It’s my honor to welcome author A. M. Manay on day two of a seven-day blog tour. She’s here to promote her latest project and Kindle Scout nominated book, Hexborn. You’re invited to read an excerpt, and at the end of this post you’ll be given information on how to nominate this great read.
Silas Hatch, AKA “the Hatchet”
Many thanks to my host, and to all of you for your interest in my new fantasy novel, Hexborn, currently up for nominations in the Kindle Scout competition. Now, you know that a man nicknamed “the Hatchet” has to be a little dangerous, and Silas certainly is. The king’s fixer, he is single-minded and ruthless enough to cause our heroine, Shiloh, no end of problems. Let’s take a little peek, shall we?
“Feralfolk are the enemies of all civilized people. You committed no crime when you killed them. As far as I’m concerned, we ought to pay you a bounty. And as long as you pose no threat to the throne, you have nothing to fear from me,” Hatch insisted. His words were reassuring. His tone was not.
“Why would I pose a threat to the throne?” Shiloh asked, forcing herself to look him in the eye.
“Edmun fought for Alissa in the war. Perhaps he filled your head with treason. Perhaps you are his final act of rebellion,” Silas proposed. “The Teeth came out for her as well. You see why there might be . . . concern about your possible loyalties. That, coupled with your unusual level of talent, makes you of interest to a man in my position.”
Shiloh shook her head. “The Teeth fought for the Usurper because they were drafted by their lord. Old Blackmine’s press gangs came through every town. More than half the men who left never came home. Losing that much has a way of turning a people against a queen. Losing that much has a way of turning a people against war altogether, of making them love stability above all things.
“The landfolk of the Teeth are loyal to King Rischar. They’re about as likely to rebel as they are to kill their own young for supper. As for me, Brother Edmun taught me the price of war and the value of peace. So did my father’s screaming nightmares. So did my defects of birth and my nights of agony. And, yes, so did the night I killed the Feralfolk,” she declared, voice breaking. “Besides, the king is anointed by the Gods I was brought up to revere and obey. His person is sacred.”
“I’d wager that’s more than you generally speak in a week. Did you practice that pretty speech?” Silas asked with a smile Shiloh couldn’t quite read.
“No. If you think I’m a threat, why am I still breathing? Why are you bringing me to court, to the Academy?”
“For the same reason we bring anyone to court: because we think your presence there will be of use to king and country.”
“And are you ever wrong in your assessments, Master Hatch?”
“Not for long, Miss Teethborn. Not for long.”
The king’s Chief Minister, Silas Hatch is the bastard son of the Lord of the Vine who has risen to prominence due to his intelligence, his ruthlessness, and the role he played in ending the civil war. Now, he has turned his sharp eyes upon Shiloh Teethborn.
Silas fought in the war as a teenager and came out of the experience with a fair amount of trauma and an obsession with preserving the peace and preventing another destructive war. Thus, he devotes his energy to propping up a throne that totters beneath the king’s venality and general incompetence. And he wants to use Shiloh to help him do it. But that doesn’t mean he trusts her.
Silas is the sort of man who sees threats everywhere. In his defense, there are threats everywhere: scheming courtiers, a rebel lord within the kingdom, and a meddling religious leader outside of it. Can he fight those battles on his own, as he always has? Only time will tell, but, somehow, I doubt it.
If you’re intrigued by what you’ve read, please head over to Kindle Scout to nominate Hexborn for publication. If it is chosen, everyone who nominates it will receive a free copy a week in advance of the release. Pretty cool, right? Thanks much, please help spread the word, and happy reading!
“This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”