Winter of Discontent – Kellie Kamryn

The Star Crossed series is a paranormal romances based around a couple where the romance is between their interaction, not between the sheets. It’s a bit of departure from my erotic romances, but I’m glad my publisher took a chance on them. They are fun to write, and I hope the world loves reading about Kayla and Kaleb’s adventures. Despite what some ebook retailers say, they are not erotic romances. I think they rated them based on the excerpts which are fun, but that’s as far as the sex goes!
Thanks for stopping by to check it out!

Winter_of_Discontent_200_300STAR CROSSED Series

Book 3 – Winter of Discontent

The art of deception will lead back to the truth.

 After experiencing a little bump in the road, Kayla and Kaleb are stronger than ever. But they are about to  encounter their biggest challenge yet.

 Kaleb is determined to teach Kayla the art of teleporting her body safely from one place to another.  However, her frustration lands her in a parallel life. Much to his dismay, he discovers she’s traded places  with an even sassier version of herself, and her alter ego is on a mission to seduce him.

Meanwhile, Kayla discovers her mistake, and is now faced with fighting off the advances of a Kaleb whose dark desires spark an answering interest inside of her. Determined to remain faithful to the true Kaleb who shares her heart, she must use deception to escape in order to return to her correct time.

Will these star-crossed lovers be able to deceive their alter egos long enough to set things right, or will they get lost in their baser desires?

Excerpt 1:

Kayla closed her eyes, and brought her Light energy closer to the surface. Her body hummed, and a smile graced her lips.

Kaleb’s voice broke her concentration. “Focus.”

Irritation disturbed the peace that had transcended over her, and she cracked one hazel eye open. Kaleb Warner stood a few feet from her, ever the patient teacher and friend. His green eyes sparkled from under the rim of the black wool hat covering his bald head.

He stomped his feet on the spot to warm up, and clapped his gloved hands together, speaking in the same gentle rumble she’d come to know and love. “A friendly reminder.” He crossed his arms over his chest, the action bunching up the white parka he’d donned in order for them to train in her backyard on the calm, wintry day.

“I know,” she grumbled. “But I like how it feels when I summon my energy like that. It tickles.” A small giggle escaped, and she puffed out a breath, watching as it made a cloud of steam in the cold air, then disappeared. She lifted her arms to the side. “I feel free.”

“I hear you,” he said, smiling, “but you need to clear your mind, and keep it devoid of all emotion and thought, even positive ones. Otherwise you’ll end up stuck in a tree again. Or a rock. Or the side of the house.”

An exasperated sigh escaped, and her smile vanished. Did he have to remind her of her trials and errors while learning to teleport again? Thankfully, she’d always managed to get out of whatever pickle she managed to get herself into, with his help, of course. Sometimes it bothered her that she needed his help at all. Due to a childhood incident where she’d hurt Kaleb, she’d blocked out some of her abilities, allowing fear to rule her heart.

He came to stand in front of her, brushing back a few strands of chestnut hair that had escaped from her grey, fuzzy cap keeping her head warm. Even with the layers of fabric of their winter outwear, when he rested his hands on her shoulders, she could feel the heat of his touch. She looked into his eyes, seeing love reflected back at her. “I want you to be able to do this at will,” he said. “It should be as automatic as breathing. When you can do this, it opens up a whole new world for you. You’ll be able to blend in with your surroundings like a chameleon, teleport vast distances in an instant. It’s amazing.” He placed a kiss to her forehead. “And the best part—we’ll be able to do it together some time.”

His words should have been a soothing balm to her soul. They weren’t. Kayla frowned, anger rising inside of her; anger for forgetting her powers, guilt over hurting her friend, and healing old wounds were still close to the surface. She wished she could get past things already, move forward. Healing could be a slow process, especially with wounds that cut so deep.

A tired groan emanated from her throat. “Can’t we take a break?”

Kaleb pulled back from her, one eyebrow raised. “We just started. Now—do it again. Tell me where your destination is going to be.” Snow crunched under his black boots as he stepped back.

