Thursday, April 20, 2017

April Book Affair Blitz + MEGA Giveaway

April’s Freebie Fair! 46 FREE Books for a LIMITED TIME!
If you’re looking for free books and a way to connect with new and exciting authors, you’ve come to the right place! Visit this link and you’ll be able to select up to 50 FREE BOOKS!


5 Elements of Steampunk & Why You Should Add it to Your TBR List

1. Beautiful World-Building

Steampunk is science fiction which takes place in the past. An alternate history where inventions, gadgets, and personal conveniences do not belong, and yet, are there. Often these inventions are powered by steam, hydraulics, clockwork, gyroscopic action, or pretty much anything but gasoline. The author has to create a beautiful Victorian setting where mechanical items exist that shouldn’t in Victorian history.

         2. Strong Female Characters 

It was in the Victorian era that feminism grew by leaps and bounds and the suffrage movement gained major traction. Because of the strong influences of women in the time period in which steampunk has its roots, they tend to take centerstage in the interpretation of this genre. Who doesn’t like a woman who steals the show or takes charge?

3. Action and Adventure 

What would inventive fiction be without an inventive plotline? In Steampunk you will find a bit of drama, a bit of fantasy, a tad of mystery, but generally, you’ll find adventure that expands the horizons of your imagination… often viewed from an airship or mechanical animal.

4. Fun Fashion and Costumes

Not many genres can boast an entire theme of Cosplay. People love to dress in steampunk fashions for Comic Cons, book conventions, Halloween, and parties. Even the high fashion world has runway shows dedicated to this style of dressing. Go to Etsy and search “steampunk” you’ll find all sorts of fun things to wear while you read.

5. It’s More Familiar Than You Think

The gifs in this post are all from movies or shows you may have watched: Wild Wild West with Will Smith, Stardust with Claire Danes, the animated film, Howl’s Moving Castle, and episodes of Dr. Who. If you’ve loved any of these shows, you’ve already gotten a taste of Steampunk. Don’t pass up the chance to read a book or watch a movie just because of the clever combination of past and present themes. Give it a try and you may find yourself a new fan of the genre!

By Pauline Creeden



$100 Amazon Gift Card

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

{Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway} Legacy of the Mind - By H.R. Moore


Author: H.R. Moore
Release Date: 1/2/2014
Purchase Info: Amazon ~ B&N
Anita has never been ordinary, she’s stuck out like a sore thumb her entire life; not only can she see the energy of others, a rare skill, but she’s won every Body challenge she’s ever entered. So when the powerful, good looking Descendants, Marcus and Alexander, mysteriously arrive in Empire, her difference attracts and keeps their attention.

Once in Empire, the sudden death of ruling Body Descendant, Christiana, sets in motion a number of events; a quest for the treacherous Austin to find the girl Christiana had been looking for; a challenge where Anita stands out more vibrantly than ever before; a perilous dip in the world’s energy; and a dangerous belief among the people that they will never truly be free. Powerful factions soon form within the ruling elite and when a trusted friend and mentor reaches out to ask for Anita’s help, she has to make a choice; help her friend and betray the one she loves, or do nothing and watch the people starve.


Every ounce of my being is recovering from an emotional book know when you mind still wonders for days at end trying to articulate the words that best sums up what you've just experienced?? That feeling when you write your review, then realize words cannot adaquitely describe this enchanting book!

Well, I am now going to do my best at enticing you all into reading this book!

Anita is a badass, she trains hard, fights harder, and takes a lot of crap. Her entire world is based around her ability to kickass, so when someone comes specifically for her I wasn't prepared for the twists and turns this plot took. You know, there is something to say about an author who can pull metaphoric rabbits out of a literary hat. I'm telling you the writing in Legacy of the Mind was that good!  

My only qualm is that I hadn't read this book when it first came out in 2014.....but then I realized that the rest of the trilogy was already out, I jumped for joy!! Now I am binge reading the rest of the trilogy.....oh and it's heaven!

Make sure you check out Legacy of the Mind on Amazon this week, it's FREE!!



About the Author

Harriet was born in Germany in 1987, the family returning to the UK, to Dorset shortly afterwards. She lived there until she was 5, her grandfather teaching her the basics of cheating at cards and swindling chocolate, her mother starting to instil a (some would argue) unhealthy relationship with cake, and the neighbours demonstrating that some people don’t understand cherry blossom is there to be picked, mixed with mint and water and sold as perfume.
Then there was Scotland; stealthy guinea pig breeding, riding horses, advanced cards, more cake, then to Devon and school in Exeter. She loved maths in the early years, but by the time she got to A Level, Sociology was her favourite subject, opening her eyes to things she’d never before considered, namely, nobody is really right, nobody is really normal and primary socialisation has a lot to answer for.

