A wise person once told me: There’s a reason for everything.
Sarah Shaw — pulled off a cliff
Emma Blackstone — shoved out a window and trampled by a horse
Mattie Williams — stung to death by bees
Cora Thomas — pushed in front of a train
Edith Young — impaled
Rachel Ellis — shoved off a boat
Lois Smith — hit by a bus
Muriel Walters — UGH…another bus
Lucille Marshall — involuntary manslaughter
Veronica Edwards — undetermined
What do all of these names have in common? They all died long before they were meant too, and they were all ME. If there’s any truth to that saying at all, there had better be a good reason for this!
Other books in this genre:
The Story So Far
A Sisterhood Of Seers.
On a world similar to ours but unknown to us, Celandine had been a celebrated dancer and sometimes reluctant seer born into the original Violite tribe untold generations before. These nomadic ancestors boasted interesting but somewhat dubious talents, and were known to those now alive as the Ancient Ones.
Through the artistic and maybe lucky use of a violet dye to draw tattoos on their bodies, Celandine and her people were able to survive a devastating plague. Sadly, this was all to no avail for the dancing seer. She was killed before her time by the angry, unfounded suspicions of another desperate and jealous tribe in a fit of blind hatred. Her soul was tormented. In the moment of her violent death, Celandine had seen there was a danger the truth that lay at the heart of the Violite story would be buried deep by foe and friend alike to be lost forever.
The despised Violites were left to wonder through the land hopelessly until they finally stumbled across an ancient, deserted city. They called this mountain citadel Heritage and moved in, claiming the strange place as their own. As time went by, the elders amended the story of the tribe’s colorful past yet again and established the House of Paynes as the city’s noble family. All connections with their gypsy-like history were buried very deep and, just as Celandine had feared, the truth finally appeared to be lost forever without a trace left behind.
Ages passed, and the tribe’s belief in baseless myths became distorted reality. When their very existence was threatened by becoming entrenched in a system of corrupt and stifling traditions, Celandine found a way to save her people from themselves. Using her love of music and dance, she was able to reach out across time and guide another likeminded seer to the truth that would set their people free.
This artistically gifted and courageous young woman was Trinity. In order to use her in yet another self-serving lie, the Keepers of Tradition had murdered her father and secretly stolen her as a baby. Despite being deceived so cruelly, her unknowing and bereaved mother Ishka eventually gave birth to a second daughter. When Beatha was born, nobody else knew she was Trinity’s half-sister. It wasn’t until the girls grew into young women separated from each other by circumstance and pomp, that it could be seen they shared some striking family characteristics. They looked very similar to their mother and each other but the most important of these traits by far, was an uncommonly powerful talent for the seeing.
With Trinity sacrificing her own life in the destruction of Heritage, it was talented Beatha who, by using her sister’s guidance from the other side, was able to find a way through the Unscalable Mountains and help lead her people to the freedom of the flatlands beyond.
A pair of moons graced the night skies above the land. Lilac Anthra was prettier but it was the amber light of her larger sister Marda that glinted off the metal tip of the short, stout spear in the deep shadows. At first, the long forgotten human fires had been enough to keep the hungry predators at bay but, as time went by, they got used to the flickering, crackling flames. Now their courage was growing in leaps and hungry bounds. They crept ever closer to the settlement under cover of night, tempted by the promise of an easy meal. It was the patrolling guards’ mission to make sure that promise was never kept.
All the men took their turn at keeping watch over the settlement’s perimeter when they were finished with the work of a backbreaking day. Other than some boisterous horseplay among the younger ones using blunt staves to replace their sharp spears, there was little training for the task however. The arduous life on the plain had made them as strong as oxen but it never occurred to anybody there was much to learn about killing.
Not that there were any experts in the arts of hunting or combat to be found in the tribe anyway. These people were lovers more than fighters, and the warrior mentality had never played a big part in their long and convoluted history.
When wolves found the courage to get too close to the herds of cattle or smelly goats, noisy lunging with their weapons was usually enough to drive the snarling creatures away. On the rare occasion a wolf was too slow to avoid a sharp spear, it was run through. Not too much was made of it when this happened but the unfortunate creature was cheerfully skinned and its killer kept the lush pelt to use as a mattress. So there were rewards of a sort for their small victories, since the young women lined up to sleep on these beds of furry luxury in the strong arms of a brave hero.
On nights like this one, the guardsmen had to fight off these earthy distractions. Not an easy thing to do under the circumstances. They could hear the sounds of smoky music and knew all too well, what they were missing.
On a simple stage in the middle of the settlement, a young woman in a body-hugging costume danced in the light of the fire. She wasn’t really good at it by any means, but she was focused on every move, earnest in her attempts to get her art as close to perfection as she knew how. The music she was trying so hard to interpret wasn’t helping matters much either.
Drums are as ancient as the human soul. A basic sense of rhythm rises from the pulse of life itself in most human cultures wherever it’s to be found, so the drummers were up to the task well enough. The hollowed logs they played using heavy, padded sticks lacked any real depth of tone but they too, served their purpose.
Sadly, the pipes were a different matter altogether. Finn had put them together from memory having watched Morden make a similar instrument for Trinity when they’d lived in Heritage. They consisted of a series of metal tubes of differing lengths joined together side by side, and were played by blowing horizontally across their open tops. They looked and sounded much like the ancient instrument found in several regions of our own world and known to us as pan flutes.
Like his lost friend, Finn didn’t have the ear necessary to make the final adjustments to the assembled tubes’ musical qualities but, unlike Morden, he lacked the technical skills to compensate. As a result, only most of the pipes were in tune. The enthusiastic musicians, led by talented Kerill, did their best anyway and they filled the night air with an only slightly discordant melody.
The dancer’s taut limbs were being lit by the fire and more softly by the light of the sister moons, but it was the lilac-colored tattoos covering her body that really made her skin glow. Faces watched her in silence from the shadows at the edge of the flickering pool of firelight. One or two of the prettier ones appeared mildly critical in some way, while most of the others looked impressed to some extent at least.
Feena Payne, although the family name was pointedly no longer used, was a mousey haired, angular woman like all the others born of the old, noble line. Right then her thoughts were hidden behind an enigmatic mask while she assessed the girl’s performance. When the presentation was over, Keeva hopped off the stage to an enthusiastic round of applause making room for one of those other pretty, eager faces to take her place.
Before climbing to her feet, Feena handed three-year old Enya to her husband Hendon. He was a gaunt, somewhat frail looking man having been born a member of the inbred nobility of Heritage too, but the powerful love he bore for his little girl was plain for all to see. “Here,” Feena said to him, “it’s time she was tucked up in her bed.”
The child squirmed in her father’s arms as he walked away cuddling her. “No, I want to watch the dancing,” she mumbled softly but soon gave in as gentle sleep settled over her.
Once they were gone, Feena took Keeva by the arm and led her to a space behind the spectators’ rough-hewn benches. While she spoke to her favorite dancer, she kept an eye on the new girl on the stage. “Very good, but at the end of the release your arms should be straight before you take flight.”
She demonstrated a crude bras croisé before flapping her own very straight arms as if trying in vain to really take off. She looked like a wounded albatross. Despite Feena’s obvious lack of talent, Keeva gave the teacher her undivided attention. Everybody knew Feena was the only person who’d learned the steps and gestures by watching Trinity in person. She was the lost seer who was now revered as ‘she who danced with Celandine’s ancient voice’. As a result, all the young women who wanted to dance sought out Feena’s instruction and enthusiastic guidance.
Beatha sat alone watching all this. She always sat alone and sometimes got angry with herself because she felt like she needed to. Then the music ground to an unexpected halt. People looked around at each other, disturbed by the silent and eerie interruption. Other than the firelight, the place had been plunged into darkness. The bright moonlight had gone out like a malevolent hand had thrown a cosmic switch.
People gasped, twittered, and generally made a fuss as they looked up at the heavy clouds that had rolled in to block out the moons. They hadn’t seen a single raincloud in the sky above the plains since they’d found themselves here. Strangely, they didn’t like it one bit and a shared feeling of foreboding settled over them.
In addition to being the tribe’s baker, Declan was also one of the most popular elders. He was strikingly ordinary looking, not the strongest of men, and maybe not the wisest but he cared about the tribe like no other. And when he needed advice of a practical nature, his pretty wife Bryony was always there at his side to help. He was quick to get to his feet and speak in a loud but calming voice. “Come on, there’s nothing to worry about, we’ve all seen plenty of clouds before.”
And so they had. Rain had been a common feature of their old home but here it was rare and unexpected. Then the darkness was shattered by an intense bolt of blue/white lightening. Nobody spoke; they were all waiting. They didn’t have to wait long. A massive clap of thunder rolled across the flat plain shaking the stage. It didn’t rain but the night’s excitement wasn’t over yet.
The occasional, small pack of wolves was one thing to the tribe, but bears were a different matter altogether. Fortunately, they were far less common on the plain than other predators but when one did come on the prowl, the guards rang an old, cracked bell they’d scavenged, as a call for backup. Not only were these bears much bigger and stronger than a man, they fought standing on their back legs cleverly using their enormous, clawed forepaws as vicious weapons.
Before the final, angry echo of the thunder was gone, an even angrier rumble took its place. It was the deep, snarling growl of one of these bears. The alarm bell sent out its fractured warning and reinforcements charged through the night in anxious answer.
Despite his advancing years, Ardal was one of the first to get there. He didn’t exactly leap into the fray however, he saw himself as a coach more than a frontline fighter. As small groups of more able-bodied men turned up, the elder called out enthusiastic advice on moves, countermoves, parries and all sorts of other unheeded nonsense. On this occasion, courageous ignorance and overwhelming numbers won the day. Fortunately, there was only one minor casualty of the bear’s razor-sharp claws before the ferocious creature had enough of being poked and jabbed at. Without putting up much of a fight, he soon lumbered away into the angry darkness.
The healer who attended to the injured man’s lacerated arm when peace returned, was an attractive young woman who saw her duties as wider ranging than simple first aid. Comforting the wounded soul was part of the healing process for her and, after all, heroes deserved special care.
The following morning arrived as bright and sunny as ever. Declan came out of his cabin, thick, brown hair covered in flour, and looked up into the clear sky trying not to show his overwhelming relief. It didn’t work. Bryony saw it all over his open and honest face. “What happened last night?” she asked him.
“Nature happened,” he said still looking up, “it’s got to rain sometimes, even here I suppose.”
Then he went back inside, suddenly in a hurry to get the unbaked bread in the oven. Bryony looked around at the flatland surrounding her and frowned as she raised her gaze back up at the sky.
Three years or so had flown by since the Violites had left the ashes of Heritage behind and ended up here, but a small, simple town had already begun taking haphazard shape. It sat on the banks of a shallow, slow running river whose waters had been partially diverted into irrigation channels. These cleverly fed the small fields where straggly wheat and oats were being raised to make flour. The plants had originally been found growing wild on the plain and nobody thought to ask where they’d come from to start with. The same was true of the feral cattle and goats that had been captured, and now enjoyed life in pens so they could provide milk, meat, and hides to their captors.
But a typical day’s work here was hard. In addition to crops and animals that needed tending, there was shelter being built to replace the raggedy tents that still housed some of the growing tribe. These small buildings took the form of simple log cabins put together using trees cut from the sparse woodland to the east. It was a long haul back to the settlement from there and the stubborn oxen used to drag the lumber made the process laborious, time-consuming, and sometimes downright dangerous.
If Mark Wilkerson had to listen to any more of that morbid organ music, he was going to throw up. A migraine beat against his temples and tears rolled down his cheeks as he stood propped against his crutches, his dislocated shoulder aching. Through bleary eyes, he viewed the three closed coffins at the front of the viewing parlor. Gold glitter on white satin ribbons across the caskets read, “Devoted Father,” “Loving Mother,” and “Baby Sister – Sabrina.” She was only six.
Ornate floral arrangements surrounded the closed caskets, their florist shop fragrance adding to Mark’s migraine. He ran his hand across the smooth surface of his mother’s coffin; fingered the satin ribbon. She was in there, at least what was left of her, but he would never see her again. Never again would he feel the warm touch of her lips on his cheek when she kissed him good night.
His weepy eyes abruptly gushed with tears. What happened? He still wondered, shaking his head. Even though he’d somehow survived the accident, he still didn’t know anything about it. All he knew was what the County Sheriff’s deputy and the doctor at the hospital had told him; that he and his family had been in a tragic, fiery accident on the Carquinez Bridge on Christmas Eve.
The doctor also told him his memory would probably return, but it could take some time. He’d called it “dissociative amnesia," whatever that was. He said it was often caused by severe emotional trauma.
Mark’s grandmother, Emily Wilkerson, told him he’d performed with the family at a rest home earlier that night, but he couldn’t remember that either. He felt, more than remembered his father had been angry about something. Then there was Amanda Bonfili. What happened on their date? Or did they have a date? He just couldn’t remember.
Mark moved to his father’s casket. How could he live without him? His dad had been his greatest inspiration, his best friend. He looked down at the casket as his tears rolled. How could he live with the guilt of knowing their last words may have been spoken in anger? He’d never even had a chance to say I’m sorry, if he’d done something wrong or even good-bye. Somehow, he felt he might have been at least partly responsible for the accident. “Forgive me, dad.” His cries escaped his lips in a whisper, “for whatever I did. I’m sorry.” Tears stung his eyes and he wiped them on his sports jacket sleeve.
He wished he could see his family just one last time, but the undertaker had told him their bodies were too charred. The thought horrified him and Mark agreed it would be better to remember them as he’d last seen them alive.
At least his sister, Amy, was being spared the funeral ordeal. But she was still in a coma and her condition was serious. The doctors said she could have brain damage if she survived. That sounded worse than his amnesia.
The accident had only been three days ago and tomorrow, after the funeral, the coffins would be lowered into the cold ground. Is that all there is to life? Mark wondered, To live your life then be discarded like some trash. Hanging his head, he wished he could have died in their place, or at least with them. How Amy and he had survived was a mystery.
Moving to Sabrina’s casket, he laid his forehead against her tiny coffin. “Dear God! Please make this go away. Make them come back.” But even as he prayed, he knew God couldn’t make that happen, assuming He was even real. After all, why would an all-powerful, loving God take away the people he loved most; his parents and his six-year-old sister who had so much to live for, the family Amy and he needed?
Why? The question kept repeating over in his mind, as he wiped his eyes again. Why did his parents have to die and of all people little Sabrina?
SABRINA! Mark wanted to shout, as if it would bring her back.
He missed his baby sister every bit as much as he missed his mother and father.
“Sabrina,” he whispered.
He would never see her again. Tears rolled down his cheeks as Mark thought of her charred little body inside the tiny coffin and the pain she must have endured in the fire. She didn’t deserve to die.
Mark felt a warm hand on his shoulder. Straightening with his crutches, he leaned into his grandmother’s arms. “Go ahead and cry,” she said. “It’s good to let it out.”
Mark leaned down and laid his cheek in the hollow of her neck. He could smell her sweet, old ladies perfume. “Why?” he asked. “Why didn’t God protect them? Why did He let Sabrina die and not me? She didn’t even get a chance to live her life.” He turned away and tightened his fists on the crutch’s handgrip.
He felt his grandmother’s warm fingers turn his chin. “Mark, I know this is hard for you. It’s hard for me too and it will be hard on Amy when she comes home.” His grandmother choked on her words then blotted her eyes with her hankie, “if she does. Son, we don’t always understand why He allows things like this to happen, but my mother always told me, ‘what we see today as a tragedy, we may look back at tomorrow as a blessing.’” Emily hugged him tighter and stroked his hair.
“A blessing? How can losing almost my entire family ever be a blessing?” Mark huffed and pulled away. His head throbbed even more. Then looking back at his grandmother, he said, “If I ever find out who caused the accident, I swear… I’ll… I’ll kill him…. I promise that.”
“No, Mark. Don’t think like that. It was just that, an accident. You need to forgive them.”
“I can’t, Grandma. I just can’t.”
Morgan Koda has landed in a world full of magic. Now she has to survive it.
A simple English class assignment turns twelve-year-old Morgan Koda's world upside down, and she never dreamed delivering a Christmas letter to her local Mall’s Santa Claus would be her ticket to a world she never knew existed.
In this enchanted place, she walks through rainbows, makes friends with elves and talking animals, and experiences magic around every corner.
Yet, she finds things are not as serene as they seem. A classmate wants her dead. An evil sorcerer, The Dark Emir, hunts the one with the power to control the Mask of Noesis, an ancient artifact that has the ability to seize or manipulate a wizard's magic.
Morgan and the Emir are in a race against time for the relic. But, in order for her to fulfill her destiny with the golden mask, she has to survive the encounters with an eccentric classmate and the Dark Emir.
Nevertheless, Morgan Koda is anything but helpless.
Where do the Banned go when home’s no longer home?
The lyrics of the old village tune haunt Astrea, who wants nothing more than to feel like she belongs in the redhead Rudan tribe. To prove it, she captures a unicorn who has wandered into the Mist, the first hope of meat for a while in the famine-ridden land.
