Today on my blog I have the What Lies Within Us Blog tour. On my stop there is a spotlight, and excerpt.
After receiving a letter from an aunt she never knew existed, Kyna Hughes travels to Ireland only to find out that her whole life has been a series of well-orchestrated lies. Suddenly, this poor girl from the foothills of the Alleghany Mountains is thrust into a life of not only the wealthy and affluent, but of dark magic and secret societies. As Kyna learns of the magic hidden inside her, purposefully stunted as she grew up for her protection, she must now battle mystical hauntings which are the result of curses while getting a crash course in utilizing her powers. Kidnappings and satanic weddings become her daily events as she struggles not to lose her heart to one of two men—a former Navy SEAL hired to protect her or a wizard hired to train her. Soon she will realize just how true it is that “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
Darcaryn wasted no time getting right to business and right to touchy feely. With his lean but solid body pressed against her back, he took the stance of a man trying flirtatiously to teach a woman how to golf or shoot pool or something. With each of her hands cupped in his and his arms curved under hers, he woke her every nerve ending. Unlike lust or attraction though, this seemed purely electrical in nature, as if he’d rubbed a hundred balloons on his head to give her a powerful shock, steady without the pain. She swallowed her groan, resigned herself to grinning and bearing it for as long as she could. At the same time, she yearned for a glimpse of some semblance of her world not being so ass backwards.
“You feel the power stirring within you,” he stated rather than asked. “You need to tap into it and learn to control it. First, feel the heat which stirs in your stomach. Don’t fear it. Instead, embrace it. Open your mind to it. Think of things you love. For right now, the positive side of emotions will be easier to deal with. The negative or darker side, while more powerful, is harder to control. Anyway, that aside, imagine the heat in your core as a ball of light. Now, make that light flow down your arms and to your hands.
“I know it seems silly and awkward, but in time, you won’t even have to think about it. The whole process will just come naturally. All you’ll have to do is imagine what you want, and then create it into being. Of course some things, the more complicated efforts, require study. Some spells require ritual, knowledge, elements, and such to bring things into reality. But, the most basic of things, like control over the elements, that is just your powers meshing with the energies of the earth. First, you have to learn to harness the power that you were never taught to recognize or understand.”
Sexy and nuts, this guy stood too close. That she understood. If a fire warmed in her core, she could just blame him and call it a day. Yes, the man was gorgeous. No denying that. Yet, a sixth sense, one she had learned to trust in over the years, one that made her good at reading people, gave her a very creepy and uneasy feeling about him. Even the energy, as he called it, between them, had a sinister element. Her only confirmation of this fact remained a constant, creeping cold sensation that snaked down her spine when he touched her. Never had she met such a truly bad boy on some cellular level. Good thing her mom had spent painstaking hours making her able to recognize them and giving her the strength to walk away from them.
“Kyna. Kyna, you need to focus,” he admonished.
“I’m trying, but these powers, this energy, this heat you talk about… I’ve always blamed it on other things. And even now, here, where it’s so strong it’s driving me close to nuts myself, I’m not sure I understand the insanity, forgive me, of how to imagine it into doing anything but making me feel like I want to jump out of my own skin,” she ranted, her mouth tight as she tried to resist the urge to shake him off.
“Just listen to my voice,” he whispered in a husky tone into her ear, his breath fast and warm. “Concentrate only on your core, the feeling of heat whirling in your stomach, like a thousand butterflies when you’re nervous.”
He moved in closer if possible. So close she had to bare down weight upon her feet to stop from rocking forward. He’d placed a hand firmly against her stomach, so the whole butterfly scenario seemed legit. Focusing on her middle rather than the hard body pressed against hers, his crotch in the small of her back, seemed a move in the right direction at least. She hadn’t come to Ireland for dates, but she was a woman. She’d never met this caliber of men before. Each of their occupations were beyond what she could imagine. Their personalities so dominant, looks aside, she had to fight for air and a clear head in their presence. Maybe West Virginia just didn’t grow them that way. Oh, that would make the guys back home mad.
