Silver Silence - excerpt #3
Silver Silence, book 3 of my Druids of Avalon trilogy is in bookstores Tuesday Oct 27. I'm celebrating with excerpts, lost scenes, an interview and a week-long contest!
To enter, just comment on any post put up between Wed Oct 21 through Friday Oct 30. Two lucky readers will win autographed copies of both The Grail King and Deep Magic, as well as an autographed copy of Romantic Times BOOKReviews magazine November issue, featuring me on the cover!
Please consider including your email with your post so I can contact you quickly if you win! And if you don’t…check out more chances to win at www.joynash.com.
By the way, if you're planning on buying Silver Silence, I hope you'll consider picking it up close to the Oct 27 release day, as any book's opening week sales are the most important to an author's publisher.
Thanks and good luck to all!
And now, Silver Silence excerpt #3:
Instead of ending the spell, as she knew she ought, she drew a deep, painful breath and continued watching.
Rhys released the wench with a playful swat on her bottom. With a smirk on her lips, and a swish of her hips, she disappeared into the kitchen. She returned a short while later with a bowl of stew and a basket of barley bannocks. Rhys bent his head over the meal and began to eat.
The woman returned to the kitchen, emerging a moment later with a large tray laden with mugs and bowls. The tavern was filling, Breena belatedly realized. The kitchen boy had returned with a good number of men, women, and even children. Why, it looked as though the whole village had suddenly decided to take the evening meal in the tavern.
Breena understood why when Rhys pushed aside his empty bowl and reached for his pack. Every eye in the room was on him as he withdrew a bundle and unfolded the well-worn oiled cloth. Breena could almost feel the excitement rippling through the room as Rhys’s harp was revealed. A visit from a bard of Rhys’s talent would be a rare and treasured event in such a poor settlement.
The barkeep had already set the tavern’s best chair before the hearth. Rhys sat, cradling the harp’s polished wood frame in the crook of his arm. His long, graceful fingers moved swiftly over the harp strings.
Breena felt the touch on the strings of her heart. When Rhys began to sing, a lump rose in her throat. Unshed tears burned her eyes. Though the vision was silent, Breena had no trouble imaging his song. Her memories of Rhys’s music stretched as far back as she could remember. She’d been a small girl when the lanky Celtic boy had first appeared at the gates of her father’s farm on the outskirts of Isca Silurum, carrying little more than his harp. He’d begged to trade a song for a night’s shelter, and had ended up staying a fortnight.
The tall, handsome bard utterly entranced her. At first, it had been a childish fascination. But as Breena grew to womanhood, the attraction became so much more potent. It squeezed her heart and pulled at her belly. It pulsed between her legs in the small hours of the morning. She’d lain awake so many nights, wanting him. Imagining what it would be like to be in his arms. But Rhys did not want her. Not in that way. To him, Breena was still a child.
At the encouragement of several patrons, the bold barmaid had abandoned her tray. Laughing, she tore off her mobcap and pulled the thong from her hair. Thick blond curls tumbled over her shoulders.
She began to dance, lifting her skirts above her ankles as her feet flew in a graceful, complicated pattern, her steps coming faster and even faster. A half smile played on Rhys’s lips as he played her accompaniment. At the end of the dance, the woman draped her arms about Rhys’s shoulders and kissed him deeply. The audience stomped and applauded; Rhys laughed.
Breena’s hold on the vision faltered. A tear trickled down her throat. Eyes blurred, she watched Rhys sing several more songs. Finally, he rose and bowed. Someone brought his pack, and he rewrapped his harp with care. The barmaid, standing to one side, watched his every movement, a gleam of anticipation in her eye.
He looked at her and she smiled, her invitation unmistakable. Rhys’s expression was harder to read. He watched as the woman turned and walked slowly away, hips swaying. Her destination was the narrow stair that rose along the wall. One foot poised on the bottom step, she turned and looked back.
The air was squeezed from Breena’s lungs as Rhys crossed the room and followed the woman up the stair. Her throat closed as he disappeared into the gloom at the top.
Her vision shattered.
She gasped with the sudden violence of the broken spell. Pain pounded her head, her stomach twisted violently. She might have emptied her stomach of her last meal, save for the fact her ribs had contracted too tightly to draw a full breath.
Hugging herself, she rocked forward and back, her eyes squeezed tight against the tears.
She never should have looked.
Excerpt #4 coming on Wednesday! All the best!