Saturday, March 1, 2014

Promo Blitz: Rivulet by Jamie Magee - Excerpt & Giveaway

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Rivulet - PROMO Blitz
By Jamie Magee
YA/NA Crossover Paranormal
Date Published:  November 2012

Unfathomable forces have always contested Genevieve Indiana Falcon, known as Indie. The curse of her cold touch entraps her just as the grief ignited in her past torments her. Yet, her mysterious ability to dream while awake saturates her in the belief that she was not always anguished. There is hope that one day a true peace in her soul can be found.

Foolishly, Indie assumes she has contained her life in an odd balance, and she cherishes the visions she sees of the enigmatic boy that held her in a lost time, but can never reach. She grieves for a life she fears she'll never possess, and that grief is a weapon she uses against her aunt who stands between her and her inheritance.

Weeks away from her twenty-first birthday, the date where she would assume control over her family legacy, a night terror robs Indie of the balance she was clinging to. Like the dream she had before she lost her family, it predicts a fatal catastrophe on the horizon. The fight between life and death, good and evil, began the moment her thundering heart awoke her.

Everything changed after that dream. The one thing that keeps her curse at bay is stolen, and then the enigmatic boy arrives in the flesh. Face to face with her fiery born-again lover Indie realizes that the only way she can prevent the tragedy before her is to surrender everything she was, is, and could be.

Can she bend the laws of nature and fight the improbability that fire and ice could ever be one? As far as Indie is concerned, there is not a myth, spoken fate, or curse that is stronger than her stubborn desire to have it all ... including him.


“Who has you bothered?” I pushed.

“A few. But there is someone that is not thrilled that I’ve kept our friendship a secret.”


I glanced around the bar, noticing Wilder displaying the same disdainful glare as Cadence. Gavin had already decided she was nothing to worry about. He had pulled his laptop to him and was typing at the speed of light.

Skylynn returned their glare before she caught my stare. “You’ll see in...” she held up her hand and then slowly let her fingers count down to zero, then knocked her fist on the bar. At that moment, the chime on the door went off.

Time stopped.

I could not comprehend the warm, dominant energy that flowed through me as my eyes met this flawless being.

In the North Wing, he was never completely corporeal. None of the memories I had been able to unlock were. But now, right now, he was in the flesh. Sebastian Falcon was either standing feet from me or he had been reincarnated looking hotter than he was the first go around on the wheel of life.

His black, long sleeve T-shirt hinted to the perfection that it surely must be hiding. My eyes wanted to travel further down him, but they were pulled back to his intoxicating stare. His eyes were still a deep gray, but in the centers I could see unfathomable orange freckles, which mocked flames. He tilted his head slightly, allowing his somewhat long, dark auburn hair to fall over his high cheekbones. There was agony in his stare. It pulled me in. This. Could. Not. Be. Real.

I could swear his body relaxed all at once as his lips, perfectly shaped lips, echoed a wounded smile.

Our uncalled for stare may have relaxed him, but it had the opposite effect on me. Two beats—no, maybe three or four in one second followed by a thousand more. I had been staring at his image for years, and for some reason he was finally seeing me, too.

Almost immediately, he glanced down at the guards.

He turned to them and said something I could not hear, and as they passed what looked like short words shot back and forth. Skylynn gripped my arm. “If that doesn’t make you feel two beats, there is no hope for you,” she whispered.

I swallowed nervously as my eyes moved back to him. A flaming burn spread through my soul. I almost wanted to cry in relief, but that was foolish. In this life, right now, we were strangers. It didn’t matter that I felt like I had lived side by side with him for the past five years.

 photo 252327_469060119774642_1944695764_n_zps847d0203.jpgJamie Magee

I'm an obsessive daydreamer. Lover of loud alternative music. Addicted to Red Bull. I love to laugh until it hurts. Fall is my favorite season. Black is my favorite 'shade.' Strong believer in the saying: there is a reason for everything, therefore I search for 'marked moments' every moment of everyday...and I find them. Life is beautiful!

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Friday, February 28, 2014

Promo Blitz: See by Jamie Magee - Excerpt & Giveaway

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See - PROMO Blitz
By Jamie Magee
YA/NA Crossover Paranormal
Date Published:  May 2012

Forgetting who you are, your ambitions, your lover is crippling. Remembering, embracing your purpose with a new sense of determination is more than empowering. It's soul seizing. Charlie Myers is embarking on a life-altering path that will cause the damned to humble in silence…

One night, just a few friends how could it go so wrong? That was the question Charlie was asking herself when she awoke in the ER. Outwardly nothing was wrong with Charlie, she was a vision of perfect health, but Charlie knew something else was wrong, wickedly wrong. That fearful notion became even more gripping when her mind began to parade haunting visions of entrancing emerald green eyes, laced in black, before her. When she felt a hole in her heart, when the music she drowned her fears in began to amplify the ache in her soul, and caused her to crave an embrace she thought she never knew.

Charlie knew then that part of her was stolen. She was missing memories. Those memories were sacred. They held the key to her sanity. They told her that the sinister whispers, and the shadows that came to life before her, were not as ominous as she felt they were. They caused her to forget the one talent that allowed her to face the darkness that haunted her every waking hour. They also masked a much deeper bond, the face of the one that had stolen her heart, long before that tragically blinding night.

Charlie wanted to stay in NY, fight her demons where she found them, and ensure that her true home remained a sanctuary. Fate had a different plan in mind. Against her will, Charlie was sent to Salem to live with her sister. Within that small town Charlie found her memories…and so much more.
Her story begins now.


“What’s going on?” I asked nervously, hitting ‘Pause’ on my phone as I watched him push the seat back so his legs could have more room.

“I told you I’d tell you how to get back,” he said, smiling faintly.

Every part of me was tingling. Yet, I was frozen in place. I had no idea how I was going to focus well enough to drive.

What would I do if I had to fight these shadows in front of him? I was horrified.

“Yeah, but I thought you meant follow you,” I said, trying to take in a breath after I said the words.

“I wanted to ride with you,” he said, pulling his belt on.

As he leaned closer to me to fasten it, I could smell the addictive aroma of his cologne. I knew that scent. My mind was firing off images of him at warp speed. His scent, his eyes, his energy, every ounce of him was magnifying fantasies I could not comprehend in the state I was in.

“Just for the record, you’re only my second passenger. Third, if you count my teacher,” I said, putting the car in drive.

“Duly noted.”

I caught myself staring into his enchanting eyes. His dark lashes framed the most alluring color I’d ever seen. It was like they were intended to be black, but a shade of the most perfect green had shattered the black canvas that they were.

Eyes that had haunted me for days...

He stared back at me with almost the same wonder, then he quirked a slight grin. “That way,” he said, pointing to the left.

Obviously I was alone in my fascination. Surely if we were anything like my minds eye was telling me we were in some forgotten past he would have said something.

Unless. Unless it was a bad past.

The tinge of pain in my heart let that dark thought enter my mind.

I felt my cheeks flush with embarrassment. I tried to smile through it as I turned the wheel. I crept down the gravel driveway, fighting the glare of the headlights coming from his Hummer. Just before I reached the road, he reached up and moved my rearview mirror, taking the torture of the lights away. He then gently grasped my ear buds and pulled them out. His warm fingertips brushed against my skin, and it took everything I had not to faint. I thought I heard him sigh, just after he took in a deep breath. Those long fingertips of his lingered a little longer, more than likely a second or two, but it felt like hours, then they slid down my neck taking the cords from my ear buds with them.

 I angled my eyes at him to see if I had the same effect on him that he clearly had on me.

 “You have to be able to see and hear if you’re going to get us home,” he explained, relaxing into his seat. He bit his bottom lip as he bathed me in his smoldering gaze. We said a thousand words at that moment. Words I could not hear, but wanted to.

 photo 252327_469060119774642_1944695764_n_zps847d0203.jpgJamie Magee

I'm an obsessive daydreamer. Lover of loud alternative music. Addicted to Red Bull. I love to laugh until it hurts. Fall is my favorite season. Black is my favorite 'shade.' Strong believer in the saying: there is a reason for everything, therefore I search for 'marked moments' every moment of everyday...and I find them. Life is beautiful!

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This Blitz is brought to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop

Yay! It's time for another giveaway hop! This one makes me think of spring which is great since my fingers are so cold right now, I can barely type! So, my fellow readers, this time around I am giving away a $10 Amazon gift card + a Kindle copy of Shadow Fire. One winner will receive both prizes. Enter my giveaway below, then hop to all of the other blogs for more fabulous prizes!

