Friday, April 25, 2014

EXCERPT: Dark Energy by John O'Riley


Cover For Dark Energy - CreateSpace_edited-1
Josephine uncovers an important secret about the Valituras, a power-hungry organization that has lived in secret for centuries. They have amassed powerful dark magic and infiltrated all levels of the government. Now that their existence is publicly exposed and Josephine’s discovery leads to the capture of more Valituras agents, they decide to make a big move and declare war against the country. Josephine scrambles to protect herself and her loved ones from this powerful foe. As she uncovers more clues in her search to expose the hidden identities of the Valituras leaders, her boyfriend grapples with his new talent of white magic which proves to be a potent yet unreliable source of power. Even as Mark’s abilities expand, he struggles to avoid burnout which will lead to a coma and reversion back to mainstream magic. When the U.S. government’s MADA department hires him to attempt restoration of an ancient historical site, American Stone Henge, the Valituras target him for termination. As Josephine’s psychometry brings her closer to the truth about the Valituras, she fears the answers will come too late.

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Author Bio for John O’Riley:

John for NPWAJohn O'Riley has been writing as far back as he can remember. He is an author of novels and an award winning writer of screenplays in the category of urban fantasy, comedy, science fiction and young adult. His movie feature screenplay, Cursed, is an Honorable Mention Winner for the 2012 Screenplay Festival. His most recent accomplishments include the screenplays New Earth, Pinky Swear, and Mutant Wizards in the 2014 Filmmakers International Screenplay Awards which made it to Quarter-Finalist status. Other recognition includes the screenplays Cursed, Project Pandora, Pinky Swear, Incipio, and Bad Sister which have been listed as Quarter Finalists, Semi Finalists, and Top Finalists in the 2013 Filmmakers International Screenplay Awards, 2012 Screenplay Festival, 2012 Filmmakers International Screenplay Awards, 2012 StoryPros International Awards, 2012 Pulsar Sci Fi Screenplay Contest, and the 2012 Reel Authors International Breakout. He was born in California then raised in Washington state. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and French and worked in a variety of bookstores including Borders and was the manager for one of the bookstores in Florida that was actually owned by Goodwill. He loves reading fantasy, science fiction, and humorous fiction. Some of his favorite authors include Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, S.J. Viehl, Kat Richardson, J.K. Rowling, Angie Sage, Jayne Krentz, and Janet Evanovich. He currently resides in Washington state and owns a parakeet named Amy who sings like a canary to help encourage and inspire him.

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A corrections officer named Matt, a dark-haired man with an average build and an alert expression on his face, escorted Josephine to the interrogation room where Lorcan was already set up with two guards watching over him. Currents of negative psychometric energy emanated from the walls of the prison and cascaded against the edges of Josephine’s mind. She did her best to continue to block out the disturbing sensations as she sat down at the table facing Lorcan who was handcuffed to the table top.
The mere sight of Lorcan’s loathsome face elicited flares of righteous anger in Josephine. He was a man in his thirties with short-cropped brown hair, thin lips, a stubby nose and green eyes. He suffered from amnesia due to a memory suppression spell that all members of the Valituras contained in their minds which activated when captured. This prevented the government from discovering much needed secrets about this organization including the enchantments and curses they could create and the identity of other members. One fact they’d already established was that members of the Valituras had infiltrated every level of government in virtually every country throughout the world. The Valituras had managed to spring Lorcan out of jail previously but Josephine had apprehended him again which had caused the memory suppression spell to kick in a second time. Having the spell become active twice had an unforeseen side-effect of inhibiting short term memory as well which caused Lorcan to forget everyone he encountered.
“Hello, Josephine,” Lorcan said.
“This isn’t a social call, Toadstool,” Josephine snapped.
“What did I ever do to you?” Lorcan’s expression was hurt.
“You tried to curse me twice, you turned my best friends into a vampire and a succubus, and you almost killed my grandson.” Josephine’s beautiful brown eyes glittered with hostility.
“It’s hard to believe I did all that.”
“You’ve done that and more, Toadstool.”
“Why are you calling me that?” Lorcan regarded her with puzzlement.
“Because that’s the nickname I gave you when I met you and realized what an ass you are.”
Josephine closed her eyes so she could focus and to discourage any further conversation. She awakened her psychic receptors which unfortunately made her more susceptible to the dominant psychometric energy inhabiting the room which stemmed from the boredom, anger, and sick thoughts of the many previous occupants. She reached out with her mind to access Lorcan’s. It took her several moments to find the memory suppression enchantment which was programmed to mutate its energy signature to blend in with Lorcan’s when detected. Josephine made sure not to probe at it too closely so she wouldn’t have to hunt for it again. She wasn’t an expert on this type of spell so it frustrated her to try and reverse it. She examined the details of the enchantment which was slow and tedious work. When she finally made her first attempt to disarm it, the spell immediately mutated and slipped out of her grasp. She managed to keep track of it for several seconds before it vanished from her sight.
Josephine heaved a frustrated sigh and tried again. When she found it, she noticed it had once again changed its configuration. It reminded her of a network of veins deeply entrenched throughout Lorcan’s mind.

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