Happy Release Day to my Painted Maidens!
I am so excited to reveal ‘The Betrayed, Book Two of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’! It has been a looooong time coming. I won’t bore you with a long post, but I will give you what you need – the links!
Please help spread the word!
Two separate worlds; the Undine of The Deep and the Wolves of The Dry. A history muddled in war but thick with family bonds blur the lines of right and wrong. The youngest members of each race unite, trying to steer their people away from the brink of disaster. Serena and Liam must work together to resolve the problems of their people before the pressure tears these twin siblings apart. But the betrayed are angry, and are out for revenge.
Finally available across all channels for purchase! ‘The Rising, Book One of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’ has been described as a wonderfully unique story. I guarantee this young adult series sets apart from any mermaid story you’ve read, or what you might come to expect.
The ebook is $4.99 on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, and iTunes. For the rest of November, I’m willing to send out a free copy of ‘The Rising’ for anyone who agrees to post a review on either Amazon or Goodreads, or both. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below. And don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads TBR List. I encourage you to take the plunge – you might just love what you discover down in the deep!
“It was a great ride. I devoured every page and loved the whole thing through.” by Ariel Avalon, Book Blogger
“This is a wonderfully unique story.” and “I recommend this if you enjoy mermaids or werewolves with some great action, mystery and a bit of romance.” by Darker Passions Book Blog
“The book is fast paced filled with action that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very end, add in a little romance and mystery for the perfect balance. The author has written a beautiful story that sparks the imagination. I loved everything about the story and can’t wait for the next one to see what happens to both Serena and Liam as their stories unfold.” by The Reading Diaries Book Blog
Amazon | Smashwords | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads
The Kindred Curse Anthology is set to the very low price of….FREE March 28th and 29th on Amazon. Click here to pick up your ebook copy.
With an average of 4.25 stars out of 17 ratings on Goodreads, and an average of 4.6 stars out of 8 reviews on Amazon, this is a CAN’T MISS FREEBIE!
A disease passed to each new generation of descendants attracts vampires. Pieces of family history and the secrets to survival are lost as the lineage progresses. The Kindred Curse Anthology of prequels lead you back in time, revealing the root of a dynasty’s plight and a beginning that ultimately transcends the family’s end.
Consisting of five short stories, each subsequent book in this anthology is written as a prequel to the prior. The matriarch of the family, Anna Sprengel, survives a vampire poisoning. Her tainted blood is passed down to each new generation, morphing into deadly auto-immune diseases. However, no descendant can escape the magnetic pull they have toward vampires – and vampires have toward the family. Loosely based on the true story of the foundations of the Order of the Golden Dawn, Anna foresees the destruction of the world, and joins forces with a vampire in order to prevent the total loss of both races. But every member of the family in each generation must play their part. Constantly on the run from vampires, their instincts for self-preservation overcome even their kindred bonds. Anna is no longer around to ensure the prophecy is carried out by her family, but her vampire cohort, Xavier, is. Even if he can overcome the sensual pull toward Isabelle, fulfillment of the prophecy remains precarious as the future of both races is at stake.
I am currently undertaking the daunting task of reading my entire novel out loud to myself. As I’ve discovered with my vampire short story series, and even the second book to the Akasha Series, ‘Air’, this method works wonders for catching hard to spot grammar/spelling mistakes and awkward sentences. Although ‘Water’ has been on the market since September 2011, I haven’t yet put it through this process. I have vowed to have this done by the time we go to Canada for our kid’s spring break trip (better get a move on because that is next week). Anyway, by the time I finished reading the first chapter out loud, I decided it needed a complete rework.
Whether you have read ‘Water’ yet or not, I would very much appreciate your input on the short 637 word excerpt below. Does it grab your attention? Do you want to find out more? Does the dragon analogy work? If you have read ‘Water’, should I just stick with what is already there? Please leave your comments and thank you!!!
I leaned forward. The board strapped to my boots responded. Slicing through the fresh powder, I made a sharp curve to the right. A quick glance uphill showed the wave of snow had almost tripled in size, and it was about to catch up to me.
More than anything else, it was the noise that pumped me full of adrenaline. Like the roar of an angry, unrelenting dragon; breath stinking of the earth churned up in its path. The entire right side of the unmarked backcountry trail was a wall of thick trees, impossible to break through. I pulled my toes up, arching back to the left side of the trail. But I wasn’t going to make it. The dragon’s spittle pelted me on the back of my neck, sending chills down my spine. Instead, I pointed my snowboard straight downhill and put all my weight on my forward leg, hoping to outrun the beast.
