Book Blitz: Taken by the Valkyrie

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Denise Alicea

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A Paranormal Women’s Fiction Novella

 

Taken, Book 6

 

Paranormal Women’s Fiction

Date Published: July 5, 2024

 

 

Kara is tired of her role as a Valkyrie, not that she has much choice.
Being a Valkyrie is her identity. It’s in her blood. But she can only
witness so much death and destruction. Her faith in humanity has waned.
Until she meets Eric.

Eric, a retired Airman, is just as tired. He’s seen things he
believes no one else would understand. Then he picks up Kara and his world
is turned upside down. She’s the one he never saw coming and the one
he can’t live without — if only she can handle his past.

The past might not be more than they can overcome, but what if these two
warriors are exactly what they each need?

 

EXCERPT

 

All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2024 Megan Slayer

 

“Don’t you dare get attached.”

Kara folded her arms and groaned. She’d heard that line so many times
through the centuries. What did attachments have to do with her? She
wasn’t about to hook up with anyone long-term again. She’d made
that mistake once and nearly paid with her life.

Not again.

Brynhildr glared at her. “You’re not listening.”

Kara snorted and shifted her attention from her thoughts to the elder
Valkyrie. “You’re right. I’m not.” She mentally
repeated the rules — Valkyries are duty-bound, not permitted to form
attachments, should stay free and vigilant.

Fine. Except she didn’t want to be on duty any longer. The job had
become too dangerous. She’d long tired of the blood, the gore, the
anger. She’d retrieved so many warriors from the field of battle and
delivered them to Valhalla, but she could only take the devastation for so
long.

“I don’t like you getting into scuffles in bars.”
Brynhildr shook her head and leaned her elbows on the high-top table.
“You’re looking for trouble. What do you have? A death
wish?”

“What if I do?” She picked at the peanut shell remaining in the
bowl. The bartender needed to replenish the snacks. When the monster came
back around, she’d say something.

“What do you mean?” Brynhildr asked. “You’re
getting careless, like you’re inviting trouble. You do know
there’s something big planned for you.”

“Is there?” At least she didn’t have to explain herself.
She wasn’t about to tell the elder she wanted to rest for a long time
— like forever. She’d contemplated final solutions a few times, but
the idea of actually dying scared her. Her ex had tried to kill her, but
she’d been reincarnated. Helgi swore he’d never let her forget
him.

She hadn’t.

But she also didn’t want to be with him any longer.

“There’s a plan for you, Kara. Don’t jeopardize
it.” Brynhildr sighed and reached for Kara’s arm.
“What’s got you so upset? Talk to me. You can’t bottle it
inside or you’ll lose the battle.”

She knew that all too well. Brynhildr was right. They did need to talk.
“I don’t want to retrieve any longer. I want a break. I
can’t handle the death and gore anymore. I’m tired of seeing so
much pain. My heart can’t take it. I don’t want to settle down,
but I need time away. I’ve thought about just ending it all to make
the pain go away.”

“Don’t do that.” Brynhildr squeezed Kara’s bicep.
“You’re my dear friend. When you feel that way again, you tell
me. I’ll sit with you as long as you need and even when you
don’t.”

“I know you will.” She’d never doubted her friend and
elder Valkyrie. “What’s this big thing planned for
me?”

“Promise me you’ll call me when you get low.” Brynhildr
held tight to Kara’s arm. “Promise.”

“I will.” She wouldn’t go back on that.

“But you asked about the something big,” Brynhildr said.
“Not all warriors need to go to Valhalla. Some need care here first.
It’s up to you if you’re interested in giving that care before
they can go. It doesn’t mean they’re on the battlefield. In some
cases, they’re still fighting even though they’re
home.”

“Still?” she murmured. Someone else understood what she saw
when she closed her eyes?

“You might even find yourself along the way.”

She hadn’t expected the elder to say that. She’d expected to
stay lost and drift away. But if she could help someone, that would be good
— if she could even help. Most people were afraid of her. What if the
person she was supposed to assist didn’t want her help? What if they
didn’t like her?

“We have someone specific in mind for your first job. What if I could
tell you what he looks like?” Brynhildr asked. “Could show
you?”

“You could?” Now the elder had her full attention. “Show
me.”

“Are you interested in taking a different route and helping
him?”

She hesitated. She should say no and return to sulking. “I am.”
The words spilled off her tongue. She didn’t hear the undercurrent of
conversation in the bar, didn’t smell the cigarettes and stale beer in
the air, or even notice the smoke swirling around her. Her senses
hyper-focused on what Brynhildr said. “I want to see him.”

“Very well.” Brynhildr produced a mirror.

The image of a man formed in the glass. Brown hair, crinkles around his
brown eyes, tension in his posture, too thin, but handsome. Kara narrowed
her eyes. He was damn cute, but wasn’t he off-limits? “I
can’t get attached to him?”

“You know the code.”

She did.

She also wasn’t entirely sure what he’d be like. He might be a
jerk. Have the  personality of a brick. Or he could be damn sexy,
enticing, and sweet. Just lost too. He could be the kind of man a woman
wanted to chase, to wrap up in, and never let go. The kind she wanted to
kiss, touch, and tease. To feel moving inside her.

Not the perfect man — but damn close.

If he really existed.

He might not.

There wasn’t much point in getting her hopes up.

“Just don’t fall in love.” Brynhildr shook her head.
“Remember how that worked out with Helgi? This one might be a better
fit and not nearly so violent, but you’re a proud Valkyrie, and you
should remain unattached.”

“I should.” She’d followed the rules during this life.
Previous ones? Not so much. This time around, she wanted to be a good
Valkyrie. A proud one. She didn’t have time for romance. No time to
waste on something that wasn’t going to last.

What if it did? What if this wasn’t just a passing fancy? What if
they fell in love?

She had to stop thinking like this. Just because falling in love was
possible didn’t mean it’d happen. Falling on her head was just
as possible. Gods, it was more believable. She wasn’t a kid and
didn’t need love.

Right?

Everyone could live without love and affection.

What if she didn’t want to any longer? What if she wanted to be
romanced?

What if he had the key to her happiness, and he held the key to her
heart?

Only the power of the gods could show her that truth.

Where was a god when she needed one?

“He’s here in Eerie. I’ll bet you’ve seen
him,” Brynhildr said. “Don’t spook him. I know
you’re good at being blunt.”

 

 

About the Author

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author
of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing
since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary
and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her
works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her
characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s
been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best
Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the
bestseller lists on various e-tailer sites.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as
well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but
football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends
of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

 

Author Contact Links

Author on Facebook

Author on Twitter

Author on Instagram

 

Publisher on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @changelingpress

 

Pre-Order Today

 

 

RABT Book Tours & PR

2 comments

RABT 07/03/2024 - 2:21 pm

Thanks for posting

Reply
Wendi Zwaduk 07/09/2024 - 7:25 pm

Thanks for hosting me today and posting about my book!

Reply

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