test
has been added to your cart.
Sub-Total:
$0.00

The Nexus Chronicles


Turning Night

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: The Nexus Chronicles #0
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

At her five-year anniversary, Max must relive the most traumatic moment in her life, her Turning Night. Max ha...

Max sat at her desk and pondered the calendar. Five years. It was as clear as the nose on the goblin rep’s face; it had been five years since she had been turned into the Abomination. She wondered if they made a greeting card for that.

Fifth anniversary, wood and silverware. She grinned as she imagined that party with a bunch of vampires. Two things traditionally used to kill them and they were obligated to offer them to her. Part of Max was delighted and part dreaded the party in two days.

Anthony knocked on the doorframe. “Apprentice, the Guild Master requests your presence.”

She grinned and got to her feet. “I really doubt that. Any news from Xander and Abby?”

“They are doing well and have renewed their offer of a gnome to call your own.”

Laughter bubbled up. “No, I think I will have to decline that offer. Gregori would probably try and eat it if it irritated him.”

“I do not think that try would be involved.” Anthony sighed and his ears turned pink.

“Is he whistling for me again?”

The Guild Master’s Major Domo nodded with a pained expression.

With a regretful sigh, Max pulled her earplugs out and tucked them in her desk. Her enhanced hearing was part and parcel of being the Abomination. The earplugs helped when Gregori was feeling particularly vocal.

She passed Anthony and patted his shoulder. “It is almost time for some meal.”

He nodded with relief and headed for the kitchen. It was the most soundproofed portion of the Guild Master’s estate.

The windows were being opened to let in the sunset. Gregori had only mild sensitivity to light and Max had none at all.

“Max!”

“Coming, Guild Master.” She wrinkled her nose at the etiquette that she had to obey. He was meeting with a panther shifter with a rather primitive attitude toward women. This was not where she wanted to be right now.

He quieted, so she knew he had heard her. He would have continued bellowing if she hadn’t answered.

Calling this huge place home had taken some getting used to, but now, she navigated easily through the halls to the formal audience chamber.

She paused in the doorway and inclined her head. “You called, Guild Master?”

He was seated at the round table with the shifter. “You took your time, Max.”

“I was not prepared for your summons.”

The panther snorted. He looked like he ate nails for breakfast and he had been in at least two territory disputes that had scarred his face. “Apparently. I thought she had all the strengths of a vampire, including her hearing.”

Max didn’t respond. She looked to Gregori.

“She tends to use earplugs to block me out, Rithak. She needs moments to herself and tries to keep her use of the plugs to daylight hours.” His lips twisted in amusement.

At her five-year anniversary, Max must relive the most traumatic moment in her life, her Turning Night.
Max has lived as the Abomination for five years and this week is her anniversary. Like all vampires, she has to return to the point at which she was turned and relive her original attack and transformation. Max is prepared, but there is a little errand she must run for Gregori before the big night.
A panther shifter has asked for a bodyguard for his sister, and Max agrees to watch the woman as long as she can bring two friends.
Raven Dexter and Hellebore arrive in time to help the very pregnant shifter through a difficult labour while midnight elves wait to take the baby for their own.
After that, Max’s Turning Night is a bit of an anticlimax.
Hellebore's Holiday

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: The Nexus Chronicles #0
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

A holiday gone horribly wrong drops Hellebore in a prison and sets her on a frantic search for freedom with unlike...

She slid into her car with her bag in the back seat, and she waved at him as she drove off to the GPS coordinates where her gate was waiting.

Transport gates on routes in the human world were tricky, so they were devised in two parts. One part was set in place by the mage, and the person who was going to use it carried the other.

Since the call to attend her second cousin’s wedding, Hellebore and her band had been called out on fourteen different events, and therefore, she now had a helluva collection of transport fobs. She checked the GPS for the third time and started to accelerate carefully.

Ice under her caused her to slide and the flash of her transport blinded her. She thudded to a halt when her tires grabbed a solid surface and she hit the brakes. Her airbag deployed and everything got bright before it got dark.

Her horn was blaring as a hand touched her shoulder. “Miss? Miss, are you awake?”

She blinked and looked over at the owner of the voice. It rolled over her like water and licked at her skin. “I am awake. Did I hit anyone?”

He chuckled and reached across her to release her seatbelt. “No one out here to hit. I don’t know why you are here or how you got here, but you didn’t hit a thing.”

His features shifted as she stared at him, blurring as she blinked the blood out of her eyes.

“Out you come.” He eased her out of the car.

“My bag is in the back.”

“I see it. I will get it as soon as you are settled. It looks like you split your forehead. How many fingers do you see?”

She blinked and narrowed her eyes as a fan of digits waved in front of her. “Fifteen?”

“Okay, concussion is a possibility. Stay awake. I don’t want to have to explain you to the Doc.” He eased her into the back of a car. She saw grills and the plate that told her she was in some kind of law-enforcement vehicle.

He tucked her bag into his trunk and closed the door to her vehicle, taking the keys with him. He checked on her and gave her a quick wink. “Hold on, it is five minutes away.”

She had never been in a law-enforcement vehicle that was using all of its horsepower before, but her head pounded hard enough that she couldn’t enjoy it.

A holiday gone horribly wrong drops Hellebore in a prison and sets her on a frantic search for freedom with unlikely allies.
 
Hellebore wants some time off from the singing, from being pressured to perform. When she takes off in the beginning of December, she is shocked to find her normal portal turning into a one-way trip into a prison.
With her head a bloody mess, she is taken to the doctor, who treats her wounds with a confident touch. She gets the briefing on the prison, but one tiny detail is left out. Their prison is a holding area for a Christmas detachment.
All eight men are being held for crimes against their people’s traditions, but she finds that they are not all criminal. With a little bit of effort, she finds a way to send messages and gets in touch with the outside world. Having friends is a very good thing.
Gnomes of Suburbia

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: The Nexus Chronicles #1
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Abby wants a new life, but magic was never on the agenda. Her new neighbours are great, if you like mermaids, were...

“Abby. Abby, close the mirror.” The voice seemed so far away and she was trapped in the cupboard.

A sharp jolt to her hand and the viewer snapped shut. Abby blinked in astonishment at what she had seen, felt and heard. “Holy crap.” He leaned over her and took the viewer from her hand. Contact was minimal, but she still managed to keep her power to herself.

“I am surprised that it took you that powerfully.”

He still kept his hands free of her as she wobbled to her feet and that act of separation made her grit her teeth. “I had to jump start the mechanism, it may be a little stronger now until you work the charge off it.” She settled back in on the sofa and took another slug of the lemonade. “Who knew that a seal could be that angry?”

He was putting the viewer back and turned to her in shock. “A seal?”

“Yeah. It was a seal’s soul trapped in that painting. A small magus sealed it in there after he found the seal almost dead on the beach. He then had a clown painted on the treated sealskin. He wanted people to be as scared of clowns as he was.” She relaxed back and let the images she had seen wash over her. It was a small child’s frustration and humiliation that drove him to create that painting. That he had control of enough magic to do it was just another tool for his plan.

“Seriously? A child did that?”

“Yeah, in the late sixties or so.”

“Do you know who it was?”

“No. But with the upped charge, you should be able to investigate. And the reason he attacked Laura was that she smelled a bit like a piece of herring. What seal could resist?” She kept her eyes closed as she heard him pick up the viewer and move to the painting again.

A few short moments later he closed the tool with a snap. “Sonofabitch. It was so simple and yet I couldn’t see it.”

“I am betting that it happens a lot with older mechanisms that rely on magic. But back to the reason I am on your couch. I need to know about what I am.” She didn’t have any room to put her feet up on his coffee table so she kicked off her shoes and curled her feet up on the couch.

“You are a Nexus.”

“Yeah, but why did the council put all of you here?” This question had been bugging her. “And who the heck is on the council anyway?”

“The council is a group of elected officials from the differing magical races that have survived to modern day.” He answered the second question first and crossed his own legs in the lotus position on the other couch.

Oh, he is limber. This has possibilities.

“The last few times a Nexus has been found, it has been drained dry by whoever found it and has died shortly after. We didn’t want that to happen to you.”

“We? Who is we?”

“Your new neighbours here on Oak Point Way. Each of us volunteered to be here as a type of an honour guard. If you can learn to control your dispensation of magic, you will live a long and healthy life.”

“And if I don’t?”

“You will sputter and burn out like a candle and there will be nothing we can do to help you. You carry the seeds of your own survival or destruction within you.”

Abby took a deep sip of her lemonade. “Wow, that is a heavy conversation killer. Okay. The next question is, why is the energy signature on my gnomes changing color?”

“Really? So quickly?”

“Uh, yeah. So. what is doing it?”

“As living things take on your energy, they convert it for their own use. The more they live, the faster they change. The tree for example will metabolize the energy that you gave it and your magic will be irretrievable from that point on.”

“Okay. So as long as it is still my energy, I can pull it back?”

“That is the theory. I don’t know of any cases where the Nexus was able to do it extensively though. That is why you need the training that I am offering you.”

She sighed heavily. “What exactly would this training entail?”

“Every morning when your energy is at its peak you will come over and I will give you exercises to enhance your control over your energies.“ Xander rose and moved to a side cabinet, the drawer that he opened yielded a seven-foot strand of pearls. “These pearls are a good outlet for your extra energy. You can fill them up one at a time and use them to relieve the overflow to prevent accidents like the one that struck Laura.”

Abby wrapped the pearls around her hand and hefted them. They were not light. “I am supposed to haul these things around with me?”

“Well, they will give you a place to put your extra energy. It’s your choice.” He crossed his arms and scowled.

How could she not find that sexy? Her power ramped up again and she filled three pearls in a few seconds.

Then three more as he stated, “I want to see you first thing in the morning, every morning until we get this under control.”

She would like to see him first thing in the morning, after they had spent the night tangling the sheets. Five more pearls. “Fine. I will be over here first thing in the morning tomorrow.”

“Excellent. I look forward to working this out with you. I will be here to help you out as long as it takes.” He took her hand in his and looked deeply into her eyes.

Ten more pearls. Oh, to hell with it. She jumped forward and locked her lips with his. It was just as fantastic as the first time, but this time she had him at a disadvantage and he took a moment to react. He reacted with passion and she was halfway through the necklace before she was able to break the contact. “Wow. Okay. We can’t do that again. Or we can’t do that again today. But I would definitely like to do that again. But not when we are working on extending my expiration date.”

His grin was devilish. “Done. The instant that you are firmly in control of the power, we have a date.”

She extended her hand and he shook it. “We have a deal. What is your official job title by the way?”

