Rising of Three Teaser

Villains are just like us. They have motivations and beliefs, things they love and hate, and things that make them tick. Noro, of The Starseed Trilogy, is no exception.

Hello!

Disclaimer: This post may contain spoilers for those who have not read Prophecy of Three or Souls of Three.

We’re about two months away from the release of Rising of Three, Book Three of The Starseed Trilogy and I CAN’T WAIT to share Sara’s story with you all! She’s just bursting to step out of the limelight of her older sisters Lily and Evelyn.

But to be honest, Sara will just have to wait because today, I wanted to take a twisty little turn and give you a brand new point of view. The villain, Noro.

Noro is a nasty piece of work to be sure, but like the rest of us, he isn’t without his own insecurities and motivations. If you’ve read Prophecy of Three or Souls of Three, you may have caught them. But perhaps you didn’t, and if not, here’s a little insight into what makes Noro tick.

Rising of Three Excerpt:

Noro swooped down the sloping hill through the frost-covered trees, his pace quickening as he approached the abandoned zoo. In the short time since he’d left the new fata of Earth to replenish their magical stores, much had changed. Noro and his First Order Acolytes had furthered the fata cause more in two weeks than they’d managed for millennia. Infiltrating power systems, claiming humans, and creating a current of chaos to effectively undermine human confidence was a splendid start.

The humans won’t need to worry themselves over their fate much longer. Noro flew faster and the largest hut in the park, King Dimia’s personal quarters, came into view.

Learning that his first children, powerful beings sculpted into exactly what Noro needed, had perished at the hands of Eve’s sisters was the last straw. No longer would Noro make concessions for those magical creatures who did not welcome the reign of their ancestors. Nor would he hide in the shadows, skirting around weak humans. No, he would use them as they used the land they were born to. The land they seemed to have little respect for. The same land that made them powerful. The land he would take.

No one born on Earth knew how sweet their world was. They’d never seen their home die as Hecate was dying. Never witnessed the plants and creatures within it wither to nothing. The magic fizzle from their souls.

Soon, the creatures of Earth would understand. And as humankind’s power dwindled before their eyes, the fata would take up their reign.

The witches will pay for what they’ve done. If only Seraphina had consented to help, none of this would have happened. I would not still be called a fool. Fata would not dare gossip behind my back, even as I toil to make them powerful once more. I’ll show them. He shot fifty feet above the trees and magic born of fury flew from him, splitting the tallest oak in the park like lightning.

No matter the amnesty Dimia promises I’ll see to it Amon and Empusa receive vengeance. Dimia does not yet understand how his daughters have changed. How their human blood has tainted the fata within them. How they are no longer his. I shall make him see

End excerpt.

Did that change your perception of Noro? Let me know below!

All the magic,

Ashey

P.S. You can pre-order Rising of Three NOW, right here!

Rising of Three Excerpt

Hey all!

I have great news! Rising of Three, Book Three in The Starseed Trilogy is officially off to beta readers which means a July release is in the works! Can you say BEACH READ (I know that feels impossible right now, but summer is coming-said in Game of Thrones voice)! That being said, I wanted to share a bit of the book with you here. 🙂 A teensy teaser if you will. So without further adieu —>

Excerpt from Rising of Three:

Sara padded softly along the creaky wood floor in an effort not to wake those still asleep. Stopping before the stone fireplace she fingered the stocking stitched with her name before extending her fingers to the wood laying in the hearth.

“Flampila,” she whispered and a bright orange ball of fire rolled from her palms to catch on the wood. Heat caressed her face. Sara sighed and pulled her fuzzy robe closer. She’d enjoy the chilly winter morning while she could, bundled up, a fire roaring at her back, with a cup of hot tea in her hands.

A toppling stack of papers on the dining table caught Sara’s eye as she rounded the corner of the hearth separating Fern Cottage’s living room from the kitchen-diner. Mary seriously came through, she thought picking up the plastic sheath encompassing The Guardian as her eyes roved over the dozens of other publications.

She spun on her heel, not ready to dig into current events and set about making a cup of cinnamon spice tea.

***

Two hours later the table was covered in papers from all around the world and Sara’s hands were black and sticky with ink.

This isn’t looking good. She chose a journal of questionable quality to skim next. An article on the second page jumped out at her and Sara stifled a laugh at the title.

