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 know it’s been a while since I’ve played along and even longer since I snippeted from These Haunted Hills. Leave it as I’m hope with my parents from the nursing home but I’m still barely able to walk with a walker and have a lot of recovery to do.

Here’s a snippet with Brendan talking to his ex wife about the thoughts of moving on with new loves and dealing with the death of their son.

I do occasionally still feel guilty about being happy again. You know there were days when I wanted to go be with Connor in the next life just as I know you have to. Hell, I was terrified that was what you were going to do when you told me you rented a cabin in the middle of the damn woods.”

He dropped his gaze again. “I know. It’s why I was fine with calling you because I didn’t want you to worry. I don’t want to hurt you ever. But I did think about it, just briefly when I first got there, then I met Josh. It wasn’t anything instant, like one fantastic smile from him and everything was better. But as the days went by, I felt like he could really be the one to help me out of the darkness. He’s a good man. I just wish it wouldn’t feel like I’m digging my heart out with a rusty spoon when I think about being with him.”

Rainbow Snippets

I’ve not been able to do much the last two weeks. Last friday was the final reconstruction of my knee which culminated in SIX separate surgeries at once (that I know of). It is beyond painful know, relearning to walk so I haven’t done much beyond make up exams for my classes.

I figured I’d give one final snippet of my story Homestead at the Beginning of the World in the Fix the World anthology. I’m happy with the reception my story has received. This is more than 6 lines by far but I’m doing this high as a kite from the pain killers so if I can even get it posted is a miracle. Kjell is hanging out cranberry harvesting with Sam’s friends Hope and Tim and their kids

Kjell settled on his belly so he could sun his back and promptly fell asleep. He didn’t wake until something icy slithered down his back. He startled awake to find Sam running a cold bottle of water down his spine. Sam grinned at him.

Wakey, wakey sleeping beauty.”

Kjell grunted rolling up into the sitting position. “Prince Charming is supposed to wake her with a kiss.”

“I would but Hope would explode into hearts and flowers and pester us the rest of the afternoon with her matchmaking.”

“I would,” she assured him unpacking a picnic basket.

“Did you get a nice nap?” Sam asked.

“Yeah.” Kjell rubbed his eyes.

“Man, you are so green!” one of Hope’s kids exclaimed. “That’s so weird.”

“Dylan! That’s rude. Apologize,” Hope snapped, and Dylan mumbled a halfhearted ‘sorry.’

Kjell glanced at his torso. He was pretty damned verdant at this point. “I suppose it is a bit strange.”

“Did one of those damn devil Derjviks do that to you?” Dylan asked, ignoring his mother’s ‘language’ comment.

Kjell nodded. “When I was a baby. I don’t remember it. I’ve always been sort of the color of grass.” He offered the boy a wan smile.

“If they were still around, my dad would kick their butts for you.” Dylan punched the air for emphasis.

“I have no doubt of that.”

“Here, have a sandwich. It’s chicken salad,” Hope said, and when Kjell eyed it suspiciously she sighed heavily. “It’s really chicken. Dammit, Samwise, quit telling people Tim eats aliens. We haven’t done that in years.”

Kjell didn’t comment that statement obviously meant alien truly had been on the menu. He took a tentative bite, treated to something mustardy and creamy at the same time. “This is delicious.”

“Thank you. I try.” Hope beamed. “It only has a little bit of powdered Derjvik bone in it.”

Kjell stopped chewing.

“He went even greener!” Dylan crowed.

BLURB –

We’re a world beset by crises. Climate change, income inequality, racism, pandemics, an almost unmanageable tangle of issues. Sometimes it’s hard to look ahead and see a hopeful future.

We asked sci-fi writers to send us stories about ways to fix what’s wrong with the world. From the sixty-five stories we received, we chose the twelve most amazing (and hopefully prescient) tales.

Dive in and find out how we might mitigate climate change, make war obsolete, switch to alternative forms of energy, and restructure the very foundations of our society.

The future’s not going to fix itself.

Buy Link Amazon

Rainbow Snippet

I am not up to much here, I’m in the hospital one day post-op of my knee reconstruction. I’m in so much pain the narcotics aren’t touching it but I also don’t want to let the Fix the World anthology release to pass me by.

So have a little more from the opening of my story in the anthology, The Homestead at the Beginning of the World.

We left off with a stranger riding up to Sam’s homestea.

The man swung off his bike and made Sam tense when he put a hand in his pocket. He pulled out a wallet, flipping it open to show his ID. “Dr. James broke her leg. I’m her replacement.”

