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Magic Seasons Romance

Magic Seasons Romance
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Author Kim Carmichael


Hands On Me
Tramp Stamp Series Book One
Kim Carmichael

Genre:  Contemporary romance with some suspense elements.

Publisher:  Keith Publications

ISBN: 978-1-936372-46-1
ASIN: B0098LICZ2

Number of pages: 17
Word Count: 5000

Cover Artist: Elisa Elaine Luevanos

Book Description:

Agent Gwen Fredricks is a living target.  Captured after a failed mission, the code to crack a safe has literally been permanently hidden on her.  To free herself, she must retrieve a final key.  

All Agent Colin Alexander has to do to avoid a desk job is get a code said to be on an enemy agent.   He never dreamed it would actually be on the agent, especially Gwen.

The simple shoot-and-swoop mission takes a turn for these two sometime-lovers and full-time rivals when they call a truce to give into their desire.  Now with the promise to keep both hands on each other at all times, they share a night together.  Loyalties are tested when Gwen manages to swipe the key away, and Colin discovers the code carefully embedded into Gwen's tramp stamp tattoo in a glow of UV light.  When morning comes they must decide if what they feel for each other is worth betraying their agencies.

~~~~
Excerpt:

"Stop!" A man yelled.
The barrel of another gun met her inches from her face. She tensed, not from the gun, but from the familiar inflection in his voice. The position of both their weapons hid the man's face.
"Get in and lower your gun, or we'll both lose."                    
"Back up and lower yours, or you won't have a hand left." No one told her what to do, not ever again. The click of her cocking her weapon echoed around them.
He stepped back. "Get in and close the door."
With her gun still raised, she stepped and waited for her opponent to flinch first.
"Now." He moved a fraction of an inch.
She did the same, and with the silent acknowledgement they would both comply, they lowered their guns in unison. She almost shot herself in the foot at the sight of the man who greeted her. Before she made a mistake, she de-cocked her gun and shook her head. "Colin?" Her body betrayed her by trembling. Was this her punishment?
"Gwen." He shoved the gun in his waistband. "You're the one. I would have never guessed."
Think. She screamed at herself to remember her training, and not allow him to best her or distract her. She glanced around the room, giving her time to not look at him. Agents were supposed to be everyday people and blend in, but Colin Alexander stood out. From the moment she quite literally fell into his lap through a two-story ceiling three years ago, she wasn't sure why his agency chose such a standout. She supposed his combed-back black hair and golden eyes were some bizarre form of female torture.





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About the Author:

Kim Carmichael began writing eight years ago when her love of happy endings inspired her to create her own.  She has a weakness for bad boys and techno geeks, and married her own computer whiz after he proved he could keep all her gadgets running.  When not writing, she can usually be found slathered in sunscreen trolling Los Angeles and helping top doctors build their practices.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guest author Kinley Baker


Guest Post for All Things Paranormal by Kinley Baker

Thank you so much to Jacqueline, for allowing me to visit All Things Paranormal! This is definitely a site I can get behind.

My favorite thing about the paranormal is that it’s a celebration of the strange.  Add to that the romance angle, and I seriously think I was made to love paranormal romance. I admit I’m a gal who needs romance in fiction and the dependability of the happy ending. If there’s one thing I want readers to trust me on, it’s the fact that the characters will find their way through the drama and darkness. No matter how horrible things seem, there is always hope, even when all appears lost.

Ruined released in July 2011 as my debut release. It’s the first book in the Shadowed Love Trilogy. Since it was my first, I will always have fond memories, but another part of me is so glad that the first couple was Jessa and Vale. They really evolve in this book and set the stage for a trilogy about three very different women, who serve as the three heroines.

I have a new perspective now because I’m just getting ready to turn in the third book to my Editor and the second book already released. I didn’t mean to write such different female leads, but now that I look back, I couldn’t have written three more different ladies if I’d actively tried.

Jessa is a Healer who places others about herself. She struggles with how much to give of herself. I think a lot of us can relate to that turmoil. As friends, siblings, significant others, parents, we’re always trying to find that ever elusive balance. Jessa manages to find hers even if it’s a little different than she ever imagined. Her relationship with Vale is forbidden, but she falls for the man behind the throne. She brings him compassion.

Vale loses his brother in the first chapter and he’s thrust into power when he’s never been expected to lead. It’s very rare for kings in the Shadow Shifter Kingdom not to rule for sixty years and pass their position on to their sons. When he’s given the power, he desperately wants to provide for his people and keep them safe. But he struggles against knowing what’s best, his scheming Court, and his feelings for a woman who can’t provide him the heirs he needs to stay in power. For a man who’s lost so much, he can’t risk losing the love of his life.

Their peaceful society is corrupted when the reason behind the death of the king, Vale’s brother, is revealed. In a fantasy romance, nothing can be easy. There’s an edge of suspense to the imminent epic battles.

Ruined is about an adventure through the shadows and all the things darkness can hide. There’s scandal, friendship, and strong family ties. They are Shadow Shifters who thrive in the night. But the book also celebrates all the different varieties of characters.

Some are inherently good, some are inherently bad, most are several shades in-between. They’re all strange in their own way, and that’s what I love about the paranormal. How many of us are truly normal? I suppose I’m biased. I’ve always been kind of weird, struggling to find my place.

Finally, fiction showed me that I didn’t need to find a place, I could create my own. And if you’ve ever wondered if you’ll ever find people like you, people who thrive in their imaginations and can’t stop writing or reading, the romance community is the place to be. They even make rooms for the witches and the vampires.

I’ll be back to talk more about the second book in the series, Denied. I’m so glad to have the opportunity to visit again! Tabitha is a woman fighting for the right to be the first female guard in her kingdom. Two warriors battle head-to-head in a clash of cultures, wills, and hearts. Tabitha couldn’t be more different than the gentle Jessa, but they both share spines of steel in their own way.

Who’s with me on celebrating the strange? What else do you love about the paranormal?

Ruined.jpg

RUINED: Shadowed Love Book One
By Kinley Baker
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press


BLURB:

Jessa is one healing away from death. Under the thrall of her gift, the Court's Senior Healer risks giving her life in exchange for her patient's.

Vale is a rebel ruler. When his brother is killed, he's given the throne and the decree from the Court to produce an heir or lose his family's hold on the land--and his deceiving advisors aren't afraid to use murder as a weapon if their directive to stay away from the Senior Healer goes unheeded.

But Vale burns to possess Jessa. The heat between them leaves a wake of smoke, and even the powerful forces above want to bind them in a union that lasts forever. Vale taking another would be a betrayal neither could survive.

Their enemies fear a child born of such a powerful Healer and Warrior, but the true threat lies in the bond forged in shadows and fused in fire.

EXCERPT RUINED:

"You." Fury burned hot under Jessa's skin as she glared at Vale. "Who do you think you are, demanding I come live in this castle? You can't just order your guards to enter a woman's home and pack up her things."

"Well, I did." Vale came around the desk and propped one hip against it, more of a threatening than casual movement.

"Someone tried to kill me. It makes sense that I have my Healer close by."

She released a pent-up breath. "Why couldn't you have explained that instead of mandating?" Silly. Her imagination had run away with her. The king needed his Healer. But the realization he didn't want her made her angrier.

"Because I didn't want to give you the option of saying no."

She most definitely would have said no.

"If you would have explained your reasoning, I would have complied. Your safety and health come first, even if I-"

"Even if you what?"

"Loathe you." She bunched her fingers into two fists, seriously tempted to hit him. For all the nonexistent pain it would inflict upon him.

"Do you?" His tone deadened with calm. "Because I can't stop thinking about you."

"That's normal." She brushed off the claim. "I saved your life."

He moved in a blur. A true Shadow Shifter. One second he stood near his desk, the next he had her in his arms, one locked around her waist and one hand tangled in her hair. Their lips almost brushed.

"I can't stop thinking about you." His murmur played down her spine, leaving a tingling trail. His scent invaded her. His voice embraced her like bare skin against satin sheets.

Her heart beat fast, her pulse jumped.

She disliked him, but didn't want him to let her go.

"Have you been thinking about me?" His soft tone feathered over her flesh.

"Only how much I dislike you." Lust pulsed in her belly.

He pulled her head back gently by her hair, so they looked straight into each other's eyes. Their bodies pressed tightly together. "Liar."



Barnes and Noble                 Kindle        Amazon Paperback  
book trailer on YouTube: http://youtu.be/aG2oSaUZeJM

About the Author:
Kinley Baker has a terminally tender heart and an inconvenient sense of humor. She loves puppies and cries at celebrity weddings.  Kinley believes that romance novels are the keys to world peace, because if you’re holding a book, you can’t be holding a gun. Kinley supports all supernatural lifestyles and believes “happy ever after” isn’t only for the normal. Her books Ruined, Denied and Freed are available now from Crescent Moon Press. Look for a new post-apocalyptic/futuristic romance series from Etopia Press in 2013.

You can find Kinley at www.kinleybaker.com




Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guest author Mattie Dunman


Hello all! This is Mattie Dunman, saying hey from the mountains of West Virginia. I am sitting down with Liz Hannigan, star of At First Touch, for a quick interview.

Liz takes a seat, watching me warily, her gloved hands in her lap. Leaning forward, she narrows her eyes and holds her body tense, as though she is about to leap from her seat at any moment.

MD: Liz, thanks for being here. I know you’re a...private person, so I appreciate you answering some of my questions.

Liz: What do you want to know?

MD: Well first, can you tell us a little bit about how your gift works?

Liz: (laughs mirthlessly) Gift. Right. Uh...sure. I touch you, skin to skin, and your entire mind downloads into my brain. Like hooking up to an external hard drive. I see your entire life in super-fast forward, like a movie speeding by too fast to makes sense of, and then everything just files itself away until I feel like looking at it. (shifts uncomfortably in her seat and looks down at her hands) Oh yeah, and then I can read your mind whenever I want.

MD: Well, that’s got to be...difficult. I know you lost your mother and had to leave your family and friends behind. How has that affected you?

Liz: (long silence) I guess...I always try to think of how she would handle things. Especially when it comes to Dad. Any time I get mad or irritated with him, I wonder what she would say or do and I try to make her proud. I think she would’ve wanted me to do more with my... ‘gift.’ It’s something I think about every day.

MD: Have you thought about how you might use your abilities to impact the world?

Liz: (sighs and looks out the window, looking suddenly tired) I used to. I mean, earlier on, before I got caught up with the Feds and the Coalition, I imagined being a cop or something. You know, sort of a super-interrogator, bane to all criminals. But then I saw the way my abilities were treated, how impossible it would be to have my own life if I made them public, and I got scared. I just want to get through the next day without disaster; it’s hard to think past that.

MD: Okay, so on a lighter note, you say you love to read. What are some of your favorite books?

Liz:  Oh, well, I have a bunch of books my mom used to read. Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Gwen Bristow.  Sort of romantic/adventure/suspense type stuff. I also really like the Twilight series. So sue me.
MD:  You’ve said that you can play music in your head like a playlist. What do you listen to most often?

Liz:  You know, I’m a big Beatles fan. Especially the Revolver album. So classic.

MD: One last question. You and Carey...is it the real thing?

Liz: (whispers, gaze fervent) God, I hope so.

Well, that’s it for now. This is Mattie Dunman saying thanks to Liz for sharing some of her thoughts and wishing her luck in her fight against the Coalition and her romance with the always-adorable Carey.
                                                               
                                 AtFirstTouch.jpg
At First Touch
First Touch Series, book 1
Mattie Dunman

Genre: YA/Paranormal

ISBN: 9780615659725
ASIN: B00873W5ZA

Number of pages: 267
Word Count: 87,543

Cover Artist: Deirdre Robertson


Book Description:

Liz Hannigan has been on the run since she was twelve years old.

