Book Tour Sign Up: Woodborn by Heather Nix (Jan 16 – 20) Genre: Sapphic Fantasy/ High Fantasy @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #BookTwitter

Hey Book Dragons!

I’m also organizing a book tour for Woodborn in addition to the cover reveal on November 29th. The tour will run from January 16th to the 20th and I am looking for hosts. Digital ARCs will be available soon and the giveaway will be a book box containing the book and other goodies!

Sign up below!

 

Woodborn Cover- Ebook Crop

Woodborn (Song of Gods #1)

Expected Publication Date: January 21, 2023

Genre: Sapphic Fantasy/ High Fantasy

“I do not know how I lived in darkness for so many years with this bright world just waiting for me to grasp it.”

Maelwen is a young witch trapped in a harsh and unforgiving life. Friendless and alone, she endures terrible abuse in order to survive in the desolate land of Iowain.

Across the continent, Cicerine, a virtuous young faun, lives in the idyllic glade of Kanitosh Woods. Alongside her mother and closest friend, she is raised with dutiful reverence for the god, Idyth—led by the mysterious Father Farragen.

After escaping her tormentor and seeking a new life of her own, Maelwen finds a fresh start in the seedy trade city of Konidas. Meanwhile, a terrible tragedy befalls the glade, and Cicerine must flee to the same seaside town, leaving behind all she has ever known.

As a dark and menacing force spreads across Idythia, can Maelwen’s gifts and Cicerine’s developing power stand against the threat which faces them all? Alongside found family, new friends, and a crew of sapphic pirates, the line between good and evil is tested as the continent prepares for an epic battle.

CW: This is a sapphic fantasy novel, featuring a great deal of blood. Full list here

Coming Soon!

About the Author

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Heather Nix is the debut author of Woodborn, the first book in the Song of Gods series. Born and raised in sunny San Diego, CA she longs to return to the forests of the Pacific Northwest. She is the mother of two human and three cat children, and enjoys tattoos, tabletop RPGs, and creating feminist art in her limited spare time. Heather is passionate about writing queer fantasy and strives to create nuanced characters who resonate with underserved communities.

Books by Nix

 

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Book Tour Sign Up: The Relics of Illayan (The Quiescence Trilogy Book 1) by Kathryn Knowles (Jan 9 – 13) Genre: Fantasy @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours

Hey Guys!

I’m organizing a book tour for a gorgeous fantasy called The Relics of Illayan by Kathryn Knowles. You may remember the cover reveal for the final book in The Quiescence Trilogy we did not too long ago. Well, we’re going back to the beginning and need hosts. The tour will run from January 9th to the 13th and we have digital review copies available. 

Sign up below!

The Relics of Illayan

The Relics of Illayan

Publication Date: November 2021

Genre: Fantasy/ Epic Fantasy

Publisher: Mad Endeavor

In the stillness, a power wakes

Caerlon is a kingdom where the power of Resonance has long been bound to a single bloodline, a single all-powerful ruler. Now, for the first time in centuries, the magic has been divided.

On the night of the new king’s coronation, something causes his magic to fracture, and Catanya, a young woman living on the outskirts of Caerlon discovers the long-kept secret of her connection to the throne.

Driven mad by his lust for power, King Cadyan sends his soldiers to hunt her down. He is determined to reclaim his birthright and uncover the truth about the legendary Relics of Illayan, which could hold the key to eternal power and immortality.

On the run, terrified and alone, Catanya must decide how—or even if—she can wield the magic of Caerlon to protect herself and save everyone she loves.

About the Author

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Kathryn Knowles is a composer, cellist, conductor, and writer currently based in Toronto, Ontario. She splits her time between writing, teaching, conducting, composing, and running Mad Endeavour.

In her spare time, Kathryn enjoys taking on new creative projects (i.e. filling up that “spare” time), spending time with friends and family, tending her ever-growing plant collection (obsession), and looking at pictures of puppies and dreaming of the day she can have one of her own.

Kathryn Knowles | Mad Endeavor

Instagram | Mad Endeavor IG | Goodreads | BookBub

 

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Book Tour Sign Up: Queen and Conqueror (The Queen’s Red Guard #1) by Isabelle Olmo (Jan 9 – 13) Genre: Epic Fantasy/ Romatic Fantasy @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours (CLOSED)

Some of you have been waiting patiently for this…

“Men will never be ready for women like us and it is not our job to ready them.”

I’m now organizing the book tour for Queen and Conqueror by Isabelle Olmo, and I’m looking for hosts! The tour will run from January 9th to the 13th. We have physical review copies for reviewers in the US and digital for everyone. 

Sign up below!

QUEEN AND CONQUEROR FINAL (1)

Queen and Conqueror (The Queen’s Guard #1)

Publication Date: August 2022

Genre: Fantasy/ Romantic Fantasy

How does one conquer a kingdom without spilling blood? You offer your hand in marriage to the king who killed your husband.

Almira’s father raised her in political cunning. Since childhood, she’s prepared for this moment. She lays out the players one by one like pieces on a board.

One. King Alton, the brother-killer. The spare heir who killed his brother for the throne.

Two. The perfect seamstress. The people must admire a queen and welcome her with open arms even when she arrives with a deadly armada behind her.

Three. The Queen’s Red Guard. These warrior women have one purpose; to protect the queen at all costs. Even from her husband. Even from herself.

Queen & Conqueror is the first book in an epic feminist fantasy series told from the perspective of the women who rule and shape the future.

About the Author

AUTHOR HEADSHOT

Isabelle Olmo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and was raised on a steady diet of 80’s fantasy films and Sweet Valley High. Her love of literature was developed at an early age when her grandmother gifted her a poetry collection. Queen & Conqueror will be her first published novel.

She graduated with a degree in English Literature and a minor in Political Science from the University of Central Florida.

When she’s not writing she loves to travel, cook, and drink wine. One day she hopes to live in Barcelona, her favorite city in the world.

Isabelle Olmo

Tiktok: isabelleolmo

*Please provide mailing address if requesting physical review copy (US ONLY)

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Book Tour Sign Up: The Captain’s Revenge (The Syren’s Mutiny #2) by Jessica S. Taylor (April 17 – 21) Genre: Fantasy/ Pirates/ Mythology @AuthorJessicaTaylor @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #TheSyrensMutiny

YESSSS!

I know this is super early but I’m pretty sure you guys are as excited as we are!

I’m now organizing the book launch tour for the second book in The Syren’s Mutiny series, The Captain’s Revenge! The tour will run from April 17th to the 21st, and I’m looking for hosts. We will be starting with 15 physical ARCs (US only) for now and digital for everyone, when they are available.

Sign up below!

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The Captain’s Revenge

Expected Publication Date: April 18, 2023

Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Sirens/ Pirates

“Not all treasure is silver and gold.”

Caelum stopped his father, but at what cost? Brigid was gone, taken by the very woman she once owed her life to, and Caelum was now wanted for his father’s murder. Now, he has to deal with the aftermath of his decisions, and with the other syrens who only seem determined to make his life more difficult. 

Brigid, torn from the new life she had begun to make for herself, must now endure the wrath of the goddess who had saved her. To survive, she shuts herself down, silently hoping that Caelum will rescue her and silently resigning herself to the fact that he won’t make it in time before her body succumbs to Cliodhna’s torture. 

When whisperings of a mysterious witch in the South reach Caelum, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get Brigid back, including giving up that which he holds most dear. But will he be able to save her in time? And will what remains of his father’s crew really give up that easily? 

CW:

This book contains dark and adult themes. Possible trigger warnings include: violence, descriptive torture, blood, death, dismemberment, non-explicit flashbacks of physical abuse, brief and non-explicit references to child kidnapping and deaths, mentions of past domestic violence, moderate sexual content, depictions of anxiety and depression, and mentions of past arranged marriages. 

About the Author

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Jessica was born and raised in Kentucky, but has been moving with the waves and is currently residing in southern Maine with her husband and cat, Nebula. Jessica’s love of reading and writing began at a young age with the help of her grandmother and her local library, and she hasn’t looked back since. Similarly, her love for pirates, mermaids, and all things fantasy have only grown more intense with time.

Author Jessica Taylor | Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | Pinterest

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Book Tour & Giveaway: The Syren’s Mutiny by Jessica S. Taylor – Genre: Fantasy/ Pirates/ Mythology @AuthorJessicaTaylor @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #TheSyrensMutiny

We’re celebrating the release of the highly anticipated dark fantasy The Syren’s Mutiny by Jessica S. Taylor. Read on for more info and a chance to win a signed copy of this extraordinary book! Be sure to visit our hosts to enter!

Cover

The Syren’s Mutiny

Publication Date: November 9th, 2022

Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Pirates/ Mythology

It’s frightful bad luck to have a woman aboard.”

Brigid knew the superstition, but when her father tried to marry her off, she had no choice but to stowaway on a ship bound for Bhodheas. When she’s discovered and discarded, her fate seems sealed…until she’s saved by the ocean and its queen.

Transformed into a syren and given new life, Brigid now has the power to seek revenge on those who wronged her.

Caelum has spent his entire life trying to help those who couldn’t help themselves. After years suffering the cruelty of his pirate father, saving others from a similar fate was ingrained in him. But when he’s unable to save a young girl from being thrown overboard for hiding away, he’s devastated.

Until one day, when he’s thrown into the water by unforeseen forces, he comes face to face with the past, and maybe, with his future.

But there’s a darkness lurking on the seas they both call home. And Caelum and Brigid have no idea just how intertwined their stories really are.

Content Warning:

This book contains dark and adult themes. Possible trigger warnings include: violence, drowning, death, dismemberment, torture, brief/non-explicit references to child kidnapping and deaths, mentions of past domestic violence, mild sexual content, and mentions of arranged marriages. 

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Excerpt

Brigid

Abruptly, the ship diverted from its course, turning hard toward the rocky cliffs on the other side of it. Even in the water, there was a sickening crash and the sound of splitting wood as the nose of the ship rammed into the jagged peaks.

We kept singing.

The ship began to turn, its side now scraping along the rocks as well. Men, driven mad by our song, began jumping overboard as the ship started to take on water and dip lower beneath the waves. While still close to the shore, the water here wasn’t exactly shallow, and the ship would sink in its entirety.

We circled, diving deep as bodies began tumbling in the water, the panic induced by our song preventing them from seeing reason and turning toward the cliffs for refuge. Sorcha looked over at me, her eyes wide as she processed the scene in front of her. She still seemed intimidated, yet interested.

I motioned for her to follow me. As we swam up closer to the surface, gleeful that these men would feel our wrath, a body crashed into the water in front of me. A man, based on the broadness of his shoulders and the general bulk of his frame. His body twisted, his limbs flailing as he sank through the water. 

I stopped short, letting go of Sorcha, who continued swimming up toward the surface with the others. I swished my tail to hold myself steady as I stared at him. Instead of flailing, he was trying to steady himself. He righted his large, muscular body and finally turned in the water to face me. His eyes widened, but he didn’t seem afraid of me. 

Another man splashed into the water in between us, diverting my attention. This man, once the bubbles around his form dissipated, was terrified. His eyes widened, and he opened his mouth to scream, but only more bubbles came out. He furiously tried to kick to the surface, but Maira was faster. Swimming down between us from the surface, she lunged forward, grabbing his leg and pulling him down into the depths. He kicked, still releasing a stream of bubbles from his mouth as he flailed about furiously.

With Maira gone into the depths, I turned my attention back to the man from before. He was closer to the surface now, almost close enough to breach it. Flicking my tail, I used my power to surge up, wrapping my talons around his ankle just as his head surfaced.

I could not let him escape. This man seemed a powerful swimmer, and if I let him go, I had no doubt he would survive. And given how closely he had seen Maira and me, I couldn’t let that happen. In the moment, I was grateful Sorcha had continued to the surface and wouldn’t have to watch this. I wasn’t sure she’d have the stomach to witness this death up close. 

I yanked hard on his boot, pulling him back beneath the waves. Down, down, down we went before I released him. I wanted to see his face, this man who had not seemed afraid of us. Had he seen us before?

Tilting my head to the side, I looked at the man more closely as he calmly treaded water, not trying to get back to the surface. His face was familiar to me…somehow. I swam slightly closer to him, whipping my tail in the water, impressed when he didn’t back away. We stared at each other for a moment longer before it clicked in my head. The bright green eyes staring back at me, the dark hair floating in the water, the chiseled and strong face. While he had aged some, I knew that face, those eyes. 

The boy from the ship. 

Caelum.

My eyes widened, and my stomach twisted again, my heart in my throat. I never thought I would see him again after being thrown overboard. He had fought to try to save me, even knowing he would be punished by the captain for it. My mind was spinning, trying to process the man before me as I studied him.

He was still oddly calm, keeping himself upright but never trying to go back toward the surface. He studied me back, his eyes roving over my body and stuttering on my tail before traveling back up to my face. He seemed resigned to his fate. His gaze was intense, and I wondered if he recognized me as well. I doubted it, as he had only seen me for a brief moment. But I had remembered him.

His cheeks began to bulge, a sign he was running out of time under the water, and he finally cast a glance upwards to the surface before looking back to me. But still, he didn’t make a move. 

In an impulsive moment, I knew I couldn’t let my only savior, the only redemption to men, drown because of us. Because of me. Before I could stop myself and think about the betrayal my family would surely feel, I rushed toward him, grabbed him under the arms, and pulled his chest against mine as I propelled us toward the surface. He would not die on my watch. I would not be the cause of his ruin.

Not after he had suffered trying to save me on that ship. 

Purchase The Syren’s Mutiny Here!

About the Author

IMG_9984-3

Jessica was born and raised in Kentucky, but has been moving with the waves and is currently residing in southern Maine with her husband and cat, Nebula. Jessica’s love of reading and writing began at a young age with the help of her grandmother and her local library, and she hasn’t looked back since. Similarly, her love for pirates, mermaids, and all things fantasy have only grown more intense with time.

Author Jessica Taylor | Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | Pinterest

 

Book Tour Schedule

November 7th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

@ofmoviesandbooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/ofmoviesandbooks/

@theenchantedshelf (Review) https://www.instagram.com/theenchantedshelf/

@hazelnut.starlight (Review) https://www.tiktok.com/@hazelnut.starlight

@hollymbryan (Review) https://www.instagram.com/hollymbryan/

@bookdreamr (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookdreamr/

Mallory Books –  https://mallorybooks.blogspot.com/

Ecce! Libri! (Review) https://eccelibri702630676.wordpress.com/

@ecce.libri – https://www.instagram.com/ecce.libri/

November 8th

@thenerdybookreview (Review) https://www.instagram.com/thenerdybookreview/

@booktreasuresau (Review) https://www.instagram.com/booktreasuresau

@thatmillennialreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/thatmillennialreader/

@margiebythebookcase (Review) https://www.instagram.com/margiebythebookcase/

@the_pageling (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the_pageling

@accio_mischief (Review) https://www.instagram.com/accio_mischief/

@caffeinatedbibliophilia (Review) https://www.instagram.com/caffeinatedbibliophilia/

Bunny’s Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

@NerdyFoxReads (Review) https://www.instagram.com/nerdyfoxreads/

@dreaminginpages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/

I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight)  https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

November 9th

@a_reads_alot (Review) https://www.instagram.com/a_reads_alot/

@alexis.reads__ (Review) https://instagram.com/alexis.reads__?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

@amber.bunch_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amber.bunch_author/

Riss Reviews (Review) https://rissreviewsx.wixsite.com/website

@rissreviews_xx – https://www.instagram.com/rissreviews_xx/

@books.and.salt (Review) https://www.instagram.com/books.and.salt/

@karasmarabooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/karasmarabooks/

@libraryofash (Review) https://www.instagram.com/libraryofash/

@_toris.thoughts_ (Review) https://www.instagram.com/_toris.thoughts_/

@read.em.if.you.got.em (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/read.em.if.you.got.em/

 November 10th

@courtneys.shelflife (Review) https://www.instagram.com/courtneys.shelflife/

@ems_literarycorner (Review) https://www.instagram.com/ems_literarycorner/

@hazelwriteswords_ (Review) https://www.instagram.com/hazelwriteswords_/

Black Raptor Books (Review) https://www.blackraptorbooks.com/blog

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

@the.robin.joyce (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.robin.joyce/

@fictionalwanderluster (Review) https://www.instagram.com/fictionalwanderluster/

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

November 11th

@wicked_bibliophile (Review) https://www.instagram.com/wicked_bibliophile/

@witchinglybookish (Review) https://www.instagram.com/witchinglybookish/

@acupofteaandabookplease (Review) https://www.instagram.com/acupofteaandabookplease/

@creepylilbookworm (Review) https://www.instagram.com/creepylilbookworm/

@bookishly_kenia (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookishlykenia/

@lshadowlyn (Review) https://www.instagram.com/lshadowlyn/

Book Reviews by Taylor (Review) https://www.bookreviewsbytaylor.com/

@authortaylorkillpack (Review) https://www.instagram.com/authortaylorkillpack/

@wendyreadsforfun (Review) https://www.instagram.com/wendyreadsforfun/

 

Book Tour Organized By:

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Book Tour: The Bone Master (The Sands of Achten Tan #2) by Debbie Iancu-Haddad – Genre: YA Fantasy @debbieiancu @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #YAFantasy #Books #Teens #OwnVoices

Welcome to the book tour for the next instalment in The Sands of Achten Tan series by Debbie Iancu-Haddad, The Bone Master! Read on for more info!

Bone Master cover

The Bone Master

Publication Date: October 22, 2022

Genre: YA Fantasy/ Own Voices

Kaii Haku has lived his whole life in the shadow of his cruel father’s magic.
Rebelling against his father- the Bone Master- by drinking and sleeping around was Kaii’s main occupation for years.

But when one of his best friends is kidnapped by pirates, Kaii embarks on a perilous rescue mission with two retired pleasure house workers, a shy teen bookworm, and a feisty girl from the pirate crew.
The journey will take Kaii and his allies far from Achten Tan, to a sea ruled by dangerous conditions and ships that travel on the backs of monsters.

For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference, but if he wields his emerging bone magic to save the girl he loves, he risks losing himself and becoming like his father – a man who tried to kill him.

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Kaii

It’s cold beneath the bones.

I can feel them now, all around me.

When I first got my magic back, this awareness overwhelmed me. Sensing the ancient leviathan bones, the city is carved into, and the bones of its occupants. It took me a while to discern the living, breathing residents from the structures surrounding us. These fleeting specks of existence celebrate life today and are reduced to dust tomorrow.

Morbid, Kaii. Really morbid. Gast me. I’m turning into my dad.

I stride through the Undercity, sensing the vertebrae all around me. Up ahead, I detect two (probably live) bodies before I see them, and one more, further away, the target of my visit.

“Who goes there?”

Long wooden staffs bar my way into the Undercity. Which is really gasting rude, all things considered. The tall sharp-faced elf who spoke is obviously one of Aislinn’s people, the Svaalti elves who moved into the Undercity the day after the cavern gnomes left. The two elves, one male, and one female, regard me with haughty expressions. Sporting long pale hair, braided in intricate patterns, their robes a fine silk rarely seen in Achten Tan. I’m relieved they haven’t replaced the bone weapons my father confiscated the day they arrived, seeking refuge after the destruction of Satama.

“Kaii Haku, to visit Opu Haku.” I state. Not that it’s any of their business. The elves nod and move aside, their expressions still just on the wrong side of respectful. Aislinn and her people have taken control of the Undercity like a rot growing into the marrow. They’ll need to be dealt with eventually, but it’s not my responsibility to do so. At least not yet.

Today I’m here to see my father, though I don’t know why I bother. I can already feel him up ahead. My ability to sense bones doesn’t tell me if he’s dead or alive, but something tells me he still lives. As I enter the passageway below the Undercity, an almost palpable wave of animosity floats my way. It must be my imagination.

Opu Haku hasn’t taken well to his imprisonment. The rock cage at the end of the tunnel is lit only by a flickering torch. The hunched figure in the shadows doesn’t stir as I approach, but I sense a subtle testing of my wards, searching for an opening. If he finds it, he could break my bones, hurl me across the tunnel, try to kill me. Again.

“Still can’t throw me down the hall.” I aim for glib, but my tone misses its mark, sliding off his hunched shoulders to land in a splat at his feet. He can’t attack me with bone magic. I’m shielded by the protection runes tattooed into my skin, so instead, he hurls sharp words, seeking to make a mark.

“Why are you here?” he snarls.

“The usual.” I approach the stone bars and slide the package of food through the narrow gap. Drizko engineered a device that provides a trickle of water. It flows through his cell, washing away waste, and enabling him to drink. The smell down here is foul. Body odor and refuse with a side of dirt and despair. Does he even bother to bathe himself anymore? He’s sunk so low, figuratively and literally. From the top of Chief’s Rib to the deepest hole in the Undercity.

“Any plans of getting me out of here?” he asks. His voice is close. I look up to discover he’s right up against the bars. Grey eyes, the same color as my own, stare me down, and for an instant, I see vulnerability in his granite gaze, but I blink and it’s gone.

“No. Nobody misses you, old man.”

Ok. That was cruel, but the guy tried to kill me, more than once. All my warm fuzzy feelings for him are long gone.

“Then why bother feeding me?” He hurls the package I just passed through at the bars, the loaves of algae bread and dried meat strips scattering on the dirty cell floor. “Why prolong my suffering?”

“Maybe I won’t come back then.” I turn and leave, his eyes stabbing my back like knives.

I don’t mean it. I won’t let my own father starve to death, even if the bastard deserves it. He blames me for his imprisonment, and for my part in the destruction of his bone staff, even though both result from his own actions. But I’m not the one who decided to leave him down here. That was the town council’s decision. Even his toady, Rapaccio Pallor, couldn’t sway them.

As I exit the Undercity, my feet turn right towards Jezebone’s. That’s where I always end up lately. It’s better than going back to my empty rooms.

I’m nursing my second or third drink when a wide smile and an An’cher uniform block my view of the bar.

“What are you drinking?” Kamal swings his large blond frame down onto the bench opposite me, patting the seat at his side for D’or to join him. D’or hesitates a moment, his green eyes swinging from me to Kamal.

“Do you want company?” D’or asks me, shoving back his mess of dark curls.

I wave my hand at his already seated boyfriend. “Sure.” I love being surrounded by sickeningly in-love couples. Nothing better.

“Should you two even be in here?” I toss back the rest of my Xenthalor Venom and motion to the barmaid to hit me again. Hopefully not literally this time.

Kamal scrunches up his pale eyebrows like a confused dasu pup. “First of all, I’m almost seventeen now and I have An’cher privileges… And D’or…” he turns to his boyfriend, “do you get a Tar-tule rider discount?”

I’m just messing with him, anyway. I seriously doubt Jezebone’s gives a gast about a minimum age for drinking or for use of their other services.

“Where have you two been?” I mumble into my empty cup.

They exchange a look. “Oh, we were out of Achten Tan for a few days… Visiting my parents at the caverns,” Kamal responds.

He’s sweet, trying to spare my feelings, but I force the issue, relishing the prickle of discomfort. “Mila and Geb’s ceremony?”

“Yeah.”

I’m not bitter. They invited me and I wanted to go. I was just too busy with my ‘drinking myself stupid’ schedule… I’d built up a rhythm and couldn’t take a break for things like forever ceremonies, especially when it’s the girl who was supposed to be my future.

Kamal and D’or exchange another look.

“Can you two still read each other’s minds? Or mine?” I ask.

I really should have had them sign a non-disclosure agreement before I invited six people into my brain. They know too much. I’d make them disappear, but I kinda like the two brats.

“We can’t read your mind,” D’or says, his green eyes glinting with mischief. “Not since Mila’s mind-reading elixir wore off. And we still have enough material to work through from the night of the heist.”

“That was a long list,” Kamal smirks. The two boys nudge each other, practically giggling. It’s disgusting, in a cute, nauseatingly sweet kinda way.

The barmaid slams my drink down in front of me, sloshing some of the green liquid out of the glass to splash on my hand. I miss Kiva. How was I to know the new girl only tends the bar and doesn’t offer those services? I mean, it’s a pleasure house, for Gast’s sake.

I study my wet hand for a moment before lifting my eyes to her furious black ones and licking my fingers off slowly, one at a time. For a moment it looks like she’s going to hit me again, but then she huffs, throwing her dark tresses over her shoulder and stamping off towards the bar again.

“Actually, we wanted to order a drink…” Kamal calls after her.

D’or sighs and slides out of his seat. “I’ll get it. Your usual, babe?”

Kamal nods and unashamedly watches Do’r’s backside as he moves towards the bar. Not that I blame him. I’d watch too if I wasn’t worried about Kamal thumping me for ogling his boyfriend. Not that I care about being hit, but they are friends, sort of, and I don’t do it with friends. I don’t even think about doing it with friends. I made that mistake before and I’ve learned my lesson.

But as my eyes follow D’or towards the bar, I spot a girl who most certainly is not a friend. In fact, I’ve never seen her before. She’s leaning on the wall by the bar, holding a tankard the size of a pumble and wearing a frown that promises to burn this town to the ground. She’s definitely not from around here. Not to brag, but I’ve slept with every unattached, reasonably young, warm body around these parts, who ISN’T a friend. I’d love to add her to my list.

Her clothes are distinctly foreign and I use the term clothes lightly. Apparently, she thinks knives are a fashion accessory. I’ve counted five from this angle alone and I can only see one side of her. She’s not so much wearing a shirt as a type of leather halter with room for more knives, but it affords a very enticing view of her breasts. Before I think too hard about it, I’m out of my seat and crossing the bar in her direction.

I’m not quite into weaving territory yet, which is good, because this girl looks like she’ll require the use of at least part of my brain, not to mention other parts of me. I wonder if her tongue is as sharp as her knives. Still, I manage to walk a pretty straight line over to the bar, my fresh drink only slightly sloshing over my hand.

She watches me, locking her dark eyes with mine, a smirk lifting one side of her full lips. Challenge accepted. I make it across the room to her side, planting one hand on the wall by her head. Mostly for effect, but also a bit for support.

The girl turns towards me, wiping her luscious lips with the back of her hand, and slaps her tankard back onto the bar.

“Can I get you another?” I ask though I don’t know how she finished the first one.

“I’ll pass.” Her voice is deep and raspy. “It tastes like whale piss.” She scrapes a hand through her hair, pushing the short dark strands back behind her ear. One side is shaved short, while the other brushes her bare tattooed shoulder. Mmmmm, tattoos. No, wait. Tattoos are bad. I’m not into tattoos… anymore. Oh, Gast, who am I kidding?

“Well, if you hate the taste, why did you finish the first one?” Am I imagining it, or is she shifting closer?

She shrugs. “I was thirsty.” Yup, she’s definitely moving closer. Running her hand up my arm, she gives my bicep a squeeze, “but now I’m hungry for something else.” Then she licks those pink lips, my eyes following the motion with fascination.

I’ll admit, this has never worked quite so well on a complete stranger before. Maybe she’s heard about me. I lean in, testing the limits of this arrangement. She doesn’t give an inch, which places us chest to chest, and hers is just as pleasing up close as it was from across the room.

“Are you new in town?” I murmur.

Her dark eyes turn up to mine. I’m half a head taller than her, just the way I like it.

“I’m just passing through. Here today, gone tomorrow. So why don’t you show me a good time while I’m here?” She leans in to speak and her breath whispers along my cheek. Her hand is moving again, sliding across my chest and scraping my jaw. She pushes up on her toes, her mouth hovering close to mine.

“What’s the best view in Achten Tan?” she asks. Her scent is tantalizing. A salty, flowery combination I can’t place. I want to inhale her. Better yet, I want to taste her. I swallow, my mouth suddenly dry, and take the last gulp of my drink. She watches my mouth as I lick my lips, her pink tongue darting out to wet her bottom lip.

“Best view in Achten Tan is from the top of Chief’s Rib, where I live.”

She nods in a type of weird satisfaction, like I got the answer right. I look down again; she’s practically plastered to my front, which is good… or bad… because she’s going to feel…

Her smile widens and her hand is on the move again, sliding down, down, down…

I catch her wrist before her hand can reach its destination. I’d like to continue this, but not in the middle of Jezebone’s. They don’t allow that behavior here unless you’re paying for it.

“How about I give you the tour?” I ask.

“Of your rooms?” I thought she wanted to see the view from my father’s chambers, but apparently, she’s as eager as I am.

“Sure. Of my rooms. This way…” I pause, waiting for her name.

“Tara. Tara Phenix.”

Available on Amazon

Speechless in Achten Tan (The Sands of Achten Tan #1)

speechless with ants

Sometimes Magic leaves you…Speechless!

Eighteen-year-old Mila hasn’t spoken in the five years since she became an Onra, a first level Everfall witch. After failing the test to reclaim her voice and control her magic, her mentor sends Mila to Achten Tan – City of Dust – a dangerous desert town, built in the massive ribcage of an extinct leviathan.

To reclaim her power, Mila must steal a magical staff capable of releasing it, from the sky-high lair of the Bone Master, Chief Opu Haku.

Her only resources are the magical luminous elixirs of the cursed caverns where she grew up, and a band of unlikely allies; a quirky inventor, a giant-ant rider, a healer, a librarian’s assistant, a Tar-tule rider and the chief’s playboy son.

But in the City of Bones, enemies & friends are not who they seem and trusting the wrong person can be deadly.

If Mila fails she will never speak again and her bones may be added to the wasteland.

About the Author

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Debbie Iancu-Haddad is a Jewish Israeli author living in Meitar in the Negev Desert.

She spends her time taking part in Anthologies (seven to date with two more on the way), writing VSS on Twitter, and buying way too much stuff online. Her goal is to promote body positive characters and include characters dealing with physical challenges. #ownvoices

For her day job, she gives lectures on humor, laughter yoga workshops and chocolate workshops, and sees how often she can make her two teenagers roll their eyes.

Debbie Iancu-Haddad | Twitter  | Facebook | Instagram

 

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