Thursday, September 19, 2013

Blog Tour Stop with a fun excerpt from Mara Valderran's Heirs of War!

Morning, all!  I'm excited to have Mara Valderran visiting today and sharing an excerpt of her new book, Heirs of War
Book One
New Adult/Upper Young Adult Fantasy
October 13, 2013

Blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Zelene doesn't believe in magic or prophecies. When she's told she is part of the prophecy foretelling five powerful girls bringing peace to the war-torn worlds, she scoffs. The idea of other dimensions layered on top of the world she lives in is almost as ludicrous as the idea that she might be able to save them. After she is attacked by magic-wielding assassins, she finds she can't argue with reality.

As their enemies strike, the girls are taken back to their world and discover the ties binding them together. Rhaya has always had an uncanny knack for reading people, but can’t seem to unravel the mystery tying her to Isauria, the new friend she bonded with instantly. For years, Isauria has been dreaming of Terrena, a girl living her life on the run in a magical world ripped apart by the tragedies of war, completely unaware that she is psychically linked to the world she was born in.

Zelene views them all with a distrustful eye, familial bonds or no, and can think of a place or two she’d like to shove the crown she supposedly inherited. When she learns that her long-lost twin Ariana has been captured by the rebels, Zelene’s attitude changes. She doesn’t know how she is supposed to go against an army of magic-wielding rebels when her own ability to manipulate the elements is still locked within her. But can she trust the elders to rescue Ariana when it seems their medieval politics are what brought about the war in the first place? With all that is at stake, the answer becomes clear to Zelene.

Screw the worlds. She’s getting her sister back.

Excerpt:

Rhaya glanced at the stairs. "So, I'm gonna go get a coffee. You want anything?"
“No thanks,” Isauria said as her fingers playing with the hem of her t-shirt. "I've still got plenty of cocoa. But you go ahead. I'll save our seats."
Rhaya bobbed her head in understanding as she slid from her chair and went up the stairs to the coffee bar. She wished she could help Isauria, but wasn't sure what she could tell her that would comfort her. Especially when all she wanted to do was figure out this mystery the two of them were linked to. But Rhaya knew the time for questions and mysteries would come later. For now, her friend needed her. Isauria had this incredible sorrow practically enveloping her, so heavy Rhaya could swear she might be able to touch it. Rhaya had to help Isauria before any attempts at getting answers.

Her thoughts were interrupted as her attention snapped to a presence nearby. There was a man sitting at a table nearby staring at her. He shifted his attention away when she noticed him, but he wasn't fast enough. He was watching her. And she got the same feeling from him as she did from the man outside her classroom a couple weeks ago.

"Can I help you?" the clerk at the register asked.
Rhaya turned her attention back to the clerk, cutting a glance back to the menacing man trying to make it look like he wasn't watching her. "No," she finally said. "I think I changed my mind."
Rhaya shifted her body in such a way as to not turn her back on the man as she went back down the stairs, all the while trying her best not to make it obvious she was aware of his silent intent. She couldn't explain the churning in her gut, but this man had her more than creeped out. Couple the dangerous aura he gave off with all the ominous warnings she had received from Tate and her father, and she found she was flat out terrified.

Once she was out of sight, she picked up her pace and rushed over to Isauria.

"We have to go," Rhaya blurted out, throwing a glance to the top of the stairs. The man leaned against the wall as if waiting in line, but Rhaya knew better. He was watching them, waiting to make his move.
"Oh, you don't have to hang out if you don't want to. I understand," Isauria said meekly.

Rhaya placed her palms on the table and leaned over her companion, speaking in hushed tones but with urgency. "No, we have to go, Izzy. There's a man upstairs, and he…." she trailed off, unsure how to explain how she knew he meant to hurt them without offering any evidence. "Just trust me. We have to get out of here and get to my Dad as soon as possible."
As if on cue, Raemann came bursting through the door, scanning the few people downstairs until he found Rhaya and Isauria. He started to look relieved, but tensed and whipped around, his attention on the man at the top of the stairs. Rhaya tried not to gawk as she noticed Raemann's normally blue eyes were now fully black, as if someone had let a drop of ink fall into them and spread across his entire eye. Rhaya pulled Isauria, who was gawking as well, to her feet and behind Raemann.

"Where is Liam?" he asked Isauria.
Isauria's jaw dropped. "How do you know my Dad?"
"Never mind that," Raemann said with annoyance. "Are you scared?" He paused as Isauria nodded. "Good. Then he should be nearby. Now we are going to slowly make our way out the door. He will follow us, so once we are clear of the crowds we must hurry. Do you both understand?"
Isauria started to protest, but Rhaya placed her hand on her arm to stop her, causing her to turn around.

