Thursday, May 6, 2021

A Quick Chat with Kimberly Baer, author of Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal

With me today is Kimberly Baer. She's chatting about writing, reading, and life. Plus, she shared the trailer and an excerpt to her spunky middle-grade novel, Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal. This is a fun read with characters kids will relate to and a spooky mystery that needs solving. Perfect for kids who love unraveling a great mystery. 

Let's get right into the interview...

Welcome, Kimberly!

What are three things we’d find if we looked under your heroine’s bed? 

(1) A banana, because Chloe’s mom heard that bananas last longer if you separate them. You’ll find bananas in all sorts of strange places in the Lamonts’ house: on the fireplace mantel, in Chloe’s sock drawer—and probably under her bed, too. 

(2) A mystery book, because that’s what Chloe likes to read. Of course, she’s not so crazy about the mystery she’s living. Being a twelve-year-old crime suspect can really get a girl down. 

(3) Sticky notes covered in T-shirt sayings. Chloe has been jotting down the messages she sees on people’s T-shirts. Why? So she can turn them into a poem and enter it in the Creative Endeavors contest at school. But can she beat that snooty Ashley Elizabeth, who considers herself the class writer?


What book stayed with you long after you finished reading it. 

Ida B, by Katherine Hannigan. This is a middle-grade novel about an irrepressible fourth-grader whose family must deal with difficult circumstances. I read the book more than a decade ago (as an adult, not a kid), but I still remember how that little girl leapt off the pages and entered my life. She became as real to me as the flesh-and-blood kids I knew. Kudos to Ms. Hannigan for creating such a memorable character—and a sweet, funny, uplifting story.


My followers love to learn a little about the author. Can you tell us what you do when you’re not writing? 

I like to go power-walking. It’s great exercise—but that’s not the only reason I do it. When I slip on my sneakers and head outside, I’m actually continuing to write. My route is pretty rigorous because it includes lots of hills, and the increased circulation to my brain does wonders for my creative thinking ability. If I’m having trouble with a scene, I think about ways to resolve it. If a sentence doesn’t sound quite right, I try out alternate phrasing. I’m continually amazed by how many new ideas I get and how many problems I solve while exercising.


Thank you, Kimberly! 

Now, let's check out her newest book!


Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal
by Kimberly Baer
Genre: Middle-grade mystery

Blurb:

“A lively, jaunty mystery with a terrific cast of characters.” – Kirkus Reviews

Chloe Lamont doesn't live in a neighborhood, like most kids. Her house is in the middle of the mall. And now someone is stealing items from her house and using them to vandalize stores. Who is trying to frame her? And how are they getting into the house? 

Desperate to catch the real vandal and clear her name, Chloe seeks help from the kids in her Mystery Reading Group at school. While searching for clues, the Mystery Groupers make an astounding discovery. And then things get really crazy…


Buy links:

Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Apple  |Google Play  |  Kobo  

Scribd (unlimited books for $9.99 a month)


View the Mall Girl book trailer


Excerpt:

The next morning, Mom and I find out there’s been another incident. And by morning, I mean two-fifteen a.m.

The pounding on the front door wakes us both. We stagger to the living room in our pajamas and bathrobes, exchanging looks of dread. We know even before Mom unbolts the door what this is about.

Hal is standing on our porch, huffing and puffing like maybe he had to up his usual walking pace from leisurely saunter to moderate stroll.

“It’s happened again,” he says, panting. “Another attack. I was down by the doughnut shop when Tom, the other guard, calls down to me from the upper level. ‘Intruder!’ he says. Hoo, let me catch my breath.” 

He clutches his heaving chest for a minute and then continues. “Anyway, I saw the guy maybe fifty feet away. I yelled for him to stop, but he took off. Turned down the Farringer’s wing. When I got down here—nothing. Not a soul in sight.”

Hal stares at us meaningfully.

“Well, where do you think he went, Hal?” my mother asks in her scratchy pre-breakfast voice.

“He couldn’ta gone nowhere, Ursula. That’s the thing. All the stores got their gates in place. There aren’t any exits in this wing. The only place he coulda gone is right here. Into your house.”

I gasp and step closer to my mother, glancing around the living room, then toward the kitchen. An intruder in our house? It’s a notion out of a thriller movie.

My mother is shaking her head. “There’s no way he could have gotten into our house. The door was bolted just now when I came into the living room.”

“What about the back door?” I say.

My mother whirls around and marches toward the rear of the house. I’m right on her heels. Hal, not bothering to wait for an invitation, enters the house and follows us.

The back door is bolted, too.

We check the windows. All are locked. Hal keeps barking importantly into his walkie-talkie, communicating with Tom. He says things like “roger that” and “perpetrator” and “oh-two-hundred hours,” trying to sound like actual law enforcement and not just a night guard in a shopping mall. He tells us the police are on their way.

“What kind of attack?” my mother finally asks.

“He used spray paint this time. Vandalized about five stores between Deluca’s and the Farringer’s wing.”

Spray paint! I’m on the verge of swooning. I almost ask if the spray paint was hot pink but stop myself in time.

“So it was a man?” says my mother. “You keep saying ‘he.’ ”

“I don’t know if it was a man. Gotta call him something. Ain’t about to keep saying ‘he or she.’ The person wasn’t very big—I can tell you that.” His eyes drift to me.

We pace around the tiny living room as we wait for the police. Finally there’s a rap on the door. Two police officers are standing there—Officer Sanford, the burly, shrewd-eyed cop who interrogated us after the knife attack, and Officer Pritts, the sandy-haired younger cop who looks like a veterinarian. Officer Pritts smiles at me. Officer Sanford does not. Good cop, bad cop, I think.

Officer Sanford tells Hal he’s wanted at the scene of the crime, where several other police officers are gathering evidence. Hal gives my mother and me an uncomfortable nod and ambles away.

Officer Sanford asks the usual questions. Where were we tonight, did we see or hear anything unusual, did we leave our house at any time after mall hours, did we give anybody a key.

Then he says, “We need to take a look around. You can let us do that now, or we can get a search warrant.”

Search warrant! That’s what the cops on crime shows get when they think they’ve found the guilty party and want to search his house.

“By all means, look around,” Mom says. “We have nothing to—hide.” 

She falters on that last word, like maybe she just remembered the spray paint can. She knows I left it on the top cellar step. The can isn’t noticeable when you go down the stairs because it’s nestled in the corner of the step. But every time she comes up from the cellar, she spots it and says, “Chloe, the next time you go to the cellar, please take that can of spray paint down.”

Since I never go to the cellar, the can hasn’t made it back to the laundry room. It’s possible the Shadow Vandal took the can with him when he was done vandalizing those stores. But if he put it back on the cellar step, the officers are going to find it.

“Okay, then,” says Officer Sanford. “Let’s get started.”


About the author:

Kimberly Baer wrote her first story at age six. It was about a baby chick that hatched out of a little girl's Easter egg after somehow surviving the hard-boiling process. Nowadays she enjoys writing middle-grade and young adult fiction. She lives in Virginia, where she likes to go power-walking on days when it's not too hot, too cold, too rainy, too snowy, or too windy. On indoor days, you might find her binge-watching one of her favorite TV shows: Gilmore Girls, Friends, or The Office.

You can call her "Kim." All her friends do. 


Social media links:

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Amazon  |  Goodreads



Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Updates and other news


from my upcoming novel FRIENDS TO THE END 


2021 is a year of firsts for me. My but middle-grade novel Friends to the End will be coming out later this year, hopefully in fall since three thrill-seeking eleven-year-olds on the hunt for a vanishing ghost house befriend my determined protagonist, Zachary Thompson. And what better time for a ghost story than in the fall?

 

And then I’m thrilled to announce that my holiday paranormal romance Merry Little Wishing Spritz will be a part of The Wild Rose Press’ new series coming out around the holidays.

 

The first round of edits are done on both stories. As soon as the blurbs are under are finalized, I’ll be sure to share them with you!

 

More on these exciting titles to come so stop back by! In the meantime, peruse my blog to find your next great read. Between guest posts and book tours, you’re bound to find a book or three that interests you.

 

Thanks for stopping by, and as always, stay healthy and safe!

 

Cherie

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Blog Tour & Author Visit: Dark Creation by Kelsey Ketch

 



Book Tour! 
Dark Creation (A Dark Reflections Short Story #2)
By
Kelsey Ketch
Release Date: April 30th, 2021
New Adult Dark Fantasy Short Story



Summary from Goodreads:

Long before Charissa began her murderous rampage through history, she was a young woman living in ancient Alexandria.

Oppressed by society and cursed by the color of her hair, Charissa had hardly seen the world beyond the four walls of her home. So, when her husband leaves for extended military duty, she takes the opportunity to tour the city her brother once loved. Little does she know the Fates have other plans in store for her when she runs into an exotic woman in the Rhakotis District. The encounter will change her life forever.






Buy Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | Apple Books | Google Play


From the author

What Got Me Interested in Ancient Egypt? 

Though I enjoyed the movie Stargate when I was younger, I didn’t get into studying ancient Egypt until I was in graduate school. There are a few reasons for this. The main one being that I got scared when my seventh grade English teacher had us read a portion of The Mummy screen play. It was the part when Imhotep came to life and ended right when the group discovered the first victim with his eyes missing. I know they were just words on a page (no pictures or images), but my imagination ran away with me. After which, I refused to see the movie or even go near the mummies at the local museum.

Then, while in college, I took a Shakespeare course, and one of the plays we studied was, of course, Cleopatra. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about it. But during one of our class discussions, our professor introduced us to the myth of Isis and Osiris. She told us how Osiris was once considered the ruler of all Egypt, and Set, his brother, laid out a plan to kill him and rule in his place. Set obtained the exact measurements of Osiris’s body and carved a beautiful box that would only fix to his exact size. Then, using his charm and deception, Set tricked Osiris inside the box and slammed the lid shut, locking Osiris inside to die. Later, Set returned, dismembered the body into fourteen pieces, and scattered them across the desert.

Isis and Nephthys set out to look for the pieces, gathered each one, and carefully wrapped Osiris in strips of cloth (representing mummification). Afterward, Isis crafted a magical serpent out of dust and Ra’s spittle and placed it in the sun god’s path. The serpent bit him, and when his magic would not cure the poison, he called upon Isis. Isis told him she could only heal him if she knew his secret name. A large request, considering a god’s true name gives the other person their power—in this case, the power of creation. As the pain spread, Ra finally submitted. He gave her his name in secret, and after healing Ra, Isis returned to her dead husband’s side. She then used the power of Ra to breathe life back into Osiris’s body.

That story was nothing like want I learned before. It was beautiful, intriguing, and despite my fears, it stuck with me for years after. Then, the idea of Daughter of Isis started to kindle, and I took the final leap. I bought documentaries and books, trying to learn about ancient Egyptian mythology, culture, daily life, and afterlife. Later, I even faced my fear and watched The Mummy, which is now one of my favorite movies. And the scene that scared me in the screen play wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It just goes to show the power the imagination holds.


Giveaway! 
5 Winners will receive an e-copy of Dark Reflections by Kelsey Ketch! 



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Playlist! 






About the Author:

Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist in the state of North Carolina. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.

For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.





Author Links:

Goodreads | BookBub | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram


Tour Created by YA Bound Book Tours 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A Quick Chat with author Beth Henderson

With me today is Beth Henderson, chatting about writing, books, and a little about what she does in her free time. Please give a warm welcome to Beth, and don't forget to check out her book UNTIL. There's an excerpt below you won't want to me. 

Let's jump right into the interview...


What are you working on now?  

Actually, I’m finishing up on a romantic suspense where the hero has been in hiding for ten years after nearly being killed by a stalker. The heroine is the PI who was hired by the stalker (though she didn’t know it at first) to find him. Instead, when she does, she is more determined to keep him safe and prove that the stalker is responsible for the death of the woman who was in the car with the hero a decade ago. Oh, and to give him back his career as he was poised to be a superstar in the music world, idolized for his arrangements of songs into soft jazz tunes. She’d been one of his fans and still has his CDs.


What is your favorite genre and why?  

Actually, as I jump around in the genres I write, the things that are constants are mystery and comedy, sometimes together. But I also like magic and I have a degree to prove I’m a historian. About the only genres I don’t read in are medievalish fantasy and futuristic sci-fi. Oh, and I hate anything labeled “literary”. I’m a dyed in the Tweed genre girl.


My followers love to learn a little about their favorite writers. Can you tell us what you do when you’re not writing? 

I am such a boring person. When not writing I’m reading or re-watching movies from the screwball comedies of the 1930s on through the latest Avengers’ movie (I like either to laugh or have things blow up in movies). Probably the most re-watched movies the past few years are Sherlock Holmes with Downey and Law, and Thor: Ragnarok. Let’s face it. I like gazing at Chris Hemsworth. Who doesn’t?



Until…
Genre: Historical romantic mystery

Blurb

When Talmadge Hammond drifts into the Idaho mining camp he has no intention of using his law degree. He’s there for whiskey and the gold he can win at cards. Instead, he must save the life of the woman who’d once vowed to love him until

Noletta Kittridge begins that day covered in a man’s blood and accused of murder. She has sinned to stay alive. Redemption can come only by giving her life to save the person who accidentally killed the man. Even Tal’s reappearance in her life can’t revive Letty’s will to live.

Determined to keep her from the hangman’s noose, Tal must either convince her to tell who did kill the victim or solve the mystery himself. If he fails, he and Letty will finally reach that unvoiced destination beyond until

Buy links:

Kindle |  Amz trade  |  Nook  |  BnN trade


Excerpt

Although the men dragged the half-clad woman along, their grips tight and threatening, she wasn’t fighting or resisting them physically or verbally. She looked beaten, not in body but in spirit. And yet, when she stumbled, the toe of her wear-marred but neatly laced-up boot catching in the cloying mud, pitching her forward out of the men’s custody, the crowd gasped. Some stepped farther back to avoid physical contact. The carrion seekers in the mob pressed nearer, set to rend her vulnerability.

They hurled insults at her. She suffered the name calling, if it could be called such. The style of her clothing—or lack of it—and the building itself proclaimed the truth of her profession. She was the whore they called her.

Then he heard the new word, the word that was at first only whispered before it gained a more daring voice: murderess.

One of the men yanked her upright, uncaring whether he hurt her or not. It was only then, when she raised her head, her chin, in a manner any grand dame reared in the top tier of Eastern society would recognize, that he knew her.

It couldn’t be.

And yet, when she swept the gathered crowd, the gaze she turned on them was the one she had learned at her mother’s knee. At her grandmother’s table and at enumerable dinners, balls, and afternoon teas in Boston.

Tal watched in stunned amazement as the once Honorable Miss Noletta Kittridge shrugged free of the man’s hand and with a back straightened by years of deportment, stepped from the meager shelter of the porch, moved beyond the hungry, insult-hurling crowd, and strode on her own toward the camp jail.

She looked at no one, met no eye, taking comfort in the inborn dignity of the class into which she had been born.

Her class, Tal thought, heart sore. He’d never been a true part of it, merely a hanger-on, a climber. A friend to her brother.

And that friend had called him a traitor to his country.

But Letty… What was she doing in Idaho Territory? She should be enjoying the comforts of Boston, being fêted by the officers who managed to make it home and the wealthy industrialists who paid other men to take their place in the infantry lines.

If she hadn’t stridden down the sorry muddy excuse of a street with her blueblood holding her above the rabble, he might have doubted his eyes. Even so, it was difficult to believe Letty Kittridge and the prostitute with blood and mud drying on her scant clothing were one and the same.

The show over, the crowd dispersed around him. Before they could all disappear, Tal tapped a blurry-eyed man in a threadbare suit coat on the shoulder.

“Pardon, friend,” he said. “Could you tell me what that was all about?”

“Gal shot her man, from the looks of it,” the fellow said. “Not surprised it happened, just that it took Pearl this long to do it.”

“Pearl?”

“The dove they arrested.”

“You sure she’s the one that did it?” Tal pressed.

“Wearing Rosser’s blood, isn’t she? Why the interest, mister?”

Tal gave the man what he hoped passed for a harmless grin. “Just making sure no other gal or man’s like to shoot my fool head off while I’m here.”

“Gold brought you, then?”

“Brought everyone else in town, too, I’d say,” Tal observed, his smile widening.

“You’re right,” the man agreed and chuckled. He offered his hand. “Ebner Melton, mayor of this little burg.”

“Adam Cain,” Tal said easily and pumped the mayor’s paw. He’d been using the alias for too long now to ever stumble over offering it. It was more difficult to remember his life as Talmadge Hammond back in Boston.

Did Letty feel the same?

“Where do you hail from, Mr. Cain?” the mayor asked.

“Anymore, the last gold field that called to me,” Tal admitted. “’Fore that, Canada and points beyond.”

“And might I ask what you did before you came down with gold fever?’

The mayor was treading on dangerous ground now, wanting to know what sort of man he’d been back East. But considering events at this gold strike, Tal decided the truth needed to be let out at least one last time.

“I was a lawyer, Mr. Mayor. One with a knack for defending the innocent.”




About the author:

BETH HENDERSON spent a dozen years writing and rewriting the same three books during the 1980s, but all those rewrites paid off via a romance spinning career now 30+ years long. Romantic-comedy and historical romantic adventure are her forte. She also writes urban fantasy PI mystery comedy and Weird West Steampunk, 1920s Dieselpunk and Victorian Gaslamp mystery comedy under different pennames. Between all the genres she’s danced through there have been a total of 32 novels (Until… the 32rd), 9 novellas, and 15 short stories (the 15th in an anthology releasing July 1st). She is also a regular writing workshop presenter at Savvy Authors and various online RWA chapters and is the author of How To Write a Funny Mystery by Beth Daniels, her real name!

Connect with Beth
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twiter 



Tuesday, April 20, 2021

A Quick Chat with Darcy Carson author of The Dragons Return Series

I'm thrilled to welcome Darcy Carson to my blog and to share an excerpt from her fantasy romance, She Wakes the Night, book three in the series. So without further ado...

Darcy, can you tell us what are you working on now?

The fourth book in the dragons return series—Dragon of the Desert—about a golden dragon who wants to be human.

What are you reading?

I have a bad habit of reading multiple books at the same time. James Rollins is sitting on a table in the TV room, Nora Roberts (Eve Dallas series) on my nightstand and Naomi Singh is in the car.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.

Pitbull with Lipstick


Speed round:

Morning or night?  Morning

Favorite beverage? Water

Coffee or tea?  Coffee

eBook, paperback, or audiobook?  Paperback

Plotter or Pantster? Panster.

Favorite season? Fall

Dogs or cats? Dogs

Favorite holiday? Halloween

Favorite movie? Lady and the Tramp (first animated version)

Night on the town or cozy evening in?  Cozy Evening In
Favorite book? Stranger in a Strange Land

Last book read? Nora Roberts Shadows in Death

Favorite song?  Rock and Roll Music (can’t remember artist)

Favorite junk food? Anything with Sugar

Paranormal or Historical? Both

Favorite vacation? Cruise to Baltic Sea

Beach or mountains? Beach



Book title: She Wakes the Night
Author: Darcy Carson
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Heat level: Sensual

Blurb: 

Trell Langois escapes a thousand-year-old curse. Being trapped as a tree wasn’t on her bucket list, but now she can continue as a healer. Traveling with her dragon, Torkel, she seeks out new cures to help others and meets Gren, an unfortunate soul who suffers from a dreadful disease.

