Monday, November 11, 2013

[Book Blitz + HUGE Giveaway] Poisoned Web by Crista McHugh

Poisoned Web (Deizian Empire, #2)Poisoned Web
by Crista McHugh
Release Date: 11/11/13
Self-Published

Summary from Goodreads:
The fate of the empire hangs on one slave breaking her silence…

As the Deizian Empire prepares for the upcoming wedding of Emperor Titus Sergius Flavus and Azruha, one mystery remains unsolved—the sudden and unexplained death of the former emperor. And as her wedding gift to Titus, Azurha wants to give him answers. She suspects an unknown poison was involved, and her search for the truth enlists two unlikely allies.

Modius Varro’s thirst for knowledge caused an uproar in Emona three years ago and exiled him to the border town of Madrena. But when Titus falls victim to the same poison, his expertise in medicine becomes essential in solving both the riddle of the former emperor’s death and finding a cure to save the current one. His search leads him to far reaches of the Alpirion realm, to an ancient culture shrouded in secrets, and into the arms of one slave who must break her silence to save the empire.


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Excerpt 

"We cannot control our pasts, only our futures.”

Wise words from a woman whose black palla proclaimed she was still mourning the loss of her husband. Azurha glanced at Titus, remembering the conversation she’d had with him the night before over the sudden loss of his father, Emperor Gaius Decius Flavus. Perhaps she might not be able to change the past, but she might be able to offer some answers. “May I have a word in private with you, Empress Horatia?”

A line appeared between the older woman’s brows, but she nodded and followed Azurha into the empty courtyard reserved exclusively for the imperial family. The gurgling fountains cooled the air around them and added a layer of discretion to their conversation.

Azurha dipped her fingers into the water, picking her words carefully. “I wanted to talk to you about my wedding gift to Titus.”

“Are you asking for suggestions?” Horatia’s eyes brightened. “I know he’s received so many gifts for his coronation last week, but I’m sure we can think of something unique and meaningful.”

“I’ve already thought of something.” She drew in a deep breath and prayed her choice would not open wounds that were still healing. “I want to solve the mystery of Emperor Decius’s death.”

Just as she’d expected, color drained from the empress’s face. She sank onto the edge of the fountain, staring past Azurha. Her bottom lip trembled. “That’s very kind of you, my dear, but—”

“It has nothing to do with kindness, Your Majesty. It has to do with justice, with the peace that will come with answers.” Azurha dared to reach out and cover the empress’s hand with her own, a gesture most Deizian women would never think of doing without permission, but she felt a kinship with Horatia over their shared love for Titus. “Everything I’ve heard so far indicates he died before his time, and I was hoping, with my background…”

She didn’t need to continue. Once again, her past as the Rabbit had entered the picture. She knew dozens of ways to kill a man, including first-hand knowledge of poisons and the assassins that preferred to use particular ones. If she could identify a poison, she might be able to find out who killed the former emperor and why.

Horatia’s eyes focused on Azurha’s face. “Are you suggesting someone murdered him?”

She hesitated for a second before nodding.

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Don't miss out on Crista's other books in this series:
Tangled Web (Deizian Empire, #1)Deception's Web (Deizian Empire, #3)
About the Author
Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained. She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends. Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant. And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days) For the latest updates, deleted scenes, and answers to any burning questions you have, please check out her webpage www.CristaMcHugh.com

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