Category Archives: Book Excerpt Posts

Book Excerpt Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories

Book Excerpt

From “Jodie’s Magic Balloon”

 

There was a stand with beautiful balloons of all colors and shapes. They were on long strings and floated high in the air.

Jodie grabbed her father’s hand and pulled him right to the stand. When the man selling the balloons saw her, he winked and said, “I have a special magic balloon just for you, Jodie.”

“How do you know my name?” she asked, surprised.

“I’m a magician,” he said. “And when I made this balloon, I saw it had instructions stating that it was only to be given to a little girl named Jodie.”

“But how did you know that was me?”

“Oh,” the magician said with a smile. “That was easy. The instructions also said I would recognize her because she has the tiniest nose you ever saw and the sweetest smile. As soon as I saw you, I know you were that person.”

The man gave Jodie a very large and beautiful balloon. It had every color of the rainbow and sparkled like gold in the sunlight.

“Oh,” said Jodie. “It”s beautiful. But why is this a magic balloon?”

The magician smiled again. “When you crawl inside this wonderful balloon, it will obey everything you ask it to do. Would you like to try it?”

“Oh, yes!” Jodie cried excitedly, and she crawled inside the balloon. “It’s very comfortable in here. Now what do I do?”

“Just tell the balloon to go anywhere you like,” answered the magician with another smile.

“Please take me high into the sky, even higher than the clouds” instructed Jodie.

About the Book

Title: Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories

Author: Bernard Ditchik

Genre: Children’s Books

These delightful tales are sure to help your little ones settle down and drift contentedly off to sleep.  Written by a grandfather for his own kids and grandchildren, these eighteen entertaining stories feature lots of talking animals, including a kangaroo who teaches a pony how to jump, a little bear who wants to play baseball, a coyote who learns to fly, a magic balloon that takes a little girl all the way to Japan and back, and some resourceful ants who build a swimming pool so they can play as well as work.  It’s full of positive images and plots that inspire creative solutions to various challenges.  A lovely read-aloud adventure the whole family will enjoy!

 

Author Bio

I didn’t begin my career as an author by writing stories. First, I was a storyteller. Let me explain. Many years ago, when our children were very young, I would sit on their beds at bedtime and tell them a story. Instead of reading a story written by someone else, I preferred to make up my own story right on the spot. They were stories about animals who learned to fly, children who talked to birds, alligators who were friends with elephants, and even one about a horse that learned to jump like a kangaroo. Our children loved them. So I made up lot of stories. Then there was a long period of time when there was no one who wanted to listen to my stories because they had all grown up!

But then, something wonderful happened. We had our first grandchild—and I became Grandpa Bernie. One day, one of my daughters said, “Dad, you have so many stories. I think other children would like to hear them.” That’s when I became an author.

At the age of 93, I am still playing tennis (doubles only) five times a week in a 60+ league. I have been married 64 years to my wonderful wife, Faigie, had three children, and five grandchildren. I continue to sit in my favorite chair, with a large pad on my lap, and a pen in my hand, lean back, and let my imagination soar.

 

Links

Red Sky Presents Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories

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Book Excerpt The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnigan

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The Lavender Line

“What’s your favorite color?”

Francesca asked Rich the all-important color question after she’d introduced herself and they’d risen from the leafy park grounds. The color question was Francesca’s favorite, along with, “Can you play?” Richard the hops-drinking vice president of something preferred, “What do you do?” or, “Where do you golf?” Sadly, this was the second-to-last time Rich would answer the color question, and so marked the beginning of the end for him. Once people stop asking you what your favorite color is, you’re done for.

Rich decided then and there his favorite color was something like her hair. “Blue,” he said. “You?”

“Red. Reminds me of my red friend, the esteemed Mr. Fox, of the Red Line.” Rich wasn’t sure who or what she meant by her red friend, the esteemed Mr. Fox, of the Red Line, but decided against any questioning on the subject. She might think it rude, or stupid—he wasn’t exactly sure what the word “esteemed” meant.

“Let’s see, blue and red, red and blue, blue and red,” Francesca thought aloud. “Mix those two, add a dash of stardust, and we have a lavender. That’s settled, tonight we’ll go for a Lavender Line ride.”

