Blood on the CardsA brotherhood of powerful men, a self-proclaimed prophet, and an ancient goddess hover over a series of murders that start with a game of Texas Hold-em. Are they to blame, or is it the embittered Comanche outcast set on revenge against Jack Harden for the death of his niece? Elsie and Jack try to salvage what’s left of their relationship, as a canvas of death unfurls around them.
Can they stop it?
A single candle cast its light on his nude body as he stood staring at the new moon. He passed his hand over his salt-laden chest, bowed at the altar, and sipped hot tea from a red canister. It flowed warm and dark down his throat. He opened a satin cloth and sniffed the white powder deep into his nose, releasing the inhibitions that held him captive in a body he detested. His hand slid across his groin. “Curse the man that I am, the body I was born live in.” He closed his eyes. The darkness comforted him. “Inanna, hear me,” he prayed. “Release me. Help me find the shadow of who I am beyond this body, the self that you meant for me to be. Let the cloud of the dark moon fall on your servant.”
He lifted his gaze to the altar, to the figure of a woman standing on reclining lions, bordered by owls, and he raised an ancient plea. “I invoke you, Mother of the Darkness. I invoke you, Mother of the Night. Let your angels open my heart and fly inside. I shall make a place for courage, a golden fire. I shall put my heart in your lap to be caressed by your hands of blessing. Inanna, Lady of the Evening Star, Lady of the Morning Star, give me courage that my soul may find its destiny. Make it so. Make it so.”
He rocked back and forth on his knees, chanting, “Make it so, make it so.” Twenty minutes passed as he worshipped at the altar. He came to his feet, with sweat crawling down his body, and walked to the pool. He stepped into the water, deep enough to cover his loins, washing over the vagina his surgeon crafted the year before. “Oh, dark pool, receive me. Lilitu, cleanse me.” He doused himself completely, his mind alight with drugs and the fervor of his faith. He rose refreshed, his heart open. His gaze turned to a figure, nearly obscured by the darkness. There was something there, no someone there, seated with her legs crossed and gesturing for him to come closer. Her long, dark hair tumbled over bare breasts. Her legs stretched to feet fashioned like eagle talons. Again, she waved for him, and he stepped closer. He came to the edge of the pool, reached for her, and she was gone.
Blood on the Cards is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, wildchildpublishing.com, and other online vendors.
David W. Huffstetler – Bio
He turned the frustrations and rejection that plagues thousands of yet-to-be-published authors into the heralded mystery/thriller Blood on the Pen, with a serial killer disposing of literary agents. Blood on the Cards follows his tradition of thrillers, and it stands on its own merit as a novel with a hint of the paranormal.
His books receive praise from mystery readers across the globe.
“David W. Huffstetler crafts gripping crime thrillers that can only be described as a riveting roller coaster ride from its ‘okay, you’ve got my attention’, beginning, to the suspenseful ‘I’ve now chewed my nails to the quick’, conclusion.” -Book Lovers, Inc.
David currently lives in Lexington, South Carolina with his wife, Trudy.