Aoife Marie Sheridan

Ultimate Fantasy Books

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Posted 21 minutes ago

Blog Tour ~ Blood of the Infected ~ Excerpt

Blog Tour ~ The Blood of the Infected Series

Author:  Antony J. Stanton

Genre: post-apocalyptic/thriller/horror

Tour Dates: 15th - 19th of May


“Once Bitten, Twice Die” by Antony J. Stanton

The end of the world was just the beginning.

A cure for dementia has disastrously failed. Patients are left crazed, infectious and enraged. The ensuing carnage quickly spreads the disease, and civilisation is decimated.

   On London’s outskirts a military base shelters some survivors. The soldiers within must battle against the infected who now roam unchallenged. Tensions are high, relationships fraught, death commonplace.

   But if they thought the end of the world was bad enough, their troubles have only just begun…

   An ancient menace has long existed in secret alongside humanity - a vampire clan, which has recently encountered the soldiers. Now is their time to emerge from the shadows. First though they have to overcome their own problems. They too have to fight for survival against the infected, and they violently disagree on their approach towards the humans.

   Hostilities are rising. It’s only a matter of time now…

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Book two from ‘The Blood of the Infected’ series: “Once Bitten, Twice Live”

When death is the best option, survival is no longer enough…

With a growing realization that their continued existence bestows upon them a debt to humanity, the survivors look to create a cure for the insanity that has brought civilization to its knees. But that only encourages disagreement and infighting, and comes at a heavy price, bringing various shocks and surprises.

Tensions amongst the vampires are escalating, jeopardizing the very existence of the clan itself. A battle for supremacy seems inevitable and their future is in the balance. How far will Farzin go to achieve his aims - domination of the vampires and humans alike? And how terrible will his vengeance be against any who stand in his path? Their interaction with the humans threatens to increase and not necessarily for the benefit of either group.

Meanwhile the wrathful infected grow ever hungrier…

When every day is a struggle to stay alive, survival of the fittest is never guaranteed.

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Book three from 'The Blood of the Infected’ series: “Twice Bitten, Twice Die”

When there’s no one left to hear you scream…

Deaths amongst the survivors are occurring at an unsustainable rate. Numbers are rapidly dwindling. Morale is plummeting. Soon they will be beyond salvation, yet their real task has only just begun. But will anyone remain alive to complete it? Nothing could have prepared the soldiers for what lies ahead. If they thought life was brutal already, they had absolutely no idea…

The vampires are in disarray. Their relationships are becoming blurred, confused and violent. A titanic clash between soldiers and vampires seems imminent but no one’s survival is assured.

In a world where life is unpredictable, the threat from the infected suddenly becomes even more unexpected and menacing. Hostilities are inevitable. Only one thing is certain: there will be blood!

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Author Bio:

“Once Bitten, Twice Die” is the debut novel from Antony J. Stanton. The book is the first of ‘The Blood of the Infected’ series, in the ‘post-apocalyptic action thriller’ genre. Stanton was born in London in 1970. Even as a child he always dreamed of becoming a published author, and he started to write a book. But, having watched the film ‘Top Gun,’ he was swayed into a becoming a military pilot. After no more than a glancing blow of a career in the British Royal Air Force he decided that his long term future lay elsewhere and he became a commercial pilot and remains thus to this day. Hence much of this trilogy was written all around the world, generally at unsociable times when jet-lag meant that normal people were asleep.

During a holiday with three friends, a bet was made amongst them. Each had a task to fulfil within the year – Stanton’s was to write a book. A little late, but five years on and his challenge has been completed. Three times.

His period spent in the RAF helped him write the military survival aspects of this book, and a kidnapping incident in Kazakhstan and shooting in Ghana, amongst other ‘adventures’, provided him with a dark well of experience to draw from. Life is, after all, one big adventure. A combination of the aforementioned, along with his love of the darker sides of literature, and the results are this novel and the next two in the trilogy.

And all it took was the impetus of a friendly challenge to spur him on to his creative dream… He still lives in South London and is very much looking forward to watching his friend fulfilling his part of the challenge: demonstrating his (not-so) newly acquired break-dancing skills, surely a sight to behold

Visit him at:








The word was quickly followed by the unexpected relief of first blood, an experience like none other, either previously or since. There was an explosion in his body that shook his limbs and vibrated seemingly down to his very molecules. His back arched as his arms and legs locked, and his tongue cried out for more. With frustrating sloth, the blood was trickled into his mouth, a gradual drip-feed of desire and exultation. It was as though, with every extra drop, he was given a glimpse of the person who he was consuming, a share of their life-force and experiences, a link to a higher consciousness, and an ever-diminishing glimpse of the person that was being extinguished and left behind – his former self. In the swirling red haze that engulfed him the profundity of his awareness lurched as he gasped out for more.

Rather than satiating him however, it led to an unquenchable thirst; a desire that his carer must have already experienced, and one that he had spent his existence ever since denying and resisting; when able. But that stoic resolve only formed later, when lucidity and control had returned through the fog of confusion and carer must have already experienced, and one that he had spent his existence ever since denying and resisting; when able. But that stoic resolve only formed later, when lucidity and control had returned through the fog of confusion and half dreams that had surrounded him in those early moments.

Initially he had been a ravenous beast, following the command of the one who had turned him and then of the Clan Leader, and finally of the clan in general, until their collective will was gradually replaced by his own. Sebastian was never sure thereafter whether that word, ‘please’, had come from his own mouth, a plea, begging for sustenance and enlightenment, or whether it had been uttered by his carer, urging him to accept the offering, to partake of the change and unify with them. The word was released dryly into the room and remained unanswered. Unseen hands tilted his head back, forcing his mouth open and one drop was followed by another, slowly completing his transformation, as his veins and his body welcomed the new order, the new genus. His new destiny.

Over the subsequent hours or days or weeks, as the taste of blood grew familiar and coveted, he slowly came to his senses, only to find that those senses were now keener and more finely honed than ever before. The smell of salt on the wind was more stinging, the scent of ladies’ perfumes more enchanting. The sound of seagulls crying and bells clanging more acute and piercing, the drowsy gasp of a woman as his lips slowly parted on her neck in his clumsy early attempts, entirely enthralling. Colours became more alive, leaping out at him and filling him with awe and appreciation anew, just as guilt and regret faded and perished. Life started to acquire a more vibrant and hedonistic nature. Reasons for living were few and basic, yet they were all he needed, and heightened for that very simplicity. As he grew into consciousness he was gradually relinquished from the gentle hold of the one who had turned him, all so hazy and confused back then. Steadily he took control of his own actions and his own future, as much as any individual soul can.

