Finding Her Dream, by Jennah Scott

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennah will be awarding a $10 Gift card (to the winner’s choice of e-book retailer) to a randomly drawn commenter via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more stops you visit, the more chances you earn to win.

It wasn’t until she watched her best friend find the man of her dreams that RayAnne Hill realized there was a part of her missing. She knows the empty space can only be filled by finding her own true love, complete with kids and the white picket fence. Fear of letting someone in stops her cold, and it’s much bigger than just finding Mr. Right.

James Shaw moved away from Kentucky and the family business to chase his own goals, settling in the small town of Kimmswick, Missouri. His business is succeeding, now he’s ready to complete his life with a wife and kids. One night, one look and he’s found her. RayAnne is everything he’s been searching for.

As hard as James has fallen for RayAnne, can he be enough to help her overcome her worst nightmare? Or will he decide he can’t wait forever, and walk away to find happiness?

Now enjoy an excerpt:

“I’m sorry, Ray.”

What? She whipped around to face him. “Why?” she squeaked.

“For that night. For being late. For letting you down. All of it. I hated not getting to spend some time with you.” James clasped his hands in front of him. Her gaze lingered a little below his belt. He cleared his throat and she jerked her head up. At seeing his smirk Ray’s cheeks warmed. She’d been caught.

“I should be apologizing to you, James. It was wrong of me to ignore you. I was being selfish, too worried about myself and how much I wanted to have dinner with you. Everything ended up okay, right? I mean I know it’s been a while, but…” she trailed off. Rambling would get her nowhere.

James grinned. The cooling fire inside ignited once again. “Yeah, sugar. Everything’s good. Shadow was perfect and her foal, Levee, is a beauty.”

“Levee? That’s an odd name for a horse isn’t it?”

“Maybe. I don’t care. She’s named after the Levee Apple Pie at the Owl.”

“Why would you name your horse after an apple pie?” Ray didn’t know much about horses, but she figured an odd name like that had to have a story.

“It’s not the apple pie. Once upon a time I met this girl and I screwed up. So this was my way of reminding myself what can happen if I don’t pay attention.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Born and raised in Texas, Jennah is a transplant to Missouri long enough ago she should probably consider that her hometown. But she will forever be a Texan. She loves to write any story that will make a reader smile, laugh, and maybe even cry (although you won’t ever hear her admit that she cries). Whether the next story she writes is contemporary, urban fantasy, LGBT, or whatever other crazy idea she comes up with, there will always be love and romance in the midst of trials and turmoil.

When she’s not writing you can find her on Twitter, with her family, or buried in a book trying to escape reality for just a minute.






Buy Links:

All Romance:


Barnes and Noble:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spotlight On Lore: An Anthology

Lore: Tales of Myth and
Legend Retold
Release Date: 03/2014
Summary from Goodreads:
A collection of six
folklore retellings that will twist your mind and claim your heart.

SHIMMER: A heartbroken boy rescues a mermaid… but is it too late to save her?

BETWEEN is about a girl, a genie, and a ton of bad decisions.

SUNSET MOON: Eloise doesn’t believe in Native American magic–until the
dreamcatcher spiders spin her down an unknown path.

THE MAKER: An incapacitated young man bent on revenge builds a creature to do
it for him.

A BEAUTIFUL MOURNING: The story of a Maya goddess torn between duty and love,
and the ultimate sacrifice she must make to achieve true happiness.

THE BARRICADES: When a human girl risks everything to save the life of an
Eternal prince, will their feelings for each other change the world they know,
or tear it apart?


Shimmer by Brinda Berry:

Draven Manning watched the naked female wade into the inky waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Silent as a hermit crab, he sat on the sand hidden by tall sea oats and studied her petite body, long hair thickly draped to the waist. She held a backpack, an odd addition to her nakedness, which she dropped on the sand. He could have loudly cleared his throat or walked back up to the house. But he didn’t.

Not that he was a total creeper. She’d appeared from nowhere like some magical mist formed in a female shape. The wind lifted strands of her hair away from her body increasing the otherworldly feel of the scene.

He continued to watch and acknowledged that wishing he could see better or had binoculars did fall into creeper territory. His friends always talked about what a nice guy he was. Maybe he didn’t want to be a nice guy.

Being the nice guy had landed him here in this tiny Gulf Coast town with his dad for the summer. He had no choice, because he couldn’t stand to look at the people he’d trusted. They had betrayed him, and he’d pretended it was no big deal. He lowered his forehead to his bent knees and pulled air into his lungs. A deep exhale steadied the shaking. He was eighteen, not eight. It was time to man up. Move on with life. Forget what had happened and quit feeling sorry for himself.

For a week, he’d strolled the beach by himself. In the daylight hours, families cluttered the sand so he waited for nightfall. He always returned to this spot on the sand to sit and think. He could’ve sat on the deck with the same view, but that’s where his dad always sat and smoked cigars.

His dad would already be in bed at this hour.

The girl swam farther and farther out to sea. Her moonlight swim went beyond his seeing range. She was far enough out that he couldn’t tell if a glint on the water might be her head or a fish or a buoy. She had to be an excellent swimmer.

Clouds moved across the moon to dim his view of her even more. A gust of wind blew sand into his face. He jumped from his spot and ran, his bare feet pounding on the packed sand. He saw the crashing wave deliver her body to shoreline and teasingly pull her back. Why hadn’t he noticed that she was in trouble?

He stomped into the chilly ocean. “Shit.” His jeans sucked up the water and clung to his legs. “Shit, shit, shit.” Waves pushed against his thighs, whipping him off balance until he braced himself for the tide.
She floated face down with her hair billowing out in thin tentacles. He grabbed her upper arms, flipped her body, and pulled her to shore. Her lower body dragged in the sand, so he picked her up. She probably didn’t weigh much, but her limp body sagged as he carried her like a sleeping child.

Out from the tide’s reach, he placed her on the sand and pressed two fingers against her neck. Not dead. Not dead. Not dead. But not breathing, either. He couldn’t remember the steps. His heart slapped against his chest like paper caught in moving bicycle spokes. People learned CPR just in case. He never expected to actually need it. He squeezed his eyes shut, heard Coach Vorlosky’s calm instructions, visualized each step, and began chest compressions.

One push, two, three, four…one push a second how many times? Maybe thirty. He’d barely passed the test and wished he’d paid more attention. “You better not die. I’ve had a shitty week. Come on, come on.” Her head lolled to the side. He grabbed her chin, tilted her head back, pinched her nose, covered her mouth with his and blew.

He hovered above her mouth to see if she breathed. Strands of long, dark hair draped over her face. He brushed the hair out of the way and started again. On his fifth round of administering CPR, he glanced around for help, which wouldn’t happen at 2:00 a.m. on a deserted strip of beach in the middle of nowhere.

Her loud gasp, sounding like the reverse of a balloon losing air, startled him.

She turned her head to the side and coughed out water. “What…” She coughed again.”…do you think you’re doing?”

He barely heard her. The girl must be out of her mind, which would explain why she thought a night swim by herself was a good idea. “Saving you.”

“I didn’t need your help,” she muttered.

He scooted back on the sand several inches—his heart starting to slam again—and rubbed his face. Sand coated his hand and clung to his eyelashes. “Not the way I see it.” His voice sounded strangled and loud.

She sat up and pulled her knees to her chest. Anger flashed in her eyes. “What’s your deal?”

“You weren’t breathing.” He wiped dripping water from his forehead with the back of his hand. “I was scared that you’d…never mind that thought. You’re alive.”

“Um hmm. Sure am. Back here on the shore whether I like it or not.” She was all hair and limbs with her arms wrapped around her knees.

Between by Karen Y. Bynum:

God, what had Lucy done? She rubbed the butterfly charm at her throat. She should never have ignored Natasha’s calls. If Lucy had just sucked it up and broken up with her, Natasha wouldn’t have shown up at Gaston. And Lucy wouldn’t have belittled her in front of the Royals. Her stomach churned, and she clutched the charm. Natasha’s grandmother had given it to her, and she hadn’t ever taken it off—until the day she gave it to Lucy. She swallowed her own shame and ripped the chain from her neck. She couldn’t look at it anymore. Couldn’t stand to feel its guilt weighing her down.

“I wish I could just forget you!” She threw the necklace into the abyss of the closet. Holding herself, she wept with her head pressed back against the wall. Slow, gasping tears quickly turned into sobs so gut-wrenching they made her teeth hurt.

“You can’t wish to forget.”

She froze mid-sniff. The blood must have drained from her face because her tears scorched as they rolled down her icy cheeks. A shadow moved in her peripheral vision.

Slowly, she lifted her head. Gasping, she pressed her hands to the floor, ready to jump up and haul ass. But in car-wreck fashion, she couldn’t look away. Fire floated in front of her. Her heart pounded painfully against her ribs. Was the house burning down? Surely not. The flames didn’t seem to be spreading. Instead, they drew down, drew together until they had a distinctly human shape. And eyes. Oh, God, the eyes. They glowed a frightening green, dark and bright at the same time.

This was just like every horror movie Lucy had ever seen. Her time had come. Either this thing would drag her to Hell or she’d be acting out The Exorcist any second. She wiped away a streak of tears.

Forcing herself to stand, to acknowledge what she’d done, she said, “This is about Natasha. Isn’t it?”

The figure didn’t move forward. It just lowered its arms, smaller flames sparking away from the movement. Why didn’t the closet catch fire?

“I’m here,” it said, “to grant you three wishes.”

Sunset Moon by Laura Diamond:

Eloise doesn’t bother sneaking in. Her mom’s probably passed out from drunk anyway.

She pads to her room, flicks on the light, drags the duffle from her bed and lets it slam to the floor. The next nine months of her life are in there, reduced to a few bits of clothing. She kicks off her shoes and wanders to her desk, gaze locked on the photo of Micah and her. Her vision blurs with fresh tears. This was their last night together, and he’s being such an ass. He should be thanking her for what she is doing. So should Jimmy.

She picks up the frame and removes the picture, then carries it to the bathroom. The sour odor of beer clings to her like a heavy reminder of her fight with Micah. She tucks the photo into the wooden mirror frame on the medicine cabinet and turns on the tub faucet.
While the tub fills, she peels off her damp shirt and throws it in the hamper. She tugs off her jeans, then her underwear. Naked, she shivers, though the house is warm, stuffy even, from the mid-summer night’s air.

Her tremors aren’t from being cold. They are from a vacuous emptiness that hollows out her insides, turns her heart to ice, and chips away at her soul with each ragged breath.

She grips the sink with both hands and steadies herself. The gush of water echoes in her ears, sloshes in her skull, and drowns her mind. Her head pounds from the surge of blood coursing through her brain with the rapid beating of her heart. The row of bulbs blazing above the medicine cabinet stabs her in the eyes, coring out her orbits.

It’s too much. She needs something to take the edge off.


The Maker by Jayne A. Knolls:

Cassandra Francesca Levinsky had been mine, more or less, since the second semester of freshman year. Addiction was probably a better term for it than a romance—I couldn’t get enough of her—nor she of me. Everyone knew us as Brettandra—I know, like Brangelina—that’s how legendary we were—Brett and Cassandra, the best looking couple on campus.

In the end, I only drank so much to deal with the sight of her throwing herself at every other guy in the room—and to obliterate the green haze of jealous rage that overtook me when others wanted a piece of her. But if I were forced to admit it, I kind of got off on that, too. Like I said, we couldn’t get enough of each other.

I’m not sure exactly when those long weeks of getting the cold shoulder first started. My memory’s not what it used to be. And I don’t have much of a recollection of what happened after we left the party. Maybe I blacked out. The next thing I remember is waking up in a hospital bed, my skull on fire. I learned later that Cassandra walked away from the wreck without a scratch on her. She left me for dead, my skull cracked open like an egg.
The guy we hit never walked again. Yeah, I felt kind of bad about that, but I’m not in such great shape either.

They found me in the driver’s seat, the engine’s firewall inches from the tree we plowed into. The wrecked BMW was registered to me—so as far as anyone knew at the scene, Cassandra was never even in it. The medical report stated that if she’d called for help right away, instead placing an anonymous call after she was long gone, the bleeding might not have been so extensive.

That I might have made a good recovery.

But, if that were the case, then this story would never have been written.

A Beautiful Mourning by Theresa DaLayne:

I could not help but smile at the newly budded flowers scattered over the hills of the middleworld. My bare feet sank into the cool grass. It sprang between my toes, reminding me of the many walks my mother and I took together when I was a child.

It had been many years since she last strolled beside me. Many years since her soul left her body and joined the breeze of the heavens.

I paused beside a tree and lay my hand upon its bark.

I missed my mother’s laughter. Her sparkling green eyes and her sweet voice. No longer a child, I ached for her guidance and advice in the matters of life, and especially love.

A hummingbird buzzed past me and broke my gloomy thoughts. I turned and watched it hover over blooms and feast on the bounty of the nectar. I extended my hand. The tiny bird startled.

“I intend you no harm,” I said softly. It was not only for the mortals, but for the creatures of this realm that I tended to the greenery on which they depended to survive. I loved them, and wished them nothing but prosperity and joy.

Yet their happiness was a constant reminder of my sorrow, and some days, my heart did not have the will to carry on.

The rhythm of the bird’s rapidly pumping wings soothed my disparity and brought a smile to my lips. I lowered my hand and the creature vanished from sight.

