Delilah S. Dawson visits Fantastic Fables with a sweet treat! She has written a piece from the point of view of the villain from Wicked As She Wants. The second novel in the Blud series releases today! Want to know our thoughts on this series? Read the reviews for Wicked As They Come and The Mysterious Madam Morpho by clicking on the titles.
Every morning, Ravenna unwrapped herself from Prince Alex’s Kraken-like embrace and sought solace in her secret chamber in the highest turret of the Tsarina’s palace. She sat before the dead queen’s looking glass and brushed her ink-dark hair a hundred strokes, meditating on what it would feel like to wear the crown.
On the wall
When the princesses are dead
I’ll rule them all.
Her reflection’s smile was smug. Although a fortune teller couldn’t tell her own fortune, she’d seen enough flashes of victory in the palms of others to know her destiny would soon be secure: the head of Princess Olga, stuffed and mounted like a stag; bandits stealing Princess Ahnastasia from beside the goldfish fountain three winters ago; a suitcase stuffed in the bilges of an airship. And finally, the ring of succession on Ravenna’s own finger, held aloft at the next Sugar Snow Ball confirmed it.
As soon as the first flakes of snow fell, Ravenna would be queen.
A knock rang against the door, and she carefully schooled her face to show patience instead of rage.
A warrior clad in black leather armor marched in to kneel at her slippered feet. She stared down at his buttermilk-white hair and wondered if his blud would taste of glaciers.
“The Svedish king sends his greetings, my lady.”
“What else does he send?”
The man rose and held out a velvet bag. Ravenna turned it upside down, shaking it until two jeweled earrings fell out onto her lined palm.
“Not the royal jewelry for which I hoped.”
Her tone was as icy as the blue of his eyes.
“He said you might recognize them from the portrait of princess Olgha.” He dropped one more item into her palm. “This, too.”
Ravenna’s hand curled around the jewels and the single fang; finally, proof that one of the two princesses was really and truly dead, just as her vision had foretold. “And Ahnastasia?”
He knelt quickly, head bowed. She bit back a hiss.
“That’s the bad news, my lady. Her valise has gone missing. She never arrived at the destination. The Svedish king wishes to know how you’d like to proceed, considering the deal has fallen through.”
Swift as a viper, she snatched a knife from the assassin’s belt and flung it at the mirror, where it landed with a musical thud. A spiderweb of cracks spread out around it, fracturing their reflection, each tiny Ravenna more furious than the last. To his credit, the man didn’t flinch, and the sorceress licked her lips and placed one red-enameled claw under his chin.
“And where, pray tell, does your loyalty lie? With Sveden, or with me?”
He gazed up at her, unblinking.
“I am a huntsman, my lady, and my loyalty lies always with the chase.”
She curled her finger, forcing him to stand.
“Then let’s put you to good use.” Her talon traced over the throat of his leather jacket and down his chest to stop right over where his heart would have been, had he had one. She tapped it once.“You will find the traitor Ahnastasia and bring her to me.”
“Alive or dead?”
Ravenna stared into the mirror. The Svedish king had hoped to forge a marriage between his son and Ahnastasia, but Ravenna wasn’t willing to wait for that to happen, had been betting against it from the start. Did she want the deed done quickly, or did she want to enjoy torturing the little brat? She’d spent so long hating the spoiled princess that she wanted to draw out the torture, make sure precious, sweet Ahna understood exactly how much trouble she’d been.
Ever since that day at the festival twenty years ago, when high and mighty Ahna had refused to let the fortune teller work her magic, Ravenna had been plotting a brilliant play against the pathetic excuse for a royal family. From the outside, from the fields and forests of Freesia, the Feodors were as solid as the stones of Muscovy, beautiful and brilliant and descended from the goddess Aztarte herself. From inside, living alongside the weakling prince Alex and standing on the graves of his dead parents, the ruling house was as flimsy as a pack of cards.
But the cards would topple more quickly if the last princess was dead.
“Bring me her heart.” She smiled, licked her lips. “In a velvet lined box. Do so, and I’ll make you the richest man in Muscovy.”
The assassin finally smiled.
“The Svedish king bade me return with your answer, but I find the snow white queen of Muscovy to be the fairest of them all.”
Delilah S. Dawson is a native of Roswell, Georgia and the author of the paranormal romance Blud series for Pocket, including WICKED AS THEY COME and an e-novella, THE MYSTERIOUS MADAM MORPHO. The second book in the series, WICKED AS SHE WANTS, and a second novella, THE PECULIAR PETS OF MISS PLEASANCE, will be out in spring 2013, and her first YA, a creepy paranormal called SERVANTS OF THE STORM will be available in spring 2014. RT Book Reviews has called her “a wonderfully fresh new voice!”
Delilah is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Georgia Romance Writers, and the Artifice Club. You can also read her product reviews at CoolMomPicks and CoolMomTech, where she is an Associate Editor. She’s a geek of all trades, a synesthete, and the sort of person who saw Spawn in the theater and made other people angry by laughing. Find her online at www.delilahsdawson.com. Bring cupcakes.
Want to read more from Delilah S. Dawson?
This giveaway is provided by Simon & Schuster
One lucky reader will win a copy of Wicked As She Wants
Available April 30, 2013 from Pocket Books
About this Book:
The second book in the darkly tempting Blud series, featuring a vampire princess who embarks upon a dangerous journey to claim what is rightfully hers.
When Blud princess Ahnastasia wakes up, drained and starving in a suitcase, she’s not sure which calls to her more: the sound of music or the scent of blood. The source of both sensations is a handsome and mysterious man named Casper Sterling. Once the most celebrated musician in London, Sangland, he’s fallen on hard times. Now, much to Ahna’s frustration, the debauched and reckless human is her only ticket back home to the snow-rimmed and magical land of Freesia.
Together with Casper’s prickly charge, a scrappy orphan named Keen, they seek passage to Ahna’s homeland, where a power-hungry sorceress named Ravenna holds the royal family in thrall. Traveling from the back alleys of London to the sparkling minarets of Muscovy, Ahna discovers that Freesia holds new perils and dangerous foes. Back in her country, she is forced to choose between the heart she never knew she had and the land that she was born to rule. But with Casper’s help, Ahna may find a way to have it all…
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