THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Disciple, Part II, L. Blankenship {$2.99}

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Description of Disciple, Part II:

The prince first kissed Kate Carpenter for fear of missing the chance if they didn’t survive the journey home through the monster-prowled mountains.

Now that kiss seems like a fever dream. It’s back to work for her, back to the fellow physicians jealous of her talents and the sneers of an infirmary director who wants her shipped off to some tiny village. Kate means to be on the front lines to save lives. She’s worked too hard to overcome her past to let them deny her the chance to serve her homeland when the enemy’s army reaches their kingdom.

The grand jousting tournament is a chance to prove she can manage combat wounded, and at the royal Solstice banquet Kate means to prove she isn’t an ignorant peasant girl anymore.

But the prince’s kiss still haunts her. Their paths keep crossing, and the easy familiarity they earned on the journey home is a welcome escape from their duties. It’s a small slip from chatting to kisses.

This is no time to be distracted by romance — a vast and powerful empire is coming to slaughter anyone standing between them and the kingdom’s magical fount.

Kate ought to break both their hearts, for duty’s sake.

 

Accolades:

“I don’t deliberately read any kind of romances, but this fantasy romance is such a logical continuation of the first part of the story that the addition of love to the stew makes the characters all too human in a world where the rules are subtly different… I can’t wait for the next episode.”

- Maridebarr (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/667771672)

“[Kate's] attempts to carve out a career for herself as a healer provides fodder for a good fantasy story — and one I haven’t heard before… I am excited for Part III and I’ll be sure to let you guys know what I think of it after its released. In the mean time, check out Disciple Part I and II for all the jousts, feasts and romance that you can handle.”

- Michael Panush (http://panusher.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/a-friendlier-fantasy-l-blankenships-disciples-part-ii/)

Reviews:

Disciple, Part II currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4 stars from 1 review. Read the reviews here.

 

An excerpt from Disciple, Part II:

(After spending the day debriefing the king on the results of their mission, Prince Kiefan leads Kate into a quieter part of the castle…)

He still held my hand. No voices, nobody nearby to see us. I swallowed a nervous lump in my throat, wondering where he meant to take me. And what he meant to do there. Surely I didn’t have to worry whether anyone would hear me scream… was there anything he could do that I’d need to?

My cheeks warmed.

Slim pillars held up a graceful stone arcade. Between them, we walked onto frost-burnt grass. A gnarled apple tree, leaves golden and half fallen to the ground, stood ringed by a waist-high juniper hedge. Beyond, the castle wall rose sheer and seamless. To either side, the watchtowers bulged from its face and spiked up like smooth horns. I had to crane my neck to find the tips, and in doing spotted the catwalks that connected each tower to the roof of Castle Kaltkern. The garden lay below the keep, hemmed in by saint-cut cliffs on both sides.

A crescent garden, I saw now. To either side, more fruit trees dropped their leaves, and the rose bushes had gone bare for the winter, but the juniper hedges held their green. Under the central apple tree waited a broad wooden bench. By my hand, still warm in his grip, Kiefan led me toward it and a tangle of hopes and fears snapped tight around my heart.

He didn’t sit, though. He stood under the tree and looked up. “Sometimes I can get some quiet here,” he said. “When Mother isn’t seeking solitude herself.”

I looked up, too, into golden leaves and dark branches. Blue, beyond. “It must be lovely in the spring.” I could imagine the trees hazed by white blossoms.

“And in the summer, when the roses are out, the scent hangs like a fog between the walls.”

He still held my hand. My nerves eased, I sidled closer to his shoulder. He smelled of sweat, under his layered woolens. “You spent the afternoon at swordplay?”

He nodded, bringing his gaze down to me. “I thought he would send for the captain, but Woden tossed me a sparring sword himself. I nearly dropped it when he chose one and stood at guard.”

“You sparred with a saint?”

Kiefan shook his head, disbelieving it himself. “I saw him spar with Captain Aleks, once. She said it was her most valuable lesson.”

“You lived to tell. You didn’t ask him to give you quarter?” I risked a smile.

A chuckle. “He gave none, that’s true. I won’t know how many bruises I have until morning, I’m sure.” He tugged out the collar of his cote to feign checking inside. “We spoke about the lamia, and he told me I was using my kir to keep their teeth off me despite the close quarters. The beginnings of a kir-shield. With training, I’ll be able to control it more.”

“We all learned something out there.” I looked up as a chilly breeze sent a few more leaves spinning from the branches and caught a wince on Kiefan’s brow. “Are you hurt? A headache?”

“A little.”

I knew what that meant. I put my hand on his fresh-shaven cheek and turned his head toward me to call his kir. It glowed in answer, revealing a few tangles on his meridian, but I got no further in checking him.

Kiefan leaned over and kissed me, wrapping me in both strong arms. Coaxed my mouth open to spar with his tongue. He left me breathing harder with my palm still on his face.

I combed my fingers over the ridges of his Blessing at the back of his neck and pulled him down for another. His arms tightened on me. His lips made their way to my throat and his tongue tracing the hollow there stabbed a shiver into my spine. My pulse surged.

With a hard breath, he buried his face against my neck and squeezed me till I squeaked. I clung to his shoulders, my feet lifted an inch off the ground. He held me warm and safe, despite the cold breeze.

“You must come to Prohzgrad with us,” he said against my neck. “Cure me with a kiss each night.”

I swallowed a sudden lump. “You’re going away?” I managed to ask through his grip.

 

Disciple, Part II is available for purchase at:

 Amazon Kindle for $2.99

 

Connect with L. Blankenship:

Website: http://discipleofthefount.blogspot.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/louise.blankenship.1

Twitter: www.twitter.com/LBlankenship_sf

Almost Magic (Splintered Category Romance), J.M. Kelley {$2.99}

SPLINTERED CATEGORY ROMANCE #103
MagicalParanormal

When it came to Vivian Burroughs’ unique connection with nature, her grandmother always said, ‘Mediocrity may not burn as bright as a firecracker, but it seldom blows up in your face.’ But the old woman never advised her on what to do when a sexy new neighbor stokes the flames of attraction.

Jack Riley, a still-grieving widower, relocates from the big city to small-town Essex Woods with his young daughter, Elizabeth. His introduction to Vivian leaves him enchanted, but rumors regarding her abilities soon come to light. Is the local beauty a witch or merely the product of an eccentric upbringing by her mother Fred and Aunt Lil, identical twins with a penchant for mischief?

Jack is intrigued by the mystery surrounding the woman, considering the complexities of raising the precocious Elizabeth, a child with frighteningly accurate intuitiveness. As he reluctantly draws closer to Vivian, he also discovers how deep his daughter’s gifts run. Can Jack accept the truth about his own flesh and blood, as well as a second chance at love?

What readers are saying:

ALMOST MAGIC by J.M. Kelley is a funny and lighthearted novella that is guaranteed to make you smile. Between the sweet heartwarming romance and the humorous characters, you’ll be whistling a happy tune when you are done reading. –The Romance Reviews

I really enjoyed this book. From the main characters to the small town feel to the quirky supporting cast, it was a pleasure to read. –Amazon Review

The average Amazon Reader Review Rating is currently 4.5 stars {2 reviews}.

 Click here to read more about and purchase Almost Magic (Splintered Category Romance) for $2.99

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Darkride (The Darkride Chronicles), Laura Bradley Rede {$0.99}

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Description of Darkride (The Darkride Chronicles):

Ander McNair used to be the favorite son of a great monster-hunting family – until he was bitten by a werewolf and the hunter became the hunted. Now anything that makes his pulse race, even a kiss from his girlfriend Cicely, is enough to turn him into a monster. When he finally has his chance to earn his cure by killing a vampire prince, Ander finds he has to choose between his own past and the future of the girl he loves. Can a guy who’s not even human learn what it means to be a man?

Luke Marianez used to be an immortal vampire prince – until the witch he loved betrayed him and cursed him with the ability to die. Now he lives in the world of vampire blood bars where the waitresses are the drinks, and dreams about killing the last of the witch’s line so he can live forever. But revenge doesn’t just mean breaking the curse. He wants to break the girl’s heart, too. Can Luke seduce Cicely without falling in love himself?

Cicely Watson doesn’t believe in werewolves or vampires. She’s not even sure she believes in true love. But she’s about to discover what every werewolf knows:

People change.

Accolades:

“Darkride had everything I need in a good fantasy/paranormal book. Action, romance, a heap of steamy and amazing supernatural creatures, and a main character that will affix herself to you. Everything about this book was fierce!” ~ Sizzling Reads

“Darkride is one of those books that you sit down to read, and find yourself physically incapable of stopping until it’s done – and when it is, you still are burning to read more.” ~ Ricochet Reviews

“The story was filled with action, tension, difficult decisions, and touching romance. I was swept away by the story…” ~ Ms. Martin Teaches Media

“Darkride keeps you guessing from the moment you read page one. Author Laura Bradley Rede does a great job of keeping you hooked till the very end. There is a major love triangle… but this is no Twilight romance.” ~ ParaNormal Romance Party

“I really loved this book with its fairy tale qualities mixed in with real life/fantasy. It was done beautifully and it still seemed fresh and new in this ever growing popular genre.” ~ Once Upon a Twilight

 

Reviews:

Darkride (The Darkride Chronicles) currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.6 stars from 44 reviews. Read the reviews here.


An excerpt from Darkride (The Darkride Chronicles):

Ander seems to feel better, too. He jogs a little ways ahead of me, then doubles back, high-fiving the trees as he comes. “So,” he says, “Your birthday. What are you doing to celebrate?”

I shrug. “You know, helicopter ride, movie premier, champagne toast at sunrise. The usual.”

His eyes are full of sympathy. “Mom working, huh?”

“For the caterers tonight, then she has a wedding to do tomorrow, so I’m sure she’ll be busy. But she might make a cake.”

“Oh,” he sighs, “your mom’s cake! Damn, that’s good.”

“She’s a pro,” I say.

“So,” he says, “What are you going to wish for?”

I’m suddenly glad for the shadowy darkness. It hides my blush. “Same thing I wished for last year.”

“And you haven’t gotten it yet?”

“No,” I say, “Not yet.”

“Well,” he says, “Maybe this is your year.”

Right now all I wish for is to be able to see the expression on his face, but the shadows hide it. Does he know I wished for him? Is there some hidden promise in his words? There can’t be. I mean, if he felt the same, why wouldn’t he just tell me? If he felt the same, why didn’t he kiss me back there, when his arms were already around me? He can’t feel the same. I put a little extra stomp in my boots, trying to crush out any spark of hope before it has the chance to catch. This is how I get hurt.

We walk for a while in silence. What is he thinking, I wonder? His face is unreadable in the half-light. Trying to see him makes my eyes hurt, and trying to understand him makes my brain hurt. Being best friends with Ander is like doing long division in your head all day. It’s like trying to follow a foreign film without the subtitles. How can Zoe say he’s straightforward when I feel like everything he says is in secret code?

The woods have begun to thin. Up ahead, through the trees, I can just see Ander’s house, as dark and elongated as the shadows around us. It’s the only house around, shielded by trees on every side. Ander used to joke that I was the “girl next door,” because my mom’s trailer is the next closest place, and we’re on the other side of the woods. Only the long gravel drive connects Ander’s house to County 13 and the rest of the world. Its gray paint is peeling and the porch sags, but there are yellow marigolds in the window boxes and a welcome mat by the front door.

I wonder who that welcome is meant for. I’ve never been invited in.

Without saying a word about it, we both stop a respectful distance from the yard, like there’s an invisible line I can’t cross. “Well,” Ander says, “I guess I should go in.” He looks up at the sky, then glances at the house. There’s a light on in the kitchen window. His uncle is home.

“Yeah,” I say, “I guess you should.” But neither of us goes anywhere. Ander takes a little swig of Gatorade. I take a deep breath. I almost hate to ask him, because I know he’ll have to say no. His uncle never lets him go out.

But I promised myself I’d ask him. It’s a new year and I’m starting it right.

Now or never, Cicely.

“Do you want to go out tonight?”

Darkride (The Darkride Chronicles) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99

 

Connect with Laura Bradley Rede:

The Tiger Princess (Saderia Series), Sarah Renee {$0.99}

Ten years ago, a devastating fire took the lives of Queen Karenisha and King Makero, leaving a young Princess Saderia orphaned. Nobody knows how the fire was started, but it ignited quickly. Too quickly.

In ten years, the truth has never been discovered…

Saderia is a curious 10 year old tiger Princess. Her Aunt Cia and Uncle Jash have taken over the duties of Queen and King and raising Saderia since her parents disappeared in a mysterious fire. Her aunt and uncle don’t understand Saderia, which she resents.

But Saderia starts having dreams about the past; dark, disturbing dreams. She has to know the truth. Could her parents have been murdered? Soon she finds herself surrounded by more secrets when she discovers a dangerous, ancient royal secret regarding her oldest ancestors.

At the same time, strange things start happening in the usually peaceful forest. Hard times and disappearances create fear and desperation. Out of the shadows comes a dark, mysterious lion named Dastarius to offer his services and play the hero. But his past is just as shadowed and uncertain as the King and Queen’s sudden fiery death.

Saderia doesn’t know who or what to trust, but she is desperate to find the truth about the past. She’s willing to do anything to get it.

 

What readers are saying:

“The Tiger Princess”, the debut title from Sarah Renee, is the first in a series of stories geared towards middle grade readers starring a courageous young princess named Saderia. Children can easily relate to the engrossing saga of Saderia, while learning worthwhile life lessons, and enriching their imaginations. – Amazon Reviewer

Author Sarah Renee captures the voice and thoughts of a strong-willed, independent and curious ten-year-old girl so perfectly that it is easy to forget that she herself was only 12 when she wrote the book! – Amazon Reviewer

This book is full of twists and turns, hate and love, filled to the brim with emotions that reflect in my own life! I cannot put this down! Anyone who loves ANY animal should be in love with this series – Amazon Reviewer

The average Amazon reader review rating is currently 4.8 stars, with 16 reviews.

Click here to read more about and purchase The Tiger Princess (Saderia Series)  for $0.99 at Amazon 

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Riddler’s Gift (First Tale of the Lifesong), Greg Hamerton {$0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}}

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Description of The Riddler’s Gift:

A shadow steals across Eyri. One by one, the Lightgifters are snuffed out. When darkness strikes her family, Tabitha receives a dangerous legacy. Soon the Riddler walks beside her, but is he on her side?

The more she searches for answers, the further into treachery she is led. The more she tries to flee, the harder she is hunted. And the more she sings the ancient Lifesong, the more the world begins to change.

Can she grasp her gift before the darkness captures the last of the light?

“In a darkening realm, which is better: the power to save your love, or to save your love from power?”

 

Accolades:

“When you reach the end of The Riddler’s Gift, you’re left wanting more. Highly, highly recommended.”
– FANTASY BOOK CRITIC

“I absolutely LOVED this book…every darn minute of reading!!! This is a stay up half the night, read at stop lights kind of book…just couldn’t put it down. Thank you so much!!!”
– KATHYREEL (recent Amazon customer)

“The world created by the author came alive. The characters had enormous depth and the plot was superb. I looked forward to settling down to read this each night, and now that I’ve finished it, I will definitely be buying the second book!”
– KRISTIN (recent Amazon customer)


Amazon Reader Reviews:

The Riddler’s Gift currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4.3 stars, with 38 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

The Riddler’s Gift is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Excerpt from The Riddler’s Gift:

PREFACE

There is a song that drifts on the breeze through all the world. Its rhythms are echoed in our breath, the music is caught in our laughter, hidden in our language, woven through our life. Singers reach for the melody, but it is too delicate to hold and too elusive to remember. As the Ages pass, so the Lifesong retreats under the sounds of our time, its potent beauty and danger ever more a mystery.

Few know how the Lifesong has shaped our world, for those who hear its tune would rather sing than write, and to grasp its tale we must go back, far back beyond our brief and incomplete history, to when the world was changing, when Life was shadowed by a mighty legend.

In that most vital era, when the destiny of Humankind was balanced on a blade, the inhabited Earth was known as Oldenworld. Magic was a raw force then, released from the confining code that so tightly binds it today, yet to master that magic required great patience and even more wit; few apprentices became casters, fewer still became masters.

So much power in the hands of so few. Ever has it been the cause of woe. At first those gifted masters wrought works of great beauty in the rising civilisations of Oldenworld. But they became distracted by the powers they had discovered, seeking majesty, seeking mastery. Seeking might.

And so those who had first been hailed as the Wise, the wizards, now fought amongst themselves, determined to prove one lore over another, to justify one vision of magic as superior, all-encompassing and absolute.

The battle for power was fierce. Those wizards who did not fight to prove their lore, fell.

At first the wizards used principles of Dark and Light for their spells. Such an elementary form of magic came to be known as the first axis. After much study the Wise discovered a second axis, but this only intensified the conflict as those who summoned raw Energy now rallied against those who could command solid Matter. The wizards were driven by the escalating violence to find a resolution; Oldenworld could not sustain such a conflict. Their urgency led them to the third and most advanced axis, a lore of Order, a lore that promised ultimate peace.

There was a hidden price to pay. Order demanded perfection. Order demanded knowledge and structure, it demanded control. The wizards could see no danger; they eagerly developed the magic of the third axis, hoping to mold Humankind into ever greater stability. How different the world would be, if wisdom preceded action.

Too late they considered what might develop on the opposite pole of their third axis, too late they noticed the one who had mastered Chaos.

He swung the third axis like a warhammer: Ametheus, the Sorcerer, the Unbinder. The bringer of Ruin. He tore apart their ordered web of control before the wizards had even recognised their common foe; he smashed their College and their future with it. When the wizards gathered again, they numbered only twelve of thirty-three. By the time they had agreed to unify in one Gyre, they numbered only eight. And eight, they found, was too few.

They had failed to prepare for the coming of the tide, and Oldenworld began to change. The entire lowlands north of the great mountains fell to the Sorcerer’s way, one realm after another corrupted by the spreading web of silvered essence, the horror named Wildfire.

The Gyre fought to restore Order, they fought to save the precious networks of commerce and culture, but Ametheus severed the veins of every system and corrupted the blood of every resistant soldier. Such was his hatred for the wizards and their Order.

Those who could, retreated south, to the heartlands, where for a time the Sorcerer’s power could not reach. But all things that slumber, awaken renewed. When his influence began to spread again, the Gyre suspected that Oldenworld faced its doom.
Ametheus. Some said he was mad from the first. Some began to whisper that he was the shadow of another, more ancient evil, for it was true that he reached beyond the knowledge contained in any of the wizard’s lores; he drew his inspiration from a mightier source.

The wizards of the Gyre even began to fear that their own reasoning had become affected by Chaos. They trusted their perfect foundation of knowledge, but they fought amongst themselves, and had begun to serve the Sorcerer’s ends in so doing. They needed a champion to resist the Sorcerer, someone with a special talent, different to their own. Yet such a champion would have to be born in a place where nothing was known of Ametheus, where no trace of his power lurked. And so they conceived of Eyri, the most secret of secrets, a realm to be sheltered from Chaos for as long as possible.

The battle for Oldenworld continued, and in the years that passed, the Gyre began to understand their foe. They found ways to bring peace to places he had ravaged, they struck blows that shattered his cruel inventions, and they survived, as a pack of wolves survives when facing a bear. Yet before their eyes Oldenworld continued to crumble. So much was lost, so many lives were stamped into the mud of battlefields that should not have been trodden upon, so many people lost their lives to despair.

The wizards of the Gyre grew tired. To assert Order required continuous effort; spreading Chaos took no effort at all.

Ametheus surged into the heartlands, his presence pouring in from both the west and the east. As the beleaguered Gyre fought, their fear grew, for they suspected that the Sorcerer would not stop until he had disrupted everything. He reached for powers that should remain untouched. He would bend the course of Time upon itself until it ruptured. His vision was of all Order ended, replaced by an existence so far from our natural course that nothing precious would remain, not a leaf, not a light, not even the tale of the Lifesong. The Sorcerer reached for the End, and no one could stop him.

The only hope lay in Eyri. And yet, for years, there was only silence from that mountain-rimmed realm.

1. THE GLEE OF GENESIS

“The strength of a song can be marked
by the silence that surrounds it.”—Zarost

The shadows were long. The fading sun rested among the tall western peaks. The forests which carpeted the slopes around the high village had begun to darken, and the wind had a bite to it—a warning there would be snow before winter thawed. The scent of smoke lingered in the lee of the buildings; indoors there would be warm hearths and watchful hounds, but the people would be gone.

Tabitha quickened her pace through the empty streets, worried that she would be late. Her soft boots hardly made a sound on the cobbles, only the fabric of her dress whispered with every step. A curl of hair blew across her face, and she tucked it hurriedly behind her ear.

She knew that she shouldn’t have lingered for so long to practice, but she had been determined to perfect her recital. She had tuned her familiar lyre again and again, but it wouldn’t hold the notes to match her voice, as though the instrument knew of the contest tonight and shuddered under her nervous fingers. She wanted to win a place amongst the three best singers, and so earn a chance to perform in the King’s Challenge. All the villagers of First Light would be at the inn, and a good many visitors besides. She should be there already.

The street held a tense air as if the neighbourhood waited for Tabitha to pass. A building moved, or its shadow shrank against a wall. Her mind was playing tricks with her. She turned away from the imaginary disturbance to take a short-cut, but just as she did so, a toddler tottered into the street up ahead.

He was a lone little figure in a hooded red coat, small between the looming buildings. The child wobbled uncertainly, then turned towards Tabitha. She recognised him, and she guessed that he had only just realised he was lost. Kip was too curious for his own good, and his mother was often too distracted to keep a constant eye on him. His expression showed that his curiosity had once again led him beyond the limit of his bravery.

A tall man rushed from a doorway beside Kip. Although his back was to Tabitha, his black robe seemed to pull the shadows in his wake. He snatched the toddler from the cobbles, and strode off toward a side alley, with Kip’s head protruding from under his arm. Kip gasped like a fish, but didn’t make a sound. Tabitha stared after him, too surprised to move.

A queer shiver ran down her spine; what she was seeing could not be true.

“Hey! Wait!” she shouted.

The man threw an angry glance over his shoulder, and disappeared into the shadows of the alley at a run.

“Stop! Child-snatcher!” Tabitha shouted, but the street was empty of help, and the windows dark.

She ran for the alley before she could consider the consequences. Her lyre bounced hard against her back on its strap, and she lost a moment securing it under her arm. The alley was gloomy, and the cobbles were slippery underfoot. The man was so fast that only the flutter of his robe showed where he ducked around the corner. He seemed to blend with the shadows.

