Shannon here: Carole Towriss shares an excerpt from her latest Biblical Fiction title, Sold into Freedom. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated March 12 – 15 to enter the drawing for an e-book copy. Deadline: March 23rd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Carole
This excerpt from Sold into Freedom features the first meeting of our hero and heroine.
The Roumanos with the piercing gray eyes sat before her. Since meeting him on the ship, Tia had seen him in the forum several times. A few times she’d even caught him watching her, but he’d never come for a message. He wasn’t as tall as Britanni men, and his face was as smooth as a baby’s. She’d never understood why Roumani men scraped the hair from their faces each day with a blade. Grown men should have beards.
With a disarming smile, he laid his hand on the table.
She slipped her hand under his. It was warm and large, rough and strong. A gold seal ring, with a winged horse, adorned his smallest finger.
Brigit, show me. She avoided his steady gaze. “Can you tell me your name?”
“Quintus. What’s yours?”
“I am called Tia. Do you have any particular question for the goddess today?”
“I’ve made a decision, and I need to be sure I made the right one.”
“Can you tell me the nature of your decision, or perhaps the choices that you had?”
“I could’ve said yes, or I could have declined.” He grinned, accentuating the mark a blade had left on his cheek years ago.
“Very good.” She studied the candle, listening, waiting for the messages. The flickering flame danced but revealed nothing.
He narrowed his eyes. “What are you doing?”
“Hush.” She closed her eyes, searching her mind. “The goddess is speaking,” she whispered.
“Really?” He chuckled.
She shoved his hand away. “Fine. You should go.” Even if the goddess gave her an answer after such irreverence, she wouldn’t pass it on. He didn’t deserve it. Let him figure out the answer to his problem himself.
“I’m sorry.” He reached for her hand with both of his and gently enclosed it. “I’m sorry, truly. May I have the answer?” His gaze held hers. “Please?”
She wanted to tell him no, but those eyes . . . they drew her in. He did seem truly repentant.
“One more chance. Belittle my gift—or my goddess—again—”
He shook his head vigorously. “No, I won’t. Never. I apologize.”
She removed his bottom hand and set it aside. “Now keep quiet.”
Speak to me.
A word formed, as out of the morning mist that covered the hillsides back home.
“The right answer was yes.”
He frowned briefly, blowing out a long breath. “All right.”
“Was that not your plan?”
“It wasn’t my preference, but I had no choice, really.” He dragged his free hand though his short, dark hair. “I have another question.”
“You paid for only one.” She folded her hands in her lap, a hint he should go.
He didn’t take it. “I’ll pay for another. What do you see in my future?”
She beckoned for his hand again. Closed her eyes. Crimson and black dominated a flurry of color and chaos, refusing to settle. She shuddered as the images settled into one disturbing vision.
She jerked her hands free. “I see nothing. I’m sorry. You must go.”
“What? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” She glanced at her owners. “Why would you ask that?”
She shook her head. “No. You must go. Please.”
“Why won’t you tell me?” His brow furrowed, his eyes begging her to continue.
“No. You need to go.”
“Are you afraid I’ll be upset?” He glanced over his shoulder. “If I promise not to complain, will you tell me what you saw?”
Closing her eyes, she sighed and took his hand once more. “I see blood. Quite a bit, actually. And I feel pain, heart-rending agony.” She opened her eyes.
His face paled.
He was getting angry. She should have known better.
She poured all her energy into understanding the goddess’s message. “Wait—the blood is not yours. It’s near you. All around you. You are immersed in trouble.”
“Who? Whose blood is it?” His grip tightened.
Shaking her head, she opened her eyes. “I’m sorry. That’s all I know. I didn’t see any more. I don’t often get details. Just impressions.”
“Do they always come true?”
“In one way or another, yes. But it might not be as serious as it sounds.”
Relaxing, he leaned nearer. “I have one more question.”
“Don’t you think you’ve had enough?”
One corner of his mouth turned up. “My future—will you be in it?”
She laughed dryly. “After a vision like that? I don’t even have to ask the goddess that question. Not a chance.”
About Carole: An unapologetic Californian, Carole Towriss now lives just north of Washington, DC. She loves her husband, her four children, the beach, and tacos, though not always in that order. In addition to writing, she binge watches British crime dramas and does the dishes four times in one day. Learn more and connect:
About the book – Sold into Freedom: Elantia, a seer, is kidnapped from her home on the coast of Britannia and sold as a slave in Ephesus. Her new owners take her to Philippi, where they put her to work each day in the marketplace telling fortunes. When they take from her the only good thing left in her life, she vows she will take her revenge and find her way home, even if she has to kill to do it.
After a devastating injury and vicious rumors, Tribune Quintus Valerius is forced from the army he loves. Given land in lieu of a cash pension, he settles in Philippi, but a betrayal forces him to become the city’s Keeper of the Prison. At least until the truth comes out.
Everything changes when a simple Jewish preacher visits Philippi. Tia and Quin are both intrigued by Paulos’s message of peace, but it seems too good to be true. Are they willing to leave behind everything they know to experience a freedom like no other?
Sold Into Freedom is book 1 of “The Planting Faith Series.” This series will follow the Apostle Paul though his second missionary journey. Each book will focus on two or more little-known biblical characters who came to faith through his ministry.
Can’t wait for the drawing or worried you won’t win? Get your copy now: Sold into Freedom – Amazon
Question for Readers: What is the feature you notice when meeting someone new? Why?
Come back March 19th for Amanda Cabot!