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Exigency (Protectors of the Elemental Magic Book 2)

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Author: Marnie Cate

Title: Exigency

Series: The Protectors of the Elemental Magic Series

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Romance

Synopsis:

There is a world around us that most people don’t take the time to see. Mara Stone’s world was shaken, but she is a fighter. Facing new adversaries, Mara is learning what it truly means to protect the magic. As she starts to rebuild her life, the web of her family’s secrets continues to unravel. Mara is forced to face her fear of losing everything she holds dear. She said that you would be a challenge to my children. I thought I had made the right choice when I selected Eliza. If only Mae had not interfered. But, enough of those sad thoughts, I think the two of you will be perfect replacements. When Mara and Cole find themselves in the cold world of Snowstrum, they will have to choose either to be true to their promise to protect the magic, or to follow their desires. Magic may not be enough to free them from the icy fortress they are trapped in.

The second book in the Protectors of the Elemental Magic series, Exigency is a compelling, magical young adult fantasy tale.

Excerpt

Accepting his assistance, I stood up to find myself in the middle a winter wonderland. The snow-covered ground was filled with large trees heavy with the snow. A small white rabbit hopped through the tree lines. The sky above was a deep blue with not a cloud in it. In the distance, I could see a castle. The structure was like none I had ever seen before. The high towers and walls looked as if they were made of ice.

“Is that where we are going?” I asked, unable to maintain the cold demeanor anymore.

“That is your new home, Marina,” he said, as he put two fingers in his mouth and whistled.

Horses clomping sounded behind us. The skeleton of a man was sitting on the outside of a black and silver carriage being drawn by four skeleton horses. The driver wore a red and black uniform with a black top hat. His empty eye sockets glowed red. Slowing beside us to a step, a Vetur hopped off the back of the carriage and opened the door for us.

“Are we riding in this?” I asked. “Isn’t he the one that threw me here?”

Taking my hand, Cole said, “Mort will not harm you. This will be more comfortable than the long walk and it will give us time to talk about tomorrow’s events.”

Sensing my reluctance, he kissed me on the cheek and whispered in my ear, “Trust me. Climb in.”

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EXIGENCY COMPLETE

Amazon Book link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BVSJU5K

Marnie Cate BiographyMarnie Cate

Marnie Cate was born and raised in Montana before adventuring to the warmer states of Arizona and California. Her love of Dame Judi Dench and dreams of caticorns and rainbows inspired her to chase her dreams. One great sentence came to mind and the world of elemental magic and the humans they lived amongst filled her mind. With her first book Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic, the story has just begun.

Links:

Marnie Cate’s website: marniecate.com

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

Twitter: twitter.com/Marnie_Cate

Pinterest: pinterest.com/marniecate

Goodreads: goodreads.com/Marnie_Cate

Amazon page: amazon.com/dp/B01BVSJU5K/

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Remember

Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic

Relaunch Tour

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In anticipation of the release of the Exigency, the second book in the Protectors of the Elemental Magic Series, Marnie Cate’s beloved first novel, Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic, will be available on Kindle for $0.99 / £0.99 February 5th – 11th 2016

 

Author: Marnie Cate

Title: Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

 

Synopsis

Hiding the truth from you is no longer protecting you. Sit and I will tell you what you need to know.

 

With those words, the secrets of my great grandmother, Genevieve Silver, were unburied and my role as a protector of the elemental magic was revealed.

 

My name is Marina Addisyn Stone but Mara is what my friends and family call me.  I had always felt that there was something missing and that nothing was permanent. Why would I feel that way?  I was being raised with my little sister by my grandmother that loved and doted on me. Then, there was Cole Sands. Who could forget the blue-eyed boy that had stolen my heart? What more could a girl need?  I always thought I was just being dramatic and that bad things do happen to people but that is part of life.  People die.  People go away. Little did I know that with one secret, my life would change forever and my new world would be surrounded by the world of elemental magic?

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Excerpt

As I felt my determination build, the mirror in front of me began to change and the reflection filled with rippling water. The image made me think of the choppy water of Sparrow Lake. At first, the small waves were calm but the speed and intensity of each movement of the water grew. I found myself being splashed as the waves grew harder and began to slap against the mirror. Standing up, I moved away just in time to watch the mirror before me shatter and the violent water burst out towards me.

The room began to fill with rushing water. Feeling around the room, I searched for an exit. Behind the shattered mirror, I only found solid rock. Looking to the ceiling, I could see the same hard stone. Feeling the emotions build inside me, I began search the floor and walls around me for any exit.

“Damn! Damn! Damn it!” I cried.

The water did not slow. Instead it continued to fill the room as I frantically searched for my escape. The water soon reached my knees and, what seemed like seconds later, I was wading through waist high water. As the water continued to rise, I was soon struggling to keep my head above water. It was not enough that the water was filling the room so rapidly but soon the water felt alive. The cold waves kept tossing me back and forth as the water rose and I began to feel like I was in a game of Ping-Pong where I was the ball. Soon, I found myself pulled under the icy water and surrounded by thousands of bubbles. Frantically kicking my feet to keep my head above water, I broke the surface.

Remembering the swimming lessons my grandfather insisted on, I thought about the times I spent with my grandfather learning to swim. I began to feel less scared as I recalled his calm voice and gentle words telling me that I would be safe. As I floated in the rising water, it seemed to respond to my emotions. The thrashing became calmer as I focused on my grandfather’s words. My brief moment of peace did not last. Before I knew it, I had almost reached the ceiling that had no exit and I began to panic. At this rate, I would be trapped and drowned in minutes. As if it was feeding off my fear, the water began to toss me around again.

As the water began to rise up my neck and almost over the top of my head, I tried to calm myself. You are the granddaughter of Mae Veracor and the great granddaughter of Genevieve Silver. You are the descendent of strong women. You have nothing to fear. With these words, the water once again calmed and I was able to tilt my head back above the water. How am I going to get out of this?

 

Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic is on sale $0.99 / £0.99 Kindle from February 5th – 11th 2016

 

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Amazon Book link: My Book

 

 

Marnie Cate Biography

Marnie Cate was born and raised in Montana before adventuring to the warmer states of Arizona and California. Her love of Dame Judi Dench and dreams of caticorns and rainbows inspired her to chase her dreams. One great sentence came to mind and the world of elemental magic and the humans they lived amongst filled her mind. With Remember, the story has begun.

 

Other Works by Marnie Cate

Exigency: Protectors of the Elemental Magic – Coming Soon

The story of Mara Stone continues.  Her world was shaken but she is a fighter.  Facing new adversaries, Mara is learning what it truly means to protect the magic.

 

Awethology Light – Contribution Story  

Beginnings: Protectors of the Elemental Magic (Novellette)

The story of Genevieve Silver and the origins of the protectors of the magic. With the balance of the elemental world shaken, four elementals take on the task of protecting the magic.

 

Links:

www.marniecate.com

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

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00UJNT7J8

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Marnie_Cate

Twitter: @Marnie_Cate


Watersmeet

Check this interview with Rachel Cotterill who is here to talk about her book Watersmeet.

— Today we are talking about Watersmeet your new book. Can you tell us a bit about this story?

Thanks Lynzie. Watersmeet follows the story of Ailith, a young woman who has grown up in a large family and works in her father’s pottery workshop. Her parents would like to see her marry up, but she’s reluctant to settle for a life with someone she doesn’t love. And then she discovers she’s a mage, and has the opportunity to travel across the country by herself, and suddenly everything changes for her.

Watersmeet is the first in a new epic fantasy series – it has castles and intrigue, magic and mysterious strangers, and other elements that will be familiar to readers of the genre – but at heart it’s also a romance. I do enjoy a bleak, grim fantasy as much as the next person – but I wanted to write something with a more optimistic outlook this time.

— What kind of place is Watersmeet? Can you tell us more about your fantasy world?

Watersmeet itself is a huge, imposing fortress that sits at the confluence of two rivers (hence the name). The area known as the Twelve Baronies is dominated by a dozen major castles, each with its own ruler and accompanying legal system. And as the river valleys are the most fertile areas for crops, Watersmeet is one of the wealthiest.

The power of the Lords Barons isn’t absolute, though: a few generations back, an accord between the temples and the nobility led to the adoption of the Temple Law, which lays out harsh penalties for the worst kinds of heresy.

 

— Your leading character is Ailith, who discovers that she’s a mage – what is Ailith like and how does she cope with finding out she’s a mage?

As the story begins, Ailith’s family is entirely preoccupied with preparations for her twin sister’s wedding. It’s obviously a time of celebration, but as twins, the girls had always assumed they’d get married on the same day, so Ailith is feeling a little left out and concerned for her future.

And then this stranger turns up, tests her, and tells her she can do magic: it’s a total shock. At first she’s inclined to ignore it and hope it will go away, but curiosity gets the better of her, and she can’t help experimenting. Ultimately she’s a scientist, but the world of the Twelve Baronies is just on the edge of its industrial revolution, so there isn’t an obvious place for her.

 

— What about the Lord Baron of Watersmeet, can you tell us a bit about him?

Leofwin has lived alone for years, dedicating his life to alchemical studies, and pottering in his rooftop garden for relaxation. The last thing he wants is a young apprentice to train, but there’s something about Ailith that captures his attention. And once she’s through the door, he really doesn’t want her to leave.

 

— Can you share with us your favourite passage from the book?

I’m happy to share an excerpt, but I should warn you, it’s a bit of a spoiler! This was definitely my favourite scene to write, though.

Ailith didn’t stop to think, she just bolted through the servants’ door into the kitchens, running away almost as soon as Garrick and his retinue had left the Great Hall. Ymma was overseeing a couple of young boys as they wiped down the prep table, while at the end of the table she arranged garnishes on the platters that would have been going out next, had the feast not been interrupted in such a final manner. The boys both stopped to stare, and Ymma scolded them back to work before she even glanced up to see what had caused the interruption.

“Saaluk’s hands,” she said, taking in Ailith’s fine clothes and tear-stained face. “What happened?”

The day had already been so topsy-turvy that collapsing into a kitchen chair in a silk gown seemed almost normal by comparison.

“I said I didn’t want to go,” Ailith said. “I told Frida. I knew I’d muck it up somehow.”

“You were brilliant.” Lufe had followed her in from the hall, and crouched at her side, pulling her into a hug. “Gods, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“And you should’ve seen his lordship’s face,” Nia added. “He’s never looked so pleased as when you smacked that boy.”

“‘That boy’ is heir to Highfort,” Ailith said morosely. “And I’ve ruined everything.”

Ymma set down the mop and bucket. “Let me get this straight,” she said, leaning on the table and staring hard at Ailith. “Little miss not-a-lady, all dressed up in silks and diamonds, just smacked some lordling?”

“And his lordship was pleased as anything,” Nia said.

“Ha!” Ymma clapped her hands together. “You are most definitely not a lady.”

But she said it like it was the best compliment in all the Twelve Baronies, and Ailith couldn’t help but smile.

— What kind of audience will enjoy this story?

I hope it will appeal to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy, but particularly readers who enjoy romantic elements and happy endings. Based on my own reading habits, I suspect fans of Maria V. Snyder and Deborah Harkness should find something here to enjoy.

— Is there another character or setting that you can tell us about?

One of my favourite characters is Frida: she’s worked at Watersmeet since she was very young, and when Ailith arrives at the castle she’s assigned to attend to her. They’ve had very different backgrounds, Frida was orphaned as a child, while Ailith has grown up surrounded by a huge family, but they get along well and have a lot in common. Frida is incredibly smart, but more than that, she’s got a common sense that Ailith sometimes lacks. Their developing friendship is one of the highlights of the book, for me, and Frida will have her own chance to star in a future novel.

— Can you tell us about the other books you have written?

I have two other novels previously published: Rebellion and Revolution (Chronicles of Charanthe 1 & 2), which are adventure stories set in an alternative, dystopian world.

— And finally what is next for Rachel Cotterill?

I have two books in the pipeline right now.

I’m working on the second Twelve Baronies novel at the moment. Originally I thought that Watersmeet would be a stand-alone story but having created the world, I discovered that there was a lot more to say. The second volume will centre on Yutta, the heir to Wulfsberg, a mother of two who’s scarily competent with a sword.

And Reformation, the third and final novel in the Chronicles of Charanthe series, has been underway for some time and will hopefully see publication this year.

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You can read more from Rachel Cotterill here

 


Lost in Mist and Shadow

This week we have a new book from an author who has been here before. Have a read of this exclusive from Morgan Daimler’s Lost in Mist and Shadow.

 

“Wow, that stuff reeks,” Jason made a face, waving his hand in front of his face.

Allie stopped walking, the burning bundle of sage leaves held out in front of her. She glanced around her store, the ordered rows of bookshelves now obscured by a haze of smoke. “I like the way it smells.”

Jason wrinkled his nose, then looked up towards the ceiling, “You did remember to turn off the smoke detectors before lighting that thing up, right? Because I’m going to be really embarrassed if the alarm goes off and -”

“And all your firefighting buddies roll up and see you playing witch.” Allie interrupted, rolling her eyes. “Fine Takada, go open the front door and let some fresh air in.”

“More like let some smoke out. I hope no one thinks the building’s on fire,” Jason laughed, already jogging up to open the door. Allie mimed a kick in his direction, forgetting her bad ankle which screamed in protest at taking all her weight. She staggered, pain shooting up her leg, and bit her lip feeling foolish, but Jason hadn’t seen anything. She turned quickly and went back to smudging the store, limping more than usual now as she walked around trying to get the smoke into every crevice. Jason had always been prone to worrying about everything but Allie was pretty sure he was just teasing this time.

“I’m not sure that helped very much,” Jason moaned as Allie moved between the shelves in the back of the store.

“Well, then go open the back door and get some circulation going. Maybe that’ll help.”

“Do you really think burning some plants will get rid of funky energy?” Jason asked, hesitating.

“Yup. I know it does. My grandmother swore by burning sage.” Allie said, blowing on the smoldering bundle to keep the embers going.

“I dunno. Seems kinda weird, even for magic. I mean I get channeling energy, and chanting spells, and drawing out patterns to set a spell, but burning an herb and expecting it to cleanse the air seems, I dunno, just counterproductive.”

“You sound like such a firefighter, arguing against burning things,” Allie laughed.

Jason laughed with her, “I guess, but really how do you know it works?”

“Because I can feel the energy changing. Don’t they use herbs for cleansing in Japan?”

“I wouldn’t know,” Jason shifted slightly starting to move towards the back as Allie emerged from the bookshelves. “Not my thing and remember my mom and I came over to the US when I was little.”

“Yeah, I always forget you aren’t into your dad’s heritage side of things.”

“Why should I be?” Jason looked uncomfortable. “Who needs an emperor and seppuku anyway? You’re talking about a culture that hasn’t changed hardly at all since the black ships arrived in 1853.”

“You’re being ridiculous, and please you’re talking to me here, you think traditional Japanese culture is rigid try Elvish culture. You offend someone by using the wrong pronoun and you get challenged to a duel.” Allie waved the sage bundle in the air for emphasis and ash drifted down onto the wooden floor.

“I’m being ridiculous? You’re trusting burning plants to clean your energy,” Jason said sticking his tongue out at her.

“Hey, who’s the empath here? I think I can judge what works for getting rid of bad energy.”

He rolled his eyes dramatically, “Whatever, I’m going to open the back door and I’ll get some lunch started, if you have anything worth eating back there and I can see through the haze to find it.”

“You are such a dork. I think there’s some leftover pizza in the fridge if you want to heat it up and you can get some tea started. There’s a bunch of kinds in the cabinet over the sink,” Allie shook her head slightly as Jason disappeared into the back area of the building where her small kitchenette and storage rooms where, heading towards the back door. She felt a moment of unease at the idea of the back door being opened and left open with no one watching it, but she shoved the feeling away. Nothing was going to happen and she wasn’t alone. She was safe. Shrugging she turned and kept smudging lost in thought.

