The Guardian’s Nightmare by Yvette Bostic is one of the books that will be first published in the Soul’s Day Boxset: Horror and Paranormal Halloween Theme.
An uncontrolled evil is sweeping across the land. Every night mysterious warriors fight against the demons. Every day more replace the ones they’ve killed.
When Cortan Hawkins, leader of the strange humans, demands my help it’s impossible to say no. I’m the Guardian – Protector of my world – I must fight against this evil. But is Cortan the savior he claims to be or the reason the demonic army is here?
I perched on the highest limb of a dying oak, my talons scarring the bare wood in their grasp. The leaves around me rustled in the wind, muting the sounds of battle below. Fifty men and women fought against the same number of horned demons. The humans, such as they were, wielded magically enhanced swords and shields, while the demons raged through their defenses with razor sharp claws and brute strength.
An arrow twanged, followed by a dozen more, sinking into the monsters’ rear guard. Another volley soared through the air, doing nothing to slow the tide of evil threatening to overwhelm the warriors battling at the front line.
A flutter of wings drew my attention to the small, brown owl landing on the branch next to me. He turned his head a quarter turn, the way owls do just before they ask a question.
“Why do you not help them, sister?”
“Because they don’t need it, Sasha.” I’d watched these humans fight before. They didn’t need my help then or now.
Sasha’s head rotated another turn as he changed his focus to the battle below. “Really? Their little arrows are ineffective, and the demons are stronger than they.”
“Yes, but the humans have yet to use their magic.” I turned my own feathered face towards my companion. “I’m not certain why they wait, but I have to assume their leader has a reason.”
Sasha clicked his beak at me and continued to watch the combat beneath us. Several warriors in the center fell to their deaths, and a haunting cry floated into the treetops, threatening to pull my heart along with them. It was the only part of the battle that evoked emotion from me. Hearing a soul mourn the death of its body was never pleasant.
“Which one is their leader?” Sasha asked, shifting on the branch as another gust of wind ruffled our feathers.
“See the one at the very center?” I asked. “The largest one, with spikes on his shoulders and enchanted eyes on his helm.”
The human leader brought his sword around from the right and sliced into the muscled arm of the nearest demon. As the demon turned its attention to the new threat, another sword sliced through its opposite arm. The monster howled, raising a clawed hand at the large human. Rather than back away, the man lunged, a sword in each hand, impaling the demon’s wide chest. The creature wrapped its fingers around the man’s neck, and I realized I held my breath. The warrior twisted his blades into the creature’s dark hide, black blood pouring from its wounds. Man and beast tumbled to the ground, lost in the melee around them. Another haunting cry escaped the battlefield, and my heart stuttered.
“Did their leader just perish?” the little owl asked.
“I don’t believe so,” I responded, barely keeping my emotions hidden. “His spirit’s anguish would be much greater, I think.”
“How do you stand by and do nothing? You are the Guardian of the Forest, yet you allow these men and women to die.”
The disgust in his voice threatened my composure. I chose to remain a bird of prey, so I could witness the leader of the group without detection. Allowing this little bird to stir my ire would force one of my more aggressive spirits to emerge, something I wanted to avoid. I drew in several deep breaths, calming the rage building in my chest. He should not have aggravated me so easily. My friend meant well.
“These are the same men and women who hunt and kill us, Sasha,” I hissed. “Or have you forgotten what they did to the last of my kind?”
You can pre-order your copy here: Soul’s Day Boxset: Horror and Paranormal Halloween Theme
A Bite of… Yvette Bostic
1) What would be the best thing about living in the world you describe in this book?
The best thing about the world I created would be escaping today’s politics. Kalle’s world is rather primitive. While she is responsible for the safety of her clan – mostly from humans – she doesn’t have to deal with human politics.
2) If you could have one character from the book to dinner with you, who would it be, why would you choose them and what would you most want to talk about?
I would choose Philip and Red because they have perfectly harmonized voices and would provide fantastic entertainment. Not only from the songs they’d sing, but the stories they could tell of previous performances.
3) Are you a cat person or a dog person and why?
I have three dogs and no cats, but only because my big dogs would probably eat the cat. I love cats for their independence, but I prefer dogs for their unconditional love – anytime I need it.
Yvette Bostic lives in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. For those who don’t know, West Virginia is its own state-not just the western side of Virginia. She enjoys the company of her children who are successfully moving into adulthood; her ever patient husband who believes she’s lost in her computer; and three dogs who are the only ones who can drag her away from writing-mostly because she has no desire to clean up their mess.
She has been a passionate reader for decades, but her writing interests didn’t surface until her youngest son left home to join the adult world. The Empty-Nest Syndrome assaulted her with relentless fury and she fought back with a surprising determination of her own. She’s now deeply entrenched in the lives of her characters and strives to bring their hopes, dreams, pain, loss and success to her readers.
You can find her on Twitter, Goodreads or her own website.