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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.
This stand-alone novella is set in Faearth, the world of The Unfinished Song. Available here ONLY.
The Unfinished Song - This Young Adult Epic Fantasy series has sold over 70,000 copies and has 1,072 Five Star Ratings on Goodreads.
Hell hath no fury like a selkie separated from his true love.
The gate to the sea creature realm is finally open. Yara wants to bask in the glow of her budding relationship with Treygan and explore Medusa’s world, but as the new leader of Rathe her powers are needed to save a sea creature she’s never met.
Rownan assumes the worst is behind him when he returns home to be reunited with his wife, Vienna, only to discover she’s gone. She traveled to the evil realm of Harte to find another gateway to Earth and was never heard from again. Rownan claimed he would go through hell to be with her, and now he must prove it.
Rownan, Yara, and Treygan will put their lives and souls at risk by traveling to the most dangerous realm of all. Love is supposed to conquer all, but no one has ever conquered Harte.
Purchase Dangerous Depths in ebook or paperback on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
There are worse things than death, worse people too.
The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.
Download Persephone on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords and Musa.
The branch crashed in front of me, scraping my legs. I ran for the parking lot as fast as I could. The frost closed in, surrounding me. I’d never been claustrophobic, but as the frost cut off my escape path with a solid white wall, I panicked.
Fog rolled in, like cold death, cutting off my view of the park. It curled around me, brushing against my face, arms, and legs. I turned back to the tree and ran faster, my dress tangling between my legs as the fog and icy wind blew against my skin.
The parking lot is the other way! my mind screamed. The other way was cut off by a mountain of ice. I felt as if I was being herded. By ice?
I slipped on the icy ground, falling face first into the frost. Ice crept up my toes and along my legs. I thrashed and screamed. I felt the fog becoming a solid mass above me, pinning me to the ground. The ice piled around me. Am I going to be buried alive?
I dug my nails into the frigid snow in front of me and tried to claw my way out of the frosted death trap. I was so panicked I didn’t feel it when my nails broke against the impenetrable wall of ice, leaving red crescents of blood welling up on sensitive skin. An hysterical sob worked its way out of my throat as I gouged red lines into the ice. The ice was above my knees, snaking its way up my thighs. I shivered.
Shivering’s good, I reminded myself. It means your body hasn’t given up…yet. The cold was painful, like a thousand little knives pricking my skin. A violent tremor went up my spine, sending waves of pain through me.
“Help me!” I screamed, knowing it was futile. I was going to die here.
Except I couldn’t die. Could I? Mom said I was immortal, but was that all-inclusive? Did I have a weakness? Was snow my Kryptonite? If I got hurt, would I heal or would I be trapped in an injured body in pain forever?
I suddenly didn’t know if immortality was a good thing or a bad thing. The cold hurt. I was kicking, screaming, and clawing my way out of the frost, but for every inch I gained a mountain piled around me. I thought I heard a man’s laughter on the wind, the sound somehow colder than the ice freezing me into place.
The ground before my outstretched hand trembled. The shaking increased. The earth lurched beneath me. The surface cracked and the sound was so loud that for a moment all I could hear was high-pitched ringing in my ears. The ground split into an impossibly deep crevice. My voice went hoarse from screaming as I peered into the endless abyss, trapped and unable to move away from the vertigo-inducing edge.
Download Persephone on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords and Musa.
Find more from Kaitlin on her website, Twitter and Facebook.
“It all comes down to one simple fact – the Children of the GEM are perfect. We are the ugly and imperfect. We are the Blemished.” In a world filled with stunning clones Mina Hart is Blemished. Her genes are worthless and that takes away her rights: her right to an Education, her right to a normal life and her right to have a child. Mina keeps a dangerous secret which she never thought she could share until she meets Angela on her first day at St Jude’s School. But their friendship is soon complicated by Angela’s adoptive brother Daniel. Mina finds herself drawn to his mysterious powers and impulsive nature. Then there is the gorgeous clone Sebastian who Mina is forbidden from even speaking to… The Blemished is a frightening take on a fractured future where the Genetic Enhancement Ministry have taken control of Britain. It will take you on a ride filled with adventure, romance and rebellion. A beautiful world comes at a price…
I entered the classroom. It felt wrong. The chairs were arranged differently – pushed together into a circle. The rest of the Blemished girls stood around unsure of where to sit and why the strange arrangement. In the centre of the circle was a single chair as though one of us would be the focus.
