Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Wednesday Briefs Demon Chapter 47


It seems like it's been quite a while since I've been properly in the swing. So much going on. With Efan's exams right around the corner things are settling for me, if not for him so I hope things will fall into a pattern again. Anyway, here's the next step in our boys' journey. We're teetering on the brink of being thrown in at the deep end. Enjoy the peace while you can.

Without the comforting presence of Malik and Tian, I don’t think I would be able to walk these woods. The trees watch me, the plants talk to each other and I know I catch my name more than once. Even the birds swoop and hover all around me. The wood is alive and I get the impression that without my guardians I would be swallowed whole and lost forever.
The path is pleasant enough, clear of obstruction, to the fore and above, so it is bathed in unobstructed sunlight. It’s uncomfortable to note that the sun is on a rapid decline and it will surely be nightfall by the time we return from whenever we are going. I don’t want to think about that. Malik tells me it’s not far but he’s been saying that for a while and it’s clear Tian is unsettled too. He doesn’t really know where we’re going either. Am I crazy for putting my trust in an overgrown kitten.
I find myself fondly petting Malik’s head, memories of my mother’s kittens floating through my mind. It’s a shock to remember that, unlike those kittens, one swipe of a paw, one nick from a tooth would bring unbearable agony and probably death. Malik is no kitten.
We are here,” Malik purrs inside my head, and I look around, confused. Nothing has changed. We’re still on the path, walking through the same scenery. There’s no side-path, no clearing. In fact, the road ahead seems to be blocked by a tree-fall. The thought of plunging into the undergrowth, searching for a way around, is not a welcoming one.
“The road’s blocked. Can’t we just go back?”
Tian’s fingers close around mine. His hand is so warm. Or is mine cold? “Are you afraid?”
I straighten my spine and glare at him. “No, of course not. I trust you, and Malik. I’m just…. It’s going to start getting dark soon. Should we really be wandering around in the woods? We might get lost.”
Tian laughs and it annoys me. How dare he mock my discomfiture. He might be used to wandering wild in the wood, but he should know I am not.
As if sensing my mood, Tian stops laughing and lays his arm across my shoulders, drawing me in to the warmth of his side.
“I’ve spent almost all my life wandering this wood, or others like it. I know every path, every glade. I will not lead you into danger. I swear it. Light or dark, I will always keep you on a safe path. Do you trust me?”
I can’t help a nervous glance around. It seems as if the whole wood – plants, animals and especially the trees – have paused and are awaiting my response. One old tree close-by creaks as it bends toward us. I could swear craggy brows are drawn together in a frown. I swallow and drag my eyes back to Tian’s. I nod slowly, unable to trust my voice not to betray my lie.
Tian sees, of course he does, and he smiles gently. “Maybe we should break you in gradually. Tomorrow, I’ll introduce you to some of my friends.”
I have to wonder whether those friends have roots.
The crack of wood has me jumping half out of my skin. I whirl to find the trees lying across our path are moving. In moments, trunks that had been leaning drunkenly, barring our way, become rod-straight, with the bearing of soldiers. Tree soldiers? Here, I would believe anything.
A shadow passes over me as we pass through a dappled gateway. I glance up to find the tree gazing back through large, moss-green eyes. I freeze, but Tian urges me forward.
Dragging my eyes from the tree, I freeze again, for a different reason.
We are in a clearing filled with life, but such life as I have never seen. The dominant colours are red, pink and purple. Just ahead, the path forks. The right fork circles a clear pool, fed by a waterfall tumbling from a sheer cliff. The pool teems with life, from darting surface skimmers to what can only - from the bright flash of scales, the laughter and the vivid tangle of floating hair - be merfolk.
While I gaze, stupefied, Tian draws me away along the left-hand path. This passes beneath a curtain of willows into another world of peace and serenity, cut off from the vibrant one we’d just left.
Overhanging branches cut out much of the sun, creating a cool, green arbour. Just ahead, the road widens to circle another, much smaller pool fed from the mouths of stone lions; one on either side. Beside the lion, with one hand on its head are two statues that rise at least eight foot high. On the left is a horned man, on the right a lovely woman. In the centre, at the far side of the water is a stone chair, or throne. Someone sits on it, gazing calmly into the mirror pool. As we approach, she raises her head and smiles. I have seen her before.
As I stare, open mouthed, the woman rises and hurries around the path to greet us. Her touch is warm and friendly – on my skin and my mind. Her embrace is coming home. Her kiss on my cheek intoxicates me and I smile, returning the hug, a sudden rush of joy bursts forth as laughter from my lips. Tian laughs in his turn, and Malik purrs and falls to the ground, rolling in the grass. The Lady laughs as she kneels to scratch his belly.
When she rises, she holds out her hands. “Come, my children. We must talk, but first let us feast. All of us are excited and we cannot deny your brothers and sisters the opportunity to break bread with you.”

Brothers and sisters? Initial shock gives way to understanding when I realize she speaks metaphorically not literally – I hope. There are only so many shocks I can take.

Now check out the rest of the flashers this week

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Reviewers Roundup Week 2 - The Face in the Window


Join the Reviewer Roundup
Discover new books from your favourite authors
Discover new authors: new favourites

And all for the price of a review.

For more information


Reviewer Roundup is basically an open call for readers to pick up books from favourite and new authors, all donated for free with the only expectation being an honest review. The event runs over two weeks. The first week is for novellas (up to 50,000 words) and the second for novels. I have two books entered, one in each week.

In the second week I have, for your critical investigation





Blurb

There are those who can’t see and those who don’t want to, but we’re all blind sometimes.

Ace is blind and Haze is damaged. They live in different worlds and not everyone is happy when they become boyfriends. Haze is struggling with the after effects of a traumatic event in his past that has left him at the mercy of an uncontrollable rage. When Ace’s brother steps up his campaign of torment against Ace, they’re all in danger from Haze’s outbursts, though it isn’t until things get completely out of control that the healing can really begin. But with Ace unseeing and Haze perched on the edge of a cliff, will either of them survive long enough to benefit?


Excerpt

The call from the patio startled me. I had almost forgotten that the adults were even there. Particularly, I had forgotten that Uncle Colin was there.
Almost as soon as we turned the corner Uncle Colin was on us. “There you are. I thought you had kidnapped our special guest.” He grabbed Ace’s arm in what for him passed as a fatherly manner and towed him across the patio. “Come and try a burger. Fennell’s a genius with the barbecue. No hard feelings, eh?”
“Hard feelings? What the fuck…?” I could feel the anger rise again.
“It’s all right, Haze.” Ace turned his head to ‘look’ at me over his shoulder. He was grinning. “I’m gay. I’m used to fucking arseholes.”
There was absolute silence, a ‘did I really hear what I thought I heard?’ moment, and then Uncle Colin exploded. It broke the shocked silence and everyone dissolved.
“Boy,” Uncle Colin spluttered slapping Ace on the back so hard he almost sent him sprawling flat on his face, “for a blind, gay freak you’re one hell of a man.” He turned Ace towards him, holding him firmly by the shoulders. His face was very serious, and that was worrying on Uncle Colin.
“I like you, Ace. I like you a lot. I know I can be a complete arsehole; it’s not something I’m particularly proud of, but neither is it something I apologise for. I rarely get it pointed out to me, and when I do, I find it refreshing because it’s honesty. Yes, I like you. You and Haze make a great couple. I think you could be good for each other. Welcome to the family.” Then he hugged Ace tightly and let him go, turning to grab a plate and started helping himself to the barbecue.
I hurried to Ace’s side and slid my arm around his waist. “You’re fucking insane, do you know that?”
“It’s been mentioned.”
“I can’t believe you said that.”
“I can’t believe your uncle groped my arse when he hugged me.”

I stifled an explosive laugh. “You really are part of the family.”

Check out my other blog and website for more exclusive excerpts

http://cherylheadford.blogspot.co.uk/
http://cherylheadford.com/

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Reviewer Roundup Week 1 Memories of Forgotten Love


Join the Reviewer Roundup
Discover new books from your favourite authors
Discover new authors: new favourites

And all for the price of a review.

For more information


Reviewer Roundup is basically an open call for readers to pick up books from favourite and new authors, all donated for free with the only expectation being an honest review. The event runs over two weeks. The first week is for novellas (up to 50,000 words) and the second for novels. I have two books entered, one in each week.

In the first week I have, for your critical investigation


Memories of Forgotten Love is a Young Adult book about Noah, a boy who wakes from a coma after three months, to a mystery.

