Title: Stone Guardian (Witches Amulet Book one)
Author: Paulina Woods
Published: Nov. 16, 2014
Genre: Paranormal & Urban
Buy Links: Createspace (Print), Amazon, Amazon.uk, Amazon.au, B&N
Element - Fire (Healer/Destroyer)
Royal House - Purple
Milcah was born to rule. Stolen soon after birth, her magic was locked and she was forced to live a normal life, with no knowledge of her heritage.
Raised by a detached parent, she learned to depend on herself and her best friend, Mary, for support. While on a road trip across country she’s forced to find shelter in an abandoned town called Beacon.
She finds her destiny and learns about her past which will lead to the salvation or damnation of the world, and a mate who can give her everything her heart desires. Can she let go of her insecurities and accept her mate’s love?
“Damn it. How can I get lost with MapQuest? Stupid directions.” Milcah banged her fist against the steering wheel. Two weeks ago driving across the country had seemed like a great plan, but now, not so much. “If I had known driving was going to be more stressful than work I would have flown.” She laughed at the silly thought of flying anywhere when she’d had to borrow money from Mary just to pay for gas, food and hotel expenses. After leaving Tucson, Arizona, she had gotten lost on all the small highways and the godforsaken two lane highway she was driving on now was devoid of any traffic in either direction. Her phone refused to get any type of signal and a nasty looking storm was coming up fast in her rear view mirror.
“Fuck me. I should have stayed home.” Thank the goddess she had filled up at the last gas station, at least she wasn’t going to run out of gas. With her MapQuest not working and her phone giving her crap, she was in serious need of a place to stop and rest. A thunderstorm, her old beat up Honda, and the threat of a flashflood was not a great combination.
Driving slowly, but not too slowly, Milcah searched for a place to stop. Twenty minutes later she spotted a sign reading Beacon: A home to be proud of. From this distance she could barely make out the buildings, but even a small town had to have hot food, hot water, and a nice warm bed. Ignoring her misgivings, she turned right onto a small, barely paved road.
“Ouch!” Her left tire dipped as it slipped into a pothole, snapping her teeth together. Milcah hoped the older car would hold up because she couldn’t afford expensive repairs.
Like a horror movie, the road started to look overgrown and all but disappeared in some places. The last time this road was paved was probably when pavement was first introduced. But with storm clouds closing in, there was no way she was turning around. In desperation she reached across to the passenger seat and picked up her phone, maybe she could get better reception closer to town. No such luck. As she passed under a sign reading ‘Welcome to Beacon’ she tossed her phone back onto the passenger seat.
“Beacon of what?” The empty streets sent a chill down her spine. “This town should be named Forsaken.”
There was no other way to describe the sad, abandoned town. It had overgrown grass on the side of the road, buildings with blank, empty windows and the only sounds were the half-broken shutters blowing in the wind. The town looked like it had been built in the early gold rush years and then abandoned soon after. A feeling of dread, reminding her of her dream two weeks ago, slithered down her spine as she drove down the main street.
“What have I gotten myself into? I don’t think phones were invented when this place was a booming town. There’s no way I am sticking around. I can make it to the next town.” And now she was talking to herself.
Making a U-turn, Milcah slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting…what the hell was that? A second ago the road had been clear as a summer’s day and now some thing stood dead center. Scared, but curious, Milcah studied the object. With wings reaching from the ground to above its head, whatever it was stood taller than the overhangs on some of the buildings. A little transparent, it reminded her of a ghost, but a ghost of what?
This is not a dream. I will not investigate. Milcah pressed the gas pedal, swerved around the creature, and headed for the road out of town. Gripping the steering wheel, she tried to stop her hands from shaking. What the hell was that?
Without looking, she reached for her phone, hoping it would work, and she could call Mary and bitch about her directions and the possibility of hallucinations until she calmed down. Instead her hand passed through something warm. Quickly glancing over, Milcah screamed as she stared into the eyes of the creature from the road, now calmly sitting in her car, somehow fitting its large frame inside. Hitting her brakes to avoid running into anything and slamming her car into park, Milcah turned in her seat to stare at it.
This close, she was able to make out more features, a heavy brow covering deep-seated eyes, a semi-flat nose resting over plump lips. Curiosity overshadowed fear and Milcah reached out and poked her hand through the creature, again feeling the warmth and a slight tingle. Reaching for her amulet in a nervous gesture, Milcah tried to remember what she had read about ghosts and the proper thing to do when you ran into one. She didn’t have any holy water, but it didn’t look like the specter was trying to suck out her soul or kill her.
