Warrior Prince Excerpt Part 6

Warrior Prince Excerpt: Part 6
Copyright 2012 by Nancy J. Cohen

Wriggling against the strap holding her down, she cursed when it wouldn’t give way. Now what? Was she a prize to be claimed by their leader? She cringed when he stroked her cheek.

“Who are you, little one?” His gentle tone surprised her. “And how did you resist the Confounding?”      Drift Lord

“Untie me.” She attempted to twist away, but he gripped her shoulder, holding her down. Flat on her back, she gazed into his intense turquoise eyes. She couldn’t see the rest of his face, hidden behind a hooded mask that covered his head. He smelled like pine trees and peat smoke. Calm trickled through her, quieting the buzz in her mind.

Strange that she didn’t abhor this man’s touch as she had Jek’s. Far from it. She squirmed under his scrutiny, aware that her situation wasn’t much better and yet she felt no fear. The stranger in black continued to study her, his eyes narrowed as though he contemplated a decision.

Banging noises sounded from outside as his men searched the building as per his orders. A single lightbulb glared overhead, casting the room into a surreal light. Dust motes floated in the air.

“I will release you, but you must come with us.”

Ice water sluiced through her veins. She didn’t want to go anywhere with these fierce looking men. “Look, I won’t tell anyone what’s happened here if you let me go home.”

“I understand you are frightened. Be assured no further harm will come to you.” He spoke soothingly, as though to a child. “I promise to keep you safe.”

“Please, just set me free.” She hated the way her voice quavered.

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Would you trust this man?

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This is a series of excerpts from my upcoming release, WARRIOR PRINCE: Book One in the Drift Lords Series. All commenters will be entered into a drawing for one of my backlist romance ebooks. Two lucky winners will be announced at the conclusion of this series. Go to my Contest page for more opportunities.

 

Warrior Prince Excerpt Part 5

This is a series of excerpts from my upcoming release, WARRIOR PRINCE: Book One in the Drift Lords Series. All commenters will be entered into a drawing for one of my romance backlist ebook titles. Two lucky winners will be announced at the conclusion of this series. Go to my Contest page to see more opportunities.

Warrior Prince Excerpt: Part 5
Copyright 2012 by Nancy J. Cohen

The brute thrust Nira against the hard metal table and pressed her in place with his thighs.

“You’re different.” Algie’s smooth tone belied the enmity in her eyes. “You can block my spell. We haven’t met any humans like you before. It could be a danger to us.”

Nira swallowed against rising alarm. These people must belong to some cult. Get out while you can.

She stomped on Jek’s instep, hoping to dislodge his grip. He merely chuckled and dumped her supine on the table. When he reached for restraints, she screamed.

“Help! Someone help me!”

Jek had secured one wrist in a leather strap when a crash sounded from outside in the corridor, followed by shouts and loud blasts. The door burst open, and black-clad masked figures poured inside. They aimed weapons at Algie, who repelled their fire by dodging aside in a blur of speed and then vanishing. Air rushed by Nira’s ear. Then Jek was gone as well, leaving her at the mercy of these formidable men.

They stood in a huddle, murmuring in low voices. One of the terrorists slid his gaze her way and pointed.

“I’ll take care of the woman,” he said in a commanding tone. “Algie and her troops have probably vectored out by now, but search the place anyway and see what you can find.” As the others scrambled to obey, he strode over to where Nira lay helpless on the table.

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Are these black-clad men good guys or bad guys?

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Warrior Prince Excerpt Part 4

This is a series of excerpts from my upcoming release, WARRIOR PRINCE: Book One in the Drift Lords Series. All commenters will be entered into a drawing for one of my romance backlist titles in ebook format. Two lucky winners will be announced at the conclusion of this series. Go to my Contest page for more opportunities.               Warrior Prince

Warrior Prince Excerpt: Part 4
Copyright 2012 by Nancy J. Cohen

Algie’s eyes blazed. “How are you resisting me?”

“What?”

“Never mind, just do as I said. Fix Jek to look more human.”

Human? She shook her head. That annoying buzzing sound must be affecting her brain.

