Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Teen #YA #Historical #Fantasy #Anthology: GLIMPSES OF TIME AND MAGIC By Ariel Paiement ETAL

 Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!


A Historical Fantasy Anthology
By Ariel Paiement, Alicia Scarborough, Kandi J. Wyatt, Sara Zagorski, James Meservy, Michaela Baker, Joshua Reid, Maria Vermisoglou, & Joanna White


We know the stories from history we’ve heard since childhood, but what if, behind the tales, there were magical secrets desperate to be revealed?

Pompeii was a tragedy the world will never forget, but what really caused the volcanic eruption that ended it all? Why was the great sword Excalibur really destroyed? The rolling hills of Victorian England seem peaceful enough, but what secrets really lurk there?

And would it surprise you that there are darker secrets in Ancient Rome than people ever dreamed? If the Great Fog of London isn’t what it seems? You think you know Harry Houdini, but do you know the man behind all the tricks?

And what if the mystery of Roanaoke runs deeper than you could ever imagine? Could Ireland’s potato famine really be caused by a mage gone mad? What if a ghost ship off the coast of England was more than a phantom?

If you like fantasy and history, then you’ll love this collection of nine fantastical stories.

All proceeds are being donated to Feed My Starving Children.

A Historical Fantasy Anthology
By Ariel Paiement, Alicia Scarborough, Kandi J. Wyatt, Sara Zagorski, James Meservy, Michaela Baker, Joshua Reid, Maria Vermisoglou, & Joanna White


Misted Love by Ally Scarborough

I HAD NO choice. Either sell my daughter to Nyles Yardley to settle my debt or my dear family be thrown into the streets. How could I be so foolish?

“Well?” Nyles asked. “Is it a deal, or should I ask the authorities to remove you from the premise?”

Drat it all. The bugger had me. He knew he had me. The family fortune gone because of my troubles. He stood there in his dark cloak with an ungloved hand out to warm and admire the fire in the fireplace, lit to keep the cold of December at bay.

If I chose to not sell my dear Rose to Nyles, then Melissa and I would be new rats among the streets of London. Forced to fend for ourselves in the gutters and work our tender hands until they bled. It should had been an easy choice.

“Fine,” I said through gritted teeth. “I agree to your terms.”

Leap of Faith by Ariel Paiement

ALANTHA BIT HER lip and stared down at the horse’s back. “That is a strange conclusion to come to off the little I’ve said to you. But say I humor you? Say I do get tired of being in control? What of it?”

“I appreciate your condescension, my lady.” He set her saddle down on the stone floor of the barn with a warm laugh. “Since you’re condescending to answer my questions, would you then wish for someone who could take that control for you? Someone who would shoulder the burden so you would not have to?”

Like a husband? What man would do that? Men just demanded and took. They didn’t protect, and they took control to own a woman, not because they wanted to see to the safety of a loved one. With the exception of her brother-in-law and her father, perhaps, she could think of no man who did not fit that description. Her gaze flew back to his. She wouldn’t want to marry a man who took control from her, anyway, would she?

She gritted her teeth. Confound it all! She didn’t know what she wanted anymore. How dare he ask such questions when she was already upset and confused? Her day had been trying enough without his help to push her over the edge. She struggled to rein in her anger and forced herself to answer him coldly. “A stranger shouldn’t ask such personal questions.”

He shrugged. “Maybe not, but will you continue to humor me and answer? I mean no harm in asking.”

The Apprentice of Amadan Dubh by Kandi J Wyatt

“OUT O’ MY way, laddie!”

The sailor didn’t even wait for Paddy to move. The young man barely caught himself against the ship’s railing and scrambled to keep a grip on his cane. The steely grey water reeled beneath him as he fought for his balance.

To drown right here in port after all that happened? Now that would please Dreejean.

Paddy backed away from the edge and made his way shakily toward the gangplank. He wrenched his thoughts away from the mage and conjured images of his family.

Former family. The bitter pain ripped through his body as if he had taken their suffering for his own.

He waved feebly—more a symbolic gesture to his homeland and the memories it held than a farewell to anyone on the docks. Every face below was a stranger, now; the people he loved most had not accompanied him. But perhaps, if he was fortunate, he would also leave the magic behind.

Heart of the Coast by Sara Zagorski

THE SOBBING BEGAN in the middle of the night.

Michael sat up in bed, his eyes barely adjusted enough to the dark to see his brother William sit up as well. It wasn’t often they were awoken by sobbing; Michael was the baby of the family, after all, and he had learned to keep quiet while his father was asleep.

“Who is it?” asked William softly.

Michael gently pushed the blankets off his feet and crept to the door, listening through the keyhole to hear the cries better. “It sounds like George,” he replied in a whisper.

William grinned and slunk to the doorway. This would give him something to taunt their brother about in the morning, Michael was sure. George was the eldest son, and at age fifteen, he was nearly four years Michael’s senior. In recent months, he had developed a maddening knowledge of the adult world that he had gained in his apprenticeship. Being the town apothecary’s oldest child, George’s job was to take over the family business once their father passed. Despite all this, he was still their brother, and he was no better than the rest of them.

“Perhaps he’s had a nightmare.” William smirked devilishly. “Maybe he’s even wet the bed.”

Michael snickered and nudged his brother’s arm, hushing him as his mother scurried up the stairs. Through the dark, they heard George’s door open and shut, and his cries quieted to soft sniffling. Moments later, their father’s heavy footsteps sounded on the stairs, and both boys retreated to their beds. Several agonizing minutes passed without sound, and Michael was beginning to drift back off to sleep when their door creaked open.

Excal’byr by James Quinlan Meservy

“THE PANTHEON WANTS to know how the spies hidden among the refugees, especially Eve, will respond to our battle plans, but we don’t trust any of them outside of Pompeii,” Demeter replied.

“Forcing the daughters of Rainmaker to reside with the refugees in Pompeii was a good idea. I don’t trust any member of the Rainmaker Clan,” Persephone said. “Wait – this meeting is about battle plans?”

Persephone stood, but Demeter pulled her back down.

“I am not interested in your little war,” Persephone said.

“War is part of life,” Demeter replied. “Even someone like you has to agree it is necessary to protect oneself.”

“I don’t believe war is necessary. If I don’t raise a weapon, then the attacking force’ll have no one to fight,” Persephone said.

“You’re right, they’ll only have someone to slaughter,” Demeter replied. “Do you really believe if you refuse to defend yourself against the Rainmaker Clan, they’ll leave you in peace? How many denizen clans thought that in the first war and were slaughtered?”

Maiden of Embers by Michaela Baker

“STOP!” HE CRAWLED through the window as well and continued his pursuit.

The woman had already made her way down a back alley. Buildings burned on either side of her, the smell of burning flesh permeated the air. Soldiers saw the woman escaping from the chaos, and Octavius pursued her. A couple soldiers tried to block her path, while a couple others watched as they dispatched their own victims. Gripping his sword tight, Octavius followed and quickly gained on her. The woman gripped her child close against her chest, stumbled, and fell. Tears cascaded down her cheeks as the general barreled down on her. With a quick swing of his arm, he cut her chest. Crying out, the woman fell on her side. A last attempt to save her child. Blood poured from her wound.

Raising an eyebrow, Octavius reached down and grabbed the young child. The baby starred up into his eyes. It began whimpering. The captain sheathed his sword. He reached for a dagger instead. He was going to put the child out of its misery. No mother, no family, and doomed to grow up Christian. Holding the baby tight, the general felt captured by its violet gaze. The baby giggled then snuggled against his arm. Octavius froze. He had to destroy this unholy vermin before it could destroy Rome as he knew it. The general stared into the child’s tearful face. He wanted nothing to do with family. Single by choice, yet he felt drawn to the child. Octavius’s hand shook. He dropped the dagger. He wasn’t sure why he couldn’t do it, but he just couldn’t bring himself to take the baby’s life. Instead, he pulled his cloak around him, wrapped the baby up in his arms, and took the infant home.

Rise of an Empire by Joshua Reid

CLANG! BLOCKING THE incoming strike, I countered, slashing the barbarian. Turning around, all I saw was chaos. Soldiers everywhere. My brothers-in-arms were being slaughtered by these foreigners.

How had they gotten in? I watched as more and more of them poured in to ransack the city. Rome, once the pinnacle of the world and the legacy of Greece, was falling.


I turned to see a soldier fighting and struggling against several barbarians. Before I realized I had moved, I was at his side, cutting through another barbarian. I turned, and all I saw was a flash of iron. A sharp pain crashed into me, and I grunted. I looked down to see a gash across my chest plate. Slashing the Goth who had managed to land the hit, I hurried to catch up with the other soldier, working alongside him to take out more Goths.

By this point, exhaustion was beginning to set in. I could feel my arm shaking under the weight of the gladius, the sword of choice for Roman soldiers. I couldn’t lower my guard for even a moment. Not while there were hundreds, if not more, of the barbarians in the city.

Paradoxeffair by Maria Vermisoglou

DUSK HAD FALLEN as I watched the crowds of people come in waves with cries of excitement as they discovered the stands where carnies awaited them, hidden under the trees. The show had started a while ago, and people streamed around the stands of snacks, and like flies, they were caught in the seer’s magic. She enchanted them with her tricks of cards and magic balls. The Shifter Man wandered around the grounds, shifting from man to animal while the glued sisters performed acrobatics, and just like that, without knowing it, the unsuspecting people were led inside the Big Top to watch the show.

If this was a normal circus, it wouldn’t matter, but everything here, from the music playing to the small kid with the basket full of sweets, was meant to play a role in manipulating them inside.

I won’t miss them when I finally leave this hell trap.

I meticulously applied the makeup I used to fool the throngs of people who would come to watch the show.

“Magic boy, hurry up. You’re up in five,” Lana said, interrupting my musings as I stared at the mirror.

“Yes, all right.” I averted my gaze and checked my reflection one more time, carefully avoiding looking at the corner where she stood, glimmering.

Heart of the Phoenix King by Joanna White 

SCREAMS PIERCED THE nighttime sky, which echoed with the screeches of phoenixes that flew through the air. Four-year-old Gilander stared up at the creatures in awe and wonder. As they flapped their powerful wings, fire rained down on their enemies, burning them to the ground. Yet, no matter how many they took down, the humans kept coming. They had more advanced weaponry, fire of their own from stealing so many of the hearts of their people.

“Gilander, you must come! With me, now!” Gilander’s mother gripped his hand and shoved him into the trees surrounding their village. A spear flew through the air, heading straight for him, but the little boy could not escape it fast enough.

“No!” His mother cried out in pain, and when Gilander looked, her body collapsed to the ground with an arrow through her heart.

More arrows fired toward him, and he screamed in pain and fright. His mother had given her life to save him, but the humans had archers with perfect aim who knew exactly how to kill a phoenix.

By piercing their heart.

Gilander ran and ran, the only male phoenix to have been born for a thousand years. At just barely old enough to grasp what was happening, he ran away, abandoning his people and not knowing where to go or what to do.

About Author Ariel Paiement ETAL...

Ariel Paiement is a speculative fiction author who focuses on writing fantasy and the occasional sci-fi. As a reader, she enjoys lots of styles and genres, though fantasy and science fiction are her favorites.

Her favorite pastime is indulging in wild flights of imagination for new fiction pieces and other works. If asked what she spends most of her time doing, she’d tell you that she spends most of it working and writing. Life gets to be hectic, but in her small amount of free time she enjoys part-time editing work as well as drawing and listening to audiobooks.

She is the author of several short fiction pieces and other works, including On The Narrow Way and Rith’s Disciple (both of which are published in Port and Key’s anthologies), Leap of Faith in Glimpses of Time and Magic: A Historical Fantasy AnthologyIn Darkness Lost, and the Legends of Alcardia series. For a full list of series and the suggested reading order, visit her series info page here.

Ariel was one of the contributing authors and one of two compilers for the anthology Glimpses of Time and Magic. To request review copies, you can contact her on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest or via email at arielpaiement@gmail.com. She’s pretty open to connecting with readers and other writers too! Reach out if you want to chat. Just be sure you introduce yourself. She deletes requests that seem weird or creepy. Saying something more than just hi would be nice.

To find the other authors involved in the anthology, visit the Amazon book page or look them up on Facebook and Goodreads! All of them love meeting new readers.


Purchase your copy of Glimpses of Time and Magic here: https://www.amazon.com/Glimpses-Time-Magic-Historical-Anthology-ebook/dp/B087LB2K53.


**Special Giveaway**

For those of you reading this and spending your time here, I’d like to say thank you! And to do that, I’m going to do a giveaway. I will be giving one commenter here an ebook copy of Bane of Ashkarith. Karen will choose the winner for that one, and I will deliver the winner’s copy of the book through Bookfunnel.

In addition, I will be picking two people who sign up for my newsletter (https://mailchi.mp/a58e2f58d98c/fantasynooknewsletter) and will award them a copy of their choice of any of the novels I have personally authored (anthologies are not something I can run giveaways for due to the nature of contracts and other details). To be entered into the random drawing for the newsletter winners, please sign up and then send me a screenshot of your signup confirmation with a note that you signed up by way of Karen’s blog. You can email those to arielpaiement@gmail.com. Please email them using the email you signed up with. I will close the giveaway two weeks after the spotlight on Karen’s Killer Book Bench goes live and will contact the two winners personally to confirm which book they would like.

Happy Reading!


Thanks, everyone, for sharing your anthology with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read these stories!

4 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Teen #YA #Historical #Fantasy #Anthology: GLIMPSES OF TIME AND MAGIC By Ariel Paiement ETAL”

  1. Although not my cuppa, I know so many people who will really enjoy this!
    Nice to meet you, Ariel and thank you, Karen.

  2. Good morning, Ariel and company, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. I love historical and I love magic, so this one is a no brainer for me. I love that all of the proceeds go to Feed My Starving Children. What a wonderful thing to do. You are all to be commended. Thanks for sharing your collection with us today!

  3. Good afternoon,
    This sounds like a fun anthology. I read a lot of YA books especially if they deal with magic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.