Here's a little setting excerpt from the scene I'm writing in Odile today.
With each step she took, her strength felt like it was returning. Her pains had eased, miraculously, though she still ached. But she made her way down to the main hall then out into a courtyard. She realized right away that it was a different place from the one she’d seen Caspari in earlier. It was hard to tell, given the season and the degree of neglect this estate had endured but it appeared that she was standing in the middle of a garden.
At least what might have been a garden, at one time. Gray here, as it was everywhere else in this keep, large cracked stones lined the ground around a fountain. No water moved from the top to the base of the statuary. When Odile walked closer, she found the basin filled with brown water. Dried leaves drifted down from above to float on top. Wild rose bushes formed a thick perimeter, or would have been roses when the foliage was young. Now they were more like a forbidding screen of dead branches that she could see through in many places. Beyond the center square were more walking paths going off in different directions.
Dead blooms clung to their stems, crisp brown leaves fluttering softly as a breeze rattled them. Red, she thought, touching one of the brittle flowers. They’d all been red. The dark of night turned the bushes black and the roses a deep, burnt looking color that she actually found appealing. Deep, dusky scarlet at the bowl hinted at once was, while the delicate edges of each petal were curled and blackened. The fragrance too was pleasant. It was set into the air as a reminder of a vibrant past. Instead of an outward beauty to be shared by all, had they been living, the dry, dead bushes were like another shadowy secret. The stories they knew were locked away, protected.
She knew that trick. What was her refuge in the labyrinth but a place to hide dreams in? If she could choose a symbol for what she was, it would more likely be one of these dead flowers than a sorcerer swan.
She wondered how many lovers’ trysts these dried blooms had seen. How many kisses?
Happy Wine Wednesday everyone! This week's wine / book pairing features the super, beautiful sweet romance, Under Winter Lights by Author Bree M. Lewandowski and the intriguing Imagery Chardonnay. Under Winter Lights follows the career of fledgling ballerina, Martina, as she progresses through the ranks of a professional ballet company from corps member to prima. Along the way, she meets the devastating Maraav ie. "Wolf of the Mariinsky ballet" (swoon). Follow the story of Martina and Maraav in this wonderfully written romance and, of course, have yourself a glass of Imagery Chardonnay to perfectly set the stage!
Ballet is Martina's world. Always has been. But underneath the stage lights, behind the curtain and choreography is loneliness.
On late nights, after rehearsals, in her small apartment, Martina wishes hers wasn't the only shadow on the wall.
But Chicago winter winds are swirling and Martina's music box world is tipped upside down when she is cast as the lead in the company's next production. And if that isn't enough...
He's the "wolf of the Mariinsky Ballet." A rebel with gray eyes. Maraav Levondovska is a brilliant dancer and Martina can barely admit to herself how watching him take the stage sets her imagination spinning.
But company director Alan Jung, the man crippled by the art he loved, seems to find new life in his star ballerina...
Three hearts in a dance made for two. A world made of music and motion. Come step Under Winter Lights: Part One!
Under Winter Lights is actually part one of a duet. For the full two act performance, look for the equally beautiful Under Midnight Lights. Both books can be found on Amazon!
Just getting some work done on my current work in progress, Odile, Legend of the Black Swan and I'm very excited to share a small bit of it for Teaser Tuesday!
Odile is a fantasy, fairy tale romance inspired by the legendary ballet, Swan Lake. This dark fairy tale will be another magically, seductive story about a world where things are not always as they seem. Odile is the reviled villainness of Aarroughac, the castle inhabited by a dark and evil sorcerer, Count Rothebart.
When a terrible, dark magic sweeps the land of Eldwith and results in death, Odile is accused of the crime. Von Rothebart vanishes, leaving her to face the wrath of an entire kingdom alone. When a mysterious stranger with darkly magical powers of his own enters the scene, he seems intent on using the infamous Black Swan temptress for his own devices.
Are the tales told of The Black Swan true? Is she a murderess and a sorceress to be feared or is she the only thing standing between true evil and the fall of a kingdom?
Hmm, only time will tell in the magical story of the Black Swan unfolds.
Stay tuned to the blog for more info on Odile, The Legend of the Black Swan and other fun book news from Amanda V. Shane!
Crystal Tide is FREE on Amazon today!! If you haven't read book 2 in the Tides of Atlantis series, get your copy today.
Desires and Passion are brewing in the Tides - as unexpected as a hurricane and as old as an ancient land.
Devastated by the loss of both parents and running scared after a break-in at her home, Kay Laurens jumps on the first plane out of Denver heading south to Miami. There she meets up with, of all people, a love psychic for answers. On the tip of the Bermuda Triangle, she is swept up into the dark world of an ancient cult and sent on the ride of her life. Then her incense induced visions come to life in the form of an inter-world travelling, suspicious and sinfully hot immortal agent for Mt. Olympus.
Xieran has no memory of who he was before being stolen by Hermes. The Greek god uses him to enter Earth’s sphere under the guise of an affluent art dealer in search of an elusive artifact which, if he can find, will win him his freedom. When his latest mission is brought up short by a female grad student breaking into his complex travel system, he can’t help but be suspicious. It makes no difference that he finds her more and more irresistible with each encounter. With demon outbreaks, nefarious characters working in the Underworld and a power struggle of epic proportions going on, no one can be trusted.
As they are thrown into the Tides together, Kay and Xieran set out on a whirlwind adventure, racing through the streets of Rome, Miami and even Western Australia to chase down the answers that will win them their freedom from the overbearing gods. Will they come to terms with destiny and conquer the evil taking over the Tides, or will they succumb to the passion growing between them?
Join the forming crew of Poseidon’s defenders against the Underworld in book two of Amanda V. Shane’s Tides of Atlantis series!
The Book Burglar
The book burglar has taken over the blog today to bring you some FREE books! My own book, Crystal Tide will be free starting today through 9/11 so don't miss out on getting your copy off Amazon. Look through the Book Burglar's list of other amazing free reads to add to your own TBR stash!
Crystal Tide, Tides of Atlantis
*all books and links were found at the perspective sales sites or submitted by the author
Happy Wine Wednesday everyone, I hope you are all having a fabulous week. This week's wine / book pairing is brought to you by McManis Chardonnay and Author K.A. Neeson's The Story of Jess and Aver : Giving Love A Chance. Ms Neeson writes in many different genres but is a one of a kind, paving the way for mental health fiction. For a dramatic, heart-rending contemporary romance where the two main characters beat all odds to give love a chance, be sure to pick up your copy of The Story of Jess & Aver on Amazon Books and don't forget the glass of McManis Chardonnay to top off the whole experience.
As always, happy reading!
How many people break up with their boyfriend, not talk for three months, then wake up one day and marry them right off the bat before they officially get back together again? Yes, that’s right. Married. Hell, I know it sounds crazy, but the conventional way (getting back together to work things out first) doesn’t usually work; we’ve seen that fail too many times. As nonsensical as it sounds, it could actually work…
Within a short time frame, I experienced love, loss, reconciliation, and heartbreak. This is the story of my revelation, how I almost single-handedly destroyed the best thing that had ever befallen me, and the incidents and events that followed. My name is Aver, and this is my story.
A little tease from Snow Maiden!
From a cursed winter kingdom, comes a tale of magic, prophecy and romance.
A commoner and the outcast of her village, Nika is forced to flee her home to keep the dark secret of her birth. When she is hunted by a rugged Northman, she finds herself lost in a land of spells and curses. His kisses start to melt her cold, lonely heart, her secrets are laid bare and she finds herself in a magic war for the man and the kingdom she loves.
King of a cursed winter kingdom...when Vasilli first lays eyes on Nika stealing bread at a fair, he knows he has to have the fair haired beauty. The legends surrounding his kingdom tell of a snow maiden who will break the curse of the Northern Kingdom but he wants Nika for his own.
From a land of winter, ice and snow comes a tale of enchantment and romance.
Mages and sorceresses, omens and curses - this spellbinding grownup fairy tale is a story of magic in an ancient land and a legendary love that will heat up even the coldest night.
On Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!
About the Author
Amanda V Shane is an author of paranormal and fantasy romance and is currently working on her Tides of Atlantis series about the super hot lost kings of Atlantis as well as her Enchanted Lands Romances.