Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
The Amber Elixir
(A Two Realms Novella, #1)
Publication date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Viviane, the new Lady of the Lake and High Priestess of Avalon, accepts a challenge from Merlin unaware her bold actions will have tragic consequences. Two of her priestesses are turned to stone. A forbidden love deserts her. Now alone, she has six young handmaidens to train and protect.
When Morgan le Fay demands assistance with a spell that could change the balance of power in the Two Realms, Viviane refuses her. But what if Morgan’s secret knowledge could restore the stone priestesses? Will an alliance prompt Viviane’s love to return? Or will the gamble cost her all she holds dear?
Morgan’s laugh cut like a well-honed sword. “The poor wizard is too infatuated to realize your heart belongs to another.”
Viviane’s face heated. He realizes all too well.
“Besides,” Morgan continued, “once you have drained every drop of magical knowledge from your childhood— What do you consider Merlin? A friend? A rival? Either way, you will cast him aside…or worse.”
You sound like Glynis. Viviane shifted her weight, crunching pebbles beneath her feet. She remembered the first time she had met Merlin.
“Nay,” Glynis protested. “I am trying to sleep.”
“And failing miserably. The bedding is twisted from your tossing about. A swim will help you rest.”
“’Tis too cold for a late-night swim. Besides, Nimue has forbidden it.”
“Nimue need never know if we are quiet.” I coaxed Glynis out of our warm bed and settled her cloak over her shoulders. Then, pulling her by the hand, I led her outside and down the spiral path.
Halfway down the trail, Glynis halted, jerking my arm. “The moon is full. The Unblessed Court! We must turn back.”
“Nay. We need only change course. Let us descend down the side of the tor. If we venture around the back of Orchard Hill, we will emerge north of the fairy spring.”
“Leave the pilgrims’ path? ’Twould attract bad luck.”
I linked my arm through Glynis’s and pulled her close. Her warmth seeped through my clothing, tingling my skin. Breathing in her apple and rosemary scent, my insides fluttered. “No harm will come to you,” I promised. “You are with me.”
Moonlight haloed Glynis’s pale hair. She hesitated a moment more. Then we were off, racing the moon down the steep-sided tor. Thank the Goddess it had not rained and the slope was dry. Moonlight glinted off the protection spell surrounding the enchanted orchard, further lighting the way.
Reaching the backside of Orchard Hill, we encountered a ground cloud. Glynis led the way, jumping from one rock to the next or stepping on sturdy clumps of marsh weeds. Eerie spirit lights rose like ghosts and hovered above the mist. Seeing them, a chill coursed through me, raising the fine hairs on my arms like hackles on a dog.
“Ignore them, and they can do you no harm,” I said, clasping her hand.
Our feet and hems were sodden by the time we reached the shore between the cider house and healing hut. Avalon’s towering magical mists concealed the lake, but I heard its waters stealing across the rocky shore, calling to me. After a last glance at the sky for snatcher fairies, I dropped my cloak on a rock and ran into the bracing water. Gasping from the cold, I turned towards Glynis on the shore. My heart shuddered to a halt. In the night sky behind Glynis, moonlight illuminated a hag-faced snatcher, its enormous wings outstretched, its deadly talons open, tensed.
Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman and former teen to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her series include The Two Realms Trilogy, a medieval Scotland and Fairy fantasy adventure, and The Teen Wytche Saga, a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances. Moon’s “Covert Hearts” appears in Second Chances: A Romance Writers of America Collection.
Ms. Moon spent her childhood flying to rooftops in her dreams and searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. She lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and a media-shy dragon.
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