Demon hunter, Nate Arbinger, uses ancient ballads to track the most evil of demons and send them back to Hell.
The year is 1812. Nate Arbinger is a Helwyn, a demon hunter, who is using an ancient ballad to track the Elf Knight, a fearsome demon who has left a trail of brutal murders from Virginia to Tennessee. When Nate crosses paths with Molly Tucker, who is seeking revenge on the Elf Knight for her sister’s murder, it becomes a race against time to send the demon back to Hell before the creature takes Molly as his next victim.
My fascination with ballads –
Helwyn is an idea that has been kicking around in my head for a long time now. I've just always thought that ballads were such an interesting insight into history. Spanning across cultures and continents, their universal tales of love, loss, monsters and moral lessons are timeless. They are the urban legends of their day. I was fascinated by the idea that the ballad's eternal appeal held something more – something paranormal and romantic. The Helwyn, and the women who love them, were born out of this thought. Each book in the Helwyn Song series will be based on one of the ancient ballads, weaving story and song together to create an unforgettable read.
Excerpt from Helwyn by Kate Lockridge –
“So you keep a zephyr in a box?”
Nate looked a little startled at the subject of her question.
“Hmm.” He nodded, his eyes dark with secrets. “Yes.”
“And that is all you have to say?” Molly studied him. “It is a puzzle why you would do that, have one, need one, know how to get one.” She stirred the fire and then raised her gaze to his, meeting his secrets with her own. “Who are you really?”
“I am no one special, just the man before you.”
She doubted that, there was something about him that pulled at her, worried with her heart.
He held her gaze. Molly was taken aback at its unexpected intensity. She couldn’t break away. She was drawn into his eyes, felt as though she belonged there and was welcome, as though their souls were joining, becoming one.
The space between them vanished, the forest disappeared and there was naught but the two of them in this world. She was filled with the sense of his soul. He was enfolding, safe, passionate and caring. She could not find her breath; it had fled from her with the strength of their connection. Her heart thundered in her chest. This moment was all that mattered in the world. The joining of his soul with hers was all she ever wanted out of life, or death, or heaven or hell, it was everything, but she was being pulled in too fast, the intensity was too much.
It took all her strength to shut her eyes against the magic that had drawn her into him, but it was the only way to stop this siphoning of her soul into his, into being a part of him and his life forever. She knew she risked losing whatever this was, but she had no other choice. She’d made a vow to her sister, and she would honor that vow.
When she opened her eyes, the world was back to normal. Hugo stirred in the forest beyond the firelight, Nate’s horse, Pell, by his side. Beau was watching her carefully, reading her for pain, waiting to see if he could rip out this man’s throat most likely. She was hard pressed to say whether or not that would be a good idea. Kind of seemed like it might be; she was shaken by his magic.
Was that what that moment had been? Some kind of magic to be put into a silver box along with the wind?
She lifted her gaze to Nate, and she knew that magic was not the word for the bond between the two of them, at least not in the practical sense, maybe in another way. From the look on his face, he was as shocked as she was and very much more unsettled. That, in itself, was disturbing.
They sat in silence, neither willing to break the quiet. She cleared her throat and dropped the stick into the fire. No use stoking this flame, it would serve no purpose...
Kate Lockridge has been writing stories from the moment she learned her ABCs She is a two-time finalist in the Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart Contest for Historical Fiction and under the name of Jane Stephens, the author of Katie's Too Big Coat, a children's picture book published by Simon and Schuster. She currently resides in Northern California and is working hard on the next book in the Songs of the Helwyn series.
Look for Helwyn by Kate Lockridge on Amazon and Smashwords.
Coming May 16th – a wee pixie tale in the Songs of the Helwyn series The Pixie Gowan, about Nate's pixie, Gowan, and how it became a familiar to a Helwyn. Based on the ballad Young Thomas.
***One lucky reader who comments on my blog will be randomly selected to win a copy of the e-book, Helwyn. Good luck!