Saturday, June 26, 2021

#sciFiFantasy #Saturday #SeasonOfTheWitch


Title: Season of the Witch

Authors: Christine Young, C. L. Kraemer, Genie Gabriel

Genre: Anthology/Romance/Fantasy


Book Heat Level: 1


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Three stories that travel through time with the magic of All Hallows’ Eve.





A few days shy of All Hallows' Eve Connal McKenna, Laird of Clan Chattan stands on the parapets of his castle. Bonfires line the hillsides while his clan prepares for the upcoming festivities. Drawn by the whispering of the wind, Connal McKenna feels a strange restlessness in his soul. Setting out to discover the wickedness that is calling to him, he discovers his mate. With gentle words and sensuous kisses, the auburn-eyed highlander conquers his mate, the beautiful, defiant Wynnie Adair who he comes upon during an evening ride. She must ultimately put her trust in the only man who can save her from the ruthless plans of her father and succumb to his gentle coaxing.



The Lending Library is open – again! 


The new “Other” is able to see the Fae and Wood Nymph buzzing about. She states she has no fear of the Night Elves on the hill. However... a lost traveler from another era pushes her to expose the secret she hoped to keep.



A half-bionic computer nerd teams up with a beautiful witch and an assortment of Halloween characters in a series of misadventures to save a small country from a zombie apocalypse.






Connal’s Eternal Love

Christine Young


He heard the pounding of the hooves, a single horse, but racing down the darkened road, shadows hiding the horse and rider. Suddenly, the silhouetted form raced around the bend in the road, cape and brilliant hair flying behind. Moonlight caught the vibrant strands for a brief moment sending slivers of color to greet his gaze. Connal’s heartbeat stopped then slowly began to beat again, the brilliance or the color, shimmering a deep red catching all the meager light until the elements appeared on fire.

            Connal’s breath caught in his throat, captivated by the site as the woman drew closer. She didn’t seem to see them, continuing on her wild ride toward him. Yet to Connal, she seemed remarkably skilled for a woman, vulnerable as well. He only knew of one other woman who could ride that well and that heedlessly without injury. His sister.

            When the woman was too close to turn around and race in the opposite direction, “Hold!” Connal raised his sword, moonlight glinting off the steel. Behind him, his men did the same.

            She pulled on the reins to stop the stallion’s mad dash down the road before she would run into him. The horse reared its front legs rising high, pawing in the air as she clung to him, desperately hanging on.

            “No,” her whispered word did not escape Connal. The single word sounded and felt like a cry for help.

            Yet perhaps he was mistaken. As soon as the young woman controlled the horse, she dashed through the woods away from them. A moment of breathless silence followed before Connal regained his wits, pushing the cobwebs from his brain.

            “Stay here and wait for me,” he ordered then followed the woman into the trees, hell bent on catching up with her. He suddenly felt alive and whole, all instincts driving him forward to claim the prize that had suddenly appeared in front of him.

            He couldn’t see or hear her. Pulling to a stop he listened and the silence was foreboding, unnerving. The wind’s murmurs no longer sounded evil to him, just fearful. She must have done the same. With nothing to lose, he would wait for her to make her move and when she did, he would have her and discover what caused her frantic and wild race this evening. He would ascertain what motivated her to put herself in such danger.

            It did not take long. A few minutes later he heard the swish of movement through the bushes. He smiled; his keen hearing would pay off. She must not realize it, but she was slowly moving toward him. When she was close, he spurred his horse, capturing the reins of hers before she could flee again.

            “You are mine now.” And he understood his words were true despite the fact she would gainsay him at every turn. His heart beat stronger suddenly and his mind cleared.

            “No!” This time her cry was of alarm and horror. “Leave me alone.” She tried to push his hand away, swatting at him but to no avail. “I weel nay go back.”

            “I won’t hurt you, lass,” he said as her fist hit his jaw. Then needing to laugh, “I suppose I didn’t see that coming.”

            “I’ve heard that before,” she grit out, still pushing at his hands, struggling away from him. “You’ve no right.”

            “Which part? I won’t hurt you or I didn’t see it coming.”

            “Let me go.” She jerked on the reins to no avail.

            “Stop it.” He tried to grab her around the waist to lift her onto his horse, hoping to control her struggles and subdue her in the process yet he realized that would not be an easy feat.

            “Never,” she said, still hitting at him, her fingernails raking across his face, drawing rivulets of blood. This time she pushed so hard, she fell from her horse.

For a moment, she lay stunned on the ground, gasping for air. That tiny second gave him time to dismount and reach for her. He held her now, once again her arms and legs flying through the air, her efforts directed at him. He wanted to shake some sense into her and tell her she didn’t need to fight him. He meant her no harm, but he also understood she wouldn’t believe him.

He didn’t know what to tell her. She needed to stop this foolishness before one of them got hurt. At this moment, he suspected it would be him who took the brunt of her blows.

            “Let me go. You’ve no right.” Her words were short and pained. She was very nearly breathless, exhausted by her desperate thrashing.

