About the Book
Seasons of Sorcery
Authors: Amanda Bouchet, Grace Draven, Jeffe Kennedy, Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Brightlynx Publishing
Released: November 13, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Anthology
Purchase links: Kobo : B&N : Amazon
This week, we have a treat: TWO snippets!
THE DRAGONS OF SUMMER BY JEFFE KENNEDY
Her face hardened, and she turned to face me. “You’re worried about something. That’s why you keep coming up here. But not about war. What aren’t you telling me?”
I shouldn’t have been surprised at what she noticed. Even apparently and thoroughly preoccupied with matters of court and defense, Ursula missed very little. “This is simply a good place to think,” I hedged, hoping that might be enough to deflect her.
She leaned back against the parapet, facing me with crossed arms. “You think and think, yet you never tell me what plagues your thoughts. Don’t you think it’s about time you changed that?”
“You don’t need to worry about me,” I told her, a weak defense, but I didn’t have a better one.
She laughed, short and without humor. “First, that’s not true. Second, I do worry because I love you, and I’m reliably informed that it’s not only natural to worry about the people we love, it’s usually expected. Third, that reply was an evasion.”
I raised an eyebrow at her. I might’ve left the Imperial Palace of Dasnaria far behind in my misbegotten past, but I’d been around plenty of rulers in a variety of lands and I knew how to handle an irritated monarch. More, I knew Ursula. Better than I knew my own heart. “You have plenty on your mind and I can handle myself.”
“Another evasion,” she shot back. Debating with Ursula often felt the same as sparring with her, though it was rarely as enjoyable since the odds of getting my hands on her were much lower in a debate.
My own irritation rising to meet hers, I gave her a long, very calm look. “I appreciate that you love me enough to worry about me, but it’s simply old memories plaguing me, like a bad joint that aches when the weather changes.”
“Tell me anyway.” She raised her brows in challenge, but her voice held an almost pleading note.
Uncertain of my footing, I wondered where this was going. She didn’t usually press like this. “Essla, there are things my vows prohibit me from speaking of. I can’t tell you.”
Her winged eyebrows lowered, forking into a dark frown. “Those vows again.” She spat the words as if they were distasteful.
“Those vows again,” I agreed. I found I’d folded my own arms in a mirror of hers, unconsciously harmonizing with her even when she pissed me off. Too late to undo it without tipping her off. “They are nothing important, especially compared to your other concerns. My secrets have nothing to do with the security of your realm. You needn’t be concerned that I would keep something from you that you need to know.”
WINTER’S WEB BY JENNIFER ESTEP
“I look ridiculous.”
I stared at my reflection in the mirror above the long counter that ran along the wall. Even though I had been peering at myself for the better part of a minute, I still couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Normally, my wardrobe could best be described as functional. Black boots, dark jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt, a fleece jacket if the weather was cold. I never invested a lot of time or money in my clothes, since they had an annoying tendency to get ripped, torn, and covered with other people’s blood.
But today I had left functional behind for flamboyant.
A royal-blue silk blouse with ruffles running down the front stretched across my chest. As if the color wasn’t bright and bold enough, the entire garment was also covered with shiny thread, glittering sequins, and tiny feathers, all in black. I looked like I’d killed a couple of crows and was proudly wearing their fluttering feathers as some sort of macabre trophy. Plus, the sequins caught the light with every breath I took, and they winked at me in the mirror like dozens of little evil eyes.
But that was only the beginning of my unfortunate ensemble.
In addition to the dead-bird blouse, I was also wearing a black leather lace-up corset covered with even more black feathers and sequins. The tight corset pushed my breasts up to new and impressive heights, and my sudden abundance of cleavage was on display for all to see, thanks to the blouse’s deep scooped neckline.
The plunging neckline also showed off the silverstone pendant resting in the hollow of my throat—a small circle surrounded by eight thin rays. A spider rune, my rune, and the symbol for patience. A matching ring stamped with my spider rune gleamed on my right index finger, and the same symbol was branded into each of my palms.
Tight black leather pants and knee-high black leather boots, both trimmed with royal-blue thread and even more black sequins and feathers, completed my outrageous outfit.
Normally, royal blue was one of my favorite colors, but this outfit screamed Look at me! in all the wrong ways. The only good thing about the atrocious ensemble was that the abundance of thread, sequins, feathers, and flounces hid the two silverstone knives I had up my sleeves. Another knife was tucked in the small of my back underneath the horrible corset, and two more rested in the sides of my boots.
“Well, I think you look great,” a bright voice chirped, interrupting my dark musings. “Really in the spirit of the season.”
A man stepped up beside me and checked his own reflection in the mirror. His long-sleeved shirt and pants were both made of bright green velvet trimmed with even brighter purple silk stripes, making him look like an oddly flavored candy cane. A matching green-and-purple-striped velvet hat with three long, pointed, floppy ends topped his head, while the toes of his green velvet slippers curled up to form soft purple triangles.
Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, reached up and carefully adjusted one of the shiny silver bells on the end of his hat. All that velvet made his eyes seem greener than usual, although the ridiculous hat hid most of his walnut-brown hair.
“What are you supposed to be again?” I asked.
Finn lifted his chin with pride. “I am a court jester, ready to entertain the masses with my charming wit, amazing skills, and dashing good looks.”
“Really? Because I think all that green velvet makes you look like one of Santa’s elves who couldn’t find his way back to the North Pole.”
WINTER’S WEB BY JENNIFER ESTEP
An assassin at a renaissance faire. What could possibly go wrong? Everything, if you’re Gin Blanco. This Spider is trapped in someone else’s icy web—and it seems like they don’t want her to leave the faire alive . . .
A CURSE FOR SPRING BY AMANDA BOUCHET
A malevolent spell strangles the kingdom of Leathen in catastrophic drought. Prince Daric must break the curse before his people starve. A once-mighty goddess trapped in a human body might be the key—but saving his kingdom could mean losing all that he loves.
THE DRAGONS OF SUMMER BY JEFFE KENNEDY
As unofficial consort to the High Queen, former mercenary Harlan Konyngrr faces a challenge worse than looming war and fearsome dragons. His long-held secrets threaten what he loves most—and he must make a choice between vows to two women.
A WILDERNESS OF GLASS BY GRACE DRAVEN
The stretch of sea known as The Gray rules the lives of those in the village of Ancilar, including widow Brida Gazi. In the aftermath of an autumn storm, Brida discovers one of the sea’s secrets cast onto the shore—a discovery that will change her world, mend her soul, and put her in the greatest danger she’s ever faced.