Ever Winter will be released early 2013.
Here is a preview of Chapter One for you reading pleasure <3 Hope you likes! (note: this is an unedited version, typos/grammar issues may be present.)
Shade is left all but shattered. She must travel to the Ice kingdom along with her 'body guard' Dylan, who continues to be bound with a blood oath to her, where the holder of her magic dwells. Her only chance to right the warring Faerie lands to harmony will be to resist the enchantments of the Ice King, one of the Ancient rulers of Faerie, to regain her power and make it to the Summer Kingdom with her family to claim back her throne.
Only the Ancients of Faerie don't want her to succeed and there are treacheries in every crevice of the land, even among the human mortals and trusted alibis.
Copyright 2012 Alexia Purdy
All Rights Reserved.
THE PLACES INSIDE that never fade away−even in the face of adversity and loss−take the brunt of all insults. Once decimated, it left nothing to fall back on. Nothing to keep the sadness and despair at bay, especially from Shade’s fragile heart. Even the tide that lapped at her feet, shocking with its icy-cold splashes and foamy water which tumbled about, was apathetic to her turmoil. It offered nothing but the numbness of frostbitten skin and a frigid wake. Blue, pale, and lifeless. It did nothing to awaken her from the nightmares in her head. These were made of stinging pierce of blades, the coppery taste of blood and the endless flashes of torment that should be erased from anyone’s memory vaults.
This was her nothing. She didn’t even know if she cared it had ended this way. She was doomed, cursed or just unfortunate in so many ways. Her self-loathing compromised the fragments which were left of what she had once been.
“Shade, go dry off and put some shoes on,” Soap’s voice echoed in her head like a lost memory she should’ve recalled and relished. Even now, his kisses−which had burned so hot, quickly and intense−now felt like cold shadows of themselves. His magic burned bright, but in her self-imposed prison of her mind, it now felt like a dulled beacon in the distance.
“Shade?” he whispered as he walked tentatively closer, failing to break her trance with the horizon as the sun’s last rays disappeared over the cold Pacific Ocean.
A sharp yank pulled her mind out of the trance and back into the now. Soap stood touching her face, hoping to break her from the spell she faded with. She was on the dry cold sand of the beach, feet caked in the soft grains. “Why can’t you hear me? Let’s get inside, snow is coming and you’ll freeze your toes off if you keep venturing out here without shoes. Is that what you’re doing? Trying to catch your death?” His mention of the cold brought back the endless shiver she could not shake.
So now I’m still a child. Is that what I’ve become?
“No,” her voice came out small and withered. She avoided his stranded look as he waited for her to say something more. His warm fingers curled around her thin arms, pressing softly into her skin, firm but gentle to balance her as he guided her gently into his arms. He pushed a strand of her dark brown hair behind her ear, and then pulled her closer. Nuzzling her hair, the sweet scent of flowers faintly clung to her wind-blown strands. He kissed the top of her head, wishing to himself that he could will away the demons that lurked behind her frightened eyes. He would be there for her no matter what, even through the dark days ahead. Nothing would waiver his love for Shade. Nothing. If only she would let him in.
He had asked her time and time again what had happened at the Unseelie castle, but she had no answers. She would frown, creasing her brow as she buried her face into her knees, tightly hugging them to her chest. Dylan didn’t have any luck getting through to her either, though she seemed to lighten up ever so slightly when she saw the Teleen warrior approach. A twinge of sadness would then sweep through Soap’s chest at their exchange, but he would not let it affect him for too long. He pushed it away and continued to comfort Shade in any way that he could.
Shade would let him do so. It comforted him more than it ever could her. It was easier than fighting it. He was her boyfriend after all. In the end, she did love him back, but had nothing to give him now. It had all been ripped out with every drop of blood shed from her fragile skin by Darren, Dylan’s malicious brother. He had almost finished off what he had started the first time he had attacked her in the Teleen caverns. If she ever saw him again, she would make sure it would be his last moment on earth. Never again would he do what he had done to her. Never.
She glanced at Dylan, her other constant companion on this desolate beach. It was well hidden, near where Ursad’s old cabin had been located. It was protected by the strongest of wards that had been set by her mother Jade and Benton, one of her brothers, when they had come by for a visit. They were also Fire Elementals, like Shade, but her powers were gone−never returning since her imprisonment at the Unseelie palace−while Benton’s had only grown exponentially under their mother’s guidance and rigorous training. They had been relieved to see Shade alive, filled with dread that they might’ve not ever seen her alive again after she’d been taken.
But she was here now, a shell of her former self, unable to pick up the pieces left shattered of her soul. Powerless. She was bound with the tightest restraints on her magic that no one, not even her mother, not Ilarial or Braelynn, could ever penetrate to undo the curse set on Shade. She was left naked, stripped and more human than she had ever felt, even before she had discovered she was a half Faerie Changeling and half Fire Elemental Witch. Her healing ability was all but gone. The magic that helped her wield fire and water was gone. She couldn’t even make a light stone anymore.
Shade was surprised to find that the ampule of memory, a swirling glittery red fluid that her Grandmother Lana had given her, had remained at her house, safe in her room. Jade had brought it to her when they had visited. She touched the charm where it sat dangling gently around her throat. It felt warm and seeped out comfort that let Shade know her Grandmother’s essence still swirled inside it. It would be futile to drink the powerful fluid from the ampule now−it would make no difference to her powers. It would be a placebo if she drank it before undoing the binds wrapped around her powers. Nothing could get past them.
Powerless in the Land of Faerie
This was the worst punishment Aveta and her minions had placed upon her. The worst of all the tortures she had endured. It could be eternal and nothing made it better, nothing made her feel remotely hopeful about it. Shade doubted that anything ever would again.