In the last month, since their friend Syndra had been killed and then Allie had been kidnapped and almost killed herself, she and Jason had been spending a lot more time together. Sometimes Allie

wondered if Jason really liked being around her so much or if he was trying to protect her from the one person involved in hurting her who had gotten away, but mostly she tried not to think about it. He was the one uncomplicated thing in her life, the one person who didn’t seem to want anything from her, and she enjoyed being around him. He was also the only one she had been able to think of to help her out when she decided her store needed an energetic overhaul: her cousin Liz wouldn’t help with anything magical, her friend Bleidd was off visiting his elven relatives for the first time in more than a half century, and her boyfriend had been gone for several weeks, on an assignment in the adjoining Fairy realm.

She had tried to comfort herself a bit about Jessilaen being gone by reminding herself that it wouldn’t be any different if she had accepted his offer to go and live with him, but she knew in her heart that wasn’t true. If she were living with him at the elven Outpost or in Fairy she would have gotten updates from the other Elven Guard or his family. Elves lived in very tight knit communities of extended family units and if she had agreed to be part of that she wouldn’t be left totally on the outside with no one telling her anything about what was going on. Not even Jess’s brother Zarethyn had made any effort to keep in touch with Allie and she felt far too uncomfortable with the situation to call him herself.

Part of the problem was, she did know exactly where he was and what he was doing but she wasn’t supposed to. Jess had finished his assignment and was back at the Outpost now, but he hadn’t called her to tell her that yet. Allie assumed that meant he wasn’t free to see her, and since she shouldn’t know what was going on with him it put her in an awkward position. The only reason she did know was that when she had been kidnapped she had used a spell based in dark magic to try to save herself by creating a psychic bond between them using her innate empathy. In the immediate aftermath of the events Jess and the other elves in his unit of the Elven Guard had all felt that the spell’s effects would most likely fade over time – they hadn’t, nor had she managed to get any control over her empathic gift since opening herself up to it. Jess’s presence was a constant for Allie and she heard what he was hearing in the back of her mind like the perpetual murmur of background noise in her head. If she concentrated she could block it out to some degree, but if she wasn’t careful she projected herself fully into his mind and saw and experienced whatever he was doing in that moment. Sometimes all it took was thinking too much about missing him, or wondering what he was doing…and she didn’t dare let anyone know how little control she had over it. Or how much of his life she end up eavesdropping on, both because it felt like an invasion of privacy and because she worried that she might get him in trouble with the Guard if they knew that she knew so much. She felt like a giant magical disaster, but there wasn’t anyone she could go to for help. She shook her head slightly as she finished up the last section of the store. Jess knew, of course, that she was still in his head, but not how much she was there, and she had been making an effort to pull back as much as she could.

Sighing Allie limped over to the counter and dropped the last of the sage bundle into a waiting brass bowl to let it burn itself out.

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Murder Between the Worlds

Today we have an exclusive from Morgan Daimler and her book Murder Between the Worlds.

 

After work Wednesday she decided to visit an old friend so she stopped at the town’s Chinese restaurant on the way home to grab food to share. It was never a bad idea to show up to visit a creature of Fairy bearing a gift, and she knew this one had a weakness for sweet and sour chicken and pork egg rolls. Dynasty Moon was run by a pair of Hulijing, Chinese fox spirits, and it was widely agreed that they made the best take-out in town. They were pricey though, and Allie couldn’t eat there very often, but she felt like splurging a little, despite her worries over her anemic bank account.

After picking up her order she headed home in a better mood. She parked her little car in its usual spot and hiked around the house towards the woods behind the backyard with the bag of takeout in one hand. The wards on the perimeter of the property extended to cover the expanse of yard from the curb to the stone walls that bordered the other three sides of the lawn, but the property itself actually went back almost a dozen acres. It just wasn’t worth the energy and effort to keep wards up on the entire area all the time, so they didn’t bother. Reaching the stone wall that marked the back edge of the yard Allie climbed over easily, feeling the customary tingle as she crossed from the warded to unwarded side. Her shoes crunched in last year’s leaves and she whistled cheerfully, ducking low branches and weaving through the underbrush. There was no path to follow but Allie knew the way.

