Winner: Speculative Fiction Romance in the 2008 Dream Realm Awards
Finalist in the 2009 Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence
Megan Cassidy, a world-renowned psychic seer, must fight a serial killer to save her six-year-old son Robbie. But she can’t do it alone. She needs help from the best tracker and Ranger in West Virginia, her ex-fiancé, Brody Phelps.
In a psychic vision, Megan sees her own death during a battle with the murderer that the police have dubbed The Mountain Mangler. She soon discovers that the Mangler is also psychic and looking for a challenge that the first six victims couldn’t meet.
While Brody and Megan search the mountains for the Mangler and Robbie, Megan is drawn to Talgor Ridge where they are told an unbelievable story from a Talgorian Elder. When they discover their destinies are intertwined with the immortal Talgorians, Brody and Megan must each follow their hearts to fulfill the first Talgorian Prophecy. Acceptance is the only way to save Robbie, and the Talgorians, from total destruction.
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4 Stars – Dupre’s well-plotted and exciting novel grabs the reader. At its center is a wonderful story about lovers reconnecting. This is surrounded by a suspenseful paranormal adventure with several twists that will continually surprise. ~ Romantic Times
Rating: 5 Cups
Megan Cassidy is a psychic who is fast becoming famous. Megan has a six-year-old son whom she keeps secret from the media. Seven years ago Megan fell in love with Brody Phelps and became engaged, but when a bad prediction leads to Brody’s hatred she left and never looked back. But now a psycho serial killer named the “Mangler” has her son Robbie, and there is only one tracker who knew those mountains and that is Brody Phelps.
Brody Phelps is Chief at the Flatrock Creek Ranger and Police station. Years ago, Brody made a promise to himself to help find the lost, especially the children. Now Megan comes back wanting him to help find her kidnapped son, Brody did not know if he could let his heart go through that pain again. But the “Mangler” has followed her to Flatrock and Brody knows he could not turn his back on Megan this time.
Megan explained to Brody about the visions she is having and what she was seeing, and although skeptic, Brody decides to follow her leads. Megan soon takes them on the route to the Talgor Ridge, where old myths and legends were told of the Talgorian Mountains. And as they start the hunt, both Megan and Brody enter into a whole new world neither knew existed and the myths of the mountains were true. The fight for Megan’s son becomes entwined with a fight against evil. Megan soon learns exactly who and what she is. Fighting together Brody and Megan become closer than ever, but Megan has already seen her death and knows there is no future for them ever.
Ms. Dupre has created a mind blowing tale that grabs you right from the start, throwing you into a maelstrom of action and keeping you on the edge of your seat all the time. With superb ingenuity the author pens a breath taking adventure with some astounding characters and sensual romance. Without missing a beat the author takes you from a normal hunt into a spectacular paranormal world where you learn the key to what is happening. This is one of those stories that at the end the reader feeling like they had just run a marathon. To sum all of it up would be to say one phenomenal read.
Reviewer: Stacy Link
“Psychic in a race against time to save her son”
After the kidnapping of her son Robbie, and unable to get the police to listen to her when she says she saw it happen and she knows who took him, Megan has no choice but to enlist the help of Brody, despite their history together. So Megan returns home to ask for Brody’s help in finding her son.
Brody never believed Megan when she says she saw things but now she has returned and says she has seen her death and that of her son. Megan begs for his help to save her son before it’s too late. What they didn’t expect is that the Legend of their home town will come into play.
This was a very interesting story and I loved how Ariana Dupré brings a small town legend into play with the characters. You feel for Megan when the police refuse to believe she can help them find the Mangler they are looking for because she is psychic. And when she has to return to her small town to enlist the help of the only man that can save her son you feel the pain and love between Brody and Megan. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys paranormal reading and small town history or legends.
Simply Romance Reviews
SRR GRADE: A
What would you do if you were a famous psychic and your son was just kidnapped by a ruthless serial killer? Go the police? I think not, especially when they don’t believe a word you say. You head off to find him, and that’s just what Megan Cassidy does in Talgorian Prophecy.
