Writing again

Darkling Chronicles Blog Tour!

Please give a warm welcome to my blog visitor this the week: Tricia Zoeller’s Darkling Chronicles series. 
I am a sucker for portal fantasy. I’ve gobbled it up like crazy for decades. DECADES. These days, a portal fantasy has to have top-notch world-building and character development to catch my eye at all. I took a look at this on a recommendation. Eyes. Caught. 
Enjoy the excerpts, quotes, and beautiful art, When you find something delicious, scroll down to the links to purchase it in the format of your choice. There’s plenty to choose from. You can connect with the author too. It’s all about those links. 
Shadow Blues The Darkling Chronicles #1 (Novella)
My hand shook as I reached out and pushed the hair off Ben’s sweaty forehead. When he sat up suddenly, I took a step back. Could he see me?
He looked around the room with cloudy eyes that passed right over me. When he turned on the lamp, I flicked my fingers, casting a shadow on the wall of a bird flying. He gasped before looking around once more. Now, he knew something was here.
After peeking in the corner, the closet, and under the armchair for where the shapes came from, he shrugged his shoulders. He used his hands to create a barking dog. I used my magic to create a meowing and hissing cat with fur standing on end. I barely stopped myself from snorting out loud from his goofy face as he scanned the room. He looked scared but excited.
Anka Rehmling, you are in big trouble. I’d just broken three shadowcaster rules. I tried not to think about it. Instead, I focused on my superhero, ninja, and dinosaur forms, complete with sound effects. Ben looked so happy, I told myself it would be okay just this once. He had been sick all day.
Each pull of my magic started in the pit of my stomach. The energy swirled out to my arms before releasing from my fingertips like thread. That’s how Dad explained it. Then, it snapped as it broke free and became the shadow on the wall or floor. It wasn’t a bad feeling, but felt normal, right. When Ben grew tired, I watched him lie back in bed and drift off
to sleep, a smile on his face. He had light hair with white skin that burned and freckled in the sun. My skin and hair were darker, like the shadows I cast.
In human years, we were both eight. However, shadowcasters, by nature, acted more mature than humans. Our world expected us to be responsible from a young age. The Shadowland Council had assigned Patrick Benjamin Solomon under my charge at the age of four. I cast shadows in his world and would for my lifetime, as long as my strength held. “That’s a lot of responsibility riding on your shoulders”—direct quote from Dad. I removed my hand from 
Ben’s arm as I thought about what I’d done.
Shadowcaster rules flooded my head.
Cast true to form. Don’t talk. Don’t touch the human.
My heart pounded in my ears. I hadn’t cast true. My palms grew sticky. I’d created my own make-believe shadows. Technically, I hadn’t talked, just made sound effects. However, I’d touched him. This realization caused fear to spark in me like fire; then it burned out, and I was so tired. I couldn’t wait to go home.
My family shadowcasted for the Solomons. The Council assigned my dad to shadow Ben’s dad. My mom followed his mom. Bianca and I took shifts with Ben. I covered him by day; she watched him at night. Other shadowcasters rotated in if we needed a break.
As a shadowcaster, I didn’t go to school but trained with my dad. My grandparents, Nana and Pops, ran the household since Mom and Dad worked so much.
Ben’s sigh brought my attention back to him. He looked peaceful. Maybe his fever had broken. When Mrs. Solomon slipped into the room to check on him, my mother followed, casting her shadows. My mother was really tall—five-foot-ten. She wore a flowing dress of purple, the family color. Jeweled combs sparkled in a ring on her head, which was the darkling custom.
As I watched Mrs. Solomon worrying over Ben, I felt jealous. He had a normal life. Not every darkling had the ability to cast shadows, and so it was a privilege and honor to serve the Council. However, the other young darklings went to school and played during the day. Most of them would never journey to the human world, but they benefited from the power shadowcasters brought back to Shadowland.

My mother’s brown eyes found mine. I met them briefly before looking away. Had she heard my sound effects?
Shadow Fire The Darkling Chronicles #2 (Novella)


Pops wore an orange shirt with white musical notes on it, which caused me to smile. I sat on a tall stool at the coffee bar and ordered a tea, while my short legs dangled in the air.
He gave me a puzzled look as he placed orange blossom tea in front of me.
“Just need something a bit lighter today,” I said. Darklings rarely drank tea unless they required some energy from the herbs.
Pops began to buff the nymph glass counter in the same spot. A muscle twitched in his cheek. We were all under some major strain.
“I’m reporting to the temp pool today.”
He stopped his work. “Are you sure you’re ready for that?” Bushy eyebrows raised, he didn’t blink.
“You know I should have reported days ago.”
“I don’t want you going anywhere near that Wishing Tree.” Pops leaned in and whispered, “Do you understand?”
“If I don’t report, Lord Akton will hang me from the ceiling.”
Pops flinched like I had hit him. His face blanched from a light brown to yellow.
“See? No choice.”
His lower jaw jutted forward, and I thought he might explode. He placed the rag down on the bar top and leaned on the glass, undoing the results of his previous hard work. After a long breath, his expression shifted to one less murderous. “Make sure to call first and set up an appointment with Lord Bulosk. He seems the sanest of the lot, which isn’t saying much.”
I nodded and covered his hand, hoping to be reassuring. I don’t think my hand shook, but my insides quivered like human Jell-O. I never understood the allure of that food.
Shadow Thief The Darkling Chronicles #3 (Novella)

My breath caught when we reached the river. Alexander Salva was not where I’d left him. 
The frogs croaked so loudly, I couldn’t hear myself think. Where did he go? His satchel lay crumpled on the bank.
Panic twisted the features of Zack’s face as he scanned the water. “Dad?” He paced the small opening between the trees. “Dad!” His voice cracked, and tears streamed down his cheeks. “What have you done?” he asked the river.
My vision is better than my hearing. I spotted movement twenty yards out and spread my wings. Mr. Salva’s eyes widened at my approach, the whites showing under the starlight. He could see me. Soaking wet, he trembled on a wide boulder. Sand and grit clung to his black beard.
“Demon,” he hissed.
“You look like a fledgling. I guess that’s the sick way of the dark. It tries to confuse me with a young face.” He had been holding something down at his side but drew the object up in front of him. The heavy, steel longsword shook in Mr. Salva’s hand.
My cloaking was still on. I knew by the soft whisper it made in my ears. Why could Mr. Salva suddenly see me? I stood still. Nalene had told me my shimmering wings were pretty, not symbols of evil. Why did he think I was a demon? My heart raced in my chest. I didn’t know what to do with an armed, drunk darkling who was apparently scared of me.
“I’m just a hatchling. You look like you need help.” My eyes darted back and forth from him to the immense sword with beautiful etchings of stars running up and down its blade. Where did he get it? I didn’t remember him carrying anything when he spoke to Lord Akton. He had the satchel when he left the pub.
“I don’t need your kind of help! The tree told me what I needed to do. I’ve lost everything because of this sword, and I will not let you or the demons within this vessel destroy my family or Shadowland.”
The Wishing Tree talked to him? Why hadn’t he confided in the lords? “What did the tree say?” My voice trembled.
Maneuvering the sword’s tip much closer to my face, he tilted his head.
I put my hands up. “Mr. Salva, could you please lower that away from me. I like my face the way it is.”
His jaw dropped. “A demon who knows my name? I’m more cursed than I ever imagined.”

Cover Reveal for the Part 2 of the series
Ebooks: Shadow Ice and Shadow King
Paperback collection: The Darkling Chronicles, Shadows 2

Shadow Blues
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Shadow Fire
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Shadow Thief
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Tricia Zoeller writes fantasy stories filled with mystery, magic, and mayhem. After a decade of working as a speech-language pathologist, she succumbed to the voices
in her head and wrote her first book, urban fantasy FIRST BORN, published in
May 2013. FIRST BORN is a paranormal mystery about a shapeshifter in Atlanta.
It is the first book in the Lily Moore Series.
THE DARKLING CHRONICLES is her young adult series that delves into alternate
planes, portals, and mystical creatures.
She lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, Lou, her little yappy dog, Lola Belle, and her big orange mutant cat, George. Her two stepsons, Joseph and Robert, make stopovers as well, making sure to keep life an adventure.
Writing has always been a part of her life—like breathing and chocolate. For more
information about Tricia and her books, visit:
Facebook: Tricia Zoeller, Author
Twitter: @tzoellerwriter

By K. M. Herkes

Author, gardener, and cat wrangler.