Her mother is dead. Her father has lost his job. And thanks to an experimental procedure, Liz is now able to ‘download’ the contents of every brain around her with a simple touch. Forced to hide from both the federal government and a darkling group of morally deficient scientists known as the Coalition determined to exploit her abilities, she moves with her father to the bucolic coal town of Pound, West Virginia.

But the hunt for Liz and her abilities hasn’t ended, and her hopes for peace are shattered when she inadvertently downloads the enigmatic Carey Drake, whose unusual good looks and charm conceal a secret as shocking as her own. Stunned by the knowledge that she has found someone else who has extraordinary abilities, Liz finds herself drawn to Carey, discovering a deep attraction, and dares to hope for the first time she might find love.

But when an agent of the Coalition begins stalking her, Liz must find a way to work with the government agency she most mistrusts as she strives to build a longed-for normal life and take down the agent who has tracked her down. Caught up in a struggle to save herself and those she loves, the girl who sees all is blind to true danger until it is too late.

Short Excerpt:
I was out on the main road and about twenty minutes into my run when I heard the sound of a motor gunning and the beep of a horn. I slowed my pace and turned around to see Preston’s truck chugging along about two hundred yards behind me. His head was out of the window and he was screaming at me; I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but I felt pretty confident that it wasn’t complimentary.
I came to a stop, wondering if I should do something. I wasn’t really concerned; it wasn’t as though he would run me over or anything, but the blind hatred on his face made me a little nervous. Finally, I decided to ignore him and let him get his fill of throwing abuse my way and then drive on past.  Picking up the pace again, I resolutely faced forward, pretending that the continued screeching behind me was a trick of the wind.
Suddenly the engine gave an almighty roar and I heard the unwelcome sound of squealing tires. With only a second to register that I had vastly underestimated Preston’s anger and mental instability, I swirled around in time to see the grille of the truck just a few feet from my face. I made to jump out of the way, but all my knowledge and stolen tricks didn’t make me fly, or move faster, or be any less breakable than any other human being. I knew in that moment how useless my ability really was. In the face of the giant metal monster brimming with torque, my mind was of no matter, it just screamed out with the desire to live, to keep going.
There was a blow like a train hitting me, but strangely there was no pain, and I was moving faster than I could have imagined away from the truck and into the field next to the road. I was sure that the truck had hit me and I was just flying through the air to my death, by some fortunate stroke lucky enough to be spared the pain of impact. In another instant the movement had stopped and I realized I was being held in a pair of strong arms against a rock-hard chest.
Carey looked down at me, his eyes frantic. “Are you alright? He didn’t hit you, did he?”
“N-no,” I stuttered. Having downloaded Carey I was aware of his incredible speed, but there’s something very different about knowing something theoretically and experiencing it firsthand.
He put me down gently in the grass and I just sat there, too dumbfounded to speak.  Even as he anxiously surveyed me for damage, we heard the rending scream of out of control tires and the heavy metal sound of Preston’s truck crashing into something.
“I’ll be right back,” Carey said and then I blinked and he was gone.


About the Author:
Mattie Dunman is a lifelong resident of "Wild & Wonderful" West Virginia, and has dreamed of being a writer since she first held a pen in hand.
Mattie has pursued several useless degrees to support this dream, and presently enjoys teaching (or tormenting, as the case may be) college students the dying art of public speaking. She spends most of her free time writing, but also indulges in reading and traveling.
She is the proud owner of an adorably insane American Eskimo named Finn, and a tyrant cat named Bella, who take up more of her attention than they probably should.
Please visit Mattie's website at www.mattiedunman.com


Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Witch's Dream by Victoria Danann


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The Witch’s Dream By Victoria Danann

The Order of the Black Swan #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Paranormal Adult Fantasy / Urban Fantasy
Publisher: 7th House
Date of Publication: October 14, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-933320-56-4
Pages: 260 (5×7 book)
Word Count: 97,000

Purchase Links: Amazon Smashwords

Book Description:

He was left behind when Elora Laiken made her choice. Now he’s had it with love, but a transplanted witch who happens to be the world’s best tracker hopes she can change his mind.

The Witch’s Dream begins with B Team on loan for temporary assignment to Black Swan headquarters in Edinburgh where they are supposed to fill in for stretched-thin resources and assist with a werewolf issue. They’ve been given permission to stop in Ireland for a few days and help Ram and Elora celebrate their handfasting at the palace in Derry.

When they reach Edinburgh, the afterglow of an elftale wedding quickly turns all business. A simple werewolf sanction becomes a diplomatic issue requiring the one thing Elora doesn’t have – finesse. A missing person report turns into a demon abduction. From New York to Ireland to Edinburgh to Siena to the Texas Hill Country to Napa Valley. From promises to rages to hunts to epiphanies.

This is a story that proves that love can find you when you’re least expecting it – even when you’re far, far from home.

Erotic quotient: A few steamy scenes. No menage. No BDSM.


Excerpt from The Witch’s Dream


She could see from records that Storm had been in trouble at school from the first day of first grade. Like a lot of the knights, he was too smart to be suited for the public school curriculum and the system isn’t set up to cater to individuals. Also, most adults have a really hard time liking children who are smarter than they are.

He seemed to have been born knowing things, like math for instance. His mind would grab on to a concept on first presentation and then, while his classmates struggled, he would be looking around for something to do. That something usually ended up being disruption.

Storm was loved by his parents, but school faculty was another story. He had a reputation with the teachers for instigating pandemonium in the classroom. He was the triple threat: smart, bored, and a natural leader. It wasn’t that he was a class clown, nothing so obvious or exaggerated. He just quietly went about doing whatever the hell he pleased and ignoring objections. In short, no one in his life to that point had given him adequate reason to believe that anarchy was not the best policy.

Peers wanted to be like him. If that wasn’t possible, they would settle for doing whatever he was doing. So Storm’s experience of the public school system was time spent in the hallway, the principal’s office, or in trouble at home with his parents agonizing over what to do.

At one point they thought sports might be the answer. He had an extra helping of athletic talent and one of those bodies that would have said yes to any physical demand. Unfortunately he never saw the point. To him sports represented an endless, mindless, repetition with some arbitrarily established goal that made no sense when he broke it down and it turned out to be… well, boring. Put it all together and he was a public school educator’s nightmare. He was also a textbook ideal candidate for Black Swan.

One day he was sent to the Vice Principal’s office under protest claiming that, for once, he wasn’t doing anything wrong. He sat down in his usual chair to wait for the usual carpet ride, but, instead, the door opened to reveal too many people crowded into a smallish room. That included the V.P., Storm’s parents and a tall, serious-looking guy with a piercing gaze and an unmistakable air of authority. Storm sat up straight and had only one thought. Uh oh.

The stranger wore slacks, highly polished loafers, and a sports coat.  He guessed the man was old, thirty-five maybe, but he looked hard all over like one of those athletes who can’t repeat enough Iron Man triathlons to please themselves.

Engel Storm’s father worked for the Randolph Moldavni vineyards as head winemaker. The work was personally fulfilling and he wasn’t chained to a desk in a cubicle, but it didn’t cut a path to either greatness or riches. His mother worked part time as library receptionist at the local branch of the University of California. Between the two they made enough to take care of three kids in solid middle class fashion. They could eat steak, but not every day. They had good health insurance with the vineyard. They could take a summer vacation if they drove and stayed in motels. It was an upbringing no child should complain about, but most do anyhow.

Storm’s background hadn’t afforded an education on the finer points of better men’s’ clothing, but even to an untrained eye there was a vague sense that the stranger’s style was expensive.

“Have a seat, son.” Vice Principal Rodgers motioned to an ugly metal chair with green leatherette seat and back. Storm noticed that there was a small tear in the seat that showed a little white stuffing. His mind was racing, partially occupied with the fact that Rodgers had called him “son”. He decided that meant he was in even bigger trouble than he thought, but, on the other hand, his parents looked serious, but not mad. The tall guy leaned against an old book case and looked really, really out of place against the backdrop of venetian blinds that were partly bent and a room that needed repainting.

