Haunted Flint

Haunted Flint

Friday, December 13, 2019

A Christmas Tradition of Making Music



A Christmas Tradition of Making Music

Music is an important part of just about everyone’s Christmas, whether it’s Christmas carols at the church Christmas program, a rerun of Bing Crosby singing in ‘White Christmas’, or the incessant Muzak playing at the malls.  As a singer and musician, Christmas music is an especially important part of my Christmas.  I have been making music for the holidays since I was a teenager playing the organ in a little Baptist church, and it continues to be an important part of my Christmas celebration every year.

I have made Christmas music just about everywhere.  In that small church, at the school where I taught for many years, in the televised choir of a large suburban congregation, in the back of a truck on a Christmas caroling hayride, on a barge floating down the San Antonio River with the Boy Scouts, for church senior groups, in the dining rooms and halls of nursing homes.  I’ve made Christmas music in every one of those places.  My opportunities to make Christmas music grew exponentially when I learned to play the dulcimer and ukulele. My dulcimer group, The San Antonio Slow Jam, is still in the learning stage, but we make plenty of Christmas music nevertheless! Hopefully in a year or two we will be able to perform publicly and share our music with the people of San Antonio.

My husband and I also belong to San Antonio’s Ukulele Ladies and Gents. This group is a performing band and has become quite accomplished over the years. This group is special to me in that it offers me the opportunity to take to the mic every so often, complete with forty ukuleles, forty backup singers and a bass behind me. We play all kinds of music, including lots of island songs, and perform for just about anyone who wants to listen!  With this group, I have expanded my holiday repertoire beyond the usual Christmas carols and radio and movie songs to include Hawaiian Christmas music, complete with hula dancers and red and green Aloha shirts.  And we sing them in Hawaiian!  Of course, we do other Christmas songs also. The ukulele group plays many different places, including parades and churches and libraries and a lot of nursing homes. I love going into the nursing homes, especially the Alzheimer’s units. It constantly amazes me that the residents can remember the words to a Christmas carol when they’ve lost so much else. I also love singing with school choirs and the young ukulele players accompanying them. Although we play for someone or something every month, the holidays tend to be our busy season.  So far, we have four performances scheduled for December.  And that’s so far.  There may be more.

Christmas is also a fun time for the ladies’ choir at my church. Every Thursday we hop on a bus and sing at a different nursing home. We have a lot of fun with four-part ladies’ harmony and have been known to sing Christmas songs from Africa, complete with drums.

Making all the performances can get hectic in an already jam-packed season.  Occasionally we must skip a party or another event to play and sing.  But making music, especially Christmas music, deeply enriches our holiday.  I cannot imagine Christmas without it.




Maggie’s Starring Role
Durango St. Theatre Series
Book Two

Emily Mims



Genre:  Contemporary Romance



Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Company

Date of Publication:  Sept. 23, 2019

ISBN: ISBN 978-1-951055-16-5

Number of pages:  198
Word Count: 68,000

Cover Artist: Boroughs Art Department

Tagline: It’s all about the money, honey.

Book Description:

Maggie Gutierrez’s job is to keep the Durango Street Theatre afloat financially. In other words, she spends her days sticking her hand in people’s pockets in the hopes of pulling out cash. Well, euphemistically.

The Harrington Foundation grant would go a long way to ensuring the theater’s continued survival, but the administrator of the grant is the guy she used to crush on in a big way, and the last time they saw each other…let’s say things didn’t go so well. As in, he blames her for his father’s death.

Soooo…what’s a girl to do? Anything she can to get that grant, including spending time with him, which takes them down a road that might just lead to a forever neither envisioned.

