Posts tagged “fantasy

Tides of Spring

Spring 3D CoverI am absolutely thrilled to announce the publication of Tides of Spring, the third instalment in the Echoes of the Past series.

Stalker and her pack eagerly await the reawakening of their powerful dragon ally, Unchained Lightning, while the city’s shifters speculate about the approach of war from the Furies, who encircle the city. Stalker faces even greater challenges as she juggles her human life and secret shifter existence. She must determine who her real enemies are and where she truly came from.

A deadly and personal attack on the Alpha’s human family shakes the Lightning Lords from their peaceful winter, and they are plunged into a desperate hunt for answers that leads them into the darkest pits of their territory’s history.

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Check out the opening chapters here for free.

Prologue

Jessica Carter

She pulled her long, blond hair back and tied it in a sloppy pony tail. Examining her face in the grubby mirror the Alpha observed her tanned and lined skin. Her lips were far thinner than they had been in her youth. Two teenage daughters, well, one now, and a lifetime of fighting were evident on her face. When she thought about it, maybe she was just unusual for a shifter and looked her actual age, rather than ten or more years younger.

With a snort of laughter, Jessica turned away and swept down the stairs and into the small room in the basement of the shop, where Spinner-of-Crystal was trying to calm the thrashing, frantic girl on the metal table.

‘Hold still,’ Jessica snapped. She climbed up on the table and wedged her knee against her daughter’s chest to pin her down. The girl would not stop bawling. You would have thought that being brought up around shifters she would have been prepared for the change, but Victoria had completely lost control; unlike her twin sister, Angela, who had handled the change like a pro and embraced her true nature. Victoria was just one big disappointment and always had been. But blood was blood and initiation into Megaira was mandatory for all Witches.

‘It will hurt less if you hold still,’ Spinner-of-Crystal whispered. Victoria’s eyes darted between the two women who were holding her down; gradually she relented and went limp. Jessica sneered as she pushed the needle through her daughter’s earlobe. Victoria winced and let out a whimper, but she held steady. Jessica was surprised, half impressed and half disappointed. If Victoria toughened up and came through for her she would be a credit to her; but that would leave her no one upon whom to take out her anger.

The worst was still to come, however, and Jessica carefully picked up the silver claw. It burned her fingers but she hardly noticed. Victoria’s eyes latched onto the small piece of jewellery as Jessica moved it slowly towards her ear and she began to thrash about again.

‘You will wear this with pride,’ Jessica said, her voice low and threatening. ‘You are one of us now, for better or worse and you will wear the mark of our kin and our Patron, Megaira.’

Jessica pressed the delicate silver claw against the girl’s ear while Spinner-of-Crystal held her face and shoulders still. Victoria shook violently as the silver burned her skin, and Jessica had to contend with the jerky movement. She sighed and bent lower, gripping her daughter’s ear and the claw more tightly. She pressed on, forcing the claw through the new piercing. It broke through the flesh and fresh blood spilled down her neck and into her hair. Victoria screamed and managed to wrench an arm free.

The Alpha released her grip on the girl. Spinner-of-Crystal followed her lead and Victoria leaped from the table and threw herself against the wall of the little room. She shrieked and tugged at her ear. ‘If you pull it out we will only have to put it back in again,’ Jessica drawled.

Victoria began to calm down as she got accustomed to the sensation. She pressed her back flat against the wall and took deep breaths. Jessica watched her carefully, she doubted the girl’s strength of will, but was seeing a hint of the girl’s sister in her now. She wasn’t going to hold her breath, the apparent calm could be fake or fleeting.

Jessica’s phone rang and she left the room with a backward glance and roll of her eyes. She glanced at the caller ID and stopped dead. She drew a deep breath before answering the call. ‘Your Grace.’

‘I hear congratulations are in order.’ The voice on the line was sombre.

‘Indeed, thank you, Your Grace,’ Jessica replied.

‘I hope this compensates somewhat for your loss.’

‘Thank you, it remains to be seen.’ The scorn in her voice couldn’t be hidden and her remark was met with awkward silence.

‘Well, are you nearly ready?’ the caller asked after a long pause.

‘I believe so,’ the Alpha replied with a slight tremor to her voice. An uncharacteristic lump rose in her throat and she coughed to clear it.

‘You had better be, I need you to settle this vendetta quickly so as not to interfere with my plans.’ The voice dripped with bitterness.

‘Of course, Your Grace. It will be dealt with swiftly and decisively.’

‘Good. I will know when it is done. If you succeed, the Blue Moon will finally be eradicated and their scourge ended. You will be rewarded.’

‘Thank you, Your Grace.’ Jessica allowed herself a small smile.

‘If you fail, however, you will feel the heat of my blade.’

‘Of course, Your Grace.’ The smile fell from her lips. The line went dead and Jessica slowly lowered her phone. She wouldn’t fail. She couldn’t fail.

She returned to the room to find her daughter sobbing in a heap on the floor, blood all over her face and in her hair. The silver claw lay in the middle of the floor. Jessica sighed and stooped to pick it up. ‘Put her back on the table,’ she ordered Spinner-of-Crystal. ‘Let’s start again.’

Chapter One

2nd February: Imbolc

Stalker-of-Night’s-Shadow

Stalker watched him sleeping. His breathing was deep and rhythmic and his eyelids fluttered softly. She leaned in and kissed him gently on the lips. His dark skin was hot and his neck and chest gleamed with sweat. He stirred slightly with her kiss and she slowly pulled away and slid to the edge of the bed. She felt the cool wooden floor against her feet. Her clothes were scattered all over his bedroom and she started to stand up to reach for her underwear when his hand caught her wrist.

‘Where are you going?’ he asked, sleepily.

‘I have to get back, we have preparations to make for tonight,’ she said, looking back at him.

First Strike pulled her roughly back onto the bed and into his arms. She giggled and played at struggling to get free.

‘No, you have to stay here with me.’

‘I thought you were asleep, I didn’t want to wake you.’

‘So you were going to sneak off while I slept?’ he said, his eyes wide with pretend shock. ‘What do you think I am?’

‘Oh, don’t go there,’ she scolded. ‘You might not like what you hear.’ They both pulled faces and First Strike wrestled his way on top of her amid laughter. Stalker let him pin her to the bed and enjoyed his kisses on her neck.

He slid over to one side and propped himself up on his elbow to look at her.

‘I’m crazy about you. You know that, right?’ he asked, staring at her intently.

Stalker felt heat in her cheeks and chewed on her bottom lip. A warning voice in her head reminded her that wolves mate for life.

‘Yeah, I do,’ she whispered, stroking his arm. ‘I have to go but I’ll see you tonight. It’s only a few hours.’

‘I have to walk you out,’ he said, sitting up and searching for his jeans.

‘There’s a taxi rank twenty yards from your front door,’ she said, a little resentment creeping into her voice.

‘Crimson is really strict about this stuff. I know you have that sneaky ability to suppress your trail, but it doesn’t bear thinking about if any of my pack pick up your scent without mine right beside it.’

He was right. Stalker sighed and quickly got herself dressed.

‘Does she know? I mean, has she smelled me on you already?’

‘Maybe. Probably. But she hasn’t mentioned it. What about your pack?’ he asked as he pulled on his clothes.

‘Weaver knows, she knew that very first night,’ she said with a grin.

‘Oh god,’ he groaned. ‘I’ll have to try and look her in the eye tonight. I wonder who will crack first.’

Stalker chuckled.

‘It won’t be that bad, besides, it will be crazy tonight. Everyone’s coming, you might not even see her.’

They left the house and walked slowly to the taxi rank holding hands. The shut shops and still houses on either side of the street were as grey as the slate clouds above. There was the faintest threat of snow in the air, hopefully the last snow of winter. Tonight would usher in the spring and signal the New Year for their kind. A chance for fresh starts. A single taxi sat in the rank, the driver glanced up at their arrival and put his newspaper aside.

‘I’ll see you tonight, then,’ First Strike said. He leaned in for a kiss and Stalker welcomed it. His breath was hot against the cool air and she sank into his kiss. She pulled away slowly and opened the taxi door.

‘See you tonight,’ she said with a smile.

She watched him out of the window as the taxi drove away, a small smile on his full lips. Stalker sighed and pulled out her phone to check for messages. She had a missed call and voicemail, from him.

She dropped her head back against the headrest and dialled in to listen.

‘Hi, how are you? I woke up feeling weird today. Spring is coming, change is in the air, I guess. Anyway, I thought of you and wondered if you were okay. I hope you will call me back, but totally understand if you don’t. It’s been weeks now and I haven’t heard from you. I just want to know you’re okay. I worry, you know? Anyway, I hope you’re okay and hope to hear from you soon. I… Bye.’

His last, unfinished sentence clung to Stalker’s thoughts as she hung up the phone and closed her eyes. Rhys’s messages were few and far between now, but each one brought renewed regret and sadness. She knew that First Strike was a rebound. Part of her wanted it to be more, but her thoughts always came back to Rhys. Caerton sped past, half asleep in the early morning stillness. Stalker gazed unseeing at the window as a solitary snowflake landed on the glass and instantly melted.

She arrived back at 32 Grove Street and found most of the pack busy in the living room, making their costumes for the festival. Fights-Eyes-Open was with his family for what had become his usual Saturday-family-day.

‘Dirty stop out!’ Weaver-of-Sky’s-Loom called, glancing up from her sewing.

Stalker laughed it off and made her way to the kitchen to get some breakfast. She peeked out into the garden. The glowing cocoon in the corner was getting brighter and throbbing more each day. Unchained Lightning was sure to hatch out of it soon, but what was he going to have changed into? It made her nervous; it made all of them nervous.

The house was becoming increasingly more homey and comfortable. A quiet winter since the destruction of the Plague Doctor had afforded them the chance to finish getting the garden fixed up and furnish the house with more than the basics. They had reupholstered the sofa, added lamps and stocked the kitchen with china and plenty of food. It was truly home now. Stalker still kept her flat, mainly as somewhere to meet First Strike, but also so that she still had something of her old life.

Stalker spent the day finishing off her outfit, and helping the others with theirs. They played music and ate together. Weaver made no more digs about Stalker’s escapades, and her thoughts drifted away from Rhys’s message. A brief flurry of snow caused a ripple of excitement, but didn’t amount to anything.

Eyes arrived at 6.30pm looking mildly flustered and nervous.

‘Why aren’t you ready?’ Wind Talker asked him.

‘I couldn’t change into my costume at home,’ Eyes replied. ‘What on earth would Chloe think of this?’ He held up his expensive, black suit and pulled his accessories out of a bag. He had platinum cufflinks and a tie pin emblazoned with glimmering lightning bolts. The finishing touches were silver spray in his hair and sunglasses with little blue lights all around the rims.

Soon, they were ready to set off, dressed in all their finery. Wind Talker had made himself a grey cloak with a huge, silver dragon printed on the back which bore an uncanny resemblance to Unchained Lightning. Weaver had threaded tiny, flashing blue and white LEDs into her hair and wore a black skinny t-shirt with a flashing lightning bolt and the words “Power, bitch” on the front . Claws-of-Lead was dressed in casual jeans and t-shirt, but had fitted white lights into the heels of his boots and wore dozens of glow sticks around his arms and neck.

Stalker had on huge black boots with silver lightning down the sides and flashing lights in the soles. She wore a long skirt with splits up the sides and a silver vest with glowing blue studs forming a power symbol. Her hair was growing out now and was just brushing her shoulders. She had dyed it bright blue and also threaded it with LEDs, like Weaver. She had her two dha strapped to her back and had added blue tassels to the hilts with little steel lightning bolts hanging off them. Like Claws, she also had glow sticks all up her arms and around her neck.

The Lightning Lords left 32 Grove Street and climbed into Eyes’ shiny new four-wheel drive. He had opted for something a bit more robust and practical when the insurance cheque for his luxury saloon had turned up.

The sun had set over the city, and orange street lights cast their eerie glow over everything. The morning’s dark clouds had cleared and the clear sky was pricked with stars. A waning gibbous moon shone over Caerton as the Lightning Lords sped through the bustling streets of St. Mark’s, into the almost deserted business district of Burnside and then out into Fenstoke.

It was a bizarre mix of old and new; bits of Fenstoke had their origins in an outlying village that had been absorbed into the city as it grew, while others were new developments. A college that had been built twenty years ago had a sprawling campus and there was a huge leisure development with the city’s biggest mall, as well as a multiplex cinema and over a dozen restaurants. They drove further out, almost to the city limits. Fenwick, the territory of the Witches, lay to the north, just out of sight beyond big, detached houses.

Stalker directed Eyes to the venue, Fenstoke Lodge, an eighteenth century mansion built of sandstone. It stood within vast grounds, high on a hill, overlooking the whole of Caerton. This was the seat of power of The Hand of God, First Strike’s pack. His house was back towards the city centre. Stalker had never been invited here with him; but had come two days previously for the final planning meeting with Odin’s Warriors. Tonight the mansion was floodlit and stood out against the black forest behind it.

Eyes pulled up in front of the house, at the end of a row of parked cars. Another car arrived right after them and parked alongside. Stalker glanced at it, it was an old hatchback that had been tinkered with and added to. It had blacked-out windows, a custom paint job and big spoiler on the back.

‘Everyone ready?’ Eyes asked. Apprehensive nods rippled around the car.

Next to them, five young men were piling out of the other car. They were all dressed in tracksuits, one was wearing a backwards cap. Several of them sneered at the Lightning Lords as they slowly stepped out of Eyes’ car, all done up to the nines.

Eyes held the pack back to let the others go ahead, which suited Stalker just fine.

‘Who were they?’ Weaver whispered once they were out of earshot.

‘At a guess,’ Stalker replied, ‘The Factory Boys, from Shalebrook.’

‘You’ve seen the whole guest list, haven’t you?’ Wind Talker asked as they made their way past the sweeping steps up to the entrance of the house and around the side.

‘I have,’ she replied with a wink.

Very large, very well-dressed men were positioned every few yards, indicating the path into the grounds that they were to follow, hired human bodyguards, there to keep humans away from the site. The Lightning Lords were led to the mouth of a cave, set in the side of the hill behind the house. Torches burned inside the cave, not just normal, yellow flames, but flames of red, green, blue and purple lit the way deep into the hill.

Eyes led the Lightning Lords quickly through the tunnel, which was wide enough for them to walk two abreast. Stalker felt the moment when they crossed the veil in between worlds, straight through with no choice in the matter. Her navel was wrenched and the world spun quickly around in a dizzying blur. She was used to the sensation and her feet landed solidly on the crystal floor.

In Hepethia, the hidden realm of shifter kind, the tunnel opened up into a vast cavern lit with more of the brightly coloured torches and a million sparkling fairy lights wrapped around the many crystalline stalactites that clung to the ceiling. All of Hepethia was made of these incredible crystal structures and the cavern shone in a rainbow of colours.

The cave was filled with shifters, approximately sixty altogether. They were assembled roughly by pack, each adorned with costumes representing their uniqueness, though there was some intermingling going on already.

There was a collective intake of breath at the sight and Stalker grinned at her pack mates, pride swelling in her chest.

‘Greetings,’ a deep voice said from just beside them. Stalker knew it at once and turned to give First Strike a warm smile. ‘Welcome to the Danegeld.’

~~~

I hope you enjoyed this taster. Buy your copy today on any of these retailers.

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Exclusive Deleted Scene!

coverI wanted to share this little snippet that didn’t make the final cut of Tides of Spring. It features a particularly horrifying demon that I was reluctant to do away with, but the scene added nothing to the story or characters, so it had to go. I hope you enjoy it.

~~~

Stalker and Wind Talker circled around to the back of the complex and found a single storey office building set into the wall. It had several small windows high up and Stalker jumped up to grasp the ledge of one of them with her fingers. She pulled herself up awkwardly and peered inside. The room was dark and still. She dropped back down with a slight crunch to the gravel and looked at Wind Talker. It would be simpler on her own, she could just shift into a flying animal and go over the wall. But she had to get Wind Talker in too.

‘Give me a boost up, I’ll get the window open and we can get in that way, it looks safe.’

Wind Talker agreed and Stalker placed her foot in his cupped hands. She grabbed hold of the window ledge and managed to gently prise open the window and slide it up. She deftly pulled herself up and through the window, her feet landing silently on the floor inside. She turned and reached her hand down for Wind Talker. He grasped it and scrambled his feet up the wall. His entrance was somewhat less graceful, but still virtually silent.

Stalker led him out of the office they had landed in and out into the hallway. It smelled strongly of fresh paint and the whole block seemed to be newly refurbished. Somewhere in the distance she heard an electric saw start up. They crept towards the door out of the block, which would lead out into the courtyard where the power equipment was located.

As she walked slowly along the hall she felt something wet drip onto her shoulder. Her hand darted to the wet spot, she expected to find wet paint but instead thick, red gloop came away on her hand. Her eyes darted to the ceiling above and there she saw, looking down at her with its head cocked to one side, a disgusting demon clinging to the ceiling. It was roughly humanoid, but it was flayed and instead of hands and feet, it had bits of machinery roughly sewn onto stumps of limbs. ‘Out, now!’ she yelled to Wind Talker and they backed up along the hallway.

The demon dropped to the floor and scuttled after them on all fours, snapping its pointed metal teeth. It launched itself at Stalker and an electric saw for its right hand fired to life. It managed to slice into her arm and she screamed in pain.

Wind Talker bounded out from behind her, in his Agrius form, half man, half bear and terrifying. He snarled and attacked the demon, driving his claws into its chest. The creature shoved him back and twisted away from him, climbing back up the wall out of his reach and hissed at him, spitting blood and pus down on both of them.

Stalker drew one of her swords and leaped up to stab it, catching its leg before it darted out of reach. She turned and ran for the nearest office, Wind Talker hot on her heels. Once they were both inside, Stalker slammed the door shut and glanced around the room. There was nothing in it except plastic sheeting on the floor.

The door started to vibrate and the whirring saw began to slice through it. Stalker leaped away from the door and ran for the window, she dove straight through it, shattering the glass and flew through the air, with splinters of glass flying around her. She fell a few feet and then floated gracefully to the floor, with the aid of her special talisman and landed with a slight crunch on the broken glass.

Wind Talker came flying out after her and landed with a heavy thud just behind her. Stalker looked up at the window and saw the demon leaning out of it, snapping its teeth and hissing at them.

The rest of the pack came running around the corner to find them, their faces filled with panic.

‘So much for a stealthy recon mission,’ Stalker said, brushing broken glass from her clothes. She had small cuts all over her hands and arms from jumping through the window but they were already healing. Wind Talker shifted back into his human form and glanced up at the window. The demon showed no signs of following them.

~~~

If you were intrigued by this morsel, then be sure to pick up the finished version on 17th October on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks and Smashwords.

If you’re new to the series, then get your free copy of the first book here.

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Happy Launch Day!

Image via Creative Commons

Image via Creative Commons

In case you missed it, yesterday was the launch of my second book, Ghosts of Winter! It’s out there now, for anyone with a Kindle or Kindle App to read. A print edition will follow shortly, and I will update readers on here and social media when it’s available. Happy reading.


Book Tour For the Digital Age

smart-booksIf these were the “good old days” of publishing, then assuming I had managed to secure a publishing contract, I would be about to embark on a book tour of book shops around the country to promote my new book, Ghosts of Winter. However, the industry has changed radically, though the traditional publishers are largely stuffing their fingers in their ears and ignoring this. There has been a paradigm shift, it is now authors that hold all the cards, and the former gatekeepers to literature are floundering.

Given that I am a self-publishing author in the digital age, I won’t be doing a physical book tour. But I thought it might be nice to recreate elements of one online. So in the coming weeks I’ll be posting excerpts from Ghosts of Winter here, like doing readings in person to a gathered crowd.

Given that this is book two of a series, I have tried to find a short excerpt that does not contain significant spoilers, and would like to remind readers that the first book in the series, Seeds of Autumn is available here. This section comes near the start of the book, and demonstrates some of the supernatural elements and the raw beauty of the world of shifters, Hepethia.

The pack set off at a run, heading south to the spot where the lightning had struck. The air was still buzzing with static when they got there, there were tiny ripples coming off a mound of pure crystal. It gleamed silvery blue in the late afternoon light and the sides jutted up from the smooth ground to form a wall over six feet high. The afternoon was drawing late and the tumultuous sky overheard was darkening, the storm was abating, the Lord having tired himself in the fight, but the rain persisted.

Stalker approached the mound and clucked her tongue in thought.

‘I guess we need to get inside,’ she said quietly. Weaver came up beside her and placed a hand on the crystal. Stalker copied her and felt the cool, hard surface against her palm. She pressed hard against it and felt a little give. She glanced at Weaver, who looked surprised and quickly retracted her hand. Stalker persisted and felt the crystal softening and warming. She watched in wonder as it slowly melted away from her palm and a small opening appeared. It wasn’t a mound at all, it was an impact crater. She looked around at the others, unable to hide her excitement and beamed at them. Eyes watched carefully, a small smile playing on his lips. Wind Talker frowned, caution written on his broad face.

Stalker took a step into the opening and stopped short, her gaze settling on the snake-like elemental curled up and glowing bright blue-white. It was about six feet long and the light radiating from it rippled along the supple body. It had huge chains shackled around it and rooted into the crystal floor.

‘That must be him,’ she whispered, looking over her shoulder at Wind Talker for confirmation. He peered around her and gave a single nod of his head and the four of them filed carefully in through the doorway and stood and watched the elemental for a minute.

Eventually he raised his head and looked at them with lamp-like eyes, obviously not surprised to see them, he must have been aware of them before.

‘Hello.’ The fae’s voice was little more than a crackle of electricity, but the one word somehow came through clearly.

‘Hello,’ Wind Talker replied and took a few steps closer. ‘Bound-and-Chained-Lightning, are you all right?’

Stalker was taken aback by the concern in Wind Talker’s voice and she smiled to herself.

‘Who? Me?’ The elemental lifted himself up more, looking at Wind Talker with wide eyes the colour of a tropical sea. ‘I don’t know. Am I?’

Wind Talker glanced back over his shoulder and gave a shrug to Eyes, clearly unsure how to proceed. Eyes moved up to stand next to him and looked thoughtfully at the elemental.

‘Do you know what you are?’ Eyes asked him.

