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When Angels Fall (Faith Savage: Demon Huntress #4) by K.A. M’Lady
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No sulfur dioxide. Normal amounts of carbon dioxide. It smelled like pine needles, not like rotten eggs. Gloves and suits. Petra lifted her freckled face to the sky, feeling the blessedly cool breeze against her cheeks. She spat a bit of dark blond hair out of her mouth and reached to take another soil sample. Maybe there was some other toxin here? Something more exotic that would need more tests run. The ground was opening up in pockets in the whole Pelican Creek area. Geologists had been detecting midlevel quakes in previously quiet land.

In a place like Yellowstone, the geology was always changing, but this was unusual. And it needed to be investigated. Mike mopped his brow. A one-time thing. What do you need? Mike rolled the guy over. Petra heard sloshing, as if they were moving a cooler full of melted ice. Mike came up with a set of car keys and a fistful of change, which he handed to Petra. She stared at the debris, pushing aside the quarters, nickels, and dimes in her palm. A penny, bright and shiny and new. No evidence of that, here.

When hydrogen sulfide was used as a chemical weapon in World War I, copper coins in the pockets of victims turned nearly black. This smelled worse, like roadkill. Mike turned to the body.

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Two medics had arrived in full gear and grasped the body, one at the arms and the other at the feet. The skin split open, and dark fluid soaked the dirt to splash against the white suits of the medics. The gases build up while the organs rot. They discussed how best to remove the woman and the child from the tent without rupturing them.

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It was decided to start with the child. Petra turned away. She began picking at samples around the edge of the campsite, trying to fade into the background. But the scene burned behind her eyelids. Death had spread to the vegetation around the campsite in a circle, as if someone had sprayed the plants with weed killer.

As she ventured farther and farther away, she found a trail of rust-colored grass vanishing into the forest. Ignoring the chatter and radio static behind her, she began to follow the trail. It spanned an area a little over three feet wide, a perfect path of brittle vegetation that contrasted sharply with the early autumn grass that still thrived.

She paused before a pine tree that seemed to have had its bark scorched away by some kind of chemical reaction. She began to regret removing her hood. Holding her breath, she chipped a piece of bark away with an awl and dropped it into a sample bottle. The track ended abruptly at a spine of rocks that composed the next ridge.

There were no plants to speak of here, only fine milk quartz pebbles and sandstone gravel. She blew out her breath, frustrated at having lost the trail. Had there been some kind of chemical accident here? She ran through the desiccants and herbicides she knew, most of which were not good for people, but the most likely short-term effects would have been simple respiratory distress or skin contact allergies.

Nothing that could cause the amount of squish and slop that the medics were dealing with. No rational explanation. Maybe there was an irrational one. She glanced behind her. No one had followed her this far, to the edge of the forest. Glinting in the sun, it lay flat in the palm of her hand. Seven rays extended to the rim, with an image of a golden lion devouring the sun in the center.

Maybe it would have something to say.

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But not asking the question would be stupid. She stripped off her glove, wiggling her sweaty fingers in the air. She ripped it off and hissed when blood welled up around the cuticle. Clumsily, she sloshed a bright drop of it into the groove circumscribing the outside of the compass. The blood sizzled on con-. It circled the rim of the compass once, twice … Petra held her breath, as much in anticipation as not wanting to spill the blood.

The bead of blood swung back and forth in an agitated fashion, then settled on north, pointing to the campsite right behind her. That was pretty decisive. The compass would have just sucked up the blood if no magic was present. This was weird land. A shadow flickering through sunlight caught her eye, and she looked up.

She half-anticipated it to be the woodpecker foraging for more insects, but froze when she spied a raven watching her, balanced on the edge of a branch. His eyes reflected no light, his shadow mingling among the flickers of needles and branches of the lodgepole pine. She stared back at it. It might be an ordinary raven. Or it might be one of the raven familiars of the Hanged Men. She turned the compass toward the bird. The drop of blood spiraled halfway around the disk before the bird, alerted, took wing and vanished. Things around here were rarely ordinary.

The raven pumped his wings, pulling himself into the blue sky, as far as he could get from the smell of blood in the compass and the aura of poison clinging to the campsite. He caught an updraft from the sunwarmed land, skimming along the south edge of the mountains, over the dark ribbons of road and the dry grasses of autumn fields. This draft required little effort from him. He stretched his wings and allowed his eyes to drift shut. The sun felt gloriously warm on his back, seeping through his feathers into his light body. In the sky, things were simple.

faith savage book 4 when angels fall faith savage demon huntress Manual

There was no magic that could touch him here. No blood. No pain.

There was just sun and air and sky. He sailed along the current until it weakened. He twitched his feathers, gave in to the instinct to flap his wings, and opened his eyes to look down. A vast field spread below him, gold and grassy and glinting with dew. A massive elm tree stood at its center, and below its shade stood a man in a white hat. The raven made a slow spiral, relishing the last bit of air through his feathers. He skimmed around the tree in a lazy arc, approaching the motionless man on the ground. The man opened his arms, as if inviting a lover back. His amber eyes glowed brighter than the dawn.

The bird slammed into his chest. Feathers melded with flesh, fluttering into a pulse and soaking into skin. Gabriel let his hands fall. The bird twitched through his consciousness as he absorbed all it had seen. Above him, leaves rustled. Some were living leaves, some dead. The tree stood, scarred and ancient, but its shadow had grown thin. He turned the leaf over in his hands. The tree was dying. Not after what it had been put through, creating generations of undead to haunt the Rutherford Ranch.

Not after what he had been put through. Wood had pierced and rent his body to bits. It would have been best to leave him to dust. But no … the other Hanged Men had brought him back here, out of sheer instinct. And the last raven had been brought back to him, the last fragment of himself. Though not wholly. He was conscious of vast gaps in his memory, as if time had eaten away at an old tintype photograph. He recalled bits and pieces of alchemy, arcane bits of ephemera about dissolution and phoenixes. An irritating limp came and went, even if he parsed his feet away as ravens and brought them back again.

But at terrible cost. The light running through the veins of the tree grew more sluggish with each sunrise. He could feel it choked off, as if some force had girdled it beyond retrieval. The end of the tree would be the end of all the Hanged Men. He remembered that much. Behind closed eyes, he thought about that possibility of oblivion. Nothingness was seductive. No more striving to see another day. Just dust. He crumpled the brittle leaf in his fist and opened his eyes. His gaze traveled to the south fence, where the rest of the Hanged Men toiled, herding the cattle to the north pasture.

The others, who had no voice, who would simply cease to exist along with him if the tree died. He could choose to give up—but the decision was not his alone. And yet … perhaps he had seen a solution. Something that might save the last thing he held dear. Long-buried alchemical experiments surface to oppose the local undead, while a biker gang chases mythical creatures in the small town of Temperance.

Poisoned campers. A family of camper s are found dead in Yellowstone National Par k, dissolved as if by acid. There are no witnesses, and the manner of death defies all logical explanation. Raven familiars. Ravens are thick in the skies around Temper ance. Many suspect that the ravens are the spies of the Hanged Men, but the truth is much more sinister, as they seem to watch events unfold with an almost-human intelligence. One of these ravens follows Petra, and she wonders if it belongs to a man she nearly allowed herself to fall for.

Creatures on film. A giant snake has been captured on video in the Yellowstone backcountry. Gawkers descend upon the park, creating a public safety nightmare. The Sisters of Serpens. Among the hunter s descending on the par k are the Sister s of Serpens, a gang of murderous bikers led by the charismatic sorceress, Bel.

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Where others seek to capture the basilisk on film or in a cage, they seek to worship it as a goddess. The Eye of the World. Stained a glor ious shade of turquoise by algae, this pool of water is said to be a window to the spirit world. Petra drinks from the pool — and falls headfirst into an encounter with the basilisk in the spirit world.

The Venificus Locus.


Demon Hunter

The founder of Temperance was an alchemist back in the Gold Rush days. Remnants of his experiments are buried throughout the countryside. Petra possesses one such artifact, a compass with the ability to detect magic. She intends to use it to chase down the basilisk, but it only runs on fresh blood. Coyote familiars. The only creature Petr a can tr ust is her coyote sidekick, Sig. Ghosts of alchemists past. Petr a believes that the most recent Alchemist of Temper ance, Stroud, is dead.

But his curse, living mercury, has infested one of his followers, a teenage boy named Cal. The Hanged Men. The local undead, the Hanged Men, masquer ade as ranch hands. Forever in the company of ravens, they must return to the Alchemical Tree of Life every night to decompose and be reborn. Even the power and memory of their once-indestructible leader, Gabriel, has diminished. The Lunaria. The Alchemical Tree of Life is real, and it stands alone in a field owned by a ruthless cattle baron. Its roots twist deep into the earth, and its branches brush the sky. At the center of an underground warren of tunnels that reach into the very depths of the earth, the Lunaria guards the secret of the Hanged Men.

But the Lunaria is dying, and the Hanged Men will do anything to save it — including chasing the basilisk to extract its magical blood and fighting anyone who stands in their way. About the Author: Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll.

She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. The typical, top ten scariest possession movies were an option, or the top ten cases of reported possession. And believe me, there is some pretty wacked out stuff to report on and share. The research behind the dark arts is vast and growing by the day. In his journal, Puritan Governor, John Winthrop recorded the tale, which predates the Salem witch trials by fifty years. A long member of the church of Salem, Talbye had been of good esteem for her godliness; but, falling at difference with her husband, through melancholy and spiritual delusions, she sometimes attempted to kill him, and her children, and herself, by refusing meat, and saying it was so revealed to her.

After much patience…the church cast her out… Soon after that, she was so possessed with Satan, that he persuaded her by his delusions, which she listened to as revelations from God to break the neck of her own child, that she might free it from future misery. At her trial, the court determined that although Mrs. Talbye thought she had been hearing the voice of God, she had actually killed her daughter while possessed by the Devil. As the law dictated, death was the only allowable punishment for the murder of Difficult Talbye.

When asked why he committed the murders, Berkowitz claimed that although he pulled the trigger he was acting under the orders of something else. For a year he taunted law enforcement and the media with claims that he was, among other things, Beelzebub, Mr. Monster, and the Son of Sam. In order to break its hold over him, he threw a molotov cocktail at it and finally shot it. The dog survived all attempts on its life, helping Berkowitz to believe the animal was protected by supernatural forces. He also stated that a figure with black hands handed him a rifle and followed him throughout the house as he killed his family.

Although, DeFeo also claimed that he believed the voices he heard were messages from God, and alternatively that he was God. Despite his testimony, the jury did not believe that DeFeo was insane and instead found him guilty. Since his conviction, DeFeo has recanted much of his previous testimony, saying that he lied in an attempt to create a better insanity plea. He is currently serving six life sentences in a New York prison, one for each of his murdered family members. Stranger Danger… Still unsolved Want some candy, little girl?

On August 26, , Rachael Runyan was playing with her year-old brother in a school playground in Sunset, Utah. A black, mustached man between 25 and 35 was hanging around the park for about 15 minutes, talking to other children before he finally approached Rachael. He offered her gum and candy; she followed him to his car. Twenty-four days later her naked body was found in a stream. I killed the little Runyan girl! Remember Beware!!!! Psychologists associated with the case said the real killer quite possibly wrote it.

What punishment this crime? Prosecutors claimed the fifteen year-old died as an offering to Satan. Reyes and another teen beat raped and hit her so hard there were pieces of porcelain embedded in her face. He was convicted of strangling and stabbing Pahl in the sacristy of the chapel. At seventyone, the priest presided at her funeral Mass four days after her death. She had been stabbed 31 times, including nine times in the shape of an inverted cross. Prosecutors considered that this shape was deliberate and intended to humiliate the Sister in death. She had been found covered in an altar cloth, her clothes and body arranged to suggest she had been sexually assaulted, although it was not clear that she had been.

Although he was questioned, Robinson was not originally charged. From until the case remained unsolved. The Police received a letter from a woman who claimed that Robinson had sexually abused her when she was a child in a series of satanic rituals and abuse that also involved human sacrifice. The case was dismissed in due to having been filed too late. The accusations however, were sent to the prosecutor's cold case unit. Using new forensic test and tech-. Imprints on the altar cloth were found to closely match the letter opener. Prosecutors also found three witnesses who said they had seen the priest near the chapel around the time of the killing.

The case against Robinson went to trial on April 24, He was found guilty on all counts on May 11, This was the second conviction for homicide of a Catholic priest in the United States. When his body was found on February 14, , villagers were shocked at the scene of the brutal and ritualistic murder. Charles' had been found with a hook embedded in his throat, his body pinned to the ground by his pitch fork, and a large cross had been carved into his chest. Previously documented case, such as this, include people murdering those they believe have put them under a spell.

In these cases, the victim - believed to be the witch or warlock that hag cast the spell - was often given the sign of the cross by the person taking their revenge. Police think that someone thinking they had been hexed by Walton had murdered him to "break the spell". Bugh, age, twenty-one and Jason B. Darah, age seventeen, received seventy-five years in prison, each for the Spring Equinox rape of a 15 year old runaway.

Fellow Satanist Jayme Moore, age twenty, received twenty-five years for his role. The trio had crashed a party, chatted the girl up. Later she went with them to an all night store to steal cigarettes. After that, they took her to a Catholic cemetery, beat her, raped her repeatedly, urinated on her, and hit her head against a tombstone. During the episode, the three chanted "spells". All of them had been well known in the community to have been involved in black magic.

After the rape, they drove back to the store and ordered her to steal more cigarettes. When she got inside, the terrified girl told the store manager what happened, who notified police. I just want to kill somebody! Newsome told police he stole the items from a cult of Satanist bikers in Lake County, Indiana.

Indiana Police found the Biker's club house and questioned them. The bikers of course denied the items were theirs, and were not arrested. Thomas, St. Clair Daniel was arrested tried and convicted for two human sacrifices. In nineteen eighty-nine, Daniel hacked to death, Genevieve Lewis, age fifty-three, and Steve Cornish, twenty-nine, with a machete, on a beach, in broad daylight, in front of several horrified beach goers.

Family and friends told police Daniel had been a practioner of his own brand of island Voodoo and Satanism. At his trial in, Daniel tried to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, but prosecution pointed that by following the ancient voodoo superstition ritual of dismembering a victim so they could not return as a zombie, Daniel had been aware of what he was doing. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. For now, at any rate. How about you? Got something to believe in? Going to get a little Faith? No one is certain when the war started — when the Angels went astray.

All that is clear is that war erupted in Heaven and the Angels fell from Grace. Today that war continues. My name is Faith Savage, and I hunt demons. Somewhere in between lays the battle for salvation. Faith Savage: Book 1 Glow Longer than time, eternal angelic wars have been fought throughout the Heavens -- God's mighty warriors vying for supremacy over Lucifer and his brethren's fall from grace. Today that war continues, spreading among God's chosen. My name is Faith Savage, I hunt Demons. I have been to the edge of reason. Spoken with evil and walked the corridors of Hell's dark paths.

To survive the darkness, I made a deal with an angel. But my decision may cost me the one thing most precious to me Mojo Castle. In the beginning, peace reigned in the Heavens. But when God created man in his image, the love, once held in the hearts of His beautiful angels, changed. Some of God's chosen grew jealous of man and envious of each other. Treachery and villainy spread like a plague. War erupted in the Heavens. Blood was spilled in the House of the Lord. When the fallen were cast from God's Glory, they vowed to spread the taint of their darkness throughout mankind--spreading their evil and debauchery amongst the innocent like the flood of corruption and sin that it has become today.

They swore never to rest until all men rotted in the fires of Hell. Vowed that in the end, rivers would run red, animals would rot in blackened pastures and the earth would become the very essence of the Valley of Death. I've been to the edge of death--looked in the eyes of darkness. Seen what's on the other side. On earth the fallen have spread their dark army far into the city of man. In the shadows, the weary tremble and the weak are overtaken. For the few who walk the dark mile on the trail of suffering's madness, they alone know the strength of a whispered prayer.

Faith Savage: Demon Huntress Series

Because sometimes, even darkness' wrath and hatred can learn to bow before a spirit's faith. I know that even the strong and righteous suffer the weight from a world filled with sin. For in the end, it is the true believers who know that a loving God forgives you your transgressions. Mojo Castle Amazon. With desire came rebellion.

Violence ensued and corruption followed. That temptation began as a whispered kissed. What happens when the truth is immersed in darkness and those, once pure of heart, have no one to call on and nothing left to defend? My name is Faith Savage — I know what it is to be stalked by darkness. It is here, on this dark path to inhumanity and the search for redemption, that I hunt demons. Because when Angels fall only the Light will show the way for the damned to meet their end. Woman introduced death unto man. But have you forgotten about the trickster?

Was mortal destruction not his master plan? There are those who say death is a celebration. Commemorations for the departed. Forgiveness of old transgressions. A final rest for pity, the end to immortal strife. But is death just the beginning? And who comes to collect you when you pass?

What happens to the worthy if the Light turns against them? Do they stand their ground — Stay and fight? What about those who seek no forgiveness? Come and collect their next eternal victim? My name is Faith Savage. I know what it is to walk the dark shadows at the edge of destruction. To feel the presence of The Collector in the night. To seek the evil that makes souls rot. It is here in this impossible darkness that I hunt demons, searching for my own answers and retributions, in the battle for the Light. That the Blood of Christ released us from sins.

But there are others that hold to the original sins. Temptations purchased for a copper, a penny, a fine golden coin. Even the priests bought and sold lies with the silver kisses of thieves; might cost you a stoning — ten pence for a whore. Some have written that from a garden God created the first cast-off demon; a viper feigned in the guise of a woman. Her kisses, once given, led to eternal damnation. Bought and paid for by greed, perhaps even envy — all impugnable transgressions. But when is a kiss just a kiss in the game of redemption?

What price does a man pay for the ultimate betrayal? Is the cost greater than the price of his soul? And sometimes, love and faith creates just another way to burn. A Warrior of Light to watch over it. Protect it. Be its shield against the darkness, its sword against the fallen. But the days grew dark. Many turned away from the Light of God, cast aside His word and His love. And the Guardians rebelled. Some say that this was his second transgression.

What led to his ultimate betrayal. One thing is certain, only God knows the truth of his story. His story I am just beginning to learn. His history, I am told, has marked him as damned. But, everyone knows Christ died for the sinners. The only question that remains is, could we forgive him if we controlled his fate?

About the Author: Author K. But if he does he might just shamble a bit. An All Romance eBooks bestselling author, K. M'lady's work has been described as scary, descriptive, beautiful, dark, frightening, prosaic, addictive, sexy and believable. She loves to read paranormal romances, watch horror movies, westerns on Sundays with her husband, play fetch with her pocket beagle, Chevy and buy weird shoes. Her friends call her eccentric, her family refuses to comment. No matter which world is being conquered. Within our dreams — all things are possible. Many of my books begin with an image, or series of images, that form the basis for the book.

I occasionally begin with an empty world, and it tells me what kind of characters it needs. The Dragon Lore series began a big differently. I wrote To Love a Highland Dragon two years ago, and the first thing that came to me was the image in Chapter One of a dragon shifter wakening in his cave deep beneath Inverness after being ensorcelled for over three hundred years. Elements I built specifically for that book were dragon shifters including how the bond worked and what magic it conferred.

I had to figure out how to weave time travel in as well. I actually wrote the prequel after books one and two were complete. As the series progressed, I added dragon society to the mix. Enter Britta—and her dragon. Your name and web link will be listed on our blog as a client and your tour pages will be archived, not removed. So they will always be available for readers to access.

If Bewitching has special events in the future like calls for submissions, holiday contests or other multi-author events you will be invited to participate. Bewitching Book Tour Packages and Pricing Book sales will magically soar during one of our spellbinding virtual book tours Bewitching Book Tours specialize in tours for paranormal, urban fantasy, and paranormal erotica books with prices just right for any author's budget Every tour package includes:. Giveaways draw many more readers and viewers to tour stops plus they help increase your social media followers.

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Some of the silver charms available are: vampire fangs, wolves, witch hats, keys and locks, books, hearts, haunted houses, bats, foxes, hamsas, dragons, sugar skulls, rhinestone skull and crossbones, high heeled shoes, Fleur de lis, masquerade masks, owls and many more. You can also opt to have the items completely customized by adding your book cover to a metal charm.

The book covers are encased in small metal photo frame charms and sealed in resin for a high quality charm that looks fabulous and is very durable. Our goal is to create custom book swag that represents your book. Small yogurt cups and smoothie bottles can easily become cute penguins. I painted the bottles and cups pictured above with black spray paint for plastic. I let that dry overnight. Then I hand painted the white bodies with a brush and acrylic paint.

I used sheets of craft foam to make the wings, feet and beaks. I drew designs on the foam then cut them out. I used black for the wings and yellow for the beaks and feet. I glued them on with a hot glue gun fast drying tacky craft glue would also work. The penguins turned out absolutely adorable and are pretty easy to make. Hats, ribbons or Christmas theme stuff like candy canes could be added to make them more festive for the holidays.

