Exclusive Chapter 1 Reveal + Signed Giveaway: The Forgotten Mountain by Heather Lyons - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Exclusive Chapter 1 Reveal + Signed Giveaway: The Forgotten Mountain by Heather Lyons

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The Collectors’ Society, by the talented Heather Lyons, is a fantastically gripping and imaginative series, and I’m so excited for the release of the third book, The Forgotten Mountain. The book is out this week, on June 25th, and I’ve got an exclusive look at Chapter 1!!! Plus, make sure to scroll to the bottom of the post to enter to win signed copies of The Collectors’ Society and The Hidden Library!

Synopsis

the forgotten mountain collectors societyAfter years spent in Wonderland, Alice Reeve learned the impossible was quite possible after all. She thought she left such fantastical realities behind when she finally returned to England.

Now Alice has become a member of the clandestine Collectors’ Society, and the impossible has found her again in the form of an elusive villain set on erasing entire worlds. As she and the rest of the Society race to bring this mysterious murderer to justice, the fight becomes painfully personal.

Lives are being lost. Loved ones are shattered or irrevocably altered. Each step closer Alice gets to the shadowy man she hunts, the more secrets she unravels, only to reveal chilling truths. If she wants to win this war and save millions of lives, Alice must once more embrace the impossible and make the unimaginable, imaginable.

Sometimes, the rabbit hole leads to terrifying places.

Chapter 1

The Girl With The Red Cloak – Alice

The door to my flat is wide open yet entirely sealed with webbing. I know this silk, have valued its strength in the past. I also know better than to attempt to tear it apart with bare hands, so I redirect to the flat next to mine. That particular door is unlocked—rarely do Society members lock their doors against one another—and when I enter, I sternly remind myself to remain levelheaded and calm.

Even though his smell is so utterly alluring and strong in here.

I locate what I desire in less than a minute: a pair of daggers left behind weeks ago, whilst I was too lazy or forgetful to bring them the scant distance back to my flat. I proceed to carefully check every single room, ensuring my focus remains on the task at hand rather than the memories clamoring to consume me. And yet, the muscle inside my chest squeezes, demanding notice.

Once satisfied the flat is secure, I return to my own. It takes several swipes of the daggers to slice through the tensile, and by the time I finally enter my quarters, sticky silk clings to my hair and clothes. This matters little, though. I have much graver concerns than whether or not my appearance is up to snuff.

Before me, the sitting area is in disarray, the few extraneous items I’ve allowed myself since my induction into the Society spread haphazardly across the room. The sole casualty of extreme violence appears to be a lamp in pieces upon the rug. Although it’s been hours since Lygari was within the walls of the Institute, my fingers curl tightly around my blades as I quietly make my way toward the bedroom.

Within, I discover a body of a child prone upon the floor next to the case securing my crown from Wonderland. Her eyes are darkened wide in shock, or perhaps even terror, as she gazes blankly at the ceiling. She has turned a mottled purple and is riddled with burst blisters. Yellowish pus crusts across the visible bits of skin, leaving her a ghastly sight to behold. And still, a smile curves my lips as my eyes fall upon a forgotten set of pan pipes nearby.

My grip loosens on the blades. “Are there any more I ought to be aware of?”

Not more than a second passes before a welcome sight scuttles out from behind the case. Larger than my hand, covered with prickly hair and adorned with lovely yet vicious fangs, the arachnid leaps upon a nearby dresser. “This is the only fiend to breach these quarters, Your Majesty.”

“You have my gratitude, Grymsdyke.”

He lowers himself down upon two legs. “I live to serve the Queen of Diamonds.”

I side skirt the body and sit upon the edge of my bed. “I would ask for your report.”

My most deadly assassin coughs as he straightens his body. “Shortly prior to your departure last night, His Majesty the White King of Wonderland convened the Cheshire-Cat, myself, and the Five of Diamonds. After I reassured His Majesty I would remain at this Institute, he bade me to ensure that, if I was not in active service to my liege, I might keep an eye on the Diamonds’ crown. Although assured by the proprietors within these walls of its safety, His Majesty is, as he has always been, greatly concerned about your safety. I was glad to offer this small bit of service toward the Diamonds’ throne.”

Another bow is offered; I incline my head.

“The White King and the Cheshire-Cat did not feel comfortable remaining behind whilst you hunted a foe. His Majesty stated he would accompany you to the gala, and once he departed, the Cheshire-Cat and the Five of Diamonds retired to their quarters to discuss matters back home. I came straightaway to your chambers. Soon after, this child arrived, playing dissonant music on her instrument. As I did not recognize her, there was no hesitation to attack.”

My eyes fall once more upon the child’s body. Dressed in a dirty red cloak, she cannot be more than ten, perhaps twelve years of age at the most. And still, I cannot muster the proper amount of grief one ought to feel at the demise of one so young.

Youth or no, she possessed a set of pipes like Gabriel Lygari’s.

“None other dared enter my chambers?”

“None, my lady.”

“The music did not affect you?”

Grymsdyke’s body tilts. “It was most unpleasant. The child was a terrible musician. I have done the world a favor.”

“Indeed you have.” I rise. “Unfortunately, there are more unpleasant tasks ahead of us in the coming days.”

“I am yours to command, my lady.”

“I suppose I must go inform someone that there is a body to dispose of.” I bend down and retrieve the pipes. They are wooden, the barrels nearly gleaming, they’ve been used so much. “Ensure there are no more stray musicians lingering about within the Institute.”

I’m offered a final bow before Grymsdyke scurries up the wall and out the door.

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Reading Order and Links

 

About Heather Lyons

heather lyonsHeather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

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