Ophelia’s been successful at hiding her true identity, until the mark of the serpent appears on her neck—a death sentence, should it be seen by anyone in her town. Hiding the mark might save her from falling victim to the witch hunts of her era, but the scorching sensation it carries can’t be ignored.
When the mysterious Ethan is sent to collect her for a life of something more, she learns concealing the mark is the least of her worries. She’s destined to don a new mask—to join a dark, supernatural world and protect the future of people she may never meet.
What she doesn’t know—what she learns too late—is that her initiation won’t be complete until she kills the man she loves.
Set in an alternate Regency England, “”Her Sweetest Downfall”” is a standalone novella in the “”Forever Girl”” series, written as a gift to fans of the Forever Girl series.
HER SWEETEST DOWNFALL will appeal to lovers of paranormal romance, fantasy, and vampire fiction.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rebecca Hamilton writes Paranormal Fantasy, Horror, and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and three kids, along with multiple writing personalities that range from morbid to literary. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently.
An Overview of The Forever Girl World and all its Creatures!
Many, many years ago, our Universe used its power of creation to make Earth, and the Earth was an art to watch on and manipulate and intrigue. It was through this creation that the Universe realized they could create life that could sustain itself. The trees would grow without the Universe commanding it to be so. The wind would blow, the waves would roll, the earth would crack and shift.
But with this new world came a weakness. The Universe’s energy was depleting faster than it could replenish, and it feared soon it would fade out of existence. It was then the Universe create Humans, and so designed them that they would be an energy, and the Universe could draw from their positive energy each day and while the Universe fed on this energy these humans would sleep.
Some of the humans, however, had within them a darkness. The Universe could not thrive on their energy, and so sleep did not come so easily for them. In their restlessness, they caused destruction among their lands and cities and towns, and with each life source that one human killed off, the Universe began to feel more of a threat on their source of life.
And so came about the creation of the Cruor, as the Universe was one that could only create and not destroy. The Cruor, who would later become known by the modern man or woman as vampires, represent the element of Earth.
In the world of The Forever Girl, the Cruor (earth elementals) were created by the Universe resurrecting humans who were buried alive. They were to be guardians of the night, immortal creatures that would hunt the dark humans. As time went on, Cruor became able to multiple in number by “turning” these humans. The intention of the transformation was to purify the dark human so they could join the Cruor in eliminating the dark energy in this world. Instead, some Cruor harbored darkness of their own, and soon this darkness became more of a keystone than an anomaly.
At around the same time the Cruor were brought forth, the Chibold were brought into existence as well. The Chibold are Fire Elementals, based on sprites, known for the mischievous behavior and tendency to appear as children. However, do not be deceived. These little ones contain a supreme knowledge and are able to communicate directly with the Universe, and can intuitively discern good from evil. They are little watchers privy to the kind of information disclosed around children by adults who think they won’t understand. Additionally, they sometimes act as messengers and guides for other Elementals.
Water elementals are known as the Strigoi. They are similar to shapeshifters. The Universe intended them as hunters of the darker Cruor, but, unfortunately, this turned into more of a battle between the elemental races. You could call them immortal enemies, though Strigoi are only immortal so long as they don’t stop shifting.
Air Elementals, or the Ankou, are faerie grim reapers. They’re based on the legend of the Ankou, and they brought to this world a magic intended to help bring peace between the Strigoi and the Cruor, and also to deal with the spirits of these supernaturals following their death. When the Ankou came, they brought peace between the Cruor and Strigoi, but this also led to procreation between the races.
The MALTORIM (and Dual Breeds)
The Maltorim are a council meant to oversee the wishes of the Universe. The Universe, however, began to request things of the Council that its members did not want to honor. For example, the Universe wanted to bring a balance to the Council, with one element representing one leader within the Council. The current leaders, however, and more especially the Queen, did not want balance. Moreover, the presence of the Ankou led to cross-breeding of other supernatural races.
Dual bred races had an easier time integrating with human society. Compared to their purebred counterparts, they are weaker in some ways and stronger in others, but this gives them an edge (while also making their abilities a bit unpredictable). This worries the Council. Further, the presence of dual breeds increased discovery by humans (or those two events coincided—which does not necessarily mean one was the cause!). However, the Council liked to blame the dual-natured for this, as it gave them an opportunity to launch an attack against all of their kind.
Before that point, there was a resistance between the Universe and the Council, but at this time, the Council was in complete rebellion. The Council would argue that the Universe didn’t know what it was doing—that the Universe had messed up time and time again. The Council believed they could do better, but the Universe will not give up yet, because the Council’s actions could lead to the extermination of all life within the Universe (and the Universe itself).
There had been several witch trials before any spirit elementals were chosen, but as the first spirit elementals were chosen during the Salem witch trials, they quickly became known as “witches” as well, this being largely because “witch” was something humans used to call humans they thought of as supernatural, and the spirit elementals were just that—mortal supernaturals.
Witches were intended to conjure magic from the Universe directly and use that magic to restore balance in the Earth. Their very presence, of course, would help restore balance just by bringing all of the elements into play, but it was their magic that was intended to create harmony.
The Universe, being a bit wiser for its past mistakes, created witches in such a way that any harm they caused would be brought back to themselves. Because of a supernatural war (over the existence of dual breeds), the spirit elementals were not able to fulfill their duty, and the war raged in humanity over the idea of “witches”. But as the witches were mortal, the Universe granted immortality to their *magic* instead. This was the start of hereditary witches, whose magic, when passed down, would be halved, and when passed down again, halved again. And on it goes…
Forever Girls are witches who don’t always remain Spirit Elementals. Their magic is carried with their soul. If the spirit of the first witch stays in her lineage, then she will be a true Spirit elemental. Other Forever Girls, however, may come about by other means. They also began as Spirit elementals, carrying their magic with their soul, but if they strayed from their lineage, they may become grounded to another element while still remaining one of the Forever Girls.
If a woman can discover she is one of the Forever Girls, she can tap into all those lifetimes of magic. Otherwise, she can only use the magic that was passed down to her through her ancestors.
Whoa! I am intrigued with this prequel and I want more! This is a short read, Kittens so I am not going to go full description. Ophelia is hiding in a noble home looking for her mother. When Ethan explains to her that her destiny is greater than herself, her family or even him, Ophelia is reluctant (understatement) to listen to what he has to say.
How can a simple girl be something greater than what she appears to be? When Ophelia realizes that the stories her mother told her as a child were actually lessons, she begins to understand that she is meant for more.
When she discovers that the only way to continue on her path is to sacrifice Ethan she makes a choice that may come back to haunt her.
Rated 4 Bookworms