Title: The Saskia Trilogy Boxset
Author: Aoife Marie Sheridan
Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours
From USA Today Bestselling Author
The Complete Saskia Trilogy ~ Boxset
Four banished angels. A world created by the hands of God. A kingdom on its knees – and only one mortal to save them.
Growing up in the mortal world, Sarajane is shocked when she gets kidnapped and finds out that she is a princess in Saskia, a parallel universe she had no idea existed.
It’s there that she discovers her abilities, but as her magic keeps growing, so does the threat towards her and her loved ones.
Following her destiny, she takes on the fight against a fallen angel and the task of saving Saskia and Earth before Lucian can destroy it.
Will Sarajane live up to the expectations or is it too late for her to save her new world?
Saskia ~ Present Day
The smell of dampness is overpowering. I open my eyes slowly. I am lying on a concrete floor, shaking with the cold. My wrists and ankles are badly bruised, my hair clotted with dry blood. As I start to get up, bile rises in my throat. Steadying myself against the wall causes the sharp, jagged stones to hurt my back. I stumble to the iron gate of my cell. My lips are cracked and dry; my throat feels like it is on fire.
“Please, could I have some water?” I rasp.
The guardian sits there, no reply. I can see the tattoo on the back of his neck. Et Lux in Tenebris Lucet: And Light Will Shine in Darkness. It has been twenty-one years since I have seen it. I knew then I am back in Saskia.
“I see you are awake,” Clive says with a cruel smirk, descending the stairs. His blond hair and white complexion look paler under the lights, giving him a ghostly air.
I retreat farther into the shadows of my cell. He turns the key in the gate and enters slowly. His crystal-blue eyes never leave my face, soaking up my terror. I back into the wall and my panic rises. I know Clive is just like his mother, Bellona.
Cruelty seeps from his every pore. I want to scream, but know it is pointless. Tears stream down my face. Please, God, keep my daughters safe. I know I will never see them again.
Clive circles me with his hands grasped behind his back. He throws his head back and starts laughing. “So you are the whore who was sleeping with my father? A peasant with a king.” His face twists with rage and disgust.
Clive pounces, grabbing my hair. I scream. The cut already on my head starts to bleed again, and blood trickles down my face. He throws me viciously to the ground. “You won’t escape this time.”
I curl myself into a fetal position. Clive withdraws his leg and aims for my stomach. I can’t stop him so I just lie there, letting my mind slip to happier times. Memories pour in, mine and Morrick’s first kiss at my door. The first time we secretly met at the Amour Caves. Falling in love with him was so easy, but now I would pay the ultimate price.
I blink. Pain runs through every part of my body. I look around through swollen eyes. I am on my own again with the same guardian on guard. I try to speak, but every part of my body is too sore. Darkness overtakes me.
The next time I wake up, Clive and the Queen Bellona are standing over me. She looks at me with distaste. Her snow-white, hard face shows no other emotion. A white gown flows all around her, the ends soaking up my blood pooled around me on the floor. She doesn’t seem to notice, or maybe she doesn’t care.
“Taurus, lift her up. I have many questions to be answered,” the queen says in a monotone, as if this is wasting her time.
I open my eyes, but the light hurts. I close them again and can hear Bellona and Clive arguing in the hall. I can hear Bellona’s voice rising. “Are you pleased with your handiwork?”
“Yes, Mother, I am,” Clive says with self-satisfaction.
“You are just like your father, stupid and weak.” Clive tries to answer, but Bellona cuts him off with a slap. “Now listen to me. I need her alive, and beating her to death will not get us answers. Am I not correct?”
“Yes, Mother.” Clive sounds like a five-year-old boy being reprimanded.
Footsteps sound down the hall. When the queen speaks, she sounds irritated. “What, Taurus?”
“Sorry, my lady, but the king is looking for you.”
The queen lets out a sharp breath. “Clive, stay with her. He does not know she is here, and I do not need any more problems.”
Footsteps sound at my door. I keep my breathing even so it looks like I am asleep. A chair creaks beside me. After a few moments, I open my eyes and Clive is looking at me. There’s a handprint on the side of his face. “Do you know the day my mother told me about you and my… father I didn’t believe it?”
I turn my head away from Clive. I just can’t listen to him.
Morrick told me how cruel his wife and son were, how they would manipulate situations. Clive grabs my face roughly. “You will look at me when I speak,” he roars into my face, covering me with spit.
The door opens then and Ancellia, a servant girl I had only met a few times before, comes in. She bows to Clive, but her eyes never touch me. “Prince Clive, I have come to bathe Marta as requested by the queen.” He flicks his hand towards me and Ancellia enters the room.
Clive rises from his chair. “I will return later.” He looks at me and leans in close to whisper in my ear. “When I get back, you better give me answers or I will kill you.” He stands straight and leaves the room.
Once he is gone, I turn to Ancellia. “Where is Corrona?”
Ancellia ignores me. “Please, Ancellia.”
She looks at me with anger. “You have dragged enough people into this. You will not drag me in as well.” She pushes me over roughly, hurting my side, and bathes my wounds. After she leaves, I lie there thinking of Corrona and the day I decided I needed to get out of Saskia.
Corrona and Dominic were blissfully in love. She sat in her armchair beside the fire, rubbing her very large belly, while
Dominic rubbed her feet. I sat and watched them and wished I could be normal like that with Morrick and not always hiding our love. My stomach fluttered thinking of him. Even though we had been seeing each other nearly a year, I still felt nervous around him.
Corrona’s voice snapped me out of my thoughts. “Marta, go get the maidens. I think my baby is coming.”
Dominic stood up, his eyes wide. “Now, right now?”
Corrona looked up at Dominic with a smile on her face and nodded. Then her attention turned to me. “Hurry.” She twinged with pain. I left and ran to the castle and placed my hand over my own stomach and smiled. Butterflies erupted in my belly.
I reached the castle and raced across the courtyard, but just before I knocked on the large wooden door, it opened. I was faced with Bellona. She arched an eyebrow. “Yes?”
I bowed. “Sorry, my lady, but Corrona needs maidens. She’s going into labour.”
“Very well.” The queen beckoned two maidens and headed for Corrona’s cottage. Taurus followed just behind her and me after them. I felt sick the whole way back. I didn’t think Bellona would come also.
When we entered, Dominic stood and looked at the queen in shock.
“Please, do not rise.” She sat on the armchair that Corrona had vacated.
Corrona lay on her back, sweat running down her face. The two maidens placed damp cloths on her forehead and face. The small cottage now smelled of sweat. I knelt down and took Corrona’s hand. Dominic held her other hand while telling her he loved her. Corrona’s swollen belly started to ripple. She screamed between pushes.
“Shhh, child, there is no need for that. Be quiet,” the queen said, irritated. I looked at her and she smirked back at me, making me drop my gaze. Did she know about Morrick and me? No. I would be dead by now.
Corrona continued to push as the maidens directed her through her pain, and then the room was filled with the cries of a baby boy. The maidens handed the baby to Corrona. “Oh, my precious baby.” She placed a kiss on his head and cradled him to her chest. The room buzzed with a newfound happiness.
Dominic was looking at his wife and child with pure love, tears sparkling in his eyes.
“Marta, isn’t he perfect?” Corrona asked me while counting his toes.
I laughed through tears. “Yes, he is.”
Corrona looked up at Dominic. “I love you so much.”
“I love you too.” He kissed her and then his son.
The queen stood over Corrona. “May I?” She reached out her hands for the baby. Corrona and Dominic both looked up, startled. They had forgotten about the queen, as had I. Corrona hesitantly handed her baby to her. Tears ran silently down her face. The queen usually visited in the first month of a boy’s arrival, not straight away after the birth.
Dominic rose; Taurus stood in front of him. We all watched as the queen placed a beautiful pendant with a purple stone in the centre of it over the baby’s head. Its little eyes followed the movements. I looked at Corrona. She was holding her breath.
“It’s good news,” the queen announced. We all let out a sigh of relief. Taurus moved away from Dominic. “He has an air affinity.” The words slipped so calmly from her mouth. Corrona started screaming. She tried to get up to plead with the queen, but she was too weak to lift her own body.
Dominic’s face turned white. “Give me back my son.”
The queen looked at him with a scowl. “Taurus.” She turned to leave. Dominic pulled a small knife from his sleeve and ran at the queen. Corrona screamed when she realised what Dominic was going to do. Taurus swung the blunt end of his sword at the last minute, hitting Dominic in the side of his head. He fell to his knees, blood running down his face. I rushed to him.
Corrona was still screaming, her arms outstretched, pleading for her son.
The queen opened the cottage door to leave, but before she did, she turned to Dominic. “You are lucky I do not have you exiled for that.” She paused. “But I am a forgiving queen and since emotions are running high, I will let this pass.” Then her gaze fell on me, yet she was still talking to Dominic. “I will not be so lenient in the future.” And at that, she left the cottage with the maidens and Taurus.
Dominic pushed me away and crawled to his wife. He held her in his arms, whispering over and over again. “I am sorry. I am so sorry.” But Corrona was inconsolable. I sat on the floor and cried for them. I cried for my own faith. I knew I had to protect my baby. I had to leave.
Now back in the room, I wipe tears away. The memory stillfeels so fresh.
USA today Bestselling author Aoife Marie Sheridan lives in Ireland, has two leprechauns and a hawthorn tree in her back garden, that she guards day and night against the mischief fairy folk.
When she’s off duty she loves to write, read and drink tons of coffee. Oh and she eat’s lots of chocolate, LOTS!
To find out more about Aoife Marie Sheridan you can visit her at:
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00B5W8SK6