He was escorting her out and he gently pinched her backside as he gave her a light shove out the door. “I am the Safety Warlock. Do you feel safe?”

Abby wants a new life, but magic was never on the agenda. Her new neighbours are great, if you like mermaids, werewolves, and medusi. Adapting to her role in the neighbourhood is tricky as it involves pulling magic between dimensions, but the garden gnomes that she animated try to help when they can. The warlock next door is also a problem, every time he gets near her, her power goes berserk. When a stalker joins the crew and tries to end Abby’s new career the hard way, her life is danger and the neighbours are up in arms.
A Nexus Xmas

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: The Nexus Chronicles #2
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Deciding what to get for her gnomes for their first Xmas was Abby's main concern, until the little buggers tri...

Nothing broke one's sense of warm snugliness more than hearing, "Your snowmen were on the news. They froze someone in a solid cocoon of ice."

"It's a bad habit of yours to watch the news before you are awake, Xander. Give me a minute and I will prove you are insane."

Abby yanked the covers over her ears and tried to roll over. He stopped her by making the covers disappear. "Bastard."

"You have met my parents and they are married. Now get up. We need to get to the bottom of this and we have to examine that poor frozen man."

If Xander was going to insist she get up, he could at least dress her. She grumped into the shower and had a quick scrub. She was towelling her hair dry as she walked back to her room and still muttering to herself. Her clothes were laid out, so she jerked on the underwear, which let her know that the gnomes had done it.

The warlock had his panties in a twist.

Her gnomes had oatmeal on the table today. When Xander stayed over, they alternated good breakfasts with healthy ones, just to throw him off.

Abby scowled and munched her gray paste with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. They tried to make it tastier by adding chocolate chips and blueberries, but it was no plate of bacon.

"Come on, Abby. We have to look at the man who was frozen." Xander was on his feet and he had her jacket in hand.

"Fine, but my hair is going to freeze."

He waved his hand and it was bone dry.

"Nice trick. Let's move." She grabbed her jacket and stomped into her boots at the front door.

His car was waiting, warm and ready. They made quick time to the street in Sargent where the frozen man was making quite the stir.

The fire department was there, trying to cut him loose, but Abby could see with her inner eye that he was bound, not by ice but by magic. It was nothing like she had ever seen before. The snowmen were gently crusted, but this was a thick mass of magic that was as clear and hard as the ice that held him.

Tears clogged her voice. "We have to get him out."

"We can't. He is safe enough for now. Nothing can be done to save him, but nothing can be done to harm him." Xander turned the car back to Oak Point Way.

"If we destroy the snowmen, will that eradicate the ice?"

"It should. They are the binding magic after all."

"Why him? Why did they attack him?"

"He was defending his Christmas lights. There were, also, several other thefts of lights and generators. Whatever they are up to, it isn't good."

They were on the short span between their street and the main town when a snowman darted across the road in front of them. It disappeared into the woods, but it left Abby shaken.

"I thought they were slower in sunlight."

"They should be. It must be your magic that is speeding them up." He turned carefully on the slippery road and soon was in front of her house. "I am going to contact the specialists and see if they will come to help. If not, I will try to get what information I can from them. I will see you in three hours, alright?"

"Alright. I will give the gnomes a pep talk and try to keep them inside. Same for the gargoyles. I don't want them out there with those psycho snowmen in the yard."

"I doubt very much that they are still in your yard, but it is a good precaution." He leaned over and they kissed. "See you in a few hours and don't do anything reckless. I will be back as soon as I can."

"Back? From where?"

"The consultation with the experts. I have to transport myself to them. They won't talk over the mirrors."

"Okay. I won't do anything stupid and you will get back as quickly as you can? See you soon."

Abby hopped out of the car and held the door until her feet stabilized on the ice. Sliding her feet in a skating motion, she made her way to her door. As Xander entered his house, she had a feeling of foreboding. The gnomes were usually pretty good about keeping the walkways clear.

The house was silent. She took a deep breath and called for her creatures. "Everybody, front and centre."

Deciding what to get for her gnomes for their first Xmas was Abby's main concern, until the little buggers tricked her into animating the snow warriors that they had created in her yard. The new creatures rampage throughout the neighbourhood and molest the quiet homes of Sargent in an effort to strip away their holiday magic. Abby and the others must stop the snowmen while keeping the magic hidden from the average populace. When Yeti arrive to help, Abby is more than willing to accept whatever they will offer to stop the holiday horror of a giant Snow Beast created for the purpose of world domination. All this, and she still has to shop for the holidays, what is a Nexus to do?
Gargoyles in the Round

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: The Nexus Chronicles #3
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Finally at ease with her newly discovered talent, Abby is ready to face her public. The magical public that is. A...

A large part of her still melted whenever she saw him, but with his council related absences, she had started to guard herself against his comings and goings. Miranda's trial had been weighing on his mind, his previous relationship with Randi colouring his new arrangement with Abby. It was a confusing situation, but as she drifted through her house and went to watch the goings on around her car, her heart warmed to see Xander directing the gnomes on how to change the oil and check the coolant.

The distinct tingle of magic that she felt whenever she saw the Safety Warlock ran though her. "So, how is the car, will she make the trip?"

"Why do you call it a she?"

"Because her name is Bluebell." Abby walked up to stroke the fender and the hatch of her battered station wagon. The magic jumped into the car.