"What's—"

"Just trust me." Rhaya eyes widened as she matched Isauria’s gaze to try to convey the importance of her request. “Please.”
Perhaps Isauria was in the shock from the turn of events, but she followed without any more protests. Rhaya reached out and grabbed her hand, linking their fingers together and giving them a reassuring squeeze. Once Raemann had led them outside, he grabbed Rhaya's arm and started to drag them off, muttering under his breath and using his other hand to dial numbers from his cell phone. He kept throwing glances over his shoulder, which the girls did in turn as well, but so far there was no sign of the man from the coffee shop following the unusual train of people moving along the sidewalk.
"Dad?" Rhaya finally asked. "What's going on?"
"Call Liam," he ordered Isauria, who did so without complaint. "You felt the same thing from that man as you did the other, didn't you?" Rhaya nodded, but he didn't see her and didn't seem to need an answer. "They're making their move. We were too careless."

"Too careless about what?" Rhaya asked although she knew she wouldn't get an answer.

"It looks like you will be getting all the answers you've been wanting sooner than I thought." Raemann pulled them into an alley, checking both sides of the sidewalk before doing so. "Isauria, is he answering?"
Isauria didn’t answer as she stared at Raemann with a slack jaw. "What's going on? Why do your eyes look like that?" She turned to Rhaya, who merely shrugged as if she didn't know. "I really think I should get home," she said as she took a fearful step back.
"No," Raemann said as he continued to scan the area around them. "They will be waiting for you there." He paused his search to look at Isauria for the first time. "Is it true? You dreamt Alistair was murdered? Before Nandalia?"
Isauria took two steps backward until her back hit the brick wall behind her. "How did you know that?"
"Then we can't wait for Liam. We must leave now and hope he will follow." Both girls opened their mouths to ask questions, but Raemann whipped around to face the other end of the alley. He went into defensive position immediately, his back crouched and his hands out and ready to attack. The man from the coffee shop stood a few yards away, his stance similar to Raemann's. And he wasn't alone.

Rhaya gasped as she recognized the man from outside her classroom. The air seemed to crackle around them with tension. Rhaya reached down and grabbed a plank of wood from a pile nearby. She armed herself with the slab as if it were a baseball bat, trying to mimic the stance she had seen players use.
Isauria, proving herself to be possibly a bit more street savvy than her friend, armed herself with two beer bottles from outside the nearby dumpster. "Rhaya? Who are those two men? And why is your father growling at them?"
"I don't know," Rhaya answered as her heart pounded against her rib cage. "But I do know they're going to hurt us. So when the time comes, don't be afraid to use those."
A blur of color seemed to fly past them and suddenly Raemann had one of the men by the throat in the air before slamming him down into the pavement. The other wasted no time in cracking a beer bottle against the side of his face, causing Raemann to drop to his knees. Rhaya let out a warrior-like cry when she saw her father go down and charged the other man, swinging the makeshift bat with very little skill. The man she was attacking—the same one from outside her classroom—flicked his wrist from two feet away, and Rhaya went flying into the other brick wall.

She remained pressed up against the bricks, her feet dangling in the air as she felt a pressure pushing her whole body into the wall. She kicked her feet out as the man sauntered over, growing more frantic as he pulled out a dagger. Raemann had already gotten back to his feet and was still engaging the second attacker when their eyes met. He started to run for her, but the man he had been fighting stopped him before he could get to her, his opponent now with the upper hand as Raemann desperately tried to get to his ward.
The man gave her the same wicked smile once again, a twisted smirk full of dark promises about to be seen to. Rhaya swung out with the plank she had still managed to hold onto, but he blocked her with ease and twisted the weapon from her grip, tossing the wooden slab carelessly to the side. He was so close she could feel his breath on her. He dragged the dagger across her cheek, making a shallow cut that caused her to whimper, and letting the tip of the blade rest under her last rib, giving it a direct path to her heart.

Links:
Amazon: Not Available Yet
Barnes & Noble: Link TBA

About the Author:
Mara Valderran has been coming up with stories pretty almost since she could talk, often commandeering her brother's G.I. Joes to play out her fictional tales alongside her Barbies. Once she hit adolescence and realized playing with dolls wasn't cool anymore, she started putting her ideas to paper. And she hasn’t stopped since.

Mara has worn many different artistic hats throughout her life. She has dabbled in screenwriting, plucked guitars and basses, toyed with singing, retired from acting, and drawn some pretty mean stick figures in her time. However, writing books seems to fit her best as she finds nothing more fulfilling than creating worlds and characters she can lose herself in.

Mara is more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She lives in the south with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or spending time at her favorite local coffee shop.




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