A Vanishing Hero?
Duncan, the hero of Laird of Darkness, has a special ability. He can disappear except for a small spot and, after that, fly through the air. That is one cool power that I’d like to have. Imagine what we could do--fly like a bird and visit new places, perhaps even places we're not supposed to be. We could be that proverbial fly on the wall and listen in on conversations we're not supposed to. :) Duncan is able to do these things because he’s half-Fae. The Fae or fairies are a supernatural race known to inhabit Scotland, Ireland and other nearby places. They are actually from Otherworld but are able to cross between dimensions.

Duncan also possesses superhuman strength while he’s invisible. He doesn’t need weapons. He can toss enemy warriors as if they were tiny rag dolls. Horses, naturally, are terrified of him so they flee from him and the battlefield.

Here is an excerpt that shows his special abilities in action:

“I cannot do that,” he murmured in a voice that blended with the night, dusky and deep.
She couldn’t remember what she’d asked him. “Do what?”
His lips quirked, and his knowing eyes stared into hers a moment too long. “Allow you to return to your party.”
A prickle chilled her spine. “What do you mean?”
Two of her mounted guards, MacClaren’s men, burst from the bushes, their horses galloping at full speed, their swords swinging. She ducked.
Duncan released her. His plaid dropped to the ground, and he vanished.
One of the guards flew sideways from his horse as if flung by an invisible force. The second man was tossed forward, over the horse’s head, flipping through the air twice before landing facedown with a groan.
More of her guards, her own clansmen, charged forth, yelling battle cries. Alana froze in place while they galloped all around her, the horses neighing and rearing.
A scarlet spot the size of her fist moved through the twilight, and wherever it darted, her men soared through the air and fell to the ground with a thud, the breath knocked from them.
One man pushed himself to a standing position, gasping for breath, his sword drawn. In the next instant, the red glimmering light intervened, and the guard’s sword flew to the right while he tumbled to the left.
“St. Bride preserve us,” she whispered. What dark magic did Duncan possess?

“Cease! And I shall let you live!” Duncan commanded.
But Lady Alana’s guards didn’t obey. Imbeciles. Didn’t they know he could kill them all in a trice? Not that he wished to kill anyone presently. He merely needed to capture Alana and her people, all unharmed. He couldn’t believe what a prime opportunity he’d been given. At last he had the leverage to bend MacClaren to his will as never before.
The MacClaren men who had been riding with Alana returned for another go at him. Duncan, flying through the air like an invisible arrow, slammed his fist against one’s shoulder. His powerful Fae strength sent the man sprawling from his saddle and his sword hurtling through the air. The wild-eyed horse whinnied and bolted. Duncan dispatched the second man in the same manner.
He scanned the area. Where had Alana gone?
She was escaping. He sailed through the air, giving chase. She glanced back but he knew she could see naught but the glowing crimson mark over his heart. One phenomenal thing about being half Fae was the ability to disappear, except for the Fae mark, and soar with the birds when he wanted. As a child, he had terrified everyone in the clan with this magical gift, and had even angered his father. ’Twas at times like that when he’d vanish, fly away from the castle and not return for days. He’d found friends among the common crofters. Anything to escape his father’s fists. Finally, his father had simply taken to ignoring him.
“You demon! Leave me be.” Alana sprinted toward the loch.
She thought him a demon, did she? Nay, he was no demon, but he would show her he’d use any means to get what he wanted. He reached out, his hand sliding off her shoulder when she changed direction abruptly. She headed straight toward the women of her party and a break in the bushes near the cliff.
“Hurry, m’lady! It is nigh upon you!” her maids screamed.
It? He was no it.
Nay, the cavelike space beneath the bushes couldn’t prevent Duncan from capturing her now. She halted abruptly. He bumped into her back, but slid an invisible arm around her waist and caught her before she could stumble forward.
She twisted and shoved at him, trying to pry herself from his grip, but he was far stronger. Though she thrust her elbow against his torso, it felt like a mere tap. ’Twould do her no good to fight him; she would only injure herself.
“Turn me loose.” She kicked backward, missing his leg by an inch. “Blast!”
Though she struggled, he seized her legs and swung her up into his arms. She weighed less than a thistle flower, and her soft form against him awoke all his primal instincts and urges. He ignored them and carried her from the bush, back along the trail.
“Release me, you blackguard. And show yourself.”
Duncan didn’t appreciate the careless insults she tossed his way. Most people were too terrified to insult him in such a way. He didn’t know whether to laugh or spank her. Mayhap he would do both later.
He made sure her skirts and cloak ensnared her limbs, then made himself visible.
She jumped, glaring up at him. “Bastard! You shall pay for your crimes, I vow.”
He smirked and flicked what he hoped was a disparaging glance down at her. Did she truly think he would heed any of her warnings?
“I demand you take me to MacClaren at once.”
He chuckled. He couldn’t resist, given that she appeared about as frightening as an incensed rabbit. “Do you now?”
“Indeed.”
“’Tis unfortunate then that I’ve never taken orders from lasses, and don’t intend to now.”
“I am Lady Alana Forbes. Sister of Chief Malcolm Forbes.”
“How grand for you.”
“You will have both my brother and my future husband to contend with if you do not release me at once.”
Though her maids kept their distance, huddling near the supplies and campsite, Duncan was certain they were getting an eyeful of his nude body. Her men were a different story. Swords drawn, they limped and stumbled toward him. He couldn’t help but admire their tenacity.
“Close your eyes, lass,” Duncan ordered.
She didn’t.
He vanished and they shot toward the sky.

