Mark of the Bear

Hades’ Carnival, Book 2


Kellsie Morris knows her career as a Hollywood scream queen won’t last forever. Luckily, she’s just landed a big role in a movie about an immortal, shape-shifting warrior trapped in a carnival run by the Devil’s minions. When the carousel bear on set shifts into a flesh and bone bear of a man, Kellsie starts to question reality.


When Marko is released from the curse that has kept him trapped in his animal form and lays eyes on Kellsie, he knows with every fiber of his being that his purpose is now to protect her no matter what.


But there’s no predicting the Devil’s next move in this game. Hades is determined to get his revenge on the escaped warrior, and going after Marko’s mate is seems like the perfect plan.


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Marko’s huge sword suddenly appeared out of nowhere. He grasped it in his hand and slashed at the flying demon, cutting its two arms off in one powerful strike. Kellsie dodged most of the shower of blood that rained down to the ground and heard the loud crash as the demon fell from the sky. Its cry of pain raised all the short hairs on her body.


“Do you have another one of those?” She motioned to the sword as she jumped over a power cable. They were only a few feet from the forest and she pushed harder, knowing the faster they got to the woods the better chance they had at survival. And then they were there. The trees rose up to surround them, almost protectively as they ran.


Kellsie was breathing hard, her lungs working like a bellows to pump air in and out of her body. Her legs ached and her clothing was plastered to her skin with sweat. She could no longer hear anyone behind them, but that didn’t mean they’d shaken their attackers. It only meant her pulse was pounding so hard in her ears she couldn’t hear anything beyond the fast, heavy thudding sound.


“Can you use one?”


It took her a second to remember what she’d asked him. “Yeah,” she gasped as she ran. “Stunt training. Revenge of the Samurai Vampire.”


Marko looked stunned by her admission. Then he laughed. It was such a joyous sound and so out of place it made her laugh too. She grinned at him, unable to help herself. His laughter was infectious. God, this was crazy. She was running for her life, fleeing demons and Hades himself and she’d never felt more alive.


Marko’s sword disappeared and another one reappeared. This sword was shorter but no less deadly. They slowed slightly but kept moving steadily on an uphill grade. She dug the toes of her sneakers into the ground for purchase on the steep incline. He handed her the weapon. “Go for their neck and eyes. They’re most vulnerable there. And their heart.”


“Got it.” She’d never killed a living thing in her life, not even a mouse. Could she do it? She tested the weight of the sword. Damn right she could. Those things chasing them weren’t living.



N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.


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