Book Spotlight: Wind and Shadow by Tori L Ridgewood

Tori L. Ridgewood’s new book Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy, published by Melange Books, was released on June 20, 2013.

W&S cover image

After a series of misadventures including being accused of attempted murder in high school, Rayvin Woods, a photographer and natural witch, left her hometown of Talbot in Northeastern Ontario, hoping to start her life over and never return. Ten years later, circumstances force her back to face her past and her former crush Grant Michaels.

Malcolm de Sade, a cunning vampire, escapes from an underground prison looking for vengeance. His accidental release unleashes his hunger and ambition on a small, sleepy town. Rayvin’s power is all that stands between de Sade and his domination of Talbot, and beyond.

Grant Michaels, a police officer, thought Rayvin was a murderer. He will do whatever it takes to protect the community he loves from danger… but will he learn to trust his heart, and the word of a witch, before it’s too late?

Rayvin didn’t count on rekindling a lost love or battling a malevolent vampire and his coven for her life when she came home to Talbot. Facing the past can be a nightmare… It’s worse when a vampire is stalking you.

Wind and Shadow is available for sale on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wind-Shadow-Talbot-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00DYCH64Y

“During a period of writer’s block on Wind and Shadow, I wrote a prequel novella titled Mist and Midnight to help myself find answers to questions about how my vampire was trapped, and why he had come to the small town of Talbot in the first place. Mist and Midnight was released in 2011 as part of the Midnight Thirsts anthology, published by Melange Books. It’s a stand-alone piece, but it’s a terrific companion to The Talbot Trilogy,” said Ridgewood.

Blood and Fire: Book Two of The Talbot Trilogy will be released in February 2014.

About Tori L. Ridgewood

W&S Tori HeadshotAfter her first heartbreak, Tori found solace in two things: reading romance novels and listening to an after-dark radio program called Lovers and Other Strangers. Throughout the summer and fall of 1990, the new kid in town found reading fiction and writing her own short stories gave her a much needed creative outlet. Determined to become a published author, Tori amassed stacks of notebooks and boxes of filed-away stories, most only half-finished before another idea would overtake her and demand to be written down. Then, while on parental leave with her second baby, one story formed and refused to be packed away. Between teaching full-time, parenting, and life in general, it would take almost seven years before the first novel in her first trilogy would be completed. In the process, Tori finally found her stride as a writer.

At present, on her off-time, Tori not only enjoys reading, but also listening to an eclectic mix of music as she walks the family dog (Skittles), attempts to turn her thumb green, or makes needlework gifts for her friends and family members. She loves to travel, collect and make miniature furniture, and a good cup of tea during a thunderstorm or a blizzard. Under it all, she is always intrigued by history, the supernatural, vampire and shapeshifter mythology, romance, and other dangers.

Tori is currently working on Crystal and Wand: Book Three of The Talbot Trilogy. She lives in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two children. She is a full-time teacher at a local high school.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ToriLRidgewood

Website: http://torilridgewood.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ToriLRidgewood

Excerpt from Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy, by Tori L. Ridgewood

The pain in her eyes was tearing him apart. “You want to make amends?” She laughed, and looked away.

“You could put it that way . . . Rayvin. Look at me. We connected once, remember? When we were kids? I’ve missed that in my life. I didn’t realize, before you were gone, how much I needed you in my world.” He leaned forward and reached for her. “How can I make you believe me?”

“Why?” She jumped up, staring down at him. “What’s changed since yesterday that could possibly have reversed an opinion you’ve had of me for years? I don’t understand! You’re not making any sense.”

Grant’s face burned. “You don’t know what I think of you. You’re not a mind-reader, Rayvin.”

“I don’t have to be. I’ve seen how you look at me. Yesterday, you wanted to run me out of town, and now look around you.” She gestured wildly. “Candles, blankets. You don’t want to ‘start fresh’, you just want to get laid.”

Grant got to his feet. “Really? Is that what you think?”

“What else have men ever wanted from me?” she responded, wearily. “You know what, it was a noble gesture for you to drive me home, and help me with Andrea. But now I’d really like you to leave.”

“No. We need to talk; we have to figure this out.” Grant moved closer to her. Rayvin’s teeth were bared, but she held her ground as he approached. She infuriated him, she insulted him, but she didn’t back down, and by God he admired her for it. “I know you’ve been hurt, but I’m not him. Not all men are like that. I’m not like that.”

“I’ve felt your desire, Michaels. I know that you want me. Maybe we should just get it out of the way, so we can move on with our lives.” Her eyes glittering, she closed the distance between them and ran one finger down his chest. Behind her, in the fireplace, the flames on the candles flared and elongated. Grant’s body responded immediately to her touch; his breath quickened as his manhood swelled. Her laugh sounded like a sob. “But I have better things, more important things to do with my time. I’d rather not fulfill your adolescent fantasies tonight. I’m telling you again to please leave.”

Looking into her eyes, a breath apart, dozens of possibilities flashed through his mind, most of them involving the shedding of clothing and the quilt on the floor. Maybe they should fulfill their physical needs, and move on. But that wouldn’t leave him satisfied. Grant needed more from her, and he strongly suspected that she needed him, no matter how much she denied it. He saw the plea in her gaze, the sorrow and the anger. Taking a deep breath, he raised his chin and stepped back.

“Point taken. But there are a few things you should know.” He picked up his jacket from the edge of the couch. “Yes, I want you. I’ve fantasized about you for years, ever since we were in the tenth grade and you walked past me in your parka. It wasn’t your body that really caught me, though, Rayvin. It was the way you smiled when you pulled the furry hood up around your face. God, I wanted you to smile at me like that. I wanted to give you pleasure like that. So I guess the past does matter, in a way. I can’t let go of how I felt about you, and how I still feel. I don’t want to, because I have never felt for anyone the way I do for you.”

Grant put on his jacket. “That was the first thing. The second is this: I believe there is a reason for everything. You chose to come back here, no matter what you decide to tell people. You weren’t driven here, you could have gone anywhere. I think you might be punishing yourself for some reason. You want people to hate you, because that will justify rejecting them. So don’t blame the citizens of this town for making your life miserable. That’s all on you.”

He walked to the front door.

“Is that it, Michaels?” Rayvin called out. He turned around, his hand on the doorknob. She hadn’t moved, but the candles in the fireplace had almost completely burned to their stands. Her face was cast into shadow by their brilliance.

“No, there’s one more.”

Grant strode forward, crossing the room in three long steps to take her in his arms. Rayvin’s eyes burned into his for a moment, before he leaned down and tucked her into his chest. He held her close, feeling the beats of their hearts together, inhaling the scent of her hair, just breathing. Slowly, her hands moved to his back. They pressed gently. He sighed, moving a ticklish lock away from his face.

Behind them, the flames dwindled into tiny points of light, before they extinguished themselves.

“Whatever else you tell yourself, Rayvin Woods,” he whispered, kissing just above her ear. “You have to believe that everything will be okay.”

“I tell myself that all the time.” Her voice was muffled by his shoulder. “I’m just so tired of being alone. And now . . . there’s no other way. There just isn’t.”

He released her, letting his hands move down to clasp her fingers. “You’re wrong, Ray. There’s always a choice.”

Grant pressed his lips to her forehead, and went back to the front door.

He opened it, not expecting to step into madness.

Hands with sharp claws grabbed him by the neck and shoulder, hauling him forward and up; it was so sudden he couldn’t react. By chance, his right hand caught the doorframe as he was being pulled out. Impossibly, his assailant was on the roof. He gagged on a stench that invaded his nose and mouth, taking his breath away. Whoever had grabbed him had impressive gymnastic skill: he jumped down, flipping in the air, double-jointed arms maintaining their hold on him, and dug his heels into the lawn to gain purchase. Grant tried to call out, but his shirt collar was tightening around his throat, cutting off his air supply.

Rayvin’s mouth had opened in warning, too late. She watched, horrified, as filthy claw-like hands reached down and yanked Michaels nearly off his feet. A rage she did not know she possessed boiled up in her blood. She flew across the room in a heartbeat, grabbing Grant and holding on with all of her strength. She pressed the hand he’d wrapped around the jamb so hard that her nails scraped against the painted wall, and winced against the pain of ragged paint chips digging into the quick.

From her vantage point at the doorframe, the vampire’s bared fangs seemed only a few inches from Michaels’ face. He grunted, straining his neck to keep away from the snapping jaws. The creature had both arms around the policeman’s upper body in a tight grip. Rayvin reached out with her other hand and hauled back on Michaels’ shoulder, heaving with as much power as she could muster. The thing hissed at her, digging in with his heels. Michaels’ hand slipped under hers.

“Hold on!” she cried, bracing herself against the wall.

Time seemed to stop in her desperate tug of war. Sweat broke out on her body with the effort it took, helping Michaels resist the unnatural strength of the bloodsucker. Anger fuelled her reserves as it occurred to her that he was toying with them. Amid the grunts, Rayvin heard the distinctive rip of clothing being torn. Michaels’ hand slipped a little more; now, she was only anchoring his fingers. She’d lost hold of his shoulder when his jacket gave way under the vampire’s claws. She lunged forward to get another grip and felt her own sweater tear under an elongated canine as she found a handful of shirt. Michaels’ feet were leaving marks on the concrete step as he was dragged forward. The monster laughed at them, sneering, his black eyes narrowed and dirty, demonic face twisted in a maniacal grin.

Rayvin felt the fabric of Michaels’ shirt starting to give. In another moment, his fingers would slip out, lubricated by their combined sweat. Her heart broke as he ground out a command to her, between his teeth. “Let go, Rayvin! It’s okay, just get inside!”

“Yes, let go, Rayvin,” the creature mocked, using Michaels’ body to creep closer to her. He leaned over the big man’s back like a sinister gargoyle. She smelled his disgusting breath, the odours of dead things and rotting flesh making her gag. Michaels fell to one knee under the weight, which the vampire used to his advantage, moving towards Rayvin until only inches separated her panting lips from his malevolent grin. She couldn’t look away from the fathomless black eyes. In the back of her mind, she heard Michaels crying out for her again, ordering her to save herself, but she was losing herself in the chasm of the vampire’s gaze. She blinked, and the reality of the present disappeared . . .

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About TBM

TB Markinson is an American living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
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36 Responses to Book Spotlight: Wind and Shadow by Tori L Ridgewood

  1. Ooh, I love the sound of this book! I’m always a sucker for anything with witches…

  2. bulldog says:

    Though sounding tempting, not really my cup of tea… but good luck to Tori L. Ridgewood, may she go from success to success…

    • TBM says:

      I hope her series is a smash hit! Thanks for stopping by

      • bulldog says:

        and why would I not stop by? You sent me a message to come and read… lolol….

      • TBM says:

        I wish all of my followers were so responsible. And I’ve been enjoying the leopard photos the past few days.

      • bulldog says:

        I’ve finished the rewrites and still have a bit of editing to do on my book, but I’ve reduced it down to about 71000 words, does that sound about right to you, or have I cut too much out.????

      • TBM says:

        I think both of my novels are in the 70,000 word count area. I really don’t know about non-fiction. What did it start at?

      • bulldog says:

        at one stage it was well in the 120000 but I just felt there was to much overlapping so took a lot out and joined it with others…

      • TBM says:

        I’m impressed by your output–when you sit down to write, you write. Great job. the most important aspect for me when I read is consistency. Stay consistent to the idea of the book. I know this is non-fiction and I haven’t written one, but sticking with one theme in my mind seems best. And maybe you can take the stuff you cut and shape it into another book down the road. Does that help? I feel like I’m talking gibberish.

      • bulldog says:

        I thought of that, but by changing back the long winded chapters that had somehow maneuvered into a different realm, and returning them to the style of the rest of the book I could throw out all sorts of waffles and long winded descriptions… so now I only have one theme running through the book and I’ve gone away from the “text book” style of some of the chapters

      • TBM says:

        Sounds like you’re making wise decisions and bravo for seeing that. A lot of writers can’t step back and see their own work with a critical eye.

      • bulldog says:

        Thanks TBM, I was worried that the word count might be out, so I’m pleased of your input… thanks…

      • TBM says:

        Remember I’m not a non-fiction writer, just reader. If your editor has a different opinion go with hers.

      • bulldog says:

        Oh I will most definitely, she has already advocated a lot of changes and I’m sure she will in the future…

      • TBM says:

        I’m glad to hear it. She sounds like a wonderful person to work with.

  3. I love how you are promoting so many Canadian authors lately and from my own province even :). We have friends who live in Kirkland Lake, and now I will have to ask their daughter if she ever had Ridgewood for a teacher. You know me and witches – I will definitely be looking this one up!

    • TBM says:

      Well most people in London think I’m Canadian. If you read this one let me know what you think of it. And I just remembered I haven’t read the witch book you suggested by Harkness.

      • O….M….G!!!!!! You have to read it – best witch book ever, and it’s full of history which I know you will love. I can’t wait for the third book to come out this year!! I will definitely look up Wind and Shadow, but I know I won’t be able to get to it right away. I have two books on the go right now, plus I just agreed to be a beta reader for my friend, Aaron Lazar’s new book. You should definitely try some of his books too :).

      • TBM says:

        Witches and history–a book written just for me 😉 did you finish that one (wink wink) book yet? haven’t heard of Lazar–what type of books does he write?

      • Oh hell ya, I finished that one in one day :). Aaron Lazar writes mostly mystery, but he did recently publish his first romance novel too which was awesome. He is one of the nicest people I know and family means everything to him. So, his books are mysteries, but they are very centred around family. I think you would really enjoy them!

      • TBM says:

        Oh that’s right. You told me that–that you finished the book.

        Mystery and romance books. Sounds like my kind of writer. I love it when authors branch out into different genres and stick with telling the stories they want to tell. Are the families nice–might be a difficult concept for me to accept 😉

      • Definitely give him a try. Yes, the families are nice, but it leaves you with a really goid feeling :).

      • TBM says:

        You know I’ll give any book a go, well almost any book.

  4. Thanks for introducing us to Tori. I love her dog’s name, Skittles…how cute!

  5. Ooh, this sounds good! Thanks so much for telling us about it.

  6. Sounds like quite a thriller. Dig the cover.

  7. A vampire and a witch. I like the sound of this.

  8. Now there’s some paranormal for you. Goodness. I love the concept.

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