Monday, October 31, 2022

First look at Whispers of the Hallow Night (Editingle Halloween Anthology Vol.4)

 Whispers of the Hallow Night (Editingle Halloween Anthology Vol.4)

Publisher: Editingle Indie House



Summary:

You have been warned before, but there will be no more.

So one must pay and become the prey.

As you holler and plead, they might make you bleed.

But, alas, your voice will not be heard while you take in the horror that occurred.

Oh, you sorrowful soul, should have listened to my warning, for you might have made it till morning.

Give up the fight; you’re a victim of Whispers Of The Hallow Night!

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Here's an exclusive first look into the sample chapters of each story...

A Samhain Night’s Scream by J. D. Edwards


Chapter 1: The Wages of Sin

Hatred burned in the old crone’s eyes beneath her hooded cowl. She watched from a shadowed alley as boisterous teens traipsed through the town, disregarding others and their property.

Vermin… filth! she hissed, glaring at them in disgust. Each generation is worse than the next. They come here each year on my birthday and defile my home with their lude and vulgar antics.

Dipping her head, the crone reached within her cloak and clutched a ruby pendant connected to a golden necklace. Within seconds, her aged infirmities faded, revealing a tall, attractive woman with smooth olive skin and flowing auburn hair. She flipped open a compact mirror, surveying her new body and dark, sultry eyes.

Yes… very nice. Time to get to work. I’m not getting any younger… yet.

Stepping from the shadows of the vacant alley, the crone scanned the bustling village of Pluckley for her first victim. Her dress swayed in the cool night breeze. A waiter and his twin caught her eye at Pisano’s Kitchen. She sensed their duplicity, which she confirmed when one of them swiped another server’s tip from the table.

A sly grin played at the corners of her mouth.

Oh yes… this should be fun.

Crossing the street, the crone reached for the door when it flew open, and a hulking young man plowed into her, knocking her to the ground. “Oi! Watch out, young man!”

He glanced down at the crone, his lust-filled eyes lingering on her chest. “Oh, pardon me!” He extended his hand to the crone, his gaze tracing the woman’s voluptuous contours as he helped her to her feet.

Gripping his hand with strength belying her slender frame, she exhaled a fine golden mist.

 I claim you for my own… The mist hung in the air before dissipating into his chest. Forget me for now…

      


On Jensen’s Farm by Brandon Ebinger 



The Autumn of 1690

Somewhere in the Hudson Valley

 

The ropes cut painfully into Emma's wrists. Though her eyes were bleary with tears, she could still make out the masked figures that encircled her. These figures held torches in their hands, the flickering lights casting a surreal illumination on the proceedings going on around.

Emma knew that under the masks were friends and neighbors, people she had interacted with since she was a small child, people who she had always greeted with a smile and kind words. Many of them, she was sure, she had grown up with, played with as a child, laughed, and learned with. 

It was, after all, a small settlement. 

Beyond the torchlight, Emma could barely see the poppetje, carefully built and lined up by the villagers as part of the ritual. They were simple things, really, just bits of cloth and corn husk, with sacks of potatoes as rudimentary heads. The craftsmanship was not very good, but Emma knew it didn't need to be. They would suit the ritual just fine the way they were, and the ritual would protect everyone in the village. 

               Everyone except her

One of the figures broke through the circle of torches, tall and strong, and stood in front of her. While the other members of the procession wore their everyday clothing, this figure was dressed in a long white robe, its mask more detailed than its brothers' and sisters'. Yet, despite the mask, Emma recognized it at once as the colony's governor. 

Surely he won't go through with this. Emma thought to herself. He, of all people! 

Surely he will take pity on me and cut me down. We can always find another way to end this nightmare, a way that doesn't involve bloodshed.

The governor started to circle the pole that Emma was lashed to, intoning a prayer softly under his breath. It wasn't a prayer that Emma had heard before, and no matter how much she struggled to hear, she couldn't make out the words. Once the circling stopped, the governor pulled something from his belt, something that glistened and glimmered in the torchlight. Only when he brought the object to Emma's neck did she recognize it as a blade, the same blade that had cut her countless meals of lamb, pig, or game fowl.

“Please,” Emma whispered, gathering every inch of sadness and desperation she could muster into her eyes. Surely it would be enough. “Please, father...”

“Forgive me, daughter,” The governor apologized with a heavy tone. “I am truly sorry for what I am about to do. Still, it must be done.”

With a tear in his eye, the governor slit his daughter's throat.  

                                                                      

Dead Wait by Asa Swift 

The Suicide

Everyone knew Johnny Lang was a good kid. Of course, he got in trouble from time to time like other kids in high school, but all in all, he was a good citizen and a hard-working lad.  

Johnny was a senior at Mill Grove High School. He played football for his school team, the Wildcats, and helped his father on the farm whenever possible.

In nineteen hundred, his great-grandfather, Jonah Lang, built the family farmhouse. It was a substantial three-story house to accommodate a large family. Many children would be needed to run the farm in the future, and this house would ensure plenty of room for them. Now there was no large family. It had dwindled down to only Johnny and his parents.

 Other than playing football and helping out on his father’s farm, Johnny liked to go hunting. But, mostly, he liked to spend as much time as he could with the love of his life, his girlfriend Christina Blanchard, who also attended Mill Grove High. 

Johnny was six feet tall with a large frame. He had deep blue eyes, the color of an island ocean on a white coral sand beach, and wore his brown hair in the new style that Elvis Presley had started. When Love Me Tender came out, he began to slick his long locks back as Elvis did. The pomade made his light brown hair dark and shiny. He was a sensitive soul, but he hid it well lest anyone think him not manly.

However, what's more impressive was the girls were attracted to his solid physic, formed from the hard work of a farm boy and football player. But, as far as he was concerned, he belonged to Christina and no one else. Of course, he noticed other attractive girls, but his devotion was to her alone. 

                                                                         

Convenstown by Draven M. 

Deenya Vaughn stared at the front page of the Covenstown Press. She scowled at the picture of Officer David Hine on the page. She really hated that man. The headline above his head made Deenya want to laugh out loud.

OFFICER DAVID HINE SAVES THE LIFE OF A YOUNG GIRL.

And in the subheading:

CONSIDERED A HERO.

Deenya groaned at the unfairness of it all. That case was hers, and she almost cracked it. But, thanks to Officer Hine for duping her, she lost out big on this one. She gasped and looked around the pumpkin patch in frustration. Her feet were freezing, and wisps of fog came out of her mouth in huffs. She wanted to toss the newspaper on the ground and stomp on David’s stupid face, but the patch owners probably didn’t want her littering, and they didn’t deserve it anyway.

“Deenya?”

Her mom Elena called and came over with a cart full of pumpkins. Deenya’s eyebrow raised in question instantly. Now what? She hoped that her mom wasn’t expecting her to carve all these pumpkins. Unfortunately, she had been given the boot by Chief Vaughn, her dad, and superior. Well, not exactly the boot, but he didn’t want her coming to the station for at least a week. So with Halloween in the next two days, she decided to head to a party with two of her friends. Tucking the newspaper under her arm, she ran over to help. The older woman smiled and thumped one of the pumpkins.

“Which one do you want? Do you want them all or just one… or two?”

“Mom, are you serious?”

Surveying the cart, Deenya picked out the smallest one and another that was easier to carry. Elena gently sat the pumpkins on the ground, and with a hand on her hips, she gestured towards the pumpkins in her daughter’s arms with a frown.

“But you know your father wanted us to get the biggest one.”

“Well, Dad isn’t the one that has to carry these big lugs back to the car and get them into the house, is he?”

Elena giggled silently as Deenya went to the owners and paid for the pumpkin. All the while cursing David the whole way back to the car. Thanks to him, she was sure that she would be doing desk work for the rest of her life once she returned to work. And was convinced she probably wouldn’t be able to work on high-profile cases again. As usual, her mom wanted to enjoy the experience of having her daughter drive her around and quickly got into the passenger side. This fueled Deenya’s annoyance even more, and she sighed while putting the pumpkin in the backseat.

“Where to now?” Deenya asked, getting into the car and hooking her seatbelt.

