Wednesday, March 2, 2016

#Excerpt: HIS MASTER'S BRIDE by Claudia Herring


Chapter 30

A soft knock.

Margy shrugged, raised her eyebrows, grinned mischievously at Yasir, and pranced towards the door, stark naked, her carrot-colored hair dancing on her fair shoulders. She turned the latch and opened the door a crack.

A massive brown hand snapped onto her arm. With a shriek, abruptly silenced, Margy was dragged into the hall. The door remained ajar, the quiet hall shadowy.

Yasir crept towards the door, aware that his only weapon, his cane, leaned against the washstand across the room, aware that he could not use his magic. The silence in the hall perturbed him more than if Margy had been caterwauling and cursing.

In a blur, the door burst open. A flurry of gold and flesh whirled into the room. Silks and gauzes swirled, revealing glimpses of luminous alabaster skin. Shapely arms snaked in the air, jingling golden bangles. She smirked.

“Yaa – ssss – irrr.” His name flowed from her scarlet lips as she beckoned with sinuous movements. Flaxen hair, a waterfall of cream, rippled along her curves.

“Where is Margy?” he asked, his voice hard.

Her eyes, hollow, lacked an indefinable something. She was not human. A succubus. Here. In the daylight. Yasir shielded his magic and stepped from her path.

Her sumptuous breasts, bared with each tantalizing sway of her body, threatened to break free of thin gold chains quivering with golden disks. Bright beads around her neck clattered like castanets.

In an instant, Yasir hovered over her. “If you want to live to seduce another human you will answer me, succuba.”

She licked her lips. She drew her hand up to her hairline and peeled the flesh from her forehead to her chin, revealing underneath a fresh face of youth, sprinkles of freckles across the nose, innocent gray eyes.

Yasir stared in horror.

“Margy.” His voice shuddered.

 “I possessed your wench.” The succuba’s eyes, Margy’s eyes, glinted with malice. She whisked a scarf of thinnest white silk from her waist and drew it in front of her face. Margy’s features distorted and blurred behind the gossamer veil. The scarf floated away, a ribbon of vapor, and the succuba stood before him, face intact.

“Oh, great djinni.” She spoke in mellifluous tones and his body responded to the way she moved her lips, the provocative gleam in her lavender eyes.

Yasir leaned towards her, breathing hard.

“How does it feel to be taken for a fool by a whore?” She cackled, the sound of a decrepit crone from plump young lips.


A world of mysterious powers and tumultuous intrigues comes to life in Regency England as a djinni, burdened with a dark secret, is thrown into a love triangle fraught with subterfuge.


A troubled djinni seduces his master’s young wife, forcing her to make a fateful choice.

The djinni Yasir, imprisoned in an urn by a jealous magician, searches the centuries for his lost love. He finds Lavinia reborn in 1811 England, only to discover she’s his new master’s bride.

Desperate to have her, Yasir spell-casts Lavinia’s husband to forget he is master and give her the urn. When she opens the ancient vessel, Yasir emerges, terrifying in his magnificence yet somehow familiar, but she fails to recognize him. She distrusts this djinni even though his very presence enchants her.

Yasir’s spell is fading. Lavinia’s husband has changed. Now he’s violent as he struggles with returning memories of when he possessed the urn. Lavinia strives to keep the two from encountering one another, while torn between fidelity for her husband and her increasing attraction to the djinni.

Impatient to win Lavinia’s confidence, Yasir must convince her of her true identity so they can reclaim their life together. He dare not reveal a deeper reason: Only with Lavinia can he regain his freedom and exact revenge on the magician who confined him to the urn—

If she does not go mad from the spell to awaken her memories.
If her husband does not escape the djinni’s magic and discover her secret.
If the magician does not find them first.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Claudia Herring aspired to be a baton twirler when she was five and an archaeologist at thirteen. When she became a graphic designer and an author of fantasy, she decided she'd hit upon the perfect compromise.

As a designer and illustrator she formats the written word around visual art. As a writer she weaves words into stories that form worlds. Her novel, "His Master's Bride," a historical fantasy with romantic elements set in Regency England, won first prize in the Houston Writer's Guild Novel Competition. "Ties of Smoke," next in "The Djinn Chronicles" series, is in its second draft.

When she's not delving into the world of the Djinn, Claudia is practicing yoga to go to that hushed space where she imagines and plots her next fantasy novel.

If you like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, or Carol Berg, you'll love His Master's Bride.

Twitter: @claudiakherring

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