Monday, September 22, 2014

Second Son (The Prequel to Shattered Throne) by Cate Dean

Subgenre: Coming of Age, High Fantasy
Release Date: August 23, 2014

ABOUT Second Son:

*The prequel to an exciting new fantasy series, coming December 2014.*

As the second son, Micah Brachon is happy to leave the responsibilities of running their small coastal kingdom to his brother. It allows more time for his inventions and experiments.

When one of those experiments is sabotaged, his ordinary life is turned upside down - and he finally learns about the deadly faction that seeks to rip apart the foundations of their government.

As the stakes escalate, it will take all of Micah's skills to defend against a faceless, desperate enemy. An enemy bent on destroying his brother, and anyone who stands in their path.

*Includes a sneak preview of Shattered Throne, Book 1 of the Shattered Throne series, coming in December 2014.


“Micah Aron Brachon!”

Micah flinched as his mother’s voice echoed through the family wing of the castle, nearly dropping the glass ball it took him a week to fashion. He ran through the last few days in his mind, trying to pinpoint something he might have done to ignite her temper.

“I don’t think I—”

“She found your new pet.” Liam Brachon, his older brother and soon-to-be Duke of Palamar, strode into his workshop. “You didn’t actually think you could keep that creature in your room?”

“It’s just a small fire drake.” But, of course, he completely forgot to mention the acquisition. He meant to, at the family supper last night. But Mother started arguing with the court advisor, Joseph Kerrow, and Micah snuck out. “They don’t spit fire; that’s a myth. The small ones make fine pets. They are intelligent, friendly—”

“Territorial, and ugly when provoked. You can’t really blame Mother for her concern.” Liam smiled, leaning against the pillar next to Micah’s long worktable. “I think he’ll make an excellent pet. Maybe give you something to focus on besides this—tinkering.”

He might as well have said “waste of time” out loud. Micah knew what he thought—what they all thought of his tinkering. But he swallowed the argument, again, and carefully cradled the glass ball in a fabric-lined basket.

Movement caught his eye, but he didn’t have time to do more than glance over at the window as he pushed off the stool—just as his mother, Elena Brachon, Duchess of Palamar, stormed in.

“Where in the name of the throne did you find that creature?”

“He found me, Mother.” Micah refused to be cowed by her temper. He would be sixteen next month, just a year away from the responsibilities he would take on as the younger brother to Palamar’s Duke. “The drake flew in my bedroom window, hungry and injured. I couldn’t just throw him back out.”

“Of course not.” She moved forward and brushed her hand over the back of Micah’s head, not subtle as she removed the leather tie that kept the shoulder length hair out of his way. Micah held back a sigh. “I would have liked to learn about it from you, instead of walking in and being hissed at.”

“Mother.” He gripped her hand. “I’m so sorry. He didn’t—”

“I threw the books in my hand at it before it could do anything else. It flew out your window, so there is a good chance we will not see the creature again.” Micah fought a smile at the hopeful tone in her voice. “You may be replacing several of the books, I’m afraid.” She leaned in and kissed his cheek, surprise flashing in her dark blue eyes. “You’ve grown, Micah. When did you sprout up to my eye level?”

“Call out the pages!” Liam said. “The tiny lordling has finally begun to—”

He ducked, laughing, as Micah snatched up a water soaked rag and threw it at him. The rag caught Liam’s shoulder, water dripping down the sleeve of his blue velvet tunic.

“Oops,” Micah said.

Liam pulled the rag off his shoulder. “Nice shot, baby brother.”

“Liam, go change. The advisors will be expecting you free of water stains.” Mother turned to him as Liam ran out the door. With a sigh, she scanned him, shaking her head. “Please find some clothes that don’t have burn marks or ink on them, and join us for luncheon.”

“Yes, Mother.” Micah watched her leave, then strode over and closed the tall wood door before he moved back to the table.

He had time to finish this, before he needed to change. He sat on the stool and dug another piece of leather out of his pocket, tying his hair back.

“It’s safe to come out now.” A snort answered him, and he smiled as the red and green fire drake crawled out from under the worktable, shaking himself. “ You’re lucky Liam didn’t see you sneak in through the window. Too busy teasing me,” he muttered, and shook it off. Liam would always tease, because he didn’t understand Micah’s need to know, to learn. “Thank you for your discretion. Mother would have—well, I don’t like to think about what she might have done if she found you here. You shouldn’t have scared her like that.”

The drake sat next to him, tilted his head up. Micah swore he saw amusement in the dark eyes.

“I have to finish this, but you can stay, if you like.” Micah reached down, carefully rubbed the spot just above his eyes. The creature hummed, his eyelids drooping. “Like that, do you? I read up on you, once you appeared in my window. I would like to name you, if that’s all right.”

The drake’s eyes opened, focused intently on him. Micah knew from his hurried research that offering to name a drake meant taking it in. Permanently.

“Yes, I understand. Do you want to stay, with me?” The spined head lifted, then rested on his thigh. “All right. I’ll take that to mean you approve. How does Kres strike you?”

Mother would be supremely unhappy, but the name, and the reputation behind the name, suited him. With a softer snort, the drake nuzzled his leg. Micah laughed, and leaned down to meet the dark eyes.

“Kres it is, then. Welcome to your new home, my friend.” He ran his fingers over the velvet soft scales, surprised again by the warmth radiating from the drake. “Now, I need to finish this. Mother is going to be angry enough without me being late for luncheon on top of everything else.”

He straightened, and watched Kres pad across the workshop. The drake stretched out in front of the small woodstove, the end of his long tail flicking. Micah made a mental note to add some kind of bed for him, then turned his attention back to his experiment.

Carefully, he used tongs to lift the glass ball, and held it in the flame of a small but hot burner he created out of a confiscated oil lamp. He just needed to heat the glass ball for a few seconds, but it had to be heated as evenly as possible. Once he plunged it into the cold water, he would know if his theory had any merit.

If he could toughen the glass, like the blacksmiths toughened steel for swords, the uses for it could be—

He carefully turned the ball, and froze when he saw the crack. Liquid glistened on the clear surface, heat sending its scent up to him. Micah recognized it, and knew he had only a few seconds. He used one of those precious seconds to lower the ball to the table. Then he pushed off the table as hard as he could. He had barely enough time to cover his face with his hand before the ball exploded.

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Cate Dean has been writing since she could hold a pen in her hand and put more than two words together on paper.

She grew up losing herself in the wilds of fantasy worlds, and has had some of her own adventures while tromping through the UK, and a few other parts of the world.

A lover of all things supernatural, she infuses that love into her stories, giving them a unique edge.

When she's not writing, she loves cooking, scaring herself silly in the local cemeteries, and reading pretty much anything she can get her hands on.

There - I got the official biography out of the way. I love to write, and yes, I have been doing it most of my life. I've made up stories in my head for as long as I can remember, and I am thrilled to be able to write them down and share them with you.

I love writing different types of stories, and jump from fantasy, to paranormal, and over to romance. So many genres, so little time...

If you want to be the first to know when the next book is released, or be in on some fun, exclusive contests and giveaways, join my list here:

I look forward to meeting you. :)