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Saturday, July 21, 2012

The misty forest of Silva Caliga ~ Sweet Saturday Sample

My Sweet Saturday Sample is a morsel from my latest release, an epic fantasy romance, Heritage Avenged: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Two. This is the second of a 5-part series.
Available at Amazon for only $1.29.

Silva Caliga lies in a neutral region of the fantasy world of Dragonspeir. It’s a region ruled by trees and the spirit creatures that inhabit them. In Heritage Avenged, Lyra was drawn to pass through this forest on her bloodswear quest. From a distance, it called to her. She heard soft music, barely audible, a haunting tune with a harp accompanying a woman’s angelic soprano. Tiny lights flashed momentarily, then faded back into the fog. Even during a storm with fierce winds, a mist continually hung over the forest. Here is Lyra’s first conversation with the Lady of the Forest of Silva Caliga and one of the tree spirits, called circutamina.

Fiercely cold air nipped at Lyra’s body, and she gathered her cloak from the ground. She reached for her brooch to hold her garment together, but couldn’t find it on either side of the collar. It wasn’t in any inside pocket of the cloak or skirt. Crawling on hands and knees in the dark, she searched through the snowy leaf litter around her.
The haunting song grew louder, the singer traveling closer.
Lyra scratched at the icy ground. Images played in her mind of her last visit with Cullen, how the jadestone contact caused him to breathe more regularly.
The angelic voice seemed to be coming toward her.
She clawed the forest floor. With oncoming danger, time was running out. Yet, a possibility of hope kept her scraping leaves aside, wildly searching for a gleam of the soft, green jade or a feel of its smooth surface. Not only could the gem’s power save Cullen by transferring his aura back to him, but it proved to her that his love still existed, that he was still alive. Additionally, her opal invisibility ring had been attached to the pin for safekeeping. In a frenzy, Lyra churned up leaves.
She wondered if Revelin had taken her jade brooch. Her hand hit the edge of a sharp rock, and seconds later a thought flashed into her mind from Mimio’s lesson. Her stone wouldn’t work for a person who stole it. She would need to give it as a gift to transfer the magic. He must have tricked her, using a spell, into giving away her prized gem. She wildly dug through leaves and dirt, hoping she was wrong. Her idea seemed likely, since he hadn’t taken anything else. But what good would it do Revelin if Cullen possessed the mate? Regardless, if Revelin had her jadestone, it was no longer paired to Cullen’s.
Hot tears streamed down her face. She had lost her connection to Cullen’s life and more importantly, an essential tool to help her restore him. Revelin had taken advantage of her lack of experience. At first, she blamed herself for not being better prepared, but knew she couldn’t have studied harder. “Damn you, Revelin!” she yelled aloud and hurled a small rock into the darkness.
Suddenly, the singing sounded close. Lyra was unprepared for defense. Frazzled nerves prevented her from pulling her aura out for use. It didn’t matter what danger approached; anger altered her priorities.
A large mass of hazy light appeared through the trees. So intensely white, it blinded her.
Accepting whatever horrible fate lay ahead, she watched the illumination. Although it remained motionless, the ethereal voice continued. Its melancholy tone seemed empathetic, but Lyra now questioned everything.
The light dimmed and a beautiful lady approached, carrying a large lantern.
Kenzo bolted off of the woman’s shoulder.
Against the dark of dense hemlocks, the woman’s long hip-length golden hair shimmered with silver highlights at the peak of each wave. She wore an emerald velvet cloak and a flowing white gown underneath. In her other hand, she held a simple staff made from a polished branch decorated with deeply cut runes. Around the lantern danced several butterflies, each of a different color and shape.
A small tree spirit followed, its dingy, yellowed gown flowing behind as it scampered toward Lyra.
The silver stripes of the tiger owl’s feathers looked regal in the bright light. “Lyra, I’ve brought help. Are you all right?” He landed close beside her.
Lyra shook her head.
The woman smiled and bowed her head. “I’m Ysmena, the Lady of the Forest. I protect all that lives in Silva Caliga.” She nodded at the tree spirit. “Ivri has spoken on your behalf, so you are our friend.”
“Lady Lyra, I’m Ivri, hemlock keeper. You spared me earlier today. You were able to see me before I could hide. Most with your power kill cicutamina for fun. I was careless and should have died.” The little creature bowed low, her yellowish-white hair floating forward around thickly calloused bare feet. “For your compassion, in turn, I come to your aid.”
Ysmena lifted her lantern and surveyed the area Lyra disturbed. “What is troubling you, Lady Lyra? How may we be of assistance?”

Heritage Avenged: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Two

Lyra McCauley receives an alarming letter from the coroner who evaluated her deceased aunt, originally thought to have died of cancer. The news causes Lyra to take leave from her job and travel from sunny Tampa to the frozen island community in northern Michigan. Questioning whether Dragonspeir magic was responsible for her aunt’s death, she resolves to learn the truth and accepts the Imperial Dragon’s appointment into the Alliance sorcery training. 

Additionally, becoming proficient in magic craft is the only way she can bridge the gap between her mortal human world and her lover’s. Cullen, a 220-year-old wizard, is dependent upon his Dragonspeir magic for immortality. He is her only family now; she cannot lose him.

Evil forces block her and try to steal her inherited scribal aura. Riding a stealth dragon, a cloaked rider pursues Lyra. Both the Alliance and Dark Realm alchemists lay tricks and traps. Her aura equals that of the first and most powerful Scribe, but will Lyra’s novice training allow her to discover the truth…and find a life with Cullen? Or will the Dark Realm keep them apart?

About the series~

The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications. 

Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her.  

When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.

I'm looking forward to seeing what sweets some of my fellow authors on this hop will serve. Be sure to check them out on the main blog page for Sweet Saturday Samples.

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Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance: Book One, SEEKING A SCRIBE, and Book Two, HERITAGE AVENGED. She has also authored the Ciel's Legacy series, with fast action mermaid/pirate storylines: TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE and TORTUGA TREASURE.  For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.


Donna Hole said...

An intriguing excerpt. I loved the names; and the blurb is great. Seems like a series I'd like, but I would have to read the first novel to know what it is about.


Marsha A. Moore said...

Hi Donna! Thanks! I've had many folks read book #2 Heritage Avenged before the first and there is enough backstory to understand and enjoy all the characters.

Sandy Nachlinger said...

I was quickly drawn into this world, and I felt Lyra's panic. Interesting characters and good description that made me want more. I'd enjoy this series.

Elaine Cantrell said...

You drew me right in. Good excerpt.

Lindsay said...

Another great excerpt which hooked me from the beginning