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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Cover (and Giveaway) for Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Cover Designer- Jenny Zemanek 

Description:

For Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she’s never had … until she’s betrayed.

Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family’s cruelty and the court’s contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrothed with little hope for a better future.

But powerful men have powerful enemies—and now, so does Alyrra. Betrayed during a magical attack, her identity is switched with another woman’s, giving Alyrra the first choice she’s ever had: to start a new life for herself or fight for a prince she’s never met. But Alyrra soon finds that Prince Kestrin is not at all what she expected. While walking away will cost Kestrin his life, returning to the court may cost Alyrra her own. As Alyrra is coming to realize, sometimes the hardest choice means learning to trust herself.

EXCERPT

Other covers:


“Trying to look your part?” The voice, filled with contempt, could hardly be mistaken for any other. Not that I could, having sat beside him for ten years of which the last three have been torture.

“Lord Daerilin,” I say, risking a glance at him. “I see you are wearing your velvet doublet.”

Daerilin turns a mottled pink but keeps going. He must have a special barb saved up for me today. “It’s a pity you can’t manage to put on something finer for such a guest as this. Especially when he’s come all this distance for you.”

I nearly drop my goblet. “What?”

Daerilin leans back in his chair, his expansive stomach pressed against the table. “Surely you know why the king has come.”

“I understood it was an affair of state.” I set down the goblet with shaking fingers.

“How you are related to your mother is beyond me.” Daerilin grimaces, reaching for his knife. A servant steps forward and serves him, carving three slices of roast goat and placing them on his plate before serving me. I can only hope the king’s soldiers haven’t noticed; Daerilin long ago bribed the man into serving him first as a slight to me. I never really cared, until tonight.

I glance towards the soldiers’ tables surreptitiously. The foreign soldiers stand out like hawks among sparrows, their light armor glinting in the firelight, their ebony hair pulled up into tight knots. Our own warriors and women look pale and washed out beside them, our skin and hair so much lighter. And while our men wear their swords and daggers as well, with friendship bands binding hilt to scabbard, they have none of the practiced grace of the Menaiyans when they walk.

As I study them, I catch the eye of the foreign captain. Like the other soldiers, he wears his long hair in a smooth knot. Without a fall of hair to soften his features, he looks weathered and hard, his eyes flat, ungiving. I look away quickly, turning back to Daerilin.

“Why has the king come to visit us, then?” I ask, now that my fingers have stopped trembling.

Daerilin tosses back the last of his wine and waves his goblet in the air. “To find a bride for his son, little princess. How would you like to marry the Menaiyan prince?”

My chest feels hollow. I force myself to breathe, to keep my expression still. From the corner of my eye, I can see the king’s long-fingered hand lifting his goblet. He speaks with my mother quietly; I can only just catch the faint lilt of his voice, the resonating strangeness of his accent.

“We are hardly a strong ally for them,” I whisper.

“Perhaps they’re just looking for a mouse to snap up,” Daerilin replies as the servant fills his goblet. “Their women do seem to die young. They wouldn’t want to upset their closer allies by accidentally killing off the bride.” Daerilin smirks. “I daresay no one would raise an outcry if something were to happen. To you.”

*****
“Princess Alyrra,” the king says. My eyes flick up to his, my legs frozen in their curtsy. He studies me as if I were a prize goat, his gaze sliding over me before returning to my face, as cold and calculating as a butcher. “We have heard tell of you before.”

“My lord?” My voice sounds unnaturally high even to me.

“It is said you are honest. An unusual trait, it would seem.”

I open my mouth, close it, force some semblance of a smile to my lips. My brother has gone rigid, his hands pressed flat against his thighs.

“You are most kind,” my mother says, stepping forward. The king watches me a moment longer, leaving my mother waiting. I cannot say what he thinks, why he would mention something sure to raise old grievances, why he would care. Or is he only toying with us? Laughing at us?

He turns to my mother, offering her a courtly smile, and at her words he accompanies her up the three stairs and through the great wooden doors of our Hall. My brother and I trail behind him, a mix of our nobles and the king’s entourage on our heels.

“Honest Alyrra,” my brother mocks, his voice loud enough for those nearest us to hear. “What a very clever, sophisticated princess you must be.”

I bite my lip. It is going to be a long week, watching my back and hiding down corridors. And with so many guests, the wine and ale will flow freely, which will make things even worse. Just leave, I think at the king’s back. Just go home and leave us alone.



About the author:
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five.

Intisar currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Until recently, she wrote grants and developed projects to address community health and infant mortality with the Cincinnati Health Department—which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy.

Intisar’s latest projects include a serial novella project titled The Sunbolt Chronicles, about a young thief with a propensity to play hero, and her arch-nemesis, a dark mage intent on taking over the Eleven Kingdoms. She’s also developing a companion trilogy to her debut novel Thorn, which will feature a new heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife.


Author's Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal organized by Girls Heart Books Tours

13 comments:

nurmawati djuhawan said...

the new cover looks like a book for teenager..
thx for hosting :)

Simona Husaru said...

I like all three covers!! Really wonderful book! I really enjoyed it.

Lisa Brown said...

i think it is pretty, colors are fantastic.

angel lawson said...

It's beautiful.

angel lawson said...

It's beautiful.

Intisar Khanani said...

Thanks so much for hosting Thorn's reveal! And I've got to admit I'm so glad your readers like the look at it.

@nurmawati - the book is actually Young Adult, but has a big adult readership as well, so I was trying to capture both audience's interest with it. Cover designing has got to be one of the hardest parts of being an indie author for me!

Intisar Khanani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alyn Yang said...

I like it a lot. It's what drew me to this post. Of the three covers, I like this new one the most.

Intisar Khanani said...

@Alyn, thanks so much! I think Jenny did a fantastic job with this cover. It's my favorite of the three as well!

Kai said...

I love the book cover. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway.

Juliee said...

I don't really like it - liked the first one below better

Amanda Sakovitz (mandy83) said...

I really love the cover. I think it speaks volumes.

Thomas Murphy said...

I like the cover is awesome!

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