Blog Tour - Excerpt & Giveaway - The Amber Elixir by Ariella Moon

The Amber Elixir 
by Ariella Moon 
(A Two Realms Novella, #1) 
Publication date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Viviane, the new Lady of the Lake and High Priestess of Avalon, accepts a challenge from Merlin unaware her bold actions will have tragic consequences. Two of her priestesses are turned to stone. A forbidden love deserts her. Now alone, she has six young handmaidens to train and protect.
When Morgan le Fay demands assistance with a spell that could change the balance of power in the Two Realms, Viviane refuses her. But what if Morgan’s secret knowledge could restore the stone priestesses? Will an alliance prompt Viviane’s love to return? Or will the gamble cost her all she holds dear?

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The disturbance flew in on raven’s wings, nearly invisible beneath the waning crescent moon. It glided unharmed through the silver protection spells surrounding the Isle of Avalon.
The breach reverberated inside Viviane’s chest, waking her with a gasp.
Viviane raised her head from the small table. The reading candles afore her had burned to nubs. She straightened her spine and closed the book of Wisdom and Magic. The worn pages fluttered afore thudding shut. The thick tome, written by her predecessors, had yielded no answers. Another night passes, and I have yet to find a way to counter Merlin’s curse.
Again, the disturbance shuddered through her. The maidens! Viviane unclenched her left hand, and the blue lazhward stone Glynis had given her long ago tumbled onto the table. She rose stiffly from the stool and snatched her cloak from its peg, noting the fire had died down to embers. Then she hastened outside.
Scant moonlight fell on the cluster of beehive huts hunkered around her. Peering into the darkness, Viviane realized she alone had ventured into the night. Her chest tightened. Have the handmaidens been harmed? Are they merely sleeping?
Choosing caution, she pressed her fingertip to the symbol marked low on her forehead.
The tiny crescent moon, with its tips facing skyward like a vessel waiting to be filled, shivered at her touch. She released the mark and cupped her hands afore her heart. A light beamed from the symbol into her hands. Magic trembled her fingers as a bright white orb formed above her palms.
“Show me the handmaidens,” she whispered.
The sphere lifted high in the night sky. Viviane’s stomach whooshed as the orb dropped like a shooting star down the smoke hole in the first stone roof. Hafwen from the Northgales and Keelin’s younger sister Tegwyn from the Kingdom of Gwynedd slept quietly upon their straw bed. Surprisingly, a fire still burned in their hearth. Seeing the two blondes safe, some of the tightness eased from Viviane’s shoulders.
Continue. The orb arrowed out the smoke hole and then swooped down into the second dwelling. Its light illuminated the two redheads from Tara. Ten-year-old Ryanne slept. Young Erina stood at the small window and peered into the darkness.
Viviane withdrew the orb afore its light caught Erina’s attention. Show me the third hut.
The orb arced through the sky then dropped through the roof of the hut assigned to the handmaidens from Dumnonia. Both girls stirred. Branna’s raven hair fanned around her head on the bedding. Wenn turned onto her side. Her long chestnut hair fell over her face, muffling the words she muttered in her sleep.
Bright blessings. They are all safe. Viviane tugged her mantle more closely to her body.
But only Erina woke?
With a pang, she directed the orb to the last hut, and steeled herself for what she would find. No embers burned in the fire pit. No maidens slept on the cold bed. Keelin and Lasair’s unused drying cloths hung on pegs by the door.
A crushing weight settled over Viviane’s heart. I will not allow harm to descend upon the remaining handmaidens. A fierceness that belied her youth welled within her. “Orb,” she ordered with her thoughts, “hunt down the intruder.”
The orb spun then hovered as if deciding its course. Viviane nodded, and the ball of light surged across the fragrant herb and vegetable garden then spiraled down the deserted pilgrims’ path ’til it reached the two bubbling springs at the foot of the tor. Snatcher fairies from the Unblessed Court—disguised as long, black, transparent cloths—fluttered at frenzied speeds through the air above the fairy spring. They shrieked when the globe’s light fell upon them.
“Not them. Hasten away!”
With a singular screech, the black cloths shape-shifted into dark-winged harpies that snatched at the orb with their terrifying talons. The sphere darted from their reach, and slipped through the invisible wall that protected Avalon from Fairy.

Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman and former teen to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her series include The Two Realms Trilogy, a medieval Scotland and Fairy fantasy adventure, and The Teen Wytche Saga, a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances. Moon’s “Covert Hearts” appears in Second Chances: A Romance Writers of America Collection.

Ms. Moon spent her childhood flying to rooftops in her dreams and searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. She lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and a media-shy dragon.

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