Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Book Spotlight & Giveaway: In a Wolf's Eyes by A. Katie Rose
Saga of the Black Wolf
A. Katie Rose
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing
Date of Publication: April, 27, 2012
Number of pages: 497 (approx.)
Word Count: 155,000
Cover Artist: Ginny Glass
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/kSNgnzUIsTU
Untreed Reads | Amazon | BN | Drive Thru Fiction
Raine is a slave, a gladiator. Known as the Bloody Wolf, he is the champion of all champions in the Empire of Khalid. Ly’Tana is a warrior princess of Kel’Halla and is set to wed the heir to Khalid’s throne, Crown Prince Broughton. When Raine and his new wizard pal, Rygel, accidentally murder the High King, they set in motion events rapidly spiraling out of control. Ly’Tana discovers the true, and violent, nature of her betrothed, a man nicknamed Prince Brutal for his vicious nature, and escapes her marriage.
But Brutal will stop at nothing to have her for his wife. To entice his runaway bride into a trap, he brings down and captures her griffin bodyguard, Bar. Ly’Tana vows to have Bar back or die trying. She seeks the help of Raine and Rygel, and frees Bar from Brutal’s clutches. Yet, in doing so, Raine and Ly’Tana are forced to flee for their lives, hunted by Brutal’s secretive assassins.
Can they escape the hunters and their silent, evil hounds? Can Ly’Tana evade Brutal’s hungry need to marry her and seize her beloved country? Can Raine keep Ly’Tana alive and still save himself from capture and torture? Can they stop themselves from falling in love?
Thus begins the first novel of The Saga of the Black Wolf series.
Ly’Tana came out of the monastery doors, her bow and sword in their customary place across her back, and walked toward me. She wore her warrior garb, a tiny leather vest and skirt, kidskin boots, and silver archer’s wrist guards. A simple leather thong held back her waist-length red-gold hair from her face, while a torque of royalty and several gold chains adorned her slender neck. The jewel in her navel winked at me, and I found myself unable to look away from it.
Embarrassed, I yanked my gaze back to her face. Her entire presence created a strange heat within me, a feeling I had never known before. She smiled as she approached, the sunlight flashing off her kitten teeth. The only mar to her exotic beauty was a bruise over her left cheekbone, a reminder of the Tongu’s fists.
In a fluid, graceful move, she jumped up on the wall to sit beside me.
“You are looking well,” she commented after a swift looking-over.
I owned a host of scars, one prominent over my right eye, another slash over my left cheekbone, and nose that had been broken not once but several times. Perhaps she was only being polite. She smelled of lilac and leather and clean wholesome female. My breath caught as I took up her hand to kiss it.
“As are you, Highness.”
For a moment, she looked shy, her tilted green eyes disconcerted, her smile revealing dimples I had not noticed before. She behaved like an awkward girl, as though I were a courtier offering a marriage proposal. Me marry her? While I pryesd that one day I would marry a girl like Ly’Tana, I knew she could never marry me. Her royal blood deserved a better man than me.
Then her expression clouded over, her white kitten teeth biting her lower lip. Her eyes broke from mine to stare at first over the fields, then downwards. Her clean, fresh smelling red-gold hair slithered down cover her shoulders to cascade down her back. I wanted to plunge my hands into their soft strands and pull her face to mine.
“While I have this moment alone with you,” she began slowly, her eyes on her hands folded in her lap. “I need to apologize, and beg your forgiveness.”
This startled me. “Apologize, Highness?”
Ly’Tana’s voice dropped, shame bringing a flush to her cheeks, a droop to her shoulders. Her face came up, her hair swinging back, as she gazed across the clean sunlit fields. Her pink tongue emerged to caress the upper lip I so wanted to kiss. For some obscure reason, she liked looking at the distance rather than at me.
“For abandoning you. It goes against our code of honor to leave a warrior behind. I left you - to your fate. In their hands. I should not have run. I am a coward.”
I almost smiled. Yet, I knew if I did, Ly’Tana would misunderstand the smile, and think I laughed at her. That would break her heart. Instead, I took her hand. I plyesd with it for a moment, turning it over, gently massaging her knuckles while I considered, and cast aside, words to say to her. Still finding the distant horizon more interesting than my face, Ly’Tana kept her head turned away.
“Look at me, Ly’Tana.”
For a long moment, she refused, stared first wildly at the orchards, then downward into her lap, her hand lax in mine. I waited, patient, allowing her to take her time, to find her courage. After a moment, she sighed, and looked up. Looked me in the eye, her face tense, miserable, hating herself. I decided the simple truth might work the best.
“You did not leave me.”
“But I ran-”
“You did as I bade you. Remember?”
She shook her head, her mouth opening to negate me. I pressed a finger over her lips, effectively silencing her. I willed her to look deep into my eyes, and she obeyed, reluctantly, her green gaze filled with pain, with self-loathing.
“Had you not run when I told you, you would have been caught again. I would still have endured the same beating. You would have suffered rape by all of them, repeatedly, until you were nigh unto death itself. And I would have suffered the same.”
Her eyes widened. I nodded. “Brutal caught me, I would have been chained to his bed and sodomized till he killed me. Or, until I wished he had. Or until I became a mindless, breathing piece of broken meat.”
Now I was the one who could not meet her gaze. I looked out over the shaggy green fields, the orchards growing wild, the Kel’Hallan warriors assembling for departure. They saddled their horses, laughing, jesting, tying packs to saddles. A pair mock battled off to one side, swords flashing. Bar preened his feathers in the morning sun, occasionally peering up the hill in our direction.
“The night Brutal told me I would be his, he told me what he would do. I could not help myself. I thought I killed him. When the High King would have executed me on the spot, Rygel murdered him. To save me.”
I finally found the courage to look at her, to look into her astonished emerald eyes. To gaze at her beautiful exotic face, now hopeful, open, and smiling. The kitten teeth flashed in the sun.
“You did not leave me. You saved me. You saved me from a fate more cruel than death. Your courage is that of ten men, beautiful princess. There is not a man here who would not cheerfully die for you. Including me. ”
When I lifted her hand to my lips again, I smiled sadly. “You came back. You did not have to. For what am I? I am but a slave. You are royalty. You could have mounted your horse, ridden home and forgotten me and none would have condemned you for it. Yet, you came back. And we are now both free of the Tongu and Brutal.”
“We saved each other,” Ly’Tana spoke slowly, softly. Her angular green eyes filling with wonder told me so much more than her words ever could. Soft lips parted slightly, that devilish pink tongue emerged again to lick her upper lip.
“We share bonds stronger than those of blood,” I murmured, capturing her gaze with mine. “Bonds that can never be broken.”
Before I could think twice and perhaps lose the chance and my courage, I bent my head to hers and kissed her, lingering over her sweetness. Her mouth opened under mine, hungry, her tongue tangling, toying, with mine. She tasted faintly of lavender, her feminine scent filling my nostrils. Her arms found their way around my neck, pulling me closer to her, deepening our kiss. With hands firmly on her hips, I pulled her closer, tighter, her breasts hard against my chest. That sweet, sweet tongue ventured into my mouth, entwining with mine. The heat I felt previously grew and spread until my head swam. I lost myself within her kiss, shut out all senses save her taste and scent and feel –
until I heard a discreet “Ahem” from behind us.
About the Author:
A. Katie Rose is a Colorado native, and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. She enjoys riding, teaching and learning from horses, likes camping, reading novels, watching movies and, of course, lives to write fantasy books. She currently works as a photographer in San Antonio, Texas, and is a slave to her six cats and four horses. “In a Wolf’s Eyes” is her first novel.
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