Monday, August 5, 2013

Guest Post (with a bonus chapter!!) - Olivia Cooper

Today, I'm excited to welcome author, Olivia Cooper, to the blog!

The first book in her Rex Deus Dynasty is actually FREE on right now (through Aug. 9th) and to help spread the word and celebrate, Olivia actually wrote a BONUS CHAPTER to reveal on my blog! Beyond exciting!

First, here's the info on book one, Shadow:

Angelina Hathaway was a baby when her mother gave her up for adoption. Now eighteen years old, she meets Guillermo - a handsome, arrogant boy who was sent from Europe to tell her that she’s inherited a vast fortune from her birth parents along with an explosive secret about her lineage that will change her forever.

Unfortunately, there are people who know her secret and will stop at nothing to control her for their own purposes, or even kill her. In order to escape, she must decide between those she can trust and those she can’t…before it’s too late.

And...drumroll, please... here's the bonus chapter for you, exclusively on my blog(!):

Diamonds Found at Market
Cairo, Egypt – 1000 A.D.

“My Lady,” he said.  “I have something of great value to show you.”

We had chosen to spend the afternoon wandering the market and vendors often approached us marketing their wares.  The man in front of us was short, wrapped in robes and dusty looking.  I looked into his eyes and saw ambition.

“Stay away from him,” my duenna whispered.  “He’s said to be cursed.”

“Cursed?”  I laughed.  “But I don’t believe in superstition.  Who is he?”

“He’s a blasphemer,” she said.  “He breaks into the great pharaohs tombs and steals their treasures.”

I know my duenna meant to dissuade me, but this only piqued my interest.  Sometimes I wish I could wander the market without my duenna who questioned my every word and move, but it was only proper for a young lady to be escorted in public.

“What do you have for me?” I asked, as my duenna flinched.

The man looked around to see who might be standing nearby and then, seeing the coast was clear, stepped a few inches closer and pulled out a pouch.  He opened the pouch and pulled out a red diamond necklace and matching earrings.  There were red diamonds that ran along the circumference of the necklace, all around the neckline.  At the center was the largest diamond I had ever seen.  It was almost 2 inches long and an inch across.  And red.  I’d never seen anything like it.  The diamonds sparkled in the sunlight and the color was so brilliant that it made me warm inside my chest.  I had hundreds of valuable jewelry pieces at home but nothing like this. 

I could also see that my duenna was right.  The design of the setting was done in the old style.  This piece had probably been dug out from an ancient tomb and could be thousands of years old.  This necklace had once been worn by a queen – either a female pharaoh or a pharaoh’s wife.  I had to have it.

“What do you want for it?”  I asked him.

“Death comes to those who defile the pharaoh’s tombs,” my duenna urgently whispered to me.  “Leave this cursed necklace with him and let’s go.”  But I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.  It was so brilliant, it almost glowed.  I could already picture myself in it.

“A hundred gold pieces,” he said.  It was more than most men made from ten years of work.

“Done,” I said. “Go see our house treasurer for payment. I’ll tell him to expect you.”

He bowed his head and handed me the pouch with the jewels inside.  On the walk back to our house, my duenna didn’t bother to speak to me.  I surmised she was upset with me, but I knew she’d get over it, like she always did.

Once home, we went our separate ways.  I went straight to my chambers to try on my new jewels and see what I looked like in the mirror.  I called my body servant to help me put on the jewelry.

“Where did you get this?” She gasped.

“The gems were pulled from a nearby mine and I had them made into a necklace and earrings,” I lied.  I didn’t want word getting back to my parents that I had purchased jewelry stolen from a pharaoh’s tomb.  They would never forgive me.  I couldn’t tell whether my body servant believed me but I knew she wouldn’t argue.  She carefully put the earrings in my ears and attached the necklace around my neck.  She pulled my hair back into a bun so I could get a better look.

“You look stunning,” she said, wide-eyed.  “Like a queen.”

I had to agree.  I moved my shoulders and head in slightly different directions so that sunlight could bounce off the diamonds and make them sparkle.  I was mesmerized and so was my body servant.

The spell was broken when we heard a clatter in the hall.  I looked to the door and tried to hear what was happening.  Suddenly, my door was kicked in. 

“You’ve been sleeping with him!”  My betrothed yelled at me.  As children, our parents had agreed to marry us once we were of age, but I couldn’t stand him.  He was controlling and had a horrible temper.  I rued the day that we would be married, even if it did mean that I could dismiss my duenna.

“Who?” I shouted back.

“Don’t pretend you don’t know.  I’ve seen the way he looks at you and the way you look at him.  It’s obvious.  Besides, I have proof now – my men saw you walking with him along the edge of the river, without your duenna.” He sneered.

“That’s ridiculous!  That doesn’t mean anything!”

He looked at my necklace and earrings.

“A gift from him!”  He said as he picked up the necklace in his hands and inspected it.

“I bought it at the market this afternoon,” I said.  “It wasn’t a gift!”

“I can’t marry someone who’s been with someone else.  I won’t have you as my bride!”

I stood there and wondered how he could possibly undo the contract that betrothed us.  Our parents had agreed to marry us when we were of age and these things rarely changed.  If only he could, I hoped.  I looked at him and he had a scary, wild look in his eyes.  I had never seen him like this.  Suddenly, he pulled a knife from his vest and plunged it into my chest.

“I won’t be dishonored,” I heard him say just before everything went black.  

Olivia, thank you SO much for writing this awesome bonus chapter for my blog! I'm so intrigued to go read the whole book now. If you are, too, here's all the places you can find it... 

To read Shadow, the book that inspired this bonus chapter, you can visit Amazon to download the Kindle version (free of charge during August 5th – August 9th):

This book is also available as a paperback:

To be notified when other Bonus Chapters are published, just Like Olivia Cooper's Facebook page:

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