Kip still hadn’t made a sound. He should be bawling his lungs out.

Tabitha sprinted. Her foot slipped at the corner, and her dress tangled around her legs, causing her to careen wide of the turn. She caught herself against the far wall of the alley. When she gathered her dress and ran again, the child-snatcher was out of sight. The street into which she emerged was empty, but for a broken-down cart which slumped against a wall, and too many shadows.

The sound of running came from her left, and she chose the first break in the buildings to dart that way. The passage opened onto another deserted street, where the last of the sunlight was fading from the roofs.

Tabitha slowed to a jog. The little one had to cry out soon, and she would follow that sound.

But there was nothing to hear—only the wind moaned through the eaves.

Her stomach knotted tight. She tried to ignore her mounting dread, and peered alongside every building.

What kind of man steals a child?

A smudge of red caught her eye, but when she turned her head, there was nothing there. She tiptoed between the buildings and into a short dead-end street. A jumble of crates occupied the wedge of two converging warehouse walls.

Then she caught sight of a little face behind a latticed crate-side; a panicked prisoner within the discarded cage. Kip’s face was screwed up, his body shook, but although it was clear that he was crying, he still made no sound. Tabitha looked nervously around. The doorways nearby were empty, the doors closed deep in the shadows.

The strange dark man was gone.

Relief made her legs weak. The black-robed abductor had been more than just a stranger; the way the shadows had clung to his shape, his swift movement, like a predator, stalking. He had preyed upon a child! She hoped that she would never see him again.

“Oh, Kip, it’s all right, it’s all right!” she called out, making her way to him. She tipped the crate aside, and reached for the little adventurer.

A sudden, cold gust crept up her skirts. The street darkened at her back, and she realised she was not alone.

“Hullo, pretty.”


The Riddler’s Gift is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with Greg Hamerton:

Author Website: http://greghamerton.com

Author Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/greg.hamerton

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: A Dragon’s Work Is Never Done, Stephanie Barrett {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Description of A Dragon’s Work Is Never Done:

Have you been looking for an imaginative, exciting book to share with the child or grandchild in your life? A Dragon’s Work Is Never Done tells the wonderful story of Alfie and his dragon friend Marty, with the help of 60 beautiful full-color illustrations.

Alfie is just an ordinary little boy–that is, until he bites into a ham and cheese sandwich with mustard so spicy that it turns him into a fire-breathing dragon!

Soon, he befriends another dragon named Marty, who shows him that dragons lead incredibly busy lives. For starters, they terrorize princesses, battle knights, and guard treasure, but did you know that they are also excellent pizza chefs? Or that they rescue rocket ships stranded in outer space? Or that they are responsible for every warm bath that’s ever been taken before bedtime? And all they ask in return is a few fluffy marshmallows–for there’s nothing in the whole wide world that a dragon loves better than marshmallows.

So, if you’ve ever wondered what a day in the life of a dragon is like, spend some time with Marty and Alfie and find out why a dragon’s work is never done!

 

Accolades:

“I was impressed with the language, as well as the interesting story line, in this adventure/fantasy. Usually when adults read a book to a child, they can pretty much tell where the plot is going. That is not the case here … It was a pleasure, too, for us to enjoy the excellent illustrations, which really helped to bring the story to life.”

“The story is so creatively written and so much fun from beginning to end.”

“This is a great children’s book, but be ye warned: little ones will not go to sleep until you finish it and answer a few questions about dragons (it takes about 20-25 minutes). The book includes an address to write Marty the dragon, and my grandkids are anxious for him to respond.”


Amazon Reader Reviews:

A Dragon’s Work Is Never Done currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 5 stars, with 13 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

A Dragon’s Work Is Never Done is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Excerpt from A Dragon’s Work Is Never Done:

I flapped my arms quickly to catch up with him, wondering where we were going next. Now, if you know a thing or two about dragons already, you might be able to guess what Marty and I were off to do. Can’t think of it? Here, I’ll give you a hint: “X” marked the spot where we had to go, and what we found there was very shiny and sparkly. Did you guess treasure? You’re right! We were off to guard some very valuable treasure!

We flew for miles and miles until we came to the Mangy Mountains, and at the base of those mountains there was a cave, and inside of that cave were piles and piles of glittering treasure. There were shiny gold coins, and deep red rubies, and emeralds as big as your fist! The stacks of treasure towered high above my head—they even made Marty look small!

Our job was simple. We sat at the mouth of the cave, and if we heard footsteps coming near, we simply let out big puffs of our blistering breath, and soon we would hear footsteps running in the opposite direction. Nobody wanted to mess with a couple of fearsome, fire-breathing dragons!

But after a little while we heard a strange sort of footsteps, because it didn’t sound like a pair of feet were making them—instead it sounded like one foot and one wooden stick were heading towards us across the flat, stony ground. Thump went the foot, tap went the stick, thump, tap, thump, tap, thump, tap, until Marty shouted, “Peg Leg Pete!” and to me he said, “Hold your fire, it’s Peg Leg Pete!”

Then a pirate appeared at the mouth of the cave. He had a patch over one eye, a parrot on his shoulder, and one peg leg sticking out of his pants. “Arrrrgh!” he said, “Thanks for guardin’ me treasure, I wouldn’t trust it to nobody else!” And then he dipped his hand into his pocket and pulled out a handful of soft, springy marshmallows. “And these’ll be fer you and yer friend,” he said, holding the marshmallows out to Marty.

“Thanks Pete,” said Marty, taking the marshmallows and sliding them into his satchel. “Now we really should be going—a dragon’s work is never done!”

And as we took off into the sky again Peg Leg Pete yelled after us, “See ya tomorrow, Marty!”

“See ya, Pete!” Marty called back, and with that we were off on the next leg of our adventure.

“Marty?” I said as we tore through the clouds. “What are all those marshmallows for?”

“You’ll see,” he answered. And that’s when I learned that dragons are very mysterious.

 

A Dragon’s Work Is Never Done is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with Stephanie Barrett:

Author Website: http://www.alfieandfriends.com/

Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AlfieAndFriends

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah, Lee Edward Födi {FREE}

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Lee Edward Födi‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah:

A SPLINTER IN SORCERY . . . According to Een legend, a Kazah stone grants a wizard the power to catch an echo of the past—and a glimpse of the future. But when Kendra Kandlestar is given her own cracked and broken Kazah stone, she soon discovers that it’s capable of so much more. Now, with her faithful companion Honest Oki by her side, Kendra is sent on an unimaginable journey across the cosmos, finding herself amidst worlds that are strange and bewildering—and at the same time all too familiar. Trapped in this adventure, Kendra finds herself faced with choices that just may unravel the mysterious history of the Eens—and destroy their future. What will Kendra choose? There’s only one way to find out: Slip through the crack in Kazah and enter a world of magic, monsters, and mystery!

 

Accolades:

Winner of the Mom’s Choice Award (Gold Recipient) 2012

A 2012 Best Books for Kids Selection – CCBC

“Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah would be an excellent class novel for individual reading or as a read aloud choice. It would be an excellent addition for personal, class, school and public libraries. Highly Recommended.”

~ Deborah Mervold, CM Magazine

“All the books in the series are really good. The first one stands out because it’s the first one we read . . . this one [The Crack in Kazah] I think is now my next favourite in the series . . . there are so many twists and ideas . . . you just don’t know where the book is going to go next.”

~ JustOneMoreBook.com

“Mythic archetypes, hair-raising action and humor makes this installment of the Kendra Kandlestar chronicles a bookfans of fantasy will be tempted to stay up all night to read. This family-friendly series and exciting book is filled with thought-provoking issues. Kendra Kandlestar and the Shard from Greeve will entertain readers of all ages.”

