Friday, March 6, 2015


Welcome to day 6 on our Author Appreciation Month, this will run from the 1st-15th March and each day will bring you a new author or two. Today we have with us author Krista MacBeath, she's sharing her book Kiss of Affliction with us. Three awesome books to add to your to-read list! ^_^

Kiss Of Affliction
By Krista MacBeath

There is a point in your life when you know you are ready for the next step. The anticipation and excitement that dwells in your gut knowing that this was it. For me, I was about to graduate. My last exam was written and I was ready to work all summer, get ready to go off to university, and start a new chapter in my life. I knew that I was becoming the person I wanted to be. The road was paved and ready for me.
I wasn't any different than any other normal high school grad. No family issues, I got along great with my parents, my brother and his best friend, and no love life to speak of. I was the picture of ordinary.
In one night, my life changed. I lost everything that I knew to be my foundation. And fell, hard. 

The only person I had left was Max, someone I always considered to be my other brother. He stayed with me. Through the first few heart wrenching days, he stayed close even through his own pain. He became my standing stone to see things that I was blind to. Because of him, I knew I had to climb out of something so deep, that no matter which way I decided to go, my future was fated to two realities. One, I had to do something to figure out who I, Violet, now was. And two, no matter which unmanned path I took, there was no avoiding that Max was forever going to be helping me on my way.
All that I know I can give in return is my shattered soul.


Author Bio

Krista MacBeath has always been a dreamer, thinking up stories from a young age. Inspiration came from everything and everyone around her. Growing up, Krista frequently found ways to explore her artistic side by writing poetry and painting. Art was her absolute favorite subject in school. Living outside of the proverbial box, she became an avid reader in her mid-twenties, after having two children and being home with them full time. Reading was the perfect outlet. Since then her e-reader is in hand every evening, and writing takes up most of her days. When not reading or writing she can be found with family and close friends, or entertaining her inner geek. She puts passion to paper with all her pieces, her novel 'Kiss Of Affliction' her best work yet.

Author Links

Click "See More" to read Chapter One...

Chapter 1

All apologies have been said. All comforts have been lost, on me. I am no one. No one ready to give an ounce of color to any taker who tries. Pitied looks are cast my way. I am in my best black dress, which is my only dress. I feel like all my blood has drained out the bottom of my feet. So, I sit with numbness as my only emotion. Frozen in this moment.

"You should eat something."

I faintly heard a voice over my clouded thoughts. There is a hand on my shoulder, but it doesn't register as me being touched. My body rejects any warmth coming from anything. All I can do is sit here, mechanically, looking out at the sea of black flowing by me.

I want to leave, I want to run far from here.

That distant voice is speaking to me again, I can barely make out what he is saying over the numbing noise echoing inside my head. Like static on a television, and there is nothing in me to fight it off.

Dragging my eyes up to the body now in front of me, I stopped on a concerned pair of eyes. Unusually dressed in a coordinating black suit, white dress shirt, and a deep red skinny tie. Kneeling down in front of me, I slowly registered Max’s presence. Realizing the warmth sliding down from my shoulder came from his hand still holding me there.

His voice soft, washed over me, "Vi? Can I get you some coffee or food?"

I've known Max since elementary school. It's a small town and it’s hard not to know everyone, even those you don’t want to know. Before grade four I had seen him around the school, the quiet kid who kept to himself. The first day of fourth grade he and my brother, Alex, were seated right behind me. They struck up a tight friendship, and everything naturally fell into place between them, and solidified a bond between us three.

Alex was supposed to go onto grade five that year, but failed. So he was held back a grade, my grade, and in my class. We were typical siblings as kids, but I always considered myself pretty lucky. Maybe that wasn’t so typical as a sister. Once we were teenagers, they always invited me to hang out with them. Looking back, I know that it wasn’t just that I was his sister, all three of us were friends. It seems like it was always just the three of us. I never felt the need to have best friends like the other girls my age. I could always count on them to be around, so I never tried to fit in anywhere. They were all I wanted.

