Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Excerpt: The Danger of Destiny by Leigh Evans and Giveaway - March 10, 2015

Please welcome Leigh Evans to The Qwillery with an excerpt from The Danger of Destiny, the 4th Mystwalker novel.

My breath caught when the Raha’ells came hurtling out of the woods. There were people— that’s how I saw them at first. Not as feared warriors who might wish to kill my mate. Not even as wolves in human form. I just saw them as people.
        Women, children, youths. Twenty or more people running for their lives.
        I leaned forward, my fist going to my mouth.
        The fastest runner of Trowbridge’s old pack was very young, not a teen, but a boy. Ropes of hair streamed behind him as he burst through the trees at top speed. He was armed with a bow, and a quiver of arrows that bounced on the small of his back as he ran.
        Merry tightened at my throat, her heat flaring.
        Hot on his heels came a woman with hair the color of sunset. She sprinted with a bow gripped in one hand, the other tightly cupped under the round bottom of the child she balanced on her hip. The woman shot a hurried glance upward at the cloud spitting sparks, then sped up, tearing across that field for the shallow crossing, legs pumping.
        “We have to warn them,” I said, starting to rise.
        He shoved me down hard, his hand splayed on my back. “Stay low!”
        “We can’t just watch this! We have to do something.” I pushed his arm away and surged to my knees. “They’re nothing but kids and women; we have—”
        He threw himself on top of me.
        “Let me go!” I bucked under him.
        “Stop it!” he hissed in my ear. “These are Raha’ells!
        They’ll smell the horses soon and they’ll cut back into the forest. My warriors will be in the rear of the retreat. It’s our way.” His thighs were weights on mine, his arms steel brackets, his jaw a hard pressure on my neck. “My pack knows these woods better than I know Creemore.”
        My gut dropped at his use of the possessive pronoun.
        It plunged further when a moment later the tail of the Raha’ells came crashing through the undergrowth. Contrary to Trowbridge’s words, they were no brawny warriors bringing up the rear, and the pack did not as one veer off into the woods again. Instead, they ran for the river and certain ambush.
        “Jesus, where are they?” Trowbridge’s tone was raw as flayed skin. “Where are my warriors?”
        Dead, I thought in sudden instinct.
        I huddled into myself, my lover’s weight a stone upon my back.

Alone, unburdened by children or loyalties, I suspect most of the women could have easily outpaced the menaces behind them. But it was apparent that for Trowbridge’s old pack there was no such thing as every woman for herself.
        Nobody outran the kids.
        Those little wolves who could sprint on their own were doing so. But on either side, they were flanked by mature female warriors. Behind them, more women, shouting encouragement and threats. Their words were spoken in a tongue foreign to me, but I understood them. “Don’t look behind you. Don’t look up at that cloud. Hurry. Run.”
        Pinned beneath Trowbridge’s taut body, I could taste the sour spike of his scent on my tongue and feel the suppressed violence cording his muscles. His growing anguish only added to my own swelling sense of claustrophobia.
        I was deeply angry with him. For protecting me when he should have been protecting them. For not being the fearless, brave guy I’d thought he was. For proving himself to be a smart man instead of a heedless one.
        I wanted a hero.
        And I wanted him off of me.
        Because I was going to be forced to watch and bear witness and doing so was going to be a very bad thing. It was going to push me across some threshold that up to that minute I hadn’t known existed. And I knew in my guts that I wasn’t ready for it. My life in Creemore had been piss- poor
preparation for what ever I was going to see.
        I could hear the drumming of their horses’ hooves getting closer.
        Any second now . . .
        The Fae erupted from the forest.
The full visual impact of a cavalry charge can twist your bowels. Anyone in the path of that incoming of violence would have to be either an idiot or a very brave woman not to scatter in the face of it— it’s a wave of death pouring toward you.
        If I live to be ninety, I’ll never forget the spine- chilling calls those riders made as they thundered across the field— mocking hoots that sharpened into high yips as they bore
down on the pack.
        “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” said Trowbridge, turning the swearword into an obscene prayer. A few of the mounted men carried spears, but most carried cavalry swords; the latter being long, thin, and slightly curved.
        No one can be “born ready” for this world. I need to go home.
        The bulk of the Raha’ells running from the horse men had reached the Penance before the horse men had covered half the clearing. As the women waded across it, they held their children high and leaned forward against the current’s pull. I scanned the trees on the opposite bank. I could see no sign of the archers who I knew waited on the other— the safe— side of the river.
        I started silently praying, Don’t kill them. Please don’t kill them.
        For those on the run, it must have felt like a moment of false reprieve before the axe’s fall, because just short of the water their pursuers reined in their mounts sharply and came to a wheeling stop.
        The last to enter the river was an old man who ran with a jerking two- step that set his grizzled dreads dancing. As he splashed into River of Penance, he turned to look behind
        I saw relief spread across his face. He thought the horses weren’t going to follow them across the river.
        He was right.

