Season 3 of Love & Decay!!!!!!

It’s here!!! AND the cover is GORGEOUS (as usual!)!!! This is the ONLY novella series I read, and I am surprised I read it…

there are zombies involved

and blood

and gore

and so much angsty survivor stuff it’s insane!
Regan and CO. are amazing, and the start of this season comes out with a BANG!!! (Pun intended)

Seriously.

I could NOT put it down!

Go get it (and if you haven’t read any of it before the very first 6 episodes are free!!! Links to follow!

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1x928Iw

B&N: http://bit.ly/1yH6Rla

Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/501120

iBooks is not available yet…but as soon as it is we will send it out!

 

Season Three, Episode One Blurb:

Zombies- as if that wasn’t enough to ruin any girl’s dream of a happily ever after.

It’s been six months since Reagan Willow fled the Colony and Matthias Allen’s tyrannical clutches. Six months since she broke Hendrix Parker’s heart. Six months since she watched Kane Allen sacrifice his life to save hers.
Whatever was left of her already-tattered life during the Zombie Apocalypse fell apart six months ago. Now, on the cusp of crossing the Mexican border, there is hope that she might lead her friends to a better existence.

Except Zombies are only the beginning of their problems. Reagan and her friends must battle the elements, armies of Feeders and bounty hunters desperate to drag them back to the Colony to face their greatest threat.

The Colony’s power stretches wide and far. Their only hope is to outrun Matthias and get to Mexico.

Love and Decay, Episode One is the first episode in Season Three of a novella series in a Dystopian Romance about Zombies, the end of the world and finding someone to share it with.

This story takes place over multiple episodes, with a release date every two weeks. Approximately 20,000 words.

 

Giveaway

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Haven’t started the Love & Decay Series Yet?  Season One Episodes 1-6 is Free!

Free on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1sgIZTH

Free on B&N: http://bit.ly/1AlLItP

Free on iBooks: http://bit.ly/1sgJjBT

Free on Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1yEoEo4

 

Zombies- as if that wasn’t enough to ruin any girl’s dream of a happily ever after.

A vaccination gone oh so wrong and a huge portion of the world’s population was turned into Zombies. Reagan Willow is forced out of her home when her parents become casualties of the horrid Zombie Apocalypse. With the help of her best friend Haley, they’ve become somewhat of experts on surviving the dangers of a world thrust into chaos and decay.

Reagan and Haley are on a vague mission to find somewhere safe to live out the remainders of their terrifying life when they stumble upon the Parkers, a pack of brothers that seem to have the survival thing down in a much more efficient and successful way than Reagan could ever have imagined. They are also protecting their eight year old sister, Page, and will do anything to keep her safe.

The brothers decide that Reagan and Haley need help with being kept safe as well, and as a group they set off to find the Zombie-free utopia Reagan is dreaming of.

Zombies are a daily problem, constantly threatening the lives of their group, but they’re not the only peril on the journey ahead. Militia groups of power hungry men are also a constant concern. And settlements of paranoid, suspicious people turn out to be just as hazardous.

Danger looms over every inch of the way, but Reagan, Haley and the Parkers are determined to get to their goal and remain together. Soon the Parkers become more to Reagan than just traveling companions and more than friendship starts to develop between her and Hendrix, the second oldest brother.

But at the end of the world, nothing can be as simple as life and death. Now, Reagan is going to have to schedule falling in love between hunting and surviving. Hopefully she can last long enough to find out if true love can still exist when everything else has started to fall apart.

Love and Decay, Volume One, is a compilation of the first six episodes in a twelve episode season. It is a Dystopian Romance Novella Series about Zombies, the end of the world and finding someone to share it with.

This story takes place over multiple episodes, with a release date every two weeks. Each episode is approximately 20,000 words.

About Rachel Higginson 

Website     Facebook    Twitter

Rachel Higginson is the creator of The Star-Crossed Series, Love & Decay Novella Series, The Starbright Series, The Siren Series, Bet on Us and the soon to be released, The Five Stages of Falling in Love! She is also the co-creator of the podcast “Zach & Rachel Take Over the World.”

