Welcome to the blog tour for RUNE’S FOLLY, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Tower of Shells, by Garen Glazier. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: RUNE’S FOLLY
Series: Tower of Shells #1
Author: Garen Glazier
Publisher: Only Child Press
Release Date: February 1, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
By day, Tansy McCoy is a florist making charmed bouquets for the citizens of Junonia, capital of the Kingdom of Terranmar. By night, she’s an assassin and the keeper of the Dangerous Garden where deadly blooms grow. Together with the town tailor, butcher, baker, and metalsmith (just don’t call her a candlestick maker), she is part of the Guild, a secret group of spell-wielding thieves and mercenaries. Their task: consolidate all that remains of the realm’s fading magic under the ruthless King Zeno’s control.
Impetuous loner Tansy chafes under her Guild demands. She longs to quit her town and trade and head for the hills. Unfortunately, King Zeno has other plans. He wants to marry off his daughter to Terranmar’s famously reclusive wizard, Rune Hallows, and he’s willing to have the Guild kidnap him to make it happen. Fail to deliver the wizard and the consequences will be swift and deadly.
Reluctant but determined, Tansy sets out on the long journey to faraway Wentletrap and Rune’s desolate tower by the sea. To get there she must cross a swamp full of sinister surprises, battle a werewolf, and outrace a bloodthirsty band of revenants, while she wrestles with her own magical powers that seem to be expanding in unpredictable ways.
But reaching Rune’s tower is only the beginning. When Tansy learns the real reason behind the king’s contest, she’ll need to decide whether to give in to the growing forces of magic ready to reclaim Terranmar or embrace her newfound powers to save the kingdom.
“Good afternoon, sir,” said Tansy.
“Afternoon,” he said as he made quick work of the short distance between the door and Tansy’s workbench near the back of the shop, the old floorboards creaking. He looked relaxed but expectant.
“Is there something I can help you with?” she asked. “I do flowers both traditional and magical here at The Flax & Fern.”
“Mina sent me.”
Tansy’s eyes narrowed as she assessed the stranger. The palace seal was stitched onto his breast pocket. An official on royal business.
“Where’s Robbern?” Tansy said, referring to the usual palace agent.
“He’s been removed from the employ of the House of Neberon. I am Denal. I’ll be taking Robbern’s place.”
“Has he now, and will you now? Hmm.”
Tansy made a mental note to burn a little incense for poor Robbern. No one was ever simply fired from the House of Neberon. All the people that worked for the House were what Ms. Caraway would have called ne’er-do-wells. Tansy could think of a few other choice terms for their ilk, but she’d liked Robbern well enough. He wasn’t as bad as the others and that was probably why he hadn’t lasted long.
“Indeed,” Denal sniffed. “Now, if you’d be so good as to fill this list of requests, I’ll be on my way presently. I have other business to attend to this afternoon.”
He proffered her a list written in Mina’s ornate script, pinched between his index and pointer fingers in an affected manner.
Tansy took it with a sigh and quickly scanned the requested items.
10 belladona berries
2 bunches digitalis
5 taxus cones
1 levantus bloom
“Wait here,” she said, as she grabbed her basket.
She stepped through the red door at the back of the shop and locked it behind her, then strode quickly through the kitchen and down the hall until she reached the tiny sunroom at the back of the living space she shared with Ms. Caraway.
It was a fine day and the sun was high in the sky. Tansy let its bright rays warm her skin for just a moment before she crossed the threshold into the walled garden beyond. The pungent scent of rosemary and clove was on the air and, looking down, Tansy saw the herbs mixed with the rough, white grains of salt that Ms. Caraway preferred. The old witch must have sensed that a new visitor would be crossing their path today. Taking another deep breath Tansy noted that the protection spell could have marinated in the moonlight a bit longer before it was spread on the ground, but she was comforted by the sight and smell of it nonetheless.
It was early summer and the garden was in full bloom. A bounty of roses in every hue spilled across the narrow path. Cornflowers in white, pink, and blue swayed gently in the breeze, while henlias sprouted in vibrant reds and oranges near the garden walls. Tansy hoped that the sight of the cheerful flowers would bolster her spirits, but the new arrival had raised her guard. And while she knew it was her duty to provide the House with plants from the Dangerous Garden, the requests were coming at increasingly close intervals and for increasingly opaque reasons.
The path ended at a black, ironwork gate. At its center, an ornate skull fashioned from the metal grinned a warning. Retrieving a key from a string around her neck, Tansy slipped it into the bolt and turned. The gate swung backward without a sound and she stepped through into her own secret garden.
It was small but verdant, and, in many ways, more beautiful than the one that provided the traditional blooms for her florist shop. It did seem strange that beauty and death could be so inextricably linked in the plant world. But, then, that was often the case with humans as well.
She donned a pair of gloves that she kept in her apron before gathering the jet-black belladonna berries, then frowned in concentration as she plucked five cherry-red taxus cones. Taking a pair of shears from her pocket, she severed the stems of the vibrant digitalis before turning her attention to the bush bearing the cerulean petals of the levantus flower.
Still mulling over the unwelcome arrival of the Crown’s new agent, she snipped the bloom off before realizing it was the last one on the bush. She was glad that Mina’s list had only called for one as a quick check revealed just shiny green-black leaves and not even the beginnings of a bud. She made a mental note to mention it to Ms. Caraway. The witch was old and slightly bent, but she was still the best at encouraging the plants to produce their various flowers, fruits, roots, bulbs, and seeds. When she talked, green things listened.
About the Authors
I have always called Seattle home and find the perpetual gloom to be a wonderful writing ally. I like coffee shops, bookstores, dancing in my living room and singing in my car. The opening scene of Up makes me cry. Three Amigos makes me laugh. Fashion magazines, croissants, and long, long baths are my guilty pleasures. They might occur separately or together. I prefer boxing classes to yoga, and I get some of my best ideas when I’m running. I loved school and spent more time than one really should getting a business degree in marketing and a master’s in art history. In an ideal world I’d go to bed at 2am and wake up at 10am. I’ve never been an early bird, and I feel strongly that alarm clocks kill dreams.
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