Today’s Teaser Tuesday is from Cindy Young Turner!
Enjoy & Comment!
Thief of Hope blurb:
Sydney, a street urchin and pickpocket in the town of Last
Hope, has managed to evade the oppressive Guild for years, but there is no
escaping fate when she’s sentenced to death for associating with the
After she’s rescued by a wizard, Sydney is forced to accept
that magic–long outlawed throughout the Kingdom of Thanumor–still exists, and
the Tuatha, a powerful faery folk, are much more than ancient myth and legend.
When the wizard offers a chance to fight the Guild and bring Willem, bastard
prince and champion of the Tuatha, to the throne, Sydney embraces the cause as
a way to find her own redemption.
But Sydney’s fear of the Guild, distrust of authority, and
surprising connection to the Tuatha threaten Willem’s success. Can she untangle
the strange threads that entwine her life not only to the fate of the kingdom,
but also to Willem himself?
Thief of Hope Excerpt
Copyright © Cindy Young-Turner
All rights reserved — a Crescent Moon Press publication
“Magic.” She could think of no other
explanation for the strange light. Standing together in awe, they heard
whispers echo once more, louder this time, coming from within the tunnel. The
elusive tones ebbed and flowed, in the pattern of words and phrases. None of
them made any sense.
“I’ve seen this place
“That ain’t possible. We
haven’t been this way before.”
“I’ve seen this tunnel in a
dream.” Willem stepped forward and put a hand on the wall, as if to reassure
himself it was real.
“How can you dream of a
place you’ve never seen?”
“Sometimes I dream things,
and later they prove to be true. I dreamed about this tunnel, the light, the sounds.”
His brow creased. “Vadnae said the gateway to the realm of the Tuatha is within
the tunnels. Maybe this is it.”
Her legs trembled. Like
the tunnel Bill had led her away from, the certainty they wouldn’t be able to
return if they entered sent shivers through her. “We should tell Vadnae and
bring her back here. I can remember where the tunnel is.”
“We can’t go back. There
was someone else in my dream.” His blue eyes met her gaze. “Until now, I never
realized who it was. Now I’m sure; it was you, Sydney. We must go in together.”
She backed away. It was
one thing for Willem to dream of a place he’d never been, but another thing
entirely for him to dream about her. Before they’d even met. “That’s daft,
Willem. We ain’t-we aren’t wizards. What if the Tuatha are really as dangerous
as people say? What if we don’t come back? No point making you king if they
trap you in the faery realm.”
“This is something we’re
meant to do. I’m sure of it.”
As he spoke, her neck
pouch grew warm. She set the lantern on the ground. With shaking hands, she
pulled the leather cord over her head and loosened the drawstring. The marble
glowed, like the stones in the passage ahead of them. She shook it into her
Willem stepped toward her.
“Picked it up in Oryn’s tower.”
The glowing orb reflected the light from the lantern and the stones.
“Is it magic? Be careful.”
The glow changed from a
soft yellow to orange to red—and then to black. Durok’s power assailed her. His
hatred and malice chilled her to the core. Blackness engulfed her.
Two gleaming eyes gazed
out of the void. They pierced her soul, probing her innermost thoughts, her
fears, her desires. She sought to cry out, but no sound escaped her lips.
Willem’s voice grew faint.
Unseen hands clawed at her. Blindly, she struck back. Her mind reeled, and she
relived every painful moment in her life, every loss, every hurt, every
betrayal. Unbearable pain. No way to fight back.
“You are strong, Sydney,”
a voice murmured. “Don’t let him defeat you.”
The voice reminded her of
Edgar, bringing with it memories, not of Edgar on the scaffold, but of him
tucking her into bed when she was a child and telling her he’d keep her safe.
“You’re safe now, Sydney. Give me your hand and you’ll be free of him.”
She let him take her hand.
His fingers pried open her fist. The darkness lifted.
“Sydney, can you hear me?”
She forced her eyes open.
Willem’s stricken face hovered above her. With a steady arm around her, he
helped her sit. Her heart thudded in her chest. She made an effort to stand,
but the ground spun beneath her and pain stabbed behind her eyes.
“Easy.” Willem’s arm
rested on her waist, solid and comforting. “Just sit here for a minute.”
He held up her neck pouch.
“Safely put away. I took the marble from you without being affected myself.”
Her hand ached. Opening
her fist, she gasped. The middle of her palm was red and blistered.
“Let me see.”
“It’s all right.” She
clutched her hand to her chest.
“Here, let me help.” He
pulled his handkerchief from his pocket. Gently, he took her hand and wrapped
the soft fabric around her palm. “We’ll deal with your wound later, when
someone can tend to it properly. Vadnae or one of the monks, perhaps. We’re
lucky you weren’t more seriously hurt.”
His gaze searched her
face. “I was hoping you could tell me.”
He still held her hand.
The flickering lantern light softened his expression, and she glimpsed
something more than compassion.
Then the image of the
probing eyes flashed before her. Shuddering, she shifted away from Willem and
gulped a deep breath. “It was Durok. He saw me. We have to get away from here.”
She struggled to get to her feet. Willem helped her up, steadying her, his
strong hands gripping her waist.
“We can’t go back the way
we came.” He inclined his head to the wall blocking the end of the tunnel. “It
closed up when you touched the marble.”
Sydney stumbled forward
and ran her fingers over the wall. “There’s gotta be a way out.” She started
when Willem touched her arm.
“There is a way.” He put
his hands on her shoulders and turned her to face the tunnel with the glowing
stones. “We can wait for Durok to destroy us, or we can move forward. Those are
His mouth set in a
determined line. Vadnae, Gregor, Erik, Bill’s children, and Anaria—so many
people depended on them to succeed. She made a fist, wincing at the pain. She
wasn’t going to let Durok get the best of her. Willem wasn’t giving up, and
neither was she.
She reached up to brush
her thumb across his cheek. He drew in an uneven breath, and she smiled shyly.
“All right. Let’s go in.”
Author’s Biography: Cindy has
always been an avid reader and became fascinated by mythology and Arthurian
legends at a young age. She quickly decided she enjoyed creating her own worlds
and characters and set to work writing her own stories. She won her first
writing contest at age twelve, a short story inspired by the style of Edgar
Allan Poe. Branching her interests from mythology to classic supernatural tales
to medieval history and then to fantasy seemed to be a logical progression.
New Englander, Cindy currently lives in the Mid-Atlantic region with her family
and each year wishes for more snow.