her blog dishing about CAPTIVE SPIRIT while she takes over my blog with SALOME AT SUNRISE and a new excerpt.
And with Inez, you never know what to expect. I suspect it might have something to do with those pickle green eyes...
Welcome, Inez! !
*and the crowd goes wild*
Yeah, I said it. So what? Pluck. You.
Aside from the fact that phrase tickles the 12 year old boy in my head, it is pretty descriptive. In actuality, that is what happens in Salome at Sunrise. Salome is a spelled called as a peacemaker. She also happens to be a bird-shifter. Bryton is a highly trained warrior on a suicide mission. These two together are like Mother Teresa and Hulk Hogan.
But not exactly. See, Bryton maybe a warrior but he has a heart. He has killed, many times, but never without cause or justification.
Excerpt from Salome at Sunrise:
“You do not have to kill a bird for feathers, my charge. I can give what you need and no animal has to die.”
“Salome, these are tail feathers. Even if you got pissed off and shook your ass, that many feathers won’t fall out.”
“So pull them.”
His mouth gaped and his eyes rounded. “No, I am not…plucking you like a goose for a table.”
“You would rather kill than accept a gift?”
“No, I just… I mean…” He floundered and she arched her brow. His sigh slumped his shoulders. “Do you realize how many feathers I need? It would hurt you.”
“Temporarily perhaps, but I heal. Would you like them now?”
There was no answer, just worry edged along his forehead. In a breath of summoned magic, Salome shrank and darkened. Leaf hissed and darted behind the bedding, yellowed eyes peering over the pallet. Salome tucked her wings, walked to Bryton and hopped on his leg. She thrust her tail toward him.
“I don’t like this.” A warm stroke down her sleek back closed her eyes. How gentle his touch was.
“Please, Salome, just…come back. I’ll figure something else out.”
Salome stuck her tail higher in the air, shaking it. His palm slid down her spine and over her tail feathers. The caresses continued for several more passes. He drew a deep breath, cupped one hand under her breast and swallowed.
“Okay, I’ll do it fast. Ready?”
She bobbed her head and tried to stay still. Sudden ripping pain surged through her and a cry burst from her beak. “Oh, shit, I’m sorry, Salome, I’m sorry.” His murmurs bounced off the agony radiating from her body. A few feathers dropped beside his leg and he clutched her, cradling her wings against his chest. “No more. Come back.”
He didn’t have half enough feathers for the number of wooden shafts he’d prepared. She had no power to grant him peace, could only guide him through his struggle, could barely comfort his body but this, this she could do. Drawing her fortitude tight, blinking eyes that could not weep, she squirmed and thrust her tail at him again.
“No! No more.” He would not deny her this, the only gift she could give him. She rammed her beak into his thigh. He spit a curse then gripped her breast. “All right, birdie, you win. Ready?”
Twice more the fiery pain rippled through her. Her wings quivered and her strength gave out until she lay limp on his legs. He stopped, breath roaring from his lungs like a battle song. Did he understand? Could he feel the love brimming in her spirit? Did he know that with each feather he took, it was a fraction of a drop of the love she held for him? If he plucked her bare and left her broken, shuddering in pain and one breath from death, she wouldn’t care as long as his needs were met. This was all she could do for him, the only true power she held, the offering of her body. Salome weakly inched her scorching hind end toward him again.
Yeah, he plucks her. That act, the painful removal of her feather so he can make his weapons, drives home a hard lesson for Bryton and makes him realize… well, you’ll have to read the book to get all that. Let’s just say it doesn’t matter how big of a warrior Bryton is… one little bird is going to bring him to his knees.
SALOME AT SUNRISE from Inez Kelley
Buy it now.