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Book Blitz: Impossibly True by Shane Morgan - Teaser & Giveaway

Impossibly True
Impossibly #2

Shane Morgan

New Adult Contemporary Romance
TSW Books
February 2014



Moya is finally listening to her heart.
She’s ready for love and willing to bask in all the joy it brings, but still, she insists on taking things slow. After all, her relationship with Branden isn't the only one that needs a chance.

With his health scare behind him, Branden wants nothing more than to get his life back on track—play hockey again, catch up on school, and get things moving with his girlfriend.

In the middle of strengthening their relationship and sorting out their individual lives, trouble begins to brew, testing the depth of their feelings for each other.

Can Branden and Moya once again overcome their trials and prove that their love is indeed true, or will past ghosts and new temptations drive them apart forever?

Link to my review of book one Impossibly Love: Click Here

About the Author

Shane Morgan is a writer of Young Adult and New Adult fiction. She enjoys contemporary, fantasy, romance, and horror. Shane physically lives in Rhode Island, but virtually she's in Neverland.
Her belief is that imaginations can never be too wild. If you’re thinking it then the story is already written inside your head. It’s simply time to share it with the rest of the world.

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Promo Blitz: Insight by Jamie Magee - Excerpt & Giveaway

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Insight - PROMO Bltiz
By Jamie Magee
YA/NA Crossover Paranormal
Date Published:  June 2010


Willow Haywood has always been trapped between the worlds of the Light and the Dark. Her waking hours are plagued by her ability to feel the emotions of those around her. No matter how inward she draws, she cannot shut out the feelings of others. Sometimes she will see images - echoes of other people and places - that she can enter to influence the emotions of people she has never met.

By night, Willow experiences her only escape from this terrible insight - entering into the world of dreams. Most of these dreams are shared in blissful silence with a stunning blue-eyed boy. But every new moon she lives through something much darker: a horrific nightmare shared by another mysterious boy who is always shrouded by shadows.

One night, this shadowy figure invades her dreams outside of his appointed time. In this new nightmare, Willow is marked; a mark which follows her into the waking world and sets her on a momentous path through light and darkness, through fragmented myth and half-truths, through past lives and disturbing family secrets, all in the face of the ever-dominant Zodiac. What she finds will endanger the lives of those closest to her and will force her to make a decision that will change her world forever.


I felt a blanket of peaceful love with a sense of urgency. The night air in front of me began to move; it looked like a wave gently swaying with a current. A thin light began to emerge then Landen stepped through the wave. I felt the air leave my lungs and adrenaline rush through every part of my body as my heart violently hammered in my chest.

“Landen…” I breathed.

In the darkness, I could see his haunting blue eyes widen, we were both soaked in the emotion of disbelief, along with the fear that this wasn’t real.

In that beat of my heart he’d reached my side. His hands were trembling ever so slightly as they cradled my face, and his thumbs graze the flesh of my cheekbones. He was staring at me like I was a forbidden fruit, like I was every sin in the book, desire washed over that lasting look as he leaned in and let his lips frame mine. When we melded the flesh of our lips together, his hands fell from my face and slowly waved down my body, embracing my flesh, I was doing the same to him. He was warm, he was on fire, I could hear his breaths, hear the sweet sound of our kiss, the way our clothes were moving under our touch. He was real. He was in my arms, and he was driving me wild. That first kiss was nothing compared to this, that was a dream, it was fleeting, it was something that could end at any second, this—this touch, this emotion, this pulsing of my soul was eternal.

He pressed our bodies together and held me with more strength than he had ever displayed. We both sought air more than once, but the other moved closer as soon as that gasp was taken. His warm tongue was uninhabited yet sensual as it danced with mine. I was devouring every sensation he was giving me and wanting more, so much more.

I was trembling with passion, I think he misunderstood that, he slowed our kiss, as one arm went around me and the other cradled my face. His thumb reached to my lips just as his kiss ended, he tenderly caressed the moist, swollen flesh he found there.

 “I found you,” he said with the lips of an angel. His voice was deep and entrancing, those three simple words sounded like poetry as he spoke them.

 His eyes danced over my image, “I love you.” he said as he leaned in and kissed me once more, this was a sweet kiss, only lips, only warm sensual lips.

 photo 252327_469060119774642_1944695764_n_zps847d0203.jpgJamie Magee

I'm an obsessive daydreamer. Lover of loud alternative music. Addicted to Red Bull. I love to laugh until it hurts. Fall is my favorite season. Black is my favorite 'shade.' Strong believer in the saying: there is a reason for everything, therefore I search for 'marked moments' every moment of everyday...and I find them. Life is beautiful!

