- N. N. Light
New Release | Redeemed by Fire by @cjbahr #paranormalromance #pnr #newrelease #bookboost
Title Redeemed by Fire
Author C J Bahr
Genre Paranormal Romance
Publisher The Wild Rose Press
New Orleans, hot sultry nights, and an ancient evil who makes the French Quarter home.
Cassanne Thomas returns to New Orleans to start her life over and becomes the target of a supernatural serial killer. Escaping her close call with death, Casi is the only witness to the crime and finds herself placed in protected custody by a handsome Cajun detective. But with her dark, troubled past, trusting the police is the last thing she wants to do.
Detective Lucas Avery, the top homicide detective in NOLA, is unaware of the supernatural world surrounding him. With the killer stalking the streets, he vows to shield the beautiful, enigmatic, Casi with his life while fighting his growing attraction to her. He's been burned before.
Danger chases Lucas and Casi from the streets of the French Quarter to the wilds of the bayou. Will they be able to stop a monster, straight out of a nightmare or become victims themselves?
My hero/heroine are an interracial couple. Luc is white and Casi is half Haitian / half white.
All novels in The Fire Chronicles are standalone stories. Redeemed By Fire is book 3.
“It’s beautiful,” Casi whispered, afraid to break the atmosphere. “In its own creepy horror way. I keep expecting a giant alligator to attack or swamp gas to form into a ghost and haul us to the underworld.”
“Ah, you’re not too far off.”
“What?” Her heart rate accelerated. “Joking! I don’t need any more ghosts in my life other than Mason. And I certainly don’t need to be eaten by a gator.”
“I’m offended, Casi. Don’t you think I’d protect you?”
“Ha. Ha. Maybe from serial killers, but from the supernatural? How can anyone safeguard themselves from that?”
“I’m Cajun, cher. Magic is in our veins.”
He chuckled again and then quieted as they stood side by side in companionable silence, staring into the swamp.
“There!” Luc whispered and pointed.
“The light.” He leaned into her as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders, cozying her into his side. He lifted his other so she could sight down his arm.
She gasped. A light. A vivid globe, bright and glowing against the night’s darkness, wove through the trees. It floated, blinking in and out as it ducked behind the cypress trunks and plants low to the ground.
“Fifolet,” Luc intimately whispered into her ear, making her shiver despite the warmth of the night.
“Fee fo lay?” Casi whispered back.
Still wrapped in his arm, he stood so close his breath heated her ear as the liquid cadence of his accent enveloped her.
“A swamp fairy. In Cajun folklore, the fifolet are magic beings appearing as a bright light.” He leaned in closer. “They misdirect and disorient any who try to follow.”
The mesmerizing light continued to dance in the distance. She could well understand being led astray when lost in the dark bayou. The light would be a means to salvation.
“Like a wil-o’-wisp?”
“Non, cher,” his voice dropped lower and softer. “Those are European. Our bayou faeries are much more dangerous. Evil.”
The loud screech beside her made Casi leap at Luc. She wrapped herself around him as his arms embraced her, holding her tight. The horrible sound didn’t repeat, but something brushed against her bare legs. Yelping, she grabbed his shoulders, jumped up, and wrapped her legs around Luc’s hips, locking her ankles to keep from falling to the ground.
Her heart raced. Luc should be running. Or shouting. She leaned back, wildly looking around, seeing nothing, not even the swamp fairy. Suddenly, she realized Luc was laughing as he held her with one arm braced under her bottom and the other wrapped around her shoulders.
“Are you laughing at me?”
He choked back a snicker. “More of a city girl, cher?”
“You are laughing at me.”
“Maybe a little.” His charming smile came out to play. He broke his gaze, looking past her. “Catastrophe, go on now. You’re cruel, taking advantage of our city, fille.”
Her eyes widen, and she looked over her shoulder and down. Sure enough, Cat sat beside them, regally upright, her bushy tail curled around her. And if a feline could smirk, Casi swore Cat did.
“Shoo, you troublemaker,” Luc ordered. “You know you’re not allowed outside. You’ll get yourself eaten.”
Cat yawned and stretched. She gave one last aloof feline stare before she trotted away, crossing the lawn toward the house.
“Sorry I laughed. But you should have seen your expression.”
She tore her gaze away from the retreating feline menace and locked gazes with Luc. “You had me all spooked out with your evil fairy and creepy swamp. What did you expect? Plus, there’s nothing wrong with being a city girl.”
Casi huffed, then stilled. They were so close—their noses were almost touching since she had jumped and wrapped herself around Luc. Her borrowed sundress had hiked up, baring a considerable length of thigh. Embarrassed, she sucked in her lower lip.
“Nothing wrong at all, cher. Not at all.”
She had a feeling he wasn’t talking about being a city girl. Frozen in their embrace, she swallowed hard as her heart rate sped up again.
“I suppose,” Luc murmured, “Since the danger has passed, I should put you down.”
He appeared reluctant. The hand on her shoulder leisurely skimmed her back, landing at her waist after a long moment. With a slow inhale then exhale, the arm supporting her from beneath unhurriedly moved so his hand gently grasped the other side of her waist. She unhooked her ankles and let her legs drop, but his hands tightened and held her up, their bodies pressed close, gazes locked. With a slight huff, Luc gradually lowered her, sliding her down his hard body. When her feet touched the ground, it took him another long moment before he drew a single step back and lowered his hands from her body. He was still too close. They weren’t actually touching, but it felt like they were.
Casi couldn’t look away, couldn’t move. Didn’t want to. A half smile quirked up Luc’s mouth, and he raised his hand. Slowly, as if afraid he might spook her, he carefully tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear before brushing the skin on the side of her face. He lifted his finger, and she spotted the light dusting of powdered sugar. A leftover from eating beignets.
Entranced, she couldn’t look away as he brought his finger to his mouth. His tongue darted out and licked. The sugar disappeared, and his hand dropped to his side, all the while he stared deeply into her gaze. Oh. My. God. Heat flashed through her, and all her muscles tingled. Her gaze dropped to his mouth as her own tongue darted out to lick her suddenly dry lips. Her eyes widen as she tore her gaze from his mouth and stared into his eyes with surprise. She accidently gave him the universal sign of go ahead. Would he kiss her? Apparently so. She swallowed hard as Luc leisurely leaned in and pressed his lips to hers. Soft and warm, his kiss gentle and not demanding. Casi shivered.
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First published in Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Sword & Sorceress" anthology, C J was bitten by the writer's bug and hasn't stopped since. The Wild Rose Press published her award-winning first novel, "Walking Through Fire"— a Scottish ghost romance. She is currently working on the fourth book in the interconnected standalone series, The Fire Chronicles, as well as a new Urban Fantasy starring a kick-ass Time Enforcer.
When her pen isn't scribing, you can find her busily cutting and tracking music for film and television. With over thirty years of music editing experience, her credits range from "Northern Exposure" and "The Muppets Christmas Carol", to "The Kill Point", "The Following", and ABC’s hit comedy, "The Middle".
In her downtime, you’ll find her curled up with a cup of tea, her cats and a great book in Tarzana, California.
Social Media Links
Twitter: @cjbahr https://twitter.com/cjbahr