Kayla rolled her eyes, receiving a stern look from him. Damn, pain in the ass. As good of a friend as he was, sometimes she wanted to shake him for being such a slave driver.

“I heard that.”

Of course, he did. They could read each other’s thoughts. In a fake show of defiance, she stuck her tongue out at him. His snort of laughter reached her ears, but she closed her eyes, jammed her toque down onto her head a little more, and blocked out everything as he’d taught her. “I’m reappearing over by the shed at the edge of the property.”

Summoning her Light energy to the surface once more, she merged her body and soul. With a pop, she disappeared, reappearing at her intended destination. She opened her eyes, and looked over at Kaleb. “I did it!”

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Utopian – Pawfection

This month’s writing challenge was potentially the hardest one I’ve ever experienced. Writing a utopia is hard work, not least because I can’t understand how a perfect world would work. I ended up regretfully having to go to my ‘fall back’ of writing an animal utopian city. The story is meant to exemplify what I wish would happen within the rescue world. I’m looking forward to this month’s challenge, however! Dystopia is something I’m pretty good with! (Yes, that’s this month’s challenge, and it WAS chosen at random.)  And take a look at Jennifer’s own utopia, The False Perfection. She did a much better job than me!

 

“I’m bored!”
“Me too!”
“Can’t we go outside to play?” The trio of pups begging would have softened the hardest of hearts, but I wasn’t buying. With a hiss, I swiped at them, claws retracted so the blows wouldn’t hurt. They were young, they didn’t know what generations of our kind had gone through outside of these walls. I backed them away from the exit I guarded. When they moved out my way, I uttered a low growl that had them quivering in their brindled coats.
“Please, Miss Shenai, don’t tell our ma!” I wasn’t as soft as any old dog – but those wide brown eyes did seem to swim with apology.

“Maybe I can make an exception, this time.” I couldn’t hold back the purr in my voice before they converged on me. Small whimpers and wagging tails assaulted me. They beat me into submission before I could finish what I was saying. They weren’t getting away with this entirely. “But…you have to go and talk to Apollo and Banjo. You want to know why we can’t leave here, they remember why.” I fought back a laugh at their identical looks of despair. If I had been them, I wouldn’t have much enjoyed a visit to the old tortoise and parrot. I didn’t give in though. “It’s either talk to them, or I go and see Sprite. Your ma will not be pleased to find you are trying to leave safety.”

I ignored their scoffing sounds of disbelief. We all knew what it had once been like. I knew that only the unlikely pair of friends remained of those that had lived through what had happened. I stood and padded delicately at the flat rocks below us, using my blunt nose to push the puppies along. Humans passed us, splitting to either side to allow us space to pass. I mewed my thanks and received the odd, lingering stroke. The puppies led the way, no longer as interested in me as the people around them. Time was passing by, and like the litter of kittens I had in my stomach, they would go off to their humans soon, to live in happiness until they passed this world for the next.

Our little procession wasn’t unnoticed. Soon, the tom I had mated with walked at my side, his ginger-pelted frame shiny with health. I purred at him, my side brushing against his velvet-soft fur.
“Where do you take the pups, Shenai?” He always spoke so casually. It made my cream coat bristled against the air. I smiled at him, taking my time. I didn’t need to worry, or hurry as the humans watched us go by.
“To see Apollo and Banjo. They wanted to leave the city, Magus.” His face wrinkled a little before he sighed.
“So that’s why you take them then? To go and see those crazy creatures?” His purr was a soft laugh, even though there was a worry in his green eyes.

I nodded. Magus understood me. He understood what I was doing with the pups. They needed to know just how important our small world was. Just why it was that we didn’t leave, why no one wanted to leave. They wouldn’t understand until then. I realised we were almost at the home where the pair were looked after. I could hear soft songs coming from Banjo, his wings beating the air. I laughed, padding to the front as the pups hesitated. I butted my head against them in turn, my tail swatting gently from side to side.
“Come, learn why it is we all live in peace. We all came to these two as pups and kittens ourselves.”

The group around us, the honour-guard slipped away. Magus watched for a moment longer, before giving a bow I was impressed with. I’d remember that, next time. I purred and dipped my head at my sometimes mate. I had a duty to do – a duty that these pups would one day perform themselves. I stepped forward, the pups at my hips. My stomach was beginning to protrude, and perhaps they knew. They weren’t as crazy as normal. As hyperactive, and loopy. I smiled at them, rasping my tongue across my lips before letting out a low mewl. Apollo stuck his head out from his shell, his wizened, leathery old face seeming surprised to see me.

“My…Shenai. How…you’ve…grown.” His voice was soft, halting. I purred, walking forward smoothly. I felt the bated breath of the pups behind me as I rubbed my head against the hard edges of his shell. A beak tugged gently at my ear as I lifted my head, purring under my breath.
“What Apollo means to say is that you are a very beautiful queen, Shenai. A queen among queens, if he had his favourites. What can we do for you?” I loved how accommodating these two were. I circled round to herd the pups forward, towards the pair, speaking the whole time softly.

“These pups need to learn our history. As you once told me, will you now tell them?” I was polite. One day, these old creatures wouldn’t be here to tell us all that had happened. We would have to tell each other the stories. As the pups sat and sprawled down, I sat sedately upright. I did as I needed to, as any guard, as any mother to be would do. I could no longer act like a kitten. I was in my third spring now. My third year of being with a human that loved me, and that I cared about. Only dogs truly loved their human companions. My tail swayed back and forth, my eyes gleamed. My ears perked upward, as I waited, alert. I enjoyed hearing this story, much as it made me hide in fear at times.

Our past was horrible. We’d lost a lot of kin, we all had. Only the humans could have changed our way, and that was what they did. They changed. Life was better now, from what I knew. From what I’d been taught. Banjo preened himself before he turned his attention to us, his beak running gently through dull green feathers.
“I wasn’t very old when the world was bad for all pets. Humans were cruel, forcibly mating their pets, their dogs and cats, until so many existed that they had only one solution. They would leave them in tiny places called ‘pounds’.” The parrot extended his wings at the last word, uttering a squark. He was clearly unsettled in a way I hated to see.

I stretched a little, curling myself around the wide-eyed pups to wait for him to settle his ruffled feathers.
“When no one came forth to give them homes, the humans had no choice but to send each cat, dog and other animal to the endless sleep, to the eternal dream. Don’t fear your humans, pups. Those that had to do it loved us so much they wouldn’t see us suffering. Never the sun on our backs. Never a breeze through the fur, or feathers. There was no freedom, not for any pet. Even those much loved – they weren’t allowed to roam. They had to be tethered to their humans, all the time.”

I could see the shock welling in their eyes, in those brown, wide-eyed pools of innocence. They still wouldn’t understand the depths of this until they were older. I wish I could have eased this from them, but now they needed to know what the world outside was like.
“Those humans that loved us dearly decided one day to gather up all the animals humans had cast aside, and built themselves a city. A massive city, where we can roam the streets. Where every human is brought up to love animals.” He shook himself, his tail feathers dipping as he changed his grip on Apollo’s shell.

“Now, we live in peace. No animal wants to leave the city. The humans grow their own food. They keep us as their companions. That is why only certain among us breed at certain times – such as Miss Shenai, there.” I dropped my head, purring as I rasped my tongue over one of my slender paws. I wasn’t embarrassed. I was a cat, I knew how wonderful I was. I was instead pleased. I was proud in myself, in the fact that my perfection had a reaction. “She paired with the best male she wanted to choose from. She’ll provide a litter of kittens that will go on to new homes in our fine city.”

I watched the pups before they turned from me to watch Banjo and Apollo. I stood, determined to draw their attention before a low purr ebbed from my lips.
“So, pups. Do you want to leave the perfection of our home now? Or will you return to your mother?” I waited, aware of the squirming kittens in my heavy stomach. I tired quickly this day, even as I uttered the lowest of purrs, curving my lips into a smile.
“I don’t want to leave here now.”
“Nor me, it’s safe here!”
“I would rather stay with my ma…” The last pup caught me. I purred at him, bumping my head against her shoulder.
“Then run on home, little pups. And remember what you learned today.”

