The Coursodon Dimension
A Paranormal Romance - Urban Fantasy Series by M.L. Ryan
Things that go bump in the night...things that go hump in the night...
After having her body inhabited by an arrogant womanizer from another dimension, Hailey Parrish had to adjust to the supernatural powers he left behind. If occasional temper-induced destructiveness and the ability to change into a hawk weren’t problematic enough, she saved the parallel dimension of Coursodon from a megalomaniac from an unknown third dimension by transforming into an oversized, flame-spewing, winged beast.
Was her transformation into Birdzilla a one-time fluke, or will her hometown have its own version of the Loch Ness Monster?
"I love this series. M.L. Ryan pulls you in and doesn't let you go. Although she made me smile with the first three books in this series, this one I laughed out loud as well. What a wonderful storyteller. I can't wait for the next one!"
"As an avid reader in many genres, I am compelled to say that Ryan's characters are complete, her plot lines are believable and the resolution of each conflict causes the reader to cheer for the heroes.
I am anxiously awaiting book five, six, and beyond!"
In the film Out of Africa, Meryl Streep’s character mused, “God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road,” right before she found out her husband gave her syphilis. As it turned out, Rachel’s disgust with all things Hailey ended up being the proverbial calm before the storm. I wasn’t diagnosed with an STD, but in retrospect, that would have been easier to deal with than the five people who emerged from the desert.
They were dressed alike, in beige, long-sleeved tunics and matching loose-fitting trousers, and advanced as one in a straight line. Nothing about them seemed particularly dangerous; no one ran forward shouting or wielding weapons. In fact, their expressions conveyed no malice at all. More like awe. Regardless of their beatific smiles, my life with the Xyzok taught me uninvited visitors were seldom a good thing, particularly when they didn’t even use the front door.
As they forged ahead, the rest of my animal posse took off, except for the hawks. They stayed put on a large, horizontal branch of a mesquite tree. I didn’t wait to find out who the strangers were or what they wanted. Instead, I did what any intelligent person does when faced with this kind of situation.
I screamed my ass off.
Thankfully, Alex, Sebastian, and a snarling Ulut responded almost instantaneously. They positioned themselves between the advancing horde and me, and Alex ordered them to stop, which they did, but their furrowed brows indicated the directive left them puzzled. He repeated the command in Courso, which caused them to nod and lift their hands in what was the universal, and, apparently, inter-dimensional sign for, “Hey, we mean no harm.”
Now that they halted and I wasn’t scared shitless, I peeked around Sebastian to get a better look. There were three men and two women, and all appeared to be around thirty, which meant they were actually somewhere between one hundred and two hundred years old. Around their necks, they each sported a large, round medallion with feathers hanging off the bottom. Aside from the questionable matching Gypsy-meets-Woodstock wardrobe choice, they looked like people I might hang out with. Normal. Possibly nerdy. I started feeling embarrassed about shrieking like a banshee and told Ulut to take his toothy aggression down a notch.
Sebastian began firing questions at the group, barely giving anyone a chance to answer. The taller of the women took on the role of spokes-trespasser and did her best to explain what they wanted. At any rate, that was what I thought. My command of the Courso language was still rather rudimentary, and everyone was speaking too quickly to make much sense out of the conversation.
Once there was a lull in the interrogation, still behind Alex, I whispered, “Who the hell are they?”
“Well, my dear,” Sebastian smirked, “once again, your life takes a curious turn. They call themselves, ‘Jyryxahal’.”
Mentally, I ran through the smattering of Courso words I knew, and that wasn’t one of them. The first part seemed familiar, though. “Doesn’t jyryx mean ‘follow’?”
Alex nodded, but he didn’t turn around. “You are learning quickly, carisa. In this case, the translation is closer to ‘follower’ however.
“So who are they following?” I asked.
Blinking, I sputtered, “Me?” Kyzal’s warning flashed through my mind, and I realized Alex hadn’t taken his eyes off the strangers. Suddenly, they didn’t seem quite so benign. I maneuvered in front of Alex so I could better gauge his demeanor, face to face. “Are they stalkers?”
Sebastian placed his hand on my shoulder. “Not exactly. When Alexander said they are following you, he did not mean physically, although given their unannounced appearance on my property, I suppose that is not out of the realm of possibility. What he meant, my dear, is they have begun a new religion, with you as their deity.”
“This is no time for joking,” I complained, swiping his palm away. “Stop screwing around and tell me why they are really here.”
“I am not being facetious. Any indication of mirth I may convey is a consequence of the absurdity of the situation. They believe you are divine.”
“Yeah, and monkeys are going to come flying out of my ass. I’m not in the mood for this.”
I glanced at Alex, expecting him to chastise Sebastian for his poor excuse for humor. Instead, he sighed and said, “Unfortunately, it’s true.”
