Love at the Edge of Seventeen YA #Romance Anthology on @Kickstarter

Kickstarter Header_Love at the Edge of Seventeen

An author friend of mine will have her story published in a ya romance anthology, Love at the Edge of Seventeen. The publisher who will publish the anthology in April 2018, is using Kickstarter as a pre-order platform. Back up the authors by pre-ordering the anthology here.

I have to say I like the design of the banner and the book cover of the previous anthology.

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#inkripples Finishing that novel! #NaNoWriMo2017

#Inkripples is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the first Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.

It’s only the 3rd of November and it has already been one of the more exciting months this year. Two days ago, my romance novella, Romancing the Princess, was published as part of the Can’t Buy Me Love box set. I’m finishing revisions on another novel (non-romance), plus NaNoWriMo started! I imagine the topic for this month’s inkripples was chosen deliberately, with NaNoWriMo in mind.

I tried NaNoWriMo twice before, once successfully (the novel I’m now revising) and once not so much. This year, I’m well ahead with the word count and unless something downright shocking happens I’m confident I’ll finish the novel. I got the idea for the novel only a couple of months ago but I really ‘feel’ the characters and I have an urge to keep writing way past the required daily word count.

Amongst my reader friends, I’m known as someone who never gives up on a book. It has only happened a handful of times that I didn’t finish reading a book because it was so terrible. I’m like that when it comes to writing, too. When I get an idea and the characters start to reveal themselves to me, I’ll write like a woman possessed. My biggest problem is not finishing the novel, it’s retaining my interest long enough to go back to the story and edit it until it’s publishable.

Handpicked Bridie HallAn additional incentive to finish this year’s NaNoWriMo is also the cover for my novel which was designed by the super talented Eva Talia. I mean, looked at that? How could I not finish the story when I have this beauty to look at? It captures the essence of the love story, the vineyards as the setting, the guarded main character and the charmer who swoops in and shatters her protective walls.

My fingers itch the wrap up this post and open the file with the novel and start typing. 😉

 

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Publication day #CantBuyMeLove #romance

Guess what? Today is publication day for Can’t Buy Me Love box set!

Buy a copy on Amazon

Or add it to your to-read list on Goodreads

CBML Final
Seven romantic tales of love where royalty, celebrities, and passion meet. A case of mistaken identity, protecting the one you love, or proving you aren’t all about the money…these tales will entice and thrill.

A Royal Pain by Abigail Drake

Getting shot in the bottom saving a visiting royal turns out to be the best thing to happen to, impoverished socialite, Chloe Burkhart in a long time, especially when the prince’s very handsome, very sexy bodyguard, Nicolai, comes to her aid.

Caught by Him by Tammy Mannersly

Blockbuster movie actor, Brody Nash doesn’t quite know what to make of the gorgeous woman precariously perched on his neighbor’s gate, but as they start to get to know each other better, he begins to wonder if she might just be the one for him.

Romancing the Princess by Bridie Hall

A commoner, Sebastian, and Princess Alixandra are set to get married until he begins to wonder if fitting in with royalty is worth sacrificing his principles. Love rules all. Or does it?

All My Memories by Grea Warner

The possibility of reconnecting with an unrequited love leads country music star Finn Murphy on a journey of memories in this special prequel to the Country Roads series.

Me and Tillie by Lisa Hahn

1950s musical film star Oren Cooper returns to Broadway to find new inspiration. Unexpectedly, that inspiration comes in the form of Tillie Parker—his childhood friend’s little sister and an up-and-coming ingénue.

Defending Demma by Melissa Kay Clarke

When faced with an unsavory past, can Demma St. John, rising new starlet, trust ex-Marine Ryker “Digger” McMillan with her secrets and her heart?

His Royal Typeface by Stephanie Keyes

When all is lost, love can be found. Will Prince Asher Tarrington’s unique font design be enough to salvage a royal family and set the tone for true love?

 

I hope you enjoy all the romance in this box set. I’d love to hear what you think of the stories. If anyone is interested, I have review copies, just drop me a line below or on my contact page.

Here’s to Campfires and S’mores by Brooke Moss

Brooke Moss has a new romance novel out. The cover looks gorgeous and the blurb is intriguing. I have a short excerpt below. Do read it, it’s full of emotions and promises a great book.
book cover

Sparks flew the moment fifteen-year-old Molly Kaff and Jamie Burnham locked eyes across the dusty Camp Chimalis parking lot. From that moment, they were undeniably and irrevocably in love.

Until they weren’t.

Months after the demise of their fifteen-and-a-half-year marriage, a mutual friend from those treasured summers at camp dies, rattling their tight circle of friends to the core. Her dying request? Bring everyone back to camp one last time.

Returning proves more emotional than Molly expected. Sweltering heat in un-air-conditioned cabins is just the tip of the iceberg. Memories, both delightful and dispiriting, press down on Molly as she grapples with the momentous grief from the loss of her friend…and her husband.

Trying to honor her wishes with the ex hanging around is one thing, but being stuck in the woods with no cell service and years’ worth of hurt and resentment is another. As Molly tries to navigate her way through the heartache, she starts to wonder if she was wrong about the reasons behind her failed marriage. And if maybe her friend orchestrated their Chimalis homecoming from beyond…

Can a few evenings sitting by the campfire eating s’mores be the salve her battered heart needs to finally move on?

Excerpt
I fumbled for the handle to the janitorial closet door, my palm slipping on the cold metal. When I finally managed to push it open, I stumbled in and slammed it shut behind me. The motion sensor light popped on, and I made a beeline for the utility sink in the corner. I retched up every bite of the chicken salad I ate for lunch, as well as the four cups of coffee I downed since my shift started. When my stomach was empty, I hung limply over the side of the metal basin. With one last feeble gag, I choked on a sob, burying my face in the crook of my arm to muffle the sounds.
“Oh, Bree, no. Not yet. Not yet…” I moaned into the fabric of my scrubs. I’d chosen the purple pair with little grey hearts. Purple was Bree’s favorite color, or had been, when we were teens and coordinated our outfits. Had fate stepped in and helped me pick those stupid purple scrubs? Could she see me wearing them now? Was she watching me barf all over a mop head in the filthy sink?
With a jolt, I stood upright and scanned the tiny four by six-foot space with wide, blurry eyes. “Bree?” I whispered at nothing. “You were supposed to wait for me.” Another whimper escaped, and I clamped my hand over my mouth. She joked last time I saw her, even with oxygen tubes in her nose, and sallow, greyish skin, that she wouldn’t dare croak without me being present. We sealed the promise with a pinky swear, which was the ultimate in contractual agreements between friends who’d known each other since before puberty.
When she was diagnosed with cancer at four months pregnant with the twins she and her husband Zane had so lovingly prayed for, she also promised to kick cancer’s ass and make it cry for its mama. Unfortunately, cancer had kicked Bree’s butt, and by the time she had the twins, her body was so ravaged and unhealthy, it was a miracle Max and Maddie were born pink, plump, and healthy. But Bree hadn’t cared. She’d been in her oncologist’s office three weeks later, demanding she help her combat the disease full force. She announced she wasn’t going out without a fight, that she wasn’t leaving her children.
While her new role as mommy had rescued her heart from despair, it hadn’t rescued her body from illness. The cancer metastasized, spreading to her colon and eventually her lungs. She did chemo and radiation, traveled to Seattle to stay with April’s family while trying experimental drugs, and even went to a healing shaman that Rachael swore cured her IBS. But the desperate measures weren’t enough.
By the time the twins had their first birthday, she was in a wheelchair, unable to bear her own weight. Because of her intravenous nutrition, Bree’s teeth started to decay. She was a ghost of the vibrant, confident, barefooted girl who forced me to get over my crippling homesickness at Camp Chimalis. She wasted away right in front of our eyes.
I sank to the floor of the janitorial closet, ignoring when something dampened my butt. Placing my head in my hands, I wept for the missed opportunity to hug Bree one last time, for the friend I would never see again, for the sweet parents who outlived their adult child, for the adoring husband she left behind, and for those two magnificent children she fought so desperately to live for…
I had to call April. And Rachael. And I had to call Sue back. Oh, lord, that was a call I wasn’t looking forward to. I wondered if Jamie knew. He knew Bree almost as well as I did. Would Sue have thought to call him, too? Surely Zane would’ve asked someone…
I don’t know how long I sat on the floor, my shoulders shaking, hiccups the only sound besides the overhead speakers in the hallway, paging doctors every five or six minutes. But when the door opened a crack, and cool air filtered in, I shivered.

