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 and Master Assassin Quinn Tarlen have made it to the Windbreak Keep and have received the journal left for her. She can't read it, so Quinn is reading it aloud to her.
“But first let me tell you what the Key is. It is in the shape of a necklace made from platinum, titanium, and opals. The opals hold the magic, the metals are the conductors. When the one who is attuned to the energies of the worlds wears the Key, they are able to control the Rifts between the Twelve Realms. The Keeper of the Key can open or close the Rifts at will, and it’s a great responsibility. It was my job before I met your father, and of all my children, the job falls to you because you were the only one attuned to the same energy as I am.”
Quinn paused and tilted the book toward her. “There’s an image of the Key, Maia.”
She scanned the image of a necklace made from gleaming ornate metal and eleven drops of opal hanging from the lattice of the loop. A larger opal polished to oval perfection rested in the center above the middle drop. He couldn’t tell from the drawing, but the opals of the necklace appeared to be different, some darker, some lighter.
“It’s a necklace?” She tilted her head. “I guess that makes sense. Pretty easy to conceal as anything important beyond jewelry.” She ran her fingers over the page. “It’s lovely.”
Quinn agreed and imagined what it would look like strung around her neck, the center drop dipping between her full breasts. Focus on what’s right in front of you, stupid.
“Do you want me to read more?” He’d rather be looking at her, but it wouldn’t be wise to give away his interest.
“Yes, please. I need to know what to do to find this thing and what to say to get it returned.”
Quinn nodded. “Once you have the Key in your possession, you will need to select a protector to help you. Think of this being as a bodyguard of sorts, though she, he, or it will need to be someone you trust implicitly regardless of conventions and will be bound to serve you in this way until death do you part, whoever’s should come first. Druid Reuben has been mine. He cares for me now as I fade. Please know that I love you very much, Maiasora, and I have no wish to leave you or your sisters, but I know my time is limited and I can’t leave you without the knowledge of your birthright.”
Maia wrapped her arms around herself and dropped her chin to her chest, her expression shuttered. Quinn wished he could make this easier for her, but centuries had passed and there was no going back.
“I’m sorry for your loss, Maia.”
She barked an unhappy laugh. “I’m surprised to hear that from you. You’re a dealer in death. Why would my mother’s death trigger your compassion?”
He shrugged, studying the scrolling writing on the page. “Because I know what it’s like to lose someone close.”
She grimaced. “You bring that feeling to a lot of people when you kill their loved ones, you know.”
He nodded. “It’s what I’m good at. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel for you, though.”
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