Saturday, August 21, 2021

Roots of Ruin by Amber Mitchell - New Release, Excerpt, and Giveaway

Roots of Ruin
by Amber Mitchell
Series: Garden of Thorns, #3
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: August 16, 2021

They did the impossible, but their problems are far from over…

After freeing the Delmarion empire, Rose and Rayce must go to Varsha, the desert home Rose fled when she was a child—the country she’s meant to rule.

Rayce is the new emperor of Delmar, Varsha’s longtime enemy, but that won’t stop him from assisting the girl he loves. Armed with the brute force of Rayce’s military, Rose sets out to free her people from the oppressive rule of the usurper king who killed her father.

But even if they win, how can she be queen to her homeland and in love with the man ruling its bitter enemy? With her loyalties split between heart and crown, Rose must find a way to do the impossible again…unite two kingdoms at war, or sacrifice half of herself to save the other.

Twisting around causes my stomach to drop as I see what my decision cost. Three soldiers are on the ground, one not moving—hopefully not dead—while Rayce is on top of another, punching him. He reaches for the sword attached to his waist, but Arlo plows into him, knocking the sword from his grasp. They both tumble onto the muddy ground as Rayce lets out a savage cry, grasping for his sword.

“I have to change him back!” I yell.

“Princess, I advise you to stay back until they get the Shogun under control,” Darra says.

But she doesn’t understand. All of this is my fault and if anyone dies, I’m not sure Rayce or I will ever forgive ourselves. His fingertips graze the hilt.

“I’ll help,” Marin says, glaring at her mother before rushing forward.

I dig my boots into the soft ground, ready to run, but a hand touches my shoulder.

“Please, you need to think of your people,” Darra says.

Arlo throws himself on top of Rayce once more, yanking his arm back before he can grab his sword. Both men are covered in muck and slipping as they claw at each other. Rayce’s hand wraps around Arlo’s neck.

“Rayce, stop!” Marin shouts as Arlo begins to gag.

I wrench away from her grasp, everything inside me yelling to rush forward, but her ominous words hold me back. “I am thinking of my people. These are my people.”

“There are more that depend on you than just in this clearing, princess,” she says.

Even though I haven’t decided when I’ll accept my crown, the weight of it already feels stifling. Especially if it means I can’t protect those I love for fear that my death will doom an entire city. I’m beginning to understand the responsibility Rayce always felt and why his gaze always hides a secret sadness.

Another soldier topples over them, pinning Rayce’s free arm to the ground while Marin grabs onto the one holding her brother, and she tries to pry Rayce’s grip off Arlo. Several other soldiers rush in to assist while Rayce growls, nearly as wild as the boar that almost killed us. My fingertips long to touch him and bring back the gentle man trapped underneath all of that savagery.

“There, it’s safe,” I say, unable to hide the annoyance in my voice. I motion toward Rayce as he struggles to break free. “They need me.”

Her gaze locks with mine, her sharp eyes clearly displaying no regret at stopping me. Since she came here, she has declared it her responsibility to keep me safe until we travel back to Varsha, my homeland, and I’ve never really minded until this moment.

I hate that she may have been right.

My legs shake as I drop beside the pile of soldiers in the mud, and the last meal I had twists around uncomfortably in my stomach.

“A little hustle, will you, Rose?” Arlo says, gripping Rayce with both hands even as fresh welts begin to bloom on his neck.

He strains to keep Rayce’s arm pinned to the ground, the sword gleaming in the brown muck, just out of reach. All it would take is a single slip and Rayce wouldn’t hesitate to slice him in two. My intention wasn’t to stall, but seeing Rayce up close like this stays my hand.

Amber Mitchell was born and raised in a small town in Florida. After briefly escaping small town life by attending the University of South Florida where she earned her degree in Creative Writing, she decided to ditch traffic jams and move back to her hometown. There she writes Young Adult novels, usually with a bit of magic in them, rolls D20s with her friends on Thursday nights and enjoys hanging out with her husband and four cats. Her other job involves crafting cardstock in to 3D art and has allowed her to travel all over the US vending at comic conventions which has only increased her love for fantasy and fandoms. She is represented by Nikki Terpilowski of Holloway Literature.

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