Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Lord of Storms by Alice Gaines @changelingpress #Fantasy


Dark Fantasy, Capture Fantasy, Action Adventure

Date Published: May 3, 2024



Advertising executive by day and novelist by night Gray Stewart has retreated to the country for a much-needed vacation.  She’s at the top of a mountain when lightning threatens to fry her to a crisp.  She finds shelter with a mysterious man who goes only by Rowan.

Rowan is the Lord of Storms, a super-human being who has power to minimize the damage of dangerous storms.  He works in secret, and his female visitor is a threat to that secrecy.  She’s also a threat to his equilibrium because as long as she’s around, his thoughts keep straying to sex… and love.




Gray Stewart had reached the top of the world. Okay, she was only up about nine thousand feet, but her heart still raced from the climb, and her lungs were working overtime to suck in oxygen. She’d made it all the way to the top of Mount Richardson, the tallest peak in this part of California, and if she could breathe, the view would steal her breath away. Wait ‘til she told the wiseasses back at the office she’d mastered the climb. None of the macho types who treated women like weaklings could have kept up with her.

She broke out her water bottle and took a swig and swung her small backpack off her shoulder onto the granite beneath her. Then, she sat, crossing her legs. The beautiful ham and Swiss sandwich the inn’s restaurant had made for her beckoned. She removed the plastic wrap and took a bite. With the tomato from the farmer’s market in the inn’s parking lot, nothing had ever tasted so delicious. In fact, the water tasted pretty damned amazing, too. Maybe she’d give up coffee.

No reason to get crazy about this, though. Pretty soon she’d be back in the city where you needed caffeine to face the morning. For now, she could gaze into the valley far below… at the tall pine trees that now appeared the size of toys for a model train set and the river shrunk to no more than a ribbon winding between rows of wine grapes.

A couple of days in the country, and her head was starting to straighten out. She’d left home for college, and for a little hick girl from a tiny town, that had been a shock. But then, she’d found the chance job of a lifetime as a professional writer. So, her art consisted of convincing people that Gloryshine toothpaste could give them a dazzling smile. Big deal. She made a good income at that and wrote the great American novel at night. Her life ought to be perfect. So, why wasn’t it?

She continued eating and feeling sorry for herself until she’d devoured the sandwich. Then, she pulled her knees up to her chest and rested her arms on them as she studied the beauty of nature. Unless… wait a minute… was that a… Lord no, please… a thunderstorm in the distance? Maybe it was travelling away from her. Lightning flashed, and she started counting the seconds before the thunder. It took some time and wasn’t particularly loud. A good sign.

Another flash, and this time the thunder came quicker. And louder. So, the storm was headed her way, after all. She was sitting at the very top of a tall mountain with no trees around her -- just like a lightning rod waiting to be hit.

Then, the wind whipped up, and clouds gathered. More lightning, followed by more thunder, now really loud. She had to get away from here and fast.

She scrambled to her feet and grabbed her pack before heading in any direction as long as it was down. Even city people knew you didn’t want to be the tallest thing around when lightning was looking for something to hit. She was moving too fast for the terrain, which you couldn’t call a path. Rocks underfoot threatened to trip her, and the gravel was even more uncertain. The rain started, slapping her in the face, blurring her vision, but she kept going. That blasted storm was chasing her, and either she reached safety, or she could get fried.

Her backpack slipped from her hand, taking her phone and the keys to the rental car with it. She kept going, jumping over obstacles and skidding in places. The way got steeper, and remaining upright took all her effort, and all the while, the booming got louder. How much longer before the spears of lightning would overtake her? In the end, something caught her foot and she fell.

Attempting to catch herself with outstretched arms only caused her to turn sideways and roll. Sky, dirt, sky, dirt. So fast she couldn’t tell up from down. Something sharp bit into her arm as she kept spinning down the side of the mountain. Lord help her if there was a cliff ahead because she’d never stop.

But she did stop. Suddenly, something dug into her side -- a boot, of all things. And it belonged to a man. From where she lay, he seemed as tall as a pine and as fierce as a bird of prey.

“What kind of idiot climbs to the top of this mountain ahead of a thunderstorm?” he said.

“Who in hell are you?” she said right back.

“Never mind. You’d better come with me.” He bent and scooped her up as if she weighed nothing at all. That was her last thought before the world went dark.


About the Author

USA Today best-selling author Alice Gaines has published several sensuous and erotic works. She prefers stories that stretch the imagination, highlighting the power of love and sex. Alice has a Ph.D. in psychology from U. C. Berkeley and lives in Oakland, California, where she sings in her church choir.

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1 comment:

Alice Gaines said...

Thanks for posting this.