Book Spotlight – Embrace of the Shade #RomanticFantasy #Fantasy

Title: Embrace of the Shade, Part One in the Pantracia Chronicles

Author: Amanda Muratoff and Kayla Hansen

Genre: Romantic High Fantasy

Main character description (short). Amarie and Kin are the two main characters. Amarie is cursed with magic she doesn’t understand how to use and seeks to protect it from those who would abuse it.  She is stubborn, independent, and totally badass with her weapons. Kin is more of an anti-hero. He serves a wicked master and seeks the same artifact Amarie does. He’s broody, dark, but defends those he loves with ferocity.

Synopsis: Amarie’s legendary magic could incinerate her enemies, but it’s her sword she trusts.

While running from the men who killed her family, she learns of an ancient text locked within the Great Library that might be the final key to understanding her curse. During the daring theft, a stranger inserts himself into her scheme. Kin’s roguish good looks and boundless charm threaten to distract her, but she has no intention of landing in the city jail.

Kin’s life, riddled with shadows and death, is as dark as his soul.

He embraces his power, given by a wicked master, but when he meets Amarie… She shatters the walls he’s built, piercing his solitude with vibrant light. But if she learns he hunts the power cursing her family, he will lose her forever.

Trusting him could risk her heart and her life, but it might be the only way to destroy the world’s most sinister evil. Unless Kin’s master finds her first…

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

“Impatient, aren’t we?” Kin thumbed through the book.

Amarie ground her teeth. “No, of course not. Why would I be? It’s not like I’m in a restricted section of the library with a stolen key and book or anything.”

“Unaccustomed to thievery?”

“Unaccustomed to getting caught.”

“We won’t get caught…” He paused, finger sliding down the page before he snapped the volume shut and slipped it into his cloak.

“No. I won’t get caught. And you won’t, either, if you keep up.” As she made her way down the stairs, she didn’t look back, able to hear his footsteps.

“Would now be a bad time to ask your name?”

She laughed. “I thought you heard my conversation with Caisus?”

“I did. But Samitha is too plain a name for you.”

She swore she could hear the smirk on his lips. “Did you have a better suggestion for a name I can use next time?”

He chuckled as they came to the bottom of the stairs, boots echoing against the tiles. “I won’t satisfy you with my suggestion until you give me your real name.”

Amarie stopped and spun to face him. She lifted her chin, a coy smile dancing on her face as she met his gaze. “Then, I suppose you shall leave me unsatisfied for our first felonious adventure. Doesn’t bode well for getting you a second. Much as I’d like to tell you it comes as a surprise…” She sighed. “Sadly, it doesn’t.”

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)? It’s the start of something epic. A story that’s been in the making for twenty years, with such complexities to the plot that you won’t even notice until the later books. The dialogue, the interactions, it’s all so authentic because of the way we write. As we tell each character’s story, you’ll see through the books as their fates start to entwine. Overlap. Weave together. Like the fantasy avengers.

https://www.facebook.com/PantraciaChronicles

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1403350093427347

www.pantracia.com

Book Spotlight – A Court of Crows #Fantasy #RomanticFantasy

Basic Book Spotlight

Title: A Court of Crows

Author: Eliza Eveland

Genre: Romantic Fantasy

Main character description (short). Eris Telari is a young and inexperienced queen whose city is under siege. She’ll do anything to save her city, which leads her to hire a group of mercenaries, The Crows to help.

Synopsis:

Nineteen-year-old Eris Telari was never supposed to rule Brucia. She’s always been more interested in swordplay than courtly intrigue.

After her brother’s assassination, however, Eris has no choice but to take up the crown and defend her city against an invasion led by an undefeated elven warlord.

With Brucia’s forces decimated, and a siege looming, Eris needs help. Who better to repel the elven invaders than a band of elven mercenaries?

Their leader, Ruith, is as charming as he is deadly, and used to getting what he wants. Six thousand swords strong, his Crows have a reputation for winning against impossible odds. He won’t take a fight he can’t win, and now he has his sights set on Eris…

Is it her kingdom he wants? Or her?

With assassins and traitors still lurking around every corner, and an army nearly twenty thousand strong at her gates, Eris cannot afford to turn away the Crows’ assistance. Even with their help, the battle for Brucia will be hard-won.  

And the most dangerous threat may already be inside her walls and vying for a place at her side…

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

“I have six thousand Crows at my command. I am stronger than any man, better with my sword than all three of your queensguard put together, and faster than every human I have ever met. If I wanted your city, it would be mine. Whatever I want, I get.” He lifted his fingers from the table and brushed them against her cheek.

Eris’s heart skipped a beat.

She grabbed his hand. “You do not have me.”

The sound of his dark chuckle left her fighting a shudder.

“Not yet,” he said.

“If you ever touch me uninvited…”

“Please.” He wrinkled his nose, disgusted, and pulled his hand away. “I would never. I have no interest in bedding a woman who doesn’t wish it. If the touch is truly uninvited, then I apologize. But if it isn’t, and if these sultry looks you’ve been throwing me are more than just curiosity…” Ruith leaned down, lips hovering next to her ear. He smelled like warm leather with a sharp citrus bite. “I will touch you in ways no one ever has, or ever will again. I could give you more pleasure with one finger than you’ve ever known.”

Eris’s insides turned molten, skin prickling at the thought. She turned her head toward his, their mouths suddenly so close that they shared breath for a moment. “That’s a bold claim. I’m a queen. I could have anyone I wanted.”

He leaned back, his smirk returning. “I’ve seen the men in this city. I know what I’m up against, and I stand by my statement.”

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?

This book is for readers who love their spicy romance to have intricate plots, well developed characters, and heroines who do their own rescuing. If you’ve read ACOTAR and FBAA and wished the books had more diversity, you’ll love this series!

Links etc.

Social media links:

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElizaEveland

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/616062436341571

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorelizaeveland/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@elizaeveland

Website: https://www.elizaeveland.com/

Book Spotlights – Charity Anthologies for Ukraine

With the recent terrible events in Ukraine, many people have been looking for ways to help. To that end, the team at Romantic Fantasy Shelf [https://romanticfantasyshelf.com/] has put together two massive limited-edition anthologies, Fierce Hearts and Adamant Spirits. Each volume is packed with over a thousand pages of short fiction, novellas, novels, and sneak peeks at upcoming works, from debut authors to international bestsellers. All proceeds from sales will be donated to the International Rescue Committee https://www.rescue.org/topic/ukraine-crisis (or to another similar charity should IRC become unavailable) to help the Ukrainian people who are suffering as a result of this war.

Fierce Hearts is devoted to romantic fantasy and fantasy romance set in “fantasy” worlds or fantasy versions of historical earth. Adamant Spirits contains paranormal romance, romantic urban fantasy, and science fiction romance. Both collections are available at multiple stores in ebook format, and will also be available in paperback and special-edition hardcover, coming soon!

Fierce Hearts: https://books2read.com/fiercehearts
Adamant Spirits: https://books2read.com/adamantspirits

Fierce Hearts authors: Bethany Adams, Amy Beatty, Claudia Blood, Elizabeth Briggs, Carissa Broadbent, Jessica M. Butler, Therena Carlin, Denali Day, Monica Enderle Pierce, Tameri Etherton, Eileen Fox, Lauren L. Garcia, Catharine Glen, Joan Grey, Kristina Gruell, Kyra Halland, Emma Hamm, Meredth Hart, Miranda Honfleur, Amelia Hutchins, Kelly N. Jane, Jaycee Jarvis, Clara C. Johnson, Jeffe Kennedy, Karpov Kinrade, Lisa Kumar, K.N. Lee, Kate LeFay, Constance Lopez, M. Lynn, Hollee Mands, Lisette Marshall, Daniela A. Mera, Sylvia Mercedes, C.A. Morley, Tessonja Odette, Monica Enderle Pierce, Joanna Reeder, Vanessa Roades, Vela Roth, Bernadette Rowley, Clare Sager, Anna Santos, Anthea Sharp, Marina Simcoe, R.A. Steffan, Shari L. Tapscott. Karen Tomlinson, Megan Van Dyke, Velora Venn, Charissa Weaks, & Olivia Wildenstein

Adamant Spirits authors: Maggie Alabaster, G. Bailey, Elle Beaumont, Katherine Bennet, Alexi Blake, Ella Blake, Claudia Blood, Jessica M. Butler, Demelza Carlton, Kel Carpenter, Alora Carter, Anna Carven, Debbie Cassidy, Eva Chase, Leslie Chase, Sarah M. Cradit, G.K. DeRosa, T.K. Eldridge, Tameri Etherton, Sara Fields, Grace Goodwin, Jen L. Grey, Miranda Honfleur, Hattie Jacks, Aurelia Jane, Alana Khan, Lea Kirk, Lisa Kumar, K.N. Lee, Jen Lynning, Ashley McLeo, Michele Mills, Chloe Parker, Vee R. Paxton, Honey Phillips, Candace Robinson, Rebecca Rode, May Sage, Veronica Scott, Tana Stone, Julia Vee, Maria Vermisoglou, Jade Waltz, Jenni Ward, Jessica Wayne, Calla Zae

The anthology organizers and participating authors are not affiliated or endorsed by the charity.

Book Spotlight – Poisoned Heart: A Retelling of Snow White

Title: Poisoned Heart: A Retelling of Snow White

Author: Abigail Manning

Genre: Romantic Fantasy

Main character description (short).

Princess Arabella is the fairest in all the land, and she is well aware. As a rich and beautiful princess, she is dreadfully spoiled and often refuses to acknowledge those below her, but will that change when she is forced out of the crown she’s learned to love?

Synopsis:

Princess Arabella is truly the fairest in all the land, and she knows it. With her pretty face, elaborate ball gowns, and glorious castle, she truly lives the perfect royal life. That is, until she is forced out of her home by a mysterious assassin.
With only the clothes on her back and the tiara on her head, Arabella flees from her castle in the dead of winter. As a last resort for shelter, Arabella takes up work in a laundry mill with seven other women. The once adored princess is now subjected to sleeping in piles of dirty laundry, but at least she is hidden. Well, she hopes so…
In the midst of her deadly game of hide-and-seek, she discovers that her kingdom is endangered by her absence. With the help of a dashing captain, a quirky noble, and her seven new companions, she must protect both her life and her kingdom. Will Arabella learn what true beauty is as she navigates her new life as a nameless commoner? While evil builds and secrets unfold, there may be more than her heart that’s poisoned.

Brief Excerpt 250 words: “I take great pride in hunting down my victims, but you were no challenge.” He eyed me with annoyance. He spoke as if he was disappointed that I was too easy to kill. “I desire more excitement in my hunt than a pompous brat can offer, so princess, I am offering you a chance at escape.”

            I gasped through my tears. It sounded like he was going to let me run just so he could catch me again, delaying my death long enough for me to potentially freeze in the cold on my own. My breathing grew unsteady as panic filled my every bone.

            “So, here’s my deal, princess. I’m going to let you run, and after twenty-four hours, I’m going to come looking for you, just like a game of hide and seek.” I couldn’t see his mouth, but I imagined a sick smile on his face. “If I can’t find you after fourteen days, then congratulations, you win. I’ll return to my kingdom and explain that you got away, but if I find you…” he raised the dagger to my throat and my breath hitched, “then I’ll finish the job I was assigned.” He dropped the dagger and took a step back. I allowed myself to breathe again, filling my lungs with the icy air.

 “Time starts now, princess. Better start running.”

 

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?

If you enjoy a good clean romance, paired with riveting adventure and peril then this series will be perfect for you! Poisoned Heart offers all the nostalgia of the Snow White you already know and love, while simultaneously twisting your expectations with endless turns.

Links etc.

Abigailmanningauthor.com

https://www.instagram.com/abigailmanningauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100074816973438

 

 

 

The Dark Brothers Series – Blog Tour #ReverseHarem #FantasyRomance

Sold To Serve

The Dark Brothers Book 1

by Kyra Alessy

Genre: Dark Reverse Harem Fantasy Romance

A woman in the wrong place at the wrong time. Three cruel mercenaries who could be her saviors … if they don’t kill her first …

Kora ran away to start a new life where she was in control of her own destiny and her own body. Instead, she was captured and auctioned to the highest bidders: Three former mercenaries with black hearts.

Mace is their leader; ruthless and unforgiving. Kade lives in the shadows and, if his growls are anything to go by, may not be a man at all. The third one, Lucian, seems to delight only in wine and tormenting their new possession until she breaks … and she might. Kora wasn’t a slave before and she must keep that secret at all costs. If they learn who she is, she’ll be forced to marry a man who scares her far more than her harsh masters.

Can she escape these three dangerous Brothers who have begun to show her that there is more to them than their tragic pasts? And if they find out her secrets, can she trust them not to throw her to the wolves?

Sold to Serve is the first book in the Dark Brothers Series of dark fantasy RH romance. If you like enemies to lovers, deliciously dark antiheroes and your love stories with bite, you will adore this book by Kyra Alessy.

Unlock the first standalone adventure in this amazing series today!

Author’s Note / DISCLAIMER: There are aspects of bullying in this, dark, why choose romance as well as dubcon and violence. 18+, my friends! If you like that sort of thing, I’m pretty sure you will enjoy this story. Although the road to happily ever after might be a rough one, arriving there is guaranteed (Also, no cheating and no cliffhangers. Not ever!)

**Start the series for FREE!**

Goodreads * Amazon

Bought To Break

The Dark Brothers Book 2

A woman freed from chains. Three ruthless mercenaries seeking revenge. Intense attraction that won’t be denied … whatever the price.

Lana’s days are filled with backbreaking work and her nights are spent hiding from her master’s son, but, when dangerous mercenaries pass through her village, her life is changed forever…

She’s thrust into an outside world she’s only ever dreamed of.These warriors are unlike any men she has ever known. Driven by desperate vengeance, they’ve been broken by the tragedies of their pasts. Viktor is gruff and hard, Sorin, quick-witted and funny, and brooding Kane wields a power that terrifies her. Each hides sadness that rivals her own and Lana is drawn to them as well as their dangerous desires.

When a formidable enemy threatens them, can her bond with the three mercenaries save them all? Can she help them find the humanity they’ve lost, but more importantly, will they want her to?

Bought to Break is the second standalone story in the acclaimed Dark Brothers Series of dark fantasy romance. If you like enemies to lovers, flawed alphas who protect their resilient woman, and your love stories with bite, you will adore this book by Kyra Alessy.

Unlock the second standalone adventure in this amazing series today!

**Author’s Note: This is a dark, why choose fantasy romance with scenes that some have called ‘darker than the first book’. You have been warned! (There’s a happy ending of course, though!)

Goodreads * Amazon

Kept To Kill

The Dark Brothers Book 3

Lily has been alone for most of her life. Held as a captive. Used as a weapon.

The mercenaries who ‘rescue’ her are as intriguing as they are brutal, but Lily is still a pawn in the games of men. They’ll use her and cast her aside if she lets them. That’s if she survives what comes next…

Quin, Commander of the Dark Army, has only one goal and will let Lily die if it serves his purposes, but he’s also drawn to her in a way that makes him wish for more. No one is safe from Mad Mal, a monster who kills to satisfy dark needs. He will make her pay for tempting the other beast he hides within. And the playful Bastian seems harmless, with a taste for wine and women, but he might just harbor the darkest soul of them all…and the darkest secrets.

Each man has his own twisted torments and fierce desires that Lily cannot fathom after her years a captive. But as the days and nights go by, she begins to realize she needs something she never thought she’d have and it may not be the freedom she always yearned for at all.

Can she unlock the hearts of these men who care for nothing and no one to find the pieces of themselves they buried long ago, or will they decide their mission is more important than the woman who brings them to their knees?

Kept to Kill is the third standalone in the Dark Brothers Series of dark fantasy romance. If you like strong, but desolate heroines, antiheroes that make your blood run cold even as it heats up, and your Happily Ever Afters with some darkness before the light, you will love this book.

Read the next dark adventure in this amazing series today!

Authors Note: This story contains knife play, angst for the FMC, and, although she can hold her own, things are not great for Lily at first. If you don’t enjoy that kind of story, continue at your own risk.

**You don’t need to have read the other books in the Dark Brothers series to enjoy this book, but it helps.**

Goodreads * Amazon

Caught To Conjure

The Dark Brothers Book 4

A powerful witch who escaped a cruel life. Three stubborn enemies who would drag her back. Can they save their world together or will past hatred prove stronger than love?

Growing up hated and despised, Vie escaped her uncle and the three men who made her miserable. She vowed never to return to that life nor to let herself be treated like that again.

But then they found her…

Drake, Krase and Vane might be mercenaries of the Dark Army, but their loyalties lie elsewhere. They’re marked by their wretched pasts, their hatred of witches and their allegiance to a cunning zealot.

When tasked to retrieve a witch with untold powers, they don’t expect to find Vivienne, the mistreated pariah from their academy days. But gone is the downtrodden, awkward girl they knew. In her place stands Vie, a force to be reckoned with, someone who confuses them and makes them feel more than hatred.

Can Vie stand up to those who tormented her? Can she make them see that she’s not their true enemy? That she needs their help to save their world? Or will they ignore the fire that burns between them and hand her over to a fate far worse than death?

Caught to Conjure is the fourth standalone in the Dark Brothers Series of dark fantasy romance. If you like the angst of bully, antiheroes that make you hate them before they become your favorites, and your happily-for-nows with some darkness before the light, this book is for you.

Read the next dark adventure in this epic series today!

Authors Note: This is an 18+ dark romance that some may find triggering. It is not real life, its fantasy, but continue at your own risk.

**You don’t need to have read the other books in the Dark Brothers series to enjoy this book, but it helps.**

Goodreads * Amazon

Trapped To Tame

The Dark Brothers Book 5

A woman fighting to survive. Three fae males on a mission. Can love save their worlds from destruction? Or will hatred ensure their deaths?

Eve lives an indentured life, controlled by her keeper, forced to fight for others’ gains. She thrives on combat because it’s all she knows … because she can win and to lose means her body is the victor’s prize.

Drax, Priest and Fie are fae mercenaries on a mission to save their kind. When an unclear vision leads them to a mysterious woman who can hold her own in a fight with a man three times her size, they know they’ve found the one they’ve been searching for … and she’s nothing like they expected.

This starved, unkempt, half-breed female is an enemy. The men will do whatever’s necessary to ensure her cooperation and, if she gives them any trouble, they’ll make her wish she had died in the fighting rings. She WILL help them succeed in their mission …

Or she’ll die trying.

Trapped to Tame is the fifth standalone in the Dark Brothers Series of dark fantasy romance.

If you like hot, fae males, antiheroes you love to hate, strong heroines, and your multiple POV stories with some darkness before the light, tap now!

Read the next dark adventure in this epic series today!

Authors Note: This is an 18+ dark romance that some may find triggering as it contains violence and scenarios you personally might find disturbing. It is based in a fantasy world but please continue at your own risk.

**You don’t need to have read the other books in the Dark Brothers series to enjoy this book, but it helps.**

Goodreads * Amazon

Seized To Sacrifice

The Dark Brothers Book 6

She has no memory of her past. They remember her crimes well. Can love save them, or will everything they care about be destroyed?

She doesn’t know anything about herself, not even her own name. Trapped in a cage, all she can do is wait for her turn to be auctioned … until a mercenary dressed in black releases her.

She’s drawn to him and the other two lords of his keep, but though their eyes are always on her, all she sees in them is hate. They don’t want her to be free. They know who she is, they despise her for wrongs she can’t recall, and they might not be the
men they seem to be at all.

With their world on the brink of destruction, she may be the only one who can protect it … if she can remember who she is. But time is running out. A powerful enemy is searching for her and, when he finds her, he’ll use her to make sure there’s nothing left to save.

Can she unlock her past before it’s too late? Are these men who claim to be hers really who they say they are? Can she trust them?

Seized to Sacrifice is the
final book in the Dark Brothers Series. If you like hot monsters, antiheroes whose hate turns to love, strong heroines, and your multiple POV stories with some darkness before the light, tap now!

Read the next dark adventure in this epic series today!

Authors Note / WARNING: This is an 18+ dark, enemies to lovers, why choose romance that some may find triggering as it contains violence, dubcon sexy times with monsters (Yeah. That’s right.) and depictions of almost-rape (not within the h@rem) and other scenarios you personally might find disturbing. It is based in a fantasy world but please continue at your own risk.

**You don’t need to have read the other books in the Dark Brothers series to enjoy this final story, but it helps because a lot of characters from the other books are part of the tale.**

Dark Realms. Dark Anti heroes. Dark Fantasies.

Kyra was almost 20 when she read her first romance. From Norsemen to Regency and Romcom to Dubcon, tales of love and adventure filled a void in her she didn’t know existed. She’s always been a writer, but its only now that she’s started to tell stories in the genre she loves most – which at the moment are very ‘why choose’!!

Follow her on Instagram, Goodreads, Twitter or Facebook for all the up-to-date info on release dates, exclusive content and other general awesomeness from the Dark Brothers’ world because she is literally ALWAYS online unless she’s asleep – much to her husband’s annoyance – and she loves interacting with her readers! In Kyra’s books, the road to happily ever after might be rough, but its well worth the journey!!

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon

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Blog Tour – The Elven Spymaster’s Thief – #Fantasy #Fantasy Romance #Giveaway

The Elven Spymaster’s Thief

Elves of Eldarlan Book 1

by Elisa Rae

Genre: Fantasy Romance

In a world full of elves, woodwose, gargoyles, and brownies among others, humans can’t help crossing paths with all of the magical species. Well, everyone except Avril. She manages to avoid all elves. Then one day, her master orders her to steal a dagger from the very elf she wishes to evade most, the elven spymaster of Eldarlan. Bound by her indenture, she has no choice but to obey. She plans a swift sneak and grab mission, but things go awry.

Illeron knows more than any elf should. The gathering, analyzing, and disseminating of information consumes his life to the point his brother suggests he needs a distraction. So, when a human woman breaks into his study to steal his dagger, he seizes the opportunity and offers her a bargain she can’t refuse. And a fate he never imagined.

The Elven Spymaster’s Thief is a light, fantasy romance novella full of banter, flirting, and fun romantic moments. It features an opposites-attract romance between a human girl and a smoldering elf lord with a bit of a culture clash thrown in for fun.

Goodreads * Amazon

A reader of fairytales and folklore, Elisa Rae loves a happy ending. Noblebright characters, dastardly villains, and chemistry between characters delight her. When she isn’t writing, she loves to watch superhero movies and literary dramas.

