I want to give my friend, Melissa Barker Simpson (Mel) a pat on the back!
I am excited to announce:
Today, July 30th, 2015 her new book, “The Fallen,” is premiering on Amazon! This link will take you to her book launch site.
After the Demonic War, a battle which devastated the mortal realm, hunter cells were established across the globe to serve and protect every living soul. Maddison Wood is part of an alpha cell in the north of England. But Maddison has a new role now; her responsibilities as Watcher. She belongs to a legion of warriors assigned to serve the Fallen; guardian angels afforded the privilege of residing on Earth.
When Maddison is drawn to the city by an event which resonates hundreds of miles away, she is thrown into the path of a newly fallen angel. But Obadiah is no ordinary angel. He is a Prime, and his presence symbolizes a new threat. There is a war coming, and Maddison must form an alliance if she has any hope of winning this first battle. After all, the Fractured are a formidable enemy; a group of lost souls – powerful creatures of darkness who crave to destroy those who belong to the light.
But WAIT! There’s more!
As busy as Mel has been, she agreed to give us a wee sample of her writing with an EXCLUSIVE short story introducing you to Maddison, her protagonist!
The story begins…
It was cold. So cold, Maddison almost wished she could go back to her room. If an old, dusty attic could be called a room. It certainly wasn’t home. But then, her current location, crouched in a shop doorway, was hardly a step up in the world.
Her stomach growled; a loud protest which made her flinch. If she was caught, she would be returned to the hell from which she had escaped, and Maddison would rather starve than face the humiliation of returning to the junk pile. It was how her foster parents viewed her. The sadist twins kept her for their entertainment; her value equal to that of the rubbish littering their loft space. Not that she could blame them. She had been found in an open grave on the eve of her first day on earth. Not the greatest of introductions.
Better to keep moving.
Maddison ducked out of her hiding place, her eyes scanning the narrow street for any sign of life. She was alone. The thought did not reassure her. There was a darkness in the air, and it had nothing to do with the hour. A clawing sense of danger she felt like icy fingers brushing the back of her neck.
She decided it was her cue to leave, and scrambled up, hugging tight to the wall; her senses on alert. Maddison had always been able to feel things. For as long as she could remember she had relied on her senses; moving around in the dark with the ease of a night creature. It was a knowing she relied on, even before she was old enough to understand she wasn’t like other girls. Not that she was given the opportunity to mix with children her own age. It didn’t matter. She knew she was different because she could feel the power growing inside her. It was like a living, breathing extension of her. She could see it. Her mind afforded it a personality, showed her a green phantom – one which grew as she did.
She hadn’t meant to concentrate the energy into her hair. It had happened without conscious thought. Now her dark tresses grew at her command until she could use them as easily as one of her limbs. At first it was fun. She could transform her locks with merely a thought, and yet, sometimes, it moved on its own. Maddison felt the twitch, felt her hair flex and flicker like a cat’s tail. She wore it in a long braid, which hung down her back. It was thick and dark and gave her a sense of control she had never had.
Maddison paused at the end of the street, her gaze on the road sign a few yards away. She didn’t know this part of London well, but she was pretty sure Aronmyre would not show up on the map. The writing was all wrong, the letters seemed to glow in the dark. Maddison could almost believe it was a secret message, an invitation to a distant land. She had spent too many years alone, with only her imagination to guide her.
This way to the magical kingdom.
She smiled, amused by her thoughts, and stepped beneath the worn sign.
At first Maddison thought she was hallucinating. She had taken the game a little too far and dreamt up the beautiful woodland area, one her mind told her was real. She closed her eyes, prepared to let go of the illusion and continue on her way. Except that didn’t happen. Not when she blinked, rubbed or even willed her eyes to bring her back to reality.
Maddison took a rapid step back, her pulse jumping when the forest dropped away and she saw the connecting street once more.
Get a grip, Maddy.
She almost stepped around the sign, but she was tired of being afraid. So, instead she took a determined stride forward and walked right back into her delusion. Maddison repeated the process several times until she grew tired of the same picture. Either this was real, and the sign was some kind of crazy, messed up version of a portal, or she had finally lost her mind.
