Happy Book Birthday To One Upon a Time!

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Once Upon a Time

By Michelle Ziegler, Amber Morant, K.R. Thompson, Rosa Lee Jude, Kate Bonham, Kellie Honaker, Layne Aust

Fantasy/Fairy tales/Romance

Publisher Magic Quill Press/444 pages

Eight magical stories based on the original tales you thought you knew…
In this cross-genre collection, you will discover retellings that will reminisce of your childhood, and those that will explore the darker side of the brothers Grimm. Traditional, modern, fantasy, and horror abound in this diverse group of stories sure to please those who love fairytales with a twist!

The Stories:

Finding Bell – Michelle Ziegler
Annabella can’t remember anything before the last six years, and her dreams are telling her something. She just doesn’t know what. Desperate to find the missing pieces in her life, she heads to France, where a castle exists that matches the one in her dreams. Once there, she has to figure out if the mysterious place holds the key to unlocking the past she can’t remember.

Henri, once a powerful Fae prince, is locked within the home he built for a princess who can’t remember him. A rose blooms every hundred years, signifying the chance to break the curse placed on him and his Faerie Court. Something is changing, and the girl he loves has returned—but can he get her to love him again and free them all from the endless cycle?

The Blue Mage – Amber Morant
Elona is one of the luckiest thieves in Tore. However, her eye is now on the treasures hidden within the Citadel of Hours where the Blue Mage resides. Becoming an apprentice is easy, but learning who he truly is becomes a nightmare in itself.

Dragon Kept – K.R. Thompson
Fairy spells are going awry—and for no good reason. Even though Morgana has managed to patch up her own botched spell and turn the toad back into a prince, she’s been given the task of fixing another fairy’s mistake as her punishment. But it won’t be easy. With an entire kingdom turned to stone, a princess forever charmed in sleep, and one unhappy dragon keeping guard—things could get interesting, to say the least.

If the Shoe Fits – Rosa Lee Jude
There’s more to Cinderella’s story than glass slippers and pumpkins. Waking up in a different time, a modern world, Cinder discovers that her storybook life was no fairytale. Is she brave enough to travel back in time and face the evil that threatens her future? This twist on a classic will leave you wondering if other fairytales are really fiction.

From the Depths – Kate Bonham
Carys, the favorite daughter of the King of Atlantia, has always wanted something greater for herself than to marry young and have more mer-children. She wants to be human—to marry the young sailor she’s seen by the docks. When she’s given the opportunity to become human, she jumps at it, hoping to meet her dream man.

Only problem is—humans are not what she has thought all her life. They are greedy, money-hungry monsters. What if the man she’s secretly hoping for, is the one she was destined to marry? What if it’s not always greener on the other side?

Godmother Death – Kellie Honaker
Philip was just an infant when Death became his godmother. As a gift, she presents him with a barrel of cider that bestows miracles to those who drink from it.

But there is a catch—it only works for certain people. When the barrel refuses to work for the only woman he’s ever loved, Philip must deal with the consequences of cheating Death.

The Steel Heart – Layne Aust
Emilio has been driven to madness since the death of his love, Natalia. Stuck in his shop, the heartbroken man tries to recreate the beauty with steel and nails. But the blacksmith is awarded a second chance by a wayward witch who makes him a deal—one that could either reunite the lovers or keep them apart forever.

Hook – K.R. Thompson
Sitting in the dark corners of the print shop, Archie Jameson dreams of adventure, never imagining it will find him.

A twist of fate lands him beneath unfamiliar stars with a small pixie to guide his way. What new adventures lie in Neverland?

Discover the untold story of the man destined to become Captain Hook.

****

Kindle E-Book | Paper Back

****

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Once Upon a Time Paperback is here!

I love all types of genres, but really love fantasy. I can’t lie. So my story Finding Bell is a very exciting release for me. Although the release date is Sept 30th for the e-book, the paperback is out now! So if you prefer paper to electronic books, here is the link. Happy reading!

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Eight magical stories based on the original tales you thought you knew…
In this cross-genre collection, you will discover retellings that will reminisce of your childhood, and those that will explore the darker side of the brothers Grimm. Traditional, modern, fantasy, and horror abound in this diverse group of stories sure to please those who love fairytales with a twist!

The Stories:

Finding Bell – Michelle Ziegler
Annabella can’t remember anything before the last six years, and her dreams are telling her something. She just doesn’t know what. Desperate to find the missing pieces in her life, she heads to France, where a castle exists that matches the one in her dreams. Once there, she has to figure out if the mysterious place holds the key to unlocking the past she can’t remember.

Henri, once a powerful Fae prince, is locked within the home he built for a princess who can’t remember him. A rose blooms every hundred years, signifying the chance to break the curse placed on him and his Faerie Court. Something is changing, and the girl he loves has returned—but can he get her to love him again and free them all from the endless cycle?

The Blue Mage – Amber Morant
Elona is one of the luckiest thieves in Tore. However, her eye is now on the treasures hidden within the Citadel of Hours where the Blue Mage resides. Becoming an apprentice is easy, but learning who he truly is becomes a nightmare in itself.

Dragon Kept – K.R. Thompson
Fairy spells are going awry—and for no good reason. Even though Morgana has managed to patch up her own botched spell and turn the toad back into a prince, she’s been given the task of fixing another fairy’s mistake as her punishment. But it won’t be easy. With an entire kingdom turned to stone, a princess forever charmed in sleep, and one unhappy dragon keeping guard—things could get interesting, to say the least.

