Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Not your common faery ~guest post by paranormal fantasy author Juli D. Revezzo

 
I'm very happy to have Juli D. Revezzo back today to share about her fae adventures in her new release, Changeling's Crown.





Not your common faery

by Juli D. Revezzo

Faeries have been around for ages, so we as observers have a certain view of them. But there are many kinds of faeries. For instance, the pretty, winged beings, the ones that populate pre-Raphaelite art and books. Those beings flit around almost like human bees.

And there are those who dance around toadstools at night. They are probably the most famous. Is it because they’ve been known to steal humans away? The stories say so, and goodness knows, such revelries can leave a partier’s memory quite hazy.

These beings also mixed with other mythologies. Specifically the type of faery we find in faery tales like Charles Perrault’s Cinderella. He turned the faery into a guardian not unlike the Fates. The result was a demotion, of sorts, to a benevolent mentor—the faery godmother. She is, according to author William Indick, “both a replacement mother for the archetypal abandoned heroine, and someone who can help her gain her every desire.” (p. 96).  In some stories, the faery godmother even refuses to help the princess she’s assigned to. (Not exactly the faery godmother any of us would want to have, I’m sure!)

So, there you have two sides, the mischievous and the benevolent fae.  I wondered, with such pressure upon these mentors, what if one couldn’t take it? Is there a specific temperament a faery godmother is supposed to have? And if so, can she conform to the perfect picture of a faery if she doesn’t have it built into her? This question permeated the story of CHANGELING’S CROWN as I began to write. My faery godmother, Ianthe, tries very hard to do everything expected of a faery godmother, but no matter how badly she wants it, she just never quite feels comfortable with the faery godmother lifestyle and duties.  She likes to do what she likes to do and that sometimes runs afoul of the “rules”. I guess that kind of life can be hard to live up to, for a gal who likes a little mischief now and then. ;)

Synopsis:

When Ianthe began her career as a faery godmother, she stumbled so badly that Snow White will probably never speak to her again. After a long suspension, she’s finally been given a chance to redeem herself…but everything on this latest assignment is going wrong.
But why?

Worse, she definitely doesn’t need an attractive mortal man distracting her from her duties. Of course, needs and wants are two different things.

Briak has had his eye on Ianthe for a very, very long time, but he’s been waiting for just the right moment to make his move. Despite the fact all hell’s about to break loose on his watch, he can’t resist the opportunity to insert himself into her earthly assignment. Can he convince Ianthe of her true calling and thereby win her heart? Or will his subterfuge ultimately cost him her love?

Excerpt:

Stymied for the moment, [Ianthe] turned to her kitchen, set a pot on the stove, and mixing bowls out to work on her contribution to the school’s party. She filled the pot with milk and set it to boil.
Another thunderclap and the power fizzled.
The room went dark.
Oh, for Thumbelina’s sake!
Ianthe tugged open the nearest drawer, feeling for a box of matches. Nothing.
She searched another drawer. Nothing.
She slammed the drawer shut and snapped her fingers. A tiny glow flickered to life at the end of her thumb. She crept into the living room and set the flame to her trio of candles. The fae lights blinked in a triple-branched tea light candelabra. The food, though—
Why, oh, why did King Heath insist they couldn’t give the humans anything by magic that they could procure themselves?
A million recipes flew through her mind. She could finish any one in moments with a little faery ingenuity. Any one would do to fulfill her promised contribution for the party. No. Forbidden.

Dear Ms. Siabelle,
Please see if you can convince His Majesty to revoke that silly rule.
Ianthe

There, she said to herself, send her that when you have a chance.
She rummaged in her pantry for anything to replace the custard she’d promised to make. And keep it cool in what until the power comes back?
She sighed and stepped back, hands on hips. She’d just have to work on it tomorrow. Unless…
She peered out the window and snapped the curtain shut so none of her human neighbors could see her at work. She tapped the stove’s front burner. The burner turned red as it heated. The milk in the pot simmered away.
Humming, she went to her refrigerator, and tapped its small light bulb. The light snapped on; the motor whirred. Ianthe smiled and pulled forth three cage-free eggs. She broke their shells and slipped the whites into a boiler pot. Five minutes should do it.
Now, what to do about Randall and Mallory? The situation proved worse than she first thought. Though they acted civil at the paddock’s fence as she tested the horse, they hadn’t worked together today to save her. Wouldn’t that have been a perfect opportunity for them to do so? No. Mallory had enlisted Briak’s help.
And what about Briak? He shouldn’t’ve worried about me. That he’d calmed the horse himself was nice, but why on Earth didn’t he let Mallory drive her back to the office? She didn’t need such a handsome distraction right now. Especially a human one. Her parents wouldn’t like that.
And then there was Mallory. The woman had a serious brownie in her bonnet about both Randall and Briak. Men stick together, is that why she snapped at Randall’s second in command? Or, was she only worried about the horse’s well-being?
Ianthe shook her head. “That poor horse,” she muttered.
If Randall doesn’t have to put it out of its misery because of Geldon’s violation, I’ll be surprised.
Ianthe shuddered. Possession by Geldon. Son of a goblin, was there anything worse?
The milk bubbled on the stove. She added it to the eggs and sprinkled in some cinnamon.
The couple needed money to fix the stables, Randall had said. Surely, the ranch made enough to cover its bills and then some. The children she’d seen milling around had seemed so enamored with the horses, was that not an example of the ranch’s popularity?
So what was the problem?
In no time, she had the first bowl of custard finished and set in the refrigerator to cool. She decided it might not be enough for everyone attending the party and put a second pot of water on to boil.
How on Earth could Randall want for anything, except of course the love of a good—
“What are you doing?”
Geldon’s voice brought her up short and Ianthe screamed and spun toward the speaker. Her heart pounded in her chest and she leaned against the counter, glaring at him. “What am I doing? What are you doing, you arrogant, son of a goblin?”
He laid a hand to his breast, his eyes wide and innocent.
She knew better.
“Me?” he said. “I just wondered when dinner would be ready.”
“Or if you could scare the life out of me?”
Geldon ignored the question, brushing dust from his gaudy gold silk vest. “You, on the other hand.” He narrowed his eyes at the pot. Ianthe stepped in front of it, shielding its contents from his filthy snort. He leaned sideways, trying again for a peek. “You’re breaking rules all over the place, aren’t you?”
****

CHANGELING’S CROWN can be found at: Amazon   Amazon UK   Barnes and Noble

And if you’d like to add it to your Good Reads To-Be-Read list, you can do so here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22431583-changeling-s-crown


About Juli D. Revezzo:

Juli D. Revezzo has long been in love with writing, a love built by devouring everything from the Arthurian legends, to the works of Michael Moorcock, and the classics and has a soft spot for classic the “Goths” of the 19th century. Her short fiction has been published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, The Scribing Ibis, Eternal Haunted Summer, Twisted Dreams Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly. Her paranormal series Antique Magic and Harshad Wars are available now. CHANGELING’S CROWN is her first published new adult novel. She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of Independent Authors Network and Magic Appreciation Tour.

You can find out more about her at her homepage: http://julidrevezzo.com/

On Twitter: @julidrevezzo



*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SALE! Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Bookstore Legend One is on sale this week!

Get involved with the adventure, magic, dragons, wizards, and romance!


Today through August 25th, Seeking a Scribe, my first Enchanted Bookstore Legend is on sale for $1.99. 

Available on Amazon.



Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Bookstore Legend One by Marsha A. Moore

Genre: epic fantasy romance

Description:

Lyra McCauley is a writer and loves fantasy novels, but until she opens a selection from bookstore owner Cullen Drake, she has no idea he’s a wizard character who lives a double life inside that volume…or the story’s magic will compel her from the edge of depression to adventure, danger, and love. 

His gift to Lyra, the Book of Dragonspeir, was actually her copy, misplaced years ago. Lost in her pain following divorce and death, she fails to recognize him as her childhood playmate from the fantasyland. Friendship builds anew. Attraction sparks. But Lyra doubts whether a wizard is capable of love. She’s torn—should she protect her fragile heart or risk new love? 

