Spotlight: Forget Me Not, by Anca Antoci

Forget me not

Forget Me Not
Forget Me Not
Chimera, #1
by Anca_Antoci
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Deceiving the vampire that saved her could get her killed, but it’s a risk she’s willing to take.

When tragedy strikes, Rae makes a terrible choice and struggles with the aftermath. In the wilderness of the Tongass rainforest, she finds herself hunted by creatures of hell, monsters she never dreamed could be real.

A hidden world, an ancient race, and a secret she discovers by accident give a new meaning to her life but only if she can escape and return to civilization. If she is to survive, Rae must comply with Ari, her reluctant hero, and allow him to wipe away any memory of this realm. Knowledge is power, but is it worth dying for?

When push comes to shove, that’s when real strength emerges.
What would it take to discover what you’re made of?

Excerpt:

She ran through the darkness of the forest without looking back. Rae ducked under the low hanging branches the way she had a million times before. A howl from nearby brought her to a halt. Smiling, she wiped the sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand and whistled. He was close enough to hear her.

“They found me! Take everyone back to safety, and I’ll take them off your trail. I’ll see you later!” Her words came out in a rush but she had no doubt he understood. Without wasting another moment, she ran in the opposite direction. This wasn’t her first rodeo with the forces of evil. A dark cloaked silhouette emerged from the cover of a thick tree. His voice was hoarse, and he mumbled something under his breath. As Rae got closer, his words got clearer. He was chanting in a language she didn’t understand, yet the effect wasn’t lost on her. A debilitating headache almost blinded her. She fell to her knees, grasping her temples, breathless, as blood trickled from her nose. A sharp pain tore through her head. An ear-splitting scream left her lips with what she imagined was her last breath. It was a signal for the others to keep running and not look back. They were on their own.

The pain stopped as suddenly as it started, and she panted, filling her lungs with air again. Rae rubbed her eyes and waited a few moments to regain her sight while she used her sleeve to clean the blood up.

The cloaked man knelt and sobbed while someone’s face buried in the crook of his neck, long blonde curls cascading over his shoulder. Seconds after the sobbing stopped, the man dropped to the ground.

Blondie stood up and turned towards Rae.

“Are you OK?”

“I am now, thanks to you!” She recognized her sister’s voice and felt at ease.

“It’s my job to look after you, Rae.”

“Maria, it’s almost dawn. You should find shelter. Run as fast as you can! I’ll be fine on my own. I promise I’ll be careful!”

Maria stopped for a moment and smiled. The full moon lit her face in a grotesque picture of pitch-black eyes, bloody lips, and protruding fangs. She took a deep breath, and her face morphed back to human. Her eyes reverted to their natural blue, revealing the pretty girl behind the monster.

“Please be careful! You’re getting cocky, and that makes you reckless. That was one of their elders. You’re no match for them. You were lucky I got here when I did. As a shadow, too many lives depend on you. We can’t afford to lose you!” Her voice softened. “I can’t lose you!” After a quick hug, Maria disappeared in a blurred motion into the darkness.

Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath and listened for any sound that would give her stalker away. She counted the bodies she left in her wake, adding the one Maria killed. There was at least one more hunting for her. She couldn’t be taken by surprise if she expected an attack. Rae didn’t have to wait long. A twig snapped at her right. She pivoted with grace on the ball of her right foot and faced the threat.

A man stepped out from the treeline holding a dagger and glaring her way. She rubbed her palms to create friction, a blue flame balling up between them. He didn’t stand a chance. Her lips curled into a smirk as the blue flame shot from her palms and hit him on the chest, stopping his heart. She was getting good at this. Another confirmed kill. This is where she belonged. Believing her actions kept the Resistance safe from the Council pleased Rae. She was part of a greater plan, more than a mere pawn in the grand scheme of life. She mattered! She was about to give herself a pat on the back when the smell of brimstone tested her gag reflex. That scent always came with bad news: hellhounds! She couldn’t outrun them, and her power was useless on them.

Her best bet was to make it back to her car and drive like a bat out of hell. Her legs started working long before she finished her thought. She rushed towards the treeline where her car was waiting, and she almost made it. Almost! Her sprint was brought to a halt by a hunk of a man leaning shirtless against her car. His eyes caught her off guard: endless pits of smoldering fire. But his stare was ice cold. Just then, a waft of brimstone and coal tickled her nose and made her eyes water. Hellhounds were the most vicious chimeras: only used as enforcers by the Council. No one figured out what they looked like because no one lived to tell the tale.

Rae woke up gasping and covered in a sheen layer of sweat. Reality came down with a vengeance. This kind of dream took atoll on her. It all started the night Maria died.

They weren’t on speaking terms and Rae hadn’t even known that her sister was sick. Rae loved reading fantasy and paranormal books, so when she woke up from her nightmare, she assumed it was all because of her late-night readings. Then that dreaded phone call came and changed everything. A woman claiming to be Maria’s next-door neighbor gave her the bad news. These dreams plagued her each moment she managed to get some shuteye. Rae had trouble accepting the sudden death of her sister, so she imagined her dreams came as a coping mechanism.

Her brain changed Maria into a vampire so she would live forever. She believed it wasn’t real, but it made her feel better. Despite being almost always nightmares, Rae welcomed them. In her dreams, she was amazing: fearless, strong; a fighter who could shoot blue light from her hands and save the world. In her dreams, she became a hero, and her sister was still alive.

In real life, none of these things were true. She was meek, scared, and alone.

 

Author bio
Anca Antoci started out as a fanfiction writer and then moved on to write her own story. Thus her debut novel Forget Me Not got published in January 2020.
Her fanfiction stories are still available on her blog www. Living in Romania, Anca speaks English as a second language.

Because she’s a passionate reader, Anca started a blog where she reviews fantasy books called Summon Fantasy. When she’s not reading or writing, Anca loves cooking and watching movies with her daughter while eating nachos.

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Spotlight: Legacy of the Brightwash + Giveaway

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Legacy of the Brightwash
by Krystle Matar
Series: Tainted Dominion (#1)
Published: February 18, 2021
Genre: Grimdark Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy
Pages: 662 (Print Length)

CW: Miscarriage, Addiction, Substance abuse, Prisoner abuse, Body horror, Gore, Violence, Police brutality, Racism, Torture

 

Follow the law and you’ll stay safe. But what if the law is wrong?

Tashué’s faith in the law is beginning to crack.

Three years ago, he stood by when the Authority condemned Jason to the brutality of the Rift for non-compliance. When Tashué’s son refused to register as tainted, the laws had to be upheld. He’d never doubted his job as a Regulation Officer before, but three years of watching your son wither away can break down even the strongest convictions.

Then a dead girl washed up on the bank of the Brightwash, tattooed and mutilated. Where had she come from? Who would tattoo a child? Was it the same person who killed her?

Why was he the only one who cared?

Will Tashué be able to stand against everything he thought he believed in to get the answers he’s looking for?

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Author Info

Krystle Matar has been writing for a long time, but things got serious when Tashué Blackwood walked into her life, an amber-eyed whirlwind.

When she isn’t arguing with him or any of his friends, she parents and farms. She has a lot of children and even more animals and one very excellent husband.

She is currently working on lots of stories set in the Dominion. She expects to exist in this universe for a while.

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Prize: Legacy of the Brightwash – One (1) hardcover – International!
Starts: March 7th, 2021 – Ends: March 14th, 2021

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Book Blitz: Windchaser + Excerpt

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Windchaser
Phantom Island Book 1
by Krissi Dallas

YA Fantasy

Published: August 2020, 2nd Edition

Publisher: Thunderfly Productions

 

 

When one camp rule is broken, five teenagers embark on a mysterious journey full of magic, romance, and true friendship…

High school senior Whitnee has spent six years rebuilding her identity after her father’s mysterious disappearance left her with more questions than answers. With her two best friends, Morgan and Caleb, she returns as a mentor to the summer camp of her childhood. Nestled in the Texas hill country, Camp Fusion is everything Whitnee remembers—except for the haunting visions that only she can see. One fateful night, Whitnee and her friends embark on a magical voyage where unexpected adventure and heart-stopping romance collide—a journey that might unlock the dark, complicated mysteries of Whitnee’s family history. But will she find the answers she is looking for?

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Excerpt from Windchaser: Phantom Island Book 1 by Krissi Dallas

 

Kevin, how badly are you hurt?” I knelt down beside him.

Aw, it’s just my leg. I cut it pretty bad when that stupid bug showed up. Good thing Caleb found me,” he muttered. And, sure enough, there was a nasty cut along the side of his right leg. Blood had dripped down and soaked into his sock and shoe. It looked deep enough to need stitches.

We need a doctor or something,” Caleb finally stated seriously, looking to Gabriel. “He can’t walk on his leg, and he’s losing blood.”

