In the Age of Wizards, Time is a commodity more valuable than gold.
Her magic is dormant.
When Aoife (EE-fa) Burke rushes home after the unexpected death of her father, she discovers her mother has vanished amidst inexplicable circumstances. She returns to her childhood home to search for clues of her mother’s whereabouts but another shock awaits her. Sean O’Connell, the object of her girlhood crush, has purchased the family home. She senses Sean is hiding something from her, refuses to let her inside and does everything he can to keep her out. A determined Aoife breaks inside and stumbles upon an antique trunk in the attic. When she opens it, instead of the normal musty clothes and ancient letters, she finds a stairway leading into darkness. It calls to her and she cannot resist stepping into the trunk and onto that first stair where it leads her to magical truths her mother never wanted her to discover.
His magic is dangerous.
Sean O’Connell has been assigned by the Inter-dimensional Portal Protection Agency to keep Aoife and her mother out of Faery. But when she breaks into the house and disappears through the portal in the trunk—like her mother—he has no choice but to follow her, even though stepping into Faery will force him to face his past. Keeping her safe and out of the hands of the Wizard King also becomes a fight to save Aoife’s life from her own mother, who has discovered a time portal in Faery leading her back in time to alter her past mistakes, putting Aoife’s life in peril. Sean is willing to do anything to make sure she’s safe. Even if it means he has to tap into his dangerous magic to do it.
~ Bewitching BT
She halted mid-reach, gasping for breath and shoving back against the wall. She couldn’t. She’d been forbidden her entire life to go into the attic. Her mother made that painfully clear. She was not allowed and neither was Sunnie.
So why then did she have the uncontrollable urge to pull down the attic stairs and go up?
Do it, Aoife. Go up into the attic.
The voice whispered inside her skull. She had no idea whose voice it was. She didn’t think it was her own. She was compelled to open the attic and take that first upward step.
So she did. With her heart pounding in her throat, she ascended and paused in the darkness listening to her ragged breathing. She stood on forbidden ground.
Again that voice. She scanned the darkened room, only barely able to make out shapes. There were the holiday decorations on one side. An old desk on another. She headed for the desk.
The trunk. The trunk.
She pressed her palm against the side of her head and rubbed. She was hearing things.
The desk was coated in a thick layer of dust that had been disturbed not so long ago. There were several cubbies with papers sticking out of them in a chaotic and untidy way and two books that had finger and handprints left behind in the dust.
“Hidden Dimensions and Fae Time Travel,” she read aloud.
She picked up the second book, A Hypothesis of Fae Magic in Other Realms, and flipped through it. She understood none of it as it was written in a language she couldn’t comprehend. She dropped the book and reached for one of the scrolls when her fingers brushed one that felt different than paper. Curious, she pulled it out and untied the faded red ribbon, letting it roll open. Despite the flawless handwriting, the words were of a language she couldn’t understand. Except for the two words in English scrawled across the top.
She dropped the scroll and shoved it away as something dark gripped her. Like she’d touched something forbidden or evil. With her heart pattering a quick beat, she reached for another scroll. The parchment fell open on the desk revealing a drawing of an ancient map. The ink had faded. When she peered at it closer she couldn’t make out the words, which were in the same language as the book. Something flowery with lots of squiggles and she had no idea what it said. A small compass was drawn in the lower left hand corner with north pointing to the right.
Aoife reached for a second piece of paper. It had been folded and looked as though it was a page that had been ripped out of a book. Again, the language was strange. Like nothing she’d ever seen before. As she stared at the faded ink, the words and letters re-arranged and morphed into words she could read.
A wizard of both Fae and Wizard blood will come into power and rule from a silver throne.
“A wizard of both Fae and Wizard blood…?” Her voice was quiet in the darkness.
Something behind her glowed. She dropped the paper and turned to see a symbol on the top of the trunk had lit up, like a beacon in the darkness.
The trunk. The trunk. The trunk.
It called to her. She was certain she had heard her name coming from it. In a fog, she walked toward it and dropped to her knees. It was an old steamer trunk. She had never seen it before in the house. Where did it come from? Was it her mother’s?
The glowing symbol on the top was an intricate Celtic knotwork circle with a sword through it. The light pulsed, beckoning her.
The trunk, Aoife.
“Yes,” she heard herself say. “The trunk. Of course.”
Her fingers brushed over the Celtic knotwork and suddenly the interior illuminated. Light pushed out around the lid. She gasped and opened it. When the blinding light faded, there in the trunk was a stone staircase leading down into darkness.
“What the heck…?”
Downstairs, she heard a door slam and then Sean’s voice. “Aoife? Are you here?”
Step into the trunk, Aoife.
“Yes, I must.”
She stood and stepped onto the first stone step. Her racing heart thumped a wild beat and the next thing she knew she was on the second step. Then the third.
Glancing up, Sean appeared at the top of the attic stairs. She sucked in a sharp breath, grasped the lid and slammed it closed above her head. She was instantly plunged into total darkness and hunched down on the step, waiting for Sean to open the lid and come after her. She heard nothing. No sounds above.
Panic seized her. She reached above and her hand brushed against smooth, cool stone. She pushed and pushed and pushed but the stone would not give. She flattened her trembling hands against where she thought the lid was but again met cold stone instead of smooth wood. The lid had disappeared. Where did it go?
A cold tingling sensation went through her as she realized she was trapped. Gasping for air, she banged the side of her hand against the stone until it hurt, shouting Sean’s name as hot tears stung her eyes. Her voice bounced off the stone walls around her, echoing through the shadows. It was useless. He couldn’t hear her. Sean didn’t follow her because Sean couldn’t follow her. She was trapped.
There was no going back and there was no way she could get out. Her only option was to go down. With her pulse racing, she descended into the shadows.
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
2. What would you say inspired you to write it? ?
This book found me. I was at a dark place in my writing life when I started it and had no idea it would end up in a full-length story following these four characters. I signed up for a 7-month long workshop to help rediscover the joy of writing. That’s how Wizard King was born. It was with one basic question: What if there was a portal in a trunk? The story evolved from there. I rediscovered how much I loved writing and storytelling.
3. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it? ?
I think every writer has hit writer’s block. There are a couple of things I do. I get up and walk away from the computer and let my mind rest. I’ll do something else creative to let the story percolate in the background a while. When that doesn’t work, I like to get out a spiral notebook and start free writing. That usually leads to an epiphany or two about the story and then I can get back to it.
4. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind? ?
Always. I think there is always that moment of doubt that tends to creep in when things aren’t going well with the story. But you suck it up, you cut what isn’t working and you keep going no matter what. Deep down I love what I do. Even when I thought I would never write another word again, I was back at it.
5. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing? ?
I have a day job, a teenager, a husband, a cat. I write on my lunch hour and also in the evenings after dinner. And when I get my words in for the day, I like to cross-stitch, color in my adult coloring book and read.
6. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series? ?
It is! At this time, only two books are planned. Book 2 will follow several minor characters from book 1 and also continue the story between our four main characters—Aoife, Sean, Fiona and Niall. I’ve been doing some plotting and can’t wait to dive in (as soon as my contract worked is done!).
7. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series? ?
I’ve just signed a 3-book contract with Entangled for a dragon-shifter series about some sexy alpha dragons. I’ll also be re-releasing two books in my back list later this year to complete the Realm of Honor series.
1. What made you decide to go the self-pub way? ?
I’ve wanted to give it a go with a full-length novel for a while (I indie pubbed a series of novellas). I wasn’t sure what to do with this book at first but the more I wrote, the more I decided it would be a great fit for indie pubbing.
2. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting? ?
I hired a content editor, a proofreader and a cover artist. I decided if I was going to go the indie route, I wanted to make sure I was putting out the best book I could.
3. How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros? ?
I already use a cover artist for my backlist titles who is amazing. For a content editor and proofreader, I asked around for recommendations. I was very happy with the end results.
4. How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’? ?
Fifteen months total from the day I started it to the day I finished it.
5. Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with? ?
I pubbed to Smashwords and distributed to all the major outlets except Amazon. I uploaded direct to KDP.
6. In retrospect, what was the toughest part of self-pubbing? Was it the part that you thought would be toughest before embarking on this adventure? ?
Probably paying out the money upfront. It’s a big investment if you want to do it right, but I wouldn’t do it any other way. The experience has been great and I do love having all the control from start to publish. It’s certainly not for everyone so I would recommend doing your homework and making sure it’s the right set for you and your career.
Fun facts: :
1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for? ?
2. Coffee or tea? ?
3. Favorite season? ?
Fall. I love decorating for it. Plus, I live in Texas so the weather is finally starting to turn cooler and I love it.
4. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us! ?
5. Cats or dogs? ?
Since I have a cat, I have to say cat. 😉
6. What song have you listened to most recently? ?
I’m a huge Beatles fan.
7. What first came to mind after reading question no. 1 of the Fun Facts section? I mean that thing that you reconsidered after giving it more thought 😛 ?
Ha. I’ve wanted a castle forever. That was a no brainer. 😉
1. Your top secret, uber guilty pleasure is… ?
Pretty Little Liars. I totally Netflix binge on that.
2. The one thing you’d do anything to avoid/get out of is… ?
3. You were/are a hardcore fan of… ?
If we’re talking TV, I’m a Game of Thrones nerd. I scour the Interwebs for all things GoT.
About the Author & Links:
Michelle Miles grew up in North Central Texas in a rodeo town but was far more interested in nerdy things like Star Trek and Star Wars. She started writing fan fiction in high school. When being an archeologist like Indiana Jones or a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader didn’t work out, she decided writing was her gig and has wanted to write her own stories ever since.
Her love of romance started when she picked up Victoria Holt and Daphne du Maurier and was immediately smitten with the genre. But she also found another love in the fantasies of Patricia A. McKillip and Anne McCaffrey. Since she couldn’t decide which genre to pick—and because she’s a true Gemini—she decided it would be super fun to write contemporary and fantasy romance. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and has served on the board of several chapters as president and treasurer.
In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, reading, cross-stitching and watching movies. A Native Texan, she loves castles, dragons, fairies and elves and is an avid Game of Thrones fan. She can be found online at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.
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