But unicorns are magical creatures, and anyone who kills or eats one will become cursed.
When the tribe council votes to eat him anyway, Astrea fears the worst. She’s determined to figure out a way to fix it before the tribe pays for her actions.
This is part one of Running Toward Illumia, which will be released in three parts over the next few months.
I'm Dhellia Hunt, princess of the underworld. Daughter of Lucifer and Adana. This is my story.
In an attempt to balance her father’s unruly attitude “downstairs,” Dhellia steps forward to represent a soul at his trial by fire against Lucifer and his demons—a decision she trained long and hard to attempt on her own. But as good and evil get closer to a global confrontation, Dhellia owns her powers, hones her skills and puts herself in harm’s way in order to save those in the line of fire. What she discovers is that life isn’t always fair and some will stop at nothing to see her fail.
Dhellia is a funny, fresh and sassy, fast-paced series about a young woman whose birthright is princess of the underworld—she’s mad as Hell about it, and is determined to use her powers to beat her father at his own game!
An unremarkable young man watched as a young woman did an odd sort of floating ballet in front of him. Her steps were unschooled but there was a raw talent in her performance that was hard to explain under the circumstances. Some might call it a gift of some sort, others a curse maybe but either way her love for what she was doing was plain to see. Her arms did a freeform, flapping version of a bras croisé that was cleverly reminiscent of a large bird in flight. There was nothing obviously remarkable about her at this point either - other than the fact she was dancing.
They were in a courtyard high up on a strange, windswept rooftop. She stopped dancing mid-step to look up into the sky when they heard a single, coarse screech from somewhere above. Sea Hawks were known as shriekers to those outside the walls while the people from inside had no idea they even existed. These were the only raptors ever seen in the land, they were the only birds of prey that could make a living hunting for hagfish in the turbulent waters of the Uncrossable Sea or nest safely on the wind torn cliffs of the Unscalable Mountains.
Trinity saw him first and pointed into the leaden sky too spellbound to say a word. The Osprey didn’t flap its enormous wings, it didn’t waste any of its hard won energy but instead swooped effortlessly from one up-draught to the next searching the grey, foamy water below for a meal. “You’re right,” the young man said with a big grin, “the way you were moving was just like a shrieker when it flies. All you need now are feathers - and maybe an egg or two.”
She grinned happily but the breeziness soon evaporated when she caught sight of the angle of the sun through a gap in the heavy clouds. “We’ve got to be going,” she said, “I’ll be late again.”
Morden didn’t want this moment to be over but would never say so. He only shrugged as he watched her hurry away. “I’ll find you later,” she threw over her shoulder.
Then she hiked up her once fine but now threadbare traditional gown and started to run. “I’ll race you - if you don’t mind being beaten by a girl.”
Despite his disappointment he grinned and started to run too - in the opposite direction. He was no natural athlete by any stretch of the imagination but his scurrying, nimble gait made best use of his wiry build. His height was about average, maybe a bit taller, and his sandy brown hair along with hazel eyes made him prettyish for a boy. He didn’t like that. In an effort to look more grown up and masculine he didn’t shave completely. Instead he carefully sculpted what facial hair he had along his jawline to give him, what he hoped, was a more mature look. But it wasn’t a beard, not really and his father called it babies’ bum fluff -which did nothing to help. The truth was Morden was a geek.
Trinity wasn’t beautiful in any classic sense either but her limbs were long and supple. She moved easily over the bizarre, intricate skyline where adjacent courtyards led from one to the next then up through elevated passageways. She bounced lightly around a maze of lofty terraces passing flinty spires and rocky towers going forever upward. But she didn’t slow down - she never slowed down.
His helter-skelter route took him downwards however. He bounced down nearly vertical, stone stairways and slid around the hairpin corners of steeply inclined pathways and ramps until he finally scampered onto the flat main street of the city. Once here he was able to sprint into the plaza to join all the other, almost silent Outwallers who were standing packed together looking upwards. These were the people who weren’t born of the noble line so they lived outside the original city in a dense, grey township that cowered in the shadows of the towering city walls.
High on the ceremonial balcony overlooking the crowd below the Noble Family of the city state of Heritage waited in grumpy silence for something to happen. And what a motley looking crew they were. This group of strange souls made up the House of Paynes and at its heart lay three wildly dysfunctional sisters. At its crumbling head sat High Lord Auric Payne beside his wife High Lady Amasta. She was the eldest of the sisters and the tallest by a hair - but a full head taller than her husband. This height added nothing to her charm however and her skinniness only made her more skitterish and spiderlike. Despite being such an unlikely couple they had somehow managed to come up with a son called Malcolm. His function in life was to wait stupidly in the wings as heir to the whole, shaky shebang.
Amasta’s younger sister Clodagh looked a lot like Amasta but she was even skinnier to the point of emaciation. She was married to even more stunted Egan and they had a daughter, at least at this point they thought they had a daughter, called Trinity.
Feena was the youngest of the three girls. She was the healthiest looking by far, not that she was any beauty either, and she was married to somewhat more normal looking Hendon. Much to her chagrin they were yet to come up with a child of their own despite trying way too hard to make it happen.
All three sisters were mousey haired, gaunt faced and light eyed. Like the rest of the dwindling noble family they were fragile looking and appeared older than they really were. But it was ill health and not the years that stole their youth and denied them a lifespan of normal length or vigor. The Elders had never worked out that the miserable and ongoing lack of wellbeing and viable births among the highborn family was due to the indisputable belief that members of the nobility could only have ‘intimate physical contact’ with other members of the same, small ruling class. Nobody knew who’d penned that particularly insidious page in the Books of Tradition but as a result all three women of the current noble household were married to their first or second cousins.
The genetics of that sort of stunted family tree has never worked out well no matter where it cropped up - either here in Heritage, among the pharos of ancient Egypt or in the Blue Ridge mountains of West Virginia. But the fact still remained that Trinity’s fate had been sealed long before her birth. As the only girl child in the genetically dysfunctional Payne family she had been betrothed to her cousin Malcolm while she was still in the womb. A cozy arrangement to be sure but one that pointedly left Feena out in the heart-numbing cold.
Finally the crowd’s wait was over and something did happen - Trinity showed up. Breathing happily and heavily she ran onto the balcony and slipped into the space left for her beside her cold and grey faced parents. She searched the healthy faces looking up at them from the plaza and grinned when she saw Morden slipping carefully through the crowd to join his parents too - dead heat. Bryony moved aside to make room for her son while she gave him a scornful frown that came over as being less than serious. He grinned at her. Then Bryony looked up to shoot the same sort of disapproving look in Trinity’s direction. Trinity grinned at her too.
The most striking thing about Trinity, now she was standing among them, was that she looked nothing like the rest of the Payne family. Thick, coal black hair framed the unmarred, alabaster skin of her happily flushed face and her bright, intelligent eyes shone with a blue even paler than the ocean that lay on two sides of the city.
Once she was in her place Anwalt Tome, the archaic Keeper of Tradition, glared at her briefly before he started droning and finally another unending, meaningless ceremony got under way. Anwalt was rumored to be as old as the city itself but there was a strangely intense, surprising vigor about him. His still-powerful voice was being further amplified by the cleverly sculpted stone walls around the balcony. “Let us behold the young Lord so that all might bear witness to the powerful but benevolent presence of the next High Lord of Heritage, the future Head of the House of Payne.”
Center stage of this day’s event was eighteen year old Lord Malcolm himself. He was just a bit healthier looking than most of the highborns, his congenital weaknesses were less obvious most of the time because they were all buried between his ears. Somewhat ironically the Traditions dictated that this Coming of Age ceremony should be held, just like they dictated almost everything else that happened around Heritage, so the Outwallers could see the heir to the throne in all his grownup majesty, power - and wisdom.
It was virtually unheard of at these events but things took a lighter turn when Anwalt’s apprentice opened the massive, archaic tome being used for the day’s proceedings. An unexpected gust of wind tore angrily at the pages ripping several of them free. While they tried to escape Eric and Anwalt chased them around the balcony clownishly and the Outwallers below couldn’t miss the rare opportunity to laugh at those above them. Malcolm was delighted with the show but Lady Trinity was the only other person on the balcony who allowed herself to smile at the keepers’ antics. Bryony shot her another look of disapproval but this time the breeziness was all but completely gone from her face.
Anwalt wasn’t used to being laughed at. In fact he didn’t like the sound of laughter no matter in what context it occurred. It wasn’t actually banned by the traditions the way so many other lighthearted things were but he frowned on the ‘ridiculous, coarse practice’. Foolishly thinking he was punishing the crowd for its boorish rowdiness he cut the ceremony short to spite them. Just perfect as far as they were concerned. Following the same ending to the ritual the Keepers had used for untold time Anwalt and Eric interlocked fingers, raised their hands above their heads and recited together. “And thus the joining of hands of the Keepers makes this so in the Name of Tradition for all time.”
As soon as she could do it without attracting any more unwanted attention to herself Trinity was heading for the heavy balcony doors. These led into a weird ceremonial chamber. The walls and floor were dull grey, strikingly plain and boringly efficient to the point of screaming sterility but the room had been oddly stuffed with ridiculously ornate furnishings and garish accessories. Deep crimson tapestries the color of old blood hung everywhere and the loud, gilded wood of tables, chairs and so on filled every possible space. On the other side of this bizarre room lay another door that opened onto the ramparts. Mercifully, these wide bulwarks led in turn to the rest of the city - and freedom from all that mindless jabbering.
Her aunt Feena watched Trinity making her escape and glared. She scowled at her niece with something so dark behind her eyes it must have been festering in her heart for a very long time. And so it had been. Feena’s obsessive hatred for the youngest female member of the Payne family had started before Trinity was even born.
The Turning - Bound to Darkness
Apollo and Amaya Shelly are twins, living deep in the forest of Stockwood Washington and away from civilization. Raised by their father and under the protection of their leader, Maximiliano, Apollo and Amaya live what they consider a normal life with the Sanguis clan.
Three days before their 18th birthday, the twins discover that their “normal” existence is anything but normal: their father and the Sanguis clan are vampires. Worse yet, they learn that an agreement was made that would predestine them to become vampires on their special day.
In a chilling race against time, the twins uncover a secret that could destroy their lineage and alter their existence. Whether past or present, family or clan, the line between good and evil can easily blur. . .
. . . Especially when they are bound to darkness
For Caleb and Liam, a pair of close-knit brothers who have trouble fitting in at school, the Southwest desert around their home offers a place where their imaginations can run wild.
But as their explorations take them farther from home, a sinister darkness begins to invade their happy adventures -- a darkness that is far more real than what their imaginations can conjure up. And when they collect souvenirs from an abandoned house that turn out to be powerful talismans connected to a mysterious shadow land, strange events and people begin intruding into their lives. Along the way, the brothers acquire some new friends -- including two ghosts and a reclusive neighbor -- who give them valuable insights into the darkness they are fighting.
Will the evil from the shadow land gain control over Liam and Caleb so that the doorway to Earth remains open? Or will they learn to keep the secrets necessary to survive and become free from the evil that is attempting to absorb them into its dimension?
Mount Olympus. Long Ago.
The enormous white columns gleamed in the blinding sunlight as the two magnificent women stood face to face. “I cast you out,” Hecate, Goddess of the Witches screamed, her voice bouncing off the grand chamber walls. “Now, and forever more. Be gone from my sight.” “No, Mother, I beg of you.” Her beautiful blonde hair caught in the gentle breeze as she grabbed for her mother’s hand. Hecate moved her hand and looked down in disgust as Empusa dropped to her knees, tears staining her cheeks, and pulled at her white flowing diaphanous dress. “You are no daughter of mine. I curse you until the end of time.” Empusa sobbed, but it fell on deaf ears. Her mother was wicked and cruel and not even the mighty Zeus could sway her decision once made. Hecate raised her hand slowly. “Your form will match your true nature.”
Empusa rose into the air, screaming in agony, her hair aflame. The once beautiful blonde locks fell onto the ground, dissolving into a pile of ash. In its place, a mane of red flaming hair grew. She cried out, the flames burning her scalp.
Ever wonder if mermaids are real?
Skye sure believes. She is one, and she’s recounting their history for the young mermaids.
It’s a history full of heartache and bad choices, in which a tribe—once holders of the sea’s secrets—become a part of her.
Mermaids are real, but what Skye wants to know is if humans are everything she’s dreamed of.
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La sirena negra by Emilia Pardo Bazán Narrator: Esperanza de la Encarnación Published by Edelae Genres: Fiction , Historical Length: 4 horas 42 minutos Format:
La Jolla, California is widely known for the "Seven Caves" and most visitors go inside the caves through kayaking tours, but there's also another way