Here, Rich felt he should correct her. She could talk about esteemed foxes all she wanted, but when it came to city trains, he was the expert. His uncle was employed by the Chicago Transportation Authority in an important office job, and had educated him in all there was to know about city transportation. Rich was sure there was no Lavender Line. There were the Red, Orange, Purple, Green, Blue, Pink, and Yellow lines. Definitely no Lavender in there. Maybe she’d meant Purple.

About the Book

ftalechicago-cover-imageTitle: The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnegan

Author: Steve Wiley

Genre: Fantasy

“Did you know most anything that matters in this city was built by magic before it was built by men? Of course you didn’t. This city is different from other cities. The true history of it is unpublished. Lucky for you, I know it all by heart.”

~ Francesca Finnegan

In Chicago, a secret L train runs through the mythical East Side of the city. On that train, you’ll find a house-cat conductor, an alcoholic elf, a queen of the last city farm, the most curious wind, and an exceptional girl by the name of Francesca Finnegan.

When we first encounter Richard K. Lyons, he is a man who has long forgotten the one night, when he was still a boy called Rich, when Francesca invited him aboard the secret L for an adventure though the East Side. The night was a mad epic, complete with gravity-defying first kisses, mermaid overdoses, and princess rescues. Unfortunately for Rich, the night ended like one of those elusive dreams forgotten the moment you wake. Now, Rich is all grown up and out of childish adventures, an adult whose life is on the verge of ruin. It will take the rediscovery of his exploits with Francesca, and a reacquaintance with the boy he once was, to save him.

Author Bio

Steve is a father, husband, uncle, brother, friend, and purveyor of fairy stories. He grew up in and around Chicagoland, where he still lives with his wife and two kids. He has been published in an array of strange and serious places, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., to Crannóg magazine in Galway, Ireland. This is his first book. He has an undergraduate degree in something he has forgotten from Illinois State University and a graduate degree in something equally forgotten from DePaul University. You can email Steve at Lavenderlinepress@gmail.com, or visit thewileymancan on Instagram.

Illustrator Bio

Chris is an artist who studied at Columbia College Chicago. He is a Chicago native and has lived here all his life. Chris’s paintings have been showcased in many local galleries and beyond. When he feels like it, he travels elsewhere to find inspiration. You can reach him at Chris.cihon@gmail.com, or visit _ccihon on Instagram.

Links

Book Website: www.fairytalechicago.com

Facebook Page

Kirkus Review

Amazon

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Book Excerpt Sweet by Lisa Hahn

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Book Excerpt

A sharp knock sounded on the door, and Cat wondered who had come to complain to Simon about the part they’d been given. She’d been doing exactly that for six, long years.

Before Simon could respond, Dmitri Fedorov stepped into the room with a commanding presence and walked right past Cat as if she wasn’t even there. Normally, she’d be worried if the artistic director entered a room and didn’t acknowledge her. But this time, she wasn’t so concerned. It gave her the perfect opportunity to gawk at his tight ass in his worn jeans.

“How did everything go?” he asked in a deep, gravelly voice, forgoing a formal greeting and any pleasantries.

“Well enough.” Simon sat up straighter in his chair. A ballet god like Dmitri Fedorov wasn’t someone to be casual with, even if you were an assistant artistic director with a decent career of your own, like Simon. “They are pleased to have you on board, and they are anxious to start their season.”

Dmitri rested his cane against his leg and rubbed his palms together. “Hopefully they’re as eager to start as I am.”

“I’m sure they are.” Simon motioned to where Cat stood behind him. “In fact, Catherine came by to tell me how excited she is to tackle the role of Clara.”

At the mention of her name, Cat pried her eyes away from her new boss’s derriere just in time for him to turn around and face her. While she was careful to hide her appraisal of his body, Dmitri was not as shy. His gaze raked over her, examining her from the blunt tips of her pointe shoes to her brown hair wound into a neat bun. Self-consciously, she tugged at her powder blue wrap sweater.

She swallowed hard, feeling faint under his intense perusal.

“This Nutcracker is a very important show for me. It’s the start of my new career and my chance to prove myself.” He took a few steps toward her, stopping only a few inches from where she stood. “I’m counting on you.”

With that, he turned and left the room. Cat pulled her eyebrows together as she stared into his wake. Had Dmitri been sizing her up as a dancer or appreciating the way she looked in a leotard and tights? Was he trying to intimidate her with his “I’m counting on you” remark, or was he expressing the faith he had in her abilities?

About the Book

lh004-sweet-cover-v02-front-coverTitle: Sweet

Author: Lisa Hahn

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cat Brown spends the first six years of her career as one of the lowest-ranking members of the Bretton Falls Ballet. Despite the dancer’s undisputable talent, artistic director Lillian Smith insists Cat is too short for a leading role. When Lillian is forced to retire, world-renowned ballet dancer Dmitri Fedorov takes over and casts Cat as the premier performer in his first production with the company. Cat struggles to fend off a host of distractions as she prepares for the most important role of her career: the most insurmountable of which is her instant attraction to the new boss.

Dmitri, once known for his theatrical performances and womanizing proclivities, disappears into seclusion after a horrific car accident shatters his knee and renders him unable to dance. Looking to escape the constant reminders of how far he’s fallen, Dmitri escapes to Bretton Falls in hopes of elevating the small ballet company there to international prestige. The task proves to be more challenging than Dmitri had bargained for when his surprising interest in Cat Brown becomes fodder for gossip among the company.

Cat and Dmitri both have a lot riding on their upcoming production of The Nutcracker, knowing that their careers depend upon the outcome. However, the biggest challenge they face will be staying away from one another.

Author Bio

Lisa Hahn writes romance novels across multiple sub-genres. She’s interested in stories that take place in either small towns or strange worlds, and she strives to create honest, passionate characters her readers can relate to.

Currently, Lisa and her husband live in northern New Jersey with their two dogs (Jonas and Cassie) and their cat (Blueberry). When she’s not writing, Lisa can be found reading, practicing yoga, working out, watching professional wrestling, stitching a piece of embroidery, making/eating vegan food, and rooting for the Seattle Seahawks.

Links

www.bylisahahn.com

www.twitter.com/bylisahahn

www.facebook.com/bylisahahn

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Book Excerpt Sunset Reads: Damian & Layla

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Book Excerpt

As she hurried to the back of the tent, a hand reached out for her and pulled her into the bushes. Before she could let out a scream, her mouth was covered and a deep voice whispered in her ear. “Don’t scream. It’s me.”

She immediately recognized Damian’s voice and more so the feel of his body pressed against her back. He slowly turned her to face him, all the while making sure to keep her in his embrace.

Layla looked up at him with wide eyes, “What are you doing here?” she breathed. “You scared the crap out of me!” She smacked him in the arm with her purse.

“What are you doing here?” he returned.

“I work here.”

“What?”

“I’m Sunset Reads’ new PR Director.”

His brow furrowed at her news, and then his eyes traveled lower, down her throat, over her collarbone, to the low-cut of the dress and the tempting view of her full breasts. He swallowed hard and it took everything in him not to take her deeper into the park and have his way with her.

“What the hell are you wearing?” His voice came out deep and husky.

She looked down at herself, and realized that Damian had a lovely view straight down her dress. She quickly squirmed out of his grasp and took a step back. “It’s called a dress, and stop looking at me like that!”

“Hey, it’s not my fault you look sexy as hell in that thing. It’s barely covering anything!”

Layla was grateful for the lack of light; that way Damian couldn’t see the bright blush on her cheeks. His eyes were all over her, but she secretly enjoyed the appreciation in them. It brought hot tingling sensations across her lower abdomen, and erased any semblance of Gus Schwartz’s dark leering glare.

She shook her head, trying to clear her lust-hazed thoughts and said slowly, “I asked you what you were doing here.”

He pressed a finger to her lips as a couple passed by and she stared at him with dark eyes. After a moment, he looked down at her. Seemingly distracted, he grazed her plump bottom lip with his thumb.

“I’m undercover,” he whispered.

A slight thrill ran up her spine and she looked around them into the dark night. “Are we in danger?”

“If Schwartz keeps staring at you like that he will be.”

“What do you care if he stares at me?”

“I care. I care a lot,” he said calmly but tightened his grip on her arms.

“You didn’t care for a whole year, Damian. What does it matter now?”

“Stay away from him, Layla, he’s not a good man.” He looked down at her once again, his eyes intense and his jaw held tight. After a long moment, he stepped around her preparing to leave.

“Wait!” she whispered, grabbing his arm.

He looked back at her, an eyebrow lifted, waiting.

She quickly released his arm. “Does William know about this?”

He shook his head. “No, and I prefer to keep it that way for now.”

“What? You have to tell him. He’s about to do business with him!”

She now had his full attention. “Are you sure?”

She nodded. “They were just talking about it. William wants Skyline to manage the technological advances at Sunset Reads. We’ve set up a meeting.”

We’ve?” he asked

“I’m the Director, Damian. Who else is going to be his contact if not me?”

Damian frowned. “I’ll talk with William, but you… I need you to remain as far away from Schwartz as possible.”

She looked behind her towards the party. “I had a feeling he couldn’t be trusted. Tell me,” she turned back to Damian, “what did he do?”

Damian shook his head, looking off into the distance as if in thought. “Nothing that can be proven yet, but I have a feeling he’s connected to someone big. Someone who can hurt William and Cristina.”

“Damian?”

He looked at her. “Just do your job and forget I was here.” He quickly went back to the party, leaving Layla alone.

“If you only knew how hard that is,” she whispered in the empty space.

About the Book

damian-layla-book-coverTitle: Sunset Reads: Damian & Layla

Author: D.C. Triana

Genre: Romantic Suspense

One year.

It’s been one year since Agent Damian Trent left for Washington without a word.

One year since he’s seen her beautiful face.

One year since he’s heard his name on her lips.

He’s been recently called back to New York City on assignment, to catch a criminal who’s trying to infiltrate Sunset Reads. The last thing he expects is to work side by side with the woman he turned his back on.

Having her close is an unwanted distraction that he’s more than willing to ignore, if only she wasn’t so damn tempting.

Everything seems under control, until a night of feverish passion has him abandoning all thoughts of reason. Now, he will do everything in his power to get her back, and even more so to protect her.

Layla Reece wants nothing to do with the man who left her a year ago.

The man who took her heart with him, leaving her broken.

After a year of trying to forget Damian Trent, she is finally ready to move on.

But trying to forget him becomes a tedious task when he suddenly reappears in her life.

Although she fights to stay away, his magnetism is too strong and she finds herself giving into the deep timbre of his voice, and the strength and safety of his arms.

Staying away from Damian turns out to be futile, especially when his kisses consume her and his heart shatters the walls she spent so much time building.

Finding herself in danger, she now has to turn to the only man she trusts to keep her safe, but can she trust him enough to give him her heart once again?

Author Bio

D.C. Triana is a new romance author and novelist. She was born in raised in New York  and is currently residing in Florida. Last March, Her dream of publishing a romance novel came true with, Sunset Reads: William & Cristina. The novel is currently holding a 4.5 star rating on Amazon as well as GoodReads. She is excited to announce her second novel in the series, Sunset Reads: Damian & Layla, releasing on December 26, 2016.

When she is not delving into her hopeless romantic thoughts, she is expanding her experiences and travelling around the world. She also will not miss an episode of the Walking Dead, has an obsession with Superman, and has watched Pride and Prejudice at least ten times. An avid fan of all types of music and dancing; she enjoys cuddling up with her puppy Obi, and helping new authors like herself. You can visit her at http://www.dctriana/com, or be part of her newsletter where you can take part in giveaways, receive updates on upcoming storylines, and get reviews on hot new titles. Sign up for her Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bXH-P9

 

Links

Amazon

YouTube Channel

Newsletter Signup

Website

Twitter: @DCTriana1

Goodreads

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Book Excerpt Fool Me Twice

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Book Excerpt

Now came the tricky part—the buttons. Thankfully, the Lord had blessed Angelica with a particularly long set of fingers and, despite the tiniest of buttons and the difficult positioning on the inside of her petticoat, she soon had the compartment undone. She folded the notes and laid them flat in the pocket so that they would lie unseen against her body for the journey home.

She was just fastening the last button when she heard the door open. Her raven-haired head shot up, and her large eyes darted in the direction of the intruder. No one had ever entered when she had been in here alone before. What was Mr. Russell thinking? He always left her in peace until she left of her own accord.

So shocked was she, she failed to remove her foot from its perch on the bookshelf and cover herself before a gentleman entered—a gentleman that was not Mr. Russell. At least, that is if you could call the man who entered a gentleman at all. The man in question practically fell into the room, sloshing the tankard of ale in his hand and taking more than a few seconds to find his footing.

Angelica watched with horrified fascination as the tousled hair escaping the pathetic ribbon at the back of his neck flicked up and down while he gained his balance. For a moment she wondered if he would merely stumble back out again, quite unaware of her presence. But fortune would not smile upon Angelica a second time tonight.

In spite of his graceless entrance and obvious inebriation, the man’s eyes were exceedingly quick. As he righted himself, they made contact with a heeled shoe, a pleasingly long leg beneath the flimsiest of materials, and a gathering of skirts. His eyes continued their journey upwards, over her bodice, her neck, and then they stilled at those indefinable blue eyes.

In the odd pause that followed, a cat-like smile slowly unfurled across the young man’s face. Angelica threw down her skirts and stepped back.

“I say…” was all the gentleman offered. He half-raised the tankard as if in salute, and Angelica could only be thankful that he had knocked the door shut during his imbalance. Or was she thankful? She took another step back, hitting the paneling of the wall.

She did not recognize the man, but he was undeniably handsome. Aware that she was looking him over, his boyish face gained a mischievousness. His green eyes twinkled merrily at her, lingering—to her utter infuriation—on her lips. He stumbled towards a book-lined wall and rested an unsteady elbow upon one of the shelves, leaning jauntily on one leg and most clearly making himself at home.

“I say…” he repeated himself, but he did not move towards her as Angelica had feared.

Her wits finally returning, she put some ice into her stare. “You say what, sir?”

About the Book

fool-me-twice-philippa-jane-keyworthTitle: Fool Me Twice

Author: Philippa Jane Keyworth

Genre: Historical Romance

In the gaming hells of eighteenth century London, orphan Caro Worth is leading a double life. By day she plays a proper gentlewoman on the lookout for a wealthy husband. By night she plays the infamous Angelica, her fictional half-sister with a talent for cards and an ability to finance the life her respectable self has built. An introduction to a rich Marquis brings marriage and security within Caro’s grasp…until the arrival of the unpredictable and totally ineligible Mr. Tobias Felton.

Dismayed by Felton’s persistent appearances, shocking frankness, and enigmatic green eyes, Caro watches helplessly as he comes closer than anyone to guessing her secret, but when complete and utter ruin threatens, she finds that Felton’s suspicions just might become her salvation. As the walls she has built to protect herself crumble down around her, Caro learns that no matter how careful your plans, life and love have a habit of falling quite spectacularly out of control!

 

Author Bio

author-pic-keyworthPhilippa Jane Keyworth, known to her friends as Pip, has been writing since she was twelve in every notebook she could find. Originally trained as a horse-riding instructor, Philippa went on to become a copywriter before beginning a degree in History. A born again Christian, Philippa lives in the south of England with her handsome husband.

Philippa has always written stories and believes that, since it is one of her loves and passions, she always will. In her early writing career, she dabbled in a variety of genres, but it was the encouragement of a friend to watch a film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that began her love affair with the British Regency. Since then, she has watched every Regency film and TV series she could get her hands on and become well acquainted with Georgette Heyer’s novels which gave her the inspiration to write her own.

Both as a reader and a writer, Philippa believes it is important to escape into a world you yourself would want to live in. This is why she writes stories that will draw you into the characters’ joys and heartaches in a world apart from our own. Her debut novel, The Widow’s Redeemer (Madison Street Publishing, 2012), is a traditional Regency romance bringing to life the romance between a young widow with an indomitable spirit and a wealthy viscount with an unsavory reputation. The novel has been received well by readers and reviewers who have praised the heartfelt story and admirable characters. Her second novel, The Unexpected Earl (Madison Street Publishing, 2014), explores another romance in the Regency era when an impetuous young woman has her life turned upside down by the reappearance of the earl who jilted her six years ago. Her third novel, Fool Me Twice (Madison Street Publishing, 2016), is a Georgian romance that has just been released.

