Thursday, January 31, 2013

Legasea Release and Twitter Chat

The wonderful news this week is that Krystalyn's book, Legasea, released on Monday. You can purchase it for Kindle and Kobo now, with Nook and print copies coming soon. Take a look at the book description.

When sixteen-year-old Aileen Shay sees a dead girl floating in the bay during a midnight yacht party, she never imagines Jamie Flannigan, her new boyfriend, may be involved. The only thing she knows about Jamie is that he personifies the one thing she has been drawn to her entire life – the ocean. But as she grows closer to him, she realizes he knows more about the murder than he’s telling. When another girl is attacked, and Jamie refuses to answer her questions, Aileen searches for answers on her own.

Aileen learns that Jamie’s family belongs more to myths and legends than they do in the real world. They are selkies, and after the Flannigans threaten her family, Aileen suspects they are responsible for both attacks.

But they aren’t the only ones in her small fishing town who can keep a secret. As Aileen uncovers the truth about the murder, the selkies, and her own family, she learns why her soul is bonded to the sea. But with that revelation comes a choice – to permanently sever her connection with the water, which comes at a painful cost, or embrace a legacy that just might get her killed.

If the description intrigues you, head over to Amazon to read the first two and a half chapters.

Also, Krystalyn will be the special guest tonight (1/31/13) at the Curiosity Quills Twitter chat. The chat runs from 7 pm - 9 pm est. For the first hour, they will talk about writing inspiration, then at 8, she will be joining to chat about Legasea or Santa Claus (trust us, it's writing related) or her favorite nail polish color (trust us, it's writ- uh, who are we kidding). Anyway, they'll be using the hashtag #CQpress, so come join the fun!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Turn the Season

Turn the Season

It’s Winter’s turn. The eve of the new ones’ eighteenth birthday means the transition. Winter remembers when she received the gift, or curse, a century ago. She and the others took the field one by one. They’d been born the same day, the same year. It was destiny. Each of them felt new life leave their elder and seep into their bodies, filling them with another earthly being and right it encapsulated them completely. Turning hair and skin and eyes and personas different shades to represent their new designation.

Summer, at the time Alec, had held her hand so fiercely the day of their turn he could have broken bone. She hadn’t minded it though because it kept them close.

She and Alec held close then. Hoping, wishing that they'd be paired. Summer and Spring or Winter and Autumn. It didn't matter, as long as he remained hers.

Alec was called first and strode to the field. Watched not just by the others waiting to turn, but by their elder seasons and the watchers. Alec held out his hand palm up waiting for the piercing. Everyone but Alec winced when the blade cut and the blood pooled in his hand spilling through his fingers. He clenched his fist. When he opened it he smiled a bit, held his palm up to reveal the sun: Summer.

From his elder he gladly took over. Grinning while his eyes became a blue ocean, his hair wheat, his skin took on a golden glow that made him shine like a beacon in light and dark year round. When he took his place on stage he blew a kiss that kept her hopeful. 

Next was a girl with skin the color of chocolate and hair as dark as an oil slick. When the dagger hit, the girl gasped waiting for the red stream to lessen, in the end it left the mark of spring, a lily. She would be Spring. When she went to her elder to take on her new role her skin went caramel, her hair dirty blonde, her eyes honey.

It was her turn. She shook as she approached the dagger, unable to look at Summer and his new partner Spring. Her hand continued to waver. Catching her breath and trying to clear her mind the blade came quicker than she expected but she swallowed a yelp. Refusing to look at the symbol, no longer caring because it didn't matter. She took in the picture of Summer and Spring. Both of them lovely, and still felt the hurt of him being hers.

When she finally looked, she saw the snowflake.

Winter cried when she turned. Cried as her hair went from red to white. As her skin lost it’s fleshy hue to match her hair and her eyes became crystalline. When she passed by Summer he commented on her continued beauty but she did not speak because it was done. Decided for them.

And so it went. Winter was set apart from the flightiness of Spring that could turn on a dime deciding to embrace the cool or the hot depending on her mood. Spring tended to glide rather than walk, always on tippy toes and finding herself here or there at a moment’s notice she was so quick. Autumn was Winter’s mate and proved to have his moments as well. Skin of bronze, sculpted features from his square jaw to his muscles and the sinews that lined them when he tensed or the way his eyebrows arched in surprise and anguish. He tended to favor the cold and this is what made him perfect as her mate.

“I’ve always thought much of you, Winter,” Autumn told her when they were paired.

She gulped at her new name. “Winter,” she repeated to herself. It wasn’t until she held it that she hated it.

After distinctions had been made and their elders faded into a life of old age, their time paid in full to the elements. After the ceremony, when eighteen seemed the worst age possible Summer and Winter attempted to kiss, attempted to see if they could override centuries of rules to be together but it was both awkward and painful. Summer’s heat too much and Winter’s cold almost an antidote. Their lips together sizzled and stung so that Winter had to bring the cold forth to heal herself and Summer had to protect himself from a new kind of burn. Autumn could handle her cold, adapt to it, Summer could not.

Her tears became diamonds on her cheeks when the realization hit.

Summer leaned in, “I will always love you. Just from afar,” he promised. But it seemed a lie. The way he looked with Spring always so damn happy. But that was the way of Summer, Summer was frivolity as was Spring. Autumn was consciousness and Winter aware. This is what made them right for each other in that sense. But in all other factors it was wrong. She had a new designation, a new duty, and that was to her season.

Winter steps forward for the transition. It's a boy this time around. A young boy despite his eighteen years and in him she sees the Summer she had hoped would be hers for a lifetime.

The former Summer, Autumn, and Spring sit awaiting it to be over. No longer in stasis as eighteen year olds they revert back to their former selves, selves that have aged. Lines and creases marking their faces. The glows and earthly tones that consumed them gone. She takes a breath and holds the boy’s hand. In him she pushes the cold, the hurt, the pain and watches his blonde hair turn to frost, his eyes take on her glassy look. She falls into the snow that has formed a bed around them.

When she opens her eyes she is welcomed by the aged face of her beloved Alec. He holds a hand out to her and says, “I always keep my promises.”

Story by Jenn Baker 

Friday, January 18, 2013



In less than an hour I will have to kill you.
 Is that the right way to say it if technically you’re already dead?
 I don’t know.
A person could go crazy trying to figure out the proper words.
The thing is you died for the first time five nights ago, on our wedding night. We’d only just gotten here to our cabin when it happened. You were laughing about something I said…funny that I can’t remember what it was now. But I do know that it must’ve been a real howler of a joke because you were doubled over with tears in your eyes.
I unlocked the door and let it go open just a crack, but no more, so that I could scoop you up and then dramatically kick it in like I’d seen some guy do in a movie of the week kind of thing. I knew you would think it was silly and then endearing and so I was over the moon happy to do it. I remember working to gather your dress into my fingers so that I could walk without tripping. Then I did manage to kick the door in with the kind of flourish I was hoping for. It slammed against the wall of the cabin and you squealed.
But before we made it over the threshold this thing charged at us. My first thought was: Bear! My knees went a little weak and I took a step backwards, prepared to run as best I could with you in my arms--knowing all the time that we wouldn't be able to run fast enough. Looking back I wish that’s what it had been. At least then this would all be over and I wouldn’t be here staring at you, waiting for you to open your eyes.
When his teeth sunk into the meat of your forearm I realized it was a man, but his face…it was mangled, the skin hanging off in places like pieces of old wall paper dangling from a bone wall. I had this momentary debate in my mind about what to do. Keep you in my arms and try to wrench your arm from his teeth or put you down with him still attached so I could get my hands on him properly? In the end it was a little of both and you dropped to the floor, the sleeve of your dress stained red with blood. I punched him, but it barely slowed him down.
He came at me again and again while you sat on the floor, your mouth a perfect  O, your hand clamped over the bite.
Screaming, screaming, screaming.
I punched and hit and kicked, but he wouldn’t stop. Then I saw the ax by the fireplace. I yelled for you to turn away and you did and I swung it into his chest.
 The ax was sharp. It slid in easily, stopping only when it hit his rib cage. But still, he came, pushing on the ax, driving it deeper into his chest, snapping the bones so that he could get closer to me, his jaws snapping.
I put my foot on his stomach and pulled the ax out, all the while picturing King Arthur pulling that sword from the stone and feeling like something inside of me was breaking. It was a movie scene. It couldn’t be real life. Still, I reared back and brought the ax down again, this time into his skull, the sweet spot that’s supposed to permanently stop those like him—I can’t say the word for what he is--you are--even now.
He went down almost immediately.
A few hours later you were feverish.
 I wanted to take you down the mountain to town, but it was snowing hard by then. The road was buried in the first hour.  And we left our phones at home, didn’t we? All part of the “off the grid” honeymoon we’d planned. How could we have known?
You died before the night was over and by dawn you were standing up again. At first…well, I hoped it was a miracle. But then you came for me like he did. I couldn’t stop you, not the way I did him. I just pushed you out into the snow and shut the door. I barricaded myself in, busted up the small kitchen table and covered the sole window with it. You pounded on the cabin for hours. Then you walked around it. Over and over and over.
It was cold so I built a fire in the fireplace. You were in just your wedding gown, a long sleeved, crimson splattered mass of tulle and netting. I’ve been wondering if you could feel the cold. If you do now.
You were lying down, half buried in snow when I finally worked up the nerve to open the door. I made myself get closer to you and then I touched your arm. It was marble beneath my fingers, all smooth and hard. You looked like one of those sleeping princesses—what were their names? I can’t seem to remember now. You still do. If I lean over and kiss your lips will your skin flush and your eyes flutter open? Will you be you the way you were before the bite?
But no! That’s a fairytale. It’s not our story. I know that, of course I know it. Ours is a tragedy steeped in horror. There won’t be a happy ending, not now.
It didn’t take long to figure out that the cold kept you from, um, waking up. So I’ve done my best to keep you buried in it for the past few days. What else could I do?
 I did almost drive away yesterday. Hopped in the car, let the engine turn over. The roads down are clear now. I could just drive away. But what would I tell your parents? What if you wandered after me and found the town down there?
 No, I know what I have to do. And I will do it. I will.
Your finger just twitched. I swear it did. I run into the house to get the ax. I don’t like how it feels in my hands though. I can’t get my grip right. I can’t…your eyes are opening.
Oh god, they’re the same shade of brown.
I thought…I hoped that they would be black or red or just different somehow after all these days out here, but you look too much like you.
Was I wrong?
You lean up on one arm and the crown of rose buds in your hair falls to the ground. You watch it, your head cocked to one side.  There’s something so sweet, so gentle and so inherently you in the movement that I feel the the wall of ice I've been building around my heart these past few days shatter.
 My wife.
 I let my hands slip from the ax and close my eyes.
Story by: Amy Christine Parker
Picture by: Helen Warner

Friday, January 4, 2013


by: Krystalyn

To sleep ensnared in the brambles and vines of their wicked forest.

To dream of ice shards slicing deep into my heart.

To waken in the realm that has consumed my dreams since birth.

To know they have brought me here for a purpose.

To fear their narrow slitted eyes and needle sharp nails as they examine me, their new treasure, home at last.


“Such pretty eyes,” one says.

“Such full lips,” hisses another.

I remain curled up in a ball on the forest floor, the place where my dreams have deposited me on this final night of my life.

They crouch near the ground, their boney knees touching their ears as they hop from one foot to the other. I didn't realize there would be so many, but the clearing is filled with hundreds of thin, agile creatures with a white-blue tint to their skin. They all came out tonight.

And now, more than ever, I am certain my time is here.

I feel uncomfortable as the folk examine me, but then I notice the one who makes me feel naked. He is the one who has crept through my life, leaving footprints across my eighteen years. He exists for me, or so he's always said. His fingers tap a staccato rhythm on my temple while his eyes draw me in. The lines in his irises replay the cracked, broken roads of his victims, past wishes gone wrong.

I see Caleb Jenkins wish to be noticed by his crush. She notices him, but only after a thief in the night slices a six inch gash across his throat. I see Matty Torres' wish for money to buy a new car. He gets the money, but only after a car accident kills his dearest grandmother. I see death and ruin fall to each person unlucky enough to utter the incantation and make their wish.

I would rather be blind than see these atrocities played out before me, but even if I were, it would make no difference. I know each victim intimately. Their horrors are branded into my soul, for it was my own hands that did the work.

The first time I took a human life, I scrubbed my hands until they were raw. For weeks after, I imagined innocent blood oozing from my knuckles and beneath my nail beds. That didn't stop me though. Nothing could have kept me from my goal.

His face cracks open into a smile. The points on his teeth glisten in the ice-filled night. “My queen.” His breath rolls over me in waves, a mixture of copper and decay. I may have facilitated the ruin of a hundred men, but he did the clean up. And his appetite was insatiable.

I ball my hands into fists, then release them as I place one hand in his open palm and allow him to help me to my feet. I know why I am here.

The folk step back and make a path for us as he leads me to the far side of the clearing. An elaborate throne, carved from ice and strengthened with the bones of our victims sits nestled beneath the biggest tree. I pause in front of it. His hand tightens around mine, feeding the sliver of ice that sleeps in my heart. I take a deep breath. I have worked for this night all of my life, doing his bidding, fulfilling the requirement that would make me their queen.

I'd known of the requirement since the day I was born. He slipped into my dreams and told me the fantastic story of a race of folk that existed in the shadows. When humans stumbled upon the right incantation, they brought the folk to their door, sealing their fate. But the folk wanted more than just blood. They believed that one day, a human girl would be assigned a test, and if she passed that test, she would rise to be their queen and release them from the shadows. No longer would they be bound to spells and ritual. Her presence would grant them full access to the human world, and together they would rise up and claim it all.

That was the night he placed the sliver in my heart, along with the need to fulfill his every desire.

He repeated the story each night for a dozen years. Then on the eve of my 12th birthday, he came to me with a request. Even though I was fully aware of the wrongness of it all, I complied. I could blame brainwashing or the sliver in my heart, but that wasn't why I did it. And it wasn't why I continued to assist him, year after year. I did it because I wanted to be queen.

I squeeze his hand one last time, turn around, and settle in on my throne. I glance at my subjects, lock eyes with a few before the creature at my side falls to his knees and proclaims, “My queen. You have joined us at last!”

The others fold their bodies until their foreheads touch the ground. “My queen,” they say as one.

A scepter appears beside me, and I snatch it greedily. A brand new power rushes into me, drawn from the ground and the ice and the heartbeats of a thousand folk. I revel in it, because I know what to do next.

I stand. An ocean of magic rushes up through my feet and surges into my body. I feel as if I may get swept away with the power of it all. The ice sliver encourages me, tells me that all I have to do is snap my fingers, and the folk will be released into the human world. It's what I was born for.

But it's not what I do.

I wrap both hands around the scepter. I lift it high in the air, then bring it down, smashing the end against the ice-covered ground. Cracks splinter across the ice, rushing toward the folk. One touch of the ever-spreading cracks and the folk freeze instantly into ice statues. It takes just long enough for the creature beside me to shoot me a look of utter betrayal, but then he is gone too, frozen into an everlasting statue. No more wishes. No more queens. No more blood.

I drop my scepter to the ground, then walk slowly back through the folk, back to the place where I woke on this final night of my life. I curl into a ball, knowing that because of my crimes, I have no right to return to the human realm, and I do not wish to survive in this one. My only choice is to silently drift away.


To sleep until my body finds its way into the next world.

To dream that my good has overshadowed my crimes.

To waken in the realm of those who've passed before me.

To know, without a look, the folk have crossed over as well.

To fear that in this realm, I won't be able to stop them.


Photo by: Helen Warner

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! Here's a Brand New Pic Prompt.

January, winter, snow... done, done, done. I have a certain affinity for January since it's my birth month but also because it is the start of a new year. So let's start it off with a bang, shall we?

I want to thank Helen Warner for allowing us to post one of her beautiful photos. She's a master at Gothic-style imagery and I loved her entire portfolio. Definitely check out Helen's Tumblr & Facebook pages. Hope this sparks some New Year's creativity!

Happy writing all!