No one believes she can find her son but she knows she can, her visions become more and more haunting and she has no choice but to ask for the help of her ex-fiancé Brody Phelps. She has never stopped loving him but he has never forgiven her for the loss of his parents seven years ago.
But Megan has a secret she’s kept from Brody and when he finds out and agrees to help her find Robbie they learn even more unbelievable truths as they hike through the mountains of Virginia.
What is the Talgorian Prophecy? Well you’ll have to read this fast paced, hold on to the edge of your chair book by Ariana Dupré to find out. I’m not going to spoil one word of this excellent story. Can you say “what a twist?” You will and more as you hike along with Megan and Brody on their desperate search for Robbie before time runs out.
I really loved this book, it had a couple of really great surprises and it was never slow. The characters were well rounded from the obnoxious police officer (I swear I wanted to kick his butt myself) to Megan, our heroine, who loved her son so deeply nothing not even the threat of death would keep her from rescuing him. One warning, make sure when you start Talgorian Prophecy you have plenty of time to read because you won’t want to put it down until you have turned the last page. I can’t wait to read more by this very talented author. ~Reviewed by Lynda
Reviewed by Ann Boling
When her son, Robbie, was abducted, psychic, Megan Cassidy, returned to her hometown in West Virginia. She turned to the one man that could help her, Brody Phelps. She and Brody were once deeply in love but the accident changed all of that. He sent her away seven years ago, stating that he hated her and blamed her for his parent’s death. She needed his tracking skills if she was going to rescue her son before the serial killer murdered him.
Talgorian Prophecy is filled with suspense, love, and fantasy. The plot will keep readers on the edge of their seat. The emotions in this story run deep, I was wiping tears several times before I finished reading Talgorian Prophecy. The characters are well-defined. Megan is a strong character willing to fight to the death for her child. Brody is a wonderful character, although at times I wanted to yell at him for his stubbornness. Fans of suspense, romance and fantasy will love this one.
Highly suspenseful, filled with unique beings and yet very romantic, Talgorian Prophecy is Ariana Dupré’s latest sexy, suspenseful tale.
Star Rating: 4 Stars
Megan Cassidy is a well-known psychic on the trail of a serial killer. The Mountain Mangler has kidnaped her six year old son, Robbie, and she will do anything to get him back before it is too late. Brody Phelps is the last person she wants to go to but she knows if anyone can find him, Brody can. Brody and Megan had been engaged at one time and Brody broke it off when one of her visions turned out tragically. As the investigation proceeds, Megan realizes that the Mangler, who is also psychic, is focused on her and is presenting her with a challenge that the first six victims failed. When she is drawn to Talgor Ridge, she learns that she and Brody are destined to try and fulfill a prophecy, a prophecy where the fate of Megan, Robbie, Brody and the immortal Talgorians depends on the outcome.
There is nothing better than immersing yourself in a new world with beings new to you. The Talgorians were ancient and waiting for the prophesy to be fulfilled. The Mangler did not want that to happen and would do anything to prevent it. Megan paid a high price for her ability to see visions, one which included her death, while Brody had a hard time believing in her visions. They must find a common ground if they are to survive and save not only themselves but Robbie and the Talgorians as well. Adriana Dupré has penned a memorable tale that we all hope is a portent of more to come. Talgorian Prophesy has created a world filled with the unusual and the fascinating.
I really enjoyed Dupré’s novel. As a lover of suspense and paranormal, I love discovering stories that blend both. That said, I would have liked for that blending to be a bit more balanced. There is no question the suspense was solid through the book, as were the psychic elements. Knowing your child is in the clutches of a killer like the Mangler is every mother’s worst nightmare and, like Megan, I would have done whatever was necessary to save my child. I was caught by the character’s dilemma from the very start. As a result, I couldn’t put down the book. Dupré did a great job there.
