Several months ago I shared the great news that J. Taylor Publishing accepted my short story, THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ, for their MAKE BELIEVE anthology coming out December 3, 2o12. I was thrilled beyond words and all of you were so sweet and wonderful, sharing all your congratulations and good wishes. I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful followers who support each other in their endeavors.
Today I hit another milestone in this whirlwind publishing process. So many of you have asked when they will get a sneak peek at the stories in the anthology and I’m happy to say today is the day! Below you will find the first 250 words (or thereabout) of THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ. The editing process has been fantastic and there were very, very few changes to the opening page. What you see here is pretty much the way it looked upon submission, which makes me really, really happy. I guess all that studying and taking notes and practicing and reading about opening hooks and the importance of 1st pages paid off in this case. I want to give a HUGE shout out to my beta readers and critique partners. Without you, AMULET, may not be where it is today. You guys rock my world and I can’t thank you enough for all your help and late nights, phone calls and multiple reads.
My story is just one of six fantastic short stories and I am thrilled to appear beside an amazing group of authors. Please take the time to visit all of their websites over the next several months and get to know them as I have. As today is the official release date of our sneak peeks, they may have their excerpts up today, too, so make sure you make the rounds, introduce yourself and tell them I sent ya! Also, if you don’t mind, please click here to add it to your To-Read list.
And now, for your reading pleasure, may I present the first page of The Amulet of Ormisez:
Elton Fletcher urged his horse through the wind and sleet toward the enormous shadow rising from the moors against the darkness. Sagewick Castle. Home. Faster and faster he rode, speeding past the hedges and trees hiding the royal palace of Trumwald, his cloak snapping behind him. The horse galloped through the archway of the gatehouse, its nostrils flaring, hooves clopping against cobblestones.
A stout man rushed from the stable house, wool cloak over his head, oil lantern in hand.
“Welcome home, Master Fletcher.”
“Thank you.” Elton dismounted and handed over his horse to the welcoming marshal. “It’s good to be back. Tell me, has Master Cayden retired for the evening?”
“He has not, Lord Elton,” replied a familiar voice, “but might I suggest you tidy up a bit before socializing.”
“Ah, Ferris!” Elton grinned at the man on the steps. “What a pleasant sight! I assume my room has been prepared.”
“Of course, my lord. We’ve been expecting you.”
“Splendid. I’m cold as a corpse. Perhaps you’d like to join me for some apricot brandy and something to eat? I’m famished.” Elton embraced Ferris.
“The brandy is already in your room. I’ll have the servants fetch whatever you wish once you are settled.”
Inside, a slew of servants, waiting by the doorway, greeted Elton with exuberant smiles on their faces.
“Welcome back, Master Elton.”
“It is good to see you again, my lord.”
“May I take your coat, Sir?”
A young boy of no more than ten years stood before Elton, his arms outstretched. Elton smiled and draped his sodden, fur-lined coat and leather gloves across them. Reaching inside his coin pouch, Elton withdrew a gold therap and tucked it in the boy’s trouser pocket. “For your troubles,” he said, tousling the boy’s hair.
The young face beamed with delight as he ran down a marble corridor shouting for his mother, the coat dragging the ground behind him.
“You’d best be careful of your treatment of the hired help, Sir,” said Ferris. “Your brother would not approve.”
“Why?” Elton walked with Ferris down the entrance hall, flanked by roaring fireplaces set between massive columns. His boots echoed with each click upon the black marble floor.
“Things are not as they were when you left two years ago.” They climbed the wide, stone stairway and followed a maze of corridors. Vibrant, handmade tapestries popped against the limestone walls while slender red carpets lay underfoot. Oil lamps flickered against the stone.
It seemed all had remained as Elton recalled.
“Lord Cayden has … changed,” Ferris continued, his face drawn. “He is not what you remember. Watch your step and your generosity.”
Now for a bit about the anthology:
Release Date: December 3, 2012
Target Reader: Adult
Sacrificial Oath by Terri Rochenski
An impetuous act unwittingly makes Alesuela the fulfillment of the Sovereign’s Blood Oath to their Goddess. In five days, she’ll be forced to make the greatest choice of her life: become the virginal sacrifice already promised, or force the man she loves most to die in her place.
With an impossible choice in front of her, she searches for ways to undo the oath, and in her quest, finds not everything in her life is as she expects.
The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller Ford
There is only one way to save Elton Fletcher’s brother from an insanity-ridden death.
After years away from home, fighting for his people, Elton returns to discover his only sibling, Cayden, possessed by greed and malice, and responsible for malicious, unthinkable deeds. Cayden, though, isn’t the only one afflicted by the Amulet of Ormisez, and Elton finds himself in yet another battle, where the price of failure could be his own life.
Birthright by Lynda R. Young
Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible.
She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she’s never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her.
Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead.
Petrified by Kelly Said
A mysterious storm has replaced summer with winter, devastating crops and smothering Castle lands in snow. Prince Sterling August stands alone as a leader, lost in personal grief as well as a desire to help his people but with an inability to do either.
The answers he needs await him, but without Lochlyn, a woman who’s just as isolated as Sterling, he’ll never see what stands before him, cloaked in illusion.
Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton
Emily is a Red, a woman whose sole purpose in life is to produce offspring. When her husband dies and leaves her childless, she risks her life and forsakes the safety of Terra—a disease-free city born after the nuclear holocaust. Beyond its boundaries, she knows, survives a man with whom she can be properly paired.
The Outside, though, holds secrets the government struggles to keep, and what Emily discovers on her quest for a mate will change her life forever.
Escort to Insanity by J.A. Belfield
From a charity auction, to a stroll in the park, to the craziest night of her life. Nicole Harrington can’t help but wonder how a simple event went so drastically wrong.
Of course, the male escort she booked is wholly to blame. Not only charming but shrewdly intelligent, Benjamin Gold drags Nicole into a platoon of unimaginable problems—ones from which she’ll have to find the courage just to survive.
Websites of MAKE BELIEVE authors: