"Second Door to the Right"
by Nikki Hyson
What would a villain sacrifice to earn his redemption and a happy ever after?
James Crawford, once called Captain Hook, pauses in the London damp, a death warrant heavy in his pocket. Another life to take. The thirty-first since The Guild ripped him from his pages three years ago, promising a life after the crocodile if he obeyed. So easy at first. They only asked him to do what was written into his DNA. But the pointless deaths are beginning to weigh, the secret desire to be more than a pirate turning ink to blood. Yet crossing The Guild means his book will burn, his very existence scattered across the ashes. There is no way out.
Except. The whispered myth of a writer who might have the power to set his paper soul free. It’s a fool’s prayer. One he dares not utter. Not until the day, turning from The Guild, he takes a step and collides into Lily Westfell. A writer. James feels his master, Professor Moriarty, watching the fated meeting. He knows he should walk away and save them both. But this writer: could she be the key to ultimate victory, or the beginning of his final undoing?
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About Nikki Hyson
Nikki Hyson started writing at the age of 8 when her local library ran out of horse stories and her mom suggested, “Then write one.” Since then she’s dabbled in nearly every genre, but a childhood raised reading Narnia and watching The Princess Bride at every opportunity has led her to fantastical realms. (Willow, Ladyhawke, Labyrinth, and all the Roald Dahl books only added fuel to the fire).
After spending her teens hopscotching around the country, she settled in Alaska and found it suited her. When she isn’t weaving spells with her words, she can be found snuggling with one of her senior-aged Labradors, walking in the woods, cooking for friends, or lost in a good book. She believes chocolate was invented by wizards, a good cup of Matcha can cure anything, and every maiden is just waiting to rescue the fair prince in distress. If only he’d stop to ask for directions.