HIS MASTER’S BRIDE
by Claudia Herring
A world of mysterious powers and tumultuous intrigues comes to life in Regency England as a djinni, burdened with a dark secret, is thrown into a love triangle fraught with subterfuge.
A troubled djinni seduces his master’s young wife, forcing her to make a fateful choice.
The djinni Yasir, imprisoned in an urn by a jealous magician, searches the centuries for his lost love. He finds Lavinia reborn in 1811 England, only to discover she’s his new master’s bride.
Desperate to have her, Yasir spell-casts Lavinia’s husband to forget he is master and give her the urn. When she opens the ancient vessel, Yasir emerges, terrifying in his magnificence yet somehow familiar, but she fails to recognize him. She distrusts this djinni even though his very presence enchants her.
Yasir’s spell is fading. Lavinia’s husband has changed. Now he’s violent as he struggles with returning memories of when he possessed the urn. Lavinia strives to keep the two from encountering one another, while torn between fidelity for her husband and her increasing attraction to the djinni.
Impatient to win Lavinia’s confidence, Yasir must convince her of her true identity so they can reclaim their life together.
If she does not go mad from the spell to awaken her memories. If her husband does not escape the djinni’s magic and discover her secret. If the magician does not find them first.
I remembered in a flood of horror. I was in the urn. Cursed.
My prison for life.
I looked down at my body. The weak light grew brighter as if in cooperation with my wishes to see. A tunic of silk lay soft on my chest, heavy with threads of gold and silver brocade layered in figured patterns, threaded with pearls. Pantaloons of lightest cloth of gold, cuffed in pearls and carnelian. A prince’s wardrobe. I had been bathed, my hair groomed. The pain from my unspeakable torture, gone.
I held out my hand, fingers spread, and breathed a sigh of relief. My first finger was whole, restored, unblemished. I ran my palm under my brocades, along my back. The scarred ridges and scabs had vanished without a trace, now smooth, firm flesh. I held out my arm and lifted my sleeve, the rich cloth soft on my skin, the raw abrasions from the manacles, disappeared.
On a gold side table, a looking glass tempted me, framed in silver set with diamonds, glowing like the full moon. I picked it up and paused. I shut my eyes, reliving the heavy fists tearing into my face, the crunch of small bones.
Then I looked. I gasped. I was more handsome than before, my skin smooth, the texture like porcelain.
It was as though the brutality had been a terrifying nightmare. But inside, the wounds and bruises and gashes throbbed and suppurated, festering in the dark recesses of my mind where I experienced the violence so vividly that nausea would grip my gut.
I reclined on a luxurious divan covered in violet silk, woven with the glossy pattern of waves, and piled in pillows upholstered in furs of cheetah and tiger, feathers of peacock and parrot, and weavings as fine as paintings on ivory. The ceiling soared high, vaulted in triangles combining into hexagons, the ribs gilded, the cells palest blue, painted with clouds and celestial creatures, a flying dragon in the center belching red flames. The walls. Phrygian marble and the purple of amethyst, inset with hammered sheets of gold. The floors. Mosaics of porphyry, marble, mother of pearl and precious stones, softened with sumptuous carpets.
I shook my head. This must be a blissful, yet malevolent, delusion from which I would awake in a dank dungeon, chained as before to the wall, my sores and wounds infected. I jumped from the divan and tried my magic, pointing my hand at a carved wooden chair. It burst into flames.
Nothing else changed.
I collapsed onto the divan dazed in wonderment. My magic, returned to me at last.
I waved my hand and extinguished the fire. The chair became whole once more. The full import of this struck me and I let my arms fall to my side, limp upon the divan. My magic was given back to grant wishes, fulfill commands. My magic was to make me a slave to whoever possessed the urn.
To my master.
~Buy HIS MASTER’S BRIDE (only 99c during the tour):
Claudia Herring aspired to be a baton twirler when she was five and an archaeologist at thirteen. When she became a graphic designer and an author of fantasy, she decided she'd hit upon the perfect compromise.
As a designer and illustrator she formats the written word around visual art. As a writer she weaves words into stories that form worlds. Her novel, "His Master's Bride," a historical fantasy with romantic elements set in Regency England, won first prize in the Houston Writer's Guild Novel Competition. "Ties of Smoke," next in "The Djinn Chronicles" series, is in its second draft.
When she's not delving into the world of the Djinn, Claudia is practicing yoga to go to that hushed space where she imagines and plots her next fantasy novel.
If you like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, or Carol Berg, you'll love His Master's Bride.
Find her online:
Claudia will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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