Shark River

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Dindi is kidnapped to be the bride of a shark... To escape she must untangle a terrible curse caused by a love and magic gone wrong.

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This stand-alone novella is set in Faearth, the world of The Unfinished Song. Available here ONLY.

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The Unfinished Song - This Young Adult Epic Fantasy series has sold over  70,000 copies and has 1,072 Five Star Ratings on Goodreads.

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August 11, 2016

The Immortals: Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

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Another amazing series from one of my favorite authors of all time, this time centering around a strange girl from the wild who has a talent with animals. Daine manages to get a job in the stables of the same royal palace that Kinght Alanna trained and serves at. But she has a terrible secret. Daine’s unique way with animals is the reason she had to flee her home in the mountains, and it’s far too powerful to keep hidden from the new friends she makes in the Kingdom of Tortall. Luckily, Tortall is far more accepting than Daine’s old home, and she soon finds that her strange powers fit in with a wizard who turns himself into a bird, a thief made into a lord, and a woman knight under the protection of the Goddess.

However, as kind as the people she meets are, Daine still remembers how the villagers from her home killed her mother and set fire to her house, for fear of Daine’s abilities. Can she really trust her new friends? Or are they just using her, because her powers are becoming very useful with the kingdom overrun by Immortal creatures taking up residence all across the land and causing trouble?

This is another Tamora Pierce book I adore, and it even has many appearances of my most favorite Lady Knight. But Daine herself quickly won my heart over, even as different from the brave Alanna as she is. Daine has the gift of talking to animals–any animals, even immortal beings from the Realm of the Gods. If people weren’t terrible, she likely would have lived a peaceful, quiet life in solitude. But, because the villagers didn’t understand her magic, they claimed she and her mother were evil witches, and drove Daine out with fire. This event changed Daine, making her less trusting of strangers (human ones) and far more secretive and cautious than she was as a child. She eventually learns to trust again, and also to be proud of her power, rather than fearing how people will see her. Which is a good thing, because those Immortals running rampant everywhere? They aren’t just looking for mischief, they’re invading the mortal realms to set up homes of their own, and they don’t want to share with humans. So the Kingdom of Tortall, and all the Kingdoms of men, are in great need of any help they can get, and Daine’s power may be just enough to save them.

The Immortals series was one that I read and reread until the binding wore out, and now those tattered books sit in a treasured spot on my shelf. So give it a try and see if you’ll fall in love with Wild Magic too!

July 6, 2016

Top Five Favorite Dragon Books

dragonpictI don’t know about the rest of you, but my favorite fantasy creatures throughout my life are—without question—dragons! I know I’m supposed to like mermaids or unicorns more, and I do like them (I certainly love unicorns as much as it is humanly possible to love anything you’ve never really met) but they cannot compare to dragons. How can they? Dragons can be large or small, they can fly or swim, they can breathe fire or ice, they come in every imaginable color. They can be soft and silky, or sharp and iron-hard. Dragons can be made of rock, or steel, or clouds, or grass. They can live anywhere and eat almost everything, from sheep to diamonds. It all depends on what type of dragon you want, and it will be.

So, to share my love of dragons, I’m going to list my top five favorite dragon books—and the amazing dragons in them!Continue reading

April 28, 2016

Wizard’s Hall by Jane Yolen

Wizard's Hall 1999 cover

Wizard’s Hall 1999 cover

Lara here, and I’d like to share a book many of you have probably never heard of. A boy goes to wizard school where doors change based on the day of the week and portraits talk, he makes some friends, and attends magic classes. Then he finds out there’s an evil wizard threatening the school and everyone in it. But he and his friends are able to defeat the evil wizard and save the school.

Still never heard of it? Are you sure?

It’s a short book called Wizard’s Hall by Jane Yolen. It was first published in 1991 and is about a boy named Henry who lives with his hard working mother and one cow. When he mentions off-handly wanting to maybe be a wizard, his mother joyfully sends him off to Wizard’s Hall, the closest school for aspiring wizards and witches. Once there, a blind wizard and a fuzzy white rodent rename him Thornmallow, because he’s “prickly on the outside, squishy within.” Although that squishy part is taken on faith.

In the school itself, Thornmallow learns to fall asleep to a star filled ceiling that recites the names of glowing constellations, and to always walk left down hallways to get to class on time. His friends help him remember the various rules of Wizard’s Hall and how to change his soup from lizard to beef. (Not that this makes it taste any less brown.)