It was then I noticed the large cat weaving between the trees. I smiled and stepped toward the jaguar. “Balam. How nice to see you. It’s been far too long.”

The middleworld deity slinked toward me. One large paw lazily moved in front of the other until he was close enough to touch.

His fur was like silk under my fingers.

“What special occasion brings you?”

Balam did not answer, which was typical for him. Even when in his human form, the middleworld god had never spoken a word. Instead he simply butted his head against my leg and rubbed his body along me. His tail brushed across my belly as he continued past me and headed to the forest.

I spun just in time to see Balam vanish into the foliage. There was no use in calling him back. He would wander in the forests and jungles until he decided to return. When that would be, I couldn’t say.

I turned back toward tending to the flowers. Spring in the mortals’ realm was my fondest season. It was, after all, the beginning of seasons in which I spent the most time with Kinich.

I pulled my hair to one side and wove it into a braid over my shoulder. My touch prompted tiny purple flowers to blossom in my hair. They were Kinich’s favorite color to see paired beside my skin.

My father knew not of our romance, though it could not be deemed a surprise. I was the tender of flowers and trees for the mortals, and Kinich…

I paused beside a struggling rose bush as the sun warmed my shoulders. My smile widened, and the grass, which I had raised from seedlings, flourished into thick, green blades.

A beam of light focused on the bush beside me. The branches bloomed with wild rosebuds.

I stooped beside the flowers and touched their silken petals. They were so lovely.

The sound of light footsteps caught my attention. The warmth of the sun intensified on my back. I took one last moment to admire the blooms before I stood and turned to see Kinich standing behind me—golden hair, and eyes that beamed with shades of orange and yellow.

He smiled.

My heart jumped.

His gaze wandered to the rose bush. “Your flowers no longer struggle for life.”

I arched my brow and strode toward him. “And you believe you are responsible for giving them life?”

“Perhaps.” He reached out and twisted my braid around his fingers. “Without my light and warmth your flowers would not bloom.” He allowed my braid to slip out of his gentle grasp.

I tiptoed around him. “And without my touch, the light which you provide would have nothing to nurture.” I walked past him and gave him my back.

“Then I suppose we need each other.” His hands rested on my hips and then rounded my waist. Kinich pulled my back against his chest. My eyes fluttered shut.

His lips grazed the curve of my neck, his breath hot against my skin. “I have no shame in admitting I need you.” He pressed a kiss on my shoulder.

The Barricades by Cate Dean:

Daniel Reed fought for his life.

But he knew, even as he ducked the blow meant for his face, that the three boys who dragged him out here wouldn’t stop until he lay bleeding at their feet.

He decided to make it as difficult as possible.

“Is that the best you can do, Mandore?” Tomas Hurdy, the obvious instigator, taunted the tall boy who had just taken the swing at Daniel. “My baby sister can throw a better punch.”

I bet she can. Daniel stumbled backward over ground left ridged by the terra machines.

Hurdy probably came out of the womb punching.

Hurdy barreled toward Daniel, all two hundred plus pounds of him. Daniel waited until the last possible moment and leaped sideways. Hurdy roared past him, tripped on a rock hard ridge and slammed face first into the dirt.

Daniel spun around, knowing that retaliation would be swift, and probably fatal—and ran smack into his third tormentor. Trevor Harp—someone he thought was his friend.
Before he could escape Trevor grabbed his right arm and wrenched it up behind his back. The pain nearly doubled him.

“Good job, Trev.” Hurdy dusted off his shirt as he stood. “Now hold him still.”
Through a blur of pain Daniel saw the long, curved knife appear in Hurdy’s right hand. Panic lent him strength and he struggled to free himself. Trevor tightened his grip, caught Daniel’s left wrist, leaving him completely defenseless.

Hurdy buried the knife in Daniel’s left arm, just below the elbow. He screamed, agony exploding through him. The knife was iron—and would keep him from healing the wound himself.

“Shut him up!” Hurdy hissed. Trevor obeyed and let go of Daniel’s right arm, reaching up to cover his mouth. The returning blood flow was a small pain compared to the fire raging down his left arm. Hurdy followed with the blade, opening his forearm to the wrist.

“That’s a good start.”

Daniel screamed again when Hurdy yanked out the knife. Blood poured down his hand, pooled on the hard packed dirt. What was left of his strength ran out with the blood and he collapsed against Trevor.

“I think that’s enough,” Trevor said, his voice quiet. He let go of Daniel’s mangled arm and caught him around the waist, holding him upright. “We were not told to kill him, Tom.”

“Well, I guess the rabble got carried away. Walk now, Trev, if you don’t have the stomach. I’m going to cut on him a while, make up some for what his dad took from mine.”

Daniel swallowed, heart pounding. Hurdy Senior had stolen from Father, lied about it, and been punished severely. Now he was about to pay for the rash decision to make the older Hurdy an example.

Mandore moved in, clenching and unclenching his fists. “Tom, I don’t think—”

Hurdy turned on him. “You losing your nerve too?” Daniel knew he wasn’t meant to survive this—not with Hurdy using iron on him, and throwing around names. Names Daniel recognized. “Wouldn’t you do the same if you had the chance? Self-righteous bastard had no call—”

“She did not authorize this,” Trevor said.

“Just shut your mouth!” Hurdy raised the bloody knife, the point inches from Trevor’s face. Trevor flinched, but he didn’t pull away. “You hear me, Trev—I’m in charge. She put me in charge—”

“Why?” Daniel’s raw whisper cut through the tirade.

Hurdy smiled, and instead of using the knife again, he flipped the pendant Daniel wore out of the way and dug the sharp edge of his garnet signet ring into the left side of Daniel’s chest.

Daniel tried to jerk away. One hand fisted in his hair, halted his retreat.

“Since you’ll be dead,” Hurdy tightened his grip, “you don’t need to know.”

Buy Links:
Author Bios:
Brinda Berry:
Berry lives in the southern US with her family and two spunky cairn terriers.
She’s terribly fond of chocolate, coffee, and books that take her away from
reality.  She doesn’t mind being called a geek or “crazy dog lady”. When
she’s not working the day job or writing a novel, she’s guilty of surfing the
internet for no good 
Brinda at .
Karen Y. Bynum:
unicorns, genies…oh my! NA/YA author, coffee-lover, olive-hater, tea-drinker,
music-listener. Random becomes me. Easily distrac—
Laura Diamond:
Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist and multi-published author of all
things young adult paranormal, dystopian, and horror. When she’s not writing,
she is working at the hospital, blogging at
Laura Diamond–Lucid Dreamer
and renovating her 225+ year old fixer-upper mansion.
Jayne A. Knolls:
A. Knolls lives and works in New York City.  The Maker is her first
published work of New Adult Fiction. Jayne can reached at
Theresa DaLayne:
My name is Theresa DaLayne and I’m a new adult
author with Bloomsbury Spark, an amazing digital imprint of Bloomsbury
Cate Dean:
there – thanks for checking in. My name is Cate Dean, and I write romantic
suspense and paranormal, with some action packed YA paranormal and fantasy
thrown in. I love to write, and I have been doing it most of my life. I’ve made
up stories in my head for as long as I can remember, and I am thrilled to be
able to write them down and share them with you. If you want to be the first to
know when the next book is released, or be in on some fun, exclusive contests
and giveaways, join my list here: You can learn more about me and
my books at my website:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

Sneak Peek Sunday: More LEGALLY UNDEAD!

Legally Undead
Coming May 2014 from World Weaver Press!

A reluctant vampire hunter, stalking New York City as only a scorned bride can.

Elle Dupree has her life all figured out: first a wedding, then her Ph.D., then swank faculty parties where she’ll serve wine and cheese and introduce people to her husband the lawyer.

But those plans disintegrate when she walks in on a vampire sucking the blood from her fiancé Greg. Horrified, she screams and runs–not away from the vampire, but toward it, brandishing a wooden letter opener.

As she slams the improvised stake into the vampire’s heart, a team of black-clad men bursts into the apartment. Turning around to face them, Elle discovers that Greg’s body is gone—and her perfect life falls apart.



All About the Magic ~ A Guest Post by L. Jagi Lamplighter

Welcome today to the inimitable L. Jagi Lamplighter, one of my favorite writers (I love, love, LOVE her Prospero’s Daughter trilogy!) and an all-around amazing person. Today, she’s here discussing magic in a guest post she has generously allowed me to republish from Magical Words. Check out her thoughts on magic, geese, and unicorn poop below, then take a look at her latest book, The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin before you go!

All About The Magic: Or the Gosling of the Golden Creek Vs. The Unicorn Pooper-Scoopers

Beside the road leading to my street, there is a small pond. This pond is the favorite nesting place of a flock of Canadian geese who like to walk out in the street.

The other day, I found myself sitting and waiting for the geese to depart, so I could drive home without running over them. As I watched the birds waddle by, I thought of people I knew who had expressed hatred for these creatures that stop traffic and leave goose droppings all over the sidewalk and golf courses. Their hatred added to my impatience.

