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  • Writer's pictureRachael Clarke

New Year, New Novella

It's 2024! I hope you all had wonderful holiday seasons in whatever way you preferred to celebrate, or not celebrate. For me, I was just thankful to have two weeks of a break. My husband was off work (he's a teacher) and my kids were home, and we hung out and tried to do festive, fun things, whenever we weren't simply relaxing. It went by too fast.

So, with the new year comes a new book that I am releasing. It wasn't planned at all. It wasn't even on my radar until early December, when I decided to try out a fun new writing challenge. If any of you fine folks follow my social media, you would've already seen the challenge posted there, but for those of you that didn't, I'll give you a brief overview below (in Valentines pink).

On December 10th, 2023, I created a fun Valentine's Day themed writing challenge and posted a call for story prompts on my social media. I asked folks to submit a setting, a character, an item/object, an animal, and a secondary genre for me to mash-up with romance. The lucky winner was Johannah Simon, and she got to name the main characters, too. I wrote this tale using her prompt picks, which are as follows: setting = train station, character = archeologist, item = flask, animal = butterfly, and the secondary genre chosen was urban fantasy.

I set off on a frantic bout of writing and got a fun idea fairly quickly, which was nice. It became a short story as intended, and then just kept right on going. A short story wasn't enough. It needed more. There was more story... so I went with it and let the words flow. In the space of around 29 days of writing, my quirky urban fantasy tale ended up being a short novella.

It's called Two Idol Hearts and it was very fun to write. It has romance, some humorous banter and situations, definitely a dose of magic, and a cast of engaging characters. Here's the blurb:

Cleo is a hard-working, art loving, very non-magical police officer who hasn't been on a date in four years. While investigating a vandalism complaint at the train station, she meets Rask, a charming man who, unbeknownst to her, is both the leader of a magical preservation society and on the run from rival relic hunters.

When a railway foot-chase leads Cleo to a chance encounter with an ancient idol and an unexpected kiss from Rask, she is left with glowing hands she didn't ask for, nor wanted. As more magic bursts loose, romantic heat swells, quirky friends meddle, and rival thugs present a looming threat, Cleo's hopes of getting rid of the power and returning to her normal life hinge on not being Rask's soulmate.

But... should she hope for that?

I'm excited about this little novella, and I hope lovers of urban fantasy, magic, and romance will snag a copy for themselves... and of course, let me know how you liked it! And, maybe even leave a review if you can? *wink, wink*

I'll leave you with a little tidbit of insider information. This novella is set in a world I've already created, with a few minor tweaks/upgrades (which always happens as an idea unfolds, right?). I wrote a fantastical short story called Moldable, which you can read in Cloaked Press LLC's Fall into Fantasy 2024 Edition, and I had grand plans for the characters in that story. I created an entire world and magic system that I really liked and planned to build into a novel. This story and these characters are all based in that same world, and I might even write more novellas.

We shall see. ;) When you read Two Idol Hearts, why don't you let me know in the comments whether you'd like to read more stories about this crew of characters. Perhaps, each of their individual love stories as a series? Definitely give me your thoughts. I'd love to hear them.

In case you missed it, here's the link order my new novella Two Idol Hearts again:

You can also find all of my books, and the recently released deadly flora themed short story anthology, Spread at There are quality reading options for all ages.

Now, if you like the fun aspect of the writing prompt challenge that made this story happen, and you're a horror fan, you should check out Holly Rae Garcia's Facebook page here, as she runs similar challenges for the dark side of fiction (and she always produces excellent work!). She just released a collection of horrific short stories called Flesh Communion, check it out!

Lastly, stay tuned for more information about my upcoming debut full length sci-fi western novel Race to Novus which is releasing on April 5th, 2024 from Cloaked Press, LLC. Woot, woot!

Thanks for reading this little blog post, and also for reading my new novella if you choose to give it a look see. I hope you will, as it is a fun, fast, romantic, and even action packed read.

And with that, I'll stop yackin' your ear off. Until the next time, I shall bid you adieu.

Stay warm and happy reading.

Rachael Clarke

(a.k.a. R.A. Clarke)

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