Opening the book’s cover, she confronts a quest: save Dragonspeir from destruction by the Black Dragon before he utilizes power of August’s red moon to expand his strength and overthrow the opposing Imperial Dragon. Lyra accepts the challenge, fearing Cullen will perish if evil wins. Along with magical animal guides, Cullen helps her through many perils, but ultimately Lyra must use her own power…and time is running out.


Information about the Enchanted Bookstore Legends:

The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications. 

Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her.  

When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.

Click here to read an excerpt. 

Purchase Links for books in the series:

*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Tea Leaf Tales: The Vacationmobile, the latest trend in cars!


August is the vacation month. During the restless period between summer and autumn, days shorten from that lazy mid-summer pace, making us feel like time is somehow slipping away. The anticipation of school starting creates a hum of anticipation almost palpable in the air. August is the time to gasp that last adventure before returning to a routine schedule.

And this is the definitive August car, newly manufactured for those in need of a quick getaway. The magic: this little bug of a car only drives to fun places. You may notice, even in a rather ordinary parking garage, it stops in front of a sweet-scented vine. Simply get in with a day’s worth of stuff, and this car will do the rest, setting your course for a great time. Available for rent at only the finest auto rental facilities for the day, month, or an entire year of surprising and fun-filled trips. Or perhaps try several of these models since each one has a different navigation system leading toward unique getaways.


Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her.

*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Our world, just more magical ~guest post by Gina Drayer, author of the urban fantasy Lotus Petals #contest



I'm pleased to have Gina Drayer here today to discuss some of the challenges in writing contemporary fantasy. Be sure to check out her new release, Lotus Petals, as well as her contest at the bottom of this post.
 
 
 
 
Our world, just more magical
by Gina Drayer

One of the challenges of writing Contemporary Fantasy is mixing reality with the fantastic. In high or traditional fantasy, you can bend fictional societies around magic use. If magic has always been part of the society, then it's an accepted part  of the world. But when you bring magic to the modern world things get a little tricky. 

We use to believe in magic because there were so many unanswered questions. Things we didn’t understand were easily explained away as magical. But these days we seem to have an answer for everything. Thus introducing magic into our modern lives brings up a whole host of questions.

Why do any type of work when you can use magic? Why drive somewhere when you can teleport? And since we’re talking about teleporting, why not rob that bank? Heck, why not enslave the weak non-magical humans and control the world?

This is where the balancing act of reality and fantasy really comes into play. If all magic was easy, then the story would be dull, because our heroes could solve all their issues with magic.

As an author, we have to develop a believable system of magic that works with our modern knowledge. Most worlds with magic have limitations. In Harry Potter, we see what happens when spells aren’t enunciated correctly or the wand isn’t flicked in just the right way. In addition to that, there are restrictions on underage magic use. All these things help keep the plot going and put a limit on their power.

In addition to setting limitations to magic, we also need to decide how “out” magic is in the society. Hidden magic, or the Masquerade, is a popular trope, because it helps avoid some of issues I mentioned. By keeping magic a secret from the public, you create this bright line stop to power. We could just use magic to get the dress I love in that shop, but how would I explain that without exposing myself?

Going without the Masquerade brings up a whole new crop of issues. If magic is open, how do non-magic users feel about it?  Are magic users revered as valuable members of society or feared? How does magic fit into everyday life?

In my book Lotus Petals, magic out in the open. I enjoyed writing it. Since the setting is a small town, you get to see a host of reactions ranging from bigotry to acceptance of magic. In addition to those questions, because my book is also a crime drama, I had to figure out how magic would work in our legal system.

While this was definitely more challenging than just writing a crime drama, I loved questioning how things would be different if magic were introduced.  I look forward to writing the next book, and adding a little bit more magic to our world.

Lotus Petals by Gina Drayer

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Bottom of Form
Book Length: 258 pages

Description:

Olivia Harmon feels safer separated from everyone else. Her empathic powers not only lets her experience other people’s feelings, but also influence them. It’s a heavy burden to carry, and the main reason she’s always been more comfortable around the dead. As a small town funeral director and assistant county coroner, Olivia is able to keep her distance from the day to day drama of the living. 
 
But after a series of seemingly unrelated deaths, Olivia discovers a hidden connection that puts her right in the middle of the investigation. In order to stop a killer, she must face a menacing dark magic and her own family’s hidden past. When confronted with the truth, Olivia will be forced to choose between the carefully constructed life she has tried to maintain and the reality of who she really is.


Excerpt:

“The vehicle swerved, perhaps to avoid a deer or some other wildlife, and dropped off the embankment, coming to rest there." Officer Richardson indicated the car's current position. "The passenger was ejected, and the male driver appears to have died on impact. We’ve identified him." He paused and flipped through several more pages of his notebook. "Scott Malone of Indianapolis. The female passenger wasn’t carrying identification. I'll notify Mr. Malone's next of kin, and hopefully they can help me ID the woman.”

"Thanks. I'll do my reading, and then we can all go home."

"I’ll wait by my car for you to finish.” Brad still wasn’t comfortable with the fact I used magic on the job, even after months of working together.

"It shouldn’t take long,” I shrugged, trying to put him at ease. “That is, if the weather holds out."

It was overcast, and the starless sky added to the grim mood on the ground. The heavy clouds crouching over the scene threatened snow at any moment. The moisture screwed with the energy flow, making it harder to gather power, so I needed to wrap this up quick.

"I should be able to make a ruling in a few minutes," I said, and with a renewed sense of urgency headed toward the Toyota. As I followed the path the car had taken, nothing seemed unusual. I opened the door, and the metallic tang of blood assaulted me. The driver was hunched over the steering wheel. The head wound looked serious, but blood wasn't always a clear indication of damage. The only way I'd know for sure was an examination.

I snapped a few photographs and slipped off my rings, dropping them into my pocket. With my new ink, I didn’t have to draw spell glyphs on my hands anymore. I pulled on my gloves, ready to do the reading. I gathered power and drew it through the caduceus on my wrist. Images flashed behind my closed eyes.

Liver damage from habitual drinking. A healed knife wound. Two fractured ribs. A compound fracture of the wrist. Two burst fractures of the lumbar spine. A fractured skull and brain trauma.

The injuries were jumbled together in such a short span of time, it was hard to tell which one came first, but the brain trauma was clearly the cause of death. Everything seemed to be in line with an auto accident. I took a few more photographs and moved on to the body on the ground, removing the white sheet.

The unidentified girl was pretty. Strawberry blonde hair splayed around her head and a sprinkling of freckles dotted her baby face. She looked far too young to end up with me.

"I’m so sorry," I said, smoothing the hair from her face. “I’ll take care of you. I promise.” I placed a hand over each of her eyes, and a hot flash of power surged up my arms. I jerked my hand back.

What the hell?

My fingers burned from the contact. Shaking them, I gave it a second try, but this time I avoided touching her directly. My hands hovered just over her eyes, and I sent out my power. There was resistance, and the images never came. Something wasn’t right.

About the Author:

Gina Drayer is an avid reader, writer, and Ubergeek. Her latest book Lotus Petals, a paranormal thriller, is forthcoming in July 2014.

Growing up a Navy brat, Gina has traveled extensively, living all over the country, but now she calls Indiana home. Currently she spends her days running the family’s Home Health Agency and her nights creating fantastic world.

Gina writes gripping, fast paced thrillers with a magical twist and steamy contemporary romances. She creates stories centered on strong, witty, independent women facing situations that test their will. And of course their male counterparts have the depth and character to keep up with these leading ladies. 

Buy Links:

           Amazon

Contact Links:

Website:   ginadrayer.com

Google+:   plus.google.com/+GinaDrayer

Twitter:    twitter.com/GinaDrayer

Amazon: amazon.com/author/ginadrayer

Tour Giveaway: Five free ebooks (per blog stop) and a “grand prize” of $75.00 Amazon gift card. For the Five books you can make your own prize. Please use for the Grand Prize this Raffle Code:
*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Featuring Keeper vs. Reaper Graveyard Guardians, a NA paranormal novel by Jennifer Malone Wright #contest


Keeper vs. Reaper
Graveyard Guardians
Book 1
Jennifer Malone Wright

Genre: New Adult / Paranormal 18+
Publisher: Jennifer Malone Wright
Date of Publication: August 12th 2014
Cover Artist: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design and Photography

Book Description:

When her father died, Lucy Mae Estmond inherited the family business. She has known all of her life that she would be in line to watch over the souls of the recently passed, keeping them safe from the Reapers.

The soul eating Reapers have been a plague upon the Earth, stealing souls and leaving the Keepers as the only thing that stands between Heaven and Hell. The factions despise each other and have warred for generations.

Then Lucy discovers an ancient legend predicting the arrival of the Chosen One, destined to bring forth an end to the Reapers. The surprises continue when she realizes she is that person. For Lucy, being the Chosen One doesn’t change much. Fighting Reapers is just another day in the life of a Keeper.

When she meets Jack Walker, they both realize they have an insane, mutual attraction. Too bad that he’s been sent to prevent the prophecy from coming true.

His only mission: to kill the Chosen One.

Available at  Amazon  Amazon UK  Apple and BN

Excerpt:
Inch by painstaking inch, the casket sank lower into the freshly churned earth.
The scent of lilacs floated on the breeze, along with the heavy stench of perfume and cologne, reminding Lucy of the fragrance aisle in a department store.
Lucy stood beside the grave, dressed in a modest royal blue sundress. She had chosen it specifically because her father always said the color looked the best against her hair, which was a mix of reddish brown that shone burgundy in the sunlight.
Tilting her head up, Lucy looked through the canopy of the aging oak trees that were scattered throughout the cemetery. The breeze shifted the branches, causing a few of the leaves to pull free and flutter off into the wind. There were almost no clouds in sky, allowing the sun to shine down over the funeral.
Her brothers and sisters surrounded the open grave opposite of her. All six of them also wore something fitting for a funeral, but nothing depressing enough to send their father into a rage in his afterlife.
Smiling, Lucy remembered the argument she and her father had during his last moments. “Lucy!” he had shouted at her. “Don’t you dare let them bury me in a suit. I am not going to spend eternity in a stuffy ass business suit. Make sure I’m wearing my khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt because I’m going on the vacation of a lifetime.”
That was toward the end, when the cancer was so bad that her dad spent most of his time in bed, moaning about how he should be up and about doing something. They both knew that the end was near, but Lucy had cried only in private. Her father wanted her to be happy he was moving on to the next life, but she couldn’t understand in what way, shape or form, his dying was a good thing.
So she shed her tears alone in her room until there were no more left to cry.
The fog of the memory lifted from Lucy’s mind and she looked across the grave at her brothers and sisters. The entire brood of Estmond siblings were born with the same color hair as Lucy had been blessed with. Each of them, as well as Lucy and Ethan, held a white rose in one hand. Later, before the grave was sealed, they would each take a turn throwing one down onto the casket, as a symbol of their wish for their father’s peaceful journey into the afterlife.
Just behind her brothers and sisters stood the mourners who came to pay their last respects. Most of them were town’s people whom they had grown up with, except for one group who stood close together, most of them around her father’s age. These were the Keepers whom her family had been closest to over the years. She could see Gloria and Edward White, the Keepers from one of the Napa Valley graveyards standing solemnly beside Ellen and Stanly Evans, who worked in the hospital in Santa Rosa. There were several other Keepers surrounding them who she recognized and made a note to speak to them later.
Beyond them, further out into the trees, the spirits began to show themselves. They appeared in the form of their human bodies, a bit transparent, but solid for the most part. It was harder to see in the daylight, but their misty blue auras swirled around them, helping form the solidity of their bodies.
The spirits were fascinated by funerals. When Lucy was little she used to think that they wanted to say goodbye to someone, but really it was because there wasn’t much else to do in a graveyard except talk to each other and attend burials.
Pastor Brown spoke solemnly, saying kind words and telling her father’s life story. Inwardly, Lucy cursed her father for choosing Pastor Brown, a man who had not known her father and she was sure didn’t give a flying fuck about him either. Her father hadn’t set foot in church since he was a child. Not because he didn’t believe in God, he just didn’t believe in organized religion.
Sensing her tension, Ethan squeezed her hand reassuringly. Turning to her left she looked up and met her best friend’s eyes through the tint of his sunglasses. Even through the dark lenses she could see the sorrow in his eyes. He had loved her father too, just as much as any one of the Estmond clan. In response, she squeezed his hand back and then turned back to stare at the grave again.
“And now, Lucy Mae, Gregory’s youngest child, will say a few words about her father.”  The preacher cleared his throat, signaling to Lucy that it was time.
Lucy had no tears staining her face. She had cried all those tears long before the day of the funeral. Again, Ethan gave her hand a gentle squeeze and then released her so that she could reach down and withdraw the folded piece of yellow legal paper out of her miniscule handbag.
As Lucy unfolded the paper she felt like it was taking an eternity.
This day is never going to end.
Finally, the paper was open in front of her and she began.
“I know that this speech is going to sound like the speeches given for so many others who have passed on. But, when someone we love dies, we all feel pretty much the same way … so here it goes. My father, Gregory Estmond, was the best person I’ve ever known. Today, we stand here, not to mourn him, but to celebrate him. He didn’t want any one of us to be sad that he was gone. Because … he isn’t gone. He will always be with us. For those of us who spent each day with him, his teachings and his love will always be with us. He taught us love, he taught us respect, he taught us of our family heritage, and he taught us how to live.
“For those who are acquaintances of my father, you may have met him only once and you are here because he impacted you in some way.”
A few nods came from the crowd.
Lucy continued. “He had that effect on people because he had a genuine love and respect for human life. Which is not something all of us can say we have. He treated everyone the same, with kindness.
“Because my father had cancer, he knew that this day was coming and he had time to prepare for it. We had many discussions and the one thing he consistently told me was to embrace life. He didn’t say this because he was dying, it was his mantra. This man lived every day of his life like it may be his last. He didn’t wait until he was dying to find the beauty in this world or the people in it. He was always this way.
“Remember my father, not with sadness, but with the memories he left behind. Remember him with love, with laughter and knowing that he is exactly where he wants to be.”
Lucy stepped back, reaching out for Ethan to grasp her hand once again. She eyed her siblings, none of them were crying either. Daniel, the second oldest son, reached into his gray trench coat and pulled out a silver flask. Lucy sighed and watched as her brother didn’t even try to hide it and took a long pull of the whiskey she knew was inside.
Sadly, as inappropriate as her brother was being, she couldn’t help but wish she could take a giant swig off that flask too.
It’s almost over.
“Would anyone else like to say a few words?” Pastor Brown offered.
Sherriff Davis stepped forward, he had his Stetson clutched in one hand and hitched up his gun belt with the other. As always he was wearing his uniform. The Sheriff and her father had been pretty close … well, as close as a Keeper can get to someone without that someone thinking that they are out of their mind.
“I’d like to, if that’s all right.” The Sheriff looked down into the grave before his eyes swept across the crowd of mourners.Finally his eyes met Lucy’s and she flashed him a smile meant to encourage him to proceed.
“Greg was my friend … and an old grump like me doesn’t have many friends. Greg knew a lot of people in this town, but I feel damn sorry for anyone who lives here and never had the chance to meet him. No one, aside from my own wife, Darcy, could make me laugh like Greg could. He was loyal and respectful, even if he was a bull shitter. Good grief that man liked to tell stories. Also, any man who can raise a brood of children by himself and manage to keep them all out of jail is a good man in my book.”
Lucy could have sworn that she heard Principal Robertson blow air between his lips like he was blowing a raspberry. A few people looked his way and then back at Sheriff Davis.
“That is all I got.” Sheriff Davis stepped back into the crowd.
Evelynn Andrews, the librarian at the Summer Hollow library, raised her hand slightly. She was about seventy years old, but didn’t look a day over fifty five. Lucy hoped she would age that well as the years progressed.
Evelynn pushed her glasses up her nose and closed her eyes for a moment before she began to speak. “I don’t think I can say much more about how wonderful Gregory was, but I wanted to make sure to pay my respects by voicing them. I’ve known the Estmond family all the way back to when Kathleen was still alive, as far back as when she and Greg were high school sweethearts. No one, could have been a better father to these children. Sure, they have caused a fair amount of ruckus over the years, but he did it all on his own and they are educated, mostly well behaved.”
She paused to glance at Daniel who had decided that moment would be appropriate for another pull from his flask. “And above all, Greg gave these children a sense of loyalty. Anyone who knows these kids knows that if you mess with one, you get the whole bunch of them.”
A few people giggled, even Lucy, knowing how true that statement really was.
“This may not seem like a good thing in retrospect, but a family who stays together so closely is a rare thing these days. It is to be cherished. Greg gave them this sense of family and that is something to be proud of.” As she finished, she closed her eyes again looked Pastor Brown.
“Would anyone else like to speak?” Pastor Brown addressed the crowd of mourners.
Unexpectedly, Ethan released Lucy’s hand and raised it up a little bit. “I need to say something.”
Pastor Brown nodded and held his hand out beside him. Ethan moved over to the other side of Lucy beside the pastor. “There are very few people here who don’t know who I am.” Ethan began. “Gregory Estmond took me under his wing a long time ago, when Lucy and I were both very little. My parents, who have moved away now…”
He paused and took a breath, pondering if he should let out the deep dark family secrets. Well, secrets that the whole town knew anyway. That was how small towns worked.
“They were, drug addicts and alcoholics who barely took care of me. Greg came by the house one day to see my parents for some reason and what he found was a little boy locked in his room with no food or water and his parents passed out in their bedroom surrounded by drugs and trash. The story is a long one, a long sad story. But it ended with Greg and the rest of the Estmonds making sure I always had a place to go, that I always had food. Greg even went so far as to pay me for making good grades, just to give me incentive to do well in school.”
Lucy grimaced as he told the story, hating Ethan’s parents for what they did to him. Ethan had conveniently left out the part about how her father had beat the ever living snot out of Ethan’s dad that day he found him locked up in his room half starved. It was hard to believe Ethan’s parents came from a Keeper line, but sadly, not all Keepers were immune to addiction. Keepers were human, just like everyone else.
Ethan scanned the crowd through his glasses. “No one, except for maybe the Estmond kids, owes more, or loves that man, more than I do. He saved me and I will never forget that. I hope that none of you ever forget that either.”
Ethan lowered his head and hurried back to Lucy. She immediately took his hand again, knowing how hard it must have been for him to say all that in front of everyone. He never spoke about his parents. They moved away when he was fourteen and left him alone in the house. After that he came to live with the Estmonds for good. She and Ethan were friends long before the incident at Ethan’s house, but after he came to live with them, they were inseparable.
Pastor Brown closed up the ceremony with a prayer and then the bagpipes started on Amazing Grace. Lucy stepped forward with Ethan’s hand firmly in her grasp and looked down into the dark, deep hole where her father’s body would spend eternity. Luckily, she knew better than most that his soul would not remain in that body.
She held the white rose firmly over the grave. “I wish you peaceful passage.” She released the rose and it drifted down into the depths of the hole. “I love you, Daddy.”
Ethan mimicked her actions, familiar with the meaning of the ceremony from the many deaths of Keepers past. Her siblings had moved into a line directly behind her and Ethan, tossing their roses in as well.
The other mourners milled about, giving Lucy and the family some time before they headed over to her house for the wake. She caught sight of Gloria and Ellen chatting beside the giant wreath of flowers with her father’s picture inside. She wandered over to say hello. “Gloria, Ellen, it’s been so long since I’ve seen you.”
Gloria smiled, as did Ellen. “Yes dear,” Gloria greeted her. “It has been some time. I’m sorry we couldn’t make it sooner.”
“Or under better circumstances.” Ellen added.
Lucy nodded. “Well, I’m just glad that you could make it here now. I’m sure my father would be happy that you are here now.”
Gloria and Ellen nodded, they made a bit more small talk and then Ethan appeared beside her. “I think we had better get over to the house now.” He whispered just loudly enough for the older ladies to hear.
“Oh,” Lucy checked her watch deliberately. “You are absolutely right. I’m sorry ladies, I need to get some things ready over at the house.”
Gloria smiled again, a loving gentle smile of someone she had known her entire life. “You go on dear, we will see you over there.”
With a quick ‘see you later,’ Lucy backed away and then turned to join hands with Ethan again. “Thanks for saving me. I didn’t really want to talk to them, but I had to make sure to say hello to them.”
“You doing all right?” Ethan asked, rubbing the back of her hand with his thumb.
Lucy nodded. “I’m fine.” She turned her head to try and see his eyes through the dark tint of his glasses. “How bout you. Are you all right?”
He twisted his lip up a little and she knew he was giving slight eye roll. “I’ll survive. I just miss him and all this,” he gestured to the crowd, “actually makes it harder.”
She nodded again. “I know what you mean. I feel the same way.” Her gaze strayed from the grave and focused on her house. Their home sat on the edge of the cemetery, separated from the dead by a white picket fence and about thirty yards of grass. The yellow farmhouse had been in their family for several generations, and now it was hers, as was the family business.
“Let’s head over.”
She nodded. Of course they had to get to the house. But, it wouldn’t be for relaxing. There was food to get out and serve. People would come up to her and tell her how sorry they were for her loss, or how much her father meant to them, or some awesome memory they had of him. It was going to be a very long afternoon.
Almost over, she told herself again. Almost over.


About the Author:

Jennifer Malone Wright is best known for her short story series, The Vampire Hunter's Daughter. Other works include the follow up to The Vampire Hunter's Daughter series called The Arcadia Falls Chronicles and her vampire novel called The Birth of Jaiden. Jennifer also co-authors a series called Once Upon A Zombie Apocalypse.

She resides in the beautiful mountains of northern Idaho with her husband and five children where she practices preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Just kidding!

But seriously, between the craziness of taking care of her children, Jennifer has little time left for herself. The time she does have left, usually leading far into the night, is spent working on her beloved fiction or chatting with her equally crazy friends.

Jennifer also loves coffee, has a passionate affair with red bull, wishes the sushi were better where she lives and dances while she cleans.


Details for the Keeper vs. Reaper pre-order giveaway:

-Entries will be accepted until September 1st.

- Winner will be chosen on Sept 5th.

-To qualify for the B&B stay you must live in the United States.

-You must be 21 years of age to enter and winner must be able to verify their age.

- Date of B&B stay is February 2015. The actual date will set by Jack and Lucy who will discuss it with the winner to see which days would be best for them.

- The custom wine and chocolate will be waiting for the lucky winner at the B&B

- The only items covered in this win are the cost of ONE night stay in the bed & breakfast, the wine and the chocolate, which will be waiting for the winner at the B&B when they arrive. Winner is responsible for getting to the location, spending money, meals, ect.

-Winner is responsible for any damages or incurred costs during their stay at the B&B.

How to Enter:
To make this super easy, we are just going to do a rafflecopter, so click the link to enter. Again, I am going to state that you must be 21 years of age to enter and winner must be able to verify their age.

There are several ways to enter, however one is to pre order or purchase (after release on Aug 12th) Keeper vs. Reaper. Unfortunately, there is no pre-order for Amazon, but the iTunes / iBooks app and the Nook app are free to download. These apps can be used on devices like tablets, phones, and computers.


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Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.