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The Nearer The Dawn

One moment can change everything … Darkness is near.
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Author: J.P. Barry

We all wear masks of secrecy. Some are small and insignificant while others are dark and forbidden. We wear them to mislead and deceive. It is, after all, easier to live a lie than to expose ourselves to the world. Exposure would leave us vulnerable. Yet, the truth could set us free; we hope. The moment we truly abandon all forgeries and remove our veil is the only time we can fully accept our true identity.

For Nina Luther living a lie is life in its purest form. As a child, Nina knew she and her entire family were different. The mortals who surround her, fear the unknowingness of what they will become. Nina has no such fear. She is all too aware that her time here on Earth will be plagued by her heavenly gift to help others; she despises this. All Nina desires is to be an average high school senior, but cannot hide from her divine destiny.

While adapting to her family’s recent move to Savannah, Georgia, Nina falls hard for Chase James, a mysterious loner with a dark and demonic secret of his own.                            

In this world there are saints and sinners. The difference between the two: every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. Who will be the last one standing? Will the demonic uprising on Earth mean the end for the mortal angel Nina? Or will she live to die another day?

Title The Nearer The Dawn: Book 1
Author J.P. Barry
Series The Nearer The Dawn Saga
Genre New Adult Paranormal Romance
Release May 10, 2016
Designer SuzieDesigns
Length 280 pages
ISBN 978-1-77127-803-4
Tags Angels, Demons, God, Heaven, Hell, Mortal Angels, Mortal Demons, Lost Souls, the Devil

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The Darkness Begins

Earth was an ever-changing and evolving space. Michael couldn’t help marveling at the beauty around him. Mortals could take even the most depressing of spaces, such as the old cemetery he was currently sitting in, and turn it into a tranquil wonder. Though, it had been many centuries since he’d wandered among the living, he privately enjoyed sharing in the experience.

Placing the final pieces on the stone chess board, he waited patiently for his old friend to arrive. Michael had carefully chosen this location as their meeting place. He knew if he suggested a space anywhere other than Earth, tension would be present. This was a common ground, a strategic place where both men would feel equal, and, if anything, Michael was a strategic thinker. A powerful gust of wind cutting through the otherwise calm, clear day, alerted Michael to Vincent’s arrival.

“Michael,” Vincent spoke, taking the seat opposite. Reaching for his black pawn, he moved the piece forward.

“Vincent,” Michael acknowledged, not looking up, but rather at the board trying to anticipate Vincent’s next move.

“How is the beautiful Hadreniel and your sons?” he asked, casually pushing Michael’s knight off the board.

“They are all well. Thank you. Congratulations on taking a mate yourself,” he answered, shoving Vincent’s queen aside, causing the piece to shatter on the ground.

Vincent chuckled lightly. “It’s been far too long since we last spoke. We have been mated for many decades now, but never-the-less, thank you.” Gracefully, he bent down neatly scooping the damaged queen into the palm of his hand, placing her remains on the table before skillfully overtaking Michael’s bishop.

“Have you considered children yet?”

“Me? Children? Surely, you’re not being serious, Michael.”

“As a mortal, you always wished for a large family. I assumed you’d want the same now.” His eyes scanned the board.

Though many pieces hadn’t moved, much damage had occurred. This game between the two always seemed to resemble reality. Few moves were necessary to destroy the ones around them. Michael focused his mind on winning. Yes, winning was what he needed to show Vincent he was stronger, or maybe it wasn’t. Perhaps luring Vincent into a position of power by losing would give Michael the upper hand.

“I’m no longer mortal and things have changed. Besides, family doesn’t interest me. A long time ago it did, but, after watching you all these years, it’s lost its luster. You, on the other hand, are a good mate and father to your sons. Being a family man suits you well.”

“You’re too kind,” Michael replied, saddened this aspect of their relationship couldn’t always exist.

“Rook to E-Seven. Checkmate.” His tone was vapid as he gently turned the white king on its side in a submissive stance.

Vincent’s actions appeared to cause him mild distress, but Michael knew otherwise. This man took great pleasure in defeating him. Little did he know, Michael allowed him to overtake him this time. Relinquishing power was a bold, but useful move.

“Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, what do you need, Michael?”

“What makes you think I need something?” Michael asked, casually resetting the board.

Softly, Vincent reached across the table placing his hand on top of Michael’s. “Of all the locations on Earth to select, you chose this particular one when there’re many other environments we could’ve blended into and conversed in the same fashion. It’s been a long time since we last spoke, and I know you well. Something is deeply troubling you. Chess has always been your go-to game when you need to sort things out. Michael, talk to me. Are you okay?” He appeared genuinely concerned.

“I’m fine, Vincent.”

Pulling Michael closer, Vincent began to speak almost inaudibly. “If something is happening with you, please tell me. Whatever it is will remain between us. The Devil never has to know. Forget about who and what we are, for a moment. See past the fact we’re supposed to be enemies and remember who we once were as mortals and the bond we shared.”

“Thank you, but all is well.”

“Then what is it?”

“It’s come to my attention your presence on Earth has been increasing. Please leave the Lost Souls alone. That’s all.”

“No. I’m sorry.”

“You cannot do this. Please listen to reason,” Michael implored.

“Oh, my dear old friend, yes I can, and your reasons mean nothing. Only the Devil’s matter,” Vincent replied.

“We have an agreement.”

We do not have anything, Michael. The Devil and God have an arrangement, if you could even consider it that.”

“Your ruler is using you as a pawn in his sick game. Why can’t you see that?”

The once calm and friendly atmosphere between the two men evaporated.

Their true, immortal selves were now present, erasing any trace of mortal which rested beneath their cores. A rough wind picked up causing the remaining chess pieces to fall, rolling off the board and smash on the pristine cobblestones. Dark, ominous clouds formed, rapidly covering the bright sun.

“Even in death you’re still a hopeless optimist searching for the good in every being. Haven’t you learned your lesson yet?”

Michael sighed heavily. “Sadly no, but, you do realize, this means war and you will not win this time.”

“Just because your son has taken out several key members of my brigade and is the crown jewel in your little army, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a victory. His luck is bound to run out and I will make damn sure I’ll be there when it does.”

“Leave my son out of this,” Michael shouted as large, angry rain fell.

“Strike a nerve?” Vincent jabbed, casually moving a few feet to his left, taking shelter under a nearby oak tree.


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