July 25, 2013

A.K. Morgen's Top Ten Novel Heroes - Fade Summary


I'm a sucker for a great character. I'm an even bigger sucker if that character just so happens to fill the role of hero. My criteria for fitting that "hero" title isn't always traditional, but I think the characters there are deserving of it for a variety of different reasons. There is always a place in my heart for men with an unwavering sense of loyalty, strength, honor, passion, mystery, or just plain old charm.

As a result, I've collected quite a rag-tag crew of favorite heroes over the years. But when it comes to my top ten, there's just no contest! Here they are, in no particular order:


  1. Rhage from Lover Eternal – He's this massive warrior who turns into a terrifying beast, but all he thinks about is Mary. He makes me melt in about 2.5 seconds flat. Every. Single. Time.

  1. Roland (The Gunslinger) from Wizard and Glass – He's like John Wayne on crack through most of The Dark Tower series, but in Wizard and Glass, we get to see his humanity in this big way. His entire life is so messed up, but he never forgets his only love, Susan. Le sigh.

  1. Axel from Journey to the Center of the Earth – All Axel wanted to do was stay at home and marry his love, but his uncle dragged him halfway around the world, and then proceeded to put him through one crazy adventure after another. Shen all is said and done though, Axel stills go home to marry Grauben. The best part? He's still the same, humble guy he was at the beginning.

  1. Candide from Candide – When Candide falls for Cunegonde, his life quickly unravels. He's thrown from one disaster to another, which would give anyone pause, but Candide's love for Cunegonde never fails. Voltaire meant this satirical account to point out the ridiculousness of eternal optimism, he told a pretty adorable love story, too.

  1. Toto from The Oz series – Yes, Toto. Even though the magic of Oz imbued this little guy, allowing him to speak, he made it through half the original series without ever saying a word. No matter what kind of crazy situations his little mistress got them into, he still trotted along without complaint, protecting her whenever necessary. He may not be the traditional hero, but you have to admit, he's pretty awesome for a dog.

  1. Igor from Goblins in the Castle – This sweet guy was so loyal to his master, he remained hidden away to guard Toad-in-a-Cage Castle for years. Even though he forgot why he was even there or what he guarded against, he stayed. Not even torture kept Igor down for long. I just love him.

  1. Patch from Hush, Hush – Ah, Patch. My fake boyfriend. Patch wants nothing more than to become human, but he gives it all up for one special girl, and he does it with a suggestive quip on the tip of his tongue. Through it all, he's pretty dang mysterious too. My husband tells everyone he's my husband-approved boyfriend. What's not to love?

  1. Carmine from Sempre – Carmine and Haven endure all sorts of horrific situations, interference, and life or death moments, but they never stop loving one another. I cannot read this book without curling into a ball and crying my eyes out, but I adore the story and Carmine so much! Swoon.

  1. Rain from the Tairen Soul series – This Fae king is a total bad-ass, excuse the language. He destroys an entire race, climbs back from the depths of self loathing, and saves his soul mate and the world from some pretty scary mages. And he does it dressed in leather and strapped with weaponry. Rawr.

  1. Garion from the Belgariad series – Through the series, we watch Garion grow up, fall in love with his future queen, whip kings and kingdoms into order, and then go to some pretty amazing lengths to keep his family safe. Despite living in a make-believe world, he's such a realistic, humble guy. Who doesn't love a farmboy that goes on to do great things?


About the Author:

A.K. Morgen lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, three dogs, and demonic cat. She has a graduate degree in Criminal Justice and Law, and grand plans to save the world some day. When she’s not writing, she spends her time teaching her niece and nephews how to cause mischief. You can also find her dancing in the grocery store, building a spork army, and fundraising for nonprofits close to her heart.

You can learn more about Ayden at http://akmorgen.com or by following her on Twitter, GoodReads, or Facebook.

FADE – The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book One –




Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

Summary:

What do you do when you realize nothing in your life is what you’ve believed it to be?

When Arionna Jacobs loses her mother in a tragic accident, her world is turned upside down. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father. Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at her new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him.

When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don't understand what's happening to them or why, and they're running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them.

Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.

FADE is available from Curiosity Quills Press at Amazon US, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.



July 22, 2013

Check out Psyched by Juli Caldwell

If you haven't read Psyched yet, this gorgeous cover should be enough incentive. Need more? Check out those reviews. Sounds scary...in a really good way!

