My home is under attack from an alien invasion.
The power has been out for almost a day when my neighbor tells me an alien is in my field. Aliens! Yeah right! But he’s not wrong, and he’s murdered before my eyes. I barely escape with my life when I notice an unconscious beauty in the grass. I have to help her. But when she comes to, there is something not quite human about her. She says she is here to help. I want to believe her, but the world is falling apart, and I have my niece to protect. I can’t deny there is something about her that draws me in. Trusting her will either be the best decision I make or the one that costs me my life.
My family expects me to fail. I’m determined to prove them wrong. But my first mission is a disaster. My shuttle crashed, and I’m the only survivor. I’m injured and on a strange planet with no way to contact my people. That’s when James finds me. He’s the one. My soul mate. I just need to convince him I’m here to help so he doesn’t kill me. I don’t have a lot of time. There is a countdown until the Imanji destroy the Earth. If we don’t make it back to my ship, we will all die.
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The invasion is over, but the battle for Earth has begun.
I’m desperate for information about my family. It’s been weeks since the Imanji invaded. The soul-sucking aliens still roam the streets in search of their next meal and everyone is a target. When my new friend Orion, a phoenix shifter, offers to take me on a quick trip to Nebraska to see if my family left behind any clues to where they might be, I jump at the opportunity. What I find is a wasteland. But it gets worse. Orion and I become the Imanjis next target.
I jumped at the opportunity to help Holly with a recon mission to search for her parents. When the Imanji attack, we find ourselves buried under layers of ice and cut off from the world. I have to get our shuttle running before life support fails. Can I save the mesmerizing woman and capture her heart, or will we both succumb to the Imanjis evil plans?
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I wanted to continue to move, but my body seemed to be rooted to the floor. I opened my mouth to cry out. No sound came. Why couldn’t I move? Had I hit the case that hard? Or…oh my god. It’s the aliens. They are making it so I can’t fight back.
Tears pricked my eyes. A sob got stuck in my throat. An unidentifiable sound escaped. Think, Addison!
I looked at the alien in front of me more closely. It was slender and taller than I expected. It stood at least a foot over me. Its blood-red eyes bore into me, and its voice spoke in my mind again.
“Tell me, how many of you are there?” the alien asked.
His voice raced through my mind. My mouth opened, ready to tell him everything. No. I clamped my mouth shut. I’m not telling him anything.
Coercion swept over me, but I maintained my silence. The longer I fought, the greater chance the kids and the others had to get away. Every second counted.
The alien reached out and touched my cheek, trailing his long, scaly finger down my face. I wanted to be sick. I wanted to run away. Move. Vomit. Something. His mind pressed against mine. My head seared like someone took a hammer to my temple. I screamed. I lifted my arm and tried to jab the glass into the alien’s chest. He caught my wrist, wrenching it to the side, causing the glass to fall to the floor. I tried to tug my hand free of his grasp, but he held tight.
“It’s been a long time since I found someone so defiant,” he told me as he grasped my chin. “I shall enjoy breaking you.” He dug his fingers into my skin. My jaw ached as he squeezed tighter. I tried to wiggle free. Blood flooded my mouth. “Tell me, how many of you are there?”
I gathered spittle and spat it at the alien. He flinched as it trickled down his face.
Gazing up at him defiantly, I noticed a lime green goo oozing from his chest. Is that blood? Yes, yes, it is. This is the one I stabbed. Unfortunately, it didn’t appear to be phasing him at all. If a blade to the chest didn’t hurt them, what would?
Faster than I could see, the hand holding my chin whipped up and struck me across the cheek. I toppled to the floor. Pain sliced through my skull. Sticky warmth coated my cheek and my vision darkened. No. No. No. Don’t you dare black out!
“Stop! Please. I’ll tell you what you need to know. Just leave her alone, please!” Marcus pleaded, his voice sounding miles away even though I was sure he was still in the room with me.
“No,” I said, forcing my gaze to focus. I wobbled and tried to sit up. The ground seemed to be vibrating. Everything was spinning. How hard had he hit me? I needed to focus and fast.
The alien turned, trudging away from me.
“Marcus, no,” I said, my voice coming out weaker than I’d intended. My arms trembled as I tried to get to my hands and knees so I could crawl across the floor toward him.
Marcus met my apprehensive gaze and shook his head. “I’m sorry, Addison. I can’t let them hurt you.”
“No…you…don’t understand,” I said, fighting for a breath. The more I moved, the worse my head hurt.
“Tell me. How many of you are there?” the alien asked Marcus.
“Twenty adults and sixty-two children,” his monotone voice echoed throughout the room.
“Very good.” The alien nodded at his men.
All the other aliens darted out the door while the lead creature glanced back at me, a wide smile on his face, and his black teeth gleaming. He turned to Marcus, raised his hand, and placed it on Marcus’ brow. I scrambled across the floor to help. Whatever invisible force holding me back seemed to be gone, at least temporarily. Marcus seemed to be miles away, even though I was sure it was just a few feet.
Marcus howled as a white light encompassed him. The light permeated his body. His skin began to flake away, like leaves blowing in the wind.
“No! Stop!” I cried out. My heart pounded. I pushed to my feet. It was too late. Marcus’ body was nothing more than a pile of white ash on the floor. I covered my mouth. Tears welled in my eyes. He was gone.
The alien turned back to me; the wide smile still plastered on his face. He took a step toward me.
Oh my God. I’m next.
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The orion stole my daughter from me.
I’m going to get her back at any cost, even if that means working with the man who took her to begin with. Kai might be charming and kind, but I’ll never forget what he did. The more we work together, the more I can’t deny there is something between us. How can I let myself care for the man who cost me everything?
There hasn’t been a woman I can’t charm. That is until I meet Echo. She’s feisty but has one of the kindest hearts I’ve ever seen. I’m enthralled by her. The fact she resists me at every turn makes me want her more. The problem other than she hates me, we are in the middle of a war. The stakes are high. If we win, we can bring peace to our galaxy. If we lose, it means certain death.
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Driving in the rain is the worst, especially at night. This stretch of the 70 through Colorado was awful. The bends, twists and steep inclines were enough to make any driver weary. I’d lived here long enough that I knew it well and it still gave me the creeps. I made a note to see about pushing up my Zumba class, so it ended before it got dark. I hoped my clients wouldn’t mind. It was getting to be fall soon and snow was horrible in the mountains. I couldn’t be the only one who hated driving in this weather.
As if to spite me, the torrential down pour picked up. I flicked my wipers on as fast as they’d go. Not that it helped much. I might need to pull over. I’d do it a little after this next bend. The last thing I needed was to get rear ended. Or hit something.
It was like I had a sixth sense tonight. I gasped as I rounded the corner. There was something burning in the middle of the road. I couldn’t tell what it was, but it was ginormous and there was no way for me to go around. I slammed on my brakes. My car skidded, hydroplaning across the ground. I pumped the brakes.
“Please stop,” I whispered repeatedly. It wasn’t going to happen. I clutched the steering wheel and screamed. The front of my car smacked into whatever was in the road with a sickening crunch. I was thrown forward, my seat belt caught me slapping me back into my seat. The air bag deployed and hit me like a punch to the face, and a puff of white blinded my view.
“Ugh,” I said as I caught my breath. For something meant to help you, airbags sure did pack a mean punch. I pushed on the airbag making it deflate as fast as I could. It was a good thing too.
Flames billowed over my car. The smell of burning rubber filtered into the cabin. Oh shit. My car was on fire too. I had to get out of here.
I shoved on my door. It wouldn’t budge. I yanked and tugged on the door handle, but it refused to open. My eyes went to the hood of the car. Flames were crawling up the metal closer to me. My pulse thundered in my ears. Gas and fire were a bad combo. I undid my seat belt and crawled out of my seat to the passenger side. When I pulled on the handle the door thankfully fell open. I climbed out and darted away from my car, not stopping until I’d reached the other side of the street.
I turned back and covered my mouth at the sight. Fire had engulfed my car. I patted my pants in search of my cell. Thank God for pockets in workout pants. I pulled it out and unlocked it ready to call 911 when I saw movement by where my car and whatever the hell that was in the middle of the road.
A man stood up, or he tried to. He made it halfway up and then collapsed.
He needed to get away from there. That fire was raging. I shoved my phone back in my pocket and ran back to the inferno.
“Hey, Mister,” I screamed as I flailed my arms trying to get his attention. “You have to get away from there.” I didn’t know how long it would take for my car to blow but it was covered completely in flames already. The fire was burning so hot it was almost white. The heat took the chill from the air. I was starting to sweat. Me and this guy needed to get out of here.
I hurried around the flames and found him laying on the ground. He had long blonde hair that might very well be longer than mine and he was shirtless and shoeless. Weird but I’d worry about that later.
“Hey, we have to get you out of here.” I came around him and put one arm under his shoulder. Somehow, we managed to get him to his feet. He was massive. Probably at least a foot taller than me and he was all muscle. We stumbled forward. He tripped and almost fell. It was through sheer strength of will that I kept him upright. We had to get away from the vehicles. I had no plans to die today.
We kept moving and made it to the tree line. Not a second too soon. The ground shook and we were thrown forward as my car erupted. We tumbled down a small hill and landed in a deep puddle, sending a splash of water up when we landed. I coughed and spat the sludge from my mouth. Great! My cell was probably ruined now too. I turned so I was leaning on my elbows and watched as what was left of my car turned into an inferno. Flames shot at least twenty feet into the sky. My car was a total goner.
At least my night couldn’t possibly get any worse. This was just what I needed. Not! At least I’d saved the guy. I turned to look at him. Whatever was in the road didn’t resemble a car. So, what was it? I tried to get a good look at the guy, but I only had the light of the fire, and we were a distance from it.
He hadn’t moved since we’d collapsed over here. He was lying face up. At least I didn’t have to worry about him drowning in all this water. What if he was injured or worse? I crawled toward him and looked down at his chest. I still had no idea why he was half naked, but he was ripped. And breathing. Thank goodness. Wait a second.
I squinted and stared down at him, leaning closer to inspect his chest. Were those scales? They were flesh colored, so it was hard to tell but his skin looked off. I reached into my pants and plucked out my phone, praying that it worked so I could turn on the flashlight. It did. That was a small miracle.
I shone it down on him. They were scales. Flesh colored scales. How in the world was that possible? People didn’t have scales. It had to be a tattoo. A really well designed one. I put a finger on it. It felt weird, scaly. Not possible. It had to be some sort of weird body art. People did all sorts of crazy things nowadays
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Bethany Shaw writes paranormal, science fiction and contemporary romance. Vampires, shapeshifters, and good old-fashioned romances are her favorites. Writing has always been a passion of hers and she enjoys creating fun and imaginative characters and worlds.