Posted in Reading

BOWS Purple Team Stop


I’m participating in the Book Owl Word Search (BOWS) this spring and I’m part
of the PURPLE team. To find out more about the Word Search and how to
play, visit this site.

See if you can find my secret word and continue the search to the other
authors on my team and find their words as well.

Bonus Content

My BOWS book is Fangs & Fins, the first book in my YA urban fantasy vampire/mermaid/fairy series. However, the fifth and final book of the series is coming out in just a few weeks! (Snag the complete box set here.) Since I’ve been working on the series on and off since 2017, it’s bittersweet to be wrapping it up and to say goodbye to these characters, but I’m so glad I was able to follow through with their journeys until the end.

Though it was quite different from the girls’ house in my series, I used to live in a home that bordered a woods. We didn’t own the wooded property, but the idea of them being forbidden made them seem all the more magical to me growing up. That was the inspiration for the woods behind Ember, Ivy, and Autumn’s shared house that play an important role in them becoming champions of blood, bloom, and water. A fairy prince has a cabin in those woods, and he’s just waiting for the right girls to wander through the darkness to claim their magic powers.

I’m not much of a poet, but I wrote a poem about those real-life woods when I was in college. My bonus material is the poem about those woods that helped inspire these books.

Ticks in There
Amy McNulty

There are ticks in there, you know.

Each morning, to lay eyes upon a place that is forbidden.
Treading the freshly-mown path on its enticing borders.
“Dad, what’s that?”
“Salt. For the deer.”
A realm where salt cube-licking deer run amok.

Each morning, to lay eyes upon a place that is forbidden.
“It’s not really ours.”
“But you’ve been in there.”
“Yes, but… There are ticks in there, you know.”
The melodramatic expression thaws into a smile.
“Though there is something wonderful in there. If you’re up to it…”

Each morning, to lay eyes upon a place that is forbidden.
Preparation. Operation.
Decked out in covert mission survival gear, head-to-toe:
knee-high galoshes - crummy jeans - oversized gardening gloves - tacky red sweatshirt (hood string fastened tightly in a knot)
heavy-duty bug spray: la pièce de résistance
There are ticks in there, you know.

Each morning, to lay eyes upon a place that is forbidden.
Crossing the outlawed boundary, the first step to signify a journey begun
Goes unnoticed when followed rapidly by second, third, and fourth.
This is a covert mission – we can’t be caught.
Acceleration. Demoralization.

Uneven ground, forbidden, muddy shoes, forbidden, movement beyond the trees.
Crackle of fallen leaves beneath our feet. 
Perspiration. Muted breath.

Darkness, forbidden, alien territory, forbidden, loss of orientation. 
Branches snapping at my back, retribution for encroachment.
The owners. The deer. The ticks.
No way out.

Each morning, to lay eyes upon a place that is forbidden.
The hand that squeezes mine, pulling me through the consternation.
Recollection of the once-coveted labyrinth.
Deceleration. Appreciation.

I perceive the sun through a lattice of branches, roof of never-ending treetops. 
Reflections of the light sparkling on pristine ground, faeries dancing in the darkness.
Each direction its own portrait: vibrant canvasses freshly painted.
Each tree gargantuan splendor, leaves a fusion: green, red, orange.
Each rustle sprouts life: hyperactive squirrel, inquisitive rabbit, bird glaring from above.

The hand that squeezes mine, leading me forward through the labyrinth.
The final push of branch, small clearing amidst the density.

Each morning, to lay eyes upon a place that is forbidden.
Faultless ring of stone upon the clearing, unscathed mineral immobile.
“This is a campsite. Go ahead, look closer.”
Shuffling softly, hands outstretched, final secret of the lair.
Edging closer, ever closer…. 
There are ticks in there, you know.
“Go ahead, it’s okay.”

To join a hallowed circle, to replicate mind’s eye.
Veiled faeries in motion, fire roaring, graceful songs of celebration.
Dancing, all together, and the fire extends its tower to the night sky.

Harmonization... Commemoration...

Each morning, to lay eyes upon a place that is forbidden.
Reality ensues, the passage of years blended into memory.
A house on each side, sprouted from progression. 
Covertness impossible.
Still not ours, but no longer theirs.
A new theirs, complete with “No Trespassing” tacked onto a helpless tree on its borders.
Each morning, to lay eyes upon a place that is forbidden.
But the magic has died, anyway—
Faded with dancing faeries, 
Tamers of terrifying salt-licking deer.
The once faithfully-groomed path on its borders, ailing under weed infestation.
Torn asunder, the hand’s no longer there to guide me.
Deception... Devastation...

Besides, if there’s one thing to believe in, there are ticks in there, you know.

Copyright © 2004 Amy McNulty 
All rights reserved.

My secret word is vampire. Ready to visit the next author’s site? Continue BOWS at Ben Gartner’s site here.

Before you go, enter my own Rafflecopter giveaway! To help out small businesses, I’m offering a $25 gift card to the indie bookstore of your choice! (Chain stores like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, etc. do not count.) Chosen bookstore must offer online purchase of gift cards. No store is sponsoring or affiliated with this giveaway. If there are no indie bookstores you can think of, I can suggest one.

Enter the giveaway here! (GIVEAWAY IS OVER!)


Author of YA speculative fiction and cozy paranormal mysteries.


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