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World Building – The Challenge

My (writing) partner in crime did her own version of my own challenge – check it out!

Through Fire The Pen Arose

Last week we looked at characterization and how to describe a person using only animal attributes. Did you try it? If so, how did you get on with it? Was it easy? Did you struggle? What did you learn from it?

Myself, I found it rather challenging, but interesting at the same time. It made you look at a person in a new way and then describe them carefully so that you could still see the person through the detail, and yet be able to see the animal being depicted in their persona. It definitely took some thinking over it.

Now on to this weeks challenge.

This week we decided to try a little world building exercise, again it comes from Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creative Imaginative Fiction. My writing partner and I have both agreed that we’re going to work through these challenges in a random order, as…

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World-building Challenge

Once again, I’ve gone on to another challenge, another sauntering look at what I can do to make myself a better writer.

Last week’s challenge was a little bit of let-down, to coin a phrase. I was hoping someone would comment on it, take part – anything. Instead…it went unnoticed. That was upsetting. I wanted people to be able to join in, to explore what can be done. To find new ways to teach themselves as writers. However, this journey isn’t just about others, it’s about me. That leads me on to the next part – this week’s challenge!

This week, the challenge is again from Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction. Jennifer Don chose this week’s challenge, which was to do with Worldbuilding – something which every author should work on – especially if you write any type of fantasy or science fiction. This is something so close to my heart that I cannot help but to enjoy it. I enjoy looking at ways to craft my own worlds, to make them unique, compelling and able to be related to. Characters in this setting are often formed by their world, which made this challenge a little more exciting. Coming from page 222 of the book, this week’s challenge was definitely a fun one. It didn’t require too much preplanning, thankfully!

 

Aeron Alfrey’s flying city (2009)

Take a close look at Aeron Alfrey’s flying city (2009). Several questions might occur to you. Is the setting fantastical but realistic – or is it surreal? What kind of cause-and-effect might exist here? What are the creatures lying dead on the ground? Is the city fleeing? Is it in the midst of being destroyed? Construct a reasonable rationale for the setting of this image that might lead to a story, even if it uses the logic of dream.

This was what I came out with – I enjoyed this challenge, especially when looking at the shapes the flames made – monsters, seeking something? An idea that came from a character inside there…something different, for me!

The world burned beneath us. Creatures of flame licked at the bottom of our home, the earth clods supporting it dropping down into the fire-drakes. My father stood at the doorway, his arms lifted as he sought to keep us from landing, from the fire eating up our home, and then – ourselves. We were lucky to be in this world of magic. If we were like a normal family, we would be down there now. If things were different, our bones would have blackened in the touch of the lashing flames. Instead, I sat on the bay window of my room, and read. Dante’s hell had come on Earth. I just had to hope we were strong enough to keep ourselves above the ground long enough for it to die down. I jumped a little as one building tottered on the edge…and fell, to be devoured by the ferocious inferno.

Why not join in, see what you get from the same prompt! Let your imagination run wild. I know mine did! See you next week for my next challenge!

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Stepping Forward

Stepping Forward.

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Stepping Forward

Through Fire The Pen Arose

Another year has passed us by in the blink of an eye. A year, that for me, seemed rather uneventful and the result was an absence from mainstream contributions. It’s a sin, it really is. I should have done more, worked more, written more. It didn’t happen. I’m sorry.

So let us step forward, away from what should have been, and step into the now. The future is here, and changes are happening. 2015 will be the year of great change on my behalf – and you are invited to come and step up with me. This year will see more posts, and more writing being done. It has to happen.

If I want to be serious about being a writer then I truly have to up my game, and push myself further. Last year was pitiful to say the least, it’s time for change. Part of that change comes…

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Wednesday Writing Challenge (and small update)

As of this week on, I will be posting a writing challenge, and what I interpret it as. Feel free to join in with your own in the comments! This week’s one came from the book ‘Wonderbook: The illustrated guide to creating imaginative fiction’. This book focuses mostly on building fantasy worlds, which works wonders for me, as a fantasy writer! Of course, I’m not doing this challenge alone. What would be the fun in that? Jennifer  is doing this challenge WITH me. Go check out her blog for her own version.

Writing Challenge

Shadows by Charles Henry Bennet

 

This image from Shadows by Charles Henry Bennet (London, 1850s) suggests the hidden characteristics of a person and, perhaps, a technique: using the attributes of an animal to help in describing your character. Write a paragraph describing someone you know well using only the attributes of one animal.

Last night (Wednesday) I wrote my challenge up. I used a friend I know from school as the ‘muse’ for this piece, and I was rather pleased with what I came up with.

There are many things that describe her – but her personality was, perhaps, the easiest to pinpoint by comparing it to that of a cat.. Mostly prickly, she never wants to be touched, except on her own grounds. On her own terms. One to hold a grudge, she keeps her distance from all but the most treasured friends – but even those don’t know her deepest desires. She is, essentially, a cat. A feline. Some dangerous beast, stalking from the shadows. Hidden in the darkness – ready to attack. From her sensuous ways to the snapping amusement that comes to her when exchanging barbs with her friends and family. Even the way she preens, on occasion, speak of a feline sharing her spirit.’

Of course, being me – this couldn’t be it all! Instead, a character kept swimming about in the murky depths of my mind. A character I will probably use in the next series I write!

His skin was worn, scaled, lumped into hard armour along his hands. His fingers grew crooked, nails sharp. He had dead eyes. Eyes of a killer. Eyes of someone soul-less. He had the long, slender build of someone that spent a lot of time moving, hunting – seeking his next meal. I noticed the folds of skin between his fingers. They were thickened with callouses, almost webs. I didn’t want to go anywhere near his menacing presence.’

Which of the two do you find more menacing? I think the second one creates a better image of how a character looks, but the first provides more details of a personality. Give it a try! Next Thursday, another Writing Challenge will begin! You are welcome to join in!

In nine days, you will also get a look at a utopian short story. Utopia is swiftly turning out to be something I dislike – a lot. It’s not my kind of genre, though I know trying it is for the best. The story is totally unlike anything else I’ve ever written. Truly, I need to make sure that it remains utopian. That there is a conflict. I hope you come back next week to check out what I’ve worked on. Even the title is in place. I just need to finish the writing, so it’s the best it can be!

 

Bye for now. Post your attempts below!

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Shake It Off – Writing Parody

I stay up too late
Got plotting on my brain
That’s what people say, mmm-mmm
That’s what people say, mmm-mmm

I go through too many pens [chuckle]
But I can’t make them last
At least that’s what people say, mmm-mmm
That’s what people say, mmm-mmm

But I keep writing
Can’t stop, won’t stop thinking
It’s like I got this plot
In my mind
Saying, “It’s gonna be alright.”

‘Cause the readers gonna read, read, read, read, read
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna write, write, write, write, write
I write it off, I write it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna write, write, write, write, write
I write away, I write away

I never miss a beat
I’m anything but neat
And that’s what they won’t see, mmm-mmm
That’s what they won’t see, mmm-mmm

I’m typing on my own (typing on my own)
I make the plot up as I go (plot up as I go)
And that’s what they don’t know, mmm-mmm
That’s what they don’t know, mmm-mmm

But I keep writing
Can’t stop, won’t stop typing
It’s like I got this plot
In my mind
Saying, “It’s gonna be alright.”

‘Cause the readers gonna read, read, read, read, read
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna write, write, write, write, write
I write it off, I write it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna write, write, write, write, write
I write it off, I write it off

Write it off, I write it off,
I, I, I write it off, I write it off,
I, I, I write it off, I write it off,
I, I, I write it off, I write it off

Hey, hey, hey
Just think while you’ve been getting down and out about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of the world,
You could’ve been reading this great, great book.

