Rocket Holiday! Win $100 Gift Card

Darynda Jones would like to share a special story with you this December.

Welcome to the Rocket Holiday Event!
Exclusive Rocket Story and Giveaway!
During the entire month make sure to follow all the blogs listed on the Darynda Jones Blog Tours Home.  Each blog will be posting a special Christmas story written by Darynda Jones.  Exclusive art will accompany the story at each post. Each blog will have a different name on the wall within the art.  Viewers must keep each name or names found on each blog post in order to unravel the secret message.  Take note of the most prominent name(s) within the artwork.  Some blogs will have more than one name.  When viewers have found all the names they will then take the first letter of each name, these letters will need to be unscrambled in order to find the secret message.  Once you have the message, fill out the form below to be entered into an amazing Rocket Giveaway!

Win Big!

Darynda Jones will be giving away a $100 Dollar Gift Card to one lucky winner!
* (Note blogs will be added as their post goes live.)

(A Blue Christmas Below)

"A Blue Christmas"
by Darynda Jones

Rocket pressed his nose against the basement window and watched the lights twinkling across the way. Several houses around the abandoned asylum where he and his sister lived were decorated for the holidays, and the cheer reflected off the snow that blanketed the ground, just enough to cast a soft glow of color. Rocket stood transfixed. Names of the newly departed rushed through his head, bounced and collided with one another like atoms in the sun, but he didn't care. Not tonight. It was Christmas Eve. And Santa was coming.
“Hurry, Blue,” he said, calling out to his five-year-old sister. He was much older than she because she’d died long before he did, but she’d waited for him, followed his every move until he eventually succumbed to the conditions of the mental hospital their parents had placed him in during WWII and joined her in the afterlife. “He’s coming!” Rocket said, giggling to himself.
His sister Blue appeared in a far off corner, too far from the window to see the sparkling lights or the glittery snow. She wore her same outfit as always, denim overalls and a dirty shirt, with her dark brown hair cropped short and tucked behind her ears. When he beckoned her over in a series of excited gestures, she finally rewarded him with a cautious a smile, and for a moment she stopped wringing her hands and took a wary step forward.
He shook his head. “You’re going to miss him. I’m telling you, he’ll be here lickety-split and you’re going to be over there hiding in the corner.”
Of course, Rocket knew why she hesitated. She’d been hoodwinked before, so he understood why she thought maybe Santa wasn't really coming. But this year would be different. Miss Charlotte told him the truth about Mr. Claus. Said he was getting on up there and sometimes he forgot a few stops, but this year she’d make sure he remembered him and Blue. Rocket figured Santa didn't come because Blue Bell and Rocketman weren't their real names and maybe he didn't know where to find them, but Miss Charlotte said Santa was a lot like him. He knew all the names, real and pretend, of all the kids in all the world. Rocket wasn't a kid no more, but Blue was, and Santa needed to get off his keister and do his derned job.
Then he saw movement. He took in a breath and stilled. Widening his eyes, he watched as black boots with red pants tucked into them hurried past the window. His arms flailed out and he fell off the chair he’d been standing on, tumbling to the ground.
“He’s here!” he shouted, scrambling to his feet. “He’s really here, Blue. Hurry.”
Blue’s face brightened and she stood beaming at him. Or she was until he tackled her and scooped her into his arms, but he didn't have no time to be gentle. They had to get to bed. Miss Charlotte said in order for Santa to come, they had to be in bed fast asleep. They hadn't slept in years but that wasn't going to stop him. He had a job to do, and if he had to tie Blue to that derned bed, so be it.
“But I’m not sleepy,” she whispered to him.
“Just pretend then.” He rushed her down the hall to where the old spring cots were.
Blue chuckled softly in his ears and hugged him close. “Is that why Santa don’t come, you think? ‘Cause we ain't never in bed?”
He almost tripped but caught himself and carried on. He hadn't thought of that. “I bet you’re right. Dang it. No one ever told me Santa had rules. No breaking rules.”
Blue nodded, her porcelain face revealing the excitement she’d kept stored for far too long. “No breaking rules.”
He laid her on the springs of a cot, her body—tiny and depleted from the effects of dust pneumonia before she died—barely took up half the cot. He wished there’d been a mattress to lay her on, but the springs would have to do.
After getting her settled, he tiptoed over to his own cot, wiggled onto it, then pulled what had been a paper sack up over his face until only his eyes showed. Then he waited. And listened. As the first rustling sounds wafted down from one of the upper floors, Blue gasped. She bolted upright and gaped at him. He motioned her down, crinkling his paper.
“Sorry,” Blue whispered, but it took him forever to reposition the paper just so. She lay back down and cupped her hands over her mouth.
“Close your eyes,” he said in a hushed voice. “We have to be fast asleep.”
Blue nodded and closed her eyes, but he could see her peeking.
“Blue!” he said in a louder hushed voice.
Blue slammed her hands over her whole face to keep from peeking, but he saw her fingers part. He sighed. Santa was never going to fall for this. Or so he thought, until he heard boot steps on the stairs. He tensed to contain his excitement. Even when he heard the commotion of someone slipping and falling down the stairs or the loosing of a string of blistering curse words, he didn't dare move. But he did wonder about Santa’s inappropriate vocabulary choices and his voice. It was very . . . girly. Rocket thought it would be much deeper.
Slamming his eyes shut, he waited as the footsteps drew closer and closer. Santa paused at the door and turned off his flashlight. Rocket could see the light dim because his lids were almost clear nowadays. But he kept them closed anyway as Santa stepped toward him. Rocket held his breath. Santa stopped right beside his bed then walked to Blue’s and did the same beside hers before heading back up the stairs.
After the scraping of some furniture and another strings of curses that kind of resembled the names of his reindeer if Rocket concentrated really hard, Santa was gone. Rocket peeled open his eyes. The first thing he saw was Blue’s present. He bound off the cot and rushed to her side.
“Look, Blue!”
She lowered her hands and opened her eyes, the dark circles underneath making them look even bigger when she saw her present. A doll small enough for Blue to carry around without great effort lay on the floor in front of her. Blue blinked and her mouth formed a perfect O, even more stunned than Rocket.
“He came,” she said, her soft voice still husky from the pneumonia. She reached for the doll but missed, her hand swiping through it. Then she focused and reached again. She took hold of it that time. Cradled it. Her eyes watering with emotion. “He really came.”
Her doll looked almost exactly like the one she’d had back home. Santa really did know things. Lots of things.
“Rocket,” Blue said, her voice so soft, he could barely hear her.
He’d been lost in memories when he bound back to the present and turned to where Blue motioned. Beside his cot was a tin rocket. He hurried over to it, picked it up. It was a windup toy like in the dime stores. The kind they could never afford.
“He didn't forget us,” Blue said.
Rocket smiled. “I told you Miss Charlotte knew him. She even knows the Easter Bunny. And the president.”
Blue nodded, satisfied completely, and stroked her doll’s hair.

Clues below in the picture!

I hope you enjoyed the Rocket short above. Please read below for instructions on how to play with Rocket. There is one room in the asylum in which he doesn't want Charley to see the names, but he loves teasing Charley, and has decided to let you have a peek, to let you see the names in the room.  Once you have followed all the blogs listed HERE and have all the names posted on each, use the first letters in each name to create a new phrase. 
 Shhh!   Don't tell Charley!   
(*There may be extra letters and the letters are jumbled)  

~ Blogs ~

Remember the following:
1. Visit each blog listed in the link above for a name or names (no more than two nanes per blog).

2. Jot down the prominent name you see in each picture on each post. Just the first name will be needed.

3. Then take the first letter from each name to create the secret phrase. The phrase will contain exactly 22 letters.

4. Once you have unraveled the letters and have found the secret message, fill out the form below to sign up. You must know the secret message in order to have your entry validated.

Click on the "Entry Form" below to take you to the giveaway sign up sheet!

Thank you to all and the best of luck!

Secret Phrase:

_ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _  

_ _ _ ­_  _ _ _

_ _ _ _ _

A special thank you to Jess Rissmiller, the artist responsible for Rocket’s rendition.
To view more of his amazing work please visit his site @!

"A Blue Christmas" by Darynda Jones is in its entirety the sole property of Author Darynda Jones and may not be copied or used without sole permission from the author.

Unless otherwise noted, all of the material found in this post is property of Darynda Jones. All rights reserved. No part of this post or story may be reproduced, published, distributed, displayed, performed, copied or stored for public or private use in any information retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any mechanical, photographic or electronic process, including electronically or digitally on the Internet or World Wide Web, or over any network, or local area network, without written permission of the author, Darynda Jones

The Shaman's Mate

I am so excited to be kicking off this Blog Tour for Donna McDonald's 'The Shaman's Mate'. If you would like to ask Donna questions please post them along with your email address in the comments section. 

When an unfamiliar fellow park ranger walks up moments after he prays for help, Jason sends his gratitude out into the universe for answering his call. The last thing Jason ever suspected would happen was for the same man to return to abduct him. But now Hania and his people are insisting that he make good on his promises to repay his karmic debt to them.

Jason is not opposed to helping the Chileaans, or their beautiful Shaman, but it’s what they want him to do that’s the problem.

Chapter 1

In the gateway room of the temple, Aiyana unrolled the meditation blanket in front of a table that held a bowl of water, a plant that never stopped blooming, and an assortment of crystals the previous shaman had given her during her training. Then dropping to her knees, she leaned back on her heels and lifted her hands out while she bowed her head.

“I am Aiyana, faithful shaman to her people. I serve Hehewuti who watches over us and the realms we serve. Will you hear the requests of your servant today, Great Mother?”

Though the room was closed, Aiyana felt the gentle warm breeze of Hehewuti’s energy wrap around her like a hug. As always, she felt greatly comforted by the presence of such a benevolent force.

I hear you, Aiyana. I also see the burden of your heart, and yet—I cannot grant you the solace you seek today.

“It is not comfort for me, Hehewuti. I ask for you to grant solace to the one chosen as my mate. Jason Cloud’s heart is burdened with grief and can find no peace at the moment. Let your compassion cross the dimensional realms to find him,” Aiyana pleaded.

Precious daughter, your future mate is fulfilling his journey according to his life’s plan. Why do you ask for me to change the will of the First Souls? This I cannot do. Be patient and let the future take the course it is meant to take for him.

“Must I watch Jason grieve and offer him no comfort or hope?” Aiyana asked. It wasn’t the first time she’d been told no by the Great Mother, but this time it was especially hard to hear.

The breeze picked up and wrapped tighter around her. Aiyana shivered in its embrace as her hair lifted from her breasts to whip over her shoulders. Though she felt the Great Mother’s love and compassion strongly, she also understood now that the answer was not going to change.

Have faith in the timing of the First Souls. Your mate will be with you soon. This is all I can tell you.

Aiyana fought back her frustration, and the tears that threatened. She bowed to the floor to hide her face until the emotions passed. There was no hiding the disappointment in her heart and spirit. She hoped Hehewuti would not be angry with her for being saddened by the news.

“Thank you for coming to me, Hehewuti. I serve the Great Mother who serves the First Souls. Praise to you, Hehewuti, for all your gifts,” Aiyana said.

You are welcome, Shaman Aiyana. Walk in peace today.

Then the breeze was suddenly gone.

Staying on the floor several minutes longer, Aiyana allowed the tears to come while she wept for what she could not change. When she finally raised her head, the tears had dried and her spirit had moved into true acceptance. Her ability to accept Hehewuti’s guidance was why she was the Chileaan shaman. By the time she walked out of the gateway room, Aiyana was already planning to go back to the portal.

She might not be able to help Jason directly, but she hoped his spirit would be aware of her presence watching over him, even if his mind refused to accept such spiritual possibilities. While she wasn’t as energetically stealthy in moving around within the human realm as the Annunaki tribe, Aiyana could still send her future mate all the comfort she could until it was time for him to join her.


Expert tracker Jason Cloud followed the murderer’s footprints through a thickly forested area of the Grand Canyon until they ended at a set of trees and a pile of rocks. Fortunately it hadn’t rained much in several weeks, so the prints he found were still clear. Unfortunately, it was like the footprints simply stopped and disappeared into dry dust beyond the one spot.

He’d been around the entire area many times only to circle back to this point over and over. The prints ended here. How that had happened, Jason wasn’t sure. Even now, staring at the only evidence so far, he couldn’t understand how the escaped men had managed to get away from all twenty-four people tracking them, including him.

Exhausted, Jason fell to his knees in the dirt, the frustration of his failure overwhelming. Was there no justice at all in the world?

His life’s work as a National Park Ranger was to track down those who got lost in the canyon, so it was doubly hard to accept his lack of ability to find three murderous men that needed to be found. He’d been searching for weeks now with no results other than the one in front of his knees at the moment.

“Emily, I’m sorry that I’m failing you,” Jason said out loud, letting the painful reality escape him at last.

His head ached fiercely from too much walking and not enough sleep. His body was weak from not eating regularly. At the moment he didn’t feel like doing anything but sit in the dirt and cry, yet Jason forced himself to pull out his water bottle and take a few sips. It was a fact that he didn’t feel like he had much to live for these days, but he was not going to risk dying of heat stroke or dehydration if there was still any chance at all that he might find Emily’s killers.

Two months ago his wife had been shot and killed during a convenience store robbery. Her murderers had fled but not gone far. With so many looking for them, they couldn’t have crossed a state line without being recognized because their faces had been captured on the store’s security cameras. Police believed the men had to be hiding somewhere in the woods around the canyon.

With so many vacant cabins and camping areas this time of year that instinct told Jason the men were just hiding well—which meant they should be able to be found. And who better to find them than the man who was supposed to be the best canyon tracker in the history of the park? Apparently anyone else but him, Jason decided. He certainly wasn’t going to find them by kneeling in the dirt and swearing at fate. It was just that he didn’t know what else to do.

Though he’d gotten used to turning thoughts of her away in the last few weeks, Jason now thought of Emily’s smiling face the last morning he saw her. He had to put his head in his hand, fighting not to indulge the tears that threatened. For a man who rarely cried, he’d spent almost every night since her death doing so, at least the nights where he hadn’t been able to drown the grief with enough whiskey to pass out first.

If only his grandfather had been alive, then maybe he could have told Jason what he was missing, what he was doing wrong. That old man always found what he looked for and he’d taught Jason never to give up.

Grief had to be making him blind. That was the only answer.

Jason knelt there in the dirt, and for the first time in a long time felt his spirit sending out a plea for divine help. He wished he was a more spiritual man. Maybe then the gods would help him.

He would have prayed if he’d known how to pray, but he didn’t. His father had frowned on such things, and his mother had not challenged his father’s lack of spirituality. Emily had never pressed him to share her spiritual beliefs either, and he hadn’t volunteered to open himself up to her faith. What little spirituality Jason had ever known had been buried for good the day they put his grandfather’s dead body into the ground.

It was only because of that old man that Jason remained native enough to see the spirits of the land and those in the people he encountered. Perhaps that was why when his spirit sought guidance now in his darkest moments, it was his grandfather and his grandfather’s people that came to mind.

But if they were listening, Jason certainly couldn’t tell. Certainly, no divine help had been offered yet.

He climbed wearily to his feet, dusty and frustrated, with no idea what to do next.


From her astral existence within the dimensional veil separating their worlds, Aiyana had watched Jason Cloud as he bent to check the tracks that ended where he knelt. Jason was a protector in his human realm, but today he was not serving his people in his tasks. Today Jason was searching for the ones who had killed his Emily.

Though not materialized fully in the human realm or affected by the emotional vibrations of it, Aiyana could still sense the depth of Jason’s frustration and pain just from the way he held his body and the expressions on his face.

And as always, her heart hurt when his did. It was the way of her people with their chosen mates, but usually such emotional sharing did not occur without some physical bonding. Since her situation was not normal, Aiyana could only accept what was truth for her, despite the fact that her appointed mate was not even in the same realm yet, much less in her life.

Maybe in her spirit she still rebelled about some aspects of her ordained relationship to Jason Cloud, but she had accepted the uniqueness of her tie in the time she’d observed him. Jason had loved his mate in the human realm very much. She could respect Jason for having such sincere feelings, even if it had distressed her that his compassion was being given to someone other than her.

The Great Mother Hehewuti, with a wisdom Aiyana did not understand, had long ago declared Jason Cloud would be her mate. She had sadly passed this news along to her people despite the Chileaan people’s disdain for their descendants who were still living in the human realm. Few there had respect for their eternal spirits, which was a grievous truth to witness.

Even Jason had very little respect for his own spirit, though he was a direct descendent of native people as well. His lack of understanding only made her sadder for him. Not that any of his spiritual flaws lessened her compassion over his grieving. It was not her place to judge Jason’s life choices while he remained beyond her physical reach.

Nor could she question the Great Mother’s wisdom in sanctioning the compassionate bond she felt for Jason. Aiyana had learned that lesson quite painfully. Part punishment and part service, she had watched Jason for many of his human years, watched as he wooed and bonded with Emily, watched and tried not to wish too hard for the time he would be hers.

But her faith had been strong and remained strong now. In the time she had served as shaman to her people, Aiyana had seen the Great Mother’s will work out over and over in many people’s lives. The difficult thing now was not in wondering if Jason was going to be a proper mate for her eventually. That would happen. It was how in her limited existence in his realm she could assist him in finding comfort for the grief that was affecting his entire life.

He needed someone to come to his aide. She was compelled to offer solace, yet unable to do so. No that wasn’t the full truth, Aiyana thought, she wasn’t allowed to help him. She could have easily told Jason which direction the murderers of his mate had taken into the woods. This made watching him kneel in the dirt with his spirit calling out for help, a pain greater than any she had been asked to bear before. Only being a shaman for her people kept Aiyana from attempting to contact him directly. Though she might have found a way to penetrate the veil to enter his realm, she wasn’t willing to disobey the Great Mother again.

Yet at the same time she longed for Jason to find his mate’s murderers. Perhaps then his sad spirit could begin to heal, and whatever needed to come to pass before he joined her, could at last do so.

When her spirit brother Hania appeared at her side, Aiyana watched as he saw Jason and sneered. Hania’s disdain was not of Jason personally, but rather for Aiyana being bound by destiny to the man from the human realm. Hania did not share the Great Mother’s belief in Jason being her chosen one.

“Greetings Aiyana. Your distress has brought me to your side. Is it time to retrieve your mate?” Hania asked.

He did not really want to know the answer, but did feel it was his duty to ask. It was no secret that he still refused to believe that the Great Mother of the Chileaans would see their shaman, his spirit sister, mated to a disrespectful man from the human realm instead of one of their kind. After his work with those in the human realm, his opinion was that most living there remained the spiritual equivalent of emotional children.

The grieving human male he observed carried some native blood in his physical form that should have soothed him naturally. Hania did not hold anything against the man, even though the majority of Jason’s native ancestors had hunted and killed the original Chileaans. Only the ascended ones who answered the call of the Great Mother had completely escaped the fate of being massacred like animals. For those compassionate spirits who chose to remain behind in the human realm during the Great Mother’s retrieval, life had become even harder.

But life for their descendents was now even more limited. Jason’s family had all but set his roots aside. In fact, most spiritual descendents in the human realm spent their time trying to preserve what culture was left or to recover what had been lost.

As a Chileaan protector, Hania had intervened to help in the human realm for too many years to keep count. He had compassion for them, but still could not understand making a willing choice to stay in that realm more than he could understand his sister’s acceptance of her fate to be mated to one of them. He trusted the Great Mother most of the time, but the decision about the shaman’s mate had caused him many moments of serious reflection on her wisdom.

“Aiyana, did you hear my question? Is it time to collect Jason Cloud?” Hania asked again.

“No,” Aiyana answered, willing her voice not to be sad as her gaze remained on the grieving man she cared for. “It is not time yet, Hania. I am here only because Jason is in great pain. He hunts for the ones who killed his mate.”

Hania softened a little. “Jason Cloud loved the female called Emily sincerely, and for that I respect him. Does his loving grief for her cause your spirit great pain?” he asked.

Hania’s concern for Aiyana’s feelings outweighed his own sense of disgust over Jason’s future role in Aiyana’s life. While he did not approve of their alleged destiny together, he also did not like the idea that his sensitive spirit sister would feel the pain of longing for someone whose truest devotion still belonged to someone else. Having caused such pain in his own mate, and then later been on the receiving end of her rejection because of it, Hania knew full well how much suffering it could cause.

He carefully studied Aiyana’s concerned gaze resting on Jason Cloud as he waited again for her answer. Through their connection as spirit siblings, he could see her feelings and thoughts were for Jason, not for herself or her longing for him. Whatever pain she felt personally had been set aside. Aiyana was the most unselfish person he’d ever known, and the most truly worthy person in their tribe to be Chileaan Shaman.

Aiyana turned when she felt Hania’s concerned gaze directing all his compassion to her. She typically found it impossible to lie even to spare someone feelings, so she certainly could never bring herself to deceive Hania when he was so full of worry for her.

“Yes, I confess it hurts me sometimes, but not always. I accept the Great Mother’s punishment and her wisdom. I have learned much about Jason from observing his life in the human realm. Though he is not very spiritual, he is mostly a good man, Hania. There are many choices for a mate. She could have chosen worse for me,” Aiyana said logically.

Part of Hania was actually happy that Aiyana herself did not seem to really want the man from the human realm as her mate, and that no great desire for Jason Cloud was yet upon her. If it had been, she would not have been so calm. He remembered all the time he had spent rejecting Sihu, followed by the time when Sihu had rejected him. He could not think of a single moment in those years without still feeling the pain. He would not wish such a fate on anyone.

So Hania studied Aiyana as she continued to watch the man closely. Maybe Aiyana felt mating with Jason Cloud would be a duty. Hania understood duty well and had great respect for Aiyana’s choice to serve as their tribe’s shaman.

“If the Great Mother would only allow it, Cheveyo still considers that you would be a good choice,” Hania told her.

“I am aware of Cheveyo’s devotion to duty, brother,” she answered.

Aiyana turned to face Hania, looking at the marks on his neck, proof of his ascension. Her spirit brother was mated to Sihu, who was next in line to become shaman if anything happened to her. Sadly though, Sihu’s body remained just as lightly marked as Hania’s, despite their frequent bonding. It was a source of consternation for both of them that they had not yet reached full ascension together. Sihu was the best of the Chileaan healers. She had dedicated every spare moment she had to studying how to encourage the process of ascending.

“Until the Great Mother’s punishment, I thought I would never know the need for a mate at all, Hania. But I must be honest and say that the Great Mother intends Cheveyo for another. He will not be pleased at first with the match, but will eventually see that it is best. It is not yet time to reveal it or I would have sanctified their union already. The council needs to set aside their goal of mating us. It is not meant to be.”

Hania sighed to hear Aiyana say the words with no passion in her voice and no regret at not wanting to be the mate of the strongest, bravest Chileaan protector in their tribe. Cheveyo had great affection for Aiyana. How could their union not be right?

“Do not worry about me, brother. I would be content to serve the Great Mother as I am without a mate. It is she who deems me not worthy enough in this state. I seek mating and ascension to please her will for me, not my own. I want Jason Cloud because she will bless our union with my ascension. I don’t understand why it has to be him, but I accept that I will see her wisdom in due time.”

Hania placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. “There are many things about the Great Mother’s will that I do not understand either, but one thing I do. Mating releases your personal power in ways you cannot begin to imagine yet sister. It is more than the spirit being lifted from the body during the pleasure. Mating with the right person frees your spirit from physical longing. It allows the spirit to focus on other things,” he said.

Aiyana looked back at Jason and shrugged. “Then I will mate with the male that the Great Mother has chosen for me. The person matters not, so long as she allows me to continue to serve our people.”

“Be careful of that decision, Aiyana. As I learned quite painfully, there is only one true mate,” Hania reminded her. “If the male from the human realm does not willingly remain with you after bonding, you will either be alone for the rest of your physical life or spend it going from person to person seeking temporary release from the madness of your longing. The thought of you having nothing more than that is too awful to contemplate. You are Shaman Aiyana. No one is more worthy to have a proper mate.”

“You are a fine man, Hania,” she said, her heart full of his caring for her. “One day full ascension will bring you even greater wisdom. I pray the Great Mother continues to bless you with happiness in your mate. Sihu has definitely brought out the best in you.”

Aiyana chanted softly, blessing Hania in the old tongue, smiling and bowing her head in respect to the compassion between them. 
Hania felt the ancient blessing slide over him, felt a peace almost as wonderful as a night spent in Sihu’s arms. As an unmated shaman, Aiyana’s power was amazing. He could only imagine how she might be once fully ascended.

They both turned as they heard Jason call out his mate’s name again, then great silent sobs were shaking his body. Even if they had not been able to empathically feel Jason’s immense pain, they would have recognized the agony in his body.

“He thinks he has failed her,” Aiyana whispered, her voice breaking along with her heart as she hurt with him.

Hania reached out a hand and squeezed her shoulder. There was nothing Aiyana could do to help the man from the human realm, but there was something he could do. He would hesitate no longer. “May the Great Mother see to your happiness as well, sister. Since I serve the Great Mother and her shaman, I will see to it that your chosen mate does not fail in his quest.”

“Hania—thank you. May you be blessed for it,” Aiyana whispered, tears flowing at Hania’s generosity for risking the intervention. The Chileaan protectors only did what a predictor declared.

When he disappeared from beside her, Aiyana turned her full attention back to Jason, waiting now to see if her future mate would open his spirit and accept Hania’s help.

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