Sunday, August 5, 2012

Book Spotlight/Excerpt: A Dark Corner by J.A. Psoras

Eric wants to be normal. But hiding in dark corners as a shifter doesn't make it easy.

Drawn by a vision, Eric goes to the Big City to find his destiny. Alluring Carly is all he's ever wanted in a girl. But Janis, her conniving "besty," always manages to intercept. All of Carly's circle, a group of fast-paced rock n' rollers, are changing. Each corrupted by the seductive front man of burgeoning rock group, "Myth. " Seth's mysterious. Irresistible to women. A dangerous guy with his own secrets and a very dark agenda. His sinister plans include Eric and Carly as she grapples between an unnatural fixation with Seth and a secret attraction to Eric.

Fixated on raising hell, Seth hasn't counted on one detail: if Eric and Carly (who's about to discover her own supernatural twist) ever do get together, they just might be more than he can handle.

Not too far away, Seth was also preparing. Alone in his room, the door locked, he sat at a desk facing a mirror. He reached for his Zippo lighter and lit a tall, red candle. Applying a layer of dark eyeliner, he intently starred at himself.
At first, his mouth open, a vacancy in his unrelenting glare –as if something deep within, his soul, was disconnecting. Then a wide grin spread its wings across his mouth, awakening an intensifying flicker in his eyes.
After removing his shirt, he opened a drawer and retrieved a small tube of black pant. Slowly, he applied five dotes on his face in careful, solemn strokes. One on his forehead, two besides both ears and two dotes on either sides of his chin. He stood then and placed the candle in the center of a circle formed along the hardwood floor. The circle, composed of animal bones, herbs and small stones, was just wide enough to accommodate him.
Seth sat with his legs crossed in front of him. He closed his eyes and began breathing deeply, raising his arms into the air above his head.
“Lord of shadows, the true king, keeper of netherworld, I call to you,” he chanted several times.
Seth lifted a dagger and pointed it towards the north, south, east and then the west.
“Accept this sacrifice of flesh so that you may know me worthy.”
He slid the dagger across his forearm, spilling drops of blood in a circular motion around the candle.
“Please fill me with your power. Enter me, master, I, your servant, request…”
He sat still, watching for a sign. Over and over, he chanted, “Fill me with your power. Enter me, master.”
Suddenly, the gentle glow of the candle changed. The flame shot upwards at least a foot turning into a streaming torch.
Seth’s eyes widened.
“Yes! Enter me now!”
The smoke bellowed throughout the small room. Seth lowered his arms, placing his palms down on his knees. Soon the smoke gathered and circled like a miniature dust storm sucking small particles into the air. He became engulfed in the smolder as papers rustled and blew around. The wine–colored drapes flapped. Tattered posters on the walls fluttered like autumn leaves shaking on a branch.
From beyond the walls of the dwelling, a distant cry grew closer and closer. A roaring growl sounded. The eyes of the tattooed dragon on his back opened, revealing blazed crimson orbs. The thick fog circled ferociously. It wormed its way towards Seth’s back and connected with a quick swoosh, extinguishing the flame.
Seth moaned in agony, grinning ever still. The scent of sulfur filled the room as if a gigantic match had snuffed out and everything fell to a rest. From the ceiling, a slow, pulsating light –stark white– flashed in strobes. Everything in the room, the blankets, scattered clothing, empty bottles, everything, turned utterly devoid of color. Seth, too, was a blank canvas. His hair, normally jet black, like the snowy mane of a Camarillo horse. His lips, his skin –as if coated in titanium paint.
He kept his eyes closed for a moment. Patiently, he waited.
An electrical buzzing hummed throughout. As if newly born, slowly, his eyes opened. First a thin crescent of illuminated black blazed from beneath his lids. Then there was an inverted half–moon. Finally, his unearthly eyes fully opened…two fiery onyx discs contrasted against absolute starkness.
 –The summons was complete. He wanted to test it.
Seth released a demonstration of his newfound power. Several squawking ravens appeared to fly from his center. The harried birds vanished as they collided into the walls, the windowless room unable to contain them. A single feather drifted down like a swaying pendulum.
Absolutely delighted, Seth howled.
A harsh knocking at the door disrupted the final moments of the ritual. Instantaneously, Seth reappeared as himself. The room, back to normal.
Seth’s grin bent.
From behind the closed door, Mike called out, “What the hell is going on in there?”
What the hell, Seth thought. It perversely amused him.
“What the hell, indeed,” Seth said beneath his breath, his voice changed –deep and throaty.
“Seth?” Mike called again.
“I’ll be out momentarily, Mikey,” Seth said, loud enough for Mike to hear.
Then he turned his head with a sudden snap and shouted, “Now get the fuck away from my door!”
Although he appeared normal again, his fate irrevocably changed. True, he used the dark powers many times with increasing stakes. But this time, he sealed himself. Forever. In a way, he was only betrothed before that. Now, he was married to hell in an unbreakable covenant written in his own blood. Chained and shackled in the darkest corner of netherworld, though empowered with much of its dark force.
His soul was damned.
His providence was sealed.
And he couldn’t think of a better way to spend eternity.

J.A. Psoras is a lifelong Philadelphian who often dreams up fantasy and science fiction stories while in front of a bowl of noodles in Chinatown. An admitted chocolate-lover, a perfect afternoon might include a mouthful of mint M&Ms and a keyboard at her fingertips. She studied art history and creative writing on academic scholarship. In between baking and admiring butterflies and birds, she's working on urban fantasies and approachable, literary-infused sci-fi.
Her short fiction has appeared in Aphelion with a new piece appearing in an upcoming issue of Schrodinger's Mouse.
A Dark Corner is her debut novel. A sequel is in the works.



  1. Thanks for the excerpt, i love getting a feel for the book and authors writing style..I like the cover on this one.

  2. Oooh, that cover is eerie. Love the excerpt.

  3. This one sounds interesting, and I love that cover :)

  4. This sounds neat! I really like the cover it's dark and eye catching!

  5. Thanks for the feedback. By the way, the book is now only 99 cents!