A Little treat for you… I have posted the opening pages of Rapunzel… I hope you enjoy the Prologue to Blane’s heartbreaking journey x
Leave me a comment and someone will win a PDF copy of the book x
15 years ago…
Thunder rolled and clapped against the dark night sky as rain battered the side of the small wood farmhouse.
Blane, his younger sister and his mother sat in front of the fire in abject silence as screams and loud crashes filtered through the walls—past the thunder, past the rain and into their home.
“Mother, I can help.” Blane insisted. “I can help father, I am trained.” He stated, puffing his chest out and standing as tall as he could.
“Sit.” His mother snapped reaching forward and yanking at Blane’s tired clothes. “You will do no such thing. Your father told us to stay—so we stay.”
“Blane, I don’t need you running off into the fray. I have enough to worry about with your father and uncle already fighting those beasts, I don’t want to have to worry for you as well.”
Blane scowled and paced to the window. Rain slapped against the bended glass and left fast-running droplets that obscured his sight. He growled, frustrated at being made to stay out of the fight like a child.
He wasn’t a child, he was fifteen.
For the last year his father had worked him just as hard as the adults on the farm. He had pushed him and trained him with his sword, and Blane was ready to go out and help his father now.
This was the third Raptor attack in the last year. Since the princes of Raintree had gone missing and the king was dead, so many different demons had attacked their land and tried to take their kingdom.
So many families had left, frightened by the raging aggression. So many had died at the hands of attacking Raptors, but not Blane’s family.
His father was an old warrior from the Raintree guard, as was his Uncle. They had fought and protected their land so far, and Blane believed they always would.
Thunder clapped and lightning lit up the sky for a fleeting second, Blane gasped as the flickering shadows of many large, winged demons filled up the sky past the window.
Blane whirled around, desperate to get out there. His blood boiled with determination and his nerves literally jangled with excitement.
“Mother, I have to get out there.” He stated, already yanking his coat on and snatching up his rough-hewn sword. He was a man now, his father had said so on many occasions, surely fighting was his right—his duty.
His mother jumped up and scurried towards him, his younger sister, Janie, stayed in her seat, her young face pale with fright. She was barely seven summers old, but already she was a talented seamstress. Blane loved her, though she irritated him sometimes. She watched Blane and fat tears rolled down her cheek. He hated to see her scared.
“Don’t worry Janey, I’ll be back.” He offered confidently. Janey nodded and sniffed.
Blane tore his gaze away from those heart-breaking tears and turned to his mother. He placed his hands on her shoulders and marvelled, not for the first time, that he was finally taller than his mother.
This last year, he had grown into a man, and he was ready to behave like one. That meant going out to help his father.
“Your father said you had to stay inside! You promised him!” she implored. There were no tears, no theatrics when it came to his mother, only a stern impatience that Blane appreciated. Tears and crying he just didn’t know how to manage.
“I will not go far, mother, I will just go out to see if Father needs me, then I will return.” He didn’t plan to return until the fight was over and he had many a demon Raptor’s blood on his hands, but his mother’s face relaxed a little at his words.
“You promise me, Blane.”
“I promise mother.” Blane agreed easily. He turned to his sister and gave her a wide grin. “I’ll be back Janey.”
Janey hiccoughed and nodded, her wide green eyes wet with tears, but she managed a small smile in return, accepting his promise.
His mother stepped back and held her clasped hands to her lips as she prayed loudly. No tears fell from her eyes, but Blane could not recall ever seeing her so distressed.
A loud clap of thunder cracked in his ears and he sprang into action. He moved to the front door, yanked it open and stared out into the ghastly night.
Rain hit his face like small shards of ice, wetting his clothes right down to the flesh within seconds. A flash of lightning lit up the sky right over the barn and Blane immediately spotted his father going hand-to-hand with a larger Raptor.
Never go hand-to-hand unless you have no other choice… His father’s words rang out in his ears and Blane jogged closer to aid his father, who clearly needed his help.
Before Blane could reach his father, a screech rent the air. Blane whipped his head to the side and saw a Raptor demon swooping down towards him. Fear lit in his veins but the smooth wash of adrenaline negated the fright. He could do this. Blane turned, lifted his blade and ran at the demon.
The Raptor landed on the ground in a smooth drop, its gnarly feet touching down on his father’s land. Blane growled and charged. He slashed out with his sword—a gift from his father on his birthday—and whooped with pride as the metal connected with the demon’s arm.
The demon roared and tipped its head sideways and watching Blane, the Raptor barely flinched from the slash in its arm, it merely watched Blane, a small smile lifting the sides of its mouth.
Blane charged again, but this time the demon batted Blane’s sword away like a fly.
“They send children to fight us now…” the raptor said with its eerie hissing tone. “This means we have won.”
Blane swallowed hard as bile rose up his throat. When the demon reached forward and grabbed him by his coat, Blane let out a shout of fear. The demon laughed and pulled Blane closer.
Somewhere in all this, Blane had allowed his sword to drop from his hand. But he still pelted the demon with his fists, connecting with sleek, flesh, but nothing stopped the demon from focusing on him.
A roar of sound erupted in the air behind Blane and he felt his heart stall. Father…
He had heard his father roar like that only once in his life, and that was when his mother had lost a babe in childbirth two summers before. Blane twisted his head, but could hardly move as the Raptor demon held fast. Blane kicked out his boot and connected with the Demon in a loud thud.
“Father!” Blane shouted. The Raptor turned his head and Blane could see his father running across the field towards them. His father’s brow was deeply furrowed, his body soaked from the rain. Blood poured from a wound on his head, but three Raptors lay slain on the ground behind him.
His father was a warrior, a hero. Blane’s heart sunk at the disappointment he saw on his father’s face.
