“SIMPLY ENTHRALLING!” Amazon Review
In June, the Alliance of Young Adult Authors is sponsoring a massive young adult scavenger hunt. This is a chance to meet some new authors, grab a bunch of free books, and sign up to win a whole bunch of epic prizes!
Each author will be given a special keyword, which will be bolded and all caps like this: BUTTERFLIES.
All you have to do is visit all the author’s sites in this order, write down the special keywords to discover the short story, then enter the giveaway with the completed secret legend HERE.
There will be one main giveaway for the main prize, but most of the participating authors will also have smaller giveaways for free books, amazon credit and author swag, so make sure you read their post carefully to see what else they’re offering while you’re on their site for the keyword.
THE MAP (participating authors)
- Cindy Ray Hale
- Katherine Bogle
- Melle Amade
- David Kudler
- A.M. Yates
- Alethea Kontis
- Stevie Rae Causey
- Katlyn Duncan
- Debbie Manber Kupfer
- Meredith Rose
- N.M. Howell
- Lara Ann
- K.M. Robinson
- J.A. Culican
- Heather Karn
- Rob L. Slater
- Dylan Keefer
- Sarah K. Wilson
- L.J. Higgins
- Gina Marie Long
- Em Kazmierski
- Travis Hall
- Heather Young-Nichols
- Anna Santos
- J.L. Weil
- Jo Schneider
- logansfiction.com *You are here!*
- Kristin D. Van Risseghem
- Martine Lewis
- Tara Benham
- Stacy Claflin
- Beth Hammond
- Erica Cope
- Nicole Zoltack
- Char Webster
- Sabrina Ramoth
- T.J. Muir
- Raquel Lyon
- Beth Rodgers
- S.L. Beaumont
- Eva Pohler
- Melanie McFarlane
- Cheryllynn Dyess
- Audrey Rich
- Amanda Zieba
- Sandie Will
- Elle Scott
- Angie Grigaliunas
- Ashley Maker
- Mandy Peterson
- Audrey Grey
- Elisa Dane
- Amy McNulty
- Melinda Cordell
- Monica Leonelle
- Claire Luana
- Frost Kay
- Preeti C. Sharma
- Bentz Deyo
- April Wood
- Lena Mae Hill
- Angel Leya
- Wendi Wilson
- Wendy Knight
- Chogan Swan
- Tamara Hart Heiner
- Norma Hinkens
- Patti Larsen
- Megan Crewe
- Jamie Thornton
- Jessie Renée
- T.A. Maclagan
- Lydia Sherrer
- Phyllis Moore
- P.D. Workman
- J.A. Armitage
- K.N. Lee
- Angela Fristoe
- Rhonda Sermon
- G.K. DeRosa
- Erin Richards
- Ali Winters
- Larissa C. Hardesty
- Kristine Tate
- Debra Kristi
- Bella Rose
- Cortney Pearson
- Jeff Kohanek
- Kristal Shaff
- Rachel Morgan
- Emma Right
- C.L. Cannon
- Joanne Macgregor
- Lindsey Loucks
- Farah Kuck
- Erin Hayes
- Jesikah Sundin
- Dorothy Dreyer
- Danielle Annett
- C.J. Ethington
- L.C. Hibbett
- Madeline Dyer
- Katie John
- Nicole Schubert
- Rachel Medhurst
- Tee G Ayer
- May Freighter
- Heather Dyer
- Jen Minkman
- J.L. Gillham
- Karen Tomlinson
- Kate Haye
- Megan Linski
- Martina Billings
- Jo Ho
- Brian King
- Inna Hardison
- Rachel Bateman
- Sally Henson
- J.L. Hendricks
- A.L. Knorr
- T.M. Franklin
- Konstanz Silverbow
- felisha Antonette
- Jake Devlin
- S.F. Benson
- Laurie Treacy
- Emily Martha Sorensen
- Leia Stone
- T. Rae Mitchell
- J. Keller Ford
- Kat Stiles
- Jessica Hawke
- Elyse Reyes
- Sophie Davis
- Bianca Scardoni
- Jenetta Penner
- David R. Bernstein
- Olivia Wildenstein
- Derek Murphy
Starts June 1st!
