Christie M. Stenzel
Multiple award-winning independent author Christie M. Stenzel has published five books thus far, with another nearing publication in the near future. Writing and reading are her passions and she primarily writes fantasy stories with an emphasis on the supernatural. As she has diverse interests, she has also written a suspense/thriller short story and plans future books in other genres as well. She holds multiple degrees, her current “day job” is as an ultrasound technologist, and in her spare time enjoys physical activities like yoga, running and weight lifting
Have you ever received shocking news that turned your life upside down?
Would you love to have magical powers based upon the color of your eyes?
Imagine the shock of being eighteen year old Remy Verbetta and finding out that you are not only not “human”, but also are not from this “world”. Remy’s life is turned upside down when she suddenly finds out her entire life has been a lie. Another “world” is living and breathing along-side our own, a kind of alternate dimension. On her eighteenth birthday, Remy finds out that she is not “human”, but rather a member of an ancient and almost extinct race called the Occuli. Each Occuli has different magical powers based solely their eye color.
A multiple award-winning supernatural, fantasy novel, The Grey Eyed Storm: The Occuli, Book One, follows Remy on a journey of self-discovery, magic, mystery, romance and betrayal, as she tries to figure out a way to not only survive, but find a way back to her true home and save the Occuli from extinction!
The night of my eighteenth birthday, I also began sleep walking yet again. This time, I couldn’t find a way to joke about it or even rationalize it. Who sleep walks to their own mother’s grave? Mama’s grave was decorated, which was strange unless dad traveled all the way back here. I wasn’t even sure how I walked all the way here in pajamas in the middle of the night. My stomach turned and I ran from my mother’s grave and lost the small piece of birthday cake I had consumed. Violets, all over Mama’s grave. Why not, jasmine, I wondered? They were her favorite. Why did they have to be the flower I saw in my vision? I heard a ringing noise and it roused me from my queries; it was my cell phone. Had I jammed it in my pocket before I left?
“Rubes,” I said, not even looking at the caller ID.
“I am so glad you answered! What the hell happened?” she demanded.
I felt dazed and my stomach began to turn again.
“What?” I asked slowly, my voice sounding tight and far away.
“Where are you?”
I closed my eyes and I let the crystal tears fall. Dad said Mama began to act unusual around her eighteenth birthday and he had joked that I would adhere to the family curse. He couldn’t be more right. I was a crazy person too.
“I’m at my mother’s grave,” I squeaked.
“How did you make it all the way there?!” she demanded fearfully.
“I don’t know! I just….”I sobbed.
Twigs and branches cracked behind me and I felt another wave of nausea wash over me. I smelled a foul odor and I saw the trees wiggling as if something or someone was advancing.
“There’s somebody here…” I whispered.
“I’m coming! Don’t worry. I’m running out the door right now, okay? Just hang tight, love.” I could hear a thrashing around and I knew Ruby was grabbing her purse and keys and fumbling out the door.
I heard a low growl, then I saw a pair of yellow eyes, and the pungent odor became stronger, nauseatingly so. “Ruby, hurry!”
I backed up towards my mother’s grave, accidentally crushing the violets beneath my bare, bloody feet. What had I done? Had I crawled here? My hands and feet were gashed open and gushing blood. I was covered in mud and leaves, head to toe. I began to cry harder from confusion and fear. What kind of person sleep walks miles in the middle of the night and awakens to find themselves bloody and dirty in front of their own mother’s grave? I waited for Ruby as I watched the yellow eyes watching me. Seconds passed by with my heart thumping so loudly I felt it was audible as it resounded in my own ears.
“I’m driving like ninety sweetie, just relax!!”
“I’m serious, there’s something here and it’s watching me-“
The next sentence died in my throat before I could even utter it. The yellow eyes shifted and were somehow much higher in the trees, as if whatever was watching me was initially crouched down and was now fully standing up. The sound of tires squealing alerted me to Ruby’s Ford Ranger pulling up.
“How did you get here so quickly?” I mumbled.
“Zias!” she screamed into the forest as she jumped out of the truck. I looked at her, eyes wide. She stomped forward angrily. “Zias! Dammit! You’re scaring her half to death! Get out here now!”
Ruby then whirled around to face me.
“Happy 18th, sweets! You’re now worthy of some to die for secrets….”
Other Books In The Occulti Series
Thank you, Christie, for sharing with my readers here on our blog today, it was such a pleasure to have you! Best wishes for you and your wonderful series and hopefully, many more books to come. -Carol & Tom