Thanks very much, Leandra, for hosting me!
(Of course, my pleasure! Plus, that castle totally has me fangirling.)
(licensced thru iStock)
(licensed thru iStock)
Tara pulled back the blankets to uncover the prince's bandaged shoulder. She sliced through the wrappings with her dagger, exposing the festering wound. Then she cut a gash across the palm of her left hand and placed her bleeding hand over the wound. Power flowed through her, warm and strong, filling her being. She closed her mind, trying not to broadcast what she was doing. Focusing her thoughts, she sent her power coursing into Kaden. Pain split her shoulder as if she were the one who had been hit by the arrow. She sucked in a breath, gritting her teeth. The spasm passed, and her power sang through Kaden's body, healing flesh and bone, rooting out the infection that threatened his life.
When his blood was clean and his shoulder nearly healed, she reined in her power and began to ease it back into herself. Icy jabs of warning froze her in mid-thought. Something was wrong. Panic crawled into her throat, and she couldn't breathe. Forcing herself to calm down, she closed her eyes and searched the stream of power, pulling it slowly back, her mind probing for whatever had set off her danger sense. She gasped as her mind touched blackness. The evil presence, the creature of her nightmares, had dug its claws into the power stream and was riding it back into her.
"No!" she cried, her hands flying to her head. She flung up a mental wall and thrust outward again and again, pummeling the creature until it let go and sank with a shriek back into its dungeon prison. The power snapped back into her, knocking her backward. She lay on the floor, panting. Her head spun like a maelstrom. Another presence touched her mind, cool and inquisitive, unfamiliar. She recoiled violently. Her mental wall rammed against it, and the touch vanished.
"Tara!" Jovan Trevillion's voice rang out as the door banged open.
Tara heard running footsteps. Then Jovan and Laraina appeared beside her. She sensed more than saw them, their blurred faces whirling around her in dizzy circles.
Jovan scooped her into his lap and cupped her face with his hand. "Tara," he said urgently.
"I'm fine," she whispered. "Just dizzy." She closed her eyes, waiting for the swirling of the silver and blue color of her eyes — one of the side effects of using her healing power — to stop, so she could see clearly again.
Jovan cradled her against his chest, holding her close. She could feel his heart pounding. She sensed fear, relief, and apprehension. "I told you not to do it," he murmured against her hair. "Why won't you listen to me?"
"It's my fault," Laraina said.
"No, it's not." Tara sat up with an effort.
Jovan glared at Laraina. "I can't believe you asked her to do it."
"I-I'm sorry," Laraina stammered. "I —"
"Leave her out of this," Tara said, hearing the tears in her sister's voice. "It was my choice."
Title: Trouble By Any Other Name
Sequel to Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble
Author: Lori L. MacLaughlin
Release Date: May 16, 2016
About the Book:
Tara Triannon is no stranger to trouble. She's yet to find an enemy her skill with a sword couldn't dispatch. But how can she fight one that attacks through her dreams?
With her nightmares worsening, Tara seeks answers but finds only more questions. Then her sister, Laraina, reveals a stunning secret that forces Tara to go to the one place Tara's sworn never to return to. Her troubles multiply when Jovan Trevillion, the secretive soldier of fortune who stole her heart, is mentally tortured by an ancient Being intent on bending him to its will. And worst of all, the Butcher — the terrifying wolf-like assassin she thought she'd killed — survived their duel and is hunting her again.
Hounded by enemies, Tara sets out on a harrowing quest to discover the true nature of who she is, to come to grips with the new volatility of her magic, and to defeat the evil locked in a centuries-old trap that will stop at nothing to control her magic and escape through her nightmares.
About the Author:
Lori L. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She's been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.
She has been many things over the years – tree climber, dairy farmer, clothing salesperson, kids' shoe fitter, retail manager, medical transcriptionist, journalist, private pilot, traveler, wife and mother, Red Sox and New York Giants fan, muscle car enthusiast and NASCAR fan, and a lover of all things Scottish and Irish.
When she's not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.
You can find her here: