She Dies at the End
Hello ya’ll, and welcome to my place. It gives me great pleasure to host author A M Manay today on her 4 Wills Book Boost Tour! To find her other awesome tour stops, please click on the banner above. Okay, take it away, Anne Margaret! 🙂
Sometimes I like to play around with my supporting characters. Here is the result of one of those experiments, followed by a blurb and excerpt from my short story collection She Sees in Her Sleep. You can read more about my protagonist November Snow, and all her friends and enemies, in the novels She Dies at the End and She Lights Up the Dark, as well as in the short story collection She Sees in Her Sleep, which features the encounter between Lilje and Ilyn mentioned below. Enjoy!
This excerpt comes from the journal of Lilje, a fairy monarch once known as “The Ice Queen.” It was written shortly before her assassination approximately 1000 years ago and has been translated into modern English. It was intended as a message for November Snow, one of her future incarnations, whom she had seen in vision but whose name she did not know. The journal was entrusted to her husband Gul, who brought it with him to the New World.
It isn’t always easy, dear girl, knowing the end is coming soon. You’ll learn that lesson again, probably more than once. At least in my case, I’ve had plenty of time in this life. I’m nearly 2000 years old. I’ve ridden into battle. I’ve know victory and defeat. I’ve married and borne children. I’ve ruled in times of plenty and in times of want. You, though . . . death will come early for you, early and bloody. It seems unjust that I, for all my sins, have had so much time, and that you, in your comparative innocence, will have so little.
In my case, my death will be in retaliation for my work for peace between vampire and fairy. I imagine you might have a similar mission. Perhaps you will help us to reconcile with the humans, or the lycanthropes, as hard as that is to picture. In your case, though, I suspect that your death will be an integral part of your mission rather than an unfortunate consequence.
I do hope, for your sake, that future Ilyn proves worthy of your friendship. It was quite a surprise, seeing the two of you together. Or, should I say, the two of us? I was more than a bit worried for you until I met him again, the night we signed the treaty. Heretofore, I had only seen him on the battlefield. He was more charming than anyone called “The Scourge” has a right to be. Though I suppose the same could be said for me. “The Ice Queen” is not exactly a term of endearment.
I don’t mean to saddle you with too much information or too many expectations. You will have enough to carry without the weight of all of my burdens. I will tell you that Gul and Raina, Queen Marisha’s daughter, will be of help to you on your journey. Of that, I am certain. Good luck.
Scribbled in the margin:
Gul, after I’m gone, I know that you will read my words in the midst of your grief. I need you to remember to keep your eyes open for this girl. I don’t know her name, but she will have my eyes. She will be dark-haired, fair-skinned, and slight, with the scar from a fairy blade on her arm. You may find her in human or in vampire form, depending on the timing. She will need your help, yours and Raina’s, both. Be her friend, for my sake. All my love, L
Book Blurb for She Sees in Her Sleep: Three November Snow Shorts
These three short stories are set in the universe of A.M. Manay’s paranormal novel, She Dies at the End (November Snow Book 1). These stories have been previously released either via the author’s website or through her mailing list. This is the first time they are available as a collection and in the Kindle format.
“She Forges a Peace” provides a glimpse into the formation of the alliance between fairies and vampires as well as insight into one of the primary characters in the series. “He Worships his Queen” delves into the painful childhood of vampire Luka, the primary villain in She Dies at the End. “She Fears the Dark” focuses on the popular fairy characters Pine and Zinnia as they take a trip to Disneyland that turns into an unexpectedly dangerous adventure.
Short Excerpt from She Sees in Her Sleep: Three November Snow Shorts
She was sanguine. She knew this peace would hold for centuries and more. She’d had glimpses of the future, a future in which vampire and fairy fortunes were interwoven, a future in which the old wars would be, if not exactly forgotten, put aside in the pursuit of prosperity as well as safety from the lycanthropes.
In truth, it was the fairy who needed the peace more urgently, which fact they had taken great pains to conceal. It was easy to make new vampires. A single sire could make a dozen in one night if he wished. Not that that would be wise, but it could be done. Fairies took time to grow, far too much time at the rate they had been dying of late.
Weakened though they were, they did have much to offer the vampires. Daytime protection would be a boon, especially in those lands rife with wolves and human witch-hunters. Fairy magic was their other currency. Some vampires had abilities, of course. Queen Marisha was a gifted empath, and the Scourge could all but move mountains without raising more than an eyebrow.
But gifts were rare among their people, and abundant among Lilje’s. Every fairy could do something amazing. And some fairies . . . some fairies could cast spells affecting hundreds, or thousands . . . or maybe just one very crucial person at a very crucial moment. Her husband, Gul, could hide whole armies. That gift, along with her own clairvoyance, was the only thing that had allowed them to hold out long enough to broker this accord, which promised peace in most of Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. Lilje had seen that the rest of the world would follow their lead, once they saw these lands bloom with the prosperity that would come with peace.
It helped that Marisha was a reasonable creature, herself weary of constant warfare. Lilje wondered how the vampire queen had convinced her husband. The Scourge seemed to thrive on leading men and women to their doom. Perhaps that was an act, meant to sow fear in his enemies. Either way, Ilyn’s reputation was such that Lilje felt a little shiver of apprehension as he pulled back the fabric and entered the tent from the opposite side.
“Ilyn,” she greeted him with squinting eyes. His sprinkling of silver hair amidst the black glittered in the candlelight as he bent to offer her a shallow bow. The scar across his cheek twitched as he unfolded back to his full, imposing height. She had heard a number of tales of how that mark had been made. The only commonality between the legends was that a fairy had been the culprit.
“Lilje,” he replied blandly. It had been some decades since he had seen the fairy queen in person, but she remained a strangely fascinating creature. Her short, silver hair stuck out wildly in all directions, her similarly pale eyes glowing in the half light. She was dressed like a man of action, as was her habit, in rich leather breeches the color of pine needles and a well-padded vest covered with intricate iron mail. A delicate gold chain crowned her hair, the only concession her attire made to her queenhood.
They simultaneously took their seats and began silently looking over the documents one last time. The table was set simply: two copies of the treaty, two quills, two pots of ink, two candelabras of solid gold. The table was a scarred veteran of many a campaign. It had traveled many miles in the backs of wagons bouncing over ruts or mired in springtime mud. Lilje could see phantom maps scattered across its surface, pins and goblets and fallen wax, elbows of generals long dead but not forgotten. Perhaps it could be retired now to a less martial use.
About the author:
In addition to her work as an indie author of paranormal fantasy, A.M. Manay is a former inner-city chemistry teacher, a singer, a yoga enthusiast, a Clerk of Session in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and a mother through domestic open adoption. She has a passion for increasing diversity in popular culture and for strong heroines who stand up for themselves, make their own decisions, and don’t depend on romance as their reason for being.
Be the first to know about the release of the upcoming sequel as well as bonus material about your favorite characters by
Checking out her website: www.ammanay.net
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She Dies at the End: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0112S00KI
She Sees in Her Sleep: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019EG1NWE
She Lights Up the Dark: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BQGGBMW
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