Thursday, July 14, 2016

Guest Post: Excerpt from Carol Van Natta's IN GRAVES BELOW

Posted by: Veronica Scott

Riya Sanobal, a mostly-human rarity in her magical family, hides her heritage and magical talent for doors in favor of her dance career. A rich arts patron likes her work, and a visiting star likes her, but she's distracted by vivid dreams of a sexy, Native American warrior who defeats cheating demons and kisses like, well, a dream.

Time is running out for disabled veteran Idrián Odair, the last dreamwalk warrior of his hidden tribe, to protect his ancestral lands and find his partner. He met her once in the space between the demon worlds and Earth, and now his meddlesome grandfather's ghost insists he must find her in real life before it's too late.

Unless Riya and Idrián can find a way to trust each other and learn the secrets of dreamwalk, Denver will become an all-you-can-eat buffet for a ravenous demon horde. No pressure!

If you believe that heart and character matter, that anyone can learn to dance, and that death is just another door, you’ll love In Graves Below.

Buy Link: Amazon Kindle   (


Riya was so overwhelmed she nearly burst into tears. “Oh my God, I’m so sorry.” She’d been so outraged that she’d nearly revealed her magic to zap that slime, St. Peters, just to wipe the smug smile off his face, and then, when making her overly dramatic—but very satisfying—grand exit, she’d smashed into an old man with a cane.

Except he wasn’t an old man, he was a dark-eyed, hard-bodied man with burn scars on his face and whose touch set her body tingling in ways that she’d never felt and wanted more of. Embarrassed, she pushed up to her hands and knees. “Are you okay?”

The man blinked once. “Yes, I seem to be. What about you?” A hint of a Spanish accent colored his consonants.

“I’m fine, thanks to you being my cushion.” She scrambled to her feet and stepped back. His left leg was bent at an impossible angle, and she panicked until she realized it was a prosthesis that had come loose in their fall. “How can I help you?” She’d learned from her volunteer sessions in rehab that each person had his or her own way of recovering, and offering help was much better than interfering with his process.

As the dark-haired man sat up, his long hair drifted forward, and his western-style shirt gaped open where the front snaps had come undone. The burn scars didn’t disguise his beautifully muscled, very masculine chest. Riya flushed to realize she was blatantly ogling him and tried to keep her eyes on his face as he snapped his shirt closed. He was clearly Native American, and ruggedly handsome, with a wide, generous mouth. His imposing, slightly crooked nose gave his face character. His eyes were deep brown, almost black, with long lashes. He was also a magic user of some sort, but she couldn’t tell what kind.

“Your bag is on my foot,” he said.

“What?” She looked where he was pointing. Her bag was evidently the reason his prosthesis had come loose. She scooped up the offending bag and held it close to her chest. “Sorry.”

“No harm done.” He rolled up the loose leg of his jeans and, leaning forward, held his prosthetic leg still while he pushed his sock-wrapped stump into it. The prosthesis was a style she’d never seen before, with no connecting pin, and a wire-form lower leg with an elegant, almost steampunk-style articulated ankle. The athletic shoe encasing its foot looked prosaic by comparison. With the help of his cane, he got to his feet, then bounced on the leg a couple of times to seat his stump in the prosthesis.

He gave her a lopsided smile. “I’m Idrián Odair.” His name sounded Spanish, with the accent on the last syllable.

“Riya Sanobal.” Her wayward sense of humor got the better of her. “Nice to run into you.” She stuck her hand out.

His smile widened as he shook her hand. “Unforgettable.”

For as long as their skin touched, she felt deliciously energized, the exact opposite of when she’d had to shake hands with the creepy Spencer Emerson the night before. Which reminded her of the last twenty-four hours, and threatened to send her thoughts down dark paths.

Carol Van Natta is an independent science fiction and fantasy author. Works include the Central Galactic Concordance space opera series—Overload Flux, Minder Rising, and Pico’s Crush—and the retro science fiction comedy, Hooray for Holopticon, as well as In Graves Below, a Magic, New Mexico paranormal romance novella. She shares her Fort Collins, CO home with a sometime mad scientist and various cats. Any violation of the laws of physics in her books is the fault of the cats, not the mad scientist.


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