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The Evolution of Fae and Gods (Paperback)

The Evolution of Fae and Gods (Paperback)

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Evil is coming.

A dark malevolence the likes of which this world has never seen, and it comes straight from the depths of Hell. Darkness meant to destroy. A prophecy I am fated to fulfill but will most likely not survive.

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Through it all, Carrick Byrne has stood strong by my side. Something has deeply changed between me and the man I once despised, and all it took was a kiss of provocation for both of us to feel it. I know deep in my soul we’re being guided by destiny, but I don’t know if I can trust it. Carrick is holding something back, and I fear the consequences could be deadly once his truth is revealed.

We’re not ready, but calamity waits for no woman. I have discovered a power within myself I must learn to master. A new connection in the Underworld has been revealed to me, one that I hope is friend but is just as likely foe. We are in a race against time as we try to figure out how to stop the end of the world from occurring. The battle is coming, and I can only hope we’re prepared for what happens next.

The Evolution of Fae and Gods is book three of the Chronicles of the Stone Veil series and is best enjoyed if read in series order.

Read Chapter One


The feeling of impending doom brought him out of his sleep, and he was instantly on high alert.

Carrick had fallen asleep on the couch in his office, doing some late-night reading in search of any information he could find on changelings. Glancing out his office doors to the skyline, he could tell they were in the pre-dawn hours.

Removing the book off his chest where it had fallen, he swung his legs off the couch and grabbed his cell phone. Shoving it into the side pocket of the cargo pants he still sported from the trip to Faere, he moved quickly out of his office. The condo was dimly lit by sconce lighting that he left on throughout the night, but he didn’t need it to navigate across the penthouse to Finley’s suite. He could see fine in the pitchest of dark if the situation were to arise. Rather, he left the lights on for Finley’s benefit.

His stomach clenched as unease seemed to coil even tighter within him the closer he got to her room. Carrick was almost sure whatever woke him up had something to do with Finley, so he had no problem barging in on her in the wee hours.

Without so much as a knock, he threw her door open, his anxiety skyrocketing when he saw her empty bed.

He didn’t need to search the apartment, for he already knew she was gone.

Carrick closed his eyes, searching for the connection that they shared. It had snapped into place the minute he laid eyes on her at Fallon’s gallery show all those weeks ago. Finley had once been amazed that Carrick found her hiding out on the Fantasia, and he had told her that he had never lost her.

That was truer than she would ever know.

Opening himself up, Carrick spread his powers out far and wide in a muted blast across downtown Seattle, and it took only a second for him to locate her. The imminent danger she was in rippled through him like a shock wave, and genuine fear clogged his throat as he hoped he wouldn’t be too late.

Envisioning One Bean in his mind, he reached out, grabbed the coffee shop with his power, and pulled it to him. In a blink, he stepped from Finley’s bedroom into One Bean’s entryway only to find the building burning hot all around and two fireballs flying right at Finley.

Carrick released the distance he’d bent between his condo and this place while simultaneously using his extraordinary speed to move in front of Finley to protect her.

He barely got a glance at Fallon twenty feet away before he felt the heat of the fireballs and managed to turn his body toward Finley. He snatched her into his arms, curled as much of his body around her as possible, and let the fireballs slam into his back.

The fire melted his shirt, singed his hair down to the scalp, and seared the skin on his back and shoulders. The force of the blast knocked them both to the ground, and Finley cried out in pain as he landed heavily on top of her.

Carrick didn’t have time to assess her injuries. He was glad of that painful cry she uttered because it meant she was alive, and he had more important things to do at this moment.

Springing to his feet, he whirled on the Dark Fae and reveled in her look of surprise. He had just ruined her plans to kill Finley, but he braced when her expression changed from shock to fury. Finley groaned behind him, and while he was attuned to her, he refused to take his focus from the enraged creature across the burning shop.

Flames covered the walls, had engulfed all of the furnishings, and ceiling tiles were starting to crash down. The smoke was thick, and while it didn’t affect him, he heard Finley start coughing.

Carrick knew the coffee shop was a loss, but it would be a victory if he got Finley out of here alive.

He also knew he could potentially end this prophecy once and for all if he were to just kill the Dark Fae right now.

Obviously, there were risks to that since they still didn’t know what this creature’s role was. Her death could activate it for all he knew, which meant killing her wasn’t the right move.

Moreover, Carrick didn’t know if there was any connection between this changeling and Finley’s real sister in The Underworld, and he simply couldn’t take the chance that she might be destroyed as well if the Dark Fae died.

Decision made to escape rather than kill, Carrick realized he needed a distraction. He pulled forth his powers, which were stronger than any fae, and picked up a burning table with the force of his will. It hovered a moment before he sent it flying at the Dark Fae who was once Finley’s sister, and took only a moment to feel the pleasure of seeing it crash into her with such force that she went flying backward into the hallway.

