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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Out of the ShadowedLands by Maggie Berkley


Out of the ShadowedLands:
Book Three
of the
Morgan Crowe trilogy


Maggie Berkley
Genre:Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance
Publisher: Smashwords
ISBN: 9781301946594
Publisher: Createspace
ISBN-13: 978-1479274505 / ISBN-10: 147927450X
Cover Artist: Kristy McPherson
Price: $5.99 E-Book / $17.99 paperback
Word Count: 146,335
Publication date: Nov. 30, 2012 (1st edition)
Books available at:
Barnes & Noble.com, Amazonbooks.com, Sony Reader eBooks.com,
iBookstore.com, DieseleBooks.com, Kobo.com, Smashword.com, Createspace.com

A storm is brewing in the Dark Courts and her name is Death.
Tired of broken promises and betrayal, Morgan Crowe takes matters into her own hand and carves a destructive path through the maze of political intrigue the Dark Queen of the Mor'sin'dar had created. After rescuing her friend Vivienne from the dungeons of UnderArch, Morgan returns home to discover her son missing, taken by the man she had once given her heart to. Seeking help to retrieve him she finds those she served unwilling to give assistance and realizes that loyalty is not always a two way street. Tired of being used by those she thought of as allies and hunted by those she knows are enemies, Morgan is determined to end the game she had been unwillingly pulled in to and strikes out in fury at everyone around her.
But when her past finally catches up with her and threatens the lives of those she loves, Morgan knows it's time to take a stand. Charged by her dead King to bring justice to him and the throne and still haunted by the prophecy given to her about the future, she must make a decision that could change the ShadowedLands and those who live within its borders forever. With the help of the mysterious Lord Requiem and the young Werewolf Ty, Morgan steps forward to bring a true King to the Ebon Throne and to remove the threat to her and those she loves. Will she give into her destructive nature or will she finally step into the destiny she was born for?
 
Excerpt:
Reaching out to the latch on the door, Morgan quietly opened it then peered into the dim room, finding a lone figure hunched over a desk, back to her, writing furiously. After a waiting a second to see if he noticed the intrusion, and when he didn't respond, she opened the doort wide enough to slip her body through and padded silently toward her intended target. With her presence a mere shadow to blend with the surrounding gloom, Morgan slid up behind the man and as quick as a viper, she captured his head in an arm lock. Sliding the sharp edge of a knife against his throat, she leaned down, placing her mouth near his ear and whipsered, "Miss me?"
“Hast thee come to kill me too, Battle Crow?” He hissed as the sharp edge of her blade bit deeper into his skin, drawing forth several ruby beads to flow down the front of his exposed neck.
“Greetings to you, Hounds Master.”
With a quick jab of his elbow into her gut, the Sidhe tried to knockthe chair he sat in back into her, to throw Morgan off balance. Steeling herself against the blow, she blocked the move with her thigh and grabbed the back of his head, her fingers knotting into his blonde hair, before slamming his head down onto the hard surface of the desk. With a heavy exhale of breath the Sidhe slumped over and Morgan kicked the chair out from under him, spinning the Sidhe around before pushing him backward over the desk top. Keeping her blade firming against his neck, the sharp edge biting deep under his Adam's apple, Morgan smiled down with a dangerous twinkle in her eyes.
“One move and you'll be breathing through a new airway.”
Ty appeared at their side, snarling viciously as his incisors elongated and eyes flashed a molten gold of fire. Baring his fangs at the Sidhe he grabbed the man’s face and pulled him out of Morgan's hold. Surprised by the move, she stood back and stared, watching as Ty lifted the struggling Sidhe off his feet. His nails, now curved, thick and deadly sharp, dug into unprotected flesh while the blonde kicked out, trying to pry off the furious Were's grip. The Sidhe's struggles weakened as airflow was blocked from entering his lungs, his complexion deepening to a mottled red before taking on a blusish tinge. The sound of cracking filled the room as Ty tightened his grip, slowly breaking bones as blood ran in rivlets down the Sidhe's face and neck.
“Tyler! No!” Morgan pulled at the young Were’s arm. “It’s okay, he’s a friend. Let him go!”
Adding pressure to his grip on the Sidhe’s face, Ty stared at Morgan, his eyes filling with anger then after a moment he released the man’s head and walked away, the snarl slowly fading into a low chest growl.
“Never try to hurt her again.” His voice came out in a harsh whisper, filled with the threatening power of the Wolf, and he stalked to circle around the back of Morgan, staring holes into the blonde's head.
Gingerly touching the sides of his wounded face, the Sidhe, his deeply golden hair now messed, turned to face his visitors. He stared first at the Werewolf then turned his attention on the woman who had snuck up on him.
“Tis been a while, Lady Morriganna. Thou art a dead woman, thou knows?”
“Nice to see you too.” Re-sheathing her dagger Morgan stepped away as irritation surged through her dark eyes. Ty's growl grew in volume, his upper lip curling to revel still long and sharp.
Glancing at the Were warily, Lord Berith shook his head. “Tis fine, Wolf. The old Crow and I have an unusual way of greeting one another.”
Returning his attention back to Morgan he smiled in return, wincing for a brief moment, then touched his face again, before studying his fingers that came away stained crimson. “Rumor had it thou hath killed Prince Ansil and seeks to remove the royal family. Is there any truth to that?”
“No, I’m not interested in what is going on here, except maybe to find out why King Silvas died.” She glanced at Ty, watching him narrow his eyes at her. “Look, Lord Berith, do you know anything about Malachi having a cub with him? A small panther with green eyes.”
The Sidhe glanced at the angry young man but before he could speak Morgan interrupted him.
“Ignore the Were right now. We’re not planning on being here long enough to get the Queen’s attention. Will you help me or not?”
Running a hand over his jaw the handsome Sidhe smiled. “Of course, love, but we would be even then, all debts paid.”
Morgan nodded. “Fine.”
His eyes narrowed briefly as he turned introspect, then with a shake of his head, frowned. “I am sorry, Morrigu but I hath not heard of a cub claimed by Malachi. Most Weres, one reason or other, reach my notice but this one has not. Is there a particular reason thou art looking for this cub?”
For a moment Morgan was quiet and the young Werewolf shifted his feet uneasy behind her. Setting her features to neutral she met the Beast Lord’s eyes. “He’s my son. His name is Thalos.”
Lord Berith raised an eyebrow in question, surprise clearly written over his face. “Were? Thou means…” Catching the spark of anger in her eyes he cleared his throat. “Pardon but twas rumored the Queen sent her Dagger to thee but twas thought it to kill thee not seduce thee.” When he got no response from her he continued. “I shall send my servants around to the Lairs under the guise of taking inventory and have them keep their eyes open.”
“Good, well, you won’t mind if I take a walk around to search for him myself?”
“Lady Morriganna," he set a hand on her shoulder, ignoring the warning snarl that emminated from the young Were. “That would not be a wise idea. The Queen hast many eyes and servants loyal to her would report thee in a minute. If thy child is here I shall find him but if thou insist and Malachi scents thee he may remove the boy and thou might never find him again.”
Fuck that, was the first thought that entered her mind but one glance at Ty and the way his eyes glowed golden, narrowing dangerously on Berith, made her reconsider. She had to get him out of here. A wreckless Were would do her no good. As much as she wanted to get her son and wanted him now, the thought of losing him forever because of her impulsiveness was enough to give her pause.
“Thank you, Lord Berith.” Feeling uncomfortable with his nearness, Morgan stepped away as the Hunt Master lowered his hand. At a loss of what to do next she turned to go, Ty falling in behind her when another thought entered her head. “Lord Berith…” She turned back to the tall, blonde Sidhe. “What have you heard about the Prince Khelvan’s return?”  Biting her bottom lip, Morgan rubbed her chin in thought before looking back up at her friend from the corner of her eye. “Do they say it was a strike against Queen Moriethe?”
His eyes narrowed briefly as he studied her face. “I heard Prince Khelvan had been searching for a girl and he found her. Tell me, were thou part of that group?” When he got no response from her he continued. “I heard he had two Were’s with him along with his guard. I heard also several of the guards from Court left with his Highness after he threatened the Queen.”
“Did the Queen know about the girl earlier?”
The look in Berith’s eyes was enough to answer her question. Swearing under her breath, Morgan looked away. “Great. And Malachi? Was he a part of it too?”
Ty’s eyes narrowed as his nostrils flared in anger.
Looking between the cold visage of Morgan’s face and the angry one of the Were’s, Lord Berith rubbed a hand over his mouth thoughtfully. “What the Queen’s assassin does is kept secret though Viraska and her Highness are both well known in their hatred of thee.”
The Morrigu shrugged. “I have many enemies.” Moving away from him, she walked over to his desk and rested her hip against it.
For several long moments Lord Berith stared at the raven-haired Sidhe, his brows drawing together in thought. “I worry for thee, Lady Morriganna. We have been friends for a long time and I do not wish to see thee hurt. Rumor spread Eryn Syn died a traitor to warn thee of attack and I know thou wert close.”
“His death was in vain, one that should have never happened.” She looked away, her eyes distant. “I made my choices long ago, Hounds Master and refuse to entertain regret.”
Lord Berith turned his attention to her companion, but the Were’s eyes were focused intently on Morgan’s face as she frowned, staring at the floor. Brushing his fingers through his golden hair he let out a sigh and cleared his throat.
“What is it with thee and trouble? I swear as long as thou hast been gone thy very name still stirs up the masses.” He shook his head.
“And it shall continue. Is that all?”
“Of course, love. I shall keep my ears open and see if I can find out more. But…hast thou found clues to King Silvas’s death yet?”
Morgan looked down, as if ashamed of her answer and frowned. “No, but from what you had told me before, it could not have been from an accident. Silvas was much too powerful to have fallen from a Cusith so easily and I have yet to see his body.”
“Thou never will for he was returned to the Flame immediately. Queen Moriethe claimed his appearance was too mutilated to gaze upon.”
“Of course she would,” Morgan mumbled under her breath before looking back up to meet the Hound’s Master’s eyes. Her frown deepened as another thought came to her. “And High Lord Requiem, has he…?”
With a shake of his head, Lord Berith straightened his shoulders, an eyebrow raised at the question. “He returned here not long ago, seeking admittance to the Court. His arrival though was interesting for he prostrated himself before Queen Moirethe and now many rumors abound about the relationship between them.” He paused for a moment, watching her. “But I would not believe those tales for twas known while in King Silvas' Court he showed no favor toward Queen. Why wouldst thou have an interest in that particular High Lord?”
A sharp look from Morgan quickly quelled that inquiry. Relationship? Requiem never said anything about a relationship between him and Moirethe and Malachi’s words came back to haunt her. A flare of jealousy reared its head for a moment before she quickly squelched it then she rubbed her temple. Rumor or not, it was none of her business what Requiem did to become part of the Court as long as he kept her informed of any new information that might come about. Catching Berith’s eyes flicker toward the closed door she stared at him as he leaned toward her. His voice lowered as he spoke.
“Lord Requiem is a secretive man and not many know of his plans, but this I know...he is held in high esteem and seldom makes rash choices. If you seek a High Lord toward your cause, he would make a very powerful ally. And love, thou needs to be wary of Malachi. The Queen hast loaned him over to Lady Viraska  and there is something seriously wrong with the woman.” Shaking his head in frustration, he closed his eyes tightly. “Be wary. Since the Bone Hag returned to Court things have been different. Even the Queen has changed. She was satisfied with thy banishment until Virsaka convinced her otherwise. I worry for thy safety, woman.”
Taking her hand in his, Berith raised it to his lips. “And I shall try and find out more, I promise, but thou needs to leave now. With the High Queen’s private bounty on thee I am positive any climber will see this as a chance to kill two birds with one stone. Get thee out of the way and gain High favor.” He smiled briefly. “I shall do what I can on this end. Go now.”
Turning without another word, Morgan opened the door to leave.
“Morriganna.”
Morgan looked back over her shoulder.
“May Danu watch over thee.”
“If she even remembers I exist,” Morgan replied back as she stepped out of the room, Ty closely on her heels.
 
 Buy links for all the books:
Author Bio:
A long time fan of dark fantasy with a touch of romance, Maggie Berkley grew up in a world all her own. During long times of parental lock down as a teenager due to a rebellious nature, she wrote short stories and plays, and as time went by drew upon her love of fantasy to write fan fiction. Due to the encouragement of friends and family she decided rather than keep her stories for herself she would publish and share them with the world. This is the result.
Maggie lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband of many, many years, an extremely tall teen-age son, one rowdy puppy and two cats that rule their lives with an iron claw.
Maggie currently has three novels published. Enter The Night, Behind The Throne, and Out Of The ShadowedLands from the Morgan Crowe Trilogy. She also co-scripted a short film called The Ban-Sidhe.
Feel free to contact her at maggieberkley@yahoo.com
She can also be found on:
and her homepage


                                                                                                   
 
Selene (coming soon)
Diamond Lil: the series (coming soon)
The Morgan Crowe trilogy
Enter the Night: Book One
Behind the Throne: Book Two
Out of the ShadowLands: Book Three


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