Happy #teasertuesday fantasy avengers! Wow, hard to believe it’s been two months since I last posted one of these. This past season feels like it’s been spent settling back into my old writing groove. Maybe something about the oncoming Fall season puts me back in the right mindset. Or maybe it just happened to hit me the same time it did last year. Either way, I’ve been writing steadily again. As per the norm, I’m working on something around four different projects and Blackbriar Cove is at the top of my priority list.
Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the cover reveal last month! It was so great to see all of you come out and show your support for this series. I honestly can’t wait to dig into the heart of this novel. Along the way I’ll continue sharing bits and pieces when I may. Adventurers beware: these teasers hold major spoilers if you haven’t already read Silver Hollow. For those who already have, or just came by to read a piece of fiction, happy reading! P.S. If you squint, look out for my Labyrinth Easter Egg 😉
*major spoilers for silver hollow below*
Borderlands #2 Teaser
As Amie had learned, there were many benefits to magic. As queen and Gatekeeper of the Silver Hollow gate, she could alter the winds and tides, create new life and lend strength from the sun and moon to her people. Nimue had been able to do other things. Terrible things. And when Amie closed her eyes each night she relived that other life and remembered severing souls from their bodies, using sharp teeth and claw and winnowing across distances to end her prey. Sometimes, when Amie’s defenses were down, Nimue’s memory triggered her untapped powers and it was everything she could do not to give in. To grip the arms of her carved throne and grit her teeth while waiting for the violence to pass.
Yes, there were many benefits to magic, when it didn’t feel like a curse.
“Who comes before the queen this day?” Arthur’s smooth and heavy voice filled the small hall. Her grandfather’s ginger hair curled an unruly mess about his head, meeting with his thick beard over clothes he might have worn an age ago. Arthur had never cared for propriety, but he insisted on leading Amie’s daily petitions.
Her painful grip on the carvings of wolves and roses eased as she remembered the day the Unseelie had tried to take her grandfather’s life. Amie had poured life back into his empty body, dragging his soul back before she understood her powers. She’d only meant to save him. Now, the once and future king was no longer quite human. She had pushed too much magic back into him, reversing the aging process. Thankfully, the de-aging left Arthur appearing as a man in his prime. Only his eyes betrayed the centuries he’d endured.
His bright blue eyes glanced to find hers and an amused eyebrow arched over his brow.
Wait, what was he saying?
Amie pasted a smile onto her face as she returned her focus to the tall male standing before them. She was instantly struck with something akin to deja vu and panic behind her uneven grin. The man wore enchanted clothes that sparkled against shafts of sunlight pouring down through the high windows, and tufts of windswept white hair sprung from his head. Everything about him seemed to glitter with all the brilliance of diamonds and the full weight of glamor. This male was undoubtedly Seelie with maybe a pinch of Hobgoblin, if the round cheeks and cheekier grin were anything to go by.
Name… Goblin King? No, stupid…
Amie forced what she hoped was an apologetic grimace into her expression as she replied, “Forgive me, my lord. So much surrounding last year’s ball has faded from memory, but I do not believe we have met. I doubt I could have forgotten you.”
“Duke Gareth Alderson of Annwn Park.” The male in question inclined his head, while sweeping his elegant silver cane to the side.
Gareth? His name is actually Gareth.
“And may I say,” the Duke continued, “what an honor to meet your radiant majesty.” As he rose, she was suddenly captured by a pair of violet eyes.
Wait…is one of them blue? Is that a glass eye?
Queen mask firmly in place, Amie inclined her head. “You do me great honor, Duke Alderson,” she began, only for the smooth, faintly Germanic voice to interrupt, “Oh, your majesty, you must call me Gareth. Such formalities are a trial, don’t you agree?”
Amie’s smile froze and she glanced briefly at Arthur who released a low chuckle. “You haven’t changed a whit in five centuries, have you, Gareth?”
The Duke gave no sign of offense at the break in formalities to her surprise. From his manner of dress, that was just the sort of thing she had expected him to dislike.
Curiouser and curiouser.
Gareth cocked his head to the side, feathery hair dancing in an invisible breeze as he placed his cane in a jaunty pose. “If by changed, you mean, have I improved over time like the best alder wine, then I am most happy to concur.”
Arthur shook his head and turned aside to Amie. “Gareth played knight for a few years, if you don’t recall, magpie. Came into my court pretending to be Gawain’s brother.” To the Duke, he added, “Not that any of us were fooled by your nixing with our heads.”
Gareth pressed a hand to his breast, glass ring flashing in the sunlight. “You wound me, Hawkeye.” To Amie, he winked and said, “Your majesty must forgive two old fools, and promise you shall accept my invitation to our Solstice garden party?” His honey words were accompanied by a flash of slightly sharp white teeth.
Amie couldn’t stop the smile creeping past her defenses even if she wanted. This one was clearly trouble, but maybe not in a bad way. “We would be delighted.”
If anything, the Goblin King’s (because she couldn’t not think of him as such) smile turned even sharper.
Over Gareth’s shoulder, Amie met Faye’s amused gaze before her friend covered her reaction with a stoic mask.
Her grandfather took over once more. “You will, of course, remain as our guest for the evening.”
Gareth’s chuckle drew everyone’s eye the same way his presence filled the room. Amie felt the brush of powerful, lusty magic expand and retract into the male as his laughter faded. “How delightful. Your majesty, I hope you shall save the first dance for me.”
Amie blinked. Dancing? “It would be my pleasure, Lord Alderson.”
to be continued…
“In a single night of madness, Amie won the battle and lost the two people she loved most. As she struggles to be the queen her people need, her family band together against the hidden threat at their borders.
Haunted by the ghosts of her past, Amie strikes a pact with an ancient being called The Storyteller. In order to see Emrys again, they must put aside their blood feud, and cross the veil to a place of spirits and monsters.
Blackbriar Cove is a land where superstition and chaos reign, and spirits plague dreams. A dark curse has twisted the Unseelie who once lived in the home the Blackbriar twins vowed never to return. But death is not the end in Silver Hollow, and the war for the Borderlands has only begun.”
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