Friday, 1 September 2017

Maleficium by Samantha E. Payne

Samantha Payne holds an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Fiction from Northern Arizona University. She is the author of the new-adult-romance novel Maleficium and her short stories have been featured in Alt Hist, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Dirty Pool, Donut Factory, and Story Shack. She was the fiction and visual arts editor for Thin Air Magazine, and is an active publishing assistant for the speculative fiction magazine, Bards and Sages Quarterly. Prior to being a Graduate Teaching Assistant at NAU she taught sewing and a variety of other courses at Joann Fabrics where she managed the Education department. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Samantha draws manga and practices coloring inside the lines.

Areas of interest: Reading/writing fiction, drawing, graphic novels and video games as literature, Norse mythology and Icelandic lore, and all things One Piece.

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About the Book

For an Icelandic witch, Arisa’s life was mundane. Between accepting offerings from citizens in the town nearby in return for magic, and living in the middle of nowhere, Arisa had little to no social life outside of her mother and her cat, Baldúr. Until Ren.

Ren, attractive and arrogant, forces Arisa outside herself and sets them both on a path far from home. Even if Arisa can learn to understand Ren while on their journey, the outside world threatens to split them apart since not all magic is good and witches aren’t the only ones hiding in the wood.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:

When Arisa came to her head hurt and her movements felt constricted. She heard someone calling out to her and opened her eyes. Ren was lying in front of her with hands tied behind his back and his ankles bound together. Besides Arisa, Ren, and a mattress layered under sheets in the corner, the room was empty. A dim light flickered overhead. There were no windows and only one door. It was a cell of wooden floors and walls.

Ren exhaled. “Thank goodness. I was starting to worry you wouldn’t wake up. Are you all right? Did they do anything to you?”

“I’m all right, are you okay?” She thought his lip looked swollen but she couldn’t reach out to him. She was bound just as he was.

“Yeah, I’m fine. A little confused but otherwise, okay.”

Of course he was confused. Arisa wasn’t sure what his interactions with the dark elves that brought him here were like, but it certainly wasn’t anything he was used to. “Well, I’m a little confused myself.” She tried to free her wrists from their constraints but it was no use. The rope was thick and she couldn’t wiggle out of it. “It would appear we’ve been kidnapped by dark elves and I’m not sure why.”

“Allow me to enlighten you.”

Arisa recognized Ymir’s voice as the door slammed behind her. She looked back at him.

“Glad to see you’re awake, little witch.”


Arisa looked at Ren whose voice filled with anger. He forced himself up off his side into a seated position “Are you the one who knocked her unconscious?”

“Guilty.” Ymir raised his hand in response.

“You better pray I don’t get out of these ropes.”

“Or what, you’ll kill me?” Ymir laughed and his demeanor quickly shifted. His laughter died and his words were bitter. “Don’t be stupid.” He kicked Ren’s abdomen, the pointed toe of his boot driving into the soft flesh.

“Stop!” Arisa shouted and Ymir turned to her.

Ymir sat Arisa up and leaned her against the nearby wall. He patted her head. “He’ll be fine, won’t you?” He glanced back at Ren but didn’t wait for him to respond. “You’ll both be fine. I didn’t bring you here to hurt you.” He knelt down in front her so their eyes were level. “However, I will not tolerate rudeness, especially not from a lowly human. So, keep him in line and we’ll get along just fine.”

Arisa saw that Ren was about to run his mouth. “Ren.” She waited for him to look at her and shook her head.

“But, Arisa.” He stared at her for a moment and sighed. “Fine.”

“Wonderful!” Ymir stood and clapped his hands. “Now that everyone’s on the same page, allow me to answer your earlier question. You’re here…Arisa, was it? You’re here, because I need to borrow your magic.”

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