“Well, I have to go pick up my medicine from the pharmacy,” Elena replied with a sweet smile. “Then I have to get the beef for the stew tonight.”

“Yeah, Yeah.”

Deenya sped out of the parking lot. She would head to the pharmacy first. For some reason, she thought she’d need medicine for migraine in a couple of days.

                                                                          

Tina Diarrhea by Ashe Woodward



Since their freshman year started, Tina had been arriving at school early, knowing Jason Marman took the bus and always arrived at eight-thirty. It was only a quarter after eight when Tina threw her overstuffed backpack to the floor in front of her locker and started twisting the dial on her locker door. Her head moved to one side as the metal on her headphones pulled at a few strands of hairs and ‘White Wedding’ blared in the earpiece.

Tina jumped, and her headphones slipped off, but got caught halfway to the floor in her frizzy curls. Someone had slapped her hard on the back. Then, before she could catch her breath and turn, she heard a voice.

“You know Halloween is still a week away. Why do you look like that Diarrhea?”

It was Jason Marman.

Tina had her hand on her hip, and one toe pointed toward him, ready to lay it all out. Jason Marman had been calling her Tina Diarrhea for as long as she could remember. Even though she had never had diarrhea at school, her name only barely rhymed with it, and they’d both officially been in high school for a full month. Hadn’t she suffered enough? How immature could he be to keep her ridiculous nickname going for the next four years?

“Eat a dick, Braceface,” Tina threw back.

But Jason was too quick, a master at bullying and teasing since kindergarten.

“At least one day my braces will come off, but you’ll always look like Diarrhea,” he said with a ridiculous, wet smile. It almost didn’t matter what he said anymore, his high-pitched screeching voice mocked you no matter what.

Tina felt her face getting hot and her lungs filling with anxious pressure, making her want to scream. But instead, all she could do was spin one hand and flip him off. “How do I look li––”

But it was too late. Principal Stewart was steps away and had definitely not missed Tina’s flying middle finger.

“Excuse me, Miss. Do you mind telling me what has you breaking school rules first thing this morning?”

“He started it. He won’t leave me alone.” Normally Tina wasn’t such a tattletale, but she was determined to not get in trouble at her new school. Not yet, anyway.

“What’s this?” Principal Stewart asked Jason. Her mauve pencil skirt stayed straight and barely moved as she turned to him

Jason Marman put his head down and didn’t talk back. Tina would have given anything to have the power to make him do that.

“Are you harassing this young woman? You know we have a zero tolerance for bullying here, young man. Both of you, come with me.”

“Thanks for throwing me under the bus,” Jason Marman mumbled from the side of his mouth as he and Tina walked behind Principal Stewart.

“I’d love to throw you under a bus anytime. Tina wanted to say, but they were entering the quiet atmosphere of the Principal’s office. Beast Of Burden’ queued up in Tina’s mind.  

“I see here you’ve both joined us from Northcrest. So you two know each other. Is that correct?”

“Yes ma’am.”

Jason Marman was laying it on thick. Tina had never heard him be so polite in his pathetic life. But she was thankful he’d answered first before she said something snarky like, “Unfortunately, yes. We’ve been in the same class since kindergarten, and the murder fantasies have gone on for just as long.”

“Well then, I believe this has gone on long enough. You two are going to work together on a project of healing for me. You’ve heard that song on the radio, Heal the World, make it a better place?’” The Principal sang the melody of the title with a wide-eyed grin.

Tina tried to not to laugh but desperately hoped she wouldn’t sing the entire song. When she looked over at Jason she could tell he was thinking the same, but trying really hard to not look disrespectful and get himself into more trouble.

“I’d like a presentation that you’ll both present to the freshman class at the next assembly. It will serve to both welcome our new students and inform them of our bullying policy. We need to be sure everyone feels welcome, don’t we Miss Jeneaux?” The principal’s drawn-on eyebrows were raised and pointed.

Tina nodded back to her, wordlessly.

“And Mr. Marman, I trust going forward, you will treat Miss Jeneaux and all our other female students with respect for the remainder of your time here and onward in life.

“Yes ma’am.”

Tina and Jason both got up from their chairs and walked together to the office doors. Jason opened and held the door for Tina on the way out.

“We can work at my place if you want. I have the album at home and a whole set of encyclopedias,” Jason suggested, and Tina gave a single nod with her eyes closed.

“After dinner?” Jason asked.

Tina nodded again. It was the best she could do since she couldn’t believe that she actually agreed to spend after-school time with Jason Marman at his actual house.  
                                                                        

Purple Moon by Phil Hore



1816 – Geneva

The rain outside seemed to double with intensity, and a single, mighty fork of lightning illuminated the heavy clouds above. A rare event had heralded the storm; a Purple Moon that threw its weird light across the landscape around us, firing conversations about how peoples of the prehistoric past gathered around campfires and created tales about their world. This led to a strange little competition that would echo throughout the ages. 

I sat in a dark room lit only by some candles and a roaring blaze in the fireplace. Along the far wall, a group of other shadowy figures were also just enjoying the night and the fire.

“I still cannot believe there were really ice giants!” exclaimed Lord Byron.

I smiled at the poet. “I was there, and your grandfather swore black and blue that he and those shipwrecked with him had seen giants walking around Patagonia. Just so you know, one of Captain Cook’s officers also claimed to see the same thing a few years later.”

Proving he had studied the world of his famous grandfather, Byron pointed out“I believe the French voyager Louis-Antoine, Comte de Bougainville claimed he’d seen the bones of these Patagonian giants, but believed they were just the remains of elephants.”

I had only recently met this strange group of friends and found them witty and warm. The oppressive weather would typically sour most holidays, but this party had decided to use the brooding atmosphere to their great advantage. The poet Lord Byron was the one who suggested each should come up with a horror story they would later recount while the weather howled outside.

The first night a young physician, Dr John William Polidori, had told an amusing story about a vampire. Then, having failed night after night to tell her tale, the very pregnant Claire Clairmont had finally begged our forgiveness and permanently abstained, claiming she had just been unable to think of anything worth retelling. And to cover her absence, I had agreed last night to pass on some of the true stories of horror I carry with me from the past. Some had become legendary tales or even stories from mythology, while others were known only to me. One was about watching the siege of Troy and how I had helped encourage Odysseus to enter the battle. Another was about watching early humans harness fire for the first time.

When someone pointed out this meant I was claiming to be both Prometheus and Palamedes, it was Byron who moved the conversation forward. “Storytellers should never be called on to tell the truth because the truth is stranger than fiction.” The poet looked like he’d been struck over the head and began furiously scribbling.

Tonight we got onto the idea of dangerous giants living in remote areas as we had just heard a story by Miss Godwin, the stepsister of Claire, who had taken something from everyone’s stories, including mine, and came up with a tale that would still be told centuries in the future.

“It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld my man completed …”

It was a hell of a start to a tale.

 On this astonishing holiday, Byron, Godwinor Shelley as she would become knownand the others had created not only the first vampire story but Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus. Of course, these tales would be duplicated, plagiarised, serialised, and reinvented hundreds of times. I personally like to think Shelley had been inspired to create and name her creature after me and that I had more than a little to do with Polidori’s vampire creation as well.

                                                                       

Mirror Mirror Minotaur by M. M. Ward 



>>The Beast<<                                               

The Minotaur Princess, Kiretana, rushed into the atrium room in the center of the Minotaur Heir’s labyrinth prison, where he spent most of his time. “Tauran, the witch found her!” The princess looked around in dismay as he struggled to his feet.

Lowing in pain, he told her, ‘She is in the labyrinth somewhere.’

“What did you do?” Kiretana demanded with her hand on her hip, and head tipped in judgment, her expression accusing with her lips pressed together in a twisted scowl.

‘What did I do?! I don’t know. I smiled at her because I was happy, and she attacked me,’ he mooed in the language of his beast, remembering how his One crouched in terror, then punched and kicked him before throwing him across the room. His clawed hand cupped his bullness gently. It would be bruised for days.

“With your smile, she probably thought you were going to eat her.” Snorting, Kiretana laughed in a very un-princess-like way, then gasped when they heard the stone door moving. “I’ll try to find her. Keep Mother busy.”

She sprinted in the direction where she could smell the terrified female, grinning to herself because she was happy his Daisy was a fighter. A strong and compassionate queen was just what the kingdom needed after her mother’s cruel reign. She followed the scent back and forth as she listened to the murmurs of her mother and her brother’s bellowed denials. After a few turns around the circling corridors she was shocked to find herself at the crevasse that led to her room. Quickly, she squeezed through the gap and tumbled out to find her father and a wizard talking in her bedroom.

“Who are you?” she demanded, halting the discussion between them.

“I am Oren Oleander. I came about your mother’s petition, but find what she wants to be done abhorrent. It cannot be accomplished without erasing your brother’s mind completely.” The wizard bowed to her. “Princess Kiretana, if you are seeking your brother’s soul-half. I sent her to the home of my mother’s family. She will be safe there until the autumn equinox.”

“Can you send me to join…” Kiretana started to ask as her mother, and another wizard rushed in.

“Where is she? Where is that common cow?” Queen Dejanira shrieked as she glared at Oren. “Wizard Oleander, what are you doing with my family? You refused my request.”

“Queen Dejanira, the thing you are requesting is too dangerous.”

“More dangerous than my son losing himself to his beast as my husband did? I do not think so. Tauran may choose from the royal stable; there are many heifers of high status families in his harem.” She glanced at the guards and her warlock. “Seize them.”

The king bellowed and lowered his head, pulling his daughter behind his bulk as the queen’s warlock pointed a wand at them. “Sominatosa minotaurus!”  

“Stop!” Oren shouted as the two minotaurs collapsed unconscious, then Dejanira shattered a potion bottle at the warlock’s feet and Oren yelped in surprise. Within a second, he was engulfed in flames. A few moments later, only a pile of ash remained.

“Seal him in a bottle,” Dejanira ordered, “And toss it in the sea.”

“Yes, my queen.” The warlock scooped up the ashes, putting them in a blue glass bottle, and retreated as two burly minotaur guards hefted the king.

“Put my husband in with our son,” the queen ordered.

“And what about the princess?” A third asked as he picked up Kiretana gently.

“Put her in the harem. If she doesn’t choose a mate from among the royal lords by the summer solstice, she can join her father and brother.” Dejanira hissed, then turned around the room. She opened a secret drawer and pulled out one of Tauran’s sketchbooks, flipping through the pages until she found several of the common cow’s human face. She tore the pages out. “Show these to the guards. Find this girl and bring her to me. She is in the palace somewhere.”

                                                                        

Baby by Sayali D. 

Trigger Warning: Pregnancy Loss

Chapter 1 

She was late. She had been for three weeks now. But she wasn’t really holding her breath after seven years of dashed hopes. It was only a few weeks back they had decided to stop trying, which is why this came as a shock more than a surprise.

           She hadn't taken a test and didn't have the two lines to validate what she already knew. But knew she did.

Despite herself, her heart started to pound, and with a shaky hand, she swept the liner on her eyes. Her lips were compressed, her mouth grim. She had stopped smiling ages back.

But what terrified her were her eyes. Bright and soulful, full of hope.

Taking a deep breath, she looked at the bathroom floor. Hope was a terrifying thing. She didn't want to be hopeful again; she didn’t want to hop onto the roller coaster of soaring ecstasy and crash into her soul-crushing reality. So instead, she learned to accept her fate.

But now, she was late. Sooner or later, she would have to bear the consequences.

She resisted the urge to cover her womb with her hand to protect the new life inside her.

Suddenly, the hair on her nape stood up as she felt it, the shadow always lurking behind her.

She had felt its presence before, a dark figure just out of the periphery of her vision. But she didn't know what the shadow wanted with her. Why did it always find her when she had new life growing inside her?

And never left her until she was alone.

Again.

She squeezed her eyes shut at the unfairness of the situation and dug her hands into her scalp, pulling her hair with all her might. “Stop! Please!” she implored the shadow. “Please leave my baby and me alone!”

She collapsed on the bathroom floor, sobbing like a baby.

The tap dripped a staccato as it echoed throughout the empty house.



About the Authors

Asa Swift

Asa Swift is a police officer in Indianapolis and has been in law enforcement for thirty-four years. He is married to his wife Janet and they have three sons. Ready for something new and having a creative side, he took to writing horror, his favorite genre of books and movies. Born in Hartford, Indiana, despite getting a late start in writing, he improves every day. Swift enjoys fishing, firearms, cooking and his grandchildren, and of course, HORROR! As a means of continue writing, he keeps his grandparents close to his heart and mind for always encouraging him to not give up.

 

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Brandon Ebinger

Brandon Ebinger is a horror/dark fantasy author who lives in upstate New York with his fiancรฉ and two cats. He holds a BA in creative writing. He enjoys horror films,Gothic rock and punk music and video games. He is a huge fan of haunted attractions, and spends October as a haunt actor. Brandon has written four horror/dark fantasy novels, Ash, Hollow Hills, The Afflicted and Rose. He has also published a handful of short stories within the genre. He has recently finished his most recent novel Broken Night and is at work on a new one.

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Phil Hore

Phil likes to point out he was one of the last children born before man walked on the moon. He’s worked at Australia’s National Dinosaur Museum, the Australian War Memorial, National Film and Sound Archives, the Australian National Botanic Gardens, London’s Natural History Museum, the Field Museum in Chicago and The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Published in newspapers and magazines across the globe, Phil is the paleo-author for the world’s longest running dinosaur magazine, The Prehistoric Times. He’s also been a comic shop manager, a cinema projectionist, a theatre technician and gutted chickens for a deli. All of these influences seem to make an appearance in his writing, especially the chicken guts bit. His first novel Brotherhood of the Dragon contained another Amun adventure, while 2020 sees the release of his WW1 trench murder mystery, Golgotha.

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Draven

Draven is an author who writes paranormal/supernatural which includes vampires and werewolves, and ghosts. Her works include The Immortals Saga vampire series and the Bane Werewolf Colony series. She’s working on a revenge crime series of short stories and a science fiction series. She’s a graduate of Full Sail University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment. She has experience with script-writing, comic writing, and game writing. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading books, specifically paranormal romance novels and watching anime. She loves to listen to classical music, rock music, and kpop.

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M.M.Ward

M.M.Ward - Mama Magie Ward- Farm mom and author who writes as part of my stroke recovery. My stories are a walk between shadow and light. I write stories about and for those who have been through much. There will be triggers for survivors, things I would wish on anyone, but sadly, these are the trials many face in today’s world. Some of will overcome, some will succumb, and I encourage all to seek help. Weep, cope, reach out. You are not alone. There is always the choice... Become Better, not bitter. #MMWard

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J. D. Edwards

J. D. Edwards is the award-winning author of The Faerie Chronicles, Killing Time, The Soul Reaper, Dry Bones, and Indomitable. His writing awards include The Charl Ormond Williams Fund, The Ohio Genealogical Society, Notebook Publishing’s #IndieApril, and Lulu’s Share Your Scare Writing Contest. Since 2012, J. D. Edwards has published over 60 genealogical articles in the United States and Great Britain, winning over a dozen historical writing competitions internationally. Future projects include historical fiction books set in the 18th to 19th centuries and further fantasy series regarding Faerie and Celtic Mythology.

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Sayali D.

Sayali (who cannot pronounce her own last name), has been writing from childhood, starting from poems and essays that won her acco- lades to writing murder mysteries for her gang of girls. Embarking on a technical career after college made her appreciate her world of mystery and make-believe even more. She dove into romance as a teen and mostly writes stories about strong, relatable characters who meander their way into love. Her books also contain suspense and mystery, with a lot of plot twists that keep the readers engaged. Sayali is married to her college sweetheart and has a cute kid. She writes when her imagination gets the better of her and her charac- ters demand to be written about. It’s the only way she can stay sane, though anyone who has seen her daydream and talk to herself, will disagree. Sayali can be found on FB, Twitter and Instagram, chattering away to all within earshot.

