Serial Box brings everything that’s awesome about TV (easily digestible episodes, team written, new content every week) to what was already cool about books (well-crafted stories, talented authors, enjoyable anywhere).
Like TV, we release a new episode of our serials every week and serials typically run for seasons of 10-16 weeks. Easy to pick up, episodes are enjoyable on their own but build over the course of the season to tell a bigger story. Each episode is available in ebook and audio and takes about 40 minutes to enjoy.
WHAT IS SERIAL BOX?
Serialized fiction released in episodes week after week.
HOW IS IT WRITTEN?
Talented and award-winning writers collaborate on each season.
Just like your favorite television shows, a team of writers gets together to collaboratively create the entire story, from plot lines to character arcs. Individual episodes are then written by the various authors, each bringing their unique voice and expertise to the finished product. Our lead writers, showrunners and editors oversee the writers room and the episodes that make it on to your small screens.
OFFICIAL NERD BLAST FOR NINTH STEP STATION, A SERIAL BOX ORIGINAL
This is a Nerd Blast, you will post the promotional info we provide you with, including the giveaway. No reviews required. Please mark your Calendar.
A local cop. A US Peacekeeper. A divided Tokyo.
Years of disaster and conflict have left Tokyo split between great powers.
In the city of drone-enforced borders, bodymod black markets, and desperate resistance movements, US peacekeeper Emma Higashi is assigned to partner with Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Miyako Koreda.
Together, they must race to solve a series of murders that test their relationship and threaten to overturn the balance of global power. And amid the chaos, they each need to decide what they are willing to do for peace.
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ABOUT SERIAL BOX
A new kind of publishing company for a new age.
While technology has rapidly evolved, the way publishers and writers bring books to readers really hasn’t. Storytelling in TV has become more sophisticated and multilayered, podcasts have risen to mainstream media status—but ebooks are just books on digital devices, not easier, more fun, or more social than they were before.
Serial Box is here to change all of that: artfully blending together the best of series television and the convenience of ebooks and audiobooks to bring readers a new form of story telling. Releasing fiction serials over the course of 10-16 week seasons, Serial Box is about delivering addictive episodes straight to the user’s digital device to be read or listened to anytime, anywhere.
Taking a few pages from the world of television, Serial Box hires a team of a talented and award-winning writers to collaborate on each serial, pulling the best ideas to develop great characters and craft a narrative that captivates readers over the course of the season. A new ensemble of writers works on each series, so each will vary in genre and length, but they’ll always be entertaining page-turners that keep you wondering what will happen in next week’s episode.
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MALKA OLDER is a writer, aid worker, and PhD candidate. Her science fiction political thriller Infomocracy, was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews, Book Riot, and the Washington Post. She is also the author of the sequels, Null States (2017) and State Tectonics (2018), as well as of short fiction appearing in WIRED, Twelve Tomorrows, Reservoir Journal, Fireside Fiction, Tor.com and others. Named Senior Fellow for Technology and Risk at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs for 2015, she has more than a decade of experience in humanitarian aid and development. Her doctoral work on the sociology of organizations at the Institut d’Études Politques de Paris (Sciences Po) explores the dynamics of multi-level governance and disaster response using the cases of Hurricane Katrina and the Japan tsunami of 2011.
FRAN WILDE‘s novels and short stories have been finalists for three Nebula Awards, a World Fantasy Award, and two Hugo Awards, and include her Andre Norton- and Compton-Crook-winning debut novel Updraft, its sequels Cloudbound and Horizon, and the Nebula-, Hugo-, and Locus-nominated novelette The Jewel and Her Lapidary. Her short stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Tor.com, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer, Nature, and the 2017 Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror. Her poetry has appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Who Will Speak For America (Temple University), Articulate, and Poetry Baltimore, and her nonfiction appears in The Washington Post, iO9, Paste, Clarkesworld, and Tor.com. She holds an MFA in poetry and an MA in information architecture and interaction design.
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JACQUELINE KOYANAGI writes science fiction and fantasy featuring women of color who love other women, disabled characters, neuroatypical characters, and diverse relationship styles. Her debut novel, Ascension, was released from Masque/Prime books at the end of 2013, and landed on the 2014 James Tiptree Jr. Honor List. Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies by Haikasoru and Candlemark & Gleam.
