Title- Chasing Ravens
Series- Book # 1
By- Jessica E. Paige
Genre- YA Fairy Tale/Folklore
Orphaned at a young age, 15-year old Anouk’s punishment for being too outspoken is an arranged marriage worse than any she could imagine. Fleeing on horseback, yet without a sense of where to turn, she stumbles upon an idyllic village where she finds safe haven. Could this be home?
Ultimately, it will lead her to confront the very face of death, yet amidst the danger and darkness, she meets a handsome woodsman and finds a glowing blue flower with power beyond her wildest dreams.
Inspired by Russian fairy tales and steeped in ancient folklore, Paige’s novel is ripe with fantasy, love, and courage.
“You’ve never seen black ivy before?” she asked, setting one in front of Anouk and the other on the floor for Pip.
“Never.” Anouk watched Pip gobble up his food and felt the urge to do the same. Instead she picked up her spoon and took a proper bite, savoring the flavor of potatoes and smoked trout.
“It’s a remarkable plant,” said Ausrine. “Eladii must have nibbled a few leaves, and it put him right to sleep. I imagine it tastes sweet.” As Anouk ate, Ausrine explained that black ivy grew rapidly, spinning a leafy web and sinking tendrils into its prey. Slowly, the ivy would drain the life of its victim, turning the flesh cold and hard. Anouk stared at Ausrine in amazement.
“You must have found Eladii just in time. It’s surprising that you were able to bring him back at all,” said Ausrine. She brought over a teapot painted with golden ferns and red berries, vivid against a black background. As she poured, Anouk caught the crisp scent of peppermint. “You said you were headed to Pagor. Do you have family there?”
“Not anymore. My parents passed away. I was living with my aunt and uncle in Stradat.”
“But you left. Was a marriage arranged?” Ausrine smiled knowingly. “You look about that age and too clever to be married so young.”
Anouk took her last bite, pausing to chew. She knew that if she told the truth, Ausrine could send word to someone in Stradat or tell her uncle where she was if he came searching for her. But Ausrine did not seem to judge Anouk for escaping her marriage obligation. In fact, her eyes seemed to only hold compassion. “I have people in Pagor—not family, but I think someone will take me in. I’m a good worker and I know how to gather herbs. My grandmother was a healer.”
“Well, then it seems Eladii did us both a favor.” Ausrine got up and took a satchel hanging from a hook by the door. “We should head over to the stables. Eva’s going to be thrilled to see him.”
“I’m sorry?” Anouk grabbed her pack and stepped quickly as Ausrine walked outside.
“I’ve been needing an apprentice, especially to help with gathering. Of course, you’ll have to live in the village; I need what space I have to store my herbs.”
“If you can just point me to the road,” said Anouk. “I’m sure I’ll be able to manage in Pagor.”
Ausrine went to Eladii and mounted gracefully. “Devya isn’t easy to find. And I don’t think it was any mistake you ended up here. At least come see our village.”
About the Author
Jessica Paige hails from the Seattle area where she lives with her husband and two dogs. Though she was raised in the Pacific Northwest, Jessica has long been intrigued by the ancient folklore of her Slavic and Lithuanian roots. Her love of horses and the outdoors led her to a career in environmental outreach, and her studies in herbalism. When she’s not working or writing, you’ll find her digging in the garden, creating herbal remedies, or walking in the woods with her dogs. You can visit her at www. jessicaepaige.com.
5 ebook copies of ‘Chasing Ravens’ by Jessica E. Paige
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