Tuesday, 19 September 2017

HER by Danielle Rose



Title: HER
Author: Danielle Rose
Genre: YA Horror, Short Story
Publisher:  OfTomes Publishing
Cover Art:  Gwenn Danae
Cover Text:  Eight Little Pages



Kemper Academy is over a hundred years old, but it has only recently reopened after a series of murders and stories of hauntings shut it down. Avlynn, a new student, refuses to let the rumors scare her, chalking them up to a bit of friendly freshman hazing. But when night falls and screams draw her from her room, she finds the truth is much more horrifying than any ghost story.














My Review:

A creepy short story that leaves you wanting more.
The first person pov lets you into the mind of the character giving more depth than would possible written any other way.
An entertaining read that's over far too soon!




Meet Danielle Rose:

Danielle Rose holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine. Currently residing in the Midwest, where she spends her days dreaming of warmer temperatures, when she’s not writing, Danielle enjoys pretending she lives in California, spending an embarrassing amount of time at Hobby Lobby, and binge-watching Netflix.




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To Rise Again by Stewart Bint


Stewart Bint’s latest novel, To Rise Again, has just been published by Creativia.


The Marquand family fled their home on Jersey, in the Channel Islands, just before the German occupation there during World War II…and never returned.

Now, it’s the summer of 1983, and their once opulent mansion, Idlewild, is now crumbling and derelict. The mansion holds a mysterious lure for 18-year-old David Simeon, who dreams of Idlewild years past, as it used to be. But who is the young girl he sees, endlessly wandering through its corridors?

As the nerve-shattering link between David, the girl, and the mysterious Idlewild comes to light, is it too late to stop the seeds of destruction and world domination planted there long ago, during Adolf Hitler’s last desperate throw of the dice in World war II?

Fantasy, science fiction, horror and paranormal mingle in Stewart Bint’s To Rise Again, as the threads of 1945 and 1983 slowly intertwine to reveal a world on the brink of destruction.


Excerpt:

He gestured for me to go in. Peering past him, I could see a long mahogany table in the centre of the room. It was much longer than it was wide. Eight dark-wood seats ran down each side of the table, with a carver at both heads. The two mullioned windows at the foot of the room were identical to the ones in the drawing room, and a small shelf ran all the way round, a couple of feet from the ceiling. The shelf was empty now, but I could easily imagine it once displaying a mass of china plates.

As I passed properly through the door a sense of fear instantly hit me. One moment the room was empty. The next it was full of shouting; that deep guttural sound almost unique to the German language. I heard those beautiful dark chairs scraping across the bare wooden floor. My eyes opened wide in a mix of amazement and horror as the room suddenly filled with men. With soldiers. All wearing the sinister uniform of the Nazi.


Each chair was instantly occupied. And after the soldier sitting in the carver in front of the window seemed to spot us, pointing to the door with a yell, all seventeen other faces turned towards us. And with one movement they pushed back the chairs, rising together in a mechanical sweep, rather like a clockwork toy.


The two nearest Germans scrambled forward, reaching for their guns. Time seemed to stand still. An eternity passed and I could sense rather than smell the appetising aroma which sprang from the table. The aroma of a roasted joint.


I visibly leaped as a hand gripped my shoulder. I stared around at the empty chairs and soundless room. Richard released my shoulder as I relaxed. His voice broke the quiet stillness. “Have you seen something else?”


It was no use me asking if he had seen anything. I knew he hadn’t. Whatever it was, only I had seen it. I was sure of that.


About Stewart Bint:

Stewart Bint is a novelist, magazine columnist and Public Relations writer, and a member of the influential worldwide Awethors group.

He is an active awareness campaigner for mental health and sepsis, and was named on the 2016 list of "Inspirational Mental Health Advocates that are changing the world."

Previous roles include radio presenter, newsreader and phone-in host.

Married to Sue, with two grown-up children, Chris and Charlotte, and a charismatic budgie called Alfie, Stewart lives in Leicestershire in the UK, and goes barefoot almost all the time.



