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Open Water Books

Sting of the Scorpion (Paperback)

Sting of the Scorpion (Paperback)

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Book 3 in the award-winning Outlawed Myth series

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***Second Place in the 2022 Book Fest awards, Epic & Magic, Myths & Legends Fantasy***
***Third Place in the 2022 Book Fest awards, YA Fantasy***

An orphaned girl, powerless and destitute. An Endless War, that threatens to consume everyone in its path. Magic amulets, that hold the promise of victory.

After Damira witnesses the brutal slaughter of nearly her entire clan by a roving warband, she resolves never to feel helpless again. With nowhere to go, she, her brother and a friend surrender to a warlord, resigned to becoming little more than pawns in the Endless War.
But when Wei Fang, a warlord wielding magic amulets threatens to destroy anyone who stands against her, Damira must choose. Will she seek to master the power of the amulets and make a stand against the brutal Wei Fang?

Or will the power behind the amulets destroy her first?

Sting of the Scorpion is the thrilling third book of the Outlawed Myth fantasy series. If you like determined heroines, compelling characters, magic amulets and a splash of romance, then you'll love Evelyn Puerto's exciting tale.

Here's what readers are saying:

“This story captures the reader's attention at chapter 1.”

“Sting of the Scorpion: adventure, action, excellent world-building, creepy magic, characters worth rooting for, and truly great writing.”

"If you like grounded fantasy with high stakes and strong, interesting characters, you will enjoy this book.”

 “Packed with mystic, magic and new worlds, it takes the reader on a superb adventure.”

 “A poignant and emotional journey of magic, power, and strength that is vividly and beautifully written.”

 “Superb worldbuilding.”

 “You won’t be able to put the book down.”

“A gripping read.”

“Probably my favorite in the series so far.”

This product is a premium paperback novel comparable to paperbacks produced by the finest publishing houses in the industry.


Enjoy a sample of Sting of the Scorpion:

Damira wasn’t sure about many things, but this she knew. If they didn’t come home with a gazelle, her family would starve. Maybe not today, but soon.

She shivered in the cold wind, grateful for her fleece-lined boots and quilted robe. The weak winter sun was nearly overhead. Mostly obscured by wispy clouds, it provided little warmth. Damira pointed to the east, toward a stand of trees that flanked a narrow river. “It went that way.” Her heart pounded as she thought of tracking the gazelle and bringing it down. Finally, fresh meat after weeks without.

Her brother Syzyan leaned from his horse and studied the tracks in the dusting of snow between the scrub bushes. “But it’s a small one. We’re better off heading a bit farther north. That’s where the herd will be.”

“We don’t know that.” She glared at him. “Better to go after this one. At least we know it’s here.”

Her brother’s gray eyes were hard like stones in his tanned face. “But it’s alone. That means it’s not able to keep up. It won’t be worth our trouble.”

“Better to take the one we know than guessing about the herd. This late in the winter, we need to take what we can find.” Damira turned to the third member of their party. “Right, Shagonar?”

He answered with an easy grin, dimples appearing in his coppery-tan skin. “Yes. Well. Maybe.” He shifted in his saddle. “Syz could be right. One scrawny gazelle won’t go far among thirty people.” He tipped his head to the side. “I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of eating things that crawl on the ground.”

“But we could be all day chasing gazelles that aren’t there.” Damira let out a huff. She didn’t understand why they couldn’t see. Her grandmother had become frail and weak from giving her portion of dried rock lizard and fried ants to her younger brother and sister. And it had not been enough to keep them from growing gaunt.

A passing cloud cast a shadow over Syzyan’s face. “Besides, you know the sand wolves wait by the water. Let them have this gazelle. I’m not about to fight them for it.” He jerked his chin toward the north. “If there’s one gazelle, there’re bound to be others.” He clicked his tongue and touched his heels to his horse’s side, urging the steed into motion.

“No.” She moved her mare closer to Shagonar’s. She laid a hand on his muscled forearm and tipped her face to look into his eyes. “Shag, please. We can’t let our families die. We just can’t risk it.”

Shagonar glanced from her pleading eyes to Syzyan’s frown. “Dami, I think maybe Syz is right… ”

She pulled her hand back with a jerk as if touching him burned her and shook her head. “So you want to tell your grandmother she’ll have to go hungry another night?”

“Fine.” Shagonar rolled his broad shoulders and he spurred his horse forward. “Syz!” His shout cut the cold air. “Let’s go this way.”

Syzyan said something Damira couldn’t hear, but she was sure it was a curse. She didn’t care. He’d calm down once he saw she was right. She nudged her horse’s sides with her heels and set off behind Shagonar, who was leaning over the side of his horse pointing a little to the east. “This way.”

The three rode in silence. Syzyan moved to lead the group. Damira couldn’t help noticing the stiffness of his back and neck. Let him be angry with her.

The steppe sloped down to a stream edged by clumps of barren trees. The tracks of a single gazelle led straight into the water and up the opposite bank. 

“We can’t go on much farther.” Syzyan studied the thickening trees. “This looks like a good place to meet sand wolves.” He tipped his head to Damira, indicating she should follow him. \

Damira complied. Best to let him think he’s getting his way. Bossy big brother. Even though Shagonar was a year older than Syz, he never tried to lord it over her.

They crossed the stream, then rode through the trees, following tracks that never strayed far from the water.  Damira ignored the dark looks Syzyan threw her way. The gazelle tracks were leading them closer to a rugged part of the steppe where they rarely hunted.

“We should turn back,” Syzyan said. “We’re not going to find this one, and the herd isn’t anywhere near here.”

“Just a little longer, please,” Damira said. “I’m sure we’re close. Don’t you hear it?”

All three turned their heads toward crackling noises in the underbrush. Then the high-pitched sound of a gazelle. She gave Syzyan a triumphant smile. “See, it’s here.”

At that moment, a gazelle burst from between the trees and ran toward them. Damira raised her bow and took aim.

“No, Dami! Run!” Syzyan’s shout made her stop.

On the heels of the gazelle sped a sand wolf, a black predator that ran faster than a horse. It swerved and leaped at Shagonar, driving its teeth into his leg.

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