Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Guest Post: Debra Chapoton

Today I'm sharing Debra Chapoton's guest post that she wrote for Creative Prose Publishing.

Hello! Debra Chapoton here. Thank you for allowing me to guest post on Creative Prose Publishing.

I have always been an enthusiastic reader and a lover of words. My profession of teaching grammar, writing and language skills in English and Spanish was the perfect background for becoming an author.

After writing a children’s series of adventure and fantasy books I tried my hand at writing a thriller: Edge of Escape. For this book I wanted stalking to get a sympathetic twist mostly because my husband tells me he’d still be stalking me if I hadn't married him.

Most of my characters, probably all, are based on people I know. In Edge of Escape the characters were easy to develop since the former students I modeled them after were fresh in my mind. For A Soul’s KissThe Guardian’s Diaryand Sheltered I created personalities that hinted at people I knew, but changed them enough to get past that opening disclaimer about “any resemblance to people living or dead is purely coincidental.” Coincidence, my foot. I’m willing to bet against all those coincidences by any author, famous or not.

There are plenty of excerpts from all of my novels on my blog. I also have a slide show of the full log home where I now live and write. Come visit me at http://debrachapoton.com.


Thanks!

When a tragic accident leaves Jessica comatose, her spirit escapes her body. Navigating a supernatural realm is tough, but being half dead has its advantages.

Like getting into people’s thoughts.
Like taking over someone’s body.
Like experiencing romance on a whole new plane - literally.

Jessica learns an amazing truth as she struggles to return to her body before the doctors pull the plug, only she can’t do it alone. Now the only two people willing to help Jessica’s splintered soul are the two she’s hurt the most. They must find a way to guide her soul back to her body ... before it’s too late.


Amazon Barnes & Noble CreateSpace  photo 96499460-df42-4bdb-b3db-4142e7c71aa5_zpsanyvavy2.png  photo 63f026c6-31a8-4791-9b08-0ebb2c2cafdb_zpsfuccdg2u.jpg  photo inktera_zpsa7v1qonb.jpeg





Thank you for stopping by,

Creative Prose Publishing

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Silence by Deborah Lytton




Book Description:
Stella was born to sing. Someday Broadway. Even though she is only a sophomore at a new high school, her voice has given her the status as a cool kid. But then a tragic accident renders her deaf. She cannot hear herself sing not to mention speak. She cannot hear anything. Silence. What happens when everything you have dreamed of and hoped for is shattered in a single moment?

Enter Hayden, the boy with blonde curls who stutters. He is treated like an outcast because he is not normal. And, yet, Stella feels an attraction to him that she cannot explain. As Hayden reaches out to help Stella discover a world without sound his own tragic past warns him to keep a distance. But their connection is undeniable. Can the boy who stutters and the girl whose deaf find a happily-ever-after?
SILENCE is a story of friendship and hope with a lesson that sometimes it takes a tragedy to help us find beauty and love in unexpected places.

My Thoughts: Great novel by author Deborah Lytton. The story of Stella, a promising singer, who loses her hearing in a single, tragic incident. But that accident brings her and Hayden together. Hayden has his own issues having been teased for his stuttering for years. These two broken souls find one another and together they begin to heal. The ending was a little rushed, but it still wraps things up and I was happy with it. Told from their alternating POV's we get an insight into both of them. Well written and heartbreaking, you won’t want to miss this one.

Buy it here: AMAZON    BARNES & NOBLE    INDIE BOUND

debby-lytton-2015About the Author: 
Deborah Lytton is an established writer who began her work life as an actress at the age of six. She graduated from UCLA and Pepperdine University with a degree in law before becoming a writer. She lives in California with her two daughters and is an active blogger and member of SCBWI.



Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fierce


FIERCE

Grab your copy now for just .99 cents!
Fierce fantasy collection

FIERCE: Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy with Mercedes Lackey
For a limited time only!

Join epic fantasy legend Mercedes Lackey and fifteen additional New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors on the adventure of a lifetime!

Over one million words and sixteen realms of fantasy brought together for your reading pleasure. Discover courageous characters fighting for justice and order. Journey between kingdoms of dragons and lands of anarchy as tales of magic and mayhem unfold.

