Today I’m excited to present page 69 excerpts from two very different forms of the fantasy genre.
BloodMarked [The Fraktioneers – Book 1]
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
A ‘townie’ college student, living off campus with her overprotective mother, Greta Brandt thinks everything about her life is run of the mill. Everything, except for the nightmares that have been plaguing her for as long as she can remember.
When her reality is torn apart, Greta finds herself adrift in a world she thought only existed in her fevered dreams. The one soul she can cling to, a dark stranger who seems to know her better than she knows herself.
Jaromir Ragnarsson is a shadow in a world men do not see. Charged with protecting the Brandt women from untold dangers, he had been ever vigilant in his task. Until one night, a fatal mistake threatens to take away mankind’s only chance for survival: Greta Brandt.
Now, Jaromir must find a way to introduce Greta to his hidden world, where magic and myth are fact not fiction. And curses are very, very real.
Page 69 BloodMarked (Amazon, February 28, 2015)
“So when you fail,” she hoped he hadn’t noticed her lapse in attention. She really needed a f**king nap, “you have to cut your hair?” A yawn broke through the last word, and Jami chuckled.
“Among my people, a man’s hair is a sign of his honor and his skill in battle. When he fails, a man must offer his braid as a sacrifice to the Gods, so that he might atone for his failure and prove himself worthy.”
“I don’t know about your Gods, but I don’t think you…failed.” The yawns were coming fast and hard. “You did everything you could. Saved my ass anyway.”
“Greta, if I didn’t know better, I’d think that might be a thank you.”
He laughed, a wide smile splitting his face. “Come on, let’s get you to bed.”
She couldn’t help herself. One minute she was turning to walk back to the bed, the next she was against him with her fingers in his hair. “It really was beautiful.” His smile dropped, and she faltered. “I mean…I like it this way as well.”
He gave her a half-smile and put his hand on the small of her back. “Thank you.”
A shiver shot up her spine, and suddenly, she wasn’t so tired anymore. “Er. Uh. It was so long. How long had you been growing it out?” Stupid.
“Almost eighteen years.”
“The last time…” He started ushering her to the bed before she could finish the thought.
“I won’t fail you again,” he said sternly, “I promise.”
She believed him. All the way from the ends of her hair straight down to her toes, she knew this man was good to his word. She let him fold her into the bed, paying no attention to the damp spots on the sheets left by the towels. He tucked her in, pulling the comforter up to her chin and smoothing his hand soothingly over her hair.
“Go to sleep now.” He pulled away slowly, as if he was reluctant to move.
She reached out and caught his lingering hand. “Where you going?”
“To sleep in the chair,” he said matter-of-factly, as if the answer was obvious.
“You don’t have to.” At his raised eyebrows, she added, “Unless you want to.” He didn’t look convinced. “This bed is huge. We’re both adults. We can share.” He cast her a quick glance that was very adult and made her think twice about sharing, but he strode quietly to the other side of the bed and climbed in on top of the covers. “You’ll get cold,” she scolded, trying to toss the spare length of comforter over his legs. He hadn’t even taken off his boots.
“I haven’t been cold in centuries,” he chuffed. “Don’t worry about me.”
“Centuries,” she mumbled, her head already getting fuzzy with sleep. “I can’t even imagine that.”
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The Soulstone [The Kronicles of Korthlundia Book 2] by Jamie MarchantGenre: Epic Fantasy The Crown Princess Samantha and peasant sorcerer, Robrek, struggle to solidify their rule in the aftermath of the king’s murder. They are opposed by those who seek power for themselves and desire to prevent their marriage. As if that wasn’t enough, a deadly curse begins to spread throughout Korthlundia. While Samantha fights against priests, enemies, and her closest advisors, Robrek sets off to discover the source of the curse.He learns the reason the goddess chose him as king: to defeat the Soul Stone, a stone capable of sucking the soul out of its victims. Their archenemy, the Bard Alvabane, awakens the Soul Stone and plans to use its power to reclaim Korthlundia for her people, a people driven out over a thousand years ago by the hero Armunn. Armunn had to sacrifice his life and soul to contain the Soul Stone. Will Robrek have to do the same?
Page 69 (Black Rose Writing, July 2, 2015)
Robrek could tell his words were having no effect, so he took off his sword belt, hung it on the wall, and picked up a wooden practice sword. Vaughan did likewise. They then squared off against each other, and Robrek gave his squire the signal to attack. Vaughan came at him, but as usual, he was treating it like a child’s game, swinging wildly. Robrek had repeatedly tried to tell him that swinging in this manner left him off balance and open to attack, not to mention tiring him quickly. If this had been an actual fight, Robrek could have killed his squire twenty times in the first few minutes. He called a halt and again tried to explain to Vaughan the importance of controlling his movements. But the next time Vaughan came at him, it was with an equal lack of control.
“Milord,” Cathbad interrupted. “Might I make a suggestion?”
“Certainly.” Robrek was open to anything at this point.
Cathbad nodded to the far corner of the room, and Robrek followed him until they were out of Vaughan’s hearing. “Hit the boy.”
Robrek looked at the man aghast. “Beat him?” After the number of times his father had forced him to remove his shirt and beat his back raw, Robrek wasn’t about to beat a child.
“Not beat him, Milord. Hit him. Show him what would happen in a real fight if he swung like that. My weapons master always said there was nothing like a little pain to drive the point home.”
“But what if I hurt him?”
Cathbad shrugged. “You’re a healer, aren’t you?”
Robrek thought about it, then nodded. “Thank you, Cathbad.”
Cathbad bowed and said, “I am at your service, Milord.”
Robrek squared off against Vaughan, and Vaughan again attacked with a wild swing to the right, leaving his left side completely unprotected. Robrek countered with a blow to the ribcage.
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