If the Shoe Fits – Rosa Lee Jude
There’s more to Cinderella’s story than glass slippers and pumpkins. Waking up in a different time, a modern world, Cinder discovers that her storybook life was no fairytale. Is she brave enough to travel back in time and face the evil that threatens her future? This twist on a classic will leave you wondering if other fairytales are really fiction.

From the Depths – Kate Bonham
Carys, the favorite daughter of the King of Atlantia, has always wanted something greater for herself than to marry young and have more mer-children. She wants to be human—to marry the young sailor she’s seen by the docks. When she’s given the opportunity to become human, she jumps at it, hoping to meet her dream man.

Only problem is—humans are not what she has thought all her life. They are greedy, money-hungry monsters. What if the man she’s secretly hoping for, is the one she was destined to marry? What if it’s not always greener on the other side?

Godmother Death – Kellie Honaker
Philip was just an infant when Death became his godmother. As a gift, she presents him with a barrel of cider that bestows miracles to those who drink from it.

But there is a catch—it only works for certain people. When the barrel refuses to work for the only woman he’s ever loved, Philip must deal with the consequences of cheating Death.

The Steel Heart – Layne Aust
Emilio has been driven to madness since the death of his love, Natalia. Stuck in his shop, the heartbroken man tries to recreate the beauty with steel and nails. But the blacksmith is awarded a second chance by a wayward witch who makes him a deal—one that could either reunite the lovers or keep them apart forever.

Hook – K.R. Thompson
Sitting in the dark corners of the print shop, Archie Jameson dreams of adventure, never imagining it will find him.

A twist of fate lands him beneath unfamiliar stars with a small pixie to guide his way. What new adventures lie in Neverland?

Discover the untold story of the man destined to become Captain Hook.
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I’ll Be Waiting, It’s Here!

I’ll Be Waiting- My free FREE read is finally here.  Angela and Nick are contemplating the fine line between friends and more.

If you haven’t read Winter’s Sweet Kiss, don’t worry. This is a standalone prequel. That being said, if you want to see what happens to the couple, you’ll need to read One In a Million Snowflakes in Winter’s Sweet Kiss.

Click below if you are looking for the letter to enter Roane’s Grand Prize! here

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Don’t forget that there are 8 free stories coming for Roane Publishing’s three year anniversary. Don’t forget to enter for the grand prize and my own giveaway here!

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***Book Spotlight*** Flight Risk

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Flight Risk
An Assignment: Romance Novel, Book 4

Barbara Valentin

Romantic Comedy / Chick Lit
Gemma Halliday Publishing / 233 pages
When Aubrey Thomas, a phobic travel writer, must choose between jumping to what she considerers certain death from a skydiving static line or sinking even deeper into debt in the unemployment line, she scrambles to find someone—anyone!—who can help her overcome her debilitating fear of heights. Enter John Trelawney, a charming window washer who thinks nothing of dangling by a cable fifty stories up and claims he can cure her. Everything about John makes Aubrey nervous… including the way her heart kicks into overdrive whenever he’s around. But, at the end of her rope, she takes him up on his offer. Can he really help her get over her fear of heights? Or will Aubrey find herself free falling…possibly even in love with him?

Roane Publishing’s 3rd Anniversary Scavenger Hunt!

  Welcome to Roane Publishing’s 3rd anniversary celebration Scavenger Hunt!
Some of our authors and blogger team are taking part in the Scavenger Hunt, with goodies up for grabs at EVERY stop along the way! 
 
Enter in the Scavenger Hunt and you 
could win…

Each hunt participant has a letter(s) in their post – in order to enter for Roane Publishing’s GRAND PRIZE, you will need to gather all of the letters along the way, then unscramble them to find the secret message. 

Don’t worry if you get lost or mixed up with the linky list. Simply hop back to the ROANE PUBLISHING BLOG POST by clicking on the link or either of the Hunt buttons where you can find the complete list of participants and links.

HERE IS THE LETTER
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Already gathered the letters and know the message? Then check out the Rafflecopter below & enter for your chance to win!

ENTER Michelle Ziegler’s Giveaway for a chance at a gift card and signed book!

