Raewyn is tougher than your average mermaid princess. She lives in a fortress far beneath the surface of the ocean, where she constantly breaks the rules. Fear of extinction has caused the merfolk to arrange marriages and take away romantic freedoms, causing Raewyn’s hopes and dreams of true love to crumple. After a quest gone wrong, she finds herself held captive aboard the Devil’s Pearl, among the worst humans of all—pirates.
Captain Aiden Flynn is handsome and charming, spending his time sailing the seas and hording treasure. His villainous reputation has even reached the depths of the ocean. When he finds a dark-haired beauty ensnared in his net, he puts on his best charms in hopes of finding out just who she is.
Will his dangerous, yet charming, demeanor win her over? Or will he fall, as many other men have, to the wiles of a mermaid princess?
Coming August 27, 2014 to Amazon, and print copy by email request
Brooke is a self-proclaimed geek and day dreamer. She enjoys music, books, family & friends, and spending time with her husband and cat. She has obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in mental health counseling from Tennessee Technological University. She is the co-author of the Ethereal Underground trilogy.
Now scheduling interviews, book blitz, excerpts, guest blogs, and reviews.
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Please ensure reviews are posted on Amazon, Goodreads, and any other retails sites you use.
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1. The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
2. Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.
3. Night World by L.J. Smith.
4. House of Night series by P.C. Cast.
5. Oh The Places you will go by Dr. Seuss.
6. Scary Mary series by. SA Hunter.
7. Summer wolf by Leesia Champion.
8. Little house series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
9. Fear Street Saga by R.L. Stine.
10. Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz.
If you have been following me on social media, i.e. (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) you know that I have obtained a contract from Cresco Books for my book “CHAOS”.
I am writing a new novel in my spare time. It is a fairytale retelling and I would like to share a small excerpt of it with you all. Enjoy.
As Elijah lowered himself to Ira’s side, he tried at one last plea for forgiveness. “Ira, I am so very sorry for what I have done. During all the time that I have spent with you, I never realized that what I was feeling for you had in fact become real.” Elijah moved the stray hair from Ira’s face. “I wish that I could go back and abandon my horrid plan. Then I could have had a family. We would both be with our lost daughter. But this is my fault. I cannot fix it. If only I could.” Elijah’s voice trailed off.
A tear escaped from Ira’s eyes. “How could you kill our daughter?”
Elijah began to cry.
“You say that you loved us, yet you are the end of us? How could that be if your love for us had been true?” Ira’s breathing slowed and was becoming more labored. He knew that her life would soon be over. There was no magic that could save her or their child now. The terrible deed had been done and now there was certainly no repairing the damage that he had caused their family..
Ira began whispering a spell, but Elijah was so guilt stricken that he had failed to understand what was happening. She was so full of anger toward Elijah and even with her last breath being used to curse him was not enough for her.
Elijah heard Ira let out a weak laugh. When he turned to her she smiled, placed her hand on his chest right over his heart and then drew in her last breath of life.
Instantly, Elijah realized that Ira had indeed placed a curse on him, but he had never dreamed that she would go as far as to curse her own soul as well.
Within moments Ira’s plan had begun to take its course. Elijah noticed that he was changing. Something inside him was taking over his body. A tremendous amount of pain. The intensity of it left him unable to make a move or to even cry out. He was frozen in place, forced to endure Ira’s punishment for the wrong that he had done.
His bones snapped. Muscles ripped and tore away from the bone. His human form was taking on a new shape. It was one of an animal. Long, black fur covered his body. He let out a ear piercing scream when the curse Ira had placed on him twisted him for the final time. His human teeth were now that of a very large predator. The only thing that was left of Elijah’s true human form was his brilliant ocean blue eyes. After his transformation was complete he looked up at Ira’s ghostly body floating before him. Right then he knew that she had done something even far worse than that of what he had done.
Ira had taken on a new form as well. She was now the most evil of any High Priestess’ that had ever been. She spread her arms out beside her as she floated inches above the floor.
“I will have my daughter back, Elijah. I will not stop until I do and you are going to help me.” She sneered at him.
He opened his mouth to speak, but only the roar of a bear came out. Ira had made him the king of the forest and he has to do her bidding. Only she knows what was in store for him now.
“This entire land is cursed because of what you have done. You will lure a girl with golden locks into this forest so I can claim her soul in order to raise our daughter from the grave. You will do this even if it takes a thousand years.”
Elijah growled and a tear slid down his fur.
“I have made you the savage beast that you once were. Now your soul belongs to me. If only you had been true this would never have happened. We could have had a wonderful life together. Both of us could have watched our daughter grow into the woman she was meant to become. Now you have ruined it all and for that you will pay a fair price. Out to the woods bear!”
As Elijah made his way out and into the woods, he could hear Ira laughing behind him. What have I done, he asked himself.
I am going to start the Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking. This series starts with the book SWITCHED. I picked this because I have read some of her previous work and I wasn’t completely turned off by it. She has a good imagination and now that she has people to help her with her writing, I believe that it will be far better than what she has done in the past. I will say this. I read for the story not just because it is by a well-known author. Most of the books that I read are by Indie authors. The reason for that is because of the exceptional amount of imagination in Indie author’s work seems to totally surpass what is on the shelves now days. With the exception of the greats…. Stephen King, Nora Roberts, R. L. Stine, and more. After saying that I will say that SA Hunter’s, (Superb Indie Author), Scary Mary series is to absolutely die for. I ate that series alive as soon as I started it.
Here is the real reason for this post. What I would like to do is start breaking down all the books that I read, chapter by chapter as I go. Doing this, I think that I might be able to build interest in reading with my posts. People do not realize that not only does the body need exercise, the brain does as well. Reading does make you smarter. By reading you are gaining knowledge and making your comprehension skills grow. Therefore, you are making your memory better and the ability for you to think about issues of daily life and work out simple and complicated issues emotionally, mentally, financially, and so forth. If I can inspire people while I am on this Earth, I will have done what I was put here to accomplish.
And think of this…
DISCLAIMER: The following statements are based on my personal thoughts not on factual (media published scientific) information. I am saying what I will because I, personally, have seen the positive outcome of the way that reading affects the human mind. So with that being said here is my opinion.
Reading can and does change the demeanor of the person reading. It also calms ADHD affected children as well as helping ADHD affected adults be able to focus more on thought process and with controlling issues with being inconsistent completing tasks. I have also seen people in tremendous emotional distress pick up a book and read. After reading for a bit they have calmed and are able to make it through their issues better. What I am saying is if reading can do things like that and help cure stuttering problems, etc. Could reading be able to postpone dementia associated with aging and Alzheimer’s? I’m not going to wait for a scientist to spend my lifetime researching that very issue. I don’t need their proof, but if it comes I would enjoy knowing it. I am going to use my ideas to about it to prove it to myself and my followers. Reading is so fundamental to the human brain guys! Find something that you enjoy reading and read. Let’s not let our brains just sit in our skulls and waste away. USE THEM so that when we get older in age our brains will be more healthy. I want to be old and be able to remember my grandchildren’s names and their children’s names if I get that lucky….
In relation to this post… I am sure that some of you that are reading this are wondering how I have come to the conclusions that I am making. Well, it IS personal for me and for my youngest son who also suffers from ADHD type symptoms, (undiagnosed at this time.) So, I know for a fact that it works.
As a child, I stuttered and couldn’t speak appropriately. My parents worked with the teachers at the school that I attended to give me as much help as possible. I was enrolled in an on school site speech therapy class in the first grade. I was a tremendously gifted individual, but it was not doing me a bit of good as a student or as a child because I could not get the knowledge from my brain to go to my mouth correctly. So, I guess what I am trying to say is that I was stuck in my head, but I was not what you would call Autistic. The first few weeks were so hard for me. Even that now that I am an adult, I still remember everything from that stage of my life. I remember the children that made fun of me because I couldn’t talk as good as they could. I also remember the teachers that couldn’t help me because they didn’t know to reach me. However, I remember the day that one of the teachers noticed me doing something and is responsible for the plan that helped me conquer my problem.
I was in the school library looking at books. That is where I would go to get away from everything. Even as a child, I had the understanding and problem solving abilities that an adult would have. Being like that eased a lot of the “not knowing” that children that were my age go through. I was six years old and I had already found a way to get away from the things that hurt me.
I was looking at all the books and I had found one that I was interested in. I took it from the shelf and found a place to sit down. I was alone in the library, except for the librarian. I had time to waste because I was waiting to be picked up by my parents in the after school program. Initially, I had thought that the librarian could not hear me, but i was soon to discover that I was wrong. Thinking that I was not being paid attention to, I started sounding out the words on the pages. It was working and even I was surprised at how good I sounded. After doing that with two books I looked up to see her standing over me with her hand covering her mouth and tears in her eyes. She grabbed me up and hugged me tight. I thought that something had been wrong, but she was hugging me for what I had accomplished. When my parents came to pick me up, she told them what had happened. Meetings with my regular teacher, speech teacher, and speech therapist was made. After that, every day that I went to my speech class I was allowed to read the very same way that I had the day I was caught. Every day I improved. I stayed in that speech class with a teacher that had total faith that I could overcome this and with one of my most favorite things in this life… BOOKS. From that love of books, inspiration from them, and the faith of some really good teacher I rose to the top. It took four years and a great deal of work from us all, but we fought together to make me better. Not only could I communicate like all the other children now, I knew what it mean to strive to achieve a goal. Reading aloud cured my speech and my stutter. Occasionally as an adult, those issues resurface, but I know now how to control them.
These days I read a lot, but I am also an Indie writer. I have self-published six novels and two poetry books on my own. Currently, I am searching for what every writer is searching for…. A BOOK DEAL. Maybe one day I will achieve that, but I know that I will never give up. That one day in the school library inspired me as a six-year-old child. I knew from that day that there was not going to be anything that could stand in my way of what I wanted to accomplish. Books cure more than just a speech problem. They can also cure self-doubt and empower people to become better.
I also suffer horribly from ADHD and a brain disorder. I notice that I cannot focus well and that I have major problems remembering, forming actual sentences in a conversation, and even worse, I have problems with remembering directions for travel or for tasks. Reading on a daily basis makes my issues bearable. In my opinion, it is almost like training to do what it should. Sometimes my brain doesn’t send the right signals to my body, but if I exercise it….. well…. It seems to work better…
I ask that if you are reading this and you agree with what I have said or are inspired by this at all, share this post. Above all else… Encourage children to read. That is my first and foremost goal. Should it be your’s too? Help me to help others understand the real benefits that reading can give. And in all honesty, help me to help you discover the benefits that reading can and will give you. Once you see the truth about what I have said here, you will know that this effort could and will change lives.
Connect with me and let’s try to make a difference while we are here!!!!
Connect with me on Facebook… https://www.facebook.com/AUTHORAPRILMARGESON
Firstly, thanks to April for hosting me on her blog today and giving me a chance to talk about The Vampire’s Concubine serial. This blog tour is to celebrate the release of the second book in this serial, Rage, and there is a chance to win this, and the first book in the serial, An Amusement, at the link below. But, before we get to that, I hope I’m going to be able to give you some insights into the books in the serial, where I’m planning on taking my readers and why I started out on this short-story journey.
I’ve been writing since I was very young. My primary school (4-11yr olds) teachers, when giving out creative writing assignments, used to have to brace themselves for not the hundred to two hundred words that they were used to from most pupils, but pages and pages of (rambling) fiction – I must have been a royal pain to grade. I wrote my first ‘novel’ at 11, and please note, I have placed the word in quotes due to my wish that that little piece of ‘art’ never ever see the light of day again. 🙂 As well as original fiction, I also used to dabble in the odd piece of fanfiction before I actually knew what fanfiction was. It wasn’t until I discovered the internet in the early 90’s that I realised other people did the same thing and then there was no stopping me – so I cut my writing teeth first in the Highlander fandom, and then Harry Potter, shifting my way from gen to het and finally to slash/femslash fanfiction.
I have also kept going with my own original fiction, but until three years ago, I had not made the move to publishing it. I’d thought about it, ever since that first ‘novel’, but until the possibilities of eBooks came along, it had been an elusive dream. Now, thanks to the opportunities offered by the likes of Amazon and Smashwords, I run my own publishing company, Wittegen Press, with my twin sister, Tasha.
I write and publish a number of different genres: fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, horror, young adult, and, of course, erotic romance. The Vampire’s Concubine is a combination of two of those genres, a paranormal erotic romance. This short story serial is set, unsurprisingly by the title, in a paranormal world where demons and vampires are real and my two leads are, by the end of the first story, both vampires. Hieron, Vampire Lord of Harkham, is ruthless, powerful and master of all he surveys. A stranger arrives and offers him 99 years of absolute service in exchange for becoming a vampire. Bargain agreed, that stranger, unnamed and without a past, becomes Umi, Hieron’s slave and one of his concubines. Thus, must master and slave become bound in a relationship based on obedience and secrets.
I’ve always loved stories with magic, or supernatural aspects, since I grew up reading fairy tales and ghost stories and so it was just a natural progression for me to weave that into my erotic romances. I tend to call them erotic romances, because, for me, the relationship should always come first, however hot the sex is intended to be :). Anyone who’s read An Amusement, or Rage, may wonder how I can make that statement, because these two books are set very close together at the beginning of the relationship between Hieron and Umi, and that relationship is antagonistic, to say the least. At the moment, all is very black and white; Hieron is the master, Umi is his slave. I can promise, though, as the overall story develops, not all will remain so clearcut.
I have had the idea for the arc behind The Vampire’s Concubine for sometime, but each time I thought about it, it didn’t feel like a single story, and nor could I mentally break it down into two, or three books. Mainly, this I think, is because the arc traverses a century and the continuity breaks in the overall story meant I couldn’t convince myself of the unbroken unity of the individual pieces. So, as I developed it, I began to consider that maybe it wasn’t a few longer books, but a collection of shorter stories, beginning with a cluster at the beginning of the arc. The time between the interludes then widens until reaching the end of the arc where they will cluster again in a nail-biting conclusion.
Some people might ask, ‘Why erotica, why not just make it a paranormal fantasy adventure?’ And there are many answers to that, but I’ll be brief. 🙂 I like writing erotica, I like exploring stories where the relationship is central to the plot, and, being frank, I also enjoy writing the sex. I have a penchant for adding a power differential to the erotic stories I write too, but that’s another post for later on this blog tour. ;P
So, I have much planned for Hieron and Umi: Umi must learn to live in Hieron’s world of court and politics, while Hieron has to deal with the fact that he doesn’t know, and may never know everything about his mysteriously fascinating slave. And then there is the question of what will happen at the end of those 99 years – who was Umi before he appeared in Hieron’s rooms and why has he made this bargain of servitude? All will be answered at the conclusion to The Vampire’s Concubine serial.
Rage picks up the story immediately after An Amusement, where Umi has become a vampire and Hieron’s slave. The story is seen through the eyes of Yan, Hieron’s favourite concubine and therefore Umi’s rival. Still, Yan finds that survival is more important than rivalry when Umi, apparently by merely existing, draws down Hieron’s wrath on the lord’s entire household. A solution must be found before someone dies.
Thus the saga continues as Hieron discovers more about Umi and Umi learns what it means to be at the mercy of his unpredictable master. The third story, Dark of Mind, is in development and I hope readers will find it and all the short stories in The Vampire’s Concubine engaging, exciting and sexy.
Rage & An Amusement Giveaway!
For a chance to win copies of Rage and An Amusement, check out the competition here.
Sophie Duncan is a UK author of genre fiction with Wittegen Press. She has been writing since she was a child and has been sharing her work with others since she discovered the internet in the 1990’s. She has published original works in many genres, from contemporary fantasy, through crime and mystery drama, to erotic romance. All of her published books can be found listed at her author page on the Wittegen Press website.
Other places Sophie would love to connect with you are:
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+SophieDuncan
Her blog, Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles – http://sophiesthoughtsandfunmbles.blogspot.co.uk/
Erotic Fiction blog, Fantasy Boys XXX http://fantasyboysxxx.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter @thwax and @wittegenpress
Wittegen Press on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WittegenPress
Thwax on Tumblr – thwax.tumblr.com
When, Hieron, vampire lord of Harkham, is approached by a mysterious young stranger, he finds himself tempted by the bargain his bold visitor makes: ninety nine years of absolute service in return for vampire power. With no name and no explanation of the reasons behind the offer, the attractive enigma becomes Umi, Hieron’s slave, concubine and vampire childe.
Yet, from the very first moments the bargain is sealed, Hieron discovers his concubine to be an erotic and obsessively maddening challenge.
The Vampire’s Concubine is an erotic romance told in short-story episodes.
Rage – The Vampire’s Concubine #2 ($0.99/£0.77/EUR0.86)
The bargain has been sealed, Umi is now a vampire and belongs to Hieron as his concubine. Yet, Hieron cannot reconcile himself to the secrecy behind his new slave, it makes him dangerously angry and the vampire lord lives up to his warning to Umi that he will be cruel.
Hieron’s demands weigh heavily on Umi, who, it seems, cannot please his master. As Hieron’s rage grows, Umi’s time is running out. Desperately, he searches to find the key to salving Hieron’s fury before the beast within his sire rises to destroy him.
Purchase ‘Rage’ and get ‘An Amusement – The Vampire’s Concubine #1’ FREE – see inside the book for details.
Available at Amazon and Smashwords – for buying links, please see this entry on the Wittegen Press website: wittegenpress.com/rage.
An Amusement – The Vampire’s Concubine #1 ($0.99/£0.77/EUR0.86)
Hieron, vampire lord of Harkham, is unaccustomed to visitors in his private bedchamber unless he has expressly invited them. Such an unsolicited intrusion should mean the interloper’s death, but Hieron finds himself unusually fascinated by the stranger who appears before him unbidden. Offering no name and no explanation of his reasons, the young man offers ninety nine years of absolute service in exchange for the gift of vampire power.
Amused and aroused, Hieron agrees to the bargain, names his enigma, Umi and decides he will become his newest concubine. The only thing left is to seal the deal in a bond of sex and supernatural power.
Available at Amazon, Smashwords and iTunes – for buying options, please see this entry on the Wittegen Press website: wittegenpress.com/anamusement
COMING SOON – Dark of Mind – The Vampire’s Concubine #3
Umi is no normal concubine. His master’s gift of vampirism notwithstanding, there is much more to him than the Lord of Harkham has yet discovered. Hieron is no longer angry with Umi’s secrets, but he remains intrigued and, demon-owned twice over Umi maybe, but it is his mind that interests Hieron the most.
Under Yan’s tutelage, Umi is discovering the rites and skills to being a concubine, and Hieron is master when it comes to the night in his newest concubine’s veins, mostly. That bond holds a limit that Hieron has never experienced before: his childe has resisted the most intimate of contacts, that of the mind to mind control that normally lies within a sire’s remit.
There is power in his childe, power not of the vampire’s giving and, before Heiron is ready to deliver Umi to the harem, he means to discover it.
Life has always been so fascinating to me. There are things out there to discover every day. New sights, sounds, and most of all, new feelings. It can be as simple as hearing a bird sing it’s morning song to a smile from a child that you pass on the street. The beauty that the world holds has always captivated me in ways that even I couldn’t understand.
My name is Amber. My mother said that she named me that because my hair is the color of golden straw in the sunlight. However, she still sometimes calls me the nickname she had given me when I was a small girl. Goldilocks. Hearing her call out for me like that had always put a smile on my face.
My mother’s name is as beautiful as she is. Melody. I have always thought that it suited her in a way. It was probably due to the fact that the sound of her voice had always reminded me of the most beautiful songs. The kind without words, but it was still possible to interpret the feelings behind the notes.
She is a small framed woman and for some reason, she looks younger than she is. Her long hair looks just like mine. The length of it fell just around the middle of her back and when the sun hits it, it is absolutely breathtaking.
The blueness of her eyes grabs you and at times I feel like I get lost in them. There are no words on Earth that I could use that would describe them well enough.
I was raised in the most simple of ways. My parents had only expected that I listened to what I was told and that I take their advice. Considering that I have the most loving and understanding parents in the world, it wasn’t hard for me to do what they asked of me.
Ever since I can remember, my father had a certain simplicity to him as well. He was stern when he had to be, but I cannot remember a single time that I have heard him raise his voice in anger at anyone. There have been times when I thought that he should have, but that just isn’t who my father is.
Both my father and mother have such a degree of understanding to them. To be honest, I’m beyond thankful for both of them and the life they have worked so hard to give me.
Our house isn’t a mansion, but it isn’t a shack either. We live in a three bedroom brick house that sits perfectly at the end of a gravel driveway. Fields lay as far as the eye can see to each side of the house. In the back is a bit different. The darkest forest that I have ever seen is only a few minutes stroll from the back yard.
When I was a young child I was never allowed to go near the woods. To be honest, I’m not sure why, but that was the only time that I can remember seeing my parents in a panic. That was a day that I don’t think I will ever get out of my memory.
I had been outside playing in the back. There had been some squirrels that I was watching. The way that they were scattering around had caught my attention. Before I knew what was happening, I had followed them to the edge of the trees. It was dark under the trees. The tops had blocked out the sun in such a way that it almost seemed like night inside the forest.
The first step that I had taken inside the trees was almost a warning sign to my parents. The sound of the back door slinging open was odd. It had been so forceful. Even as a small child it alarmed me.
My mother was calling my name as she was running frantically to me. Not but a few feet behind her was my father. As I watched them racing to me I could see the fear on both of their faces. Being such a small child, I couldn’t understand what the problem was. Was there something wrong with the animals?
As soon as my mother reached me, she scooped me up and moved me from the forest. I was back in the sunlight. Her voice at that moment stays etched inside my memory. There had been such urgency in her warning to me to stay away from the forest. Being a good girl, I listened and promised that I would never go there again. My mother’s tears meant something more than just normal fear that day. I had done something that was worse than I knew, but it wasn’t something that I had understood. All I knew is that I had better listen to what my mother had told me.
Now I am seventeen years old and I still don’t go to that area. The memory frightens me still. Over the years, I had heard my parent speak of bears that lived inside the forest. They had always seemed to be concerned that they would come out in the fields. I wasn’t sure why other than being afraid that they would come up to the house. Bears were animals that are unpredictable at best. There was something about the discussions that bothered me. My parents had always spoke of not one, but a group of three bears. Something about the nature of it struck me in a sinister way. One thing was certain. Something terrible was wrong with those bears.
Spring has finally come. The coldness of the Winter has gone and the warmth of the sun has replaced it. This is my favorite time of year. All the flowers are starting to bloom and the vivid colors are to die for. Nature has always been one of the best things to me. Trees seem to sway and speak to one another as the light breeze passes through their tops.
Looking out my window was a morning ritual. Watching the sun come up gave me a sense of renewal and hope that every day could be the beginning of something great.
I had been talking to a guy for several weeks now. His name is Jayce and he’s seventeen too. There is something about him that I can’t quite put my finger on, but I know that he is a good person. I’ve watched him while he is around his friends. He has a gentle nature to him. The compassion that he shows other people is profound and It draws me closer to him every day. At first we started out as friends. It was an accident that we had met. Jayce is part of the popular crowd. The fact that he is the captain of the football team wasn’t a bad thing. Usually guys like him are mean and inconsiderate, but he isn’t. I like that about him.
We are both seniors now. The first day of school was when we actually met. I was walking down the hall with Hope. She has been my best friend since grade school. Where you see one of us, you see the other. The bell had just rung. As always, I’m trying my best to get to my next class without getting detention. When I rounded the corner, I smacked right into Jayce. My books went flying and I was in the floor looking straight up at him. He had such a curious smile at that moment and I was in love in an instant. When he held his hand down to me I took it without hesitation. After helping me back to my feet, he gathered my books and asked to walk me to my next class. I agreed with a smile and a feeling that I had stumbled on to something that would become something far greater than anything that I could ever imagine.
At the door of my next class he handed me all the books that he had been carrying. With that grin that I seemed to have fallen in love with he asked for my number. I grabbed a pen from my bag and scribbled it gently on the back of his hand, told him I would talk to him later and walked into class.
As I walked to my desk it was like I was walking on a cloud, floating above my reality. Nothing seemed to matter except for the way that he had made me feel at that very moment. It was as if my every emotion had changed and for once I am seeing things in a different light.
I struggled to keep my mind on the lecture my teacher was giving, but all I could think about was Jayce. He had invaded my mind and I fought to control my thoughts. Between Biology and him battling inside my mind for control, I was beginning to think that I was going to go crazy. I had never been this scattered in my life. Is this what love is supposed to feel like? To me it seems to be more like a tsunami inside myself. Finally, the bell ending the school day rang. I don’t think that I have ever been so relieved.
I walked out of class hoping to see Jayce, but he wasn’t there. I’m not sure why that I was thinking that he would be standing outside the door waiting on me. I suppose that was a bit childish of me. We had just met and I’m already dreaming up hopes and expectations that I shouldn’t.
My drive home was longer than usual. I had decided to go by the river on my way home. I had thought that the relaxing sound of the water would calm my thoughts, but this time it didn’t. So much for that great idea. Although, I was enjoying the view.
This had to be my most favorite place to go. The walk down to the water was hard at times. My parents had never been comfortable with the fact that I come here alone. They told me that it was too dangerous, but they understood. The only request that they had made was that I made sure to let them know when I come here and when I’m leaving. I can compromise on that issue with no problem at all. They have a good point. If I were to come here and something happens to me then they would know where to come.
The hill is steep and I have to be careful of my footing. The trail is covered with various rocks that range in size. Some are larger and easier to maneuver around, while others are smaller and make the chance of sliding down the hill more possible. Once that I finally reached the rock wall I jumped over it and made my way to the water’s edge. I only had a short distance to go and then I would be on the large rock that sits right above the pool of water that always seems to draw me to it. When the water is up I can’t make it over there, but thankfully it was still passable.
The rush of the water coming over the dam has the ability to drown out any noise other than the water. It is so powerful that hearing the traffic going over the bridge above me is nearly impossible. As I sat down on the rock, my thoughts seemed to disappear. Nothing was left to confuse, excite, or to worry me at all. It was just me and the peaceful sounds of nature.
Time must have eluded me because my phone chimed alerting me that I had received a text message. When I opened it I smiled. It was my mother asking if I was still ok. Answering her with the most thoughtful of replies, I said yes. The sun had already begun to lower from the resting place in the sky and I knew that I needed to leave now if I was going to be able to make it back to my car before it gets too late to see.
Before I started my journey out I sent my mother a quick text letting her know that I was on my way out. She worries too much so I guess making it a little easier for her would be the most daughterly thing for me to do.
I took my time climbing my way up the gravel hill. All that I needed was to fall and break a leg or even worse than that, I could just fall and die altogether.
At the top I was thankful to see my car sitting there waiting. The hike takes quite a bit out of me even with me being in good physical shape. If it wasn’t for the rewards of the serenity this place gives to me I wouldn’t dare tread down there.
With a smile on my face, peace in my heart, and hope for the future, I started the engine and began on my way home. The closer that I got to my house, the more unsettled that I became. There was no reason at all for me to feel this way. I have the most undeniably wonderful parents that anyone could ask for and my life was as simple and easy as pie. Something was telling me that maybe things just aren’t right. Maybe something was wrong that I didn’t know about.
I walked in the front door. My parents must not have heard me because usually my mother would call out to me from wherever in the house she was at the time. Closing the door quietly behind me I found myself doing something that I had never done before. I was eavesdropping on my parents as they were having what seemed to be a very important conversation.
My mother was telling my father things that I couldn’t understand. She was saying that she had done everything possible to keep me from the woods, but when she is gone they will come.
My question is who will come? Why would she be saying that someone was going to come for me and more than that, why would the woods be such a desperate sounding topic for my mother all of these years? There is something that she was hiding from me, something that she didn’t want me to know about. But, why? I listened as closely as I could to what was being said. Silently I was praying to myself to not get caught listening in.
My father was reassuring her that he would do everything in his power to keep me safe. What scared me the most was my mother said that when she is gone. What does that mean? I found myself crying and I knew in an instant that I had been discovered. When I opened my eyes to be sure that I wasn’t having a nightmare both of my parents were standing in the doorway looking right at me. I expected to see anger in their faces, but that wasn’t the case. All that I could see is desperation in my mother’s eyes and fear in my father’s. I couldn’t even speak. I just stood there and looked at them both almost scared out of my mind. For the first time in my life I was uncertain of what was happening in my world. This was a feeling that I was in no way accustomed to.
My father swallowed hard and asked, “How long have you been standing there?”
With shame in my heart my answer was not only the truth, but it was also full of regret. “Too long.”
The silence between the three of us was the loudest void that I have ever heard. Had I not chose to listen I could have very well avoided this whole situation, but deep inside my heart I knew that I needed to know what they were talking about. Families are not supposed to keep secrets from one another and I wasn’t aware that things were being hidden.
“Amber, I think that we need to talk.” My mother said to me as she motioned for me to follow them into the room and I did. She took a seat beside my father on the sofa and I chose to sit in the recliner across from them. It was the closest to the doorway in case I should feel the need to escape.
My mother had begun to tell me a story. It was one that I could recall hearing as a small child, but this time it was different. There was more of maturity in the tale.
Long ago there had been a young girl that had stumbled into the woods nearby. She had been following her new puppy that she had received from her parents on her seventh birthday. Before she knew it, the trees had overshadowed the sunlight and she had gone too deep into the woods to be able to find her way back. When she finally realized that she was lost she began to cry.
Much to her dismay, the little girl hadn’t known that evil spirits lurked in the woods. They heard her dries and watched as she desperately searched for a reminder of the way home, but she never seen one thing that could help her.
The evil spirits had seemed to see something in the child that could be of use to them, so they used their magic to embody a bear cub. Being clever they had chosen one that was fairly young so that the size wouldn’t frighten the child away. As they drew closer to the child the almost angelic words were heard coming from her tiny lips. It was something that the spirits had never heard before. The girl was praying. She had dropped to her knees in the middle of the darkest of woods and was praying with every ounce of faith in her heart. She was asking for a solution to her problem. Whether that be leading her father to her rescue, or just to keep her safe until dawn so that she could try to find her way back home.
The evil spirits found that they could have contact with the child as the bear, but they soon realized that something was blocking the magic that they wished to use against the child.
I interrupted my mother despite what I had been taught, but I done it out of confusion. “How could such a fairytale be relevant in my life now?” I asked her.