Xander looked at her accusingly. "Was that necessary?"

"If we want her to take us down south, yes."

"Well, the gnomes wouldn't fit in my car unless we put them in the trunk and I don't think that is an option, is it?"

"Wow. You are a smart fella." He stood and wiped his hands on a rag as he approached her. He swept her into an embrace as he leaned her back against Bluebell.

Physically, his interest in her had no relation to her being the Nexus, but emotionally, he was distant. She shrugged and pressed herself against him from chest to knees. "Is that a wrench in your pocket or are you happy to see me?"

"Harby has the wrench."

The kiss he laid on her was enough to heat her blood, it was also enough to start spontaneous repairs of Bluebell's leprous hide. The car was going to be able to fly if he didn't stop doing that thing with his hands around her waist. Being with him gave her the feeling of being delicate and dainty. Dainty was something she had never before achieved.

"How is it that the gnomes know more about your car than I do?"

"They read the Haynes Manual. I found it under my bed a few days ago. Since Harby still had my keys, it wasn't too much of an issue for me. I wasn't worried about them taking it apart since I obviously couldn't drive it."

He leaned back and scowled. "The keys that I used to get into the car so we could open the hood?"

"Yup. Those keys. Harby ate them the day of the car bomb." Her grin was evil and she knew it. "I haven't seen them since."

He groaned. "Can I give them to you now?" He reached into his pocket and pulled the keys out. He jerked his hand back as Angel immediately darted from underneath the car to snatch them. Small scratches marred his skin as he brought his hand to his chest.

"Apparently the little buggers don't trust me not to blow up." He scuttled away with the keys clutched to his chest but the gargoyle didn't eat them, for which she was thankful.

"They are protective of you, almost to a ridiculous degree, but I do warn you that the summit is going to be a somewhat challenging environment for them. You may want to try and confine them to your room for some of the larger events."

"Well, as the current Nexus, where I go, my creatures go." His distraction was making her insular and weird. She wanted something familiar with her at all times. "I am practicing that phrase because I get the feeling that I am going to need it."

He laughed.

For just a moment she saw the man that she had fallen head over heels for. The man who had been subdued since she mentioned that her power was evolving. She didn't know what was going through his head, but before too long, she was going to get tired of this dance, even if a dance was what had drawn them together to begin with. A sharp peck on his lips and she squirmed free. "I have to check on Seesee and the little ones. Who knows what they are going to consider evening wear?"

He barked out a short laugh.

She smiled as she went back inside. It was safer to be out of his vicinity, her home was already opening the door before she touched it. The extra energy was bleeding off into her house and it liked it. Number thirteen Oak Point Way was getting a life of its own.

Finally at ease with her newly discovered talent, Abby is ready to face her public. The magical public that is. A Summit has been arranged and everyone who is anyone or anything will be there. Using her celebrity is an uncomfortable situation for her, but with the Oak Point Guard at her side, as well as her creatures, she is prepared to get through anything, even the trial of her arch nemesis. With the panels and festivities contrasting sharply with the solemnity of the trial, Abby feels torn in too many directions. Can the relationship she has with Xander survive meeting his family, or will social pressures drive them apart? Will the gnomes and gargoyles behave, or will Abby be called in by Hotel Specter security? Find out in Gargoyles in the Round.
Hotel Spectre

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: The Nexus Chronicles #4
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Growing up as an animal talker had been hard enough, but when Sophie goes to the HalfBlood ball at Hotel Spectre,...

Flustered, she jerked out of his grip and looked away. "Yes. I mean. You are very attractive." Rubbing her hands up and down her arms gave her something to do.

"But you are not besotted with me." He leaned back on the bench.

She was up and out of the reach of his long arms in a moment. "Um. No. I don't get besotted with anyone. It feels safer that way."

"Ah, but how can you live, or love, if you don't take risks?"

"I can live quietly."

His scowl could have peeled paint. "But that is simply existing, not living at all. Your short human life needs to be lived to the fullest."

Hearing it put like that was a little shocking. "You couldn't have sugar coated it?"

He was surprised. "What?"

"My short lifespan."

"There are ways of increasing it, but you would have to embrace your inner talent and let the magic run through you on a regular basis."

She rolled her eyes at that. "How am I to manage that?"

His blue eyes turned black as he leaned toward her. "Kiss me."

Kiss him. Yes, that seem the right thing to do. His hair was so silky, his mouth perfect, his skin cool as she cupped his jaw. Raffin tasted like Spring, all energy and light. Sophie sighed happily as their mouths met, touched and sparked power off each other. She made a soft sound of loss as he pulled back and her eyes opened wide to see his satisfied grin.

"That will work."

"Wait, what was that?" She was on her feet and backing away from him. Her body had been beyond her control for those few seconds, or minutes, whatever it was. She had wanted nothing more than to kiss him until the sunset dipped through the sky. "Is that the effect of a Love Talker?"

"It is." Raffin crossed his arms over his chest and crossed his ankles. The perfect epitome of lazy male. "As your mentor, I am giving you an assignment. I want you to make me kiss you."

"Are you nuts?"

"Our talent is sensual in nature, it is easiest to manifest in that manner. Come on. Just another kiss. It means nothing and you probably won't be able to get the command to stick."

He didn't think she could do it. That much was obvious. Her jaw set and she took a long look at her so called mentor. Reaching into her mind to find the source of her talent, she tried to pull it forward. Glaring at him she gave him the same command he had given her, "Kiss me."

"No." His grin was expansive and he shook his head until his gold locks spilled over his shoulders and exposed his pointy ears. "You are not connecting with your magic."

"How am I supposed to connect with it, I don't know what it is!" Frustrated, she closed her eyes and hugged her midriff in agitation.

"Think about what you are trying to accomplish. You are trying to entice me into kissing you. That cannot be done with the words alone. You need to feel it."

Chanting to herself that she couldn't believe she was doing it, she moved toward the bench and straddled her mentor, much to his surprise. She leaned forward, inhaled the light scent of his hair and the stronger scent of wild male underneath and then closed her eyes while she touched her talent. Opening her eyes, she saw him in a whole new way, his body was humming with energy and with a little effort, it could be hers. "Kiss me," came out of her throat in a whisper of sound, but it had a definite result.

Growing up as an animal talker had been hard enough, but when Sophie goes to the HalfBlood ball at Hotel Spectre, she finds out that she had been wrong all along. Her magic isn't what she thought it was and her assigned mentor, Raffin, helps her sort it out. Becoming a Love Talker was never on her aptitude tests in school, but with Raffin coaching her, it comes naturally. Romancing an elf is not on her agenda, but as it starts to happen, Sophie must decide if the magic is worth the risk. Or is the thought of losing Raffin so all consuming that it will become the reality?
Pixies in the Park

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: The Nexus Chronicles #5
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Back at home, Abby is inundated by gifts and cards from the Magical community at large. When one gift is more of a...

With the camaraderie having run its course, the ladies left Abby alone with her thoughts as she closed her door. Well, she tried to close it, but a frantic flapping of wings stalled her. Buffy struck her squarely in the chest, squeaking in distress.

"What is it honey?" Abby tried to calm the clinging gargoyle, but it was difficult with her wings still flapping and her claws digging into Abby's skin.

"Calm down, are you hurt?" Abby carefully used her inner eye to assess Buffy's condition. Her basic energy was stable, her body was not damaged and nothing was off.

"Holy heck." Nothing except for the small, bright spot of life blooming in the gargoyle's belly.

"Where are the boys?" Carrying the little creature, she held her tightly to her chest as she went to look for the other two gargoyles in the backyard. They were up in the trees, hanging baseball caps that they had stolen from unsuspecting men the previous autumn.

"Okay, Buffy. Who is the father?" She pried her creature off her and lured her onto the kitchen counter with a cookie. "Is it Angel?" No response in the aura.

"Not Firefly?" No reaction and the little gargoyle looked away.

What did that leave? "Is it a gnome?" The flare brightened into a hot, red pulse in Buffy's aura.

"Thank goodness. I was afraid it would have been an elf. That was a close one." She held her breath for her next round of questions. "Harby? No. Good. That would have been one ugly little bugger. Skint? No. Splint? No, good that would have been tricky. Oh, lord. That leaves Bitsy."

The flaring of her aura was telling the tale. It was Bitsy.

Abby sighed. It did make a certain amount of sense. Those two had always been drawn together. But a gnome-gargoyle baby? That was a little much to take in.

"Sweetie. When did it happen?" She held onto Buffy's little hand and smiled as the fingers gripped her.

Buffy waved her hand and squeaked again. This time it sounded more like a word. "Today."

"Wow. The little one seems to draw your magic a little."

"No fly."

"Oh. That was why you crashed into me. I think I can give you some supplements to help with that. But this will be your private stash. Don't let the boys into them or they will eat them all." Abby took a cookie and poured the power of the surprise she had felt when she realized she was about to be a grandmother to a flying gnome.

"One cookie a day until the baby gets bigger and then up to three. I will put them in a special spot and get the elves to guard it for you."

Buffy's cute little face with its wild mane of fluffy hair looked happy and hopeful as the cookie replaced some of the magic she had been missing.

"There. Better?" When her little one smiled and nodded, she said, "Good. Now you can tell Bitsy if you wish to, but if you want to keep the secret from your other companions, that is your choice. Come to me once a day for a check-up and I will try to compensate for any changes in the baby's growth cycle with extra boosts. At this point, it is all I can do. I think I may give the cookies to Laura. The gnomes won't dare break in to her yard…again."

That had been a funny afternoon. The gnomes wanted to know if they could swim and had jumped into Laura's pool, promptly sinking to the bottom and making mermaid retrieval imperative. Fortunately, what they did learn was that while they could not swim, they could not drown. It was a bright side.

However, after that escapade, Laura banned them from her yard unless Abby was there to babysit. It was a nice, safe place for power cookies.

She made the call and pressed one of her five cookie jars into service. She would leave it in the backyard in one of the small alcoves that was built into the reed hut that acted as a cabana.

Seesee had left her plenty of cookies, so she charged up a dozen and put them in the jar. Now, the only problem was sneaking over to Laura's without the gnomes seeing her.

A thought broke over her and she smiled at the simplicity. Laura was currently alone, so Abby had a few minutes until Verne came over for their date.

She knocked on the door, cookie jar in hand and simply gave it to Laura with instructions on where to put it. Buffy was sitting comfortably on Abby's shoulder and smiled brilliantly at the mermaid as she greeted her.

"Do you have the goods?" The dark and spooky voice Laura was using belied her bright grin.

In her own version of spy talk she whispered, "I've got the jar. Stash the goodies and all will be well."

A canny look came to the mermaid's eyes. "What will I get in return?"

Abby drew herself up straight. "I will order the gnomes to stop putting fish food in your tea and your juice and your salad." She had gotten enough amusement out of it anyway. Having minions had its good points.

"Deal." Laura extended her hands and took the cookie jar, not commenting on the teddy bear holding an Eat Me sign. "I look forward to doing business with you again, Nexus. Buffy, congratulations."

The little gargoyle extended her wings, stood up on Abby's shoulder and bowed. She squeaked her thanks and then settled back into her perching position.

The two bipedals shook hands and with a jaunty wave, Abby left her friend's yard just as Verne was making his way to his lady's sidewalk.

"Good evening, Verne."

"Evening, Nexus. Taking the gargoyle out for a walk?"

His question was just silly. "Of course I am. I can't ride her, now can I?"

Back at home, Abby is inundated by gifts and cards from the Magical community at large. When one gift is more of a surprise than anticipated, the occupants of Oak Point are going to have their hands full finding the first kidnapped Nexus in history. Abby fights for freedom in her own small way, while Xander goes out of his mind to find her. Join the new creatures, new characters and new villains as they try to help, commiserate and destroy Abby in turn.
Chubby is the Night

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: The Nexus Chronicles #6
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Max just wanted to have a night out with her cousin and go home. As a plus sized lass, she didn't fit in among...

The wild sounds and sights of the nightclub were lost to Max as she followed Tabby and the stranger out of the rear fire door. The darkness of the alley blinded her for a moment until her rapidly blinking eyes adjusted to the lack of light.

There. In the shadows behind a dumpster, she heard a breathy giggle from Tabby followed by a harsh squeak. It was the squeak that demanded action.

Max looked around and grabbed a chunk of wood from the alleyway. "Oy, jackass, get your face off my cousin!"

The stranger had his mouth on Tabby's neck and the whites of her eyes were showing with pain. He didn't move and Tabby whined softly.

With her hands clenched on the wood, she swung at his shoulder and knocked him three feet away from Tabby.

"What do you think you are doing, cow?" His snarl displayed bloody lips and teeth that glowed eerily in the darkness.

"Getting you away from her, ass hat." She was holding the wood like a broadsword.

"You don't want to do that." His eyes glowed a creepy green and she felt a tugging, like she didn't actually want to do whatever she was thinking about.

Before she could track his movement, he grabbed her and shoved her up against the wall, his fangs gleaming in the darkness. Fangs? What the hell? His hand covered her mouth as he swooped in to bite her neck and she did what came naturally.

With all her power, she closed her teeth on his hand and tore a chunk of skin off his palm. Blood spilled into Max's mouth and her jaw was held so tightly she couldn't spit. He was gnawing at her neck, but he couldn't do more than scratch the surface, her choker prevented him from getting a solid grip.

Strength born from fear and fury helped her push him off, but the damage was done. He had tasted her blood and she had gulped his. With a snarl, he ran down the alley, leaving Max bent over trying to wretch, her cousin sitting nearby with her hand pressed to her neck.

"Tabby, are you all right?"

"He bit me. He really bit me."

Max groaned and helped her cousin to her feet. The club exit was not accessible from the alley, so Max walked them to her car. Tucking her cousin into the passenger seat, she winced at the mess of blood and torn flesh that was her neck.

With her mouth tight, she got behind the wheel and started her car.

Tabby's voice was soft, helpless. "He bit me, Max."

She gunned the engine and announced grimly, "Don't worry, Tabby. I bit him back."

Max just wanted to have a night out with her cousin and go home. As a plus sized lass, she didn't fit in amongst the tiny blonde gazelles, but protecting her cousin from a perv in the alley changed her fate. In a moment of self-preservation when a man started chewing on her neck, she bit the hand over her mouth, setting a paranormal chemical reaction into play. Now that she is infected with his blood, he either needs to turn her or destroy her. The vampire tribunal chips in with an option for Max. She can rescue their kidnapped Guild Master, and he will decide her fate. Sounds like the best deal of the evening.
Impractical Magus

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: The Nexus Chronicles #7
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Forced to join her family for the holidays, Haily settles down to a tropical cruise with too much alcohol and not...

Dolphins chased the ship, frolicking in the waves. A few whales came up close, attracted by the magical vibrations the ship was giving to the water. She shook her head and let the wind play with her hair, the blue strands lifting and mimicking the waves.

"Are you thinking of jumping in, Haily?" Her mother came up behind her, sipping at her own drink.

"Of course not, Mom. You know I wasn't allowed swimming lessons."

"There were reasons, Haily. Underwater shockwaves could have killed other swimmers nearby. You know how unpredictable your talent is."

"Yes, Mom. I know." Of course, she knew. It was the binding rule of Haily's existence. She was one step away from being locked up by the ruling councils every single day. It was difficult to live with since she was never allowed to forget it.

Her mother's voice dropped to a whisper. "Thank you for coming, Haily. April, May and June might meet the men for them on this cruise."

"I know. And it's why I am here. This is the time of the year to focus on family, isn't it?"

Morag chuckled and gave her daughter a one-armed hug. "Thank you for understanding."

"I understand, Mom. Better than anyone can guess. All for the family, that is my motto."

Her mother faded back into the social scene and when the sun began to set, Haily returned to the party as dinner began to appear on the buffet.

She sat with her parents and their friends as her sisters took up positions with men of similar ages and power levels. A few brave souls tried to engage her in conversation, but as soon as they asked her if she was seeing anyone, the chill in the air could have frozen them in place.

The party began to roar after dinner when more alcohol and a number of magical beverages came out. Morag winced at the noise when the music kicked off and leaned over, "Haily, can you watch them? Make sure that they get to bed alone?"

She turned to look at her sisters, one blonde and two brunettes. "I will watch them. But if I have to blast their butts into bed, I will."

Eduard shuddered and patted her shoulder. "If you must, you must. Have a nice night, Hail." He pressed a kiss on her forehead and patted her on the shoulder again.

He always called her Hail. It was his way of rubbing it in to her mother that he had been allowed to name their firstborn after the weather on the day she was born. He wanted to name April Sunny, but he had been vetoed and had to be satisfied that he got Hail in. She was the moment of her father's triumph and every time he said her name, she knew it.

She watched them wander off, arms around each other as they returned to their room for some…lord, she did not want to think about it. Parents having sex was creepy at any age.


The party was in full swing and like dozens of magical parties before, some of the morons started showing off with light displays and flashes of power.

Haily's sisters were slow dancing, making out with a young wizard and raiding the dessert bar respectively. They would be safe for a few minutes while she caught some fresh air.

The waves were dark and threatening, but under the dancing lights of the cruise ship, they looked miles away.

"How am I going to plan a life when I can't even be trusted among my own family?"

Her words were answered by a drunken magus inside screaming, "Watch this!"

She turned to look into the party to see what he was referring to and was struck in the chest by a rainbow-hued fireball and thrown into the silent waves.

Forced to join her family for the holidays, Haily settles down to a tropical cruise with too much alcohol and not enough company. While her sisters are trying to find their matches in the highest ranking magical families, Haily gets the buffet. Knocked into the ocean by chance, she finds herself surrounded by sharks and trapped in a war that revolves around her. Shocked into using her powers for the first time, she grows gills, rides sharks and masters a magic that she didn't know she had. Loki is the shark shifter Alpha and he takes Haily under his fin, showing her that she has nothing to fear about using her talents underwater, and that this is where she was designed to be. In the water, at his side. Enjoy this Yuletide tale with sexy sharks, deadly dolphins and a water magus who learns to be herself in the nicest way.
Raven Dexter Paranormal Midwife

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: The Nexus Chronicles #8
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Raven Dexter chose to pursue midwifery the moment she helped a teen friend deliver her baby. Fed up with unconcern...

Either he was telling the truth about goblins or she had gone off the deep end and was rapidly going under. Perhaps she was at home drowning in a warm bubbly bath.

“Your patient is this way.” He parked the car and escorted her through alleys that held strange and hostile smells, but Eyleno moved calmly and quickly and all too soon, they were passing creatures that were even less human looking than her elfin guide.

“Goblins?” She swallowed. There was an acrid scent in the air, similar to sweat but very different. Her mind accepted it as the smell of a different race with a different diet.

“Goblins.” His word was calm and confirming.

The large house that they entered was full of the creatures, each more hideous than the last. Afraid to be caught staring, Raven walked right behind Eyleno, so close that when he stopped, she ran straight into him. As she righted herself, she couldn’t help noticing that he smelled really nice, like autumn and the sun altogether.

“Here are the women’s quarters. The maid will take you through.” He handed the bags to the four-armed woman and Raven blankly followed her bright blue and pink luggage.

Females filled the labour room. The woman on the bed was hideous with fangs exposed in pain. Raven immediately introduced herself.

“Thank the burning sun that you are here. The child is almost here.” The woman grimaced, a truly frightening sight.

Raven got to work, the anatomy she faced blessedly familiar. The woman was indeed ready to give birth. The dark head was becoming visible. When the small son came sliding into the world, Raven caught him with practiced hands. As she turned him over her arm to clear his lungs, a prickling sensation started and then the little bugger munched down on her arm with all his might.

“Son of a bitch!” She didn’t want to shake her arm, but it was hard keeping still until he released of his own accord. As quickly as she could, Raven handed him over to his mother and took care of the afterbirth and making sure that the bleeding was not excessive.

Her own bleeding was continuing from her forearm as the punctures were still sluggishly giving up their bounty. Hissing, she dumped alcohol on the wounds and bound it with gauze. When the proud father came into the room and licked the child clean, she had had enough. Raven passed out.

Raven Dexter chose to pursue midwifery the moment she helped a teen friend deliver her baby. Fed up with unconcerned physicians, she studied until she could open her small practice in a moderately sized town. Her practice was slowly growing until the night a strange man demanded she come with her to attend a birth. Her introduction to the paranormal society was in the venue of delivering a small goblin baby that quickly took a chunk out of her arm. The elf that took her to her first delivery moves in without even asking, taking care of everything from her appointments to making her meals, Eyleno Miz rapidly becomes indispensable and then becomes something more.
A Nexus Wedding

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: The Nexus Chronicles #9
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

We join Abby and Xander on their big day, a huge wedding at Hotel Spectre. When the rings go missing, the bridal g...

Mistress Galfor darted out of the bridal tent and found Raven Dexter.

The midwife looked at her with curiosity, her blue leather corset with black silk skirt making her look like an exotic blooming flower. "What is it?"

"The gown is stained. We need someone to remove it."

"The gown? Oh my god, the bridal gown?" Raven's red eyes were wide with shock.

"Yes. There was a problem with transport and a splinter gouged into the hand of one of the carriers. A troll."

Raven winced. "Troll blood is the worst-possible stain. Of course, it would have to be something like that. Give me a moment."

Raven turned around and scanned the growing crowd. "I think I may be able to find someone to help. How much time do I have?"

"An hour. The bridesmaids are helping me delay, but I don't know how long it will take to do Abby's nails and hair."

She was almost crying. Her tears welled but didn't fall. This was a disaster. "I would put on a new panel, but I don't have enough of the spider silk. We have to clean that gown."

Galfor accepted the hug that the midwife gave her.

"Give me ten minutes. I will find something." There was something so calm about those red eyes under the white arched brows.

With a shaking nod, she returned to the bridal tent. While across the garden another outburst of activity was occurring, she didn't even look. Her mind was locked on the gown and the stain that would mark it forever if something couldn't be done before the ceremony.

In a move of desperation, she grabbed her phone and called the assistant who was still at the shop. "Bring every unbleached silk gown we have. Every single one. I want them here when you bring the last of the gowns for the bridesmaids and flower girls. Use a portal. I don't want you to waste any time."

"Mistress, are you sure? That is close to twenty gowns."

"Bring them all. This is an emergency." She snapped the phone closed and tucked it into her clothing so she could feel the vibration if it went off. It was time to pretend everything was normal. Abby was an amazing client, but it was her wedding day and everything had to go according to plan. The Nexus's wedding had to go off without any problems.

We join Abby and Xander on their big day, a huge wedding at Hotel Spectre. When the rings go missing, the bridal gown gets tainted with blood and the groom starts a fistfight in the garden, only the efforts of friends and creatures can make Abby have the wedding day she deserves. Whatever fate had in mind, this will be the happiest damned bride that ever animated her lawn ornaments. Or else.
Courting the Phoenix

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: The Nexus Chronicles #12
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

After years of avoiding her dragon, the phoenix potential finds that there is nowhere to run. Let the courtship be...

It began at a wedding…

 

Eilinora had watched him come toward her, and her skin heated at the slow glide of his limbs. She could hear her mother and sister whispering.

“That’s Terric the Black. Why is he coming over here?”

Elly smiled nervously as he got closer. “Because I can’t avoid him anymore.”

“Elly, you have met him?” Talinora stared at her with wide eyes.

“No. I haven’t met him.” Not in this lifetime anyway. “That is what is about to happen.”

He paused near their table. “Ladies, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Terric.”

Elly looked up into his face. He was speaking to them all but looking directly in her direction.

Andora smiled at him and made the introductions. “I am Andora Dyanhart, and these are my daughters, Talinora and Eilinora. We are of the air elemental clan.”

He inclined his head to each of them and bowed. “I am the current king of dragons.”

As he straightened, there was a tearing sound and his formal suit split down the back to allow his wings to emerge.

Elly’s mother got all flustered. “Please, join us. The dancing is just beginning but neither of my daughters is prone to dancing.”

He took the chair next to Elly and his shoulders canted toward her.

“So, are you friends of the bride or the groom?” He smiled.

Andora answered. “We are from the bride’s side. My cousin married into the Matriarch’s line a few decades ago.”

Elly could feel heat coming off Terric’s body. She saw him smiling and noticed him looking down at her black and silver gown. Damn. She had worn his colours. His eyes were glowing silver as she had that thought.

She blushed furiously and her skin heated perceptibly, she brushed at her skirt.

“Lady Eilinora, would you favour me with a dance?”

She cleared her throat. “As my mother has said, sir, I am not prone to dancing.”

She felt a magical jab to her back, and she winced. “I mean to say, I would be happy to, sir.”

“Terric, please. Sir was the last knight I consumed.” He smiled winningly and got to his feet, his hand extended to her.

She skimmed her palm along his lightly, and the spark that passed between them caused both of them to jump slightly. Elly let him help her to her feet, and she paused with him at the edge of the dancers firmly involved in their turns around the floor. When the song ended and Hellebore the siren took a quick break to have a drink of water, Terric turned her in his arms, one hand holding hers and the other on her waist.

The music started up, and he stepped toward her, she backed up out of reflex, and soon, they were dancing.

The moment he got her away from her family, he asked, “Do they know?”

She shook her head. “I don’t think so. We are air mages. We always have been. The magic that I use daily falls within that scope.”

“You have been hiding in plain sight. I have seen you before.”

Her cheeks were hot. “Yes, you have. Who told you?”

Terric chuckled. “The consort of the Nexus. He was upset that she would not tell me; she was upset that he did. I am guessing that his bed will be very cold for a few days.”

She ducked her head at the mental image of Terric’s bed and concentrated on moving with him to the music.

 

 

After years of avoiding her dragon, the phoenix potential finds that there is nowhere to run. Let the courtship begin.

Elly has known she was going to become the phoenix for twelve years. She just didn’t want it to happen quite yet.
When she meets Terric in person for the first time, there is no going back. Her transformation is underway. Her body is becoming fire and there is nothing she can do to stop it.
Terric has been looking for the phoenix since he felt the first stirrings of her power in the world around him. When he meets Elly and they dance, he knows that she is the one he has been waiting for, but his patience is running out.
She demands a proper courtship, and he complies. After all, how long had he already waited?