Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Teen Reading Party!


Don't forget to enter the giveaway located at the bottom of the page! You could win a FREE ebook copy of ELEMENTS: The Beginning!

For the month of May, I will be participating in a wonderful event called the Summer Teen Reading Party! Myself and several other authors have collaborated together to begin a month long event to urge teens to read this summer by creating contests and giveaways with sensational prizes loaded with books, swag, gift cards, and more! There will be blog swaps, author interviews, character interviews and posts on various days with the opportunity to win prizes each time you follow a specific blog. If you know a teen who LOVES to read or you enjoy reading, please be sure to follow the link and catch the blog tours! Good luck and happy reading!

Check back in the middle of the month for an opportunity to win a prize bundle with all 3 ELEMENTS ebooks plus some other ELEMENTS swag beginning May 16th! GOOD LUCK!





Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Author Interview with Stephanie Keyes

Today I would like to welcome author Stephanie Keyes. She is one of the many authors involved in the Summer Teen Reading Party event and has graciously agreed to be a guest on Sired Scribblings and has answered a few questions so our readers could get to know her better! Please be sure to enter Kim's giveaway by commenting on this post. Two random winners can receive an Amazon gift card.

Also, after reading Stephanie's interview, enter to win my own ELEMENTS giveaway at the bottom of the post for your chance to win the first ebook in the ELEMENTS series, The Beginning. Good Luck!

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Stephanie Keyes, but please, call me Steph. I was born in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, in the US. Yes, I know, no one knows where that is. It's a suburb of Pittsburgh.
Tell us your latest news?
My latest news is that The Star Child was signed with Inkspell Publishing and is planned to release on September 21, 2012. Yeah! I started writing it in 2008 and have spent years writing and editing. It is very exciting to have a publisher who sees the same potential in the book that I do.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
No, for a long time I wanted to be a musician. I studied clarinet and saxophone and majored in Music Education. However, the work wasn't readily available in that field. So I moved into Information Technology and then Education. I didn't focus on writing until about four years ago, but my other experiences have given me the knowledge and financial support to write. I always hated it when my Mom would tell me "You have to have a back-up plan." Darn it, she was right! I'm glad I listened, but you can't tell her that, okay?
What was the hardest part of writing your book(s)?
I'll focus on the The Star Child here, since it's my first. I think the hardest part about writing it, was that I had no idea what I was doing at the time. I've always written, though mostly short stories or business-related content, but never a novel. When I was writing it, I always planned for it to become a novel but I had no idea how to get there. About half-way through, I realized that I needed an outline. I have never liked to outline and I can remember hating those exercises in junior high! However, when i have a character's wife, three different names I knew an outline and character list was needed! With book two, I started with an outline, and it's made everything so much easier!

What made you take the plunge and start writing?
My Dad got sick and he wasn't doing very well. It was difficult because I had a little boy at the time and I couldn't be emotional around him, it would have scared him because he was too little. So I needed an outlet for all of the emotions that I was feeling. I got an idea for The Star Child when I was in the shower of all places and I just started writing it. When I read some of what I'd written to my husband, he said, "You have to write this story."
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Absolutely. The message is that you don't need to have magical powers to do extraordinary things. In The Star Child, Kellen St. James accomplishes so many fantastic things with his brain and raw courage as his only tools. At the end of the day, I think that's all any of us have. You just have to have the guts to take that step forward, it's scary, but it's amazing what you can accomplish when you do.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, I am currently writing the second book in The Star Child Trilogy, The Fallen Stars. It continues all of the same characters from The Star Child as they navigate through the second part of the prophecy. It is like a reunion every time I go back to the manuscript. My characters are like old friends now.

What genre would you place your books into?
Young Adult, Fantasy (Epic)

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?
I have absolutely no idea. They just come to me at random times. People probably think that I'm crazy because I'll just burst out with some random dialogue in the grocery store. The other week I was picking out yogurt and I said "You're not my father!" There was a woman standing by me and she just turned and walked away. I think she was a little afraid.
Also, I'll be driving or working out and an idea will come to me. Whenever I get an idea, I'll try to tie it back to something in an earlier book in the series. I'm referring to The Star Child Trilogy, specifically. I think of the ideas as puzzle pieces and they are all interrelated somehow. So I'm constantly trying to thread themes and characters through the other storylines. I also try and tie in my own life experiences, places that I've visited things that interest me.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My favorite author is O.R. Melling. What I love about her books is the texture. There are so many layers of woven content. She brings in folklore, legends of multiple nationalities, history, etc. and ties it up into one complex, beautiful piece of work. I've enjoyed her work for several years. My grandmother told me so many tales about Ireland and the "good people"; as a reader, I get a kick out of seeing some of those same legends in Melling's books. It makes them all the more appealing to me. She's one to check out!

Where can readers get into contact with you?

Stephanie Keyes, Author
Young Adult, Fiction, Epic Fantasy

I am proud to be a featured author on:
Author Bio:

When Stephanie's not writing, she works full-time as a Corporate Educator and Curriculum Designer. She also works as a freelance instructional and graphic designer, along with her husband of ten years. My most important job of all, however, is being a mom to two little boys under the age of six. When she'd not working, mothering someone, or writing, she is an avid reader. Naturally, her favorite genre is Fantasy, but she'll read just about anything given the chance! Stephanie holds a Master's degree in Education with a specialization in Instructional Technology from Duquesne University and a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Robert Morris University. She is a classically trained clarinetist, but also plays the saxophone and sings. Stephanie's first novel, The Star Child, will be released in September 2012 by Inkspell Publishing. She is now currently at work on the second book in the trilogy, The Fallen Stars.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Guest Post with Author Ardyth DeBruyn

Today I would like to welcome author Ardyth DeBruyn. She is one of the many authors involved in the Summer Teen Reading Party event and has graciously agreed to be a guest on Sired Scribblings and has included an excerpt from her latest book! 

Also, after reading the interesting post by Ardyth, please enter to win my own ELEMENTS giveaway at the bottom of the post for your chance to win the first ebook in the ELEMENTS series, The Beginning. Good Luck!

Thank you for hosting me, Kate!  The Summer Teen Reading Party has been a blast this month.  It’s going to be a great summer.  I always used to check out a huge stack of books from the library when I was a teenager.  Now it’s even easier to pile up the books on my reading pile with the e-reader.

I was always the sort of kid who liked to make fun of everything, even things I really enjoyed, because I never could resist a good laugh.  Who says you can’t be both serious and funny at the same time?  So, it’s no surprise that when it comes to writing, humor and satire is what I really enjoy.  I love reading serious stories as well, but when I sit down to write, I find I take my favorite ones, and twist them around for a good laugh.

My first novel “Chosen Sister” uses a lot of standard high fantasy conventions and some of my favorite parts of “Lord of the Rings” to tell a story that’s both satirical, but also has a serious plot and character journey underneath.  I like chosen one stories, even if they’re overdone, and the fact that they are, makes for a lot of good laughs. 

I’ve always also been a fan of “Harry Potter” and all the accusations in the news about the books being “evil” made me roll my eyes, but also got my brain going.  What would an evil magic school actually be like?  And how funny could I make it?  Thus was born my second novel “A School for Villains.”  I actually wrote both books at the same time, but found pure satire harder to write than my semi-serious first novel, and thus took longer to revise it.  I plan to try a sequel this year.

Chosen Sister

Reina’s brother Austyn has been declared the Child Warrior, but he’s only six. What’s a big sister to do?

Allowed to accompany her brother, Reina discovers they’re in deeper trouble than she thought-the Gold Wizard isn’t shaping up to be the guide he’s supposed to be and the Red Wizard’s harpies and snakewolves are on their trail. If anyone’s going to find a way to track down the elusive Sword of Chivalry for Austyn and get him into the Red Wizard’s castle to fulfill whatever it is the obscure prophecy insists must be done, it’s got to be Reina.

Barnes & Noble

A School for Villains

Thirteen-year-old Danny is astounded when his father decides to send him to Dark Lord Academy to learn to be a villain. Pa claims it will make him stand out and fulfill his own lost childhood dreams. Being evil doesn’t appeal to Danny, but he’s always been a good and obedient son, so he goes.

Dark Lord Academy’s not just unappealing, it’s downright terrible. His advisor dyes Danny’s blond hair black and changes his name to the unpronounceable Zxygrth. He can’t get the hang of maniacal laughter, his second-in-command servant is a puke-colored monkey, and the cafeteria lady enjoys serving stewed cockroaches or fried bat wings. A run in with a hero results in hate mail and he gets caught up in a rivalry with the school bully.  The only way for Danny to stay alive is to find his inner villain.

