Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Teaser Tuesday (A Witteck's Dream)

So, this one is off to beta readers and I'm waiting to hear what they loved and what they hated.  Here's a peek at the first book of the next adult Quelondain series.  If all goes according to plan, this one will release August 1st. :D

Red sat in the tree and watched as the pack of shifters passed under her once more.  Her heart jumped into her throat and she choked back a sob.  He was alive!  He must be.  That was the only reason why they were dragging him along with them.  They’d have left the body had he been dead.  He had a man on either side holding him by the arms, his head lolling and feet dragging as they not so carefully moved along.  There was blood staining the back of his tunic and his hair looked dark with it.  In a pack this big there had to be a healer and yet it was obvious they had no intentions of stopping to heal him.  Then why keep him alive?
She waited until they were out of sight before scrambling down as quickly as she could.  Trailing shifters was a tricky and usually deadly thing to do, but she was damned if she was going to leave Greg in their hands.  And how, exactly, did she think she was going to manage to rescue him?  There were thirty of them and one of her.  If Greg was to hurt to move on his own, she’d never be able to get him out.
She ran scenario after scenario through her head as she moved along, trying to come up with a plan.  She grunted.  This would have been so much easier had the idiots still been with them.  All it would have taken would have been to send a few of them stumbling drunk into the camp and the commotion it would have caused would have given her plenty of cover to sneak in and free Greg.
She stopped short.  Why couldn’t she hear them anymore?  She frowned and listened.  She’s been so busy thinking she’d lost them.  She turned slowly in a circle, trying to get any sort of indication of which way they had gone.  There!  She kept listening to make sure she’d heard right.  She took a deep breath and let it out.  Thank the moons, she hadn’t lost them.  She made her way slowly toward where she was sure they were making camp for the night.  Now, how was she going to see if Greg was alright?  She got as close as she dared then surveyed her surroundings before making up her mind.  If she could get up one of those tall trees without being detected, she should be able to see into the camp.  She back tracked before circling around to the tree she had in mind.
All of the shifters seemed busy with the chores for the night.  Red crawled quietly, careful not to make a sound.  She leaned back against the tree, counted to ten, then climbed up as far as she could.
“Bastards.”  Red took a few deep breaths to keep from crying.  Greg lay in a heap among everybody’s packs.  Even from this distance she could tell he was shaking, whether from cold or shock she didn’t care.  He needed a blanket.  As if she had read Red’s mind, one of the women glanced around before going to him and covering him.  Greg jerked but remained oblivious to what was happening.
“Alright, let’s wake him up.  The sooner he answers our questions, the faster we can get rid of him.”
The woman nodded to the blond man who had given the order.  She knelt beside him and shook him gently.  The man grunted, stalked over to the pair and kicked Greg in the stomach.
Greg groaned and doubled over, trying to catch his breath.  His eyes fluttered open.
“Get up.”
Greg seemed to finally focus on his surroundings and scrambled to his feet, tripping over the packs, trying to get away.  A dark haired man tackled him and managed to straddle him.  The shifter pulled his arm back and brought his fist down to connect with Greg’s face.
Red could have sworn she heard his nose break.  She fought the urge to scramble down and try and stop them.  The thought of what he must be feeling, thinking, had her feeling sick to her stomach.
“Getting yourself killed isn’t going to help him,” she tried to convince herself.  She cringed as Greg was punched again.  The man on top of him got off and another grabbed Greg’s light brown hair to haul him to his feet.  Greg stiffened as a dagger pressed against his throat.
“Stop fighting.  By the moons, Greg, please stop fighting.”  Red closed her eyes and felt the tears slip down her cheeks.
“I have a few questions for you.”  The blond man stood with his arms crossed.  Greg simply stared past him.  “You’ll answer them or you’ll die.”
“I’m dead either way; don’t try to tell me otherwise.”  Greg’s eyes met the man’s.  The latter shrugged.
“Tell me about the orb.”
Greg frowned.
“Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.”
“I know what you’re talking about.  I’m just trying to figure out why you’re so interested in a drawing of a rock that you found in my pack.”  Greg doubled over as the man punched him again.
“You’d best stop wondering and start answering.”
Greg straightened with the help of the hand that still held his hair.  He coughed and tried to pull air into his lungs.
“I don’t have one.  I just saw one.”  He took a few deep breaths.  “I don’t know what they are.”
“Where did you see it?”
“In Braw’s offices.  I was hauled in there to be disciplined and he had it on one of his shelves.”
“You didn’t ask about it?”
Greg gave a hard laugh.  “I was going in there to be beaten.  I could have cared less at that moment.”
“Why was Braw going to beat you?”
“That’s none of your business.”  Greg fell to the ground as he was kicked in the stomach.  The blond man wound up and kicked him again.
“It’s my business if I say it is.  Why were you going to be beaten?”
Greg coughed and wheezed.  “Because…I worked as a guard in the prison…I got caught… giving the shifters… extra rations with their… meals.”
The only sound to be heard was Greg’s laboured breathing.  Red would have given anything to see the look on the blond man’s face.  Every other face that she could see was covered with shock and guilt.  No one moved for a good five minutes.  The shifter took a step toward Greg and the latter flinched.

Monday, 24 June 2013

A Witteck's Dream Teaser

Omg, I am so excited! And do you know why? Because if all goes to plan, A Witteck's Dream, the first book in The Witteck Chronicles will release August first!!  So, I thought I'd give you a a decent length teaser to  read.  Let me know what you think, guys. I love your input! <3 I present you with Chapter One.

