Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Escape Publishing: A Warlord's Lady by Nicola E. Sheridan- Excerpt & Giveaway

Welcome to another brilliant Happy Birthday Escape Publishing post! Today I have an exclusive excerpt from A Warlord's Lady by Nicola E. Sheridan as well as the fantasy bundle giveaway!


I stumbled from the room, looking as though I’d been riding a horse for hours — which I had, I suppose. The Warlord’s sexual appetite was as prodigious as his hunger for power and domination. He rarely spoke to me, but I often heard him speaking at length to his generals as they walked down the marbled corridors surrounding my rooms. The Warlord’s manner was always brusque, his tone always curt and his face always hard — but man, he was handsome, and this fact alone made certain my sexual duties were never a chore. 

[Excerpt from Memoirs of a Warlord’s Love Slave, Chapter 7]

Sabra looked up from the book, her book: Memoirs of a Warlord’s Love Slave, a New York Times Best Seller.

She dropped it back on the crumb‐covered coffee table. There it landed, rejected in a rain of biscuit debris. The book was a mistake. It should never, ever, have been written.

Yet her eyes lingered upon the glossy cover, reluctant to completely ignore it. A model, much thinner and prettier than she’d ever be, graced the cover. In a sweeping low‐cut mauve blouse that barely covered her nipples, she smiled saucily up at Sabra. Behind the girl stood a male model, shirtless and glowering. He looked as though he’d discovered regular milk in his soy latte. The real Cain Dath could never look so spoilt.

Her stomach clenched and memories rushed through her body, leaving her hot and restless. Taking a deep breath, she struggled to push them aside and stared again at the cover of the book. It lay discarded, like a dead thing.

Having a best seller had come with a hefty price, and not just in the book royalties. Once released, it had taken investigative reporters little more than a week to decipher her nom de plume. Within two, the world media had been banging on her door. Sabra’s round, wide‐eyed face now stared back from every magazine, newspaper and television she looked at.

‘It’s been said that the Magician Warlord, Cain Dath, has a harem full of women.
Why did he kidnap you?’

‘What is special about Sabra Westwood?’

‘What can you do that all other women could not?’

So many questions and she couldn’t answer even one. She didn’t know why the
Warlord had captured her…she really didn’t.

Until her kidnapping while holidaying in Laos, she’d worked at a metal fabrication company in the payroll office. No, there was nothing particularly special about Sabra Westwood. Mousy brown hair, grey eyes, short and more than a little squat — people rarely looked at her twice. Yet there was one thing; one small thing that Sabra took pains to keep secret. This abnormality of hers, which she’d rather people not discover, did make her just a little different from every other late‐twenties, single Aussie girl. Sabra Westwood, despite all other appearances, was a Chameleon.

In a world where magical beings were as common as spots on a leopard, a Chameleon wasn’t anything particularly outrageous. It was just odd. For all intents and purposes, she was just like any other ordinary woman — except her skin contained cells
collectively known as chromatophores. The presence of these cells gave her the rather unique ability to change skin and hair colour and, if she so desired, blend in with the background. Providing she was stark naked, Sabra could blend in with anything, from a brick wall to paisley carpet. However, walking around camouflaging yourself constantly was tiresome and not entirely practical, especially given the nudity requirement; Sabra rarely used her ability and, as she didn’t like to be singled out, took pains to hide her difference.

For much of her incarceration with Cain, she’d wondered if it was her Chameleon abilities that had attracted him and his minions to her. It certainly couldn’t have been her plain‐Jane appearance. Sabra found herself pondering why the great Warlord couldn’t have found another Chameleon to satisfy his desires — if indeed that was what titillated him so much? Why her? She wasn’t even slim; less so now that she was practically under home detention — for her own protection, of course.

Sabra Westwood took a bite and released the half‐eaten chocolate biscuit onto the saucer from where it came. The skin on her fingers had turned a soft chocolatey brown to match it, but instantly returned to its usual golden olive once she released the biscuit from her grip. She could control the ability much better these days, but when she didn’t concentrate, portions of her body would camouflage to match whatever they made contact with. It used to dismay her schoolteachers no end. She snorted, and then licked her fingers clean of the melted chocolate remnants. At the warm slippery sensation, her mind was instantly thrown back to Cain’s touch. Frustratingly, Sabra felt her heart speed up. It thumped loudly in the fleshy confines of her chest and her loins tightened. Lord, I must have Stockholm Syndrome, she thought. The worst thing was that she probably did. It had been just over a year since she’d escaped; she was no closer to being relieved of the torturous, traitorous feelings and crippling flashbacks that swelled within her every time her mind roamed restlessly to her time in captivity, or the seductive captor who’d kept her there.

Sighing and pushing other more difficult thoughts aside, she glanced out the window to where several armed security men stood posted outside her home. She was back in Australia, at home, free from the Warlord’s capture, but almost enslaved again. The Australian Government was certain Cain would come to collect her, sooner or later. How they knew this and why they thought it true was a mystery to Sabra — but they fervently believed it. Now, Sabra couldn’t leave her home without armed guards, and the government insisted on placing Magical Ion Sensing Devices all around her home. No untoward magic would happen on their watch; none at all. Sabra wondered when it would all end.

Disrupting her thoughts like a gunshot, the telephone rang and echoed down the corridor. A high‐voltage spasm of excitement rippled through her body. It was him. Struggling not to run, she paused and waited for the requisite six rings, to ensure the phone‐tapping specialist was ready to do his part. Finally, she strode up the corridor, her bare feet padding on the thick, woven hallway runner.

‘Hello?’ her voice was breathy, and her hand turned as white as the slimline handset.

‘I’m coming to get you.’ The voice was low and gravelly and it resounded with fury. 

Magic, murder and mayhem collide when an ordinary woman meets a powerful warlord — and writes a bestselling, tell-all book... It's got to be Stockholm Syndrome... Eighteen fateful months ago, Sabra was kidnapped by the infamous magician warlord Cain Dath, and her body just won't let her forget. Hidden in the humid depths of the Laos jungle, she shared everything with him, but he never shared his heart.

In his position of power, Cain cannot show weakness. He must lead his people to freedom and no one — not even the woman he's fast becoming obsessed with — can stand in his way. Then Sabra sells her story of love slavery in a tell-all exposé and brings fame, fortune, and every one of his enemies down upon them both. Now, she is open to attack on all fronts, and he can no longer stay away. The man who enslaved her may well be the only man who can save her.

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Nicola E. Sheridan is an Australian author of paranormal / fantasy romance. A qualified teacher and archaeologist, she has an enduring love of mythology and loves to weave lesser-known mythological creatures into her tales. Nicola lives in Western Australia with her indulgent family and two cats. Nicola’s likes are probably endless and too numerous to list here!

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For your chance to win a Fantasy bundle featuring A Warlord's Lady as well as four other fabulous stories, be sure to comment with a way to contact you!
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Open internationally!
**On Tuesday I have Chao's Born author Rebekah Turner on the blog for a chat!**

1 comment:

  1. I need to add to my Fantasy list. Thank you.



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