Shadows of Nightshade
by Lyla Oweds
(The Garden of Eternal Flowers, #1)
Publication date: March 8th 2023
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
I dream of a time where I was warm, safe, and loved.
But my waking reality is starkly different.
Anxiety plagues me and spirits haunt the shadows. No matter how fast I run, I can’t seem to escape my past.
The only solace and steady force in my life is my best friend, Finn.
And now… there’s a ghost haunting me. And I’m not certain if it wants help or if it wants to kill me. There’s only one person who can understand: Finn’s brother, Damen.
However, in reaching out, I’m betraying Finn and setting things into motion that cannot be undone.
But nobody ever said that doing the right thing was easy.
The Garden of Eternal Flowers is a re-envisioning of my Grimm Cases series. Eternal Flowers has taken my original vision of Bianca’s story and transformed it into something new and beautiful. Some chapters are similar, and some dialogue is the same, as The Grimm Cases, Origins, but overall, about 75% of the book has been entirely revisioned with new plot points, mystery, and interpersonal relationships. Also, unlike Origins (originally a Wattpad release), there is now a clear beginning, climax, and conclusion in each individual novel, which allows them to be read alone or as part of the ongoing series.
I hope that you will enjoy Shadows of Nightshade as much as I enjoyed writing it. Truly, it is an honor to write about Bianca and her boys, and all of these characters are near and dear to my heart.
Trigger Warning: This series deals with the aftermath of severe childhood trauma.
I wasn’t sure why he thought he deserved any special rights to my time, but it was obvious that he believed he could do whatever he wanted. How did he become so arrogant?
I opened my mouth to respond—which would probably have ended with me embarrassing myself—but nothing escaped. I stared at him, my heart racing, as I stood speechless. Then laughter—close enough for me to pick up—drifted over from the next row.
The sound shattered the enchantment cast over me—how could I have forgotten our position—and my face burst with heat. How would this scene appear to anyone passing by?
Damen’s eyes glinted mischievously. He must have had the same realization.
“Let me go,” I hissed. But my whispered venom only encouraged him, and he smiled. My traitorous heart began to beat faster. “Someone might see us!”
“Really?” His grin grew wider. This was the expression he’d had when we first met. “Then it’s fine if we don’t get caught? Consider it noted.”
“No!” I was internally screaming, even though my words were a weak protest. “You can’t play around with students anyway.” Not that it mattered there’d be no games between us—ever. “You’re basically a professor.”
“Ah.” He ran his finger down my cheek and I shivered. “But you’re not my student. I can’t help it.” His lips dipped slightly, and he tilted his head as his gaze continued to hold mine. “You’ve taken root in my mind.”
How idiotic. I would bet my shoes that he said that to everyone.
“Why are you so annoying?” I gritted out. Plus, what even was that line? It sounded like something from a cheesy romance novel. I’d be shocked if that ever worked for him in the past.
Finn’s stupid, horny brother. He could go flirt with someone else. I didn’t even remember why I wanted his help anymore, because no matter how much I wanted to lean into his touch or melt under his scorching gaze, I wanted to poke him in the eyes that much more.
What a quandary.
Lyla Oweds is a paranormal / urban fantasy author who resides in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania with her husband, children, and animals. While she enjoys all genres of fiction, she has a deep appreciation for fantasy, romance, mystery, crime, and horror. Lyla has a bachelor’s in anthropology and will be completing her master’s in information technology in 2023.
Writing is her moonlighting passion, and she loves having the opportunity to share her perspective as a disabled (profoundly hard of hearing) woman. During the daylight hours, Lyla works as a principal / lead design and development specialist focusing on user experience and accessibility. When not working, Lyla is usually indulging in one of her many hobbies such as amusing her children, gardening, crocheting, interior decorating, baking, cooking, or playing video games.
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