The Raptor holding Blane threw him to the ground and whirled on his father. Fear sparked inside Blane’s chest, but he was stricken, paralysed by fright.
His father leapt high into the air and came down on top of the Raptor. The pair thrashed around, hitting punching and letting off grunts as they sparred.
Blane skittered backwards on the mud-slicked ground, away from the lethal scene, his eyes glued to the battle, his heart frozen in his chest. His father fought like a savage animal, his teeth bared and his hands balled into fists that looked as wide as a blunt hammer. But the Raptor had claws, sharp poison tipped claws that kept sinking into his father, leaving rivulets of red.
Blane glanced around for anything that might help his father. A small glint of light caught his focus and Blane realised he was close to his sword.
A Raptor scream sounded behind him and Blane turned to check the distance, praying it wasn’t near him. Coward that he now was, Blane wished he’d stayed within his house.
What he saw froze his insides and tore a cry from his chest.
A Raptor was pushing through the front door of their house.
Blane leapt up and darted towards their home. Leaving his father and the sparring demon behind him.
“Janey! Mother!” He yelled as he sprinted across the slushy mud. He fell to his knees once and picked himself up, charging headlong back to the house. He fell against the cottage wall, breathless, frightened, but determined. A child’s scream rent the air and Blane roared—a baleful sound he had never made before—He lunged through the door and stalled as the horror of the situation hit his eyes.
A Raptor demon sat in the middle of the room, with his mouth tearing at Janey’s small body.
Time seemed to stand still, frozen as Blane stood motionless, watching with morbid horror as the Raptor lifted its gore smattered mouth from Janey’s small, broken body, and hissed at Blane.
Blane staggered backwards and fell against the wall. Breathing had become impossible, the room swayed and his vision blackened. A shattering roar battered his ears, and hazily, he focused on his father as the massive Rain demon stalked past him.
In a flash of profound violence, Blane watched, almost detached as his father tore the Raptor demon’s head from its body, throwing it behind him like a macabre football. The battle was fast, the raptor never having stood a chance against his father.
Blane winced when his father turned his angry gaze towards him.
“You did this!”
His father dropped and pulled Janey’s broken body into his lap and tipped his head back. The roar that hit Blane’s ears and shook the very house was filled with agony—a misery that he had caused.
If I had stayed in the house, I could have protected her…
His mother staggered into the room from the kitchen, Her slim body was covered in blood and her hands trembled as she reached out for Janey.
A shriek from outside snatched everyone’s attention, and Blane’s father tensed. Blane stood against the wall and watched his father lie Janey down gently. He walked to his mother, laid a kiss to her forehead and left the small farm-house to do battle again. Weary, tired and clearly injured, Blane wondered how his father would survive.
Blane was just about to beg his father to stay, when his mother stumbled forwards and fell to her knees clumsily. Blane lunged out to catch her, helping her to the floor. Blood coated his hands, from a wound on his mother’s side. But as he tried to tend it, she batted him away and collapsed over his little sister.
“My baby… My baby…”
His mother cried loudly, sobbing from the pit of her soul, while Blane held and rocked her. Such a pathetic job, but all he could manage as his mind screamed with all the horror. The sounds of violence came from outside, punctuated every now and then by the thunder.
He couldn’t look at Janey, couldn’t see what he had caused. Blane stared at the door and waited for his father to return.
When his mother’s body ceased rocking, Blane glanced down to see his beautiful mother staring up at him from within his arms. When had he taken hold of her? She reached up weakly as death slowly claimed her. Blane had no idea what to do. No idea how to stop what was happening to his mother…
I caused this…
“Min brave dreng.” My boy. So brave… His mother whispered in her native tongue.
Blane shook his head in denial and sniffed loudly. “No. Mother, no!” Death was leeching her colour and turning her white. An evil Blane didn’t know how to fight. An evil that seemed to be in the room with them—all around.
She stroked his cheek with blood-wet fingers and nodded slowly. “My brave, brave boy. I know you will be great.”
“No.” Blane moaned rolling his mother into his chest. Yet more blood coated his hands, the sticky blackened mess smearing all around his knees.
“Just remember all of the stories I told you…about where I come from.” Her voice cracked on the last word and she sucked in a breath that sounded pained, blood leaked from the side of her mouth and Blane cried out.
“Remember the map….It is up to you now Blane to open the fey gates and…set them free.”
Blane couldn’t understand why his mother chose her dying breath to mention an old tale she had told him from the moment he was a babe, but her words sounded so determined, even as she choked past death.
“Promise me, Blane….” She coughed, spraying blood from her mouth.
Blane just sobbed like a child and shook his head. He stroked her hair from her face and uttered words of denial.
“Promise me.” She coughed again
Blane jerked his head in agreement—anything to make his mother better. “I promise.” He whispered past his agony. “Please mumma…” He begged, using his childhood name for her.
At his words his mother relaxed, she almost smiled and then she died in his arms.
His father and uncle never returned from the battle, and the Raptors left at sun-up, their job done—the land claimed.
Blane left his home that morning covered in his mother’s blood. Never to return.
Chloe, princess of the iron fey and heir to the throne, is trapped. Kidnapped from her life at the young age of fifteen and imprisoned by the Vulcans, she has suffered at their hands for more than a decade.
Broken weak and hopeless, she has long stopped dreaming of a better life.
When a large demon is captured by the Vulcans and thrown into her tower, Chloe has no idea that fate has a plan.
Bent on fulfilling a promise he made to his dying mother, Blane finds himself behind bars. Locked in the legendary Vulcan tower, with a woman he fears is his mate. Blane realizes that even the best laid plans can fail.
Blane never wanted a mate. Never wanted anyone to rely on him. But can he walk away from the one woman who is meant to be the other half of his soul?