Oh, come on, Caleb. It’s not a big deal,” Kevin complained.

Gabriel, can we just give him some of that pure Water? Won’t that heal it?” I prompted. Gabriel turned and faced me then with an expression I was starting to interpret as annoyance.

Why do you not listen to me? I explained that the pure Water is not what heals. Only a Hydrodorian, someone who is gifted with the life force of Water, can use it to heal a wound. Except—” He paused and thought for a moment. “You are not a Hydro, yet you were able to heal yourself. Perhaps you can do it again for him.” He gestured to Kevin.

You did what?” Caleb piped up, looking to me for an explanation. I didn’t have the patience. Gabriel was already moving purposefully away from the group.

I have to go to my tent and get more Water. Wait here,” he called back.

I’ll go with you.” I raced to match his stride and called back to Morgan to explain everything to Caleb and Kevin. “We’ll be right back,” I promised, purposely ignoring Caleb’s protests. I wanted a minute alone with Gabriel anyway. “Could you slow down? My legs aren’t quite as long as yours.” He slowed so I could come alongside him, and we darted under the darkening canopy of trees. He was right. The sun was already setting, and I had no idea where we would go or what we would do once it was completely dark.

When we were out of sight from the group, I grabbed his muscled forearm and made him stop and look at me. In an exasperated and slightly shaky voice, I said, “You have got to do a better job explaining what is happening to me. I just shot a freaking tornado out of the palm of my hand! My eyes are changing colors and my body is doing weird things and I may be confused, but I’m not stupid. You’re not telling me everything. I want to know what it is you’re hiding.” I stared up at him fiercely.

His gorgeous face hardened into stone. “I am uncertain of your meaning.”

Okay, well, let’s start with this: why is the ‘Attendant to the Guardian’ out here on this deserted beach at the exact same time when we drop out of the sky?”

I was having a swim,” he stated with a shrug.

You said people didn’t come to this beach because they believe it’s haunted. Seems a little far-fetched to me that you would choose the place where ‘Travelers tend to arrive’ for your private little swim.” Why was he lying?

What is your point?” he questioned me back, his face showing no sign of breaking. He crossed his arms over his chest.

I refused to be intimidated by him. “My point is that you seemed to know I was coming. You also changed completely when you found out I brought friends. I want to know why.” I glared at him, and he glared back at me, his hazel eyes alight with frustration.

You would do best to stop asking such questions. If I had not helped, you would have already died on this Island—twice. Surely I have earned some kind of trust for that.” His voice was low and dangerous. He had saved me—and I supposed if he ultimately meant me harm, he wouldn’t have taken the time.

Fine,” I conceded. “You don’t have to tell me now, but eventually, I will find out what you’re hiding.”

He laughed then, a dark and humorless laugh. “You speak like a true Aero already.” Then he came intimidatingly close, which nearly took my breath away. He met my eyes and whispered, “You do not know what I am capable of. I have little faith that you understand what you yourself are capable of here.”

I have a feeling you don’t know that either,” I shot back in a low voice, trying not to flinch from his closeness. “And I think that scares you. I’ve been paying attention to everything you’ve said so far. And you’re just as confused as I am.” He slowly pulled away at that. I could tell that even though he might have been expecting my arrival, he was not expecting me to produce that whirlwind or be able to heal myself. I was confused by what was happening with my body and with these abilities. And if these abilities were normal here on this island, and yet Gabriel was baffled by me, then something very strange was going on, indeed.

You are in a precarious position, Little Traveler, and you better learn the rules quickly if you want to survive here.” Then he turned and headed further into the jungle as if the matter were settled. I noticed the symbol on his shoulder again.

As I trudged behind him, I narrowed my eyes and asked, “What tribe did you say you were from again?”

The Pyradora Tribe.”

And you have what power?” At this question, he glanced back at me. His eyes were lit from inside, and for the first time, he looked a little dangerous.

Fire.”

That shut me up for a little while.

About The Author

 


Krissi still goes to camp every summer with the teens of Fusion Student Ministries. Like her fictional heroine, Krissi is also a gray-eyed Aerodorian from Texas with a ridiculous fish phobia. She adores her youth pastor husband, two sons, and two Yorkies. When she’s not busy throwing dance parties, both in her living room for her boys and at school for her junior high prep students, she daydreams about and writes down fantastical adventures. She has a hard time not hugging during a pandemic, so you can send her virtual hugs on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Visit KrissiDallas.com for all the fun.

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