Tag Archives: fantasy romance

Book Release: The Sea Witch and the Mage

I’m excited to welcome special guest Katherine Eddinger Smits, a fellow member of Sunshine State Romance Authors. Her newly released novelette is The Sea Witch and the Mage. starring a shapeshifting mermaid and a mesmerizing mage. I loved her first book Water Dreams and can’t wait to delve into this new story! Can you believe the gorgeous cover? 

The author was kind enough to answer a few writing questions before providing a blurb and “special just for you” excerpt from The Sea Witch and the Mage.

What inspired you to write in your genre?

I read across all genres, but my favorite is paranormal romance. When I started my first novel, I knew it had to be a love story. I wanted it to be something different, but set in the contemporary world and located in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The Nerei, who appear human on land and shift to have tails in water (as well as a few other adaptations) suited all those requirements.  The Sea Witch and the Mage is the second book set in the world of the Nerei and the humans who fall in love with them.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Writing is a hard process. Although it’s the most fun and rewarding thing I’ve ever done, it’s demanding. Probably the hardest part is balancing writing time with everything else in my life. I don’t like to take time away from friends and family to write, but if I don’t do that sometimes, nothing gets finished.

Who is your favorite supporting character in your book and why?

My favorite supporting character in this book is the evil sea wizard, Merlindrake. Although he tortures and kills young Nerei females, he believes what he’s doing is for the good of his people. At least that’s what he tells himself. The fact that he enjoys it way too much gives away his true motive. He’s evil, but tough and smart and has more tricks up his sleeve than Athenia and Thorne realize.

Blurb:

In order to avenge her twin’s death and escape the same brutal fate, Athenia must defeat the wizard who killed her sister, but there is only one way—enslave Thorne, a human mage with powers Athenia needs to overcome her enemy. However, she doesn’t count on finding him mesmerizing or desiring him so much. What happens when a shapeshifting mermaid teams up with a man who controls the elements? Can Athenia save herself without destroying her magical lover? 

Excerpt:

With a whirl, he grabbed her, turning her and shoving her arm up behind her. “What do you want?” Fiercer than he intended, his words came out in a snarl, deep and menacing.

She struggled. “Let go of me.”

Gods, she’s strong.

When she stomped on his foot, pain shot through his leg all the way to his knee. Unable to maintain his grip, he let her go, but called upon air to surround her.

The woman hammered on the invisible fortification, consternation reflected on her face. “What did you do? Let me out of here.”

“Not until you tell me why you followed me.”

She unclenched her fists and smoothed her hair, her expression changing from a snarl to a simper he figured was supposed to appear friendly. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to alarm you. I—” She hesitated.

“What?” When his still gruff voice echoed in the small space, he winced. For a moment, she frightened him, surprised him. Flip-flops might not have been the best footwear tonight. In dealing with a she-devil, steel-toed boots would have been a safer choice.

“I wanted to meet you, Thorne Sanderson.” As she inhaled, her low-cut, gauzy blouse dipped, revealing more ivory skin. She must have noticed where he located his attention, because she exhaled and took another breath, treating him to the sight again.

“Why don’t you ditch this enclosure so we can talk?” She smiled, more genuinely this time, as if amused. “I promise I won’t hurt you.” As though testing the strength of the unseen barrier, she mashed her hands against it.

He frowned. “You already broke my foot.”

The seductive simper converted to a sexy pout. “Because you manhandled me. An instinctive defense.” She plastered herself against the wall of air and squirmed, her silky skirt and top molding to her body.

His mouth went dry. Damn, she’s beautiful. “Huh, I restrained you because you’ve been following me.”

“Because I wanted to talk to you.” She pushed again, which nudged her blouse lower.

Any further and she’s going to fall all the way out. The idea excited him, and he advanced toward her. “Why not introduce yourself?” Much more of this exhibition and he would need to dismiss the wind fence so he could think.

She chewed her lip. “I wanted to ask you something, but I’m not sure how to do it. I thought if I found out more about you, I would come up with a way to approach you, but I ruined everything.” Tears welled in her eyes and spilled down her cheeks.

Instantly sorry, he dissolved the barricade. “Hey, don’t do that.”

She hid her face in her hands, which muffled her speech. “It’s hopeless, I understand that now.”

Must stop her crying. I can’t stand it. He patted her arm. “Tell me.”

She sobbed again. Sniffled.

Impatient now, he blew out a breath that rounded his cheeks. “What is it?”

She dried her eyes. “I want you to take me on as your pupil.”

Surprised again, he recoiled. “What? Why?”

“As I’m sure you’re aware, I’m Nerei.”

He nodded.

She cleared her throat. “My name is Athenia. I don’t belong to a clan like most of my kind. After a disagreement with our relatives, my sister and I left. For many years, we lived on our own, studying arcane arts and helping the Elders as much as possible. By earning their respect, we attained the title of Sea Witches.”

“Okay, so you know a lot. Why do you want to apprentice with me?”

She clutched his hand. “I lost Delphie.” Her eyes brimmed again. “I don’t want to talk about it, but now I have nothing left except my work. In order to help my people even more, I want to rule air, earth, water, and fire as you do.”

Thorne pulled his hand away. “Impossible, we don’t bestow those skills on outsiders. Anyway, we can’t teach them to you, unless the potential is already within you.”

“You see? Now you know why I wavered about whether to talk to you. I expected you to refuse.” Drooping, she turned away.”

Not wanting to let her go, but unsure why, he acted on intuition and clasped her arm. “Wait.”

She wheeled toward him, her eyes sparkling with eagerness. “Yes?”

“It’s forbidden to teach you to command the elements, but we can help each other. Some of my herbal remedies might be useful to you.

Her smile illuminated the area. “I’ll demonstrate what I learned, and we can create new potions together.”

He nodded. “Possibly we’ll discover something to help your people and mine. Heaven knows, plenty of difficulties bombard us all the time.”

She peeped up at him, teardrops wetting her lashes and pooling under eyes the hue of Florida mangrove leaves. He ran his thumb gently under each one, erasing the drops.

She angled toward him and pecked his cheek with her lips. “Thank you. This means more to me than you can imagine.”

 

The Sea Witch and the Mage —  Trigger warning: Explicit sex and violence and brief mention of rape. Free with KU or $.99 on Kindle.

 

Bio:

Katherine Eddinger Smits has a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of South Florida and a Masters in Social Work from Florida State University. After over two decades of helping veterans, families and community agencies as a clinical social worker, she retired to pursue her dream—writing. She has published two paranormal romances and has several more in the works.

She grew up in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Although not from a Greek background, she fell in love with the Greek culture of the town and its close-knit families. She moved away years ago, but she still visits Tarpon Springs frequently to see old friends and classmates, walk the beaches or shop and eat at the Sponge Docks.

She started writing stories in grade school and always intended to write novels someday. However, she put off writing fiction while she raised her family and worked as a clinical social worker at four different Veterans Affairs Medical Centers around the country. Although she was devastated to learn that her first career choice—mermaid, was not realistic, Katherine found helping veterans and their families fulfilling, and managed to squeeze writing into her life. Whether it was writing clinical assessments, creating brochures for social programs, or putting together newsletters for clubs and organizations, she always had some kind of writing project in the works.

Katherine lives with her husband in Homosassa, Florida and Falling Waters, West Virginia. They have a daughter who resides in Alexandria, Virginia and a son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in Chesapeake, Virginia.

 

Connect with Katherine:

Website         |           Facebook       |       Twitter       

 

 

Grab your copy of The Sea Witch and the Mage, free on KU or a steal at $.99 on Kindle.

 

 

 

More about Water Dreams, Katherine’s debut novel — a paranormal romance set in Tarpon Springs, Florida and the first book in the Love’s Siren Song series. What happens when a young woman with a water phobia falls in love with a merman who can pass as human on land? How will they save each other when they fall in love against the laws of his people? Water Dreams is available from Foundations, LLC , Amazon  , and other major online retailers.

 

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Crush

It’s good to be back with Tuesday Tales, after the stress and aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is crush. The excerpt is from a paranormal fantasy romance. Visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Realization settled like a stone in her belly. She was in the hands of the dreaded Firbolg, mortal enemies of her lineage, the Tuath. She had to figure a way out of this predicament.

Her stomach roiled from nerves and the rough trip Rhade insisted was necessary to escape the enemy. Without warning, he swung her from the mount and leapt down beside her, still clasping her arm. Shouts pierced the air. Their two escorts reacted with urgency, unsheathing their weapons and rushing toward the din.

