The Secret Cravings Blog Hop
Posted by triciaandersen
Hi Everyone and Welcome to the Secret Cravings Blog Hop!!
Today I want to share some excerpts from my medieval/historical fantasy romance Queen of Savon.
***Leave a comment below for your chance to will an e-copy of Queen of Savon in the format of your choice!!**
Cassandra is brought to the palace by her grandfather, the sorcerer Malicar, after her parents are brutally murdered. After being presented to King Thomas she is raised alongside two boys – Thomas’s son, Matthew and Victor, the young man chosen to be Matthew’s commander of the army.
However her life in the royal palace comes at a price. She is vowed into a life of servitude Matthew’s advisor, forfeiting the dream of having a husband and children of her own.
As they mature into adults, childhood curiosities turn to jealousy and burning desire. Cassandra finds herself caught between the two men and forced to make a decision – to throw away her vows for the life she dreamt about with a man she does not love or to stay shackled to the promises she made as a child to be with the man she wants with her heart, body and soul but cannot have.
The next day, Cassandra sat in the window seat of the library chomping furiously at an apple in one hand. She gingerly turned pages of a large, ancient book with the other, which was wrapped tightly in a cloth. A torrent of rain pounded behind her, leaving barely enough of the afternoon light to read.
Matthew stood in the entryway watching her study. She was so engrossed in her work that she never noticed him there, his gaze memorizing her gentle face, her soft hair, her delicate body. She is so beautiful. So perfect… His heart was filled with such fascination of her.
He closed the door, causing her to jump.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“I am studying the counter spell so I can retrieve your things. That is,” she looked out the window, “when the rain stops.”
She threw the core of her apple into the fire then crossed her arms. He smiled at her. “What happened to your hand?”
“Oh, I burned it this morning when I was helping Cook. I have lost my healing powers along with my magic.” She sighed, frustrated. “I hate this. I feel so helpless. So, so…”
“So much like me?” Matthew asked, laughing. Cassandra blushed, embarrassed, and then patted the spot next to her in the window. Matthew stared at the book in awe. “There is a spell in here for everything,” he whispered as he flipped through.
“Even love spells.” He stopped turning the pages and gently smoothed them.
“Yes. If you ever want my help to win the heart of a young maiden…” Cassandra looked into Matthew’s eyes, hers twinkling with their own mischievous light.
“So, this is where your magic lies?” he asked, hearing his voice go weak.
“Some of it. Most of my magic lies within. That is why Grandfather has pushed so hard for me to find it. And that is the magic that is gone. Such as, I could read your mind just by doing this.” She gently pressed her fingers against his temple. His heart thundered as he watched her eyelids flutter shut.
After a moment, she opened them again. “But I cannot.” She gazed into his eyes, her fingers still pressed to his face. She suddenly brought them to life, brushing stray locks of hair from his brow.
They stared into each other’s eyes, forgetting the rain, forgetting the large book of magic. Matthew’s mind raced as he protectively took her wounded hand in his. He touched her chin with his other hand as his gaze drank in her skin, her mouth. He leaned towards her slowly, feeling her body draw towards him as his eyelids fell closed and his lips parted.
“Your majesty, my lady. Lunch is ready,” Cook announced as she peeked in from the door. They both looked at her dazed.
“Yes, Cook,” Cassandra squeaked. Slowly, they rose and followed her to the dining hall.
That night, Matthew laid in his bed, watching the flames in the fireplace consume the logs fueling its rage. He stretched his legs, feeling the linen sheets slide against his skin. He listened intently to the rain pound on the stone tiles of the roof. She flooded his thoughts, invaded his senses. She had frightened me as a child…or had she? Had she captured my heart then, as she did now?
Is this fascination…or is it more?
He closed his eyes, seeing her image in his mind—surreal, beautiful. He opened them again and sighed. I am falling in love with Cassandra. Does she love me?
Cassandra firmly capped the bottle of herbs with a cork and slipped the container in her bag. She marked her books, stacking one on top of the other. Glancing out the window, she watched as Matthew gently kissed Stephana before helping her into the carriage.
Sighing, she pulled herself away from the window to gather more herbs. She picked up her books and the bag of bottles. Then, she hobbled to the door and struggled to open it with her one free hand.
“How may I serve, my lord?” she greeted as she awkwardly bowed to him.
“Where are you going?” he asked, barely audible.
“Home. I have much to do before I return in the morning and you leave for battle.”
Matthew paused. “I did not propose to Stephana.”
Cassandra set her items on a table nearby. “That was unwise, my lord.”
Matthew stared at her as he dug his fingernails into the wood of the frame. “Cassa, do not leave me like this.”
Cassandra swallowed as she heard the urgency in his voice. “Like what, my lord?”
“Like this—the formal address, the subservient nature. This.” Matthew stood up straight, taking a step to grip her arms in his hands.
“Tell me her name,” Matthew demanded.
“There is no one.”
“Tell me her name,” Matthew begged. “Tell me, and I will give her my heart and make her my bride. I swear this.”
Cassandra stared at him, tears filling her eyes. “What if she belongs to another man?” She looked away as the words she spoke seemed to crush him. He closed his eyes, fighting to defeat the truth, the truth he already must know. Capitalizing on his weakness, Cassandra pulled away. “I told you there is no one.”
He grasped her hand, pressing it to his heart. “No, my lady, I will win her. I will fight, and I will not stop until she is cradled in my arms. This I promise you. Do you hear me? This I promise you.”
Her tears burst their floodgates as she slipped her fingers from his. “I must go,” she stumbled out. “I have much to do. I must go.”
Cassandra scooped up her books then swept by Matthew and ran down the stairs. She cringed as she heard him call her name, his voice betraying his pain.
Cassandra could not sleep. She lay in her bed, staring at the ceiling of her room as the night passed by. As dawn brushed the sky, she pulled herself from her covers, dressed, and trudged her return to the palace.
In no time, she stood in the courtyard, the soldiers around her completely oblivious to her presence. She glanced up as Victor rode next to her. “Lock yourself in the tower. I will see you when I get back,” he instructed as he kissed her on the cheek.
“Stay safe,” she murmured.
Cassandra looked to the ground as Victor’s horse trotted away. Then, she raised her head as she heard hoof steps approach. Matthew wandered across the courtyard, leading his stallion behind him. His eyes, yearning and desperate, locked on her.
She shuddered as he approached, his stride determined as he wove his way around the soldiers scattered around the courtyard. He stopped, dropping the reins of his horse, when he reached her.
Without warning or care for decency, Matthew cupped Cassandra’s face in his hands drawing her lips to his and parting them in a soul-wrenching kiss. She clung to his arms as he tasted her, clearly searching for confession, answers—her love for him. As he pulled away, he whispered, “Lock yourself in. I could not live another day if anything happened to you.”
Matthew’s fingers caressed Cassandra’s skin once more before they slipped away to grasp his horse’s reins. He glanced at her over his shoulder before he disappeared behind the wall. Cassandra hugged herself tightly, her limbs shaking in uncertainty.
Collecting herself as much as possible, she wound her way to her tower blindly. Her thoughts were incoherent. Matthew? Victor? She rubbed her fingertips against her swollen lips. Both had made their feelings for her abundantly clear. And both were riding out to battle. Above all, the vows she had taken as a child dictated she could have neither of them.
Tears filled her eyes as she collapsed onto her cushion. The only thing she knew with clarity was that she needed to get her thoughts together. It wouldn’t be long before she would be joining them on the battlefield.
About triciaandersenI am the author and illustrator of the children's book "The Peculiar Princess". I am also the author of two adult fantasy romance novels, "The Sorceress of Savon" and "The Woodcutter King of Muladin". Along with being an author I am married to a wonderful guy and have three beautiful children. I coach youth track and field, sew and chase my children around to their various activities.
Posted on August 23, 2013, in author, books, fiction, novel, romance, story, Uncategorized, writing and tagged army, attacked, author, battle, black, book, books, breads, carts, castle, center, chatter, children, deserted, dream, encampment, eye, fiction and tagged novel, granddaughter, head, hills, horse, king, laughter, life, linage, magic, mount, novel, promise, reins, romance, shadow, snow, soldier, sorcerer, sorceress, story, street, tales, tent, terrain, town, well, white, write, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.