So, what are you waiting for? Get swept away into another time with characters you will learn to love, and experience Britain in the 18th century and Regency like never before.

Links

Amazon

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Book Excerpt Dragon’s Treasure

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Book Excerpt

Magnus’ men waited for her answer, witnessing for the first time someone turning their prince down, wondering if she was even aware he was a prince. Would it really make a difference?

Olivia’s hands trembled as she pushed a still-damp curl behind her ear. The gazes, the question, their presence weighed down on her, coiling around her neck, tightening, as if she were dealing herself her own sentence.

Casting a wary glance around, Olivia said, “Maybe I should just call for my brothers.”

“No need, Princess. I can send my men to look for them. We would not want to attract the monster’s attention, would we? Did I forget to mention it was a dragon?”

When Magnus mentioned the dragon, recognition lit Olivia’s eyes. It didn’t escape his notice.

“Oh my,” he said. “You do know about the dragon.”

Olivia froze, her body locked up.

“Where is it?” Magnus clenched his fists, blue eyes ablaze with cold fire.

“My brother…” Olivia said and then screamed, “KADEN!”

The dragon’s name echoed throughout the forest, bouncing on the wind.

The knights raised their swords and drew closer to Magnus. Charlie stayed hidden in the trees near Theo and Damien, who took up the rear of Magnus’s guard.

“STOP!” Magnus’s voice boomed. While everyone stood frozen, he listened.

When he didn’t hear anyone approaching, he took a step closer towards Olivia.

“Please stop!” Olivia panted, panic mingling with her breath, eyes watering with tears. “KADEN!” She called for her dragon again. She took another step back and slipped on moss-covered rocks. Grasping a stone, she scrambled to her feet and threatened Magnus, “Do not come any closer.”

Magnus laughed. The woman pulled her hand back and threw the rock at the unsuspecting man. Magnus flinched and stopped laughing. Everyone held their breath. He touched his forehead, fingers coating in blood. The crimson liquid slid over his right eyebrow, dripping down his lashes onto his cheek. As the first drop landed on his sparkling armor, he narrowed his eyes at Ophelia.

Olivia retreated again and Magnus stalked closer, faster with every step he took towards her. She pondered picking up more rocks, but there were too many men and she couldn’t face them all… at all, armed and armored men. Ankle deep in the water, she turned around and plodded deeper, picking up the skirt of her dress, heading for the other side. Surely their armor will slow them down.

Magnus chased after her, his men following close behind him.

A roar resounded above.

Fire exploded in front of Magnus. The blast threw him back, away from Olivia, and he skidded on the grass, covering his face with his hands.

The dragon had come.

About the Book

zmaj-v92Title: Dragon’s Treasure

Author: Maya Starling

Genre: NA Fantasy

“She was the girl who longed for the freedom of the dragon, and he was the dragon who longed to be a man.”

A heroine reclaiming her fate. A dragon with a secret. A prince on a quest.

Olivia flees to the forest seeking freedom from her family’s demands. She finds refuge in a cave, only to discover it is a dragon’s lair. The dragon, Kaden, is not the monster she first thinks him to be. After overcoming her initial fright – of not being eaten – Olivia discovers that the dragon has a gentle heart.

Kaden is resigned to loneliness after centuries of wandering the lands. Meeting Olivia brings joy to his solitary life, and never has he dreamed that a young woman would be the one to start the change in him.

A storm brews on the horizon.

A prince with a handsome face and a cruel heart is on a quest to slay the dragon, and take the throne. He will do whatever it takes to have what he believes is his to own. And now, he has his eyes set on the pretty little maiden from the forest. He will make her his Queen, whether she wants it or not.

Author Bio

Maya Starling is a writer, a geek, an animal lover and a gamer. She has lived the life of a magus, an oracle, a goth mortician, a star wars rebel. She has led many lives, sitting at a table, and rolling those dice away.

In reality, she lives with her wife and their adorable little boy, and of course two rescue cats, in a small country of Croatia. Reading and writing are her passion, so you will often find her typing away a new novel or a new short story, or eyes glued to the screen of her phone or a page of a book.

Links

https://www.facebook.com/StarlingMaya/

Twitter: @MayaStarling

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Book Excerpt The Blue Witch

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Book Excerpt

The lake glowed, and in the air, there was a strong odor of roses. The scent was so intense it brought tears to Alex’s eyes. All at once, a woman leapt out of the water, seating herself in the fog as if she sat on a chair. Her long red hair flowed down her shoulders to her waist like a river of fire, and her silver gown shimmered with a light of its own in a rainbow of colors. Alex gasped when she realized the gown wasn’t a gown at all, and the shimmering didn’t come from sequins or beads, but from iridescent fish scales on her body. The woman had no feet, only the tail of a fish—she was a mermaid.

Then, the man she’d healed rose. “We found the Blue Witch, my lady,” he spoke in Elf and then, rambled on in his native language.

            “Excellent. Thank you, my friends.” The woman nodded with a wide smile and waved her hand at them. As they backed away, she leaned towards Alex. “Are you the one they call the Black Elf?”

Alex gasped—her heart pounding in her ears. She hated that nickname. “Yes, but who are you?”

            “I’m Rosella, the Sea Sprite of Avalon.”

            “A Sea Sprite? But the sea isn’t even close to here.”

            “They drained it away years ago, but the King had this lake made for me so I could stay close to him. He loves me.”

            “Why do these men think I’m the Blue Witch?”

            “How else could I explain that you were a young Water Elf with blue hair in your ears?” Rosella rolled her eyes. “Thank you for freeing my friends from that terrible prison. My good friend, Idwal, said you healed his broken leg. I’m impressed.”

           Alex screamed; something jumped into her arms; her heart pounded, but it turned out to be Tap, a Pixie Elf and the nephew of Root, her father’s old friend. She carried him easily; he was no larger than a toddler, even though he was full grown. He was the opportunity she was waiting for. He could help her return to Eledon to search for the Holy Grail.

            “Tap, what are you doing here?” Alex asked.

“Lord Ashur sent me to find you, so I asked Rosella for help. She belongs to the Water Elves, like you.” Tap’s smile lit up his face, and he doffed his hat in a salute.

“Why did Lord Ashur send you?” Alex turned her head to the sound of horses. “Soldiers…we have to leave.”

“Black Elf,” Rosella said. “I’ll clear a path for you.”

“Which way?” Alex turned around, disoriented.

“This way.” Tap leapt out of her arms and ran down the only clear path in the fog.

About the Book

blue witch 1 jpeg (1)Title: The Blue Witch

Author: Joni Parker

Genre: Fantasy

Under the rule of King Arthur, Alex finds the mortal world far from what she’d imagined, and the mortals are less than hospitable.  Accused of being the “Blue Witch,” Alex is sentenced to die for treason and has been implicated in the mysterious death of one of Arthur’s noblemen by seemingly magical means.  With help from unexpected sources, she escapes and returns to Eledon, where civil unrest and the threat of war looms.  Alex resumes her responsibilities as Keeper of the Keys for the Council of Elders, but must execute a series of quests to prove her abilities to handle the magical Keys of Eledon.  But are her efforts enough to save the Elves from Civil War? And can she commute her own death sentence by finding the Holy Grail?

Author Bio

orig_27374_025Born in Chicago, Illinois, Joni’s a city-girl, raised in the heart of the city.  So, when her first grade class took a field trip to the Museum of Science and Technology, she was fascinated by the chicken farm where there were live chickens and chicks hatching from eggs under a light.  Like the other students in class, she wrote a report, but hers was selected to be in the school newspaper.  Her first published article!  Joni’s writing continued with short stories until the eighth grade in Phoenix, Arizona when she won second prize in a short story contest and an honorable mention for a poem.  After that, she developed a writer’s block and couldn’t write another short story or poem for the next 45 years.  Talk about a writer’s block!  Now, it seems she can’t stop writing and has retired from work to write.  “The Blue Witch” is her fifth published novel and the second book in “The Chronicles of Eledon” series.

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Website/blog:  http://www.theblackelf.com

Book Trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teYsqOs0yjI&feature=autoplay&list=HL1343068571&playnext=3

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