Cursed Hart: An Exclusive Excerpt

Prologue – 1989

Screams of agony shattered the stillness of the night air. There was nothing I could do for the victims, as I sat on the front porch of the mansion. Nor anything I would do to block the sound out. I listened, refusing to let them suffer alone; bearing the brunt of the evil’s wrath. I would suffer with them as I suffered with so many others before, bearing witness to their destruction. While I wasn’t the reason these people were meeting their deaths, I was certainly the reason they wouldn’t live through the night.

This family didn’t deserve this any more than any of the other victims. My power could have saved them. Furthermore, I was sorely tempted to shield them from this fate. But I couldn’t. Someone had to die. Someone must distract the evil one from the three beings escaping out the back door of the mansion. No, it was far too important that the others live; that she, the herald Väktare, survive.

Then all was still.

The front door opened slowly as the other male stepped out. Hatred flared through me, but I hid it well. I would wait until the time was right for my revenge. For now I would play the loyal servant, even as I longed to rip his entrails out for all the darkness he spread across the planet.

“The girl is missing,” the figure in the doorway hissed, blood from the victims inside still dripping off of his fingers. “Her cradle was empty.”

“Oh?” I asked, feigning surprise. “The Hart child?”

“Yes, that child!” the dark figure snapped furiously. “Find her. Bring her to me!”

“Of course. Anything else I need accomplish?”

“Just get her!” he thundered, setting the mansion on fire with a spell. “The family is dealt with. The Fidem must have taken her! They have her. I know it!“

“I understand your consternation, Master, but I find it very unlikely that the Fidem would leave the family here and take the child instead. It’s highly illogical for the family to hide the child but not themselves-”

“Families are illogical. The attachment to each other impairs their judgment to the point of stupidity,” the dark figure in the cloak replied coldly. “Hence the ease of their murders! I didn’t even exert myself to drain them of their life forces! Just bring the child to-“

“You. I heard you the first time, Master,” I added hastily, rising from the stoop.

“She is mine,” the other said, eyes gleaming like the demon he was. “Her power will be mine! Do not fail this time. This is the Väktare I have waited for. Even now, she still will not escape.”

A thrill of foreboding ran through me upon hearing his glee. “What have you done?”

“She will be cursed,” he crowed over my quiet question, flames spiraling higher around him. “All of her power will bend to my will and anyone who helps her remain free shall be routed where they stand! Death and pain will follow her every step until she is mine!”

No more was said as the figure in the dark cloak vanished. The only signs that he had even been here were the bloody footprints leading back into the house. Those prints told me not to bother to check inside for survivors. The cloying feel of death was still floating around in the air.

But even with that in mind, I couldn’t help but grimly smile. This made worthwhile the sacrifice of all the countless beings before that had been murdered. The Väktare’s family would rest well in their graves if they knew how much rested on her life. As for my beloved… well, I couldn’t think about her now.

I had succeeded. The dark one failed, even with his cursing her life. The girl had survived.

Cursed Hart available Now at amazon.com/author/maggielynnheronheidel

Cursed Hart copyright © Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel

Sneak Peek at ‘Cursed Hart’ | An Exclusive Excerpt: The Turkey

Hello everyone on this lovely Thursday! Hope you are having a great week. Somehow I can’t believe that it’s almost Thanksgiving. Besides the obvious fun of the holiday this year, I’m also all revved up because Cursed Hart is coming out on the same day. Between the shopping and the foodstuffs, I figure readers can enjoy an action packed adventure conveniently tucked in the pages of a book. Sure beats deadly Black Friday stampedes, right?  Then again, if you’re in line for a new Kindle deal at a store, I’m sure not going to stop you!

In the meantime, I decided to post a snippet of the story to give you a bit of a sneak peek, and a Thanksgiving themed one at that. While it’s not thanksgiving in the story setting itself, it certainly fits with the holiday Cursed Hart is being released on! Read it and you’ll see why:

“… Unfortunately far from convinced, Heidi’s eyes flickered up to the rear view mirror. They widened and focused on the GTO behind us. “My, my. This ought to be good.”
I turned around in my seat to see Peter waltzing up to an enormous tom turkey imperiously strutting across the road after his hens and blocking their car. Brin was leaning out the window and yelling after him, but Peter was determined. “Pete, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
“Get out of the way, you big, stupid oversized chicken! Go on! Git!“ Peter squawked.
“That flock has lived here for years,” Heidi murmured. “And that tom has a formidable reputation for being territorial-“
She never finished her sentence. If she did, I didn’t hear as I howled laughing.
Peter took one look at the now charging turkey and fled, arms outstretched with a yelp. The attempt he made to flee back into the safety of the car was unsuccessful, however. He gave the door one haphazard tug before the bird got too close and he had to run for it again.
“Thank you, God,” I murmured as Heidi dug out her phone to film it.
We both chortled as they ran rings around the SUV; Peter running for his life and the turkey following close behind with its feathers fanned out. The loud gobbling I could hear over Peter’s cursing did nothing to lessen the hilarity, however. I sat open mouthed as he let out a loud scream to his brother for help, still running.
Brin, of course, made no move to help him (probably just as thrilled as we were), other than to shout out his window, “Get in, Peter. Get in the car!”
All attempts to remind Peter that he could produce Tro failed as he took a flying leap onto the hood of the GTO. This did nothing considering the turkey was able to fly. It only caused Peter to catapult off just as quickly when it flew up and pecked him in the butt with an irate cackle.
“This is gonna go viral,” Heidi snorted. “His mama is gonna to love this!”
But the hilarity wasn’t done as Brin got out to try and help. He’d no sooner stepped out when one of the hens went after him, enforcing the tom who was still chasing Peter. Brin tried to shoo it away, but in the process, Peter darted around the back of the car, unaware Brin had gotten out, too, and slammed into him. They both went down with Peter landing on top of Brin. Much to Heidi’s and my glee, the tom then proceeded to hop on top of them both, flapping its wings and still gobbling.
“Peter!”
Brin sat up with an angry grimace as Peter tried unsuccessfully to squeeze himself under the car to escape. All the fun ended as Brin promptly aimed a sleeping intent at the unsuspecting birds. They wobbled on their legs a few times and then fell over. Peter cursed and rubbed his ass, watching as Brin kindly picked the bird up and deposited it off the road.
Heidi at this point was too busy uploading the video to notice Fae staring out the back window. Fae had jumped up to watch, too. “Now that was entertainment.”

Copyright Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel 2019

See why I said it fit? Peter is one of my character favorites in the new book. You can read all about the novel here. You can preorder it so you’ll have it on Thanksgiving morning, ready for your commute or wherever you’ll be for Thanksgiving, (perhaps with that shiny new Kindle you got for Black Friday!).

Make sure to comment below about how you liked the excerpt or share this snippet to show some love! I love hearing from you guys!

Xo Maggie Lynn

Cursed Hart is available now for preorder, released on November 28, 2019.

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The Vampire’s Handmaiden: Exclusive Excerpt #2

“If my plan works,” Dune continued, “he’ll lift his hypnosis to find out what we’ve done. Once he does, when you remember all this – remember me – I want you to make a decision. You need to decide what you want. If you call out for me, I will come for you and break you free. I promise you I will. I won’t let him take you again. Never.”

“And if I don’t remember?” I asked, sensing he had moved closer.

“Then I’ll find another way to free you,” he swore.

I looked at the obscured man, still unsure. All of this mattered very little considering I doubted Remy would ever let me go. “And what are we supposed to have done?”

“This,” he murmured huskily, invisible hands cupping my cheeks.

I shivered as my lower lip was traced. “What‘re you-?”

My question broke off with a low gasp as lips kissed the corner of my mouth, then along my jaw. I trembled, eyes closing and breath hitching in my throat as he feathered kisses under my ear, traveling lower with every brush of his lips against my skin.

Despite the bizarreness of the situation, not being able to see the man whose hands were encircling my waist and all but dragging me to him, I found myself swayed by the intoxicating feeling of his touch. A thrill went up my spine, wondering just where this moment would lead. On some level, it felt very wrong not knowing who was touching my body. But on another one, it felt so right; too good to tell him to stop.

One arm bowed my body to him, letting me feel the planes of his chest. My hands tightened on the chair arm rest, resisting the urge to reach out to touch him. To pull him even closer, to feel his body against mine.

As I gave in to the feeling, I tilted my head back to give him better access as he kissed my collar bone. Lower and lower he went, down between my breasts and across my stomach. With every kiss, I grew steadily hotter, feeling his lips through the thin, cool silk of my shirt. I trembled as his fingers dipped below the waist of my skirt and I fought to breathe as his lips came back to my ear, his hands lingering on my body and shaking over my skin.

“Choose us,” he rasped in my ear, his voice rough with desire. ”I will come for you.”

The Vampire’s Handmaiden

Pre-order it at amazon.com/author/maggielynnheronheidel

The Vampire’s Handmaiden will be available on October 31st 2019

©️ 2019 Maggielynnheronheidel

Slave to War – An Exclusive Sneak Peek

Hi everyone! Just a few more days until Slave to War is here! Wanted to give you an exclusive sneak peek before the book is released. This is the prologue the story, so not too much for a spoiler for ya!

“Where is she?!”

The terrified-looking secretary leaned away from her desk as General Cain McRattin suddenly lunged and grabbed her by her shirt collar, losing his patience. Now nose to nose, he bore down on her, causing her to to drop the phone in fright.

“Call Rogee and tell him if he doesn’t cough Rain up this instant, I’m going to tear his city apart from the inside out!” he snarled, shaking her roughly. “I know he has her! I’m not putting up with the runaround anymore. Either get him on the phone or this is going to get ugly…”

Her eyes widened as his grip tightened around her shoulders. “I’m sorry, General, but I already inquired about her to my boss multiple times and the Prime Minister insists he had nothing to do with Sierrenna’s disappearance. Maybe she left voluntarily,” she stuttered and then gulped as he shook her. “I can leave him another message-“

“That’s bullshit!” he roared, icy blue eyes narrowing dangerously. “She was abducted! I have it all on security footage and the license plate of the vehicle that took her belongs to Rogee!”

“Cain,” Rig inserted calmly, reaching over to attempt to pry Cain’s fingers off of her. “Let her go.”

“She’s full of crap,” Argon added, shooting her a disgusted look as Cain reluctantly released her. “She’s not going to talk. Let’s blow. If Rogee won’t answer our calls, then maybe he’ll respond to us releasing the evidence linking him to your father’s murder. How about that, bitchface?”

That seemed to get a rise out of the secretary. She shook, mouth opening and closing for a minute while all four soldiers glared at her. “Look, I have searched the records myself for this Sierrenna, but we have no records in our system of such a person inside the government database.”

“Then how do you explain all the photographs in the paper?” Ray demanded, slamming her fist on the counter while Rig nodded. “Or the security footage from the nuclear incident?! She was chosen by the state for the mission! There has to be a record somewhere!”

The secretary shook her head. “Then someone has erased all records of her existence. I’m sorry, but I can’t help you. If she is still alive, you’re going to have to find her yourselves.”

Cain stood up with a start as she folded her arms, refusing to talk further. Storming out of the room, he headed outside of the building to escape all of the lies. He slammed the door shut and headed out to the car. All was quiet as he muttered under his breath mutinously and dragged his hands through his hair.

Seven long days had passed since Rain had been taken. All evidence indicated that his love was beyond his reach, but he refused to give up. He had been through the city and across the desert to MoiRai, but still no sign of her had been found… until this morning, that is.

Argon had called. A woman was found washed up on the shore of the river on the other side of the city. Limbs missing, artificial organs, innards and eyes cut free to steal the technology, she wore Rain’s violet dress from the night of Michael’s party. Even the leather jacket that Cain had tossed over her shoulders had washed up, covered in white blood. A gang’s insignia had been burned into her forehead as a grim signature.

His stomach sank thinking about it. It was so grizzly that Argon warned him to stay away, but he had gone and he was glad he had. Sorry for the poor soul sacrificed to throw him off of Rain’s trail, but relieved because it hadn’t been her.

The true Rain had a small scar under her chin that he’d noticed one night while she was asleep, unaware of his study. It was almost like a small star on her silky copper skin. It was missing from the corpse. That they couldn’t fake. This woman also had pierced ears. Rain didn’t. She had no brand on the back of her neck and many of her other scars weren’t present either.

The empty eye sockets made him sick with disgust and brought images of Rain’s lifeless body to mind. But that was too much to bear now.

Determination rekindled, he spent the day redoubling his efforts and still came up with nothing. He knew she was still out there somewhere in Nacin. Rogee wouldn’t send her far. He’d want her right under his nose to keep an eye on her. She was too dangerous to leave without supervision, but with her new technologies too valuable to kill.

Cain sighed, forcing himself to take a deep, calming breath. It wasn’t easy. Every breath hurt knowing he had failed to keep her safe. If he never shared the locket with her, she wouldn’t have been dragged into this mess. She would never have discovered the dark secret Rogee was so desperate to hide and would still be a free woman.

Rain’s face swam in front of his eyes, thinking of how her eyes crinkled at the corners when she cracked a rare smile. He thought of how her violet eyes fluttered closed and how she shivered when he finally confessed his feelings for her, overcome with emotion because no one had ever loved her before. Those eyes were the windows to her soul and the very thing that had captured him as a boy. They held endless pain but also a sea of yearning for someone to reach out and gain her trust again.

So close…. If only they had had more time he was sure she would have come to trust him, to give in to his love completely. And even better, for her to love him back.

He longed to hold her, feel her heart fluttering under his fingers again, responding to his touch. The raw feeling of their one and only kiss, stolen in the moment just before she had been taken from him, was just a bare memory now. The moment that should have held so much promise for them was now a reminder of his failure.

An acid desire for revenge warred with his forced sense of calm. If anyone touched one hair on her head they were going to be a cadaver before long. He’d sworn to himself that he’d keep her from ever being hurt again. Cain hated that he’d failed in his promise. She had already suffered beyond measure.

Cain looked up as Argon came out of the building, heading to his side. Argon shook his head, pulling his hood up. “The sec knows nothing. She didn’t even know about the body that washed up this morning. I also inquired about Michael. All she can say is he was sent to a prestigious prep school, but we both know that’s a bunch of shit. They have their stories straight and they’re sticking to ‘em. Xorratti is in Mercaine so we can’t question him either.”

“We have to find her,” Cain said, putting both palms on the hood of the car and exhaling heavily.

“We will,” Argon replied wearily, patting his shoulder. “Rain’s strong. She’ll be fine. Rogee must be desperate to hide her if he’s willing to try and fake her murder.”

But he could hear the lie in Argon’s voice. Argon already thought that it was too late to find her. He just didn’t dare to say it straight to Cain’s face. And he was probably right but Cain refused to give up.

Both men stood for a minute, enmity strong for the city that had betrayed them. They both knew what the elites had planned and had no idea how to stop them. All they could do for now was keep searching and wait for the opportune moment to bring Rogee down.

Argon shifted, looking at Cain suddenly. “You really do love her, don’t you?”

Cain didn’t answer, still looking out over the cityscape before them. His eyes narrowed, knowing that Argon didn’t need an answer to that rhetorical question. He already knew the truth, as did everyone else that they had interrogated over the last week. And they all had the same bleak look in their eyes, thinking that it was a lost cause to keep searching.

“Call Dantenn,” Cain ordered, turning away. “Check again to make sure Rain hasn’t been there.”

Argon nodded and headed off as Cain looked out over the city once more. Cain gritted his teeth, squaring his chin as the dawn came over the city of Nacin.

“I’m coming for you, Rain. I will find you,” he vowed to no one in particular as the drizzle fell, dampening the smog. “I will find you.”

Did you enjoy it? Comment and let me know if you’re excited for the book to come out! Slave to War will be within your grasp in a week!

Happy Thanksgiving Readers! Here’s A New Exclusive Clip of ‘The Cursed Ellipse’ – Gobble, Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you and your family are having a wonderfully blessed holiday!

To brighten the day of those who aren’t enjoying their day, whether because of work or in-law proverbial hell, here’s an exclusive sneak peek at my WIP The Cursed Ellipse from my Vaktare of All Realms series. Read on ahead and I think you are going to see why I felt this excerpt would be befitting for turkey day…

Unfortunately far from convinced, Heidi’s eyes flickered up to the rear view mirror, checking on the car behind us. But then they widened and focused on whatever was behind us. “Well, my, my. This ought to be good.”

I turned around in my seat to see Peter waltzing up to an enormous tom turkey that had been imperiously strutting across the road after its hens and blocking the car. We could see Brin leaning out the window and yelling after him, but Peter seemed determined. “Peter, I wouldn’t do that if I were you-“

“Get out of the way, you big, stupid oversized chicken! Go on! Git!“ Peter squawked.

“That flock has been living here for years,” Heidi murmured. “But that tom has a formidable reputation for being territorial-“

She never had to finish her sentence. And if she did, I didn’t hear it as I howled laughing.

Peter took one look at the now charging turkey and fled, arms outstretched with a yelp. The attempt he made to flee back into the safety of the car was unsuccessful, however. He gave the car door one haphazard tug before the bird got too close and he had to run for it again.

“Thank you, God,” I murmured as Heidi dug out her phone to film it.

We both chortled as they ran rings around the SUV; Peter running for his life and the turkey following close behind with its feathers fan out. The loud gobbling I could hear over Peter’s cursing did nothing to lessen the hilarity, however. I sat open mouthed as he let out a loud scream to his brother for help, still running.

Brin, of course, made no move to help him (he was probably just as thrilled as we were), other than to shout out his window, “get in, Peter. Get in the car-“

All attempts to remind Peter that he could produce Tru failed as he took a flying leap onto the hood of the SUV. This did nothing considering the turkey was able to fly. It only caused Peter to catapult off just as quickly when it flew up and pecked him in the butt with an irate cackle.

“This is gonna go viral,” Heidi snorted. “His mama is gonna to love this!”

But the hilarity wasn’t done as Brin got out to try and help. He’d no sooner stepped out when one of the hens went after him, enforcing the tom who was still chasing Peter. Brin tried to shoo it away but in the process, Peter darted around the back of the car unaware Brin had gotten out, too, and slammed into him. They both went down with Peter landing on top of Brin. And much to Heidi’s and my glee, the tom then proceeded to hop on top of them both, flapping its wings and still gobbling.

“Peter!”

Brin sat up with an angry grimace as Peter tried unsuccessfully to squeeze himself under the car to escape. All the fun ended as Brin promptly aimed a sleeping intent at the unsuspecting birds. They wobbled on their legs a few times and then fell over. Peter cursed and rubbed his ass, watching indignantly as Brin kindly picked it up and deposited it off the road.

Heidi at this point was too busy uploading the video to the internet to notice Fae staring out the back window. Fae had jumped up to watch, too. She turned to me, luminescent eyes aglow with humor. “Now that was entertainment.”

Did you enjoy this clip? It has roots in real life, as my father was once chased around our car just like this! It provided the perfect basis for this scene from my upcoming novel, The Cursed Ellipse from my Vaktare of All Realms series.

If you wish to read more of my writing, make sure to check out my Black Friday Book Sale here. I have a few freebie books and 75% off my newest novel, Wings of Caligo, so make sure to check it out!

I wish you and wonder Thanksgiving and a blessed holiday season. Keep an eye out for more posts from me over the next few days. I’ll be releasing excerpts from several of my upcoming books, including Robin Hood: The Delunian Kingdom, so stay tuned!

– Author Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel