Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/Ng2dymrVVvw
Ash walked haltingly toward Maddie. Beneath her fear, he could smell the sweetness of her dreams and her stories; laced with magic and dark twists and turns, they all had one thing in commonâa happy ending.
Something he wasnât sure he believed in anymore.
With one hand, he cupped her face. Did she tremble at his touch, did she recognize the gentle brush of his flesh against hers, or was that his imagination? The not-full moon hovered at his back, her silver light singing in time with his own poetry, reminding him how much he longed to harvest, how long it had been since he had eaten anything but the old dreams. Sage had been right, though Ash would never confess it to her or to any of his clan.
The old dreams of Lily, those he kept in a secret cache, had become like poison. With each one he grew weaker. If he kept this up, he would soon become a phantom, trapped between worlds. He would become the ghost he had pretended to be for so many years and he would forever haunt Ticonderoga Falls.
Unless his appetite could be once again be stirred.
Ash winced at the thought, his old wound causing him to curl over, bending at the waist. He almost lost control of his Veil and it began to melt around the edges, silver flashes of light growing nearer as the magic collapsed in upon itself.
âBe still,â he murmured, his strength failing as the pain waxed full. The Veil responded, staying just strong enough to continue holding all three of them motionless.
Woman. Boy. Dog.
Ash leaned closer to her, fighting the temptation, though it was near impossible when the phantom mists of someone elseâs dreams still drifted through the forest. His lips rested beside Maddieâs ear and he whispered.
âStay,â Ash said, speaking the words he had longed to say from the moment she had entered his territory. âStay in Ticonderoga Falls for one more day. Then youâll be free to go. I give you my promise. I only ask that you stay for the Hunt. Please.â
With a great reluctance, he pulled away. Maddie was caught in that still and silent world between breaths, and there are rules about how much you can tell your prey to do.
Rules bound their worlds together, held the moon and sun in place.
He knew that now. Wished he had known it long ago.
With a leap and a mighty surge of wings, Ash broke his spell and he soared away from her, into the heavens, high above the trees. Where he could resist her fragrance once more.
Multiple-award-winning author Merrie Destefano writes lyrical tales of magic, mystery, and hope. Her traditional books have been published by HarperCollins, Entangled Teen, and Walter Foster, while her indie imprint is Ruby Slippers Press. Her novels have won awards in both the science fiction and fantasy categories.
She worked for Focus on the Family, The Word For Today, Engaged Media, and PJS Publications, and her magazine experience includes editor of Victorian Homes magazine, Zombies magazine, Haunted: Mysteries And Legends magazine, American Farmhouse Style magazine, Vintage Gardens magazine and founding editor of Cottages and Bungalows magazine. Her co-authored art books include How To Draw Vampires, How To Draw Zombies, and How to Draw Grimmâs Dark Fairy Tales. Her edited books include The Man God Uses by Chuck Smith, Oil Pastel Step-By-Step by Nathan Rohlander, and The Art of Drawing Fantasy Characters by Jacob Glaser.
Born in the Midwest, Merrie now lives in Southern California, where she runs on caffeine, and shares her home with rescue dogs and cats. And although she dearly loves science fiction, in her heart of hearts, she still doesnât believe airplanes should be able to fly.