McShayne’s Elf by Nicole Dennis
Series: McShayne Bloodline (Book 3)
Release Date: Tuesday, February 14 2023
Publisher: FatCat Books Ink
Cover Artist: Kris Jacen
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Length: Novel / 59,570 Words / 246 Pages
LGBTQ+ Identities: Gay
Keywords/Categories: elves, witches, dragons, adventure, magic, paranormal, fantasy, MM romance, gay romance, mm, gay, romance, new release, announcement, giveaway, friends to lovers, bodyguard, prince
Tropes: Friends to Lovers, Bodyguard-Prince
✨ Guest Post ✨
What is it about the McShayne Bloodline?
That’s the big question throughout the series. There is both an ancient history, thought lost to legend, but flowing into the current timelines. It is slowly coming to the forefront that the McShayne’s aren’t gone. But hidden. Or thought lost and found during the series. Each cousin finds their own way to the truth of their bloodline.
The McShayne family is the most powerful witch bloodline throughout the Lands. They became a powerful force within the magical Otherkin after the Mages and Witches combined with marriage and other interactions. As their magic increased, their lifelines lengthened until they become one of the long-lived races. Unlike other bloodlines, males and females can inherit the magic which increases the bloodlines and abilities. Anyone who marries or mates a McShayne witch will change to the McShayne name because it’s that strong and noticeable. There was often a McShayne witch treating a royal family or a leadership clan – both Otherkin and mortal. Due to this respect, they quietly built wealth along with power.
Some historians reason this is the true reason why some mortals turned against all Witches – but concentrated on the McShaynes. While there was always some untrust of Otherkin, these small group of mortals targeted the Witches because they worked within the mortal towns and cities and populations, unlike the other Otherkin that preferred their own realms. They feared the power and wealth of these families and used it to fuel their hate. Over time, this caused the Witches to pull away from large cities and towns. Even the McShaynes disappear from their prominent positions. Many believe this increasing fear, hatred, and protest against Witches became the leading force behind the devastating Night of Witchfires that started along the eastern coastal mountains and flowed to the west. While some thought it was one night, it was a series of nights as the fires and destruction continued. Many historians recorded the Night of Witchfires destroyed most of the Witches bloodlines. Entire covens of powerful lines were tortured and killed. The top targets of the fires were the McShayne covens and homes.
This is the tale of four sisters. Two older sisters were married to fellow male Witches and produced children early in their marriages. Two younger sisters followed their hearts and married mixed-blood Otherkin males. Due to this mixed-blood, their children came late to their marriages.
Who are the current McShaynes?
Morric McShayne, the hero of McShayne’s Dragon, is the youngest son of the oldest sister. He was sent to a coven in the west to expand his learning and skills. The Night of Witchfires wasn’t as encompassing in the west as it was in the eastern Lands. Throughout the night, he felt the loss of his coven members. Covered in disguise and trusted others, he traveled home days after the event which also saved him from the witchfires that hit the western lands. What he discovered there, he explains within the McShayne’s Fae story.
Larkin McShayne, the hero of McShayne’s Fae, is the youngest son of the second sister. Born in the Eastern Dareldurn Mountains, his family sent him to a southern coven to increase his skills in herbology and healing. None of his immediate family and coven survived. When the southern coven splits and disappears into the wilds, Larkin learns how to survive on his own and rely on his skills. He doesn’t share his tale only that he became one of the wandering healers and traveled the Lands in search for different flora specimens. Sometimes he’ll offer his healing skills or potions, but he is very cautious where and when. Often, he’ll disappear for months after offering the skills to protect himself from any potential danger. Of all the cousins, he’s the most wary and vigilant and fragile from what happened in the aftermath of the Witchfires.
Braedyn of the Dark, the hero of McShayne’s Elf, is the only son of the third sister, Allainah, and her mixed-race Elf/AElf husband, Darragh of the Dark Sword. As a foundling, his parents magically sent him to the Southern Woodland Realm of the Elves to be raised by them. Due to this, he lost most of the knowledge of his true family and is considered to be one of the Lost McShaynes. Part of this is what drives him through his story to find his lost heritage along with protecting the Elven Prince and realm that took him in as a child.
The last cousin is Alwyn McShayne, the hero of McShayne’s Merman, the only son of the youngest sister and her husband, a water dragon. He is a toddler when the Witchfires wind their way to their northwest home in the Cottlemeny Snow Fields. He was sent into the river by his parents to get away from the marauders and ended up at the Neptune Court. The rest of his story will be told within his book (in the writing stage).
Are there other McShayne survivors? I believe there are and plan to have them appear as shadows to assist the four cousins in their fight to survive the encroaching darkness upon the Lands. Will they become new stories? That is up to my readers to yell at me for more stories.
A Realm falls to the darkness.
An outcast because of his mixed heritage, Braedyn of the Dark, Captain of the Royal Shields and protector of the Prince of the Southern Woodland Realm, maintains his position through sheer grit and skill. Connected to a hawk familiar, Cerin, his magic is a mixture of Arcane and wielding. At the High King’s orders, he remains by his Prince’s side through a treacherous journey through the Lands to discover answers and a new home.
Losing his Realm, his parents, and his position in one-night, High Prince Conchobar Ó Díomasaigh is completely out of his familiarity. Running for his life, relying only on his protector and Captain, he digs deep to survive their trials, the growing darkness, and go wherever they must to save their Realm. At the same time, he sees his Captain in a different light and the deepening connection between them
Strange adventures. New allies. Growing connections. Can they survive this wild journey to save the elves, the Realm, and their lives?
Magic passed through ancient bloodlines for generations. A powerful family gifted with a blend of Elf, Fae, and Human magic, the McShaynes watched over the balance of nature. While the Otherkin receded from any mortal connection, the McShaynes refuse to leave their ancestral lands. Until the humans turn against magic.
Four McShayne sons spread across the Lands. Each one fears he is the last. They fight to survive the harsh atmosphere, maintain their bloodline gifts, and discover love and the true meaning of family.
The ground rumbled beneath his feet.
A half-breed elf crouched against the nearest wall to wait out the current round of bombardment.
While the multi-layered and intricate braids denoted all the years of study, training, and practice to gain the skills of an archer, a scout, a tracker, and a soldier, the color of his hair and skin discredited his position. Among the elves of the Southern Woodland Realm, Braedyn of the Dark was an anomaly, a half-breed, and, according to some, not wanted. With every single step or skill he accomplished, he pushed himself even further and harder than everyone around him. Not even the three platinum charms decorating a raven black braid that denoted his position as Captain of the Royal Shields for the High Prince of the Court gained him any support. No matter what anyone said or thought, he continued to perform his duties, going above and beyond to protect his prince and the Realm.
Tonight the elves faced their gravest threat.
Though he should remain behind to protect the Prince, Braedyn followed his King’s orders to moved toward the front lines. His prince understood and allowed him to leave his side to perform his duties and learn what he could. If possible, he would help the defenders. Stepping away, he continued his journey to the barrier walls.
“To the sky!” a look-out shouted to alert everyone.
Ducking under a roof’s edge, Braedyn pressed against the stone and wood while staring at the darkened sky. It was lit by the fires that spread around their beloved Southern Nialam Forest and within the double-walled city. Another series of sharp-tipped arrows flickered while they pierced the night sky.
Screams spread through the darkness. Defenders hit by the arrows. Slain by this unknown enemy.
Braedyn tried to block out the sounds, but he couldn’t.
The invasive attack of the unnatural creatures came out of nowhere and surrounded the double-walled city. Only the small section of sacred western wall against the lowland mountain where the ancestors created the necropolis, the pathway to the Endless Realm, was naturally protected. There was little to no advance warning of these creatures plowing through the forest.
There was a flurry of misguided and scattered action around him from frightened defenders. They never faced this kind of enemy. None of their usual tactics and weapons seem to destroy their enemy, not even push them back. As if the creatures were immune from their natural magic and simple weapons.
A group of young guards fled.
Braedyn waved around his sacred bow, a rare gift of the twin Heartstone Trees. The twisted black and white wooden bow was gifted to the highest skilled archers and personally selected by the Trees. Holding out the bow, he moved it to catch their attention and stop them from fleeing. “Stop! What are you doing? Fleeing from your sworn duty to protect this court, this Realm. Shame upon all of you.”
At the twisted light and dark colored bow, brilliant against the darkness, the young guards slid to a stop.
“A Heartstone bow,” one guard whispered.
“A high archer…”
“Him. It’s him. The half-breed Captain.”
Braedyn ignored the whispers.
“Do you know that one nick of an arrow and you drop dead? Those creatures don’t die. They keep coming out of the forest and night,” one young guard said. “This is why we flee. There is nothing we can do. We must leave the court.”
“All the generals are dead or out of commission. Somehow the enemy knew to find them within the darkness. The outer walls are lost. The southern corner is about to crumble. Some of those creatures are cave trolls or ogres, but it’s like they’re twisted into something else, something far worse. They’re huge. Nothing kills them,” another guard said.
Braedyn looked around at what he could by the walls. He let the words and situation soak into him and roll around. No, they wouldn’t give in and flee. Not this time. Not this battle.
“Sons of the Realm. Listen to me.” He spun the bow and tapped the metal end on the ground. He pointed to the guard who spoke first. “What is your name?”
“Geraint Fenkrana, Guard Commander.
“Commander Geraint, I have a new position for all of you,” Braedyn said. “Focus upon me.”
The group turned to face him with Geraint stepping forward. Their faces bright against the darkness with swatches of dirt and soot. The lightness of their hair, skin, and eyes were a contrast against him, but they didn’t look upon him with hatred or disgust. Not any longer because he continued to stand against the fearsome enemy that threatened their home and lives. They desired leadership and he fulfilled it.
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A quiet one, Nicole Dennis is the penname of an asexual author of different genres of fiction – both LGBT+ and hetero. Lots of characters, worlds, and stories build up in her head until she must get them down on the screen – anything from romance to fantasy to paranormal.
During the day, she works in a quiet office in Central Florida, where she makes her home, and enjoys the down time to slip into her imagination. She is owned by a new feline companion – a house panther, affectionately known as Brat Cat.