Fix: The Flint Chronicles Book One by Melodie Bolt


Fix 
The Flint Chronicles
Book One
Melodie Bolt

Genre: Epic Urban Fantasy

Date of Publication: December 1, 2022 
Number of pages: 412
Word Count: 95,411
Cover Artist: BRoseDesignz

Tagline:  Fix will do anything to get home, even murder. 

Book Description: 

The magical creatures in Flint are being murdered and Koko and Damien hardly know each other, let alone how to track down serial killers. 

Each death is tipping the balance toward something darker. The killers have their own agenda: to leave the mortal world and live their fairytale ending in Fairy, and they will kill everything they can to get there. 

How can Damien and Koko find and stop them before the real evil unfolds?


Meet the Cast of Characters

Fix – Changeling from Fairy who wants to return home. He thinks he can get there with the help of Jira’s shark magic.

Jira – a Japanese Italian heiress who longs for a place called home and someone to share it. She’ll do anything to help the love of her life including murder.

Damien – A golden born dragon. Smart with no street smarts. Definitely doesn’t know how to track down serial killers. Might like Koko.

Kishona – Koko- daughter of the Sekhmet line. Granddaughter to the Flint Guardian. Trying to find her purpose and understand her path until finding serial killers becomes her purpose.

Amera – Fix’s Fairy mother who wants a life with her Unseelie lover, Sting.

Sting – Fix’s Fairy father who believes love can undo everything.


Excerpt

The Fairy Midlands

Sting Crowwing, tall and thin in his fairy form, exited the Unseelie portal and led out his ebony stallion, Carrion. Sting was counting down the hours as the Change grew closer. He had one chance to build his own future, and he was determined to make that happen. But first things first, he needed Amera. As the runes faded the door disappeared into the trunk of the massive, rotted oak, closing the way to Omnion and the Court.

Sting slipped the heavy black reins over the large head of his war horse. The reins brushed the cat skulls and dog bones woven into Carrion’s mane. Sting pulled a silver clasp from his pants pocket, gathered his long black hair, and fixed it at the nape of his neck. Carrion stood still as Sting slipped his leather boot into the stirrup and mounted. He adjusted his over-long black wings on either side of the saddle. The fairy checked his weight in the stirrups, then gathered the reins and commanded the stallion forward into the night.

Carrion picked his way through the tangled roots and moved slowly through the Unseelie-marked land. Sting breathed a sigh of relief. The rules and expectations—the Court’s and his father’s—shackled him to a future he didn’t want. Outside Omnion, it was just him and his own desires.

He stopped the horse at the edge of the forest and studied the long grass undulating in the breeze, the feathered seed tips of which just brushed Carrion’s belly. The greens and tans looked like smoke under the night sky. Sting cast an invisibility glamour and, as they crossed the meadow, the massive horse and his rider appeared as nothing more than shadow.

Slowly, they approached the rolling hills of Seelie land. Honeysuckle and roses sweetened the wind. The trees appeared fuller, sharp branches softened by foliage. Sting listened to the cricket and frog songs, the harsh wildness of his home replaced by the touch of Seelie creativity and mirth. Even the moon appeared gentled, suspended like a white boat riding the dark currents of night.

When they arrived at The Hill Sting halted Carrion, and they waited in front of the massive rose-covered mound that housed the portal to the Seelie Realm.
Sting’s father had laughed at him when he’d found out about the girl, but instead of discipline his father didn’t seem to care that Sting kept slipping outside the Court to visit her, even though it was forbidden. His father had just smiled, showing his sharpened teeth, and warned the boy,

“Become what you are.”

But what did his father know? Old and wing-clipped, he lived according to all the rules and disciplines of the Unseelies. His father was an Enforcer, Vollstrecker of House Orba Alis, the Dark Queen’s punisher. He delighted in pain. There were plenty of Unseelies who loved his father’s lash, but none lasted. His father used them and tossed them aside. The thought sprinted across Sting’s heart and chilled his blood: maybe his father didn’t love anything, even their queen. Wasn’t he, even now, tacitly helping Sting by ignoring visits like this?

Sting studied the fully open blossoms on the hill and noticed that, like the grassland, Night, deity of the Unseelies, had her effect on Seelie land. In daylight, these roses reminded him of Amera’s lips and tongue, but under the moon they appeared the color of bones.

He smiled and let his thoughts wander, loving the sweet agony of waiting. The thought of Amera’s lips pressed against his, the smell of her hair, made his aching body thrum with magical possibility. Carrion tugged on the reins, seeking to lower his head and graze for insects. Sting let them fall slack. But then a buzz, like a trickle of lightning, got his heart pumping, indicating Amera’s approach.

He felt a coldness still clinging to him from the Dark Forest, and he shook his shoulder blades and wings to shrug the chill away. His chest feathers ruffled then smoothed down. His stallion, sensing Amera’s mare, tossed his head, the bones in his mane sounding like Brownie percussion. Carrion’s ears pricked forward, and he whickered softly.  

With a shimmer, the gem-encrusted golden door appeared then solidified in the hillside. Seelie runes glowed blue, one of the sacred colors of the Seelie Court as it signified life and purity. The door swung open.

A palomino mare entered the meadow, prancing and moving until she finally stood head-to-head with Carrion. The horses blew softly at each other; Carrion stood stock still while the mare, Pear Blossom, tossed her head and shifted on her feet, dancing with impatience. But Sting’s eyes fixed on Amera, who walked out and closed the Seelie door. She glanced shyly at him and smiled. Her long golden hair glowed white under the moon and her dark skin appeared washed out, looking almost as bloodless as his own. Odd, he thought, then grinned at her, eager to touch her. She gracefully swung onto the mare’s bare back.

They both looked at the door to make sure no one had followed her out. It thinned, shedding solidity until it billowed like a ghostly curtain and vanished, the runes fading like fireflies in the dawn.

The horses started moving, knowing the way. As Sting looked at Amera, her shoulders sagged and her head angled downward. Her hair, which normally curled over her shoulders, thinned and drooped, and her youthful face sagged and wrinkled like a rotten apple. Her long, slim fingers curled claw-like, knuckles knobby and protruding. Startled, he reached for her.

She glanced at him and smiled faintly. The crone image flickered and disappeared. Slipping out of his reach, she urged Pear Blossom forward. The mare broke into an easy canter, and Sting and Carrion followed.

Once they left the meadow and entered the unclaimed land Sting and Amera began changing the landscape, moving toward their bower and far away from prying eyes. The final point of passage was a golden gate locked with mixed magic. He sang the lock open with a deep note laced with darkness, and her laughter, light and golden, pushed the barricade out of their way. They dismounted, leaving the horses outside, and entered the bower together.

As the gate swung closed soft candles flickered and caught, ringing the small room. Thrumming with anticipation he watched her, waiting for her transformation. Her forest- green riding tunic swirled into a sky-blue dress of spider webs and dew drops that sparkled in the soft light. His breath caught as he studied her face—high, sharp cheekbones, summer-sky eyes, and skin the color of a black deer’s hide.

He knew she had bespelled him but, in the radiance of her glamour, he didn’t mind. She was so unlike any of the dark females in the Unseelie Court that leaving her made his heart all the more shadowed. How he relished the sting of separation.

“I’ve missed you,” he said.

Amera reached up and tenderly stroked his cheek, but where light usually beamed in her smile sadness gathered across her face. She had dark shadows under her eyes and her aura appeared dull and flat. She embraced him, pressing her cheek against his chest feathers. He frowned, bewildered by the sadness that didn’t belong to her. He bent his head and breathed in the scent of her hair. He felt her tears spilling against his feathers, eliciting a nip of pleasure. He pushed it away.

“What’s troubling you?” he said.

Amera looked up, blinking wet lashes. “We’re in trouble.”

“What? Do your parents know?”

She shook her head. “No, not that.” She studied his face and frowned. “Do yours?”

Sting raised an eyebrow. “No.” The lie spilled off his lips.

Her eyes darted away.

“So, tell me already,” he prodded. Patience felt strange to him. He needed answers. Sweat gathered between his wings as her brow creased. He knew she was trying to find the words, was struggling.  

“It’s better if I show you.”

She stepped away from him and circled her hand in front of her dress. Sparks glimmered and spun in the air, spiraling and brightening to reveal an object wrapped in green blankets. It hung suspended in front of her, and she reached out; taking it in her arms, the light faded. Sting stepped closer and looked as she carefully peeled the blanket away like a leaf of cabbage.

