Before anyone could question Aiden’s sudden appearance, he grinned at Jordan. I jogged
behind Breanna as she edged closer. “So, how about a hot lap, Slater?”
Jordan’s brow furrowed beneath the brim of his dark ball-cap. The affable excitement of
the moment replaced by an almost suffocating tension.
I leaned to whisper in Breanna’s ear. “What’s a hot lap?”
“Turning the car around, making another run right now without a real cool down period
on the engine.” She chomped hard on the candy in her mouth, it gave with an audible crack.
“In what?” The answering engine rumble fired behind me. My head swiveled in time to
see Hunter inside the Camaro, rolling off the back of the trailer.
Chills skittered across my skin.
“Aiden—” The happiness and color had drained from Raelynn’s face.
Her brother’s rebellious lift of his shoulders spoke volumes.
“You didn’t tell me it was ready.” Jordan hitched his chin at the car then leveled a hard
stare at Aiden.
Everyone there would have flinched, but he smiled brighter in dimple winking challenge.
“If ya scared, say ya scared, Slater.”
Jordan’s upper lip curled, and he took one step away from Raelynn and closer to Aiden.
“Boy,” he drawled out the one word. “When have I ever been scared of you?”
Breanna and I were members of the small circle that seemed to surround them now. No
one outside heard Aiden’s quiet reply. “You need this as much as I do, brother.”
“Let’s do it.” Jordan never looked away as he pulled his and Raelynn’s joined hands to
his lips and kissed her knuckles.
The crowd dispersed like a colony of disturbed ants. Everyone shooting off in different
“Isaac,” Vic shouted and tossed the flashlight to his little brother. “You flag it, this one I
gotta roll with my boy.”
When Vic jogged over to the Malibu, Aiden clutched at his chest as if he was wounded.
He turned and looked at me for the first time that night. “Which lane are you riding with,
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Laurisa White Reyes
for loving a human, Jayson is sworn to protect the Seer’s crystal
from those who would use it to obtain power. Unbeknownst to him, his
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Crystal Keeper Book 2
the help of Teak, a local farm hand, Ivanore flees from the Vatéz
into the forest. While recuperating from her injuries, she becomes an
apprentice to an elderly enchantress who teaches her how to control
her abilities. Unaware that Ivanore is in Hestoria, Jayson commits to
working off the cost of Brommel’s passage to Dokur, where he hopes
he and his young son will be safe. Though Jayson vows to avenge the
death of Brommel’s wife and daughter, despair and guilt threaten to
extinguish what little hope he has left of begin reunited with
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Crystal Keeper Book 3
the third book in The Crystal Keeper series, Ivanore sets off to
rescue Jayson from the Vatez but soon finds herself their captive
instead. Once Jayson learns that Ivanore is in Hestoria, he must
choose between saving her and saving the Seer’s crystal.
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Crystal Keeper Book 4
four years, Jayson and the Guardians of the Seer have been hiding on
a remote farm, but Arik, Minister of Hestoria, refuses to give up
hunting for them. As his hatred for Jayson grows, Arik and the Vatez
begin attacking local villages in hopes of flushing out him out. But
when his efforts fail, Arik uses Ivanore, the Seer and Jayson’s true
love, to betray him.
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Crystal Keeper Book 5
is the 5th installment in The Crystal Keeper series.
Lady Ivanore the Seer escapes Auseret and goes in search of Jayson and the Guilde, but Arik, leader of the Vatez, is determined to use her to lead him to the crystal.
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Crystal Keeper Book 6
is the 6th installment in The Crystal Keeper series.
Arik, Minister of the Vatéz, wreaks vengeance on the Guilde, escalating the violence against Hestoria’s villages. Meanwhile, though Jayson’s wounds begin to heal, his memories of the Vatéz’s attack — and of Ivanore — are missing.
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the author of the 2016 Spark Award winning novel The Storytellers, as
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lives in Southern California where she teaches English at College of
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Twelve-year-old Bastien awoke with a start, his heart already thumping in his chest. He held his
breath for a moment, listening. Yes, he was sure of it now. The Vatéz had finally come. Though the elders
of the village had reassured them time and time again that their little village would be overlooked, the
Vatéz had come to exact vengeance.
Bastien threw his covers aside and leapt from his bed, his night shirt clinging to his bare legs. “Papa!”
he shouted “Papa, they’re here!”
But his father was already awake, his short sword in one hand, an empty grain sack in the other.
Huddled together, crying in the corner of the cottage were Tara and Tim, Bastien’s five-year-old sister
“Take this,” said his father, handing him the bag. “Fill it up. There’s a round of cheese and some
bread on the shelf. Grab their cloaks. Quickly!”
Bastien snatched the two small cloaks from the peg on the back of the door and wrapped one around
each child. Then he slipped into his own pair of trousers, not bothering with his tunic. He threw his boots
and those of his siblings into the sack along with the food. There was no time to sit and lace them.
“Out the back!” ordered his father. “With luck, the soldiers won’t reach the cottages for several
minutes. May the Gods lead you to safety before they do.”
Bastien helped his siblings to their feet and started for the back door when he realized his father was
not following. “Papa?” he started to ask, but then he understood. His father would not abandon their
people. They had all heard about the Vatéz’s lust for blood, how they accused and punished without need
for evidence. When the Vatéz came, everyone knew what the outcome would be. To flee the village now
would be nothing short of cowardice.
The skiff shoved off, disappearing into the fog that had settled in wisps on the
dark waters of Granville Harbor. Zoé and her uncle began to walk down the wharf toward
the quay when a small boat carrying three men emerged out of the fog and pulled up
alongside them. She recognized the two men at the oars as crew from la Reine Noire.
Behind them in the stern knelt Freddie, beckoning to her.
“’Tis Freddie!” she said, her spirits lifting at the sight of her friend.
“Get in!” he implored.
“Be quick,” said her uncle, directing her to the wooden steps built into the side of
the wharf that ran down to the water.
She climbed down to the rowing boat and her uncle followed. He was nearly to
the end of the steps when shouts from the wharf drew their attention.
“Vous, là! Halt in the name of the Republic!” The musket-bearing soldier strode
toward them, his boots loud on the wooden planks. A short distance away, a half-dozen
soldiers hurried to join him.
Her uncle ascended the stairs, pulling a pistol from his coat, and fired. The soldier
stumbled and fell to the wharf.
Racing down the stairs, her uncle leapt into the boat. “Vite, away!”
The two crewmen pulled hard at the oars.
Freddie drew his pistol.
The cluster of republican soldiers knelt at the edge of the wharf, took aim and
commenced spewing shot toward their small boat. Zoé crouched low as the balls whizzed
over her head and the loud crack of pistols and musket fire exploded around her.
Freddie and her uncle returned fire.
The crew pressed into the oars and the boat slipped into the fog. Her uncle
subsided onto the bench in the bow, stuffing his pistols into his coat pockets.
Zoé cast a long look toward the lights on the receding quay. The sound of muskets
still firing echoed in the mist.
One of the soldiers shouted, “I told you he was the one! That was le porc who cut
Her uncle shook his head. “I should have killed him when I had the chance.”
Zoé turned her gaze away from the shore. Finally, the shots died, leaving only the
rhythmic sound of the oars pulling through the water. “Dieu merci, at least ’tis over.”
“Oui, for now,” said her uncle. “We have West to thank for our lives.”
One of the crew pulling at the oars glanced over his shoulder. “The Englishman
has been shot, I think.”
Zoé looked behind the seamen. In the darkness, it was difficult to see but she
could just make out Freddie’s form slumped in the stern. “Freddie!”
A FIERCE WIND, Copyright © 2018 Regan Walker
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