A new chapter of The Voice In The Forest, and a Sale!

A big deal!

Hi Everybody!

Okay, so… I don’t even know where to start I have so much happening!

First, let’s start with the best news for all of you. That’s a good starting point.

Not only have I made a decision about a story that I think will be fun for all of you when I finally have time to write it, but I have some great news about one of my series.

So, first off, the decision. I have a story rattling around in my head that would be another sort of prequel to Heart of Cinders. You all can already get the prequel to Heart of Cinders, Before the Fire, for free by signing up for the newsletter. The story in my head is a dual timeline story of Tristan’s parents during the last war and the original Dragon Kings– the lore of the kingdom of Onyx.

When I finally have a chance in my writing schedule to write it, I am going to give it to the newsletter first, and for free!

I decided to do this because it isn’t necessary for the series. You can read the series and never read this book I’m going to write, but it makes the world richer and more fun.

As for the other things going on, I am doing Camp, I am 34K into a story… Yep. That’s just the words written for April.

Like I said, I am a mutant.

BUT, let’s all cross our fingers the muse continues to cooperate because she can be evil.

Next, I have two big deals to share with you!

heart of cinders

Heart of Cinders is on sale right now for $0.99! 
I know!
So now is the perfect time to start the series.

Go to the link below to the page on this website and all the addresses of the retailers are there.

After midnight strikes

And After Midnight Strikes, book 4, is on pre-order for $0.99.

When it goes live on May 31st the price will change to $3.99.

Again, all the links for preorder are on the page below.

So, for right now, you can get caught up for less money and know why Tristan is my new book boyfriend. 
And here is another chapter of our little hot mess first draft, newsletter story!

Every previous chapter has officially been uploaded in the blog to two weeks ago and it will be updated to last week today, so if you want to get caught up, it’s all there now!

The Voice In The Forest

Chapter 37

“You’re doing well, Arabella,” Henry said after the doctor left again. “But I still don’t think walking through the house a good idea yet.”

Montgomery’s jaw tightened from where he stood leaning against the wall, his arms crossed, as he stared daggers at the back of Henry’s head.

“I understand your concern,” I said, trying not to get distracted by Montgomery’s presence. “But I need to go outside. Being in here this long is starting to make me a little stir crazy.”

“A week isn’t that long. Not after what happened.”

But it was. It may not have been for everyone else. And it wasn’t as bad as it would have been without Montgomery with me, to talk to, to kiss, to distract me, to read to me, even just to be there. Still, being locked away with no choice but to stay in one place had echoes of my time at the hospital that frayed my nerves.

“Henry. I just need to go outside. And I think it would be good for me to get some fresh air.”

The look on his face, tight mouth, bottom lip pulled in like he was honestly thinking about it, was an improvement over the last two times I asked. At least this time he seemed to be thinking about it.

“If you insist on going outside, I insist I go with you. I don’t want you to be alone.” Henry raised a brow at me and set his hand over mine.

Looking past him at Montgomery, I wanted to say I wouldn’t be alone. That I was never without someone looking out for me.

Not only could I never explain that to Henry or anyone else, not only would it likely send me to the hospital again with fresh labels declaring me mentally unfit, but now I knew it would leave Montgomery with no one who could even see him.

“Arabella,” Henry said, his voice gone soft as he threaded his fingers with mine.

Montgomery took a step forward, his mouth falling open.

Panic surged through me.

Oh, no. This wasn’t what I wanted. Henry misunderstood the look on my face meant for Montgomery. The problems with being in love with a ghost that no one else knew existed apparently included that sometimes they assumed you looked lovingly into space at nothing because you liked them.

I looked down at our hands intertwined and my vertigo returned with a wave so large it was like a tsunami. Pulling my hand from Henry’s, I tried for a smile, but it felt wavering and unsure on my face. 

“Maybe you could just walk with me, just make sure I get there with no problem, and then you can go back to work and I can take a nap on a bench. Come get me in an hour.” I smiled again, marginally more successful this time, I thought. But at least that soft, caring look was gone from Henry’s face as he nodded and got to his feet, helping me get to mine.

On shuffling feet, still unable to trust myself well enough to allow my feet to leave the ground, I made my way out of my room.

Henry on one side, kept a hand on the small of my back and allowed my arm, still in its cast, to rest on his hand.

Montgomery took up my other side, allowing me to lean more heavily on his arm and grasp his hand tight.

There were so many things I wanted to say to Montgomery.

But, as usual, I couldn’t risk anyone knowing I saw him at all. Let alone that I relied on him in so many ways and needed his presence more in my life than most of the other people I had known for years.

Keeping him to myself, fine in theory, was starting to become a bigger challenge. And what would all of them think when I didn’t even try to make friends like they thought I should now that I was supposedly cured?

What would my mother think when I didn’t go anywhere near any of the acceptable men she once pushed at me? When Jameson and I didn’t get back together?

My past was full of the ghosts everyone told me weren’t real, the ghosts I was never able to help.

Now, my future was full of the ghost that walked beside me and held me up after I fell.

Did he still want me to help him? Did he expect me to help him move on?

Looking at him, stealing a peek as we made it to the bottom of the stairs and turned toward the back door, my feet shuffling along the floor in the soft slippers that weren’t meant for outside but were all the weight I could handle at the moment, I didn’t want to know.It was selfish, and wrong, and probably said something awful about me that I could think that about someone I loved—that I didn’t want to help them.

But it was true.Not because I didn’t care. I cared too much. I wanted him to stay with me.

Guilt at my heart and made my stomach flip, nausea rolling through me.

I swayed.

“Maybe we should take a second to just let you catch your breath,” Henry said, studying me as if all the answers to my ailments were found in my eyes.

“Just for a second,” I said, closing my eyes and taking a deep breath.

“Henry,” my mother yelled, snapping my eyes open.She stood in front of us in the hall, a door to a parlor open behind her, her arms crossed and one brow raised high.

“Yes,” he said, his voice careful, neutral. “We need to get these remodeling plans back on track.” She looked me up and down, swallowing and fidgeting. Ah, my mother. Never comfortable with illness or injury. So very maternal this woman.

I sighed and Montgomery bit his lip on a smile.

“Once I know that Arabella is well, and that further work will not be putting her at greater risk, I will allow the workers back in. As it happens, I have allowed the assessment of the lake to commence.”

Stealing a look his way, I tried not to show the curiosity that raged through me in front of my mom.

The last thing I wanted was to get stuck in a real conversation with her when I didn’t feel well enough to navigate her minefields of comments.

With another look at me and a shudder, my mother nodded and went back inside the parlor behind her.

“You stopped all the work on the house?” I whispered, that frisson of fear about my mother hearing might have been irrational, but it was strong.

“It is the only positive to come out of your injury,” Henry said.

Squeezing Montgomery’s hand and looking at him from under my lashes as he gave me a soft smile in return, I said, “Not the only one.”

Henry took a deep breath, his smile sweet as he rubbed his thumb along the small of my back where he still held it to support me.

Oh, no. That wasn’t what I meant. But trying to avoid Henry’s look, and too aware of the narrowing of Montgomery’s eyes as he looked at Henry over my head, I had no idea how to fix it.

All I could do was hope it would be better once I was outside, with Montgomery, and Henry left us alone for a while.

Staring at the door to my little courtyard, the distance had never seemed so far.
Ta Da!

Next week I will bring you another chapter of The Voice In The Forest and maybe some more good news!

As always,Happy Reading!

–Everly

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