Poisoned was previously published by Noble Romance Publishing. Rights reverted to the author when the company went out of business.
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Sixteen-year-old Anastacia was told her father died in Africa when she was three. But there are no photographs of him, and she doesn't have a birth certificate. When Anastacia travels to Lucerne, Switzerland to attend a wedding and stumbles upon a different reality--in fact, a whole new world--what she learns tears apart her ideas of family and self. Why did her mother, Nicole, tell her a history of lies?
|Night Owl Teen
Though the themes of loss and overcoming grief are also part of this book, the author has also introduced the conflict between anger and forgiveness, and this book is much stronger than the first. I recommended this for readers looking for an adventurous, alternate world fantasy, told mainly from the point of view of a female heroine.
|Amazon.com Costumer Reviews|
I quite liked the development of the history behind the peoples of Dawn's End and felt that enough was revealed for this book to work well without having read the other book first.
Nail biting suspense - 5 stars
|"Even better than the first book!"|
For my big sister, Virla, who is always on my side and loves me just the way I am.
Thanks to Robin for rescuing my inaccessible computer files and to my husband Fred for enlisting Robin when he couldn't rescue the chapters himself.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
Nicole pressed the bracelet against her feverish cheek. The whisper of nurses' crepe-soled shoes passed by in the hall. Her husband, Jamail, had brought her the bracelet earlier. She had insisted on holding it one last time.
"Don't say that," he said, frowning.
But Nicole knew she was fading like a Valentine left too long in sunshine. Jamail slept on the cot by the window, spending every night with her since her admittance to the hospice. She had given up trying to convince him to sleep at home.
"The bed is too empty without you," he said, finally, his voice choked.
Sweet Jamail, if only she could spare him this pain. He'd had so few years to spend with her strong and healthy.
She wanted to remember when she was young and vital, before they had even met. Back to a time of murky forests with droopy, dank leaves and sun-filled meadows with hidden royalty. Was it disloyal to remember another man? A man as powerful as the bracelet's embossed panther with its glittering eye? No, Jamail would understand. She knew he sometimes thought of his first spouse, just as she still missed hers.
Morrel, Morrel . . . . Was he still alive? With the difference in time, it seemed impossible. But Nicole also remembered the panther people's unusual longevity. Who knew for sure? Dawn's End had been filled with the unexpected.
What of the threat of darkness? Paradise had been reborn when she returned to Dawn's End, pregnant with Anastacia. She could not imagine a more beautiful place to birth and raise her child. Soon after her return to Dawn's End, she realized the black stones in all the bracelets had turned clear, with a faint pink tinge. As well, her band had turned in color from copper back to gold. She had used her bracelet twice, once to stop a poisonous snake from striking and again to stop a house fire. For almost three years, her life had been blissful. But then illness had struck, and she had to leave and return to Thunder Bay. It seemed so long ago, more dream than memory.
Nicole shifted; the bed creaked. She adjusted the I.V. cords and fingered the button that allowed her to control the morphine drip.
She would never know if Nightfall had ever returned to Anastacia's birthplace. Nicole wished she had found a way to visit one last time. She wished she could have shown her daughter the wondrous place they had shared with Morrel. She had kept too many secrets.
Nicole shivered as a chill emanated from the now copper bracelet. It had dulled again when she left Dawn's End for good, but still she clenched it tightly. It was all she had left. Perhaps Dawn's End had cost her everything, but had it not given her everything as well? Especially little Anastacia.
Kaie rubbed the embossed panther with her thin, knobby fingers. Her gnarled hands protruded like bleached bones from the ragged, black sleeves of her cloak. Her cracked nails, lined with dirt and flecked with white spots, traced the gold panther shape. Its black stone eye glinted against the shimmering, gold bracelet. She sensed another bracelet, beyond the door. But, through spells and the power of her own bracelet, she was drawing it closer, drawing it to her reach like a beltfish to a shimmer worm. That bracelet was worn by an innocent. Soon Kaie would hook both fish and owner, reel them in, smash and slice and devour their strength in order to fuel her own.
While she waited, Kaie would prepare. She had accumulated most of what she needed and set up a laboratory in the abandoned mine. There were those who plotted against her, who challenged her power. Kaie smiled thinly. If they only knew the extent of her plans. If they could imagine the scope of her terrible ambition, they would despair. But then surrender without challenge—where would be the amusement in that? Perhaps this new innocent would provide some distraction. She sensed a silent strength there. Women often did not realize their own power.
"Riva." Kaie croaked the name.
A shapely woman entered through the left cave tunnel. She wore a black G-string, ankle-high black boots, and a thin, black harness crossing under and above her full breasts. In the harness rested a small dagger. Her red, transparent tunic was open to her navel, allowing access to the weapon. Long, blonde hair hung down her back. She moved with the churning rhythm of a woman of desire.
"Yes, mistress," Riva said. Her voice was honey, laced with belladonna.
Kaie's thin smile revealed her gapped and decayed teeth. Her inflamed gums oozed. "Have Lachish bring me one male captive. The rest are his to do with as he pleases. The male should be of a virile age, but neither of you is to touch him. I have special plans."
As Riva left, Kaie absentmindedly yanked the loosest tooth from her mouth and spat blood and pus onto the cave floor. She tossed the brown incisor into a bowl of grisly treasures, fuel for her dark magic.