Playing with Fire

Evil is knowing better, but willingly doing worse. Philip Zimbardo 

Temptations. Who doesn’t have them? Some people feel an uncontrollable urge to devour a dozen Oreos at two o’clock in the morning, and in my home…mint, chocolate-chip ice cream vanishes all by itself, plus the desire for McDonald’s crispy, perfectly salted French fries can blow any diet into a dark abyss if the craving is not controlled. But, face it—none of these temptations, even if succumbed to, will result in anything too atrocious, other than tighter fitting jeans, which is bad enough.

Consider yourself quite fortunate if your temptations are simply a bit of overkill in the donut department, (guilty!) or your love of cars meant you spent too much on custom floor mats, because for Jake Cottrell, protagonist in The Twelfth Paladin, playing with fire…temptations of the wicked kind, may cost him his soul. Jake easily falls into a decadent realm filled with lust, murder, and revenge.

Check out the book trailer!  The Twelfth Paladin at YouTube

Also, heat up your summer with a little mischief of your own…enter the Goodreads Book Giveaway!  June 27-July 27 (2011)

The Twelfth Paladin from Melange Books

In The Twelfth Paladin, good against evil battles as angels, demons, and a temptress extraordinaire, named Rachel Darnell, vie for the soul of Jake Cottrell. Jake foolishly dares Hell to burn him. Hell agrees.

Scarred with angelfire by a rebellious angel, named Micah, Jake Cottrell is sanctioned to become the twelfth paladin in Micah’s supernatural unit of slayers. However, regret abounds as Micah is banished and ordered to protect what he now despises…a human he believes is unworthy of such an honor. Never fear, Jake is a seeker of mischief who soars on a blistering blacktop to escape the wrath of Hell while he transforms into the twelfth paladin. 

Excerpt from Chapter Two

Setup: Jake Cottrell and an old, high school buddy, Davis Travis, have gone to a local carnival in Clearview Oregon. Davis knows Jasmine well and asks her to do a reading for Jake…

Jasmine’s dark green eyes intensified making me feel vulnerable, like my skin was nothing more than clear, plastic wrap. Her crystal ball glowed bluer as pure white light shot out from the top of it. The warm light split up into thousands of hair-like strands, which proceeded to wrap themselves around my stinging flesh. A satisfying, but overwhelming aroma gobbled up the carnival smell once present.

I couldn’t speak, felt immobile in every physical aspect, yet my mind burned. Things about my ridiculous childhood appeared throughout my mind much like a movie. Tender moments shared with Tony were especially heartfelt to see, like the day he showed us our new home. After that, I remembered when my mother left us, and our life mirrored the underworld. Sadness just about asphyxiated me. Out of nowhere, the sorrow left as I relived the surreal accident at the Motocross Track. For a second, I was dead and descending into Hell.

At last, relief came to me as Jasmine released her hands from mine. As fast as a lightning bolt, the white light retracted back into her crystal ball. “My, my, Jake Cottrell,” she said while patting her lovely chest.

“What did you see? Am I going to win a lottery or something?” Standing up to leave, I acted like nothing had happened.

Jasmine came to me and then placed her delicate hand on my right shoulder. A half-smile disappeared when she leaned in to whisper, “Surely you will fall into darkness, before you willingly bathe in the glory of the light. All in due time, Jake Cottrell.”

Faster than Tony could empty a bottle of whiskey, goose bumps consumed my skin. “Stop it. How did you know I dreamed that?”

Inches from my face, Jasmine ran her black nails along my jaw. “You’ve been scarred with angelfire. Your right shoulder I believe? A war is going on, but you won’t accept you’re the twelfth one, will you?” She laughed, dancing about the tent looking more like a medieval witch than a modern-day carnival gypsy. “I hope you’re ready for the ride of your life…because it’s coming.” Jasmine spun around faster as the candles flared and her cackle grew more intense.

“Angelfire, ride of my life, and the twelfth what? Oh, forget it. You’re nuts. Come on, Davis!”

____________________________________________________________________

A seeker of mischief, Jake ends up on a blistering blacktop headed straight for Hell where he must fight for everyone he loves and for his soul. Can he beat the odds and win? Find out in The Twelfth Paladin. Pick up your copy at Melange Books, and soon at Amazon, Borders, and Barnes&Noble, plus other outlets too.

Consider your temptations. What tactics have you’ve taken to keep them at bay? Mostly everyone who knows me…understands perfectly well if any kind of pastry is nearby, I’m going to confiscate it. I cannot resist baked goods, so I try (almost always) to avoid that section of a supermarket. Share your thoughts, ask a question, or leave your favorite strategy for beating temptations.

Thanks for visiting the Noracast!

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