“Everyone take a seat except Miss Hart.” Mrs Murgatroyd’s voice made me jump. There was a hard edge to it, even colder than usual. I shivered. “Miss Hart, I believe there is a place for you in the middle of the circle.”
With shaking legs I stepped through a gap between two chairs and made my way to the centre. I turned and eyed each of my classmates in desperation while Mrs Murgatroyd looked down at me with a strangely tense smirk on her face. It was as though she was mentally battling with an inner conflict. It made her look frightened and cruel in equal measure. With my chest feeling tight and my breathing coming out in rasps I took my seat in the circle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Angela’s concerned face.
“For today’s lesson I needed an example, which is why you see Miss Hart at the centre,” said Mrs Murgatroyd as she slowly walked around the outside of the circle. “Today’s lesson is about boys. You see, there are some among you who seem to have had some experience in this area. Isn’t that right, Miss Hart?”
“I… I… suppose,” I stuttered.
I tried to rein in my emotions, to concentrate and be in control. I couldn’t use my gift in front of all these people. It would be too obvious. I glanced down at my hands hoping that she wasn’t going to beat me in front of the class. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Billie shaking her head and remembered what she had said in the garden.
“Yes, Miss,” Angela replied with a shaky voice.
“Tell the class how a good Blemished girl should behave around members of the opposite sex,” Mrs Murgatroyd instructed.
“Not to look at them directly. Modestly,” Angela recited.
“That’s correct.” Mrs Murgatroyd never stopped her laps of the chairs with slow paces and her hands folded behind her back, the picture of control. “And why is that?”
“Um, we don’t want to give them the wrong idea,” Angela replied quietly.
“That’s correct,” said Mrs Murgatroyd. “You are not here to mate. Your genes have been proven unworthy. You are here as servants to the GEMs, which is your rightful place. And if you are lucky and behave appropriately for a Blemished then you may even get a job. Now Angela, could you tell me one more thing? How should a Blemished girl behave in the company of a male GEM?”
“W… we shouldn’t talk to them. Or look at them. Unless we are spoken to,” she answered quietly.
“Excellent,” Mrs Murgatroyd said. “Now, class. I would like you to answer together. Should you talk to a GEM boy?”
“No,” said the class in unison.
“Should you reveal your hair to a GEM boy?”
I didn’t join in the chant. At this point the tears began to roll slowly down my cheeks and my lips trembled so badly I couldn’t open them.
“Should you let a GEM boy touch you?”
“And how about you, Miss Hart? Should you let any of these things happen?” Mrs Murgatroyd moved into the centre of the circle and bent low to speak to me. I felt her hot breath on my cheek.
I shook my head feebly in answer.
“Yet you did. Didn’t you?” She yanked at my headscarf and began to unwrap my hair. Her pointed nails scraped on the back of my neck and her rough fingers pulled my head back and forth. “Do you think you are better than everyone else in this room?”
“No,” I said hoarsely. I could barely see through my tears now. I shut my eyes against the stares of my peers.
“Then why do you act like it?” she said cruelly. She grabbed my hair and pulled my head back. “You bring everything on yourself, Miss Hart. When will you learn your place?”
On the last word she yanked my head back even further and pulled a pair of scissors out of her jacket pocket. The rest of the class gasped. I stared at them – wide-eyed. For a horrible moment I thought she might stab me, but then she did something almost as awful. With a ghastly smile on her face Mrs Murgatroyd cut chunks out of my hair; big, uneven, ugly chunks. I watched in horror as the long strands fell to the floor.
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How do you live with the gut clenching truth that the one you love will die if you meet them? Twenty year old sorcerer Scott Tabors is learning how. After seeing seventeen year old Olivia Whitehead outside of a coffee shop, his heart will never be the same. He longs for her, he wants her, and he knows she will be his. They are heart mates. …but due to a curse on his family, he can’t meet her. Not yet. So for now, he visits her in her dreams. Her dreams where he can tell her everything but his name.
