Over to Cherie.
An Excerpt from Chapter Three of Reborn
“Babak said the boat from Amora has arrived.” Dad’s arm brushed against mine.
“Send him to the harbor. Have him tell them I’m not coming.” Our karshipta, a talking falcon-like bird, could deliver the message. I hated I wasted their time, but the priest, the ferryman, and that boy only had a three-day journey back to Amora.
“Yssa.” He dragged out my name, disappointment tainting the two syllables.
“I can’t, Dad.” I bolted from the bed and paced my room. “Amora doesn’t need me. The kingdom does just fine without a Phoenix Prophetess. Besides, you and Mom left Amora and never looked back. I’ll know no one there. And you said it was crowded. Thousands upon thousands of people live there. And—”
“We never wanted to leave Amora.” Dad ran his palm over his face. “I shouldn’t have badmouthed it, but the city really is quite beautiful with its golden and white buildings, its history, its people.”
“Then why did you go?” I turned on him and placed my hands on my hips. “You never talk of your life there, not like Mom.”
For a few sand grains, I hoped he’d finally tell me why they ran from everything they’d known for an island in the middle of nowhere, but he shook his head. “The reasons are too complicated and no longer matter. We are where we are, and you need to travel to the Place of Lordéhi. Apenth gave you a great gift. To not use it would be a grave insult to him and the other gods.”
“You made your choice to leave, though. Why can’t I do the same?” I clenched my fists by my sides. So some god saved my life and I was beholden to him for eternity? I didn’t think so.
Dad leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “Yssa, what is your future if you don’t go?”
“I don’t know.”
“Try to foresee.”
I huffed and spun away from him. My hands clasped the windowsill. Such a pretty day. If today was like yesterday, I would walk to the Temple of Tamman and spend the day with Tym and the other priests. I’d talk to Apenth perhaps or catch a glimpse of other gods, such as Bella, Tamman’s consort, storming in to speak with him, or Inashara—Bella’s twin sister and Tamman’s love—sneaking into Tamman’s inner chambers. My eyelids fluttered closed, and I opened myself to Fate and what may come if I stayed in Guntas.
Kisses and professions of love with Tym. Jewelry making with Mom. Harvesting the crops with Dad. Apenth’s disapproving frown marring his handsome face. Prophecies unforetold. Lives lost. A goddess with twilight eyes and laughter on her lips. Flames and smoke and eating ashes.
I jerked away from the window. The room came into focus, including Dad. He patted the space beside him again. I sat and stared at my hands. A future of happiness and simplicity meant death and chaos for so many. I couldn’t let my fears and selfishness destroy so many people’s destinies. “I have to go.”
To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.
On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.
Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.
Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.
Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.
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A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror collection Nightmare, a space fantasy novella collection titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. Reborn is her debut novel. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms. For more information, please visit her website.
Now over to Carol Kilgore for a stunning cover reveal.
Life was so simple—until she had to save one.
By the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot. Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top priorities were so simple.
As an operative for a covert agency buried in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter of the first lady’s dearest friend, it’s hard to say no.
Kat and Dave quickly learn the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and will require more than any of them bargained for.
The kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter of life or death will become more than a possibility.
Carol writes grocery lists, texts to her family, new lyrics to old songs for her dogs, love notes to her husband, and novels for herself. And for you. In between, she blogs weekly at Under the Tiki Hut and is active on Facebook and Twitter.
She sees mystery and subterfuge everywhere. And she’s a sucker for a good love story—especially ones with humor and mystery. Crime Fiction with a Kiss gives her the latitude to mix and match throughout the broad mystery and romance genres. Having flexibility makes her heart happy.
You can connect with Carol and her books here:
Thank you, Cherie and Carol. A thrilling excerpt and stunning cover reveal. That's it for this week. I'll be back on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend.