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Today’s Fantastic Fable is arguably the most popular tale out there. We have another take on Little Red Riding Hood today from authors Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie. Holgar Vibbard, hailing from Denmark, is the sole werewolf in the Salamancan team of hunters that are fighting to save the world from the vampires who have not only made their presence known, but who are systematically taking over the world. The Cursed Ones will not stop until the last cells of the underground resistance are dead–and that includes the Salamancans. The struggles of Holgar and his team are chronicled in the Crusade series, and DAMNED, the second book, hits shelves today. Thanks to Nancy and the terrific team over at Simon Pulse, six of you who comment on this post will win a copy of the book! See details below.
Holgar Meets Little Red Riding Hood
By Debbie Viguié and Nancy Holder
There was something wrong in the woods. Holgar could feel it. Everything seemed…different. He opened his eyes and stood slowly to his feet, stretching. The skin on the back of his neck prickled and he scowled. He was a werewolf and he had never feared the forest. He glanced up at the tree he had slept beneath and then froze. It was shorter than it had been, by a considerable amount. He spun in a circle, eyes probing the forest. All the trees were shorter, younger than they had been.
How was that possible?
He let out his breath and was surprised to see it in the afternoon air. When had it grown cold? The cold grew, penetrating his bones until even he was shaking from it. He was a wolf of the north, cold shouldn’t affect him so. But this cold was different…unearthly.
And suddenly he heard singing. It was a child’s voice. The song she sung was an old one and the words were joyous but it sounded like a dirge the way the singer voiced it. Intrigued, he followed the sound. Within a minute, he came upon a girl of ten dressed in old fashioned clothes and a flowing red cloak. She clutched a basket in her hands so tightly that her knuckles were white.
She stopped singing and looked at him, cocking her head to the side. “You’re new,” she said, her voice floating toward him.
“And you’re…” he struggled to find the right word for her. “Old.”
Holgar looked around the forest, the forest that seemed younger than the one he’d fallen asleep in. “What year is it?” he asked her.
“I suppose it is the year of our Lord thirteen hundred and four,” she said.
“What are you?” he whispered as fear engulfed him.
She smiled at him sadly. “I was a girl. I am a girl.”
“It’s not safe to be out by yourself,” he said, struggling to comprehend what was happening. “You do know that out there,” he said, pointing out of the forest, “there’s a war going on.”
“There’s a war going on in here,” she said solemnly.
Far off a wolf howled and the girl shuddered and turned frightened, pain-filled eyes to him. “The wolf is going to eat me,” she whispered.
“How do you know?” he asked.
“He always does.”
“I can’t,” she said.
“Why not?” he demanded, glancing anxiously in the direction the howl had come from.
“Because you didn’t save me.” She turned and began to walk away.
Didn’t. Past tense.
“Are you a spirit?” he called to the little girl’s back.
She turned. “Yes.”
“What are you doing here?” he asked, fighting the urge to flee. He was a werewolf. He fought vampires and was a hunting partner with a witch. But he had never seen a ghost and she terrified him more than anything he had ever known.
“Dying. Every full moon he kills me again.”
The girl and the wolf, ghosts locked in an endless battle for centuries. “The moon won’t be up for another hour, you can run.”
“He finds me.”
“Why do you linger here?” he asked.
She smiled at him. “Because one day I will kill him.”
“Let me help you,” he heard himself volunteering.
She walked slowly over to him and put a hand on his arm. All the hair on his arm raised up. The place where she was touching him felt cold, but he could not feel her hand, just a sense of weight that seemed unnatural.
“One day,” she said softly.
“When?” he asked.
“When you are dead.”
She turned and began to skip through the forest, singing the same song. He stood and stared after her and he could swear that there was a lilt to her voice that had not been there before. When he could hear her no more, the coldness left and he began to feel warm again. There was a whisper of wind through the trees and he blinked and looked around. All was as it had been that morning when he went to sleep.
Except now he knew.
He wasn’t the only monster in the forest.
New York Times Bestselling author Nancy Holder was born in Los Altos, California, and her family settled for a time in Walnut Creek. Her father, who taught at Stanford, joined the navy and the family traveled throughout California and lived in Japan for three years. When she was sixteen, she dropped out of high school to become a ballet dancer in Cologne, Germany, and later relocated to Frankfurt Am Main.
Eventually she returned to California and graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in Communications. Soon after, she began to write; her first sale was a young adult romance novel titledTeach Me to Love.
Nancy’s work has appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, LA Times, amazon.com, LOCUS, and other bestseller lists. A four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association, she has also received accolades from the American Library Association, the American Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and Romantic Times.
She and Debbie Viguié co-authored the New York Times bestselling seriesWicked for Simon and Schuster. They have continued their collaboration with theCrusade series, also for Simon and Schuster, and the Wolf Springs Chronicles for Delacorte (2011.) She is also the author of the young adult horror seriesPossessions for Razorbill. She has sold many novels and book projects set in theBuffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Saving Grace, Hellboy, and Smallville universes.
She has sold approximately two hundred short stories and essays on writing and popular culture. Her anthology, Outsiders, co-edited with Nancy Kilpatrick, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in 2005.
She teaches in the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Program, offered through the University of Southern Maine. She has previously taught at UCSD and has served on the Clarion Board of Directors.
She lives in San Diego, California, with her daughter Belle, their two Corgis, Panda and Tater; and their cats, David and Kittnen Snow. She and Belle are active in Girl Scouts and dog obedience training.
Debbie Viguié is the New York Times Bestselling author of over a dozen novels including the Wicked series and the new Crusadeseries co-authored with Nancy Holder. Much of Debbie’s writing has a dark edge to it, including her retold fairy tales, her latest beingViolet Eyes, a retelling of The Princess and the Pea. In addition to her epic dark fantasy work Debbie also writes thrillers including The Psalm 23 Mysteries and the upcoming Kiss trilogy. When Debbie isn’t busy writing she enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott, visiting theme parks. They live in Florida with their cat, Shrödinger.
Want to read more from Nancy & Debbie?
This giveaway is provided by Nancy and Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse
Six winners will each receive a copy of Damned by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
Available on August 30, 2011 from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse
About the Book:
There is a fine line between love and sacrifice….
Antonio would do anything for his beloved fighting partner Jenn. He protects her, even suppresses his vampire cravings to be with her. Together, they defend humanity against the Cursed Ones. But tensions threaten to fracture their hunting team and his loyalty—his love—is called into question.
With an even more sinister power on the rise, Jenn must overcome her personal vendettas.
Antonio and Jenn need each other to survive, but evil lurks at every turn. With humanity’s fate hanging in the balance, they must face down the darkness…or die trying.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
1. Leave a comment for Nancy & Debbie, let us know what you think of this fable, book or series.
2. +1 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
3. Giveaway is open to U.S. only.
4. Please include your email address in your comment.
5. All Fantastic Fables winners will be announced on September 7th.
6. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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