“What is it?” he asked.

“A mistake. You have to fix it. I-I can’t.” She tilted the bundle so that he could see the golden face of a sleeping baby.

A little bit of fluffy black hair stood upright. Sting frowned at the straight, ink hair with the tanned skin. It didn’t look right. The Seelie hair curled tightly. Some said from their laughter catching in the strands. While the Unseelie hair hung sleek, letting fear and love slip away from their minds. Amera waved her palm over the baby’s face and its eyes opened, revealing one sky blue one like hers and one toxic green like his own. He stepped back and hissed in surprise and disgust. Amera bespelled the child back to sleep, tears rolling down her cheeks.

Sting knew without asking that the baby was theirs. As impossible as it felt, somehow their need for each other contained just the right elements to make life.

“When did that show up?” he asked.

“Last night, I guess. I woke up with it next to me in bed this morning.”

A chill ran up his spine. The mixing of light and dark magic was forbidden to manifest life. Mixed magic had no place in Fairy; it belonged to neither the Seelie nor Unseelie Court. Whether plants or animals, they always caused trouble and heartache. But a child! There would be consequences, punishment for them both. And Amera! Did the Seelie have Enforcers? They must. Sting couldn’t bear the thought of someone’s lash nipping and slicing Amera’s silken skin. He looked at her tear-streaked face and knew he had to do something. This abomination had to disappear. Or, better yet, die.  

“Give it to me,” he said. As he took it, he could feel the weight dragging on his magic. He looked at Amera, who smiled and stood straighter. Her aura brightened and the shadows under her eyes faded.  

He placed the bundle on the ground and ran his hands over his feathers. He felt the magic blur his body, sharpening his nose and chin into a beak, feet into claws. His arms merged with his wings. His claws took hold of the baby and lifted it skyward. Amera glamoured the bundle, lightening the weight so he could fly with ease, and she camouflaged it to reflect the surroundings so that it was near invisible.

Sting flew toward the edge of Fairy. When he returned, Amera would owe him for this favor. He was going to enjoy making her pay.


About the Author:

Melodie Bolt has lived in and traveled to many places. She understands how location influences culture which is why she chose Flint for her debut novel, Fix. Although Flint is well known for the Water Crisis, which Melodie is a part of, there are many beautiful sites and people with a can-do attitude for rebuilding. Many locations in Flint are featured in her novel. Having both PTSD and rapid-cycling Bipolar, Melodie is always building and rebuilding her writing. 






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Avalon: a Heartwarming True Cat Story by Vanessa Morgan



CHRISTMAS RECIPES… FOR YOUR CAT

You love your cat, right? So it’s not surprising to share the culinary joys of the Christmas season with your faithful feline. How? What about a home-cooked Christmas dinner for your little darling? It’s not something I do every year, but I’ve cooked a few times for my cat Avalon, and he loved it.

Steamed Salmon with Catnip Sauce on a Bed of Heavenly Rice

Ingredients:

For the rice:

1/3 cup white rice

3 black pitted olives

1 egg

3 tablespoons cat milk

1 tablespoon grated cheese

1/2 teaspoon of olive oil

For the fish:

70 grams of fish (preferably salmon or tuna)

1 teaspoon full-fat yogurt

Catnip (preferably fresh, but dried catnip is also fine)

Preparation:

Cook the rice as directed on the package

Whisk the whites and yolks of the eggs together until smooth

Add the grated cheese

Heat the olive oil in a pan

Add the eggs and cheese

Add the rice

Stir well until the eggs are cooked

Let it cool for a while, so your cat won’t burn its palate

Mix in some cat milk right before serving

Decorate with small pieces of black olives.

 

Steam the fish

Let it cool for a while

Drizzle the yogurt over the fish

Sprinkle with catnip

Serve along with the heavenly rice

Of course, you can always improvise with this dish. However, avoid using onions, leeks, and garlic since these are toxic to cats. Tomatoes should be avoided as well because they can cause tummy aches.

Tuna Tea

Drain the liquid from a can of tuna (preferably choose one without added oil and salt – the health of your cat comes first)

Dilute with mineral water

Serve in a regular drinking bowl

In order to make it playful, you can add one or two ice cubes to the Tuna Tea. Fun guaranteed!

Let me know in the comments if you will be making these Christmas recipes for your cat this year.



Avalon: a Heartwarming True Cat Story
Vanessa Morgan

Genre:  Memoir / Cats
Date of Publication:  June 4, 2015 
ISBN:1511863633 
ASIN: B00XC1NE4I 
Number of pages:134 pages 
Word Count: 31.468 words
Cover Artist: Gilles Vranckx

Tagline:  Some cats need nine lives to make a difference. Avalon only needed one.

Book Description:

From Amazon bestselling author Vanessa Morgan, Avalon is the heartwarming and once-in-a-lifetime love story of a girl and her neurotic Turkish Van cat.

With humor, the author details how Avalon made other creatures cringe in distress whenever he was around, how he threw her dates out by means of special techniques, and how he rendered it almost impossible for her to leave the house. 

Avalon was so incorrigible that even the landlord ordered to get rid of him. But beneath Avalon’s demonic boisterousness, Vanessa recognized her own flaws and insecurities, and she understood that abandoning Avalon would be the worst she could do to him. Thanks to her unswerving loyalty, Avalon transformed into a tender feline and even landed a major role in a horror movie. In turn, Avalon made it his mission to be there for his human companion.

Avalon is a memoir for anyone who has ever been obsessively in love with a pet.

Avalon is also available in French.



Filming of The Strangers Outside took place in August and September 2010. Avalon joined the set for two days. The location: a vacation cabin in the woods of Sint-Katelijne-Waver, a place where shadows came alive and danced with the rare patches of light. The perfect site for a horror movie.

Outside the vacation cabin, the film crew prepared for action. Camera tripods and lights were set up. An actor in monk clothes smoked his last cigarette before the shoot.

Two large tables with food and drinks sat in the shade, each bottle of water labeled with the name of an actor or crew member. Avalon had a bottle all for himself.

Avalon was remarkably at ease on set. He examined the vacation cabin for about half an hour, sniffing his way through the dusty corners, before settling into a deep sleep on the couch.

While everyone fawned over Avalon and fed him snacks from the buffet table, the director gave us a quick rundown of the scene to come. “The camera focuses on Avalon lying on the coffee table. In the background, through the windows, we see actors Pierre Lekeux and Iulia Nastase arriving home. Avalon follows their movements with his head as they move from one side of the house to the other. When the front door opens, Avalon jumps off the table to greet them.”

“Avalon won’t do that,” I said. “Just like children, cats are uncontrollable. It’s a great idea for a scene, but I’m afraid you’ll have to come up with something less demanding.”

Apparently, I didn’t know my cat very well, because Avalon did exactly what was expected of him.

The scene was shot several times in a row and Avalon never missed a beat.
In another scene, while eating his Schesir dinner, Avalon suddenly had to look up in panic. The fear in his eyes looked genuine. He was perfect.

Sitting at the dining table, actor Pierre Lekeux watched Avalon with incomprehensibility and admiration, shaking his head in denial. “I need at least twenty minutes to prepare a scene, to enter a certain state of mind. But this cat nails it in a matter of seconds. Avalon’s the best actor on set. He’s even better than me.”

Pierre was right. Avalon had this air–he carried himself in a certain way, very much aware of his charisma. He was a natural performer. A miniature star.





About the Author:

Vanessa Morgan is the editor of the movie reference guides When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals, Strange Blood: 71 Essays on Offbeat and Underrated Vampire Movies, and Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children. She also has had one cat book (Avalon) and four supernatural thrillers (Drowned Sorrow, The Strangers Outside, A Good Man, and Clowders) published. Three of her stories have been turned into movies. She has written for myriad Belgian magazines and newspapers and introduces movie screenings at several European film festivals. She is also a programmer for the Offscreen Film Festival in Belgium. When she’s not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching movies, eating out, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats.









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Edge by Susan Mac Nicol



What does Christmas- the season of goodwill – mean to me?

In the words of Natalie Imbruglia, I’m a little torn. There’s good and bad aspects. I’m going to tackle them both. I love the vibe and hype of the season, shopping for presents for people and seeing all those sparkly lights. I’m not religious so Christmas for me has never been about Jesus or anything remotely biblical.

Christmas for me is the shiny season. It’s the vibrancy of coloured lights and tinsel. It’s the silky sheen of wrapping paper and the twinkle of baubles on the tree, the smell of spruce, and orange chocolate, and mulled wine. It’s a sensual time when everything meshes together into a festive package of scents and sights that stirs the senses and brings families and friends together. It’s a time for kindness, when soup kitchens are manned by volunteers willing to give up their time to contribute to making someone’s else life a little bit happier for a while. It’s also the time you can get your own back on grumpy Aunt Mabel, who insists on giving you socks each year. The dildo you bought for her will go down a treat. She may even find a unique use for it, ‘stirring’ the Yorkshire pudding mix perhaps. *sniggers*

It’s also the time of a high suicide rate, a plethora of homeless people on the streets, watching with jaundiced eyes as those more fortunate than them strolled past in laughter and merry cheer, while carting presents that would probably have bought a week’s shelter and food for one of these street people. This season is a time of extremes-—one parent buying their kid a Ferrari or a football team, another just managing to scrape together enough money to buy their child a football or a toy truck; of one-upping the Joneses, of making sure things are bigger and better than the other person’s offerings.

So, like a piece of tinfoil, there’s a dull and shiny side to the season. It’s a pity we can’t find it within ourselves to bring the season of goodwill to all men to people the whole year around instead of just a few short-lived days. That as a species we can’t simply adopt an attitude of love and acceptance to all mankind as we work together to keep this world of ours from spiralling into decay.

In the true spirit of giving, why not buy a homeless person a cup of coffee. Drag out those old blankets you have in the cupboard, give them a wash and let the people suffering the cold have them. Donate to a deserving charity,like one that teaches people about respecting diversity. Show a starving pet some kindness.You don’t have to give much – just a little.

http://www.akt.org.uk/2/spg357/albert-kennedy-trust-helping-young-lgbt-people/can-you-help/donating.aspx

https://give.thetrevorproject.org/checkout/donation?eid=63307

www.crisis.org.uk


Edge
Susan Mac Nicol

Genre:  M/M Rockstar Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group Ltd
Date of Publication:  Feb 7th 2022
ISBN:978-1-957295-05-3
ASIN:  B09RZM617P
Number of pages:  221
Word Count: 65000

Cover Artist: Boroughs Group Publishing

Tagline:    Words cost nothing to write but sometimes, they lead to heartbreak and tragedy.

Book Description: 

Since he was young, Jory Longstone has been keeping a diary to catalogue his exploits, which helps inspire his music. He finds solace in managing his complicated life through the written word, which he never intended for anyone else to read.

Until one man did, and he now controls Jory’s life.

While his band’s star is rising, Jory remains trapped and ashamed – closed off from emotional attachments for fear of discovery.

And then he meets Damian Foyle, manager of his family-owned cinema, a place where Jory loves to hide and relax. The antithesis of a rockstar, Damian loves his martial arts classes, tinkering with motor parts, and the simple life.

Damian’s first meeting with Jory is just shy of a disaster, and yeah, the second one isn’t all that great either.

Jory is annoying, sexy as hell, temperamental, and one helluva rock god in tight trousers. It’s all Damian can do not to burn up in the heat of the man’s fiery personality.

But getting close to his heart is another thing altogether, and Damian won’t settle for anything less.



About the Author:

Bringing lovers together, one book at a time…

Susan writes steamy, sexy and fun contemporary romance stories, some suspenseful, some gritty and dark and hopefully always entertaining. 

She’s also Editor in Chief at Divine Magazine, an online LGBTQ e-zine, and a member of The Society of Authors, the Writers Guild of Great Britain, and the Authors Guild in the US. Susan is an award-winning script writer, with scripts based on two of her own published works. Sight Unseen has garnered no less than ten awards to date and her TV pilot, Reel Life, based on her debut novel, Cassandra by Starlight, was also a winner at the Oaxaca Film Fest. 

She loves going to the theatre, live music concerts (especially if it’s her man crush Adam Lambert or the divine Cumberbatch) walks in the countryside, a good G and T, lazing away afternoons reading a good book, and watching re-runs of Grimm.









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