Alynah Commonborn no longer exists.
Forged into a pawn taught to fight, detect poisons, and disconnect my soul, I am a concocted lie: decoy, princess, murderess, spy, with one truth left: greater loyalty to my family than my country. I play the overlord’s heartless daughter to save their lives, but in so doing, I condemn my nation to an alliance that will destroy it.
Then a ruthless foe kidnaps me for his own agenda. I try to escape and stop the coming disaster, but every attempt fails, and the stakes keep rising. I’m falling in love with my silver-haired captor, making it harder to fight him. Too many die for my deception, making it harder to believe in. And the ever spirits in the spirit realm keep reviving me from the dead, meaning more than my family’s lives hang in the balance, and not only my people will break if I fail.
But I am Alynah Commonborn – what’s left of her – and I will not fail.
Targeted Age Group:: mature (over 18)
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wrote the first half as a fantasy romance just for fun, but halfway through, my husband decided he wanted a divorce, so what began as a fun romp descended into a dark, slightly twisted fantasy.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main character simply showed up as main characters are wont to do, but the antagonist… he was spawned from the most destructive, gory depths of my anguish and he tore through my fantasy world's characters as I never could. I'll probably never write a character as terrible and magnificent as he is again.
Letting the tension flow out of my body, I relaxed against Kirian, feigning fatigue. The last thing I wanted was for him to feel my muscles bunching and thwart my plan as I readied to jump off the footbridge into the River of Sorrow far below.
Only… the arm he had wrapped around my waist tightened slightly.
I wanted to growl with frustration.
Breathe evenly, Alynah. Inhale, exhale.
I turned my head, hating the way the motion resembled more a burrowing cuddle rather than a clandestine peep at the waters below. His fingers inched up my waist, his heat seeping through his clothes to my cheek.
Spirits, my heart hammered inside my lungs more from his touch than from my imminent dive off the bridge.
I angled my gaze down the rocky gorge to the swollen river congesting its center like an overfull vein. The aquamarine darkened here where the bottom plunged deeper.
A few more seconds. Inhale, exhale.
I fought to keep myself relaxed when every nerve wanted to stretch taut; my muscles strained to tense for escape, but I couldn’t let them wind tight. My spring into freedom had to be instantaneous—as instantaneous as it could be with me astride and planning to launch off with one heel.
I shoved Kirian’s hand off my waist and slid sideways off the saddle, launching off with my foot—my other ankle just narrowly missing his grab. I shot over the bridge’s hand-rope and plummeted past it headfirst. Weightlessness engulfed me until I was all flailing limbs and freefall scream, rushing air around me whipping back my hair while hungry water rose up below in impatient eddies.
I jackknifed into its heart, sinking deep into its shockingly cold embrace. The current billowed up into my face, and I shoved my arms down to regain the surface, but the merciless current hauled me deeper underwater and towed me downstream.
My lungs burned for air. In another ferocious effort, I thrust my arms down and propelled myself upward. The fringes of the murky green world around me taunted me with their serenity.
I broke the surface, sucking in deep, gasping breaths.
I almost didn’t hear the splash behind me.
Kicking my legs to stay afloat, I twisted around.
Kirian surfaced not a bear’s length behind, and it didn’t look like he was in any danger of drowning.
Curse all Deminian assassins.
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