Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Child Returns (Aerenden #1) by Kristen Taber - Giveaway & Excerpt

Seventeen-year-old Meaghan has no idea her perfect life has been a lie--until she witnesses her parents' brutal murders at the hands of red-eyed creatures.

After nearly sharing their fate, she escapes with her best friend, Nick, who tells her the creatures are called Mardróch. They come from another world, and so does she. Now that the Mardróch have found her, she must return to her homeland of Ærenden or face death.

Left with little choice, she follows Nick into a strange world both similar to Earth and drastically different. Vines have the ability to attack. Monkeys freeze their victims with a glare. Men create bombs from thin air. Even Meaghan's newly discovered empath power turns into a danger she cannot control.

But control becomes the least of her worries once the Mardróch begin targeting her. When Nick confesses he knows the reason they want her, she learns the truth behind the kingdom's fifteen-year civil war--a long-buried secret that could cost Meaghan her life.


The odor or rotting flesh overwhelmed her senses, searing her nose. Instinct forced her to inhale to clear it from her airways and she smiled with the realization Nick’s theory had been correct. The Mardróch’s power had no effect on her.  She stood, lifting the boy into her arms.

A hiss of surprise erupted from one of the creatures. “The immune one,” he spoke, his voice a guttural mix of road gravel and raspy breath. “We’ve been looking for you. There’s a prize for your death.” He let out a rattling noise that sounded like screws bouncing in a tin can. Laughter, Meaghan realized, and her blood chilled. “Run,” the creature croaked. “It will make for a better story.”

He raised his hands. Blue lightning arced from fingertip to fingertip and Meaghan tightened her grip on the boy, backing away as she looked for a way out. Nick stood a dozen yards from them, unseen by the Mardróch, though he remained frozen as if hypnotized by their power. His face was white and she thought she saw the glint of tears in his eyes. He no longer blocked her. His fear rolled over her, followed by a deep grief that squeezed her heart. She hardened her heart against it, knowing as he did that he could not help her, and kept scanning the field.

Nothing offered hope. The trees behind her seemed too far, but they were her only chance. She turned toward them as a flash of lightning blew apart the ground beside her. She felt heat singe her skin and swallowed, controlling her panic as she ran.

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You could WIN an eBook copy of the highly rated The Child Returns in any format of your choice! Check out the other Aerenden posts for more chances to win. Contest ends April 10, 2014 at midnight.
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