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New Release | Stone's Curse by @dlmartin6 #epicfantasy #newrelease #bookboost
Debra L Martin & David W Small
The long-awaited final book in the Witch Stone Prophecy series!
Jeda DeLongo has a bad feeling as he watches his twin daughters Kala and Kara, the infamous children of prophecy, crowned the Duchess and Countess of Berkshire. His sixth sense has never failed him, and when the king is assassinated during the celebration, the dawning horror that the Kingdom of Tavia is under attack by desert warriors cannot be denied. The new king has declared war, and Jeda, Keisha, and Kara race to Eastford to rescue their gypsy family, but will they arrive in time, or has everyone already perished under the desert onslaught?
Arin, the self-proclaimed Prince of the Desert, has never forgiven the kingdom witch who murdered his father and sister and has vowed revenge. Now he’s done the impossible—united all the desert tribes under his banner. He launches his attack against Tavia with his secret weapon—a Black Coven witch who has learned how to harness the magic of the desert warriors. The only way to stop the witch is for Jeda, Kara and Kala to unleash the power of the legendary Witch Stone, but will it be enough?
Jeda grabbed his wife’s hand and led her through the rapidly diminishing crowds in the market's east end where the screams had come from.
“We’ll find her,” Jeda answered over his shoulder, “keep up.”
Jeda dodged a merchant and nearly collided with Franc, one of the other security escorts for today's outing. Franc's distraught face told Jeda everything he needed to know. The three young girls under his protection were not with him. Jeda figured the girls had given Franc the slip to find a little excitement and adventure in the exotic desert city. Unfortunately, it sounded like they found way more than they had bargained for.
“I don’t know what happened—” Franc began.
“Not now,” Jeda called as he raced past. “The girls are in trouble, and we need to find them.”
Jeda raced along and soon found himself at the east end of the marketplace. A narrow backstreet ran off to the side, and he heard sounds of scuffling and fighting. He rushed down the alleyway, motioning for Franc and Keisha to follow. The horrific scene they came upon stopped them short.
One girl was lying against a wall with a blade sticking out of her stomach. Blood leaked through her fingers as she tried to hold the knife in place. She was pale, breathing heavily, and running out of time. Another girl had a nasty gash on her head and was held between two men while a third large guard was wiping blood from his face. The men all wore the uniform of the Palace Guard, and Jeda knew they were in a world of trouble. The gypsies traveling into the city had been warned repeatedly by Jeda and Franc not to trifle with those guards.
“You’ll all die for this,” the bloody guard said.
Jeda recognized the brute as the same one from the gypsy camp the other night. He shook his head at the irony of the situation.
Of the guards in this city, why do I keep meeting this one?
“Amir,” Jeda called out. “Still trying to get your way with little girls? Can’t get a woman to look your way? Maybe you don’t have the right bigness to satisfy a grown woman.”
Amir whipped his head around at the insult. “You,” he replied, recognizing Jeda from the gypsy camp. He spat a wad of blood on the ground and snarled at Jeda. “You may have won our last meeting, but I was drunk and didn’t have my sword.”
Amir drew an enormous scimitar and began twirling the blade around like he knew how to use it. “This time, there will be a decidedly different outcome. Come little man, and let's see how you fare against an opponent who knows how to fight and kill.”
While Jeda taunted the giant, Keisha ran to the bleeding girl on the ground. She immediately drew the blade out and put her hands on the open wound, sending healing magic into the girl. The gushing blood soon became a trickle and then stopped altogether. The young girl moaned and leaned into Keisha's arms. She wasn't bleeding, but she was extremely pale from blood loss.
The other two guards let go of the second girl and drew their swords. Franc drew his sword and met the two men head-on. The guards were well trained, but Franc was an expert swordsman, and the two men never had a chance. They were both dead in short order.
Jeda, on the other hand, stood his ground while Amir swung his sword around, trying to intimate him. Jeda smiled and shook his head.
“If that’s meant to scare me, then you’ve failed miserably,” Jeda said, staring at him with cold dead eyes. “Unfortunately for you, this will end very differently from the last time. You could still walk after our last meeting, but things will be quite different this time.”
To anyone that knew Jeda, the rage growing in his eyes would give them pause. He tried to keep his seething anger reined in, but when he saw what these men had done to these innocent girls that anger would not, could not be constrained. Jeda had been training for many long months with his sword, but that traditional training left him as his assassin persona surfaced. The transformation gave the giant a moment’s pause but did not stop him.
It should have.
"You're right about that," Amir bellowed, rushing forward with his blade held high. Then, with a speed that belayed that man's size, he swung down on Jeda, and it would have cut him right down his middle if it had connected.
Much to the amazement of the big man, Jeda had easily sidestepped and waited patiently for the man to recover. Off to the side, Franc watched, wondering what Jeda was up to. He was prepared to assist but knew Jeda well enough to stay out of his way.
Amir swung around and guarded against the expected attack he thought sure would come. The big man smiled back at him when he saw Jeda standing, waiting, with no weapon in his hand.
“So you are like the jackrabbit then,” Amir mocked. “Jumping around until you can run away. Come now, let’s finish this farce. Die like a true man, not a coward.”
Jeda shook his head again and finally drew his knives, not his sword. That gave the big man pause as he wondered what the little man would do with his prick sticks.
“I was considering letting you live,” Jeda replied. "But I've known too many men like you. You'll return to your palace hole, nurse your wounds, and try something like this again. I can not let that happen."
Before Amir could reply, Jeda ran forward, dropped, and skidded on his knees, sliding through the giant's legs. As Amir looked down, shocked, he saw the twin cuts on the inside of the legs and his blood pumping out. With a roar, Amir turned and swung his sword down to where his opponent should be.
But he wasn’t.
Jeda had slid well out of the way of Amir's blade and stood with his two bloodied blades, ready to face him again. Amir stumbled a step forward, and Jeda saw the moment the guard realized he might be in deep trouble. The guard was facing a cold-blooded killer with a crazed look in his eyes. Amir looked around for an escape. He spotted Keisha and raised his sword to launch it at her. Jeda saw everything in slow motion and immediately threw one of his knives. It penetrated the big man's eye to the hilt, killing him instantly. He dropped to the ground with a look of horror on his face.
“I told you this would end differently,” Jeda said, pulling his knife from the man’s eye and wiping the gore off on the dead man’s tunic.”
Jeda turned to see the shocked look on Franc’s face. No matter how well they knew each other, he had never shown that side to Franc before.
“Remind me never to get on your bad side,” Franc said, staring at the downed giant.
The book is not on sale for release, but book 1, Assassin's Curse, will be discounted to .99 November 5-10. Grab your e-copy today:
Debra L Martin and David W Small are a brother and sister writing team who started writing together in 2006. Writing with a co-author is challenging in itself, but when 1 author lives on the East Coast and 1 lives on the West Coast, the challenges are a bit more daunting, but because we live in an electronic world of email, texts and Zoom meetings, the partnership is totally workable. They love the same types of books and that love naturally evolved into writing their own books.
Their epic fantasy "Assassin's Curse" Book 1 in the WITCH STONE PROPHECY, was released in 2012. "Witch's Curse" Book 2 in the series, was released in July 2014. The final volume in this series will be released in Winter 2022. "The Silver Cross" Book 1 in the series, VAMPIRE NIGHTLIFE was published in 2012. "The Silver Double Cross" Book 2 is currently available and the Vampire Nightlife boxed set is now available as well. If you enjoy Arthurian history with a twist, they have published "Quest for Nobility" and "Crystal Facade" in the RULE OF OTHARIA trilogy. The final volume, "The King's Last Word" is under development. They have also written three post-apocalyptic fiction stories in the DARK FUTURE series, "Path to Destruction," "The Right Path" and "Zia's Path."
Debra blogs regularly at Two Ends of the Pen about writing, publishing, ebooks, guest posts, author interviews and book reviews. You can also find a complete list of her published books on the blog. She enjoys hearing from fans and you can reach her at dlmartin6 AT yahoo DOT com
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