27 November 2012

Morrigan by Laura DeLuca

Shuffled from place to place in the foster system, Morrigan doesn't know the meaning of home. Plus, she is different. She has power over fire, the ability to move objects with her mind,  and glimpse into the future. Just when she believes her life can’t get any stranger, she discovers her true identity.

Filtiarn, a knight with a dark past and a surprising secret, has been tasked with guiding the heir of Tír Na NÓg through countless perils to be returned to her family. Once Morrigan has been reunited with her mother and grandmother, their triad can save the forgotten land of magic from being devoured by an ancient evil.

Morrigan took out a white candle and a stick of dragon blood incense, and set them up in the corner of the room. She sat cross-legged, and leaned forward to light them. No matches were necessary. No lighter either. She simply touched her finger to the end of the wick, and with an iridescent spark, the candle flickered to life. It shone at first with a bright blue flame that gradually settled into a more normal orange. It was the same with the incense—another reason why she preferred not to have an audience.

She stared into the candle for a moment, and took a few deep breaths to clear her mind of all thoughts but those of the magic she intended to perform. Danu and Dagda sat on either side of her, instantly falling into silence, as though they knew she needed her complete concentration. Their energy beside her only seemed to add to the growing sense of power that charged the room.

Morrigan closed her eyes and began to shuffle the cards. As she did, she allowed her breathing to become more even. A silence filled the room as the rest of the mortal world fell away. Soon the only sound she heard was the light thump of her own heartbeat, echoed by the quicker, fast paced beat of the cats’ hearts. She wasn’t sure how much time passed as the cards slipped through her fingers. It might have been minutes. It might have been hours. When she allowed herself to fall into a trance, time became insubstantial, irrelevant.

The tarot cards were so old; the designs on the back were almost completely worn away. She had to shuffle gently to keep them from crumbling to pieces in her hands. Yet they held a power that she knew no newer cards could offer her. As she shuffled them, she focused her energy into them, silently requesting to be given the answers she was seeking.  She allowed the image of her mother to fill her mind. When she finally felt the cards had fallen into the order they were meant to be in, she placed the deck face down on the floor, and cut them with her right hand. Then, taking one last, calming breath, she lifted the top card from the pile. With a trembling hand, she laid it down and read it.

 “Wheel of Fortune,” she said aloud.

In the center of card was a wheel. As she stared at the picture, that wheel seemed to turn clockwise. The movements made her feel slightly dizzy. The bedroom around her became more and more surreal.  The scene on the card became her reality. The figure of the sphinx that sat on top of the turning wheel looked so very real. It might have turned its head to look at her. Its lips may or may not have moved. Morrigan swore she heard a deep, resonating voice whispering the meaning of the card into her ear. Destiny approaching. An unexpected and sudden change was coming—change that could lead to good fortune.

It was the card of fate and karma returned. It meant that she needed to be prepared—to expect the unexpected. Morrigan knew the cards were telling her something was going to happen—and soon. Her destiny, whatever it was, was about to be realized. Even if it did bring fortune, it still scared her to death. She considered packing up the cards right then and there. Her rational mind had every intention of doing just that. Her hands didn’t get the message her brain was sending. Before she knew what she was doing, she had already flipped over the second card.

“The Empress,” she whispered. She exhaled deeply. “My mother.”

It was the only interpretation imaginable. Even as she said it, the pregnant woman, crowned with stars and adorned in a gown decorated with pomegranates, turned to her and smiled. She was no longer a vague featureless stranger, but the same woman Morrigan had sketched earlier that day—a face that mirrored her own. It was an older version of herself, which she saw in the reflection in the nearby full length mirror, had turned chalk white.

The Empress was a symbol of maternal power—of strong feminine influence. But could it mean that her mother was returning? She had never allowed herself to consider such a possibility. To dwell on something so unlikely would have been too painful. But now, with just the flip of a card, she found herself daring to dream. There was only one way to find out for sure. She had to keep going with the reading.

 “Six of Cups.”

The third card in the spread represented her past, and even her immediate present. The six of cups specifically symbolized childhood, and she was, technically, still a child. But she had a feeling that her childhood was about to end quite abruptly. The cups in the picture were lined up across a high stone wall, each cup holding the memories of her past.

Her past. It was nothing but a childhood filled with longing—longings which were perhaps about to be fulfilled. She visualized herself taking each cup down from the wall, and pouring the troubling memories away. It was time to start fresh. A new world was about to open up for her. She had known it as soon as she had seen the image of her mother’s face. But what would that world be like? What was waiting for her in the future?

Morrigan turned over the fourth card.

“The Knight of Wands.”

The man on the horse carrying the staff had her baffled. Not because she didn’t know its normal meaning, but because as she stared at the card, it began to take on the physical attributes of the knight in her drawings. He had the same long dreadlocks, the same bewitching stare, even the same cocky smile. The familiarity did not cancel out the meaning of the card. The knight of wands was representative of a dark man filled with a kind of honey-tongued charm. He was also fiery and arrogant, a man with a definite possibility of a dark side. If the knight of wands was coming into her life, she knew she needed to proceed with caution.

She thought she was done with the fourth card, and was preparing to move on to the next, when once again, she found she had lost control of her body. This time, her hands refused to move, while her eyes forced their way back to the knight in the card. She watched as the long haired stranger began to move forward—wandering over various landscapes, some high mountains, some meadows and fields ripe for the harvest. He kept looking back over his shoulder, as though he were speaking to someone. He was on a journey, and he wasn’t alone. Morrigan didn’t need to see his companion to know who it must be.

So, her journey would soon begin, and she wouldn’t be traveling alone. She would have a guide. Whether or not that would be a good thing was another question best left to the cards to answer. The next card told her nothing she didn’t already know.

“The Moon,” she said. “Caution.”

It was a scary card. It warned of tricks and illusions. The two howling wolves that stood under the moon looked back at her menacingly, growling, showing their pointed fangs in a snarl. For the first time since she began the reading, Danu and Dagda made their presence known by lifting their heads and hissing threateningly in the direction of the beasts.

Even the cats sensed it. The journey she was about to embark on wouldn’t be all fun and family reunions. There would be obstacles and deceit, most likely from people she thought could be trusted. The moon was a sign that danger was certainly awaiting her. In was an ominous omen.


She hushed the hissing cats, and gave them each a gentle stroke to try to settle them down, though she was far from settled herself. Again she felt the urge to stop the spread. Her instincts were telling her that no good was going to come out of this reading. She was only going to scare herself. She should never have done it in the first place. When would she learn that sometimes it was best to let life play out without interference or prophetic warnings? Then again, she knew that to be forewarned might be her only advantage. So with more bravery than she felt, Morrigan flipped over the final card.

 “No . . . .” she gasped when she looked down at the terrible, skeletal face. “Oh no.”

She should have known. She thought a part of her did know even before she glanced down at the gruesome scene—a skeleton with a scythe in a field of body parts. With the divination going in the direction it was, what else could be the final outcome?

“Death,” she whispered. “Death.”

She knew that in most cases, the death card was a symbol of personal transformation rather than literal death. But a deeper sense of understanding told her that this time the card was meant to be taken literally. She saw only glimpses and shadows in her mind. Brief flashes of faces, some familiar, like her mother and the knight—some still strangers, like a beautiful, almost angelic blonde woman in a flowing white gown. But around them all, including herself, she saw the shadows of death.

Morrigan felt decidedly shaky as she gathered up her tarot cards. She placed them securely in the bottom of her bag just as she heard the door downstairs slam shut. The reading hadn’t made everything as crystal clear as she had hoped, but one thing was certain. Her whole life was about to change.

About the Author:
Laura "Luna" DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and three children. She has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Old high school friends would tell you she was always scratching in her notebook instead of paying attention in class and the children she used to babysit for always loved to hear her scary stories at bedtime. 

In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years. She loves writing young adult novels, because it keeps her young at heart. She is the author of three published works including Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, and Phantom, and has several more projects in the works.

Author Links:
Site      Twitter      Facebook      Goodreads 


One Morrigan Prize Pack, It includes a signed copy of the book, a pendant, sage pack, two crystals.

16 October 2012

The Calm Before the Storm

The last two years of Erica Bloom’s life have been spent looking over her shoulder. Sawyer Marsh promised the day she filed for divorce and left him, that if he couldn't have her no one would. Even though Sawyer hasn’t contacted her in two years she’s still feared for her life. She remembers all too well the nightmare their marriage was and what it felt to be on the receiving end of his wrath.
The news of Sawyer’s engagement allows Erica to finally let her guard down and enjoy her new life and budding relationship with Brock Maxwell.
While away relaxing at Brock’s vacation home on the Willow Lake, the past comes back to haunt her. Were the past few years just the calm before the storm?


