Party time (facebook style)

facebookHey all, I’m participating in a Facebook party with paranormal romance author Beth Barany (a really cool lady who–just like me–likes taking pictures of flowers, and of course, writing). We’re having a party for the launch of her new book, A Labyrinth of Love and Roses today (Sept, 19) starting at 4PM PST. There’ll be lots of giveaways, I hear. Don’t miss it!

You can find it on Facebook here. Do come join us!

(Confidentially, I’m totally nervous about it! I hope it goes well!)

Promises Under the Peach Tree blitz

Joanne Rock Promises Under the Peach Tree blitz

This is my stop during the book blitz for Promises Under the Peach Tree by Joanne Rock. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 2 till 8 September, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours: http://lolasblogtours.net/book-blitz-promises-under-the-peach-tree-by-joanne-rock/

Promises Under the Peach Tree
By Joanne Rock
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 2 September 2014

Promises under the Peach TreeBlurb:
The trouble with Heartache

Nina Spencer swore she was done with Heartache, Tennessee, when she left the town—and her sexy ex, Mack—in her rearview mirror. But when her bakery business is rocked by scandal, she needs a place to regroup. What she doesn’t need is Mack Finley reminding her of peach-flavored kisses and the hold he still has on her.

Mack never forgot Nina—not that he didn’t try. Yet between caring for his family and organizing the annual Harvest Fest, he’s overwhelmed and he needs Nina’s help. They can work together without getting swept up in memories and the rush of brand-new passion…right?

You can find Promises Under the Peach Tree on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21489566-promises-under-the-peach-tree

You can buy Promises Under the Peach Tree here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Books A Million
IndieBound
iBooks
romance author Joanne RockAbout The Author:

Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock never met a romance subgenre she didn’t enjoy. The author of over sixty romances from contemporary to medieval historical, Joanne dreams of one day penning a book for every Harlequin series. A former Golden Heart recipient, she has won numerous awards for her stories.

Learn more about Joanne’s imaginative Muse by visiting her online:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest
Instagram
Amazon page
Google +
Tumblr
Youtube
Joanne Rock’s Romance Wiki

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Promises Under the Peach Tree, with one US only and one international prize! These are the prizes you can win:
– Romance and More prize pack, which includes 4 classic blaze title by Joanne Rock, The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich, a keepsake vintage Harlequin notebook, sticky-note weekly calendar, lotion and nail polish (US only)
– Paperbacks from The Bookdepository of Shelter Me by Catherine Mann, Someone Like You by Karen Rock and Promises Under the Peach Tree by Joanne Rock (International)

You can enter the giveaway below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Lola's Blog Tours

Launching…Michael S. Fedison’s The Eye-dancers in paperback

I’ve been following Michael S. Fedison and his intriguing novel The Eye-Dancers for a while now, so when he told me he had a new edition of it, I asked him to come tell you, my readers, a little more about it.  He kindly agreed. Michael, you have the floor….

The Eye-Dancers, a Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel that explores the very concept of what we term “reality,” has been available as an ebook since late 2012, and while it was a great feeling releasing the novel as an ebook, it is especially rewarding at this time to release it in paperback form.
What is The Eye-Dancers about?  Here is a quick synopsis! . . .

The Eye-Dancers by Michael S. FedisonSeventh-grader Mitchell Brant and three of his classmates inexplicably wake up at the back edge of a softball field to the sounds of a game, the cheering of the crowd. None of them remembers coming here. And as they soon learn, “here” is like no place they’ve ever seen. Cars resemble antiques from the 1950s. There are no cell phones, no PCs. Even the spelling of words is slightly off.

A compulsive liar, constantly telling fantastic stories to garner attention and approval, Mitchell can only wish this were just one more of his tall tales. But it isn’t. It’s all too real. Together, as they confront unexpected and life-threatening dangers, Mitchell and his friends must overcome their bickering and insecurities to learn what happened, where they are, and how to get back home.

The answers can be found only in the mysterious little girl with the blue, hypnotic eyes. The one they had each dreamed of three nights in a row before arriving here. She is their only hope. And, as they eventually discover, they are her only hope.

And time is running out.

I also wanted to include an excerpt.  What follows is a portion of the opening sequence in the novel . . .

Peering out his bedroom window, his eyes flattened into squinting slits, Mitchell Brant saw her.

“No,” he said.  “It can’t be her.  It can’t be.”

But it was.  She had come again.

He looked away, at the night-shadows on the floor, at the sheets jumbled and strewn on his bed.  Maybe she wasn’t really out there.  Maybe it was just an illusion, some odd distortion of the light.

He looked out the window.

She was still there.

He felt the fine hairs at the nape of his neck stand up.  Gooseflesh, cold against the stifling humidity filtering in through the open window, speckled his forearms.

The girl was standing under the streetlamp, looking straight in at him—the same way she had last night and the night before.  She was just a child, probably no more than seven years old—his sister’s age.  What was she doing out in the street, alone, well past midnight?  Was she a runaway?  And why had she come three nights in a row?

 

I asked Michael a few questions about the book, here’s what he said. :)

 

What inspired the story of The Eye-Dancers?

Michael: Actually, the germ of the idea began decades ago!  When I was in high school, I had a nightmare I never did forget.  In the dream, there was a little girl, maybe seven years old, standing out in the road, beneath the street lamp.  The light from the lamp streamed right through her–she was more ghost than girl.  In the dream, I was looking out through my bedroom window, and she saw me, beckoning me with an index finger to come outside.

I sensed, more than knew, that she wanted to take me somewhere–perhaps the cemetery, or some version of limbo where I might forever remain, a prisoner.  When I woke up, my bedsheets were jumbled in a heap at the foot of my bed.  I was sweating, my heart beating too fast and too hard. 

Once I managed to get my bearings, I realized I had some very gripping material for a story.  (Even back then, I wrote all the time–I’ve always needed an outlet for my imagination!)  I jotted down the pertinent details of the dream, determined to include this “ghost girl” into a story.  Over the next few weeks, I tried, but nothing worked.  It appeared the “ghost girl” might remain on the fringe, never able to fit into a workable story.

Then, two decades later, I experienced the same dream!  But this time, upon waking, the idea for The Eye-Dancers was in place.  When I had gone to sleep the previous night, I had nothing.  Then, in a flash, after a restless night, I had a novel to write.  The creative process never ceases to amaze me. 

The opening scene of The Eye-Dancers, where Mitchell Brant, one of the novel’s main characters, has a nightmare of the “ghost girl,” mirrors my own dream. 

Finally, after twenty years, the “ghost girl” had a home, after all.

Who’s your favorite character in the book?
Michael: Mitchell Brant is one of four main characters in The Eye-Dancers.  He was the most personal character for me–by that I mean, he shares several of my own characteristics at that age.  In that sense, he is the character I feel the strongest kinship with.
That said, Marc Kuslanski, the science wiz, was awfully fun to write for. I’ve always had a soft spot for the science genius/know-it-all/idiosyncratic character.
Is there a particular intriguing tidbit you’d like to share about The Eye-Dancers?
The parallel world where Mitchell and his friends find themselves is loosely based on 1950s America.  I wasn’t even born in the ’50s, but nevertheless, I have always been drawn to the decade.  The styles of the ’50s have always called out to me.  It was fun incorporating this element into an alternate reality novel.
Is there a secret about Mitchell and his pals you can tell us that your readers might not know?

Michael: Actually, the four main characters–Mitchell Brant, Joe Marma, Ryan Swinton, and Marc Kuslanski–are all inspired by friends I knew growing up.  I still keep in touch with them, even after all these years. 

What authors might you list as particular influences?
Ray Bradbury would have to top the list.  His unparalleled enthusiasm and imagination have always inspired me.  Truman Capote is a master wordsmith.  When I want a primer in how to write well, I simply open up one of his stories.  Stephen King’s characterization, an underrated quality to his writing, has left a mark as well.  His characters tend to be well-rounded and real.  And, though a different medium, the original black-and-white Twilight Zone has always been a favorite.  The Twilight Zone features numerous landmark episodes that stretch the imagination and yet, at the same time, force us to look inward–at our society, our values, ourselves.  One of the greatest shows in television history, without question.
Now for a fun question: if you could face and vanquish any literary (or movie) villain, who would it be?
Michael: Hmm.  That is very interesting!  This is where my comic book geekiness will come out.  Who else but Doctor Doom?
Uh oh! Remind me never to get on your bad side! ;)Finally, do you have any forthcoming projects you’d like to share with our readers? What’s next for you, now that The Eye-Dancers is released?
Michael: A short story collection is in the works.  And I am currently writing the sequel to The Eye-Dancers.  The sequel takes place five years after the conclusion of The Eye-Dancers.  Writing for the characters now that they’re older–one year away from heading off to college–has been a very interesting and fun experience.  I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