I willed my board to go faster than I ever dared before. The avalanche was faster. The dragon opened its mouth wide, closing in on me from both sides and overhead, blocking out the bright blue sky and the trees to the side of me with its gray jaws. The slope beneath me cracked and slithered forward, like the monster’s forked tongue. As the force of nature dropped over me, I closed my eyes and threw my arms around my head. My screams were lost deep inside the creature.
Completely engulfed, I moved with the dragon. The whole of the trail had transformed into its body; an agitated, unstoppable river of churning snow and debris. The world became darker and darker, the snow heavier and heavier. Flashes of light were few and far between.
When I gasped for air, I was sometimes rewarded with a clear breath but more often than not I sucked in a mouthful of snow. Hacking to rid my throat of the slush, I came to the awful realization that I was drowning on dry land.
My hands, flailing for something solid to hang onto, finally caught hold of a tree. Small as it was, it held fast against the merciless rush of snow. I fought against nature, literally holding on for my life. I wrapped myself around the trunk as two large branches just above me ripped away and disappeared in the churning white waves, along with my screams. I squeezed so tight the rough bark scratched at my arms and cheek. The scent of pine was strong, and I inhaled deeply as though the scent alone would keep me tethered to the tree. I willed the roots to be strong.
They were, but I was not. My grip started to loosen as my tired muscles and numb fingers were unable to hold on against the rushing snow. I lost the stable trunk and returned to the tumble of snow.
I came to a halt just like the rest of the debris of the Canadian mountainside. A small air pocket had formed, allowing me to spit out the coppery taste of blood. Suffocation couldn’t be too far off, encased in an immobile block of ice as I was. Feeble attempts at movement proved useless. Silence settled in on me as I heard the last of the snow come to a halt above me. Tolerating its crushing weight because I had no choice, I was left as I always was – alone. Most of the time I preferred it that way; people were nothing but annoying. But annoying or not, having someone who at least knew of my vacation plans would have been welcome.
As the numbness slowly receded, pain returned to one hand. I wiggled my fingers. They were free, possibly above the surface. I grimaced. Great – at least the wolves would find me. Closed casket for me.
This week’s flash fiction is a snippet from ‘Air, Book Two of the Akasha Series’ to be released next month. Kaitlyn, the main character, and Vayu, a wind elemental I introduce at the beginning of the book, are sent to battle a manmade fire:
A thick wall of flame came into view. Vayu stopped. “Here. This is the front of the fire.”
He turned to me and I realized how wildly unprepared I actually was. Wind was the most unpredictable of elements, the most difficult to control. I hadn’t had much practice with it.
Vayu was able to read my face. “I don’t have time to teach you, but we can do this one of two ways. You can either feed me energy or you can try to copy what I do as best as you can.”
It didn’t take me long to choose, remembering what happened to Micah last time he willingly gave me his energy. “I’ll try it on my own.”
Vayu scrutinized me for a moment, trying to judge my abilities as if he could by just looking at my face.
I frowned. He hadn’t seen any of what I could do. “Vayu – Micah wouldn’t have left me if he didn’t think I could handle it.”
Vayu accepted my reasoning. In a weird sort of circle pattern, that in turn gave me more confidence. Amazing how Micah could change things without even being there. Vayu took a deep breath in, and flows of energy left his body as he exhaled. It was an all-encompassing net that went out from his body. The net expanded, retracted, and grew thicker or thinner at Vayu’s will. I felt it letting air through in some places and blocking it in others. The net quickly grew to the left and right of us, expanding beyond my sight. Somehow Vayu knew what to do in the places he couldn’t see.
Following his lead, I took a deep breath in and immediately sputtered on the smoke. Vayu spared a sideways glance at me but kept most of his focus on the job at hand.
I thought back to all the other times I had used my powers. I had either drawn energy from within myself, drawn energy from another element, or used raw emotion to conjure weather. I decided I couldn’t draw energy from within and risk my baby; it was the least I could do as a mother. I also lacked any significant emotion, barring the fear building up in the pit of my stomach. I had never really operated on fear before. It was anyone’s guess how the elements would react.
I closed my eyes and concentrated on the elements around me. Water was obviously in short supply, the air was tainted and I didn’t want to interfere with Vayu’s element. That left fire and earth. Could I possibly draw energy from the very element I was trying to defeat? I shrugged my shoulders.
“Why the hell not?” The fire was far too loud for Vayu to hear me. Good – the less crazy he thought I was the better.
