"A Darker Shade of Evil Anthology" Spotlight: "I Spy a Demon" by Keta Diablo

I Spy a Demon
Keta Diablo
Award-Winning Bestselling Author

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 A Darker Shade of Evil
A Limited Edition Devil and Demon Fantasy Collection Kindle Edition
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Featuring USA Today and International Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors and they're coming in like Demons!

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★✩★Authors Featured in this Collection★✩★

Khardine Gray – USA Today Bestselling Author
Alone In The Dark
Dariel Raye – USA Today Bestselling Author
The Devil Upstairs
Lori Titus – USA Today Bestselling Author
Muffy Wilson – USA Today Bestselling Author
Succubus Unleashed
Keta Diablo – Bestselling Author
I Spy A Demon
Marilyn Harlow – Bestselling Author
Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend
Gracen Miller – Bestselling Author
Michelle Scott – Bestselling Author
The Demon’s Prisoner
Katherine Smits – Bestselling Author
Siren Descending

Like your romance a little on the devilish side?
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Brought to you by USA Today and International Bestselling Authors, these stories of sexy alpha heroes and heroines will keep you turning the pages. Devils, demons and their lethal hunters will draw you into their conquests, twisted deceptions, scorching heat, and yes, even love. 

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* Heat Rating: Spicy to Erotic Romance

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Warning: If you like demonic games, angelic interventions, and thrilling temptations, you’ll love this demons and devils romance collection of twisted proportions in A Darker Shade of Evil.

Available from All your Favorite Retailers

Get it *F*R*E*E* on Kindle Unlimited
I Spy a Demon
Keta Diablo
Award-Winning Bestselling Author

Tagline 1: Cecily’s beloved twin, Calder, did not die in a car accident. If it’s her last act in life, she’ll uncover the truth. And someone will pay. 

Tagline 2: Cecily is all alone in the world now that her beloved twin, Calder, died. The family that raised her knows how he died, and it wasn’t in a car accident. With her last breath, she’ll uncover the truth, and someone will pay. 

When twins Cecily and Calder Sizemore’s parents are killed in a car accident they are taken in by Gus and Mae Frost. Raised like family by the Frosts, Cecily’s feelings for their son, Marcel, evolve into anything but sisterly as the years pass. 

Cecily always knew something was amiss in the Frost household. Little things belied the calm, peaceful ambiance Mae did her best to portray. Calder tried to warn her things were not as they appeared, but she didn’t want to believe him. But when Calder begs her to leave Des Moines, start a new life away from the secrets, away from the Frosts and away from Marcel, she follows his advice and shatters her heart in the process.

Now she’s been called home for her beloved brother's funeral. There's more to the story than meets the eye. Discrepancies in how Calder died lead her to believe it wasn’t a car accident. And she's not returning to Minnesota until she uncovers the truth. 

She’ll have to face Marcel again—the boy who stole her heart when she was eight, the man whose very presence turns her blood to liquid fire, and the man who walks the earth as if he owns every piece of it. He’s always played his cards close to his chest, but this time, he’s underestimated her dogged tenacity. She’ll find out what really happened to Calder, even if it’s her last act in life. 

Chapter One

"We therefore commit Calder Sizemore's body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust...."
The cloying scents of damp earth and white lilies spiraled up Cecily's nose.  Overhead, a pitiless sun bore down on the mourners gathered around her brother's casket—familiar faces she’d known forever, lived with and loved. She fought back the bile rising in her throat and prayed the minister would come to the end of the service before her knees buckled.
To her left, stood Mae Frost, her mother's best friend and the woman who had raised her and Calder after their parents died. As if Mae could read her thoughts, the woman squeezed her hand, an unspoken sign of moral support and unconditional love.  She would expect nothing less from Mae, and had received nothing less for the past twenty years. If Mae's husband, Gus, were here, she would receive the same outpouring of love from him. In essence, Gus was in attendance, not above the ground but below. And now Calder would rest beside the man through all eternity.
 "And so, shall we ever be with the Lord."
Dear God, when will he say 'Amen? 
She stared at the burgundy coffin with its hideous spray of red roses, yellow lilies and white orchids while a thousand questions tore through her brain. How could she go on without Calder, the other half of her soul, her womb mate, the one person who had always been there through the highs and lows of her life? What was he doing in St. Louis when he died and who was with him at the end? She had to know what kind of accident had taken his life.
That's the word Mae used—accident—when she called her in Minnesota to deliver the dreadful news. 'We've booked a morning flight to Des Moines,' she'd said. 'The ticket is in your name and waiting for you at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, Delta Airlines ticket counter.' Numb with shock and grief, Cecily had pressed Mae for details but the woman circumvented her question. Why should she be surprised? The entire Frost family held Masters’ Degrees when it came to dodging and ducking topics they didn’t wish to discuss. ‘We’ll be waiting for you at the airport when you arrive,” she’d said and then ended their conversation.
Zombie-like, Cecily had packed her luggage and drove through the night from Gull’s Landing— the picturesque resort town where she lived—to the Minneapolis airport. During the three-hour drive, she'd saturated an entire box of Kleenex with a gazillion tears and relived every precious moment of her and Calder’s childhoods—the death of their parents, the extravagant Christmases after the Frosts took them in, the luxurious summer vacations, but most of all, the cross-your-heart-hope-to-die secrets no one but twins would share.
Her gaze wandered from the casket to the pallbearers standing opposite her— Chad and Will, friends from high school, Travis and Chris, college buddies, and, of course, Elliott and Marcel Frost, Mae and Gus' sons. And the boys she and Calder had shared a home with most of their lives. The brothers stood over six-feet tall now with broad shoulders and rock-hard bodies. Gym-rats Mae called them. Anyone with sight could see they were no longer boys, but hot-blooded, virile males most men envied and every woman on God’s peachy earth drooled over. 
Her pseudo-brothers shared the same grey eyes and midnight hair, but there the similarities ended. Elliott, two years younger than Marcel, was leaner than his brother and kept his dark hair short and neatly trimmed. He looked more like Mae with his oval face, round, inquisitive eyes and soft, full lips.
Marcel was the mirror image of his father, Gus, in the man's younger days.  Marcel's hair, gleaming now beneath the hot rays of sun, fell in a wild tumble of ebony waves to his white shirt collar. His features were sharp, all angles and planes, from the high cheekbones to the straight nose, to the strong jaw with a cleft smack dab in the middle. Cecily's gaze lingered on his mouth…that wicked, wicked mouth she'd kissed so many times and had tried so hard to forget.   
Their eyes met and held. His reminded her of a storm-tossed sea, dark and turbulent. He couldn't look into hers right now, thank God. The sunglasses she'd donned this morning—after crying all night— hid the red rims and the swollen lids that made her cousin to a puffer fish.   
She looked away from Marcel when a veil of pain descended on his beautiful face. She couldn't deal with his anguish and hers right now. Nor could she trust him, had never wholly trusted him. The man harbored secrets, deep, dark secrets only a select few were privy to, and she and Calder were not among the privileged.
Marcel must have thought her dimwitted not to notice the late-night trips, some that lasted for days. Did he think she hadn't noticed the cuts, scrapes and bruises on his sculpted body when he joined her in bed? For a long time, she thought he belonged to an underground fight club, but why would he hide that from her? No, she'd concluded long ago; he didn't spend his days and nights in a boxing ring. Locked rooms in the house, covert phone calls and whispered conversations had nothing to do with boxing. 
Elliott was involved, of that she was certain, but what about Calder? Surely, he would have told her, boasted about solving the mystery of the locked doors, the secretive getaways and low-voiced discussions.  She had remained close with her brother, albeit by phone, after she moved to Minnesota two years ago, and yet…a niggling sense of unease washed over her thinking back on their conversations now.
When she asked Calder about his life, why did he gloss over details, filling their conversations with meaningless tidbits of banal activity? 'I picked up my dry cleaning today', he would say. Or, 'I washed the car and hit the gym tonight.' When she pressed her brother about work or his recent love life, he slithered around her questions with vague responses. He’d become just like the Frosts in this regard. “There's nothing too exciting about driving limos, and as for my love life, I'm not ready for a white picket fence in the burbs.'
Her heart cried out for answers. She had the distinct feeling Calder's death and the Frost brothers' secrets were connected. Her hope fell like sails caught up in a squall if she thought to get those answers from Marcel. She had a better chance of winning the lottery. He'd always held his cards close to his chest, walled his emotions from the outside world. It would take a great deal of cunning and perseverance on her part to get to the truth. If he thought to put her off again, shoo her back to Minnesota without as much as plausible explanation, he was wrong…dead wrong. She wouldn't run this time, not until she found out the truth about how and why Calder had died. 
The minister's voice broke into her dismal thoughts. "And so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. Amen."
With heads bowed, their hands still clasped together, the mourners dispersed. Elliott still stood beside Marcel and visibly winced when his brother reached out and touched the coffin for the last time. Cecily’s heart fractured for the thousandth time that day.   
"Come along, dear," Mae said, still clutching her hand. "Everyone will be at the house soon for refreshments."
"You go ahead, Mae. I'll meet you at the car in a moment."
Elliott's eyes darted left to right and Marcel lifted his head when she stepped forward and spoke. "What was Calder doing in St. Louis?"
Elliott lowered his voice. "Why don't we talk about this later?"
Her answer came hard and fast. "No, let's talk about it now."
Elliott put his hand on his brother's shoulder. "I'll wait in the car for you, bro."
She waited until his footsteps faded before she pinned Marcel with a lethal glare. Too bad he couldn't see it behind her shades. "Enlighten me, Marcel."
"It was just a weekend get-away." He ran his hands through the hair at his forehead. "St. Louis hosts several fourth of July celebrations every year, Riverfest, Fair St. Louis…." His voice dwindled on a heavy sigh. 
Lord help her, could she even say the words? "What happened, how did Calder die?"
"Car accident." He blew air through his lips. "Calder made a late-night beer run and…and…the sheriff said he spied tracks from a deer sprinting at top speed across the dirt road. Calder must have swerved to avoid the animal and hit a tree."
"Was he alone in the car?"
Marcel gave a slow nod, but the flicker in his eyes contradicted the head motion. He must not know she'd memorized his body language and every nuance eons ago. A tug at the corner of his mouth meant he was happy, a tic in his jaw, irritated. But truth and lies walk a thin line and both resided behind those luminous orbs at the moment.  
"Who made the decision to seal the casket before I arrived?"
"Me. I didn't want to put you through…wanted you to remember him in life. Both Mom and the coroner concurred."
She blew a huff or air. "Yeah? Well, you, Mae and the coroner are not his next of kin."
Anger laced his words. "I did it for you, Cecily."
This time, his eyes didn't lie. "So, who identified—?"
"Me." His face blighted by pain, his voice guttered like a candle flame. "I identified him for the mortuary in St. Louis, before they shipped his body home.” The seconds ticked by while he held her stare. At last, he spoke. "You got something to say, Cecily, say it."
 Every bone in her body ached, not like when she had the flu, but rather a dull pain in the deepest part of her marrow. If she lived to be one hundred, she'd never get used to the aberrant discomfort that took flight in her bones when something in her world was off. "I do have something to say. Call it intuition, but something reeks here."
Palms up, Marcel’s hands came out at his sides. Translation—a defiant stance that meant she was getting under his skin. "Look, I don't know what your internal truth compass is pointing to, but it's like I said. Now, why don't you run back to your cozy little life of tea leaves and tarot cards in that quaint little resort town you live in and get on with your perfect little life with your perfect little boyfriend?"
How the hell does he know about Leif? Mae, of course. Mae must tell him everything. "You'd like that, for me to just go away, wouldn't you? Not this time, Marcel, not when every short hair on my arms and at the nape of my neck is standing at attention, not when my gut roils in protest at the words coming out of your mouth.  Twins know things about one another, things others can't possibly understand because they've never known such a bond. My soul would be at peace if I thought Calder died from a freak accident." She lifted her chin. "So, tell me, why is it so restless?"
Resignation laced his words. "I don't know what your soul thinks any more than I know what your heart thinks. I'm pretty sure we established that when you left for Minnesota, you know; when you walked away from me without as much as a backward glance."
His words stung because he spoke the truth. She had run, away from him, away from everything they once shared, but now she was back and she wouldn't leave until she knew the truth about Calder—knew the truth about Marcel and Elliott. "I'm not running this time, not until I know what happened to my brother. I don't care how long it takes or what I have to go through to get the truth." She pivoted on her heels, speaking over her shoulder, "Get used to seeing me around, Marcel."
* * *
A dozen cars lined the large circular driveway when Cecily and Mae arrived at her childhood home. The limo came to a halt and Cecily prayed to the ceiling. It’s almost over. Please help me hold it together. The driver opened her door. She stepped out, scanned the old Victorian and a montage of memories flooded her brain.  
A different cemetery, another time. A throng of people dressed in black surrounded her parents’ graves. Snowflakes fell from the sky causing her to shiver. She gripped Calder’s hand tighter and asked where they would live now. He pointed to a tall man with wide shoulders and a kind face. The woman standing beside him was adorned in black, hat, dress, even the long veil covering her face. Two boys with dark hair, not much older than her and Calder, fidgeted beside the man and woman. 
When the service ended, the adults walked over to them. He spoke first. ‘My name is Gus and this is Mae. We’re friends of your mommy and daddy.’ The woman smiled like an angel and knelt in the snow. Cecily wondered if her knees would freeze. ‘How would you like to come and live with us now?’ Her sweet, soft voice reminded her of Glinda's, The Good Witch of the North, from the Wizard of Oz. A wink competed with her smile. ‘I’m a little outnumbered with all these boys and I could use a little help keeping them in line, Cecily, dear. Hmm, what do you say?’ 
‘Why won’t they let me see Mommy and Daddy?” She had said. “I want to kiss them goodbye.’ 
Gus cupped his hand and held it before her. ‘Close your eyes and think of the best memory you have of them. Can you do that?'
‘Good, good. Now open them. We’re going to capture that memory and put it in here.’ He nodded toward his hand. ‘Ah-ha! I have it now. When we get to our house in Des Moines, I’ll put it in a box for you. Then all you have to do is lift the lid whenever you miss them and the memory will appear.’
Sometime during the long drive to Des Moines, she had fallen asleep. She awoke the next morning in a strange bed, in a strange room in a very strange, enormous house. 
Mae’s voice brought her back from her childhood memories. “Charles, put the car in the garage and do come in for a bite to eat.” She turned to Cecily, her eyes misty. “You look more like your mother every day.”
“From the pictures I’ve seen, I’ll take that as a compliment.” She paused and looked at the clouds overhead. “I wish I'd known her better, and yet, so often, I still feel her near.”
“She’s here, I’m sure of it, and she was very beautiful. Her hair wasn’t as blonde as yours, and her eyes were blue…sky blue.”
A stab of pain pierced her heart. “Calder used to say my hair was almost as white as cotton and my eyes….” The pain returned at the mention of his name. She stumbled on the words. “He said…he said I was part chameleon; sometimes my eyes were purple, sometimes blue.”
Mae took her hand and gave it a squeeze. “Only a man would call violet purple. You going to be okay, darling?”
She nodded. Yes, but I’ll be better when this day ends.”

