Sunday, 30 December 2018

Beneath the Lighthouse by Julieanne Lynch Blog Tour and Giveaway!




Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (June 26, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1944109188
ISBN-13: 978-1944109189



SOME SECRETS ARE MADE TO BE UNCOVERED.
Sixteen-year-old Jamie McGuiness’s sister is dead. Sinking into a deep depression, he frequents the lighthouse where her body was discovered, unaware of the sinister forces surrounding him.
When an angry spirit latches onto Jamie, he’s led down a dark and twisted path, one that uncovers old family secrets, destroying everything Jamie ever believed in.
Caught between the world of the living and the vengeful dead, Jamie fights the pull of the other side. It’s up to Jamie to settle old scores or no one will rest in peace—but, first, he has to survive.


You can purchase Beneath the Lighthouse at the following Retailers:

  





Praise for BENEATH THE LIGHTHOUSE

“Beneath the Lighthouse grabs you by the nether regions from the word go. Then it squeezes. Hard. With a nailed glove … A truly scary ghost story … a powerful ‘coming of age’ drama … a young man growing into adulthood against a backdrop of despair and quite shocking abuse … unpredictable and ever building. Blood and bone revenge, retribution and salvation. The strength of friendship, the power of love. You feel the dread and the underlying fear … not your typical tale. And what a tale it is.” ―EM Faustus


BOOK TRAILER



EXCERPT:

Emer had set her alarm clock for 1:00 a.m. The house would be quiet. She didn’t want to stir her parents from their sleep. Emer snuck down the stairs. She unlocked the back door and slipped out.

Steven had parked his car close enough to the house so Emer wouldn’t have to walk too far.

Emer approached the car, staring at the back of his head. She’d piqued his interest with the picture she’d sent him. He’d texted her saying he couldn’t wait to see them in the flesh.

Emer slid into the front passenger seat and smiled at him. She had him exactly where she wanted him.

“Aren’t you the right wee madam sneaking out at this hour?” Steven winked at her.

“Aye, maybe, but who gives a feck about it?” Emer replied, trying to sound a little older.

“So, you going to show those pretty titties or what?” he asked, looking down at her ample cleavage.

“It depends.”

Steven smiled and looked at her. “Okay, I’ll show this, if you get those out.” He winked at her once more and grabbed his crotch.

Emer lifted the top of her pajamas, giving Steven an eyeful he’d never forget.

“No touching, okay?” she warned.

He stared at her chest for the longest while. His fingers twitched.

Smiling like it was Christmas morning, Emer pushed her top back down and folded her arms across her chest. “Okay, now you show me what you have down there,” she said, eagerly waiting to catch sight of his privates.

Steven unbuckled the belt of his jeans and slid down the zipper. He pushed his hand inside, intent on releasing his erection. Before he could do so, the door to the car opened.

“What the feck is going on here?” Jack asked, his eyes blazing. He looked at Steven with his hands shoved into his trousers. “You dirty wee bastard. Do you have any idea how old she is?”

Jack pulled Emer’s arm and twisted it. His nostrils flared.

“Daddy, stop this. You’re hurting me. Let me go,” Emer cried.

“You! What have I raised?” Jack roared into Emer’s face. “You trollop. Get into the house before I break your legs.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. McGuiness. It won’t happen again,” Steven cried.

“You’re fecking right, it won’t. If I see you sniffing around Emer again, I’ll kill you, and that’s a promise, lad,” Jack shouted before slamming the car’s door shut.

Steven sped off down the road.

Jack’s jaw clenched, his muscles tight. His eyes were narrowed, rigid, cold, and hard.

Emer had never seen him this enraged before. She panicked and ran back up the path.

* * *

Lights were turning on inside most of the houses on the street. People peered out of closed windows. Some opened their front doors to get a better view.

Stomping up the path, he ignored the concerned faces of his neighbors. Jack couldn’t see past the red blazing in front of him. He wanted nothing more than to rip Steven apart. His little girl behaving like a grown woman made his stomach churn. He burst through the front door, slamming it shut behind him.


Copyright © 2018 by Julieanne Lynch



Photo Content from Julieanne Lynch

Julieanne Lynch is an author of YA and Adult genre urban fantasy, crime and contemporary romance books. Julieanne was born in Northern Ireland, but spent much of her early life in London, United Kingdom, until her family relocated back to their roots.
Julieanne lives in Northern Ireland, with her husband and five children, where she is a full-time author. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at The Open University and considered journalism as a career path. Julieanne has several projects optioned for film.
Julieanne is both traditionally and independently published.


*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter


-  1 Winner will receive a Copy of BENEATH THE LIGHTHOUSE by Julieanne Lynch.

- Winner will receive a $25 Dollar PayPal/Amazon Gift Card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


PART ONE
DECEMBER 17th MONDAY Sassy Book Lovers TENS LIST
DECEMBER 17th MONDAY TTC Books and More GUEST POST
DECEMBER 18th TUESDAY Stephanie's Life of Determination REVIEW & EXCERPT
DECEMBER 19th WEDNESDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
DECEMBER 20th THURSDAY A Dream Within A Dream TENS LIST
DECEMBER 21st FRIDAY Insane About Books REVIEW


PART TWO
DECEMBER 22nd SATURDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW
DECEMBER 22nd SATURDAY Sara Is Reading What? REVIEW
DECEMBER 23rd SUNDAY Oh Hey! Books INTERVIEW
DECEMBER 23rd SUNDAY My Book Addiction REVIEW
DECEMBER 24th MONDAY BookHounds INTERVIEW
DECEMBER 25th TUESDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
DECEMBER 26th WEDNESDAY Casia's Corner REVIEW

DECEMBER 26th WEDNESDAY Wishful Endings TENS LIST

PART THREE
DECEMBER 27th THURSDAY 100 Pages A Day REVIEW
DECEMBER 27th THURSDAY Lisa Loves Literature EXCERPT
DECEMBER 28th FRIDAY RhythmicBooktrovert REVIEW 

DECEMBER 28th FRIDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
DECEMBER 29th SATURDAY My Chaotic Ramblings REVIEW
DECEMBER 29th SATURDAY Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW
DECEMBER 30th SUNDAY Book Lovers Life EXCERPT

Monday, 24 December 2018

Court of Memories by Dyan Chick Release Day Blitz and Giveaway!



I am so excited that COURT OF MEMORIES by Dyan Chick is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Dyan Chick, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International, courtesy of Dyan and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About the Book:
Title: COURT OF MEMORIES Why Choose Fantasy Romance (Forbidden Queen #2)
Author: Dyan Chick
Pub. Date: December 24, 2018
Publisher: Illaria Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 202
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon


Magic comes with a price. If Cassia wants a happily ever after in the Fae realm, she’ll have to join a brutal fight for a crown she doesn’t even want.
Cassia is so close to the life she always wanted. A changeling who was always out of place in the human world, she is on her way to finding love, magic, and happiness with four Fae princes. The monster threat against her life has been contained. For now. But they are attracted to her power and her untrained magic, and it’s a race against time before they break through again.
And the monsters aren’t the only ones trying to kill Cassia. The Queen’s Trial is approaching, and her power makes her a target and a threat to the other noble houses vying to be queen.
With her enemies piling up and only Four Fae Princes on her side she’s running out of options. There's only one rule in Queen's Trial: Survive.

 About book 1:



Title: COURT OF SECRETS Reverse Harem Fantasy (Forbidden Queen #1)
Author: Dyan Chick
Pub. Date: October 15, 2018
Publisher: Dyan Chick
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 216
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

Four Sexy Fae Princes. A Changeling Fae. A Secret that could end them all. 
When Cassia’s wedding is ruined by a monster attack, her whole life changes. Destined for the dull and uneventful life of a Baron’s wife, Cassia always dreamed of more. She never thought it would come in the form of three sexy fae princes. 
When she accidentally uses magic, Cassia discovers that she’s not human. She’s a changeling, a fae hidden in the human world. She no longer belongs in the human realm, but she won’t survive on her own in Faerie. 
Now, her only hope is the three sexy fae princes who saved her life on her wedding day. On the run from the monsters that attacked her, Cassia must help the princes hunt them down. Her life depends on them, and by the time this is over, they might need her as much as she needs them. 
Court of Secrets is a full-length Reverse Harem Fantasy Novel

Book 1 of 4 

Excerpt:

The door swung open, making the decision for me. Tristan stood at the doorway, completely naked. Head to toe, nothing covered, naked.
"What are you doing?" My voice came out shrill and squeaky.
He smiled. "I'm in my bedroom, preparing for bed. The question is, why are you outside of my bedroom at this hour?"
"At this hour?" I asked. "It's barely past dinner, it's a perfectly respectable hour." My eyes drifted downward, exploring Tristan's chest, defined abs, and surprisingly large manhood. My cheeks heated.
Forcing my eyes to return to his face, I tried to remember why I was here. "You are awful. Why would you taunt Cormac about his sister on her birthday?"
"I didn't taunt him," he said. "You were there. He attacked me."
I blew out a breath of frustration. "You're a child."
"As you can clearly see," he gestured to his now slightly erect member, "I am not a child."
"Can't you put on some clothes?" I asked.
"I thought you were here to live out that vision you had. Or is it not time for that yet?"
My jaw dropped open. "That is not going to happen."
Turning on my heels, I spun away from Tristan and walked toward the door.
"Any time you're ready, Cassia," he called after me.
Shaking from embarrassment and anger, I walked back down the steps and back to the sitting room where I found Dane waiting for me. "Where's Ethan?"
"He went to see to the horses since Cormac is disposed."
"Good," I said. I walked over to Dane and tugged on his tunic, forcing him to lower his face. Then, I pressed my lips against his.
Dane wrapped his arms around me sliding them down my hips and under my butt until he picked me up and pulled me closer against his chest.
I wrapped my legs around his waist and pressed my lips harder into his. He walked forward, carrying me while he matched my kiss with hungry pressure. I nipped playfully by his lower lip and he growled, then pinned me against the wall.
He broke the kiss and stared at me. His breaths coming out shallow. "You sure you want to do this? Because this time, I'm not going to be able to stop. I've wanted you since we first met."
My breath came out quick and shallow and I stared hungrily into his hooded eyes. I could tell the same desire that had turned my blood boiling was rising in him. "I don't want you to stop. I want everything."
Dane pressed his mouth against mine again, finding a rhythm with my lips. As he adjusted his grip on me, he pressed me closer as he pushed me harder against the wall. I could feel the bulge in his trousers pressed against my rear and it sent a thrill through me.
I was hungry, starved for physical attention, and tonight it seemed only Dane could satisfy me. I ran my fingers through his hair and he caught my wrist, pinning it against the wall. He pulled back leaving my lips wanting, while his intense icy blue gaze bore into my very soul. I whimpered, wanting nothing more than to feel the heat of his mouth on mine again.
One corner of his mouth turned up in a smirk and a second later he had me in his arms again, carrying me like a bride toward one of the closed doors in the hallway beyond. He hesitated a second at the door shifting my weight so he could reach the handle.
As soon as we crossed into the room he threw me onto the bed. The room was dark, curtains drawn and no lamps lit. The only light was from the crack underneath the now closed door. I heard the rustle of fabric and I knew Dane was stripping his clothes. I reached for the ties on my tunic and wondered if I should take my clothes off to be ready for him; but before I could make my decision Dane was on top of me.

About Dyan:


My story is probably similar to a lot of other writers out there. As a kid, I was creative, imaginative, and loved to write. I’d write scripts for plays and make my sisters act them out. I got excited about the writing prompts for standardized tests in elementary school. I started writing my first (unfinished) novel in 5th grade. Then started another one in middle school. For a long time, I was a closet writer. I didn’t tell anybody that I had a hard drive full of abandoned stories. After years of not finishing anything, I finally took the plunge and started taking writing, and myself as a writer, seriously. My first novel, Heir of Illaria, published January 23, 2017. Book 2 is right around the corner. It’s gone from closet hobby to full on addiction. Thankfully, I have a wonderfully supportive husband who doesn’t look at me like I’m crazy when I talk about my characters as if they’re real.






Giveaway Details:
1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon GC, International.



Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Literary Book Gifts feature!


