Release Day: Remembering Majyk by Valia Lind

We’re celebrating the release of REMEMBERING MAJYK by Valia Lind! One-Click your copy today!

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Title: REMEMBERING MAJYK, book one in The Skazka Chronicles

Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: January 18, 2018

Goodreads

PURCHASE HERE–> http://a.co/auvnhqa

 

Book Description:

Calista Faulkner never believed in fairy tales…until she is thrust into one.

While attending a college party, she’s attacked by terrifying creatures straight out of a modern day Dr. Frankenstein’s handbook. Fleeing for her life, she discovers that her human memories are a lie and nothing is what it seems.

Calista becomes a target and her only chance of survival is to trust the mysterious Brendan Parnell. He seems to know all of her secrets, even those she doesn’t remember herself.

Together they must fight to protect the most important part of their inheritance, the Relic of Knowledge. Unfortunately, Calista has no memory of her magical life and no idea where she hid the relic. As her memories begin to resurface with bone crushing agony, Calista must face the facts: she is a Volshebnitsya of the High Realm of Skazka and it is her duty to stop the Glava, the masters of Shadowlands.

The world around them begins to falls apart. Plagued by storms that are destroying cities and torn by the sinister monsters of Russian lore. The secrets locked deep inside her mind are her destiny and her undoing. If both worlds are to survive, Calista and Brendan must face the darkness around them—and the darkness threatening from within.

 

EXCERPT:

“What’s going on?” I shout, as the stranger shoves me into the room used to store all of our stuff, shutting the door behind him. I expect someone to come to my rescue, but it’s like no one can hear me yell. Stumbling back against the bed, I turn around and find myself face to face with another man already in the room. They tower over me, flanking me on both sides, wearing an expression of hatred that I don’t understand. I’ve never seen them before.

“Look, I don’t know who you think I am, but you’ve got the wrong girl. I have no idea who you are or why I’m here.” I say, and my words sound a lot calmer than I feel. Staring at the large men, I keep backing away until I’m on the other side of the bed.

“Volshebnitsya Skazki, sechasze otdavai Znaniye, ili mi ybiyom vseh.” 

“Umm, what?” My brain pushes to comprehend the strange words as the man in front of me growls with every syllable. His eyes narrow and he exhales, almost like a dog, before trying again.

“You are Calista Faulkner,” he says, his voice thick with an accent I can’t quite place. “You will tell where Znaniye hides or we kill everyone in this house.”

It takes a second for the broken English words to register before I find the courage to reply. “Kill? Did you not hear a word I just said? You’ve got the wrong girl!” I’m shouting now, but I don’t care if I sound like a lunatic. Someone has got to hear me.

“Do not bother yelling, Protector.” The goon who dragged me in here speaks again, as if reading my mind. “Walls now sealed with majyk of land. No one hear you now.”

I’ve always thought of myself as a logical person. I’ve always thought that presented with a situation where my life is in danger I will do the right thing. Those corners of my mind are trying to piece together what’s happening, but the rest of my body is shaking in fear. It’s as if I’m two people all of a sudden. One, fully focused on getting out of here, with a calm mind. Second, shaking like a leaf with no coherent thought. Thankfully, the logical me wins out.

“Listen,” I try again, my voice coming out soothing, but I do take a step back to put some distance between us. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. If you’ll just let me go, I can find someone who lives in this house, I’m sure they’ll be happy to show you where whatever you’re looking for is.”

“Do not lie, Protector!” the stranger booms, shaking the floor I’m standing on with just his voice. “This house has no wards, no majyk. You would not be so careless to leave the relic here.” I move a bit farther back, putting the bed between us.

“You guys have had a little too much to drink.” I say, because I can’t even fathom this being my reality right now. With every word, my mind shouts at me that this is not a joke. These…things…are here to hurt me. I can’t constitute them as men any longer, as their faces continue to ripple in an otherworldly way, each time they breathe.

“Enough!” the man who was already in the room bellows, speaking up for the first time. “Do not play games, Protector. Tell us where it is and we kill you fast. Lie to us, and we kill you slow. Then, we kill all humans in this house.”

The man takes a step toward me and suddenly, there is a sword in front of my face. I jump as it manifests itself in his hand, my own hands flying over my mouth. I don’t think I drank anything but soda, so my mind must be playing tricks on me. I swear the man grows in size right before my eyes. He’s almost seven feet tall now, towering over my small frame, his face twisting and turning, becoming something other than human. His eyes bulge out, taking over his face, and from what I can see, there seem to be scars all over his skin. As if someone stitched pieces of flesh together. I watch, frozen, as the giant stalks up to me, pinning me against the wall in one breath. I try to struggle, but the hand on my throat is cutting off any circulation.

“Tell me where it is,” he growls, the words almost unintelligible with the noise coming from deep within his throat. I try to shake my head, give him some indication that I have no idea what he’s talking about, but he growls again and then there is pain.

Excruciating pain.

I feel my blood drip down my arm where his sword tip cuts me and that’s when I realize this is no joke. These men–monsters–are here for me and they will kill me if I don’t tell them what they want to know. If only I knew what they were asking, but none of this makes sense. I’m gasping for breath, my thoughts a jumbled mess as the pain spreads through my body. He cuts deeper, and any moment he’ll scrape the bone, leaving a permanent mark.

I push against the burning sensation spreading up my arm, struggling to breathe as he crushes my windpipe with his gigantic claw. My vision swims before me as I try to focus on his face and there is more distortion than before. It’s as if layers of a mask keep coming off the longer he’s around me. I don’t understand how my mind manages to catalogue anything through the pain, but I fight it. I fight with my whole being.

An instinct I didn’t know I possessed kicks in, overshadowing the pain. It’s as if a switch has been turned on inside of me and just like that, the pain stops. It becomes manageable. As if, all of a sudden, I can push it back. Get it under control.

There is no time to dwell on the new discovery as the monster drops me to my feet. I land hard, my bones rattling with the impact and I don’t see the blow coming. His hand connects with my cheek and I’m on my knees. Tears sting my eyes, but I push them back, just like I’m pushing the pain back. The response is automatic, almost like a reflex. I watch my attacker stalk across the room and I’m on my feet.

Acting on pure instinct, I kick out as the stranger comes barreling toward me, sending him reeling into the bedpost. Surprised my action has the desired affect, I scramble to my feet, but I don’t make it far. The door on the other side of the room opens, and a blur of movement catches my attention as the other man comes flying across the room.

I don’t wait to see who or what did that, as I turn to the window, push it open and run.

 About the author:

Author. Photographer. Artist. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valia Lind always had a love for the written word. She wrote her first full book on the bathroom floor of her dormitory, while procrastinating to study for her college classes. Upon graduation, she has moved her writing to more respectable places, and have found her voice in Young Adult fiction.

You can visit her online at http://valialind.com or follow her on twitter, where she spends way too much time, @ValiaLind.

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Cover Reveal + Excerpt: Remembering Majyk

Hi, everyone! I’m so thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for Valia Lind’s Remembering Mayjk, which has a set release date of January 18, 2018. Read below for an exclusive excerpt. But first, let’s take a look at that gorgeous cover!

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Title: REMEMBERING MAJYK, book one in The Skazka Chronicles

Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: January 18

Goodreads

PREORDER HERE–> http://a.co/auvnhqa

 

Book Description:

Calista Faulkner never believed in fairy tales…until she is thrust into one.

While attending a college party, she’s attacked by terrifying creatures straight out of a modern day Dr. Frankenstein’s handbook. Fleeing for her life, she discovers that her human memories are a lie and nothing is what it seems.

Calista becomes a target and her only chance of survival is to trust the mysterious Brendan Parnell. He seems to know all of her secrets, even those she doesn’t remember herself.

