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Beyond the Loch – Seven Wardens Book 0.5 by Laura Greenwood & Skye MacKinnon


Beyond the Loch
Seven Wardens Book 0.5
By
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Skye MacKinnon
&
Laura Greenwood

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Adventure waits beyond the loch…

Before she became known as the Loch Ness Monster, Nessie was nothing more than a simple kelpie with big dreams.

When her chance for adventure comes, she grabs it with both hands, sending her to the depths of the ocean and mountain peaks. Though none of that compares to what awaits her heart when she meets a human who still believes in magic…

NOTE:
This story takes place before the Seven Wardens series but can be read as a standalone novella. There is no cliffhanger.

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Nessie is a Kelpie, she lives in a loch in northern Scotland. Young and inquisitive she wants to travel, to find answers to her painful shift from human to kelpie. With her parents blessing she leaves the loch to visit the Sea Kelpies. It is rumored that they have the answers she’s seeking.

At the beginning of her travels she meets Jonas, he is a ghost hunter of sorts. Wanting adventure she climbs Ben Nevis with him, for her it’s to see the sights for him he’s looking for the ghost from the tale she’s told him.

This is a favorite scene.

Reaching where it had gone, she noticed the small entrance to a cave. They’d have to duck, but it was clearly big enough for the two of them to get into.

“I guess we’re going in here,” she said.

“I thought you couldn’t see the ghost?” Jonas asked.

Nessie’s eyes widened. She hadn’t intended to let him know she’d been able to. “I couldn’t, but I did see a shimmer of light that you seemed to be following.”

The ghost’s chuckle filled the air around her. It seemed to know she was lying, though she had no idea how he possibly could. Especially when he wasn’t in the immediate vicinity.

Jonas nodded, clearly having believed her lie.

“Shall we?” he asked, waving towards the door.

“Might as well.” She didn’t wait for him to say anything else and ducked through the cave entrance.

After a couple of steps in complete darkness, the cave opened up and Nessie gasped at the view in front of her. Jewels twinkled in the walls in all colours, shapes, and sizes. Light bounced around, giving the cavern a mythical air.

“No one who sees this can say the supernatural isn’t real,” Jonas said when he reached her side.

She didn’t have the heart to tell him the effect was nothing to do with magic and everything to do with nature. Even if it wasn’t made that way, there was a magic in the way the place looked. Ethereal came to mind as a description.

“Welcome to the Cavern of Lights,” the ghost said, reappearing in his humanoid form, complete with kilt blowing in the non-existent wind.

“Thank you.” Jonas took a step forward. “Why have you brought us here, wise one?”

The ghost gave him an odd look before starting to laugh once more. “Wise one? Where did this one grow up?”

Nessie’s lips quirked up into a brief smile. It wasn’t Jonas’s fault he didn’t know how to address ghosts, even if that made it more amusing for her.

“My name is Gilbert. I’ll have none of this wise-one stuff.”

“Gilbert?” Jonas echoed.

“Aye. Is my name not a good one?” Menace flashed behind the ghost’s eyes. Nessie didn’t know how serious it was. She’d never met a ghost before, but from everything she’d heard, they could be rather temperamental creatures.

“It’s a very good name,” Jonas responded. “It just wasn’t what I expected.”

“You should always expect the unexpected, that way nothing ever comes as a surprise.”

“I’m not sure that’s true,” Nessie put in. “What if the expected happens? If you’re expecting the unexpected then the expected would surprise you. No?”

The ghost roared in laughter, filling the cavern with the sound as it bounced off the walls. “Now, now, I should have known better than to play word games with someone such as you. Aren’t you a long way from your loch?” He raised an eyebrow.

Nessie’s heart sank. She hoped he wouldn’t say any more, she wasn’t ready for Jonas to learn the truth about her and what she was. “Not as far as I could be.”

“I met your sort once before, while I was alive mind. She came from the sea. Beautiful, charming, but with the anger of the seas in her veins. Not one anyone should want to cross. I suspect you’re the same,” he told her.

“I’m from inland,” she countered.

“Means nought. Just because you have been something all your life, doesn’t mean that it’s what you’re meant to be. The sea is where you’ll find your answers.” His eyes pierced into her, giving weight to his words.

Nessie gulped. Maybe she should heed his words. She’d left the Loch for an adventure, after all, it wasn’t like she had a plan anyway.

“And what about me?” Jonas asked, having recovered from looking between them with a look of anger on his face. She was sure she’d have a lot of questions to answer after Gilbert had disappeared once more. At the moment, only Jonas’s eagerness to talk to the ghost before he disappeared was keeping her safe.

Gilbert studied him for a moment, a look of concentration marring his brow. “You are hard to read. I see two paths. One ends sooner than I think you’d like. The other takes you down a dangerous path that you’ll never return from.”

“If one of them ends soon, surely that’s the more dangerous path?” Nessie interrupted.

The ghost turned to her. “You think death is the most dangerous thing in the world?” He raised a ghostly eyebrow.

“It’s the most permanent,” she pointed out.

“Hardly.” He ran a hand down his body in explanation.

She had to admit he was right. He didn’t exactly support the hypothesis of death being the end. That was annoying.

“So death or danger are my options?” Jonas asked, not sounding as worried about it as Nessie would have liked considering they were talking about his future.

“Those are the paths I’m seeing, but all can still be changed. Human nature likes to change things even quicker than the unpredictable nature of the sea.”

“Should I be going to the coast too?” Jonas asked.

“Whatever gave you that idea?” Gilbert seemed genuinely taken aback by the question.

“You mentioned the sea for Nessie, and now again for me, I just thought…”

“I cannot tell either of you where you should go. All I can do is tell you what I see when I look at the two of you. Such are the restrictions of my kind.”
Greenwood, Laura. Beyond the Loch: A Seven Wardens Prequel . Peryton Press. Kindle Locations (460-499). Kindle Edition.

Once Jonas realizes she lied to him and was more than she said, he became angry causing Nessie to flee. She was off to complete her journey and learn how to shift with ease.

When she arrives at the Sea Kelpie’s domain under the sea, the welcome wasn’t what she expected. They are a bit angry, and when she meets up again with Jonas he isn’t exactly pleasant either.

Plenty of excitement, some interesting folklore, an unusual romance with sizzle, and the explanation of the Seven Wardens revealed as well as some very interesting facts about Nessie.

I am already starting the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Skye and Laura!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Skye MacKinnon

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.

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Amazon Author Page

Laura is a USA Today Bestselling Author of paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she can be found drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, trying to resist French Macaroons, and watching the Pitch Perfect trilogy for the hundredth time (at least!)

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Inside the Egg – A Seven Wardens Story by Skye MacKinnon and Laura Greenwood


Inside the Egg
A Seven Wardens Story (Book 9)
By
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Skye MacKinnon
&
Laura Greenwood

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Macey thought she was done saving the world…she was wrong.

When Amber uncovers an egg that could destroy the world, Macey and the other Wardens are drawn into a race against time to defeat the evil lurking inside the egg.

Can they give in to the egg’s demands? Or is there a way to restore balance to the world without giving in?

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While I still haven’t caught up on this series, I really enjoyed this short story.

Izban gave Amber a Dragon egg because she missed having pets. When Macey sees it she starts asking questions Amber couldn’t answer.

This is a favorite scene.

Macey stared at the giant golden egg in her hands.

“And you’re sure this is a dragon egg?” she asked Amber, who was grinning at Macey’s stunned expression.

“Izban promised. He knows how much I miss having pets.”

Macey choked. “You’re going to have a dragon as a pet?”

“Hey, you have five guys to keep you company. Sometimes, Izban just isn’t cuddly enough.”

The beithir was right about that. Macey was constantly kept busy by her partners. They either wanted something from her, or decided she was in need of attention. Not that she complained. She loved them, each and every one. Cam and Flint, both wraiths but as different as day and night. Jared, the passionate incubus. Ronan, her gentle selkie. And Luc, the daimon who’d given up everything for her. She was truly blessed. Even if she sometimes missed having some alone time.

“How big is it going to get?” she asked her friend.

“Well, I guess dragon-big? But dragons live for centuries, so I assume they grow quite slowly.”

“You assume? There’s a lot of guesswork going on.”

Amber shrugged. “I’m planning to go to the library soon to find something on dragon husbandry. There has to be a guide somewhere. How else would people know how to raise dragons?”

Macey cocked her head to the side and studied her best friend. Was she being serious? A dragon sounded like a lot of trouble, even for a girl who could shift into what was ultimately a giant flying snake. And if Macey had learned anything from her adventures, it was that most things weren’t what they seemed on the outside. And almost all of them were more dangerous.

“Why don’t I come with you?” she suggested. She had plenty of time, with her men busy doing their own thing.

Jared was still asleep, completely sated from last night’s activities and in some kind of incubus stupor. Flint and Cam were off running errands, while Luc visited his mother, and Ronan was doing…

She frowned. She didn’t actually know what Ronan was doing, but she hadn’t seen him in a few hours.

Amber squealed with delight. “Yes, it’ll be just like old times.”
Skye MacKinnon; Laura Greenwood. Inside the Egg (Kindle Locations 62-79). Peryton Press. Kindle Edition.

In order to find out more about the egg they go to the library. What they discover isn’t a good thing, at least they don’t think so.

Quite a few twists and turns as a snake leaves the inside of the egg to attach itself to Amber.

A few interesting encounters including one with Macey’s mother.

I really have to read this series from the beginning.

5 Contented Purrs for Skye and Laura!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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Skye MacKinnon

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.

newsletter - for blog


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Laura is a USA Today Bestselling Author of paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she can be found drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, trying to resist French Macaroons, and watching the Pitch Perfect trilogy for the hundredth time (at least!)

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Amazon Author Page

Countdown to Christmas: Below the Baubles – A Very Random Christmas Story/Seven Wardens Book 5. by Skye MacKinnon & Laura Greenwood


Below the Baubles
Seven Wardens Book 5.5
By
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Skye MacKinnon
&
Laura Greenwood

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Christmas 2015 Blog blurb

What present is waiting below the baubles?

Even Christmas doesn’t come without complications for kelpie shifter Macey. Her dreams of a quiet evening with her men are ruined when worrying news arrives from Germany (delivered by a garden gnome, no less).

At least this time, it isn’t all work and no play, there’s plenty of time to warm up from the cold outside for the Wardens.

Note:
A steamy Christmas story, part of the bestselling Seven Wardens series, a reverse harem drenched in Scottish mythology.

Christmas 2015 Blog buy links

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Christmas 2015 Blog Review

I find I’m kicking off this Christmas Season with a white hot read. Yep this will melt the ice for sure.

Macey is a Kelpie Princess in a relationship with five men. They are part of the Seven Wardens, their purpose is to protect the world from dangers and threats humans are better off not knowing about.

When a garden gnome shows up at her door, she is quite surprised but he quickly explains he is a Kabouter from Belgium who has been undercover as a garden gnome in Germany. He needs their help containing Knecht Ruprecht, Saint Nicolas’ loyal servant who has started to run amok. Leaving several dead in his path.

This is a favorite scene as they listen to the problem and learn the location.

“You’re pretending to be a garden gnome?” Macey repeated. “Doesn’t that get boring?”

He shook his head. “It’s quite fascinating, actually. But that’s not why I’m here. I was told of a monster that stalks the nightly streets of Germany and I need your help to get rid of it.”

“Germany?” She’d never been there. She’d been to Belgium to meet the Kabouters and to Ireland, but that was as far as her international travel experience went. Until she met her men, she’d never even left Scotland.

“Yes. They have the legend of Knecht Ruprecht, the servant of Saint Nicholas.” He must have noticed the Wardens’ clueless faces because he started to sigh and leaned back in his chair. “How much do you know about German Christmas traditions?”

“They invented the Christmas tree,” Macey said proudly, remembering reading that somewhere.

Wolfgang dismissively shook his head. “They celebrate Saint Nicholas Day on the sixth of December. Children put out their shoes and hope that Nicholas will fill them with fruit, nuts and sweets overnight. Like your stockings here in Britain. But he’s accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht, his fearsome but loyal servant. If a child has been bad, Ruprecht will use his switch to punish the child instead of giving it presents.”

“That’s not very nice,” Macey muttered.

“It was only a legend and tradition, something to scare children and make them behave,” Wolfgang explained. “But now, he’s become real. He’s become an actual person who doesn’t just beat up children. He’s attacked and killed several humans. He needs to be stopped.”

Macey sighed. Why did it always have to be the bad folk beliefs coming to life, like the Mahoun, the devil, who they’d encountered a while back? It would be a lot more fun if Saint Nicholas suddenly existed and gave her some treats. Waffles, preferably, although not in her shoes, but on her plate.

“How many?” Rónán asked.

“At least six dead so far and that’s in my town only. I don’t know if he’s been active in other places as well. You need to go there now to prevent more people from getting hurt. It’s the sixth of December tomorrow and we’re all afraid that he’s only been practising so far. He might kill a lot more than just those half dozen people.”

Macey nodded. They needed to do something and the gnome was right, she and her men were the best people for the job. They were part of the Seven Wardens, the beings tasked with protecting the world from threats like this one.

“Where do we need to go?” she asked.

Wolfgang smiled. “My new home. Heidelberg. It’s a beautiful place.”

“The city of love,” Jared said with a grin. “Every incubus knows it. There’s a song about it, I lost my heart in Heidelberg. Ever heard it?”

Macey shook her head. “I can’t say that I have.”

“Yeah, you’re probably too young. But I’ve always wanted to go there and see the old town and the castle.

There’s a fountain featuring Bacchus, the God of love and wine. It’s said that if you throw a coin in the fountain, you’ll be lucky in love.”

Macey laughed. “I don’t think you need to do that.”

He shrugged. “It sounds like a fun thing to do.”

He was right. Maybe, once they’d killed Knecht Ruprecht, they could have some love time in Heidelberg. Their life had been rather busy recently, so this might be just the holiday they needed.
Skye MacKinnon; Laura Greenwood. Below the Baubles: A Very Random Christmas Story (Kindle Locations 72-76). Peryton Press.

Now once they arrive at the destination they have time before they start searching for their quarry. So they spend that in their hotel room, enjoying some afternoon delight.

This is a quick, enjoyable read and I warn you it is extremely hot before they even get to their objective.

I haven’t read the rest of this series but I think I have to go back to the beginning and check it out. I need to know how this relationship began.

5 Contented Purrs for Skye & Laura!

Christmas 2015 Blog Other Books

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Christmas 2015 Blog About Author

Skye MacKinnon

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.

newsletter - for blog

Christmas 2015 Blog Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Christmas 2015 Blog About Author

Laura is a USA Today Bestselling Author of paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she can be found drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, trying to resist French Macaroons, and watching the Pitch Perfect trilogy for the hundredth time (at least!)

newsletter - for blog

Christmas 2015 Blog Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page