He didn’t wait to see her get up because he knew she would. That was merely a love tap to a fae, and he didn’t know if she was willing to continue to tangle with him. If she did, that put Finley in more danger as the smoke and fire would kill her before Fallon could attempt to get past him.

So he spun toward Finley, heaved a sigh of relief when he saw her rising to her feet, and grabbed her by the arm to help her the rest of the way. Turning her toward the door, he put an arm around her back and said, “Come on. We have to go.”

Finley was hobbled, her first step to the door a limp, and Carrick was about to scoop her up in his arms when something slammed into their backs. This time, it wasn’t fire or a return volley of burning furniture, but rather felt like a magical wall slamming into them with the force of an ocean tsunami. It lifted them off their feet and propelled them straight toward the glass window beside the door.

Carrick barely had time to pull Finley to him, once again wrapping himself as much around her as he could, before rolling slightly so his body took the impact of the glass.

It shattered all around them, slicing into him everywhere and he knew there was no way Finley was going to escape without some cuts. Through shards of flying glass and billowing black smoke, he saw the sidewalk rushing up to meet them. Carrick managed to twist just enough that he took the brunt of the impact, coming down hard on his right side. He heard the breaking of his collarbone and ignored the pain, pushing Finley off him and bolting to his feet to face the blasted-out window.

He braced, preparing for the Dark Fae Fallon to continue this fight. Waited for her to come flying through the window.

The smoke was so thick he couldn’t see into the shop, so he garnered his power and thrust his hands toward the window. A hard gust of wind blew through to clear the inside for a quick look.

Dark Fae Fallon was gone.

In the distance, Carrick heard the wail of a fire truck, and he knew they had to leave. There was no way they’d be able to explain in any sane way what had happened here.

Turning to Finley, he found her leaning on one hip, hand to the pavement to support herself. Black soot on her face, tears streaming from the smoke, and blood dripping down her forehead, she appeared completely shell-shocked. Carrick knew she wouldn’t be able to run, so he made a hasty decision.

Despite the broken collarbone and several cuts all over his body, not to mention the third-degree burns on his back, Carrick was still able to easily lift Finley from the pavement, cradling her gently in his arms.

Just before he prepared to run in the opposite way of the rescue sirens, he felt Finley sob against him. He looked down to see her staring in grief as One Bean burned.

Carrick wished he had time to comfort her, but he needed to get them away from the scene first. He had to get her back to the condo to assess her injuries and take care of her.

Turning on his heel, Carrick ran two blocks in the general direction of his condo and then ducked into a side alley so he could better assess Finley and call for help.

Squatting, he gently lowered her to the pavement. She groaned from something that caused her pain, but eventually settled her back against the filthy brick wall.

“Sorry,” he muttered as he fished his phone out of his pocket, hoping it hadn’t been crushed during his flight through the glass window.

Breathing relief when he saw the phone was completely intact, he dialed Zaid. With terse instructions, he told Zaid where to pick them up and pocketed the phone.

Turning his gaze to Finley, he grimaced as he took her in. She was battered in a way that made him want to hunt that abomination of a Dark Fae down and kill her slowly with iron daggers.

“Where are you hurt?” Carrick asked, wanting an assessment of the injuries that weren’t obvious.

He could already see the glass had shredded her clothing, and she was bleeding from numerous cuts from top to bottom. He imagined he looked much the same, but worse. Finley had a large scrape across her cheekbone and a purple bruise starting under the eye on that side.

But he remembered her hobbling—he was afraid she had broken bones and maybe even internal injuries. He needed to know if it was prudent to take her to his condo for care or if he should bypass it for the hospital.

“My ankle,” she said, nodding wearily to her right side. “I don’t think it’s broken, though. Just sprained.”

“Where else?” Carrick pressed.

“How about every inch of my body?” she retorted with a wry smile, and Carrick took that as a good sign.

He needed a bit more, though, so he pushed. “Anything internal? Any pain in your stomach or chest?”

“Not the type that would mean a ruptured spleen,” she muttered. “I’m just really sore, but the ankle is the worst.”

He’d take her to the condo then, which was for the best. Going to a hospital was most likely going to cause quite a stir, including involvement by the police. As it stood, there was a good chance they’d be trying to locate Finley soon to let her know her shop was on fire.

Finley’s eyes closed for a moment. When she opened them back up, they were filled with misery. “One Bean is destroyed.”

“I know,” he murmured.

“I almost died,” she said.

“I know,” he replied softly.

“You saved me.” Her tone was filled with a bit of awe.

“I won’t ever let anything bad happen to you,” Carrick vowed.

He said it while looking her straight in the eye and with the purest of intent, for he cared about Finley more than she could ever imagine.

But he also knew he was most likely telling her a lie because he didn’t think he could protect her from the horror that was coming.

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Product Release Date: March 23, 2021

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