Category Archives: everyday insanity

#RRBC & OBC connections

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Just a quick up date… I decided to give a few online book clubs a try… I decided to go with #RRBC Rave Reviews Book Club, and OnlineBookClub.org  … it has only been a few days, but I have already meet some lovely people… Writers & Readers alike… 😛

Michelle Abbott from over at #RRBC even introduced me to a blog hop that I will be doing in the months of Feb and March… if you see #EggcerptExchange in the subject line, you will know that my usual dose of insanity will be coupled with the introduction of an author I have meet while hopping around… Annnndddd …

In the book front, I have some good news/ bad news… (well for me, not so much everyone else) I realized that the title Twin Findings would be perfect for book three of the Finder’s Keepers series… which means I now have to decide on another purrrrfect title for book two… grr….

still time for free reads

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there is still time to win free books and prizes from GWP for those of you that didn’t win the Christmas mystery box… head HERE to find out more… happy wordage…

indoor tornado

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OMG… so I live downstairs and mom lives upstairs… and I love my basement apartment… or I would, if it didn’t leak… now, the leaks used to be a lot worse, but mom had drains and pipes and rocks and… well all kinds of stuff… down to the outside of our home and it seemed as if the leaks were fixed… so we tore up all the ruin carpet and had hardwood laid down in its place…

Thennnnn…. I mom and I were straightening up the clutter… something that I had put off forever (we are talking a few years) I had straightened up the front areas enough for my own comfort… MS had me looking at the tasks and cringing… but eventually mom said she wanted to come down and visit and she couldn’t with all the mess and clutter… (it really was bad)… so, as we walked back and forth across floorboards at the back of the apartment when suspicious water seemed to ooze up between the boards…

I started paying closer attention, and noticed warped boards, and eventually I located some mold… this just wouldn’t do… so now my lovely floorboards are being pulled up and my animals and I are staying upstairs with mom… not really a problem, but she seems to have a cat allergy… lol…not good… but I love my cat… so to keep them both happy, I purchased a five dollar cat bed and placed it in front of one of the living room windows…

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Now everyone is happy. and my home will be fixed up good as new… in a year or two… 😛 first we have to find the evil water points of entry, and get someone to do the heavy lifting for us… 😛 Hopefully I am overestimating the timeline… if not, I am afraid that mom will choke on the animal hair… man do my two pugs and one cat shed enough to fill a pillow case a day…

Happy wordage everyone, Tracey

Rebels and Readers 2016

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woo who… tickets are going on sale later today… just go HERE to get your tickets to the 2016 book signing event… there will be tickets to the signing (both VIP and general admission) and tickets for the Friday night MIXER… drink and socialize with the authors, models, and friends from previous years… Follow the link for more information…

*you can even check out the list of attending authors if you follow the link….

woo who… plan to come and play, enjoy the fun and games, and the books at every turn…

RARAE 2016 IS GOING TO BE A BLAST!!!!

 

Monthly Goods

I have been thinking… blogging is very important to a writer but what do I really have to say to people besides my writing??? So what did I come up with??? Monthly goods, or more accurately, weekly goods… Like the first week of every month I could update the world on book progress…

The second week of every month??? How about Multiple Sclerosis facts from my point of view… I mean, we all have issues and problems that we have to deal with on a daily basis… it is only through exposure that the scary and unknown can be faced… as human beings we have a very long history of lashing out at what we don’t understand… I actually had a woman screaming in my face when i parked in a handicapped parking space… not cool… but when you first look at me, i  look healthy and in the prime of life… HA… after I was near tears and screaming back that she could call my doctor up for my latest MRI (possible foul language involved) she became meek and started explaining all the reasons why her behavior was acceptable…. still not cool… I know that explaining my day to day MS blues might not help with parking lot attacks, but if those I know and those I interact with know what MS is and how it can affect my reactions and health, then hopefully misunderstandings can be avoided… but lets be a little more fun with the topic… lots of facts, and some oops, the MS made me do it stories… (like the time I threw my diet coke in my own face because of an arm twitch…)

Week three??? Lets do art time… I love all things art… and when I need to recharge (aka: give my brain a rest) I put down the evil edits and do something artsey… paint an oil painting, design a bracelet, and I plan to start making my own pendants…. the clay has been bought, and soon the pendants will be created… muhahahaha… not to mention the design book mom picked out for one of my Christmas presents (shhh, don’t tell)

And finally we rap up the month with Random Chat… like ranting and raving about my favorite shows and movies, the local restaurants, and vacation fun… and everything has to be full of pinterest pictures as well as my own pictures…

But that only takes up four days out of every month… that is a lot of days left un-blogged… boooo…. these are the early days of my writing career… which means I have time to put in a few more blogs than the more famous authors… So lets put in a few book reviews when I have read something new (which is my other pass-time) and random daily insanity posts… woo who… for now, happy wordage every one, Tracey Clark

day 6 Contest

Enter to get the Gone Writing Publishing Newsletter HERE and you have a chance to win the Santa Box containing books by all of us here at GWP… winner will be announced on Dec 18…

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now for my pick of Favorite Book to Movie???? That would have to be Pride and Prejudice … the most recent version… I love Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet…. I have watched that movie a hundred times… and read the book a few dozen… 😛

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If you decide to repost this post, please use the hashtags  #15DaysofGWPAuthors #GWPGiveaway to help spread the word … good luck and happy wordage… tracey

Games and Prizes

12108995_555424677947517_4151683208772372376_nCome over to the Facebook party ‘Christmas Romance 2015’ for games, prizes, and an excerpt of Finder’s Keepers Book Two… I will be dropping in at 8pm EST…

go HERE and enjoy!!!

Another Chance to win

Okay… here we go… follow this LINK and enter to win some fabulous book in the New Age genre…

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Just leave a post/comment a the end of the page to enter… and then check out all the other contest set up for our holiday entertainment 😛

15 Days with GWP Authors

‘this is a giveaway and one (only one) lucky winner will win a set of GWP Author’s (unsigned) books that have been published in 2015. This includes, Jeri, Jane, Colbie, VL Locey, Nicola, Annalise, Tracey, and my books’ -Mary Smith

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From Dec 2 – Dec 16 you can catch our answers to these daily questions… we will be posting to various social media sites with the hashtags  #15DaysofGWPAuthors … & … #GWPGiveaway

Woo who… Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Yule time & Yalda, New Year beginnings, Kwanzaa, Hogmanay… and all the many others… Let’s celebrate the end of another year together. When you catch these posts, take a moment to stop and sign up for the GWP newsletter. Once you have signed up, you will be entered to win a Christmas Box full of free books.

Between Dec 2 and Dec 16 click the Newsletter Link and enter to win…

You will win a copy of my first novel Shocking Finds (A Finder’s Keepers Novel)

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And here are the links to my fellow Authors so that you can check out what you have in store by signing up for the newsletter!!!

First we have our Publisher and the creator of all this Santa box yumminess

‘Bestselling author of A HOCKEY TUTOR and co-author of OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN and THE PENALTY KILL TRILOGY with Lindsay Paige’  – Author Mary Smith

I’m not sure which books Mary will decide to add to her Christmas Box surprise, but they will all have been published in 2015… so hot and new… woo who… Next up, I will start listing my fellow authors, but in no real order… think I will just go by the order Mary wrote to us in the opening lines of this post… and here goes… Remember, these are not in any order, and the books pictured are not guaranteed to be picked to be placed in the Christmas Box…. I just liked the covers 😛

‘I’m a full time day dreamer and part-time writer. Although that should probably be the other way around. I like to write about LIFE and everything in between, including love and HEA’ – Jeri Williams

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‘I live in a small town called Burton on Trent, Staffordshire in the middle of England. This lovely little town is famous for making beer, and I have called it home since I was born. My name is Jane and I write under the name of J A Heron.’ – J A Heron

‘Colbie Carter’s debut novella, Sold Into Salvation, released in November 2015. Having a passion for writing since her early teens, Colbie has been jotting down short stories and poems to free her active imagination’ – Colbie Carter

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‘I’m an author of M/M and M/F erotic hockey romances. Skate hard and love deeply!’V.L. Locey

‘I am based in the UK, working full – time and writing is my escape from reality. I hope you all enjoy reading my books as much as I did writing them’Nicola C. Priest

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‘Author of Contemporary and Military Romance.‘ – Annalise Blaze

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And now I am off to my writer’s cave… starting tomorrow, don’t forget to sign up for the GWP newletter to win a free book from each of these amazing authors… Happy Wordage, Tracey

GWP Newletter

Ups and Downs/MS Blues

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For the most part, I deal with my illness (Multiple Sclerosis) and limitations with a positive spin. It isn’t easy but I look for the high points I can still have. Butttt… the ups and downs are still there. Looking for and sharing the UP moments helps me and those around me to deal with this scary reality.

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Why am I sharing this with you guys? Because it is human nature to fear and avoid what we don’t understand. I have found that being upfront and completely (the embarrassing, funny, scary, ludicrous, and at the painful) honest helps to bridge the awkward moments when I lose my words, break into tears, or look at a simple phrase with a million mile stare.

But dude… I grew up dealing with dyslexia, a little word soup is nothing new. I learned to laugh at my Duh moments. I learned to enjoy the fact that reading upside-down or backwards was a breeze.

Learning to deal and laugh about my brain and body having incorrect responses took a little longer but for the most part I have learned to roll with the punches and enjoy the things I still have in my life. I got my vision back, I relearned how to create my arts and craft hobbies, once in a while I have the energy to cook again, and best of all… I learned to create stories for others to enjoy. The edits are still a pain and at times near impossible, but I have others willing to help me out by stopping my missed words.

I’m thinking of making some MS themed swag for next year when I take my book baby, Shocking Finds, and hopefully his little sister to the Rebels and Readers book signing… over three hundred authors asked to sign up for the event, but only about 75 of us were able to make it in. I can’t wait to sit among my fellow writers and experience the event from their perspective. Okay… I am a little freaked out but excited… 😛 I plan to locate a chair that will allow me to sit through the hours without as much pain… most seating is a killer…. even if I have to pad the thing with pillows, I will be there…

That will be a definite UP moment… something to balance out the DOWN moments. Like Scorpion… I love that show, but omg … I cried my eyes out as I watched Walter’s sister die. I had held up hope that the geniuses of the show would find a way to help her at the last moment, but instead I sat there watching my worst fears. It took a few days and my mother’s support to bounce back to my positive outlook.

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I swear, I couldn’t stop crying… and not silent tears.. NOOOOO… there was mucus, hiccupping sobs that interfered with my breathing, and swollen eyes. It wasn’t pretty. When I went upstairs and saw Mom, I warned her not to watch if she didn’t want to cry. She told me I shouldn’t be watching Scorpion. At which point, I burst back into tears and almost shouted, “It’s not like they can kill her twice.” lol… just one of those over the top emotional moments for this MS gal… And it’s true… it was horrible but it isn’t a moment that the TV show can repeat, at least not to that degree. Now… if they kill off Ralph, the cute genius kid, I will have to call it quits… I love his character… brainiac kids are sooo adorable…

Besides… it is the awareness brought to the disease by Scorpion, Shemar Moore’s Baby Girl clothing, and other celebrity involvement/exposure that will spread the word and help the world to understand and want to help out with the further the cure cause.

And now that Thanksgiving is over and my down moment has passed, I am headed back to edits. I still have a couple of days left of NaNoWriMo to add to my word count. I already hit the 50k goal line… wooo who… in fact, Book Two is now at 72k words. It is looking like Book Two will be in the 80k range, shorter than Book One – Shocking Finds. But then Book One in the Finder’s Keepers Series took on the heavier burden of opening up the world of Marin and Kyland. I can’t wait to wrap up the edit rounds, and start looking for Beta Readers.

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Every day is all about admitting what I want, and then understanding what I can take on today and what has to wait for another day. Understand that those you know with MS may be hiding a multitude of pain, they may have uncontrollable emotions and freak out when the sun beats down, or move slow with their actions and reactions… but everyday is different… all they need is your understanding and support… I hope to see you all at Rebels and Readers Nov 2016 and even if you might tear up, you should definitely check out Scorpion… Happy wordage, Tracey

A Thank You to Anna Durand

Go to Anna Durand‘s site to see her interview about Shocking finds… and check out her Paranormal collection…

I am closing in on the NaNoWriMo goal line… woo who… i hope to have all the edits and beta reads finish by January, and then polish Book Two of the Finder’s Keepers series for you guys…

it may seem like this is happening way to fast…

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*pinterest pic

but the truth is that i finished about six rough drafts before i managed to get Shocking Finds published… now i am focused on freshening up each story and getting the hand written material on the computer to be fluffed up into a proper rough draft… lol…

don’t forget to comment on my Fall into Romance Blog Hop Post in order to enter for a chance to win a copy of Shocking Finds… Nov 22 is the last day to comment…. good luck everyone and happy wordage… now it is back to the Writer’s Cave for me… Tracey

whoops … i lied

okay… so, it was a little lie… I warned that I would be internet absent until NaNoWriMo ended, but I just had to let everyone know about the latest blog hop winner…

Claire Rheinheimer  won a free copy of Shocking Finds by participating in Lu Ann Worley‘s blog hop….

Rockin’ Book Reviews

Lu Ann was good enough to include my novel in some of her hops… and she is the queen of hops… so stop by and see if you can win her next contest… congrats Claire

Now I am off to finish working on the second Finder’s Keepers novel

V.L. Locey drops by on her blog tour

One of my Gone Writing Publishing peeps was kind enough to drop by and chat with us… she also wants to introduce us to the steamy life of female pro hockey… oooo… I can’t wait … 😛 enjoy

Fighting the bumps in the writing road…

I’d like to thank Finders Keepers for hosting me today! I love visiting blogs and chatting with folks about my books and the writing process. Most generally, the writing road is a relatively smooth one for me. I don’t usually struggle with writer’s block too often. If anything, my problem is having so many ideas vying to be written at once. It’s like trying to separate the wheat from the chafe at times.

“Yes muse, this idea about a women’s pro hockey team is boffo! The one about the ninja chimpanzees who fight zombies while riding Harley’s may not be exactly what we’re hoping to write, but good effort!”

You always have to speak to your muse politely or they get tiffy and no author wants a tiffy muse.

Occasionally I’ll get slapped with a round of doubt and start comparing myself to other author’s. When I begin to do this, I try to stop myself as quickly as I can. I cannot be J.K. Rowling no matter how much I wish I were. I can only be V.L. Locey, the erotic hockey romance author. If I am writing the best hockey romances that I can, then I need to stop making comparisons. Generally the round of doubt will only last a short while, I’m a pretty upbeat person overall. Hearing from a reader that enjoyed your book is the best way to help pave over the potholes in the writing road!

What do you do to fight off a case of the self-doubts? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

Skate hard and love deeply,

V.L. Locey

cleansweep

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Clean Sweep
SERIES – Venom Series
AUTHOR – V.L. Locey
GENRE – Erotic Hockey Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – Sept.26, 2015
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 155 pages/57,500
PUBLISHER – Gone Writing Publishing
COVER ARTIST – Reverie Design


 

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Clean Sweep - New CoverFiery, flame-haired Jane Bratkowski is catapulted from a small college town to Philadelphia to become head coach of a new women’s hockey team, The Venom. It’s a life-changing opportunity, a dream come true until – in a cruel twist of fate that could turn into a nightmare – she comes face to face with her ex-husband Tore Ahlberg, the Wildcats’ head of European Scouting.

Suddenly, Jane’s faced with more challenges than she bargained for: Will she let him distract her — and derail her big chance to coach pro hockey? Can she build a team of relatively inexperienced, irrepressible young women into champions? Can she and Tore triumph over the gut-wrenching tragedy that ripped them apart — or will the shocking truth of their passionate past threaten to destroy them once again?


BUY & TBR LINKS

AMAZON KINDLE US
AMAZON KINDLE UK
BARNES & NOBLES NOOK
GOODREADS


 

EXCERPT

It was on the tip of my tongue to ask him how, or why, he remembered so much from our years of wedded bliss. Instead, I marched into the bathroom, Pomeranians in hand, then shut the door on him, his tie, and those damned recollections of a time best left in the past.

I washed my face then set to work on detangling. I accomplished this with snarling expletives aimed at long dead ancestors. The boys were restless. I laid down my hairbrush then snuck over to the door. I couldn`t hear my ex on the other side. I cracked the door just enough to peer through. Tore was standing at the sliding glass door. He still cut a fine figure from the back even though he was now in his early fifties. Wide shoulders, lean waist, long legs. The sun made his straw-colored blonde hair look like spun gold. It was time to stop, Jane. I had thought to ask him to walk the dogs but after that Rumpelstiltskin moment, perhaps a brisk walk would do me good. I closed the door quietly. Ten minutes later I stepped out, face freshly scrubbed, hair beaten into submission, and dogs in dire need.

“I have to get dressed,” I told Tore when he turned from the city to look at me.

“You want me to leave?” I nodded. “We were married, Jane. Unless you have done some alterations, there is nothing I have not seen before.”

I felt a slight flush rushing up behind the freckles on my cheeks. “There have been no alterations. Go wait on the patio. I mean it, Tore. Don`t give me that stupid look. Go.”

“Stupid look? I have a stupid look?” he asked, a definite twinkle in his eye. A sharp comment was resting on my tongue. I swallowed it back to be nice. It was only seven am. Even ex-husbands deserve a small kindness from time to time.


 

AUTHOR BIO

Author Photo - VL LoceyV.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and three Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.


 

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Goodreads
My blog
Tsú


 

GIVEAWAY PRIZES

$20.00 Amazon Gift Card

ENTER THE AUTHORS GIVEAWAY HERE


 

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This Event has been Organized & Hosted by:
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This NaNo writer has fallen behind… As reparation to this offence, the voices have demanded that I ignore all social media and set my fingers to work… no more book parties, no matter how much fun I had at the one I threw on Saturday, and blogging is to postponed until I hit that 50k word goal, or December 1st brings NaNoWriMo to a close… I have a second novel that needs to be sent through a round of edits, it also has a few holes that need to be filled… now that Shocking Finds is out, the voices demand that I get their story finished and ready for the public… it is way past time that I complete said edits, and the voices will not rest until they get their way…

Thankfully, they have allowed me to post two more blogs… the first blog is my way of helping out my fellow author on her blog tour, and the second will feature a piece that Anna Durand was kind enough to put together featuring Shocking Finds…

happy wordage, tracey

Fall Into Romance bloghop

Ahhhh…. Fall is the best time of year, especially in Ky

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My favorite Fall Activity has to be taking pictures of all the changing colors, the leaves falling to the ground in reds, yellows, and browns… and so many other colors. It is also the only time of year that I feel comfortable walking through the trees. The cool crisp air gets along with my MS, and I get to enjoy the outdoors. I love the way the world smells and feels.

I also love to paint and write in the fall, not that I don’t normally love these activities, but fall seems to recharge my battery. It seems right that my first book was released this fall. Shocking Finds is a paranormal/fantasy romance at its best… Fae assassins, betrayal, and undeniable lust…

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Now for the giveaway portion of our blog hop… to be eligible, comment about your favorite fall activity and on the 22nd I will pick a random comment to win an ebook copy of Shocking Finds…

Now head back over to Sexy Scribblers to check out the other giveaways/posts… the Sexy Scribblers will also be giving away a grand prize … woo who … just click on the Raffle Copter Here

Sexy Scribblers Giveaway

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check all the wonderful writers out HERE

Nov 11 Paranormal Love Wednesday Blog HOP

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Join the blog hop, check out some Paranormal Lovin’

HERE

My contribution to this HOP is a snippet of Shocking Finds (A Finder’s Keepers Novel)… the link to Amazon as well as a page with all other buy links can be located at the bottom… now here is your never before posted excerpt… enjoy

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She’d overreacted. Again.

Walking into Finder’s Keepers, Marin admitted just how screwed she truly was. Her small electrical problem got worse every time she lost her temper. And the person she needed to ask about said problem? Marin had shocked the shit out of Kyland and watched as he disappeared. Crap and double crap. Her latest episode had ended with the death of both her television and most of her living area lamps. She couldn’t afford this new gift. If she lost her coffee maker, Marin would be having her new power bound, or cut out, or whatever happened when a person chose to have a gift removed.

Looking around the office, counting all the antique furnishings, Marin started to second-guess the merit of her intentions, running in to pick up some Finds to work on at home. Between the French terra cotta flooring, with oak wood inlays, and the antique Persian Sultanabad rug running underfoot in the sitting area, the cheapest decorative items to be found were the Tiffany lamps and other assorted light fixtures, fixtures that could explode at any moment, raining glass down on all in sight. Not exactly a cheap mistake to have to clean up.

On top of everything else, the hospital had informed Marin that Lindal remained in her coma-like state. She didn’t understand what little information the nurse had been allowed to give her over the phone, and the lack of solid facts was enough to drive a saint over the edge. Waiting for visiting hours, to speak to someone face to face, had Marin’s nerves on edge.

Did Lindal have internal injuries? What did the doctor think? Marin could only remember walking back to see Lindal. Everything else remained a blur. A surreal and crappy day. She just needed to kill a couple hours— or five. Add in the drive time and she should get to the hospital just in time to sit in the waiting room. Okay, she needed more to do. Even driving under the speed limit, the hospital was only forty minutes from her house, just outside of the city.

Freezing in place, Marin remembered her poor van. She had allowed Kyland to take her home, to desert her vehicle.

Continuing down the hall, Marin reworked her day to accommodate her van’s retrieval. She couldn’t keep driving Lindal’s car.

As Marin passed Anton’s office, she heard the answer to one of her problems. Kennith’s voice boomed out into the hallway, and Kennith meant Finder cases that involved the Finds that Anton said that she wasn’t ready for but hopefully he would make an exception just this once. She didn’t normally work on those, but she was desperate.

Sure, Kennith worked for the SBI and mainly worked with Finders that had previous law enforcement training, but maybe they would allow her to help out in some small way.

Marin walked into Anton’s inner sanctum and came to an abrupt halt as Anton and Kennith turned disbelieving eyes her way. Shoving her hands into her pockets, she anxiously bounced from foot to foot, wondering if she should have knocked. Anton’s policy had always been an open door policy. If the looks aimed her way were any indication, things must have changed. This was her first time seeking Anton out in his office, and the door had stood wide open, but that clearly didn’t mean come on in.

The level of silent scrutiny became uncomfortable, a suffocating tension building in the air. Really, Anton could just ask her to come back later. He owned Finder’s Keepers, after all.

“Did I do something wrong?” Marin couldn’t believe that her one hope at creating a distraction from her day looked to be one more log for the stress pile.

“Come in and shut the door, please.” Anton’s voice came out crisp and demanding.

This couldn’t be good. Anton had never had a closed door meeting with her. Or with anyone that she could remember.

Marin frantically tried to think… What had she done wrong? She needed this job. Unlike most Finders, she had to work Finds. She didn’t have a choice. She would be overwhelmed by her heightened senses without her current job. If she went too long without a Find, she started to feel her senses pulling, searching for the lost without her permission.

Working at Finder’s Keepers had become the perfect outlet for Marin’s overwhelming senses. She could unwind and keep her senses from overloading while Anton happily pointed her in the most profitable direction.

Marin pushed the door closed and squared her shoulders, trying to prepare herself for the worst, while doing her best to block out the increasing buzz in her temples. The stress of waiting for Anton to speak had her head ready to explode. Blinking rapidly, Marin smoothed her sweaty hands against the top of her paintsplattered jeans, trying to remain calm.

If Marin didn’t want to lose control of her emotions, and her gift, out in the waiting area, she definitely didn’t want to start blowing up Anton’s office. She couldn’t help but stare in dread at the vintage Lalique Perruches glass lamp perched in a place of pride on Anton’s desk. The damn lamp cost nearly five grand. She had cringed at the price while helping Anton locate an antiques dealer to replace his broken one. Now she shook her head, accepting the dock in pay that would come her way, once the shit hit the fan. She didn’t know what the chairs and love seat had cost, or even the elaborately carved bookshelves, but the Persian rug would be another twenty grand or so, should the flying glass from the exploding lamp do any damage.

The way Kennith kept gawking at her maybe she was dying. Then again, maybe he was. There was no way that much shock on one man’s face could be healthy. Any minute now, Kennith would surely pass out. He didn’t even appear to be breathing. Marin focused on Anton, instead. Kennith obviously needed some privacy. No one should be seen looking so weak. He was a police officer, for heaven’s sake, and he looked ready to run, throw up, or just keel over on the spot.

“How?” That one choked out word didn’t come from an expected source. Apparently, Kennith could still speak. Now, if he could start making sense.

Marin waited for more. How what? When it was clear that Kennith either couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say more, she looked for Anton to finish the question.

Anton said, “You’re radiating power, my dear. Then, of course, there is the question of your soul-bound shadow. I think our friend Kennith is asking about the nature of this increase in power as well as the acquisition of said shadow.”

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Other Buy Links

Rebels and Readers Event

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I was so nervous to be volunteering at this years Rebels and Readers Event… soo many readers and authors running around and I didn’t have a clue what to do… I felt like a fish out of water… 😛 thankfully, the feeling of community and acceptance was just as strong there (face to face) as it is online… I even managed to come out of my shell a little.. as a life long lover of living in the shadows being forward usually gives me heartburn…

By volunteering, I got the chance to interact and do a test run of group interaction… now don’t laugh… there are a lot of people that think this type of attitude is silly, or just an act… But I was that girl that got the solo, but didn’t really want it… I loved to sing, but thinking about all those people staring at me … well, I threw up before every concert… lol… being at the Rebels and Readers Event was a lot like that… (No vomit this time) … one of the things I have started doing in order to push my limits is to immediately tell people that I’m shy, that I don’t know what I’m doing, that I’m afraid I will screw up… this help by letting others know that I am not bitchy or stuck up, I just don’t know what to say or do… they gave me a task to concentrate on, and once I started feeling comfortable, I allowed my inner jokester to come out (the one that usually only comes out to play when I’m around friends and family) the other thing I have been doing to help myself become more outgoing??? I hum or sing to myself whenever the action slows down and I don’t have a task to focus on… silly, but it works for me … singing in front of people used to instill horrible fear, even more than speaking… by using my voice in this small way, I keep myself from hiding in those welcoming shadows…

Check out the Rebels and Readers’s BLOG for all kinds of book goodies

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The Event seemed to go really well… the authors voiced a lot of thanks to Amy and Tanya (Rebel and Readers Queens!!!) There were dozens of give-a-ways and raffle games… The crowd packed in from 10am-2pm on both Saturday and Sunday, enjoying all the free swag and numerous books to purchase… The above picture is from Sunday, which contain about half as many people… double the number of people you see in the picture and you still can’t imagine how packed it was… lol… walking through the room was a challenge but worth suffering the overwhelming body heat… Rock on Authors…

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Why the heck am I wearing a sweater, you ask??? it was under 40 degrees outside and the air conditioning was on high in the event areas to combat the number of people enjoying all the lovely books… Casey L. Bond took pity on me as I shivered in my short sleeved shirt (early in the event before the crowd brought in the body head) She is a lovely person, not to mention a awesome author… you guys should definitely check out her books… And how cute it is that sweater… I loved it, and need one of my own… lol… The sweater promotes the lovely Cambria Herber’s Nerd Series… Another wonderful author… she has so many must read books, as well as information (on her blog/follow the link) for authors like me that feel like they are drowning in the Promotional aspect of being a writer…

I am glad I got to volunteer this year… It gave me a chance to watch the authors in actions and take notes on what I should do when I become one of their number… Shocking Finds  will hopefully have a table to display itself next year… now I need to get cracking on finishing the next book… Seriously, the authors and readers were great… I can’t wait for next year…

Don’t for get the contest to win a free ebook copy of Shocking Finds (A Finder’s Keepers Novel) ends tomorrow at 10am… I thought the contest ended at noon, but sorry guys, it ends a little earlier than that… just go to CD Hersh’s Blog and leave a comment on Shocking Finds Friday Feature… Woo who…

Happy Wordage, Tracey

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Just a quick update… NaNoWriMo and other writing musts have marked November at their territory… this means my fingers are cramping, my eyes are drooping, and my brain is screaming that it has been overbooked… lol… but it’s only one month Right? RIGHT! 😛

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Anywho… I posted earlier this week that there would be a contest to win an ebook copy of Shocking Finds… and that contest will start tomorrow… go to CD Hersh’s Site for a chance to win… the link will go live at 1:30 AM EST tomorrow Nov 6…

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We’ll collect the email addresses of commenters who post on your showcase weekend (Friday to the noon the following Monday) and send the winner’s name and email to you so you can contact them and arrange for the prize delivery.

-CD Hersh

Just Click HERE to read her post and enter to win!!!

alrighty… that’s it for now guys… i’m back at the word-mill for now… happy wordage, tracey clark

Off to a running start… NaNoWriMo

Woowho… 9am and I have 2,090 words written toward my 50K word goal… that is a lot of words, peeps… I plan to rack up at least 2K more… yep, I’m insane… lol… but the cushion is a must… especially if I plan to fit in Karen Chance’s latest novel on Nov 3… OMG, am I excited about this book!!!

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I love her Pritkin character, and just have to find out more… I want him to get to be with Cassie… *swoon***AHHHH!!!!

There are a few other books on my must read list, but Reap the Wind is at the top of the heap… I have a lot to do this month… Between NaNo, books I want to enjoy, and family, I have a few guest posts to organize (both ones featuring me on someone else’s site and a few post for my own site featuring other people) Oh, boy… I also need to continue making swag… I have some booklets, which are palm sized and contain the first few chapters of Shocking Finds… They are the cutest things I have ever seen… and they were a pain to figure out… lol… It was like a puzzle, a brain teaser, but I finally figured out a templet

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I also plan to make some more bookmarks when I have time… sorry about the pic, but I had a devil of a time taking the picture… I laminated them before adding the beads, so the light keeps bouncing off that… but trust me, they are cuties… the templet for those was a lot easier…

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working with the small evil (but cute) beads tends to cramp my fingers up… but come one… I have plans and stiff fingers only slow me down, I refuse to be stopped… muhahaha… maybe that is why I decided to make a few bracelets… I am getting so good at them that I need a few for myself…

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Yep… I love those things… lol…

But the most important part of November is NaNoWriMo… most of the month will be about writing (editing and fluffing out the chapters) book two of the Finder’s Keepers Series… I’m also writing a short story for one of the minor characters… one that I already love, and may end up using more in the forefront, but that is up to the voices in my head… really, the voices are in charge… *no there not, yes we are, no way, we’ll give you a migraine if you don’t comply, I’ll kill off your character, We’ll give you… WRITER’S BLOCK… muhahahahahaha* 😛

alrighty… I’ve gotta go finish my internal fight, and continue adding to my latest novel… happy wordage, Tracey

Blog Tour Wrapup

I want to thank everyone once again for helping with Shocking Finds Blog Tour… you were all great… the writing community is by far a supportive and loving group, full of inspiration and that added push that we all need from time to time…

The final Blogger for this Tour, Dante Craddock, did a great job on the Author interview… visit this Blog to read a few more probing questions, then stick around and check out the site… Dante Craddock’s site is full of Interviews and Spotlights… as well as a bunch of other goodies… You can also check out some of Dante’s work… woo who, wordage 😛

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Marin Yarthine had trouble containing a childish giggle or two. She had managed to locate an Orion Starbrary Indigo Violet Aura Lemurian Seed Quartz Crystal for her boss. The longest, oddest name for a rock, but Anton had been very specific. Besides, she was the best Finder at Finder’s Keepers, who better to go on this mission.

Okay… so her job wasn’t actually to go out in the field and complete Finder’s missions. Finds were completed by a different department. Marin knew that she was nothing more than a high paid researcher. She could take a piece of cloth and tell you where it had been, what had been near it, who had touched it, and more importantly, she could visualize where any related objects might be located.

Yesterday, Anton handed Marin an old textbook written in something that looked like Latin, and asked her to Find a rare crystal for his collection. The words on the book cover had been meaningless to her, but once Marin had held the fragile text in her hands, she had known exactly where to go.

Marin had wanted to complete just one mission on her own. She had been prepared to search the dank and cold Kentucky cave systems, not stopping until she had her Find. It was a simple case, with no danger involved. She would never attempt the kidnaping cases, or one of the Finds involving a murder weapon.

Marin had been surprised to feel the newest store in the area, Crystal Sights, pulling at her Finder’s gift. Anton had sworn up and down that the crystal would be hard to locate. Aisle six – rare gems and crystals—was not her idea of difficult. In and out and no one had gotten hurt.

Her aunt, Lindal, refused to even allow her to look at the building as they drove past, and now Marin had been inside and explored.

Marin had completed her first solo Finder’s mission. She had located exactly what Anton needed and managed to purchase a crystal of her very own. Not that she believed in crystals and magic. Her aunt had explained how her own ability, to locate the lost or stolen, was the closest thing to real magic left in the world. If Lindal knew that Marin had purchased one of the crystals for herself, her aunt would lose her ever lovin’ mind.

For once in her life, Marin didn’t care. She had felt the heat coming off her crystal as she held it in her hands. Maybe her aunt was wrong. Maybe the shopkeeper had told the truth, and the fragile but beautiful rock would help Marin come through her Transition with more protection and control.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

“Eep.” Marin barely managed to turn her full throttled scream into a small startled cry. She crashed into the small angry redhead, the one suddenly blocking her path, as she cleared the store exit.

Marin snapped her lips together on the urge to ask her aunt questions. Like where the hell she had come from? Trying not to lean away from the look on Lindal’s face, she waited for the sarcasm and disdain to flow. When Lindal merely stood there, glaring in silence, Marin whispered, “I had to run an errand for Anton.”

Lindal’s face brightened to a nice deep red, as her arms crossed, her mouth flattened out in displeasure, and her foot tapped out her impatience. “Don’t lie to me, missy. You work in the office or at home. You do not run around mingling with charlatans.”

Marin held her tongue, her heart beginning to race. She hated fighting with Lindal, and there was no way that this tirade was over. Lindal did more damage with words than lions did fighting over dinner. Marin wanted to be one of those people that could take a browbeating with a grain of salt. But she knew that this time wouldn’t be any easier to take than the other rants spouted over her nearly twenty-one years of life. Lindal’s personality could be vicious, and hard to take, but Marin didn’t have any other family.

Lindal jabbed her dainty finger at Marin, her words hissed with the pressure of contained rage. “Do you want to die like your mother? Do you enjoy making me worry and endangering your life like this?”

Marin lowered her head and whispered, “If magic isn’t real, then I should be safe enough. This is the only unscheduled stop I made.”

“Don’t back talk me, girl. Magic is for fools. And places like this are for those too weak to hold on to their money, those willing to purchase lies because they are unhappy with the imperfections they were born with. If your mother had stayed home, she would be alive. Instead, she was mugged in some back alley and left to bleed out with the trash.”

Marin flinched, yet yearned to hear more. It was the most Lindal had ever said about her mother, or the events that had led to her death. Taking a chance that her aunt would continue sharing, Marin asked, “Is there any way to be safe?” She wanted to ask more about her mother, but feared that Lindal would clam up if she pushed too directly.

“Listen and listen good. People, those freaks with meddling gifts, can see how weak you are. They are abominations, just like you, but they can and will plant thoughts inside your mind, and lead you into danger. Everyone has enhanced senses these days, but you are an oddity. Abnormal, just begging for some fool to believe he can steal your curse, and use it for his own plans, by taking your life. The crap sold in places like this will not give you a shield from the evil in this world.” Lindal had explained many times over the years that Marin had been born without the natural shield that protected a person’s mind.

“But if there are people that can play tricks, put thoughts in your mind, then maybe there could be some small magic that’s real.”

Placing the bag with her new crystal protectively behind her back, Marin fought not to back away from her aunt. The look in Lindal’s eyes told her plainly that she had pushed too far. Any sign of weakness would light a match to these attacks. “Tricks. Nothing but tricks. Your mind is just too weak to figure them out.”

Marin ground her teeth together and avoided her aunt’s eyes. Feeling her hands tighten around her gift bag, her eyes sought out the parking lot for anything to distract Lindal. Marin needed something for both of them to focus on, so that she could get her impotent rage under control. Getting defensive never helped. The woman looked weak and innocent, but ruled their home with an iron fist and razor sharp words.

Instead of continuing to explain all the reasons that Marin had screwed up, Lindal stiffly turned and walked into the parking lot. Apparently, her aunt planned to wait for a private moment to vent the rest of her displeasure. And vent she would. Lindal’s stiff movements and flushed complexion warned Marin that the conversation coming her way would be one of the worst.

Marin didn’t need the lecture repeated. She had it memorized. Rocks and stones are just that. Real magic didn’t exist. She needed to stay at home, safe, except for work. Blah… blah… blah. But Marin wanted more information. How did ordinary people put thoughts inside someone else’s mind? How did her co-worker’s little boy manage to move objects out of her reach when Marin wasn’t looking?

Not knowing what else to do, Marin followed Lindal into the parking lot. Lindal would be in a snit for days.

Marin still couldn’t contain the occasional squeal, though she attempted to keep them as quiet as possible. She needed to get her happiness under control.

Luckily, she had the entire length of the parking lot, to calm herself down. The lot seemed to have more cars than the entire area of Ashland, Kentucky had residents. Crystal Sights had managed to expand on the word grand in Grand Opening. Someone had had the good sense to combine the opening with the beginning of the area’s yearly festival season. Marin didn’t relish Lindal’s anger, but still thought that today had turned out better than she could have hoped. Smiling, she glanced around, as she walked behind her aunt, taking in the different types of shoppers.

Marin watched as three little old ladies climbed out of a bright yellow Caddie, their hair ranging from hooker red to bonnet blue. She saw a younger man pulling his reluctant girlfriend – or possibly wife – from the cab of their truck, her very pregnant belly leading the way. The woman was shaking her head, pointing to the insane number of people, still lining up to enter the store. Marin tried to stop herself from bouncing with every step, not wanting Lindal to see her happiness. This was the closet she had come to attending one of the hometown events, thrown every spring. Festivals that would only become larger when summer finally arrived.

Across the street, by the river, Marin could even see the over-night-assembled rides and concession stands, being mobbed by crowds of yet more tri-state citizens. So many types of people rushed around, laughter in their eyes. Even the pregnant woman had managed a smile, once she made it out of the truck and into the man’s arms.

Every squeak of excitement that Marin failed to contain received a reprimanding glare from Lindal. But Marin was too hopeful to allow Lindal’s mood to kill her joy completely. Claudette – the store owner – had called the stone a Maturation Crystal. Marin’s fingers still tingled from when she had touched the crystal earlier, giving her hope for her Transition Birthday. Everyone went through their twenty-first birthday hoping that they would have better control of their enhanced senses. Even if her birthday came and went without an improvement, the crystal marked Marin’s first independent action.

Marin didn’t want to fight; she wanted to celebrate. With that in mind, she put on a burst of speed, passing Lindal, as she said, “Where are you parked, Aunt Lindal?” Marin wanted to get in her car and head for home before Lindal started listing more ways that this trip had been a mistake. An evening alone in her art studio, admiring her Maturation Crystal, sounded like perfection.

Marin crossed her fingers that Lindal wouldn’t be as irate as the time that Anton had encouraged everyone that worked for Finder’s Keepers to participate in self-defense classes. Marin had been excited. The free classes took place in the gym, off the back of Finder’s Keepers. As far as bosses went, Anton ranked with the best. He even allowed her to compose her Finds at home, in her private studio. The information she came up with helped other Finders on their missions, and working from home kept Lindal from bitching.

Great work hours or not, Lindal still despised the man. Her sneering had managed to run Marin out of more than one room when the subject of Antonius Slade came up, especially after the self-defense debacle. Marin had managed to keep the classes a secret for two years before Lindal found out. And boy had that been memorable. Lindal had found and burned all the workout clothes and the fighting stick that Marin had stashed in her van. She flinched, remembering how the blaze had lit up the front yard, and how Lindal’s reddened face seemed to match the flames. Lindal had burned with rage, expressing her displeasure by instituting her own version of self-defense classes. Marin rubbed her sore hip, trying to shake off yesterday’s lesson.

Marin had gained a good ten feet of distance from Lindal before her aunt decided to reply. Reply and reprimand. “Slow down, child. It is rude to run in public. And I took a taxi, so that we could talk on the ride home. Talk and decide what to do about your current attitude.”

Marin stumbled a little, but otherwise didn’t reply. She absolutely refused to allow anything to put a damper on her spirit. As long as the crystal remained in her possession, she could handle any punishment.

Lindal sneered as she inquired, “Why in the world did you park so far away?”

Marin slowed and turned to walk backward. She couldn’t believe that Lindal chose to ask such a question. “I had hoped that by parking as far away as possible, I could avoid the humiliating gymnastics needed to re-enter my vehicle. That woman we passed a second ago? She was actually climbing in through her sun roof. I don’t know if this type of place is always this packed, but if so, they need more parking. I was lucky to find a spot, no matter how far away it is. But I admit that I concentrated on the area to the rear of the parking lot. Everyone fights for the ones closest to the store. I swear that broken down Toyota back there was circling the lot when I first arrived.”

Marin watched, as the poor rusted contraption made its rounds. She felt sorry for the car, and the driver. Mostly, she felt bad for everyone currently being forced to breathe in the ozone killing balls of smoke emanating from the Toyota.

“Turn around and walk correctly. They can have our spot… once we get there,” Lindal hissed. Her aunt ignored the opportunity to vent some of her rage on the circling motorist. The parking lot had so many cars that the grassy incline along the edges of the parking lot had begun to fill up with unrepentant motorist.

Marin turned and quickened her pace as she yelled, “I’ll just air the car out.” They were almost to Marin’s van, which always smelled of oil based paints and some before-the-invention-of-odorless substances. Mainly, Marin wanted to put off the fight building with each of Lindal’s hissed and clipped words.

“Don’t turn the car on. You’ll…” Lindal’s words ended on a grunt of pain.

Before Marin could turn to look, her aunt’s body flew over her head. She watched her aunt tumble through the air and land, with a sickening crunch, on the hood of her van. She realized that the frighteningly loud cry filling the air was coming from her own mouth, but Marin couldn’t stop. Lindal’s body slid to the ground like a rag doll, a line of blood marking her movements along the bright orange paint. Mere seconds had passed, but Marin felt like she had been frozen to the spot for hours, consumed by her disbelief.

The sound of squealing tires caught her attention, but Marin stood rooted to the spot and continued to scream. Her body refusing to obey her commands.

Eventually, the other sounds in the vast parking lot penetrated her haze. One moment, she was happily looking forward to exploring her new crystal, watching the dozens of other shoppers laugh and dream of the wonders to be found on this perfect spring day. Now, she watched as the only family she had ever known crashed onto the unforgiving asphalt. The need to complete a mission, or purchase her own crystal, started to feel pretty hollow.

Forcing her way out of her hysteria, Marin snapped her mouth closed and glanced around as she rushed forward. The Toyota she had pointed out to Lindal was moving in reverse as she ran for her aunt. No innocent circling for that murderous bastard now.

Marin looked back at Lindal, and her ears filled with a high pitched ringing. She tried to convince herself that this couldn’t be happening. She knew that POS Toyota was to blame, even without seeing the car ramming into her aunt’s vulnerable body.

Marin reached Lindal’s side, attempting to forget about assholes with toxic road rage, so that she could focus on her aunt’s wounds. As she fell to her knees, by Lindal’s broken body, she heard an engine being revved. She could smell burning rubber as she twisted to glance over her shoulder. A horrible metallic noise rent the air, as the Toyota bounced off the lane of cars, and angled in their direction.

Marin sat slack jawed as she realized that the man had the balls to make a second attempt. The Toyota was scrapping along the nearby cars, hell bent on committing death by rust bucket. She didn’t know if she was more upset that someone wanted to kill both her and Lindal, or that her van was about to be harmed in the process.

Marin couldn’t move Lindal to safety, and she refused to leave her alone. She glanced frantically around, searching for a miracle. Run down though the car was, it was still out of her weight class.

Marin twisted back, to face the oncoming vehicle completely, her hands in the air. A plea for mercy? A supplication or a surrender? Marin didn’t know. Time seemed to slow as the Toyota came closer. She felt her usually denied emotions rush to the surface, her anger leading the charge. She felt the rage heat along her skin, begging to be released.

Holding her ground, Marin remained kneeling by Lindal’s side. A blood-curdling scream left her mouth, and for the first time in her life, she allowed her feelings to come to the surface with destructive force. In that moment, Marin felt no fear, no shyness. Just rage. A rage that felt at home and welcoming as it exploded in the air. Even her confusion and denial – those feelings she felt most at home with – had been buried under this red-hot mixture of emotion.

A jolt of pain, from some invisible force, threw Marin to the ground. Lying on her back, her head pounding, she felt as if the invisible entity flowed from her body and zeroed in on the offending car. Her skin tingling, Marin watched, through eyes of indignation, as the tires on one side of the car suddenly left the ground. The Toyota was thrown into the air and onto the tires on its other side. The car slid off course, hitting the vehicles on the opposite side of the lane, and continued to tip, until it was rolling away from Lindal’s defenseless body. Crashing into the cars perched on the grassy incline, at the end of the lot, the Toyota rocked to a stop. It had looked like the car had been encased in some kind of protective shield, a wavering bubble of air, as it rolled away from Lindal’s position.

Marin shook her head to dispel the insanity. Shields didn’t work that way. Lindal had explained that a shield was an invisible defense, in the mind, to keep out unwanted thoughts and ideas. She felt the back of her head, wondering how hard she had managed to hit the asphalt. Did she have a concussion?

After the Toyota had slammed off the cars in the grass, tottering back and forth, it finally landing in the correct upward position. Marin didn’t know what had just happened, and at that moment, she didn’t care. She took a second to watch, as the Toyota clipped the back of a few cars, and miraculously sped away.

The smell of burning rubber and the sound of a hanging bumper, creating sparks along the pavement, were the only proof that this nightmare had ever happened. That and dozens of dented automobiles. The way the Toyota had rolled away from them, as if a giant was playing with his Tonka Trucks, would haunt Marin’s nightmares for a long time. She decided that the entire event needed to be firmly placed in her denial box, and she moved to check on Lindal and to call for an ambulance. She needed help; she needed help now.

Kyland Marcuson’s left eyebrow lifted, as he stood staring in disbelief. Seeing a woman with the power to move a few thousand pounds of metal, or even the brutal act of vehicular homicide, didn’t move him. These acts were common place to those of the Supernatural Community. The astounding number of people exiting their cars and the store, to stand around gawking also left him unmoved. Supes and Norms, supernatural beings without power, alike enjoyed a good train-wreck-worthy incident. Even the powerless humans enjoyed viewing tragedy.

After all this time, he had finally found her. Kyland had searched for Marin for more than twenty years. He had managed to locate her, only to watch as she fought for her life. Kyland shook his head and allowed the pull of the woman’s essence to lead him to her side. His Queen had given him this mission, saying only that she would be the one to save them from the Danshue—the evil Fae.

Once the Queen vanished, Kyland had made it his sole purpose in life to locate Marin, a small babe he knew nothing about. The end of his journey, and the child was now a beautiful woman, with more questions surrounding her than answers. Her blonde hair, big blue eyes, and button nose gave her a vulnerable look. A look that was obviously a lie.

Kyland also felt surprised at the lust tearing through his system. He was here to protect this woman, not bed her. Still, those curves… Marin had to be more than a foot shorter than his own 6’8″ height, but she was still built like a dream. A dream he wanted to memorize with hands, mouth, and tongue. Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, Kyland continued forward.

People stood on the sidelines, watching and waiting, afraid to step forward, to help. Kyland pushed and shoved people out of his way to reach the woman he suspected to be the woman he was searching for. When he’d undertaken this mission, more than two decades ago, he was told that the child he needed to find and protect would have no real power. Her biggest gift should have been an overabundance of sensitivity. She should have been as close to powerless as she could get, without being human or a Norm. Apparently, some very important information had been withheld.

On the other hand, Marin had appeared shocked as she watched the car’s near miss. Maybe she didn’t understand her abilities, abilities that she shouldn’t have. Kyland could see in here eyes a slight refusal to believe the reality she now found herself in. He had watched as she shook her head, physically pushing away her confusion.

Kyland was close enough now to feel the denial coming from her psyche in waves. Her emotions were so strong; he could barely focus on anything else. He could also see that the Queen had left out a thing or two about the child’s identity when they’d discussed this mission.

Damn, damn, damn. Right now, Kyland needed to check on Marin and the woman lying at her side. But he needed to move forward carefully. He didn’t want to frighten the young woman, especially after she had just been traumatized. He needed to save her friend, if possible, and slowly build a connection, a bond of trust. If she were the correct person, then… then the future of his people would depend on her. He didn’t understand, not completely, but the Queen had given him a name, a location, and a time frame. He needed to find Marin, somewhere within Earth-side, before her Transition.

Well, if this was Marin, he had the woman/child; he was in Kentucky, so he was Earth-side, just like the Queen’s prophecy; the time frame was the remaining key. Kyland had less than a month left to complete the first step. Hopefully, the rest would fall into place, and by the end of the year, the Queen would be returned.

