Guest blogger, HK Savage, published through Staccato Publishing:
Like most of us, I love books. Give me a good character and I don’t care if they are from the past, in space or living in an alternate dimension, I love a great story. The Path is my 6th published book and I’m getting some great feedback on it. It was fun to write because, like everything else I write, it is a stretch of the imagination and let’s me play “what if?” That is my favorite premise. Whether I am writing about supernatural creatures (The Empath Trilogy), stretches of modern medicine (Life Blood and Blood Bound), or as in this case, magick. I know, I waffled on the “k” in magick but in the end, it has become readily accepted as the way to differentiate between manipulating the energies and creating an illusion that you’ve made The Statue of Liberty disappear.
Much like my peers and of course those far more famous than I, I thoroughly enjoy exploring alternate realities and seeing where that lets my characters roam. So far it’s been great fun and I already have another book, Whispers, that I’m hearing great things about due out around the first of the year. I’ve been asked why I still like stories that couldn’t be true and I always say, “how do you know?” Though really, I love stories that stretch my mind to places it doesn’t normally go because I don’t want to read a book about a woman who comes home, makes dinner and handles homework. Isn’t that what we’re reading to escape? My stories are always about adventure, character growth and a fun cast of characters. And of course some romance.
Writing has been so much fun and apparently didn’t keep me busy enough that in March I gathered some very talented people and we opened Staccato Publishing to help other writers fulfill their dream of seeing their books in print (or on some digital device). Our happy little band is growing with our third author having just joined us for publishing, and many manuscripts being received inhouse for straight editing for those choosing to self publish.
One of our authors, Jay Mims, has just released his debut novel The Five Santas and we’re looking forward to seeing him at his first signings coming up in October and November at bookstores in South Carolina. As soon as he is done promoting this one he’s promised me a peek at what he’s written for book two. And our third author is a great woman still working on her pen name and her latest round of edits to her paranormal romance, Bella Notte.
Without any further shameless plugging (believe it or not I actually hate that part), here is a snippet of The Path. Happy reading!
The Path by HK Savage
“What does that mean? I can make people like me? You said that before and that’s not magick by my definition.” He wasn’t impressed.
Cassie hadn’t explained it right. Puffing up her cheeks, she blew out in a big gush and tried another tack.
“Not just like you.” She clarified. “You can make people do things for you. It’s an incredibly useful tool for manipulating people, and yours is really strong.” Cassie watched him carefully. “You could make someone rob a bank for you, kill for you, fall in love with you, anything.”
She didn’t know why she said the last she must have been tired. But Cassie saw his misgivings; he was not excited about his magick. In what was becoming a sick cycle, Cassie felt the pleasure and pain associated with her mission. If educated on how to wield his magick she was sure Drew wouldn’t use it to hurt anyone though an ability such as his would have tempted even the morally incorruptible Sir Galahad. “I think you should go to the Academy Drew. I really think you would be a great Investigator and what a fantastic place for a talent like yours.” Too anxious to stop talking, Cassie went on. “Julia’s that way too. She can get almost anyone to tell her things. Except you, but that was the stone. You should have seen the look on her face when she told us not only did you block her out but you were charming her.” Cassie guffawed at the memory. “No one has ever fought her off before but you did. It might have been different if she’d touched you or gotten something of yours, then she might have had you.”
He was running his hands through his hair feeling sticky and gritty at the same time, focusing on the tactile preferring it to the less visible things Cassie was going on about. “It was the ring, that’s all.” He objected weakly, remembering back to his childhood when he’d been able to do no wrong. Teachers loved him, friends’ parents and coaches, it was always the same thing; if Drew wanted it, he got it. Luckily his parents had been well grounded and the only ones able to say no. Looking back he wondered if they hadn’t had a little magick of their own to be able to keep him at bay. He wished he could see them one more time if nothing else than to thank them for keeping him from turning into a monster.
“Only part of it was the ring. It had to get its direction from you.” She wouldn’t listen to his objections. “If I were wearing it, it would do something different maybe bend the metal in the bar or something.” She referred to hers being a physical magick. “But on you it brought out your strengths, getting people to trust you and to like you. It’s something you do naturally.” Her voice was more subdued. “You’re doing it now, that’s why I pushed you out of my head.”
Comprehension lit in his eyes. “That was what I felt? You pushing me away?”
“Why didn’t it happen like this before? Have I ever ‘influenced’ you before, you know, made you do something you didn’t want to do?” Drew worried for the first time he’d taken advantage of her, of any of the women he’d been with. Here he had been worrying whether he should be with her when it was possible he’d not left her any choice in the matter. That he would only have to snap his fingers to bring her to his bed.
“No, I was able to guard against your influence before.” She shook her head.
“Aren’t you guarding yourself now?” He asked the question awkwardly, the concept felt strange.
Cassie’s sagging frame answered better than words. “I’m tired. It’s harder now and I’m slipping.” She watched all of this new and heady information sink in. He stared at his hands, fingers running over the back of the finger where the stone used to sit whether out of habit or if he was thinking back and questioning everything he’d ever done, every friend and woman he’d ever had. Wondering if any of it had been real.
HK lives in the frozen hinterlands of the far North. The long, cold months provide ample opportunity to hunker down with her computer and create adventures far more enticing than scraping ice and getting frostbite.
Between books, HK reads voraciously. Anything with a good plot and compelling characters are her broad parameters. One is as likely to catch her with a copy of Don Quixote as with the latest in Gail Carriger’s steampunk series.
HK practices martial arts, rides her horse, gardens and plays with her family every chance she gets. Next winter she intends to brush up on her spanish and escape the cold for somewhere more tropical.
Cassie Porter’s family pushed her to be an agent for Veritas, the agency responsible for policing witches who live side by side with "regulars". Veritas promised her a life off the Reservation with a way to support her father and Grandmother. The problem is, Cassie is on probation due to the volatility of her mixed magick, a byproduct of her mixed blood.
Julia Decartes, a matronly Vodou practitioner and Quan Long, an elemental witch from the headwaters of the Yangtze are entrusted with bringing along Cassie’s magickal ability while attempting to keep her from killing anyone including herself in the process.
Investigating a witch and cult leader in Tampa, Cassie meets Drew Carter and discovers the powerful abilities both he and his brother are hiding as well as the terrible plan the witch has set into motion.
Drew pairs up with Cassie when his brother goes missing. It’s through their joint effort that Cassie untangles her power and Drew finds the world where he really belongs.
Available at the following places:
Barnes & Noble
Giveaway!!! HK is generously giving away 5 ecopies of The Path! To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your email address. The giveaway is open through November 6th.