“You must listen to me very carefully, Amber. This story is so much more than just a simple fairytale, my child. It is the story of a curse and you have to give me your word that you will listen to every single word that I tell you. Listen even if you think that it is crazy and could in no way make any sense at all. Will you promise me that?” The desperation in her eyes was something that I had never seen in my mother. There was something more to this and I have to give her my word to listen as closely as I possibly can to what she is going to try to tell me.
I nodded my head in return of her request and decided that if this was that important to her then it should be as equally important to me.
She began right where she left off. Her voice had such a way about it that it didn’t matter what she told you, in your heart you could believe that it was the truth.
The girl caught sight of the animal and her curiosity had taken over. There was no doubt in her mind that it was in fact a small bear cub. She had begun to think that maybe it was lost just like she was. Silently, she sat and watched it as each step closed the distance between them. Not once did she fear being hurt. That was what had left the evil spirits unable to contact her other than by physical contact by the cub.
When the cub got close enough for her to reach, she extended her hand out slowly and with one tiny innocent finger she touched the cold, wet nose of the bear.
Soon she fell asleep while cuddled next to the bear for warmth. The girl felt that she was safe, but that wasn’t the case at all. That first touch had set the evil spirit’s plan into motion.
The next morning the child had awakened, but the bear was gone. She began to wander deeper into the woods during her search for the animal that had helped her through the night. She looked over every hill and behind every tree, but the cub was nowhere to be found. When she came upon a small creek she dropped to her knees to try to get a drink of water. She had walked for so long and was terribly thirsty. With her hands cupped, she drew handfuls of water from the cold stream and to her small lips. On the last sip she heard something stir nearby. In a matter of seconds, she was on the hunt again for her beloved hero.
With every twist and turn that she made through the trees, she found herself with less hope of ever finding her way out of the situation that she is in.
As I listened carefully to what my mother was trying to tell me, I noticed that she was wringing her hands in a nervous way and seeing her this way made me uneasy. There had to be a way for me to escape the rest of this conversation, but I knew that this wasn’t something that I was going to be able to get away with. Unfortunately, I have to sit here and listen to this.
I dropped my head into my hands, but my mother kept telling the story anyway.
The little girl had walked a very long way and had found no sign of her cub, nor had she found anything that would help her find her way out of the woods. Again, she began to cry, but she kept walking. Every tree looked the same and the sky was beginning to darken once again. She had been walking all day and she hadn’t found a way to eat. The only thing that she had was the water from the stream. Her frail body was becoming more weak by the moment from the lack of food. She wished that she had never gone out into the woods alone. If she could find her way out she swore to herself that she would never do it again.
In the distance, she could see the trees opening to a clear space and inside that clearing was a small cottage with a single light on. She was so excited when she seen it that her innocent eyes couldn’t see the real danger that was lurking there.
She ran as fast as she could. It seemed like she had run for miles before she actually made it to the door. Scared of what might happen, she took a single step back from the door. Her father had always told her never to talk to strangers, but this time she has to. Maybe the people who live here could help her get back home.
With a small step and a deep breath she raised her hand to the door and knocked.
After a short moment the door started to open. Standing there with a beautiful smile, that made the girl feel a little safer, was a young woman. Her hair glistened in the sunset. When she spoke to the child her voice seemed to calm her. It had such a gentle tone, just like her mother, but she was still a stranger. The only thing that the girl could do was ask the lady for her help.
She told her about how she had gotten lost in the woods and was unable to find her way back home.
The woman invited her inside and offered her a bowl of food.
When the girl looked at it she curled her nose and the woman asked her what was wrong.
“What is this?” the girl asked.
“Child, that is a warm meal for a small girl who hasn’t eaten in days.” The woman told her.
The woman’s response to what she had asked made the girl sad. She had not followed the teachings of her parents about having good manners.
“I’m sorry Ma’am. I didn’t mean that to sound bad.”
The woman just smiled back and encouraged her to eat.
After eating half of the meal, the small girl became sleepy and asked the woman if she could lie down for just a short while.
“Absolutely, dear.” The woman replied acting rather pleased that she could help the child. She showed her to a small bed in the back of the house. As soon as the girl saw it she felt relieved that it wasn’t some ratty old bed that wasn’t fit for a dog to sleep in.
Once she was in the bed the woman covered her with warm, soft blankets and asked, “Child. What is your name?”
With sleepy eyes the girl looked at her and replied, “Goldilocks.”
“I am Ira. Sweet dreams child.”
In no time at all she was fast asleep.