Janet Lane Walters with Horu’s Chosen


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Janet’s back – with an excerpt of her latest release, Horu’s Chosen, Book 2 in her alternate Ancient Egypt trilogy. 
 
Blurb:

Seth, an undercover cop has been betrayed by his handler. To escape he calls a number on a flyer and is transported to an ancient Egypt he doesn’t understand. He must rescue the Daughter from the evil priests of Aken Re.
Merin is the Daughter. She must find the man who by wedding her will become Pharaoh. She plots to escape the priests of Aken Re and flee to those who years ago saved her life.

Can Seth and Merin find a way to defeat the priests? Is love the answer to their problems? Can they join with the Warrior of Bast and of Horu to bring unity to the Two Lands?

Horu’s Chosen Excerpt:
For a week plus two days Seth became a regular at the center. As well as martial arts he shot hoops with the younger boys and did his share of kitchen duty. He listened and watched. He found a spot in the alley that allowed him to look and listen to Father Joe’s meetings. Slowly he put the facts together. A few more days and he’d call his handler.
As he crouched at his listening post, Amara waved frantically. He went to her and saw the fear in her eyes. “What’s wrong?”
“Ramos is here.”
“You sure?”
She nodded. “Saw him and the man who wants me. There’re with Father Joe. I ran.”
Seth pulled her close. “Avoid the center.”
“What will I do?”
He fingered the flyer he’d carried for weeks. Maybe Tira had escaped by calling the number. There’d been no sign of her and no reports of her body being found. If Ramos had her killed, the body would have been displayed as a warning. He removed the paper. “Don’t know if this means much but a friend dropped it. She was in danger and has disappeared. If things get too hot call the number.”
“Be careful.” She darted away.
Seth returned to his listening post. He peered through a small spot in the grime-coated window. A man slouched in a chair across from the priest’s desk.
“Way I see it, quid pro quo,” the priest said. “I give you the hotshot undercover cop and you keep away from the center. You and your men.”
“How do you know he’s the one?”
The priest laughed. “Bob Tolena gave me the name.”
Seth stiffened. Betrayed not once but twice.
Ramos chuckled. “Why the offer?”
“Better to sacrifice one for the many.”
Seth’s nails bit into his palms. So he was to be the sacrificial lamb. No way. He wondered how the priest could believe this would keep the center safe. If Ramos wanted in, he would find a way.
“His name?”
“Seth. Not sure that’s his real name but he’s here every morning at the martial arts sessions. He helps with the boys and in the kitchen. Send a man by in the morning and I’ll identify him.”
“What if he doesn’t show?”
“Then I’ll learn where he’ll be. Bob will tell me. Says the kid is becoming a liability.”
Seth’s gut tightened. His hands clenched. Damn, trouble had found him.He straightened and sped down the alley away from the center. He needed a safe place. He ducked into a doorway and hit a programmed number.
“How can I help you?” a woman asked.
“Read your message. I need a way out.”
She gave him an address. “When you reach the door, knock once, wait and knock twice. We’ll be waiting.”
Seth pocketed the phone. He crept from the alley and caught the first bus to arrive. Several changes later he reached his destination. As he mounted the steps of the brownstone his cell vibrated. He checked the number. No way would he answer. Let Bob Tolena and the priest wonder and worry. He dropped the phone and crushed it with his heel. Then he knocked in the sequence he’d been given.
The door opened to reveal an elderly woman with dark eyes and steel-gray hair. “How can I help you?”
Though Seth felt foolish he recalled the words he’d read on the flyer. “Need an escape. The answer is in my stars.”
She moved aside for enough for him to enter and led him down a hall where bright photographs caught his attention. He paused before one showing a hawk soaring over golden sand. He touched the bird with a finger.
“So that’s the one to interest you. Why?”
“The hawk is free.”
“And you?”
“Trapped and betrayed. I must escape.” Or at least hide here until I can come up with a plan.
“Join my sister and me for a meal. We were about to eat.”
“Don’t want to put you to any bother.”
“We have plenty. While we eat you can tell us about yourself and why you’re here.”
They entered a large room. On one wall he saw a large double wheel. When he looked closer he saw the object was a giant horoscope chart. Had he wandered into some New Age establishment?
A second woman, less gray and wrinkled, brought several bowls to the table. Seth helped himself to wild rice and a chicken and vegetable dish. His cup held a tea flavored with mint.
Though Seth had intended to speak only of the past two years since he’d become a cop and gone undercover, tales of his early days emerged. The loss of his mother, his grandmother’s bitterness and the multiple foster homes found light.
Until Pete and Marge Blaine had taken a troubled teen into their home and encouraged him to hit the books he’d been lost. Their deaths in a car accident two weeks before his graduation from the academy had made him an easy recruit for the seamy side of life.
For some reason during his investigation of Ramos and the man’s focus on Tira’s sister, Seth had come to see Tira as one willing to work hard to escape poverty. Amara was another who needed an escape. Three orphans, all misfits and in danger. He placed his fork on the plate. “A friend, Tira, came here and vanished.”
The older of the women nodded. “She came and found the place where she was needed and she thrives.”
Would the same thing happen for him? Dare he hope? He drew a deep breath. “Is there a place for me?”
The second woman rose. She filled a glass with a dark red liquid and set it before him. “Tell us when you were born. Try to give the time to the closest minute.”
He knew the time. Every day until her death his grandmother had told him of the day he’d caused his mother’s death. She’d called the death “God’s Punishment.” “August fourth at six twenty-five AM.”
The oldest woman took his hand. “You are a Leo, a ruler born. Energetic and proud. You place your faith and trust in others. When they betray you, you feel anger and this keeps you from trusting others. You can infuse people with courage.” She walked to the wheel on the wall. The other woman joined her.
Seth frowned. What was happening here? He watched the women place objects on this wheel. An urge to flee tickled his thoughts. He had no interest or faith in Astrology. He never read his daily horoscope in the newspaper. He was about to speak when the women returned to the table.
The oldest one smiled. “You can leave here and go to a land where your skills are needed. You can bring peace, prosperity and justice to the inhabitants. Will you go?”
“Is this a joke?”
“Just an offer,” the younger woman said. “If you accept you will be given a task to accomplish. Failure could mean your death.”
Seth shrugged. “Wouldn’t be any change from what I face here.”
“You will be transported to an ancient Egypt. Once there you’ll learn what you must accomplish. You won’t about to speak of this world or of anything that doesn’t fit the time, place and culture of the land you reach.”
A desperate desire to believe her words were true filled his thoughts. “What if I succeed?”
“You will discover your home and heart. If you agree to go you can never return. Will you take the chance we offer?”
Seth sipped the savory beverage. Had Tira fallen for their line? He pondered his decision and thought of what awaited him if he returned to the city streets. Betrayal. Torture. No justice. His cover had been blown. He was weary of slinking through garbage-strewn and rat-infested alleys. He met the woman’s gaze. “I’ll go.”
“Finish the drink.”
He tossed the liquid back and stared at the horoscope wheel. The heady beverage hit his stomach. Liquid fire flowed through his veins. The wheel spun and the scene faded.


Here’s where you can find Janet on the web:

Twitter: @JanetL717
Get a copy of Horu’s Chosen here:
And here’s a review of Horu’s Chosen from RT:

Following on the heels of The Warrior of Bast, this story is filled with magic and fascinating characters. Those interested in ancient Egypt will find this an enthralling tale. A satisfying ending is presented for the hero and heroine, with a promising lead-in to the next story.

Hot Bayou Nights

I reviewed Hot Bayou Nights recently, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to have Elizabeth here the last couple of days.We have a lot in common – we’re both Gemini’s, correct me, Liz if I’m wrong, but we’re a year and a week apart, right? We’re critique partners, and this fall, we’re both Golden Leaf finalists. Not to mention, we have a blast with each other whenever we’re together. Even when we’re just walking to our cars after critique, we end up standing around talking (on Broadway no less, when we should probably just head to the bar around the corner so we don’t risk getting hit by a car!)

Anyway, I loved this book – when I first heard what it was about and that snakes were involved, I thought, you have to be kidding me. And then I heard some of it. When the book finally came out this year, I grabbed it right away. I’ve made mention of the fact I read while on various machines at the gym – this works out well for the most part – the workouts go quicker than I realize, and lately, I find myself going so fast the machines are telling me to slow down! I like the end results there, no matter how slow the progress.

But I’m rambling again, because the point I’m trying to make is that a book with freaking venomous snakes had me enthralled from the first word I heard and read.So here’s a taste of the book for your enjoyment:

When corporate consultant Carla Saunders’ work takes her from the skyscrapers of Manhattan to a research facility in Louisiana filled with king cobra snakes, she sees her dreams of a job in Paris sinking into the swamp. But unexpected desire burns hotter than a sultry bayou night. The snakes terrify her, but lust for a scorching hot research scientist has her dreaming less about the Champs Élysées and more about being coiled in his arms.
Obsessed with finding a cure for multiple sclerosis, Jackson Rivard’s got zero time for relationships. But when a lush, efficient business advisor sweeps into his lab, zero spikes to a hundred before he can shut off the engine. In theory, no-strings-attached sex is scientifically feasible, but having an ex whose fangs make a cobra’s seem modest brings new meaning to the phrase “once bitten, twice shy.” How can he protect his heart when Carla’s charming it out of hiding?

 Here’s the steamy tidbit sure to leave you anxious for more:


Hot Bayou Nights 


“Don’t look at your feet,” he whispered into her ear. “Look at me.”
She did as he asked, raising her chin to look into Jackson’s blue eyes, and then she was lost. Her breath whooshed out as he trapped her in his gaze, like an insect in a spider’s web. Except unlike the insect, Carla never wanted out. She felt as if she could drown in him. Helpless, her mind drifted to thoughts of what he could do to her. His lips on hers, fingers skating across her naked skin, his body flush against hers on the bed while he held her down, sucking her breasts, his rock hard cock pressed against her thigh. She could reach down between their bodies and take him in her hands, stroking him, teasing, making him even harder. She would hear the ragged panting of his breaths against her skin, ready for her. His fingers would drift downward to slip between the wet folds of her pussy, mercilessly stroking until her hips arched up, so hot for him, and then he would enter
The music stopped, dousing her fantasy like a bucket of cold water. Jackson stepped back to look down at her, smiling.
“Did you like it?”
Ooooh yeah. “Definitely. A lot.” She prayed like mad that she bore no telltale red face from her little mental visit to his bedroom and plastered on a giant smile. She needed to pull herself together and pay no attention to her trembling knees or the throbbing pulses between her legs. Jackson Rivard was dangerous—to her career, her fear assignment, her sanity. She had to remember that.

Here’s where you can get a copy for yourself, and find out more about Elizabeth:

Hot Bayou Nights Buy Links: 
Amazon:
The Wild Rose Press:
Elizabeth’s website:
Facebook:
Blog:

Excerpt from Healing the Mage

It’s been a crazy week – with the release of Healing the Mage and my prep for an upcoming business trip, I feel like I haven’t slept in about two weeks. But things have quieted down a little – as they usually do on Friday afternoon.

I thought I’d share an excerpt from Healing the Mage – in this scene, Lily has brought Aidan to her home, and the situation just keeps getting more complicated.

“What are you doing?” Devlin Marchand shouted.

Lily stood, stepping out of Aidan’s reach. She folded her arms, trying not to wince under the elder Marchand’s anger. The rolling pain curled through her, and she fought to keep from collapsing. Mon Dieu, how could he bear it?

“I am not trained to help him. And I will not be forced into it. I could make things worse.”

She kept her face expressionless, but the relief at the steadiness of her voice left her feeling weak. How the hell she managed to hold herself stiffly upright, she’d never know. Probably adrenaline, even as the rolling waves of discomfort grew. She used every ounce of her strength not to go to Aidan and hold him, to attempt to ease his agony.
Devlin sat beside Aidan and examined him. Lily glared at her brother as he stepped to her side. Anger overrode the worst of the phantom knives in her gut.

“What?” she asked.

“How can you turn your back on him? It’s obvious you can help him.”

She clenched her fists, both the fire and her aggravation growing, mixing together, feeding off each other. She latched onto the irritation, letting it overpower the churning of her stomach. She should have known better than to call Greg. He was too much like their parents, trying to force her into their preconceived ideas of what her life should be. What had she been thinking to summon him here?

“Oh, no, you don’t. I can’t help him. I gave up magic, remember? I don’t know the first thing about healing. It’s too dangerous for me to be involved.”

Greg lowered his voice. “You don’t always get to choose, Lily. Sometimes, you have to follow your destined path.”
Her head ached, and she rubbed her temples briefly. “This is not my destiny; it never was.”

“You have a gift and you’re wasting it. Here’s your chance to fix things. It’s clear to me you need to use your power; your empathy is very strong. You won’t be able to resist.”

“No. I won’t be used like this.”

“If you don’t give in, Lil, things could get worse. You have no idea what—”

“You’re right, I don’t. And I don’t want to know.”

“Enough!” Devlin’s shout silenced them “I need your help.”

“Can’t you take him to the hospital?” Lily asked. She didn’t want to look at Aidan, to see him suffering. She also couldn’t bear it if he touched her again. The things he made her feel scared her more than her healing abilities.

Devlin shook his head. “I can’t move him like this. And his condition is not . . . widely known.”

“So what are you saying?”

“Until I get someone to help, he needs to remain here.”

“Here? No, he can’t!”

“Ms. Prentiss, please. He can’t . . . look at him.” Devlin waved a hand at Aidan, who sat doubled over, groaning in pain. “I understand, believe me. If there were any other way . . . . You can help him.”

Lily twisted her hands together. The desperation in Devlin Marchand’s expression tugged at her. Combined with the echo of Aidan’s agony, her resolve crumbled further.

“I don’t know. I could hurt him worse than he already is.”

Devlin shook his head. “Nothing could be worse than it is now.” Another groan from Aidan drew his father’s attention. The older man tried to soothe his son.

“Hang on; she’ll be able to help you. Can you fight it at all?”

Aidan groaned again. “Do you . . . have  . . . anymore  . . . potions?”

“Nothing.” Devlin turned back to Lily. “Ms. Prentiss?”

Lily sighed. “How long will it take you to find someone to help him?”

“I can have him out of here first thing tomorrow morning.”

He had to spend the rest of the night? “How am I supposed to get any sleep? I have to work in the morning.”

“On Sunday?” Greg taunted.

If only she could direct the fire roaring through her to him. She may not have trained in Healing, but she could still land a nasty hex. Only the presence of Aidan’s father prevented her from singeing her brother’s eyebrows.

“Fine. He can stay. On the couch. I’ll be right in my bedroom, where I can hear him if he needs me.”

Marchand shook his head. “You need to sit with him. He needs your touch.”

“I can’t do that. I—”

Aidan’s harsh groan cut her off. Despite her resolve, she stepped closer, needing to stop the gnawing teeth ripping her apart. As soon as she moved within reach, he reached out and grabbed her again. She narrowed her eyes, wondering at his supposed weakness.

“Stay with me.” Did a hint of a smile play on his lips?

“This is ridiculous. I can’t sit up with you all night.”

“Then I’ll sleep in your bed with you.”

Aware of her brother stepping toward them, she continued to stare at Aidan as his eyes cleared, and he sat up straighter.

“You most certainly will not! You will sleep here. I’ll knock you out so you won’t feel anything.”

He grinned. The brilliant smile stole her breath. “We’ll both be more comfortable, and that way, you’ll be able to get some sleep too.”

No, she couldn’t let this happen. Even as she tried to deny his suggestion, the idea aroused an urgent excitement. And a healthy dose of dread. This time, her stomach twisted for a very different reason. “I don’t think so.”

“It really would be best. For your comfort, as well,” said Devlin. Before she could argue further, he took control of the situation. “Come on, I’ll help you move him.”

“Wait a minute!” Greg shouted. “They can’t sleep in the same bed.”

“He’s not in any shape to be a danger to her,” Devlin said.

“He’s in pain. Wounded animals are dangerous.”

“Are you calling my son an animal?”

Lily rolled her eyes. “Hold it!” She waited until she had the men’s full attention. “I can see there isn’t much choice right now. Look at him.”

“Lily, I absolutely forbid you to do this.”

Lily narrowed her eyes. Her brother couldn’t have picked a worse thing to say. “Do you, now? Well, it can’t be helped. The man is simply too weak to move, and we can’t exactly call an ambulance. I guess he’ll have to stay.”

Mon Dieu, what had she done? Before she could back out of her decision, Devlin helped Aidan down the hall. With Aidan’s vise-like grip on her arm, she had no choice but to follow. It didn’t take long before he reclined in her bed. She sat beside him. Seeing him there ignited a burning she knew would not be easily doused. His father and her brother watched them both, albeit with very different expressions, and her face flamed. While Devlin only seemed worried and exhausted, Greg’s gleaming gaze broadcast his suspicion. She scowled and turned to Aidan.

“You stay on your side, on top of the blankets, I’ll stay on mine. Underneath. You can hold my hand; that should be enough.”

Aidan nodded. She looked pointedly at Greg and Devlin. “You two can see yourselves out. Greg, deactivate the Portal when you’re done.”

“No, I’m staying,” he said. “I’ll sleep on the couch.”

The last thing she needed was her brother snooping around her home. While she appreciated his help, she knew it wouldn’t be long before he reported this whole disaster to their parents. The fewer details he had about her life, the better.

“Greg, it’s all right. You go ahead.”

“You sure? It’s not a problem for me to stay.”

“I’m sure. Just go.”

“All right. I’ll check in with you first thing in the morning.”

“As will I,” said Devlin. “I’ll see if I can get a trainer lined up, as well. Perhaps Tauzin.”

The two men left, and Lily listened carefully to hear the Portal deactivate, sealing off the possibility of unwanted visitors. The house grew quiet, and she turned to Aidan. The way he looked at her ignited fluttering in her gut. At the same time, a bolt of heat flared through her, settling with startling intensity in her core.

“Might as well get comfortable,” Aidan said.

Lily glared at him. He seemed to be enjoying this too much. But she couldn’t deny the way his intense stare made her heart pound.

“You’re going to have to let go of me so I can get in the bed. I’ll take your hand once I’ve settled.”
The hint of smile disappeared. He sucked in a deep breath, his jaw clenched, and he released his grip on her arm. A shudder passed over him, and he put his hand to his head. Lily’s heart thumped unevenly; she didn’t know what to make of the maelstrom of emotions slamming her like waves of a nor’easter on the shore. The gut twisting grew, and she quickly got into the bed, not caring she would have to sleep in her clothes. Her tank dress would be a wreck by morning. As soon as she settled under the blankets, she reached for Aidan’s hand. He stilled immediately, his fingers twining with hers. She met his gaze.

Something about lying here beside him seemed right. She swallowed the jagged lump in her throat and turned away. It was going to be a very long night.

Remember, I’m giving away copies this week, so be sure to leave a comment.