Grab it today, before it's gone!


Find out more information about the bundle on novelbundles.com!

About the Authors and Titles:
Mercedes Lackey - Moving Targets
Stuck watching over four Herald trainees on circuit, Elyn is at her wits' end—and that's before a town asks for help with a ghostly infestation.
Michael G. Manning - The Blacksmith's Son
A journey to discover the secrets of his past reveals a magical heritage and embroils Mordecai in a deadly battle for the future of mankind.
K.F. Breene - Chosen
Prophecy has foretold that when war threatens the world, the Chosen will appear to help the Shadow Warriors reclaim their stolen freedom and lead them out of the Land of Mist.
Morgan Rice - A Quest of Heroes
Thorgin, an outsider and a dreamer, fights to become a warrior in an epic quest that finds him at the center of a maelstrom of royal plots and counterplots that threaten him and everyone he loves.
Michael James Ploof - Whill of Agora
When Whill learns the truth of his lineage, he sets out to face his father's murderer, but what he learns along the way will change his life—and the realm—forever.
Daniel Arenson - Requiem's Song
Weredragons, men call them. Monsters. Cursed ones. People who can turn into beastly reptiles. Together they will forge a nation.
Kate Sparkes – Bound
When a young woman accidentally saves the life of an enemy Sorcerer, she finds herself drawn into a world of magic that’s more beautiful, more seductive, and more dangerous than she ever imagined.
David Adams – The Pariahs
Two sellswords—a half-elf and a half-orc—find their war over before it even begins. But trouble is stirring on the home front, conflict which threatens more than just their lives.
Amy Raby - The Fire Seer Taya must use her fire visions to investigate a series of murders, but the Coalition of Mages has partnered her with her old nemesis, the man who used to bully her when they were young.
C. Greenwood - Magic of Thieves & Betrayal of Thieves
In a province where magic is forbidden, young Ilan, born with the powerful gift of her ancestors, has only one hope for survival—concealment.
David Dalglish - The Weight of Blood
When half-bloods Harruq and Qurrah Tun pledged their lives to a death prophet, they only sought escape from their squalid beginnings. Instead, they become his greatest disciples, charged with leading his army of undead.
K.J. Colt - Bear Heart
In the savage lands of Ruxdor, young Klawdia must fight the champions of four rival clans to defend her future as the first female chieftain.
Shae Ford – Poison
A bandit girl is taken from her home and thrust into a complex world of lords and ladies, where she learns that she must kill to survive.
Endi Webb - The Maskmaker's Apprentice
Masks of legend. Masks of power. Those who dare to wear them trifle with the old powers and risk ruin and mayhem. But a young apprentice maskmaker cannot contain his curiosity, and accidentally unleashes a deadly terror upon an unsuspecting world.
Michael Wallace - The Dark Citadel
A slave boy and a young queen lead an alliance of spies, servants, and merchants to stave off the encroaching armies of a dark wizard.
Terah Edun - Blades of Magic
As an unstoppable war breaks out, a young girl enlists in the military to unravel the secrets surrounding her father’s execution.

Grab it today, before it's gone!
    100_Amazon_Paypal Book Blast Giveaway $100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/15/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Win $25

Creative Prose Publishing (CPP) has had the honor of working with a really great group of authors. They're supportive, and freely offer encouragement to each other. It's a real joy working with this wonderful group! As a thank you to them for taking a chance with CPP, we are offering a $25 gift card to one lucky reader. But, we ask that you not just enter to win, we ask that you look over these incredible books and try a few. You will not be disappointed! 


If you enjoy a romance mingled with fantasy we recommend:



Our newest release!

The Gift of Lies by Norma T. Rudolph

The locals call the place Jake’s Hell after Summer McCalister’s crazy uncle Jake who claims to have seen impossible things there. It’s a badlands of rugged rock cliffs and sharp pinnacles that no sane person would attempt to enter. 

The Ahtomalian's call it Daneye, a secret alien city of unequaled beauty, masked behind illusion. Ahtomalian's believe that natives of Earth must never know about them and their powers of the mind or it will destroy the Ahtomalian’ peaceful lives. When Summer is drawn out of bed and pulled to Jake’s Hell by an urge she can’t control, she fears she’s crazier than her uncle. But when the young Ahtomalian, Bentri, steps out of thin air, she knows she’s either crazy—or dead. Taking her to his unbelievably beautiful city doesn’t erase the fact that he’s keeping her hostage in a room with no door and no way out.

Bentri’s world is suddenly and completely devastated by the appearance of the native Earth girl. If she’s discovered within the city, law decrees she be destroyed. As Bentri is bonded with her, that means he would also die. Their only chance might be to escape—but can Bentri survive in her world?  
                                 
 Find all of Norma's work here: Amazon B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Website

                                           
ELEMENTAL PRINCESS by M.M. Roethig *Prequel to Raine 






Kaesen, an elemental princess, lives on a distant star called Maia. She loves Alwen, but as her sworn protector they're forbidden to be together. Promised to a cruel man, Kaesen will do whatever is necessary to change the stars and be allowed to love her Alwen.




               

 Raine by M.M. Roethig

Starting her senior year of high school, Raine Patterson is content with being invisible. That is, until the mysteriously handsome Kaden transfers in and turns her world upside down. Drawn to him in ways she can’t understand, Raine finds herself falling for him, regardless of his harsh stares and mixed signals. When she discovers a hidden ability to control the elements, she finds herself the target of a madman, and Kaden is the only one who can help her. Can she trust him? 

Kaden Williams has hated Elementals from the time he lost his father to them as a young boy. Chosen to protect Elementals, Kaden turned his back on his duty, swearing to rid the world of them instead. Meeting Raine was no accident, but his feelings for her throw him into turmoil and threaten to change the way he feels about Elementals. When Raine becomes the target of an unknown aggressor, Kaden is forced to decide which path he will follow. 

As the struggle for knowledge unfolds and the beginning of a pending war looms closer, Raine and Kaden must lean on each other to discover the truth and survive. 




Find all of M.M. Roethig's work on Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Website 


Elise's Choice by Rachel M. Stiber

A stranger. A legend. A choice that will change Elise's world. Elise and her best friend Anton grew up in the medieval village of Petheralm, where life, though hard, is good. 
When a stranger arrives in her village injured and unconscious, Elise is taken in by his handsome face and sweet demeanor. However, according to ancient legend, the forest surrounding their small town is enchanted, and any stranger unworthy to enter the village would be stopped there. 

The village is leery of this stranger and wants nothing more than for him to leave. Elise pays no mind to the silly legend, and is shocked to discover that he's no ordinary peasant as everyone first thought. Before the stranger is strong enough to leave Petheralm, she is forced to make a startling choice between following her dreams and following her heart. Although Elise feels strongly that she made the correct choice, the day soon comes when she and everyone she loves must deal with the repercussions of her choice.


Find all of Rachel's work here: Amazon B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Website

If you like ghost or supernatural stories we recommend the following:


 A Soul's Kiss by Debra Chapoton

When a tragic accident leaves Jessica comatose, her spirit escapes her body. Navigating a supernatural realm is tough, but being half dead has its advantages. 

Like getting into people’s thoughts. 

Like taking over someone’s body.

Like experiencing romance on a whole new plane - literally. 
Jessica learns an amazing truth as she struggles to return to her body before the doctors pull the plug, only she can’t do it alone. Now the only two people willing to help Jessica’s splintered soul are the two she’s hurt the most. They must find a way to guide her soul back to her body . . . before it’s too late.

Find all of Debra's work on Amazon | B & NiTunes | Kobo | Website 





Shadow of a Life by Tifani Clark
Book one of the Soul Saver Series


Jamie Peters plans to spend the summer before her junior year with her nose stuck in a book—not saving lost souls. Usually the girl that blends into the crowd, Jamie’s world is turned upside down when a mysterious ghost begins to follow her. 
But Sophia isn’t just any ghost.  

A hundred years earlier, Sophia’s disappearance sparked a national mystery that remained unsolved. Jamie knows the legends surrounding Sophia’s disappearance, but she never dreamed she would find out what really happened . . . or that her family might have had something to do with Sophia’s disappearance.  

Determined to set Sophia free, Jamie blows the dust off her family’s past and unearths clues to discover what she must do to save Sophia’s soul. She enlists the help of childhood friend—and secret crush—Peter Ashby as she sets off on a dangerous quest to find a missing map. Spending the night in a graveyard, crawling through a dilapidated barn, and staring down the barrel of a gun aren’t enough to deter Jamie from helping Sophia. But can she find the answers she needs before another ghost gets revenge on her and Sophia?


Haven by Tifani Clark
Book two of the Soul Saver Series

Fifteen-year-old Jamie Peters is a Soul Saver. She helps ghosts finish their business and move on. When a mysterious map comes into her possession, she knows a new adventure is waiting. With the help of her friends Peter and Camille, she follows the map. Her friends hope to find treasure, but Jamie suspects there is more to the map than riches. She never imagined the map would lead her to Haven—and a book of spells. 

Haven Mills was accused of practicing witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. Unlike the other women hung during the trials, Haven wasn’t as innocent as she claimed to be. In one moment of weakness and desperation, she did something sinister—something that has been bringing evil to the world for centuries. 
Jamie promises to help Haven, but the reality of what that promise entails comes back to haunt her as she fights not only for Haven’s soul, but for her own as well.


Find all of Tifani's work on Amazon | B & NiTunes | Kobo | Website

If you prefer contemporary or dystopian we recommend:


Dissidence by Jamie Canosa


In dystopian America, sixteen-year-old Kaleigh finds out quickly what having a big mouth and not enough brains to keep it shut can earn you. A one-way ticket to the work camps that no one even knows exists. 

Nuclear war has ravished the nation, and a century later, the survivors are living in an entirely new world. In a society where everything is decided for you, from where you work to who you marry, dissidence is not taken lightly. 

But, even inside the camps, Kaleigh’s fiery spirit refuses to be extinguished. In a single moment of defiance, she manages to spark a riot that ignites into a full-blown rebellion. 

With growing numbers counting on her, not just for their freedom, but for their very lives, two different boys vying for her heart, and trouble brewing from within the camp itself, can Kaleigh find a way to step up and become the leader everyone is counting on her to be, or will even the most carefully laid plans come crashing down around her?



Find all of Jamie's work here: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Website  

Honorable Disgrace by Stephanie N. Pitman

Angie Adams joins the powerlifting team her junior year, but she has more in mind than just toning up—like getting closer to her crush, football star Cory Jacob, who, as luck would have it, is assigned as her spotting partner. When Angie’s feelings are unexpectedly returned, her life is suddenly filled with the giddy electricity of first love. But why, then, does Angie get a little flutter when her older and very hot boss, Brad, looks at her? 

Angie seems to have everything going her way, until her world is torn apart by her sister’s betrayal which leads to a brutal rape. Heartbroken and reeling in the aftermath, Angie has to find an internal strength to rival her record-breaking power lifts if she ever wants to feel worthy of love again. 

Find all of Stephanie's work here: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Website 


Please check out these awesome books by some really awesome authors!







Friday, March 6, 2015

Come the Dark

Come-the-dark

Enjoy Happy Geek Media's debut tour of Come, the Dark, Book 2, in the Forever Girl series.

 Come-the-dark-about-book  


Come, the Dark by Rebecca Hamilton 
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, New Adult, Paranormal, Romance 
361 pages 
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Come-the-dark-bookRose desperately wants to escape the abuse of the father who impregnated her and the dark spirits that haunt her life. Being thrust from Georgia 1961 into the era of Salem’s infamous witch trials isn’t what she had in mind, and now her daughter is left hopelessly out of reach. The only way to return to her daughter is by facing certain death to banish the dark spirits that plague Salem. If she doesn’t eliminate these dark spirits in time, they will destroy civilization and trap her in this strange new place, ages away from her daughter. Even if she can complete the task in time to return home to save her daughter, there’s still one problem: she’s falling in love with a man who can’t return with her.
 Achieving her goals will force her to choose between the only man who has never betrayed her and a daughter she can’t quite remember but will never forget.

A heart-wrenching tale of a mother’s love for her daughter, this romantic paranormal fantasy underlines the depravity of both historical and modern society while capturing the essence of sacrifice and devotion.

