He isn’t supposed to even talk to a human, much less fall in love with one…
Ryann Carroll has just run into the guy who saved her life ten years ago. You might think she’d be happy to see him again. Not exactly. She’s a bit underdressed (as in skinny-dipping) and he’s not supposed to exist.
After her father’s affair, all Ryann wants is to escape the family implosion fallout and find a little peace. She also wouldn’t mind a first date that didn’t suck, but she’s determined not to end up like her mom: vulnerable, betrayed, destroyed. Ryann’s just moved into her grandma’s house in rural Mississippi, the same place where ten years earlier she became lost in the woods overnight and nearly died.
She’s still irresistibly drawn to those woods. There she encounters the boy who kept her from freezing to death that long ago winter night and was nowhere to be seen when rescuers arrived. He’s still mysterious, but now all grown-up and gorgeous, too. And the more she’s with him, the greater the threat he poses to Ryann’s strict policy– never want someone more than he wants you.
Lad knows the law of his people all too well: Don’t get careless and Don’t get caught.
It’s allowed his race to live undetected in this world for thousands of years, mentioned only in flawed and fading folklore. Lad’s never been able to forget about Ryann since that night ten years ago. When he sees her again, his fascination re-ignites and becomes a growing desire that tempts him to break all the rules. He’s not even supposed to talk to a human, much less fall in love with one.
And the timing is atrocious. The Assemblage is coming, the rift between the Light and Dark is widening. Lad may have to trade his own chance at happiness to keep the humans, especially Ryann, blissfully ignorant and safe.
Romantic and gripping, Hidden Deep will transport fans of urban fantasy sagas like The Mortal Instruments and paranormal romance series like Twilight to a fascinating world within our own, filled with suspense, danger, and desire. If you love Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, and the Fae, Amy Patrick’s sexy, magical Hidden Saga will captivate you!
**Grab your copy today and Give in to the Glamour of the Hidden Saga!**
Targeted Age Group:: All audiences
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 1 – G Rated Clean Read
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
in middle school I was a huge Lord of the Rings geek, reading the series 17 time back to back (did I EVER go outside??) When I got older and learned J.R.R. Tolkien was inspired by Norse mythology, specifically the Poetic Edda, I looked into the ancient minstrel tales myself. In them, the Fae are described as beautiful, frightening, powerful, sometimes god-like. My Hidden Saga, beginning with Hidden Deep, is based on a combination of this Norse mythology and Celtic Fae legends. It takes place in a version of our current world and time, where beautiful and powerful Fae characters use glamour enhanced by modern technology to hide their true identities from humankind and get everything they want.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main character in Hidden Deep, Ryann, is a human girl in rural Mississippi where I grew up. Her hometown and her friendships and family relationships (and sweet tea!) are inspired by my own experiences growing up in a very small, Deep South town. For my non-human characters, I took inspiration from Norse mythology characters and the Æsir, the gods and half-gods who include Thor and Loki. Two of my characters, and I won’t reveal which ones here for spoiler-ish reasons, were inspired by those characters, particularly Loki in that he’s trouble maker and a trickster and a jealous rival to Thor as well as an outcast among the Æsir. I was also inspired by the idea of Ragnarok, a final battle among the gods.
From Celtic and French faerie lore, I was inspired by the idea of the Fae being more or less human in size and appearance but having magical powers. Another common theme in the Celtic legends is the idea of the Fae as immortals co-existing with humans in the same world, but being separate and living in some sort of Otherworld, which in the legends is described often as being underground or hidden in hills.
And from Scottish folklore came the Dark and Light Councils in the Hidden Saga, based on the idea of two distinct courts among the Fae—the Seelie and Unseelie—one of which is generally harmless or even beneficial to humans and the other which enjoys bringing harm to humans as entertainment.
I stepped into the cool water. It felt unbelievably good, and I slipped under, blowing out all the stuffy humid air in my body. After a minute my lungs burned. I resurfaced, stood up in the waist-deep pool, and waited for the water to stop running down my face. Then I opened my eyes.
There in front of me, kneeling on the mossy bank and staring right at me, was a guy. A big blond guy, about my age.
I know him. No—wait—I don’t know.
It didn’t really matter because he shouldn’t have been there. No one should’ve been there, but he was. I’m basically naked and alone in the woods with a stranger. Not good.
My chest was on fire. I wasn’t breathing, and then I was breathing too much, too quickly. My mind spun and scrambled for anything like a rational thought. If I’d been watching myself in one of those stupid screamer movies, I’d have been shouting at the screen, “Move! Run! Do something.” But it was like that time when I was home alone and thought I heard an intruder. I just froze.
The guy looked almost as shocked as I felt, seeming unable to tear his wide-eyed stare away. Like me, he was frozen in place.
Then his face relaxed. And he smiled.
Sure. Alligators can smile, too. At least the sight ripped me out of my temporary paralysis. I finally moved, lunging toward the bank, intending to climb out and run, or at least get my clothes.
Oh. My clothes. I plunged myself back into the water up to my chin. I had no idea what to do. I was basically at this guy’s mercy—miles from anyone who could hear me scream, ridiculously outsized and overpowered. He still hadn’t said anything. No “I’m sorry,” or “Hello there,” or “Why no, I’m not a rapey stalker.”
“Get out of here. You’re trespassing.” My attempt to be threatening came out sounding kind of pathetic, breathy and high-pitched.
The guy jerked back, lost his balance, and ended up on his rear. For a minute I was hopeful—maybe he was actually buying my bluff—but he got back up slowly to his haunches, and the corner of his mouth eased up along with one eyebrow.
“Trespassing? Well. There must be some law against public indecency, too. You shouldn’t be out here like…” He gestured toward me. “…that.”
His voice was deep, mature-sounding, though he wasn’t more than eighteen, and his amused grin said he couldn’t have been more pleased I was out here like this.
Who does he think he is? “No, you stupid ass—you shouldn’t be out here. I own these woods, and You. Are. Trespassing. Now leave.” That was it—I’d used the only cuss word I could pull off convincingly, and I sure did hope it worked, because if it didn’t, I had nothin’.
My tough talk made me feel slightly less afraid. But I was still stuck in the shamefully clear pool, and he was still there grinning and looking at me like the kid who’d found the Halloween candy stash.
He stood, and I had to squint up at him. His dark blond hair was haloed by the rays of sun slipping through the leafy canopy above. Strands of lighter gold glinted through the loose curls. I was cornered by possibly the world’s most angelic-looking peeping Tom. Or serial killer. Neither thought was comforting.
Our standoff continued for long moments. Then suddenly he was moving toward me. He reached down and grabbed my pile of clothes on the bank and extended them out over the water to me. “Sorry,” he said, not exactly sounding full of remorse, “but I’m not leaving. I need to talk to you first.”
I willed myself to breathe again. “Talk to me? No. Just leave. Go away or…” Or what? I’d scream, and all the forest creatures would rush to my rescue? I’d stay in there until I shriveled like a Craisin?
He looked at me, waiting for me to finish my empty threat, I guess. When it was clear I wasn’t going to, he narrowed his eyes and twisted his lips in a calculating expression.
“Okay. Listen, if you don’t want these clothes, I’ll toss them over there, and go sit down awhile against that tree. My arm’s getting kind of tired.” He stretched it to demonstrate his point, grinning widely at me again. If I could’ve reached him, and done it without giving him another free peep show, I’d have slapped that perfect smile off his face. So… maybe I wasn’t dealing with someone dangerous here, but he sure was annoying.
I had a choice—argue with the guy holding the only thing standing between me and full-frontal, or stay there wearing my arms for a shirt and hope he’d eventually get bored and leave on his own. Right. I snatched the clothes out of his hand and scowled at him.
“Could you at least turn around?”
He paused a second then turned his back, and I set a world speed record for underwater dressing. Then I crept up the bank, grabbed my shoes, and took off running. He might have been harmless, but why take chances? I managed a few yards and didn’t hear him coming after me. Then the huge golden-haired guy dropped out of a tree right in front of me.
I let out a squeal as my wet body slammed hard into his. He grabbed my upper arms, steadying me. I started screaming and slapping at him with my sneakers, dropping them in the process.
He immediately let me go and raised his hands in surrender. His words came out in a hurry. “Hey, calm down. I know I scared you. But I’m not going to hurt you. I only want to talk to you. Please.”
I stepped back and rubbed my arms where his fingers had been moments earlier. “I guess you’re not going to give me a choice. All right then. You want to talk? You go first. What are you doing on my land, and why were you spying on me?”
“Your land. Right. Well, I wasn’t spying. I was walking back from the library.” He nodded toward a scattered pile of books on the other side of the pool. “I saw your clothes and shoes there—I was going to keep going so I wouldn’t scare you, but then you didn’t come up for so long. I was just checking to see if you were okay. I didn’t mean for you to see me. And then there you were, and you were all…” He swept his hand up and down in my direction and blushed deeply.
“Exposed? Half-naked? Don’t try to make me believe you were embarrassed. Sorry, but I’ve got the market cornered on humiliation today.”
“I’m sorry. Really. It’s not like I planned this.”
I studied him. Though I had no rational reason to believe him, I did. Something in his voice told my self-preservation instinct to stand down.
“Okay then, assuming you’re not a registered sex offender—you’re not, are you?”
“No.” He looked insulted.
“No!” He gave a frustrated huff of a laugh.
“Okay. So you were walking back from the library… to where?” I thought of the few houses bordering my grandma’s property. Most of the owners were old, like her. Maybe he was somebody’s grandson, visiting for the weekend.
“I live… near here.”
“Near here, like, off the county road, you mean?”
He glanced around. “Uh… yes.”
Now that I was calm enough to care, I noticed he looked… different… not like any of the guys I’d ever seen in school. He was fresher somehow, healthier-looking, like no artificial color or flavor had ever crossed his lips. I couldn’t decide if it was the skin or something else, but he looked like he’d never had a bad night’s sleep. There were no freckles, no marks on him anywhere. His eyes were a pure, clear green, like sunlight shining through a leaf.
He wore ripped, faded jeans and an ancient plaid shirt with cut-off sleeves. It hung open to expose his smooth light brown chest and stomach. His feet were bare. It was like an Abercrombie ad gone wrong, because you didn’t want to buy the clothes, just… him.
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