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It’s almost here! Enter the Destined Giveaway!

It’s Black Friday here in the United States and though I don’t participate in the shopping melee that so often happens on this day, I did want to give folks the chance at a little something without all the lines and the crowds and the insanity.

Destined should be out next week and in celebration, I’m hosting a little giveaway. Entering is a breeze. Just tweet about the giveaway, like my Facebook page, or answer a question about Secrets in Blood. If you win, you can choose from a e-copy of By the Fates, Freed, Destined, or Secrets in Blood. Odds are good so enter away!

After the entry form, there’s a little Destined teaser to give you a little incentive.

 
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Seònaid

No one ever told me that love could hurt. When my mother taught me of the Fates, she spoke of only the pure, perfect Love that I would feel if I ever met my mate.

“When I met your father, my sweet girl, I felt the most beaut’ful caress of warmth. It was as if my entire body craved him. His scent, his touch, even his voice.”

My father had died when I was twelve, but I remembered how he and my mother looked at each other. His voice would warm when he spoke to her and she would melt in his arms. I wanted a love such as this. As I was too young to be on my own, my mother did not take the Fates up on their offer to pass when my father did. Despite the love she had for me, I always sensed that she regretted her decision.

I used to go around touching and hugging all the other children I met, hoping one of them would be for me, but I felt nothing. It was not until I got into several fights that my mother explained that I would need my magic first.

Not long after the age of majority-sixteen-my magic started to warm me. My mother, may the Fates watch over her, was a protector and I took to her spells with ease.

I developed other skills: I was a passable finder, could speak to the earth as a human might, but protecting was what I was born to do.

The first woman I ever kissed, a woman I thought I might even one day love, was a maker, and she taught me a few spells. I could not imbue everyday objects with magic as she could, but I learned how to pull natural fibers together with just my words. I made quilts, wool throws, and had even tinkered with wooden signs a time or two. But my work for the Guarda left me little free time.

I had joined the Guarda at twenty-three, only days after my mother had passed, and by thirty, I had risen to the highest ranks-higher than any other protector in my line. But though I was competent and largely fulfilled, I knew there was something in my life that was missing.

When Moire Cráig had knocked on my door and offered me a job, I had readily agreed. However, when she explained why she had come to me rather than another protector, I had very nearly shown her the door.

“Seònaid, you and Ealasaid are both unique in this world. Ealasaid’s magic is the strongest of the age. Perhaps the strongest of any age. If word of this spreads, she will be in even more danger than she is in now. The Fates have blessed her with a gift. We cannot deny her its use. Will you unbind your magic for her? For us?”

Moire had taken my hands. The siren of the north was legend. She asked for nothing. She demanded. Ordered. Commanded even. My king-King Eideard-had given her the power to command his subjects. The fact that she was asking for my help lent credence to her words. She did need me. Ealasaid and Raven needed me. The Accord needed me.

So now, I sat in a formal dining room at a dark wooden table, staring at my mate. My human mate. The scent of bacon and eggs wafted in from the kitchen. Ami had brought me more kahve and now she was sitting nervously across from me. Her eyes were hollow and her cheeks sunken. She was not thin-rather she had a softness to her that I found beautiful. But she’d lost weight. Too much, too quickly. Lobhdain had harmed her. I clenched my hands in my lap and dug my nails into my skin. I knew of Lobhdain’s depravity. Moire had explained a bit of what he and his clan had done to Ealasaid. The fact that my mate had likely suffered some of the same treatment angered me. I wished to take Ami into my arms and comfort her.

Unfortunately I could do no such thing. The laws prohibited me from even speaking of our union. Humans felt no rush of magic from their mate upon meeting. Ami would have no knowledge of the depths of my feelings for her. If I broke the law, I could lose my position in the Guarda, even be jailed. The law was designed to protect humans and I had always supported it-until now.

 

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