Title: The Battle for Earth
Author: AJ & CS Sparber
Genre: YA/NA Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Mind’s Eye Press
The Jacuzzi tub is not quite up to Olympian standards, but the hot, churning water feels amazing. In a way, the turbulence reminds me of what my life has become. In little more than a year, I’ve gone from being a high school senior to an angel—a member of the angelic royal family, to be precise.
My transformation has brought with it a fair share of adventures—I killed a fallen angel. I healed my best friend from what would have been a fatal knife wound, turning her into an angel in the process. I fell in love with a Warrior angel, blissfully committing myself to him in a traditional angelic binding, only to see him nearly killed the very next day. Then I healed him—triggering a genetic change that made us the most powerful angels in existence. We are like two halves of a raging star. We are the most lethal creatures ever to walk the mortal worlds. We can fly like eagles, bend light to our will, and fill the sky with terrifying bolts of lightning. We hold the power of Thor’s hammer in our hands. We are the wrath of God. And it’s a good thing we are because fallen angels have declared war.
When it comes to being a husband and wife (or wife and husband) writing team, there are advantages, or benefits. Chief among them is that you get to practice the love scenes. He writes, she steers, and…well, it’s fun. He is a software designer and she is a doctor of education. AJ and CS Sparber live in the lovely town of Hudson, Ohio, with their son Ryan, their daughter Melanie, and the spirit of an Aussie shepherd named Hunter.
Ari is Captured for the second time.
“There is nothing the Irish love more than a good story. But this…this tops them all,” Fiona says, as she pours me a second cup of coffee. Freshly showered and dressed comfortably in a halter top over spandex running pants, I scan my surroundings. The kitchen is small, but comfortable, and we’re still invisible behind a staged loop of security footage. I can’t help smiling at her enthusiasm, but its’s a bittersweet smile, because it’s nearly two in the morning, which means I get to play with Angela in about seven hours. “I’m not sure if I’ll be able to fight through the pain.”
Fiona leans forward, resting her elbows on the table. “I wish I could get you out of here tonight, but we need to take care of the implant. For our escape to succeed, you need to be at full strength.”
My patience is wearing thin. What if Fiona can’t get a remote? What if she can’t sneak a surgeon into my chambers? “How long before the security system comes back on?”
Fiona gives me a puzzled look. “I’m not sure. Any time between now and five o’clock. We’ll get a ten-minute heads up. Why do you ask?”
“I’m going to try to access my abilities.”
Fiona shakes her head vigorously. “That’s not a good idea, Ari.”
She’s probably right. I stand, crossing my arms over my chest. “So, are you going to help me or do I do this alone?”
“I have to try.”
“You are one very headstrong angel,” she says with a smirk.
Sitting on the toilet lid, I stare at a small plastic wastebasket across the room. My objective is to knock it over without touching it, and in order to do that, I’ll need to use the Essence—which is going to trigger the implant, causing me a world of pain.
“You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind,” Fiona says, with a smirk.
“Ha. You have no idea how much pain Angela’s little gizmo puts out. Now, quiet…I need to concentrate.”
Redoubling my efforts, I hyper focus on the basket. Breathe. I feel the familiar rush as the Essence collects in my cells, filling me with a pulsing energy—a force that begs to be released. But there is resistance. Something is impeding the outward flow, I think, as a wave of pain builds inside me. Thrusting a washcloth into my mouth, I bite down hard. A muffled roar rumbles from deep inside me as the pain intensifies. Fiona moves into my line of sight, her face twisted in panic. “Let it go, Ari! Release it…”
“Too much energy…MOVE” I shout, because I know it’s going to be bad. Really bad.
I release the beast inside me, because it can no longer be contained. Time slows down and I’m nothing more than a helpless observer, watching as the basket I’d been so intently focused on begins to vibrate. No, it’s not the basket…it’s the entire room. I scan my surroundings, trying to find Fiona, but a roiling cloud of debris obscures my vision. I made a hurriquake, I think, which causes me to giggle…and then an overwhelming sense of relief washes over me, because the pain is gone…and so is Fiona.
Fiona? I didn’t kill her!
I slowly rise to my feet, hanging onto the sink for support. Fiona is sitting, propped up against the far wall of the main room, pointing furiously behind me. I turn. People are jogging up the hall, past still bodies, toward me. I can see them because the wall is gone. What the…
A strong hand grips my arm and I pivot to break the vice-like grip, but I have no strength left. “Stay still or this will really hurt,” a chillingly familiar voice says.
“No!” I hear Fiona shout, but she’s being restrained by two huge angels. “Don’t hurt her!”
Before I can react or respond, a sharp prick causes me to flinch, as a needle enters the tender skin at the base of my neck.
“Goodnight, princess,” Eloy says with an evil chuckle.