The Lycan Moon
|A cursed seventeenth century man’s life is turned upside down when a Seattle columnist comes to town in search of a legendary werewolf.|
|( S. Durham )
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Author: S. Durham
Release: April 2011
Editor: Nancy Bell
Line editor: Penny Ehrenkranz
Cover artist: Delilah K. Stephans
Word count: 80000
Price: $5.95FOR BOOKSELLERS
Rescued from the streets of Seattle by her adoptive mother, a witch and a seer, Dana Pierce learned early on about her talent as a witch. Now a successful news columnist, she not only embraces her craft, but has spent the last five years of her life in search of a man she believes she’s destined to help, a man cursed to immortality by an unfortunate ancestor.
Calen Meer has carved out a quiet life in the port town of Astoria, Oregon, and though immortality has made him a wealthy man, he lives simply, running a charter fishing business, where only a very few know he is a werewolf. That is until the infinitely curious, albeit irresistible, Dana Pierce enters his life.As Ms. Pierce blithely goes about unearthing a past best left forgotten, Calen is torn between his anger at her intrusion into his life and the profound effect she has on him. But when several women are found brutally murdered, Calen must face the fact that a creature, not unlike himself, is not only escalating in its rabid need, but Dana may be his next victim.
As their volatile attraction to each other heats up, a devastating secret from the past threatens to destroy them both unless Calen can set his prejudices aside, and let Dana offer the help she’s been born for.
By now, the forest light had dimmed considerably. Looking at her watch, Dana was surprised to see it was almost five in the afternoon. It would take her a half hour to hike back to her car parked off the highway.
She gathered her belongings and began the descent down the small mountain.
The sensation of being watched was sudden and unnerving. Dana stopped as the tingling in her spine intensified. Spinning around in a three hundred sixty degree turn, she surveyed the muted forest. There was no movement, but the oppressive sense of something...dark and pressing in on her, put her on alert all the same.
The screech of a hawk overhead broke the eerie silence. The sound of a brittle twig breaking in the distance made her pause. Her body on hyper alert now, she considered her situation and listened. The silence was all encompassing.
A course rustling of underbrush fifty feet away, nearly startled her into a run until she realized it was moving away from her. She waited several more beats; a soft breeze kicked up, scouring away the darkness she felt and the predator she sensed.
She smelled the hours-old blood and rended flesh, even before she saw the police vehicle’s red and blue lights throbbing from the highway. Dana slowed her pace and quietly approached the area ahead of her. Yellow tape fluttered in the southerly breeze, guarding the death scene.
At the base of the hillside, maybe a hundred feet from the road, several men in uniform were gathered as well as two young men in hiking gear.
“Hey!” one of the uniformed men shouted.
She froze not at all sure the young officer wouldn’t pull a gun on her, judging by the startled look on his face. An older man who appeared to be in charge, looked up sharply at the deputy’s shout. He studied Dana with speculative eyes.
“Jesus, miss, you need to make a little more noise, or you’re liable to get your head shot off,” he said coarsely, while patting the air with his palm, indicating the younger officer should calm down.
The two hikers who appeared to be in the middle of an interview with another officer, looked up at Dana. She saw it then, the horror in their eyes. Something terrible happened here, and though she couldn’t see the body through the small group of men, she could smell the woman and the perfume she still wore.
The older officer moved closer to her, away from his men. “Listen, how long have you been in the forest today?” he inquired, at the same time looking over Dana’s attire, as if to confirm she was only a hiker and not a murderess.
“I left the highway north of here at ten a.m., and it’s five thirty now, so about six and half hours.”
“Did you hear or see anything unusual?” he persisted.
“No nothing,” she replied, maybe a little too quickly. The sheriff raised his brow at her words. Dana didn’t want to try and explain the odd feeling she experienced earlier in the forest—a feeling of someone or something, which felt threatening and dark. Through the trees, she caught a glimpse of the sun dipping closer to the ocean. That, along with the smell of death sent an involuntary chill rippling through her.
Another officer walked up to them. She noted he wore a different uniform and was younger than his colleague—maybe in his forties. “Hello miss, I’m Deputy John Morrison with the Tillamook Sheriff’s department, and this is Sheriff Elias Benson, from Clatsop County’s department. I’m sure Sheriff Benson already asked if you saw anything out of the ordinary on your hike today.”
She glanced at the older man. “Yes he did. What happened here?” she asked the officer quietly, gesturing to what lay beyond the men.
“A woman was killed—probably by an animal…maybe a bear,” the sheriff replied. His brow furrowed. “Either way it’s not safe for you to be wandering around the hillside alone.”She nodded. “I was just on my way out.”
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