Hansel and Gretel’s story has just begun … and it’s no fairy tale.
It’s been eight years since the wicked witch held Hansel Lucas Jaeger and his sister captive; they barely escaped with their lives. Now, a senior in high school, Lucas finally feels normal.
But everything changes the day he sees his awkward, loner sister hanging out with Star, one of the popular girls at Tangleforest High. At first, he’s just confused, but when he sees the tarot cards between them, the dark time from his childhood erupts through his head in a concentrated instant … particularly the memory of the curse the witch cast on Melrose. Lucas warns Melrose to stay away from anything, or anyone, that might trigger the spell.
Sixteen-year-old Melrose Jaeger loves her adoptive family but is an outcast at school. When Star wants to be friends, Melrose begins to let her guard down. However, Lucas’ irrational fear of witchcraft is embarrassing. She ignores his warnings; all she wants is to forget the past and forget the curse and maybe, just maybe, fit in.
When Lucas decides to turn to an unreliable ally, more mysteries begin to unravel. But his sister has already been accepted by a new group of friends with a wicked reputation. Even if it means looking crazy in front of the entire school, Lucas desperately needs Melrose to see the danger he senses before it’s too late. But who should he trust? And how does he rescue someone who doesn’t want to be saved?
So – POTION isn’t exactly “published” yet, but you can read the entire book for free, now. I’m trying a new opportunity this time around. I have uploaded my manuscript to the social media reader’s choice platform Swoon Reads.
With Swoon Read, readers have a big say in which young adult books Macmillan Publishing publishes. Besides my book, there are over 700 other YA novels that you can read for free by signing up.
When you sign up, you get your own page where you can add your reading interest and earn badges for reading and commenting. You are like the agent/editor and you can read the “slush pile”, rate, and comment on outstanding stories and/or places that might need help because they haven’t been professionally edited yet. If a book gets enough attention, it might get chosen for publication! At the very least, you have helped the writer improve their story.
Of course, getting POTION published by Macmillan Publishing is my goal, so I would really appreciate readers, ratings, and comments. Here is the link:
Love and Laughter,
Silverweed has had a make-over! Revisions, a new cover, & a paperback bonus: 8 fairy tale inspired supernatural short stories! Available only on Amazon.
Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited!
In this Little-Red-Riding-Hood-inspired paranormal fairy tale, the roles of prey and predator are blurred.
Seventeen-year-old Aiden Young travels to Indiana for his aunt’s funeral, where his unfortunate mistake leads to the discovery of the family’s supernatural secret.
Before the weekend is over, he’s trapped by a blizzard in his grandmother’s spooky old house in the middle of the woods, along with his superstitious cousin and his manipulating girlfriend. But the fear growing inside the house might prove more dangerous than the storm. And soon, Aiden faces life and death decisions, but he doesn’t know whom he can trust or who needs to be saved … or who might turn into a werewolf.
Get your U.S. copy here: Amazon – Jaclyn’s Ghost is available free on Amazon world-wide.
The Trouble with Snowmen is that they never ever last forever …
A Romantic Comedy all about heart-breakers (snowmen), fun shenanigans, fashion, séances, downtown Houston, urban cowgirls, and some of that kissy-kissy stuff.
Snowmen drift into your life like they were sent from above. The relationship is great, rolls right along, and builds. Everything seems perfect … until a little heat is introduced. Then they melt, leaving only their hat, their scarf, something to remind their victims of what they’d lost.
Urban cowgirl Haley Monroe is told that the fabulously hot guy who just dumped her was a snowman. Her friend Maximilian convinces her that the only way she’ll ever stop being played by snowmen is to become one. It takes a lot of drinks to work up the nerve, but Haley gets her sexy on and goes on the prowl.
Famous horror author Larry White drops everything to attend a midnight séance at Maximilian’s apartment where he meets Haley. By the way she’s dressed-and just propositioned him-he assumes she’s a hooker. Larry can’t pass up the chance to get inside her head, especially since prostitution is the character’s occupation in his next book.
After spending the weekend together, unexpected sparks surprise both Haley and Larry. The trouble is Haley is dead-set on snowmanning the unkempt “starving artist” she met at the seance, and Larry doesn’t think he could have a real relationship with a woman with a past, so they go their separate ways.
The real fun begins when they meet again and find out neither one of them were who they thought they were. Can they reignite the flame? Or will they have a snowman’s chance in hell?”
Book One of the “Trouble with Men” series (Soul Mate Publishing)
Book Two “The Trouble with Scarecrows” is also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
(Inspired by Prince Ariel from, “The Fairy Tales of Madame D’Aulnoy.”)
by Dorlana Vann
Since Jackson couldn’t channel his frustration onto the blank page, he used his fist to pound it into the desk. “Ahhh,” he cried, swooshing his fountain pen and several loose pieces of writing-paper to the floor.
His caged birds squawked with excitement from the sudden movement in the quiet room. Feathers flew. Jackson stood up, his breaths labored and lonely. “I’m sorry ladies. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”
He draped a stack of dark sheets over his arm. “Are you ready for your beauty sleep, my Echo?” He covered her and moved on to Valley, giving her several sweet kisses. Continuing his ritual, he covered all twenty birds leaving Isis, his two-foot Scarlet Macaw, as his last goodnight. She blinked her yellow eyes at him.
“Sleep well, Love,” he said and then ran his fingers through his slick hair, noticing how dark and stale the room had become.
He opened the window, lit a lantern, and picked up the paper and his pen, setting them back on his desk. He thought about writing another letter but knew they were only stall tactics. “I’m a novel writer,” he reassured himself. “Now write something novel!”
He felt anxious. There was nothing left for him to do. He had moved to one of the most crime-ridden areas of London to conduct his research. When observations had stopped inspiring his writing, he had taken it to the next level. The first hand accounts had given him dozens of pages: a feel for the weapon in his hands; the reaction on the faces of the women when they knew they were going to die; and the color and temperature of the blood. After each attack, he had sped home and written feverishly, until the words stopped, died on the page—
He conducted more studies, pushing himself to the limits of his own capacities. “Why am I still blank?” he said in a sob. “Why?”
Isis began to squawk in her cage, beneath her cover.
“Shush,” he said off-handedly. “I’m having a difficult enough time as it is.”
“Let me out.”
Jackson turned his head slowly toward the covered cage. He listened. Sure she could talk: “Pretty lady.” “I love you.” But never “Let me out.”
She said it again.
Jackson scooted his chair back and stood abruptly. “Was that you, Isis? Did you learn something new?”
“Open the cage, Jackson. Let me out.”
Jackson shook his head, trying to clear the confusion. Obviously, because he was exhausted and tense, he was now hearing things. That’s all. However, he eased toward the cage. One step—stop. One step—stop until he stood in front of the cage. Swiftly, without thinking, he uncovered Isis.
She sat on her perch, head down, asleep.
“Isis?” he whispered. “Was that you?”
Jackson’s heart thumped when he heard rustling coming from the other cages, the sheet coverings moving.
But then he remembered he had opened the window. After taking the six steps to the window and ignoring the lack of breeze, he closed it.
He turned around and gasped, backing against the window, hands stretched out—palms wide, like he was keeping the walls from closing in on him. All the cages were uncovered.
It seemed like morning: birds bounced, stretched out their wings, walked, and whistled, however, much more so. The cage doors were open, and the birds began to explore. Isis, eyes open now and sitting on her perch in her home, stared at Jackson.
Jackson peeled himself away from the window and cautiously moved toward her. “Love?”
“Come closer, Jackson.”
He felt terrifyingly wonderful. Sweat gathered on his brow and above his lips. “Isis? Do you understand me?”
He tried to steady his blinking; he shut his eyes hard and then reopened them. “Why now? Why not before? I have told you my most intimate secrets and feelings and you never spoke an intelligent word.”
“The time was not right. I am here when you need me most. Let me be your inspiration.”
“Oh, Isis! How I do so need someone to talk to. I have many a troubles. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me now.” He put his arm in her cage, enduring the sharp claws he usually protectively wrapped his arm against. He stroked her red feathers. “My beautiful, Isis, what words do you have for me? Do you know what I must do to finish my story?”
“You have watched, but you have never felt. In order to achieve realism and depth, you will need to experience the pain for yourself.”
“Yes, yes! I see. I see what you mean. But how? How can I achieve this insight?”
“I will be near whilst you sink the edge of your knife into your skin. Not too deep my dear, just enough to feel a twinge.”
“Marvel upon marvel, you are my muse!” He set Isis on the back of his chair and ran to his bedside table and pulled out his knife. Its long thick blade still stained from his latest research project. “Where? Where shall I feel it?” he asked, sitting on the edge of his bed.
“The same as you wrote. The same as you gave.”
The coldness of the blade against his neck caused his heart to quicken with excitement. He stared at Isis as she moved her head to and fro with tiny jerks. “Just this fills my head with ideas, with words.” He sucked in his breath and pressed a little harder, the sting bringing quiet tears to his eyes. “How absolutely stimulating.”
He heard them before he saw them, but only by a second. All of his beauties came towards him, Isis in the mix, their feathers, and beaks, and claws causing his hand to yank deeply inward and then slide to the side. Falling backward, Jackson still imagined how his ghastly and perfect pain would translate onto paper.
As the feathers settled and the squawks calmed to a low murmur, Jackson’s last breath was accompanied by his last vision: five faint ghostly figures dancing above him. He heard the words, “Jack the Ripper, our story ends in revenge,” as his eyes closed.
October 2017 Theme: Spa
Book Club Set Up:
Each member of our group (women ages 24-49) draws a month and a theme. Whosever month it is, gets to choose a book in their category and host the meeting.
The group has approximately 3 weeks to read the book and then we get together for themed food and fun & to discuss the book.
Quick Book Summary (from Amazon): The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper byIn this hauntingly beautiful story of love, loneliness and self-discovery, an endearing widower embarks on a life-changing adventure.
This Month’s Meeting:
The theme was spa and our host told us to show up in our pjs and without make-up or fingernail polish. She provided facemask and Bioré nose strips. We painted our nails and had martinis, fruit infused water, and sangrias. We discussed the book while eating our chips and dips and veggies. It was all very girly.
This review is going to be a little different than previous book club reviews because no one (who was able to make the meeting), except for me, could finish the book. The main reason: it was boring. Truthfully, if I hadn’t been reading it for book club, I probably wouldn’t have finished it myself. However, I ended up enjoying the story overall. The character’s began to grow on me about halfway through. It’s a story of family, and marriage, and if secrets and events from your past should be kept from your partner. I did do a lot of skimming, but I also shed a few sentimental tears. I, personally, would give this book 3.5 martinis out of 5.
Since this book moves at a, well … pace of an older gentleman (perhaps that was the point), I would say picking it up depends on your reading mood and book preferences. There are a lot of positive reviews out there. So I would say, give it a chance.
Next month’s theme: Luau
Love and Laughter,