Author: Nancy Gray
Genre: YA Fantasy
The night the blood rains from the sky, Mind of Mercy’s world changes. The savage Blood Wings, bestial creatures that feed on the blood of Mercy’s people, attack her treetop village in frenzy.
Mercy’s father, the chieftain, tasks her to leave during the fight and find the source of the storm. The journey takes Mercy across the continent of Lacern where she must make allies, even from some of the enemies of her people, to survive. The search forces her to get help from the least likely of sources, one of the very Blood Wings that attacked her.
During her journey, Mercy and her companions discover lies that are widely accepted as truths, secrets hidden by the beast men, and a power buried deep inside of Mercy herself. Magic is resurfacing in the world and the blood rain is only the beginning. A hidden power is pulling the strings to cause a continent wide war that could result in the destruction of humans and beast men alike.
@NancyGrayWriter on Twitter
(Mercy is rescued after fleeing her village in her search for the cause of the blood rain. The two men that find her are on the same mission and have a contact who might know more. Their contact is one of the enemies of Mercy’s people, one of the shape-shifting Blood Wings.)
Carmine waved a dismissive hand. “Well, you’re here now. I guess that means you want information, as usual. Do you mind if I change into something more comfortable?”
“Not at all.”
“Thank the gods for small favors. I was starting to get a cramp.”
Mercy stared in horrified fascination as Carmine slowly began to change before her eyes. His skin stretched awkwardly, like putty being pulled too thin, until it was almost transparent. The suit turned into thin black and gray fur that covered his torso. The only part of the clothing on his upper body that wasn’t an illusion was a solid silver medallion with marbled red and black stone in a ring around its center. She realized the image on the medallion was an eye with a perfectly round halo of red around it.
Leathery skin ballooned out from his thin, elongated arms, which she could now see were wings. The pants were real, but his dress shoes were now forming into clawed feet with dark footpads. With a long yawn, his fangs stretched out across his lips. When he opened his eyes again they were a deep purple that produced a halo of reddish light around them, and his ears were huge and conical.
Mercy stammered. “You’re the contact? But you seemed so human.”
Carmine smiled cynically. “Sorry to disappoint you, Love.”
Mercy said through gritted teeth, “Mercy.”
“Where did you pick her up, Pyron? She’s absolutely charming. Not for sale is she? I could use another pretty serving wench.”
Mercy grabbed the collar and snapped it off. “I’m not a slave.”
Carmine raised an eyebrow and looked at Pyron.
“She isn’t a slave. I found her collapsed in front of the lighthouse. Apparently, your people got a little crazy due to the unusual weather we’ve been having.”
“Ah, I see. And, who is your other friend?”
“Unusual to see one of your kind on the surface unless the rumors are true. So a Merman prince really did go missing. That’s a useful bit of information, don’t you think?”
Beryl asked flatly, “What are you talking about?”
Carmine rolled his eyes. “I can recognize another shape-shifter. I’m not grotesquely stupid. Did you think you could just not say anything and I wouldn’t notice?”
Pryon snapped, “You are grotesquely stupid if you don’t close your mouth. Shut up, Carmine.”
Pyron cast a significant glance at Mercy, but that just made Carmine’s grin wider.
“Oh, she didn’t know. This is going to be an amusing evening. I can tell.”