The sun was warm and a soft breeze brushed the hair out of his eyes.  Ternach took a deep breath and sighed.  What a great day.  He chewed on the end of a piece of grass and closed his eyes, the sound of the small stream lulling him to sleep.  He cracked open one eye lazily and, sure that there was no one in the immediate area, closed it again.  The rabbit he’d shot was roasting over the fire and the smell made its way to his nose.  He smiled.  It was on days like today when he didn’t really mind the fact that he was now human.  It was nice to know that this moment, this feeling, wouldn’t simply be forgotten; wouldn’t become a blink of time in his travels.  It made him wonder just how many moments, people, or places he’d simply forgotten due to his long life.
A branch breaking to his left made him tense.  He sat up, loosening his dagger as he moved toward the sound.
Fantastic, he thought to himself.  Five men were walking into the small clearing where he’d thought to make lunch.
“Hello, camp!”  A tall blond man called out the customary greeting.
Ternach stood and nodded.  “A fine afternoon to you,” he responded.  His heart started to beat faster as the man’s form blurred and reappeared as a tiger.  His heart sank.  By the moons, what had he been thinking?  He knew he’d run into packs if he left the Northern Regions.  He’d known what would happen if he was unlucky enough to come across one and he was also more than aware of the fact that the closer the got to the Wedelven River and Sageden, the more likely he’d be to run into them.
The red headed man glanced at Ternach’s bow and arrows and frowned.  Ternach held his hands up.
“I don’t want any trouble.  I’m just heading to Sageden to visit Hayden and her pack.”
The shortest of them, he had to be a good head shorter than Ternach’s six foot one, raised an eyebrow and snorted.  “Right.  And why in the name of the moons would the Chosen One want to visit with a human.”
It was Ternach’s turn to raise an eyebrow.  “You’ve never met her, have you?  Hayden doesn’t care what kind of being you are; she has this ridiculous ability to trust anyone and everyone.”
The short man glared.  “We don’t like your kind in these parts.”
Ternach took a deep breath and blew it out of his nose, knowing that his next statement would either get him a free pass from these men, or a beating.  “I’m not just randomly going to visit her.  I’m a part of her pack.”  He paused there, hoping beyond hope that they’d leave the matter alone.  Bloody shifters; ever since Braw had been defeated in Paradin, they’d gotten a bit high on themselves.
The man standing to his left looked at the red headed man.  “She did have quite a few humans that ran in her pack.”
His friend frowned.  “Were you a part of it?”
“So you couldn’t vouch for him?”
The man shook his head and had the decency to look apologetic.  Ternach tried to smile.  He’d have to re-evaluate his opinion on shifters it seemed.  Not all of them were full of hot air.  The decent Namael tried a different approach.
“Do you have a name?”
Ternach’s heart jumped.  Damn it, any question would have been better than that one.  He opened his mouth to lie then shut it.  He’d tried that approach on his way home a few times and the outcome was still the same as when he’d told the truth.  He looked the man squarely.
The red headed man started to laugh.  “Ternach?  The immortal Ternach?  You’re standing there in front of us and you expect us to believe you’re the Evertimeless?”
Ternach ran a hand through his raven black hair and grunted.  “I do.”
The man made a show of slapping his knee and wiping false tears from his light blue eyes.  He straightened and took a few deep breaths to calm himself.  “I don’t believe you.”
Ternach nodded.  “I got that.”
The most humble of the five smirked and looked embarrassed.  “Can you prove it?”
Ternach shook his head.  “No, I can’t.  I lost my powers and became mortal in Paradin when Hayden and I destroyed the staff.”
The man nodded eagerly and turned to his friends.  “I’d heard that.  I wasn’t in the courtyard, but he’s telling the truth.  That’s exactly what happened.”
The red head looked at the other man in disgust.  “By the moons, Eric, everyone’s heard that story.  Any idiot out there could say he was Ternach.”
This caused the former immortal to grunt.  “Well, then, what would you have me do?  I have no magic, no way of proving I’m me unless you want to follow me to Sageden and Hayden can tell you herself.”
The tall blond man who’d shifted into a tiger shifted back.  “He does have strange eyes.”
Ternach turned his white green eyes on him.  He looked from one man to the other.  He was now surrounded and all of them looked on edge.  He had a bad feeling about the outcome of this meeting.  His eyes widened.
“Wait!  I can prove I’m me.”  He turned and bent to rummage through his pack.
“He’s getting a weapon!”  The red head took three strides and kicked him in the ribs.  Ternach’s breath left his body in a rush and he scrambled backwards, trying to pull some air back into his lungs.  Knowing there wasn’t much he could do against five other men, he lay where he’d fallen and clenched his jaw as he awaited the pain.
The red head kicked him again and this time Ternach cried out as the bone in his forearm broke with a sickening crunch.
“Jason!  Stop!”  Eric ran forward and grabbed the object Ternach had dropped.  “It’s not a knife, it’s a note.”  He glared at his friend and smoothed out the piece of paper before reading aloud.
Jason’s eyes widened as the words Hayden had written in her last letter made their way to his ears.  He ran a hand over his face, swore under his breath, and walked away.  Eric folded the note and handed it back to Ternach.
“Sorry about that.  He’s been a bit… on edge since Paradin.”
Ternach grunted and got up slowly, his arm cradled to his chest.
“Did he break it?”
“He did.”
“Wait here.  I’m not a healer by any means, but my sister’s one and I’ve learned a few tricks from her.”  Eric disappeared into the woods and reappeared a short while later with four thick sticks.  “Do you have a tunic you don’t mind ripping?”
Ternach gestured to his pack with a nod of his head.  “Use the blue one.”
Eric took his arm and fabricated a splint from the sticks and tunic.  Ternach tried to keep the pain of off his features.  The Namael looked up at him apologetically as he tied the last knot.
“Sorry.”  He glanced around and realized his friends had already moved on.  “Think you’ll be able to manage?”
Ternach nodded.  “Thanks.”  He watched as the smaller man’s form wavered and shifted into a jaguar.  The big cat tilted his head in silent farewell then bound off after his pack.
“By the moons, Ternach, you haven’t even crossed the Wedelven River yet.  A cracked rib and a broken arm; at this rate, you’ll get yourself killed by the time you reach Plaintree.”  He pulled the burnt rabbit from the fire and tossed it onto the grass to cool off.  It was going to be the worst meal he’d had in a while, he knew, but he was aware that with a broken arm, the chances he’d actually be able to hunt for his next meal were slim.  He blew his breath out of his nose and ran a hand though his hair.  Leave the Northern Regions?  By the moons, what had he been thinking?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

His stomach growled and complained.
“Just a minute,” he told it, aware that for the past two days he’d spent the better part of the day talking to his digestive track.  He reached up into the cannie tree and gasped in pain as his broken arm touched the branch he was looking at.  He cradled it against his chest and used the other hand to get the pulpy fruit his stomach was telling him it wanted.
It had been nearly four days since he’d met the pack and he was almost at the Wedelven River.  He wasn’t exactly sure where the invisible bridge lay at this very moment.  It was one of the reasons he was nervous at the moment.  As an immortal he’d been able to see the beautiful wooden structure.  Would he be able to see it now that his magic had been taken away?  He groaned and sat with his back to the tree.  By the moons, why hadn’t he just taken Hayden’s invitation and gotten on Dodge?  He’d have been in Sageden at this very moment enjoying a mug of sloan, his arm would still be intact, and he wouldn’t be hungry.  He took a bite of the sweet juicy fruit and wagged a mental finger at himself.  But no.  He’d had to decide to travel by himself across a land he knew was hostile toward humans.  He thought of a small dragon and concentrated.  Nothing.  Still human.
A woman’s laugh made its way to his ears and he scrambled so he was lying hidden under a bush.  The laugher broke off.
“Did you hear that?”
“No.”  The second voice was a man’s.
Were they humans, shifters, or Wedelves?  Ternach didn’t think that getting up to ask them was an entirely great idea.  Their footsteps moved to his right.
“Are you sure you heard something?” the man asked his friend.
Ternach stayed as still as possible.  He was fairly sure he was completely hidden.  If he couldn’t see them, they couldn’t see him, right?  He supposed he could show himself and hope for the best.  Most shifters were aware that he’d helped Hayden and her pack.  The problem was that many of them didn’t know he’d lost all his powers.  This had been proven once again with Jason and his friends. A lot of the packs he had met in the months after the war seemed to think the only way he could prove he was himself was to show some sort of magic.  He’d almost been killed twice because of shifters who assumed he was simply human.  The only thing that had saved him was that he’d rattled off everyone who was a part of Hayden’s pack and what they looked like.
The woman giggled and he heard footsteps getting closer.
Ternach jumped to his feet and whirled toward the woman.  His heart was pounding, his hands shaking, his arm throbbing.
The woman fell to the ground laughing, tears rolling down her face.
“By the moons, Cassandra!  Peter, is that you?”
Peter appeared, his own laughter shaking his body.
“You should have seen your face!”  Cassandra brushed the long curly black hair out of her black eyes.  The green vine tattoo under her eye that marked her as a healer was bright against her dark skin.  “I thought you were going to die on the spot!”
Ternach grunted but couldn’t help but smile at the two of them.  He’d gotten to like them when he’d become a part of Hayden’s pack.
Peter was shaking his head.  “Didn’t anybody tell you that if you’re going to hide from shifters that you should do it up in a tree and not down on the ground?”
“No, no one thought to tell me that, and it would have been some great information, let me tell you.”
Cassandra gave him a hug and pulled back at his gasp of pain as his arm was caught between them.  “What are you doing out of the Northern Regions and what in the world did you do to your arm?”
“Ugh.  Well, my arm was broken when a pack of shifters decided I was human and I didn’t deserve to walk across this land.”  He sucked in a breath as Cassandra pulled the green healers’ wave from the air, wrapped it around his forearm and the bones healed themselves.  He smiled and kissed her cheek.  “Thank you.  As for why I’m out of the Northern Regions, Hayden refuses to leave me alone.  I’m taking a trip to Sageden to keep the woman happy.”  He shook his head.
Cassandra grinned.  “Our Ternach is going soft in his humanity.”
He smirked.
Peter laughed.  “Leave the man alone.”  He started getting things ready for the fire.  “Have you had lunch?  We were about to stop to eat when Cassandra thought she heard you.”
“I haven’t had a decent meal in four days.”  He held his arm up to show why.
“Well, have a seat then and we’ll fix that issue,” Cassandra said as she pulled some cheese from her pack.  “There was something I wanted to show you.  We were actually thinking of going up to see you, so this works out great.”
“You found something?”
Peter nodded.  “We were north of Pinsaber, along the coast.”  He put a rabbit over the fire and dug through his pack.  “It was in one of the caves we were exploring.”
“If it weren’t for the fact that Peter fell into the underground lake, we would never have found it.”
Peter grunted.  “I seem to recall someone pushing me into the lake.”
Cassandra grinned and Ternach laughed.
“Anyway, it was under the water line, almost completely covered in algae.”  He found what he was looking for and held it out so that Ternach could take it.
The sphere was small and would probably fit in Cassandra’s hand comfortably.  It was a clear yellow color with darker veining running through it.  Ternach tapped it with his knuckle.
“It feels like marble.”
Cassandra nodded.  “The colors actually change.  It stays yellow, but the veining moves around.”  They all looked at it intently and Ternach saw what she was talking about.
“We found one in Braw’s offices after we defeated the humans at Paradin.  You were already gone by then.  No one knew what it was and none of the magic wielders could feel any energy coming from it.”
Ternach frowned.  Had he seen one of these before?  A small nagging feeling told him yes, but where?  And when?  He’d been alive since time began and had been everywhere imaginable.
“You’ve seen one?”  Cassandra was leaning forward.
Ternach grunted and ran a hand through his black hair.  His white green eyes met her black ones.  He nodded.  “I’m not sure when or where, but I’m sure I’ve seen one.”  He looked at the orb again.  “It was red, mind you.  What color was the one found in Paradin?”
“Green.”  They watched him as he tried to think back.
“No.  I honestly can’t remember.”
“I wonder how many of them there are.”  Peter was looking at the orb with a newfound amazement.
“I wonder where the red one Ternach saw is now.”  Cassandra looked into her mate’s dark green eyes.  He smiled.
“Feel like going sphere hunting?”
She nodded and grinned.  “Definitely.”
Ternach couldn’t take his eyes off of the yellow wisps moving through the orb.  He blinked and looked over to his friends.  “Mind if I come along?”
Both of them smiled.  “Of course not.”  Cassandra turned and put the sphere away.
He’d have to find a way to get a message to Hayden and Bryenk so that neither of them worried when he didn’t end up in Sageden in a few weeks.  Ternach wanted to laugh at himself.  Cassandra was right; he was getting soft in his humanity.
“So?  I was wondering, did you ever get any of your magic back?”  Cassandra looked at him curiously.
He shook his head.  “No.  Not a stitch of it.”  He grinned.  “Do you honestly think I’d be walking to Sageden if I had my powers back?”
Peter laughed.  “Maybe you wanted to see the scenery for a change.”
Ternach grunted.  “Not likely.  By the moons this being human is a bother.”
Cassandra’s smile softened.  “Do you think Hayden can help you?”
He shrugged.  “I’m not sure.  She thinks she can, so maybe.”
“We could go there first if you’d like,” offered Peter.
 “No, that’s alright.”  Ternach frowned.  “Do you know, I think these orbs may be a bit more important than my magic?”

