Friday, December 9, 2016
Tajalik looked around in the dark void of where he stood, and saw the silhouette of more souls walking around him. Their faces were disfigured, too. He heard their weeping and moaning. Then, like them, he cried in misery and torment.
“William, what happens next? Is this it? We’re here forever, huh?”
“No, this is only the beginning, Stokes. Our affliction will get much worse. For an eternity we-”
Loud screeching, screams suddenly interrupted William. Tajalik and the others, held their hands over their ears to block out the sounds that became intolerable. The noise only added to the burden of the souls. All of the afflicted began to run. Tajalik saw William turn and sprint, followed by the countless others that ran from the sounds. Tajalik tried his best to stay close to William. The screams seemed to get closer as Tajalik caught up to William. The two sprinted with thousands of others running away from the abominable noise following behind them. The screams of souls, echoed throughout the darkness, running from the predators who were seeking to destroy them.
The two veered down another dark path. On both sides of them were barren trees. It was so dark; the two were vaguely able to see in front of them. They continued to run as they heard the screams of other souls being picked off and tortured, by whatever creatures captured them. Tajalik looked through the forest. Alongside the path, he thought he saw a hill. He was only able to make it out because of its height in the background; which towered over the trees. Suddenly he felt inclined to veer off the path. Everyone running behind him seemed to be getting intercepted by their attackers. It made sense to take the road less traveled. He turned and ran through the forest of barren trees; leaving William to his own fate. He continued to hear the cries of the other souls. It was unbearable. Tajalik worked his way towards the hill; through the trees and thickets. As he ran, he heard himself getting farther and farther away from the screams. He stumbled and even ran head first into some branches that were unseen in the darkness. It still did not stop him. Finally, he came to the forest’s end.
He was standing in a small field, just a few yards from the base of the hill. He heard more branches rustling. He continued to run again, fearing he was being chased by the creatures that terrorized the dark. A figure emerged, running through the trees. Tajalik continued to sprint towards the hill, as he got closer he spotted a crevice at the base. It looked like a cave. With nowhere else to run, he headed straight inside. He stopped in dead in his tracks at the sight of a group of boys staring at him through black hoods. Tajalik became faint with fear. These were the boys that he saw in his dream; following him down the long dark road. Their unsettling stare terrified Tajalik even more. The figure that had been running behind Tajalik now stood at the opening at the bottom of the hill.
“Who are you?” asked the figure.
“You’re new, huh?”
“What were those things?” Tajalik asked as he backed himself against a side of the cave wall, where he could keep an eye on the figure and the group of boys.
“It’s part of our sentence. Just don’t get caught. If you do, it makes your after-life that much worse.”
“What the hell are you talking about, man?”
“Hell is precisely what I’m talking about; Tajalik…Hell is precisely what I’m talking about…” The figure entered the cave finally and began to approach Tajalik.
“…But the children of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness: there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew chapter eight, verse twelve. I bet you wish you believed now. Don’t you?”
Tajalik looked at the figure as the figure slowly approached him. Tajalik was baffled. It was another young boy in a hood. He nodded towards the other boys.
“We’re all lost souls, man. I’m Lavelle. I grew up in church. Had a mother and a grandmother who prayed for me consistently. They made me go to church regularly, even had me memorize scriptures from the Word. I had mentors who were constantly around me, telling me what to do and what not to do. I didn't listen. I bucked authority because I loved the street life. I made the choice to not listen to the information, not to listen to the truth that was given to me. That’s the one thing that separates us that dwell here and those that dwell in paradise. That’s the key; Jesus Christ and the choices we make in life. I chose to rebuke the information. So here I stand.”
“So what do we do?” asked Tajalik in intense trepidation.
“We run and hide, Tajalik. It’s only a matter of time before they come through those woods to seek us out. They know this side of the gulf inside and out.”
About the author:
Chayil Champion is a graduate of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida where he double-majored in both English and Journalism while competing as a two-sport athlete in both football and track. After graduating from UM in 1998, Champion received his masters and doctorate degrees in education from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He embarked on a career in education as an English teacher and vice principal
in South Florida’s Dade County and West Palm Beach County public school systems respectively before moving to Los Angeles, California in 2009.
A native from Evanston, Illinois, a suburb that borders Chicago’s north side, Champion developed a love for writing at a young age which carried well into his adult years. After penning his first book in 2009 upon his arrival to Los Angeles, Champion has gone on to write five more books, which include the Young Adult fiction novels, Affiliated and Going Pro, both from The Lost Souls literary series. Champion also wrote Exiting The Wilderness and But He Said He Was A Christian, two nonfiction Christian self-help books. His latest book, Majesties of Canaan: The Goliath Project is a Young Adult, super hero novel. It is the first book of many within the Majesties of Canaan Superhero Series and the second book of The Dark Spores Series where Champion has partnered with best-selling authors Keshawn Dodds and Braxton Cosby to form the new superhero universe and to collaboratively pen the upcoming superhero novel Infinity 7 due in early 2017.
Outside of his love for writing, Champion, runs his own education consulting company in Los Angeles where he continues to teach and tutor students. In his free time, Champion focuses on fitness as he is a gym rat, frequents movies, and enjoys spending time with his daughter Vanessa.
Blog: www.chayilchampion.comGoodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/DrChampion
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/Champion_BARNESandNOBLE
Looking into his eyes, Nicole was intrigued by what she saw and felt. It was as if the sky
had cleared, the sun was shining and she felt the refreshing breeze after a spring rain hit her all
at once. But, she could see something else in his eyes that gave her pause. She could see a
lingering deep despair that made her want to take him in her arms and tell him it would be
okay. At 5’ 8” with dark blond hair and brown eyes, she had always been a tomboy at heart and
much preferred playing games outdoors to sitting inside and reading. She had never really
considered herself a beautiful woman just merely average but she had never been swept off
her feet or stopped dead in her tracks by meeting a man until now. Her athletic grace seemed
to elude her anytime she saw something she may be interested in. Today had caught her by
surprise. She did not see this tall stranger until it was too late and she was bumping into him
with full force running to get something for her mother. Right now she was thanking God that
she needed more ketchup for her fries. “It is a pleasure to meet you Dr. Montgomery” she said
with a smile and warm tender eyes. Nicole had been alone too long. Yes she dated in recent
years but it never lasted. She was looking for the one Mr. Right not Mr. Right now. She had
always had a notion that romantic love, love at first sight was out there waiting for her and she
would not settle for anything less. However, today she could not help feeling that maybe she
had finally found her tall prince charming. “So, did you go to school here?” she asked.
“No I am a proud graduate of the University of Georgia.” Lincoln said.
“Eww.” Nicole said with a chuckle.
“So what brings you to Auburn? Slumming it with other schools?” She said mockingly.
“No, since Rob and I became friends, I have become almost as much part of the Auburn
family as I am the Georgia Bulldog Nation. I like to give to the scholarship fund every year but
unfortunately my seats usually go unused or given to friends and staff members. As a matter of
fact I just auctioned off my luxury box at Georgia for the Auburn Georgia game last night at the
“Well that was mighty nice of you. So why are you here and not in Athens today?”
“I prefer Rob and Erin’s company to the empty seats around me. It is so nice to have
friends that accept me for what I am and not who I am or who I know.”
“Well then”, she said “you want to avoid that group over there. They only care about
your bank account and whether or not they can get into it.” She said pointing at a group of
women standing on the far side of the room. Lincoln laughed hard for what seemed like the
first time in 3 years. He was suddenly feeling light on his feet as if the burden was being lifted.
“So what about you Nicole, do you enjoy your work and living in Atlanta?”
“I love my job. I am lucky enough to work with the best people in the business and the
ability to see people regain use of their bodies and even walk again is simply amazing. I often
find it difficult to put into words how I feel about it. Atlanta, well it is Atlanta. I grew up
outside of Atlanta and lived there all of my life except for college and grad school. The only big
change is moving to the Dunwoody area.”
“Really, I live over in the Dunwoody area as well. I wanted something close to work and
to avoid the commute.” Lincoln said but thought I am running away from the ghosts of my past
at my house. What would she think about me if she knew the truth.” “Please do not think this
is another line, but you look so familiar. I can’t help but feel that I have seen you somewhere
“Well unless you were out at the Grand National yesterday then it was not this
weekend.” Nicole said.
