Excerpt from The Vanishing Spark of Dusk:
Kalen sighs and drags a hand through his hair. “Don’t speak of these pirates again, Lark. I don’t want you to even mention rebels at all, much less suggest I work with those thieves. You think Tavdorians who own slaves are bad? You haven’t experienced the black heart of the empire yet. The Renegade is what keeps that black heart beating.”
He steps closer, takes my chin between his thumb and his forefinger, and tilts it up until our eyes meet.
“Am I understood?”
I can see his features clearly now. His violet eyes, filled with that aristocratic sternness. This isn’t a discussion between two equals, but an order from a master to his slave. He said not to mention them, but he said nothing about meeting with them. That I can agree to.
“I understand,” I whisper. “I won’t speak of them again.”
He lowers his hand. “I only want you safe, Lark. If I’m to take you to Earth on my next trip, I want to have a whole, healthy daughter returned to her mother. Not a scarred one. Definitely not a dead one.”
He’s not smiling at all, but somehow a chuckle slips out of me at the dramatic statement.
“You think it’s out of the question?” he asks, taken aback by my humor. “This is a dangerous world for Humans. Especially for a young, vibrant woman, like yourself.”
“Vibrant?” The word comes out in a short laugh. All she does is read her books,I remember Ariana saying.
“Why do you chuckle now, Lark?” He steps closer, and I back against the wall. In the faint light coming from the bioluminescent plants, I can make out his small smile. “You think I’m joking?”
“Of course not.” My lips twitch. “You’re dead serious.”
He takes another step until his breath tickles my nose. “How do you do it?”
“Stir these strange feelings. I shouldn’t touch you, but the humor dripping from your lips demands a lick.”
The hungry look in his eyes creates a whirlwind of foreign emotions inside of me, and it takes me a moment to realize that I want him. I don’t know when or how it happened, but I want him. Here. Now.
“Lark,” he says in a hoarse whisper. His breathing is heavy now, and he says my name again, but before I can respond, his lips are on mine.
Stand up. Be heard. Fight back.
When Lark is stolen from Earth to be a slave on the planet Tavdora, she’s determined to find her way back home to her family, no matter the cost. Placed in the household of a notorious slave trader, Lark quickly learns her best assets are her eyes and ears. And if she’s brave enough, her voice.
Kalen is the Tavdorian son of a slave trader and in line to inherit his father’s business. But his growing feelings for Lark, the new house slave who dares to speak of freedom, compel him to reveal his new plan for the slave ships returning to Earth—escape. Together, they just might spark a change that flares across the universe.
Young Adult Science Fiction [Entangled Teen, On Sale: January 8, 2018, e-Book, ISBN: 9781640634619 / eISBN: 9781640634619]