Category Archives: Uncategorized

Self-Publishing or Small Press?

I’ve done both with a number of books, and though I thought I preferred the independence of self-publishing, and still do at times, I am leaning toward mixing it up again. I like the support of a small press and the comradery of having other authors in the stable who are willing to cross promote and bolst0dc60-the2bgemini2bprophecy2bfinal2bcopyer me up when I need advice. writing is a solitary undertaking, but promoting and dealing with the business of writing doesn’t have to be.

A publisher with a good track record, who is a good fit for you, can be your best asset. My needs were much different years ago when I started than they are now. Yet both publishers I began with each serves a different purpose for my writing needs now, and both are not only still in business, but successful and well thought of in the industry. That’s saying something in these times. I also recently published with a third small press and am excited to announce I’m thoroughly pleased with the team I worked with. Being part of another supportive group, specializing in the genre I write, has been a pleasure.

DireMoon_MED
A Hot Moon Rising Book

The trick is finding the right fit. I like a quick turn around on correspondence and edits. I like easy access to the team I work with. I like flexibility and custom service. If I need more than two rounds of edits…let’s do it! I want input on my cover and the marketing plan. I want to be able to participate. Some companies don’t work that way. Some authors don’t have any interest in working that way.  It’s all about finding what works for you and your career.

My self-publishing experience has afforded me the flexibility to adjust with the market. In an industry of change and shifting markets, we need to adjust quickly and research to be prepared for the next wave.  I like testing the market to see what works. In the process, I’ve found thinking ahead of the curve is a crap-shoot. As fast as we adjust things shift. So writing to please yourself is the best answer because…you can’t please everyone.

The downside to self-publishing is the number of hats I have to wear unless I want to hire someone to do them. Then there’s the cost. Once again, the loss of a certain amount of control. Waiting for someone else to do the work. Hoping they have the same vision…

rainbow_stage_spotlights_vector_background_529094-copy

And finally, the time-consuming time away from writing.

I’m considering a co-op of stable writers who want to form a group. Not only can we write together, we can write apart and still be there for each other. It’s been done before and may be my answer.

When I can’t depend on SMASHWORDS’ meatgrinder to accept my old formats…I need another set of eyes and a ton of suggestions. Thank goodness for GOOGLE search.

My books at iBOOKS

My books at SMASHWORDS

My books at AMAZON

Giving Away Books? How About a TIP?

19475622-Arrangement-of-five-dollar-signs-with-focus-on-center-one--Stock-PhotoNo. I mean a real tip. You know…money? I’m thinking about all the free books authors give away and call it advertising expense.  Sometimes I get a really good book and think, perhaps I should give the author a tip. I could buy the next book, but that isn’t really expressing the value of the book I just read. So I rate it five stars and write gushing reviews. Still I feel something is missing. five-starsI see SMASHWORDS has an option under pricing for the reader to choose their own price. Anyone tried that? Reader? Author? I’m curious. Given the choice, how many or which  books would you pay for? How about an option to TIP the author for an excellent read?

Instead of  T-I-P (TO INSURE PROMPTNESS) satisfied readers could give extra TO INSURE PLEASURE? or PERFECTION? Or we could just insert a DONATION button. I’ve seen them on blogs (idea).

What about the ones when we can’t get past the first chapter? I’m all forimages emojis but I always seem to feel an emotion they haven’t developed a face for. A middle finger could work well for so much, but some would be offended. Nope. Not a good idea. Rudeness is available everywhere lately. If you can’t say something nice…don’t SAY anything, don’t TIP. don’t DONATE or leave a REVIEW. “NO” review speaks volumes. “BAD” reviews make you sound like a TROLL. I’m voting for tipping. If it’s a FIVE +  STAR book, the only thing left is a TIP.  For me? I’m okay if you buy my other books — I won’t be offended.

1021368484-thumbs-up-star-free-vector-in-adobe-illustrator-ai-ai-jvovkf-clipartI started this thought, tongue in cheek, but it’s beginning to sound good. Where is that emoji for the face I’m making right now? Eh?

Oh and in case you haven’t signed up for my NEWSLETTER yet…now would be a good time. NO SPAMMING. In fact, unless set-of-hands-with-thumbs-up_1134-312I have something to offer you like a FREE book or a BIG DISCOUNT or a chance to WIN something … or tell you a SECRET no one knows about yet … I won’t bother you. I will give you my email address so you can contact me back with suggestions. Or just leave them here. I get them.

The link to sign up below will ask you what genres you prefer.

Sometimes it’s hard to decide. I think you can pick them all.

e0d213d05dedbc2ecaebbb0fd2e62c14   SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER

The Gemini Prophecy: A Fae Myth

High Concept question. You ask, “What’s the book about?” A Fae Myth? The Gemini: a species born 0dc60-the2bgemini2bprophecy2bfinal2bcopywhen twin fae royalty fell in love with twin druids.

Another answer: A mashup of Criminal Minds meets Supernatural somewhere in one of the lands in Lord of the Rings, then sprinkle a little True Blood and Underworld  into the cauldron of blood and see what you get. Are you ready for a modern day Indiana Jones meets an Irish Sookie Stackhouse?

There are light fae trying to keep the world from going dark, while daemons from the Underworld posing as ancient serial killers are set on murdering supernatural psychics posing as profilers who work for the government. Breathe… Oh yes, there are soul mates and destined love to deal with too. Unfortunately, soulmates meant to save the world can’t deny their gifts or be at odds with each other. Duh! Can’t we all just get along? Work together? save the world?

No!

Hello?

Conflict goes there or there wouldn’t be a story.

Goal: Everyone wants to control the elements of Earth.

Motivation: To prevent the world from being destroyed…or in the case of the antagonists: to destroy the world.

The Gemini are going to have to step up their game. Trouble is, they don’t know the rules or that they were involved. Playing catch up from behind is Hell. Try reading this so you’ll be ready for the series.

Prequel Blurb:

Morgan and Brianna, two sixteen year-old Irish girls, stumble upon a magical book hidden within the standing stones. Believing local mythology is just an interesting tale about immortal killers, vengeful gods, and age-old battles, they take the stories lightly…until the book mentions their ancestors and reveals the girls may be destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy.

Discovering a deadly rift once split the fae and mortal realms as the result of a forbidden love between the fae and druids, the girls dedicate themselves to the book. A covenant with the gods had been broken, and the responsibility of restoring the worlds fell to the Gemini, descendants of the illicit lovers. These chosen caretakers of the elemental stones were challenged to protect the elements from the dark mystics. With a vow to destroy all the chosen, evil forces used black magic to release the daemon from the Underworld, and the Gemini went into hiding while the battles to find them raged on through the ages.

Years later, psychics and profilers all over the world are being targeted for death. A historic pattern becomes obvious to a former FBI agent and an Irish profiler when they are assigned to join forces. As they uncover more and more details about who or, more precisely, what is targeting the victims and why, even more improbable evidence surfaces to expose their linked pasts.

Fae mythology isn’t in the FBI training manual, but when a killer disappears into a solid stone wall, it’s time for Graeme to re-evaluate reality. Recently, the pragmatic FBI instructor and history buff has a hard time dealing with the woman’s thoughts seeping into his mind. Psychic or not, none of this can be real. He’s convinced she’s the same girl who’s been in his dreams since childhood, but he doesn’t dare admit it.

Morgan only felt whole  when Graeme joined her in her dreams. There is no doubt he’s her old imaginary playmate. But what does it mean now that his thoughts are breaking through when she’s awake? Even if he refuses to accept their connection, his presence in her mind is a comfort…until their shared dreams turn into nightmares.

BUY at AMAZON

SMASHWORDS for all formats epub, html, mobi, pdf, pdb

WRITING IN CHAOS

Do you need quiet to write? Do you have a playlist you listen to while writing? Do you have a special place? Is it isolated or in the thick of things? Is the TV blasting distracting news or great dialogue? Action or love scenes? What works best for you? I bet you have multiple answers depending on the scene and what stage you’re at in the book.