“I think I have read way too many supernatural novels and need to get my head checked.” Her voice sounded unnaturally loud to her ears. Milcah looked out the window, making sure she wasn’t hanging upside down after crashing her car. A car crash would go a long way toward explaining what was happening. She turned her attention back to what was sitting in her passenger’s seat. It seemed to be studying her just as much as she was studying it. In the back of her mind she knew she should be out of the car and screaming, but she had never been normal.
It seemed fascinated by the amulet Milcah was playing with and reached out as if to touch it. Moving the amulet out of reach, Milcah tried to figure out what she was going to do. Looking at her amulet again, Milcah longed to be able to ask her mother to explain what was happening. Milcah glanced at her phone again, which was still under the creature, hoping to see it had reception. Not able to tell but not wanting to reach over and get it she decided to leave it alone. Huffing, she looked back at the creature to see he was following the movement of her thumb as she rubbed the amulet.
“What would Mary do?” At this moment, Milcah envied Mary’s ability to believe in the supernatural outside of books. Milcah believed in the goddess and that to honor her, humans need to take care of the world they had been given. She lit candles during the full moon and read her own tarot cards. She’d even gone to see a few mystics with her mother. Yet nothing prepared her for what she was facing in this small deserted town. She’d always believed people moved onto the next cycle after death and supernatural beings like vampires, werewolves, and gargoyles were fantasies made up by humans to explain evils in the world.
She rubbed at her temple where a pounding headache was starting to stir, usually a sign a nightmare would follow. Last year she had decided to see why she was having these headaches and nightmares. A psychologist told her she was suppressing memories from childhood. He believed Milcah had been abused as a child and the dreams were her mind’s way of dealing with the trauma. Milcah never told anyone about the visit and never went back. Her mother had not abused her. Sitting in her car staring at a ghost of some type, Milcah made a mental note to call the doctor as soon as she returned home.
Help us. The sound of a deep male voice overlaid with many others rang in her head. She jumped at the sound. Shaking her head, she tried to ignore the voices echoing around her. Help us.
“I’m going insane.” Milcah grimaced. “I need to get to the next town.”
As soon as the words left her mouth, thunder rolled across the sky, quickly followed by a flash of lightening. “Dang it.” The GPS was useless, but Mary had been thoughtful and placed a paper map in the middle console. After looking at the confusing lines on the map for a few minutes, Milcah gave up and tossed it into the backseat. Crossing her arms, she sat back and tried to think of another plan. There was no way she was driving anywhere in the storm fast approaching with a creature as her passenger.
Help us. There it was again. Glancing over at the creature in her passenger seat, she wondered if he was pushing his voice into her head. Before she could ask him the voice echoed again. Help us. With that last plea, something unlocked in Milcah’s mind. She lost focus in the real world.
My brother and I were very active children. When I was three and he was five we decided my moms collection of china dolls needed makeovers. Using permanent markers we made them look like clowns and were so proud when we showed her, she was not amazed and still reminds us about it.
1.) What is your earliest childhood memories?
I started writing when I was five or so. I know it sounds crazy but my mom called me Mama because I was always telling people what to do. She finally bought me a diary and told me to write things down that way I could go back and read them later. Yes my first diary was mostly gibberish and drawings but I think it's what helped me keep writing all the way through my high school days.
2.) How old where you when you first started writing?
Military Action and Superhero Action. Give me The Avenger's and Pacific Rim any day over a chick flick. I want to see huge machines fighting and if there are hot guys on both sides, I'm all for it.
3.) Favorite genre of movie?
Sherrilyn Kenyon. Oh wait I did go fangirl was so was embarrassed at the way I acted. She came to San Diego for ComicCon and she did a small signing at the local B & N. I was so excited that I sat there unable to ask the questions I wanted to during Q&A and when it was time for her to sign my books, I had a hard time talking. The next year I went back to see her again and at least this time I was able to actually talk. She is an amazing writing and person, if anyone has a chance to talk to her I would say go for it.
4.) Who is the author you would go fangirl over?
I love them. I know that is the last thing anyone would say but I grew up with a mom who dressed as a clown for children parties. There were clown pictures, clown figurines and clown dolls everywhere in my home growing up. When I go to visit my mom there are still clowns everywhere and I have to warn friends I take with me.
5.) Do you like clowns?
My day job. Ok I really can't, yet but I dream about it nightly. I would love to just wake up and write and keep my blog running.
6.) What is the one thing you can live without?
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/paulinawoods