Kyland had spent the last two decades learning every new medical procedure, every medical aid techniques of any discipline, as they were improved on. The Marin he was sent to retrieve had been kidnaped, and kidnap victims were rarely treated well. Why else would she be stolen at birth unless it was to harvest her power? Supe children could be used as batteries, for the sadistic and depraved. Evil men and women, or Danshue, that sought power above all else and were willing to do anything to obtain it.

Dropping to his knees, Kyland could see that the woman on the ground didn’t appear to be breathing. Time was short, but still he approached slowly. Perhaps the surrounding crowd of useless onlookers had the right idea. If he was correct, the beautiful blonde could toss him across the parking lot, if he surprised her.

“Do you need help?” Kyland slowly reached to check Marin’s friend for vitals, before tilting the head, to begin CPR. The woman he worked on was extremely small, broken, and bleeding. Her flaming red hair seemed familiar, but Kyland couldn’t worry about his patient’s identity. Not with a confused and wary Marin, watching his every move.

“Please… I don’t know… what to do… I can’t…” Marin didn’t know if she should trust this stranger, this mouthwatering man, but she needed help. Lindal needed help. She had already called 911 and told the operator what she could, but now her phone had disappeared. The best Finder the U.S. could offer, and she couldn’t even locate her own cell phone. She held her hand near the side of her aunt’s face, afraid to touch her. Didn’t the people in movies always stay on the phone when they called 911? She needed her phone. What was she— How could she—

Marin couldn’t breathe. She was screwing up. Lindal was hurt. She should have told the operator more. Couldn’t. Breathe.

“Do not worry. Just take a calming breath and work with me. I need you to stabilize her head for me. My name is Kyland, by the way, and I will do what I can to help, if you will let me.” Kyland took her hand, and it was suddenly easier to breathe. “Can you do that?”

Kyland had a manly beauty, one that sculptors would kill to etch. She found it hard not to stare at Mister Tall, Dark, and Handsome, her eyes continually jumping back to outline his features, even in the midst of her worry. He had to be nearly seven feet tall, and his eyes gleamed like flecks of coal.

When Kyland leaned forward to recheck Lindal for breath, Marin could see that his eyes were actually an extremely dark gray. His hair fell in a wave of black silk, to his shoulders, and his muscles looked edible in a glowing reddish brown tone.

Kyland had one of those year round natural tans that women the world over dreamed of. Marin would have assumed a Native American background, but there was just something more, something different, about him.

Marin gave herself a mental shake, to push his looks from her mind, and focus on the woman that had raised her. She would do anything and everything asked of her. She would follow Kyland’s lead and hope for the best.

Nodding her head rapidly, Marin moved to Lindal’s head to do as indicated. She had a purpose. The ambulance was coming, and Kyland would help Lindal until they arrived.

Marin hated the way that Lindal treated her, but she wanted distance and independence, not this. This couldn’t be happening. What if she lost the only family she…

Just as the panic started to take over again, Marin felt someone squeezing her hand. Kyland gave her comfort as his other hand rechecked for a pulse.

As the blonde did as instructed, Kyland continued compressions. He couldn’t think of her as Marin, not yet. There had to be another reason for her to look just like- Kyland took a deep breath, to focus on the here and now. He had cleared his patient’s airway, while sending a healing spell into her body. It would help, but whether it would be enough or not, he didn’t know. He had to get her breathing again if he hoped to save her.

Kyland had done two sets of compressions, and was bending to blow air into her lung, when the woman took a deep breath on her own. Her eyes snapped open. Eyes that he knew, hated, and could never forget.

“You…” The word slipped out of his mouth before Kyland could think about stopping himself. He barely managed to cut off his words before a barrage of her suspected crimes left his mouth.

Well, damn. Kyland hadn’t recognized the injured woman with her eyes shut, but he should have. The wrinkles were obviously an illusion, but the fire engine red hair, the small stature… and now, those liquid sliver-green eyes couldn’t be denied. Only one person had eyes the shade of mixed mercury and vibrant new grass. Lindal Rencoff. Murder, treason, the thief of power by painful means… the list of her suspected crimes went on and on. Lindal needed to be tried for crimes against the Queen and Fae alike, for being Danshue—a Fae willing to lose his or her soul in exchange for stolen power.

The Queen definitely hadn’t informed him that he would find the woman/child that he was looking for with the traitor Lindal Rencoff. What the hell was going on here? His mouth turned down; Kyland had to fight the urge to wrap his hands around Lindal’s neck.

Every Supe in the Supernatural Community believed that Lindal had been cut down, marked as one of the dead or missing, in the last Great War. Instead, she’d hid among a bunch of humans, with her kidnap victim— a woman the Fae people desperately needed. He ran his hands roughly over his face and looked to the heavens for some kind of sign.

Kyland’s gaze darted around to locate any other enemies but found only curious onlookers and banged up cars and trucks. He took a moment to decide if he should call in back up or not as his gaze went to Marin. Why had he been sent alone on this mission?

To answer that, he first needed to answer one every important question. Did the Queen fear her own people?

The fact that Kyland had been sent alone, to retrieve someone that deserved an armed escort, was pretty much answer enough. Had the Queen foreseen that she and her entire house would be cursed and hidden from the rest of the Fae, from the entire Supernatural Community, never to be seen again?

Kyland had been sent alone on this mission, and he had nearly failed. Watching the car closing in, he had known that he would not make it in time. Even moving out of phase—as one with the shadows—Kyland would have been too late. None of his personal magic could have stopped the car from taking the life of the woman he could feel calling out to his essence. He had spent over two decades in search of a poor defenseless child in need of protection, only to find that Marin had the ability to save herself.

The car had been pushed and flipped, as if unseen forces had been displeased. If it hadn’t been for his ability to sense the magic being used, he might have believed the unseen forces theory. After all, he had been told that Marin couldn’t reach, or use, her gifts yet. Dammit. If the power he had felt represented Marin’s untapped gifts, they would all be in a world of trouble if he couldn’t find a way to ease Marin’s power slowly past whatever had them blocked.

If Marin’s gifts exploded from their containment all at once… more than just her psyche and body were in danger. It would be like the magical version of an atomic bomb. Kyland had less than a month, and eventually time would run out. The block had to have been placed over Marin’s psyche, her power. A block Marin’s power had managed to break through, like it was child’s play, only to disappear completely once the danger was past.

Yep. Kyland was in deep and all out of paddles. This mission became more important with every passing second.

Chapter Two

Her perfect crystal now lost in the parking lot of Crystal Sights; Lindal was in surgery fighting for her life, and Marin gazed blankly at the ugliest green wallpaper she had ever seen. Hospital waiting rooms shouldn’t remind a person of moldy vomit. They should be peaceful and comforting. Reminders of the split pea soup incident from the Exorcist were neither peaceful nor comforting. Even a stark white would be more pleasant that the current color palate.

Marin feared that the need to scream and never stop would finally win out. She wanted answers but also needed to forget. Right this second, she’d settle for a nice friendly coat of paint. It would give her mind something to focus on while she waited for the doctors to fix her aunt.

Body shaking like she needed a large hit of the newest controlled substance, Marin pulled her knees up against her chest and rocked quietly in her less than comfortable chair. She glared at one of the chipped areas of vomit-itis paint. It had been hours of waiting with only her headache, stale coffee, and these horrendous walls to keep her company. Everyone else in the room had managed to fade into the background, her mind uninterested in their presence.

The door to the waiting room opened, causing Marin to glare in that direction. A man in hospital scrubs searched the room for someone. His mouth moved, not that Marin could hear anything over the pounding in her head that caused her ears to ring. The name tag proclaimed that this was Dr. Criss. He had a nice looking mouth, but the rest of his features remained out of focus.

Marin counted the handful of people waiting for news, shocked to realize that the room held a deep well of silence. Surely, there should be something to hear. The quiet murmur of loved ones consoling each other, the drone of the television, or even the gurgle of the coffee pot, but Marin caught nothing like that. She couldn’t even remember if the room had been so full when she first arrived.

The doctor looked straight at Marin and walked in her direction with purpose in his posture and compassion on his face. Was he speaking to her? Her feet dropped to the floor at the same time that her gaze sought out anyone else sitting nearby that could be his intended target. The warring emotions, to get answers and to deny that any of this was real, fought for supremacy.

