Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kaleidoscope and Embers by Mindy Hayes Excerpt and Giveaway!

The Indie/Self-Published Author Event, hosted by the lovely ladies over at Say It with Books, is a month-long blog event that features all independently and self-published authors and their brilliant, but under-recognized works. Follow us throughout June to discover your next favorite book!

I want to share Mindy Hayes's Faylinn series with y'all today:

Kaleidoscope by Mindy Hayes

Page Count: 254
Release Date: 8 March 2013
Publisher: self-published
Series: Faylinn #1

"Was I still a human? Gosh, I still wanted to be human. Even just to keep a sliver of whom I thought I was. But as I thought about being human, standing in the shade of the forest, I felt less human than ever. The trees fought for my allegiance."

It starts in her chest. The change Calliope doesn't see coming. It pulses like a second heartbeat, urging her to give in to the need to be in the depths of the forest. She's compelled to fight the pull, but the more she denies it the stronger it becomes until she finally surrenders and is pulled into a secret world of enchantment.

Kai and Declan need her to accept what she is, but with everything left unsaid, acceptance may be the least of their worries. Knowing their fate lies in her hands, they’ll stop at nothing to protect and prepare her for what lies ahead.

Will Calliope be able to accept what Kai and Declan reveal or will her desire to be normal keep her from acknowledging her true destiny?
Buy the book at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Click "Read more" for an exclusive excerpt from Kaleidoscope and a sneak peek of the sequel, Ember! Be sure to stay tuned to win a copy AND a $25 Amazon gift card, as well.

The deeper I trekked into the forest the greener it was. The tree trunks were cloaked in twirling vines and rich green moss. Thick fallen logs turned into hillsides as moss and ground cover crept over them, bringing the dead wood to life once more. The trickle of a stream babbled to my right. It didn’t bother me that I didn’t know how far I had gone into the canopy of trees. I felt at home.

Without warning a figure flipped down, landing perfectly in front of me.

Startled, I let out a shriek and stumbled back nearly falling to the ground, but he caught my arms easily, steadying me then releasing me just at swiftly.

"Watch your step," he said melodically.

What the...

When I took in his appearance my jaw must have dropped as my eyes flew wide open to take in every inch of him. His eyes were unreal, a mix between violet and blue, unlike anything I’d ever seen in my life. They were deep blue, yet reflected back in an even deeper purple and still bright. His dark chocolaty locks curled right above his eyes, framing them.

Where had he come from?

"You can see me can’t you?" His voice was velvety smooth. Too alluring to be natural. Too silky to be human. I could only nod. He stood there in all his olive skinned glory with only a pair of dark brown homemade cut offs and a vine twining up one of his sinewy arms. A black band held a small sharp weapon at his hip. Was this guy for real? "That’s not possible," he said, folding his arms across his lean chest. Every time he spoke my stomach tingled. "Well apparently it is," I said quietly, wanting to flee. I wasn’t quite sure why, but a feeling inside of me told me to stay put.

"But you’re still human." He started to move toward me, but I stepped back. Being close to him couldn’t be smart. "Typically, that’s what we’re called," I said skeptically.

His gaze deepened, his indigo eyes staring into my soul. Aside from the color there was something unusual about his eyes. They were…bigger. Not disturbingly large, but definitely not as small as they should be. I took another step back, losing any confidence I had gained by passing the property line. This had been a bad idea.

"Don’t go," he nearly pleaded, speedily reaching his hand out to me. The earnestness in his voice stopped me. "Stay." His voice changed. "I won’t hurt you." He was more at ease, alluring. My uncertainty must have been apparent because he tacked on, "Please?" which didn’t seem like a word he knew how to use.

"Give me one reason to stay." Under the shelter of these trees—secluded—with a stranger. An all too fascinating stranger. "It doesn’t make any sense." The strange boy didn’t answer my question. I suppose he wasn’t really a boy. He appeared to be a few years older than I was—two or three years, maybe—but not quite a man.

I wanted to laugh. What didn’t make any sense was a guy without a shirt, dressed in tattered cut offs with vines spiraling up his arm like some wild man, standing in my backyard. I looked back to a wall of trees and vegetation. I couldn’t technically call this my backyard anymore. The reassuring sight of my house was nowhere.

"What are you doing out here?" I asked.

"I should ask you the same thing." He cocked one side of his mouth up in a half-smirk. "Your father is right. You never know what’s lurking in these woods."

My stomach churned. How long had he been here... watching me? He took a few steps toward me into a spot where the sun streamed through the full branches, casting light across his perfectly sculpted face. A couple things clenched my breath. One, he was striking, more so than the shadows gave him credit for. His rich violet eyes were even more vibrantly intense, beautifully peculiar under the glow of sunlight. I couldn’t find the words. And two… two was his ears. They were... pointed.

And now here's a little bit about the next book, Mindy's current work-in-progress...

Release Date: Fall 2013
Publisher: self-published
Series: Faylinn #2

One decision changed her life forever. One choice could seal her fate for eternity.

By accepting her destiny, Calliope entered the enchanting world of Faylinn. What she wasn’t prepared for were all the compromises she would be forced to make. After being thrown into her duties as queen, it’s clear she must pick her battles wisely or risk loosing the respect of her kingdom.

With Kai and Declan by her side her confidence rises, but they can’t protect her from everything. When Faylinn is threatened Calliope is forced to face an even greater reality than she was prepared for. Haunted by the truthfulness of Favner’s last words, she realizes she has no idea what she’s gotten herself into.

Will Calliope be able to hold true to Faylinn’s beliefs while still following her heart or will she be forced to sacrifice a part of herself in order to save her kingdom?

About the Author

I grew up in San Diego, California exploring my interest for singing and playing the piano. I first discovered my passion for reading when I had to make my first flight alone to South Carolina to visit my, then, fiancé. My love for writing followed shortly after. My husband and I have now been married for five and half years and live in Summerville, South Carolina.


Mindy has generously offered an electronic copy of Kaleidoscope and a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky Books à la Mode commenter! This will be an easy-peasy one-entry giveaway—fair for all!

To enter, tell me:
What is your all-time favorite book?
Please make your comment meaningful. Just commenting with a title or saying "thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered eligible for entry! Please also remember to leave your email address in your comment.

Rules and Disclosure:
Sponsored wholly by the author—thank you, Mindy!
Giveaway ends June 17th at 11.59 pm (your time).
Open to anyone with an email address—anyone in the world! Woohoo!
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.
Although I do select winners, I am in no way responsible for the prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ However, please follow Mindy in some way as she has been kind enough to provide this fabulous prize.
Good luck!