Saturday, March 29, 2014

PROMO BLITZ ~ Damsel In Distress by Lee French~ EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY!

Date Published: 3/20/2014

Given the burden of safeguarding a precious treasure at a tender age, Sabetia is placed squarely in the middle of a fantastical legend. Swords, demons, magic, a curse: it has everything a great epic tale should. All she needs to do is face the danger that could threaten the world if left unchecked. If only it were so simple. A hero could solve this problem, but she doesn't happen to be one.
A good wife is obedient, patient, obedient, quiet, obedient, doting, and above all, obedient. Sabetia was raised to be a good wife. It makes her perfect prey, a perfect damsel in distress. 

Excerpt 1
Staring at the full length mirror, the little girl stood completely still while her dress was buttoned up. Not doing so would only earn her a swat on the rump, she already knew this. Her dress for this occasion was a simple blue silk gown, embroidered in a lighter blue with flowers around the hems, waist, and collar, with a white lace pinafore, white silk socks and blue slippers completing it. The color was sky blue, a shade she liked well enough, one that matched her eyes. It was, of course, chosen for that reason.

“The buttons barely meet,” her mother said disdainfully. “Sabetia, you're getting fat. No lunch for you today and your meals will be smaller.” The girl did everything she could to hide her reaction to this pronouncement. It wasn't fair and she'd starve like that!

Sabetia's new maid, a plain girl in her late teens, frowned as she tugged the buttons in the back together and fastened them. “Madam, she's only seven. More like she's growing into the fine young lady she'll become in a few years. This isn't fat, I think-”

“I did not hire you to think,” her mother snapped.

Excerpt 2
It was a brilliant blue stone with silver streaks and dark patches, shaped like a teardrop and almost as big as a walnut. A delicate golden wire basket held the stone on a thin gold chain.

“It's beautiful,” she breathed, afraid loud noises would harm it somehow.

“No, Sabetia, you're beautiful. This is just a pretty rock.” Lifting the gift from the girl's hand, Grandmother put the chain around her neck, fastening and straightening it. “It has a story, one that you'll need to tell your daughter or granddaughter someday, so listen well.” She waited for Sabetia to nod, eyes wide with wonder again, giving her grandmother her rapt attention. “Once upon a time, there was a great hero, a swordsman who lived long ago, before even the time of Clynnidh, before we knew of the bounty of the Mother Goddess and when men were savages. He was a noble adventurer, the kind of person that roams about righting wrongs for the mere sake of doing so.

“Many are the stories of him, I'm sure, but I only know the one. He stalked a demon plaguing the land. It made a pact with a sorcerer to escape the Hells and managed to kill its controller, leaving it free to wander and pillage. Many were killed and harmed before the hero learned of it, but once he did, he hunted it. It was tricky and clever, but he was strong and brave. When he caught up to it, many lives were taken or shattered already, and he fought it to put an end to its horrible reign of terror. The battle was epic, grand, a thing to be a tale in itself. The final killing blow pierced the demon's heart, but it held a horrible secret.

“You see, the demon knew it was going to die as soon as the sword touched its flesh that final time, and it had a moment to react. That wasn't enough to save itself, but it was enough to utter a final curse, one that made its shell explode. The explosion shattered the sword, flinging one of the shards into the hero and killing him. The rest of the shards were flung far away by the force, to be buried in places far, far away, save the one,” she tapped the pendant that now hung halfway down Sabetia's chest, “left in his heart. We keep it safe for him, because the demon could not be killed forever, such things cannot be. But,” she lifted a finger to emphasize a point, “they can be contained. Just as the demon made a wish with its last breath, so did the hero. He wished for the demon to be imprisoned in the sword. But, it was broken, and the only piece to fulfill his wish was the handsome jewel set into the pommel.

“Should the pieces of the sword ever be brought together again and reforged, the demon will be released. And now, Sabetia,” Grandmother fixed her with a very direct, serious gaze, “you are being entrusted with the safekeeping of the jewel. You must never let anyone take it from you. Do you understand? This is a weighty responsibility I place on your shoulders.”

Her mouth hanging open in awe at the tale, Sabetia nodded. “I will keep it safe,” she said solemnly. “I promise.”

“Good girl,” Grandmother said with a nod of satisfaction.

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Lee French

Lee French lives in Worcester, MA with two kids, two bicycles, and too much stuff. She has written several books, including the Maze Beset superhero novel trilogy. In addition, she is an avid gamer and active member of the Myth-Weavers online RPG community, where she is infamous for finding unexpected ways to use squirrels. She also trains year-round for the one-week of glorious madness that is RAGBRAI, has a nice flower garden with absolutely no lawn gnomes, and tries in vain every year to grow vegetables that don’t get devoured by neighborhood wildlife.

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