GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Excerpt: Beyond the Shore and Shadows (Lena #2) by Chantal Gadoury + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Excerpt: Beyond the Shore and Shadows (Lena #2) by Chantal Gadoury + giveaway

Beyond the Shore and Shadows 
(Lena #2)

by Chantal Gadoury
May 11th 2021
Published by: Parliament House
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
The merrow who angered Poseidon

The man who loves her

And an evil that could destroy them both

The sea is calling. . .

Lena—who was born as a merrow but walks as a human—is now in possession of the Magiske Skal: the shell once owned by the queen of the merrows. With its power comes untold danger, and should it fall into the wrong hands, the Fosse-Søfolk will face an evil they cannot overcome. Lord Jarl knows what Lena has, and he wants it for himself.

After running away from the Lundby-Wyatt Inn, leaving behind everything she was familiar with, Lena finds herself in the company of the warm and kind Soren Emil.
When the villagers turn against her and Soren, they’re forced to leave the burning Bror Boghandel behind and escape to a forgotten cottage on the edge of the shore, where no one will find them. Lena knows she must get the shell back to the sea and destroy it, before it falls into the hands of Lord Jarl—or worse, his possessive apprentice, Jace Wyatt.

With the help of some unruly pirates, Lena and Soren journey to the sea, where Lena thought she’d never return. There, she will have to face not only the Sea King’s army, the Fosse-Søfolk, but the impossible choice to sacrifice her own life, or the life of the man she loves to keep the Magiske Skal from the evil that craves it.

What will Lena choose? Who will win the struggle for power?

“What other stories do you all share?” Lena asked, raising her brow curiously.

“Oh, stories of devil whales, serpents, and sea dragons.”

Lena gazed at the open page with curious wonder. Did Soren believe all of these stories? It was no surprise that any human would find such stories mysterious and fascinating. Had these delighted Soren as a young boy? The question lingered on her lips as she smiled. “Do all humans believe these stories?”

“I imagine some do. Even I, as a young lad believed in them. Or rather, feared them,” he confessed, dragging a hand through his hair. “I never desired to be on a long voyage for the sake of not wishing to become a victim of a Kraken-like creature or the Fosse-Søfolk. I can tell by your expression; I was wrong to believe in them. At least, the Kraken.”

“I’m afraid to say,” Lena replied, “the sea is not nearly as magical as your tales describe.”

“Isn’t it?” Soren asked softly, tilting his head as he studied her. Lena’s cheeks warmed with the intensity of their gazes holding each other. There was a spark of something between them that caused her heart to pound wildly in her chest. It was as if he were claiming that she was magical too…

She was something the sea had created.

“No,” she replied, her cheeks flushing. Soren held his smile and searched her eyes for a moment more.

“I think it is,” Soren offered before turning his gaze back to the page silently.

Could he hear her heart pounding loudly in her chest from where he sat? Were her cheeks as pink with the warmth she felt? Lena felt strangely happy and afraid all at once; her fingers trembled from their place in her lap. To calm herself, she licked her lips and reached for the pile of Edwin’s cards beside her. Carefully, she began to sift through them again, mimicking the movements she’d once seen Edwin make. Turning the cards face-up, she revealed a series of pictures; a heart, pierced with three long knives. Another with a man holding a strange, large, golden cup. The last card revealed the same image as the time before in the Bror Boghandel; the familiar skeletal man upon a white, gilded horse.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this card,” Soren muttered, peering at the inscription with a wrinkled brow.

“Do you really think this means…” Lena couldn’t bring herself to finish her thought. She didn’t wish to experience any more loss than she had already endured. It couldn’t mean either of them were in danger, could it?

Soren wrinkled his brow as he shook his head. “I’m not entirely sure.”

“Edwin would have known,” Lena sighed, turning her gaze to the cards.

“Yes, he would have known. After all, it was he who had believed in them.” Soren paused, almost as if he were in midthought. Lena studied him for a moment before he lifted his own gaze. She could see the lingering sadness in his eyes; she knew that sadness. He too, had lost so much.

“Did you believe Edwin? About the cards, I mean…” she asked after a long pause. “He never gave me a reason not to,” Soren admitted, reaching for another card on the pile. As he flipped it over, he revealed the image of a couple, wrapped in each other’s arms. Releasing a small sigh, a flicker of a smile grew on his lips before turning his gaze back to Lena. Her cheeks began to burn by the warmth of his stare. “It’s the Lovers,” Soren explained softly before clearing his throat and sliding the card beside the others. As Lena held her gaze on the couple, she tried to make sense of what the card could mean. Was it suggesting something could be lingering between the two of them? Was it that he too felt something? She had so many questions, so many things she wanted to ask, but felt too afraid to voice. “It’s strange to think I was wary of you once,” Lena admitted, tucking a curl of hair behind her ear before she turned her gaze back to him. Soren slowly turned his head, his emerald eyes glistening in the warm glow of the room. “Not strange,” he replied, shrugging slightly. “You had your reasons.” “You’ve been the kindest human…man,” she said, wincing at her mistake. His hand reached for hers, gently taking it into his grasp. His fingers were long and warm, and he brushed his thumb over her skin. Her heart raced as she watched him ease around the table and closer to her. 106 BEYOND THE SHORE AND SHADOWS “You are the most beautiful…most dazzling creature I’ve ever laid eyes on,” he whispered. “The most curious and courageous…” She noticed the way his eyes drifted to her lips, watching her nervously bite them. He lifted his hand, moving his thumb to brush over her bottom lip. “I know this is a little forward of me, but…” Soren’s words drifted to silence as he leaned in closer to her. His fingers slid along the line of her jaw, cradling her cheek in the crevice of his palm. Slowly, his lips pressed gently against hers. It was nothing like the strange and awkward kiss Jace had forced upon her, nor the unrelenting force that had been Asger. Soren’s kiss was different. His was one of warmth and tenderness; it felt real—he way she imagined a kiss should have always been. Her eyes slid shut, taking in all of him. His lips tasted of mint and crab, and he smelled of cedar and the sea. She found her hand moved on its own accord, drifting up to his shoulder, where she held onto him. She wanted to stay there, perfectly placed in his arms. For the first time in what felt like a long time, Lena felt at peace. As quickly as the moment had begun, it came to an end. Soren eased away, forcing Lena to open her eyes; his green gaze staring at her warmly. Everything was still and silent, except for the sound of their hastened breathing. A snap of the fire startled them, drawing them out of the haze of their kiss. Lena could hear the echoing of her heart beating in her ears. She had never felt this way before; never had shared such a meaningful kiss with anyone. What did it mean? Searching his face, Lena hoped to find the answer in his eyes. Soren’s cheeks began to redden as he pulled his hand away from her cheek. “I apologize if I overstepped—” “No—no you didn’t,” Lena said quickly, shaking her head. 107 CHANTAL GADOURY There was an emptiness she felt when he pulled away; an urge to draw him closer to her again. Even though the kiss had only lasted a mere moment, she could still feel the warmth of his lips lingering on hers. She moved her fingers over the curve of her lips as Soren glanced away. They sat together quietly—awkwardly—for a moment more before Soren rose to his feet. “Shall we resume our reading lesson tomorrow?”

About the Author:
Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published "The Songs in Our Hearts" with 48Fourteen Publishing, and "Allerleirauh" with Parliament House Press, with future titles to follow. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she's not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-'brother' (aka, puppy) Taran.

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