Of Fear and Faith
Death and Destiny Trilogy Book 1
By N.D. Jones
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Siren-BookStrand Publishing
Date of Publication: July 22, 2014
Number of pages: 288
Word Count: 101,566 words
Cover Artist: Harris Channing
Before trust and love can take hold, grow solid roots, and blossom into a reality larger than self, fear must be conquered and faith embraced. Yet fear of an ancient prophecy, of burning magical power, and a broken heart, Sanura Williams, psychology professor, is unprepared when Special Agent Assefa Berber enters her life, hunting a preternatural serial killer. Assefa's intelligent, chocolate eyes and intoxicating aura signature stirs her fire spirit but frightens the woman.
In a world where all is not as it seems, Sanura and Assefa must battle the gods' first creations - vile predators who threaten the safety of humans. Each confrontation, each bloody clash, will bring Sanura and Assefa closer to fulfilling the prophecy of being the Fire Witch and Cat of Legend - the ones who will save humanity from the Water Witch of Legend. Death, godly magic, and physical attraction draw Sanura and Assefa to each other, but fear and faith will determine their destiny.
“Remember, oral reports are due in two weeks. Check the Blackboard site for additional resources. It’s been updated, and I expect you all to use the discussion forums to run ideas by each other. Some of you are still trolling and need to join the discussion before I start docking points. It isn’t much of a community if all of you don’t participate and participate often.” Sanura smiled out at the sea of youthful faces, hoping she’d kept the annoyance out of her voice. Her students, while technically adults, were still young, some of them on their own for the first time, not quite ready for the responsibility of being college students. But the semester was nearly over, and she’d made the same announcement and warning far too many times. Not that she would actually deduct points, but that really wasn’t the point. With her gentle, albeit repetitive chide, she dismissed the class, only to see a smiling Assefa at the back of the lecture hall.
“How long have you been standing there?”
“Long enough,” was his playful reply, smile as broad and charming as ever. His walk down the steps and toward her was full of a were-cat’s confidence. A confidence that was endearing and sexy without being arrogant or manipulative. No, there was nothing calculating about Assefa Berber. His aura radiated honesty and integrity in equal measure. But there was also a controlled fierceness about him that left an indelible streak of roaring energy through his aura signature.
“Long enough for what?” Sanura asked, warming to his game, squelching her initial surge of embarrassment at being caught in teacher mode.
“Long enough to see you’re a woman of many talents and that ninety percent of your students are male.” He gave her a flirtatious wink, snagged her short-sleeve suit jacket from the back of her chair, and helped her into it.
“Are you always so observant?” She began packing her leather satchel, storing a heavy Introduction to Psychology text on the bottom before sliding several of her students’ papers on Sensation and Perception on top.
Sanura knew all about sensation and perception. Assefa’s amazing eyes and voice sent way too many sensations through Sanura, feelings she wasn’t sure she was ready to explore. Yet the more she was around him, the more she wanted to…well, the more she wanted.
“You know I am, and if I were eighteen again I would definitely enroll in your class, Dr. Williams.”
She gazed at the tall man in his dark-brown eyes, overtly glistening with humor and attraction. “And you would flunk my class, Special Agent Berber, because you prefer your own rules and like to be in charge.”
Assefa relieved her of the satchel then gave Sanura one of his award-winning smiles. “On the contrary, Professor Williams, I was an excellent student and always received straight A’s. Besides, I can follow rules quite well when provided by the right person, under the right circumstances, while wearing little to no clothing. And”—he leaned in to whisper—“I don’t always have to be in charge. In fact, it’s better when the woman takes the lead. Don’t you agree?”
His question burned against her ear, heating her body, making a mockery of the lie she kept telling herself. He’s just a nice guy. I don’t want him for myself. Liar. Liar.
Sanura gently pushed Assefa aside and walked past him, hiding a flushed smile. He had a way of getting to her, taking obvious delight in embarrassing her with his blatant flirting. And Sanura had a way of bashfully diverting her eyes and nervously tucking a strand of hair behind her ear whenever he did so. This was their game. They’d been playing it for the last two weeks while they searched for the adze’s hideout.
But she couldn’t bring herself to move beyond the flirting stage, no matter how her body reacted to him. He seemed perfect, perhaps too perfect. Too good looking. Too charming. Too intelligent. Too…Hell, Sanura was making excuses, and she knew it. No one was perfect, and Assefa wasn’t the problem. I am. No matter how much she enjoyed his company, Sanura used the light flirting to keep Assefa at arm’s length without closing the door of possibility. She may have been gun-shy, but her parents hadn’t raised a fool.
“Are you coming, Don Juan?” Sanura reached back to grab his hand.
Assefa happily took the offer and gave it a soft, teasing kiss. Sanura stared into his eyes again, feeling the heat between them rise, their shared energy starting to coalesce around them. He stepped nearer, closing the short distance between them. By the gods, the man was handsome, a rugged body that fit enticingly into an exquisite suit.
A hand going to her waist, he drew her even closer, and she went, too caught up in their shared energy to do anything but follow his lead. A large, gentle hand rose to a shoulder, a cheek, her nape. Sanura wet her lips, unconsciously mimicking Assefa. She stood there, frozen, mesmerized by the man. His intention was clear—Assefa’s lips just a silent wish away.
Their lips met, and magic whipped across her senses, flooding her aura with sweet, hot pulses of pleasure and power. But it was just a barely-there taste, a flirtatious tease, like the man himself. Yet that little bit made her feel—
The doors to the lecture hall opened. Assefa pulled back, followed by an unmistakable growl, all his sweetness and softness evaporating like an untamable mist. Moment lost.
N. D. Jones lives in Maryland with her husband and two children. Having earned a M.A. in Political Science, she is a dedicated educator. She taught high school social studies for nine years. Currently, she is a professional development specialist with a local Maryland school system, working on increasing student achievement through teacher and administrator efficacy. N.D. is also a continuing education student who is pursuing her doctorate in education in Community College Leadership.
A desire to see more novels with positive, sexy, and three-dimensional African American characters as soul mates, friends, and lovers, inspired the author to take on the challenge of penning such romantic reads. She is the author of two paranormal romance series: Winged Warriors and Death and Destiny. N.D. likes to read historical and paranormal romance novels, as well as comics and manga.
3 Novels with Soul Gift Boxes
The gift boxes will each include an autographed copy of “Of Fear and Faith,” an Amazon gift certificate for an ebook copy of “Heat, Hunt, Hope,” a Dropbox gift certificate for a MP3 download of the audiobook version of “Fire, Fury, Faith,” and two swag items.