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This Blitz is brought to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Blitz Tour: The Headhunters Race by Kimberly Afe - Excerpt, Review & Giveaway

The Headhunters Race

Kimberly Afe

YA Dystopian
January Sky Publishing
January 3, 2014

Available at Amazon


Sixteen-year-old Avene was sentenced to prison at thirteen for a crime she didn't commit. Now she has a chance to win her freedom back – if she enters the Headhunters Race. Second prize isn't so bad either, an upgrade to the Leisure Prison if you make it to the finish line. To win either prize, Avene and the other prisoners must navigate one hundred and fifty miles of dense forest, desert, and worst of all, cannibal territory.

With a mechanical collar timed to strangle the prisoners if they're not back in nine days, Avene allies herself with seventeen-year-old McCoy, another prisoner that insists on helping her at every turn and a boy she's trying hard not to fall for. Together they battle nature, other prisoners, and the timed death collars to win the coveted prize. But when Avene is tested with one deadly conflict after another, she realizes there is more at stake than winning her freedom – first she has to survive.


This excerpt is from the day the race starts and Avene is getting ready.

                Hours later, when the birds start chirping, I know it's almost time to wake up. I get out of bed and change into my special clothes. The ones I've been saving for this day: a sturdy pair of jeans and a man's blue flannel shirt. Underneath I wear my white fitted tee-shirt, depicting a crudely drawn skull. I added the crossbones bearing a set of daggers with a nearly dried-up marker I found a year ago. It represents my mantra for the race: stay away from me or I'll kill you.

            I tie my sheath around my thigh, re-lace my boots with longer and sturdier cord I found on a pair of men's boots in the goodie two shoes clothing pile, and then gulp down several handfuls of water. I wipe the droplets from my mouth while I pace like a caged panther. A few minutes later I slug down another five handfuls before I remember to fill my water bottle.

            Zita leans up on her elbow. "You're sure you want to do this?"

            "I have to, Zita. It's our only way out. The only way we'll be free."

            She throws off her cover and leaps to her feet. "Well, we better do something with that hair. They'll start calling the prisoners out soon."

            Zita snatches our slop container from the table. She fills it with dirt from the corner and mixes in a bit of water. "I'm not sure how well this will work," she says, stirring it with her finger. "Sit."

            I sit on the ground cross-legged at her feet. She kneels beside me, takes a small lock of hair, and rubs mud all through the strands. The stringy tresses stick together, cold and wet against my cheek. After one side of my head is finished, she steps back and surveys her work. "Nope, this isn't working. Your roots are still too light."

            "Why don't you wash her whole head in it?" says McCoy.

            I stiffen. Leave it to him to think of dunking my whole head in mud.

            "You're a genius!" says Zita. She grabs my arm and pulls me to my feet. "Help me," she says to McCoy and I cringe at the thought of him touching my head when I'm a direct competitor. He might send his ninja blade across my neck.

            He grabs the sink, half full of water, water I need to drink, and dumps three quarters of it into the corner. "Hey, I need to drink that!" I say.

            "You can drink ours," says McCoy.

            Right. I'm not going to drink theirs. He'd love that. Especially now that he's going to have to hunt on his own and the only way he knows how is by poaching off me.

            Zita stops short of pouring in handfuls of dirt. Instead she goes to the fire pit and scoops out gobs of ash. She swishes it around with her fingers, stares at it like she's not satisfied, and goes ahead and dumps in a handful of dirt anyway. "Okay, bend over, girl."

            I lean over the sink while Zita pours the murky mixture over my hair and massages it in. It's gritty and gross.

            "Hand me that old shirt in the corner," says Zita.

            I'm looking upside down at McCoy while he retrieves the old shirt she uses as her dust rag. She wrings out my hair and then places the shirt over top and squeezes out the excess water. "I wish I had a comb," she says, flipping my head up and steering my behind back to the ground.

            "It's okay, I can use my fingers," I say.

            McCoy dashes into their room. "Boom has one, hold on."

            I lean my head back in defeat. He's determined to help me, to make me feel obligated to help him in return, but his niceties aren't going to work on me.