However, it didn’t affect her instincts. An inner voice hammered at her to leave. She backed away, but at a simple nod from Algie, the door slammed shut from an invisible force.

“You’re not going anywhere until I find out how you’re blocking me. Jek, seize her.”

The big man’s beefy hand clamped onto her arm.

“Let me go.” Nira fought to elbow him in the gut, but his strength overwhelmed her. He hauled her toward the treatment table. “Stop, or I’ll scream.” Panic laced her voice.

The woman’s sinister chuckle chilled her blood. “Go ahead. No one will hear you.”

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Does Nira have reason to panic under these circumstances?

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Warrior Prince Excerpt Part 3

This is a series of excerpts from my upcoming release, WARRIOR PRINCE: Book One in the Drift Lords Series. All commenters will be entered into a drawing for one of my backlist romance ebook titles. Two lucky winners will be announced at the conclusion of this series. Go to my Contest page to see more opportunities.

Warrior Prince Excerpt: Part 3
Copyright 2012 by Nancy J. Cohen

“Jek is a test subject to see if you suit us for employment.” Algie’s brow wrinkled. “See if you can make him look more normal.”

Nira stifled a nervous cough. Aren’t those huge cauliflower ears prosthetics? “Uh, I’m not sure I—”

“Just use those makeup supplies.” Algie pointed to the counter. “Shadowing, for example, can de-emphasize certain features. You’ll know what to do.”

The blonde sauntered closer. Her porcelain features were so refined, she could have been a model. She leaned inward, her ocean blue eyes shining brightly, her rosy lips parting as though about to confide a secret. Nira couldn’t drag her gaze away. Her nostrils picked up a floral scent that held her spellbound.

It seemed so natural when Algie placed a palm on her arm like an old friend.

No. Nira sprang back, the buzzing sound in her head increasing to painful decibels.

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Should Nira flee this place as quickly as possible?

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Warrior Prince Excerpt: Part 2

This is a series of excerpts from my upcoming release, WARRIOR PRINCE: Book One in the Drift Lords Series. All commenters will be entered into a drawing for one of my  ebook romance backlist titles. Two lucky winners will be announced at the conclusion of this series. Go to my Contest page for more opportunities.   Warrior Prince

Warrior Prince Excerpt: Part 2
Copyright 2012 by Nancy J. Cohen

Her thoughts scattered when the inner door burst open, and an attractive blonde smiled at her. “Come in, Miss Larsen. My name is Algie Morar. I understand you’re applying for a position as a makeup artist?”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

Nira followed her into a corridor marked by closed doors on either side. At the far end, the hallway opened into a large room from which low male voices rumbled in a strange guttural tongue. A curtain made of fabric strips obstructed the view.

The woman halted and opened a door, gesturing silently for Nira to enter. But instead of facing a desk and chairs as she expected for an interview, she spied a treatment table, a sink, and a console like in a doctor’s office. A supply of cosmetics laid spread out on the counter: brushes, eye pencils, powders, and other familiar tools.

“Wait here.” Algie turned on her heel and left Nira alone. A moment later, she returned with a burly man in tow.

Nira’s mouth fell open. The stocky fellow had oversized ears, a long bulbous nose, and abnormally large hands and feet. His small beady eyes glared at her from beneath bushy brows. He wore a workman’s clothes, stained trousers and a plaid shirt.

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Would you feel safe under these circumstances?

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Warrior Prince Excerpt: Part 1

Today begins a series of excerpts from my upcoming release, WARRIOR PRINCE: Book One in the Drift Lords Series. I hope you’ll follow along and leave a comment. All commenters will be entered into a drawing for one of my ebook backlist titles. Two lucky winners will be announced at the conclusion of this series. September also offers you a chance to win more prizes. Go to my Contest page to see all your opportunities.

Warrior Prince Excerpt: Part 1
Copyright 2012 by Nancy J. Cohen

“Hi, I’m Nira Larsen, here for an interview,” she told the receptionist, whose solemn stare and black attire would have suited the funeral home she’d visited earlier.

