Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Slàinte!

Today's excerpt is from Scotch Broom, the third book of the series. Hey, we've got fairies here for the first time in the series. But, oh my, what a fairy is Cait Sidhe!

Chapter 21 - Slàinte!

Cait Sidhe stood up on her hind legs and marched left and right with her nose held high. It surprised Kat that Cait seemed quite comfortable walking on two legs.

“What—?” Kat gasped as Cait Sidhe grew taller, her body wavering and twisting as she morphed from black cat into what appeared to be a human girl the size of a ten-year old. The child-like Sidhe was as black as her cat form with a spot of white running from her neck to her collarbones. Her translucent wings formed a shimmering rainbow growing out of her shoulder blades. Never at rest, the wings flashed pale flickers of rainbow colors around the fairy’s back.

“Oh! Self-transformation. I should have guessed. Sidhe does mean fairy, and fairies are master transformers.”

“Catch on fast, don’t you, witchy.”

“I see your, um, personality didn’t change.” Kat moved to slide off Diamond’s back, but he told her to wait until they got to a dry place. She settled back as well as she could behind Diamond’s withers. “Are there any dry spots in this swamp?”

Cait answered. “Yes, which is why I switched to the less efficient, bipedal mode. I must take this inconvenient form to get Seonaidh’s attention.”

“Who is Show Me?” Kat asked.

“SHOW NEE,” Cait snarled. “Can’t you get any of our names right?”

“Well, don’t get your tail in a twist. They are unusual names, you know.”

“Ha. Your jokes stink, too.” Cait said no more, but flew upward, then flitted away across the bogs.

“Why are we stopping to see this Seonaidh? I don’t want to waste time on another roadside attraction.”

“Seonaidh can see the future. Cait Sidhe believes we can find out what happens to your brother.”

“That’d be great! I want to know if Rune will be okay.”

They soon came to another pool, much like the others dotting the bogs, except the water was clear. Kat could see to the bottom of the pond, where underwater plants swayed to and fro.

“It’s beautiful,” she said and then yelped when Diamond bent his front legs. She pitched forward and planted her face in his mane. Sitting up, she threw one leg over his back and rolled off. She put her hands on the small of her back and leaned backward then forward to take the kinks out.

Cait Sidhe stood by the edge of the pool, looking down. Kat walked over to the pond. It was only then Kat noticed the fairy was naked.

“Seonaidh,” Cait yelled. “Get your ugly butt up here.”

Kat turned her attention away from Cait and looked into the pool. She inhaled and thought the sweet smell of fresh water a nice change from the constant dank smell of swamp. A dark form lay at the bottom among the wavering water plants. Cait pointed to the form. “That’s Seonaidh. If I can get him up here, he’ll want a cup of ale. You’re a witch. Can you produce that?”

“Sure, but how long is this going to take?”

“Not long if you whomp up that ale,” Cait replied.

* * *
The three books in the series:

A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?
Follow the adventures of Katrina and her half-vampire brother, Rune, as they chase down an evil shaman. Dodging the shaman's curses on a dangerous trip across the ice-bound arctic seas, they meet both friends and foes. Kat and Rune must find the shaman and stop him before their beloved island home is destroyed.

Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?
Traveling with her newly-found grandfather, a raging storm catches them unawares. Kat is tossed into the icy seas, while her brother and grandfather travel on to find help. Kat is rescued by an unlikely creature, and Rune is captured by mutants. Only the magical Midnight Oil can save her brother, but an evil forest elemental is trying to stop her.

A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.
Kat is on her way to an exciting trip to Stonehenge but is led astray by a jealous rival. Caught in the Otherworld within the Scottish Highlands with a has-been goddess trying to kill her, Kat has to defeat the goddess and rescue her brother from the hag's clutches.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Last Free Days

I have indicated I no longer want to offer my book, Tales of a Texas Boy, in the KDP Unlimited program. Why? It's not getting sufficient page reads even when people get it free.

The final day this book will be free on Amazon: July 24th.

So, from today (July 20th) to July 24th, go get your free ebook copy. Flip through some pages so I'll get the miserly amount for page reads (this is how authors make money when books are borrowed).

TALES OF A TEXAS BOY EBOOK - FREE THROUGH JULY 24TH


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Reminder: Book Sale Throughout July

Lucky July half-price sale at Smashwords. All ebook formats available.

Find my books on my author page: Marva Dasef's Smashword Books. Here are most of those half price. A few other books were already free or only 99 cents anyway. Authors will be setting their discounts throughout the month, so new books are available every day. Use code SSW50 to receive 50% off.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Mordita, Sorceress of the Arctic

All Witches of Galdorheim Books Are Only 99 Cents on Kindle and Smashwords!

Mordita the Witch (She Prefers Sorceress)

Hands down, readers' favorite witch on Galdorheim is Mordita. She's powerful, all right, but it's her wicked sense of humor that makes her a fan fav. She also has some secrets, which are revealed in Book 2 of the Witches of Galdorheim, Midnight Oil.

Kat meets Mordita in Bad Spelling. In Midnight Oil, the two have become close friends. Even Aunt Thordis gets along with the sorceress since Mordita helped rescue Kat and Rune. Well, they pretty much rescued themselves in Bad Spelling, but Mordita's skill with a scrying crystal helped greatly.

While Mordita has tons of magic, she prefers to maintain her old hag appearance just to keep the Galdorheim witches from stopping by to visit. Mordita is alone, and she likes to keep it that way. She's not quite alone if you want to count a fat orange tiger cat named Kudzu.

Mordita is a mystery. Why did she come to Galdorheim if she doesn't want to consort with the witches and warlocks? Simple. She's on the run, hiding from her evil sister, the elemental forest spirit Ajatar.

Many years before, the two sisters fought over a man. Not that he was all that special, but neither sister wanted to concede anything to the other. Sibling rivalry at its worst, and most dangerous.


Excerpt from Midnight Oil:

Kat sprinted up the cobbled pathway to Mordita’s door. She remembered the first time she’d come to the old witch’s home, she’d gotten zapped by the spike and horseshoe doorknocker. She learned fast—don’t use the knocker. She rapped on the wood instead.

The door swung open. Kat walked into the dimly-lit living room, and the door closed behind her. Glancing around, she waited for her eyes to adjust. She didn’t see Mordita, but her familiar, a fat orange tiger cat, curled on one of the damask-covered chairs by the fireplace.

“Kudzu, where’s your mistress?” The cat opened one eye a squinch and nodded toward the door leading to the kitchen.

“Thanks.” Kat hurried over to the kitchen door. “Anyone home?” One never walked through a closed door without an invitation from the home’s occupant. The door swung inward, and Kat stepped into the tiny kitchen. Mordita leaned over the stove and pulled a tray from the oven.

“Ah, Katrina, I’m glad you stopped by. I made cookies for your trip.”

“So, you heard already?”

The old woman chuckled. “You know I hear everything.”

Kat smiled. No doubt Mordita kept track of current events. “Thanks for the cookies, but I have to hurry. We’re just about ready to leave.”

The sorceress tossed the cookie sheet into the air. The cookies flew off, circling the kitchen twice. Kat ducked to avoid the flying disks, which grouped into a neat pile and dropped into a waiting basket. The lid slammed shut, and the basket jetted over to Kat, who caught it on the fly.

“Quick enough for you?” The old woman cackled. Kat knew Mordita’s patented cackle was worse than her bite, so she just grinned. She stepped in front of the witch and threw her free arm around her shoulders.

Mordita raised one hand and patted Kat on the shoulder. “Now, now. We’ll see each other again soon.”

“You promise?” Kat asked, hoping she might know for certain.

