I want to welcome back Melissa Eskue Ousley with her second book in The Solas Beir Trilogy, THE RABBIT AND THE RAVEN! Take it away, Melissa! 

David Corbin, Solas Beir of Cai Terenmare

Sign of the Throne, Book One in The Solas Beir Trilogy, tells the story of how David Corbin reclaimed his birthright as Solas Beir, or king, of a magical kingdom called Cai Terenmare. Soon after David was born, his father was assassinated by his aunt Lucia, leaving the kingdom in chaos. Aligned with an evil lord, Lucia kidnapped the infant heir to the throne, taking David from his world into ours, to be raised by human parents. With help from a young woman named Abby Brown, David managed to find his way home and take back the crown. But that is only the beginning of the story. Now, Tynan Tierney, the dark lord hell-bent on usurping David, has been freed from prison and plots against him. In The Rabbit and the Raven, the second book in the series, David must secure the loyalty of four Oracles to defeat Tierney and bring peace to Cai Terenmare.

David faces many challenges as a new ruler. Raised by humans, he is seen as an outsider, disconnected from his heritage. There is a definite bias against humans in Cai Terenmare. At best, humans are viewed as lesser beings, and at worst, as food. The people of the Light are powerful shape-shifters, nearly immortal, and wage battle in forms representative of their true nature, their souls. Once they reach maturity, they never grow old. However, they can die—they can drown, or can be consumed by fire, poisoned by silver, or torn apart by those who serve the Darkness. Still, as long as they can return to the sacred pool of healing at Caislucis, the Solas Beir’s castle, they can heal from almost any wound.

The Solas Beir of Cai Terenmare is the strongest of those in the Light, and has extraordinary abilities. David must use his newfound powers to convince those who doubt his authority that he is the true king. But power always comes with a price, and David discovers that being Solas Beir is both a blessing and a curse. Although David has the power to heal sickness or an injury, he takes the wound into his own body, paying a personal price.

The Solas Beir’s power comes from the Light, but though his power is great, he cannot use it for his own gain. His role is to keep the balance of power, and to be a servant to his people. The Solas Beir is unbound by natural laws. In addition to healing others, he can move and manipulate objects by sheer force of will. He can fly and generate fire from his hands. Like others from Cai Terenmare, he has the power to shape-shift. In representing the Light, he has the power to destroy those who walk in Darkness merely by speaking a word. He is required to protect his people at all costs, even if it means sacrificing himself. David soon learns that sacrifice comes in many forms, and some of them may be too much to bear.


Darkness is beguiling…and power always comes with a price.

Adopted by loving parents, David Corbin had no idea his life was a lie. Then he met a girl. Abby Brown freed David from the spell keeping him from the truth, that he was the lost heir to the throne in a magical realm.

Even though he got the girl and gained a kingdom, David had no clue about the unfathomable power he would inherit, nor did he realize how much he would have to sacrifice to keep the throne.

If there is any hope of winning the war against the deadly Kruorumbrae, David and Abby will have to journey to the outer edges of the realm to secure the loyalty of the four Oracles. Along the way, they will learn just how seductive darkness can be.

Excerpt ~

Out of the shadows of the labyrinth, a massive beast emerged. He was bigger than Calder had been, but while Calder had been a hairless, muscled brute, this feline creature was lean, muscled in a way that was beautiful and terrible at the same time. He had the look of a sophisticated and efficient killer—covered in thick, shiny fur with black-on-black stripes. He approached Abby with a menacing deliberateness, bearing long, primeval fangs.

“Hello, Rabbit,” the creature said as he circled her slowly. “I’ve been waiting for you.”

Abby could feel the beast’s hot breath on her skin. Don’t show fear, she thought, planting her feet in a fighting stance and drawing herself up to look taller, brawnier. Look him straight in the eye. If you’re going to die, at least have a little dignity about it. She stared into his eyes and spoke his name: “Tierney.”

The creature stared back, eyeing Abby’s clenched jaw and defensive stance, and then he smiled apologetically. “Oh, I’m so sorry,” Tierney said. “I forget this face can be, shall we say, rather off-putting. Allow me to present a more pleasing visage.” His form changed, melting away like smoke, leaving black ashes lingering in the air. In the creature’s place stood a handsome young man with dark eyes—nothing like the beast he had just been.

