Random Acts of Kindness Release Party: Fil Preis

February 16, 2015

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To celebrate the release of the Random Acts of Kindness anthology today, some of the authors will be sharing with you a little glimpse behind each of their stories.

 

Hi, this is Fil Preis, and for “Random Acts of Kindness” I’m excited to present my first fantasy romance, “The Cambion’s Servant.” I’ve long been a fan of fantastic fiction but my first few romances have all been set in the contemporary world. With “The Cambion’s Servant” I went back to my fantasy roots just far enough to turn some tropes upside down!

A lot of fantasy stories are about a youth finding his way in a magical world, often with the assistance of an older and wiser mentor. And in romance, you don’t have to look too far to find stories about virgins being initiated by sexually experienced partners, or innocents being seduced by darkly sexy rogues. The call for “Random Acts of Kindness” gave me a chance to play with some characters who have a somewhat different dynamic.

Tomas is an orphan only just come of age, thrown out of the hermitage where he was raised after refusing to become a priest under the dour, strict Father Denego. Gavin is a cambion—half man, half demon—and as such, an outcast who makes his living as a mercenary. Dangerous and fierce, anyone would expect Gavin to be the one with dark designs on an innocent like Tomas.

Instead, Gavin is the one who goes out of his way to defend Tomas when his employer tries to take advantage of him. And Tomas, very quickly, warms to his strange defender. What Tomas doesn’t know is that there’s an unspoken reason why Gavin intervened on his behalf. And if Tomas wants to experience love firsthand, it’s up to him to make the first move…and the second.

 

Here’s an excerpt:

Tomas leaned over to take a look at his new Master in the light of day.
Those eagle eyes were closed in sleep, but the man’s lip had curled back, revealing a hint of fang. The feathers in his hair were not decorations. They actually grew right out of his scalp.
Cambion. Half man, half demon.
He was handsome, yet terrifying. Or…he would be frightening, if he wasn’t asleep.
Slowly, Tomas’s panic subsided. Gavin had had all night to hurt Tomas if he’d wished to. Maybe Tomas had no reason to be afraid.
Still, Tomas thought it would be wise for him to be a good servant. He rose from the blankets and set about making a fire. He found a pan, a cup, a full water-skin and some dried sacks of tea in Gavin’s pack. By the time the cambion finally stirred, Tomas was waiting to press the cup, filled with hot tea, into his gloved hands.
Gavin accepted the drink and sipped from it. “You’re still here,” the cambion remarked, his voice low and gravelly.
“Why are you surprised? You saved me. Rulio would have taken my virtue and perhaps also my life. I swore to serve you, and I…I stand by my word.”
“Heed me well. I no longer believe in serving or keeping servants. It is too easy for one who owns another’s labour to believe he owns that person’s body and soul as well.” Gavin stretched out a gloved finger and pointed it at Tomas. “Remember this always—your will is your own.”
“And if my will is to go with you?”
The cambion’s lips curved in an expression that, though stern, was definitely a smile.
“Then make some of that tea for your own, and fortify yourself. This morning we hunt, and this afternoon we travel north.”

 

I hope you enjoy “The Cambion’s Servant” and discover the magic than can result from a random act of kindness.

 

Fil Preis Author Page Here.

Fil Preis on Facebook Here.

 

Check out Random Acts of Kindness here!

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