Blade and Soul by C.M. Estopare
Publication Date: June 30, 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
To defy gods, she will sacrifice all.
After the death of its duchess, Safrana is in turmoil. Two equally powerful families vie for power, quickly turning the beautiful citadels of Safrana into a hellish warscape. While, on the outside, there is a desperate search for the one true heir to the throne. The one man who could stop an encroaching civil war and force the citadels into peace.
But he is no where to be found. Presumed dead. While a threatening war looms over Safrana, promising to tear it apart.
Thrust into a political world which only buys and sells in blood money, with an impending civil war at hand, Marceline Brandy is called to take charge of a peace effort in a foreign city. But nothing is certain in this world rife with political strife. Everything must be questioned, even a push for peace.
Desperate to complete her mission, Marceline soon finds herself tangled up in the strange political affairs of an arrogant woman with dangerous ties to the long lost heir of the Safranian throne. But there is another, more powerful presence that lurks on the borders of Safrana’s imploding government. A presence that would stop at nothing to see Marceline and her allies fail.
Seized by a foreign city she is sworn to save, she has few to turn to for help. The list of allies she could count on is cut short by corrupt patriotists hungry for war and livid at the mere notion of foreign driven peace. Months pass as Marceline heads this peace effort, but the fiercer she works the more dire the situation becomes and time is running out.
A war looms, one that promises to destroy Safrana, as mythological creatures rise from ancient graves. The fiends intent on absolute destruction.
Is this an all-out test of Marceline’s strength and will?
Or, are the gods themselves against her?
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Excerpt from Blade and Soul:
At the opposite end of the long dining table, she listened to the handsome man chuckle. The laughter thorough and deep.
Snapping her eyes open, she met his gaze.
“And who are you?” he called, his smooth voice carried over the length of the empty table.
She could swim in those deep blue eyes.
“No one.” Marceline replied, tearing off another piece of her pastry. She ate the treat slowly.
“She speaks.” he teased, setting his white tea cup down.
Marceline huffed, the silence broken, “Who are you?”
He puffed up his chest, “Rand Demarche. Knight of the Danaen Monarchy.” he opened a palm to her, “And you?”
Marceline narrowed her eyes, “As I said, nobody.”
He laughed in that southern way—no control. Wild, “A tigress such as yourself? A beauty without a name?” he cocked his head of wavy bronze hair, “Perhaps it is like the eastern tales—a woman, a tigress!” he nodded, “Yes! I can see it—the cat-like eyes—your scowl! Perhaps you consulted a woods witch—begged that you be turned into a human so that you could go and be with the human man you fell in love with, but alas—she took your voice and went on to marry the man which you loved! Thus, leaving you stranded. Wandering the wilds until the day comes for you to move on to the underworld—,”
Marceline shook her head, “Non—,”
“With your beauty, mademoiselle, you could not possibly be human. Not completely. Unless—unless Florent has spiked my tea with absinthe and I am merely hallucinating.” He leaned in, his hand to his chin, “Tell me, tigress, are you real?”
She found herself smiling. Shaking her head, “Surely not.”
“Then I must be going insane.”
Marceline chuckled at that, a girlish giggle creeping its way up her throat.
The handsome knight winked. Flashed her a bright smile.
A white rose adorned his breast pocket.
Her laughter immediately ceased.
“Knight.” she began, boring into his eyes with her own, “Why would a man of the Danaen Monarchy be so far from the capital? The countryside should mean nothing to you.”
At that, his eyes became stone, “Have you not heard of the Tragedy of Safrana? The Monarchy cares for its principalities. Safrana is without a ruler, thus it is giving itself to chaos. I have been called to keep the peace by visiting Safranian businesses of import and reminding all of Safrana’s tie to the Monarchy.”
Marceline smirked, “You are a bad liar, Knight.”
The look he gave her was a silent one. It made her skin crawl. Her shoulders raised.
“The rumors are true, then,” he breathed, hissing, “Safrana’s women are wholly astute. Presumptuous.”
Marceline’s gaze became sharp. She had no words—no cutting remark to protect herself against his assumptions.
Silence fell like soot.
Before he stood from his chair. Shot up like a snake springing from the ground.
Marceline watched him saunter through, the knight walking towards the dining room’s exit.
He rushed past her. Stopped. His overbearing presence towering behind her chair.
Warm breath raked the back of her neck. An icy presence made her hair stand on end. Made her clench her fists and bring them into her lap.
Her breath hitched in her throat.
Behind her, the knight simply laughed. Chuckled lightly before turning on his heel and exiting the room.
The door closed gently. Wood knocking against wood. Floorboards creaking.
C.M. Estopare is a full-time author, avid yoga enthusiast, and veteran of the United States military. She is the author of HEARTFELT SOUNDS, a young adult coming of age fantasy about the enthralling power of one young woman’s voice.
KINDRED SOULS is a three part epic and dark fantasy series hitting Amazon and Kindle Unlimited beginning in February 2017. The first book, WINTERSKIN, debuted February 9th, 2017. The second book, BLADE AND SOUL, debuts June 30th, 2017. Be sure to mark your calendars!
When not writing, C.M. Estopare enjoys reading about the fantastical worlds in the minds of others. She also enjoys playing around with her puppy, Duke, and adventuring with her husband.