Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Available Now: Call of the Morrigu by Christy Nicholas

Christy Nicholas


(99c/99p through 23 July)
Life isn't easy in 1798 Ireland. Rebellions are rising across the countryside, and the English can be cruel overlords. However, this brutality hasn’t reached the country estate of Strokestown.

Theodosia Latimer and her grandfather Reginald are on a mission to discover the past. They're determined to excavate some ancient mounds on the Strokestown estate. But when they discover an imprisoned goddess straight out of Ireland’s rich mythological history, they're both amazed and frightened.

Tasked with integrating this primeval warrior woman into polite society, they develop both respect and fear for the powerful goddess. Will they be able to tame her lust for violence in the upcoming rebellion? Or will they fall victim to it?

• • •

October 31, 1796
Rathcrogan, County Roscommon, Ireland

Finn the Tinker walked along the path on the black night while thick clouds obscured the sickle moon. He stumbled as the velvet blanket of gloom hid rocks and branches upon the ground along the unfamiliar path. Wind howled through the crags and cliffs and he hurried his steps, wiping blown leaves from his face. He shouldn’t be caught outside this night.

For All Hallow’s Eve, or Samhain, was a time of magic and Fae, a night of hauntings and fear. But he had no choice now.

No glow from starlight helped him. Finn had just finished a fruitless mission to the Big House to peddle his wares that evening and he wanted to return to his wife and children in Tulsk.

The wailing wind increased as he approached Oweynagat, the Cave of the Cats. He avoided the place this time of the year, but he was in a hurry to make it to high ground before the storm struck. Legends told of strange creatures coming from the mouth of the cave, magical creatures of the Otherworld. Finn’s own grandmother had told him the tales. Cats, ravens, sometimes bats swarmed from the cave and chased a hapless traveler. Stories told of people, found mad or wounded.

A traveler such as himself.

The wind halted. He looked around, suspicious of the silence.

Red eyes blinked at him from the darkness.

Finn backed away from the glowing crimson points near the cave. The wind howled again, and the creatures fluttered and screeched.

They were getting closer.

An amorphous shape formed in the darkness and he froze. The wings touched his face and arms. With a soundless cry, he dropped his packs and ran back the way he had come.

Over rock walls and burns he ran in fear. With no light to aid his headlong flight over the treacherous path, he fell. He ripped his pants and skinned his knee, but he paid these minor annoyances little heed before he stumbled to his feet again. The terrified tinker didn’t dare glance back at the daemons that chased him, but made the sign of the cross as he pelted across the fields.

Several lights twinkled in the distance. That must be the Big House, Strokestown. If he could just reach that haven…

As he splashed through the muddy river, his worn boots slid into the muck at the bottom and became mired. Finn jerked his feet out and tried to scramble up the far bank, but got stuck again. The wind died once more.

A terrified glance over his shoulder confirmed that the red glowing eyes were hovering, waiting for...what?

A scream ripped through the night, shattering the silence. The wind picked up again as the cry died in a strangled gurgle.

The next morning, they found Finn’s body by the river. His kin barely recognized his face. Thousands of tiny cuts had bled out into the sticky earth.

• • •

Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon, has her hands in many crafts, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing, and photography. In real life, she's a CPA, but having grown up with art all around her (her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected her, as it were. She loves to draw and to create things. She says it's more of an obsession than a hobby. She likes looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or seeing a fragrant blossom or a dramatic seaside. She takes a picture or creates a piece of jewelry as her way of sharing this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and thus she writes. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. She does local art and craft shows, as well as sending her art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.

Find Christy Online:

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