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It came from outer space (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

I try to catch the attention of anyone walking past.

People wave.

Ugh, not helpful!

I shout but no one seems to hear me, or they do and would rather not get involved.

I glance over my shoulder at the growing blob of tentacles on the kitchen floor. It’s getting bigger.

I have no idea what it is.

I bought the ball — egg I guess — at a fair. It looked cute. Painted in pretty swirls that almost seemed to move. Yeah… clearly a mistake.

All my tech fritzed when it … hatched. Including my phone.

“Someone get help!”

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read more FF prompt response here

Word count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

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Review: Bloodmarked (The Legendborn Cycle Book 2) by Tracy Deonn

About the book:

The shadows have risen, and the line is law.
 
All Bree wanted was to uncover the truth behind her mother’s death. So she infiltrated the Legendborn Order, a secret society descended from King Arthur’s knights – only to discover her own ancestral power. Now, Bree has become someone new:
 
A Medium. A Bloodcrafter. A Scion.
 
But the ancient war between demons and the Order is rising to a deadly peak. And Nick, the Legendborn boy Bree fell in love with, has been kidnapped.
 
When the Regents reveal they will do whatever it takes to hide the war, Bree and her friends must go on the run to rescue Nick themselves. But enemies are everywhere, Bree’s own powers are unpredictable and dangerous, and she can’t escape her growing attraction to Selwyn, the mage sworn to protect Nick until death.
 
If Bree has any hope of saving herself and the people she loves, she must learn to control her powers from the ancestors who wielded them first – without losing herself in the process.

My Thoughts:

How do I even begin to tell you how much I love this series and Author Tracy Deonn? I love the concept, the writing and the mood of this series and this book two: Bloodmarked is the next chapter of Bree’s story.

Bree has power now. At least she should have. Bree had thought the war she was fighting was between the demons and the Order that protected human life but she quickly discovers that is not the only war she has to fight. The Regents have their own plans. As does Arthur. Bree has only her friends to rely on and while her own power is growing it’s uncontrolled and this lack of control is putting her in danger. She must find a way to control her power to keep everyone she loves safe. The cost is high but the cost of doing nothing is higher. She has to rescue Nick and herself, risking Sel’s life in the process and it puts all of her friends in danger.

The writing of Tracy Deonn draws you quickly into the story. Her writing style allows for a pacey, enjoyable read that I had to force myself to slow down and savour. And I did savour this book. Every page was a joy. Descriptions of locations and settings do not slow the pace of the tale in the slightest, neither do explanations of history, myth and legend. Even the incredibly painful reminders of American Black history do not slow or choke the story in its tracks. Tough topics of violent death, physical and emotional racial abuse, emotional generational trauma and degradation are handled delicately and deftly but with strength and pride. The juxtaposition of the legendborn arthurian patriarchal power and the matriarchal rootcraft that war within Bree’s body is a brilliant storytelling tool used beautifully by Tracy Deonn to tell this tale.

Magic and demons, merlins and rootcraft and aether – all the fantastical elements are cleverly woven throughout the story and do not take the reader out of the flow at all. And I love me some Arthur mythology and sword fighting! The mutable and inconsistent quality of myths and legends cause Bree all sorts of strife. Everyone has secrets and the telling of history (depending on who is doing the telling) has a way of hiding the truth behind shadows, half-truths and straight up lies and add all sorts of twists to Bree’s tale of power and empowerment.

There are also so many fabulous characters in this series to love. Bree, Selwyn, William, Nick, Alice and more, and plenty of new faces and personalities are introduced to enjoy. The ghostly presences are also numerous, entertaining and grippingly powerful in the stories they have to tell.

An altogether enjoyable book two and a terrific series. I totally recommend Bloodmarked. A perfect book two.

You can read my review of Book One: Legendborn here

You’re a scaredy cat (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

They burned the house, hoping it would take out the shadow monster that lived there. The remains still smoldered. No one was game to enter. The barriers around the house were reinforced and no one permitted past.

Bessie knew her friends would scoff. No way would she go past the wall. She’d show them. She was brave enough.

The ground was crunchy as she stepped on dead leaves and roots, the path cracked and worn. The shell of the house lay ahead. The sun setting brought shadows that crept toward her.

The shadows grew claws.

No one heard her screams.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read more FF prompt responses here

Word count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Beware the Hobyas

“Beware,” her grandfather said each night Sasha slept over. He sent Grandma outside with the trash and knocked against the table three times.

“Beware,” her grandfather said each morning when Grandma went to the mailbox. Grandpa tapped the door handle three times.

“Beware of what?” Little Sasha asked, wanting more information for the reason behind her grandfather’s pale face and red-rimmed eyes. Why did he refuse to go outside alone? “Beware of what?”

“The hobyas,” he whispered, his voice tiny. His shoulders were hunched and it made the large man look impossibly small.

“What are hobyas?” Sasha asked climbing onto his lap to make him braver.

His large gnarled fingers gripped her body tight. So tight she thought there might be bruises left on her sides. “It’s okay, Grandpa. I’m here. You’re safe,” she whispered.

“They wait in the dark. In the shadows. In the corners of your eye but disappear when you turn your head. They’re coming for me,” he said. She felt the tremors that wracked his thin frame and wanted to hug him to warm him up but he wouldn’t let her go so she couldn’t move.

“But you send Grandma outside,” she said.

“Do I?” Grandpa whispered

Sasha’s mouth dropped open as Grandpa whispered right into her ear. “Hobyas wait, hidden, unseen and when you are not looking, they strike.”

“What do they do?”

“They snatch you up and eat you, snapping your bones and sucking on your entrails.”

Sasha didn’t know what entrails were but she shuddered all the same because that didn’t sound like anything you wanted to have happen to you.

“But that is not the worst bit.”

She reared back as much as his grip allowed. “There’s worse?”

“They replace you. They take your skin and they enter the homes of your loved ones. They become you. And nobody knows.”

“How do we stop them?”

“You can’t.”

“What do they look like? Before they become the people they eat?”

“Shadows. Nothing but shadows and teeth.”

“They’re not real, Grandpa,” she tried to say but his stare stopped the words in her throat. Then his eyes tracked sideways and Sasha followed his gaze to the old woman sitting at the kitchen table sipping her cup of tea. She slurped loudly and her head twitched sharply to one side as if she knew they were talking about her. She smiled widely, exposing yellowed teeth and blood red gums.

“Come along, dears. It’s time for lunch,” Grandma said.

Sasha screamed and ran to the other end of the house.

“Pa, what are you telling her? You devil. She’ll have nightmares tonight.” Both of her grandparents laugh. Sasha can hear them from her hiding spot under her bed. She hears her grandpa take off his boots and bang them against the lip of the door three times to get the dirt off.

That night Grandma handed Grandpa the little bag from the trash bin rather than the other way around. “Can you take this outside, love? Sasha’s almost finished her dessert. I’ll wash up.”

“Of course,” Grandpa said winking at Grandma.

Sasha relaxed her tight hold on her glass of milk. It was just a story. Her grandfather was trying to scare her. She giggled into her cookies and ice cream and waved at him as he stepped over the threshold.

He took a long time outside. Longer than usual. Sasha stood at the window, but she couldn’t see him in the dark. When he came in, he removed his hat and scarf and tapped his boots on the lip of the door to get the dirt off. Once, twice.

Sasha waited for the third thump.

It didn’t come.

She peered over at her grandpa but he had already moved away from the door.

He always knocked three times. He came into the kitchen and sat down beside Sasha. She watched his face carefully. His head tilted and jerked. He turned slowly to face her and his smile was sharp. All teeth and gums.

Oh no.

… Beware of the hobyas.

© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

What your eyes don’t see (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

I was told the device’s disguise would not cause suspicion. I was skeptical. The proof was in the evidence. I breeched the target location and placed the device among similar devices. Enacting my invisibility cloak, I lay in wait. I had to be sure. The target and his family entered and didn’t notice the new arrival. Even the child, which took to playing with the device. I slipped out once I ensured the device was recording clearly.

From the playhouse in the back yard, my wings flutter as I listen to their world destruction plans.

Now we have a chance.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read more FF prompt responses here

Word count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Witch

I am a witch.

I was born a witch.

I live as a witch.

I will die a witch.

Of course, magic is not called witchcraft anymore. Now I am called a scientist and my cauldron is my bunsen burner.

I experiment, I test, I trial, I spell.

I am a doctor and a healer and an engineer. I make things and I unmake things.

I am strong.

I am powerful.

They try to tell me that I am less. That I cannot make and test and create. That I am a girl, a woman, a child.

That I am less.

No.

I am more than they will ever see.

I am more than they can ever understand

I have survived.

I hear not their rules.

I hear not their reasons.

I see the past.

I see the future.

They cannot stop me.

They cannot stop what I will become.

I am here in spite of their will and those that come after me will be more than what I ever was.

They think in terms of win or loss, yet I am here to tell you that I AM.

You cannot stop me.

You cannot break me.

You cannot end me.

I am a witch.

I am life itself.

I am a force that cannot be matched and cannot be stopped.

…Fear me.

The truth is out there (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Fleur Lind

As the lights brighten my flashback is immediate. Strange sounds, electronic in nature beeping at odd intervals almost like speech. White light, so bright it blinds me but I sense movement in my periphery. A dampness covers me, almost like water. I’m wet but not sweating. A coppery smell I am sure is blood fills my nose. A hand against my shoulder startles me out of the memory. “…What?” I stutter.

“It happened again?”

“Uh… I suppose… yes.”

“They said it’ll happen.”

“Yeah.”

Resuscitation after drowning. They said it was a near death experience.

But I was nowhere near water.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read more FF prompt responses here

Word Count: 100

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A brief respite (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

The steps are filthy.

I only hesitate only a moment before diving down them, my weapon held tightly in my hands. I press back against the bricks breathing hard.

Had I been seen?

Heat presses against my sweat-dampen skin reminding me of the oppressive heat under direct sunlight. Thankfully, this far down I’m shaded. The bounty hunter had found me and I don’t think I’ll escape this time. The smell seeping from the ground fills my nose and I gag.

A shadow moves.

A gun fires…

A robotic body falls.

I leap over the body on the steps. Keep running.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read more FF prompt responses here

Word count: 100

Have been in iso since 1st Jan with covid… please say hello! Honestly, as soon as I looked at Roger’s photo today I thought, how did he get in my room? Yes, my room currently looks somewhat similar to this stairwell.

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Review: The Daredevil (WaterFyre Rising Book 2) by Nadia Han

About the Book:

Loving her is his biggest risk . . . and also his biggest reward.

Daring, clever, and gorgeous, Royce Viktorsson is a volcanologist who lives life on the edge between the thrill and the pulsing calm before the storm. His unsteady lifestyle masks the man who is seeking to heal the hole in his heart. Nothing has offered him resolve . . . until her.

The lightning that illuminates his soul.
The thunder that stirs his heart.
The lava that ignites his blood.


Thoughtful, alluring, and guarded, travel blogger Michelle Yates is emotionally unavailable thanks to the monster in her closet. Traveling allows her to see the beauty in the world, making her forget the ugliness in her life. One man yanks on that closet door and helps her claim back her self-worth.

The friend who becomes her lover.
The hero who defeats her monster.
The savior who defines her destiny.


As their romance churns, danger erupts, whipping out secrets that demand the truth, but the daredevil is willing to risk everything to defend those important to him.


The Daredevil is a friends-to-lovers, fake-dating, forced proximity, destined moments, billionaire hero, and a suspenseful contemporary romance. It is Book Two in the WaterFyre Rising series but can be read as a standalone.

Caution: This book contains sexual content, profanity, violence, mentions of suicide, and eating disorder. Recommended for 18+.

My Thoughts:

Another terrific romance from Nadia Han. This is book two of the WaterFyre Rising series. Royce and Michelle’s journey is a great read, especially over a long break where you just want to relax and enjoy a great read.

I love Michelle’s story. And having a blogger as a main character is a clever idea to give the reader a fun trip to learn about another country. I really wanted to see these views as described. Michelle is dealing with bullying and her own personal demons. I like to positive fight by her to become a success. Add in Royce, who is a great character full of determination and a need to please and a need to help. What I got most out of reading about Royce was his need to be seen. (And who doesn’t love a sexy but nice, rich guy!) A friends to lovers story is one that I have a soft spot for. I really appreciated the warnings on content and wish more books/publishers would do this. Michelle is a terrific character. There are all sorts of monsters in this story and they topics are deftly handled by Nadia Han. The tension builds well and the action is a little surprising, which adds to the reader experience.

Once again Nadia Han gives these characters a depth and grounding in reality that makes for a really speedy but entertaining (and sexy) read. A must have on the beach or lying beside a pool… or sitting next to a warm fire with a blanket and a hot chocolate. You can read book one and enjoy the start of the series, or start with this one. Daredevil does stand alone if you get to this one first.

Pay attention (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

New year’s day and all was quiet. This early not too many souls braved the light of day after the indulgences of the night before. It was the day the fae folk loved to emerge and play in the sun. So early, before the two legs showed their faces.

Of course, that didn’t include the children who were up early. But the fae folk had their image casters on to blend in and appear human.

“Play with us?”

“Of course? Shall we run like the wind?”

“Yesssssssssss!”

It was the best way to feed. Free takings and unobservant hungover parents.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read more FF prompt responses here

Word count:100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

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