Samhain Magick

Hello, everyone.

A wee treat on Samhain from the realm of our Highland Legends series…

Samhain Magick glowing menhirs

Samhain Magick glowing menhirs

 

Samhain Magick

by Kat Bastion

“Isa.” Iain’s voice echoed from far away. Even though my new husband sat right in front of me on our Clan Brodie plaid.

A strange pain developed behind my breastbone. Heartburn? Only if a pinprick tug toward my insides could be considered heartburn. The sensation intensified. Tugged a little stronger. Once. Twice. Like an impatient child demanding a parent’s attention.

“Isa!” Urgency underscored his tone. But the volume had muffled further. His visage faded as well, as if I’d sunk beneath the surface of a deep lake and stared up at him from ten feet below. 

I stared at him, confused. Then I glanced at our scrumptious picnic, so unlike my thirteenth-century warrior to prepare let alone in the busy last few days since he’d returned from weeks of scouting.

Unable to reconcile the escalating pain in my chest, I rubbed two fingers over the spot and inhaled deeply. A warm flash brushed over my heart outward, to my scalp, fingers, and toes. 

Pregnancy typically came with heartburn. But in the first trimester? Maybe twins were different. But the hot flash was an odd unexpected. Then again, I had no reference point for my first pregnancy. Pretty sure human-turned-immortal cases weren’t in any medical books. Anytime in history.

Isa!” Fear etched severe lines into his face, and he lunged toward me. “You’re vanishin’!”

As the heat increased, wavy lines distorted the air around me, like the atmosphere above scorching summer asphalt back in twenty-first-century California.

“Iain!” I called out to him at the split second that everything disappeared, as I realized what was happening. Different than the episodes before. But recognizable nonetheless.

Apparently in response to an unknown trigger—the tugging within—I’d unconsciously gathered energy from my surroundings to respond to where I’d been requested.

Time had beckoned.

And the powers I’d recently acquired had responded. Without my say-so.

Yep. Stupid me. I’d assumed I’d be free to enjoy a romantic evening picnic.

An instant later, I materialized into thick forest.

Running.

And no longer in the baby-blue gown I’d chosen for our first date night in weeks. My favorite deerskin halter top and pants had materialized on my body. In my hands? My short swords.

Instinct had me duck, just before the low hum of an arrow whizzed over my head. Then I dodged right, to avoid another. Faking left, then swerving right, I dove through scrub edging a game trail and thrust my sword in the exact spot the arrow had originated from. A rustle preceded a muffled thud.

How had I known where to target? No idea. Another new power—they kept on coming.

As I spun around, then kept running along the trail while targeting the second archer, I screamed a mental call for assistance out into the ether. Cupcake!

The wide base of a tree loomed ahead. Without slowing, I discarded one sword by tossing it blade-first into the soft earth, ran up the trunk and grabbed the lowest branch, then thrust up and skewered my second attacker. A low grunt sounded. With a jerk of my sword, a body fell to my right from above. Then made a much louder thud.

Great. I’d killed two people. Somewhere in time.

Get your superior ass over here, Sunshine! A little help!

Breathing hard, I cleaned my blades then resheathed them.

The chest-tug continued. And so did I, down the game trail. With cautious stealth. Alone.

Figures my mentor would abandon me on my first assignment. Yep. Tossed that accusation out there too. But the lack of intel didn’t surprise me much. From the beginning, the whole time-traveler thing had come without any warning. Or an instruction manual.

However, my sarcasm rubbed my lone guide the wrong way. Ienjoyed it immensely. But there was a time and place. Other times. Different places. Not here and now.

The tugging transformed into a keening vibration, a constant pull with every measured step.

After a dozen more paces, the thick foliage began to thin. Through low saplings, I made out a clearing ahead.

When I stopped with only slight leaf-cover as camouflage, I made out a dark figure turned away from me. Behind him, giant menhirs engraved with megalithic art fanned outward, brimming with unleashed energy. Barely discernable in the darkness beyond, the presence of a massive mounded earthen structure pressed against my senses.

All of a sudden, the vibration within my chest escalated, burst into a hot charge, then shot forward into the clearing, manifesting as sparks of that same shimmering mirage.

The figure spun to face my direction. The “dark” turned out to be a robe. A wiry salt-and-pepper beard clung to the bottom a weathered face. A gnarled staff extended from his clenched hand. With a strangled cry and glowing eyes, he struck the ground with his staff. Like a forged lightning bolt, energy shot up through the ground so fast, the hairs on my arms stood out on end. The air above him began shimmer, then roiled with a growing dark cloud that appeared from seemingly nowhere.

A sorcerer of some sort. That I’d been assigned to handle. With zero intel.

I sighed.

Even stubborn me knew knowledge granted power. And I had stifled my stubbornness before.

A little respect went a long way.

Skorpius. My mental voice gentled, as I finally addressed him by his proper human name. Would you please assist me? I’d greatly appreciate it.

At once, I felt his powerful presence beside me.

“You do not require my assistance, Traveler.” Amusement edged his low tone. However, he hadn’t addressed me with his typical “Ms. MacInnes” taunt. The situation warranted seriousness.

so agreed with that assessment as I shot him a deadpan look. “I killed two people.”

Those preternatural swirling blue-green eyes stared ahead. Glossy black wings arched high above his seven-and-a-half-foot angelic frame. A dark olive complexion fell even duskier in the deep shadows of whatever ancient forest we stood in. He wore his typical distressed black leather pants. His matching black combat boots were battered, laces loose, like he wore them with some modicum of disdain.

“Who attempted to kill you.” He glanced at me with a tit-for-tat deadpan. “You dispatched them. With great skill. No assistance required.”

Thanks, Master of the Obvious. It seemed a body count came with the job description and zero expected guilt. I arched a brow and nodded out ahead.

What about Gandalf the Grey over there? And when and where the hell are we, anyway?

Our appraisal banter had only spanned a handful of seconds, but the sorcerer’s roiling storm cloud had quadrupled in size. Some kind of magick churned within it, its discharge buffeting my awareness.

The vibration within my chest twanged to life again.

A bright light burst to life within the churning cloud, growing and flashing out with star points.

A powerful druid. Skorpius’s gaze returned to our target. His greed is destabilizing time.

As the druid’s energy reached a frequency peak, three flaming blue fireballs fired out from the magickal star’s epicenter…and raced straight toward me.

We learn by experience—Skorpius vanished—Traveler.

Baptism by fire, I mentally grumbled back as I crossed my short swords, gathered energy from around me, and shielded myself for the blow. The fireballs exploded against my blades.

But not before painful sparks of magick singed my forearms.

Another build-up of power began from the weathered druid.

Urgency pumped hot through my veins.

Instinct had me running again, zig-zagging through the glade. But my new time-travel powers kicked in once more and flashed me in and out as I ran. Appearing in random places left to right, I closed the distance between us.

At a critical moment, just prior to the druid’s energy peaking again, I materialized far to the right then concentrated on the space he occupied. The next moment, I appeared inches in front of him with my sword thrust up through the center of his dark-robed chest.

The wizened face stretched gaunt, thin lips rounding into an O. His body crumpled to the ground in a heap of dark material. That flattened. Then disappeared. Along with his dark cloud.

Not trusting the Wicked-Witch melting act, I dug a toe into the earth where he’d last been. The air still snapped and sparked with power. Elemental energy from the megalithic stones licked across my senses.

And the angel’s ancient power still remained, nearby, but unseen.

Where and when are we again? Weary from the fight, I leaned against one of the towering stones.

Your answer lies within.

Within?

No reply came. Instead, Skorpius’s energy signature vanished.

Great. Thanks for the training, Mr. Riddle.

Wax on, wax off: Mr. Miyagi’s lessons for his Karate Kid. Only the Kid’s trials involved waxing cars and painting fences. Not swords and death. Welcome to my world.

With intense concentration, I followed Skorpius’s riddled directive on instinct. I closed my eyes and searched to the depths of my being, into the very beating of my heart, near where the tugging had begun. And some kind of information registered back. Not words. Not symbols. Just a decoded knowing born of magick. “October thirty-first, 2,800 BCE,” I murmured. “Prehistoric Newgrange. Eastern Ireland.” Surprised at the internal info-dump, I blinked heavily. “Samhain.”

Very good, Ms. MacInnes.

Ah. So, my mentor hasn’t abandoned me after all.

No reply came. No energy either. Neat trick.

Still catching my breath, I leaned back against one of the gigantic menhirs. Grateful for its support, I drank in the power of a legendary site I’d never been to—near its genesis. Whose energy still vibrated through me.

I stared at the turfed spot where the deflated robe had vanished. Traveler one, druid zero. “Well, at least my task is done.”

With the drop of my last word, the earth began to shake. Loose gravel bounced over the ground. The giant menhir behind me pulsed with greater power. All the stones in sight began to glow.

A heavy foreign presence invaded my mind. Ancient. Dripping with elemental power.

“No, my naïve one. We’ve only just begun.”


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© 2019 by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion

What if… From The Other Side of the World

What if…

Such beautiful words when used in the dreamworld. They make the magical, the impossible, the reach-for-the-stars ideas seem close enough to touch.

And yet, they are. Touchable.
We just have to bridge the gap between fantasy and reality.

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It’s what an author does. In our heads, characters come to vivid life, face insurmountable obstacles, and go on grand adventures…all in the creator’s world of what if.

How has what if impacted us (Kat & Stone) in our real lives?

Well…

If you haven’t heard from us in a couple of months, it’s because we’ve taken a short hiatus from writing to make a two-decade what if of ours a reality.

We moved to the other side of the world. Got on a plane with two checked bags and two carryons apiece (laptops in tow, of course) and traveled across the ocean to reside for the rest of our days on a different continent. Simplified. Free.

Want a hint of where we’ve landed?

{whispers}
It’s one of the handful of locales mentioned in Rule Breaker 😀

But…
Where does that leave us on the writing front?

More Time? More Books…

A Foray into Nonfiction

One of the reasons we shucked nearly all of our material possessions and our former lives is those anchors weighed us down with time-sucks. Our new life still requires us to earn a living, but we have less living to support…and more time to do the living. A life rooted in minimalism.

The journey has been enlightening, is still ongoing, and is one we’ve begun documenting in our first upcoming nonfiction book, The Zenful Life.

Two Upcoming 2017 Romance Novels

Our greatest joy? Writing those adventuresome romance stories inspired in the land of what if.

We’re also diving back in to two of our favorite series this year. Lawbreaker is coming soon, the third standalone romance in our Unbreakable series. Shortly after that, will come the long-awaited third book in the Highland Legends series, Born of Mist and Legend.

We look forward to sharing more of our stories with you, forged from the amazing world of what if

What are your what ifs...?

 

© 2017 by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion

Tinsel, Sand & Snow: A Christmas Collection is LIVE! And a giveaway…

Tinsel, Sand & Snow: A Christmas Collection is available today!

Be sure to treat yourself to Christmas early this year. And it’s a perfect eReader-stuffer for all your romance-loving friends.

PLUS visit our Facebook page today for a $25 Amazon Gift Card giveaway. Further details below…

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Available Now…
Amazon US * B&N * iBooks * Kobo

Tinsel, Sand & Snow on Goodreads

For the first time, Kat & Stone Bastion share Christmas romances from three different genres in one special collection. All have been loved as standalones by new readers of their books. The Bastions hope you enjoy the stories together in Tinsel, Sand & Snow.

Tinsel, Sand & Snow: A Christmas Collection includes…

~ Three Christmases ~ 4.9 star contemporary romance
~ The Espionage Effect ~ 4.5 star action & adventure romance
~ Bound by Wish and Mistletoe ~ 4.6 star Scottish historical romance
…PLUS a bonus scene for Three Christmases:
An Island Kind of Christmas
…PLUS a bonus scene for Bound by Wish and Mistletoe:
An Angel Turned Santa Claus

*** PLEASE NOTE ***
Scorching (explicit) sex scenes.
Fire extinguisher highly recommended.

***Due to mature themes and adult language, this box set is for those 18 and older.***


Praise for the Books in Tinsel, Sand & Snow…

On THREE CHRISTMASES:

Three Christmases couldn’t have been more perfect…The No Weddings Series is one of the best I have read that follows one couple.”
~ Lives and Breathes Book Blog

“Full of happiness, friendship, love and hot sexiness, Three Christmases is yet another gem from The Bastion’s that is so very perfect for this holiday season!”
~ Under the Covers Book Blog

On THE ESPIONAGE EFFECT:

“Amazing! James Bond spy games fun with a splash of erotic romance. It’s twisty and turny and kept me on the edge from cover to the end.”
~ Jezabell Girl & Friends

On BOUND BY WISH AND MISTLETOE:

“I LOVED it! Bound by Wish and Mistletoe is, to my mind, a perfect entry in the historical/paranormal fiction genre and has quite a bit to offer.”
~ Fab Fantasy Fiction

“Move over, Julia Quinn and Sabrina Jeffries! Kat Bastion is an absolutely gifted author and deserves to be recognized for her talent.”
~ LovesHistorical Book Reviews


TINSEL, SAND & SNOW Release Day
$25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Be sure to visit our Facebook page today to enter:
Kat & Stone Bastion’s Facebook


Have You Joined Our Email Notification List?
Keep informed of new releases by signing up:
Kat & Stone Bastion’s Email Subscription

One lucky subscriber wins an eBook of their choice from the backlist AND a $10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card with each announcement.


Thank you for giving Tinsel, Sand & Snow: A Christmas Collection a try and for sharing the release news with your fellow readers. We hope you enjoy escaping into our beloved adventures this holiday season.

Your humble shoe and boot,

~ Kat & Stone

Stay in touch with us on our social media pages…
Blog * Facebook * Kat’s Twitter * Stone’s Twitter * Website

© 2016 by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion

News from the Bastion Writing Desks… One Week!

Only One Week!

We’re excited that only seven days remain before our next release…

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Releases September 26, 2016
Pre-order now…
Amazon US * B&N * iBooks * Kobo

Tinsel, Sand & Snow on Goodreads

Only Seven Weeks Until RULE BREAKER…

We look forward to sharing with you the next standalone novel in our Unbreakable series, Rule Breaker.

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Pre-order at 40% off on iBooks: Rule Breaker
Releases November 7, 2016

Heartbreaker on Goodreads

Coming This Spring…

For fans of our paranormal Highland Legends series, Born of Mist and Legend will be arriving in early 2017.

And we’re pleased to share that our current Highland Legend series books, Forged in Dreams and Magick and Bound by Wish and Mistletoe have been digitally remastered by the amazing E. M. Tippetts Book Designs…and are now on iBooks!

Digitally Remastered

Forged in Dreams and Magick
Amazon US * B&N * iBooks * Kobo

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe
Amazon US * B&N * iBooks * Kobo

Thank you for joining us on our adventures…

Your humble shoe and boot,

~ Kat & Stone

 

Want to receive preorder alerts for special pricing?
Keep informed of new releases by signing up:
Kat & Stone Bastion’s Email Subscription

One lucky subscriber wins an eBook of their choice from the backlist AND a $10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card with each preorder or new-release announcement.

Stay in touch with us on our social media pages…
Blog * Facebook * Kat’s Twitter * Stone’s Twitter * Website

© 2016 by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion

Thank You and Giveaway Winners!

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the Beltane Celebration Sale, from those who purchased, to those whoTweeted and ReTweeted on Twitter and shared on Facebook.

Additionally, thank you again to Kindle Nation Daily for sharing on their various sites. What a phenomenal reach and service they provided.

Both Forged in Dreams and Magick and Bound by Wish and Mistletoe climbed up into the Amazon best seller lists (and are still there at the moment) for Time Travel and Scottish!

A reminder to everyone, should you want bookmarks or bookplates for either (or both books) feel free to contact me through my Kat’s Connections contact form at any time, letting me know what you’d like to receive, who to address it to, and where to send it.

The winners for a set of signed paperbacks
(plus pretty bookmarks tucked inside) are:

Autumn, from Agents of Romance
Deb, from Words across the Oceans

Congratulations to both of you!
Please email me and I will send you your goodies.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends.

And {whispers} stay tuned for news on Thursday! We’ll be revealing more details about our upcoming romantic comedy series, including titles, release dates, and who my mystery writing partner is… 🙂

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

Beltane Celebration Sale!

Happy Beltane!

$0.99 Sale!

In celebration of the 1st day of May, both titles in the Highland Legends Series, Forged in Dreams and Magick and Bound by Wish and Mistletoe, are REDUCED to only $0.99 on Kindle until May 2nd!