In the end she decided she didn’t care. Whether real or imaginary, the forest was an escape. If her desperate mind had conjured this place, she could summon a bed for the night and preferably some food. If real, then at least she was safe from the sadist twins, who were no doubt looking for her if only to secure their care allowance.
She didn’t move for several minutes. Her instincts were screaming at her, and she couldn’t decide if they were telling her to flee or to hide. The fact someone stepped up directly behind her, barely managing to stop before ploughing her down, told her she should have run when she had the chance.
“There now. Easy.”
The voice at her back was deep, yet gentle. It was the kind of voice meant to instill trust. Maddison had learned never to trust anybody.
She turned, keeping her back straight and her chin high, even though her heart was hammering and her legs felt weak. The man was tall and broad like a warrior, which probably made him a figment of her imagination too. His skin was dark and smooth, yet more evidence none of this was real. He looked picture perfect.
He was frowning at her, his dark brown eyes narrowed on her face. “You’re afraid.” It sounded like an accusation.
A crease appeared on his forehead as though he was concentrating really hard on something. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
Maddison wondered if he could hear the rapid beat of her heart. It would explain why he seemed offended by the thought. “I’m not going to hurt yours either.”
The warrior laughed, his teeth glinting. Maddison jumped back, startled by the sight of fangs. Why would she conjure a monster?
“It’s okay,” he said, his laughter falling away. “I thought…never mind. Do you even know where you are?”
She considered lying, she even thought about running, and settled on the truth. “I have no idea.” Maddison shrugged, wondering if she’d fallen asleep in the doorway and this was all a dream.
“It’s not safe here for a child, you-”
“I’m not a child.”
The warrior frowned again. “How old are you?”
Her self-preservation kicked in, and this time Maddison did lie. She didn’t want him to contact the police. “I’m sixteen.”
“Let’s say that’s true. You’re still not safe. What are you even doing here alone?”
Maddison felt a flare of anger. She watched his gaze drift to her hair, which was twitching in response to her emotional state. “I don’t need anybody.”
She froze when the warrior pulled a large sword from behind his back, her stomach churning when he took a step forward.
“Get behind me.”
She turned her head on instinct, guided by the urgency in his tone and her intuition. The thing she saw creeping out of the shadows was horrifying. If she had thought this man was a monster, she didn’t have words for the creature stalking towards them.
Without further hesitation, Maddison stepped around the warrior. She held her breath when he charged forward, his sword swinging in the air. He took the monster down with one clean strike, and somehow managed to block most of the attack from view. Maddison felt light headed, but she didn’t pass out, nor did she betray her fear.
“We have to get you out of here.”
Maddison stared up at the warrior, her mind already searching for a way out of the nightmare. If she took a few steps backward she could return to a familiar place.
“My name is Tristan.” He bowed, and dark hair fell across his forehead. “You can trust me.”
She wasn’t sure why she believed him. Perhaps it was because, for the first time in thirteen years, someone valued her life.
Later she would discover that Tristan was a vampire, a member of the Enraptured, and protector of the human race. But on that night, he was simply a light in the dark – proof she wasn’t alone.
Meet my friend and Author – Melissa Barker Simpson
Melissa Barker-Simpson fills her days with language and words so she doesn’t get lost among the clouds. She is an interpreter by day, and a pen-wielding conjurer by night. Of course the only thing she conjures belong between the pages of a book, but it doesn’t make them any less compelling.
Her most important job, as far as she sees it, is being a mother to two impish teenagers. They keep her feet firmly on the ground, are a huge source of joy (despite the rampant emotions) and allow her to live out her fantasy of being a musketeer! She spends her time living between different communities, one of them being the (mostly) online writing community and give back the magic that has touched her life. Melissa runs a series of blogs, has a thing for collaboration, and enjoys to support others as often as possible.
Here’s how to find Melissa:
The Fallen book launch site has various places to purchase the book: https://booklaunch.io/mbarkersimpson/thefallen
Author website: http://www.mbarkersimpson.co.uk
Twitter handle: @mbarkersimpson
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Melissa-Barker-Simpson/e/B003E3PMTE
Thanks for stopping by to see the excitement in our part of the world! Stayed tuned for a book review soon!