Always Golden - new release!

Today is the release of my newest book, 'Always Golden'. It is a dark fairy tale influenced by the French fairy tale 'The Story of Pretty Goldilocks' by Madame d'Aulnoy. I designed the cover myself - under my design hat of RoseWolf Design - I'd love to know what you think!

About the book:

Being a princess is both a blessing and a curse…
Growing up in a castle, Oriana was accustomed to the security of living within its walls…until the day an evil tore through the fortifications and shattered her perfect world. 

Wanted by a ruler known as “The Collector” Oriana now has a battle on her hands to escape his clutches. With The Collector’s best tracker hot on her heels, Oriana is forced to fight for her freedom while trying to work out why she is so desirable to The Collector.

One problem is that Oriana didn’t expect her heart and head to also be at war. Will she do what’s right for the kingdom, or is she at risk of losing not only the realm but also her heart?

Oriana is about to discover life as a princess is most definitely not always golden…

Book links:  Goodreads    Amazon UK    Smashwords    Barnes&Noble


Outside wind whistled, rumbling around the wooden house and making it creak. Heavy, pregnant balls of rain splattered against the bathroom window until the splatters gave way to a torrent as a storm took hold, sheeting rainwater against the house so hard it made looking through the windows to the outside impossible. A crack of lightning lit up the sky, illuminating the bathroom and casting Oriana’s shadow long and thin.

It was now or never.

A clap of thunder made Oriana jump and she left the bathroom, slowly descending the stairs, her footsteps muffled by the clatter of the storm. The house shook and Oriana paused on the stairs, clutching the handrail in fear. Was the storm a bad omen? Would she be caught?

No, she told herself, after all, how many of King Hashir’s soldiers would recognise her without her blonde hair?

It was not as if they had been her father’s soldiers and would recognise her face. She had to hope these soldiers, these soldiers who defended a monster, didn’t know what she looked like. Besides, dressed in the riding trousers and tunic, she looked far from a princess.

The light from the kitchen lantern was still the sole illumination in the house bar the odd flash of lightning. Mairsile was crying at the end of the kitchen, her parents’ bodies still on the floor, as Oriana drew up in the doorway.

A tall man, dressed in dark trousers matching his armour, and with lightly curled, equally dark hair, had his back to the door. Oriana could not help but cringe once he turned around to face her.

‘So, the burns are terrible,’ he said wryly. ‘I knew it.’

Oriana lowered her gaze. Something in the man’s searing green eyes unsettled her yet unable to stop them, her eyes slid back up of their own volition. ‘I’m sorry,’ she mumbled, breaking into an uncharacteristic blush. ‘I did not mean to be rude.’

The man reached her in two strides. ‘It is I who have been rude. I’ve not even introduced myself. I am Commander Vilas De-Leal.’

Oriana’s heart jumped into her throat. Sickness washed over her and, unable to stop herself, she swayed forwards.

‘Steady.’ Vilas grabbed Oriana’s elbow. ‘I’m not here to harm you, do not worry yourself.’

At his contact, Oriana shivered. ‘De-Leal?’ she managed to ask.

Vilas nodded as he guided Oriana onto a chair. ‘You have heard of me?’

Oriana kept her gaze lowered. ‘Of your father. Anearr.’

Vilas’ voice was strained. ‘Of course, you are King Germaine’s subject. You would have heard the tales about my father from Germaine’s court.’

Not knowing how to respond without incriminating herself, Oriana kept quiet. She felt a light touch on her shoulder as Mairsile pressed against her and she laid her own hand over the girl’s trembling one.

Vilas cleared his throat. ‘I will have my soldiers bury your parents immediately.’

Mairsile started to cry again.

Oriana squeezed the young girl’s hand before releasing it and rising to face Vilas. ‘Why go to the bother? It was your men who killed them in the first place.’

It did not matter they weren’t really her parents, Oriana thought. They had been parents; they had had a life, a child, a future which had been torn from them leaving behind a frightened, orphaned girl.

‘How many more families have you and your soldiers decimated today? Would you have all of them buried by their murderers? Seems like a kick in the teeth to the survivors if you ask me.’

Vilas rested his hand on the top of his sword. Oriana swallowed nervously, looking from his large hand to the defined set of his jaw.

Why hadn’t she kept her mouth shut?

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy my new book as much as I enjoyed writing it!

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