— One —
Talikan, Spring, 1323
And she was here as a result of betrayal, kidnapping and blackmail. They might not speak of it directly, but they knew – and she would never forget. The sheik and his son and their men had ambushed her party on the trail down from the high pass through the mountains because the sheik had wanted North Wind, and because the big white stallion wouldn’t go anywhere without Johanna.
She remembered again the blade of Sabir’s sword sliding so easily into Jaufre’s back, and closed her eyes against a wave of nausea. She took a deep breath and let it out, slowly.
When she opened her eyes Kadar was sweeping past, and she stiffened her spine because it was a point of honor never to show weakness before the chief eunuch. A tall man of massive girth with a broad, impassive face clad in skin the color of tar in which no single hair could be found, he ignored her to shake back the elaborately embroidered brocade of his long, wide sleeves and draw the filigreed bronze bolt on the door. The bolt was more an ornamental badge of Kadar’s office than it was any serious kind of deterrence to forced entry. The locks on the other side were far more substantial.
Johanna had refused all attempts to indoctrinate her into the Islamic faith, to the further scandalous twittering of the harem inmates, but she had embraced the opportunity to learn Persian, because another language was always a useful skill. When she discovered that Kadar meant “beloved” in that tongue she had been hard put to it to conceal her amusement. As with everything else in the harem, excessive mirth could draw unwanted attention.
And for those of you who like their books in print…
I’ll be signing the trade paperback edition of By the Shores of the Middle Sea, live! and in person! at the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale on Saturday, November 29th, at 2pm. Click here to pre-order your copy of the trade paperback.
Everything Under the Heavens is now on sale!
Of course because I love you, but mostly because I’m determined to seduce all of you die-hard “I only read Kate books and when is the next one coming out” fans, upon publication of By the Shores of the Middle Sea the price of the first Silk and Song Book, Everything Under the Heavens, drops to $4.99.
Download and rejoice!