First up is my new cover for the ebook RAZHER, the tale of an African American/Maori she-wolf who teams with a Russian Vampire and Chinese Gargoyle, to take on the corrupt elders of their respective species.
“Awwww suky suky now,” Keenan sang, nodding towards the entrance. “Looks like Cleopatra Jones just joined the party.”
“Cleo who?” Joran could never figure out half the stuff coming out of Keenan’s mouth.
“Just turn around, man. A fine lookin’ sista just came in. She’s Lupita Nyong’o and Halle Berry rolled into one. Don’t tell me you haven’t met Mariah Hawthorne yet, ‘cause she’s the best thing about this damn Arias Industries take over.”
Joran was about to chug down more of his drink when his hand stopped in mid-air. It was like he’d been struck by lightning. The woman was of medium height, very curvy and wore a perfectly round Afro, as if she were a throwback from another decade. Somehow it worked for her, because coupled with her form fitting blouse and skirt, the 70s afro gave her an edginess that had all heads turning. The fact that she was positively beautiful probably had a little something to do with it.
Her deep brown skin and wide set, bewitchingly upturned dark eyes briefly landed on him as she walked past. Keenan chuckled at his expression, loudly calling to the woman. “Hey Mariah, what, you can’t speak now?”
That stopped Mariah in her tracks. “Hi Keenan. I’m sorry, I didn’t see you.”
“Oh, you didn’t see me? I guess not. Not with my man Joran over here blocking access.”
Joran ignored the dig, thrusting his hand out. “H-hi Mariah, I’m Joran Melnyk. I believe we may be working together.”
“Not unless you’re in clerical,” she said, topping off her joke with a snort laugh.
She snort laughed. Joran wanted to do a happy dance. The snort laugh helped make his goddess in human form more attainable, even though she scared the shit out of him. Mariah Hawthorne hadn’t just made him nervous. He was at his wits end, grabbing a drink off a passing waiter’s tray when he already had a half finished one in his other hand. Chagrined, he pushed it Keenan’s way.
Joran’s palms were sweating. He was sure there were beads of perspiration on his forehead too. Instead of standing there, melting into a puddle of goo after meeting the woman of his dreams, he took off, heading for the terrace. Air. That’s what he needed. The cool night air was just the thing to clear his head. Joran ditched his drink and walked out on the terrace, welcoming the blackness of the night and the chilly breeze. Leaning on the railing for support, he breathed in deep. One deep breath led into another, and then another. And another.
He was still gulping air when he realized Mariah had followed him.
“Just wanted to make sure you were okay,” she said as he pivoted her way. “I’m glad your color is coming back.”
All he could manage out was a stammering, “W-w-what?”
“Your face went absolutely white at seeing me.” She gave him a little smile. “I don’t usually have that effect on men.”
“I’m sorry.” His hand flew up to his forehead. “No fever, nothing. Just . . . have you ever experienced love at first sight?”
She looked uncomfortable. “If I tell you the truth, will you think I’m crazy?”
“No, not after half my department saw me running from a beautiful woman.”
Mariah came closer, her dark eyes sweetly imploring. “Joran, I-I think we were meant to be together.”
~~~~~End of Excerpt~~~~~