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Excerpt:

She settled into her desk chair and Kirby sat down across from her. “So are there any questions I can answer for you?” she asked, cursing the faint flush she could feel on her cheeks. She wasn’t sure if it was from wanting to impress him on the theater’s behalf or Kirby himself.
“No. Not a one.” He leaned forward with an unreadable expression. “Don’t get your hopes up about the grant. The only reason I came today was because the Rileys insisted. I have no intention of letting those people award their grant to the Durango.” She caught a smirk starting to cross his face before he schooled it into impassivity.
The rustling coming from the other office stopped. Maggie willed herself not to look up at the gap at the top of the temporary wall. “May I ask why? Don’t we meet the parameters of the grant?” she asked, feigning confusion.
“Actually, you do. If things were different, I would be happy to see them award the grant to the theater. But with things the way they are, I intend to see that they send the grant another direction. I’m sure you understand.”
Maggie’s heart sank as she looked at him. So the grant was lost because of his antipathy toward her. He really was going to take his anger with her out on the whole theater. Damn him, she thought hotly. He was a prick. Some things never change. The grant might be gone, but he wasn’t going to get away with a stunt like this. She’d be damned if she let him walk out the door with no repercussions. He was going to explain himself to everyone at the Durango and the chips could fall where they may. She had nothing to lose. “No, I’m afraid I don’t understand. If we meet the parameters of the grant, why are you so determined that it go elsewhere?”
“Because of your association with the theater,” he said, his voice calm and his expression cold. “I absolutely refuse to work with you. You are directly responsible for my father’s death and I will not work with you, have anything to do with you, or award the grant to the theater that employs you.”
“So let me be clear. You’re mad at me, so you’re willing to take it out on everyone here at the Durango, despite the wonderful proposal, and even though we meet the parameters and need the money desperately. Do I have that right?”
“I wouldn’t have put it that way, but yes. You have that right.” He leaned forward. “Karma’s a bitch, isn’t she?”
“Oh dear. I am so disappointed.” She leaned forward so that they were barely a foot apart. “Especially since your old friend Josh Goldstein, who’s my boss and the executive director of the theater, assured me you’d be fair despite your feelings toward me. Why, he sat in that office next door, the one he’s sitting in right now eavesdropping on this entire conversation, and said you weren’t the kind to take out your feelings about me on the theater.” She looked up and raised her voice. “Did you hear all that, Josh? Guess you were wrong. He doesn’t plan to play fair.”
“Yes, I heard every damned word,” Josh yelled.
“I did, too,” Rachel shouted from her office two doors down.
“So did I,” a deep voice piped up from the lobby.
Kirby’s face morphed from a vindictive smirk to unmasked horror. “You…you knew they were listening,” he gasped. “You knew they’d hear every word.”
“They needed to.” Maggie regarded him steadily. “You’re breaking faith with the Rileys and you’re breaking faith with us. I told you yesterday we both needed to behave in a professional manner. Instead you decided to use the grant as a weapon to pay me back for something in our past that you hold against me. You’re being unfair to the Durango and you’re being unfair to the Rileys. Somebody needs to know. Hopefully someone who will inform the Rileys of your duplicity.”
Kirby opened his mouth but glanced up and closed it again. He muttered something under his breath as he stood up and yanked the door open, slamming it behind him.
Maggie leaned her elbows on the desk and put her chin in her hands. That had been sneaky, but damn it, Kirby had no right to punish the theater because he was mad at her. They deserved a fair shake, and if that meant getting Kirby in trouble for admitting he was using the grant as a weapon, so be it. She giggled as the sound of raised voices filtered into her office. Good. Josh was giving Kirby a deserved ration of shit. And if she wasn’t mistaken, the voice she’d heard in the lobby was none other than Wade Baxter. The Rileys’ grandson. She smirked even as she rubbed her aching temples.

Yes, Kirby, Karma can be a bitch.

About the Author:

Author of nearly forty romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write fulltime. The mother of two sons, she and her husband split their time between their home in San Antonio and a second home on Lake Buchanan, and make frequent trips to Tennessee to visit their grandchildren. For fun, she plays the piano, organ and dulcimer, and plays her ukulele and sings in two different performing groups. She says, “I love to write romances because I believe in them. Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman-if she’ll just let it.”

Website:   www.emilymims.com








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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Interview - Release Day Blitz Shifter’s Storm by Carol Van Natta


What inspired you to become an author?

Reading stories inspired me to want to tell stories myself. I write the stories I want to read. I became an author because at the time, it seemed to be the logical thing to do. For some reason, no one knocked on my door and asked if I had any ideas for stories or manuscripts in my drawer, so it fell to me to publish the books if I wanted to share them.

Do you write in different genres?

