A Castle to Keep No. 1 (#8Sunday)


Ooh, see that header? That means the cover for A Castle to Keep is humming along quite nicely while, editorially, power couple Halina and Gethen are being put through the wringer by yours truly. (Which is why they look ready to spit nails and kill someone with them.) This is the sequel to The Shadow & The Sun and though I’d hoped to release it in late July, that’s looking more like late August.

So, just randomly reaching into that mess of a manuscript, I came up with this scene. Gethen’s meeting with a hedge witch, Lauma, who was supposed to trade a herd of deer for a supply of his meads and medicinals but brought coins instead.

Lauma sashayed to his side then hopped up to perch on the edge of the table. He couldn’t ignore the warmth of her skin or the sweet scent of the blue gillam water that she rinsed through her brunette hair. She swung her feet rhythmically and looked around the hall. “The payment’s short,” she said.

Gethen didn’t look up as he stacked the coins. “I’ve noticed. What else have you brought?”

She tossed her hair over her shoulder then leaned toward him and ran her fingers over the back of his hand. “I’ll make up the difference personally. Like I always do.”

Ruh-roh. Moral dilemma?

No final description for this book yet, but you can get the first in the series from Amazon:

Shadow_Sun_ebook_brightAmong the living or the dead, he’s never needed anything from anyone.

Shadow Mage Gethen is a powerful necromancer, keeper of the border between the living and the dead, and brother to the king of Besera. But with his dark powers failing and a vengeful entity attacking, Gethen should be happy when a formidable lady knight appears at his gates. He’s not. The price for her aid is steep—his allegiance in a war against his brother.

In battle or in bed, she’s never met a man she considered her match.

Militess Halina is undaunted by the threat of war between her country and neighboring Besera. She earned her titles by shedding blood and breaking bones. She uses her body to reward soldiers who serve her loyally, and to punish those who don’t. And Halina’s never met a man she couldn’t command or crush.

Until now.

Passion and power unexpectedly ignite when a blizzard traps Halina at Gethen’s citadel. With the evil entity’s onslaughts rapidly deteriorating Gethen’s sorcery, they have little time to understand their unexpected attraction. But could their passion be the key to defeating an ancient enemy that’s hell-bent on obliterating their world?

The Shadow & The Sun combines the sword & sorcery elements of epic fantasy with paranormal elements and wraps them around a romance. It also includes a powerful heroine who makes no apologies for being a woman and a warrior, who uses her body and her mind, and who will never be confused for a damsel in distress.

Here’s the WeWriWa/Snippet Sunday business section that you’ve come to know and love. This is important to those of you who have no clue about what’s going on:
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Snippet Sunday is a Facebook group that also allows you to read other authors’ work and to post links to your own blog. You can find them here.

Thanks for reading and commenting. Please check out all the other WeWriWa and Snippet Sunday participants this week. As always, many great writers and books to be discovered!

Illustrations © 2016 Qistina Khalidah

By Monica Enderle Pierce

I'm a Seattle author of fantasy and science fiction books that have been called lyrical, powerful, and sensual. I trust readers to fill the gaps with their own imaginations.

  • Jessica E. Subject

    Oh, I don’t think Halina would be happy with that offer. Great excerpt!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Believe it or not, it’s actually Gethen who’s more uncomfortable with it. And thanks, hon!

  • Ed Hoornaert

    Hmm. I wonder if she really means what all of us with dirty minds think she means?

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Oh, yeah, she does. LOL!

  • DS

    Yay, more Gethen and Halina! Man, I’m really digging these covers, too.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      😀 Thanks, DS. I lurrrve my cover artist.

  • Ah, so it’s THAT kind of an arrangement is it? She sounds cute, but he’d better watch it!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      LOL! Definitely. Lauma’s pretty mercenary.

  • Nancy Gideon

    Nice tease, Monica! And gorgeously unique covers. What happens next??

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thanks, Nancy. What next? I’m still working on that. LOL

  • Veronica Scott

    Interesting exchange! Not sure I’d trust her too far – give me the gold coins or the deer! Great snippet.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thanks, Veronica! Yeah, I’m not sure I trust her either. 😀

  • Joyce Scarbrough

    Love the cover so far! This snippet flowed like wine over my lips on a Saturday night. 😉

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Ooh! Thank you! That’s a lovely poetic comment. 😀

  • P.T. Wyant

    Sex is nice, but it doesn’t fill the larder…

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      True dat. And it runs the risk of pissing off your lady, who expertly wields a very sharp long-sword. ;D

  • Owllady

    Well, that can either be good or bad, depending on how good you are at handling the consequences! Great teaser excerpt.


    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      The consequences could be … interesting.

  • Hm, good or bad…and how good or bad? Nice tease, for sure! I like the cover.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      LOL! If you have to ask, it’s probably not worth it, right? (And thanks!)

  • The cover is awesome! I also really liked the snippet. I love the word “sashayed.” 😉

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thanks! Yeah, “sashayed” evokes such a clear picture. It’s one of my favorites. 😀

  • Addison Albright

    Sounds like Lauma’s a survivor. 🙂

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Definitely. And a business woman, really.

  • Cecilia Corona

    So good. I bought this story a few weeks back and I haven’t sat down to read yet but after this snippet I really need to start.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Oh, awesome! Thanks, Cecilia. I hope you enjoy The Shadow & The Sun. 😀

  • Sure, offer sex, but the usefulness of it will be gone faster than that coin. I’d rather just reduce the amount given in exchange than trust her.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      You’re a wise woman, Aldrea!

  • Daelyn Morgana

    Uhhh… I’m willing to bet he wasn’t expecting that response from her! Someone is about to be in for a surprise, or maybe both of them will be. This sounds quite interesting.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      LOL! Well they have a history, but you’re right that a surprise is coming. 😀

  • Linda Hamonou

    I wonder what she is going to ask from him.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Nothing he’s willing to give, Linda. 😀

  • DS

    The Shadow and the Sun is out in paperback! Yes! I just got it along with Famine and Girl Under Glass. 😀