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New Release | Web of the Succubus by @WestonAndrew #darkfantasy #horror #paranormal #newrelease
Title: Web of the Succubus
Author: Andrew P. Weston
Genre: Dark Fantasy/horror/paranormal
Publisher: Raven Tale Publishing
Augustus Thorne has his work cut out, trying to juggle his recuperating capabilities with a turbulent personal and professional life. On the plus side, things have improved dramatically with Colleen Wolf. But, as he endeavors to cement his relationship with her, events conspire against him.
It transpires there are elements within some of the most powerful human governments who are secretly collaborating with the demon court. Their goal being to turn the majority of mankind into chattel. Brood livestock, whose only purpose is to serve the demondim’s ghastly appetites. Augustus simply can’t allow that to happen. He sets out to frustrate Asmodai’s machinations, unaware that a spider is waiting in the dark.
And it’s ready to pounce.
“Is it ready?” Marissa bit off each word as if they were offensive to her palate.
“Soon my love,” Lamia crooned. “But tell me, why the sudden urgency?”
Marissa’s hair stood on end, the sheer potency of the charge coursing through her body generating fingers of lightning that crackled from her extremities like hungry tentacles. “They’re engaged, for Azazel’s sake. Engaged!”
“What?” Lamia gasped. “When? How did . . . how in the devil did they . . .”
“You tell me,” Marissa cut in. “One moment things are progressing wonderfully. I’d been careful not to get too clingy or take advantage. I bided my time, established a trust, built up mutual rapport—and then bam! He comes home leaking all sorts of drivel from his vapid little man-brain about a spontaneous proposal at the airport. Oh, and get this. Not only did he propose, but he used a void signet to seal the deal. Not just any void signet, mind you. That wouldn’t be good enough for the esteemed Colleen Wolf. She’s gone and landed herself one of the original five. A Pentagryst! For pity’s sake, neither of them have a clue what it is. Which is just as well, because if they learn how to activate the damned thing, she’ll be virtually untouchable.”
“Come on,” Lamia placed a consoling arm around her trembling friend, “come and see what we’ve accomplished so far and you can let off some steam along the way.”
Just walking through the tunnels toward the laboratory seemed to help ease the tension threatening to snap Marissa’s spine in two. Glancing toward her companion, she muttered, “Sorry Lamia. I don’t know why I’m so wound up. It’s not like I love him or anything, so no real feelings are involved, but—”
“Are you sure?”
“Eh, what?” She stopped dead in her tracks.
Lamia looked her companion of countless centuries directly in the eye. “Are you sure you haven’t fallen for him, in some small way deep inside?”
Marissa was flabbergasted. “Wh-what are you saying?”
“It’s just that you’ve been referring to his place as home. Your home! The way you speak and act tends to suggest you view Colleen as staking claim on your territory, your partner.” When Marissa didn’t reply, Lamia teased, “He is handsome though, isn’t he? Virile and strong. Confident yet patient. Honorable and undoubtedly brave. Dominant too! Rare attributes for one of our kind. All the qualities we would willingly pledge our front fangs for in a spawn-mate . . . Or a life-mate,” she added quietly.
Marissa was horrified. “But he’s a Cambion!”
Lamia didn’t reply. She didn’t have to, millennia of experience spent reading opponents embroiled in Court politics lending her an insight Marissa knew was hard to fool.
She knew exactly what her friend’s opinion meant. “Oh Lamia! I’ve got to get him out of the way quickly. Please tell me it’s ready? I can’t mess this up, not now.”
“It’s ready.” Lamia patted Marissa gently on the back. “Well, it will be in a few days. Then we’ve just got to administer it and wait for the polymorphic enzymes to stabilize as they bond to your DNA.”
“Once it’s applied? Two or three days. Then, my dear, you’ll be forever hailed as the one who bested even the efforts of Agamemnon and Leanne of the Forge. None of our kind has ever managed to kill a Cambion. You’ll make history, and who knows, perhaps we’ll be able to do away with them once and for all when Asmodai sees we can remove such threats by our own means.”
They entered the test center and Marissa stopped to look about. Apart from the treatment bed she knew so well, the stark room housed banks of new computers and sophisticated looking equipment of unfathomable purpose. Lamia ignored them all and walked over to a simple desk. Picking something up, she returned to her friend and held up a small vial.
Marissa had to peer closely to see its contents, for only a miniscule amount of ruby red liquid slopped about inside. Puzzled, she gasped, “Is that . . . is that all?”
“Yes, that’s all!” Lamia grinned. “Pure Heartsbane.”
“But there’s hardly anything there!” Marissa couldn’t tear her gaze away from the vibrating urgency of the rich concoction before her, stunned there was so little.
Holding the tube up to the light, Lamia whispered, “As hard as it is to believe, my love, this is the entire spirit-essence of our unwilling candidate. Tovar Anakim hangs now by the merest thread to life only because of the exceptional fortitude granted by his unique legacy. His purity is exceptional. There’s enough tincture within this vial to kill a Cambion twice over.”
“And it won’t have any side effect on me?”
“You have nothing to fear. Augustus Thorne, however, is a long lost cousin who is about to be reminded of how the past can catch up with you. Once this is applied to your lips, your goodbye kiss will be the last thing he remembers.”
“How will it . . . how do I . . .”
“How will it work? Absorption! Directly through the skin and into his bloodstream. Whatever method you chose, he’ll start to weaken within a few seconds. A few minutes after that, he’ll be as vulnerable as a baby. Ensure you have a blade handy to cut his heart out while it’s still tainted by the toxin. Once you’ve burnt it in the flames of Tartarus, his death will be irreversible. There’s no ceremony, ritual, or spell strong enough to prevent his essence from dissipating.”
Marissa’s attention remained fixed on the culmination of her schemes. A million and one conflicting doubts started tumbling over and over within her mind, stirring the clutter that was her feelings. To her eternal disgust, a nervous chill ran down her spine every time she contemplated one thought in particular: What will life be like without him?”
The first reader who ‘friends’ me on TikTok and Twitter and enters the phrase “The Cambion Journals” within a personal message will win a $15.00 gift voucher to purchase the three previous kindle e-books in the series so far: A Hybrid’s Tale; Call of the Cambion; The Siren’s Song. (As reviews are truly appreciated) The second-place winner will receive a $10.00 gift voucher to buy any two books in the Cambion Journals series.
Andrew Weston is a bestselling author from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with a growing family of rescue animals.
As creator of the critically acclaimed IX Series, the Cambion Journals, and Hell Bound, Hell Hounds, and Hell Gate, (novels forming part of the Heroes in Hell universe), Andrew has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association, the British Science Fiction Association, and the British Fantasy Society.
He also enjoys writing review articles for Amazing Stories and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
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