Chaos. In the midst of a family of seven, I’ve figured out how to write a first draft. Concepts and ideas fill my creative cup while I’m talking to my kids or friends, making dinner or folding clothes. The story is in my head at all times ready for a new twist or the next conflict.

I can even edit the first draft in chaos. But when it comes to making certain the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, I need solitude. Complete and utter focus. Grammar and punctuation checks are not what I’m talking about. What I need uninterrupted time to final edit for are these things…the essentials I hope to one day master in my first draft:

  1. are my characters behaving in character?
  2. do they have a goal, motivation, and conflict?
  3. am I staying in point of view?
  4. is the opening grabbing the reader?
  5. is the pace working?
  6. am I including hooks to the next scene?
  7. is there motivation, conflict, and a goal in each scene?
  8. is each sentence structured clearly?
  9. am I overusing adjectives, adverbs, names, dialogue tags, phrases,
  10. am I using redundancies–repeating words, sentence structure, or ideas unnecessarily?

Each of us has our own way or working through the writing process. We also have writing issues we repeat in each book. I check for those problems first, noting there are fewer in the second draft than there used to be. The more you write, the more cognizant you’ll become of your style, your voice. The pace of the story and the style eventually will become embedded in your work. The more you write, the sooner it will happen. Sooner or later, you’ll find your place to write, with or without chaos, with or without a playlist, with or without silence. What you’ll find is a way to focus on what the story needs instead of what you need. Numbers one through ten will fall into place like a marching band, marching in formation while they make music and designs. You’ll have your unique voice, your work will have a unique style that defines it, you’ll have a process of creating your work in a way that works for you.

I’ve tried several approaches. Some work with non-fiction, some with fiction. Some work with short stories but not with longer books. Some work with individual novels but not with series or serialized books. Different strokes for different folks pertains to bodies of work as well as temperaments. My memory isn’t what it was. I make notes now. Thank goodness for my iPhone. I keep it with me always…well, not in the shower…but it’s in the room–TMI?).

I dictate and write myself notes or just write down a word or phrase to jar my memory later when I have a chance to mull it over. We each have our own  creative needs and style of getting from A to Z.  Figure out your method and don’t be discouraged if you have to make tweaks or adjustments as you grow. I’m going to bare my soul. The second few edited paragraph segments from my first book, Hot Highland Fling, looked like this.

* * *

“Ah, Scotland,” Ailsa sighed into her cell phone. “The untamed highlands, the rugged moors, the burly men, and their kilts!”  The cell phone coverage was good as she checked in with her senior editor. None of that, Can you hear me now? stuff, going on up here.

“Katie, why do you live in London with those conservative people when you could be here?”

“I know the only reason you took this assignment was to check out the native men. Besides, the magazine has a silly requirement that their senior editor reside near the publishing house, and if you must know, I prefer civilization to the wilds.”

* * *

I have to thank my first editor, Scarlet Senior Editor, Diana Carlile.at the Wild Rose Press for not only taking a chance on a newbie, but also for being an awesome editor. If I could I’d be rewording and editing it again. You have to know when enough is enough. (Most of us never learn that.)

The first red blob is cutting out a dialogue tag. Now there is narrative action instead of he said-she said.

The next change is a clarification of the first part of the sentence without going into too much unnecessary detail.

The next is a format situation. The editor clarified the idea with italics and punctuation.

Then I changed a word from one that I didn’t think fit as well.

The final edit in this section did a few things. This is the opening of the book. The heroine said several things that hint about the genre. The title of course is pretty suggestive. But Ailsa sighs. Then she sets the mood with her dialogue. “The untamed highlands, the rugged moors, the burly men, and their kilts!” A little excitement, a romantic lilt, sexy and fun. This sentence establishes a promise to the reader. You also get that sarcastic humor reinforced with her internal thought about the cell phone coverage. Can you hear me now? stuff…

We find out that Ailsa is questioning conservative reasoning. What’s she up to?

Ailsa’s editor confirms her motives. “I know the only reason you took this assignment was to check out the native men.” Ah! Ailsa has an ulterior motive. Do we want to read about it? Do we like her enough to be curious? We hardly know her at all. Is the subject something we’re interested in?

The book is short on plot–it’s very short anyway. But it does contain many sex scenes because this is a woman’s journey of sexual discovery, an awakening of sorts, and she has very little time to invest. Not everyone will be interested in a book of this length or genre, but no matter, there should be purpose to every words you choose to put on the page. I hope this helps you move from chaos to peace of mind.

Here is the blurb: Hot Highland Fling

Erotic Contemporary Romance
Erotic Romance

Free lance writer, Ailsa Jackson is finished dating executives. She’s looking for hot sexual fantasies with a man who fits her needs… “All muscle, stamina and no commitment.” The assignment in the UK sounds perfect when she’s assigned to interview an American CEO who recently inherited lands and a title in Scotland.

She tosses her inhibitions aside for the first Highlander she encounters–prepared to research all the myths about brawny Highlanders and answer the age old, burning question: What does a Scotsman wear beneath his kilt?

Colin Fitzgerald knows it’s wrong to deceive Ailsa, but he can’t risk her discovering his true identity before he seduces her. Unfortunately, he is everything Ailsa hates. Yet if he can become the lover she adores, perhaps he can convince her they’re perfect for each other.

He has one night to prove he’s no stuffed shirt and three weeks to become everything she desires in a lusty lover. His adventurous lass is imaginative and willing. But can lust turn to love so quickly? And will they be ready for more than a Hot Highland Fling when their time together draws to an end?

Recommended Reading

MAXIMUM IMPACT – Writing Short: Say More With Less: Condense the Essence & Leave ’em Satisfied Kindle Edition

RELEASE Pre Order Today

DireMoon_Facebook_banner (1)

Dire Moon

by Eliza March

Hot Moon Rising

Heat Rating: SIZZLING

Word Count: 42,000

 

Her aura has never reacted to any man this way.
After the female dire wolf under her protection goes missing, Laurel Finnegan’s new assignment, vetting the brother, proves even more challenging. He’s everything Laurel isn’t. And everything she wants. Before the full moon rises, she’ll have to test their mutual attraction, find his sister, and keep him away from the other females who will stop at nothing to be the dire wolf’s mate.

He refuses to accept the significance of their mingled auras.
Lucas MacDugal’s family is the last of the purebred dire wolves, and times have changed. So when his sister fought tradition and fled Scotland for Sarasota, he agreed. Now, he has to deal with her female security guard. Laurel has extraordinary elemental assets and is instrumental in deciphering evidence, but she’s also the first female to destroy his self-control. He has until the full moon rises to figure out why. After that, his unusual attraction to Laurel may prove deadly for her.

All the evidence indicates Grace set herself up.
Laurel’s worst fears prove true. Rogues from the south have infiltrated the outlying pack land. When she discovers Grace’s location and telecommunications fail, she decides to rely on the elemental connection she formed with Lucas.

He’s in denial…
But there’s no denying how much she hungers for him, and his lust rises with the waning moon. The innocent female haunts his thoughts night and day. He has to respond. Too many lives are at stake for him to ignore the appeal he can’t resist.

The full moon calls his wolf to action.
Lucas will give up everything to claim Laurel as his, but he won’t risk her life. The fear of losing her drives him to discover the mystery surrounding their irresistible connection.