At the age of about 12, Harriet started rowing for Exeter Rowing Club. This quickly took over her life and before too long she was clad in lycra, training 6 days a week and competing at events around the country.

After finishing her A Levels, Harriet went to university in St Andrews, studying Philosophy for two years, then switching to Management. She was particularly interested in the ‘people’ elements of her course and especially the areas concerning how people create and react to change. After four very civilised years by the sea, she ventured to London, to foray into the strange world of insurance (surprisingly, more interesting than you might think), where she currently works as a Project Manager.

Harriet has recently moved to Hertfordshire with her husband Chris and baby Atia. When she isn’t doing DIY, writing, editing, eating, taking photos, or imagining how much better life would be with the addition of a springer spaniel, she occasionally finds the time to make hats.

Author links:



  • $20 Amazon gift card
  • ebook copy of Legacy of the Mind


Sunday, April 16, 2017

{Book Blitz + Giveaway} Dragon Splendor - By Ophelia Bell


Dragon Splendor
Ophelia Bell
(Immortal Dragons, #3)
Publication date: April 7th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Nobody said finding your fated mates would mean an instant happily ever after. But for Aurum, an immortal gold dragon gifted with the power of psychic empathy, love has never been simple.
Night after night, she has endured prophetic dreams about her pair of lovers, but finding them brings her no respite—the beautiful satyr, Calder, abandons her upon their first meeting, forsaking love for revenge, while royal ursa Nicholas…
Well, he looks nothing like the dark-haired man Fate promised her. So why does she find him so irresistible?
As war between ancient allies darkens the horizon, Aurum realizes the long-lost prince may hold the key to solving both her and Calder’s problems, bringing together the fated mates for good—as long as he doesn’t get them all killed first.
Their Fated connection doesn’t make things easy. But for Aurum, Calder, and Nicholas, victory might just go hand in hand with surrender where matters of the heart are concerned.



“Almost finished,” Aurum said, dipping a spoon into a bowl, scooping out a huge dollop of creamy chocolate, and spreading it on top of a large, brick-shaped cake she’d just finished building, layering each tier with an assortment of fillings.
Nicholas swallowed a fresh mouthful of saliva to keep from drooling.
“I can’t wait.” He really couldn’t, and finally gave into the urge to interfere. The multitude of platters and trays that were now arranged around her counters, piled with delicious-looking confections, looked so good. He stood and wandered over to her, inspecting each item, wondering where she’d let him begin. He stopped behind her, peering over her shoulder into the bowl.
Her hands were streaked with the different substances she’d cooked with, and when his nose hovered near her neck, he smelled her familiar citrusy scent beneath all the other aromas that clung to her now.
“Only a few more minutes,” she said.
“I might need a bite of something to tide me over.” He dipped his head lower and inhaled, not even trying to disguise his hunger. His stomach rumbled just as he brushed his lips down the side of her neck, darting his tongue out for a taste.
Aurum twisted away from him, turning, but he gripped the edges of the counter, caging her in his arms and bending his head to chase her movement. Before he could reach her neck again, she shoved a spoon into his face.
“Here,” she said, laughing. “Have a bite of this, you hungry bear.”
She turned fully in his arms and he leaned back slightly, looking down at the proffered utensil, the sweet, chocolaty scent filling his nostrils. He opened his mouth and she inserted it, the flavor exploding on his tongue like an orgasm.
Nicholas growled low in his chest. Pleasure had never in his life originated from his mouth to such a degree, except for the moments when he had Calder’s cock between his lips, or just recently tasting his own juices mixed with Aurum’s between her thighs. But even then, the tangy taste of sex didn’t compare to the sensations of ecstasy he experienced now.
He sucked the spoon clean and opened his eyes. Aurum beamed at him, her cheeks flushed pink.
“You like?” she asked.
“Mmm,” he murmured, taking the spoon from her hand and dipping it into the bowl again over her shoulder. He scooped as much as the spoon could hold, bringing it to his mouth. On the way up, a dollop of the delicious concoction fell, landing with a little plop on the swell of Aurum’s breast.
“Hey, you’re making a mess, and spoiling your lunch. Save room for the meal before you fill up on dessert.”
The spoon was already in his mouth, being sucked clean for the second time when he saw her grab a cloth and move to wipe the fallen chocolate from her skin. He dropped the spoon into the bowl and grabbed her hand.
“Mine,” he said, swiftly bending to lick the chocolate off her breast. It had begun to run, a trail of it arcing over the curve toward her sternum. Aurum gasped when he darted out his tongue, trailing it over her bare skin and in between her breasts to make sure he caught every last drop. The chocolate tasted even better licked off her than it had coming straight from the bowl.
Hungry for more, he looked into the bowl, then down at her. Aurum was still smiling, but had a bewildered look of amazement on her face, her mouth open and the breath of a laugh escaping her.
“What are you thinking?”
“That I want to do a cooking experiment. See how good the rest of you tastes with chocolate.”