Forged in Dreams and Magick Cover

The fast-paced adventure of Forged in Dreams and Magick, an Amazon #1 Best Seller and chosen by Fresh Fiction as their Fresh Pick for October 22, 2013, includes a unique Beltane celebration, merging the Brodie clan’s time-honored festival with a special wedding ceremony.

Buy on Amazon Kindle

 

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe CoverThe romantic winter tale, Bound by Wish and Mistletoe, a Top Rated Scottish Historical Romance on Amazon, shares a poignant love story amid wintertime holiday festivities.

Buy on Amazon Kindle

 

 

Now is the time to purchase both titles in the Highland Legends Series if you haven’t yet done so. We appreciate your sharing the news of this limited-time offer with friends and fellow romance readers.

Thank you for your amazing support!

Thank you also to Kindle Nation Daily for helping to spread the news!

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

p.s ~ There are gorgeous bookmarks and bookplates for each book I’d love to send you. Submit your request through the Kat’s Connections contact form indicating what you’d like, who to address it to, and where it should be sent.

p.s.s. ~ {whispers} As an additional thank you, I’m gifting a signed set of books to wrap around those bookmarks to a couple of randomly chosen readers who help spread the word of the sale through Twitter. Be sure to include my Twitter handle of @KatBastion in your Tweets! 🙂

Writing While Spelunking…

shutterstock_93664576 SpelunkngThe time of year has arrived.

When this girl, who abhors tight spaces and is deathly afraid of heights, goes cave diving.

Okay. Not exactly cave diving, as in underwater tanks and fish, but certainly rappelling into the great depths of my mind to find what mysteries lie undiscovered…

In other words: I’ve entered my writing cave.

Never fear.

Every writer braves the solitary element, countless times. One must pass through the gauntlet to arrive safely on the other side.

Our motivation? The promise of the prize. The journey. The destination. While the entire exercise is no easy feat, it is an honored rite of passage.

Harrowing at times, the key to a successful expedition is preparedness. The rest? We trust by faith.

Spelunking is cave exploration (in my phobic mind, to the depths of the earth.) Dangerous. Exciting. Traveling to places no man has gone before. The reward is the ability to share an incredible story.

Entering one’s writing cave has some parallels to spelunking, and I shall heed their common life-saving advice:

  • Research to the point of total preparedness
  • Bring essential equipment: flashlight, chocolate, Twitter access…
  • If you encounter what seems like an impassable block, don’t panic. Take deep breaths until you find your path.
  • Embrace the darkness, bravely traversing until you find the light.
  • Understand you have to get a little dirty for a big payoff 😉

Writing while spelunking is the epitome of multi-tasking and a challenge I welcome. I shall endeavor to reach out to Twitter daily and Facebook and my blog on an intermittent basis, although it is possible that signal strength during various parts of my journey could be patchy at best.

Pray that I make it out safely in the end.

Notes of well wishes will be greatly welcomed.

If you don’t hear from me for several days in a row, send food. It’s possible we got trapped in a landslide. But don’t worry. I’m not alone. I’ve brought the biggest, baddest, alpha male to keep me company.

{smiles slowly}

Oh, yes. My journey is being guided by Skorpius. I have faith he’ll keep me safe and see this epic odyssey through. He insists on finally sharing his story with the world, after all. The title of the novel I’m working on is Born of Mist and Legend (100% Skorpius approved.)

While I’m negotiating corridors tighter than I’d like to think about until absolutely necessary, please continue to watch over my affairs. The incredible support you’ve shown thus far has been amazing, and has carried both Highland Legends Series titles on the Amazon Best Seller lists since their releases. I trust you all implicitly to guide others in promoting and protecting my books at their tender young age.
(Contact information is listed in the back, in case of emergency.)

Whether you seek to join me in exploring hidden secrets buried deep in caves history, are taking a lunch break from work, or looking for a relaxing scorching nightcap to an evening, both Forged in Dreams and Magick and Bound by Wish and Mistletoe will keep us connected in our hearts, even if we’re thousands of miles apart.

Forged in Dreams and Magick Cover

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe Cover

And should you want to join me in helping those most lost in this world, while enjoying or gifting romantic poetry as we approach Valentine’s Day, please consider a purchase of Utterly Loved.

Utterly Loved Book Cover

Happy reading, everyone! And wish me a safe and happy spelunking! 🙂

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2014 by Kat Bastion