“So you’re telling me you’ve been down to the Sandsea?”  Ternach shook his head in dismay as he struck his flints together to start a fire.
Cassandra grinned.  “We did.  We traveled from one end of it to the other and not once did we see a Zerpanay.”
Peter raised an eyebrow at his mate.  “You make that sound like it’s a bad thing! Personally, I am very grateful for the fact that we never saw one of those flying oil covered creatures.  You do realize they eat shifters, don’t you, love?”
She snorted.  “Of course I realize that.  I’m not daft, you know.”
He smiled, his dark green eyes twinkling.  He opened his mouth to say something and stopped short as she held up her hand and let out a friendly growl.
“Never mind, now,” she laughed.  “Don’t even think of responding to that.”
He made his way to her side and kissed her softly.  “I was simply going to say that the thought never crossed my mind.  You’re the smartest woman I know.”
She chuckled.  “I’m sure that’s what you were going to say.”  She looked at the fire and her black eyes lit up.  “Ooh! Do you know what I’ve a craving for?  Grambs!”
Peter wrinkled his nose.  “Of course you do.”  He took her hand and looked back at Ternach as they started to walk away.  “We’ll be back.  Do you want one if we find any?”
Ternach remembered that the fruit in question was brown, but not what it tasted like.  “I’ll give it a try.”  He place a few more logs on the fire and watched as they caught.  The quiet crackle and pop of the flames broke the silence of the forest.  He settled himself on his blankets, had a drink from his canteen, and waited for his friends to return, making sure to check on the fish he had over the fire.
“Hello, camp!”
Ternach looked up from the fish.  “Hello, there.”  Great, he thought.  Of course a pack of six, no, seven shifters would show up while Peter and Cassandra were hunting for some grambs to eat with the fish.  The leader of the pack, he had to be shorter than Ternach’s six foot one by a good four or five inches, looked around the site, his light blue eyes stopping to assess the black haired man by the fire.  The breeze blew his dark brown hair into his eyes.
“You’re alone?”
“No.  My friends are off looking for some fruit to add to our supper.”
The question he’d been dreading was next.  “Are you shifters?”  He remembered how just a couple of years prior the question would have been ‘are you Namael or Maj’.  By the tone of the man’s voice, he wasn’t going to like the answer Ternach was about to give him.
“My friends are; I’m not.”  There was no use lying to them; all they had to do was get a look behind his ear to see he didn’t have either mark and he knew the beating he’d receive while they looked for it wasn’t going to be pleasant.  He frowned.  He’d gone from the most powerful being in Quelondain to this, a pitiful human dreading the next beating he was about to get.  Here, he’d sacrificed almost everything to save their kind and now he had to endure this.  He looked up from the fish and his white green eyes met the other’s light blue ones.
“What’s your name?”
Maybe he should just make up a name.  Maybe they’d leave him alone if they didn’t think he was trying to be the Evertimeless.  He decided against it.  Damn it, he wasn’t going to lie about who he was.
The light blue eyes widened and a few snickers could be heard from the men behind him.  Ternach took a deep breath.  Here came the beating.
“Prove it.”
Ternach’s temper flared.  This was ridiculous.  “By the moons, maybe it’s about time somebody sent out a note to let everyone know what happened in Paradin that day!  I can’t prove it!  I lost all of my magic when that blasted staff touched me!  Were you even there?  Maybe if you had been you’d have seen it happen!”  His tirade was ended by the fist that connected with his stomach.  He doubled over, his lungs screaming for air.  A knee came up and caught him in the face.  His head snapped back and he fell to the ground.  He could feel the blood running from his nose and he tried to scramble backwards to get away.  He looked back to make sure he wasn’t heading into the fire, his one eye already swelling shut.
He frowned.  Who was that?
“Stop it!  He’s not lying!”
Ternach watched as a small woman with long auburn hair put herself between him and her pack.  She glanced back and her dark hazel eyes looked him over quickly as if to make sure she was right.  He couldn’t recall having seen her before today.  He stayed on the ground.  There was no point in getting up if they were going to ignore her and keep on with the beating.
“You’ve met him before?”  The blue eyed man frowned at her.
She shook her head and Ternach’s heart dropped.  The man made to step forward and she pushed him back before standing more defensively in front of him.
“I haven’t met him, met him, but I’ve seen him.  I was there in the courtyard when it happened.”
Ternach was so relieved he thought he’d cry.  He sat up, a bit more hopeful than a few minutes prior.
“When Hayden touched that staff, I was sure we were all going to die.  Ternach helped her kill the power.  I don’t know how he did it, but he did.  If he says that it killed his magic, then I believe him.”
“How do you know he’s not just some human who knows this story and is using it to his advantage?”
The woman looked back to him again and he could have sworn she was blushing.
“Because…well, because when a man looks like that, a woman doesn’t easily forget.”  There was a shocked, amused silence as everyone thought about this.
“By the moons, what do you think you’re doing?”  Peter and Cassandra came running to his side.  Peter stood by the auburn haired woman while Cassandra knelt beside him.  She looked him over and glared at the pack.
“They didn’t believe I was me.”  He tried to smile but the split in his lip widened and he stopped.  He shook his head and wiped a hand under his nose to wipe the blood that had soaked into the stubble there.
“Lay back and I’ll fix you up.”  Cassandra waited until he was situated and ran a green wave over his face.  He sucked in a breath as everything healed.
“What do you mean you had to make sure he was who he said he was?”  Peter sounded outraged.  “When’s the last time you saw a human, or even a shifter for that matter, with eyes that color?”
The dark haired man stood his ground, his face turning red.  “White Ones have eyes that color!  I’ve seen Queen Melana.  Hers are just like that but blue.”
Cassandra grunted from where she still knelt by his side.  “Well, obviously he’s not Queen Melana, and if you thought he was a White One, then you mean to tell us you were beating who you believed was to be the next king of the Namaels?”
“I didn’t say that’s what I thought he was.”
Ternach got up.  “Leave it be, Cassandra.  No harm done.”  He started off toward the creek to clean the blood off.  What he really wanted was to have a sliver of his power for just an instant so he could fry the idiot where he stood, or to have a fair one on one fight without the chance of the whole pack jumping in, but since that wasn’t going to happen, there was no use in getting everyone more riled then they already were.
He pulled his tunic over his head then knelt by the creek so he could wash his face.  When he was clean he submerged his shirt and tried to get all of the blood out of it.  Thankfully, the one he’d been wearing was a dark brown so any stains wouldn’t be too noticeable.  He wrung it out and set it to dry on a branch.
Maybe you should go back, he thought to himself.  Back?  Back where?  To the camp?  The Northern Regions?  Well, he planned on going back to the camp eventually; right after his adrenaline quit pumping and he knew he was going to be able to keep his mouth shut.  As for the Northern Regions… that too, was an eventuality.
He sat with his knees up, his arms wrapped loosely around them, and watched as the water ran by.
“Ternach?”  It was the auburn haired woman.  “Can I… I mean, do you mind if I sit down?”
He looked up and squinted in the sunlight.  “Not at all.”
“I’m Sarah, by the way.  I wanted to apologize.”
He frowned.  “For saving my life?”  He was fairly sure the dark haired captain would have taken things past the regular beating.
