From the desk of Jena Baxter
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June Newsletter
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Hi Everyone,
We're almost through Summer. It's been a strange year with all the flooding and fires. Wherever you are, I hope you and your family are safe.

I'm writing this update at 3:00 am, since we have a new puppy who doesn't want to sleep at night. I got up so my husband could get some sleep, but he stayed up anyway. I suppose I needed to get this done, so no big deal. Here's a picture of our new furry kid. Her name is Sigh. She's a ball of fire bouncing around the house, and a little clumsy yet.


I spent most of July still working on my Christmas anthology story. I'm going to call it Seasons. There have been some difficult moments, but it's moving forward.
Here is the cover for inside the anthology

I also spent it posting to the new blog. There have been lots of giveaways and tours from Authors I wasn't previously familiar with. If you haven't checked it out yet, take a scroll through. You'll find excerpts, first chapters, spotlights, and reviews from Brandy Mulder. I added a review or two there, as well as on Character Madness. Next month the new blog is booked with more spotlights, guest posts and giveaways, so stop by on occasion and check out what's happening.

Brandy Mulder went to The River Author Event. I'm not sure of the formal title, but she had a blast and came out of there with bags full of swag. So, we are planning a blog hop to give it away. What's up for grabs? Signed cover model images, books, totes, signed cards, jewelry, and the list goes on. Did I mention Brandy had a blast? I've never sponsored a blog hop before, so I'm dealing with some learning curves. There are two links for this. One for the event, and another for the prizes. Of course Authors will also sponsor their own giveaways. That will be prior to the next newsletter, so watch for updates on my bookworms blog, my facebook, linkedin, or twitter feeds. There will be a first, second, and third place winner. If you're a Reader, come join us for the hop. If you're an Author, sign up. This is a great way to interact with your readers and meet new people.


Virtual FantasyCon 2017 is also on the horizon this October. If you're a Reader, and want to stay connected, join the Reader's Group here. If you're an Author who wants to join in, connect with Raven Williams, here. This year's going to be a little different, so she'll send you a form that explains the changes. 

Soaps are curing for Mystic Cove, but the website is still not up. I made pumpkin soaps this week, some awesome emulsified scrubs, and bath salts. I hope to have those available at Pipe & Thimble in the near future. There's always something in the way, but the puppy will probably slow down the website even further. Trying to write with her can be challenging sometimes. If you're interested in anything I mentioned, and don't live near Pipe & Thimble, Send me an email, and I'll share what I have available at the moment. I wonder if I should start posting them on the Facebook site for now. 

If you haven't read The Carriage yet, it's on sale for 99 cents this month. So, now is the time to get your copy. 

Scroll down for this month's friend spotlight, and the newest chapter of Covens of Misty Haven.

In Chapter 7

Brielle attended her initiation, but her escort left her in the middle of the woods on the High Priestess' order. Brielle doesn't make it far when she finds herself cornered by werewolves, with only a branch to fight with.

Chapter 8

Khayrie shuffled through the graveyard, basking in the evening silence and concealing mists. The tree trunks stood like shadowy sentinels, warning those who didn’t belong, although except for the supernatural, only a dream-walker could enter the communities, and they weren’t able to remain long. There were so many things happening, Yvain’s new baby being at the forefront of his mind. Had Khayrie made the right decision? An ethical one? He was usually so confident, but recent events had him questioning himself at every turn. He had the two vampire’s executed, proclaimed a temporary separation between the male and female covens, and dealt with a Prodirari who had recently joined the Misty Haven community. They were trying to save a kidnapped girl from another vampire. The species seemed to be a thorn in his side these days.

He breathed in the humid night air and tried to pull himself together. A scattered man, unsure of himself would accomplish nothing. He was a better leader than that. Still, a vampire raising a human child couldn’t end in a positive way. He left the graveyard and headed into the woods. He loved the clean smell of the pines.

