A Fantasy Romance Novel
By Jana Begovic
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: December 5, 2016
Keywords: Fantasy, Romance, Saga, Reincarnation, Destiny, Betrayal, Past lives, Passion
“Don’t you ever forget about me…,” he whispers during their secret encounters. Like a curse, these simple words now haunt Leandra, a reputable psychiatrist, who finds herself in emotional chaos after the sudden breakup of her illicit affair. Unable to heal on her own and tormented by dreams in which supernatural forces create havoc with her fate, she desperately turns to David, a colleague psychiatrist, asking him to take her through past-life regression therapy. She hopes that this unorthodox and somewhat suspect technique will explain her profound connection to the lover who has abandoned her so abruptly.
The sessions take Leandra through 17th and 19th century Ireland, Italy and England, where love, loss and betrayal are the leitmotifs in an ambiance of co-mingled fantasy and reality. In her hypnotic state, Leandra recounts a saga of intoxicating love, dizzying passion, flaming lust and profound heartbreak. Despite the painful answers she finds under hypnosis, Leandra still cannot let go of the hope to reunite with her lover. Ultimately, the shattering revelations from her past-life incarnations, along with the turmoil over her ruined marriage, become the stepping stones of her introspective path to healing, self-discovery and an appreciation of true love.
With its seamlessly interwoven sub-plots, “Poisonous Whispers” lures the reader from one continent to another, from past to present. The affair at the center of the story is an anatomy of the heart in which the heroine’s sorrow-laced journey reflects the universal themes of love and loss.
All Romance eBooks
About the author:
As far back as she can remember, Jana has been fascinated by storytelling and intoxicated with the written word. As a young child, she began spinning stories, talking to an imaginary friend and devouring fairy tales. As a teenager, she wrote maudlin love poetry; and as a young mother, a collection of fables. Her love of reading and writing drove her to study languages and literature, resulting in B.A. degrees in English and German Languages and Literature, an M.A. Degree in Literary Studies, as well as a B.Ed. Degree in English and Dramatic Arts. She works for the Government of Canada in the field of military language training and testing and her work, as a subject matter expert, has taken her all over the world. She was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina but has lived in Canada since 1991.
“Poisonous Whispers” is her debut novel. Currently, she is working on her second novel, as well as a collection of short stories.
She lives in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband.
What people are saying about Poisonous Whispers:
“Jana’s romance saga over the years of past lives of Leandra breaks new ground in the romance genre, as her literary style makes this a well-satisfying read.” – 5* Red Penn Reviews
A tiny streak of pale light is cascading softly down the cell window and making a shy sliver in the veil of darkness. I open my eyes, disoriented. I do not move; I do not even dare blink until I get my bearings. Then I remember and freeze in horror. I sit up, an aching all over my body and cold dread in my heart. Instinctively, I try to disentangle my matted hair with my fingers, but it is hopeless. All around me, I smell mold, decay and death. How can I survive another day in this hole? The sound of the door opening with a screech makes me jump in terror.
The gaoler walks in; a heavy set of keys dangling and jingling in his hand.
“Come. You are being moved in preparation for tonight’s execution. A verdict was reached.”
I speak not but follow him. We climb a steep staircase. Below us, I hear moans and yells and what sounds like the death throes of those hopelessly lost to the world and forgotten by justice, compassion and mercy. Again, I am feeling dissociated from the event of my calamity; I see my body walking, but my soul is not in it and indifference over what might happen floods me. Death is not the end. Death offers me salvation from pain, from the torment of living a human life.
We leave the jailhouse and enter the house across the street to the village inn. The inn owner, James Bourke, looks at me with hatred and disdain. He also always hated my husband because his wife had hoped my husband would marry her. She was in love with him, and when he married me she tried to kill herself. James married her later, but has always known that she never stopped loving my husband.
The gaoler takes me upstairs to one of the guest rooms and locks the door behind me. The room is wide and clean even though sparsely furnished. The bed is large and looks inviting and I realize how exhausted I am. On the bed is a white, thin chemise and I immediately understand this is what I will wear tonight when I am pushed off the bridge into the water that is cool even on the hottest of summer days. Will I have the strength or the will to swim and save myself? What surprises and almost delights me under such grave circumstances is a bathtub in the corner of the room. There is steam rising from it and I immediately undress and slip into it, relieved to be able to wash off the dirt, the grime, and above all the horrible stench on my body. I rub myself raw trying to clean my skin. Washing my hair is more difficult because at home I have servants who help me with bathing, dressing and undressing. I have been spoilt by marrying a man of wealth and power. Where is my husband now? I crave his protection. If he saved me now, would I give up Kieran, would I give up love in order to live? I surmise I would.
Recently, I signed a contract with Roane Publishing for my short novel, Umbra’s Shadow. The expected release date is March 2017.
More information to follow!
It’s the most wonderful time of year…or is it?
Christmas Eve is a night of mystery and magic, but not always in ways we expect. Things lurk in the shadows and they’re not the least bit jolly or merry. Let’s just say some presents are better left unopened.
‘Tis the season to be screaming along with our thirteen tales of holiday horrors. Ghosts. Monsters. Demons. And more!
This Christmas, be careful what you wish for…
Pre-Order Sale and Book Links:
Lose yourself in the Shadows.
Five young women each encounter a different supernatural force: seductive werewolves, shadowy vampires, dangerous fae, mysterious ghosts, and nightmare creatures.
Lace yourself in scintillating tales of fated meetings, undying love, and eternal life…
Lacing Shadows features New Adult paranormal tales from five talented authors.
My story, “Spirit of the Wolf,” is featured along some great stories by some of my very talented colleagues. So exciting!
Spirit of the Wolf
Asia, a young college student, struggles between two seductive temptations—her boyfriend, Jesse, and a new friend, Nati. Meanwhile, hidden forces strive to draw out the wolf spirit inside her. Will she embrace her nature…or have it driven out against her will? In the end, the spirit of the wolf may be the only thing that can save her and those she holds dear.
Check it out, and when you do, please remember to leave a rating and/or review! Thanks & enjoy!
I try to avoid all the usual end-of-year trends toward lists and replays, but when the alarm went off this morning, I started thinking of all the things I wanted to accomplish today. This led to the realization that 2013 has been a year of some high highs and some devastating lows. I’m typically a middle-of-the-roader, so for me, these extremes are noteworthy.
Personally, on the most positive end of the spectrum, I had three stories published and actually got to see my name in physical print book form twice. When I saw the print version of Stalkers, I won’t lie, I nearly (very nearly) cried. These were huge accomplishments for me, and they gave me the confidence and drive to think of “novelist” as an actual job title and a real possibility. So there was that.
At almost the same time (I think it was literally a week after my first acceptance), my whole little house-of-cards life was collapsed by a stupid, six-legged beast the size of a pinhead. Ugh. I have developed an undying hatred of all tick-kind. While I won’t get into all the details of all the ways Lyme disease ruined the past six months, I will say that I have sworn off card-house building and anything domino related. And I’m recovering, so there’s that.
A small consolation from the Lyme debacle was that it inspired a mini story. When I started the first course of antibiotics, a friend showed me a contest prompt: write a 40-word story that begins and ends with the same word. I had nothing else to do but lay in bed in pain, so I transferred all my negative feelings of the moment into a story. I never submitted it because, at the time, I was mentally incapable of figuring out the hows.
But here is the mini-short that Lyme made:
Tick needed a human to pass the lyme to. He waited on a blade of grass, hitched a ride on Deer, and hopped on Cat’s scruff. A human appeared.
Chicken chomped the insect. “You’re not giving my human lyme, Tick.”
Clearly, I was not in my right mind, but it made me smile for a bit. I wrote two versions. This seemed the stronger of the two.
Ironically, I had written a novel several years ago in which one of the villains used a tick-like weapon. I wonder if I was having some kind of premonition.
Anyway, overall, 2013 taught me a lot and assigned me lots of work to do for 2014. Hopefully, I’m up to the tasks. I don’t do resolutions, but I have some goals in mind.
Do you have any major accomplishments or lessons to share from the past year? What are your goals for 2014?
