Book Tour & Giveaway (US/Int): Shona Husk on setting her characters off balance
Please help me welcome Dark Secrets author Shona Husk!
There’s always a moment in a story where the character’s life is changed forever. It’s that moment that kicks off the story—no matter what the character does their life has been upset, the balance is off and they have to find a new way to exist.
When writing it’s a moment of endless possibilities. It’s why writing those first few chapters are so much fun.
How will my character react?
What do they feel?
What do they do next?
What will go wrong if they do that?
What if they do nothing and wait, will that make it worse?
For Haidyn that moment is when he sees his first and only love Anisa on the arm of the Lawman.
|Six years ago, Haidyn Mast left his home and his betrothed Anisa to follow his magical calling. Too weak to join the Arcane Guild and too ashamed to return home, he has made a life as a prostitute–to all outward appearances. In truth, he sells his mind but not his body, using magic to let his clients experience their most secret fantasies while his hands stay clean. Even the Lawman, the arbiter of justice in Reseda, is one of his clients, but Haidyn would rather not know the extent of that man’s depravity.Though successful, Haidyn is shunned as a whore and his lack of formal training is causing his power to grow out of control. He’s ready to retire and leave the city, but when he sees his Anisa standing at Lawman’s side, he knows he must rescue her from the abusive enforcer. Risking his life and his sanity, he devises a plan, knowing that failure will mean death for him, and a lifetime of torment for her…|
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Read an excerpt
By the size of the crowd anyone passing through town would’ve thought the Lawman popular, but they wouldn’t feel the fear and anticipation pressing against them the way I did. The Lawman was about as popular as a desert skitter in a boot, but much harder to be rid of. Brixen was supposedly impartial and upheld the law for all ten Unions…especially when it suited his purpose. I didn’t think he was corrupt, but he was ruthless when it came to adding coin to his purse. Everyone knew the rumor about the death of his last wife and was here for a look at the new one.
I had more interest than most. I needed to keep on the right side of his temper so the more I knew the better, and I couldn’t rely on his mind to show me everything. I’m sure if he had half an idea of the tricks I was pulling he’d have turned me over to the Arcane Union, who’d have hanged me for being a Rogue.
Some days getting out of Reseda seemed like a really good idea. But I had a business to run and people who depended on me.
A flash of white in the door of the Decihall caught my eye. The crowd around me strained forward. Their breath held in expectation. I found myself joining in, not sure if it was my anticipation or theirs. My heart pulsed too fast.
Whoever this woman was would feed the gossip mill for a while. I’d heard that some taverns were running a tab on how long she’d last. It was cruel fun, but that people can be cruel for their own entertainment was a lesson I’d learned six years ago when I’d first come to Reseda as a naïve sixteen-year-old hoping to join the Arcane Union.
Dressed head to toe in the most pure of whites, the Lawman stepped out of the Decihall. As was traditional for a wedding, he left the Decihall through the doorway of the Farmer, for fertility. I couldn’t see his wife, since she was on his other side.
The Lawman raised his hand and waved, thanking everyone for coming. I’m sure he realized we were only here to see his wife. He turned, and for a moment I saw long hair like gold, a color that was unusual in Westly County. Most folk had either copper-colored hair, like me, or dark hair if they’d drifted over from Easly County.
My heart clenched and missed a beat. A pang of longing for someone I’d left behind before I’d learned to value love.
Then the new wife stepped forward, dragged by Brixen’s hand. I couldn’t breathe. Brixen’s wife was my Anisa.
I stumbled back.
How had she ended up on that bastard’s arm? My blood ran hot then cold at the thought of what he’d do to her—and I knew everything that went on in his twisted mind.
Anisa smiled and waved. Her dress was Lawman’s white.
I had no right to feel resentful or want her back. I had walked away from her six years ago. But the memory of what we’d had still kept me awake at night.
I’d been young and full of pride, about to join the most powerful Union in Prasine. She was my promised, but when the Union had refused me entrance I’d been unable to go home. Shame had trapped me in Reseda. I couldn’t face her, knowing I’d failed to get in. Once I’d slipped further, I’d known I could never go back no matter how bad things became.
Now she was here. At Brixen’s side.
My stomach twisted and gave me a mouthful of bitter bile.
I’d fallen so deeply into the gutter that I had no hope of ever climbing out and being seen as anything but scum by her. The crowd began to shift and disperse; I slunk back the way I’d come, eager to be gone before either the Lawman or his wife set eyes on me. I couldn’t bear to be seen by either today. How was I going to face Brixen when he came to my bed?
The liquor I’d drunk became poison in my blood. In the small side road I placed my palm against the cool stone wall, my gut heaving. I swallowed hard and closed my eyes and fought for control. I couldn’t fall apart in public as that would be bad for business and would attract too much of the wrong attention.
I straightened slowly, then I smoothed my coat and forced my feet to move as if I had not a care in the world. But my boiling blood was killing me and every time I blinked I saw Anisa on the Lawman’s arm. Tonight she’d be in his bed. I wanted to turn around and tell her to run, that whatever he’d told her were lies. I didn’t want her to know the horror that dwelled in the Lawman’s heart. But I couldn’t say anything. She’d made her vow before the ten Lords, which was more than I’d ever done, and I doubted she’d believe a word out of my mouth.
About the author
Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back. Drawing on history and myth, she weaves new worlds and writes heroes who aren’t afraid to get hurt while falling in love.
|With stories ranging from sensual to scorching, she is published with Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Carina Press and Sourcebooks. Click here for a printable book list.
Shona is giving away one ebook copy of Dark Secrets to a commenter on today’s post! To enter to win, leave a comment telling Shona your favorite part of the excerpt then fill out the Rafflecopter widget.
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DARK SECRETS Blog Tour Schedule
- 02/03 – Grave Tells
- 02/04 – I Smell Sheep
- 02/05 – United by Books
- 02/06 – The Reading Café
- 02/07 – Romancing the Book
- 02/08 – Bookworm 2 Bookworm
- 02/09 – All Things Books
- 02/10 – All The Fun Starts After Dark
- 02/11 – Close Encounters with the Night Kind
- 02/12 – Cocktails and Books
- 02/13 – Book Lovin’ Mamas
- 02/14 – Vampires, Werewolves, Fairies Oh My!
- 02/15 – Book Monster Reviews & Literal Addiction
- 02/16 – Ramblings From This Chick