Faery Realms: Ten Magical Titles: Multi-Author Bundle of Novels & NovellasRachel Morgan
FAERY REALMS: Ten Magical Titles (Multi-Author Bundle, Novels & Novellas)
Faery Realms multi-author bundle copyright 2014 by Rachel Morgan, Alexia Purdy, Julia Crane, Talia Jager, Anthea Sharp, India Drummond, Tara Maya, Jenna Elizabeth Johson, Terry Spear, Dana Michelle Burnett. All rights reserved. Published by Fiddlehead Press, April 2014.
THE FAERIE GUARDIAN – RACHEL MORGAN
Kickbutt faerie Violet is about to graduate as the top guardian trainee of her class, but when an assignment goes wrong and the human boy she’s meant to be protecting follows her back into the fae realm, a dangerous plot is set in motion. (298 pages)
THE WITHERING PALACE (A Dark Faerie Tale 0.1) – ALEXIA PURDY
Untold darkness rules the Unseelie realm of the Land of Faerie. Hidden in this vast area, Aveta, the future queen of the Unseelie Army, perfects her gifts over lifetimes. Learning that magic isn't the only way to manipulate the world around her, this naive girl grows into a woman of strength and cunning, ultimately becoming one of the most feared leaders in Faerie. (75 pages)
DARK PROMISE – JULIA CRANE & TALIA JAGER
Rylie’s life is turned upside down when a stranger knocks on the door, claiming to be her real mother. Soon she will have to face the terrifying fact that not only is she a faery, but one that has been promised to the dark prince. (240 pages)
FEYLAND: THE FIRST ADVENTURE – ANTHEA SHARP
High-tech gaming and ancient magic collide when a computer game opens a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie. Jennet Carter never thought hacking into her dad's new epic-fantasy sim-game would be so exciting... or dangerous. But behind the interface, dark forces lie in wait, leading her toward a battle that will test her to her limits and cost her more than she ever imagined. (65 pages)
BLOOD FAERIE – INDIA DRUMMOND
Unjustly sentenced to death, Eilidh ran—away from faerie lands to the streets of Perth, Scotland. When she discovers a human murdered by one of her own kind, she must choose: flee, or learn to tap into the forbidden magic that cost her everything. (264 pages)
HOOD & FAE (Daughters of Red Riding Hood) – TARA MAYA
Roxy Hood is just trying to make ends meet to pay her mom’s medical bills. Sure, Roxy takes on some jobs of, ahem, dubious integrity, like pretending that she can speak to the dead. But hey, that’s harmless. It's not like a malignant ghoul is going to attack her. Or a sexy billionaire will show up trying to buy her red jacket. Or a werewolf will attack Granny Rose. Because that would be whacked. (100 pages)
THE DARK FAE – TERRY SPEAR USA Today Bestselling Author
Alicia can recognize the mischievous fae when they show up to "play" with the humans. Only now she's faced with one highly annoyed dark fae and she's certain he knows the truth about her. She can see him, which means her life is forfeit. (184 pages)
EHRIAD – JENNA ELIZABETH JOHNSON
Cade MacRoich is Ehríad, an outcast of Eile. While hunting Otherworldly monsters in the mortal world, he discovers Meghan, a young woman whose magic seems very familiar … Three scenes from Faelorehn – Book One of the Otherworld Trilogy, told from Cade’s perspective. (84 pages)
ONCE (Gypsy Fairy Tale) – DANA MICHELLE BURNETT
Harmony's life will never be the same... Every day is just as normal, and just as boring, as the one before it... And then the Carnival comes to town. Suddenly, Harmony’s small town world is overtaken by the handsome Kieran and she discovers that not all fairy tales are pretend. (140 pages)
FAE HORSE: A Faery Tale – ANTHEA SHARP
Accused as witch, Eileen must flee for her life and leave her village and true love behind. With her pursuers closing in, she chances across a strange black horse who provides her only hope of escape. Eileen mounts it—to discover that the cost of her ride may be more than any mortal could bear. (20 pages)
*WANT MORE FAE? Pick up Faery Worlds: Six Complete Novels for another fabulous collection of faery-themed books!* http://amzn.com/B00DI9D5O8
Table of Contents
FAERY REALMS: Ten Magical Titles (Multi-Author Bundle, Novels & Novellas)
THE FAERIE GUARDIAN
THE WITHERING PALACE
FEYLAND: THE FIRST ADVENTURE
HOOD & FAE
THE DARK FAE
ONCE (Gypsy Fairy Tale)
FAE HORSE: A Faery Tale
THE FAERIE GUARDIAN
The Faerie Guardian
By Rachel Morgan
Copyright © 2012 Rachel Morgan
Cover Design by Morgan Media
This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or, if real, used fictitiously.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For more information please visit www.rachel-morgan.com
Mobi ISBN: 978-0-9870290-9-6
Epub ISBN: 978-0-9921863-0-2
Print ISBN: 978-0-9870290-8-9
TABLE OF CONTENTS
About the Author
For Mum and Dad.