A snippet for the 1,000 Prompts, $1,000 Writing Contest:
An explosion rocks the castle as a boulder crashes into a wall below the south tower. Several books from the uppermost shelves fall helplessly to the earth. Emilio manages to duck out of the way of one musty volume, but another hits his shoulder, deflected by his blood-streaked armor. Emilio’s chest and back plates are dirty and dented, his helm lost hours ago. He shakes a sweaty clump of dark hair out of his eyes.
“Are you insane, old man? I can’t leave! What about my father? My mother? My brothers might be falling in battle while I am shut in here listening to your madness. I won’t run.”
“Highness, your father has ordered it. And if you do not, your beloved family will be doomed. You must return the artifact before the next full moon rises over Umberdon. Otherwise, Milton will be invincible.”
Emilio grips a handful of his own hair and squeezes, wishing to tear it from his head along with everything Astrark has said in the minutes since he captured Emilio, spiriting him away from the fight. The silver edge of his wrist gauntlet feels cool against his forehead. As much as he wants to choke the old scholar, Astrark is right. There is no one else with Emilio’s abilities. Not here, and not now.
He crosses the room. The volume of steel clanging on steel increases, assaulting him in a roar as he opens the balcony doors to take one last look at his family before accepting his duty.
The field is a mess of bodies, mud, blood, and weaponry. At the edge of one garden hedge, Emilio’s eldest brother holds off two opponents with a short spear in one hand and a flail in the other. Not his usual combination—he must have lost his sword and dirk. Emilio last saw his younger twin brothers heading into the forest, longbows slung over their backs. He looks down, and on the stone patio, his father hurls conjured balls of ice at the invaders.
For a split second, King Tomas looks up. His eyes meet Emilio’s, imploring his son to make haste. The full moon is only two weeks coming. The king’s guards will hold the castle.
His head drooping, Emilio pounds his fist into the railing. His hands clench, dirt-packed nails digging into rough palms. After a moment, he turns to the scholar. “All right. Tell me again, quickly, what to do.”
Following behind Astrark, Emilio catches a glimpse of himself in one of the castle looking glasses. His dark hair curls and mats in places. A pendant of the family standard—three swirls, symbolizing the wind, circled by seven stars—hangs around his neck, a gift from his mother last year when he finally reached the age of manhood. A brownish-red slash divides his bottom lip in two, and his normally tan skin is mottled with black, blue, green, and red stains.
Emilio chuckles at the memory of Darnel, one of Milton’s newer captains, delivering the blow that split his lip. Emilio could easily use magic and avoid marring his pretty face, but honestly, there’s nothing like a good brawl to get the blood pumping. He recalls the satisfying crunch of Darnel’s nose under the impact of a well-placed elbow.
He touches his medallion and hurries after Astrark.
They travel through hidden stairwells that are unknown to Emilio. How much had the scholar been keeping from the royal family? Down and down, through the cellar, past unfamiliar rows of cells.
“Ast, what is this place? A dungeon beneath the dungeons?”
“Magical prisons, Highness.”
Emilio would have to ask Father about this place later.
“Where are you taking me?” the prince grumbles. The heat of battle is starting to cool, and his wounds and aches begin to complain. Not badly yet, but it won’t be long until they are screaming bloody hell.
“My lord, precision is key, and according to my calculations—”
“All right, I understand. I’m just anxious to get there and return. You’re sure time will move differently there?”
“Just a guess, my lord. I may be mistaken. Time may move at the same pace or faster. Best to find the medallion as quickly as possible. Ah, here we are. Are you ready?”
A rickety wooden ladder leads up to a square door.
“Where will this take me?” Emilio asks, looking up at the hatch in wonder.
“Er…the gazebo, my lord. A hidden trap door.” Astrark fidgets with his fingers.
“What?” Emilio shouts. “Why not walk straight out the back door and paint a bull’s eye on my chest? I’ll be right in the middle of the battle!”
“Yes, my lord. Your father is aware and says that he will take care of it. Do you trust him, even if your trust in me has wavered?”
Emilio scowls at the man who has taught him since childhood. “I never said—”
“No, and now is no time to discuss it. I assure you, this is absolutely necessary.”
“Fine. Let me be gone, then.”
The ladder creaks and lists with Emilio’s weight as he climbs to the top. The trap door sends down a shower of dust, adding layer of gray over the other colors painting the canvas of his face. He eases the door open. Milton’s forces are held at bay.
Light streams down over Emilio, temporarily blinding him after spending so long in the catacombs of his home, the home he might not find when—and if—he returns. He takes a deep breath. With a nod back at Astrark, he pushes up through the opening.
No one notices him. Emilio has a moment to take in what will be his last image of home for a while. A line of bodies tangles together through the tree line. Every few seconds, a green-clad figure falls with an arrow sticking from it. Apparently, one or both of the twins are still alive, probably engaged in a morbid contest to see how many men they can assassinate before they have to relocate.
A strong, frosty wind kicks up around Emilio, blurring his view. He spins to see his father chanting, hands outstretched toward him as if longing to embrace his middle son. Green-clad soldiers, led by Darnel, rush toward Emilio. He has been spotted. He spares a wave to his father, his king, and then turns away to concentrate.
He has spent countless hours training for this. Emilio blocks out the impending attack and sounds of battle, staring straight ahead until he visualizes the rectangular space, opening and widening before him. He does not know where or when it will take him, but if Ast is right, it will lead him to the object of this quest.
The pounding of his heart in his ears creates a rapid drumbeat. Marching drums. He only needs to step forward into the unknown.
The ground beneath him shakes. Darnel and his men arrive at the base of the gazebo. As the first boot stomps on the bottom step, Emilio turns to fix Darnel with a smirk, a wink, and an obscene hand gesture. He steps through the portal. It blinks shut behind him, stifling Darnel’s frustrated howl.
He focuses again to find the miniscule glimmer of white that will show him a way out of this emptiness. There is no sound or sensation. The darkness closes in. Emilio’s breath constricts. He reminds himself that this is just an illusion as the first fingers of fear tickle his consciousness.
What if you don’t find it fast enough, Emilio? Will you be lost forever in nothingness? Will you fail before you even begin?
He controls these thoughts and pushes them aside. Squeezing his eyes shut, he struggles to feel something. To feel some sense of power within this void that always reduces him to a small, helpless speck.
Opening his eyes again, he scans ahead. And then he finds it. The light. Such a thin sliver it might be his imagination. It isn’t. He reaches for it. Power surges down his arm, beyond his fingertips. The light grows into a door. Emilio steps through and studies the surroundings.
It is daytime and noisy. The air holds a crisp bite. Sharp stinks make his nose burn. He seems to be in a tunnel yet above ground—he can see daylight.
He can turn toward the portal or continue in the direction he faces. Looking back is not an option. Emilio walks forward and begins his search.
Here is a link to the prompt I chose:
And here is a link to the overall contest.
Wish me luck & feel free to leave constructive feedback!
I have had the recent pleasure of becoming acquainted with and working with author Jodie Pierce. She is coordinating the upcoming Supernatural Writer’s Group charity anthology, Wild Cards. In August,she released the paranormal thriller, Crime Bites and So Do I. Here, Jodie shares some thoughts about her work and writing in general:
Jodie Pierce is married to her hubby, John who gave her a storybook happily-ever-after. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio but traveled to Brasil when she was 16 years old as an exchange student and she continues to travel the US with her hubby. Jodie started writing as a teenager and even wrote for her schools’ newspaper and yearbook.
She has had a fascination with vampires since they were introduced to her as a child so she’s had a long history with them. It wasn’t until she started reading the Anne Rice vampire books in college that she was truly inspired to stop writing sappy teen romance stories and focus on the vampires she loved. You will find some of her experiences from Brasil in her stories. Many of her stories have historical or researched facts as she also enjoys research and learning about new places.
She has published four short novels (Eternal Press), a short story in “Midnight Thirst 2”, an anthology (Melange Books), has five self-published books (with 3 more charity anthologies by the end of 2013). She’s published her first charity vampire anthology book with various Authors named In Vein, where all the proceeds of the book went to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She loves helping out other new Authors, runs blog hops and Facebook events for them to help market them. She has her own small publishing company named Vampirical Lyrical Publishing where she takes on new Authors and helps them see their creations come to life. She’s always busy with the next great vampire story as her mind is non-stop and even plagues her dreams. She’s co-manager of the Facebook Supernatural Writer’s Group where they put together 2 charity books a year where all proceeds will be donated to a special charity.
On what sparked her passion for books and good stories:
My parents were always good readers and I picked up the hobby from them. I just started writing short stories about my life, moved to romantic fiction and then was inspired to write about vampires. After years of trying to get published, I was finally introduced to publishing houses and later on, self-publishing. I was ecstatic to see my stories come to life and to be able to share with others.
On the books that inspired her:
Interview with a Vampire and Queen of the Damned were the first books to inspire me. I then read Anne Rices’ erotic novels and found that I could also write stories that were similar though I preferred the vampire romance genre.
On the challenges she’s faced in her writing career:
Marketing and promoting have been the thorn in my side. Even with the publishing company, the marketing was left up to me.
Best moment as a writer?
The best moment was when I got the email stating they wanted to publish my book. Nine months before, I had sent my manuscript to them and they refused it. The, Twilight broke out and I resubmitted it to them upon the request of my hubby. They took it and when I read the email, I thought someone was messing with me. It turned out to be real and I was really excited
Anne Rice is my first idol. J.K. Rowling is a close second but she doesn’t write about vampires which is unfortunate. Christopher Paolini gave me inspiration for fantasy and the Anne Rampling series encouraged me to write the one erotic book I wrote as well.
On seeing herself in her characters:
Absolutely. Most of my characters are based on the people that have come into my life in many different ways. Sometimes, just their personality or physical traits are included in my characters.
Any occupational hazards to being a writer?
Absolutely! Fear of rejection can cause many authors to give up and quit their dreams. Also, as in my case, I’ve typed for so long that I now have Carpal Tunnel and have to limit my typing each day which just kills me. I have to write and I enjoy it so it’s very hard to stifle my creativeness. I’ve started writing ideas down in that notebook I mentioned so I can write a little more later.
Have you ever had a day when you just wanted to quit?
I have never wanted to quit. Rejection at first made me feel horrible but as time went on, I learned it’s all part of the process and can brush it off as it comes along.
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Write what you want, not what you think publishers want. Write from your heart and the creative juices flow more easily. Jump in with both feet and bring your ideas to life through your writing.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never give up and support your fellow authors. You can learn a lot from them and it will make you a better writer. If I gave up every time I was rejected, I wouldn’t be published. Take the bull by the hands and make your career what you want it to be.
Where to find Jodie:
I’m a bona fide published author of fiction! Urban Harvest: Tales of the Paranormal in New York City is now available at Amazon. The anthology features stories by Laurie Wenham, Laurie Treacy, Tara Hill, Don Corcoran, Saif Ansari, Donna Ansari, Alex Shvartsman, Sean Sakamoto, and me. I’ve read a few of the stories, and they are quite good. I hope to do a review shortly. Anyway, please check out the book and I hope you’ll support it. All proceeds go to City Harvest and will help feed the hungry in New York City.
I have had a few exciting events recently. I submitted two stories for two anthologies, and was accepted to both. Yay!
The first is a paranormal short story, “Under the Mattress,” that will appear in the anthology Urban Harvest: Tales of the Paranormal in NYC. The proceeds from this collection will benefit the organization City Harvest. The expected release date for this eBook is September of this year.
The second story is titled “Lucid” and will be part of the Stalkers anthology edited by Cynthia Shepp and Rene Folsom. I’ll update when I know a release date.
I’m very excited about both these projects and can’t wait to read the other stories in the collections.
On a slightly separate note, I got the notion to try my hand at writing a comic script. At the moment, I’m converting a short children’s story I wrote a while back. The process is much harder than I expected, and I never thought it would be easy. But the conversion process is showing me where the story is lacking in detail or where it includes unnecessary detail, so I’m glad I decided to do it.
Keep your eyes peeled for information about the publications and have a great day!