Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Beacon's Spark (Potomac Shadows, Book 1) by Jim Johnson

Release date: July 22, 2016
Subgenre: Urban fantasy 

About Beacon's Spark


Twentysomething Rachel Farran dropped out of college after family pressures drove her to the edge. Now disowned by her parents, the only things going for her are her girlfriend, her bestie, and visits to her ailing grandpa, the only member of her family who even really likes her.

When Rachel stumbles into the mystical Veil separating the mortal and spirit worlds, her world is turned inside-out. She soon discovers that she is a Beacon, a descendant of the ancient Fates and a guide for lost souls who can manipulate magical ley threads. But when the malevolent being known as the Spinner harnesses the ley to drag helpless souls through the Veil to devour them, can Rachel learn to control her newfound abilities before her grandpa and many others are lost forever?

Beacon’s Spark is the first book in Potomac Shadows, a new paranormal fantasy series set in the Washington, DC metro area. 


As we stared, transfixed, at the strange glowing tube on the other side of the still curtain, the arcs of energy started rippling from one side to the other of the tube and arced across each other. Every time one of them bounced across the gap, there was a flash of electric blue light and the lightest tickle of heat on my skin, like a static charge buzzing you when you’ve shuffled your stocking feet on certain kinds of carpet.
Malcolm glanced at me. “That’s an awful lot of power. I think we should get back.”
I couldn’t disagree and made to back away from the curtain of light. But my feet betrayed me.
I shot a glance toward Malcolm. “I can’t move!”
He tried to turn away from the curtain, but he too was held fast in place. “Now what do we do?”
I managed a shrug and stared toward the arcing bursts of light, which were now coalescing in the center of the tube, weaving together to create a dense ball of crackling energy. “Is that a weapon?”
The ball of light got larger and larger, and the crackling energy racing across its surface rippled faster. The sphere of energy started to morph. All I could do was watch in sick fascination. It was like a good movie special effect; a piece of CGI changing before my eyes. No trip to Branchwood had ever been this messed up.
Actually, no trip anywhere had ever been this messed up.
“What’s that? Do you see that?” I cried out.
A strange, warm wind picked up from out of nothingness and washed around us. Malcolm managed to push his arm around my shoulder and held me close. “I see it, I see it!”
As we both stared into the strange electric maelstrom, that bass humming started up again, and I managed to clap both hands to my ears. It was deafening, like the tunnel was a subwoofer and we were standing too close to the speaker at a heavy metal concert.
The bass hum reverberated through the tube and the doorway we were standing in, and shook the floor under our feet. I could feel my heart and my lungs heaving in time to the rhythmic pulse of the strange bass line. The headache I’d been nursing all morning returned with a vengeance, threatening to split my skull apart from the inside.
Some little part of my brain whispered “heart beat” but I couldn’t make much sense of it. The bass line was hammering into my mind, into my body, shaking me and Malcolm to the core.
The core of energy continued to morph, and I was transfixed on the thing, helpless to turn away. I braced myself as best I could, certain that the thing was going to blow up in my face.
What happened, though, threw me for even more of a loop. The ball of energy transformed into a face, a man’s long face with a cleft chin and a regal, hooked nose. His wide-set eyes were full of the gold-flecked blue electricity, and his head was nearly three feet tall. His features were like those of some sort of god—almost too perfectly perfect.
The face formed in full and stared at us with large, glowing golden eyes. The bass line hammered over and over, and then within a breath, suddenly stopped. There was a long moment of silence, and then the mouth in the face cracked open. It uttered one word.
And then everything did explode in my face.



About Jim Johnson:

Jim Johnson was born about the same time Apollo XII landed on the moon and shares a birthday with the Kindle. He is the author of the Pistols and Pyramids weird western series and the Potomac Shadows urban fantasy series. He's also written a bunch of other stuff in and around the SFF genres and pen and paper RPGs.

In rare moments when he's not writing or publishing, Jim plays board games and card games, eats more pizza than he really should, and makes a brilliant bowl of popcorn. He also likes to live dangerously by running last click.

Jim lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife, son, and three cats.

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