She was born and raised in Nebraska, and spent her college years traveling the world. She fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka, but came back home to marry her high school sweetheart. Now she spends her days raising four amazing kids. In the few spare moments she has to herself, she is either reading for hours on end or writing her own stories.

Henge

candance_blog_tour_banner_HENGE
Henge by Realm Lovejoy is a YA Fantasy that is a modern spin-off of the Arthurian legends featuring Morgan Le Fay as the protagonist. This tour will consist of reviews, interviews & guest posts. Check out the full schedule for more information.

My Review

I am SUCH a sucker for a good paranormal series. Seriously, ever since Harry Potter I cannot get enough of magic in almost all forms and Henge is promising to be a series I will most definitely follow! This reviewer described it perfectly:

“Camelot meets Hogwarts meets Panem in this intriguing, well-written

beginning to a planned YA series.”–Kirkus Reviews

Morgan’s Dream is to became the Maven, right hand to the King. Not only is it her dream, she has actually had visions of this happening…albeit, not so clear visions. So she takes it upon herself to enter into a competition for magic users to start her journey to her dream job. Only, she is not the best there. Oh, she’s the best fire user, but a certain water user is phenomenal at what he can do!

He’s not bad to look at either.

Unfortunately, he may be trying to get rid of Morgan, and if it isn’t him, it’s someone else.

Dum dum dum….

I love that this book has mystery, suspense, magic, and yep…

You guessed it…

a strong and STUBBORN heroin.

Her adventures and her will to win make this book so exciting and I just canNOT wait for the next one! Go get it! You won’t regret it! AND! AND! Enter the giveaway below!


HENGE CoverAbout the book:

Modern-day Camelot. Where knights no longer carry swords. Magic is dangerous. And those who seek control are not to be trusted.

Sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is a fire user. An ordinary girl with an extraordinary skill, she has the ability to create and command fire at will. Her dream is to become the Maven—the right hand of the future King Arthur. In the chance of a lifetime, Morgan is selected to join Arthur’s Round, an elite group of young magic users from which the new Maven will be chosen.

Along with the other fire, water, and wind users in Arthur’s Round, Morgan is rigorously trained and tested. The handsome Merlin, a brilliant water user, takes a particular interest in her. Is his friendship to be trusted, or is Merlin simply trying to win the position of Maven for himself? Among the many rivals Morgan faces is the current Maven, Mordred, who seems determined to see her fail.

But Morgan has a secret—years ago, her mother was executed for using fire magic, and Morgan’s desire for justice makes her more than ready to take on the challenge before her. Can she prevail in Camelot’s tests of survival and magic? Only time—and Morgan’s powerful fire—will tell.

Realm Lovejoy’s modern Arthurian series features one of literature’s most complicated and powerful female figures. Henge is the first book in the LE FAY series, and—like Morgan le Fay’s magic—it is sure to dazzle and amaze.

About the Author:

Realm Lovejoy is an American writer and an artist. She grew up in both Washington State and the Japanese Alps of Nagano, Japan. Currently, she lives in Seattle and works as an artist in the video game industry. CLAN is her first book. You can find out more about her and her book at www.realmlovejoy.com

Find the Author:
Webpage | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Tumblr








Giveaway:
signed paperback of Henge + swag (US)
4 paperbacks of Henge (US)
6 ebooks (INT)
1 ebook + $20 Gift Card (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Chosen Release!

Chosen (Daughters of
the Sea #3) by Kristen Day

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/content_link/oLR97LwfLtV2ZWTiFBFgkINQJQevvfuWa8hCr773UBt92xtq1tGSFtBjJKMj8k3r

RELEASE DAY BLITZ

Purchase on
Amazon:
http://amzn.to/1ubmzh4

Purchase on
Smashwords:

http://www.smashwo
rds.com/books/view/460369

The essence of who we are lies not in what we have,but in what we are willing to give up. Because in the end, Time and Tide wait for no one.

After sacrificing all that she had, the evil princess of the Underworld is still successful in her bid to tear Finn from Stasia’s life. In the midst of her search to reclaim him, Stasia is summoned to the island nation of Cyprus to take part in an age-old ritual; unveiling the missing pieces of her ancestry and re-igniting an ancient war. As she struggles to both save Finn’s soul and free
Carmen’s mind, Stasia’s bravery and determination will be pushed to its breaking point. A dark storm is forming on the horizon, and the forces who are vying to destroy her may be much closer than she thinks. Destiny weaves a sticky web of evil, betrayal, and revenge that can only be undone by the purity of love and the soul’s unyielding will to survive. In the last installment of the Daughters of the Sea trilogy,the past will collide with the present as Stasia’s future hangs in the balance. The prophecy that paved the way for her new life may indeed be the very thing that strips her of the ones she loves the most.

Haven’t started the Daughters of the Sea series yet? Start it off with Forsaken!

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/content_link/s8wwjlSEYmK12jkccSazC7ohylAlNy7OpjOR6H4tbYz5h3VZEHLjzy7PrY6SSfPS

Once you’ve
been touched by darkness, it never leaves you…

Abandoned by
her parents as an infant; seventeen year old Hannah spent her childhood wading through countless foster families until being adopted by the Whitmans three years ago. Unfortunately, Atlanta’s high society wasn’t quite ready for Hannah…or the strange events that plague her

Chilling visions of murder, unexplained hallucinations, and a dark, mysterious guy who haunts her nightmares all culminate to set in motion a journey of self-discovery that will challenge everything she’s ever believed; not to mention her sanity.

Sent to live
at The House of Lorelei on Bald Head Island, NC for ‘kids like her’, Hannah quickly realizes things are not what they seem. Her fellow ‘disturbed’ teens are actually the descendants of mythical Sea Gods and Goddesses. And so is she.

But when Finn, the ghost from her dreams, appears in the flesh; her nightmares become reality and her dark visions begin coming true. Inexplicably drawn to him, she can’t deny the dangerous hold he has on her heart. The deadly secrets he harbors will ultimately test her courage and push the boundaries of her love.

She must decide if she is ready to embrace the ancient legend she is prophesized to be a part of. The fate of all the descendants will forever depend upon it.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/content_link/MFuYxfxuurdLncyFbRuBijzaJbrQGUJExiNB0nTjlTAEmNt4iHl9hLd9T3yFX7QH

Purchase on Amazon: http://bit.ly/ForsakenRDB< /p>

Purchase on Smashwords: http://bit.ly/XziTwd

About Kristen Day

Website / Facebook
/ Twitter

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/content_link/NF6IPeCkrITegXJHplDkH0V2xsWVQrX6mL28XFCiVt3OKTBvrW1xeJiVbJeRn01b

I am a southern belle at heart with a crazy streak that desperately tries
to escape at every opportunity. I love all things nostalgic, rustic, and quirky. I’ve
been told I see the world through rose-colored glasses, but I prefer to think of them
as kaleidoscope glasses – swirling and morphing reality into something I can digest
(who hasn’t pretended those pasty lima beans were really kiwi strawberry jelly
beans?).

When I’m not writing I’m making jewelry,
painting, drinking sweet tea,
watching the discovery channel, or going on random
adventures in the mountains of
North Carolina with my amazing husband.

The Reluctant Prince ~ Cover Reveal!!!!

Are you ready for it!?!!??! The FINAL book in the Star-Crossed series is ALMOST here! Take a look at the new cover:

Isn’t it GORGEOUS! So Seraphina! Here’s a quick blurb of what this one is about, can’t wait to see how Seraphina and Sebastian’s story unfolds:

Release date: November, 2014

Synopsis:

The Redeemable Prince is Book #7 in The Star-Crossed Series.

Seraphina Van Curen and Sebastian Cartier thought they were soul mates once upon a time. But for over a year, they have been well aware of just how quickly love can turn to hate and how cruel fate can be.

They might not be able to stand the sight of each other, but that’s okay since they avoid each other like the plague.

When danger strikes too close to home, and ancient Magic surfaces, they find themselves in the center of a deadly war. Seraphina and Sebastian strike an uneasy truce in order to end Dmitri Terletov, once and for all. They must work together to save what’s left of the Kingdom and protect the people they love most.

Along the way, they discover fate isn’t finished with them yet.

Fate is just getting started.

Soul of Fire

Soul of Fire

by

Caris McRae

Soul of Fire (Chronicles of Quiliaris I)

Ever read a story that you just click with?

You know what I mean? You cannot put it down, and you are left with wanting more?

This is how Soul of Fire was for me. Caris is a brand new author with a bright future…at least I think so.

Let me start with a disclaimer: She is re-editing the book, though it is available for purchase now. However, there are a few editing issues, and I know that drives some people nuts.

However, I didn’t find them all that distracting from the story, and so I am going to recommend this as a great read!

Sheba…poor Sheba. She is neglected and forgotten about, and has been since birth.

She’s a twin, she has a brother, her parents, Royalty, are murdered by a disgusting excuse for a man, and she is hated and abused at her uncle’s.

In comes her other uncle, a Hashisin who recognizes her power, and her neglect. He rescues her and takes her along with him as he travels Quiliaris.

Y’all know how much I love a strong heroine, and Sheba (or Shea, as she is called in the book) is definitely one bad ass heroine.

Her powers alone are awesome, but her character…her character is my favorite thing about her.

Despite the abuse and neglect, she is compassionate. Her trust has been betrayed by every single person she thought loved her by the end of the book, and still she shows compassion.

She’s also clever, and doesn’t put up with crap from anyone.

This book follows her journey as she grows into her own. It’s full of adventure, douche-y princes, not so douche-y princes, battle, magic, god’s meddling in human affairs.

Really, it has it all and you won’t be left disappointed in the least!

Go buy it, read it, and then…AND THEN!!! Review it! Please! Reviews are VITAL to our favorite Indie authors!

Oops! Before I forget, there is also a novella: Emerald Fire, It has some background to the Sheba’s Uncle!

Check out the Rafflecopter and enter the giveaway for this book! It goes until Thursday night!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Arrow of the Mist

AofMReviewBlitz-1
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Y’all, I have been SO SO excited to share this book with you!!! It has EVERYTHING: A little bit of romance, some tragedy, and adventure, and one of my favorites: MAGIC and all things magic!
Poor Lia, the girl is kind of an outcast because her family is known to dabble in magic. In fact her grandparents are the only survivors of the forbidden land…as in, they are the only one’s to EVER make it through.
This forbidden land is shrouded in fog, and is full of all kind of ghosties and beasties
I  just love adding “ies” to those two words..ahem…moving on..
So, when a poisonous vine breaks through and starts killing people, her own father included, Lia is not just going to sit around and wait for something to happen! Oh yes!, she is the best kind of heroine, who has the cojones to get a move on and make something happen!
Lia is awesome, she knows all about herbs, what does what, etc. So off she and her grandfather go into the wild yonder…or in this case the Forbidden Lands, as he is the only living person able to enter them and navigate them unharmed.
Only, they aren’t alone! Enter two guys, one is her cousin, Wynn and the other is a dreamy someone who we only get a little time with. Hopefully that changes in the next book, which is out, and is ONLY .99!!! It’s totally on my TBR list!
Back to the story, Wynn and Lia end up alone on this journey through the forest. He’s kind of just along for the ride, because really the story centers around Lia and her destiny, as well as her heritage (and Wynn’s of course), which is such a fun little twist, just stop reading now and GO BUY THE BOOK!!!!
The author really knows her stuff about herbs and such, and tells such a gripping tale, where we get to see Lia grow up into a strong, confident girl. Seriously, I can’t wait to read the next one!

Synopsis

Terror strikes the Celtic inspired kingdom of Nemetona when barbed roots breach the veil of a forbidden land and poison woodsmen, including 15-year-old Lia’s beloved father. Lia and three others embark on a quest to the forbidden land of Brume to gather ingredients for the cure. But after her elder kinsman is attacked and poisoned, she and her cousin, Wynn, are forced to finish the quest on their own. Lia relies on her powerful herbal wisdom and the memorized pages of her late grandmother’s Grimoire for guidance through a land of soul-hungry shades, trickster creatures, and uncovered truths about the origin of Brume and her family’s unexpected ties to it. The deeper they trek into the land, the stronger Lia’s untapped gift as a tree mage unfolds. When she discovers the enchanted root’s maker, it forces her to question everything about who she is and what is her destiny. Ultimately she must make a terrible choice: keep fighting to save her father and the people of the lands or join with the power behind the deadly roots to help nature start anew.

Purchase your copy:

About The Author

head+shot+2

Christina Mercer is an award-winning author of fiction for children and young adults. She took Writer’s Best in Show at the 2012 SCBWI CA North/Central Regional Conference, was a Semi-Finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakout Novel Award Contest, and won Honorable Mention in the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self Published Book Awards. She holds a degree in
Accounting from California State University at Sacramento and a Certificate in Herbal Studies from Clayton College of Natural Health. Christina resides in Northern California enjoying life with her husband, two sons, four dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees.

Bound By Duty

Hey y’all! I am here with Amelia, the main character of a FANTASTIC new book, Bound By Duty, by a great new author Stormy Smith! If you haven’t bought the book I encourage you to do it!

Magic, a southern belle of a best friend, two amazing…make that THREE amazing guys, and a whole lot of action! What’s not to love!?!?! Let’s begin, shall we?

Amelia, thanks so much for joining me! Let’s start with an easy question: What are your favorite left-overs?

Lasagna – especially from Mariano’s. I swear it’s better the second time.

Ohhhh, that sounds yummy! My personal favorite is leftover Chinese food…any Chinese food, but especially lo mein.

So, I noticed you have a great sense of style, who did you get that from?

Mostly my best friend, Bethany. I was kind of a train wreck in that department before we met. I tried to follow trends and they just didn’t work with who I was. B encouraged me to just wear what I wanted. And what she picked out for me.

That’s such great advice! I have tried to follow trends in the past, and that didn’t work out for me either. B gave you good advice, I think it is important to be comfortable in what you are in. At least those are the times I feel the best about myself. Do you have a piece in your wardrobe you cannot live without?

I have a pair of flat black riding boots that go with everything – skinny jeans, flowing tops, dresses or skirts. And they are so comfortable. I should probably go online and buy a second pair because I’ll cry when they give out.

OH yes! Those are a must have accessory! A great pair of boots can make any outfit so much better!

So, getting a little serious here: It must have been hard to deny something that is such a big part of who you are for so many years. How do you think things would’ve been different had your dad trained you to use your magic instead of forcing you to keep it under control?

I wish there was an easy answer to give you here. I’d like to say it would have been amazing and I’d be so much better off, but the realities are that everything happens for a reason and truth comes at a price. There are things I know now that explain – let me be clear, they don’t justify – why things had to be the way they were. But, had I been given the opportunity to grow with my power instead of allow it to grow without me, I do think I wouldn’t be in the predicament I’m in now.

What a great perspective on your past! I bet it was hard to stand up for yourself and make such a huge decision like moving to Brighton. I am wondering what you felt in that moment?

In that moment, as my father hugged me for the first time in years after I told him I was leaving, I felt a lot of guilt. But it was also freeing. My life was going to be mine, or so I thought. It was clear to me, even then, that changes were happening inside me and that I would have no help explaining them if I didn’t leave. Had I not stood up for myself in that moment, there is so much of life I never would have experienced. Knowing I had my brother Cole there, so that I wouldn’t truly be alone, really made the difference though.