Don’t be fooled by the illusion, Abby told herself. He’s the same monster he was before—it’s just a mask. She stood her ground, infusing her voice with authority. “On the contrary. You know that face is off-putting. That’s why you wore it.”

To her surprise, Tierney started laughing—not a mean, condescending laugh, but one of genuine, unguarded amusement. It wasn’t quite the response Abby had expected.

“Well, now,” he chuckled, “you are a surprisingly perceptive one. Do you know why I’m here?”

“I assume it’s to get to the Solas Beir by killing me,” Abby said.

“Oh, come now, Rabbit, I’m hurt. I have absolutely no such plans. None at all,” Tierney replied.

“I have trouble believing that—your reputation precedes you,” she said.

“Well, dear Rabbit, a reputation is really quite subjective, don’t you think? And you must concede thatyour sources may be a bit biased when it comes to me.” He began circling her again, looking her up and down. “Actually, I’m here because I heard a very interesting story about you. And I must say, I think there’s more to you than I was originally led to believe. I heard that an ordinary human girl rescued the Lightbearer by killing a Blood Shadow—and not just any Blood Shadow, mind you, but one of the strongest among us. And I wondered to myself, an ordinary human girl? How can that be?”

Abby noticed that Tierney used the term “Lightbearer” rather than David’s formal title of Solas Beir. She didn’t think it was an accident. In fact, she was certain that Tynan Tierney never said or did anything that wasn’t calculated. “What is it you want, exactly?” she demanded, putting her hands on her hips.

“Only to see if the story was true. I can see now that you’ve been underestimated. Clearly, you are no ordinary human girl. You are turning out to be much more interesting than I thought you would be, pretty little c’aislingaer,” he said.

Abby glared at him. “Thanks, but you can’t fool me into falling for flattery.”

Suddenly Tierney stepped close to Abby, his arms pulling her to him, his breath on her neck as he whispered in her ear. “No, indeed I cannot. For I have met many a fool, and you are not one.”

He was so warm, and his touch made her skin tingle, much to her chagrin. She fought to show no response, reminding herself to keep her guard up.

He continued, his lips almost grazing her skin as he talked. “What I want, Abigail, is to show you the truth—to help you see my side of the story so you can decide for yourself if my so-called reputation is deserved.” He pulled away suddenly, his head cocked to one side as if he had heard something.

Abby heard nothing.

Tierney turned back, his dark eyes on her. “Your boyfriend is coming. Better not let him catch you fraternizing with the enemy. Until we meet again, little Rabbit.” Taking her hand, he held it to his lips, kissing it with a disarming tenderness. Then he was gone—not in some magic puff of smoke, but simply not there anymore.

Abby heard the crack of a twig breaking as someone approached. Rather than feeling a sense of relief, she felt oddly guilty, like she had been caught in the act of doing something wrong. She had just survived what should have been a lethal encounter with a monster, but instead of being frightened of Tierney, she found herself attracted to him. And that terrified her.

Bio ~

Melissa Eskue Ousley lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with her family and their Kelpie, Gryphon. When she’s not writing, Melissa can be found hiking, swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, or walking along the beach, poking dead things with a stick.

Before she became a writer, she had a number of educational jobs, ranging from a summer spent scraping road kill off a molten desert highway, to years spent conducting research with an amazing team of educators at the University of Arizona. Her interests in psychology, culture, and mythology have influenced her writing of The Solas Beir Trilogy.

You can find Melissa at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Giveaway ~

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  1. Welcome back, Melissa! And congratulations on the second book in The Solas Beir Trilogy!

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me! :D

  3. Replies
    1. Yes. Reminds me a bit of "The Chronicles of Narnia," which I absolutely adored! Thanks for taking the time to stop in today, RT!

  4. Replies
    1. Yes. I love the wide variety of reading material out there. Thank you for joining us today!

  5. Truly magical! And Melissa, I love the cover! Best!

    1. I know! It's a great cover, isn't it? Simple, but intriguing. Thanks for popping in, Darcy!

  6. Wow, the plot lines and characters sound great! Your books just went my TBR list!

    1. Danger, political intrigue, magic...what more could you want? I appreciate you stopping in today, Susan!

  7. I'm impressed! I could never be that imaginative. Sounds great, best of luck and congrats!

    1. I highly doubt that, Miss Alicia Dean. With your vampire books and such? Melissa does have a lot going on though and it sounds like a fun read! Thanks for chatting with us!


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