Elisa Rae is the pen name of Rachel Rossano.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$20 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Shining Citadel #Fantasy

Share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest #fantasy #ShiningCitadel #IAN1
(18 rated)
Universal Link https://www.books2read.com/ShiningCitadel

Ebook #Audiobook #print #largeprint #hardcover

The Prince of Summer – Blog Tour – Historical Fantasy Romance

The Prince of Summer

The Chronicles of Alcinia Book 5

by Miriam Newman

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

Jossa of Havacia is an outcast–disinherited. But can a man born to be a warrior ever be anything less? From the snow-bound country of his birth to its island fortress and the mystical kingdom of Alcinia, Jossa’s destiny pursues him like the hand of fate in The Prince of Summer.

Add to Goodreads

Amazon * Books2Read

Get the rest of the series here!

Amazon

Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. I bring that background to my writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where I nurture my muse. My published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently I live in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals. You can see my books at http://www.miriamnewman.com.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$20 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt – The Stolen Tower – A. L. Butcher

 

Excerpt – The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book III (C) A. L. Butcher

 

“So, you are the Heart of the Mountain. What can you show me, I wonder?” Kherak muttered, pulling her thoughts back to the task in hand. She settled back in her armchair with the crimson embroidered and beaded Shamanic Shawl across her shoulders. The item was old, far older than the Shaman herself, and imbued with magic, for it had passed down from Shaman to Shaman, and each woman had added to it. To all appearances it was simply the shawl of an old woman, but there was nothing simple about the garment. It was a symbol of status, an heirloom with much Power and, of course, it kept her warm.

A pearlescent glow rose in the Opal, which hovered above the Circle adorning the table. Colours shifted and, as she placed the Heart of the Mountain over the large stone, the red and black pattern began to move, swirling like a whirlpool. “I am Kherak Var, Shaman, as my kin have been before me. Show me your secrets; guide me in seeking my kin.”

 This was strong and wild magic, flowing in a torrent which was close to sweeping the ailing woman away with its force. Suddenly a voice rumbled around, timbre low like thunder, drawing her in and making the old Shaman tingle in ways she had not experienced for many years. The language was strange, ancient and arcane, the very language of the earth. Such words Kherak had seldom heard; the sound held Power, the very essence of magic and rose like a song. She had not expected this, even with all her foretelling. Peering into the depths of the Opal, the images swirled like mist on the mountain and the shifting vision would not yield further. “You will reveal, my eyesight fades but my Sight is clear. You will reveal to me, as is my right and my Power.”

The humming Opal whined with a painful shrill, and tired Kherak fought the errant vision to do her bidding. The Shaman’s Focus shifted— partly in the Realm of Dreams and partly remaining in the mundane world. In Astral Sight the Opal loomed large and bright, a globe of dancing images woven in mist; before her rose a peak of reddish stone, run through with black veins arising from a lake of greenish water, and high in the peak an arch looked out across the lake, weathered but dark and foreboding. As she watched, the lake filled with blood, and screams echoed in her head. As quickly as it had appeared Kherak saw the half-dream flicker away to be replaced by a high-roofed chamber of rock, lit with crystal, and in the centre a red and black stone statue, circled by molten rock, runes glowing like fire about it. The strange words roared as the rolling of waves against stone, echoing in the Realm of Dreams as it did in her parlour, rattling the shelves from which items tumbled. Then the vision was gone.

Links/synopsis

 

The Stolen Tower – the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book III

What stalks the land cannot be but is.

Where magic is outlawed a troll Shaman calls from her deathbed to her heiress, Mirandra Var, daughter of the storm. Mirandra vows to find her missing kin, sort friend from foe, and claim the dangerous secrets guarded by unthinkable creatures. If she succeeds she will become the leader of her tribe. If she fails, there will be no tribe to lead.