~ Midwest Book Review


Amazon Reader Reviews:

Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 5 stars, with 20 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for FREE


Excerpt from Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah:

Chapter 1: How Kendra heard the Danger

As this tale unfolds, and your mind begins to revel in the crackle of each turning page, you will find yourself wanderingalong a familiar path, where creatures of mischief and malice lurk around each bend, where danger lingers in every shadow. Indeed, you know this path well—for this is the road to adventure and you, my young dreamer, have traveled it before.

Perhaps you have found yourself hiding behind the long beard of an ancient wizard as he weaves his magic against the fire of a ferocious dragon. Or perhaps you have crept behind the tattered cape of abrave explorer, through the bone-biting shadows of a dark dungeon, seeking escape from monstrous fiends. Perhaps you have even found yourself amidst the roar and rumble of a mighty battle, dodging claws and talons, fists and feet.

If your imagination has taken you to such places, then you know that no adventure happens without a long journey. We do not find ourselves thrust immediately against the dragon, or suddenly lost in the dungeon maze, or so quickly catapulted into the roar of battle. Indeed, we must begin with that first step upon adventure’s path. We must trek through places strange and unknown. The journey, as you know, is sometimes as important as the final destination.

Ah! Such has always been the case with our young heroine, Kendra Kandlestar. If you are familiar at all with her adventures, then you know she comes from the quiet land of Een, tucked between the cracks of here and there. The Eens, of course, are an ancient race—some say older than even Elves or Dwarves. The Eens are a very small people and are known for many things: their long braids, their ability to speak to animals, and—perhaps most of all—for being shy and timid. Indeed, they prefer to stay hidden behind the magic curtain that protects them from the outside world. But Kendra has never been an ordinary Een. We have seen her cross river and wasteland, descend into mines and dungeons, and climb cliffs and castle towers. And now she will undertake her most difficult journey yet. Perhaps you will be surprised to know that she will end just as she has begun, for in this taleKendra will not visit new lands. She will find herself only in those placeswhere she has been before.

Then how can this be a journey, you ask? Ah—and there lies the key to this tale. Imagine, if you will, not a journey to where—but a journey to when.

So now, your mind is swirling with questions, just like flakes of snow on the cold and bleak morning when our story begins. Here, amidst a symphony of wind and cloud, a magical airship chugs across the sky. It looks like a giant bird, with sails for wings and windows for eyes. The ship is called the Big Bang and amongst its crew is a wizard’s apprentice, twelve-year-old Kendra Kandlestar.

On this winter’s morn, Kendra was sitting in a dark chamber below deck, mind ablaze with questions as she pondered the mysteries of Een magic. She did not like sitting in quiet meditation. Even with her eyes closed and her hands outstretched, it was a grueling task to focus on the moment, to think only of the present.

Instead, Kendra thought of the past. She thought of the future. She thought of her brother Kiro, and all that he haddone, all that he was meant to do. And yet Kiro, in a way, was no more. Long ago, he had been transformed into Trooogul the Unger, a beastly creature with tusks and claws and crooked limbs and it was difficult to know whose side he was on. Trooogul had stolen the dark stone known as the shard from Greeve, a fragment of an ancient warlock’s cauldron. As far as Kendra knew, Trooogul was intent on rebuilding that vile cauldron—which meant resurrecting a curse that could transform the entire Een race into monsters, just like Trooogul himself.

He’s somewhere out there, in the lands below, headed towards the City on the Storm, Kendra told herself. We must find himbefore it’s too late.

“Humph.”

Kendra opened her eyes and gazed upon the old man who had just grunted. Her master. He sat across from her, like a mirror in his pose, still as a statue in the Elder Stone. He was ancient and frail, with a beard so long and white that some Eens claimed he used it to sweep his floors. But Kendra knew better, for not only was the wizard her master, but her uncle as well. With her family having long ago disappeared, ornery old Uncle Griffinskitch had raised her from the time she was a baby. He never swept his floors, with his beard or otherwise. Sweeping was Kendra’s job.

Uncle Griffinskitch looked older than ever. His face was a criss-cross of cracks, as if someone had taken a putty knife to clay, and his beard was as white as a winter’s moon. He even wore spectacles now—an old hand-me-down pair from Professor Bumblebean. Of course, at this moment, Uncle Griffinskitch didn’t need his spectacles. Even though his eyes were closed, Kendra felt as if the old man was glaring right into her soul.

“You must focus, child,” Uncle Griffinskitch murmured. “If you wish to master Een magic, then you must quiet your mind, tune yourself to your wand.”

Kendra’s eyes turned to the small stick of wood that lay in front of her. She had received her wand months ago, but she still had trouble understanding its power. Kendra looked back at her uncle. His own wand was more like a staff, twisted and gnarled, its length a symbol of his mastery of Een magic. The wand stood beside him, without support, as if it had a mind and will of its own.

“Remember, the wands do not give us magic,” Uncle Griffinskitch said.

“Then why have them at all?” Kendra asked.

“The wand is like a musical instrument,” the old man replied.

“Like the narfoo?” Kendra asked, thinking of the golden horn-shaped instrument that hung on their wall, back at home. The narfoo seemed to have a hundred valves and keys—far too complicated for Kendra to imagine playing. Come to think of it, she had never seen Uncle Griffinskitch play it either.

“Yes, the narfoo, if you wish,” Uncle Griffinskitch grunted impatiently. “If you want to make music, then you need the narfoo. But the instrument itself doesn’t make beautiful sounds; it only amplifies that which the player can find within.”

Kendra sighed, and tugged nervously at one of her braids. Tugging helped her think, so it was a good thing she had seven of them, radiating out from her head like the rays of a star. “Was it this difficult to train my mother?”

Uncle Griffinskitch’s eyes fluttered open. “Humph,” he murmured. “Why do you suddenly ask about her?”

Kendra fiddled with her hair, not sure what to say.

“She asked as many questions as you, that is for certain,” the old wizard said. “She had a strong will—and more attitude than a giant with a sliver in his toe.”

Kendra had seen a giant or two in her time; she couldn’t help thinking that, for a giant, the nearest thing to a sliver would be a small tree.

“Your mind wanders again,” Uncle Griffinskitch accused.

“Sorry,” Kenrdra said. “You didn’t really like her, did you? My mother, I mean.”

Uncle Griffinskitch grunted. Kendra knew it was difficult for him to talk about such matters. After all, Kendra’s mother was his own sister. She was just as long-lost to him as she was to Kendra. “Your mother and I did not often see eye to eye,” the old man admitted. “But my love for her was as long as my beard.”

“Is,” Kendra said. “You mean is. She’s still alive.”

“Humph,” Uncle Griffinskitch muttered, and Kendra knew it was the type of humph that meant the discussion was over. “We shall return to our meditation, this time with our wands.”

Kendra nodded, lifted her wand and closed her eyes again. She took a deep breath.

Focus, came her uncle’s voice—but he wasn’t speaking out loud. The words just popped into Kendra’s mind, and she knew he was speaking to her through their wands. Feel the world about us, he said.

Yes, master.

What can you see?

My eyes are closed!

See without your eyes,Uncle Griffinskitch told her. Deeper breaths. Let your mind expand. The world surrounds us, alive and vibrant. Tell me what you see.

Kendra wrinkled her nose, wishing she could tug at one of her braids. But instead she followed her uncle’s command by taking another deep breath, trying to focus. For several minutes she just sat there, quietly breathing, the sound of her uncle’s voice whispering inside of her. Then, slowly, Kendra felt her mind begin to drift, as if she was entering a dream.

Now tell me, came her uncle’s voice, what can you see?

