Book excerpt for fantasy romance novel, A Gift Freely Given, by J. Ellen Ross

Today’s special post is a promotional book excerpt for the fantasy
romance novel, A Gift Freely Given by J. Ellen Ross.
During her virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, J.
Ellen will be
awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card
to a randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form
below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.
Blurb for
A Gift Freely Given:
Leisha’s
father, the king of Tahaerin, bartered away her childhood with his failed
invasion of a neighboring kingdom. She grew up a hostage, a guarantee of the
king’s good behavior. At sixteen, she returns to a land and a throne she knows
almost nothing about.
Her powerful and
ruthless uncle plans to force her into a marriage or take her crown by
violence. The nobles of her kingdom all expect her to fail spectacularly and
are eager to fight over the scraps. But, Leisha has no intention of going along
quietly with any of their plans.
As a boy, Zaraki
watched as slavers butchered his family. Orphaned and starving, he was taken
from the streets, trained to spy and kill. He finds a position with the new
queen when he is forced to flee the only home he remembers. But the job is far
larger than he anticipated and Leisha’s life is threatened from all sides.
Leisha will fight to
hold her crown and her throne with the help of an unknown and unproven spy.
Zaraki will try keep her alive and to keep the oaths he took – to be loyal to
her, to keep her secrets and never, ever fall in love with her.
Excerpt from A Gift Freely
Given
:
Aniol did not
disappoint. Leisha stiffened as his hand dropped to the knife at his belt. Even
as an unconscious action, it told her all she needed to know. Zaraki was right.
Staval had a plan for her and this was one of the men charged with seeing it
through. With her uncle giving orders here, Aniol felt invincible.
Before his hand could
stray further, he landed face down on the floor. Zaraki put a knee in the man’s
back and yanked Aniol’s head to one side. When he pressed a light blade against
Aniol’s throat, the smaller man stopped struggling and whimpered softly.
“Her Majesty was very
clear, I thought. I hope this is equally as clear,” Zaraki said in a low voice,
into the other man’s ear.
“He’s planning on going
straight to Cyril,” Leisha hissed, seeing the intention flash through Aniol’s
mind. At the first hint that she was trying to seize control of the castle,
Cyril would spring the trap and turn the guards against her. She would die and
likely, Symon and Zaraki along with her. Suddenly, the threat was all too real.
Zaraki made a face,
still holding Aniol’s head back. Fool. He could have walked out alive. “If
you’ll excuse me a moment, Your Highness?” While he did not enjoy killing he
would do it. However, murdering the man in front of a sixteen year old girl was
out of the question.
Author bio
and links:
J.
Ellen Ross lives in Texas with her husband and their four rescue dogs. She
works in high tech, which has nothing to do with fantasy, romance or writing.
When
she’s not busy chasing dogs around or rushing someone to the vet, she loves to
read and play video games.  She has a
hobby of having hobbies, so she’s also been known to do sculpting, beadwork,
and painting.

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