New roles. New rules. No margin for error.
Zezilia Ilar joins the sept son’s entourage as a defender. Her growing Talent ability makes her a target for the Elitists, and her gender makes people question her competence. She must protect the sept son. Any mistake could be fatal.
Hadrian Aleron always knew his beliefs would cause trouble, but he didn’t realize how much. Rebels are rising. He could lose his title, his position, and if he’s not careful, his life. As the assassination attempts grow bolder, Hadrian must rely upon his young defender and their shared faith in the Almighty to keep him from faltering.
Rachel Rossano lives with her husband and three children in the northeastern part of the United States. Homeschooled through high school, she began writing her early teens. She didn’t become serious about pursuing a career as an author until after she had graduated from college and happily married. Then the children came.
Now she spends her days being a wife, mother, teacher, and household manager. Her evenings and free moments are devoted to her other loves, writing and book cover design. Drawing on a lifelong fascination with reading and history, she spends hours creating historical feeling fantasy worlds and populating them with characters who live and breathe on the page.
“Someone is coming.”
My instinct reacted before I was able to think. My hand went to my waist and closed on the hilt of my dagger. I touched my amoveo, and my energy-sight sprang to clarity. As I turned toward the sound of approaching hoof beats, I glanced over my shoulder toward the last wagon of the caravan disappearing into the distance behind us. I debated running after it and calling out the alarm, but it was already too late. A lone horseman rode out of the haze and pulled up just short of where Zezilia was taking up a defensive position between me and the unknown.
“Stand and announce yourself,” she called above the sound of rain. My energy-sight was bright green with the blanket of energy she had thrown around me. I could barely see my own defenses around her through the curtain. I blinked and tried to focus on the rider.
“I come in peace with news,” the man declared as he dismounted. Unwrapping the oilskin muffler around his head, he approached on foot. “Impressively done, Zez, considering I am startling you, but do you think it was wise to let the caravan get so far away?”
“I sent a warning to Renato,” she replied.
“Korneli, what brings you here?” Dropping my defenses, I stepped forward to greet him. Zez lowered her gathered energy, but I sensed that she was still on the alert.
“More than you want to hear.” His face was grim as he reached to grasp my hand. “Is there somewhere we can talk without getting soaked? You might enjoy acting like a duck, but I am more of a cat myself.”
“Certainly, follow me.”
Top Ten List
10 Things Rachel Rossano would do if she had more time:
1) Write more. I never seem to have enough time to write.
2) Do more crafts. I used to do all kinds of things like painting, crocheting, sewing, and other crafts. I gave that all up for writing and kids.
3) Read more. In the daily juggle of homeschooling, housekeeping, and keeping two careers alive, I rarely have enough time to read as I wish.
4) Make premade book covers. I keep intending to do this, but I never actually manage to do it.
5) Plot more than one book ahead. I am working on this.
6) Take up painting digitally and physically.
7) Learn to dance. It is something I have always wanted to learn.
8) Take up horseback riding. Despite all the horses in my books, I have very little hands-on experience.
9) Study history in depth. Right now all I can manage is grabbing overviews unless I am researching something specific for a book.
10) Exercise more. Yeah, this should be higher on the list.