Saturday, July 20, 2019


Souls and ShadowsSouls and Shadows

Add it to your Goodreads list here: Souls and Shadows
Souls and Shadows is finally LIVE and we're so excited about this amazing new release!! You can grab your copy here! while it's still only $1.00. 
Only a couple of days left at that price!

Souls & Shadows Boxset

Want to peek inside this set?

In the midst of darkened shadows, love abounds, secrets will be revealed, and souls will be set free.

Escape to new worlds with dark and striking creatures and follow beautiful beasts, cunning witches, shadowy necromancers and many more as they fall in love and brave the night.

Start the paranormal adventure of a lifetime and see if you are brave enough to fall in love. Souls and Shadows is a LIMITED EDITION paranormal romance and fantasy collection with 25 novels written by some of today’s hottest best-selling and rising authors.

Some of the books exclusive to the collection are:


One lover is lying. The other will kill them all.

Tessa Harrison does not know her ex is the Sea King, a fae who needs her powers to save his kingdom. His enemy, the cursed sea captain Maxwell Stokes, is determined to stop him. One offers Tessa his crown, the other the last moments of a doomed life. The wrong choice could destroy two worlds.

An Urban Fantasy Romance by Sharon Ashwood – Bestiary: Fae/Sea Creatures

The Mormo's Protection

He dared call a goddess’s name…and now danger threatens all he loves.

Stavros didn't realize he called a goddess when he invoked the Mormo. Now it is not only Nyssa, the Mormo, who is coming to find him...

A Paranormal Romance by Claire Davon – Bestiary: Mormo

Lost Moon

He is a man who lives for only one thing. Revenge.

For two long years, panther shifter Rayne has chased the man who was once his best friend. But then Hailey gets into the focus of his enemy, and Rayne has to decide between his hunger for revenge and the life of an innocent woman.

A Paranormal Romance by Jenny Foster – Bestiary: Panther Shifter

The Time Traveler's Awakening

Evil has tipped the scales in the balance of time. Ember Brighton just doesn’t know it yet.

Ember's family has been keeping a secret that will change her fate, and time itself. When a shifter with malicious plans goes on the warpath against Ember, she'll need all the help she can get to stop him...even if that help comes from the mysterious, too sexy for his own good, Rane Andersson.

A Paranormal Romance by Anna Applegate – Bestiary: Time Traveler / Vampire

The Necromancer's Curse

Beyond the grave, lies only death.

After beheading the arch vampire Micah and laying his evil to rest, Holly George thinks her troubles are over, but no. They are just beginning. She may not be undead, but her cells are changing, and she is human no more.

An Urban Fantasy by Adrienne Blake – Bestiary: Necromancer/Witch/Demon


Magick has a mind of its own...

Matthew and Sienna are witches racing against time to save their bloodlines from the evil shadowing them.

A Paranormal Romance by Armae/Sams – Bestiary: Gargoyle/Witches

Of Curses and Scandals

Magic has always been the thing that she relied on. Until now...

Scandal is a sorceress who works with the police to solve crimes, but when a series of villains threatens her city, she will uncover the true cost of her magic.

An Urban Fantasy by Julie Kramer – Bestiary: Sorceress

Cursed In Love

Detective Mila Moroz never believed in life after death. Until the dead came calling.

After a serial killer’s return, Detective Mila Moroz is sought out by a dark force. Determined to stop him, she seeks help from necromancer, Odyn Broussard who guides the beauty down a dangerous path. Now, bodies aren’t just piling up. They’re demanding justice.

An Urban Fantasy by Cora Kenborn & Dani Rene – Bestiary: Necromancer


First Rule of the Coven: Never Break Another Witch’s Spell.

Hunted by mythical beasts, scorned by the witch who raised her, and abhorred by other covens, Iris Valka must claim her powers before it’s too late. Her life, and that of her twin sister, Emma’s, is at stake.

A Paranormal Romance by S.A. McClure – Bestiary: Witches/Inkwell/Banshee

Soul Bonded

Would the safety of your loved ones be a fair trade for a piece of your soul? Natasha Taylor is about to find out.

An Urban Fantasy Romance by Lori Titus – Bestiary: Demons/Witches


The power of Mother Earth is on her side.

As Mother Earth in human form, Gaia Charmer has all the power of the world behind her. But will even that be enough for this sexy, gutsy private eye to solve the mystery of her missing Landkind friends?

