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.

It’s been a while

Mostly all you’ve seen from me in years now are snippets and promos for others. Today I finally sent in a novel I finished writing almost five years ago. What took me so long? Glad you asked.

When I finished this at the end of 2018 beginning of 2019 there was a lot of turmoil going on. For one there was the whole fiasco with a certain publisher. While I am forever grateful for them giving me my first break, I will equally be forever disappointed in how that ended up. Hell it took me over 2 years to ask for my rights back because the depression was paralyzing.

Topping that was the utter failure of Blood Red Roulette. I’ll be honest, I still don’t get why it was stillborn. Maybe it was the rumblings of what was going to happen with the publisher. Maybe it was bad marketing (I tried but I definitely feel it was lacking). Maybe it was vampire burn out.

That said, vampires tend to do well. It had an amazing cover. And it was literally dead on arrival. I can count on my fingers how many reviews it got and I’m not sure I saw much payment at all. That took the wind from my sails. Was I a bad author?

I could rationalizing some of my others not doing fantastic. A polycule urban fantasy set in the 1930s is pretty niche, after all. But a modern day vampire story set in Vegas, I would have thought it’d do better. Hell I’ve had better sales on novellas and short stories than that novel.

Not going to lie, that crushed me. I had worked off and on for 20 plus years to get that story told the way it was in my head. I had been excited to share it with the world. That failure was gutting.

Just as I was picking myself up from that Covid hit. While you’d think we’d be reading more locked up in our houses, what I was seeing in social media was the opposite. Author after author – some relatively big names too – bemoaning having a release during lock down. We might be learning how to bake in our lock down time but apparently we weren’t buying books. I shelved the idea of self pubbing then.

2021 broke me a life changing accident in Feb. I destroyed my leg, nearly lost if I’m truthful about it. It took about a dozen surgeries to put it back together over the course of more than a month. I was hospitalized for over two months. I had to relearn how to walk. The leg has stents in it to keep the blood flowing below my knee. The nerves were severed and I can’t feel my calf and much of my foot.

2021-2022 was dedicated to recovering from this. I put off a novella I owed Ninestar Press (I DO need to get back to that) I did noodle with short stories (especially in 2022) even published a few but novels have now been back burnered for years. I started to blow the dust off my novel These Haunted Hills set here where I live. I edited it slowly, as meticulously as I could as I’ve lost most of my beta readers.

I finally sent it out. I feel like I’m starting at the beginning again. That’s not entirely true of course, I have a decade of experience good and bad behind me. I have high hopes for this novel. I have a duology I need to return to. I need to get another novella edited and rewritten because I think it has potential but it has problems. I have the framework of a novel that is also nearly 20 years old, started when I lived in Florida after yet another life changing injury. I think that might be why I’ve never pursued that one (then again when I first started things they were mostly only pubbing m/m and this is m/m m/f and unapologetically bi).

Am I back? I would like to think so. I am at least trying. Am I afraid? Yes a little but I’m also trying and at the end of the day I would rather try and fail than not try at all.

Rainbow Snippet

I am a little late this week because I was busy getting my first novel in a few years sent in for consideration (crosses fingers)

Back to Behind Blue Eyes. Aneirin is about to find out what he was given for his birthday by his friend who doesn’t think things through well.

Rioke returned with the ‘gift’ and Aneirin knew he’d never like this. Damn, Pherick for being so easily led. His gift was young, barely into his twenties, unless Aneirin missed his guess. If he had met the young man in a club, Aneirin knew the man would have taken his breath away. He’d been robbed of that critical element now, but for all the wrong reasons. His father would have been furious with this gift, which is probably why Masozi hadn’t tried to talk Pherick into this before now.

The Rainbow Snippet group can be found on Facebook. It’s a fun low-pressure snippet sharing group for LGBTQ+ fiction. Come join us. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets

Rainbow Snippets

I survived the first week of the semester. I’m not sure my sanity did.

Jumping back into it. Aneirin knows he’s about to get a gift he so doesn’t want from his wealthy friends. (still more than 5 sentences)

The feeling of dread spread. He knew what his gift was. He didn’t want it. How foolish could Pherick be? Maybe he was wrong. It could still be something else and he was reading too much into it. “This…” how did he say it without hurting Pherick? He was one of Aneirin’s oldest friends, and he didn’t want to hurt him.

“Here let me get the gift.” Pherick pushed a button and the door to the game room opened. Rioke, Pherick’s majordomo came in. She looked at her employer.

“Ready, sir?”

“Yes, Rioke. Bring in Aneirin’s gift. I know you might think it’s too much,” Pherick said, leaning over to pat Aneirin’s shoulder.

Aneirin heard the hints of doubt in his friend’s voice and Masozi seemed to as well. The man scowled at Pherick and said, “He’ll learn to like it quickly enough.”

The Rainbow Snippet group can be found on Facebook. It’s a fun low-pressure snippet sharing group for LGBTQ+ fiction. Come join us. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets

Rainbow Snippets

Well I am not off to a great snippety start but hopefully I’m getting my crap together now. I’m back to trying to get back to this story (work title Behind Blue Eyes) but I am still not quite there with These Haunted HIlls edits (mostly because work is being super extra)

Anyhow this is more like a freaking excerpt mostly because there was no place to break it to make it very interesting and it’s rather the pivotal plot point for the story. Aneurin (we met him last snippet) is from a ridiculously wealthy family but spends his time in his lab. He’s more interested in science than money. It’s his 30th birthday and his equally wealthy friends are giving him gifts, one that is going to horrify him.

“Well, Masozi and I pooled our gift,” Pherick said, catching Aneirin’s full attention. It would probably be something insanely expensive.


Aneirin’s mind raced through things he might want in that category. The list was surprisingly short. “You have my curiosity aroused,” Aneirin said, and his wariness, but he naturally kept that to himself.

That’s not what we want to arouse,” Masozi laughed.

Aneirin saw Mireio’s brow pinch. Her wary expression probably matched his. There was one thing he and Masozi differed on strongly. Well more than one thing. Masozi was an advocate for the Toy parties and full out orgies which had become part of their class’s favorite ways of blowing off steam. Aneirin’s late father had been trying to get the Toys outlawed. But there was one thing in the expensive arousal category, and it was something Pherick could be talked into doing. “You didn’t.”

“I know you’ve been a little down on the idea, but that’s a lot of your father talking,” Masozi said. “You need to relax a little.”

The Rainbow Snippet group can be found on Facebook. It’s a fun low-pressure snippet sharing group for LGBTQ+ fiction. Come join us. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets

Rainbow Snippets

The 2020s have been a giant ball of suck so I’m almost afraid to wish for good things in 2023. That said I am hoping for good because I have the first long thing almost ready since 2019. While I wrote in 2020 it was on other projects. 2021 I nearly lost my leg and I’ve been dealing with the aftermath ever since. Maybe 2023 will turn things around. Here’s hoping.

I’ve already shared from the long thing, These Haunted Hills and I’m almost through doing a final edit before trying to shop it around. In the meantime I’m going back to the SF wip that I would like to finish but I know it has some plot issues I need to work out. The file name is Behind Blue Eyes (probably not final title)

Before I broke for the holidays I was sharing some from Blue Eyes. Kaleo has left the prison world slum he was born into and while he thinks he is going to find work off planet, he’s actually been kidnapped and altered for sale. Now meet Aneurin.

So how does thirty feel?” Pherick asked.

It feels like twenty-nine. You know I don’t worry much about age.”

Aneirin leaned back, the form-fitting foam of his chair adjusting itself. He tapped the volume control of Pherick’s sound system, lowering it a bit as the Mishani symphony got a bit raucous. Aneirin counted himself lucky he even got to pick the music, but since it was his birthday, he got a pass on Pherick’s newest craze; whatever the spy-bots caught in ‘Slumming It.’ Aneirin didn’t like spying on the slums. What good could possible come of it, he didn’t know, but it had been a mainstay of In-Home holovision for over a decade. It made him uncomfortable.

The Rainbow Snippet group can be found on Facebook. It’s a fun low-pressure snippet sharing group for LGBTQ+ fiction. Come join us. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets