Playing with Smokeless Fire

Playing with Smokeless Fire

by Barbara Pietron
Playing with Smokeless Fire

Playing with Smokeless Fire

by Barbara Pietron


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Desperate to restore her spiritual ability, Jeni makes a deal at the crossroads that could be the last thing she ever does.

What’s left after trying everything humanly possible?

Things that are inhumanly possible.

This is Jeni’s mindset when she arrives in Memphis, Tennessee. In the soulful backdrop filled with the ever-present echo of blues guitars, desperation leads Jeni to the crossroads, where she summons a demon to mend her defunct spiritual ability. Although her side of the bargain doesn't require her soul, the price is steep, pushing her ethical limits. But it's more than her own life Jeni is hoping to save; her family is in the crosshairs of her foe, so she makes the deal. When the bargain goes sideways, revealing the indomitable nature of the force she is up against, Jeni finds herself in a predicament where strength is useless. Only wisdom and sheer cleverness will allow her to live to fight another day.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781940368146
Publisher: Scribe Publishing Company
Publication date: 11/08/2022
Series: Legacy in Legend , #4
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile: 890L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Barbara Pietron is author of the Legacy in Legend series, Heart of Ice (series prequel), and stand-alone novel, Soulshifter. Thunderstone, Pietron’s debut novel and first in the Legacy in Legend series, was a Foreword Reviews Indiefab’s 2013 Book of the Year Finalist and a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. She has been a contributing writer for AAA Living and Family Fun. After years in the corporate world, Pietron now pursues her passion for books and the written word, balancing her time between writing and working in a library. She lives in Michigan with her husband and sassy cat. Find out more at

Read an Excerpt

Playing with Smokeless Fire
Legacy in Legend Book Four
Her raspy breath had nothing to do with exertion as she approached the trailhead, and Jeni tried to swallow her trepidation. She’d entered the woods at night under more dire circumstances than this, she tried to tell herself. But that didn’t make the shadows gathering among the trees any less alarming. The darkness, however, kept to the trees, leaving the path easy to follow.

Within minutes, she’d reached the junction of trails. Leaning her walking stick against a tree, Jeni withdrew her trusty pocketknife and fumbled with it for a moment as she worked to extend the blade. Ignoring the uncomfortable pounding in her chest, she drew a large five-pointed star in the dirt of the intersection. Then she drew a circle around the star.

In the center of the star, she repeatedly stabbed the dirt and pushed it aside, forming a shallow hole for the zip bag containing the dirt, bone and photo. Once it was covered, Jeni quickly exited the circle. Then she placed a pinch of the remaining graveyard dirt at each point of the star. She’d only found one source online that talked about this, but she’d grabbed a good handful of the soil at the cemetery and figured she might as well use it.

Her tasks completed, Jeni stepped back, both hands gripping her walking stick planted on the ground in front of her, and wondered how long it would take for something to show up. In TV shows, the demon always appeared instantly, but that was hardly a guideline since watching someone wait around wasn’t a good way to keep viewers from changing the channel.

Darkness crept onto the trail from between the trees as the shadows in the forest solidified. The marks she’d made in the dirt became hard to discern, yet Jeni resisted the urge to turn on the flashlight, knowing it would make her blind to her surroundings. Her eyes shifted, peering into the woods on either side of her, ears straining to detect any sound.
It was definitely no longer light, yet not quite dark, between day and night. If something was going to happen, it should happen soon.

She shuffled her feet. Her time was limited. Permission to take a walk as the sun was setting had required a promise to stay on the road and to be back before dark. Because the summoning had to take place at dusk, Jeni knew it would already be dark by the time she returned, so her plan was to send a text that she was on her way before her mom sent out a search party.

Five more minutes and she was out of here. Realizing her fingers, arms and shoulders were held rigid with tension, Jeni released her grip to flex her hands one at a time and then forced her shoulders to drop. She drew in a deep breath—

A man stood in front of her. “Well, hello there.”

Jeni took a step backwards. Not because he looked menacing—he didn’t—but because he was there when he hadn’t been a second ago.

In the fading light, he looked to be no more than ten years older than her. Broad shoulders filled out his tall, lean frame and his thick dark hair was combed smoothly away from his face. He wore jeans, rugged shoes with treads and a Henley-style shirt that hugged his torso. Long eyelashes shaded dark eyes.

Jeni swallowed, her mouth dry. She’d rehearsed this, yet not one word of her imagined conversations came to mind. It was speech class all over again, having eyes staring at her expectantly while her mind was blank.

Perhaps reading her consternation, he spoke instead. “I am Sarab. And you are?”

“J-Jeni.” It was barely more than a whisper.

“I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Jeni.” His voice was silky smooth and when he smiled, his narrow jawline created dimples that further derailed Jeni’s train of thought. His form stuttered for a moment, almost winking out, but more disturbing was the realization that he had reptilian eyes with thin, elliptical pupils.

“Are you a demon?” The question slipped out unexpectedly and Jeni immediately wished she could take it back. She sounded positively naive.

He crossed his arms over his chest. “The passage of time has given me many labels and many names. Demon has never been one of my favorites. Now, why don’t you tell me why I’m here.”

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