Eye of the Raven is the prequel to the entire Storm Bloodline Saga.
This is the story of Petra and how she influenced the beginning of the entire saga. I will say, although this story is a stand alone and doesn’t need to be read in order to understand the rest of the books, it could spoil events if read, first. On the other hand, those of you who have read Books 1 – 4 of the Storm Bloodline Saga; this might resolve a lot of your unanswered questions…but be warned, if you’re familiar with my writing you know, once I wrap up much of the questions readers have, I always bring more unanswered questions to the table.
This prequel is the backstory to the entire world building plot of all future books.
There will be much more stories to come.
House of Shadow Raven is volume one in a set of twelve trilogies.
Who knows, as the stories grow, perhaps there will be more than that?
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Many people ask me, how I am able to get so much writing accomplished? In truth: it’s this HB90 course by Sarra Cannon.
I’ve finished 3 first drafts from 3 different books, in this first quarter, with one of them being a final draft ready for my editor, the second book is currently on the final draft, and I learned how to do it while being a wife, mom, and businesswoman. This 1-week class, yes, only “1 week,” has changed my writing career.
Since Dec 11th, 2021, I have accomplished more in 3 months than I did all year in 2021. This course is amazing.
If you’re interested, click the link below for more information.
I had a choice once, long ago on the cusp of my eighteenth birthday to choose freedom over conquest.
As heir to the underworld, I’m forced to adhere to the customs of dark magic. Conquering villages, cities, and species is how the House of Zhir handles their business. Thwarting the order, perhaps isn’t the most brilliant idea and some might say, my decision is unwise, but the alternative isn’t an option.
How can a necromancer witch such as myself, have the strength to leave that power behind? It’s simple: magic comes with a price and I’m not willing to pay it. Rumors say, there is a seer called the Eye of the Raven, who can give the answers to which I seek. So, I flee, trading one freedom for another.
Want to become a beta reader?
Each week starting February 22nd, I’ll send out a chapter of this story. These chapters will be the raw versions of the story, before I send the final story to the editor. If this is something you might be interested in, please sign up on the emailing list below. Please be sure to write a comment you’re interested in beta reading Eye of the Raven.
The lead pencil tip digs deep into the paper. Another draft, and it’s another, ‘I don’t know what to write’ that wracks my brain. Too many thoughts and not enough words. I mean, does that even make any sense? I can’t concentrate, not while he sits across from me.
My eyes dart in his direction. He hasn’t a clue I exist at all. His dark hair hangs down in front of his forehead as he focuses on the assignment. I watch as his pencil glides across the paper with ease, never stopping, with his fingers wrapped tightly around it. He looks up.
I dart back to my essay, hoping he doesn’t see me staring. I can feel his deep ocean blue eyes look intently in my direction. Look away Brent, please just look away. I’m nobody.
“Okay class, time is up.” The teacher walks the aisle as we all hand the essay finals to the person sitting on the end row. “Your grade will be posted outside my office on Monday.”
I failed; I know I did. The instructor won’t pass me, not when I didn’t get more than two hundred- and fifty-words in. My parents said, if I didn’t pass a single class with a C or above, I was on my own paying for college.
I grab my bag, hauled with books, and dart toward the door. My next class starts in thirty minutes. Barely enough time for me to cross campus and make it there on time.
“Hey, excuse me, Miss?” I hear Brent say, as I scurry out to the hall. The rumble of his deep voice is soothing, sending butterflies to my stomach. I don’t look back and instead briskly walk down the corridor. He’s not talking to me anyway, why would he? I’m not like most other girls who wear makeup. Far from being the college cheerleader, or so I assume that’s his type.
Brent plays for the college football team. He’s not the quarterback or anything like that, he’s not even the star player, but he does play defense. He’s caught a few interceptions this season. It’s possibly one reason we’ve made it as an undefeated team this year.
Students crowd the hallways, as I try to brush past them. I hate being in confined places. There’s always a fear I’ll be trampled.
“Hey, wait up.” It’s Brent’s voice again.
Is he following me? There’s too many people in the hall for me to look back. Plus, I’m too short to see over them and find out if he’s even talking to me. I reach the doors to the outside, and I’m immediately hit with the cold fresh air. That’s when I realized I’d forgotten to put on my hat. I stop to pull it from my pack and quickly find it isn’t there.
