Tara West

YA paranormal/fantasy and New Adult author


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Oops!

Oops is right. I was just informed that somehow there was a mix-up with the Amazon version of Krysta’s curse. Rest assured, the file has been fixed and it’s back on sale. As a bonus for my readers, it’s discounted from 2.99 to .99 for the remainder of the weekend. Sorry for the mixup!

Krysta_web

Krysta’s Curse by Tara West

Everything about Krysta Richards is wrong, from her short height to her unmanageable hair. Her ability to talk to spirits doesn’t help things, either. Her physical flaws don’t seem to matter to Bryon, her lab partner. Just as the chemistry between them is about to ignite, a homicide detective asks her to summon a murder victim, her drunk father suddenly takes an interest in her life and her dead friends enlist her in a crusade to save their decrepit cemetery.

She dreams of gracing the cover of Cosmo, but if she can’t get her life back to normal, she’ll be labeled the poster child for Weirdo.     

***Also available in the Whispers series***
Book one, Sophie’s Secret
Book two, Don’t Tell Mother
Book four, Visions of the Witch

Download for just .99 on Amazon through March 3rd!

 

 

 

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We Love Villains! Young adult paranormal giveaway hop!


yaparanormalhopGiveaway time!!! Curse of the Ice Dragon is part of the YA Paranormal Giveaway Hop organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and by [YA] Between the Lines. The giveaway runs from February 21st to February 27th and features Young Adult books with Paranormal elements. Some of the authors featured in the giveaway are: Alexia Purdy, Lizzy Ford, Cameo Renae, J. Anne Huss, Alivia Anders, Brina Courtney, and Angela Orlowski-Peart . Click HERE to see all of the blogs and authors participating in the hop.

Back to villains.

Why do I love them?

Because without villains, the hero would have no reason to save the damsel, himself, or maybe even the fate of humanity. Or else, the damsel would have no reason to kick the villain’s butt angollumfaced assert herself as an independent woman.

Without villains, there wouldn’t be much of a story. Harry Potter would have nothing to overcome without Voldemort. He would simply be another troublemaker at Hogwarts. Who knows? Maybe he would have been chummy with Malfoy and his goons at the Slytherin House.

So despite all of Voldemort’s nefarious deeds, we readers love him for making the story memorable, just like we love Darth Vader, The Grinch, Cruella De Vil, and all those evil step-mothers and step-sisters.

Out of all the movie and book villains, my favorite would have to be Gollum from Lord of the Rings. I think it’s because of the many emotions he inspires; from pity, to disgust to hatred.  With his multiple personalities, he really is a mixed bag of villains, and my family just can’t seem to tire of ‘MY PRECIOUS!’ jokes.  

 

And now a scene from Curse of the Ice Dragon with the cruel and selfish villain Madhea, Goddess of the Sky.

***

CurseoftheIceDragon_webUnder the mystic glow of pale lights, Madhea sat on her ornate ice throne, looking down into the swirling mists. Try as she might, she could not summon forth an image of her dragon. Lydra was lost for now, trapped under the crush of heavy snow. The foolish beast had failed her.

Cursing, she slapped the vortex of spinning vapor, scattering wisps of clouds across the stones. Madhea was tired this night and her magic was draining, but she needed to know what had become of the boy. With one final attempt, she spun her hand around the circle of stones beneath her, calling forth her vision spell until a faint image of the boy hunter appeared.

He looked too much like his father, with coarse midnight hair and a thick, square jaw. Her wingtips twitched and hummed as her mind conjured up images of the one night she’d spent in the cradle of Rowlen’s strong arms.

Rowlen, why did you leave me?

“Lydra is trapped, My Deity.” Her servant, Jae, a beautiful girl with long coppery curls that fell just below her waist, stood at the threshold of the throne room, her feet obscured by a soft fog rising from the floor.

“Yes, I know about the dragon,” Madhea answered flatly, as her wings drooped at her sides. Unable to mask her annoyance, Madhea waved away the servant with a flick of her wrist.

Jae stood grounded to the spot while she leveled Madhea with the direct gaze of her tapered amber eyes. The girl was bold. Her insolence would have to be dealt with — soon.

Madhea knew it was her beauty that made the servant so. She too had been that way once, when the allure of her ivory hair and vivid green eyes were matched by no woman. Madhea had been a youth then, though it seemed only a few winters ago. But, once her heart had been shattered into a thousand splintering ice crystals, her beauty died with it. Her death from within, from the plague that ate at her soul, crept outward, gnawing at her flesh until naught was left but the wrinkled skin of an old woman.