An Urban Fantasy by Robert Jeschonek – Bestiary: Landkind (humans w/souls and powers of landforms)


What would you sacrifice for love?

Heather is a superhero in San Diego, but she yearns for a different life. A dark deal with a local gang promises her freedom, but it might just come at too high a cost.

An Urban Fantasy by Emerald Dodge – Bestiary: Superheroes

From Eugene with Love

When things look desperate, who would you turn for help?

Pestilence's Intern has done it again. Another dangerous drug has gone missing, and this time his colleague is missing as well.

An Urban Fantasy by D. C. Gomez – Bestiary: Werewolves


A vampire and a werewolf walk into a crime scene.

It’s bound to be one hell of a week for Laurent & Shaw, the vampire-werewolf detective duo who solve the city’s paranormal crimes. The clock is ticking, because it’s almost full moon and Samira is about to turn. Will they find out who is behind the conspiracy before it’s too late?

An Urban Fantasy by JT Lawrence – Bestiary: Vampires / Werewolves

Aribelle: First Female Alpha

Being the Alpha is one thing but the first female alpha, above the males won't be easy... will Aribelle succeed or be killed to make room for a male?

Aribelle doesn't want to be the alpha but what she wants doesn't matter. She's forced to make choices she never expected to make.

A Paranormal Romance by McKayla Schutt – Bestiary: Werewolves and Witches

Child of Crossroads

People assume we can’t survive without our souls...

Just as Haven’s discovered people existing as Shells, she meets Caleb, a beautiful soul she’s undeniably drawn to. Now she has to choose—her heart or the fate of humanity.

An Urban Fantasy by Tamar Sloan – Bestiary: Wraith

Of Royal Blood (Part One)

Magik and love break all the rules...

In a world where magic means death, Katriana will risk everything to save her royal charge—even when it means outing herself as a witch and losing the love of the forbidden prince.

A Paranormal Romance by Michele Barrow-Belisle – Bestiary: Witches / Demons


Are you brave enough to fall in love?

One click to summon your copy today. For only 99 cents you can get lost in all new worlds.

Order now so you don't miss out on what is bound to be the most adventurous, seductive, and thrilling box set of the year!

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View all my reviews

Thursday, July 18, 2019

It's Time It's Time It's TIME!!!

Release Day is HERE!

It's always so exciting when a new book goes live. This one is no exception...I'm thrilled to be part of this indible collection of authors, sharing my latest paranormal romance, Of Royal Blood. It is beyond worth the 99 cent deal! But this set is especially exciting because Of Royal Blood is the second book series I've written that's being considered for a film/tv series!! I'll keep you posted on that one ;) But for now I'd be thrilled and honored if you'd grab a copy and let me know what you think. Click here:

I sort of really love these covers. What do you think of them?


Here's the premise:


Some rules are meant to be broken.

In a world where magik means death, Katriana Stark will risk everything to save her royal charge—even when it means revealing herself as a witch and losing the love of the forbidden prince.

As tutor to the princess, Kat’s place at court means she’s close to death every day—one misstep, one mistake, one magik mishap away from the wrath of the dark queen. And one unveiled look away from disclosing her feelings for Prince Ethan as well.

Kat’s not much better at hiding her magik than hiding her feelings. But when demonic forces strike the Royal Palace, and bodies start disappearing into thin air, Kat’s uncontrollable powers are all that can save the lives at stake.

And as Kat is forced to pay the ultimate price for her deception, she must decide if saving another’s life is worth sacrificing her own. And worth giving up a once in a lifetime love…

OF ROYAL BLOOD Part One is included in the SOULS & SHADOWS limited edition boxset. And Part Two will be up for pre-order this week. And Part Three will release this fall. I cannot wait to hear your thoughts!

Thanks again for the endless support, your wonderful comments messages, emails nad reviews all make doing this so much more enjoyable!!

Have a magical day, and please keep in touch! 

xo Michele

Thursday, May 30, 2019


Welcome to Souls & Shadows!

I'm so excited about this boxset release! Have you purchased your copy yet? Let me know in the comments, and please remember to share it with others. And if you haven't grabbed a copy yet, just click HERE, while it's only $1.00. 



My book in the Souls & Shadows Boxset, Of Royal Blood, is the first of a 3-part urban fantasy/paranormal romance, and I can't wait for you to read it! 

Interested in being an ARC reader and leaving an Amazon review for us on release day July? Go ahead and click here to gain exclusive access.