Toilet Paper Roll Gift Card Boxes I discovered that toilet paper rolls are the perfect size to become gift card holders. For these cute little gift boxes I scavenged through Christmas stuff in my craft boxes and found stickers, old wrapping paper scraps, cutouts from old Christmas cards, and several pre-painted wooden Christmas shapes snowmen, candy canes, reindeer, etc and a box of assorted acrylic jewels.

This craft is super easy to create for any age and very cheap- you use what you have on hand. Paint Chip Gift Tags Here's another simple little craft anyone can do- turn paint samples into gift tags. It seems I am always repainting or thinking about repainting some room in my house and I end up with a lot of these paint sample colors sitting around. I hate to just throw them out. I love the colors and tend to save them. I guess I figured one day I might come up with a way to use them. And finally I did. One day I was wrapping a present and couldn't find any gift tags, the little box in my gift wrap supplies was empty.

I happened to see a stack of paint samples on my desk and decided to cut one out, punch a hole in the corner and tie a ribbon through it - voila I had a simple, easy and colorful gift tag. Now I use them all the time. No need to spend money on gift tags when I have colorful tag options just sitting around waiting to be used. They can easily be decorated with paint and any items in your craft supply box. In the photo above I painted one box with red and gold paint and I added a scrap of old wrapping paper.

Another box I painted with green acrylic paint then I glued on three pre-painted wood shapes purchased at Michaels for less than. For the cute snowman box I painted it blue then added snowman scrapbook stickers. The box in the middle was painted with red and gold paint and a cutout from a wrapping paper sample was added.

The gold box was the simplest. All I did was paint it gold then and a ribbon to make it stylishly elegant. The final box has a more rustic look, painted green and tied up with jute rope and embellished with rusty tin stars. These soap boxes are small and cute and can easily be made by even the youngest children. Kids can easily decorate them with stickers, scraps of old wrapping paper, cutouts from old Christmas cards, foam shapes or anything on hand in the craft box. They can be decorated in so many ways and are the perfect size for gift cards. Stuff the box full of tissue and slide the gift card in, that way the receiver still gets to open a gift not just a card and the hand decorated box makes it so much more personal.

You can also apply the same paint and decorate style to any small box you have around the house even cereal boxes. It is the green holiday book to have because it not only covers how to green the winter holidays but it also covers pretty much every other holiday and celebration as well.

It is full of fabulous green ideas, party planning tips, even recipes and food suggestions.

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  5. Celebrate Green is full of yummy recipes and fun ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The apple pie recipe for Thanksgiving sounds delicious and the suggestions for setting a sustainable table can be out to use during any season. Though I have to admit I have never seen a free range turkey or even a tofurkey in my local grocery stores so one of those will not be gracing my table this year. The Christmas ideas in Celebrate Green are heartfelt and wonderful.

    They cover all the basics of reduce, reuse and recycle and then they even get into my favorite part- going DIY. I am the DIY Diva. One of the best parts of the Christmas chapter is an extensive list of eco-friendly gift ideas. Green Christmas: How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season is a wonderful guide to help your holiday season become greener, happier and much more eco-friendly. This is one of the best and the first complete guide written about for.

    They cover everything you could consider greening from Christmas cards, to gifts to travelling during the holidays-they give you great green suggestions for everything. Lighting, decorations, gift wrap, parties, energy savings Even during your holiday shopping. These writers really believe in living green. Their mantra for an eco-friendly Christmas is "give more, consume less. This is a great idea because not only will you tread lighter on the planet but you will feel better about yourself and your wallet won't be so drained It is a great book to help you green the winter holidays.

    I really enjoyed reading this book and plan to keep it on my shelves. I always hate how the holidays are always a little bit stressful no matter how well you plan or prepare. There are some great crafts ideas in this book some that I really love are the: decorated matchboxes page , the cute little twig stars page , the salt dough ornaments page these are so very country Christmas I love them, the old fashioned cranberry and popcorn garland page , the vintage button clutch page , and the bottle cap refrigerator magnets that are so super cute for kids to make pages All three of these books can help you green your life, your celebrations and your winter holidays-make them memorable, magical, and green.