 
Cover Art by Morteque

You can find it on Amazon, Smashwords, and in paperback at CreateSpace

So far, great reviews for Psyched!

"This is one of those books you just can't put down. What I love about Psyched in addition to a great, spooky story is strong characters and narrative voice. Aisi is the most awesome chick, strong-willed, sassy, and deals with some crazy stuff happening with a spunkiness that I loved... Psyched is well-written, riveting, surprising and genre-busting. Teens will love this book, but it definitely has a more wide-ranging appeal."

and...

"Aisi Turay is one awesome girl. She has power to see the dead...as in their souls...This is a great read, filled with suspense. I NEVER knew from one chapter to the next what was happening. It is well written and a very enjoyable...and a bit scary!"

Psyched is part ghost story, part suspense, part demon-hunting thriller, part budding romance.It's the story of a girl named Aisi who's doing her best to keep it together for her wreck of a family. She is smart, sassy, and sarcastic enough to keep things interesting. When she meets Vance on the single worst day of her life, she finds a guy who just might be the first person ever to get her, to believe in her, and to out-random her with bizarre observations at the worst possible moment. There's just something about him that she knows she can trust.

Together, Aisi and Vance wander through the memories of others to unlock the secrets of her past while battling a demon who wants to ensure she never finds what she's looking for. Aisi vanquishes demons all the time, but Malus Indolus is too strong. And he has plans for her...and her family.


Here's a little teaser...

“But as I said,” Father J continued, “you must know more. There are other pieces to this puzzle, and to understand how they fit together, we must go back.”
Aisi trembled. She didn’t want to cry, but she couldn’t handle it again. Those visions, seeing those horrible things. “I…can’t,” she replied, trying not to choke on her words.
Father J cast a glance at Vance. “He can see what you want him to see.”
Vance looked startled as the words sank into Aisi. “What do you mean, I can see?”
“Aisi can see whatever she wants, whenever she wants. Part of her gift—”
“Gift, curse, whatever,” she muttered, interrupting.
“Part of her gift,” Father J continued, his voice clear and firm, “is she can share what she wants. Just as she saw her father’s history by touching my hands, so too can you see what she sees by touching hers.”
Vance shook his head, surprised. He took a step back and ran his fingers through his hair, making the sandy brown strands stand on end. “Wow. But…why me? I mean, can anyone see what she sees if she wants?”
“Simply put, Vance, you believe. You believe in her. You are the first to see Aisi as she truly is, yet you do not fear. You have faith in a world people refuse to see, a realm they choose to fear. Such a thin veil separates us from the dead and from the savage unborn. You are not chosen; you chose yourself. Only those who believe in her and in themselves can see. As with everything we do in this life, we live with the consequences of what we choose to believe.”
Vance took a long look at Aisi, searching her face. She felt his eyes on her, saw him in her mind even though she refused to make eye contact. His mouth opened and closed, and he seemed to work up his courage as he asked, “Aisi? Do you want me to see what you can see?”
She looked up in surprise. That was so not what she expected. She thought freakishly intense ghost hunter boy would jump at the chance to use her abilities to look for ghosts or hunt down some demons. After he’d willingly let a demon take control of him, she was sure he’d take advantage of her to get an A+ on his stupid school project. Instead, he asked permission. 




Psyched is Juli's second novel, the first as an indie writer, and her first experiment with her true love as a reader: paranormal fiction. Her debut novel Beyond Perfection is also available.

You can find Juli on Twitter, Facebook,  and her blog.

July 18, 2013

Mark of the Dragon by Bill Morgan and M.R. Polish

Mark of the Dragon
By
Bill Morgan and M.R. Polish


In a land of warriors and dragons, 
everything is going to change...

Blurb
Countries are divided and war is raging, but none of that matters to Andra. She knows deep down that she is destined to be a dragon rider. There has never been a woman rider, but that doesn’t matter to Andra either. After her father's death, she trains harder than any man to be a worthy candidate. Even when the Aquastrian leader wants her dead, she fights back. Can she overcome traveling hundreds of miles on foot, surviving hunger, bandits, assassins and wild carnivores?

Liam is just another warrior who hopes he is worthy of the Mark of the Dragon. He must endure the long trek from Aquastra to Santerrian and avoid all people and especially those who may be hired to kill him. Meeting Andra along the way changes everything. He fights to help her and kills to protect her, but will it be enough to get them both to their dragons before it's too late?





