Saturday, June 23, 2018

Identity Break by Stephen H. Provost - Book Tour & Review + Giveaway

Identity Break
Stephen H. Provost
Publication date: February 12th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
How far would you go to find yourself?
Imagine everything you thought you knew about yourself turned out to be a lie, and you didn’t know who was telling the truth. Imagine you possessed a secret so dangerous that, if it were exposed, it would reshape the entire world.

What would you do if that secret were your very identity?
In almost every way, Palo Vista seems like a typical California city, with office buildings, schools, and homes sprawled out across suburbia, filled with families making a life for themselves at the dawn of the new millennium.
But two seniors at Mt. MacMurray High are about to find out that nothing is as it seems…

My Review
Identity Break is a fascinating read. It definitely goes in a direction I wasn't expecting. And it also makes you think...sometime in the future, maybe 10 years from now, maybe more (or less), something like this could be possible, or at least plausible. 

We have Jason, one of our main characters, who is a very unique teenager. He's fast, he's smart, and he's got a photographic memory...or so he thinks. But Jason's life isn't quite what it seems.
 Same goes for Elyse, our other main character, who meets up with Jason. Together, they have to unravel the mystery behind who they really are.  

I wasn't sure what to expect from the story, and I will admit I was a little confused in spots. However, the story is really intriguing and kept me flipping, curious to see what other secret might be exposed next. It's kinda crazy.

There's action, sci-fi, and dystopian elements. They all mix together to bring Identity Break to life. The story is one that makes you think. It makes you wonder. It makes you realize that sometimes people with too much power can go to extreme lengths to try and "make things right."

I really enjoyed Identity Break, and I'd recommend it to fans of sci-fi/dystopian type stories. It'll definitely keep you guessing until the very end.

I give the story four stars. 

Author Bio:
Stephen H. Provost is a veteran editor, reporter and columnists with more than 30 years of experience at daily newspapers in California. He’s currently the managing editor of The Cambrian on the Central Coast, as well as a columnist and assistant city editor for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo.

As an author, he has written historical nonfiction (“Fresno Growing Up” and “Highway 99: The History of California’s Main Street”), novels (“Memortality” and “Identity Break”), while also exploring the realms of mythology, fable and ancient history.

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Dragon's Rogue by Aanstasia Wilde - Book Tour + Giveaway



Dragon’s Rogue

Wild Dragons Book One

Anastasia Wilde


Genre: Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: April 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-1717480088
ASIN: B07CND297P

Word Count: 83,000

Cover Artist: Melody Simmons

Tagline: He’s loved her in his dreams for a hundred years. Now he’s finally found her, and he’ll do anything to make her is own…


Book Description:

The evil Dragon Lord Vyrkos is about to rise from captivity in a devastating volcanic eruption. Only the Greystone brothers can stop him—and only if they find the three women who hold the keys to sealing Vyrkos’ tomb forever.

Blaze McKenna is a witch hiding out from her former coven. After stealing their most powerful artifact to keep them from destroying themselves, she’s been preparing for the day when the coven leader will hunt her down and try to take it back.

A battle that only one of them will walk away from.

So when smoking hot dragon shifter Zane Greystone offers to help her fight the coven in return for her handing over one of the Seals to Vyrkos’ tomb, it sounds like the perfect plan—except for two problems.

She doesn’t know where the Seal is.

And the dragon doesn’t just want her help—he wants her heart, body and soul.

Dragon’s Rogue is the first book in Anastasia Wilde’s epic new trilogy, Wild Dragons. Each book features one couple, hot steamy dragon love, HEA, no cliffhangers!