But Madhea had had her revenge — the curse she put upon Rowlen’s heart before he descended. His young bride and sickly son did not know he would return a monster. Now that he was dead, the last remnants of Madhea’s heart had withered to dust. But she would mourn silently. The Elementals need not gain another reason to doubt her powers.

“Do you wish me to release the pixies?” asked Jae, waving a hand toward the dark, deep void in the wall behind Madhea’s throne. Upon hearing their names, an eruption of squeals began. Thousands of pixies, each no bigger than a child’s fist, screamed from behind an iron grate for their release.

“No, girl.” Madhea leered at her servant from beneath pale lashes and silenced the pixies with a wave of her hand.

Jae’s eyes bulged. “My Goddess, please do not tell me you will waste your magic.”

“Do you dare tell me what to do?” Rising, Madhea slammed her fists against the stones.

The girl worried for nothing, brainwashed by the Elementals of the ice coven. Madhea knew her magic was not waning. The ice was not melting. Her towering pillars of frozen crystallites had withstood over ten thousand winters and they would protect them for thousands more to come.

“Forgive me, My Goddess.” Casting her gaze downward, Jae bit her lower lip.

Sighing, Madhea sank into the furs lining her throne. She was tired and needed rest. By morning, her magic would be revived. “Why should I release the pixies or use my magic?”

Narrowing her eyes, she looked down at the circle of stones as the boy’s image faded away. “I give him no more than another day. The boy hunter will not survive my mountain.”

*** So who’s your favorite movie or novel villain? Leave an answer and your reason below for a chance to win one of three free downloads of Curse of the Ice Dragon, the first in my epic paranormal fantasy Keepers of the Stones saga. ***


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Another cover reveal! Dragon Storm, my WIP YA fantasy romance

Photographer Marcus Ranum at www.ranum.com and design by Maiarcity at http://maiarcita.deviantart.com/

Photographer Marcus Ranum at http://www.ranum.com and design by Maiarcita at http://maiarcita.deviantart.com/

Squeeee! I just received another beautiful cover from Maiarcita at maiarcita.deviantart.com/ 

Photography by Marcus Ranum at http://www.ranum.com.

Below is an unedited scene from my upcoming YA fantasy romance, Dragon Storm.

Chapter One

Safina had only meant to teach them a lesson. A means to cease their endless torment. Squealing, bullying brats. Their taunts of “witchy girl” made her blood boil, and how her heart ached when they refused to include her in their games.

     She only wanted to prove she was a dragon, not a witch.

     And now she and Mother were fleeing for their lives.  

     She was not used to running this way on human legs. Why couldn’t they break into dragon form and escape into the heavens? If Mother would let her, she knew she could soar higher this time.

     Run, Safina! They will kill us both!

     Mother’s high-pitched cry reverberated through Safina’s brain. But keeping pace with the dragon queen’s long human legs was difficult work. Mother tightened her grip on Safina’s hand, relentlessly pulling her through brush and thickets. Branches ripped open Safina’s human flesh, leaving gaping wounds on her face and arms.

     If Mother would let Safina transform, her thick scales would shield her from the onslaught of branches. Nay, they would burn the trees down and clear an easy escape path.  

     The forest was damp, newly sodden with a heavy summer rain. Sticky dew clung to her skin, soaking her gown which stuck to her legs as she fought to keep stride with her mother.

     The men’s voices grew ever louder.

     Angrier.

     Closer.

     Why couldn’t they fly?

     Despite the moonless night, as black as pitch, Safina’s immortal eyes could see the dense forest was thinning, breaking. They were nearing the shoreline. 

     When we reach the clearing, you must break free with all your might and fly to the heavens!

     Although Mother spoke to her in thought, she did not need to look into Mother’s eyes to read her fear. Panic jumped from the dragon queen’s skin and electrified the air.

     But Mother! Safina swallowed back a lump of bile. Never had she been so frightened.

     Do it!

     Fear pumped wildly through her chest, threatening to crush her lungs as she struggled for breath. Would Mother stay and fight the mob or would she flee with her? Where would she go without her mother? She could not survive on her own.

     At once the trees gave way. The violent sound of waves crashing to the shore thrummed beneath them.

     As one they jumped over the precipice of the rocky cliff, hand in hand.

     Then wing tip to wing tip. Within a blink, they’d transformed. Mother and daughter dragon ─ their glistening amber scales blackened to coal under the starless night sky.

     Ominous clouds threatened from overhead. Murderous horsemen threatened from below.

     Pushing with all her might, Safina strained her wings to put more air beneath her. She and her mother rose high above the onslaught of arrows. Then higher still. In seamless silence the pair traveled.

     For the first time in many moons, Safina felt free.

     She roared her delight.

     How long since Mother had let her fly so high? Why had she been tethered so long? Why should they pretend to be mortals when they could just soar to the heavens?

     A brilliant flash lit the sky, filling the air with a thunderous clap.

     Safina staggered, tumbled. The force and weight of the thunderbolt threw her off guard.

     Above her, she could feel her mother’s panic but had no time to register her own. She spiraled several times, trying to catch the air with her wings.

     Her body slammed. She heard a crack, wondering if her skull had broken. She shook her dizzy head and looked down to see she was riding astride her mother.

     You are too heavy. Break to human form.     

     Safina obeyed. Again she was a mortal girl. She felt the tension give way beneath her mother’s scales. She and her mother soared higher, above the din of the storm, up to where Safina could see the stars and the full moon in all their brilliance.

     Moonlight lit her mother’s scales in myriad hues of fire.

     Safina was envious. She wanted to be a dragon, not ride astride one. She struggled to stand so she could jump from her mother and fly. Only when she leaned her weight on one side did she register the pain. It shot up her arm like a rush of venom. She squeezed her eyes shut and cried out.

     Her mother roared.

     Safina’s heart twisted and ached. She knew Mother shared her pain, too. ‘Twas part of their connection.

     Silent tears streamed down her face. Not tears of pain in the mortal sense, but tears of regret.

     Safina had so longed to fly.

     Resigning herself to sit between the crook of Mother’s powerful wings, she cradled her arm in silence, waiting for the tears to subside.

     The cool night wind sent a shiver down her spine as the icy current from Mother’s flapping wings numbed her human flesh.     

     Safina did not balk.

     Lifting her chin toward the heavens, she breathed in deeply, filling her lungs with a cold rush of air. How she relished the feel of freedom. 

     If only her life could be like this always.

     Where will we go, Mother?

     Even through her thoughts, Safina could hear Mother’s heavy sigh. She knew the dragon queen was angry. She had broken her mother’s trust this night and had almost cost them their lives.

     Across the ocean. Mother answered flatly.

     Far away from mortals?  Safina hoped never again to see another human child. 

     We will never escape the mortal world. For now, we can only hope to escape these men.

     Safina swallowed hard as she recalled the murderous looks in the villagers’ eyes. Some carried torches and clubs. Others were armed with arrows and swords. Why were mortals cruel and indifferent to dragons? Their race had never sought to harm humankind. Perhaps Mother would find a new village without hateful children and a murderous mob.

     Perhaps we will find humans who like dragons.

     Nay, child!

The dragon queen’s pitch turned shrill, urgent. Humans and dragons can never be friends. Her tone softened, saddened. Mortals will never like what they fear.

 


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Cover reveal! Witch Flame, the prelude to my new fantasy saga

WitchFlameKindle.Nook

New cover! Photography by http://charligal.deviantart.com/ and artwork by http://maiarcita.deviantart.com/ .

DOWNLOAD WITCH FLAME FOR FREE ON AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLE AND ITUNES!

Ever since the launch of Witch Flame a few months ago, I have not been happy with the cover. It was okay, but didn’t have the punch I felt the story deserved. Then I came across this fantastic artwork on Deviant Art by Maiarcita  and I knew I had to have her artwork for my story. After making arrangements with the Maiarcia and the beautiful photographer and model, Charligal from Deviant Art this cover was mine!

Witch Flame (A Keepers of the Stones Novelette) by Tara West

From the bestselling author of the paranormal Whispers series, comes a new fantasy saga…

Feira, a fledgling witch just discovering her own powers, must battle warriors and monsters before she and her true love can find a safe haven away from the vengeful eye of a jealous goddess.

Bonus origin myth included: The Beginning of Time

This short story is a prelude to Curse of the Ice Dragon, Keepers of the Stones, Book One.