Olivia Whitehead is a typical junior in high school. She and her best friend are having the time of their lives, but she can’t help but notice the changes happening to her. Especially the changes in her heart after she begins dreaming about a mysterious dark haired young man. But what will happen when the school heartthrob decides he wants Olivia? Will she realize the dream man is real or will she move on?
The wind is blowing just enough to ruffle my hair. “Hello?” I call timidly. Nothing. It’s completely silent out, not even birds are chirping. I glance around and walk forward. My arms are wrapped around the front of me, not for warmth, but for comfort. I know I’m dreaming, but this is still kind of weird. I see a deer to my left, just watching me. She’s beautiful and majestic. She starts to come towards me the moment I wish I could pet her. My hand slowly reaches out and touches her course coat. Huge brown eyes look into mine, there’s no fear.
“You’re beautiful,” I whisper.
“So are you,” a deep voice says from behind me.
I turn violently, scaring the deer off into the trees. Mr. Sexy is standing five feet in front of me. Jeans and a fitted white t-shirt clothe his fit body.
“Of course I am, where else would I be?”
“I thought…well I wasn’t sure if this was our dream or just mine.”
“It’s ours Livvie, it’s ours. Always ours.”
College freshman Owen Sage has just started to understand the darkness trying to overtake Everville and the earthly realm. With the help of The Keeper and the Fron army, Owen has managed to buy some time, but new problems have already emerged, new secrets need to be revealed, and the race against time to stop Them from conquering both dimensions has only just begun. The Keeper, Owen Sage, and his friends at Easton Falls University must now battle threats from within. To do it, they must reunite with familiar creatures and join forces with new ones as they navigate their journey to the truth that awaits them in Everville.
The City of Worms is the second book in the Everville series. You can download it on Amazon, where it will be FREE November 14-18!
As he turned the first few pages of discolored notes, doodles, and other markings that he had scribbled on the margins, ‘Ubaloo’ was written at the top of the second page. Next to the word were small drawings of creatures that looked like tiny people, sketches of a humanlike race with perfect musculature, warriors who would intimidate even the bravest of men — that is, if they weren’t a mere twelve inches tall.
More notes were written below the images, foreign-looking letters and shapes. Next to the markings were etchings of the Fwaylan, ferocious doglike animals that resided in The Valley of Darkness.
Cleophas thumbed through the pages and skimmed the words he had written down so long ago. The notes were full of guesses and disconnected theories, but there was one common thread: there was an apparent convergence in Brackenbone, the land of the Ubaloo. It was a place the sketches depicted as one of the eight surrounding lands of Everville and a few days journey west of the Deep Woods, which was connected to The City of Worms across the vast expanse.
Cleophas turned the page. Stuck in the center was an old photograph of Dala. He pulled the photo free, and as he did, his eyes drifted sideways while he reminisced on some of the wonderful moments they had shared together. The shock of her passing had long ago given way to a resolute determination to give her life meaning. Even now, his face exuded a clear focus, undeterred by the reminder of her death or the current situation with Dante, who had been in a coma for the last couple of weeks. His eyes returned to the photograph before he put it back in its previous resting place and stood up from his kneeling position.
Meanwhile, in the brutal desert above the land of the giants, Oldrik, The Keeper who had betrayed Everville, paced back and forth as he pondered his options.
Elmer, one of Oldrik’s three Fron followers, standing at attention said, “Oldrik, what do we do now?”
“Let me think,” Oldrik replied.
“What are we going to do? What are we going to do?”
“I said let me think.”
Elmer plopped down on the ground in frustration, only to snap back up a few moments later. The intense sunlight scorching the ground made it unbearable. “Ouch!” was the word that escaped his lips as the rest of his body shot into the air. The Fron winced as the searing hot dirt burned his rear end. Nickelsized, fluid-filled blisters formed on the portions of Elmer’s thighs that weren’t covered by cloth.
Oldrik continued to pace a few minutes longer, ignoring Elmer’s painful lapse in judgment, and then he spoke.
“The Keeper and Owen’s stupidity will be Everville’s undoing. We must journey to the Dark Forest and discuss the matter with Them,” Oldrik said while thrusting his long wooden stick into the ground, searching for a hollow spot.
“Let’s do it! Let’s do it!” Elmer said as he limped along, unable to hide his injury.
“Yes. Let’s do it!” said Calvin, the other of Oldrik’s Fron followers. With those words, Oldrik’s rod found a weak spot, and the ground engulfed them as they collapsed into the land of the giants.
Oldrik managed to find his footing, and then took notice of the absence of the giants that were supposed to inhabit the area. “Let’s get moving,” he said as he picked Elmer up by his collar and helped him to his feet. Oldrik himself, however, was tired and slow, as were the rest of his followers.
Portions of the walls were covered in patches of faintly luminescent insects that lit up sections of the caverns. These were followed by areas of complete darkness, which lasted tens of seconds, and as they made their way through the underground passageways their skin darkened and shriveled. The brief periods of darkness made their physical changes appear more apparent with each revelation of glowing light. The Fron that followed Oldrik had started to lose the vibrant appearance that their species was known for, and Oldrik himself began to look more tired and aged than a typical Keeper. Despite their sluggishness and disturbing transformations, they continued for hours, and before long they had made substantial gains in their distance.
From atop the stairwell in his Everville workshop, The Keeper looked down at Sako’s assistant Toe and began to speak. “Oldrik and the others have abandoned us. Even now they are conspiring against us. They are misguided and will likely fail, but we can’t afford to ignore them.”
“So what can we do?” Toe said as he looked up at The Keeper.
“We will do what we have always done, and what we will always do. We will seek the truth, and the truth will guide us to the answer. It pains me to see Oldrik and our fellow Fron, whom we have known for ages, fall for the deceit that is the great lie. It’s an internal struggle that we all face, a battle from within that never ceases to rage. At any moment, we can allow ourselves to believe the falsehoods that are spread by our adversaries and the fabrications that Them have convinced even their own kind to believe. It’s this lie that has led to the creation of Them, and it is this lie that has convinced Them that we are the enemy.”
The Keeper turned and looked through the portal wall. He watched from a distance as Oldrik and the others transformed from their previous state into disgusting, hideous creatures.
The Fron who walked alongside Oldrik shrank and shriveled. They looked at each other in dismay as the final consequence of their betrayal manifested itself. Each of them stared with horror at their hands, which had begun to throb. After expending a surprising amount of effort due to the agony, they held their hands in front of their faces and watched as their fingers grew in length and narrowed in width while the tips pulsated
and enlarged to the size of large grapes that looked as if they were about to explode. Sharp nails grew several inches from their now engorged fingertips, and slime oozed out of their pores and began to wrap around their bodies. They writhed in pain as the same thing happened to their feet. The process, which had started off slow, had gradually accelerated and was now almost complete.
Few people even know that the Scion School exists. Tucked away on a private Caribbean island, the school is host to thirty-six exceptionally gifted students, all orphans. They train and study every day to prepare themselves for an immense responsibility, to lead humankind back from the brink of extinction.
At least, that’s what they’ve been told.
Among the thirty-six is Jacey, 17, one of four Scions in the Eagle class. She is the favorite of the 93-year-old headmaster, Dr. Carlhagen. But when Jacey overhears a conversation between a strange visitor and one of the school’s first graduates, she learns a stunning fact about her future. One that Dr. Carlhagen has kept from all the Scions.
Following the cryptic clues given to her by the school’s AI professor, Jacey races to untangle the truth of who the Scions are, and what the headmaster really means when he says they are bound for a great destiny.
The girl waved for Jacey to stop, which was very strange. Belle had done so much to avoid Jacey that something had to be wrong if she was waving Jacey down. Maybe she had sprained an ankle or something.
Jacey almost kept going. But if Belle was truly injured . . .
She left the path, picking her way through the jagged rock and Turk’s Head cacti. “What’s wrong?”
Belle faced her, hands on her hips. The glove tucked in her waistband caught Jacey’s attention. And where was the glass object she’d been carrying?
Belle pointed at Jacey. “You’re what’s wrong.”
Jacey sagged. “Did you really wave me over just to insult me?”
Belle looked past Jacey.
She turned to find two boys from Vaughan’s Nine standing behind her. Horace, a tall, rail-thin boy who rarely spoke, and Kirk, his exact opposite, short, squat and thickly muscled.
They took position to block her way back to the main path.
“What’s going on?” Jacey demanded. The menace in Kirk’s eyes sent a chill over her skin.
Belle clasped her hands before her and strolled forward. “You asked Sensei the other day when you were going to be punished. And I know you were denied your virginity examination. At least I don’t think Wanda lied about that. I’d like to help you with at least one of these problems.”
Jacey’s blood froze and she backed away. The boys took hold of her arms.
“I figure we have a few options,” Belle said, stepping closer. She smiled, showing an even row of perfectly white teeth. Jacey had never seen Belle smile before, and it sent another shiver over her skin.
Belle stepped even closer, so that her shadow fell over Jacey. “Kirk could deliver the punishment. Blow for blow, the exact punishment Vaughan received.” She tapped Jacey’s ribs and the side of her head to show the spots the kicks would land.
“But no. That would break your ribs and skull. You might even end up in a coma.” She caressed Jacey’s forehead, face full of mock concern.
Belle’s fingers slid from Jacey’s temple down to the waistband of her running shorts. She pulled it down an inch on one side. “The virginity test . . . I’m afraid that’s not my area of expertise. Though I’m sure Kirk here might be willing to try.”
Jacey acted without thought. She may never have learned kung fu or muay thai, but she had studied ballet for years. She kicked, wildly. Belle threw up her arms, which absorbed most of Jacey’s attack. But the strike drove her back.
The boys still held Jacey in their steely grips. Horace swept her feet from under her, slamming her flat on her back. Jagged rocks bit into her flesh, forcing a cry from her lips.
Kirk swung a leg over her and in a second wrapped her in a jiu-jitsu submission hold. Jacey struggled to breathe. The blue sky overhead started to blacken.
“Don’t knock her out,” Belle said in a singsong voice that reminded Jacey of Mother Tyeesha. An evil version of Mother Tyeesha. “Without pain there is no punishment. Isn’t that right, Jacey?”
Belle held a jar. She brought it close so Jacey could see what was inside.
A shaddle spider. The tan arachnid was two inches long from the back legs to the probing front ones. Yellow markings, like slashes, crisscrossed its back.
To read the rest of Daughter of Nothing, download it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iTunes.
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Two Seattle 16-year-olds, Jatred and Jasmira, are not your typical star-crossed lovers. They are not even your typical Shape Shifters. Sure, they try to live an ordinary life. At least, as ordinary as the Prince and the Princess of the rivaling ancient Races–the Winter wolves and the Summer leopards–can live. But eventually they learn that not much about their existence can be normal. Especially when the Races’ two commanding Goddesses are involved.One of the Goddesses is on a quest to tilt the scale of power to her side. The other will never let it happen, even if it means kicking Jatred and Jasmira’s love to the curb. Nothing is off limits, including removing Jatred’s memories of Jasmira.
To complicate things even more, there are the Universe’s powers to consider. They are trapped in an ancient Amulet in order to protect the stability of the world. But the Universe has a mind of its own, and when the powers are unleashed, the forces of nature are disturbed; earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions shake the Earth. All Shifters of both Races are summoned by their respective Goddesses to fight in the name of, or against, the normalcy of the world.
Forged by Greed, book 1 in the Forged series, is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
“We are in the Summer Realm? How the hell did you get me here? I’m a Winter Shifter.” Jatred shot up to his feet.
“Relax. It’s only an illusion, remember? The Amulet did this.” Jasmira looked at him, dazed.
“No, no and no! This is not happening. Get me back to the Human World, J. Now! I’m serious. Get me out!” His eyes flicked around. “Get me out before Crystal finds out. Don’t you understand?” he shouted, frantic. His heart raced, and his blood pounded in his ears.
Jasmira felt like someone just dumped icy water over her. She was confused, but fought to stay focused. She had never seen Jatred panic before, and this sobered her. “Okay,” she whispered. Her mouth was trembling. “But I don’t know if I can. The Amulet… the Goddess.”
She squeezed her eyes. Her breath was shaky and shallow. Her body shimmered in and out, taking on an ethereal appearance then becoming physical again.
“J, what are you doing?” Jatred whispered, frightened. “Look.” His eyes slid to the Amulet dangling down from her fist. The blue stone shone, lit from the inside by a pulsing source of light.
Jatred gripped Jasmira’s hand. This time his fingers didn’t go through like they did before, when she appeared as an illusion. Her body was solid again. She held onto the chain halfway between the jewel and the clasp. The clasp flew open. One side of the chain encircled his wrist. The other part snaked around Jasmira’s wrist. Unexpectedly, it bound them in a vice-like grip. The metal felt as cold as a sheet of ice. They both yelled and tried to pull free, but it wouldn’t budge.
A spiraled script became visible on the jewel’s edge, the symbols shone like liquid gold. The teens frantically tried again to yank their hands away. The runes kept crawling around the gem, barely touching its surface.
“What’s going on? What is this?” Jatred growled. A sudden gust of wind tousled his hair.
“I don’t know. What does it say?” Jasmira shrieked. A storm broke around them. The wind became so strong, it made them stagger. They struggled to stay on their feet, turning their faces away from the wind to breathe.
“The letters look almost Arabic, but that’s not it.” Jatred tugged on the chain once more, this time with both hands.
Jasmira momentarily lost her balance, but regained it quickly. She shouted over the storm, “Stop pulling. It’s not working. Concentrate on getting back to the Human World!”
“Just do it!” Her features twisted with horror. Sweat trickled down her back, and she shook with panic.
They tore their eyes from the lazily spiraling runes and looked at each other. Jatred saw the Summer Goddess in his peripheral vision and turned his head. But she wasn’t there. A cold fear crept on his sweat-covered skin. He swore and squeezed his eyes. His uncle’s smiling face came to his mind. Jatred whispered hastily, “Imagine someone from the Human World.”
Jasmira concentrated on Penelope’s features, and felt a rush of hot air over her face and body. She heard Jatred grunt in pain, and everything went still.
Crystal stood motionless, looking like a glittery ice statue. Her eyes rested on Jatred’s frozen form covered by mounds of snow. She was deep in thought, and her face mirrored the turmoil inside her. Two huge ravens—the first Royal couple, Freki and Geri—sat in one of the trees on the edge of the clearing. The Goddess turned her head to look at them. They made a series of clicking noises, then cawed loudly, and sailed down to circle above her head, still croaking. She made an impatient gesture. “You’re annoying.” Her voice sounded clear in the frosty air, although her mouth didn’t move.
The ravens plummeted toward the ground, shifting in mid-air into two huge wolves. The animals landed on their paws. A low growl rumbled in the back of their throats. They walked slowly around Jatred’s frozen shape, their lips curled back.
Crystal watched them in silence for a while. Finally, she said, “I should listen to you and simply eliminate him to remove the danger of the ten-thousand-year mark. The Shifters could choose a new King or a Queen, and the world would be safe again. At least for a while. But I’m getting soft in my old age. ”
One of the wolves, Geri, quietly growled and snapped his jaws dangerously close to Jatred. Freki snarled much louder. Her muzzle wrinkled as she exposed her sharp canines. The Goddess shook her head. Reluctantly, the two animals moved away from Jatred. They walked toward the woods and disappeared between the snow-covered trees.
The Goddess closed her eyes and raised her arms to the sides. Her palms were up, and there was a luminescent moon shape on each of them.
“Jatred, my child,” she said with her mind.
Something in him started to awaken, as if from a deep sleep. Various images began a sluggish parade through his mind.
“Rise.” Crystal moved her arms up.
She became completely visible, looking like a regular young woman—a stunning young woman. Her dark hair glistened in the sun. Small, almost heart-shaped lips stayed motionless. The Amulet around her neck reflected sunrays, sending hundreds of tiny blue specks to dance on her half-covered breasts, bare shoulders, and neck.
She wore a white, knee-length sleeveless cotton dress. The hem was embroidered with tiny, glittering snowflakes, reminiscent of those coming down from a cloudless sky. The top of her white boots’ shafts were turned out, revealing thick silver-white fur. The shafts were embellished with white decorative inlays and stitching.
A thick pillow of snow, covering Jatred’s body, cracked and large chunks started to slide off. Like an ancient warrior, he rose in a slow but determined motion, uncurling his arms and lifting his head. Taking a deep breath, he opened his eyes and looked at Crystal. Jatred tilted his head back and shook his hair, then knelt on one knee.
“My Goddess,” Jatred said in a raspy voice. “Did you summon me?”
Crystal smiled and touched the Amulet. “Do you know what this is?”
“It’s the Amulet.”
“Do you remember you are the one to keep and protect it with your own life?” Crystal continued her investigation.
Jatred’s brows drew together, forcing his smooth forehead to crease. “Yes, I remember. Our Race has it in their possession right now, before it must pass back to the Summer.”
“Do you remember fighting one of my Garhanans?” Crystal’s smile disappeared.
“A Garhanan?” Jatred said the name slowly, shocked. “No. Did I do something wrong?”
“Yes, my child. But you are forgiven.” She looked at him sharply. “Actually, I want you to forget that Garhanan for now.” She slowly moved her hand in front of his face.
Jatred felt as if something cold stabbed at his brain. He winced and squeezed his eyes, staggering to the side.
Crystal seized his wrist and touched her other hand to Jatred’s cheek, making his icy pain subside. She smiled and took his hand in hers. “Now I will send you back to the Human World.”
They walked together, not leaving any tracks in a deep undisturbed snow. From behind, next to the tall broad-shouldered Jatred, the Goddess looked like a slender teenage girl. Soon their bodies started to shimmer and dissolve in the cold, winter air.
When a mad witch with a magically crafted and frightfully powerful Obsidian Dagger threatens to obliterate humanity and overtake the magic clans of the Celtic Isles, destiny forces 17-year-old American, Brendan O’Neal, and his younger sister, Lizzie, to intervene. Joining the desperate princess of the Leprechauns, Dorian, and her two loyal companions, Rory and Biddy, they embark on a dangerous and wondrous adventure across Ireland and Scotland to thwart the witch and save mankind. Brendan will soon learn that the lines between reality, mythology, and divinity are more blurred than he ever imagined.
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Brendan’s mind ran through all of the worst possible outcomes as they walked along the path in the Black Forest. The Black River and the bridge was behind them now and dark shadows and ominous, unforeseen dangers awaited them. The thought of the unknown was hard on Brendan. What would happen to Dorian, Rory, or Biddy if this strange illness-if it could be called that-overtook them? Would they end up like the Sidhes or the Merrows? Would it be worse than being controlled by Morna? Would they die?
After mulling around those disturbing thoughts for a while, Brendan started to focus on what would happen to him and to Lizzie. Without the help of the others how did they hope to complete the task? Gorogoch had already told them about the human slaves Morna had, and that was not a fate that Brendan wanted. A zombie-like monster at the will of a crazy old witch…no thanks. The locals called them Ruas for their glowing red eyes, a trademark of the poor devils. Not a fate that anyone would want to suffer.
They walked along in silence, listening intently to their surroundings. Any noise that was out of place-albeit in a cursed forest-drew their attention and made them ready their guard.
Brendan was getting tired of the on-edge feeling so he decided to probe Gorgoch‘s memory. “Are we there yet?”
“Not quite,” the ghost replied. “More obstacles await us.”
“Great. Like what?” inquired Lizzie. She had calmed herself considerably after the fight with the Kelpies, but the anticipation of the next foe was making her antsy.
Gorgoch tried to think back to when he was alive and stormed the gates as a vengeful youth. Losing his love had driven him to the edge of murder, only it wasn’t Dullahan or Morna that received his wrath, but the unsuspecting people that Morna had unleashed him upon. It was hard to remember anything but the hate he felt at the time. It was blind rage he supposed.
“Well, it’s hard to remember.”
“What do you mean?” asked Dorian.
“I came through here so fast and was fueled by so much hate that I’m having a hard time remembering anything other than that.” Gorgoch moved along in thought and a few memories floated to the surface of his consciousness.
