The sea was calling to him.
Raef closed his eyes and inhaled, breathing in the familiar mixture of damp earth
and salt spray. Heather. Pine. Smoke. The wind, calm and gentle, cascaded up the steep
slope beneath where Raef sat, his legs dangling over a rocky edge. A pair of trees, thin
and scraggly, clung to the rocks on either side of him, half their roots exposed, their
trunks leaning at desperate angles. They were old friends, these trees. Below Raef, a
colony of gulls kept their nests, hidden in narrow clefts, safe from predators but for the
boy who had dared the descent, swinging down from the trees, scaling the craggy face
in search of eggs and downy feathers.
Long ago had Raef ceased to trust the trees with his weight, and he left the
poaching of eggs to the fishermen’s sons, whose cottages perched on the shore below,
clinging to the coast like barnacles. Tendrils of smoke curled up from the sod roofs and a
herd of small boats bobbed in the rising tide. But this was still his place.
The sun was setting, sending waves of purple and orange light across the still
surface of the sea. Clouds, pink and grey and lined with silver, were trickling in from the
open water. They would pile up against the hills overnight, Raef knew, after a long
journey over empty water. In the morning, the green hills would be cloaked in grey and
dripping with moisture. The fjord would be hidden under a blanket of mist and the fish
would sleep in the shadows.
With the dying light of the summer sun came a cooler breeze, one that hinted of
autumn. Raef could almost hear the crinkle of dry yellow leaves underfoot and smell the
cider press at work. But autumn was still many days away, many nights of late sunsets
and bright stars, many days of hot sun and stiff breezes to carry a ship over the waves.
There was yet time and Raef did not intend to wait until the spring before taking to the
Title: The Blood-Tainted Winter
Author: T.L. Greylock
Genre: Mythological Fantasy
Raef Skallagrim wants to take the sea road. His ship is fast and sleek, his crew skilled and eager, and they will seek out new lands and win fame in the eyes of the gods. But Raef’s father refuses to allow the journey and when a stranger brings word that the king is dead and a gathering has been called to choose a successor, Raef must set aside his dream for his duty to his ancestral lands and his father.
When factions split at the gathering to choose a successor, Raef finds himself mired in bloodshed and treachery. Forced to make an uneasy alliance with a man he does not trust, Raef must navigate the tides of a war among three kings while seeking revenge for cold-blooded murder.
But winter has come early to Midgard, and even the gods will feel the cold.
The eBook will be free on Amazon from December 18 to December 22 – just in time for Christmas!
T L Greylock is the author of The Blood-Tainted Winter, the first installment in a new Norse saga, The Song of the Ash Tree. She drinks tea (English breakfast with milk), wears neon colored socks, and once held an epic pigeon racing tournament in the gardens of The Tuileries.