If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Excerpt: A Veil of Secrets by Hailey Edwards / @BipBopBooks @HaileyEdwards

Title: Araneae Nation #5: A Veil of Secrets
Author: Hailey Edwards
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: December 30, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Some secrets are best forgotten.

Araneae Nation, Book 5

Fresh from the battlefields of Erania, Marne rides south with Edan, headed for the city of Beltania. Among the Mimetidae guards accompanying them is Asher, who’s been a thorn in her side since the day they met. He’s rude and abrasive…yet he was the first to volunteer as escort.

Marne dreams of a fresh start where no one knows who—or what—she is. But first, they must cross the veil. Rumor has it spirits haunt that grim stretch of road, and unwary travelers who enter are never heard from again.

Veil or no veil, Asher is honor bound to see Marne safely to her new home. Though truth be told, Marne leaving Erania is the last thing he wants. This journey is his final chance to convince her distance will only make his heart grow fonder.

When Edan is lost to the mists, Marne is trapped in a strange land with no allies—with a man who draws her closer every day. Closer to her heart, and her secrets. Secrets she must reveal if they are to save the one man bent on tearing them apart.

Warning: This book contains one heroine willing to fly into the face of danger and the hero who gives her heart wings. This adventure is BYOM, Bring Your Own Meal. Trust me, where we’re going, takeout is to die for. Literally.

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Other books in this series

“It is said the two gods created the crossroads as an intersection between the Above, the second world and the Below. Those who the gods banished there were trapped forever between worlds. The roads stretched forever, and they were doomed to wander them. At first, the two gods sent only their enemies, lesser gods, to the crossroads. But soon after, they created First World and populated it with creatures from their imaginations. Not all their creations were good. The gods separated the bad from the rest and banished them. Their intervention came too late, and the first world was destroyed.” 

“By fire,” I finished. “It seems their tastes haven’t changed.” 

“Those the gods banished are old. The old do not change.” He shrugged. “They adapt to survive, but in their hearts, they are the same. They want the same things now they did then. They hunger.” 

“Do you think the Necrita are First People?” Idra claimed she had seen the second world born. 

“If they are not First People, then they are children of First People.” He slowed until I stopped to let him catch his breath. “When the gods created Araneaeans, they were imperfect also. But since the gods molded males and females in their own images, they are more lenient with the Second People.” 

“My circumstances have changed since I was last in Beltania.” It was hard to believe how much was different. “My brother was taken by Idra, as Pascale told you, but when I found him, he had been changed.” It stunned me how much it hurt to admit that. “He is what I am. The bargain we made then isn’t enough to keep me and my brother alive. Idra mentioned an alternative, but I doubt her word.” 

One sigil, if it delivered the venom to my system properly, would cut our needs in half. I wasn’t ready to face life with a sigil, so I dismissed the possibility in favor of the certainty. 

“Is his mind clear?” Old Father lurched into motion. 

“He has gaps in his memory, as do I. He will suffer through withdrawal for several weeks. He’s sick now, feverish. The next few days will be the worst. He will only survive if he gets treatment.” 

He nodded. “You believe he will recover and function as you do?” 

“I have no reason to believe he won’t.” I would force him to recover if I had to. 

“Good.” He picked up his pace until the ruined city came into view. “We could use him too.” 

Because I was starting to feel hopeful, I dared ask him, “What are you offering us exactly?” 

“I will teach you how to distill the antivenin yourselves. I will provide for you to start, but I will expect you to devote part of your day to tending the dayflowers if you expect to continue to reap the benefits from them.” He sighed as he took in the charred husks of buildings. “We will provide a clan, a home, for you both. In return, we ask for your allegiance. We ask you to help protect us from this.” 

“Will your people be as accepting as you are?” Already I was drawing looks. 

“Today they saw you fight your own kind to save them.” His cloudy gaze held mine. “They saw what you risked to protect them, saw you save Wishövi from those who would have killed him. They might not accept you as they did before, but they will respect you. They owe you and the others their lives. I am but one old male. I could not have held a prayer vigil much longer, and they know that.” 

“You have made us a generous offer.” I kissed his cheek. “I must speak with Edan first.” 

“Of course.” He gestured ahead. “Would you walk me to my chair?” 
 A Veil of Secrets Copyright © 2014 by Hailey Edwards. Used with permission of Samhain Publishing.

A cupcake enthusiast and funky sock lover possessed of an overactive imagination, Hailey lives in Alabama with her handcuff-OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcarrying hubby, her fluty-tooting daughter and their herd of dachshunds.

Her desire to explore without leaving the comforts of home fueled her love of reading and writing. Whenever the itch for adventure strikes, Hailey can be found with her nose glued to her Kindle’s screen or squinting at her monitor as she writes her next happily-ever-after.

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