Friday, April 30, 2010

Guest Blogger Susan Kelley

I know I said Saturday, but it's going to be a full day, and I don't have time for my thoughts on Supernatural today, so you get Sue early!

Thank you so much for allowing me to make a guest appearance on your blog, Natalie. You’ve featured so many great authors in the past, I’m thrilled to be in such company.

Most readers know me best for my fantasy series, The Futhark Chronicles. The first book in that series, The Keepers of Sulbreth, is available in many bookstores and all the major online retailers. I write fantasy under my real name, Susan Gourley.

But today I’d like to talk about what I write under my pen name, Susan Kelley. Earlier this year I wrapped up my four-book futuristic romance series, The Chronicles of Solonia. Today I’m venturing into a new romance area with a fantasy romance, To Tame a Tiger.

To Tame a Tiger, from The Wild Rose Press, is the start of a three-book series centering on a legendary race of warriors called Tigers and the courageous sorceresses who love them and hope to save them from the curse placed upon their race generations before.

Luke Aron is the leader of the cursed warriors and the center of a power struggle between a powerful witch and the free people who resist her takeover of their kingdom. Lady Violet Hylan is the young sorceress who first rescues Luke and then fights to keep him at her side.

You can read an excerpt here, and here is another short one. I think you’ll enjoy this fantasy adventure with its touches of humor mixed with suspense and thrilling action.

Read this short excerpt when Violet understands exactly what type of man she’s allowed into her life:

Violet moved up a few steps. Someone screamed. The shrill sound ended all of a sudden with a choked, gurgling sound. Then complete silence.

She dragged herself up another step to a small landing. A blood-soaked arm lay on the floor near the tightly curving wall. She forced herself to move onward. The body connected to the arm came into her view. She took another small step, but her stare would not leave the grisly sight of the dead man. She edged forward and bumped into a live body. A hand covered her mouth and smothered her scream.

“You were to wait.”

Violet sagged against Luke. She wrapped her arms around his waist to support her weak knees. She buried her face in his shirt and inhaled his scent. It comforted her more than she expected on short acquaintance. He backed away from her and put his hands on her shoulders.

“You must follow my orders, or we’ll both die behind these walls. Or worse. We could be recaptured.” Luke shook her gently, and he spoke in a cold tone she hadn’t heard before.

What kind of bond was this? Wasn’t he supposed to serve her?

“I think you’re confused about who’s in charge here, Luke Aron.”

“I’m in charge, Lady Violet, until we’re out of danger.” He spun away and began taking weapons from the dead soldiers.

For the first time, Violet took in the entire grim scene on the landing. There had been four guards. Now there were none. None alive. She looked at Luke with a new, disturbing understanding of what a Tiger was. Magic linked her to this man who could kill four armed, trained soldiers, with no weapon beyond a spoon.

Luke stopped his search among the dead and walked to a small table set along one moss-covered wall. The landing was actually a small guard room with cots on one wall and chairs and a fireplace along the other.

Violet scurried after Luke. She stepped over a man with the spoon impaled in his throat and fought back the gorge rising from her stomach.

Luke held a long knife in his hand. The blade, etched with an intricate drawing of a hawk, caught the lamplight on its sharp edge. A matching pair of swords shared the table.

“Are they yours?” Violet knew the answer even as she asked.

The weapons carried a lethalness as deadly looking as she now knew this man to be. The hands that slid the swords and knife into the worn leather baldric were long-fingered, slim and beautifully graceful. At least she would have described them as such when they stroked her body not long before. Now she saw they were extensions of the finely crafted weapons of destruction he handled with such familiarity. He fixed the baldric over his shoulders with quick adjustments of laces. He put his hands on her shoulders and startled her.

“You must promise to listen to me, Violet. When we’re safe, you can order me to kiss your feet. You can have me beg forgiveness for this moment. I’ll do so gladly. Please let me lead you now, my lady.”

Violet didn’t believe the gladly part one bit. But he’d spoken the truth about everything so far. The patient lover was gone. Now she faced the Tiger.


Susan Kelley said...

Thanks so much for having me, Natalie. I was surprised you put off SN. I feel even more special.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

LOL! Well, you are special!

Ava Quinn said...

Awesome excerpt, Sue! Thanks for posting it!

Great hosting, Natalie!