Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Review: Navigating the Stars

Navigating the Stars Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For seventeen-year-old Lyra Daniels, traveling across the Milky Way can suck big time, especially after leaving all her friends behind. With the discovery of Terracotta warriors on other planets, Lyra’s parents are the premier experts on the Warriors. When the warriors were discovered on over twenty exoplanets, Lyra’s parents are thrilled to discover another planet to explore and discover new information on how the Warriors got there. But even if Lyra likes traveling to other planets, the time dilation sucks because it can put her years in the future. But as Lyra and her parents travel to the newly discovered planet, she finds solace in annoying an impossible security officer who threatens to throw her in the brig and illegally worming into the Q-net. But after the planet they just left, Xinji, abruptly goes silent, security has a new threat to deal with than Lyra doing illegal worming. For crucial data files on the Warriors are going missing and looters are spotted on the new planet they are at. Time is of the essence and for Lyra, it’s either try to help or die.

NAVIGATING THE STARS is Ms. Snyder’s foray into the science fiction/futuristic genre and I got to admit she delivers a marvelous, intriguing start to her new Sentinels of the Galaxy series. The story is full of adventure, amazing characters and a story that basically kept me glued to the pages till the very end. This is an author who I fell in love with in her Study fantasy series and her new book, NAVAGATING THE STARS, is just as good if not great. The story flows smoothly and quickly with a few twists I sure did not see coming. Add in the mystique of Terracotta warriors and other planets, well you got the earmarks of a story that will either ride off on a rocket or go down in a heap. I am happy to say this one blew me away and then some.

Meet Lyra Daniels. Her parents are the experts on Terracotta warriors and when a new planet is discovered housing them, they are thrilled to go and see what the warriors have to say to them. But Lyra doesn’t want to leave her friends and life on Xinji. Alas, she leaves with her family and finds comfort annoying this cute security officer who is around her age and illegally worming on the Q-net. I really enjoyed Lyra. She surprised me at times with her maturity and yes, she does have moments of being a brat, but it fit the way the storyline was going at those times. I enjoyed reading about her thought processes and how she see’s puzzles in things, especially in the Q-net. She is intriguing and a perfect MC (main character) to root for. I got to admit all the characters are entertaining, in my opinion. You got Lyra’s parents who are typical scientists, full of excitement over new discoveries, then you got the annoying gruff security officer, some secondary characters that just made me giggle at times and more. All are entertaining on their own, but all together kept the story flowing at a quick pace.

NAVIGATING THE STARS is a pure gem of a book that literally has me anxiously awaiting the second book, Chasing the Shadows, just to see where the group of characters goes next in the series. The ending left me gasping in shock as the bad guy was one, I sure didn’t expect and one that left me wanting to know more of. Ms. Snyder delivers a perfect book to while a snowy night away with a mix of action/adventure, a little romance and a mystery that will keep you engaged right up till the end of the book. I look forward to seeing where the author goes next in the series and hope it won’t be too long of a wait for it.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement


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Book Spotlight & Giveaway~ A Merciful Fate by Kendra Elliot


Title: A Merciful Fate
Author: Kendra Elliot
Release Date: January 15, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance


Summary

Raised by preppers, survivalist and FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick has a deep-rooted need for a safe place. Her getaway in the Cascade Foothills is her secret. But when skeletal remains are unearthed—those of a murdered man linked to a notorious heist—Mercy realizes she isn’t the only one with something to hide.

Thirty years ago, an armored-car robbery turned deadly. The mastermind was captured. Four conspirators vanished with a fortune. One of them, it appears, never made it out of the woods alive. For Mercy and her fiancé, Police Chief Truman Daly, their investigation opens old wounds in Eagle’s Nest that cut deeper than they imagined. Especially when a reckless tabloid reporter draws fresh blood. It’s clear to Mercy that somebody in this close-knit community is not who they seem to be.

Some are still shattered by the heist. Some still have reason to be afraid. But which one will kill again and again to hide three decades of secrets? To land this case, it’s up to Mercy to unmask a familiar stranger before someone else dies.


Excerpt: A Merciful Fate by Kendra Elliot


“Sit.”

Mercy sat on a stool that was too high for the makeshift table. She didn’t care. They could sit on the ground and she’d be happy with Truman. Currently the home had plywood subfloors and open framing, but part of Mercy loved the empty, bare look; it promised that something fabulous was coming.

Fabulous and practical.

Truman leaned over and poured red wine in the plastic cup by her paper plate. She sighed and buried her nose in her cup. The fragrance was deep and bold, with hints of plum and smoke.

“Italy,” she mumbled into the wine.

“What?” asked Truman.

“I want to visit Italy. How does a honeymoon in Italy sound?”

A grin filled his face, and the sensation of butterflies fluttered up her spine.

Or maybe it’s the wine.

She took a sip of her wine as she studied his face. So familiar and dear to her.

A smile to stop traffic. Eyes that crinkled in happiness. Several scars that testified to his love of law enforcement. Her attraction to him was more than skin deep. She was in love with the person he was. He was a natural leader and easily commanded respect. His people turned to him, followed him, admired him. His natural sense of honor was a magnet for her.

No. It’s not the wine.

He gets me.

He understood how her mind worked, and they fit together like a couple of complicated puzzle pieces. She’d been painfully aware of her missing puzzle piece when he’d been taken away, chained by men planning to kill him, and then rescued thanks to Ollie. The two weeks when no one knew his fate had been the worst of her life. When he’d been returned to her, she’d known she couldn’t waste any more time.

He’d been of the same mind-set and had proposed.

“I’ll try Italy.” He dished spaghetti carbonara onto their plates.

“And what’s on your agenda for tomorrow?” he asked over the rim of his plastic cup. She perked up. “The bank confirmed the money bags are from the Gamble-Helmet Heist. And I have the go-ahead to visit Shane Gamble at the Two Rivers prison tomorrow.”

“What are your thoughts on the remains?” Truman asked. “Did the medical examiner get to them yet?”

“Yes. They spent the afternoon removing the remains, and Dr. Lockhart was going to start an examination tonight. The woman never takes time off.”

“Same could be said for you.”

“Only when I’m deep in a case.”

“I guess this means your weekends are booked for a while?”

Mercy sighed. “I know. The two of us are supposed to be working on the interior of this place … We’ll get it done at some point. It’ll have to wait awhile.”

A grin filled his face.

“What?” she asked.

“You’re not the same person I met last fall. Back then, if the cabin had been in the half-completed state it is now, you’d be climbing the walls with anxiety because your safety net wasn’t perfect.”

“You’re right,” she agreed. “I had a similar thought earlier, but nearly all my supplies are still intact, so it’d be rough living but doable. I can temporarily live with that for now. Especially with this case to distract me.”

His lips twisted.

“Jealous?” she asked with a grin. “It’s an amazing case, isn’t it?”

“It is. Considering there have been no leads for decades, and the robbery is practically modern folklore. It’s like a buried treasure hunt, and Ollie found the first clue.”

“Is Ollie okay after his morning?” she asked with a small wince. She’d nearly forgotten the teen had made the grisly discovery.

“He’s okay. I spent some time with him and he was very quiet, but I could tell he was processing it. He’s dealt with death before.”

“He’s been through a lot,” sympathized Mercy.

They silently ate for a few moments until he glanced up and caught her staring at him. Longing shone in his eyes, an appetite and craving that had nothing to do with food, and she struggled to find her breath.

How does he do that to me?

“You know,” he said, his voice low and tempting, “this place hasn’t been christened yet.”

Mercy blinked. “People do that to homes?”

Patience filled his features. “That’s not what I meant.” His brown gaze held hers.

“Ohhh,” she breathed as heat flashed through her.

“Dessert.” His smile was sinful, and energy pulsed between them.

She melted. “Yes. Dessert.”




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Author Biography

Kendra Elliot has landed on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list multiple times and is the award-winning author of the Bone Secrets and Callahan & McLane series, as well as the Mercy Kilpatrick novels: A Merciful Death, A Merciful Truth, and A Merciful Secret. Kendra is a three-time winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award, an International Thriller Writers finalist, and an RT Award finalist. She has always been a voracious reader, cutting her teeth on classic female heroines such as Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Laura Ingalls. She was born, raised, and still lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband and three daughters, but she looks forward to the day she can live in flip-flops. Visit her at www.kendraelliot.com.

Social Media Links


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Release Day Spotlight- Dannika Dark's Nevermore



Its here! Its here!! 



Nevermore
(Crossbreed Series, Bk 6)
by Dannika Dark


Blurb:

Raven returns to her childhood home to rebuild her severed relationship with her father. After a long year of capturing violent criminals and thwarting assassination plots, she could use a vacation.

But trouble is brewing on the home front. When Raven discovers her father is in financial peril, she’s determined to set things right even if it means sacrificing her heart in the process. Meanwhile, her relationship with Christian is on shaky ground when a skeleton falls out of his closet. Will they be able to leave the past behind, or is the trust between them dead and buried?

When the bonds of love are put to the test, only the courageous will prevail.



Available for Pre-order at 







Keystone
(Crossbreed Series Book 1)


Available purchase at 






Ravenheart
(Crossbreed Series, Bk #2)


Available purchase at 

Kindle | Amazon (Paperback) | Audible | iTunes | Nook | B&N | Kobo | Tantor




Deathtrap
(Crossbreed Series, Bk #3)


Available for purchase at

Kindle | Amazon (Paperback) | Audible | iTunes | Nook | B&N | Kobo | Tantor





Gaslight
(Crossbreed Series, Bk #4)



Available for purchase at 





Blackout
(Crossbreed Series, Bk #5)


Available to purchase at



About the Author


Dannika Dark is the USA Today Bestselling Author of Urban Fantasy Romance and Paranormal Romance books. Her books have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide, and she is a 2016 Audie Awards finalist. In addition to writing about supernatural worlds, Dannika is passionate about graphic design and creates all her own covers and series art. When not writing in her cave, she enjoys indie music, reading, Netflix, heaps of chocolate, and unleashing her dark side. 





You can find Dannika at 

To receive exclusive content and be the first to know about upcoming releases, please sign up to her newsletter. 





Presented By





Discover HL Carpenter's Murder by the Books






Please give a warm welcome to Fae Childers from Murder by the Books by HL Carpenter today as we sit down and see what makes her tick.

Hi, Dawn! Thanks for inviting me here today.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not solving mysteries?

I have a Master's of Accountancy and I love crunching numbers. Numbers never lie. Unlike some people I could mention.

What is it about your love interest, Ret, that makes you crazy in a good way?

He's kind and smart and exactly the type of guy I didn't know I would ever find. I don't have a very good track record in the romance department. But when Ret runs a thumb over my mouth and then kisses me gently, my legs go weak.

Do you sometimes want to strangle your writers? Thrash them to within an inch of their life? Make them do the stupid crap they make you do?

No, they don't make me do stupid stuff. I do that on my own.  :)

Favorite food?

Sunflower seed bread. Lasagne, hot or cold. Meals cooked by other people. Chinese take-out.

Tell me about your world. What are your greatest challenges?

My world has been a dark place for the past few months. My mother died, I got fired from my job, my fiancé dumped me, I'm running out of money, and the lease is about to expire on my apartment. I also just got a letter from a grandmother I never knew I had, and now I have to face the fact that everything I was told about my past was a lie. Doesn't my life sound like fun? I want to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over my head. Just my luck I can't. I have to figure out why I was never told about my grandmother. And why she died believing I was in danger.

Describe yourself in four words.

Normal. NOT a fortune-teller!

What do you do for a living?

I'm an accountant. All right, full disclosure: I was fired for embezzlement. I'm innocent, but no one believes me. Big surprise, right? Who doesn't say they're innocent when accused of a crime?

Anyway, if accounting is no longer in my future, I may have a new career solving murders. I might even become a private investigator. Only kidding. Meeting one murderer is one too many in my opinion.

What do you fear the most?

The ocean. I have avoided the ocean my entire life. That's quite a feat, considering I live in Florida, a peninsula surrounded on three sides by huge heaving bodies of water. And of course, my grandmother's unexpected letter means now I have to confront that fear head-on. Thanks, Granny!





Book blurb

A letter from beyond the grave brings Fae Childers face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.

 Genre: Mystery



Excerpt

Gus shook his head. "You gotta get over them fools, girl."
"That's no way to talk about my former bosses." Especially since I looked at the real fool in the mirror each morning. I had believed dedication, loyalty, and hard work were appreciated by the partners of Slezia + Fyne, CPA, PA.
Ha, ha.
"Anyway, I am over them. Way over."
"Yeah?" He was not convinced. "You over the suit too?"
"Sure am." Once again, I stuck with our new routine and gave him the same answer I always did. "I have moved on."
Once again, the lie carried the bitter taste of betrayal. The suit was Scott Piper, former co-worker, fiancé, and man of my dreams. The suit dumped me the day I was fired.
Gus snorted. "Funny how much movin' on resembles standing around feeling sorry for yourself."
He was right. In the eight months since my mother's death, I had slogged through an ever-darkening morass of the malady Gus called moping, and what his favorite celebrity psychologist might consider the early stages of depression. The firing and the accompanying fallout shoved me even closer to the edge of a black abyss.
My moping was self-absorbed, given the burdens others faced, but what could I say? One woman's detour was another's stop sign.
"Your ma would have been annoyed with you."
A lump in my throat closed off my voice and I could only nod. He was right about that too. My irrepressible mother believed in taking the positive approach to life. To her, saying negative words or thinking negative thoughts was the same as asking them to come true. She had little patience for pity parties.
Focus on your strengths, Fae, and always keep moving.
My ability to follow her advice vanished with her death. I was slowly turning into the type of recluse the Japanese call hikikomori. Even the simple task of cleaning out Mom's bedroom was beyond me.
"So? You gonna open the letter?" Gus asked.
I turned over the envelope in my hand.
Heavy, officious, dirty white, and mildly threatening, the envelope shrieked of the intimidation perfected by lawyers and the Internal Revenue Service and jolted me right out of my apathy. My breath hitched in my throat.
Had Gary Slezia and Richard Fyne gone back on their word? Had they decided to forego their distaste for publicity and press charges against me?
Buy link
https://amzn.to/2TEFiXF
About the author
Mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit HLCarpenter.com to keep up with the latest happenings in Carpenter Country.
Author website link
https://www.hlcarpenter.com/

Sunday, January 13, 2019

New Book Spotlight- White Stag by Kara Barbieri


"Janneke’s epic journey to overcome past horrors and seize her rightful place in the world is packed with equally gripping action and emotion. Readers will flock to this compelling debut." —Booklist, STARRED Review

"A promising debut from a gifted young writer!"
Anna Todd, New York Times bestselling author of the After series


WHITE STAG by Kara Barbieri; On-sale: January 8, 2019 

 White Stag, the first book in a brutally stunning series by Kara   Barbieri, involves a young girl who finds herself becoming more monster  than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home. 

            As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised   to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was     taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground,        Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

            Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her    connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully   accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her       deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially          when it comes to those you care about.

            Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After         dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting       go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the       right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

WHITE STAG EXCERPT
1
MASQUERADE

THE FIRST THING I learned as a hunter was how to hide. There was a skill in disappearing in the trees like the wind and merging into the river like stones; masquerading yourself as something you weren’t was what kept you alive in the end. Most humans didn’t think the masquerade was as important as the kill, and most humans ended up paying for it with their lifeblood.
Here, as the only mortal in a hall of monsters, I was very glad that I was not most humans.
I kept my steps silent and my back straight as I passed beneath the white marble pillars. My eyes flickered around me every so often, counting hallways, retracing my steps, so I could escape at a moment’s notice. The Erlking’s palace was treacherous, full of twists and turns, stairways that led into nowhere, and places where the hallways dropped to gaping chasms. According to Soren, there were also hollow spaces in the walls where you could slink around unnoticed to the mundane and the monstrous eye, but you could hear and see all that went on in the open world. The lair of a king, I thought bitterly. I dared not say it out loud in case someone was near. But beside me, Soren sensed my disgust and made a sound deep in his throat. It could’ve been agreement.
Soren examined his king’s palace with the usual contempt; his cold, calculating eyes took in everything and betrayed nothing. His lips turned down in a frown that was almost etched permanently into his face. Sometimes I forgot he was capable of other expressions. He didn’t even smile when he was killing things; as far as goblins went, that was a symptom of chronic depression. He lifted his bored gaze at the gurgling, choking sound coming from his right, and it took all my willpower not to follow his line of sight. When I felt the subtle whoosh of power transfer from one body to the next, my fingers twitched to where I’d slung my bow, only to remember too late that it had been left at the entrance of the keep in accordance with ancient tradition.
A scream echoed off the cavernous passageways as we made our way to the great hall where everyone gathered. It sent chills down my spine with its shrillness before it was abruptly cut off. Somehow, that made me shiver even more. Ancient tradition and custom aside, nothing could stop a goblin from killing you if that was what they desired. My hand reached for my nonexistent bow again, only to be captured by cold, pale fingers.
Soren’s upper lip curled, but his voice was low and steady. “The next time you reach for a weapon that isn’t there might be the last time you have hands to reach with,” he warned. “A move like that will invite conflict.”
I yanked myself away from his grip and suppressed the urge to wipe my hand on my tunic like a child wiping away cooties. “Force of habit.”
Soren shook his head slightly before continuing on, his frown deepening with each step he took.
“Don’t look so excited. Someone might get the wrong idea.”
He raised a fine white eyebrow at me. “I don’t look excited. I’m scowling.”
I bit back a sigh. “It’s sarcasm.”
“I’ve told you before, I don’t understand it,” he said.
“None of goblinkind understands sarcasm,” I said. “In another hundred years I’m going to lose my understanding completely.”
Another hundred years. It hadn’t hit me yet, not until I said it out loud. Another hundred years. It had been a hundred years since my village was slaughtered, a hundred years as a thrall in Soren’s service. Well, ninety-nine years and eight months, anyway, but who’s counting? Despite the century passing by, I still looked the same as I had when I was forcefully brought into this cursed land. Or, at least, mostly; the scars on my chest hadn’t been there a hundred years ago, and the now-hollow spot where my right breast should have been burned. The four months when I’d belonged to another were not something I liked to think about. I still woke up screaming from nightmares about it. My throat went dry and I swallowed. Soren isn’t Lydian.
“You look tense,” Soren said, breaking me out of my thoughts. I’d crossed my arms over my chest. Not good. A movement like that was a sign of weakness. It was obvious to everyone that I was the weakest being here, but showing it would do me no good.
“I’m fine,” I said. “I just don’t like this place.”
“Hmm,” Soren said, eyes flickering around the hall. “It does lack a certain touch.”
“What does that even mean?” I asked.
“The entire design of the palace is trite and overdone.”
I blinked. “Okay, then.”
By now we’d entered the great hall where the reception was held. Every hundred years, the goblins were required to visit the Erlking and swear their fealty. Of course, their loyalty only extended to him as long as he was the most powerful—goblins weren’t the type of creature to follow someone weaker than themselves.
The palace, for what it was worth, was much grander than most other parts of the goblin domain. Soren’s manor was all wood, stone, and ice, permanently freezing. Nothing grew—I knew because I had tried multiple times to start a garden—but the roots never took to the Permafrost. Here, it was warm, though not warm enough that I couldn’t feel the aching chill deep in my bones. The walls were made of pure white marble with intricate designs far above what a goblin was capable of creating, and streaked with yellow and red gold like open veins. It was obviously made by humans. Goblinkind were incredible predators and hunters, gifted by the Permafrost itself, but like all creatures, they had their flaws. The inability to create anything that wasn’t used for destruction was one of the main reasons humankind were often stolen from their lands on raids and put to work in the Permafrost.
Soren’s scowl deepened as we passed under a canopy of ice wrought to look like vines and flowers. “I feel like I need to vomit,” he said.
I stopped in my tracks. “Really?” I swore, if I ended up having to clean up Soren’s vomit …
He glanced at me, a playful light in his lilac eyes. “Sarcasm? Did I do it right?”
“No.” I forced myself not to roll my eyes. “Sarcasm would be when you use irony to show your contempt.”
“Irony?” He shook his head, his long white hair falling into his face.
“Saying one thing when you mean the other, dramatically.”
“This is beneath me,” he muttered. Then, even quieter, he said, “This place is in dire need of a redecoration.”
“I’m not even entirely sure what to say to that.” With those words, he flashed me a wicked grin that said little and suggested much. I turned away, actually rolling my eyes this time. For a powerful goblin lord, Soren definitely had the ability to act utterly childish. It could be almost endearing at times. This, however, was not one of those times.
In the hall, the gazes on the back of my neck were sharp as knives. I kept my head straight, trying my hardest not to pay attention to the wolfish faces of the other attendees.
From a distance they could almost be mistaken for human. They varied in size and shape and the color of their skin, hair, and eyes much like humans did. But even so, there was a sharpness to their features, a wildness, that could never be mistaken for human. The figures dressed in hunting leathers, long and lean, would only seek to torment me if I paid them any attention. As the only human in the hall, I was a curiosity. After all, what self-respecting goblin would bring a thrall to an event as important as this? That could very easily get me killed, and I wasn’t planning on dying anytime soon. My hand almost twitched again, but I stopped it just in time, heeding Soren’s warning.
We finally crossed the floor to where the Erlking sat. Like Soren’s, the Goblin King’s hair was long. But unlike Soren, whose hair was whiter than the snow, the Erlking’s hair was brown. Not my brown, the color of fallen leaves, underbrush, and dark cherry wood, but murky, muddy brown. It was the color of bog mud that sucks down both humans and animals alike and it somehow managed to make his yellow-toned skin even sallower. He was the strongest of all goblins, and I hated him for it. I also feared him—I was smart enough for that—but the fear was drowned out by the blood rushing in my ears as I locked eyes with Soren’s king.
Soren turned to me. “Stay here.” His eyes turned hard, the glimmer of light leaving them. Whatever softness he had before drained away until what was left was the hard, cold killer he was known to be, and with it went the last shreds of warmth in his voice. “Until I tell you otherwise.” Subtly, he jerked his pointer finger at the ground in a wordless warning.
I bowed my head. “Don’t take too long.”
“I don’t plan to,” he said, more to himself than to me, before approaching the Erlking’s throne. He went to one knee. “My king.”
I eyed Soren from underneath the curtain of my hair. His hands were clenched in fists at his sides. He must’ve sensed something from the Erlking, from the other goblins, something. Whatever it was, it wasn’t good. Cautiously, I directed my gaze to the Goblin King himself, aware that if I looked at him the wrong way, I might be inviting my own death. While the behavior and treatment of thralls varied widely among goblins, I had a feeling submissiveness was required for any human in the Erlking’s path.
This close, the Erlking’s eyes were dark in his shriveled husk of skin and there was a tinge of sickness in the air as he breathed his raspy breaths. His eyes flickered up to meet mine and I bowed my head again. Don’t attract attention.
Soren spat out the vows required of him in the old tongue of his kind, the words gravelly and thick. He paused every so often, like he was waiting for when he would be free to drive his hand through his king’s chest, continuing on with disappointment every time.
The tension around the room grew heavier, pressing down on those gathered. Somehow, like dogs sniffing out blood, they all knew the king was weak. Beautiful she-goblins and terrifying goblin brutes were all standing there waiting until it was legal to kill him.
Beside the weakened king’s throne, a white stag rested on a pile of rushes. Its eyes were closed, its breath slow. Its skin and antlers shone with youth, but the ancient power it leaked pressed heavy against my shoulders. That power was older than anything else in the world—maybe older than the world itself.
Goblins were, before all things, hunters. Born to reap and not to sow. Cursed with pain upon doing any action that did not in some way fit into the power the Permafrost gave them, the goblins fittingly had the submission of the stag as the symbol of their king’s ultimate power. Until it runs.
I didn’t want to think about what happened after that.
Soren continued to say his vows. The guttural language was like ice shards to my ears, and I shuddered. Catching myself about to fidget, I dug my fingers into my thigh. Control yourself, Janneke, I thought. If they can do it, you can.
A soft voice whispered in my ear, “Is that you, Janneka?” His breath tickled the back of my neck, and every muscle in my body immediately locked. Icy dread trickled down my spine, rooting me in place.
Don’t pay attention to him. He’ll go away.
“I know you can hear me, sweetling.”
Yes, I could hear him, and the sound of his voice made me want to vomit. My mouth went dry.

CREDIT: WHITE STAG by KARA BARBIERI Copyright © 2018 by the author and reprinted by permission of Wednesday Books.  

Meet the author

Kara Barbieri is a writer living in the tiny town of Hayward, Wisconsin. An avid   fantasy fan, she began writing White Stag at eighteen and posting it to Wattpad soon after under the name of ‘Pandean’. When she’s not writing, you can find her  marathoning Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reviving gothic fashion, and jamming to synthpop.

Author’s Twitter handle
            @PandeanPanic


Review: Navigating the Stars

Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder My rating: 5 of 5 stars For seventeen-year-old Lyra Daniels, tra...