Another new release today, take a look at Stone Guardian by Paulina Woods and let us know what you think.
Element – Fire (Healer/Destroyer)
Royal House – Purple
Milcah was born to rule along side an evil mother. Milcah’s father was taken against his will and forced to give up his seed to produce a child with unimaginable powers. At a young age she was taken away from the only home she knows and forced to forget, again and again.
Raised by a detached stepmother, Milcah learned to depend on herself and her best friend, Mary for support. When Mary suggest a vacation, with a scenic route, to the Grand Canyon Milcah believes she is finally getting the chance to see outside her small town. Packing a few things and climbing into her old beat up car, she never imagined she would find a new side of herself.
Lost on a back road, Milcah meets her destiny in a small town named Beacon. When her mind is unlocked, she finds she has a past that will lead to the salvation or damnation of the world.
This is book one in The Witches Amulet series.
“Damn it. How can I get lost with MapQuest? Stupid directions.” Milcah bangs her fist against the steering wheel. Two weeks ago driving across the country alone seemed like a great plan but now that she is actually doing it, not so much. “If I had known driving was going to be more stressful than work I would have flown.” After leaving Tucson, Arizona she had gotten lost on all the small highways and now she is on a godforsaken two lane highway where she hasn’t seen another car for ages, her phone refuses to get reception, and to top it
off there are storm clouds in the distance.
“Fuck me. I should have stayed home.” Something had told her to fill up at the last gas station so she is going to be ok there, but she needs to find somewhere to hole up until this storm passes. Getting stuck in the middle of the desert during a thunderstorm in an older Honda is not a good idea.
After driving another twenty minutes, Milcah spots a sign announcing a small mining town. Even small towns have hot food, hot water, and a nice warm bed. Glancing back at the clouds, she ignores her misgivings and turns right onto a small, barely paved road.
“Ouch!” Her left tire hits a pothole and she hears the bottom of the car scrape. Milcah hopes the older car she is driving is made out of tough material, she can’t afford expensive repairs.
Like a horror movie, the road starts to look overgrown and all but disappearing in some places. Milcah is sure the last time this road was paved was when pavement was first introduced. But with storm clouds riding her ass, there is no way Milcah is turning around. Reaching across to the passenger seat, Milcah picks up her phone, hoping the closer she drives to the town the better her reception will get. No such luck. Throwing her useless phone on the passenger seat, she passes under a sign that reads “Welcome to Beacon”.
“Beacon of what?” Looking around at the empty streets, Milcah feels a chill run down her spine. “This town should be named Forsaken.”
There is no other way to describe the sad, abandoned town. It has overgrown grass on the sides of the road, buildings with blank empty windows and the only sound is the shutters blowing in the wind. The town looks like it had been built in the early gold rush years and then abandoned soon after. Turning onto what she assumes is the main street, Milcah feels an oily sensation pass over her. It reminds her of her dreams.
“What have I gotten myself into? I don’t think phones were invented when this place was a booming town. There’s no way I am sticking around. I can make it to the next town.”
Making a U-turn, Milcah slams on her brakes to avoid hitting…what the hell was that? She knows it wasn’t in the road a few seconds ago. Scared but curious, Milcah studies the object. Standing at over seven feet tall, it can’t be mistaken for human. A ghost? But a ghost of what? A little transparent, it has wings, which reach from the middle of its knees and come to a point a little above its head. Wanting to get out the car and investigate but knowing that’s when people are killed in horror movies, Milcah presses the gas pedal, swerves around the creature, and heads for the road out of town. Gripping the steering wheel Milcah tries to stop her hands from shaking. What the hell was that? As she reaches for her phone, again hoping it will work, Milcah feels her hand pass through something warm. Glancing over, Milcah screams as she stares into the eyes of the creature, now calmly sitting in her car. Hitting her brakes to avoid running into anything and putting her car in park, Milcah turns in her seat to stare at it.
Milcah is able to make out more features, a heavy brow covering deep-seated eyes, a semi-flat nose resting over plump lips. Though not a classic beauty in any sense of the word, the thing still doesn’t look like a monster. Curiosity over shadows fear and Milcah reaches out and runs her hand through the creature again feeling the warmth and a slight tingle. Reaching for her amulet in a nervous gesture, Milcah tries to remember what she has read about ghosts and the proper thing to do. She doesn’t have any holy water but it doesn’t look like the thing is trying to suck out her soul or kill her.
“I think I have read way too many supernatural novels and need to get my head checked.” Milcah looks out the window, making sure she isn’t hanging upside down after crashing her car. A car crash would go a long way to
explaining what is happening. She turns her attention back to what’s sitting in her passenger’s seat. It seems to be studying her just as much as she is studying it.
It seems fascinated by the amulet Milcah is playing with and reaches out as if to touch it. Moving the amulet out of reach, Milcah tries to figure out what she is going to do. She is not a very brave woman and has trouble stepping outside of her box but somehow, she feels like she is supposed to be right here, at this moment. Looking at her amulet again, Milcah longs to be able to ask her mother to explain what is happening. Milcah glances at her phone again, hoping to see it has reception. Growling to herself, she looks back at the creature to see he is following the movement of her thumb as she rubs the amulet.
“What would Mary do?” Milcah envies Mary’s ability to believe in the supernatural outside of books. Milcah believes in the goddess and to honor her, humans need to take care of the world they have been given. She lights candles during the full moon and reads her own tarot cards. She even went to see a few mystics with her mother. Yet nothing has prepared her for what she is facing in this small deserted town. She always believed people move on to the next cycle and supernatural beings like vampires, werewolves, and gargoyles were fantasies made up by humans to explain evils in the world.
Last year she had decided to see why she was having nightmares and a psychologist told her she was suppressing memories from childhood. He believed Milcah had been abused as a child and the dreams were her mind’s way of dealing with the trauma. Milcah never told anyone about the visit and never went back. Now she makes a mental note to call the doctor when she returns home.
Help us. The sound of a deep male voice overlaid with many others causes Milcah to jump. Shaking her head, Milcah tries to ignore the voice echoing
around her. Help us.
“I’m going insane,” Milcah grimaces. “I need to get to the next town.”
As soon as the words leave Milcah’s mouth, thunder rolls across the sky, quickly followed by a flash of lightening. “Dang it. I cannot drive in a desert rainstorm. What if there’s a flash flood? I have to think of something. I can’t stay here.” The GPS is useless but Mary had been thoughtful and placed a paper map in the middle console. After looking at the confusing lines on the map for a few minutes, Milcah gives up and tosses it into the backseat. Crossing her arms, she sits back and tries to think of another plan.
Help us. There it is again. Glancing over at the creature in her passenger seat Milcah wonders if he’s pushing his voice into her head. Before she can ask him the voice echoes again. Help us. With that last plea, something unlocks in Milcah’s mind. Something akin to a memory surfaces and Milcah loses focus, in the real world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Paulina is a small town girl with big dreams. She is the second oldest of three talented siblings.
As early as three she was directing her family around acting out whatever current story was in her head. At four between her older brother and her, a whole universe was created which the younger siblings were introduced into as they were born.
Her natural ability to tell a story took her down many paths. She wrote plays, poems, small children books and short stories all before she entered high school.
When picking a career her councilor told her writing was a dying art and so she went to school for veterinarian science. Three years later she dropped out of university and enrolled in the local community college with a major in journalism
In 2008 she graduated with her BA in Communication/Journalism from Cal State Fullerton.
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