Forged in Dreams Demon Entanglements Book 1 by Rebecca York Genre: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance Published by Changeling Press
Silversmith Megan Holder thinks she’s an ordinary woman, until she’s kidnapped by demonic creatures and learns she’s a key player in a desperate struggle over the fate of humanity. Her only hope of survival lies with werewolf Daniel Fenton, the man she’s growing to love. But can the two of them survive to fulfill the destiny ordained by the Norse gods?
Megan Holder’s eyes blinked open. One moment she was sound asleep in her own bed, but the next, she was somewhere else. Dark shapes flitted around her. At first, she couldn’t make out what they were. Then she realized naked men and women cavorted around her in a frantic dance. In that moment of clarity, she realized she was naked too, and a cold breeze was wafting over her, tightening her nipples. She lay on her back on a table in… a cave? At least, she could see a rock-hewn wall and flickering torches beyond the moving figures.
They danced without music, their wild gyrations making her dizzy. The performance was obscene with a lot of pelvic thrusting, men fingering their cocks and women playing with their breasts. This must be a dream. It couldn’t be real.
“Let me out of here!” Megan screamed, but no one came rushing to her aid. Had the words only been in her head? Realizing there would be no cavalry riding to her rescue, she fought to pull herself from sleep. But her will was no match for this place of evil. She remained where she was, in the grip of the nightmare. It wasn’t real. It couldn’t be real. Yet all the emotions it generated were real. Fear and humiliation threatened to swallow her whole, and she clung to her sanity by her fingernails.
Ugly faces pressed in around her, some with bulbous noses, red eyes, and rotted teeth. Their breath held an awful stench, and she turned her head away, only to find another apparition staring at her. They were focused on her tightened nipples or her pubis, making crude remarks about her body.
“Like those titties?”
“Not very big. I want a nice handful to squeeze.”
“But she looks like she’s turned on.”
“Oh yeah,” somebody shouted in agreement.
The obscene comments and the hot gazes made her skin prickle as though insects were crawling over her body.
Desperate to escape, Megan closed her eyes, again willing herself back to her bed. But it was no good.
To her horror, the tone of their words changed to a suffocating eagerness.
“Maybe it’s time to do the deed with her.”
“No. The spell isn’t strong enough yet.”
“How do you know?”
“She’s here. But she’s not here.”
One of the monsters reached toward her, and she cringed back. But before the grasping fingers could connect with her breast, the hand was viciously slapped away.
A command rang out. “Stop it, you fools.”
All the dancers went still, turning to a robed figure who stood among them. He was tall. Probably a man, but a hood dipped low over his face, and she couldn’t see his features. Still, his voice sent a shiver over her skin. “Not yet. We are on the cusp, but the timing must be right.”
It was all too much. The dancers had frightened and disgusted her. This newcomer was something more -- an engine of terror. Fear of him tipped her over the edge. Putting out a tremendous effort, she struggled to yank her mind from the terrible dream…
Megan’s eyes snapped open, and she looked wildly around. Thank the Gods! She was back in the familiar bedroom in the little home and workshop she was renting in St. Stephens, a small town on Maryland’s eastern shore. Relief felt like the warmth of a blazing fire after a trip through a freezing hell.
No longer naked, she lay in a tangle of covers, dressed in the T-shirt and briefs she’d worn to bed. Pressing into the sheets, she hugged her arms around her shoulders, fighting to banish the remnants of the nightmare. She’d had this frightening dream before in the past few weeks. Each time it seemed stronger, longer, more vivid. More real.
Was she going insane?
Megan looked at the clock on the nightstand. It was five-twenty. Too early to get up, but the idea of going back to sleep now made her shudder.
Damn. She had a business appointment today with a local merchant who had asked for more of her one-of-a-kind silver rings, pendants, and other pieces. She wanted to be at her best when she met with him. Good luck with that.
Swinging her legs out of bed, she pulled on her robe before marching into the combination kitchen and living room of her little house. Her father had said she’d be safe here when he’d practically banished her. But safe from what? Too bad he hadn’t been more specific.
She gritted her teeth in frustration. Were the dreams the real danger?
New York Times and USA Today Best-Selling Author Rebecca York began her career as a journalist writing articles for newspapers and magazines, but after several years decided to try writing fiction. She's a highly successful author of over 50 romantic suspense and paranormal novels and is the head of the Columbia Writers Workshop. Her many awards include two Rita finalist books. She has two Career Achievement awards from Romantic Times: for Series Romantic Suspense and for Series Romantic Mystery. Her Peregrine Connection series won a Lifetime Achievement Award for Romantic Suspense Series. She collects rocks, and enjoys cooking, walking, reading, gardening, travel, and Mozart operas.