Title: Power in the Wrong Hands
Deciding Island, Book Two
Author: Rain Murphy
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Published: July 1, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
**Excerpt included at the bottom of this post.
Snowdrop’s life changed when she found her mate, Orion Hunter. Her father always said finding your mate was like magic, but this was so much more. In the blink of an eye, Snowdrop found her life hung in the balance. Kidnapped and tortured by an evil vampire, Snowdrop was left wondering if she would live long enough to enjoy her newly found mate.
Sammy was on the verge of turning rogue, and fought his evil side every day to keep it at bay. Then Sammy finds out he is the only one that can infiltrate the rogue’s hideout. He knew it would be his true challenge. He knew the mission came with the possibility of being sent to Deciding Island for judgment, a judgment that would most likely lead to being Island Ash. His only hope came from the most unlikely place, but would it be enough?
~~~Meet The Author~~~
Forgiveness, is book one in the Deciding Island Series. Saint Valentinus, What in the VAMP were you thinking? is book one in the Saint Series.
There are minimal to no cliffhangers each book can stand alone.
When Rain is not writing, reading, or promoting her two series she is spending time with her children and grandchildren. They like to camp, kayak, spent time on the beach and have fun plotting her next book.
Hunter walked back to the glamour opening at the bottom of the Sphinx. Mystic, the leader of the Meat Eaters, waited for everyone’s report from the war as they exited. As he waited in line for his turn, Hunter heard someone yelling his name. “Hunter, wait for me, I need to talk to you.”
It was Saturesa, Sat for short, Hunter’s longtime friend. As Sat caught up with Hunter, he could hear the enthusiasm in Sat’s voice which meant trouble. Sat always had some hair brained scheme for picking up girls. “Hey, after you talk to Mystic, what do you say to coming to the Eastern Shore with me?”
Hunter, not feeling very social these days, told Sat, “No, I’m headed home, but thanks for the invite.”
Sat, never being one to take no for an answer, told him, “Come on, Hunter. Everyone’s going to the Eastern Shore for a weeklong celebration, and there is going to be lots of girls.” Hunter gave Sat half a smile and looked down, shaking his head as he moved up one in line.
Hunter knew that once Sat set his mind to something, he would be relentless at getting what he wanted. Hunter rolled his eyes and huffed his retort with a slight rumble in his voice, “Fine, but if I don’t have a GREAT time, I’ll leave. Got it?”
Sat rubbed his hands together in anticipation of some fun, and in his cheery voice responded, “Fine! But you’ll have a blast, I promise.”
Hunter figured the only reason Sat wanted to go was the neighbor girl named Snowdrop. Hunter had never been attracted to a female Techie. He didn’t know if it was all the hair or the fact that the females were dominant, and he preferred to be the leader in a relationship. Hunter did agree that for a Techie she looked striking. Even though he had never met her in person, he had noticed her from a distance. She didn’t have that same thick hair as the other Techies and seemed to have more of her herb growing everywhere. She was also short for a female Techie. He had not been close enough to know what color her eyes were, but Sat could not stop talking about her amazing hazel eyes. Sat would joke about how he should have been nicer to Snowdrop when she had a crush on him.
Hunter handed Mystic his one page report. “Hi Mystic, my report is short because Adam’s children did all the work. It’s always amazing to watch them in action. Is it okay to head home now?”
Mystic looked up at him from her seat. “Hunter, how is life?”
Hunter should have figured she would sense his loneliness. His kind lived so long, and without someone to share it with, the days and nights could go forever. Depression was a serious threat, but Hunter hated sympathy, so he denied it. “I’m fine.”
Mystic regarded him with concern and shook her head in disbelieve. She didn’t believe for one minute that he was truly fine, but told him, “If you need anything, let me know.”
Hunter winked at Mystic, hoping to lessen her worry. “Thanks. Catch you at the next war.” Mystic gave him a small but sweet smile as she turned her focus on the next Meat Eater in line.
Mystic Jones, as the leader of the Meat Eater species, is responsible for each and everyone one of them. She made a mental note to check up on Hunter in a few weeks. That wink he gave her was not fooling her. Sensing a strong feeling of depression, she wasn’t going to let that go for long.
As Hunter walked out of the Sphinx, he watched as Sat jumped up the minute he spotted him. Hunter felt like this was going to be a long week, and he wasn’t sure he could put up with Sat’s high level of energy. Then he heard Sat say, “Come on, we can get a ride on the war ships with the Plazies. Sap said he could drop us on the Eastern Shore.”
Hunter smiled. “I have not seen Sap or Weeping in a few hundred years.”
As they walked toward the war ships, Hunter thought about the Plazies. Sap and his wife, Weeping, are the leaders of the most unusual species, as far as Hunter was concerned. Hunter had heard that they now had a teenage daughter named Willow—he had also heard Willow was a handful. He could remember the first day he met the Plazies during one of the many wars in his lifetime. While walking next to Sat, Hunter gazed off in the distance as he remembered that day. He had walked onto one of the war ships to find no one on board, yet the ship was in operation with the precision of a well-organized team. He looked around, but stopped when he noticed a line of little sticks appearing before him, Plazies lined up on the ropes and rails. One of them started to talk, “Welcome Orion Hunter.”
Hunter remembered his feeling of shock. Although he didn’t know what part shocked him more: the stick knowing his full name or that a stick was actually speaking. He had found himself staring at thousands of sticks shaped like humans. They ranged from 5-inches to 6-inches tall and looked like all different types of wood. As a woodworker in his youth and a construction company owner in today’s world, Hunter knew his timber.
Hunter figured the look of shock showed on his face when Sap laughed and explained, “We are magic wood splinters and are what keep the old warships afloat. We are, for the most part, harmless, but we are not without ways to protect ourselves. Moving fast, it looks like we just appear and disappear, and this speed allows us to operate different areas of the ship quickly. We come from all different woods, hence the reason we all look different.”
Being brought out of his thoughts by Sat’s voice, Hunter heard, “Hunter, they’re waiting for us. Let’s go.” Hunter felt the muscle in his shoulders tighten at Sat’s enthusiastic tone. He really was not in a party mood, and until now didn’t realize he had lagged behind.
As they boarded the warships, Hunter saw Sap and walked up to him to say hi when he noticed something was wrong. “Sap, what has happened? Is everyone okay?”
Sap turned and smiled, greeting his friend. “Hello Hunter. It’s been a long time, and yes, things will be fine.”
Hunter curious asked, “Then why are the three of you so anxious?”
Sap introduced his daughter. “Hunter, this is Willow, my daughter, and she faces a task that has her worried.”
Hunter put his pinkie finger down to shake hands and told Willow, “Willow, if I can help, you need only ask.”
Willow looked worried as she said, “Not unless you can undo my teenage misbehaving and what I thought to be harmless pranks.”
Hunter looked at her with concern. “I hear an apology is owed. Am I correct?”
Willow, in tears now, turned as she noticed the warships headed out of the delta and to the open seas. “Hunter, it is more than just an apology. I was awful to Creature, and I thought they were just harmless jokes … but a good man may die because of me.”
Hunter thought a minute. “Wait, could you be talking about Creature Notte?”
Willow looked up with a bit of hope that maybe he could help. “Yes, do you know her?”
Hunter smiled. “As a matter of fact, I have worked with Creature off and on for a few hundred years. If there is one thing she is, it’s understanding. I think if you just come clean and be sincere, she will see her way to forgive you. Now, what is this about a man dying?”
Willow, still not fully convinced everything would be okay, sniffled, “That is the whole problem, I have to take Creature on a quest to become one with Deciding Island, and if I fail and she does not go … then Mica Sands will die.”
Hunter asked, “Mica Sands. He’s an Infin right? But what does he have to do with Creature?”
Willow was still crying, and trying to talk. “They are in love. They are mates, and now they could lose each other because of me.”
Hunter looked over at Sap for more clarity. Sap explained, “Mica was horribly wounded, and if Creature does not become one with Deciding Island, he will die. The only way to save him is if the Island does it … and because of Willow’s behavior, Gaia the Island’s spirit has said that is it up to Willow to take Creature on this quest into the Black Heart forest.”
Willow cried out, “She is punishing me.”
Sap walked over and put his arm around his daughter. “She is not punishing you; she is teaching you. Now go with your mother.”
Hunter, Sat, and Sap watched as the two disappeared, then Sap spoke, “It is nice to see you again, but I must get to my post. We will be dropping the two of you off at Eastern Shore. If I don’t see you before you leave, goodbye.”
Hunter gave his best smile, hoping to cheer Sap a little. He could see the worry on Sap’s face. “Goodbye, Sap. See you at the next war.”
The rest of the trip Sat and Hunter watched the ocean go by, and, from time to time, would notice dolphins and whales playing in the ship’s wake.
After reaching land at Eastern Shore, Hunter and Sat turned to wave at the Plazies. Hunter watched the old warship head back out to sea. It was so surreal in its beauty, yet it demanded the respect of an ancient warrior. Sat looked over at Hunter. “Hey, what is up with you lately? You’re always dazing off ... Oh no … you’re not getting depressed are you?” Sat was now worried about his friend. Hunter looked at Sat and thought, Great, now I have to put up with his enthusiasm and pity, what a week this is going to be.
Hunter thought about it and decided that maybe he was a little more depressed than he was letting himself realize. “Hunter, look at me and tell me that you’re not getting depressed.”
Hunter looked at his friend. “I wish I could, but I’m thinking that maybe I am getting just a little depressed. After all, how long can a man go without the love of a mate? And how old am I?” They didn’t really keep a close watch on time; the question was purely hypothetical. Hunter was not waiting for an answer, just making a point. Sat knew Hunter was older than he was. Sat had been around for four hundred plus years.
Sat slapped Hunter on the shoulder reassuring him, “That will be our goal then, to find you a mate, and soon.” Hunter just smiled and kept walking.