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?”
“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.