My ex-man brought his new girlfriend
She’s like “Oh, my god!” but I’m just gonna write.
And to the fella over there with the hella good hair
Won’t you come on over, baby? We can write, write, write

Yeah ohhh

‘Cause the readers gonna read, read, read, read, read
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate (haters gonna hate)
I’m just gonna write, write, write, write, write
I write it off, I write it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break (mmmm)
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake (and fake, and fake, and fake)
Baby, I’m just gonna write, write, write, write, write
I write it off, I write it off

Write it off, I write it off,
I, I, I write it off, I write it off,
I, I, I write it off, I write it off
I, I, I write it off, I write it off

Write it off, I write it off,
I, I, I write it off, I write it off,
I, I, I write it off, I write it off,
I, I, I write it off, I write it off

Write it off, I write it off,
I, I, I write it off, I write it off (you’ve got to),
I, I, I write it off, I write it off,
I, I, I write it off, I write it off

I write this pretty often! Anyone wanting to sing it – please share your videos!

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C-c-c-changes!

Big things are coming this year on my blog! Every month, I have a different flash fiction theme to write to! That means you, my followers, are treated to a short 5000 piece story EVERY month, on the last day – FREE! This will give you a chance to learn my style in a variety of genres. I’ll be posting discussion themes which I hope you join in with!

 

This month’s theme…is a Utopia. Wikipedia’s definition of a Utopia in fiction is this;

Utopian fiction is the creation of an ideal society, or utopia, as the setting for a novel.’ This will be a challenge for me, as I have to think of a setting for this, and a way to portray an ideal society, without it being over the top or boring.

 

Of course, I’m not doing this alone! Fellow author, Jennifer Don, is doing this too! We’re working together to make ourselves better authors – which means you join in with it! (Follow Jennifer here and here)

 

I really hope you’ll enjoy!

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Black Wolf’s Revenge – Review

He’€™ll risk it all to bring her home.

Morgan Carter witnessed her sister€’s murder, has been turned into a werewolf and is now raising her young niece. Then her fiance, Greyson Crawford, proves he wants to be with her for the wrong reasons, and she knows her life couldn’t be any stranger. Devastated, she retreats to her cozy house in the city with her sister’s little girl, Lana. There, they’ll have normalcy, and maybe eventually, even happiness.

But Morgan’s the only living silver wolf. Her uniqueness, €”the ability to produce werewolf offspring, €”means, without Grey’€™s protection, she’s unknowingly put herself and Lana in deadly danger. Other werewolves want to claim her for their pack, and she’€™s the easiest, most tempting prey ever.

When they strike, Grey has to find her and rescue her before it’€™s too late. Not so simple a task; he has only the uncontrollable beast inside him, Wolf, and an unlikely pack of allies he’€™s forced to rely on. Can he get to her in time? And if he does, can he convince her he’€™s there for the right reasons, saving them both?

 

This is a netgalley review, as honest as can be.

 

I could tell this wasn’t a standalone book. There was something I missed, but the novel didn’t suffer for that. The storyline unfolded as I’d have liked – swift moving and emotional. There was real feeling in the characters, both Greyson and Morgan. The characters in the pack are well-rounded and you can see the hint of their story. The fact that ‘every wolf has a story’ seems true. You can see why they act as they do, and also the growth of characters throughout.

 

I particularly enjoyed the moments where you saw Grey and Wolf (his wolf side) being vulnerable or protective. Much as I like to read about ‘alpha men’ there are times when it gets slightly annoying. Greyson wasn’t annoying, he’s damaged. You can see where he needs to heal, and how much he needs Morgan – even resorting to spending two weeks as a wolf to keep from harassing her. When she gets kidnapped, you can truly feel his panic. He doesn’t want to go through the dominance games – he just wants her back, safe. Even if she doesn’t want him.

 

Another book I’ll be looking for (the others in the series, at least) and one which I’d recommend to others.

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