“Wait. You were the woman I saw on the 18th tee box. I stood there and admired you
grace and athleticism from afar. I was taken by your strength and beauty and the way you
could drive a golf ball. I was surprised to see you playing from the men’s tees. I don’t mean
that in a sexist way it is just most women play from the forward tees.”
“Well I suppose most women are not scratch golfers from the men’s tees.”
Suddenly flush with renewed vigor, Lincoln knew he had to spend more time with this
remarkable woman. “Please don’t think that I am being too forward, but are currently seeing
anyone seriously or not so seriously? I only ask because I would really like to take you to dinner
or lunch so that we could get to know each other better.”
“Well Dr. Montgomery, this is totally unexpected, but no I am not seeing anyone serious
or otherwise. I would not mind having dinner with you but my schedule is very busy and I have
a difficult time getting away from work at a decent hour.”
Interrupting her Lincoln said, “Please call me Lincoln or Linc as that is what my friends
call me. Sorry to interrupt please continue.”
“As I was saying, I do believe I can try to make some time.” Nicole was suddenly struck
with the thought why did I say yes to something so quickly. I know that I do not really have
time, but there is something about him that intrigues me and makes me want to know him
better. Holding out her hand Nicole says, “Give me your phone and I will put my number in
there then you can text me with yours. I am sorry to have to run but I need to get back to my
family since they are done eating. We always like to get to our seats early so that we can watch
Nova fly before the game.”
Unsure what to do, Lincoln held out his hand to Nicole but was surprised when she
pulled him in for a quick hug.
“Just as good as I thought it would be Dr. Montgomery.” Nicole said with a slight
flirtiness in her voice.
After their too brief hug, Lincoln stood there staring at Nicole momentarily shocked by
her display of affection, he could do nothing more than smile at her and bid her goodbye.
Lincoln was so excited he could not stand it.
Rob saw Lincoln and turned to Erin to point out the look on his face and eyes. “I don’t
know what just happened” he said “but I don’t think I have seen him like this in years.” Rob
laughed as he watched Lincoln walk towards them with an almost swagger in his step. He was
shocked by the change of his demeanor today. Gone was the dark brooding Lincoln replaced by
the man he knew so many years ago. Not sure what to make of what had just happened he
was silent while he waited for Lincoln to tell him about the encounter.
Lincoln wanted to talk to Rob and Erin but he did not know what to say. What was he
feeling? He had so many emotions running through his mind at this very instant that he could
barely make sense of the ground moving beneath his feet. “Rob, I don’t know or even
understand what just happened. I feel like every nerve ending is on fire.”
“Lincoln, I haven’t seen you like this in a long time. You look like the weight of the world
has been lifted off of your shoulders.”
“I don’t know what to do. I feel so alive but I‘m terrified all at once. How can someone I
just met have this effect on me? I mean just looking into her eyes set my soul ablaze. I could
see the sweetness and desire in her and it was just one touch and one long glance into her
“Lincoln, I can’t pretend to know what you are feeling with all that you have been
through, but I have known for a long time that you needed to connect with someone else and
once you meet that person you would hopefully find that closure. Maybe she is that
connection that you need.”
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-infertile-heart-bk-harrell/1123757397?ean=9781514477144
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Date Published: October 2016
Taylor Grant thinks she has life all figured out. But when her longtime boyfriend says goodbye via a few scribbled words on the back of coffeehouse napkins, she begins to doubt everything she ever knew about love and relationships. What she needs now is time to refocus and regroup…somewhere far, far away from the man who broke her heart.
After Texas cowboy Cole McKenzie finds his wife in the arms of another man, he goes in search of a new life, somewhere where he won’t be reminded of his wife’s infidelity. The Caribbean island of St. John seems the perfect place to start over. That is until he runs into city gal Taylor Grant.
Taylor isn’t ready for a new love. Cole has a secret he isn’t ready to share. Can escaping to a tropical island heal all wounds, or will Taylor’s past show up in paradise and make her an offer she can’t refuse?
About the Author
Alexa Darin makes her home in Washington State, where she has a habit of exploring the Alpine Wilderness. She believes that every romance writer needs a survival kit that contains dark chocolate and red wine.