Authors: Heather Killough-Walden
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Heather Killough-Walden Reading List
The Lost Angels series:
Always Angel (eBook-only introductory novella)
Warrior's Angel (release date TBA)
Samael (release date TBA)
The October Trilogy:
Sam I Am
Beyond Neverland (release date TBA)
The Big Bad Wolf series:
The Heat (no longer available separately - purchase in the Big Bad Wolf Romance Compilation)
The Strip (no longer available separately - purchase in the Big Bad Wolf Romance Compilation)
The Big Bad Wolf Romance Compilation (all four books together, in proper chronological order)
The Kings - A Big Bad Wolf spinoff series:
The Vampire King
The Phantom King
The Warlock King
The Goblin King
(future The Kings books TBA; at least 13 total)
The Chosen Soul Trilogy:
The Chosen Soul
Drake of Tanith
Queen of Abaddon (release date TBA; 2013)
A Sinister Game
The Third Kiss series:
Dorian's Dream (release date November 1, 2013
Aleksei's Dream (release date TBA)
(future The Third Kiss books TBA; open-ended series)
Note: The Lost Angels series (not including Always Angel) is available in print and eBook format. All other HKW books are currently eBook-only.
By Heather Killough-Walden
Book three in
The October Trilogy
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With thanks to Sugar Bat, Aisling, and my Guardian Angel – for your undying friendship. And with a very special thanks to Meghann Eames, because if it hadn’t been for your tireless support over the last few months, I would have gone as mad as a Hatter.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
- LM Montgomery
The October Trilogy
By Heather Killough-Walden
Book Three: Suddenly Sam
Introductory note on real history:
In the year 1561, a highly intelligent and learned innkeeper by the name of Hugh Draper was accused of witchcraft and imprisoned in the Tower of London. During the course of his stay within the Salt Tower, he carved an imprint on one of the walls which can still be found there today. It is a highly detailed astrological Zodiac chart complete with his signature and the date of its creation.
Unlike the vast majority of prisoners accused of performing magic during this age, Hugh Draper was not in fact innocent of performing that magic. Draper was a self-proclaimed wizard. Also unlike his fellow prisoners, Draper was not tortured, nor was he put to death. There are no records of his execution, nor his escape. There are also no records of his life after imprisonment.
In fact, for all intents and purposes the accused wizard, Hugh Draper, simply… disappeared.
And was lost to time.
61 A.D. Island of Anglesey, Britain….
She’d set the spell in motion. She’d held on long enough to weave the magic around her, separate her soul from its cursed
, dying body, and slow both time and fate. But the spell could never come to fruition without one sacred thing. It was something her people had never used in their magic: Blood.
Others had made use of it. She’d heard tales of distant Kelts who’d succumbed to the greater magic of blood long ago. But her own people had until now refrained.
I will be the one to end it all,
to change the fate of how we are remembered,
she thought in despair.
I will change the stories they tell of us… years from now.
would never have the chance to be truly free of Samhain – not without that sacrifice. The magic required was simply too strong.
Blood. It always came down to blood.
It was the source of a heart’s beating, like a waterwheel that would not turn without the stream’s touch. Blood was as necessary for the passage of real, true, deep magic as were the words spoken that brought it at last to life.
held on. She waited, despite Faolan’s limp form beside her, despite the quiet in the distance that had once been screams, despite the very slowly rising smell of rotting flesh that rolled languidly across the hills.
She needed a fresh body, a fresh soul. New blood.
She needed this to finish her spell… or all would be for naught.
gainst all odds, against the magnetic pull of Samhain’s welcoming, waiting arms, Ciara held on.
A few of them had survived. A
handful. But as he found them, Leontius dealt with them quickly, ending their suffering as would have been expected of an honorable victor.
Somewhere over the next rise, Maxentius was doing the same, though Leontius knew the other soldier would
stop and bend down first to rid the bodies of anything of value before he finished them off.
dug into the pouch he had tied to his belt and extracted the small tin of ointment he always carried for this task. The day had grown warm, the insects had settled into fallen flesh, and the stench was beginning to rise. Leontius dabbed his fingers into the ointment and smeared it across his upper lip. Its heady scent of mint and other herbs would help him get through the day.
Over one rise, Leontius found the body of a young woman, her dress pushed up around her head, her body destroyed. They’d used a blade on her when they’d finished with her. Or perhaps during. Leontius knew of a few soldiers who would do such a thing.
Leontius adjusted the deceased’s clothing, pulling it down to cover the woman’s remains. It stuck momentarily on the copious, sticky and blackening blood, but he managed it. Then he marked the location of the body and moved on. Twenty-nine so far.
fog earlier that morning had left the bodies damp, and clinging grass now pushed itself between Leontius’s toes through his sandals. He hated it here. He preferred the dry sand he’d left behind when he’d had this task in the desert. But you went where you were ordered to go – and this was where he was needed right now. At least here, the bodies remained cold long enough that bloating was postponed slightly. The stench was bad, but not overwhelming.
Paulinus had left a trail
of dead in his wake. Leontius knew this verity first hand. He had to deal with every last one of the defeated. It was his duty to locate them where they lay, finish them off if Pluto had not yet claimed them, and bury them. Shallow and packed graves they were, but at least they were graves. Not like further south, where Rome’s innocent enemies had been erected upon crosses, the skyline of wooden structures and decomposing flesh left as a grisly testament to Roman victory.
Leontius had reached a
dead count of thirty-four when he happened upon a victim who was still alive. She was lying at the center of a circle of raised stones that resembled the grave stones of some cultures. Other bodies lay around her, placed there in death as if they’d gathered around her in life. A man knelt beside her, his body held aloft by the spear that ran through his chest and embedded itself in the ground.
The woman had once been very beautiful; Leontius was not so proud that he would deny her beauty due to her lineage.
Long golden locks spilled across the earth in thick waves. Her face was pale, her parched lips parted, her eyelashes so long, they brushed the tops of cheeks he imagined had once held exquisite rosiness.
Her robes were soaked in
blood from a wound that looked to be the worst, and yet possibly the oldest of the mortal wounds in this small group of gatherers. She should have been the first to die. However, her chest rose and fell – only slightly. Just enough.
e’d held on. Why?
Her eyes fluttered, and Leontius found himself gazin
g into orbs the color of honey. They locked on to him, seemed to focus, and then her lips moved. No sound escaped them.
Leontius found himself kneeling on the blood-drenched ground beside her and leaning forward, suddenly and inexplicably eager to hear what it was she had to say.
“I… waited for you,” she whispered. Her voice was like the softest sigh, the most desperate and final breath of last, living air. Suddenly she reached up, and like lightning, her sticky, blood-stained fingers were grasping his wrist.
Leontius froze, unable to pull back.
It wasn’t her grip on him that kept him immobile. He was trapped in the hold of something more powerful than he was – more powerful than
Before his eyes flashed stars that opened up and became glowing circles, window
s that afforded him views into other places and times.
Through these windows, he saw things. He stared
wide-eyed and speechless as arched stones stretched in rows before him, the weathered landscape filled with rain-beaten monuments bearing faded carvings of names and dates. A graveyard.
began to fly over the cemetery, floating over the landscape as if torn from his body. As he passed over every eternal resting place, he felt the pain of each last heartbeat and heard every cry of anguish for lost love and family. He experienced every death throughout each age and time as if it were his own.
Tears streamed unchecked down his face as ano
ther star opened up, becoming a second window into another world. Through this, he saw hills covered in crosses and rotting corpses. He heard weeping, felt thirsty, and understood the agony of despair. A loss of hope.
A third window took him to a terrible, dark
place where dungeons were filled with puddles of blood and instruments of unimaginable torture never dried of it. Women were filed in, defiled, and slowly torn apart by the malefic surgeries of self-righteous, bored, and power-hungry inquisitors. As old as sixty, as young as eight… younger still. Little girls, innocent and new and trusting.
, they were called.
, he thought dimly as tears continued to flood his cheeks.
Witch means wise woman.
Leontius passed through
window after window. He flew over fences made of barbed steel that sectioned off land filled with skeletal prisoners who were beaten and shuffled into massive chambers filled with poisonous fumes and then tossed into mass graves.
soared over countless battlefields, jungles mottled with terrible exploding traps and mangled bodies. Finally, he floated over an entire city that had been melted and evaporated by some truly hellish weapon of incredible proportions.