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Shadow

Shadow, a light-hearted (and light-fingered) elven thief, returns to her homeland after several centuries' absence only to find that a great human trade city has grown up next to the forest in which she was born.

Now the elves and the humans maintain an uneasy alliance, but when Shadow steals a magical bracelet, she finds herself caught in the middle of a plot that may tear the city—and the alliance—apart forever.

Book 1 of the Shadow series

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Anne Logston

Anne Logston: An Icon of the Creative Universe—A Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy Quill—Paver of Past, Present, and Future. Each of best-selling author Anne Logston's books have their own story, but can all be described as all highly character-driven with a lot of action. Her characters, especially Shadow, often have a touch of whimsy and sly humor. While still maintaining a light touch, she talks about the consequences of racism, defining your own identity, and what happens when magic becomes mixed up in everyday lives.

"I was born February 15, 1962 in Indianapolis, Indiana and grew up there and in the country in southern Indiana. I started to write fiction as soon as I could put intelligible words on paper. I quickly learned to type so I could put intelligible and LEGIBLE words on paper. I graduated from the University of Indianapolis in 1984 with an Associate's degree in computer sciences, for which I had no talent, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature, for which I had no practical use.

"After college, I spent six years masquerading by day as a bad-tempered but sane legal secretary, then coming home at night to assume my secret identity as a bad-tempered and mildly demented writer. After significant bootsole-to-buttocks encouragement from my best friend, Mary Bischoff, I reluctantly sent off my first manuscript and was blessed with a remarkably short search for a publisher. My first novel, SHADOW, saw print in 1991, and two years later I abandoned my "normal" life and descended completely into fantasy.

"I have a remarkably patient husband, Paul, who supplies the sanity in our marriage. Together we are owned by three cats, two dogs, and one snake. In my infrequent leisure time, I like to grow and/or cook strange and spicy things, and I am an avid collector of anything about vampires."


Chronological Order of the Shadow Series

Greendaughter (Prequel—Book 6)
Wild Blood (Prequel—Book 7)
Shadow (Book 1)
Shadow Hunt (Book 2)
Shadow Dance (Book 3)
Dagger's Edge (Sequel—Book 4)
Dagger's Point (Sequel—Book 5)

Coming Soon...
Excerpt

Chapter One

 It was midmorning when Shadow rode into Allanmere in grand style in a haycart, ragged, whistling, and cheerfully broke. She jumped off at the Sun Gate and stood breathing the aroma of the city, a heady mélange of baking bread, of tanning leather, of sweat and incense and dung.

A fruit vendor trudged past, pushing his heavily laden cart, and Shadow charitably lightened his load by two apples with the merchant none the wiser. Tossing one apple idly while munching on the other, Shadow gazed wistfully at a vintner’s stall, then resolutely turned her eyes to the market ahead.

“Damn that Ragman and Filch,” Shadow said mildly, feeding her apple core to the nearest horse. Bad enough that they had taken all her gold, leaving her bruised and unconscious by the roadside; bad enough that they had taken her expensive, hand-crafted tools and weapons; but did they have to take all of her wine?

Ah, but why waste her time on anger on this fine, sunny morning, when the great city of Allanmere lay before her as fat and juicy as a pear ripe for the picking? Oh, life was grand!

Shadow dropped the second apple on the ground, rolling it underfoot until it was mushy, and scanned the market crowds at belt level—which, for her, was only a little below eye level.

“Hey, you.” She snagged a filthy street urchin running by. “Do me a favor and I’ll give you two coppers.”

The boy eyed her skeptically.

“You got no money.”

“I will if you do me the favor.”

“Make it a Moon,” the boy asserted.

“Half a Moon.”

He considered.

“Done.”

Shadow picked up the mushy apple.

“Go over there by that fruit stand and wait a few seconds. Then throw this at the man in the blue velvet tunic and make sure it hits him good. Then run.”

