Welcome to one of the February 24th stops on the blog tour for Cursed by Athena Floras, organized by Bewitching Book Tours. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more excerpt spotlights, reviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.
About the Book
Dark Kindred Spirits Book Two
by Athena Floras
Published 4 January 2021
Cover Artist: Nicholas Mallet
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 104
Happiness and true love can come from sacrifice and the deepest sorrow.
All hail the Misfits and the Cursed…
There is a sanctuary for anyone who needs refuge. It’s called Beyond the Horizon. When a group of teens are invited to spend their summer vacation at the sanctuary, they think they just got lucky. But little do they know that things are too good to be true. Not everyone is who they seem to be at Beyond the Horizon. There are enemies amongst them waiting for the perfect time to strike.
For her entire life, Brianna Meadows has been misunderstood. Everything she does and says is wrong. She’s a klutz and always getting in people’s way. All she ever wished for is to be accepted, liked, and normal. When she gets an invitation to spend her summer vacation at Beyond the Horizon, she thinks her wish may come true. But she must be very careful what she wishes for, because it can turn into her worst nightmare.
Chase Hamell doesn’t have much time left. The family curse has started to take its toll on him. The first-born male in the Hamell clan will turn into a monster when he turns eighteen, which is just months away. When he hears that the sanctuary is owned by witches who can undo the curse, he seeks them out. But to break the curse involves making a huge sacrifice, one that Chase might not be able to commit to, because in order to end the curse, someone he loves must die.
Can Brianna and Chase find what they both need and desire before their enemies succeed in snuffing them out?
The blood moon set high in the sky was the Earth’s guardian angel tonight. It stood watch while all the Earth’s blessed and damned creatures roamed freely. It guided them to their redemption or eternal damnation.
The enchantress took a deep, channeling breath while she absorbed the magic and the energy this night brought forth. It was the perfect time to seek the answers she’d long sought.
If the omnipotent transcendental powers would not reveal them to her tonight, then all hope was lost.
She perched the silver chalice engraved with defined runes on the altar in the garden. She poured the spellbinding liquid into it and began to chant the spell she’d memorized.
At first, nothing happened, but like everything else in life, she needed to be patient and persistent. She continued on with the ritual until the potion started to twirl, then churn. It soon glowed a celestial blue.
Peering into the aquatic abyss, she asked, “Reveal to me the means to restore the harmony. The balance must be brought back to the line.”
An image gradually morphed in the chalice. It appeared to be a tall, thin girl with unruly shoulder length red hair who knelt on the floor. She seemed to have fallen and had scraped her knees because blood trickled onto the uneven concrete.
The enchantress cocked a brow while she curiously observed the scene. Why was the Voyeur Chalice showing her this teenager? The girl was no older than seventeen. How did she fit into the whole scheme?
Knowing that she wouldn’t get more answers until she performed the next part of the ritual, the enchantress raised the chalice and languidly sipped the elixir. The bitterness made her shudder until a transcendent voice spoke to her in her mind.
The enchantress’s eyes glazed over and she remained perfectly still paying acute attention to what was said.
Once the answer and all its details were divulged to her, she lit the candle ending the liturgy.
With leaden legs, she walked back into the building. The ritual had taken its toll on her. She’d need to rest to fully recover. But before she could, she had to send a message.
The kindle needed to be laid down so that the catalyst could catch fire and set off the next chain of events.
Unprecedented things would soon begin to happen.
Brianna Meadows thought that this would be her lucky day. She’d felt it the moment she’d awoken this morning. The uplifting energy surrounded her and urged her on. She could move mountains if the feat were physically possible.
So when her mother had asked her to pick up her facial cream at the department store, Brianna had jumped at the chance to go.
She’d been planning to apply for the stock clerk’s job she’d seen posted on the store’s door earlier this week.
She made sure to hold her head high and strut with confidence as she walked up to the customer service counter. A cashier standing there, wearing a white and red striped uniform, greeted her with a smile.
“Good morning. How can I help you?”
Brianna cleared her voice. “Umm, yeah. I’m here to apply for the stock clerk’s job you have posted on the door.”
The cashier frowned. “Hmm, they didn’t get rid of that yet?” Her expression switched into an apologetic one. “I’m so sorry, but the job has already been filled.”
“Oh.” Brianna spun on the heel of her ballerina shoes, ready to head toward the cosmetics aisle when the cashier asked, “Did you bring your CV with you?”
“Yes, I did.” Brianna held up the manilla envelope she carried it in.
“Why don’t you give it to me. I’ll give it to the manager. Maybe he’ll keep you in mind when another job opening comes up.” She smiled brightly.
“That’s very kind of you. Thanks.” Brianna slid it to her on the sloping counter.
As she walked away, she felt her heart stir. The cashier didn’t have to go out of her way to accommodate Brianna like she did. Brianna was touched by her kind gesture even though she had a strong hunch the store manager would most probably chuck her CV into the recycling bin.
Casting her discouraging thoughts out of her mind, she moseyed over to get her mom’s cream. Her mother had given her a fifty-dollar bill and told her to buy herself something with the change.
The cream cost only twenty-three dollars and thirty-nine cents, which left her with twenty-five dollars and sixty-one cents to splurge on herself. She pressed the tips of her wild curls between her index finger and thumb. She wished she could tame them somewhat so it didn’t look like she’d just been electrocuted.
She glided her hand along the edge of the shelf, perusing the selection of hair conditioners that would straighten her hair when she accidentally tipped a plastic bottle that rested close to the edge. Multiple bottles toppled to the floor.
Laughter burst out behind her. She spun around to find Cynthia Doyle and Seraphina Peck, two of the popular girls in her school, covering their mouths, trying to muffle their chuckles.
Cynthia leaned in to whisper something into Seraphina’s ear, which made her bend over in hysterics.
They obviously were making fun of Brianna. What else was new? Brianna had been the object of their ridicule all of the school year. Why would they stop now even though the school year had ended and summer had begun? Ignoring their cruel behavior, she crouched to gather the fallen bottles. One by one, she placed them back where they belonged.
The sound of stiletto heels clicking on the tiled floor reverberated in Brianna’s ears. She cursed under her breath. She knew who approached. It was Seraphina. She had a unique rhythm to her gait. What did she want? Hadn’t she tormented her enough in school?
“Is there something you’re looking for?” Seraphina asked as she came to stand next to her.
“I was just looking?” she mumbled.
“It was hard not to notice you after you made everything fall. If you’re looking for a special conditioner, maybe I can help you search, so you won’t make anything else fall.”
Brianna wished the jab had just slid off of her, instead of cutting deep.
Glancing at the shelf, she replied, “I was looking for something that could straighten my curls.”
Seraphina snorted. “Well, you’re looking in the wrong place for that. There isn’t any over the counter product to tame your wild hair. You need super concentrated industrial products. You should go to a professional hairdresser who uses strong chemicals to straighten it. She would be your only hope.”
“Yeah, right,” Brianna grumbled as she walked away.
She huffed, trying to rein in her frustrations and anger. Sometimes bad news was good news. The fact the job had already been filled was a blessing in disguise. She wouldn’t have been able to work in the same store those two bullies worked. She wouldn’t have survived more than a day in that toxic environment.
She made a mental note to avoid this department store from now on. Her mother would have to come herself to get her facial cream.
As she reached the exit, she rested her left foot awkwardly on the cracked concrete and she fell hard forward. Her knees adsorbed the full brunt of the forceful hit as they made contact with the concrete.
Pain shot through her legs and she gasped, trying to resist the discomfort.
She’d been completely wrong about this day. It hadn’t been her lucky day. It was the unluckiest one she’d had in a while. It couldn’t possibly get worse, she thought.
But she was so very wrong, because from twenty feet away, she heard giggling. Cynthia and Seraphina were at it again.
About the Author
Athena Floras is a wife and proud mother of three who loves to read and write suspenseful and romantic stories. When she isn’t busy being a mom, she spends her spare time in her den, totally immersing herself into the whimsical, fantastical world of fiction. She hopes the stories and characters she creates will bring readers as much pleasure and entertainment as they have her.
$30 Amazon.com e-Gift Carda Rafflecopter giveaway
|Feb 22||JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder|
|Feb 22||Supernatural Central|
|Feb 22||Sadie’s Spotlight|
|Feb 23||Lisa’s World of Books|
|Feb 23||Bewitching Book Tours|
|Feb 23||Fang-tastic Books|
|Feb 24||Westveil Publishing|
|Feb 25||Serena Synn|
|Feb 25||Roxanne’s Realm|
|Feb 25||Lilly’s Book World|
|Feb 26||The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom|
|Feb 26||Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read|
|Feb 26||Jazzy Book Reviews|
|Mar 1||Sapphyria’s Books|
|Mar 1||The Book Junkie Reads|
|Mar 1||Midnight Musings with Bertena|
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.