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When life offers Breena the chance to discover her true destiny she accepts, despite the misgivings of her noble, brooding protector. Long ago, Rune failed in his duty to guard the Queen Likely and vowed never again to let emotions rule him. Then he meets Breena, the last Likely â€“ and least likely â€“ to succeed. Together, they embark on a quest that could cost Breena her love â€“ and her life.
A cool breeze from the open window teased her skin and she stretched, closing her eyes and inhaling deeply. She froze with her arms high over her head and her eyes snapped open.
She sniffed, put one bare foot on the floor, and sniffed again. Was that molasses or...? She bent over and pulled on a yellow sneaker then groped under her bed to fish out the other.
She paused to inhale the delicious scent and stuffed her other foot into the other sneaker. Without bothering to tie the laces she stood and walked out of her bedroom and down the hall to open the front door.
The night was quiet and empty. She stepped outside. The smell was much stronger on her porch. Definitely cake batter. She descended the stairs to the sidewalk, not worrying that she wore only her flannel pajamas and a pair of Chuck Taylors.
It didnâ€™t matter.
She couldnâ€™t explain how, but she was certain that in this moment, the Apollo Cake Factory was awake and cooking and that it was alive only for her. That yearning sheâ€™d always felt toward the place hit her full force but this time it arrived with the certainty of fulfillment.
She walked under rustling trees down dark avenues until she stood before Apollo Cake. The air around her pulsed with the same blue and pink atoms sheâ€™d seen in her room. They buzzed lightly around her head like friendly bees, laughed in her ear, and drove her toward the open door of the factory, lighting her path, leading her.
Bree stood at the entrance and held her breath.
No cubicles and computers littered the vast room, no gray carpets and fluorescent lights dulled the interior. There was nothing at all to suggest that the building housed anything but rats.
Walls and floor were black with soot and darker shadows lurked in the roomâ€™s corners. Across the room, a doorway beckoned her to enter the corridor beyond its arch.
Bree exhaled and took a tiny step forward.
"Breena Murphy! Turn around right now and get back into bed.â€
"Mama?â€ With a gasp, she spun around but the street was still empty. Then she heard her fatherâ€™s amused, indulgent voice. "Now, darling, you know you canâ€™t go in there by yourself. Itâ€™s too dangerous.â€
She didnâ€™t question her sanity. Nor did she doubt that her parents were speaking to her from beyond the grave. Bree merely looked at her feet and sighed. Her parentâ€™s voices--imagined or not--were correct after all. What was she doing in the middle of the night, alone on a city street, at the entrance to what might be hell?
Ignoring the pang of homesickness, she began to walk home, and the bouncing atoms faded with every step, but the scent of baking cake taunted her. She stopped. Lifting her head in defiance, she threw her shoulders back.
"Youâ€™re dead,â€ she whispered to her parents. "You left me.â€ And the thought of going back to that stifling house was suddenly unbearable. She had no idea what magic had awakened her, good or ill, but right now walking into the Apollo Cake Factory seemed to be the only choice.
Author Dina Keratsis graduated from Wheaton College with a BA in English Literature and has earned her EdM at Boston University. A member of Romance Writers of America, she has three published novels and is working on her fourth, a romantic fantasy. Dina lives in Boston with her husband, son, and comic muses, her two English Pointers.
"Charlesgate is a fun read. Intricately woven with historical fact and colorful fiction, Dina Keratsis's story is written with an intelligent eye, respect for her readers, and offers up a tale one needs to read curled up in front of the fire with a throw over your toes." -- Melanie, NovelSpot Romance Reviews
Charlesgate: "Dina Keratsis gives us history, folklore, mystery, fantasy and romance all in one story. The speed at which all the mysteries are unfolded is not too fast or slow. Just enough to keep page after page turning. I found myself mesmerized by the history, and intrigued by the love story between Zylla and Jabe. Both unsure of love, yet still knowing somewhere inside that they should be together." -- Kathy, Fallen Angels Reviews
Charlesgate: "Ms. Keratsis integrates the past and present successfully, making the reader believe in ghost stories. Page after page, she draws the reader in as the tale unfolds and the connections are made. I am hooked.â€ -- Kelly Ross, Romance Readers Connection
"Zylla and Jabe are wonderful characters with interesting quirks and believable personality traitsâ€¦Ms. Keratsis has done a wonderful job of entertaining readers with a creative story based on a real buildingâ€¦Charlesgate is most definitely a keeper.â€ -- Susan White, Coffee Time Romance
5 Beacons - "Ms. Keratsis places her heart in the center of these young people and gives them life to reach out and touch the readerâ€¦ Believability stirs within Kicking Sideways and blankets the reader with every turn of the page. Sweet, poignant, and well-crafted, this is one story that shouldnâ€™t be missed.â€--(Linda, Lighthouse Literary Reviews)
Kicking Sideways: 4 Cups - "Ms. Keratsis has written a sweet love story full of angst over the past, neglect of self, and the walls of protection we all build to protect our hearts. Cree is a determined young woman, saddled with too much responsibility too soon; while Mike is trying to be that soft place to fall when Cree needs to rest, but of course she resists the offer. Ms Keratsisâ€™s ability to craft and express the emotions of a woman on the edge had me crying and fussing at Cree for being so stubborn. This book will tug at many a readerâ€™s heart. Thanks, Ms. Keratsis, for this journey." - (Kathy, Coffee Cup Reviews)
Cake; A Fairy Tale: Starting with one of the best opening lines Iâ€™ve ever read, Cake, A Fairy Tale by Dina Keratsis transports the reader to a fantastic world. From laugh out loud funny to the bitter sting of tears, this tale mixes old legends with new, while imaginative twists carry you on a wild ride of emotions, never letting you go. And, youâ€™ll never look at buttered toast the same again. A keeper! -- *lizzie starr, author of Romance with a Sparkling Twist
"Kicking Sideways is a tale of love enduring everythingâ€¦This is definitely a recommended read for this is truly one of those books that is worth keeping.â€ â€“ Lena C., Fallen Angels Reviews, September 2006
"Kicking Sideways is a charming story that captivates the readerâ€¦Ms. Keratsis places her heart in the center of these young people and gives them life to reach out and touch the reader. Believability stirs within Kicking Sideways and blankets the reader with every turn of the page. Sweet, poignant, and well-crafted, this is one story that shouldnâ€™t be missed.â€ â€“ Linda, Lighthouse Literary Reviews, September 2006
Charlesgate: "Whether or not you believe in ghosts, will enthrall you as you become enmeshed in the lives of two young people who just may be doomed. Will they be able to break this curse and find happiness? It is well worth the read to find out. Kudos to Dina Keratsis. Iâ€™ve got a new favorite author. Give me more!" -- Alice Klein, Sime~Gen Reviews, 2005
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 330
Paper Weight (lb): 13.8
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