I began, this time without taking a deep breath, and started to draw energy from the fire. I worked gingerly through Vayu’s net. Before the energy returned through the net to me, I shifted its direction and in the process it simply converted itself to wind. Perhaps it was following my will or even Vayu’s example. I directed the wind more over the fire than around it, quelling what flame I could and cooling the entire area.
“Good,” Vayu called over the noise. “That is helping – very good.”
He looked surprised, and I smiled. I liked surprising people, as long as it was with my skill and not the lack thereof. I continued to concentrate on my wind, cooling down the fire and occasionally letting a gust blow over the top of Vayu’s net to cool us down.
We were making progress. The evidence was in the blackened landscape left behind as the fire was pushed back. We moved constantly, to the sides, and forward, following the fire. Suddenly, several loud bursts to our left shocked us from our concentration. A small grove of trees had succumbed to the fire and were literally exploding into flames, one right after another.
“Move your wind to only that area,” Vayu yelled.
I refocused my efforts as Vayu’s net grew more intense. I worked for what seemed like hours, no longer sparing wind to cool us down. I was drained. Hopefully the fire was experiencing the same effect.
A strong wind on our right caught me off guard and nearly blew me over with such a force that it could only be described as malicious.
“What are you doing?” I yelled at Vayu.
“Not me – when a fire gets too hot it creates weather of its own.”
Despite the heat, chills crawled up my back. We were no longer fighting just a fire; it was a living, breathing monster. A crafty one, at that. The fire’s weather pushed quickly through Vayu’s net on our right and we angled our bodies to combat it. We had to move backwards to avoid being singed ourselves. Now we were on the losing side of the battle.
We were pushed backwards into burnt terrain.
Something caught us from behind and we both ended up on the ground.
Vayu recovered faster. “Damn log.” He got up quickly and rebuilt his net.
“Vayu.” I swallowed hard, not moving. “It’s not a log.”
“What?” He shouted down at me without looking.
“It’s a person.” I sat, frozen for a moment, then finally shuffled around the charred body and looked for signs of life. The hair was mostly burned off leaving only sporadic patches of fuzz, but judging by the size of the body and width of the shoulders, it was a man. He was lying on his stomach, his head turned toward me. Finally his back rose slightly, a shallow, somewhat regular breathing pattern.
“Is it Shawn?” Vayu asked, not able to spare a glance down at the body.
I looked at his face, and shook my head. “No.”
The man’s eyes, probably the only unscathed part of his body, were a light brown, not Shawn’s icy blue stare. Strange as the stare was. There was too much white. His eyelids were almost completely burned off. Bile rose in my throat.
He began to gurgle in an effort to say something.
I whispered back though he probably couldn’t hear me, “Shhh…..don’t say anything. I’ll get you help.” I touched his shoulder gently and bits of something flaked off. I couldn’t tell if it was skin or clothing. The entire body was either black or red; he wasn’t going to make it no matter what I did. I felt physically ill. I looked at him again and mouthed the words ‘I’m sorry’.
Recognition flashed in his eyes. I believe I had just been so kind as to help him realize his own death was close at hand. I lay down next to him, oblivious of the fire around us. The least I could do was stay with him until the end. Vayu was yelling something, but my priorities were clear. I wasn’t a Gaia right then, nor was I Kaitlyn. I was simply the last connection this man would have in his life, or this life, anyway.
Vayu, still yelling, rustled around in the pack on my back for something. My body jerked as his search became more frantic.
The man resumed his attempts to speak, despite my insistence he lay still. I leaned in closer, trying to interpret a phrase he said over and over. Only two words in the garbling were comprehensible, and they were enough to freeze me in place. “One less, one less.”
He began shifting his body and grunting; I couldn’t subdue him with my hands for fear of causing more damage. Finally he leaned away from me, pulling out a bag from underneath the blanket. It was shiny; possibly fireproof. Inside the bag was a thick, neatly bound document. He must have been protecting the document while sacrificing his own body. The white pages were a stark contrast to the blackened earth below and his charred hand. He pushed the document feebly toward me. He left streaks of ash behind on the pristine paper as he pulled his hand away. On the cover was one simple symbol, the same symbol worn on my shoulder as a permanent scar of Shawn’s doing.Suspicions confirmed, my body went numb. The charred man smiled. “I was chosen to be one less.” Triumph and self-importance emanated from him. His smile, no matter how much it anguished him to do so, was the last thing I saw.
So there you have it. Now is your chance to let me know what you think; before I release ‘Air’! Please leave a comment!