My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

The Headhunter's Race is a nonstop, action-packed ride that will keep you turning pages as fast as you can all the way to the end. Though, I'm not sure I'd call it an end so much as the opportunity to begin a new story. The novel is a dystopian adventure with a sprinkling of romance. In many ways it reminded me of The Hunger Games.

Main character Avene hasn't had an easy life. Her step-father, the governor of her town, is cruel and nasty. When her mother is murdered, Avene is blamed and thrown into prison for the crime. Life in the prison is beyond harsh. From the descriptions, it seemed as if 2/3 of the town was there, wallowing in filth and starving. The Headhunters Race is the chance for freedom. Travel dangerous terrain filled with bears, coyotes, and cannibals. Yes, you heard right, cannibals. Though it seems impossible to win, at least it provides some hope.

I was intrigued by romantic interest McCoy. He was odd, to say the least. It was difficult to determine whether he was genuinely a decent person or if it was all an act. We see him through Avene's eyes, and she stopped trusting anyone years ago. I really wanted to know more about McCoy. It seems like we barely scratch the surface of his personality and life story. In many ways I found him to be the most interesting character in the novel. His actions were so out of character for the average prisoner. Avene was constantly confused by him as well.

The imagery and descriptions are quite vivid, some not the least bit pleasant, in this raw, gritty story. The whole plot line regarding the cannibals is morbid. If you're a fan of dystopian, consider adding The Headhunters Race to your TBR list. I don't know if Ms. Afe has another book planned, but I would really like to know what happens to Avene and McCoy next.

About the Author

Kimberly is the mother of two awesome kids, wife of the nicest man in the world, and her dog's best friend. She works by day and writes middle grade and young adult science fiction and fantasy novels in her spare time. She lives with her family in the beautiful Sonoran Desert.

Social Sites

Website     Goodreads     Twitter     Facebook     Blog   Amazon

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blog Tour: Stalkers - A Thriller Anthology - Excerpt & Giveaway

A Collection of Thriller Stories

Thriller Anthology
Edited & Compiled by Cynthia Shepp & Rene Folsom
Indie Style Press

Available at Amazon


Shadows follow you in the darkness of the night and the eerie sensation of being watched crawls up your spine. Your sanity pulls apart at the seams as the terrors stalk their victims, leaving you too frightened to turn off the light.

These twisted stories will leave you breathless, dreading the horrors lurking around the corner.

Seventeen authors. Seventeen tales of terror. Infinite nightmares.


Watch your back.

Stories featured in this anthology:
- Every Thorn by Rene Folsom
- Dead Ringer by Jason Brant
- Autumn by Elizabeth Collins
- Don’t Kiss the Dead Fred by A.E. Killingsworth
- Affliction by S.L. Dearing
- Lucid by Andrea Stanet
- Donations by Bart Hopkins
- Bernice by Chad Foutz
- Destination: Death by Eaton Thomas Palmer
- Powerless by Laurie Treacy
- Freezer Burn by Jon Messenger
- The Watcher by Lindy Spencer
- Immortal Luck by Magen McMinimy
- Izzy’s Assassin by Nicole Clark
- Say My Name by Michael Loring
- Damaged People by Nicki Scalise
- Blog Stalker by Phil Taylor


This started out as a contest but grew into an idea. This is the third anthology that was created out of a contest on my Facebook page. The authors and readers were given the opportunity to write a short story using the guidelines provided. This go round I received over thirty entries. Only seventeen were chosen, but every story deserves a moment of recognition. I want to thank everybody for their time and their wonderful imaginations. The seventeen chosen are what you will find in this anthology, a collection of short stories that left me in awe at the talent of these amazing authors. These stories come from already published authors as well as readers who aspired to write.
The guidelines used to write these short stories were ones that I thought would appeal to the audience. This left a collection of shorts that will take you all over the paranormal genre.

* This anthology will have a main theme of Stalkers. That is about where my direction stops. It does not have to be paranormal, though it can be. The story can be a psychological thriller, horror, paranormal, suspense, action… whatever you want it to be. You can have a demon stalking someone in their dreams or a serial killer stalking prey, just to give you a couple examples. Whatever your twisted minds can come up with. I want stories that have you looking in the backseat of your car before you get in—stories that make the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you think someone looked at you just a little too long. Let your imaginations flow free and DELVE into the DARKER side of your mind… You know you want to.*

I believe that the authors of these short stories more than met the guidelines; they exceeded even my expectations. I hope that you enjoy reading these as much as I did. Please leave a review when you are finished on Amazon or Goodreads and let us know what you think. Also, please take the opportunity to connect with these amazing authors. Author links are included on the individual title pages of the stories.
Enjoy your read!

