Title: POISON STUDY
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Release Date: October 1, 2005
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook
Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison...
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...
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:
Not long ago all I had hoped for was a clean prison robe before they hanged me, and now here I was sinking into the Commander’s famous hot baths.
“That’s long enough,” Margg barked, startling me out of a light doze. “Here are your uniforms. Get dressed.” Her stiff face radiated disapproval.
As I dried myself, I felt Margg’s impatience.
Along with some undergarments, the food taster’s uniform consisted of black pants, a wide satin red belt, and a red satin shirt with a line of small black diamond-shapes connected end to end down each of the sleeves. They were obviously sized for a man. Malnourished and measuring only four inches past five feet, I looked like a child playing pretend with her father’s clothes. I wrapped the belt three times around my waist and rolled up the sleeves and pant legs.
Margg snorted. “Valek only told me to feed you and show you to your room. But I think we’ll stop by the seamstress first.” Pausing at the open door, Margg pursed her lips and added, “You’ll need boots too.”
Obediently, I followed Margg like a lost puppy.
“The stable boys wear the same pants and the kitchen maids wear the red shirts,” Dilana said when she had stifled her giggles. She admonished Margg for not spending the time to find me better-sized uniforms. Margg pushed her lips together tighter.
Fussing around me like a grandmother instead of a young woman, Dilana’s attentions warmed me, pulling me toward her. I envisioned us becoming friends. She probably had many acquaintances and suitors who came to bask in her attentions like cave dwellers drawn to a blazing hearth. I found myself aching to reach out to her.
After writing my measurements down, Dilana searched through the piles of red, black, and white clothing stacked around the room.
Everyone who worked in Ixia wore a uniform. The Commander’s castle servants and guards wore a variation of black, white and red color cloths with vertical diamond-shapes either down the sleeves of the shirts or down the sides of the pants. Advisors and higher-ranking officers usually wore all black with small red diamonds stitched on the collars to show rank. The uniform system became mandatory when the Commander gained power so everyone knew at a glance who they were dealing with.
Black and red were Commander Ambrose’s colors. The Territory of Ixia had been separated into eight Military Districts each ruled by a General. The uniforms of the eight districts were identical to the Commander’s except for the color. A housekeeper wearing black with small purple diamond-shapes on her apron therefore worked in Military District Seven or MD-7."
10 winners to match 10 years!
Grand Prize is a signed hardcover first edition of Poison Study and Magic Study (both books).
First Place a signed hardcover first edition of Poison Study
5 winners will get a signed cover flat of the original cover of Poison Study
3 winners will get a signed original bookmark for Poison Study
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