The Talgorian Prophecy snuck up on me toward the end of the book though. All of a sudden, Megan and Brody are talking to immortals and dealing with a prophecy that hadn’t been set up. Not for me, at least. There might have been a few lead-ins along the way but, if so, I completely missed or skimmed over them in favor of the stronger psychic elements. So it felt like the prophecy was thrown in at the last minute to make it easier to resolve the conflicts. And that’s a shame because what Dupré laid out in that prophecy was original to me. I would have loved more time to explore it and the repercussions of the revelation.
Would I pick up another of Dupré’s novels? Absolutely! Despite my feelings about the prophecy elements, this author has a definite talent for pulling hard on a reader’s emotions. Her suspense and psychic elements are right on. I couldn’t put the book down until I read the last page.
“Okay, Megan,” Brody nodded toward the lounge area, “sit down and tell me why you’re here.”
She entered the room. An overstuffed brown couch with two matching chairs, a plank coffee table and end tables added a sense of coziness to the police station. She sat on the couch clutching the purse against her abdomen.
What was Brody thinking? Had he wondered about Robbie’s father? Or what her life was like now? Maybe he felt indifferent about seeing her again. She took a deep breath to calm her nerves.
Brody lowered all six foot two inches of his toned physique into a chair. She let her gaze move over his broad chest and down strong arms as the shirtsleeves tightened around muscles bunching beneath the fabric. A utility belt holding a two-way radio and other items clung to his narrow waist. Man, he sure fills out that ranger uniform.
Her heartbeat increased watching him settle into the chair. She fought the urge to go to him, bury her head against his neck and let him comfort her. It was all she could do to keep her seat. She wanted to lean on him, to feel his strength protecting her. She hadn’t realized seeing him again would be this difficult.
Years ago he had wanted her love and she’d willingly given it. She remembered the time he’d playfully tickled her at the community barbecue, chasing her into the forest until they’d both tumbled onto the grass and into each other’s arms. The day he’d asked her to marry him had been the happiest of her life, a joy eclipsed only by Robbie’s birth. Brody had been her most trusted confidant until that fateful morning when the accident ripped their world apart.
She’d tried to get over Brody by dating other men but none had compared. She’d even convinced herself she didn’t need a man in her life and Robbie’s love was enough. Now she realized she’d only kidded herself. A love like theirs was rare. For a moment she allowed herself to wish for love again.
Brody watched her.
Instead of the baby-faced teenager who caused her to spin out of control, the man staring at her with such intensity was a stranger. His features were more sculpted and laugh lines creased the outer corners of his eyes. She knew she’d never be able to deny her feelings, even after all this time or the pain she’d experienced when he’d broken her heart. How much had he changed after his parents’ deaths?
She searched for any softness in his eyes, an unclenching of his jaw, anything to indicate he’d forgiven her.
She saw nothing to offer even a shred of hope.
Not that she’d expected forgiveness.
“I’m waiting, Megan.”
She stared at Brody and twisted the purse strap. “It started eight months ago. A girl was kidnapped and two weeks later her mother was taken. They found both of them murdered in the Allegheny Mountains about twenty miles north of Clarkston. Two months later, a man and his teenage son disappeared. When, again two months later, a woman and her daughter were abducted, the Clarkston police realized they had a serial killer on their hands. They called in the State Police but neither department is saying much. The victims are always a parent and child, with the parent having some type of psychic ability and the killer cuts an X across their chest and decapitates them.”
“The Mountain Mangler?” Brody crossed his arms over his chest.
“You have heard of him?”
“Archer wanted me on the search and rescue team with this case but you know that don’t you? You came back to Flatrock Creek to see me because…”
“Yeah, I knew Archer wanted you on the team.” She rubbed her face with her hands. “Brody, you’re the best Forest Ranger in West Virginia and a trained police officer. You’ve been tracking these mountains your whole life. You know this area better than anyone and have proven it by finding eight missing people. If anyone can find Robbie, it’s you.”
“Have you been keeping tabs on me, Megan?” His eyes narrowed and the muscles in his jaw twitched.
Megan jerked her gaze from him. Heat rose into her cheeks under his scrutiny. She couldn’t admit that was exactly what she’d done. “I saw you on television when you found the Anderson boy in the Allegheny’s.”
She met his stare but his expression remained cold. “You were quite a hero.”
“This is out of my jurisdiction.”
“Not as a ranger.”
“What does Robbie’s father say about your coming to me?”
“I’m not married so there isn’t anyone else to consider. Please help me.”
Brody stood and paced over to the desk.
Megan waited. She knew better than to pressure him. And because this concerned her, it wouldn’t be anything less than monumental for him to agree.
He turned to face her. Indecision and something else flitted in his eyes. Images from their youth flashed through her mind, the accident, his anger.
Crap. I’m reading him. Megan tried to break the connection by imagining a brick wall between them. It didn’t work. She looked away and thought of the serial killer taking Robbie. Anger took over and broke her psychic link to Brody.
“I’m sorry, Megan.” He frowned. “I’m going out of town tomorrow. I can give you the names of other rangers who are good trackers. I hope you find your son.”
“What? You must be kidding!” She wouldn’t settle for a ranger who wasn’t a natural tracker and didn’t have the intuitive ability, instincts and dogged determination that Brody had. “This is unacceptable. Couldn’t you cancel your trip?” Megan rubbed her temple. “You still resent me, don’t you? I did not kill your parents.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“No.” Megan stood. “We will talk about it.”
She moved to stand in front of him, in case he decided to walk out on her—again. “My son’s life is in danger. He may die. What about your promise to Arial? When she was murdered you swore you’d always find a way to help a child in danger.”
“There’s too much in our past. You’ll be better off with someone who doesn’t have our history.”
“I don’t want any other ranger. I want you. You’re the best. You’ve got an instinct about this sort of thing—intuitiveness—even if you don’t agree. Please, Brody. I haven’t bothered you in all these years. The one time I ask for your professional expertise, not for myself but for my child—how can you refuse?”
“Because I have other commitments. I can recommend Ranger Thompson in Calgory. He’s an excellent tracker.” Brody reached for a pen and wrote something on a notepad. He ripped the page from the pad and held it out to her. “Here’s his number. Tell him I referred you.” He tossed the pen on the desk.
Dark brooding eyes bore into her. “Dammit Brody, Robbie needs you.” Her anger swelled.
Brody turned away. When Detective Archer asked him to work this case it had been a hard decision to choose his cousin’s wedding over work. He’d let her complaints influence him.
Now Megan needed him.
He wanted to be there for her, he really did but the risk to his heart was too great. Megan had torn his world apart once. He couldn’t let history repeat itself. Not now, not ever again. “You only want to use me for my tracking skills just like everyone else. You only came to me because I know these mountains. You said so yourself.”
Tracking was his job and he loved it. He didn’t mind being used for work but with Megan it was different. He’d always hoped if he ever saw her again it wouldn’t be work related.
“Brody, there’s something—”
He threw up his hands. “I don’t want to know, Megan. Whatever it is, it won’t influence my decision. For once, why don’t you accept you’ve made a mistake?”
“A mistake?” Megan stared into his eyes as she stepped toward him. So these were his true feelings. “I’m not too proud to admit when I’m wrong. But there’s not a psychic on this planet who is right one hundred percent of the time.”
For a moment he watched her. Megan hoped he was reconsidering his decision. Maybe he’d change his mind and search for Robbie.
“I know you’re under a lot of stress. I’m not going to put myself in a position to be hurt by your visions again.” He took her hand and pressed the piece of paper with the phone number into her palm.
“I’m sorry.””I don’t want your sympathy, Brody.” Megan backed toward the door, crushing the paper in her fist. “You told me how you felt seven years ago. I should have believed you. I don’t know why I ever thought you would feel differently now. I’ll handle this situation like every other one in my life—alone.”
Megan jerked the front door open and slammed it behind her. She ran down the steps, fumbling with her keys. They slipped through her fingers, clattering onto the sidewalk. She scooped them up but dropped them again.
Anger boiled in her stomach, mixing with the ever-present fear. Tears clouded her vision. She snatched up the keys. Her heart beat so furiously she thought a heart attack was imminent. She paused to take a deep breath while visualizing her heartbeat decreasing. Once the rapid pounding and her breathing slowed, she continued down the porch.
And stopped dead in her tracks a few feet away from the car.
Her gaze narrowed on the child-sized, blue baseball cap lying on the Mustang’s dashboard. The letters NY were stitched above the brim.
Oh God! Panic tore at her, catching her breath and shattering her. She ran to the driver’s side door and leaned into the car for a better look.Robbie, in capital letters, was embroidered in white above the adjustable clasp.
The killer’s here!
“Give me my son!” Megan screamed and spun around, looking for him. “Damn it, show yourself, coward! Give Robbie back to me!”
Fear rose along her spine. The Mangler had followed her to Flatrock Creek! It was too soon. This meant his MO had changed. He wasn’t waiting to come after her, which meant he could have already harmed Robbie.
Megan halted her frantic circling. Only a few feet separated the station from the trees. The Mangler must have disappeared into the forest.
She willed herself to slip into a semitrance and tapped into the psychic part of herself. She stood immobile, allowing her physical vision to go out of focus as she searched the woods behind the buildings across the street psychically, setting her mind free. In her third eye she moved quickly through the trees, watching them speed by in a colorful blur in her peripheral vision while she focused on the clear view directly in front of her. She searched everywhere for any trace of the killer’s darkness or the sight of him fleeing through the forest.
She dropped the invisible wall she kept around her own emotions, making her vulnerable to others’ feelings. She tried to connect with the killer’s emotions. Apprehension and uncertainty immediately enveloped her, jerking her back into the ranger station and Brody. She imagined a wall around him to keep his emotions at bay. She’d deal with him later.Megan traveled back into the forest, searching for any other negative emotions that might belong to the killer. If he were nearby, she’d be able to sense him.
Nothing! She turned and performed the same search in the forest behind the station. Projecting her mind forward again, she found an eagle feasting on a kill in a clearing, while a rabbit hid beneath a nearby bush—he’d narrowly escaped being the bird’s breakfast. A little farther away, a large black and gold iguana peered at her from the top of a boulder. Her mind sped past the animals but the feeling of being watched caused her to backtrack in her mind’s eye to the iguana’s rock. The odd-colored reptile had disappeared. How did an iguana get out of its natural tropical habitat and into the Allegheny Mountains anyway? It probably escaped from the pet owner’s cage. Megan scanned past the rock and further into the forest.
Megan’s frustration melded with fear in her mind. How had the killer disappeared without a trace? At every turn she hit a dead end. It was as if he’d somehow blocked her psychic attempts to find him. She’d sensed this before, from other psychics. She did it herself to keep other psychics from reading her. If the Mangler could block her that meant…
The mental connection severed. She slipped from the semitrance to full consciousness. Refocusing her vision she examined the cap.
She fought the deep knowing filled with unthinkable possibilities. Was the killer psychic too? Moisture beaded her forehead, her body started to shake. The taste of bile filled her mouth, her stomach pitched and rolled. She pushed the feelings back down. She wouldn’t throw up.
Megan slid down the side of the car and collapsed on the gravel beside the wheel. She covered her face with her hand. It was wet from tears. When did I cry?
The weight of the past hours—worrying about Robbie, arguing with the police and facing Brody had been tough. The Mangler had followed her, changing his MO. The possibility of a psychic killer—it was overwhelming. She grabbed her knees. She couldn’t take any more. What had she done to deserve such a horrible fate? Pain and loss took control of her emotions. Tears poured down her face. She couldn’t hold back anymore.
“My baby, my poor baby,” she cried, rocking her body like she rocked him to sleep. “Someone, please, anyone! Help me find my son!”
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