DAWN: Book 3: The Frankenstein Saga
For fans of the Netflix program, THE FRANKENSTEIN CHRONICLES, AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY by Susan Dennard, and BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA.
REVIEWS FOR DAWN
"Merrie Destefano brings her trilogy galloping to a satisfying end, a thrill ride through the long dark night of the soul.."—Jane, 5-star review on Amazon
"Amazing conclusion to an amazing trilogy. If you like Dracula, Frankenstein or just paranormal fantasy this book series is for you!"—Felicia, 5-star review on Amazon
"A thrilling roller coaster ride. I loved all the surprises and horror in this story."—Kimberly, 5-star review on Amazon
BOOK 3: CHAPTER ONE EXCERPT
Shortly after sunset, when an unnatural darkness surrounded us, I collapsed. Exhaustion won. I’d been running for two days with fire in my veins, getting little sleep and forgetting to eat. Now that fire turned to water, my knees gave out and I slumped to the floor. I don’t even remember what I was doing at the time.
I woke up several hours later, nestled in John’s arms, beneath a pile of blankets. We lay on the library floor, frost crackling over the windows, and every breath turning to icy cloud.
“How long have I slept?” I asked.
“Not long. A few hours,” he answered.
I stayed beneath the blankets, feeling safe in his embrace. Part of me wondered if I should push him away, but I didn’t want to. Instead, I laid my head against his chest, listening to his heartbeat.
“You shouldn’t have gone off on your own today,” he said.
At first, I bristled—I’ve never liked being told what to do—but he was right. I’d taken a chance on losing our horse, something we desperately needed if we hoped to escape.
“We must leave tomorrow,” I told him. “As soon as the sun rises above the mountains. We’ll hitch the horse to the buggy, put Claire inside and the rest of us can walk. We’ll head toward Bernex or Lancy, then on to Mâcon–”
“If she’s ready to travel. I think the baby’s coming tonight.”
I sat up. “Are you sure?”
He nodded. “Hannah won’t let me in the room, but yes. From all the signs I could see, the babe is eager to be born. To be honest, I have no experience with premature births and I’m glad the old woman’s here.”
A smile pulled the corners of his mouth and I blushed. I couldn’t help remembering his lips pressed against mine. Every time I was with him, the memories of Percy grew more distant and faint. John leaned nearer, as always seeming to read my mind when I didn’t want him to. One hand cupped my chin and his lips covered mine, a touch both passionate and gentle.
“You must be careful, Mary,” he said, his words warm against my flesh. “That monster outside has fixed his sights on you for some dark purpose. I don’t think he’ll stop pursuing you until we’re far away.”
My body betrayed me, for a slight tremble caused my hands to shake. I looked away from him.
“Hannah says he wants to feed and that he’s not looking to expand his pack,” I said, as if that were a better answer than what John had just said.
“Hannah is wrong,” another voice said.
A slight movement from the corner of my eye drew my attention, a restless figure shifting on the settee, buried in blankets. It was Byron, his clothes rumpled, his hair looking as if he had been sleeping as fitfully as a child with nightmares.
“I saw how he came after you earlier tonight,” Byron said. “That wasn’t hunger in his gaze. He could have taken you easily, if that had been his intent.” He stopped, a tortured expression in his eyes.
“You’ve seen him before?” I asked.
A long sigh came from his lungs and he laid back down, staring up at the ceiling. “He followed me through the forest, leaping from boulder to boulder, laughing, urging his companions to rise from sleep to feed. I was a mouse and they were all cats. It was a game to them, nothing more. They chased me from one shadowed vale to another, until finally, I stumbled into a patch of sunlight.” He paused, his voice cracking with emotion. “I was spared by the changing winds—nothing more—as a patch of clouds blew away from the sun.”
“You were spared by the hand of God,” John countered. It sounded as if they’d already had this conversation and John was trying to remind Byron of the truth at its center.
“No. God has abandoned me,” Byron replied.
His words made me shudder, for he sounded like a man who knew he could never be redeemed.
All content © 2017, Merrie Destefano