Rhade hauled her up an incline toward a row of large rounded boulders and shoved her through a crevice and into a tight, enclosed space, landing on top of her. “They could not have seen you. You’re safe for the moment.”

Breathing was hard with his weight atop her. She pushed up at him as best she could, but her wrists were still tied together. She scrubbed the cloth from between her lips, and managed a hoarse whisper. “Damn you, barbarian. Get off. Are you trying to crush me? Who’s after you now? The Tuath?”

Grunting, he shifted his muscular form and maneuvered to the narrow crevice, peering through. “It’s the Fomor, not the Tuath, damn your eyes. Didn’t you hear their war cry? I’ve a good mind to toss you out to them.”

Her heart thudded. “You said I was safe.”

Courtesy free Pixabay

“Your wagging tongue makes me reconsider.”

“You have no reason to fear me. I’m not the priestess you think I am.”

He snarled. “I fear no one.”

“There’s no reason to hate me either.”

Blue eyes flashed. “Have you forgotten I saw you at the battle of Boyne?  Face of an angel, heart of obsidian. Your lies won’t work on me.” His voice hardened. “And don’t try any magic either, if you want to live another day.”

His words swirled around her like strums of music. He thought she would use magic on him? Human manipulation was against all she had been taught. Her lips parted, and her gaze narrowed, sorting out possibilities. Damn right she would. She just had to figure out how.

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt crush. Thanks for stopping by. Make sure to visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

 

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Review: Assaie’s Gift #RRBC

4 STARS FOR ASSAIE’S GIFT

Author – D.E. Howard

First Published – 2015 

Genre – Fantasy

SubGenre – Romantic Elements

Setting – Earth; Goddess Realm

Heroine – Kia; Assaie

Hero – Xander; Jacob

Major Theme – Love endures and heals; features parallel stories on earth and goddess realm

Descriptors – light, delightful, fanciful, as appealing as our favorite childhood fairy tale

Favorite Supporting Character – Mother, the wise old woman who took in a hungry goddess

Fun Tidbit – I’m used to reading romances with 3rd person POV. This book with its plethora of POVs was a lot of fun. Example: She still had an outfit to choose and didn’t see her mother wiping a tear from her eye as she watched Kia leave the room.

Memorable Line – “What kind of boyfriend do I have that won’t let me cut him up a little bit?”

 

Buy Assaie’s Gift – a steal at 99 cents!

 

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Strap

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is strap. The excerpt is from a paranormal fantasy romance. Visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

She made her way to the side of the bed and sank down. Her muscles had turned to water. “What does he want with me?”

There was no reply to her question. Esme’ hung a garment bag on the back of the door, slid the zipper, and held up the contents. “This is for you to wear tonight.”

She eyed the gown. It looked soft, and the translucent, golden sheen of the fabric gave the impression it was fae woven. Patches and strips of sequins glittered here and there in strategic locations, but the dress was otherwise sheer. Some of her gumption returned. “Forget it. I’m not wearing that.”

Esme’ gave an impatient snort. “Don’t give me any trouble. Put it on, or Master will send in Konrad to stuff you into it.” The woman’s face pinched into a scowl. “For your own sake, mind your manners and do as you’re instructed.”

“Assuming I do put it on, what then? What am I expected to do?”

“You’re going onstage. Look fetching and desirable when you get there. It should be simple enough for the likes of you. I don’t even need to paint your face and pretty you up like I do some.”

Her heartbeat stopped for a moment and then commenced at double time. “Why?”

“For the club members. A batch of wealthy collectors will bid for you. How you get along after that is up to you.” Esme’ draped the outfit across the bed and handed Resa a pair of 3 inch heels.

She flung the shoes at the wall.

With a snarl the woman retrieved them. “Tantrums won’t help. Pull yourself up by your bra strap, girl. I don’t have time to mollycoddle. I’ve got two others to see to. All you have to do is make the audience happy. An agreeable demeanor will increase your price. More money, happier Master.”

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt strap. Thanks for stopping by. Make sure to visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Hug

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is hug. My excerpt is from a new paranormal fantasy I’ve started. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

She held the electronic device to the edge of the door and waved it slowly up and down. She had paid good money for this little trickster. It performed efficiently, as expected. With a low muffled thud, the impressive metal door popped ajar. Marta checked her watch. Twelve minutes until the guard’s next rounds. More than enough time for her to get the prize.

Once inside, she positioned a special strip before pushing the door closed. Keeping her trek silent was accomplished by a death hug around her cross body tool bag. Moving like her cat Kali in hyper stealth mode, she made her way down the corridor and across the expanse of the Egyptian room. Ignoring the stunning displays of gold jewelry and ornate sarcophagi that normally enthralled her, she kept her focus on the mission. She exited the Egyptian room by means of a side door. From there it was a simple matter of a short hallway leading into what her quirky brain had termed Elysium since concocting this caper.

The Greek room looked sparse compared to some of the others. Items were only now being delivered, and displays took time to arrange. A few mesmerizing pieces had been already placed, however, and a set of comedy tragedy masks particularly called to her. Maybe she had enough time—no! Keep to the plan. She hadn’t been successful at this for years by deviating from a tried and true pattern. Take little. Leave a lot. Besides, she only dealt in jewelry.

She avoided eyeballing any other displays and made her way to the back of the room where delivery items were still boxed. Knowing exactly where to look was crucial. And she did. She levered the top off one of the large boxes and surveyed its contents. So many little cases and all containing treasures. Her throat closed up, and swallowing was difficult. She squeezed her gloved hands into fists to stop her itchy fingers from scarfing them all up. She sought out a small square case in a coppery color. Opening it, she gave a quick intake of breath. The necklace nestled like a harvest moon atop the red silk lining. She frowned. A splendid  ring lay adjacent in its folds. It hadn’t been there earlier when she scoped things out. Or was she so focused on the necklace and pushed for time that she simply didn’t see it? Sloppy.

She glanced at her watch. Two minutes left. She shut the case and slipped it into her pocket, and then reclosed the large container. Moving fast, she retraced her steps. Kali on a midnight run. She was securing the outside door when the glow of a flashlight bobbled down the hallway. She used the device again, this time to seal the lock.

Heart pounding, she ran down the alley to her car.

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt hug. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Guardian of the Deep is the G in A-Z

Thanks, CHRYS N. JAY!

Fellow author Chrys N. Jay performs marvels this month with the A-Z blog challenge. I blog only 2-3 times per week— can you imagine producing a post every day? Kudos to her! I am so in awe of her commitment and dedication to this blog project. My paranormal fantasy romance Guardian of the Deep is featured there as the G of A-Z. I am pleased to share Sam and Layla’s love story with you. If you are intrigued by the idea of a succubus and dark guardian falling in love, pop over to the site of CHRYS N. JAY!

Meanwhile, Marigold minds the house here. 

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

 

Fae Friday: Amp up Your Fantasy Novel with Spirit Horses

The Fomorians, Duncan 1912

By John Duncan [Public domain],The Fomorians via Wikimedia Commons

Fantasy creatures come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Regardless of the fantasy genre you write, whether paranormal as my books are, or high, low, historical, dark, urban, etc., there may come a time when you are in need of a little extra something. Done right, spirit horses can be an espresso shot to a story. Here’s a peek at a few. Keep in mind that the fae horses often share attributes and can exist in various locales under different names. Using one of these enables you to create exotic settings, but there is also the opportunity to have the creature show up closer to home in a more normal setting. Many readers appreciate blended mythologies where the author adds a new or surprising aspect to age old stories. I love to do this in my books.

The Phooka, Pooka, Puca, Pwca (and various other spellings) is a Celtic fairy horse of capricious character, sometimes beneficial to humans, but usually dangerous and deadly. One small, benign herd paid nightly visits to help a farmer’s son bring in the crops after being perceived in their willowy incandescent form. Years later at the boy’s wedding, the Phooka presented him with a magical drink to ensure his matrimonial happiness.

More often, the Phooka are portrayed as ravaging, wild, and fearsome creatures with long, jagged teeth and chains around their necks. They have a particular grudge against travelers and make it their business to lure them to their deaths. At times their nature is dark, flesh eating, and vampiric.

Not only does the Phooka appear as a horse, but it can also shapeshift into a bull, hare, and human form. The name of Shakepeare’s Puck is related to the root word of Phooka. In the movie, Harvey, the name of Jimmy Stewart’s 6 foot tall imaginary rabbit friend is referred to as a Pooka.

The Geetoe (or Gitto, Gryphon, Griffin, and Griffith) is a Welsh fairy creature with an equine head and body of a goat. Their particular brand of malice is to blight crops in the field. These creatures possess the power of human speech and laughter. However, they dislike humans and go out of their way to cause harm. They loathe children most of all and do their best to entice them into misdeeds and danger. A Geetoe’s power arises at night and extends only between Samhain (Halloween) and Beltane (May Day). The remainder of the year the creatures reside in Fairyland.

Thekelpie large

Herbert James Draper [Public domain], The Kelpie via Wikimedia Commons

Water horses can be especially interesting. One type is the Scottish Kelpie, which lives in or near rivers and streams. Kelpies are generally more whimsical and unpredictable than evil. They do not tend to stalk their prey. However, they are not to be taken lightly. Humans who venture too close are fair game. Kelpies will often maim and drown their victims, and sometimes devour them. Kelpies often take the form of a beautiful woman.

A Nuggle is a variety of water horse from the Orkney Islands. It is chock full of mischief but not evil in the sense of dangerous or demonic. It can be recognized by its odd tail that resembles a wheel.

Another type of water horse is the ominous Each-Uisge. This malevolent creature favors fresh water lakes, and many sightings have occurred in Scotland. The most famous example is Nessie or the Loch Ness Monster. The Each-Uisge can not only take the shape of a horse but also of a man or predatory bird. When in man shape, the Each-Uisge is handsome, compelling, and deadly to those who come near. In the olden days country folk knew to beware of a solitary person loitering near a body of water. A human can ride the Each-Usige when it’s in horse shape, but if horse and rider approach water, it is bad news for the human. The skin of the creature develops a bonding power that grips the human, not allowing dismount. The Each-Uisage will then plunge down into the depths, taking the rider to his death.

Fire Horses are unusual and perhaps the most fascinating type of spirit horse. In Greek mythology the god Helios drove four fire horses to guide the sun across the sky. The god of war, Ares, tamed a number of fire breathing horses. The Fire Horse is one of the sign designations in the Chinese zodiac. In my book Lord of Fire, the hero Gabriel rides a fire horse during one particularly harrowing part of the story. If you’re interested in reading how and why, grab your copy of my anthology, Dark Warriors. This paperback book also contains another of my paranormal fantasies, Time Singer.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Sun

Beach scene with sun 5-31-2016

Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a dedicated bunch that enjoys reading as much as you do. To spark our imaginations, today we could choose from among several beautiful outdoor scenes. I selected a picture of sunrise on the beach. My snippet is from an adventurous paranormal romance currently being reworked. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

The pre-dawn air hummed with energy. It rose from the crashing waves and shimmered like a mirage along the empty beach. Having just unlocked the door, Resa slid her bags inside and perched on the top step. Distant thunder rumbled, and a breeze cast a tickle of mist to her face. Were they in for an early morning shower? Her softened gaze followed the stirring waters out to the edge of nowhere. The dark gray hue lightened a shade above the magical seam where sea met sky. How far away that was. She sucked in a deep salty breath, mesmerized by the magic of the moment as the veil of night lifted.

Light trickled into the world, new, as if for the first time, billowing into orange and pink. As the sun bobbed from the sea, the waves brightened into slices of shifting golden glass. She squinted. Far out in the waters a ribbon of gold sparkled atop the surf. A sensation of needles pricked her hands, and she leapt up. Her breath hitched. What the hell? Something otherworldly approached.

The sparkle drew closer, skimming onto the beach and illuminating the sea grass into burning tendrils. It halted at her feet with a final surging loop like that of a bucking bronco. Water droplets doused over her, and Resa thrust out a palm. It seemed to be a blend of light and water.

The sparkle morphed into the shape of a horse with a rider atop. The water horse shimmered an aquamarine color, except the eyes, which were lapis. The rider dismounted, his curving lips spread into a grin.

Resa responded with one of her own. She rushed in for a hug. “Mercury, you big peacock. Do you always have to make such a dramatic entrance?”

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on sunrise on the beach. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales. Tuesday Tales

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Beat

Tuesday TalesTuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Our prompt today is beat. The snippet is from a paranormal romance currently being reworked and featuring the goddess Epona, as she is preparing for a lover’s tryst. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

“Come in. Hell’s blaze, there is no need to beat down the door.”

