Proudly Presents. . .A 'Guest Post'
Death and Destiny Trilogy
Genre: paranormal romance
Publisher: Kuumba Publishing
Date of Publication: August 18, 2016
Number of pages: 403
Cover Artist: Maduranga Nuwan
In a world of mystery and magic, sometimes old bonds must be broken before new ones can be formed. Who knew that finding one’s soul mate would test bonds and unleash beasts?
Mami Wata and Oya are now free from their watery prison and ready to wage a battle five hundred years in the making. Special Agent Assefa Berber and Dr. Sanura Williams are the prophesized Cat and Fire Witch of Legend. To save the world from Mami Wata, a water goddess with a bloody thirst for power and an insatiable appetite for death and destruction, they must defeat her beasts and the Water Witch of Legend.
Assefa and Sanura are fully in love but possess only a partial mate bond. While Sanura has merged their auras, bonding Assefa’s cat spirit to her, she has yet to accept his claiming bite. Their incomplete mate bond and their new relationship are tested when Mami Wata sets her malevolent eyes on them, manipulating beasts, sacrificing humans, and creating heartache. Can their bond survive, or will they drown under the vicious tide of godly might?
With focused golden eyes, alert gray ears, and keen black snout, the Mngwa took in his surroundings.
The prickly grass under his large, wide paws.
The heat of the midday sun beating down on his thick black-and-gray fur.
The scent of mullah bamyah—garlic, tomato juice, minced beef, okra, salt, and pepper.
The four snarling big cats stalking him.
Scanning each strong, lithe, and ferocious cat, the Mngwa cataloged their stance, their position, and the distance between each other and from the Mngwa. They flanked him, a large cat to his front, rear, and sides. If the Mngwa could smile, he would have. Foolishly, they thought their numbers a strategic advantage that would fell the undefeated Mngwa of myth and legend. Instead of a smile, he snarled, a baring of elongated teeth.
The four cats attacked, their bestial response to his bait.
Four sets of paws struck the ground, claws digging into grass and dirt, brawny legs propelling them forward. Razor-sharp teeth bared, husky growls cut through the muggy June air, and feline eyes glowed with a premature win.
The leopard reached the Mngwa first, snapping and going for the bigger cat’s neck. Not wasting time with the youngest of the four attackers, the Mngwa sidestepped the snarling, snapping leopard. To only pivot, turn, and ram the side of the too-slow feline with the Mngwa’s massive head. Away from the Mngwa the leopard flew, sailing through the air and crashing to the ground several feet away.
The three other cats spared no pitying glance to the downed leopard, who lay on his side, breathing labored and ragged. A sure sign of broken ribs.
More growls and snapping, each cat trying for a different part of the Mngwa’s massive body. The Mngwa was having none of it, so he went on the offensive. Leaping over the biggest threat, the Bengal tiger, the Mngwa landed nimbly, then ran straight at the cheetah. Taking the speckled feline by surprise, the Mngwa powered over the cat, knocking him down before hauling him up by his scrawny neck and shaking. The cheetah’s fragile neck was held firm between the Mngwa’s curved saber-shaped teeth.
When the Mngwa no longer felt resistance, he opened his deadly jaws and allowed the cheetah to fall from his brutal clutch and slip, nearly unconscious, to the waiting grass.
The lion and tiger claimed simultaneous strikes on the Mngwa. A swipe across his hindquarters and a bite to his side. The lion latched onto the Mngwa, his lethal teeth working to find purchase in the cat of legend’s winter dense fur and even thicker hide.
Like the predator he was, the Bengal tiger charged while the Mngwa grappled with the formidable lion. A mix of yellow-and-orange with wide dark-brown stripes, the 510-pound tiger landed on top of the Mngwa. His weight hefty, his claws long, sharp, and dangerous. The maw that threatened his nape even deadlier.
The lion kept up his offensive, kept clawing, kept sinking his teeth in deeper and deeper.
The Mngwa roared, reared back on his hind legs, forcing the tiger off him and to the hard ground. With a side dive, the Mngwa dropped the entirety of his 695 pounds onto the 380-pound lion. His long, dark mane shot up and out with the force of the attack.
The downed lion snapped and snarled but didn’t get up. No, with the Mngwa looming over him, golden eyes marble hard, paw raised, claws out and within striking range of the lion’s throat, the feline had only two choices.
One would see him dead, while the other …
The lion lowered his eyes, and then his head.
Pleased, the Mngwa shifted his gaze to the tiger, his other senses having tracked the big cat the entire time.
He knew it would come down to this—the Mngwa versus the Bengal tiger. It always did.
The big cats circled, taking each other’s measure. They searched for an opening, an opportunity to attack with the least probability of an effective and bruising counterattack. The combatants knew each other well—style of combat, defensive and offensive tactics.
Speed, size, and agility were on the Mngwa’s side. Yet, the toxin from an animal no longer than an inch, the golden poison frog could kill a dozen men. Its tiny size and bright colors deceiving. Not, at a length of 120 inches and 43 inches of shoulder height, with a tail just as long, there was anything small about the Bengal tiger baring his gleaming white teeth at the Mngwa.
The Mngwa underestimated no one—no matter the outward appearance of the enemy. Even the cat of legend, if incautious, could taste the bitter tang of defeat. So he watched and waited and plotted the tiger’s downfall.
The tiger charged, all muscle and menace. His long, powerful legs ate up the distance between them, determined copper eyes all for the Mngwa.
The cat of legend braced himself, choosing to face the big cat head-on. He wanted this fight, the primal challenge that only a great beast like the Bengal tiger could give him. A glorious battle of fangs, fur, and claws that would push, force, and compel the Mngwa to prove his worth, his manhood, his undisputed dominance as the predator of predators.
The ground shook - the Mngwa and tiger locked in a feral clench.
Strong. The tiger was so strong. But not strong enough.
The Mngwa opened his mouth wide and clamped down on fur and flesh. The neck of his opponent was thick with rigid muscles and delicate veins. The pulse of the tiger’s life a strong, fast throbbing beat in the Mngwa’s deadly mouth.
The tiger whimpered his pain. Neither loud nor long. But enough, enough for the Mngwa’s ears to detect the effect of his attack. Yet the tiger fought on, as the Mngwa knew he would. As the Mngwa wanted him to, the tiger too stubborn, courageous, and fierce to submit so easily.
No, there was much fight left in the Bengal tiger.
He swiped at the Mngwa, vicious claws finding vulnerable underbelly and drawing blood. It hurt, but not enough for the bigger cat to release his vice grip. The Mngwa sank his teeth deeper into the side of the tiger’s neck, tasting blood and prideful were-cat magic.
Her gardenia scent slammed into his senses seconds before the Mngwa and the tiger were surrounded by a ring of raging fire. Breaking his hold on the smaller cat, the Mngwa turned to see an angry fire witch barreling toward them—green eyes cold, red-gold hair and long striped sundress blowing in a wind that came out of nowhere. Her deadly focus was all for the Bengal tiger who, unlike when he fought the Mngwa, trembled with fear.
And fire witch magic crackled in the blistering summer air.
Dammit, he had to do something and fast. Retreating as far as he could go within the cage of fire, the Mngwa propelled himself forward, accelerating when he approached the heated barrier and jumped. With ease, he cleared the four-foot high ring of fire and landed, with an oompf, on top of a glaring Sanura.
“I can’t believe you just—”
He licked her. From the front ring bodice of her green-and-orange striped dress, up her toned shoulders and around the tie neck, and into thick hair covering an ear, the Mngwa tasted his witch.
“Get off me, you big furball. I can’t breathe.”
Satisfied and comfortable, the Mngwa nuzzled his witch’s face, neck, and her heaving breasts, unfazed by Sanura’s angry protestations. The only part of him that pinned the witch down was his massive head and part of his chest. But, the Mngwa supposed, even that much weight could be heavy on a woman who, while five-feet-ten-inches tall, weighed no more than 140 pounds. With a teasing snort that had a lock of her wavy hair flying upward and out of her eye, the Mngwa decided it best to give the fire breathing witch some relief.
With a single thought from Assefa—I’ll take care of our witch, my friend, go to sleep—the cat gave way to the man. A transformative effect where fur and hide succumbed to hair and skin, paws and claws shrank to hands and legs, and golden eyes, muzzle, and fangs retreated, waning under Assefa’s command.
“Is that better?” Assefa smiled down at his hot-tempered girlfriend, right before settling the whole of him on top of the whole of her.
Very nice. Sanura made for the best mattress—plush, lush and with the right amount of firmness.
“You’re naked.” A huffed complaint that did nothing to encourage Assefa to move off her.
“Of course. My Mngwa doesn’t like clothing.” He shifted on top of her, letting Sanura feel just how naked he was. “He thinks pants are too binding. What do you think?”
She closed her eyes and shook her head. “I think you need to worry more about that big damn tiger you were fighting rather than your Mngwa in boxers.”
“I’m going to disappoint you. But you knew that already.” The words, the rejection, came out as a brittle whisper, ethereal in the cool room but heavy with sweltering resolution. This had been a mistake. A huge but not irrevocable mistake.
Pulling the flat silken sheet up her body, wrinkled and smelling of musk, man, and momentary insanity, Erica covered flushed skin, pebbled nipples, and what was left of her dignity.
She didn’t dare look at him. She couldn’t. Not after what they’d almost done.
Shame and guilt pierced already raw and open wounds, twin blades digging deep and lacerating all in their paths.
A week ago, Michael had shredded the first two, leaving them a mangled, bleeding mess in the wake of his crushing confession. The third, well, Erica could place the blame at Michael’s lying, cheating feet as well. But she wouldn’t. No matter that this planned night of sex and revenge seemed like a good idea a day ago.
Pain for pain.
“If it’d make you feel better, make us even, have a one-night stand.” Her husband’s brown eyes had bored into Erica with open challenge and unhidden guilt. “It’s what I deserve, to know that you gave yourself to another man. The way I gave myself to another woman.”
He hadn’t meant it, Erica knew. The guilt, yeah, that damn sure had been real. The tears, also real. The pleading for her not to leave him, to not “break up our family,” well, that had been fucking rich coming from a man who’d screwed a college student who had come “highly recommended” from a temporary staffing agency.
She almost laughed at the absurdity of it all. In truth, she wanted to curl herself into a tight ball and cry until the pain went far, far away.
A warm, tender thumb wiped away tears—a summer drizzle that forecasted a winter squall. Without thinking, but needing comfort, Erica took greedy shelter in Wesley’s strong, supportive arms. Where she wept.
A deluge of pathetic tears.
A wellspring of discarded vows and broken faith.
Holding her tightly and as naked as Erica, Wesley’s scent surrounded her. Boss No. 6, a commanding scent made for the confident man. And Wesley, Erica’s “work husband,” as their colleagues referred to him, exuded confidence unlike any other man she’d known.
“I can kick Michael’s ass for you,” Wesley had said yesterday, his tone deep, low, and coarse with dangerous intent. “Or I can give you one hell of a night. A night you’ll never forget.”
Erica had blinked up at him, unsure she’d heard the man correctly. Steely dark-brown eyes stared right back, unwavering in his illicit offer.
At that moment, in Wesley, Erica saw only the source of her revenge. After all, Michael had given her “permission” to sleep with another man. And Wesley was damn sure male—intelligent and sexy as post-marital sin. She hadn’t regretted confiding in her friend. Not then, and not now.
“He’s a fool, and doesn’t deserve you.” He kissed the top of her head, a sweet gesture that had Erica burrowing deeper into Wesley’s tear-soaked chest. “Since revenge sex is off the table, that leaves only a good ole fashion ass whippin’.”
Despite herself, Erica smiled. This man was good for her bruised pride and gouged-out soul.
She raised her head, found his lips, and placed a thankful kiss upon them.
When she untangled herself from his arms and the sheets, pushing out of bed then sliding into clothing removed with eager, masculine fingers, Wesley let her go. He said nothing, yet his too-knowing eyes tracked Erica’s every movement.
A patient predator.
She shivered, grabbed her purse and keys, and fled the motel. She would neither allow Michael to absolve his guilt by dragging her into the infidelity mire with him nor use Wesley as a tool for revenge.
I’m going to disappoint you. But you knew that already. She’d uttered those words to Wesley, but they’d also been for the scorned woman inside.
Closing exhausted eyes, Erica sat in her car, not yet ready to return home and face her cheating husband. She thought about his lies, late nights, and lethargy—all signs of a man having an affair. But she’d been too blind and too busy to notice.
What a fool I was. I should’ve learned my lesson the first time. Now look at me.
Her cell beeped, alerting Erica to a text message. Grabbing the phone from the purse she’d tossed onto the passenger seat, she hit the screen and brought the phone to life. Tapping the yellow email icon, she waited for the message to appear on the brightly lit screen. It took all of two seconds, but she needed only one to know who had texted her.
Stop sitting in your car and cum back inside.
Oh but Wesley was a delectable sin. His cum instead of come had Erica peering out her driver’s side window and across the small motel parking lot. While all was quiet and dark, Erica the only fool sitting in her car at midnight on Halloween, the light from a single opened door drew her gaze.
A tall, dark figure stood in the doorway, his scrumptious body nude and cast in silhouette. Damn, she really needed to start her car and drive the hell away from this motel of lust and temptation. And what did it say about her that she was enticed so easily, or that she’d savored Wesley’s sweet kisses but rough, covetous hands?
She knew. Of course, she knew.
Erica climbed out of her car, cell phone in hand, purse on her shoulder. Striding across the parking lot and towards the man whose lurid and raw sex appeal drew her in, Erica didn’t stop until she reached room sixty-six.
“I knew you’d be back.”
Wesley flashed perfect white teeth, wrapped an arm around her pulsing wrist and pulled Erica inside. Four seconds later, she was against the closed motel room door, dress up to her waist, Wesley’s hand on her heated, womanly flesh, and those perfect white teeth of his in her throat—sucking, drinking, and—yes, yes—making her cum.
Tomorrow, when she saw Wesley at work, Erica would tell herself she’d been enthralled by a charismatic vampire. When Michael asked about tonight, she’d tell him the same.
But they would be lies, excuses, and emotional absolutions for a woman who knew better but chose not to be better.
Wesley dropped to his knees, then stared up at her with eyes gone white and wicked. Fangs distended, he licked her blood from the tips and whispered, “I knew you’d taste good.” With a wink, he tugged her down, then nodded at his... “Now taste me.”
Oh, she did. And the route to Hell had never been so mouth-wateringly delicious.
About the Author:
N. D. Jones lives in Maryland with her husband and two children. She is the founder of Kuumba Publishing, an art, audiobook, eBook, and paperback company. Kuumba Publishing is a forum for creativity, with a special commitment to promoting and encouraging creative works of authors and artists of African descent.
A desire to see more novels with positive, sexy, and three-dimensional African American characters as soul mates, friends, and lovers, inspired the author to take on the challenge of penning such romantic reads. She is the author of two paranormal romance series: Winged Warriors and Death and Destiny. N.D. likes to read historical and paranormal romance novels, as well as comics and manga.
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3 Death and Destiny (Novels With Soul) Packages
Package will include autographed copies of “Of Fear and Faith” and “Of Beasts and Bonds,” as well as a 4x6 art print design by Najja Creations of Kuumba Publishing. Contestants (winners) may select from one of six designs.
$50 Amazon Kindle gift card, Signed copy of "Of Fear and Faith" and "Of Beasts and Bonds," art print by Najja Creations
$30 Amazon Kindle gift card + eBook copy of "Of Fear and Faith" and "Of Beasts and Bonds"
$20 Amazon Kindle gift card + eBook copy of "Of Beasts and Bonds"
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Brought to You By:
Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer