For today's Book Hooks blog hop, I’m featuring a holiday-themed snippet from my MM paranormal romance, Necessary Madness. Although the book is not explicitly a Christmas tale, it takes place in central Massachusetts in November and December – and it ends with a wedding on Christmas Eve! Before Rob and Kyle get their happily ever after, though, they must confront and defeat a devious and seductive sorcerer who lusts after Kyle’s power to see the future.
Kyle sees visions of disasters, visions that tear his world apart.
Everyone assumes he is schizophrenic, but Rob, the cop who picks him
up off the street, knows better. Rob's own experience has taught him
that psychic powers are real, and potentially devastating. Since his
telepathic sister's brutal murder, Rob wants nothing to do with
'gifted' individuals like Kyle. Yet he can't deny his attraction to
the beautiful, tortured young man - an attraction that appears to be
When a brilliant, sadistic practitioner of the black arts lures Kyle into his clutches, Rob faces the possibility that once again he may lose the person he loves most to the forces of darkness.
“Relax, Kyle. Breathe in. Now out. In. Out. When you breathe out, let everything go. Your tension, your fear. Just release it and allow your breath to carry it away. Focus on your breathing. Inhale. Exhale. There’s nothing else in the world but the rhythm of your breath.”
Elspeth’s voice was soothing and hypnotic. Kyle sat with his eyes closed, trying to follow her instructions. Once or twice, the blackness rippled ominously, a vision threatening to explode into his consciousness. Listening to Elspeth’s calm chant, breathing slowly, he allowed the disturbance to drift away.
“Good, very good. Now, Kyle, I want you to send your mind out into the future. This time, though, don’t look for flames. Seek out a different kind of light, one that makes you glad rather than fearful.”
Kyle guided his thoughts into the channels Elspeth had revealed to him, the invisible routes leading from now into the unknown. There was the newly-familiar sensation of movement through the darkness. Far away, points of warm gold twinkled in the blackness. He steered his mind in the direction of the lights.
The air was chill and fresh. A tranquil melody filled his head. He heard voices, adults and children. The sparkling lights adorned an evergreen two storeys tall, with shiny red globes suspended from its boughs and a silver star on top. The grey stone tower of City Hall rose behind it, spotlit against the night sky. A crowd surrounded the tree, bundled up in coats and gloves, holding hands and singing at the top of their lungs. He could see their breath, white in the cold. He could feel their excitement, their joy.
“‘Silent night’,” he began to sing under his breath, caught up in the vision.
“Where are you? What do you see?” Elspeth’s gentle probes did not disrupt the sensory impressions.
“On the Worcester Common. There’s a Christmas tree. Lights. Singing…”
“Excellent. Now, try to find out when. The way we practised.”
Kyle traced back along the route he had followed, letting the time flow through his mental fingers. Two days, three days, a week… “I’m not sure, but I think it’s sometime around the end of this month. Maybe the twenty-eighth or the twenty-ninth.”
“Good job, Kyle! Come back now. Let the vision go.”
He found that he was slightly reluctant to leave the scene, to relinquish the peace and the positive energy flowing around him. Don’t be lazy, he thought. Rob wouldn’t like that. He turned his back mentally on the oversized tree and was swept back into his body, sitting cross-legged on the floor on the glassed-in porch that Elspeth called her ‘sunroom’.
He opened his eyes to find the matronly witch searching the newspaper, while her cat peered at him with glowing yellow eyes.
“Ah yes. Here it is.” She pointed to an item in the Calendar section of the Telegram. “Tree-lighting ceremony and kick off for the Christmas shopping season. Saturday November twenty-eighth at six p.m.” She beamed at him. “Well done. You’re making tremendous progress.”
“Thanks.” Kyle stood up and worked the kinks out of his knees. He swept his eyes over Elspeth’s back yard, trying to adjust to the light. It was barely three-thirty in the afternoon, but the sun had already sunk behind the thick ranks of fir bordering her property. “I’m pretty pleased myself. So when can I go back and see Rob? It’s been three long days.”
Elspeth laughed merrily. “How about tomorrow? You’re doing so well, I think you can spend the weekend with him without my worrying that you’ll derail your training. But I’d like you to come back on Monday. Next, we’ll concentrate on searching the future for a specific person rather than a general concept.”
“Maybe I should try to see what Rob will be doing tonight,” Kyle teased. She was obviously a powerful witch, with a rich knowledge of the psychic realm. Nevertheless, she made him feel completely comfortable, even when it came to his passion for another man.
“Do you really want to know?” Elspeth grinned back at him. “Seriously, I’m quite sure that he’s waiting eagerly for your return. His feelings for you—they’re strong and true. I can guarantee that.”
Kyle felt something leap inside his chest. “Yeah, well, I hope that you’re right. Because to be honest, I’m crazy about him. If anything happened…if it turned out that he didn’t care after all…well, I don’t think I could bear it.”
Elspeth smoothed his long hair back from his forehead. “I don’t think you need to worry about that. I’m not prescient, but if you can conquer and control your visions, and I think that you can, I predict that you and Rob will have a long and happy future together.”
A full-length paranormal novel, only 99 cents at Amazon!
I hope you'll visit the other authors participating in today’s hop!