“Me too, dear, me too.”

 Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

John Creasy from Man On Fire. This character is played by Denzel Washington in the move and I have watched it many times over. Based on the 1980 novel of the same name by A. J. Quinnell, this is an intense, action-packed book and movie set in Mexico. It’s themed around the many kidnappings that happen in Mexico, this particular book and movie involving the kidnapping of a child. John Creasy is a man tormented by his own demons from his sins of the past. He was an assassin and is most definitely a bad-ass character. When the child, Pita, played by Dakota Fanning, is kidnapped, as her bodyguard, Creasy means to make everyone pay who was involved in her abduction. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, I highly recommend it if you love tortured heroes, violence, vengeance, and adoration between a child and her bodyguard.

What is your most treasured possession?

Without the slightest inkling of a doubt, my family.
If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be?

This is a great question and an easy one for me to answer. Since my favorite book of all time is To Kill A Mockingbird, I would like to be Scout. All of the characters in this novel were well developed and grew in strength and integrity by the end of the book. But Scout was the anchor of all the characters. I would label her as an ‘old soul’. She was wise beyond her years, yet without even realizing it, revealed the prejudice and hatred the town folk held against the black community in the town. Scout was curious like a cat, always asking questions to learn more. She was kind to everyone and looked beyond their disabilities or shortcomings. Not only with the African Americans but with Boo Radley, who obviously suffered with mental disabilities. Scout was just the perfect narrator for this wonderful novel and through her personality brought out all the good and bad of all the other characters. 

Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

Other than To Kill A Mockingbird, I read a booked called The Windflower by Laura London (actually a husband a wife team by the name of Sharon and Tom Curtis). This is a pirate novel where an innocent young woman finds herself kidnapped and held on among some pretty rough seafarers. There is a lot of humor in this story, and some great twists at the end. No one is who you think they are, but you find out their true identities at the time. The writing was clever and very descriptive, although I suppose some would say filled with purple prose. I happened to like the details and think the fit a book set on the high-seas very well. I laugh over the heroine’s antics and naivete every time I read The Windflower. If you like historical romance with out-of-the-box characters and adventure on the high seas, you’ll like this book.

What is your favorite journey?

I haven’t taken it yet. Lord, please give me enough time on earth to visit every state in this great country and do it by RV – a plush, luxurious RV. That’s quite a goal, isn’t it?

What is your favorite quotation?

“Do Not Be Afraid.”
This appears in the Bible 365 times. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. It’s a daily reminder from God to live every day of your life being fearless.

Dogs or Cats?

I cannot choose. I love all animals the same. Even the little spider. For some strange reason, I have it in my head that every living creature has a soul. My furry companion, Emma LaPounce, has been with me for ten years now. She’s getting old (like me). When I rescued her from the shelter, she didn’t like me much. She didn’t like any human much after her family moved out of town, took their furniture and left her behind. I’d visit her once a week, and she pretty much turned her nose up at me, or drooled all over me and shed hair like crazy. The vet said this was because she was so stressed out about being left. I had a little talk with Emma. I said, “You’re coming home with me. I promise to take very good care of you and I’ll never desert you.” We’ve been bonded at the hip every since and she’s brought a lot of joy into my life. I’d like to think I’ve brought a lot of love and security into hers.

What do you most value in a friend?

Loyalty, Truth and Staying power.

Which book that you’ve written is your favorite?

Where the Rain Is Made because I have a personal connection to that book with my youngest son. When he was 12, he was obsessed with the Native American way of life. We spent hours and hours in the library studying the different tribes, mostly the Cheyenne dog soldiers. Of course, I took notes, thinking he’d want them one day. By the time his fascination ebbed some, I had an entire notebook filled with the customs, beliefs and mythology of the dog soldiers. My son moved on to another fascination, the Italian mafia, I think. I moved on with my notebook and decided to write a story about a time wanderer who traveled back in time to help his beloved People, the Cheyenne. Where the Rain Is Made was nominated for a Bookie Award by Authors After Dark and has received many accolades. Update on my son. Now going for his Master’s Degree in Washington, D.C. and guess what he’s going to be? A college history professor, of course. Guess all those hours in the library paid off.  

What are your writing quirks?

Just a few quick ones:
Too many adverbs – those pesky “ly’ words in a book.
He nodded his head. She shrugged her shoulders.
What else would he nod? What else would she shrug. Yet we see this all the time in books.

What do you do as a hobby?

Visit and support my local animal shelter weekly. Garden – I love flowers, flowers and more flowers! Read when I have time, mostly thrillers and suspense, and dabble in genealogy. Although I don’t have much time for tracing the family trees these days. I’m too busy writing. 

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

My latest story in an anthology to be released in September is called I Spy A Demon. I’m fascinated by the many different types of demons that exist in the world (whether fictional or real). I never knew there were so many until I started reading about them. I also love books about good vs. evil, light vs. dark. What could be more appropriate when we’re talking about those themes, Lucifer and his demons good vs. evil?

I think there’s a lot of readers out there who share my interest in the workings of the devil, the machinations of demons and good vs. evil (think demon hunters). At least I hope there are.
What would your friends say is your best quality?

Oh, boy….this one is tough, but I suppose they would say I’m loyal, have staying power and I’m truthful – the same things I look for in a friend. They might say that sometimes I’m too truthful. What they really mean is blunt. I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings on purpose, but I suppose if you tell it like you see it (which might not always be right) you run the risk of hurting someone’s feelings. I hope I don’t do that. k.

Tell us about your other books?

Thank you for asking. I always love to share my books with others. I write in several genres (can’t seem to find one that can pin me down). I write paranormal (usually with a ghost or two), western romance, some contemporary romance (here I venture into suspense/thriller) and historical erotic romance. I love history, especially American history of the Wild West and around the time of the Civil War. But I also like writing about small towns and second-chance, modern love stories.

I’d love for you to visit my Amazon page and find a genre that interests you:

Finally, what are we likely to find in YOUR nightstand?

An eclectic assortment of books. Right now, you’d find:
Orphan Moon, a young girl and a Texas Ranger
The Kind Worth Killing, a Thriller
The Bone Garden, Tess Gerritssen

Thank you so much for taking the time to ask me such intriguing questions. This was fun!
Keta Diablo

Keta Diablo lives in the Midwest part of the United States on six acres of gorgeous woodland. When she isn't writing or gardening she loves to commune with nature. A pair of barn owls returns to the property every year to birth their young and show them off in the high branches of the oak trees. Nothing more adorable than these white fluffy babies with heart-shaped faces. A lifelong animal lover, Keta devotes her time and support to the local animal shelter. Emma LaPounce, a rescued feline, has been her furry companion for the last ten years. 

Keta is an award-winning and bestselling author who writes in several genres: Western Romance, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance and Contemporary Romance. In a past life, she wrote Gay Romance. Her books have received numerous accolades, including RWA contest finalist, Authors After Dark finalist, Top Pick of the Month and Recommended Review from top review sites, and Best Romance Finalist from The Independent Author Network.  

Ps: For some strange reason, ghosts often show up in her stories, no matter the genre.

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