I wrote this novella to explore something I had been reading quite a bit about. That is, the way coma was depicted in popular culture - movies, television shows, novels etc. Basically, what the articles and reports were saying was that coma, and in particular the process of waking from one, is very rarely depicted in anything like an accurate way. People simply don't just open their eyes and get on with it. I set myself a challenge to write something more realistic, and this is it.

A note of caution. This book was published at the very beginning of my career as a published author and I have learned a lot since then. Please also bear in mind that the book is meant for 14 - 20 year olds and the characters are meant to be immature.

Blurb

Noah wakes from a coma with no memory of who he is. As his memories return they become stranger and more sinister at every turn. He begins to suspect the accident in which he was injured wasn't an accident at all, and refuses to accept what everyone is saying that he threw himself off his balcony in a suicide attempt. It just doesn't feel like something he would do. Struggling to come to terms with the shocking story he gradually uncovers, he's helped by his friends. Yet, his best friend, Luke is acting strangely, leaving Noah to wonder just what exactly he isn't telling him.

Excerpt

Gradually, as the days and then weeks passed, I began to make more sense of the world.  I learned that I had been in an accident, suffered an injury to my brain and been in a coma for three months.  For much of that time, at least in the early days I had hovered on the point of death, tipping over more than once.  No one had expected me to wake up.   But I had, and more than that I was beginning to recover.  My brain was slowly coming back to life but there were parts of it that were damaged beyond repair.  I was going to have to re learn a lot of things that previously I had taken for granted, things like speaking, walking, reading, writing.
                The injury had been mainly to the right side of my brain which had resulted, strangely, in a considerable amount of weakness in my left side.  My arm and leg were useless for weeks and, in the beginning, it had seemed that I might have been permanently paralysed.  Apparently though, I was too stubborn, too much of a fighter to let that happen and very, very gradually it all started coming to life again.  In those early weeks I didn’t really understand what was happening, which was a blessing. 
                Looking back now it is like I was still asleep.  I didn’t wake up until a long time later.... in some ways I still haven’t.  But then it was all very present, very intense.  After the first couple of days when I seemed to forget things even as they happened, every day I learned something more, every day I pushed the limits a little further.  It seemed that, although many of my abilities had waned, my capacity to learn had, if anything increased exponentially.   I only had to be told something once, shown something once and it was there forever.  Of course the physical matters, learning to walk and talk took time but I picked up reading in no time and writing was a doddle.
                People came to see me.  They came all the time, every day, and I remember thinking that it was very nice of them to spend all that time with me, a stranger.  It didn’t occur to me to ask why they came.  A lot of things didn’t occur to me at the time.  And then someone mentioned that I was lucky to have such a devoted family.  Family?  I had a family?  I could recall what a family was but I didn’t remember having one.  It took another day or so to make the connection between the idea of having a family and realising that the people who came to see me were my family - my mother, my father, my sister.
                I had already worked out that Noah was me. That had taken a while, but the sudden realisation that these kind people were actually connected to me, that the woman who stroked my hair and cried all the time was the one who had given birth to me... wow that was a shocker.  It says a lot for my state of mind at the time that the thing that shocked me was finding out that these people were my family and not that I had not known that.
                After the first few weeks, when my condition was deemed to be stable and I was off most of the drugs, apart from the painkillers. Oh my god I would never have gone anywhere without those. When I was eating and actually able to pee for myself, although unfortunately not in a toilet, I was transferred to a rehabilitation centre and handed over to experts in the art of torture, who surely would have felt at home amongst the inquisitors in Spain during the inquisition.
                Every day my body was pummelled and pounded, twisted and bent, straightened and tortured in every possible way.  I was also bombarded with stimulation of all kinds intended to seek out and wake up whatever parts of my brain still survived in suspended animation somewhere.
                For the first couple of weeks I was there my ‘family’ did not come and, to be honest, I found that a relief.  Most nights I cried myself to sleep from exhaustion and pain and my days passed in a blur of physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, massage, swimming, anything and everything to stretch my body and mind and build up what had been torn down.


                By the time I was allowed visitors I could sit up in a chair and even manage a few simple sentences, more if I was writing.  I was so proud of myself, my achievements, my pathetic stammering and feeble attempts to gain back control over my own body.  My mother cried even more, my father looked grim and somehow angry and my sister couldn’t look at me.  After that they didn’t come every day and I was glad.

Check out my other blog and website for more exclusive excerpts

Rainbow Warriors
Angel Feathers

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Wednesday Briefs Demon Chapter 46


Good day everyone. It's been a while. It was strange picking up the boys again after so long but thankfully they've forgiven me and are not only speaking to me but speaking so fast I'm struggling to keep things under 1000 words. Exciting things to come.

The woods are as familiar to me as my garden. Indeed, the woods are my garden. When I was younger, I would play here, with my nurse, then my governess, then my guard. Friends too, of course, although I have always tended to count more animals among them than people. I have somehow built up a reputation as an indulged little prince, and that might be true. However, I believe the reason most children either did not wish to be my friend, or didn’t last very long in the position, was my curious impetuousness – or impetuous curiosity – that led as often to trouble as it did anything else.
I leave behind a string of friends who were irreparably changed – some physically; some mentally – and in the end it was a relief that no one was ever free to play. It pleased me, but not so much my parents as, without someone to check my fearless nature I got into even more trouble – like being snared by or enemy and falling in love with their prince. Despite the whole misery and torture part at the very beginning, this has been one adventure-gone-wrong I would never have missed, and it’s not over yet.
I know that Malik is speaking to Castien inside his head. I also know I could “tune in” if I wished, however, I feel it important that Castien have something to himself, something to be his anchor in all the crazy that is to come. The change was the easy part; now comes changing everyone else. For all that Castien is a prince, he is more sheltered and indulged than anyone every whispered I was.
He seems relaxed and happy, even though he must be unnerved by the woods – if he notices. Our forests are much as those he is used to, but they are more alive. Small faces peep out from everywhere. Some would love to scurry out and say hello. Other’s would be more inclined to sink their teeth in and say “Goodbye.”
Today, everyone is on their best behaviour. I wonder why. It could be that I am here. I am more than familiar with every creature who lives in the forest. Most I could best with my bare hands. I think, though, that the main reason they keep their distances is because of he presence of magic so old and powerful they can’t understand it any more than we can. To be truthful, if I had the choice I would avoid it myself.
I don’t understand this change. In some ways it is subtle and in others as blunt and basic as can be. We are physically different, in subtle ways, mentally too. I think the mental changes are far deeper and more profound. Castien may have lost his freckles to unblemished skin, but he has gained so much confidence and is so full of magic I can see it leaking out of his fingertips and the top of his head. Do I look like that too? I raise my hand but I can’t see anything. That doesn’t mean anything. We are often unable to see our own power.
We are deep in the woods before Castien looks around and draws close to me. Until now, he walked slightly ahead with his hand on Malik’s haunches.
“Do you know where we are?”
I put my arm around his shouders and he melts into my side.
“You are shivering. Are you cold?”
“No, just….” He pushes away slightly and straightens his spine. “I know I have nothing to be frightened of, but it’s getting dark, and I don’t know my way home.”
“Do you think I would abandon you alone in the woods?”
“No.” He swirls to face me. “Don’t ever believe I have no faith in you. It’s just…I’d never been among trees like this until I came here.”
“You’re right about that,” I said, smiling as a nearby oak winks at me. “Don’t worry, we’re almost there. There is a shrine to the Great Mother just ahead. I believe that is where we are going.”
Castien nods and me, but he still appears nervous. I lace our fingers tightly and I notice Malik walks very close to his other side.
“He has a long way to go.” Malik’s voice falls over my mind like refreshing rain. His touch is warm and familiar, although I have not felt it before.
“I will be at his side at every step.”
“As will I. We must be prepared though for there are those who would destroy him if they could. Inside and out. They would do the same to you, but know you have the power to defeat them without a thought. They will exploit his innocence. You must make him see this.”
I am taken back, although a moment’s thought convinces me he is right. There are many who would corrupt Castien if they could; who would hurt him, and as powerful as he is, his mind is still his own, still innocent, confused and uncertain. His body might be stronger, but words could shatter him as well as arrows.
“I’ll be careful. I’ll try to talk to him, but he is na├»ve and trusting. We must both be watchful.”
“Agreed.”
It was strange coming to an agreement with an enormous, predatory animal who speaks like a scholar direct into my mind. It is my turn to wonder at my naivety. I had always been sure animal were more intelligent that we ever give them credit for. Now I am surprised I was right? Although, I have a feeling Malik is a very singular cat.
  

