The polishing process with my critique partners, the wonderful author Beth Trissel and the imaginative multi-published author Toni Sweeney, is almost finished on this 207 page book.
The Summons is about a witch who doesn’t know she has such powers and the spirit she summons from another dimension.
Heather is a romance writer. Eryael is the elemental god of the wind and sea. The book is set in Jamaica. I think I will submit it to The Wild Rose Press, hoping they will contract it as they did Love for Sale. Now, however, my editor has another of my books (the only romance I’ve ever written in which the hero is human) called Gambler’s Choice, a novel about the horsey set.
His name vibrated through his entire being. The intensity of the call shocked him. A sudden, unreasonable fear chilled him despite the warmth of the surrounding air. As he collected himself to respond, again another being’s panic seized him. Impossible but he was falling!
He was shrinking, compressing. It was a pleasant feeling, not painful, not frightening but interesting—a hugging together of his nebulous self. Disorientation should have alerted him that he was growing small enough to pass through, but it had been so long he’d forgotten.
This side of the curtain, time had no meaning. He remembered nothing of the other dimension—except that it existed in some vague, prickly memory.
Sofiel was with him, riding high on the crystal winds. His dark brother shot him a puzzled frown. He, too, felt the pull of the Summons. Faraway chants echoed, distant drums beating a seductive rhythm. A scream pierced him. Vague recollections of this tearing apart surfaced. The Summons was not for Sofiel. It was for Eyrael alone. Darkness blinded him, and he imploded.
Eyrael’s next awareness was the caress of a warm liquid caressing and supporting him as the air had done moments ago. Not only the water, but he was changing shape, forming, drawing tighter together. He tried to expand, met solid resistance. He found himself inside a grid work of bone and flesh. A flash of light sizzled from the sky to the sea, thunder booming in its wake. Every detail of his previous visits to this place manifested at once. Strange the way that happened. It was always the same. One minute, he recalled nothing; the next, he knew everything. Memories waltzed before his eyes, beckoning him deeper into the mortal fold, the place where the People lived.
Their drums resonated in his blood, chants welding him to their realm. They had named him God of Wind and Sea, but commanded him to their will.
He concentrated on the shape of the People, flexing his arms, stretching his legs. Both too long, he had to adjust. The beach seemed far away, those gathered around the ceremonial fire stick figures. He blew out a breath, and the wind howled. He rethought his height. Finally, he achieved the Eyrael they expected to answer their Summons.
The sea played with his shoulders and his hair. Eryael smiled his Pleasure.
A scream gurgled in the waves ahead. A head split the churning ocean. One of the People. I must rescue. He shook the mane of hair back from his face and considered that, perhaps, he had too much hair. The tiny being reappeared frantically battling itself, spouting water from its mouth. Its cries stabbed him like splinters of darkness, and the pain, as much as any sense of duty, tugged him toward the drowning creature.
“Eyrael!” His name split the night sky, reverberating off the pinpoint stars.
He hated the mortal engaged in a hopeless skirmish with the water. Eyrael was irritated that its despair had somehow torn the curtain between the worlds and brought him over merely to sustain its brief flicker of life.
Silence. She no longer cried. Facedown, the waves washed a slender body toward the shore. A thrill shivered over his entire body. A woman, giver of the utmost Pleasure.
On the beach, dark shapes formed a half-circle around a soaring beacon fire. As one, they dropped to their knees and bent from the waist, their foreheads on the sand. A lone figure remained standing. The multi-colored feathers in the Shaman’s headdress danced in the wind of Eryael’s passage. Taino, young and virile, wise man, witch doctor, a powerful magic user. The Indian sorcerer pinned Eyrael with eyes cold and hard as onyx.
Ah, the woman is a sacrifice but not to me.
Eyrael was well aware this Shaman revered Sofiel. Taino thought to command Eyrael’s dark brother. A generation of the People had grown to manhood while the silence lasted between the spirits and the tribe. The witch doctor had summoned Sofiel, yet Eyrael had been pulled across. How could this be?
Still, he was in the land of the People. Perhaps, there was Pleasure to be had. At the very least, he could enjoy sight in the mortal sense. Sight brought with it emotion. Ah, emotion! Fierce and passionate. Sex with emotion was bliss. Heat throbbed low in his body. An image of a woman writhing beneath him intensified desire. The vision made his shaft grow hard.
The drowning woman bobbed on a wave. “Eyrael,” she prayed. “I see you now. I’m coming.”
An invisible cord drew him closer to the sacrifice.
Eyrael. The woman, not the Shaman, had Summoned him. Indeed, she must be a powerful witch. He would rescue the sacrifice and foil the Shaman’s plans. Delighted, he laughed, the sound startling him. He had forgotten how mirth rumbled from human throats, but laughter like sight was Pleasure.
He lifted on the waves, flowing to the witch. She was still, appeared lifeless but he sensed her essence had not yet departed. He scooped her from the ocean into his arms. Her head drooped over the crook of his elbow, her long, rough gown molding to an exquisite body. Golden hair clung to a pale but beautiful face. Eyrael bent and kissed her mouth. At the touch of flesh on flesh, Pleasure stirred. He opened his mouth over hers, tracing her lower lip with his tongue. Fierce emotions and that wonder passion sizzled through him. She sputtered, coughing. He must revive the woman, carry her to the beach and take her hard and fast, the Shaman and his flock watching him, not Sofiel, enjoy the sacrifice.
He drew back, willing the pretty witch to live. Her eyelids flickered. She choked, another hard cough wracking her fragile body. Large eyes of a beautiful blue fluttered open, widened, and a lightning-like thrill zinged through Eyrael. Blue eyes were his favorite. Maybe he’d have blue eyes this visit. Spellbound, he bent to kiss her. The woman screamed, struggling in his embrace. Her sharp cry hurt his ears.
His arms tightened, cradling her to his chest. She was soft, her flesh yielding, and the feel of her breast against him exciting. “Do not struggle. You are too weak.”
What did he look like to this creature? Hair the color of sea foam flowed over his shoulders. His eyes were the color of rainbows in glass. The People never feared him, but this golden-haired witch trembled in terror when she should be grateful. If he didn’t yearn to discover how she’d Summoned him, he’d allow his ocean claim her. The drums throbbed, low and angry. The Shaman’s resentment and frustration blew bitter on the wind. Dark emotions haunted the moonlit beach where the People paid homage to the wrong god. Soon, Taino would understand he could not command a spirit.