Thursday, February 20, 2014

Disciple, a gritty fantasy romance by L. Blankenship

 Today my guest is L. Blankenship, author of Disciple. Check out an excerpt below, and if you like it, get the entire first part free. Links below.

Announcing the Disciple Half-Omnibus!
Disciple is a six-part gritty fantasy romance by L. Blankenship -- Part IV will be out on March 1st. The Disciple Half-Omnibus collects the first three parts of Disciple into one hefty ebook and is on sale now at all major retailers!

Excerpt
Snow still fell when Ilya shook me awake in the middle of the night. The patter of flakes on the overhead tarp blended with anxious whispers and sharp coughs. A pony puffed nearby and hooves shifted.

“Ulf says stay close,” Ilya whispered in my ear. “Get the bedroll off and flat so nobody trips. Careful of Acorn, he’s right here.”

I blinked and rubbed at my eyes and a whiskery horse nose nudged my cheek. Acorn shifted away as I struggled out of my bedroll and to my feet. I put my arm over his neck for balance as I kicked the heavy blanket off and tried to spread it flat. Puck snorted, close by too.

The fire, half sheltered by our tarp lean-to, had lowered to glowing coals. Ulf and Sir Kiefan stood on the far side with their backs to it, one with bow and nocked arrow, the other with sword in hand. Kiefan asked something of the woodsman and he muttered a reply. Beyond them, the black forest waited, crusted by a layer of snow that glowed blue when moonlight fought through thin patches of the clouds. Tumbling flakes kept up a quiet patter as we all fell silent, even the ponies.

Fear drove off the lethargy of waking so late, but there was nothing to see in the clusters of squat pine trees and thickets. Ulf and Kiefan moved a few steps apart, tense and alert. I wanted to ask what was wrong.

Lantern eyes lit up beyond the fire, paced by, and vanished. A shape moved across a snow-laden pine branch. That coughing sound came again, from the moving shadow, and it was answered from behind me.

Ilya, holding Acorn’s bridle beside me, whispered, “Mother Love, we’re surrounded.”

I sidled closer to the middle of the tarp, though it meant letting go of the solid mass of the pony. Ther Boristan stood holding Puck. A few steps out from that side of the lean-to, Bjorn faced the forest with bow and arrow ready. Beyond him, another pair of eyes caught the light.

“I could stoke up the fire,” Ilya raised his voice to a murmur.

Ulf answered, as he was closest. “They’re not afraid of fire. Whatever you do, stay together. Stand and fight.”

Back cover
War is coming. Kate Carpenter is only a peasant girl, but she’s determined to help defend the kingdom and its bound saints against the invading empire. Her healing magic earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the master healer; now she must prove herself ready to stand in the front lines and save lives.

She’s not ready for the attentions of a ne’er-do-well knight and the kingdom’s only prince, though. This is no time to be distracted by romance — the empire’s monstrous army will tear through anyone standing between them and the kingdom’s magical founts. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.

Available at AmazonB&NMore retailers

DISCIPLE, PART IV arrives on March 10th!

Or try out PART I for free!
FREE at Smashwords (Kindle & EPUB) • B&N  AllRomance