TRIGGER WARNING: This book deals with the sensitive subject of sexual abuse. There is a thread in the Come, the Dark forum at the bottom of this page discussing the issue and how it is handled within the book.

come-the-dark-divider
Excerpt

"Nice day today," she says.  

The words mean to fill the air between us.

The weather's just another pressure in my life, suffocating me, and the swell of my uterus against my lungs isn't helping.

If I had a friend to confide in, they might say I should give the baby up, that the baby would be a reminder of all Pa has done. And maybe they would be right. But once upon a time, Mama told me all babies are a blessing, and I could use a blessing. 

Mama tucks a grayish blonde strand of hair into her sun hat. It's not fancy. Just something she wears to hide her unkempt hair. 

"Georgia summer," she says, all breathless-like. "That's why I like it here. I like these Georgia summers."

I do not like Georgia summers. They smell like animal piss and wet concrete cooking in the sun. But it's not just the summers. I don't like anything about Georgia. Georgia is a black hole----the home of the Darkness. Home of the shadows that scurry in my periphery. Only the edge of my vision catches the figures gliding past, but they are gone the moment I turn to look.

They are here now, too. Always. Ever since that car accident my Pa and I should have died in all those years ago.

I glimpse a shadow at our window, but when I turn my head, there's nothing there. Nothing but the blinds moving lightly. Another shadow crouches behind Mama's rose bushes on the other side of the porch rails. This shadow-man crowds the edges of my vision, watching me. If I look straight at him, he'll be gone, so instead I watch from the corners of my eyes. Not afraid anymore. Only aware.
 

Come-the-dark-follow-tour

FOLLOW THE TOUR SCHEDULE HERE

Come-the-dark-author 
Rebecca Hamilton


Rebecca Hamilton is a USA Today Bestselling Paranormal Fantasy author who also dabbles in Horror and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She enjoys dancing with her kids to television show theme songs and would love the beach if it weren’t for the sand. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA and has been published internationally, in three languages.


Come-the-dark-social

WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebookGoodreads

Come-the-dark-giveaway

Ready for the Come, the Dark Giveaway? Enter via the Giveaway Tools Form just below...

Good luck and happy winning!
Playlist: Come, the Dark by Rebecca Hamilton on Grooveshark

Tour hosted by...

Happy-Geek-Media


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Easter is Near!

Have you ever heard Jim Gaffigan's take on our strange holiday traditions? (If not, I've embedded it below, and you should definitely watch. You'll never look at holidays the same again.) Here's his take on Easter:

"Easter, that's a weird tradition.
'Easter, the day Jesus rose from the dead. What should we do?'
'How about eggs?'
'Well, what does that have to do with Jesus?'
'All right, we'll hide 'em.'
'I don't follow your logic.'
'Don't worry. There's a bunny.'"

You know, he has a point. It's kind of strange how we've chosen to celebrate Easter. So, here's an alternative from Emily Belle Freeman.  I reviewed Emily's Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas: Seven Traditions to Lead Us Closer to the Savior a few months ago. I liked the simplicity of the ideas that Emily presented for helping to keep Christmas Christ-centered, and how easily you can adapt them for your family. She's done it again with her Easter version of the book. For her blog tour, she's stopping by with info about the book.



http://images.abovethetreeline.com/ea/DESE/images/jacket_covers/original/9781609079772_1702b.jpg?width=1000CELEBRATING A CHRIST-CENTERED EASTER: SEVEN TRADITIONS TO LEAD US CLOSER TO JESUS CHRIST

Author: Emily Belle Freeman
Release Date: February 3, 2015   

Page Count: 96
Religion / Holidays / Easter & Lent


Book Description:
One of the few titles for adults on the Easter holiday, this beautiful gift book tells the story of Jesus from Crucifixion to Resurrection in short chapters, illustrated with line art, told in the first-person narrative of seven disciples. Each section offers the author's commentary on the lessons learned from each disciple and suggests simple traditions to follow to remember how implementing the teachings of the Easter holiday can vastly enrich your life today.

http://images.abovethetreeline.com/ea/DESE/images/author/original/9781609079772_ai_1.jpg?width=1000
About the Author: 
Emily Belle Freeman is a coach's wife, a mother of four, an author, and a sought-after inspirational speaker. She coauthors a popular blog putting religious teaching into practice: www.multiplygoodness.com.



As promised, here's Jim's take on holidays.

Monday, March 2, 2015

WINNERS!


These are the lucky winners in my giveaway to celebrate The End of Feeling release:

Eva won the Kindle Paperwhite preloaded with The End of Feeling and with one of only 3 covers featuring the cover of my book (via a Twitter post sharing the giveaway).




Richelle won the audiobook version of The End of Feeling (for following me on Twitter).





Congrats to you both, and thank you to everyone who stopped by the blog to enter, and especially to those of you who helped spread the word about the book. 


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Release

Creative Prose Publishing is proud to announce the release of The Gift of Lies, the YA debut of author Norma T. Rudolph.

The locals call the place Jake’s Hell after Summer McCalister’s crazy uncle Jake who claims to have seen impossible things there. It’s a badlands of rugged rock cliffs and sharp pinnacles that no sane person would attempt to enter.
The Atomalians call it Daneye, a secret alien city of unequaled beauty, masked behind illusion. Atomalians believe that natives of Earth must never know about them and their powers of the mind or it will destroy the Atomalians’ peaceful lives.
When Summer is drawn out of bed and pulled to Jake’s Hell by an urge she can’t control, she fears she’s crazier than her uncle. But when the young Ahtomalian, Bentri, steps out of thin air, she knows she’s either crazy—or dead. Taking her to his unbelievably beautiful city doesn’t erase the fact that he’s keeping her hostage in a room with no door and no way out.
Bentri’s world is suddenly and completely devastated by the appearance of the native Earth girl. If she’s discovered within the city, law decrees she be destroyed. As Bentri is bonded with her, that means he would also die. Their only chance might be to escape—but can Bentri survive in her world?

My Thoughts: I have to tell you that I really love this book. Yes, it's pubbed by CPP which I co-own, but we wouldn't have chosen it if it wasn't awesome. This is a great debut novel, and I can't wait to see what happens with Summer and Bentri next!

Get your copy of this amazing novel today at these retailers:

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     
Kobo     Scrib'd     Inktera



Norma T. Rudolph was born and raised in the wilds of Wyoming where she spent far too much time alone as a child making up silly daydreams in her head.

She served a mission for her church, got a degree from Brigham Young University in fine arts, married a sculptor and then realized that two artists of that variety in one family were too many, so she turned her art into words. Finally, she learned that the cure for living in her head was to put those crazy things onto paper.

She still lives in the prettiest part of Wyoming, has three beautiful daughters, and the amazing sculptor husband, who works hard and lets her stay home to tell her stories.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Crystal Keeper

Crystal Keeper 1 to 3
The Crystal Keeper by Laurisa White Reyes
Fourteen years before The Rock of Ivanore… Jayson lives among the shadows of Hestoria, his sole purpose for staying alive – to protect his half of the Seer’s crystal. Exiled from his homeland for loving the king’s daughter, Ivanore, Jayson is now pursued by two opposing factions: the Vatéz (League of Magicians) who intend to use the crystal for their own selfish gain, and the Guilde, the ancient guardians of the crystal. Meanwhile, Ivanore flees from her father to Hestoria in search of Jayson. As the Seer, she is plagued with visions of him being tortured and is determined to rescue him. When the Vatéz capture her, however, she unwittingly jeopardizes everything Jayson has vowed to protect. He must now make a terrible choice: Should he save Ivanore or save the crystal? The Crystal Keeper trilogy is available in print or digital formats.

Crystal Keeper 1-3

Grab your FREE copy of Exile Now!

