Guest Author Jamie Marchant

I am very happy today to welcome Jamie Marchant to my blog today. Jamie is celebrating the release of her new novel, The Soul Stone.

JamiesoulFrom early childhood, Jamie has been immersed in books. Her mother, an avid reader, read to her, and her older sister filled her head with fairy tales. Taking into consideration her love for literature and the challenges of supporting herself as a writer, she pursued a Ph.D. in American literature, which she received in 1998. She started teaching writing and literature at Auburn University. But in doing so, she put her true passion on the backburner and neglected her muse. Then one day, in the midst of writing a piece of literary criticism, she realized that what she wanted to be doing was writing fantasy novels. Her muse thus revived, she began the book that was to become The Goddess’s Choice, which was published in April 2012. The second volume in the series, The Soul Stone, was released this June.

She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband, son, and four cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She still teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. Her short fiction has been published on Short-Story.Me, and my story was chosen for inclusion in their annual anthology. It has also appeared in the anthologies—Urban Fantasy (KY Story, 2013) and Of Dragon and Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds (Witty Bard Publishing, 2014)—The World of Myth, A Writer’s Haven, and Bards & Sages.

You can visit Jamie at the following links:

Twitter: @RobrekSamantha

About The Soul Stone

The Soul Stone front coverThe Crown Princess Samantha and Sir Robrek struggle to solidify their rule in the aftermath of the king’s murder and Duke Argblutal’s attempt to usurp the throne. They are thwarted at every turn by those who seek power for themselves and desire to prevent their marriage. Just when they think their problems are solved, a deadly curse begins to spread throughout Korthlundia and Samantha becomes pregnant.

Samantha must fight off priests, enemies, and her closest advisors while Robrek discovers the reason the goddess chose him as king, to defeat the Soul Stone, a stone capable of sucking the soul out of its victims, which threatens to obliterate all life in the joined kingdoms. Their archenemy, the Bard Alvabane, awakens the Soul Stone and plans to use its power to reclaim Korthlundia for her people (a people driven out over a thousand years ago by the hero Armunn). Armunn had to sacrifice his life and soul to contain the Soul Stone. Will Robrek have to do the same? Will the young couple have only a few short months to love each other?

Purchase your copy today!

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Excerpt from Chapter One

Clutching the note Darhour had left pinned to the door above Argblutal’s corpse in one hand and Robbie’s hand in the other, Samantha approached the room where the king lay dead. No, Father! You can’t truly be gone! Their steps echoed off the stone floor in the vast emptiness, reminding her of the emptiness of her own life. The air seemed to thicken about them, and she slowed. If she never reached the king’s bedroom, maybe she could make his death a lie.

After a few moments and an eternity, she stood before the king’s chambers. She hesitated and then squared her shoulders and pushed open the door.

The king lay on his bed, his eyes closed as if merely asleep. His body had been washed and dressed for burial. Seeing him lying there reminded her of when she’d had nightmares as a little girl; she’d come to him and crawl in bed for comfort. He had held her, stroked her hair, and told her stories. She’d snuggled against his long white beard until she fell asleep.

Will I ever feel that safe again?

She was certain she wouldn’t. Not when Darhour, too, had deserted her. Darhour had been the captain of her guards, her friend, and as she’d discovered only a few days ago, her true father. Now, according to the note left near Argblutal’s body, he’d left her. “My final gift to you,” he’d written. “From one unworthy to serve you.” How dare he think of himself that way?

She forced thoughts of his betrayal out of her mind and looked around the room—everywhere but at the king’s body. Above the mantle across from the bed was a portrait of her sitting in her windowseat and looking out at the palace grounds. Every two years the king had had a new portrait of her painted to hang in his bedroom. He’d told her he wanted her to be the last thing he saw before he fell asleep.

Maybe it’s all a mistake. Praying for life to flow back into him, she knelt beside the bed and took the king’s hand. It was freezing and felt more like marble than flesh. Robbie laid his hand on her shoulder. “Can you do something?” she asked him.

To ask anyone else the question would have been absurd, but Robbie was the most powerful sorcerer Korthlundia had seen in centuries. He’d saved Darhour’s life when he’d taken an arrow through the heart. Could he not heal her father’s heart now, through which Argblutal had thrust his sword?

He shook his head. “I’m sorry, Sam. Maybe if I’d been here at the time. But I can’t bring back the dead.”

“Holy Sulis, how can I go on without him?” She let go of Solar’s lifeless hand and rested her cheek against the coverlet. She wanted to sob, to wail out her grief, but the man who’d always soothed her tears was dead. Robbie knelt beside her and put his arm around her. He didn’t tell her the lie that everything would be all right or say any of the trite things people say to comfort those in grief. He just held her.

“Damn Argblutal!” she choked.

Before disappearing, Darhour had done a thorough job of killing the duke—eviscerating, castrating, and decapitating him. Still, she wished Argblutal was alive, so she could kill him with her own sword, rip his heart out of his chest with her bare hands. But nothing she could do to Argblutal could heal the gaping hole in her own chest as she knelt beside the greatest king Korthlundia had ever known and the best father a child could have.

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