    Sweat dribbled down the back of her neck, sliding down her shoulder blades and congealing between her skin and the Tyvek biohazard suit. The legs of the suit made a zip-zip sound, snagging on bits of prickly pear as she walked through the underbrush of Yellowstone National Park. She clutched her tool bag tightly in her gloved grip, the plastic of the suit rustling over the hiss of the respirator in her ears.

    Her breath fogged the scuffed clear mask of the suit, softening the edges of the land before her with a dreamlike filter. The hikers who found it said it was pretty gruesome. It was clear to her that he now thought better of bringing her here. Maybe it was his dumb, misplaced sense of chivalry, or maybe things really did suck as badly as he suggested. With him, it was hard to tell. You need a geologist. There were more men and women in suits behind them, far behind, waiting to see what Mike and Petra would do.

    They might not be within earshot, but it offended her sense of professionalism. Petra had a knack for causing trouble for Mike. A shitstorm of administrative paperwork had been generated for Mike when drugs and bodies turned up in his jurisdiction. Pizza and beer only went so far to balance the scales of debt. Mike rubbed the back of his hood with a crinkling sound. She moved forward to the edge of the tree line, beyond where blotches of color swam in her sweaty vision. A campsite. A red tent had been pitched in a clearing, though it tilted in a lopsided fashion on a broken pole, like a giant spider someone had plucked a leg from.

    Nice tent—a deluxe model, with mesh windows and pop-outs. A dead fire with cold ash was surrounded by a ring of rocks. Laundry dangled from a clothesline: Tshirts, jeans, socks. And beyond it, a gorgeously pink mudpot. Iron in the underlying slurry likely yielded the soft rose color. The acidic hot spring burbled mud, steaming into the cool air. She was reminded of the steam rising from mountains as the dew baked off in the spring. There were thousands of these mudpots dotted all throughout Yellowstone National Park, too many to catalog, despite the hazards they posed.

    Petra ducked under the clothesline, wrestling for a moment with a pair of child-sized purple leggings that seemed determined to get snagged around her respirator hose. After fighting them off, she turned her attention back to the scene. Her breath echoed quickly in her mask. Mike moved forward to kneel before the man. Pulling the blanket off, he reached for his neck to take his pulse. It was slack, jaw open, violet tongue protruding from his lips. Broken capillaries covered his cheeks, the red contrasting with mottled grey skin.

    His eyes were frozen wide open, and the sclera were bright red instead of white. The blanket fell away to reveal a red flannel shirt. A knife glinted in his right hand, trapped in a claw frozen by rigor mortis. Petra squinted to get a good look. The knife was a piece of junk—the blade had been melted. The body rolled over on its side, landing like an action figure holding its pose in the dirt. Mike swore and grabbed his radio. That was a big tent.

    Too big for just one guy. Steeling herself, she crossed to the tent, her suit creaking. Sweating, she grasped the tent zipper. Its teeth stuck in the PVC-coated canvas, and she tried three times before she gave up. Part of the tent had come unstaked on the right side, letting daylight creep in.

    She worked that seam and pulled it open. She stumbled back, falling on her ass. A woman sat bolt upright in a sleeping bag, with speckled and broken skin like the man at the fireside. She stared at Petra with the same blood-red gaze under a tangle of brown hair. Petra leaned forward to touch her shoulder. Heart hammering, Petra fumbled for a pulse. Her skin felt swollen, as if stretched over an unseen trauma.

    Mike crawled into the tent to stare at a bundle beside the woman. He peeled back a sleeping bag on a little girl, maybe five or six, clutching a dinosaur plush toy. Her eyes were closed, seeming very peaceful under bruised skin. Mike shook his head. But … not a mark on her. Blinking, she reached for her equipment bag and dug out a handheld yellow gas monitor.

    Stabbing at the buttons, she waited for the sensors to start analyzing the air. She glanced at the mudpot, that beautiful pink jewel barely the size of a bathtub. The warmth it radiated condensed against her plastic suit. When the call came in that a man had been found dead near a mudpot in Yellowstone, the rangers had all assumed that the culprit was poisonous gas, carbon dioxide or hydrogen sulfide. And that would make sense, but … While waiting for the gas monitor to calibrate, Petra stood to peer into the bubbling mud.

    It was possible, but poisoning by those gases was a relatively rare phenomenon. She fished some tongue depressors out of her pack to dip a glob of the mud out into a specimen bottle for analysis. A sharp drumming sounded overhead, and she looked up. A woodpecker drilled into a pine tree above her, making a sound like a jackhammer. Birds had much more delicate respiratory systems than humans. If poisonous gas had seeped up from the mud here, then the bird should be showing ill effects. But instead it had found its breakfast, plucking bugs from bark, ignoring the humans below. Her gaze scraped the perimeter of the camp.

    The vegetation was all wrong here—brittle and yellow and spotted, as if burned by something acidic. She knelt to pluck a piece of curled grass to stuff into a specimen bottle. Low-level amounts of hydrogen sulfide were likely to enhance plant growth. High levels could kill plants, but not quickly. She glanced down at her gas detector. No sulfur dioxide. Normal amounts of carbon dioxide.

    It smelled like pine needles, not like rotten eggs. Gloves and suits. Petra lifted her freckled face to the sky, feeling the blessedly cool breeze against her cheeks. She spat a bit of dark blond hair out of her mouth and reached to take another soil sample. Maybe there was some other toxin here? Something more exotic that would need more tests run. She did that, Rihker. My throat was a knot of tension.

    I wanted to speak but his anger was all-encompassing. His pain was so deep, so real there were no words that could ease such tremendous heartache. They are now the shadows that live in this empty husk that has no soul, he groaned, clutching me to him. Believe me when I tell you I have no love for Jirvel.

    His voice was hollow, dark with hatred. I knew that it cost him to reveal so much of himself to me. His past was not something we spoke of; it was a wound that he still bore so deeply and I had made him pick at it, poke at it just enough to make it bleed. With a sigh of regret, he took my face gently into his hands and laid the barest of kisses upon my lips, not allowing me to speak further.

    Regardless of my hatred for her, Rihker, he said, pressing his forehead to mine, regardless that she brings the Darkness to all that she touches, she is still my maker—the maker of my shadows—and I am still her slave. I swore if I had to yell at one more stupid, idiotic, noodle-brained cop tonight as we scrambled through an overgrown, pitch-black, snow-dusted cemetery in search of Fred the Flesh-Eating Zombie; each of our chests heaving as fear and adrenaline tore through us in a mind numbing rush, my little green-haired head was going to explode.

    How many times did I have to tell these lame-ass magic voids to stop shooting at my goddamn Zombie? Repercussions be damned! I mean, who the hell ever told these half-wit humans that bullets would even work on a rampaging Zombie anyway? We were out off Main Street in the old Woodland Cemetery, running amok with the departed. The cemetery was a good six blocks deep, the night awash in chilled anxiety, and we were jetting back and forth between gravestones like a bunch of high school kids hopped up on alcohol, hormones, and a total lack of good sense in search of ghoulies to go with our good buzz.

    Well, at least the cops were. Me, I knew better. This was definitely not how I wanted to spend my Sunday night. I should have been at home curled up in my nice warm bed between my two lovers where I belonged: a to-die-for—literally—Vampire named Kieran and his paramour—a hot, hunkie wereleopard he called Dragon.

    But no…someone had to loose a freaking Zombie in the middle of my nice freak October snowstorm. This in turn required my bosses at the Silent Court to ring me at two a. I mean, at least I was no longer on suspension. Regardless, I was not in the least bit pleased. You try explaining to said lovers—who, by the way, have the most delicious ideas about midnight snacks—why a quickie will have to be enough.

    A Vampire is never one to require a quickie of. I had the distinct feeling that I was going to owe him. Big time. The thought made me smile a tiny wicked grin as carnal delights of blood and flesh ran merrily through my head. Penny for your thoughts, Rihker, Cage said as he stumbled beside me, leaning against the nearest grave marker to catch his breath.

    It seemed to be a recent trend between the two of us lately—he annoyed with me, and me not giving a shit. Ever since this past summer and the job we were mutually assigned to, Cage had become a real killjoy to work with. He obviously disapproved of me and my sex life. You see, Cage and I have this love-hate relationship thing going. He only thinks he wants me when someone else is around, and I despise him for it. Apparently sexual glowing is a turn-off for him. It freaked him out so badly that he broke up with me. And it really pisses me off to no end. So needless to say, it makes working conditions a little thick.

    In my opinion, Cage is a racist.