Only 3 days until the release of the first book in my Heartsbane fantasy series! I’ve been working on this series off and on for about 8 years, and I’m super excited that it’s finally getting out into the world.
Today’s excerpt is from Book 1: Captive and the Cursed, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Last week introduced us to Storm Llanfaell, a merchant so confident in his latest exploit that he’s thrown caution to the wind. As many of you predicted, that wasn’t a smart decision.
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Drunk on success and alcohol, he stumbled out into the wintry night. The street was deserted despite the early hour, and the frigid wind howled mournfully off the harbor. He shivered and pulled his fur-lined cloak tighter around him. He’d never been fond of the northern lands, especially in the dead of winter, and if it weren’t for the lucrative trade deals he could make here, and Brita warming his bed, he wouldn’t venture here if he could help it.
Perhaps she would accompany him back to Llogeria? She’d turned him down so many times that he’d stopped asking, but this time was different. This time he was rich, with the whole world to offer her. She couldn’t possibly say no.
He turned back towards the Iron Lance, and a fist caught him in the gut.
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And here’s the rest of that scene:
He swung his arm at his attacker, a large blur of a man with the king’s bright red insignia on his tunic, but someone pinned his arms behind his back.
“Think you can steal from King Gudrodar and get away with it?” the huskarl who’d first hit him asked while he delivered another punch to Storm’s stomach.
Imbued with courage only Brita’s mead could give him, Storm grunted, “Yes,” as he struggled to break free. He’d expected the king to find his treasury empty eventually, but he’d planned to be on his way back to Llogeria before then.
The huskarl behind him laughed and pulled up on Storm’s arms, causing his shoulders to explode in pain.
“Enough,” a third man said as Storm gasped, his eyes watering. “You can have your fun with him later. The king wants him alive and unharmed.”
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Captive and the Cursed is available now for preorder at Amazon, or you can read more of Storm’s exploits in the prequel short story, “The Maiden in the Tower,” for just $.99. Then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.
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About Captive and the Cursed:
She must choose: follow her head or follow her heart?
Nyah’s merchant father raised her and her younger sister Payton on tales of treasure and excitement, but after he returns home from his latest trip addle-minded, Nyah must put aside her dreams of adventure and focus on more practical matters, like her betrothal to the illiterate son of the village chief. But when a roving band of barbarians kidnap Payton and the village leaders do nothing to rescue her, Nyah has no choice but to take matters into her own hands. She offers herself in her sister’s place, doomed to travel with the barbarian army until their price is paid.
The army is led by Brandulfur, a man who suffers from a hideous, painful curse. Although he’s officially in her country to aid his childhood friend in raising an army to support the king, he’s on a personal quest for the book that holds the cure for his curse – a book that Nyah soon realizes her father stole from him.
Determined to return to her family, she’ll need all the allies she can get. But no one is who they seem, including the people closest to her. She’ll have to make hard choices if she wants her life to be the same as before – but is that even what she wants anymore?
Captive and the Cursed is the first book in a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. If you like sassy heroines, adventures spanning the medieval world, and a touch of romance, you’ll love The Heartsbane Saga, E.D. Martin’s new historical fantasy series.
And catastrophe strikes! As we sort of expected because he was just so overconfident previously…can’t wait to see what happens next, great snippet!
Sounds like this guy is in for a world of hurt. And I don’t think cocky is going to get him very far. But I really want to see what happens! Great, action-packed snippet!
Now that I know he robbed the king, sticking around celebrating was really not a good idea. Hope he doesn’t have to suffer too badly for his mistake.
Uh oh! I don’t think things are going to go as planned. I’m intrigued to find out what happens next.
Yep! That’s what ignoring that gnawing feeling in the back of your brain will get you! He’s in a pickle now!
EIght years–wow! I’m so glad you’re getting it out there. :-)
Very vivid scene. My left shoulder, which never healed properly after a torn rotator cuff, throbbed in sympathy with him.
I’m intrigued to find out what happens next. Great snippet.
Getting punched is certainly a harsh way to be pulled back to reality!
I’d like to be drunk on success. If I’m honest, I’d also like to be drunk on wine, but, alas, my health issues are all about me not being able to have fun.
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