Christmas is coming very fast and if you are in need of a few last minute gifts, I may have found an answer!! I came across https://literarybookgifts.com/ and am loving the look of their t-shirts and tote bags! They look gorgeous. I haven't bought anything from here.....yet, but I'm looking forward to trying them out. 

Just look at their Dracula one! They are 100% cotton and come in a variety of colours. 



The collection includes designs ranging from Jane Austen to Edgar Allan Poe!! Here are just a small selection of their products....

Typewriter T-Shirt:



Emily Dickinson Tote Bag: 



Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Tote Bag:



They offer a 5$ flat rate for shipping for US domestic orders, and flat rate $10 for Canada and international orders.

I'm debating with myself which one I want!! Check them out here: https://literarybookgifts.com/ and better yet, I have a code for 20% off any order in the store, just add BookLoversLife20 and you're good to go. Let me know which is your favourite!!




Beneath the Lighthouse by Julieanne Lynch Official Trailer Reveal and Giveaway!




Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (June 26, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1944109188
ISBN-13: 978-1944109189




SOME SECRETS ARE MADE TO BE UNCOVERED.
Sixteen-year-old Jamie McGuiness’s sister is dead. Sinking into a deep depression, he frequents the lighthouse where her body was discovered, unaware of the sinister forces surrounding him.
When an angry spirit latches onto Jamie, he’s led down a dark and twisted path, one that uncovers old family secrets, destroying everything Jamie ever believed in.
Caught between the world of the living and the vengeful dead, Jamie fights the pull of the other side. It’s up to Jamie to settle old scores or no one will rest in peace—but, first, he has to survive.

You can purchase Beneath the Lighthouse at the following Retailers:

  





Praise for BENEATH THE LIGHTHOUSE

“Beneath the Lighthouse grabs you by the nether regions from the word go. Then it squeezes. Hard. With a nailed glove … A truly scary ghost story … a powerful ‘coming of age’ drama … a young man growing into adulthood against a backdrop of despair and quite shocking abuse … unpredictable and ever building. Blood and bone revenge, retribution and salvation. The strength of friendship, the power of love. You feel the dread and the underlying fear … not your typical tale. And what a tale it is.” ―EM Faustus


BENEATH THE LIGHTHOUSE BY JULIEANNE LYNCH - EXCERPT

Jamie sat on the edge of his bed crying. Unable to stem the flow, he pounded his fist against the bed. The guilt-laden emotions swelled until they crushed him from the inside out, battered by the past.

If he had told his parents sooner about the things Emer had been doing, she’d still be alive. Every time he thought of her, all the things he should have done to save her flooded through his mind. But he still ended up facing the harsh reality—he had failed her. It was his fault. A void like no other existed, leaving him in a limbo worse than death.

Jamie took off his school shirt and pulled on a t–shirt. He looked hard at his reflection in the mirror. How would it feel to not exist? The mirror showed the Jamie everyone knew and loved, yet his blue eyes were empty. The young lad with dreams of playing for his favorite football team no longer existed. In his place stood a shadow, a living, breathing shell of the person he used to be. The ugliness of his home had become a constant reminder of the person he no longer was. There was no escape or happy ever after. Desolation and depression hurt almost as bad as Emer’s death.

Jamie closed his eyes for a moment.

A chill, the same kind he’d felt in the library, pricked at his skin. The air grew thick and icy. What was happening? Each labored breath became sharp. Every nerve in his body stood on edge, his senses on overdrive. He opened his eyes.

A shadow loomed behind him in the mirror’s reflection. He blinked hoping the shadow, some sort of trick of the light, would go away, but it remained. Its presence dominated him. He attempted to turn his head, but couldn’t. His heart pounded hard.

The shadow flowed, a discordant and uncoordinated swirling mesh of movement.

Jamie’s gaze remained locked on the mirror, unable to break free. The apparition descended upon him, shrouding him in its dark, wet residue. It entered his body.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

His heart was in a vise, compressed by whatever moved through his core. His eyes bulged, and he gasped for breath. Cool air washed over him.

Water lapped around his ankles. A strange odor assailed his nostrils. Unsure of where he was, or why he was there, Jamie scrambled to make sense of it. One minute, he stood in his room. The next, he was confined in a pit.

Scream after scream ripped through his throat. Jamie struggled to find a way out. He caught sight of his hands … only they weren’t his. The shock silenced his screams. He wasn’t in his body. He saw things through someone else’s eyes. Darkness crowded the edges of his vision.

Back in his room, he stood in front of the mirror, trembling and soaking wet. Jamie searched the room, trying to figure out what had just happened. Nothing was out of place. He shivered. Nothing would ever explain what had just occurred.

Jamie took a few deep breaths and dried off. The adrenaline coursing through him caused sweat to trickle down his brow as the chill left the room. He put on a fresh change of clothes, doing his best not to think. Taking a step towards the door, he glanced around the room. Unease swelled within him. He grabbed the door handle and swallowed the tight ball which had formed in the back of his throat.

He closed the door tight behind him. “It’s all in your head.”

Copyright © 2018 by Julieanne Lynch




Photo Content from Julieanne Lynch
Julieanne Lynch is an author of YA and Adult genre urban fantasy, crime and contemporary romance books. Julieanne was born in Northern Ireland, but spent much of her early life in London, United Kingdom, until her family relocated back to their roots.
Julieanne lives in Northern Ireland, with her husband and five children, where she is a full-time author. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at The Open University and considered journalism as a career path. Julieanne has several projects optioned for film.
Julieanne is both traditionally and independently published.



*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

- Winner will receive a $25 Dollar PayPal/Amazon Gift Card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Clearcut by Jack Mahoney Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Clearcut
Jack Mahoney
Publication date: December 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller



Adrian Cervantes’s Ranger squad was betrayed and ambushed in Iraq, sent to deliver an embezzled payoff to a man who didn’t exist. The lone survivor, Cervantes went AWOL, returning to the States to distribute his purloined cash to the families of his squad. But it’s not as simple as leaving a check in the mailbox. Every family he visits has their own troubles. Law enforcement hunts him at every turn. And Cervantes’s need to see justice done earns him plenty of enemies.
Cervantes’s first stop is the fading lumber town of Cullinan, WA. His plans to visit the Quinones family are complicated by the death of the father and the suspicions of the widow. Teaming up with a local lawyer, Cervantes uncovers enough questions to cast doubt that the father’s death was a drunken accident. But his investigation puts him in the sights of local bruisers, crooked cops, and the real power behind the lumber mill. In the end, Cervantes discovers a conspiracy that’s robbing Cullinan of its livelood, and he puts it to rest the only way he knows how.



Guest Post

What sort of thrillers speak to me?



Two of my favorite TV series of the past 10 years - shows that I keep coming back to - are Burn Notice and Person of Interest. As formula shows, they work: a retired spy with exceptional skills helps innocent people solve problems that the cops can't help with. They have a variety of contacts and allies - some intimate, some reluctant - who help them on their way. They've done bad things in their past, but their freelance vigilantism gives them a chance at redemption.


In fiction, Barry Eisler's books (particularly the John Rain and Ben Traven series) and the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child have also been staples. Without the constraints of broadcast TV, Rain and Reacher can travel farther, hit harder, and play harder still. Eisler and Child's protagonists are lone, grim sentinels, but they get occasional help from a friend.

Writers write for a number of reasons, but one of the chief reasons, whether we admit it or not, is to imitate our favorites. (Another reason is to surpass them) So fans of Burn Notice or Jack Reacher may see some similarities in Adrian Cervantes.

The back cover copy for CLEARCUT sets the stage:

Adrian Cervantes’s Ranger squad was betrayed and ambushed in Iraq, sent to deliver an embezzled payoff to a man who didn’t exist. The lone survivor, Cervantes went AWOL, returning to the States to distribute his purloined cash to the families of his squad.

But it’s not as simple as leaving a check in the mailbox. Every family he visits has their own troubles. Law enforcement hunts him at every turn. And Cervantes’s need to see justice done earns him plenty of enemies.

The one thing that makes the Cervantes series different enough for me to feel it's worth doing, though, is the reason the hero sets out.

Many thrillers, whatever their other merits, have our hero stumble onto a problem completely by accident. He sticks around to solve the problem out of some innate, unflagging sense of justice. For some readers, that's sufficient. We don't need to ask why our grim sentinel sticks his neck out for a helpless bystander - we just want to see him dish out justice, one roundhouse kick at a time.

That's never quite been enough for me, though.

Adrian Cervantes isn't solving people's problems just for the exercise. Each victim is the family of a member of his squad. He owes it to the men he couldn't save to leave their families better than he found them. And, by the coincidence that powers all fiction, each family has problems that money alone won't solve.

My hope is that the personal connection makes these thrillers more engaging, impactful, and richer in variety than they would be otherwise. Though CLEARCUT is only the first in the series so far, I already have big plans in store for the successive novels. Wherever Cervantes ends up, he'll be fighting not just for his own idiosyncratic moral compass, but to make good on a promise. I'm excited to see where that takes him.



Author Bio:
Jack Mahoney lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts. When he's not practicing jiu-jitsu or catching up on crime thrillers, he's putting in work on the next Adrian Cervantes novel.

GIVEAWAY!
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • $20 Amazon gift card

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Monday, 3 December 2018

A Prophecy Fulfilled by Andi O’Connor Book Blitz and Giveaway!



A Prophecy Fulfilled
Andi O’Connor
(The Vaelinel Trilogy #3)
Publication date: December 9th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal


Regrouping after their escape from the Light Elves, Irewen and her companions fear the worst after black smoke plumes on the horizon. Allowing compassion to rule over reason, they ignore Finnwyn’s warning and return to Lilendvelle, hoping to help some of the survivors stranded in the city’s wake. Instead, they run into a trap.
Completely surrounded by an endless army of Drulaack, they fight for their lives, but their efforts aren’t enough. Irewen is captured and dragged into the heart of the Corrupter’s lair.
Having his prize, the others in the company are granted their freedom, but at a great cost: the one named in the prophecy who is meant to unite the elf forces and stand against the Corrupter is lost to the world – trapped beneath the Corrupter’s talons.
With the aid of his mother’s spirit, Brendell must now find a way to gather an alliance strong enough to march against the Corrupter and his army, but his time is running out. Each day that passes brings Irewen closer to death.
And the world closer to destruction.


Are you a book blogger?
Join the blog tour today!

EXCERPT:

Slowly opening her eyes, Irewen braced herself for the fresh wave of pain she knew awaited her. Despite expecting it, nothing prepared her for the intensity of the agony ravaging her body.
She yearned to be back in the Spirit World where the misery of her injuries had been severely dampened. Trying to lift her head, she flinched and dropped it back to the cold stone. There was no going back. This was now her life. This was her normalcy.
Following part of Elthad’s advice, she found something to fixate her attention on, in this case, a small crack in the stone where the wall met the floor.
She studied the jagged line, imagining it into different shapes and scenarios. Time slowly passed, and her pain gradually lessened, but her situation remained just as dismal as ever.
Elthad’s gift needed to be used strategically. She couldn’t unleash the weapon unless the timing was perfect. Elthad wouldn’t respond. For the time being, she was trapped.
Irewen turned her thoughts to her last minutes with Elthad’s spirit. It all seemed so surreal. Although she’d witnessed it first-hand, she couldn’t quite believe that she had Elthad’s weapon in her possession.
She mentally rubbed the small lump now tucked safely behind her right ear. Half the size of her pinky fingernail, it now hid what her cousin had claimed would be the answer to her problems. It afforded her a certain sense of security, but at the same time, her peace of mind was an illusion.
This wasn’t a weapon in the traditional sense of the word. Unlike a dagger or bow she could wield with her hands, or a spell she could summon, it was an intangible theory based solely on trust. Trust that Elthad hadn’t been lying to her. Trust that his power would be released in time to save her life.
Trust that he would do anything at all.
Any promises she’d had of escaping from the Corrupter’s prison vanished. Blinded by her desire for freedom, she’d been a total fool. Elthad had given her hope. Nothing more.
The faint clicking of boots on stone pulled her from her musings. She stiffened as the slow, deliberate steps drew nearer. The hair along the back of her neck stood on end. A villainous aura emanated from the newcomer, permeating the already clammy air. The footsteps stopped, and she took advantage of the silence to study the crack in the wall with a newfound concentration.
A man cleared his throat.
The Corrupter.
She didn’t need to look at the person standing before her to know it was him.
“It’s nice to see that you’ve returned.”
Irewen’s body shuddered at the sound of his voice. Staring straight ahead, she fought off the sensation of thousands of bugs crawling over her skin.
“Welcome to your humble new home. It’s not much, but I’m certain you’ll be quite content here, given time.”
His words slithered about her like poison.
“After all, you have nowhere else to go, now that those in the Spirit World have rejected you. It’s such a shame that you can’t return to the welcoming bosom of the dead. Still, that means you’ll be able to spend more time with me. Doesn’t that excite you?”
Clenching her jaw, Irewen fought the urge to answer. Every part of her ached to tell the Corrupter what she thought he could do with his home and his time. Instead, she kept her mouth shut, replaying Elthad’s warning repeatedly in her mind.
“Don’t give him the fodder he desires. He wants you to react. He feeds off of seeing the effects his words have on others. He craves it. Remaining impassive and silent will be far more distressing for him than any insult you could spew. Never grab hold of his bait.”
“So,” the Corrupter continued after a time, his voice thick with amusement, “you’ve decided to answer me with silence. Never fear, there are many ways to make someone talk. I doubt you’ll survive the first treatment, but that won’t be of any loss to me. Silevethiel and that elf prince you’re so fond of will be the ones you’ll end up destroying. I look forward to it. You’ll have done a large part of my job for me. Those two have been a nuisance.”
No! Irewen mentally screamed at herself at the mention of Silevethiel and Laegon. Don’t react! Don’t bloody react!
Gritting her teeth, she stared at the crack more intently than ever before. It seemed to grow, slowly tripling in size until she swore it would reach out and suck her in to its depths. Eventually, her ire dissipated, and the huge fissure returned to its normal, puny size.
She focused on keeping her breaths slow and even, growing increasingly more thankful that she’d decided to swallow her pride and listen to Elthad. Without his insight, she wouldn’t have been able to recognize what the Corrupter was attempting to do. She would have fallen right into his trap, unraveling like he wanted.
A sudden chill filled the air. The Corrupter’s anger seeped into her being, and she smiled inwardly. It was working. Even in her pathetic condition and imprisoned in some god-forsaken cell, she had the upper hand. All she had to do was keep her focus and not give him what he craved.
“You have quite a stubbornness about you,” the Corrupter finally said, his voice thick with disdain. “You’re just like your father, but you will eventually crack. Your father did.”
Without waiting to see if she’d respond, the clicking of boots resounded about the stone walls as the Corrupter left her to muse over his words. She held her breath, waiting until the sound of the footsteps faded completely before trusting herself to let the air out of her lungs. She wanted to scream but couldn’t bring herself to make a sound. She had no way of knowing who or what would be nearby to hear.
Closing her eyes, she visualized the crack from the wall. Completely worn out, all of her muscles relaxed, and she felt as though she was melting into the floor. She had no idea how long she could keep up this charade, but she needed to until the Corrupter cracked.
The first tendrils of sleep began to take hold. Before she fell completely into unconsciousness, she wondered if she would survive his outburst when he finally exploded. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so terrible if she didn’t.



Author Bio:
Andi O'Connor is the award-winning author of The Dragonath Chronicles, The Vaelinel Trilogy, and The Legacy of Ilvania. The Speaker is the 2018 Independent Press Award Winner for Fantasy and a Finalist in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards. Andi's novel, Awakening, is a 2018 Independent Press Award Distinguished Favorite for Fantasy. Her critically acclaimed novel, Silevethiel, is the 2015 Best Indie Book Award winner for Science Fiction/Fantasy and the 2015 New Apple Official Selection for Young Adult. Silevethiel was also named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2013.
You can frequently find Andi as an exhibitor and guest panelist at Comic Cons throughout the country including the Rhode Island Comic Con, Awesome Con, Philcon, Conclave, and Chessiecon. For more information, visit Andi's website at www.andioconnor.net

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