All eBook Bundle

All eBook Bundle

GET THREE ADULT DARK FANTASY BOOKS
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Syrens and pirates. Magic and mythology. Romance, adventure, and intrigue. We've got it all!

Bundle and save when you buy all 3 eBooks together! 

Bundle includes:

  1. The Syren's Mutiny (Seas of Caladhan #1)
  2. The Captain's Revenge (Seas of Caladhan #2)
  3. Hollowed: A Legend of Sleepy Hollow Reimagining

 

    Hollowed: a standalone gothic fantasy reimagining of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    The Seas of Caladhan Duology: a dark fantasy romance featuring pirates, syrens, and Celtic mythology inspirations.

    • The Syren's Mutiny (book 1)
    • The Captain's Revenge (book 2)

    All of my books contain dark content that may not be suitable for all readers. Some of the content includes:
    - Violence
    - Blood/gore
    - Death
    - Torture/forced captivity
    - Mentions of past abuse/neglect
    - Anxiety/panic attacks
    - Depression and brief mentions of suicidal ideation

    Please exercise caution before reading.

    CHAPTER ONE

    My eyes tracked the spinning lump of clay atop the wheel, round and round and round. My stomach churning, I clenched my eyes shut and sucked in deep breaths until the nausea faded and I no longer felt like the floor would come up to meet me.

    I had to stop watching the wheel as I daydreamed.
    “Your clay is going to dry out, Katrina,” a gruff voice called from nearby.

    I glanced at the occupied stool next to me and sighed. It was the only response I could muster for my grizzled mentor. Henry, the earth mage who owned the pottery shop I’d come to think of as my home, leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees as he held his chin in his palm. “What is it, dear girl?”

    “I’m tired, Henry,” I said, dipping my fingers in the bowl of water beside my foot before bringing the shapeless lump of clay in front of me back to life. I turned to sculpting as a form of escape, a way to channel my emotions into something productive. It was a far better method than my previous attempts to manage my feelings, which had only served to decorate my body in small scars, now silver with age. Here, my fire magic was welcomed, not something to be smothered and hidden.

    The old man sighed, pushing back the sparse gray hairs that refused to stay in the tie at his nape. “You need out of that house. It’s draining the life from your eyes day by day.”

    “I have nowhere else to go.” My frustrations began and ended with my parents; their disappointment in me was a heavy cloak that shrouded my entire life. “They would never let me leave.”

    “Pah,” he snorted, waving a hand dismissively as he leaned forward to watch me form the clay. “They cannot stop you. You passed your initiations; you are a full citizen of Sleepy Hollow now and can do as you please.”

    His words, however inspiring, were dangerous. Dangerous for him to speak aloud and for me to listen to. If my mother ever heard the sentiment… I shuddered at the thought of what she’d do.

    “You know it’s not that simple.” My gaze fell to the floor.
    His hand, a rich brown and worn from the sun, landed on my forearm, pausing my movements. “What do you want, Katrina?”

    My foot stuttered, and the wheel slowly came to a halt as tears choked me, burning my throat and stinging my eyes. I could not want. Could not dream. My future was at the whims of my mother, and if she had her way, I would be locked away in that cursed manor and left to rot for the duration of my immortality. “It doesn’t matter what I want, Henry. It never has.”

    “It always matters,” he told me. Standing, he squeezed my shoulder before leaving me to my creations. From the corner of my eye, I watched him move to his patch of dirt, where we’d pulled up the floorboards to reveal the earth beneath. His eyes closed and his hands and lips moved as he manipulated the mound. One benefit of working for an earth mage, I supposed, was that we never ran out of clay.

    When I spun the wheel back to life, I added more water to the clay, trying to resurrect the vase as I pondered Henry’s words. What did I want? My childhood had never been joyous, and from the moment I could remember, I’d only ever had two aspirations: gain my citizenship in Sleepy Hollow and earn my own living working at the pottery shop.
    With the recent initiations complete, I’d achieved both. My mother had wondered how I’d tricked the evaluators into believing my magic was stable, but we both knew I’d spent days in bed after, recovering from the mental and physical toll the tests had taken on me. I had barely passed.

    Since meeting Henry when I was merely ten summers old, I’d achieved the latter goal. The old mage took me under his wing the second I’d walked into his shop in search of a way to fix the plate I’d broken before my mother discovered it.

    Shortly after, he’d brought me on as his apprentice and spent every spare minute tutoring me in both magic and the mundane world outside Sleepy Hollow. He worked to ensure I missed nothing, refusing to leave me ignorant about how the world worked.

    His efforts were far more than that of my mother. One session with a magical tutor when I was seven had her quickly deeming me a magical failure. After that assessment, she saw no reason to further pursue my education.

    Despite Henry’s tutelage, I knew there were gaps in my knowledge, especially around the inner workings of Sleepy Hollow. But I knew the town was a haven for the magical. I knew the magical barrier that kept humans away was a natural occurrence and no feat of spell work. I also knew that the ominous Dullahan roamed the forests beyond the barrier.

    My mother claimed Sleepy Hollow as her pride and joy. Her creation. Her legacy. And I wanted out. My mother demanded perfection, and those she found lacking often found themselves the recipient of her ire. Unfortunately, I was her most favored target to extoll her disappointment upon.

    Now that Henry had put the words into my ear—the one that worked, at least—a life away from my mother was all I could think about, and moving out of that godsforsaken manor would be the first thing I needed to do. The sprawling house was far too big for our pitiful family of three and served as nothing more than a monument to my mother’s ego. I had no happy memories from that house, and the sooner I could leave, the sooner I could move on.

    But I could not begin to fathom a life beyond my mother’s rule until I was out of the manor and in my own space.
    I needed somewhere that was mine. Somewhere I could control.

    “I want to move out,” I muttered, more to myself than to Henry, though my eyes drifted to my mentor. He was like a father to me, more than my own had ever been, and I wanted— No, I needed his approval.

    As he lowered his arms, the swirls of earth moving from the pit into pitchers at his feet collapsed, and he raised his brow. “From the manor?”

    I nodded.

    The pride that shone in his eyes as he made to stand in front of me caused my heart to squeeze. No one had ever looked at me like that. He took my hands in his, neither of us minding the dirt and wet clay covering our palms.

    “Katrina, I think that is probably the best idea you’ve ever had.”

    Tears stung my eyes again, but for the first time in a very long time, they weren’t tears of sadness or frustration. “I want my own life, Henry. One of my own making and under my own power.”

    “Then you shall have it.” His hands squeezed mine. “And I will do anything in my power to ensure that, my dear girl.”

    Sniffing back the tears, I couldn’t stop the watery laugh that bubbled up from my chest. “I’m going to move out, Henry.”

    He laughed with me, his voice vibrating through my chest, where it curled into a warm glow. A fire that welcomed rather than raged. “Yes, you are, Katrina.” He cracked his knuckles, nodding toward the table at the back of the room. “Now, let’s see what we can find.”

    ***

    “How will I find somewhere without my mother knowing?” I asked, running my hand through my wild curls and gripping the back of my head. For nearly two hours now, every available residence we discovered was owned by a friend of my mother’s. And while it wasn’t surprising, it had me ready to upturn every piece of furniture in sight and set it all ablaze. Sighing, I leaned back from the papers strewn about the table in front of Henry and me and crossed my arms over my chest.

    Henry’s sigh echoed my own as he rifled through the papers again. “Surely, there must be something. Let me speak to a friend. She might have space available above her shop.” He paused his movements, looking up at me with a frown. “You know I would take you in if I had the space, my dear. But we both know that a spot on the floor by my fireplace is not what you’re looking for.”

    “I’ll take anything at this point,” I grumbled, desperation leaking into my voice. Was I doomed to fail before I’d even started? My dreams were already succumbing to the will of my mother.

    I shook my head. No, I would move into a place of my own. I would have something to call my own, even if it did end up being a spot on Henry’s floor.

    “I’ll talk to Ciara as well,” I said. “Maybe she heard something from her customers.”

    At the mention of my only other friend, Henry’s face brightened. “Brilliant.” He craned his head back to look out the windows at the front of the shop. “It’s getting late. Why don’t you go on ahead before she closes for the day?”

    I gaped at him. Despite his fatherly affection, Henry was a demanding boss. He’d never let me go early, and certainly never before we’d finished our orders for the day. “Are you sure? I told her I’d collect some flowers she needed before I stopped by next, so I’d need to go gather those first. I was planning to do that tonight, so I can see her in the morning.”

    He laughed loudly, shooing me away. “Go on, girl. Pick your flowers and go see Ciara before it gets dark. Getting you out of that manor is far more important than finishing those blasted vases.”

    Jumping from the table, I pressed a kiss to the old man’s cheek, ducking as he swatted at me. “Thank you, Henry!”

    He grumbled, but neither of us could deny the twin smiles across our faces as I pulled on my cloak, fastening the button at my throat over the gleaming ruby necklace he’d gifted me just the year prior. Stooping to pick up my spade and basket, I rushed out the door before he could change his mind.

    I would move out of the Van Tassel manor. I would live my own life under my own control, and I would do it if it killed me. And given my mother’s propensity toward violence when challenged, it very well might.

    The smile slipped from my face at the thought.

    CHAPTER ONE
    Brigid
    There was a certain satisfaction that came with the last breath of a dying man. Feeling it ghost across my lips, knowing I was the last thing that man would ever feel, was empowering. It was also time consuming. Men were slow to drown, slow to do anything except show anger.

    The man I had in my grasp was desperately trying to free himself. His cheeks bulged as he pulled at my grip in a pathetic attempt to get back to the surface that was taunting him just out of reach. He managed to rip an arm away from me, but he only succeeded in tearing his own flesh open on my talons, tinging the water around us pink.

    While he was able to get some space from me, it didn’t last long. Using the strength of my tail, I surged forward and wrapped my talons back around his arm, pulling him close to me.

    Bubbles escaped from his nose and mouth, and his body thrashed, still trying to escape. His obvious panic and suffering did nothing to me, and I only watched in utter indifference as he continued to try to break free of my grip. But I was a syren. And he was just a man.

    His movements slowed, and he cast one last longing glance at the light fracturing down through the surface of the water. He tried to pull away again, but his strength was gone, and the attempt was pitiful. Watching him, I bared my pointed teeth at him, intent on making his last emotion be that of fear. Not of drowning, but of me.

    The thrashing of the man in my arms finally ceased, lulling the water back into brief calmness once more, and I pulled back, supporting his body floating in the water. Blank, unseeing eyes stared back at me as I released his body into the cold depths. I watched him sink into the water, seeing his limbs float away from his body, reaching up toward the surface as if he could still escape his fate. His death stirred nothing in my chest. He was simply another face I would soon forget, another insignificant man who would never harm a woman again.

    Beyond the faint ripples left by the man’s sinking body, I observed Maira releasing her own corpses into the sea. My fellow syren was blonde, with an anger that rivaled the men we targeted. The wreckage of the ship our victims had inhabited now surrounded us, the splintered wood bobbing in the waves and shredded canvas blocking the sunlight from reaching the depths as it sank.

    “Is that all of them?” Maira asked, her sharp voice bored as she dodged the debris to move toward me in the water. A flutter of a sail fell in her path, and her talons ripped through it with ease. She moved through the gap in the fabric, sidling up beside me.

    Searching through the waters before us, I saw only sinking bodies. There was no one left alive in these waters but us. “Yes.”

    “Let’s get back.” She dismissively turned away from the ship, swishing her lavender tail to power through the water, leaving a rippling of bubbles behind her.

    Casting a last glance over my shoulder at the destruction we had caused, I turned and followed my companion back toward our home, Neamh na Mara. The heavens of the sea.

    The sea caves I now resided in were beautiful, jutting up from the ocean floor and creating a sanctuary that protected us from anyone or anything that might stumble across our home. The caves’ passageways, forged from years of the sea’s relentless power, twined and burrowed through the cragged rock. Swimming through the arched main entry, Maira and I moved from the tunnels to a large open cavern.

    The others had already gathered there, resting on the age-smoothed stalagmites rising from the sea floor. Kyla, with her dark ebony skin and darker hair, watched us closely as we entered, her bright gold tail swishing lazily. Next to her sat Iona and Nerina, who were not related, yet looked as if they could be twins with their light brown skin and caramel hair. Even turned into syrens, their tails were similarly colored with splashes of purple and blue.

    “Brigid, Maira, report.” Our queen’s melodic voice was confident and proud, demanding respect in the same way the bold jut of her chin and set of her bare shoulders did. Her white hair lifted off her shoulders with a stray current flowing through the caves.

    “One ship. No survivors,” Maira said from beside me, her scales catching the low light as her tail moved restlessly. “There was no harm to us.”

    “Good, they deserved to be punished.” Cliodhna glided toward us through the water, her silver tail lazily swaying back and forth, the light reflecting off her scales and bouncing onto her pale skin. My heart swelled at the pride in her voice. “My creations, you did well, as always.”

    Both Maira and I respectfully bowed our heads to the one who had saved us, rescued us from the cruelty of men, and breathed new life into our veins. Our queen raised her webbed fingers and laid them gently upon my head, trailing her sharp nails through my fiery red-orange locks, which undulated behind me in the ever-moving water.

    “The wrath of men will never be as great as the wrath of the sea,” I said, repeating the words she had said to us often. Taking in the flowing white hair that trailed behind her, her sharp cheekbones and piercing icy blue eyes, Cliodhna reminded me of a queen in every sense of the word. And she had chosen me. She had saved me when I had been thrown overboard many years ago. Unbidden, thoughts of my past returned. My stomach twisted at the memories, my heart racing. Remembering the icy chill of the water as I was thrown into the sea, my body shivered, my skin tightening. The cold of the water didn’t affect me now, not in this form, but the ghost of icy needles lingered.

    “That’s right,” Cliodhna said solemnly, moving her hand to my face. Her nails caught on my skin, the webbing scraping across the roundness of my cheeks as she stroked it. Even in the cold water that filled our caves, her fingers were frigid, and I shivered again. “You all are my greatest creations, my greatest pride.”

    My head bowed again, as did the heads of the others, as we honored our goddess. Our queen demanded respect, but we would all freely give it. I raised my head back up to look at Cliodhna. “You saved us all. We owe you our lives.”

    “That you do,” she said, looking back at us with a smile that displayed her mouth full of pointed teeth. It wasn’t a friendly smile. It didn’t reach her eyes, but instead settled on her lips only, not disturbing her cheeks or wrinkling her forehead. “How many men today?”

    Maira swam forward; she was always so eager to answer. Maira was bloodthirsty, and out of all of us here, she enjoyed inflicting pain upon men with her song and her touch more than the rest of us. “It was a small crew, ten or so. We drowned them all after they jumped into the water. The ship drifted and ran aground.”

    Cordelia, another redhead like me, watched us with interest, her blue eyes more focused on Maira than me. She smiled widely at the news.

    Cliodhna raised her chin, baring her teeth in a semblance of a smile. “Good. There must be no one left to bear witness to our existence.”

    “As you command,” Maira responded with another low bow of her head.

    I was indifferent to the suffering of men, numb after all these years of killing the men who fell prey to our song. Their lives—and their deaths—held no interest to me, not anymore. I killed because I was told to, because that’s what we did as syrens and servants of Cliodhna. It made me feel no sadness. It made me feel no happiness. It just…was.

    “We have survived this long because no one knows we truly exist. Those who do witness us are called crazy and written off by their people. But as more and more people travel through my waters, the likelihood of someone believing them grows.” Cliodhna’s voice was firm and brokered no arguments, though none of us would ever argue with her.

    “Are we in danger?” I asked. My stomach clenched, old feelings of anxiety threatening to bubble up again. Clenching my fists, I dug my talons into the palms of my hands, giving myself something else to focus on. I was not that girl any longer. I was the one to be feared now. I was the threat.

    Cliodhna looked at me, her icy blue eyes softening almost imperceptibly. “Not at all, my child. We are safe down here. And men will never be a threat to us. I promised you that when I took you all in, and I will keep my word. I am growing in my powers and will continue to do so to keep you all safe. But we must be cautious, even still.”

    “We will be,” Maira vowed.

    We all nodded along with Maira, Kyla moving from her seat at the rocks to cross her arm over her chest and bow her head. “We will take care of each other.”

    “Men will never be a threat to us. Know that,” Cliodhna repeated, jutting her chin out proudly and looking around at all of us. “I will protect you, of course, but more importantly, you have the power and the strength to protect yourselves now.”

    The room fell silent then, and I pondered the news Cliodhna had given. The depths of the seas were our home, and if we were discovered, they would attempt to control us as they attempted to control the sea’s surface. Men roamed the seas, fishing and trading, and pretended that they alone held dominion over the sea. A delusional belief, but one that had permeated mankind as time drew on.

    Being syrens made us powerful, but we all had troubling histories with men, and I knew it unnerved each of us to think about the possibility. Anger flared in Maira’s eyes, and her fists clenched at her sides.

    In the corner of the cavern, Kyla’s face turned resolved, but I could see the fear shining in the amber of her eyes. Of us all, she had the most reason to be afraid of men, rather than just vengeful. Before she had been a syren, Kyla had been a wife and a mother. One day, she had angered her husband, and he threw her from a cliff in a fit of rage.

    The oldest of us, Kyla, had been a guide to each of us as we entered the fold, and seeing her discomfort made my own body tense. I fought back the anxiety that had taken me years to overcome after my transformation. Men would not harm me again. I would rather die—no, I would rather kill than be afraid of being harmed by men.

    “Go rest for the evening,” Cliodhna said, raising her chin. Her fingers flicked dismissively, motioning for us to disperse. Without a second glance, she turned and left the cavern, heading toward her own chambers.

    The others began to follow, moving toward their rooms within the caves. Kyla caught my gaze and nodded to the side, asking me to linger.

    “You’re clenching your shoulders again,” she said, her soft voice full of concern. She reached out and grabbed my hand, her dark skin contrasting with my own pale flesh. “What happened?”

    I shrugged, pulling my fingers away from hers gently. Her pity and concern was not what I needed right now. It would only make me give more attention to the emotions I sought to quell. “I’m fine, Kyla.”

    She raised an eyebrow, quirking up the corner of her lip in a sardonic smile. “No, you’re not. But if you don’t want to talk about it, I understand.”

    Kyla had always been able to see through me—see through all of us. And I knew she was concerned, but my anxiety was something I had to deal with on my own. Or rather, something I had to push down on my own. Regardless of what I did with my anxiety, I didn’t need Kyla’s help with it. “I’m fine.”

    She looked at me for a long moment, her dark amber eyes drilling holes in me, as if she could see into my very soul. “Okay. Goodnight, Brigid. May your dreams give you guidance.”

    “And yours,” I replied, forcing a smile onto my face.

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