After all, I wanted to get home. I had things to do, man!

But then I remembered something.

As a child, I had loved these birds. Why? Because at the gateway to the local county park was a river. Canadian geese used to nest on the river bank. If one was lucky, if one came at just the right time, one might catch a glimpse the tiny goslings paddling behind their august parents.

These adorable creatures were the only baby wild animals visible to us as children. Seeing these little beige and yellow bundles of fluff lit our hearts. It was as wondrous as magic!

When had I lost the magic?

Was it familiarity that had bred such contempt? I saw them all the time, now, so the magic had fled? This thought led me to the following question:

If flocks of unicorns roamed my hometown, would the magic go away with them, too? Would I be sitting here wishing the herd of unicorns would just get off the road?

And then it struck me.

The difference between my current thought about unicorns and my childhood memory was like the difference between urban fantasy and stories of wonder. In a story of wonder, ordinary creatures, such as Canadian geese goslings, became objects of awe and magic. In an Urban Fantasy, people argue about who was responsible for scooping up the unicorn poop.

Before I go on, I should clarify: I am a big fan of urban fantasy. This insight is in no way meant to detract from the delight of reading about a tarnished pixy with tattered wings, a base-playing goblin, or an elf in a fedora asking questions and taking names.

However, there are much better writers, here at Magical Words, than I for giving advice about writing good urban fantasy. So, I will concentrate on the subject of how to bring that childhood sense of wonder back to our stories.

If Urban Fantasy is about the magical in a mundane setting, Stories of Wonder are about mundane things in a magical setting. The first drags fairytales, folk lore, and mythology into our world, kicking and screaming. The second lifts us out of our ordinary daily life and into the extraordinary.

So, how does one capture this magic when writing? How do we portray pixies up close without tarnishing their wings? How do we become familiar with unicorns and yet not grumble about how irksome it is that they have been eating our flowers? How do we turn the geese holding up traffic back into creatures of enchantment?

The key is to look around and imagine what the world would be like if it were alive…and it loved us.

The marvelous world in stories of wonder is not always friendly. It can be grumpy, or angry, or tricky. It can be dangerous, sometimes terrible. But, underneath, there is a sense of something wonderful, something precious, something that makes you catch your breath from joy.

If that is lacking, it is not a Story of Wonder.

So, how is it done? By looking around and imagining what the things we see would be like—if they just happened to fall into fairyland.

The small stone pump house on the corner becomes a home for tiny folk who peek their little whiskered snouts around the edge of the door and peer at us with very large black eyes.

Little doors into the crawl spaces of an attic become gates that transform those who pass through, so that they can fly, or turn invisible, or talk to fish.

Misshapen tree trunks, with a horizontal section low to the ground, become riding trees that can pull up their roots and run though the forest during the mysterious cusp of twilight.

Go ahead, try it. Pick a perfectly normal object in your environment and think about what it might be if you suddenly discovered it was a friendly visitor from the Court of Oberon. (Feel free to note your discoveries in the comments section.)

The next question one might ask is: Who does this well? Whose writing can we look to as an example? In my humble opinion, I believe the mistress of writing wonder is British author, Barbara Sleigh. (Who is that, you ask? If you missed her in your childhood, I am so very sorry! I will introduce you now, as I first met her.)

Once, in the long ago dream time, I attended an old elementary school that had a marvelous library. This library was not as libraries are today—filled with new books all shiny with bright picture on their dustcovers, all published in the last twenty to thirty years. This library was filled with old books.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a book bogie* had lived there as well.

One day, while peering into the shadows of the dimly lit stacks, I found a slim volume I don’t think anyone else had ever checked out. It was KINGDOM OF CARBONEL by Barbara Sleigh. It would be years before I met anyone else who had read this book. And more years before a friend traveling to England finally brought back the first book, CARBONEL, for me. But these two slim volumes, in their own quiet way, remain among the most magical I have read.

(I may not be the only author who has felt this way. These books were written in England in the 1950s. The villain is referred to as You-Know-Who, and there are characters with names like Tonks and Pettigrew. So it is possible that another author, far better known than I, once fell under their spell a well.)

The fantasy in the books is low key. The children need to deal with mundane issues such as chores, being home in time for supper, and finding enough money to cross town by bus. Yet the magic, when it comes, seems all the more wondrous for its unexpectedness. There is a talking prince of cats, a flying rocking chair, and a cantankerous witch who is losing her powers.

Yet, there is so much more. Only a step away from the roofs of mundane England is the Country of Cats, another land that the children glimpse but briefly. And when they need magic to speak with animals, they are given a prescription that causes the clerk to scratch his head and then climb up on a ladder to draw liquid from the large red bottle propped as a display in the window of the chemist’s shop. (There is even an amusing sub-plot for the poor clerk, who accidentally licks his finger after pouring out the liquid and believes himself to be going mad when he begins to understand the speech of worms and bugs.)

In this bestowing of magic to ordinary things—roofs, rocking chairs, and window display bottles—there is the curious wonder that comes from peeking into another world not meant for human kind, a world to which the children can only be temporary visitors—and yet when they leave, we know that they have been changed forever and will never again be quite as other people are, that they will always be something more.

And isn’t that, really, why we read? So we, the reader, can enter a magical kingdom that gives us a glimpse of something beyond the ordinary, beyond the world we know, in the hope that we, too, will emerge from the book changed, having been made better by the experience, so that we, too, will never again be quite as mundane as we were before?

So that, while others sit in the road grumbling about being held up by “rats with wings”, we alone will behold the majesty of the graceful dancers of the sky, who once were the goslings of Golden Creek.

* — creature said to haunt libraries and help children find the perfect book.

Who is your favorite weaver of Stories of Wonder?

What ordinary objects would you like to see woken to fairy life by the breath of enchantment?



Rachel Griffin wants to know everything. As a freshman at Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts, she has been granted to opportunity to study both mundane and magical subjects.

But even her perfect recollection of every book she has ever read does not help her when she finds a strange statue in the forest—a statue of a woman with wings. Nowhere—neither in the arcane tomes of the Wise, nor in the dictionary and encyclopedia of the non-magic-using Unwary—can she find mention of such a creature.

What could it be? And why are the statue’s wings missing when she returns?

When someone tries to kill a fellow student, Rachel soon realizes that, in the same way her World of the Wise hides from mundane folk, there is another, more secret world hiding from everyone—which her perfect recall allows her to remember. Her need to know everything drives her to investigate.

Rushing forward where others fear to tread, Rachel finds herself beset by wraiths, magical pranks, homework, a Raven said to bring the doom of worlds, love’s first blush, and at least one fire-breathing teacher.

Curiosity might kill a cat, but nothing stops Rachel Griffin!


About the Author

L. Jagi Lamplighter is the author of The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, as well as the Prospero’s Daughter Trilogy (Prospero Lost, Prospero In Hell, and Prospero Regained).She has also written a number of short stories, articles on anime, and is an author/assistant editor in the BaddAss Faeries series.

She is a graduate of the St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD. When not writing, she switches to her secret identity as a stay-home mom in Centreville, VA, where she lives in fairytale happiness with her husband, author John C. Wright, and their four darling children, Orville, Ping-Ping, Roland Wilbur, and Justinian Oberon.

Visit her website:


Cover Reveal: Our Dried Voices by Greg Hickey

Title: Our Dried Voices
Author: Greg Hickey
Genre: Science Fiction

In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a far distant planet called Pearl to begin the next chapter of humanity.

Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humans live in a utopian colony in which every need is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for human labor, struggle or thought. But when the machines that regulate the colony begin to malfunction, the colonists are faced with a test for the first time in their existence.

With the lives of the colonists at stake, it is left to a young man named Samuel to repair these breakdowns and save the colony. Aided by his friend Penny, Samuel rises to meet each challenge. But he soon discovers a mysterious group of people behind each of these problems, and he must somehow find and defeat these saboteurs in order to rescue his colony.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spotlight On: Amplified, by Alexia Purdy

Title: Amplified
Author: Alexia Purdy
Series: A Reign of Blood Novel (#3)
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Lyrical Lit Publishing
Release Date: Mar 25 2014
Edition/Formats It is Available In: eBook (Now) Print (Coming Soon)
Who wants to be the prey in a world full of hunters?
In the aftermath of the end of her world, April Tate decides that it’s high time to leave the city that never sleeps, Las Vegas. After learning the origins of a Zompire Plague remedy, she risks her life to steal the antidote, makes the decision to separate from Jeremy for a while, and joins a small band of new and old comrades on a trip to the Pacific Coast. There they search out a legendary hive of vampires who are more than just wild, blood drinking creatures, they could be the very people she needs to help her.
On a mission to save the last of humanity, April will use the antidote to save some from eternal damnation, but will her decision bring hope for the future or create an ever bigger, unforeseen devastation?



