Dark Curse




In a book as complicated as Dark Curse , there are so many people to thank.

First and foremost, special thanks to Dr. Christopher Tong, an incredible friend, who is a continual source of information. It was his brainchild to use the Carpathian language as the proto-language of the Hungarian and Finnish languages. Dr. Chris Tong (www.christong.com) is fluent in several languages, did undergraduate studies in linguistics at Columbia University and graduate studies in computational linguistics at Standford University. He is currently writing a new book,Beyond Everything , and developing the World Meeting Place, a Web 3.0 (AI-based) site aimed at enabling the world's people to collaborate on solving the world's problems.

Brian Feehan, who drops everything and brainstorms with me at the drop of a hat. You make my fantasy and action scenes come alive for me when I discuss them with you.

I have to thank Rachel Powell for introducing me to a wonderful woman, Diana SkyEyes, who was generous enough to share her knowledge with me at short notice and put me on the right path to aid my Carpathian women. Diana SkyEyes is an earth priestess with twenty years of practicing Moon Lodge and Wiccan traditions of alternative healing. She is a certified herbalist, musician and writer of healing songs. Any mistakes are my own as well as fictitious license used to enhance my storyline. Thank you, Diana, for all your time and energy.

My sister Ruth Powell, who has always stood for children, who is the only one I know that could create an ancient lullaby and make the words universal.

My sister Jeanette and Slavcia, who were willing to discuss birth problems and how best to solve them using alternative medicines.

And, of course, Anita, who made all the work fun and reminded me of our early carefree days of laughter while we worked our own magic! Your talent for so many things always stuns and amazes me.


The cold should have made her shiver, but it was fear, terrible bone-chilling fear that seized Lara, causing such tremors they were impossible to control. She huddled on the floor of the ice cave, studying the walls of her prison. The ice was beautiful, walls thick and blue with amazing formations hanging from the ceiling and rising from the floor like a forest of multicolored crystal. She hunched down, watching the lights flicker across the ice-creating glittering, dazzling displays on the walls. All the while, her heart beat too fast and she choked on rising terror.

A soft whisper in her mind helped to steady her, to keep her centered and calm when she wanted to curl

up in a ball and cry. She was eight years old now-today. She looked down at her arms and wrists, covered in bite marks, scars from teeth gnawing through her skin to get at her veins. Her stomach lurched. Today was the last day anyone would tear at her flesh and drink her blood. Today she would escape.

I am so scared. Even in her mind, using telepathic communication, her voice trembled.

At once she felt warmth in her mind. The sensation spread through her body, driving away the chill and giving her courage.You will not be alone. We will aid you to escape. You must be brave, little one .

Will you come with me, Aunt Bronnie? Will you both come? She knew she sounded plaintive and afraid, but she couldn't help it. She'd never been above ground. The idea of going alone into an unfamiliar world was paralyzing. Without her aunts, she would have no way of protecting herself. They both had taught her, thrusting as many skills and spells into her brain and memories as possible, but she was still a child in a child's body. Thin. Weak. Pale. A mop of copper-colored hair she could never control and little else.

That may not be possible, Lara, and if we cannot, you must go by yourself. You must get far away from this place and hide your talents and abilities so no one will ever imprison you again. Do you understand? You cannot in any way appear different in the outside world.

They had told her of the world. Long, lonely nights they had whispered to her of places above ground, of the sun and sea, of forests of trees, of living animals and birds that flew free. They had filled her mind-and her heart-with images so beautiful they had stolen her breath.

Why must I hide my gifts in the world outside? Lara shivered again, running her hands up and