Aliens Brand Woman for Spaceship Cleaner in Her Sleep

Sara’s copper eyes ran down the words, widening as she took in the subtext of the article shaming a woman brave enough to tell her story, no matter how ludicrous it may sound.

Mrs. Leslie Leeteral from Hackney claims to have received an early Christmas present. One she isn’t at all sure she wants though like all tattoos we acquire once we’ve had a few too many drinks, this one is sure to stick.

The London native claims to have had a couple gins to celebrate her husband’s Christmas bonus and gone to bed early the night of the nineteenth of December. She had big plans to finish her Christmas shopping the next day and take herself out for a solo lunch and pint while her husband watched their three children. It isn’t often you get alone time as a mum so this part of her story, at least, we understand.

Unfortunately for Mrs. Leeteral, her night of rest did not go as planned.

She awoke with a start in the wee hours to find a ghostly figure leaning over her.

“He was massive he was. And bright yellow, like the sun. I thought he actually was the sun at first. Still asleep you know. But then I saw how close he was and figured I’d be dead if the sun came in me room. Well, he saw he’d woken me and he came—he flew—closer, which had me in a right state as you can imagine. Me husband was working the night shift, and I was all alone, defenseless with the kids in the next rooms! I scrambled up as fast as I could and grabbed the lamp to fend him off. Bit stupid really. How do you fight a ghost with a lamp? Like I said I didn’t have me head on straight. He was inches from me when I realized I couldn’t see through him and I thought to meself this can’t be a ghost. When did anyone ever talk about a colored ghost? They’re always white ain’t they? He had to be an alien.”

*At this point in the interview Mrs. Leeteral looks up at the sky and shivers.*

“The alien came right up and looked at me. He had huge black eyes and a round, black mouth. At least I think that’s what they were. He stared at me for what musta been ten minutes and then . . . He touched me.”

*Mrs. Leeteral pulls up her shirt sleeves to reveal cut deltoids and a small, yellow tattoo that looks a bit like the moon.*

“He marked me with this! Looks like the moon doesn’t it? I suppose that’s where he musta been from. No idea why he marked me though . . . Perhaps he was looking for a good cleaner? I’ve been in the business twenty years and you never hear of cleaners on spaceships. Musta gotten tired of living in all that filth.”

And there you have it, folks. The aliens are coming and they need help cleaning up. Or perhaps Mrs. Leeteral should check her bank cards as one may contain a charge to her local tattoo parlor. Gin is a hell of a drink.

A small, nondescript photo of Mrs. Leeteral’s mark was at the bottom of the page. Sara’s chest fluttered wildly as she studied it. Shhhh, calm down. It’s a photo, she thought and her pneuma, the bit of fata soul she’d recently learned had been living inside her since birth, stilled.

It did look like the moon. And she could see the drunken tattoo as well. But Sara knew better than to believe the mark was either. If that reporter only knew how close Mrs. Leeteral was to guessing the truth they’d be peeing their pants.

“How long have you been up?”

Sara jumped in her seat and directed her hands at the door.

Evelyn held up her palms. “Sorry! I didn’t mean to startle you. But really, do you believe anyone is getting past Mom’s wards?” She quirked an eyebrow and headed for the pot of coffee Sara had taken the liberty of making for whoever was up next

Sinking down into her seat Sara let out a long exhale. Of course, I didn’t hear Evelyn. She still doesn’t weigh enough to make noise. “No, I’m sorry. I’ve been jumpy lately. Even meditation has been hard. And no, I don’t think anyone could get past Mom’s wards, but what I think isn’t always right.”

“Touché,” Evelyn filled her cup with coffee. “What’s all this?” She gestured to the pile of papers on the table.

Sara pulled a handful of newspapers closer to make room for Evelyn. “Papers. I asked Mary to drop them off a few days ago. It looks like she may have enlisted Morgane’s help too. They don’t carry all of these in the village shop. They’re so we can keep in the loop.”

“In the loop? Don’t you think we’re a little beyond what the average person knows?” Evelyn pulled out the heavy wooden chair across from Sara with a visible effort.

She’s not getting stronger as fast as Fiona hoped she would. Sara eyed her sister’s lank blonde hair, skeletal arms, and visible ribs. At least her magic has returned a little though. It’s the first step, Sara sighed. “There’s no doubt we have more information on what’s happening, but we’re clueless to what the fata are doing now that they’re on Earth.”

Evelyn scowled and looked into her cup.

“But these papers can help. Most of them are the typical drivel but read this.” Sara handed the page to Evelyn who scoffed.

“You can’t be serious. You know what this is right? Or does this kind of crap not make it onto military bases?”

Sara rolled her eyes and pushed the paper into Evelyn’s hand. “It does. Read it.”

Evelyn opened it and her sapphire eyes skipped over the page, fast at first, then slower as she took in what it meant. “Well, shit. They’ve begun claiming people as their own.” Evelyn set down the paper.

Claiming people. Sara shivered. “It appears that way. These papers are filled with all sorts of wild things. Natural disasters which I’m sure are in no way natural, an increase in missing people all over the world, wild accidents or man-made structures failing. An entire highway in L.A. cracked the other day. The fissure was ten feet wide. They’re blaming it on the San Andreas Fault line but . . .”

“It’s not that.”

“Nope. This journal had the most obvious article. And if this woman was claimed she can’t be the only one. She’s probably just the only one willing to step forward, and this journal is the only one crazy enough to print it.”

Evelyn smirked. “My dad would die if he heard you call this rag a journal. You’d no longer be ‘my level-headed, smart sister’. Too bad you’re not interested in business. He’d hire you in a second. But you’re right, none of these things are normal and that mark is definitely a fata brand. Even worse, it’s not Dimia or Noro’s which means regular fata have started claiming.” She sipped her coffee and looked around. “Where’s Lily? She’s usually up before me.”

“She was up late last night texting. One guess who.” A lopsided grin spread on Sara’s face lifting her freckle spattered cheekbones.

A low whistle ran through Evelyn’s red lips. “That girl has got it bad.”

 

End Excerpt

Hope you enjoyed that! The cover reveal will be soon, I hope within the next two weeks!

I’ll let you know when the preorder is up and remember . . . if you want to be on the Advanced Reader Team email me at ashleymcleo(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thank you! ❤

Want free books? Join the Street Team!

Hey there!

 

My Advanced Reader Team has been growing into a wonderful community lately. In fact, I just started a private Facebook group where members can talk amongst themselves and discuss books! It’s been a great time and I love seeing readers get to know one another. Still, I wanted to put the word out that I’m always actively recruiting Advanced Reader Team members! So, if you love The Starseed Trilogy and are interested in receiving my e-books for free, reviewing them, spreading the word, and getting a chance to get to interact with like-minded readers let me know (ashleymcleo@gmail(dot)com)!

We’d love to have you. 🙂

All the magic,

Ashley

 

A Witchy Halloween to you!

As a fantasy author, I adore Halloween. So much so that I am one of those people that dresses up my dog and would love nothing more than to attend a fabulous costume party or gala dressed to the nines as a fairy queen or Cleopatra.

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Flicka as a pumpkin two seconds before the hat got tossed off. ❤

I suppose it makes sense, I have always had an affinity for the magical, mystical, and unexplainable.That I started writing about witches and other supernatural creatures was a natural progression. However, these last few years my interest in the holiday has shifted a bit. I’ve gotten more into the academic history of Halloween and how it has evolved over hundreds of years. Curious about that too? Read on. 🙂

 

I suppose it makes sense, I have always had an affinity for the magical, mystical, and unexplainable.That I started writing about witches and other supernatural creatures was a natural progression. However, these last few years my interest in the holiday has shifted a bit. I’ve gotten more into the academic history of Halloween and how it has evolved over hundreds of years. Curious about that too? Read on. 🙂

Halloween, traditionally called Samhain, an ancient harvest festival in the Celtic world, began it’s metamorphosis to what we know it as today as a night when people believed that faeries, witches, and demons roamed the earth. They set out food and drink to placate the creatures of the night. Throughout history other groups of peoples have felt that same need to honor the ‘other’ by gathering together to hold space for the dead, dancing around bonfires, carving pumpkins (or giant turnips as was often done in Ireland), playing divination games, and bobbing for apples. Much later on, people began dressing up as the very magical beings they laid out food for and began claiming the goodies for themselves, sometimes performing antics or tricks in exchange for food and drink. As you can imagine this evolved into trick or treating, which is enjoyed the world over by millions of children and adults. However, the magically inclined have always tended to think differently from the masses. Even today witches and wizards relate much more to the traditional Samhain celebration where one honors the change of the season rather than trick or treating. Modern witches sometimes consider Halloween or Samhain (depending on which vernacular they use) the ‘witches New Year’ and many still see it as a day to honor the deceased with scrying rituals or burning candles.

