Monday, September 22, 2008

Excerpt: The Sleeper 2: A Woman Scorned by Nia K Foxx

Sleeper 2: A Woman Scorned
by Nia K. Foxxcover art by ReneƩ George
ISBN (13): 978-1-59596-761-9
Genre(s): Paranormal
Theme(s): Interracial, Magic and Mayhem
Series: The Sleeper
Length: Novella


A woman scorned. That description didn’t explain half of what Dr. Alexis “Lexi” Douglas felt. She knew she wasn’t alone. In her practice she’d talked with enough women to see the psychological damage caused by men and quite frankly she was tired of preaching about empowerment and ready to demonstrate a little of it, witch style.
Seven hundred and eighty years of slumber was not nearly long enough for Cor Sielas. His last assignment prevented the expansion of the Mongul Empire, so he’s irritated to learn that the Forces of Nature have awakened him to handle one vindictive little witch. He takes some solace in the knowledge that his subject is female. For the first time he’s interested in mixing business with a little pleasure.


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“The lowlife son of a bitch!” Alexis Douglas slammed her office phone down, not caring whether or not the overpriced attorney who “represented” her was still on the other end. After the new asshole she’d just ripped the man it would be no surprise if he’d hung up halfway through her tirade. Maybe now he’d stop calling her with her ex-husband’s new torturous demands disguised in the form of injunctions. She might as well have represented herself for all the help he turned out to be. Perhaps it was paranoia talking, but lately she was feeling as if he were secretly working for her former husband.
It wasn’t enough that her bastard of an ex had cheated on her for the better part of a year, cleaned out her bank accounts, and gotten half of what she had left in the divorce settlement. He just kept coming back for more. And to her amazement her lawyer could only give her blank stares while the judges continued to grant his ludicrous requests. All male judges, she noted. Alexis felt as if she were being made to pay for scores of women who’d managed to walk away with their wealthy exes’ fortunes in the past.
It wasn’t worth ruminating over the unfairness of it all. Trying to pinpoint exactly where things had gone wrong had proven fruitless too. She accepted her mistake lay in falling for the charm of Harrison Blake those many moons ago. Still in medical school, she’d been a bright-eyed twenty-three-year-old flattered by an older, extremely handsome and cultured grad student with aspirations of being an actor. Even after she began her residency Harrison was still aspiring, performing in community theaters and landing bit parts in movies. Alexis was so enamored with him she didn’t mind supporting them while he pursued his dreams. Her career flourished, providing them with a substantial income.
Harrison’s interests had shifted from acting to directing, and Alexis found herself providing the seed money for many ventures that would never amount to anything. She’d even put her desire to have children on hold because he’d wanted to wait until he was in a better place in his career.
The intercom on her phone buzzed and her assistant announced her next appointment. Alexis took several deep breaths before giving the go ahead to send her three o’clock in. As unprofessional as it might be Alexis couldn’t help but feel a certain affinity for her next patient, one Sierra Gonzalez. Mrs. Gonzalez was dealing with a particularly difficult divorce of her own, but Alexis felt her stakes to be far greater. The woman had two daughters. She’d petitioning the courts for sole custody of in light of allegations of molestation committed by her ex-husband.
She handed the petite Mrs. Gonzalez another set of tissues as she sobbed through the end of her session. She empathized with the helplessness Mrs. Gonzalez felt. “Thank you, Dr. Lexi. Talking to you helps, even if it’s only for a little while.” The woman’s lightly accented English was full of sorrow.
“I wish that I could do more for you.”
“Don’t feel guilty, Dr. Lexi. I understand that your kind is limited in what you can do.”
Alexis stiffened in her chair. What did she mean, her kind? In the three months she’d been working with Mrs. Gonzalez, not once had it occurred to her that the woman would have a problem with her race. Although she was the product of a biracial marriage, Alexis, more so than her other two siblings, physically favored the African-American side of their family. Her reddish brown complexion was darker than her sisters’ caramel tones and her tight curly hair was even more pronounced in the short style she wore. She didn’t trust herself to speak as she waited for Mrs. Gonzalez’s next words.
Mrs. Gonzalez fixed her with a puffy brown-eyed gaze. “It’s not what you’re thinking, Dr. Lexi. I don’t care about race. I’m talking about the thing that makes you different from other humans, Doctor. You know what I mean.”
She couldn’t know. It wasn’t possible. Regular mortals weren’t privy to the existence of witches or warlocks beyond what they saw on the silver screen or read in books. Secrecy was paramount to the coven. She’d even hidden her lineage from Harrison, which was possibly the best decision she’d made in dealing with her former husband. She shuddered to think what he would do with the knowledge. “I can assure you that I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I know you do, Dr. Lexi, and I understand why you must deny it so I won’t say anything else. But jus’ think, why it is that God made you different from the rest of us if not to help people in need?”
Alexi opened her mouth to protest but Mrs. Gonzalez’s halting hand kept her quiet. “Jus’ think on what I said, Dr. Lexi.”

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