Tara West

YA paranormal/fantasy and New Adult author


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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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Curse of the Ice Dragon available next week!

Finally! Curse of the Ice Dragon will be out next week. Here’s a scene with Madhea, the evil sky goddess who cursed the boy hunter, Markus.

Curse of the Ice Dragon

From the bestselling paranormal author of The Whispers Series comes a new fantasy saga.

Born with mark of the Mighty Hunter, Markus saves his village from the brink of starvation –for whenever he releases an arrow, his aim is true. But despite his skill and strength, Markus is unable to confront his tyrannical father. Shamed by his cowardice, he distracts himself by needlessly shooting the forest creatures.

When Markus takes no heed of the village prophet’s warning that his actions will attract The Hunter’s Curse—for every animal Markus kills, his loved ones will suffer the same fate—the Sky Goddess unleashes her ice dragon. Now, Markus must flee the dragon without killing it … or his beloved brother will be the next to die.
* * *

Under 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.”