TO KILL A CURSE
Would you touch the one you loved, even if it might kill them?
Antonio, a merchant sailor, has no idea how dangerous Fina Perona is when he rescues her from drowning in the middle of the Lingering Sea. His ship is headed to the home Fina just abandoned, carrying desperately needed payment for her father’s prized wine stores. Pirates attack, and as Antonio and Fina escape the clutches of slavery, she steals back her family’s small fortune from the pirate captain’s quarters. Fina doesn’t need Antonio’s protection, she’s more dangerous than he could ever be, but she needs his experience as a navigator and agrees to give him a cut of the payment in exchange for his help. Returning the money is the only way Fina knows how to atone for inadvertently killing her own brother, but what she doesn’t realize is, before Antonio was a sailor, he was a thief.
While threats of curses, witches, bandits, pirates, and traitors are all very real, Fina and Antonio are the most dangerous players in this story of true love and betrayal. Will they become each other’s demise or salvation as they set out to find redemption and to kill a curse?
Antonio pulled down a simple mask covered in black lace with a red feather fastened to one side. It was definitely not the most ornate, but its simplicity made it striking.
Careful not to touch her, he rested it on her face, tying the black ribbon behind her head to hold it in place. The mask formed to the bridge of her nose perfectly, leaving her mouth and cheeks free of covering, unlike many of the full-faced masks on the wall.
With his hand at the small of her back, Antonio guided her to the corner of the shop where a mirror with a painted golden frame hung. “Take a look.”
She hadn’t had a mirror in her room at the inn. Seeing herself now, in a new dress and with the mask, she could have been anyone. Her skin had taken on a darker tone from all of her travelling. The dress amplified her figure to the point of making her blush, but the mask… the mask transformed her into someone completely different. Someone she thought—for just one night—she’d like to be.
“An excellent choice,” the white-haired shopkeeper said as he approached them. “Such a pretty face does not need much embellishment.” He handed Antonio a different mask. This one didn’t have the lace or feather, but bore the same shape as Fina’s. “The mask’s partner,” he exclaimed. Antonio tied it on his head and stood behind Fina to look in the mirror.
“They belong together, no?” the old man said.
Fina froze, unable to take her eyes off of Antonio. Unable to see if the shop owner’s words affected him the way they did her.
“Si, Signore.” Antonio cleared his throat. “They do.”
With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer Jenkins had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington, the Napoleonic Wars, and Ancient Sparta . . . until the writing began. In addition to her Lingering Sea series, Jennifer is the author of the bestselling Nameless trilogy and Teen Writer’s Guide: Your Road Map to Writing (releasing March 2020). She is a co-founder of Teen Author Boot Camp, and divides her time between reading, taking spontaneous trips, researching random events from the past, and fostering her adrenaline junkie addictions. Learn more at www.authorjenniferjenkins.com
2 winners will receive signed copies of TO KILL A CURSE, US only.
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