“After the bridge there was…” he fought hard to pull the memory up. “Darkness.”
“Well that’s helpful,” derided Brendan.
Three more steps showed Brendan, Lizzie, Rory, and Dorian what Gorgoch had meant. The path had led them directly over a hole in the ground that was covered in overgrowth. Gravity won out and they plummeted into the unknown darkness with a scream.
Biddy flapped her wings and looked over at Gorgoch with great surprise. He shrugged. “Oh yeah, a cave.”
Biddy and Gorgoch floated down the entrance of the cave in time to see the rest of the group untangling themselves from one another. Lucky for Rory, he was laid out flat on top of the pile.
“Crickey!” the little man cried. “A little warning would have been nice there.”
“Sorry about that,” replied Gorgoch with a shimmering smile. “I forgot what the darkness was.” Gorgoch made his visceral self-glow a bit brighter and shed a modicum of light in the small room.
Brendan got to his feet first and offered his hands to Lizzie and Dorian. He pulled them up and they all glanced around the cavern.
“Wow, its cozy in here,” Brendan joked as he felt the dampness on his backside and tried in vain to wipe it off. He held his sword aloft and pointed it back up the entrance. The sword illuminated the smooth, steeply-pitched slide that they just tobogganed down. “Good thing it wasn’t just a straight fall.”
“That’s for sure,” agreed Biddy. “It was probably fifteen meters or so.”
“That would have left a mark,” chuckled Rory. Half way through his laugh a fit of coughs set in and made him struggle to breathe.
Brendan looked around the small cavern and took note of the few cave characteristics that he learned about in Earth Science. There were small stalagmites and stalactites that littered the ceiling and the floor. The walls glistened with small flecks of crystals that formed as water ran down carving out the cave over thousands of years. The cave opened up to a thin passage that was a dozen meters opposite the entrance. The floor’s gradient sloped in a subtle manner.
“Well, Gorgoch, do we go to the passage or back topside?”
Gorgoch thought back and he sighed. “We have to move forward, but I want to warn you that down these passages was where I was snatched up and taken to Morna.”
“I think the warning of danger goes without saying,” offered Dorian. “Let’s go.”
She wanted her life to change … he wanted his to stay the same.
Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Swimming and spending time with Tatiana, her best friend, are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college, and Ash hopes to finally ditch her longtime crush for Finley, Tatiana’s twin brother. But when Tatiana and her family fail to return home after a family emergency, Ashlyn chooses to do something drastic to find them.
Finley Helton and his family are good at blending in as they run their sailing charter business in Lake Tahoe. But together, they guard an ancient secret. When a not so routine meeting forces Finley, Tatiana and their mother to return to Natatoria and Fin’s father on a dangerous mission, Fin can’t stay caged up for long.
Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, and a simple lifesaving kiss could change their lives forever.
“What’s wrong?” I asked and glanced over to where Tatiana looked, afraid her father might be storming down the beach towards us. Instead, a red Jeep rolled over the ridge and down the rocky path that separated our neighborhoods.
She tsked. “What does he want?”
My mouth parched as I caught a glimpse of Tatchi’s twin brother through his windshield. He wore his usual black baseball hat, and looked nothing short of adorable.
“He’s coming here?” My voice cracked.
Centuries ago something catastrophic happened. Historians claim it was an accident that spilled the clouds out of the sky, leaving humanity under a relentless veil of gray.
For young Declan and Sammi, all they’ve ever known is a world of gray skies and dense fog. Now, at odds about the past and uncertain of their future, they’re of age, and it’s time to build their lives together.
Yet the coming of the End of Gray Skies has been declared. For a world shrouded in the mysterious fog, the promise to fix a centuries-old accident brings new hope that they might one day see and feel the warmth of the sun on their faces.
But questions begin to surface. Questions of whether there ever was an accident. Questions asking what really happened that changed the Earth and what will happen if their world once again sits under the sun.
Gray Skies is a 38k word short novel, and is Book 1 of the Gray Skies series. Don’t forget to check out the other books in the Gray Skies series, available and coming soon on Amazon:
Find more from Brian Spangler on his website.