Rated steamy – contains explicit sex but not erotica

Excerpt
The butler
gestured to the terrace doors on the other side of the room. He stepped
discreetly back into the hallway, closing the door behind him.
Zane took a deep
breath, and then walked between the fluttering sheer curtains out onto the
terrace. He caught a glimpse of an expanse of starry sky before he turned to
meet the woman whose house he'd broken into the night before. The woman from
his dream visions.
“Hello,” he
said, extending his hand. “Thank you for meeting me. I—”
That was as far
as he got. Two silken ropes twined around his wrists and yanked, as if held by
invisible hands. Before he could react, he was suspended a few inches off the
ground, his arms spread over his head in a Y-shape.
She’d outsmarted
him. He was trapped.
Before he could
say a word, Blaze made a swift movement with her hands. His shirt ripped open
down the front and spread wide, exposing his heart.
Oh, hell, Zane
thought. This can’t be good. She must have recognized him from last night.
And she was
clearly holding a grudge.
Blaze walked
right up to him, ignoring his struggles, and ran her hands over his chest. The
heat from her fingers seemed to strike all the way down into his bones.
His exclamation
turned into a murmured exhale. “What the hell are you doing to me?”
“Where’s your
tattoo?” she demanded.
“My what?”
He had no idea
what she was talking about. ‘Thorne?’ he called mentally to his brother.
‘Little help here? I’m on the terrace outside the study.’ He projected a
picture of its location. ‘Come from outside. Cloak yourself. We’re having an
issue with the lovely Ms. McKenna.’
His brother
replied, ‘Saw you leave. Already on my way.’
“Your coven
tattoo. Where is it?” Blaze jerked her hand back, walked around behind him, and
magically ripped the back of his shirt and jacket as well. He shivered at the
sudden touch of the night air on his bare skin.
Or maybe it was
her making him shiver.
He felt her
fingers on his left shoulder blade, and sucked in his breath involuntarily.
Just that small contact sent electricity shooting through his body.
She thought he
was a sorcerer. An evil one, if the way he was hanging from his wrists like
laundry on a clothesline was anything to go by.
“I’m not in a
coven,” he told her.
She came around
to face him again. “You must be. You’re too powerful to be solo, and I felt
power in the others, too. Stop lying.”
There was a
sudden gust of wind, and Zane felt Thorne’s dragon presence just above the
terrace. Then his brother shifted mid-air, uncloaked and landed on the terrace
behind Blaze, in human form.
‘Watch out,
bro.’ he cautioned silently. ‘She has a spell—’
Too late.
The minute
Thorne’s feet hit the balcony, more silken ropes sprang to life and he was
strung up the same way Zane was. Blaze whipped around and tore Thorne’s shirt
open with her magic.
Damn. Beautiful
witch: 2, Dragons: 0
Not the heroic
first impression he’d intended to make.


Blaze backed up,
looking from one to the other. “All right,” she said. “No tattoos, no coven. So
spill it. Who are you people, why were you after my artifact, and how much pain
do I have to put you through to get it back?”

About the Author:

Anastasia Wilde lives in the deep forests of the Pacific Northwest, where sexy shifters may or may not be found hiding among the tall, ancient trees. She loves to write paranormal romances about wild, passionate shifter men and the strong women who are destined to win their hearts. Broken, complicated, devoted, protective—love heals their wounds and smooths their rough edges (but not too much!). When not writing, Anastasia enjoys traveling, nomming on any food involving bacon or melty cheese (ideally both), adding to her magical crystal collection, or relaxing with a glass of wine, watching the sun set behind the mountains.




Twitter: @AnaWildeAuthor


Giveaway



Dark Water by J.A. Armitage - Book Blitz + Giveaway

Dark Water
J.A. Armitage
(Reverse Fairytales, #4)
Publication date: June 19th 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales, Young Adult
You think you know the story of The Little Mermaid…

A tragic accident on the eve of her eighteenth birthday leads Princess Erica to a chance encounter with a mysterious man on the beach. When he turns up at her birthday party and whisks her off her feet, she knows she has to find out everything about him, but why won’t he speak and where does he keep disappearing to?

Ari knows he’s crossed a line by mingling with the land humans, but how can he resist the beautiful princess whose life he saved? He must decide whether to stay on land and become like her, or continue to live without her in the depths of the ocean.

Trapped in a centuries long battle between his kind and hers, his decision will rock both their kingdoms.

With a sea witch that needs repaying and the small matter of Erica’s engagement to someone else, Ari knows the odds are stacked against him.

Dark Water is the fourth in the Reverse Fairytale series and the first Little Mermaid retelling by USA Today bestselling author J.A.Armitage. Take everything you think you know about fairytales and turn it on its head.



EXCERPT:
CHAPTER ONE
“May God bless her and all who sail on her.”
I cleared my throat, hoping I’d said it correctly, and gripped the bottle of champagne, terrified of letting it go too early or, worse still, missing the ship entirely.
Beyond the ship, the ocean shimmered in the midday sun. Diamond-like sparkles of light bounced off the calm cerulean water—water that looked so inviting, I wanted nothing more than to jump in, to surrender to the balmy ripples. Of course, wanting it and doing it were two different things. First of all, I couldn’t swim, and secondly, my mother would pitch a fit if I took another step closer to the dock edge. She was already a bag of nerves from today’s event.
I looked behind me, needing reassurance from my parents. This was my first official royal engagement, and I was terrified of messing it up. My father beamed at me with pride while my mother gave me a thin smile. I could see the fear in her eyes although she was doing her best to hide it. I was amazed she’d come at all. The ocean positively terrified her. My father’s hand was almost white with how hard my mother was squeezing it. Next to them, my little brother, Anthony, was picking his nose and examining the treasure he found up there. Not for the first time I was reminded how fortunate it was that I was the first in line to the throne.
Beside me, my life-long best friend nudged me to let go of the bottle. Officially, his title was Sir Hayden Harrington-Blythe, but to me, he was just Hayden. He’d been my first crush since our first day in kindergarten when he’d pulled on my pigtails, and I’d stamped on his foot. Despite our unpromising start, over the years we’d turned into friends. My crush on him was long since over, and his pigtail pulling days were long gone, but somehow, our friendship had survived.
“You do know you are supposed to let go of the bottle right?” whispered Hayden in my ear. I gave him a look I only ever reserved for him and lifted the bottle. Letting go, I watched it swing on a length of string, arcing towards the majestic ship’s wooden hull. It made a tinkling sound as it smashed against the side of the ship, scattering glass all over the paved dock. I couldn’t help thinking it was a waste of good champagne and that it would be better served at the ball being held in honor of my birthday in a couple of days’ time. Still, I felt invigorated by the salty smell of the ocean, the atmosphere of a thousand happy people coming out to see the launch, and the fact that I now had a boat that bore my name. I was feeling as excited as I could hope to feel, second only to being allowed to actually go out on the damn thing.
The Erica Rose’s white sails flapped in the breeze below the official flag of Trifork as if she were eager to be off, out onto the ocean. I couldn’t blame her. To sail on the ocean was a lifelong dream of mine. Ever since I could remember, I’d looked out of my bedroom window toward the ocean and dreamed of the day that I’d be able to disappear beyond the rolling waves toward the horizon.
It was a dream that had never, and would never, be realized as long as my parents were in charge. For a kingdom so well-known for its naval and merchant vessels, my parents were ridiculously strict about letting me go near the ocean. This was the closest I’d gotten in the whole eighteen years of my life, and I had a full team of palace guards surrounding me, stopping me from taking one step closer to the water’s edge than I had to. It was all because of my mother, of course. My father might have been the one that ruled Trifork, but in the palace, my mother was the one that wore the pants, so to speak. If my mother said I couldn’t go near the ocean, then my father wasn’t going to argue with her. However, today was a special day, and not even my mother could come up with a good enough reason for us not to be here. She might have been absolutely petrified, but she was the queen, a duty she held above everything, even crippling panic.
Everybody clapped as the wooden ship began pulling up its anchor, its crew readying themselves to set sail.
I took a deep breath and inhaled the salty air. Above the excited chatter of the crowd, seagulls cawed to each other as they flew overhead looking for an easy snack. Oh, how I envied them and their freedom.
My father managed to extricate himself from my mother’s vice-like grip and joined me on the dock’s edge. My poor mother’s face turned even more ashen, and she had to grip a nearby railing instead to save herself from fainting. It was almost cruel, living so close to the ocean and being so frightened of it. I saw her eyes darting past my father and me to the ocean behind us as though it could somehow climb above the dock and swallow us whole. I don’t doubt it could on a stormy day, but today the skies were blue, and the sea was calm.
“We here in Trifork have a rich sailing heritage, one of which I am immensely proud,” began my father into the microphone that had been set up for the occasion. “Today is a big day for me, both as a king and a father. As you all know, my daughter, the princess Erica Rose, will turn eighteen in just two days’ time. Her first official engagement was supposed to be at the ball, but she begged me to be allowed to launch this ship. Being the dutiful father I am, I agreed.” He paused at this point waiting for a laugh. When he got it, he carried on. “This is my birthday gift to you, dear Erica. I know you’ve always had a fondness for the sea and so this ship not only bears your name but also belongs to you.”
I blinked a couple of times, unsure if what I was hearing was true. The ship was mine? I wasn’t allowed to dip my toes in the shallow waves at the beach, but I was allowed to own a ship?
I gazed up at the huge galleon. “She’s mine?” Hope rose in my chest that I might, for the first time in my life, be able to go out on the ocean. My parents had never so much as let me sail in a dinghy before now, let alone go on a ship.
“She’s all yours, sweetheart. As part of our fleet and a working ship, she will be taken out by her captain, Captain Jackson. But when she’s back in Trifork, you will be able to see her whenever you want.”
“See her?”
“Yes,” beamed my father, oblivious to the disappointment I was feeling. Only see her? I didn’t want a ship to look at. I’d spent my entire life watching the ships of Trifork sail in and out of the harbor. I wanted to sail to foreign lands, to feel the sea breeze upon my cheek. I wanted to know what it felt like to roll over the gentle waves with the vastness of the ocean the only thing in view.
My mother caught my disappointment though. She could read me like a book. An elegant woman with a sharp tongue and an even sharper sense of style, she swallowed her terror and took a few steps toward me, toward the ocean. She walked tall and calmly, but a slight tremor in her step gave her away.
“Aren’t you happy with your new ship?”
“Yes ma’am,” I lied. What was the point of having a ship if I wasn’t allowed on it?
She flicked her eyes past me, once again, toward the ocean. What was it she was looking for? Her eyes snapped back to me. “You know my feelings on you going near the sea, Erica. It’s a dangerous place. I nearly drowned when I was about your age.” She took my hand and pulled me a couple of steps toward her—away from the dock’s edge.
I’d heard the story a million times. Every time I even hinted at wanting to go near the sea, she’d dredge up the same story about how she nearly drowned when she was younger. I wasn’t in the mood to hear it again.
The ship was cast off, the gangplank raised. My ship was about to go on an adventure I could only dream of. The wind caught the sails and the majestic vessel began to move, her crew waving at us as she inched away from the dockside.
My father clapped me on the back, a beaming smile on his face. Even my mother, who usually had a face like a prune when it came to anything to do with water, had found her smile again. I glanced over at Hayden. He knew I was disappointed. I talked about nothing but the ocean with him. He loved the water as I did, but unlike me, he could go out onto it whenever he wanted. He even had his own boat. It was nowhere near as grand as the Erica Rose, but at least, he was allowed to sail in it.
He flicked his eyes almost imperceptibly towards the ship. I arched a brow.
“Do it,” he mouthed silently and cast his eyes towards the ship once again.
He wanted me to jump on the ship! He was actually daring me to do it. Thoughts of all the silly childhood pranks and adventures he’d led me into filled my mind. Hayden was the epitome of an irresistible bad idea. I followed his eye line to where the gangplank had been pulled up. The gate was still open, but it wouldn’t be for long. The ship was already a foot away from the dock and moving swiftly towards the open sea. I had seconds to make a decision.
My heart hammered, and adrenaline took over. Without thinking too hard, I ran from my parents, barged past the palace guards, and jumped as far as I could right off the dock. The ship had moved much faster than I’d anticipated, and I missed the gate by a long shot, and instead of landing on the ship, I plunged head first into the sea.
All I could hear were my mother’s screams as the water crowded in around me.
The water that had looked so warm and inviting when I’d been standing on the dock was actually a lot colder than I’d imagined, and as I scrambled for air, its icy grip took my breath away
Mouthfuls of briny water flowed into my mouth, causing me to choke as I tried desperately to keep above the water’s surface. In one terrifying instant, I realized what it was that my mother had been keeping me from for all these years. As I’d never been allowed in water deeper than a bath, I’d never learned how to swim. It occurred to me now that this wasn’t exactly my finest moment.
The dress I’d had picked out for me, a knee length cotton blue dress was perfect for looking smart and launching a ship. It was utterly useless as a floatation device. The heavy, waterlogged fabric weighed me down, making it even harder to try to keep my head above water.
Beside me, I heard a splash. I looked over to see a red and white life ring bobbing close by with a rope attached to it. On the other end of the rope, the Erica Rose’s crew shouted at me to grab hold. After I’d managed to pull myself through it, they heaved me up and pulled me over the side of the boat.
A group of worried faces peered down at me. One of the men reached a hand down to help me up. As I righted myself, my dress dripped ocean water all over the deck and tightened around me. I felt so uncomfortable in the soggy outfit, but when I saw how far from the dock we’d already moved, excitement flooded through me. The fear I’d felt just moments before dissolved, leaving me feeling exhilarated. I was on a ship for the first time in my life, and we were sailing away from the dock.
With giddy excitement, I gripped a railing. On the edge of the dock, my parents shouted and waved for us to come back. My heart fell as I caught the expression on my mother’s face. Her usual stern expression had contorted to one of absolute fear, and she wasn’t trying to hide it anymore. Her screams pierced the air, her usual stoic facade dropped completely as she tore at my father who was desperately trying to pull her back from the edge of the dock.
Her fear of falling into the ocean was obviously smaller than losing one of her children to it.
My stomach churned as I realized the severity of my actions. I’d only wanted to go out to sea. I didn’t want to hurt my mother in the process. I was going to be in the worst kind of trouble for this little stunt, and as we floated further and further out to sea, the more I realized that the adventure was not worth it.
Captain Jackson, a tall man with a perfectly groomed black mustache and oiled down hair greeted me with a salute. I’d never been saluted before. Bowed to and curtseyed aplenty, but a salute was new to me. I raised my hand and saluted back, unsure of the etiquette.
“I’m going to try to turn the ship back, your highness, but it may take a little time to adjust the sails. The wind is not optimal right now. There’s a squall coming, and I’d hoped to get far enough away to miss it.”
I glanced out to the horizon. The seamless blue sky was darkening, and the sea below it matched its threatening color. Where had that come from? Only seconds before, the weather had been as perfect as anyone could wish for.
“Yes, please turn around.” My heart dropped as I realized that my adventure was over before it had even started, and I’d gotten nothing out of it except to embarrass myself in front of thousands of onlookers and terrify my poor mother.
I looked back over to the shoreline. My parents and all the onlookers were barely dots on the horizon now. To my right, I could see the public beach to which people flocked in the summer months. Beyond that were magnificent white cliffs that I’d heard plenty about but never actually seen before as they were only visible from the sea. To my left, the coast was much rockier, and here was where the royal castle stood. Only a wide promenade separated the rocks from the castle. It looked so dark and imposing with its granite grey towers; I barely recognized it from this angle.
“Why don’t you go to my cabin and get changed out of those wet clothes. I’ll have one of my crew show you where it is.”
Captain Jackson swiveled on his toe and left me alone, feeling terrible. I’d not paused to consider the crew or the captain, and now they were going to have to abort their mission. I could chalk up a few more people to the list of those I’d disappointed. With a sigh, I walked to the other side of the deck to look out at the vast ocean. In the distance, the sea turned black and churned ominously almost as though that part of the ocean was alive and out to get us. It was a stark contrast to the crystal clear and calm water beneath the ship. Above me, the crew of the Erica Rose battled to maneuver the sails to turn us around.
“Your Royal Highness.”
I heard someone shouting at me above the wind that was now blustering fiercely. Lightning forked, splitting the sky in two, and the wind tugged my hair from the clip that had been keeping it in place. Strands of long red hair whipped around my face. I turned to see a young man heading toward me.
“I’m Joe, Your Highness, the second in command of the Erica Rose,” he said, giving me a quick bow. “The captain has asked me to escort you to his cabin.”
Joe was barely older than me, with short, dirty blond hair and a winning smile. I was surprised to see someone so young be the second in command of such a ship.
“It’s getting a little choppy,” Joe cautioned, his cheeks red as he took my hand. “They are going to struggle to get the ship back to shore. The forecast mentioned a little bit of turbulent water, but it looks to be shaping up to be a proper storm out there.”
I followed Joe to a big wooden doorway, which he opened for me and beckoned me inside. As I thanked him, a boom filled the darkening sky.
“Thunder,” Joe remarked, taking my hand and leading me down a corridor. I held on tightly to him as the ship listed violently to one side from the sharp turn of the wheel. He showed me to a large room with a writing desk on one side and a bed on the other.
“There will be some clothes in the wardrobe there,” he said, pointing to a small door. “I don’t expect the captain has any dresses, but I’m sure you’ll find something dry to wear.”
I watched the storm unfold through a small porthole as Joe left me to help the captain. It seemed no one was expecting the weather to be this bad and how could they? Only ten minutes earlier, there hadn’t been a cloud in the sky, and now there was barely any blue left, only the darkness of the sea and the sky. It was strange how quickly the storm had taken hold. I certainly had never seen anything like it before. Outside, the rain began to lash down, pitter-pattering on the round window. Thunder crashed as the waves became more intense with the roaring wind that whipped all around us. The storm had sneaked up on us quickly, and as far as I could see, we were getting further and further away from the coastline. Whatever Captain Jackson’s men were doing to turn the ship around, it wasn’t helping.
I hated admitting it to myself after dreaming of the day I could finally sail on the sea for so long, but I was beginning to get scared. My mother’s screams echoed in my head, although we had drifted too far to really hear her. The boat creaked with the strain, and from out of the window, I could see we were being pulled closer and closer toward the storm. A crash from behind me made me jump. I turned to find that some previously neatly stacked dishes had been flung from the cupboard and were now in hundreds of pieces on the floor. Holding on was almost impossible, the ship was lurching so much. I tried walking over to the wardrobe that Joe had pointed out, but the floor beneath me was rocking so much under the motion of the waves that I could barely stand at all. With a shock, I saw a stream of water pushing the remnants of the dishes across the floor. It was coming from the doorway. We were taking on water. I held on to the writing desk to keep myself upright, but the motion of the ship knocked me to the floor. Something sharp pierced my side, and when I looked down, I saw a sliver of broken plate had cut through my dress and into my flesh creating a bloom of fresh blood on the wet fabric.
I looked up to grab hold of the desk to pull myself back up and was shocked to see that the window was now partly submerged. We were sinking, and we were sinking fast. Pulling myself up, I ran to the door quickly. I had to get out, or I would drown. I yanked the door as hard as I could, and as it opened, a deluge of water rushed in knocking me over once again. The lights flickered out leaving me in complete darkness as the water engulfed me, sending me flying into something hard. Water filled my lungs as the blackness folded in around me, my mother’s warnings of the fierceness of the ocean echoing in my head.

Author Bio:
J.A lives in a total fantasy world (because reality is boring right?) When she’s not writing all the crazy fun in her head, she can be found eating cake, designing pretty pictures and hanging upside down from the tallest climbing frame in the local playground while her children look on in embarrassment. She’s travelled the world working as everything from a banana picker in Australia to a Pantomime clown, has climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and the bottom of the Grand Canyon and once gave birth to a surrogate baby for a friend of hers.

She spends way too much time gossiping on facebook and if you want to be part of her Reading Army, where you’ll get lots of freebies, exclusive sneak peeks and super secret sales, join up here

https://www.subscribepage.com/v7o8k4
Somehow she finds time to write.
Reviews for J.A.Armitage's work.

Endless Winter is a unique story that takes place in a beautiful world. J.A. Armitage's writing is lyrical and almost poetic. Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite
I devoured this book like a rich box of chocolates. Sara C Roethle

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The Flowerpot Witch by Wendy Steele - Book Tour + Giveaway

 
The Flowerpot Witch (A Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel Book 3)
Lizzie Martin has chosen pottery to be her new career…


But the teacher from hell threatens to thwart her ambitions before she starts.

She has support from her best friend Louise and Evan, another pottery tutor, but Rowan, her fifteen year old daughter is restless, Josh, her ex-husband is colluding with her aunt and though her mother is alive, access to her is forbidden. When The Morrigan appears in her sacred circle, Lizzie knows she has a battle on her hands.

There is hope though.

Stardust the chicken brings a new creature into Lizzie’s life and a long awaited meeting with her Aunt Matilda brings Lizzie’s past into perspective.

Lizzie’s magic ventures beyond The Sanctuary, into the Welsh landscape and the realms of the fae.


Excerpt

Lizzie knows her mother is alive, living in a nursing home near Machynlleth but visiting is under the strict control of her old boss, Edward Brown. Lizzie’s stepbrother, Jack, has been on reconnaissance, discovering a way for them to catch a glimpse of Elsa on the night of Imbolc by climbing up branches beside the walled enclosure of the home…


Lizzie feared the ferocity of her heartbeat would alert everyone in the house. She looked into her mother’s garden for the first time. There was only a wall and a few panes of glass between them. All was dark. Chinks of light peeped through almost drawn curtains in the top floor windows above, but there was nothing but blackness from Elsa’s rooms. Lizzie’s cheeks glowed, excitement fizzing her veins when a cloud sailed past the moon leaving a glorious shining crescent beaming into the garden and her dream became a reality. Arranged in a horseshoe around the doors into the garden were hundreds of flowerpots. Clusters of tiny pots nestled beside majestic earthenware, large enough to hide in. Few flowers were visible, unsurprising at this time of year, but Lizzie was certain she could make out the bowed heads of tiny snowdrops and the hint of a delicate primrose.
            A gloved hand sought hers and the sisters waited for a glimpse of the mother they didn’t remember. The chariot finally carried the sun beyond the realms of day in the northern hemisphere, silent darkness falling, a waterfall of space and time. In the black of night they waited, their extremities growing colder every minute, but no one spoke or complained, intent as they were on the doors to Elsa’s rooms.
            A curtain was pulled back, golden light washing the patio. A cloaked figure stepped onto the slabs, a basket on her arm. The outside light came on and there she was. Lizzie stifled the gasp rising from her throat at the sight of her mother, pushing back the hood of her dark green cloak to reveal a mass of auburn curls, trailing over her shoulders, topped with a circlet of white flowers.
            Another figure stepped into the garden.
Elsa turned quickly. “No! Go away!”
She pushed the figure back through the doors, pulling them shut. Into the ring of flowerpots she danced, her long white robe brushing the ground. She twirled and spun to the tune of the moon. Stars twinkled into view to her delight, her smiles evident to all peering over the wall.

 



Author Bio –
Wendy Steele is author, wise woman, goddess. She is writer, dance teacher, mother and healer.
Her passion is magic.
‘The Lilith Trilogy’ leads the reader along the paths of the witches Qabalah, following Angel Parson’s story of betrayal, retribution and redemption. Her magical story contains high magic as well as pagan ritual.
‘The Standing Stone Book Series’ focuses on the lives of three women linked together across time and space by the standing stone. The countryside is the focus of their magic, embracing the gods and goddesses, tree spirits, elves and fairies.
Her latest series, The Wendy Woo Witch Lit Series, begins with The Naked Witch. Lizzie Martin, receptionist, single mother and witch, is asked by her new boss to conform and embrace the corporate dress code. The reality of paisley to pin stripe, an unexpected stay in hospital, monitoring of her fourteen year old daughter’s latest crush, the search for the truth about her father’s death and two new men in her life, give Lizzie plenty of plates to spin. In the Orphan Witch, Lizzie is grieving while trying to find her real mother and the truth about her father and in the third book, The Flowerpot Witch, due to be published on 21st June, she embarks on a new career, thwarted at every step by those around her.

You can hear Wendy telling her short stories in Pan’s Grotto on her Welsh riverbank, on her YouTube channel, The Phoenix and the Dragon.
Wendy’s non-fiction title ‘Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles’ offers the reader 101 ideas to bring a smile to every day.
Wendy lives in Wales with her partner, Mike, and cats. If she’s not writing or teaching dance, you’ll find her renovating her house, clearing her land or sitting on her riverbank, breathing in the beauty of nature.

Social Media Links –
LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=216391838&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile
YouTube channel: The Phoenix and the Dragon

Giveaway – Win 3 x Paperback copies of The Flowerpot Witch (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.