Hatchling's Vengeance

Vengeance has two paths—death or love.

Hatchling's Vengeance - A Look Between the Pages Excerpts and Reviews

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"The complexity of the story, the romance, the number of secondary characters and the strength of the world building make this novel a true keeper."

CoffeeTimeRomance    Full review
"Henderson... puts the reader right in the middle of the action, painting pictures vividly for their imagination"... "an entertaining tale with plenty of dragon fun!!" 

InD'tale magazine   Full review


Glyn, former bodyguard and companion to a dragon lord, is now Lady Glynnes Janaleigh, a dragon lord in her own right. And she has found her intended mate. But, her new-found happiness is fleeting. The demand of duty is only the first hurdle when it requires risking life and limb in a mating flight. Fate decrees mating fights don’t always involve the partner you want. 

Finding your mate is only half the battle. Keeping them alive is the other. Sometimes not even dragon fire and talons are enough to overcome the mind control wielded by the leader called—the Parant.

Vengeance has a long memory. For the last two unattached dragon shifters, their only weapons to survive their destinies are their swords—and love.

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Excerpt One: 

A bugle, an imperative summons, came from the hovering Lexii and she glided toward Talann in an open invitation to twine necks.

The pain of refusal surged through Talann. Once again he repeated the mantra, Lexii is wed to Kynan.

Fitheach grumbled. Sadness and recognition of the truth colored his tone.

Kynan thundered his anger and surged forward in a whoosh of wind.

Fear for his friend chilled Talann. Kynan’s lost in the mating thrall. The other dragshi’s hide glowed a brilliant orange from his exertions. His entire being broadcast a single determination—he would wait no longer.

Kynan trumpeted his defiance.

As he swept past, he stretched out a claw. Sharp talons raked Talann from shoulder to wingtip, ripping through flesh and sinew. The pain of a thousand knife cuts tore through his body. He faltered, then fought to recover the lost attitude. Every wingstroke became an agony. Still he fought to keep his friends in view. They needed him now more than anything. Without someone to awaken their reason, to pull them from the thrall of the mating, they could crash onto the mountain peaks.

Kynan climbed above Lexii then dropped. Where before his talons were extended, now they grabbed Lexii around the waist, and in almost the same motion twined necks. Sparks leapt from orange wings to Lexii’s golden ones until the unnatural blaze surrounding the pair turned them into a miniature sun. Their silhouettes rose until they were nothing but small black motes against the clear sky.

Kynan’s triumphant call and Lexii’s lighter bugle added to Talann’s pain.

Sadness darkened Talann’s soul. It should have been me and Glynnes. We waited too long.

Although a glacial ice surrounded his chest, fire burned along his wing. His muscles refused to move. Crippled, he plunged toward the ground.

Glyn, I’m sorry. Forgive me.

Excerpt Two

Glynnes stopped what she was doing. The smell was stronger, however, since no danger was in sight, she continued creating the grave. Soon the pile of dirt was knee high. One by one she placed the scattered bones into the hole. Bowing her head and whispering a prayer of her clan, she stretched out a claw and as gently as she could, rolled the skeleton into the makeshift grave.

A click and a knife slipped from the bones onto the ground.

Emotions warmed and chilled Glynnes at the same time. She needed hands to examine the knife for markings that might help determine the dead person’s identity. But she had promised Talann to remain in dragon form until he arrived.

Crashes and loud snuffles spun her. Moments later, a large gray shape lumbered through the trees. The newcomer stopped and scanned the area, then took a step forward.

<Parth> Glynnes exclaimed, whiffling a greeting to the stallion. Satisfaction glowed in her mind. With him here I can obey Talann’s command.

At least the intent of it, she amended.

Gathering her magic, she took on her own form. With a piece of cloth between her hand and the blade, she picked up the knife and balanced it on her palm. Sadness colored her soul. The markings proved had she had feared. The knife was a trader knife—and the markings on the hilt told its owner—Seònaid, the missing woman.

Parth’s nudge sent Glynnes stumbling a half-pace. She turned and looked into his stern gaze. His mane flowed from the frantic toss of his head and he looked pointedly at the grave and its occupant.

Closer examination of the skeleton revealed what she had missed. The knife did not fall out of a sheath, there was no evidence of one. And there was a deep gouge on two of the rib bones.

Of course, Glynnes fumed. The knife was stuck in the bones, left there after an attack. That is not my kinswoman I just buried, but her attacker. Still the question remained. Where is Seònaid?

“Well, as long as I’ve already changed, I might as well make use of my hands.” Two steps took Glynnes to the waiting seidheirn. Circling around the stand of thin trees that surrounded the clearing, she searched the area for more sign of what had happened. Mashed ferns gave way to dirt scuffed by the giant paws of the gryphlor. Wondering what lured the great cats away from their meal, she turned Parth’s head to follow the tracks.

The narrow trail led to a wider one—and boot prints.

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

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