Midnight of the Fae:Tangere Tales 2

By: Heather Rainier
Tangere Tales 2



DEDICATION





These stories required a stretch outside of my comfort zone. As long as I’ve wanted to be a writer, I’ve wanted to pen my own versions of these classic fairy tales. I didn’t know if I had what it took to step out of the contemporary world of Divine, Texas and give readers something a little different. But step out I did, and I am blessed to have several people to dedicate this series to.

The Tangere Tales are dedicated to my husband, who has taught me more than any other person about what it means to stretch out of your comfort zone.

They’re also dedicated to my friend, Morgan Ashbury, who checked all my French and verified that there is definitely a difference between “fucking French” and “French fucking.” (No offense to the French intended.)

And for the first time ever, this dedication extends to my very own lovely daughter, Juliet. She helped me plot the trilogy, laughing over dialogue, devising original fantasy places and names, and assisted in crafting secondary characters that are as entertaining as Fleur, Doop-Doop, and Flappy hopefully are.

Lastly, this series is dedicated to Lily, Angie, all the Facebook group admins, all the readers and bloggers, a phenomenal editor, and to my absolutely fantastic publisher, Diana. She was the one who told me, “Anything can happen!” She was right.

Seize the day, baby!



Love, Heather







Prologue




Mount Rainier National Park



With hands that were clammy and shaking, Caresse braided her hair to keep the heavy length out of her face. The daylight from the cavern entrance only extended so far, and she shivered as she stood with her friends before the three dark passages the cave had branched into. Imagining whatever creepy-crawlies lurked in the darkness getting in her hair sent a ripple of fear coursing over her skin.

Turning at a touch on her shoulder, she nodded her thanks when Elaina offered her a hair elastic from her backpack—the modern version of a big mama handbag. Elaina rifled through the contents one more time and pulled out a small flashlight and handed it to her. Caresse was grateful Elaina believed in being prepared for just about anything.

The dark scared the wits out of her, but walking away from the inky blackness that waited before her was, inexplicably, something she simply could not do. She blamed her soft heart and compassion for the poor cat they’d been trying to rescue somewhere in that cave—lost, alone, and scared. She just hoped those attributes didn’t land her in dire straits.

Elaina said, “Each of us could take a passage. We’ll follow it for five minutes. If we reach a dead end, or haven’t found her by then, we’ll meet back here.”

“Sounds good. I won’t be able to sleep in my warm sleeping bag tonight if she’s trapped in the dark and afraid.” Caresse’s attempt at a brave tone was pathetic, but she still balked at the concern she saw in her friends’ eyes. They knew how she felt about being in the dark…but not the reason why. She couldn’t even explain it to herself, much less anyone else.

“You sure?” Angel asked. “I know you don’t like the dark. If you want to stay here and wait, then we can all go down your tunnel together?”

She’d posed it as a question to Caresse, giving her an out, but Caresse shook her head. Capable at camping, fishing, hiking, and even hunting and scuba diving, she hated this one weakness she had. Even though she was shaking in her hiking boots, she wasn’t going to let the phobia get the best of her. She might lose every drop of moisture in her body in a cold sweat, but she was going to summon her inner badass and face this fear.

“I can handle five minutes there and five minutes back. I just hope there aren’t any bats.” Caresse shuddered. The cat, an extraordinarily beautiful animal with sleek, pure white fur and a pendant dangling around its neck, had looked completely out of place as it had flitted through their remote lakeside camping spot in Mount Rainier National Park.

Caresse couldn’t fathom where the cat had come from, besides someone else’s campsite. The odd thing was that the feline had the appearance of a pampered pet that visited the groomers as often as its owner visited a salon. Not what she’d expect to see on a camping trip. Intrigued and a little concerned that the animal might become lunch for a predator, the three of them had set off from the campsite after it.

Their girls-only camping trip was starting off with an adventure, a thought that had pleased her until the darned feline had wandered into a cave. Communing with Mother Nature, sleeping under the stars, rafting to a remote location, pottying in the bushes, watching for bears? Caresse could handle those things. Heck, she’d been dying to go camping in this very area for months, and she’d jumped on the idea when Angel had broken up with her fiancé and proclaimed that she’d needed time away with just her closest friends. But being in the dark, enclosed and alone? That was truly terrifying.

Top Books