Posted 3 days ago

Blog Tour ~ Hell Holes Series ~ Excerpt

Blog Tour ~ Hell Holes Series ~ (What Lurks Below & Demons on the Dalton)

Author: Donald G. Firesmith

Genre: Science Fiction /Paranormal/Fantasy

Dates: 1st – 12th of May

Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours


When hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, they threaten financial and environmental catastrophe should any more open up under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline or any of the many oil wells and smaller pipelines that feed it. An oil company sends a scientific team to investigate. But when the geologist, his climatologist wife, two of their graduate students, a local newspaper reporter, an oil company representative, and a field biologist arrive at one of the holes, they discover a far worse danger lurks below, one that threatens to destroy all of humanity when it emerges, forcing the survivors to flee south towards Fairbanks.





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When hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appeared overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, geologist Jack Oswald picked Angele Menendez, his climatologist wife, to determine if the record temperatures due to climate change was the cause. But the holes were not natural. They were unnatural portals for an invading army of demons. Together with Aileen O’Shannon, a 1,400-year-old sorceress demon-hunter, the three survivors of the research team sent to study the holes had only one chance: to flee down the dangerous Dalton Highway towards the relative safety of Fairbanks. However, the advancing horde of devils, imps, hellhounds, and gargoyles would stop at nothing to prevent their prey from escaping. It was a 350-mile race with simple rules. Win and live; lose and die…




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Author Bio:


A geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He’s also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat by his fear that the term “distinguished” makes him sound like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still slightly more red than gray.

By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, and his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and birds.

His magical wands and autographed copies of his books are available from the Firesmith’s Wand Shoppe at:


Visit him at:








Hell Holes: What Lurks Below

Excerpt – In the Plane

Once everything was stowed, I followed Mark up the short stairs and into the lavish interior of the business jet. Unlike the cramped commuter planes I usually took when flying up to the oil fields, the Embraer Legacy 500 made first class seem like coach. Either the executive funding our study was desperate to get us up there, or this was the only aircraft the company had left to send. Either way, I was happy for the unexpected upgrade.

Unlike typical airliners, the jet’s eight large leather seats were organized around four small tables, two on either side of the cabin. Each table separated two seats, one seat facing the back of the airplane and the other facing forward. Angie and Jill were seated in the first row of the plane leaving the second row seats facing forwards for Mark and me. I’d just sat down opposite my wife when she pointed her finger over my shoulder. Following Mark had prevented me from noticing the unexpected extra person seated in the rear of the cabin. With the satisfied smile of a cat having feasted on canary, there sat Aileen O’Shannon. I wondered whether Angie and Jill had selected this particular seating arrangement so they could glare at the weirdly bewitching beauty in the back. Of course, it may have been to keep Mark and me from being tempted to look at her instead of paying proper attention to our wives.

I got up and marched straight to the rear of the plane and said, “I’m sorry, but I never said you could come along on this trip.”

“You are?” she asked coyly. “Oh, my. You never said I could not come.” She gave me a stunning smile that I’m sure usually got her everything she’d ever asked for. “I naturally took your silence to signify agreement, so I packed my bag and cameras, and here I am. Lucky for you that I did; you wouldn’t want to get up there only to realize you needed someone to make a visual record of your discoveries. Besides, I know some of the discoveries the Russians made that they didn’t publish.”

The co-pilot walked up behind me. “Excuse me, Dr. Oswald. Can you please take your seat now? We’re on a very tight schedule, and Mr. Kowalski wants you in Deadhorse as soon as possible.”

I looked up front and saw that the cabin door was already closed, and the seat belt signs were on. Before I could answer, the plane began taxiing away from the hangar. Realizing that it was too late to rid ourselves of the reporter, I turned around and took my seat facing Angie.

“I see we still have Miss O’Shannon with us,” Angie said with a hint of irritation. “I thought you’d decided we didn’t need her.”

“I did,” I answered as the plane accelerated down the runway. “But the cabin door was already closed, and we were already moving.”

“Jack, you’re the leader of this study, and this plane wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for you. The pilot would have turned around if you’d asked him to.”

“You’re right,” I admitted sheepishly, silently cursing my habit of not questioning authority figures, at least not unless it involved science.

“Well, what are you going to do about it?”

Suddenly and for no apparent reason, my annoyance with O’Shannon disappeared, and I felt an overpowering desire to keep her with us, with me. I twisted around and looked back at her. She was staring back at me with a knowing smile. God, she looked so mesmerizingly beautiful as her fingers provocatively played with the top button of her shirt. Of course, she should come…

“Jack… Jack!”

I jerked back around, my heart pounding as I felt my face warming. I was blushing from embarrassment and guilt. I was also confused, unsure of what had just happened.

“Jack, I was talking to you, and you just ignored me! What’s gotten into you?”

Posted 2 weeks ago

Blog Tour ~ The Guardian ~ Excerpt

Blog Tour ~ The Guardian

Author:  J.L. Mc Fadden

Genre: Paranormal/Romance

Tour Dates: 24th - 28th of April

Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours


John a young man from Detroit realizes he has a special bond with a vampire, which gives him special abilities and makes both of them a target; the ancients will stop at nothing to destroy him and his relationship with this unbridled female vampire. Will John’s new found abilities be enough to save her and her coven?


Buy Links: ~

Barnes &Noble~

Smashwords ~


Author Bio:

J.L McFadden is an American author that has an European writing style. He is an advid taveler and linguest that uses alot of his experiences in his fictional novels. He also enjoys sports and takes part in international martial communities. McFadden is a paranormal romance author that has a way of spinning tragic romance into stories that stays with his readers.

Visit him at:






When John arrived at the training grounds the next evening, Adela already waited there for him. With her back to him, her long jet black hair, tied back into a ponytail, swung past her shoulders, and John could fully appreciate the way her latex shorts and a sports top hugged her frame. On sneaker-clad feet, she spun to face him and seemed to be assessing John as she tapped the fingers of her right hand against her cheek.

“Hope you’re ready,” she finally said, “because today I am going to hit you harder and faster than you have ever experienced.”

The ending wink she offered left John confused. He didn’t know if she meant to be playful, as he’d never seen her that way before. “I just hope you brought your A-game!” he responded.

“Feeling cocky, today, I see.”

“No more than usual.”

“Let’s see you put your money where your mouth is,” she said with a playful laugh.

From the woods, Gala watched on, her hands clenching and teeth grinding the more she saw. She barely recognized the woman flirting with John. Besides never having seen Adela behave in such a way before, Gala had always pictured the ancients as maturing more at the time of change, not regressing into a teenager’s state of mind.

John stamped his foot into the ground a few times and cracked his neck, trying to get ready for what was about to happen. He stopped, though, when Adela began warm up stretches in front of him.

She motioned for him to do the same. “Can’t have you out of training due to a pulled muscle, now can we?”

What the hell? Since when had vampires needed to stretch? Though John couldn’t deny enjoying the view as he watched her, nor the effect it had on his body. God, her body was perfect. He couldn’t take his eyes off the perfect rump.

Sure, he loved Gala, but every man looked a little. And John did it guilt free, seeing as the only thoughts stirring through him as he studied the tightening and stretching of Adela’s muscles was the times Gala did her backbends in only her underwear and bra in front of him.

Adela motioned John forward with her fingers. When he was only about ten feet away, she ran towards him. John didn’t understand the action until she jumped with both feet in the air and pounded against his hardened abs.

He shot backward from the assault, sliding about twenty feet across the ground on his ass. John jumped to his feet and shook it off as he ran towards her. Adela also charged, but as she jumped, he fell back and slid beneath her, spinning around to face her, just as she did to him, with his hands planted on the ground in preparation to move if needed.

Laughing, Adela smacked the ground with her hand. “That-a-boy, John!”

Her next charge kept her low to the ground. John charged back, but leaped after her and, in midair, spun around and grabbed her by the torso. As soon as his feet hit the ground, he flipped into a backbend and slammed her off the ground, even as his own feet were skidding across the earth.

Reaching up over her head, she used the momentum to propel John over her and rolled onto her feet, swinging at him repeatedly, as he threw punches while trying to block the incoming attack from her. He mostly blocked and then, hunkering down like a boxer, rammed his ribcage into hers. Pushing her back gave him the space and time he needed to react and try to get some hits of his own in.

It was evident by the fire in their eyes, that they both loved the moment, and were both having fun.

Picking up speed, John’s movements grew faster as he bobbed and ducked, jabbing and hitting more like a boxer. As a child, John friend’s dad had been a Navy silver gloves boxer and had spent a lot of time working with his son’s friends. John drew on his old lessons with each blow he threw.

From opposite, Adela kicked and hit him with a smirk on her face. Their speeds would have made their actions almost a blur to the human eye.

Gala grew angrier and angrier watching Adela with her man. The more she observed, the more she became convinced that Adela was flirting with him. I should just leave him here and see how he does without me. He is the lucky one.

Gala always had a high opinion of herself, even though it was always someone else that gave her whatever she had. When human, she had lived off her parents’ income, never earning a cent of her own and always having her hand out for more from her parents. As a vampire, Adela had always taken care of her. She had never had a man who loved her, and she was too spoilt to recognize the gift for what it was or to understand the worth of his love.

The battle grew more and more feverish as the attacks from Adela became more intense. Trees ended up snapped in half as they slammed each other against them. The area had begun to resemble a battlefield rather than a forest training ground, as both of them pushed harder and harder.

Adela was curious to discover how much he could handle until she overstepped the mark. She grabbed him by the shoulders and flung herself over him without letting go. As soon as her feet touched down, she dropped to her knees and hurled him towards the trees, sending him crashing into a tree, which snapped in half on impact.

Both of the girls’ hearts stopped for a moment, as they stared at him laying there in a crumpled and broken state, covered in chunks of wood.

They both seemed to bolt for him at the same time.

Gala, shockingly faster, slid the last few feet on her knees and lifted his head up onto her lap. “Baby boy, baby boy, please open your eyes.” Gala cried as she held him.

“My god, Gala, I am sorry. I thought he could handle it.”

Adela dropped to her knees, her gaze flicking from an unmoving John to Gala as she held him and sobbed, begging him to come back to her. Praying for him to be merely unconscious, Adela tried to comfort Gala, for she all too well understood the feeling of losing the one that you love.

Gala’s body trembled as she raised her face upward and begged to the spirits to allow him to come back to her. She turned to Adela with pure hate and anger twisting her features. “I thought you were going to be careful with him.”

Posted 3 weeks ago

Blog Tour ~ Grimm Remains with Excerpt

Blog Tour ~ Grimm Remains

Author: Eli Celata

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Dates: 11th – 21st of April

Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours


Sometimes the fairy tale’s end is just the Grimm beginning.

Mammon’s summoning turned Rochester into a beacon for the denizens of Hell. As demon activity increases, Jon settles in for a new academic year, and Jordan moves in as the city’s protector. Unfortunately, the young warlock of Rochester might not be around long if the Devil’s marine legion has a say. Havfine, demonic mermaids, don’t often leave deep lakes and ocean waters. They’re better known for drowning mortal sailors than hunting magic users, but something has sent them upstream from Lake Ontario. When three orphans vanish from a magical sanctuary in Toronto, their caretaker – the Wizard Monday – dredges up a part of Jordan’s and Jon’s father’s history that Jordan would have rather forgotten. In this race against the Bane of Hamelin, more than three souls may be on the line.


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Author Bio:


Eli Celata was born in Rochester and is currently attending Binghamton University as a doctoral student.

Author’s Social Media Links:

Twitter: @Celata_E






I watched as Jordan stepped out onto the water.

While he should have sunk right down, his remaining on the surface didn’t surprise me. Magic seemed to enjoy defying physics. He walked out partway and studied the surface. There were a few centimeters between the sole of his shoes and the water. Gray blue, murky water flowed northward. If a havfine hid beneath, the water obscured the demon from view. Turning back to me, Jordan glided to the shore line.

“It’s air manipulation. You’re levitating,” he explained raising himself an inch higher, then returning to his previous position. “Don’t think. Just do.”

Another gem from my wonderful Yoda. Then again, the original hadn’t believed in trying, so maybe obscure and unreasonable demands were par for the course in apprenticeships. I rolled my eyes but did what I was told. Floating just an inch above the ground, I concentrated on keeping steady. It worked fine until I stepped forward. The foot in motion dropped down onto the ground like I’d missed some invisible step. Jordan didn’t laugh. He just crossed his arms and waited for me to right myself and do it again. After a handful more failures, I succeeded on my eighth attempt to keep the levitation. My foot hovered over the small crests, then the second. Beside me, Jordan followed a step behind as we paced back and forth underneath the bridge.

“This is insane,” I said. Each step came with a rushing sensation. The current echoed up my legs like a kind of sonar. Fish, rocks, and debris bounced around in my head in half translated blurs.

“We’ll do one more round then head up to the lake.”

Jordan’s lips twisted slightly to the side. Without warning, he shoved me. I stumbled struggling to keep my balance. My shoes dipped a bit below the surface of the water, and once I brought it back up, they were soaked. Before I could completely level myself, a pale blue-scaled hand broke through the ripples. Inky black–tipped claws enveloped my ankle, and with a sharp tug, dragged me halfway beneath the water. Magic reared within me. Lightning leapt from my hands, but before they could reach the water, Jordan lifted me over his head like old Rafiki. He threw me back onto land. The bolts of plasma moved forward regardless. Electricity danced over the Genesee.

Reaching into his coat pocket, Jordan pulled out a retractable fishing rod and a bundle of lures. He set the two up together and tossed out his line. As the lures disappeared beneath the surface, they let out green, pulsing light. No sooner had they vanished from sight, a shriek the same as the last havfine’s death cry rang through the air. Unlike the previous havfine Jordan had killed, this one breached. Tangled around one pale blue arm was the lure. A black tail lined in sharp needled points matched the demon’s claws. While all stories had shown long hair or some more feminine features, the havfine’s limited features were ambiguous. There was no nose. Instead, gills lined the demon’s torso from its clavicle to just above the hip. I crawled backwards as quickly as possible, staring in horror. Black coral grew forth from the havfine’s head.

Jordan smirked. Tugging the fishing line back, he allowed his magic to keep pulling, sweeping the line up in a swirling vortex. He stretched his hands out to his sides with his palms facing the demon. Two small silver circles in the center of his palms flashed. The havfine bared its teeth. Sharp needled points filled its mouth, more metal than organic. Slamming his palms together, Jordan ignited a stream of blue plasma which shot from one silver circle to the other in large static bursts. His face lit with the glow, and the red of his hair glistened brighter as he manipulated the energy. A flick of his wrists sent a jolt at the demon. It flailed and green liquid leaked from between its black scales. Claws slashed; teeth gnashed, but vortex tied the fishing wire tightly around the beast. Jordan aligned the water vapors in the air, and with a second flick of his wrist sent a continuous line of plasma into the havfine.

“Who’s come through?” Jordan demanded.

The demon spat, its blue tongue curling like a worm in its mouth as the electricity ran through its body. Jordan didn’t bother to ask again. He simply waited.

Thrashing, the havfine hissed in a voice like a dying breath: “Fjord of fire; hornpipes boonpale Hein’s furbelows brume. All who hear shall fall. Two by two by two – carried all.”

With a flick of its tail, the havfine severed the line, but it was too late. From its blackened claws to the trailing stingers on its tail, the plasma burst through the seams rendering the demon to tar. Specks landed in the Genesee and vanished downstream. If it had ever been a heavenly host, so little remained that its death didn’t have any more of a transformative effect than a baoht’s. With the rod back in hand, Jordan swaggered back to shore. His lips curled downwards.

“What’s a fjord?” I asked.

Jordan glanced up at me, seemingly struck out of his thoughts. “It’s a narrow inlet of the sea between cliffs.”

Nodding, I brushed my pants off. “Great. And the rest of it?”


Posted 4 weeks ago

New Release ~ Birdy & Fishy ~ Authors Lily & Sima Amis


Birdy & Fishy Book Blurb

“Birdy & Fishy” is a lovely and deep story, about the great power of hope. It is about, believing in miracles and the strength of friendship and loyalty. Despite different lifestyles, it is the desire for freedom that unites us. We should never give up on our dreams and desires. We should always trust in destiny because the higher power of the Universe will make the impossible, possible, sooner or later. But, remember, everything has its own time and there is a key to every lock because the creator never gives problems without a solution. Therefore, there’s no comparison between the sun and the moon, because they shine when it is their time and SO WILL YOU!

Birdy & Fishy is inspired by

This short story is inspired by the two first memoirs of Lily’s Trilogy, Destination: Freedom (ISBN-13: 978-1502852243, ASIN: B013YS2MWI) and Definition of Freedom (ISBN-13: 978-1515144588, ASIN: B01HK25TBU). Both book titles are also available in German and as ONE BOOK The Lily Amis Story.


The Lily Amis Story



ISBN-10: 1534780947

ISBN-13: 978-1534780941

ASIN: B01M9G47G2

The symbolic meaning behind “Birdy & Fishy”

This deeply meaningful short, age- and timeless story inspired by the two memoirs Destination: Freedom and Definition of Freedom is a reflection of Lily’s Life in a foreign country.


Fishy’s desperate desire for freedom, a circle of loving friends and a caring family, the feeling of belonging somewhere and of being accepted and integrated, is what many refugees/immigrants feel and struggle with. Some struggle, just for a while, but others for their entire lives. But, as they say, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and this story, with a happy ending, is a good lesson, to never give up on hope, faith, dreams, goals, wishes, and desires, despite the challenging obstacles, of destiny and our selfish, elbow-society!


Birdy & Fishy links


EBook on Smashwords

ISBN: 9781370442966

EBook on Amazon

ASIN: B06Y2F962F

Print Book on Amazon: Soon available! 

ISBN-13: 978-1545113318

ISBN-10: 1545113319


Birdy & Fishy Book Collection–fishy-collection

About Publisher, Author, Illustrator & Blogger Lily Amis


Nominated Multi-Genre Author, Blogger and Artist Lily Amis is the Author of “Destination: Freedom” and eleven more books. With her honest memoir she has enjoyed strong media exposure and public interest during the refugee crises in summer 2015. Placements included two features with British newspaper the Daily Mirror as well as interviews with popular UK’s lifestyle websites Female First and Frost Magazine.

Lily Amis had to fight against injustice, prejudice, discrimination and social isolation for almost three decades to become who she is today. An Independent Author living in Switzerland with the goal to entertain and educate readers about important and eye-opening topics in our society with her books and blogger magazine “Read My Mind”.

Her free online magazine is an entertain & educate project by Lily’s Publishing company nasSima design. With passionate and talented Authors and bloggers from all over the world she is inspiring aspiring Authors and readers as well as Indie Artists from all kind of genres such as music, movie and art. The first issue was published on April 4th 2017 and the RMM team is working on the summer issue now.

Lily Amis Socialmedia & Blogger magazine

Website: www.


Lily Amis Book Collections:

RMM Magazine:

Lily Amis Amazon Authorpage:

Lily Amis Smashwords Authorpage:

Twitter: @nasSimadesign and @ReadMyMinMag

Pinterest: @nassimadesign

Facebook: @LilyAmisAuthor, @LilyAmisMemoir, @LilyAmisShortStories, @ReadMyMindMagazine

Posted 6 weeks ago

GIVEAWAY ~ 3 autographed paperbacks, 1 bookmark and a $10 Amazon Gift card!*-_*-_

Posted 6 weeks ago

GIVEAWAY ~ 3 autographed paperbacks, 1 bookmark and a $10 Amazon Gift card!*-_*-_

Posted 6 weeks ago

Blog Tour ~ The Thieves of Nottica ~ Excerpt

Blog Tour ~ The Thieves of Nottica

Author:  Ash Gray

Genre:  Science Fiction/Steampunk

Tour Dates: 3rd – 7th of April          

Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours


In a world where humans are evil, invading aliens, Rigg is the youngest member of the Keymasters, a band of professional thieves who use their skills to defy an overbearing government known as the Hand. It is a world full of pollution, intrusive surveillance cameras, and injustice, where any who “give the finger to the Hand” are punished with death. The Keymasters are hired to steal a highly sought after treasure, but when one of their number is lost during the job, they find themselves the tools in a power play for said treasure – a mysterious lockbox that no one can open. To ultimately survive in the end, the Keymasters must battle their way through mechanical monsters, airships, and politics, literally going through shit (they travel through a sewage pipe) to make it out alive.


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Authors Bio:

Ash Gray is a dragon with minuscule spectacles perched on her nose, living in a wonderfully dank, musty cave far away in an alternate universe. She types her stories with gigantic claws on a ridiculously small typewriter before sending them through a membrane and into your dimension for your enjoyment.

I am the scariest thing you’ll find in the dark, forsaken places, with breath of fire and claws that shred. “Dragon!” they scream as I rip them red.

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“Kinda weird the spiders are just lettin’ us mosey on through,” Morganith said, shattering Rigg’s reverie.

They had been in Forest Purva for three days now and were finally coming to the other side. Hari walked at the lead of their procession, while Morganith walked at the back, and Rigg and Lisa walked side by side in the middle. Lisa was still wearing Rigg’s key, and the sight made her happy.

Morganith was holding her shotgun and jerked her head at the branches above, where the spiders slept. “Not that I’m complainin’. Woulda been real cliché to have fought the damn things.”

“Cliché?” Lisa repeated curiously.

“Yeah,” said Morganith, chucking her cigarette stub. “There’s notta story in existence where the heroes don’t fight giant spiders.” She wiggled her fingers, mimicking the spiders. “Not that we’re heroes, but there’s even some stories about us fightin’ ‘em.”

“Really?” laughed Rigg. She glanced back at Morganith, who was stamping through the dead grass with the signature swagger that always made her tatty leather coat flare out impressively behind her.

“Really,” Morganith answered with a laugh. “I was inna bar –”

Hari and Rigg groaned in unison, and Morganith cried, “What?”

“Every time you start a story with ‘I was inna bar,’ ” Hari complained.

“You go off into some craziness that can’t possibly be true,” Rigg added wearily.

Morganith waved an impatient hand. “Don’t listen to them, Lisa,” she said, and Lisa giggled. “Like I said, I was inna bar, and I’d just beaten this guy inna poison drinkin’ competition. I swear, I musta drank ah vat of poison before I won. When it was over, the whole bar started callin’ me Iron Gut –”

Rigg groaned and mouthed, “Help me!” to Lisa, who laughed.

“Did the other man die?” Lisa asked Morganith.

“Yeah, but that’s beside the point,” Morganith said dismissively, and Rigg shook her head. “So this guy sits down to buy me those drinks his dead friend owes me,” Morganith went on, “and as we’re sittin’ there drinkin’, he starts goin’ on and on about how he saw the Keymasters kill ah giant spider. Said the thing rose outta the fountain in Parue and we battled it with fire from our eyes.”

Hari laughed. “Exactly how drunk were you?”

Morganith snorted. “More like he was drunk.”

“The spiders have an aggression level of 2.1,” said Lisa factually. “We should be safe until we have exited the perimeter.”

“Because of me,” Hari said.

“More Alteri stuff?” said Morganith wearily.

“My people were at peace with the spiders,” said Hari. “We herded them like cattle. They know by my smell that I’m Alteri, so –”

“More Alteri stuff,” Morganith sighed.

Hari rolled her eyes. “Fine, Morganith, I’ll make you ah deal. I won’t burden you with random snippets about the Alteri for an entire hour.”

“Hallelujah,” Morganith muttered.

They had been traveling for some time in silence when a howl made their procession stop. It had come from behind them, deep within the trees. Night was falling, and the encroaching blue-black that swallowed the gray sky made it difficult to see. The four of them turned and drew close together, facing the hair-raising screech as they listened, still as mice. Rivet was perched on Hari’s shoulder and shivered meekly at the horrifying sound, spindly legs clicking together in fear.

“What the holy hell was that?” Morganith muttered, dark eyes rolling to the sky as she listened. Her shotgun was in both hands, and Rigg saw the moonlight gleam on a hint of metal that appeared through a hole in her glove.

The howl came again, a bone chilling sound, like a wild beast yowling at the scent of blood. Somewhere to the left, something monstrous crashed through the underbrush as it rolled toward them like a tank, shaking twigs down to the earth, casting an ominous silhouette as it came. In the branches above, the giant spiders shrieked in terror and scuttled away. The Keymasters exchanged wary glances: that did not bode well.

Rigg’s hand morphed into a buzz saw on reflex, and she stood between Morganith and Hari, grimly waiting for the fight to come. Her heart fluttered when Lisa grabbed her arm, cringing against her in silent horror.

“Three days and notta licka trouble,” Rigg complained. “I knew it was too good ta be true.”

“Can you detect what that thing is, Lisa?” Hari asked. Her staff was folded up in her hand, and she extended it with a snap, the buzz saws on each end unfurling to wink in the starlight like deadly paper fans.

“One moment,” Lisa answered. “Scanning.”

Lisa was holding to Rigg’s arm with both hands, and Rigg felt the robot’s entire body go still, heard her brain clicking. Rigg glanced at Lisa and saw her golden eyes blink and burn red. A red net of light extended from them in a square as she scanned in the approaching creature’s general direction. Her scanning light moved slowly up and down, extending so far that it disappeared into the trees.

“It’s gettin’ closer,” Rigg said tensely. The ground trembled so violently under her boots, her knees were threatening to knock.

“Scanning,” Lisa repeated in a monotone.

“Come on, bucket boobs,” Morganith said through her teeth. She raised her shotgun as the unseen leviathan drew nearer, preparing to fire. “Tell us what it is so we can fight or bail!”

“Patience is a virtue,” Lisa answered in the same monotone.

“Not for me, it’s not,” Morganith grumbled.

“I dunno,” said Rigg, “maybe we should just r-run.”

“Only if it’s smaller than ah breadbox,” said Hari, giving her buzz saws a whirl.

Morganith gave a short, breathy laugh. “Remember that time it was ah breadbox?”

“Scanning,” Lisa repeated. “Scanning Complete.” Her eyes clicked, turning golden again as the red mesh of light dissipated. Beams of yellow light reached from her eyes instead, creating a circular spotlight that glared over the trees directly in front of them. The creature came faster, Lisa’s glowing eyes having pinpointed their location for it.

Well?” Morganith demanded of Lisa.

A tree somewhere fell with a groan in the darkness. The four of them leapt as it slammed down, shaking the world in a riot of dust.

“What is it?!” Hari begged.

“It is …” began Lisa, but she needn’t have finished. A giant mechanical frog rolled out of the darkness and into Lisa’s light; round, blank eyes gleaming like yellow headlights as it came to a smooth, rattling stop. Rigg glanced beyond it and could see it had trampled its eager way to them, leaving a path of destruction its wake. In place of legs, it had been fitted with the rolling tracks of a tank. Its rusty metal body was peeling with green paint, and its great, wide, toothless mouth was open to reveal a red synthetic tongue. Its yellow throat, made of withered cloth, ballooned out when it croaked, regarding them with the greedy, hungry expression of a predator.

Hari took a stumbling step back, pushing her welding goggles back from her eyes to regard the creature in disbelief. “You gotta be kiddin’ me,” she said. “Who would waste their scrap makin’ somethin’ like this?”

“You?” Morganith suggested.

“Proto-Frog Unit 365,” said Lisa factually. “Prototype Age: One Hundred and Nine. Designated Perimeter: Purva Forest. Function: To Cull The Population Of Wild Spiders –”

“Hmm. That makes sense, actually,” said Hari, shrugging contently.

The proto-frog gave a croaking, creaking scream and opened its mouth, raising the hairs on Rigg’s neck.

“Great, things make sense,” said Morganith sarcastically. “Now that Hari’s comfortable, can we fight for our lives?”

The frog’s great tongue lashed directly for Lisa, swinging about like a rubber lasso as it whistled through the dry air. Rigg pushed Lisa out of harm’s way and took the tongue across her cheek. It hit her so hard, she went flying several feet and heard Lisa scream her name. She landed hard on her back and just lay there for several seconds, letting every dull ache in her body slowly pulse away. She hadn’t been wearing her gasmask, so the tongue’s bristles had raked her flesh, like claws scraping up blood. Her cheek had been covered in some sort of acid that bubbled her skin until the blistering pain tore a scream from her mouth. Her face and front were dripping with the green liquid when she managed to sit up, silently grateful for the leather chest guard strapped over her shirt.

Squinting through a haze of green spots, Rigg patted blindly at the ground and could hear the others shouting as they fought the mechanical beast. Her friends’ boots stamped through the grass around her, and the sound of Hari’s buzz saws whizzed above the furious roars of the proto-frog, which seemed to be pushing its determined way toward Rigg, as if it had gotten a taste of something it liked a great deal.

Rigg slowly, painfully dragged herself away through the dirt, feeling her sore body scream with every gesture. She heard the proto-frog lurch in her direction and glanced back in horror, only to find Morganith had leapt in its path.

“Oh, no ya don’t!” Morganith shouted. She fired at the proto-frog’s lower half, likely hoping to shoot out its motor. The bullets pinged off in a flash of sparks, and a thin metal arm reached from the proto-frog’s back to swipe at Morganith, who made the mistake of blocking with her mechanical arm. The creature’s pinchers locked on the false limb, and Morganith shouted in pain as it was snatched clean off, ripping her mind piece out of her neck and no doubt raking the buckles through her flesh. Her shotgun went tumbling away through the grass, and before she could locate it, the proto-frog’s metal pinchers came down on her again.

“Morganith!” Hari screamed, watching helplessly as Morganith – now without her mechanical arm and her shotgun both – locked in furious battle with the metal beast. “Hey!” Hari shouted, swinging her staff around. “Pick on someone your own size!” She brought her staff across in a slicing gesture, her buzz saws cutting silver ribbons through the proto-frog’s green paint. It screeched another terrible cry, and now several metal arms sprouted from its back, flashing in the moonlight. The arms made a point of attacking both Hari and Morganith, who fought back fiercely.

Lying in the grass in a pained daze, Rigg listened to the battle and silently marveled that it was happening in the middle of the night, in the middle of a forest, with no one but themselves the wiser, as spiders sat on high, looking down on their peril with cool indifference. It wasn’t unlike their everyday struggles, she thought. It just involved more frogs and spiders.

Morganith fought with her fist and her feet, her half-arm flailing as she kicked her heavy boots in the mechanical beast’s side, straining her legs against it in the hope of tipping it. One of the proto-frog’s thin metal arms swept down, knocking on her on her belly, and as she pushed herself up again, its pinchers grabbed the back of her pants. Morganith smacked the arm away, and in furious retaliation, started chucking rocks that made the looming monster jitter and screech, its fat round head spinning to find her in the steady clouds of dust.

“This is for my arm!” Morganith shouted through her teeth, hurling rock after rock. “And that is for Rigg! And this is for givin’ me ah wedgie when I fell!”

“Rigg! Where are you!” Lisa called.

Rigg could see Lisa’s glowing eyes as they cast long beams, cutting through the dusty darkness in their desperate hunt for her. She tried to answer and only a feeble moan escaped. Dust swirled into her open mouth and she coughed weakly.

“Aim for the eyes!” Hari shouted and whirled her staff above her head. One of her buzz saws glanced off the proto-frog’s round yellow eye and it screeched angrily.

“Yeah, I’d be mad too if I was that ugly!” Morganith shouted back.

The proto-frog’s sharp arms came around again, and Hari took a cut across her cheek in a splash of blood. Rivet, who had been cowering inside Hari’s hood the entire time, become beside itself with fury. Though Hari protested, the tiny robot lunged out of her coat, hurling itself at the proto-frog’s side with a wild screech. Through the spots clouding her eyes, Rigg could see the tiny robot scuttling like a crab across the proto-frog and dragging its sharp feet hard against it sides, until the metal spilt open in long, grating slices. The proto-frog croaked in pain, its menacing pinchers snatching at Rivet and never quite catching it. Each time the pinchers came close, Rivet would spring out of harm’s way, landing on some other part of the proto-frog and continuing its relentless assault.

Suddenly fed up, the proto-frog’s metal arms swiped at Morganith and Hari both, knocking them aside. Rivet made a sad clicking noise and dove into the darkness after Hari. Rigg heard her friends’ shouts somewhere in the darkness, then the ground shook violently when the creature gave a sudden desperate lurch forward. Blinded and pained, Rigg scrambled back through the dirt, fumbling and falling against the trembling ground as her friends leapt to their feet again and fought to protect her. The proto-frog, however, seemed determined to have its prey. The hunting beam of its eyes scanned across Rigg once and snapped immediately back, locking on her small frame as she crawled away. It gave a triumphant croak and came directly for her, crushing all bushes, grass, and rocks in its path like paper.

Morganith had located her shotgun. With on one hand, she cursed and fired at the proto-frog’s face, which only seemed to slow it down momentarily. Hari shouted in frustration and sliced her buzz saws through the tracking on its wheels, but it kept going even as its tracking came away, its hungry headlight eyes fixed on Rigg. It managed to push past Morganith and Hari both, and from its back sprouted hoses, spitting sparks and fire to keep them at bay. Morganith and Hari ran behind the proto-frog in pursuit, shielding their faces from the flames, but they couldn’t get close.

Rigg pressed her back against a tree and closed her eyes, wishing she could have died in a less humiliating way. She supposed it could have been worse: the frog could have been a cute mechanical bunny. As it was looming over her, crushing its mindless, earth-shattering way through dust and grass, she tensed and braced herself to be snatched up in the winding rope of its suffocating acid tongue. But the tongue never came.

Rigg opened her eyes when she heard the proto-frog screech to a grinding, crunching halt. Lisa was standing in front of Rigg, feet heroically spread, one hand out, pushing the mechanical beast away with a frown of determination Rigg could not see. The proto-frog roared in fury to be denied its prey.

“You will not touch her!” Lisa screamed.

The proto-frog’s acid tongue lashed out in retaliation. Lisa grabbed it in both hands, screaming in shrill anguish when its acid peeled her synthetic coating. But with determination still etched across her face, she snatched the great mechanical frog into the air, and winding its tongue above her head like a lasso, she hurled it away with a roar.

Rigg cringed as the giant frog slammed through the underbrush, shaking the ground in a colossal racket that shivered up her very spine. The proto-frog banged into a cluster of trees, cracking one and forcing it over with a tremendous slam that left them all cringing. In the silence that followed, the mechanical frog lay in a motionless, defeated heap, quietly puffing out smog.


Though the original plan was to cross the last stretch of the forest that night, Hari insisted on making camp so that she and Morganith might tend to Rigg and Lisa’s wounds. Except for the shallow cut on her cheek, Hari was miraculously unhurt from her brief venture through the air, while Morganith had only sustained a minor burn on her chin from the frog’s spitting fire, as well the cuts on her short half-arm and the back of her neck.

Morganith quickly gathered firewood and built up a fire, while Hari sat Rigg and Lisa down and examined them both with frowning concern. When the fire was blazing against the shadowy darkness, Morganith and Rigg both straddled a log and sat facing each other as Morganith tended to the long, red burns on Rigg’s left cheek. On the opposite side of the fire, Hari spread her cloak on the grass and knelt beside Lisa on it, using a small, portable welding gun to seal the exposed wire in her flaking hands. On her shoulder, Rivet sat unharmed, watching the procedure with many sad, pitying clicks for Lisa.  

Lisa patiently held her hands out as Hari peered at them through her welding goggles, but Rigg could see that Lisa was in pain. She winced ever so slightly when Hari applied the sparking beam to her synthetic skin, slowly sealing it shut with small patches of scrap metal she’d had in her bag. Rigg was secretly relieved that Hari had enough emotional intelligence not to have repaired Lisa with scrap from the proto-frog itself.

“These marks’ll never go away, kid,” Morganith told Rigg with a tisk as she applied a soothing salve to the blistering red burns.

Rigg shrugged indifferently. “Like I wasn’t ugly already, Morganith,” she said with a weak laugh.

“But I like your ugly face, kid,” Morganith returned with a frown. “I’d rather not see it disfigured.”

Rigg smiled when Morganith gave her nose a playful tweak.

Morganith’s rusty mechanical arm stood against the log they were straddling, gleaming in the firelight and looking as tired as its owner’s weary face. Morganith had removed her coat, and with it off, her short half-arm was exposed. The sleeve it was wrapped in was torn and stiff with droplets of dark, dried blood from the cuts she’d taken. With her mechanical arm thus removed, she was caring for Rigg with one hand, and Rigg stared at the small black dots that were tattooed on her fingers, thinking how it must’ve hurt to get them.

With one hand, Morganith slowly squeezed ointment onto her finger before applying it in small dabs to Rigg’s face. That done, she set the tube on her knee, and finally, smoothed the dabs of ointment on with a gentle finger. Rigg silently wondered why Morganith went through the trouble: all she had to do was put her mechanical arm back on.

“I can’t believe it,” Hari said, “but the frog was almost an exact replica of the real Trimorphous Frog.”

Morganith sighed. “Dare I ask what the hell a Trimorphous Frog is?” said she wearily.

“They were giant frogs indigenous to this area in the time before time,” Hari answered. “The forest in those days was much larger, a vast tropical rainforest, and the frogs served to balance the number of giant spiders. My people considered them … somethin’ ova nuisance.”

“One sees why,” said Lisa dryly.

“When the humans first came to Nottica,” Hari went on, “they hunted the frogs as a delicacy and drove them to extinction.”

Morganith gave a derisive laugh. “So did the real frogs have hoses that spit fire too?”

“No,” said Hari, smiling as she concentrated on Lisa’s hands. “But they spit fire and acid just the same, if not worse. They also had a peculiar preference for eating humans.”

Morganith grunted. “Too bad there weren’t more of ‘em.”

“Hmm,” said Hari thoughtfully. “It seems even that trait was passed on to their mechanical replacements … if not accidentally.”

“You’d think the humans woulda been smart enough to not program the frogs to eat them,” said Morganith with a laugh.

“Proto-Frog Unit 365 was very old,” Lisa serenely reminded Morganith. “It was created during a time when such automatons were a fairly new endeavor. Today’s newer models wound not have a propensity for eating humans.”

Morganith grunted. “As I said: too bad.”

Rigg stared at the grass and silently wondered if she didn’t have human ancestry. It would explain why the proto-frog had been so focused on her and Lisa in particular … and why a human would have taken pity on her, leaving her on a doorstep in his jackboot for Ms. Brattle to find.

Lisa winced again, hissing through her teeth in pain.

“It’s almost over,” said Hari soothingly. “I’m alllllmost done. Maybe when we get ta Coghurst, we’ll find you new hands. There’s always a pair inna junk heap somewhere.”

“I doubt it,” Lisa answered serenely. “I am a very old, very rare model. But thank you for the thought, Harilotecca.”

Hari nodded and continued her work. “They don’t have to be hands from your line, you know,” she said quietly. “But I understand why you’d want identical hands. I would too, if it were me.”

“Yes,” Lisa said calmly, “using hands from a different model would hurt and would take much time to get used to.”

“You’ve got pain sensors, Lisa?” Morganith realized with a frown. Finished dabbing Rigg’s face, she proceeded to nurse her own wounds.

Rigg pulled gauze from her coat pocket and started wrapping her face.

“Yes,” Lisa answered. “The Golds believed in physically disciplining their servants. It only follows that they would want me to feel pain.”

“So you have pain sensors but no taste sensors,” said Rigg in disgust. “All the pain of life an’ none of its pleasure.”

“Exactly,” agreed Lisa quietly. Her lips curled in a small half-smile and she joked, “I am not even ticklish, unfortunately.”

Morganith laughed dryly. “That’s ah crime,” she teased, shaking her head and trading smiles with Lisa. Finished tending her wounds, she strapped on her mechanical arm, and after pushing the mind piece on the back of her neck, the robotic arm roused with a spin of its gears and she took the gauze from Rigg. “Here, I’ll do that for ya, kid. Hold still. I wanna get this right the first time. We’ve only got so much of this stuff.”

Rigg held still, but her eyes went to Lisa. “Why did you jump in front of me?” she asked, trying to keep the scolding tone from her voice. She frowned. “You could’ve been broken –”

“Rigg …” Hari began gently.

No,” Rigg said firmly. “It’s dangerous for her. We don’t have pieces ta keep fixin’ her with.” She looked at Lisa again, ignoring Morganith’s careful hands as they packed her burns with gauze. Lisa was staring back at Rigg through the flames, and her golden eyes were round and sad. “Why would you risk your neck like that?” Rigg demanded crossly. “What were you thinkin’? Do you understand how badly you could’ve gotten hurt –?!”

“Yes, Rigg, I do,” Lisa said quietly. “I understand completely.”

Rigg scowled. “Then why –!?”

“Because you were in danger,” Lisa said simply. “In light of that, nothing else mattered.”


Posted 6 weeks ago

Blog Tour ~ Souls Discovered ~ Miranda Brock ~ Giveaway & Excerpt

Blog Tour ~ Souls Discovered

Author:  Miranda Brock

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Tour Dates: 27th-31st of March

Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours


Spin away with young Autumn as she finds a seemingly innocuous gold necklace on her family’s farm and inadvertently uncovers her destiny as “The Keeper.” Autumn’s discovery of the necklace activates “The Window” and alerts both good and evil forces to her whereabouts. Autumn is pulled from everything she knows, and is tossed into a life of unknowns. Enigmatic enemies called Dehmons hunt her at every turn, and if captured the very world she lives in will fall into destruction. With the help of seven Searchers Autumn must learn to use the power she has been given before it is too late. Will she choose to follow the dangerous destiny thrust upon her? Will she be able to withstand the temptation of a relationship that could jeapordize everything? Most importantly, will Autumn be able to find the strength within herself to fight the dead-eyed evil Dehmon souls?


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Author Bio:

From an early age Miranda Brock has always loved fantasy and adventure everything. Since she doesn’t live in a world of enchanting powers, mythical beasts, and things unbelievable she has decided to write about them. (Although, if you happen to see a dragon flying around, do tell her.) Born in southern Illinois, where she still resides with her husband and two children, she grew up running through the woods, playing in creeks, and riding horses. What started out as writing poetry grew into short stories and eventually led to her first novel, Souls Discovered. Miranda lives in the country where she finds inspiration in the simplicity and beauty around her. With the help of a ridiculous amount of coffee and some good music she writes whenever she gets a chance.

Visit her at:







Sleep eluded Jason. He had decided not to go hunting for Dehmons tonight, thinking he could catch up on some sleep. Thoughts whirling around in his head kept him from doing so. It wasn’t Searching, Dehmons or Power that kept him from sleep. It was Autumn. He had been thinking about her all day. Early that morning when he walked outside he saw her riding Sky in the arena. She was riding bareback again. He was amazed watching Autumn dance Sky around the arena, her face showing pure ecstasy. She was breathtaking.

He shook his head. He shouldn’t be having those thoughts. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t possible. He knew that. Petr’s firm warning ran through his mind. He had to stop thinking about her like this. He had to. He would. Hoping the night air would help clear his mind, he walked to the door leading to the balcony.

She is my Keeper and nothing more. He opened the door and his resolve crumbled to dust.

There sat Autumn on the banister wearing a pair of pale blue shorts and a cream-colored tank top. She was swinging her legs slightly when he opened the door, but she immediately stopped. Jason shut his bedroom door and walked over to her.

He leaned back against the banister next to Autumn and said, “You know I don’t like it when you sit up there.”

“I know,” Autumn said simply.

“Are you going to stop doing it?”

“Probably not” She looked at him and smiled. Her smile seemed nervous.

“Are you okay?” Jason asked.

Autumn shrugged. “I couldn’t sleep.”

Jason could sense that there was something she didn’t want to talk about. He wished she would tell him. Instead, he said, “Yeah, me neither.”

“Did you just get home?” Autumn still didn’t like the fact that her Searchers went off to look for Dehmons.

Jason shook his head. “I haven’t been anywhere tonight.”

Relief fell across Autumn’s face. She nodded and said nothing.

They were both silent; Autumn looking up at the stars, Jason looking at Autumn.

Finally he said, “You have been doing remarkably well, Autumn.”

Autumn smiled and looked at Jason. “Have I?”

“Yes. We’re all very proud of you. I’m very proud of you.”

Autumn’s heart jumped at that. She wanted him to be proud of her. She wanted to please Jason more than any of the others.

Jason continued, “Your strength and instincts are incredible. You’re progressing much faster than expected.” He paused, then added, “You’re amazing, Autumn.”

The Keeper blushed. Jason noticed, and it made him happy. His resolve first, crumbled to dust, now scattered in the wind. It was beyond retrieval now, and he knew it.

“We’ve all been doing well,” Autumn said, feeling awkward and trying to take the attention off of herself.

“We have,” her Firstsearcher agreed. “Soon we will be able to start hunting Dehmons.”

Fear and apprehension flashed across Autumn’s face.

“It is what we are here for,” Jason said.

“I know, I just…” Autumn looked down, unable to finish.

“You’re afraid,” Jason said it as a statement, not a question.

“Yes,” Autumn admitted truthfully.

Jason laid a hand on her shoulder. “Don’t be afraid. We’re strong. We’ll protect you.”

“I’m more worried about one of you getting hurt,” Autumn said. Or killed. That was too horrific to contemplate.

Silent for a moment, Jason stared at Autumn. He was in awe of her. She was so selfless. So caring. So strong. He looked at her face, her forehead creased in needless worry. So beautiful. He stood up from the banister.

“Autumn, turn around.”

Jason stepped in front of her, placing his hands gently around her upper arms. She looked at him with uncertainty in her eyes.

“You don’t have to worry. Nothing will happen to us. I promise. We’ll always be here. Forever.”

And then, because his resolve was floating somewhere in the atmosphere eternally out of reach, he leaned forward and kissed her.



Posted 7 weeks ago
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