The old woman blustered inside. She wrung her hands together and prattled. “Milady, there is a child begging for a moment of your time. I tried to send her away, but she’s in such distress that I…well…I know you’re anxious to be on your trip, but it’s an emergency.”

Epona stifled an urge to scream. Expelling a long breath, her voice was sharp when she answered. “Oh, all right. Allow me a few minutes to prepare myself.”

“Yes, milady.” Selde backed out of the room, easing the door closed behind her.

Her lips tight, Epona shoved aside clothes in search of her magical bag. Ah, there it was beneath the orchid chemise. Peering inside, she extracted her favorite crystal wand and tied the pouch to the belt of her gown. How fortunate she hadn’t changed out of her ceremonial attire. A few moments saved anyway. She secured the lid over the incense holder on her bedside table and snuffed the ebony candle in the front room before stepping out into the night.

The luscious scent of roses and night blooming jasmine permeated the air, lifting her spirits as she hurried down the hill. She craned her neck upward. Her lingering grumpiness at the unexpected interruption evaporated at the stunning array of stars glittering in the inky blackness of a moonless night.

An errant stone wobbled beneath her foot, and she flailed her arms to save herself from an awkward tumble. Cursing beneath her breath, she swirled the wand. “Come, fire fae, and light my way.”

Hundreds of tiny whirring wings rushed to answer her bidding, and sparkles of light danced around her, creating an iridescent green glow above the meandering pathway. Epona’s lips creased in pleasure. “Thank you, wee ones.”

A few moments later in the gemstone grotto, she resumed her seat on the cushioned floor and accepted the ornate chalice offered by her trusted servant. A sip of blackberry wine might be just the pick me up needed to get her through the additional supplications.

I hope you enjoyed my take on the prompt beat and seeing Epona in her goddess domain. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other talented authors at Tuesday Tales.

GuardianoftheDeep_SM (1)Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Romance

Author on Board: Flossie Benton Rogers Welcomes Iryna K. Combs

Please welcome special guest Iryna K. Combs, originally from the Ukraine, and her new 2 flame fantasy romance with the mesmerizing title, Black Wings. 

IrynaCombsBlackWings_RoaneCvrBlurb:

A new time. A new planet. A new world. New technologies. Two new humanoid species. A new war.
The two species separate, but in the removal, some of the best are left behind among the worst. Captured and held as slaves, they are treated cruelly for entertainment. Torture. Pain.
Annabel, endures a year of such cruelty, kept alive only by way of syringes which, while healing, cause a greater agony. She discovers a secret held by their leader, and decides to help her own kind by escaping–even if it means a final death, preferable to the life she has endured.
Her escape succeeds, and she joins her own kind at the other end of the planet. Among her new friends she meets many who help her adjust to their happier life. Will Annabel find romance? Or will another war break her down?

Excerpt:
Annabel stopped at the end of the pier, and covered her face with her hands as tears rolled down her cheeks. That emotional moment had triggered memories from the Old Land and the Varkins. She remembered Kate, and how she had promised her freedom but was not able to keep that promise. She remembered her family she had lost, and her boyfriend who’d betrayed her. She wished the Big Change had never happened and she was still a human, with her family and friends. She thought she missed the Old Land, even the Varkins. She would never have thought she would think again about that dark place. Annabel stood at the pier and cried as the wind was blowing her tears away. She heard footsteps approaching her from behind.
“Excuse me?” One of the fishermen was talking to her, a crying stranger. “Something happened? Do you need help?”
“No…Nothing,” Annabel replied and turned away.
“I know we don’t know each other,” he continued, “but I have never seen an Anlight with black wings crying on the pier, so I wanted to make sure you were okay.”
Annabel couldn’t say anything to him as she knew she was not okay.
“My name’s Robin,” he introduced himself. “I come here sometimes when I feel sad too. I very well know this…”
“Why would you feel sad?” Annabel whispered, not looking at him. “Isn’t this a paradise here?”
“It is what you make it to be,” he replied. “But I have my sad days too…I lost my son before we Anlights came to the New Land and I didn’t know what happened to him. He just disappeared right before we had to leave the Old Land.”
Annabel opened her eyes and her heart jumped as she turned to look at the Anlight who was talking to her. He was tall, wearing dark pants and a brown shirt, holding his fishing pole in his right hand. Annabel looked at him for a moment and her eyes widened when the moon appeared from behind scudding clouds and she saw his face in its light. He looked so familiar she was…she knew the reason for his son’s disappearance. She turned away from him hiding her emotions.
“What was his name?” she asked quietly, predicting the answer.
“Markus!” he said. “I called him Mark. He looked a lot like me.”
Annabel closed her eyes and took a deep breath, knowing exactly what had happened to him. She bit her bottom lip, trying to hold tears from washing out of her eyes.
“He was about your age…” the fisherman continued, happily talking about his son, “Very brave young Anlight. Sometimes even too brave for his own good.”
Annabel stood quietly, trying to calm down. She took another deep breath. She knew his son was that brave Anlight who had been doing most of the talking when they were first captured by Varkins.
“I know what happened to him,” she whispered, wondering if she should even tell him the truth. Her voice began to shake.
“Oh, you do?” The fisherman sounded curious—after all, how she could possibly know?
“I was there too…I was with him…and others…” Annabel spoke while catching her breath, trying her best to talk normally without giving in to her emotions. “Nobody lived…” she finished as more tears quietly ran down her face.
“Nobody?” he questioned, needing to be sure.
“Only me…” She finally could not take it anymore and burst into tears, sniffing and catching her breath.
The fisherman sighed and put his head down, in sadness for his son—even though he had already accepted his disappearance and possible death. He came close to Annabel.
“I knew one day I would know the truth.” He spoke calmly, and with sorrow. “Thank you for coming here tonight.”
“I am sorry about your loss,” Annabel sobbed harder with every word said. “He and others were in a lot of pain…and those who died…were the lucky ones. They are in peace now and will not feel any pain again.”
The fisherman took a step closer and put his hand on her shoulder. He smiled slightly.
“Sometimes it’s hard to accept what happens to us. Sometimes the reality seems too much for us to take. But we would not appreciate the good if we did not know the bad. We are writers of our own lives, and we decide when to close a chapter, and when to start the new one.”
Annabel wiped cold tears from her cheeks as she looked at him.
“Cheer up,” he continued. “You’re the lucky one! You can continue writing your life.” He paused for a moment. “And I need to get back to my wife…fish for dinner!” He laughed, picking up a small bucket full of fresh catch. He walked slowly back along the empty pier, disappearing in the darkness.
Annabel stood on the pier for a while longer, thinking about what he had said. She calmed down, as the wind picked up and she began to get cold. She returned to the car and drove back to her house. When she pulled up, nobody seemed to be there. She looked around as she walked to the porch door, hoping nobody was waiting for her. Annabel entered her house and locked the door behind her. She was just going to call her cousin about her visit when, again, someone knocked on the porch door. Annabel recalled what had happened before, and was not in the mood to continue talking about her own or Dexter’s relations. She crossed to the door and moved the blinds to see who was knocking. However, as soon as she saw it was Dexter outside, she slid the door opens.

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Author Bio:

Originally from the Ukraine, I am still considered a new face to America. Speaking three languages including English, that became just as natural to me as my native Russian.

I grew up in a town on the south of Ukraine doing the same things that other kids my age did. Dreaming, hoping and wishing. Growing up, I spoke absolutely no English and never even saw myself somewhere abroad. Nevertheless writing a novel in another language!

I went to the local school that brought mostly negative experience in my life. But it shaped me throughout the years. My college life was much better. I was known to study well and to go out partying as much as it was possible.

In my first year of college I began to work in the marriage agency and met my future husband. We dated and traveled to most of the Europe along with Egypt.

When I finally got my fiancée visa, we both moved to the states, where soon after, got married. In the first few years I did some modeling and acting. Photo-shoots, run-way and photo in the magazine fulfilled my childhood’s dream.

A few years later I became a mother of a wonderful and most handsome little boy. Along with learning and experiencing motherhood, I began to make hand-made jewelry and organic soaps. This hobby turned into my small business and became bigger than I thought it would.

In the last year I discovered: an author lives inside me. Never did I think that I would write an English book and that I would love doing it. But I did! And I loved it!

Here is where you can find me:

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