|Add to Goodreads||Add to Goodreads|
A much anticipated release from this author. The first four chapters of this book was released originally last month with an anthology: Untamed and Unleashed Paranormal Twists. Now, the entire novel is available for reader enjoyment. A portion is shared here just give a little tease for those who want to start it now!
Princess Arabella Gwin has a secret that she’s been keeping from the members of her council and the inhabitants of her kingdom. She believes it best for them not to know about her nighttime activities. She learns that she isn’t the only one that is keeping secrets and the “darkness” within may be the only thing that is keeping her alive. A dark side, a huge secret, a known and unknown enemy along with newcomer trying to keep it together long enough to find out the truth about her past in order to enjoy the future.
Ellie Keys is the new pen name for author E.L.R. Jones. She is retiring the old name and working under the new.
~~The Hindrance (1) ~~
The main doors of the meeting room crash open and in runs a small man. He isn’t really small, but short by comparison to those of our kind. There are those that believe that fairies are cute, dainty, little creatures that can be held in the palm of their hand. This is a gross misconception. We don’t flit around, spread pixie dust or any other crap like that. I, for one, wouldn’t be caught dead in those skimpy, slutty, attention grabbing outfits that she parades around in. We definitely aren’t off spreading love and whatever else that little twit stands for. I am nobody’s Tinkerbell.
Who I am is the reason for this tale? It isn’t supposed to be like this. I didn’t think that it would get this bad. Yet, here I sit. I am sitting at the head of the table, watching an annoying, little man make his way to the elders of our community to
inform them of something I already know about. If I weren’t who I was, then I would’ve left already. Unfortunately, I am who I am and I have to give a damn. So, I wait as his weathered body attempts to quicken his steps. He can tell that we are patiently waiting, some of us less so than others, for him to speak. It is not often the evening meal is interrupted. Come to think of it, I can only think of one time. That man lost his head after delivering his news. Hmm, I wonder if that will be what follows today. Ooh, I love a good beheading. Although, that one had been far too quick for my liking.
The little man finally makes it to the center of the room and bows his head. I think I’m going to make a suggestion that we put a microphone or intercom at the entrance. It would save us precious time. I mean who really has time to sit around waiting for our elderly to make their way to us to present themselves. I could’ve done seven rounds of training by now.
I lean to my right where one of the only people that can tolerate my usual foul mood is sitting. My eyes flash. I see the reflection of it in the silverware that’s on the table. I realize the twitchiness that I am feeling is stemming from the side of me that I try to keep dormant. The need to stop this man’s heart or separate his head from his shoulders for his increasingly slow pace is not who I am. It is all part of the darkness that I carry within and fight daily to control.
Before I can voice my greatest desire, he does.
“Saph, don’t. I already know that you’re itching for a kill. Your hand is twitching. Fifteen and I’ll turn you loose,” Carlimine whispers.
At first glance, he looks like a wise, old man with his twin peaks of white streaks that grow from matching points at either side of his temples. The rest of his hair appears to be in rebellion and is jet black. All of it is bone straight and shoulder length when it is released from the confines of the dijo; the hair binding, hand created by my aunt that is silver and carved with his initials. Today, it is up as mine is. His hair is usually either bound in that or the blades we were given.
We wear sacred symbols on the hilt of our blades. They are whispered protections from our ancestors handed down by the heads of the family line. All of our blades, even the ones we wear in our hair, have been twice blessed. Once by the family head, then again by our unit leader. The blades in our hair look like chopsticks. The enemy doesn’t know it’s a weapon until it is too late because it is protruding from their body. The kibos are my second favorite weapons. The first is my kiban and it is a beauty.
Carlimine is my leader. He keeps the ne-athé at bay. He is currently interrupting my thoughts of death and dismemberment with his words of caution and discretion. His call sign is “Uncle Carl”. Although, there are times when he is referred to solely as “C.”. It’s not something I’ve ever used, but I have noticed others making a reference to it. The “call sign” I know is the one that I use.
If that name comes across any of my screens, then I know I have something or someone to take care of. His looks are deceiving, which is the way he likes it. When one looks at his appearance, he looks cool, calm and collected. He doesn’t look as if he has a care in the world. Underneath it all, he is cold, callous and calculating. He is forever accessing the
situations around us. The man is a well oiled machine with the body of a twenty-five year old. He is cut so tough that
a person will need medical attention if they touch him. The buck stops with him. He taught me everything I know. His
voice brings my mind back to the here and now. I’m not allowed to let my mind drift. It isn’t the best if I am left to my own devices for long periods of time. Hence, the reason for the continued mental interruptions.
“Saph, you are not paying attention. Access the room. What do you see?” his words float around me as I make myself focus and do as he has commanded. Even when his words are whispered, I know the difference between a request and a command.
I settle into my seat, but not in the way most would. My chair is wood carved with etchings that match the design of my wings. If those wings were to be released at this moment, then they would give off an indigo hue because I am in the seat of royalty and leadership. The cushions that pad the back and base of my chair share that color as do my robes. The back of the chair is at least three feet higher than the top of my head when I am seated. It is at least a foot and a half taller when I am standing next to it. I stand five feet seven inches without heels. My chair is a seat of power, but is the smallest in comparison with that of my aunt’s and father’s.
When I am seated at my place then my back is flush with the elongated backing of my chair. My feet settle on the post that rests at the front of my seat so that they don’t dangle.
“A royal does not go about kicking their feet, scuffing their shoes or shredding their garments because they think it is fun, Arabella. There is a time for play and a time for seriousness. You must learn to conform and bend to the purposes that have been set before you, my dear.”
I giggle to myself as my aunt’s words come back to me. If she only knew how the words would come to shape my life, then I don’t think she would’ve ever have posed them to me in that manner. Carlimine’s finger tapping my hand causes me to redirect my thoughts. That gesture is a silent reminder that I am not doing what he commanded me to do. It grates on my nerves and comforts me all at the same time that he knows me well enough to know when I am doing what I am supposed to or not. I attune myself to my surroundings.
My posture is one of rigidity because I’ve stiffened due to my uncle’s slight chastisement. I have to remind myself that he is doing this to teach me. I relax my shoulders and take a deep breath. I am in the middle of my chair. My long arms are resting on the arm rails of it and my hands are loosely hanging over the ends. I open my previously closed eyes and begin my assessment.
The little man is still blathering on. I have no clue exactly what he is saying, but the point of it is there is a threat against the kingdom. Purif is to be attacked sometime in the near future. I begin to watch the man a little bit closer. The bald spot at the top of his head is shiny enough for me to see the reflection of my uncle’s face. Goodness! How sad is that? I wish I could just put him out of his misery. He’s an old man and there won’t be many that will miss him. I’m sure they will get over it with the proper enticement.
Have you entered to win?
1). http://www.facebook.com/elliekeysauthor (Facebook page)
2). (Sign up for my monthly newsletter and enter to win a monthly prize)
Ellie Keys is an author of mystery and thriller novels. The characters of her stories are loud, exuberant and controlling when it comes to demanding her attention. The personalities that come out on paper give audience members insight into the reason why she is a little off center. She loves writing, reading a good book and losing herself in a great movie.
Ellie is thrilled to be able to share the stories from the wealth of works that she has created. There is a great deal in store for lovers of mystery and thrill seekers. She invites you to follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, look her up on her website or any of the following sites:
When tragedy strikes, Seth Stewart is forced to return home after the death of his beloved father. The unexpected detour forces him to oversee the family’s auto shop and restaurant business, and Seth must kiss the prestigious internship goodbye after his first year at Berkeley Business School. When he collides with his first crush after his arrival, Seth wonders what possibly could have happened to Josefina Anders.
Josefina has hidden many secrets she is too ashamed to share with anyone, especially Seth. When they cross paths again, the urge to relive their past lingers in her mind even though she knows he couldn’t accept her sketchy past. Things get even more complicated when her mother returns, as well as her overly possessive ex, who decides to crash into her fragile existence all over again.
Will Seth’s connection for Josefina be strong enough to see past her secrets, or will he realize he can’t rekindle an old flame?
International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.
Maggie Mae Gallagher
Elle J Rossi