I am so excited that KINGDOM OF BLOOD & SALT by Alexis Calder is available now and that I get to share the news! This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $10 Amazon GC’s courtesy of Alexis & Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.
Title: KINGDOM OF BLOOD & SALT
(Blood & Salt #1)
Author: Alexis Calder
Pub. Date: March 30, 2023
Publisher: Illaria Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Goodreads, books2read
An epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout, Raven Kennedy, and Sarah J Maas.
After spending years training to defend my people from our enemies, I never expected that my enemy would be the one keeping me alive.
Athos is the last human city. A treaty with the Fae keeps the fae, the vampires, and the wolf shifters at bay, while we fight against the dragons at our border. Being a human in this world is dangerous and we all make sacrifices to survive.
When the delegation sent by the Fae King arrives to claim the human tributes required by our treaty, I never expected to forge a connection with their leader.
Ryvin is as dangerous as he is handsome. I know he’s my enemy, and I know I’m supposed to hate him, but with each passing day, he’s more difficult to resist.
But things are changing in Athos. Humans no longer want to bend to the Fae King.
Alliances blur and centuries of lies begin to unravel.
And I’m faced with a choice.
No matter how much I hate him, Ryvin might be the key to preventing war.
But it may mean sacrificing everything….
Kingdom of Blood and Salt is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy with fae, vampires, and shifters. This enemies to lovers series contains violence, mature language, and spice. This is a NA/adult fantasy romance and steam level will increase as the series progresses. Mind the cliff.
Excerpt from Kingdom of Blood and Salt by Alexis Calder
The delegates settled around the table, and my sisters took their places between them. Morta was seated at the far end, near my father. The queen was at the other end, facing him. As soon as everyone was seated, I took a seat next to a delegate, as far away as I could from the strange woman. There were a few empty chairs next to me, giving me a buffer between me and the queen.
At least I’d only have to make small talk with one of the delegates, and I could avoid being too close to Ophelia. Istvan took a seat near the queen, leaving one empty chair between us. I was grateful he’d chosen to be closer to her than me.
Servants brought out drinks, then followed with platters of fish and lamb, bowls of rice and vegetables, and gorgeous towers of figs dripping with honey. My stomach growled at the sight, and I breathed in the mingling scents.
“Your kingdom is lovely,” the man sitting next to me said. I looked over at him, doing my best to force a smile. “Thank you.”
The man smiled widely, and I caught sight of two gleaming white fangs. “Not so different from my home.”
Swallowing down the initial burst of fear, I forced my gaze to his eyes. They were watery blue. A faded, unimpressive color. After everything I’d been told about these creatures, I expected something more. They were said to be beautiful, experts at seduction. But this man wasn’t any prize.
There were plenty of guards in our armies who were more handsome.
“You don’t seem to be afraid of me,” he said.
“Should I be?” I asked.
“Most humans are,” he said.
“And you enjoy being feared?” I asked.
He smirked. “Fear is power, princess.”
“Respect is power,” I countered.
“You are young, but you’ll learn,” he said.
“Orion, are you trying to scare our new friend?” A familiar deep voice cut in.
I tensed, knowing my good luck was up. I looked to my right just as the ambassador pulled out the chair and sat next to me.
“I thought perhaps you’d fallen into the sea,” I said.
“Alas, I’m an excellent swimmer. I was… occupied,” he said,
his eyes darting toward one of the servants in the corner. She caught his eye, then giggled, her face flushing deep crimson.
My stomach tightened in what felt an awful lot like jealousy.
Gritting my teeth, I sent the thought away. First Lady Marlette at the party and now servants? With any luck, he’d be too busy finding women to seduce to have any need for me.
A grim thought struck me. Perhaps this was how he chose tributes. Or maybe he promised his lovers a reprieve. “Already making notes for your selection?”
“That wasn’t my intention,” he said. “I was simply getting to know your household.”
“With a servant, Ryvin?” Orion wrinkled his nose.
“None of the princesses were available,” Ryvin said with a shrug.
“Nor will they be,” I bit out. “You will not touch me or any of my sisters. That applies to all of you.” I glanced at each man next to me, before turning back to Ryvin. I knew he was the highest ranking out of their delegation. “You understand me?”