In addition to his latest work, To Rise Again, published by Creativia, he also has three novels available from Dragon Moon Press:


He has also contributed short stories to a number of anthologies:




And his back catalogue is rounded off with two compilation e-books of his magazine columns:



Monday, 18 September 2017

Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail by M. Gail Grant



Title: Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail
Author: M. Gail Grant
Genre: YA Fantasy


The enchanted secret of Lily Brooke was safe and sound, until Magdalena and her thirteen-year-old friends accidentally unleashed the revengeful demons of the past. How were they supposed to know that a friendly expedition in the woods on a stress-free Saturday morning would lead to the most intense and scary moments of their lives? So many mysterious happenings have occurred ever since they found that crooked trail leading to the sacrificial cave, and hidden monstrosity of a treehouse. With the chanting voices and shrill noises that only Magdalena could hear, the friends decide there is something sinister living amongst them. Time is of the essence to save Lily Brooke and their childhood club, the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke, knows it is up to them to capture the demons hiding in their community and set the town free. Witches, wizards, and some black magic may just be what it takes for Magdalena and her best friends to save the day.




Author Bio


Melinda Gail resides in Canton, Georgia with her three daughters, husband of over twenty years, and two adorable fur babies. Surrounded by the north Georgia mountains, the scenery provides for inspirational settings for her novels. Being raised in the south, she brings a little southern flair and tradition to her characters, all the while remembering the adventurous nature of middle grades to young adult age children. With a passion for the extraordinary and imagination, Melinda hopes you enter a world of fantasy as you see life through the eyes of the characters.

Writing has always been her underlying passion in life. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and a minor in Sociology, she felt understanding and studying human behavior on the individual and collective level, would apply to anything and everything chosen to do in life. Identified as being a strong writer for her age at the time, she attended a summer literary writer's camp around age twelve. She flourished and loved every moment of the experience and it has stayed with her throughout adulthood.

The desire to write has always been an integral part of who Melinda is, and about eight months ago she decided it was time. Having always been an avid reader of topics from intense young adult fantasy and thrillers, to light hearted summer romances, she chose juvenile to young adult ages for her book. In middle school summers, she would stay up to the wee hours of the morning reading because she just couldn’t put the book down. This basic idea, not being able to put a book down, is the principal she built on while writing Magdalen Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail. It has moments of ease, moments of intensity, moments of humor, striving to offer some of her own personality in her writings. There is a time for sweetness, a time for seriousness, and always a time for kindness and life lessons. Her style isn’t made up. It is simply who she is, on paper.

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Saturday, 16 September 2017

In Times of Violence by Karina Kantas

Publication1

Title: In Times of Violence
Author: Karina Kantas
Genre: MC Romance Young Adult Edition
Publication Date: September 16, 2017


ITOV YA ebook finalJade had been sheltered most of her life. Living in an isolated village with only sex and drugs to entertain. Her mother is an alcoholic and her father doesn’t give a damn.

Her only way out is to beg her Aunt to allow her to stay as a guest in their London house.

Jade meets fate head on in the form of Marcus, president of the Tyrants MC. She finally finds a family that loves and respects her and they are not BLOOD. Nothing comes easy to Jade and she is forced to fight to keep her title and status. Then just when life starts to go right, one-night changes everything.





˃˃˃ A raw emotional story about love, betrayal and sacrifice.
"In Times of Violence had an addictive storyline. I actually got up in the middle of the night to finish reading it. I loved Jade, although I don't fully understand her or her motives."
"Do not miss this book. Jade, Marcus and Dylan will bring out the feels."
"Remember it's not always blood relatives that make a family!"
˃˃˃ From the Author
In Times of Violence is very special to me. Some parts of the book are taken from my own experiences as a young adult. This coming of age story needed to be told. It was thanks to S.E.Hinton's The Outsiders, that In Times Of Violence was written.

I hope you enjoy the book.

Excerpt:

      I had to settle things with my parents. I had to sit them both down and tell them my plans, hoping it would be the last I saw of them. I needed to pack up my belongings and say goodbye to my horrid past, once-and-for-all.
      Marcus wanted to come along with me, but I talked him out of it. He wanted to see the cursed life I’d lived, and wanted to meet my mother. I had painted such a black picture of her I knew he wouldn’t be civil and I wanted to leave on good terms, despite everything. Even though she’d abused me, she was still my mother. I managed to convince Marcus to stay home and went alone.
      What a nightmare! My first mistake was not having Marcus for moral support. Secondly, I’d chickened out and hadn’t told my dad I was coming. I thought I could cope with just seeing Mum, rather than both of them ganging up on me. Third mistake, I wore my leathers. I think she would have gone easier on me if I had dressed down. Except that wasn’t who I was anymore. I wasn’t ashamed of who I’d become. I was proud to be a member of the Tyrants. I wasn’t going to shout it from the rooftops. I didn’t come home to show off and give the villagers something else to gossip about. I wanted to get in and out without anyone seeing me.
      Mum wasn’t home when I arrived, so I used my key and let myself in. The house smelt of stale cigarettes, and damp. No change there, I thought. I’d only been in the room for a few seconds and already wanted to leave. Memories flooded like a wave, trying to drown my good spirits. I didn’t want to remember the unhappiest moments of my childhood. Literally shaking myself from the past, I cursed aloud for putting up with her shit for so long.
      I expected her home soon, so I ran upstairs and started packing. I couldn’t take everything, just my treasured possessions. I’d been so busy, I didn’t realise how quickly the time passed. A door slammed shut, making me jump.
      “Mum, it’s Jade. I’m up here.”
      I didn’t want her to think I was a burglar. Maybe I should have phoned first.
      Any loving mother would have run up the stairs and hugged her long-lost daughter, but not my mother. I timed her. It took her a full ten minutes before she came up. I heard the familiar tinkle of ice hitting the bottom of a glass, and the cabinet door being shut. Dutch courage, I wished I had some.
      “Well, look what the cat’s dragged in. Decided to come home have you?”
      Leaning against the doorframe, she held a glass in her right hand, a cigarette in her left. She looked a sight. Her hair needed cutting and dyeing, and I hate to think how long she’d been wearing the same clothes. She looked thin and haggard and had really let herself go. I turned away, unable to look at her in that state.
      “I’ve come for a few things. I’m leaving, but is it okay if I stay the night?” I asked, pretending to be too busy to look at her.
      She didn’t answer. Her stare burnt into my back, and I knew she was going to start.
      I stopped packing and faced her. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t a weak, timid little girl anymore.
      “Go on, say it,” I challenged her. “Get it out of your system, Mum.”
      “Have you seen yourself? Look at the state of you. You look like a cheap street tramp.”
      I kept my cool. “You’re a fine one to talk, you’re a fucking mess.”
      She stared at me open-mouthed before launching into her usual ‘how dare you…’ crap. “I’m your mother. I deserve more respect.”
      I lost it then.
      “You’re not fit to be a mother. You’ve no idea how to look after yourself, let alone a child. You should be giving me respect. Do you know who I am, Mum?” Although tempted to tell her everything, I decided to keep my mouth shut. “For the first time in my life, I’m happy, and I have a life, no thanks to you. I have a great boyfriend and loads of friends. So, if anyone deserves respect, it’s me.”
      She looked livid, and seemed ready to pounce, which would have been a big mistake on her part. Although my mother, I’d gladly take her down a peg or two.
      “I think you better get out of here before I lose my temper,” I warned.
      “This is my house. No one tells me what to do in my own home,” she shouted, spilling her drink on the floor.
      I couldn’t help but laugh. “Calm down, Mum. Why don’t you get another drink before you have a heart attack?”
      She didn’t find that amusing and charged at me. “You little bitch. I’ll teach you not to talk to your mother like that.”
      I stood my ground and pushed her away. She fell drunkenly to the floor. If she wanted a fight, she would get one. She sat on the floor glaring at me, trying to decide what to do next. Luckily for her, she made the right decision. Pushed herself up from the floor, she patted down her blouse and looked at me before turning around.
      “You’ve got minutes to get out of my house then I’m calling the police.”
      That was fine with me. I’d packed what I wanted.
      She walked unsteadily down the stairs. I felt nothing but pity for her.
      Five minutes had passed before I made a move to get up. My head was pounding. I went into the bathroom and opened the tap, letting the water run until it was ice cold, then I splashed my face and used my wet hands to cool my aching neck and shoulders. I cursed her for winding me up. I lifted my head and stared at my reflection. I didn’t like what I saw. “Shit,” I yelled and smashed my fist into the glass. It didn’t break, which left me feeling pathetic and weak.
      I honestly didn’t want anything to kick off like that. I hoped I could leave on good terms, but our broken bridges couldn’t be mended.
      I walked down the stairs with my suitcases and set them down near the front door. Mum was sitting in her armchair, staring out of the front window, a full drink in her hand. I didn’t blame her. I needed one right then.
      Even with the anger I was feeling, the bond between mother and daughter was strong enough to break down the portion of hate I felt towards her. I remember thinking that it could be the last time I would see her and I refused to leave without saying goodbye. But I knew I wouldn’t have it returned. Her stubbornness wouldn’t let her turn and look at me once last time.
      “Mum,” I said gently and heard the quivering in my voice. Hell! If I cried now, if I lost it and broke down, then she would win. There was no way in hell I was going to let that happen “I’m sorry. I didn’t want to leave like this. I want you to know I’m happy and doing well. Take care, and tell Dad I love him.”
      She didn’t answer me.
      I wiped my face, picked up my bags, stood up straight, and took a deep breath before walking out of the house for the last time.