She blushed.  “For the others.  They get a little carried away when it comes to humans.  Robert’s mate was separated by Braw’s staff about five years ago.  I don’t think he ever forgave himself for not being home when they took her.”
He grunted.  “I’d love to say I can relate, but I can’t, never having had a mate myself.”  They were both quiet for a moment and he glanced at her.  The setting sun was making her hair look red.  “Doesn’t he realize that not all humans hate shifters?  There were quite a few humans in Hayden’s pack when we attacked Paradin.”
She shook her head.  “I’ve tried telling him, but he doesn’t want to hear it.”
Ternach grunted again.  She looked over to him.  He was just a breathtaking as she remembered him.  His hair was as black as the darkest night and his eyes were such a huge contrast with their white green coloring.  The high cheekbones, the tanned skin; she couldn’t stop her gaze as it ran over his wide shoulders and down his side to his narrow hips.  She fought the urge to poke him to see if the muscles in his arm were as hard as they looked.  She remembered one of the human girls talking about him after they’d attacked the keep of Paradin.  ‘Built like a Greek god’ was what she’d used to describe him.  Sarah had never seen a Greek god, but was sure she’d be able to tell if she ever came across one.
“Dog or cat?”  Ternach smiled in her direction.  He still didn’t understand women’s fascination with his looks.  As far as he could tell he didn’t look any different than the rest of the men; never had.  Now had he gotten stuck living as a rock man he might have understood the stares.
Sarah blushed.  “What?”
“Are you a dog or a cat?”
“Oh!  A cat.  A cheetah.”  She met his eyes.  “Why?”
He shrugged.  “I was just wondering.”
They were quiet again.
“Did it hurt?  When you lost your magic?”  She grew uneasy at the anger that darkened his face but it left just as quickly as it had appeared and he shrugged.
“I’m sorry.  That was probably none of my business.”
“No, no, that’s fine.  I wasn’t angry with you for asking.”  He frowned.  “Let’s just say I may be more than a bit resentful with the fact that it happened.  I miss my magic.”  Why was he telling her this?  He hadn’t even told Bryenk.  Maybe it was because she’d stood up for him?  “Yes, it hurt.”
He sounded so sad.  Sarah reached over and put a hand on his arm.  By the moons, he was as hard as he looked.  She focused on the topic at hand.
“It probably doesn’t help that you sacrificed almost all that you were to save us from annihilation and now every time you come across a shifter you take a beating.”
He jerked.  “How did you know that?”
“You weren’t surprised when Robert came at you.  I could see it the instant we walked into the camp.  You were expecting to take a few hits.  You had this most horribly resigned look on your face.”
“Yes, well, thank you for stepping in.  It was one of the shortest beatings I’ve had to endure so far.”
“I was going to say something sooner but I thought your speech might do the trick.”
He smiled.  “I thought so too until he punched me in the stomach.”
“So why didn’t you fight back?”
“Honestly, I used to.”  He shrugged.  “It turns out there’s not much I can do against four or more shifters at a time.  If I don’t fight back, they leave me alone faster.  That’s why I went back to the Northern Regions.  I was tired of getting hit all the time.  I used to be able to heal myself, it didn’t matter what the injury was.  Now it hurts, and it takes forever before it feels better again.”
“When did you leave them again?”
“Oh, about four months ago.  I was heading to Sageden to see Hayden because she has a few ideas about how to get some of my magic back, but then I ran into Cassandra and Peter and have been tagging along with them for the past two or so.”
“Did you know them from before?”
He nodded.  “They were a part of Hayden’s pack when we attacked Paradin.”  She’d taken her hand off of his arm but he could still feel where her fingers had been.  “What about you?”
Her eyes widened.  “Me?  There’s not much to say, really.  I was born in Bliar and trained under my mother to be a blacksmith.  My father was on the guard.  My mother died of a chest infection when I was seventeen and I took over the shop.  When Melana announced we would be attacking Paradin I volunteered to go along.”  She shrugged.  “Melana’s changed her take on having females on the guard and so I stayed on with this pack.  I like to see new things so this is great for me.”
Ternach reached over and checked his shirt.  “I don’t think it will dry very well now that the sun is going down.”  He stood and held out his hand to help her stand.
She looked at him as she let him pull her up and tilted her head to the side.  “If you miss your magic so much, why didn’t you head to Sageden as you had originally planned?”
He grinned and she had to catch her breath.  “Let’s just say I love a good adventure.”
He chuckled.  “I’ll tell you all about it when the rest of your pack leaves.”  They started back toward the camp.
“What makes you so sure I’m staying?”
“I could almost see your cat ears perk up at the word adventure.”  He smiled down at her and laughed when she stuck out her tongue.
“Alright, fine, I was going to ask if you would mind if I stayed.”
“So long as you promise not to beat on me.”
She raised an eyebrow at him.  He had to be a good nine inches taller than she was, not to mention that he outweighed her by at least eighty pounds.  She’d have to take him by surprise and even then it would be touch and go.  He stopped walking and grinned.
“Look at you standing there trying to figure out how you’d get it done!”
“I was not!”  She tried to keep the blush from rising to her face but failed miserably.
“So what?”
“How would you do it?”
She smiled crookedly at him.  “Well, if I tell you, you’ll know what’s happening when I try, now won’t you.”
He burst out laughing.  “I’ll stay on my guard then.”  He looked up at the movement farther in the woods and his jaw clenched.
“Sarah, we’re moving on!” called Robert.
She saw Ternach tense and she put a hand on his arm.  She saw the dark look harden his features and she knew without a doubt that should Robert do anything to provoke him at this moment, Ternach wouldn’t just lie down and take the beating.  In fact, she was positive that in a fair fight, Ternach was rarely the loser.
“I’ll be staying on with this crew,” she called back to him.
“Our orders are to…”
“Your orders, you mean.  I volunteer for this shift and now I’ve found something else I’d rather do.”
Robert growled low in his throat.  “It’s none of my business who you decide to do, but can I remind you there are quite a few very available shifters around.  By the moons, even a dog would be better than this!”
Sarah threw herself in front of Ternach and pushed him back a step.  “Don’t!  He’s just trying to get a rise out of you so you’ll go after him.  After that you’re fair game for the whole pack to join in.”  She stood with her back against his chest so she could look at the other man.  By the moons, he was solid.  “You’re right, Robert!  Who I do is none of your business and if I decide that Ternach is the one who should take care of the urge when it strikes me, then so be it.”
Robert grunted.  “How can you even stand to have him touching you?  He’s human!  And even if he hadn’t lost all of his magic, he would still have been a freak!”
“And they say humans are narrow minded,” mumbled Ternach.  “If he hits me first, can I hit him back?”
“Of course,” she glanced up and back at him.  The white green eyes were full of mischief and she almost screamed with surprise as his strong hands turned her, his lips pressing against hers.  She heard Robert growl and tried to pull away but Ternach’s arms wrapped around her and she was trapped.  She started to feel lightheaded before she reminded herself to breathe.  She tried to stay focused on the attack she was sure was coming from behind her.  Ternach’s tongue ran along her bottom lip and before she could stop herself, she groaned.  She melted against him and wrapped her arms around his neck.