The pounding on his chest weakened her until she fell limp in his arms, her head resting against his chest. He heard the long raspy attempts for air, felt the rapid beat of her heart against him. In her gasp for air, a sob rumbled forth. A moment of sympathy or perhaps it was empathy that filled his soul for this lass.

            “Now are you going to stop fighting me?” he asked, even as she pulled back, hitting him in the chest with her head then with one last and very weak punch she quit for the moment.




Sorceress’ Secret

C.L. Kraemer


Finn stopped dead in his tracks. A massive web stretched across the barn, and moving rapidly toward them was the largest spider he had ever seen. “Just stand still. In spite of their eight eyes, spiders don’t see very well. They use their other senses to locate prey.”

“Well, she seems to have located us.” Chloe huddled closer to her uncle and squeezed her eyes closed. “I just want to find my dog and go home. Do something, Uncle Finn!

With Chloe clinging to his leg in fear, thoughts of his allergic reaction to spider bites dissolved in the face of finally being an uncle that Chloe could be proud of. Glancing around for a weapon to save them from the spider, Finn realized he still carried the bowl of candy corn he had saved from certain destruction when Batzy knocked over the table.

Hope this works!Finn narrowed his eyes in concentration and threw the bowl of candy corn at the spider. Using the keen sight from his bionic eye and the strength of his robotic arm, his aim was spot-on accurate–kind of. The bowl hit the web right where the spider would have been if she hadn’t started scrambling after packets of candy as they flew through the air.

Gathering as many as she could carry, the spider scurried off to stash them in one of the rafters.

“Look at that,” Finn whispered. “I think she likes candy. Let’s get out of here while she’s busy.”

As they carefully back-stepped toward the door of the barn, the spider dropped suddenly in front of them. Chloe shrieked again. With no more candy to throw to the spider, Finn considered grabbing up both of the girls to make a run for the door.

However, the spider didn’t seem threatening. She simply held out a packet of the candyand, from the pleading look in her eight eyes, Finn could have sworn she was asking for him to open it. Slowly, he reached out and took the packet, tore it open, and emptied the candy onto the palm of his hand. When he held the candy out to the spider, she daintily reached out with one of her legs and took a piece.

With a noise that sounded suspiciously like “Nom, nom,” she repeated the gesture until all the pieces of candy corn were gone. Then she disappeared, only to drop down on a thread of web a few seconds later with another packet. Finn repeated the process.

When the spider disappeared yet again, then reappeared with another packet, Chloe whispered, “What will happen when the candy is gone?”

“Don’t know.” Finn shook his head slightly.

“We still need to find Batzy and go home. My mom is going to be worried.”

“And my wings disappear at eight,” Shabina Louise added.

“Ms. Spider, we need to be going,” Finn called out. “Enjoy the candy.”

But when they stepped through the door out of the barn, the spider was there again, her legs full of packets of candy.

“I think she wants to go with us,” Shabina Louise said.

The spider appeared to nod her head.

“Ohhhh-kay.” Not really believing what was happening, Finn went back into the barn to pick up the bowl the candy had been in, then went back outside. “You can ride in this with your candy.”

The spider crawled into the bowl and held up a packet of candy to be opened. Finn opened several packets and dropped the candy loose in the bowl. The spider settled down happily to munch on the sweets.

Her name is Maurina and she doesn’t want to live in abarn with other spiders and eat bugs,” Shabina Louise announced.

“But–never mind.” Finn laughed at himself for relating to a spider who didn’t feel like she belonged. All his life he had felt like a misfit. Still did, but had finally realized he needed to find the positive aspects in his difference. “We’ll sort this out after we find Batzy and Sherbet and get home. Where shall we look now?”

Still munching on the candy, the spider pointed one of her legs down the shadowy road.



Thirteen Magic Pumpkin Seeds

Genie Gabriel


“Can we find Batzy and go home?” Chloe’s woeful look tugged at Finn’s guilt.

“We also need to help Batram regain his sonar and turn Maurina back into a human,” Shabina Louise said. “All before midnight.”

The adults shared a look. “Okay, girls, let’s head back to the party at Aunt Maddie’s.”

As the two girls set out slightly ahead of the adults, Finn asked, “Are all the offenders from the past?”

“Many are because the shock of traveling to a different era can make them more open to changing their ways, and they aren’t in a familiar environment with their usual connections,” Asteria said. “But we also get modern-day politicians and lawyers–anyone who thinks they don’t have to comply with the laws and agreed upon behaviors of their time. Again, shock value can be good therapy. If an offender comes face to face with a power they can’t manipulate or control, it shocks them into changing. However, some offenders like these two are good at adapting their crimes to fit any time period or circumstance. That’s when more drastic measures are taken to make sure they don’t harm others.”

Asteria paused, then pinned Finn with a direct look. “Now, tell me about this deposed dictator.”

Finn knew Asteria would see through anything less than the truth. Yet his agreement with the military bound him not to reveal some information. “Much of the details are classified military information. But the basics are this dictator was overthrown about a year ago, then disappeared, and has been gathering support to regain his power. My brother’s unit is charged with making him disappear permanently.”

“Wait a minute.” A frown of concentration wrinkled Asteria’s brow. “There was a kerfluffle in the magic community at the same time about witches mixing too closely with mortals in a little country named Hallowoden. That’s when Spell Central was established and witches were given computers to control their spells. Supposedly to keep dark magic from growing too powerful. Didn’t set right with me at the time, so I’ve kept up my own magic the old-fashioned way with spells and potions.”

Finn keyed the country name into his computer. “Looks like another kerfluffle–a news flash about a zombie apocalypse happening now. Think it’s fake news?”

“Well, many things are possible with dark magic.”

With a few more keystrokes, Finn said, “Thought I remembered a scientific possibility for zombies. A neurotoxin found in some sea creatures can cause problems walking and breathing as well as a confused mental state. Says high doses could also cause paralysis and coma, which makes some people seem dead. I would think a doctor could tell the difference, but generations ago doctors weren’t always available. So if relatives thought someone was dead and buried them...waking up and trying to dig out would be a real challenge. Unless grave robbers were prying open coffins and someone sat up to have a chat.”

A corner of Asteria’s mouth kicked up in a half smile. “There really is more to you than you appear. And, as I recall, a potion made with the corpse flower can turn people into zombies also.”

“We met an old man who had one in a coffin,” Finn said.

“It must be carefully combined with other ingredients under specific conditions. Otherwise, the one casting the spell could succumb to a coma. Older witches knew this well, but it became used for dark magic and was forbidden by Spell Central. Only a few witches, like my friend, Louise, retain this knowledge.”

“Witches who use dark magic wouldn’t care what was forbidden, would they?”

“No, they wouldn’t. These times of great world chaos have affected witches also, bringing up issues buried long ago to be vanquished. Just as with humans, there has long been the conflict between dark and light magic among witches, and where to draw the line between.”

“Sometimes more than a line. More like a very blurry no man’s land between the two.”

“You have been there.”

“Most of my life, it seems.” Finn looked at Asteria. Would she understand? Would she consider him a freak? One of dark ones?When declared clinically dead at six years old, Finn had no choice in his father’s decision to revive him with experimental bionic body parts.

Now he faced his own decision: whether or not to become fully bionic and a tool of the military. Was this a choice between dark and light?

From what his brother shared about military operations, much was kept secret, even from those involved in a mission. The need to keep information out of enemy hands if someone was captured? Or the selfish desire for power by dark forces in charge?

He would become a hero, they said in trying to sell him on their scheme. A pathfinder in a new generation of soldiers that used technology coupled with brains and physical might beyond that of a mere human to keep peace in the world.

Yet,Finn wondered, could a super-warrior designed for conquering, war and violence really be content with peace?All his life Finn’s desire for a sanctuary where he could feel he truly belonged had eluded him. Becoming a super-soldier sounded like it would take him farther away from contentment, and certainly would further set him apart from all other people.

“Finn?” Asteria’s voice pulled him from his musings. “Was there something you wanted to tell me?”

Yes, tell her, his internal computer urged.

This time, Finn pushed the voice aside. “Ah, sorry. My mind went off-rail for a moment. You think dark magic may be interfering with the atonement of souls sent to the enchanted pumpkin patch?”

Asteria considered this mortal man named Finn. He was indeed more than he appeared, and she did not for a minute buy the excuse about his mind wandering. This man had something deep and serious going on.

“Hey, what’s taking you two so long to catch up?” Uncle Werey reappeared as Chloe and Shabina Louise waited impatiently a short distance ahead.

“We’ve come up with a mystery.” Asteria briefly outlined what she and Finn had discovered.

“If a deposed dictator and someone with dark magic were working together to gain power, staging a zombie apocalypse, then saving the panicked masses by defeating the zombies would be a creative way to do that.”

“Does anyone who appeared in the enchanted pumpkin patch for atonement hold that much dark magic?” Asteria scrolled through the list of offenders.

“They wouldn’t really need much power if the mortals were predisposed to believe in zombies,” Uncle Werey said.

“I agree,” Finn said. “They could run old zombie movies to set people thinking about the possibility of a zombie apocalypse, and run footage on the news, along with the information about the neurotoxin that can cause zombie-like symptoms...”

“And the imagination of mortals could do the rest.” Asteria shook her head. “They would be out digging up great-aunt Hilda to make sure she was already dead.”

“Depending on whether or not they had spent all the inheritance she left them.” Finn’s teasing remark earned a smile from Asteria.

“Well, I can transport to Hallowoden and deal with anyone using dark magic,” Uncle Werey said.

“While my brother’s military unit takes out the deposed dictator, now that they have the correct coordinates of his location,” Finn said.

“And we can find Batzy, as well as help Batram and Maurina.”

“Great! Let’s meet at Aunt Maddie’s party afterward.”





Halloween, Time travel, Paranormal, Witches, Magic




Rogue’s Angels





Christine Young











C. L. Kraemer




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Genie Gabriel


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