Thursday, December 22, 2016

Silverwitch by Tamara Grantham

Title: Silverwitch
Author: Tamara Grantham
Series: Olive Kennedy, Fairy World MD #4
Genre: Adult Fantasy Romance
Release Date: December 19, 2016
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
It’s Faythander’s legend of King Arthur. And it’s not for the faint of heart.

Olive Kennedy, Fairy World MD, isn’t ready to go back to work. But when her dragon stepfather shows up on her doorstep with bad news of the world-ending variety, that’s exactly what she’ll have to do. He wants her to stop the elven queen from obtaining seven weapons of King Arthur fame, and he wants her to break into a dragon’s vault to do it.

One problem. Silvestra, the silverwitch of Dragon Spine Mountain, guards the weapons. And she’s not willing to give them up. With the help of Kull, her newly reunited, half-crazed Viking boyfriend, she’s hopeful they’ll stand up against the dragon. Plus, she’ll have the help from Kull’s warrior princess sister and a professional thief.

But Olive has never had great luck. What starts as a routine quest quickly turns into a life or death fight. And one of her companions won’t make it out alive…

I only fear one thing.

Being tortured, starved, beaten, burned, and left for dead should have broken me. Instead, I became stronger. I no longer fear those things. Not anymore.

I only fear one thing.
The mountaintop’s icy wind chapped my skin as I stabbed my knife through the wraith’s hide. Blood spattered on my breastplate. Again? Did this creature have any idea how long it took to polish silver? The monster spun around with my blade embedded in its back and snapped at my face, making me jump back, slip on the frozen pond, and land on my backside.

This was not my best day.
“Maveryck,” I yelled at the man fighting alongside me. “I need a weapon.”

Maveryck fought two beasts at once. He was a professional thief, not a fighter, which made me wonder how he’d managed not to die yet. It helped that he wielded a magical staff with ridiculous amounts of power. Gripping the staff tight, he knocked both of the monsters back, but one of the beasts grabbed him and pulled him to the ground.

Wrestling the beast away from the staff, he darted a glance at me. “Can’t you see I’m busy? What happened to all your weapons?”

“They’re stuck in the monster’s hide.”

“Then pull them out!”

I growled under my breath. He was useless. Had I been fighting alongside my brother, we’d have killed the monsters hours ago and been drinking mead by the fire.
He looked at me, his eyes dark and brooding. Maveryck was a man I did not understand. He had too many secrets and he wielded magic—in my experience, those two traits created a deadly combination. Despite being handpicked by the sky king to retrieve the lost staff, he’d proven himself to be a poor thief. He was also far too pretty to be a practical fighter—his eyes were a deep silver with flecks of amethyst, and his full, seductive lips seemed to hold back a secret. While his appearance was almost pretty, he was also entirely male, and I had no doubt he could fight if he put in the effort, which he didn’t.
“I fail to see how we’re lucky. We’re trapped in an unfamiliar world with no way of returning home. The staff is gone, and I have a suspicion that if we find it, we will not live long enough to return it to the sky king.”

Maveryck gave me a condescending smile. “Perhaps you will not live long enough,” he said as he stood, and without further explanation, he limped away from me and down a narrow hallway. I hesitated before following him. Navigating alone through a tomb like this would be suicide, so I reluctantly trailed him, barely keeping my temper in check.

“Where are you going?” I demanded.

“To find a way out of here.”

“What then?” I asked. “Where will we go? How will we find the staff? How will we return home? Have you the magic to create portals?”

He rounded on me, his jaw clenched. “First, and listen very clearly, I’m not in the habit of answering questions—not from you or anyone else. Second, I’m not your friend, nor am I trying to help you. For the time being, we share the same goal, so I will work with you in order to bring the staff back. After that, our partnership will be dissolved. I’ve never lost an object before, and it won’t happen now. If you impede me in any way, I will aid you no more.”

“Have you forgotten who my brother is? Should you return to Faythander without me, what do you think the king will do to you?”

“I don’t care.”

“You might care when you’re rotting in the Wult dungeons.”

“I doubt he would throw me in the dungeons for leaving you. In all honesty, I believe he would reward me.”

Now he’d pushed too far. I’d had an ill feeling about this man from the moment I’d met him, and I would tolerate his superior attitude no more. I shoved him against the wall, pressing the weight of my body against him, making the stacks of skeletal remains rattle behind us.

“Enough,” I hissed. “I will not tolerate being spoken to in such a manner.”

Instead of shying away as I expected, he clamped my wrists in his hands. He used no magic, but the calculated look he gave me sent shivers down my spine. “And I,” he said, “will also not tolerate being spoken to in such a manner.”

Fear made my heart beat wildly. Who is this man? It was at that moment I realized how very little I knew about him. Where did he come from? Where did he live? Who were his kin? His gaze locked with mine, and sparks of purple danced in the gray of his irises. I knew he possessed magic, but he’d led me to believe his powers were limited. Had he lied?
As the sun dipped lower toward the horizon, Maveryck still had yet to procure money or shelter of any kind. We neared the city’s center, where a square-shaped tower that tapered to a point rose above the other buildings.

“That’s an odd building,” I said. “What do you think is its purpose?”

“I’m not sure of its purpose, but I do know the Earthlanders call it the Eiffel Tower.”

I shot him a questioning glance. “Eiffel tower? How do you know that?”

“I’ve read about it.”

“Have you read about everything?”

“Of course not, but I have an interest in Earth Kingdom, and so naturally, I’ve read about it.”

“If you know so much, then tell me, how are we to obtain money?”

“I’m working on it.”

“Are you?” I asked.

“Yes, I am.”

“How do I know you aren’t saying that just to appease me?”

He stopped walking and gave me his hard stare. “Enough,” he said. “How am I to get anything done with you constantly questioning me?”

“So far, you’ve accomplished nothing. I would be better off alone.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes, it is.”
We passed a large ornate building, and the sign over the doors read Banque de France.

Maveryck studied the building and then turned to me. “I’ll have to enter alone.”

“Why can’t I come in?”

He glanced at the blood drying on my now-tarnished breastplate. “I think it’s best if I enter alone.”


“Because this building is where the Earthlanders keep their money, and they tend to be frightened when people carry weapons and wear bloodstained armor into their financial institutions. We would most likely get arrested, spend the rest of our journey sitting in one of their dungeons, and never make it back home.”

I hated to admit it, but he had a point.
“How are you going to obtain their money?” I asked.

He gave me a sly grin. “Have you forgotten my profession?”

He was a thief. Right.
I remained lost in thought until something touched my arm and a wisp of magical energy flowed through my shoulder. I grabbed my knife and spun around, but I saw no one. Scanning the crowd, I looked for the person who had touched me, but only saw a few people with frightened expressions as they focused on my knife.

I sheathed the blade but kept an eye out for danger. I was being careless. What if the wraith was following me and waiting for any moment of weakness to attack? Cursing under my breath, I vowed to be more vigilant.

As I stepped into the courtyard, quiet footsteps echoed behind me.

Again, I grabbed my knife. This time, the intruder wouldn’t elude me. I rounded and readied my blade but stopped when I saw Maveryck approaching me.

I almost didn’t recognize him. He wore Earthlander clothing—a gray shirt that fit snugly and hinted at his defined chest muscles, dark pants, and leather shoes that looked more expensive than anything he should have been able to afford. The wind tousled his long locks of dark hair, and the faint, heady scent of his cologne filled the air. He looked even prettier than he had before, and my heart fluttered, a feeling that both annoyed and confused me.
We stopped at a large ornate building made of white stones and surrounded by decorative iron railings. Old trees with long, sprawling branches grew inside the courtyard, their limbs creaking in a quiet wind as soft white lights made their leaves shimmer.

“What is this place?” I asked.

“Our shelter.”

My mouth gaped.

“Maveryck, how were you able to obtain sleeping arrangements in a palace like this? It must have cost a fortune.” I narrowed my eyes. “Exactly how much money did you steal?”

He sighed, seeming annoyed. “I never said I stole it.”

“Then how could you afford this?”

“I have many talents. Not every situation requires theft—not when negotiation and tactfulness will work. Now, we really should get inside the hotel.”

He turned on his heel and walked through the gate overshadowing the courtyard. I watched him before following. He hadn’t answered my question. I was beginning to trust him even less, if that were possible. Plus, he was overly aloof and dangerously pretty—I was no longer sure either of us would survive this quest.
I stood alone in the room, staring at the dress as if it were a venomous serpent. Across from me, a mirror hung on the wall. My reflection stared back.

Blood dried on my forehead, sticking to my dark hair. My braid had come loose, and strands of hair stuck out in all directions. I rubbed at the now-crusted blood smeared on my skin in an effort to clean myself up, but nothing but soap and water would remove it completely.

Was this really how Maveryck had seen me?

The thought horrified me more than it should have. Why was it that I couldn’t stop thinking about him and his pensive gray eyes, the shape of his lips, the strong curve of his jawline, or the seductive scent of his cologne?

Was I attracted to him?

Surely not—well, perhaps a little—but any woman would be; he was a breathtaking specimen of male perfection. But was I attracted to him? And if so, did it mean anything?

I glanced back at the dress.

If I wore it, would it mean he controlled me the same way I’d been controlled before?

I traced my fingers along the jagged, puffy scars covering my hands and arms. I’d promised never to fall in love again, and although I had to admit I was attracted to Maveryck, it meant nothing. Wearing the dress meant nothing. It was simply a tool to aid me in my attempt to blend in, and that was all.
He gave me a bemused smile, as if he knew something I didn’t. “I suppose I’ve thought of it from time to time, but I’ve always felt more comfortable on my own. Someone with a reputation like mine can’t afford too many attachments.”

“Because you’re a thief?”

“Because I’m dangerous.”

It was my turn to smile. “Hardly.”
I avoided meeting his gaze. The truth was I wasn’t sure I could trust anyone ever again. I’d seen too much and heard too many lies. Someone like Maveryck would never understand.

“I will never trust you,” I told him. “I can’t.”

“You can’t or you don’t want to?”

I shrugged. “Maybe both.”
“You fight like a demon. You’ve got a godlike reputation in Faythander that’s only rivaled by your brother’s. If I had to guess, there are some who wouldn’t believe you to be mortal. So, do you feel pain? Did you feel pain when you got those scars?”

Author Bio:
Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than half a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series and the Shine novellas. Dreamthief, the first book of her Fairy World MD series, won first place for fantasy in INDIEFAB’S Book of the Year Awards, a RONE award for best New Adult Romance of 2016, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Mythology and Fairy Tales categories with over 100 reviews.

Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English. She has been a featured speaker at the Rose State Writing Conference and has been a panelist at Comic Con Wizard World speaking on the topic of female leads. For her first published project, she collaborated with New York-Times bestselling author, William Bernhardt, in writing the Shine series.

Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. She rarely has any free time, but when the stars align and she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, taking nature walks, which fuel her inspiration for creating fantastical worlds, and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made. You can find her online at website.



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