Cynthia Shepp

Don’t Kiss the Dead, Fred

A.E. Killingsworth

About A.E.

A.E. Killingsworth is a writer from Alabama, who favors paranormal and urban fantasy. She has a love/hate relationship with her degree in English and a passion for exploring Southern culture. She loves Jane Eyre, vintage glassware, and hiking in the mountains. Most importantly, she’s married to her best friend and soul mate. She thinks her puppy is pretty special too.
Also, I would never have done this if it weren’t for my CCR writing group. Thanks for the accountability, ladies!

Stalk A.E.



He had the softest smile on his lips. His eyes were sleepy, and when he leaned in close, my heart did funny little jumps in my chest. Was this it? Was this finally the moment I’d always remember as my first kiss?
I shifted my head the tiniest bit closer and, just before our lips met; he groaned real low. I took it for desire and pressed my lips against his, but they were unyielding. He leaned heavily into me, and I instinctively pushed against him.
Imagine my surprise when he keeled over backwards and with a crack, split his head open on a concrete column. The doctors said it wasn’t the blow that killed him—it was a heat-induced heart attack not even a minute before. It seemed like that blood would never come off my porch.
I also never thought I’d kiss a guy and bury him within a week…


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Monday, February 24, 2014

Book Blitz: Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison - Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway

Of Sea and Stone

Kate Avery Ellison

YA Fantasy
February 2014

Available at Amazon * B&N


All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving...


    The broad stone ground of the Training Rock was warm and smooth beneath my bare feet. A salt-scented wind teased the tendrils of hair escaping from beneath my hood. I straightened my spine and lifted my chin as if I belonged as I approached the group of boys and young men, who stood in a haphazard line before the target of wood.
I took my place at the end of the line.
The smell of salt filled the air. Gulls screamed overhead as the first boy drew back his arm and threw his spear. It glanced off the target and clattered on the rock. His face creased with disgust, and he turned away. The second boy threw, and the tip of his spear embedded itself in the corner of the target.
I was better at throwing than any of these boys. I’d always been good at it, better than anyone else my age when I was small enough to swim in the shallows with the free children and sleep in my mother’s arms at night. My mother had beamed with pride to see me throw, and so I continued to hone my skill even after she was gone. Sometimes I went out to the edge of the rocks that formed a ring around the sea like a circle of stone arms, and I caught fish to put on the fire so Nealla and I could eat more than the meager food we were provided for our meals. I was better than all of them, but being a girl banned me from participating in the competition.
At the front of the line stood Nol, the oldest in the competition and the favorite of the crowd. He cast a glance my way, but didn’t look long. I exhaled as he turned his head away.
One by one, the boys threw their spears. They were still learning, and few were good yet. The aim of a fisherman was impeccable, once he’d mastered the art, but these were just boys.
I swallowed as the boy beside me took his turn, and then it was mine. I stepped forward and hefted my spear. The weight was familiar in my hand. I inhaled, squinted at the target, and threw.
The spear buried itself at the edge of the middle circle. A few of the boys cried out in appreciation. Sweat broke out across my back.
I hadn’t meant to throw quite so well.
Nol turned his head again to look at me. He wasn’t stupid, even if he was infuriating. He’d seen Kit throw before.
I held my breath, and he looked away.
Those who had struck the target gathered their spears and tried again. There were only a few of us, and the number rapidly dwindled. I threw poorly, but my spear seemed to swerve to meet the target against my will, and the rest of the boys threw with the skill of drunken monkeys. Finally, only Nol and I were left.
My heart drummed in my chest. I didn’t dare look at Nol or the crowd.
“You’ve improved, Kit,” Nol said as he passed me to retrieve his spear.
It was clear by the way he strode toward the target that he thought victory was assured for him. He barely spared me a glance as he drew back his arm to throw.
The crowd waited, breathless.
Nol threw first. His spear struck the inner circle of the target, and he straightened, pleased. I could tell by his posture that he thought he’d won. The necklace of shell he always wore tinkled faintly as he turned to me. He yanked off his mask, and his expression was triumphant.
“Your turn.”
I drew my arm back and took aim. I heard the rush of the sea behind me, the cry of gulls above me, and the hiss of my breath over my teeth as I threw. Sea and gulls and breath combined to make music. I shut my eyes and threw.
My spear hit the mark and quivered.
It had struck closer to the center.
The boys roared in approval and swarmed around me. Nol’s jaw tightened, and he shot a glance toward the crowd. I saw his father, the mayor, frowning.
I stepped forward to receive my prize. As I passed Nol, suspicion crossed his face. He snatched off my mask, dislodging my hood in the process.
My long hair tumbled down around my shoulders. Wind fanned my face.
I was exposed.
The crowd gasped. Nol let go of me as if he’d been burned.
“It’s Tagatha’s thrall!” someone shouted.
“You deceptive little brat,” the spear master snarled. “Where’s Kitran?”
I ran.
The spear master grabbed for me. His fingers slipped through my hair, giving one painful tug, then the strands ripped from my scalp and I ran faster. I reached the edge of the cliff, dropped Kit’s spear, and jumped.
The rock was hard beneath my feet as I leaped, and then salty air rushed around me, the gulls’ screams filled my ears, and I was falling, falling, falling through air and wind and sunlight. I brought my arms forward right before I entered the water in a perfect dive.
Bubbles exploded across my vision as I hit the water. Blue closed around me, cold and shocking, shutting out the shouts above. My chest skimmed the sandy bottom of the lagoon. Fish shot away, and seaweed snagged my ankles. The rocks of the bay were dark against the orange light of the dying sun.
I swam a ways from the cliff, holding my breath, kicking my legs to propel myself forward.
When my head broke the surface, I heard the spear master shouting after me. I swam away, my arms making sure, even strokes as his threats echoed across the water after me. I had no fear that he would jump in after me. I was one of the strongest swimmers in the village. He couldn’t catch me, and he wouldn’t try.
     But I couldn’t swim forever.