They were vicious, almost too violent for my taste. They moved faster than most did at this stage, so I knew they had recently fed on something alive. I’d usually find a small pocket of ferals in a starved, slow and harrowed state. Not this one. I slammed my sword against the metal, feeling its vibration in my grip after decapitating one of the Zompires. I couldn’t help but feel bad for this sudden invasion into Elijah’s abode.

It’d been my fault. I’d haphazardly tapped the pins back into the hinges the day prior, not even taking the rust and erosion of the metal brackets into consideration. That’s what Elijah got for dragging me into his home improvement projects. I was a warrior, not a Home Depot junkie. That’ll teach him.

Unfortunately, if we didn’t make it through this assault, I wouldn’t get the chance to chew him out for making me screw up like that.

I ducked as one of the ferals jumped at me, sending him flying through the air and right into one of the columns. His body hit with a dull thud, disorientating him but for a moment as I rolled and pushed myself off the floor, gained my footing and ran toward the atrium. I hoped the damn bastard would follow me. This one had at least two feet and almost two hundred pounds on me.

Where the hell was Elijah?

I didn’t mind clearing out the crud and taking out the trapped ferals in the Casinos we’d set traps for. But this, this was ridiculous. It felt like an entire cluster of them had taken residence during the night, stuffing themselves in the tiny corners and hidden nooks of the place. Where the heck had they come from and what had they chowed down on to be so strong? It made me shudder to think that someone was now dead because of this group. Obviously they weren’t stupid. Something about them was off in how smart they were. Why had they gathered here? Had they noticed how well taken care of it was and ventured in here to find a tasty human or two?

Whatever had led them here, they were a pain in my ass now. I turned to see if the feral with the huge biceps and dirty blonde hair that hadn’t seen a shampooing in a decade, neither had his entire body seen a bar of soap in ages for that matter, come to a stop at the edge of the light. He snarled and looked up. The sun beamed down hard into the main casino atrium where an old fountain stood empty and some greenery Elijah had managed to convince to grow. It was the only thing keeping me alive as I took the moment to catch my breath, bent over my knees and huffing. The air vibrated with snarls.


I’d have to figure out how to outsmart this particular creature. His red eyes widened, flashing fangs dripping with gore from his recent messy feeding. Eww. That was attractive.

I straightened and held my machetes up. “Come on! Not such a big bad wolf now, huh? Afraid of a little bit of sunshine?” I reached down to grab a chunk of cement debris which littered the casino floor. I flung it straight at him, hoping it would anger him enough to come sailing into the light after me. It hit him hard on the chest before bouncing off and ricocheting against a slot machine next to him, shattering the plastic face above the wheels and knocking it to the ground. The creature snarled even louder, exposing more of his disgusting teeth. He roared with a vengeance, thrashing at the chairs around him before picking one up and flinging it at me.

What the hell?


Alexia currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada–Sin City! She loves to spend every free moment writing or playing with her four rambunctious kids. Writing has always been her dream and she has been writing ever since she can remember. She loves writing paranormal fantasy and poetry and devours books daily. Alexia also enjoys watching movies, dancing, singing loudly in the car and Italian food.

Places to find Alexia

Places to find Amplified 

Spotlight On: Love’s Paradox by Laura Kreitzer

div dir=”ltr” style=”text-align: left;” trbidi=”on”>

Paperback, 1st, 288 pages
Expected publication: May 5th 2014 by Revolution Publishing, Inc.

Stalked by her abusive ex-fiancé, Rae Zachery retaliates by singing karaoke and spilling all their dirty secrets to the entire bar. When her ex attempts to silence her brazen performance, sexy, leather-clad Parker comes to her rescue and soundly punches her ex in the face. As valiant as that may be, Rae finds Parker’s violent assistance unsettling, yet she can’t help but be drawn to him and his tragic past.

Fighting her attraction for Parker is a battle Rae can’t win, and soon their night of sharing secrets morphs into an undeniable bond. But fate won’t so easily relinquish her grip on their happily-ever-after. Instead of blissfully skipping into obscurity, Rae and Parker are subjected to her ex-fiancé’s vicious proclivities. Who knew love could hurt so good?

“Ah, screw this. I don’t wait for him to make the first move; I kiss him.”

You can read the first 5 chapters of LOVE’S PARADOX {{{ HERE }}}
Or request a copy on Netgalley — Currently available under READ NOW.

For a limited time only you can pre-order LOVE’S PARADOX for $2.99 on Barnes and Noble & iTunes!
On May 5th LOVE’S PARADOX will be back at regular price. Pre-order your copy today!

We pre-ordered ours!! 🙂 

Join the Facebook Release Party!