(Note from ELF: It is my pleasure to host one of my authors from the Wild Rose Press garden, and showcase her exciting paranormal romantic suspense story!)
by Donna Del Oro
GENRE: romantic suspense w/ESP elements
What if you could read minds with just a touch? Would you be able to trust anyone?
Athena Butler, the twenty-year-old descendant of an ancient bloodline of psychics, yearns to lead a normal life. She wants a career, a boyfriend, independence. Her clairvoyant gift, however, has taught her that people can be false and dangerous. Although warned to keep her powers a secret, she's recruited by law enforcement to help search for a serial killer and uncover a terrorist cell.
She bonds with an intriguing, handsome man, Kas Skoros, who knows her secret and accepts it. Of the same bloodline, his mother is precognitive and predicts that they are meant to be together…some day. Kas, military veteran and Search and Rescue deputy, is skeptical and cynical-- life is too uncertain--but can't resist exploring his passion for Athena. Yet there are obstacles beyond their control.
Can Kas overcome these obstacles? Can Athena stay alive long enough to fulfill her dream?
“So I hear. We—my father, Alex and I--protect my mother from people who’d try to exploit her. Is there anyone protecting you and your mother?”
More than a little surprised, Athena halted. “Not really. Father pretends we’re normal and I supposed Chris does, too. Mum and I—we keep our clairvoyance a secret from everyone. Everyone except the police, that is.”
They’d come to a fork in the path. Ahead of them, through a thicket of oaks and pines, Athena could see the lake glimmering in the sunlight. Kas took the path to the right. “Follow me.” He headed for the boathouse that she could now see about fifty yards away. “We’ll have to wear wet suits. The air’s warm, but the water’s snow melt.”
“I live in D.C. so I can handle it. I can read minds, but can’t do weather forecasting. Go figure.”
Kas harrumphed. “I hear you work part-time at a coffeehouse. Seems like you could make more money doing psychic readings. But then, you’d have to expose yourself and your secret.”
“Yes, that won’t do. I guess it’s safer this way.”
“I know, my mother feels the same way. There’s a history of the bloodline having problems when people find out the truth. There’s always a group in society that doesn’t understand, people who take advantage or exploit them, or use them as scapegoats. I guess that means there’s been some witch-hunting in the past, burning at the stake, that kind of thing. The Romans would kidnap soothsayers and hold them as slaves. I’ve heard only the Temple seers in Greece were off-limits. Even so, the Temple priestesses had Guardians assigned to them day and night.”
She looked at him. He wasn’t joking. The protective side of him was rearing up. “I’ve heard that, too. I thought it was just nonsense, Mum trying to scare me into keeping it secret.”
“Can’t be any harm nowadays.” He glanced back and grinned. “Now, if your secret came out, you’d get celebrity status and your own reality TV show.”
She couldn’t help but laugh. “Not interested.”
“Well, whenever you want to read me, go ahead. No skin off my nose. I’m sure that what you see will either turn you off or bore you to death.” “Then I guess you’re different from all the other men I’ve known,” she tossed back. “Even my father doesn’t like it. Men like their secrets.”
“All the other men?”
“Figuratively speaking,” she said wryly.
He frowned and ran his gaze over her. “Chris filled me in about you. You’re nineteen. An art student. Single. He says you had a hard time when you were younger. With your clairvoyance, I mean. Trusting people, making friends. Sorry for my blunt speaking, but this is who I am.”
“It’s okay. When it first came on, yes, I had some hard times. Now I manage it. I keep it under control.” She shrugged and added, “I’ll be twenty, December first.” Now she wondered what else Chris had told him. Probably how she couldn’t get a boyfriend if her life depended on it. That she was a virgin desperate for love. God, no wonder Kas was put off.
“Don’t believe everything my brother tells you about me,” was all she could think of to say.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Donna is a member of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime in addition to the Valleyrose chapter of the RWA. She has judged RITA entries and does developmental editing on the side. Two of her novels, Operation Familia and Born To Sing, have won national and international awards.
Follow clairvoyant artist Athena Butler in the next book in The Delphi Bloodline series: ATHENA’S QUEST.
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