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New Release | Riftsiders: Identity Theft by @TDIPaulD #uf #paranormal #urbanfantasy #bookboost



Title Riftsiders: Identity Theft


Author Paul A. DeStefano


Genre Paranormal, Urban Fantasy


Publisher The Wild Rose Press


Book Blurb


Enrique and the demon inside him didn't kill a man in New Mexico. No. No way. Did they? His possessed autistic girlfriend, Elkie, doesn't think so either. Probably. Even with all that evidence. Guidry the Technomancer isn't so sure, but he'll do what he can to help Enrique reveal the truth before Memphis "Witchkiller" Aldrain, the Shotgun Sorcerer, catches up. It’s going to take help from their friends, demonic and otherwise, to unravel the mystery of how Enrique didn't or did commit murder. On the run, they’ll find hidden Riftsider towns, demonic night clubs, and unworldly ways to get around--a necessary precaution once a hellhound gets on their trail. The clock is ticking. Will they find the truth before bounty hunters - or worse - find them?


Note from the author: Riftsiders: Identity Theft starts hours after the end of the first book, Riftsiders: Unlawful Possession.


Excerpt


Enrique flinched behind the train seat, more from the tiny puff of cushion that bounced off his temple than the crack of the gunshot. The train hadn’t started moving yet, and the shot echoed back from tiled tunnel walls. He looked to the blonde and black leather curl of Elkie across the aisle, trying to wedge herself under one of the seats. Someone rushed by outside the window over her, ducking and dodging, not realizing the shooter was in the next car over from them, not out on the platform.


“Elkie. Elkie!”


“Too loud, too loud, too loud,” Elkie said, shaking her head.


Another gunshot.


“Elle,” Enrique said. “Please, calm down. We have to figure this out. Don’t be afraid.”


“Not afraid. Too loud.”


“Elle. Let me talk to Key. Where’s Key?”


Elkie looked up at him, a single metallic green eye glinting between the fingers covering her face. “You’re kidding, right? What makes you think demon Key is any more willing to get her head blown off than autistic Elle? I’m in here trying to hide behind Elle. Do you not know us?”


“We need a plan or we’re dead.”


The rubber gasket sound of the train door opening at the far end of the car was more chilling than the missed shots. Elkie buried her head under her hands. Heavy boots crunched the shattered plexiglass on the floor.


“Elkie!” Enrique hissed. “Key. Keostapholese!”


She glared up at him. “Don’t you dare use my summon name, or so help us, if we get out of here, you’re never getting laid again, and we don’t just mean with this body, because we will tear that thing right off.”


Enrique grimaced at the sound of a gun being reloaded. The normal Penn station crowd was gone from the platform. He tried to look out the window next to him without leaving cover, hoping to see some form of transit police or security on the way. The huge figure that had chased them into the train hummed softly to himself.


“Key, you have to drown him or something.”


“We can’t direct water where we can’t see and we’re not going to stand up.”


“Don’t need you to stand,” came an accented voice not unlike the sound of the shattered plexiglass. “It’s not you I’m after, pretty lady.”


“Great, we’re getting killed by Crocodile Dundee,” Elkie whispered to Enrique.


“I’m from New Zealand,” the man said.


“Key, he won’t shoot you,” Enrique said.


“Didn’t say that,” the man chuckled. There was the sound of a crunching footstep. “Said I’m not after her. Not aiming to kill her. Doesn’t mean I won’t. Before you, if I have to. Afterwards, if she gets in the way. Much rather just zip tie her hands to a seat and leave her.”


“Under what condition do you walk out of here?” Enrique called.


“With your body over my shoulder.” “Enrique didn’t do anything,” Elkie said.


Enrique huddled further down, watching Elkie try to scrunch even smaller across the aisle. Then came the crisp sound of paper being unfolded rather than gunfire and footsteps. Elkie looked to Enrique questioningly. Enrique tried to look under the seats to judge just how far the man was.

“Enrique Marin,” the man drawled. “You certainly look like this picture here. Taken escaping custody in New Mexico. Dark eyes, Dominican, broad shouldered. You a model in skivvy ads?”


“Sounds like a good picture,” Elkie said. “Wonder if we can get a copy.”


“I haven’t been to New Mexico. She can vouch for that,” Enrique said, pulling a phone from his pocket.


“No wanted man ever said they were at the scene of the crime,” the man continued, clucking his tongue. “One homicide, one disappearance. That reads a lot like two murders to me.”


“We work for the DCA,” Enrique said, rapping the phone to get a signal.


“I heard. Demon Control Agency also hired me,” the man said. “Doesn’t make you innocent. You’re in that new DAEMON group, using possessed people to help track possessed people. That doesn’t sound like a good idea. Looked you up, Marin. Seems you have a talent for getting into trouble.”


“That was my passenger,” Enrique said. “My riftsider, Tzazin. Not me. He’s exorcised. Gone. Banished.”


“I’d rather bring you in alive. I’ll just shoot you in the leg,” the man said.


“That’s a fair deal,” Elkie said. “Do it.”


“Excuse me?” Enrique squeaked, trying to wave the phone for reception while remaining hidden.


“If he’s busy shooting you,” she hissed through her teeth, “We can stand up and see him and do whatever.”


“I am not getting shot.”


Elkie stared. “Listen, if you take the shot, we’ll do the dishes for a week.”


“What? I am not going to get shot for you to do dishes. This is not an even trade.”


“Speak up, can’t hear you. I’m going to start coming back there now,” the man said. “If you come out, I promise just a wounding shot. If I have to come to you, no such promise.”


“Stall him until I get a signal,” Enrique said.


“Listen, can’t Antithica heal you now?” Elkie hissed. “Stand up, take the hit, we’ll take care of Chuckles and then you have her heal you. What’s the use of having a cool riftsider gift if you’re not going to take advantage of it? It’s practically insulting to her if you don’t get decently wounded. You said we needed a plan. This is a plan.”


“Not one where I get shot. Riftsider healing or not, that’s going to hurt.”

“A month.”


“What?”


“We’ll do the dishes for a month.”


“Last call,” the man said. “You’re holding up this train. I’m sure people would like to get on board.”


The phone in Enrique’s hand rang and he let out a yelp in surprise, embarrassed that their hunter might have heard him. He looked at it. No bars.


“Hello?” Enrique said, tapping the phone.


“Yeah, hey,” the voice came. “Looks like you’re about to be killed by Mr. Memphis Aldrain. I can see that big hat from here. He’s about four windows in from the end of the car now.”


“Who the hell is this?” Enrique asked as the footsteps drew closer.


“Dude, seriously?” the voice came back. “This is Guidry. The technomancer. You brought me in a few weeks back. You don’t remember? Long hair down one side, buzzed on the other, earrings, the cool long coat. Your bud, Corey, sent me. Said you might be in trouble.


Listen, I can get you a big distraction to move in three.”


“What are you talking about?”


“Two…”


“Who is it?” Elkie asked.


“Guidry,” Enrique said.


“The kid who looks like an extra from The Matrix?


We liked him.” “One…”


Enrique closed his eyes and jumped into the aisle. The train lurched forward. Blood burst from Enrique’s arm as Memphis stumbled and shot.


Elkie screamed. A vicious grin crossed her face. She summoned an eel of clear water in her hand that leapt to the heavily tattooed face of Memphis Aldrain, soaking his beard and crawling up his nose. The empty train wheels screeched as it stopped, knocking his leather hat off and sending him sprawling to the aisle.


“Run!” Elkie yelled. “We got him.”


“Key,” Enrique said, grabbing her arm. “Don’t kill him.”


She grunted and rolled her eyes. “Sure, take all my fun. Get out of here.”


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)












Author Biography


Paul and his wife live on Long Island, NY, with a strange menagerie that includes a dog, a few cats, sugar gliders, a hedgehog, a bearded dragon, various fish, and several grown children that have not left. After graduating Hofstra University with a split degree of English and Acting, he worked in the boardgaming and roleplaying industry for decades, including officially licensed projects for Star Trek and Lord of the Rings. He did not win the Origins Award for Best Miniatures Rules in 2004 and has totally forgotten that bitter defeat. When not actually playing and working on games, he is sometimes found touring internationally, giving lectures on worldbuilding and character design. Being a professional full-time blacksmith for several years made him realize how much less painful it was to go back to writing. He's been lucky enough to hold the Top Humor Writer badge at Medium multiple times, and has had his work narrated by James Cosmo (Lord Mormont from Game of Thrones) on multimillion dollar Kickstarter projects.It is also worth noting that having never taken any lessons in bassoon, he still cannot play one.


Social Media Links


Twitter @TDIPaulD

Insta: TaintedDragonInn

1 Comment


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Feb 15, 2023

Thank you, Paul, for sharing your new release with us!

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