Dying To Remember Volume 2 of the Station Series By Trish Marie Dawson–RELEASE DAY!

Today we not only have the lovely Trish Marie Dawson over at my blog (as well as many others), but she’s brought an excerpt and a giveaway along with her! So sit back, grab your tea or coffee, and settle in to find out more about this Amazon best-selling author’s newest offering….

The next installment in The Station series by Amazon Bestselling Author, Trish Marie Dawson, takes readers on another lively journey through the after-life adventures of eighteen year old Piper Willow.
Piper has new challenges to overcome, new names to learn and is faced with a new Station occupation. Did she make the right choice – choosing to stay at the Station and become a Volunteer? Does she really want answers to the questions that never leave her mind? How did the Station come to be? What lies beyond? Who is Andurush and what, exactly, does he want with Piper?
She must ask herself once again if she has what it takes…but this time it isn’t about saving lives, it’s about discovering what lies beyond death. Would you want to know?

DTR2

And now an awesome excerpt!

If I thought the exceedingly happy mood that has me perched atop my favorite velvet throne would last very long I’m mistaken after I enter the Ones building. Niles is standing near the counter talking to Laney. I know the moment I see him that he is there to give me news about my volunteering status. Poof goes my throne.
“Hey, Piper. You really are a popular girl today,” says Laney with a tight smile.
“I guess so,” I try and laugh but it sounds more like a vocal seizure.
“Piper, I came to collect you,” Niles says, all business.
“Collect me?” I try and laugh again, but the sound is simply unpleasant so I snap my mouth shut to avoid any more verbal diarrhea, and nod a goodbye at Laney while moving back outside with Niles.
I allow my eyes a few seconds to readjust to the brightness around us. He places an arm loosely around my shoulders as we begin walking and says in a comforting tone, “Before I tell you where we are going and who we will be speaking with, I need you to understand you aren’t in trouble. You’ve done nothing wrong, okay dear?”
I don’t trust my voice so I only nod.
“I’m taking you to see the Mentors and…” he pauses to glance around us, and only when he seems satisfied that no one is close enough to hear, he continues, “…and the Keeper.”
I don’t know what this means. The look on my face must further establish my confusion but Niles only nods and continues to usher me around the fountain, which is currently teeming with teens of all ages, until we reach the Staff building.
Finally, just as Niles opens the door in front of us, I find my voice, “What’s the Keeper?”
“I can’t tell you, but you will see, don’t worry, dear. Remember, you aren’t in trouble, okay?”
We walk down the empty hallway and go through a door into a room that looks nothing like the one where Mallory and I met for the first time in person. This staff room is shaped more like an oval, with no corners on the walls and there are no tables or chairs. The center of the floor dips down a good two feet, creating a sort of recessed bench that matches the curved shape of the room. This is where the Mentor’s sit in a circle. I get over my intimidation of them instantly as my eyes widen at the sight of the other person sitting with them. A man at least a good foot taller than anyone else stands and nods at me. His clothes appear to be all white but it’s hard to tell at first, because the man is glowing.

Author Bio and Links

Trish was born and mostly raised in San Diego, California where she lives now with her family and pets. She’s been writing short stories and poetry since high school after an obsession with Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’. After over fifteen years of crazy dreams and an overactive imagination, Trish began her first book ‘I Hope You Find Me’ in December of 2011. When Trish isn’t writing, she’s homeschooling her amazing daughter and mildly autistic son, reading whatever she can get her hands on, or enjoying the Southern California sun. As a strict Vegetarian, Trish holds a special place in her heart for animal rights and dashes into the backyard weekly to rescue lizards and mice from her mini-lab/cocker spaniel mixed dog, Zoey…who is always getting into some sort of trouble.

Trish’s Author page on Facebook
Trish’s Author page on Amazon
Trish’s Twitter
Trish’s Blog

TrishMarieDawson

NOW THE BEST PART! You can grab your own copy of ‘Dying To Remember’ from Amazon! And that’s not all–you can also enter the giveaway by clicking the link below! Thanks for stopping by everyone! 🙂

I want to grab my copy now, I need to read more!

Take me to the free goodies! I wanna win stuff!

All images and content from ‘Dying To Remember’ are copyright of Trish Marie Dawson, and may not be used, reproduced, or copied in any form, digital or otherwise, without the express permission of the author.

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Meme Time “Lucky 7″

Darn it! I’ve been tagged by the lovely Tami Parrington over at her blog http://www.tamiparrington.com/2012/06/21/meme-time-lucky-7/

Bruce Blake hit up Chantal Boudreau who then tagged Tami Parrington in a blog meme and she hit me up to be part of this Lucky 7 meme. In Bruce’s words, here’s how it works:

  • Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
  • Go to line 7
  • Copy down the next seven lines/sentences exactly as they are
  • Tag 7 other authors

Now, I’ve never taken part in a meme before, so I thought this would be fun. I’ve used Conner, as I thought it would be a little more ‘reader friendly’ than Craving! 😀

So here we are folks, page 77 of Conner, 7 fun sentences! 😀

“….It does seem very radical, but then most methods of psychology, were at some point, also very radical. Let’s hope this method is one of the successful ones.”

The woman cleared her throat, and said, “Very well. If we are all in agreement, we’ll make the necessary arrangements, and fill out the forms needed. Dr Miller, you may go and tell Conner what is happening.” Erin nodded gratefully.

Dr Whitfield smiled at Erin. Erin returned the smile, butterflies starting to float up in her stomach at the thought of Conner in her home.

Now, muhahaha! Who is next? The seven authors I’m going to tag, are…

Maxi Shelton

Pixie Lynn Whitfield

Liz Long

Douglas Pratt

Christine Warner

Nicole Hill

Nicola Rhodes

If anyone doesn’t have a blog, you can post it on your Facebook page 😀 Enjoy!

CRAVING something hot and spicy?

Morning all! Wow, well I’ve had a busy week this week, so I apologise for the limited amount of posts I’ve put up. I’ve been writing like a mad-woman (because of course lunacy always helps you write, as everyone knows!), and I’ve visits from relatives, a book tour, sales stuff, all kinds of things!  But I’m popping one up today, although I’m going to be telling you all about my newest book, a collection of paranormal erotica-so please don’t read any further if you don’t like that sort of thing. I don’t want to be sued because your eyeballs melted away. 🙂

I’ll even put a little excerpt for you, how nice am I? 😉

Sex and the paranormal have always gone hand in hand, and these stories will delve into your deepest fears and fantasies….

CRAVING
A young woman has a strange urge, one she cannot fulfil-she dreams of fangs and blood along with her most sensual thoughts. She is beginning to think she will go mad, when a chance encounter with a stranger occurs at a country hotel…

TRAPPED
A simple night in the woods with her possibly ex-boyfriend starts terribly for Selena, and gets worse at it turns murderous. But what she doesn’t realise is that sometimes murderous creatures get a taste for women lost in the woods…

GIVING INTO TEMPTATION
Elisabeth is a useless Wiccan witch, with less power in her whole body than anyone else’s little finger. So when she finds an advert advertising help with finding your magickal niche, she decides to take it up. But the bearer of the advert has another reason to attract her to him…

HUNTING THE HUNTER
Having been alive longer than any other vampire she knows, Arielle has fought quite a few hunters in her time. But one night a hunter breaks in who catches her attention, and her desires…and a vampire’s desires may not always be what you want them to be…

Warning! This book contains graphic scenes of sex, mild BDSM scenes, some swearing, very hot and sexy men and women both paranormal and human, and just a sprinkle of cheekiness!

Craving

 

I have an unspeakable craving.

I’m not even sure that it is the craving I believe it is, but it keeps me awake at night, it makes me toss and turn and fling sweat-covered blankets to the floor.

The first time I felt it, I was watching a film with one of them starring in it. He was tall and sensuous, a wicked smile curving his perfectly formed lips. As his stormy blue eyes stared into the camera, I caught my breath, feeling as though he were looking straight at me, that strange twinge surprising me somewhere in my nether-regions.

My life became one of two halves. By daytime, I worked at my easy-going office job, chatting with oblivious friends, going for after-work drinks, the usual things, you know? But in my spare time, I poured over bookstore shelves for new tales about these mythical creatures; I hung around the kind of clubs that held their wannabes. I’m not sure why I went to those clubs. I suppose it was because I didn’t know where else to look, even if they were full of their poor imitations. In my heart of hearts, I knew they wouldn’t ever dream of hanging out in themed clubs, they were more likely to be found teaching your children, or in your local library.

But it was if they didn’t want me to find them. Well, why would they? What made me so special from all the other women who wanted to find one? And I knew that there must be other women who felt the same; I had seen them in those clubs, had read their books. But what I felt was more than a desire, a curious feeling that needed to be explored; I needed it, more than I needed water or air.

At night I would lie on my own in my bed, naked and on top of the sheets, squirming in anguish. Lying in the dark, I would close my eyes and imagine my night-time lover instead, using my own hands. I would let them roam over my soft breasts, rolling and pinching my nipples into hard points, sliding them across my rounded stomach. Letting my legs fall open, I would imagine his fingers probing gently into my warmth, sliding into the slickness with ease, pushing his fingers in and out; harder, faster. But it was no good; my hands were too soft, too feminine. I needed his hands, rough and firm, pinning me underneath him. And when I would drag my nails across my neck, it never really felt how I imagined their fangs would feel.

I decided I needed to get away from it all, maybe take a little break. Yes, that was what I needed, to take my mind off this ridiculous desire. I took a quick look online for hotels that were somewhere relaxing and peaceful, found a beautiful manor hotel in the countryside that promised “A welcoming and comfortable boutique hotel, surrounded by serene and relaxing countryside”. It sounded perfect.

When I arrived, I was taken aback by the stunning hotel before me. It truly was in the middle of nowhere, flanked only by an enormous forest of thick green trees. The taxi driver had taken about an hour and a half to get here, and nearly got lost along country roads that ended in nowhere. The manor itself was a Victorian beauty, great gothic windows and doors gaping from red-brick walls. Red-tinted ivy trailed its way up the front of the building, making it look as though it were trying to swallow it. I picked up my case, and began to walk along the crunching gravel driveway to the grand entrance.

The door was closed, but there was a doorbell, with a small, handwritten note above it that read, “Please ring for service’. I followed as the sign instructed, and waited patiently, clutching my holdall in my hands. A few seconds later, the door slowly opened wide, as did my jaw.

Stood in front of me was the most stunning male I had ever set eyes upon; a true figure from the lustful dreams of ladies. He stood about six-foot or more, built with sinewy muscle. A simple white shirt was covering his torso, a few buttons undone at the neck, dark blue jeans complementing it. A roguish smile was joined by two sparkling midnight blue eyes, framed by dark brown hair, messily arranged as if he had just risen from bed.

“Well, hello. You must be my guest for the weekend, yes?”

I blushed, my tongue suddenly struck dumb by his deep, rich tones. “Umm…yes…I am. Wait, I’m your guest? As in singular?”

He chuckled, stretching his arm up and leaning it against the door-frame, putting his other hand on his hip. I noticed how his stomach muscles shifted beneath that crisp shirt at the moment. “Yes, it’s a quiet weekend. But don’t worry; the service is still all up and running.”

I swallowed nervously, but managed to smile. He held his hand out in welcoming, offering it for me to shake. I shook myself mentally, gathering my senses. Why was I acting this way over a stranger? He was gorgeous, but it just wasn’t like me. Clearing my throat, I put my hand into his to shake it-

It was like a bolt of electricity had just shot up my arm. The feel of his rough palm against mine made pinpricks of heat spread across my cheeks, the thought of them sliding against my legs made dampness grow between them, my insides doing a double flip. Thoughts of his curving lips against them even, his tongue sliding into delicious places…

I snapped back into reality, becoming acutely aware that I was still standing shaking his hand like an idiot. Glancing back up at his mischievously smiling face, I wondered if had felt it too. There was a dark glint in his eyes that said maybe he might have…

…My room was perfect. It was a beautiful recreation of a Victorian bedroom. to match the rest of the house. The walls were painted a deep red, covered with large works of art from various painters. A huge four-poster dominated the room, covered in swathes of fabric, and a heavy coverlet embroidered with a complicated pattern of shapes. A luxurious carpet covered the floor, soft and inviting, an antique-looking Turkish rug in front of a tiled fireplace.

I pulled a short, silky nightgown out of my holdall; I hadn’t bothered to unpack it as there wasn’t much to unpack, and I was only here for the weekend. Sliding the cool fabric over my head, I felt my nipples tighten as it brushed them, and I thought of the hotel-owner’s hands again. That familiar urge began to return, and I wondered if it had been such a good idea to come here after all.

Ignoring my own body, I crawled into the soft bed, lying back against the fluffed pillows, and allowed my mind to drift into the realms of sleep…

It was the hotel-owner again. But he had taken his shirt off now, and was stood next to my bed in nothing but his jeans. He stared down at me with his deep eyes, that smirk still gracing his lips-but there was something more passionate about it now, something…hungry. I tried to move, but it was like moving through quicksand. I decided to lay still, a feeling of peace and calm falling over me.

He sat himself on the side of the bed, and raised his hand towards me, running it along the length of my jawline. That small touch gave me that electrified feeling again, making me gasp in reply. He chuckled, a dark sound in the silence between us, and rubbed his thumb along my lips, making me close my eyes in pleasure.

“Poor girl,” he soothed, “you’ve had such a longing for such a long time, haven’t you? An ache that won’t go away; no matter what you do?”

All I could do was nod, dumbly. I was beginning to see that there was something about him, something…that I desperately needed. My hips arched towards him, begging him for more, pleading with him. He noticed the movement, and raised an eyebrow towards them. Leaning back, he placed his rough hand on my thigh, the exquisite touch exactly what I needed. He hitched in a breath as his hand slid along my leg, pushing up just the edge of the nightgown, teasing me.

But then his hand stopped.

I whimpered in agony, wishing my arms would move fast enough for me to push his hand back, to make him touch me again. He simply licked his lips, allowing me a brief flash of the fangs I already knew were there. Still staring at me with undisguised lust, he gently picked up my hand, raising it to his mouth. He laid a soft kiss on the back of my knuckles, before turning it over slowly. He bared his sharp canines, sinking them deeply into my wrist.

I screamed, from pain. This wasn’t at all how I imagined it to be, tearing away at my flesh like fire running through my veins. Without missing a beat, he moved his other hand over to the peaks straining against the top of my nightgown; softly rubbing them over and over with his thumb in agonising circles. He pinched one gently, just how I had imagined in my feverish day-dreams, making me suck in a breath and moan, surprising even myself. I realised that the drawing pain in my wrist had become a pleasurable ache, and intensely erotic as my blood dribbled over the sides onto the cover below…

Liked that? Well, to read more, you’ll have to get it from Amazon, to find out more! (Amazon US)  (Amazon UK)

Interview and Giveaway With Joanne Phillips

Ugh, Monday again, right? But cheer up, I have another great author interview for you all! Today I have an interview with the lovely Joanne Phillips. She lives in rural Shropshire, England, with her husband and daughter. Since leaving school she’s had an eclectic career, working as a hairdresser, an air hostess and a librarian. She now writes full-time. Can’t Live Without is her first novel.

Hello Joanna, it’s a pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog.

Hi Miranda, thank you for having me.

You all know my interviews by now-random question first! You’ve had an eclectic career, (just like me 🙂 ) is there any job that you’ve always wanted to do that you haven’t done, other than being a brilliant author of course?

Good question! Can I choose two jobs? I’ve always liked the idea of being an architect – not for commercial buildings but for houses. The way we live, and how our homes support us (or don’t!), fascinates me. Also, I would love to have been a speech therapist – such a worthwhile job. I had a stammer as a child, and it had an enormous impact on my childhood. A good speech therapist could, very possibly, have changed my life. Thankfully I met one in my early twenties who did just that!

I know what you mean about houses-we have a cupboard that you can’t even put a coat in! When did you  first realise you wanted to be a writer? Do you remember what inspired you?

I always wrote stories, from as early as I can remember. I used to make up little books with paper and sellotape – I also had a stab at producing my own magazine when I was about seven! But the day I knew I had to be a novelist was when I read Anne Tyler’s A Patchwork Planet. I still think this is the perfect novel, and I have read it again and again over the years. I can’t write like Anne Tyler – believe me, I’ve tried – but when I started to take writing seriously I found that my own ‘writing voice’ came through all by itself. And I think, as a writer, you just have to accept this.

I used to do the book thing when I was younger too-usually folding over A4 sheets of paper. 🙂 What books do you read? Do you read books in your genre, or books very different from it?

I’ll read anything – within reason! I can’t do horror, or anything with missing children or really upsetting themes. I’m just a wimp, at heart. But I don’t necessarily like my fiction to be too ‘light’ – I like to feel that I’ve been changed, somehow, by the experience of reading a novel. And I love characters that stay with me after the book is finished. I do read crime fiction, and for this I prefer series to one-offs, but again, nothing too gory!

Guess I can’t tempt you with Conner then! 😀 But your first novel, Can’t Live Without, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?

On the surface it’s about a woman who loses all she owns in a house fire, and her journey as she tries to put her life back together again. But of course, it’s not really about that 🙂 When we meet Stella she is very materialistic – not in a particularly shallow way, more that she has had to struggle to bring up her daughter alone and got caught in the trap of wanting the best of everything. The fire is the catalyst – Stella’s life as she knows it starts to fall apart and she is forced to reassess her priorities. At its core, Can’t Live Without is a love story – can Stella figure out what (or who) it is she really can’t live without? – but it’s also a story about how to live happily, with integrity, in today’s consumerist society. But, saying that, these themes are well hidden, so you can easily read it as a funny story about a single-mum who loses everything in a fire!

Dare I ask-what inspired this novel? Please don’t say you’re an arsonist! Just kidding 😀

One day I just had the (quite scary) thought of what it would be like to arrive home and find your house on fire! I was walking around a lake in Milton Keynes at the time, which actually becomes the setting for a pivotal scene at the end of the book. Stella sprung into my mind pretty much fully-formed as a person, but it took six rewrites (yes, six!) before the novel took on its proper shape. I started it before the recession hit, but now everyone is having to reassess their priorities and I think the book is very timely.

It certainly sounds like it’s written for right now! Where can we find your novels?

Can’t Live Without is for sale on Amazon Kindle, and will be available as a paperback from early July, both on Amazon and for order in bookshops. Readers can also buy signed copies from my website and look out for free giveaways on Goodreads.com

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Two exciting projects coming up this year – first, a chick-lit/crime crossover novel which I’m working on right now. Crossover fiction is becoming more and more popular, and I think the time is right for chick-lit to take on a bit more of an edge. I also think there are crime-fiction lovers out there (like me) who are looking for something a little more light-hearted.

The second project is, of course, a sequel to Can’t Live Without, which will be published in time for Christmas.

You can find out more about Joanne Phillips on Facebook and on her blog. Thank you for being here, Joanne, any final words?

Just thanks again for having me on, Miranda, and a quick appeal to readers who enjoy my books to pop a nice review on Amazon and Goodreads – we self-publishing authors depend on them 🙂

Absolutely, I second that! Great having you here. 🙂

How does it feel to lose everything you own?

Stella Hill is proud of the home she’s created for herself and her daughter. She’s worked hard to buy the very best of everything … But when she wakes one morning to find her kitchen on fire, Stella knows her life will never be the same again.

At least she has Paul to lean on: Paul Smart, owner of Smart Homes, confirmed bachelor and unknowing recipient of a schoolgirl crush Stella never quite got over … When the charismatic John Dean turns up after sixteen years, Stella is determined not to fall for him again. Because now her heart belongs elsewhere. Or does it?

With a boss she’s half in love with, a teenage daughter about to go seriously off the rails, a spendaholic mother, and a house to rebuild, Stella’s problems are only just beginning.

Can Stella put her life – and her home – back together again? And will she ever realise just what it is she really can’t live without?

Laugh-out-loud funny, warm and compelling, this is for readers who love their chick lit with a bit of an edge. Ideal for fans of Fiona Gibson and Carole Matthews.

Review of Can’t Live Without

The first thing that attracted me to the book was the fabulous cover. It looks very professional, and is a perfect fit for the story within. And although I normally don’t enjoy women’s contemporary fiction, I was really intrigued by the blurb, as it sounded really different.

Good Points

The humour! And the humour! Did I mention the humour? Joanne has a real flare for producing a story that is laugh-out-loud funny at all the right moments, and adds just the right amount of snark when it’s needed. I also loved the characters, as she made them very believable, complete with flaws just like the rest of us. I loved the main character, Stella. She was very strong, and yet allows us to see her real vulnerabilities throughout this novel. The story also flowed extremely well; it had pace, but didn’t rush at all. And as I mentioned above, the storyline for this novel was such a clever idea, and it really rang true, considering all of the economic problems everyone is having at the moment.

Bad Points

This will sound really bad, but…I couldn’t really find any! If I had to choose one thing, I might say that the daughter, Lipsy, was a little bit on the annoying side, and was a complete brat! So I disliked her intensely, but this wasn’t a bad point, I think the author meant for her to be this way, and she does change towards the end.

Overall

I thought this was a brilliant book. Really. And I really don’t like women’s contemporary fiction. But I would definitely read this again. I hope that Joanne goes from strength to strength with her novels, and gets the next one out soon! I would give this novel….

Yup, 5/5. THAT good. 😀

The giveaway has now ended, thank you to all who entered! The winner has been drawn, and will be contacted shortly. 🙂

 

Interview With Nicola Rhodes

For Wednesday’s interview, I have the very talented Nicola Rhodes with me! She is the author of the Tamar Black Saga and the SCI’ON Trilogy (so far) – often can’t remember where she lives so she lives inside her own head most of the time, where even if you do get lost, it’s still okay. She has met many interesting people inside her own head and eventually decided to introduce the rest of the world to them, in the hopes that they would stop bothering her and let her sleep. She has been doing this for ten years now, but they still won’t leave her alone. When she is bored she also paints, draws and makes things out of egg-boxes and is trying to learn the guitar (because musicians are sexier than authors and they make more money). She likes chocolate and vodka (well you never know – someone might take the hint) She is married to the long suffering Mike who lives in an old Vicarage in  Derby – England because he is not crazy (well not much anyway) and they have three girls between them. She wrote these books for fun and does not care if you take away a moral lesson from them or not.

 

Hi Nicola, it’s great to have you here, welcome to my blog.

Hi Miranda, thank you for having me, it’s nice to be here.

   

First up, the random question as always! You say that you live in your own head mostof the time-tell us what it looks like?

Hahaha, are you sure you want to know? Like a cross between the casting for an over-ambitious fantasy movie and a funfair, which is not as much fun as it sounds.

 

Wow, sounds crowded! When did you realise you wanted to be a writer? Do you remember what inspired you?

Itwas about ten years ago, I suppose. I was never one of those kids who ALWAYS wanted to be a writer, even though I did write, all the time. Djinnx’d began with a simple wish. I wanted a better life and could see no way ofgetting one. I had a brass genie lamp on my hearth and thought if I could only have three wishes, I would wish for the power to lift myself out of poverty and ill health. That seemed simple enough. To grant your own wishes (so to speak)for the rest of your life.

But of course, for a story it couldn’t be that simple. Wishes always have a catch, and so the story of Tamar and her three wishes was born.

After that, she became so real to me that her adventures couldn’t possibly stop there! My imagination had been let loose.

 

I’d have wished for more wishes. Does that ever work? Never mind, ignore me….Would you ever consider writing in a different genre to the one you do now?

Oh yes, absolutely. I already have the premise for a Gothic Horror novel floating around in my (slightly addled) head, and if it works out as I hope, there will be a sequel to that. Maybe I will end up changing my preferred genre for good.Who knows?

 

*Gasps* Competition? I challenge you to a dual! Actually, scratch that, you’re safe for now. 🙂 Your first novel, Djinnx’d, sounds very interesting though. Can you tell us more about it?

Djinnx’d is a comic fantasy about a girl who accidentally becomes a Djinn when she makes the wrong three wishes. Five thousand years ago, she was a teenager with not much on her mind beyond boys and clothes. Now she is a five thousand year old Djinn bent on vengeance. By wishing for phenomenal powers, she ended up as a slave instead – a genie in a bottle. And she is determined that if she ever regains her freedom, the Djinn who trapped her, will pay the price.

Enter Denny, a man so boring he needs a charisma transplant just to be Clark Kent. But it is he who takes on Tamar’s challenge, finds Askphrit and frees Tamar – forever. Heroes are found in the strangest places. They end up on a quest to find the guilty party and … but I am not going to tell you how it ends.

 

Aw! *stops scribbling in notepad* So what inspired this novel?

Apart from the above mentioned desire to sort out my life, I guess I was inspired by reading more than anything. I have always been a voracious reader and, at that time, I was just getting into the works of Terry Pratchett and Tom Holt – courtesy of my Father – it seemed like a fun way to write, so I thought I would give it a try. I never expected, at that time, to publish. I wrote for release, for fun and for myself. It was not until I had written four books about Tamar, and the few people who had read them told me to publish, that it even crossed my mind.

 

Good taste! Where can we find your novels?

You can find all my published novels on Amazon in the Kindle store and in paperback at Lulu.com. I am happy to do signed copies for anyone who contacts me through my website and there are also epub versions of all my books on there for the Nook ereader.

 

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Apart from a nervous breakdown? I am definitely keen to try my hand at the aforementioned gothic horror, and I have a number of other fantasy novels on my mind. One about the faerie realm and a more supernatural type – featuring a ghost. But before that, I have the spin off series from the Tamar Black novels to finish as well as my Fantasy/SciFi cross genre Trilogy. Nervous breakdown here I come.

 

Not while you’re on my blog, we haven’t got the insurance! Last random question…you love both chocolate and vodka, but if you could only have one for the rest of your life, which would it be?

Oh chocolate – no contest. I have an additive personality, vodka on its own sounds too dangerous.

 

Ummm…..do you think anyone will one day make chocolate vodka? You can find out more about Nicola Rhodes on Facebook , Twitter, her website and on her blog.Thank you for being here, Nicola, anything else to add?

Did I mention the chocolate? I am just glad you didn’t ask me whether I would rather give up chocolate or writing for the rest of my life. Now that would be a conundrum!

 

Now why didn’t I think of that question? You can find Nicola’s books at Amazon US (click here) and UK (click here), and also here at Lulu.com.

Djinnx’d

YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND …

What would you wish for if you were offered three wishes? When Tamar, found a dirty old bottle in the river and released an ancient and powerful Djinn, she decided to go for the big one, the ultimate wish to end all wishes.

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time…

Djinnx’d …

… or Jinxed by a genie, which is what happens to Tamar when she is tricked into taking the genie’s place in the bottle.

Good – in that she now has phenomenal cosmic power Bad – in that she is now the slave of the bottle for the next several eternities.

But eternity is cut short when she meets Denny. At first he seems just the latest in a long line of human masters, but it soon becomes apparent that he is no ordinary master when he declares his intention to set Tamar free from her bondage – no matter what the cost. He has no idea what he’s let himself in for. Witches, mermaids, houris a homicidal Djinn and a mad forest god with a superiority complex and that’s not the half of it …

What can kill a Djinn? If Denny can’t answer this question in time then it will all have been for nothing.

Excerpt from Djinnx’d;

In the beginning, there was the word. (Actually, there were two words.) And the words were “System Ready” because it was. And the programmers saw that it was good. Not as good as it could have been, because the bosses upstairs had only given them a week to build the program. So the universe was something of a rush job in the end, but deadlines were deadlines and it would just have to do. So they pushed “Enter” and the screen flashed up “Mainframe universal systems online” And underneath that > “Which file?” So, the programmers accessed the stellar matrix and switched on the stars. And the void was filled. And the programmers saw that it was good.