Excerpt

“Lucas is also their pack enforcer, so you will need protection,” Rand spoke up then turned to Derek. “What do you think?”
“According to everything I’ve got on him, he’s a lone wolf, aggressive, the second son, yet with alpha tendencies. Above all, he’s honorable. He’s no pup. So I’m not concerned about him getting out of control.”
Derek still appeared uncomfortable then looked at Laurel and shook his head. “If he’s as powerful and large as I’ve heard, we need to warn off our females. They should stay away from him at the time of the next full moon.”
“But a few of the females are already looking outside the pack for new blood,” Laurel said.
“If he sets his sights on one he likes, she probably wouldn’t survive a mating. His mother was purebred and barely lived through the births.” Rand kept his attention on Ty while he grew increasingly restless.
“Well, it’s not always about breeding.” Laurel gave a nervous chuckle. “If you want to take his temperature, for some reason I’m still your best chance to vet him. So far, none of you boys have tickled my fancy. And precisely, as a reminder, like Grace, I ‘don’t need no stinkin’ brothers’ to protect me either.”
The three men didn’t exactly growl, but Laurel was certain she heard the low rumbles begin.
Ty shook his head then pointed a finger at her. “Everybody thinks they’re immune, that they’re in control, until it hits them. Then, suddenly, you’re walking around with stars in your eyes and can’t put two coherent sentences together, let alone fight the urges within you.”
“Listen to Mr. Romance!” Laurel giggled.
“Don’t laugh, missy.” Derek gestured to Ty. “Look at him. Neither of them, Grace or Ty, wanted to be involved, and he couldn’t stay away from her, even knowing what she is. Her disappearance has made him as crazy as if they’d been—”
The room went dead quiet, the word mated hanging in the air. Derek turned in his chair, and his eyes flashed a warning.
Laurel’s gaze swung to Ty. “You didn’t…did you?”

How to Write an Opening Chapter

I can’t tell you how often I started writing a book only to realize the story really began in the second or third chapter. When I critiqued writers’ manuscripts the same thing happened. If I told one author the book started in the wrong place I told fifty. It’s common to start the story too soon. The process of warming up to your book, getting to know your characters, getting comfortable with all the backstory shouldn’t actually end up in the first chapter. You should know all this before you sit down to write…whether you write it down or mull it around in your head.

So how do you decide on a starting point? Many writing coaches advise authors to begin the story as close to the first conflict as possible. What does that mean?

Put your main character in his/her ordinary world before slamming them into the story conflict. The reader wants to see them react to life as they’ve known it before it’s about to change. And the character could be inanimate like the sea. The sea is calm before it turns stormy. The sky is stormy before it clears. The hero is happy before the day goes to sh*t. You get the picture.

During this short introduction to the main character and the story, we should learn something about her. She could be leaving the house for work, then the cat sneaks out because the door doesn’t close all the way. She’ll have to call her new sexy neighbor again because she’s running late. Worry. He’s going to think she’s a flake or is interested in him. Well she is…both. The rain hasn’t stopped for two weeks and caused the wood to swell. He’s pretty handy around his house. Hmmm. She drops the papers she’s holding. The red ink runs on  the pages from the raindrops. She curses the rain, but doesn’t actually use profanity. She says to herself–Whatever…most of the kids can’t read yet anyway.

This is just a general rundown. So what do we learn about her in that brief introduction? She teaches youngsters. Has a sexy new neighbor. Is a little flustered. Has a cat she cares about. Seems nice but realistic. This isn’t the first time the cat has escaped. It’s raining and she is late for work. Hopefully the reader imagined more, too.

Do we want to know more about her? Sure. Are we worried about her? Yes? No? Not yet?

Next. What could happen to hook you so you would want to read more?

From this opening I think the writer has several options to introduce the transition from ordinary world to something happens depending on the genre.

  • Another woman could leave the neighbor’s house and kiss him good-bye.
  • Backing out of the driveway, a truck could swerve out of control and hit the heroine’s car.
  • An alien spacecraft could land in her front yard.
  • A ghost could pop into her front seat.
  • Her fangs could descend in jealousy.
  • Her abusive ex-boyfriend could call.

These are a few options.

But what we decide determines the promise of the book. Here is where the reader figures out the genre, decides whether or not this book might be for them. Your voice (the unique style of your writing) and person, tense, pov, as well as word choices define the book at this point.

In a movie or book, the promise is defined in the first ten percent. Included in the first ten percent will be the locale, the identity of the main cast of characters,  the style, the genre, the main characters’ goals and motivations, and ideally, the main conflict. Other conflicts may play a part in getting to the resolution of the goal, but the main conflict should be at least hinted at in the opening ten percent.

Depending on the length of your story, the first chapter may not include all twriting copyhe characters etc. But in the first 200-500 words of any book, the writer must hook the reader. Most readers won’t skim more than a few pages to get into a book. They may skim after they’re curious about what’s going to happen.  And different hooks work for different genres. Read some opening scenes from books in your genre and see how best-selling authors do it.  I prefer reading examples from their early work, before they made a name for themselves. Those books defined them to their reading audience.

And I know it’s hard, but tighten that opening until it squeaks. Pacing is the rate that the reader is pulled into and through your story. Genre will influence your word choices, but so will pacing. Horror pacing and word choices will be somewhat different from romance, but may be similar to suspense. Give the reader a breather every now and then especially after an exceptionally exhausting scene. The ones when you try to get the reader’s pulse rate going. That’s great writing, but you don’t want to kill your favorite readers.

Please leave me a comment if you found this helpful and if you have something to add, your comments are welcome. Thank you.

View my other blog here Eliza March Writes

 

Fae Myths of the Gemini

the-gemini-prophecy-final-copyThe Gemini Prophecy: Psychics and profilers all over the world are being killed. Who or more precisely what is targeting them, and why? 

Before the Power of the Light, a modern fantasy suspense and the first book in the Gemini series, there is a long history of life, love, death, and destruction. Without retelling all the ancient tales, this prequel will give you some background into what came before Graeme met Morgan.

Coming this spring.
~~With the completion of the convocation, the fae queen began… “Each Gemini is entrusted with a gift to be shared and passed down throughout the ages, until one day, reborn together, the Gemini will forge the power of the light, the sea, the earth, and the air. I command you to return the elements to the Stone of Fal, lift the Veil, and reopen the portals between fae and earth. This is the promise of the Covenant.” copyright Eliza March, 2009.

As you can see, this series has been a long time coming. each book is a stand alone story, but each tells part of the story about the eventual battle between the Gemini and the Dark Mystics.

Everything begins here, in the ancient past where the breaking of sacred vows to the gods leads to the destruction of the peace between the fae Seelie and unseelie and where mortal’s lives are endangered by those who hunt the Gemini, descendents of the royal fae and ancient druid priests.

Sign up here to get special unpublished excerpts from me and a chance to win a FREE ecopy of the book when it is published.

Meet Morgan and Brianna: 

From her place beside the willow in the world beyond the Veil, the white witch Tapestry, weaver of souls, watched the girls run to the top of the hill, heading to the ancient cemetery beyond the old pagan stone circle. Brianna’s red hair reflected sparks of gold as she ran like a rabbit caught-up in the chase, zigzagging, aiming haphazardly for the field beyond. Her coloring reminded her of a druid priestess who one night stood on this same knoll calling down the power of fire and fertility from the gods. The ancient unconsecrated ground held mystery for the girls, but not so for her. After a millennia of existence, the woman knew well the magic here.

Morgan, the raven haired beauty shouted out to her friend, with her head thrown back and her arms open wide, twirling. “Brianna, this is my favorite place in the world.”

Tapestry could barely suppress a cry of delight when she heard the girl claim this place in her heart. Except for her slanted eyes which belied her fae ancestry, Morgan looked so like her druid forefather, her heart almost burst with longing for her own lost love. She sighed as her lips curved into a contented smile.

Ah beloved gods of old , the mortal child has accepted her place here on sacred pagan soil where all her mortal ancestors’ souls lie waiting—here in this long forgotten cemetery—here where it all began.

This old resting place, nestled far behind the new cemetery, was the burial ground accepted by Morgan and her family for generations upon end. They’d avoided the one most recently consecrated by the proud bishop, and fenced beside the church. Her druid forefathers favored the family’s traditional pagan cemetery where they believed the old spirits still danced by moonlight. Here is where Morgan’s father laid to rest, the last druid priestess, his wife, ten years before.

Tapestry hid, concealed in the overgrown vines. Although the limestone church, affectionately known to locals as the Kirk by the Sea, had been recently whitewashed, mildew still raised its grungy head, poking through the white paint, taking hold, thriving from the constant damp of the ocean mist and the rain. The wet season seemed to last most of the year up here on the cliffs. Through eons upon eons of time, this place remained sacred to many races of people. For here in the tumbling stone circle was the last open portal between the mortal world and the Otherworld. Here on the cliff, more than one set of slanted, fae eyes watched from behind the Veil this day as the preordained events of the prophecy resumed. The fate of all the Worlds rested on the shoulders of this child of the Gemini, one in a long line of gifted offspring of the forbidden love between the fae and the druids.

Morgan collapsed to the damp grass, smiling, taking a series of deep breaths, and recounted the cemetery’s importance to Brianna. “This is where I come to be with my family since Mum passed. The old ones are all here as well. Me Mum always said their spirits listened, waiting to be called upon when I had need of them.” She tossed her black mane and gave a quick look back at the church. “And having Jesus, Mary and Joseph right over there in the church, does’na hurt either.” She grinned wide.

Brianna giggled at the heretical remark before she caught herself. Her mouth dropped open in shock when she realized her sin. “Blasphemy. How could you, Morgan?”  Quickly, she shushed her friend, tracing the sign of the cross over her torso.

Morgan flopped to her back, laughing, her eyes gazing up into the light streaming through the trees as Brianna pulled the oilcloth covered tome from a crevice in the stone and with slow methodical precision that nearly drove her to distraction, she unwrapped it.

“Go on now Bri, please stop stalling and get on with it. You promised to finish telling me the story of the fae and the prophecy. The day and the place for the telling are perfect.” She snatched at the book and scooted beside Brianna, sitting closer on the grass so she could see the illustrations in the book. But Bri slapped at her hands and backed up.

“I’ll not tell you anything if you don’t show a bit of patience.”

“Come now, let’s have a look. You know how I’ve come to enjoy the pictures.” Morgan seemed to love the description of the fae. “…so breathtakingly beautiful that to look upon them hurt a mere mortal’s eyes’. Ah, I long to see such beauty. ”

Tapestry knew about the dreams and about the boy…the fair beauty of the boy who came to her in dreams, with his pale hair, golden skin, and silver eyes. 

Morgan ran her hand over the picture of such a boy in the ancient book and sighed.

Brianna smiled back with an accusatory glance at her friend who usually pooh-poohed romance and took life too seriously.

“Ah, I’ve caught you. Is this a romantic streak I glimpse? Have you one, after all? It seems you do, and now I know your taste runs to fae love tales with tragic endings.”

“Go on with you, I was just looking.” Morgan stiffened and glanced away, but not for  long.

Brianna held the tome of ancient myths the girls discovered under the sacrificial stone the previous month. She put on her lecture face and began translating the old language.

“Here in the land of mortals, we sometimes forget there are other planes of existence. But at one time all the Worlds shared doors that opened between them. Anyone who wanted could venture into other realms through these portals. The fae lived in the Otherworld, and they were called the Sidhe, the people of the tuatha da danaan. They held all the powers of the elements, protected and kept them safe in the Sacred Stone of Fal.”

Gemini copyright Eliza March, 2009  No reproduction without the author’s permission.

I hope you are enjoying the little teaser. Now one for the first book in the series.

POWER OF THE LIGHT  coming December 2017

“Should the Traighon achieve his final goal and the Dark Mystics succeed in their ultimate quest, the sun will not rise and the rains will not fall and the flowers will not bloom again. All the Worlds on every plane will cease to exist—all will be lost to the blue-green planet.”

There’d been a time when Graeme could have walked the path from the mailboxes to the entrance blindfolded. Closing his eyes, he visualized the area in his head. For a minute he let himself imagine a twelve-year-old Sharon waiting for him on the fence with her legs wrapped around the post, her saucy grin taunting him, and her pale blonde pigtails covered with her red bandana. He tried to get his bearings, then reopened his eyes and started walking. Intuition? Who was he kidding? He wasn’t ready to share his ability with the FBI, but it was more than intuition. His abilities, the ones he never admitted to, were often his best tools. 

Suddenly, a familiar flowery fragrance wafted in the air, interrupting his thoughts. A hint of her perfume. Dense fibrous vegetation crisscrossed the old path. Sharon had pushed through somewhere near this spot. A small break in the bushes indicated she made her way past the densest weeds. He followed through the same opening into a clearing on the other side. From there the old path was only a thin visible line in the tall grass.

Trust your instincts,” the soft voice, not Sharon’s, murmured softly in his mind.

