“Heir of Ashes” is about a young woman called Roxanne Fosch, a twenty-two fee hybrid who escaped a government research facility after spending nine years as a captive. As Roxanne is dodging mercenaries left and right, she discovers that her own clan had offered her to the human scientists as a scapegoat to keep the government away from them – because she’s a mixed breed, the offspring of a Dhiultadh and a human.
Roxanne Fosch had a perfectly normal life at the age of twelve. Cool, popular, pretty, smart. Her dreams of a perfect, successful and prosperous future seemed well within her grasp.
By the time she was twenty-two she had become a commodity. A fugitive. She was being hunted.
As Roxanne embarks on the dangerous quest to search for half-truths about her past, she discovers she’s not just an abnormal human, but a rarity even among her Fee peers.
She is hunted by scientists, keen to exploit her extraordinary abilities, as well as other beings far more dangerous whose plans for her she cannot fathom
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When I was young I believed one couldn’t ask anything better from life. I had everything. I was pretty, smart, I ran with the popular crowd, I had a crush on the cutest boy in class and had the nicest best friend ever. In other words, I was a total showoff. Then came the Paranormal Scientists Society (PSS), like the Big Bad Wolf with a big metal baseball bat that shattered my world. That was about ten years ago. Now all I want is to be left alone to live my life peacefully, to be the girl next door.
Things happen, and they have happened to me. You never believe them, or you believe things will only happen to the next person while you watch, maybe even sympathize; though you continue living your life to the fullest. But, like I said, they happened to me. My life shattered and many pieces were just lost. I was no longer a showoff. I was still pretty and smart, though they were no longer mere traits, but necessary tools for my survival. I had no friends, no home, no one I could talk to, no life. Things that centered my world when I was younger are so far down my list of priorities that I can scarcely see myself as that girl again. If a guy looks twice at me now-a-days, all I care about is the possibility that he may or may not be a danger to me. I know how sad that is, and I’d be willing to change a little, if I didn’t have to run for my life every time I turned a corner.
If I were younger, I’d pray for a miracle. Today, I just hope for the best.
–Roxanne Whitmore Fosch
I had just finished chopping onions for Paul when the sky broke.
It wasn’t really a kaboom, but more like giant rocks tumbling down a hill. Like a giant avalanche.
On its heel followed the torrential downpour I’d been hearing about for the past few days. A sense of foreboding kept nagging at me, a feeling that I was missing something that I should know. Or see.
“Do you need anything else before I go?” I asked Paul as I hung my apron on a peg and tried to shake the sensation away. I could hear some of the crowd outside dispersing, going home to celebrate another weekend with family, friends, or just be alone after a fulfilling meal; and the booming laughter of those who lingered for a drink and latest gossip in the diner.
“That’ll be all,” he said, sending me a distracted smile over his shoulder.
I went inside Paul’s office and grabbed my purse, a huge monstrosity my friend Michelle had desperately tried to destroy, but inside were things I couldn’t leave behind if I had to make a hasty exit. Dr. Maxwell’s journal was also inside. It had helped me sort a lot of things since I had escaped, even if it hadn’t been the one I wanted, and I never went anywhere without it.
I slung the purse on my left shoulder and let it dangle on my right side, the easier if I needed to run, then let myself out from the back door of the diner. The downpour was like a water sheet in front of me, blocking anything farther than a few feet from view.
Already water was gathering on the street, herding the brown leaves that had gathered at the edges toward the drainage system.
It was unbelievably cold for October, but I’d only been there for three months so I wasn’t sure if this was the norm for early autumn.
I shivered involuntarily and tucked my gloveless hands inside my pockets. I loved autumn, when trees turned into that burnish gold color and animals scurried to gather supplies for the winter, but it seemed like here, in this small town, winter had already arrived.
Another flash of light appeared, just a few yards to my left, followed immediately by a loud kaboom! And the bucket of giant rocks down the mountain.
That sense of foreboding returned, and I glanced around, found nothing that felt out of place.
Paul’s Diner was only two blocks away from Marian’s bed and breakfast and, on a clear day, the lack of tall buildings in between would have given me a clear view of both. I hurried to the small B & B where I rented a small room on the second floor, wondering if Rudolph (AKA “Rudy”), the local troublemaker, would be waiting for me by the door like he did most days despite of the downpour. I believe the only reason his bullying didn’t extend to outright harassment was because I refused all other offers from other men. That, and the fact that most of the townsfolk had become a little overprotective of me, believing I was hiding from an abusive husband.
As my long legs ate the small distance between the diner and the old brick house, I thought about calling Michelle and asking her over so we could do something fun. I had missed the excitement of going out with my friends during my teen years, locked up in a bedroom in the PSS headquarters in Washington. I had permission to watch the world from a TV and read about it from books whenever I wasn’t down in a lab. Sometimes I was sent to the small library where I received a rudimentary education, but it was nothing near what I’d have learned had I gone to school.
I didn’t see Marian behind her desk in the foyer, but when I passed her office door I heard the low sound of a talk show and saw reflective lights coming from the TV. I’d stop by in the morning and pay my rent then; I knew how much she hated being interrupted from her talk shows. Plus, I was soaked to the bones and my appearance would only prompt her to pour one of those awful teas down my throat, so I took the back stairs on the corner and headed up to my room, the last one in the corridor, telling myself I’d grab some dry clothes, then backtrack and dry off the water trail I left behind.
The moment I unlocked the door and reached for the switch on the wall to my right, I knew that someone was inside, even before I spotted the silhouette sitting on my bed. And not a friendly someone either if one counted his scary, inhuman aura. Panic reared its head so fast, so furious, it had me paralyzed in an instant. I forgot all the carefully-laid plans I had so meticulously drilled into myself over and over, even before I had escaped the PSS’s HQ, for moments like this one. My mind… blanked.
For a long moment, my fear paralyzed me. I felt its icy grip around my heart, simultaneously spreading down to the pit of my stomach and up around my neck. Then, he moved. But he didn’t attack, instead he—flipped a page?
The casual way he sat on my bed, flipping through Michelle’s latest fashion magazine as if he had yet to notice me, broke through my terrified mind and expelled the paralyzing grip panic had woven around my limbs. My first instinct was to run.
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