December 9, 2014

Lady Macbeth Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Lady Macbeth! Today I'll be sharing an excerpt from the book with you - and don't forget to enter the tour wide giveaway! To follow the rest of the stops, click on the banner above.

Lady Macbeth (Daughter of Ravens #1)
Author: Melanie Karsak
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Release Date: December 3, 2014


Something wicked this way comes . . .

Gruoch is born to rule, but long before she becomes Macbeth’s queen, ancient forces claim her soul.

Marked from birth by the old gods, Gruoch is initiated into the ancient religion of her ancestors and begins learning the mysteries of the Goddess Cerridwen. But not everything is as it seems. Soon the Battle Goddess Morrigu imposes her will, and Gruoch finds herself at the mercy of the Wyrd Sisters.

With King Malcolm plotting, the Wyrd Sisters schooling her in arcane craft, and haunted by dreams of a raven-haired man she’s never met, Gruoch feels her fate is not her own. That is, until she meets a druid named Banquo. Gruoch’s heart is swept away when Banquo awakens something in her more powerful than duty, magic, or destiny: love.

This retelling of Shakespeare’s classic work leads readers through an unforgettable saga of one woman struggling to escape her fate without blood on her hands.

Begin the Lady Mabeth Saga with Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens.
I felt power surge up in me. It was a strange, tingly feeling. I opened my eyes. Green light glimmered before me, illuminating the cavern, shining its light on the bones of the dead queen. When I turned to look on the skeleton, the green light faded, and I couldn’t hear Sid anymore.
“Sid?” I called. A deep, empty silence fell all around me. My skin crept. “Sid? Sid, can you hear me?”
No answer came. I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate again, but anxiety wracked me. I was too late. A glimmer of sunlight slanted though the hole in the side of the barrow. The sun had risen.
I puzzled at what to do. I was certain I couldn’t get back to the grove on my own. Distraught, I sat by the hole and stared at the bones. My hands were shaking. My comrade, who swore we knew each other in lives past, had just disappeared into the world of the fey, and I was alone with bones—my own? I felt the Otherworld pungently around me, more strongly than I had ever felt it before. My skin chilled to goose bumps. My head began to feel very dizzy. The darkness around me felt heavy. I closed my eyes and heard the wings of a bird. Wings. My wings. Raven wings. I felt myself fly though the darkness.
“You’re halfway there,” a voice said.
Startled, I opened my eyes. I was sitting with my back against a wide gray column. Before me stood the Wyrd Sisters.
“Welcome back,” the older woman said.
The world around me was very dark.
“Sid?” I called. I rose to my feet and tried to look around. “Sid?”
“Sidhe is not here, though she is close,” the old woman said.
“Come, come to the cauldron,” t
he younger woman said.
“Come, Cerridwen,” the ancient matriarch called, motioning me forward.
The younger, red-haired woman frowned. “Not too much or Epona will hide her away.”
“Bah, Epona will do as the Goddess commands.”
“Cerridwen…why call me by the name of the Welsh Cauldron Goddess?” I demanded.
“Welsh!” the elder woman declared in disgust. “The Goddess of the Cauldron is eternal. She is known by many names…Cerridwen, Hecate, Astarte…all ladies of war and magic, all the same divine creature…all just like you.”
I frowned at her. Her answer felt like a riddle. “Why have you brought me here?”
The younger woman with the deep red hair grinned at me. “You tell us. Why have you come here?”
“I was in the barrow.”
 “But your path ends here,” the red-haired woman said.
“Yet still, you are right, Epona will keep her too long,” the older woman complained.
“Epona can smell the magic on her, but that is not why Epona keeps her.”
“You’re right. It is Crearwy she desires.”
“And the other.”
“Look in your cauldron. The boy belongs to the world. Don’t you see the crown on his head?”
The women became silent, their eyes flicking back toward me.
“Come, Cerridwen. I will show him to you. I know you wish to see him,” said the elder.
“The man in your dream. Your raven-haired man with skin like snow and eyes the color of the sky,” said the younger.
“Your King,” added the elder.
Curiosity got the better of me. I stepped forward and looked in the cauldron. He was there, the man from my dream just the night before. He was in battle. I gasped. Many men were upon him, but a blond-haired giant, swinging a massive battle axe, cleared them away. My heart stilled. The women were watching me, but I didn’t care. I watched as the raven-haired man moved through the battlefield. He was beautiful. His clear blue eyes sought out his enemy. His cheeks were flushed red from battle vigor.
I reached out and touched his image in the cauldron. The liquid did not ripple like water; it felt soft like silk. I was surprised when the man stopped and looked around him.
“Can you feel me?” I asked.
“Yes,” he answered.
“Where are you?” I whispered.
“Can you see me?”
He shook his head. Then a fierce warrior came upon him. Hearing my voice had caused him to be off his guard. The huge man beat him down, forcing him to hide under his shield, and his blond-haired protector was nowhere in sight.
“No,” I yelled. “No!”
I suddenly found myself floating above the battlefield. Below me my raven-haired man and his foe struggled. I flew downward and knocked the foe away. My black-haired man rose and stabbed his enemy. He turned to face me, and it was clear he could see me.
From behind me, someone shouted my name: “Gruoch!”
I turned to see Sid. I was then pulled with a dizzying force back to the cauldron.
“What do you have in the cauldron today? Eye of newt? Toe of frog?” Sid seethed at the Wyrd Sisters.
“Peace, Sidhe,” said the ancient one.
Sid took my hand. “Come.”
“Come again, Cerridwen,” the younger woman called to me. “You are welcome here amongst your sisters.”
“Hecate watches. Don’t tangle the webs of fate too soon,” Sid chided them.
Sid led me forward into the darkness. Moments later, we emerged in the barrow near the alter of Boudicca.

Melanie Karsak is the author of the Amazon best-selling steampunk series The Airship Racing Chronicles (Chasing the Star Garden and Chasing the  Green Fairy) and the award-wining horror/dark fantasy Harvesting Series. She grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania and earned a Master’s degree in English from Gannon University. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and zombie whisperer, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

Author Links:
 Tour Wide Giveaway (Open INT): Storiarts Alice in Wonderland Scarf


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