Mr. Rodgers, better known to the student body as “Tums” as it was said his tummy entered a room five minutes before the rest of him, sat down with a plop that forced air out of the vinyl cushion seat. Another boy his age might have had to suppress a snicker, but Storm sometimes seemed more like an adult than a kid.

When the wheezing subsided, Tums said, “Engel, this is Mr. Nemamiah.” Storm looked up into flinty blue eyes that didn’t blink or apologize for staring. After a couple of seconds he wanted to look away, but pride wouldn’t let him. So he raised his chin just a hair and determined he wouldn’t give in first. Mr. Nemamiah’s expression didn’t change at all, but Storm thought he saw a little light flicker in those steely eyes. Nemamiah let him off the hook and looked away first.

 Tums continued. “It seems he’s taken an interest in you and your education.”

Storm was starting to panic. Not military school. Please. Please. Please don’t let it be military school. It was then he started calculating how long it would take him to be up, out the door, and hitchhiking on I80.

“It’s been noticed that your test scores are extraordinary. To say the least.”

Wow. That wasn’t what Storm had expected to hear next.

“Mr. Nemamiah is in a position to arrange a scholarship to a private school that develops talent such as yours for possible future work with a quasigovernmental agency. He asked that I make this introduction so that you would know that he and his organization are legitimate.”

“Develops talent? What does that mean?” Storm demanded. He directed the question to Tums, but Nememiah interjected answering in a gravelly voice.

“It means specialized training. Highly specialized.”

Storm stared at Nememiah for a couple of breaths and then barked out a laugh intended to imply rebellion, irreverence, and a healthy dose of cynicism. “Spy school? You want me for spy school?” He laughed with his whole body as only boys can – for a few seconds. Then, in the time it took to draw another breath, Storm raked a gaze up and down the older man sizing him up, reasoned through the bizarre nature of the offer and decided that first, it would not be boring and, second, it might be cool. “Okay. Sign me up.”

Mr. Nemamiah almost gave in to the temptation to smile. While such behavior might be seen as rash, impulsive, or even schizophrenic in the mundane world, the ability to quickly sort through an equation and make hard decisions on the fly was one of the traits his organization prized. Neither parent was particularly surprised. With Storm they knew the one thing they could count on was unpredictability. 

Nemamiah talked directly to Storm as if to say from now on this is between you and me. “Clean out your locker and say your goodbyes to your friends. Let them think you are going to military school. I’ll be by your house tomorrow morning at 10:00 o’clock. You and your parents will have an opportunity to ask questions. You may consider it an interview if you wish. If, at that time, you are satisfied with my answers, we will leave together. You may pack some personal things into two duffel bags, but that is optional. Everything you need will be provided for you from now on. You’re going to receive a first-class education, the kind money cannot buy, from people who will be honored to teach you.”

Storm blinked and his brows came together to form perfectionist lines that would be permanently etched into his face by the time he was twenty five. People who would be honored to teach him?

Mr. Rodgers cleared his throat. “Well,” he stood and held out his hand to Storm’s father to shake. “Thank you for coming.” He nodded to Mrs. Storm. “Give us a call tomorrow and let us know what you decide.”

Everyone in the room knew Tums would feel like he’d won the lottery if the troublemaker kid was on the way to being somebody else’s problem.

Storm’s parents waited in the car while he cleaned out his locker. In the few minutes that took, he had already made a list of questions. He couldn’t keep himself from peeking into the classroom where he would normally be looking for something to occupy his restless mind and body. When the other kids looked up and saw him at the door, he gave them a goofy smile and a wave, just so they’d know he hadn’t been led away crying or something disgraceful like that. He wanted to leave with his reputation intact.

Prune Face Blackmon followed the eyes of her students to the classroom door which stood open to the hallway. “Mr. Storm. Do you have someplace you need to be?”

He didn’t want to give her the finger. He really, really, really didn’t want to give her the finger. But he gave her the finger and trotted away grinning at the uproar of laughter from the poor douches who were going to be stuck in that hell hole the rest of the hour. “Not a bad exit,” he thought to himself. “Points shaved for lack of planning, but…”

He didn’t know where he was going or what he was going to do. But he would have felt really good about the whole thing if he had known that Sol Nemamiah would have laughed, on the inside, had he witnessed the teacher receiving a prime example of bird as a parting shot. What you want at your back if you’re heading into a nest of unknown fuck all is not a man who was afraid of a little authority as a kid. That guy will just as likely freeze and shit his pants or vice versa.

Sol’s philosophy, had he ever been asked, would have been something like, “Give me a kid with a proud third finger and I’ll give you back a vampire slayer.”

The Storm family stopped at McDonalds drive-through on the way home, then settled down at the Formica top kitchen table with a yellow, legal pad and the goal of making a comprehensive list of ask-now-or-hold-your-peace questions.

What was the scope of this “first class education that money cannot buy”?

Did it include geometry, foreign language, literature, biology?

Would he be receiving a diploma?

Would it be accepted by desirable institutions of higher learning?

Where would he be going?

Could he leave if he didn’t like it?

Would he be able to call home whenever he wanted?

Could he visit them?

Could they visit him?

Would he have a room of his own?

Would he get spending money?

Would he have an opportunity to spend spending money?

Would he be signing up to get an education or pledging himself to pay off the investment in service to a job that wasn’t his choice?

Would he have an opportunity to interact socially with others his own age?

And, did they know it wasn’t all mind-blowing test scores and high I.Q.; that he had been in trouble at school pretty much nonstop since first grade?

By the time his two siblings got home from school, Storm and his parents were agreed on which questions were deal breakers.

He and his dad pulled down two duffels they kept in the attic for camping. After packing everything he wanted to take, he hadn’t even completely filled one. That realization gave him pause, but not as much as the fact that he didn’t have any friends worth lying to about where he was going.

He didn’t sleep that night. At all. He didn’t know whether he should be excited or apprehensive. So far the information he had was cryptic at best. What he did know is that it was an adventure come knocking at his door and that this kind of thing didn’t happen every day. In fact, he’d never heard of it happening to anybody. Ever. The idea of a school that wanted him was so outrageous it made him smile to himself in the dark.

The next morning Storm said goodbye to his older brother and younger sister when they left for school, then sat down at the kitchen table with his parents to wait. His duffel was by the front door just in case. At precisely ten o’clock the doorbell rang.

Nemamiah was invited in. He graciously accepted coffee and the four of them sat down in the modest living room for a question and answer discussion about the future of a very special boy. After all their questions had been answered, to everyone’s satisfaction, Mr. Nemamiah clicked open an old-fashioned, battered, brown, leather briefcase and withdrew a contract.

Storm’s dad put on his reading glasses. Every one of the questions they had asked was covered in the contract already. It spelled out what they would do for Engel Storm. It spelled out that the initial choice of facility would be theirs, but that he might be transferred at any time at the discretion of Saint Black’s which was the parents’ code name for the organization. Storm and his parents agreed not to say anything other than that he was awarded a scholarship to a private school. When Mr. Storm was finished reading, he handed the contract to his wife and asked Mr. Nemamiah to excuse him and his son. He took Storm into the back room, closed the door, and gestured for him to sit on the bed.

“Your mother and I want to do the right thing, the best thing, for you. If you decide to accept this offer, we want to be sure that you’re doing it for you and not for… any other reason. We love you enough to let you go if you’re inclined to think this is the best thing, but we want you to stay if it’s not. Do you understand?” Storm nodded and tried to swallow back the lump in his throat. That was the longest speech his father had ever made, that he knew of, and he heard the love in it loud and clear. “Alright. You know what you want to do?” Storm nodded again.