I currently write paranormal romance and space opera romance. I also write in series, because that’s how my muse thinks. Even if I fondly imagine I’m writing a simple short story, my muse is busy in the background, building the world and coming up with multi-book story arcs. With SHIFTER’S STORM, I thought it was a standalone book in the Ice Age Shifters series, but my muse informs me it’s a good place to start a new mini-arc that will take two more books to finish.

If yes, which is your favorite genre to write?

Paranormal romance and space opera romance — I can’t choose between them. And if I someday write a romantic suspense series or a steampunk series, those will become my favorites, too.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

SHIFTER’S STORM starts with the aftermath of a storm. The heroine, Chantal, happens to share her name with a hurricane that caused a lot of damage right before the action begins. So naturally, she’s in for some teasing when she’s on loan to a sheriff’s department that’s helping with damage assessment. The mini-story arc for this book and the next two deals with storms in various forms.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

It depends on the story. Some came first and stayed that way. Some came in the middle of the work in progress and changed several times. One hid from me and my muse until the last possible minute and came from a line in the story. SHIFTER’S STORM arrived in the middle of the outline process for it and the next two books. They have titles, too, but they’re secret.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true-life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

The best thing about being a writer is that every person you meet or experience you have, good or bad, can go into stories. All my stories start with characters. I set them on a collision course with each other, and get them into lots of trouble along the way. Authors are evil that way. For example, in SHIFTER’S STORM, I know how it feels to have an irrational fear of bees and wasps (long story), but I applied that to a character who’s afraid of water. Then I give her a choice of jumping in the ocean or being caught by hunters. Like I said, authors are evil. 😉

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I’m going to cheat and say that all my author friends are my mentors, in one way or another. I’m a big believer in the collaboration and alliance business models. Considering some voracious readers go through 7 or 8 books a week, no one author can keep that reader happy. But authors working together can come close. If we help each other, support each other, and appreciate each other, we all have a better chance of success.


What books are in your to-read pile?

My TBR pile is larger than Mount Everest. Lindsay Buroker has a whole new space opera series out that is impatiently waiting for me to have time to binge-read them. My guilty pleasure in paranormal romance is the various Zoe Chant paranormal romance series because the characters are genuinely nice people who deserve to find each other and overcome obstacles to being together. And I just stumbled across Koko Brown’s Something Witchy This Way Comes, the start of what looks to be a hilarious paranormal romance series.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Gladly! In SHIFTER’S STORM, the hero is Dauro de Mar, a prehistoric aquatic sloth shifter. He’s been held captive for a long time in a fairy fantasyland called a demesne. Think of them as little pocket universes where the rules are different from the real world. This short excerpt introduces Dauro and his mini-world.
Dauro de Mar lumbered up onto the bank of the impossible river and snorted forcefully to open his nose and ear flaps. The pretend sun was more than halfway toward the far horizon. He shook up and down to help his fur shed water.
The world shook. Even the distant orchard trees to his left swayed.
What?
Dauro’s giant aquatic sloth form was massive, but not that massive. Certainly not massive enough to shake an entire magical fairy demesne.
The world shook again, longer this time. Water sloshed onto the river’s banks, lapping at his back paws.
When Nessireth, the ancient fairy who created the private fantasyland to house the collection of aquatic exotics she’d captured over the years, went on a rampage, the wind blew heat and the central castle trembled. But she’d died and turned to fairy dust two months ago.
A memory surfaced of feeling something similar a couple of hundred years ago, soon after Nessireth moved the demesne from the high, cold place to a warm island location. The demesne’s anchor had been tugged by a violent real-world storm she’d called a hurricane. After a second one a few years later, she’d used her then-abundant magic to add more anchors. That cured it.
Dauro also remembered a recent comment from Kelvin, the young pygmy hippopotamus shifter who had been Nessireth’s final acquisition. Humans were now living everywhere, and they’d been burning forests and fossils. According to Kelvin, scientists said it changed the climate, and they predicted more hurricanes.
Dauro believed it. Heat and magic were similar—increased energy in a stable spell guaranteed unstable results.
More shaking. The river water surged in a wave, wetting his front paws.
Fairy demesne magic made the circular river flow constantly to provide habitat and feeding grounds for him and the other aquatic shifters and creatures. It hadn’t ever changed… until today.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

I wish! Sadly, the tourist-trap town in southern Wyoming that is secretly a sanctuary to magical creatures of myth, legend, and nightmare is a figment of my imagination. Similarly, all the destinations in my space opera series won’t be built for another millennium.

