HEART SONG by Samantha LaFantasie ~ Excerpt and #Giveaway #amreading
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Two tall elves, dressed in white robes, stood at the entrance between two trees. They lowered their heads in respect and allowed us through without a word. My heart palpitated anxiously. I held my breath waiting for them to tell Marren that he was the only one allowed to pass. But none stopped me. As soon as we were through, I couldn’t help but focus on the center of what took up my vision.
The ground was carved out hollow, tapering down to a level platform. Trees arched above in a surrounding protective barrier. In the center, stood dwarves, elves, and werewolves. They stood solemnly with their heads bowed. Their arms were slack at their sides or crossed at the wrists in front of them. My heart picked up in pace. Are we too late?
Marren didn’t answer. He continued leading me, instead, towards the center where I knew Danst laid. Taking his last few numbered breaths. How I had clung to the hope that he held on long enough for me to make it to his side to say one last goodbye. But the silence was too thick. Not even the breathing of the races that took up the center of the elves home broke through the thick air.
I felt Marren release my hand and my body take over, gently pushing through those standing around to find the one that I needed to see, one final time.
I nearly collapsed as the base of the bed he laid on came into view. It was covered in white cloth that shimmered with a pale effervescence. It had a green border of ivy and leaves that delicately wove along the edge. My eyes slowly moved up to Danst’s feet, covered in smooth layers of light gray cloth that looked as soft as flower petals. A white robe with silver trim stretched to his mid-calf, bound at his waist with a silver clasp adorned with pearls.
His hands were resting on his stomach, one on top of the other. He looked like he was sleeping. His jaw was relaxed and smooth, the battle long gone from his face. His green eyes hidden beyond the lids that made his eyebrows look more pronounced. And above them, a silver band encircled his forehead with his stringy brown hair woven through.
My heart took on the weight of what it already knew. Danst was gone. I was too late. I approached his side, resting my hand on his, the warmth gone from his pale skin. I slapped a tear that fell down my cheek. My heart broke into so many pieces. There was a part of it that was going to forever miss his presence. Miss his laughter and the warmth in his smile. The way he showed patience when he first taught me to fight, the care and protection he gave me when he saved me that night so many years ago. It didn’t seem fair that he should have given his life.
A movement caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. Joe’n approached, stopping at Danst’s head. She peered down at him, the corners of her lips turned down. It caused me to question her sadness for his loss of life. Her eyes rose to mine and as if she knew my thoughts she said, “Danst was my grandson.”
Her words held no disgrace, no hate. I almost expected a murmur of shock through the crowd. How had I not known this? How could I have possibly been the last to know?
“As it is custom with my people, Danst will be sent to his next life in our tradition. He meant a lot to you as you did him. It seemed only fair that you received a chance to send him on his final journey.”
I stared for a long moment, processing her words. She spoke them with grace and calm, though clearly she had been torn about losing her grandson. The whites of her eyes were red. Even the lower lid was puffy, as though she had been crying until she approached. Realizing that she was waiting for a response, I numbly nodded my head. I removed my hand from Danst’s and felt that a part of me was leaving with him.
“Relena, I need you to follow me, alone. This is a private ceremony. You may join your friends after the send-off.”
I nodded and glanced towards Marren, who was at the back of the crowd. It’s okay. I’ll be waiting for you.
I wanted to feel the emotion that filled me with Marren’s words. Instead, I felt empty and lifeless. I watched Joe’n turn and walk to a dark path in between some trees and stop as she waited for me to follow. I noticed four elves had picked up the bed that Danst was on and waited to carry it. I quickly followed behind the Ancient, feeling the others in close proximity, with Danst.
For centuries Jiren has been one of the leaders of the immortal realm, but his power is now put at risk when it is said that the heart song between a mortal, Relena, and a werewolf, Marren is fated to bring both the mortal and immortal realms together once again before the world is forever shrouded in darkness.
The shape-shifting, ethereal vampire, Jiren, will stop at nothing to prevent the realms from rejoining, even killing another Ancient—the most unforgivable crime.
In addition, Relena and Marren are put through one of the greatest tests of their relationship just to prove their love for one another, putting the future of both realms in jeopardy; solely to appease the other Ancient rulers of the immortal realm.
With both realms doomed if they are not together, will Marren and Relena be able to prove their heart song or will Jiren have his way and throw the world into complete devastation?
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Rebecca Hamilton is a USA Today bestselling Paranormal Fantasy author. Her bestselling Forever Girl Series is available at online retailers and has been optioned for film with Witten Pictures. The Hungarian edition has been published with IPC books and the German edition has been published with Darkiss, a Harlequin imprint.