Gren Oyg Har is a prince on a mission. In order to rule his father’s kingdom, he must first find a healer. Not just any healer, mind you, but one with a dragon. Yet, it is Trell who finds and rescues Gren, but wants nothing to do with him. If not for Torkel, she would leave him behind.

Separate goals soon become entangled, and both Trell and Gren are on their way to falling in love until secrets better kept hidden become known—and threaten to destroy all they hold dear.

Get She Wakes the Night on Amazon today


Excerpt:

“The music. The human stopped playing. ‘Tis all your fault.”

Trell shook her head. Sometimes… “Return to the dragon circle, if you dislike my methods.”

“I follow where you go.”

She gave up and paused to listen. Sure enough, the sounds returned to normal where people conversed with one another. The stomp of iron-hooves striking the ground added a low tremor as they continued to nicker.

Squaring her shoulders, Trell replaced the lantern to where she round it. She put water on the fire and wiggled under the wagon. Gren sat with his legs crossed, the flute in his lap.

“You must be weary,” she said. “I didn’t expect you to play while I was away.”

“I missed you, and playing allowed the time to pass quicker.”

Her heart fluttered at his flowery woods. “How do you feel? I’ve put a kettle on for Grandmother Lurri’s tea. I could make you some chamomile as well.”

“That’s unnecessary,” he answered. “My neck is just still, is all.”

“Allow me to make you feel better while the water heats.” She reached for him.

He jerked back. “Touching me is unwise.”

“Don’t be silly,” she said, continuing to scramble over to him. Her fingers brushed over his neck and shoulders. Much to her surprise, his muscles felt like the cords of a warrior, not those of a sick man.

He scrambled away and stretched his arm to prohibit her from getting closer. “Stay back.”

That fleeting touch caused a tingle to run up her fingers like warm water. The sensation flowed up her arms, seeping into all her pores until her head spun.

How sick was he? The disease caused a person to lose extremities due to repeated injuries and infection. They had to be amputated. Some people died within five years, others lasted for several decades. No one knew why.

She liked Gren and wanted to help him. Yet she was sure he hid something from her. How sick was he? Or was he sick at all? She hated having doubts. His feelings mattered to her. It wasn’t fair such a kind, decent man suffered. She watched him tuck away the flute with care. A task hampered by rags covering his large hands. Yet those same hands created beautiful music.

She eyed him and smiled. “I would say you have magic in your hands.”

“What you do mean?” He repeated her earlier words.

“You create powerful music. It brings joy to all who hear.”

She examined the back of his head from under her lashes as if her gaze could pierce his ragged cowl. His music tugged at her heart with its appeal, but something deeply earthy pulled her to the man himself.

That was wrong.




About the author:
Award-winning author, Darcy Carson, grew up reading everything her mother brought home from the library. Reading romances became her favorite genre. Eventually her love of those novels led her to start writing them. She resides in a Seattle suburb with her husband and a prince of a toy poodle.


Website   

Monday, April 19, 2021

Grab Challenging Destiny for .99 cents

Sale alert!

Hi! Challenging Destiny is on sale for .99 cents.

Hurry, the sale won't last long 

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


Being Chosen is a terrible thing when there's no one you can trust.


Summary: Logan Ragsdale and his younger sister, Ariana, have been marked, chosen to be unwilling participants in a war between angels and demons.

 Logan can sense something's not quite right. Like an unexpected chill on a summer's day, he can feel the unseen closing in. He's had these feelings before and, each time, someone close to him died. He's afraid this time it might just be Ariana.

 Logan's fears are soon confirmed when he discovers their new friends aren't human, but rather representatives from Heaven and Hell sent to Earth to ensure he and Ariana accept their roles in an ancient prophecy. Demons want Logan to open the gates of Hell. Ariana has the power to stop them, but if she chooses to side with Heaven to spare the lives of thousands of innocent people, she'll damn her brother for eternity.

Together, they must derail the biblical event if they hope to save themselves and the future of mankind...but what price are they willing to pay to keep the other safe?


Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Apple Books


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Blog Tour, Sneak Peak & Giveaway: Max and the Spice Thieves by John Peragine

Max and the Spice Thieves
by John Peragine
(Secrets of the Twilight Djinn #1)
Publication date: April 20th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

When his mother goes missing, Max Daybreaker’s world is turned upside down. Luckily, a crew of Spice Pirates, led by the mysterious Captain Cinn, help Max on his dangerous mission across the three seas.

Along the way, an unlikely alliance aids in his search—a teenage warrior queen, a three-eyed seer, and an assassin spy.

Their journey takes them through treacherous lands while facing shapeshifting bears, an ancient witch, harpies, and the nightmarish Djinn, who will stop at nothing to enslave the world.

With every new challenge, Max unlocks the secrets of his unsettling past. Powers awaken within, forcing him to question everything he knows.

Is Max who he thinks he is? Only time and destiny will tell…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


Excerpt

We were escorted across the main marching grounds to Renure’s quarters. Two of the tallest guards I had ever seen stood still as statues on each side of his door. It wasn’t until we were closer that I realized they weren’t men standing guard but colossal winged creatures with long spears. These were the Witch Queen’s daughters—the harpies. 

Small tusks protruded from their lower jaws. Fine black hair covered their bodies, including their faces. Their backs had folded wings. The harpies flexed their wings a bit as we approached, and they looked like they were made of soft leather.

Each harpy held a spear in one hand that looked to be eight feet long, and in the other hand, a shield with the sultan’s sigil, which I realized was a depiction of the harpies. 

Captain Renure’s eyes opened wide, and he shifted his gaze immediately to the floor as he passed them. His quarters were spacious, with a table at one end. Prince Abad was sitting in an oversized, throne-like chair, eating from a large platter of fruits and meats.

“Come, sit down. It is such a pleasure to see you all again,” said Abad with a dazzling smile. 

We sat at the far end of the table on chairs with high barabond-wood backs that were ornately carved with all manner of animals. 

“And I see you brought friends with you. My maid, a fishmonger, and a girl whom I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting—but my captain of the palace guard has such great things to say about you.”

Linzy’s face remained neutral. 

“Can we cut the pleasantries?” said Cinn. Captain Renure punched Cinn in the stomach, and he let out a loud “Oof.”

“Now, now . . . Let us not be rude, Cornelius,” said Abad. “You’ve made a fool of me in court with your escape. My men are going through the city, and I’m sure they will find your crew soon. You must be getting soft, because I’ve now captured you twice in less than a week.”

“Technically, you only caught me once. Captain Renure caught me the second time,” said Cinn as he stood straight with his head held high. Renure’s fist was balled up, and he drew back as if he was going to strike Cinn again. The prince raised his hand, and the captain relaxed his arm.

“Now, back to you, young lady. Would you mind telling me who you are?”
I felt the serpent rise in my belly, and a heatwave covered my skin.

“Leave her out of this. She’s nobody,” I growled.

Both Abad and Renure coughed and choked. The doors swung open, and the harpies swooped in and pointed their spears at me.

Sssstop, young cub. Letsss them goesss,” said one of the harpies. Her tongue looked like a snake’s, flickering when she spoke. The spear was mere inches from my face. I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths, and pushed my power back down. 

Abad and Renure gasped and took a couple of deep breaths.

“Now, you know why I brought my harpies. I suspected you were using magic on me in the carriage, and this time I’m prepared. The harpies are born of magic, and so you’ve no power over them. If you try your little trick again, they will kill you.”


Author Bio:

John Peragine is an author of over fourteen books. The Secrets of the Twilight Djinn series was written as a bedtime story for his son Max to cope with medical issues he was facing as a little boy. John is a full-time ghostwriter who lives with his son, wife, and a menagerie of animals on his vineyard overlooking the Mississippi River.

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