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Authors: Karen Michelle Nutt

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BOOK: Shattered Illusions
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"Who are you? What do you want?" Liam echoed
her questions, irritating her further.

A long brittle silence stretched between
them. The intruder didn't say anything, but stood there staring,
the weapon poised and ready to be used. Whoever he was, he mocked
them. They were three against one. How did he think to win?

"Who's there?" Liam asked again.

"Do you really believe he's going to answer
you when he hasn't breathed a word so far?" She shook her head at

"I'm scared." Tara's voice shook.

Scared? Just wait until she got her hands on
Tara. She would show her sister scared.

Tara had inched her way over to Liam and
looped her arm through his.

A crimson haze blurred her vision as fury
pounded and rippled in time to her beating heart. She was standing
right next to them and they didn't care. She had seen too much,
witnessed too many tender scenes that they carelessly displayed.
She shot them both a cold, dark look before she turned and ran
toward the intruder. She didn't care what happened to her. She
could die this night and it wouldn't matter. She was already dead
inside. She lost her husband and her sister in a moment of

The intruder ran toward her, but
determination like a rock perched inside of her and she wouldn't
back down. The intruder was poised and ready to strike, but Brona
was prepared, too. She lashed down with all her strength. She
slammed into something hard and unyielding.

Dazed, she fell backwards as her world closed
in on her. Flashes of her life came at her like bits of shattered

She remembered the day.

Pelting rain, the ground slick where she
walked. She slipped on the terrain she had walked a million times
over. Brona reached out and tried to stop her fall, but the side of
the cliff was like smooth glass and there was nothing to stop her
descent. She hit the rocks below, her body broken and blood pooling
beneath her head, the coppery smell making her nauseous. Spray from
the ocean hit her, drenching her further. She couldn't move.
"Liam!" She thought she called, but no sound left her lips. A wave
washed over her, but she was beyond caring that the tide had risen.
She closed her eyes as she slid beneath the surface.

"No!" Brona screamed as the fateful day came
crashing down on her like the waves that had ended her life. It had
been raining, a storm like tonight. She went for her usual walk
near the cliffs. Soft and muddy terrain had caused her to slip. She
fell to her death. That's why nothing made sense tonight. Why she
saw blood where there wasn't any. She was remembering her last
moments. The blood had pooled beneath her head. Not here, but on
the rocks.

She wasn't supposed to be here. "Oh my

Chapter Seven

The lights came on and Brona was face to face
with Liam, who had crouched down to inspect the rug. "We must have
a leak. The floor's soaked," he said as he picked up a shard of

Brona looked down at herself, realizing she
wasn't wet any longer.

"What happened?" Tara asked, hugging

Liam glanced at the wall where the beautiful
mirror had once hung. "I guess we were only seeing our reflections,
not someone in the house. But as to why the mirror shattered— I
don't know." He shook his head.

"Liam," Brona whispered and reached for him.
He inhaled deeply and stood, his eyes wide with fright.

"What is it?" Tara asked, grabbing his hand.
"Did you cut yourself?"

"What?" He looked at her. "Uh, no." He pulled
his hand away. "I thought I felt something, a blast of air maybe …
something cold," he said tentatively.

Brona stood, tears streaming down her face.
"I'm truly dead," she said, testing the words for the truth. "My
dear sweet Liam, you can't see me." She turned her attention to her
sister, who stood no more than a few feet away. "She doesn't know
I'm here, either." All of a sudden, the dreamlike lunacy of the
situation was beginning to make sense.

"She's still here, Tara," Liam whispered
hoarsely. "Brona is still here. I feel her."

Tara's gaze met his, sorrow evident in her
eyes. "Oh Liam, I miss her too, but she's been gone three years

Brona gasped at the news. Three years? Her
brows drew together. How could it be so long? She looked at her
husband. His wavy blond hair wasn't brushed and his eyes were
bloodshot. Was he not sleeping well? He looked sad and hopelessness
clouded the depths of his blue eyes. Brona glanced at her sister
who also had the dark hair and gray eyes of the O'Malleys.

