Welcome to the New Release Monday. This month, in addition to our typical excerpt week, we’re showcasing new releases by several fabulous EM writers. Check out the Excerpt Monday site! or click on the banner above.
The sequel to The Wolf’s Sister comes out on 19th January and follows the continuing adventures of Jeren and Shan. Check out the Excerpt Monday site for competitions and giveaways, including the chance to win a copy of The Wolf’s Mate!
from Samhain Publishing
Coming: January 19, 2010
“It’s well written, fast paced and filled with interesting and unique characters….The best part of the story is Jeren herself. I liked her in The Wolf’s Sister but in this release, she really grows and shines, as she turns into a confident and determined woman, willing to fight for her man. I’m very curious to see what happens to these two mates with the next and last release.” – 4 Nymphs, Mystical Nymph, Literary Nymphs Reviews Only
Their love is a forbidden gift. Keeping it means a fight to the death…
A Tale of the Holtlands, Book 2
After escaping from her Holtlands home and her brother’s madness, Jeren looks forward to a new life with her beloved Shan and his people. She doesn’t expect the Fey’na to readily accept someone of her bloodline, but she’s determined to prove herself worthy. Then the jealous eyes of the beautiful sect mother, Ylandra, fall on Shan—handsome, strong, matchless among warriors—turning Jeren’s fragile new world upside down.
Shan wants nothing more than to be with Jeren, the courageous beauty who’s captured his heart. But their ancient enemy has attacked, and Ylandra cleverly uses an archaic oath to bind him to her service—fulltime. As he sets out on a suicide mission into the heart of enemy territory, he promises Jeren he’ll return—somehow—to claim her as his mate.
Jeren is left alone to make a place for herself among the elite Fey’na warriors, until a Holtlands envoy arrives bearing her ancestors’ sword. This magical artifact calls to the innate magic in her blood and forces her to make a terrible choice. She could lead the battle to free her people…but only if she forsakes Shan.
Warning: contains scary monsters, desperate acts, burning jealousy and the consummation of a timeless love.
Silence slammed over the gathering. Jeren looked at him, confused, unable to understand what he had just said. But Ylandra did. Colour drained from her face, bleaching her skin as if she were snow-touched. Her lips moved, trembled and her eyes glistened in the moment before they turned to granite.
“You cannot mean this.” Ylandra’s hands closing to fists at her side. “She’s True Blood, serpent-born. Her brother murdered your sister!”
Jeren flinched back at the words.
“Whatever it takes, whatever the cost, Jeren must stay here,” he argued. “She’s his heir and his powers will pass to her should he die. She needs our protection.”
“Then she’ll swear the oath of obedience. If she’s willing to be Sh’istra’Phail, she will swear to abide by my will as Sect Mother.”
“I will,” Jeren cut in before Shan could intervene. “I swear it. I will obey the Sect Mother.”
That mollified the Sect Mother, and a bitter chill of foreboding ran down Shan’s spine.
“Whatever it takes,” Ylandra echoed. A hint of malevolence stained her eyes. “Very well, I agree, if you will in turn agree to my terms.”
“Terms?” Indarin’s voice rang out across the silent crowd, the last person Shan expected to come to his aid. “I might agree he’s gone insane, Ylandra, but what’s this talk of terms when it comes to a man and his mate? You can’t impose terms.”
The word mate made Jeren’s gaze snap onto him.
Later, he tried to tell her with his look. I will explain everything. I will make it up to you and hold you to nothing you do not want. Please trust me now, my love. Please, just this little while.
“Really?” asked Ylandra. “I invoke the duty of Service on Shan’ith Al-Fallion. I bind him as blood warrior and guardian of both this sect and the Sect Mother until such time as the threat is past. As such he must give up all other ties and devote himself solely to the protection of his people.”
As if the world had dropped from beneath his feet, Shan’s stomach lurched in panic and dismay. How he remained still, he could not tell. She couldn’t! But his voice fell still as stone in his throat.
“No!” another voice yelled, a woman outraged, but not Jeren.
Poor Jeren didn’t know of the duty of Service, didn’t have a clue what this meant. She struggled to his side and her fingertips brushed his arm. Without a thought, Shan swept her into his arms. It might be the last time. He held her, the horror crawling up inside him undimmed by her presence.
“Shan?” she gasped at his tight grip. “Shan, what is it? What’s happening?”
But he couldn’t answer. How could he find an answer?
“Ylandra,” a Fey’na woman shouted, pushing her way to the fore. Lara, little Lara, grown to womanhood now, moving like the fluid warrior she was rather than the awkward child he remembered. “Even you can’t be so cruel!”
“What is it?” Jeren whispered frantically, drawing Shan’s attention back to her and to her alone. “What has she done?”
“Jeren, I…” Words failed him. He just pulled her against him and buried his face in her hair. Its sweet fragrance engulfed him and he breathed it deep, hoping to keep it with him somehow, to keep her with him.
She went on asking what was happening, but he put her voice from his mind. He had to.
“You can appeal this,” Indarin was saying. Shan barely heard him over the uproar of arguing voices. “Springmoot is not long and Ariah is coming. The Seers too. Ariah can overrule—”
“Take care of Jeren,” Shan told his brother and allowed his arms to drop from her so Indarin could pull her back.
Jeren didn’t resist, though he saw panic in her eyes, confusion and pain. She didn’t understand. May the gods help her, she didn’t even know what this meant. How could she? And he couldn’t explain it now. There wasn’t time, not to tell her everything.
He cursed himself. “On your life, brother, keep her safe and train her well. Explain. Be kind.” He tore himself free from his heart’s desire, walked to Ylandra and knelt at her feet.
Jeren gave a single bewildered sob, but he didn’t dare turn around, not even for an instant.
“Very well, Sect Mother.” Venom poisoned his words. “I am yours. Bind me.”
Links to other New Releases
Note: I have not personally screened these releases. Please heed the ratings and be aware that the links may contain material that is not typical of my site. As Excerpt Monday is an international affair, some of the links may take a little longer to go live than others, so bear with us and please remember to check back later if that’s the case.