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Book 2 of the Father of Contention series
Science Fiction and Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Date Published: July 29, 2019

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When evil finds a way, man becomes beast.

In the small town of Thunder Bay, 2002, Angelika Juris becomes unexpectedly linked to her guardian angel, Gavin, after a suspicious near-death experience. While trying to figure out the complicated nature of their connection, they uncover a plot so disturbing, it threatens to shift the delicate balance between life and death and eradicate the precious human gift of free will.

When her sister goes missing, Angelika must search the unforgiving terrain of the Rocky Mountains, with her guardian angel as her guide. But they find more than just her sister—a   familiar face, Renner Scholz—and a secret lab teeming with his ongoing, unhindered experiments, including the most powerful of his offspring—the triplets.

Now, Angelika must find a way to free her sister from her evil captors, along with a newfound love interest—Anthony—Renner's only normal son. Will they be able to thwart Renner's malevolent schemes and escape with their lives, or will they suffer the same fate as so many of his previous victims?

Veronica unlatched the chain and unlocked the deadbolt from
her apartment door, opening it to a gust of fresh air with the slight
undertone of rotten foliage from the cool, autumn night. Her loft,
a few blocks off campus, was part of an independent apartment
complex with four separate units in the building, each having its
own external entrance. The wind gusted once more loosening
orange and gold tinged leaves from a nearby oak tree, sending
them on a wild dance through the darkened sky.

The man turned towards her. “Hello, ma’am. How are you
this evening?” he said in a hollow, flat voice, each word overarticulated,
the s’s prolonged. His eyes were small holes in a puttylike
face, devoid of all warmth and emotion.

Veronica immediately felt on edge. Did people actually sell
door to door anymore? He didn’t strike her as the salesman type
either. Thick shoulders and biceps bulged beneath his brown
corduroy coat, and his tight blue jeans left little to the imagination.
The deep baritone of his lifeless voice was anything but personable
and convincing.

And his face. She couldn’t stop looking at his face. It was all
wrong, the way the light from her apartment lay flat against his
skin, the lack of wrinkling around the eyes and mouth as he spoke.
A puckering around the dense moustache and beard coating his lip
and chin. The way the skin tone didn’t quite match up with that
on his hairline and neck. The contacts he wore were dark green.

The man continued with his spiel, despite the lack of response
from Veronica.

“The Red Deer Book Club offers a collection of books to
meet the needs and tastes of its members. We include fiction,
non-fiction, documentaries and encyclopedias. We also have a
magazine subscription list at prices far below the store prices.” The
rehearsed speech was paused for a moment, no doubt the blank
space in his memorized dialogue sheet where the customer can
respond, but Veronica felt temporarily unable to speak. Tongue
glued to the roof of her mouth that had gone completely dry, she
stood there frozen. She hoped her mind was overreacting, but she
couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something wrong with
this man. He was creepy, and her internal instincts were on high

Never open the door to strangers, she heard her grandmother’s voice
in her mind, a rule she had taught her a thousand times. Why
hadn’t she listened?

“Sorry, I’m not interested,” Veronica finally croaked as her
tongue came unglued, but she could hear how feeble the words

The man continued in a monotone, ignoring her statement.

“For as low as $9.99 per month, you will be shipped a different
selection each month and can review it for seven days. If you do
not wish to keep the selection, you can return it at no cost to
you.” He took a giant step towards Veronica, causing her to step
backwards while handing the clipboard to her as if she was going
to sign the form. The door softly clicked shut behind him.

He was inside her apartment.

Her scalp tightened and prickled in fear. A hot sweat crept up
her back and neck, dampened her armpits. Still, the man droned
on as if his behaviour were perfectly normal, now talking about
methods of accepted payment, but Veronica paid no attention. Her
mind was reeling, trying to figure out how she would get out of
her place if the man chose to attack, seeing that his massive form
now blocked her only exit.

“I’m sorry, sir, but I said I’m not interested. I would like you
to leave now,” she spoke in her most assertive tone, thrusting the
clipboard back at him, but a slight waver belied her fear.

Without breaking his dialogue, he reached behind his back,
withdrawing something from his jeans pocket.

Oh God, he has a gun, she silently assumed. In a full-blown
panic, realizing her fears were founded, she threw the clipboard at
the salesman’s head, lunged sideways and tried to squeeze behind
him in hopes of opening the door and escaping, but he was too
quick. With Goliath-like strength, he grabbed her by the throat
with his free hand and pinned her like a rag doll against the door.
The item from his back pocket materialized in front of her—not a
gun but a soaked rag—which was thrust firmly over her nose and
mouth. The pungent odour from the unknown liquid had warned
her to hold her breath before her clean oxygen supply was cut off,
and she began thrashing her body violently to dislodge the hold
he had on her, but his vice-like grip held firm.

A large Oriental vase teetered and then crashed onto the floor
in jagged pieces, a victim of the struggle as Veronica’s leg kicked
out, missing the attacker and connecting, instead, with a small
wooden table in her foyer. Desperate to escape his steel hold, she
reached up and raked her nails across the man’s face. In horror,
she felt a large chunk of it tear free into her hand. The top part of
his beard now hung down in a f lap over his cheek. Pink, mottled
skin was exposed beneath the fake epidermis, most likely from a
severe burn. The scarred skin cracked open, and tendrils of smoke
escaped the fissures, along with a hint of orange hiding beneath
like magma peeking through the Earth’s crust.

In shock, she inadvertently gasped, accidentally inhaling the
fumes from the toxic rag. Unable to hold her breath any longer, she
took a few more ragged breaths, choking as her throat tightened
in resistance.

She gaped at him, wide-eyed, his face still completely devoid
of emotion, despite their struggle.

Her vision started to swim, threatening to consume her
consciousness, black spots floating like waves in a turbulent ocean.
A rush of nausea overwhelmed her. Then everything was hot, and
spinning—she felt like she was falling, her body suspending on

And then he smiled.

Her world went dark.

About the Author

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Lanie Mores enjoys travelling to alternate realities, often found with her head buried in a book, binge watching Netflix, or playing video games. Although fantasy and science fiction are her obsession, she enjoys most forms of literature, and has been writing poetry since she was a wee bairn.

She has worn many hats throughout her life: cashier, medical records secretary, psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, personal trainer, and most importantly, mom. Her son is the moon of her life, her sun and stars, and she would do anything for him…destroy Terminators sent from a future realm, deflect an Unforgivable curse with her motherly love, and travel through the Upside Down to find him, even if she had to face the Demogorgon himself.

Inspired to write by Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, Jean M. Auel and Margaret Atwood, she has big shoes to fill, but has always been a huge dreamer and has the determination to aim higher than the stars. GUARDIAN OF ANGEL is the second novel she has written and published, book 2 in the FATHER OF CONTENTION series.

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