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Monday, 20 January 2014

Cover Reveal: The Queen of Swords - Nina Mason

The Queen of Swords, Nina’s début novel, will be available on Amazon.com starting March 22 in both Kindle and paperback formats. A paranormal tale of undying love, The Queen of Swords tells the story of a white witch (Cat Fingal) who returns every hundred years to reunite with and try to free her earthbound soul mate (Graham Logan) from a dark wizard’s curse.
When Graham Logan, a Scottish nobleman turned immortal blood-drinker, draws the Queen of Swords, he knows he’s about to meet the love of his life—for the third time. But surrendering his heart will mean risking her life or making her what he is, two things his beliefs won’t allow him to do. Graham, who walks a tightrope of regret and sacrifice, rages at God: Why give her back only to take her again?

Cat Fingal, the latest incarnation of Graham’s soul mate, won’t let him slip away so easily. A white witch, she casts a spell to summon him—for answers and to deflower her—making refusal impossible.

Graham is convinced she comes back every hundred years to punish him for abandoning her and his unborn heir on the eve of their wedding back in 1815. Cat believes she returns to free his soul by forcing him to reevaluate the beliefs that keep him stuck and miserable. Before he can defeat his demons, both internal and external, Graham must put his faith in the power of love.

Graham had just come upon the misplaced diaries—in the cupboard under the stairs—when he caught a whiff of something burning. Concerned, he stepped back into the foyer. A quick look around revealed nothing unusual. He sniffed the air, again detecting smoke, though none of the toxic undertones of a house fire. Neither did it smell of a choked chimney. It was, in fact, pleasantly herbal—like the juniper-laced bonfires of Beltane he knew in his youth. Was Branwen burning incense…or Benedict trying out a new pipe tobacco?

Shrugging it off, he grabbed the box of diaries and headed for the stairs. As he climbed, so did the smoke. A picture of Caitriona came into his mind. Or was it Catharine…or the new one? He couldn’t be sure as she was naked and her hair hung loose. As she reached for him, he saw something odd: a blue fire the size of a pilot light in the center of each palm.

Like moth to flame, you yearn for light. Come from shadow into my sight.

The words whispered. Caitriona disappeared. Desire blossomed. What was going on? At the top of the stairs, he was sweating and dizzy. Every nerve ending, every vein, burned like fire. He raced down the hall toward his bedchamber, dropping the box as he shot through the doorway. Bending to collect his spilled diaries, he startled at what he saw:

He had no hands. And no feet.

The smoke and ethers enveloped, pulling him apart cell by cell until he felt like the sands of time moving through an hourglass. The cosmos was silent except for a haunting echo—like the sound inside a seashell. He felt at once connected to everything and nothing. Adrift yet highly attuned; blind yet all seeing; numb yet hypersensitive; defenseless yet omnipotent. Others were there, too—phantasmal energies blowing past and passing through like sleet.

The next thing he knew, he was on his back, winded and disoriented. The room was dark save for the flicker of a solitary candle. He could make out only two pale shapes. The larger one, he presumed, was a bed, the smaller one, by the window, his summoner. His nostrils flared, seeking her scent, but found only the spices of the smoke.

“I told ye to stay away from me,” he growled. “Why did ye not listen?”
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