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Soar (Deadwood Ravens Book 3)

Soar (Deadwood Ravens Book 3)

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Click To Read The Synopsis

Deciding to become a raven shifter might not solve all my problems, but it’s a start.

Pike, the leader of the vampire bats, is coming for me. If I want to survive a war with him, I need a raven of my own. Becoming a shifter is the only way to level the playing field.

But will it be enough?

Pike will do anything to see me dead. This isn’t about him using my Mystic magic to his benefit anymore. It’s a battle of life and death. The question is: Who will remain standing at the end?

Click To Read Chapter One


I shifted to face the entrance of the cave where I’d last seen Pike, knowing if I took him out now, all this ended. The compulsion these people were under would break, and their lives would be saved because of it.

Only Pike wasn’t at the entrance of the cave anymore.

My chest tightened. A tingling sensation crept along the back of my neck as my gaze darted around, searching for him. 

Where the hell was he?

“Looking for me, Little Slayer?” a voice I would recognize anywhere asked from behind me.

My stomach clenched. Beads of sweat formed along my upper lip as my heart sped up. The sound of my breathing and the rapid pounding of my heart filled my ears while I slowly turned to face him. Time slowed. When I locked eyes with him, panic unlike anything I’d ever felt before hit me so hard my knees grew weak.

Good always won against evil, right?


The sun shone brightly and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as I walked with Poe to Helena’s cabin. It was the warmest day I’d seen since stepping foot in Gray Cove, and I loved it. Right now, I constituted the sunshine as a sign—one that meant good luck.

At least that was what I hoped it meant, because I sure could use a heavy dose of good luck right about now. 

My stomach knotted as I thought through what I’d decided to do for the millionth time—become a raven shifter. I understood it was a huge deal, and not something to be taken lightly. Becoming a raven shifter was permanent.

However, it was also one of the better options I had on the table. 

Sure, I could go on the run again, but I was positive Pike would find me. Even without Erin and her dark magic skills. While I hadn’t been privy to the supernatural world for long, it didn’t seem as though witches were hard to find. Heck, Poe practically had one living in his backyard. So the chances of Pike being able to track one down and replace Erin quickly were pretty good. 

Another option was to go against Pike as I was—basically human with the ability to heal shifters—and see how I fared, but that was what I had been doing, and so far it hadn’t worked out well for me. I’d been abducted twice. Compelled on multiple occasions. And even fed from. All while seeing those who were trying to help me in this screwed up situation I’d landed myself in get hurt more than once. 

In all honesty, I was sick of being the weakest link in this scenario. 

I didn’t want to be a burden to anyone anymore, either. Instead, I wanted to hold my own and feel stronger than I currently did. 

The only issue was I wasn’t sure what I’d have to do to become a raven shifter.

Not knowing was the only thing tripping me up.

“Are you sure about this?” Poe asked, pulling me from my thoughts. I shifted to glance at him, our eyes locking. He ran a hand through his hair, his warm eyes never leaving mine. “You know you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. Becoming a raven shifter isn’t a prerequisite for going against Pike.”

A smirk twisted my lips. It was sweet of him to ask if this was what I wanted. Again. After I told him I wanted him to give me a raven, to give me my own set of wings, he’d said I should sleep on it first and that we’d talk more about it in the morning. 

I agreed, and when morning came, I still wanted a raven. 

When I told him as much, excitement and relief had worked its way through his features, but he hadn’t made a big deal out of my decision. Not like I thought he would. 

Honestly, Poe seemed to be waiting for me to change my mind.

I wouldn’t, though. No matter how nervous or scared I was, there was no way I’d change my mind about this. It was something I had to do. No, it was something I wanted to do.

“Yeah, I’m sure,” I said, holding his stare.

He nodded, his eyes brightening as though he was relieved by my answer. “Okay, then.”

Silence bloomed between us as we continued toward Helena’s cabin. I wanted to ask Poe what had to be done for me to become a raven shifter, but I didn’t want him to think I was second-guessing my decision. 

While I walked, I pondered what I thought the transformation might entail. Magic for sure. After all, Helena was a witch. A raven witch. 

Maybe she gave ravens to those she thought worthy? 

That couldn’t be it. If it was, I felt as though she would have offered to give me one already. After all, I’d already paid her more than one visit and she knew my current situation with Pike and his creepy cult of vampire bats.

Maybe it had something to do with tea?

I remembered once—maybe even twice—Helena had mentioned me having a cup of tea with her. I’d thought there had been something more to the seemingly simple question. A double meaning. It was possible, but for all I knew, she could have been wanting someone to drink tea with and chat.

My mind filled with more ideas as the silence between Poe and me lingered.

Did a person wake the next morning after drinking raven shifter tea and suddenly have a raven of their own? Could it be that easy? Was there a sacrifice that needed to happen first? Did an actual raven have to die?

A shiver slid down my spine at the thought. I didn’t want to take part in any type of sacrifice or dark magic. My heart sped up when I realized either of those options might be the only way to get a raven of my own.

What would I do then? Would I still be willing to go through with this?

I wasn’t so sure.

When Helena’s cabin came into view, my stomach fluttered with nervous butterflies and my palms grew slick with sweat. My mind spun out of control as my overactive imagination continued to take me on a wild ride. The ride finally stopped when a thought surfaced that had rocks forming in the pit of my stomach. 

What if Helena said she couldn’t do it?

It was something I hadn’t thought of, but it could be a real possibility. Helena could say she didn’t have the type of magic needed or the ingredients. Heck, she could say a lot of things. The moon could need to be in a certain phase. She could say it wasn’t the right day of the week. Or that it wasn’t the right season. 

My mind filled with reasons why this might not work.

I pulled in a breath, wishing I knew more about the process so I wouldn’t be such a hot mess right now. 

Why hadn’t I thought to ask questions before?

Did it matter, though? I mean, knowing more about how this worked wouldn’t change my mind. It would have only helped to better prepare me. 

I exhaled a shaky breath and noticed when Poe glanced my way. He opened his mouth to say something—most likely to reiterate that I didn’t have to do this—but the front door of Helena’s cabin swung open, and the old woman stepped onto her stoop to stare at us. 

She wore a long, free-flowing dress that cascaded to her ankles and a wide smile. Her hair had been twisted into an intricate braid that wrapped around her head and trailed across her right shoulder. It was something you’d see trending online, and also something I could never do but wished I could. 

A messy bun or a ponytail were my go-tos. 

“Hello, you two,” Helena said, her smile growing wider. Her eyes fixed on me and it took me only an instant to gather that she already knew why we were here. Helena was gifted like that. “Beautiful day, isn’t it? It’s starting to feel like summer. Such a great time for a raven shifter to fly.” Her eyes glittered with excitement as they remained locked with mine. 

I chewed my bottom lip, not knowing what to say.

One of Helena’s perfectly sculpted brows lifted at my silence. “Ready for that cup of tea now, Gemma?” 

I nodded, understanding then that I’d been right about the tea. There was something mystical about it. My heart kick-started inside my chest. “I think so.” 

Helena stepped to the side and made a sweeping motion with her hand, gesturing for us to enter her tiny cabin. I climbed the steps and slid past her into the house. It was cooler inside than it had been the previous times I’d been here. I noticed right away it was because the windows were open, allowing fresh air to sweep through the small space. The sweet scent of lavender tickled my nose, but I couldn’t find its source. 

As I stepped farther inside, my gaze landed on a teakettle on the stove. There was a single mug on the kitchen counter and an unopened glass jar filled with a variety of dried flowers and a small bowl beside it. 

It shouldn’t have surprised me to see that Helena was prepared for our visit. After all, she had been for our previous visits without word of our coming too. However, I still found myself a tiny bit stunned this time around.

Her gift of knowing would definitely take some getting used to.

“I’ve been waiting for this day for quite a while now.” Helena moved to close the door behind Poe and then made her way to the kitchen. When she reached the counter, she glanced at us. Her hands clasped together at her chin and she smiled at us both. When the kettle on the stove sounded, she moved to pull it off the eye before settling her attention on me again. “Ask me your questions. I know you have many.” She motioned for me to step closer.

I licked my lips. There was only one question that came to mind.

“How do I become a raven shifter?” I asked. 

I would have asked if she could do it, if she could give me a raven, but something told me she could. Asking such a question seemed like a waste. Instead, I delve into the question that had me most terrified because I worried whatever the process was, it would hurt. I also worried it may take time I didn’t feel we had.

My gaze dipped to the mug on the counter. Clearly, I’d been right in thinking becoming a raven shifter had something to do with drinking tea, but what? Did the tea have the blood of a raven in it? 

Ew. Gross. Please don’t let me have to drink any blood. 

“First, I’ll make you some tea that will open your mind. Then, you simply wait for the right raven to come along and merge with you,” Helena said.

I blinked. That wasn’t the answer I thought she would give. I imagined there would be something more witchy involved. A spell. A flickering candle flame. Calling a raven spirit into me from some spirit world.

But this? It seemed simple. All I had to do was drink some tea and wait. 

