Ties of Smoke by Claudia Herring – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Claudia will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lady Lavinia Bramley is master of a Djinni.

Lavinia runs away from her husband to make a life with the djinni Yasir, but it’s not what she thought, not pearls and flying carpets and wishes come true . . .

Her desperate efforts to find happiness with Yasir are foiled by her husband’s reappearance, murder attempts by the jealous magician who cursed Yasir to the urn, and Yasir’s desire for revenge.

Lavinia finds love, and loyalty, are as ephemeral as ties of smoke.

Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt:

The boy cocked his head and thumped the heel of his hand near his ear. He straightened and squinted at her, drops of water competing with the freckles sprinkled on his nose. “What’re doing throwin’ bottles in the water—then looking horrified?”

“I changed my mind.” She wrung out the front of her skirt.

“Ya couldna swim in that.” He looked contemptuously at the fabric clinging to her legs.

“I know,” Lavinia said softly. She sat beside him in the warm sun and reached for the urn.

The boy grabbed it and pulled it out of her reach. “It’s mine now.”

Her face grew hot. Curse the little urchin. He could not have her urn. She stared at the vessel. “I will have it back.”

He scooted away and held it to his side, away from her. “Wot’s tossed away’s fair game.” He grinned, smug.

Lavinia held his gaze and stood slowly, shaking out her skirts. “You wouldn’t steal from a lady.”

The boy guffawed and rose to his feet, tottering from the weight of the urn. He looked her up and down and backed away. Lavinia followed, gaining on him. He turned, feet planted in the mud to take a running start.

“Stop, you little thief.” Desperate, she leapt at him, bringing him to the soggy ground as she landed on top. For a moment, she lay stunned. What had she done? Had she hurt the child?

“Criminy! S’blood!” The boy struggled on his stomach, his leg somehow kicking her in the thigh.

“Ow!” Lavinia rolled off of him into the mud.

“Damn it to hell.” He flopped upright and grabbed for the urn, clamped his hand on the base and dragged it to him. Lavinia crawled towards the vessel as he endeavored to pick it up. She threw herself on the urn, grunting as she landed half on the boy. He wriggled, trying to break free.

She clutched the urn in both hands, rolled away and staggered upright. The boy sat up, latched onto her skirt and pulled hard, ripping the cloth. With a cry, Lavinia stepped forward to regain her balance, her foot landing hard on his shin. He jerked his leg away, causing her to stumble and she pitched backwards onto her bottom, still clutching the urn.

“Cor blimey. Have mercy.” He grabbed his leg and crawled a few feet, mud covering his trousers.

They both scrambled up, bits of dirt and grass flying, and faced each other. The lad’s hazel eyes peered from his muddy face, shining with anger and greed. “I can get a bob, least, from the tinker fer it.” He scowled.

“Ha! More like sixpence.” Lavinia swayed, breathing hard. She wiped mud out of her eye and smeared it on her skirt.

“A bob.” The lad held out his grimy hand and planted his bare feet in the mire.

“I don’t have it here.” Lavinia huffed. What a conniving little bastard—why, he had stayed around to bargain.

About the Author: 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.

Along the way she worked as a gift wrapper, a server in a Mexican restaurant at an amusement park (where she rode the Black Dragon at midnight—an actual ride, not a sexual allusion) and an illustrator in medical graphics (where they featured videos on wound healing during lunch) at the Texas Medical Center.

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 is the second in the series The Djinn Chronicles.

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’s Soul Mirror series you’ll love His Master’s Bride and Ties of Smoke.

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Buy TIES OF SMOKE and HIS MASTER’S BRIDE on Amazon.

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His Master’s Bride by Claudia Herring – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Claudia will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. NOTE: The book is on sale for only $0.99!

MediaKit_BookCover_HisMastersBrideA 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. He dare not reveal a deeper reason: Only with Lavinia can he regain his freedom and exact revenge on the magician who confined him to the urn—

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.

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

Exhausted and exhilarated after the wedding banquet, the dancing, the endless toasts, Lavinia had changed into her French lace nightgown enduring the assistance of her new lady’s maid. With a sly smile, the maid dimmed the oil lamp, and left, closing the door without a sound, leaving Lavinia alone in her new room, in her new manor, trembling in the thin filigreed silk.

The first thought that flitted through her head—she was thankful her courses had come two weeks before, early, thank God—threw her into the confused litany of advice from her girlfriends and nanny about various male body parts and what she was to do upon encountering them. She swallowed hard, envisioning Peter in his cravat, silk shirt, buttoned jacket and trousers. The only flesh she had seen were his hands and face. And that’s not what the advice covered.

The door opened. She whirled around, heart pounding.

“There you are.” Peter strode towards her. “Fleming was supposed to escort you to my rooms, but,” he looked around, “this will do fine. There’s a fire in the hearth. Warm enough?”

All Lavinia could do was nod at this sophisticated, well-favored lord of the manor eyeing her in a most pleasing way. She swayed on her feet and chided herself: She would not faint on her wedding night at the appearance of the man she had loved since she had first seen him.

Peter slipped off his full-length dressing gown.

Lavinia breathed a sigh of relief at his perfectly proper pajamas. He embraced her, his arms cool in the wine-colored silk. She stifled the impulse to wriggle away and stood stiffly, her head whirling.

“Aye, if he hurts you, just bear it, don’t say anything.”

“Kiss him on the lips, then on his chest, that way he can’t grab you and do it too fast.”

“If he asks you to do something, even if it seems . . . ah . . . peculiar. Do it.”

Peter caressed her hair. “I like it loose. You looked beautiful in the tiara, but,” he chuckled, “I’m glad you removed it.”

She laughed. “It almost slipped off before I started down the aisle. Aunt Alice worked a miracle with hairpins and a few twists of wire.”

“Rose would’ve scrambled for it, had it fallen off. She’s had her eye on that tiara since I insisted to mother that you wear it.” Peter ran his hand down her cheek, sending a tingle through her body.

“Your sister doesn’t like me.” Lavinia looked into his eyes, cerulean and sea foam.

“Nonsense. Rose is merely jealous of my love for you. She has always begged every bit of my attention.”

About the Author: 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.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Author Page
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