In the deep south of Doltree, Georgia, not everything is what is seems. Long accustomed to life as an outcast, the beautiful and demure Annaleah Grace has learned to stand apart from the crowd with dignity. Being the daughter of a white witch and a white witch herself, living in a town of devout Christians, has earned her more than a few raised eyebrows.
When she meets the handsome, yet snarky, Professor Bainbridge with whom she will be teaching at the local University, everything in her life abruptly changes. Something about him seems intimately familiar to her in a way she can’t totally identify. Even though he’s brusque and intimidating, Annaleah is drawn by his otherworldly eyes and foreign mannerisms.
With the help of angels, both Holy and fallen, she discovers just how unique she truly is. Dreams become a meeting place between this reality and the next, and Professor Sebastian Bainbridge’s true identity is revealed.
When her dreams begin to be more than dreams and she wakes up with Georgia red clay she walked through during a nightmare still wet on her feet, Annaleah knows something intense and powerful is going on, and that somehow, Professor Bainbridge is part of it. She is determined to embrace the profound destiny that awaits her and the Professor, even if that means taking up a sword to fight the Devil himself.
Sebastian caught Annaleah neatly in his arms, and encircled her in his wings, holding her so close she felt she could melt right into him and together they would burn as one being. Tears came to her then, spilling down her cheeks and falling onto her breasts, a silver light coming from them as they fell. Sebastian opened his wings then and placed a finger under her chin, tilting her head up to look into his mirror eyes. As she saw herself in them, glowing and alive and beautiful, it felt so very right. Sebastian wiped the tears from her eyes, slowly, gently and with great care. His eyes never left hers as he bent his head down, until right before the moment when he caught her lips with his, and everything in the world ceased to exist but their kiss. In that sacred, glorious moment, as their lips pressed together, she was pierced to her heart with all-consuming adoration, and from behind her she felt a great motion, as if she had moved something with a great weight on her back. Confused, and a bit shocked, she broke the kiss, turning to see what was happening behind her.
Sebastian laughed despite her apparent confusion and said, "Oh Annaleah my darling, did you forget?"
Feeling a bit betrayed by his laughter when he could plainly see her distress, Annaleah asked, "Did I forget what?"
At this Sebastian outstretched his magnificent wings to their full height and length, blocking out the sky and the moon hanging therein.
"Your wings Annaleah; you forgot you had wings."
Halloween is by far my favorite time of the year. The crisp chill of the Autumn air, the last hurrah of the leaves, changing into a myriad of hues, before they let go of life and cascade to the ground in a symphony of colors. It’s the smell of fires being lit in hearths, the scent drifting over the horizon, and settling into the dark sky. It’s the contagious excitement of children, their imaginations stirring the energy around them, their enthusiasm contagious.
I love the decorations, the hollow eyed skeletons, and the red eyed spiders dangling in their webs. I love to see the joy in my daughter’s face as she draws the face on her pumpkin for her father to carve. I share my daughter’s excitement at picking out the perfect costume. This year she is going to be a vampire. She has her red and black velvet Victorian gothic outfit all ready to go, custom fitted teeth and all.
I am a fan of all things horror, and I have been since I was about six years old. There is just something amazing about a jolt of fear striking in your heart, all the while knowing that no matter the level of terror you feel, you are perfectly safe. I enjoy the adrenaline, and the journey through the emotions a good scary story or movie can take you on.
Of course, Halloween is the celebration of that. It is the one day of the year you can be whoever or whatever you want, no questions asked. Do you want to be a zombie, theatrical makeup and all? Go for it, it sounds like a great idea to me. Want to dress up as a giant bottle of ketchup? Cool, that’s a go in my book too. It’s a day to open our mind up and use the powers of our imagination. Have you always wanted to be a matador? Guess what, on Halloween, you can be! Just for a day, you can be anything.
It is also said that this is the one day of the year that the veil between the living world and that of the dead is at its thinnest. Fancy doing a séance, do you? This would be a good time to hold one. (As long as you research and know what you’re doing. In anything you do that has an element of danger in it, you want to do your research and protect yourself. Delving into the paranormal is absolutely one of these times when you want to do that.)
Halloween is also related to a sacred pagan Holiday called Samhain (Pronounced Sahw-when.) This is the day when the Horned Lorde, the consort of the Goddess and Great Lady, and the protector of the woods and wild things, goes into the ground and hibernates until the spring, signifying the end of the year. Like the tale of Demeter and Persephone, the earth mournes their Lorde; flowers die, leaves change colors and wither on the ground. This is when the last of the Harvest is taken in, and the dark half of the year begins.
Whatever you do, and however you celebrate this time of year, I wish you a happy day and a spook-tactular night!
And so I will leave you with a treat, in hopes of you having a safe, happy, and delicious Halloween.
Heather’s Haunted Brownies
You will need:
1 package of Ghiradeli double chocolate brownie mix
12 Reeses peanut butter cups chopped
2 cups Rice crispie cereal
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (get the quality kind, it makes a difference.)
1 tbs butter
1 ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp kosher salt
2 cups mini marshmallows
Bake brownies according to package directions in a 9 x 9 inch pan lined with pam sprayed foil.
During the last 5 minutes of baking, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chopped Reeses over the warm brownies. Return to the oven for the last 5 minutes of baking.
As soon as you pull out the brownies, spread the peanut butter cups out evenly with a spatula until smooth.
Let the brownies cool as you take out a medium sized bowl to combine the peanut butter, chocolate chips and butter. Heat for 20 seconds in the microwave.
Once out of the microwave, add the marshmallows. Stir well.
Return the mixture to the microwave and heat in 20 second intervals, stirring at each interval, until the mixture is melted and smooth.
Stir in vanilla, salt and cereal until it is all evenly combined.
Pour over the brownies and smooth.
Chill in the fridge until they set, about 2 hours
Cut into squares and serve.
WARNING: These brownies can be VERY addictive! Enjoy, and you’re welcome ;-)
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Author Bio and Links:
Heather was born into a military family, and has lived everywhere from Mountain Home, Idaho, to a small town in England called Bloxham. She eventually settled down In LaGrange, Georgia with her partner of 15 years, Billy, her 7 year old daughter Makaylah, and her 4 indoor cats. She considers herself first and foremost, a mother. She enjoys being a writer, a jeweler, a glass artist, a painter, and avid crafter. It has been her life long dream to publish a book, and she has lovingly worked on “The Otherling” in its various stages for almost 3 years. Heather loves to read, mostly horror, fantasy and occult books. She studies angelology, mysticism, Wicca, psychology and the human mind. Her writing goal is to create a book that comes to life in her reader’s hands and minds, and places them there in the middle of the story. It is her deepest wish that “The Otherling”, as well as her other written works, will accomplished this, and make a home in the hearts of all those who read her words.
The Otherling will be $0.99 during the tour.