by L.J. Leger
Available on Amazon
Fairy tales and haunted woods lead us through L.J. Leger's Beauty and the Beast story of one girl with the weight of a village on her shoulders and the attention of a very unlikely soul.
Jenna is chosen for the coveted task of gathering the magical fruit to preserve the peaceful balance of the secret valley where she and many others live. During the harvest, one fruit is damaged and the task of healing the bruise falls on Jenna’s shoulders. She must enter the Wraith’s Forest, retrieve a magical blade from the specter who lives there so the valley will remain a utopia. But once she makes contact with the Wraith, her fear slowly disappears and her curiosity is aroused with more questions of why the Wraith is in the Forest and the true purpose for the harvest. If you love Beauty and Beast type fairy tales, Wraith’s Forest is the book to read. Perfect for Young Adults!
He stood within the boundary of the trees. There he would stay. She knew the story too well. He was bound to the forest for eternity. As long as she stayed on the raised path to and from the valley, she would remain safe. She wouldn’t meet the same end as the men who had entered the trees only to depart them mindless, driven to insanity by the Wraith.
Jenna took a step. Her legs trembled. The Wraith moved with her. Another and another, he stayed at her side. The tattered ends of the robe twitched and swayed with each gust of wind. Once, she could have sworn she saw a blood red glow within the hood where his eyes should have been. Deep gray clouds flew overhead obstructing the sun’s light, and strong gusts shoved against her, causing her to struggle to move forward.
Vexed, Jenna shook her fist and shouted, “Leave me be.”
The wind, blasting harder than before, swept her words away. She broke into a sprint, hoping to reach the point where the dirt track opened into the valley. Once there, the Wraith would be gone. She sent quick, furtive glances to her left. His dark form glided even with her.
In an instant, her feet tangled with each other and she tripped. The path’s down sloping sides rose to meet her as she fell. She tried to stop, but she hit the ground hard. The breath whooshed out of her lungs. She slid forward until her head ended in the forest. Her hair, a snarled mass about her head, spread on the ground before her.
She laid there for a moment, her eyes half-closed against the pain slicing through her palms and knees. When she lifted her gaze, worn black boots under tattered robes appeared. White vapors escaped from along the seams. In the shadows of the trees, the Wraith stood but a foot away from her.
“I’ve done nothing to you. Leave me be,” she cried, rising on her elbows, trying to scoot back.
The Wraith leaned toward her; his gloved hand reached and lifted a lock of her hair. She shrank back, but stopped when his grip tightened on the ends. He reeled her closer. Frozen with terror and pain, she stared into the black gap in the hood.
She forgot to breathe.
A flash whisked by and she fell away from him. Between his fingers of his left hand, he held strands of her hair. She stared at the blonde tendrils shifting in the wind. A golden blade, shining with an internal glow, winked once before it disappeared within the folds of his robes.
Just as quickly, he too vanished.