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. 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.
I screamed silently. My body stung as though I had been dragged through a bed of nettles. What manner of master would I encounter this time? My skin rippled as the cool night air soothed my stinging flesh. My feet balanced on solid ground.
I was released!
I could see through the mist, giving me an interval to arm myself before I formally became a slave. My master stood mystified, his intelligent eyes straining to penetrate the haze.
His chamber was spacious, furnished in opulence. A sturdy yet ornate desk piled with documents. The urn sitting on the marble top, lid gaping open. With my unerring sight, I sped through his papers. Lord Peter Bramley, an antiquary. A wife, Lady Lavinia. Copious notes, cramped handwriting, ambitious, but nothing I could use. Not yet. My gaze drifted over a plush silk carpet of crimson, amber and verdigris, to a four-poster bed draped with fine netting. Luxurious linens. Lion-footed bedside table crowded with a crystal oil lamp, leather-bound books, coins of the realm and a gold-framed portrait.
She watched me from within the frame, a beautiful maiden. Dark curls long and thick edging porcelain skin, full lips the ripe red of a pomegranate, eyes the deep blue of lapis lazuli encircled by the pale azure of a clear morning sky.
Her eyes widened, quizzical, pupils dilating in recognition. Then they relaxed and warmed with her slight smile.
Ayevalelh! I turned to my new master. Had this man a charmed portrait? But no, this was an ordinary man, a portrait of his wife by his bedside. This magic was for me only. It felt familiar. A favorable magic. I steadied my trembling legs, eyes riveted to the small painting, and resisted the urge to fall to my knees weeping.
Thalia. Was this my Thalia? I had been in the bloom of youth, an innocent, smitten by my first love. Even now my powers raged at their helplessness to rescue us from the clutches of Rakhshan.
Oh, Thalia. Would that he had never discovered us.
“Khak sho.” In a whisper, I cursed the cruel magician.
He stole my beloved. He stole my life. He cursed me to the urn.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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.
Amazon author: http://www.amazon.com/author/claudiaherring
The Book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.
HIS MASTER’S BRIDE on amazon: http://tinyurl.com/mg83vjj
(comes up with the url: inktera)
Claudia will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Use the link below to enter.