itov ya1












About the author:

1961678_10152399725654994_1872623614_oKarina Kantas is not a stranger when it comes to motorbikes and MCs. Since a young age, Karina has had bikers involved in her life. Rock music and motorbikes go hand in hand as she used to sing lead in a rock band and rides a Virago 250.

In Times of Violence was originally written as a YA as Karina was 19 when she broke up with her first love, a biker she had been seeing for four years.

Then there were three more Outlaw MC novels; Huntress, Lawless Justice and Road Rage. In between writing those books, she published a YA supernatural thriller – Stone Cold, and two collections of short stories – Heads & Tales and Undressed.

After putting the four MC books together into the OUTLAW series, Karina then turned her hand to fantasy and has won many awards for her romantic paranormal fantasy, Illusional Reality and it has since become her best seller. Illusional Realty, The Quest, the concluding part of this duology will be released 12/2017

Website • FaceBook • Twitter • Instagram





Now it didn’t seem right to have a YA in a collection of 18+ novels. So, Karina listened to her readers when they told her to have two versions of In Times of Violence. An 18+ to remain in the Outlaw series and then a YA Edition.




If being an author of nine books, and singing in a bar in the summer, isn’t enough to keep her busy, Karina single handedly runs Author Assist, services for new and established authors. She has an excellent reputation within the indie community and has worked with many award winning, bestselling authors. Karina is also a radio show host on one of the largest independent radio networks.

You can be part of this special show that highlights unknown and best-selling authors, and gives those that are lost a clear path to follow.



Thank you.
KK



The Dragon in the Garden by Erika Gardner



Title: The Dragon in the Garden
Series: The Watcher Rising Series #1
Author: Erika Gardner
Genre: Epic Urban Fantasy

There is magic beneath the mundane and in The Dragon in the Garden, Siobhan Orsini witnesses it all. No lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her Sight. She sees through them all and wishes she could close her eyes. Returning to face her past, Siobhan inherits her grandparents’ house in California’s wine country. She encounters a talking dragon, a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. And that is just in the first twenty-four hours.

It’s time to find out why she has this power.

Siobhan seeks out the Oracle and learns that only her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Our world is the prize in a battle between the dragons, who would defend us, and Lucifer’s fallen angels, who seek to take the Earth for themselves. Using her gift, she will have to make a choice that will decide humanity’s future.



Excerpt:

      Before I could run, Ian caught one of my arms with a painful twist. Unlike earlier, his expression exuded neither neutral nor curious. It had turned predatory. The hatred in his eyes, no longer veiled, burned. Something had changed. I swallowed hard. My mind raced. The conflicting kaleidoscope of images filled my vision. I struggled to move, but stayed immobile in his impossibly strong grip. Terror built then exploded inside me.
      Ian roughly grabbed my shoulders and spoke intently, “Haroa. I see you, Watcher.”
      “Lo, Innon!”
      I spun at the powerful shout, breaking Ian’s grasp and the visions’ hypnotic spell.
      The man I had helped yelled at Ian in fury. “No, Innon!”
      Ian stepped back. His face contorted with rage. “Turel, I found her. I see her. This is my right.”
      The dark-haired man folded his arms. He radiated authority. “No, for now I see her and there are laws that will not be broken. The human Haroa shall be present. She is in my Sight and in Our gaze. You will submit or pay forfeit, Innon.”
      The two men locked stares. I gasped as the man called Turel began to glow. The light, the sunshine in his eyes suffused his entire being. Shifting waves undulated above him. The area above his back and shoulders concealed a pocket in reality. As Daisy once hid her bulk from my five-year old self’s eyes in the garden, Turel masked his wings.
      Turel’s light grew brighter, more dazzling than a morning sunrise. He barked a command. “Hit’alem, Innon, I say begone.” Ian shot one more covetous glance at me and disappeared.
      “Holy shit.” Tim sat up and stared at us, his face dazed.
      I shielded my eyes with one hand as I stared at the glory of an angel revealed.
      Turel cupped one hand under my chin, tilting my face to meet his gaze. He kissed one of my cheeks and then the other. His expression softened as he regarded me. “Siobhan Isabella Orsini, my blessing is on you,” he intoned.
      How did he know my name?
      “My name is Turel. I am one of the Two Hundred Fallen. We are the Observers of this war. You have my blessing and my protection as foretold. May you always see true. Shalom.” He pressed his lips to my forehead.
      “I can offer my blessing and my protection over your home,” he offered. “Do you wish me to include your garden, too?”
      I opened my mouth, but for once, nothing came out of it. I tried again. “What?”
      “I say unto you, do you want me to include the garden?”
      Thinking of Ian in my yard earlier, I found my voice. “Yes, I need my garden protected.”
      Turel winked at me. “Good girl.”



About the Author:

Erika is a sixth generation San Franciscan of Irish descent. She attended the University of California at Davis and completed degrees in Medieval History and Biological Sciences. A lifelong lover of books and a scribbler of many tales from a young age (her first story was completed at age five) she turned to writing full-time in 2011.

On a personal level she loves spicy food, twilight, dark chocolate (with sea salt-yum!) and nickel slots at Vegas. Erika lives for time with friends, a nice glass of red wine, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” & “Doctor Who” and good conversation. Her favorite things to do are running, cooking, reading, needlework, gardening… and of course, writing. Erika's music of choice is heavy metal. To pick her out in a lineup you should know that she is very short, fairly loud, and has dark eyebrows. The rest, as her hero Anne McCaffrey once said in her bio, “is subject to change without notice”.

Erika resides in Northern California with her incredibly hot husband, their three amazing kids, and their chocolate Labrador named Selkie. To reach Erika regarding her books, wine recommendations, or to debate which Iron Maiden album is the best (clearly, it’s Brave New World)



Guest Post by Erika Gardner:

Lessons Learned When Writing The Dragon in The Garden.

So, just when I think I’m starting to figure things out, the other shoe invariably drops. It happens every dang time. Honestly, it’s not such bad thing. It’s good to shake things up. Dragon was the second book that I completed. The first was an epic fantasy that I have been forced to shove into a drawer. It’s crap. Well, it’s crap with glimmers. But I digress.