Tara hadn't betrayed her, but had tried to
comfort Liam with his grief. She had fallen in love with him. She
couldn't begrudge her. Liam was a good man.

Liam turned his head toward Tara. "I know
she's gone, but her spirit isn't at rest. That's what I'm trying to
tell you. Sometimes I feel as if the sadness is drowning me." He
leaned down and picked up another shard of glass. "We bought this
mirror together." He chuckled. "She had to have it and I could
never say no to her. We had it packed and shipped from Dublin. I
thought it would be broken to bits by the time it arrived, but it
arrived in perfect condition." He inhaled deeply. "Now look at it,
Tara. Brona would have my head for letting it break."

Tara placed a hand on his shoulder. "Oh,
Liam." Her voice caught in her throat.

Brona leaned down so she was eye to eye with
Liam. She'd been haunting this poor man and he couldn't move on.
"I'm so sorry, Liam. I love you so and I didn't have a chance to
say goodbye. I never meant to hurt you." She had to let him go. If
she moved on, perhaps he would too. She touched his hand and he
flinched, though he didn't pull away.

"No more shattered illusions, my dear Liam,"
Brona told him in a breathless whisper.

Oddly, peace settled over her now that she
understood what had happened. She glanced at where the mirror had
once stood. There was a light and within the brightness she could
see a stairway leading up.

"Do you hear it?" Liam asked, looking up at

Tara's brows drew together. "What? I don't
hear anything."

"That's just it. The storm's passed," Liam
said, making Brona aware how silent the night had become.

Brona lips curved into a smiled. "Yes, my
love, the storm has passed. She leaned forward and kissed Liam

The End

About the Author

Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California
with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of
demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits
long hours with her at the computer.

When she's not time traveling, fighting
outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates pre-made book
covers to order at Gillian's Book Covers, "Judge Your Book By Its
Cover". You can also check out her published cover art designs at
Western Trail Blazer, Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing, and Victory
Tales Press.

Whether your reading fancy is paranormal,
historical, or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array
of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human
phenomena—falling in love.

Visit the author at her website:





Gillian's Book Covers, "Judge Your Book By
Its Cover"

Other Novels by Karen Michelle Nutt

Rodeo Blues

Eight Seconds to Lose the Girl…

One chance to win her back.

Tye Casper, a.k.a. the Ghost Rider and
champion bull rider, should be the happiest cowboy alive, but when
he left home ten years ago to make it big, he said goodbye to the
only woman he has ever loved. He's had his eight seconds of glory,
but without Jolie Lockhart by his side, the wins mean nothing.

He's been given an opportunity to return home
to Skeeter Blue for one last rodeo. He believes fate has sent him
there and he'll have a second chance with Jolie, but nothing goes
as planned. He soon realizes staying seated on a bull for eight
seconds may prove much simpler than winning Jolie's heart.


Sheriff Jace Kelly's wife died birthing his
remarkable daughter, Emma. She inherited the families' seer
abilities. At six years old, she can't tell the difference between
a vision and an ordinary dream. So Jace doesn't put much faith in
Emma's recent premonition: marriage for him and a new mother for

When JoBeth Riley arrives, Emma is convinced
she's the woman in her dream: dark hair, green eyes, and shamrocks
in her pocket. There's one problem – she's the notorious outlaw,
Baby Face Jo. Her stay in town is meant to keep Shane Maverick, the
leader of the outlaw gang, from finding her before the authorities
devise a plan to capture him.

JoBeth finds the Kellys a strange lot. A
little girl, who believes her dreams are tales of the future and
the rugged sheriff whose kindness proves a distraction. She's an
outlaw, for heaven's sake, but Jace is bound and determined to
steal her heart.

The Gryphon and His Thief

Some Treasures are Priceless…

A long time ago, a Gryphon shifter’s duty was
to guard and protect the people of the tribes, but Darrien Andros
failed to keep his human wife safe from harm. Cursed for the crime,
he must guard everything in the Museum of Cursed Antiquities
forever, never to truly live and never to die. Centuries have
passed, but when he encounters a thief, who uncannily resembles his
dead wife, he is convinced he has a second chance.

Calli Angelis is hired to steal Hecate's
Stone from the Museum, believing she would be returning it to its
rightful owner. She never really trusted the person who hired her
and now Darrien makes her doubt her motives, too. He also has her
questioning the possibility of reincarnation when the attraction
between them ignites into something she can no longer ignore.

As the two work together to unravel the
mysteries behind the stone, it becomes apparent an old and
dangerous enemy from Darrien’s past is determined to have history
repeat itself.

Lost in the Mist of Time

Dougray Fitzpatrick has buried one wife and
vows to never love again—but destiny has other plans for this 16th
century Irish Lord. During a battle, a mist separates Dougray from
his men and casts him into the future. Dougray must return to
Dunhaven and to his century, but Aislinn Hennessy follows him into
the mist, leaving him no choice, but to take her home with him.

Conspiracies, feuds and unexpected violence
are commonplace threats, but along the way, Aislinn and Dougray
discover a surprise neither one expects: a chance for love even
when they're Lost in the Mist of Time.

A Twist of Fate

Arianna memory is lost when she suffers a
blow to her head. It's 1814 and she's married to Captain Keldon
Buchanan, a man who despises her. The more Arianna learns about her
life, the more she realizes why she's chosen to forget it. Keldon
doesn't trust his wife, but he finds his heart softening to the
woman his wife has become. If he didn't know better, he'd swear
he's married to another woman and he's fallen in love with her.

Creighton Manor

Zachary Creighton, a gambler with one goal:
to win back Creighton Manor. Marriage is not part of the plan, but
since he is found with Gillian in his room, reputations are at
stake, his included. To keep peace with his reluctant bride, he
makes a bargain with her. He needs a tutor for his nephew Tyler,
and she needs a roof over her head until they can annul their sham
of a marriage. However, Zachary finds himself falling for Gillian's
oddly charming ways despite the fact the woman claims to be from
the future. The gamble is trust, but will the stakes prove too high
for Zachery to risk it all and win Gillian's heart?

Soul Taker

A vampire, a werewolf, and a Necromancer are
a most unlikely team, but Garran, Harrison, and Isabella plan on
putting a kink in the dubbed Soul Taker's plans. It's personal now.
One of their friends has fallen victim to the Soul Taker's charms,
but to stop him from hurting anyone else, their efforts may involve
raising the dead.

Twilight's Eternal Embrace

If Bram cannot find a way for Adryanna to
survive the blooding ritual, their romance is doomed. They seek
help from Sheerin, Bram's cousin, who believes he's found a way for
the Lathe Sith to survive, but others in the Oiche Sith clan do not
wish for them to succeed.

Magic of the Loch

Michaela and Alan vow to take what time has
to offer, but another threat loomed. A sinister shape shifter with
a vendetta against Alan is making Loch Ness his personal hunting
ground. Now he's threatening Michaela. Alan must discover who the
shifter is and stop him before it's too late.

Storm Riders

Storm Riders must step in and repair the rift
before the dimensions collide. Samantha Skelley and Denny Randeli
are sent to 1879 Bodie, California, one of the wildest towns of the
west. It should have been an easy snatch and rescue, but Ace
McTavish is determined to put himself in harms way. Samantha and
Denny are forced to help him with his plans before they take the
next storm ride home.

Eli (Fallen Angels, Book 1)

Hashasheen demons, assassins for hire, are
sent to take out Eli and Ryden. Eli is a warrior and will fight to
keep Ryden safe, but time may be his biggest enemy. The Elders gave
him until the end of Ol' Hallow's Eve. Ryden must fall in love with
him by then or his life will be forfeited.

Lucca (Fallen Angels, Book 2)

Lucca Marlowe is half human, half angel, one
of the Nephilim. Banished for crimes against one of his fellow
brethren, the elders bind his glamour and wings, casting him to the
human's realm.

BOOK: Shattered Illusions
13.37Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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