Moondancer drake

Author of Multicultural LGBTQ Speculative Fiction

Book One in the Daughters of the Goddess series, Second Edition

ISBN: 978-1-61929-246-8
Format: Trade Paper, 252 pages
Cover Price: $ 17.95 (print) $ 9.99 (ebook)
Publication Date: October 2015
Publisher: Regal Crest Enterprises
www.regalcrest.biz
sales@regalcrest.biz

 

This title is available from the following Distributors: Ingram & Bella Distribution

 

Available by order through your favorite independent bookstore!

 

2010 Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Paranormal / Horror and Best Characters Development.

   
An evening at the movies turns into a living nightmare for Elizabeth Crew as her lover Dusty battles for their lives and the unborn baby Elizabeth is carrying. Dusty's dying request is that Elizabeth go live with Dusty's family, where she and the baby will be safe. Dusty's family takes Elizabeth into their home with open arms and a bit of concern. What will happen if Elizabeth learns that her new family includes shape-shifters? For Elizabeth, the family secrets are not all that awaits her in the darkness.  


Reviews

“Moondancer Drake has created a fantasy which harmoniously plucks elements from many different cultural and spiritual dishes to mix up a delectable fusion feast. Few other authors offer a multicultural, multi-spiritual world as a given, both of which lend strength to the story.” ~ K. Tempest Bradford

 

Natural Order by Moondancer Drake is a very welcome change of pace. And the good news keep coming when Moon Drake confirmed the sequel is on its way! ~ Lesbian Fiction Reviews (read more here)

 

This book was a plot driven phenomenon from the first chapter! I enjoyed every little twist and turn. The setting, characters and supporting cast were complex, detailed and wonderfully developed. I enjoyed every push and pull, give and take immensely. The main characters danced around each other for a good portion of the book, leaving me wanting to give them a shove in the right direction. While it could have been irritating, it was played out in a scenario and setting that left it making absolute sense despite my wishes otherwise! Well written, amazingly detailed and driven I couldn't put this book down. I would love to see more from this world and the supporting characters in it. Great read and one I would gladly recommend! ~ Rhayne, Inked Rainbow Reads.

 

The opening of this book grabs you by the throat and pulls you in. The plot is layered, with many surprises supported by excellent character development. Very descriptive prose builds realistic settings that readers can feel, and the characters are vibrantly detailed. I especially like the variety of multi-cultural characters, and the exploration of Native American beliefs. It can be difficult to build a romance after tragedy, but the author does so with a subtle hand and a rich story. The sex is understated and tender. Overall, an excellent book. ~ Elisa Rolle, Rainbow Awards

 

I prefer M/M romance, but have read a few F/F romances (and F/F fiction). This is the first one to make me forget the gender of the protagonists and just fall into the story. ~ J’aime (read more here)

 

Moondancer Drake has created a book that holds a sense of mystery throughout the story. As more details are reviewed, the suspense grows as the reader tries to figure out why the Imperium has targeted this family and what role Beth plays in the scenario without realizing it. ~ Lynne Pierce (read more here)

 

 

Excerpt #1

 

A heated argument in Spanish from a window above drowned out the sound of their footsteps and labored breathing as they raced among the walkways like gazelles evading a hungry pack of hyenas. Fear clawed at Beth’s mind and only Dusty’s strong grip forced her on.


“Dusty, who are they?” Beth wheezed out the question she’d asked many times since Dusty saw the men outside the movie house. Still she got no answer. They ran past a trio of poorly maintained apartment buildings. At the back of a large red brick structure, covered in graffiti, the street abruptly ended.


“You’re tired.” Dusty pulled Beth closer with an arm around her shoulders and slowed to a fast walk. “You can’t keep this up, babe. We have to find someplace so you can rest.”


“Where? If we stay in here, they’ll catch us for sure.”


“I’ll find someplace. C’mon.” They turned down a narrow walkway and came across a set of steps that led to the basement of a gray and beige stone building. Dusty stopped and glanced the way they had come. Beth took the respite to catch her breath and study her companion’s bedraggled appearance. Dusty’s straight, shoulder length hair clung to her ruddy brown face in pitch-black clusters. Her once tan Statesman hat was now soggy, dark brown, and rainwater fell from the wide brim in a steady flow of droplets.


Dusty turned back and guided Beth down the stairs, into a doorway. Water-soaked trash littered the stairwell, the musty smell that accompanied the detritus only added to Beth’s despair. Dusty’s hands moved from Beth’s shoulders and slipped the cell phone from her jacket pocket into Beth’s shaking hand. “Stay down here. Call the cops again. Tell them where you are now and what’s happening.”


“What’s happening? I don’t even understand it.”


“I know, babe,” Dusty said in a strained, but gentle tone. “I promise, when we get outta this I’ll explain everything. Stay here and make the call.”


Beth’s eyes widened as the realization hit her and her throat tightened with fear. “You’re going out there, aren’t you? Are you mad? We have to get out of this together,” Beth pleaded. “Promise me. Together.”


Dusty kissed her lips and placed her palm on Beth’s abdomen, gently touching the barely noticeable swelling of Beth’s pregnancy through her silk blouse. “I’m going to have to deal with this alone. I can’t let them touch you or our baby. No matter what, you have to be okay.”


There was something about the feel of Dusty’s rough hands that always brought Beth comfort, no matter how upset she might be. The hand caressed her stomach and Beth closed her eyes. Through the precious breaths of peace, it took a moment for Dusty’s words to reach Beth’s consciousness enough to sink in completely.


“No.” Beth shook her head and her thick, drenched curls lashed her face. “Together. Please, Dusty.”

 

Dusty gripped Beth in a tight embrace, her voice deep and gruff. “Not this time, babe. It’s not you they want. These assholes are after me. Make the call. I’ll lure them away and then double back to get you as soon as I can.”


“Who are they? What do they want?” The desperation in Beth’s voice magnified as her fear and confusion grew to a fever pitch. Dusty was an architect, for Christ’s sake. Why would anyone be hunting her? “Dusty—”


“Shhhh...” Dusty kissed her once more. Beth’s lips quivered, but she returned the kiss, fearful Dusty was saying goodbye. “No time to explain now. Later. I promise.” Dusty backed away and headed up the steps. Beth followed.


“No.” Dusty’s callused hand barred Beth’s way. “You have to stay here. No matter what, you think of our baby. Got that?” Tears welled in Dusty’s eyes, but her voice never wavered. The expression on her face told Beth all she needed to know. “We have to think of our baby. Promise you’ll stay here. Promise you’ll not follow. Stay hidden and stay safe. Not a sound. It’ll give you away. Promise me.”


Beth flinched at the words “promise me.” She’d never been a good liar and keeping her word was something her father had instilled in her from an early age. The women locked eyes, and after a pause that seemed to Beth like eternity, she found herself nodding, her voice barely audible. “I promise.”

 

 

Excerpt #2

 

THE FARMERS’ FIELDS were aflame with crimson and gold fire as the sun began to set. The air was crisp and clean, like a fresh canvas for the painted sunset displayed in the early evening sky. Beth watched the farmhouses and the livestock graze in the fields they passed, at times closing her eyes as the cool air stung her face through the open window. The short nap helped, but now the churning in her stomach made sleep difficult. A wall of cold air was preferable to the waves of nausea that seemed to worsen in the enclosed vehicle. Dusty had tried to get her to drink special teas for her morning sickness, but there was a part of Beth that never trusted alternative remedies. It was one of several things she and Dusty had butted heads about early in their relationship, before they decided to agree to disagree. As the next gut-turning wave hit, she grimaced, wishing she hadn’t eaten all her saltines that morning.


“I picked you up some ginger ale in town today.” Orion jerked a thumb toward the space behind the seat. “It’s back there if you want it. The soda’s warm, but Dad used to make it for Mitexi when she was pregnant and it always made her feel better.”


Beth looked over at him, surprised. “How did you know I was having morning sickness?”


“I pay attention, something my father taught me long ago.” Orion flashed her a boyish grin. “Told me the girls like it when you pay attention.”


Beth laughed and reached behind the seat. She found a flat box that held several glass bottles, and retrieved one. She read the label critically and raised an eyebrow. “All natural organic ginger ale. Sounds tasty.”


Orion chuckled at the sarcasm in her voice. “You’ll get used to it. I’m sure Dusty told you my family runs an organic farm. Free range chickens, wild game, organically grown fruits and veggies, hormone-free milk. We rarely eat anything we don’t make ourselves.”


Beth examined the bottle. The glow from the sunset shimmered inside the amber liquid. She moved the soda around and the bubbles fizzled and popped excitedly. It seemed normal enough. “Dusty used to drag this sort of food into the house all the time. I never touched the stuff.”


“Think of it as an adventure.” At the raised eyebrow he received in response, Orion smiled. “I promise. It’ll make you feel better.”


Without her typical fallbacks like saltines and toast, the ride was going to be a miserable one. As sick as she was, Beth was ready to try anything to make the nausea go away. Besides, Orion had taken very good care of her these last few weeks. Beth had learned to trust that even if his ideas often sounded strange there was wisdom behind the words that came from his young lips. Besides, it’s not like she had any better ideas to try at the moment. With one more uncertain glance at the bottle, she unscrewed the cap and raised the glass in toast to him. “Bottoms up.”


She took a long drink. It wasn’t as sweet as what she was used to, but had a bite to it that was interesting. As they drove, Beth saw houses and barns that were adorned with intricate symbols. Each was unique, but they were all circular in shape. Some were brightly colored, while others were simply black and white. Common symbols caught her eye, but the details were more difficult to make out from a distance. She remembered reading about the use of similar symbols amongst the Pennsylvania Dutch. They were hexes used to ward off evil magic they believed could affect the health of their family and livestock or cause crops to fail. It was a fascinating superstition, but not a practice she was familiar with this far west.


By the time Beth saw the sign for the Fox River, she’d finished what remained in the bottle and the nausea was fading. She wasn’t willing to give up on modern medicine yet, but this time, at least, there seemed to be some credence to “traditional” remedies. Beth got the feeling that whether or not she was ready for the full organic experience, the next few months were going to be very different.


They drove over the Fox River Bridge and sped past the cables that hung down from the steel arch. It reminded her of the bars on a birdcage. She turned away and her gaze fell to the river below. “Dusty said you all live close to the river. Must be nice.”


“Sometimes.” Orion opened a small rectangular tin with one hand and threw a white mint into his mouth. “But you have to be careful where you fish or swim. There are people trying to clean up the river, but some of the local factories spent several decades screwing it up. Gonna take a lot of work to heal the damage they did to the water.”


He offered her a mint and she shook her head. Beth remembered Dusty liked those things but they had always been too strong for her. “Heal? Now you sound like Dusty. You talk about the river as if it had been burned or cut, as if it was a real person or something.”


“The river is a living thing.” Orion’s eyes remained on the road, but a deep sadness crept into them. He spoke with great reverence and love. “She’s timeless in her beauty and strength. Without her, none of us can survive. She is sacred to my people, Beth, sacred to anyone who hasn’t forgotten how to listen to the land.”


Beth was uncertain how to respond to this, so she turned back to the open window and watched as the truck turned up a long, dirt road. In many ways Orion was like Dusty. They both took their beliefs to heart, and it permeated every part of them. Beth envied that conviction. What did she really believe in?