The Rising (The Painted Maidens Trilogy, #1) by Terra Harmony
Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teens & YA
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Review Source: Publisher
Release Date: Nov 7 2013
My Rating: 4 ★★★★☆
Fifteen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean — and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.
Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down. As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.
‘The Rising’ Excerpt (chapter one):
Claws skitter over loose gravel and Serena risks a glance over her shoulder. A mass of black fur stumbles over tangled hind legs, then goes sprawling into the bushes.
“I thought you were supposed to be faster than this!” Serena yells. Her laughter floats through the air like a melody, intensified by the quick thrumming of bare feet against the ground as she sprints away.
The hulking form bursts back onto the path, a spray of sharp branches and bits of leaves coming with him. Red eyes lock onto Serena. His animalistic growl leaves no question that he is angry. Serena looks forward, digging in for a faster run. The wind rips saltwater tears from the corners of her eyes. Breath comes in short bursts. Her lungs and the gills behind her ears pulsate, working to find oxygen where they can.
The trail curves ahead, and Serena teeters on the edge of the path, struggling to keep from flying off herself. When she brushes against sharp shrubbery, shallow cuts crisscross down her scaled legs like the sting of a jellyfish, etched into her very skin.
Serena breaks through the tree line onto the soft sand and slows her pace. Hot breath tingles against the back of her neck; the werewolf is close. She hadn’t expected the beast to be even faster on sand.
He snaps at her, his jaw almost reaching her long, inky black hair.
The greedy thing doesn’t even wait until he has a sure kill. He swipes, tearing through armored scales on her calf, forcing Serena to stumble to her knees. Behind her, the werewolf leaps. Dropping down into a roll, she barely avoids yellow, razor-like teeth. Sand sticks to her open wounds. Claws sink into her shoulders, and the beast rolls with her, unwilling to surrender his prey. In the split second he is on top of her, Serena pushes up and out with powerful legs. Searing pain shoots through her calf in protest. The werewolf yelps as he spins head over tail. The sharp crack of a body breaking the surface of the water echoes across the beach.
Rough waves topple over fur as he struggles to regain his balance. The ocean pushes and pulls, growing in strength, as if working against the wolf.
Serena forces herself to her feet and brushes sand from the midnight blue scales along her legs and waist. Although breath still comes in hard bursts, she cracks another smile watching the mighty creature out of his element, and into hers. He drags himself out of the water, weighed down by his thick matted fur, and gasps for breath.
Skirting around the creature, Serena gives him a wide berth as she walks toward the ocean. Frothy waves reach out with promises of swallowing her whole. She succumbs to their grip and sinks into familiarity and freedom. Once she is bobbing up and down with the waves, she turns to look at the werewolf.
He shakes his fur, ridding himself of the salty sea water, then scans the surf. Their eyes lock, his flaring bright red again. He turns them toward the moon, lifts his snout in the air, and howls.
Chills crawl down the back of Serena’s neck, goose bumps only held at bay with the ocean lapping at her shoulders. Serena cringes, then flicks her freshly formed fins, spraying water onto the hound. His howl ends with a sharp yelp as he stumbles back.
Serena turns, flinging her body up before plunging down again, diving into the cold, dark water.
Terra is author of the eco-fantasy novels in the Akasha Series, ‘Water’, ‘Air’, ‘Fire’ and ‘Earth’, as well as the Painted Maidens Trilogy. Terra was born and raised in Colorado but has since lived in California, Texas, Utah, North Carolina, and Virginia. Terra has served a 5½ year enlistment in the Marine Corp, has earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree and presently runs the language services division of a small business.
Terra currently lives in a suburb of Washington, DC with her husband of 14 years and three children.
Terra is Giveing Away
A Kindle Paperwhite,
5 copies of the ebook ‘The Rising’,
A $10 Amazon gift card.
The contest is open internationally