#ASI: Elizabeth Cash

Hi Elizabeth, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

-I was born in Lake City, FL but moved to St. Augustine when I was six. I’ve lived here since then and have grown to love it, and I consider it my hometown. I am 23-years-old, married to a crazy, wonderful man, and I have two wonderful kids. Aaliyah, who is 5, and Bentley, who is 2. They drive me insane and keep me whole. I’m extremely goofy and kindhearted.

Discuss your newest book.

-The Only Way Out is my debut novella. It is about a girl named Wednesday Emmerson, who struggles with depression and anxiety. She has been dealt a really bad hand in life. She is constantly having traumatic things happen to her. The final straw was Brian. Her boyfriend of three years. When he leaves her, she makes a decision that will change her life. And in the words of Rein, everything else is “Just another day in paradise.” I don’t want to give away too much because this is a short book, so you’ll have to read it to find out. I must read it to find out!

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Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

-I found that I truly loved writing when I was in my high school ENG 3 class. We had an assignment to do on The Catcher in the Rye, and we were prompted to create an alternate character for Holden. It was a lot of fun, and ever since then I would make alternate characters for characters I would read about to see if it would fit them or I would write a short story to finish a book that felt unfinished to me. Cool, #GOSCHOOL!

What are your current projects?

-At the moment I am working on a psychological thriller/horror. It is still in the baby stages of planning and plot twisting, but it will be gruesome and awesome. Sounds scary.

What books have most influenced your life most?

-Every book I have read has impacted me on some level. The one that influenced my life the most I believe would be Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter. It was a very emotionally raw and traumatic book. It took me forever to pick up another book because I didn’t want to feel all the feels like I did reading that. It was also one of the very first books that introduced me into the amazing book-hangover world.

What inspired you to write your first book?

-I have seen first hand what depression and anxiety can do to someone you love. My mother suffers from them, and my husband does as well. I wanted to give insight on what depression can do and how hard it is to overcome. It’s not just a get over it type of thing. It’s a constant pull, a constant battle to stay alive when all you want to do is curl up and wither away. That is great, I know a lot of people out there struggle with depression, it sounds like this book could be an inspiration for them.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

-Wednesday is a sweet girl but has been dealt a very sharty hand in life. She struggles with depression and anxiety. She does her best, but it seems like life has other plans and wants to keep her down. In the end, she finds out what it means to have a happy ending. Love the name, and she sounds very down to earth. I hope she gets her happy ending.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

-You are never alone, no matter what struggles you are going through. Even if you need to talk to a stranger, there are people who will be a listening ear and friend to you in your time of need.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

-I’d love to see Anne Hathway play Wednesday. She is an amazing actress and kills every role she has played.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

-It wouldn’t go away lol I have always loved to write short stories, and this was originally a short story that I had written and put away, but it wouldn’t leave me alone. In the back of my mind, the story kept growing, and eventually I sat down and finished it. All the good ones do that.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

-I wish I could write full-time. But I am a mother, a hospitality worker, and a full-time student at Ashford University. Between all that and adulating, I write half-time. Sometimes, none. I’d give my left leg to be able to be an author full-time and still have all my bills paid lol Wouldn’t we all? lol

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

-It was hard having to write such a broken character. I love Wednesday and she is an awesome person, but she has some serious demons that are truly heartbreaking.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

-Tori. Her bubbly personality made things a little brighter and a little easier to write.

What book are you reading now?

-I am in the process of reading CoHo’s Never Never series. I love her books and the way she writes.

What is one random thing about you?

-I am a weirdo who loves all the lacy and black things. Oh and I am a huge procrastinator. I am a ‘wait-last-minute-then-stress-out’ type of chick. Some times procrastination turns out to be very helpful.

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer?

-It depends. If I’m at home, my computer is my go to. But I always keep a pad and pen just in case a good scene or plot twist decides to pop up in my mind.

What does your writing process look like?

-Very sloppy. Most authors like to have everything planned out, but I just go with the flow and take notes as I am writing. It can get confusing, but once I have everything written, I organize it and go from there.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

-I have to have background noise. Silence is such a buzz kill for me. If it’s quiet, I can’t write or concentrate.

How important are names to you in your books?

-They are very important to me. I want for the names I use to be unique and memorable. They have to match the character as well. Wednesday was originally Shelby, but it didn’t live with my character at all. So, I changed it and created Wednesday Emmerson.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?

-I will never format my books myself, ever again. I used Calibre and messed up so many things. My awesome author friend fixed everything for me and formatted it. It was horrible.

What is your favorite book and why?

-The Fish Tale Series. I read the whole series in three days, and it wrecked me and molded me and then killed me again just to tape me back together. It packed a huge punch and that’s what I love about it.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

-Do no give up. It can get hard at times, but it’s worth it in the end.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

-Eat. I’m a big foodie. I am always eating. I even dance a little while eating because it makes me happy.

From where do you gain your inspiration?

-It comes from all over. The book I am working on now was a dream I had. Or more of a nightmare. The Only Way Out was inspired by my loved ones who struggle with depression. I have another book partly planned that was inspired by a photo my friend took. For me, inspiration comes from all over.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

-I love the freedom the self-publishing gives me. I make my deadlines, and I get to pick and choose who my editor will be or who will design my cover.

How do you market your books?

-Social media mainly.

Would you or do you use a PR agency?

-I would, but at the moment, I enjoy doing things on my own.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

-SHARE! On any and every social networking place you can. #SpreadtheLove!

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

-About half of it goes to marketing. I want people to get a feel for it before it comes out. I want them to become interested in my work and want to get it when it is released.

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

-I have been using promo pages on Facebook and Twitter. I try to share my book as much as possible for people get it and leave a review. Since it was just released, I do not have many reviews, but I will continue to do what I’m doing until the reviews grow.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?

-If someone wishes to review my book, I’d be more than happy to give them a copy. I also use promo pages for that as well. Some of them have a place you can submit your book for review. I have submitted my book to a few places already. I’m waiting to hear back.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?

-Since I’m new to all this, I don’t have one. I wish I did, though.

Which social network worked best for you?

-Facebook. There are so many people that use Facebook, and a good portion of them read. I’d say over half of my friends are authors, reviewers, and just book lovers in general.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

-I did not. I just shared my little heart out on all of my social media pages.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

-I would love to meet either Edgar Allen Poe or Tim Burton. I have loved their work since I was a kid and it’d be amazing to meet someone I’ve looked up to since I was a kid. They are two of my favorites as well.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

-That’s a tough one. I’d go with SNAP by Tara Dawn. It is a series, but SNAP is the first book, and it is amazing. It’s one of those books that leaves you wondering what kind of world we live in and it takes you a while to figure out how you are gonna review it because words just don’t seem to do it justice.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

-Keep writing. No matter what. If you love it, keep going. I promise, in the end, once you upload it or have the print in your hands, you’ll feel so complete. Total euphoria comes from seeing your blood, sweat, and tears on the screen or in your hands.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Facebook lol I am a social media whore and I am on there all the time promoting an sharing my work.

Hot of the Press! #NewRelease

Her Brother’s Keeper by AJ Downey
Sacred Brotherhood Book #2
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2d3p8qf

#MCRomance

Fate introduces people at both the right and the wrong times…

So it is for Maren on the absolute worst day imaginable. When all hope was gone, and she was whittled away to little more than tears and despair, up walks Nox, an unlikely hero to save the day. Maren is about to discover that sometimes the good guys wear black, and there are times that the lines between good and evil blur beyond recognition.

Nox is a bad man with a heart of gold, or so it seems. It also seems that Maren has captured that heart with her wide, tear filled brown eyes. Nox never saw himself going for jailbait before, but that’s just what Maren is, all woman trapped in a seventeen year old package. Still, what he wouldn’t do for her, including taking on the unlikely role of keeper to her unruly preteen brother.

This mess could end beautifully or in some serious time spent behind bars for Nox, but sometimes, it’s worth risking it all.

#FindingSanta: First Book Blurb and Cover Reveal

The title of Santa Claus is held by one person for a hundred years, passed down from father to son or son-in-law, before he moves on to become Father Time. Candy is the only child of the current Claus family. Her father is in his last year as Good Ol’ Saint Nick and has to find the next Santa before New Year’s Eve or hell will come to Earth.

With the help of Jessiy and Steelwell, members of the Legends’ Survival Squad, she sets out to find a man worthy of taking over. Along the way she meets three potential candidates but everything goes wrong from the minute she hears of her task.

As the days pass and her prospects look bleak, she begins to doubt herself and the magic of Christmas. Will she be able to restore her faith and save the world?

Release Date: Deceomber 23rd, 2016

#ASI: Ellen Chauvet

Hi Ellen, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

 Discuss your newest book. My newest book is also my first book and is titled “When Darkness Falls”, The First Vampire Redemption Story. It is the first in a series of at least 3 books. It tells the story of Lexie, a vampire executioner who doesn’t know she is one. When her best friend is murdered by vampires, she is thrown into a five-hundred-year-old secret and meets her Amant de Sange or Blood Mate, Etienne Benoit. She chooses to step into her legacy as a ‘Chosen One’ and begins her journey into a dark and dangerous world. Lexie and Etienne fall in love and when he betrays her she vows revenge. Read it recently, loved it!

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 Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’ve always been an avid reader and thought that ‘someday’ I would write a book. I’ve loved all of the Anne Rice novels and when a friend introduced me to Buffy, The Vampire Slayer I became intrigued by the idea of ‘good’ and ‘bad vampires’. I started reading as many vampire books as I could get my hands on including Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Pike and Stephanie Meyer. They were my research, and when my work commitments changed, I decided it was time to write. I wrote the first draft in 9 months, took a year off when my husband became terminally ill, and then pursued the dream when he died. I found a great writing coach and the next 4 years were spent in rewrites, editing, and polishing. A great publisher found me and we published the book in March of 2016 on Amazon’s Create Space and Kindle. I’m sorry for your loss.

What are your current projects? My current project is writing the second book in the series.

What books have most influenced your life most? When I was a teenager I read a lot of Hemingway and loved his style of writing, so definitely Hemingway. Probably most of all though would be Anne Rice.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? I have two main characters.

Lexie is a Southern Belle from Atlanta, Georgia and was brought up in a strict Southern Baptist household. She’s rebelled against the suppression of her Mother and lives in Paris working as a translator for the United Nations. She’s attractive, sassy, a bit promiscuous and wonders if this is all there is to life.

Etienne is a 500-year-old vampire who was turned against his will and has created an organization to fight against ‘dark’ vampires. He’s sophisticated, handsome, ruthless when he needs to be and resigned about ever finding his Amant de Sang (Blood Mate). He falls hard for Lexie and when he is forced to turn to the ‘dark’ side, vows he will find a way back to her.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  The message is that there is good and evil in all of us and it’s ok. It’s part of being alive (or undead as the case may be). Every day we have a choice between good and evil.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? I’d like to see Olivier Martinez play Etienne and Jessica Chastain play Lexie.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? I had the time and the dream.

Do you write full-time or part-time? I’m lucky enough to be able to write full-time. I don’t write every day full-time, but when the story or the characters are demanding my attention, I’m disciplined and write 3 to 5 hours every day.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? The rewrites. Then I realized they are the key to honing my craft and producing something that people want to read.

What is the easiest thing about writing?  Creating the story.

 What book are you reading now? I’m reading “Find Me When The Sun Goes Down by Lisa Olsen.

What is one random thing about you? I love horses and music

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? Tablet and computer

 What does your writing process look like? My writing coach trained me to do a lot of what she calls “laying on my bed writing”. In other words, really thinking about where I want to go in a particular paragraph or chapter and making sure my characters are always in character. Also doing the required research – I’ve learned to love research. When I’m on a roll, I’m always in my office by 9am anxious to discover what my characters have been up to overnight.

 Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? No

How important are names to you in your books?  Names are very important as they have meaning.

 Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I’m still in the marketing process and so far so good.

What is your favorite book and why? I gave this a lot of thought and I don’t really have a favorite book. I have favorite authors.

 Do you have any advice for other writers?

  1. Never give up – just keep writing.
  2. Don’t listen to the little voice in your head saying you can’t or you’re not good enough or no one wants to read what you want to write about.
  3. Don’t edit your work as you go – get that first draft done and then edit.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? See friends, listen to music, watch TV, travel – in many ways I’m never not writing. I’m always thinking about writing even when I’m not sitting at my computer.

From where do you gain your inspiration? Everywhere – but particularly other authors who write about vampires.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? I don’t have an opinion about that – I’m traditionally published and I love my publisher.

How do you market your books? Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth, author interviews, pod casts

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I would and I don’t.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Authors need to also be entrepreneurs. Writing is not only creative it’s a business and I think many authors are not business people. I’m lucky in that regard as I was a business woman first and then became an author. Create a marketing plan and stick to it and keep talking about your book – to anyone who will listen.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

Right now a lot. The book is newly published and it takes time to build an author platform and develop one’s readership. I’m willing to put in the time and energy to get my book known.

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? My publisher has been extremely helpful in that regard. She discovered a tool we’ve been using and it’s been extremely productive. We’re still working on attaining reviews and know that it takes time and energy on both our parts.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? Not really.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? No

Which social network worked best for you? At present Facebook seems to be working well. And I’m also creating a presence on Twitter.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

 

I did a press release for the Horror Writer’s Association – not sure how successful or productive that was. I did a book launch here in Vancouver and it was extremely successful. Sold out of books I had on hand and could have sold more. Launch was promoted through Facebook.

 

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? I’d like to meet Bram Stoker. Fascinating mind.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

 

Sit down and write – don’t critique – just write.

Everything I said above

 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

 

I have a blog – ellenchauvet.wordpress.com

Website – ellenchauvet.com

Find me on Facebook

#Book Excerpt: The Golden Age Dawns by Gabriel Woods

Susan tossed and turned in her bed. She was still worried over the events in the cottage, terrified of her unbridled power, and of the danger she had placed her husband in when the knife circling around her flew at him – luckily, he dodged it and wasn`t injured.  She was also worried about her work. As a hospital consultant in A and E, it would cause chaos if this power was unleashed and Susan was seen as being out of control. What if she injured patients or staff by implements she sent flying around the room? Susan glanced at the alarm clock, she only had five hours before she got up to go to work.  Her mind was racing, trying to make sense of the events that had happened to her.  Susan rose from her bed. Alex was sleeping peacefully. She thought maybe a cup of tea would help her relax.

Susan put her slippers on and reached to the chair for her dressing gown. She noticed a bright swirling blue light enter the bedroom. The blue light moved in a circle at a fast pace and then revolved slowly around until a figure began to emerge. The figure was in a human shape and she could just make out that it was a man. He was encapsulated by a white light which ran along the edge of his body. His body was huge and it was coloured in different shades of blue. It was muscular and appeared to be at least ten feet tall. The figure had a long gleaming white sword in one hand and a bright blue shield in the other. He wore a purple tunic that covered his upper arms and covered him as far as his lower legs. This made Susan feel threatened. She also felt outraged that this being had invaded her home.

The figure began to speak in a soft voice. “Hello Susan, I am the Protector.”  Susan gulped and she began to shake a little in anger at this being’s intrusion.

Susan moved away from the being and said “I don’t know who or what you are.  What are you doing here?”

The Protector slowly lay down his shield and sword on the floor. He took one slow step forward towards Susan. He held out his hand in an attempt to hold Susan`s hand.  Susan drew back from his hand.  “I am here to help you.  Please don’t be afraid”

Susan replied in a high pitched voice “Help me?  Help me?  Damn it, Damn it!! Do you know what I have been through lately? Do you know how terribly afraid I am for the future?”

“Susan, yes, I do know. You fear for yourself and your family. You are afraid because you do not understand this gift that you have. It will help you in the events of the future in which you will play an important role for all of humanity. I am here to help you and protect you. That is if you wish me to.”

