EXCERPT TWO: Meet Jared and Sophia . . .
Jared nodded at Sophia and Kezeah without any sign of recognition. With two of his Pledged up front and two at their rear, he marched them down the corridor to a flight of stairs. Once at the bottom, he ducked beneath an archway, opening onto to a gloomy, narrow tunnel. Erin, never keen on dark, claustrophobic spaces, took a deep breath and paused.
“C’mon,” Seth said. “The sooner we walk through it, the quicker we get to the other side.”
“What happens if what’s on the other side is even worse?”
“Then you’ll know for sure that the dead guys are leading this expedition,” Seth said, wanting to deny the painful burning in his heart that reconnected him with a cursed Jared. He grabbed Erin’s arm and pulled her into the passage.
They’d taken no more than two tentative steps along the uneven floor when Sophia stopped. “Commander, I am not walking through this snake-hole!”
Jared turned back to look at her. With none of the fear or diffidence Erin and Seth expected from a boy with limited to exposure to girls – especially beautiful ones – he answered, “Of course, my lady. You’re from Norin, where I understand you live in grass huts.” He gave a sardonic smile. “But don’t despair, you’ll soon get used to bricks. Even our own Outcasts have learnt not to flinch at the sight of them.” He continued down the passage.
Seth’s mouth dropped at Jared’s rudeness; this was so foreign to the Jared he had seen just moments ago in his vision. It just added to his anger at Reuel’s Curse.
The Pledged at Sophia’s rear prodded her back; she gave him a fierce look and started walking.
For Seth and Sophia, both taller than Erin and Kezeah, negotiating the tortuous twists and turns of the tunnel was no easy matter. Stooping, cursing each time they bumped their heads on the rough ceiling, they struggled after Jared, but he kept up the merciless pace until they reached a dark staircase.
Her temper now as short as her breath, Sophia stopped walking and locked her arms across her chest. “Having just cracked my skull open, you now expect me to scramble up those treacherous stairs too. No doubt hoping I’ll fall and break my neck. Well, forget it. I’m not moving.”
“Sophia!” Kezeah whispered, jabbing her in the ribs as she stepped gingerly onto the first narrow step.
Sophia ignored her. “Only savages and rats live in places like this.”
Jared’s eyes narrowed. “Savages and rats, you say, my lady?”
Sophia set her face into a cold stare, locking her hypnotic blue eyes on his.
He surprised her by holding her gaze. “I hate to disappoint you, my lady, but Lord Rustus, Lord of the Household, under the direction of the Overlord himself, has chosen your apartment. Surely you don’t question their judgment in this matter?”
“As a matter of fact, I do.”
“In that case, I’ll gladly pass on your concerns. If that’s what you really want.”
“Enough, Sophia. This isn’t a fight you can win.” Sophia’s Guardian had joined them.
These excerpts are issued by Swallow Press for use by bloggers participating in launch and blog tour of Pledged by Gwynneth White. Any queries can be addressed to Andrew at email@example.com
If you missed the other 2 experts, they are here Seth And Erin Expert
Fun Teaser for you:
Teaser #1 Erin huddled closer to Seth. “I hope Nathan was right about our invisibility.”
Seth laughed nervously. “It feels like the kind of dream when you’re standing naked in a crowd, praying that no one can see you.”
Erin giggled. “You and your dreams. It must be a riot in your head while you’re sleeping.”
“Touch the Stone,” he shouted to Erin. “Get us out of here.”
“You have it,” Erin shouted back.
“No, I don’t.”
“I felt it hanging around your neck.”
Seth patted his chest. She was right, but he had no idea how the diamond had got there. He also couldn’t think of where to tell it to take them. Somewhere safe. He touched it, praying it would read his mind. In a flash they were gone.
“Look! Caleb’s hand.”
Seth’s voice pulled her away from her musings. A small flame had licked up out of the chair’s armrest, spreading a deep red glow across Caleb’s bandaged fingers.
Feeling the heat, Caleb also looked down, gasped, and then leapt to his feet. The Lightning Bird carving had reared up, shooting fire from its beaks.
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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received this book free from the author/publisher as part of an online book tour from Swallow Press. Although payment may have been received by Swallow Press, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”