A hand gripped my thigh and squeezed. “I like your fire,” Orion whispered in my ear.
Before I could push him away, Ryvin was out of his seat, his chair clattering to the ground. He yanked Orion from his seat. In a blur of black fabric, Orion was on the ground and Ryvin’s knee was on the man’s chest.
The ambassador held a dagger to the other man’s throat. “She gave you an order.”
Gasps and the screeching of chairs over the stone floor surrounded us, but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the men on the ground.
“You take the side of a woman over me?” Orion hissed.
“We are their guests,” Ryvin said. “If you touch her again, I will remove your head myself.”
My heart thundered in my chest, and I had to clamp my thighs together to tamp down the rising need. I’d grown up around the fiercest warriors in our kingdom, but never once had any of them defended me.
Apparently, it was a major turn on.
Blowing out a breath, I gave myself a moment to enjoy the thrill of seeing a man stand up for me before reminding myself of who he was.
He was still a monster. Just because he stood up to another monster didn’t change anything.
“Is everything alright, ambassador?” My father asked.
Ryvin removed his knee, then tucked his dagger into his boot.
He stood, then smoothed out his tunic. “I apologize, your highness. We aren’t used to human protocols. Sometimes, I forget myself and a little bit of the beast within breaks free.” He glanced at me before he turned back to my father.
“Please, forgive me.”
A lump rose in my throat. His words were a reminder of what simmered below that handsome exterior. I’d wondered if he was human, and it seemed he was giving me a hint. Or a warning.
“I apologize for my forwardness, your highness,” Orion said softly. He was standing next to me, eyes downcast.
Everyone in the room was staring at me, waiting for me to react. I licked my lips reflexively.
“If you’d like me to further punish him, I’m happy to oblige,” Ryvin said so quietly I was certain I was the only one who heard him.
“That’s not necessary.” I had a feeling if I said the words, Orion’s head would be torn from his body. I glanced at the man standing to my left. “A misunderstanding”
Orion bowed. “It won’t happen again; I can assure you.”
“Well, if that’s settled,” the queen said. “Shall we get back to our meal?”
Orion settled into his seat, and after a few tense moments of silence, the table erupted into general chatter.
Sophia caught my eye, then silently mouthed the words, are you okay? I nodded, then made myself eat, keeping my attention on my food.
“I will keep my men in line,” Ryvin said.
“Can you send your men home?” I countered.
“As soon as our job here is done,” he said.
“You mean after you kidnap humans so you can take them to their deaths?” I hadn’t meant to say it, but the words tumbled out.
“I can assure you; all the tributes are well cared for and live a far more luxurious life than they’d have here,” he said.
“If you say so,” I mumbled.
“I can offer my personal…”
I stood, not waiting for him to finish. The table quieted and Ophelia glared at me. I ignored her, turning my attention to my father. “I’m afraid the excitement has made me tired. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll take my leave.”
“Of course, darling,” my father said. Ryvin stood. “Please, allow me to escort you safely to your room.”
“Oh, that is not necessary,” I said.
“I insist,” he smiled, flashing straight white teeth. No sign of fangs.
My brow furrowed slightly. What exactly was he if not a vampire? He couldn’t possibly be human, could he?
It didn’t matter what he was. He was a threat.
“That’s very kind, ambassador,” my father said. “Of course,
Ara is happy to accept.”
“Shouldn’t I have a chaperone?” I asked, flashing my most demure smile.
Ophelia laughed. No, not laughed. Cackled. “I think that ship has sailed, Ara.”
I narrowed my eyes at her and threw her my nastiest glare.
“I promise, I won’t bite,” Ryvin said.
Ophelia stopped laughing. The whole room went so silent I swore I could hear the waves crashing against the cliffs in the distance. If I wasn’t so tense, I might have appreciated the way the color drained from Ophelia’s face.
“Shall we, princess?” Ryvin offered his elbow, and as if driven by something outside myself, I complied, sliding my arm into his. I could feel the eyes of everyone at dinner on us as we exited the dining room.
Alexis Calder writes sassy heroines and sexy heroes with a sprinkle of sarcasm. She lives in the Rockies and drinks far too much coffee and just the right amount of wine.
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