I am so excited to be hosting a spot on blog tour for NIGHT STUDY by Maria V. Snyder. I think by now you all know how obsessed I am with Maria's books if you havent had a chance to read them I highly suggest you do! NIGHT STUDY was as fantastic as the rest of the series and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book! I have a deleted scene to share with you today! And make sure to enter the giveaway!
Haven't heard of NIGHT STUDY? Check it out!
Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia is safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.
Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he's quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he's been keeping secrets from Valek…secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander's mysterious plans, they realize it's far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.
Now on to the deleted scene!
Deleted Scene: Valek, Yelena, Janco and Onora are in Ixia staying at a mining camp in the foothills of the Soul Mountains. They’re discussing setting an ambush at the castle. Yelena’s POV.
He ladled stew into them one at a time, passing them around the fire. “Then we set our ambush at the castle.”
“At the gates?”
“We don’t have enough people who can sense magic to cover all four of them,” Valek said. “We’d have to use the Commander as bait.”
“No.” Onora’s firm tone sounded more like an order than a disagreement. “Find another way.”
I touched his arm. “There are enough to be stationed at the gates.”
He turned his attention to me. “You wouldn’t want to put Reema in harm’s way. Who else is there?”
“That’s three, who’s the fourth?”
I glanced at Onora. Just how trustworthy was she. Would she report the person to the Commander? While the Commander has been a little more accepting of Sitian magicians in Ixia, he wouldn’t tolerate one of his own people using magic. He’d order his execution just like he had ordered mine when he discovered my ability. Good thing I had enough time to escape to Sitia. I don’t think Porter, the Commander’s kennel master would run away. No. Porter would report to the noose as directed.
“I’ll tell you if the situation arises,” I said.
“You can’t do that,” Janco cried. “Now I’m gonna be up all night thinking about who it is.”
Valek laid his hand over mine and squeezed. He understood. Despite the Commander’s zero tolerance, Valek had allowed Porter to continue smuggling those young adolescents who developed magic at the same time they hit puberty. A double whammy. If they were smart, they’d hid their powers until they could leave Ixia via Porter’s network. If they were exposed, then Valek was dispatched to assassinate the young man or woman. Or so everyone thought.
Over the eight years I’ve been with him, I’d learned that he funneled more people through Porter’s network than he’d killed. But the one thing I hadn’t told Valek was about Porter’s own magical power. The man communicated with his dogs the same way I’d “talked” to Kiki.
I reached out to Kiki without thinking, and encountered dead silence. The usual sharp jab of sorrow failed to manifest. Just a pang of disappointment fluttered in my chest. Interesting. Was I resigned to being without my magic?
[A bit later that night]
A sleepy silence descended for about two seconds.
“Yelena, who is the fourth person who can sense magic? I can’t sleep.” Janco pleaded from the other side of the fire.
I decided to have some fun with Janco. “I’ll tell you, but you have to keep it a secret.”
“You can’t even tell Ari. Promise?”
A pause, then a weak, “Okay. I promise.”
“It’s the Commander.”
Valek tightened his grip. He and I knew the Commander did have magic, but not in the same way as a magician. The Commander’s mother’s soul remained with him. She had been a healer before she died in childbirth.
Janco groaned. “Yeah, right, and I’m a Master Magician. That’s just nasty.”
“Not as nasty as being executed for having magical powers. You know you can’t keep a secret.”
“We wouldn’t hang him or her if the person helped us,” Janco said.
“Are you sure? I remember a magician who saved the Commander’s life and she wasn’t given a stay of execution.”
“You can’t use that. He burned that order a year later.”
“When he decided I could be of use as a Liaison between Ixia and Sitia. Back when he wished to play nice with Sitia. Now, who knows? It’s very easy to write another order.”
“No. You’re wrong,” Janco said with conviction. “Even if your powers come back, he won’t do that.”
The word “if” pricked my soul.
“He won’t,” Valek whispered in my ear. “Because I will not let him or anyone else harm you.”
I turned my head. “What if he orders you?” When the Commander had written the execution order eight years ago, he hadn’t given it to Valek. If he had, then Valek would have killed me. No doubt. His loyalty to the Commander was absolute. And I understood and accepted it.
“Then it will be the first time I’ve disobeyed a direct order.”
Wow. That was new. Warmth spread throughout my chest and it wasn’t because of the fire.
Maria V. Snyder changed from being a meteorologist to a novelist in 1995, when she began writing to keep her sanity while raising two children. Since then, she has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers, and teaches fiction-writing classes at the local college and area libraries. The classes give her the wonderful opportunity to encourage fellow writers, and to keep improving her craft.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria always had a fascination with big storms. Dreaming of chasing tornados, Maria earned a bachelors of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. But she discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn't one of her skills. In order to chase tornados you had to predict where they might form. Creating fantasy worlds where she has complete control of the weather was more agreeable to her.
Maria's research on food-tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study.
Maria has a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, and enjoys playing volleyball and the cello. Traveling in general and via cruise ship in particular are her biggest distractions from writing. Maria has traveled to Belize, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal.
Maria lives with her husband, son, daughter and yellow lab, Hazelnut, in Pennsylvania where she is at work on more LUNA novels. She is also pursuing a master's degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University.
Readers are welcome to contact Maria at the following email address:email@example.com.
Where you can find Maria:
6 Winners will receive a finished copy of NIGHT STUDY, US Only.
4 winners will receive a finished copy of NIGHT STUDY, International.
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Trust me you'll want to read these too they're set in the same world! With a lot of the same characters!
Also Maria posts tons of short stories on her website set in the same world!