We're a little thin on the ground this week, guys, but still stories well worth reading. If any of my lovely readers feel a tug toward trying their hand flashing then please give any of us a shout and we'll we happy to welcome you on board. Enthusiastic amateurs welcome.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Serpent's Kiss by Layla Dorine


Serpent’s Kiss Blurb

While searching for their missing sibling, Zaiden and his sister come across the last pure blooded seer of their kind. Unfortunately for them, Darian has no idea what he truly is and isn’t much interested in helping.

A bounty hunter by trade, who’s been all but banished from his family due to his visions, he’s a bit cynical about his ability to be of any use to them. Never-the-less, Zaiden brings him back to their home compound, where Darian discovers that very little is what it seems.

With plots unfolding all around them and discoveries about his own heritage leaving Darian reeling, he is left with the choice of whether to embrace who and what he is, or spend every moment with them a prisoner on the fringes of their society.

Add in a pesky little bond that only seems to grow the more time he and Zaiden spend together, and several factions looking to possess him and Darian is left wondering if his visions just might be the least of his troubles. 

Book Trailer

Buy Links
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UK Amazon: 
DE Amazon:
JP Amazon:
CA Amazon: 

Excerpt

He caught sight of his mismatched eyes in the mirror as he headed to the living room, desperate to put the day behind him. As always, seeing those eyes reminded him of how defective he really was, and not just on the outside, but the inside too. His green eye was blind, save for those moments when it decided to peer into the soul of another and bring their future or past roaring like a waterfall of images through his mind.

The twisted part of him, the cold, sick, sadistic nature that set him apart as much as his stare, loved when those images spelled out pain, misfortune, and death, death was a high that left him without the need for drugs or the bottle gods. What kind of monster fed off the hurt of others the way vampires fed off blood, hell, he was worse than any bloodsucker, at least they spared their victims pain when they could, left them with pleasant, sometimes even erotic memories and licked the wound closed to hide where it had been. Him, he just busted lives open wide, sucking in all that delicious fear, doubt, paranoia, oh god but he loved when he got the paranoid ones, he’d fuck with them for days before allowing the visions to play out the way they were supposed to. Drop them a little hint here, a little clue there, let them know disaster was breathing down their necks and watch as they scrambled to do everything in their power to avoid it. Only there was never anything that they could do.

He was caught between self-loathing and longing for just the right kind of paranoid son of a bitch that might help him forget this day when his eyes landed on his couch. Sitting where he’d planned to drop his ass and rest was a woman with blood diamond scales running down her arms and the brightest ruby eyes he’d ever seen. Crimson lips parted to reveal a pair of brilliant white fangs and her hair was the color of sunsets, all red and orange hues spilling down her back. A pattern of scales ran up her forehead like a widow’s peak, and covered her cheekbones. Her ears were mere slits set against the silver and red prismatic colors and when she turned, he was sure he heard rattling and looked down to see a snake’s tail coiled on his plush leather cushions.

“What. The. Fuck,” he stammered, wishing he hadn’t taken off his gun.

She hissed, like lips peeled back, forked tongue darting out and flickering in his direction kind of hiss and he shrank back, ‘cause however messed up he was, she was way on the other side of normal.

“Your crass words are offensive to my ears,” she seethed, coils uncoiling and snaking toward him.

He took another step back, ‘til the backs of his legs hit the front of a chair and he dropped his ass in the lumpy thing.

“Apologize,” she ordered.

He opened his mouth to tell her to go to hell, but all that came out was a choked wheeze as something squeezed his throat so hard he was seeing red spots and haze.

“You were told to apologize,” a deeper, harsher voice ordered, and Darrell forced himself to focus, to grasp the coils around his neck and pull at the thick weight of them enough to catch a gasp of air.

“Fuck. You!” he gasped, then wished like hell he hadn’t said that because the crushing weight constricted more and no amount of clawing at it could buy him a single gulp of air. The haze grew, his vision beginning to go dark when at last the coils let up and he slumped backwards without them to hold him up. At least the chair caught him; he gave thanks for it while he sucked in as much air as he could, despite the soreness of his throat and the throbbing pain in his head.

“I would not suggest taking that tone with me again, or using that kind of language,” the female…thing said, and Darrell tried to focus on her again, while keeping his eye on the big piebald colored snakeman coiled inches to his left.

