Title: Touch of the Fire God
Author: Toni L. Meilleur
Published in September 2008 by Siren Publishing
Genre: Contempory Paranormal
"Powerless to stop him, his closest friend watched in sadness. The world would go on without him, but he would make sure his friend would be ready for the world when he returned to it. While his friend delved into the deep sleep, he himself weaved another spell to protect his friend’s resting place. For when Ralabos awoke to reclaim his bride, there would be hell to pay…"
Unaware of the future that awaited her, Dr. Rene Selkis, expert toxicologist and arachnologist was in for a real surprise. Her dual degree worked well together naturally, and especially for her when treating scorpion stings, and any number of venomous spider and snake bits in the small hospital in Jordan Arizona. Destiny, however. was playing with her, and Rene was totally unprepared for the ringing of the telephone, the anouncement her mentor had died, and the announcement she was expected to travel to Egypt immediately. The voice on the phone turned into a man of incredible male beauty, and an embodiment of the one in her dreams if he were not so dark. There were many similarities, faintly she sensed a recognition, but passed it off as a residual of the sleepless nights she had been havong recently. That seemed to have her mind clouded, and yet as she traveled eastward to Egypt with the mysterious jonathan Thoth, her senses were working overtime. She was not overly romantic, but the dreams had been plaguing her with a disturbing regularity lately, and Rene was simply not feeling at all like herslef. Now she was being hustled off the the far side of the world, and it unsettled her on a whole different level.
Rene was not one to believe in omens, but it struck her as odd when an old woman pressed a sun shaped necklace of gold into her hand, and called her "beautiful goddess," if she could believe Jonathan's translation. She loved the imagery of the sun, always had, always would, but still, this object distressed her in an unusual way. It was not to let her alone either, as she awoke on the plane, after having yet another of the disarming and alarming dreams about the golden mand with the white-blond hair. She could see nothing more, remembered little except he felt familiar, much like Jonathan. Yet she felt something warm around her neck, and she reached up only to find the necklace which she had secured within her purse. The dream flashed in her mind, and now Rene doubted her very sanity. What in the world was she doing, haring off on the word of an unknown man, and with such utterly insane dreams also dogging her trail. There had to be something odd happening here, why not since everything was off kilter anyway. The hazy and erotic dreams of the irresistible golden man were driving her nuts, causing her great unrest and bringing her dangerously close to accidents because of the restless nights, but one thing was certain, Rene really wanted to wake up from this nightmare...
There were prayers to him, great temples, sacrifices of grain, cloth, incense, and precious oils. He was worshipped for centuries on end as a god, but it was not a power he reveled in, however, and not for what he lived. Nor was it what he truly wanted at all because it made him uncomfortable as it was not a role he played well. The ones who worshipped him did so because they were ignorant, small, weak, and they had intelligence of a kind that made them thirsty for the knowledge he and his kind brought. There was only room in his life for one, he worshipped Selkis, his lover, devoted companion, and wife. He would have no other, and when treachery took her from him, Ralabos left. Deep within the earth of the Sinai Mountains, he slept, for is sorrow knew no bounds. There had been steps taken, and a chance for Selkis to return so his friends did not give up hope. They waited for him to awaken, and when she was found again, and was returned to his land, then he would arise and join the world again, and see if things could begin anew, if he could find love with the only love he had ever known. There was magick in the air, and the carefully woven spells stirred him, allowed him to learn, to see, and to find his way home. Things were much different, the centuries and milennia had come and gone as he slept.
His friends were loyal, they missed him but understood his pain, his desperation, and the inability for him to remain in such pain and stay sane. He knew the hearts were heavy at his loss, but when he stirred, there was joy at his impending return. They found her, and so had he. Ralabos visited her in the dreamplains, loved her, touched her again, finally after all the milennia. She was brand new, yet old as he, naieve and innocent, yet as experienced as she had always been. He tried to blend the two worlds, tried to prepare her for the events he knew would come, but she was strong, fighting the truth of the dreams with a spirit he remembered. It was hard, but when she came to him, he wanted her to remember. If she didn't, there was only one choice. He could not go on this way, could not continue. There was only one thing keeping him here and grounded, and that was Selkis. Ralabos needed her with every fibre of his being, but there were also enemies abroad, and he had to get to her, keep her safe because without her, he was nothing...
There is a wealth of material when one considers the gods of the ancients, and many tales to be told. There are also as many takes on any one story as there are writers, but for Toni Meilleur, the twist is erotic, sensual, the tales rich, and The Touch of the Fire God is no exception. Selkis was torn from his arms by an untimely death, Ralabos' love was not allowed to cross over. Instead, she was reborn, and as the other gods watched for her return, they hoped to reunite Selkis with her love. Rene was the embodiment of Selkis, the Scorpion Goddess, a goddess of healing, and the lover of Ralabos. She was beloved by all the gods, and now she was vulnerable and in human form. She was also in great danger and it was up to them to protect her from Seth. His anger was great, his hate and insanity even greater and he would do all in his power to prevent Selkis from converting. Seth was not inclined to follow the rules, and Ralabos knows Seth will kill Rene before he has a chance to explain to her what must occur for her protection.
Up from the depths of her fertile mind comes a story that is poignant in the telling, exciting in the living, and a most desireable read when you get lost between the pages of The Touch of the Fire God. Toni takes us deep into the love of Ralabos and Selkis, feeding it to us in snipets as Rene relives it in her dreams. She confounds us, charms us, infuriates us, and in the end she brings us all back to the beginning, and wanting more. The Touch of the Fire God is a book you will want to read over and over, and I have to tell you this, I am looking forward to the sequel, Caress of the Dark God to see what is going to happen with Torian A. Nubis and Dr. Tessa Michaels. If you want my opinion, you should go to Siren's Bookstore and pick up a copy of The Touch of the Fire God today!
Yours in good reading,
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