Sam took a step closer. Once upon a time phones would have borne a person’s identification, but the information networks were still in the process of being restored.  Much of human knowledge had been squirreled away and saved but the technology required to bring it back to life was still in the process of being remade. It could take years. He peered closely at the i.d., the face matched but he’d never heard the name Dr. Kjell Eriksen. “Kah-gel?”

Eriksen grinned. “It’s pronounced Shell.”

Blurb –

We’re a world beset by crises. Climate change, income inequality, racism, pandemics, an almost unmanageable tangle of issues. Sometimes it’s hard to look ahead and see a hopeful future.

We asked sci-fi writers to send us stories about ways to fix what’s wrong with the world. From the sixty-five stories we received, we chose the twelve most amazing (and hopefully prescient) tales.

Dive in and find out how we might mitigate climate change, make war obsolete, switch to alternative forms of energy, and restructure the very foundations of our society.

The future’s not going to fix itself.

Buy Link – find it on Amazon here

Rainbow Snippets

Have a nice Easter, Passover, weekend. It doesn’t feel very much like a holiday in skilled nursing when you can’t have visitors. On the other hand I’ve progressed a lot since last week. I am doing well. I’m able to get into and out of most chairs now. They gave me a wheelchair so I’ve been out and about rolling in the halls. But mostly I’m here on the computer teaching my classes. Still not writing much other than fanfic to keep me writing (With all the pain and pain killers I don’t have the ability to world build)

Have a little more of The Homestead at the Beginning of the World from the Fix the World anthology. It’s a wee bit more than 6 lines.

A motorcycle, old but kitted out for biofuels, sailed up the road more gracefully than Sam expected. It was as if the rider had some six sense about where the road needed grading. Dr. James knew, of course, but whoever this was, he was easily a foot taller than she was. He assumed that it was a man but who knew. The Derjviks had experimented with making humans bigger, stronger,  less reliant on food and a whole host of other things. Linda and her scientist friends had said that in some areas of the world there wasn’t a single purely human DNA strand to be found.

The man parked his bike and took off his helmet. Pale, nearly white hair framed his strong jaw. His skin was pale too but tinged with green. Someone in his family – maybe even him – had been spliced with chlorophyll, an aborted experiment in making them into autotrophs. Maybe the Derjvik had wanted to perfect the genetic engineering for their own people. There was a certain advantage in being able to manufacture food from light.

Pre Order link here on Amazon

Blurb – We’re a world beset by crises. Climate change, income inequality, racism, pandemics, an almost unmanageable tangle of issues. Sometimes it’s hard to look ahead and see a hopeful future.

We asked sci-fi writers to send us stories about ways to fix what’s wrong with the world. From the sixty-five stories we received, we chose twelve most amazing (and hopefully prescient) tales.

Dive in and find out how we might mitigate climate change, make war obsolete, switch to alternative forms of energy, and restructure the very foundations of our society, The future’s not going to fix itself.

Rainbow Snippets

It has been awhile. A month ago today I fell at home and landed with my knee hyperextended. I suffered an injury you’d see if I jumped off the roof or something. Broken all three leg bones at the knee, tore almost all the ligaments and tendons. I damaged nerves and blood vessels, nearly lost the leg as a result. I’ve had three surgeries and have one to go. I’ve spent the last month hospitalized. I’ll spend all of April the same. I won’t start relearning how to walk until May. I wasn’t clear headed for a while between pain relieves, anxiety meds and muscle relaxers so I fell off the radar. Hoping to get back into it now.

I’m taking a break from These Haunted Hills to showcase the characters from my upcoming short story The Homestead at the Beginning of the World in the Fix the World anthology edited by J. Scott Coatsworth

Sam surveyed the glacial lake, blooming green under September’s sun. Some days, he couldn’t believe all of this was his. The Ojibwe had remained stubbornly rooted in their homeland when so many others had been ousted back in the original days of the European colonials and his family had owned this sizeable homestead for generations. He felt honored to be its current custodian.

A century ago, the entire world learned what the Indigenous people had felt all those centuries before: First contact. It certainly hadn’t been as happy as Star Trek would have posited, but the fact, like Shakespeare, that show had remained in the cultural zeitgeist nearly two hundred years later said something for the show. Too bad it hadn’t been accurate where first contact was concerned.

Pre Order link here on Amazon

Blurb –

We’re a world beset by crises. Climate change, income inequality, racism, pandemics, an almost unmanageable tangle of issues. Sometimes it’s hard to look ahead and see a hopeful future.

We asked sci-fi writers to send us stories about ways to fix what’s wrong with the world. From the sixty-five stories we received, we chose twelve most amazing (and hopefully prescient) tales.

Dive in and find out how we might mitigate climate change, make war obsolete, switch to alternative forms of energy, and restructure the very foundations of our society,

The future’s not going to fix itself.