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Authors: Shawn Reilly

Tags: #shifter paranormal romance, #indiana fiction, #shifter series

Call of the Raven

BOOK: Call of the Raven
11.88Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub








Call of the Raven




The Union Series
Book One






Shawn Reilly






Call of the Raven

By Shawn Reilly


Published by




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“This book is available in print at most
online retailers.”









Years ago when I met sixteen-year-old James
Kelly from the UK in an online writing workshop, I told myself that
if I ever succeeded in getting a book published, I would remember
to dedicate a book to him. James read my horrible attempts at
writing a science fiction titled
Heart, Soul and Mind
. Not
only did he keep his mind open to my lack of knowledge of both
science fiction and the English language, he encouraged me to stick
with it when I saw no hope. I hope you’re still writing. The world
needs to know of
The Darkest Dawn


And lastly, but by no means least, this book
is dedicated to my husband Greg, who not only had to share me with
my computer but with my characters, and often crazy worlds. Without
his support and love, I would be nothing. I truly have a love worth
fighting for.





I don’t know where I would be without the
backing of some very dear people. First, I want to thank my three
daughters. Had it not been for my youngest daughter Chelsea taking
me hostage while I was sick and making me watch anime with her,
this book would never have happened. Thanks to my middle daughter
Bethany for giving me the name of the main character Asher Lake,
and eldest daughter Kristin for giving me the name Elle, the ending
storyline, and all the brainstorming in between. Had I not been
able to bounce ideas off of you three, I don’t know where I’d

I give a big hearty thanks to Stephanie Bell
for her early reading of the book before it was ever touched by an
editor’s pen. Thanks to both Kristin Smothers and Robin Day for
your constant reassurance and for helping me to clear up any

Thank you to Lea-Ellen Borg for the research
and information she provided and to Cyndi Santolin Delia, Nancy
Qualls and Jill Huett-Ziegler for taking time out of their busy
schedules to read for me. I would like to give a special thanks to
Melvina Davis my devoted speed reading beta reader for pointing out
gaps, and not just reading Book One but whizzing through to Book
Three faster than I could finish it. And a very special thank you
goes to Literati Literature Lovers for their review and

And in conclusion I would be remiss to not
mention my editor Karen Crain-Hedger of Crain Editing. The stories
I’ve written would still be on my computer without her. I am humble
enough to realize I cannot do this on my own. In so many ways all
those mentioned have given me their support and dedication. They
have offered encouragement and kind words even when I failed to
believe in myself, and played the part of the doubting author. The
story may be mine but without all those that contributed this book
would have never gotten this far. So in that, I acknowledge and
dedicate this book to you.

Lastly, final thanks to Kristin Smothers for
the unique and wonderful job she did on my book cover. She took the
images floating around in my head and gave them sense and purpose.
And thanks to Facebook and twitter for opening up the world of
social media, and uniting other Indie writers such as myself. You
can always find me there.


Table of




1. The

2. Intrusion

3. Uprising

4. Unwanted

5. Discovery

6. Rebirthing

7. Thousand

8. All Fall

9. Hidden Truth

10. The Promise

11. The Fighter

12. Restitution

13. Her Song

14. Something

15. Double Edged

16. Outsider

17. Choices

18. Mistaken


20. The

21. The Lily

22. Fire &



The Call


Before the cock

The Raven will

And you
will be no longer.”

~Asher Lake



Grant Lake dropped
his legs over the
side of the bed and rubbed at his tired eyes. He hadn’t slept much
for days, not since the rain had begun. For a few moments he sat
there in a listless stupor, staring at the waning moon hovering
above the large maple, before staggering to the window to have a
better look outside. He didn’t see any sign of the dark bird from
his dreams but he knew it was there.

He sensed it in his bones.

Throughout history ravens had been considered
a bad omen. To him it meant so much more. As rain streaked down the
windowpane, great sadness washed over him. He was born a wolf, a
leader to the world of animal shifters known as the Union, as well
as protector to the protégé heirs left in his care. To his kind he
was known as a Keeper, and dying young was his destiny.

Leaving the window behind Grant went to the
dresser and removed a chain from his neck. He ran his thumb across
the silver medallion that bore the emblem of a wolf, and then
draped it on top of an antique box shaped like a treasure chest.
Closing the door behind him, he walked down the hall to little
Kennedy’s room and quietly slipped inside. Taking a blue jewel from
the pocket of his jeans, Grant placed it on her nightstand. After
giving the eight-year-old girl a kiss on the forehead he went
across the hall to the twins’ room.

Removing the books he prepared for them, from
the nightstand drawer, he placed them on top, so that they would
eventually find them. In turn, he gave them both a kiss as he had
Kennedy, and left the room. He had one last stop to make and that
was the boys’ room. Turning the door handle he stepped inside the
darkened room. The quiet was evidence that Ari was still awake. Any
other time his snores could be heard throughout the entire manor.
The room was shared by three boys. Two were in bunk beds and the
third lay quiet and still on a single bed by the window, but it was
fifteen-year-old Ari lying on the bottom bunk that he went to

“Can’t sleep huh?”

“Oh I could sleep,” Ari turned his head
toward him, “but every time I drift off Asher throws something at
me and wakes me up. He says my snoring bothers him, but I know he’s
not even trying to sleep. He’s reading.” Ari yawned. “The fact of
the matter is he’s miserable, so he feels the need to make me
miserable as well.”

Grant glanced across the room at Asher whom
he knew was listening. Lately being nice to him was an extra hard
task. He had become so distant and mean at times, especially to his
brother Ari.

“I think he’s worried about something, but of
course he never tells me anything,” Ari complained. “He’s
completely shut me out, and worst of all he won’t let me do my job
as guardian.” When Grant again said nothing, Ari sat up and scanned
over him. “What’s up Grant, you look a little worried too?”

“Ari, I would like for you to take Nixon and
go sleep in the twin’s room tonight. You know they don’t like
storms much, and I need to talk to Asher alone.”

Ari stood and looked at the boy sleeping on
the top bunk. Nixon’s mouth was opened wide. Even in sleep the
nine-year-old seemed to be in alert status ready to scream or
worse, bite. “You know I always do as you ask Grant but can’t I
leave Nixon here? He doesn’t like me.”

Grant put a fatherly hand on Ari’s shoulder.
“Just give him some time. He’s new here. Now take him and go.”

“Oh, all right.” Ari gently pulled the
younger boy by the arm toward him, and just when he was about to
lift him into his arms, Nixon’s eyes and mouth flew open
instinctively. Without thinking, Grant grabbed hold of his head
before he could sink his teeth into Ari’s shoulder.

“Why does he always go with the teeth?” Ari
breathed. “You would think a bird—”

“I’m not a bird you ugly wet-smelling dog!”
Nixon shouted.

Grant hushed him quiet. “I know you don’t
know us that well, but we mean you no harm. This place is your

“I don’t need any ref-phuge!” Nixon exclaimed
angrily. He pushed Grant’s hand away but the tears that threatened
to form told a different story. Grant knew the boy wanted to trust
him but earning his confidence would take time and time was
something Grant didn’t have. “Why am I going with the dog and not
him?” Nixon pointed toward Asher.

Of all the people in the house, even over the
gentle loyal Ari, Nixon had chosen Asher and Asher could care less.
to talk to Asher alone,” Grant repeated, “so go with
Ari and don’t give him a hard time.”

“Then tell him to keep his hands off me!”
Nixon demanded jumping down from the bed. Even in that he was

Once they were gone Grant crossed over to the
bed and looked down at the remaining boy. His hair, long and black
as coal, lay against a crisp white pillowcase. His eyes were opened
staring blankly out the window at the waning moon. Grant knew how
he felt. Since he too was a wolf, Asher also was affected by the
moon’s weakened state.

“I’m seventeen…not yet a man,” he gravely
said. “I’m too young to be a Keeper.”

“It’s the way of things. It’s not like you
have a choice,” Grant said. “Besides, what makes you think I’m
going to die?”

“Oh you
die and soon because you
made the choice to fall in love.”

“Asher, do you always have to be so brutal
with your words?”

Turning his head, Asher looked up at Grant.
Even in the dark the boy’s strange eyes reflected light, but as
usual there was no warmth to be found within their depths. Asher
had stopped smiling. Asher had stopped laughing. Lately it was
always the same blank unreadable face and the same harsh words.
“You can’t stop it. You
die,” Asher flatly said.

“And so will you.”

“Yes, but at least I won’t die young,” Asher

“What makes you so sure? You’re a wolf,”
Grant argued. “You were born a Keeper, and whether you like it or
not you will take my place.”

“Yes, I will take your place because the
Council has seen to that and will continue to do so upon your
demise. However, unlike you, I have come up with a plan to guard
myself against the Raven’s call.” Asher turned away as Grant sat
down beside him on the bed. The boy made no indication that he
planned to give him more room or that he wanted him to stay.

“And what plan is that?” Grant picked up the
book lying next to Asher’s hand. The book befittingly was by Edgar
Allan Poe.

“It’s simple really,” Asher said tonelessly.
“The Raven doesn’t want us to be happy. When we are happy, when we
are content, when we fall in love, that’s when the Raven appears.
So I have vowed never to be happy, never to love or fall in love,
and if I’m content, it is only in my acceptance of these

Grant’s frustration escalated. “Let me get
this straight. You will become Keeper to the Union and to the
protégés but you won’t love them? Is that what you’re

BOOK: Call of the Raven
11.88Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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