Two years ago, an author popped up out of the blue. She showed me where to get cheap bookmarks and promo items. She offered to throw my new release a contest on her website and she’s been nothing but the most kind and gracious and kick-ass friend since. Now her new book Con and Conjure is being released Tuesday the 29th and we want to get those engines revving!
Con & Conjure is the latest in the Raine Benares series and I’m sure carries on the tradition of hilarity and action and sensitive goblin ears. I’m including some snippets of Con & Conjure here and if you wish to see sample chapters of the previous four books go here: http://www.lisashearin.com/books/
I’ll be running the contest until date of release (again, Tuesday the 29th – if you can, please help Lisa out and wait until the official date of release or that first week to buy. It helps authors tremendously with our rankings and sometimes, baby, rankings is all we have!)
Lisa will be giving out two full sets of the previous four books to two lucky readers as well as promo items (Lisa has great promo items. You never know what you’re likely to get…signed bookmark, refrigerator magnet, mousepad…there’s no telling–which is half the fun.) So to enter the contest, leave a comment…me like read, me like stroke hot goblin ears, me like free stuff. Whatever.
Now check out the snippets and the sample chapters and see what you’ve been missing!
CON & CONJURE snippet #1
Once again, I’d ended up in a cat house.
The suite Madam Camille had given us to spy on Rache was clearly meant for activities other than eavesdropping on the man in the next room, though I imagine it’d been used for that purpose before, too.
Red satin and black leather pretty much summed up the decor. Most of the leather covered the room’s furniture, but there was a table with leather . . . accoutrements. I only recognized a few of them, and didn’t want to know about the others.
Rache Kai was most definitely in the next room.
Mago knew Rache, so he could identify Rache if he were talking.
I knew Rache in an entirely different way. I could identify him based on what he was doing right now.
Mago and I were sitting on the bed, facing the wall our room shared with Rache’s, waiting for him to finish.
It was taking much longer than I remembered.
It was damned awkward and borderline embarrassing. Especially with Mago sitting on the bed next to me—the man who’d introduced me to Rache and had regretted it ever since.
I’d debated just barging in, but seeing that the goal was to persuade Rache not to kill Mychael, Chigaru, or me—interrupting him at that particular moment would go beyond rude straight into suicidal. But sitting there listening while my ex-fiance did what he used to do with me with another woman who looked like me, while I was sitting on a bed with my cousin next to a tableful of accoutrements?
Definitely awkward and embarrassing.
I was sitting on the edge of the bed, swinging my legs, and trying to look anywhere but at my cousin while the headboard thumped against the wall in the next room. There were other sounds as well, but I was doing my best to ignore them.
CON & CONJURE snippet #2
“Drop. The daggers.”
I dropped them and rethought my strategy, such that it was.
The thief kicked my daggers across the room to the base of the stairs, keeping the gun aimed at me the entire time. “I didn’t think I’d get the chance to take you alive. Put your hands behind your head and stand against the wall.”
Like hell anyone was putting manacles on me again. I began to circle him. When in an impossible situation, keep your goals simple. Circle until I reach my daggers. Get them without being shot. Simple. Right.
“Come with me without any trouble and you need not die.” The thief started circling me with a saunter as if he had all the time in the world. “My employers would rather have you alive, but they’ll be fine with dead.”
I kept my eyes on his, my peripheral vision on that gun. I didn’t need to look at the stairs, not yet. I knew where they were. “Yeah, Sarad Nukpana would be an extra happy psycho if he could kill me on a Khrynsani altar.”
I had only a few minutes to prevent that from happening.
The thief drew a dagger—long, thin, with a needle-sharp tip.
I kept circling. “Let me guess. Poisoned.”
“You don’t have to find out.” His voice became low, coaxing. “Come now, little elf. Let’s not make this hurt any more than it has to.”
He didn’t want to kill me, but I didn’t care what I had to do to him. Problem was, if I didn’t do it quietly, I’d have to do it three more times to the Khrynsani who’d come running down those stairs.
There were no winners in a knife fight. This was especially true when your opponent was wearing armor and had a poisoned dagger. He didn’t need to stab me; a scratch could kill me just as dead. Either I won or Sarad Nukpana won me, and I got a long and painful death, followed by the destruction of civilization as we knew it.
Nukpana could feed the rock just fine without me. All he’d have to do is sacrifice victims so that their blood fell on the Saghred. The rock would take the sacrifices, and I would feel every last one of them; it didn’t matter if I was in the same room or hundreds of miles away. I’d taken one mage already and he hadn’t even been murdered first. I’d be stark raving loony within the first hour.
“Though you may welcome death,” the thief said. “If I don’t kill you now, you’ll beg for it later—or do it yourself.”
My mind was racing even faster than my feet. Okay, Raine. He was a thief, a thief who could make himself look like someone else. Big freaking deal. That was all the magic he had. If he’d had any more he’d have used it by now. The only advantage he had was that he was bigger than me. You’ve dealt with that before and come out on top. Literally. Come on, girl, time for some ugly.
I darted my eyes to the right like I was going to make a run for the stairs.
He bought it.
I ran straight at him, driving my shoulder into his midsection. The impact with that armor hurt like hell. Better to hurt like hell than to be dragged there. The gun fired, the dart went wide, and we hit the floor together. His head and hands were the only parts of him without armor. I sank my teeth into the wrist of his dagger hand. He swore, but held onto that dagger. Dammit. I didn’t kid myself into thinking that I could reach anything vital, but I knew extreme pain made me drop my glamours. If it didn’t work on him, at least I’d go down biting.
A thief and a glamourer did his job by hiding and sneaking, not direct confrontation.
My fist directly confronted his temple.
The thief dropped the dagger—and his glamour.
He had the high-cheekbones and fine, straight nose of a pure-blood goblin. He wouldn’t have either for long, if my fists had their way. His armor vanished with the glamour, leaving the goblin wearing his own clothes with leather armor covering only the most vital of areas. Hurt a man badly enough in a non-vital area and it’d turn vital real quick.
He was bigger and stronger. I was desperate and terrified and exhausted. But desperation trumped terror and exhaustion every time. It had to. The thief pivoted his body, trying to pin my arms, my legs, pin anything he could to get me to stop kicking and punching. I didn’t have long nails, but I used what I had on the upswept tip of one ear and sank my teeth into the other.
He screamed. I snarled.
Next to nuts, the tips of a goblin’s ears were one of their most sensitive parts.
I growled and shook my head like a terrier with a rat. I didn’t have much, but I used what I had. It was an ugly fight, but I wasn’t in it to make it pretty. I was in it to win, or at least survive. I used every trick in the book and wrote a couple of new pages right there on the spot.