Brooke was kind enough to answer a few questions about her writing life and about this book.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Usually about 4 to 6 months, but this most recent book was 3 years in the making. We lost a daughter, then moved abroad for my husband’s work, and I simply lost my writing mojo after that. It took until last spring to come back, and then I wrote Here’s to Campfires and S’mores in about 5 months.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I write while my children are in school, so about 6 to 7 hours of writing time per day, though I balance that with real life at the same time. So between laundry, house cleaning, working on promo, etc, for my books, and doing errands out of the home, I would say I get 3 or 4 hours of solid writing (when my muse cooperates) a day.

What is the first book that made you cry?

Charlotte’s Web. Oh, so sweet! But most recently I wept while I read John Corey Whaley’s Where Things Come Back. I was on a long flight from America to South Korea and I read the whole book in one sitting, and it just got me right in all the feels. So good.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both! When I am cranking out the words and really feeling my characters, it pumps me up, and I feel hyper and excited to keep writing. Other times, though, it can be draining, depending on how personal the material is. When I was writing Here’s to Campfires and S’mores I found the material draining, because there is a lot of talk about infertility, and I had to draw from some of the experiences some friends have had, and that was emotionally draining. But when I wrote the flashback scenes from 1994, I found myself feeling really excited, because I could tap into my own teenage experiences.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Television. I tend to turn on the Real Housewives when I’m writing, and when that happens, all bets are off. I won’t get anything done, except having Tweeted about how rude Vicki is, or how drunk Brandi acted. It’s very time sucking.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Pour your heart onto the page, and edit it later. If you edit as you go, you’ll have a dry, state book. If you put your everything into it from the beginning, you’ll have plenty to work with. It’s always easier to scale back than to add to later.

What does literary success look like to you?

Making a regular wage and having readers who put me on their “auto-buy” list. It would be lovely to see my books made into a movie someday, as well, though I always feel like that’s a pipe dream. We’ll see…..

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I usually start writing, and stop to do research as I go. I find that if I don’t do the two things in a parallel manner, I’ll take a year or longer to plan, then lose interest in writing the actual book before I’ve even started chapter one. So I try to do both at the same time.

What was your hardest scene to write?

Probably the scene where Molly finds out Bree (her BFF from childhood) has died. It was very emotional and trying to write. I’ll admit…I teared up!

Can’t Buy Me Love

CBML Final

Less than a month till Can’t Buy Me Love is out! Pre-order it here.

Seven romantic tales of love where royalty, celebrities, and passion meet. A case of mistaken identity, protecting the one you love, or proving you aren’t all about the money…these tales will entice and thrill.

Read stories by Abigal Drake, Lisa Hahn, Grea Warner, Tammy Mannersly, Melissa Kay Clarke, Stephanie Keyes and me.

Here’s an excerpt from my story Romancing the Princess.

Love rules all. Or does it?

A commoner, Sebastian, and Princess Alixandra are in love and set to get married until a clause in the prenup rubs Seb the wrong way and he stuns Alix by vanishing from the palace just a day before the wedding. He is not sure fitting in with royalty is worth sacrificing his principles but he could lose the love of his life otherwise. The choice seems impossible.

 

Excerpt

Usually, he left before the morning shed light on the consequences of his actions. This time, his insides squeezed at the thought he’d never get to wake up next to Alix again. It wasn’t fair.

“It’s been …” Alix glanced at him and then dropped her gaze. “Well, I need to go through the customs. Boarding will start in half an hour.” Her voice was croaky. It pained him that he couldn’t tell whether from fatigue or emotion.

She leaned into him, soft and supple, and it took his breath away. His arms came around her reflexively. Her bed hair was a stark reminder of what they’d been doing minutes before calling a taxi to take them to the airport.

“This was real, right? I didn’t just dream it?” Seb said.

He couldn’t quite catch what she murmured into his chest.

“I’ll miss you,” he blurted.

She looked up, opening her mouth, but then she pressed her lips together and dropped her gaze to his chest. He forced her face up with his finger under her chin. He kissed her forehead, her cheek and eyelids, her chin and lips, and felt the bitter taste of goodbye intruding on their intimacy.

His mouth on hers seemed to have unlocked something in her because she finally whispered, “I’ll miss you, too.”

When she stepped away, he reached to push a strand of her hair from her face, but her eyes—miserable and dark—flitted to his for a second and then she was gone, walking away from him, and then running, her purse swaying from her shoulder behind her.

Enchanter by Kristy Centeno Cover reveal

Enchanter (The Giver of Life Trilogy #1)

By Kristy Centeno

ISBN: 978-1-945910-18-0

Pre-order:

Kobo

Amazon

Enchanter.v2

 

They have a past. But will they have a future?

Leah Parker is resilient and hardworking. She’d always prided herself in maintaining a level head, even under pressure. Everything changes when she begins to see strange apparitions and hear ghostly voices on the morning of her birthday.

In a blink of the eyes, Leah’s life takes a drastic turn that spirals her into the unknown. Something is out to get her, but she’s unsure if she’s losing her mind, or the faces and demands of the dead are real. Unable to find the answers she needs, she has no choice but to rely on ex-best friend, Brandon Morris, for help.

But as she will soon discover, Brandon has his own secrets. Some of which defy logic and only add to the mystery surrounding Leah. And mix feelings between the two complicate matters by getting in the way of what they really want, and what they must do.

Can Brandon lighten the load on her by figuring out what or who wants her dead? Or will their past history get in the way of the storm brewing just beyond Leah’s grasp?

 

Excerpt

“Are you scared of me? Is that it?” As if to make a point, he covered the distance between us in three short steps, and backed me off into the landing to the stairwell behind me, stopping only when our bodies were a few inches from coming into physical contact. The invigorating scent of his cologne invaded my nostrils, causing my mind to go into total and complete turmoil.

I shut down, unsure how to react. I hadn’t anticipated being cornered in a vulnerable spot where we were shielded from view. Normally, I was a sucker for guys who smelled as good as he did, but this was Brandon Morris. I couldn’t decide whether to lean closer and inhale slowly, or scream and push him away.

“Are you?”

I wanted to deny his accusation, but he could see the truth in my eyes. It was pointless to pretend as if he hadn’t just sent my heart into a race. By then he could see how badly I shook. I could not disguise it fast enough for him not to notice.

“Should I be?” I asked softly, fear forcing my voice to quake.

 

About the Author

Kristy Centeno is the author of the Secrets of the Moon saga and Keeper Witches series.

She has always had a passion for books and after years of being an avid reader, she decided to transform her desire to write into a reality and thus, her first novel was born. When she’s not busy taking care of her five children or holding down the fort, she finds time to sit and do what she loves the most: writing.

Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads Blog Amazon Pinterest

 

 

Beyond Fate by Susan V. Vaughn

Beyond FateBeyond Fate

by Susan V. Vaughn

ISBN: ebook: 978-1-945910-11-1

Print: 978-1-945910-12-8

Buy Links:

Amazon

Kobo

 

Blurb:

Years of separation mean nothing when love is in the air…

Julia Diaz never wanted to fall for her friend’s older brother, especially at a college frat party. But, for some reason, her heart was stolen by Russell that night. Eight years after, she never forgot him. Now destiny has brought them together. Only this time Russell is no longer a boy. He’s a man who knows what he wants and will not be denied.

Russell Webb used to be optimistic, and fun loving until a family tragedy turned his world on its side. Putting all his focus on work, he picked himself back up, and managed to turn his grief into something resembling a life. When a woman from his past reappears, and gives him a glimpse of true happiness, he’ll do anything to secure her heart. Even face the darkness he has avoided for so long.

 

Excerpt

“You’re not going anywhere.” He tightened his arms. The thought of her leaving made him feel desperate.

Her smile broadened. “I have to.”

“Nope.”

“Yes, Russ.”

“Sorry, Julia.” He leaned in, inhaling her sweet, jasmine scent. “You are going to have to live here now.”

She laughed loudly at his suggestion. The sound was deep, sexy, and marvelous.

“What? You don’t want to live with twenty smelly, grown men?”

She wiped her eyes, shaking her head no.

“Well, maybe I should take you back to the library bathroom, until you change your mind.”

She broke out of his arms. “Do it and die.”

He grabbed her back to him in a hurry, not ready to throw in the towel.

“Stop distracting me.” She cupped his face in her hands, and moved closer to him. “I’m here to offer you a reward.”

“What’s my reward?” He felt his body tighten with need as the curves of her full chest pushed against his shirt. She looked up at him, her eyes dancing hazel, this time, with desire.

“This.” She pressed her answer against his lips, and then he could no longer feel his toes.

The kiss was slow, murderously slow. Her lips were soft, silky, and warm. She tasted tantalizing and delicious. He groaned, pulling her closer, sinking into her. She met him, opening her mouth for his tongue, pressing their bodies together. The moment of sweet was over, and suddenly the kiss became desperate, hot, and sensual. He ran his hands down her waist, and she licked his lower lip, before sucking it in.

He pulled his lips away, to drag them down her neck. “I want you.”

“I know.” She sighed, pushing out of his arms. “But not here.”

Valentine romance

Valentine Day is D Day for Valentine Kisses. It’s out in the world now, and the feeling is pretty great. To celebrate, we’re having a Facebook party tonight. Come join us. We’ll have fun and there will be giveaways!valentinekisses-v2-1

Some wonderful reviews have already come in for the anthology.

An Anthological Triumph! Even if you have a partner to kiss on Valentine’s Day, this anthology of love will melt your heart! (Tracy at Sourpussreviews)

I was surprised when I turned the last page! I was hoping for more. (T.Longo)

Each author did an exquisite job at presenting, laying out, and find a wonderful conclusion to each of their novellas, with the limited space a novella allows. Definitely recommend this book of novellas. (Tthomas1028)

You still have a few hours to enter the Valentine day blog hop GIVEAWAY. My giveaway, however, has ended and the winners of ebook copies of my YA novellas are:

Emily E.

Kelly D.

And just because I love it, I have to post the cover for my novella Hearts Must be Broken. Get your copy here.

heartsmustbebroken-v01

Romance and recipes #giveaway

aba-valentine-hop

Welcome to my blog, one of the stops on the Valentine blog hop – A time for Love, organized by Casi McLean. Follow the links to different blogs for some great reads, fun posts, and awesome prizes but before you do that, take a minute and read an excerpt from my newest novella, get a delicious winter recipe and a chance to win free eBooks.

Valentine Day is near and with it the release day of Valentine Kisses, Inkspell’s anthology for all romantic souls out there. It’s a collection of diverse romance stories, from fantasy to suspsense, from sweet to steamy.

Hearts must be broken is a bit darker than my other stories, but despite the mystery and suspense, there’s a sweet love story at its core.

When a ghost from her past wants to take revenge on twenty-year-old Anais, the only onheartsmustbebroken-v01e she can turn to for help is Damon. But things quickly become complicated because he has feelings for her and she doesn’t want a relationship.

Excerpt

He said quietly, “I’ve always thought you were perfect, Anaïs.”

“Damon …”

“Is it because I’m stone broke?”

His bitter words scattered across the pillow between them like glass shards, shimmering with the promise of heartache.

The past few days, she’d felt closer to him than she’d been to anyone in much too long. The problem was it was too close. She couldn’t have him read the emotions off her face like sheet music. She couldn’t give him that much power over her. She’d given up too much, lost too many people in order to become free and independent, to waste it on a pair of soulful eyes and a few heartfelt words. Regardless of how good they made her feel.

“No. It’s not that,” she said, and the lie slowly turned into the truth as she dug the hole in her heart, deepening it with every fib she uttered, uprooting everything which was decent and tender in her.

He turned away and didn’t look at her even after she called his name twice. She leaned closer and wanted to kiss his cheek, but then he turned and her lips touched his.

~*~

This is just one of the six stories. For a taste of the others, check out the anthology website or pre-order the book. The $0.99 offer will only last till end of February so go grab your copy!

~*~

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And while the stories warm up your soul, you’ll need something warm and delicious for your body. So here’s a recipe for a red kuri soup.

Finely chop one onion and saute it in a bit of olive oil until it softens (around 5 min). Add one medium red kuri squash (works equally well with other winter squashes, such as butternut), peeled and diced, and saute for a couple of minutes. Add enough vegetable stock (or simply water) to cover the squash and a few sage leaves and bring to a boil. Simmer for about ten minutes or until the squash is soft. Remove the sage leaves and pure the squash in a food processor. Add half a cup of cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg, and mix well.

Serve with a few drops of cream and croutons or pumpkin seeds. Eat warm and in good company!

~*~

For a chance to win an ebook copy of either my snowboarding novella On the Slopes, road trip novel Letting Go, or roommate romance My Summer Roommate, enter the first Rafflecofter giveaway below. Plus, by commenting on my blog you can enter the blog hop wide Rafflecopter giveaway for two $50 Amazon gift certificates (enter below). So comment and enter!

Thank you for joining me on this stop of the blog hop, now on to new adventures and discoveries! Spread the love, my friends!

 1. The Perfect Time For Love ~ Casi McLean 2. Spunk & Hunks ~ Anna Durand
3. Love in the Month of February ~ Mary Morgan 4. Love Potions and Charms ~ Sorchia Dubois
5. He said he wasn’t the romantic kind of guy, but… ~ Peggy Jaeger 6. Love and War ~ Gini Rifkin
7. Sexy Chocolate Cakes ~ Kayden Claremont 8. 50 Great Date Ideas ~ Devon Mckay
9. Hearts Abound ~ Tena Stetler 10. Love Every Day ~ Darlene Fredette
11. Importance of Valentines Day ~ Maureen Bonatch 12. Souls Forever Bound ~ Judith Sterling
13. Mysterious Origins of Valentine’s Day ~ Barbara Bettis 14. A Romantic Valentine Dinner ~ Jana Richards
15. Steamy Romance Meets Spooky Suspense ~ Kathryn Knight 16. Book Bling ~ Elizabeth Alsobrooks
17. Sweet Romances ~ Katherine McDermott 18. Historical Heartbeats ~ Brenda B. Taylor
19. An Awesome Bewitching Author Valentines Day ~ Lisa Voisin 20. Idea City ~ Kitsy Clare/Catherine Stine
21. Welcome to the ABA Valentine Hop ~ Linda Nightingale 22. Bridie Hall YA Author ~ Bridie Hall
23. A Time For Love Valentine Blog Hop ~ Amber Daulton 24. ‘Out Of This World’ Romance ~ Hywela Lyn
25. Time Travel For Love ~ Karen Michelle Nutt 26. Valentine’s Day – A Family Tradition ~ Holland Rae
27. Historical Heartbeats

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#Coverreveal for Tainted by H. C. Harris

 

 

tainted-cover-photo

Buy Links:

Amazon

Kobo

ITunes

  

Blurb

Whoever said college was easy? Certainly not Faye Johnson! With shadow creatures stalking and hunting her from the depths of the darkness, Faye soon realizes that being a Light Soul and destroying the evil that lurks in the shadows, won’t make her freshman year any easier.

With the help of her wisecracking best friend Jack, Faye discovers that her ordinary life is about to change drastically. She has an ancient power that the darkness desperately desires. But being untrained, she can’t protect herself for long. That’s when Gabe, a dangerously gorgeous ex-Dark Soul enters her life – seemingly out of thin air.

Jack and Faye’s friendship is put to the test when she starts training with Gabe. Jack warns her that Gabe is dangerous, but she can’t seem to resist her electrifying feelings for him. Events become deadly when the Dark Souls attack and Faye discovers Gabe’s horrifying secret.

Can she count on Jack to be there for her? Can she trust Gabe with her life? Will she be strong enough to protect herself from the darkness that is desperate to kill her?

…And you thought college was easy.

 

Excerpt

I jumped to my feet, feeling restless as my mind continued to speculate. He didn’t even know me. Why was he being such a major stalker? My rage tempted me to find him and demand he start answering my questions. But some sensible part reminded me that probably wouldn’t be a very good idea.

I took my frustration out on my pillow, slamming it against my wall and then falling face down on my bed. This helped me cool off a little bit. But thoughts of Gabe, Jack, and my weird connection with fire still danced in my head.

An idea occurred to me.

All this time, I was in my room, I had bought the candles, I had put them away. But none of them were lit! I got up from my bed, and made my way to the closest one.

“Light,” I commanded.

Nothing happened. The candle just sat there, perfectly untouched and brand new. I felt a little bit relieved. Maybe if my old one had been defective, then maybe everything else Jack and I had been worried about wasn’t true?

“Light!” I commanded again, a little bit more forcefully. Still nothing happened. Before giving up and giving into my endless pile of homework, I gazed at the candle and concentrated my focus.

I blocked out the sounds of the people in my hall, the cheers and laugher flowing in from my open window, and the smell of pizza originating from the dining hall around the corner. It was just me and the candle. We were the only two things in this world. It was just us.

“Light.”

It burst into flames!

I stumbled back against my bed, shocked. I had made the candle burn, without a lighter or matches. I did that: I’d lit it. How was that possible?

I felt the heat from my anger begin to boil my blood as I realized everything Jack and I were fearful of, was true. I was in trouble. I had no idea what I was, or what it meant. I had no idea why Gabe was stalking me. I had no answers and I didn’t know what to do or who could help me. All of my confusion just further fueled my anger. I felt myself begin to lose control. As my anger grew, so did the flame.

I stood up straight, a determination igniting in my veins. I might not have all the answers, but I sure as hell knew someone who did. Without thinking, I gave into temptation and ran out of my bedroom, down the hall, and burst through the front doors of the building. I ran past all of the buildings on Redstone Campus and into the surrounding woods. I felt the branches and leaves scrape against my skin, but still I kept running. I didn’t stop. Not until I was deep enough into the forest to find I was alone with the darkness.

He’ll come, I thought. Soon enough, he will find me.

 

About the Author:

H. C. Harris has been daydreaming, imagining stories, and composing music since before she could even write! She was born and raised in New Hampshire before moving to Burlington, Vermont for college. During her senior year at the University of Vermont, she discovered she had a passion for creating fantasy stories that transported her readers to mysterious and romantic places.

H. C. Harris shared samples of her work with her online audience. Fans have described it as, “addicting,” “a page-turner,” and “swoon-worthy.” With their encouragement, she submitted her work to publishing companies and is now contracted with Inkspell Publishing!

She currently lives in Hartford, Connecticut where she is working on her Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She teaches Spin classes, loves playing the piano, drinking coffee and taking her German Shepherd and Black Lab for runs!

You can follow H. C. Harris on Twitter at: @writeforlifehch, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/hcharris.tainted/ and follow her book updates on her personal website: www.hcharris.net