The boy grinned and melted into the crowd. Shadow edged cautiously nearer, then loitered by a basket stand, waiting for the ruckus. No one would notice one more elf in this market.

SPLAT!

“What the—stop, you! Grab that boy!”

“Hey, off my foot, you oaf!”

CRASH!

“My pots! You broke my pots!”

“Watch out, you six-fathered idiot!”

“Watch yourself, you fumble-footed dolt!”

“My purse! Where’s my purse?”

“Dung eater!”

“Hey, where’s my—”

“Who’s going to pay for my pots?”

“Son of a syphilitic cow!”

Shadow sidled back out of the crowd and walked nonchalantly into an alley, where she crouched behind a mound of refuse to inspect the contents of her now-heavy sleeves.

“Hey, how about my half Moon?” The boy was back, dirtier but grinning.

Shadow counted coppers, then shrugged and handed the boy a Moon.

“You need another favor, just ask for me,” he announced importantly. “I’m Tig.”

“Well, Tig, I’ll add another copper if you can answer two questions,” Shadow told him. “Who sells the best wine in the market?”

“That’s easy.” Tig grinned. “Master Walpert at the north end.”

“And who sells the second best?”

Tig thought for a moment.

“That’ll be Master Ulm, over east by the slave stands.”

Shadow surrendered the copper, waved at the boy’s retreating back, and began searching for a fountain. She took a few minutes to scrub the worst of the grime from her hands and face, and pinned her thick black braids into a semi-orderly coil behind her delicately pointed ears before locating Master Walpert, who was busy stacking casks at his stall.

“Good day, master vintner,” Shadow called.

Walpert turned, eyed Shadow’s ragged clothing disdainfully, and hefted another cask, his round face growing wine-colored with the effort.

“What do you want?” he grunted.

“Why, only a skin of your very finest wine, master.” Shadow smiled, her large black eyes wide and innocent. “What will you take for it?”

Walpert paused briefly for a second look at Shadow’s clothing, sniffed disdainfully, and returned to his stacking.

“Five Suns—if you have it, which I doubt.”

To Walpert’s amazement, Shadow pulled a fat pouch from her sleeve and counted out five gold Suns, then shook her head and put them back.

“No, it’s just not worth it.” Shadow sighed. “It’s a bit of a walk, but Master Ulm offered for three Suns.”

Walpert’s eyes hungrily followed the pouch back into Shadow’s sleeve.

“That Ulm!” he growled. “He waters his wine daily to cheapen it!”

“That’s as may be, friend,” Shadow said regretfully, “but I’m not rich enough to spend five Suns when I can buy elsewhere for three. And after what he said about your wine being sold too young—”

“WHAT?” Walpert bellowed. “Young! I’ll break his lying neck! Adar should wither his manhood, if it weren’t too late!”

He fumbled for a skin and poured a mug full, thrusting it at Shadow.

“There, lady—taste that and learn the ripeness of Walpert’s vintages!”

Shadow drained the mug in a remarkably short time, sighing in satisfaction.

“Ah, now there’s a wine to warm the stomach,” she said, nodding. “Ulm’s wine did taste a little weak for all that, though he said you’d sell short because half your wine had soured—”

SOURED!!” Walpert roared, his already-florid face darkening to an alarming hue. He grabbed a full skin and thrust it into Shadow’s hands. “And him telling such lies in the very market! There, my lady—nay, I’ll not have a copper of you! Drink it in good health, and tell your friends where the real wine is sold in Allanmere!”

“Oh, indeed I shall,” Shadow agreed warmly. “Indeed I shall, Master Walpert, and Fortune favor you!”

Shadow looped the skin’s strap over her belt and sauntered whistling back into the market, surreptitiously liberating a meat pie from its tray and munching contentedly. Oh, but the day was fine and life was grand! She swigged from the wineskin, paused a moment, then turned east.

“Ah, fair morning to you, Master Ulm!” she called.