Mysts of Santerrian World Map



Mark of the Dragon is available now on:
Kindle
Nook




About the Authors:
M.R. Polish was born in Idaho, a long, long, long, maybe not that long time ago.... Writing has always been there for her. Growing up, her mind was filled with stories, some she shared and others she filed away to write down later in life. It wasn't until 2011 that she decided to publish her stories for everyone to enjoy. Her first award and when writing became more than just an idea was in the 5th grade. She won the scary story contest for the school newspaper. It is one story she still has tucked away for memories. Her teacher told her she could be anything she wanted and that she had a talant for writing, being creative and drawing people into her stories. M.R. took that to heart and continued to write, although mostly in secret until recent years. 
Now you can find her enjoying life with her family - wrangling her four kids, setting traps in the house with toys for unsuspecting victims (aka, her husband) and writing down all her crazy and fun stories. 

"Life is too short to stand by and watch everyone else live your dreams. The bigger the dream, the bigger the adventure!" ~ M.R. Polish

You can find M.R. here:



Bill Morgan is M.R.’s dad, and if she was born that long ago, You all

should shudder at how long ago he was born. He has always been
creative. As an amateur artist and an avid woodworker, he always
could see the hidden beauty in a blank piece of paper or a piece of
wood. He joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1986 and spent twenty years
saving lives and serving his country. He always
had stories running
around in his head, but he never tried to put them onto paper until
M.R. convinced him to do this book with her. Now he is actively
writing two additional sci-fi/fantasy novels. Hopefully she hasn’t
created a monster. Bill’s favorite thing is his family. He has a
wonderful wife, two adult daughters, four sisters, and more
wonderful nieces and nephews than you can believe. His last count
was over one hundred and he loves them all. One of his favorite
quotes comes from a movie, but it applies to writing a fictional novel
as well:
“Don’t know where we’re going, but there’s no sense in being late.”

You can find Bill here:









July 17, 2013

The turning point in my life as a writer...



I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember, long before I knew how to read or write. My parents encouraged my creativity with story prompts such as, “What happened?” and “What on earth were you thinking?”

My earliest stories opened in medias res and featured flamboyant villains, pirates, evil queens and masked men with guns and knives. I, of course, was always the lone protagonist. And if my parents had trouble suspending disbelief, I’d just throw in an act of God.

I eventually learned the difference between flat out lying and embellishing a story. I also learned that sheets make lousy parachutes. Training wheels are on bicycles for a reason. Go carts need brakes. And you should never, ever roll anyone down a steep hill in an old tire without first clearing away large rocks.

One of the first turning points in my storytelling career occurred when I discovered I could command the rapt attention of my pre-teen peers with extremely improbable, but highly romantic, stories. All I had to do was frame the story inside the comment, “I had a dream about you and…(whatever celebrity they were currently crushing on)."

The most important lesson I learned during those formative years was that you can’t end an unresolved story with, “And then I woke up.” No one likes a cliffhanger.

I first considered writing as an actual career in high school when a few of my angst-riddled short stories and poems were published in an anthology. What a rush! I knew then I wanted to write a real book. But I didn’t know how.

It was overwhelming. I gave up. Years passed. I tried several different careers, but never lost the desire to write a full-length novel. 

One day, I stumbled across a website hosting fan fiction and decided to give that a try. It was much easier to continue someone else's story using their characters and their world, sort of like learning to ride a bike with training wheels. (Those early childhood lessons were not forgotten.)

I decided to write a short little 10,000 word story, as a test, to see if I could do it. I never meant to spend the better part of a year writing a 200,000 word opus.

But reviews are addicting. I checked the website obsessively after posting a new chapter. My husband encouraged me to stop playing around with fan fiction and write something I could sell. My story had over 2,000 reviews (most of them positive) but it was free and it was riding on the back of someone else’s very popular series. I didn't think anyone would pay to read my stories. But the seed was planted.

A few characters started to take shape. Jonathan, Franklin, River and Eli occupied my mind for hours. But it wasn’t until my fan fiction won a couple of "readers' choice" awards for "most original plot" and "best author" that I started to think that, yeah, maybe I could do this. That was probably the single most important turning point of my career.

I studied every “how to write” book I could get my hands on. I bought a laptop and converted the guest room into an office. And then I sat my butt down and wrote for eight to ten hours a day. I also conquered my fear and submitted a writing sample to Orson Scott Card’s juried workshop.

Jonathan and River’s story was ninety percent done when I got the news that I was one of fourteen people that had been accepted into the exclusive “bootcamp” portion of the workshop. I think that’s the first time I felt like a “real writer.”

My excitement waned a bit when Mr. Card read my writing sample out loud to an assembly of about one hundred people then ripped it to shreds. I thought I would die from humiliation. I didn’t. I didn’t run away or crawl under my chair or even cry… but I sure wanted to.

The other "boot camp winners" critiques were just as harsh as mine, so I felt a lot better by the end of the day. Sad, but true. Misery really does love company.

As part of the workshop, we had twenty-four hours to write a short story that the entire group would critique. When it was my turn, I started hyperventilating. The other writers praised my work, but my anxiety only escalated. I nearly passed out from the stress when Mr. Card held up my simple little story about a girl with a power name and a chastity curse that zapped any boy that touched her.

He tapped the front page with his index finger and said, “This story needs to be expanded into a young adult novel. Teenage girls will love it and make their boyfriends read it.” He was right. Enchantment’s been downloaded nearly 200,000 times.

He said lots of other things too, but that’s all I remember about that major turning point. I was on fire. I went home, put River and Jonathan on hold, and wrote Josh and Channie’s story. I titled it, in part, as a tribute to Orson Scott Card.


If you type “Enchantment” in Amazon’s search window, his novel is usually right next to mine. I smile every time I see it. 

July 10, 2013

Dreamscape by Christie Rich is now available

The day is finally here! Dreamscape is the first book in the Netherworld series by Christie Rich, and because I'm awesome, I'm helping her out today!


Here's the blurb:

Every night before Amelia falls asleep she makes a wish to dream of him – the man who calls her to their beautiful private oasis, her sanctuary where she is free of her greedy landlord’s threats. But tonight, he will not call Amelia to him. Tonight, another man will step into her world to claim her. Tonight, Amelia’s shattering reality will crumble - and disappear into the Dreamscape…along with her freedom.

When Amelia dreams tonight, her nightmare becomes her new world where Seth is her captor and anything is possible…except escape. Seth needs Amelia to break the curse that binds him to the Dreamscape. He must convince her that she was made to free him, that she was made to join him.

For if he fails, he will never escape his prison, and he will lose Earth to the Netherworld where the evil Erobos wait to consume the human realm and everything in it. If he fails, Seth will lose the one thing that matters to him: Amelia.

How about an excerpt?


Amelia


Varner’s voice cuts through the front door just before three juddering bangs reach me. “I know you’re in there, Amelia. If you’re not gone by eight, I’m coming in.” His voice lowers, probably to avoid wandering ears. My spine stiffens more with each word. “You’d better be ready for me if you decide to stay.”
I’ve already packed my stuff. Pitiful as it is, one beat-up suitcase sits by the door.
“Amelia!”
I turn up the volume on my MP3 player until it won’t go any higher, clutching Justine’s picture to my chest. “Yeah!” I yell, my voice tight with anger. Hot tears cut a path down my cheeks. I scrub them away before they can slide any farther. To take my mind off the pit in my stomach, I grit my teeth until my jaw hurts. I need more time, but I’m not about to give Varner what he wants for it. “I got it. Go! Away!” I pull one bud out of my ear to make sure he’s leaving.
He says something about not signing leases with old ladies before his voice fades into nothing. The lecher thinks he’s got me.
Ha. No one has me, especially not him. And to think I used to consider him cute.
When I told Varner ‘no’ earlier, he didn’t exactly take me at my word, until I landed a good hit to his jugular. He shoved me down, and I let him go. On his way out he made no pretense about eyeing what’s left of Justine’s china doll collection. The minute he was through the door, I smashed the majority of them rather than have him get his hands on them. I really don’t have room, but I couldn’t destroy her favorite. She said it looked just like me.
I sold everything else to make last month’s rent, but I ran out of time with the dolls. I was hoping for a collector.
It doesn’t matter now.
Even though I’ve tried to pick up extra shifts at the diner, tips have been awful. I have two hundred bucks in my account, which Varner is not getting a penny of. I need everything I have to find a place to live. The reality of the moment sets in. This is my final night in Justine’s apartment.
The shabby place shouldn’t mean anything to me, but it still smells like her. She had this sweet perfume that she liked to slather on. I got used to it after a while. She wasn’t exactly old, either. Varner’s just too strung out to know the difference. He doesn’t even own the place, but he’s way better to deal with than his psychotic uncle, who likes to call me his chipmunk when nobody else is looking. One way or another, I’ll be out of here by six.
Justine used to say, “Stay sharp, kid. No one knows when their time’s up.” Well, she sure didn’t. Justine was my grandma. She died last month at only fifty-eight. She didn’t even get a lousy funeral. They stuck her in a furnace and handed me her remains. I took her up Provo canyon to Sundance and watched her float away on the wind. The cremation was expensive enough that I couldn’t afford a separate plot for her. I couldn’t have brought myself to visit the cemetery anyway. Besides, we all crumble to dust one way or another. She is better off flying.
No matter what my life becomes, Justine saved me from tumbling around the foster system. I had a few years of stable, and I’ll never forget what she did for me. She helped me to see there are other ways of living. Although we didn’t have much to live on, we were never short on love.
I miss her fiercely. If she were here, she’d tell me to get over it, so I’m trying.
Thank my lucky stars she waited until I got my diploma to ditch me; although, I’m not quite sure how it’ll help me now. I’m alone in this world.
My mom only made it to twenty-one before she overdosed on crack. My dad lasted to a ripe old age of thirty. He got killed in some weird accident when I was twelve. I never saw him anyway, so my life hasn’t been much different since he bit it. As far as I know, he was short on family too. If he does have family stashed somewhere on this planet, I probably wouldn’t want to know them. He never did a thing for me, so why would they?
Justine was my ticket to normal, and she left me with no money, no prospects—unless you count the hazy offer I got from Roberto.
I hang out with him when I have nothing else to do. When I told him the news he graciously asked me to share his pad under the viaduct. I gave him a swift ‘no thank you’ even though I should have told him not even if I weren’t half his age and he had most of his teeth. I couldn’t hurt his feelings like that. One day, once I’m settled and he’s still around, I’m going to do something to help him.
If I hadn’t just turned eighteen I might have found somewhere to camp in the foster system for a while. As horrible of a thought as it is, being homeless is probably better than wading through families until one stuck or I got kicked out again.
With nothing else to do, I try to sleep. Try is the operative word. Ever since my grandma went, I can’t seem to stay in slumberland. It doesn’t help that I haven’t seen Jason, either.
Although Jason is a figment of my imagination, he’s helped me through some rough times. I’ve dreamt of him every night for nearly four years now, at least I used to. I haven’t had that particular dream in two weeks, and as stupid as it is, I miss him. After Justine died, he held me on the grass while I cried, listening to the beat of his heart and the thrum of the waterfall behind us. I’ve wished him alive or that I could join him in that place for good so many times. I cry every time I wake up without him.
Maybe it’s for the best that he’s gone. Dreams aren’t real, and a dream boyfriend can’t help me find a new place to live.
I shift onto my side, adjusting my pillow, trying not to think about the dingy beige carpet under my arms. It prickles my skin, but everything else is gone. Even if I hadn’t already packed the one I kept, it’s too hot for a blanket.
Focusing on the beat of the music, I sway, Justine’s picture lying beside me, and will myself to sleep. Somewhere between my thoughts about tomorrow and dawn I drift away.

My dreams shift and whirl until my mind rests in the familiar oasis I’ve sought out for years. Finally.
The afternoon sun warms my moistened skin as I take in the jagged cliffs in front of me and the thick jungle that surrounds the pool, trying to locate him. The breeze brings an intoxicating aroma of tropical blooms. Every time I come here, I’m wet, yet I don’t know how I got that way. “Jason?” I call.
No answer.
Where is he?
My teeth clamp onto the inside of my upper lip. I’ve never been away from the water, but I need to find him. He has to be here.
If nothing else, I’d like to tell him goodbye…thank you. I have no idea if I’ll see him again, and his absence presses in on me. This world is not right without him.
The cool grass bends under my bare feet while a breeze blows wet tendrils into my eyes. I glance up at the falls. Last time I was here, Jason dared me to dive from the top of the waterfall. Here, I can do anything. Fear is meaningless, or is it? Strangely, tension prickles my spine.
A foreign tremor rushes along my skin, leaving a trail of goose bumps in its wake. I scan every inch of the landscape until my eyes meet someone else’s gaze.
It is not Jason.
The man is tall with dark hair like Jason, but everything else about him is wrong. He’s standing twenty feet away from me at the edge of the jungle. The wind picks up, blowing his brown locks around his chiseled features.
As he steps closer, I glance behind me to the pool, judging the distance. I should be able to get away from him if I need to.
When I face him again, he’s standing directly in front of me. My heart explodes and my body coils to run.
He doesn’t move to touch me, but his eyes hold a warning his lips confirm. “We have no time. He’s coming for you. Learn all you can then find me. Prepare yourself!”

I jolt upright, my fingers digging into the carpet. I’m breathing so hard I have to wait a minute to stand up. What the hell kind of dream was that?
Somehow, I always thought the oasis was mine and Jason’s, as if no one else existed but us. That guy violated our sanctuary. A gusty laugh comes out of me from the thought. A dream man violated my dream. His warning still echoes in my throbbing veins.
A bit unsteady, I make my way into the kitchen. My fingers fumble for the light switch, but nothing happens when I flip it. Yeah, I forgot. The power was shut off yesterday. At least the water still works.
I hope.
Clutching my cup, I fiddle with the sink until I finally get the knob to twist. The tepid water eases my dry throat, but it does nothing for my nerves, or my belly. It groans at me again. I’m going to have to eat soon, even if I have to check the dumpsters behind Fred’s Bakery. There’s no point in checking the fridge. I found the final remnants of food the day before last. For not the first time, I wonder what I’m going to do when tomorrow comes. Two hundred dollars aren’t enough for anything. Even if I use it only for food, it will disappear before I get paid again, and that’s assuming I don’t get canned for not having a mailing address.
Even though it’s three AM, I’m gonna head out. I have a lot to do today, and since I can’t sleep, I might as well get started. When I find the faucet again and shut it off, my ears prickle with an unwelcome noise.
A door creeks open and I stiffen where I stand.
Varner.
All I’ve got to defend myself are my fists, my feet and my plastic cup. My knife is in my bag. Light from the living room filters through the doorway. He probably thinks he’s gonna blind me with his flashlight so he can get his greedy hands on me. Not in this lifetime.
I inch my way to the doorway and peek around it. What meets my gaze doesn’t make any sense.
A man stands opposite me, framed by the closet. His big body could never be mistaken for that of Varner Walsh.
The light behind him comes from a roaring fire that somehow spans forever. Orange flames dance and flicker, casting his face in shadow while haloing him in gold.
I’m dreaming. I have to be.
I’ve had some weird ones lately, but nothing has been as real as this. When I dig my nails into my palms, the dream theory disintegrates with the pain.
Maybe he’s a fireman, but where’s the smoke? Why aren’t the flames burning anything? Where’s his gear? He’s wearing a suit for hell’s sake.
His face turns as if he’s scanning the room, so I take the opportunity to scurry to the opposite wall.
My pulse pounds in my ears and sweat drips down my back. From here, the front door is four, maybe five lunges away. If he goes into the bedroom, I might be able to—
“Amelia?” he calls, his deep voice somehow familiar.
That’s impossible. I don’t know him, but even if I did I wouldn’t stick around. Who told this guy I was here? He can’t be with Child Protective Services. I no longer qualify. My mind flits back to the weird fire. I’m not sticking around to figure out his magic act.
I make my move, jetting through the near-empty living room. My fingers fumble with the bolt before I move for the lock on the knob. I’m taking too long. He’s going to—
Arms clamp around me, hauling me up against a wall of muscle. The shock nearly makes me pee myself. My mouth opens on a scream, but he whirls me around and tosses me over his shoulder, cutting off my air.
I kick and punch and bite into cloth. He twists around, making my head spin on delirium.
I scream for help, but my throat thickens immediately. I struggle to breathe. I can’t think.
He bends until my face is right over his rear end, but he stands up before I can sink my teeth into anything substantial. As if he’s getting comfortable, he jostles me around. My pulse quickens while my head hurts from the rush of blood and fear. When he moves toward the closet, I find my voice.
“Help!” I scream, kicking and punching against his hard muscles.
No one answers as he plunges us into the flames.
I expect death, but what I get is deposited on my rear end in a spacious room with a wall of fire at my back. My eyes sweep the perimeter of what looks like an upscale apartment with a bed tucked in one corner and a living area in front of me. The dark paneled walls lend an old world feel that is only mirrored by the heavy furnishings. There are rich velvets and leather. Even the air is different. Instead of Justine’s sweet scent, a dark musk fills the space.
How is this possible? We were just in my hall closet.
The man steps away from me. His chest lifts with each sharp breath he takes.
The flames should have fried me, but I’m here. I have to be dreaming. The only thing is, I don’t quite think I am. It’s absurd to think that, but the heat from the fire wall has intensified now that the guy is standing away from me. Sweat drips down my scalp and my shirt clings to my back. I’m going to have to move soon.
The only thing is I don’t know what this guy will do. I turn my head and look through the flames, but all I see is a huge pendulum, like from a clock, swinging back and forth.
All of the sudden the flames disappear and all that remains is a crevice that runs the length of what should be a wall. The pendulum is easier to see now, at least the lower half. The upper part of it is cut off by the ceiling. Only darkness lies beyond the fire pit, like it opens into a cavern.
This has got to be the strangest place I’ve ever seen.
“I know you must be frightened,” says the man. “I’m sorry about that. I have much to explain to you. Would you please join me on the sofa?”
“As if,” I tell him. Even though I’m still thinking this has to be a dream, I ask, “Who are you? What is this place? Why am I here?”
His voice comes out low, guttural. “You don’t remember me?”
“I’ve never seen you in my life.”
Intense blue eyes latch onto mine. “Things are not always what they appear, Amelia.”
This is a dream. He’s a figment of my imagination.
A smile stretches on his full lips. “In time, all will be revealed.”
He takes a step toward me and I jump to my feet. I move back and back until my feet are near the pit. Even this close, I can’t see what’s beyond it.
“Stay away from me,” I tell him.
He spreads his hands, but his eyes are wild. Veins on his forearms bulge as he puts his hands in his pockets. “Please. Let me explain.”

