Whether you are vampire, dragon, elf, shapeshifter, fairy, or a mundane (normal human) you'll enjoy news, gossip, deleted scenes, and flash fiction from two popular YA paranormal romance series, Sídhí Summer Camp and Song of the Sídhí.
I received confirmation that a
pod of kraken has been sighted off the shore of Texas in Clan Valley.
Every official I spoke with
said, no comment, so I decided to take a little trip.
After about a ten-hour drive, I
arrived at Galveston. I headed straight for the Marina, but there was not a
single boat available to rent.
I stuck around the dock area,
and sure enough, I started hearing rumors about the kraken.
The pod was less than fifty
miles off shore. Estimates ranged from two to six adults and four babies. One
kraken is more than enough, but ten! Supposedly, a group of siren (that's a
warrior caste fairy) were on their way to take care of the kraken infestation.
I just happened to be sitting
behind a pile of boxes, under a tarp, on the fishing vessel, Hard-up Joy, when a group of hard-eyed
fairies walked onboard. (I paid the local pixie runner a cool hundred to find
out which boat the fairies had hired.)
We had been underway for about
ten minutes when the tarp flew up. One of the fairies glared at me.
"Hi, I'm Jodie Cooper,
Sídhí news reporter," I greeted him with a cheery smile.
"I know who you are,"
he commented, with a sour-look on his face. "You're constantly sticking
your nose into things that are none of your business. Today might be your
"Hey, the public has a
right to know if they are in danger. You don't have any right to threaten
"Not a threat, a
promise." A second fairy walked up behind the first. "If there is more
than one kraken, we'll probably be swimming home. We'll make it just fine. You,
little mundane reporter, won't make it a mile, much less fifty."
After that, they ignored me, and
my questions. Talk about rude!
I made my way to the front of
the boat (later, I found-out it's called the bow) in the small cabin that
covered the wheel. The guy steering the boat ignored me.
Nearly an hour later, he pointed
out the window. "Not so sweet looking are they."
They, he spoke of, were kraken.
The closer we got to the
monsters, the more I wondered if I hadn't made a really big mistake. There were
two of the huge monsters and a smaller baby. The baby was just old enough to
survive in salt water. I'd heard kraken were three stories tall. If momma and
daddy had not been swimming, they would have been that tall.
Each, of the black-skinned
creatures, had three long necks. The head was a diamond-shaped like a rattler.
Its scream threatened to burst my eardrums.
The largest of the three surged
forward, snapping at us with all three heads. Really, really large fangs
glistened in the sunshine.
We swung near them, just outside
of chomping range. Four of the sirens started singing, aiming their voices
toward the rubber-skinned monsters. Sirens had many vocal skills, from
tear-inducing love songs to bone-shattering shrieks.
The kraken heads began to bob,
like a baby fighting sleep.
That's when I realized, the
fairies weren't trying to kill the kraken. The weird fairies of Atlantis Valley
were trying to put the mega-monsters to sleep.
Hello? What good would that do?
A few minutes later, all three
kraken floated in the water, belly-up and fast asleep.
A different fairy stood next to
the railing, staring at the water.
I slipped out of the cabin and
looked down into the sea.
Around the body of the baby
kraken, the surface of the sea began churning. Huge vines of sea coreweed
(that's a Sídhí plant) curled up and around the body of the beast.
Coreweed slithered across the
deck. It was the largest specimen of coreweed I had ever seen. Four inches
thick, it had bright green skin with blue scaly spots. I knew dried coreweed
was sort of the equivalent of hemp from Earth, except it was extremely strong.
This was still wiggling and wet.
The fairy at the rail (who had
to be an enchanter) glanced at the flopping end of coreweed. It slithered over
the rail, under the boat, and popped-up on the opposite side. It wrapped around
the boat several times.
The boat slowly moved south,
towing the smallest of the kraken. Hours later, we slowed to a stop. It was in the
middle of nowhere. The fairies threatened me with my life if I reported the
The enchanter fairy severed the
coreweed, leaving three lengths on the deck.
Three of the fairies each
grabbed a length of coreweed and slipped over the side. Taking a deep breath,
they disappeared, pulling the baby kraken behind them.
I later learned there was a
permanent portal several hundred feet down, and that was how the kraken
appeared in Clan Valley to begin with.
The fairies pulled the baby kraken
through the underwater portal, returning him to Atlantis Valley. Afterward the
three fairies returned to the boat, and the captain steered the boat away from
We waited for nearly an hour
before the kraken parents showed-up, rushing through the water at an
unbelievable speed and shrieking their heads off.
Thankfully, they were more
concerned with finding their baby. They dove under the water and didn't
Well, I had a hot tip that
kraken were seen in the Gulf of Mexico! When I called Guardian Tremaine, my vampire
contact in Clan Valley, he said 'no comment' and hung up on me.
The nerve of some people!
I'll hunt down the true story
and tell you all about it.
Until then, a little gossip
never hurt anyone.
Rumor has it that Lord MuskLeke
is back to his old habits of torturing mundanes, killing them, and cutting out
Sound familiar? Well, if it
doesn't, it should. He did the same thing in the Whitechapel district of London
back in 1888. He's more famously known as Jack the Ripper.
The rumor hasn't been confirmed,
but the mutilated bodies appeared eerily the same as those 1888 murders. This
time MuskLeke is spreading out his killings, one in New York City, another in
Los Angeles, and several in Australia.
If you have not read Vampire's Forbidden Territory, the following deleted scene will contain spoilers!
Deleted scene has not been edited.
Change of Plans
demanded of the wrinkly-faced gnome standing several feet away.
His pasty colored skin
lost even more color as Clarabelle lowered her large head within biting
distance of him. His pale yellow eyes widened. Showing a hint of intelligence,
he remained crouched next to the squirming troll.
She felt surprise ripple
through her big body when the little man didn’t run. At three feet tall, the
gnome would be less than a pre-meal snack for her, not that she ate gnomes.
Well, only a few and that was years earlier. The unfortunate incident happened
after one of the silly creatures cut her beautiful hair too short.
The big troll howled,
cutting off her train of thought.
pressed a little harder, squishing the flopping dark red body under her giant
claws. The troll bellowed in fury. Its long yellow teeth gnawed on one of her
claws in a wasted attempt to free itself. The big male’s grunts and howls
seemed to be a barbarian language, but she knew the noise was only the animal’s
attempt to frighten her away.
Trolls, like werewolves
or khatts, were very smart animals. If trained properly they became useful
tools, but nothing more.
fierce glare, the troll’s handler hunched his scrawny shoulders. “I tries to
teach ‘em Mistress, but I’s don’t always makes ‘em understand. I really tries!”
the little gnome squalled under her fierce glare.
“It’s nots my fault that them mites attacked
too soon. I swears it!” the stinky little gnome continued his rambling excuses
as Clarabelle rearranged her plans.
Clarabelle didn’t want
excuses. She wanted the Chi’Kehra’s lifeMate alive and in shackles before the
night was over. Having the Chi’Kehra as her very own trained lapdog would not
only guarantee success against the dragon council, but the girl was critical to
Clarabelle’s ultimate goal of returning Dragon Valley to the Sídhí home world.
“You will hunt them
down. I want the boy captured, not dead. Do you hear me? You will bring him to
me alive. He won’t be any good to me dead. He dies and you and every miserable
gnome within Dragon Valley will die by my dragonfire.”
The little yellow eyed
man dropped to his knees, his loud keening wail of terror pleased her.
Well, I found out a bit more
detail on the Haven Valley mystery.
Rumor has it that a fae
manipulated the synth crystal within the valley's second dimensional walls.
Fae are supposedly extinct, but
then shapeshifters were supposed to be extinct as well, and they are obviously
a thriving race.
I couldn't find out any hard-facts
about the fae rumor. Myth and fear seem to be the best description. Tens of
thousands of years before Sídhí came to Earth, the fae were a dwindling, but
extremely powerful race. Powerful, as in the fae were a rival to Chi'Kehra's
The fae had the ability to twist
reality, and caste actual spells.
Unfortunately, if they didn't
find their lifeMate, by the time they reached five hundred, they went catatonic
and eventually died.
I did talk to one old
(relatively speaking) dwarf who said many of the first and second-generation
fae simply went into a living stasis, sending out tendrils of their
consciousness hunting for their mate. Cory Hutch (the dwarf) said many fairies
believe they have fae blood in their veins.
This is changing the subject,
but once Cory started talking, - with a little help from his homemade moonshine
- he told me Haven Valley had several settlements on Earth.
Yes, you heard it here! There
are not only shapeshifters on Earth, but several other races as well. He was
about to tell me the name of one town, but his mate came in and smacked him up
the side of his head with her rolling pin.
He did manage to tell me that
the Alpha Prime (Beth) was hiding fae and growing synth crystal in these
settlements on Earth!
Well, let me tell you, that's
really exciting! I started searching the internet for small towns that were
notoriously anti-visitor. My research might take a while, but I'll eventually
find out the truth!
It has been nearly a year since
Haven Valley, a mixed-race valley that is predominately shapeshifter, appeared
on radar, so to speak. The other Sídhí Valleys had no idea Haven Valley
I know. Doesn't that sound hard
to believe? I guess not really, not after I interviewed several key people
within Haven Valley.
For starters, a monarch rules
Haven. The monarch is always a female, and tied into the synth crystal
protecting their valley. Don't ask. I haven't got a clue how that is possible. When
I asked, I sort of got the run around.
They spouted some poppycock
about rounding-up all of the female shifters born of the royal bloodline then
testing them. They clammed up on the testing part.
At first, they were quite open
about how Haven Valley remained isolated from the other valleys and Earth.
Haven only has four portals that open onto Earth and no portals (that they know
of) that open into other valleys. Each portal is under 24/7 guard.
When I asked how they kept vampires
and dragons from porting out of the valley, they said each person with the
ability to port had to be 'keyed' to port past The Barrier.
They said it was something their
clan of dragons came up with to protect Haven Valley.
Well, let me tell you, I know a
few dragons. Each dragon I contacted said there wasn't a dragon alive (not even
High Councilwoman Cornelia) that had the power or knowledge to manipulate the
synth crystal barrier within a valley's second dimensional walls. Portals yes, the valley walls? No way.
Something fishy is going on in Haven Valley and
I plan to find out what it is.
What would Halloween be without
a treat? I dug around the bottomless pit (my laptop) and found another deleted
scene from Vampire's Forbidden Territory. The deleted scene was Beth's POV at
the camp (before Katie and Jared arrived) when she first met Mitch.
NOTE: Some of the dialogue and
other details changed in the final version. The scene was not edited.
A deep growl echoed through the trees, deep
within the Sídhí forest. The harsh sound promised a painful ending.
Beth ran toward the disappearing
sound, quickly reaching a campsite nestled on the edge of a small meadow amid
tall furble trees. Two mid-sized tents stood near each other, away from the
At the far edge of camp, a
beautiful young woman extended semi-clear claws and methodically advanced
toward a grinning young man. With each stalking step, her long white blonde
hair swung around slender hips. Her ethereal features lacked all expression.
On the opposite side of camp, to
Beth's right, stood a gorgeous hunk in a pair of red shorts and a skintight
matching muscle shirt. Six and a half feet of pure muscle rippled with barely
contained power as he flexed his arms, anticipating the coming fight. Light
green eyes twinkled with excitement. The large mint green iris left little room
for the surrounding white of his eyes, his elfin eyes.
The large elf encouraged the
coming fight with a kissing smack of his lips, blowing the slowly approaching
young woman a sarcastic kiss. "Come on, Sarah, that's it. Show me your
true colors so I can prove to my naive twin you're nothing but a murderous
Blurred movement, racing between
the trees, caught Beth's attention.
An angry young man, with
dripping black hair and no shirt, rushed into the camp area struggling to
button a pair of tight jean shorts over obviously wet hips. "Dang it
Sarah, sheath those blasted claws. Whatever Mitch said, you can't kill
His harsh order was not well
received, not by either party.
Sarah's immobile face changed in
an instant, reflecting her anger. She opened her mouth, revealing lengthened
fangs and hissed at the dark haired guy who dared interrupt her fight. Not a
smart move on the wet guy's side of things, not when you considered the
bear-like claws she boasted.
Sarah shouldn't have had claws,
none of the other vampires did. By order of the dragons, every camper wore a
silver bracelet. The silver should've restricted her ability to extend her
claws, but the thin piece of metal obviously didn't work the way it should.
Beth didn't doubt for a minute
that a fight would occur, especially since most dhark vampires had no honor.
They lived and breathed to serve their evil masters, the dhark overlords of the
Dhark Empire. And Beth knew for a fact Sarah was one of the vilest vampires
"Hey, who said I started
it?" Mitch asked. The laughter in his deep voice countered his innocent
Mitch glanced toward Beth and
dismissed her as unimportant, returning his gaze to Sarah. He froze then
whipped his head around, staring at her in wide-eyed shock, unconsciously
taking a step toward her as if drawn toward her.
His reaction mirrored most young
men she was introduced too. They ignored everyone – and everything around him –
except her. It was side effect of being Haven Valley's Alpha Prime; most
unmated men were physically drawn toward her like a khatt in heat.
Thankfully, she didn't see drool
dripping from his lower lip, and drool did happen. Lord Morkan's son had been
her last drooler.
She shuddered, remembering the
long slimy streaks he left behind on her beautiful green ball gown after a
single dance. She absolutely did not want the drool experience repeated.
As Mitch stared at Beth, the
large black pupils of his elfin eyes expanded, indicating either surprise or
pleasure. From his pause and huge welcoming smile, she assumed the later. Like
males who couldn't resist the pull of her animal nature, the muscle-bound Mitch
thought better with the lower half of his body and not the upper half.
"Well, hello Short Stuff.”
He gave her a million dollar smile. “Jeez, for such a tiny thing, you are
stacked like Jessica Rabbit: big boobs, teeny tiny waist, and hips I can grab
Great, just her luck, she had to
share a cabin for four months with a wannabe comedian who thought he was
Casanova. The thickheaded moron was exactly the type of guy she avoided: a
gorgeous, brawny idiot with the brain of a skrivett. She choked back a snort of
disgust, hoping she could keep her mouth shut.
Several feet away, a young woman
who had been silently combing her hair, snorted. She expertly flipped the long
mane of black hair into a ponytail and jumped off the blue surface of a long
dead furble tree. "Mitch, you're so full of it.” Without pausing, the girl
turned toward the half-dressed vampire. “Nick, it wasn't Sarah's fault. Mitch
asked her if all female exiles... well, never mind, I'm not repeating it. He
was being a butt head, acting like a five year old, instead of seventeen."
With the speed of the
Hummingbird, the dark-haired girl turned and smiled at Beth. "I'm Emily,
unofficial peacemaker for the next four months."
Beth murmured a polite greeting,
while keeping Sarah and her deadly claws in view. From the moment Nick stepped
between her and the big elf, the young woman hadn't moved.
Like pulling nails from wood it
took Sarah several tries to pull her eyes from Nick's glistening shoulders. Her
cool features remained emotionally frozen, but her eyes reflected a sense of
betrayal. For a split-instant, moisture seemed to pool in the vampire's eyes
then just as quickly it disappeared.
The split second glimpse of
emotion floored Beth. She knew Sarah's violent history and it didn't match what
her eyes just saw.
Beams of bright sunshine broke
through the thin morning cloud-cover, turning Sarah's blue eyes bloody red. The
solid red gaze of an exile met Beth's and she wished Sarah had left her hungry
gaze on the half-naked vampire. If there was one thing in life Beth truly
detested, it was blood suckers who enjoyed hurting other people. From every report
Beth read, she knew Sarah fell in that evil category.
As Alpha Prime, Beth had access
to the portfolios of many Dhark Valley residents. Lady Sarah Trellick's folder
was very thick. She was a blood thirsty piece of filth that took extreme joy in
torturing her victims. The hideous white-haired monster needed to be
exterminated. If Beth could've attacked and killed Sarah without major
repercussions she would have.
Emily shifted from foot to foot,
drawing Beth's attention to her eager face. The girl's deep blue eyes grew
bright with barely suppressed excitement. “Oh! You smell human! That means
you're a shifter! Oh my gosh! I've been wanting to meet one so bad. I mean, I
know dragons are shifters, but that's different. What kind are you? Can you
turn into more than one shape? Does it hurt?”
Brianna shoved past Beth. She
barely had time to stifle her groan before her best friend snapped at the
inquisitive girl. “That's rude! You don't ask someone what kind of shifter they
“Oh,” Emily said, a red flush of
embarrassment crossed her face. Like taking candy away from a toddler, the
teenager's lower lip drooped and all the air seemed to rush from her body.
“No harm done,” Beth said,
looping her arm through Brianna's. She gently tugged, silently reminding her BFF
to behave herself. Sometimes Brianna took her duty as unofficial royal guard
way too seriously.
She briefly touched the girl
shoulder. “It would be impossible for anyone outside of Haven Valley to know
our customs and such.”
“Yeah,” Mitch said harshly. A
snarl lifted his firm upper lip, revealing the sharp fangs of a vampire.
Beth blinked in surprise. He
wasn't an elf, not with those wicked looking teeth. Elfin eyes and vampire
fangs made him a halfling. His next words made him a halfling with a mega-sized
“I know all about shifter
customs. They include torturing and eating their prey, their human prey. Do not
ever touch Emily again.” Mitch demanded in a harsh guttural voice. “You got
My name is Emily Andrews and I'm
a vampire. I'll start out by telling you Jodie forced me to write this. She
wants her characters to become involved in the blog.
Well, I for one don't agree with
her. Don't get me wrong, I love to talk, but writing is just not my thing.
Anyway, she said if I didn't agree, she'd give me a gnome for a mate. Hello!
That is just totally gross! They eat bugs and stuff. How nasty is that?
Jodie is adding new stuff to the
blog, including a new type of article named Character Flash Fiction. The deal
is she picks a character and they write a blog article about their past or
whatever. Dumb, right? That's what I told her, but does she listen to me? No,
of course not, I'm just a secondary character.
My story is about trolls. I
can't believe she made me tell you, because she knows how much I hate trolls.
Last summer, when I was still a
scrawny pre-pub, we went camping in the Ozarks, the Ozark Mountains inside Ozark
Valley, not the mountain range on Earth.
Jared (my brother) and Nick (my
cousin) had already gone through puberty. They had fangs, claws, and could
teleport among other things. As a pre-pub, I didn't have any Sídhí abilities. I
was a vampire in name only.
The three of us were playing
Hunter. It's a game created to sharpen a person's tracking ability after they
go through puberty.
I'm sure you guessed it - I was
The rules of the game stated the
hunters could not teleport or use telepathy, as if that would level the playing
field, giving the prey a chance to escape.
One evening, we decided to play
Hunter the next day so I knew about the next day's activities. That night I
packed a small fairy bag with enough food to last me all day and then some.
(For any of you mundane humans, a fairy bag keeps food fresh.) I got up at the
crack of dawn and went down to the creek, like I always did.
I didn't dawdle. I headed down
the edge of the creek, staying in the water. I made several false trails by
pretending to leave the creek then following my footsteps back into the water.
Three hours later, I climbed-out
of the creek using a low-hanging tree limb near the base of a washed-out area.
The dirt was crumbling, dangerous looking.
Once I reached stable ground, I
started running. As a pre-pub, I wasn't very fast, but I knew my limits. I kept
a steady pace, aiming toward a towering wall of rock called Devil's gorge.
That was my first mistake.
The gorge had a bad reputation
from years earlier. Supposedly, a pack of trolls herded a young pre-pub (a
vampire) into the gorge. They attacked the girl, ripping her to pieces. Most
people stayed away from the gorge, saying it was haunted.
I wasn't worried. The area was
one of the safest in all of Ozarks. There hadn't been a troll sighting in
I reached an area just south of
the gorge, where the walls of the gorge started shrinking. I hoped to trick the
guys into thinking I had headed into the gorge, while I sat on the rim, watching
them search for me.
I heard a twig snap. Well, crap.
Jared (or Nick) had tracked me, even after all my hard work.
I wasn't going to give up, so I pretended
like I didn't hear them and headed around the lip of the gorge, following the
rim. I circled around a large bunch of markles (a nasty goo spraying bush) and
hurried toward a tumble of boulders.
I heard a scattering of rocks
and then another branch broke.
I started climbing the smaller
boulders, heading higher. I knew the game was about over. The guys were herding
me toward a dead end. At least for me it was a dead end. There were boulders
twice and three times my mere five feet in front of me and to my left was the
edge of the gorge.
That's when I smelled rotten
Fear froze me. My chest
constricted and I knew I was a dead girl walking.
Among Sídhí animals, trolls are
one of the worst smelling of animals.
Neither Jared nor Nick were
hunting me, trolls were.
If I could smell them, it was
already too late to try running from them. I opened my mouth and starting
shrieking at the top of my lungs. "Trolls! Help me! Trolls!"
I ran toward the nearest bolder
and a huge, eight foot monster stood on top of it. The forest troll, with brown
and green splotches covering its nearly hairless body, jumped from foot to
foot. Bulging arms hung way past its waist, nearly to its knees. Long, lethal
black claws matched sharply pointed horns.
The troll screamed at me, a bellowing
sound that ending in hyena-like laughter.
The edge of the gorge was
quickly approaching. I had two choices, jump and get splattered on the rocks
below or face them and get torn to shreds as they fought over my body.
Inches from the edge, I skidded
to a halt. My heart felt like it was going to explode straight-out of my chest.
Turning, I faced a nightmare. A
dozen trolls stood scattered, less than twenty feet from me. Not a single troll
was less than six feet tall. I started praying.
Nick appeared between the trolls
and me. Semi-white claws extended, he roared a challenge at them.
Jared appeared next to me. He
grabbed my arm and teleported me back to the safety of camp.
Nick appeared a moment later.
"Are you okay?" Jared
demanding, his solid black eyes looked even darker as he shouted at me.
I choked on a sob and threw
myself in his arms.
"Ah, sorry, Emily."
Jared's body shook. "I didn't mean to shout at you."
"You scared the wits out of
us." Nick wrapped his arms around me. "We were still at the creek
when I heard you mentally screaming for help."
"Huh?" I looked-up at
him in question. I shook my head. "I'm still a pre-pub." Pre-pubs
didn't have telepathy; he knew that.
He snorted. "I guess you
started puberty through the night and a good thing you did."
I tried arguing with them, but
neither of them listened.
Hours later, we were at the
guardian outpost filling-out paperwork about the attack, when a guardian with white-blond haired
walked in. He had a slight smile on his face. "I heard Maggie saved your
"Maggie?" I'm sure I
looked as confused as I felt.
"Yep, little Maggie Smith
was a young vampire that got lost out here some forty years ago. Trolls trapped
her up in Devil's Gorge. They killed her, ripping her in so many pieces there
weren't enough for a proper funeral. Anytime there are trolls around, she
starts shrieking in someone's head until they help her." He nodded at me
and walked away.
You can either believe me or
not, but I will tell you this, I didn't start puberty until a year later.
The following is a deleted scene out of Vampire's Forbidden Territory, released 10/17/12.
Take note, if you haven't read the book, you will find spoilers! (Scene was not edited.) Chapter - Fire!
silently, passing over the Basilisk Preserve, an area deep within the Sídhí
Snarling, her gray lips
curled tight above dagger-sized teeth. She knew her long, beautiful snout bore
little resemblance to its normal elegant appearance, but she couldn't help it.
Her throat ached to release pent-up dragonfire. The deadly fire bubbled deep in
the pit of her gullet, a special side-pocket connected to her throat.
She didn't dare release
the tinniest wisp of her deadly fire. A single lick of her potent flame and the
rubber containers filled with fairy water would burst before she was ready.
She had wanted Harry to
fix his own mess and hopefully learn a much-needed lesson, but quenching the
forest fire, before one of the interfering guardians showed up, was more
important than training her younger brother. How he managed to live to be a
hundred twenty years old was beyond her understanding.
She was cutting the
rescue of her bumbling brother much too close, but it had taken time to snatch
several containers of the expensive fire retardant. During the summer months,
the large rubber balloons containing fairy-water were stacked three deep at the
forest rangers storage facility located near Basilisk Pass. She thought she got
in and out of the facility before anyone noticed her. Trying to explain why she
was not at the Peace Camp and doing her assigned duty would be irritating.
Not that anyone would
connect her sleek gray body with the traitorous member of the Khr'Vurr who
kidnapped and tortured Guardian Alexander. To put it simply, she was hiding in
plain sight. A trick easily accomplished since she was a throwback to the
powerful Vürst dragons, a dragon clan thought to be extinct long before Sídhí
appeared on Earth. The only way other dragons might guess her true heritage was
by the strength of her dragonfire, but that wasn't something she could control.
Anyway, people only noticed her elegant gray scales.
Clarabelle was a true
Vürst dragon. A Vürst dragon of Sídhí lore who could tap into the synth crystal
of her blood, extending her lovely back and tail spikes any time she wanted.
Only her mate knew the truth of her bloodline and he would never betray her. He
had been the one to encourage her current plan of action as they soaked in the
hot springs beneath his castle.
She snorted in derision,
remembering the conversation. Certain members of the Khr'Vurr were becoming too
chummy with non-dragon members. The non-dragon members had been added for two
reasons, a way to extend the Khr'Vurr's power into the other valleys and a way
to search for Ancient ruins. She chuckled evilly. Non-dragon members were also
a way to create scapegoats among the Khr'Vurr. Yes, she had a lovely supply of
She sighed disgustedly,
knowing she would soon hand over several dragon members of the Khr'Vurr to the
guardians. She didn’t regret her decisions. A few prissy – modern thinking –
dragons needed to be culled from active duty. They'd forgotten the true purpose
of the Khr'Vurr.
In a way, the modern
thinkers were worse than the stagnate Dragon Council.
The Dragon Council
thought they were so smart, gathering hundreds of dragon together, dragons who
were suspected members of the Khr'Vurr, a righteous group of freedom fighters.
The council and guardians had stumbled happily along with Clarabelle’s plans as
they hosted the Peace Camp in an attempt to hunt down the members of the
Ha! She loved it! The
council was actually making her job easier. It helped that her own beloved mate
was a member of the council.
Hiding under the
guardian's snouts, keeping them in the dark was highly entertaining. She hadn't
felt this alive in hundreds of years. Yes, she walked a very fine wire, where
one wrong move and years of planning would blow-up in her face.
She wasn't concerned.
A member of the Fore’Syth
clan (a clan gifted with foresight) had 'seen' Clarabelle’s success. Failure
was not an option. She was assured a victory against the council.
With one exception, her
plans were perking along nicely and her rise to power was slowly falling into
place. She growled deep in her throat and a tiny lick of flame curled around
her snout as her mind centered on the one disaster. No, not everything was
going as planned.
It would take the
wrinkly, little gnomes several weeks of digging to reach her sister. Fury
engulfed her. For the past few days, she had grieved for her dead sister.
Once Clarabelle healed
from her serious chest injuries (and once she calmed down), she remembered one
simple fact of life: Dragons were incredibly tough, nearly impossible to kill,
even among the other Sídhí races.
The guardians never
searched the collapsed cavern, assuming her sister was dead. But until
Clarabelle held her sister's lifeless body, she wouldn't believe it. Her sister
was twelve hundred years old. And old Sídhí were nearly impossible to kill. Her
body could've been crushed and mangled, but as long as Ella’s head stayed
attached, she might be alive.
A thrill of anticipation
raced through her sleek body, running from her head to tail. Clarabelle had a
special reception planned for Guardian Alexander and those two wretched
teenagers responsible for her sister’s untimely accident. The fact that the
teens were now bonded lifeMates would intensify her pleasure each time one of
them screamed in agony.
The pungent smell of
burning furble needles pulled Clarabelle from her enjoyable dreams of
Good thing Harry
mentally called for help the moment the fire started.
Her sharp eyes searched
the treetops, looking for the telltale plume of smoke. There. Of course, the
doofus had picked the meeting area in plain view of any dragon passing
overhead, right smack on the crest of a hill.
She grimaced as smoke
spiraled beyond the tops of furble and pine trees. The entire area was littered
with last year's pine needles. Add in the – highly flammable – furble needles
and it was a firebug's dream.
Sending Harry to set-up
the next step in her plan had been foolish. She knew it, but she kept thinking
her younger brother would grow-out of his weird affliction. Sídhí were not
perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination, but Harry was sadly lacking in
every area. Whoever heard of a dragon choking on his own smoke? Maybe once in a
while, but not every day.
She angled downward,
skimming past blue and green treetops. Harry appeared below her, hopping up and
down like a hibbet in heat, dashing from one blossoming blaze to the next. His
flapping wings sent gusts of oxygen to the greedy flames, increasing the size
of the burning area.
She flew lower,
preparing to drop the six desk-sized balloons of fairy-water. One by one she
staggered the balloons down the length of the grassy area. The moment the fairy
enhanced rubber detected the warmth of fire its molecular structure changed,
disintegrating the thick red rubber like a drip of water hitting a hot iron
Once the fairy water
touched air, the synth enhanced water expanded until the nasty liquid
quadrupled its original mass.
A high pitched wail
erupted from below. The furious shrieking nearly drowned the sound of Harry's
antics. Clarisse, the traitorous Clan vampire, dashed from her hiding spot
behind a cluster of large furble trees, shaking her fist in the air and
screaming obscenities at Clarabelle.
The young vampire’s
threats came out spluttered as Clarabelle dropped her last balloon. The foul
smelling liquid crashed around Clarisse, soaking the angry vampire. Under a
face full of fairy water the girl shrieked in fury.
The horrid fairy-water,
laced with synth crystal, smelled nasty and tasted worse. The compressed liquid
filled balloon-like spheres that helicopters and dragons dropped on forest
fires that plagued the area during the dry season. The horrific smell was
something out of a nightmare, crossing spoiled milk, dog crap, and sulfur.
Whatever the twisted fairies actually did to the altered water was anyone's
The murky water clung to
Clarisse like slime, turning her fair colored skin a sickly yellow and her
brilliant red hair into a rather splotchy orange color.
Clarabelle circled the
open area between the trees, assuring herself all the fires had been put out.
She landed. One clawed foot crunched in hot, blackened grass while the other
sank in an area drenched in fairy-water.
Harry ducked his head,
refusing to meet her angry glare.
Clarisse stomped up.
“Look at me! I'll never get this slimy mess out of my hair. It's horrid!”
said, snapping her jaws a hair's length from the girl's short orange hair that
lay matted around her head.
Clarabelle hissed at the
girl, throwing scorching heat in the girl's face without expelling any
The girl shrieked and
stumbled backward, squalling that she could've died.
Clarabelle ignored the
teenager's foot stomping temper tantrum and turned to Harry. “Did you give her
all the instructions?”
Harry quickly nodded his
head, his mottled frog green scales not looking any worse for being drenched in
the fairy water.
“You,” Clarabelle said,
turning to the girl, “leave before I decide to add a little flame. A few holes
in your body certainly wouldn't kill you, but it would teach you not to
question your betters.”
“You aren't my boss,”
Clarisse said, shaking her finger at the gray dragon. “You can be sure that my
father will hear of this atrocity.”
Clarabelle snorted. “He
has been paid for your troubles, but your continued wellbeing, as well as that
of your sister's, relies on a job well done. Now leave!”
Clarabelle watched the
girl flounce away, stomping through the surrounding forest as if she owned the
place. The girl had an attitude, a snotty attitude that reminded Clarabelle of
her younger self. Given enough time, the hateful little teenager might grow on
Forbidden Valley: Sídhí Summer Camp #2 will be released this fall. (Note: This snippet has not been edited and is subject to change.) Enjoy!
Several days later,
Katie was on her very first – and probably last – dragon ride. A rush of
excitement streaked through her as the dragon surged through the morning sky.
dragon scales glinted in the silvery rays of sunshine that streaked through the
thin cloud cover. The midnight wings swept upward, looking deceptively soft as
Two weeks ago,
before camp started, Katie would never have dreamed she'd be riding a dragon,
especially not with her very own lifeMate sitting snug behind her. She threw
her arms wide and laughed for the sheer joy of having her deepest dream come
true, a lifeMate who loved her.
yourself, Mia Cara?” Jared mentally asked.
pleasure, she arched against his chest, rubbing her back against the solid bulk
of his muscle. She would never get used to Jared calling her ‘his beloved’ in
the old tongue. If she could put her joy in words, she would shout them to the
world. As it was, her lifeBonded mate felt her bubbling emotions.
Jared pulled her
closer. His joy flowed into her body through their lifeBond. His deep laughter
echoed through her mind a split instant before his warm breath tickled her
pointed ear, her overly sensitive ear, making her laugh all the harder. There
were times her elf half of her heritage was more enjoyable than the vampire
“I love it!” Her words included not only her first ride
on a dragon, but the new road her life was taking. “We can see for miles up
was flying them across miles of rugged mountains located within Dragon Valley,
a second dimensional bubble with the exact physical terrain as Earth. Hundreds
of Valleys dotted Earth, some small, some huge. Very few Sídhí Elders agreed
upon how many dimensional bubbles actually existed or even how they had been
The black dragon,
whose life Katie and Jared had saved several days earlier, insisted they needed
to rejoin their cabin mates, a group of teens who were currently hiking through
the Sídhí forest surrounding the Peace Camp.
‘Peace’ was the official reason for gathering the warring Sídhí races together,
but it wasn't why the children of the most influential politicians from several
dozen of the most powerful Valleys had been invited. Invited being a
very loose term to what really happened, because when The Dragon Council sent
out invitations to attend summer camp they expected immediate agreement. If any
invitation went unanswered the dragons simply coerced the other Valley into
The concept of
creating a Peace Camp sounded honorable. The reality of camp was not honorable
nor peace inducing. Katie and her cabin mates found that out the hard way.
Peace between the Sídhí races had nothing to do with the four-month camp.
Finding dead bodies and becoming a walking target had that odd ‘wake-up and
smell the roses’ effect.
After the Khr'Vurr
attacked Katie and her cabin mates, Alexander had been placed in charge of
keeping Katie's group safe.
Protection duty was
his official job. Unofficially, the black dragon was more concerned with
finding the people who tried to kill them.
Katie hoped he
hurried. She was not a lover of cold stream baths and bugs. But until the
guardians caught the guilty parties, the teens were safer away from the main
campgrounds. At least, she hoped they would be safer. She had doubts that
anywhere was very safe. Truth be told, she felt like bait.
rubbed against her hair. “I agree,” he
said, letting her know he had following her train of thought.
Since they had
bonded, several days earlier, they had maintained a feather-light mental touch
on each other. Nothing intrusive, but glimpsing your beloved’s thoughts or
having him answer an unspoken thought made her feel special.
kissing her neck. A firm feeling of pleasure pulsed from him as he agreed with
her unspoken view on sharing their thoughts. “As long as you keep your pert little nose out of my head at Christmas
“My nose is not pert,” she said,
unsuccessfully trying to keep the laughter out of her voice, but knew it didn’t
work. He felt her humor as clear as she felt his.
“Hmmm, your lovely nose felt pert last night
when you...” he grunted to a stop as her elbow caught him between two ribs.
Her face turned
beet red as she snuggled deeper in his embrace. “Wretch,” she grumbled. “We
agreed the nose episode was not to be spoken about, not ever.”
“Mia Cara, having your nose, covering in
“Enough,” she groaned, covering her face
with both hands.
He snuggled against
her neck, gently kissing her. “I love the
taste of Mia Cara flavored whipped cream.”
knowing she’d never be able to drink another cream covered strawberry shake
without glancing to see where he was at. “Next
time you ‘accidently’ bump my elbow when I’m drinking a shake, I’ll pay you
back triple time. Got me, handsome?”
“Might be worth it. Kissing the cream off
your nose made it the best tasting shake I’ve ever had,” he said. His
laughter and sincerity swirled inside her.
He was hopeless.
“Glad you thought so. Unfortunately, Council
Woman Cornelia thought we were both insane.” Shaking her head, she abruptly
changed the subject. “I don’t think the
council is going to give Sarah the info she needs to protect Trellick Valley.
Do you?” she asked, worry over their failure to gain protection for Sarah’s
home valley colored her thoughts.
Katie knew she had
to help Sarah keep Trellick Valley safe, but she didn’t have a clue how to
manage it. The head of the dragon council certainly had not sounded very
encouraging. The woman hadn’t believed a word they said, even when Alexander –
the council woman’s own grandson – told her about testing Sarah’s story.
The woman insisted
they were exaggerating the truth, because no valley could be a portal hub.
After four thousand years – in the council woman’s words – someone would have
slipped-up trying to keep such a huge secret.
The council woman
had argued that there was no way a valley could maintain hundreds of permanent
portals into all the other valleys, especially Trellick Valley. The Dhark Lords
would have jumped at the opportunity to invade all the other valleys. And it
was common knowledge that Trellick Valley was a steadfast and very loyal member
of the Dhark Empire.
vibrated as Jared growled deep in his chest. “I pray she doesn’t find out the hard way that Sarah is telling the
truth.” All his previous teasing left his voice, leaving his words flat
with anger. “If that spike-covered dragon
actually saw Sarah form javelins from the synth in her blood then it won’t take
long for her to make the only possible connection.”
“That Sarah is Chi’Kehra,” Katie said.
Dread filled her at the very thought of the dragon ‘freedom’ fighters finding
out about a weapon more deadly than dragonfire. “Sarah would never willingly help the self-proclaimed freedom
fighters.” The Khr'Vurr, as they called themselves, were a group of dragons
who were infamous for kidnapping and torturing innocent people in a warped
attempt to seize control of the dragon council.
“I think that’s the real reason why Alex is
using us as bait,” Jared said. His emotions flickered between sour
acceptance and frustration. “He knows as
well as we do that the Khr'Vurr or the Dhark Lords would be unstoppable with Sarah
on their side.”
“She’d never help them,” Katie repeated
forcefully. Without question, she trusted Sarah. Her gut instinct demanded that
trust. And one thing she had learned long ago was to trust her gut. Her gut
instinct had saved her family’s life more than once when they lived in the
“And if they kidnapped Nick? Threatened to
kill him?” Jared asked softly, completely knocking the wind out of her
She shivered at the
thought. The same instinct that demanded she trust Sarah twisted in a fleeting
glimpse of the possible future. Without a single doubt, Sarah would destroy
anything or anyone who stood between her and her mate.