Cole is such a great brother to you, and I laughed so hard when I read your story about when you were a kid and you looked up and realized how big his nose is! It must have been a relief knowing you’d have him around for your big move, especially when you have been separated so long. What were you hoping the next three years were going to look like for you?

I had really hoped to find out who I was. So much of my childhood had been about hiding my true self and emotions. I needed space to see what I liked and didn’t, the kinds of people I would choose to bring into my life or not…even just what I might want to be when I grew up had I been given the choice (which is a marine biologist, in case you were curious). But I also knew that there was information about what I really was waiting for me. I didn’t realize it would change things as dramatically as it did, but I was searching for it anyway.

I am remembering that story you told Aiden about the horses in the clouds, does you find that reflects your life at all?

[Sigh] It does. I think it reflects on both of our lives more than we wanted to admit. I was kept cloistered away from everyone, even people supposedly like me, while they all learned and grew together. All I wanted was one person to stand up for me and knock down the fence so I could be like everyone else. But, I’ve also learned since then that sometimes you can’t wait for other people to do it for you. If I were to do it all again, the story would go that the lonely horse would go kick down the fence himself to get to the people he loved. But, sometimes you don’t get a do-over.

I can think of a few moments I’d love to have a do-over in…Goodness! Things got a little serious there for a bit. Why don’t we pull back some and go in another direction. I am curious about your interest in marine biology, do you have a specific aspect of marine biology you are interested in, or just the field in general? 

I’ve always been drawn to the ocean. And to animals. When I was little I would sit on the cliffs and watch the dolphins jump in and out of the water. I’d walk the beach and sit back to watch turtles lumber around and then glide into the water. Once, I even untangled a baby seagull from a net. I’ve just always known that I wanted to work with animals tied to the sea.

Gosh that sounds so amazing, I have been to the ocean some and watching the dolphins is always such an amazing, almost otherworldly experience!

Well let’s wrap it up with one more question. I just have to mention the dreaminess that is Aiden…he is pretty tenacious, which I kind of admire in a person. What is your favorite physical characteristic of him? Favorite part of his personality? 

His eyes are my favorite, but not for the reason you would expect. They are beautiful, all smoke and ash, but he sees me. I look at him as he looks at me and I know that he sees the real person hiding between layers of power and emotion and fear. And he accepts that. Even when I couldn’t actually tell him and he didn’t understand, he still accepted me for who I was at any given moment. And I love that he challenges me. That boy won’t let me off easy for a second, and that’s what I need.

OH.My.GOSH! Could that be any more romantic!?!? Goodnight I think my heart just melted *sigh* Well, on that note I want to thank you, again,  so much for joining me. Any last words of wisdom for my readers?

Don’t run from your life, because it will catch up to you. Instead, see who you can surround yourself with to build you up and get you ready to face it head on. You’ll see who your real friends are and you’ll get to know a side of yourself you only dreamed of. 

 

 

Read on for info on Stormy Smith, Author of Bound by Duty and an excerpt from the book:

 

Bio: Stormy Smith calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly that stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form.

 

Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn’t be stopped. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.

 

Website: http://www.stormysmith.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorStormySmith

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stormysmith

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8159417.Stormy_Smith

Book(s): Bound by Duty (Bound Series, Book One)

Release Date: July 24, 2014

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, and Paranormal

Sites where your book can be purchased: Amazon http://amzn.to/1lxz3Mg

Picture

Synopsis

Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she’s an Elder, but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control, but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she’s betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and doesn’t even know his name.

 

Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky southern girl, or fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is, not what she will become.

 

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head win the battle, or her heart?

 

 

Excerpt: Bound by Duty – Prologue

 

Her stark white hair fell down around her face. For the first time in one hundred years it wasn’t pulled back in a waist-length braid. Her crimson robes were torn and stained. She bit back a groan, her lips a tight line as the pain ripped through her once again. The invisible knife raked its way up her back as wounds no one could see flayed her skin and weakened her resolve. It had been days of this and she wasn’t sure if she could continue. As she looked up and met the queen’s eyes, Lavignia pushed the anger down and forced compassion to rise yet again.