Well, he had agreed to it, and it was done. If anyone could do it, Yvain could. Khayrie would spend a little time checking in on the child though. Yvain and Alyssa had been vampires for hundreds of years so they’d probably need a little help. Then again, he wasn’t sure he was doing that great with his own charge. Maybe Daness or Leona would be a better choice for checking on them, sort of like a social worker thing.

Twigs cracked on the forest floor, and everything went quiet the next instant. He stopped. Girls walking home from their coven meeting. Maybe I should go a different direction. And there was the issue he was avoiding. The bickering between covens needed to end. He could dictate it and force the issue; all witches were sworn to obey him, but while he expected obedience, dictatorship wasn’t his way to do things. Matters like that were usually settled with debate, he sighed, and a lot of time he didn’t have. 

Wolves barked and growled. Another howled nearby. The moon isn’t full. Why are the Were’s shifting? A taste for the hunt maybe? The shrill cry of a woman split the air. Releasing his power, Khayrie strode forward at an inhuman speed, following the sounds of the wolves. The acrid smell of fear burnt his nostrils.

The werewolves encircled someone, but Khayrie couldn’t see who, because of the mist. Are they human? He sensed no power, but they wouldn’t be fighting with a tree-branch if they were a witch. A human was impossible. They had no way into Misty Haven, except by invitation, and such visits were approved by him. There was a human in the community, but she didn’t seem the type to roam. It didn’t matter. He was the law.

Khayrie thrust his palm forward, and a partially transformed werewolf flew back in a great wind. It rammed into a tree. He threw a thread of fire at another approaching the girl. She swung a stick, flinched, and jumped back when she missed. It yelped when Khayrie’s power hit, its tail sizzling. Khayrie moved closer, and the remaining wolves were forced to the ground, unable to move, because of the pressure of his power. No one could match him. It was why he’d been appointed Sovereign at such a young age. The wolves whined, and Khayrie pulled it back, leaving just enough pressure to be certain they understood the threat. 

The girl fainted. Khayrie chanted and the mist around the girl sparkled gold, as it formed what looked like a cloud, and broke her fall. 

 “You have five seconds to leave.” 

The wolves bolted, yelping as if he’d struck them. Werewolves that ran in packs were cowards. It was the ones that only partially changed you had to watch for, and most of them hunted alone, although there was the one he had rammed into the tree.

The girl moaned and pushed herself up from the ground. The cloud formation was gone with the power Khayrie had released.

He took a few steps forward, but saw no need to frighten the girl, so he stopped. She brushed leaves and debris off dirty clothes, watching him, and keeping her back to the tree stump. When finished, she straightened and pointed the broken stick at him.

Khayrie laughed, and the girl stood taller, her chin up, and cheeks reddening.

“Why are you laughing?”

Khayrie glanced at the stick and it caught fire. She screeched, slammed it to the ground, and looked for another weapon.

He stopped laughing and used his most serious voice. “What are you going to do, hit me over the head with it?”

Brielle shoved her copper hair back, and Khayrie recognized her.

“You’re the girl Jewel introduced. Brielle, right?”

Brielle fidgeted, as she nodded.

Khayrie saw the reddened brand still settling into her cheek. He took a deep breath. “It seems I’ve offended Misty Haven’s newest Witch. I’m not going to harm you, so you can leave the sticks to feed the earth mother. 

“That’s so cliche’,” Brielle said, with a hint of recognition in her eyes.

Khayrie shifted. He should leave, but the girl was pretty, although that wasn’t what attracted him to her. It was the cuts and bruises, the color in her cheeks, and the raw courage she had shown while facing an impossible situation. “What is?” he asked.

“The earth mother?”

“And who do you honor?” 

She pressed her lips into a tight line, and narrowed her eyes like it was a trick question. “Well ... God of course.”

“As do we. Mother Earth, and Father Creator, or Great Spirit, as some call him, as well as the elements that give life. Were you taught nothing about being a Witch?”

She dropped her shoulders and ran a dirty arm across her nose. “I didn’t even know they existed until a week ago,” she looked away, but not before Khayrie saw the disappointment in her eyes.

Another hardship, she had been forced to join the Misty Haven community. That wasn’t uncommon, since the Paladin scoured the land for true witches. They had to be trained, but why this girl? What power did she have? His features softened. “Are you alright? You weren’t bitten were you?”

She frowned. “No.”

He extended his hand. “Please, allow me to see you home.”

She looked at the ground. “Daness says I’m not even supposed to be talking to you,” she said.

Loyalty already, and one who follows rules. And she’s right, she could be labeled a traitor ... If he was anyone else.

“I’m the Sovereign. Protecting the citizens of Misty Haven is my responsibility. Walking you home is not an issue.”

That sounded arrogant. His eyebrows narrowed. Why am I caring about what she thinks of me? But he did care, and it felt like a stinger on his skin, and as if something had caught in his throat. He shifted, ignoring his discomfort. “Are you going to stand there all night then?”

Her chin lifted and hands fisted. “I’m going to finish finding my way home.”

She was obviously shaken. The renewed sense of courage shocked him. Any other woman would have accepted his help and been grateful for it, after what she’d been through. Especially a witch with no power. Is it courage, or stupidity then? Still, the girl was trying to hold her own. He took a step back. “Very well then, I’m sure we’ll meet again Do you know the way?” 

“Yes,” she said, her voice uncertain.

A smile tugged at Khayrie’s lips as she looked around. He turned as if to leave. 

Brielle whimpered and grabbed his arm. He turned back. The touch was strange, since few ever placed hands on him outside of his family, but a wave of warmth swept through him. 

She gasped and stepped back. “Sorry.”

“If you follow this line of trees directly forward,” Khayrie said, motioning the proper direction. “You’ll come to a road. It isn’t as quick as the forest, but it will be safer than these woods. Follow it until you come to the turn for Jewel’s cottage.”

Her mouth opened. “How do you know where I live?”

“Just a guess. Are you certain you don’t want me to show you there?” An unfamiliar sense of excitement prickled his nerves, and his breath caught when he realized he wanted her to say yes.

“No. Thank you, but I’ll be fine.”

He looked away as excitement turned to disappointment. She has good manners too. He wished he could see her better. He hadn’t really taken the time to look at her when they met. Now he wanted to see her face, frown, the mussed-up hair, but he had good manners too. So he inclined his head.

“Then. I’ll leave you to find your way, before you catch cold.” 

With that he withdrew into the mists, but he waited at the edge of the forest for her to begin the trek home.
When she walked along the line of trees, he followed. He could still smell her fear, but she had grabbed the sticks from fighting the werewolves, and then stood up to him. How long had it been since anyone besides Catara, or Rylan, challenged him? It felt good. He looked at the earth beneath him and smiled. It had been even longer since he’d laughed like that. What an incredible woman.

He marveled when he saw the new paint on the little white cottage and the cleaned-up yard. She had done a lot of work on the place. 

Happy she was home, Khayrie waited until she was safe inside. He was anxious to get home to a glass of Zinfandel and a good long soak in the hot-tub. He spread his arms. Pitch-black wings rose and unfolded behind him, lifting him into the air. He propelled himself forward and rode the wind using the cover of night and Misty Haven’s familiar mist.
The Kindle copy of The Carriage is 99 cents on Amazon through the month of August.

Amos can be loaded FREE from my website.  Scroll down until you see free download.

Friends and Colleagues

Selena Rivera
Selena Rivera lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada . A self-proclaimed "Country Girl" at heart, she loves country music. She also likes to sing and dance and has an interest in astronomy. By day, she is a busy secretary since 16. Her life struggles have pushed her to fight for her dreams. She's an artistic person and has been writing since the age of 12. Above all she wants to share her world with everybody.

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