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About the author:
Lisa Kumar is a wife, mother, and romance writer who grew up in small-town Indiana. She now resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and two sons. When not spinning tales of romance and fantasy, she can be found with her nose buried in a book, or more accurately, her e-reader. Her scholastic background is in psychology, which enabled her to get low-paying jobs in the human services sector. Needless to say, she’s now writing full-time.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Maggie D’Anglio strode up to the tall elvin guards standing on either side of the entrance to the royal wing. The finely detailed depictions on the door never failed to awe her. A craftsman must’ve labored over the wooden piece for years. But considering the elvin lifespan, they had more than enough time to spend on their work, unlike humans.
Kavlin smiled, a sparkle in his perpetually youthful gray eyes. “You’ve come to visit the princess?”
“You know it.” Though she grinned, a sense of surrealism hit her. So weird to think of Cal as a princess, and not just any princess, but princess over Eria, a land of elves. Cal was as human as Maggie. Really, it was a miracle most elves accepted Cal so readily, but then, they hadn’t had much choice. The veil, something no wise elf would disrespect, orchestrated Cal’s arrival in Eria. Maggie had just come along for the magic carpet ride. And what a ride it’d been so far.
“And what do you have planned today, if I may be so bold as to ask?”
Kavlin’s voice broke into her thoughts, and she forced her attention back to the brown-haired elf. “The princess has a free moment in her busy schedule, so we’re going to do girly things.”
Batin, the other guard, groaned and shook his head, sending his dark blond hair cascading over his shoulders. “Spare us the details, then.”
She suppressed a smirk. The mention of girly things frightened most males, human or not. Though she enjoyed talking with the good-looking guards posted around the palace, she’d seen too little of Cal recently to stay and chitchat. “Will do.”
“Goodbye, Lady Maggie,” said Kavlin. Batin echoed him, opening the door for her. Each gave her a small bow, and she rolled her eyes.
“Bye, guys. Don’t have too much fun.” She flashed them a wink and walked through the open entrance.
Their laughter followed her down the corridor until the door to the wing clicked shut. Maggie quickened her pace because she didn’t want to run into him. Talion was a burr in her butt. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t dislodge the handsome ass. Though his chambers were past Cal and Relian’s, he could still be lurking in the hallway. Waiting for her.
Gazing around her furtively, she scoured the many shadows that lingered, not that there were many in the understated elegance that was the royal wing. Beige stone and plaster made up the hallway’s walls, ceiling, and floor, and lent it a bright, airy feeling she definitely wasn’t channeling today. Even the lovely tapestries and rugs that added splashes of color here and there didn’t calm her mind as they usually did.
She huffed at her paranoia. Yeah, right. The King of Eria had better things to do than lie in wait for her. He may never pass up an opportunity to piss her off, but he certainly didn’t stalk her. Now, if she could only figure out why he loved to piss her off so. Admittedly, she gave the same treatment back to him, but he always started it. Most of the time.
The skin at the back of her neck prickled, but a glance around showed no Talion in sight. She breathed in deeply. A heady fragrance of fall flowers filled the air. The windows, offering gorgeous views of the gardens and, behind them, landscapes of the mountains that cradled Eriannon, punctuated the corridor in regular intervals. Somehow the openings could keep out all adverse elements while letting in a scented, warm breeze. She shook her head, knowing she’d never understand it.
“Well, look who’s here.”
The drawled voice caused her to startle. Her gaze flew to an alcove ahead of her, and she froze. Shit. Talion leaned against a corner wall of the small area. A tailored green tunic and a black pair of leggings molded all the right areas of his physique. Desire to touch those muscles swamped her. She licked suddenly dry lips, cursing herself all kinds of crazy for wanting him. He might be gorgeous, but his personality was obnoxious. Still, she couldn’t take her gaze off him.
His long, golden hair shimmered in the bright light spilling through the alcove’s window, and his gray eyes glinted with an unholy light that always appeared whenever he was around her. A shiver snaked down her spine. She felt like a mouse to his cat. For some reason, the realization only spiked her desire higher.
An answering blaze of anger flooded her. Damn him. How could she lust after and hate him in equal measures? It was all a game for him. He had no real interest in her other than pushing her buttons and watching her squirm, and she knew it.
“And look who’s skulking in obscure spots.” She made sure to put the acid bite reserved just for him in her tone.
He pushed himself off the walk and stalked toward her. Yeah, she was so the prey right now. Maggie held her ground, though her stomach had plummeted south of her toes. He stopped a few feet from her. Though her 5’8” height had always made her feel tall, Talion loomed over her by a good half foot.
“It’s my private wing. I don’t need to skulk, but if I wanted to, that would be my right.”
Always talking about his kingly rights—like she gave a flying flip. “I’m here to see Cal.”
“My delightful daughter-in-law could use some light, flippant company. You should meet the requirements. She’s been studying hard, learning about her position as a princess.”
Admiration for Cal shone in his voice, and he smiled like a proud papa.
Maggie bristled at the implied insult to herself. He constantly took cheap shots at her. “I’m sure she needs a rest from studying all the elvin princess crap you’ve surely shoved at her.”
“She handles everything with grace”—here, his gaze raked over her—“unlike some humans. If not through a chance of birth, she could pass for an elf.”
“Oh, please. She’s human but is trying to please Relian and you. You can dress her up in all the fancy clothes you want, but she’ll remain human.”
“She’s now the Princess of Eria and shares Relian’s lifespan. She may be human, but her behavior is becoming elvin.”
Like elves acted so much differently than humans. Sure, they tended not to wear their emotions on their sleeves. Underneath it, though, they carried many of the same weaknesses as humans. So what if they didn’t show them as much? They merely regulated them, but these failings still existed.
“Believe what you want. I don’t want to hear about elvin decorum, not that it would ever apply to me, anyway.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that.”
Why did he try to control her with these little threats? Anger overrode the little part of her telling her to shut up and find Cal. “When have I ever shown any interest in elvin decorum? Plus, I’m a mere human with no standing here.”
A funny expression ghosted across his face so quickly she thought she’d imagined it. The notion slipped from her mind when he closed the distance between them.
He invaded her space like a conquering army. Alarm skittered through her. She needed to leave. Now. Pushing past him, she forced herself not to break into a run. She wouldn’t give the bastard the satisfaction.
“Running away again, I see. Well, have a good day, and enjoy your stay,” he called after her.
Maggie ground her teeth and kept walking. Having a good day was a lost cause because of her run-in with him, and his words about her stay had a stinging double meaning. She’d been stuck here for eight months now, and had been told that when Cal visited Earth, she could likely go back. The question of when Cal would go back to see her family hadn’t been decided. But it couldn’t be soon enough for Maggie. She wanted to get the hell out of Elfland. But would that ever happen?
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