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CLICK HERE FOR GIVEAWAYS

~~~oOo~~~
Also in celebration, Roane Publishing is offering a 25% SITE-WIDE sale! Simply use the Promo Code: 3YEARS at checkout time to get those savings!
LINKY LIST OF PARTICIPANTS:
 

RP HUNT HOME PAGE

Open to US citizens only.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.

Even they do it

While writing, stories take on a mind of their own. They change directions, and sometimes was have to delete a lot. This is all to create the best story possible, because let’s face it people are harder and harder to please, and it’s hard to sell books.

Incase you write or are already a published and trying to overcome writers block look to Disney for inspiration. If you ever watch their ‘making of’ extras, Frozen, you would see them deviate from their original storyline. This all happened because a character was more likeable than originally planned. It happens to Disney, it will happen to you. It happens to me all the time.

My current new release is a fantasy, something I have never written before. I am very once upon a timeexcited. It’s about Faeries, but not in any way you’ve seen them before. They are my own making. No one says I have to stick to someone else’s made up rules. Well, the story took on a life of it’s own and it turns out the evil character who plays a minor roll in Finding Bell actually has a very large backstory. She needs her own story.

I suppose what makes a great story is that they can grow and evolve to become something people will actually want to read. Never force a story to fit what you had thought, your characters, although in our heads, have very real personalities. Yeah, that sounds a little crazy. No one is allowed to judge a writer.

So just remember, even the largest and most professional companies out there don’t stick to their original ideas and plots. AND THAT IS OKAY.

Happy writing. If you are a reader, happy reading and remember that the book you hold s a heartbeat to every author. Please read it with love.

 

FOR HER SISTER by Lara Sleath and Her Publishing Story

 

            Lara Sleath – My Road to Being Published

It was the trip to India that did it. I drove with my boyfriend from London to Calcutta. On the way, I decided to write a book about it. We’d had so many adventures. We’d hung out with war lords and had bathed elephants in holy rivers. How could the book not be a bestseller?

But when I wrote the thing, something happened. The words kept getting tangled. And I didn’t sound like me at all. I sounded wooden.

I finished the book but it sucked. I was too embarrassed to show it to anyone. I kept promising my friends that soon I give them something good to read.

Next, I decided to write a children’s book. Kids books were easier, right? Or at least they were shorter. I wrote the book then hired a mentor, an extremely kind author called Stephen Measday. He told me gently that the plot wasn’t great. We bounced around ideas and on the back of this, I produced another children’s book – Archie and the Upside Down Circus.

I sent Archie to publishers in Australia where I was living at the time. A woman from Penguin Australia returned my manuscript with a note. She told me that my writing wasn’t quite ready but that she believed that my next book would be published. I cherished this note for years.

Spurred on by this, I wrote two more books but I didn’t finish either of them. All the time, I was going on writing courses, reading endless how-to books on writing and studying the hell out of story structure. I went to writing conferences and joined critique groups.

Next, I finished a romantic comedy, which I was convinced was the one. I hired an independent editor who liked it too. She warmed up some agents about my book. But when I sent it to them, they all passed. One liked the characters but not the writing. Another loved the writing but not the characters. Even still, I felt like I was close.

Some time later For My Sister was born. I sent sample chapters to agents. Five of them asked to see the whole manuscript. But again they all said no. I started to get angry. What more could I do? I’d jumped through all of the hoops and had ticked every box.

I remember the evening when I received the email from Evernight Teen. I was sitting on the beach. It was the first sunny day in ages and it seemed like the whole of the Vancouver had come out of hibernation. The ocean stretched before me in a swathe of blue. To the left of the high rises, I could see the snow-dusted mountains. It was so beautiful. But I was too angry to enjoy the beauty. I was never going to get published. I sat sulkily flicking through my phone.

Then I clicked on the email from Evernight Teen. They wanted my book. I was so shocked that I turned my phone off. Maybe the email wasn’t real. Perhaps it was a sick joke.

Later that evening, I told my husband that someone was going to publish my book.

“Oh wow,” he said. “Finally. Hey, why are you crying?”

“Because I’m so happy.”

And I am really happy. Thank you Evernight Teen for believing in me and in For My Sister.

***

FOR
HER SISTER

by Lara Sleath
YA
Paranormal Suspense
Evernight
Teen Publishing / 61,000 words
Eighteen-year-old
Bresha blames herself for her younger sister’s death. She knew that Arlene was
gullible and fragile. Yet she still let her tone-deaf sister meet with 
Saul Sanderstorm, a record company mogul whose
charisma is as big as his temper.
 
When Arlene is found
floating in Camden Lock canal, the police call it suicide. But Bresha knows
different. She knows that sleazy Saul is somehow to blame. And so does Arlene’s
ghost. Why else would she fog up mirrors and trace the letter S for Saul
through the condensation on the glass? Now, Bresha has to find a way to prove
that Saul’s guilty.
 
When Bresha discovers that
Saul is getting a kick out of mentally breaking singers, she wonders if this
happened to Arlene. The truth has to be ugly and shocking. Because why else
would Saul be prepared to do anything to conceal it?
 
Bresha faces a choice. Risk
her life to unearth the facts. Or drop the case and be forever tormented by her
sister’s ghost. 
Buy Links:  Evernight
Teen