“I have a name, and it is not ‘thing’,” she informed him sternly.

“You…you’re reading my mind,” he choked out.

“Not that it is very difficult, but yes,” she informed him.





LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.
Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Cover Reveal: Serpent's Kiss by Layla Dorine


Serpent’s Kiss Blurb

While searching for their missing sibling, Zaiden and his sister come across the last pure blooded seer of their kind. Unfortunately for them, Darian has no idea what he truly is and isn’t much interested in helping.

A bounty hunter by trade, who’s been all but banished from his family due to his visions, he’s a bit cynical about his ability to be of any use to them. Never-the-less, Zaiden brings him back to their home compound, where Darian discovers that very little is what it seems.

With plots unfolding all around them and discoveries about his own heritage leaving Darian reeling, he is left with the choice of whether to embrace who and what he is, or spend every moment with them a prisoner on the fringes of their society.

Add in a pesky little bond that only seems to grow the more time he and Zaiden spend together, and several factions looking to possess him and Darian is left wondering if his visions just might be the least of his troubles. 


LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.
Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.


Serpent's Kiss will be released on 7th April. Watch this space for purchase links and further information.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

ANNOUNCEMENT The Runaway at TRR



Between 27th and 31st March 2017 The Runaway will be featured as part of The Romance Review 6th Anniversary Event.

Head over and check it out. There will be games, giveaways, and plenty of surprises. And, of course, there'll be more about The Runaway, which is a lively New Adult with a touch of spice.

“When all you ever wished for is the last thing you ever wanted....”

Ciarrai is running away from a past that’s still breathing down his neck. Jack has no past, his memory wiped in the accident that killed his parents. They meet and their lives move forward like stones skimming the surface of the water, dipping into memories that want to surface and those that want to lie buried forever.
Together, they struggle to come to terms with what happened in the past and where they want to go in the future, but can Jack cope with a man who likes to dress in leather mini-skirts and silk kimonos? Can Ciarrai trust Jack with the secrets of his past; secrets he can’t escape, secrets that are snapping at his heels?
When those secrets catch up, forcing Ciarrai back to the life he’d left, a life that was slowly draining his life away, he and Jack’s love is both threatened and tested by forces from without and within.