Unfortunately, Thornmallow is finding himself woefully bad at Spelling and Curses and Chanting, and his Transformations best go unmentioned. But just when he thinks it might be best to give up and go home, he overhears the teachers discussing the terrible Master, coming the very next night to destroy the school and swallow every last person inside his frightful quilted Beast. There is some hope though, because so long as the school has one hundred and thirteen students, they have some hope of defeating the Master, and Thornmallow is that essential one-thirteen.

Wizard’s Hall is a short, but highly imaginative story with colorful descriptions and interesting characters. The magic is fun, wizards make spells through careful word choice and clear tones, and their results can be anything from subtle light effects, to an avalanche of snow, to people unraveling into shining thread. Thornmallow is a quiet boy, shy if a bit sharp tongued, but he means well. He may not have much talent for magic, but he tries.

This may be an older book, but it’s still a good read, and I definitely recommend picking it up and giving it a go!

June 4, 2014

Gallow: The Fateguard Trilogy by Nathan Hawke

91Ft+TYV3AL._SL1500_Discover the heroic fantasy world of Nathan Hawke’s Gallow: The Fateguard Trilogy.

I have been Truesword to my friends, Griefbringer to my enemies. To most of you I am just another Northlander bastard here to take your women and drink your mead, but to those who know me, my name is Gallow. I fought for my king for seven long years. I have fled in defeat and I have tasted victory and I will tell you which is sweeter. Despise me, then, for I have slain more of your kin than I can count, though I remember every single face.

Collected here are the first three Gallow novels, along with a collection of framing short stories. THE FATEGUARD TRILOGY tells of the years when Gallow discovered that a man as notorious as he was cannot live a quiet life, and in the end must choose a side, even if that means betraying his own people.

And when you betray a king, you accept that there will be a reckoning. The Fateguard are coming…

Download Gallow: The Fateguard Trilogy from Amazon and Amazon UK.

Excerpt

Addic stopped. He blew on his hands and rubbed them together and took a moment to look at the mountains behind him. Hard to decide which he liked better: the ice-bitter clear skies of today or the blizzards that had come before. Wind and snow kept a man holed up in his hut with little to do but hope he could dig himself out again when it stopped. A clear day like this meant working, a chance to gather wood and maybe even hunt, but Modris it was cold! He stamped his feet and blew on his fingers again. It wasn’t helping. They’d gone numb a while back. His feet would follow before much longer. Cursed cold. He looked back the way he’d come, and it felt as though he’d been walking for hours but he could still see the little jagged spur that overlooked the hut where he’d been hiding these last few days.

Up on the shoulder of the mountain beyond the spur a bright flash caught his eye, a momentary glimmer in the sun. He squinted and peered but it vanished as quickly as it had come and he couldn’t make anything out. The snow, most likely, not that snow glinted like that; but what else could it be so deep in the pass?

Snow. Yes. Still, he kept looking now and then as he walked, until a wisp of cloud crossed the mountain and hid the shoulder where the old Aulian Way once ran from Varyxhun through the mountains and out the other side. The Aulians had fallen long before Addic was born, but that didn’t mean that nothing ever came over the mountains any more. The winter cold was a killer, but shadewalkers were already dead and so they came anyway.

He quickened his pace. The high road was carved into the mountainside over the knife-cut gorge of the Isset. It was hardly used at the best of times, even in summer when the snow briefly melted. No one had come through since the blizzards, and so he was left to wade thigh-deep through the snow on a narrow road he couldn’t see along a slope that would happily pitch him over a cliff if he took a wrong step. It was hard work, deadly tiring, but he didn’t have much choice now and at least the effort was keeping him warm. If he stopped to rest, he’d freeze. And it probably hadn’t been another shadewalker high up in the mountains, but if it was then he certainly didn’t want to be the first living thing it found.

By the time he ran into the forkbeards, hours later, he’d forgotten the shadewalker. By then he was so tired that his mind was wandering freely. He kept thinking how, somewhere ahead of him, one of the black lifeless trees that clung tenaciously to the gentler slopes above would have come down and blocked the road completely and he’d have to turn back, and he simply didn’t have the strength to go all the way back to his safe little hole where the forkbeards would never find him.

And there they were: four of them, forkbeards armed to the elbows and riding hardy mountain ponies along the Aulian Way where they had no possible reason to be unless they’d finally caught wind of where he was hiding; and the first thing he felt was an overwhelming relief that someone else had come this far and ploughed a path through the snow so that he wouldn’t have to, and how that was going to make his walking so much quicker and easier for the rest of the way. Took a few moments more for some sense to kick in, to realise that this far out from Varyxhun the forkbeards had come to hunt him down, winkle him out of wherever he was hiding and kill him. He might even have been flattered if he’d been carrying anything sharper than a big pile of animal pelts over his shoulder.

The crushing weight of failure hit him then, the futility of even trying to escape; and then a backhand of despair for good measure, since if the forkbeards had learned where he was hiding then someone must have told them, and there weren’t too many people that could be. Jonnic, perhaps. Brawlic, although it was hard to imagine. Achista? Little sister Achista?

His shoulders sagged. He tried to tell himself that no, she was too careful to be caught by any forkbeard, but the thought settled on him like a skin of heavy stone. He set the pelts carefully down and bowed in the snow. The forkbeards seemed bored and irritable, looking for trouble. ‘My lords!’ They were about as far from lords as Addic could imagine, but he called them that anyway in case it made a difference. Maybe they were out here on some other errand. He tried to imagine what that might be.

‘Addic.’ The forkbeard at the front beamed with pleasure, neatly murdering that little glimmer of hope. ‘Very kind of you to save us some bother.’ He swung himself down from his pony, keeping a cautious distance. It crossed Addic’s mind then that although the forkbeards had horses, they were hardly going to take the High Road at a gallop in the middle of winter when it was covered in snow, nor even at a fast trot unless they were unusually desperate to go over the edge and into the freezing Isset a hundred feet below. And if they knew him, then there was only one reason for them to be out here. He turned and ran, or tried his best to, floundering away through the snow, not straight back down the road because that would make it too easy for them but angling up among the trees. The snow shifted and slid under his feet, deep and soft. As he tried to catch his breath a spear whispered past his face.

‘Back here, Marroc. Take it like a man,’ bawled one of the forkbeards. Addic had no idea who they were. Just another band of Cithjan’s thugs out from Varyxhun. They probably looked pretty stupid, all of them and him too, not that that was much comfort. Struggling and hauling themselves up through the steep slopes and the drifted snow, slipping and sliding and almost falling with every other step, catching themselves now and then on the odd stunted tree that had somehow found a way to grow in this forsaken waste. The forkbeards were right behind him. Every lurch forward was a gamble, a test of balance and luck, waiting to see what lay under the snow, whether it would hold or shift. Sooner or later one of them would fall and wouldn’t catch himself, and then he’d be off straight down the slope, a quick bounce as he reached the road maybe and then over the edge, tumbling away among the rock and ice to the foaming waters of the Isset. Which for Addic was no worse than being caught, but for the forkbeards it was probably a worse fate than letting him get away. Perhaps desperation gave him an advantage?

But no, of course it was him that slipped and felt his legs go out from under him. He rolled onto his back, sliding faster and faster through the snow, trying to dig in his feet and achieving nothing. He could see the road below – with two more forkbeards standing on it right in his path – and then the great yawning abyss of the gorge. He threw out his arms and clawed at the slope but the snow only laughed at him, coming away in great chunks to tumble around him, past him. He caught a glimpse of the forkbeards on the road looking up. Laughing, probably, or maybe they were disappointed that the Isset and the mountainside were going to do their work for them. Maybe he could steer himself to hit them and they could all go over the edge together?

Two forkbeards on the road? He wondered for a moment where they’d come from, but then he caught a rock which sent him spinning and flipped him onto his front so he couldn’t see where he was going any more. A tree flew past, bashing him on the hip; he snatched and got half a hand to it but his fingers wouldn’t hold. Then he hit the road. One foot plunged deep into the snow and wrenched loose again with an ugly pain. His flailing hand caught hold of something and tried to cling on. The forkbeards, maybe? Again a moment of wonder, because he could have sworn he’d only seen four forkbeards with their ponies and they’d all been chasing him, so these had to have come the other way, but that couldn’t be right . . .

A hand grabbed him, and then another. He spun round, tipped over onto his back again, felt his legs go over the edge of the gorge and into the nothing, but the rest of him stopped. The forkbeards had caught him, and for one fleeting second he felt a surge of relief, though it quickly died: the forkbeards would have something far worse in mind than a quick death in the freezing waters of the Isset.

A cloud of snow blew over him. When it passed he brushed his face clear so he could see. He was right on the edge of the gorge, the Isset grinning back up at him from far below. Two men stood over him. They’d let go and they weren’t hitting him yet and so his first instinct was to get up and run, but getting back to his feet and avoiding slipping over the edge took long enough for his eyes to see who’d saved him. He had no idea who they were or what they were doing out here on the Aulian Way in the middle of winter, but they weren’t forkbeards after all.

The bigger of the two men held out a hand to steady him. They weren’t Marroc either. The big one, well, if you looked past the poorly shaven chin, everything about him said that he was a forkbeard. Big strong arms, wide shoulders, tall and muscular with those pitiless glacier eyes. The other one though . . . Holy Modris, was he an Aulian, a real live one? He was short and wiry, wasted and thin and utterly exhausted, but his skin was darker than any Marroc and his eyes were such a deep brown they were almost black. He was also bald. Their clothes didn’t say much at all except that they were dressed for the mountains.

The four forkbeards were picking their way down from the slopes above, slow and cautious now. The two men who’d saved his life looked at him blankly. They were half dead. The Aulian’s eyes were glassy, his hands limp and his breathing ragged. The big one wasn’t much better, swaying from side to side. Addic thought of the flash he’d seen from the mountain shoulder hours ago and for a moment wonder got the better of fear. ‘You crossed the Aulian Way? In winter?’

The forkbeards were almost down now and they had their shields off their backs. The first one slid onto the road in pile of snow about ten paces from where Addic was standing. He pulled out his axe but didn’t come forward, not yet. He watched warily. ‘Hand over the Marroc.’

The big man stood a little straighter. ‘Why? What’s he done?’ He was breathing hard and his shoulders quickly slumped again. He looked ready to collapse. An ally, maybe? But against four forkbeards? Addic glanced down the road, back the way he’d come.

‘Pissed me off,’ said the forkbeard with the axe. ‘Like you’re doing now.’

The stranger growled. The Aulian put a hand on his arm but the big man shook it off. ‘Three years,’ he snarled. ‘Three years I’m away and I come back to this.’ The other forkbeards were on the road now, the four of them grouping together, ready to advance. The stranger drew his sword and for a moment Addic forgot about running and stared at the blade. It was long, too long to be a Marroc edge – or a forkbeard one either – and in the winter sun it was tinged a deep red like dried blood. ‘Three years.’ The big man bared his teeth and advanced. ‘Now tell me how far it is to Varyxhun and get out of my way!’

‘Three days,’ said Addic weakly, bemused by the idea of anyone telling four angry forkbeards to get out of my way. ‘Maybe four.’ The forkbeards were peering at the stranger’s shield, an old battered round thing, painted red once before half the paint flaked off. It had seen a lot of use, that was obvious.

‘Move!’ The stranger walked straight at them.

‘Piss off!’

Addic didn’t see quite what happened next. One of the forkbeards must have tried something, or else the stranger just liked picking fights when he was outnumbered and exhausted. There was a shout, a red blur and a scream and then one of the forkbeards dropped his shield and bright blood sprayed across the snow. It took Addic a moment to realise that the shield lying on the road still had a hand and half an arm holding it.

‘Nioingr!’ The other three piled into the stranger. Addic wished he had a blade of his own, and if he had might have stayed. But he didn’t, and there wasn’t anything he could do, and so he turned to flee and ran straight into the Aulian.

‘Hey!’

‘Out the way.’ He pushed past. The darkskin had a knife out but obviously didn’t know what to do with it. ‘If I were you, I’d run!’

The Aulian ignored him and took a step toward the fight. ‘Gallow!’

Addic heard the name as he fled. It stuck with him as he ran. He’d heard it somewhere before.

 

To read the rest, download Gallow: The Fateguard Trilogy from Amazon and Amazon UK.

Find more from Nathan on his website.

June 2, 2014

Blind Sight by Nicole Storey

Blind Sight Blog jpegEnter the world of The Celadon Circle with the first book, Blind Sight.

Jordan has visions of monsters, demons, and death. Seventeen, orphaned, and born into the family business, she doesn’t have friends, she doesn’t have choices. Her uncle, older brothers, and a few annoying angels dominate her life, demanding she tow their lines – and the punishment is severe when those lines are crossed.

When Jordan is ordered to help hunt down a monster, she’s not sure which she dreads more: the elusive, blood-thirsty creature or spending time in a cramped backwoods cabin with a brother who despises her. To make matters worse, a demon shows up and warns Jordan that she could be her family’s next assignment.

