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A Party

Here’s another little treat for you, as the date of release looms closer … 🙂

The dining room looked beautiful tonight; the tables were draped with purple and silver tablecloths, and enormous bouquets of purple and white flowers occupied the center of each one. Servants darted in and out near every guest, filling glasses with a thick, sweet juice that Quinn didn’t recognize. Soft music drifted through the room from a small group of musicians set up in the corner.

Everyone chatted amiably, nibbling on a mixture of roasted nuts and dried berries from silver bowls that sat between every two people. She noticed that nobody touched the glasses of juice, though, so she left hers alone.

Quinn had eaten the nut-and-berry mix before; it was a sort of appetizer that appeared before fancy dinners here in the castle. Although most foods here at least resembled things she was familiar with at home, there was one very unusual kind of berry in the mix, an odd green with an irregular shape. At the first couple of dinners she had attended in Eirentheos, she’d been afraid to try them. At Simon’s wedding though, Thomas had convinced her to taste one, and after that, she’d been hooked. Nothing in her own world compared to them.

Now, between polite conversations, she found herself surreptitiously digging through the bowl, looking for those green ones. She was just reaching for the bowl a third time, when William nudged her softly with his elbow. She looked up at him, abashed at being caught, but he only winked and dropped a small handful of them on her plate.

The heat flowed through her chest again.

After a few minutes, Stephen smiled at William, and then he and Charlotte stood. A hush fell over the room immediately.

William put his hand on Quinn’s knee then, and, heart beginning to flutter again, she looked up at him and smiled, placing her hand over his.

Thomas had a good response to his interview this week. Who do you think we should hear from next? 

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Linnea

Okay, since I’ve been such a slacker about new posts lately, I’ll give everyone a special sample today. 🙂

Linnea is one of my favorite characters, and in Chapter Six of Thorns of Decision, we finally get to hear some of the things she’s been thinking in her own POV. 🙂

Enjoy … let me know what you think. 🙂

Linnea sighed as William and Quinn followed her father down the hallway, wondering what in the world was going on now. She’d been waiting as patiently as she could for them to return, and now there was something else going on that she wasn’t a part of.

She raised an eyebrow at how closely her brother walked behind Quinn, almost as if he were ready to catch her if she stumbled. She’d seen the subtle way that things had changed between the two of them when they’d first brought Thomas home from Philotheum, and she wondered how much more things had changed while they were in Quinn’s world.

After Philotheum, Will had no longer kept his distance from Quinn – no longer spouted off his ridiculous assertions about “letting” her get “too involved” in their world, that by being torn between the two worlds, she’d get hurt in the end. As if any of that was up to any of them, anyway. She’d met Quinn. That girl was going to do what she was going to do.

Not that he was fooling anyone in the first place. Linnea and Thomas had spent countless evenings gossiping about it while Will was in Bristlecone, and wondering when he was going to wake up and realize how he really felt about Quinn.

It had been obvious from the first night the girl had arrived at the castle. Careful, observant, meticulous Will not noticing that a girl was following him closely enough to find the gate? Right. Really, it had been clear that something was up with this girl from the first time he’d ever mentioned her.

He’d talked about girls in Bristlecone before, come home and told everyone stories about the ones who tried to get his phone number, or who asked what he was doing over the weekend. That question was always good for a laugh around the fire in the evening, because wouldn’t the unfortunate girl be surprised if he told her the answer? “Wanna come over to dinner with my family in a different world? I’ll bet you’ve never been inside a castle before. Don’t worry – I’ll take you back home after we keep you for a couple of weeks.”

But when Will had first brought up Quinn Robbins, said he’d noticed her around a lot lately, and he’d been wondering if she was watching him, it had been different. When Thomas had teased him about his “new secret girlfriend,” Will hadn’t laughed. He’d been defensive of the girl – insisting that she was only curious, not like the others – that she didn’t have a crush on him.

And once they’d all met Quinn, and seen William around her, it had become quite clear that he truly wasn’t worried that she had a crush on him. Although he’d never admit it even to himself, his real worry was that she didn’t.

In the next week or two, I’m going to be looking for beta readers for “Draft Two” of Thorns of Decision. If you think you might be interested, send me an e-mail. So far, I’ve had some awesome beta readers who have really helped shape the big questions in the story into something stronger, I think. If you’ve already beta read, and you want to do some more, you’re in. Otherwise, please know that I do give preference to beta readers who have reviewed the books on Amazon and/or Goodreads.