Hello and happy Tuesday! Whew, what a week it has been so far! My internet was out all weekend, so I’m still catching up with all of you. But as soon as I got it back, I had to bring you what I had previously promised!
Here’s the exclusive preview from my upcoming novel ‘Wings of Caligo’, book one in my ‘Legends of Arestina’ series. I hope you enjoy it. I’ll be posting more teasers in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
Wings of Caligo The Prologue…
Nothing could have prepared me for this. My heart pounded in terror as the truth hit me. I was done for.
Blood curdling howls spilt the night as I tore through the dense forest undergrowth, trying to escape my fate. The death crawlers were right on my tail now, hunting me to the ground and screaming for my blood. I pushed my legs to go faster trying to outrun them, but it was too late.
I should have listened to my father when he said not to go out at night. I had snuck out here to the forest thinking I would be safe to watch the rising moon. How wrong I had been. Now I was running blindly in the dark for my life.
Tree branches hit me in the face as I tried to escape. The death crawlers’ lime green eyes were made for seeing in the dark. Mine couldn’t see two feet in front of me let alone see where they were. The beasts had come up behind me and attacked without warning. I knew they were chasing me down, but who knew how close they were to catching me. But then I didn’t need to question it anymore.
I cried out as a force slammed into my back, throwing me to the ground face down. I whimpered as its disgusting panting rang in my ears, sniffing up and down my neck. A low growl sounded as the rest of the pack caught up. They were all around me now, preparing for their meal.
Slowly lifting my head, I saw thirty sets of lips drawn back over their teeth. Poisonous green drool leaked down from their jaws, echoing the equally venomous toxin in their claws. Their leathery bald pink and black skin reflected the moonlight and they closed their wings, settling down after the chase. They thought they had caught me. They thought they were going to enjoy their meal. They were probably right.
I tried to sit up, but I was pushed down into the mud as the alpha dug its claws into my shoulder. I was too scared to cry out as they raked my arm, leaving bloody marks all the way down. This was the end of me and I knew it. I was good as dead. Within a minute, my body would go into shock from the poison and shut down. But oddly enough, that was the last move they made to kill me.
I sat up in confusion as the alpha moved off of my back and sat down, eyes narrowed with a growl. The rest echoed that noise sitting in unison, watching me with unnervingly glowing eyes.
It hit me then that they were waiting for me to die. Death crawlers never left their victims alive. So if they weren’t going to eat me, what were they planning to do? There was only one explanation. They had been sent to kill me, probably on the orders of the King of Caligo. That’s where they had come from; over there in that barren wasteland, across the Divide. They had come for the princessa; that being me.
But there was one snag in their plan. I didn’t seem to be dying. I looked down at my arm, seeing with shock that the marks on my skin were fading. In a few seconds, they were gone, leaving only jagged red scars in their place.
I gulped as another growl passed through the hunting pack, all watching me heal with unblinking eyes. They seemed just as astonished with my healing as I was. But the leader wasn’t done with me. It couldn’t fail its master by leaving me breathing. It stalked toward me, a low snarl on its jaw.
In that moment, my life flashed before my eyes. I had only lived seven short years, happily unaware of the danger that lurked in this forest. Being a garden fairy, my days were blissfully happy, playing with my friends and the creatures of the flowered fields. Those days were now to be cut short by my own stupidity of venturing out into the woods alone.
But also in that moment, a new power surged through me: a will to live. And into that will surged an ability I had never known.
I collapsed forward onto my elbows, my back erupting into mind-bending pain that had nothing to do with the enemies surrounding me. The pain seemed to be directed by a force inside my own mind that I had never experienced before. It screamed for vengeance and exploded out of my control.
My limbs started to elongate, fur sprouting from my hands. My bones jolted in new directions as I disappeared entirely, this new force taking over my being. An animalistic feeling gripped me and it was calling for the destruction of my enemies. The urge to shred them limb to limb took over and by the time I stood tall in this new four-footed form, it came to fruition.
The crawlers all stood stunned as I threw my head back into a raging howl, warning them of their oncoming demise.
I leapt onto the leader and tore off its wing, dragging my sharp claws across its throat. To the rest that didn’t run came similar fates, their neon purple blood splattering to the forest floor. They breathed their last breaths at my teeth and claws. I showed them no mercy. By the time I was done, they barely resembled the same creatures that had surrounded me moments before. Mangled corpses surrounded me, satisfying my inner animal and personally repulsing me.
I stared around, now coming back to my own mind, horrified by what I had done. Yes, those things had been planning to kill me, but I had all but shredded them into pieces. I backed up with a low whine, now hearing that it wasn’t like my own voice. It was that of a dog’s, high with fear.
Even stranger was the instinct to chase down the rest of the crawlers who had all but fled from my blood lust. What was I?! I was no garden fairy anymore; dark black fur over my skin and ears pointed up toward the sky. Looking back at myself, I saw a long black tail in the same color over my back. In my horror, snapping my jaws together, I realized what I was.
How had I become a wolf? A low whimper broke from my throat as I panicked. The world spun as I collapsed, my consciousness giving out to the fear. I disappeared into the void, mind recovering from the ordeal. But what I didn’t know was that this was only the beginning of my journey. Life as I knew it was about to end, the truth coming to light. Nothing would ever be the same.
***Can’t wait to have it?! Pre-order Wings of Caligo on Amazon to have it the instant it’s released! Here’s a little more about the novel:
My life is a lie…
Imagine being born into a secret so important that entire kingdoms could come crumbling down and evil would reign if you told the truth. I may be a lumina fairy, but no one can know my secret: my true nature. I have to hide who I am every day of my life, even from the man I love. And worst of all, he’s supposed to be my enemy. Obscura faeries, lumina fairies; who am I supposed to be loyal to? My country or my heart? Danger is hiding at every corner and old adversaries threaten to tear everything I hold dear to pieces. It’s either truth or Dare, and my choice could devastate us all…
Wings of Caligo, book one in the Legends of Arestina Trilogy, is an action packed adventure filled with twists and turns that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Between black magic curses, wolf shifters, sword fights, and a romance that will endure until the end of time, readers will be transported to the Bermuda Triangle for a fairy tale twist that they will never forget.
Wings of Caligo touches on real life issues such as bullying, bigotry, racial boundaries, poaching, and human trafficking. Parental discretion is suggested for readers under the age of thirteen due to topics of sensitive nature.
Ten percent of all proceeds from the book will be donated to Agape International Missions, a ministry dedicated to ending human trafficking.
Get it on Amazon
Copyright 2018 Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel. Please do not reproduce or copy this text without written permission from the author…