“Looking for this?” he asks.
I turn to see those hypnotic blue eyes again, pulling me in. Brent has my college beanie I bought in the bookstore last month, in his hands. “You dropped this.” He smiles. It’s definitely one of his stronger features. That smile, those eyes, could knock a girl out.
“Thank you.” I nod, not knowing what more to say, and put it on.
“You’re Arizona, right?”
How does he know my name? Stunned, I nod. “People call me Ari, but yeah.” I’m glad it’s cold or he would probably assume my cheeks are flushed because of him.
“I’m Brent.” He’s taller than most people, probably over six feet, and is physically fit. But of course, he plays college football.
I smile. “I know who you are.”
“Oh, right.” He grins. “Are you a football fan?”
“Um, no, not really, but I’ve been to a game or two with friends.” I swing my backpack around my shoulders.
He wants to say more, I can tell, but I’m too shy to stick around. “I’m sorry, but I can’t be late to my next class on the other side of campus.” I walk away, but not before turning back around, saying, “Thanks for my hat.”
Snowflakes begin to fall. It’s the first sign that winter season is fast approaching. Only a few more days left before my life will change forever.
I watch my hand glow, as it forms a green mystical ball of light. My eyes widen with awe. It’s never gotten this powerful.
“Now, hold it there,” my mentor, Sage says. “Focus all your energies into the sphere, then when you’re ready, picture what you wish to see.”
I close my eyes and imagine the image in my head. Concentrating on the location of where I desire to travel. Like a roadmap, the lines begin to appear in my mind.
“Great, you’re doing well,” Sage says. “Now open your eyes.”
“Maura.” I hear my mother call, interrupting our magic session.
My magic ball disappears. “How did she find us?” I ask.
“I don’t know. Quick, you need to go. She mustn’t see you here or she will tie me to a stake,” Sage presses. My mentor’s face shows fear. An expression I’d not ever seen before.
“When will I see you again?” I ask, now concerned this will be the last time, for lessons.
“Never mind that now. I know where to find you.” I watch Sage cloak herself invisible. She blends in with nature; an elemental ability given from both water and soil. Each light witch is born with one trait.
I rush up the riverbank getting my boots and the rim of my skirt both dirty. She’s going to be angry; I know it.
I run out to a clearing, where I see my mother pierce a glare. “What are you doing over there?”
“I was picking flowers.” A bouquet appears in my palms that I conjure behind my back. It was one of the first things Sage taught me to do. “I grabbed these along the trail near the riverbank,” I say, pulling the flower arrangement into view, showing her. Will my attempts to deceive her, work?
She sends a dubious look lifting her chin. “I see.”
I know full well she doesn’t buy a single word, yet I double down, saying, “It’s a hot summer’s day and I wanted to dip my feet in the river.” Will she buy this next lie?
I hand her my conjured daisies, lavender, and yarrow, hoping she doesn’t sense they aren’t real, but made of light magic.
She grabs them from my hands. “Is this what you have wasted your day on child? Picking flowers, and playing in the riverbed?”
My breathing eases. She doesn’t suspect the conjuring.
She squints, inspecting the plants, then drops the bouquet at our feet. “These flowers are used for white magic. What have you been doing? Maura, have you gone completely mad? Yarrow and daisies? I can deal with the lavender. We use it in several spells, but the others?”
Oh no, she knows.
She peers around the meadow. “Come. Take my hand. You’re missing your lessons, and it appears you need more studies.”
The white magic as mother refers to, is magic made from the light witches. But, I’m a dark witch, and therefore it is forbidden to learn anything other than black magic.
I don’t want to do the magic mother insists I learn, although I’m quite good at it, I don’t wish to harm others.
My father wouldn’t have approved of her tactics. But he’s dead. She killed him, although I can’t prove it, something inside of me knows.
The day the wraith in the mirror possessed my mother’s soul was the beginning of the end. My life forever changed and the loving, kind mother I remember, gone, trapped inside her own mind, locked up. The wraith possessing her soul doesn’t know, I know. That’s why I see Sage. She knows how to save my mother.
December 2nd is the third anniversary of me as a published author. In celebration, for one week Dec 2nd through Dec 8th, all four books in the Storm Bloodline Sage will be on sale. Eyes of Wynter will be Free midnight Dec 2nd – Sunday December 5th at 11:59pm.
Books 2-4 will be .99 cents for a limited time, increasing slowly back to regular price by December 8th.
The fire crackles and the sparks fly, attempting to reach the stars. Mesmerized, I almost stop listening to the wise woman telling the story of how the ancients had woven the cloak Gen wears, into existence.
“But first,” the woman says, “we must remove that mark you have, Geneviève.”
“How do we do that?” I ask.
“By performing a ritual. Because you have not yet reached your eighteenth birthday, it is possible to remove the impression. I must warn you.” Her voice softens. “It comes at a cost.”
I huff in protest. “Doesn’t all magic?”
“It’s okay, Maura.” Gen touches my arm, asking the old woman, “What is it?”
She smiles, revealing a front gold tooth, and raises her chin. “. It will sever all ties to your Dire wolf line preventing lycanthropy. You will become mortal, living a temporal life. However, you will still age slower than the human race, as you are Ladorielle born.”
I can see Geneviève hesitate. She licks her lips, taking in a deep breath. “Do it.”
The woman pierces a glare. “Are you sure?”
Gen nods. “Yes, let’s do this. If it gets Sonjah off my tail, I’m willing to do anything.”
“But you will lose your identity,” I assert. “I don’t like this. There has to be another way.”
“Maura, I’m not willing to run from her for the rest of my immortal life. Sure, I in a sense can live forever, now, but she can still find and kill me.” Gen looks down at her hands. “Or worse, I’ll live an immortal life like our alpha will, under her thumb.” She glances back to me. “No thank you, Maura,” she says, and her eyes veer back to the witch. “Do it. Do the spell.”
The old woman stands. “Very well.” She hums a song, as she mixes her ingredients into a mortar and pestle.
“Are you sure about this?” Arik asks. “My mother she’s half-light witch. I’m sure she could find another way.”
She looks over at the cloak that brought them to this strange new place. “Arik there isn’t any guarantee that we will ever get back to our timeline on Ladorielle, but Maura’s mother, Sonjah, is possessed by Sarmira, and she can be anywhere. There isn’t a limit to what she can do. Besides as long as you hang out with me, both of you are in danger.” She takes in a deep breath. “No, this is the right thing to do. And I’m doing this for me, and not either of you, by the way—in case you’re wondering.”
“The recipe is complete,” the wise woman says.
“I have only one request,” Gen says.
“And what would that be, my child?”
“What is your name?”
“Thermyah.” She smiles. “Now, are you ready?”
“Then take my hand.” Thermyah chants a spell.
A gust of wind flows through the campsite, fueling the fire. The ground shakes, and rain begins to pour from the clear night sky.
Gen screams as though she’s in pain. I jump up, but Thermyah stops me.
Arik catches Gen before she falls to the ground in a deep sleep.
“What did you do to her,” I demand.
“Merely what she requested. Fear not, she isn’t harmed. Taking her natural born ability can be fatal. Her mind will go insane, if she keeps the memories of what she once was. She will wake soon.”
“I know what you did. You gave her a memory stamp. My mother would do that to many people.”
Thermyah clucks her tongue. “Yes, well, they can pose as good spells, too.” She begins putting her herbs into a bag. “It’s better than being marked…hunted for eternity.” She finishes, saying, “My work is done.” Curving a wicked smile, she steps away, and disappears in the darkness of the night.
Geneviève stirs, distracting us. I kneel down moving the hair from her eyes. “Hey how do you feel?”
“Like I was smacked with a frying pan.” She rubs her temples before opening her eyes and sits up. Tilting her head, looking to Arik, then back at me, she asks, “Who are you?”
“Who are you?” I look closer. “Wait a minute… you’re—you’re the—”
He puts a finger to his lips, gesturing me to be silent.
The loud sounds of crows caw outside. We wait together in silence until the calls dissipate.
He speaks first, saying, “My name is Arik.”
“Yes, I know who you are.” I bow.
“Not necessary.” He waves his arms for me to stop. “I overheard you and Martha talking right before Sonjah appeared. I didn’t stick around to find out what happened next, so I bolted, keeping in mind the shed you mentioned. So here I am. He turns looking at Geneviève. “Although I don’t know how she can sleep with all the racket.”
She stirs. Geneviève opens her eyes and is startled, pulling the ragged cloak tighter about her neck.
She glances at me. “Who is this?”
I smile, realizing she doesn’t know.
He answers. “Arik.” He nods. “And you are?”
She doesn’t answer. “It’s okay, Gen, he’s—” I look at him, not realizing what I should say.
“A friend,” he says.
“Right,” I mutter under my breath. I smirk. “Well…friend, if you don’t mind turning around, Geneviève needs to get dressed.”
I think I take the young prince by surprise because he nearly chokes. “Oh!” he stares over at Geneviève. “You mean she’s—”
I tilt my head. “As if you didn’t know that, Mr. innocent, who knows what she is.”
“Right, I mean…I didn’t connect—”
“You’re digging a deeper hole, just turn around, will you?”
Slipping off the second layer of clothes I give them to Gen.
“So, how do we get out of here without your mother knowing?” she asks.
I raise up the small bottle of elixir. It’s half full. “We each take a sip of this, disappear, and run like we have never ran before.”
Gen takes a closer look at the container. “Wait a minute, is that what I think it is?”
I smile. “An invisibility potion. My nanny Martha, made it for me.”
Both Arik and Gen give me strange looks. “You still have a nanny?” Arik asks.
“No, of course not. She’s stayed, to look out for me.” I roll my eyes. “Whatever. Anyway, it’s worth a shot to escape from here, right?”
“Okay, let’s do this,” Arik says, “I’m in.”
“Me too,” Gen agrees, as she puts on the ratty old cloak.
“Wait, you’re keeping that?” I ask.
“Why not? It’s still cold in the evenings.”
I shrug it off. “There is something else you should know; you must be holding on to all items before drinking or it will not take hold with the spell.”
They both nod. Picking up my backpack, I swing it behind me. “Are we ready?” They nod, we each take a swig at the bottle, and open the front door.
The atmosphere is quiet. Not even birds sing among the treetops as we step out of the shack.
“I don’t like that it is so still,” Geneviève says.
“Neither do I.” We head to the river as fast as we can.
I feel the cool breeze rush through my hair as we run for our lives through the thick woods, reaching the shoreline in record time. The river rushes and I can tell we’re near a waterfall.
I look up in the trees, “See any crows?”
“Not yet,” Arik says, “we should keep moving.”
“How will we know if the invisibility has dropped?” Gen asks.
“We don’t,” I answer.
As if on cue, a swirling wind kicks up and my mother appears.
We have no more invisibility liquid left.
“Who do we have here?” she tilts her neck in surprise seeing my companions. “Well done, my child. I would say this repays the debt of being a rotten child earlier.”
Geneviève steps in front. “Why don’t you just leave us alone.”
Her bravery is commendable, but my mother can strike her down with one flick of her wrist.
“Oh, but I can’t do that. You see I have plans for you, my dear. When I discovered one pup survived, other than the alpha it brought such excitement that I had to seek you out. My dear, you’re marked. You can’t escape me.”
Gen glances at me from the corner of her eye.
“I see my daughter warned you. No matter. What’s done is done. There’s no escape for you.” She turns her attention on Arik. “And you.” A venom tone passes over her lips. “You will not slip through my fingers again. I’ll see to that.”
“You won’t hurt him,” I cry.
My mother glares. “Watch me.” She flicks flames toward all of us intending to reach Arik, but she misses.
Gen’s quick reflexes, pull Arik and I behind her and she whips the cloak she’s wearing around us all.
The flames miss us entirely.
Stunned my mother says, “Impossible.” She adds more power, but the cloak hold steadfast to her magic.
We hear my mother scream in rage, and in one split second, her voice cuts off, and her shrieks stop.
We all look out from behind the protective cloak and observe that we’re not even in the same place.
“Hang on a second, how is this possible?” I ask. I look over at Geneviève. “You’re cloak. It’s made of magic.”
She smiles. “I guess it is.”
“My mother once told me a legend of a cloak that could pass through time. It’s only a story.” Arik takes a closer look at the long red cape. “It can’t be true, can it?”
I gape at Arik’s confession, but Geneviève answers, “From the first time I put this cloak on, I knew it was special, but I didn’t know until now, what it was.” She smiles. “We got away from your mother.”
“Indeed, we did, but, my new friend, you’re still marked, and we need to find a way to remedy that.”