Child of the Loch - You don't want to miss this new release!



Twenty-three year accountant, J.J McDonnell, has spent her life trying to be normal and hide her gifts, but all dreams of normalcy are dashed on her twenty-fourth birthday. A handsome man shows up on her porch with a marriage edict and news that the grandfather she has never met, has died. Her world is about to change forever. J.J must make the perilous journey to the Loch and take her place on its throne. With no idea what is expected of her and dark forces closing in at every turn, will J.J. be able to accept her destiny or will she stopped before she can?




Excerpt:
Chapter One
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The King lay in the large, downy bed inhaling his last, sallow breaths. Self-reflection was all he had left in his weakened state; he contemplated his kingdom’s future that hung in the balance. The lives of his people would be destroyed and his kingdom would meet their disaster if his lost heir was not brought home soon.
The kingdom was already showing signs of his illness. He could hide it no longer. There was no need to make any edicts or long speeches. His people already knew there dire situation. The King was failing and taking the land with him. The Loch suffered with the King in the throes of a deadly infirmity.
The King could see out the open bay window shrouded in bright red velvet and golden cords. It contrasted to his decaying lands. His thoughts were punctuated with a sour wind and the distinct odor of putrid compost. What would his kingdom do without him?
The King was a good leader. He was well-loved by his people and in return he always put them before his own needs. The King would prevent his people’s demise at all costs, even if meant breaking the laws that he himself wrote in the Scroll of Decree 29 years ago during the Year of Light Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Three.
The King knew he must send his fastest messengers to the far reaches of his kingdom, riding past the borders of the Kingdom of the Lochoan lands. The journey would take the messengers further than anyone had ridden in the last years of King’s rule. 
Only one, whose very name was outlawed in the land, had made the arduous trek that had traveled through all the lands of many allies, as the messengers were about to do now. The exiled one’s journey had blazed a trail of tears and sadness to the Lochoan borders that bled out into Outlands. Lands that distanced far beyond the pale, pink, rising sun and the blue rain clouds of the Loch. However, these messengers’ journeys would be bringing hope and light to a barren land. It was time to gather the allies. Dark times were ahead and the enemies of the Loch would use it to their full advantage.
Even now, the King felt the people’s pain as acutely as his own. The King squeezed his almond shaped eyes tight against the physical pain. He was so ravaged by the illness that no one would recognize him. He was a ghost of his former self. Now, only his amber eyes were a distinguishable sign of his pure royal line. 
The bevy of relatives had already gathered fighting for what was left of his kingdom. He heard their disappointed thoughts from time to time. They hated him for his tenuous grip on life. Their ochre shaded eyes were a variety of colors with only undertones and shadows, showing their royal lineage were of the distant past, which could only be verified by a scroll of lineages. Though they warred and plotted against each other to be the chosen heir, they would never do. The land would not replenish with their hard hearts and diluted blood lines. They held no love or bond to the land, not like a true “child of the Loch.”
The King had a direct heir. His mine drifted to the one whose veins were filled with the unpolluted blood of the first Queen. A gentle woman who bore curse of a connection to the land for imagined wrongs against the magic that governed the land. No one knew the full histories not even the King himself. It was of little importance because the curse was a blessing to her descendants.
The heir would heal the land and hold proof that none other would do. 
The kingdom would know the heir upon its arrival. The entire line was blessed with unnatural beauty and gifts that were not apparent in any other clan of the Loch. The land would begin to heal itself, growing stronger as they drew closer. New growth bloomed in small sections at the corner of the castle due to the King’s momentary joy.
Other gardens died in the same breath, when the King rolled to his side in agony. The King’s pale, lined face contorted as seizures took him. His face turned purple from lack of breath and his hands curled into balls. He cursed his murderer again from bloody, foam covered lips.
The land suffered with him. An earthquake shook knocking vases off pedestals and pictures from their places on the stone walls.  The King’s clumps of salt and pepper hair fell from his inflamed pink scalp. The land responded with pustules of rot that spoiled the crops leaving nothing edible. While the fever blisters popped oozing water and lymph into his jaundiced eyes, shut tight; flakes of pasty skin peeled from his dry lips and the trees withered bearing bitterly poisonous fruit.    
Even now he knew that these final hours were passing with prejudice. The slow, steady decline of the once strong King was highly unexpected in the view of the long lives of his predecessors. They flourished for many lifetimes as stewards of the land. 
Rumors flew about the kingdom blaming the loss of the Loch’s only heir, though it was many years ago for some. It was only a moment in the life of the King. It was common knowledge that the King’s broken heart still bore the weight of the Queen’s death by the hand of the General of the Turlinds, the greatest enemy of the Loch.
The true nature of the King’s illness could not be fathomed until it was too late. Test after test from the chief physicians to the peasant apothecaries drew the answers needed. It was not grief that had stolen the spry King’s health. It was poison from magic of darkness or herb of the vine that took its hateful vengeance upon the King’s body. 
There was no antidote to either herb or spell. The cure for one could cause another to slaughter him more rapidly and excruciatingly.  It was well known in the land that the long list of poisons or black magics in the Loch that caused the King’s symptoms would all end horribly with the much-loved King cold and maimed in his grave. He would be unrecognizable to all who knew him. There would be no hope of recovery. The King’s death warrant was signed, sealed and awaiting its hour of designation.  He was a slave in his own body, mastered by the unnamed venom that flowed throughout his skeletal body.
The King’s endured every moment of the physical pain of his illness without complaint, but it was the heartache that was unbearable and made him cry out to the God of his forefathers.  He longed for the days when he ruled with his beloved Queen and his son, a shadow of them both. 
The King could not escape the thoughts of his beloved son, a mirror of himself when he was healthy. Both men were hard-headed, amber-eyed and so unforgiving of each other, that it seemed that there never could be reconciliation. What transpired could not be undone and the Prince was far away in presence, mind and spirit.  For this, the King waited, begged, and prayed for death to come and sweetly end his pain. He needed it to release him from his bonds, but not before he brought mercy to the Loch and her people.
Imminent death has a way of boomeranging the thoughts of a life once lived and regrets harp like old women. The King again reflected on the hard truths that brought him here. He dwelled on the perpetrator of this horrific act of treason that would leave his kingdom heirless and without a future in its wake.
             “My heir is gone and I’m to blame,” galloped through his departing mind.
Where had the time gone? It had been far too long since he last saw his boy, a man now, with a grown child of his own. A grandchild he had never seen face to face or held in his arms. How much had he missed in his arrogance and how could he get the rightful heir home in time to take the crown before the Loch was through?
Again, he stole a hard look outside his door that was flanked by relatives.  The King laughed bitterly at their pettiness. Only a true heir would do.
He fingered the photos in his ashen right hand and stroked the cheek of the young, dark-haired woman with his thumb. Another spasm grabbed him rigidly.  In his left hand, his grip tightened on the scroll marked in the family seal pressed into black wax crushing and crinkling the paper written in a shaky hand. The King was fading and he felt the last of himself disappearing into obscurity, soon he would see his ancestors and his God. No magic good or bad could touch him in the Land of Light.
The King called for another page, one who would go to his most trusted and truest friend, Chian, the Sovereign of the Ogres in the Western Wood.  There was no time for single journeys to be made. They would all travel through the Western Wood, but death waited by his beside, so he sent his riders to the lands of the Elves, Dragons and Merpeople. They would guide his heir when he could not. 
The King pressed the photo and the scroll into the final page’s solid, strong hand and his grasp fell weakly from the page’s wrist.  The young man gathered his bounty, bowed low and ran for the door.  He mounted the waiting horse and set off for the Western Wood at a dash.
Barely conscious the King urged himself on, garnering the final bits of his strength.  He only needed to be strong enough for his son and the hope he carried with him to make it back to the Loch. The King would set it right, even if he never lived to see the outcome. The race for the crown was on.
 “Come quickly, my son, for you hold the key to the future of the Loch,” he thought as he faded into the black, praying for his trusted pages’ safe journey and quick return. The King’s gurgling breaths could be heard throughout the castle and every subject loyal to the kingdom wept for the King’s impending death, mourning without hope for their dying land.



Reviews from Goodreads:
Heather Alexander rated it 
Wow, this short book packs a ton of punch. Josephina is heir to the throne of Loch, a land of magic, mythical creatures, purity, and ferility. She is the halfling child of the son of the king of Loch and a human and has been living in our world her hole life. On her birthday a man named James, from Loch comes bearing a scroll that states she is to marry him and become the queen of Loch as her grandfather has died. Along the way she finds betrayal and love and brings together groups allied to her as well as enemies trying to thwart her. This book has mermaid,dragons, ogres, nymphs, elves, etc. It was fantastic and I can't wait to read more. I hope this is a continuing saga, as I absolutely loved the characters and the story and I want more!!!!

Karen Vance Hammond rated it 
“Are dreams real? What message do they send? Child of the Loch grabs your mind by the throat as it takes you vicariously through the eyes of Josephina in quest for the truth. An outstanding piece of work. You won’t be able to put this one down—diabolical entertainment!”

Karen Vance Hammond, Author of Shoe Marks a paranormal inspire by true events which took place in Texas.

Reyna Hawk  rated it 

So first let me say I am not a big fan of Sci-Fi or Fantasy. I have never been one that got into the stories with dragons and sorcery. However, this book captivated my interest from the beginning. I had to know what was going on with the King. As I read down the story line and met Josephine then I became enthralled with how she was going to save Loche and get out of the arranged marriage. I began thinking to myself how would I react to an arranged marriage and actually found myself giving her advice. I felt bad for Josesphine and really had a disliking for her suitor James. Even though he is described as a very handsome man, I didn’t like him.

Anyway the story line takes you through some tense moments and awesome descriptions that make you see the scenes playing out in your head. During these tense moments my heart actually raced a bit. I love Aurora’s manner of writing. It reminds me of the way a great story is told. Her metaphors crack me up at times but at others make me think “Wow that is exactly how that would be”. I give it five (5) stars and look forward to reading more of her work. 




Bio:
I have always been a writer. When I first learned to write in Kindergarten, I wrote about pigs who "groo" wings and became "butterfys." I knew way back then that I would have a love affair with writing. It over took my life and has been a constant companion. Now over 20 years later, that love flows over into writing blogs, reviews, poetry and fantasy novels.  You can find me on the web at www.crimsonflowerreview.com and www.elizabethdrosa.com

Comments

Thanks so much Kate. I <3 You!