Title: The Portal’s Choice
Series: The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean Series Book One
Author: KD Pryor
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Madaket Lane Publishers
Number of pages: 502
Word Count: 148,139
Cover Artist: Bespoke Book Covers
Portals. Doorways. Gateways. All ways to get in or out of someplace, right?
Nothing weird, spooky or otherworldly about them. Or, at least that’s what Tallis Challinor always thought. Tallis is a practical young woman, a writer, a lover of words and a natural storyteller. But she’s not sure what to do when real-life sucks her into a story far stranger than anything she’s ever imagined.
Tallis discovers that portals are passageways between the human and spirit worlds. She finds out that bent-on-evil ghosts can escape from the spirit realm through those gateways whether they are supposed to or not. And when they do, Tallis finds herself the chosen human, picked by the portal in her basement in New Hampshire, to seek out and return the wayward spirits.
All Tallis wants to do is recover from the loss of her parents and settle into her new home. She’d like a boyfriend, someone like the cute guy, Aiden, down the street. She’d like some girlfriends to talk to and maybe even go shopping with. And she’d like the ghosts, the portal, and the responsibility that has been thrust upon her to disappear.
But when the ghosts threaten her new hometown, her friends, and the family she holds so dear, Tallis discovers the inner courage to meet the portal’s challenge and save those most precious to her. Along the way, Tallis learns that she is more than she’s ever imagined herself to be and that she deserves more than she’s ever dreamed possible.
Title: The Inn of the Kindred Spirits
Series: The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean Series
Author: KD Pryor
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Madaket Lane Publishers
Number of pages: 194
Word Count: 52,870
Cover Artist: Bespoke Book Cover
Brittany, France. Near the coast. A picturesque inn. Spectacular scenery. Tasty French treats. Time off from school.
Tallis Challinor imagines this as the perfect vacation scenario, so when her grandfather suggests that she accompany him to the country of her ancestors, she is more than happy to tag along. What Tallis doesn’t bargain on is another ghostly encounter, especially not so soon after she’s sealed up a bunch of unruly ghosts on their side of the portal between the human and spirit realms. But, when she feels the energy radiating from the megalithic standing stones dotting the countryside around Carnac, France, an energy that feels frighteningly like the power exuding from the portal in her basement back home, she has a feeling she might be in trouble. And she is right.
When her grandfather goes missing, Tallis leaps into action. She calls the only ghostbuster she knows in France and, with help on the way, she gears up to battle another set of spirits bent on causing destruction. Along the way, Tallis is forced to examine her life, her relationships, and her tightly-held beliefs about who she is and where she comes from. She also has to juggle two impossible males, both attractive but annoying, both seemingly set on driving her nuts or breaking her heart.
KD Pryor started life in Missouri, where she read lots of books, even sneaking them into baseball games to the irritation of her father. Kelley graduated with a degree in International and Comparative Studies from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After college and marriage to a great guy, she decided to pursue a law degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Her oldest son was born soon after law school, followed three years later by her daughter and a move to Kentucky. One more son, a move to Ohio and four years later, her family jumped on the opportunity to move to India. They lived in Bangalore, now Bengaluru, for four wonderfully chaotic years, traveling all over Asia, Australia and Europe.
Now, settled in New Hampshire with her family and herd of cats (only three), she can often be found in her office, working on the next installment of “The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean” series, reading one of a dozen books she has started, and dreaming of her future travel destinations.
“The Portal’s Choice”, book one in “The Gatekeeper’s of Em’pyrean” series featuring Tallis Challinor, was released on May 6, 2013.
“The Inn of the Kindred Spirits”, a novella featuring protagonist Tallis Challinor, was released in November 18, 2013.
“The Forgotten Gate”, book two in “The Gatekeeper of Em’pyrean” series, is scheduled for release in 2014.