Excerpt

Prologue


“You can’t be disrespecting the fairies, Damien.” Ciarrai shook his head at his smaller brother, who stuck out his tongue.
“There’s no such thing as fairies, Ciarrai,” Damien declared, investigating one nostril with a grubby finger.  “Everyone knows that.”
“Sure, they don’t,” Ciarrai insisted. “Don’t you ever listen to what Dadda tells us, about when he was young and living in Ireland?”
“Yeah.”
“No, you don’t. You just want to play.”
“Well, who wants to sit and listen to stories about some old woman we’ve never seen? They’re only stories Ciarrai, they’re not real.”
Ciarrai shook his head. At almost ten, he was half a foot taller than his brother, and felt far more than two years older. Where Damien was robust and inquisitive, much preferring action to quiet contemplation, Ciarrai was slender and fey, liking to spend time reading and thinking.
“They are real,” Ciarrai insisted. “Dadda said so.”
Damien paused and frowned. “Are you sure? Are you sure he said they were actually real? That he actually said it?”
Ciarrai smiled. “Yes, he actually did. Do you want to hear one?”
Damien looked thoughtful for a moment then nodded. “Okay.”
“Get into bed then, or Mam will be up here chasing me into my own room.”
Damien scuttled across the hall from the bathroom, and leaped onto the bed, bouncing for a moment before pulling the quilt around his ears, gazing up at his brother expectantly.
“Did we ever go to Ireland, Ciarrai?” Damien asked, peering at him over the duvet.
Ciarrai considered thoughtfully. “I think so. I think I remember there being lots of green. And there was a horse, and I got to ride it. I’m not sure I liked it, but it was fun. We drove in a funny cart thing that a horse pulled and Dadda said he used to race them.”
“Why don’t I remember?” Damien demanded, clearly affronted that he had no such memories.
“Because you were very little, Damien, only a baby.”
“So why don’t we go anymore? Why don’t we get to hear the stories from Gra’ma and Gran’da?”
“Coz they don’t like Dadda anymore. We mustn’t ask, Mam said. It makes Dadda sad.”
“Oh. Okay. Tell me a story.”
Ciarrai smiled and ruffled his brother’s straw-coloured hair, which was a few shades darker than his own. Settling himself on the bed, he closed his eyes and took a breath.
“A long, long time ago, there was a foolish man.”
“Why was he foolish?”
“I don’t know. He just was. If you want me to tell you the story, shut up and listen.”
“Okay, sorry.”
With a sigh, Ciarrai settled down and began again.
“A long, long time ago, there was a foolish man. He liked to get drunk and wander in the mountains under the moon. He wouldn’t listen when the people in the village told him it was a bad idea.”
“Why did they tell him that?”
“Damien, if you’re going to keep interrupting, I’m going to stop telling the story. If you listen you’ll find out.”
“Okay.”
For the third time, Ciarrai started to speak.
“The foolish man forgot that the mountains in the moonlight belonged to the fey folk, the Tuatha de Danann. He wouldn’t listen when he was told and he laughed—just like you do, Damien—at the thought of fairies. He didn’t believe they existed.
“One day, when he was walking under a full moon near the old forest, he heard music coming from the trees. He knew he should stay away, but he was curious and he was foolish. The mead had made him brave. So, he went into the trees and crept through the darkness, until he saw light ahead.
“He had almost come to the light when it disappeared, and he was left wandering around in the darkness. It took him a lot of time to find his way out of the trees and, when he did, he heard the laughter and music again. He didn’t go back into the trees, because he wasn’t that stupid. So he was going to walk home. But then he saw something, a glowing figure walking out of the trees just in front of him.”
“Why was it glowing?”
“I don’t know— it just was. Shut. Up. Damien. Just listen. Anyway, he followed the flowing figure but as fast as he went, she went faster.”
“Was it a woman?”
Ciarrai gave an exaggerated sigh, but ignored him and pressed on, his eyes still closed. “He followed the woman, but she kept getting farther and farther away. The faster he went, the farther ahead she got, even though she didn’t seem to be moving very fast. And I don’t know why, okay,” he forestalled his brother’s question. “In the end, the man thought he would never be able to catch up and he shouted at her to wait.”
“Did she wait?”
 “She stopped and let him catch up. ‘Why didn’t you wait?’ he asked. ‘Why didn’t you ask?’ she said. The man thought she was the most beautiful person he’d ever seen, and he soon got lost in her beauty.”
“What does that mean?”
“Well, I’m not entirely sure,” Ciarrai had to admit. “I think it means that she was so beautiful he didn’t see what she really was or what was really happening. I don’t think she was a very nice person at all, actually, not when the man loved her that much, but that’s the way fairies are, I think.”
“Was she a fairy?” Damien was interested now, sitting up, his eyes wide.
“Yes, she was.”
“Did she change him into a rabbit?”
“No, she didn’t change him into a rabbit. What made you think that?”
“If I was a fairy and someone did something I didn’t like, I’d turn them into a rabbit.”
“Well, I think the man was pretty lucky that the fairy wasn’t you.”
“What did she do?”
“Taking him by the hand, she led him into the trees. It was never dark because the glow that surrounded her lit the way. After a while, they came to a clearing where there was a party going on. In the middle was a fairy ring and lots of fairies of all shapes and sizes were dancing.”
“The woman led him around the side of the ring to a table full of food and drink. She picked up a crystal goblet filled with mead, and a honey cake so thin you could see the moon through it, and held them out to him.
“The man knew it was dangerous to accept food and drink from the fey folk. He remembered being told by his grandmother many years before, but he couldn’t remember why, and the fairy was looking at him with a smile on her beautiful face, so he reached out and took the goblet and the cake.”
“When he had eaten and drunk, the fairy took his hand and led him into the fairy circle. Again, he knew it was a bad idea, but he did it anyway, because the beautiful woman had bewitched him.”
“What does ‘bewitched’ mean?”
“It means ‘put a spell on’.”
“See,” Damien said, smugly. “I told you she would.”
“She didn’t turn him into a rabbit, though.”
“What did she do?”
Ciarrai frowned. “She enchanted him, so that he didn’t remember his life before. He didn’t remember anything but her. He didn’t want to do anything but dance with her, and eat and drink with her.”
“Did he…you know?” Damien asked, with a smirk.
Ciarrai glared at him. “Eew, Damien, trust you to think about that.” Damien grinned smugly and snuggled down in the bed, stifling a yawn, and Ciarrai started again. “He forgot about everything but her until, one day, he shook off the enchantment and realised where he was and who he was. For a few days he went on, eating and drink and dancing, but everything seemed shallow and false. He realised he was trapped and, although no one bound him, or told him he couldn’t leave, he knew that, having set foot inside the fairy circle on the night of the dance, he had doomed himself to remain in the land of the fey forever.”
“Is that a bad thing?” Damien yawned more widely. “I mean it’s a nice place, isn’t it—fairyland? Why didn’t he want to stay there? It’s better than this one.”
“This what?”
“This land. It’s always sunny in fairyland, and there are cool things, like trolls and ogres and—”
“That fairyland isn’t real, Damien, this one was different.”
“Was it bad, then?”
“Well, no,” Ciarrai admitted reluctantly. “He was never hungry or thirsty and everyone was always happy and laughing and never sick or sad. He was treated well and everything was bright and shiny and glittery.”
“Then why did he want to leave?”
“Because he wasn’t a fairy and he didn’t belong.”
“But if it was a better place?”
“It might have been better in some ways, but it wasn’t his home. And he didn’t want things to be bright and shiny all the time. He wanted things to be dark sometimes, so he’d have something to fight for. Most of all, he wanted to have a choice, to be able to go home if he wanted. And, no matter how pretty and sweet and lovely everything was, he was still a prisoner.”
“So what did he do?”
“One day, he went to the king of the fairies and asked him to set him free. The king agreed, but he warned him that things would be different when he went back. He told him if he ever changed his mind, he could return to fairyland, but he’d never be able to leave it again.
“When the man got back to the human world, he found that hundreds of years had passed while he’d been dancing. Everything had changed. His family and friends were long dead and he didn’t fit into the world as it was then.”
“Did he go back to fairyland?”
“No. Even though he didn’t really fit in to the human world anymore, at least he was free there. He had challenges and struggles and he eventually fell in love and had a family. He said that no matter how bad things might have been in the outside world, he would always have chosen it because it was better to be free in a bad place than be a slave in the best place ever.”
“He was stupid, then.”
“He was?” Ciarrai looked at his brother in surprise. “I don’t think so.”
“Well, I do. He could have spent his whole life playing with fairies, and doing nothing but eating and dancing with beautiful people. Why would he want to leave that behind and live somewhere he had to work hard and he didn’t like?”
Ciarrai smiled and pressed him back on the pillows. Sliding off the bed, he tucked the duvet around his now sleepy brother, and turned off the light. “You’ll understand when you’re older,” he said solemnly, then hurried off to his own warm bed.

Author Links:

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Wednesday Briefs


 I'm sorry I haven't been up to working on Demon for a couple of weeks. However, the rest of the gang have been busy writing flashes for your delectation and delight. Here is the Wednesday Brief post as well as a list of those flashing this week


Friday, 17 March 2017

The Romance Reviews 6th Birthday Party



Come along and join the party for the possibility of major prizes. In addition, answer questions about you truly to win a copy of my book and a $5 gift voucher


Friday, 10 March 2017

Separated by Louise Lyons

Separation Cover Reveal

Release date: March 31, 2017
Length: 45,000 words
Cover design: Simon Searle















Blurb

Matthew Langford is told on his twenty-first birthday that he has a twin. After the initial shock, he quickly realizes this is why he always felt part of him was missing. His search takes him 200 miles to Devon, UK, where he meets fraternal twin, Tremaine Wheal.

The pair discover many things in common, and quickly become as close as if they’d never been separated. But when they share a moment in a nightclub, each realizes there is more between them than having shared a womb. Panic sets in and they part. Once again their separation brings loneliness and pain.

Eventually, unable to stay away from each other, they tentatively move forward together as lovers. But secrets don’t stay secret for long, and discovery and questions threaten their happiness.
This is a taboo story featuring twins.

Author Bio


Author Bio

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. 

Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing "hobby" more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

ANNOUNCEMENT

It is with great regret that I have to inform you that Wayward Ink Press is closing its doors.
This means that my books

Project X

Lab Rat
Shade's Champion
Ari


are no longer available. I am re-submitting and they will be back as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I don't have the technical knowledge to self-publish, so it will take a long time to go through the re-submission process so it's not likely all four will be back this year.