Just go through the “treasure map” above to find the keywords and reconstruct the secret legend. Once you’ve got it, enter for the grand prize HERE. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for other giveaways or free books as you search for the keywords, most authors will be offering their own prizes as well.
Authors will post the rules and the full list of participating authors sometime in June, and have their post up and visible on their site/blog, with their keyword, by June 1st. Readers just need to go through the list, find the words, and use the story to enter for the grand prize.
I try to ignore the heady scent of chaos and confusion when making port. Humans bog the calming presence of nature down. Superstition plumes the air with the recent activity. Tensions are high with the distant war between the Westerners and Northerners. Magic scares Westerners like none other, and it should. The Order locked it up tight, kept their mystery for a century, and it’s what we don’t know that makes us most afraid.
When it was let loose, it was in the form of those under the rule of the Marshal only.
The port has double the western warriors, tribesman and women armed to the teeth. It isn’t strange to see a man with full garb, a javelin, and shield walking through the market, or a woman in a breastplate shaped to her torso, cleat sandals, and a sword girded to her side. I’ve given my men the order to quickly unload, reload, and push us off shore. Not to start any brawls, nor to speak out of turn in a tavern. Do their drinking on the ship.
The west is no place for a fight.
For what the Northerners host in magic, the Westerners host in passion and brawn.
The day is a blur of deciding what prices are fair, and what places are no longer of any use, since robbing the port’s man blind with high dollar wares. It’s a sleazy hustle. Mark and I check that we’ve got everything and everyone we need, and we lift anchor to sail a short distance from shore for our own music and drink.
It’s not long into our enjoyment that a ship pulls next to ours, and my men grab their weapons.
“We wish to board,” a Western Captain is calling.
I motion to Mark and the others to stand down.
The Westerners try my patience with these searches, but it’s not worth a full-out battle, so I let them sniff around Mysteria and show them my papers.
Mark watches me, his eyes trying to do the talking, but I’m too busy—“Don’t touch that! Hey, you be careful over there. Get that fire away from—stars, man! Have ye a death wish. ‘Tis flammable! Put the torch out…”
They finish, and the brutish men and brawny women of the west leave my vessel. Once more, the quiet of night settles.
I’m half way through the bottle later, when I pause and realize Mark has not only been absent, but mysteriously silent with little story-telling.
“Mark!” I bellow. “Get out here!”
He comes from below but is avoiding my gaze, and I know something’s amiss.
“What is it? What’s on my ship?”
“Excuse me, Captain?”
“Speak, Old Man.”
“I don’t know what you could mean.”
I frown at him, long enough to notice his eyes darting toward the pallet of goods at the front of the ship waiting to be unloaded. “What could I mean? Aye, whatever could I mean.”
I walk purposefully toward the blanket covering, grabbing and lifting it with a suddenness. This movement causes the person underneath to squeak, and scurry away, but not quick enough. I snatch the arm of the cretin and yank them high into the moonlight.
“Well, what have we here?”
I shake them around, making the hat tumble off. “A lad—”
I hiss when I see the hair keep going down in a fall of brown. “A girl!”
She hisses back, a brave minx, her face scrunched in pain as my grip tightens. “Unhand me!” she screeches into my face.
Instead, I drag her toward Mark. “What is a woman doing on my ship?”
“Is this who the Westerners were looking for?”
Mark dances side-to-side. “I was trying to tell you.”
“Let me go!”
“Why is there a woman, a stowaway, on my bloody ship!”
“Unhand me or else!”
“Aye, wretch, I will unhand you over the side.”
Both Mark and the woman speak at the same time. “What?”
“It’s close enough to swim.”
“But, Captain, ye can’t mean…”
“I can’t swim,” she says more quietly.
“You can’t make a lass swim that far. It’s not right.”
“Don’t be telling me about right, Old Man.” I turn back to my stowaway. “You can’t swim? What type of woman lives near the ocean and can’t swim?”
“What type of Captain bruises a passenger without cause?”
I let go of her arm. She stands straight.
“Bronson!” I shout. “Give her a skiff and she can row ashore.”
Bronson jumps down from the nets, his young face surprised to find a lady on board. “Oh, ah, aye, Captain.”
“But, Captain,” Mark says.
“Not now, Old Man.”
Mark heads me off. I ball up my fists. Not as though I’d strike the old codger, but certainly he’s making me chew the last straw.
“But she’s in trouble.”
“I gathered that, Marcus, when the Westerners came aboard looking for her sorry hide, aye? The girl was in there half a day, smells like rotten fish now, and there isn’t a woman I know who’s willing to sweat and bathroom like that unless she’s in a lot of trouble.”
“Don’t you think we should—”
“Bronson. Skiff. Now.”
They lift the small boat and drop it into the water with a crash.
I throw paddles over the side.
The woman has been wise enough to remain silent. She’s stoically watching the procession without argument.
I let down the rope, and gesture for her to climb it.
She walks over with far more grace than a regular citizen of the west, but I ignore that, not wanting her to be much more than a distant memory.
She pauses, seeming to weigh her options, and then, at the edge, she leans over, and before any of us can say a word, she throws herself over the side, nowhere near the skiff, and splashes into the dark water.
Beautiful. Deadly. Trapped.
Diedre Meli is ready to leave the murder business, but they won’t let her. Abducted as a child and trained for killing, the only exit interview Dee’s going to get from her fake family is six feet under.
“Logan Keys’ Stockholm Sexy is a dark and gritty organized crime book that pulls no punches. It has the feel of L.J. Shen’s Sparrow and A. Zavarelli’s Crow, but with more ominous shadows.” The Book Curmudgeon
Get your copy today!
Choose your world wisely…
Eager footprints mar the perfect blanket of white, depressions amidst the tufts of freshly fallen snow that lead toward the cottage. Sleep-spelled and dreaming next to a cozy fire, the inhabitants are unaware of the treachery on its way.
Tonight, a witch and wizard plot.
Outside frosted windows, the witch hastily works. Hands high, eyes lit green, lips soundlessly chanting; the mark of a trueborn witch floats on a breeze only the witch and wizard can feel. Her red hair warns all that she is most powerful.
Her chanting fades away.
She nods, finished, and they enter.
Their search begins inside the cottage, for the one born one at a time. She’d be a twin, dark-haired, dark-eyed: a sorceress.
The wizard is first to find her. Asleep in bed, though her hands curl near her face in a childish pose, a young woman hides beneath round cheeks. Most of these are found as babes, but this pretty dreamer has slipped through the mapping of the stars. She’s hidden safe on this mountain, out of the grasp of strangers.
“Make certain,” the wizard says, unafraid of the level of his voice.
His witch has never faltered in a sleeping spell before.
“It’s too soon, Tearlach,” the witch replies, uncareful of volume, as well.
The witch hesitates, and the wizard grabs her wrist.
Encased in black leather, cape draped across broad shoulders, he pulls her toward him.
Her eyes fall from his face to the medallion at his chest. It may hang from a chain around the wizard’s neck, but the collar of power tightens around her instead.
The witch’s gaze searches the wizard’s again.
“Remember how I found you?” he says. “A witch born of all seasons, stripped of her powers, thieved upon by careless conjuring. A silly, little witch who lost her blessings until not but a meager summer witch was all that remained.” He sneers as if this is the lowliest of powers. “You’ve proven yourself loyal, Esme, and I’ve restored your seasons, but just as I have given, I can take away.”
The wizard holds the witch flush against his body, and though her expression is one of fear, her eyes host the madness of a witch in love with power.
His fingers spread across her cheek—not a caress—rather a slow gripping of the side of her face. “And you know that the taking will be quite painful,” he finishes.
It would end her.
The witch swallows, but then startles, looking beyond the wizard.
The medallion has disrupted the sleeping spell. She’d stood too close.
A kink in the thread of magic tugs on her, its ebb and flow interrupted, and she watches as the raven-haired girl sits up in her bed.
Barely above a decade, stiff now, seeing them in her room, the child lifts her chin, and demands, “Who are you?”
“You are still asleep,” the witch says quietly. She glides to the bedside. “What you see is not real.”
Doubt flickers in the dark gaze, and the girl nods, but sleepy or not, she’s had the dreams. Like all with great power, she’d be fair warned of things besides human business. She’s been prepared as well as the stars can provide for a purpose: to bring balance to the islands.
