It’s here! My new cover for The Beryllium Chalice is finally launched. To mark the occasion, it is launching at 30% off the listed price. If you love Greek-based fantasy, come and get it now as this offer won’t last! The sale is offered exclusively at Musa Publishing.
For now, here’s a free excerpt!
Perhaps he left for only a few seconds, but to Flora, blind and naked in a strange place, it felt like an eternity. She stood vulnerable and trembling, and felt more fear than she’d ever known before. Her empty stomach roared for attention, and if she did not eat soon, she would faint. She had need of Dero’s courage, and she turned the ring still on her finger. A warm sensation crept through her tired limbs and her hunger faded at once, but not even Dero’s magic was enough to erase her fear of pain. What will he do to me? What form will the sacrifice take? How much will I suffer?
She did not have to wonder long for the mage soon returned.
“Come,” Maljandra said. He took her hand and led her forward. Slowly, they walked down a couple of steps and then water rose over her foot. As they descended the steps, the water rose up her legs and she realized they were in a pool. This must be his bathing chamber. The water was warm and soothed her blood-stained skin. Nevertheless she advanced cautiously, and her legs locked, afraid she might slip and fall. As he brushed by her, Flora felt the wizard’s bare skin and knew he’d undressed to bathe her.
The slightly rough surface of a sponge rubbed across her body as the mage wiped away the stench of stale blood and the dungeon. He washed her slowly and carefully, and left no part of her body untouched. She trembled with every stroke, and she sensed her fear pleased him. As his hands washed her hair, he was close up against her, and Flora felt both his desire and frustration.
“Do you always do as you’re told?” she asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Ragnold is your master, is he not? You are in his service and do his dirty work.” She put her hand on his bare chest. “Set me free and I could reward you. Return my sight to me and help me escape.”
Maljandra’s hand cupped her right breast and he caressed it gently. “You want me to set you free?” he whispered in her ear.
“Yes, I beg you, let me go.”
He squeezed, but the pain she felt in her breast was nothing to the pain she felt throughout her body. It twisted within her, eating into every part of her, leaving nothing unscathed by its sharp teeth. A scream tore from her, leaving her throat raw, followed by another. She screamed more than she’d ever done before.
“And who would free me from the wrath of Hades?” he asked. His breath was hot against her ear. “You think me as weak as any mortal man? Do you think the temptation of a little dryad would easily turn me? Know this, foolish woman. You’ll remain blind till I take you to the temple. I’ll restore your sight long enough for you to see Ragnold’s gauntlet rip out your heart.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Iris Woodbury writes fantasy and children’s literature. It all started when, for her sister’s sanity, she was asked to calm down two naughty nieces who were fighting in the back of the car, Iris created a story: ‘Pixies in the Hedgerow.’ She told them about the tiny people who lived beneath the hedges, and how they had great adventures, and would do anything to keep their world secret from the Big Folk. From Bexley to Hastings, the two children were glued to the window, watching for the tiny pixies Iris promised were hiding in the shrubs. After that the two girls couldn’t get enough of their mad aunt’s stories, and Iris has been making up tales ever since. Her preferred genres are fantasy and children’s literature, though Iris has a special place in her heart for short stories. She has four stories available for download with http://www.alfiedog.com which is one of the biggest short story download sites in the world and a novel with Musa Publishing, LLC.
She also writes pretty much anything that comes into her head on her blog, https://iriswoodbury.wordpress.com/
You can reach Iris at IrisWoodbury@yahoo.com.
Connect with Iris on social media. She always follows back.
Recent publications by Iris Woodbury:
- Rumplestiltskin’s Secret (contribution to anthology, Thrice Upon a Time, by Alfie Dog Fiction
- Mission Accomplished (contribution to anthology, Read it Again, by Alfie Dog Fiction
- The Beryllium Chalice, a novel published by Musa Publishing.
If you buy it, I hope you enjoy reading it!
Thanks, and best wishes – Iris Woodbury!