Interview with Author Kate Avery Ellison

Describe Of Sea and Stone in six words.
Atlantis, steampunk, sunlight, seawater, secrets, romance.

What books have you read and loved lately?
I am almost finished with Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, and it’s an absolute delight. Witty, immersive, and utterly compelling fantasy that reminds me very much of my beloved Megan Whalen Turner books.

Ice cream or cake?
Ice cream cake, of course! It’s the best of both worlds.

What authors have influenced your writing style the most?
I grew up on a pretty steady diet of mystery, actually, so I feel like classic mystery authors like Agatha Christie had a strong influence on me. When I was a teenager, I started reading fantasy by authors like Robin McKinley, Gail Carson Levine, and Sherwood Smith. The Blue Sword, Ella Enchanted, Crown Duel...I loved those books. I also had a huge love of historical fiction, so Ann Rinaldi, Elizabeth George Speare, and Eloise Jarvis McGraw influenced me a lot as well. As far as more recently-written books that I didn’t grow up reading, I continue to be an awe of fantasy authors Megan Whalen Turner (The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, etc.) and Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock), dystopian author Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), and contemporary young adult authors Lucy Christopher (Stolen) and John Green (A Fault in Our Stars).

If you had to pick a shoe that represented your writing style, what would it be?
Have you seen those canvas shoes where an artist has drawn original artwork on the front and sides and is selling them online? I think my books are like that—in some ways they feel familiar, but they have their own surprises and twists that make them unique.

Who has been the most supportive person in your writing career?
My husband. About two years into trying to get published, I was ready to give up on my stories and get a job doing something tremendously ill-suited for me, like being a secretary (I am a very bad secretary. Very disorganized). He convinced me to give it more time, and he is probably the sole reason I am published today. He is my first reader, my strongest encourager, and my most reliable critic.

Are you working on anything else currently?
Yes! I’m currently hard at work on the second book in the Secrets of Itlantis series, and I’m also working on a few secret projects on the side—one is a more traditional fantasy, another is a post-apocalyptic novel. I hope to have more details about them for my readers very soon.

About the Author

I live in Georgia with my wonderful husband and two spoiled cats. When I'm not writing, I'm usually catching up on my extensive Netflix queue, reading a book, giggling at something funny online, or trying to convince my husband to give me just ONE bite of whatever he's eating.

Learn more about my writing and books at my blog (, find teasers for upcoming works on my Facebook page (, and subscribe to my new releases newsletter to be notified of new novels as soon as they hit stores (!

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