Published by Carina Press © 2011 by Nicole North
Available at: Carina PressBarnes & Noble and Amazon!


Laird of Darkness received a wonderful review from JBP Reviews.

"From the first page I knew I was going to love this book.  Normally a historical makes me get lost in the accuracy of it all and the author takes away from the story by describing everything to detail but this was not the case.  Nichole wrote just enough description to put you in the character shoes without taking away from the characters actions and personalities.  I drooled over Duncan he was so HAWT!  I loved the half fae element to the whole thing and hope that there is more of these stories to come."
***
And another awesome review from Fresh Fiction!
"Simply sizzling, this is one tale that fairly burns off the pages! This book was magical both in the story and in the spicy scenes. Author Nicole North has captured the mythology of the Fae and tied them into the heart of Scotland. Throw in a whole lotta lust, and this book is sure to light a fire in the mind of any reader."
***
There's still time to bid on lots of goodies!



Thanks!
Nicole

8 Responses
  1. Great excerpt, Nicole. When I was a teenager--yes, a long time ago--I used to dream I could fly. But then again, I have a vivid imagination. :)


  2. Nicole, I always love reading your stories and I can read them again and again!

    I would love to have Duncan's power or even better the power to heal hurt, banish hatred and instill goodness.

    :-D that sounded so totally girlie. LOL


  3. I loved reading this story. Like I've told you before, it is the very first story I bought for my new Kindle, the first story I read and I know I will read again. It gave me tingles to read.

    You are so good at giving us heroic Scots to fall in love with.

    Congrats on your successes!!


  4. Nicole North Says:

    Thanks Dawn!! Flying would be an amazing power to have!


  5. Nicole North Says:

    Lizzie, thanks!! I'm thrilled you like my stories! I agree, a healing power would be wonderful to have.


  6. Nicole North Says:

    Paisley, thanks!! I still consider it a huge honor that you read my story first! I'm so glad you like my heroic Scots. :)


  7. Great excerpt, Nicole. The only trouble with superpowers is that they usually come with a downside and lots of responsibility!


  8. Maeve Says:

    OH! I wish I had Duncan's powers. What mischief I could stir! I've got to hurry and read this book. I love your way with words, Nicole. Well done!


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