Touched by the Moon
Touching the Moon Series
Lisa M. Airey
Genre: Paranormal Fiction
Publisher: Aakenbaaken & Kent, New York
Date of Publication: December 2015
Number of pages: 309
Word Count: 85, 071
Cover Artist: http://www.Reese-Winslow.com
The timber wolves of Fallston, South Dakota fall prey to an international ring of fur trappers. Unfortunately, timber wolves are not all they capture. Taken by a savage group of criminals and transported half a world away to Denmark, two young boys must set aside their sibling rivalry to survive the violence that surrounds them.
Julie Walker is haunted by the loss of her sons and haunted by the reappearance of the one man she never wanted to see again in her lifetime, Hayden Kolding. He has an agenda, and a surprising ally, forcing Julie to confront a side of herself that she has fought long and hard to deny.
But life is seldom simply a matter of black and white. As victim becomes victor and hunter becomes hunted, there is a world of gray. And Gray Walker is out for blood.
READ ON FOR AN EXCERPT, MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR, AND MY REVIEW!
Elliott Rand had been close to the end of his search grid when he was called back in to home base. The reckless boys had been found and now it was time for a couple of fingers of Gentleman Jack and some good home cookin’. Julie’s cooking. He was ready. More than ready.
He heard a wolf off in the distance. But it wasn’t a howl. It was a cry of pain. Abject pain.
Elliott shifted direction and cursed his fate. He was betting dollars to doughnuts that a timber wolf had been caught in an illegal wolf trap. It would be next to impossible to save a feral wounded without a tranquilizer gun. The best he could do was put the beast out of its misery. He clenched his jaws.
He moved as quickly as he was able, but the air was biting cold. It hurt to breathe. His eyes scanned the landscape for a safe path to follow and he moved forward with caution. The snowfall had been heavy, but it was powder dry and had slid down the mountain slope leaving a thinner blanket on the steeper portions. It was there he found the gray timber wolf gnawing at a left hind leg that was viciously pinned between two jaws of steel.
“God,” murmured Elliott.
He took a step forward and felt his left leg buckle beneath him. The ice cut into his face as he took a nose dive into the snow. When he could take a breath and move past the searing, blinding pain, he looked back. His left leg was trapped within a shark’s maw of metal.
He pushed himself upright and tried to survey the damage, but all he could do was whimper like a child. The shame of his weakness galvanized him with attitude. He bit his glove and tried to corral his focus.
With trembling hands he tried to pry the trap loose, but his arms were like rubber. He looked up at the wolf. It was thirty feet away, its lip curled up in a menacing snarl. Elliott tried to pry the trap loose again. And failed.
It was getting darker, he noticed. Odd that. It was mid-afternoon. He scrabbled at the metal vice pinning his leg.
Broken, the leg was definitely broken.
He looked back to the wolf. The animal was trying to chew through its own leg to get free. The white snow surrounding him was screaming red. Or was he the one screaming? All he could hear was ringing in his ears.
Elliott pulled his gun free of its holster and set it within reach, then he fumbled for his radio, dropping it four times. He took off his gloves to get better purchase, but the freezing wind stiffened his hands like wet wash hung outside in the winter cold.
Good news was, the pain had stopped. His leg was numb. Totally numb. And the wolf wasn’t growling. No. No more growling at all.
He stilled as little white pinpricks of light danced around the edges of his vision, then the pain washed back over him like a riptide trying to carry him off to someplace deep and dark. A small bone-carved pendant weaved before his face–a leather-bound pendant wrapped around a thick neck of fur. He reached out for that lifeline.
There was a sudden warmth. And then he let go and drifted into oblivion.
About the Author:
Lisa lives in Monkton, Maryland. When not writing, she spends her free time in the vegetable garden or in the kitchen cooking what she grows. She writes wine textbooks by day and novels by night. In January of 2016, she was knighted by the French government for her contribution to French Agriculture, namely wine! This is her second novel.
To contact her, visit www.lisamairey.com
Apropos of nothing, I have to give extra thanks to the author for the signed, paperback copy of this book. I read dozens of ebooks, and I don’t like a book more or less based on its format, but there was something special about holding a physical book in my hands again (besides having to leave my light on late into the night!). It made the whole experience seem more special, somehow, and like I got a bonus for reviewing the novel. The writer put a lot of thought into the work reviewers do, and I like that.
However, it didn’t effect my feelings about the story. Luckily, that stood on its own merits, because I would have felt really guilty having to give it a negative review! LOL
TOUCHED BY THE MOON has something unique going for it that really drew me in: a sense of a close knit family, living in one of those small towns where everyone knows and cares about one another, without the whole thing being twee or saccharine.
But fear not (or, actually, FEAR) there is a disturbing mystery that winds itself more and more tightly into the initial good feelings to give a chilling (no pun intended, since the story takes place i the dead of winter in South Dakota) edge to the story. It gets terrifying and nail-biting FAST and HARDCORE. I mean, this is scary business. The way it tears apart and brings together this tiny town and its different “kinds” of people (natives, whites, humans and… other) is truly fascinating.
I loved and really felt for the characters in this book–except the BIG BADS–they felt like friends and neighbors very quickly, and that’s a tough move to make in characterization. Of course, caring about these characters makes it more and more difficult to see what they go through as the book goes on. Some of this might even be too intense for some readers, but I promise, it’s worth sticking through the tough stuff, just the way these wonderful characters do.
There’s so much to this story that it’s difficult to get it all in one review without spoiling it. You’ll encounter Sioux culture, Norse myths, veterinary medicine, and a truly unique shapeshifter mythos (at least in my experience.) I came out feeling like I learned a lot, without lying there going, “OMG is this OVER yet? SO. DRY.” Which happens in a lot of thinky and/or over-written books that I read, fiction or not. This story carries you along. Okay, drags you. In a good way.
While I started out with extra-warm feelings toward this author, it was the book itself that won my heart and made me stay up late with a hot light on in 5 gajillion degree weather because I had to find out how things turned out. Believe it or not, this is the 2nd book in a series, and it proves my rule that coming in at the 2nd book in a series is okay. It makes me want to read the first book, but I didn’t feel like I had to in order to understand this one.
TOUCHED BY THE MOON earns a warm and fuzzy 4 Batty Moons!