Snipits, previews and updates coming soon, so stay tuned. 
And for now, happy reading!!!  💖📚😊 

Falling in love isn't supposed to be deadly. 

In a kingdom where magik means death, Katriana Stark must navigate her uncontrollable powers, and her desires for the forbidden Prince, as she fights to save the lives of those she loves...without losing her own.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

RITE TO REIGN Scavenger Hunt!

It's finally Autumn here, yay! Not that I don't love summer, but....fall seems the perfect time of year for getting cozy, and gathering a massive reading list to enjoy into the chillier days ahead. How better to do that than by entering a giveaway packed full of awesome bookish prizes. 

I have a couple of super-fun scavenger hunts to share with you this month, whoohoo!!! All loaded with fabulous giveaways and prizes! 

And the first one is the RITE TO REIGN Scavenger Hunt!!!

Welcome to the Halloween Scavenger Hunt brought to you by the authors of Rite to Reign. Each day you will find a variety of witchy prizes with a Grand Prize on Halloween.  Click here to find the complete map of participating authors.  

How to Enter: It's super easy. Just CLICK HERE & fill out the form below and you'll be entered to win!   

Enter here for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of MELT (Faerie Song Saga 4) Contest closes October 31st!


But not to worry, there are new prizes every day. Click here to find tomorrow's host author. And if you haven't done so already, don't forget to preorder your copy of Rite to Reign.
Click here to find a complete list of participating authors as well as the complete rules and regulations for the RITE TO REIGN Scavenger Hunt. 

Have fun and GOOD LUCK!!!

xo Michele

YA Scavenger Hunt BEGINS!!!

It's time it's time it's time!!! Are you feeling lucky???
Welcome to the hunt! I'm your hostess for this leg of the journey.

You are currently hunting on TEAM GREEN.

Looking for my exclusive bonus content? You’ll have to keep searching! ;)

Somewhere on this blog hop, I’ve hidden a bunch of goodies from The Faerie Song Saga, and the cover and map for an upcoming Special Hardcover Edition of Fire & Ice, releasing this fall! And YOU will be the very first to see it!

Before you go looking searching, check out the amazing author I’m hosting.

But, FIRST, here's how you play to win....


DIRECTIONS: Somewhere below on this page, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on TEAM GREEN, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!)


ENTRY FORM: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

RULES: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by SUNDAY, APRIL 8th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each participating YA author, you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and enter it for a chance to win a major prize–one lucky winner will receive at least one book from each author on my team in the hunt! But play fast. This contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon PST on Sunday, October 8th!

There are SEVEN contests going on simultaneously as well as a bonus contest and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GREEN TEAM but there is also a RED TEAM,  BLUE TEAM,  PURPLE TEAM, GOLD TEAM, ORANGE TEAM & PINK TEAM! Check out each team for a chance to win SIX different sets of signed books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, you can go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.


Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, I’ll introduce the fabulous author I am hosting on this hunt... Katie French!
I am super excited to be hosting…



Katie French is an Amazon best-selling author in Young Adult dystopian romance. Her book, The Breeders, has had nearly 100,000 downloads and counting and was a semi-finalist in the 2014 Kindle Book Awards.  Find out more at

The book she is showcasing is: The Breeders Book 1


"Riley is one of the world's last free girls. When Riley was born, her mother escaped the Breeders, the group of doctors using cruel experiments to bolster the dwindling human race. Her parents do everything possible to keep her from their clutches, but the Breeders control everything.

And they're hunting Riley.

When the local Sheriff abducts the other members of her family, Riley and her brother Ethan are left to starve. Then Clay arrives, the handsome gunslinger who seems determined to make up for past sins. But Clay can't know she's female, or he might sell her to the very people she's trying to avoid.

As Riley's affection for Clay grows she wonders can she trust him with her secret? She's worth a lifetime's wages. How could anyone, even someone she's growing to love, give up an opportunity like that?"


Here's an exclusive a new chapter from her upcoming book, The Night Road!

The Night Road

A Breeders Universe Series

Katie French


Once, long ago, the world nearly died. Or, rather, the human race nearly died, snuffed out by the very innovations they were using to bolster it. Poisons infect the water and soil and then humans’ bodies. Female babies weren’t born, only males or gender-neutral people called benders. Women grew scarce. Men grew desperate.
                So, a group of doctors was formed to try to bring back the female population. The Breeders were ruthless, collecting women like trinkets to use in their evil experiments. Freedom died. Women languished in tall, gilded cages while, outside, lawlessness reigned.
                Then, our founders took the Breeders on and brought them to their knees. Riley and Clay, with others by their side, claimed Shiprock, our mountain fortress for their home. They fought off marauders, thieves, and thugs. They reclaimed the land and brought order back.
                And, slowly, girls were born again. The Earth began to heal.  
Four generations later, our town is thriving. Despite the desert heat and ruthless conditions. Despite the lack of water and technology. We keep it safe with the laws of the gunslinger’s creed.
The good guys have guns. And we know how to use them.
Which is where I come in. My name is Meg and I’m an apprentice gunslinger. Tonight, I keep watch while the city sleeps. And right now, I’ve found something pretty interesting creeping up our mountainside.
The intruder’s approach is easy to mark with my goggles, despite how dark the night is. There isn’t much movement on the walls, so any draws my attention and this fool is doing his climbing out in the open like he thinks we don’t pay attention. Fool. 
He must think everyone is inside, getting ready for bed. And most are. Behind me, candlelight and gas lamps begin to flicker to life, warming the carved stone landmass. Shiprock angles up out of the ground like an eagle’s wing, a beacon of hope and light in the otherwise barren wasteland. Sitting in the North West corner of what used to be called New Mexico, it’s one of the only cities for miles and miles. It’s also one of the only things you can spot from a far off distance, like a lighthouse in a sea of sand.
And it’s also a homing signal for any crazy bastard that wants to take advantage of what we have.
But most people around know about our security force. They know we’re the best trained, most supplied gunslingers in history. Only someone profoundly ignorant would try to sneak in.
And, lucky me, it seems I have one of those in my sights.
Heartbeat starting to flutter, I mark his progress as I check my weapon. As an apprentice, I have one gun, a boring silver revolver manufactured by our friends at Merrick Guns and Ammo. Our partnership with them is what allows us to defend what’s ours. Weapons, you see, are the world’s most sought after commodity. We get ours at a discount and the people at Merrick enjoy our livestock and free lodging at our secure facility for their shipments to other colonies.
At my hip, my gun is ready and loaded with their stock. Hopefully, it won’t come to that.
Gunslinger Rule #5 – Don’t shoot unless you damn well have to.
When he starts to scale the sheer rock wall, I gotta hand it to the guy. He’s got guts. A fall from that height will mean severe injury and death. The problem is we don’t allow unlawful entry, but we do have a process to enter legally. And if someone is deciding the illegal route is better than the legal one, their intentions are likely not healthy for our community.
I tuck my goggles into my jacket pocket and take off at a run to intercept him before he makes it to a ledge and disappears.
The spot where I perch for watch leads to a path of smooth stone, curving around the south side of the mountain. I take the path around, skimming past apartments that throw out delicious smells of cooked dinner and sounds of family gatherings. The apartments aren’t much, usually two rooms of stone, with hand-hewn furniture, cramped but clean. Chiseled out of rock, everything is the same hue of desert brown, but our architecture is what gives my home its charm. Some owners have chiseled sayings above their door. Some have painted archways or carved vines wrapping around windows. The artistry is something I should pay better attention to if I weren’t chasing down a criminal.
Through the tunnels and down the stairs, flickering with torchlight, I hike It across to the other side of the landform.  
When I get to the other side, I’m out of breath, but invigorated. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a good chase. As I draw my pistol, pure excitement tingles down to my fingers. Then I drop low and slip quietly to the edge of the overhang.
The drop is sheer. At least a hundred feet down, the rocks below wait to claim anyone who gets too cocky. Luckily, we’re born up here and used to the heights, but my climbing friend is not. He clings to the rock’s face as the wind buffets him. Even in the moonlight, I can see the terror on his face as he realizes his arms are too tired to go up and too weak to go down. He’s stuck. Only gravity will help change his position now. And gravity is a bitch.
“How’s it hanging?” I call down, amusing myself with the joke.
He isn’t amused. He nearly falls off the ledge before spotting me above him. “Help! I’m about to fall.” His arms strain, fingers clinging to rock like his life depended on it.
I regard him, making no move to help. “I see you’re having trouble. It makes me wonder, what in the world were you thinking coming up that way, friend?”
“I… uh… I seek sanctuary.” His watery eyes plead with me.
“Oh, yeah, that,” I lean back on my elbow, examining my nails. “That only applies to fools who do not try to break in first. Any crime automatically negates sanctuary and breaking into my town at night is a crime, amigo.”
He grumbles, shifting as rocks clatter down the wall. “Please,” he begs. “I’m going to fall.”
“A fall is likely. Maybe you should’ve thought of that before climbing up.”
He groans.
But I’m not heartless. I pull the rope off of my belt, and, using the anchor screw set, I start to drill the bit into the rock. It chews in slowly, spiraling down deeper into soft rock. No way I’m just using my body and letting some fool pull me into the void.
“Hurry!” He shifts, arms trembling as more rocks cascade to the ground.
“Hey, guy, I’m doing my best, but really your mother should’ve taught you better manners than to rush someone who’s clearly doing her best.” I crank the handle of the screw, turning it slowly as it grinds downward. Finally, when it’s secure, I hook the carabiner through my rope loop and the anchor’s handle and give it a tug.
“Ready?” I call down, peering at him.
Terrified eyes stare up at me. Veins stand out on his neck as he holds on with his last ounce of strength. “Please.”
 I toss the rope over. It pools on his shoulder before cascading down his back. One of his grimy hands grabs and clings.
“Tie it around yourself,” I say, hoping he knows how to knot rope. If not, heaven help him.
He lashes the rope around his waist with trembling fingers. When I give it a tug, he oomps, but the knot holds.
Then I spend an hour of my evening hauling his marauding ass up the mountain. Sweating, straining, I stop and wipe my brow. This is not exactly what I pictured security detail to be when I was a kid.
Hand over hand, I inch him upwards.
When he finally breaches the top and falls to his face on the ledge, we’re both sweaty and exhausted. He lies face down, panting.
“Ah, God. I thought I was done for.” He glances up at me, a crooked smile on his face. He’s thin and lean, with all appearances of a man just barely surviving on whatever they can scrounge up. And, from what I understand, it’s rough out there. Not that I’d know what it’s like outside of Shiprock. Not that anyone will let me find out.
“Next time try the front door,” I say, slowing my breathing down and letting the night air dry the sweat on my brow. I’d remove my hat, but then my hair is a dead giveaway. Most people assume I’m male in this job and I don’t really want to go tipping them off.
Even though females aren’t bought and sold anymore, they’re still considered the weaker sex which is so ridiculous. I’ve seen Kace, my brother-in-law cry more times than I can count and Shannon, my sister, has never once shed a tear. Weaker sex, my left butt cheek.
But when I lean back and my jacket falls open, his eyebrows raise. “A girl? Huh. Never woulda taken you for female.”
“Thanks,” I say dryly.
He sits up. “You know, you and me could scoot outta here. I got a car on the road a mile back. Real nice.”
I watch him carefully, noting the greedy gleam in his eyes. He doesn’t have a car. And he isn’t trying to be my friend. When he looks at me, he sees dollar signs. He’d have me hogtied, gagged, and shipped out to some sex slave farm in a hot second.
“Well, now, doesn’t that sound like a nice offer,” I respond dryly.
When his hand goes for his knife, I’m not surprised.
Springing up, I’ve pinned him with my boot before he can get the blade out of his pocket. I press down hard as his face grinds into the gravel. “And just when I thought you and me were getting along.”
Gerroff,” he mumbles, struggling.
Dropping to my knees, I sit on him as I wrestle his arms behind his back and cuff them. The click of the metal handcuffs is satisfying.
“Ow,” he moans.
Yeah, I may have made the cuffs too tight. Sue me.
“Let’s go.” I haul him to his feet.
“You bitch.” He spits as I lead him to the stairs.
“The name’s Meg, buddy,” I say, tweaking his arm a little harder than I have to. “And be sure to tell your friends it was a bitch who saved your life.”

That was AMAZING, right?! You can buy her book HERECheck out more on her Website, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook page.

Don't Forget....

Enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me and many more! Just check out all these books on team GREEN

REMEMBER: To enter, you need to write down my favorite number:


and find all the other numbers on TEAM GREEN, add them up, and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!



While you’re here don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter Bonus Contest I am running exclusively during the YA Scavenger Hunt!!!

One lucky winner will receive a digital copy of MELT (Faerie Song Saga 4) and a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card! Good luck everyone!

Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win:

MELT (Faerie Song Saga 4) & a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Whew!!! You made it through, it's been so great hanging out with you, now head on over to MEG KASSEL'S post for the next stop on the YA Scavenger Hunt!

And that's it! Thank you so much for visiting, have fun and GOOD LUCK on the hunt!


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Announcing the Fall 2018 YA Scavenger Hunt Teams!

Fall YASH - (Young Adult Scavenger Hunt
BOOKS BOOKS AND MORE BOOKS!!! Have you taken part in this amazing event before? If you haven't you're in for a massive treat! And if you have then you already know how amazing this is! Like, better-than-chocolate amazing....okay okay, almost better than chocolate, lol. 

Here are your fall, 2018 teams for the event! Seriously, check out these amazing books!!! Which team are you the most excited about? Let me know in the comments below.

REMEMBER, the YA Scavenger Hunt begins October 2nd and ends on October 7th.

Never joined the hunt before? It’s so easy! Come back and start RIGHT HERE on October 2nd, or on the YA Scavenger Hunt website the day of the hunt ( and then you hop from blog to blog completing one team at a time, adding up secret numbers as you go.

When you’ve finished one entire team, you enter the total of all the numbers you found for that team on the rafflecopter on the YASH (YA Scavenger Hunt)  website to try for the grand prize which is one book from every author on that team. You can stop there, or try for every team on the hunt. Annnd, there are loads of giveaways since most authors do their own as well.

So mark your calendars & set your alarms...The hunt begins soon! xo















 Hope you're as exited as I am!!! See you October 2nd!!


Thursday, February 22, 2018

At Last, Some Book Release News!


It's been a long year...and while my blog posts have been few and far between, my writing has kept me exceptionally busy. Between attending the Toronto International Film Festival again last fall, meeting with movie bigwigs, directors and producers, to discuss the Fire And Ice film...

...Plus releasing my first illustrated children's book (Fairy Wishes 1-2-3)

...AND the next installment of the Faerie Song Saga, (Melt) well let's just say it was a very hectic year.

But I'm very excited to announce that MELT is finally up for pre-order on Amazon. (Nook and Kobo fans, sit tight) You can grab a copy HERE. And to wet your appetite a little, here's a SNEAK PEEK  at Chapter One:


I was there that day. The day the queen of Mythlandria died. I saw what my mother did to her, the poison she used to stain her heart. And I saw the way she manipulated the queen’s young son, Adrius Thanduir of the Elyssium Court, into swearing an oath to her. A boy only a few years older than I was at the time, sworn into an allegiance he couldn’t possibly have understood in the face of such grief.
I didn’t understand it myself. I only knew I hated and feared my mother for it. For making the small boy weep so silently. So uncontrollably. For days on end, until they found him sobbing half-frozen tears, cold and covered with snow, curled up next to his dead mother.
She was responsible. My mother. Queen of the Witches. Only she wasn’t queen, not really. We were not granted any such powers in their realm. In a realm that was governed by the Elves, Witches were considered too dangerous and unpredictable by those in power. They forced us to exist on a small parcel of barren land.
My mother took their meager offerings and created a dynasty. In time, I grew to understand the many reasons why she did what she did. The oppression we were forced to live under. The animosity between our lands. The violence it sparked time and time again. I’d heard it enough to regurgitate every sour word in my sleep. And yet, standing there, almost the same age as that poor little boy, all I could do was weep for him. For his broken heart. For his incredible loss. And for the life he had inadvertently, through no fault of his own, chained himself to.
Mother only slapped me once that day. The slap was for questioning her actions when she boasted about her feat to the others in the coven. If she’d known I’d been there, beyond the icy walls of Noctria, so far from the safety of our home, there would have been several more slaps. Followed by a season’s worth of punishment. I shudder to think what that might have entailed. But I was careful not to get caught. Always was.
I was cautious as a child. And I am even more so now that I’ve turned an age where love potions and wishing spells have suddenly become of interest. The first day I went into the woods alone to seek the boy was no different. I knew he hunted there. I’d been watching him for years. Ever since that day he lost his mother.
Bad description. He didn’t lose her, she was taken from him. My mother killed her. That was the truth, and truth was sorely lacking in my world.


