Legend of Me by Rebekah L. Purdy was released on July 24th and we are happy to help be on the blog tour! Check out all the book information, an excerpt, as well as enter the tour-wide giveaway!
No one should ever go into the woods alone.
Brielle has grown up listening to tales of a beast that attacks humans, leaving behind only a scattering of bones and limbs. It’s probably the elders’ way of keeping little children in line, but it doesn’t explain her grisly premonitions of blood, claws, and severed heads.
But when Brielle finds a mangled body in the woods, she begins to wonder if the grim stories may actually be true. Soon, Lord Kenrick, Knight of the Crowhurst Order, arrives asking questions about the legendary monster. Brielle’s attraction to him is immediate and undeniable. She volunteers to help him search for clues to the creature’s existence, despite her suspicions about his timing.
As her seventeenth birthday approaches, Brielle’s nightmares worsen and more villagers go missing. If Brielle doesn’t figure out the connection between Kenrick, the beast, and her visions, more people will die. As Brielle falls deeper in love with Kenrick and deeper into the snares of the abominable beast, she’ll become part of a legend so great, no one will ever question its validity again.
“I heard some talk in the village today.”
My gaze met his. “What kind of talk?”
“I overheard Lady Weaver say they found Walter Fisherman down by the dock, his innards strung about. Apparently they still haven’t found his legs and arms.”
“Great. The Beast again. You’d think the gossip mongers would be sick of spreading the same rumors over and over again.”
He shrugged. “My bet is, Walter probably drank himself to death. But they did mention this was the second body found in five days.”
For centuries, people had told tales of the “Beast” around campfires. Every time someone went missing or was found dead, the “monster” in the woods got blamed. But no one had ever actually seen this thing. So I believed it was the village elders’ way of keeping the children in line. They claimed it came after the unholy. The sinners. So most of us were too scared to venture out after dark or make poor choices for fear their words might become true.
But what about my nightmares?
Chills raked over me.
The other night, I’d had a nightmare about the Beast. Had it been a vision of the Beast actually attacking someone? And now Rhyne was saying someone’s body had been found. Was it a coincidence? And last night I’d dreamed of Margaret Shepherdess being killed by the Beast …
For a moment, I considered telling Rhyne about my gruesome nightmares. Of the headaches and nausea that followed these visions. About the ghostly lady who seemed to always watch from afar … a woman who looked just like my dead cousin, Lucia.
With a sigh, I bit my lip. I didn’t want to put a damper on the rest of my day. What I needed to do was try to forget about my dreams and visions and ghosts. So instead, I smiled and said, “See, this is why I adore you so much—you don’t fall for Lady Weaver’s antics.”
Something or someone crashed in the trees next to us. We leapt apart and stared into the thicket. My heart catapulted into my throat as he reached for his bow. A buck and doe scampered out of the woods and stopped to get a drink at the creek. Rhyne glanced at me, and I burst out laughing.
“What’d you think it was? The Beast?” I teased.
His lips twitched at the corners, and he tossed his bow aside while pulling me into the creek. “I’ll show you beast.”
With a giggle, I splashed him, getting his breeches and tunic wet. I grabbed the bottom of my drenched skirt and bounded through the woods, glancing over my shoulder as I rushed onto the main road and screeching as I saw Rhyne closing in.
I turned around and took a deep breath, ready to run faster, faster—and saw that I was about to collide with a black stallion coming toward me. I screamed and raised my arms to brace myself for the impact, but the rider pulled the reins, stopping the horse mere inches from me.
“Are you all right?” asked the rider with a deep, masculine voice. The knight pulled his helmet from his head. My breath caught in my throat as he slid from his mount. Shaggy black hair fell across his forehead. His blue eyes the color of summer skies. He stood tall, his smile blinding.
“I-I’m sorry.” I curtsied. “I’m afraid I didn’t see you coming.”
Any second now my heart would stop pounding. Right? Any second.
“No need to fret,” he said. “I’m only glad I was able to pull up in time.”
His soft tone sent a quivering across my skin that had nothing to do with me being dripping wet.
Rhyne came up behind me and rested his palm on my shoulder.
The knight glanced at his hand, then back at me. “My men and I are looking for the village of Dark Pines. I haven’t been here since I was a boy, so my memory is not as clear I would like. Could you tell me if we’re close?”
Rhyne cleared his throat. “It’s just around the next bend.”
The knight’s gaze lingered on me as he stepped forward. “I’m sorry, where are my manners? Allow me to introduce myself.” His grin widened. “My name is Lord Kenrick of Crowhurst.”
In one smooth motion, he set his helmet on his saddle, then took my hand and raised it to his lips.
My skin blazed beneath his mouth, and my heart thudded like the beating of a thousand hooves in unison.
What’s wrong with me?
I stood frozen in place, staring at him.
“Brielle, it’s been too long since I’ve seen you.” Lord Kenrick rushed across the stone bridge, moonlight at his back.
I laughed. “It’s only been three nights.”
“Three nights too many.” He scooped me in his arms, his fingers tangling in my hair as he drew me closer.
My legs trembled and I shook my head to clear the mental picture. Of all the times for one of my stupid visions to hit me. My eyes searched his, and I noticed the dazed look on his face as well. Hold on. Had he shared my vision? No. Of course not. Half the time I wasn’t even sure what I was seeing was a vision. It was another magnitude of crazy to think that not only had it been a real vision, but that this knight had somehow shared that vision with me.
Rhyne stiffened behind me, his grip tightening on my shoulder.
I swallowed hard. “I’m Brielle Healer,” I said at last.
Rhyne nudged me.
“And this is Rhyne Butcher,” I added.
My face flushed when Kenrick released my hand. I took a step back and bumped into Rhyne.
“Pleased to meet you both.” Kenrick gave a slight nod, his gaze still intent on my face. He raised an eyebrow. “You look so familiar to me. Is it possible we’ve met before? Perhaps in another town? Or at a ball?”
Tingles raced across my skin and my fingers itched to reach out to him. “No. I haven’t been out of Dark Pines since I was a small child—”
“Speaking of Dark Pines,” Rhyne interrupted, “what brings you here?”
Kenrick gave him a forced smile. “I’m hunting the Beast.”
Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. She’s lived in Michigan most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army. At which time she got a chance to experience Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, and California.Rebekah has a business degree from University of Phoenix and currently works full time for the court system. In her free time she writes YA stories, anything from YA Fantasy to YA Contemporary Romance. Rebekah also has a big family (6 kids)—she likes to consider her family as the modern day Brady Bunch complete with crazy road trips and game nights.When not hiding at her computer, Rebekah enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games, traveling, and hanging out with her family and gazillion pets.
One (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of Legend of Me by Rebekah L. Purdy (INT)