If I was better organized, I’d set my paranormal romance stories in fun exotic locales, then plan vacations around them so I could write off the trip as a business expense.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

The very talented Amanda Kelsey of Razzle Dazzle Design created the cover for SHIFTER’S STORM, as she did for the rest of the series. I’m in awe of her talent. She’s extra patient with me because my characters tend to be multicultural and funnily enough, there aren’t that many stock photos of prehistoric animals to choose from.

Just for fun 

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

Well, being a shifter, of course. ;-) I’d likely choose to shift into a domestic cat so I could become as spoiled as ours are.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

I’d keep a cat who is also a familiar, to help me work better magic. Of course, the cat would probably use its magic to work the can opener and leave all the doors open, so maybe it would be safer to go with a miniature dragon.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?

This will sound really geeky, but I’d spend the day with the remarkable Dr. Lise Meitner, a theoretical physicist who lived from 1878 to 1968. She was passed over for a Nobel prize for nuclear fission in the favor of the man she worked with. She fled Nazi Germany and ended up in the U.K. I’d ask her about her personal life, her work, and her experiences as a brilliant woman in a man’s world.



Shifter’s Storm
Ice Age Shifters
Book 5
Carol Van Natta

Genre: Paranormal Romance


Publisher: Chavanch Press

Date of Publication: 12 December 2019
ISBN: 978-1946165176
ASIN: B081NPSFT9

Number of pages: 220
Word Count: 49,000

Cover Artist: Amanda Kelsey,
Razzle Dazzle Design

Tagline: In a dying fairy fantasy land, can two shifters tell if the magic between them is real?

Book Description:

In a dying fairy fantasyland, can two shifters tell if the magic between them is real?

While volunteering for hurricane cleanup, sheriff’s deputy and leopard shifter Chantal Hammond stumbles across two escapees from a fairy fantasyland. Unfortunately, when she tries to help, she ends up trapped. She quickly discovers she's lost in a mini-world of trouble, and more captives need rescuing.

Prehistoric sloth shifter Dauro de Mar and his friends have cruelly been imprisoned in their animal forms for years. His plan to lead the escape is mostly wishful thinking until an intoxicating and magical leopard shifter arrives still in her human form. She's their game changer.

It's going to take Chantal's and Dauro's combined skills, magic, and courage to evade evil hunters and greedy fairies, and get everyone out of this mess. Especially since the fairy fantasyland is disintegrating. Can they fight off danger—and their sizzling attraction—long enough to win their freedom? Or will they be destroyed by the mother of all storms when this magical land dies?

Find out today in Shifter's Storm, another sizzling hot Ice Age Shifters® paranormal romance from USA TODAY bestselling author Carol Van Natta.

Shifter's Storm is a complete story with a happily-ever-after and no cliffhanger, and can be enjoyed without having read the rest of the series.

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Excerpt:

Dauro ya Ketumino da’Nok de Mar lumbered up onto the bank of the impossible river and snorted forcefully to open his nose and ear flaps. The pretend sun was more than halfway toward the far horizon. He shook up and down to help his fur shed water.
The world shook. Even the distant orchard trees to his left swayed.
What?
Dauro’s giant aquatic sloth form was massive, but not that massive. Certainly not massive enough to shake an entire magical fairy demesne.
The world shook again, longer this time. Water sloshed onto the river’s banks, lapping at his back paws.
When Nessireth, the ancient fairy who created the demesne to house her collection of aquatic exotics like him, went on a rampage, the wind blew heat and the central castle trembled. But she’d died and turned to fairy dust two months ago.
A memory surfaced of feeling something similar a couple of hundred years ago, soon after Nessireth moved the demesne from the high, cold place to a warm island location. The demesne’s anchor had been tugged by a violent real-world storm she’d called a hurricane. After a second one a few years later, she’d used her then-abundant magic to add more anchors. That cured it.
Dauro also remembered a recent comment from Kelvin, the young pygmy hippopotamus shifter who had been Nessireth’s final acquisition. Humans were now living everywhere, and they’d been burning forests and fossils. Scientists said it changed the climate and predicted more hurricanes.
Dauro believed it. Heat and magic were similar—increased energy in a stable spell guaranteed unstable results.
More shaking. The river water surged in a wave, wetting his front paws.
Fairy demesne magic made the circular river constantly flowing to provide habitat and feeding grounds for him and the other aquatic shifters and creatures. It hadn’t ever changed… until today.
That brought home to him that he and others needed to get serious about escaping. Nessireth had bragged about spending millennia to construct her demesne, but it was decaying daily without her active magic to maintain it. The false moon wasn’t as round as it used to be, and had a noticeable pink tint. Just last week, the constant breeze had taken to gusting chaotically.
None of the captives knew what would happen if the demesne collapsed with them still inside. Dauro was certain it wouldn’t be good.
His giant sloth liked solitary peace and quiet, but his suppressed human side knew he needed to check on the rest of his friends. Nessireth’s death had given him more freedom than the others. And his limited telepathic skills as a sloth meant he had to visit them himself. Nessireth had forced each of them to remain their animal form, and the demesne would keep them that way forever… as long as the magic held.
As the oldest of Nessireth’s acquisitions, he’d become the sinchi, the temporary champion of the collection. In his opinion, formidable size, war experience, and a talent for magic while in animal form didn’t make him a leader, but he was the best they had.
Before his energy-saving sloth succumbed to the lure of a nap, he plunged back into the water. Digging his strong, clawed toes into the silty bank, he let the water flow over him for a minute while he thought. Downstream was the long way around the river, but wouldn’t tire him out as fast. So far, the magical protein-enriched sea grasses he depended on for food still grew overnight, but for how long?
He shoved off and let the current help him swim toward his friend Sunscar’s territory. The closer he got, the more the magic in the water felt as agitated as the river itself.
And no wonder, because the lake’s wall was breached. Instead of an orderly river running next to a placid pool, the whole area was now a flooded swamp. The demesne’s castle was already repairing the wall, but the water had no natural way to drain back into the lake.
Even worse, the damage had activated the water-based defensive spells, which were fighting with the castle’s defenses. Grab-weed tried to strangle the broken pieces of the wall, as if they were attackers. Two of the animated castle statues tore at the weeds so the wall could heal.

About the Author:


Carol Van Natta is a USA TODAY bestselling and award-winning science fiction and fantasy author. Series include the Central Galactic Concordance space opera series that starts with Overload Flux and Minder Rising, and the Ice Age Shifters paranormal romance series that starts with Shifter Mate Magic and Shift of Destiny. She shares her Fort Collins, CO home with a resident mad scientist and just the right number of equally mad cats.


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Interview - Blake Manor by Maghen Connolly


Are you currently binge watching anything on Netflix, Hulu, or elesewhere? What keeps you glued to the screen?

I am obsessed with American Horror Story so I am currently binge watching Apocalypse.

I’m also watching the last season of Santa Clarita Diet, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Grace and Frankie.

I just finished The Haunting a month ago, and me and my fiance are eagerly awaiting season 2.

Do you prefer movies or TV series?

I’m a huge movie person, I have a large DVD collection that is on display in my living room. I love having a good movie night, horror is my favorite genre.

When it comes to reading do you prefer stand alones or series?

Series definitely, I never want it to end. I fall in love with the characters and their developments. To be honest, if you read a series long enough, those characters become like friends. That’s what they do for me at least. I think that’s why when I started writing, I knew I would write a series first.

Do you prefer to start a new book series when the first book is released or do you wait for several books in the series to be released so you can binge read?

I can binge watch TV shows but I do not have the same patience with books. I’m a huge lover of reading and when a new book comes out from a favorite or much anticipated new author, I can’t wait to devour it.

What are some of your hobbies, interests or guilty pleasures?

Movies, I love to have one movie marathon a month. Swimming is a big one for me also, I love to swim. Once summer comes I’m basically a mermaid for 3 months. I also love to travel and see new places. I love to have those experiences in losing myself for a couple of days in a new environment. Music is a huge part of my life. Even when I write I’m usually plugged in listening to some songs. I’m big into classic rock and metal, it helps get me into the flow of things when I’m writing.


What's your guilty “nerd” pleasure ?

I love Star Wars, I also am a huge Twilight fan even after all these years, so I definitely still nerd out when I watch the entire series. I also loved the Vampire diaries, and I still go back and watch all the seasons.

Have you ever peeked at the ending of a book?

I try really hard not to, but I’ve been guilty once or twice.

When it comes to your own writing are you a plotter or a pantster?


Definitely a plotter. I like to outline the book before I start, it helps to keep me on track and not stare at the keyboard for hours waiting for the inspiration to strike.

Blake Manor
Maghen Connolly

Genre: Supernatural Fiction

Date of Publication: August 23rd 2019

ISBN:  9781088498682
ASIN: B07W3QCQNQ

Number of pages: 407
Word Count: 90,938

Cover Artist: Michael Weick

Tagline: Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

Book Description:

Be careful what you wish for, you just might find it...

Kyra Blake just wanted the answers to who her mother was before she was born. What kind of family she was a part of. With her mother's untimely death years ago, she thought those were answers she would never receive, until a phone call changed her life. She discovers from one phone call, three things. A town deep in the backwoods of Maine that her mother was raised in. Within that town a house she never knew her family owned. All left to her by an uncle she never knew existed. Finally, she will discover, along this trip to the deep parts of Maine, not only who her mother was, but who she truly is as well. She will learn of a legacy that she cannot escape, one covered in mystery, shrouded in blood, and fated from the moment she took her first breath.

She wants answers, well she's about to get them. The only question is, can she live with what she discovers...

Within the halls of Blake Manor, secrets will feed off of you. Family secrets will be discovered, and the past is never at rest, it's just been waiting for Kyra to come home...


Excerpt:

Prologue

20 years…
It's always been this way. 20 years of laying my head on my pillow at night just to wake up the folliwing day exhausted and confused . A feeling of melancholy always consuming me. It’s getting to the point that I am begging to question what’s real and what’s just in my mind. It all comes down to those damn dreams.
20 years I’ve dreamed of her. I don’t know her name or who she is, or if she’s even real. But I know the gentle touch of her hand as it reaches for mine. Know the power of her gaze as she uses there full weight to stare at me. Never once looking threw me but looking at me as if we are long forgotten friends. I smile at her as I always do and extend my hand towards her. Knowing that she will take it as she always has before.
20 years and we’ve never spoken, not one word. We just stand frozen before one another, not being able to say the things were really feeling. Or put into words the randomness and oddness of this recurring dream that we both seem to share. I slowly feel myself being pulled back into the world of the living. Into the world of reality and being pulled farther away from her. The one place even in silence I feel completely myself. How I hate to leave her.
She smiles at me as I begin to fade and soon wake. I can feel it almost cut into the air like a sharp blade. The change she looks behind her for the first time into the nothingness surrounding us. She turns back. Whipping her strawberry blonde hair out of place. Fear grips her angelic features I can see the fear in her Light green eyes.
‘Help Me’’.
Her voice cut through the quiet and makes me suck in a shaky breath. So beautiful she sounds even more so then I could have ever dreamed. This would be beautiful if I didn’t hear the complete terror in her voice.
I stand frozen I try to speak but it’s as if my lips are glued shut. She walks over towards me and places her hands on either side of my face. I avert my gaze for what felt like a mere moment but who knows how long it actually was. I see a mark on her wrist and try to adjust my eyes to get a clearer look. A Blue butterfly spreading out its wings is burned into her Right wrist.
A tattoo?
‘’Help me.’’.
She pleads with me. Her eyes begin to tear I can see the look in her eyes begging me to understand what she’s trying to say. Instead however I am left more confused than ever.
‘‘Say Something!’’.
She screams.
I look right into her sea green stare truly look. For the first time my lips start to unlock.
‘‘How do I help you? I don’t even know who you are. You’re not real just a figment of my imagination. I wish you were real after all this time but you’re not you can’t be so you see I can’t help you. Because you don’t exist.’’.
She smirks at my reply.
‘‘Nothing is a dream Alex.’’
Suddenly the room we are standing in begins to take on a more definite shape and as my eyes begin to adjust more to the light I notice a pale hand gripping her left shoulder.
I walk closer towards her
Suddenly the Hand falls from her shoulder and a woman steps forward.
Looking no older than me. She looks at me with identical Emerald eyes as the girl I have dreamed about for as long as I can remember. She looks at my Dream girl and smiles a kind knowing smile. Suddenly I am overcome with the Feeling of love and joy and something bitter … Something I can almost taste on my tongue. Regret. She steps closer to me and grabs my hand into hers I can feel the heart radiating from her grip like a hot iron I moan slightly at the pain. I try to remove my hand from hers but she’s got it tight within her own. She looks at me and smiles like a mother would to a beloved child.
She opens her mouth to speak and I am taken aback by how much she sounds like the young woman next to her who I feel I have known all my life.
 ‘’ She’s coming home. You’ll know her the second you see her’’
She turns her head looking at the young woman and then back at me
‘’ But the problem is she won’t know you so you’ll have to help her to remember’’.
‘‘Remember what?’’.
She smiles at pats my hand reassuringly.
‘’ Help her to Remember You. Help her to remember who she truly is. Help her to Remember me. But most importantly keep Her Safe Alex. We're all counting on you to keep her safe...? To help her whatever comes ‘’
‘’ Who is Counting on me you and who else?’’
For the first time I can see true sadness come over her beautiful features She scowls and downcast her eyes and I can feel the true pain whatever this is overtaking her.
She looks back up at me
‘’ I hope for your sake and hers you never find out that answer. Just promise me you will do as I say.’’
I didn’t even hesitate.
‘’ I promise.’’
I can feel myself slowly waking up being pulled awake the image in front of me begins to fade my dream girl has disappeared completely … All I can see now is the face of this Other woman I hold on as hard as I can.’’
‘’ Wake up Alex’’
‘’ What’s her name?’’
She turns around also noticing she is no longer with us. I see a tear slide down her cheek.She turns back at me and right when I think I can no longer hold on I hear her answer my question with a whisper.
‘’ Kyra’’.
I sit bolt upright in bed trying to catch my breath and still my raging heart. None of that has ever happened before. We’ve never spoken or asked the other for any type of help. It was just a silly crazy dream I try to tell myself. Like all the other nights before. My mind is once again playing cruel tricks on me.
At least that’s what I tell myself. Suddenly I hear light pounding on my window Paine. I stand and slowly walk over to my window and throw open the blinds. What I see shocked me and run's my blood cold. I pinch myself almost certain it’s another dream. I pinch myself and soon realize it can’t be I’m awake.
Something is definitely wrong in my small town of East brook Maine. A lot of crazy things have happened here in the past but what I see before me is certainty a first. Waking up to a snowstorm in the middle of July.
Needless to say I grabbed my car keys and got the hell out of there. I ran not walked to my car and drove pajamas and all to the only person in the world that would understand this. The only person in the world that wouldn’t think I’m crazy. My sister.
‘What the hell is going on either I’m losing my mind which is a very real possibility I admit. Or something really wrong is happening in East Brooke and I know in my bones it has something to do with her.
The girl with the Deepest green eyes I’ve ever seen.
The most beautiful Strawberry blonde hair.
What really takes the cake is her tattoo a butterfly. It’s the first solid thing to make me believe she’s real and not some crazy figment of my imagination. Just when I think I’m over analyzing the situation. Hale the size of a basketball breaks my windows. I swerve almost completely off the road.  Oh yes something is definitely wrong in East Brooke and no matter what I’m going to find out what it is.
And as much as I’m still in the dark about all of this I have something now that I never had before. Something to hold onto when my mind begins to think it’s all a dream.
I have a Name…
Kyra.
About the Author:

Maghen Connolly is a writer from New York born and raised in Manhattan’s West Village with her mother, father, and a very cute cat.

She has always been an avid reader. She loves to read anything she can get her hands on, but her favorite genre is mystery. She’s also a huge horror fan having grown up on all the classics. The love of the scare has helped her create some of her most interesting and complex characters over the years.

She now lives in Queens with her fiancé and 2 rescue cats, Shadow and Shade.  She spends her days writing, over analyzing, watching horror movies, spending time with family, and eating some of the best food New York City has to offer.