    Amazon    ARe   

 

 
Someone was
screaming. She realized that it was her. She found herself on her feet. She
took off down the path, her breath jagged, her shoes pounding over the gravel.
Fire flashed against her legs, as the nettles stung her.
She ran a
few more steps. She had to be faster than him. Surely, she was faster. He was
paunchy old man. Her feet hit a boulder and she stumbled. She felt his hands on
her back. Slam. He pushed her down. A burning pain shot across
her cheek, as her face smashed into the gravel.
She scrambled
up and ran on. He sprang on her from behind. Again, he brought her down. She
twisted around. He threw himself on top of her, his weight crushing her. She
reached up and tried to claw his face, but he caught her hands and pinned them
down by her sides onto the path.
“You
will not to do this to me,” he snarled. “You will not ruin
me.”
Bresha tried
to speak, but her tongue was frozen. She gazed into his eyes, hoping to reason
with him on an unspoken level, human to human. She’d read somewhere that eyes
were supposed to be the view point into people’s souls. Now she saw his soul.
It looked like the photograph of a cancerous organ on the side of a cigarette
packet, black and festering.
He brought
his head toward her lips. Was he going to kiss her like he might have been
trying to do that day on the couch? She turned her head away, pushing one side
of her face into the grit. He’d never kiss her. She’d die before he kissed her.
She felt him
bite into her neck. He was giving her a love bite, the sick pig. She screamed
as he drew blood. 
***

 

British born
Lara Sleath has been writing stories – on paper and in her head – for as long
as she can remember. But gave up on the idea of becoming a writer because she
believed that the idea was too far-fetched. Instead she took the only slightly
more sensible option of working in the music industry.
But even that
proved too dull for Lara. In her mid-twenties, she set off from London with her
boyfriend in a battered VW van. Their aim was to drive to India. They arrived a
quarter of a year after adventures with warlords and after having seen many
mind-blowing sights.
Today, the
boyfriend in the beaten-up VW van is Lara’s husband. She lives with him and
their two children in Vancouver, Canada close to the ocean and the mountains.
Lara writes every day surrounded by an army of cats. For Her Sister is
her debut novel.
***

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Giveaway: $10  Evernight Teen Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

once upon a time

I’m doing what?

I think I lost my mind this past month.  The good news is that I have a FREE contemporary romance story, I’ll Be Waiting, coming out that is a prequel to Winter’s Sweet Kiss – One in a Million Snowflakes. The other fun part is that I have a Fantasy Romance Novella – Finding Bell coming out in a collection called Once Upon A Time!

A little secret is there will be a scavenger hunt for Roane Publishing’s birthday this September and Once Upon a Time is on pre-order on Amazon for $.99c.

 

I'll be waiting_free read once upon a time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Bell Part of : Once Upon Time

Annabella can’t remember anything before the last six years, and her dreams are telling her something, she just doesn’t know what. Desperate to find the missing pieces in her life, she heads to France  where a castle exists that matches the one in her dreams. Once there she has to figure out if the mysterious place holds the key to unlocking the past she can’t remember.

Henri, once a powerful Fae prince, is locked within the home he built for a princess that can’t remember him. A rose blooms every hundred years signifying the chance to break the curse placed on him and his Faerie Court. Something is changing, and the girl he loves has returned, but can he get her to love him again and free them all from the endless cycle?

***

I’ll Be Waiting

Finding someone that makes you smile is worth every risk.

Angela has pined away for Nick since they were kids, but he’s off limits. She’s supposed to plan a going away party with his sister, but Angela’s spending more time daydreaming than planning. Every glance from him drives her closer to throwing caution to the wind and has Angela wondering if he might feel the same way.

Nick has devoted his life to the military and is heading out on one more deployment. The party his sister and her best friend throw him is another excuse to spend his last few hours  with the woman he can’t get out of his head. Nick chases off the competition, but might have overstepped this time. Will one last parting gift be enough to keep her thinking of him until he returns?

BATTERED not broken by CHARITY WEST

 

****

10 Random Things about Charity West

  1. Even though I write YA Romance now, I actually went to college for Mechanical Engineering, which I later changed to Psychology. I guess I was trying to figure out where I fit in the world. It wasn’t until I finished my first novel that I figured it out.
  2. I have a house full of cats and almost always have a furbaby sitting with me when I’m working. Sometimes, the like to help by lying on the keyboard or the mouse.
  3. Since I completed my first book in 2008, I have gone through several laptops. I’m on #4 at the moment, which I just bought this past spring. I wear off the letters on the keys within six months, and after a year or two, things start to break on them. My last one only lasted two years.
  4. I love breakfast food and can eat it any time. I love going to IHOP for either their French toast platter or their country omelet with pancakes on the side.
  5. I love to drink Starbucks when I’m writing. I’ll either go to Starbucks and get a hot white mocha, or I’ll drink a bottle mocha or a mocha energy drink when I’m at home. I try to keep both stocked in the fridge at all times.
  6. My favorite YA authors are Chris Cannon and Lisa Brown Roberts.
  7. I have eclectic taste in music, but I love classic rock. Kansas, Foreigner, The Doors… but when I’m writing, probably my two favorite songs to play are by Tone-Loc.
  8. My favorite Tim Burton movie is Corpse Bride. I watch it at least once a week, usually when I’m writing.