After several hundred feet she could see the open sky through the trees and the ground beneath her feet was noticeably softer. A dozen feet more and she was standing on the banks of the pond. The water stretched, black and still, as large as a football field, with the occasional clump of trees or half submerged log jutting up from the surface. She carefully sent out a tendril of focused magic to caress the surface nearest where she stood, like knocking on a door, and then waited. Within a few moments the still surface rippled, the dark, dripping head of a large horse emerging. Where the horse’s eyes should have been were dark concave hollows and he turned his head to stare at her from one of these eyeless sockets for a moment before the head disappeared beneath the water again. A moment later the surface heaved and broke as the entire fairy horse emerged, walking onto the shore to her left. The kelpie stood there, water dripping from his mane and tail, and Allie smiled widely, proffering the bag “Good afternoon Ciaran, I thought you might be in the mood for some excellent Chinese take-out.”

The huge form rippled and shifted like the surface of the water a minute before and as she watched the horse’s dark form changed into that of an equally dark haired man. Seemingly oblivious to the late spring chill and totally unabashed by his nudity Ciaran sniffed the air appreciatively.” Is that sweet and sour chicken?”

“And two pork egg rolls.” Allie agreed.

The kelpie smiled widely, “Nice to see you again Allie.”

“And you.” Allie had met the kelpie when she was wandering the woods as a child and although he normally could be quite a dangerous creature he seemed to have developed a rough sympathy for the lonely child over the years that eventually grew into a friendship. He often wandered the woods in the form of a large black dog, but he always hunted in his horse form; she had learned over the years that his humanoid form was a sign of trust with her, although she didn’t doubt he would also use it to seduce the unwary if it served his purposes. Allie had been very clear with the other people living in the house that no one else was to go back into the woods; she doubted their friendship would keep him from eating one of her roommates, and while it was unlikely that he would risk the consequences of such an action, she didn’t want to take the chance. These days the Elven Guard maintained order by ensuring none of the creatures of Fairy were allowed to harm humans. But in the old days Ciaran had fed on murderers and oath-breakers. Even as a child Allie had wondered if he occasionally still took human victims along with his animal prey and was just clever enough not to get caught, but she had never quite dared to ask.

“How have you been doing?”

“Not bad. Winter’s always a slow time though, nothing much to do, no good hunting.” He shrugged as she handed him the bag.

“Well I hope this helps a little, and you know anytime you want to borrow a book or five to read I’ll be happy to lend them.”

“That would be kind. I haven’t read anything new in ages. I’m not picky, anything will do as long as it’s a good story.” He pulled out the package of eggrolls and eagerly began devouring them in a way that she would have found disturbing if she’d let herself think about.

“Sure thing. I’ll try to get out here in the next week or two if I can, with some for you.” Allie made a mental note to go through and pick out a selection of books for him to try. She certainly had more than enough to share.

“Allie, be careful with yourself.” Ciaran said unexpectedly.

She cocked her head to the side “I’m always as careful as I can be Ciar. Unless you know something I don’t?”

He shook his head. “Not really, but there are rumors going around among the lesser Fey. Everyone’s agitated and with the Elven Guard out searching in the Borderland for someone, we should all be extra cautious. There is death in the air, and it would…pain me…to see harm come to you.”

“Well you’d certainly be seeing a lot fewer egg rolls,” Allie quipped, stalling for time.

She was touched that Ciaran cared enough to pass on any warning, since it was certainly not in his nature, and she was not at all surprised that the Guard were upsetting the Fey in the Borderland, many of whom lived in the Bordertown precisely to try to avoid the elves’ control.

“The Elven Guard has already spoken to me about their investigation. They want me to help them find out why these murders are being committed.”

The kelpie looked thoughtful as he chewed his chicken, eating it with his bare hands, “If you can help them, you should. That would put the Guard in your debt and that is not an insignificant thing. But be very careful Allie, very careful. It’s a dangerous game to play.”

She nodded “I will certainly take your excellent advice as always. Now, do you have time for a game of chess?”

Later, as she walked back through the woods to the house she found herself hoping that her part in this particular dangerous game was already over.

 

You can find the rest of this story and more of Morgan’s work on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Morgan-Daimler/e/B0047QW0WY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

And don’t forget to like Morgan’s Facebook page and let her know where you found her: https://www.facebook.com/wodenswanderingwitch