Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Desolation Diaries by Ali Cross

There is some great news for fans of  "the Desolation Diaries" by Ali Cross.The third book in the series  "Tattered Dreams" was released on 12th November!

AND not only that but the first two books in the series which were available only in Kindle is now available everywhere else!!

Book 1:

Personal Demons

The Desolation Diaries #1

What happened after the story ended?

A Desolation Novella

What do you do when your past comes back to bite you in the ass--with very sharp, pointy teeth

James thought life was good--living in Paris with Miri, not a single bad guy in sight. 

Until the goddess Hel came to reclaim him.

Book 2

The Seer

She's always been the one protected, shielded from the darkness in the world. But Miri wants to be as capable and strong as Desi and James. She wants to control her visions so they can actually be of use, actually give her friends an advantage over the dark.

When her visions reveal an enemy fixated on James, Miri must face the evil alone, and risk everything to do it.

Book 3
Tattered Dreams

Miri has seen Akaros' return--and James' death.

But James has been to Hell and back and refuses to let Akaros rob him of his future with Miri.

Desi might not be there to save him this time, but James is determined to save himself.

Monday, November 11, 2013

PODS Making Connections Blog Tour

Title:   PODs
Author:   Michelle K. Pickett
Genre:   Science Fiction,Dystopia, Young Adult, Zombies, Romance
Published:   June 4th 2013 by Spencer Hill Press
Page Count:   312 pgs
Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.

About the Author
I'm a wife, mother, author, reader, although not always in that order. I've been an avid reader since a young child. I began writing for personal enjoyment in college, where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting. Why I chose a degree that didn't encourage creativity is a mystery to me.
I'm addicted to Reese's peanut butter cups and eat way too many while I write. I have a weird obsession with hoodies and can't write without wearing one. I hate to cook, but love to watch cooking shows.
I'm an unabashed romantic and love swoon-worthy happy endings that give me butterflies for days.
Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, I now reside in a small community outside Houston, Texas with my incredibly supportive, not to mention gorgeous, husband, three amazing school-aged children, a 125-pound lap dog, and a cat that thinks she's queen.

I write adult and young adult Sci/Fi, urban fantasy and paranormal romances.

I love to hear from readers and other authors, so drop me a note and say "Hi!"

Social Links

Buy the Book

1 signed copy of PODs and some Swag!
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Sunday, November 3, 2013


Save Dschinannya!
Dschinnanya, world of the demons, is in danger. Soon this magical place which changes its appearance each day will be extinct. Only you can save it! 

Part 1 of the fantasy series “Creatures of Fire: Demons die harder” featured Dschinnanya, the world of the demons. If the author, J.B. Brooklin can’t write part 2 of the series, Dschinnanya will leave this world and be forgotten.

If you want to prevent this, you can help. In return you will soon be able to delve into the next fantasy mystery, visit Dschinnanya and find out what happens to Sariel and Alexander, the two main characters. All you have to do is fund the project “Save Dschinnanya!” with only 1 USD … or more, but that is up to you.

Supporters will get behind-the-scenes access to Dschinnanya. J.B. Brooklin is not only going to share ideas, but will also post excerpts from part 2, unpublished scenes, bonus material and whatever else she can think of.
Interested? If you want to find out more about the “Creatures of Fire” series and Dschinnanya, you can get your free copy of book 1 “Demons die harder” as an ebook. For free! Simply send an email to or to and request either a pdf, epub or mobi file.

More information about the project “Save Dschinnanya!” can be found here, along with the possibility to sign up and be informed when the project goes live:

Want to view the project video? Look here:

Blurb of Part 1 “Creatures of Fire: Demons die harder”

She is a half demon, oblivious to her true nature. He is a demon set out to avenge murder.

Together they are hunted by the one person she thought she could trust. Separate they may be able to save each others lives.

New York – Paris – Dschinnanya.
To show you what you are getting into,here is an excerpt from Part 1 of the series:

Get a glimpse of Dschinnanya - 3
Readers that havent’t yet read part 1 of the “Creatures of Fire Series”, can get a glimpse to see what it is like to be in Dschinnanya. This is an excerpt from “Creatures of Fire: Demons die harder“:

Rawan came and escorted her and Tamiro through town. Dschinnanya had a Christmas feel today. Snowflakes were falling from a grey, dark sky and festive lights and ornaments were adorning the streets. Sariel was quite certain that demons did not celebrate Christmas; they probably only wanted to decorate the city because it looked so pretty.
“Looks like they are running out of ideas,” she said to Tamiro. “The houses just look like the ones I saw on my first day here. Straight out of a Charles Dickens novel.”
“Who knows what the great demon masters think when they create the town? But the snow is a nice touch.” He caught one of the flakes in his hand. “Especially since it isn’t cold.”
“That’s what’s wrong with it!”
“You didn’t notice before?”
“No, I was too distracted by the thought that demons were decorating their city for Christmas.”
“This is the Library of the Centuries.” Rawan interrupted their conversation and indicated a building that looked much too small to house such an important archive.
“That’s the library?” Sariel asked doubtfully. In her mind she had pictured an old, imposing building rather than this small, insignificant house.
“Yes,” Rawan answered and opened the door, letting Sariel and Tamiro enter before him. Stepping into the narrow dark passageway Sariel cast her eyes in order to find a door that might lead her into the archive. 
“Please, allow me to show you the way,” Rawan said, passing her. Leading them through the long corridor, turning into another and yet another, he finally came to a stop in front of a large, wooden portal.
“The Library of the Centuries,” he announced and swung one of the heavy gates open. What she saw then took Sariel’s breath away. The room before them was of enormous proportions with an interior that resembled a star. A big hall sat in the center with rows and rows of shelves leading from it into the distance. From the high ceiling a chandelier cast a bright light, produced not by candles but by light bulbs that looked like a modern version of LED lights.
The room was silent, despite the fact that many of the tables to her right were occupied by demons pouring over old tomes. To her right she spotted a counter and behind that a young demon. I expected an old librarian, Sariel thought when she saw the young man.

About Birgit Kluger aka J.B. Brooklin:
Birgit Kluger is a German author, writing her English books under the pen name of J.B. Brooklin. Birgit lived abroad for several years in the USA, Spain and the Seychelles. Since a couple of years she is back in Germany, trying to make a living out of writing. Which is not always easy.

In Germany she has already published three novels, one of them "Schau ihr in die Augen" with Droemer Knaur, one of the large German publishing houses.

The campaign kicks off on November 13th, 2013.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cover Reveal and Giveaway:Shrouded by Frances Pauli

Here is the Cover for Shrouded by Frances Pauli

Title: Shrouded
Author: Frances Pauli
Release Date: November 21, 2013
Series: Princes of the Shroud
Publisher: The Zharmae Publishing Press (

Book Description: Vashia’s father is the planetary governor. Unfortunately, he’s also a complete bastard. When he promises her to his lackey, Jarn, she panics. On the run in the nastiest corner of the galaxy, Vashia seizes her one chance at escape and signs on as a bride candidate for the elusive race of aliens known as the Shrouded, unaware that she very well may be chosen as the next Queen of Shroud

Of the seven, volatile Shrouded princes, Dolfan may be the only one that doesn't covet the throne. So the last thing he expects to find in the future queen is the woman of his dreams. If he wants Vashia, he must accept the throne as well. Unfortunately, his long-time rival has the same idea. Now, only the planet’s sacred crystal can decide their fates, but what happens when the right woman is paired with the wrong man? And when Jarn comes after what was promised to him?

About the Author
Frances Pauli writes speculative fiction, usually with touches of humor or romance, which means, of course, that she has trouble choosing sides.
She's always been a fan of things outside the box, odd, weird or unusual, and that trend follows through her books, which feature aliens, fairies, and even, on occasion, an assortment of humans.
More information on her work and upcoming releases can be found on her

And now,it's time for the Giveaway!!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sentinel by Jennifer Armentrout Tour and a Giveaway:Pure Day

Hi,welcome to a book tour stop for Pure bu Jennifer Armentrout in celebration for the upcoming release for Sentinel,the Final book in the series.AND there is a great Giveaway too!

There is need. And then there is Fate. 
Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon--and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude--or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.


Buy Links:
Barnes and Noble

About the Author

# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia.

All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true.

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen.

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Here are some questions answered by JLA and by her characters in the book!!

For JLA – Pure has been called Seth’s book.  Did fans reaction to Seth surprise you?  I wasn’t really surprised by the reaction to Pure because I knew that the book focused more on Seth than Aiden.

For Alex -  Knowing what you know about Leon, do you think there was more to him being the one to find you in labyrinth?  Oh, I’m sure there was more to it.

For Aiden -  By far, the zoo was the best scene in Pure.  What did you enjoy most about being at the zoo with Alex?  I loved knowing that I was doing something for her that made her happy. 

For Seth – That whole sleeping issue that you and Alex have in Pure, did you realize what was up or were you just going with it?  I would’ve just gone with it.  But, truth?  I knew what was up.

Now, its time for the Giveaway!Goodluck :)

Spencer Hill Press is giving away a $200 gift card to Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository or any indie bookstore of the winner's choice to not only stock up on amazing books, but to perhaps buy a Nook HD or Kindle Fire.

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Don't forget to read Sentinel when it comes out on 2nd November.
Check out all other stops in the tour.
Link to all other stops

Monday, October 28, 2013

Unchosen by Michele Vail Blog Tour and Giveaway

Book Details:

Michele Vail
(The Reaper Diaries #2)
Genres: Horror, Young Adult, Fantasy


I thought the worst of my reaper training was behind me… turns out I was wrong. Dead wrong. 

Molly Bartolucci has done a lot of growing up but after being accused of using illegal magic at her school for necromancers, reaper-in-training Molly is treading lightly. As the destined leader of Anubis’s Chosen, she needs to study hard, train harder, and stay out of trouble. 

Uh, right. 

It doesn’t help that she’s feeling more than academic about her melt-your-bones hot reaping instructor, Rath. And if her relationship drama isn’t enough to drive her over the edge, she has to deal with mother issues, nosy little sisters, suspicious friends, and an unnamed force stalking her at school. 

Then her family is attacked, and her bio-dad ends up comatose in the hospital. Now, Molly has to uncover who’s trying to hurt her loved ones—and all without the help of Anubis.
Here is the book trailer for Unchosen:
Book Depository
Here is the first book in the series:

Michele Vail
(The Reaper Diaries #1)
Genres: Horror, Young Adult, Fantasy


The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. 

Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another...except, there's something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain—-Molly's got an undeadly knack for finding trouble....

Book Depository
Barnes and Noble

About the author: MICHELE VAIL

Michele Vail writes young adult paranormal fiction about zombies and reapers. The Reaper Diaries is set in present day Nevada in a world where ancient Egyptian religion and necromancer magic is real and part of every day life. Oh, and there are zombies. Lots and lots of zombies

Michele likes reading, dogs, cats, board games, ghost-hunting shows, and Halloween. She believes in magic, in the impossible, and in the restorative powers of chocolate. Michele lives happily-ever-after with her Viking husband in the Pacific Northwest.

The Reaper Diaries Website

Time for the Giveaway!!

Win (1) $20 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

The giveaway is international.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris:Review

Finally,here is my review for Seven Day Fiance!!

Author:Rachel Harris
Published:14th October 2013

Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé—a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look—and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning Cane at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solve her fiancé problem.

Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn’t expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse.

I was given this ARC for an honest review.This is the first book by Rachel Harris that I have read and I will definitely be reading the rest of them.I loved all of her characters but especially Cane.He is your typical bad boy ;with tattoos and a past, but he is sooooo Sweet!!!! Although the theme is one which has already been used like a million times already;The bad boy meets Good girl,it was still very charming due to the fact that it was so talently written.Seven Day Fiance is the story of Cane and Angelle,both of whom have their own secrets and demons to face.A thing I really liked about the book was the dual Point Of View.Another thing that I liked was that that the secrets were revealed early on in the book and the author did not keep the reader in suspense by dragging the book and only revealing everything at the end,which happens in most books.It helped me to understand the characters better and not always be confused about their actions which, believe it or not,happens a LOT.You should definitely give it a try.

Add to Goodreads
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes and Noble

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Seven Day Fiance chalenge Week 1:Bad Boys Of Fiction

To celebrate the release of Rachel Harris' new book 'Seven Day Fiance" ,The Flirt Squad is taking part in a 3 week Challenge!Its going to be really fun and interesting:)

This weeks challenge is:

So we're talking about bad boys and why do they apppeal to us?because lets be honest,We all have a favorite bad boy character.You know,I actually love Greek Mythology but my Favorite one is the Myth of Hades and Persephone.Hades is a classic example of a Bad Boy and my other personal favorites are Damon Black and Damon from the Vampire Diaries(Although I didn't really enjoy the books)and of-course Cane from Seven Day Fiance.

I like them if they have a sarcastic attitude but they shouldn't come of as jerks who don't care if they hurt someone.I like it more if they are protective and even a little possessive of their women but they do not take this to the extreme and  do not always feel like they have to keep an eye on the heroine.The story line which I am always willing to read is when the bad boy does not believe in love but ends up letting his guard down and falling in love with the heroine*swoon*.

Nowadays,bad boys are all the trend in YA and in NA.Some are really good but often enough there are those who I just can't tolerate.Sadly the bad boys that appeal to us can only be found in fiction.The real life ones just don't compare and are plain arrogant.

I think that the really feminine parts are the ones that fall in love with them.The heroines are always irritated my their protective attitude but secretly they(and we)really like it ;)There's just something about them that appeals to our most primal instincts.

We should thank the writers who bring us these swoon worthy bad boys so first of all, thank you Rachel!!!

So to conclude I'm on Team Bad Boys, Are You?
Here is a excerpt from Seven Day Fiance:

After kissing Angelle senseless, Cane watched Brady tug her 
onto the dance floor. Jealousy pitched and roiled in his gut, but he 
didn’t look away. He didn’t have to. Despite the ease with which 
the former lovers fell into each other’s arms, Cane knew whose 
bed she’d be in tonight.
Anticipation had him antsy, eager to drag her away before she 
changed her mind. But he wouldn’t rush this. He’d give Brady this 
moment. After all, it had to be hell losing a woman like Angelle. 
And Cane was man enough to share her attention for a few 
minutes. Especially since she wasn’t really even his. 
So it didn’t matter that they looked good together, spinning 
and laughing as their hands formed little windows to stare into 
each other’s eyes. The way their feet pistoned up and down in 
sync, hinting at a shared history, didn’t rankle. And when the other 
couples widened the circle, clapping for the reunion of Cane’s 
woman and her ex, it didn’t even faze him. 
It certainly didn’t have him wanting to punch a hole through 
the post behind his head.

AND HERE ARE SOME PICTURES Since I know you guys love to look at them;)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris:RELEASE DAY LAUNCH and a GIVEAWAY

Rachel Harris' SEVEN DAY FIANCE is finally here! 

You can get it in your hands (well, on your ereader) right now! You don't want to miss this fantastic Contemporary Romance from Rachel Harris. Book 2 in the Love and Game Series, SEVEN DAY FIANCE can be read as a standalone. Check out all of the information regarding this fantastic novel and Rachel Harris below! Then, celebrate Rachel's Book Birthday by entering the giveaway for an ecopy of Book 1, TASTE THE HEAT!

Isn't that cover pretty?? Read on and find out everything you need to know below! 


Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé—a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look—and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning Cane at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solve her fiancé problem.

Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn’t expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse.

Rachel Harris Bio:

Rachel Harris grew up in New Orleans, where she watched soap operas with her grandmother and stayed up late sneak reading her mama’s favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, she still stays up way too late reading her favorite romances, only now, she can do so openly. She firmly believes life’s problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.

When not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, she homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches reality television with her amazing husband. Taste The Heat is her adult romance debut. She’s the author of MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY and A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES. She loves hearing from readers! Find her

Buy Links:


And now for the Giveaway! Go enter to win! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Prince's Man by Deborah Jay:BOOK BLAST

Welcome friends to the Princes Man Book Blast. Today and tomorrow several sites will be shedding light on a phenomenal fantasy by an amazing author. We ask that you read about the book, meet the author, read the excerpts and check out the links at the bottom so you can purchase this thrilling and captivating story. We appreciate any comments and if you have read the book, please let us know what you loved about THE PRINCES MAN.
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"Thank you for your vision!!"- Apollo
"This world is great. The author designs a logical world with believable rules. She also does not fall into the trap of trying to explain everything. There is much mystery in the design." - Paul B. Bartosik
                                The Princes Man Cover Reveal

ABOUTThe Princes Man
  Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN, has been described as ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’ - a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.    Rustam Chalice, hedonist, dance tutor and spy, loves his life, never better than when he’s bedding a gorgeous woman. So when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master, Prince Hal, teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin who despises him.   And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.   Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god - and each other.   They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.   For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.
resized photoABOUTDeborah Jay
      Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.   Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.   This summer will see publication of her debut novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN, the first in a trilogy and winner of a UK Arts Board award. She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published under the name Debby Lush.  

LINKS: Make sure to add THE PRINCES MAN to your "To Read" list on GoodReads   Website:   Facebook   Twitter   Amazon


At the second ring of the bell, Rustam knocked on the door to Halnashead’s study. He glanced uneasily up and down the empty corridor. Where were the guards? Perhaps Halnashead had sent them away to protect Dart’s identity, but the back of Rustam’s neck prickled, and that was a warning sign he never ignored. He slipped his small dagger from its wrist sheath, and eased the door open. The room was mostly in darkness, with just a row of candles flickering on the front edge of the prince’s substantial desk. There was someone behind the desk, though Rustam could not make out who stood there.
            Wending his way between the high backed chairs and ornate tables that cluttered the main floor space of the study, Rustam trod as lightly as he could with his injured leg, balancing on the balls of his feet, prepared to dive for cover at the slightest hint of trouble. He held the walking cane poised in his left hand like a javelin ready to throw, the dagger nestling coldly in his other palm. His eyes roved the room for signs of a third person. If that was Halnashead behind the desk, then Dart could be anywhere. And if it wasn’t…
            With a rustle of ivory silk, the figure behind the desk sat down, bringing her face clearly into the candlelight. Rustam stopped in confusion, hastily lowered the cane to a more conventional position and made a small bow. “Your pardon, my Lady. The prince asked me to meet him here…”
            Rustam’s voice trailed off as the Lady Risada Delgano vas Domn laughed; a resigned, self-mocking sound.
            “My Lady?”
Risada shook her head. “Ah, Chalice. I suppose it had to be you, with your pretty face and your courtly manners.”
            The study door opened, and Rustam spun around. Silhouetted against the light from the corridor was Halnashead’s bulky figure. The prince shut the door and strode across the room. “Splendid,” he said, rubbing his hands together. “I see you two have met at long last.”
            “What?” blurted Rustam, his famed manners deserting him. “You mean—”
            Lady Risada vacated the prince’s chair, and moved around the desk, preceded by her exotic perfume. Rustam’s breathing became rapid, though whether in response to the heavy scent or the lady’s proximity, he wasn’t sure. Halnashead sat down and beamed at them.
“Dart, meet Charmer. Charmer, meet Dart.”
            Rustam looked pleadingly at Halnashead. “You’re joking, surely? You must be. She can’t be Dart; she’s—”
            “What?” cut in Lady Risada. “A woman?”
            “No! Well, yes. I suppose so.” Rustam shifted uncomfortably, his mind reeling as it tried to adjust to the concept of a noblewoman as a player. Female servants on occasion, yes. But a lady?
            He glanced aside at the lady in question. She stared coldly back.
            “Please, please!” Halnashead drew their attention. “I want you two to get on with each other. Does it surprise you so much, Rusty?”
            Rusty?” echoed Lady Risada derisively.
            Taken aback by the lady’s obvious animosity, Rustam considered the prince’s question. “I suppose it shouldn’t. With her court position, the lady has access to all levels of nobility. Certainly a great asset to your Highness.”
            “And don’t you forget it, dancer boy,” muttered Risada.
            Halnashead frowned. “Be nice, Risada. Rustam is my most skilled agent.”
            “Most skilled womaniser, you mean!”
“Risada, enough.” Halnashead did not raise his voice, but his displeasure was clear. The corners of Rustam’s mouth quirked up, but he quickly dropped the smirk when the prince scowled at him.
            “You will get on with each other. This is a serious matter and you are both professionals; I expect you to behave as such. Now sit down. This could be a long meeting.”