‘Lightning?’ the elemental asked in a childlike voice. ‘Electricity?’

He seemed to be confused. Stalker and Weaver moved closer. Stalker felt so sorry for him, he was caught in a confusing limbo state between the two forces that made him, with powers pulling him in two directions at once. She could relate.

‘Can you tell me what I am?’ he asked, his eyes almost seemed sad. He was hard to read.

‘Power,’ Stalker replied without thinking, looking into his deep blue eyes.

There was a sudden shimmer from the elemental, he shook all over and flexed from nose to tail. Everyone jumped back as sparks flew off him and scattered across the floor. He flared up bright white, filling the whole crystal cage with blinding light and Stalker covered her eyes and turned away.

The light dulled and she looked back at him. He had grown; his chains had tightened around him but were still intact.

‘Thank you,’ he said, his voice suddenly older and with more of a crackle to it. ‘Things feel clearer now.’

Stalker grinned from ear to ear and looked back at her pack. They were smiling too.

‘We’re a new pack and need an ally. Are you willing to support us in establishing ourselves?’ Eyes asked, stepping forward and speaking kindly but with an edge of authority.

‘Yes. If you will free me,’ the elemental replied.

‘Consider it done,’ Eyes said with a firm nod.

Stalker looked around at the crystalline cage and the chains that bound this beautiful fae to the ground. It was raw Hepethia, alien and incredible. Making one small hole in the wall had taken a great deal of focus and mental energy, to break Bound-and-Chained-Lightning free would be a massive effort. She grasped Weaver’s hand and they exchanged determined glances.

‘We’ll need to all work together,’ she said quietly.

‘Can we change this?’ Eyes asked, raising a sceptical eyebrow.

‘I think so,’ Stalker replied, trying to keep the doubt from her voice. She focused her thoughts on breaking the crystal chains that snaked around Bound-and-Chained-Lightning, willing the fae to be free from its bonds. The chains began to shimmer and shake and the fae within them flexed. A crackle of electricity issued from it and it suddenly glowed brighter. Stalker was distracted for a moment, in awe of the beauty of the fae before them, but she quickly refocused. The chains were trembling and clinking slightly, making strangely melodic sounds.

She felt Weaver’s hand tighten on hers and a smile burst onto her lips; they were doing it. The chains began to creak and strain and suddenly a single link snapped, splintering into two pieces that scattered across the smooth floor. Another quickly followed and the fae rapidly expanded, free to move more than it ever had. With one last flex, the remaining chains snapped and Stalker reflexively shielded her face as the small pieces went flying in all directions.

Bound-and-Chained-Lightning soared into the air and seemed to explode into a thousand stars, scattering tiny sparks over the shifters below. Stalker squinted, shielding her eyes with her hand as she tried to watch the fae. The explosive flare died down and in place of the snake was a beautiful silver dragon flying in a figure of eight above them. He was a wingless, Chinese dragon, all rippling muscles and a bobbing head. He flickered constantly, like lightning behind clouds. Stalker drew a slow breath and looked around at the others.

‘He’s beautiful,’ Weaver whispered.

‘His name has changed,’ Wind Talker said, his voice full of wonder. ‘Unchained Lightning,’ he added slowly.

‘I love it,’ Stalker said, a bright smile lighting her face.

‘Unchained Lightning,’ Eyes called out. The fae stopped circling and looked down at them. ‘Will you honour our agreement and help us?’

‘The honour is mine,’ the fae replied, and he landed in front of them with a soft thud.

‘Excellent,’ Eyes said. ‘Then let’s begin.’

 


Cover Reveal!

I am absolutely delighted to reveal the cover for Ghosts of Winter, designed by the wonderful Nathalia Suellen.

The book will be going on sale on Kindle on Monday 24th November.

cover

Deep within the city of Caerton, shape shifters hide in the guise of humans, secretly fighting to protect them from the unimaginable demons that threaten their world.

Caerton’s newest shifter, Stalker, faces an uncertain future; as her pack struggles to cope with their devastating loss, dark forces begin to mass in the shadows. Tensions with the Witches continue to threaten the north, while the young shifters desperately strive to determine which of the city’s elders they can trust.

As an ancient and deadly evil emerges from beneath the city, Stalker and her new pack face a frantic race against the changing face of the moon. Can their demonic enemy be defeated? Heroes will rise in this, the second thrilling instalment of the Echoes of the Past series, where creatures from our darkest nightmares stalk our world…