I just wanted to out walk the storm, avoid arriving home in a sopping mess from a unpredictable storm that looked ready to rain hell on everyone in its path at any given moment.
I never wanted to get caught up in his world, I was content living in mine surrounded by my books. But it seemed fate had other plans for me, and I guess I wasn’t going to out walk that storm like planned…
I was walking along the deserted road on a Monday, October evening, lost in thoughts of days pasted and days to come. With the Autumn wind blowing with the promise of an early storm and the rain clouds were looking angrier now than ever.
I left the Library half an hour earlier than I usually did, in the hopes of being able to out walk the storm before it hit and I knew if I kept up my pace, I may just make it before the storm throws down.
Still lost in my thoughts I had just neared the bend when I heard a bloodcurdling scream come from my left…it came from the forbidden forest that was sat there silent and hauntingly at me, almost as if it were mocking me with it’s eerie silence.
It was forbidden to walk through due to all the past animistic attacks, though no one had ever seen the animal in question, that caused the attacks. And some people even thought it was a monster or man turned into a monster that caused those attacks. No one lived through the attacks to tell the tale… so it all remains a mystery to those still living. Nothing for people to do but make up myths and stories in the hopes of keeping children from wandering through
It looked beautiful, but then again, any part of nature untouched by humans usually are breathtaking sights but nothing is as beautiful as the Forbidden Forest when it snows, as every branch and colour is blanketed in white.
A ripple of thunder echoed through the darkening sky making me wrap my arms around myself in the hopes of keep what little body heat I had left enclosed in the small space my body and coat provided.
I was debating on whether or not I should venture into the forest and find the source of that scream or to just ignore it and put it down as my overactive imagination and just go home, when another bloodcurdling scream came again.
Without another thought I changed the direction I had previously been wandering in and stepped foot into the forbidden forest and hoped for the life of me I wasn’t making the wrong decision.
The fallen leaves crackled and crunched beneath my black boots, the only sounds that now greeted my cold tipped ears. The wind seemed to have stopped and the clouds looked ready to rain a storm down on me. I took a deep breath and then jumped as another clap of thunder echoed sounding even louder than before this time accompanied by a quick flash of lightening.
And then…nothing. The sound of crunching leaves where the only things to greet my ears once again. I was starting to question whether I had really heard that scream or if it was actually all in my head. Who would even be out here anyway? And if there was someone here, something bad was/had clearly happened to them, so what could I do? Was I just walking straight into danger? Maybe I should have turned back to the library and phoned the police?
All questions I probably should have asked before walking into the Forbidden Forest alone. Well it was too late for any of that now. Just when I was giving up all hope in finding the cause of that scream I tripped over something, landing hard on my knee’s and spraining one of my wrist as I threw my hands in front of me, trying to brace myself for the impact of the fall.
Clutching my now injured wrist to my chest I sat up and swung my body to look behind me, to find what it was that I had tripped over and froze.
The thing that I had so clumsily fell over while trying to look around at my surroundings looked to be someones limb…a leg to be exact…
It was covered up well with leaves, mud, moss and whatever debris was hidden on the ground that made it hard to tell if that leg had a companion or if it was there solo.
She honestly didn’t want to find out but something in her was pushing her forward, making her move, making her want to find out more and so she slowly started to crawl towards to body with one arm slowly reaching out to touch the leg….
To be continued…..
I hope you all enjoyed this little short expert of completely random and made up on the spot suspense story.
What did you think? I’d love to hear you’re thoughts on my writing and if I should continue this on maybe?
So here is my long over due review of heavenward. 5/5 stars from me!
Heavenward is book one of the ‘Celestial Creatures Series’ a captivating and heavenly written book by an enchanting woman. Heavenward is an urban/dark fantasy and just book one out of a quadrilogy ( a four book series). Heavenward has also been placed as #1 Teen & YA Girls and Women Issues Nonfiction eBooks, #1 Teen & YA Folklore and Mythology eBooks and #9 Teen & YA Horror eBooks.
Before picking up this book I was introduced to it by @FraserFunHouse who has been organising an amazing blog tour for Olga Gibbs. The ‘Hallow Book Tour’ which had instantly caught my eyes. I have never done a blog tour before, being in my first month of blogging and all, but I’ve always loved books and I want the things I love to reflect onto my blog, so I saw this as a great opportunity to read an impressive looking/sounding book as well as doing something new and exciting while meeting other amazing bloggers/writers/aspiring writers.
27th February, I officially became part of the Hallow Book Tour! Who kindly gave me a copy of the book Heavenward for free to get caught up with Hallow. Before starting this book I had been in a year long reading funk. I hadn’t been able to find a SINGLE book that I liked or was interested in for an entire year! It’s my fault really, I had spent a good year or two locked away in my house and during that time all I did was read one book after the other, escaping reality and diving into a new and exciting world that was completely different from the one that I was in.
When reading the blurb of this book you are only introduced to Ariel a young girl who has lived an incredibly dark past and is forever haunted by the memories and a deep disturbing nightmare that leaves her questioning her sanity…not for the first time. The blurb also gives a very vague description of three other character in the book, however only referring to them as “three new students” I was left imaging anything I liked about the other characters to this intriguing book.
Heavenward takes us on Ariel’s journey as her lonely yet somewhat mundane life gets flipped upside down all because of three new mysterious students who suddenly start to attend her high school and attache themselves to her. Things start to become more complicated than Ariel ever could have dreamt… or have a nightmare about. When right is no longer right, wrong is no longer wrong and she no longer knows who to trust, she learns that some of those things her crazy mother believed in were real after all, among other things…and she has been thrown smack bag in the middle of it all by no fault of her own. With a war at hand and two devilishly handsome angels sworn to protect her she knows her life isn’t about to get any easier, the question was, could she handle it?
Struggling to accept the information thrown at her and her new future a head, Ariel continues to struggle with her own deep dark secrets. Who was really on her side, who just saw her as nothing but a pawn in a big game? Ariel may just have been thrown into a world/war too big for her to handle.
Ariel sparks the side of us I feel most of us as young girls have experienced at one time or another. Weak, defenceless, scared, confused and unsure of the world around us and the people in. Yet through her journey we get to see Ariel’s character develop into a strong and more confident heroine and a fiery ball of pushed down emotions.
There are two other main character’s to this book, Sam and Rafe. Sam is a very forward and a very cocky angel who swears to protect Ariel at all costs. He’s portrayed as a ‘ladies man’ that enjoyed every second of attention that he got, both good and bad. I feel like the safety he so quickly offers and the comfort is what draws Ariel close to him.
Rafe is another character in the book and another angel that swears to protect Ariel for different reason than Sam. Although at the start he is described as, “quite fit for a nerd.” by her friend Annie, a passing character in the book. The attention isn’t draw much on Rafe for a while and the mystery behind his introduction and lack of ‘action’ drew me more to his character and really made me want to know more about him. However through the other half of the book he takes the readers full attention along with Ariel and I found him to be the exact opposite of Sam. Where, Sam, was almost carefree and far too cocky at times, Rafe was the complete opposite. Rafe is more standoffish, stern yet an incredibly caring character and my infatuation with him only grew stronger the further I read on.
Reading through this book left me feeling more emotions than I care to admit, I got way too caught up into it and I loved EVERY SINGLE second of it. I haven’t read a book that made me feel so much in just one sitting, but the author really knows how to draw her readers in!
Ending the book has left me wanting and NEEDING to read the next book, Hallow, just to find out more secrets, more about the war at hand, more about the relationships/ possible relationships that are being formed and how on Earth (and Heaven) Ariel is going to get through it all.
The book is written solely in Ariel’s POV making me feel as though I really connected with her and what she was going through, I felt every emotion that she felt while reading this book and I wish that the book didn’t have an end! I truly fell in love with all of the characters, I felt like I was experiencing what Ariel was experiencing and connecting with those who she connected with. I feel in love with the author’s writing style, the way she was able to gracefully and thurley describe every emotion and thought that ran through Ariel’s head and I fell in love with the Author herself and the world that she has created.
I have rated this book a 5/5 and have absolutely no intentions on changing my answer. Although there are some scene that are consider sensitive or gruesome to some, I believe even those who may find subjects sensitive or gruesome would enjoy reading this book and I couldn’t find a single thing I disliked about the book or the characters.
I have to admit… I’ve already read Hallow and have half of my review written out already and I can’t wait for you guys to read it on 4th May! This is one book you are not going to want to miss out on and right now you can download you’re copy of Heavenward RIGHT HERE for FREE!
I couldn’t help but share with you guys (because it’s seriously made my year) my signed copy of Heavenward.I was gifted with such a wonderful gift from the lovely author Olga Gibbs. This book had arrived on a rather emotional day and It almost made me cry when seeing & reading Olga’s words, it had really put a smile on my face that day and now it dose every time I look at it. I honestly have to say that I feel as though I have gained a friend in Olga and the other lovely women in her book tour as well as the wonderful woman hosting the amazing book tour @fraserfunhouse. And I’m so proud of my self and so happy that I step out of my comfort zone, put myself out there and joined in with this book tour and speak with amazing bloggers and authors. I’ve really been enjoying every second of it so far!
I hope this has made you all excited and ready to get your copy of Heavenward so you can be ready to read Hallow which comes out 1ST MAY! And if you would like to read more about the author behind the book as well as inspiration that caused Olga to create such a wonderfully written and engrossing book, then just CLICK HERE to read my author interview with Olga Gibbs herself.
Before releasing my book review on heavenward and my post on joining the Hallow book tour and my experience with it, I thought I’d introduce the author herself. The wonderful and amazing writer of the captivating dark fantasy series ‘The Celestial Creatures’ Olga Gibbs was kind enough to take time out of her busy scheduled to answer a few questions for us, isn’t that great?
So, I understand that You’ve published a book called Heavenward (The first book in the Celestial Creatures series) and will soon be publishing another book following Heavenward, was that planned from the beginning or did inspiration for a book series hit you after you had finished writing Heavenward?
It was originally planned as a series.
Although it was planned as a trilogy, but now it’s shaping up as four books
series. I even have titles ready for each of the books in the series:
“Heavenward”, “Hallow”, “Harbinger” and “Halo”.
“Heavenward” is a dark fantasy with elements of high fantasy and paranormal
fantasy. “Hallow” is a dark urban fantasy with some paranormal elements, and
the last two books will be high fantasy as I intend to take all the action into
my fantasy realms, into my created worlds.
Could you share with us one or more of you’re writing ritual/s?
I write every day. Every day! Every single
day that I don’t work, I pack my children off to school, have breakfast and sit
down – ready to write. No excuses. No reason was ever good enough for not doing
it. Even when I was ill (well, still sick). Every day. From 9am until at least
3pm – before children will get back from school and will need their mother – I
will sit and write. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes all that I will show for so
many hours of work is just 500 words, sometimes even less, but that doesn’t
matter. What matters is that every day I have driven my story forward.
And I don’t begin to write without a plan. I have a rough plan, then make a
more detailed one, might even expand it by the chapters (what will go where),
but I don’t begin on my story until the plan is done – I hate wasting my time.
You will see in the next two answers how valuable my time is!
Where did the inspiration behind Heavenward come from?
At first I had my character – Ariel. I had her with me for a few years now. She lived with me, inside me and one day when I was ready to write, I wondered what I could do with her – for her. Some parts of her is me. Some of her stories are my stories; some of it is from my childhood and my hurt (sorry, that’s as much as I am prepared to share now). Ariel lived an incredibly tough life and I wanted her to have something good for a change. I wanted to give her her power back and for a good measure to throw humanity in it, to put us at her mercy, to turn the table. I’ve written this book for all girls out there, like Ariel – like I was once – powerless at that moment, struggling, emotionally and mentally. With this book I wanted to tell them, that they’re an incredible universe of their own, an archangel, who can change the world if decided to do so. I wanted these girls to know that their past doesn’t have to define them – I make sure every day that it doesn’t define me. I find it incredibly sad that there are almost no books for girls like Ariel. There are books written for adults who suffered abuse, but nothing to help girls to push through, to let them know that there’s no shame, to make them feel that they’re not alone – and that’s the main issues: self-loathing, guilt, hate and utter isolation. This topic is not appropriate for YA market (or so I was told), so here we are. But I didn’t want to write a realistic book about Ariel’s abuse. I feel that someone who never lived through such things wouldn’t want to read about it, the way it would come out of me would be too disturbing. (You’ve read this book, right? And it’s me diluting it for the YA market), and girls, who lived through it, would never want to relive it, so that how this book became a fantasy. But I felt it was important to give Ariel a voice, to speak about the abuse that some girls are suffering on a daily basis. “Heavenward” is a story of empowerment and the promise of hope.
What do you like to do in your spare time if you aren’t reading or writing?
I have very little spare time. I am writing
every hour God sent. I read. I have family: husband and two teenage daughters,
who need my support and guidance every day (and help with homework for GCSE
year). I work part-time as a supply teacher in a secondary school and as a
facilitator for the fantastic charity called “Juno Project”, which is operates
in Sussex and is chaired by amazing woman, who I am proud to call my friend,
Ali Golds. I am very passionate about this charity. The “Juno Project” provides
support and empowers the girls, who are at risk from being excluded from
school, to achieve their goals in spite of their challenges. Unfortunately, my
illness precluded me from taking groups this academic year, but I am planning
to get back swinging towards end of this year.
What does your family think of your writing? Have any of them read your book?
My family is very supportive of my writing.
My husband always has encouraged me to write, but after I’ve read a few
excerpts from “Hallow” to him, he thinks that I should drop all my other work engagements
and spend my time only writing – honing my craft, so to speak. Both my girls
read my book. The eldest has read both of my books and helped me with the first
book a fair bit, mainly encouraging me, re-reading some parts back to me and
quizzing me, challenging me, demanding me to do better. The youngest started
reading “Heavenward” but she didn’t go past the scene of essence waking in Ariel.
She teared up a bit there and said that doesn’t want to read any further. Fair
enough. I always thought that if the book doesn’t bring you pleasure, you
should close it and move on. Well, for me that applies to every book, apart
from academic or research literature and documents.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Heavenward? And do you hear from your readers much? What kind of things do they say?
I guess I was surprised to find out that I have such a great imagination – to create these worlds, creatures, clothing, and disturbing to think how dark my imagination can go – how twisted it can be, and that me trying to hold myself back as I still had YA book parameters to work within. Very rarely a reader might write and say that they have enjoyed the book – I only had two to date – but these messages make me feel that I have done well and I have achieved that I set out to achieve. I love to see that some understood and saw (maybe read between the lines) what I was trying to do.
What would you say was your Kryptonite? What do you dislike writing about?
To write anything sweet and “plushy”. Cutesy things, romance, comedy, happily-ever-after stories – I don’t know how to do that. My impulse is to throw my characters into deep waters, with sharks circling them, and watch them swim. Or maybe they will drown each other?
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the good and bad ones?
That’s a very tricky one, every author will
attest to that. I am tempted to read reviews, but for the last few months, I was
learning and keeping myself away from all review platforms. With my logical
mind, I know and understand that I can’t please everyone, nobody can – that’s
simply impossible, but my heart wants to see and read reviews. I want to know
if the years of my life and work have paid off, if baring myself to the world
was worth the gamble. But I am learning to stay away – just to protect myself.
It’s a simple self-preservation.
If you had to describe your main character in three words what would those three words be?
Difficult, broken, unapologetic.
What were the key challenges you faced when writing Heavenward?
The biggest challenge was to tone the story down for YA market (and I think I have miserably failed still). I wanted to write this book for girls of age 12-18 – this book is for them. For the girls, who may need this book so they don’t feel alone, for the girls who need to believe in themselves. This book is for them.
What was your highlight writing heavenward?
The readers who said that it’s the best book they have ever read (or even if it’s just the best book this year). The readers who have appreciated the story and understood what I was trying to do.
And lastly (I swear this is the last question I have) Do you have any piece of advice or favourite quote you could share with aspiring author’s such as myself?
Just two: “Grow a thicker skin if you want to publish your story” and “don’t wait for an inspiration to hit you – start working and the muse will come”.
Wow! Thank you, Olga, for sharing with us today. I can’t speak for everyone but I can speak for myself and I have to say this is one book that helped me out of a year reading funk, kept up at night and had my emotion rushing in a whirlwind while reading through it. Considering you’ve made it to #1 in Amazon I think it’d be safe to assume that your book has reached many women and young girls who are falling in love with your story and the world that you have built within your book.
If you would like to check out the book you can now download your copy FOR FREE. That’s right, in early celebration for the release of Hallow you can now get the #1 in amazon for Teen & Young Adult girls & Women Issues Nonfiction eBooks and #1 in Teen & Young Adult Folklore & Mythology eBooks! So don’t waste anytime and CLICK HERE to be directed to your free copy. And stay tuned for the release of the next book Hallow and my book review on it.