Prologue The Inn of the Kindred Spirits
Almost forty years have passed since Marielle married Bradach. Such an attractive man. So strong and loving. He had come to her at a time when she’d needed someone. A time when her life had seemed over, finished. One act, one mistake, and she had been certain that no more joy could ever be hers.
He had arrived at her family’s inn in Brittany, France with a group of friends. Young, boisterous, full of fun. She’d been drawn to his smile and deep brown eyes as he’d registered at the reception desk, but she’d been too shy to respond to his flirtatious advances. Besides, Papa had been standing nearby, and she could feel the disapproval, knew he was irritated by the young men and by her one, quiet answer to the good-natured teasing of the tall, handsome one. After that, she had bowed her head and turned away, her long, wavy black hair hiding the heat that spread across her cheeks.
He’d tried to engage her again, but she’d politely ignored him as she registered his friends and then a family with small children who had followed his group into the lobby. She’d watched as he followed his companions up the stairs, willing him to look at her, to notice her one more time. When he had, she’d nearly tripped over the rug at her feet in her confusion. He’d smiled and winked, but his expression had quickly stiffened and he’d hurried upward, out of view. She’d known before turning that her father was at work behind her back once again, making certain that no inappropriate young man, no young man at all, for that matter, would ever again compromise his daughter.
She knew his name. She’d copied it down on the crumpled market list from the morning shopping and hidden it the in the pocket of her cardigan. At break time, Marielle escaped the inn with a cup of strong coffee to sit on the stone wall at the front of her parents’ property and ponder the name on the slip of paper. Bradach Challinor. She liked the name. She liked it even more when the bearer of the name joined her, complimented her new dress, admired her sapphire blue eyes, and asked her to have dinner with him that evening. To her surprise, she had agreed, but she had sworn him to secrecy.
“Why?” he’d asked.
“Papa is very protective,” Marielle had answered. “He’s quite old-fashioned.” What she didn’t add was that her father had reason for his caution. She didn’t speak of Florian.
“Perhaps I can speak to him,” Bradach had suggested. “Had I a daughter as beautiful as you, I too would take great care of her.” He’d smiled from under heavy eyebrows, twinkling lights from the sparkling sun shining in his eyes.
“Ah, and maybe Papa has reason to take care, with one as smooth as yourself,” Marielle had laughed. “But I do not think he would listen to you. He especially doesn’t like me mixing with the guests.”
“It is a shame,” Bradach had answered. “I suppose I must bow to the wishes of your father, although I hate to miss the chance to share a meal with you.” He rose as if to leave.
Marielle made her decision. “Meet me at the crêperie in the village at 8:00 this evening.” She hopped off of the wall before he could protest. Her break time was ending as it was.
“But your father?”
“Will never know,” Marielle said. “Unless you are not a man of honor and I am forced to tell him of your bad actions.”
“I am a man of honor, ma belle. And I am not sure that I should, but I will see you at 8:00.”
He had linked his hand with hers for a moment, and gazing into his eyes she had known it was her forever.
They had married a week later, despite Papa’s protests and Mama’s tears. They had been so happy in Limoux, then in California. And when her boy, Julien, had been born, her perfect baby son with his father’s deep, dark eyes, her happiness had been complete. Until the heaviness hit her and buried her beneath its weight.
The past, the present, the future, all of it became blurred. She could barely move. Only twenty-three years old, yet she crept like an old woman. Julien cried, but she couldn’t answer. Bradach held her, but she couldn’t cry. Finally, he had taken her home, hopeful that the coast of Brittany might cure her of her sadness.
It was a lovely plan. He left her with her parents for only a few days to visit his people in the South. But Florian was still there. And he found her. And she left. Her baby. Her husband. Her parents. Her life.
She had to see Bradach again. Had to explain and beg his forgiveness. She wanted to move on, but to do so, she had to fix the past. So she called to him. Over the miles, across the years, through the realms of death and life. She summoned him. She only hoped he would answer her.