Susan`s hands were in the shape of fists and she shook them at the Protector.  “Why the bloody hell should I trust you? Why should I trust you? You tell me that then!”

The Protector walked closer to Susan. I do not ask you to trust me straight away.  I can help you with something now and, if my help proves effective and the results are beneficial to you, would you trust me then?”

Susan approved of the logic of this. She had seen proof that this being existed and that it meant well.  Susan dropped her fists and lowered her voice. “I possibly might.”

The Protector smiled.  “Good.  Now, what is it you want me to help with, Susan?”

Susan stared at her hands and her body with disgust, and remembered how they had done things without her permission. She didn’t know how her own body worked anymore. “This power that I have, I want to understand what it is and how to use it.”

The Protector attempted to lay a hand on Susan`s shoulder but she resisted and moved back. “Your power is called telekinesis. You can move items at will with your mind. There is a local library – it is on a street left of the park. Go to the psychology section and you will find a blue book entitled `Parapsychology’. That will explain everything about telekinesis and how to control it.”

Susan`s voice had lowered. “Telekinesis, I will look it up on the internet. Ok, I might get that book. Now, you haven’t told me what you meant by events of the future where I help the world, what do you mean?”

“Susan, in the next few months your skills as a doctor will be needed. Many, many people will require your help.  I am here to assist you and to protect you as you carry out your mission.”

Susan stared directly into the eyes of the giant blue figure at the end of her bed. “You barge into my home, and now you talk of some mission I have to complete. This just doesn’t make sense!!!”

The Protector put gently put his hand on Susan`s shoulder and said softly In time, Susan, this will make sense to you, it is difficult for any mortal to comprehend. I can guide you to understand this; I can guide you with anything you ask. Watch out for signs that I am near you. A sparkle of blue or white in the air, the feeling someone is walking behind you or a voice in your mind that will be me.”

Susan began to rub her eyes; her lack of sleep was catching up on her. “Listen whatever you are, I shall have to go to work in five hours.  I need to think about all of this.”

The Protector picked up his sword and shield. “Goodbye, Susan. I will ensure that you sleep well tonight.  We will talk soon.”

Susan moved closer to the Protector, with her hands clasped together as if she were praying to him “Protector, I have one question, what is it exactly that will affect so many people? A fire, a natural disaster, what exactly?”

The Protector had disappeared before Susan finished her question; he had ascended through the ceiling in an instant surrounded in blue and white light. Susan got into bed and looked at Alex.  He was still asleep despite her conversation with the Protector. Susan fell into a deep sleep as soon as she laid her head on her pillow. She dreamt of a beautiful forest and when she awoke she felt re-energized.

#FindingFamily Chapter V

Yes, the hostel looked like it should have been condemned quite a few years ago and it is in a bad part of town but it is cheap and I’m only here for a couple of weeks. I can tough it out, but the look on John’s face said he wanted to do the “action-hero” thing and blow it up without looking back. I was barely out of the cab when he grabbed my arm, “You’re not seriously staying here are you?”

“It’s not so bad and it’s just somewhere to crash until school starts and I get a job,” I smiled confidently. “Thank you for the dinner and seeing me back. I think you better head on home, the cabbie looks ready to leave you.” I nodded toward the grumpy looking driver.

“Be right back mate.” He said throwing the driver a couple of big Bill’s and stepped out, “I’m sorry but I can’t let you stay here. Let’s collect your things and get out of here.”

“John, I appreciate the concern but I couldn’t impose on you and your husband. We just met. I could be a crazy person for all you know…especially after our earlier conversation.” I whispered.

“I trust you are not like your father and Mama Barrowman would skelp my behind if I wasn’t the gentleman she raised. Scott won’t mind, he’s a pushover.” He started up the stairs as I stood there wondering if I was in a dream.

Stuff like this never happens, especially to me. I don’t deserve it, would it be horrible to enjoy my crazy miracle? I looked up at him just as the door opened behind him, causing a halo of light to circle his gorgeous hair; giving him the appearance of an angel of mercy, a lifeline in my dead end world.

I joined him and continued in, listening to the creaking floorboards and voices of other patrons floated through the walls. “My room is on the third-floor.” I informed him at the second-floor landing.

“Is that British or American numbering?”

“Crap, I forgot the first floor is zero here, so my room would be the first door on the left of the second.” We went up two more flights and found my room open with a woman going through my things.

John cleared his throat, startling her. As she jumped away from my suitcase, I noticed I had already lost my favorite pair of jeans and my only sweater to her sickly thin frame. “Maybe staying with you is a good idea.” The unknown woman scattered before we could do anything.

He placed an arm around my shaking shoulders, “I am glad you changed your mind. Let’s get your stuff together and get home.”

“Agreed.” It only took five minutes to shove my pillow and the few clothes the stranger had discarded onto the floor back into my suitcase and go back downstairs.

The cabbie must have been jumpier than I thought, he was long gone when we made it back to the door. It took twenty minutes for John to order a new cab, for it to arrive and then we were off for his home.

I do not know how I made it through the ride, let alone the day, without freaking out. Some part of my brain had taken over and I was as cool as a cucumber on the outside, while inside I was a teenage girl drooling over being so close to my movie-star crush. Ok, I admit, I wasn’t that smooth. I had my fangirl moments, I would glance at him and grin wildly before turning away. Half a dozen times I would get ready to start a conversation with him, but thought I would sound stupid so I wouldn’t say anything and look out the window at the dark streets and mentally kick myself.

Tune in next week for Chapter Five and don’t forget to like my Author page for updates on this and more!

#BookReview: When Darkness Falls by Ellen Chauvet

Amazing! Honestly, I have fallen a bit out of love with vampires, but this book has brought the love back. Poor Lexie has a week from hell, from losing two best friends and the love of her life, and now she is prepared to kill and gain a sense of normalness to her life. There is a hint of Buffy in the heroine, but the author manages to eclipse the show and surpass it with ease.

#FindingFamily Chapter IV

Carefully I skip down the stairs to the restaurant, admittedly giddy and loving the feel of the long wool coat flapping on the back of my legs.

Worry crosses my face when I see just how fancy the place was and how under dressed I am in an old black mini skirt, stiletto heels and a newer dusky-green tee-shirt. “I’m sure whatever you are wearing under my coat is fine.” I heard him whisper in my ear.

I jumped, “Mr. Barrowman, can you hear now?”

He chuckled, “Yes, they took out the hearing devices about an hour ago.” He glanced at his watch.

He placed a hand on my back, “This really wasn’t necessary, I appreciate it immensely but really not required.” I started rambling on, I don’t want to hurt his feelings.

“Anytime my colleagues get chewed out by someone trying to help me, I have to take them out.” His easy going demeanor was relaxing my nerves and I was starting to realize he really is just a sweet normal person.

“Oh no, they told you? I’m sorry. They just ticked me off and I flew off the handle, if I need to I can go back and apologize.”

“No need for that, they needed the wake up call and I’m glad I got to see someone stand up to them for those who are afraid or unable to.” John ordered us each a Beef Wellington, after being talked out of shrimp as I am allergic, and a bottle of Medoc red wine. “So what is your story? How did you end up on that crosswalk tis morning?”

“It’s not pleasant dinner conversation Mr. Barrowman.” I smiled weakly and sipped the delicious wine.

“John, please, and I think  that someone like you would have an interesting story.” He gave me his gorgeous grin and  my crumbling resolve was falling faster than a bowling ball two inches off the ground.

“Umm…not much to tell really, grew up in Missouri, a very small town. My parents should have never been together, volatile is the word that comes to mind with those two. Saved up my money, graduated high school and got admitted to Oxford. Those are the highlights.” I chugged my glass and refilled it in the awkward silence.

“What happened to your mom?” he asked quietly, his demeanor changed from his happy usual self to one of solemn.

Suddenly my seat was uncomfortable, I squirmed around. “umm… my…father kind of a took care of her two months ago. He is in prison now.” I keep my eyes focused on the white table cloth, picking at imaginary threads.

“I’m sorry. You are right, not a good dinner talk. I’m sorry you’re father was an arse. It sounds like it is behind you now and you are rising up from the ashes.” It was is turn to squirm. He was changing the subject, “What are you going to study at University?”

“Music. I’m pretty good with a cello, but I would like to be a classical music professor.” I feel the blush rising in my face, I’m still embarrassed about my choice of career. “My family has never thought of it as a good choice, but it’s where I want to be.

“Are you just into classical music or do you like other music?” He must have noticed that it was a touchy subject and tried to change it.

We talked for four hours through the great dinner and the most amazing chocolate lava cake ever. After he helped me put my coat on, he called for a car and decided to escort me back to the hostel.

 

Tune in next week for Chapter Five and don’t forget to like my Author page for updates on this and more!

About the #Author: Chantal Gadoury

Chantal Gadoury is a young author who is originally from Muncy, PA. Chantal enjoys to paint in her spare time, drink a good cup of coffee when she can and appreciates watching her favorite Disney classics with loved ones. When she’s not busy crafting or reading, Chantal is dedicated to her family at home: her mom, sister and a furry-puppy-brother (and her Dad, who has now lives in heaven.) As a 2011 college graduate from Susquehanna University, with a degree in Creative Writing, writing novels has become a dream come true!

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Chantal

 

 

Another #BookExcerpt from Allerleirauh

I could feel my whole body shaking as I stood in front of my Father’s chambers. I could see my hand shaking as I lifted it towards the wooden door. I had not ever been so nervous to see my Father before. The idea of my Father now frightened me after what had taken place in my room earlier in the morning; the idea of my own unknown fate terrified me the most. I slowly brought myself to knock and wait in silence. Lord Haven’s face greeted me as the door opened slightly.

“Princess…” he said with surprise in his voice. He should not have been surprised. He should have known I would keep my word and come to the King. I could hear my Father asking, “Is that her? Is that Aurelia?” Lord Haven gave a small nod towards the other side of the room, where I could imagine my Father leaning over his desk; his fingers tousled in his hair. The door parted more for me and Lord Haven gestured with a bow for me to enter. I tucked my hands behind my back and took a breath. I had to remember the plan Myriah and I had created.

“Could I speak to my Father, the King, alone?” I asked delicately as I kept my gaze to the floor. I could hear the silence between the two of them; the unspoken questions and commands. Perhaps Lord Haven already knew I had come here to agree to my Father’s wishes, and perhaps my Father felt as if he had won. I just hoped my plan would work.

“Aurelia, the King has much to speak to you about.” Lord Haven’s voice was nervous, shaky even and I nodded in reply.

“Yes, I know.”

“Leave us.” My Father’s voice caused an array of shivers to run down my spine. The hairs on my arm rose as I watched Lord Haven leave the room, and my Father took a step towards me. He looked regal and different from the night before in his cloak, his hair matted against his forehead and his crown, the large weight of his responsibility on his shoulders. I felt his finger touch my arm gently, rising and falling up and down my skin. I wanted to shrink away, but knew I could not. I had to stay firm and strong just as Myriah had told me to be.

“Aurelia…” he whispered softly. I took a step towards his desk and placed my hands on the oak wood, remembering him here, snapping his fingers at me as if I were a dog just the night before.

“Your Grace.” I replied, turning to look at him. I felt as if it were the first time I was truly seeing my Father for who he was now, then whom he had been before with my Mother. I hoped the way I spoke to him made him realize the change which had occurred. He was no longer a Father, but a stranger to me.

“I’ve come to make an arrangement with you.” I said directly.

“And what is your arrangement?” There was a hint of amusement in his voice as he spoke to me. I bit my lip and looked down at my bare hands, trying to remember everything Myriah and I had spoken of. “What is it you wish from me?” He asked again.

“You have told me this morning I am to be your bride.”  I caught his gaze, keeping it as long as I could until he turned, brushing a hand through his hair.

“Yes.” he replied simply. “I’ve searched long and wide for a wife to meet the late Queen’s…”

“My Mother.” I interjected. He stared at me; a tense moment between the two of us.

“The late Queen’s request.” He finished as he rounded his desk. He began to take steps closer to me as his hand very close to mine; his face seemed to draw itself even closer.

“You are so very beautiful Aurelia. I’ve watched you grow in the past two years, and I never knew. Never knew how truly beautiful you were.” I felt a strange disgust build in the coils of my stomach. I wanted to turn my face away from him, to turn my back and stride out the door; I wished with all of my soul, I would never have to face him again, yet, I knew it would never resolve so easily. I could not stay a moment longer in his presence but I knew I must.  As he came closer, thoughts of the night before flooded my mind; how easy it had been for him to press me against his bed, for him to take my clothes and to take me in a way only a husband should have.

“It is very lonely without a partner to live a life with. The late Queen knew how to entertain our people and myself. She knew how to hold herself with poise and grace, and she knew how to tend to her husband diligently. I see much of her in you.” It seemed strange he would. I hardly thought I was anything like my Mother. Perhaps, yes, she was graceful and delicate, but she hardly knew how to take care of anyone but herself. I began to think of the ball, and the golden dress and how I had resembled her so much it seemed my Father fell in love with me.

My Father took another step towards me and I backed away instinctively. His hand grabbed mine and pulled me towards him, so that I was standing pressed against him.

“Have you forgotten your Mother’s last wish? I promised her I would marry someone as beautiful as she. You’re the only one who has the same golden hair, the same smile, the same beautiful eyes. You are the only one who will do, who I can love. The only one worthy of my love, my power, my body. You will be my bride.” He declared as he ran a finger through my hair. My teeth clenched at his touch; the only thing keeping me in the room was the hope my arrangements would ultimately save me from this fate. I could not live this life with him.

“If I am to marry you,” I began softly, letting out a deep breath. “I have four simple requests.”

My Father grinned and nodded, “Go on…anything.”

Perhaps he thought he was about to have everything he wanted. Perhaps in this moment, he was. I slowly uncurled my fingers from the fist I had created and licked my bottom lip.

“For my marriage, I will require new gowns. I request three gowns, one spun from the ray of sunbeams, the second, as silver as the moonbeams that dance along the night sky, and the third, woven from the star dust that falls from the heavens.” My Father looked slightly surprised but continued to listen. I knew he would remember these from the night he had declared he would do anything for me to keep me happy and by his side.

“My last request,” I continued, “A fur coat made of all the Kingdom’s wild animals, so when the harsh winters come I can keep sickness and death at bay.”  I could feel my hands shake from trepidation; I couldn’t believe I actually made these demands to him. What would the people think once they heard of him going to these lengths to marry me? Would they think I was a harlot? Would they think I encouraged my Father’s inappropriate behavior towards me?

“And this is all you request from me?” he asked, surprised. I could see the amusement light up upon his face as I slowly nodded to him. Maybe this would actually work. Perhaps he would not see through the façade and agree to these. If he did, this would grant me more time to collect my things, arrange an escape from the palace, and more forward with my plans. I would never again be Princess Aurelia, but I would avoid the marriage between my own Father and myself.

“And if I agree to these things, you will marry me?” A smile crept upon his face as I gave a fast, curt nod as I swallowed my fear.

“Consider it done then, my love.” My Father embraced me as he pressed a kiss upon the corner of my lips. I felt his finger lift my chin gently and I quickly took a step back away again. My eyes darted to the ground and I twisted a part of my dress around my finger nervously. I needed to play the park but protect myself.

“I have much to plan.” I said quickly, fumbling and turning towards the door. For those who heard me, perhaps they imagined I’d create a beautiful wedding, but for me I knew I had other things to plan.

“Dearest,” My Father’s voice caused me to stop in my foot-steps at the door. My hand had only been inches away from reaching the doorknob.

“I shall have these gifts to you within a week. Mark my words, the day after I present them to you, we shall marry.” There was no question in his voice. This was how it would be. I only gave him a silent nod as I avoided his eyes and opened the door. I escaped quickly out into the hallway, far away from him before he could see the tears I fought so hard to keep at bay.