Hello everyone! I hope you all are safe and happy! Today I am here with a Book Blitz hosted by StoryTellers On Tour for a very atmospheric book!
Author name: Rosalyn Briar
Book: A Sea of Pearls & Leaves
Book Hashtag: #aseaofpearlsandleaves
Princess Ingrid of Norella Isle does not want to get married. So, her priestess girlfriend, Lilura, devises a wicked plot to deter suitors with a nearly impossible marriage contract: should Ingrid die first, her husband must be buried at sea beside her.
The plan backfires when all seven suitors agree, and the king announces a competition for Ingrid’s hand. Ingrid must keep her head above water as she deals with the suitors, a jealous girlfriend, and the news of two murdered priestesses.
As the suitors are eliminated, one man stands out: the quirky and anxious Prince Soren who charms both Ingrid and Lilura. When Lilura goes missing, Ingrid and Soren must piece together who has murdered the priestesses and why before it’s too late.
CW: This novel contains violence, sexual situations, and adult language.
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Rosalyn Briar is a former teacher who is married to her high school sweetheart. Together, they have built a beautiful life and have two fearless daughters. Rosalyn is obsessed with gothic fairy tales, scary movies, sun dresses, traveling, and reading books. She is the published author of The Crown of Bones and A Sea of Pearls & Leaves, both of which are fairy tale retellings. Rosalyn is also the host of #NovelBuilding, a daily Twitter question with monthly themes for fellow writers to connect. When Rosalyn isn’t writing or reading, you can find her playing dress up with her two princesses or exploring the woods for wildflowers.
It visits in murky waters. It visits in mirrors. It visits in windows. Storm clouds. Shadows. Even polished silverware. This time, though, is different.
I slink out of bed and tiptoe my way up the spiral stairs of the west tower. With a turn of the glass handle, I enter Lilura’s cluttered room. Moonlight spills through the sheer pink curtains, dusting plants, vials, and books in a rosy glow. Shadows hang along the walls and crawl across the floor, but I narrow my focus and step toward Lilura’s bed.
“It’s back,” I say.
A startled movement of limbs shifts under Lilura’s silky sheets.
“Again? Come here, my love.” Lilura yawns and opens her arms, letting me fall into them. “Are you well?”
“I am now.” I spoon my body against hers. Safe at last. “It appeared in a dream this time.”
“That’s never happened before.” She squeezes me tight. “Tell me more.”
“She—the thing that looks like me—was swimming toward me. Her eyes were milky, and her skin was translucent. I could see dark veins underneath. Barnacles encrusted her forehead, chest, and arms. Her tangled, white hair drifted all around. When she swam away, she had tail.”
“A tail? That’s new.”
“Yes, a fishtail or something.” I roll to gaze into her amber eyes. “What does it mean?”
Lilura swings her legs over the opposite side of the bed and pats her back, my cue. I knead and caress her muscles while she closes her eyes to meditate. Lilura’s short pink hair rises and falls like curled waves against her head, and her brown skin nearly shimmers in the moonlight. Her beauty could make Freyska, the goddess of love, jealous. I adjust the clasp on her chain, which holds a golden locket engraved with wings. She never takes it off.
Lilura wrings her hands together, fingers black and sooty from one experiment or other. “Sorcery takes a toll,” she always says. She’s often burnt, covered in a layer of salt, or, worse, the crystal splinters. I always make her soak in a hot bath before using needles and tweezers to extract them. Not to mention her perpetually aching back. I circle my thumbs down her spine, praying she’ll learn to be careful.
A few moments later, Lilura stands to pace the small, round room.
“The doppelgänger taking the form of a mermaid could mean the waters are dangerous. So, we will keep you away from the shore.” Lilura steps toward a large glass tank to stroke Obsidian and Opal, her snakes. She turns to me with a trembling jaw. “It could also be an omen of death. So, we will adorn you with pearls to hide from Dehel.”
The god of death. According to mythology, Dehel lives below the sea, returning souls to the shore as pearls.
Lilura clutches her locket and bites at her lower lip as she sinks into the mattress.
“What else?” I ask, shaking her shoulder. “What is it?”
Her round, doll-like eyes droop. “Your birthday is near, is it not?”
“LiLi. I know you’ve had premonitions about that day, but I’m not getting married. And if my father makes me, I’ll still be with you. You’re more important to me than anything.” I grab her hand and pull her down for a kiss. Her lips are soft, and her body melts against mine.
“Ingrid,” she groans but does so with a teasing grin. “I was trying to take a night off. You know you make me weak.”
“I’m very sorry.” I slide open the drawer of LiLi’s beside table, where she keeps a paddle and a whip. “You must punish me then.”
I hope this short excerpt would intrigue you!