Thursday, February 6, 2020

TEMPTED: Demon/Cleric Short Story

So, I got obsessed with this writing prompt and now I have a short story! Morrigan help me, now I want to write a book 😂 



TEMPTED


"Wake up."
Ethan groaned and hugged the pillow tighter, keeping his eyes firmly shut. He'd been having a pleasant dream, one of those where you can see a memory from another perspective. 
A hard poke with a sharp nail on his ribs made him flinch.
"Ow, was that necessary?" reluctantly, he opened one eye. Purple cat-like eyes were the first thing he saw. Even after months of looking at those unearthly eyes he felt a small swoop on his stomach; not fear precisely, but the recognition that he was in the presence of someone with vast power.
That someone lifted a brow in an unimpressed gesture. "You will be late for work, again."
Ethan smiled. That accent, it had been his doom since day one. 
"And as you've been saying, your boss is already displeased with you," Zath'tarith drawled in his most bored tone.
Ethan snorted and rolled to lie on his back. His boss, Bishop Rossi, had never hidden his deep suspicion and dislike for him. 
If he only knew half of it, Ethan mused.
Rossi was a traditionalist, the recent tolerance towards demons was something he despised. Ethan was certain the old man would happily start another crusade if he could. But tides had changed, decades ago humans had been terrified of demons and the Church had happily hunted them down; that was until humans began to befriend and even fall in love with demons. Not all demonic races were the same after all, while some enjoyed causing havoc and pain, others simply wanted a life outside of the dark dimension they'd been trapped in for millennia. Zath was one of the latter of course.
"Maybe I should perform an exorcism or banish a demon to get on his good graces, my post is in the balance," Ethan mused. "Any of your buddies fancies making a show?"
Zath pinned Ethan with a look that blended exasperation and affection. "I'll ask, now get your pale ass in the shower."
Ethan chuckled and sat, running a hand through the thick strands of brown hair that stuck up in all angles. He lived in a small apartment just a block away from the church where he worked as a Cleric. He could've had small quarters within the church, but the wards would not allow his half-blood and demon friends through and that would be a tragedy. 
He barely had time to register the movement before finding himself firmly pinned down by Zath. The high-class demon's pupils were blown, his eyes almost black. Ethan licked his lips nervously feeling the tremendous contained strength on the hands that held his wrists; he flushed bright pink when Zath's eyes traveled down his body. He'd always seen himself as average at best, lean and athletic but miles away from the Greek god looks of his boyfriend. 
"Weren't you the one telling me to get out of bed?" Ethan asked on a tremulous voice as Zath leaned down to kiss a torturous path from his shoulder to his neck. The demon grinned, ink-black hair half-shielding his eyes.
"Maybe you can be 15 minutes late," Zath said, capturing Ethan's mouth in a kiss before he could respond.