Marin examined the people sharing the room with her closer. An elderly woman with two small children worked to console her youngest child. No more than two, her little face contorted in distress and hopeless anguish, as she sat clinging to her grandmother. Tears ran down her little rounded cheeks. Her face red and body shaking, the child ignored modern rules of society, and expressed her pain the only way that she knew how. It looked almost freeing. Still, she heard nothing.

Marin could see a man on a pay phone, another man holding a softly crying woman, and a few teens. But not a single sound managed to accompany their actions. Her eyes took in the expressions of pain and sadness, but her mind refused to allow her to hear their distress. That seemed wrong.

The doctor had nearly reached her side. Marin couldn’t see that as a positive sign. The paramedics had told her that things looked good; the beautiful stranger had promised everything would be fine before he had disappeared. Lindal’s breathing had seemed even and controlled when they’d pulled up to the emergency room doors. Marin just couldn’t see how anything good could come from five hours of uncertainty after all the positive lies.

The doctor stopped in front of her, his lips still moving. Maybe he had a tick or something. Marin fought the need to smile. The doctor’s brow crinkled, and he reached out to touch her face. Grasping her chin, he lifted her head up. When he moved closer, to look into her eyes, Marin jolted from the chair.

The world was suddenly rent by a mournful cry, a cry that only the young could dare make. Not yet fearful of what others will think, a child will throw her head back, and shriek her pain to the heavens. Marin wanted that freedom. The little girl with the head full of auburn curls and the extremely healthy lungs continued to cling to her grandmother. Her pain the first sound to shatter the unnatural silence of the waiting room.

The silence hadn’t been that bad, in a way. Marin preferred the denial.

“Miss Yarthine?” the doctor asked.

Dammit. Marin finally made eye contact with the doctor. She needed to do better. She needed to focus before she ended up with her very own hospital gown.

Afraid to speak, Marin just continued to stare. Wanting to release her own cathartic wails, she wrapped her arms protectively around her body, and managed a small nod. She felt something touch her shoulder and glanced back in the doctor’s direction, not remembering when she had turned away. This had to be shock. There was a constant buzz emanating from her temples, and that couldn’t be good either.

Marin’s head felt like a stranger. She could feel this ticking beat, as if her heart had managed to make the climb in to her head. The noise in her head kept changing. Sometimes, she felt like she had a few bees in residence, and at others she just knew that an angry band had taken to using the space between her ears for practice.

Did that mean she was in shock? Or maybe, Marin had hit her head harder than she’d realized. Someone had checked her out. She remembered…

Smiling kindly and reclaiming her attention, the doctor said, “Your aunt is unconscious at the moment. She hasn’t woken yet, so we’re keeping her in the ICU, at least until she wakes. Visiting hours are over until tomorrow afternoon, but I think we can let you come back to see her for a few minutes. Her brain received quite a trauma. All her other injuries appear stable for now, but the brain… we really can’t know more until she’s conscious.”

Marin didn’t know what to say. Her head bowed, and she covered her mouth with a shaking hand. Her knees wanted to buckle. She felt weak as the weight of so much worry lightened. With a barely repressed sob, Marin managed to choke out, “Thank you.” The news wasn’t perfect, but at least her aunt was still alive.

The doctor turned to leave, and Marin followed him and a nurse that had managed to go unnoticed. Somehow managing to find the strength to make her legs steady, as they went down the hall, Marin couldn’t help but feel impatient. She wanted to run, to see Lindal with her own eyes.

Maybe if Marin held Lindal’s hand, felt her precious warmth… Who was she kidding? Marin needed her aunt to open her eyes and give one of those frosty glares that she had perfected over the years.

Marin’s hand flew up to catch an inappropriate giggle, and the buzzing in her temple started pulsating to a new rhythm, but she didn’t care. She needed proof that Lindal was still alive, that her only family member would continue to make her life miserable.

The small room where they finally stopped, sat behind a glass wall, the privacy curtain only partially closed, so that the end of the bed could be clearly seen from outside. The crash cart sitting within easy reach of the door left a less than comforting ache in Marin’s chest. The sooner Lindal could be moved to a less threatening room, the better.

“Ten minutes. But then you’ll need to come back during visiting hours,” the nurse explained in a firm, but sympathetic voice. The doctor had already disappeared.

Marin could barely hear the nurse’s words; she seemed kind enough, but at that moment, Marin wanted to be alone. Seeming to understand, the nurse gave her another sympathetic look, and left Marin to peek around the curtain by herself.

Lindal’s small form, lying quietly in the midst of tubes and wires, barely filled half of the twin-size hospital bed. Her aunt had always been small, even shorter than Marin’s own five-foot-two-inches. In the hospital bed, the force that naturally radiated off Lindal’s every movement became subdued, and her strong personality lessened. Her aunt look abnormally vulnerable.

Rubbing her arms, Marin wanted to take a step away from the unreal sight; instead, she forced her hands to grip the footboard tightly. She had come so close to losing Lindal.

The paramedics had arrived quickly, but they never would have made it in time. Marin wasn’t stupid. Lindal hadn’t been breathing, and that meant one thing, and one thing only. Lindal had died. With only Marin to help her, she would have stayed that way. Stranger or not, Kyland had saved Lindal’s life.

Kyland had come out of nowhere and disappeared the same way. Marin shook her head, doubting that she would ever be able to find him or thank him. On one hand, some unnamed tension left her body at the thought that she would never have to face him again. Face the emotions he’d stirred. Still, his absence left a hole in her heart, and a choking thickness in her throat. Which made absolutely no sense. Marin knew nothing about this man. How did he cause confusion strong enough to overwhelm her mind? Marin shook her head. The who and where of Kyland were problems for another day. Right now, she needed to focus on Lindal.

Marin needed answers. Like why had they been targeted? The parking lot hadn’t exactly been lacking for vehicular violence victim contenders. There had been a group of at least four women, standing by their cars, chatting. If there was a target more deserving of vehicular rage, it had definitely been that group of women. They had finished shopping, and courtesy demanded that their parking spots were to be relinquished as soon as possible. Why not them?

The man—and Marin was only guessing that the driver was a man—had bypassed those without parking lot etiquette and zeroed in on Lindal. If she had continued her slow progress through the parking lot, would Marin be in this horrible room with its beeping monitors and bleached air instead of Lindal.

Staring down at her aunt’s unmoving form, Marin tried to find a place to rest her hand. She needed to touch her. She needed to know that the only person willing to take her in, after the death of her mother, was really here and still alive.

“They will find him, Lindal. He won’t get away with this,” Marin made her vow as quietly as possible, not wanting to disturb Lindal’s recovery.

Glancing up to keep tears from falling from her eyes, Marin noticed something swinging off of Lindal’s oxygen line. “What the…” It looked like a Barbie doll with wings, perhaps six inches tall. The odd little creature wore a loin cloth and sported some overly obvious male attributes. Was it wrong to be checking out the abs of someone no larger than a child’s toy?

His arms tugged and his muscles bunched as he attempted to make a knot in Lindal’s oxygen line. His silver skin tone went beautifully with his tri-colored wings— a mix of light purple, maroon, and gold. The little man didn’t seem to realize that Marin was staring at him.

“Stop,” Marin shouted. Dammit, this was a hospital. She needed to lower her voice. She also needed to go upstairs to the psych ward. Head trauma, shock, or hallucinations¼ something wasn’t right. If she told Lindal about this, her aunt would call her every kind of fool.

Hallucination or not, she grabbed the little man by the wings, pulled him from Lindal’s oxygen line, and tried to speak more calmly. “What do you think you’re doing?”

She finally had her figment’s attention. A striking, though small, pair of lavender eyes glared at her through overly long sandy brown bangs. On closer inspection, she could see that his hair was actually multicolored. It seemed to go from crystal white sand to bronzed gold.

“Well, answer me. What do you think you’re doing?”

“Waiting for you, of course.”

“What are you?” She was losing it. The buzzing in her temples was increasing. And she was now speaking to a figment of her imagination. Yep, she needed to be medicated.

The creature put its tiny fists on narrow hips. “A Sprite, of course. Don’t you know anything? I have my work cut out for me.” Now she was being insulted by her imagination. Great.

“Nope. Too Much,” Marin said and tossed the little man with wings out of the hospital window. She needed coffee. Either that or a large dose of Thorazine. Maybe both.