The Dragon in The Garden was the first book that I finished and thought, huh, we might have something here. Of course, that’s a common enough experience for writers in the first flush of typing “The End” (not that we usually do that, but you get the idea). Probably because getting that first draft done just feels so darn good. Then reality sets in and we see that the gargantuan amount of work still to be done. Which coincidentally was something I learned writing Dragon…


  1. You aren’t done when you think you’re done. In fact, it would be best if YOU do not make the judgement call as to when to start sending out your precious manuscript. No, leave that decision to your critique group and your beta readers. They’ll tell you when you are ready. Don’t rush it.
  2. Critique hurts. It’s okay to cry. I say that because you just might. I did.
  3. Critique is good. It is necessary. Take it and be grateful for. The fact that these people cared enough to take time from their busy (and everyone is busy) schedules to help with your dog and pony show is precious. Do not squander their time and efforts on your behalf. The work will be better.
  4. Bacon can make almost anything better. Unless you’re a vegetarian. Hopefully then tofu bacon makes everything better. I wouldn’t know. I won’t touch the stuff. Because there exists real BACON.
  5. If bacon won’t work, there’s always wine. Or… the two together. Sometimes you need to double down.
  6. Agents, editors? They are just people. Some are kind, some are callous, but they are all mere flesh and put on their ass-less chaps one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.
  7. It’s okay to hear voices in your head. It’s part of the creative process. Just… don’t believe everything that they tell you.
  8. The hardest thing you will do is to write your synopsis. You’ll hate it. Likely it won’t be your best work. That’s okay, most people hate them, too. But it’s another hoop you must jump through, so jump, little froggie, jump!
  9. You WILL be rejected. That’s not an if, it’s a WHEN. Likely you’ll be rejected a lot. It will suck. Please see points #4 and #5. Feel free to email me. I’ll talk you off the ledge.
  10. You’ll want to quit. DON’T!!! That’s it you can’t quit. PERIOD.

So, those are my pearls of wisdom. They may seem self-explanatory, obvious, as plain as the Italian nose on my Irish face. Yet, there’s a difference between hearing them and feeling them, really coming to grips with knowing them.

Now that you know my big life secrets… wanna know what I wrote about? It’s a fairy tale for adults who don’t want to grow up. Who says we really have to anyway? Enjoy!



for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!





Friday, 15 September 2017

The Saskia Trilogy Boxset by Aoife Marie Sheridan


Title: The Saskia Trilogy Boxset
Author: Aoife Marie Sheridan
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy/Romance


From USA Today Bestselling Author


The Complete Saskia Trilogy ~ Boxset


Four banished angels. A world created by the hands of God. A kingdom on its knees - and only one mortal to save them.

Growing up in the mortal world, Sarajane is shocked when she gets kidnapped and finds out that she is a princess in Saskia, a parallel universe she had no idea existed.

It's there that she discovers her abilities, but as her magic keeps growing, so does the threat towards her and her loved ones.

Following her destiny, she takes on the fight against a fallen angel and the task of saving Saskia and Earth before Lucian can destroy it.

Will Sarajane live up to the expectations or is it too late for her to save her new world?



Excerpt:

Chapter Seven
(Sarajane)

It’s so dark I can barely see two feet in front of me. Tristan walks behind me, and Legis leads the way. I don’t know where they’re taking me. Or what they want. Neither of them has said anything since taking me.
Legis stops abruptly, causing me to smack into his back. He swings around, grabbing my arm to steady me. These guys move unnaturally fast.
“Legis, what’s wrong?” Tristan asks from behind me.

“Sir, I need some light.” He looks back at Tristan as he speaks.
“I shall lead and you stay behind her.” Tristan pauses as he walks past me. “Don’t try to run. I am in no mood to chase you.” He takes his position in front of me. Tristan does not move straight away. Instead, he holds out his hand in front of him and whispers, “Lux.” I can see a light radiate in front of him. I jump back, slightly startled.
“Let’s move,” he commands. Legis nudges me on. We start walking again. I’m trying to peer over Tristan’s shoulder to see where the light is coming from, but he’s too tall, so I just stare at his back.
After a few moments, Tristan makes a hand motion for us to stop. Then the light goes out. He swings around and places his hand over my mouth, startling me, while pulling me back into his chest. Legis stands as still as stone, not even blinking. We wait. I can’t hear or see anything, only Tristan’s heart beating fast. I’m too close to him for comfort. I can feel his muscles tense in his chest and stomach.
He makes a hand motion to Legis to get down. Then slowly he lowers himself and me to the ground, never taking his hand off my mouth. He lies down on his side right against me and pulls my hands to his chest, holding them with his other hand. The heat radiates off his body against mine, making my back feel cold. I can now hear the shuffling in the distance. Maybe it’s Josh.
I try to scream, but my sounds are muffled. Tristan whispers in my ear. “Stop or we all die, you stupid girl.” I try to scream again and pull my hands free, but I can’t get them out of his iron grasp. So I bite his hand until I taste blood. He doesn’t even flinch. I know it’s hopeless.

The movements pass us and I can now hear there’s more than one person. Tears roll down my cheeks when I realise I will not be heard or rescued.
Tristan looks at me, his jaw muscles tensing. It feels like forever we lie like this; then Tristan speaks. “I am taking my hand away.”
I look up into his eyes and know straight away I shouldn’t have, as my stomach flutters. I drop my gaze and manage a nod of my head. Tristan removes his hand slowly, but he still holds my hands against his chest. He doesn’t say anything, just watches my face. His green eyes have softened. A blush rises in my cheeks. I can’t take much more of his closeness.
“What are you staring at?” I’m getting annoyed now. Well, I’m uncomfortable with this gorgeous guy staring at me. He lets go and stands up.
Legis moves up beside us. “Was it Clive?” he asks.
“I think so. It sounded like there were three of them. It must have been Taurus and Felix, also.” Tristan looks down at me still on the ground and grabs my wrists roughly. I’m about to protest when he pulls me off the ground.
I look at his hands still on my wrists. There are no teeth marks. “I bit you. I… I tasted your blood.”
He withdraws his hand. “We need to move now.”
“But I bit you.” Tristan ignores me and starts walking away. We come to a clearing where two huge horses, black as coal, are waiting. They don’t stir when we come closer, just stand there obediently.
“I’m not getting on that horse until someone tells me where I’m going. And why.”
They both ignore me. Instead, Legis retrieves a leather roll from behind a tree and unravels it, revealing three black cloaks. Legis and Tristan put theirs on and fasten them around their necks. I start to panic. These guys are lunatics. 
While their backs are turned, I slip off my high heels and move quietly away. My heart is racing now. My mind screams, Run! So I do. The minute my feet hit the woods’ floor, noise rises, alerting Tristan. I run and don’t look back. I can hear Tristan calling my name as he takes chase after me. The rocks and sticks dig into my feet, but I ignore the pain and push my body harder. I can hear Tristan behind me, his heavy boots breaking every twig under them. He reaches out to grab me. I try to pull away but fall awkwardly, taking him down also. I land beside the trunk of a large tree, slamming my side into it before falling onto the ground. I let out a whoosh of breath.
Tristan rolls off his back and comes over to me. “Move your hands. I need to see if you’re hurt badly.”
I move away. “Don’t touch me.”
“Fine. Get up, then, and walk.” I stand using the tree for support. My side is burning, but it doesn’t feel as if anything is broken, just a lot of bruising.
“You’re an asshole.”
Legis comes rushing through the forest, a little out of breath. “You got her.”
Tristan just nudges me on. “Move.” We make our way back to the clearing. 
Since they grabbed me from the ball, neither of them have hurt me or threatened me, and Tristan only knocked out Josh. Which meant, more than likely, they wouldn’t hurt me. But why take me? 
We reach the clearing again. Tristan comes towards me with the black cloak and places it around my shoulders. As he ties it at my neck loosely, I watch his hands. Definitely no teeth marks. I don’t know why, but tears run down my face silently. Tristan’s hands pause and he tilts my chin up so our eyes meet. His gaze is soft, concerned, and my stomach flutters. I feel so angry with myself—that I can find him so attractive under the circumstances. He lets my face go abruptly, the coldness seeping back into him, and he jumps up on the horse and stretches out his arm for me to take. I could run, but he would just catch me, so I have no choice but to take his hand. Tristan pulls me up on the horse as if I weigh nothing.
“Hold on tight,” he commands.
“Why?” I ask. He kicks the horse and we launch forward. I grab his waist tightly.
“That is why,” he says.
I don’t reply. I’m just praying I don’t fall off. We dodge trees so closely I can see the veins on the green-brownish leaves. My heart is in my mouth. I close my eyes tight. My stomach isn’t holding up well. Maybe not seeing every tree in such detail will help. We come to an abrupt stop, and I open my eyes. We’re fifty feet from the cliff. 
Tristan speaks in a language I don’t understand. He says a few sentences gently, but his body is tense. 
Just then, the ground trembles under us.
I grab Tristan tighter. “What’s happening?”
Fire shoots up through a long crack that has opened just at the cliff’s edge. It roars up into the air. Tristan kicks the horse and charges for the wall of fire, Legis beside us. Just as we hit it, they both say “Aeirus” in unison, while I scream and shut my eyes tightly. My ears pop as if I’m on a plane just at take-off. Now I can’t hear anything at all. I feel the sensation of flying. Have we gone over the edge? It doesn’t feel like falling, and I’m still holding on to Tristan’s waist. 
I open my eyes slowly and wish I hadn’t. We’re in a large bubble, the two horses side by side. When I look down, their hooves aren’t touching the bubble, but floating. Outside, the fire rages all around us. It looks like we’re moving at an incredible speed by the way the fire licks past us so quickly. 
I start hyperventilating. Oh God, what’s keeping the fire away? What if it breaks? My breathing becomes harder.
Tristan’s voice is strained as he calls to Legis. “Can you hold it? She is panicking.”
“Yes, sir,” Legis replies. Their voices seem far away and everything is turning dark. Tristan swings himself around and grabs me before I fall off the horse. He places me in front of him so I’m facing him. His lips are moving, but I can’t hear anything, and then I black out.

In my dream, faces of tormented people race through the fire, reaching out for me to save them. The smell of burnt flesh makes me gag, and I recoil. As the hands come through the bubble, reaching for me, all the flesh melts away, leaving only bones. I scream and fall off the horse into the waiting hands of the dead.


I wake with a thud. My eyes shoot open. I’m lying against Tristan’s chest, his arm firmly around me. His other hand holds the reins. I can feel the horse beneath me slow down. Tristan relaxes his grip around my waist, and I look up at him.

“Let me off now.” He stops the horse immediately. I jump down, clumsily landing on sand, white sand. I look around me. There’s nothing but sand for miles. Oh God, I feel sick. Tristan jumps down and walks towards me. “Stay away from me,” I roar.
Tristan stops abruptly. “I know you’re upset.” But the way he looks at me says he doesn’t care. He holds out his hands in front of him, as if he’s trying to calm a wild animal.
“Upset? Upset? Not even close. Where the hell am I? And what was that… fire?” I ask.
Tristan approaches me slowly with his hands still outstretched. “We need to move now.” His voice is full of irritation.
I let out a roar. “Like hell I will. Answer me now. Where am I?”



Author Bio:

USA today Bestselling author Aoife Marie Sheridan lives in Ireland, has two leprechauns and a hawthorn tree in her back garden, that she guards day and night against the mischief fairy folk.
When she's off duty she loves to write, read and drink tons of coffee. Oh and she eat's lots of chocolate, LOTS!






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