Please tell us about you: job, hobbies, special talents, and anything else you would want to share.
Hello, and thank you for having me to visit today. I’m an internal medicine resident…no wait, I used to be that. I am a doctor, but my exact job changed a month ago. Now my M.D., or at least my Western medicine training is no longer as important. I was recruited to be the Scimitar Magi’s medic. Recruited might be the wrong word since that makes it sound like I had a choice. The gods…the Egyptian gods chose me. The jury is out on how much of an honor being chosen may be. Anyway, those gladiator warriors, the magi, are more interested in my ability to heal by touch than anything I learned in school. And let me tell you those guys whose sole job it is to execute daemons as they enter our world get ripped up a lot. I guess that’s my special talent…healing by touch. Honestly, I didn’t have much practice using the non-traditional healing until about a month ago. I hid it from everyone, which was really tough when working in a hospital. Now, it is such a relief not to have to fight it.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up just outside New Orleans where I lived until I was eighteen. There was an incident that got my mother killed and me almost. We were attacked by Hashishins, who are these freaky dark magik worshippers. Okay…that’s about enough of that morbid subject. New Orleans was a gorgeous place to grow up rich in culture, super hot in the summer, and mosquitoes the size of birds.
Tell us about the first time you met Ashor.
I was eighteen, a senior in high school when Ashor inadvertently projected his torture experiences into my head. This drove me to find him, which I did and I’m proud to say I successfully got him out of that Hashishin compound before they could execute him. But then that incident I mentioned in the previous question occurred. The Hashishin leader, Terek Nadir, showed up on our front door searching for the guy I helped escaped, Ashor. Anyway, back to meeting Ashor. He was in pretty bad shape when I first found him, but I’ve never met anyone tougher in my life. He could barely move from what they’d done to him, but had I been an enemy, I have no doubt he would’ve figured out some way to take me down the minute I released him from his bindings. Somehow he sucked up his pain and trusted me enough to allow me to free him. As a teenie-bopper I was a bit blown away by how big he was…I mean how strong and tall…not…okay now my face is flaming. I didn’t mean to go there. He towers over me by over a foot and looks like he could stop a Mac-truck. We didn’t get it on or anything when I first met him; he was in awful shape then and I was eighteen. But a decade later….wowzers. He rocks my world. After I first met him his image stuck in my mind as the cookie cutter to measure up all other guys. Few measured up.
What is your favorite thing about Ashor?
That’s got to be his tattoos. The guy is blow-your-socks off super hot, but that ink…whew. He’s marked from head to toe, and they’re sexy as hell. It’s not ink that he went to a parlor and got, but any time he gets an injury while fighting daemons and then is magically healed by the akhrian, which is what they call me, he gets a new tat. Now that I’m the healer, I get to put those little marks on him which is extremely cool.
What is it like to be doctor to the magi?
Annoying. They’re the macho, suffer-in-silence types. Unless they’re on death’s door with some sort of massive trauma from a daemon battle, I have to practically corner one of them to fix minor problems. Don’t get me started on dealing with their post-traumatic stress issues. They are so not into talking about their issues.
Favorite vacation spot.
Vacation? Now that’s a joke. I haven’t been on a true vaca in so long I can’t even remember what the word means. I do, however, get to travel sometimes with the guys. They fly around the world doing their job of getting rid of daemons, although I think Ashor would like to chain me home, fearing I’ll find trouble. I used to help my cousin, Markus, with his black market art deals which almost always went sour and required we have a lot of weapons training. Anyway, the bottom line is that I’m pretty sure I can handle myself…not that Ashor entirely believes that. He’s a bit overprotective. Cute at times, suffocating at others. But I can handle him.
Favorite eye color? Copper.
Care to share future plans?
Right now I’m getting acclimated to my new job as the magi’s healer. Pretty soon I feel I’ll have all those behemoth guys trained to accept routine medical care…and perhaps talk about their issues. And…Ashor. He’s my future.
Dawn of a Dark Knight
by Zoe Forward
In the shadows of our world, a secret band of warriors fights to protect us. They are the last line of defense against an evil no human can stop.
An ancient nemesis has resurfaced. Duty demands that Ashor Vlahos, Scimitar Magi commander, recruit a magical healer to fortify the remaining eight magi. The gods' choice is the woman who helped him escape torture a decade ago. Ashor couldn't have imagined a better punishment for his vow-breaker homicidal incidents than for the gods to bind him irrevocably to the only woman in the universe he cannot have. The soul-searing desire she ignites in him is strictly forbidden.
Kira Hardy, M.D. is a brilliant, hardworking internal med resident with big secrets. But when Ashor asks for aid after a brutal daemon attack, she is sucked into his dangerous, secret world. Enslavement to the magi, no matter how hot they are, may be an unattractive life plan, but being targeted for death by their enemies is less tolerable.
She must trust the sexy, tormented Ashor to keep her safe while he must deny his ultimate desire and keep Kira at arm’s length lest he bring destruction down on them both. As a centuries-old evil catches up to them, they face a crucial decision—follow the gods' rules or follow their hearts.
“Watch out,” Kira shrieked as a four-door import pulled alongside the SUV. The driver targeted Ashor with a gun.
“Down,” Ashor commanded. He dodged the firing muzzle and grabbed Kira forward to avoid the bullet’s path. The bullet left clean holes in the side windows and a spiderweb of cracked glass.
“Persistent bastards,” Ashor grumbled as he jammed the SUV into gear and rammed the car next to them before peeling away. Just as they hit the road, Ashor’s new cell phone squealed in a high-pitched, synthetic, musical noise.
“You okay?” he asked, ignoring the phone. To clear his side view, Ashor thrust his elbow through the spiderweb of cracked safety glass. Glass cubes showered everywhere. “Shit.” He wiped his body free of debris.
“I’m fine,” she replied. She whiplashed into the seat as the SUV was rammed forward.
Ashor tapped the brakes. The cars crashed together again, slamming them forward and then forcefully back in their seats.
“Can’t you do a spell or something to protect this car or make his explode?” Kira asked.
“Aren’t you a magus, which implies magician or sorcerer? You guys are supposed to do magic spells.”
“The spells were lost.” His phone rang again.
“Lost? What kind of moronic organization loses the spells!”
About the Author:
Zoe Forward lives in North Carolina with her family and an assortment of pets. A graduate of Duke University she majored in biological anthropology, but always had a special love for archaeology, especially anything Egyptian. Although a deep part of her wishes she had pursued a career that would have her at a dig site in a hot, sandy country, she’s spent the past ten years as a small animal veterinarian, caring for everything from chinchillas to dogs…and there was even one hermit crab in there. Great fodder for fiction. When she’s not being a vet, a mom or sneaking out to a movie with her husband, she’s at her laptop writing paranormal romance.