“Please be seated until you are summoned.” The woman’s blunt-cut dark hair swung as she pressed a button on her console to announce Nira’s arrival.

Nira glanced at the small waiting area with its threadbare carpet, row of vinyl seats, and musty odor. Why was no one else here? And why did this place appear so seedy, with peeling paint and grime-coated windows? Maybe she didn’t want to work for people who treated their applicants with such disrespect.

Nonetheless, she’d like to land a position at Drift World. On her budget, she couldn’t afford a ticket to the role-playing adult theme park, but getting a job there would solve that problem. Plus she needed the money for other reasons.

She took a seat, an odd buzzing in her ears. It had started when she walked into the place. But even weirder had been the way the theme park’s temporary employment office appeared to materialize out of thin air.

The address specified on the classified ad had taken her next to a popular café on Orlando’s International Drive. Maybe she was just tired after her last two disastrous interviews, but she could have sworn this log cabin hadn’t been in the parking lot when she’d arrived.

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What would you think if you were applying for a job at this place?

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Love, Life and Hiroshima

Love, Life and Hiroshima by LaVerne Clark

Jenna Thomas stormed into my head the moment I started thinking of a premise to a superhero-themed novella. Why superhero? I’d heard of a submission call that excited me like nothing else had in a long time. Rushing to my computer, I swept aside the current WIP I’d been labouring over and let the words pour out on the new. Pretty soon, I had my first pivotal scene; how my heroine came by her abilities; the setting – and then I hit a brick wall. Jenna dug her toes in and point-blank refused to be cast as a superhero. No matter how much I tried to manipulate her, or how much pleading and whining was involved, I couldn’t get her to budge. There was no way on earth she was going to be flying around saving people left, right and centre. Jenna shunned the limelight, preferring to keep her distance from the general public as much as humanly possible.    Laverne2

“Fine then,” I finally snapped, throwing my hands up in surrender. “Show me who you really are then and why I should write your story.” As I sat at my computer sulking over the fact I wasn’t going to be writing a fantastic superhero story after all, she revealed her story to me and I was captivated.

Jenna’s family originated from Hiroshima, Japan. They’d lived quiet, ordinary lives until that fateful day of August 6th 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped over their city, changing everyone’s lives forever. After the initial horror had passed, it became apparent a new one was on the horizon – radiation poisoning – and Jenna’s family fled to New Zealand. Trekking halfway around the world, they thought they’d escaped the repercussions of the war – but the radiation from the fall-out had affected them after all. It sank deep into their molecular structure and changed their DNA forever.

For most of the family, it presented itself as cancer, killing them off one by one. But for a select few, it brought strange abilities instead. For a long time, Jenna was sure she’d been dealt the dud-hand – and then she met Nick – and for the first time, she thought she might have had it wrong.

Although the horror of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were well before my time and in a different part of the world, I remember seeing the black and white photos described in a scene of Affinity as a young girl and they haunted me. I didn’t know how much until I met Jenna, and I could see them in my mind’s eye as clearly as the first time I gazed at them in shocked fascination.

But along with those feelings of distress and sorrow, I experienced equal ones of awe and inspiration. Amongst the awful photos were occasional ones of hope and beauty. The people of Japan affected by this terrible event were undoubtedly angry at what had been done to them, but I never saw hatred in their eyes. Maybe it was because they were sick of the fighting – or more likely they were just too devastated. Whatever it was, it affected me personally and Jenna’s story is a result of that long-ago memory.

Maybe we can’t all have special abilities like Jenna does, but what we do all have at our core is the ability to empathize and care for one another. We have the capacity to forgive atrocities and get on with life – and that to me is an incredible ability worthy of any superhero, don’t you think? J

AUTHOR BIO    LaVerne

Like the heroines in my stories, I married my own gorgeous hero and have been blessed with a school-aged son and a toddler-aged daughter. I’m passionately involved with the charitable organization, “Greyhounds as Pets” after falling in love and adopting my own ex-racing greyhound, and became the Area Coordinator for my region. Perhaps, in the back of my mind was the old adage of owners looking like their dogs, but sadly, my legs don’t seem to have got any longer and my waist hasn’t shrunk to minuscule proportions, but on a good note, at least my nose isn’t any longer! I’m a member of Romance Writers of New Zealand and live in the beautiful coastal town of Nelson at the top of the South Island, the sun capital of the country.