A picture began to appear in Kendra’s mind, hazy and white. Clouds, Kendra told her uncle. An endless stretch of clouds. Then she saw something sharp and black amidst the white.  There are rocky crags ahead, Kendra added. We should warn Ratchet, so he doesn’t crash the ship.

The ship will be fine. Stay with the moment. What can you taste?

Water, Kendra replied. It’s cold . . . wait, not water; snow. I can feel it melting on my tongue! It’s snowing outside.

Good. Now, what do you smell?

Smoke on the wind. Someone has lit a fire, far below, on the ground. Kendra now felt light as air, as if she was no longer in her body, no longer on the ship. The sensation was incredible.

Keep it going, Uncle Griffinskitch urged. Tell me, what do you hear?

Kendra tuned her mind. I hear someone telling a story. It’s the legend of how two angels with braided hair appeared before the first Elders of Een. I think we must be close to home! But still, how could I hear that from way up here?

Distance, size—even time, these are but barriers in our minds. We must train ourselves to climb these walls! Our frail minds may fret over such walls, but the magic of Een does not. Yes, the magic, tune to it, Kendra. It can take you anywhere, if you so allow. Now, keep seeking, Kendra. What else do you hear?

Kendra breathed, and let her senses wander. Snow is falling, on the trees, on the mountains. There’s a murmur in the wind. There’s a—

Suddenly, a dreadful shriek pierced her mind, like an arrow splitting a melon. She dropped her wand with a clatter and clutched her ears—and the sound was instantly gone. Her eyes flew open, only to see Uncle Griffinskitch staring back her, his wrinkled face gaping in surprise. He had heard it too.

“Uncle—,”

But the old wizard was already rising to his feet in a flourish of white beard. “Quickly, Kendra,” he beckoned. “To the ship’s deck. We’re under attack!”

 

Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for FREE

 

Connect with Lee Edward Födi:

Author Website: http://www.kendrakandlestar.com

Author Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Chronicles-of-Kendra-Kandlestar/137022551183

Chase Tinker & The House of Magic, Malia Ann Haberman {$3.99}


In Chase Tinker’s world, magic, lies and secrets can be a lethal combination…

Chase Tinker has the power to move things with his mind. His brother Andy can stop time. The thing is, they have no idea where these crazy abilities could’ve possible come from, and, are totally clueless on how to control them. Chase wants desperately to talk to his dad about it, but Benjamin Tinker has disappeared without a word.

It’s a huge shock to Chase and Andy when one day a grandfather they thought to be long dead arrives at their door. He invites them to come spend the summer with him and their cousin Janie on a remote island in an out-of-this-world house where fantastic magic can be found in practically every room, stairway and corridor. Chase can’t believe his dad has been lying and keeping so many important things from his sons.

Not long after the boys’ arrival at Grandfather’s house, their aunt, who has been on a mission to find their missing dad, turns up, hurt, sick—and alone. Now three of the biggest questions in their minds are: where in the world is their dad? And how will they find him? Or, is he…dead? It doesn’t help matters when Chase’s despicable cousin James arrives and turns everything upside down, even putting Chase’s life in mortal danger.

As he spends more time in the house, Chase begins to realize that, not only has their dad been keeping things from them, but Grandfather seems to be keeping several secrets of his own and Chase is bound and determined to find out just what those secrets are.

Chase soon finds out that all their magic is controlled by a strange, incredibly powerful relic hidden in the attic, and if anything happens to this relic every bit of Tinker magic will be lost forever. And, if this isn’t enough to worry about, the Tinkers are also facing a terrifying and powerful enemy that is determined to destroy the Tinkers and possess all their magic, their house and their Relic. Now Chase, along with Andy, Janie and their good friend Persephone, must find a way to stop these evil beings in order to save, not only themselves, but everyone else on the planet.

What readers are saying:

“I love middle grade. I also love magic. This was a perfect mix of both. The magical aspect was awesome. It reminded me of Harry Potter and Howl’s Moving Castle. All the characters were great.I loved how innocent they were. This had a super exciting storyline. I can’t wait to see what happens next.” – Amazon Reader Review

The average Amazon reader review rating is currently 5 stars, with 4 reviews.

Click here to read more about and purchase Chase Tinker & The House of Magic for $3.99 at Amazon

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Chase Tinker & The House of Magic, Malia Ann Haberman {$3.99}

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Description of Chase Tinker & The House of Magic:

In Chase Tinker’s world, magic, lies and secrets can be a lethal combination…

Chase Tinker has the power to move things with his mind. His brother Andy can stop time. The thing is, they have no idea where these crazy abilities could’ve possible come from, and, are totally clueless on how to control them. Chase wants desperately to talk to his dad about it, but Benjamin Tinker has disappeared without a word.

It’s a huge shock to Chase and Andy when one day a grandfather they thought to be long dead arrives at their door. He invites them to come spend the summer with him and their cousin Janie on a remote island in an out-of-this-world house where fantastic magic can be found in practically every room, stairway and corridor. Chase can’t believe his dad has been lying and keeping so many important things from his sons.

Not long after the boys’ arrival at Grandfather’s house, their aunt, who has been on a mission to find their missing dad, turns up, hurt, sick—and alone. Now three of the biggest questions in their minds are: where in the world is their dad? And how will they find him? Or, is he…dead? It doesn’t help matters when Chase’s despicable cousin James arrives and turns everything upside down, even putting Chase’s life in mortal danger.

As he spends more time in the house, Chase begins to realize that, not only has their dad been keeping things from them, but Grandfather seems to be keeping several secrets of his own and Chase is bound and determined to find out just what those secrets are.

Chase soon finds out that all their magic is controlled by a strange, incredibly powerful relic hidden in the attic, and if anything happens to this relic every bit of Tinker magic will be lost forever. And, if this isn’t enough to worry about, the Tinkers are also facing a terrifying and powerful enemy that is determined to destroy the Tinkers and possess all their magic, their house and their Relic. Now Chase, along with Andy, Janie and their good friend Persephone, must find a way to stop these evil beings in order to save, not only themselves, but everyone else on the planet.

 

Accolades:

“I love middle grade. I also love magic. This was a perfect mix of both. The magical aspect was awesome. It reminded me of Harry Potter and Howl’s Moving Castle. All the characters were great.I loved how innocent they were. This had a super exciting storyline. I can’t wait to see what happens next.” – Amazon Reader Review

 

Amazon Reader Reviews:

Chase Tinker & The House of Magic currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 5 stars, with 4 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

Chase Tinker & The House of Magic is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $3.99

 

Excerpt from Chase Tinker & The House of Magic:

