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RELEASE DEC. 4
Three thousand years ago, a war began between the immortals and the mortals. It's a war that continues to this day...
Before history began, a legendary queen battled a foreign army, braved the death of her husband, and faced betrayal at the hand of someone she trusted. This is the story of Eire, Queen of the Faeries, the Immortal One, and the leader of the Tuatha de Danann.
To this day, her homeland, Ireland, bears her name, and this is the story of the war that drove the Immortal Ones into exile. It's also the tale of how she found help from an unexpected place, leading her to a love like she had never known before.
Fairytale Christmas is a story that spans thousands of years. It's also the beginning of all of our fairytales and legends; it's where mortals and immortals survive because they love one another, proving that love is the greatest gift of all.
This is the first installment in the Saga of the Fair Folk, a journey that lasts until the end of time.
"This story is filled with magic and love which are the hallmarks of the holiday season. The writing reads like a dream."--Kimberly, Amazon review
"The 1st person narration unfolds as a story around a campfire would: quickly and dynamic." --D. Zoeller, Amazon review
"Such a great story with a Celtic legends background. Love, action, adventure and magic. I devoured this book..."--Maria, Amazon review
"I enjoyed the mythology and the characters quite a lot."--Rachael, Amazon review
"Merrie Destefano weaves a vivid tale of Celtic legend and fantasy. I loved the imagery and the emotional journey of the main character as she navigates love, loss, and family."--Wendy, Amazon review
"I absolutely loved this story!"--Shyra, Amazon review
"This is a stellar read. I'd definitely recommend! And this is YA appropriate for those checking with the romance."--Kelsay, Amazon review
"An interesting introduction to Celtic mythology. Short and sweet with a nice mix of action and love story."--Marlene, Amazon review
FIRST CHAPTER EXCERPT:
1,400 years B.C.
They came in longboats and we stood on the rocky cliffs, watching as they arrived. Faery and Duine stood side by side, immortal and mortal, the way we had always been. The Duine were our beloved cinn beag, our little ones; we were their feared and favored gods.
At that time, we walked hand in hand, sharing everything. The mortals fed us and clothed us. Our magic blessed or cursed them.
It was our way of life.
I loved them all dearly, for I was their queen. I was Eire and this grand island carried my name. Eire Land.
This was my home and my people.
But it all changed on that day when the Milesians arrived, storms in their wake, their Druids conjuring dark magic, their armor and their weapons fashioned in diabolic forges while a great sorcerer cast spells over each and every item.
I should have killed them all the moment they set foot on our island. I shouldn’t have trusted their lies, their broad smiles, their gifts of gold.
But the worse thing of all they brought to our shores was that cursed silver. Shaped into armor, it made the wearer invincible. Melded onto swords, it could poison my people, the Tuatha De Danann, and cause a fearsome illness.
They wore this magic silver in charms and rings and necklaces, they wove fine strands into their clothing. A few of them even drank it, so their skin would glow a soft blue in the darkness.
They camped for a day and a night, strange fires burning, the stench filling the valley. My sister, Caer, sensed danger before I did. She wrinkled her nose and shook her head, then she called for one of our kinsmen.
“Take the youngest children and flee, hide on the cliffs and watch,” she told him.
“What is it?” I asked.
“The darkest magic of all is brewing,” she whispered behind her hand. She knew more about this sort of sorcery, since her husband, Faelan, was a Leanan Sidhe. Her husband and mine stood side by side, dressed for battle, both of them carrying bronze swords and shields. Faelan lifted his head, closed his eyes, and drew a deep breath, then licked his lips.
The Druids were burning human sacrifices.
When the moon hid behind thick clouds and many of our soldiers had fallen asleep, the Milesians crept nearer. Then they attacked in blinding light, all of their silver weapons glowing bright blue. No one could flee fast enough as their swords began to swing through the crowds.
Three things can kill a faery.
One, if you steal his heart.
Two, if you cut off his head.
Three, if a banshee sings him to everlasting sleep.
All three of these things happened on that night and more. My own husband, King Fethur, perished at my side, though we both fought valiantly, neither of us giving in to weariness. But one blade sliced off his head and there was no magic in the world that could bring him back to life. I didn’t have time to mourn, for the Milesians forced us back and back, trying to push us up a high cliff and then down into the rocky sea.
We fought, our casualties great. We lost more than a thousand men on that night.
My feet slipped, my sword swung in an arc of death, and my sister and I set our banshee blood free. We sang a song of death, though it was hard to find the right notes that could penetrate the thick silver helmets that covered the Milesians’ ears.
Faelan may have rescued us, though I don’t think that was his intention. While our banshee nature came to the front, so did his Leanan Sidhe ways. He already towered over the Milesians, being a full torso taller than any of them, and his black-furred skin and golden glowing eyes caused many of their soldiers to stumble in fear.
But when he began cracking their bodies in half and drinking their blood, a path of escape opened for us.
His darkness was blacker than their own.
We ran, searching for our children, and having no time to gather food or supplies. But our path toward the cliffs where my children and those of my sister were hiding was barred.
Three bright, silver-blue Milesian warriors stood in the way, all of them wearing head to foot armor, unlike anything we’d ever seen. Our weapons could not touch it, our songs could not penetrate it, and even Faelan grew weak when he approached them.
The warrior in the center wore a crown atop his armor and a glowing ring on his right hand that rivaled the sun, nearly blinding us.
This was the Milesian king.
“Kneel or flee,” he told us. “We could fight from one moon to the next, but you will never defeat us. Submit to us, give us your children to raise as our own, let us wield your faery magic for our purpose, and you may remain here in your homes.”
He paused, waiting to see if any of us would take the knee before him. None of us did, though we all grew unsteady on our feet. It felt like poison came into my lungs with every breath, making my muscles soft and my bones frail. Those around me began to cough, a slow trickle of blood coming from their noses and mouths.
If we continued to stand here, this silver was going to kill us.
“What is our other option?” I asked, refusing to even bow my head. As the Fair Folk Queen, I was his equal.
“Flee. Quickly.” His voice came out as an angry growl. “Your people have a fortnight, maybe less, before my men hunt you down and kill you in your sleep. Or we might poison you along the road, if we think you are taking too long. Trust no one. Take no spoils. Do not return to your homes.”
I held my breath, hoping he was merely banishing us to the southern tip of our isle. But he wasn’t.
“Leave Ireland and never return. Your kind is no longer welcome here,” he said.
At that point, the king and his two soldiers stepped aside, allowing us a narrow path of escape. As we each began to dart past them in single file, they reached out to touch us, some on the leg, some on the arm, some on the face.
We bear those silver-scorched burns to this day. Even the Standing Stones cannot heal the wounds we received on the day of our banishment.
We will never forget the Milesian Invasion or the loss of our homeland.