BLURB: Affinity

In the wrong hands, Jenna Thomas’s legacy could be a curse—in her mind it already is.

As a child, a routine x-ray awakened an abnormality in Jenna’s DNA giving her the ability to “call” creatures and take on their attributes. Labeled a freak since then, Jenna’s learned to keep everyone at a distance. But all that changes the day she saves a young boy from drowning, and the story goes viral.

Nick Hawke, an off-duty policeman, witnesses part of the drama. Captivated by Jenna’s exotic beauty, he decides to investigate, not sure what to believe. Jenna puts his cynicism to the test—even as the attraction between them grows.

As word of her extraordinary rescue spreads, a dangerous man who will stop at nothing to control Jenna’s abilities draws near. With her feelings for Nick putting him in danger too, can Jenna risk everything to protect them both?

http://www.laverneclark.blogspot.co.nz

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News from Nancy

I’m happy to announce that I’ve sold Warrior Rogue, the second book in my upcoming paranormal romance series, to The Wild Rose Press. The first book in the Drift Lords series, Warrior Prince, debuts on Sept. 21 in print and digital formats. The book trailer is available now if you want a sneak peek: http://youtu.be/aVm2FIumw0o

Meanwhile, I’ve made a few minor changes as per my editor on book number two. These took me one day to do, and now I’m waiting for the line by line edits. My editor is really sharp and picks up things I miss, like a day of the week being inconsistent or repetitions of backstory. So I am always grateful for her input that makes my book stronger.

I love the epic adventure of this series, the Norse mythology, and the inclusion of magical elements. It’s the first time I’ve delved into the realm of fantasy in a modern day setting, so I hope you’ll follow me along on this new journey. Check out my vision board on Pinterest to see some of the images for this story.

Once again, the action takes place in Florida. What can I say? I love writing about this diverse state. But it doesn’t stay there. In Warrior Rogue, the tale begins in Tokyo and moves to Hong Kong, New York, and Palm Beach. I’m busy planning contests and more to keep you excited about the series debut.

The weather has been gloomy for South Florida, with overcast skies and occasional heavy showers as Tropical Storm Debby lingers in the area. But rainy days are good for staying home and getting work done, at least for those of us without day jobs. In between working on my paranormal series, I’m writing my next Bad Hair Day mystery. Today brought me up to page 95. I’ll keep my steady pace of 5 pages a day for 5 days a week until summoned to work on Warrior Rogue again.

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What do you like to do on a rainy day—get things accomplished at home; or read, watch TV, and cruise the Web?

BOOK REVIEWS

Do you keep track of the books you read? Some readers maintain elaborate spreadsheets or use software programs to catalogue their collection. I prefer to write a brief blurb on each story and to list the books I read on a monthly basis. Since I haven’t shared these with you in a while, here are the last two months of books that have kept me hooked. I’ve thrown in a film review for your pleasure.

TEMPLE OF THE WINDS by Terry Goodkind (Fantasy)

This is the fourth installment in Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. I got hooked by watching Legend of the Seeker on TV and now I can’t put the books down. As in the other volumes, a love story propels the plot, which features woodsman Richard Cipher, now known as Lord Rahl and a wizard in his own right. His powers are tested as a plague sweeps the land, decimating his people and his army. Dark magic started the disease, and only magic can stop it, but at a terrible cost to both Richard and his lady love, Kahlan the Mother Confessor. The evil Emperor Jagang is determined to defeat them. Between him and Richard’s former nemesis Darken Rahl, they force Richard and Kahlan to pay a terrible price to save their people.

THE PROPHET OF YONWOOD by Jeanne DuPrau (YA Fantasy)

Eleven year old Nickie comes to Yonwood with her aunt to sell her late great grandfather’s house. The town is in an uproar after a citizen predicts the end of the world. To save themselves, the townsfolk follow the dictates of righteous Mrs. Beeson who seeks out evil like an incarnation of a Salem witch hunter. This is the third volume in DuPrau’s Book of Ember series, but unlike the other two, it takes place before the cataclysm that destroyed civilization as we know it. Although this story deploys the author’s theme about people’s intolerance of anyone who is different, I didn’t enjoy this story as much as the first two books. The City of Ember was wonderful, with imaginative world building and engaging characters. Like Legend of the Seeker, the film City of Ember hooked me on the series. The People of Sparks, the second book, shows how conflict can build between two groups who don’t understand each other. The Prophet of Yonwood introduces this same idea about intolerance but the lesson is almost too obvious to be appealing anymore.

SHERLOCK HOLMES (Film).

Robert Downey Jr. is good in the lead role, and all the other actors are convincible as well. The period sets are very atmospheric. The villain is so evil you don’t know how Holmes will stop him, and as a detective, Holmes’s deductive reasoning is logical if a bit hard to follow. I enjoyed Holmes and Watson being more action oriented in this film. It’s gritty and dark, giving a realistic view of the era, but satisfying in its climactic resolution. You’ll want to see it again to follow the clues.

KINDRED SPIRITS by Allison Lane (Regency romance)

Colonel Jack Caldwell is plagued by nightmares after cashing in his commission and retiring to his country estate. But peace is out of reach when he meets neighbor Marianne Barnett. Marianne, an orphan, is a victim of her guardian’s greed. The man will stop at nothing to acquire her inheritance. Since she’s about to come of age, he takes drastic steps to ensure control, playing on Marianne’s fears and memory lapses from a horrific event in her past. He doesn’t count on interference from Jack, who proposes a solution. Jack marries Marianne and together they forge a tentative bond while attempting to free themselves of the emotional shackles binding them. Their histories must come to light before they can move forward and find true happiness.

LARCENY AND LACE by Annette Blair (mystery)

Vintage clothing shop owner Madeira Cutler has enough to contend with before the grand opening of her store, but finding some old bones leads her to a long ago murder. The killer is still alive, however, and determined that Maddie doesn’t get a clue about what happened. With the help of her psychic abilities and a resident ghost, she follows the threads, weaves the clues together, and gets to the cut of the crime. Cleverly magical.

THE LADY AND THE CIT by Blair Bancroft (Regency romance)

Wealthy landowner Aurelia Trevor seeks a husband who can manage her estate and get rid of her cunning uncle and his son who covet her lands before she reaches her majority. When she meets London financier Thomas Lanning, she decides he’ll suit her needs. Surprisingly, he accepts her proposition, while guarding his own agenda. He doesn’t count on his quiet wife growing into a force of her own, nor does she realize there’s more to life than her small country world. Soon their life is turned topsy turvy as more family members descend on the newlyweds and Thomas aims for a political seat. Will Aurelia support him, or will she turn him out? Despite Thomas’s apparent aloofness, he isn’t immune to his wife’s charms and soon wants a lot more from their marriage than her dutiful support.

JEWEL OF ATLANTIS by Gena Showalter (paranormal romance)

Grayson James has been sent to Atlantis to recover the famed Jewel of Dunamis. Attacked by various beasts, he accepts aid from a mysterious woman named Jewel. Gradually, he realizes she is more than she seems, but by then she’s stolen his heart. How can they ever be together when their worlds are so different? If Jewel crosses into his domain, she might die. But neither can he leave his people behind. Is there any way for them to be together?

KENSINGTON’S SOUL by Faith V. Smith (paranormal romance)

Detective by day and vampire by night, Zachary Kensington rescues Dr. Miranda James when she is attacked by a couple of thugs. Doomed to spend eternity in his unwanted immortal form, he battles against the evil vamp Gabriella who turned him. When he falls for Miranda, can he keep Gabriella away from his love, or will she become the next victim? Savannah is the charming setting for this tale of passion and redemption that will have you cheering for Zach to achieve his heart’s desire.