Author Bio
Ophelia Bell loves a good bad-boy and especially strong women in her stories. Women who aren't apologetic about enjoying sex and bad boys who don't mind being with a woman who's in charge, at least on the surface, because pretty much anything goes in the bedroom.
Ophelia grew up on a rural farm in North Carolina and now lives in Los Angeles with her own tattooed bad-boy husband and four attention-whoring cats.
If you'd like to receive regular updates on Ophelia's publications, freebies, and discounts, please subscribe to her mailing list:


Saturday, April 15, 2017

{Book Blitz + Giveaway} Immortal Fire - By Annette Marie

Immortal Fire
Annette Marie
(Red Winter Trilogy #3)
Publication date: April 11th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Once, Emi believed the heavenly gods were righteous and wise, while the earthly yokai spirits were bloodthirsty and evil. But with a traitorous deity poised to destroy her world, and the yokai standing as humanity’s only defense, the lies of her upbringing have toppled to reveal a far more terrifying reality.

Despite the looming threat, Emi can’t escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. Soon—too soon—she will have to break the curse that binds his magic and memories. And once the ancient power inside him awakens, the yokai she loves will be changed forever.
As the earthly gods gather to wage war against the heavens, Emi and Shiro must gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes. Together, they will find a way to save her world—even if it means losing each other.

Each book in the Red Winter Trilogy includes ten stunning illustrations by award-winning artist Brittany Jackson.
This is an exclusive preview of one illustration featured in Immortal Fire.
Violent shivers pulled Emi from the depths of sleep. The chill in the room cut right through the layers of blanket and kimono, and her toes ached from the cold. Curled in a tight ball beneath her blankets, she exhaled harshly, half expecting her breath to fog the air.
Beyond the thin partition that separated her sleeping quarters from the rest of the room, the windows rattled in a fierce wind. A winter storm? A feverish ache throbbed in her muscles, though she didn’t think she had slept for more than a few hours.
Yawning, she forced her tired body off the futon. Cold hit her like a splash of frigid water but even that wasn’t enough to dispel her drowsy daze. A short, fumbling search uncovered no extra blankets in the closet within her small alcove. Wrapping an arm around herself for warmth, she slid a panel open and peeked into the main room.
The remains of Shiro and Yumei’s late dinner had been cleared from the table, and the unlit brazier was devoid of light or warmth. Across the room, a second futon had been laid out near Shiro’s, and dark shapes filled both.
Trust the yokai to sleep right through the freezing cold. Behind their futons was a larger closet where bedding was stored. Surely there would be an extra blanket in there. She stumbled toward it in exhaustion. Her chest felt hollow and empty, and some of the chill that plagued her emanated from within.
As she crossed the room, an icy breeze rushed across her. Jerking back a step, she turned toward the sliding garden doors. A six-inch gap revealed the night-swathed garden beyond, where snow flew almost horizontally in the wind.
Why on earth had they left the door open? With a tired scowl, she yanked it shut. The room immediately felt warmer. Shaking her head, she stopped at the foot of Shiro’s futon, the light from the window glimmering on his white hair. Not that long ago, she had woken him from a nightmare, and he had thrown her into a wall before rousing enough to realize he was about to rip her throat out. Attempting to sneak between their futons to reach the closet was probably unwise.
“Shiro?” she whispered. “Are you awake?”
He didn’t stir. Neither did Yumei, who slept on his back with his head turned away, his hair splayed untidily across his face in a way that was very unlike the usually reserved yokai. He rarely slept when anyone else was nearby, at least as far as she’d seen. Maybe her ki had tired him.
“Shiro?” she tried again more loudly.
When he again didn’t move, not even a twitch of his ears, a nervous prickle climbed her spine. Shiro
wasn’t that deep of a sleeper. And why hadn’t her clumsy banging of the garden door woken them? A spike of adrenaline cut through her drowsiness as she realized how unlikely it was that Shiro and
Yumei would go to sleep with a door ajar. Had the wind blown it open? Or … something else?
She scoured the room, but it was clearly empty. Biting the inside of her cheek, she stepped between the futons and crouched.
“Shiro,” she called. “Wake up!”
No reaction. Hoping he wouldn’t attack her, she touched his shoulder. He slept on, eyes closed, face slack. Her apprehension intensified into real fear.
“Shiro!” She gripped his shoulder and shook it, but he still didn’t wake or so much as stir. Was she dreaming? Was this a nightmare? She spun around and reached for Yumei.
“Yumei, wake up! Please wake up!” She shook him but he was as unresponsive as Shiro. In desperation, she hit his shoulder with her open palm, yelling his name. “What’s wrong with you? Wake up!”
As she turned, intending to grab a handful of snow from outside to shove in Shiro’s face, the air above him shimmered strangely. She went rigid, squinting into the darkness.
A shadow took form. A small body, thin limbs, ragged black hair. The ghostly child crouched on Shiro’s chest, her blank, bottomless stare fixed on Emi.
Her heart thudded in her ears. A kanashibari, the dream-weaving yokai that had been watching Emi in the bath. That was what she’d forgotten to warn Shiro about! And now it was sitting on him, and he wouldn’t wake up.
She lurched back to Yumei. A second kanashibari appeared before her, perched on his torso. The new one, another little girl with short, stringy hair and a pale kimono, looked up at Emi with empty black eyes.
The child’s lips pulled up in a rictal grin, and her tiny arm shot out.
Emi shoved the yokai away, but her hands passed right through the spectral body, feeling nothing but frosty air.
The yokai reached for her face and a small, frigid, solid palm pressed against her forehead. A wave of burning ice surged into Emi’s skull, blanketing her thoughts. Impossible, unyielding drowsiness crashed through her.
Before she could react, before she could even think about resisting, she collapsed on top of Yumei’s unconscious body and slid into darkness.
The complete trilogy:
Available now on Amazon!

Author Bio:
Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling Steel & Stone series, which includes Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night, and fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast- paced urban fantasy and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.


Friday, April 14, 2017

{Blog Tour: Review + Giveawy} When Planets Fall - By Abby J. Reed


Author: Abby J. Reed
Release Date: 4/12/2017
Purchase Info: Amazon ~ B&N
On a planet where the only difference between three tribes is their blood color, war is on the horizon. Breaker, an amputee, wants peace for his family and home. Malani, a kidnapped POW, wants to return home. Luka wants justice for his home. All three teens come together when Breaker is given seven days to fix a wrecked enemy starship or their home, and peace, is forfeit.

Out of this World!!

Every single aspect of this novel took my vision of the SyFy genre and obliterated it! Each detail, starting from the opening scene of the book, laid out a perfect plot. All the characters played upon each other, which allowed them to develop the story even deeper than you expected it to go.

My hands-down favorite character was he an asshole with a complex, yeah....but the depth he holds warms my heart. Though the dynamic between him and Breaker is hard to understand, and at times you can to throw something hard at him, I can see that he's hurting. There's usually more to those type of characters and I just have a soft spot for them.

Now don't get me wrong, Breaker was a very close second! He will not give up, he will not allow his leg loss to stop him from doing what needs to be done, and his drive to get answers is what won me over. He didn't just take someones excuse for something and roll over, he dug further to understand and figure things out. 

Back to what I originally said, my mind was blown!! Going into When Planets Fall not being a huge SyFy genre fan, I absolutely have a new appreciation, standard and love for it! But, this wouldn't be the case if Abby J. Reed hadn't written such a compelling, out-of-this-world novel! Bravo!!



About the Author

Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, will be published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.

Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint.


1 winner will receive a signed paperback of WHEN PLANETS FALL, & Swag, US Only.


Tour Schedule:

Week One:
4/3/2017- Twinning for BooksInterview
4/3/2017- Everything MarieReview

4/4/2017- Jennifer Mary G.Guest Post
4/4/2017- What the Cat ReadReview

4/5/2017- The Not So Public LibraryExcerpt
4/5/2017- YA and WineReview

4/6/2017- The Autumn Bookshelf- Interview
4/6/2017- A Trail of Books Left BehindReview

4/7/2017- Smada's Book SmackGuest Post
4/7/2017- Kayl's Krazy ObsessionReview

Week Two:
4/10/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Interview
4/10/2017- The Broke Book bankReview

4/11/2017- Read Day and NightReview
4/11/2017- Wishful EndingsReview

4/12/2017- Books,Dreams,LifeExcerpt
4/12/2017- Book-KeepingReview

4/13/2017- Bibliobibuli YAInterview
4/13/2017- Reese's ReviewsReview

4/14/2017- YA Book MadnessGuest Post
4/14/2017- Taking It One Book at a TimeReview


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

{Audio Book Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway} Angelbound - By Christina Bauer


Author: Christina Bauer
Release Date: 12/30/2016
Purchase Info: Amazon ~ Audible

*Now an audio book!*
Eighteen-year-old Myla Lewis is a girl who loves two things: kicking ass and kicking ass. She’s not your everyday quasi-demon, half-demon, and half-human, girl. For the past five years, Myla has lived for the days she gets to fight in Purgatory’s arena. When souls want a trial by combat for their right to enter heaven or hell, they go up against her, and she has not lost a battle yet.
But as she starts her senior year at Purgatory High, the arena fights are not enough to keep her spirits up anymore. When the demons start to act weird, even for demons, and the King of the Demons, Armageddon, shows up at Myla’s school, she knows that things are changing and it is not looking good for the quasi-demons. Myla starts to question everything, and does not like the answers she finds. What happened 17 years ago that turned the quasi-demons into slave labor? Why was her mom always so sad? And why won’t anyone tell her who her father is?
Things heat up when Myla meets Lincoln, the High Prince of the Thrax, a super sexy half-human and half-angel demon hunter. But what does a quasi-demon girl to do when she falls for a demon hunter? It’s a good thing that Myla is not afraid of breaking a few rules. With a love worth fighting for, Myla is going to shake up Purgatory.


My first audio book review ever, and I couldn't be more thrilled than to review Angelbound!!

When I first knew that the entire book was being narrated by the author, I was a little skeptical, but she truly brought every character to life.

Myle is a badass, there's no doubt about it, she kick-ass and takes names. Making sure there is  balance in her twisted world is what she's aiming for, yet there is something lurking in the shadows waiting to take her down.....

One of my favorite things about this entire story line was how everything ended up intertwining together. All the plots, side-plots and details landed together at the end. The demons, Angels and everything in-between had a very organic combination. I commend the author on her fantastic plot development during Myla's entire journey through this novel. She was able to keep her sassy, smarta$$ quality, all while vanquishing those who do not belong.

I will say that I fell in love with the inner love story. It reminded me of something that J.R. Ward would write, but there was no denying it was 100% original. It warmed my heart and made me slightly jealous.

Now I cannot wait to see where Myla's badass-ness takes her in the next installment in this series! Because it's going to be a wild ride for sure!!



(Click Here to Listen)

About the Author

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. It is now available as an audiobook on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press. 

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Stalk Christina on Social Media – She Loves It!
Twitter: @CB_Bauer
Web site:



  • Dragon Bling
  • Angel Wing Bobby Pins
  • Dragon Scale Ring
  • ANGELBOUND AudioBook copy from Audible


Saturday, April 1, 2017

{Release Blitz + Giveaway} The White Raven - By Carrie D. Miller



The White Raven - By Carrie D. Miller
Release Date: April 1st 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Finally, after nearly a thousand years, Aven Dovenelle is truly happy. In her thirteenth life, she’s settled into the now witchcraft-friendly Salem, Massachusetts, where she has opened her own shop and made great friends—there’s even a possibility of love blooming.
Despite her contentment in this new life, the truth of Aven’s existence haunts her. She is cursed to live life after life, with all the memories of her horrific past. For all her powers, she’s never discovered why she was cursed nor how to break it. Hope may come in the form of a mysterious white raven, who has followed Aven through each of her lives. Although they have a connection that neither understands, it may prove to be her salvation.
An evil force from Aven’s past isn’t finished with her. Driven by vengeance and hate, he emerges to torment her anew and threatens all she’s built. He strikes without warning—her loved ones are caught in the wake of his attack and may not survive the encounter.
The cost of her happiness and freedom could be too high as Aven uncovers the truth about her curse and that dark magick lingers.



Calico, California
They are close. I sense their hatred. Though I am prepared, I must force myself to be calm. I do not fear what comes although I know I will be dead soon. Running from this place now is not something I wish to do, nor do I care to fight anymore. I’m ready to seek out a new land, a new time, and to continue on to the next life I am cursed to begin.

My Pyrenees is at attention by my side, ears pricked and hackles raised. “It is time to go, my girl.” She whines and lowers her head, her big brown eyes pools of concern. “You go ahead,” I say with a smile. “I’ll be along soon.”

I hear the gallop of fast-moving horses and the shouts of agitated men as they approach my home. The sound of heavy boots bounding onto the porch makes my skin prickle. Torchlight fills the windows and I steel myself. The front door splinters when one of those heavy boots comes through it.

“I knew there was somethin’ not right about you.” The man in the lead is Morris Stiles, the town’s bully. I’m sure he took quick ownership of the lynching party so he could exercise his insatiable need to inflict pain and suffering without the threat of retribution. Not to mention the chance to snare himself a witch.

His face seethes with hostility. The men who crowd into the room behind him wear the same expression. The grin forming on his face as he looks me over is filled with decaying stubs that once passed for teeth. Many months ago, I offered to ease his pain, but was met with the back of his hand followed by a brown, revolting gob of spit aimed at my face.

Life in Calico has been filled with hardships. Each time I felt a modicum of acceptance, someone like Morris Stiles would speak against me. My goats and chickens were taken one by one, and the sheriff was not the least bit sympathetic or helpful in retrieving them. I am not one to back down so I held on, hoping for the relief of simply being ignored.

Now, yet another angry mob is at my doorstep. I know my lover has not had a direct hand in this. I am certain that due to the effects of much drink, his lips recounted events he should have kept hidden. I confessed to him this very morning that I am, in fact, a witch, and his reaction was what I had expected. I am unable to hide my true self for very long, and I am either revealed by my actions or by my simple confession. I will not deceive my lover with lies and trickery. I have told myself time and time again to stay away from love but the pangs and yearnings cannot be ignored, not even by one such as myself.

There is no fear on my face as I glare at the five men who have invaded my little home. Each one averts his eyes. As I inhale, my lungs fill with the thick, heavy air the men brought with them—full of sweat, dirt, whiskey, and anger.

I glower at the still grinning man. “Morris Stiles, you are a fool.” My voice resonates throughout the room. The sound makes the men jump and look around, wide-eyed.

Morris grunts and spits a brown mass onto the floor. “Them’s funny words coming from a whore a’ Satan!”

I scoff. “Tell me one thing, just one thing—any of you—that I have done to remotely reflect the work of the devil?” No one meets my eyes and nothing intelligible passes from their lips. Feeling the mood of his men shift, Morris lurches forward.

“Don’t matter! You do things no livin’ person should be doin’. Ain’t but God himself that can mend a broke back, or make Jenny’s fever break even after Doc said nuthin’ could be done. You got wrong in you, woman, and we gon’ fix that!” He lunges for me. Emboldened by Morris, three other men follow. I do not cry out as they grip my arms and shoulders with rough, dirty hands. Morris binds my hands in front of me. The smell of their breath and body odor stings my nose. I am ushered from my home with shouts and laughter. The night is fresh and crisp after the all-day rain. I welcome the clean air into my lungs.

“Why don’t she fight?” someone mutters behind me. “Why don’t she scream? Ain’t never known a woman not to go screamin’.”

“’Nother thing that ain’t natural ’bout her. Like them purple eyes!”

I am shoved up onto an old, work-worn mare. A timid voice comes from behind the rest.

“But she made Pa’s leg stop hurtin’. He’s able to get out in the fields again. Ma said it was a miracle and that God was workin’ through her.”

“Shut yer mouth, boy!” Morris slaps the young man hard on the back of the head. He grips the boy by his collar. “Yer Pa’s lucky she didn’t turn that leg into a cloven hoof!” He pushes the boy backward and turns to face me.

“We gonna show you what we do to witches!” He throws his head back and hoots manically. 

Several men follow suit; some punctuate their exuberance with gunshots into the air.

The horse underneath me snorts and pulls back from the man holding the reins, jerking her head from side to side. He yells obscenities at her and yanks her bridle. I run my hands along her taut neck and make her listen to my words in her mind. She calms to the song I sing to her.

I am paraded down the main street through town towards the cemetery where the gallows stands. Many outlaws have met their end in this manner, and it appears so will I.

The cemetery is unusually bright this evening with torches on every fence post. They cast a harsh yellow glow onto the weathered wood of the gallows. I am aware of the shouts, calls, and other verbal assaults around me, but I hear nothing except the steady beating of my heart. I focus on controlling my movements and breathing. I will not give them the satisfaction of seeing my fear. While I am not afraid of death itself as I have done it eleven times before, it is the act of dying I fear. But I am pleased by the method they have chosen, for it is a fast end if done properly.

I am shoved up the steps and I will my legs to keep up. I am jerked around into position in front of the freshly tied noose of new rope. Morris presents it and me to the crowd—the ringmaster to this circus.

“Lookie what we got here!” He shoves me forward as if they couldn’t already see me. “By her own confession to Roy Shackleford, she’s a gawd damn witch!” The crowd becomes deafening.

I catch the eye of the town preacher at the far end of the massive throng. His face is smug and his eyes dance with spiteful glee. Under my glare, his grin falters and he moves behind a large elderly woman who’s covered herself in a quilt and grasps a wooden cross tightly in her meaty fists.

Morris continues to speak random sentences describing my unnatural and ungodly ways, inciting the crowd further. I look upon their hateful faces, devoid of any resemblance to the humans they were earlier in the day. I pity them all for their small, feeble minds. I become aware that Morris is attempting to put the noose around my neck.

“I wish to speak!” I yank myself away from Morris’s grip. Much to his dismay, I am stronger than I have led him to believe.

I am booed and hissed at, and the crowd calls for my immediate death. I clench my teeth and hiss back at them. “Silence!” The force in my voice, the unearthly sound I make, strikes them dumb. “You will listen.

“Almost half of you have benefited from my healing skill.” My gaze seeks those I readily find who have been under my care. Their eyes do not meet mine.

“I have caused no harm to any of you, nor your land, nor your property. I have done only good deeds. Refute that, anyone!” People shift their feet and hide their faces behind those in front of them. The people in the front look at the ground. In the silence, I hear the flapping of large wings and see the heavy flames of the torches dance in the air currents. I cannot see the creature but I know it. I have always known it. A sharp, angry cry from the bird peals out above the crowd. There are gasps and cries of fear; some crouch down as they stare into the black sky. I feel strangely calmed by the bird’s presence.

Morris steps forward to speak, and my thoughts close his windpipe. He grips his throat, his eyes widening. My eyes warn him not to proceed. I will be allowed to speak, Morris, but you no longer will.

“As I look at each of your faces, I know none of my words will make the slightest difference. Your minds are small and petty. The only danger here is you. You believe you are ridding the world of some great evil tonight. But all you are doing is worsening your own lives. Ponder that as you lay your heads on your pillows. The evil here is you, for there is none in me.”

I release Morris from where he stands still gasping for air. As he tries to recover himself, he waves several men forward to put me back into place. Coughing is all he can manage as he puts the noose over my head and jerks it tight. When he is close to my face, he spits at me. 

The smell of it would be nauseating if I could feel anything other than rage.

He shoves each man out of the way so he is the one to pull the lever that controls the trap door upon which I stand. He stumbles and is still sputtering to get words out, but he can only cough and spit. As my last act of defiance, I make those the only sounds that will ever come out of his mouth. My petty revenge makes me smile.

The movement of the well-worn mechanism opening the trap door is loud in my ears. It is all I hear though I’m certain the crowd has reached a frenzied state. For the length of a breath, I am suspended in midair. I look above the crowd as I plummet downward, seeing a flash of white wings in my periphery.

I relax my neck and let the noose perform its job without resistance. I want this over quickly, to have my neck snap immediately. The noose tightens as my weight pulls my body down. The pain is but a quick jolt and then the world is black and silent to me.


About the Author

Carrie D. Miller was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, on October 31, 1970. She credits her vivid imagination, as well as her sugar addiction, to being a Halloween baby. In a former life, she was an executive in the software industry for many years. Her career in the technology world included software product management, website design, training, and technical writing just to name a few. Although Carrie’s written a great deal over the decades which has been read by thousands of people, software documentation allows for about as much creativity as pouring cement. At the age of 45, she decided to chuck it all to become an author which had been a life-long dream.