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Ashe Woodward

Ashe Woodward is a horror writer from Ontario, Canada. She has been writing spooky stories since she was old enough to type on a Commodore 64. She lives with her husband and their menagerie of pets and poisonous plants. 

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For more information visit: Editingle Indie House




Monday, September 12, 2022

Review: Clash of Storms (Legends of the Storm, #3) by Bec McMaster

    Review: Clash of Storms (Legends of the Storm, #3) by Bec McMaster


The old eddas speak of dreki—fabled creatures who haunt the depths of Iceland's volcanoes and steal away fair maidens.

Malin wants none of such myths. As a half-blood dreki, she's beneath the notice of the arrogant warriors who rule the skies—except for Sirius Blackfrost, the most ruthless dreki within the court. This dark prince watches her every move, but he's more villain than hero, and in her favourite fairy tales the servant never earns the prince's heart. But is there something more to the look in the Blackfrost's eyes?

To love her would be to curse her to a fate worse than death…

The second he saw her, Sirius knew her for his fated mate. But Malin is a nobody in the dreki court and her very presence is a threat to the queen's ambitions for him. Forced to hide the truth and accept the match his queen has made for him—to mate with the princess Malin serves— he dares not reveal his heart.

But when the princess flees, he must find her—and his only clue is Malin, who aims to thwart him at every step. With danger surrounding them, they must forge a truce. But can Malin ever give this wicked prince her heart? Because, while Sirius's kiss burns through her like lightning, to love him would be to defy the stars themselves…
Available at


eBook:  Apple Books | Kobo | Nook | Google Play | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Booktopia

Print:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Booktopia

Audio:  Kobo | Booktopia

Review:

Where do I even begin??? If I thought book 1 and book 2 was a wild Rollercoaster, book 3 send me a ride on a dragon flying right into the storm.

Honestly, this is the best book so far. I don't know what is awaiting ahead. I've always enjoyed slow burn but this easily takes the cake. The angst, the mutual pining and everything else is just so good.

I liked Sirius the moment I met him in book 2. I had a feeling there's more layers to his character than the eyes saw. His confrontation with Ardis fueled that. I also had a feeling if he wanted he could have caught Haakan and Ardis in the village. I wasn't wrong. He knew.

So I believed there's more to his character. Sirius Blackfrost is someone everyone fears, he's the villain in everyone's eyes. But the worst part is that his true flame Malin believes that too. She doubts his intentions and doesn't realize the weight of her words or what it could do to Sirius.

Sirius is bound by honor. He's a proud male dreki through and through. Hidden under all that hard exterior is a loving brother and a helpless dreki who was caught in the webs of the mad queen as a young boy.

He's ridden with guilt and nightmare, he's driven into the corner with no choice yet he keeps fighting for the ones he love and cares for.

Malin thinks the worst of Sirius like everyone else. She hides and run away but when the circumstances force them to stay together, she has no choice but rely on him. Only because she wants to save the princess from him somehow.

But with time the two slowly come together and she manages to slowly chip at his hardened walls. They navigate this attraction but she's sure she can't have him as long as he was bound to the princess. The constant push and pull as they try to find the princess before Roar and others keeps at an edge.

There are lot of politics and the last few chapters are a wild ride and a reader has to buckle up. I'm glad things ended good for them but the epilogue that opens for the next book is just wow. It left me intriguing when I just thought all is good now they have taken care of the queen.

Can't wait to dive into book 4.

About the Author:


Kidnapped by a dread pirate when she was a child, USA Today Bestselling Author Bec McMaster was raised on myth and legend, and offered her younger siblings to the goblin king many a time. Unfortunately, he did not accept.

Now she writes epic fantasy romance with a dark and sexy twist, which is almost as much fun. She has a secret weakness for villainous heroes, wicked fae princes and dangerous vampires, though in all her daydreams, she’s the one rescuing them.

Bec lives happily-ever-after with her very own hero and princess-in-training in the wilds of Australia, where she can often be found drinking tea or plotting her next travel adventure.

Escape the ordinary at www.becmcmaster.com

Join Bec's mailing list at http://eepurl.com/F_LkD for all the latest news on releases, exclusive excerpts, cover reveals, and epilogues.


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