CURTIS C. CHEN – Once a Silicon Valley software engineer, Curtis C. Chen now writes fiction and runs puzzle games near Portland, Oregon. His debut novel Waypoint Kangaroo (a 2017 Locus Awards and Endeavour Award Finalist) is a science fiction thriller about a superpowered spy facing his toughest mission yet: vacation. The sequel, Kangaroo Too, lands our hero on the Moon to confront long-buried secrets.
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File Size: 4550 KB
Print Length: 373 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (October 22, 2018)
Publication Date: October 22, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Praise for THE SCYTHIAN TRIALS
“… Fun and sensual fantasy [with] magnetic characters.” ―Publishers Weekly
“The Scythian Trials crackles with life, hums with heart, and pounds with action for one hell of a read.” ―San Francisco Book Review
“If you loved the Hunger Games and Divergent and just all around kicka$$ characters with an amazing storyline then you will love this.” ―Books With Jess
Descendants of the Amazons, the Scythians work alongside prominent governments but answer to no one. Warriors living on the fringe of civilization, they live by one credo: Strength through Equality. Power through Knowledge.
Nya Thalestris is the brightest Scythian of her generation. Strong, capable, ruthless, she is sure to earn a spot in the Trials, a time-honored mating ritual responsible for the evolution of her species.
Abducted by their sworn enemy, the Drahzda, Nya is forever altered and spirals out of control. The Society sends in Jax Nickius. Infamous psychologist and one of the most brutal warriors of their kind, he discovers triggers planted in Nya’s mind. As Nya solidifies her spot in the Trials, Jax develops a plan to help—while pursuing her as a mate. But, Nya’s attraction to Jax is at war with her instinct to never let anyone get too close.
During the Trials, Nya’s repressed memories surface, revealing a new enemy—one from inside the consulate walls—and a traitorous alliance on the horizon that could irrevocably change the course of history.
Since before the Bronze Age, the Society has managed to safeguard humanity from itself … until now.
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Elizabeth Isaacs is an author, teacher, and publishing professional who began her career as a national presenter for Resource Profiles, where she developed teacher seminars designed to foster creative brain stimulation. Moving into formal education, she helped at-risk students improve their writing skills as well as created and implemented a creative writing/blogging program that centered on teaching the 21st-century learner. Works stemming from this initiative were published online and seen in over 40 countries.
Elizabeth receives invitations to speak nationwide at schools and book clubs. She co-founded the popular book blog, Chirenjenzie, which reaches thousands of readers throughout the world. The writer support and reader interest group promotes and interacts with followers on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter. Elizabeth has a Master’s degree from Austin Peay State University, where she studied classical opera. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
Her newest work, The Scythian Trials, is slated for release in 2018.
And now for a Tens List from the author!
Ten Favorite Songs.
This is an impossible question to answer. Music represents every facet of my life. I’m a musician by trade; I knowthousands of songs. It’s challenging tonarrow it down to just ten, But here’s my best shot. Some are heart-wrenching, some inspiring, some old school, some new. It’s an odd mix, but then again it truly reflects me.
Here you go!
This is me The Greatest Showmanhttps://youtu.be/CjxugyZCfuw Thissong speaks to me.
Good Old Days- https://youtu.be/1yYV9-KoSUM My best friend in the world, Corina, introduced me to this song. I love it!
Bring Him Home- Les Mis (the ColmWilkinson version)https://youtu.be/qsYnhVITf9E I played this song for two days straight when a child I taught and loved was in intensive care after being found unconscious in a house fire. We buried him three days later. I still cry every time I hear it, but I count it as a favorite because it reminds me that prayer is hope within itself, and we love as much as we grieve.
For good- Wicked (the KristenChenowith version)https://youtu.be/TZ0pXUb5jVU Thissong reminds us that people come into our lives and change us just through their spirit. Again, it’s deep, but oh, so meaningful.
Oh, Fortuna Carmina Burana (The Andre` Rieu version) HYPERLINK “https://youtu.be/4QPU1VpPn2s”https://youtu.be/4QPU1VpPn2s Every time I write a battle scene I listen to this beforehand. I have a music crush onAndre, so this version is my fav. 😊
Freak- Brian Justin from America’s Got Talent https://youtu.be/KDIQfTdKWuY?t=164 I love this song for its raw, honest power. I rarely feel like I fit in, and so this speaks to me.
We came to play- Tower of Powerhttps://youtu.be/f91CYA5KdDc Myfavorite song from college. Every time I hear it I smile. We played it at my best friend’s birthday before the cops were called … but that’s another story. 😊
At this Moment https://youtu.be/Yb-Btye7ZpA, I heard this song years ago, and I always marveled at a depth ofemotion that comes from it. It’s soulful and has real meaning few songs convey. I love it.
Piece by Piece- Kelly Clarkson (The American Idol Farewell edition)https://youtu.be/tuunqfdz388 As a romantic writer this was an Oh-My-God moment. It’s a reminder that even though we might be discounted by those that are supposed to love us, there is someone out there that will understand, appreciate, and value us for who we are. The way she sings this song is so intimate, so exposed. Kelly is one courageous woman!
Stronger than me- Garth Brooks- Oh, good sweet Lord, Garth Brooks is a trueromantic and a great man. While country music isn’t my default, I love Garth because he’s fearless when it comes to showing his heart to the world. https://youtu.be/jo5mIsL8uvo
JANUARY 14th MONDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
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JANUARY 30th WEDNESDAY TTC Books and More EXCERPT
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JANUARY 31st THURSDAY A Dream Within A Dream EXCERPT
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Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (March 13, 2018)
Praise for JINXED
[Hutson] creates a gore-filled throwback to the classic teen slasher flick genre … Graphically detailed descriptions make it clear that this work of horror isn’t for the faint of heart. ―Publishers Weekly
Thommy Hutson’s ‘Jinxed’ is a Must Read for Classic Horror Fans (linked to full iHorror review)
“Hutson … knocked it completely out of the park … with an expertly paced, cinematic slasher in a setting that would make Agatha Christie proud.” ―Waylon Jordan, iHorror.com
“…gory but captivating … a masked murderer starts picking off the teens, killing them all in theatrically grisly ways. … entertaining” ―School Library Journal
“Thommy Hutson is the ultimate authority in nostalgia-driven storytelling.” ―Clive Barker, Bestselling Author of Books of Blood and The Thief of Always
“Jinxed is the teen whodunit that Wes Craven and Lois Duncan never made. Hutson has created the best new slasher franchise since Scream.” ―Peter M. Bracke, Author of Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th
“A dark, tension-filled thriller that’s wicked to the very end. Bad luck was never so much fun!” ―Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of Final Destination
High School Can Be a Real Killer
Break a mirror
Walk under a ladder
Step on a crack
Innocent childhood superstitions …
But someone at the secluded Trask Academy of Performing Arts is taking things one deadly step further when the campus is rocked with the deaths of some of its star students.
Layna Curtis, a talented, popular senior, soon realizes that the seemingly random, accidental deaths of her friends aren’t random—or accidents—at all. Someone has taken the childhood games too far, using the idea of superstitions to dispose of their classmates. As Layna tries to convince people of her theory, she uncovers the terrifying notion that each escalating, gruesome murder leads closer to its final victim: her.
Will Layna’s opening night also be her final bow?
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Born and raised in Upstate New York, Thommy Hutson graduated from UCLA and launched his career co-writing the story for the Warner Bros. animated hit SCOOBY-DOO IN WHERE’S MY MUMMY? He followed that with co-writing the concept and additional material for CHILL OUT, SCOOBY-DOO!
His career then took a thrilling turn when he wrote and produced several definitive genre film retrospectives for television and home entertainment: SCREAM: THE INSIDE STORY (Bio Channel), NEVER SLEEP AGAIN: THE ELM STREET LEGACY (Bio Channel), MORE BRAINS! A RETURN TO THE LIVING DEAD (Chiller) and HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13th (Starz/Anchor Bay).
He was also a staff writer on Hulu’s daily web series “The Morning After,” a smart, witty, pop culture program aimed at getting viewers up-to-date on the latest entertainment news and celebrity interviews.
Thommy also produced the critically acclaimed feature THE TROUBLE WITH THE TRUTH, an insightful relationship drama starring Lea Thompson and John Shea. He also produced DREAMWORLD, a quirky, romantic dramedy.
He co-wrote and produced ANIMAL for Chiller Films and Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films. The project debuted in iTunes’ top ten horror films (reaching #1) and became the network’s highest-rated original movie.
Continuing his passion for uncovering the stories behind the story, he went on to produce CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF FRIDAY THE 13th, which is the most comprehensive look at the popular film franchise.
He produced and made his feature directorial debut with THE ID, an independent psychological drama/thriller. Filmmaker Magazine stated it was “a deeply unsettling thriller that’s as moving as it is frightening…with skillful, provocative direction that has echoes of early Polanski.”
Thommy also wrote the screenplay for Syfy Channel’s supernatural horror film TRUTH OR DARE, which was a trending topic on social media the night of its release.
As an author Thommy crafted a limited-edition coffee table book detailing the making and legacy of Wes Craven’s 1984 classic A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. A trade version distributed by Simon & Schuster reached number one in Amazon.com’s Movie History & Criticism category. His latest novel, the teen thriller “Jinxed,” (Vesuvian Media) is the first book of a trilogy and has been called “A must-read for classic horror fans…Inevitable and shocking. Brutal and beautiful. Homage and originality…Hutson could easily take on the mantle as the next Lois Duncan.”
He is currently scripting a film for The Hallmark Channel as well as writing another book that definitively details the history, making, and legacy of another fan-favorite genre film from the 1980s.
A member of the Producers Guild of America and Horror Writers Association, and an aficionado of horror and teen movies from the 80s and 90s, Thommy continues to develop unique, compelling, and provocative projects across multiple genres for film, television, publishing, and home entertainment through his company Hutson Ranch Media.
Review: This was a neat school murder thriller with a fantastic twist at the end. I didn’t really like Layna until the end and I didn’t really care for the other characters but the story/plot made up for it really well. The pacing wasn’t fast but it wasn’t slow either, I felt like it took a bit if a wait to get to the final reveal but it was worth it in the end.
The ending wrapped up nicely and left me wondering if there’ll be a sequel. Overall I rated this book 3 stars and I’d reccomemd it for murder thriller fans ages 16 and up.
JANUARY 7th MONDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
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WHITE STAG by Kara Barbieri; On-sale: January 8, 2019
White Stag, the first book in a brutally stunning series by Kara Barbieri, involves a young girl who finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.
As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Jannekewas raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.
Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.
Through every battle they survive,Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed,Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.
Author’s Twitter handle
Link to a buy-this-book page:
Kara Barbieri is a writer living in the tiny town of Hayward, Wisconsin. An avid fantasy fan, she began writing White Stag at eighteen and posting it toWattpad soon after under the name of ‘Pandean’. When she’s not writing, you can find her marathoning Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reviving gothic fashion, and jamming to synthpop.
WHITE STAG EXCERPT
THE FIRST THING I learned as a hunter was how to hide. There was a skill in disappearing in the trees like the wind and merging into the river like stones; masquerading yourself as something you weren’t was what kept you alive in the end. Most humans didn’t think the masquerade was as important as the kill, and most humans ended up paying for it with their lifeblood.
Here, as the only mortal in a hall of monsters, I was very glad that I was not most humans.
I kept my steps silent and my back straight as I passed beneath the white marble pillars. My eyes flickered around me every so often, counting hallways, retracing my steps, so I could escape at a moment’s notice. The Erlking’s palace was treacherous, full of twists and turns, stairways that led into nowhere, and places where the hallways dropped to gaping chasms. According to Soren, there were also hollow spaces in the walls where you could slink around unnoticed to the mundane and the monstrous eye, but you could hear and see all that went on in the open world. The lair of a king, I thought bitterly. I dared not say it out loud in case someone was near. But beside me, Soren sensed my disgust and made a sound deep in his throat. It could’ve been agreement.
Soren examined his king’s palace with the usual contempt; his cold, calculating eyes took in everything and betrayed nothing. His lips turned down in a frown that was almost etched permanently into his face. Sometimes I forgot he was capable of other expressions. He didn’t even smile when he was killing things; as far as goblins went, that was a symptom of chronic depression. He lifted his bored gaze at the gurgling, choking sound coming from his right, and it took all my willpower not to follow his line of sight. When I felt the subtle whoosh of power transfer from one body to the next, my fingers twitched to where I’d slung my bow, only to remember too late that it had been left at the entrance of the keep in accordance with ancient tradition.
A scream echoed off the cavernous passageways as we made our way to the great hall where everyone gathered. It sent chills down my spine with its shrillness before it was abruptly cut off. Somehow, that made me shiver even more. Ancient tradition and custom aside, nothing could stop a goblin from killing you if that was what they desired. My hand reached for my nonexistent bow again, only to be captured by cold, pale fingers.
Soren’s upper lip curled, but his voice was low and steady. “The next time you reach for a weapon that isn’t there might be the last time you have hands to reach with,” he warned. “A move like that will invite conflict.”
I yanked myself away from his grip and suppressed the urge to wipe my hand on my tunic like a child wiping away cooties. “Force of habit.”
Soren shook his head slightly before continuing on, his frown deepening with each step he took.
“Don’t look so excited. Someone might get the wrong idea.”
He raised a fine white eyebrow at me. “I don’t look excited. I’m scowling.”
I bit back a sigh. “It’s sarcasm.”
“I’ve told you before, I don’t understand it,” he said.
“None of goblinkind understands sarcasm,” I said. “In another hundred years I’m going to lose my understanding completely.”
Another hundred years. It hadn’t hit me yet, not until I said it out loud. Another hundred years. It had been a hundred years since my village was slaughtered, a hundred years as a thrall in Soren’s service. Well, ninety-nine years and eight months, anyway, but who’s counting? Despite the century passing by, I still looked the same as I had when I was forcefully brought into this cursed land. Or, at least, mostly; the scars on my chest hadn’t been there a hundred years ago, and the now-hollow spot where my right breast should have been burned. The four months when I’d belonged to another were not something I liked to think about. I still woke up screaming from nightmares about it. My throat went dry and I swallowed. Soren isn’t Lydian.
“You look tense,” Soren said, breaking me out of my thoughts. I’d crossed my arms over my chest. Not good. A movement like that was a sign of weakness. It was obvious to everyone that I was the weakest being here, but showing it would do me no good.
“I’m fine,” I said. “I just don’t like this place.”
“Hmm,” Soren said, eyes flickering around the hall. “It does lack a certain touch.”
“What does that even mean?” I asked.
“The entire design of the palace is trite and overdone.”
I blinked. “Okay, then.”
By now we’d entered the great hall where the reception was held. Every hundred years, the goblins were required to visit the Erlking and swear their fealty. Of course, their loyalty only extended to him as long as he was the most powerful—goblins weren’t the type of creature to follow someone weaker than themselves.
The palace, for what it was worth, was much grander than most other parts of the goblin domain. Soren’s manor was all wood, stone, and ice, permanently freezing. Nothing grew—I knew because I had tried multiple times to start a garden—but the roots never took to the Permafrost. Here, it was warm, though not warm enough that I couldn’t feel the aching chill deep in my bones. The walls were made of pure white marble with intricate designs far above what a goblin was capable of creating, and streaked with yellow and red gold like open veins. It was obviously made by humans.Goblinkind were incredible predators and hunters, gifted by the Permafrost itself, but like all creatures, they had their flaws. The inability to create anything that wasn’t used for destruction was one of the main reasons humankind were often stolen from their lands on raids and put to work in the Permafrost.
Soren’s scowl deepened as we passed under a canopy of ice wrought to look like vines and flowers. “I feel like I need to vomit,” he said.
I stopped in my tracks. “Really?” I swore, if I ended up having to clean up Soren’s vomit …
He glanced at me, a playful light in his lilac eyes. “Sarcasm? Did I do it right?”
“No.” I forced myself not to roll my eyes. “Sarcasm would be when you use irony to show your contempt.”
“Irony?” He shook his head, his long white hair falling into his face.
“Saying one thing when you mean the other, dramatically.”
“This is beneath me,” he muttered. Then, even quieter, he said, “This place is in dire need of a redecoration.”
“I’m not even entirely sure what to say to that.” With those words, he flashed me a wicked grin that said little and suggested much. I turned away, actually rolling my eyes this time. For a powerful goblin lord, Soren definitely had the ability to act utterly childish. It could be almost endearing at times. This, however, was not one of those times.
In the hall, the gazes on the back of my neck were sharp as knives. I kept my head straight, trying my hardest not to pay attention to the wolfish faces of the other attendees.
From a distance they could almost be mistaken for human. They varied in size and shape and the color of their skin, hair, and eyes much like humans did. But even so, there was a sharpness to their features, a wildness, that could never be mistaken for human. The figures dressed in hunting leathers, long and lean, would only seek to torment me if I paid them any attention. As the only human in the hall, I was a curiosity. After all, what self-respecting goblin would bring a thrall to an event as important as this? That could very easily get me killed, and I wasn’t planning on dying anytime soon. My hand almost twitched again, but I stopped it just in time, heeding Soren’s warning.
We finally crossed the floor to where theErlking sat. Like Soren’s, the Goblin King’s hair was long. But unlike Soren, whose hair was whiter than the snow, the Erlking’s hair was brown. Not my brown, the color of fallen leaves, underbrush, and dark cherry wood, but murky, muddy brown. It was the color of bog mud that sucks down both humans and animals alike and it somehow managed to make his yellow-toned skin even sallower. He was the strongest of all goblins, and I hated him for it. I also feared him—I was smart enough for that—but the fear was drowned out by the blood rushing in my ears as I locked eyes with Soren’s king.
Soren turned to me. “Stay here.” His eyes turned hard, the glimmer of light leaving them. Whatever softness he had before drained away until what was left was the hard, cold killer he was known to be, and with it went the last shreds of warmth in his voice. “Until I tell you otherwise.” Subtly, he jerked his pointer finger at the ground in a wordless warning.
I bowed my head. “Don’t take too long.”
“I don’t plan to,” he said, more to himself than to me, before approaching theErlking’s throne. He went to one knee. “My king.”
I eyed Soren from underneath the curtain of my hair. His hands were clenched in fists at his sides. He must’ve sensed something from theErlking, from the other goblins, something. Whatever it was, it wasn’t good. Cautiously, I directed my gaze to the Goblin King himself, aware that if I looked at him the wrong way, I might be inviting my own death. While the behavior and treatment of thralls varied widely among goblins, I had a feeling submissiveness was required for any human in the Erlking’s path.
This close, the Erlking’s eyes were dark in his shriveled husk of skin and there was a tinge of sickness in the air as he breathed his raspy breaths. His eyes flickered up to meet mine and I bowed my head again. Don’t attract attention.
Soren spat out the vows required of him in the old tongue of his kind, the words gravelly and thick. He paused every so often, like he was waiting for when he would be free to drive his hand through his king’s chest, continuing on with disappointment every time.
The tension around the room grew heavier, pressing down on those gathered. Somehow, like dogs sniffing out blood, they all knew the king was weak. Beautiful she-goblins and terrifying goblin brutes were all standing there waiting until it was legal to kill him.
Beside the weakened king’s throne, a white stag rested on a pile of rushes. Its eyes were closed, its breath slow. Its skin and antlers shone with youth, but the ancient power it leaked pressed heavy against my shoulders. That power was older than anything else in the world—maybe older than the world itself.
Goblins were, before all things, hunters. Born to reap and not to sow. Cursed with pain upon doing any action that did not in some way fit into the power the Permafrost gave them, the goblins fittingly had the submission of the stag as the symbol of their king’s ultimate power. Until it runs.
I didn’t want to think about what happened after that.
Soren continued to say his vows. The guttural language was like ice shards to my ears, and I shuddered. Catching myself about to fidget, I dug my fingers into my thigh. Control yourself,Janneke, I thought. If they can do it, you can.
A soft voice whispered in my ear, “Is that you, Janneka?” His breath tickled the back of my neck, and every muscle in my body immediately locked. Icy dread trickled down my spine, rooting me in place.
Don’t pay attention to him. He’ll go away.
“I know you can hear me, sweetling.”
Yes, I could hear him, and the sound of his voice made me want to vomit. My mouth went dry.
CREDIT: WHITE STAG by KARA BARBIERI Copyright © 2018 by the author and reprinted by permission of Wednesday Books.
I am so excited that RAGNAROK UNWOUND by Kristin Jacques is available now and that I get to share the news!