Excerpt: ‘Horse Feet’ by Celestine Trinidad

We’re very excited about the release of Insignia: Southeast Asian Fantasy, the third anthology in The Insignia Series. As a preview, we’ll be sharing excerpts from all the stories over the next few days, beginning with ‘Horse Feet’, a paranormal mystery by Filipino author, Celestine Trinidad.

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‘Horse Feet’ by Celestine Trinidad

Maria stood before the large black horse bound to one of the trees, feeling a sudden and completely uncharacteristic pang of pity for the creature. A circle of salt had been drawn on the ground, keeping the tikbalang enclosed within its borders. Someone had thrown salt at the creature itself as well –crystals glimmered in its mane, and the portions of its skin where the salt had touched it looked raw and red, like fresh burn marks.

“He’s been like that since we caught him, Lady Sinukuan,” the man standing behind her said. Kapitan Alfredo, the captain of the village of Wakas, Tayabas, was a short and stocky man, his bald head only reaching up to Maria’s shoulders. “He hasn’t said anything, except when he asked for you.”

“That is unusual, indeed,” Maria said. “Most of the time I have trouble just getting him to shut up.”

“He said that he was under your protection, My Lady. Was he speaking the truth?”

“Well, in a manner of speaking, I suppose he is,” Maria replied.

“How do you know him?”

“He is—” Maria was about to say, ‘a suitor’, but stopped herself in time. That was what she thought he was in the beginning, indeed, just one out of the many suitors who sought the hand of the guardian diwata of Arayat in marriage. But—as much as she loathed to admit it—he turned out to be more than that, unsolicited though his help had been. Under the circumstances, she felt that she should acknowledge him this time. “He has been of great assistance to me in some of my other cases.” She hoped he really was unconscious, for if he had heard speak like this, she would never hear the end of it. “What has he done, Kapitan, for him to deserve a death sentence?”

“Murder,” Kapitan Alfredo said bluntly.

“Murder?”

“One of my servants, Ernesto, had been missing since dinner last night,” Kapitan Alfredo explained. “My son Felipe went to look for him, and he found Ernesto’s body in the forest. And then he saw this creature running away from the scene.”

Maria’s eyebrows furrowed as she considered the matter. “And how was Ernesto killed?”

“Trampled to death, it looked like.  I saw the body myself. There were all these bruises in the shape of a horse’s hooves all over his body. Exactly how a tikbalang would kill a human.”

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Celestine Trinidad’s Profile Page

Insignia: Southeast Asian Fantasy Page

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Want to write for the next Insignia anthology?

See our new Submissions Page

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More Excerpts:

‘Horse Feet’ by Celestine Trinidad

‘The Third Eye’ by Sheenah Freitas

‘Interlude’ by Eve Shi

‘The Island’ by Melvin Yong

‘Running from Shadows’ by Joyce Chng

‘Never Seen’ by Kelly Matsuura

‘Spirit of Regret’ by Eliza Chan

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HAPPY RELEASE DAY!!

It’s finally here!

‘Insignia: Southeast Asian Fantasy’ is now available for just $1.99!

INS3-release-promo

Buy Links:

| Smashwords |

| Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA |

(Coming soon to Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and more).

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Visit the Insignia Vol.3. Page here

Want to write for our next anthology? See our Submissions Page here

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Other titles in The Insignia Series:

Insignia: Japanese Fantasy Stories

Insignia: Chinese Fantasy Stories

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BOTW: ‘Wolf at the Door’ by J. Damask

Insignia Series contributor, Joyce Chng, has a new novella out, released under the pen name J.Damask.

‘Wolf at the Door’ by J. Damask

https://dwtr67e3ikfml.cloudfront.net/bookCovers/97a45b248ea41632a8122dcb63564fc962209944

Blurb:

Book 1 of the Jan Xu novels

Being an ex-teen vigilante comes with its own set of problems.

Housewife, ex-teen vigilante…and shape-shifting wolf…Jan Xu has enough problems without adding her sister’s to the mix. Marianne is returning to Singapore and she’s filled with strange ideas. She’s also not alone. She’s coming home with a new boyfriend who has a dark agenda of his own.

With sibling rivalry threatening the inevitable: a battle-to-the-death with fang and claw, Jan and Marianne must overcome their issues if they’re ever going to find peace within their troubled relationship.

Available from Smashwords

BOTW: ‘The Castle of all Nightmares (Tales of Crow 2)’ by Chris Ward

New release!

The Castle of all Nightmares (Tales of Crow 2)

By Chris Ward

TOC 2 - ebook coverBlurb:

A group of stranded tourists, a missing billionaire, and a dead woman in the woods, killed by some kind of giant bird. As lights blink on and off in the seemingly deserted Heigel Castle, it appears that Professor Crow is back …

Seven years after the tragic events at British Heights, Jun Matsumoto is now lead singer for Plastic Black Butterfly as they tour across Europe. Their shows bring them to the quiet Romanian town of Heigel, where a series of brutal animal killings have been followed up by the murder of an old local woman. The clues point to Jun’s old nemesis, Professor Crow. Despite the danger, Jun is unable to resist the chance to take revenge on the man who left so many of his friends dead. However, Professor Crow has his own scores to settle …

The Castle of All Nightmares is the second novel in Chris Ward’s Tales of Crow series, following on from They Came Out After Dark. The third volume, The Puppeteer King, will be published later in 2015.

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| Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AUS |

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Preview They Came out after Dark (Tales of Crow I)

Chris Ward’s Author Page

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Book of the Week: ‘Wildfire’ by Mina Khan

I want to share a paranormal mystery/romance book this week. Wildfire is set in the United States, but contains some cool fantasy elements mixed with Japanese mythology. I have interviewed Mina Khan about this book before on my romance blog: click here if you would like to read it.

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Blurb:

Lynn Hana Alexander is a 25-year-old Japanese American shape-shifter haunted by guilt. She’s been questioning herself and her dragon abilities ever since she failed to save her grandmother.

When her best friend is threatened by mysterious fires burning up acres of West Texas, Lynn rushes to the rescue determined not to fail again. However, with a tempting firefighter, a flirty city developer and dragon pheromones distracting her, how is she going to find the arsonist?

And worse: is her primary suspect a malicious rogue dragon or the love of her life?

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Available From:

Smashwords 

Amazon  US

Amazon UK

Amazon AUS

Barnes &Noble

  All Romance eBooks 

Kobo Books

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Mina Khan’s Amazon Author Page

 Blog: Stories by Mina Khan

 Facebook Author Page

 Twitter: @SpiceBites