Friday, November 9, 2012

LOST UNICORN Excerpt + #Giveaway

Author Michelle Snyder is giving away 5 Kindle copies and 1 print copy of LOST UNICORN to the first five people who sign her guestbook. The secret word is "unicorn."

The first person to sign the guestbook and requests the printed copy will win the paperback. 

Sign the guestbook here:


Excerpt from The Lost Unicorn: (chapter 10) The Isle of Mist 

While Alastar was mending in the fairy dwelling, the ancient King of Owls had avoided the prying eyes of the Raven in the Great Forest, taking advantage of the canopy above. Giant wings propelled him swiftly to the shore where he disappeared into the mist that swirls constantly around the mythic isle. As Owl flew over the Unicorn Kingdom there was much excitement on the ground among the people. The King's scouts had sent word that the winged King was on the move. Today there would be a feast, ceremonies and rituals, and a reading from the Royal Tome.
King Etar was pacing around the throne, both nervous and impatient. He fiddled with his beard then brushed at his robes, mumbling to himself about the important events to follow. A visit from the Owl meant he should be ready for anything. News from the outside world usually meant someone else was up to no good. He had ordered his remaining nine knights to be ready – there were twelve Unicorn Knights in honor of Jupiter’s twelve-year orbit, three were already dispatched. They were a special breed, his knights – undefeated, loyal, and the ladies loved them. Before any battle or tournament each knight was given a good luck charm from a lady in the kingdom. These special knights were ranked by the king from number twelve up to number one. Rank was achieved by combat and competition.  Number one knight was always about the king’s business and answered only to him.  
A visit from the wise old Owl was rare; no one except the elders had ever seen the Owl King. Everyone in the kingdom who could, craned his neck to see the majestic bird flying overhead. Children poured out of their houses and ran down the cobblestone roads pointing up to the sky, excitedly chattering to each other. The great bird was sorrowful not to have better news for the King and his old friend the Wizard, but nevertheless, he must deliver the news, sad or happy. Many lives, and perhaps the fate of kingdoms could depend upon what happened next. A magnificent bird, the wisest creature of all, he glided gracefully over the courtyard on huge wings the color of snow, spiraling up the towers toward the observatory where the king’s Wizard, Dunatis, was waiting for him.  The Grand Owl flew higher and higher around the slender spires to the very top and tipping his wings slightly, swooped down and entered through the arched window, landing silently on his perch. Grand Wizard Dunatis was waiting there; the great Owl was his friend – if anyone could befriend such a beast. The Wizard and the Owl communed together, discussing a plan by which they could set things right. They would have to defeat Rivone and his dark queen Morrigan if they were to bring about the ancient prophecy and save Tomenshire.
The tall dark-haired Wizard in robes of gold and red, and the ancient snow white Owl walked together to the throne room to discuss their thoughts with Queen Faylin and King Etar. As they passed the balconies lining each tier of the glass castle, Dunatis could hear the people joyously celebrating the arrival of the Owl. Even the Royal Family was partaking of the music and feasting. Dunatis and Owl walked the long passage leading to the King’s Chamber. As they approached the enormous oak doors swung wide for them.
The festive mind-set gave way to somber determination as King, Queen, Wizard, and Owl had their conference. Owl’s report was a plea for aid, for on the banks of the Long River, Tomenshire had been invaded by a bigger, neighboring kingdom. Reports were that this invasion was in retribution of a feud that had begun in a time before time, right here on the Isle of Mist. Whispers of history told of an ancestor of the invading king that had been a knight on Dal Uliadne. This particular knight had risen to be the best of the King’s Men, but had done so with trickery and deceit. None of the other knights would come against him, it was ... unprofitable. Until the bright new, talented recruit showed up. Then, after he was bested by the younger man, the errant knight was deposed, thrown off the Mystic Isle, and banished, forced to make his own way on the mainland. Over time he married, gathered followers and money, and traveling down the river, settle there. Through intimidation, provision, and bribery he made himself king, and for generations his heirs have ruled Barrenid. Now, it seems, he has invaded the legitimate offspring of the Unicorn Kingdom. Owl advised that Tomenshire was their child and they must rally to protect it. 

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