Veteran's Day Excerpt from Moonlight and Illusions

In honor of Veteran's Day today, I would like to share with you an excerpt from a scene in MOONLIGHT AND ILLUSIONS, my latest paranormal. The hero, STEPHEN ELLIOTT, is an immortal magician, born in the 1800s and now in the middle of WW II.

October 1944
Leyte, Philippine Islands

Someone had once said, “Be careful what you wish for.” Stephen had wanted to make himself useful in this crazy twentieth century, since it didn’t look as though he would be leaving it any time soon. Now he found himself in a living nightmare. He pulled his gun closer and checked to make sure no mud had gotten into the mechanism. His M-1 semiautomatic was an amazing piece of technology, far more advanced than the front-end loading rifle he had used as a boy. He could kill many men in a short amount of time; and he did.

A shell screamed overhead. Someone in the trench sobbed and another prayed. He couldn’t blame them. The young men under his command were barely old enough to shave, let alone die in a muddy hole in Leyte.

The swarming chaos and noise of men and vehicles moving in every direction was incredible. Stephen, along with thousands of other American soldiers in the Sixth Army, had landed here, and now they were attempting to reclaim the Philippine Islands from the Japanese. Machine guns rattled. The drone of air support came from overhead, and in minutes bombs dropped and palm trees exploded in fireballs, along with the enemy’s ammunition depot some distance away.

“Keep your eyes open, boys, they’re flushing them out. Get ready when they come our way!” he yelled.


Stephen swiveled to see a soldier in green fatigues like his, making his way toward him, radio in hand. “What is it, Jones?”

“The captain says the enemy is moving up to the mountains. He wants you to take a group to clear out any stragglers.”

Jones passed the radio to Stephen, who listened to his commander’s orders. “Yes, sir. I’m on my way.”

A few minutes later, he and his men, rifles in hand, crawled out of the trench, heading cautiously toward the flaming supply depot. The U.S. planes had done a fairly thorough job bombing and strafing the area, so he didn’t expect too much resistance.

Stephen scanned the area continuously as they progressed. Flames consumed crates and smoke belched from a smoldering vehicle, now unidentifiable. His eyes stung as the stench of burning wood, rubber, gasoline, and human bodies reached them.

Gunfire rang out, and Roberts let out a yelp and went down. Neely went to his aid immediately as they all scrambled for cover.

“Sniper!” someone yelled.

The pop-pop-pop of sporadic shooting continued. They were pinned down.

“How’s Roberts?” Stephen yelled.

“He needs a doc, sir,” Neely called back.

“Smith and Neely, get Roberts back for help. The rest are coming with me. You three go around to the right,” he pointed to three of his young charges. “The other three go to the left. Brown, you and I are going straight in. The sniper is behind the stack of pipes. Everyone fire at him, but keep spread out.”

Through a haze of smoke they advanced slowly. The sniper answered their gun fire. They had to take out the man before he killed again.

Stephen glanced at Sammy Brown. The soldier was intently focusing his shots on the unseen gunman and didn’t glance back. He decided to risk a bold action. Shifting his rifle to his left hand, Stephen extended his right arm and concentrated. Under his uniform, a spot on his chest grew warm. The Companion Spirit’s energy pulsed through his body. From his fingertips greenish light flew out, barely visible in the smoky haze. As the energy struck them, the metal pipes sheltering the sniper rattled. Suddenly the top one rolled off. Moments later the entire pile came tumbling down in a loud clatter of metal on metal.

With satisfaction he saw the startled expression on the Japanese soldier’s face. But the feeling was short-lived. Searing pain tore his leg out from under him then slammed into his belly and hand before he could shoot. He collapsed forward clutching his stomach and watching while his men took care of the problem as expected. There was one less enemy soldier.


I hope you enjoyed this excerpt. For more information go to You can also take a look inside the book at Amazon.


Amazon Kindle
Amazon print
B&Nook and print
Vinspire Publishing 

Thanks and Happy Veteran's Day!
~Diane Wylie

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Joya said...

Wonderful excerpt, Diane. Hard to think about what a soldier goes through while in battle. My thanks go out to each and every veteran and current military service people.
Thanks for sharing. :)

Dee said...

Thank you Diane for the excerpt on such a memorable day.

Unknown said...

Thank you Diane what a great excerpt!

Though I didn't serve during time of war, I am still very proud to have served my country. I thank those who've served, made the ultimate sacrifice, and those still serving, everyday.

For all of those out there--here is to the 11th day of the 11th month, the 11th hour and minute always--no matter the year.


Sarah J. McNeal said...

Now that's what I call an exciting excerpt, Diane. Not just the special power employed in battle, but the whole story concept. I'm really counting on the "immortal" part 'cause things aren't looking too good for the hero at the end of this excerpt. Looks like another great story.

Brenda Hyde said...

Wonderful excerpt! Thanks Diane. This is such a unique plot:)