Barnes & Noble


When Danny tries to escape from Dark Lord Academy, he finds walking across the drawbridge out of the school it seems to go on forever, the only way to possibly get anywhere is to walk backwards:

Wham! He slammed into something hard, tangled with it, and fell. Danny tensed, gripping at the wood, suddenly afraid he’d get knocked off the drawbridge.
“Oww, watch where you’re going!” He’d run into another person.
Danny pulled himself free and turned to meet the gaze of two bright blue eyes. It was a boy, perhaps a year or two older. The boy rubbed his head, mussing up his red-blond hair. He wore a bright red tunic and purple pants and was that a hint of glitter on his cheeks? Danny stared.
The boy pushed himself up and put a hand on the hilt of the sword he wore. “You could have knocked me off this thing. Be more careful.” He held out a hand. “I’m Alec.”
Danny took it cautiously and the boy hauled him to his feet. “Um…Danny. I mean, Zixy.”
Alec quirked an eyebrow and considered him. Danny self-consciously flattened his hair and shook out his black robe. Alec’s friendly expression hardened. “Wait! You’re a villain!”
“Aren’t you?” Danny realized the second he said it that Alec was too brightly colored and honest-looking to possibly be a fellow student.
I am a hero!” Alec drew his sword.
Danny took a step backward. “W-what?”
“A hero, oh, Agent of Darkness. Your evil plans will be foiled, your conniving schemes thwarted, you dastardly hopes defeated!”
“Wait, I just got here yesterday and I’m trying to leave,” Danny said. “I’m not the villain you’re looking for.”
“A likely story!” Alec waved his sword, making Danny wince. This was going to hurt unless he did something fast. “I’m not fooled by your filthy lies. You might think you’ve trapped me here, but Alec the Brave will not be deterred.” He jabbed his sword skyward to emphasize the point. “Goodness and Right will prevail. On guard, Emissary of Evil!”
“I’m stuck here, too, and I’m unarmed,” Danny protested. He glanced first right, then left; nothing but lava. This was not looking good. “It’s not fair to attack me. Isn’t killing unarmed people against the rules?” He had no idea what the “rules” of being a hero were, but it was worth a try.
“Hah! I’ve got a spare.” To Danny’s dismay, Alec reached behind his back to pull out a sword. It was half as short as Alec’s regular one, but looked just as sharp. He held it out, making Danny take another step backward.
“Why don’t I just surrender and you take me prisoner without a fight?” Danny suggested. That’d at least get him out of the school, right?
“No can do, I have to infiltrate Dark Lord Academy and defeat a villain before I get the extra credit badge. We’ll have to fight, although if you beg for mercy like the coward you are, I might consider sparing your miserable life.” Alec bent and slid the sword toward Danny across the wooden planks.
Maybe I should have gone to magical weapons class after all. He could use a magical weapon about now. Danny had practiced fighting, but only in play with his brothers. Fighting with a sharp sword for real was not his idea of a good time. “I can’t, sorry, I’m a paci—”
Alec didn’t give him an opportunity to make up any further explanations—he attacked with a war whoop.

About the author:

Ardyth DeBruyn is a native Oregonian with a restless nature and a degree in Anthropology. After hiking over 1500 miles across Europe and living on the Mexican border for a year, she settled back in the Pacific Northwest (for now) to write fantasy stories. She has decided she can type herself into adventures faster than walk.  See her website and blog at:

Ardyth, thank you for dropping by Sired Scribblings and giving us a taste of your interesting novels. We wish you great success and will watch out for more fabulous books!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Author Interview with Kim Baccellia

Today I would like to welcome author Kim Baccellia. She is one of the many authors involved in the Summer Teen Reading Party event and has graciously agreed to be a guest on Sired Scribblings and has answered a few questions so our readers could get to know her better! Please be sure to enter Kim's giveaway as well as my own ELEMENTS giveaway at the bottom of the post for your chance to win the first ebook in the ELEMENTS series, The Beginning. Good Luck!

  1. When did you consider yourself a writer? You know what I mean—the time when you realized that you crossed the line from "want to be a writer" to "I am a writer."

I first realized this when I got feedback on my poem, My Father, which dealt with abuse.  I received letters from readers who said my words touched them.  It really hit me then how powerful the pen is.  I felt I needed to share with others what I’d gone through even when some people close to me told me to ‘just let it go.’  Receiving feedback just verified that my writing did affect others in a good way.
2. What kept you writing while getting rejection letters or struggling with writer's block?

Wow, this is the million dollar question!  Yes, it’s hard to write when the rejections come but I try not to let them get me down.   Each day I wake up and tell myself, today will be better, I can do this.  And most the time, it is.  Writer’s block is harder.  In my sekrit project, somedays I feel as if I’m taking a hammer to a massive brick wall.  It’s not until I shut off my inner critic that I’m able to break through. Plus having amazing critique buddies helps too.

3. What inspired you to write /Earrings of Ixtumea?

I was inspired to write Earrings after reading book after book that had the usual Anglo male hero in an English setting.  Come on, there’s more than just the King Arthur mythology!  I also wanted to have a Latina heroine.  Someone girls could look up to. 

4. How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

I use a classical 3 act structure paradigm from the Greek dramatic works that I learned from my writing mentor Lou Nelson.   She teaches this at UCI writing extension program.  I also do character wound work and look for their core belief. Some great writing resources include: The Screenwriters Workbook by Syd Field and The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler.

5. How do you come up with ideas for your writings and why do you feel you choose some over others?

This is an interesting question.  Hmmm….  Well, I base my stories on my own life experiences.  Earrings is based on observations I had as an educator and on my own journey finding out about my Mexican heritage. Crossed Out was inspired by a personal experience I had after the murder of my sister.

Goddesses came to me on a walk after I had all these rejections.  I decided to make lemonade out of lemons.  I also get ideas from other sources such as music, what if questions, dreams-- just to name a few.

6. What kind of marketing do you recommend?

I recommend writers, especially epublished ones, to look outside the box.  I know that sounds cliché but it’s so true.  You can’t wait around for readers to find you; you have to go out to them.  I’d strongly suggest having a website and blog.  Also join professional organizations.  I belong to both SCBWI and YALITCHAT.  Both have been very supportive and encouraging. 

7. What are your current projects?

Right now I’m finishing the second round of edits on No Goddesses Allowed which has a tentative release date of Fall 2012.  I’m also doing revisions on a secret project that I hope to have ready for Beta readers in the Fall.

8. Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

Wow, I’d love to have one of my books published by a traditional publisher.  An agent would be nice too.    

9. What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? Any special memories that you would like to share?

When I taught, I was big into having my students make and publish their own books.  My husband even made this cool program where my students would be reading their books and the pages would flip on the opposite side to the page they would read next.  I videotaped my students and my husband scanned their homemade books.   This way the parents could see their children reading while seeing the book on the computer.  Well, this was a big hit.  I remember parents lined outside my room, wanting to see their child on the computer reading their own story. Then I thought, why don’t I write a book too?  So I signed up for a creative writing class at UCI extension program, and the rest is history.

Thank you Kim for taking the time to answer our questions and give us the chance to get to know you and your work! We wish you all the best and hope to see more of your books!

Kim is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card AND an awesome Swag Bag!!! Swag bag includes a free ebook of your choice, bookmarks, tatoos, a $15 iTunes gift card and a signed copy of one of her books!!! A comment on her blog = 1 entry and a retweet on Twitter or post on Facebook = 2 entries!!! Winners to be selected on June 1 by random drawing.

Fifteen-year-old Lupe Hernandez dismisses the legend about her Mexican grandmother’s magical earrings as a silly fairytale, despite recurring nightmares of human sacrifice. But when the earrings thrust her into the parallel world of Ixtumea, she must confront the very thing she shuns the most –her cultural heritage.

Author Bio:
Kim Baccellia was a bilingual teacher in Los Angeles County for eight years and during that time she didn’t find many books for Latinas that were upbeat or dealt with their heritage. During the time she wrote this novel, she was learning about her own Mexican heritage and decided to write a novel that was set in a Mesoamerican world.

Kim has also written Crossed Out, a YA paranormal and her YA fantasy No Goddesses Allowed has a tentative release date of Fall 2012.

A current member of SCBWI and YALITCHAT, Kim is currently writing the sequel to Crossed Out and a YA multicultural Sci-Fi. She lives in Southern California with her husband and son.

Guest Post with Author Jan Fischer-Wade

Thanks for having me on your site today Kate! I am having lots of fun with the Summer Teen Reading Party and I am so excited about this month long event!  We’ve got lots of great books and authors there – many for $1.99 or less. I hope everyone visits!  Make sure to read the rest of this post to find out how you can enter to win a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card!

Today I would like to welcome Jan Fischer-Wade, author of YA fiction books. She is one of the many authors involved in the Summer Teen Reading Party event and has graciously agreed to be a guest on Sired Scribblings! Please be sure to enter Jan's giveaway as well as my own ELEMENTS giveaway at the bottom of the post for your chance to win the first ebook in the ELEMENTS series, The Beginning. Good Luck!

Ahhh… summer reading takes me back to when I was in high school.  It seemed each summer I was hooked on a particular author.  One of my favorites was (and still is) Danielle Steele.  Who isnt up for one of her wonderful romances?  I love the strong women she creates and the romance.. oh the love and romance!!!  I think she has been a big influence on my writing, and I didnt even realize it until now. The books Ive read of hers didnt delve into the paranormal or supernatural, but I think those fantasy elements have been proven to work in the romance genre, and I have incorporated them in my book, Veiled Virtues, to create a unique take on modern day English knights.  Who wouldnt want a strong, sexy guy with an accent, unnaturally fast reflexes and a sixth sense about danger protecting their back? This summer, I will be working on the finishing touches to the sequel to Veiled Virtues. It is entitled Latent Legacy and you can read more about it on my website listed below!

Here is a bit about my novel, Veiled Virtues:
When Paige Stewart left America to house-sit in England, her only thoughts were to get away from her controlling mother and to have fun. Little did she know that her working holiday would find her hearing eerie voices, experiencing alarming dreams and bleeding from old scars. Although Paige's differences confuse and disgust her, she opens up to the shopkeeper of a strange metaphysical store in town, where she finds much more than tarot cards and crystals. Soon, Paige is stalked like prized game. Relentlessly pursued, her holiday takes a turn for the eerie and dangerous. Her only saving grace may be a modern-day English knight who sweeps her off her feet and recognizes the true virtues the American teen unknowingly possesses.

Veiled Virtues is available at the following sites:  Amazon  OmniLit   Smashwords   MuseItUp Publishing   Diesel   Kobo    BookStrand   AmazonUK 

Coming soon to Barnes & Noble and iTunes!!!

And Kate, I just have to say that I LOVE your covers for the Elements series. I will be adding those to MY summer reading list!!! Thanks again for having me!

About Jan’s giveaway:
Enter to win a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card!!! One lucky winner will be chosen from the commenters on her blog (including emails to her from non-Book Blogs members), "Likes" and "Shares" on Facebook and Tweets about her book, Veiled Virtues, or the Summer Reading Party site (include @veiledvirtues in your tweets!). It's that easy!!! She will be having other giveaways during the month on her blog as well, so make sure to visit it!

Jan Fischer Wade can be found online at:
Twitter @veiledvirtues

Friday, May 18, 2012

Guest Post with Author Marva Dasef

Today I would like to welcome Marva Dasef, author of YA/MG fiction books. She is one of the many authors involved in the Summer Teen Reading Party event and has graciously agreed to be a guest on Sired Scribblings! Please be sure to enter Marva's giveaway as well as my own ELEMENTS giveaway at the bottom of the page for your chance to win the first ebook in the ELEMENTS series, The Beginning. Good Luck!

SCOTCH BROOM: Book 3 of The Witches of Galdorheim
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.

Kat expects to have a great time on her graduation trip to Stonehenge. However, from the moment she leaves the witches’ arctic island, Galdorheim, she gets in nothing but trouble.  Her younger half-brother tries to horn in on her trip, she gets lost in the magical Otherworld realm, is led astray by a supposed friend, then she has to confront a Scottish goddess who’s fallen on hard times.

While dodging the goddess’ minions and trying to find her way out of the Otherworld, Kat soon learns she shouldn’t underestimate the old has-been for one second; the crone still has a few tricks that can drain a witch’s magic in a flash. To make matters worse, Kat's brother secretly followed her into the Otherworld. Now he’s in danger too.  Kat has to go one on one with the goddess to save herself and her brother.

Download a PDF Sampler of all three books in the series and the bonus short story, Spellslinger.

Leave a comment to win a free ebook of any of the Witches of Galdorheim. To win a GRAND PRIZE, read the posts carefully, then answer the easy quiz on Marva’s Blog at between May 27th and 31st. All the information and links you need will be posted.

A Diamond of a Companion

“There was green alligators and long-necked geese

Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees

Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you're born

The loveliest of all was the unicorn.”

Lyrics and Music by Shel Silverstein

This song kept running through my brain when I wrote about Diamond, a lonely unicorn, who meets up with Kat in her travels through the Otherworld. Naturally, unicorns are drawn, so Diamond immediately joins Kat’s journey to help her in whatever way he can. That’s what a unicorn is all about, right?

Lately, I’ve seen at least two books which portrayed vicious unicorns, but in both cases, the aberration was a result of some type of black magic. Unicorns are always good, rainbows and lollypops, paragons of virtue, and all-round nice guys when it comes to their attachments to innocent girls.
But is Diamond all good? Does he really have Kat’s best interests at heart? Guess you’ll have to read more than this excerpt from Scotch Broom to find out.

Kat spotted Cait Sidhe angling backward to the same spot where Sianach and Cusith were converging. Frustrated by the soggy muck, Kat could only slog slowly across the swamplands. As she neared her three companions, she spotted a pond. About twenty feet across, it was bigger than most of the scattered pools sprinkling the bogs. Tall grassy bunches topped with white, feathery tufts hid much of the pond from view. When Kat finally came near enough to see the surface, she stopped to stare.

Two horses sloshed in the pool. Sunk up to their hocks in the water, they struck at each other with raised forelegs. Strangely, neither horse whinnied or screamed, but the sounds of their huffing breath made it clear they were both near exhaustion. One horse was sky blue, the other snow white. Kat looked harder and thought she saw...yes! A horn grew from the white horse’s forehead. A unicorn! A smile spread across her face before a scowl of concern quickly replaced it. Blood ran down the unicorn’s neck, splashing into the scummy, green pond water turning it a noxious brown.

The two creatures, their muscles rippling, hooves slinging the muck into the air, appeared to be matched in strength. Steamy breaths came out in blasts from the blue horse’s dilated nostrils. Kat lifted first one leg then the other out of the mire, only to have them sucked down again. Now up to her knees, she could hardly move at all. She’d lost one shoe somewhere along the way and would have to spell another up as soon as she figured out what to do about the battling beasts.

Kat reached out with her thoughts, trying to break into the mind of either the unicorn or the blue horse, but hit the same frustrating wall blocking her ability to read animal thoughts. Then, she heard something in her head.

“Help me!” It was the unicorn pleading for aid. For a moment, Kat was puzzled. She had not been able to hear the thoughts of the other creatures in the Otherworld. She felt the sincerity in the plea and had to help the unicorn.
The edge of the pond had a raised bank, which kept the water from streaming across the bogs. Kat glanced around but couldn’t see anything to use as a weapon. Pulling her legs out of the muck, she climbed atop the small berm. When the battle moved her direction, she bent her knees and jumped as far as she could. Grabbing the long mane of the blue horse, she pulled herself forward and slung both arms around its powerful neck. At first, she thought she had him when his head ducked toward the water. Her grip didn’t last long.

The blue horse reared back on its hind legs, but Kat held on, her body whipping back and forth under the horse’s neck. When its forelegs came down hard, her hold slipped. Plunging toward the water, her stomach knotted, and she held her breath. But when her feet hit the bottom the water was not quite waist deep. She fell backward onto her rear end with her head just above the surface. Kat let out her breath in relief...until she looked up into a wide-opened mouth full of black teeth surrounded by a flash of blue. It lunged at her head. She tensed her shoulders and brought her arms to cover her face in a feeble attempt to protect herself.

The unicorn had jumped backward when Kat launched herself at the blue horse. Now it lunged forward with its head down, its spiral horn pointed at the breast of the blue horse. The blue reared, barely avoiding the unicorn’s attack.

Kat risked a glance while she struggled to stand. She saw Sianach, Cusith, and Cait Sidhe were all standing around the pond, looking on with interest, but doing nothing.

“Why don’t you help?” she screamed at them.

“Who would you have us help?” asked Sianach with a mild tone.

“Me,” Kat yelled.

Cusith jumped into the pond and slogged his way through the shallow water to her side. “Grab hold, and I’ll get you out.” Kat clutched his neck and pulled herself to her feet. Looking around, she saw that the two horses stood still at opposite sides of the pool, their heads down, sides heaving.
“What is this? I cannot believe you, you people! All I wanted was to take my Winter Abroad. But could it be that simple? No! Instead, I get a bunch of gladiator animals all intent on proving whose attitude is bigger! What is wrong with! I don’t even know what to call you!” She waded ashore holding Cusith’s fur to keep herself upright.

Sianach laughed his bugling, grunting laugh. “Not an attitude comparison at all. These two are quite intent on killing each other.”

* * * *

About Marva:
Marva Dasef lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a fat white cat. Retired from thirty-five years in the software industry, she has now turned her energies to writing fiction and finds it a much more satisfying occupation. Marva has published more than forty stories in a number of on-line and print magazines, with several included in Best of anthologies. She has several previously published books. Her latest pride and joy is the Witches of Galdorheim Series from her super duper publisher, MuseItUp.

Where to find her:
MuseItUp Author Page:

Twitter Handle: @Gurina

Witches of Galdorheim Series: