Daughter of Aithne by Karin Rita Gastreich – Feature

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About Daughter of Aithne

Betrayed by her own prodigy and accused of treason, Eolyn forges a risky alliance with the ruthless and cunning Mage Corey. As enemies old and new rise to arms, the beleaguered queen of magic prepares for a final, desperate battle to secure her son’s throne.

Across the Furma River, Taesara of Roenfyn is drawn out of seclusion and into an ever-more vicious game of intrigue and war. Subject to the schemes of her uncle and the mysterious ambitions of the wizards of Galia, she fights to assert her will while defending her daughter’s inheritance.

In the climactic finale to The Silver Web trilogy, threads of love, honor, betrayal, and vengeance culminate in a violent conflict between powerful women, opposed to each other yet destined to shatter a thousand-year cycle of war.

Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Romance

Publisher: Orb Weaver Press

“Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes…with a romantic thread.” -Publishers Weekly review of Eolyn, Book One of the Silver Web

“Lush, evocative descriptions carry readers through an unforgettable journey.” –Kirkus Reviews review of Sword of Shadows, Book Two of the Silver Web.

Excerpt from Daughter of Aithne

Anger flared in Eolyn’s veins. She stood. Akmael rose with her.

“Speak plainly, my Lord King. I will not be subject to this cat-and-mouse game. If you do not trust me, if you do not believe me, then say so.”

“I trust your heart, Eolyn, but your heart has led you to ill-advised decisions in the past. For this reason, I am not always inclined to trust your judgment.”

“For the love of the Gods! I am not the confused and frightened girl I was when my brother took up arms against you.”

“No, but you must understand the dilemma you have put me in.”

“The dilemma I have put you in?”

“If you knew of Ghemena’s plan and did not inform me, you were party to treason. If you did not know, then your authority over the magas is uncertain. Either way, the magas must remain bound and imprisoned until this conflict is resolved.”

Eolyn blinked and stepped away.

Not even Thelyn had put it so bluntly.

“The magas have lived in peace in Moisehén for more than a decade.” Her voice shook, and her hands were clenched at her sides. “You cannot let the action of one woman—”

“Three women. The blatantly treasonous act of three women, all devoted students of yours. They have brought war upon us, Eolyn. Who knows how many others among your followers support them?”

“The magas who remain in my service have done nothing to merit suspicion.”

“All magas merit suspicion.” Akmael hesitated at her stricken look. He let go a slow breath and softened his tone. “There is a history here that we have not yet overcome, Eolyn. You, of all people, must understand that. Too many of our subjects still remember the war against my father.”

“And the purges that followed?” she shot back.

“The violence that tore this kingdom apart,” he conceded. “Right or wrong, the magas were left with the blame. There are many who fear your power, Eolyn. They fear the ambitions of all women of magic. We must manage this situation carefully, to protect you and your daughters. To see that justice is done.”

“What Thelyn did to my magas on your orders was not just.”

“A precautionary measure. Nothing more.”

“You must give me your word—” Eolyn’s voice broke. She sensed doors closing all around her. Was there nothing he would allow? No small concession she could demand? “At least promise me that none of my daughters will be mistreated during their confinement.”

“Mistreated?”

“That they will not be…That they will not be subject to the techniques once used by Tzeremond and his mages.”

Realization washed over Akmael’s features. He smiled and shook his head. “Come, Eolyn. The situation is not that grim. I assure you the days of Tzeremond will not return. We are at a momentary impasse to be endured until we determine whether this web of treachery ends with Ghemena or begins with her. If found innocent, your magas will be restored to their former positions. If any of them harbor treasonous hearts, it is better we find out now before further damage is done.”

Eolyn nodded, though she found little comfort in his reassurance.

“I have had the rooms of the East Tower prepared for you,” Akmael said.

“What?”

“I knew you would not be pleased,” he hastened to add, “but I do this for your own protection.”

“My protection?”

“There are no wards more powerful than those of the East Tower. You will stay there and the children with you.”

“You would imprison me? The woman you love, your Queen?”

“Your magic will not be bound. You will be permitted visitors, and you will be allowed to leave the confines of the tower during daylight hours, but always in my company or in the company of guards appointed by me.”

“You cannot ask this of me.”

“Eolyn.” He took her gently by the shoulders. “Do not close your eyes to the delicacy of our position. Half the court speculates it was your command that led Ghemena to deliver Eliasara to Roenfyn.”

“You know I would never—”

“And I, seeing that my daughter has been stolen from me, wonder what is next in the minds of those who plot to bring down my house and reign. Will they attempt to kill my son? Will they try to take away my Queen? Because those two things would destroy me, Eolyn. Me and all the futures I have imagined.”

Eolyn stared at Akmael in disbelief. A ghostly cry echoed through her heart, the forgotten lament of a woman betrayed.

“This is how it began, isn’t it?” she whispered. “The confinement of your mother began just like this.”

“Eolyn—”

“Your father wanted only to protect her, but he never allowed her to leave. In the end it made no difference. Kaie penetrated the wards and slew her. You remember, Akmael. You were there.”

“My love—”

“You cannot lock me up in that place!”

“You will not be left alone as my mother was. Not tonight, not in any night to come.”
Akmael pressed his lips to her forehead. He took the chain that suspended the Silver Web and lifted the jewel gently over Eolyn’s head. As he held the amulet in the palm of his hand, its delicate crystals glittered in the afternoon light.

“This magic can be used to penetrate the wards,” he said.

“How?”

“That is for me to know.” He set the silver chain around his own neck, slipping the amulet beneath his tunic. “I promise you, Eolyn, I will be with you in every moment I can.”

“You secure your way into the East Tower while leaving me with no way out. At night you would use your mother’s magic to come as a thief, a surreptitious lover, not openly as my king and husband. Why?”

Akmael nodded to the door that separated them from the courtiers outside. “Because they must believe that my judgment is free from the influence of desire and love, free from any spells a High Maga might cast.”

“They are fools if they believe a maga can control the decisions of men! If we had such power, I assure you this world would be a very different sort of place.”

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Links

Add Daughter of Aithne to your Goodreads shelf:

Purchase Daughter of Aithne, or other The Silver Web trilogy books from Amazon:

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About the Author

Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands all her life. Her pastimes include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.

Find Karin at:

Web: https://krgastreich.com/

Twitter: @EolynChronicles

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Eolyn-110814625640244/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4431702.Karin_Rita_Gastreich

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Drakon’s Prey by N.J. Walters – Feature With Excerpt and Giveaway

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About Drakon’s Prey

Valeriya Azarov turned her back on the family business to write and illustrate children’s books. But with a sister who leads the Knights of the Dragon, it’s impossible to get away from the secret society whose mission is to destroy and enslave dragons. When information falls into her hands along with the opportunity to save at least one of the ancient creatures, she can’t turn away any longer.

When a woman moves into the cabin above Tarrant Cooper’s secret underground lair, he’s both suspicious and intrigued. He hasn’t lasted four thousand years being careless, so when he suspects her of being a part of the Knights, the plan is to kidnap her and find out how much the organization knows about him and his brothers.

He’s drawn to Valeriya, but trusting her could get him killed. Even if she’s a pawn in the war between drakons and Knights, giving her his heart would mean forever.

Blood of the Drakon #2
Publication Date: April 24, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select Otherworld, Paranormal, Romance

Excerpt from Drakon’s Prey

“What’s your name?” she suddenly demanded. She’d kissed him and didn’t even know his name.

He opened the refrigerator door and pulled out several packages.

“Hey.” She knew it was crazy to demand anything from this man, but she was past all caution. “I asked you a question.”

“And if I answer it, you’ll never be able to leave here.” The way he said it, with little inflection, stopped her in her tracks.

It was a variation of “If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you.” It was used in the movies all the time, but Valeriya didn’t think this man was joking. “We both know I’m never getting out of here anyway, so why don’t you tell me who you are?” Maybe if she befriended him, she could get him to release her.

And then where would she go? The Knights were everywhere.

She swayed as her knees went weak. All she’d wanted to do was warn Darius Varkas about the Knights and go back home to her life. Now she feared she was truly going to die.

“What the hell?” Her captor was around the counter and caught her before she hit the floor. He scooped her up as though she weighed nothing and set her on one of the stools on the far side of the island. “Are you all right?” He hovered beside her but was no longer touching her.

It was as though he was afraid to touch her. She wasn’t sure if that was for her benefit or for his. She should be trying to figure out a way to escape, fighting the growing attraction she had for her captor. She wasn’t a guest here, but an unwilling visitor.

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite feel that way. It suddenly occurred to her that her intuition was silent. Yes, he was a very dangerous man, no doubt about it, but she didn’t feel as though he was a danger to her.

Her gift had chosen a really bad time to go haywire.

“What does it matter, if you’re going to kill me?” She’d rather get it over with than to drag it out indefinitely. And she really didn’t want to be tortured.

He swore, long and fluently, and in a language she didn’t understand. Did that mean he wasn’t American, or did he simply know other languages?

“Tarrant. My name is Tarrant. And I told you I wasn’t going to kill you.”

She rested her elbows on the counter to steady herself. “For now. You said you weren’t going to kill me right now.”

He swore again. “No one is killing anyone.

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Links

Add the Blood of the Drakon series books to your Goodreads shelf:

Purchase Drakon’s Prey:

Amazon US         Amazon UK          Amazon CA          Amazon AU

Paperback

B&N          Kobo          iTunes

 

Purchase Drakon’s Promise (Blood of the Drakon, #1):

Amazon          Amazon CA           Amazon UK          Amazon AU

Paperback

B&N          Kobo          iBooks

 

About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Find N.J. Walters at:

Website: http://www.njwalters.com/
Blog: http://njwalters.blogspot.ca/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/N.J.WaltersAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/njwaltersauthor
Street Team: http://bit.ly/2h6PEiM
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/njwaltersauthor/
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2gOMAEC
Newsletter: https://yhoo.it/2h11Iy6
Amazon Author Profile: http://amzn.to/2pabAgk

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Sabrina and the Gargoyle by Marie Dry – Feature With Excerpt and Contest

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About Sabrina and the Gargoyle

Sabrina married Mark after only knowing him for two weeks. Although he’s the man of her dreams, the man she loves more than life itself, she’s started getting strange vibes from him. Sometimes, she could swear he moves faster than the human eye can follow, and she’s sure she’s seen him change into something with wings. Could he be a vampire? A gargoyle? She tries to tell herself she’s being ridiculous, that those things don’t really exist. But when a strange being bursts through her bedroom window and kidnaps her, Sabrina is forced to admit the truth—not only are the creatures from her nightmares real, her own husband is one of them, and he married her for reasons other than love…

Release Date: May 5, 2017

Excerpt from Sabrina and the Gargoyle

Sabrina walked through the foyer and limped down steps into what looked like a big old-fashioned ballroom. Glittering crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling and marble floors shone with a beautiful rose sheen beneath the expensively shod feet of the guests.

A white clad waiter hurried over to offer her a drink from a gleaming silver tray. Sabrina took a glass and looked around, a little lost. She clenched her hands around the stem of the elegant flute, not caring if she broke it, Mark hadn’t even spared her a glance when he went off with Jo.

Sabrina stumbled, and her aching knee gave way under her. Desperate not to fall flat on her face in front of everyone, she grabbed the arm of the waiter next to her. The silver tray and glasses shattered on the floor. Alcohol fumes drifted up from the mess on the floor. Everyone turned to stare while Sabrina desperately clung to the waiter’s arm. She swallowed tears of anger and humiliation, wanting to crawl into a deep dark hole and just curl up and cry. “I’m so sorry.”

“Not a problem, madam.” The waiter was stoic and several of the catering staff quickly cleaned up the mess.

Sabrina closed her eyes, took a deep breath, opened them, and stepped away from the waiter. She stilled, unable to take another step. Cold dread suddenly slithered down her spine. She forgot her embarrassment, even her hurt over Mark’s behavior. The awful feeling of dread and evil hung over the large ballroom like a specter hiding in the rafters at a feast.

A woman screamed and, at first, Sabrina thought it was because of the dropped tray, because no one seemed to feel the same chilling presence she did.

“The window, my God there’s glowing red eyes staring right at me.” There was something beyond hysteria in the woman’s voice, a primal fear.

