New Release Goldie by Danni Maxwell

 

Title:  Goldie

Author: Danni Maxwell

Publisher:  NineStar Press

 Release Date: July 6, 2020

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 12400

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, mythical creatures, Magic/Magic users, Fairy tales, fantasy, romance

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54271666-goldie” Add to Goodreads

 

Synopsis

 

Cast out of her village after being accused of killing her father, Marigold Lovelock has nothing but the clothes on her back and the willpower to make it into the woods.

 

With the company of an Ursidae, a mythical creature known as Squeak, she seeks out The One, the Storyteller who speaks the truth.

 

Throw in a nasty beast called the Gromas, a pack of wolves, and a girl with lips as red as blood, Marigold knows she must learn how to embrace the person she was always been destined to be.

 

Excerpt

 

Goldie

Danni Maxwell © 2020

All Rights Reserved

 

A person falls in love with three people in their lifetime. At least that’s what the Storytellers will show you in their legends.

 

Each love will come at a time in a person’s life when they need it most. Even if they don’t realise they needed it in the first place.

 

There’s the first love, the one who teaches what the magical thing called love is. It’s young love. It’s innocent, and it’s pure. It ends far before it can truly begin, but it will always remain the first love of one’s life.

 

The second love is a hard love to endure. It changes a person, teaches them that a heart can break, that a person can wound you more than a knife, that not every love is a fairy tale. It makes a person stronger; it shapes them, helps them grow, teaches them that a heart can mend in time.

 

Then there is the third love, a love that has no warning, that sneaks up on a person and takes them by surprise. It’s the love that they didn’t know they needed, the one they were not looking for. It’s the love that will truly last the test of time. This is the love that can withstand all the battles a person has to endure. It’s unwavering. This is the love that feels like a fairy tale.

 

*

 

Marigold Lovelock had heard these legends more times than she could count, but she never once believed in them.

 

Her father was a Storyteller. His job was to be the one a person seeks for the knowledge, the truth, the wisdom. His job was his life. It took precedence over everything else, including Marigold. Her father’s favourite thing about his title, his powers, was the fact that people blindly adored him. They believed her father could do no wrong, that he was the one with all the answers. He could gather as many of the townspeople as he wanted, tell them of the stories, the legends, the prophecies that had been passed down to him by Storytellers past. And the townspeople would gather; they would flock, run, rally to the town’s centre to hear a new story each day; their eyes and hearts full of belief, of wonder and whimsy.

 

They truly loved her father, for he could tell them all the things their hearts desired to hear, could warn them of the dangers of the beasts and demons that lay beyond the town’s edge. Her father was the light, and Marigold his shadow. The people treated her like she was nothing, like all she did was bring the darkness wherever she went. They skittered away if she got too close, made shifty, judging glances with narrowed eyes and lips pressed in tight lines. The children were ushered away and taught to keep their distance.

 

Though Goldie never knew why they did this, she wondered if it was out of fear, and if that were true, perhaps she was afraid of them too. She’d shy away from everyone as they would hiss and pull away from her. Because why would you even try to fit in when you’re a puzzle with one too many pieces that will never be completed?

 

Her life had never been easy. She lost her mother to childbirth, she lost her father to the Storytellers, and she lost herself to the darkness of being alone. The darkness enveloped the townspeople too but not as heavy as it weighed on her. They all had lost their light; her father had died this past spring, and though the doctor had said he passed from age and peacefully in his sleep, Marigold wondered if he had died of a broken heart. He was always so lost without her mother, and he blamed Marigold for that loss; it’s why she never felt close to him, to anyone.

 

Everyone believed Marigold was cursed, that she possessed something inside her so dark and wicked that it had killed her mother, and that anyone who got close to her, anyone who loved her, would fall dead to the curse too. Her father was just another reason for them to fear her. The townspeople were lost without their Storyteller. The next was still learning the stories and prophecies, and so they had no one to turn to for guidance, for what should be done about Marigold, about who they thought she was, what she was to become, and who she might hurt in the process. The elders of the town were brought up on the stories, but they could only remember so much. Only the mind of a Storyteller could remember all. Their older minds were forgetting, slowly with time, but they never failed to forget the prophecy of the Kalakuta. That is what they believed Marigold was.

 

The Kalakuta were ancient beings, the ones the elders and Storytellers alike would call “the potion people of death.” Their prophecy tells of the Kalakuta being a sentient being that lived long before the time of people. Beings that, once they found a host, would kill any human or being in its path, for the darkness inside told them to do so. They were the makers of death. Her father, the Storyteller, had spoken of a Kalakuta preying on their town, feasting on the sick, the weak, the lost, believing that over time they would eventually take everyone, and there would be no one left to stop it. The minute Marigold’s father had passed, it was like any suspicion they had of Marigold being a Kalakuta had all but been confirmed.

 

This is why she now stood at the edge of the wood, at the final edge of sand between the unknown and the town, her only belongings scattered just beyond the trees, and the entire town standing at her back, waiting to be rid of her at last. Their mourning period was over for the Storyteller. The townspeople were no longer grieving; they were rioting. The moment their mourning cloud had lifted, they went on a manhunt for her. They found Marigold hidden away, wishing to be forgotten in her small hut of a home. They were all afraid of her, just as she was afraid of them. No one was willing to get too close to her. She cowered in her corner, begging someone, anyone, to leave her alone.

 

Someone looped rope around her body, cinching it at her waist and all but dragging her out of her home toward the dark wood. She was scrambling to grab anything she possibly could, begging them to stop, promising them that she would willingly go if they just let her grab her things. They stopped for a moment, enough time for her to grab a satchel with two dresses to change, her pouch of every coin she had saved that her father had hesitated to give her as gifts on special days, and the only drawing she had of her mother, one that her father had tried to throw away in anger and mourning on the anniversary of her death, Marigold’s birthday. It was the one thing Marigold had treasured all her life. It was the last thing she had.

 

“Now. Get going,” the man holding the end of the rope had grunted, tugging on the rope so hard her chest ached with the effort to breathe.

 

The people gathered in her hut parted at the door. They led Marigold out of the town to the wood with a rope around her waist, something hard pressing into her back, pushing her forward while tears streamed down her face. She gripped at her satchel, her heart breaking with every step she put in behind her. Please, she had begged them. Please don’t send me away.

 

All that resulted in was her being shoved even harder, falling to the ground, her crying out in pain as something hard, no doubt the broom handle of a local keeper, cracked down on her back. Her things were grabbed by the children, her satchel tossed, her dresses strewn, her photo crumpled into the tiniest ball. Her pouch of money pressed against her hip, hidden in the pocket she’d sewn into her dress herself. It was the only thing they couldn’t take from her.

 

“Be gone, Kalakuta!” They were all shouting obscene comments at her now, where she stood straight as a pin, her bare toes touching the edges of the dark wood.

 

“Please, I am not a—”

 

“You are a killer, Marigold Lovelock. You killed your parents; you kill the elders, the children even! You have a darkness in you that will never settle. We ought to kill you, but that would be too kind of us. We shall let the beasts of the woods decide your fate. Never return to Veritas, or we will change our minds. Kalakuta.” The man spit at her. The crowds were throwing things at her, rocks and sticks and anything they could use to hurt her.

 

“Please—” Marigold pleaded one last time, her cheeks dripped with tears, her whole body trembling. She had never been so scared in all her life.

 

“She does not learn. We have no pity,” an elder breathed in hushed tones.

 

“Let us show her what we do to Kalakuta.”

 

This was the last thing Marigold heard before she felt a sharp, blunt pain at the back of her skull, and the world went black.

 

Purchase Links

 

NineStar Press | Amazon

 

https://ninestarpress.com/product/goldie/

https://geni.us/GLTXnA

 

 Meet the Author

 

Danni Maxwell has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, she is a debut author who is currently studying to become a librarian, a job she defines as the best of both the reading and writing world. She has won multiple prestigious writing awards in the past few years. Her favourite genres to write are contemporary, LGBT+, and more recently she’s been dabbling in YA, sci-fi and poetry. When she’s not writing, you can find her creating book- and writing-related videos on Youtube’s Booktube community, at Danni Darling.

 

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

https://www.facebook.com/dannimaxwellx

https://twitter.com/DanniDarlingx

https://www.instagram.com/

 

Giveaway –

 

One lucky winner will receive a $10.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!

 

 

Direct Link:

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/555033ec773/?widget_template=589504cd4f3bedde0b6e64c2

 

ANd sorry everyone for the bare codes. WordPress made a major change and isn’t getting along with HTML and I don’t have time at the moment to worry about it.

Rainbow snippets

I missed last week and nearly missed this one, it’s the start of the semester which is always brutal.

I’ll dive right back into These Haunted Hills It’s picking up after Brendan ran back to Columbus after a b it of a break down with Josh. It’s been a while since we’ve seen her but Heather is his ex-wife with whom Brendan is still friends (and I changed her name since we last saw her) It’s been a long this time just to capture the moment.

Pulling into the lot for his favorite coffee shop, Brendan glanced around. Heather’s car wasn’t here yet but she would come like he asked. He ordered the largest cappuccino they offered and a chocolate zucchini muffin – he’d been good in the Hocking Hills, not too many sweets and he’d been walking. He wouldn’t want to get paunchy. He’d look pregnant what with his little frame. What he wouldn’t give to at least have shoulders like Josh did. Finding a seat, Brendan pulled out his cell phone.

I’ll be back tomorrow. I still want to go to the hotel with the team. He grimaced slightly as he sent the text. People mocked him for not using text speak and texting full sentences but he couldn’t help it. Anything else made him cringe. Josh texted back with a single thumb’s up emoji. Oh well, he couldn’t have everything but really an emoji? Of course, his brother was in the habit of randomly sending him poop emojis for the hell of it.

A second text came in. Will have everything ready. Hope U R OK. Call if you need anything.

Oh how tempting that was text speak aside. He probably would call Josh tonight. Whatever this was between them, this thing he had battered and bruised in the last twenty four hours needed nurturing. Even a quick call would probably do it. He considered calling that very moment but was saved from his neediness by Heather’s arrival.

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

rainbow snippets

Sliding in last minute again. I’ve been hiding from social media in light of everything but it’s been good for me finally finishing the rough draft of my overdue research paper. I got it done and need to let it sit and marinate before I tear it to shreds.

Picking up with These Haunted Hills again. Last week we saw the aftermath of Brendan’s emotional meltdown from Josh’s pov. This week we’re in Brendan’s head.

Brendan almost hadn’t been able to go into his house once he got into Dublin. He was terrified that he’d go in and see Connor there. Josh and his friends had really gotten to him. He had gotten into this mess because he thought Connor was trapped in his home. Now he felt that fear more keenly.

He’d been grateful that his psychiatrist had a cancelation and could make time for him today. Brendan hated running out on Josh like that. What must he think?

He seemed understanding the night before but this had to seem like fleeing to Josh. Brendan felt oddly uncomfortable with saying I need to see my shrink. No, not odd. He worried Josh would think that he couldn’t handle the intimacy and ran away to seek help. Of course, that was exactly what it was but it would hurt Josh and Brendan knew it.

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

rainbow snippets

Since I’m running way behind, I’ll merely say I hope 2021 puts us on a healing path. I don’t expect it to be better immediately but I hope by the end it will be.

I’m continuing with These Haunted Hills Picking up from last week, Joshua is afraid Brendan might have gone back to Columbus for good after his emotional collapse at the cabin.

Jackson was some forty miles away but he didn’t feel any more at peace on the drive. He pulled into his parents’ drive. Dad would still be at work but it wasn’t Mom’s day at the library Josh hooked the leashes to his cats’ harnesses and let them out of the car. They jogged their furry bulk to the door, talking about it the whole way. His mother opened the door before he could even get his key out.

He took a deep breath, trying to beat back the emotion welling up. “Mom, I think I really messed up.”

She pulled him into a hug and for the first time since he woke up, Josh thought maybe things could work out.

Rainbow snippets

Hope everyone had a nice holiday season in spite of it all, whichever you celebrate or do not as the case may be. I’m currently iced in, trying to catch up on things.

I’m back to <i>These Haunted Hills</i> This is the day after Brendan lost his pendant.

Brendan had left the cabin early in the morning  He’d been distant – Josh could understand why – but apologetic at the same time. He said he needed to go to Columbus for a day or two. There wasn’t much Josh could say to that. He could only hope things hadn’t been ruined between them entirely. It wasn’t his fault but reminding himself of that helped not at all. Brendan had kissed him but Brendan was also completely freaked out by the pendant. Maybe he did need time to himself. Josh couldn’t get past the fear Brendan had gone and wouldn’t be back.

Rainbow snippets

For someone on break, I can’t find time to do anything. I will catch up on everyone’s posts, I promise. I decided to share a story from a couple holidays ago for Yule. This is from my steampunk Christmas story, The Glow of Luminiferous Aether on Tinsel with Ninestar Press

“He can’t be dead.” Al clutched her shoulder, tucking his cheek against her.

Minnie drew closer. “Al, Jacob is fine. He’s a hard man to kill.”

“People are easy to kill,” he growled.

“Not him,” Grace replied sternly. “Death came for him once, and Jacob beat the reaper off with his own scythe.”

Blurb

As Chief Tactician for the airship DeGrasse, Jacob Scarberry has spent the last six months on a wearying tour of duty. He’s missing home, and his prosthetic leg is conducting the December cold straight to his core. But with the holidays coming up, he’s looking forward to a well-earned leave, sharing some Christmas surprises with his lover, Dr. H. Alphus Troyer, and welcoming in the dawn of the 20th century.

A professor at Ohio University, Al is already on Christmas break, and his unconventional household is in a festive frenzy. Al is a bit less joyous, his anticipation of Jacob’s return warring with uncertainty over the special gift he had commissioned for him. Would Jacob appreciate it, or will it put a strain on their relationship?

Suddenly Al’s worries become trivial when the newspapers report an attack on the DeGrasse. With Jacob fighting for his life miles away, Al is left to wonder whether Jacob will return at all, or whether the planned festivities will become holiday heartbreak instead.

Buy Link – nine star – https://ninestarpress.com/product/the-glow-of-luminiferous-aether-on-tinsel/

Amazon here