All posts by Tasha

Author, publisher and cover designer; co-owner of Wittegen Press.

Dragon Sight by Natasha Duncan-Drake #FreeFictionFriday May 2018

Password protected – For Newsletter Exclusive Content, please sign-up to our Newsletter – this month’s password is in the welcome email.
To view this content please enter the password below:

Read an eBook Week 2018 – eBook Offers

Read an eBook Week 2018

It’s Read an eBook Week 2018 at Smashwords and to celebrate eBooks all over the site are marked down in price. We love eBooks at Wittegen Press, so we have enrolled many of our books in the promotion.

Some books are FREE and others have between 25% and 50% OFF.

The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Title: The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
genre: contemporary fantasy
Cat’s Call 100% OFF
Cat’s Creation 50% OFF
Cat’s Confidence 25% OFF

The Burning Web by Sophie DuncanTitle: The Burning Web
SALE 50% OFF
Author: Sophie Duncan
Genre: horror, ghost, LGBTQ+
Length: novella

Dead Before Dawn: The Vampire Curse by Natasha Duncan-DrakeTitle: Dead Before Dawn: The Vampire Curse
SALE 50% OFF
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: paranormal, LGBTQ+
Length: novel

Dreams and Reality by Natasha Duncan-DrakeTitle: Dreams and Reality (Dark Reflections 2)
SALE 50% OFF
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: sci-fi, LGBTQ+
Length: novel

In the Event of Death by Sophie Duncan & Natasha Duncan-DrakeTitle: In the Event of Death
SALE 100% OFF
Author: Sophie Duncan & Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: horror
Length: 2 short stories

When Darkness Beckons by Sophie Duncan and Natasha Duncan-DrakeTitle: When Darkness Beckons
SALE 100% OFF
Author: Sophie Duncan & Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: horror
Length: 2 short stories

Myriad Imaginings by Sophie Duncan and Natasha Duncan-DrakeTitle: Myriad Imaginings
SALE 50% OFF
Author: Sophie Duncan & Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: various genres
Length: Anthology – 28 stories

Night Blood by Sophie DuncanTitle: Night Blood
SALE 50% OFF
Author: Sophie Duncan
Genre: contemporary paranormal, vampire
Length: novel

Blood Sacrifice: The Avebury Legacy by Natasha Duncan-DrakeTitle: Blood Sacrifice: The Avebury Legacy
SALE 50% OFF
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: contemporary paranormal, vampire
Length: novel

Newsletter Exclusive: Menagerie by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Password protected – For Newsletter Exclusive Content, please sign-up to our Newsletter – this month’s password is in the welcome email.
To view this content please enter the password below:

Happy Valentine’s Day – Romantic Free Reads

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day one and all. We hope you are all enjoying the chocolate if nothing else :).

We have two free short stories for you today, one ghostly tale of lost love from Sophie, that is too long to be in a post, so it is available to download from Smashwords, and another, a humorous paranormal romance that is below.

Phantom Love

by Sophie Duncan

When Ben promises to show his cousin, Ellen, a ghost, the pair set in motion a series of events that lead them into a terrifying encounter. Yet, within her fear, Ellen finds a purpose, and it is to find out what Millicent Van Curren, shot by her lover, wants from them.


Phantom Love is book 1 in the Inspired By… Series, where each story is prompted by a memory.

Motivation by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Motivation

by Natasha Duncan-Drake

“Don’t tell me you’re torturing him again.”

Dee looked over at the wolf sitting with his head on the table, balefully watching her with his big blue eyes.

“I am not torturing him,” she said, turning to Tobi and accepting a quick kiss from her girlfriend, “the puppy eyes are not trying to wheedle something out of me, he’s stuck and he did this to himself. I told him not to come in, that I was practicing complicated magic, but did he listen to me?”

She didn’t bother keeping the exasperation out of her voice.

“Oh, Will, what have you done now?” Tobi said, walking over and giving the wolf a rub on the head.

He whined in response.

“So why haven’t you turned him back?” Tobi asked.

“I can’t,” Dee replied. “I don’t actually know what changed him into a wolf. He’s part fae, the magic will wear off eventually and it’s too dangerous to mess around.”

“How long is eventually?”

“A day, maybe two, a week at most.”

“Deadre, you cannot leave our third as a wolf for a week,” Tobi said in a tone that Dee found entirely unnecessary. “We’re supposed to be going to my parent’s this weekend and, like that, Will will shed everywhere.”

“This was not my fault,” Dee defended herself. “I told him three times not to open the door, and yes, it was locked, but you know nothing can keep him out if he wants in. It’s his major talent.”