Ternach jerked as her tongue found his.  By the moons, he’d only meant to give her a peck then look up and stick his tongue out at that idiot of a man, but the instant his lips had touched hers he’d realized a peck wouldn’t be enough.  His head was reeling.  Her fingers laced in his hair and his groan vibrated through both of them.  He had to end this now or he knew he wasn’t going to be able to stop.  He softened the kiss and pulled away so that only their foreheads were touching.  Both of them were breathing hard.
When he trusted himself to look at her without trying to kiss her again, he straightened, his thumb running over her lips.
“Sorry.”  His voice was thick.
The corners of her mouth twitched.  “I wasn’t aware I’d been complaining.”
The sound of Robert punching a tree made them both look in his direction.  He was stalking away, his anger evident in his steps.
“Damn it, I wanted him to hit me.”  Ternach reached down and grabbed a rock the size of a small egg. He tossed it into the air a few times before throwing it as hard as he could.  Robert stumbled forward with the impact of it hitting the back of his head.  He spun around, his face red.  Ternach wrapped an arm around Sarah’s shoulder, pulled her close, and gave a cheerful wave.  They watched in silence as he shifted into a lion and bound into the woods.
Sarah burst out laughing.  “By the moons, that was great!”
Ternach grinned.  “Why, thank you.”
She gave him a shove.  “Not that!”
He laughed at her blush.
“Well, alright, that too.”  She thought of the look on Robert’s face as he’d spun around to see what had hit him and her laughter started again.  “Where in the world did you learn to throw like that?”
He shrugged.  “I’ve been alive since the beginning of time.  What can I say, I’ve been bored a few times.  It’s fun to throw rocks at the dragons and watch them try to figure out which earth dragon has done it.  You see, the trick of it is to be well hidden behind something and to be far enough away that they can’t smell you.”  He grinned.  “It took a few thousand years to perfect my aim, but I can pretty much hit anything I want to now.”
She shook her head in disbelief.  Other than the eyes, it was easy to forget what he’d been before the war on Paradin.  His smile softened.
“It just sank in, didn’t it?  What I am?  Or I suppose I should say was.”
She nodded but didn’t pull away from him.  “I have a couple of questions about that kiss.”  She blushed at the memory of it.
“Alright.  What would you like to know?”  He had no clue where she was going with this.
“You said you’d never had a mate.  There’s no way you can kiss like that without having had some sort of practice.”
He smiled.  “I’ve never had a mate, but there have been women in my life and about three thousand years ago I was taken prisoner by the Dreygt Witches.  No one around here has heard of them; they live two oceans away on a tiny island most people don’t know exists.  They, um, well, they were tired of using mortals to satisfy their urges, as you so politely put it earlier, and had decided that an immortal might do the trick.”
Sarah’s eyes were about to pop out of her head.  “How did they catch you?”
“Magic and that’s how they kept me as well.”
“How long did they keep you?”
“One hundred and twenty seven years.”  He smiled.  “Let me tell you, you can learn a lot from four experienced women in that many years.”  He blushed at some of the memories that were coming back.
She frowned.  “Why did they let you go?”
“They didn’t.  I managed to convince them that I would be a good boy and stay if they took off the magical bindings.  I think the winning argument was that if I wasn’t busy trying to keep my magic from attacking their bonds on me I could concentrate more on what they’d brought me there to do.”
She seemed about to ask something else but stopped.  He smiled.
“Well, I suppose I’m a bit curious as to why you would want to leave that type of situation.  I know of a few men who would kill to have been in your place.”
He shrugged.  “I missed my home in the Northern Regions and I missed the dragons.  I’d go back and visit them from time to time.  They’d promised me they wouldn’t try to capture me again if I went back every once in a while; besides the dragons, they’re the closest thing I’ve had to a family really.”  He frowned.  “You know, it just occurred to me that I’ll never see them again.”  He seemed to shake himself mentally and smiled.  “Alright, did that answer your question?”
“More than adequately, thank you.  Can I ask one more?”
He nodded.
“You lost all of your magic?”
“All of it.”
“You’re sure?”
“Yes, why?”
She blushed.  “I thought maybe you’d used magic on me during the kiss to make it feel like that.”  She looked at the ground.  “It… it was different than the other men I’ve been with.”  She wanted to slap herself in the face.  By the moons, she sounded like a twit.  She was thirty, for crying out loud.  It was like he was her first crush and she’d just turned of age.  And he was Ternach!  What in the world was she doing?
He watched as emotion after emotion passed over her face; shock, embarrassment, disgust, bewilderment, and finally confusion.
“I’m glad you didn’t finish with disgust,” he said softly.
“Oh, well, that was at me, not you.”
He lifted her chin and kissed the bridge of her nose.  “Don’t forget, I was just as out of breath as you were.”  He took a few deep breaths.  “We’d better get back.”
Sarah’s hands were playing along his arms and he shivered.  “Alright.”
Neither one of them moved.  He ran his thumb over her bottom lip.  The last time, no wait, the only time he’d felt like this had been when the three way link between Jasper, Hayden and himself had been blown wide open in the Burrie clearing.  The only difference was that this wasn’t what Hayden was feeling for Jasper.  This was all him.
He closed his eyes.  “I need you to go back to the camp.”  His voice was hoarse.
“Ternach!  Are you still down here?”  Cassandra’s voice caused both of them to jump.
He cleared his throat.  “Right over here, Cass!”  Thank goodness for distractions, he thought.  He took Sarah’s hand and started walking back, but that wasn’t quite enough so he put his arm around her.  There.  That was better.  He looked down at her and smiled as her arm went around his waist.  She looked up and blushed.
“It’s a good thing she came along.  I think I was about to force myself on you.”
Ternach threw his head back and laughed.  In all of his years of existence, he couldn’t remember anybody he’d ever found as amusing as this woman.
“I don’t think I would have complained,” he chuckled.
Peter grinned as they walked back into camp.  “Supper’s ready.”
Sarah thanked him and took a plate when he insisted there was plenty for her as well.  She glanced at Ternach.
“So what’s this great adventure?”
He grinned.  “We’re going orb hunting.”  He frowned and reached over to pat her back as she choked on the mouthful of food she had in her mouth.
“Orbs?”  She stared at him with wide eyes when she could breathe again.  “What kind of orbs?”
Peter reached into his pack and pulled the yellow sphere from it.  Sarah blanched.
“Sarah?”  Ternach put a hand on her arm in case she fainted.  She blinked and slowly looked away from the orb to him.
“I… what does it do?”
Peter shrugged.  “Nothing as far as we can figure out.  This is the second one we’ve found since the battle at Paradin.  A green one was found in Braw’s offices when they were searched.”
“There’s…. There’re two?”
Peter held it out to her and she shook her head.
“Where’s the green one now?”  She seemed to have trouble looking away from the orb.
“Marilynn, head sorceress for the Namaels, has it.  She’s in Sageden with Hayden at the moment.”  Cassandra looked at the newcomer with interest.  “Is everything alright?”
Sarah blinked and looked from one curious face to another.  She smiled, took a bite of her supper, and nodded.  “Everything’s fine.  This sounds like a fabulous adventure.”  She grinned at Ternach who raised an eyebrow at her.
He shrugged off her odd behaviour.  After all, he didn’t know her; this could be normal for her.  He took a drink of his canteen and smiled. Now, if he could only remember where he’d seen the red orb…

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Stormfront: The Three The Death Dealer by Will Van Stone Jr

Dylan Jacob Bradshaw is a special boy. He is a telekinetic and telepath, able to manipulate the world around him with a thought as well as delve into the deepest parts of a person’s mind. He is also one of the deadliest assassins of the Order of Three, an ancient fraternity of the world’s elite killers. At fifteen, he is also the youngest. Along with his hacker partner, Cody Markus, he is sent out to kill the drug pushers, the child molesters, the sweet old grandfathers. He embraces his dark side, and that dark side could be the end of not only his career, but his life.

When he is sent to infiltrate, and kill, a group of especially twisted pedophiles, he cracks, and goes on a killing rampage. When the Order of Three discovers how much blood he had on his hands, they bar him from their walls; the only home he knows...

They send The Three, the deadliest assassins of the Order, to properly dispose of him. He seeks sanctuary with a power telekinetic and telepath and her son, who teach him how to effectively use his special abilities in ways the Order never did, who themselves are hunted by a mad sociopath bent on destroying them.

To survive, he must learn just how powerful he is and use everything he has at his disposal to make his way back to the Order and uncover truths he never knew were out there.

My review:
Alright.  So, I have to admit that when I started the story I thought, oh no.  If there is one thing in this world I can't read or watch it is stories about pedophiles.  That is just too messed up for me.  Having said that, I am glad I didn't give in to the urge to put the book down and kept reading.  It turns out there are no horrible pedo scenes (they are there but not described and only right at the beginning) and it isn't the main focus of the story.  The story is one that I loved.
Will Can Stone Jr does a great job of keeping this assassin story flowing.  I love conspiracies and secret agencies.  Throw in some sweet X-men like powers and I'm hooked.
Dylan's struggle to survive his own assassination was filled with exciting, heart stopping action that kept me reading until the end. And the end? Omg? What was that all about?
All I know is there better be a sequel to this to explain what in god's name made Dylan do what he did.  I actually reread the story thinking I'd missed something. So Will.  Orders from me.  Write the next book.  Sooner than later.
And for those of you who are reading this review, you need to go get your copy.  Sooner than later.   This gets a great 4 stars from me.

Teaser Tuesday (Tyler's Story)

Tyler's Story is the first of my YA novels set in Quelondain.  I haven't written any more but no one needs to worry.  If you've enjoyed the Tales of Quelondain series  (of one book), there will be more. :D Until then, he's a bit of Tyler for you.
Enjoy and stay safe!
:)  Mireille

“Wait…”  Garry eyes were saucers in his head.  “You climbed in here?  On purpose?  Why the hell would you do that?”
“I came for Heidi and now that I have her, I’ve got to think on how we’ll get out again.”
A ruckus sounded behind them and everyone turned to see who or what was going to be coming out of the woods.
“There he is!  All humans who wish to live, get back in your tents!”  Vic glared at Tyler.  “You damn near broke my jaw, you bastard!”
“You’re lucky I didn’t kill you for putting her in here.”
If any of the humans had thought of hiding, their curiosity now had the best of them and they gaped at Tyler.
“She’s human!”  Vic said the word like it left a bitter taste in his mouth.
“And if I gave a damn about that, I’d have left her here!”  Tyler pulled his dagger and handed it to Heidi.  “I don’t care if they’re Maj or human, Heidi.  If anyone tries to take you, you cut them.”  He dropped his pack to the ground and stepped forward.
“You’re willing to die for her?”
“I’m willing to die for them.  This is wrong!  By the moons, you’ve put little ones in here!  If they’re rogues, then fine, but most of these just had the misfortune to cross over.”
“They’re human,” repeated Vic, as though this was enough of an explanation.
“Heidi, you remember what I said?”  He looked back to her when she didn’t answer.  She looked so scared.
“Tyler?”  Her grey green eyes met his.  “Thank you, for trying to help me.”  She bent down, took the dagger he’d given her out from under her pant leg, and tossed his back to him.  “Be careful, please.”  She swallowed hard and crouched down in a defensive pose.
He nodded and turned back to Vic.  “You don’t want to do this.”
“It’s five against one, Tyler.  Do you really think you can win?  I’ll make you a deal.  Come back out with us and I’ll let you visit her every other day.  Through the gate, of course.”
“How about I make you a deal, Vic.  Let all of us go and when I get out, I won’t go to Rainen to tell her what you’re doing here.”
The guards all gave a collective grunt.  Vic’s expression went from amused to unsure.  Heidi knew from having seen it that Tyler had just gotten that look in his eyes; the one that made her slightly afraid of him.
Tyler shifted and the humans who hadn’t caught on yet gasped at the sight of the large grey wolf now standing between them and the guards.
“Is he protecting us?” one woman whispered.
He launched himself at Vic with no warning.  Heidi screamed as four other dogs jumped on top of them.
A dog yelped and tears flooded Heidi’s eyes.  Another whine pierced the air.  This was quickly followed by a bellow of rage.  A coyote fell backward through the air, its throat slit.  Tyler’s thick frame emerged from the chaos.  He spun and drove his shoulder into a black wolf.  A fox clamped its teeth around his forearm.
Tyler’s eyes met Heidi’s as he was dragged back under.  He clenched his teeth to keep from crying out as the fox’s teeth ripped through the skin.
Heidi screamed something he couldn’t hear under all the growling.  He shifted and managed to clamp his jaws around someone’s leg.  Whoever had a hold of his leg let go and he was able to maneuver enough to clamp his jaws around Vic’s throat.  He pulled back with a few jerky shakes of his head and felt the blood fill his mouth.  Someone else screamed in pain and the coyote he was holding onto managed to free himself and run.
Tyler shifted back, searching for his dagger.  He couldn’t let any of them get back to the gates.  He couldn’t stop the whine as he turned into his wolf.  He pushed himself forward, chasing after the coyote.  The guard glanced backward over his shoulder and tried to pick up speed as the wolf caught up to him.  Tyler slammed into him with his shoulder, sending both of them crashing to the ground.  He slipped his hand into his pocket, pulled out the pocket knife he’d gotten from his aunt and uncle, and stabbed it into the man’s throat.
Tyler fell onto his back and tried to catch his breath.  Bloody hell, was Heidi alright?  He stumbled to his feet and ran back toward the camp, dragging his right leg.  His heart dropped at the sight of Heidi lying on her back, covered in blood.
A few of the people gathered around her cried out at the sight of him.  He ignored them and pulled her onto his lap.
“Heidi… come on, Heidi.  Speak to me.”  He brushed the hair out of her face and placed his lips softly against her forehead.  He swallowed hard.  “Heidi, please.”
His heart jumped at the feel of her fingers on his cheek.  “Thank the moons,” he whispered.  Heidi threw her arms around his neck and hugged him close.  Her sobs raked through her.
“Shush, now.  It’s alright.  I’m here.”
“I thought you were dead!”
He pulled back and smiled at her.  “I’m much harder to get rid of than that.”  He wiped the tears from her cheeks.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Blood Myth (The Myth Series) by Stacy Moran

Zakah Sange was born into a world of dark magick, always living in the shadows of his father, the Raka King. He was dangerously sexy and enigmatic; he used power and control to shape himself into a hard and cunning man. Zakah became a warrior, a weapon and the master of his own violence lurking within.

Sorina Ruzicka was the great granddaughter of the evil god Akhekh. She was born into a legacy of magickal gifts that she wanted no part of. After years touring as a blues singer she returned home where she only wanted the seclusion of the mountains. A chance meeting with the mysterious club owner forced Sorina into the battle of her life.

Can a willful witch, accept the controlling nature of a demon who demands submission? Trusts will be tested, lines will be crossed and a fate neither of them expected will be played out.

Author Bio
Stacy was born in West Virginia but now finds herself living in Texas. She has loved writing since the first grade when she completed her first book, The Land without Rules. Her mother will tell you it was a brilliant book.
Throughout her school years she was in journalism and has been an avid reader of all literature. She has always craved the feeling of discovering an author's world for the first time. Now she devotes her time to creating her own worlds. Stacy focuses mainly on paranormal romance and poetry. She loves creating dominant male characters and headstrong females for her books.
Stacy now finds herself on a new journey and finally has taken the leap to go after her dreams. She recently finished a poetry book, Whispers in the Dark with two fellow authors and finished her first novel Blood Myth in her Myth Series.


Outside her cottage, the wind rose and whirled fiendishly. Rain pelted at her windows. Sorina wrapped her arms around her up drawn knees, resting her head on them. She felt his emotions. She sensed his need and what he wanted her to understand, but she didn’t understand.
“Sorina.” Zakah made sure his voice was warm, sensual, caressing, velvety, and soothing. “Don’t try to understand, my little rabbit.” He could feel her anguish even though she tried to hide it with her stubborn chin and defiant eyes.
A shadow flickered from a candle. Her eyes followed the shadow. She gasped up at his tall, dark, well-muscled frame which appeared out of nowhere. Sorina stammered, looking up at him towering over her. “What are you doing here?”
She looked like a scared rabbit. He never felt regret or pity, but to know he was the cause of her fear broke his heart. Zakah couldn’t stop himself; he did something he had never done in all his long years. He wanted to give comfort, take away her fears. Zakah gathered her into his arms, imprisoning her against his hard chest. “Breathe, Sorina. It will help.”
She pushed against the wall of his chest. “Let go of me. I am not a child who needs to be cradled or spanked.” She emphasized the last word.
Zakah ignored her struggle to pull away from him. He held her close to his chest, his hand stroking over her back slowly. He buried her face in the wealth of her luxurious hair, breathing in the sweet scent of citrus.
Sorina found the strength to pull back from his embrace. “I saw you. I felt you when you were using that rod on that woman. You were imagining she was me.”  Her breath caught in her throat when he threaded his fingers through her hair. Zakah gripped her scalp in his strong hands, yanking her head back and the look in his eyes seared her to the bones.
He lowered his head, his mouth inches from her plump lips, so that she could feel the warmth of his breath on her skin. “Yes, I did imagine she was you. I wanted her to be you. I needed her to be you.”
Sorina was silent. She started to tremble in his arms. He knew his words were beginning to sink in. Zakah took in the sad shadows and fear lingering in her large, golden green eyes.
Her heart was pounding. “I want you to leave.” She pushed at the wall of his chest.
He merely tightened his hold on her. Zakah could not hide the bit of enjoyment he was getting from her struggle. “You do not want me to go, Sorina.”
“Yes, I want you to go, Zakah.”  His smug look of amusement infuriated her, making her work to keep her voice under control.
“You are safe with me, Sorina. I would not allow anyone or anything to harm you.”
She swallowed nervously, whispering defiantly, “Just you.”

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Teaser Tuesday (Journey The Chosen One Trilogy book two)

All I have to say is this. Be happy you can't see the dance I'm doing right now.  It probably looks much scarier than I think it does. LOL! Four weeks in a row! Today's teaser comes from Journey, the second book in the trilogy.
Enjoy and stay safe!
:)  Mireille

“Until we have positive proof that we are in danger, I refuse to send my men to their deaths.  Rainen won’t wait to hear what we have to say if we go knocking on her door.”
“Positive proof?”
I could feel Jasper tensing beside me.  I put a hand on his leg.
“What more proof do you need?  Hayden was there.  They used her to kill six shifters.  Had Brice not helped her escape, we wouldn’t even be here having this conversation!”
“Jasper.”  I said his name softly and his glare honed in on me.  He blinked.
“She doesn’t think you can do it.”  He looked at Melana and nodded to himself.  “You don’t believe that Hayden is powerful enough to do what Braw wants her to do.”
Melana stared back at him.  “You’re right.  It’s not that I don’t think she doesn’t have the magic or the power.  I don’t think she has the control.”
“That’s exactly why Braw will succeed if he gets a hold of her.  Because she is powerful enough to project to as many beings as he sees fit and because she doesn’t have the control she could have.  When it starts to project from her, she can’t stop it.”
Melana looked at me and frowned.  This was obviously an angle she hadn’t thought about.
I looked up at Jasper and, not for the first time since we had met, thought it would be nice to be able to feel what he was feeling.  The muscles of his jaw were clenched, his eyes slightly narrowed.  He was staring out of the window.  He looked down at me and his eyes softened.
“A shlova yan,” he whispered before kissing me softly.
“A shlova yan jer.”
My usual response was answered with a sad smile.
I frowned.  “Want to take a walk?”
He took my hand and we left, much to the shock of everyone in the hall.  We walked in silence as Jasper led me through one hallway, down a few more, until we came to a solid wood door.  He pushed it open and we stepped out into a beautiful garden.
Still quiet, he walked down the path until we reached a pond filled with large fish.  He sat down, pulling me down so that I was in front of him.  I leaned back against his chest, loving how safe it felt wrapped in his arms.
He took a deep breath.  “Why are we doing this?”  The question was just a whisper.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean why are we here, convincing Melana to team up with Damian?  Why are we going to Howel?  If we actually get to talk to Rainen, what happens if we can convince her our plan is best for everyone?  Do we just march up to the Northern Regions and call Braw out?  And if he does come out, then what?  It will be you and him, won’t it?  There’s not much the rest of us can do so long as that staff is around.”
“I…I guess I hadn’t thought that far ahead, really,” I said, more than a little rattled.  I had never heard Jasper talk like this.  To him, a fight was a fight and he always went into it knowing he was going to win.  “What’s going on?  This isn’t you.  I have never seen you turn back from a fight.  I’ve seen you finish fights when others would have surrendered.  I’ve heard the stories, Jasper.  You’re legendary.”  I hugged his arms tightly.  “What’s wrong?”
He was quiet for a moment.  “When they killed my family, they may as well have killed me, Hayden.  I was fourteen when I killed my first man.  I wasn’t even of age.  All I could think about was what he had done to my mother, my father, my sister and my brother.  That was all that I could see.  Luke found out who they were and we took care of them.  I spent the next sixteen years doing the same.  I don’t think I was alive.  I died that night.
“I never worried going into battles.  I never cared what would happen if I jumped into an ambush.  How could I die if I was already dead?”
I reached a hand back and pulled his head down so that it was against mine.  His arms tightened around me.
“But then one day, I looked down a hill and saw this most beautiful woman.  I looked into those unbelievable eyes and my heart jumped.  When you kissed me by the lake it started to beat again.  You’re the one who brought me back to life, Hayden, and now that I’m alive again, I’m terrified.”  He swallowed hard.  “If we crossed over, it would be done.  The Majs and the Namaels would still be fighting and the humans would be doing whatever it is they do up there.  No one can do anything drastic without you.”
His hand found mine and started to play with the gold band around my finger.  “I want to know why I am about to risk losing the only thing that matters to me for a bunch of beings who only want you as a weapon.”

Monday, 3 June 2013

Cruentus: Rise to Power Book 1, The Cruentus Series By LS Broomfield


A prophecy of old continued to burn in the embers of time; long left dormant until the Cruentus family rose above all others as darkness ascended the lands. Greed and deception were the name of the game, and Arturo Cruentus would stop at nothing as he concocted the ultimate scheme to get everything he wanted. No price was too high. The scene was set, the pieces strategically placed. The Gallo family could not come against him, and in the end Guido and Palmiria Gallo would come out the biggest losers, watching their only daughter, Emiliana, be taken away to render a debt settled.

Young Emiliana Gallo, a victim of circumstance, was thrust into a world she did not understand and forced to marry a man she did not know. But what no one expected, not even Arturo, was that Emiliana and his son, Donato, would fall in love against all odds. For Arturo, love made one weak, but for his son, it was love at first sight. Donato became an opportunist in his father’s dirty schemes and did everything in his power to ensure the woman he admired for so long not only took his name in marriage, but also fell in love with him. Donato wanted it all, his gamble paid off richly, and he achieved both marriage and love. However, on the day they said ‘I do’ and the Cruentus and Gallo families were joined, Emiliana was ripped from their home like a thief in the night.

An unknown force too unsettled to let the vision spill and strengthen the Cruentus family decided to do the unthinkable—double-cross the Cruentus family. Rage and disdain fuelled Donato and Arturo. Though their reasons were very different-their goal unified them. They squared off with the leader of the Russian Coven to take back Emiliana, and in the end the Russian coven paid the highest price as the leader's blood was spilled in retribution for his crime at the hands of Arturo. News spread quickly to the Magia Council, and before long Arturo was called before them to answer for his crime of murder unjustly. The Ancients of the roundtable at Mount Blanc, the mountain range bordering Italy and France, was now enacted as they listened to the tale that had unfolded. Little did they know that they were a part of the grand scheme Arturo Cruentus shrewdly planned for the ultimate betrayal.

What’s Being Said:
Cruentus: Rise to Power is a unique read that will draw you in and take you places that you've never been before.  The characters are well written and engaging.  The combination of the late 1800s time period and the magical world in which the story takes place serves to make this story memorable and interesting.  I've never read something quite like this novella and I can't wait to see more from L.S. Broomfield in the future.
~Megan from Amethyst Daydreams

Rise to Power is the first part of the Cruentus Series. In many ways a prequel to the heart of the story, this novella packs quite a punch.  While classified as a paranormal romance, that label simply is not all-encompassing enough to truly define the story. It is far more than a romance, leading the reader through a course of love against all odds and a family’s quest for power. Ms. Broomfield wields her words much the way her warlocks wield their magic, creating a world that the the reader simply becomes immersed in. Her characters come to life on the page and in the reader’s imagination as the story plays out like a movie for the mind.  Through twists and turns, the plot is unpredictable and layered, and it will leave you wanting more. It is the perfect combination of love and magic, romance and peril, action and old-fashioned good vs. evil. Only this time you’ll be left wondering.... what is so sexy about the wickedly evil?
~Tevya from Reading Lark

Are you ready for a journey into the world of dark magic, blood contracts, and innocence taken for granted? Welcome to the world of author LS Broomfield in her novella, Cruentus: Rise to Power. A book you will definitely not want to put down, Rise to Power has power, greed, innocence, and magic. A page turner to the very end!!
~Mindy from Forbidden Reviews

About the Author:
L.S. Broomfield lives in God’s country – Central Labrador, Canada. She wasn’t born there, but it’s where she and her family call home. Born and raised in Hawkes Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, L.S. is  published author who is currently working on book two of the Cruentus series, a series of tales about the Cruentus family; namely, Dragos Cruentus, who who will make his appearance in the second book. She is full of talent and takes a fresh look on the paranormal world.

As a child, Lisa always wanted to write. She didn’t have any predilection of what to write, as long as she was writing – she was happy. She remembers growing up and traveling to Flower’s Cove to visit family and letting her imagination soar as the pen sketched across the paper. At such a young age, it was perhaps mostly incoherent thoughts tossed across the pages but still for all, it was a desire even then to write and tell a story.

As an adult, Lisa met an amazing group of individuals, and with their support and encouragement was brave enough to write and let people read the stories in her mind. While writing is one thing, allowing others to read the words one has spent hours putting to paper is entirely another thing. It opens the author wide to both praise and criticism. Lisa found it to be scary, yet wonderfully exciting.

Lisa has many people to thank for helping her to reach where she is today, but none of this would be possible without the support of her husband, Shawn, and her amazing kids, Brittany, Daniel, and Jacob. These people fill her world with color and make it worth writing – they enable her to do what she loves.

You can find L.S. Broomfield on her Blog, Facebook, and Twitter
You can find Cruentus: Rise to Power on Amazon

Excerpt 1
“Why don’t you don’t try to leave this place?” Donato asked, truly curious.
Emiliana looked straight ahead, continuing on their walk of the grounds. She wasn’t sure there was an answer that wouldn’t make her look weak; she opted for the truth.
“My papa did not teach me magic. He felt the lessons I was learning at the time were far more valuable than magic.”
“What lessons were those?” he countered, though what Emiliana had told him surprised him. Greatly. What warlock would ever deny their child of learning their heritage? It was unheard of.
“He taught me lessons of working to survive, of putting in an honest day’s work to have something to eat or a place to sleep. I bet I have used my hands more tilling our garden for food than you ever have.”
There were little moments like these when Donato could see the unstoked embers of Emiliana’s fire, and that was only in the few days that she had been with them. He wondered what she would be like had she received the magical teaching as she grew. Her father was an imbecile.
“It may well be true. Though, I have had the other extreme of that. I grew up not having to do anything for myself, other than magic. I wouldn’t change it, though, because magic is a part of me. It makes me whole.”
She stopped at an odd juncture, staring at the nestling of trees on the property. Though the moment was brief, it was like Emiliana was a million miles away.
“I have always been taught you cannot miss that which you did not have. I would change nothing of my life, except for the day I met you.”
Donato flinched. Her words sliced him deeply even if they were not intended to.
“Emiliana, neither of us can control why this came to be. Can you at least have an open mind about us?”
Did she have a choice? No, not really. With a soft dip of her head, golden locks fanned downward, concealing her face, she answered, “I’ll try.”
This was not how Donato planned to spend his day. He needed to make her see he was not just a rich kid.  A smile caused his cheeks to lift, eyes twinkling.
“If I had some flower seeds, would you show me how to plant and nurture them? I have wanted to surprise my mother with her favorite flower for a very long time, but I do not know the first thing about gardening.”
“Perhaps you should use your magic,” Emiliana countered.
Donato’s head shook. “I think it is time I get my hands dirty. Don’t you?”
With that, Emiliana could not help the smile that broke across her face. Looking up at him, she offered him an olive branch.
“If I teach you to garden, to grow your mother’s flowers, will you teach me how to do it by magic?”
His smile mirrored hers. After only three days he could see a smile, and he had caused it. He knew deep down, eventually she would love him.
“I would be most honoured.”

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Dion Series by M.E. Franco gets a new look!!!

The paranormal romance Díon series by M. E. Franco has a new look. Here is a peek and the new covers.

Where Will You Run? Book One of the Díon Series

As a San Francisco homicide detective, Mari Lucas was used to calling in favors to get her sister, Kerry, out of trouble, but this was the last straw. Instead of her usual minor brush with the law, Kerry landed herself in a locked psychiatric ward rambling about vampires who were out to get her. Working in San Francisco, Mari had seen a lot of crazy things, but vampires? Maybe Kerry had finally lost her mind.

But when her sister goes missing from the secure psychiatric facility, Mari is forced to investigate her disappearance along with a disturbing increase in missing persons cases among the homeless population. Forced to work the case with an outside detective, Mari will stop at nothing to find her sister. But what she finds will change her life forever.

Where Will You Hide? Book Two of the Díon Series

When a blood thirsty draugr terrorized his village, Reinn Gunnarson had no choice but to gather some men and follow the creature to its lair knowing they would never return. Mortally wounded, Reinn awoke to find the gods had cursed him to the same fate as the evil he had fought so hard to destroy – a draugr. He isolated himself inside the creature’s castle away from humans. This had worked well for over 1000 years until one rainy night when Kylee Shanon, a stubborn, foul mouthed woman knocked on his door looking for help, unaware of the danger within.

After escaping Raith Macrae and his team in San Francisco, Christopher Collins set up shop in a new location in Europe. A mistake by his men led to the discovery of a legendary draugr. Collins had heard the stories of how draugrs were hunted to extinction by the Díon because it was too dangerous to allow even one to exist; but if he could control it, he could use it to kill Raith and bring Mari Lucas back to his side where she belonged.

When Reinn is forced to carry out Collins’s plan, a twist of fate gives Raith the chance to catch Collins while keeping Mari and his team safe. To do this; he will have to trust Reinn, a draugr. The type of creature Raith had been created to kill.

Author Bio:
M. E. Franco lives in California with her husband and children. She works as a Behavior Analyst Consultant during the day and writes in her fantasy world at night. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, playing outside, music, and chocolate. See what she's up to at www.mefranco.com.

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