Hatchling's Mate

A Look Between the Pages Excerpts and Reviews

From their birth it was expected that Talann’s and Lexii’s destiny would be entwined. However fate had other intentions. Lexii and Talann could not stand to be together.

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Hatching's Mate fantasy

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"An enjoyable fantasy read,
especially for fans of dragons."

InD'tale magazine


To read the rest of the review, go to http://www.indtale.com/reviews/paranormal-urban-fantasy/


From their birth, it was expected that the only two children born to the dragon shifters would marry. Unlike his female counterpart, no dragons sang a welcome at Talann’s birth and years later, although Lexii’s dragon twin had awakened, there was still no sign of Talann’s.

Haldric acquired his hatred of shifters not only from his relative, Lady Broch, the bandit leader who died at the hands of the dragshi, but his uncle Waljan, known to his followers as the Parant. The cult leader possessed the ability to turn men and women into his willing slaves. Haldric means to use his uncle’s power to bend Lexii to his own will. But there is a problem. The Parant was as likely to turn on friend as foe.

Glyn, Lexii’s bodyguard, fights to keep hidden the secret no one could never learn and fears the loss when the betrayal is discovered.

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Excerpt One:

Lexii’s short, “Ohh,” accompanied her mount’s drop to its knees. Her louder, “No!” was overshadowed by the creak of leather as she clambered from the saddle. The seidheirn rolled onto its side. It struggled to get up, then with a last snuffle ceased moving. Feathered darts colored the gray hide. More covered the legs of Lexii’s breeches.

The ether burned with the force of Glyn’s call to Kynan and Uaine. And, despite knowing he was too far away to help, she reached out to Talann. <Under attack. Lexii’s mare is down. Buar will bring her to you.> Glyn jumped from the saddle, grabbed the weaving Lexii, and threw her into Buar’s saddle. “Buar, go to Uaine,” Glyn yelled. “Get Lexii to safety.”

Bugling defiance, the mare took a single leap. Gray blurred with dust and the seidheirn galloped away at the speed only achieved by its kind.

In the short time it had taken to get Lexii on her way, the attackers had closed the distance and were within striking range. A burly man in battered armor strode from the dozen pursuers now lined up before Glyn. Thick skin of a cross-shaped scar on his forehead marked him as an outcast from a mercenary troop.

The men muttered amongst themselves. A name rose giving Glyn the identity of the leader, “Marbh.”

She tensed for a fight. No matter the cost, time had to be given Lexii to reach the protection of Kynan and the others. “I’m sorry, Lexii,” she whispered.

Marbh’s scan took in Glyn’s armor and well-cared for sword. He called out six names and pointed at Glyn. “Kill him,” he ordered. Those selected moved forward in trained unison. “And the rest of you, come with me. That dragon scum will not escape.” Without a backward glance, the leader of the raiders turned and headed after Lexii.

Blocked and unable to prevent their leaving, Glyn spun to face the remaining soldiers. One threw a loop over her chest, trapping her arms. Light flashed off her blade. The sharp metal sliced through the rope and it fell away. Another soldier lifted a long wooden tube to his lips sending a yellow-tipped dart clanging against the metal plate of her armor. It stuck in the leather and she pulled it out.

A second and a third flew through the air. These didn’t hit metal or leather, but tender skin.

Weaving against the effect of the drugs, she kept her blade lifted. “I’m not down,” she snarled.

Excerpt Two:

It seemed everyone was affected by the loss of the elderly dragon lords. An unusual quiet filled the halls of the guild building as they worked their way to the vaulted room used for choir practices, and that, when needed, doubled as a practice area for both armed and unarmed combat. Pushing through the wide double door, the clang of metal on metal assaulted unprotected ears. In addition to Talann and Uaine, several apprentices exercised with heavy swords. Kynan leaned against the far wall, sweat running down his face.

Glyn gestured at Lexii. “Talann, would you spot Lexii? I want her to work on that disarming move you taught me last week.”

For the next candlemark, Glyn and Lexii practiced one stroke after another, until, exhausted, the tip of the sword dragged on the floor.

“Enough,” Kynan yelled. He draped a blanket around Lexii’s shoulders, and tossed a towel at Glyn. “We’ve worked off enough steam for one day.” He gestured at the door and solicitously guided Lexii toward it. “I order food and drink, then bed.” He turned and glared at Talann. “For everyone.”

Thanks in part to the bottle of wine Talann pulled from his private stock, the meal shared by the four of them in Lexii’s room, while subdued, still relaxed everyone sufficiently Glyn changed her mind about keeping Lexii company for the night. But her thoughts remained troubled--and the cause was Talann.

Not only had he been ready to defy Lady Eirwen, but his reaction to Lexii’s presence during the weapon’s practice puzzled Glyn. She replayed the way he had to force himself to be near Lexii. And how Lexii had an almost physical withdrawal every time he touched her arm to guide her through the intricate series of parries and thrusts.

Why haven’t I noticed it before, Glyn wondered. It is as if Lexii’s and Talann’s souls clash at the most primitive level. The review brought up an even more startling revelation. The mental touch between me and him is different, more like that between his mother and father. Or between dragshi and dragon soul.

An urgent desire to talk to Lady Anastasia, to ask for an explanation, consumed Glyn, to be ruthlessly quashed. No. Too much is going on.

However, rest eluded her as first Lexii’s, then Talann’s silent cries broke through the serenity Glynn fought to achieve. Each time she sensed their unrest, she sent a comforting thought until they returned to sleep. Exhaustion from both the physical labor and the emotional turbulence of the day took its toll and she slipped into a deep slumber. The cold chill caused by the keen of dragons melted in the warmth of an embrace. In her dream, the blank features of the man who held her shifted into those of anotherTalann.

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Copyright 2011-2021 by Helen Henderson
Cover Art by Fantasia Frog Designs

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