have always loved other worlds so it was so natural to create new ones with my books. With Blue Heaven, I called upon some historical and mythical aspects of history so the world where Stryver and Blue walked was solid and very visual. I must have done something right cause the reader reviews have been high. As with all authors, we want our readers to ‘get’ the story and ‘love’ our characters. So here’s a taste of chapter one of my debut novel, Blue Heaven.
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On strong winds from Heaven, Fate arrives to play with empty hearts.
Take him from Heaven’s Seat. Bring him to me. We will protect his sacred head. Master Aidal’s instructions ran through Stryver Zorti’s mind as he entered the main gate of the religious city. They helped him to remain focused on his goal.
Two Raegemon soldiers brushed past him. He stiffened, lowered his head, and glanced back. The two armored men disappeared into a cluster of people. They hadn’t paid attention to his rough, leather attire worn by most mercenaries. And why would they? Even mercenaries attended the annual festival.
He wished his old friend, comrade, and lover, Rance, was alive to help watch his back. But no, the protection, the connection they had shared on and off missions had ended a year prior after a poison dart pierced his lover’s spine.
He clenched his fists, shaking off the depressing memories. Once this mission was done, he’d have his freedom to live alone. Once free from his servitude to his master, he’d find a nice little farm, nothing too large, and grow fruit trees. He’d never seek another relationship. Rance’s loss hurt too much.
If all went the way he planned, he’d hide in the cathedral, and when night fell, he’d have the prize. He needn’t worry about the guard discovering his purpose here. He’d slip unnoticed by the warriors to steal their most precious person.
He found his target, the holiest of men, on Sanctuary Avenue, the road leading to the Cathedral of Heaven’s Seat. Revelers flowed about him, celebrating the Leirinto Festival in honor of another flourishing year in the Raegemon region of upper Jomin Provence.
Stryver moved along the avenue, even with the dais carried by four shaved-head monks dressed in flowing, golden robes. Curiosity drove him forward. One look up close at the revered man wouldn’t hurt. A simple glance to measure what challenge his target might offer when Stryver kidnapped him.
He swung his gaze toward the human instilled with a god’s soul.
The wind gusted, ruffling Stryver’s hair and swaying the long linen bands streaming from the Godchild’s hat. Decorative pennants snapped.
Fathomless, clear azure eyes, purity radiating from them, glanced his way. They snagged and held Stryver’s eyes, burning into his mind, branding his soul.
The Godchild’s eyes widened with surprise, recognition, or fear. Stryver couldn’t tell.
A light flickered deep within Stryver’s chest. It grew warmer, the heat increasing with each heartbeat. He stumbled closer. He lifted a hand. Desire to touch the holy man overrode his normal caution. Uncontrollable need to discover what lay hidden beneath the white linen robes, the intricate folded hat, and the silken veil dominated his actions. He had to view the Godchild’s features, his body, naked to his gaze.
Breaths lasted an eternity.
The light in Stryver’s chest brightened, spreading warmth, anticipation. The holy man looked away.
The connection between them broke. The Godchild’s attention moved to the next person lining the crowded streets.
Gasping for air, trembling, Stryver stopped, his arm still raised.
He stared at nothing, his senses dulled.
One of the monks mingling in the crush of people placed something in his hand, said a quiet, mumbled blessing before disappearing in the crowds.
Someone bumped him.
Bright clothes streaked by. Pennants waved. The long poles they were attached to tilted. Painted masks leered. The noise, the smells converged on him. Celebrants dressed in home-spun clothes, alongside dark-robed, hooded pilgrims, slipped past him in a human array of textures, noises, and odors, jostling him out of the way. The procession moved forward.
The mind-numbing innocence, the purity of the holy man’s gaze sent chills through Stryver. His body shook from the aftershocks. Weakened, vulnerable, he staggered into the nearest alley. He slumped against the dingy brick wall. He drew in deep gulps of air tinged with smoky incense to calm his racing heart, barely managing to gain control of his senses.
What the fuck had he gotten himself into? He couldn’t go through with this mission. The man’s power was overwhelming.
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