Today is a very special day here at There & Draft Again. Today we are happy to reveal the cover of The Coldness of Marek, book one in the Serengard series by our very own Rachel O’Laughlin. And because she is one of our own, we have a very special treat for you! Stay tuned after the reveal for an excerpt from the book. And by stay tuned, I mean keep reading on.
The book is set to be released August 6th and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you! (Really, we couldn’t. We’re even posting about it on our personal blogs!) The Coldness of Marek is available for preorder now. Be sure to follow her on Twitter or Facebook for more information on the release!
As the rebellion escalates, her choices have an eerie impact on the revolution at large, elevating her to a position of influence she has only dreamed of attaining. But there are downsides to her power: appearances and alliances that must be upheld. One of them is Hodran, a rich rebel who wants to aid her cause, and another is Mikel, a loyalist farmer who wants to destroy it… and who just might be winning her heart at the same time.
By the time Trzl realizes she is in too deep, she has an infant son and a dark mess of betrayal and lies. She runs, to the farthest corner of the kingdom, in hopes she will be left alone with her child. But she has a few too many demons. Someone she once trusted takes her captive among the chilling Cliffs of Marek. She is thrown back into the political mess she helped create… at the mercy of a man she never wanted for an enemy.
He broke away from her gaze and sat down on the cool earth. They were on a hill, with a little patch of hardwood behind them. The valley below was swathed in tall grasses with tiny blue flowers on the tips. Trzl didn’t know what crop they were. She settled herself next to him, not too close.
“Do you sell your crops for a profit?”
“Yes. A considerable one.”
She giggled at him. “Your face is covered with enough clay for you to be a cart horse yourself.”
“Your own face is etched with dust.”
“It is? Get it off. Please!”
Mikel reached for her face with his bare hand. She stiffened, surprised at the roughness of the fingers she felt against her skin. “I did not think you would…use your hand.”
“I did not think you would let me.” He lingered on her chin, cupping it. The hold was possessive, yet it did not disquiet her.
“Your hands are rough. I would think a man as rich as you should have soft hands.”
He gave a snort of disbelief. “What kind of farmers have you been consorting with?”
Trzl just shrugged, a tiny smile tugging at her mouth. She was annoyed by the way he talked, all sophisticated, but his voice was deep and vibrant. She wanted to hear it all day. Wanted his hand to stay on her chin all day.
“You believe in the monarchy. In the books of Derev, the rules of the land.”
“I believe in them, yes. As everyone once did.”
She laid back and rested her head in the grass, wrapped his sooty and bedraggled cloak about her and tried not to shiver. The sky above her was a clean blue, the kind of clear one never saw in Neroi.
“You believe your fellow men should be forced into a way of living for the sake of your own class?”
“No one has ever forced them. It is tradition. Keeping the ways of the books is for all of our sakes. If the land is not cultivated and the law of the books kept, ruin will come.”
“The Orions invented the lie to ensure they always get their tributes.”
“You say that, but the land has always reflected the care with which it has been treated. My parents and their parents before them can attest.”
“You know your parents?”
“Yes. Did you know yours?”
“Did they give you your money?”
“I earned it.”
“So you claim.” She felt an inexplicable anger toward him. Why did he have to be deathly committed to something that was wrong? She knew she could never put up with his beliefs. Not for more than an hour or two. And she wanted desperately to put up with him.
Excerpt from COLDNESS OF MAREK © Copyright 2013 by Rachel O’Laughlin. Used with permission.