 

“What is it you hope to learn, Julia? What is it you think you have to gain from all of this?” she asked weakly as she tugged on the restraints that kept her tethered to the heavy wooden chair. Her power was already weak when the Hunters had found her, and the enchanted chamber had dampened what remained to a tiny flame.

 

The room was dark, but the sun was slowly rising. An orange and pink glow filtered through the small window above Julia’s head. The colorful rays that should have resembled hope of a new day only shed light on the reality that Lavignia would never leave this room alive.

 

Julia stepped from the shadows and walked slowly toward Lavignia. She stopped and crouched down, putting herself at eye level.

 

“Oh, Livvy, dear. Don’t do that,” she said, her tone patronizing as her ice crystal eyes narrowed. “Don’t pretend you can still look down on me from your Elder tower. Don’t pretend you can utter your polite words and suddenly I’ll remember who you are versus who I am. I know exactly who I am. I am the one who rules them all. I am the one they will bow down to and worship. I am the Queen. Not you. Or your sisters. Your time is done.”

 

She looked back over her shoulder to the Hunter who stood in the still dark corner of the room and nodded. The Hunter’s eyes burned bright orange as Lavignia’s screams echoed off the walls. Julia raised her hand and the screams dropped to whimpers. With that same hand, she reached out and took Lavignia’s.

 

“Livvy, look at me,” she commanded. Dazed, dim violet eyes struggled to focus and find hers. Julia tightened her grip, digging her scarlet nails into Lavignia’s already tender flesh, making her yelp and their eyes connect.

 

“Livvy, you need to tell me,” she said. “I know you see it. You knew this day would come and you know I won’t stop until you tell me. I scoured the lands for you. I know there are others left, but they can be saved. You can save them, old friend. You just have to tell me.” Her tone was persuasive and gentle, but the frantic look that passed through her eyes told Lavignia the truth the queen couldn’t hide — she was scared.

 

“You won’t harm the others? You will let them live out their lives hidden and free? You will swear an oath?” Her words trailed off and Lavignia’s eyes closed, the torture of the last few days taking its toll. She could only hope the oath would keep her people safe.

 

She didn’t see the triumph that straightened Julia’s posture or the sneer that twisted her thin, painted lips. “Of course, my dear. I swear to you that I will not seek out and harm the remaining Elders. I swear that I will not take their freedom.”

 

“Your blood,” Lavigniasaid, her words barely audible.

 

Julia removed a small dirk from the folds of her skirts and repeated the words as she slid the blade down her palm. As the deep red drop hit the floor, she sent a small wave of power through to heal the wound, reveling in the knowledge that she had won.

 

“Now, Livvy, darling, you must tell me.” When Lavignia didn’t respond, Julia whipped back around to the still silent Hunter. “Help her. Give her what she needs. NOW!” she commanded, panic finally breaking through her controlled facade.

 

The Hunter flicked a wrist at Lavignia and she suddenly straightened, her eyes luminescent and shining at the welcome invasion of power that flooded her system, giving her renewed life for a few precious seconds.

 

With sudden clarity, she saw the future that had eluded her. She looked down on Julia with authority and pity as the words that would cement the queen’s fate fell from her lips.

 

“You will have your time, but it will end. She will be born to the one who got away. Inside her, the five families will merge and only a man who is both king and companion will tame the wild and set her free. She will be your undoing. She will lead them all.”

 

Julia reared back, Lavignia’s words not the ones she expected. Seconds later, her dirk was buried deep in Lavignia’s chest. Lavignia collapsed back against the chair, a content smile mocking the queen from her lifeless face.

 

Julia’s breath heaved in and out in short bursts as she turned to the Hunter. “I made an oath. You did not. Find them. Kill them all.”