From Honey Wine By Brieanna Robertson

Uncle Sal had been living in Ireland at the time of his death, and being how
Autumn was his only family, he’d left everything he owned to her. She’d flown in
from the States to sort through his things and had instantly fallen in love with his
home. It was nothing short of a castle really. Gothic, medieval, historic—definitely
Uncle Sal. She’d had no idea what an aspiring restaurant owner was going to do
with a castle, but after giving it some thought, she realized she could turn it into a
unique bed-and-breakfast. There were definitely enough rooms, and it would
make for an awesome tourist attraction.

She had plans to make the whole thing historical, have all the employees dress up
in medieval garb, and treat all the guests like ladies and lords.

But before she could do any of that, she had to sort through Uncle Sal’s treasure
trove of bizarre possessions. She’d already found an entire collection of shrunken
heads, some sort of sick stuffed dog-thing that was supposed to be a chupacabra,
enough alien paraphernalia to make the CIA suspicious, and so many strange
books she didn’t know what to do with them all. She’d loved her uncle very much,
but going through his things was painful on more than one level.

Autumn threw the book she’d been perusing back into the to-go pile and stood up,
deciding to leave the books for a while. There were a billion other things she could
sort through. The books were giving her a headache. She started toward the far
side of the room, intent on removing the two lines of African tribal masks from the
wall. They were giving her the creeps.

She passed by her uncle’s desk on the way and paused. There was a framed
picture of the two of them when he had flown out for her college graduation. She
picked it up and studied it, tears gathering in her eyes. Uncle Sal had been the
only family she’d had after her parents had died in a car accident. He’d been
eccentric and zany, and even a little bit nutty sometimes, but he’d always
supported her in everything, and she had loved him tremendously. She felt his
absence like a gaping hole in her heart.

With a sigh, she set the picture back down and returned to the task at hand. She
removed most of the masks with little trouble, but the second-to-last mask had let
loose a cloud of dust that she inhaled as she tried to take down the last one. She
sneezed violently, causing her to drop the mask, which crashed down on top of
her head and sent her black, square-framed glasses skittering across the floor.

She sneezed three more times, rubbed the spot on her head where the mask had
conked her, and went to retrieve her glasses. As she bent to pick them up, she
noticed something extremely large lodged into a dark corner of the room. She
frowned, shoved her glasses back on, and looked over the discovery.

It had to be somewhere around six feet tall, maybe taller, and it was covered with a
large white sheet. Curious, she grabbed the end of the sheet and flipped it over
the object. More dust exploded into the air, which caused her to choke and
wheeze and stumble back in order to avoid it. She fanned at the cloud, and when
the dust finally settled, she sucked in a breath and blinked rapidly.
“Whoa,” she murmured.

It was an enormous stone statue of a man, but not just any ordinary man. This guy
was so detailed she almost expected him to start moving. He stood proud and
powerful, wearing something resembling a loincloth and nothing else. Every inch of
his body had been chiseled in muscular perfection, and his face was absolutely
breathtaking. The artist must have taken great care with it. It was nearly flawless in
its beauty. A strong jaw, full lips, straight nose, high cheekbones. He even had a
small cleft in his chin. His hair was carved in intricate, subtle waves that rested at
his shoulders, and from his shoulder blades were the two most amazing wings she
had ever seen. For a second, she thought maybe he was supposed to be a
rendition of some kind of angel, but upon closer inspection, she realized that the
wings weren’t typical.

Most angel statues tended to have very straightforward feathered wings, like
swans. These seemed to span out at a slightly lateral angle, and the feathers were
more wispy and intricate. They were graceful and elegant, like feathered flames.

Autumn shook her head, but couldn’t bring herself to look away from the
mesmerizing statue. The thing that intrigued her the most was the fact that he didn’
t even have a pedestal to stand on. He’d been created to stand on his own, like a
person, two feet firmly on the ground. She wondered how in the world it had lasted
this long without falling over. Maybe that’s why her uncle had kept it in the corner.

She blew out a long, slow whistle. “Man, aren’t you beautiful. Someone must have
really loved you to put so much detail into you.” She reached her hand out and
placed it on the sculpture’s forearm, running her fingers along the lines of muscle.
She smiled. “Too bad you’re made of stone, right?” She giggled, feeling silly in a
delightful kind of way. She rolled her eyes and leaned in like she was having a
conversation with the statue. “I know, I know. I’m a geek. No need to tell me what I
already realize. I didn’t stand a chance growing up with Uncle Sal.”

Just then, a loud knock sounded from downstairs and made Autumn jump. She let
go of the statue and frowned toward the door of the office, wondering who would
even know she was there.
A man who has been a statue for hundreds of years…

An ex-drug addict who was saved by a shapeshifter and given an
unknown future…

A woman who fights for the man with broken wings…

A man who frees a woman sent to help our planet regrow…

A woman who is shown what freedom means from a man who
blazes into her life like a comet…

And then, of course, there is the most extraordinary creature of

A Compilation of works from two authors, writing about
extraordinary creatures interacting with people who are lost...then
find themselves.
I am a great lover of the word smith Pat Conroy
and enjoy the depth of his vocabulary of
descriptions and visual venues in his books. In
so many ways, Brieanna's books take me to
the same space of being able to see what I am
reading in my mind. So descriptive and fills my
mind with other places. I have been an avid
voyager through books all my life and she has
opened up so many new worlds to explore and
enjoy in all of her books. This one ranks at the
top of the list though it is hard to truly pick one
as being better than the others. I recommend
any of her books very highly. ENJOY them all.
-Sherman G.
Book Reviews

Available in Print & e-book
May 2017

$13.95/ $4.99

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Extraordinary Creatures:
A Compilation of Short Stories about
Remarkable Beings

Brieanna Robertson &
Tex Leiko