Things changed in high school. We still hung out, but if the chance was there, they were hanging out with their group of friends. Max and Alex were the typical teenage guys. They enjoyed partying and driving around at all hours, with their music blocking out any form of logical thinking. I was always the kid sister. Not that this stopped them from trying to get me to go with them. I only took them up on their offer twice. They were super social, and I wasn’t. Fitting in with their friends didn’t come naturally to me, I’d much rather stay home to read and get lost in a fictional world. Max always stayed by my side though, he was like my adopted big brother. He and Alex would always be there for me, even if their protective big brother status was really annoying some times.

Max reminded me of Alex. Tall, broad across the shoulders, messy hair which makes the natural nonchalant style look pulled together. Always in jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers, never feeling the need to blend in with the high society types and typical athletes that Black River attracts.

My brother, Alex.

The blanket of darkness with the thought of his name started covering over me again. Retreating into myself is the only way I know how to get through this. If this Church were on fire I wouldn't be able to run, I am anchored here, paralyzed, unable to move. 

"Vi, you aren’t looking well, you’re really pale. Vi? You listening to me?" Max was speaking calmly, but I could hear the slightest thread of angst in his voice. That pulled my thoughts back to his face. Max doesn’t do panic, he has always been calm and collected.

“What are you talking about Max? I can barely move my body, I feel so…numb. Food is honestly the last thing I want."

“Maybe I should take you to the hospital to get checked out.” His hand moved from my shoulder to rub the back of his neck while his train of thought led him further down that rabbit hole.

I shot a glance to him, only allowing myself to feel one emotion at a time, and he read it on my face.

“You know I’m not going back there.” My tone more cold than I should ever allow towards him.

He stayed in front of me, rubbing my bare arms, trying to get my body to come back to life.

I sluggishly turned my eyes back to the room which was starting to slowly thin out. Refreshments have been had, condolences have been made, and they get to go back to their regular lives and schedules.

Max's warm hand rested once again on my shoulder while he stood and walked around to stand behind me. It was giving me the only warm sensation in my hollow body. I reached up and grabbed it, my cold fingers couldn't let go. I felt like the fog in the room, everybody was trying to look through me. Max didn't have to.

Soon the room was empty. The caterers were clearing the tables and trying hard not to look my way, like I was the plague. The sun was starting to shine through the basement windows of the reception room. I vaguely scanned the emptiness of the room and saw Pastor Cauley was making his way over to me. Dressed in his black suit, with his side swept white hair shining in the patch of sunlight coming through the stained glass window. The Pastor has known me since the day I was born, it was hard to see the look of concern on his face.

It took every bit of will in me to make my body do its duty, and stand. Once up, my knees started to be unresponsive, beginning to buckle, refusing the movement I was forcing.

Stubbornly, I wouldn't let them. This was my responsibility, and I couldn’t let my family down.

He cupped his warm hands around my ice cold ones with a gentleness that should have truly touched me. But, it is impossible for me to feel anything. Vacant, I looked at him.

He paused struggling for words, and gently sighed, his shoulders giving way to the emotions of the day.

His gentle dark eyes trying to read my soul, "Everything is done and I've looked after the burial arrangements. The hearse is on its way to the cemetery."

Pausing to collect his words, he gave me what he hoped were comforting words.

"This is certainly a tragedy. May God give you strength in this difficult time. The Church is always here for you Violet."

My knees, my knees are going to give out any minute. Max took a step from behind me and put his arm around my waist to give me the support my body and heart needed. The sobs leaching themselves out of my throat sounded unlike me, and surprised the catering staff. A coffee cup smashed to the floor making me jump.

Frantically I tried to focus on something to relieve me of my thoughts. My eyes landed on a coffee stain near my feet that the carpet provided. Any focus, anything was better than the topic of this conversation. I pleaded with myself for the tears brimming in my eyes to recede. I really don’t want to talk about this.

"Are you sure you can get home safely? Is there anybody staying with you tonight?" Pastor Cauley asked softly, his words saturated with anguish, his hands tightened in worry over mine.

Max cleared his throat, his voice cracking with his own sorrow, "I'm bringing her home and will be staying with her for as long as she needs."

Giving me a squeeze with his arm at my waist, I looked up from the carpet to really see Max for the first time in days. The twisted emotions haunting his face, reflecting my own. What strength he had was fading, he looked more tired than I had ever seen him. His face was set like stone, a feeling I understood. He was fighting for strength, and giving it all to me.

Natural instinct made me turn in to him taking my hands slowly from the priest’s, and wrapping them around Max. He knew, even if not in it’s entirety, how much I needed him. Only with him could I find myself, and he let me surrender to that dismal truth. Tears ran down my face staining his jacket and tie. The sobs returning, while I heard myself through gasps of air saying, “They’re gone.”

His arms held me up, resting his cheek on the top of my head. One hand rubbing my back in slight, smooth strokes. I could feel his sharp intakes of breath while he silently cried with me.

I knew at that point that I may have lost everything, my family, my best friend, my life, but I still had Max. A shred of something that once was.

Max spoke quietly with the pastor as I walked over to gather my coat and purse. A middle aged woman in her catering uniform was finishing up the last table with its dirty dishes.

“Thank you.” I said to her in a very hoarse voice. She smiled a tortured smile.

“You are welcome, and I’m so sorry for your loss.”

I gave her the slightest of a smile, everything I could pull to my face as a thank you. Then turned and put on my coat, and thought, ‘So am I’.

Walking out to the parking lot, the cool early summer’s breeze drugged some of my haze. Finally giving me a subtle break from my constant numbness.

I walked around the brick building, Max’s protective arm still around my waist.

The new black S.U.V. was the only vehicle sitting in the parking lot. Max’s father gave it to him as an early graduation present. His parents divorced a couple years after we became friends. They enjoy over compensating for their short comings in parenting by spoiling their only son.

The drive on the old country road was quiet. Neither one of us had anything to say. The quiet emptiness suited us. Nothing could be said that would make us feel any better. We live with our numbed disbelief that is the present, and completely possesses us.

The shadow of an old song lurked up the back of my mind. The more attention I gave it, the more it took over my thoughts until I was able to place what it was and where I had heard it.

The family would spend our summer vacation at Gram’s country home. It was a typical big country house with fields all around. Beautiful, natural, and to me, magical. She’d sing us an old song her Grandmother used to sing to her, usually while we walked around outside or picked vegetables from her garden.

A memory framed in my mind was of the last visit we made before she had a stroke and died shortly after. Alex and I were in the living room thinking we were professional pianists, banging on the out of tune piano, repeating each other’s musical patterns. Me in the high key, Alex in the low. It drove our parents crazy.

Dad would always say, “That hasn’t been tuned since Dad tuned it last.”

Around that time, Grampy would have been gone for a few years. I could remember the smell of his pipe, but I was too young to have really vivid memories of him.

I never knew if Dad was joking or not. I didn’t know what an out of tune key sounded like compared to a tuned one. The antique piano always sounded this way, and Alex and I were obviously pros.

Gram came in and asked us if we’d like to go for a walk out in the fields behind her house, which was full of wild daisies. The field stretched uphill until it met the horizon. The vast space was lined with trees and bushes giving many homes to many creatures. She hummed a tune while holding my hand, walking up the path to the skyline. The sun was golden on her white hair. As I looked up at her, she looked down at me with a gentle smile. I felt her squeeze my hand while never breaking her song. Then her gaze shifted up to Alex who was ahead of us trying to catch a grasshopper. It was a perfect moment. A moment of happiness capsuled in my mind.

Now she and Gramps are gone, Mom and Dad are gone, and Alex too. I am all that is left in our family.

I was staring out the window in a zombie state, completely buried in the memories. I’m constantly pulled back to this awful dream and I can’t wake myself up. The drive was so quiet that I kept going deeper and darker with the certainty of my fate. However long the drive, I only pulled back to consciousness when the gear shift was put in park, and the sound of the emergency brake being engaged between our seats broke it completely.


Thank you to Author Krista MacBeath for joining us today.

Don't forget to pop back in tomorrow for another amazing Indie Author. ^_^


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