So they left mainframe, which could pretty much run itself now anyway, and went home for their tea. After all, it was Sunday, and the bosses had temporarily vetoed the file for time and a half on weekends. And it was on the weekends that some pretty interesting new files were created that the programmers completely missed. A good example of this was the “magic” or “virtual reality” files. By the time the programmers realized what had happened within mainframe, the error was too large to correct. Magic was an integral part of the system,

One of the worst type of magic files that had been created were the Djinn files. In order to try to sort this one out the programmers demanded, and got, their time and a half weekend pay. Even management could see that they would have to back down on this one. Even so, the problem was only partly resolved in the end. However, the programmers felt that they had it under control. There were around twelve hundred Djinn files to be amended. That is a lot of work in anyone’s book. Perhaps it’s no wonder that they missed one.

In the beginning, there was the word. And the word was “Error” And that explains a lot, doesn’t it?

Want A Free Book?

Just a quick note to all my followers, that today, Conner is FREE on Amazon! Yup, you can grab a copy of Conner from any of the Amazon sites with my ebook from today until Sunday 27th. So what are you waiting for, go and get it now! 🙂

Erin is a young psychologist, with no time for anything but her work, and unable to remember anything about her past. She leads an uneventful life, but a lonely one, in which she secretly wishes for a soulmate…

Conner is an unusual patient who approaches her, thrusting her into a strange world of darkness that runs beneath our own. He believes hiimself to be a creature of legend-a werewolf. But he also draws Erin with a roguish charm, and an irresitible feeling that seems to bind them together…

Conner desperately tries to save her from an unknown evil that persues her with a relentless passion that crosses centuries, an evil that once took her very soul away, somewhere in Erin’s lost memories.

As she becomes more entwined in a series of events that will remind her of who she really is, will she make it away from the oncoming darkness unscathed…?

Reviews for Conner from Amazon;

“5/5 stars Amazon.co.uk

A fast past paced rollercoaster of a tale that’s got everything. Twists and turns, passion and fear mixed with amazing characters all wonderfully told in an expressive and descriptive style from the author.
Conner is a fascinating tale of an intelligent psychologist Erin Miller who is transported from academia into an amazing world of werewolves and vampires, romance and violence. Her world is turned upside down….. Drawn into this strange world which challenges all her academic and professional beliefs she discovers that Werewolves are in fact real…………….
It kept me not only entertained but excited and unable to put it down….. Now I just can’t wait for the sequel…. So many questions………If it’s anything like Conner it will be brilliant……….. ”

“5/5 stars, Amazon.com

I’m hooked and I can’t wait for the sequel. The characters are amazing. I love that the story is fast paced and I want to be friends with Erin and Conner. It’s a great book, the settings were so vivid. I felt at once like I was “across the pond”. Erin was a strong female character, and her life will always be better when she spends time with Conner. I love the book Conner. “

Two for the Price of One

Aren’t you lucky? Two posts up today, instead of just one!

First it’s just to remind everyone that I have my first ever interview with the lovely Cassidy Kingston up on Monday! She’s a paranormal romance writer, and will be telling us all about her love of all things geeky, and about her very sexy characters from her books!

Also, I think I promised a little excerpt for you all later on, hmm? Well, instead of an excerpt from Conner, I’ve decided I’m going to let you have a little sneaky look at the first chapter of Erin, the sequel to Conner,due to come out in September! So enjoy….

 

Chapter 1

 

Erin was running, her hair swaying around her face. The woods surrounded her with their scent, the freshness of the leaves and the perfume of the flowers infusing in a delightful sweetness. A soft, cool air blew past her, making her shiver slightly. The same air rustled the trees, making them murmur to one another, the spirits of the trees whispering a secret amongst them. The warm sunlight peered through the leafy canopy, sending golden shafts of light dancing along the ground.

She was wearing a light green dress, but it was torn and shredded. She ran barefoot, having no shoes at all, across the twigs and grass beneath her feet.

The strange thing was, she didn’t feel as though she was running away from anything-rather, she felt she was running towards something; but what?

Erin was running so fast that the woods around her almost became a blur. She could feel the heartbeat of everything around her, of every animal, of the woods themselves. A deep drumming throb that ran through every footstep, every river, every breath

of wind. It was as though she were a part of the woods around her. It was the most primal, raw, wonderful feeling she had ever felt.

Suddenly, she came to a clearing, surrounded by tall pines. In the centre of the clearing, sat on a large rock, was Filtiarn. He was sat leaning forwards, looking down at the grassy floor, his hands linked together in front of himself. As Erin appeared shyly at the edge of the clearing, he looked up slowly. His amber eyes lit up as he saw her, a charming grin spreading across his face. He was wearing jeans that were slightly ripped all over, but no shoes or top. He didn’t move, but held out his hand for Erin to go closer.

She walked forwards, holding out her hand to grasp his. As their fingers touched, he pulled her sharply towards him, sitting her on his knee. She gasped with delight as he pulled her, and then laughed, throwing her arms around his neck.

It was then that she remembered-they had been out running together, in their wolfen forms, enjoying the early morning sunshine. She had got a little lost, and run off by herself, not realizing that Filtiarn had stopped. Once she had changed back to her human form, she had realised she had left him behind, and had retraced her steps, back to the clearing where Filtiarn was sat waiting for her.

He hugged her back, showing his fangs as he

smiled. Suddenly, the sunshine disappeared, sending the clearing into darkness. Erin looked back at Filtiarn, worried by this sudden change. He grinned back at her, but it now seemed fixed, and cold. His canines grew out to their full length, and he pinned Erin’s arms tightly to her sides.

“Filtiarn? What are you doing?” she asked, her voice sounding scared and weak.

“I’m going to make you forget who you once were, and make you truly mine…” he snarled, grasping her throat, and hovering over it with his canines, saliva dripping onto her neck….

 

Erin sat bolt upright, cold sweat dripping down her forehead. It took a few seconds for her eyes to adjust to the soothing black darkness in her room, as she blinked. Her heart was racing so fast it made her chest hurt, and she was shaking slightly.

Taking a deep breath, Erin tried to calm herself down, wiping the sweat from her forehead, and hugging her knees into her chest. She looked around herself, familiarising herself with her room again, as you do after a nightmare has shaken you.

“It was just a nightmare, Erin, just a nightmare.” she muttered to herself.

The problem was that she had been

having this nightmare for the last month; in fact the whole month she had been back at Athol Castle. She couldn’t remember anything for years before being at the castle. When she asked Filtiarn about it, he simply replied, “You were in a coma, you finally woke from it.”

The nightmare was sometimes different, sometimes in a different place, sometimes it went even further, with Filtiarn actually killing her. She tried to tell herself it was just her imagination, but she did have to wonder why it kept coming back night after night. Was her mind trying to tell her something?

