Monday, July 31, 2017

Excerpt & Giveaway: The Eldritch Heart by Matthew S. Cox


The Eldritch Heart
Matthew S. Cox
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Princess Oona Talomir enjoys the little things that come with her station: a handmaiden, her lavish bedchamber, and scores of fancy dresses―the duty to win a decades’ long war, not so much.
Oh, did I mention assassins?
Seers foretold the conflict would end by her hand. From the moment she drew her first breath, the neighboring kingdom has been trying to kill her so she could not grow powerful enough to destroy them. The king, fearing for his daughter’s life, has kept her confined to the castle grounds for most of her sixteen years. With the tide of war turning against them, the burden of her crown becomes too much to bear, yet one thing lifts her spirits amid the gloom.
Her servant girl, Kitlyn.
Alas, in a kingdom obsessed with the god of purity, she is terrified to confess her forbidden love. When her father makes a demand she cannot abide―marry a prince to forge a military alliance―Oona panics. He is handsome and honorable, but he’s not Kitlyn. Unable to admit why she cannot obey, Oona does the only thing she can think of, and runs away.
Alone and unprepared in the wilderness, she prays the gods will let Kitlyn find her—before the assassins do.


Excerpt:
Pim, the head cook’s son, raced out the kitchen door. The eight-year-old skidded to a halt at her side, almost falling as his bare feet slid on the moss-covered stones. Years of laundry water kept the cobbles around the fire shroud slick with green. He recovered and offered her a tart, his smiling face framed by a near-spherical mass of dark brown hair.
“Me pa jes’ made ‘em.” Grinning, the boy jammed another raspberry tart into his mouth.
Kitlyn shook water off her hands, letting the seventh of Oona’s nightdresses soak a little longer. She accepted the treat, still warm from the oven, and nibbled.
“Pa said he been makin’ treats since he was small as me.” Pim mumbled around sugary jam and pastry. “I fink he’s teasin’.”
“Well, he’s not the head cook because he’s poor at it.” Kitlyn winked.
The boy bit his lip and wiped his hands on his drab brown tunic while grinding his right big toe into the moss. “Kin ya do the fing wif the stones ‘gain?”
She sighed at the basket. “I’d love to, Pim, but I’ve got so much to do.”
“Aww.” He hung his head.
“All right, all right.” Kitlyn knelt in place, Pim flopping down after her, cross-legged.
She put a hand on the ground; a tingle of magic rippled up her arm and washed over her. Her mind reached out to the earth and stone, drawing a chorus of a hundred whispering voices into her thoughts. It took her only a second to sense a handful of small rocks in the grass. At her beckoning, the grape-sized stones bounced free of the soil and came rolling over with a scraping clatter.
“Wow!” whispered Pim, as awestruck as the first time he’d watched her do that.
The stones tumbled across the cobbles and leapt into the air, orbiting Kitlyn’s hands like the beads of a necklace. The boy’s head moved about in a spiral as he attempted to keep his stare locked upon a single stone in the rotating ring. Kitlyn spread her fingers apart and pushed her arms down. As the desire formed in her head, the stones clapped together. A handful formed a man-like shape while the majority gathered in her best approximation of a dragon. Faint green energy glowed from within both, illuminating the gaps between stones.
Pim cheered and clapped as the man and dragon circled, though rather than fight, the man-figure climbed on the dragon’s back and they flew into the air.
“Yer pa mus’ be so happy you kin’ do magic,” said Pim. “Tha’s good as me pa’s cookin’.”
Kitlyn slouched. The stones began to separate, but she willed them back together, creating a rippling series of clicks. “I don’t have a pa, Pim. I’m an orphan.”
He tilted his head. “A what?”
“An orphan is what you call someone who doesn’t have parents.”
Pim blinked. “How’s you not kin ‘ave parents? The gods jes’ make yas?”
Kitlyn giggled. “No, silly.” The stone dragon beat its wings in a slow, rhythmic pulse as she made it fly. “I had parents… but something happened to them, or maybe they gave me away.”
He gasped. “You mean like died?”
“Yes. Like died.” The construct fell apart; rocks scattered to the cobblestones. Not that she wished death on her parents, but better that than being thrown away. “Maybe. I don’t know.”
“You been here f’ever.” Pim licked jam from his fingers.
She gave him an apologetic look, stood, and resumed washing clothes. The momentary break had allowed her arms to cool, making the water painfully hot. “I don’t remember anything. Beredwyn said I’d wandered onto the castle grounds when I was much smaller than you are now. I found the princess, but I was too little to understand who she was, so I walked up to her and we started playing. When they figured out I had no family, the king decided to let me stay.”



Author Bio:
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- after="" also="" and="" cats.="" deliberate="" fiction="" fond="" happens="" he="" intellectual="" is="" it.="" life="" nature="" of="" p="" questions="" reality="" science="" that="" the="" what="">

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31 comments:

  1. Congrats on the our, the story sounds really good, thanks for the chance :)

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  2. Such a unique cover! Can't wait to read this!

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  3. Congratulations Matthew on your upcoming release the book sounds fascinating and I wish you many sales.

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  4. Congrats to the author on his upcoming release. This sounds like an epic YA LGBT story filled with intrigue and danger. Thanks so much for posting.

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  5. I enjoyed reading the excerpt! This book sounds like a very interesting read! Also, I like the book cover! Very intriguing! Looking forward to checking out this book!

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  6. Congrats and best of luck on your awesome new release.

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  7. Thanks for hosting today, Darcus! :)

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  8. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

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  9. Sounds like a great read. Interested in how she gets a long after running way even tho she's been confined her whole life.

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  10. I really enjoyed the description of the book. Sounds like a great read.

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  11. The Eldritch Heart sounds like an awesome fantasy read! A princess, assassins, a prophecy, and a servant girl who can do magic. This is a definite want to read!

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  12. This sounds like a great read!

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  13. This book sounds very exciting and I'm looking forward to the adventure!

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  14. Loved the cover and excerpt, nicely done :)

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  15. The excerpt sounds very interesting. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  16. So nice to see the word Eldritch in more common usage! Quite a conflict, between the love that dare not speak its name and the crown that dare not expose itself to assassins.

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  17. A very interesting concept. Love the cover.

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  18. Any kind of forbidden love high royal fantasy family kingdom deal has got my attention.

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  19. Oh I really love the cover! I cannot wait to read this!

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  20. I like the book cover. I think I will enjoy the characters Oona and Kitlyn.

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  21. Loving the title of the book - makes me want to read it.

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