****

15 minutes turned into half an hour. Ethan was fumbling with his robes as he entered the office on the back of the church, dreading the telling off he was going to get. Still, a stupid smile adorned his face.
To his surprise, Rossi wasn't there yet. A sour-looking nun was waiting for him though. She was new, he wasn't sure of her name.
"Bishop Rossi is indisposed, you will lead the mass in 15 minutes," she all but barked handing him a sheet with a sermon.
Ethan blinked, trying to hold back the panic before it could begin to build. Speaking in public wasn't his thing. And giving sermons about purity and guarding oneself against evil demons didn't help. If the Church ever found out he was more than just acceptant of half-bloods, that he was, in fact, a very gay and definitely not chaste cleric they'd sack him. And he needed to remain inside to warn his friends of the unauthorized attacks the Church launched against demons. 
Cursing under his breath, he rushed towards the altar. He decided to tune out his own words as he led the congregation in prayer and began with the depressing sermon. 
Rossi has outdone himself, Ethan thought wrily. 
The candles began to flicker as the temperature in the room dropped. Ethan blinked to focus, the congregation began to whisper and look around searching for the source of what was an unmistakeable supernatural presence.
A vortex of black and purple light formed right in the middle of the aisle. A 6-foot-5 male stepped right out of the portal, black hair falling straight to his shoulders. The demon idly flicked his fringe back in place as a collective gasp erupted from the congregation; no one dared to move.
Ethan stared in disbelief at his boyfriend, standing right there and reminding every single faithful that high-ranking demons were capable of breaking the wards set by the Priests.
'This is not a good time,' Ethan thought, aiming his mental strength to Zath.
The demon took a few steps closer to the altar, fixing the cuffs of his black shirt. 'I can see that.'
Ethan could hear his drawl, he fought back a smile. 'Is there something you need?' 
'No, it is you who needed something from me, remember?' Zath asked.
'Oh! Right, yeah.'
Ethan bit his lip thinking about how to begin with the impromptu show, but his mind was still on swooning mode and not cooperating.
'Fuck's sake, Ethan, at least pretend to banish me,' Zath said, a malevolent grin spreading on his face. 
It should scare Ethan, it really should. Normal people feared 600-year-old demons. But Ethan had never been normal; his pulse was racing for an entirely different reason. 
"Shoo, naughty one!" as soon as the words were out, Ethan cringed.
Zath's incredulous snort wasn't helping either. 
"You aren't making me feel very welcomed, cleric," Zath said aloud, his deep voice carried the timbre he used when he wanted to terrorize humans. One swift glance at the still shock-paralyzed congregation told Ethan how effective it was.
"You aren't welcome in these holy walls," Ethan said with faux sternness, Zath's arched brow told him he wasn't doing a good job. "Not unless you repent for your sins."
Zath chuckled, purple eyes brimming with mischief. "But sinning is so delicious, cleric."
A shiver ran down Ethan's spine. Don't I know it, he thought.
Ethan took the bible from the pulpit, holding it as a shield. "Then I shall have to banish you. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, ego eieci te!"
Zath took a step back and hissed, anger shining in his eyes. "We shall meet again, cleric," he warned and then disappeared in a burst of purple energy. 
Ethan schooled his expression into grim resolution and triumph, trying not to laugh. Zath was by far a better actor than he was. 
The congregation remained silent for a few heartbeats and then erupted in cheers and began to thank Ethan profusely. He plastered a reassuring, beatific smile on his face as he blessed them all and promised no demon would ever enter the church as long as he or Bishop Rossi were there to stop it.
His position in one of the last openly traditionalist churches had been secured with the assistance of his demon boyfriend. Ethan was sure his friends would thoroughly enjoy the irony, he sure did.

©Selene Kallan 2020
________________

Let me know what you think! 😘







Wednesday, January 8, 2020

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer




Synopsis:

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall … and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Rating: 5 Stars
Review:
OMG *insert many fangirling noises* I LOVED this book!
Finally, oh finally, a female MC that's not daft! Harper is stubborn as hell and makes some bad choices but she's smart, she knows how to improvise and she doesn't allow her cerebral palsy to hold her back.
Harper has been forced to be strong before time, her father has abandoned the family. Her brother is doing illegal things to keep Harper and their ill mother safe. When Harper sees a man drugging a girl and dragging her in a dark alley she has to do something. She has no idea her brave decision will drag her to an entirely new world. A world where a Prince has been cursed by an evil sorceress.
I laughed a lot at Harper's impulsiveness and reckless behavior. Girl knows how to swing a crowbar, and she does her best with a dagger.
Prince Rhen was interesting. The way he hides behind strategy and cold logic but finds himself off-balance by Harper is entertaining to watch. His relationship with Harper is complicated, to say the least, but I did appreciate his growth throughout the book.
However, Commander Grey stole my heart. I so have a thing for grumpy, sarcastic, apparently cold and unmovable warriors. I must admit I shipped Harper and Grey for most of the book.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely is an action-packed, fast-paced, character-centered rollercoaster. I can't wait to read the sequel!

Grab it here:


Saturday, November 23, 2019

Haunted: Immortal Heritage 2 Chapter 1


CHAPTER 1


LILY

I landed on my back, the wooden stake on my opponent’s hand.
Mom sighed. “Now I know you’re not really trying.”
I huffed and rolled, standing fast enough to be invisible to the human eye. Mom gave me my stake back and we circled each other.
“Of course I am really trying,” I lied.
Mom rolled her eyes, a gesture we shared. “Oh please, I’ve not been able to unarm you and knock you down since you turned 15, you are holding back.”
I smirked. “Maybe a little.”
Mom huffed. “Need I remind you this was your idea? I’d much rather be sleeping.”
I bit my lip to keep from laughing at her whiny tone. “Need I remind you it is your fault I have insomnia? You’re the one who wants me to go to school.”
I said the last word as if it were an insult.
“This is the senior year, it’s too late to quit,” mom said with a shrug.
I groaned. “As if there’s anything remotely interesting about the syllabus. You’ve taught me everything I could possibly want to know. Hell, Google is more educational.”
Mom sighed. “Lily.”
I had no idea why she bothered trying to keep me from cursing. I could do so much worse.
Mom feinted an attack and I played along, dodging her attempts and connecting some measured blocks and strikes, not to her face, though, and not with half my strength, not ever. She was right, of course, I was holding back but so was she; those training sessions were really just a way of burning energy and trying not to think, which was hard with a hyperactive brain.
But I’d do anything not to think about the nightmares, or memories more accurately. They’d become sporadic, thank Zeus, but no matter how much magic mom used on the dreamcatchers that hung from my ceiling, the nightmares remained.
Somehow we ended up tangled and falling on our asses at the same time. I laughed, breaking some of the tension, mom followed, stretching her arms above her head as the first rays of sunlight hit our backyard. We laid there, allowing the creamy yellow light to bathe us, my system immediately welcomed the warmth and energy. I was a bit like a solar panel, all Faeries were and mom’s blood granted me part of that power.
I much preferred not to think about the origin of the rest of the blood that ran through my veins. Even if that blood made me stronger, almost immortal.
“Mmm, I could lay here all day,” mom said, emerald eyes -same as mine- shining with relief. A ray of light gleamed against the quartz crystal around her neck, the one that was magicked to hide the unnatural beauty and pointy ears that peaked through her golden hair. The glamour had no effect on me whatsoever being a half-faerie, but it worked with humans. My ears were slightly pointed, but not enough to be suspicious.
“Me too,” I said.
Mom poked my ribs making me jump, I had always been prone to tickles.
“But you can’t, Miss. Off to shower or you’ll miss breakfast.”
I groaned but got up, stretching my hand to pull mom up. Fair, slightly golden skin against caramel.
She was barely taller than me at about 6-foot-1, a curtain of golden hair fell straight to her shoulder blades and waved a bit to her waist. Chiseled features with slightly bigger eyes than humans. She muttered a few words in fae language under her breath, bringing down the spell that covered the edges of our backyard, keeping the gossip neighbors unaware of our late-night early-morning antics.
A part of me would forever resent having to hide. Mom had gotten the hang of it much better than me. She switched from her lilting, British-like accent to no accent when we were in public with frightening ease. It is necessary, I reminded myself.
“Shower, breakfast, school,” said mom, hands on her hips.
“Sounds like the worst movie ever.”
“Lily.”
I lifted my hands. “Fine, fine.”
Not like I smelled or something. Nope. Being half-fae was fun like that, sweat didn’t stink, and I don’t have body hair, yay for never using razors. I showered with cold water, using mom’s lavender-scented all-purpose soap. It never failed to help me feel a bit better.
Smelling the bacon and eggs made me dress faster, jeans, tennis shoes and t-shirts comprised 99% of my wardrobe. They were comfy in case I needed to run or kick someone’s arse, which wasn’t precisely a rare occurrence.
I dashed downstairs not bothering to hide my supernatural speed. The yellow kitchen looked bright and clean, mom and I had restored the house over a year before when we first moved to Solville. Except for my room, the house was painted in different shades of yellow inside and outside, mom’s favorite color. It was warm and welcoming and I loved it because it made mom happy. All the windows were magicked to keep nosy human eyes at bay.
Mom served me a plate with double portions of pancakes, bacon, eggs, and even a granola bar. My stomach roared as if I’d not eaten in days, despite having stuffed my face with muffins a few hours before, when I’d awoken from the latest nightmare.
Stop thinking about it.
“Sometimes I think you don’t need to breathe,” mom teased while she sipped her tea and stabbed a piece of watermelon with her fork.
I gave her a food smile and she wrinkled her nose. “Gross, Lily.”
Our relationship had always been like that, light and, and friendly, never suffocating or full of rules and formalities. Which made it a little easier to maintain the cover we’d devised years before.
“So, how are you feeling?” Mom asked.
I gulped. “What do you mean?”
I knew what she meant, of course, but wasn’t willing to admit it.
Mom sighed, getting up to pull my curly hair up in a ponytail. “You’re almost eighteen, it’s time for…”
She left the word hang, it was a good thing I’d finished eating, my appetite disappeared.
“I am fine, mom.”
“No signs of any change?” she prodded.
“Nope, no shiny wings or a giant flower sprouting from my back.”
Mom puffed. “What?”
I shrugged. “The middle back to be accurate, something Brenda read on a book about Fairies.”
I looked over my shoulder to see mom fight a smile. “Well, that doesn’t sound comfortable.”
“Neither does expelling a small person through one’s aha, but for some reason, it is the most common way of birthing a child.”
Mom snorted. “Well, when you put it that way,” she shook her head. “You’re straying from the point.”
I bit my lip, she was too perceptive for my own good. “What was the point again? You know I have issues focusing.”
Mom rolled her eyes. “That I do. Off to school, you’re going to be late.”
“I am never late,” I smiled.
Mom smiled. “Right, everyone else is too early.”
“Damn straight.”
Mom accompanied me to get my bike. She waved me goodbye and I winked as I sped away.
The streets of the small town were still quiet, except for the students and workers. Solville was a quiet, wholesome town with ten thousand or so inhabitants. Normal, and boring to death, which made it the perfect place for a couple of runaway supernaturals to hide. Since it was located in Arizona, it made it less likely to run into vampires, and lycans preferred towns near the forest where they could find abundant prey.
I said hello to some of our neighbors, others pretended they didn’t see me and I was more than fine with that. Fake smiles and formalities were not something I had ever been able to master.
All the composure I’d feigned in front of mom began to crumble. The memories assaulting me as painful as ever; so much blood I could smell it, so much fear I started to look over my shoulder, looking for amber eyes and a towering lycan that was strong enough to break us both mom and me.
I went around the school, deciding not to go to class and sit on the bleachers, there would be no-one around for a while and that suited me.
Things had changed. I was no longer a weak child. Mom and I had both learned how to use our skills and we were far away from his radar.
Safe.
I placed my head between my knees and repeated that word to myself over and over.
Maybe one day I would believe it.



MATT

The first hour had been torture, so I had no reason to expect the following was going to be any better. Most of the seats of the English class were taken, save for a couple near the back to my great relief.
I’d begun to think my guardian was insane, not that I hadn’t suspected it before but still. High School might be a normal environment, but I wasn’t normal. Normal people don’t get headaches from the sound of chatter or clench their teeth until they hurt trying to keep their voices steady when asked to introduce themselves.
I examined my surroundings, old habits die hard. In front of me sat a blonde girl with glasses, she had a novel in her hands that judging by the cover wasn’t part of the class. The other rows were full of chatter that made my ears hum. Small groups of friends sharing summer stories, talking about the upcoming football games. The loudest group was the one lead by a girl with long dark hair in a cheerleader uniform. The quieter blonde turned and I lowered my sight, feeling her eyes on me before she turned her attention to the guy sitting by me the next row over.
“You don’t think something bad happened to her, do you?” she asked him.
The guy rolled his eyes. “Come on, Bren, Lily can take care of herself, she’s probably having a third breakfast.”
“I heard that,” said a melodic voice. I lifted my eyes before I could think to stop, so far I’d been avoiding looking directly at anyone. A sweet, floral scent invaded my nose as the tall girl passed me by and plopped down next to the blonde girl. She turned and met my gaze, I forgot how to breathe for a moment; emerald eyes framed by long lashes locked with mine. I blinked not quite convinced I was seeing right. My throat dried and I moved my gaze to the front, watching her surreptitiously with the corner of my eye.
“Lily Scott. You’re late, and on the first day of school,” said the guy beside me, tutting. He leaned forward to play with the mane of golden-brown curls that hung from Lily’s ponytail.
Lily wrinkled her nose. “Meh, I have the feeling I’ve missed nothing exciting.”
“Well, unless you count you-know-who being more annoying than usual,” said the blonde.
Lily snorted. “Oh, come on, Bren. She’s a pillock, not Lord Voldemort.”
Bren tried to hide her laugh behind her hand. I felt the corners of my mouth turn up to my surprise, finding myself grateful for my guardian’s crash-course on pop culture more than ever before.
“Remind me again why your sister hasn’t washed your mouth with soap?” Asked the guy.
Lily laughed, the sound eased some of the tension in my back. “Because I bite.” She flashed a grin, her teeth pearl white, canines slightly sharp.
Bren snorted.
“We’re being rude,” said Lily. “We’ve not introduced ourselves.”
I lifted my eyes and met Lily’s again, a mischievous smile played on her full watermelon lips. It was useless attempting to not notice how incredibly gorgeous she was; the chiseled features softened by that smile, the long curls that looked silken to the touch, the slightly large eyes that examined me with open curiosity but no rejection. Her ears were slightly pointed, it suited her, she looked like a fairy.
“Alright, silence,” said an angry male voice, the teacher.
The class groaned and turned their attention to the short man with a big belly and shiny head.
To my own surprise, I mourned the interruption.
“We have a new student this year,” he said while he wrote Mr. Roberts on the board with a red marker.
Oh god, not again.
“Stand and introduce yourself,” the teacher said, eyes on me.
My pulse roared in my ears as I stood.
Why is introducing myself to a bunch of kids more terrifying than fighting vampires?
“Your name?” Mr. Roberts demanded.
“Matthew, sir.”
I was grateful my voice didn’t betray the nervousness.
“Welcome to Solville High,” he said.
“Thank you,” I mumbled sitting down, feeling dizzy with relief.
“Why can’t we get the good looking ones?” complained the cheerleader, not so quietly.
Laughter erupted around her circle.
She laughed at her own joke, sending me a look one gives to dog crap on the pavement.
“Miss Miller,” warned the teacher without looking from the textbook on his desk.
An eraser flew towards the cheerleader from Lily’s direction, making an audible impact.
“Ow,” she complained, clasping the back of her neck. Her brown eyes darted to glare at Lily who looked like the picture of nonchalance except for those eyes that brimmed with mischief.
“Freak,” the cheerleader growled.
“Cliché,” Lily said.
“That’s enough from both of you,” Mr. Roberts scolded. “Miss Scott, would you like to tell me why Romeo and Juliet is such a memorable play?”
“Because they both die tragically?” Lily retorted, blinking innocently. “Oops, spoiler alert.”
Brenda, Blake, and others laughed a little, the teacher just frowned and turned muttering to himself as he began with the class. Lily smiled at me. I tried to return the gesture but ended up nodding uncomfortably.
When the class finally ended, Lily murmured a song between her teeth. “At last…”
The guy behind her and Bren laughed.
“And then again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the week after, and the month after that,” said the blonde, pushing her glasses up her nose.
“Oh Bren, come on don’t torture me,” Lily complained, turning to me. “Hi, I’m Lily, these are Brenda and Blake,” she said with a big smile.
“Hi,” I said to them.
“Welcome to hell,” said Blake, running a hand through his light brown hair. He towered over me and Lily.
“Bah, that’s an exaggeration, it’s more like purgatory,” said Lily, grinning.
“You guys are gonna scare him off,” muttered Brenda.
We all came out to the lockers, they were recently painted bright red and I had to fight off the thought it looked like blood. Lily neared me after getting her books, she was my height which placed her at around 6-foot tall.
“So here’s the deal,” she said with serious eyes and a mischievous smile. “You are more than welcome to have lunch and hang out with us at your own cost.”
“At my own cost?” I asked intrigued.
Her smile turned into a grin. “Yep, if you have popular pretensions you should stay away from us. If you don’t then you’ll fit in just fine.”
“No popular pretensions,” I answered with a small smile. Something about her made the tension ebb.
Her friends had already gone, she winked and walked away. I doubted for a moment, it would’ve been ridiculously easy to run away from there, the exits were not very surveyed. Being in a place crowded with human children was a bad idea, I looked like one of them but wasn’t. I took a step but halted, my guardian’s firm expression flashing in my mind, her voice echoing in my head.
“You need to have at least a semblance of a normal life, what can be more normal than going to a boring High School in a small town?”
She would be disappointed if I ran away, I would be disappointed. And I owed her too much to disobey her, I knew she had my best interests at heart even if I didn’t deserve it.
I barely endured the next few hours. The classmates were loud, the teachers seemed angry for no good reason and I had a lot more to learn that I had thought. A part of me wished that I could share all classes with the only three people I already knew, especially Lily.
The ring that announced lunchtime couldn’t have been more opportune. I looked for Lily, she waved at me and I walked to their table. I sat down next to her, she smiled at me again helping me to breathe easier. It was gonna take me a while to get used to being among so many people.
“So, here you are,” said Brenda. Barely lifting her eyes from the book she had next to her lunch.
“You are a brave man,” muttered Blake, perceptive sky-blue eyes examining me.
“How so?” I asked looking around at the crowded dining room. I hoped the anxiety I was feeling didn’t show on my face.
“Well, this may come as a huge surprise but we are sort of the rejects,” said Lily, with her mouth half full, she had taken a huge bite of her beef sandwich.
They were the only ones at the end of the table, the other students seem to ignore them. I liked that it was less crowded, I had no intention of drawing any sort of attention to myself.
“You’ve joined us rejects ‘cause you want to,” said Brenda to Lily.
“Yep, you could’ve easily become a popular cheerleader,” Blake agreed.
Lily laughed. “Sure, but how on earth would the rest of the team keep up with me?”
Brenda made an agreeing gesture.
Blake snorted. “Good point.”
My eyes fell on Lily, on the lean muscles on her arms and long, elegant fingers, the stylish figure. A rush of apprehension rose, making my neck itch with shame. When I looked up, she had a half-smile on her lips. It was hard not to stare at her lovely face in mute fascination.
“So, tell us your story. You are not from around here,” said Lily in a rush, I was certain she’d noticed my awkwardness.
And that was the complicated part, I had to be extremely careful not to say anything that could make them suspicious.
“I don’t know where to start,” I said, pretending to be busy with my food.
“You know, the basics, where did you live before, who do you live with,” said Blake kindly.
“Any weird fetishes, the names of those you’ve killed,” said Lily with a grin. I swallowed and almost choked.
Lily patted my back a bit harder than necessary. “Alright, calm down, a man’s secrets are his own, your last name will do.” I felt the warmth of her skin through my clothes, her touch, despite fleeting, eased a bit of the tension.
“Carter,” I said, after a minute. “I live with my grandparents.”
The lie came out a bit easier than before.
“Nice to meet you,” said Lily with a smile.
A few yells made me jump in my chair, the three of them looked at a few tables on the back. Huge football players were occupying a table, whistling and laughing too loud. When I followed their eyes I found a chubby kid running away to the exit.
“What a bunch of Neanderthals,” Blake whispered, anger mixing with fear in his eyes. Brenda took his hand and nodded.
Lily huffed, eyes narrowing. “The Solville Coyotes, more like the Solville bullies.”
She was holding her fork with a lot of strength and I had the impression she wanted to stab them with it. Her emerald gaze locked with one of the largest guys in the group, he gave her a taunting look and she curled her lip exposing those curiously sharp canines.
“Try not to get in any problems with those assholes,” Lily said, turning back to me.
“They do what they want and don’t get grounded for it,” said Brenda, paling.
“Sure,” I muttered, pushing back the tide of anger. Abusive bastards sickened me.
We all continued eating. Lily unwrapped another sandwich taking a big bite, I could hear her stomach roar even after having finished half of her food. Blake and Brenda were having a private conversation. I ate slowly, looking around; the cheerleaders and football players had their own tables, the rest of the students looked pretty normal, no stoners or nerds that I could distinguish, at least there were a few movies cliches missing.
The same cheerleader from the English class made her way to our table and sat between me and Lily, forcing me to move away.
“You know if you keep eating like that you’re gonna end up like that grease ball,” she said to Lily as she pointed at Brenda, who blushed and lowered her head.
Lily cocked a brow. “Don’t you have something more entertaining to do? You know, like finally learning how to read.”
Brenda smiled a little. Blake pressed his lips to avoid laughing. The cheerleader snorted flipping hair off her shoulder, I had to move further not to get it on my face.
“Hey, you, I need the English paper,” she said to Brenda, ignoring Lily.
“No,” murmured Brenda looking at Lily, who gave a small approving nod.
“Excuse me?” the cheerleader growled.
“No means no, Amanda,” said Lily with a smirk.
Amanda frowned and got up. “You are going to regret this,” said Amanda pointing at Brenda, then turned to Lily. “And you, nosy b-”
Lily got up too and give an ice-cold look to Amanda who was almost a foot lower in height. I had the feeling Lily could throw her across the room if she wished.
“Get. Lost. Bimbo” growled Lily with a wry smile. Several others stopped eating and started whistling.
Amanda walked away almost tripping, legs unstable. Lily sat down then looked at me with a serious expression.
“Last chance to run away, Matthew,” she said.
My only option at this point was being completely alone since I had no idea how to get close to anyone. And running away, that sounded like something I didn’t want to do, I had done enough of that.
“I’m not running away.”
Lily smiled.

****
Keep reading here: http://a.co/cChqUOC

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Shadow Wand by Laurie Forest

You guys, the cover for THE SHADOW WAND has been revealed and I think I just fainted a bit. 




HER WORLD-ALTERING SECRET CAN’T BE HIDDEN MUCH LONGER

Elloren Gardner hides the most powerful secret in all Erthia—she is the Black Witch of Prophecy, and destined to triumph…or be used as the ultimate weapon of destruction.

Separated from everyone she loves, isolated and hunted, Elloren must turn to the last person she can trust—her fastmate, Commander Lukas Grey. With the Mage forces of Gardneria poised to conquer all of Erthia, Elloren has no choice but to ally with Lukas and combine their power to keep herself out of the hands of Gardnerian leader Marcus Vogel…the holder of the all-consuming Shadow Wand.

With just weeks to train to become a warrior, and no control over her magic, Elloren finds unexpected allies among those under orders to kill her. It’s time to step up. To fight back. And to forge onward through the most devastating loss yet.


Grab it here!

        


Laurie's precious look so amazing together! 





Saturday, October 12, 2019

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa.


Synopsis


One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

Review:

Yumeko goes from living in a calm, sheltered temple to fight demons in order to save her life and fulfill a dangerous task. A kitsune (half fox), she is given a powerful scroll to take to safety before it falls in the wrong hands.
A samurai on a mission who lives in constant risk of losing his soul to a powerful sword joins her and protects her, unaware of her true nature and that she carries with her what he seeks.
A ronin, a priestess and an aristocrat join her along the way, but the lies Yumeko has spun to protect herself and her mission put her at risk of losing it all.
There is action from beginning to end and humor, mostly courtesy of Yumeko's charming innocence and a sassy Ronin.
The ending left me with a hanging jaw, I did not see it coming at all!
The mythology and descriptions are beautiful, unique. I absolutely love the depictions of the Imperial Palace and quaint little towns.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that Yumeko chooses the sassy guy instead of the one who can't decide if he likes or wants to kill her, we'll see.
I am anxious to read the next book, Soul of the Sword.

Grab Shadow of the Fox.
Ebook: https://amzn.to/2IN3bZ0 
Paperback: https://amzn.to/2Me6CdD


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Witch's Ambitions Trilogy by Kayla Krantz


Get 3 awesome fantasy novels by the talented Kayla Krantz for only $1.99


See how it all ends in the final installment of The Witch’s Ambitions Trilogy, set to release 8/15

After joining the Elemental Coven, young witch Lilith’s eyes were opened to the truth that the Council has always been desperate to keep hidden. With only two Covens still standing, Lilith’s world is in real danger of collapsing and so is the Elemental Coven. After a mysterious illness begins to infect the Coven, witches are dying and not even coven leader Willow’s power of resurgence is enough to save them.
After the Battle of the Grove destroys Lilith’s good leg, and her ability to walk, she faces an internal war about her future that consumes her, dragging her further and further into the darkness. Willow is desperate to help Lilith find the light because Lilith isn’t just her sister, she is the Elemental Coven’s last hope of survival. As the Sage’s ex-apprentice, Lilith is the only witch capable of taking down the ancient ruler. 

As the war destroys the last of the covens, Lilith knows there is only one way to end the chaos for good—a final showdown against the Sage that only one of them will walk away from.


Get the rest of the series for free!
Just click on the images.

 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Movie Night: Captain Marvel


Captain Marvel Review


So, I finally did it, and I am so happy! #Captainmarvel is everything I ever wanted and more. 


I was hooked from the start thanks to the action which always gets my attention, but what sold me was Carol's sass. I LOVE me some sass and the girl's got it. 

 
The Skrulls are quite interesting, their shapeshifting abilities are fantastic and the special effects were completely on point. There is an unmistakable parallel between the war wagging among Kree and Skrulls with the conflict of our day and age. One faction trying to suppress the other by any means necessary, crying out terrorism when one side refuses to become absorbed by a powerful empire.


The chemistry on screen between Brie Larson and Samuel L Jackson was perfect. One of my favorite elements of the movie has to be them sassing each other. 


I love the relationship between Maria and Carol, how their friendship survives years of separation. Not to mention Maria is a total badass, a single mother, a great pilot, a voice of reason. We all need a friend like Maria. Although I must confess I totally ship them.


I got chills when this moment came. 


Now, I find it impossible to talk about this movie and not mention the controversy, the commentaries I came across on social media ranged from negative to downright misogynistic. And despite myself, I started to wonder if there was any truth behind the most common complaints.  
*"Brie Larson was a bad choice!" Erm, no. I knew she could pull off strong emotion after watching The Room and her acting was on point. 
*"She shows no emotion." Yet another lie prolonged by the smart edits done to show clips or pictures in the ones Carol is either holding back an emotion or simply not smiling. Oh, and she does smile btw, just not all the time because she is a warrior caught in the middle of a battle between two alien races, not a beauty queen.
*"Too much feminism." Not at all, it was perfectly balanced. There are no cringy lines about girl power or anything like. Carol is an unapologetic badass, a hero, her motivations are not based on any sort of romantic entanglements, so I guess that displeased some.

I was so satisfied with the way Captain Marvel portrayed a female hero. No over-sexualization, I had no idea how much I needed that until now. Brie is beautiful, and it's obvious, but there are no long pannings of her body to show off her curves, no oops-I'm-half-naked scene, no flirting to get out of a dangerous situation. 
While she does display intense emotion several times, there's no hysterical crying/screaming scene. Not all females become over-emotional when under pressure, and it needed to be shown. 


The most powerful scene in the movie ^


Overall, a great movie. I thought no movie could beat Captain America as a superhero origin movie, but I was proven wrong. The Stan Lee cameo and homage were beautiful. 

If you haven't watched Captain Marvel, you need to! And you can rent or buy it here with the extra content that is soooooooo worth it:

Buy with bonus content: https://amzn.to/2IFTsmm



Monday, June 3, 2019

Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop



Synopsis:

Fourteen-year-old Peter Green can’t remember how he died.

All he has are his pajamas, a silk tie, and a one-way bus ticket to Mrs. Battisworth’s Academy and Haven for Unliving Boys and Girls, a strange and spooky school for dead orphans like himself. But that’s all he needs: the Unliving Academy has everything, from vampires in the hallways, to monsters in the cafeteria, to ghosts in the basement.

And that’s just the teachers; the students are far stranger.

As Pete learns to fit in with his new supernatural schoolmates, he starts to discover his own uniquely undead abilities, and even begins enjoying his life after death…but he just can’t shake the feeling that he’s forgotten something (or somebody!) important. 

Somebody he left behind in the land of the living.

Somebody he loved very much.

Somebody who’s in terrible danger. 


Rating: 5 Stars
Review:
So I was looking for something different, something to get me out of a funk and this book has most definitely achieved that. With the Academy feel of Harry Potter and the crazy action of Percy Jackson, Peter Green and the Unliving Academy has earned its rightful place among my favorite books.
Pete is easy to relate to, bit awkward and can't talk to girls without forgetting his name. And memory is one of his main issues, he's forgotten something important but doesn't know why. The clues are scarce and he has to rely on instinct and the sporadic visions of a girl with brown eyes he wants to keep safe.
Fortunately, he makes friends with unique skills who help him navigate this new life, and he starts feeling more alive than ever even though he's technically dead. 
A charming book with a unique world and endearing characters that made me laugh and cry. I can't wait to see what comes next for Pete and company.

Take a peek here: https://amzn.to/2HT0zZB
Thanks to Maria Inot from TCK Publishing for the ARC! 




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