I didn’t know quite how to process that information. Sure, I’d had a lot of odd shit happen in my life. I shared my body with a guy from another dimension, but this was way more off the wall. Like, orders of magnitude weirder.
“I thought the Courso were anti-religion,” I said finally.
“Well,” Alex began, “no one is against it, per se. Most prefer to explain the universe based on rational evidence, reliably applied. Our cultures are not as rooted in theology as those in the human dimension.” He looked away from the Jyryxahal and showed me one of his glorious smiles. “But you have inspired them.”
“Monkeys. Flying. Butt,” I scoffed.
“No, really. After Keem’s manipulation of the weather and geology, some people had a difficult time reconciling that kind of power. To help themselves understand what seemed incomprehensible, they turned to more spiritual explanations.”
“Alexander is correct,” Sebastian acknowledged. “There has been a recent upswing of religiosity throughout Coursodon.”
“You’d think they’d worship the all-powerful Keem.”
Alex shrugged. “Some may. But these folks are enamored by the form-bending woman who defeated him.”
I leaned into Alex and said under my breath, “I thought the whole Birdzilla thing wasn’t common knowledge.”
“I’m sure they are only aware of your ability to change into a hawk,” he whispered back. “That is why they wear the feathers—to honor your transformation.”
This was ridiculous. “Don’t they have anything better to do?”
Sebastian regarded my flock, who were now gazing at me with wide-eyed wonder. “Apparently not. On the bright side, I do not sense any subterfuge. They say they have no desire to harm you; they simply want to bask in the divineness that is Hailey.” As he said the last part, he dropped to one knee.
“This is bad enough without you making fun of me,” I protested. “Can’t you two make them go away?”
Alex relayed my request, hopefully with a good deal less hostility than I would have. I was confused, uncomfortable, and I wanted them gone, but I didn’t want to be mean. He must have opted for a more polite version, because their mouthpiece continued to smile as she responded.
“They are willing to leave and not return but ask if you might give them a blessing,” he translated with a grin.
“Tell them I don’t believe in religion, and they couldn’t have picked anyone less worship-worthy if they tried.” I tilted my head skyward and lamented, “This is so completely fucked up.”
My disciples gleefully began to chant, “Fucked up,” misconstruing my exasperation for a benediction, and Sebastian made no attempt to disguise his amusement. In fact, he doubled over and guffawed with such gusto, I thought he might pass out from lack of oxygen. Alex had the good sense to cover his mouth and pretend he wasn’t laughing. I knew the truth, but I appreciated the effort. Ulut was the only one who maintained a vigilant pose—back ramrod straight and head lowered—but really, all I could see was the overhead view. From that angle, he could have been laughing his ass off and I’d be none the wiser.
Before any of us had a chance to clear up the misunderstanding, the Jyryxahal turned and skipped back into the desert. We could still hear “fucked up” repeated again and again, long after they were no longer in sight.
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As soon as Hailey Parrish discovered her husband was cheating with her co-worker, she swore off men. She had to find another job when her boss went to prison for being a pimp in his spare time. Three years later,Hailey still hadn’t gone on a date and she milks chinchilla for a living.
Her life is about to get weirder.
While in pursuit of inter-dimensional miscreants who use their arcane powers to prey upon humans, Sebastian Kess was ambushed and mortally wounded. To save his life, he used his own magic to convert his soul to binary code and transfer it into Hailey’s soon-to-be shipped Kindle eBook reader. When Hailey inadvertently releases him and he inhabits her body, she finally has a man inside her, just not in the way she imagined.
Hailey must come to grips with the existence of the parallel dimension of Coursodon and the realization that magically inclined non-humans walk the world all while dealing with Sebastian’s arrogant banter in her head. Her predicament also introduces her to another supernatural, the handsome could-be-the-man-of-her-dreams Alex Sunderland.
The action moves from Hailey’s hometown of Tucson, Arizona to New England and across Europe as she and Alex try to return Sebastian to his own body while staying one step ahead of the criminals who want to keep him where he is.
Special Offers, the first book of the Coursodon Dimension Series, combines paranormal romance, urban fantasy, a bit of science fiction and a healthy dose of quirky humor.
Special Offers is now FREE!
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Cover design by Linda Boulanger and M.L. Ryan
As I lay in the darkness, it occurred to me that I must be the most boring single 30 year-old ever. I didn’t go out much, I ate crappy food. I couldn’t even remember the score of the games I just watched.
This was not how I had imagined myself at this point in my life. Had my marriage not crashed and burned, we probably would have a baby by now. Yeah, and I would still be married to an asstard. He probably would have spawned asstardlets. I just wanted to feel like my life was going somewhere, like I was accomplishing something. I rolled over on my side and vowed to try to get myself together and move forward.
When I finally fell asleep, I dreamt I went on my first post-divorce date. The guy took me to a fancy restaurant, ordered lots of food and expensive wine and then ditched me for the voluptuous hostess. I was presented with the check but lacked any means of paying it. After negotiating a payment plan with the restaurant owner, which involved allowing him to indulge his foot fetish with my pinkie toes and some flavored whipped cream, I left the place and got into my car, which was really weird, because my date drove.
There in the parking lot were dine-and-dash and the hostess, groping each other with utter abandon. I revved up the engine, threw the car into drive and peeled out towards them. The headlights illuminated their stunned faces as I spun the car sharply, rolled down the window and chucked a lit Molotov cocktail - made from the empty wine bottle from dinner - at them and sped off humming the theme to “The Lion King.”
I woke up thinking I must be making progress. Usually in my dreams I ran them over after I set them on fire.
What would you do if you discovered there was a parallel dimension?
Hailey Parrish used to be an average, everyday human. Boring, in fact. After being possessed by Sebastian Kess, a magically-inclined enforcer from the parallel dimension Coursodon, her life took a decidedly less mundane turn. Besides coming to grips with the existence of supernatural beings, she risked her life helping Sebastian and her heart falling for his protégé, Alex Sunderland. Now, Hailey has to deal with the bit of arcane power that Sebastian left behind when he returned to his own body and try to stay out of the crossfire when an unknown assailant seeks revenge against Alex.
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The harsh voice taunted me from above. I lay flat on my back on the desert floor, rocks digging into my flesh, and forced myself to look up into the cold, grey eyes of my tormenter. There was nothing there, no normal human feelings, only indifference. My legs, one of which had twisted awkwardly underneath me when I collapsed, seemed oddly disconnected as if no longer a part of my body. The pain that pulsed through the rest of me was agonizing; so much so, I wasn't certain what little I had eaten would remain in my stomach. Serve the bastard right if I puked all over his fancy, Italian leather shoes. Sweat poured down my face, forming wet rivulets through the salty, crusted residue that dried from the many hours of agony already endured. I tried to lick my lips, but my tongue was like sandpaper across my parched mouth. I needed water badly. I was sure I wouldn’t be getting any.
Having long since shifted from wondering if death was near, to hoping it was, I used my last bit of energy to sputter, “Just kill me now and get it over with, you son of a bitch.” I was so tired, so utterly defeated. I just wanted the torture to end.
He grinned. It was pure evil. He must have enjoyed my anguish, because for the first time today his smile engaged his entire face and not just his lips. The bastard poked me with his foot and repeated his earlier command.
The weirdness continues….
Thanks to a magical transplant from an inter-dimensional enforcer, Hailey Parrish can transform into a hawk. When someone begins dismembering hikers along the Appalachian Trail, the enforcers make use of her feathery talents to try to catch the killer. Unfortunately, like most things in Hailey’s life, there is nothing ordinary about the assignment. Their target turns out to be maddeningly elusive, they rescue a stray dog that makes a sewage treatment plant seem pleasantly fragrant, and stopping the murders turns out to be the least of their worries.
Special Attraction, the third book in the Coursodon Dimension series, combines paranormal romance, urban fantasy, a bit of science fiction and a healthy dose of quirky humor.
Buy Special Attraction now!
I tore into the steak. Aiden knew exactly how I liked it—heated to around ninety-nine degrees Fahrenheit to mimic a fresh kill. When I was human, the whole eating-something-I’d-just-killed thing kind of disgusted me. I was pretty sure that if there was such a thing as reincarnation, my next fifty or so lives would be lived out as small, furry creatures eaten by ravenous predators to atone for my current habits. In a perhaps vain attempt to circumvent my fate, I rarely ate meat when I wasn’t feathery.
When I had consumed every last morsel, I took a brief detour back into the woods. Being the modest type, I preferred to shift back to human form somewhere private. Not that I cared if anyone witnessed the transformation; in fact, the nearly instantaneous process was devoid of major unpleasantness. I did end up naked, and I wasn’t comfortable with anyone other than Alex getting an eyeful. While the tiny bathroom in the back of the MCP provided privacy, I learned from experience that it’s best to relieve oneself outside while still in bird form. The first time I changed back in the MCP without preemptive excretion, it took two days and a whole lot of magic to restore the lavatory to usable order.
My alimentary cleanse complete, I hopped onto Alex’s shoulder, and we headed into the MCP. Aiden, who was holding the door to the bathroom open, winked and said, “Your chamber awaits, m’lady,” before bowing.
Ignoring his teasing, I flitted onto the ridiculously small, metal commode. The functional, but airplane-sized, booth had a sink, shower, and toilet. Actually, the whole room became the shower, and you had to sit on the closed toilet seat while bathing. The efficient design had a dual purpose of providing the entire space with a good wash down during every shower, an added benefit that should not be disparaged when sharing close quarters with a bunch of men.
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Book Reviews, Caffeine and Craziness
When Alex Met Hailey.
Scenes from Special Offers from Alex's POV.