Brienne goes live in SIX DAYS! Preorder is available HERE if you feel so inclined. I’m currently working on Izabel and hope to have it ready to go no later than the end of the year. After that, it’s a toss-up between a novella with Fieryl in the Edgeworld Chronicles series, starting the Ravyn’s book, or working on Jalayan, fourth in the Wolves of Sorrow series. This has been an insanely productive year for me, and I’m very happy with what I’ve managed to produce. I hope you’re enjoying these shorter scifi/space opera romances as much as I’m enjoying writing them.
On to the teaser!!
This snippet is from Chapter Five and is a happy scene between Brienne and her adopted sister, the ka-Razheen of Warrior’s Weald. Shoba and Vaistu are meeting Razheen Vinzek Aliir on the floating city of Zephyr’s Rest in the middle of the Tyelann Sea. The sisters are preparing for a casual dinner with their host.
She flipped through her clothing, looking for the right blouse to match her ankle-length skirt. The black would be perfect. Sleek and elegant with a square neckline, it was plain and classy without being obtrusive. She reached for it, paused, then picked the one beside it. She’d bought the blouse on a whim and worked on the details while wrestling with her anger and resentment. It was softer than a desert hare, and the color of sand beneath a moonlit sky. She’d trimmed the bottom in silver-blue embroidery detailing each phase of Earth Prime’s moon and added faux pearl stars along the sweetheart neckline which draped over her breasts and teased with a hint of cleavage. She pulled it on before she could change her mind.
“Vaistu swears tonight is a casual dinner.” Shoba entered the room at her call, a handful of hangers in her hand and a harried look on her face. “Malia said I could even wear my combat gear if I wanted, but this is our first major function outside of Warrior’s Weald. I don’t want to embarrass him. Help?”
“Are those the slacks you’re wearing?” They were a deep emerald green shot through with gold threads. A small wolf sat on the right pocket, its face turned up in a howl.
“Are they okay? Shit. They’re not, are they? I’ll go change.”
Brienne laughed and grabbed Shoba’s arm before she could leave the room. “They’re lovely. Let’s see what shirts you’re looking at.”
“I am not cut out for this,” her sister grumbled and handed over the hangers.
“You’re perfect for the razheen, and that’s what matters.” She flipped through each of the blouses until she’d narrowed it down to her two favorites. She indicated each as she spoke. “This one is gorgeous, will make your eyes glow, but might be chilly if we’re eating in an outdoor setting. The wind over the ocean has a bite.” The top was an asymmetrical camisole with a single strap over one shoulder and gentle ruffles falling over the opposite hip. The gold material flowed like liquid metal between her fingers, and faceted emerald rhinestones swirled up the lone strap.
“And the other?”
“Is divine.” Brienne held up a cowl-necked sweater in muted bronze. Thick and fluffy, it would be warm enough to withstand the chill blowing in off the water without being too hot if they ate indoors. Gold flecks the color of Shoba’s eyes dotted the bronze like splattered paint. “I might just have to steal this. It’s soft, looks too comfortable for words, and will feel great against your skin.”
Shoba touched each one, uncertainty and a rare vulnerability on her face. “I want to get this right, Bri. He’s my home.”
Brienne’s heart ached at the emotion in her sister’s voice. Shoba was excellent at hiding her pain behind a snarl, seeing it as a weakness others could exploit. She’d never spoken of Bright Perish, her parents’ pack, or the elders’ untenable bargain forced on her as a pup before their conversation on the Kaleidoscope or since. Now that she had a mate who adored her, she feared losing him as she’d lost everything else. Brienne pulled her in for a tight hug.
“I’ve watched him, you know. I see how he looks at you. He’d think you hung the moon even if you wore your old leathers.” She stepped back and grinned. “But there’s nothing wrong with dressing up for your mate. What shoes are you wearing? Your old boots?”
“No.” The word came out as a sulky growl best suited for a recalcitrant juvenile. “Malia hid them and refuses to tell me where. Not in our quarters, or I’d scent them. I’m wearing these.” She pulled up the hem of her pants to reveal short ankle boots with a slight heel. Made of supple bettedeer leather tanned a golden brown, their only ornamentation was deep forest-green stitching accenting each seam.
“Oh, I have to find out where she got those. They’re amazing and I want to steal them and don’t you dare take them off!” She ended in a rush, laughing when Shoba sat on the edge of the bed and reached for the fastenings. She passed over one of the hangers. “Here. Wear the sweater. It’ll go better with those shoes, and the material is simply scrumptious. I bet your mate won’t be able to keep his hands off you.”
Shoba stroked the soft fabric, a dreamy smile on her lips. “I like this plan.”
Wolves of Sorrow: Brienne, March 14