From Ashes to Magic (Anthology)
by Various Authors
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: December 2nd 2019
It’s when they creep out of the shadows that you should beware. The good ones will hold your hand when you’re having a nightmare; the bad ones BECOME your nightmare, seeping into your very soul and burrowing in the darkness until they’ve completely taken over.
Ten authors. Ten stories. Many supernatural beings you’ve come to know and love.
Once you plunge into these pages, you won’t want to leave.
REBIRTH A. Denner
Immortality always comes with a sacrifice. But how can Nova finish the deed when her Prey is the only one that can save her?
GABBY’S FUTURE Mikki Noble
A future-telling tree offers Gabby an unpromising future she must try to change. Will that change make things better or worse?
LIFE AND DEATH Nita Pan
Brimming with love and betrayal, the courtship between two gods explores what it means to have humanity. Is the divine romance between Life and Death doomed from the very beginning?
CHOSEN Jennifer C. Colvin
Stolen away to the Philippine Underworld by a mysterious goddess, dutiful and meek Bituin, a young girl from a small hidden mountain town on Cabu Island, discovers the gods have chosen her as a Babaylan (shaman). Newly imbued with powers beyond her wildest imagination, Bituin’s spiritual awakening sends her life into upheaval and rocks the foundation of her quiet town.
BROKEN PROMISES Evelyn Chartres
A young woman finds herself isolated from all she knows when her home is set ablaze. Despite insurmountable odds, she must risk traversing unfamiliar and hostile territory to find help, or declare her life forfeit.
CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? Carmen Adams
Palkar Village is a bloodthirsty place for those of the supernatural, and after years of senseless persecution the Sorcerer community sought refuge elsewhere. For decades the Earth Sorceress Alina lived peacefully among her kind in a deep forest until one night of magic changed her world. The Sorcerer community lived in secret tranquility for decades…but would things stay that way?
HAVENLESS Ryen Lesli
Bitter Regret creates beautiful betrayal in Havenless. In the fall of 1513, the ebb was torn apart by the tragic love story of Torr and his Witch, Nahlia. Murdered by her own twin, Nahlia’s lost spirit roams the Haven clan, leaving Torr with a broken heart, fighting against the shocking betrayal that stole everything from him. A betrayal that will echo through time.
SULFUR NIGHT Abby Paul
Cursed. Tainted. Marked. The children born on the sulfur night aren’t like the rest of us. They can serve only one purpose. Perhaps the new gods are as blood thirsty as the old.
THE LOCKSMITH Air Meghlen
For Cara, a non-magical human, in a world of magic, picking locks is how she makes a living. Her quiet life is threatened when a mysterious traveler brings her a complex lock that makes her the target of a powerful enemy.
ORDINARY FAE Melony Paradise
The only way to hide from a Fae king is to live among humans—as a human. Can Izbella Rane have the normal life she wants, or will she be forced into a world her family fled from?
Rebirth by A. Denner
Rebirth by A. Denner
Raindrops singed Nova’s skin as they fell on her bloodied wounds. Delicate steam sizzled into the night’s air with every drop, giving her shadowy figure the semblance of a ghost roaming the forsaken battlefield.
It’s never been this hard to reach him before. Her breathing was getting heavier with each step.
She had no idea why he would be in a place like this, but the energy line that connected them, the magical umbilical cord she’d made sure not to cut all these years, could not be wrong.
The frozen wind tousled her long honey-blond hair as she stepped over the lifeless bodies littering the ground. If it wasn't for the protective spell she cast over him as a baby, she would have hoped to find him already breathing his last breath. But she could never let him die on terms not her own, even though it would have saved her the trouble.
Nova never cared for death, but this was not her favorite part. Something in the simple act of killing made the world feel fragile. But she had no time for thoughts of that sort; her wounds were too great.
A shrill whistle rang in her ears as she stumbled forward, the energy in her stomach tugging more with each step. He was so close; she could already taste the bitter tang of the kill on her tongue.
Rays from the setting sun reflected behind her as Nova ascended the jagged rocks lining the blood-smeared field. The ringing grew louder.
From up on high, the battlefield looked like a sea of red, gleaming as if beckoning her to drown in it. She could see him from afar… a small shadow wrapped in light.
A rush of energy coursed through her veins, pushing her forward. In all her lifetimes Nova had never craved a new birth as desperately as she did then.
The ringing drowned out every sound as the world exploded around her. Thousands of pieces of molten steel showered down in deadly rainfall, as Nova crashed into the ground. Flames scorched every inch of her skin and smoke charred her nostrils. She wanted to scream, to run, but not a single muscle in her body would respond. With each cramped breath she could feel her lungs caving, the cracks in her bones burning almost as much as the fire raging around her.
This can’t be the end.
Dark spots clouded her vision as a strong pair of arms lifted her from the ground. She couldn’t see his face, but the sudden calm in her stomach let her know who her savior was.
She mouthed his name as her vision turned black. “Balhar…”
“If you want to live forever, you must be willing to make sacrifices.”
Soft covers hugged Nova’s body. The burning in her bones scorched from the inside, causing the world to drift in and out of focus.
The spellbook rested on her knees, spilling darkness with every page she turned. The coven had always been careful when it came to blood magic, but if she wanted to do the impossible, there was no other way.
Shadows wrapped around her arm; a writhing snake of black mist, twisting and dancing as if trying to merge into her skin. She had never seen a darker spell. Just reading the scarlet letters made her shudder.
Relief washed over Nova as a cold palm lay against her forehead and her chest filled with clean air. A steady stream of murmurs echoed in her mind, lulling her back to sleep.
“Nova.” Her mother stroked her hair gently. “You are not strong enough my dear. You will get attached.”
Grabbing the dagger from the table, she stared into her mother’s gray eyes. “You’re wrong.”
Her mother’s scream pierced her ears as Nova drove the dagger straight into her own stomach, murmuring the lines of the spell in a trance.
It was done.
The burning in Nova’s body faded and her eyelids fluttered open. She blinked, blinded by yellow light as a wooden ceiling slowly came into focus. Lumpy cushions supported her back as she tried to sit up, but a shock of pain raced down her spine and a cry escaped her mouth.
“Easy.” A voice came from the corner of the room. “I’m happy to see you’re awake. I worried I was too late.” The man was crouched next to a small stone fireplace, his face illuminated by the flames.
Nova stared at him, her heart pounding. Pale skin, sunken dark eyes, and an angular jaw framed by shoulder length honey-blond hair. He resembled her so much it was unsettling.
The man stood, his tall figure just barely scraping the cabin’s low ceiling.
Nova tried to pull herself up, but the pain flared with the smallest movement. Her mind raced, panic overtaking her. How can I kill him if I can’t move?!
“You don’t need to be afraid,” he said, misreading the terror on her face. “I found you after the blast. You were deeply wounded, though I believe I got all the shards out.”
The blast... The bastard had to choose a war zone for his home. Nova swallowed hard, the metallic taste of blood filling her mouth.
“I know you must still be in shock, but you’ll be alright.” Balhar smiled reassuringly. “Here, let me fix your covers.”
As he pulled back the blanket, Nova’s heart skipped a beat. Cloth wrapped her whole body, fresh blood seeping through. Her head swirled as he tucked the blanket around her again, blocking the horrific sight from view.
“There. You need to keep warm.” He sat down on a chair by the bed. “The name’s Balhar. Can you tell me yours?”
Balhar. The name made her stomach twist even further.
Nova had no intention of talking with him or getting to know him. She had managed 700 years without doing so and didn’t need to start now.
“You don’t have to tell me this second; there’s no rush. Just know you can trust me. I’ll take care of you.”
She closed her eyes, not wanting to look at him anymore, not wanting to hear his voice. Nova didn’t need him to take care of her. She needed him to die.
Balhar started humming a low tune, causing her mind to grow heavier until the darkness took her once more.
The grass tickled her bare feet as she stepped through the forest. Giant trees rose from the ground, their canopy high above in the distance forming clouds of green. She breathed in the musky smell, savoring the delicate breeze on her skin.
“Your basket is still empty. Stop daydreaming,” her mother said, picking another deadly mushroom. “Better hurry up.”
The spotted red caps decorated the forest’s ground like flowers. Only one bite was needed for the poison to take over the mind, killing you slowly from within.
“Careful. Don’t let it touch your skin.”
“I’m not a child, Mother.” Nova rolled her eyes and plucked the mushroom with her cloth.
“It is not only you I worry for.” Her mother’s lips twisted into an unpleasant smile. “Have you reconsidered?”
Nova’s hand instinctively darted away from her enlarged belly. “I will not change my mind. It’ll be sent away as soon as it’s born.”
“It is your child.”
“No. It is a sacrifice.”
Authors and Twitter links:
Mikki Noble @missmikkinoble
Jennifer C. Colvin @JennWritesVamps
A. Denner @Adi_Denner
Nita Pan @nitapanwrites
Melony Paradise @katiania
Abby Paul @APaulWrites
Carmen Adams @_carmenadams_
Ryen Lesli @ryen_lesli
Evelyn Chartres @EvelynChartres