From Ashes to Magic (Anthology)
by Various Authors
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: December 2nd 2019
mother, and followed my annoying brother out of the kitchen, narrowly missing
the antique cookie jar. His high-pitched laugh pierced my ears even after he’d vanished
into the living room. I rolled my eyes at my mom and swiped a finger across the
lopsided chocolate cake she was frosting.
said, stuffing my frosted finger into my mouth as she swatted at me with the
spatula. “Do we really have to wait to take my binding off? I’m so tired of
until the actual time of your birth in Faeloria, and that isn’t until ten
twenty-three tonight. Now, if you ask me again, I’ll make you
and pouted. Mom smirked and winked at me, turning to wash the dishes she’d used
to bake my birthday cake.
down on the counter and growled. “I’ll be able to drop my glamour whenever I
want, and use my magic, whatever it is.” I let out a loud, exaggerated sigh
aimed directly at my mother.
her hands with a dishtowel. “You’ll be fourteen, little miss. The age of
majority for Fae, yes, but that doesn’t make you an adult. Being mature and
responsible with the magics, and as a person, makes you an adult. Once the
binding comes off, you’ll feel different, more powerful. That can go to your
head. Don’t make us regret this.”
magic.” I huffed a little laugh and shook my head. “You remember when he went
to his football game without his glamour on?”
the high school colors.”
onto the football field with blue skin and green hair. Luckily, he played it
off as a prank and danced around the field with the mascot.
would push her buttons. Being a teenager was fun sometimes.
wagging a finger at me, “you get to kick him out after cake then. You know he
can’t be here when we perform the unbinding.”
about us. I hate keeping such a ginormous secret from my best friend.”
shoulders. “I know, sweetheart, but he’s human. We can’t let humans know we
exist. If it got out, the king could find us and force us back to Bilora, or
worse, turn us into the Prime Fae. Then we would have to live the rest of our
very long lives in the worst prison of Faeloria.”
saying. My parents had lectured us so many times about the dangers of our home
world, but they were just stories of a land I’d never seen.
their ivory towers, turning their noses up at most of Fae kind. They let the
regions rule themselves but stepped in only when they deemed it necessary.
Unfortunately, forced betrothal was beyond their purview.
as bad as centuries in a Fae prison.” I sighed. “I know, without a doubt, that
Bren would keep our secret, but I won’t tell him. I swear.”
smile. “Good. Your father and I will never let anyone force you to marry into
that vile family and live amongst the immoral Vex Fae.”
pushed me towards the living room. At the doorway, I glanced over my shoulder
at my beautiful mother, with her pale blue skin and shimmery, turquoise hair,
putting away dishes in the cozy kitchen.
“as long as I don’t have to be ordinary anymore.”
so many times over the years. Inside was the only family I had known in almost
a decade, the only family I wanted. Once they learned who I really was, I
wondered if they would welcome me into their home as readily as they do now.
head out the door, peering around exaggeratedly. “I don’t see anyone.”
the way open. Izbella Rane grinned at me with a silver mane draped over her
shoulder, completely unaware that I could see through the glamours that she and
her family wore to hide from the humans.
across the threshold. “Dinner isn’t here yet. Dad went to get sushi and pizza.”
into the kitchen. “Who asks for sushi and pizza for their birthday dinner?”
ruin a perfectly good pizza dinner with nasty sushi.” Kye spun his ever-present
football a couple inches above his fingertips. Izzy swatted at it, giving her
brother big eyes. I turned away, pretending I hadn’t seen her brother using his
squabbling siblings. “Kye, please set the table.”
less of a dork, Iz.” He backed out of the kitchen, football spinning over his
purple cheeks, “check out the cake Mom made. Chocolate. My favorite!”
kitchen island and gave Neela a little wave.
a tale of being raised by a single mother who worked nights and long hours,
leaving me to raise myself. I’d used my magic of persuasion, along with their
misconceptions of humans, to help them accept my story. Being the human they
thought I was, they never questioned me.
She deserves a treat.” Neela winked and smiled sweetly at me.
birthday?” Izzy grinned, her slightly elongated teeth shining at me.
“but I want to take you out to dinner tomorrow and give it to you then.”
her mom. “Oh, okay. That sounds like fun. Things will look different tomorrow
anyway. Better.” She nodded sharply.
be looking at the world with grownup eyes.” She pointed at her eyes and grinned
again. “Give me a hint?”
expectantly, and I had no clue what to say.
then made wet smoochy noises and bonked us on the heads as he walked past us to
the fridge. He leaned in, humming the rest as he scrounged through the
contents. I bit my tongue and stared forward, watching Izzy out of the corner
of my eye.
helped her mom serve up pizza and sushi. It would only be one more day. I could
wait one more day to tell the girl that I loved the truth about who I am. I
just hoped she wouldn’t hate me after she learned I was the reason her family
fled our world.
Authors and Twitter links:
Inspiration for Havenless by Ryen Lesli
When I was invited by Mikki Noble to write a short for her Supernatural Beings Anthology, I was excited, especially since my debut YA Fantasy novel RIVER had just come out in June, and my second book FATE is coming out on December 5th. This was the perfect opportunity to introduce another character from the ebb; the world in which my main character River lives in.
Then only question was…who did I pick? RIVER is the first book in my 10-book series, The Beginning of the End and her story goes all the way back to 1444. I had five-hundred and seventy years of history and characters to wade through. That in itself was daunting. I toyed with the idea of writing something about River’s dark childhood or even diving twenty years into her future, you know, write what happens after the 10th and final book but neither of those stories seemed right for this project.
Now, if you haven’t read her story, River is emotionally broken. Even though she’s only 17, her spirit is immortal. With each new life, she carries the sins of her previous ones and while I know a lot of River’s past, she hasn’t revealed everything to me yet. I wondered, what sins did she need to atone for? What had my girl done?
I don’t know if you know this about me or now but I get all my ideas for my stories from my witchy dreams? I have the most vivid and violent dreams. This is both a gift and a curse. Given that I had met River in a dream, I wasn’t surprised when the characters I was going to write about came to me one afternoon when I had laid down to take a nap.
I woke to find myself standing at the edge of a hollow. Looking around, it took me a moment to realize that I was in the burninglands of the Haven, a clan of the ebb, home to my Witches and Knights. I could smell the smoke, could taste the hot ash in the cold air. There was this giant redwood tree across from me, with this frantic Witch kneeling at the foot of it, digging in the black dirt.
As I wondered who she was, this terrible, unending wave of sadness washed over me. So sad that I woke myself up crying. Have you ever done that? I literally laid in my bed and cried in my pillow. My heart was completely broken. I can still feel that heartache.
Once I could get a grip, I got up, went straight into my office and started doing research. Who was this Witch? Who was watching her with such a broken heart? And where the hell did River come in with all of this?
With the dream fresh on my mind and the help of Peter Gundry’s Land of Fire, I discovered that the Witch was Nahlia and the deep heartbreak belonged to her Knight, Torrington. This moment in time took place in the fall of 1513, when a shocking betrayal tore the ebb apart. Torrington’s heartbreak inspired me to write Havenless, the perfect story for Mikki’s anthology.
In all honesty, dramatics aside, I thought the story ended there but instead, it dragged those bleeding memories through time to lay at River’s feet. Remember those sins I was wondering about? They’re revealed in FATE…and one day soon, River’s going to find out that she was the one that caused that shocking betrayal in the first place…