The Sword Unsheathed by Judith Sterling - Book Excerpt
"Readers will be caught up in Judith Sterling's magical world filled with modern, relatable characters, Irish legends, mystical creatures, sweet romance, and a suspenseful mystery leaving them with hungry anticipation for the next book in the series." - InD'Tale Magazine
Ashling Donoghue is no closer to finding her parents than she was the night they disappeared. But hope returns as her brother Kian channels the Sword of Light, revealing past-life secrets and truths long suppressed.
The more she learns, the greater she fears the darkness that drowns the Netherworld also drives her. Is Aengus her true love, or is it Lorcan? Does her future wait in shadow or the light?
One point is clear: the threads of her past-self are woven inextricably into the tapestry of her soul. An impossible choice looms before her, and all the while, evil is poised to strike.
In the author's words . . .
Every time I return to the Guardians of Erin series, I feel like I'm back in Ireland, one of my favorite places in the world. In The Sword Unsheathed, I also enjoyed delving deeper into the characters' back stories, i.e., their past lives, which is about as "back" as you can get!
Enjoy an Excerpt from
The Sword Unsheathed
A curious sense of déjà vu washed over me, and every inch of my flesh tingled with a hidden memory.
I’ve been here before. I’m sure of it.
I entered the tent, and a plush Persian carpet cushioned my feet as I explored. Sumptuous in texture and color, the interior seemed strangely familiar. There were silks, satins, and velvets in shades of gold, burgundy, ruby red, dark blue, and emerald green. Curtains, cushions, and pillows aplenty. Spherical, perforated hanging lanterns. There was even a Moroccan tray table of polished brass decorated with an arabesque pattern; atop it sat two crystal glasses and a matching decanter filled with brown liquid, as well as a compote containing what appeared to be cocoa-dusted chocolate truffles.
“I could get used to this,” I said aloud.
I jumped, then whirled around. Lorcan stood an arm’s length away. As always, he wore his black, Regency Era greatcoat, breeches, and riding boots. A question, deeper than the one he’d asked, glowed in his ice blue eyes.
His eyes darkened. “Are you cold?”
“No. Are you?” A heartbeat after I spoke, I cringed inwardly. What a stupid reply!
He shook his head. Glossy black hair swayed, teasing his broad shoulders. “Not particularly.” A smile tugged at his full, sensuous lips as he gestured to the table. “Chocolate? Cognac?”
I clenched my fists, steeling myself against his charms. “No, thank you, and you can wipe that smile off your face. How can I trust you after what happened Christmas Eve?”
“What do you mean?”
“You left me alone in Aoife’s castle. Where did you disappear to?”
He blinked, and for a moment, his long eyelashes stole my focus. “Ashling, you know I went to investigate the noise we heard.”
“And never came back.”
“I did come back.”
“Really?” I tilted my head to the side. “Funny that I didn’t see you. Aoife said you brought me to her, like some kind of warped Christmas present or—”
“I’m sure she does, but she also spoke a lot of truth. Are you still working for her?”
“How can you ask that?”
He sighed: a sound of impatience and annoyance, both of which I, too, had felt over the past few months. “As I told you before, when I met Caer—you—I left Aoife and planned to live the rest of my days in the Middleworld…here, with you. Then you disappeared on me.”
“So Christmas Eve was payback for something I did centuries ago?”
“It wasn’t. By the time I returned to the dungeon, you were gone. Then I sensed you were in danger. Of course, Aengus did too, and I arrived just in time to watch him save the day.” A shadow crossed his features.
I’d seen that look before, whenever he compared himself to Aengus. Sympathy surged within me, but I expelled it with a huff. “Why didn’t you come and tell me all this before?”
“I didn’t think you’d listen. I knew Aengus would poison your ears with lies about me. How can I compete with such a paragon?” He twisted his lips, and a hint of humor restored light to his face. “Perhaps if I wore only my long drawers.”
“I believe you’d call them underwear.”
The image of a bare-chested Lorcan flashed in my mind and set my pulse racing. “No. Clothes are a good thing.”
He arched an eyebrow. “Are they? Still, my attire is outdated.”
I shrugged. “A little.”
He furrowed his brow, then it smoothened. “I’ve got it.” Before my eyes, his clothing morphed into black jeans and a black T-shirt. “Better?”
Holy hell, he was sexy! Unfortunately, his new look emphasized the toned physique I’d only imagined till then.
I swallowed hard. “I don’t care what you wear.” It was true. He could dress in Super Mario footie pajamas, and I’d still think he was hot.
“Don’t you?” He inched toward me.
I took two steps back. “I…I wanted to ask…where are we? This place seems so familiar.”
“It should.” His eyes smoldered. “We made love here.”
End of Excerpt © Judith Sterling
Learn more by visiting the author's website. The Sword Unsheathed released June 1, 2020 from Wild Rose Press.c
Meet the Author
Judith Sterling is an award-winning author whose love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Whether penning medieval romance (The Novels of Ravenwood) or young adult paranormal fantasy (the Guardians of Erin series), her favorite themes include true love, destiny, time travel, healing, redemption, and finding the hidden magic which exists all around us. She loves to share that magic with readers and whisk them far away from their troubles, particularly to locations in the British Isles.
Her nonfiction books, written under Judith Marshall, have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.
The Sword Unsheathed by Judith Sterling
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Heat Level: 2
Language Level: 2
Violence Level: 2
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