Universal Link https://www.books2read.com/StolenTower

The Light Beyond the Storm #Fantasy #Excerpt

Welcome to a little excerpt from The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book I

Excerpt 1 – Dii

Dii walked through the day, stopping only to refill her water-skin from a spring. The day had turned out to be overcast and the air was heavy with the tension of a storm hanging over the land. Heavyset big-horned sheep populated the surrounding countryside; hardy and excellent providers of meat, cheese and wool that was surprisingly soft to have come from such tough, belligerent beasts. Trees covered the land to the east, not quite fertile enough for grain or barley but ideal for the orchards and forests that provided for these lands. As she walked, the hills began to roll steeper. The horizon boded storm clouds and any canny folk, Witch or not, could foresee the storm approaching. Every mile she walked was further from her Keeper’s land.

As evening approached, the road forked, and the rain began to fall in huge, cold drops that chilled the blood and saturated a person to the skin. She was aware some mages could control the weather, calling and dismissing storms and remaining dry in the rain. Dii, however, was young and inexperienced, and did not know such useful spells. She hesitated, unsure; she could try to camp, although she had little food remaining in her bag and knew her tent would not protect her from a storm or high winds. She had passed a farmhouse some way back and contemplated returning to shelter in the barn, yet she did not wish to be caught stealing apples or eggs and, not knowing the sympathies of the farm folk, she was reluctant to beg for food. The other choice was the elf could risk the village she could see on the horizon, which would provide her at least with a hot meal, a warm fire and a bed more comfortable than a hayloft or bedroll. Being a healer, Dii knew the risks of such weather, and of prolonged exposure to cold and damp. She knew also the danger of one such as her seeking accommodation, but at this moment, she was too cold and wet to care; weather such as this could kill. It was worth the risk for a night or two. Hopefully, if she was cautious, the village should be safe enough.

The storm began to rumble and roll, the symphony of the gods beginning to boil like a cauldron. Quickening her pace, the young elf hoped no other souls were out in the storm. Looking around she saw the pear, apple and plum orchards to the east of the village. Much of the fruit had gone but a few trees still bore laden branches amongst the brown and red leaves. The storm would bring death for some of them and possibly ruin the last fruiting for the rest. Resisting the temptation to fill her pockets with the fruit, she simply plucked a couple of the juiciest ones to quiet her rumbling belly.

Dii smiled sadly when she remembered her foster mother’s fruit pie. Dii had learned much from Malana, not just some of her magical training, unofficially of course as that was forbidden. Malana was the best cook and best herbalist in the area and although she was the lord’s mistress, she was also a midwife. Often the villagers appealed to her when the other midwives had failed or were unavailable. A few times, Dii had been given permission to attend, escorted of course. The first time she had marvelled at the sight of new life arriving in such a fashion, the joy, the pain, often the blood. She had watched and then assisted, pleased to be able to help with bringing new life into the light. She remembered Joset had not been pleased she had attended, feeling it unsuitable for her, but Malana had somehow persuaded him. Perhaps it had simply been another use of her skills for which she would receive payment to fill the lord’s coffers. The ability to be an excellent cook and a well-trained herbalist, not to mention his favourite bed warmer, were solid reasons why Joset kept her foster mother around. Nasty and manipulative he may be, foolish he was not. Dii knew to her cost that he would not waste a good source of income and entertainment. Malana also believed herself, as a bound concubine and Kept, to be in no position to be elsewhere. In her way, she loved him, although Dii had never understood why. Perhaps he had once been a different man; as a mage, Malana would have been bound in the prison beyond the Enclave, unless she was very clever or very lucky. A mage would be bound with the feared Shackles: cruel, draining of magic and often fatal. Standing at the fork of the road, Dii was afraid and unsure, then a rumble of thunder reminded her of why she must risk her new-found freedom, and perhaps her life.

Adult rated #fantasy (contains violence and sexy scenes). Universal Link – ebook, audiobook, hardback, audiobook, large print.

https://www.books2read.com/Lightbeyondstorm1