Mark stood with his arm around Jo, his hand resting intimately low on her hip. His eyes narrowed on the woman behind Sabrina who’d screamed. The other guests either laughed or discreetly turned away from the hysterical woman. Mark seemed deadly serious. He followed the woman’s terrified gaze to the long windows.

“It’s a bat, a giant bat,” the woman screamed. “It’s staring right at me.”

Letting go of Jo, Mark came over to Sabrina, Jo shadowing him. Sabrina faltered. His eyes glowed white hot, nearly no blue visible, backlit like a cellphone.

Sabrina looked around, but no one seemed to think anything strange was going on. Maybe she was schizophrenic? Did she see glowing eyes where none existed? No one took notice of the hysterical woman, her husband leading her off while she still insisted she saw a bat as big as a man. If it wasn’t for that strange moment of recognition, Sabrina might have thought the woman was hysterical over nothing.

“Are you all right?”

She couldn’t break the hold that glowing gaze had on her. Slowly, so slowly, the white fire dimmed until he looked at her with intense, but normal blue eyes. Normal for him, anyway. The strange hold he had over her lessened as his eyes dimmed.

“I’m fine, I’m afraid the glasses didn’t fare that well.”

How could they have this inane discussion while Jo gazed up at him with an unblinking adoring gaze, as if he was a single man?

“Do you have an injury? I noticed you stumbling before,” Jo asked.

She didn’t seem aware of the woman who was still hysterically crying over the giant bat that stared at her through the window. Sabrina shuddered. Jo sounded like an animated corpse. Sabrina had the impression she only showed concern toward her to get Mark’s attention again. Sabrina wanted to push her away from Mark, and not only because he was her husband. She had the strangest feeling that she had to get him away from Jo, that she was transmitting some evil to him. More than that, she sounded dead.

“My wife sustained a knee injury during a car accident.” Mark said. Such simple words to describe the horrific events.

She’d lost her only living relative, her cousin Jennifer. She’d even lost her cousin’s fiancé Christopher who’d been heartbroken and lost after the accident. Sabrina had woken one morning, and he’d disappeared from his home. It was as if he never existed, never loved her cousin. It had been a betrayal, him leaving as if he could leave Jennifer’s memory behind.

“I have to powder my nose,” Sabrina murmured.

She had to get away from her husband who had glowing eyes, moved faster than any human could, and still had his arm around another woman. Mark nodded, but didn’t look away from Jo. A look of such contempt flashed over his face, Sabrina faltered, but Jo didn’t react.

What was going on here? Why would he zone in on Jo and then look at her with such contempt? He’d done the same at the other functions they’d attended this last month. Honed in on women, but almost immediately moved on. This time, he didn’t move on, seemed intent on getting something from Jo. That look disturbed Sabrina greatly. Again, she had this sense of danger simmering under the surface of this polite gathering. Something so evil, her creepometer was screaming.

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Purchase Sabrina and the Gargoyle: 

Black Opal Books          Amazon

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Contest (with a prize)!

Marie needs a title for her new series!  Here is your big chance to make a contribution to her books.  In the comments, post your suggestion(s) for a series title.  Feel free to ask Marie questions about the series.  Her answers are sure to jump start your creativity.

Comments will be open through May 12th.  After that, Marie will choose her favorite.  If she chooses your title, a $30 Amazon gift card will be yours!

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About the Author

Ever since she can remember Marie Dry wanted to travel. She had had the privilege of living in Zambia, Morocco, and Spain and sees herself as a bit of a gypsy. Every few years she gets restless and has to be some place new.

She read romances since she was nine and was fairly young when she decided she would write the perfect story that had all the elements she looked for in a romance. In 1997 she decided to go all out with her writing and to get published. Being published by Black Opal Books is a dream come true for her.

There are several wonderful moments in her life that she would never trade for anything. One of them is meeting President Nelson Mandela and the second being published.

Find Marie at:

Website: http://www.mariedry.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariedryauthor/

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One More Thing!

Are you a fan of Marie’s Zyrgin Warriors scifi romance series (Alien Mine, Alien Under Cover and Alien Betrayed)?  Well, you may interested to know that the next book in the series will be coming in June.  Stay tuned to Whiskey With My Book to catch a feature on the next Alien book!