Thank you for never telling me what I
should be when I grew up.
Guild Rule No. 2:
Never reveal yourself to a human.
Guild Rule No. 1:
Never bring a human into the fae realm.
My assignment tonight is cuter than most. He’s asleep at his desk, his cheek stuck to the open page of a textbook. Strands of sun-bleached hair lie across his forehead, and his lips—which I may or may not have been admiring for the past half hour—are parted.
I slide off the window seat and creep across the room. It’s bigger than I first thought, and with couches and a television arranged to form a separate sitting area, it’s more like a hotel suite than a regular bedroom.
Great. More places for things to hide.
I shrink into a shadowed corner and wait. For what, exactly, I’m not sure—the Seers never See more than a glimpse of what may happen. The boy’s steady breathing fills the room. A breeze lifts the curtain, and I catch the
flicker of a streetlight on Draven Avenue.
There she is! With a hiss, the serpent woman streaks across the room, lamplight reflecting off her scaly skin. I stretch my arms into position and feel the prickly warmth of the bow and arrow as they materialize in my hands. I pull back and let go. The arrow flies across the room in a shower of orange-gold sparks, finding its mark in the reptiscilla’s shoulder.
She cries out, stumbles, and twists in my direction. Her black eyes bore into mine. “It’s happening already,” she whispers.
She rips the arrow from her shoulder—a move that must have really hurt—and lunges for the boy. I toss my bow aside and dive toward him too, knocking his sleeping form to the floor. He’s awake now, which isn’t ideal, but at least he can’t see us.
I roll off him and spring to my feet, just in time for the reptiscilla to throw herself at me. We’re on the floor. She buries her fangs in my arm, but I barely register the stinging pain. I hear Tora’s voice in my head: Bend your knees, arch your back, thrust your opponent right off.
I hurl my body over and pin the reptiscilla down by her throat, my free hand already reaching into the air for another arrow. I bring it down swiftly, straight toward her heart.
But she’s gone.
Thankfully. I hate it when I have to kill them. With a heavy breath I collapse against the nearest wall, still gripping the arrow. The cord that held my hair back has come undone, and tangles of purple and black fall in my face. I push them away, and begin to feel the tingling ache of the reptiscilla’s bite.
“What . . . the hell . . . was that?”
I raise my eyes. The boy is looking at me.
My heart stutters. I mentally feel for my glamour, the magic that should be making me invisible right now. It’s still in place, I’m sure it is. So how can he possibly see me?
This is bad. This is very bad.
A few feet away from me, the boy pushes himself up onto his knees. “What just happened?”
“Um . . .” Crap, I am going to lose so many points for this.
“And what the hell is that?”
I follow his gaze to the arrow in my hand. It sparkles with its own light, as though made of hundreds of tiny white-hot stars. I can see how that would look weird to a human. I let go of the arrow. It vanishes, causing the boy’s eyes to grow even wider.
“Well, I should really be going.” I stand up, hoping my stylus is still in my boot.
“Wait.” He gets to his feet. “Who are you? What are you doing here? What was that . . . thing?”
“That thing?” I casually reach behind me for the wall. “Oh, you know, just a product of your subconscious. And all that ice cream you ate earlier. Indigestion can make for some interesting dreams.” I cringe internally. Dreams? What idiot would buy that explanation?
His eyebrows draw together. “I guess that could make sense. You are way more attractive than any real-life girl who’s managed to find her way into my bedroom.”
This is not happening.
I slide my hand into the top of my boot and retrieve my stylus. “You need to wake up and carry on studying,” I tell the boy. Then I turn to the wall and scribble a few words across it. The writing glows and fades, and a portion of the wall melts away like ribbon held too close to a flame. “Goodbye,” I call over my shoulder. I step into the yawning darkness, holding two words in my mind: Creepy Hollow.
“Ow!” He grabs hold of my arm—the arm that’s only just begun to heal from the reptiscilla’s bite—and I stumble on the invisible path. My mind loses hold of my destination and I tumble out of the darkness and onto the forest floor. I don’t usually exit the paths so clumsily, but I don’t usually have a human boy on top of me.
The reality of what has just happened strikes me like a slap in the face.
In the fae realm.
And I’m the one who brought him here.
No no no NO.
I give the boy a good kick and he lands on the ground beside me with a groan. “What did you do that for?” I yell, jumping to my feet. “You can’t follow me through! That’s not how this works.”
He sits up and stares at his surroundings—the wildly tangled trees; the creeping mist; the shifting smoke-like colors in the yuro plants’ leaves—with a mixture of horror and awe on his face. “That . . . was . . .”
“Probably the most idiotic thing you’ve ever done,” I say. I doubt he’s listening to me though.
“I think you were right about the dreaming thing,” he says. “There’s no way this could be real. Am I high on something?”
“Ugh.” I clench my fists so tightly I can feel my nails digging into my skin. “It’s magic, you moron.”
He looks at me and frowns. “There’s no such thing as magic.”
“Well, you probably think there’s no such thing as faeries either, and yet here I am.” And here he is. In my forest. My home. I kick a flurry of leaves into the air. Their colors shift rapidly in protest, cycling through an endless palette: lavender, magenta, burgundy, sienna. I bury my face in my hands. I have so failed this assignment.
“No way,” he says, rustling the leaves as he stands. “You can’t be a faerie. You’re way too big.”
I lower my hands. “Excuse me?” I’ve been called many things in my seventeen years, but ‘big’ has never been one of them. Quite the opposite, in fact.
“Aren’t faeries supposed to be, like, really tiny? With wings and a wand and faerie dust?”
“I’m not Tinker Bell!”
He takes a step back. “Okay, okay. Since this is a dream I guess you can be whatever you want to be.”
“Did it feel like a dream when I kicked you just now?”
“Actually that did kind of hurt.” He rubs his leg.
I shake my head. “This is such a mistake. You should not be here.”
He crosses his arms. “So you don’t have wings then?” he asks, completely ignoring what I just said.
“Sure I do, they’re in my pocket.”
“No!” I’m trying to think of the best way to fix this, and I wish he’d just keep quiet.
“Oh, wait, you do have a wand though. I saw you using it on my wall.”
“It’s not a wand, it’s called a stylus. Just a stick, really.”
“You know, if it weren’t my sole purpose in life to protect humans like you from crazy magical fae, I’d leave you here to find your own way home.”
“Is that what you were doing in my room?” he asks after a moment.
I sigh. Why am I telling him any of this? “Yes. I was on assignment.”
“I was your assignment?”
Wow, you catch on fast. “Yes.”
He hesitates a moment, then grins. “That’s kind of hot.”
“Okay, listen up, Draven Avenue,” I say before he can make any more inappropriate comments. “I’m going to open up another path and take you back to—” I stop as something jogs in my memory. “Wait a sec. Why aren’t you dead?”
“Um . . .”
“Faerie paths are for faeries. You shouldn’t survive the journey.”
He stares back at me, and it’s then that I hear the footsteps. Guilt rushes through me as though I’ve been caught doing something terrible, like carving initials into a tree. I get the sudden urge to open up a doorway and push the boy into it, but I’m worried that it was some strange fluke that he survived the first journey. What if a second one kills him?
A figure appears between the trees and my heart sinks when I see who it is. I’m definitely not getting out of this one.
“Ryn,” I say, trying to keep my voice even. “Back so soon? That’s unlike you. I heard you came in second to last for the previous assignment.”
Ryn stops and leans against a tree, tossing a ball of moonlight
back and forth. Its glow dances across his face and causes his blue-black hair to gleam. “Don’t you mean second, Pixie Sticks? I would have thought you’d pay more attention to your closest competition.”
“I would—if you were competition worth paying attention to.”
Ryn’s eyes narrow. He opens his mouth to speak, then freezes, his eyes moving to the boy beside me. He pushes away from the tree and steps closer. “You have a friend, Pixie Sticks?” he says. “You’ve actually managed to find someone willing to—” He breaks off and stares at the boy for several moments. His eyes slide back to mine, and a grin spreads across his face.
“Well, well, well. Look who broke rule number one.” He spins the ball of moonlight on the tip of his finger before squashing it into nothing between his palms. “Tell me, Pixie Sticks, how does it feel to fail an assignment?”
My mental call is automatic, and barely a second passes before my bow and arrow are blazing between my fingers. I point the arrow directly at Ryn. He flicks his wrist, almost too fast to follow. A whip with as much fiery brilliance as my own weapon appears in his hand with a snap.
“Wanna play?” he says, his voice low and dangerous.
“Get out of here, Ryn,” I say without lowering the arrow.
Ryn laughs and winds the whip around his arm. He hesitates, as if teasing me, and then tosses the whip into the air where it disappears. He pulls out his stylus and opens a doorway in the air in front of him. Show-off. It’s the one thing he can do better than I can. I have to use a solid surface to open a way to the paths. “I’ll make sure Tora knows about this,” he says as he steps through the doorway. “You know, in case you forget to mention it to her.” The air closes up behind him.