Friday, September 01, 2006

Happy September!

Ravenstar’s Bride is available in e-book format today at Amber Quill Press!

The paperback edition should be coming out around September 15th! I can’t wait to have another print book to add to my shelf.

Since it is Friday, here’s an excerpt from RB that you won’t find at the buy link page. In this scene, my heroine meets the man who will shape her destiny. She’s masquerading as a common dock runner [read: prostitute] but he seems something more in her. By the end of their conversation, Ravenstar Bren is determined to uncover the stowaway’s secrets. All of them.

Ra'Nara stifled a gasp when the captain of the merchant ship leveled his stormy gaze at her. She felt as though her carefully crafted disguise had been ripped away, leaving her terribly exposed. It seemed as if he could see through her battered body and into the depths of her soul.

While the commander had been formidable, and handsome with his light hair and dark eyes, the captain was an even more breathtaking example of fortunate genetics.

Even drawn to her full height, which was slightly above average for a Cadeian female, he towered over her. She found that she had to look up at him. And he looked down on her, his dark brows knit together over those lustrous eyes.

His face was angular and long, with high cheekbones that were accentuated by a shadow of growth on his cheeks and chin. His lips were compressed into a thin line at the moment, but showed hints of sensual fullness. Wavy midnight black hair reached down to his brow.

Like the commander's, his uniform was a rich shade of blue that contrasted with the burnished bronze of his skin. His eyes picked up the deep hue and seemed to darken as he appraised her.
Ra'Nara's gaze was drawn to his bare arms, where his own tattoo stretched over corded muscle. Though she could not read the fine Istrian script, she was certain the embellishments to the design proclaimed him a ruler of men. He certainly looked the part.

She'd spent her life among royalty and had never met a man, including her own father, with such a commanding presence. For a moment, she fought the urge to bow to him, as she might have a prince of Cadeia. In that same instant she forgot who she was, or rather what she had become, and despite her trembling, drew herself up in front of him and embarrassed herself with a clumsy attempt at seduction. By the look in his eyes, it was obvious he found her offer distasteful. Such a man as this would have no interest in a common doxie.

She couldn't take it back though, and the shift in his expression from benign but authoritative curiosity to annoyance, told her she probably shouldn't waste breath on an apology.

She moved back involuntarily as one of his hands shot out and grasped the shoulder of her cloak. With a lightning fast movement he tore it from her body, exposing not only the pitiful dress beneath, but the purple bruises that marred the delicate skin of her upper arms.

"I suspect this foul garment is to blame for the unfortunate odor in here, feha," he said as he cast the fabric to the floor. The term of endearment he'd tacked onto his statement gave her pause. There were many things he could have called her, but "precious jewel" was not one she would have expected.

Ra'Nara made no answer at first, though her mind worked furiously. Should she beg his forgiveness for her insolence? Or merely resign herself to the fact that she had most likely garnered herself nothing more than an expedited trip to a Cadeian prison?

"Do you have a name? Or shall I continue to call you feha?" he prompted.

"I..." Ra'Nara paused to swallow some of her ire. She realized she would have to come up with something. "Nara," she said finally and hoped he would not press for anything more specific.

"Nara..." he said, rolling the name on his tongue. "If I recall, it means 'gift,' doesn't it?"

She nodded.

"I'm told you were interrogated by Commander Kree, my first officer, and you told him nothing of interest."

"I told him what was pertinent. He threatened to send me to jail."

The captain leaned back, crossed his arms over his broad chest and grinned at her. "That was no threat."

"Captain Ravenstar..." Nara said in her best diplomatic voice. "I...apologize, for stowing away on your shuttle. I was desperate. I don't ask for special treatment, only passage to your next port of call. I will work for my keep...I'll do...anything." This time she was careful to keep her request devoid of any innuendo. Offering her body to this man was degrading enough. Having him reject her twice would be unbearable.

In response, his eyes swept over her and again she felt stripped of her defenses. The paper-thin tunic, soiled from hiding in the livestock stalls at the bazaar, might as well have been nonexistent.

"You'd best be careful when making such a statement, feha. A promise like that to the wrong person could land you in hell."

"I've been there, Captain," she responded soberly, all trace of regal arrogance gone from her expression. "Believe me when I say I'm willing to do anything to escape it."

To find out more about Ravenstar’s Bride, go to:


Annalee Blysse said...

Congrats on the new release JAC!

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

Thanks, Annalee!