I’ll be real. I love witches, historically, fictionally, and presently but I am no witch. Still, I like nothing more than dressing up in my witches hat, grabbing a wand (I’m still patiently waiting to purchase my own in Diagon Alley) and hitting the town for some Halloween *FUN*! However, this year is different. I’ll be on a plane, returning from a writing research trip in England and Ireland for my next witchy series. And I’ll also be releasing my second novel! That’s right Souls of Three is officially out Halloween 2017! Because really, when you write about witches is there a better release day? It’s on pre-order now but you can also sign up for my mailing list, The Coven, and I’ll send you an email Halloween day reminding you that your favorite witchy read is available for purchase.

Thanks for reading (and as my witches would say) “Happy Samhain to ye!”

Link to order Souls of Three: http://bit.ly/2g9Hk32SOT

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Souls of Three Cover Reveal!

Hello lovelies!

We’re less than one month away from Souls of Three’s release which means . . . (drumroll please) it’s cover reveal time! Here she is . . .

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Yup. That’s sassy and at times uptight Miss Evelyn on the cover so if you loved her in Prophecy of Three you’re in for a real treat! And if you didn’t love her, well, she’s a talented witch and may just sway you in Souls. 🙂

Guess you’ll just have to see, won’t you?

Until next time!

Ashley McLeo

P.S. If you’re not already a part of my exclusive mailing list ‘The Coven’ make sure to hit the subscribe button on this site! Coven members get all sorts of cool swag (free novellas and deleted scenes to name two) and are the first to know about book releases and bookish news. Hope you’ll join us!

 

Prophecy Teaser #2 – Meet Lily!

Hello Dear Ones!

I’ve been getting edits back from my editor lately, which means it’s crunch time! With only 2.5 months left to go until publication, I figure it’s time to let the teasers fly a little more freely. Plus, I’m just itching to share! Today you’ll get a peek at the beginning of Lily’s story, the primary protagonist for Prophecy. I hope you grow to love her as much as I do.

***

Lily had always admired the stars’ indifference. How they remained unaffected by everyday trivialities, great loves, wars, and falls of empires. They were simply there, not knowing or caring that humans prized their light, prayed to them during their darkest hours, even steered their entire lives by them. It felt safe to look upon them, non-threatening and obvious. It was a relief to know such steadiness existed when Lily’s life seemed anything but steady.

She pulled her gaze down to the road. The Columbia River shimmered at her right, its inky fingers glimmering and undulating east to west between Oregon and Washington, cocooned in the familiar peaks and forests of the Gorge. In her rear view mirror a sliver of light blue peaked over the horizon as the sun threatened the night.

Lily let out a sigh as her neck spasmed. Pain, once occasional and limited to post-race soreness, was now a familiar sensation. It had started months ago as a dull ache creeping down her neck, claiming one cervical vertebra at a time and knitting them together. From there it moved stealthily inward, settling in the shadow of her ribcage, occasionally radiating up and down her spine. Her anxiety about the mysterious aches and pains grew daily. They felt contradictory—as if something was trying to crawl out of her and sink deeper all at once. It made it hard to concentrate. Her last semester of college was nothing more than a blur.

As graduation day approached, it became difficult to believe Lily’s senior year had begun normally, happily even. She performed beyond her expectations in her final cross-country season, and even managed to lead a relatively active social life—a small miracle, considering her preference for a hike in the woods over socializing. Most surprising of all, she’d had her first boyfriend.

Until a few months ago, Lily Whiplark had never been interested in dating, a quirk that seemed to baffle others. She figured ambivalence toward dating was bound to happen when you were raised in a commune where women ruled the roost and stories of past relationships gone acidic were no secret. She remembered wondering if she’d change her mind when she went to college. She hadn’t. At least not until she met Liam.

He had been different. That much was clear upon their first meeting, when he’d rendered her powerless with his violet-flecked gray eyes and smooth baritone voice. She’d agreed to see him again later that day and promptly dissolved into him.

***

Lily may have gotten herself into trouble here eh?

Until next time!

Sending love and light,

Ashley

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The author of Prophecy of Three in the Oregon Gorge, Lily’s home.