  9. I wear a lot of printed tees. Duck Tales, Dark Crystal, Beauty and the Beast, Fraggle Rock, Nightmare Before Christmas…I have a bunch. I get a lot of them from the Disney store at the mall, or I’ll order them online.
  10. I have cable TV, but I seldom watch it. The kids and my husband like it, but the few times I watch something on TV, it’s usually a DVD/Blu-ray, or I stream Netflix. I even wait for my favorite shows to come out on DVD before I watch them, then I binge watch the entire season.

****

BATTERED
not broken
by CHARITY WEST
Contemporary/Romance/Young
Adult
40K,
Evernight Teen Publishing
Who knew falling for a
man in Khaki could cause so much trouble?
Battered and
bruised, Wren has taken a lot from her father over the years, but when he
throws her out of the house, she sees it as a blessing in disguise. She has no
job, no home, and never finished high school, but what’s all that compared to a
life without abuse? When she starts over in a new town, under a new identity,
she makes it her goal to fly under the radar.
New town,
new life. Only, there’s a corrupt deputy intent on stealing Deputy Gray
Frampton’s family fortune, a slight case of aggravated identity fraud, and a
night in the local jail. It’s enough to make any girl’s head spin. Wren
Michaels has to find a way not to spend the next three years in jail, warn Gray
that Deputy Pritchard is after him, and somehow hold onto the
happily-ever-after that is finally within her grasp—assuming Gray wants a felon
as his girlfriend. Who knew falling for a man in khaki could cause so much
trouble?
Buy Links:
Evernight
Teen
    Amazon    ARe
14+ due to violence and
adult situations
Excerpt:
The shadows crept closer as a deep
cold settled into my bones. I cowered on the floor of my closet, hidden behind
shoes and clothes, as I listened to the slap of flesh against flesh. He’d come
home drunk again, even more so than usual, and he’d barely cleared the door
before landing the first blow. It was cowardly of me to hide. I should stand up
and fight—do something to make him stop. My phone was still clutched in my
hand, and my heart pounded in my chest, the thump-thump loud in my ears.
I knew I should call 9-1-1 and get help for Mom, but I also knew that even if
they arrested him, they’d never keep him. Mom would give the cops some bullshit
excuse as to why he was beating her, or say she fell, and then she’d refuse to
press charges. If I thought things were bad now, they’d be even worse if he
went to jail for the night. We’d lived through that horror once already, and
once was more than enough. No one had to tell me my dad was an abusive asshole
who thrived on being a bully. I’d experienced it firsthand.
My palms grew slick as I heard my
mother’s whimpers and then booted steps coming down the hall. Was I going to be
next? The footsteps grew louder, and I heard my bedroom door slam into the
wall. I bit my lip to stifle my cry, hoping he wouldn’t find me. He shuffled
around my room, his boots clomping and scraping the wood floor as he searched
for me. When the closet doors were flung open, I squeezed myself as far into
the corner as I could, but I knew it wouldn’t be enough.
An iron grip closed around my arm,
his fingers biting into my skin, as he jerked me out of the closet. I stumbled
and fell to my knees at his feet, bracing myself for what would happen next. My
head was wrenched back, tears stinging in my eyes as he fisted my hair. There
was such hatred in his gaze, such contempt, as if he couldn’t even stand to
look at me. I’d always done everything he’d ever asked, and still it wasn’t
enough. As far as my dad was concerned, I’d ruined his life, and he was going
to make me pay for it until I was able to leave this place behind.
“Thought you could hide from me?” he
slurred. “Stupid little bitch.”
The slap across my cheek made tears
spill down my face, but I ground my teeth together so I wouldn’t make a sound.
When he knew he was causing me pain, he seemed to enjoy it more, and I wouldn’t
give him the satisfaction. He pulled hard until I was standing upright, my hair
still clutched in his fist, and then he punched me in the stomach. I folded at
the waist, gasping for breath as stars danced in my vision and bile rose in my
throat.
“Worthless. That’s what you are.” He
kicked out and knocked me to my knees again. “You should be groveling, thanking
me for your life. If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t even be here, you
ungrateful shit.”
Yes, because thanking him for the
abuse he heaped on me day after day, thanking him for all the hurtful names I’d
been called, thanking him for the days I’d had to skip school because I
couldn’t hide the bruises—that was exactly what I wanted to do. One day, he
would get what was coming to him. I didn’t know how or who would do it, but I
knew someday he’d piss off the wrong person and they’d beat his ass until he
cried like a baby. And I hoped like hell I was there to see it. I’d kick back
with some popcorn and enjoy the show. I hated him. Hated him.
“You think I don’t see the way you
look at me?” he demanded. “Well, I’m tired of it. I’m finished with you. My
life was better before your mother got knocked up. Ever since she popped you
out, you’ve been nothing but a financial drain. Not anymore. You have five
minutes to pack your shit and get the fuck out of my house. And if I ever see
you again, I’ll make you wish you were never born.”
Like I didn’t already wish that every
day of my life. I should thank him for offering me freedom, even if I had
nowhere to go. Anything was better than staying here. Plenty of people lived on
the streets, so there wasn’t any reason I couldn’t do it, too. It just meant
I’d have to find a way to get my GED sooner rather than later. Dropping out of
high school hadn’t been the best decision in the world, but when Dad had broken
my arm, Mom had thought it would be better than facing questions we couldn’t
answer.
He stomped out of the room, and I
heard his bedroom door slam. After grabbing a bag out of my closet, I shoved
several outfits, underthings, and socks into it. I snatched my toothbrush and
hairbrush out of the bathroom and crammed them in there, too. As an
