I can't believe it's here. PROMISES TO KEEP is officially released today. SQUEEEEEEEE! *happy dance*
I could barely sleep last night, I am so excited. Get your copy today at www.eternalpress.biz.
And yes, you see the right. EP has a new website. And with that new site is a new chatroom for the live chat. I didn't find out until last night that the live chat for tonight will be in that room. Join me from 7-8pm EST in www.eternalpress.biz/chat.php and one lucky person will win a signed print copy of FADE TO BLACK!
And now, for your reading pleasure, Chapter 1 of PROMISES TO KEEP!
“Where is he?”
The guttural growl escaped my throat as I pinned the creature against the wall. I didn’t want the runaround from something like him. He struggled against me, trying to find a way out of my grip. He knew I was only human, and that if he could slip from my grasp then he could disappear into the night, like he was some sort of damned vampire. I
slammed my fist against his jaw, reminding him I had the upper hand.
“Where’s my father?”
He looked at me, eyes betraying his alarm. It was a good feeling, knowing that a mere human could strike fear in the hearts of faeries everywhere.
“How the hell should I know?” he rasped. I guess it hurt trying to talk after getting punched in the jaw. “Rumor has it he died ten years ago.”
“We both know he’s not dead.” I pulled out a knife with ancient runes etched into the blade. I pressed the razor-sharp edge against his throat and saw his eyes grow wide. I wasn’t stupid. Normal knives
wouldn’t kill someone of his kind, a faerie, but a blade made of iron would. I had done my homework.
“Ask Sivad,” the faerie said, panic written all over his features. “Sivad Night. He knows pretty much everything about people who have been to Verella.”
“Where can I find this…Sivad?”
“Randa, South Carolina, last I heard. He moves around a lot.” The faerie looked at the blade that was still pressed against his throat. “I’ve helped you as much as I can. Can I go?”
I thought about this piece of information. Randa, South Carolina. My father had lived there for several years before meeting my mother and
moving up to Boston, Massachusetts. I was going to have to pay this Sivad Night a visit.
I gripped the knife and sliced it across the faerie’s throat, blood spurting across my face and shirt as he fell. While he writhed on the ground I watched his eyes until I knew for sure he was dead. I had
learned that you never turn your back on a seemingly dead corpse. They always have a way of getting back up to kill you.
Searching the faerie, I came across a faint pattern on his arm. At first glance it looked like a tattoo of some sort, but colors this fresh only meant one thing; fey. That explained why he tried to bargain with me. Even if he had gotten away, he didn’t have any magic to use against me. Dreashae’s warriors were primarily made up of fey. She used them for their strength and agility. While there were two types of faeries―the nonmagical,
fey, and the magical, sihde―I believed that Dreashae chose the fey because they could never be a threat to her. If she had chosen sihde
to guard her, she’d have to constantly watch her back.
I walked home, making sure I stuck to alleys and dark roads. It was never good for a human to see you covered in blood; they tended to assume things. I opened the door to my apartment and walked inside. The first thing my eyes saw after my door swung open was a picture of my father that I had hung up on the wall.
Ronan DeFore was the perfect father. His short black hair and kind, expressive green eyes didn’t tell much about him. His mustache, though,
seemed to speak volumes, making him look strict. Almost as if you did one little thing wrong, then he would ground you for life.
I barely remembered his voice.
When I was twelve, he died. Or at least that’s what I had been told. My mother said it was a quick illness, but I knew that wasn’t so. I remember a strange woman coming to the house, with long black hair and even blacker eyes. From her forehead to her chin was a deep gash, not bleeding, already starting to heal. She told my mother that my father wouldn’t be coming home.
At the funeral, a man with eyes of sea-foam aquamarine walked up to my mother. He had very short dark hair that took on a shade of forest
green when the sun hit just right. Even though it was the middle of June, he was wearing a heavy suit. He didn’t say a word, didn’t touch her, just
looked into her eyes until she broke down crying. His name was Fared, and he was the first fey I killed.
It wasn’t until high school that I decided to do something. The dreams about my father and the black-eyed woman haunted me. Every night it was the same dream over and over; my father was being mugged and a woman stopped to help him. She could create magic with her hands, a sight he had never seen before. She was tiny and fragile.
Although she looked human I know now she was a witch. As she was helping my father get his possessions back from the thugs, a dark-haired
woman appeared behind her, a large knife raised up in her hands. My father lunged at this woman, tearing the knife from her grasp and giving
her a large gash on her face. She retreated, seemingly defeated. The witch turned to my father, fear expressed in her cerulean eyes.
“She’ll get you for that,” she said. “No one harms a sorceress and gets away with it.”
I stopped having that dream after I went to the alley where the witch had saved my father. There she was, just as she looked when she rescued
him from the muggers. She told me her name was Tabitha Desdamona Drake, and she was obligated to help me.
“After all,” she said, “this is my fault.”
She told me the black-haired woman, a sorceress named Dreashae, had been after her for years.
“I killed her son. Not out of cold blood, mind you. He was kidnapping humans and bringing them to Verella.”
She explained that Verella was what they called a land that was not of this realm. Within this land dwelt the creatures of fantasy lore. Certain
kingdoms were more dangerous than others, especially the ones that had faeries. Tabitha Desdamona didn’t know much about Verella other than that, and said she had never been there.
“How does this help my father?” I asked. I didn’t care about sorceresses or fey. I just cared about getting my father back.
Tabitha Desdamona put me on the trail of Fared, the fey that was at my father’s funeral. She gave me a rune-etched knife and her cell phone
“If you need my help, call.” She looked at me, curiosity filling her eyes. “What is you name?”
“Good luck, Star. You’re going to need it.”
I shook my head and looked away from my father’s portrait. Looking at it always dragged up bad memories. I was hoping one day they could
be replaced with new, kinder ones. I showered quickly, making sure I washed all the blood off my body and out of my long black hair. My bloody clothes could wait until later. As I dressed, I called the airport and ordered tickets. I took the first flight out to Charleston International Airport. Charleston, South Carolina was only a half hour from Randa. I would start there.
Buy PROMISES TO KEEP today!
About Heather Dade, writing as Heather Kuehl
Heather Dade, writing as Heather Kuehl (pronounced "keel"), was born near the Great Lakes, but made her way to South Carolina where she lives to this day. She's the author of Epiphany (an ARe best seller) and The Sarah Vargas Series. The first installment of the Sarah Vargas Series, Fade to Black, reached #1 on Fictionwise.com's best seller list for fantasy ebooks. For more information about Heather's published works, upcoming releases, and events visit her website; http://www.mrsheyhey.com/