Focusing on Sharon, all he heard was the sound of a beating heart pounding wildly in his ears. Where are you?  his mind screamed. 

The link they usually shared remained cold. A deadly chill crept up his spine. He needed their old mental link to find her.

“Stop making yourself crazy. Relax.” The familiar female voice in his head was back. At times, he couldn’t separate his thoughts from hers. Mental images from this woman often intruded his own. She’d been his imaginary friend. The Irish girl he’d called Morgan. What had suddenly made him think of her? And why now?

In any case, her presence in his mind strengthened him and forced him to focus. He pulled himself together.

“Track the signs with your heightened sense of sight and smell.” On the right track now, he increased his pace. Observation and evidence, in contrast to instinct, was hard to dispute.

“Do not deny your instincts.” The female voice roared in his mind. “Together, your instincts and observation make you the quality investigator you are!”

Graeme wanted to curse, pausing only when he came to a downed tree blocking the path. Instead, he didn’t waste time analyzing anything. He put both hands on the limb and vaulted over. When his collar tightened around his throat practically choking him., he unbuttoned the top button on his shirt and tore off his tie, picking up his pace.

Despite the sweat forming on his forehead and upper lip, another shiver slid up his back. The shadows and something else in the deep woods kept the air cool.

“Hurry!”

A startled covey of birds flew from a nearby bush. “Damn!” He flailed his arms in surprise, shouting at himself or at them, he wasn’t sure. Graeme repeated the low trembling curse and gathered his fear around him, closed his eyes, and instinctively sensed her path. 

A blood curdling scream pierced the quiet forest like a soul-wrenching insult. 

“SHAAAARRROOOOONNN!” The cry resonating in his head hurt his ears—but even worse, there was no answering reply. Barely able to catch his breath, his heart pounded harder. His fear slowed his thinking. He took off running, tearing through the dense underbrush, jumping over downed limbs, pushing aside wide branches as if none were there.

“Sharon. Sharon. Sharon.” The drum-beat of her name repeated silently on his lips, a prayer. He chanted the mantra as he fought his way to the cave.

His lungs burned, and every muscle coiled tighter as he ran. His arms pumped like pistons for added speed. But before he rounded the path to the yawning mouth of the cave, the world shifted beneath his feet. Somehow he knew. His best friend was gone. He sensed her life force drain from him and a light went out.

“Too late…” The sympathetic voice ended with a mental sob. 

Then Graeme saw Sharon on the ground.

A muscular young man wearing jeans and a black T-shirt kneeled over her body. Blood covered the intricately carved handle of the dagger in his hand, and the rest of the scene played out, frame by sick frame, in slow motion. When he leered at Graeme, his image rippled, warped, and faded, morphing into someone—no, some thing else. A fiend. A daemon. A monster of epic, nightmare proportions.

In the afternoon light, the killer’s skin appeared blue. The image in front of him looked to be well over seven feet of solid, naked blue muscle covered in swirling tattoos. Graeme shook his head and blinked his eyes trying to focus.

The monster’s eyes flashed red. Not blood-shot. The whites were white. It was his irises that were red, blood-red. 

Like any rational-thinking man, Graeme’s first reaction was denial. Caught in the illusion, he forced himself to play out the scene and stay in the moment. His mind staggered at the prospect.

The killer smiled. Fangs flashed inside his mouth before they lengthened and he bent over Sharon’s limp body, sank his teeth deep into her neck, draining what blood was left. When he lifted his head, fangs dripping, he opened his mouth over hers and inhaled.

A pale golden light rose from Sharon’s body as the monster took her essence into his own. The daemon turned, leered at him, and tossed the blood-drenched dagger. The blade flipped end-over-end as droplets of Sharon’s blood flew through the air like red mist.

Graeme instinctively reached up and caught the knife, then flipped it into his right hand, and rolled his shoulders. Tempted to let his emotions run wild, his cold professional habits forced him to control his actions. Spreading his feet wide for balance, he flexed his arms in front of him, and tensed for the attack. The muscles in his legs bunched as he assumed the defensive stance.

Gemini copyright Eliza March, 2009  No reproduction without the author’s permission.