afterthought, I grabbed the travel pouch from under the sink that had shampoo,
soap, and a razor tucked inside. I didn’t know where I would go to shower, or
where I was going to sleep tonight, but I would figure it out. Maybe Mom would
let me come home to bathe while Dad was at work a few times a week. Plus, it
would give me a chance to check on her.
I zipped up my bag and then grabbed
my backpack and purse off the bed. With my keys clutched tight, I walked out of
the only home I’d ever known. Mom didn’t say a word as I passed her, and she
didn’t try to stop me. Maybe she figured I was better off living anywhere but
at home, and she may have been right.
About the Author:
Charity West is a young adult romance
author who has always had her head in the clouds. She had her first crush when
she was four, and it lasted for six years. Then she quickly fell head over
heels for another boy, until she had to move away and leave him behind. Jumping
from one boy to another, she finally found a keeper when she was twenty, and
she’s been married to him ever since.
By the time Charity was twelve, she
was sneaking her mother’s Harlequin romances and reading them in secret when
she was supposed to be asleep. Teased throughout middle school and high school
for the bodice ripper covers on the books she openly read in class, she knew
that one day she wanted to write her own happily-ever-afters.

Giveaway:

$10 Evernight Teen GC

 

Book of Angels (Night Angels Chronicles, 2) by K.H. Mezek

Who Are the Night Angels? Marianne Tells her Story

In Book of Angels, readers get more insight into who the Night Angels are, from learning about their past lives. After Sera’s Turning, in Strejan’s castle overlooking Lake Roza, Marianne sits with Sera in her room, at the top of a tower in the castle, and recounts her past….

“I was twenty-six years old when I was turned into a vampire. On the edge of old age for those times. Before my Turning, I lived in a village by the sea, in the wild lands of Northern Ireland. My family were Druids. I was married to the gods and no man had ever touched me. We worshiped many gods and practiced human sacrifice. For you, in these days, it’s hard to understand. But for us, it was our life, we didn’t know any different. Everyone had a purpose, to toil or to serve the gods, one or the other. Life was hard, but easier for me than most. Then, the Vikings came to our village and hell descended on earth. A horde of them swept through like devouring insects. They threw my father from the cliffs. My younger sister, they raped and ran her through with a sword. My mother, they crushed her head with an anvil when she tried to protect my sister. They were dragging me by the hair to do the same when a great warrior on a white horse swept down like an angel, his brilliant eyes fixed on me in a stern and noble face.”

Marianne paused in her story, overcome with the memory. Then, she continued. “He lifted me onto his horse. You must understand it was the first time in all my life that a man had ever held me. I fought, clawed, bit and kicked. But he was an unbreakable tower of steel and only held me tighter until, finally I gave up my stuggle. We traveled back across Europe, his warriors torching the land, destroying everything before them. He kept me safe, caring for me. Anything I needed or desired, he gave to me. He became my world and I worshiped him as my new god. He brought me back to Constantinople, to that beautiful city, to his palace. He washed and perfumed me, dressed me in the finest clothes and presented me at the Sultan’s court.”

“You loved him so much!”

“Love?” said Marianne, as if trying to remember what the word meant. “Oh, yes, I loved him. But he didn’t love me. When the Sultan demanded me for his own, my lord gave me up. As a gift. Without a second thought. And then, after I had been taught and trained to obey my new master, the Sultan Turned me.”

“What happened when the Viking died?” I asked. “Did you cry, or was it sweet revenge to watch him grow old and wither away while you stayed young and beautiful?”

A dark fire smoldered in Marianne’s eyes. I dropped my gaze, out of the horror of what I already knew, not wanting to hear what she was going to tell me. “He isn’t dead, Sera. The Viking who saved me and brought me to Mehmet is Fabian Gore.”

I gasped and doubled over in agony. Every evil that existed, every cry of pain, every struggle against the darkness seemed to point back to Gore.

Marianne got up from the bed, walked a few paces, and then turned back to me. “So you see? I have no explanations for you. I now fight against the denizen that once I loved. How can I understand anything of this world, or we creatures that inhabit it?”

****
Book
of Angels
(Night
Angels Chronicles, 2)
by K.H. Mezek
 
Evernight Teen Publishing
Romance,
Fantasy, Suspense, Urban Fantasy
All Sera ever wanted was to solve the
mystery of her dad’s death and find out whether or not the Night Angel, Peter, really
loved her. Now, there are bigger issues at stake. After being saved from death
by the Night Angels, Sera returns to Oak Haven to find her brother, Salem, has
been saved by her nemesis, the sinister Los Angeles mayor-to-be, Fabian Gore.
Sera and her brother meet again in their hometown of Oak Haven as powerful
denizens. And as enemies. Someone is channeling power to the Queen, imprisoned
in St. Catherine’s Monastery. If she escapes, the Ancient Ones will rise up
from their sarcophagi beneath churches throughout the world and wreak vengeance
on denizens and humans alike. 
To thwart
the Queen, Sera has no choice but to form an uneasy alliance with Gore.
Meanwhile, Sera’s power and her connection to the Key of Mystery is growing.
Only she can open the Book of Angels. But whoever does that will become
something that Sera never wants to be: the Seventh Angel. How can Sera solve
her own problems when everyone else wants her to solve their problems as
well?  
Buy Links:  Evernight Teen / Amazon  / ARe
 
14+ due to adult situations
Excerpt:
The next thing I knew I had leapt
into the air with the two of them, my mind on St. Catherine’s Monastery, and I
found myself hurtling through the Passage, horribly aware of every atom in my
body and the indomitable forces of the universe that were trying to pull me
apart.
As if it were a part of my very
being, I held myself together, “remembered myself”, and traveled through the
Passage.
Within seconds, I was floating down
from the sky, surrounded by the immense, desolate beauty of what looked like a
moonscape. Except that the moon shone brighter and bigger than I had ever seen.
Behind me, sand stretched, wave upon wave of it, with not a hint of grass or
trees, while in front rose a sheer cliff, taller than a skyscraper. The
monastery seemed to grow out of the rock, so closely was it pressed against the
cliff.
“All looks peaceful,” observed Peter.
“Maybe too peaceful,” said Blanca.
Together, we jumped over the fortress
walls, landing in the empty courtyard. We entered the sixth century basilica.
We walked from the vestibule into the ornate nave and down the aisle, toward
the sanctuary. I gazed in awe at the ancient artifacts and the icons shining
with gold. Hundreds of lamps hung from the high ceiling like glittering
galaxies, bathing the vast room in an eerie light. Out of the shadows the
figure of the Abbot appeared, wearing a long gray robe and a cylindrical,
flat-topped hat. His long black hair was tied in a knot at the nape of his
head, a frizzy beard spreading out from his face like tangled wire. His large,
hooked nose resembled a bird’s beak and his dark eyes burned uncannily from
deep sockets.
He greeted us with a humble bow and
wordlessly led us through a dark and narrow arched doorway into a small,
circular, windowless chamber, padding silently on bare feet. The chamber was
empty except for one plain wooden table. On the table sat the black lacquered
Life Box, looking just as insignificant as the Object Holder had when I had
first seen it and fought over it with Salem. This box, though, was about twice
the size of the one that had held the key. And, whereas the Object Holder had a
gold lock and tiny gold key to open it, the Life Box had no lock and no visible
way to open it.
On either side of the table stood two
impressive Bedouin warriors. Each had one hand resting on a curved scimitar and
the other holding the hilt of a knife tucked into a belt. Their faces were
lined and weather-beaten and expressionless, as if carved from the rocks of the
mountain. The desert surrounding the monastery was home to many Bedouin. They
were devout Muslims with a long history of guarding the monastery. They had
made a vow to guard the Life Box with their lives.
The Abbot motioned for the Bedouin to
stand at ease.
Bowing low to us, the guards said in
unison, “Assalamu alaikum.” It meant, “peace be upon you.”
Along with Peter and Blanca, I
responded, “Alaikum assalamu.” This meant, “upon you be
peace.”
Like everything else in my crazy life
these days, I had no idea how I knew to say that, but I did.
The Abbot didn’t speak, just gestured
for us to gather around the box.
“He has taken a vow of silence and
hasn’t spoken in thirty years,” said Peter.
My attention was drawn to the box. I
realized it vibrated and hummed in an almost undetectable manner. Only when I
remained completely still and stared fixedly did I notice it. 
“This it does without stopping and
just today, it gained in force,” said one of the Bedouin.
Sure enough, as we watched, the box
jumped slightly, shuddered, and jumped again before falling back into its
continual vibration. It hummed a little louder now.
As I watched in fascination, I slowly
became aware that the key around my neck was growing heavier and beginning to
burn.
The box vibrated more violently and
hummed louder. As it did, it rose into the air and hovered about two feet above
the table. The vibrating and humming grew so loud I thought the box might split
apart.
The key was searing my skin and I
yelled in pain. I tried to tear it off, but it was stuck to my chest and my
hand burned when I touched it. I felt the Queen’s presence, reaching out to me.
It was pure evil and I felt attracted to it. I wanted to bow down and worship
the Queen, give her the key. I became brutally aware of her perfections and my
own failings. I loved the Queen! I despised and hated myself! Horrible thoughts
rose in my mind, the impulse to do horrible things.
Blood was pouring from my eyes. Tears
or something worse, I didn’t know.
“Take me away!” I cried out to the
others. “She’s grabbing at me. Take me away. Please!
The Bedouin had drawn their swords
and whipped out their daggers, but there was nothing they could do except stand
there, at the ready. Blanca and Peter had drawn their swords, too. They’d
placed themselves as a shield between me and the box. The Abbot ran in front of
us all and pushed Blanca and Peter back.
He turned to face the box, bracing
himself as if against a great wind, and raised his hands to heaven in prayer.
Peter and Blanca were then able to
pull me out of the chamber. I don’t think I could have moved before the Abbot
faced the box. As soon as we were back in the nave, I collapsed onto the
ground, gasping great gulps of air, thankful to find the heat of the key
subsiding. With a great cry, I tried to take it off, but it was stuck.
Completely stuck now. To my skin.
“Fuck this key! Why am I cursed with
it?”
My entire body was bathed in red
sweat. I looked down at myself in horror. What had I become? What nightmare had
I entered? I pushed back my hair and swallowed, my throat dry and constricted.
I had to get control of myself. I breathed in and out deeply.
“She’s getting stronger all the time.
She’ll get out. Maybe soon. And I was ready to help her!” I shuddered.
“But you didn’t,” said Peter.
“At least now we are sure she is
still inside,” said Blanca.
“She won’t stay there.” I could see
my fate, as I had already seen it in my Turning, and it was clearer than ever.
One day I would face the Queen. 
And I would fail! How could I not,
when she was so easily able to deceive and confuse me?
One of the Bedouin exited the
chamber. “The Abbot wants you to know he is now sure someone is channeling
power to the Queen, but he cannot see who.”
“It’s just not possible,” said
Blanca. 
The Bedouin bowed respectfully. “I
only tell you what the Abbot believes.”
“Thank you,” said Peter.
The Bedouin continued. “The Abbot
