Title: The Chosen
Author: Rae Z. Ryans
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours
What happens when the heart and soul divides?
Chosen by the Myst, her royal prophecy traces back over a thousand years. Leader of the Valkyrie, part human and part supernatural, Auriel bridges the invisible gap between Earth and Midgard demanded by the Laws of the Nine. She alone prevents Ragnarok from wiping away those she loves.
There’s only one problem: he forgot.
Liam Skyland is a hybrid with a death warrant. The bastard son of the lycan King narrowly escaped death as an infant. Something happened though and Liam loses four years of his life. All he remembers is that she is coming.
Two former friends remember them both. With time running shorter every day, it’s up to them to reunite the fated lovers. But what happens when their own pasts haunt their waking moments? Can they overcome the love they once shared or will their bond destroy the world?
Will all become a distant memory, a whisper in time, as Earth burns?
Blinded by love and compassion each finds themselves lacking the courage to overcome fear. There remains but one choice and one direction the Chosen can take, but time quickly burns dry for the Nine Realms.
Can the Chosen rise together and save Midgard?
New York City, NY 2014
Shades of death encircled my world. Tawny feathers floated from the sky. A gasp pinched my chest. Fire flashed on the horizon, bathing over the city, and then progressively swallowed the Nine Realms of the Myst. My eyes flew open, closed, reopened, and I drew my dream journal from the nightstand drawer.
“How can I stop myself from burning the world into cindered ash if I don’t understand this darkness tearing my light away?”
Each line and page filled with my prophetic visions. More than one existed and like those journals, this one reflected the darkness of my secret. Every night another nightmare assaulted me as the light inched from of my soul; they grew bolder, and the death toll rose. White cleansing fire coated the world as if it were air. I blinked the weariness away.
The visions always came true, no matter how hard I tried to change the fate of those I loved. Auburn hair brushed the page and deft fingers swept it aside. Dry and wet golden splatters marred the white surface. I prayed for answers, guidance, and a ceasefire without the universe blowing up in my face.
“Gods, what have I done to anger you?” Why did I destroy when all I wanted was love?
As usual, the Gods offered no response. I sniffled and wiped my face. Blank lines taunted, daring me to write the mysterious secrets of my worlds. This journal would be different. I would alter the future or die trying.
Pages as bare as the future I ran away from four years ago awaited my thoughts. Bacon fried downstairs; Momma whistled a tune. Where did I go wrong? My hand trembled, scribbling the words I didn’t want to admit. Twenty-one years was a piss in the ocean, yet little ol’ me managed to destroy the world. Daddy knocked on my bedroom door, and it creaked open.
“Mornin’ Aurie,” he said, stepping over the threshold carrying a mug of coffee. Timeless features chiseled his chin, elven ears pointed upward, and two blue eyes smiled as he set the cup on my nightstand. I forced my lips upward, returning the smile, and thanked him.
Daddy didn’t loiter and closed the door behind him. I waited as his footsteps pattered across the hardwood floor downstairs before I continued.
If someone asked me who would end the world, I would’ve said the humans. Before I ran, my job was protecting magic. All high mages enforced the Laws of the Myst. I was a Phoenix and master of elemental fire. At least I used to be before my family ventured into hiding.
The supernaturals I worked for turned on me. I tossed the pen down and refrained from chucking it across the bedroom. Knuckles cracked and my neck followed as I released the tension within my bones. The Council of the Nine despised my kind: hybrid. Hunted us down like rabid animals, all because we refused to live under their tyrannical control. I rolled from my bed, shuddering at living under the oppression of the Nine, and slipped into my favorite bunny slippers.
Hiding and fleeing were two things I learned at a young age, and it’s possible that I didn’t understand what normal meant, but I wanted it right alongside love. The doorbell chimed, and I glanced toward the bedroom door. Supernaturals were not normal. Shoulders slumped, I sipped my coffee and listened to the soft voices fluttering below. For one day, all I wanted was normality.
Truth settled in and chilled my bones. The warmth of the coffee penetrated my soul as I stared up at the white washed walls on our brownstone. Empty shelves lined my personal prison. Anything of importance fit into my duffel bag. Hot coffee, human television, and countless e-books filled my doldrum days. We rented the furniture and used delivery services for groceries. If I couldn’t order it and have it delivered, I did not need it. The pages of my journal flipped closed, as the chilly breeze swept through an open window.
My talisman warmed against my skin. I reached for my pillow and the muffled cries died as the stone swung away from my skin. The Algiz, runic symbol for protection, glowed as the amulet increased in strength, and the stone flared with life.
Ribs and heart ticked like a bomb waiting to explode. Eyes whipped around, searching for anything or anyone, to explain the sharp sear over my skin. I dropped my jaw, but nothing came out.
Shouts sounded in the distance, but the foreign words sounded muffled by the early Upper West Side noise. Voices rose from below as I tiptoed toward my closet and dragged my emergency bag from the shelf.
The Nine came for me; they found me. Pain and thinking didn’t mix. I paused, heart pounding within my ears, as the stairs creaked. Eyes glanced between the window and the door. Three sets of footsteps echoed their cadence.
The bag slung over my back, I wiggled my fat ass out the window and I crept down the rickety fire escape adhered to my bedroom window. My stomach flipped with each sway or groan from the metal as my sweaty palms glided over the railing. Did I stick to our plan, or fetch my parents first? This marked the first time in four years that I’d had to move; the first time, I’d ran as an adult.
The pendant scorched my skin as I descended the ladder that lead below into the alleyway. I winced and gnawed on the inside of my cheek as the tears built in my eyes. No supernatural was immune to pain.
Feet landed with a slight scuffle. The thumping of my heart vibrated through me, and breathe came in shortened gasps. Again, I gathered the talisman away from my skin. My gaze swept over the trash in the alleyway for signs of momma or daddy. Another shout drew my attention, and I struggled again to hear over the city noise. As the decibel grew stronger, I recognized the voice of my momma.
“We don’t know where she is.” Momma’s tone borderlined on hysterical, shrieking as if she were a sidhe.
Another voice matching hers resonated inside my head. “Run Auriel,” the voice commanded, but I froze.
Rae Z. Ryans currently resides in Tumbleweed, Alabama, with her family and belongs to the Romance Writers of America. She has lived all over the east coast and was born in Fairbanks, Alaska. Published since the age of fourteen, Rae enjoys writing romantic, erotic,fantasy/paranormal stories and poetry. Her name pays homage to her brothers: Specialist Ryan D. Rexon and Zachary U. Berthot.
She is currently working on Beyond the Brothel Walls #2: Altered. This post-apocalyptic, erotic paranormal romance is emotionally driven, dark fantasy.
Author website: www.raezryans.com
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