In early spring I’ll be debuting my first in the urban fantasy series, Mystic Bonds: A Paranormal World Novel. Here’s the summary on what it’s about and Chapter one from the novel. Look out for the cover reveal coming soon! I hope you enjoy!
Amina Langston thought surviving the supernatural apocalypse, which killed
fifty percent of humankind and changed most of the surviving population into
paranormal beings, were the biggest challenges in her life. That is, until she
and her brother go on the run from non-gifted humans who want to steal their
magical blood to make a power-giving serum. Now she’s in search of a handsome stranger
who keeps appearing in her dreams and a secret paranormal city to help free
those still held in captivity for their blood.
During her journey, Amina befriends several other magical beings also searching for the mysterious town, including a sexy were-jackal who distracts her from locating the man of her proverbial dreams. However, when the group finds the city, it’s filled with dangerous magic and a barbaric were-pack. Facing these new troubles, will Amina take down her human pursuers and save the other paranormals she left behind or end up in greater peril?
I wasn’t sure where I was. It was
dark. Night time. I was outside in a small park surrounded by streets,
sidewalks, rowhomes, and what looked like a couple of mom-and-pop restaurants
and bars. I was in a neighborhood. Perhaps in the city. What city, I couldn’t
be sure. Nothing unique to identify my surroundings popped out in the dark.
I sat down on a bench at the
perimeter of the park under a lamp post. I looked ahead across the grassy field
at a red, neon “Open” sign on the front of a bar sandwiched between houses.
Music played off in the distance.
There was life around me. I could
feel it, like a minor static on the skin. However, no one was outside and I
heard no buzz of human chatter. I couldn’t tell how late it was. It was
certainly too late to be sitting outside alone. Yet, I didn’t get up.
It was summer, I think, by the feel
of thick heat on my skin and the way I was dressed. I had on an all-white,
A-line, spaghetti strapped dress that stopped at my knees. On my feet, I wore
simple light-brown colored sandals that matched closely to my skin tone. My
dark, brown hair was out in its natural curly state, grazing my shoulders.
I looked like bait for a predator.
A distant roar, like the sound of a
lion, got me to my feet. I spun around trying to locate the origin of the noise
but had no such luck. This was a city; the roar of a lion didn’t match the
surrounding. Then again, neither did me standing out in the dark.
“It’s just someone’s TV playing too
loudly,” I muttered, wrapping my arms around myself. I wasn’t cold but I was
certainly creeped out.
I was being naive, borderline
stupid. Why was I out here? Could I be waiting for someone? Why didn’t I know?
I listened for the animal call again,
yet heard nothing but the music from the bar across the street.
I sat back down carefully; my bottom
on the edge of the bench. The music was comforting. Odd noises didn’t sound so
bad when you had the base line of an old, 90s-era song playing along with it.
Or so I told myself.
Something electric suddenly pricked
the air around me. Goosebumps peppered my arms and made the fine hairs stand
up. I heard a shuffling behind me to my left but didn’t turn around, too afraid
to see the source of what I assumed was the animal roar. The sound grew closer.
Footsteps or paws crunched grass. A shadow appeared on the sidewalk where my
bench and I rested under the street light. It was human shaped.
“Mind if I sit next to you?” The
voice was deep, male, soothing, and familiar.
I looked to my left at the source of
the voice. A few steps in front of me now stood a man, perhaps in his late
twenties, although age worked differently nowadays so one never really knew how
old another person was exactly. He had a pleasant smile on his face and kind, light-brown
eyes, honey-colored skin, and short, wavy, black, hair faded close to his
scalp. He wore dark jeans and an untucked, white button-down shirt that covered
his just shy of 6-foot, athletic frame. On his feet were black and white Converse
that gave him a boy-next door appeal. He was very attractive and his smile,
with full lips and the world’s nicest white teeth, made his face almost glow.
He smiled like he knew me, like he
had all the answers and was excited to tell them to me. Ease settled in.
“Uh, yeah, sure. I’m sorry, do I
know you?” I asked.
He sat down beside me.
I could smell his cologne. Like sandalwood
and summer rain on grass with a tinge of something sweet. It was intoxicating.
He didn’t answer, just tilted his
head as if studying me. “I’m not sure. I feel like I’ve seen you somewhere
before. Are you in business school?”
I shook my head. “Law school.”
He nodded slowly. “Platinum Gym,
maybe? I go there a lot.”
I tried not to look him up and down
but it was evident from how his clothes laid on his body that he was fit.
However, I had no gym membership of
any kind. I shook my head.
He squinted his eyes. “Dating app?”
I cracked a smile. “Now that’s
He stretched his hand out to me. “My
name is Phillip Leal,” he said. “I’m sure I must have swiped up for you. Well,
back when that kind of thing existed.”
I chuckled, shaking his hand. His
hand was warm and surprisingly soft. “I’m Amina. Langston,” I replied.
“Ah, Amina, Amina, yes, that name
sounds familiar,” he called out, slapping his forehead lightly. “Beautiful name
for a beautiful woman.”
There was just a charm oozing from
him unaided by even words. I’m sure I blushed and was thankful it was dark and
that my almond coloring was deep enough to hide it.
“So, what brings you out in the park,
looking like bait, along with me?” I asked.
“Would you run if I told you I
didn’t know? Sometimes things get fuzzy here for me.”
“You aren’t the only one. Maybe both
of us got hit on the head.”
Phillip turned away and leaned back
on the bench, staring up at the night sky. “Let’s help each other then. Do you
live in the area?”
Did I? I didn’t know for sure but
the park felt familiar. “Yeah, I think so. Where are you from?”
He smiled again. “I’m from Philly
but originally from the Dominican Republic. Came here when I was five.”
Two places crossed off my list of
where in the world was Amina. “So, we know who we are just not where or why
He gave me a lazy smile that made my
stomach twist. I felt like a 13-year-old with her first crush. It was those
damn eyes. They seemed to connect with me, showing a genuine interest that made
me feel…beautiful. “How—”
He was cut off by another roar,
still distant but just as distressing. It didn’t sound quite like a lion like I
first thought. A bear? I looked at Phillip. “Please tell me you heard that. Hey,
do you think maybe there’s a zoo around here?”
“It’s not from the zoo but nothing can
hurt us here.” His voice was soft and fell over me like a protective blanket. “I
remember, I remember,” he whispered more to himself than me.
I sat back on the bench. Nothing
made sense. Here I was in the dark with a stranger and not bothered by some random,
scary, animal noises. Maybe I was drugged and didn’t know it.
“I know it all seems crazy but it’ll
make sense soon, it always does. You just have to remember.” Phillip sat up
straight. “I don’t always remember. At least not at first. I have to keep talking
and then everything starts falling into place. I just need to ask questions. How’s
Clearly, I was losing my mind as
well because I didn’t recall telling him about my family. If we were close
enough for him to know about Charles, then why couldn’t I remember him? Who was
I squinted my eyes again and turned;
fully facing Phillip. “I’m so confused. Have we talked before? I just don’t
remember.” Statement of the night.
His smile left and his eyes went serious.
“You have a brother named Charles. He’s got powers too.”
I moved to the edge of the bench
again. Was he crazy? Was I crazy? Nothing he was saying was registering. “Right,
“Did I know any of that? Because
we’ve met before. You always forget until the very end. Which I can understand.
I used to forget too. I don’t know why I started remembering.” He grabbed my
hand in his and looked into my eyes; seemingly searching them. “Listen to me,
Amina. I need you to remember me from now on. This is important. I’m Phillip
Leal. It’s important that we stay connected. I couldn’t figure out how to get
you to remember before, but I think I know now. I’m Phillip Leal. Remember my
The ground shook and another roar
bellowed with it. The shake was not strong and only lasted a second but it was
enough to disturb me. “Was that an earthquake? And what is making that noise? We shouldn’t be out here,” I
shouted, wanting to get up and run to safety. Home. Wherever that was. Why
couldn’t I remember where home was?
Phillip leaned close to me and
whispered words in my ear that I didn’t understand. It wasn’t Spanish.
“What did you say?” I asked as he
“It’s a spell that I hope works.
You’ll remember me next time. You’ll remember everything we talk about when I
see you again,” he replied.
I didn’t respond. I didn’t know
exactly what to say. I was sitting in a vacant park, at night, with a handsome
but incredibly odd stranger, weird things kept happening, and I seemed to be
the only one concerned about them.
“I’m so confused.” I replied.
A soft smile crossed his lips. “I
know and I’m sorry. I know you so well now and you still look at me like a
“I wish I could remember you. You
seem like someone I’d really like to get to know.” I leaned towards him. “Maybe
inside, where it’s safe? Then you can tell me what the hell is going on.”
He sighed and looked around into the
darkness of the park. “It’s not safe anywhere. They want the gifts you have…”
I frowned. “Who’s ‘they?’ What
He looked up at the sky again and I
followed suit. There were no stars out but the moon was full, giving some light
to accompany the street lamps. “I thought I’d get through it but it’s not
“Phillip, I have no idea what you
are talking about.” I touched his shoulder. “You gotta help me here.”
He looked down at me. “You’ll die if
you stay where you are. You have to find a way to get out. And when you do,
don’t go alone. Never be alone. When you see the others, bring them with you.”
Before I could ask him further
questions, the streetlights flickered and I heard an unsettling flapping of
large wings from above. For me to hear the wings flapping I knew it was
something larger than a bird but what? I looked up at the sky, searching, and
saw nothing but the moon. A loud bird’s screech thundered in my ears. I jumped
up and turned around, looking into the darkness.
Phillip remained still.
“What the hell was that?” I yelled
at him as if he had the answers.
Phillip stood up and sighed.
“They’re coming. I gave you some help. When you can, run.”
I stopped searching around for the
invisible bird thing and looked back at him. “What help? Run where?”
“To me.” His brown eyes softened as
he said that and I was touched with an emotion I couldn’t place.
I grabbed his hands. “We need to get
inside; something’s out here. There’s a bar across the street where we can
“I have to go, Amina.” He brought my
right hand up to his lips and kissed it softly. “And you have to wake up.”
“Wake up? Huh? Where are you going?”
The roar came again, along with the
This was too much. “The hell!” I
shouted in frustration. “We gotta get out of here!” I yanked at his hand but he
didn’t budge. “Come on, Phillip. I don’t want to stick around to find out
whatever is making those noises.”
“I’m near D.C. in—”
My eyes opened to a dark room. I
heard footsteps circling around me.
“Wake up, Sleeping Beauty,” said a
female voice. Curtains were pulled and sunlight spread through the room.
I squinted, closing one eye against
the bright rays.
My eyes still had a thin glaze of
sleep over them and I blinked it away to see my surroundings clearer.
“Did you sleep well?” The mystery
I looked around the pale green room,
filled with generic light wooden furniture. I was on a full-sized hospital bed
under white sheets. Across from the foot of the bed was a small, flat-screened
TV mounted to the wall. Off to the left of the TV was a door cracked open,
revealing a bit of tiled floor. It was probably a bathroom. I turned my head to
the window on my right. It was a bright sunny day. I could see tops of vivid
green trees, so I knew I was a couple of floors up in a building.
“How do you feel?” said the voice,
coming now from my left.
I turned my head and found a woman
standing in front of me; she was white and in her early 50s with graying red
hair and bright green eyes, with laugh lines at the corners giving away her
regular pleasant disposition. I knew her all too well.
She was checking what I assumed were
my vitals on a machine next to me. She then looked at the IV bag hanging off a
hook; my right arm was stuck with the attached needle.
I opened my mouth to speak, lips dry
and cracked. My throat felt like it was on fire and my head felt like someone
kept flicking me with their fingers in the middle of my forehead. “Like crap,”
“Let me get you some water, honey,”
she said, and poured me a glass of water from a pitcher on the side table. “If
I had some sliced lemon that’d be even better.”
I sat up slowly, still feeling weak,
and took the glass. “That’d give this place a real spa-like feel,” I replied,
through sips of water.
Joanie scoffed. “Hardly.” She sighed
and put her hands on her slender hips. “Hopefully they leave you alone today.
You need to get your strength back.”
I rolled my eyes. “For what, them to
come back again the next day? I’d be better with them just finishing me off.”
Joanie sucked her teeth. “Don’t you
talk like that, honey. There’s always a better day coming. And you’ve got your
brother here. You aren’t alone.”
They want the gifts you have.
Why had that popped in my head just
Suddenly, images of a handsome black
man with kind eyes popped into my mind.
It was all a dream. One that I
“Feel up to going to breakfast? I
can get a wheelchair if you need help. I think it would do you some good to get
out of this room. See folk. See Charles.”
I gave a deep sigh and tossed the
sheets aside. I swung my sock-covered feet to the side of the bed, scooted to
the edge and stood up. My legs buckled but I leaned onto my IV pole and waited
until I had my balance again.
“You need the wheelchair, darlin’?”
Joanie asked, holding me up by the right arm.
I quickly shook my head.
When you can, run.
I needed my legs. “Just need to
fully wake up.”
Joanie nodded. “Take a shower, get
dressed. Then we can walk over to the cafeteria. I’ll be waiting outside.”
When you can, run.
I needed my energy. I was breaking
out of here.