A Soul Reclaimed by Shayna Grissom

A Soul Reclaimed
Shayna Grissom
Publication date: April 1st 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Hell is divided into seven regions. The first region is designated for the purest of souls, the seventh is for the evilest. There was once a king of Hell, but the steward family has ruled for centuries.

Nora, the stepdaughter of the steward is undone when her mother and step-father take away her beloved tutor, Peter. When Nora confronts the steward and her mother, the discussion is heated and ends with the steward in inexplicable pain.

Shortly after, Nora finds herself in the Starry Wood. Peter told her of the perils within the forest, and it’s not long before the inhabitants of the wood find her.

A giant hunter named Aegis comes to Nora’s aid. He is drawn to Nora, compelled to protect her from the steward’s assassins, the giants, and the evil souls who escape the seventh region.

Together, they travel the seven layers of Hell to discover why the steward is so threatened by a teenage girl.

EXCERPT:

Aegis stopped for a moment to look at me with his pale blue eyes. “Who wants to kill you, Nora? Why would anyone want to kill a little girl?”

He looked so sad and forlorn at the thought of someone wanting me dead. Ripples of anger surfaced across his stubbled face before he returned to his stoic self. I wanted to keep my guard up and be wary of him, but I suddenly found myself feeling guilty of ill thoughts towards him.

“Vinicio is my stepfather,” I told him. “He never wanted me around, just like my mother. He’s trying to get rid of me.”

“There’s more to it than that.”

“Like what?” I feigned stupidity. If he knew I came from the outlands, he would understand why.

“I don’t know, but we will find out,” Aegis said.

Liar, liar, my other voice called from within.

Aegis was lying about how much he knew, but he wanted to be sure before admitting such to me. To have outlanders in the castle would likely anger people. Was Mother looking for me? Did she miss me? Was I so bad that she would abandon me? What had I done wrong? I put the knapsack on and followed Aegis to the dirt road and onward to a city with myself feeling guilty of ill thoughts towards him.

“Vinicio is my stepfather,” I told him. “He never wanted me around, just like my mother. He’s trying to get rid of me.”

“There’s more to it than that.”

“Like what?” I feigned stupidity. If he knew I came from the outlands, he would understand why.

“I don’t know, but we will find out,” Aegis said.

Liar, liar, my other voice called from within.

Aegis was lying about how much he knew, but he wanted to be sure before admitting such to me. To have outlanders in the castle would likely anger people. Was Mother looking for me? Did she miss me? WasI so bad that she would abandon me? What had I done wrong? I put the knapsack on and followed Aegis to the dirt road and onward to a city with answers, away from my mother and a place she told me was home.

“Come on, girl!” Aegis called, and I ran to his side.

Gerta said you didn’t eat,” I started.

“No.” He laughed. “I don’t eat, and I don’t drink blood. I don’t melt in the sun, and I’m not allergic to garlic or crosses.”

I laughed at the absurdity of the idea. He seemed to think it was funny, too, because his face crinkled around his eyes when he smiled.

“How long do you live if you’re not killed?”

“Forever, I suppose,” Aegis said, lifting his arms to the sky. “Are there girl vampires?”

At this, Aegis laughed fully. “Sure there are, but I haven’t seen any in a long time.”

I realized the trajectory of my questions was getting awkward, but how many souls encountered a vampire and woodsmen in one day? Even Peter didn’t know as much as Aegis must. Despite the bombardment of questions, Aegis was good-natured, and he seemed to enjoy the conversation. It made me wonder when he had last had a conversation with another person.

“Do vampires have children?”

“No.” Aegis kept his eyes on the road ahead as he spoke. “We’re not souls.

 

 

 

 

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Author Bio:

Shayna Grissom was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She currently resides in Seattle with her husband, two children, and her beloved pets. Shayna draws inspiration for her writings from binge-watching too many shows with far too much wine. She is a lover of the macabre, the strange, natural sciences, and films that feature vivid colors and imagery. Her favorite film director is Guillermo Del Toro, and her favorite books growing up were Anne Rice novels.

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