The problem with secrets is they don’t always remain secret, no matter how long they’ve been buried.
The dark side of magic beckons to Kaelia. It whispers in her ear, seducing her with the promise of yet more power. Having discovered the truth behind the goddess Hel’s connection to Bran the necromancer, Kaelia is finding it increasingly difficult to tell who is on her side and who is against her.
Drawn into an age-long battle, she must fight to protect not only those she loves, but also the humans that her enemies, The Salloki, would devour. Confronting an evil never seen before outside the realms of myth and magic, Kaelia is torn. Should she join with Bran? Is he really as trustworthy as he says?
But trust cuts both ways as Bran too discovers, unearthing both secrets and lies about his true identity. There is also someone he wants to protect above all, even if that price is unleashing upon Mortiswood the fearsome Vanagandr.
As secrets, lies, magic, and emotions weave their tangled web, who will lose their hearts and who will lose their lives?
Sometimes the line between good and evil is so blurred it fails to exist…
Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2IdLpeT
Amazon US – https://amzn.to/2uyl6Oq
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
Closing behind Kaelia and the Vallesm, the grand doors shut with a resounding clash. Within the building, cocooned from the battle raging outside, it was eerily deserted; all Vanadis’ subjects united on the Field of The Chosen Dead. Kaelia turned straight around and pushed the doors but they wouldn’t budge. The inside bore no handle and the vast height of the doors were nothing but smooth silver which stretched higher than Kaelia could ever hope to reach. Frustrated, she stepped back and tried blasting the doors open with her white-blue light but the light simply crackled upon impact and evaporated. Outside, rain began to fall, pelting against the doors as if it wanted to be inside as much as Kaelia wanted to leave.
Bay shook back into his human form and took Kaelia’s hand, leading them both away from the noisy onslaught of the rain. ‘It’s no use,’ he said. ‘Vanadis sent us in here for a reason. She doesn’t want you in the fight.’
Kaelia drew her power back in with a deep breath and struggled to speak. ‘I know.’
‘She’s protecting you.’
‘But I want to protect her!’
‘I know you do.’ Bay grinned his lopsided smile.
Despite feeling angry about not being allowed to stay and fight Hel’s army, Kaelia laughed. ‘You’ve always said I’m stubborn!’
‘Well, you are. I wasn’t lying.’
‘I suppose we’ll have to go home and stop whatever it is Thom has started, or plans to start.’
‘As long as he’s in his own realm I don’t care what he’s been doing. He gives me the creeps every time I see him.’ Bay shuddered.
‘Don’t worry, I’ll protect you from him!’
‘No, I’ll protect you!’ Bay dipped his head, pressing his lips against Kaelia’s.
She revelled in his familiarity. His body was firm, his arms strong and warm. And how he kissed… hungrily, eagerly… as if he wanted to devour her. This is what she’d wanted, what she’d always dreamt of: Bay, always Bay. A thought crept unbidden into her mind. But that was before. Before she knew there was more than just one person out there for her. Before she had met Him. The thought made her pull away from Bay. That was before she’d tasted the power she could share with another who was the same, yet different to her.
Bay looked hurt. ‘What’s wrong?’
Kaelia shook her head, hardly trusting herself to speak. She chose her words carefully. The last thing she wanted to do was to hurt Bay. ‘The darkness my mother spoke of, I can feel it.’ Lifting one hand, she tapped at her temple. ‘Sometimes I think I can hear it and it can hear me.’
‘It’s all in your imagination,’ Bay replied soothingly. ‘You’ve been through a lot in such a short time—we both have. It’s normal to have doubts.’
‘It’s more than that. You’re a good person, Bay. You always have been. I’m not.’
‘You are, Kaelia.’
‘That’s what you want to think.’
Bay ran a hand through his hair. ‘You don’t know what I want to think, or rather don’t want to think.’
‘I felt you pull away just now when we were kissing. What I don’t want to think of is why.’
Kaelia couldn’t keep from blushing. The heat rose in her cheeks, suffusing them with pink. Being pale-skinned with red freckles did little to hide it. She looked down at the floor.
‘I won’t let you fall for the darkness.’ Bay hooked a finger under Kaelia’s chin and gently lifted her head back up. ‘I’ll always be here to hold your hand and keep you grounded in reality. I won’t let the darkness of the other side seduce you.’
Kaelia shuddered. ‘There’s no way I’ll be seduced by Thom and The Salloki.’
Bay’s gaze was steady. ‘You know full well I meant Bran. I’ve seen you together, remember. I worry that’s what you think of every time I touch you because when you and he touch, it’s electric. When we touch.’ He laced his fingers with Kaelia’s. ‘It’s… normal.’
‘We’re not normal, we never will be. Don’t say that.’
Bay’s smile was rueful. ‘But I can’t make you feel the way he does.’
‘You don’t need to.’ Kaelia tiptoed and kissed Bay. ‘I don’t want you to. It’s always been you and me. Ever since we were kids.’
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gina Dickerson lives by the Thanet coast on the north-eastern tip of Kent within the UK, with her family and bouncy Siberian husky.
Having previously worked for a Local Authority, and been a Systems Supervisor for the departmental database, Gina is now a full-time author and designer. Her books include the dark urban fantasy Mortiswood Tales series, Lies Love Tells – part of the thrilling romantic suspense Eastcove Lies series, dark fairy tales The Pennington Christmas Curse and Always Golden, as well as a collection of her dark short stories, Underleaf.
Gina has also written newspaper articles, and was a fashion and shopping columnist for her local newspaper, as well as having had short stories and poetry published in anthologies. She designs book covers and other promotional material under the name RoseWolf Design, and belongs to the author co-operative Authors Reach.