At first, I thought it seemed a bit anticlimactic, but then I reminded myself it was better than the alternative. There would be no voodoo-inspired stuff. No pain. No craziness.

This was good. This I could handle.

“Drink the tea and wait?” Poe reiterated. “That’s it?”

Helena nodded. “Yes.”

“What do you mean when you say wait for the right raven to merge with?” I asked, needing a little clarification. 

“Exactly that—you’ll wait for the right raven to choose you. One you’ll be compatible with.” 

I watched as she added three heaping spoonfuls of dried flowers from the glass jar on the counter into the mug she’d set out. Next, she added water from the kettle to it. A uniquely floral scent infused the air, causing me to feel alert. It also had me feeling slightly off-kilter. I didn’t know what type of flowers those were, but it was easy to see they were potent as hell.

Helena made her way to the bookshelf to her right. She grabbed a glass jar. Inside were long, black feathers. 

Raven feathers?

I blinked a few times, my eyes burning from the steam wafting from the mug on the counter. I glanced at it, watching as the gray whisps curled into the air and dissipated. Another question popped into my head. “How long will it take for a raven to choose me?” 

Helena made her way back to the mug, a single feather in hand. I watched as she stirred the tea with it, going one way and then the other. “As long as it takes. There is no time limit.” She blew on the tea once, and then stirred it again with the feather. Maybe there was magic stored in it? Or maybe it focused the intention of the tea to help call a raven to me? “Once your mind is open to a raven, it remains open until one finds you,” she continued.

I shifted on my feet, feeling as though she’d given me another vague answer, but knowing I wouldn’t get a better one even if I asked for it. One thing I’d learned about Helena was that vague answers were her thing.

“What happens if a raven doesn’t pick me? What if no raven comes along to merge with me? Ever.” My chest tightened at the thought, causing me to realize how much I wanted this. I glanced at Poe. He pressed a hand against the small of my back, comforting me.

“Are you in a hurry to obtain a raven?” Helena asked, drawing my attention back to her. Her eyes sparked with an intensity that made it hard to hold her stare.

“Sort of.” 

It was true. If I wanted one before I went against Pike, then I was most definitely in a hurry. Since I had no idea when that battle would happen, the sooner I had a raven, the better. 

Helena set the feather she’d used to stir the tea with on the counter. She placed her hands on either side of the mug and leaned forward, the intensity in her eyes flaring brighter as they remained on mine. “There is another way. A faster way. Although, I must warn you, it is forceful, and it involves the use of dark magic. That alone makes it risky.”

Dark magic? I’d had my fill of that crap, but curiosity still got the best of me. 

“Risky how?” I asked, unable to help myself.

Poe’s hand fell away from my back, and I heard him exhale a slow breath. He wanted to say something, I could tell, but he remained mute. Honestly, I was glad. I didn’t want us butting heads right now. While he was free to express his worries or thoughts on the subject, the decision about how I got a raven was mine. 

“Every shifter has a special bond with their animal. If that bond is forced, it can become twisted. In this case, if no raven agrees to merge with you, I can force one to. However, forcing a raven to merge with you could make them resentful. It could fracture the bond between the two of you, which is something you may never be able to repair. A broken bond could mean difficult transitions when you shift. It could also mean always having to fight for control against your raven.”

“Nope,” Poe ground out. He shook his head, his hand smoothing along his brow. “We’re not going that route. Not happening.”

“Um, that’s not for you to decide,” I said, glaring at him, even though I was in full agreement with him after hearing the details. “The decision is mine and only mine.”

While I wanted to be stronger than I currently was and I also wanted the advantages that came with being a raven shifter, I wasn’t sure I wanted it bad enough to risk having a combative, resentful raven always fighting me for control.

That sounded like hell.

“I understand you don’t want me to speak for you, but Gemma, come on.” Poe massaged the back of his neck, his eyes fixed on mine. “You can’t seriously tell me you’d risk that?”

Ignoring his question, I shifted my attention to Helena. “Let’s try the tea first.”

Helena nodded once and then picked up the mug to hand it to me. I sent up a silent prayer to whoever was listening, asking that the tea please work and that a raven who was willing to merge with me would find its way to me as quickly as possible. While I didn’t want to resort to using dark magic to become a raven shifter, I knew I would if it was the only option available. 

Going against Pike on a level playing field was worth the risk.

Deciding to become a raven shifter might not solve all my problems, but it’s a start.

Pike, the leader of the vampire bats, is coming for me. If I want to survive a war with him, I need a raven of my own. Becoming a shifter is the only way to level the playing field.

Main Tropes

  • High- Stakes
  • Raven Shifters
  • On the Run Female

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