Erin slowly pulled the covers back from her bed, and looked at the small alarm clock next to her bed. It said it was five am, and she could just see small prying fingers of sunlight peeping through her curtains. Erin stretched, and slid out of the bed, her silky nightgown falling around her legs. She padded over to the window, the flagstones of her room cold on her feet, throwing the curtains open. Warm morning sunlight flooded the room, bathing it in a gentle golden glow.

Looking down at the courtyard outside, Erin decided she would go and practice with Sioctine again. She was incredibly rusty with it, but she assumed that being in a coma for

twenty-six years would do that. She turned and smiled across at the silvery sword, resting on a red velvet cloth, near her bed. The blue jewel was on top, icy wisps floating away from it in folds. The jewel itself actually had a name, ‘Fuar’, simply meaning, ‘cold’ in Irish Gaelic. The other jewel also had a Gaelic name, ‘Paisean’, meaning ‘passion’. Although the jewels had their own names, they were rarely used, as they were now part of the sword.

Rubbing some of the sleep from her eyes, she walked back across to the sword, pausing in front of it. Gently, she ran the back of her hand against the gleaming metal of the actual blade. Picking it up, she swung it around, loving the feel of its weight pulling her hand around slightly.

Smiling, she put the sword down on the bed, reaching for her clothes, which she had laid out for the next day on one of her chairs. As she reached out for them, she caught her reflection in the full-length mirror that sat facing the bed. Erin stood up again, looking into the mirror, frowning. Something looked different, but she couldn’t put her finger on what.

Her brow furrowed, she walked towards it, unhurriedly. As she ended up in front of it, she peered into it, and then pulled a confused

face.

Both of her reflection’s irises were blue!

She knew that one of hers was silver, pure silver, so that definitely wasn’t right. Still frowning, she moved her hand, as though waving. Her reflection did the same. She leaned in, and the reflection copied her. She then turned around, and the reflection again copied her.

Erin had just decided that there must be something wrong with the mirror, when the reflection leaned in by itself, and smiled at her!

Erin inhaled sharply, stepping backwards, almost tripping over a rug. Shaking, she closed her eyes, and then opened them again, looking into the mirror. Her reflection was still there, looking concerned. The reflection lifted her hand and crooked her finger, indicating Erin should come forwards.

Erin shook her head, stammering, but still with a commanding tone in her voice, “Who…or what…are you?”

The reflection smiled kindly, it features softening. “I am you, Erin. I am your inner voice.”

“What?” Erin shook her head sharply, closing her eyes, as though to shake the image in the mirror away. Taking a deep breath, she walked forwards, staring straight into the

reflection’s eyes.

The reflection grinned as she saw Erin walking closer, and nodded. “Yes. I am your inner voice-a part of your soul. I must warn you, Erin, you are in danger.”

Erin swallowed, glancing across to her sword. She knew it was useless to think about grabbing it anyway; if this was an enchantment, having a sword would do nothing, even an enchanted sword. “What do you mean? How am I in danger?”

The reflection’s expression fell as she spoke the next few sentences, her eyes darkening. “You are in control of an enemy. An enemy of both your mate and yourself. This is not who you are, Erin.”

“My mate?” Erin repeated, worriedly. “You mean Filtiarn?”

Smiling again, but sadly this time, her reflection shook its head, the dark hair cascading around its face. “He may not be your mate, Erin. Just remember who you really are. Please.”

A sudden knocking on Erin’s door made her jump, turning her head towards the darkened wood.

“Erin? I heard noise. Are you up?”

It was Filtiarn. He had been gone all night, out hunting, but he must have returned

and decided not to wake her. Clearing her throat, Erin shouted back.

“Yes, Filtiarn, I’m just getting dressed; I’ll be down in a moment!”

As she listened to his footsteps tapping away from the door, she swallowed nervously. She turned her head back to the mirror, expecting to still see the reflected image of her ‘inner voice’. But it was gone. Her reflection was copying her exactly, and her eyes had returned to their normal blue and silver.

Had she imagined it?

 

As she walked into the throne room, she saw Filtiarn stood at the end, in full battle attire, at least for him. He was stood talking to one of the lower members of the pack, looking deep in conversation. He was dressed completely in black, a leather jacket with straps around his torso, with jeans, his trademark biker boots still on his feet. A long silver blade hung by his side, looking big even on his six-foot five frame.

As Erin entered the room, Filtiarn looked up at her, a grin breaking over his features. He nodded at the young man he had been talking to for him to stay where he was, and then walked over to Erin, taking long strides, the sword

swinging with each stride.

He leaned over and kissed her forehead, tenderly, his hand behind her head possessively. When he looked up again, his eyes had burnt to a dark grey colour, the metallic silver of them shining brightly.

“Why were you not awake earlier this morning? I thought you would be outside with Sioctine.” He looked down at her, his eyebrows raised questioningly. Erin shrugged.

“I was going to, but…well, I slept in.” She was about to tell him about the mirror, but then decided not to. She didn’t want him to get worried about her seeing strange things in mirrors-it was probably just her seeing things, she had only just woken up.

“Ah, very well.” Filtiarn put his arm around Erin’s shoulders, pulling her towards him. She pressed herself into him, smiling. She hadn’t dressed in her usual velvet dress, but simply in jeans and a red t-shirt. Filtiarn began walking her back over to the young man, beckoning for him to come forwards.

The young man did walk over, quickly, and bowed his head before both Erin and Filtiarn. Standing back up again, he looked expectantly at Filtiarn. Filtiarn cleared his throat, and turned to Erin.

“I don’t think you will remember this young man, Erin. He is Daithí.” He pronounced the name ‘Dah-hee’. “We have been discussing what the pack needs to do to get started with our plan. We have decided that modern means is the quickest way, of course.”

“Modern means?”

“Yes.” Filtiarn nodded, a dark look coming into his eyes, which somehow made him look even more wolfish. “We’re going to have a press conference, Erin.”

A New Day Beckons….

Ah, the first post of a brand spanking new blog….is there anything better? I haven’t had the chance to mess it up yet with lots of posts that show I had nothing to talk about that day, and no posts repeating the one from last year (you know, THAT one).

Anyhoo, moving on…today is a lovely sunny day, and that’s nice considering it’s rained enough for the ark to come around two or three times over the last month. also, my boyfriend has had to go away to Spain so I get to slob around for a few days and act like a teenager again….then cue a hurried day of cleaning when he comes back, like I left it like that all the time!

It also means I really get to relax and do lots of writing, without worrying about the time to get the dinner on, or whether I ironed the clothes or not. I tend not to realise the time when I’m writing on my own, as it allows me to let the creativity flow.

Well, you might be asking what exactly I write…I write a blend of paranormal romance/fantasy. I have one book published so far, with my second one coming out in the autumn. So…I thought I would let you all have a little teaser of my first book, Conner. Just the prologue and first chapter mind, you don’t get more than that today!

So without further ado, go ahead and read!

 

Conner by Miranda Stork

Prologue

 

North Yorkshire, 1751

 

The cool night breeze tossed the branches together, making them whisper to one another, as though they were the only ones with a secret tonight. A light aroma of sweet summer flowers drifted through the small clearing, where a shadowy figure breathed heavily. The clearing was lit by a single ray of silvery moonlight piercing through the trees, fireflies dancing in its glow, while the unsettling silence weighed heavily on the cool summer night air.

The figure shifted slightly, causing excitement amongst the fireflies, and causing a variation in the heavy silence.  Peering through the frame of trees and branches in front of him, he looked across at the woods and well-used, dusty road. Slowly, he moved through the grass until he was only a few feet away from the edge of the road, his amber eyes glowing, his hair ruffling in the soft wind.

He could hear the steadily-growing-closer rattle of carriage wheels. The scent of the woods was now mixed with the strong aroma of horses, and the conflicting sweetness of a lady’s perfume.

His heart began beating faster, the blood in his veins pumping faster as his muscles readied themselves for the sprint he knew was coming. His breathing grew ever faster as the rattle and clapping of horse’s hooves and the carriage grew ever closer.

A long thread of saliva stretched from the side of his jaw. He knew he should try to fight these feelings of excitement and overwhelming power, but it was so much more thrilling to let them take over.  After all, he pondered as his victims unknowingly rose towards their fate, isn’t that what separates us from the animals? And that was indeed an interesting question to ask in his present state…

 

Chapter 1

“And that is the basic framework of the schizophrenic mind. Next week we’ll be discussing why people become schizophrenic; or rather what could be possible triggers of it. I’ll see you all next week.” Professor Erin Miller began neatly collecting her papers from her desk as the class began to leave, a loud murmuring of conversation filling the room as they began to file out.

“Erin! It’s been a while!”

She looked up quickly, her long brown hair swaying across her face, her light blue eyes staring across the lecture theatre.

“Professor Whitfield, hello!” Erin’s tone was polite but without being cordial. “What a surprise! What brings you down here from the practice?”

The ‘practice’ she referred to, was a private surgery the professor had opened as a place for him to see his patients who had psychological problems, but no financial

problems. Erin thought it was unethical to choose who received help with their problems based on the size of their bank balances. Having said that, Erin had occasionally done work for Professor Whitfield when she had needed to ‘pay the rent’, as it were.

“Well, I’ll get straight to the point.” He paused for a second, as if collecting his thoughts, scratching his white beard thoughtfully, looking like a serious, understated Father Christmas. “We have a patient at the practice who is a little…” Here he paused again. “A little…‘non-textbook’.”

“Really, in what way?” She cleared some of her desk, and sat on the wooden top, eyes attentive to what was being said.

Professor Whitfield smiled, tiredly. “He believes he is a lycanthrope.”

“A what?”

“A lycanthrope-a werewolf.”

Erin looked at him in surprise, a smile twitching at the corners of her mouth. “And where do I come into this?”

“You are the leading expert in the county in schizophrenic and related cases. And I’d like you to take this case.” He peered at her expectantly, head slightly cocked, like a dog waiting for a treat.

Erin sighed, slid off the desk, and walked around it to the back. She shook her head slightly, and then looked back up at him. “I don’t know. You know I don’t believe in private practices Frank…and besides, I have so much to do here.”

“Look, I know how you feel about my practice, and I wouldn’t ask, but…” He sighed, and pulled a chair in front of her desk, sitting down heavily. “He has been one of our patients for six years now, and we haven’t made any progress with him. He continues to act aggressively towards nurses; he’s even seriously injured one of them.”

Erin gasped. “What happened?”

“Well, the nurse went into his room alone, to give him his dinner. She has told us that he was sat quite calmly on his bed, reading a book. He then told her he wasn’t hungry, and would she please take it out. She refused, and said she would leave it on a table for him, as is procedure. He then asked her again in an aggressive tone and began making growling noises, but this was usual and she ignored it.” He looked up at Erin, pausing, as if his next words were an unpleasant pill he had to swallow. “From outside, there were two other nurses who heard an unearthly screaming.

They hit the alarm and raced to his room. They ran in on him ripping out the nurse’s throat with his teeth.”

A hand flew over Erin’s mouth. “That’s horrible! Is she alright?”

The professor nodded slowly. “Yes, well…she’s physically alright, but…” he trailed off as he shook his head.

“And you want me…to go in with this maniac and talk to him? This is way beyond anything else I’ve dealt with and-“

“You would of course be watched over by a nurse as you were talking to him. Also, there’s something else.” Professor Whitfield continued. Raising himself from the chair, he slowly paced across to the window and back again. “He has specifically asked for you.”

Erin looked, puzzled, at the back of the professor. “Asked for me?”

“Yes.” Frank Whitfield turned back and looked squarely at her. “It would appear you have a fan.”

“Well…”

“Look, I’ll leave you his file, look over it, ring me in the morning.” He smiled, placing a pink paper file on her desk. He tapped it, raising his eyebrows, and then turned and walked quietly out without another word.

Erin looked down, doubtfully, at the file.

 

 

Erin paced across her warm living room, the soft glow of her electric fire reflecting off her red sofa. It had been playing on her mind since Professor Whitfield had left the pink file on her desk.

It sounded so intriguing, but…she really didn’t like working up at his practice. It was simply full of people with minor mental illnesses who had enough money to pay to get rid of them. There were plenty of people with worse problems couldn’t afford the private care system, and she wanted to help them. Working for a patient at this practice was going against her principles. But…this patient did sound…different. She sighed, and heavily flopped down on a chair, picking up the folder that she had carelessly thrown onto her ebony and glass coffee table.

Fingering the sharp spine with one finger, Erin studied the file with apprehension. She was curious, but at the same time, she knew she would want to carry on this case if she looked at it, she just knew it.

“Oh, what the hell-just look, Erin.” she muttered to herself impatiently.

Taking a deep breath, she opened the file to reveal carefully typed case notes with a Polaroid photograph paper-clipped to the first page.

The photo showed a young man in his mid to late twenties, with soft black hair cut short, and an infectious smile, the lips almost curving into a sensual smirk. But the most strange-and also the most striking thing about him-was his eyes. They were brilliant amber, looking straight at the camera, a strange mix of coolness and warmth.

Erin stared for a moment at the photo, and then carefully laid it aside. She continued to look through the file. The first typed sheet was simply detailing when he was sectioned, and to which ward. The second sheet seemed more interesting, it listed his symptoms. Erin pulled it out and began to read it aloud to herself.

“Delusions of being able to change into a lycanthrope, aggressiveness, growling noises, socially inept, egocentric…”

Erin shook her head sadly, as she read down the list. She did briefly wonder why Professor Whitfield wanted her to take this case; this sounded a lot more like clinical lycanthropy rather than schizophrenia, but she reasoned that they had some similar tendencies.

And clinical lycanthropy was incredibly rare; it did usually turn out to be an extreme form of schizophrenia. When she had finished, she set it aside with his photograph, gently. She then leafed through endless sheets of medication lists and daily reports until she stopped, and slowly took out one paper. It was hand written, not typed, and it was almost all written with an old fashioned hand, except for a few sentences at the top. Erin began to read.

 

‘Whitfield Institution, August 2011

 

This is a small piece written by the patient Conner Woods, this shall be used for psychological evaluation only. This shall be in his words and it shall be a personal statement.

 

Dear reader, I am sure you will know nothing true of me until I have finished writing, so please do not make up your opinion from what you hear from others, judge me from my own words.

My name is Conner Woods, and I was born in the village of Athol, in Ireland, in the vicinity which is now known as Armagh.

I was born in December around 300 BC, on a cold yet beautiful day, my mother always

told me. I was an only child, although I get the strange memory of once having had a twin brother. I was brought up by a man I thought was my father, but turned out to be my stepfather.

I was always different. I had raven-black locks, and-strangest of all-amber eyes bright as an owl’s. My stepfather always treated me differently-not without love; I never had want of that-but with a slight anxiety, as though I might snap with a violent temper at a moment’s notice.

We lived very comfortably at that time, quite happy. Everyone knew each other and we all helped one another. The children, including myself, were all brought up by all the people in the village, each of them teaching us in different ways. One of the villagers taught me to read, another to fight. I also always remember there was another little girl in the village, the daughter of the head of our village. She was so beautiful, and I grew up in love with her, but that is another story, not to be told here.

Everyone has a distinct point in their lives where everything in their lives changes, be it for better or worse.

For some, it is when they become parents, others; when they find their soulmate, or realize their destiny. For me, the first of my two turning

points came when I became eighteen.

I had been feeling restless about the village, and there were murmurs amongst the older villagers, about the other children and me, talk of an ‘awakening’. I had no idea what this would be about. I also began to notice that small groups of villagers would disappear outside of the village for days at a time. They would leave with bundles of items, wrapped in brown cloth, and come back empty-handed.

I had decided to go for a walk after some of these villagers one night, to see where it was that they went; in the sky a weak, early moon tried to compete with the brilliance of the setting sun. The grass shushed at me as I walked through it with its long stalks. I had been walking through the woods for quite some time, when I suddenly came across something that made me stop.

It was a small stone hut. Its rotted door hung from ivy hinges, and moss crept into every little crack in the aged wood. A memory from childhood crept into my mind.

I had come across it once before, at the age of six or seven, and ran to my mother, lagging behind, delighted at my discovery. As I told her, her face fell. “You must never go there again, never!” She grabbed my arm and pulled

me back along the path, sobbing and upset-at what, I wasn’t sure.

As the memory faded, I looked again at the small hut. I should have walked away, but something compelled me to go forward, to answer this unknown question in my mind. I took a deep breath and pulled the rotting door open.

Inside, to my surprise, there was a single wooden bed and a rudimentary bookshelf, holding more flagons and jugs than books, along the far wall. There was a small, well-used, wooden desk below the dusty window, and a threadbare rug adorned the floor. I walked over to the desk, where a long-ago-written letter lay on top, tied with a faded piece of woven cloth. I sat down on the bed, coughed at the clouds of dust that rose, and carefully untied the letter.

‘Dear Lucius,

 

This is the last time you will hear of me, for our affair must end. We are far too different, you and I; we are worlds apart from one another.

I love you so much my heart is breaking in my breast as I write this to you, and my hand shakes, but it is for the best.

I am with your child, who shall always remind me of you, but you cannot see him.

Please respect my wishes, it must be this way, but I shall never forget you.

Yours eternally,

Rosa’

 

Rosa. That was my mother’s name.

The shock hit me in an icy wave. Affair? With child?

I ran back to the village, time standing still as I angrily clutched the letter in my fist. I don’t remember how long it took, and I don’t remember bursting into my mother’s room in our small hut.

She was alone, and looked up at me in shock. I threw the letter at her feet, and glared furiously at her. There was a moment’s pause, before she slowly bent and picked up the note.

“So you know then?” she quietly asked. The words echoed deafeningly in the silence.

“Yes, I know!” I hissed. “How much of it is true?”

She sighed, and walked over to the window. Taking a second to look out into the

night, she sat down on a nearby chair.

“I met your father-your real father-when I was a little girl. He lived in the village and was

like an older brother towards me. When he became old enough, he left because…he had problems here. He couldn’t adjust to being…like everybody else. He returned many years later, when I was still young but married to your father.

To cut a long story short, we fell in love, and began our affair. He was a…werewolf.”

“WHAT!  You speak madness, woman!”

“No. I’m afraid I speak the truth.”

I stared at her, wondering if she had been taken mad. “But…but…they aren’t real! They don’t exist!” My voice trailed off, and I shook my head in disbelief.

My mother spoke gently. “Darling, I’m afraid they do exist, in fact the entire village is full of them.”

I blinked at her in shock, wondering if the words I was now hearing were a bad dream; and that at any moment I should wake up and find the sun shining through my window.

“She shook her head. “This isn’t how you were supposed to find out. There must be a…awakening for werewolves…when they are old enough. There was to be a ceremony, but I

suppose it makes no difference that you know now.”

I gasped, and backed away, as though to

escape her words. “But…but, it can’t be, I would have noticed before now…” My voice trailed off.

My mother smiled, something twitching the corners of her mouth. “I’m afraid there would not be any sign until you were ‘awakened’…brought to understand your condition. Once you reach the age of eighteen, you will start to develop into a full werewolf. It is the way of them all, it is to prevent young children becoming frightened by what they are, or doing some damage to themselves or others, without realising it.”

“And my real father?”

“Your real father is a man called Lucius O’Neil. He was born in this village many, many years ago. But when he found out what he was, he couldn’t deal with it properly. He found himself far too controlled by his nature. He had to leave the village…he asked me to go with him, but I feared for your safety.”

Those were the last words I can remember my mother speaking. My memories begin to fade in and out from that point on; I have entire periods of my life blacked out for hundreds of years, in which I have no idea what

happened to me-or others, if there were any others in my care.

I have written this statement at the

bequest of Dr Whitfield, but I write it simply to ask the one person who can help me, to come to my aid; Erin Miller.

Conner Woods.’

 

Erin stared sadly at the pages for a moment, collecting her thoughts. She lifted the file off her knee, and placed it back on her table. Raising herself off the red and gold armchair, she walked over to her house phone. Taking a deep breath, she quickly dialled a number, and raised the receiver to her ear.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Dr Whitfield?”

“Erin? Have you considered my offer?”

She took another deep breath, realizing there was no way out if she agreed. “Yes.”

“Wonderful! I’ll see you tomorrow, at the surgery. Bye for now.”

“Okay. Goodbye.”

Erin replaced the receiver, and glanced across at the papers still laid on the arm of the chair. She walked across, and picked up the young man’s photo again. Smiling, she shook her head at his frozen expression.

“It’s strange.” she murmured to herself. “Something about it seemed so real.”

End of chapter 1

 

I hope you enjoyed that little teaser…if you would like to read more of Conner, you can buy it from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and even get it on Kindle and other compatible devices.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Conner-Miranda-Stork/dp/1475214707/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1336555351&sr=8-2

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/conner-miranda-f-stork/1016212446