Excerpt: Civil Twilight (Project Exorcism) by Mandy M Roth

Civil Twilight

Futuristic Sci-Fi Shapeshifter Vampire Paranormal Romance

Linked to the following Project Exorcism Books: Paranormal Payload, Force of Attraction, and Point of No Return

Stegian is a man held prisoner in his own body by a demon. A demon hell bent on ridding the planet of all Janelles. He rules by fear and he rules well. But, when a mysterious, gorgeous woman arrives late one night, tempting him, claiming to want to save him from himself, everything changes. He longs for her and wants to believe her words are true—that she can separate him from the vampire he carries within. Dare he hope? Dare he believe?

Jacquelyn Janelle is no longer held to the same rules that apply to her people. She’s ascended and gained valuable insight into the universe and its plans for one thought lost to evil. More than that, she’s fully aware who he is to her—her true mate. She’ll stop at nothing to assure she saves him, even if it’s from himself.

Warning: This novella contains explicit sex and violence. It is a story about redemption against all hope and about how love can transcend time and space. Plus, it has hot sex scenes for those unconcerned with the frilly stuff.


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Civil Twilight

Mandy M. Roth

Author’s Series Note

Each book in the Project Exorcism series is written to stand alone; however, I do recommend reading them in order to maximize reading pleasure. To aid any who have not, as of yet, read the other books, or any who are simply looking for a refresher, I thought this introduction might help.

Series background: Twenty-third century—Man has long since achieved space travel. Almost all planets in the known universe are part of the Commission, an intergalactic governing body that oversees the well-being of all within its quadrants.

Supernatural creatures were discovered among us in the twenty-first century and witchhunts quickly began to rid Earth of them. A battle broke out and Earth’s human population dropped. In the end, humans were victorious, but only because a few select figureheads in the supernatural world agreed to the terms of a peace treaty. The terms were simple. The supernaturals were to be escorted off planet Earth and relocated on other planets, ones that were not part of the Commission’s territory. Ones that were agreed upon ahead of time, and ones on which the supernaturals would not be a threat.

Thus began Project Exorcism. Five vessels set out on this mission. Only one arrived at its chosen destination. The others were thought lost during the meteoroid shower that occurred shortly after takeoff. Man now faces a new threat, only they are unaware of it. By shipping the supernaturals off, they unknowingly gave them access to other planets’ resources, including added magikal abilities, the ability to breed with their inhabitants, and so very much more.


Nearing planet Sargaidia, onboard one of the Project Exorcism vessels, year 2056…

Vessel sirens continued to blare, announcing what Stegian already knew, the ship was in trouble. It had gotten swept into what he could assume were stellar remains. The ship had been plagued with issues since its launch. Stegian knew why. Those who had forced his kind from Earth cared little about their safety, only that they left the planet. The brains behind Project Exorcism had thought as far as getting supernaturals off the planet and out of the range of Earth. They’d sworn in negotiations that the planets they’d sought out were safe havens and new starts for the supernaturals. It, like everything else, had been lies. He was sure of it. He’d been a fool to believe them—to think mankind had an ounce of decency left in it.

Now, countless light years from home, their ship was damaged because of stellar remains. The pilot of the vessel swore the anomaly was rare and not showing on his instrument panel. Stegian believed the young vampire. He had nothing to gain by lying. He was as trapped on the ship as the rest of them were. Problem was the young vampire wasn’t as trained as he should have been. None of the supposed pilots were. They’d been put through a crash course on the matter prior to their departure. As had all members of the crew.

Stegian scanned the panels, doing his best to assess the damage to the ship. Two of the port side thrusters were completely gone and failing to respond in any way. Already the ship had begun to list to one side, something it should never do—that much he was sure of. It wasn’t like space travel was totally foreign to him. He, like any other well-to-do resident of Earth, had visited other planets for vacation—though he was careful to select ones that didn’t have much in the way of sunlight. Being a vampire left him unable to wake in the sun’s rays. He missed it but couldn’t dwell, not when the ship he was onboard was in such dire jeopardy.

Varying people on board moved quickly from location to location, none seeming to know what to do. Pandemonium broke out. Several of the banshees onboard continued to wail, as if everyone around them wasn’t smart enough to figure out people were going to die. They didn’t need a supernatural alarm stating the obvious. A shifter spun quickly, knocking one of the banshees out cold. Stegian wasn’t big on violence but even he’d wanted to silence her.

People rushed around like mad as the ship pitched hard to the right and then shook violently. He had to reach out to steady himself or he too would have fallen, like so many others had. Sirens blared and alert lights beeped. The computer continued to read out different, yet equally as depressing outcomes.

“We’re gonna die,” one of the men yelled.

Another snorted. “We’ve been as good as dead since the day they loaded us onto this ship like cattle,” another returned.

Stegian staggered towards the control panels. The young vampire pilot was hurt and currently having his wounds tended to. While he would eventually heal, there was no fresh blood at the ready so the medical staff needed to try to stop the rapid rate of his blood loss. A fill-in pilot, one with limited training, was doing his best to gain control of the ship. It wasn’t working.

“Life support systems are down,” Stegian said, remaining calm in the face of certain death.

“I can try to land it,” Yunoc, the young male shifter who was doing his best to pilot the vessel, said. “At our excepted rate of entry and with the velocity we are traveling at, there is a good chance we could burn up in the atmosphere.”

“Do your best,” said Stegian, bracing himself in the co-pilot chair. A planet came into view and Yunoc focused on aiming the craft in that direction. “No promises.”

A natural leader, Stegian was often who the people aboard the spaceship turned to. He’d been instrumental in negotiations with the humans on Earth and had done his best to prevent anymore loss of lives due to ignorance and fear of supernaturals. “Try to land us.”

He sucked in a hasty breath and prepared for rapid decent. It came with a vengeance. He was thrown free of the pilot area and slammed face first into a wall. Pain exploded throughout him, and he was fairly certain he’d broken multiple bones, and they hadn’t even impacted yet. It came with a shuddering, thundering thud and all around him went black for a moment.

Stegian pushed off of the unforgiving inner shell of the vessel he’d been banished to one year prior. The smell of smoke and charred remains coated the area. While he didn’t quite know the extent of injuries on the ship, his senses told him they were grave and many. As if the ship’s crew hadn’t been through enough already.

He snarled at the thought of the ignorant humans who had herded him and the other supernaturals like cattle onto the vessels, hoping to rid Earth of them for good. Their fear of what they did not understand prompted sanctions and even saw death squads coming to be. These squads had one mission, find and eliminate supernaturals. Stegian and a few select other figureheads had tried to reason with the humans. He’d tried to make them understand they did not have to live in fear of them. That supernaturals would police themselves as they had always done, but his pleas fell upon deaf ears. Soon, backlash from the death squads rippled through the supernatural community and attacks on humans began. From there, it was all downhill.

Now, one year later, but in truth, many a light year later, thanks to the courtesy of accelerated speeds and state-of-the-art highly efficient thrust-to-weight ratios, Stegian and his people were far, far from Earth and its reaches. They were, according to his calculations, far off their original course as well.

They’d encountered meteor showers shortly after departing Earth and had never quite been able to get their navigational maps back up and running to standard. No surprise. It wasn’t as if the people running the vessel were top notch. They’d been lucky to have anyone on board who could pilot the ship. Two of the vessels the supernaturals were herded upon had men who had to be trained on the spot to fly them. It wasn’t as if humans would risk or give up their valued human, qualified pilots.