As part of The Eye-Dancers coming out in hard-copy format, I am running a special promo for the ebook.  Until September 30, 2014, The Eye-Dancers, the ebook, will be on sale for just 99 cents.  Please grab a copy today!
At Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Eye-Dancers-ebook/dp/B00A8TUS8M
At B &N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eye-dancers-michael-s-fedison/1113839272?ean=2940015770261
At Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/255348

And, if you’d like to buy a hard copy! . . .

http://www.amazon.com/The-Eye-Dancers-Michael-S-Fedison/dp/0692262784/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
Or . . .

https://www.createspace.com/4920627

Sounds great, Michael. Good luck with it!

author Michael S. FedisonAbout Michael:

Michael S. Fedison was born in Rochester, New York, and now lives with his wife, Sarah, and regal cat, Luke, in the green hills of central Vermont. Michael has been writing creatively for as long as he can remember, and has had short fiction published in several literary magazines, including Iconoclast and The Written Word. He works as a full-time technical writer and also is a freelance proofreader and copy editor.

Michael has been a lover of imaginative stories his entire life. He enjoys any story that takes you by the hand, lifts you up, and transports you to another place, a new and creative way of looking at the world around us.

Connect with Michael at his blog: http://eyedancers.wordpress.com/

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/msfedison27
At The Eye-Dancers Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Eye-Dancers/213004492164436
And at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6592469.Michael_S_Fedison
*********************

 

I think The Eye-Dancers sounds really intriguing, don’t you folks? Best of luck, again, Michael, and thanks for being here!

H. L. Burke – Dragon’s Curse – The Dragon and the Scholar Tour

I have another guest for you today, fantasy author H.L. Burke has stopped by and she’s brought dragons! Don’t worry, they don’t really look hungry. ;) They’re just kinda guarding us. So do come sit by the fire, have some coffee, or ale, whatever you like best, while H.L. Burke tells us a little story about the latest in her fantasy series, The Dragon and the Scholar … H.L.  And do check out her giveaway below. Without further ado, H.L, The floor is all yours.

ABOUT H. L. Burke

Author H.L. Burke

Author H.L. Burke

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

Dragon's Curse by H.L. Burke

 
 On her first assignment out of the Academy, young healer and scholar, Shannon Macaulay is summoned to the struggling kingdom of Regone to see to the wounds of a young but crippled king. When the unwanted attentions of an aggressive knight and the sudden appearance of a hated dragon turn her world upside down, she decides to take matters into her own hands even if doing so proves dangerous. Finding herself strangely drawn to the company of the dragon, Gnaw, Shannon must force herself out of her safe world of books and botany to come to the aid of her unexpected ally in a strange kingdom, cursed by a fateful encounter with a dragon and the loss of a beloved prince. Can she learn to put aside her fears, and perhaps sacrifice her deepest desires, to help a friend and restore a family?

Dragon’s Curse is available on Amazon.com.

H. L. Burke on Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/H.-L.-Burke/e/B00EYQ1HLW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

H. L. Burke on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/hlburkewriter

H. L. Burke on Twitter:https://twitter.com/typativemamacat

H. L. Burke on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7230868.H_L_Burke

H. L. Burke’s Author Website:http://www.hlburkeauthor.com/

Click here to fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway

More about H.L. Burke

There is the great lesson of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.” ~G. K. Chesterton

A long time lover of fairy tales and folk tales, I’ve always had an affinity for a “fairy tale” romance, but I’ve also been amused at popular perception of what a fairy tale romance is. Even the Oxford dictionary defines “fairy tale” as Denoting something regarded as resembling a fairy story in being magical, idealized, or extremely happy: a fairy-tale romance.”

This wouldn’t be my definition. When someone describes a love story as “fairy tale,” I want to know whose toes got cut off, who had to spend a year hopping about the swamp as a frog, and if there were any dragons involved. Usually such inquiries lead to disappointing stories about idyllic dates and rose petal paths and the like. I always wonder, have these people actually read fairy tales?

Fairy tale love can fall into the shallow, cliche of love at first sight and princesses sleeping while they wait for first kisses, but if you dive deeper into the collections (basically past anything that has been adapted by Disney) you’ll find so much more.

Love endures much in these stories. People are sent upon impossible tasks. In The Blue Bird the heroine must walk until she has worn out three pairs of metal shoes. Other leading ladies ride upon the wind, discover the Water of Discernment, and wash shirts . . . well, washing shirts may not be thrilling stuff, but it is practical. Also, sometimes heads are cut off.

As a child reading these stories, I never imagined being rescued by a prince charming. Yes, a portion of them feature this, but my favorites involved a lady–princess or peasant–going on quests to find her stolen love. Perhaps she lost him due to her mistakes. Like Psyche she could not resist lighting that forbidden candle. Other times the fault lies with a jealous stepmother or rival who set a trap to turn her love against her (and in her lover for not seeing through it).

So to me a fairy tale romance is one where the lovers face insurmountable odds and defeat them through sheer determination.

Fairy tales also do not always involve the unions of “beautiful people,” at least not right away. In fairy tales love conquers physical repulsiveness and focuses on true positives. Princes and princesses deprived of their beauty win their loves because they are kind or brave or clever.

Having the love interest cursed to another form brings the appealing prospect of being loved for a sense of self beyond physicality. The king may merely be a voice in the darkness. A bride may be a clever frog. A girl may turn to a frail old woman with the waning moon. Love truly can make any being beautiful.

And this is why I love fairy tales romances. Because they are anything but “fairy tale.”

The dragon, Gnaw, has survived a battle with Sir Roderick. Worried about him, Shannon comes to his cave to see to his wounds.

“Gnaw lay in the dark, trying not to concentrate on the throbbing puncture in his wing. It was a flesh wound and a clean one at that, but it still hurt like the devil and the prospect of infection worried him.

When he heard the approach of another person his heart skipped a beat. He had not the energy for a second battle today and fleeing, in the dark, with a wounded wing, would be difficult. He breathed deeply. The approaching human smelled of crushed herbs, tea leaves, and books. He sighed in relief.

“Gnaw! Gnaw!” Shannon called out. He managed enough of a flame to light the pile of branches and illuminate the cavern again. She rushed to his side. “Are you all right?” she stammered.

“Aye, no thanks to that rabid lap dog you set on me,” he snorted. “My advice, put that one down.”

“I didn’t set him on you,” she sniffed.

“Well, he seemed convinced you wanted him to do it,” he said. “Of course, he was obviously insane. He kept coming after me when most men would’ve been lying on the ground in tears or running for the hills.”

“And you still let him live,” she smiled at him.

“I did? That was careless of me. I’ll be more thorough next time.” He lay his head back down.

“Thank you; he’s too much of an idiot to see that you had mercy on him, but for myself, I thank you. If you had killed him he would have died because of me, and I don’t know if I could sleep at night with that on my conscience.”

“You wouldn’t be responsible for his idiocy.”

“Are you hurt?” she pressed.

“No, well, not much.”

“May I see?”

He unfurled his wing towards her. She winced.

“I’ve never bandaged a wound like this. I mean, the wound isn’t unusual but . . .”

“It’s on a dragon?” he pointed out.

“Well, in a wing, I was thinking. During my training, I treated an injured bird, but the structure was a little different and a lot smaller. I think I can figure out something, however. Hold still, please.”

He winced a little bit but didn’t make a fuss as she cleaned and bandaged his wound.

“All done,” she said. “I’m so sorry you were hurt.”

“I’ve had worse.” He carefully folded his wing back against his body and lay still. He glanced out of the cave. “It is well after dark. You trip over your own feet enough in the day time. It’s a miracle you made it up here without breaking your neck.”

She grimaced.

“Well, I was worried about you, and I couldn’t exactly ask Roderick if you were all right. Still, I hope you are fine with me staying the night. I don’t want to make the descent until sunrise.”

“Of course. I can fly you down at dawn,” he said.

“Are you certain that is a good idea?” She caressed his wounded wing.

“I’m hardly crippled,” he scowled. “It will be fine.”

She nodded and rubbed him behind the ears. His ego bristled. He wasn’t a lap dog or a barn cat. What did she think she was doing? Oh, that felt good.

He shut his eyes with a contented moan as she continued to rub the back of his head and neck.

“I am not sure if you are a witch or an angel,” he murmured.

“Semantics,” she teased.

He laughed.

He let himself doze off, only marginally aware of what was going on around him. After a while he realized she had stopped her massage and opened his eyes to find her asleep, her head, arm, and shoulder draped over his neck. He curled his head back again to form a cradle for her body and listened to her breathe.

Such a pretty little thing. Would it be wrong to keep her?

 

 

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it folks? Thank you for stopping by, H.L.! Good luck with Dragon’s Curse. Folks, if you’d like to get a copy, again, Dragon’s Curse is available on Amazon.com.

Glimpse of Darkness by Nicole Delacroix

I have another guest for you today, this one an up and coming Science fiction/ fantasy author I met via the Bewitching Book Tours, Ms. Nicole Delcroix. Grab a copy of coffee or your favorite cup of tea and get ready to take a few tips about one of my favorite subjects: Research. :) Nicole, take it away!

Research… It’s Not Just for Journalists Anymore!
By Nicole Delacroix

Say the word research and most writers’ eyes will glaze over like a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, but the truth is every writer has to do some sort of research to get their story off the ground. Done well, research can help make a writer’s job easier, help the writer broaden the scope of their writing and make a writer more knowledgeable. While most writers will relegate research to the realm of academia, every writer can benefit from well done research.

Research is For Journalists and Academia
Professional writing is the realm of journalists or news organizations, blogs and magazines, and requires research to give both the writing and the writer credibility. Articles must be well researched to spark interest in the subject and properly target the intended reader. Professional writing is directed at a particular demographic and the writer must know their audience to keep them engaged. There is nothing more destructive to a writing career than misquotes or sloppy research. Know your subject and know it well and your reader will rave about your subject matter. But mislead or misquote and you’ll never earn the readers trust back and you’ll be demoted to gossip mags and labeled a hack writer. Readers of professional writing are a fastidious group; they won’t trust easily and won’t forgive a breach of that trust.

Fiction Writing Doesn’t Need Research… Does It?
Research is equally as important in fiction writing as it is for professional or academic writing. An author who wants to write better fiction can benefit from a little market research. Knowing what the audience looks for in a story or in a novel can help an author write fiction that will be well read. Similar techniques of market research for professional writing can be used for fiction writing.
Also, researching locations will help an author chose appropriate settings for his or her fiction and describe them well. A little research helps an author keep historical or current facts within the writing correct. Researching for fiction writing can also be as simple as “people watching” for inspiration and character development ideas. Studying the actions and attitudes of real people helps with creating interesting characters.

In closing, research is an invaluable tool for any writer; it helps the writing remain informed, authoritative and credible. Moreover, it helps a writer reach more readers with better writing. You simply wouldn’t attempt to write a non-fiction piece if you knew nothing about the subject and expect it to come out well written; fiction should be approached in the same manner.

Your world should be flawless; you need specific knowledge and facts to ensure your concepts work. Remember, research isn’t about you; it’s for your readers. Good research can sweep your readers up into a more wonderful, strange, terrifying and real new world or it can make them question your dedication to your craft. Build an epic world for your readers and they will flock to your stories. It boils down to credibility and realism. In a fictional world you need even more research, how else can your reader suspend their disbelief?

 

Thank you for your informative post, Nicole. I do agree–but then, I am a geeky research nerd fan of researching, myself. Folks if you’d like to check out  her work, Nicole’s novel,

Glimpse of Darkness.

Glimpse of Darkness by Nicole DelaCroixSynopsis:

Charlene (Charlie) Bennett is a simple waitress in the wilds of Hyder, Alaska whose father has just gone missing. Isolated and alone, her fathers’ disappearance is nothing new to her, but this time things are a little different.

For starters, there is a handsome stranger, Daniel that has come to town and while Charlie has never taken more than a passing interest in strangers, she has an immediate and intense attraction to this one. Secondly, she’s soon to find out that this stranger isn’t what he appears. He’s about to throw Charlie’s entire world into a major upheaval.

Now Charlie has to decide if she believes this strangers’ incredible story and follow Daniel or if she wants to stay in the only home she’s ever known for an uncertain future and an absentee father. As she comes to terms with what Daniel shows her, she realizes that he’s the only true thing in her life and leaves everything she knows behind to follow the handsome stranger.

Glimpse of Darkness Available now at Amazon and in paperback from Createspace.

Nicole is also doing a giveaway for her tour.

 Up for grabs are:
5 sets of signed paperback copies with beaded bookmarks
5 beaded bookmarks
Open to US Shipping

Please fill out the Rafflecopter form here.

 

Winter Angel by Mia Hoddell #Free July 19th and 20th

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Winter Angel by Mia Hoddell

Winter Angel

by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA Romance

Release date: 25th June 2014

Length: Novella

Blurb:

She was on holiday. He was tricked into returning.
Neither of them wanted to be there, but neither could avoid it.

Amy wants to be back under the sun in Portugal. However, when her suggestion is overruled in favour of a skiing holiday, even she can’t turn it down. What she couldn’t have predicted is that the holiday could make her break the one, and only, rule she has: not to get into a serious relationship again.

When Amy first sees Luke, she knows something is wrong. He’s struggling to cope with everything and her need to help people makes him the perfect distraction from the cold. He hasn’t been to the Alps in five years and he swore to never ski again. But as his defences are broken by Amy’s persistence, the winter paradise begins to reawaken his desires.

However, with constant flashbacks triggering his anxiety, he’s torn, battling conflicting emotions as he becomes increasingly captivated by Amy. She has a rule though. She didn’t go on holiday to fall for someone and the last thing she needs is to ignore her own advice. Whether or not she can move past her insecurities will depend on whether Luke can face his biggest fear.

 

Winter Angel is a standalone, young adult romance novella, but is the second book in the Seasons of Change series.

Download it now for FREE!
Only free 19th & 20th of July

Add to Goodreads

You can also download Summer Demons: the
first, bestselling, standalone novella in the Seasons of Change series for
99c / 77p.
Excerpt
White. Gazing out of the small, circular window, it was the only colour he could see surrounding him. The bursts of light—which had broken through the heavy, grey clouds—were reflected back as the ground grew closer with each passing second. Not too long ago he had been blissfully unaware of the location his sister was dragging him to for a holiday. A bubble
of excitement had surrounded him throughout the early morning as he got up, and stayed with him through travelling to the airport and catching the flight. However, it had burst as soon as the icy tips of the mountains appeared and the plane began its descent. Until that moment, he had hoped his guesses had been wrong.
His sister had carefully planned the trip, making sure to hide all clues as to where they were heading, and as she glanced across at him, it seemed as if she had been successful. Luke’s
knuckles were white on the arm rests. He had claimed both of them, gripping them so hard they looked like they would snap under the force, or at least be moulded to the shape of his hands when he removed them.
Ellie watched as he took in a shaky breath, but she heard no exhale.
“Luke?”
The silence that filled the space around them was icier than the Alps they had just flown over. Her brother’s gaze remained fixed on the window, watching as the ground, and his fate, drew
ever closer. Deep, ragged breaths steamed up the window, which was almost touching his nose. Desperately, he tried to control the tremors shaking his body, and his pounding heart, from the fear that washed over him in waves.
“Luke, please, say something.” Worry had crept into Ellie’s tone. She had thought her idea would do him good, that forcing him to face everything would turn him back into his old self.
Ellie missed the brother she had grown up with and wanted him back. However, seeing his eyes wide with fear, his jaw clenched in anger, and his arms tense with both, suddenly she wasn’t so sure about her plan.
“You promised, Ellie. You swore you wouldn’t pressure me, and I trusted you with that. You know how I feel about this.” His voice was sharp and curt as he spoke through clenched teeth,
trying to keep a hold on his emotions.
The urge to flee surged within him. He wanted to go home, to get off the plane and board the next flight straight back to England, but he couldn’t. Not only was the plane still minutes
from landing—trapping him in the confines of economy class, which felt even smaller as realisation forced him to understand Ellie’s plans—but he also refused to waste more money on the pointless trip Ellie had conned him into taking. If he was going to use the money he had earned from before everything changed, it would be on his own terms.
“You’ll enjoy it when you’re there,” Ellie stated, brushing off his comments like they meant nothing to her.
“That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have to live with, or through, what I have.” Luke was trying hard to control his voice. Had they been in private, he would have already been
shouting. The cramped environment meant that Ellie was getting off lightly, but he swore that when they reached their chalet, he would not hold back. She had no right to interfere with his life.
“Never tell me I didn’t live through it, Luke. I was there when it happened, in the hospital, and when you got home. I was there through it all. It may not have been me, but it wasn’t
like it had no effect on my life,” Ellie hissed. It was the only way she could convey her anger without disturbing other passengers.
“Why though, Ellie? Why is this such a big deal to you?” Luke’s eyes were full of sorrow as he turned to face his sister for the first time, begging to understand her reasoning for putting
him through something she knew would hurt him.
 
About the Author
 
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything paranormal and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning.
 
With three poems published before the age of sixteen, Mia moved on to short stories but finding she had too much to tell with too little space, Mia progressed to novels. She started her first series (The Wanderer Trilogy) at the age of fourteen and since then hasn’t stopped writing. Elemental Killers is her second series and with an ever growing list of ideas, Mia is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them.
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