The wolf made what could almost be taken as a scoffing noise at that.

“Not the point,” Tobi said and put her hands on her hips.

Her hair had also started turning dark brown at the ends which, when it came to dryads, was not a good thing at all.

“Okay,” Dee did her best to placate her volatile girlfriend, “if he doesn’t change back by tomorrow we’ll take him to Shallaka. If anyone can figure out how to turn him back it will be her.”

The ends of Tobi’s hair began fading back to green.

“You really don’t know how?”

“Sorry, no,” Dee admitted. “I was practicing a spell for a new piece.”

Dee specialised in using magic to create art, and she was becoming quite well known in the field. Some people thought having a degree in magecraft and using it to make sculptures and paintings was a waste of power. Her parents for one. They had been horrified, but she couldn’t help what she loved doing most. She could have gone out and gone into industry, the military or police work, like most of her classmates, but she’d met a Bolshie dryad and a mischievous half-fae who liked to encourage her to follow her dream.

“I was focusing on a subconscious image, trying to get it to manifest, and Will walked in and interrupted my concentration. Unfortunately I was right on the point of casting. I don’t know if the subconscious image was a wolf, so that’s why he ended up that way, or if the magic found the wilder part of his nature and just went with that form.”

It wasn’t that Dee couldn’t turn people into animals, it was just she hadn’t done this deliberately. Will was a natural shapeshifter, so it was quite possible the spell had activated that, but she couldn’t be positive. Magic was nothing to mess around with unless you were sure.

“Damn, and I was hoping for a good hard shag tonight,” Tobi said, which made Will sit up and wag his tail. “I suppose you and I could improvise, Dee darling.”

Dee couldn’t help it, she burst out laughing. Will looked crest fallen at the idea he might be left out.

“Do you think about anything else?” she asked with a wry shake of her head.

“It’s spring,” Tobi replied, “all dryads are horny in the spring.”

“And what about the summer, autumn and winter as well?”

“My tree is very fertile,” Tobi said, doing a very good impression of affronted, “it’s just nature.”

Will yipped hopefully.

“Sorry, Sweetie,” Tobi said, “but I draw the line at bestiality.”

“Is it technically bestiality if he’s not a real animal?” Dee asked, laughing at Will’s dejected expression.

“As far as I’m concerned, yes,” was the very sure answer. “Shame, what I was after was a big hard …”

Will sparkled round the edges, there was a small explosion, a large puff of smoke and wolf became man. Admittedly a man coughing as he inhaled magical residue, but he was definitely no longer canine shaped.

“Works every time,” Tobi said with a big grin.

“Told you it would,” Dee said, she’d been texting her girlfriend for the last half an hour.

“You ganged up on me,” Will accused.

“Only because I knew the best chance of getting you back quickly was your own magic,” Dee told him and held out her hand. “You just needed the right motivation to activate it.”

Will was incredibly powerful when it came to magic, the only problem was, he had little to no control over it. Dee had been positive since the day she had met him that it was a mental block brought on by years of abuse from his fae relatives (they were not fond of half-breeds). She and Tobi were working on helping him with it. Sometimes they used less than orthodox methods.

“So, I am still a horny dryad,” Tobi said with such an innocent smile it should have been illegal, “shall we take the afternoon off?”

“One of the reasons I love you is you have great ideas,” Dee said and let Tobi pull her out of her chair. “Come on wolf-boy,” she added and grabbed Will’s hand on the way past, “you still need to apologise for interrupting my creative moment.”

“I’ll do my best,” Will promised.

A triad was not a common occurrence, a triad from three different species was even rarer, but Dee loved how theirs worked.

The End

Newsletter Exclusive: Love Speaks by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Password protected – For Newsletter Exclusive Content, please sign-up to our Newsletter – this month’s password is in the welcome email.
To view this content please enter the password below:

Newsletter Exclusive: Manifesto of Meow by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Password protected – For Newsletter Exclusive Content, please sign-up to our Newsletter – this month’s password is in the welcome email.
To view this content please enter the password below:

The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman – Now In Paperback

The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman now in paperback

The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman – Now In Paperback

For those who love the feel of a holding a book, we are very pleased to announce that The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman by Natasha Duncan-Drake  are now available in paperback as well as eBook.

Book 1 – Cat’s Call
Book 2 – Cat’s Creation
Book 3 – Cat’s Confidence

Charlie Waterman is eighteen and, until he is assaulted by a cat figurine and wakes up with a tail, he is boringly normal. Seven great Spirits guard the universal Balance against the forces of chaos and it is time for them to choose new Questors to wield their power and be their mortal advocates. Charlie is supposed to be the Questor of the Cat Spirit, but no one bothered to ask him about it.

Cat’s Call has been re-edited and is now a second edition, so if you already have the book in Kindle or other eBook format, now is the time to download the new version as well.

We know that the lure of print is irresistible to some and that eBooks just don’t quite hit the mark, so we’re working to convert all our eBook (in some form) for our readers who are paperback lovers. Thank you so much for sticking with us, and look out for new titles in the new year.

~*~

Excerpt:

Cat’s Call

1 AN INAUSPICIOUS BEGINNING

It was a beautiful summer’s day. The sun was shining, there was the slightest breeze to keep the air moving and the park was calling Charlie’s name. He hadn’t said he’d definitely be there, but several of his friends had planned to meet up and kick a ball around.

He’d been helping his mum with some things in the morning, like the dutiful son he was, but now he planned to kick back and relax. It was his last summer before university. It was time to have fun. Glancing both ways up the road and seeing a gap in the traffic, he jogged across. The quickest route to the park was behind the Black Bull pub and down Baker’s Lane, but, as he went to turn left, something caught his eye.

The old magic shop that had been there for years, but always seemed to be closed, had a sign in the window that actually read ‘open’ for once. There were many silly rumours about the shop: it was owned by a famous magician who only sold to invited guests; it was haunted by the ghost of a spurned magician’s assistant which was why it could never be sold or let people in; it was a front for the local mafia. They got more ridiculous from there.

On impulse Charlie turned and headed for the door. He had almost worked there once, but circumstances had been against him. Of course, he, like everyone under twenty in the area, had always wanted to see inside.

The windows were full of brightly coloured scarves that gave an air of gayety, but the paint was peeling on the window frame, letting down the whole image. He peered in. It was dim beyond the scarves and he couldn’t see anything. All a bit ominous. He hesitated and then laughed at how absurd he was being. He didn’t believe in ghosts or eccentric magicians and he reached for the door handle.

After the brightness of outside, the interior of the shop was very dark. The first thing he had to do was stop to let his eyes adjust. The door shut behind him with a click and a final thunk. It made his heart beat a little bit faster for no reason he was willing to admit. Only after blinking a couple of times could he finally make out what was around him.

“You are not what I was expecting,” a voice said from the other end of the shop.

Charlie could relate. The shop was nothing like he had thought. There were no tricks, just shelves and shelves of things that some people might think were actually magic. Charlie didn’t believe in magic.

“You are too old,” the voice continued.

Peering through the gloom and slight haze of incense that was tickling his nose, he finally made out an older woman standing at the other end of the shop behind a counter.

“Sorry,” he said, “I thought you were open.”

He was sure the sign had said ‘open’, but now he was second guessing himself. The urge to flee was high. For some reason the woman made him nervous. It probably had something to do with the penetrating stare she had aimed right at him.

“I’ve always meant to come in,” he said, and he knew he was babbling, it was a bad habit. “I almost worked here once, when I was sixteen. Had a letter, but my bus broke down and I missed my interview. Um … I’ll be going then, sorry to have disturbed you.”

The woman narrowed her eyes and made an odd humming sound. It was unsettling.

“No matter,” she said just as he was about to turn away, “come in, look around, explore where your heart leads you.”

The whole situation was getting weirder by the second. Clearly the woman had mysterious and eccentric down to a tee. Of course, now she had invited him in, Charlie couldn’t just run away anymore. It would be rude.

He smiled awkwardly and escaped behind one of the shelving racks.

“How do you manage to get yourself into these situations, Waterman?” he muttered to himself.

The shelves were full of crystals and statues and all sorts of paraphernalia that held no interest for him whatsoever. Still, he looked around and did his best to pretend to browse. He didn’t want to offend anyone, even if they were peculiar and burned really strange smelling incense. Come to think of it, especially then, because he had seen enough horror movies to know who not to annoy.

His footsteps sounded far too loud in the almost silent shop, and the smell of the place was making him want to sneeze, but he kept it up for a good few minutes. How long was long enough for propriety’s sake? He had no idea. Wishing that there were rules to these things, he kept glancing at the door.

When he put his head round one of the shelves to see where the woman was, she was looking right at him. His heart skipped a beat. With yet another awkward smile he made his way to another set of shelves and prayed for deliverance.

He was slowly making his way back towards the door, past a floor to ceiling shelving unit, when something glinted at him. It made him stop because he was pretty sure there wasn’t enough light in that part of the shop to make anything glint. As he stared at the dark shelf, whatever it was did it again. This time he could tell it was green.

He stepped towards the shelf before he even thought about it. Only as he reached one hand into the darkness did he pause. It was probably just a fire detector or an incense burner with a flashy light. He almost pulled his hand back, but then the flash came again, twice.

As the saying went, curiosity killed the cat, and Charlie was definitely a curious sort. Now he needed to know what it was. He reached into the shelf the rest of the way, right to the back where he thought the tiny light had come from, and his hand closed around something. He pulled it out before he could change his mind.

It fitted neatly into his closed fist, so he didn’t think it was anyone’s lost phone or something like that. When he uncurled his fingers a stab of disappointment ran through him. He had to have grabbed the wrong thing. In his palm was a small cat figurine, sitting up smartly like it was on duty. It didn’t even look like it was painted, just made of brown clay.

Glancing back at the shelf he waited for the glint of light again.

A tickling in the palm of his hand made him look back down instead.

Shock lanced through his chest like cold fire, freezing him in place even as his heart beat madly. He swallowed hard.

The cat’s eyes, which had been closed, contented slits in the clay, were open. The little creature’s head was tilted up, looking at him, and its tail was gently twitching.

The cat gazed at him and he gazed back. It was all he could do.

Its eyes were hypnotic, even as a voice at the back of his brain screamed that this could not be real and something had to have happened to him. Those green orbs seemed to bore into his soul and freeze him solid.

Finally the cat blinked, but whatever held him did not release. He was left to watch as the tiny creature stood up and walked across his palm until its front paws were touching his wrist. A hysterical laugh was caught in his throat, because he could actually feel miniscule claws pricking at his skin.

His heart felt like it was trying to beat out of his chest. He had to gasp for tiny breaths that really weren’t helping. Still he could not move.

Had he been drugged? Was he having a seizure? Were some of the crazy rumours about the shop true? Were they modern day slavers trading in teenagers? Was that why the woman thought he was too old?

His mind hummed with questions as he point blank refused to believe that what he was seeing was real.

When the little cat dug its claws into the delicate flesh of his inner wrist the pain definitely felt real. All he could manage was a quiet whimper as his body refused to obey any of the instincts firing through it. That was nothing, however, to the agony that shot up his arm as the figurine began to dig its paws under the upper level of skin. Blood trickled down over his wrist and it was finally enough to break his paralysis.

He threw his arm sideways, hitting one of the shelves behind him in his wild flailing. But he could not stop the pain. It was as if the little cat was glued to his arm. He tried to brush it off with his other hand, but that just hurt more and he finally cried out.

“Help!”

He didn’t know what was happening, but he knew he needed assistance.

Stumbling backwards, he grabbed his arm with his other hand. His own flesh was betraying him.

The woman came round the end of the row and he held out his wrist desperately, but she did nothing. He wanted to yell at her, to demand she do something, but heat ran through his veins and took any breath he had away. His legs went weak and the room span as he shuddered from head to foot.

“Help,” was the best he could do in a tiny whisper as he fell to his knees.

His vision faded out, and then in, and then out again, even as he began to pitch forward. He never even knew when he hit the floor.

To read more please check out Cat’s Call at Amazon or your local online retailer.

Newsletter exclusive: Merry Mid-Winter! by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Password protected – For Newsletter Exclusive Content, please sign-up to our Newsletter – this month’s password is in the welcome email.
To view this content please enter the password below:

Newsletter Exclusive: A Matter of Will by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Password protected – For Newsletter Exclusive Content, please sign-up to our Newsletter – this month’s password is in the welcome email.
To view this content please enter the password below:

All Hallows Read – Free Book – Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law

Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law

All Hallows Read 2017
Free Book
Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law

Every year at this spooky time we like to support All Hallows Read and give away a free book to our trick or treating visitors. All Hallows Read is a movement supported by the great Neil Gaiman to promote the joy of reading by giving away a scary book instead of candy.Pumpkin

Since it’s very hard to give candy through an internet connection, we think this is a win/win idea and have been supporting it since 2012.

We have a spine tingling book for you this year with two spooky stories to get your blood pumping as things go bump in the night!

Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law

Looking for Luticia by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Lucy is the host of a successful ghost hunting TV show, but their latest location is going to be a lot more haunting than she or her crew have ever dealt with before.

Lost in the Dark by Sophie Duncan

Evelyn Edness is a medium who works for the dead, helping them to move on from the limbo of an eternity as ghosts. Kate Grange has come to ask for her help.

The book is free at Smashwords today ONLY. Tomorrow is goes up to 99c, so grab it while you can.

Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law
Click here

Happy Halloween!

We hope you have lots of fun with costumes and candy and all the wonderful things about this time of year. Stay safe and enjoy the spooks and scares.