Monday, November 4, 2013

Blog Tour: Spotlight/Excerpt! The Temple of Indra's Jewel, by Rachael Stapleton

Welcome to this stop in the tour for
The Temple of Indra's Jewel,
sponsored by
Bewitching Book Tours!!

About the Book

The Temple of Indra's Jewel
Rachael Stapleton
Trade Paperback, 274 pages
iUniverse, LLC, Sept. 18, 2013
Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance

Goodreads SynopsisSophia Marcil awakens from a snorkeling accident in the Lerins Islands to find herself in the chambers-and the body-of a nineteenth-century princess. In a confused state and with no idea of her whereabouts, Sophia embarks on a desperate quest for answers, hoping she can find her way back to her fiance, Nick, and her true identity.

After she finds a diary in an antique desk, Sophia follows a clue that leads her to a questionable alchemist, who relays the history and magic of the mysterious amethyst she inherited from her great-grandmother-the only possession that made the leap through time with her and perhaps the only thing that can prevent her from becoming a pawn in a murderous plot for the throne.

Using her inheritance, Sophia races through time to the twenty-first century to solve the mystery of her family's past. But once she is there, she unearths a dire warning about a curse that clings to her heirloom, leading her down a dangerous path involving two men from different times and ultimately puts her life at risk.

In this tale of obsession, greed and passion, a woman on a journey through time struggles to regain a family heirloom and control its magic, hoping to break the curse before it breaks her.

Chapter One Excerpt
   The sound of heavy footsteps and a feeling of dread overtook me as I woke.  A deep humming nagged at my ears, and I burrowed deeper into my cocoon of quilts.  The door opened, and a strong musk stung my nostrils.  Go away! I thought, shaking my head to clear it as the bed sank under the strain of company.  All the movement was too much, and a wave of nausea that could knock over a sailor rolled in.
   I swallowed it back down.  "Nick," I whispered, attempting to grasp my bearings.  "What happened?"
   His hand stroked my hair before trailing slowly to my ribs, making me very aware of the thin fabric tangled at my waist.  As I peeked one eye open, my vision blurred, and my eyes stung as if filled with salt.
   "Nick," I repeated.  "What happened?"
   My head throbbed.  The room spun as I attempted to sit up.
   "The cavern," I said.
   "Shhh," he soothed, laying me back down.  I was so damn weak.
   "Tell me!" I said, pushing back at him.
   I'd been the first to jump off the boat and head for the reef.  Was that only this morning?  It felt like a lifetime ago when I'd noticed the deep, dark shadows of an abyss off in the distance.
   I remembered suddenly finding myself over the top of it, thinking, How'd I get over here so fast?  There'd no longer been any fish around me, and I had marveled at how surreal it was to swim over a cliff.  That's when I saw the metallic light radiating from below.  Trying to recall what happened next, I pushed my memory to the brink.  I remembered sunshine, finding my breath, popping up....
   My sinuses burned, and my eyeballs felt like they'd burst out of my head.  That brought me back to reality and the fact that Nick was still touching me.  I ignored him and opened my eyes again, forcing them to focus.  There were delicate diamond panes of glass in the windows, floral patterns on the walls, and dolls on a shelf.  
   "Sapphira, ma fleur, reveillez-vous."  Nick's voice surprised me, pulling me out of my reverie as he slipped the blanket down to expose my thighs.  
   I grabbed for it and pulled it back up to my waist, shivering.  "Nick, where are we?"
   "Nous avons inacheve!"  He continued cooing in my ear.  I closed my weary eyes, my mind searching, trying to make sense of his voice and touch.  He usually didn't speak French unless we were with his dad's friends.
   His voice grew deep and menacing as he switched to English and stood up.
   "Sapphira!  You try my patience.  Stop playing."
   I looked up, but I could only make out a dark figure looming over me, pacing back and forth.  "I can't see you.  There's something wrong with my sight."
   When I didn't respond further he tweaked my nipple hard.
   "Oww!"  I howled, opening my eyes just in time to watch his blurry, shadowed form disappear from the room.
   Where's he going?  What's gotten into him today?
   I swung my legs over the side of the bed to chase after him, but nothing seemed familiar or right.  This was not our villa.  Where was I?  How did I get here?  I remembered wandering up the hill.  Oh, my God!  He'd proposed!  
   Wrapping a blanket right up to my chest to ward off the chill, I staggered out of bed and across the room.  The nausea was overwhelming.  I leaned my forehead against the cold marble of an oversized fireplace, trying to dredge up what had happened.  We'd found ourselves on the backside of the island, gazing out over the cliff.  That must be his problem.  His dad wanted us to join the family business in Europe.  But I'd said no.  And he'd lost it!
   I gripped the mantle more tightly.  What had happened next?
   I remembered walking away from him to catch my breath -- that's when I noticed that same metallic spinning in the water below.  Suddenly I was hurtling toward it.
   Dizziness overtook me.
   I opened my eyes to get away from the memory.  Bracing myself, I stared down into the face of an ugly Marie Antoinette-looking doll lying in a basket.  The eyes bulged.
   Had I fallen?
   If so, this was a pretty strange hospital.  I ran my hands over my face and head.  No cuts, although I did feel bruised, nauseous, and dizzy.
   As I contemplated that, a crescendo of tiny knocks rapped at the door.  I quickly returned to the bedside in time to see a petite, dark-haired girl poke her head in.
   "Oh, good, Mademoiselle, you're up.  Are you feeling any better?"

   She signaled behind her, and two women marched in to open the drapes, unfold a food tray, and hand me a cup of hot broth.

   "Please, tell us what 'appened?"  Her tiny French voice cracked with excitement.

   Sipping my broth, I moved to the window, feeling extremely alien as they began to make the bed and assemble garments.

   "Who are you?"

   "Chloe!" she said, looking affronted.

   I ignored her and gazed out the French doors at the expanse of blue water.  The villa must be built on a cliff.  Then it came to me.

   Nick had grabbed me by the neck and leaned me back over the edge of a cliff on Sainte Marguerite.  I tried to reach for his chest, to pull myself in, and then I clawed at his hands to loosen his grip so I could breathe.  But as I squirmed I forgot the edge.  Loose rocks gave way beneath me.  My balance wavered, and Nick let go.  Falling in slow motion, it was like a bad dream.  I hit the water with a thud, driving a terrible stinging up my nose.  I struggled to swim.  My lungs wanted to explode with panic.  I drifted deeper.  And then, suddenly, as the strange magnetic lights encompassed me, I just relaxed.

   "The water......I was d-d-r-owning.  Did I wash up here?"  I sputtered, confused, almost like an amnesia patient.

   Chloe paused slightly and gave the other lady a strange look.  "You were found floating in the sea."

Rachael Stapleton

About the Author

Rachael Stapleton grew up in a small town, writing as a hobby until the age of sixteen, when she was given the opportunity to pen a column for the Orono Weekly Times.  Today she is a dedicated writer who contributes to a weekly writer's circle, and is also a proud member of the Writer's Community of Durham Region.

Rachael lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and two children. 

Online Links

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