I nod, taking a seat on the floor again. There is no way I’m getting anywhere near him, dream or not.

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About the Author

I grew up daydreaming about fairytales, and my love for discovering new worlds has never died. I am not one of those writers who always knew I would write. I thought that was what other people did until one day a few years ago, I took a challenge from a friend and typed my first words. My journey has been wonderful, and I cannot imagine a day where I would ever give up writing. My love for reading is what fueled my imagination in the first place and still does. When I am not writing or reading, I am enjoying family time with my husband and two children. My family and I live in a quiet community in Northern Utah, and I am so thankful for the rich life I have been blessed with.

July 09, 2013

Blogger Book Fair July 22 - 26

Check out the upcoming Blogger Book Fair to learn about tons of indie authors and the bloggers that support them. I've used these events in the past to find some of my fave new books. It's a tremendous effort with tons of giveaways and surprises by the authors and bloggers.


July 07, 2013

Veiled Shadows by Morgan Wylie

Title: Veiled Shadows (The Age of Alandria, Book 2)
Genre: YA fantasy
Expected Publication: Fall 2013

Blurb:

Shadows linger where light is obstructed, and truth is veiled.

Evil is an untreated disease in the once beautiful realm of Alandria.

Kaeleigh is faced with a revelation that she must reconcile. She will decide if discovering the truth is worth the unknown consequences to both herself and her friends.

Daegan, the Ferrishyn warrior, is conflicted by more than his loyalties, and is confronted with emotions he doesn’t know how to deal with. A choice must be made. A choice… that may cost him more than he ever wanted to give.

The Droch-Shúil—enforcers and servants of the ancient darkness—continue to cast their shadow over Alandria seeking those who can be turned to their side.

The magic of The Orchids is growing, but not everyone will survive what is to come.

Veiled Shadows is the second installment in The Age of Alandria series: the story of the Sol-lumieth’s quest for freedom of self and the power to battle the evil of the Droch-Shúil.

Add it to Goodreads HERE

About the author:


Morgan Wylie, originally from the Pacific Northwest, now resides near Nashville, TN with her husband and daughter. She and her husband work everyday at their individual and combined creative pursuits while she learns to balance being “Mama”, wife, and mediator to the many voices and muses constantly chattering in her head.

You can find her and news on her books at the following:

MorganWylieBooks on Facebook
@MWylieBooks on Twitter
Goodreads and Amazon (Author Bio)


Her novel Silent Orchids (The Age of Alandria~Book One) is available: 
Amazon     Barnes&Noble     Smashwords    Kobo     iTunes