Passionate musicians Caris and Liam grew up centuries apart. When their fates collide, they must learn to trust each other and work together to stop a dark force from seizing both Fae and human worlds.
Available on Amazon HERE in paperback, Kindle and audio formats.
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When Caris’s unearthly musical talent attracts the attention of the Wild Hunt, the Welsh farm girl is stolen away to serve as a faery grim, a herald of death. Two centuries later, she’s finally escaped back to the human world—and into the present-day life of a reclusive and heartbroken American musician.
Music was Liam’s whole life—until a crushing betrayal left him desperate to flee the public eye. Yet long-dormant passions awaken within him after a powerful storm strands a beautiful, strong-willed woman on his isolated farm. When a fae prince bent on ruling both human and faery realms threatens Caris’s life, Liam must decide if he can finally believe in love again, not just for her sake—but for the sake of two worlds.
From the bestselling author of Changeling Moon, this sweeping and passionate story of paranormal romance follows two souls from different centuries who lost everything…and found that only love can save them.
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EXCERPT #1 FROM STORM WARNED:
The forest seemed far darker than it should. It wouldn’t be the first time Caris had stayed too long, lost in her music, but a break in the trees revealed ominous clouds overhead that doused the bright daylight as surely as water doused a fire. It was a long way back to the farm, and she could find her way there blindfolded if need be—yet a mountain storm was nothing to trifle with.
A flash of lightning half blinded her. Thunder crashed like the world was ending, and her steady, dependable pony did something unheard of: he threw his rider and bolted for home. By the time she got her breath back, her mount was long gone. Caris got to her feet slowly and with care. Nothing broken or sprained, thankfully, but she’d have some bumps and bruises on the morrow.
The wind had picked up, thrashing the limbs of the trees, and above the din, the mournful horn wailed like a lost soul. She’d never heard the like of it, and the hairs on the back of her neck prickled.
It’s coming this way.
Caris saw nothing unusual in the dim forest. The storm above, bearing down on her with incredible speed, was something else entirely. The blackened clouds roiled like an angry sea, lit within by flares of unnatural lightning—green and blue and vivid mauve. I’ll never make it to the farm. But staying among the trees in such weather was a poor plan. There was little other shelter to be campsite each year, the Romani waved bits of red cloth at the ancient stone structure and spat in its direction, giving it as wide a berth as the rutted forest paths would allow. Evil or not, Caris hoped the great white capstone, supported by three half-buried boulders, would shield her, and she ran as fast as she could in its direction.
Her heart was in her throat as the wind whipped her long black hair free and yanked at her clothing with invisible fingers. Lightning struck behind her, close enough that she could feel the ground shake, and she nearly lost her footing. As the clap of thunder died away, instinct made her cast a glance over her shoulder, and what she saw did make her stumble and fall: great coal-black hounds of monstrous size were bounding in her direction, their red and glowing eyes revealing their identity: grims!
Panicked, she scrambled to her feet. The dark fae dogs, called barghest or gwyllgi by some, were said to foretell one’s death, but they weren’t the most frightening thing she saw. Following the hounds were forty or fifty riders—and their horses’ hooves didn’t touch the earth!
She was completely surrounded by the otherworldly company before she could scream.
Caris choked down her fear and forced herself to stand still, her hands in front of her gripping each other so hard that they hurt. She needed the pain to help keep her wits together. All these years she’d thought the Wild Hunt was just a story to frighten children into being good, that the Tylwyth Teg, the Fair Ones, were nothing but make-believe. She knew that many of her neighbors believed them to be real, however, real enough that they set offerings of bread and milk on their porches at night to avert fae pranks and beg their favor. Even the preacher must have thought them real, as he occasionally spoke out against the evils of consorting with demons and faeries. Perhaps he thought them to be one and the same. Whatever they were, no one wanted to actually meet them.
But here she was.
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EXCERPT #2 FROM STORM WARNED
Not interested,” Liam Cole said into his smartphone. That was true. “I’m happy doing what I’m doing.” That, however, was a total lie. He hadn’t been happy for a minute since he’d turned his back on his old life, what little of it had been left after his world imploded.
“Yeah, well, no one’s asking you to give up the farm, you know,” said Mel, who had been his agent once and would still like to be. “Just come out of isolation long enough to do a few gigs. I’ve got a couple open-air festivals at the end of the summer—nothing too big, just a little something to keep yourself in practice. It’ll be enough to let people know you’re still here, and then you can go right back to being a hermit. Buy some extra-fancy cows with the money. Just tell me you’ll think about it, okay?”
“I’ll think about it,” said Liam. Another lie. He wouldn’t, although guilt pricked him. Mel was a good guy, but he didn’t understand. Nobody did, least of all, Liam himself. Tossing the phone onto a side table, he rose from the wicker armchair on the wrap-around porch, slapped on a faded Mariners ball cap—a long-ago gift from his Aunt Ruby, who followed baseball like a religion—and headed down the steps. As soon as he left the shade, the day’s accumulated heat hit him like a wall; it wouldn’t even begin to cool down for another few hours. But if he didn’t get busy and do something, anything, he’d start thinking, and it sure as hell wouldn’t be about doing a concert.
Of course, the damn thinking happened anyway. A little something to keep yourself in practice. What would Mel say if he knew that Liam’s guitar and mandolin hadn’t been out of their cases in three years? Not even his beloved fiddle had seen the light of day since his last gig, the one in Minneapolis, the one that changed everything. Maybe I should have paid attention to the damn number. Not that he was superstitious, but it was the thirteenth stop in Liam’s first tour as an honest-to-God headliner. The reviews had been nothing short of stellar, representing a ginormous step forward in the career he’d been struggling to build since high school. And Liam was on fire that night, improvising on the bluegrass ballads and newgrass numbers he’d written himself. The audience had demanded three encores, and he was on top of the world . . .
Unaware that some voyeuristic pervert had just uploaded a video to YouTube.
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EXCERPT #3 FROM STORM WARNED
In the human world, the horizon was just blushing with dawn, yet evening was new as Caris returned to the Nine Realms, and the moon had not reached its height. The cool air was thick with the scents of exotic night-blooming flowers, and strange constellations glittered high above. She would never understand how the faery kingdom could lie far beneath the Black Mountains of Wales and yet have a sun and moon and stars! It should be black as Hades here, dark and suffocating, but all was brighter and more vivid than the world above, even at night.
The beauty did not cheer her, however. Her appointed task had taken her to a sullen young man who routinely stabbed his body with needles. Thinking the great black dog in his room was a hallucination, he’d thrown an ale bottle at her, then laughed out loud when it passed right through her as if she were a ghost. Like most of the human world, he had forgotten the old faery legends—if he had ever heard of them at all. But whether or not he understood her purpose, he would still be dead the next day of his habit.
The thought made her soul sick, and as always, Caris loathed her morbid role. She cared about the people she appeared to—and surely that was the worst quality in the world for a death dog to possess. She couldn’t seem to help herself, though she suspected the heartache would eventually kill her soul. So far, she hadn’t forgotten what it was to be mortal herself, hadn’t forgotten what it was like to be part of the human world above. Not yet. Other grims, she knew, eventually lost sight of their origins, especially the ones who had been among the Fair Ones for a very long time. Some began to worship their fae captors, who surpassed all human dreams of beauty. Other grims became despondent, wishing that the death they foretold was their own, or they stopped feeling emotion at all, as if their hearts had died within them. Far too many turned cruel, deriving great pleasure in frightening or tormenting those whom they were sent to warn.
Caris still attempted to lessen people’s fears. She behaved calmly, tried not to surprise them, and she certainly didn’t chase them. In fact, she tried to model her behavior from the loyal and friendly collies her da had kept with the sheep. Sadly, it didn’t work very often. Not surprising when all grims were black as sin itself, and monstrous in size. Most were like mastiffs or like wolves. Some had glowing eyes, and their very appearance was designed to inspire raw terror, even if the person had no idea what the dog’s morbid mission was.
Though tall as a man’s waist, Caris was more slightly built than the other grims. More like a deerhound, she thought—as far as she could discern without being able to see her reflection—or perhaps it was because she was female.
And the only female grim at that.
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