“Just an educated guess,” Mordita replied, slipping out of Kat’s hug. “But I have something else for you.” The crone reached into an apron pocket and withdrew an amulet hanging on a silver chain. She slipped it over the young witch’s head.

Plucking it up from her chest, Kat looked down at it. It, too, was silver, but tarnished so heavily it seemed almost black. “What is it?” She squinted at the dim shapes and symbols etched into the silver disk.

“It’s a good luck coin. I know it’s hard to see, but that’s Medusa. I got it from her…um, that is, my family passed it down to me. Medusa personally handed it to a great, great, great something-or-other relative of mine.”

“Wasn’t Medusa evil?” Kat asked, a frown tugging at her mouth.

“Not all the time, dear. Mostly, people just misunderstood her. Don’t you worry. The amulet protects against snakes.”

“Snakes?” Kat’s voice rose an octave.  “Why will I need protection against snakes? Will I run into snakes?”

Mordita frowned and then made shooing motions with her hands. “Now, now. I don’t see anything like that. It’s just a gift.”

“Thanks.” Kat gave the witch another hug. The old lady squirmed from Kat’s grasp.

“Enough, girl. Run along and find the boy.”

“I’ll try. See you later.” Kat sprinted to the front door, and it opened just in time for her to pass through. Pausing, she looked back, wishing she’d said something more, but she had no idea what.

Bolting down the walk, Kat was glad she’d cleaned the slime off the stones, even if Mordita didn’t appreciate it. I still owe her a three-fold favor.
BAD SPELLING 
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?
Follow the adventures of Katrina and her half-vampire brother, Rune, as they chase down an evil shaman. Dodging the shaman's curses on a dangerous trip across the ice-bound arctic seas, they meet both friends and foes. Kat and Rune must find the shaman and stop him before their beloved island home is destroyed.

MIDNIGHT OIL
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?
Traveling with her newly-found grandfather, a raging storm catches them unawares. Kat is tossed into the icy seas, while her brother and grandfather travel on to find help. Kat is rescued by an unlikely creature, and Rune is captured by mutants. Only the magical Midnight Oil can save her brother, but an evil forest elemental is trying to stop her.

SCOTCH BROOM
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.
Kat is on her way to an exciting trip to Stonehenge but is led astray by a jealous rival. Caught in the Otherworld within the Scottish Highlands with a has-been goddess trying to kill her, Kat has to defeat the goddess and rescue her brother from the hag's clutches.

SPELLSLINGER - A Witches of Galdorheim Story
What does a teenage half-warlock, half-vampire do to have fun? Why build an old west town on a glacier in the Arctic. There he can play at being the good guy sheriff up against mean old Black Bart.

Monday, July 03, 2017

ALL My Books Free or 1/2 Price

Lucky July half-price sale at Smashwords. All ebook formats available.

Find my books on my author page: Marva Dasef's Smashword Books. Here are most of those half price. A few other books were already free or only 99 cents anyway.


To find ALL the half-price books across the entire Amazon Library, click here. Authors will be setting their discounts throughout the month, so new books are available every day. Use code SSW50 to receive 50% off.


Saturday, July 01, 2017

A Randomly Selected Unpublished Story

I sent this story out only once in 2007. I had no idea where it might belong, so didn't bother subbing it again. The result is that it never made it into my collections (Mixed Bag and Mixed Bag II: Supersized). Since I've run out of promo material, I'll unleash this upon the world just for fun. 

Double Date

"Ted is Mike's his best friend, so he can’t be too bad. You do like Mike. So come on, please!"

My best friend, Freida, was begging me to go out with this guy, just to make it a double. Rats! I didn’t want to go on some blind date, but what can you do when your oldest pal begs. How bad could it be? One evening, a little dinner, some conversation, a couple of drinks and I’m outta there.

I dressed carefully. I didn’t want to look too sexy. Shouldn’t give any impression that I want to do anything except talk. Yes, pants and a nice top. No dresses or skirts. Too dangerous. Men!

