It’s time for a cover reveal on N. N. Light’s Book Heaven. As many of you know, I am an artist and I love gorgeous covers. This cover I've been waiting almost a year for. May I present you with one of my favorite covers so far this year...
Title DESTINY’S ROGUE
Author Linda J. Parisi
Genre Paranormal Romance
Publisher City Owl Press
When vampire queen Samira Anai Se-Bat turns scientist Cordell Stuart into a vampire, she makes him a deal. If he promises to find a cure for Nirvana, the drug being used to create rogues, she will find and protect his daughter Kayla.
A direct descendant of The Mother and The Father, Samira must protect her race from her brother-in-blood, Antu Si-Tayat. Antu murdered the priests and priestesses of the temple so he could be the only ruler, causing Samira to imprison him for his crimes. Having escaped, Antu wants revenge.
A cellular kineticist, Cord stumbled on Nirvana while trying to save Kay’s life. He never thought his research would create an army of deadly rogue vampires. Now he is caught between his promise to save a race he neither trusts nor understands, and the need to find and save his daughter.
With Antu pitting vampire factions against each other, war is brewing and Sam is caught between her promise to save Kay and her need to protect her people. But a vision shows both thrones blending into one until they are no more. If Sam follows the vision and sacrifices herself, will Antu subjugate the world?
In a race against time and destiny, Sam and Cord figure out what they have to do, and find the cost will be their new found love, possibly their lives. Or will it? For a Destiny’s Rogue, nothing is certain except love. Love will always endure.
No human sat behind the massive curved reception desk. Sam pushed open the door and breathed deeply as she rushed to go around the lacquered wood. She looked down to find a woman, still alive from the sound of her fluttering heartbeat. Thank the Gods.
Then she caught the scent she dreaded. He was here.
She heard a low moan echo down a long corridor to her left. Sam bent down and let her incisors grow. She placed them in the same holes on the woman’s neck, shuddering at the taste, and gave the woman the Lethe, the drug that would make her forget this day. A quick swipe of her tongue closed the holes as she withdrew.
She reared back acknowledging the taste of him, the reality as sickening as the memory enticed. Her brother in blood, Antu Si-Tayat, toying with her, for he knew her every move.
We’ll see about that.
She flashed down the hallway. Just about to throw open the doors to the office at the end, Sam whirled, sensing another presence. There could be but one other, Bahir, Antu’s manservant, the one who had been with Antu since the beginning. And there could be nothing but death. A man lay on the floor of the office she stood before, and Sam heard no heartbeat. Sadness filled her.
She ran to the next office to find Antu holding Cordell Stuart in his arms like a child. She’d seen his picture on her computer and had wondered at his likeness to another.
Sam’s shoulders lifted. Her back straightened. She drew herself up to her regal height. “Brother.”
She slammed her brows together, staring at Antu long and hard. He seemed unfazed by her rebuke. “You have no right to play with them.”
Tiny red threads dripped down Stuart’s neck, staining the pristine white of his shirt collar. She licked her lips. Antu merely smiled.
There would always be the blood.
His posture defied his actions, at ease almost carefree. He bore the same bronze skin and midnight hair, cut and falling loose to his shoulders. His black eyes seemed opaque, but they were rimmed with orange, a fire ready to rage out of control at any moment. He wore the colors of the temple, a black tunic with red lettering, a reminder of a past he had no business flaunting.
“Would you like some? In the past we would have shared in joy.”
Memories flooded her brain. Blood sweeter than the ripest, most perfect peach. Arms and legs entwined as they coupled with such intense ecstasy. He saw each picture in her mind. Had she glimpsed a moment of regret in his gaze before mockery took its place?
“You destroyed that joy when you chose this path,” Sam told him. “End this madness now.” He scrunched his face up at the word madness. “You have no right to play with their lives,” she repeated.
His brows shot up into his forehead. “Surely you jest.”
Sam shook her head sadly. “I find no humor in what you are doing. Nor do I share your enjoyment in the games you continue to play.”
“Games?” He quirked his mouth and the blackness of his gaze deepened. He caressed Cordell Stuart’s cheek with his fingers like a lover. “Very well. If you wish to call them games, so be it. Let’s play. Beg for his life.”
She curled her fingers as they tried to become fists. Sam breathed in and out to slow the beating of her heart. He’d been waiting for this day, this moment when their paths would cross again, and the perfect storm he created to force her to face an impossible situation.
Antu shifted, settling Stuart’s weight in one arm as he lifted the man’s head. “Does he remind you of anyone, sweet sister?”
Yes. Sam stared. Nuya! She’d seen the resemblance to the one she lost immediately. Her heart constricted as an old familiar pain knifed her gut. She lifted her gaze to find Antu reveling in her quandary. “You know I won’t beg for his life. I cannot and will never be beholden to you again.”
“So, you’ve told me. But I wonder. One more minute, perhaps one more draw on his neck? Two at most?” Antu teased. He curled his upper lip, part anticipation, part sneer. No matter what Antu chose to feel, if Sam gave in now, every being on the planet would be at risk.
She shook her head with the intention of trying to brazen her way out of this insanity. “You used an inferior being, brother. Casperian bore little strength and less intelligence.”
“Stupid has its uses,” he defended but she heard a hint of exasperation in his tone.
“Of that I’m quite certain. But why go to all the trouble if you were aware you were going to fail?”
“To vex you.” His lips thinned. “And to rid myself of that annoying flea. Two thousand years of listening to him whine. You can’t imagine.”
“Then why bother?”
Antu lifted the corner of his mouth. “He allowed much.”
Sam clucked her tongue. “Such behavior is beneath you.”
“I wouldn’t know,” she answered with disdain. “The Mother and Father gave you their gift. I don’t understand why you abuse it so.”
She could feel her guts churn with anger and regret. She wanted to reach out and snatch Stuart from his grasp, but Antu might snap the man’s neck before she could reach him. “Remember, brother, everything you do must be paid for. There are consequences to every action. Our parents taught us that.”
“Yes, they did,” he answered with a soft laugh. “What do humans call them these days? Ah, yes, they’re called banks, and they have a word I’m looking for, yes that’s it. They call it collateral. Year upon year upon year, asleep yet not asleep. I have gathered enough collateral wouldn’t you say?”
Sam decided not to answer and began inching closer. Antu shook his head, brows drawing together in a straight black line. “I wouldn’t.”
“You’re wrong,” she countered, choosing caution over action. “What you did to our brothers and sisters can never be expunged. The punishment for murder is still death.”
His entire face suffused red then darkened to near black. “Ahh, but you see? I didn’t die.”
Sam tried to stop the word before it escaped her lips. She failed. “Pity.”
Antu’s answer? To hoist Cordell Stuart higher in his arms and lower his head so that his lips grazed the man’s neck. Sam lurched forward. “Unh-unh-unh,” he admonished.
Five thousand years ago, Samira Anai Se-Bat entered the temple feeling the same hole grow inside her gut. Completely helpless, she stared and begged. “In the name of whatever goodness is still inside you, do not do this. You will never be redeemed.”
As a major in biochemistry with a minor in English literature, Linda has always tried to mesh her love of science with her love of the written word. Once a clinical research scientist, now a NJRW Golden Leaf, N.N. Light’s Book Heaven 2021 Paranormal Romance award, and the 2022 HOLT Medallion winner for Speculative Fiction, she creates unforgettable characters and puts them in untenable situations, much to their dismay. Choices always matter and love conquers all, so a happy-ever-after is a must. Linda is a member of the Board of Liberty States Fiction Writers. She has served on the boards of other writing organizations, and loves to teach the craft of writing at workshops and conferences. She lives in New Jersey with her husband John, son Chris, daughter-in-law Sara, and Audi and Archer, a pair of pooches who had her at woof!
Social Media Links