He lived with the hope of freedom for another four or five staggering feet before the archers stepped out from the opposite bank’s tree line.
        “Don’t kill them,” I repeated. My lips moved against clenched fist, and my breath bounced back to me. It was warm and scentless for we Fae have no scent.
        Inside me, my wolf began moaning.
        Down in the river, there was much wheeling in dismay and aborted dodges. Two women started splashing downstream, but a rider cut off their retreat, herding them back into the center of the shallow crossing. I had my own instant of false hope then: for a second, I let myself believe that it was going to be a bloodless capture, a comfort that was swiftly shattered when the fleet- footed youth who’d led the rush into the plain raised his weapon.
        His bow was taunt, his arrow pinched between his fingers.
        “There’s too many of them, Varens,” I heard Trowbridge’s despairing whisper.
        Oh, Goddess, don’t make me watch this. Don’t make my mate see this.
        The boy let loose his arrow.
        His aim was off. His missile grazed the Royal Guardsman’s horse high on the shoulder. As the animal reared, front hooves flashing, back legs dancing, Varens scrambled to pull another arrow from his quiver.
        Not fast enough.
        A javelin whistled through the air.
        What followed— the boy wavering, then falling in slow motion to his knees, the cavalryman nosing his horse to his victim intent on spear retrieval, all of that— played out in a dreadful slow motion for me.
        A woman let out a keening cry.

The Danger of Destiny
Mystwalker 4
St. Martin's Paperbacks, March 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

There are very few days off when you’re on an epic quest. Believe me, I know. I’m Hedi Peacock—one half Fae, the other were—and if being a half-breed with one foot in each world isn’t tough enough to manage, there are the four chambers of my heart to consider. The one who holds the strings? Robson Trowbridge, the Alpha of Creemore. If I had my way, he and I would be locked in a bedroom, for eternity, but a pressing family matter needs my attention. It’s true what they say: A woman’s work is never done. 

My twin brother is being held captive by the Old Mage in another realm. Lo and behold, as soon as Trowbridge and I arrive in Merenwyn, we’re separated in spectacular, dramatic fashion—and I’m left to figure out how to maintain the fragile balance between my Fae magic and my wolf’s blood in a realm that cries to both. Not easy, particularly when I'm keeping an iron-grip on my temper so as not to dispatch with extreme prejudice the odd wizard or smart-mouthed mutt servant who crosses my path. My mama never told me there’d be days like these, but I’m not going down without a fight…or my mate.  


The Trouble with Fate
Mystwalker 1
St. Martin's Paperbacks, December 24, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

My name is Hedi Peacock and I have a secret. I’m not human, and I have the pointy Fae ears and Were inner-bitch to prove it. As fairy tales go, my childhood was damn near perfect, all fur and magic until a werewolf killed my father and the Fae executed my mother. I’ve never forgiven either side. Especially Robson Trowbridge. He was a part-time werewolf, a full-time bastard, and the first and only boy I ever loved. That is, until he became the prime suspect in my father’s death…

Today I’m a half-breed barista working at a fancy coffee house, living with my loopy Aunt Lou and a temperamental amulet named Merry, and wondering where in the world I’m going in life. A pretty normal existence, considering. But when a pack of Weres decides to kidnap my aunt and force me to steal another amulet, the only one who can help me is the last person I ever thought I’d turn to: Robson Trowbridge. And he’s as annoyingly beautiful as I remember. That’s the trouble with fate: Sometimes it barks. Other times it bites. And the rest of the time it just breaks your heart. Again…

The Thing About Weres
Mystwalker 2
St. Martin's Paperbacks, July 30, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 464 pages


In the never-ending saga that is my love-hate relationship with Robson Trowbridge, I, half-Were Hedi Peacock, have had a change of heart. Ever since I shoved Trowbridge through the Gates of Merenwyn, I’ve been the leader of the pack—hard to believe, right? The thing is: I’m half-Fae. So even though my Were side is ready to heed the call of the wild, the other part of me is desperate to take flight. And much as it pains me to admit it, life without Trowbridge is really starting to were me down…


To make matters worse, the wolves of Creemore want my blood—and the North American Council of Weres wants me dead. So I’m just counting the days until Trowbridge returns from the other realm…and comes to my brave rescue…and becomes my alpha mate. Wishful thinking? Of course it is. But given all the mess I’ve been through already, what’s the harm in doing a little bit of daisy-plucking? Besides, Trowbridge owes me bigtime. A girl can dream.

The Problem with Promises
Mystwalker 3
St. Martin's Paperbacks, February 25, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages


Robson Trowbridge, the Alpha of Creemore and my gorgeous mate, tries to protect me, Hedi Peacock, half-Fae, half-were, from all the trouble I get into. The thing is, my past is pretty messy and bad guys keep knocking down my door. Witches, thug bikers, the North American Council of Weres, dark magic Fae, and even an evil wizard are all after me. The Old Mage is the only one I really care about: He has my dear twin brother captive on the other side of the Gates of Merenwyn—not cool. So my alpha love is helping me to keep my promise to free my brother…


Unfortunately, everyone who helps me ends up in a heap of trouble too—including my Trowbridge. Now, I admit I’ve had my moments as a shivering coward, hoping he will come to my brave rescue. The whole Prince Charming thing is hard to shake. But these bad guys after me mean business and those damsel in distress days are over. You know that “last straw” metaphor? That was two straws ago. It’s now or never. Again…

About Leigh

Photo by Katie Refling
Leigh Evans was born in Montreal, Quebec but now lives in Southern Ontario. She's raised two kids, mothered four dogs, and herded a few cats. Other than that, her life was fairly routine until the day she decided to write a book about a half-Fae, half-Were girl who's a magnet for trouble. The first Mystwalker novel was grabbed by St. Martins, and released as THE TROUBLE WITH FATE in 2012. Second and third books quickly followed: THE THING ABOUT WERES and THE PROBLEM WITH PROMISES. At the age most people start thinking about retirement, Leigh is slinging words and pummeling plots. Leigh's destiny has finally been met: she's a writer. A little tardy, but then again, her mum always said she was a late bloomer.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter @LeighEvans001 ~ Pinterest ~ Blog

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win Mass Market Paperback copies of The Trouble with Fate, The Thing About Weres, The Problem with Promises, and The Danger of Destiny by Leigh Evans from the publisher. US ONLY

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on March 18, 2015. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Leigh Evans is creative and very talented. The novels are fascinating and intriguing and interest me greatly. What a wonderful feature and giveaway. I too, was born in Montreal and then moved to Southern Ontario, although I now live in the U.S. Thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. Congrats on the new release! Great excerpt. The Mystwalker series is definitely going on my TBR list. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the fantastic giveaway.

  3. This is a series I've been meaning to read, so what a great opportunity to get all the books at once.

  4. doesn't really look like my kind of series

  5. I really love this series and am sad to see it ending but can't wait to read.