The purpose here is to spotlight a few lines or a few paragraphs from a new release or backlisted title. This way my readers get to sample some delicious snippets and I'll do my best to tease, titillate and tantalize you into the weekend.
This week I'm teasing from IN DEATH'S SHADOW, my new release fantasy romance, and Book 3 in the Rifts series. Princess Maia is stuck in a cave with an assassin who has an aversion to talking. And they've been stuck there for a few days because of a blizzard.
“Do you think you could stop sharpening that blade? It’s irritating.”
“Almost as irritating as your incessant nattering.” He continued with the whetstone, his motions measured and even.
Maia sighed. It would be a long night, and an even longer blizzard.
She huddled against the cave wall and wrapped her coat tighter around her. She let her eyes unfocus as she watched their meager fire. Between the sounds of Quinn sharpening his blade on the whetstone and the dance of the flames, she settled into a fitful doze.
Memories swirled into clarity behind her eyelids. Little girls in a rainbow of dresses ran through flowered a garden. She recognized her sisters and remembered the joy, when all she’d had her heart set on was another cake after supper. Back before her sister fell for a druid and they’d been free to be human.
A sharp screech tore her into consciousness and Maia turned her gaze to Quinn, her heart galloping.
“What?” Maia blinked.
“I wasn’t giggling.”
Quinn sent her a dry look. “Who is Yarenoke?”
Maia gritted her teeth but tried to look innocent. “Who?”
“Yarenoke. You kept saying you had Yarenoke’s tail.”
“Oh.” Her face heated. “Yarenoke was my imaginary dragon.”
An odd sound filtered through the crackle of the flames and she stared. Did he just chuckle?
“Are you all right, Quinn?”
“Go to sleep, Princess. You’ll need it for tomorrow.” And the ice in his voice returned with her insistence on using his familiar name.
“Why? What do you think will happen tomorrow?”
Quinn nodded toward the door. “We’ll have to dig out again.”
“Bugger.” Her shoulders slumped. “I wish it would stop snowing.”
Hi nodded, his motions pausing for a moment. “I expect a break in the storm tomorrow.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Why do you expect that?”
He tapped his nose. “The air smells different.”
He dropped his gaze back to his hands and said nothing. Maia sighed. They really made the perfect match. She’d been locked away and couldn’t talk for decades, and he made a habit of not speaking. Holy Goddess, I’m going to go crazy.
“What are we going to do tomorrow?”
Quinn resumed the cadence of his knife across the whetstone, but he raised his hooded head. “It depends on when the snow lets up.”
“And when it does?”
“We will continue our journey.”
She gritted her teeth at his staccato answer. Extracting information from him resembled visiting the dentist. “Thanks, I hadn’t figured that out for myself.”
“Ask a thoughtless question…”
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