Glorious Sunset by Ava Bleu

Glorious Sunset by Ava Bleu

African King Taka Olufemi has traveled over four hundred years to find the woman who holds the soul of his murdered queen and he’s a little cranky.  With a ruby brooch as his vessel, the former king is forced to grant wishes to ungrateful mortals hoping to one day find, and win, the heart of his lost love.

But it will take more than good looks, superior intelligence and an impressive pedigree to earn the love of Violet Jackson.  The ambitious interior designer doesn’t remember Taka or their history.  Love—with its inevitable heartbreak chaser—has no place in Violet’s immediate life plan.  All the handsome “genie” can do for her is pony up on the three wishes he’s promised and try not to be a pain while he’s at it.

While the arrogant king is praying for his submissive queen and the faithless object of his affection isn’t praying at all, guardian angel, Aniweto, is praying for them both.  With Ani’s help, Taka and Violet’s epic love will be rekindled and this royal couple-behaving-badly will finally earn their happily-ever-after through the grace of the Almighty.

Glorious Sunset Excerpt

1600 AD: Jaha, West Africa

The acrid smell of a burning village brought King Taka Olufemi awake, sputtering, coughing, and wincing in pain as he did so. Slowly memory returned and with it the horror. He cracked his eyelids open, his eyes immediately burning with the pebbly smoke that floated in a low-hanging cloud. Pushing himself upright from where he lay causing sharp pain to streak through his torso and the agony brought his gaze down as he sucked in his breath and jerked his hands to the source. Seeing the jagged, torn flesh of the wound in his side, the rest of his memory came and with the memory:
“Oh no. No, no, no . . .”
He forgot his pain. He fought off the sway of the world as he stood, struggling to focus and see through eyes watering with smoke and something else he didn’t dare identify. He didn’t need to see when he could smell. He was a king and warrior; battle was in his bones and death always a close companion. He smelled both here.

He looked around. Men, women, children; the massacre was complete. Beyond the hall huts and houses of his village were blackened ash. The air still burned with the stench of fire. He couldn’t understand this. In all his life he’d never seen such brutality, never known such dishonor. Still, he firmed his jaw and kept looking, turning in a wide circle until his feet staggered to a stop before his brain could even register.

His body knew how to find its heart.

He stumbled like a drunkard. When, finally, he was upon her he could only drop to his knees. Agony slammed him like lion strike in the wild. And much like a lion strike, the blow from the magnificent body was the stunner, but then the massive teeth would rip a man’s flesh from his bones as a second course. He felt the teeth ripping his beating heart from his chest and groaned with the searing pain as he admitted to the horror before him.

“Zahara.” He gathered his murdered queen in his arms and breathed into her fragrant hair, tears welling in his eyes. The wrenching that tore through him was brutal; already his body ached, keenly, from lack of her. The panic began, at that moment, threatening to strip away what was left of his sanity. With the madness came the screaming, purging to the only one who could hear him now.

“I am King Taka Olufemi!” he shouted to the universe, with all the power of his soul. “You may take my kingdom, you may take my loved ones and friends, but you may not have her! Do you hear me?”

The room crackled with audible air bubbles. The sound grew in crescendo and the hall lit with a light unseen by most people. Taka had felt this sensation many times throughout his life. It was always followed by the appearance of Aniweto. Ani was his gentle-voiced friend and confidant but he was more commonly known as his guardian angel. The legend of Taka’s easy communication with heaven had always been a blessed thing to him, but the blessings hadn’t helped him today. Knowing the power that brought Ani into his life, he knew his words went straight on high. Right or wrong, today he would use his friend to get his point to the one who had wronged him.

“I’ve given our Father my allegiance and my faith, and this is how He repays me?” he said, his voice hoarse. “My tribe, my people: all gone. And all I would have asked was that you leave one person. Just one person!” 

He fumbled for his sword, his mind automatically preparing for battle with an enemy, as if this enemy could be bested by a sword. He looked at it and realized the futility. He glared at Ani, and though his ego demanded it, his soul could not mask the pain. “I have nothing left to live for. In one afternoon you’ve taken everything from me. I’ll give you the rest to complete the package!” Quickly he moved the sword around, its tip at his own stomach, the blade slicing through the skin of his damaged hands.

“Taka!” Ani exclaimed. It was his friend’s voice but it was different today. It didn’t happen often, but occasionally his familiar guardian would change slightly. Ani’s voice would deepen in timbre and his eyes would shine with a light that told him he was visited by the Almighty through his dear Aniweto’s body. As Ani had always told him, he was merely a messenger and a vessel, a tool of the Father. But Taka sometimes forgot exactly what that meant, how close and special was his relationship and his gift to reach the Almighty so easily. Today, apparently his request was beyond Ani. Through his friend he listened to a voice felt to the depths of his soul. He knew he was not only with his guardian this day, and the Father’s next words confirmed that.

“I did not take them from you, son; evil did that. My pain is greater than you could know. But even still, even with this tragedy, you know better than to take what I have made. You are still here, Taka. All is not lost if you still have the will of a warrior.”

(  Continued...  )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Ava Bleu. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Glorious Sunset  Reviews:

“…A creative and entertaining plot reads like mythology come to life. The effect is successful due to Bleu's ability to paint colorful, vivid scenes with her writing style. All senses are caught up in her descriptions that take you out of being a passive reader to being engaged with strong but damaged characters.  While there is a big concept theme surrounding Glorious Sunset, the delivery of the story has an easygoing and relatable approach to plot, characters, and message. Great elements worthy of book club discussion.”
–Michelle Monkou, USA Today Happily Ever After Blog

“...There's a delightful touch to this romance hinting of old TV sitcoms such as I Dream of Jeannie or The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Interaction between old-fashioned Taka and lean-in career girl Violet is quite charming and carries this inspirational story that also features nifty paranormal scenes.”
–Published by permission of Library Journal

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About the Author

Ava Bleu
lives and loves in the Midwest, countering bitter winters with smooth jazz and tasty edibles. She is the author of the contemporary romantic comedy, The Diva of Peddler’s Creek, and Glorious Sunset, an edgy inspirational romance with a time-traveling king, an angel and a love for the ages. Ava can be found in bookstores and the public library camped next to the cookbooks and/or on the town keeping an eye out for hero-material.
Ava Bleu, Author of Contemporary & Edgy Inspirational Romantic Fiction
Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Love: