Title: The Brother's Keep (4 Novellas in 1)
Author: Tessa Stockton
Publication Date: May 6, 2015
Genre: YA Romantic Fantasy
Each of the four young maidens ventures out, vulnerable and alone, to battle unknown elements, demons, and strange magic. Risking all for the journey, they are set to find the demise of their monster. But the question of motive begins to infiltrate each of their minds. Are they really trying to save their people from the harm of the monster or redeem a heartless being for the sake of love? Because somehow, while daring, their own hearts are stolen in what could be the quickest path to destruction, the greatest betrayal of all.
Along the way, meet Lily of the Valley, Bright & Morning Star, Promise the King, and The Messenger, characters potentially aiding these impressionable young women who find themselves quite lost in the keeps of alluring yet unscrupulous brothers.
ICE DANCER’S HOLD
Sasha’s heart hammered against her chest. She stared at Kilian, distrusting the vampyre. But after he had lifted her hands and brushed her palms with his sensuous lips, he sat upright with a deeply furrowed brow. “I don’t want to hurt you.” She could detect the tendon in his jaw that shifted as he glanced out the window at the falling snow. “That’s what’s strange.” He released her hands and stood.
She watched him, and felt the cloud of doubt that seemed to materialize from nowhere.
“The province from where I came is in the middle of an arctic.” He sighed. “My fortress is made of ice.” He lit a candle and then moved again toward the windows, whispering, “How I miss it.”
“I’m sorry for your unhappiness, Master.”
He turned partway and said, “Yes, you’ve said that before. At the water’s edge.”
“Well, then, I thank you.” He pursed his lips. “You are virtuous.”
She bowed her head.
He exhaled what sounded like the weight of his and her worlds combined. “Walk with me, Sasha.”
“I beg your pardon, Master?”
“A stroll. Come.” He extended his arm. Around his other arm draped a fur coat while heavy boots appeared at his feet.
She didn’t question his magic, but donned the items and then took his hand. “Will you not be cold, Master?”
“I cannot be touched by what I am. I am the cold, my dear.”
For whatever reason, Sasha felt glad Kilian didn’t address her as his sweet like he had Princess Kristyana. When he’d called her my dear, the endearment sounded dipped in a degree of respect. But that couldn’t be. She rubbed the fading sleep from her eyes. She was a slave and he, her master; she a fae and he a vampyre. Vampyres and faes didn’t go well together.
Tessa Stockton is a veteran of the performing arts and worldwide missions, having come from a long line of musical arts professionals. She loved seeing the world and absorbing the beauty of other cultures . . . an enriching life full of dance, music, faith, and interesting cuisine. Over the years, she also contributed as a writer/editor for ministry publications, ghostwriter for political content, and headed a column on the topic of forgiveness. Today, she writes fantasy, romance and political intrigue novels.