I said I’d catch up with them at Tony’s, a pleasant Italian place with excellent food. I asked Freida who decided on this restaurant and she said Ted did. Okay, he had good taste. That was a plus.

When I walked in, the place was busy as usual. Diners sat at little tables with those cute red-checked tablecloths. It was noisy, but you've got to expect that at a popular restaurant, especially with the waiters singing 'O Solo Mio' to collect extra tips. I looked around to see if the others had shown up. I saw Freida waving to me from the back of the room and I wended my way through the tables.

He stood up when I got to the table. Hmm, he had manners. We shook hands as Freida introduced us, "Jean, this is Ted, Ted, Jean, Mike, Jean, Jean, Mike." She giggled at her joke. She never giggles unless Mike was around. I pasted on a grim grin and took a good look at Ted, my putative date for the night.

Red hair. Uggh. He tended to fat. Maybe it was muscle? Nah, look at that arm, it was fat.

He held out his hand and said, "So, Jean, Freida says you’re a computer programmer. How do you like that?"

"S'okay," I said as I pumped his hand once. It was limp and damp. I suppressed a shudder. I sat, picking up the cloth napkin and drying my own hand as surreptitiously as possible.

"Uh, Ted owns his own business, Jean," Freida jumped in when she saw I wasn’t exactly gushing over this guy.

"Oh. What is it?" I asked to be polite. I really didn’t give a rip and figured it was going to be a long evening.

"I own Krazy Komics down on Fourth Street," Ted informed me. He grinned, looking proud of his status as a business owner. My God, a comic book store! He fairly oozed nerd from every pore.
He asked, "Do you read comics?"

"Not since Uncle Scrooge," I countered. No reason to encourage him, even if I did pick up a few of the avant garde illustrateds on occasion.

I pretty much clammed up after that. No way was I ever going see this guy again in my entire unnatural life. Why bother?

The three of them kept up the conversation without me. Ted glanced at me often. Trying to read me? Well, they didn't publish me in his comic book world.

After dinner, we, or I should say they, decided to walk down to the city park. On mild evenings, freelance musicians hung out there, playing for tips. Some were even good. A walk in the cool night air would be okay, I thought.

I should have thought twice. Ted quickly put his arm around my shoulders and tried to guide me along. What did he think, I needed a seeing eye dog?

I twisted deftly out from under his arm and walked a little faster. He actually broke out in a trot to catch up to me! He was about three inches shorter than me, so I could cover more distance than he could. I made sure to stay ahead of him, but not so far that it looked like I was running for my life.

I was trying to think of some way to end this debacle, but I knew Freida would be pissed at me if I dropped out before ten o’clock. So, in the interests of friendship, I hung in through the walk (run!) and the stop at the coffee house for some cappuccinos. In the booth, he tried to put his arm around me again. I scooted clear to the wall, regretting that I had been forced to get in first. Trapped! I would have climbed the wall if they hadn't covered it in smooth plaster.

I gulped my cappuccino and yawned. With a certain amount of stretching, I managed to push his arm away.

"Well, I guess it’s time for me to go home," I finally declared on the stroke of ten o’clock.

"Oh, but it’s still early," he said.

"Gotta go to work tomorrow." Why didn’t he get it?

"Well, I’ll call you. Maybe we can go out again. Next weekend? A movie?"

My God, he wouldn’t give up!

"Uh, well, thanks anyway, but I don’t think . . . " I began when he interrupted.
"We do need to talk about how many kids we’re going to have."

WHAT! I looked at Freida and she shrugged. I glared at Mike and he suppressed a grin.

I shoved Ted out of the booth and he almost fell on the floor as I fought my way in front of him. He grabbed my hand. Luckily for me, he still had a half-full cup of coffee in front of him. I elbowed it into his lap. When he grimaced and grabbed at his crotch, I got my hand away.

As I sped out of the coffee house, I heard Ted call after me, "Does this mean we aren’t going out again?"

No shit, Ted.