In a game between Good and Evil where God seems to have tapped out early, lines are blurred and not everything is as it seems. Jordan learns a little too late that the real monster is closer than she thinks.

Download Blind Sight from AmazonBarnes and NobleKoboApple and Smashwords.

BlindSight Excerpt 1.jpg

Download Blind Sight from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple and Smashwords.

Find more from Nicole on her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

 

May 29, 2014

Silver Hollow by Jennifer Silverwood

Silver Hollow.v3.1

Check out Jennifer Silverwood’s new adult fantasy, Silver Hollow.

Amie Wentworth writes paranormal romances, not because she is looking for a degree in ectoplasm, but because she’s got bills to pay. Ever since her parents’ car crash, she has trusted books more than people. Not even a letter from her long-lost uncle, begging her to visit, gives Amie incentive for anything other than ire – until she is stabbed in an alley and brought back to life by a mysterious stranger. Being a believer in the corporeal, she is determined to root out the logic behind the unexplained. Never mind the possibility she might be a part of it, or the fact her dearly departed dad left her with an inheritance she can’t return. To make matters worse, the man who saved her life keeps turning up and her would-be-murderer is still at large. Soon Amie is dragged into the very sort of tale she is used to selling. Silver Hollow is a place of ancient traditions and supernatural dangers, where everything is the opposite of what it seems and few escape sane. When she comes face to face with the ugly truth, will she too be sucked into her father’s madness? Or will she discover that madness is just another name for honesty?

Silver Hollow is available for Kindle and paperback from Amazon.

Excerpt

The hour before dawn found Amie pulling her car round the back alley. Through the gloom and decades-buried waste behind Pat’s Delights was a narrow strip leading to the back staircase leading up to her flat.

The stranger’s face came unbidden to her as she gathered her things and moved her weary legs. Black eyes set deeply in a shadow-drenched face haunted her, eyes which seemed to accuse and praise, sift and wonder. Now that she knew, she realized she must have seen him before today, maybe even in the past she had tried to forget.

The faded yellowing parchment marked with heavy black ink, with words too absurd to be true, flashed in her mind. Clutching the key hidden in her jeans pockets while digging through her purse for her keys, she remembered Uncle Henry’s letter. Mulling over the words, she once again recalled how angry she had been ten years ago after reading his first note. So what the cops were uncertain how the accident had happened. So what her father had known some powerful people. Amie had been primped and pushed into the upper-class social sphere through her teens and knew how to handle that sort. She could take care of herself just like she always had. She would tear up the letters and the tickets tonight. The twins and James were her family now.

As she placed her shoe upon the first rickety metal step, two thick and powerful hands grabbed her in the same moment.

It happened so quickly she forgot to scream. Dropping her purse she struggled, kicked and bucked against the crazy person lifting her and pulling her deeper into the shadows of the alley. And the harder she struggled the tighter his choking embrace became against her chest.

She thought at last to cry out, only to feel her face being smashed against a brick wall. She gasped as the figure suddenly pushed her aside, out of his embrace. Amie stumbled back and nearly tripping over a metal pipe. She righted herself only to come face-to-face with the black-masked figure. His brilliant blue eyes blazed into hers, now filled with unmistakable purpose. Too late she realized his intentions as a sickeningly cool object was plunged into her chest and pulled quickly out again.

Her vision swam, then blurred as she slumped against the trash-littered concrete. Her mind began to fade into an ever-deepening sleep though her eyes watched on. The black-garbed man was fighting someone else. Unmasked, this guy was taller, broader in the shoulders than her murderer and wrought by fury.

Pain…she had not known the meaning of the word before now and even this too was fading into the deep sleep. The further she fell the less sense the scene before her made. Her mind didn’t believe that the tall man had really tossed her attacker five feet into the air over his shoulder and into the brick, or a strange light and energy crackled in the suddenly luminous alley.

She was too afraid to hope when a pair of warm hands cradled her in a firm embrace. He pulled her from the muck and fixed his dark eyes on her. Obsidian-cut eyes, familiar eyes, pierced through her gaze and reached deeper. His face, once so indiscernible it could be called plain, was now twisted as though in agony. Even though she was slipping, falling into a calm quiet darkness, he refused to let her go. His hand moved from her neck to her cheek with the faintest touch. He pushed past and clasped hold of something tearing deep inside of her then. The black of his irises gave way to a strange mix of blue and green flecks gleaming in their depths. She saw…

Fields of brilliant emerald grass and a sun filled with more colors than she knew to name.

Darkness and a dirty cell, where heavy fists punctuated his pain.

Time beyond counting became a lifetime lost.

A green-eyed dark-haired beauty bathed in sunlight stretched out her hand to him.

Someone was screaming. Amie frowned as the woman’s cries grew louder. Pain spiked up in her chest as her lungs constricted and her heart was ripped apart then reformed. The woman’s screams died when she took a breath and realized the voice was hers.

She blinked.

And then she was lying within the narrow strip between two brick buildings, alone.

 

To read the rest of the story, buy Silver Hollow from Amazon.

Find more from Jennifer on her website, blogFacebook, and Twitter.

May 23, 2014

My Immortal Playlist by Julius St. Clair

If you like paranormal romance, check out My Immortal Playlist from Julius St. Clair. MyImmortalPlaylist

Alexandra Cain is cursed.

She’s unpopular, a little lonely, and all of her boyfriends have this nasty habit of dying and then coming back to haunt her in unimaginable ways.

It’s not easy being a Siren in high school. A femme fatale whose first instinct is to enchant a man and have him for dinner, instead of being asked out to it. Burdened by her nature, it doesn’t seem like she’ll ever find the romance and passion she’s been looking for.

Until Lucas Hawthorne arrives.

He’s gorgeous. He’s mysterious. And he’s so dangerous that even she knows she should stay away.

But there’s something about him that keeps her digging deeper into his past, and following him into situations that keep getting worse and worse. She just can’t break his hold over her, and soon she has no choice but to ask herself a terrifying question: Who cast the spell over whom?

Download My Immortal Playlist from Amazon.

Excerpt

“I should’ve stayed home,” I sighed under my breath.

“You didn’t put up much of a fight,” she said, her blue mascara strangely accenting her vibrant green eyes. What was with this new fad of mixing strange colors together?

“Yeah,” I said. “But that’s only because someone told me this movie was different. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be at all.”

“Okay, and what were you expecting? A horror movie?”

“Exactly. I mean c’mon, the movie is called Zombie Kisses. How do zombies kiss?”

“Like everyone else.”

“Well, it didn’t look appealing.”

“You’re not supposed to like horror movies anyways,” she huffed.

“And why is that?” I scoffed, sitting up in my seat quickly. Margaret flashed an award winning smile and made her voice all cutesy.

“Because you’re a woman,” she said. “You’re not supposed to like horror movies.”

“Ugh,” I groaned again, closing my eyes and turning around to see our fellow moviegoers leave in frustration and disappointment.

“I’m serious. If we’re ever going to graduate high school and snag a husband, we can’t give off the image that we’re into blood and gore and all those unattractive things.”

“Not like horror movies…snag a husband…what is this? The 50’s? Seriously, Margaret, you’re being unrealistic. And a little bit of a hypocrite. Do you seriously think that just because this movie is classified as a romance, it means you’re not into the supernatural? Think about it. A girl gets tired of her marriage with a vampire and decides to fall for a zombie! Who, I might add, tries to eat her shoulder when they’re making out! Listen, I don’t care if Malcolm Maximus looked nothing like a zombie. Yes, he was as gorgeous as always, but the concept is still gross and creepy.”

“This is completely different and you know it! There was no gore or violence whatsoever!”

“Yeah, but it’s a girl and a zombie…”

“Which if you ask me, didn’t look so bad.”

Silence filled the theater and I realized her face was not giving off its usual amused glow.

“You’re serious,” I said.

“Dead serious.”

“Okay, that’s not funny…I think I’m going to be sick.”

“What do you want to me say, Alexandra? I love these types of movies, but I still think it’s improper to engage in viewing gory flicks like that stupid torture one that’s making all the headlines these days.”

“Oh, you mean Screwdriver VIII.”

“Yes. Absolutely disgusting.”

“It’s classic horror. A carpenter teams up with a mechanic on this one. Double the screwdrivers. Double the terror. Double the fun.” I really wasn’t fond of horror movies, but I was willing to say anything to get under Margaret’s skin.

“Are you like doing a commercial for them or something? You sound way too excited.”

“Um,” a voice interrupted our conversation from below. We looked down to see a pimply faced, red-haired attendant brushing some nachos under a chair in row six. “The movie’s over. I gotta clean up the aisles before the next showing starts.”

“Sorry about that!” I called down as we awkwardly retrieved our purses and jackets in one swoop.

“So…he was cute, wasn’t he?”

“Not really,” I muttered, trying to attempt damage control. “His face was so greasy I could see myself in his forehead.”

“Isn’t that your type?”

“What do you mean?” I asked, trying to drown out my annoyance by taking loud footsteps on the parking lot asphalt.

“Well, you went out with that Elliot kid, and that was after he changed over the summer, I might add.”

“Well,” I muttered, unsure of what to say. I kept my head down in shame as we walked, but then I miraculously remembered that we drove separately. I didn’t actually have to suffer through the whole conversation today. Maybe if I got to my car in time, I could change the subject. Make a comment about how rusty and old it was before Margaret had any follow up questions. But of course, it was Three Dollar Tuesday at the movies, which meant every high schooler with a half-beaten go-kart was in attendance, and my car suddenly blended in like a toenail in a bag of rice…don’t ask.

“He was so dreamy before,” she continued on. “I mean, I almost broke my own dating rule and asked him out, but you know, a lady has to have standards. After his…um, makeover…he didn’t appeal to me as much.”

“You wouldn’t have liked him,” I muttered, before I realized what I was saying. I was such an idiot sometimes. Why didn’t I just keep my mouth shut?

“Oh? And why is that? Did you two…”

“Ew. No,” I shuddered, “and I’m surprised a woman of your class would ask such a thing.”

“Some things transcend class.”

“Apparently,” I said, fumbling with my car keys. Why couldn’t it have one of those convenient beepers that let you know where your car was located? I would be spamming it like an elevator button.

“So tell me about you two. I know you went out for at least a month last summer. What was it about him that attracted you?”

“To be honest? He was a little obsessive. Kept hounding me for a date.”

“Oh? Do tell!” Margaret said excitedly as she grabbed my arm and made me face her. I guess the search for the missing rust bucket was at a halt for now.

“All he wanted to do was touch me…or grab me,” I said, smiling like a maniac. “And he liked the taste of my flesh.”

“Okay, that’s enough,” Margaret backed away, wrinkling her face. “Why do you have to put it like that?”

“It’s true though, and it started getting crazier too. He would chase me around the neighborhood, roaring away as he picked at his face, peeling off dead skin like he had gotten the worst sunburn imaginable, yelling how he wanted to lick my sweat…”

“Stop! Just stop!” Margaret shrieked, stamping her feet to the pavement. “That’s just disgusting! And you know how I can’t stand it when you’re being gross! Just…just see me at lunch tomorrow!”

And with that, my best and only human friend ran away like I had been infected with a plague. I didn’t get why she was so upset. I thought she liked zombies.

Oh well, people just liked dreaming. They never thought about how unromantic it was in reality. Deep down, they didn’t really want to be a part of that paranormal world…

And I would know.

After all, I was living in it.

 

 

To read the rest of My Immortal Playlist, download it from Amazon.

To find more from Julius, visit his blog, Facebook and Twitter.

May 14, 2014

Guest Post: Jenna Elizabeth Johnson’s The Reasons for Writing Ehriad

EhriadCoverforPosterI’m excited to host another author in the Faery Realms bundle, Jenna Elizabeth Johnson. These are her reasons for writing Ehriad, her short story which you can download in the bundle.

EHRIAD

A Single Thread of Magic

Cade MacRoich is Ehríad, a faelah bounty hunter. When he is compelled to deal with a collection of particularly nasty monsters in the mortal world, he stumbles upon a stream of Faelorehn magic that leads him to something astonishing.

The Morrigan’s Game

The children of the Weald are protected by the forest’s ancient magic, but when the Morrigan’s faelah manage to break through that barrier, Cade’s sister calls upon him for help.

Broken Geis

Cade has tried in vain to forget about the alluring Meghan Elam. Unfortunately, the Morrigan’s interest in the young Faelorehn girl puts her in danger and makes Cade realize he is willing to risk everything to keep her safe.

Why did I choose to write a short story (which is truthfully a collection of three very short stories) that had already been covered in Faelorehn?  Well, I have three good reasons for doing so:

  1. Faelorehn is told strictly from Meghan’s point of view, so my readers never get a good sense of what is going on in Cade’s mind, and let’s face it, he is rather intriguing.  I wrote Ehriad, in part, to delve into the mind of our Faelorehn hero.  At the start of the series, the only image we get of Cade is through Meghan’s eyes, and she’s a bit star-struck by the whole concept of Cade and what he has to tell her about her heritage.  There are so many unanswered questions and a whole lot of reluctance to trust Cade, so I felt, to be fair to him, I should tell at least part of his story.  Therefore, I picked three scenes from Faelorehn (well, technically one scene takes place primarily in the Otherworld) to help alleviate some of that mystery and to let (if not Meghan) the reader know that although Cade is aloof at times, he is so much more than a pretty face delivering shocking news.

  1. The second reason I went about writing Ehriad was because I wanted to give a more richly detailed, in-depth view of the world I had created for Faelorehn.  In the first novel of the Otherworld Series, Meghan only barely enters the Otherworld, so the reader doesn’t get a good sense of what it’s all about.  Instead, they must rely on what Cade tells her (or, in most cases, neglects to tell her), and what she must find out on her own through research and unfortunate encounters with faelah.  With Ehriad, and especially with the story The Morrigan’s Game, the reader is transported to the Otherworld with Cade.  I also include Enorah, Cade’s sister, as one of the main participants in a quest to destroy some of the Morrigan’s monsters.  Enorah and Cade have a very close relationship and that doesn’t really get touched upon until Dolmarehn.  Both Enorah and Cade have suffered similar pasts and they bond over their mutual love for one another and the sacrifices they are willing to make for each other.  I don’t go into depth with this past in Ehriad, but I wanted to set the stage for future Otherworld books.

  1. Lastly, a large part of my motive for writing Ehriad was for my readers.  Yes.  I wrote Ehriad, in part, for my readers.  Like many authors, I do look at reviews and feedback for my books.  One common complaint about Faelorehn was that there wasn’t enough about Cade, and I couldn’t agree more.  However, it wasn’t in my power to elaborate since Meghan is the one doing all the thinking and talking in the first book.  Therefore, I set about picking out scenes I thought my readers might enjoy seeing through Cade’s eyes.  After publishing Ehriad, I decided to go ahead and do the same for Dolmarehn.  In this case, I actually posted the question to my readers: What scenes from Dolmarehn would you like to hear from Cade’s perspective?  I had some great feedback and got to work on Ghalien.  In the end, Ghalien became a short novel with only two of the scenes my readers recommended.  I’m hoping, one day, to get to the others and then to scenes from Luathara as well.

Sometime in the future, I hope to write more from Cade’s perspective (dare I say a novel, or two, or three . . . ?).  With so many characters running around in my head, trying desperately to get my attention, it can sometimes be difficult to decide where to start.  Luckily, I have my Muse to help me get things in order.  Yes, the Otherworld and its many characters have definitely gotten under my skin and I can’t see myself shaking them any time soon.  So to answer the question I’ve been asked many a time over: Yes, the trilogy may be complete, but I am by no means finished with the Otherworld.

Download Faery Realms from AmazonBarnes and NobleKoboSmashwordsGoogle Play and iTunes.

Find more from Jenna on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

 

May 13, 2014

Don’t Forget! Review Copies Are FREE

Hood and Fae-bigI just wanted to take a moment to remind you that review copies of my books are always free! If there’s a book of mine you’ve been wanting to try, just email my assistant, let her know which one and she will send you a copy. All I ask is that you leave a review of the book when you’re done. This does not have to be a 1,000-word essay on your blog, but can be as simple as a recommendation to your friends on Facebook or a quick sentence on Goodreads or Amazon. You can even review just Hood & Fae, my new novella which is currently only available in the Faery Realms bundle.

UPDATE: Hood & Fae is now on Amazon, available independently, as well as at other online retailers.

 

May 7, 2014

Guest Post: Author Dana Michelle Burnett

Faery Realms Final 3DI’m so excited to be on the blog today talking about the Fairy Realms Bundle! I have always loved stories about fairies of every sort. As a kid I devoured anything about them that I could get my hands on about fairies, sprites, or pixies. As I grew older, I kept my passion for fae under wraps.

I kept my fairy books hidden under my bed, out of sight from any of my friends that might stop by. While I still loved the fanciful stories, they were not the sort of thing to make you popular in the seventh grade. See that was in the days before Kindles or iPad, reading wasn’t exactly the cool thing to do and reading about fairies…Well, that was just social suicide.

Of course secrets always have a way of getting out and sure enough I outed myself one day in study hall. I sat there, barely awake, doodling on the cover of my notebook. What was I doodling? A wood nymph…Yeah, that spread like wildfire as soon as one of those snobby too-perfect popular girls looked over my shoulder and saw it.

So yes, I was known as the freak