  Excerpt   Ivanore hunched over the parchment, the tip of her quill flicking above her hand like a trapped bird desperate to escape. The tallow candle cast a cramped circle of light across the table, hardly enough to see by. If only the night would last a little longer. Perhaps then she would have enough time to write everything she needed to. But alas, time was one thing she had too little of—that and light. An older man with long, gray-streaked hair and piercing gray eyes waited beside her. The stone bungalow, their most recent of many hiding places, boasted the barest of furnishings: the table, stool, cot—and a plain wooden chest, its key held tightly in Zyll’s fist. A sudden thump sounded at the door, startling them both. A strand of Ivanore’s hair, gold as the candlelight, fell across the page. She quickly tucked it back into place and wrote faster. Zyll laid a hand on Ivanore’s shoulder. “They are here,” he whispered. Ivanore finished the document and handed it to Zyll unbound. Turning to the chest, he carefully laid the pages inside. “Wait,” said Ivanore. “Will you keep this as well?” A flat circle of pale green crystal lay in her open palm. “But you will need it. I mustn’t—” “Please,” she insisted, pressing it into his hand. “I can’t risk losing this one.” Zyll reluctantly folded his fingers around the cool stone. “Of course, milady,” he said. Then, adding the crystal to the parchment, he laid a plate of thin wood atop them both, sealing the chest’s false bottom. He closed the lid and locked it. The pounding at the door grew more insistent. Whoever stood outside was using their full weight against it in an effort to break through. “We must hurry,” said Zyll. Ivanore allowed herself a quick glance at the chest, offering the briefest of prayers that the gods would keep it safe until her return. Then, taking her by the arm, Zyll led her through the low archway dividing the bungalow’s front room from the back. A loud crash of splintering wood resounded through the bungalow. Their visitors had finally broken in. “Find her now!” a deep voice bellowed. Grateful for the trousers she now wore instead of her usual cumbersome skirts, Ivanore clambered onto a stool and through a narrow window, lowering herself as quietly as possible to the ground outside. Once Zyll had done the same, they stole away across the rocky field. Though the sky was black as ink, their path was illuminated by the amber glow of volcanic fissures scoring the area for miles around. “There she is!” a man’s voice shouted behind them. The words sent spasms of fear through Ivanore. She glanced behind her and saw three soldiers emerge from the bungalow, wearing the gold and red cross of her father’s crest. They had tracked her even here, to the remotest corner of Imaness. Would Fredric ever let her be? Ivanore stopped running. She looked at Zyll, her trusted guardian and ally these past months since she had fled Dokur, and knew her time with him had come to an end. “You’ll watch over them until I return?” she asked, out of breath. “Keep them safe. Don’t let my father find them.” “You have my vow,” Zyll whispered, his voice tight with emotion. Ivanore’s eyes welled with tears as she pressed her lips against the calloused skin of Zyll’s hand. “Go,” said Zyll. “Go now before it’s too late.” Ivanore released Zyll’s hand and sprinted forward alone. As she ran, she cupped her hands around her mouth and let out a loud, sharp call, much like that of a hawk or an eagle. She risked another glance over her shoulder and watched as Zyll turned to face their pursuers. As the soldiers neared, their swords glinting in the fire glow, Zyll held up his hands. A horizontal bolt of cerulean lightning shot out from his palms, striking the oncoming soldiers. The men recoiled, their bodies instantly singed and bloody. Ivanore ran on. In desperation, she repeated her call, and this time another voice called back. A dark form appeared on the horizon, silhouetted against the light of the volcanic fractures and growing larger as it approached with tremendous speed. As it neared, the creature’s massive feathered wings moved the air around Ivanore in warm, powerful gusts. Ivanore saw clearly its eagle’s head with a beak large enough to break a man in two, paired with the muscular, furred body of a lion. As she ran toward it, the gryphon lowered its head, waiting. Behind her, the soldiers reeled in pain, but they did not forget their duty. One man struggled to his knees, grunting from the effort. Reaching over his shoulder, he slid a short bow and arrow from his pack and swiftly took aim. Ivanore reached the gryphon and in one smooth motion hoisted herself onto its back, twisting her arms deep into the feathers on the creature’s neck. In that same moment, a single arrow found its mark in Ivanore’s shoulder. She cried out before her body slumped forward and her mind went dark. The gryphon took flight then, and in less time than it took to draw another arrow—or a breath—they had vanished into the night.  

Laurisa White Reyes Author PhotoAuthor Laurisa White Reyes After spending more than a decade as a newspaper editorialist, magazine staff writer, and book editor, Laurisa finally started living her dream of being an author. She is the author of three novels for younger readers, the editor-in-chief of Middle Shelf Magazine, and Senior Editor of Skyrocket Press. She lives in Southern California with her husband and five children.
 

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