Saturday, May 4, 2013

WEEKEND SPOTLIGHT: The Priestess, the Protector by J. Andrew Jansen

The Priestess, the Protector
J. Andrew Jansen

Since she and her sister were found as orphans, Mirian has grown up in the temple, a passionate priestess dedicated to her Goddess. When she is granted magical healing powers, she feels her life is complete.

But jealousy tears the sisters apart, and pride keeps them separated.  When Mirian is commanded by her Godddess to travel to heal the royal family and repair the rift between her and her sister, she finds one is easier than the other.  And then there's Jerok.

Jerok lives a carefree life bouncing from one place to another, liberating food and money as he goes.  When he comes across a naive priestess in the middle of the woods, he decides she will be his ticket into the castle for the heist that will let him retire.  But getting into the castle was just the beginning.

They are intercepted by an elf and a dwarf who pull them into the midst of a war between races they'd never known existed, a war she is supposed to win.  But even with a magical pendant she cannot channel the power of the elements, leaving her unable to defend herself.  

Despite the chaos, Mirian remains determined to find her sister, but can she do it in time?  And will Jerok find what he's been searching for?

***Leave your NAME & EMAIL for a chance to win a free e-copy (any format)!! Drawing 5/11/13***

Jerok sat away from the rest of the group, hunched over something.  He usually made me feel better.  I walked over and dropped down next to him.  "What are you doing, Jerok?"

"Nothing much.  Thought I would try a bit of wood carving.  What do you think?"  He held up a piece of wood about the size of his hand, roughly shaped like a dog.  Little curls of wood littered the ground.

"Pretty nice."  I hoped he wasn't done yet.

"Yeah, I'm happy with how it's coming.  How about you?  How's your magic stuff going?" 

“Ugh. Don't ask about that. Traunick and Llaewyn are arguing again."  I sighed.  "I miss my home, Jerok. I realize that Aliyah has something planned and I should be happy to be a part of it, but it's hard to feel happy when so much has been lost. Look at what everyone has sacrificed for this. Traunick lost his home. You are out here away from your home. Llaewyn obviously wanted something that he cannot have.” I waved my hands around, indicating each of them as I spoke.

“My temple is gone, my sister is missing, four of Duke Kristoff's guards died at the hands of thieves in the middle of the woods. For what? I'm out here unable to complete even the simplest of spells they give me. The powders and dust seem to make it a bit easier, maybe."  I dropped my hands at my sides, staring at the ground. "But without the ability to use the energy they can, I'm practically powerless.” 

Jerok slid his arm around my shoulder. “OK,” he said in a serious tone. “I won't ask.”

The corners of my mouth pulled upward.  I looked at him out of the corner of my eye.  He grinned back, scratching behind his ear with the tip of his dagger.  "Listen.  Don't talk about being powerless, because I know better.  You saved my skin.  When you first started healing people, did everything just start working perfectly?"

"No," I admitted.  "The first time it happened, Sarintha had cut herself in the kitchen.  I pressed my hand against the wound to try to stop the bleeding, and that's when Aliyah's power first worked through me.  I didn't know what I was doing though.  The gash on her arm closed, but it left a nasty scar."

"And now you can do it without leaving any mark at all.  How did you get better at it?"

I sighed.  "I studied and I prayed and I practiced."

"All right then," he answered.  The tone of his voice left no room for argument.  He slid closer, and his arm dropped from my shoulder to my waist.  "Then give this time to happen."

His fingers brushed my hip, sending a shock up my spine.  He was still talking about the magic, right?  What was he doing? He wouldn't--  I couldn't--  'Dwell not on physical desire, for impurity' I couldn't remember the rest.  My face felt hot.  I had to focus.  I forced myself to relax.  It didn't mean anything; I was still a priestess, and he respected that.
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