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Keeping Secrets

They bolted down the road, their flashlight beams bobbing. Chase grasped Andy’s arm and dragged him to help his shorter legs keep up. The sounds of pursuit echoed behind them, and they were still a ways from home.
Chase’s heart was about to pound right out of his chest when he remembered a small building he’d glimpsed through the trees on the way to town. “Come on, you guys,” he gasped. “This way.”
Slipping into the dark woods, he shivered as the chill from the damp ground and mossy trees surrounded him. With the stickery blackberry vines grabbing at everyone’s skin and clothes, Chase led the way to a small clearing. A rickety old shed was there in front of them, leaning as if ready to topple at any moment. Chase opened the sagging door. The kids’ shoulders drooped when they saw it was crammed with cracked, splintery wood, a rusty tricycle, several old tires and a paint-chipped door with the hinges falling off.
“Crap!” said Chase.
“Oh, no!” said Andy. “We’ll never fit in there.”
“Let me see what I can do,” said Janie. Taking a deep breath, she scrunched her face and flicked her hands. Ribbons of silvery mist flowed from her fingertips, swirled through the building and then vanished. “Oh my gosh! It worked!”
Brushing aside dusty webs, she climbed behind the crusty woodpile into the space she’d created, which was much larger than the outside of the shed. The others followed, wrinkling their noses at the smell of rotting wood and mold. Shutting off their flashlights, they huddled together and tried to calm their ragged breathing.
“Won’t whoever’s out there fit in here too?” Andy whispered in Janie’s ear.
“I made it so it looks bigger to only us,” she whispered back.
“I’m worried the whole place might cave in on us,” muttered Persephone.
“Shh!”
Everything was quiet for a few minutes, then they heard the crunching of breaking twigs and the rustling of leaves and brush. Chase held his breath as the door creaked open. Persephone’s hand squeezed his arm. In the moment the door hung open, he could have sworn he saw a glint of blond hair as he peeked through a crack in the woodpile. The door slammed shut and the footsteps faded away.
Chase’s legs began to cramp from crouching for so long. More lightning and thunder flashed and boomed as the storm moved closer. He now understood what his last premonition had been about. If only he’d found out more while he was sleeping, then maybe they wouldn’t be squatting in an old, spidery shed, hiding from some insane stalker.
“Isn’t he gone yet?” Andy whispered. “How long have we been in here anyway?”
“Feels like forever,” grumbled Janie, rubbing her legs, “but maybe about twenty minutes or so.”
“I’ll go see if it’s safe,” said Chase. Although, if he had his choice, he’d rather be lounging in a comfy chair in front of the fire in Grandfather’s study.
“Good idea,” said Janie.
“And be careful,” said Persephone firmly.
He gave her a small, lopsided smile. “Hey, what else would I be?”
Creeping to the door, he opened it just enough for him to slip out. Pressed against the side of the building, he strained to see anything the least bit suspicious in the darkness. He swallowed, pushing down the panic that rushed through him at the thought of running into whatever crazy person was after them, but everything looked okay.
He snuck to the edge of the forest, while trying to blend in with the shadows. He checked up and down the road. No one was in sight. The wind riffled eerily through the trees. It swirled around him as he stood for a moment listening to the sounds of the night before he turned and hurried back to the shed.
“Whoever it was seems to be gone now,” he said as he swung open the door. “So let’s get the heck out of here in case he comes back.”
Stepping outside, Persephone brushed at her hair and clothing. “Yuck! I feel like I’m crawling with bugs.”
“Same here,” said Janie.
“Come on. We need to go,” said Chase, losing patience as he watched Janie picking cobwebs off her jacket and Andy hopping around. “We’ll worry about spiders and whatever later.”
“Easy for him to say,” Andy whispered to Persephone. “He didn’t have one crawling in his pants.”
Keeping a lookout for any sign of their pursuer, they flitted through the trees and down the road. Chase stuck out an arm and stopped everyone when he heard rustling and snapping twigs. With his heart thumping at least a hundred miles a minute, he flashed his light toward the noise. Several pairs of green, glowing eyeballs blinked in the brightness as a family of raccoons sprang from the bushes. They loped across the road and disappeared into the darkness.
“Whew!” said Persephone. “For a second there…”
“Yeah,” said Chase, mentally swiping his hand across his forehead. “I know what you mean.”
He heaved a deep sigh of relief when they finally reached the end of the road and saw their friendly, glowing house across the yard.
“Man! Was that scary or what?” said Andy. “Who would want to chase us, anyway?”
“Good question, shrimp,” said Chase, staring back down the dark, sinister-looking road. He didn’t mention anything about the glimpse of blond hair he’d seen. It still seemed too crazy that it might have been Doctor Dan.
“Maybe someone wanted to kidnap us and hold us for ransom,” said Janie, looking worried. “Grandfather is kind of rich, you know.”
“Wouldn’t it be easier to take just one of us and not the whole bunch at once?” said Chase.
“Yeah, I guess.” Her hands shook as she scraped sticky webs from between her fingers. “It was too scary for words, though. I sure won’t be walking down that road at night ever again. And where was Grandfather? He said he’d be there. If he was with us we could have teleported!”
“At least your power came in handy, Janie,” said Persephone.
“I should’ve frozen him,” said Andy, cramming his hands into his pockets as he stomped along, “but I was so scared, I forgot I had a magical power.”
“That’s okay, Andy,” said Chase. “I would’ve levitated the creep to the top of a tree, if I’d've thought of it, that is.”
Janie stepped between them and patted the boys’ shoulders. “I’m sure you guys will remember to use a little magic in the next crisis we have.”
“I sure hope so,” Chase muttered to himself.
The pouring rain started seconds after they entered the kitchen. Thunder boomed overhead, making the doors and windows rattle. It felt as if the storm had followed them home, like a big, growling dog nipping at their heels.
“Cool! We got here just in time,” said Chase, quickly closing the back door. He glanced at the clock and saw it was a few minutes until midnight. “We should probably let Grandfather know we’re home.”
“Let’s go see if he’s with my mom,” said Janie, plopping her bag on the counter before heading for the swinging kitchen door. “Oh my gosh! Maybe she had a relapse and that’s why he missed the show.”
The door to Clair’s room was open and rosy light spilled into the hallway. The kids heard voices coming from within. Chase jerked up his arms to stop the others. “Let’s listen to this,” he whispered.
They nodded and tip-toed closer.
“Are you sure?” asked Grandfather. His voice was filled with worry.
“It was them,” Clair said, sounding hoarse and weak. “From what I can tell, they’re still collecting magic…” Thunder boomed, drowning out half her words. “…lost Shard.”
Grandfather said something they weren’t able to hear because of the sound of the loud, pounding rain coming through the bedroom window. Then, “…a long time…dangerous.”
“We have to…safe…was followed…Mar…angry…escaped,” murmured Clair, her voice fading in and out. “I don’t want them to…” BOOM! The lightning and thunder flashed and roared. “…didn’t mean…I planned…toward the…my journey…but I…Ben or…so confused. The kids can’t know…” BOOM! Thunder shook the windows.
“Don’t worry. I’ve taken care of that with a powerful enchantment,” said Grandfather. His voice was louder now, moving back and forth as if he was pacing the floor. He heaved a deep sigh. “It looks like our Dark Enemy will never stop until—”
The kids looked at each other. “Dark enemy?” mouthed Chase.
Clair’s croaky voice took up where Grandfather had left off. “—until either we or they are de—” She stopped, as if afraid to finish the sentence. “Anyway, I’ll do what I can to keep…” More rumbling thunder drowned out her quiet words.
“It’s late,” said Grandfather. “The children will be here soon and it’s best if they know nothing of what we’ve been discussing. Why don’t you get more sleep and we’ll speak again when you’re feeling better.”
The kids dashed back to the kitchen.

 

Chase Tinker & The House of Magic is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $3.99

 

Connect with Malia Ann Haberman:

Twitter: @malia_ann

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Return of the High Fae (Vegas Fae Stories), Tom Keller {$3.99}

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Description of Return of the High Fae (Vegas Fae Stories):

Ex-Cop turned Private Investigator Robert Hoskins always enjoyed the stories his grandmother had told him as a child, stories of the Dryad that lived in the tree, the Faeries in the garden, and the magical world that was created in his imagination. He always enjoyed them; he just never thought that they were true. Robert’s childhood world of magic becomes real when a chance encounter with a local casino mob boss introduces him to the world he was born into, the world that was hidden from him, the world of the Fae. But he’s not easily convinced.

From disbelief to acceptance, Robert encounters a variety of mythical beings. From Faeries and Norse legends to the Oracle at Delphi, from Mermaids to Werewolves to everything in between, Robert’s world has definitely changed. While his path through that world appears chosen he soon learns that the beings that reside in the world of his grandmother’s stories aren’t that much different than those of the mortal world. Good and evil still battle one another and it’s time to take sides.

What should Robert do when the world around him stops making sense? When he has to find out from a Dwarf that his dog is descended from Fae hunting dogs. When he knows that corporations and even the mob don’t run Vegas, it’s the Fae. When the prettiest girls he meets are over 3,000 years old and some of them drink blood. And that stripper, is she really a Faery? Let’s not even go there. What should Robert do when he learns that strength in his new world is measured in magic, and he doesn’t have a clue how to wield it?

Do Demons, Gods, Elves, and Faeries really exist? Are Vampires truly the children of Lilith? Robert didn’t believe it at first either.

 

Accolades:

f you like spies, private investigators, fairies, magic, and mobsters, you’ll love Return of the High Fae.

Kinda like a mature version of Harry Potter.


Review Ratings:

Return of the High Fae (Vegas Fae Stories) currently has a review rating of 5 stars from 9 reviews. Read the reviews here.


Return of the High Fae (Vegas Fae Stories) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $3.99

 

An excerpt from Return of the High Fae (Vegas Fae Stories):

I really hate process serving, it pays lousy and people tend to get all righteous and indignant when you lay papers on them. Like it’s my fault they got themselves involved in some legal mess. But a local lawyer who had referred me a lot of business asked me to do this one, so I took the job.

I knew the target, an old time casino boss by the name of Carmine Pontedra. Several others had tried but he’d slipped by them each time. But I had something they didn’t, access to the private lot at the Neptune where he parked. You needed an entry card and code, something not easy to get, but I still had a few contacts from my police days.

I’d come in from the rear, off of Dean Martin Drive. The Neptune’s Landing is a posh hotel and casino located just off the center strip. From the front, it’s a beautiful property, with its statue of King Neptune holding his trident in the middle of the dancing fountains in a saltwater lagoon. His arm is outstretched, his webbed hand beckoning all to come inside.

Like most hotels, however, the rear is all parking lots and delivery bays. It takes a lot of products and people to keep a big property like this going. Vegas is like a magic show. The audience sees the end performance but all the real work happens behind the curtain.

I waded through the maze of structures and entrance ways and accessed the executive level parking garage. I lucked out and found a spot just across the bay from his Mercedes. My car was hidden nicely behind one of the hotel’s executive limos. Now it was a waiting game. It was getting close to 8:00 p.m. I knew he worked the day shift but I also knew he seldom left the property before this time of night. Then I saw the elevator doors open.

I slipped out of my car and stood in the shadows by a pillar, hoping it would be Carmine. Instead it was Eddy Milagre who came out. Damn! Milagre was Carmine’s boss and part owner of the place. He’d gotten his start running numbers for the mob and worked his way up the ladder before he became legitimate when corporations took over the Vegas scene. I didn’t think he knew who I was and I wanted to keep it that way. I eased around the pillar and hugged the shadows as I watched Milagre walk toward his car. Suddenly he stopped and looked around. I thought for sure he’d seen me, and then it happened.

Out of nowhere three men appeared and grabbed him. He started to fight back but these guys were armed. I wasn’t sure what they were carrying but I could see them pointing something at him. At first I thought they might be billy clubs or maybe some kind of short baton. When I heard the crackling sound, I figured they were some kind of modified stun gun or cattle prod. I saw a flash of blue light and he was down.

I drew my gun as soon as I heard the sound and jumped from behind the pillar. Before I knew what I was doing I reverted back to my police days yelling, “Freeze, drop your weapons!”

The guy who had first shocked Milagre stood up and turned toward me, firing. I didn’t know what the hell he was carrying but it damn sure wasn’t a stun gun.

I was a good twenty feet away when blue lightning struck me. As it hit me I felt the electricity, or whatever it was, surge through me. What the hell, since when do bad guys carry lasers? Ignoring the pain I fired back and he dropped like a stone. Then I grimaced; I had expected some type of electrical shock feeling. Instead, it felt like someone was trying to claw their way through me. I took a deep breath to block out the pain and then it suddenly stopped.

Whatever it was hadn’t been enough to kill me or knock me out like it had Milagre, but it did make me drop to one knee. Based on how fast Milagre had gone down I figured the shooter had just grazed me but it still hurt like hell. I didn’t let down my guard. I ducked behind a parked car and peeked over the hood.

The second guy had started to move his weapon towards me as I had taken cover. After the first near miss, and the pain, I knew these things could probably kill me so I wasn’t going to give this one a chance to do better than the other guy. I popped up and fired. I watched him go down as my bullet hit his chest.

I started to run parallel to his direction to get to better cover when I saw the third guy move to square off with me. He was holding his weapon and just as I thought he was going to take the shot he suddenly turned and ran around the parked cars and disappeared. I would have gone after him but not knowing how bad Milagre was injured I stopped to render aid.

When I knelt down I was relieved to see he was still breathing. I rose and quickly checked the two shooters. My shots had been center of mass and these two weren’t getting up again. Out of instinct I knocked the rods away from their hands. I scanned the area in case the third guy decided to come back.

The next thing I knew the elevator doors opened and the posse arrived.

Five black clad figures carrying M-4s and other weapons surrounded me as two others went to check on Milagre. I knew the drill. I put my gun down on the ground and my hands behind my head. There was no way I was going to argue with military grade weapons. Two of them cuffed me and yanked me up, not too gently I might add. I started to yell out that there was still a third guy out there. I never finished.

I felt a blow to the back of the head and my vision started to fade. Then I heard someone’s voice saying, “No, he isn’t one of them.” Then the blackness seemed to swirl around me and I didn’t hear anything at all.

When I woke up I tried to determine where I was. The last thing I remembered was being hit in the back of the head. Damn, it still hurt. I opened my eyes slowly and tried to compose myself. I was half afraid I’d been tied to a chair like a scene out of a bad movie; I mean, this is Vegas. But instead, my hands were free and I was on a couch. I knew there were people around but I couldn’t tell who they were. It might have been because I was squinting.

It was a nice office, there were pictures on the wall and the place had an expensive look. I started to sit up but I was still groggy. At least I could move, even if it did hurt like hell. I took the pain as a good sign, I was still alive. I pushed myself up into a sitting position and leaned over and rested my head in my hands. “I have the mother of all headaches,” I exclaimed.” Would someone please tell me what the hell is going on?”

“Glad you’re still with us,” I heard a voice say. I felt a glass being pushed into my hands. I took a sip of what turned out to be ice water and looked around the rest of the room wondering how long I’d been out.

Then I heard the voice again. “Now, please tell me what you are.”

My eyes rested on none other than Eddy Milagre. For someone who I thought had been gravely wounded, he looked damned good. There were two other people in the room. One was a lady I’d never seen before and the other had to be one of the guys who had knocked me out. Dressed in black camo, he was a tall blonde man with a Special Forces physique and that military air about him. “I’m Robert Hoskins, a P.I. I’m also an ex-cop. I was working a case.”

Milagre leaned back against what I assumed was his desk. A mix of exotic woods, it looked expensive. The lady and the other guy didn’t move.

Taking a good look at him I saw that he had an abrasion on his face and his eyes were red. But he still looked better than he had when I’d last seen him lying on the floor of the parking garage.
“Look, kid,” he continued, “I appreciate you saving my ass back there but I need to know what you are.” He stared at me as if he expected me to say something profound.

I had no idea what he wanted to hear. Calling me kid was something I hadn’t heard in a while either. I was pushing fifty, but then again, I knew he was older than I was. He’d made a name for himself when I was still in high school. I still remembered my grandmother talking about the way he ran his casinos. Hell, even with the puffy eye and scratches on his face I could see the power the man commanded. Eddy Milagre wasn’t just old Vegas, he personified it.

 

Return of the High Fae (Vegas Fae Stories) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $3.99


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