A snippet from the Promise...
"These are boggarts, and these are brownies, though you are unlikely to run into them," she said, pointing to images that only Ivy could see. "Beware of kelpies, banshee, and especially red caps," she warned. The stories of how Red Caps dyed their hats with the blood of their victims was particularly frightening. "Hobs can be helpful but tricksters as well. There are pixies, elves, dryads, dwarves, sprites, and the Sidhe," she continued.
There were so many that Ivy's head began to spin. Any average person would have forgotten half of what Miss Christina said. However, Ivy could always memorize information immediately. If she read or heard something once, she could recall it verbatim.
As the night drew to a close, Miss Christina led Ivy to one of her guest rooms. Ivy was exhausted from talking, and the chamomile tea made her very sleepy. Just before Miss Christina was about to leave the room, Ivy asked the question that had been on her mind since she almost dropped her teacup.
"Are you a Faerie, Miss Christina?" she asked through drowsy eyes.
Miss Christina stopped in the doorway. The mood of the room instantly changed, as if something dark had fallen over it. Ivy looked toward the door, her eyes heavy with exhaustion. She swore she felt a gentle breeze blow over her face, though no windows were open. Miss Christina turned. The flame from the beeswax candle that she held in her hand flickered softly beneath her chin and cast an eerie light on the old woman's deeply wrinkled face. Her blue-coated eyes looked almost white in the candle glow. The breeze that had no origin blew over the old woman's hair, lifting it slightly.
Miss Christina placed a weathered finger up to her lips and whispered, "Once upon a time, my child. Once upon a time."
Have you read the Promise? It's a retelling of the Ballad of Tam Lin. Now available on Amazon.
A Tithe is due, and a mortal must be sacrificed.
Ivy is a sixteen-year-old coping with coming of age and fitting in. One night, she witnesses her boyfriend Ash's horrific disappearance, an event so shocking that she cannot recall what took place. Two years pass, and as her memory begins to return, Ivy seeks out Miss Christina's help, an old woman known as the Carter Witch. It is through her that she discovers that Ash was taken by the Faeries. With Miss Christina's help and her best friend Sukie by her side, Ivy sets out on a quest to rescue Ash. However, she gets more than she bargains for upon entering the Realm of Faerie. A Tithe is due to the Lord of the Underworld for a crime she and Ash are linked to. As the story unfolds, she unlocks the mystery of Ash's disappearance, a tragic family secret, and betrayal that compromises not only her mortal existence but her life. You may have heard the story of Tam Lin, a mortal man captured by the Faeries, to pay a Tithe to hell. The centuries-old Scottish ballad is a favorite among artists, musicians, and writers. The Promise takes the beloved ballad and turns it on its head, transforming it into a modern-day fairy tale not soon forgotten. Contains illustrations by the author.