Together they must fight to protect the most important part of their inheritance, the Relic of Knowledge. Unfortunately, Calista has no memory of her magical life and no idea where she hid the relic. As her memories begin to resurface with bone crushing agony, Calista must face the facts: she is a Volshebnitsya of the High Realm of Skazka and it is her duty to stop the Glava, the masters of Shadowlands.

The world around them begins to falls apart. Plagued by storms that are destroying cities and torn by the sinister monsters of Russian lore. The secrets locked deep inside her mind are her destiny and her undoing. If both worlds are to survive, Calista and Brendan must face the darkness around them—and the darkness threatening from within.

EXCERPT:

Darkness envelopes me like a cloak of fine silk, rustling against my skin and calming my racing heart. 

I’ve been running for what seems like hours and the night is a welcomed protector, keeping me hidden from the monsters. The rain comes as sudden as a shadow of a bird racing through the sky, soaking me instantly. 

I shouldn’t have ran. 

I shouldn’t have panicked. 

Although, if I ever had a time to panic, right now would be the best possible moment. When you go to a party for a friend, and get attacked by monsters straight out of some dark fairytale book, panicking is almost demanded. My heart is racing, as I try to calm myself down long enough to figure out what to do. I stop moving, letting my eyes scan the street around me, but there is nothing but a sheet of rain between me and the buildings.

I hear footsteps behind me, the same instant a body comes crashing around me. Strong arms pin me close to a solid chest, slamming me against the wall. I yelp and a hand claps over my mouth. Struggling against the human cage, a fierce whisper pierces my ear.

“Hold still, Calista.”

Just like that, everything freezes inside me. My body heats up at the sound of his voice and I raise my head to find Brendan’s eyes on mine. He’s the last person I expect to see, and yet, this feels as familiar as a memory. 

I open my mouth to ask the question, but he shakes his head and transfers his attention to our surroundings. The tall buildings rise on each side of us, the rain making everything glisten in the darkness. The full moon casts shadows on the cars parked along the street, turning a typical neighborhood into a scene straight out of a horror movie.

“Come on. We have to get out of here.” 

Brendan grabs my hand and pulls me after him, away from the main road. Surprisingly, I don’t question him, but follow as he leads me away with the same urgency that runs through my blood. I stumble over my feet, but he keeps me upright. Glancing behind me I see shadows moving, closing in. There’s at least a dozen bodies running after us, close to the ground as if sniffing out our scent. 

“Brendan!” I choke on his name, as the panic threatens to overwhelm my senses. He glances over his shoulder, assessing the situation and I see the frustration written there as plain as day. The odds don’t look so good for us, and he knows it. 

Before I can offer advice, he pushes through a door on our right. Running behind him, as he holds my hand steady in his, I wonder how in the world I have found myself in this position. The thought is much calmer than I expect my mind to be at the moment, and that makes me pause. Brendan senses me slowing down, and turns to look behind him. 

“What’s going on Brendan?” I ask, when his eyes meet mine. I’m not even that out of breath. ”What are those things and why are they chasing us?” My voice rises with panic, as if now that I’m saying the words out loud, it’s finally real.

“Now is really not the time for questions, Cali. We have to get to the roof.” 

“That’s great and all, but you don’t actually expect me to trust you, right?” I ignore the fact that it seems I was doing just that thirty seconds ago. It’s like a reflex. It’s been that way since the day I met Brendan. The moment he came into my life it was like trying to tune a radio and finally finding the right station. The feedback buzz is gone and there’s comfortable silence. 

“Cali, you already trust me. Don’t deny it now. And once we get out of here alive, I will answer as many questions as I can, but for now, we need to move.” 

There is truth to his words, because I do know him and I do trust him. For some reason, that’s all I need to hear before I’m the one dragging him up the stairs. 

Now on Facebook!

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As of today I have an author page on Facebook! I decided to take the plunge and create one in the hopes that I can reach more readers through the platform. I also like to think it’ll keep me on-track and accountable. Plus, it means I HAVE to get my novel edits done, right!?

You can follow my Facebook page here.

And fellow authors: I’d love to follow along with your Facebook page! Feel free to leave links below.

Best,

Danielle

Hear Me Read!

I’m such a huge fan of Breadcrumbs Mag, where writers are challenged to get inspired by any of the pieces on the site and let this inspiration fuel their own writing. I currently have three pieces on Breadcrumbs and I am so pleased to be a part of this awesome “trail.”

Today I’m happy to share that I’m featured on the ninth episode of the Breadcrumbs Podcast, and I’m reading my fiction piece that’s all about dead people, and kissing, and ravioli. It sounds weird. It kind of is.

Anyway, I’m so thankful that I got to read and present my work through this new medium! Please check out the episode here and listen to some great pieces by Kim Dietz and Bob Raymonda while you’re at it.

I Have An Agent!

Back in June I started sending agents query letters and excerpts of my YA novel in the hopes of finding someone to represent me. I got radio silence from a few agents, but I wasn’t deterred. I got a few full manuscript requests, which I sent out with fingers crossed.

“The websites say it could takes agents weeks – even months – to answer queries,” I said to myself (out loud) on more than one occasion, reduced to a bundle of nerves. And then, only a few days ago, I happened to see these two tweets that caught my eye:

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Honestly, I took a screenshot of them and sent them to my mom and boyfriend. “Do you think these are about my manuscript? See the movie slate?”

(My novel is set in Los Angeles and my main character is fixated on film and Hollywood culture)

And now, I am so happy to say, the writer of those tweets (Brent Taylor of TriadaUS) is my agent! Could you tell that this is where the story was going? Did the title of the post give me away?

After talking to Brent for the first time I was blown away by how much he seemed to understand and care about my main character and my novel. I can’t wait to dig into revisions and work with him to make the story the best that it can be!

So to all of you out there querying: Good luck! Keep at it. Don’t get discouraged. Also, take advantage of the awesome community that is Twitter, which helps connect agents, editors, and writers in new and interesting ways. I also highly recommend checking out Manuscript Wish List and the #MSWL hashtag to see the kinds of stories agents and editors are looking for! I hope you find your perfect match.

Review: The Yoga of Max’s Discontent

BiblioSmiles

yogaofmax I was given an e-copy of The Yoga of Max’s Discontent by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am so happy to have had this opportunity, because The Yoga of Max’s Discontent is a gem of a story.

Max Pzoras has achieved what many believe to be the American Dream: he has surpassed his impoverished upbringing and lives a life of luxury in New York City. He works a high-paying office job where many people consider him skilled at what he does. He lives in a beautiful apartment and wears fine clothes. He wants for nothing.

Except something in Max’s life is missing. After his mother passes away, Max has a chance encounter with a street cart vendor who, although barely dressed, does not so much as shiver in the cold. Through this man, Max learns about the yogis in India who have achieved Nirvana, and stories…

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Taking the Leap

I can’t believe I finally got here.

I’ve started querying agents concerning my YA novel, Another War Year. After working on this story in various forms for years, it finally feels complete.

And it all suddenly feels so much more real.

I’m thankful that during my time at undergrad as a creative writing major I had the opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of querying. I’ve also loved taking part in Twitter and web events like #PitMad and, today, #Pg70Pit. These events give agents and editors a chance to check out stories they might be interested in a new and exciting way.

You can learn about #PitMad on Brenda Drake’s site here.

And check out #Pg70Pit on Lara Willard’s site here.

I hope some of you other writers will take advantage of events like this! I’ve been having a lot of fun so far and I’ve had a few agents reach out for samples.

Now here’s hoping these agents like 90s nostalgia, movie trivia, and super conflicted protagonists!

BONUS: Please enjoy this photo of me sitting on The Iron Throne last week.

Day 285 - June 25, 2016