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About the author:
Sarah J. McNeal is a multi-published author who writes diverse stories filled with heart. She is a retired ER and Critical Care nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Prairie Rose Publications and its imprints Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press and Sundown Press.
Here is a short sample from the book:
A mist crawled on phantom fingers along the forest floor as twilight threatened. Ebony trees, bereft of leaves, stood like soldiers that reached for heaven through the gloom. An unnatural silence fell upon the forest. Woodland creatures burrowed deep into the earth to seek comfort, their hearts fluttering with apprehension. A living cloud of birds darted across the darkening sky in an attempt to fly to the safety of some distant place where the light still held. Cicadas hushed their chatter and held themselves tight against the rough bark of the old oaks to become invisible. Not even the wind dared to breathe.
A few thin clouds clung to the darkening sky as the pale moon rose from the horizon. Out of the breech of trees, a horse with glowing red eyes galloped and upon its back, a rider appeared clothed in a dark cloak, its face shrouded in the depths of the darkened hood. The specter approached with urgent speed, hooves thundered on the forest floor and scattered dead leaves in its wake. Close enough now, a face appeared in the bleak light of the sunset. Its skin, unnaturally white and bloodless, glowed in the faded light. Obsidian tendrils snaked out of the hood to ride in the wake of the wind created by the swift ride.
Closer and closer she rode. Her soulless eyes filled with malice, glittered with death. Thin lips peeled back from her sharpened teeth as she croaked, "I'm coming for you and death to all who stand in my way." Upon the heels of her ominous threat, a hideous peel of laughter pierced the quiet while the shadows of night enveloped the Earth. The witch-queen of the Dark Isle rode with malignant purpose.