Monday, 6 June 2016

The Saints of Belvedere Road by Darke Conteur

Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A gamer at heart, she also enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and loud music. When not busy writing, she watches over one husband, one wannabe chef, four cats, and one ghost dog.

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About the Book

Amelia Saint thinks she’s losing her mind. 

Demonic visions have left Amelia doubting her sanity. To her horror, she learns her husband bargained the soul of their eldest child to the demon Korthos, to fulfill an apocalyptic prophecy, Worse, she discovers Henry plans to use the souls of their two younger children to solidify his place of honour in the hell-on-earth that is to come. 

With help from strangers adept in the occult, she discovers a way to keep her children alive. If Amelia can prevent Korthos from taking full possession of her son’s body for seventy-two hours, the pact will be broken and Henry will be imprisoned in the bowels of Hell. 

Henry knows this too. 

Amelia must stay one step ahead, but as the deadline approaches and the forces of evil close in, her chances of keeping her children alive run out.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:

The knob was cool in her hand as she gripped it tightly and pulled. Her stomach lurched at the thought of what could be on the other side. Cautiously, she opened it a foot and peered out. Two police officers stood a few feet back from the house. At first glance they didn’t appear threatening, but Amelia wasn’t sure of anything anymore. One officer appeared preoccupied with the outside of her home, moving his head back and forth, looking carefully at the front of her house. The second officer quickly acknowledged her presence and lifted his head, looking directly into Amelia’s eyes.

“Mrs. Saint?”

Amelia braced one foot against the back of the door. “Yes.”

“We had a complaint about shots fired at this address.”

She feigned a look of concern. “Really?”

“Yes ma’am.” He placed his hands on his hips. “If you don’t mind, we’d like to come in and look around.”

Amelia felt her mouth go dry. “Do you really need to, I mean it’s so late and—”

“Ma’am, I understand that, but we have to follow procedure, and that means checking the property to make sure . . .”

The officer’s words trailed off into a distorted voice. Amelia’s vision began to blur. Her head throbbed with such intensity it felt like daggers slashing at her skull from the inside. She could barely hear as a dark shadow fell across the front step, but she saw the officers react, drawing their weapons and aiming directly above her head.

A gust of wind blew the door open, and Amelia was thrown to the floor. Her eyesight cleared enough to see a set of leathery wings descend from above, blocking any escape from the front step. The body attached was strong and lean, and as ugly as the creature that possessed her son. Sharp talons on the end of muscular legs reached out and grasped the officers around the waist. It squeezed their bodies in a grip so tight, their screams caught in their throats. Blood trailed from the corners of their mouths as they choked on their own fluids and bodies succumbed to the pressure of the grasp. The soft skin of their torsos ruptured, spewing out the decimated remains of internal organs and flesh through the claws. Amelia struggled to get away as blood and bone fragments splattered the tile floor around her. Her hands and feet slipped in the pools of tissue that coated the front entrance.

The creature then lifted into the air, taking the gruesome remains with it, and Amelia was left in shock, gasping for air.

Homer and Jared raced to her side. “Shit! Amelia, are you all right?”

She sat up and stared out the door. “What the hell was that?”

“A scrayling,” Jared said, helping her to her feet. “Flying demons.”

Amelia’s mind reeled from the attack. “They fly?”

Jared shut the door as the intense throbbing returned. Amelia pressed the palms of her hands against her temples, hoping to ease some of the pain.

“What’s wrong?” Morgan’s voice came at them from the living room.

Homer ran to the kitchen entrance and pointed. “Stay there!”

Glass shattered from the huge window above, raining sharp debris. Amelia fell to the floor, shielding her head under one arm. She could hear the twins calling to her, and she lifted her head as something warm hit her hand. The metallic scent of blood was strong as she gazed on a small red lump that landed just inches from her.

“Oh God,” Jared whispered, next to her. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

Amelia’s eyes trailed off to a large bloody mass a few feet away. She knew it had once been the torso of one of the officers at her front door, but it was unrecognizable now. Her eyes focused on the piece of flesh that lay near her hand, and felt the sting of bile rise in the back of her throat as she saw the ear lobe on one side of the flesh.

Homer pulled her to her feet. “We’re not waiting for morning. We leave now!”

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