further believes that you must discover who is doing this. You must stop them
or she will escape.”
He bowed again and returned to the
nave.
“He’s right,” I said, as we walked
out of the sanctuary and into the vestibule. “She and her sons will kill me and
take the key.”
“Coward.” Blanca kicked the church
door open with her foot. “We might as well be protecting a pile of trash! If it
weren’t for the key around your neck, I’d kill you myself!”
For the first time, Blanca’s words
didn’t bother me. “You can call me what you want, I don’t care. But you better
listen because she will escape and we won’t be able to stop
her. We need to figure out what to do instead of arguing all the time.”
“Well said,” said Peter. “Let’s get
back to the castle and tell the others.”
We were outside of the basilica now
and we stood for a moment, surveying the courtyard, the full moon casting eerie
shadows across the ground. I looked more carefully and saw that some of the
shadows moved like living things.
“What’s that?” I asked.
Peter and Blanca looked up to the sky
and I did the same. A gathering storms of wispy black tendrils snaked across
the sky, mirroring the moving shadows on the ground.
“What the hell…” I said.
“Wind demons,” said Blanca.
I looked at Peter inquiringly.
“Seventy-two demons were captured by King Solomon and then released by mistake.
Up there you see maybe twenty of them.”
The Abbot and the two Bedouin had
joined us in the courtyard.
“We have never seen them here
before,” said one of the Bedouin.
“And so many,” said Peter. He sighed.
“I hate wind demons.”
The Abbot was motioning us to follow
him. We hurried across the courtyard, which was now filled with a howling wind,
the shadows of the wind demons slithering back and forth across the stones like
snakes. A group of monks appeared, running in the opposite direction, heading
for the church.
“They will pray,” yelled one of the
Bedouin above the din.
This was not making me any happier. I
had just escaped the clutches of the Queen and now I had to contend with wind
demons? Was there no end to the problems I had to face in one day?
The Abbot led us into the Fatimid mosque
that stood across from the church. Standing on its own, opposite the gigantic
bell tower, was the minaret and we entered and climbed swiftly up the stairs.
It was from this highest point that the muezzin sang across the desert, calling
the followers of Islam to prayer, five times a day. We climbed out onto the
little platform that ran around the top of the minaret, and from here, I felt
the full force of the gale. The shadows screamed and I could see cavernous,
greedy mouths appear and disappear as they whipped around the tower, creating a
whirlpool of darkness. Only when I looked straight up could I see clear sky and
stars. But that opening was growing narrower by the minute. All around was
completely empty of light, as if the very sky itself had been sucked into a
giant black hole of whirling mouths and tails, into which we, too, would be
sucked if we tried to fly upward.
Peter and Blanca unsheathed their
swords and I did the same.
Peter pointed with his sword. “We
must fly straight up. They don’t dare come too close to the minaret.”
The Abbot nodded, making motions that
we should hurry.
“Put your sword away,” Peter said.
I began to object, then obeyed. This
didn’t seem like the time to argue.
He gripped my arm. “Listen carefully!
Jump onto my back. Once we’ve achieved the Passage, we’ll be safe. Until then,
you must hold your breath—don’t breathe, understand? If you do, the shadows
will enter and steal your soul.”
I nodded, terrified.
I jumped onto his back and held on
tightly.
The Abbot raised his arms, while the
Bedouin brandished their swords at the swirling darkness. It seemed to abate a
bit, and Peter and Blanca seized that moment to leap into the air. I breathed
in deeply and held onto my breath.
All was chaos in the tunnel through
the shadows, the terrible wind trying to push us back down, a screaming noise
like a thousand pigs being gutted. Flying straight upward, the two Night Angels
fought the demons with their swords, slicing into the tendrils that tried to
encircle them.
I was sure we had almost made it when
I felt an icy tendril touch my leg. I almost opened my mouth to scream. As it
was, I let go of Peter with one arm and tried to reach down to bat at the
tendril. I felt myself slipping halfway down his back and scrambled to pull
myself back up again.
I was falling!
The snaky thing had my ankle now. I
tried to kick with my foot to shake it off, while struggling to get a better
hold on Peter. I was growing weaker. I had to take a breath. My chest was
exploding.
And then, the Passage was achieved
and we were through. I pushed away from Peter with relief, feeling the now
familiar force of my molecules trying to split apart and me holding them
together, as we rocketed through space and time, landing within seconds in the
little garden of the castle. 

Key of Mystery, Book 1,  is also available now:  Amazon   Evernight Teen    ARe
About the
Author:
Karen
Hunt aka KH Mezek
 is
the author and/or illustrator of nineteen children’s books and numerous essays
and short stories. ‘Reflections from Istanbul,’ an excerpt from her childhood
memoir, won the 2015 New Millennium Writings Nonfiction Award. She is the
co-founder of InsideOUT Writers, a creative writing program for incarcerated
youth in Los Angeles, and the founder of the MY WORLD PROJECT, connecting
youth in remote areas around the world through art and writing. She is a 2nd degree
black belt in Tang Soo Do, a first degree brown belt in Eskrima, and a boxing
and kick-boxing trainer. As a child, she and her family escaped out of Egypt
right before the 6 Day War, lived in a 17th century castle in
Switzerland and smuggled Bibles into communist countries, to name a few of her
adventures. As an adult, she continued her adventures, living between London
and a village in Yugoslavia. Key of Mystery and Book of Angels, volumes
one and two in the NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES, are published with
Evernight Teen.  
* * *
Giveaway:
$25 Amazon GC and $25 Evernight Teen GC
 

 

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