She may not know herself yet, as the power only arrives to the woman who is fully woman, but she’s imagined enough to wonder if the dreams mean something, the witch and wizard in her room means… something.
The witch tries to sooth her, but the girl decides that she might fight.
An echo of what she will be tempts her, chooses for her that she’ll not call for help. What better weapon is there than she? Calling others would put them in danger, and what is more dangerous than she?
This child raises her hand. An ancient, though simple method of summoning magic.
The wizard groans before gripping his arm. “Impossible,” he says as the proof disputes his words in the form of snapping bone.
The sound of it rings through the cottage.
“Stop her!” he shouts, panicking.
The witch lunges for the girl, wrapping long, white fingers around her shoulders. “There-there, little dove,” she coos. “We don’t want to be wasting such a thing, tis only a dream, we’re not real, believe that we are just a nightmare, wouldn’t you rather sleep?”
Darkness narrows on the witch. Ages old, they seem, and inside of her eyes the witch sees her own soul, black for the stolen seasons of power, black for the traitorous things she’s done against her own kind for the wizard, and black for the future she will behold for her treachery.
The witch rears back from the girl, away from the visions of pain and death, of the balance the stars promise in retribution for this very night.
She puts a hand to her cheek, wet now with a single tear. She’s seen what she was, but worse, what Tearlach would eventually do to her. How he would dispose of her lifeless body over the quay.
How he’d stand and watch her bloated face sink and be swallowed into the depths of the cold northern ocean.
How he’d never love her.
One would take her place.
Not prettier, but more powerful. A worse thing is the latter.
The wizard yells as more of his bones are broken. “Bind her, Esme! Bind her now!”
But Esme hesitates.
The witch waits as the truth still left in her calls for disobedience. For what is more honest than this ancient power possessed by this child? Why, she could weep at the webbing of such magnificence, a thing sprawling outward, crawling, creeping, reaching for them, trying to set things right. To find something so pure in her lifetime, the witch has heard the tale of a tale of a tale, but no longer… she’s seen it now: sorcery.
Death magic. Not stolen, but gifted.
And it is as if the stars breathe that word into the soul of any who would try to harm their avenger, striking fear into their hearts. “Bonecaller,” they whisper, the balancer of magic is here, the one who perfects the scales of war.
Esme shakes her head, backing away, tripping over her feet, almost hoping the wizard falls beneath the child’s ancient power.
Him or me, she thinks.
“What are you doing!” the wizard cries.
But before the witch is forced to answer, before she can flee, a boy races into the room.
“Mysteria!” he shouts to his twin, holding a sword long as his body, above his head like a warrior, instead of a boy that’s merely a decade old.
He swipes at the wizard and misses, the blade instead catching and sticking in the wooden post of his sister’s bed.
It’s a sword from the Order, the witch would recognize those jewels anywhere.
Someone must have known the girl was special before they’d ever arrived.
Esme backs away from the scene, her hands twisted in her long red mane.
Its destiny played out before her. The boy, his sword, the girl, her power, they’ll see it come to fruition, the fates shifting back against Tearlach -the wizard- and her.
When the little Bonecaller turns her hand onto Esme, the witch is weak.
Esme’s not brave enough to accept her punishment.
She feels the bones in her legs straining, and like the petty, sick thing that she is, she screams out, and begs the little one to stop.
She’d thought she was prepared until the bones inside her skin began to move and split and fracture and shred her insides.
If she could only endure the pain and accept the fate…
Wouldn’t it be a far better one than to be swallowed by the water?
Instead, she crawls across the room, pitiful. She grabs a mirror, and she holds it up showing the girl her reflected self, her reflected power.
It’s the only thing she knows to do.
Having not known her full ability yet, the child only tries harder. A mistake.
Like a young snake loosing far too much venom to its own peril, she pushes her energy to its end.
A grievous error.
Before Esme can stop her, before she can warn the powerful one born one at a time that this is not what is done, the magic is spun backwards from mirror to girl.
The mirror shatters.
And the same as the glass, the little bones break, and the perfect skin tears, and the dark hair and the dark eyes fall.
And the little Bonecaller does not stir again.