So Storm and his parents signed the contract. He gave his mother a big hug and tried not to notice how hard she was working to keep the moisture in her eyes from spilling over. He was already two inches taller and could look down on her when she wasn’t wearing heels. He was more trouble than the other two put together… more trouble to the third power. Even so, although she would never admit it even to herself, he was her favorite.

He stowed the half filled duffel in the trunk of Nemamiah’s understated black sedan and waved to his parents who were standing in the front yard watching him drive away. He had just turned fourteen.

They drove south toward San Francisco. Nemamiah wasn’t big on small talk, but he told Storm he was welcome to listen to whatever radio station he liked. He then rolled the driver’s side window part way down and lit a little, thin, black cigar.

They kept driving until they reached the naval base at Treasure Island. They were headed for the compound in the middle surrounded by a twenty foot wall. They passed three checkpoints where guards recognized Nemamiah and waved him through. As they passed a gorgeous old, graceful mansion with lawns and tennis courts, Nemamiah said it had once been an Admiral’s home, but that it was being used for the school now, that Storm would eat and enjoy leisure time there.

They parked next to a brick building, opened the door with a key card, and entered a long dormitory-style hallway. Each door had a name plate. When they stopped mid way to the end, Storm looked at the door. The name plate said Engel Storm.

He reached up to run his fingers over the lettering. “Wow. You must have been pretty sure I’d come.”

Nemamiah didn’t smile, but his eyes did soften just a touch. “We’ve been doing this for a long time, Mr. Storm. We know what we’re looking for.” He turned the knob and swung the door open. “And you’re it.”

Author Bio:

For the past thirteen years, Victoria has illustrated and authored Seasons of the Witch calendars and planners.

Though works of fiction are a departure for her, she has had this series simmering on the back burner of her mind for years. In addition to authoring and illustrating Seasons of the Witch, she plays rock music and manages one of Houston's premier R&B/Variety/Pop bands.

This series will include some of my actual experience in the paranormal with fictionalized anecdotes from my journals during the years when I was a practicing "metaphysician", but most of the material is fantasy.

web http://www.victoriadanann.com

blog http://www.victoriadanann.me

facebook http://www.facebook.com/Victoria.Danann.9

goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8920457-victoria-danann



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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A few pics

Last week I mentioned I would get some more pics up from the trip, so I thought I'd better start that...

Now, there are over 700 pics on this trip.  Yes the views were spectacular but it was also the first time with a new toy (camera) so we had to play with each and every setting and lens. In light of this it's going to take some time to sort out which pics are good and which ones need to be recycled.

Here are two from the top of an old fire tower (400ft tall) just at the perfect time of sunset.



With pics like these, I'm only posting the two because if you're anything like me you'll just keep coming back to them.

These were taken by my husband, who went to the top to take them.  I made it up about 250ft of spiraling stairs before I just had to stand there and think 'wow', but he kept going determined to get the pics from the top.  I'll post my 250ft pics next time around. 




Jacqueline Paige
Step into a world of magic and passions. . .
All Things Paranormal
http://jacqpaige.webs.com/

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Another day please

This is what I posted on my facebook page today - I think it sums up where I'm at ...


Dear rulers of creation... I could really use an extra day a week, or even another four hours added to each day of our present seven day system. I seem to be giving up eating and sleeping to keep up with everything I need to do and I'm told both of those are very important things to maintain breathing. If you could please reply so we could negotiate this request it would be greatly appreciated. 

*sigh*

Things are in chaos at work with training a new owner and almost all new staff.  At a time of the year that I should be able to walk out the door and not have to stress about my job or all the details that go with it has been post-poned this season.  

On the writing side of my realm things are as always very productively busy.  Busy enough that I'm going to start looking for someone to assist in the little things (that are VERY important) that I need to be doing, but seem to run out consciousness to do it.  

I actually delayed the launch for the Magic Seasons series blog because right now I don't have time to keep up with two blogs.  I'm not sure when I'll get this going, but I'll keep everyone posted. 


Jacqueline Paige
Step into a world of magic and passions. . .
All Things Paranormal
http://jacqpaige.webs.com/