Magic Runs Deep
by Alex Whitehall
Published April 9th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Genre: MxM Adult Historical Fantasy Romance
For the last five years, Veier has been chained to a king’s throne in his bear form. When a neighboring kingdom overthrows the crown, Veier’s imprisonment ends, but true freedom is not so easily earned. With blood on his hands, he needs someone with patience, strength, and trust to help him become the person he was before and prove to the invaders that he isn’t the monstrous king’s loyal pet.
Elrid, the invading king’s brother and a powerful mage, is everything Veier despises. He’s also the only thing between Veier and execution, because he thinks he can help Veier change from an aggressive bear shifter into a reasonable man. While the pair have a rough start, with long talks and mutual leaps of faith, they begin to care for each other.
However, the closer Veier gets to his freedom, the closer he is to losing Elrid. He must find balance in his heart and his life if he wishes to truly claim the freedom he’s been given—and the man he loves.
” Chapter One
The heady aroma of destruction hung in the air. Smoke wafted through the throne room, carrying undercurrents of blood and charred flesh. The noise beyond the heavy wooden doors was terrific, but inside the stone walls, only Bora’s growls and the clink of his chains broke the silence.
Bora’s nose twitched as the side door to the throne room swung open. Briefly screams, shouts, and the clash of metal echoed off the hallowed walls. They were silenced by the door clanging closed behind the Almighty and his council. Bora rose to his feet so he could properly bow his head.
The Almighty had left earlier in the day with his council, talking of barbarians attacking, but Bora had remained chained to the Almighty’s throne. Despite being the Almighty’s protector, he was never set free to prove his worth.
They feared giving him freedom. Afraid a bear would turn his claws and teeth on the Almighty’s people. Or the Almighty. As if he would attack his creator, who loved him.
The Almighty hurried across the room, clearly focused on his councilmen.
“My liege,” Lord Gorr urged, right on the Almighty’s heels, “if you leave through the kitchens, no one will be on guard. We can dress you as a servant, and our fleeing will not draw their attention. The Right Hand can cause a diversion and—”
“No,” the Almighty said. “I will leave as my position warrants: on my horse with my things. I will not sneak away from my own palace!”
The Almighty’s fist cut the air. “Silence! You will either help me or be considered a traitor. Now. To the rooms!”
The door on the other side of the room slammed closed behind the Almighty and his entourage. Stillness settled around Bora for a moment. He waited on tenterhooks for something. Anything. But there was nothing. He was about to hunch back down when the main doors opened and a flood of invaders poured in. Swords drawn and bloody, their armor oddly shaped and scarred, they stank of strangeness and destruction.
Bora roared and surged forward, only taking a few strides before the chain ran out of length and the attached collar choked him to a stop. The metal dug into his neck and cut off the noise, but it didn’t matter. The men who’d charged in pulled up short and turned to face him, clearly recognizing him as the threat he was. Perhaps not as large as other of his bear brethren, but on all fours he was nearly to their waists, and larger still if he rose on his hind legs. Not to mention the sheer heft of his weight.
One of the men cursed in the Common Tongue, and then the rest of the words were lost in a foreign babble. ”
To celebrate the release of Magic Runs Deep, Alex is giving away an ecopy of Second Skin! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 14, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
About Alex Whitehall
If there are two types of people in the world, Alex Whitehall probably isn’t one of them, despite being a person. Their favorite pastimes include reading, horseback riding, sleeping, watching geek-tastic television, knitting, eating, and running. And wasting time on the internet. And spending glorious evenings laughing with friends.
While Alex prefers sleeping over doing anything else (except maybe eating), sometimes they emerge from the cave to be social and to hunt for food at the local market. They can be found blogging, reading, and tending after their aloe plants.
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