Erica picked it up and smiled when she saw it was Joann calling.
“Hey, Joann.”
“Hi, Erica. You busy?”
“No, not at all. I was just reading the paper.”
“Did you hear the news about Sawyer?”
Erica stood up. Chills ran down her spine at the mention of his name. “What news?” she replied, just above a whisper.
“He’s getting married.” The words stunned her. “Erica, are you still there?” Joann asked. She took a deep breath, trying to calm down so she could respond.
“How do you know?” she managed to stammer. So many feelings were flowing through her body as she paced the floor. They ranged from fear to relief. Was he truly moving on?
 “Tim ran into his cousin at the hardware store. He said they’re getting married in a few months.”
“Wow.” Erica breathed out.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes. This is good news. He’s moved on. Maybe I can stop looking over my shoulder every time I go out. Do you know who she is?”
“No. From what I understand, some woman he met while on a business trip and Sawyer’s cousin mentioned that she’s much younger.”
“The poor girl doesn’t know what she’s getting herself into. I feel for her because I know all of his tricks. He’s sexy and charming in the beginning and you’re so over the top in love with him. You marry him and get so caught up in the fairytale you believe is your life, until one day he changes into the man he truly is. A monster,” Erica stoically stated.
 “Erica, I know you went through hell with him, but it’s been two years. You have a terrific man in your life. I think it’s time you let go of the past and live again.”
Erica sank down on the couch. She felt like she was hit by a freight train. “I have a lot to think about. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
“Let’s get together soon.”
“Sounds great.”
“Erica, relax. The nightmare is finally over.”
Her friend reassured her. “Bye, Joann.” Erica ended the call and stared into space. Could it be that easy? Am I honestly free from that man once and for all?

  Amazon Buy Link

Note from the Author: To say it’s surreal to have my short story come light is an understatement. The vision for this story came to me months ago. I wanted to write a short story to raise awareness for Domestic Abuse. This cause is very near to my heart. I also wanted to find away to use my story to raise money for the cause. After a few phone calls I decided I needed to look no further than my own back yard. I live near Buffalo, New York and we have a wonderful woman’s shelter that has helped countess woman and children get back on their feet.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I will donate 100% of the proceeds from The Calm Before the Storm in October to my local woman's shelter, and 50% for the life of the book. Here are some Domestic Violence Statistics

Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.

Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.

Every day in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
Those facts alone make you want stand up and do something. One thing you can do if you're in an abusive relationship or know someone that is please get help by calling the hotline.

National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224

About the Author Tamaria Soana is middle aged, but just feels her life has begun. She writes sexy contemporary romance stories that always end with a ‘happily ever after’. Growing up she loved to read and make up new places in her head to escape to. In her late teens she began writing short stories and poetry; it wasn’t until her late thirties before she began to spin a full story. She’s married and a stay-at-home-mom of two beautiful young girls, they reside in Western New York. Cuddling up with a good book under an electric throw is her way to escape the cold Buffalo nights. Besides writing, she co-owns Shades of Rose Marketing and hosts a talk show on Talkshoe called Live with Tamaria ~ Giving authors a voice. Author Links: Site Weebly Facebook Author Page Twitter

11 October 2012

Blogging Tips and Tricks for Authors

I do a little weekly feature over at Reading, Writing, and Roses, it's called Blogging Tips and Tricks for Authors. This week I did something completely new. I did up 5 tutorials, it was my first time doing that. This time it's all about blogger. We're talking about the Template Designer, the options in blogger.

If you want to go check it out. 

01 October 2012

Awesome Giveaway, Lots of prizes

Welcome to $150 GC & Mixed Bag Giveaway hosted by Life’s Perception & Inspiration.
How would you like win some cash and other cool prizes? Click HERE to view the PRIZES. Thanks to all my Sponsors:
  • Mohawkhome.com
  • Amazing Group of Bloggers
  • Funbites Food Cutter
Giveaway will run October 1st @ 12:01 am EST until October 31st @ 11:59 PM EST. All entries will be verified. This opportunity is open worldwide except for the $150 GC from Mohawk. So what are you waiting for?
Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for shipment of prize.