon found the will or way to talk an uninitiated Descendant into exercising their authority over Luc…well, one could imagine how Luc would take that bit of comeuppance. Why? Because Luc had power. Had it in scads. But only over those that freely gave themselves to him—whether by choice or sheer ignorance made no difference.

Luc finally released the grip on Jabon’s vocal chords and the Fallen demon’s vibrato soprano notes rang through the room and ended on an oomph as he collapsed to the floor.

“And you’d better be healed in enough time to find that fucking human Descendant and bring her to me. When I tell you where Chel is, you’d better be ready or I’ll peel your hide again. Only next time it’ll be your dick that gets stripped. Understand me, underling?”

Snippet Saturday Authors
Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Leah Braemel
Jody Wallace
Eliza Gayle
Mandy M Roth
Lissa Matthews
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Shiloh Walker
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Lauren Dane
Shelli Stevens

Snippet Saturday – The First Ever I Saw Your Face

This week’s theme is first meetings, when our guy and gal meet for the first time. Enjoy this bit from my upcoming release, Silk Road, an Urban Fantasy with some good romance stirred in. After the excerpt, be sure to visit the other Snippet Saturday authors via the links at the bottom of the post!

Oh, and the ZART Countdown contest starts tomorrow – so keep your eyes peeled!

Snippet (unedited) from
Silk Road, Seals of Destiny Book 1
by TJ Michaels

Energy with a bit of a dark bite blazed off the oversized man who practically spilled out of her cute little vanity chair. He seemed unmistakably unhuman. Not evil – she knew full well what that felt like – but not quite nice either.

Sporting a stylish leather trench coat, black jeans and scuffed motorcycle boots, this whatever was rough-and-tumble gorgeous. He looked like one of those Wolverine types rocking the almost-bald look. Definitely a man that could woo a woman in ten seconds flat then go out and chop a forest full of wood without breaking a sweat.

And right now he seemed to spill all that all maleness over her bedroom…uninvited. Annoyance at having her private space invaded trumped his yumminess by a long stretch.

“So, let’s get down to it. What the hell are you doing in my house? And I don’t even want to know how you know my name.” Though she did like the way it had rolled off his tongue when she’d turned on the light…

Get a grip, girl. Uninvited guest, remember?

“What are you?” she snapped.

“Which question do you want me to answer first?”

Oh, and the man was a smart ass to boot?

“Look, you’ve got two seconds to clear out or I’ll have to call my boys in to kick your ass. Then I’ll throw you out.”

He folded his arms across his chest and huffed as if she’d inconvenienced him, as put out to be here as she was about his unknown intentions. Huh.

“So, are you going to…?”

“Jayla, my name is Larien,” he said, cutting her off.

“Larien?”

“Yes, and I am to assist you in a task.”

“What task? And why should I believe you?”

He stretched out his hand. A folded piece of shimmery-looking paper slowly floated by itself from his fingers to hers. Neat trick but…

“Too damn slow,” she mumbled as she stomped the remaining distance between them and snatched the note out of the air. “Sorry,” she mumbled when Larien mumbled something about her manners or lack thereof. Great, and now she was blushing. “While I may not be afraid of you, I didn’t mean to disrespect you…even if you are in my house, in the middle of the night, in my bedroom with nothing more than a piece of paper to recommend you.”

The landscape of his face went from amused to taut to wrinkled forehead to slate smooth face. She’d managed to confuse a supernatural?

Wow, I am good!

“You look like you’re wondering what my deal is. It’s all over your face.” Okay, the smirk she tried to suppress morphed into a full-on grin. “Well, not anymore. Guess you’ve gotten your shit together and now you’re doing the stoic I’m-a-bad-ass face. No worries.”

Good lord, she was doing the feisty thing with an unknown man broadcasting a serious me-no-play-well-with-others attitude. She must need to go work off some energy or something. First order of business in the morning — go hit a heavy bag at the gym or something.

Remembering the piece of paper in her hand Jayla read it and cocked her head sideways in disbelief followed by the curiosity that never ceased to get her in trouble. She read it again for good measure then flew to the window. With her back to Larien, she was suddenly quite aware of how the little hem on her gown ruffled as she raised the pane and yelled down to Ambriel and his crew in the yard.

“Hey guys, is this for real?”

Ambriel grumbled back, “Yes, Jayla, it is genuine. He is being honest in his intentions…for once.”

Well that didn’t sound good, and when she whirled around to face Larien he didn’t look as if he cared in the slightest, but she didn’t miss the tail end of a curse or two as he coughed into his hand.

Rather than wary, it made her smile.

Back across the room, she settled down on the bench at the foot of her bed, crossed her arms over her chest and sat her pseudo-prickly butt down with an expectant huff. “Okay, Larien, I’m listening.”

“There is an ancient artifact that you are tasked to find and my job is to help you acquire it.”

Genuinely confused, Jayla said, “I’m so not Lara Croft. Seriously, I own a gym and write for the local paper. The university has an archeology department where I’m sure you can find someone more suitable. I’ve never even been on an expedition before though Egypt is on my bucket list.”

“You are more than suitable. In fact, you are the only one we know of that can handle this job.”

 

Snippet Saturday Authors
Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Rhian Cahill
Jody Wallace
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
Mandy M Roth
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Shelli Stevens
Shiloh Walker
Zoë Archer