Excerpt from Witch Flame:

Chapter Two

Feira was just sixteen summers when a booming knock shook the door of her foster mother’s small hut.  She knew it wasn’t her foster mother, as Akahi had left just moments ago to pick berries and would not be back until evening. Feira quickly dropped the wooden spoon into the cauldron of Akahi’s special healing brew and rushed to the door.

What she saw before her nearly made her knees buckle—her beloved Tumì, draped over his brother’s shoulder, with a cracked and bloodied skull.

Tumì’s mother, Katriana stood beside her sons. She looked at Feira with keen eyes and a twisted scowl. “He calls your name, but says nothing else,” she said in a voice that was surprisingly devoid of emotion.  

“Bring him inside,” Feira beckoned. “What has happened?”

“He was struck by a palma. Foolish boy,” Katriana growled as she followed them inside. She looked around the modest room with derision in her cold eyes before plopping down on a nearby stool and helping herself to a cup of Akahi’s wine. “I told him to be careful around those heavy fruits. Now who will take care of me if he is dead?”

Feira pulled back the furs of her own small cot. “Lie him down here,” Fiera said to Tumì’s brother, while trying her best to stifle her rage at Tumì’s heartless mother.

Old cover

Old cover

Tumì’s beefy brother, Nuk, who had been born a mute, answered with a grunt. He dropped Tumì onto the cot without care and stepped back, a vacant expression in his hooded gaze. 

Feira often marveled at the differences between Tumì and his family. His mother and brother had rich, golden skin and flowing chestnut hair like many inhabitants of the nearby seaside village of Aloa-Shay. Tumì’s skin was dark, and his hair an unruly mess of black straw that he had to weave in a tight braid, else it would spring wildly from his head.

Feira leaned over Tumì and brushed her hand across his brow. His eyelids fluttered open, but his pupils had receded somewhere in the back of his skull. Sticky blood clung to his matted hair and skin. One corner of his temple had been crushed. Feira shook her head as silent tears cascaded down her face. Most likely, he’d been trying to chop down a palma pod so that he could add more coin to his greedy mother’s purse. The large palma pods that hung from tall trees could yield hundreds of small, sweet fruits. But the pods were heavy, and falling palmas had killed more than one hapless villager. Feira wondered how Tumì had managed to speak her name, or anything at all with such an injury.

CurseoftheIceDragon_webShe bit her bottom lip while stifling a sob. Tumì would die without her care, but if Feira healed him, she knew she would be marked as a witch. No mere doctoring could bring someone back from the brink of death.

Her gaze shot to Tumì’s mother, who was looking at her expectantly with that serpent cold gleam in her eyes. More than once, Katriana had accused Feira of bewitching her son. Now the cold bitch would have proof that Feira was a witch, for Feira knew she could not take another breath if her true love was gone from this world.

Feira was only glad her foster mother wasn’t here to see what she was about to do. The Elements save she and her mother, once Katriana knew the full extent of Feira’s powers.

 DOWNLOAD WITCH FLAME FOR FREE ON AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLE AND ITUNES!

DOWNLOAD CURSE OF THE ICE DRAGON ON AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLE AND ITUNES!


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Cover Reveal! Betrayals of Spring by L.P. Dover

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Check out this new fantasy YA by L.P. Dover releasing February 13!!!

The smell of rain vastly approaches as we are lying on the ground in a sea of flowers. They surround our bodies while the fresh Spring wind caresses our skin with its soft, gentle touch. Combined as one, we stare into each other’s eyes as we bask in the pleasure of our love and OUR land.


The Land of the Fae has flourished bringing a new beginning and a new court, the Fall Court. Five years have passed since then along with the dreaded day that Meliantha, Summer Court Princess and one of the powerful Four, was betrayed and broken-hearted by the sexy and alluring Winter Prince, Kalen. Spurned by the man she loves, Meliantha has turned and fallen into the arms of the fierce and handsome warrior, Finn, who understands she can never love him, but wants more than anything to mend her broken heart.

The Winter Solstice Ball is approaching, meaning Meliantha will have to face the Winter Prince and make it out of there with her heart intact. But what does she do when Prince Kalen acts as if nothing ever happened and seems more in love with her than ever before?

The dark sorcerer has planned his twisted game of lies and deceit well, and has enjoyed making himself a player without anyone’s knowledge. The game is almost over and the players are exactly where they are needed to be. Will Meliantha figure out his twisted game and save all the players? Or will the dark sorcerer once again obtain the power of the Four and take everything away from her…even her one true love?

Visit L.P. Dover’s Amazon page HERE.

 

*** Cover artist Regina Wamba at Maeidesign.


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Ever Winter, the upcoming dark fantasy by Alexia Purdy

ever winter
Here’s a sneak peak at Ever Winter, Alexia Purdy’s upcoming dark faery tale, to be released in February!
EVER WINTER

Shade is left all but shattered. She must travel to the Ice kingdom along with her ‘body guard’ Dylan, who continues to be bound with a blood oath to her, where the holder of her magic dwells. Her only chance to right the warring Faerie lands to harmony will be to resist the enchantments of the Ice King, one of the Ancient rulers of Faerie, to regain her power and make it to the Summer Kingdom with her family to claim back her throne.

Only the Ancients of Faerie don’t want her to succeed and there are treacheries in every crevice of the land, even among the human mortals and trusted alibis.

Excerpt:
“What was that?” Brisa peeled her eyes at the noise, stepping closer to Shade and grabbing her other arm. “What was chasing us?” Screams filtered down from the direction they had come and the crowd just outside the alley began moving faster, some running around like a chaotic mess.
“A darkling spotted us. He must have set off the explosion to clear his way.” He turned toward Camulus and nodded. “The chaos probably wasn’t what he expected. Take us to the Glass Castle, quickly!” They all grabbed onto the elven-pixie and the sway of the land had just begun when, at the mouth of the alley, Shade saw the darkling, a shadow with searing white eyes. It screamed as it watched them about to disappear and catapulted toward them as they began their jaunt away. In a split second, one cold black finger grazed her arm before it disappeared from her vision and the world swirled away.
Her ears rang from the darkling’s screech and she had the sudden urge to let go of Camulus and Brisa to cover them to make the shearing noise go away. She resisted, afraid she’d end up in some weird teleporting limbo if she dared disconnect from Camulus now. She endured the pain and felt Brisa trying to tug away from her too, probably also in torturous pain. The jaunt could not have ended sooner and she found the entire bunch writhing on the floor from the darkling’s searing call.
Shade followed suit, collapsing to the ground and grabbing at her ears. Moments passed before the relentless ring faded away, leaving them all breathing hard and sweating buckets. Shade pulled her arm away from her ear to grasp her other arm, which now was throbbing with a searing pain. Slowly opening her eyes as she breathed deeply in and out, she saw why her arm was hurting so much. A black spot where the darkling had touched her right before they had teleported away stood stark against the pale skin of her forearm. It sent spikes of pain radiating up her through her elbow, up her shoulder and into her chest. She gasped, gritting her teeth from the agony.
The others were now finally getting to their feet, some still dazed from the deafening screech. Dylan held his hands on his knees, crouched down as he shook it off his senses. Noticing that Shade was still on the ground, he hurried toward her and knelt down. She was grabbing her left arm and shaking uncontrollable, tears leaked from both her eyes and her face was screwed up in pain.
“Shade?” He pulled her up to sit against him but she could barely open her eyes to register him.
“It’s burning!” She gasped, clutching her arm against her chest, cradling it softy.
“What happened?”
“The darkling, it touched me before…before we left.” Shade tried to breathe the pain away, but it was winning and she wasn’t sure how long she would stay conscious. “What is this?”
“A darkling’s kiss.” Soap slid down to check out the wound. It was hot around the edges and the black spot wasn’t growing. Still, Shade grunted through the torturous agony. “When a darkling marks you, it dies. In death, its touch poisons your blood slowly until all of your blood turns black and you either become a darkling or…” he cleared his throat, looking solemn. “Or, you die. But it takes just a few days.”
ALEXIA’S BIO:

Alexia currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada- Sin City! She loves to spend every free moment writing, or playing with her four rambunctious kids. Writing has always been her dream and she has been writing ever since she can remember. She love’s creating paranormal fantasy and poetry and loves to read and devour books daily. Alexia also enjoys watching movies, dancing, singing loudly in the car and Italian food.

She is the author of ‘A Dark Faerie Tale’ series, a dark paranormal fantasy that includes: “Ever Shade” & “Ever Fire”-she is currently working on book 3 “Ever Winter”. Her second series includes “Reign of Blood” and “Disarming (Reign of Blood #2)”-a Post-Apocalyptic Vampire Urban Fantasy series. She is also a contributor to the “Beyond the Never” Anthology. She has two poetic collections-“Whispers of Dreams and “Five Fathoms”.

Alexia Purdy (2)