Black Friday is here and we’re discussing the season with Juliana Stone’s Nico from King of the Damned.
For millennia the struggle between light and dark, between the upper and lower realms, has been policed by a secret group of warriors culled from every fabric of existence. They are both otherworld and human, male and female. They are light and dark themselves and known to each other as the League of Guardians. Their pledge, to protect the line between dominions and make sure neither side grows too powerful. If they fall, so shall the earth, the heavens and hell. And there will be no more.
With darkness all around him, The League of Guardians is his only means of redemption…
Azaiel, the fallen, has been given a second chance to atone for the sins of his past. With demons gathering and threatening the league, he must find out if their circle has been breached. What he doesn’t foresee is a woman—a fierce warrior—who will turn his world upside down and awaken his tortured soul.
Rowan James is a powerful witch out to avenge the death of her beloved grandmother, but she needs an ally. Will she be able to trust a man with secrets as dark as the sorrow in his eyes? Loving Rowan means risking salvation and yet Azaiel cannot ignore the hunger burning hot between them—his one last chance at happiness. With danger all around them, will these two desperate souls finally find love in each other? Or be forever damned…
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a copy of Wicked Road to Hell.
Nico and Priest
Nico strode into the brightly lit mall and put the brakes on. He glanced to his partner and scowled, his sensitive nostrils flaring at the aroma of so many holiday shoppers. I can’t believe I’m doing this.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” he snarled.
Dressed in leather and denim, with a vibrant blue mohawk, various piercings, and a nose ring to boot, his scowl only enhanced the already dangerous edge that clung to his broad shoulders. An elderly woman passing by, paused, eyeing him from the tips of his boot clad feet, to the top of said vibrant blue mohawk.
She tsked a few times and moved on, earning a smile from Priest, the Templar Knight who had agreed to accompany him.
“I don’t think she liked you,” Priest said as he nodded toward the far end of the mall. “That’s where it’s located.”
Nico just shook his head and muttered, “let’s get this over with.”
A Jaguar Warrior and member of the League of Guardians, he had faced many things—demons, vampires, sorcerers—but he would rather face a pack of hellhounds than deal with the wall of humanity in front of him. A wall of humanity that was equal parts happy and anxious. With two days until Christmas they were in a spending frenzy. His mood darkened. Christmas. As if it mattered in this world. If these humans only knew what stalked them in the shadows, they might not be so…happy.
He stepped into the mass of bodies and he and Priest slowly made their way down the mall. By the time they reached their destination, his scowl had deepened to the point that a woman gasped as she walked by. She covered her young child’s face and quickly drew him in the opposite direction.
Smart of her, he thought.
“Are you sure this is the place?” he asked Priest, his eyes everywhere as he scanned for otherworld. So far no baddies had turned on his radar which was good. It meant that this mission was going to be quick.
“Yeah, this is it,” Priest answered, smiling at a group of teenagers who were gathered around the display window.
Nico glanced at the knight. “Why the hell are you in such a good mood?”
The tall man shook his head. “It’s Christmas, my friend. A time of good cheer and all that.”
“Whatever,” Nico retorted.
He pushed through the group of teens, ignoring their mutterings—which ended abruptly when he glanced their way. Inside the store, the heat and odor was oppressive, but he pushed through determined to get what he had come for and get the hell out. Priest pointed toward the back of the store and he made his way through, a major feat considering his size and the fact that the store was brimming with holiday shoppers. Once he was there however, a bit of that coldness inside him dissipated. He stood, shoulders thrown back, legs wide as he tried to decide on the right one.
A little human girl, dressed in purple, with blond ringlets and rosy cheeks yanked on his leg and though he glanced down with his perma-scowl in place, it disappeared when he met the pale blue eyes and soft smile. She pointed and giggled, “I like that one.”
Nico turned and something shifted inside him. Something warm. And kind of nice. Something he hadn’t felt in a very long time.
“Good choice,” he replied gruffly.
Priest opened his mouth to speak, but Nico shot him down cold. “Not a word.” The Templar knight grinned but remained silent.
Less than ten minutes later he left the store, with Priest at his side and Silent Night playing over the speakers. He may have stepped a little lighter, but wasn’t willing to analyze it too closely. After a gruff, goodbye, he watched the taillights of Priest’s large SUV disappear into the night. The man was on his way home, back to his vineyard for some much needed R&R, and Nico…he glanced into the back seat. He had no idea what the hell he was doing.
When he finally reached his destination, he slipped from his truck before he could change his mind. He grabbed the bundle of fur, a soft golden and fat bundle and even smiled when the puppy licked his face and snuggled into his shoulder. The little golden retriever was gonna be a handful—he could sense this.
Nico strode up the walkway and paused in front of the door, suddenly feeling ridiculous and the doubts that crowded his mind became louder. He held the wiggling bundle of fur and thought that maybe he’d overstepped. He turned about to hightail it the hell out of there when the door opened and a soft feminine voice whispered, “Nico, I was hoping you were going to come over.”
His chest tightened and he cleared his throat. He took a deep breath and turned around, glancing into the eyes of the woman who had come to mean so much to him. “Uh,” he said roughly, “Merry Christmas.”
He held out the puppy and waited for her reaction. When she jumped forward and pressed her mouth to his he thought that maybe, just maybe, there was something special about Christmas.
Meet Juliana Stone!
Juliana Stone has always believed in the power of a good story. When her first narrative, a futuristic about Santa Claus set in a world that resembled her friend’s hamster cage was a hit with her fourth grade teacher, she discovered her calling-writing. Novels, short stories, songs-so long as she was writing she was happy. During a stint on the music end of things, she toured Canada fronting an all female rock band and after meeting her husband fell into married life. Kids, dog and the requisite white picket fence followed and her writing took a bit of a back seat.
But in the fall of 2007 she decided to resurrect her love of writing and inspired by the paranormal works of Christine Feehan, Keri Arthur and Lindsey Sands she set out to write something great. Luckily, a unique world of jaguar shifters was born and the rest is history!
Want to purchase Juliana’s novels?
League of Guardians
- Wrong Side of Hell
- Wicked Road to Hell
- To Hell and Back
- King of the Damned
- Awaken The Damned (June 2013)
Please help spread the word: Tweet: Celebrate the madness with 32 authors while #giveaways ensue during #BlackFriday (Nov23-Dec24) http://tinyurl.com/LEBlackFriday2012 #paranormal #fantasy
Thank you Juliana for taking part in Literary Escapism’s Black Friday!
Juliana is giving away a copy of Wicked Road to Hell. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: Did Nico’s present surprise you? What did you think he could’ve been? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered. (US/CA only)
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
All Black Friday contests will remain open until December 31st at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the snazzy new plug-in I have. Have you checked out the other Black Friday contests yet? Check out the Master List to see all the Black Friday giveaways
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.