“Bah—Naona!” An Excerpt from The Movement of Rings

From The Movement of Rings, second in The Movement of Crowns Series

“Naona!” a startled, aggravated scream pierced through the early morning peace of the four-storied maidservants’ house, ricocheting against the chamber and corridor walls and being answered by the vibrant laugh of a fleeing offender. A few of the women in the house, aroused prematurely from their sleep, got up and poked their drowsy heads out of their bedroom doorways to see black tresses, a white nightgown, and bare feet flashing by, the accompanying laughter escaping farther through a third floor hallway and disappearing down a stairwell.

Seconds later, those bare feet dashed through a side door and outside, taking off through the dewy grass of one of the gardens gracing the grounds of the sprawling estate, leaving behind more women awakening to a spreading commotion. Mischievous giggles rode the air on the way across the garden and over to the apothecary’s quarters, where slender fingers did not curl up and knock before pressing down the front door latch, pushing the door wide open.

“It worked!”

The short, balding man puttering about his quarters’ kitchen paused from his breakfast preparations. He turned to look, with a minimal measure of surprise, at the triumphant young woman standing across the way in his sitting room entrance, letting in the chill morning air. “What worked?” he asked her.

“The spices. I had only to sprinkle a pinch under Fauri’s nose, and she shook and sneezed right awake! What a potent mixture. She might still be sneezing, if she has not yet had the sense to stop yelling for me and to go douse her face.”

The man issued a groan. “Bah—Naona! For the sake of the stars! Why must you use my mixtures to torment your friends so?”

“And why must you always gripe about it?” Naona laughed. “You knew precisely what I would do when you gave the spices to me.”

“Of course I knew what you would do, but again, why must you? Toenails being turned green, bowls of reeking liquids hidden behind curtains and smelling up rooms, itch-inducing herbs being flicked upon the backs of unsuspecting necks, and now sneezing people out of their sleep! You are past full grown. Have not you gotten on in years to continue such pranks?”

“I have just reached my twenty-third year, hardly an old—”

“Bah!” the apothecary interrupted. “And look at you. Barging into my quarters first thing in the morn in your nightclothes and unshod feet! Are you trying to get me killed, nise?”

“Nothing of the sort,” Naona answered, stepping inside the sitting room and closing the front door behind her. “Everyone is too preoccupied with the war up north to have any useless thought of killing you. Besides, I never injure anyone or cause permanent damage, and nobody cares about my making harmless visits to a little old man.”

“I am not a little old man, thank you, and these visits are in no way harmless,” the apothecary argued, wiping his hands on the smock covering his tunic and trousers and puttering his way out of the kitchen toward Naona. “Not when you constantly use my remedies to wreak your havoc. I am trying to teach you to be a healer, and yet you are only becoming more of a pain in the empire’s backside. Our master has never kept a tight enough rein on you.”

“Reins are for horses.” Naona leaned down to plant a smacking kiss on the hairless crown of the man’s head as he approached her. “And a good morning to you too, pilo.”

“It was, before you crashed in upon it like a reckless hawk. And this mop of yours, flying about.” He waved fussy fingers around Naona’s head before he took her hand. “Do something with it, will you? I ought not to see your hair unbound, you beautiful thing. I am not your man. Here, come and sit for tea and an egg,” he bid her, tugging her toward the kitchen.

“Two eggs, please,” Naona requested, stumbling at the apothecary’s haste, her free hand going up to her hair. “But you will have to excuse my head. I did not bring anything for it.”

“I trust that you have brought room to put something in it though, no? I have a mixture to teach you after we eat. It is for pallid fever.”

Once the unlikely but enduring pair of them sat and began chatting over breakfast, Naona giving the apothecary a teasing wink over her steaming teacup, the man shook his head. He thought as he often did that this maidservant favorite of their master’s, King Aud of Munda, was much too appealing for her own good.

An indomitable princess. A beautiful prankster. A young, untried king of a powerful Realm.
Don’t miss The Movement of Crowns Series

 

Waiting to Be Recognized: An Excerpt from The Movement of Crowns

From The Movement of Crowns, first in The Movement of Crowns Series

But his heart had been in his voice, particularly after he’d cupped her face with one hand, and, with more ardor than the prince of Rêeh had been capable of mustering in a day, Staid had impeccably pressed his warm lips to Constance’s cheek for as long as he dared to stop time. She’d felt him hover near her trembling mouth, but might it have been a sign of haste or desperation for him to alight there, that night? Would it have been too soon—or too final?

His lips had hovered. And, then, they’d moved on, taking soft, steady possession of her other cheek before he’d eased her away from him at last. “Leave me, please, my lady,” his heart had spoken through his hoarse throat. “Now.”

Constance hadn’t taken a second to think but had left Staid at once, her whole being ablaze with a mixture of desire, rapture, and dejection. Why on earth did she have to care so for this military man, of all the men in the country, at such an inopportune, trying national time?

Still, looking out at the assembly before her, Constance knew this was not the time to bemoan inopportunity. Critical judgments about life and death were waiting to be made. A force stood menacingly without their land, taunting their nation, and this woman, this royal junior, had something to say about it.

Constance rose from her seat in the audience stall, waiting to be recognized.

A full minute or two passed before her father glanced over at her, but she knew that he’d noticed the moment she’d risen. The king then held up a hand to pause the standing Greenly, along with the other chieftains, elders, and the handful of soldiers whose voices were colliding in the middle of the Mundayne deliberations. Matthias sat there with his hand up as the assembly hall grew silent, and while he looked at Constance in a way she could not interpret, she imagined that he was going to shake his head at her, and order her to sit back down.

He did not order her to do that, however, instead acknowledging her as she’d never thought she would be acknowledged by him in her life.

An indomitable princess. A beautiful prankster. A young, untried king of a powerful Realm.
Don’t miss The Movement of Crowns Series

 

The Movement of Crowns Series by Nadine C. Keels

The Movement of Crowns Series
(Historical Fantasy, Love Stories)
Five Gold Stars
“Overall, The Movement Of Crowns series is an excellent read. The stories are compelling, the people are very well written. I thoroughly enjoyed all three books.” ~iRead Book Reviews
“All in all, this series was so wonderful.” ~Kelly Smith Reviews


Even after devastation, all is not lost.

The Movement of Crowns
The kingdom of Diachona is on the threshold of war. As Princess Constance is coming into power, she suspects that her growing love for one Commander Alexander may be ill-timed—especially if this is the end of the kingdom as they know it…

The Movement of Rings
Unrest is spreading across the Mundayne empire, where Naona is an imperial servant. Can her heart survive intact, even enough for a chance at love with a foreign man?

The Movement of Kings
The young ruler of the Eubeltic Realm is faced with domestic and colonial crises, the bereavement of his family, and his curious attraction to a councilman’s modest daughter. Could everything in the king’s untried hands be on the verge of falling apart?

~~~

Pick up a copy of The Movement of Crowns Series

 Amazon Kindle
 Amazon paperback
Barnes & Noble Nook
Barnes & Noble paperback
Apple Books
Walmart
Kobo
Smashwords

 ~~~

This three-book series is also available separately!

And don’t miss the spin-offs from this series!

Reviving the Commander picks up about a year after the Movement of Crowns series.
Eubeltic Descent picks up more than a century after the Movement of Crowns series.

There are a few ways you can stay updated on Nadine’s books. Find them here!

 

The Movement of Kings by Nadine C. Keels

The Movement of Kings
A Novella
The third and final chapter of the Movement of Crowns series
(Historical Fantasy, Love Story)

A Favorite Ebooks of 2014 pick on Tell Tale Book Reviews
Five Gold Stars
The Movement of Kings did not disappoint. This was a wonderful coming of age story of love, intrigue, history, leadership, mystery, and much more.” ~Wonderous Reviews
The narrative of Kings is very emotional, with the hero dealing with life, death, love, and politics… 5/5–great ending!” ~Kelly Smith Reviews

The nation might have longed for his coming rule, but will they now regret it?

The charge of the Eubeltic Realm has been passed over to a young monarch known for his brilliance and brooding ways—as well as the “way” he has with vibrant ladies at court. Yet, from a political and cultural standpoint, the Realm has entered uncertain times.

Their inexperienced king is faced with the nation’s domestic and colonial crises, the bereavement of his family, and his curious attraction to a councilman’s modest daughter. Could everything in the king’s untried hands be on the verge of falling apart?

~~~

Pick up a copy of The Movement of Kings

Amazon Kindle
Amazon paperback
Barnes & Noble Nook
Barnes & Noble paperback
Apple Books
Walmart
Kobo
Smashwords

The Movement of Crowns series is also available in one volume.

And don’t miss the spin-offs from this series!

Reviving the Commander picks up about a year after the Movement of Crowns series.
Eubeltic Descent picks up more than a century after the Movement of Crowns series.

There are a few ways you can stay updated on Nadine’s books. Find them here!