NEW YORK (Book #0.5)

He appeared out of nowhere. He saved her life. Now she might need him again.

Allie Taylor has been fascinated by seers for as long as she can remember. Ever since her dad took her to see them when she was a kid, at a circus-like expo near her home city of San Francisco, she’s always wondered about them.


A second, psychic race discovered on Earth, seers are exotic, beautiful, hyper-sexual, dangerous as hell… and really expensive to own.


Unfortunately, a lot of the world doesn’t share Allie’s fascination.


Enslaved throughout the human world, seers can’t even venture into public without papers issued by their owners, and without a collar restraining their psychic sight to render them harmless. While they’re an exotic fascination to Allie, she knows she’ll likely never encounter any in real life, given how rich you have to be to get near one.

Then her boyfriend has a band concert in New York.


Before she’s even left San Francisco, Allie barely survives a terrorist attack at the airport. She’s saved by a man she’s never seen before, a tall, mysterious stranger with pale, glass-like eyes and black hair, who seems to crop up everywhere she turns. At the same time, someone starts leaving her cryptic, vaguely threatening, and creepy notes about the end of the world, and her boyfriend starts blowing her off for one of his lame band groupies.

When a bizarre seer religious cult targets Allie for an end of the world ritual, her visit to New York goes from bewildering to probably fatal.


THE BRIDGE & SWORD SERIES is a dark, gritty psychic warfare romance. Set in a gritty, alternate version of Earth, it stars Alyson Taylor and her partner, dark and dangerous infiltrator, Dehgoies Revik. For fans of romantic, character-driven science fiction and fantasy worlds, filled with twists and turns and backstabbing betrayals, with heroes and villains who are sometimes the same people. The Bridge & Sword books span continents and historical periods as Allie and Revik try to save the human and seer races from destroying one another, and keep their friends and loved ones alive in the process.


The world is dying. Everyone feels it, and yet... no one knows.

They said that when the end was near, a Bridge would come,

and lead them out of the darkness of that dying world.

My name is Allie Taylor, and I am that Bridge.




I WAS LOSING my boyfriend.

I was losing him––I could feel it.


I didn’t know why. Paranoid murmurings whispered through my mind, telling me it was happening without really supplying me with reasons, at least not reasons I knew how to fix. I knew it was likely just my imagination working overtime, screwing with my head, but those soft murmurs felt so real.


I struggled not to react to them as actual evidence.


At times, I heard those voices almost like feed station commentators, humming in the background of my headset––subliminal messages woven into the virtual network.


I swore I could almost feel his thoughts like that.


They say people get that way with significant others.


They start finishing one another’s sentences, knowing what they’re thinking before they’ve said whatever it is. I’d even heard the network could amplify that kind of thing.


Whatever this was, though, it didn’t feel like the good kind of symbiosis.


This came more like daggers to my head and heart, insights I didn’t want, that pierced through the bubble of the happy story I’d woven around Jaden and me.


Like a lot of people, I guess, the instinctive but counterproductive answer to that problem was to hold on to my boyfriend tighter.


I blame the animal part of my brain. The lizard brain, as my best friend Cass likes to call it.


The lizard brain is uncomplicated. It can also be pretty frickin’ stupid.


So when Jaden told me his band had a big gig coming up in New York City, all the way on the other side of the country, I told him of course I’d go.


It didn’t matter that I couldn’t afford the trip.


It didn’t matter that I couldn’t afford it by a long shot, given I was making the vast majority of my money at crappy waitressing jobs, and trying to survive on that in San Francisco, plus pay off my art college debt. It didn’t matter that I didn’t much like New York, the one and only time I’d been, or that I hated being around Jaden’s groupies and dealing with all the bickering and other b.s. that went along with hanging out with his band.


It didn’t matter that I’d seen just about every show he’d ever performed, including at laundromats and hole-in-the-wall burrito bars and coffee shops.


It didn’t matter that I’d heard all of his songs about a million times.


Apparently, it didn’t matter that going to New York meant I’d have to pass through racial-cat security, either, and likely get flagged for the billionth time because I had “weird” blood. Ever since they’d passed that federal law allowing states to set their own regulatory standards for seers, New York was like its own country. They even had their own division for Seer Containment––or “SCARB” as everyone called them, which stood for“Seer Containment and Regulation Bureau.”


SCARB checkpoints were now mandatory for domestic and international travelers, at all of the New York airports.


That meant I’d probably spend a few extra hours post-landing, cooling my jets in a holding cell while I answered the same damned questions I’d been answering since I was a kid. If it was anything like last time, they’d run a couple hundred tests on my blood, then finally verify my med-recs with authorities on the West Coast and make yet another note in my file that never seemed to do me much good the next time around.


Traveling with me was always a party.


More to the point, that lizard brain part of me ignored the signals I was getting off Jaden himself, in regard to me tagging along for the big New York show.


Meaning, I could tell he’d rather if I stayed behind for this one.


None of it mattered.


My lizard brain clung to that imperative to reconnect, to not let the mate-creature out of my sight, and I barely heard those softer but smarter voices in the background, telling me what a bad idea it was.


I was going. Damn it.


I guess I’m kind of dumb that way.


I guess most of us are.



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