“You feel it?” he quizzed.
“Yes,” she sighed.
Which thing he referenced she wasn’t sure
“Now, imagine it into a white ball of light. You have to really see it in your mind. Ignore what you feel emotionally. Quiet the practical side of your brain. Just see a white ball of light inside you.”
She tried. She’d always had a big imagination, so why not?
“Okay,” she whispered back, unsure why they talked in such hushed tones when locked in a room so far away from civilization.
“Now, make the light move. Make it into a long stream, like a snake, and begin to imagine it slithering down your arms.”
He quieted for a second. So, she focused on this imaginary light rather than the feeling of his chest rising and falling against her back. The knot in her stomach tightened, made her nauseous, as she imagined the ball of light stretching out. A sweat broke out over her back as the energy coiled inside her, ready to strike. It raced down her arms without her trying, made her palms hot and her fingers feel as if submerged in extremely hot water.
A memory snuck in. She remembered her mom, Sarah, the woman who’d raised her, standing behind her, her hands on her waist to steady her on a chair before the sink. Together, they’d washed dishes as Kyna had complained the water too hot. She fought the image, wrestled with it and the emotions it brought, as she refocused on the task at hand. With her jaw clenched, she opened her eyes wide, focused on a spot on the floor in front of her. She let it blur and fade until all she could see was in her mind’s eye, a bright light that filled her body.
“Next, move the light into your palms,” Darcaryn’s deep voice, so juxtaposed to the soft, encouraging voice of her mother in her memory just seconds ago, startled her.
She let the tremble, the discomfort, merge into the energy inside her.
“Let it build there, and then cup your hands to form a circle between your palms. Now, let the light go. Let the energy move from you into the air,” he instructed in a rhythmic voice.
She tried. What better did she have to do, remained her rationale? Also, simply not wanting to upset such a man drove her too. A fear of the unknown along with a strong intuition nagged at her. Who knew what this man was capable of, magic wise; and she didn’t like the sinister vibes that flowed from him. Intimidation acted a strong motivator, one that kept her cautious as she played along.
She followed his instructions, as stupid as she felt, to the letter. With her vivid imagination, she could’ve sworn that actual light flowed through her anyway. Hot, sizzling vibrations traveled through her muscles, made her body twitch and shake all over, even though no physical representation of these sensations presented themselves. Her finger began to tingle like they were falling asleep. In an automatic response, she wiggled them a bit. Instinct made her want release from the pressure that built inside her. She imagined sparks coming from her fingertips, but at the same time closed her eyes as a blush took her face. In her mind, tiny white fragments of light began to form a circle between her palms.
“Open your eyes, Kyna,” Darcaryn exclaimed, his tone a bit higher than usual.
She opened the lids she’d held tightly closed, and then blinked several times at the faint rays of light. So white in their brilliance, they sparkled like glitter between her palms.
“Seriously?” she shrieked, and the light vanished.
Ever since she was young, Kiki Howell has loved to listen to a well-woven tale with real characters, inspired plots, and delightful resolutions. Kiki could spend hours lost in a book, and soon she knew that creating lives, loves, and losses with just words had to be the greatest thing that she could do. To that end, she pursued her study of literature and writing, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. She has now had over forty stories published, and could not be more thrilled or grateful to see her creations polished and out in the real world.
In May, 2011, Kiki was chosen as an Ohioana Book Festival author for her novel, Torn Asunder. She's also had three flash fiction stories win writing contests. In the fall of 2013, her novel, Hidden Salem, made the Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers Lists in 3 categories: Paranormal, Suspense and Ghosts. You can find out more about Kiki on her website www.kikihowell.com or stop by her blog http://anauthorsmusings.blogspot.com/
Other Works by Kiki:
Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I would also like to say Thank You to RBTL for letting me participate in this blog tour.