The House of Fire and Rain by Victoria Lynn Osborne #Giveaway #Excerpt

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The House of Fire and Rain 
by Victoria Lynn Osborne
(Firemountain Chronicles, #2)
Publication date: November 15th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Dave Dobrowski is a detective in Firemountain. Things haven’t been the same in Firemountain since Dinah Steele took down Gleebelix. Now illegal prostitutes are dying in droves. Yet the legal brothel, The House of Fire and Rain, on tribal land is immune to a curse that is killing not only working girls but their clients. Dave and his alchemical partner Jolene Anderson, race to discover why legal girls are protected why illegals are dying and discover there is more than just morality at stake.

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Reykjavik Airport was deserted when the United Airlines jet landed. Dave and Father Conrad disembarked.
“We need to go to an ancient Viking worship circle,” Father Conrad had told him on the plane. “There should be enough residual energy there to activate a portal.”
“Why Viking?” Dave asked.
“Because they were the last of the pagans. This dimension is pagan, and we need to access the energies.”
“Doesn’t God deny the worship of false gods? Don’t you believe there is only one God?”
Father Conrad shrugged. “We are a complex people. Even the Church had to admit that certain pagan sites had power. In fact, several pagan gods were made into saints. These days, we acknowledge the energy. Or at least, my order does.”
A black SUV pulled into the passenger loading and unloading zone. Two men in black suits with dark sunglasses approached them. They had thick blond hair and were tall.
“Father Conrad, Detective Dobrowski. Welcome to Iceland.”
The two Americans looked at each other. “Who are you?” Father Conrad asked.
“We are from the council enforcers. We have heard of your mission and are here to help.”
“You know of our mission?”
The big men laughed hearty laughs. “Even in our small country we have heard of Firemountain. We are here to help.”
“What do you know of Iceland?” Dave whispered to Father Conrad.
“That in the year one thousand AD they voted to become Christian. That is why their pagan sites still retain so much power. They were not taken over.”
“We need to go to an old pagan site.” Dave leaned over the back seat. “We need to open a portal.”
“We know just the place, though there are not many who can summon that much power.”
“Do you have any grimoires or tomes from before, when your people were still pagan?”
“We saved them in libraries. I can take you to the archives. Maybe you can find your ritual there first.”
The country of Iceland was surprisingly green, and tall mountains surrounded lush, fertile valleys. In the distance, the volcano glowed, and hot springs warmed the waters.
The archives were housed in a modern building. Huge glass windows looked over a view of the ocean. “Welcome to the archives.”
“Most archives are kept in old vaults,” Father Conrad commented. “Why the modern building?”
“To protect the manuscripts. It is important that we stay ahead of the times.”
They entered the great glass building. Inside, it was divided into sections kept in low light and low oxygen to avoid degeneration.
“Here are the tomes that you are looking for. They are written in Old Norse. We have one of our students willing to help you translate.”
The room was cool and dry. They punched the code into the regulator to increase the flow of oxygen. The student was about thirty years old with a shock of bright red hair and green eyes.
“I think this is the book that you need.” He pulled out a tome and took it over to the desk. Wearing linen gloves, he opened the ancient tome.
“You said you saw a library? That could only be the Library of Celeon. Well, not the only place, but more than likely. Here it is.” The student examined the pages of the tome. “Ah, we need to go to pagan site thirty-three seven. Apparently, during the latter part of the tenth century, they needed to go there.”
“Can you perform the ritual?” Conrad asked, peering over the student’s shoulder.
“No, I am just a student of languages. I think I might be able to help you out, though. My roommate is a runemaster.”
“What is a runemaster?” Dave asked.
“Well, they are special men that have the ability to manipulate runes. They belong to a secret organization. I know because, well, I have seen him work. They often hide in plain sight.”
He took out his cell phone and punched in a few numbers.
“Brian, Joel here. We need your assistance at site thirty-three seven. Yes, two men from Firemountain need your help.”
Joel transcribed the ritual and carefully put the book back in the case. Before they left the archives, he lowered the lights, temperature, and oxygen.
The two officials were having coffee at a local café when the three of them left the archives.
“We need to get my roommate. He is the only one I know who can open the gate.”
“We need to go to Celeon and rescue the woman and the child.” Joel gave directions and the black SUV pulled out into traffic.
Brian was a tall, pleasant man who wore a button-down Oxford shirt and a tan sports coat with dark brown patches on the elbows.
He had a leather messenger bag slung over his shoulder. He grinned an easy grin as he got into the SUV.
They left Reykjavik and went deeper into the valleys of the mountains. As they left the city, the urban sprawl gave way to rolling farmlands of winter barley and cattle.
They soon left the paved roads and bounced along a dirt track. They stopped when they approached a chain stretched across the road. There was a notice that no trespassers were allowed. The driver got out and unlocked the chain before he drove the SUV through.
The site was on a hill overlooking the valley. Rocks carved with ancient runes surrounded the area. Brian smiled and went to the runes, touching each one in turn. The scent of pine filled the air.
He opened his bag and took the sheaf of paper from Joel. He traced some runes onto parchment. He started a fire in a small open area surrounded by rocks.
The runestones thrummed with energy so profound that Dave’s fillings vibrated. The stones glowed a rainbow of colors. Brian called out something in Old Norse.
Light flared up from the stones and shot into the sky in one rainbow beam. Brian sang out the words again and burned the paper with the runes in the fire.
Energy swirled about him and a portal opened. The sight of millions of tomes shot in a wide panorama and then narrowed down to one part. The gate swirled and sputtered.
“That is as close as I can get you,” Brian said in heavily accented English.
“How long can you keep it open?”
“I will leave it open for three days. If I leave it open much longer, other things will come through, things that we don’t want in our world.”
Father Conrad and Dave nodded, stepping through the portal.
The scent of moldering paper and parchment assailed their senses as they entered the Great Library of Celeon.
“Do you have any way to fight other than your cross?” Dave asked.
Father Conrad’s cross was ancient and heavy on the end of a staff. The priest shook his head as he leaned on the staff.
“We are ill-equipped to venture forth here. This is not an evil place, but it still belongs to powers greater than ourselves. We need to be careful.”
Dave loaded his pistol with cold-forged iron bullets. “Do you know where we are going?”
“I do,” a voice hissed from the darkness. “You seek the child, the one who is protected by your adult.”
A figure melted out of the shadows, his cloak pulled over his face, and two glowing red eyes piercing the deep shadows.
“What and who are you?” Father Conrad demanded, brandishing his staff.
“I am naught but a simple guide. You have no cause to fear me. But we must move quickly. Already your gate is attracting beings. Ways to Earth haven’t been opened in centuries. Now two portals have been opened. We must take precautions. Your friends journey here. Come, follow me.”
Dave pointed his gun at the cloaked figure. “How do we know you aren’t going to lead us into a trap?”
“I want this gate closed more than you do. Do you have a choice? Can you find your way around this place without assistance?”
Dave and Conrad glanced at each other. “If you prove false, may God and all his angels throw you into the blackest pit,” Conrad said.
“Fair enough. Come, we must go quickly.”
Dave holstered his weapon and followed the cloaked figure deeper into the labyrinth that was Celeon.

About the Author:

Victoria Lynn Osborne has always had a passion for telling stories. She wrote her first short story at the age of five and has kept her finger on the artistic impulse of writing. This has taken the form of plays, Dungeons and Dragons, short stories, and now novels.

Her greatest passion is fantasy, especially epic, and urban fantasy. She also loves mysteries. Her book series Jason and Mortyiene mysteries are murder mysteries in a high fantasy setting. Her epic series The Great Wyrm Saga is due out in 2015.

Author Links:

Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL):
Print copy of The House of Fire and Rain

SAHM to four rowdy kids. Avid reader and blogger.

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