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Discover the legends of the British Isles and fall in love with witches, ghosts, shifters and more in this collection of paranormal, fantasy, and urban fantasy romance books from bestselling authors.
Whether it’s haunted castles, witches, or hidden demons, there’s something for everyone within the pages of Love & Legends.
If you dare discover the spooky goings-on of British Legends, one-click for your copy of this limited edition anthology.
The Original Legend
The Storm Witch of Westray
Jonet Forsyth lived on the Orkney island of Westray in the 17th century. In 1627, she foresaw the demise of her sweetheart Benjamin Garrioch and begged him not to go to sea, but he didn’t listen. After he drowned, the islanders who were already suspicious of Jonet began to accuse her of being a witch in earnest. Things escalated when during a storm Jonet saved the crew of a ship that had got in trouble. Since nobody thought a mere woman could achieve such a feat, she was ostracised further and finally taken to stand trial in Kirkwall. She was convicted as a witch and sentenced to be strangled and burned at the stake.
All that is fact. However, legend says she was spirited away on the night before her execution by her sweetheart…
The finmen appearing in this story are a Scottish myth likely based on Inuit sailors.
With highlights of the original transcripts of the trial this book shows the horrors of witch trials. We see Jonet as the witnesses tell their tales. Then we go back through her memories of the events.
One of the most poignant is the ship floundering in a storm, about to hit the cliffs and she sacrifices her own boat to steer them to safety. She almost loses her life in the process, but instead makes the acquaintance of some interesting folks. Mavel, Jamen, and Chiv are finmen, they save her from drowning yet she insists on returning home.
This is a favorite scene.
The beach was deserted. I didn’t know how the finmen had known that this was the closest beach to my house, but I didn’t ask.
We stepped out of the water, Ma’vel and Chiv still holding me, steadying me. Even though they’d done most of the swimming and had simply pulled me along, this had been the last drop in the bucket of exhaustion. I was so tired that my legs were close to giving in. All I wanted was my bed. If it hadn’t been raining, I may have simply laid down on the beach to sleep here. The storm had passed on, but dark grey clouds still hung low, mirroring my mood.
I didn’t want them to go, but there was no other way. I took one last look at the three finmen, their imposing statures, their inhuman yet terribly attractive faces, their greenskin that was begging to be touched.
“Thank you again for saving my life,” I said while wrapping myself in the blanket Jamen had handed me. “I will never forget you.”
“As will we.” Ma’vel bowed his head, suddenly strangely formal. “You’re special, little human. It’s been an honour to meet you.”
He whistled and it didn’t take long for a bright blue fish to appear in the water. It was unlike any fish I’d ever seen before and I was the daughter of a fishermen. I knew what creatures lived in these waters and this wasn’t one of them. The fish turned its head and looked at me with a strange intelligence that reminded me of a cat staring at its prey.
“This is Fin,” he introduced the fish. “She’ll come with you. If you’re ever in trouble or if you change your mind and want to stay with us after all, tell her and she’ll know where to find us. You don’t have to feed her, she’ll find her own food, but she loves scratches between her ears.”
“Ears?” I echoed, staring at the fish in front of me. “And how am I supposed to take her with me? It’s not like I have a bucket of water to carry her in.”
Ma’vel laughed. “Don’t worry, Fin will walk. Come on, beautiful, don’t tease the human. Shift.”
Don’t tease the human?! I was about to tell him exactly what I thought of that statement when the fish’s scales began to glow bright blue before turning into fur. It all went so quick, it was hard to see whether they simply transformed into black fur or whether they disappeared and fur grew in their place, but within seconds, the fish was no longer a fish.
A black cat looked up at me with an expression I could only call cheeky. Her eyes still showed the same intelligence, but they’d changed to the colour of her blue scales. She purred and rubbed against my naked legs. I couldn’t help but reach down and pet her.
“This is your last chance,” Chiv said, sadness reflecting in his voice. “Please, don’t stay here where you’re unhappy. Nothing good will come of it.”
“It’s my home,” I muttered, fighting the impulse to tell them that I’d changed my mind. What was I doing? He was right, I wasn’t happy here. But maybe that would change now that I’d saved the crew of the Starlight. People would see that I wasn’t a witch. The seamen would be able to attest that I hadn’t used magic to bring them to safety. It had been nothing but courage and local knowledge. The sailors on the beach could have done the same thing if they’d been brave enough.
Yes, things might change. I had to believe that. I had to think positive. I looked at the three finmen one more time. “Goodbye. And thank you for everything.”
Then I turned around before they saw the tears glistening in my eyes and walked away, through the machair and onto the path that led to my home.
Skye MacKinnon. Storm Witch: A Lovers of the Sea Story (Kindle Locations 557-587). Peryton Press.
In the present the trial continues and we get to hear it all.
I laughed and cried as I turned the pages of this tale and see the unusual turn of events.
5 Contented Purrs for Skye!
Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.
She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.
When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.