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Book Series: Truth and Lies

The Traitor’s Heir

Title: The Traitor's Heir
Series: Truth and Lies #1

Acacia Marsiela knows in her skin when anyone lies. She doesn't think it's a very useful skill, and as a research assistant, it really doesn't help discover information on a long-dead society. All she wants is to pass her upcoming High Clerk test so that she can qualify for a high enough paying job to get her own apartment and be able to live independently for the first time in twenty-six years. But, her Mentor needs her help to rescue his lost notes from his country of birth, the neighboring Zenobahara. When she goes, she uncovers the truth about her Mentor and the world he fled, a truth that could get her killed -- but truth is her specialty.

Shade Heart isn't the name he was born with, but it's the one he uses anyway. The son of a merchant, a spy for the Amarlantiian Royal Guard, and sometimes a thief on the streets in the Riverside section of the capital of Cingwin, he's led many lives. He's always been just what he needed to be in order to get what he wants. Now, at thirty-four, what he wants is a wife, and a home with enough land for his dog to play on. But, after getting arrested, getting tangled up with smugglers, and almost getting married to the wrong woman, he gladly accepts being sent across the country to help an old friend for the High Constable. There, he finds that things aren't what he was told they were, and the woman he's been sent to protect is the one woman who could unravel all of his lies.

The only way to make it out of Zenobahara alive is for them to learn to trust each other, and themselves, with the truth.

Also in this series:

Nothing on the street moved. He couldn’t see any odd glints or anything out of place. Shade turned from the window, almost tripping over Lady, who still stood against him. He reached out to brace himself as his vision swam. His side stung with a sharp, wet pain. Shade looked down at his shirt, shocked to see it soaked through in blood. “You stabbed me?” he looked up at his sister, incredulous.
“What did you expect?” she stepped forward, her hand outstretched until Lady growled at her. “Easy girl,” she said.
“Lady, stop it. I’m fine.”
“She’s just mad I stabbed you.”
“I’m mad you stabbed me.”
“Don’t sneak up on people like that. You came out of nowhere.”
“I could have been followed. You being here could get me killed.”
“I could have killed you.” She slammed her fist into her chest, her face red. “Be glad that wasn’t one of my poisoned knives.”
“Can you fix it?”
“Of course, take off your shirt.”
“Um,” Shade paused thinking of the stolen papers in the hidden pocket.
“What did you do now?”
“Long story.”
“Tell me or I let you bleed.”
Lady growled again.
Shade smiled, sheepishly.
“Your shirt, Lief.” Cedlynn slung the bag she carried, from her shoulder and pulled out a large brown pouch from inside.

Status: First draft finished in 2011. Second draft finished 9-25-14, 58,044 words. Third draft in progress.

The King’s Advisor

Title: The King's Advisor
Series: Truth and Lies #2

Also in this series:

Rounding the corner onto a street with modest houses that had yards and fences, the lower tier of nobility wasn’t about flashing their wealth, she shuffled along until she reached the fourth one, painted a faint blue with a white fence … and a brown dog sitting at the gate looking sad.
“Lady?” she called.
The dog’s ears perked up, and she rose to her feet, taking a step toward the gate, sniffing the air. The dog treats were in a metal tin, sealed tightly so the scent couldn’t get out, and they stayed fresh; it was a sweat potato, cheese, and peanut butter cookie, and Shade assured her that they were Lady’s favorite but he could only get them from one vender in the city, and he’d never told anyone else about them. He wanted Lady to know they were from him, he wanted her to smell him on his jacket, the jacket on her, and to associate her with her favorite treats.
It was really important to him that his dog accept her, more than his sister.
Acacia reached out her hand over the top of the gate to let her sniff her fingers. Lady braced her front paws on the gate, and stood almost chest height, sniffing at the jacket she wore.
She whined at the scent, looking around.
The door to the house opened and Acacia blinked back tears as she saw Shade storm out with an angry look on his face … but no, it wasn’t Shade. It was a woman.
“Who are you? Lady get away from there.”
The angry tone even sounded like him.
The brown dog didn’t back away, she just sniffed at the jacket, rubbing the side of her head against Acacia’s outstretched palm.
The tall, blonde woman who had Shade’s face stopped her forward march three steps away. “How did you get that?” she asked in a breathless tone.
Acacia felt her eyebrows bunch together, but was overcome with a wave of nausea that she had to squeeze her eyes against.
“Is—is he?” She covered her mouth with her hand before crossing the last of the distance to the fence. “You’re going to tell me what’s going on, right now.”
Acacia looked up at the too-familiar face and felt her heart cracking. The storm in her eyes was unsettling because they were too much like his. With a shaking hand she reached up to pull the key from around her neck, showing it to her.
Cedlynn gasped, her hands reaching out to snatch it from her. “Where did you get this?”
“He never said you were twins,” Acacia whispered, wavering a little where she stood.
“Who are you? What trouble has my brother gotten himself into this time?”
“No trouble.” Acacia closed her eyes again as the world started spinning around her. It felt like she was falling. “My trouble.” The skin around her mouth went cold, and her cheeks flushed. The dog whined, nudging her side with her head. She was suddenly hot and cold at the same time, the opposing forces clamping around her stomach and squeezing until she was gasping for breath and doubling over from the pain, stars flashing behind her eyes.

Status: First draft finished in 2011, 79, 219 words. Second draft in progress.