She is an American author, having written well over 50 romance novels and paranormal novels combined. Over the course of her career, Maggie Shayne has won a vast number of awards for her work. Maggie Shayne also founded a coven in the Wiccan religion. So, besides writing her novels, she also practices as a High Priestess in the coven. Her interest in the religion and culture of Ancient Sumer is incredible, and clear for all to see.
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Lilia was a witch. Even though she was currently hovering between the worlds, watching over her beloved, waiting for the right time to manifest as a silvery-blond-haired, blue-eyed woman and save his life, she was still a witch.
Had been for thirty-five-hundred years. Would be for as long as her soul lived on. She watched, awestruck, as her beautiful Demetrius flashed into existence fully formed, fully grown, completely naked. The Portal, the opening between dimensions through which he had escaped his Underworld prison, was in the cave behind a waterfall.
He arrived in the physical world in a blaze of light, crouching on the stones near that cascade. Goddess, he was beautiful. She reached out as if to touch him.
Not yet. He was the same as she remembered him. His body had been reconstituted just as it had once been, since his soul had been ripped away before he died, an unnatural perversion of the order of things. Hers had been dashed against the rocky ground from a great height before her own soul had flown free. She would have to manifest a fresh new form when the time came. Oh, but look at him. He rose from his crouched position, looking around, blinking in confusion, and her heart ached.
So long He looked the same, and her heart twisted in her chest with a mingling of joy that she had come this far, was this close to success, and heartache that he was still out of reach. When the quarters she shared with her two sisters were searched, the tools of their forbidden magic had been found and the three of them sentenced to be sacrificed to Marduk, chief god of the pantheon.
She never should have fallen in love with him. The cost had been so high. But she had loved him. She loved him still. The high priest Sindar had been in love, too—with the King, or so Lilia had always suspected—and so his wrath had been bitter. Indira and Magdalena had reincarnated lifetime after lifetime until the opportunity came to right the ancient wrong, while Lilia had remained in limbo, pulling their strings like a master puppeteer, awakening their memories, making them keep their vow to set things right.
The newly reborn Demetrius pushed himself up from the ice-cold ground, rising slowly. Lilia saw the amulet he wore gleaming in the moonlight. And even as he stood there, two other magical tools fell from nowhere and clattered loudly to the rocky ground.
He jumped at the sound, then moved closer, picking up the golden chalice, turning it slowly and examining the semiprecious stones embedded in its rim. Then he reached for the blade, looking it over the same way. She wondered what he was feeling. Did he recognize the tools?
Did he have any clue as to the power he could wield with them? And now Magdalena had returned another piece, one the sisters had secreted within a chalice accompanied by a blade, which, when used together, had allowed Demetrius to manifest physically here near the Portal, in the cold of a February night in the Northeast. He was freezing and shaken, she was sure. But not entirely confused.
By now he knew the language, the slang, the customs. Demetrius looked around, and as the snow began to fall everything in her yearned to go to him.
To help him. Not until he used the magical tools that had been given to him to call her forth from the place that was not a place, and the time that was not a time. He had to bring her first into physical existence, and then he would have to render her fully human, fully mortal. He was the only one who could. And when he realized what she would ask of him, he might wish her gone again.
For Lilia had to convince him to give up his powers, his seeming immortality, and accept the final piece of his soul from her, so that they could have the lifetime together that had been denied them so long ago.
But first he must be allowed to live, to discover his powers, to experience this existence, so that he knew what he was giving up. He had to want to be human again—and want it badly enough to choose it over supernatural powers he had no idea would expire either way. It was not going to be an easy sell.
But one way or another, this curse had to end now, and one way or another it would. He was so cold. It was a vague bit of knowledge floating around his subconscious and having little impact on anything. He felt no connection to that particle of information. He looked behind him at the cave, knowing instinctively that that way lay the Portal, and beyond it the Underworld, his prison for as long as memory reached. He wanted no part of that. Not the way he would remember this As to what came before, he remembered an endless, vast, dense There was nothing to remember but nothingness itself.
No feelings. No light. No sound. Rage, there had been rage, and hatred, and struggling to get free without even knowing what freedom meant.
Time had no meaning. Emotion was nonexistent. Touch was not even a concept to him then. Freedom from his world, entry into that one. And only then had he honed his focus enough to begin to plot his escape and to crave vengeance on whatever nameless force had imprisoned him. He shivered, hugging his arms around his unclothed chest, the golden blade that had fallen from the sky clutched in one fist, the silver chalice in the other, and started trekking downhill in search of warmth.
That was first. He took the tools with him because they had arrived here with him. They belonged to him. And along with the amulet they were, at the moment, his only worldly possessions. But he was free, he thought, as his feet slowly went numb. He was free. He had a body. Warmth was one of those pleasures, but as he walked on, he thought of many others. Food, and the way they made such delighted sounds as they ate it. And touch. The touch of another human being, embracing, kissing.
The pleasures of sex seemed to him like the ultimate goal of being human, and he could not wait to experience it. This was going to be beautiful. He could hardly wait to get started. He found a driveway leading to a house with lights on inside, but he sensed people within.
No, he could not stop there. He knew he must go farther. It was a long walk. Twenty minutes, stark naked, in the cold, but he finally came to an empty house. No movement came from inside, no lights were on.
But there was something beyond that, a palpable feeling that no one was home. The door was unlocked, a bit of good luck for him. Better still, it was warm inside. Warm, safe from the cold. So he stepped in, his bare feet sinking into the carpet he knew would feel good to him when sensation returned. He went directly up to the second floor, where dressers and closets held clothing, and he picked through them, wondering if the jeans and shirts would fit his body, and realizing then that he had no idea, really, what he looked like.
So he walked through into the adjoining bathroom, and stood face-to-face with his own image. He was tall, he thought. He was broad and hard, too. His chest and stomach rippled with muscle. Massive, powerful arms, big hands, thick thighs. He studied his features with a sense of wonder. This is me, he thought.
Blood of The Sorceress
She has to get him to willingly ask for his soul back and become human. But other forces are telling him that she is tricking him into giving up his immortality and powers so that she can have them. I figured out who Father Dom and Gus were about a quarter of the way into the book. But it was still great to read and find out what they would do.
Blood of the Sorceress
The Portal Series
Blood of The Sorceress (The Portal #3) by Maggie Shayne