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A Portion of Malice, Ages of Malice, Book I by Lloyd Jeffries is a New Year, New Books Fete pick #thriller #religiousfantasy #supernaturalfiction #sff #giveaway


A Portion of Malice, Ages of Malice, Book I



Lloyd Jeffries        



Thriller/Religious Fantasy/Supernatural Fiction


Book Blurb: 


An Ancient Evil Rises


A brazen thriller of God, humanity, and the cost of every choice.


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Emery Merrick presses a pistol to his temple. Then there's a knock at the door. Billionaire Thaddeus Drake hires Emery to write his biography. But Drake has a dark secret, and Emery soon discovers he heads an ancient, secret society which aims to fulfill prophecy and sacrifice the Earth to a bloodthirsty God. Deep and emotionally stirring, Emery finds himself plunged into an immortal world of darkness, deceit, and barbarity.


This thought-provoking thrill ride chronicles one man’s explosive journey into the apocalypse and one man’s epic quest to confront God as an equal. A captivating odyssey through history and time, A Portion of Malice changes the conversation about spirituality, redemption, and the world in which we live.


Consistently compared to works by Stephen King and Dan Brown,

A Portion of Malice will blow you away with its controversial plot and surprise twist ending. It’s the first book in the epic series, Ages of Malice.


Can a suicidal reporter save humanity…and himself?


Don’t miss the epic you won’t soon forget!




Thoughts from the Verge

By: Emery Merrick

Consider this backstory. The first volume in a multi-volume epic spanning time, history, Heaven, Hell, and the apocalypse.

This is the story of a simple man mixed up in things about which he should never know.

And I never dreamed I’d be writing this, shouldn’t be alive to write this.

Alas, though, fate is a tortured mistress.

I’ve tried to capture everything as it truly happened and although religion plays a central role, this isn’t a story about religion.

No one will try to save your soul. There are no heart-warming points about a loving God who shepherds humanity to a waiting paradise.

In fact, I could write volumes that debunk that myth once and for all.

Ah, but what’s the point?

Believe what you want, live how you want, open your mind to the universe, and consider this volume the first steps down a road both twisted and complex.

In the end, you’ll find we’ve just begun.

But we’ll get to that.

To all, be well and happy, blessed by whichever God you choose and in whatever way He or She doles those boons. May my story be a warning—a subtle nudge, a singular wink—about all we take for granted, and the very small pond in which we swim.





Jerusalem, Time of Christ

Bribes paid, Cain kneels before the bleeding Messiah.

Blood drips from His nose, trickles down His face. Skin, bruised; cheeks, bloated; lips cracked and dry. His eyes are swollen shut.

Cain prostrates himself, lies flat on the sand, squeezes the cool earth.

Tears start as memories invade.




“I beg Thee, Lord, forgive my sins and make me whole. I’ve labored through all these lives paying penance, seeking only Your embrace. Heal me. Take me in. I beg Thee.”

Jesus raises his head, those ghastly eyes glued closed with dried blood. He tries to stand, but rough twine holds him to a thick plank. He strains at His bonds. “Have I not been once tested by you?” His voice is parched, cracks like dry leaves ripe with flame. “Hast thou come to mock me in my time?”


“Nay Lord. I seek redemption. I seek forgiveness.”


“You are dark to me.”


Cain presses his head to the sand, stretches his arms in penance.


A hushed breeze rustles the trees; flowers brighten the courtyard—lively blue, bitter orange, buttered yellow.

“A vagabond and wanderer are you,” Jesus rasps, strains for breath. “Condemned. A fugitive and vagabond, so sayeth the Father.”


Cain lifts his head, spreads sand with each syllable. “Nay, Lord, Nay! I wish only to walk with You once more. To flee this miserable existence and be again welcome in Your arms.”


The breeze shifts, stifles, comes from the arid south instead of the sea.


Sunlight burns his skin, bakes the bushes.


Sweat appears, mixes with sand to clump on Cain’s forehead. “My Lord, I beg thee. My works are pure. My intent, honest. Please release me so I might serve.”

The Savior’s head droops like a parched flower. A gash beneath his eye reopens, blood trickles to drip in a pool at his feet.

He whispers, voice crackling, blood oozing through His beard, over His lips, drop by drop. “You shall endure.”

Cain’s head drops to the sand, salty tears drip. “Please, Lord. Please. I beg only mercy. Only release.”

Jesus’ voice rises. A whistling wind through mountain caverns, a raging tempest like millions of insects, swarming, devouring. The Messiah’s breath is ragged and wet. He inhales, then heaves His rage.

“You! Endure!”

Cain shudders, stretched hands curl to fists.

It can’t be, not after all these centuries.

His mind fills with fields plowed; with enemies thrown down. With all the lives he’s lived; all the lives yet to live.

Redemption flows away, disappears into the barren desert so precious to God.

He trembles, rises on shaky legs, stares at the Messiah.

Beyond, the sky turns ominous, looms like a spiteful God shaking His fist. Tree and flower become a dizzy array of color and leaf.  


Visions enter.

Fiery pillars rend, consume, melting earth, boiling oceans.

Azure skies turn fetid, drip mucous from black clouds and scorched wind.

Humanity screams, pleads, begs God’s mercy.

Then an angry God, chuckling in thunder, defiant, even joyous.

God prefers blood.

Cain turns as both tree and flower wither and wilt.

Rain starts, wind rushes.

He blinks into the gale, glances at his hand to find a whip with nine tails, iron shards sewn into its braids.

His voice is calm, even. “What price for salvation?”

The Messiah lolls, says nothing.

“What price?” he asks again.

The whip cracks, leaps for the Messiah’s back.

Jesus wails as the nine make purchase, shred flesh like silk.

Rage fills, consumes.

This is freedom.

This is redemption.

Bloody plumes rise, become a hovering, ghostly cloud as nine tails fly forward.

The Messiah shrieks like a crimson ghost, rages against biting bonds, eyes squeezed, blood dripping.


“What price for salvation?” Cain asks with each lash. “What price! What price!”

Blood spatters shy flowers, stone walls.

Trees tremble.

The sky belches thunderous applause.

His arm becomes a blur, whip chasing, starved for blood, famished for flesh.

He twists his hips with each blow, soul raging, overflowing.

Hope turns to vapor.

Redemption to rage.

Despair bubbles to blistering animus as he tries to inflict maximum damage, tries to shred the most flesh.

“What price for salvation!”

Tears pour down his face, mix with blood and sand to drift away on harsh winds.

Spit dangles in thick ropes, eyes fill with fire…


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):



It’s a brand-new year, full of possibilities. Did you make any resolutions/goals for 2024? If so, please share one.


My two primary goals are to spend more time with family and to expand my presence into additional book platforms.


Why is your featured book a must-read in 2024?


A Portion of Malice has received three awards, two honorable mentions and five additional accolades.  It has been deemed “exemplary” by Writer’s Digest for Literary Fiction and is a Notable 100 by Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book Competition.  This book is a must read if you’re looking to be blown away and are tired of typical thriller fare like ex-FBI, CIA, Navy Seal, etc. Like nothing you’ve ever read, this novel will challenge you to think outside the box.  It will shake your perceptions and elevate your perspective all while immersing you in a story both timeless and riveting.  With a surprise twist ending and fascinating characters, this novel has been described as “the perfect story of good and evil.”  You will not be the same after reading this!


Giveaway –


One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card



Open internationally.


Runs January 1 – 31, 2024


Drawing will be held on February 1, 2024. 


Author Biography:


Lloyd Jeffries enjoys dark comedies, philosophy, clever turns of phrase, religious studies and thought experiments involving the esoteric and legendary.  A decorated veteran of numerous conflicts, he served in the U.S. military and has practiced Emergency, Trauma and Wilderness medicine for more than twenty years.  He hides out in Florida with his family and Buck the Wonder Dog.


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Jan 06

Exercise more & stop eating out!


N. N. Light
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Jan 03

Thank you, Lloyd, for sharing your book in our New Year, New Books Fete!

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