This day I feel brave, and I step out of the shadows. After a few awkward exchanges, he stops looking away and holds my gaze, fixing his olive eyes on my emerald ones. His gaze flickers down to my lips, which are widening into a grin.
“Have I seen you before?”
I angle my head to get a better look at him. All tall, lean-muscled, dark-tousled hair of him. He is Elfkind, from Mythlandria. That much is evident by his clothing. And he is a very long way from home. These forests are well guarded by his people, but this far north isn't the sort of place someone of his stature should wander. I glance around. Alone, no less. Curiosity fills me as he bows his head.
“I’m sorry. I hope I didn’t frighten you.”
My smile stretches wider. “Frighten me?” Magic courses through my veins, and he is worried he'll frightened me. If only he knew so very little did anymore. I shake my head. “No, it’s fine. I just thought I was alone.” Well, that’s a lie.
“No one is ever truly alone in the wild. There are eyes everywhere. Even the trees will whisper your secrets if you tell them.”
“I'm not telling any. Not to you or the trees.”
He laughs. “Fair enough then. I am Adrius.” He clears his throat, looking uncomfortable for a moment before adding, “Prince Adrius.”
 “A prince. Without his guards? This far from his home? Perhaps it is you who should be frightened.”
Another laugh. I am immediately struck by how incredible his laugh is. For hours that follow, I drown in his laughter and his gaze as we spend time together, talking and exploring the forest around us.
At the end of our time together, he says, “I would very much like to see you again, Isobel. Can I? Can I see you again?”
I twist a lock of hair around my finger and nibble my lip. This will not go over well with Mother. She hates the Elves. Detests everything they are. Just as Elves hate Witches. A relationship with this boy has no chance of survival.
Moments of silence tick by and I’m still unsure. Saying yes isn’t wise. And yet, as I untwine my finger from my hair and let it fall, I say, “I’ll meet you here tomorrow, at sunset.” The words fly out so quickly I have no time to reconsider them.
“Sunset,” he repeats, watching my lips.
I cannot help but purse them for effect. Adrius lowers his head to hide a smile. Turning, I walk calmly back toward my home. I can feel him watching me, and although it gives me a shiver, for the first time in a long time, I feel . . . warm.
It is in that very moment I fall in love with Adrius, Prince of Mythlandria.


Home alone, common sense washes over me. I shouldn’t have gone, not ever, but he fascinates me. Everything from the way his dark hair falls across his hazel eyes when he adjusts his arrow, to the flex of his arm muscles when he draws the arrow tight in the bow.
Those arrows would sail at light speed across the wind, striking their intended target with deathly precision. If only he’d honed that skill as a young boy. Perhaps . . . No. Those are not thoughts worth entertaining. I would not wish my mother’s life away to save his mother’s. I did not even know them. I don’t know any Elves. It has always been strictly forbidden. And I love my mother. In a way. She’s taught me everything I now know. Everything I now plan to use to get him to notice me.
Forbidden or not, there is something about him that won’t let me stay away. Every day, I sneak back into my room after sundown and vow it’s my last foray into his woods. And every day come sunrise, I trade that vow for just one more look. Just one more peek. Just one more chance.
I shake my head. Chance at what exactly? That he’ll notice me. Desire me? Court me? None of those are likely. Especially if he knew who I am. Who my mother is. He would want nothing to do with me at all, and who could blame him?
But those eyes. They saw so much and held such sadness and pain. I want to help him. I have to help him. And so, in my search for juniper berries for the love tonic, I stray down the long path that will lead me to his usual haunt.
Only when I arrive he isn’t there. No. The tall, swaggering being, cloaked all in black with long, flowing, shockingly silver hair, a steely gaze and angled cheekbones is not the boy I was seeking. He is something else entirely. Equally as handsome, but in a totally different way. In a dangerous way. He oozes something that makes my insides feel strange. Good strange.
I inch closer. A twig snaps, and I freeze.
He pauses, but doesn’t turn to look in my direction. Instead, he lifts his sword. Massively long and inscribed with all sorts of glowing markings, blue smoke swirls from the gleaming blade, and the air strangles in my lungs.
What to do? Turn and run? Try to hide? I have no chance to make a choice. His sword points toward where I’m crouched in the shrubs.
“I see you there, so you might as well come out,” he says.
His voice. Oh, that voice. Like the chill of ice water running down my spine.
I rise, slowly, still uncertain what this new being might or might not do.
“Hello,” I say, lifting my hands to show I’m not a threat, though I could become one if needed. He is the one armed to the hilt. All I carry are a few spells and incantations that would at best freeze him for a moment and buy me time to run away.
When he turns to face me directly, two massive, black-feathered wings open behind him. They flap twice and then fold behind him, disappearing from sight. As he stands watching me watch him, his silver hair darkens to nightshade.
I suck in a slow breath. Wow. A Shadow Faerie. He has to be. Only they lay claim to such wings and the ability to change their looks with powerful glamour.
He’s impressive. Dark and brooding in an entirely different way than Adrius is. Adrius’s aura is warm, buttery, and it makes me want to melt. This Faerie’s aura is cold, penetrating, turning my blood to ice in my veins.
He doesn’t answer me, but he does lower his sword. His cold eyes travel over me, beginning with my hair, sliding downward, and then slowly back up again. I want to hide, to shield myself from what feels like an invasion of my body and soul.
“And you are?” He speaks with a cool, slightly accented voice.
“Isobel,” I reply. But when his lips curl in a wicked half-grin, I regret it. Names are power to the Fey. Or so I’ve heard. It is difficult to even remember what I know of them, when he is standing there watching me with those eyes of stardust.
“Do you mind?” I finally say, partially shielding my eyes. “You’re being a little invasive, considering we don’t even know one another.”
His brows arch. He seems surprised. I suppose he’s not accustomed to being told what to do. They just do as they please. Must be nice, not to have to be accountable for your actions. I did not share that same luxury. Quite the opposite really. I was held accountable for every action, big or small, intended or not.
His smile grows as his full body scan eases off.
“Thank you,” I say, lowering my hand. “Are you going to tell me who you are, or am I meant to guess?”
He studies me for a moment then takes a few steps closer. “Why not come out into the clear, where we can have a civilized conversation?”
“Said the fox to the hen.” I pause, uncertain. It seems like a poor choice. The better one would be to run home and never return. But I’d tried that before, to no avail. My curiosity will inevitably be the death of me. So I step out of the shrubs, shoving back the thorny branches as they nip at my skin.
Again, he looks me over, but this time there’s a different feel to it. I gesture for him to go ahead. “Your name?”
“You may call me Zanthiel. Knight of the Shadow court.” He dips his head slightly.
I inhale sharply. So, he IS a Shadow Faerie. I knew he had to be dangerous, but a Shadow Fey— This is another level of danger entirely. My very first encounter with a Fey and he’s from the darkest part of Faery. He’s trouble. I was taught to run from trouble. Certainly not to invite it. Yet somehow, I find him . . . extremely inviting.
“And I find you captivating,” he says, his eyes boring into mine.
Clever trick, reading minds. “Is that so, or is that just something you say to strange girls in the woods?”
“I cannot lie, so it has to be true.” He shrugs with his body, leaning casually against the tree.
My nose wrinkles. “It must be awful to not be able to lie. The truth is always better with a handful of glitter thrown over it. Dress it up a little. Make it shine. I adore lying. In fact, fabricating fiction is what’s kept me alive this long.” I shake my head and laugh, noticing the way he’s looking at me. Noticing it and liking it. “Truly. If I couldn't think fast and come up with a plausible story, just fantastical enough, but not too outlandish to be believable, then my mother’s punishments would be far more severe.”
“So, then, Isobel, I assume you are the trustworthy sort.” He smirks.
I like him from that moment on. Like him far more than I ought to. But there is something so poetic about a pathological liar connecting with someone who is genetically unable to tell a lie. That is Zanthiel. He baffles and thrills and frightens and dares, seduces and soothes with the stroke of a word. And no matter its outcome, you know without question that word is pure truth. With me, it is more likely to be pure fiction. In the moments together with him, I see a reason to be honest. A reason to want to tell the truth, to myself and to him.
 “Isobel. I see you’ve met my friend.”
I spin around to face Adrius. My face flushes with heat. Embarrassed by how much I’ve enjoyed meeting his friend.


My heart belongs to Adrius. And so I wish I understood why, when Zanthiel offered to escort me home that night, I agreed to it. I wonder why I agreed to so many opportunities to be alone with him. Alone with both of them.
Before long, I found myself unable to give up either one of them. When the three of us are together, we have the time of our lives. And when I’m alone with either of them, they complete a different broken part of me.
I was whole with them both. It was foolish and selfish and utterly unrealistic to think that my actions would not have consequences. Dire ones.
In the months that would follow, I ought to have known…the battle, my death, even my reincarnation into pure evil , , , it all boiled down to the same single weakness, the same fatal mistake.
My inability to choose between them.

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