About Starstruck by Kalli Lanford:
My father, the king, has condemned my friend Lestra to death for treason, and I’ve joined with her brother Slaine, the most beautiful male Enestian I’ve ever seen, to save her. Although even being seen with him is forbidden, for Lestra and the promise I made to my brother, I’m willing to take the risk. But time is short, and if we’re caught, we’ll be labeled traitors and executed.
To enlist help for our daring rescue, Slaine leads me into a dark, dangerous underworld where an uprising against the crown is brewing. And if the rebels discover I’m Princess Murelle, even Slaine’s status as a commander and vow to protect me with his life might not save me.
I pushed myself into the Press. The first thing I saw was the top of Lestra’s flux-adorned hand reaching above the plates, her fingers tightening into a fist as the Press closed. The second thing I saw was the surprised yet disgusted look on my father’s face as I squeezed between the plates, joining Lestra in her execution.
“No,” my father screamed. “Stop the Press.” My side shell buckled and screeched. Or was that the screech of the Press?
My chest seized, pressing against my heart and lungs, squeezing the breath from my body. I gasped, trying to catch a mouthful of fresh air, but the compression made it impossible to do so.
A sharp ache radiated from my shoulders to my lower body, and with it came the thought of death. I’d become one with the realm, my conscious fulfilled and everlasting. Memories from my childhood flashed through my mind, each vision one of happiness and contentment. Me holding a baby moss hopper, feeding Bell at her perch, kissing Slaine in the rain. I’d never do those things again.
The chain rattled above me, clearing my mind. Something wet hit my lip. Was it blood? I licked them. No, not blood. The stale taste of rust-infused water spread across my taste buds.
“Free her!” someone shouted. It was my father’s voice in my ears, pounding in time with my pulse.
Hands caught me under my arms. My legs scraped against splintered wood, and as I was pulled away, my boot clad heels knocked upon the stone floor.
Everything was blurry—the rough, interior walls of the atrium, the points of the drippy stalactites above, the concerned faces looking down at me. I blinked. One of those faces was Slaine.
“Please be okay, my princess,” Slaine whispered.
Find it online:
About Kalli Lanford:
A native of San Diego, California, I grew up hanging out at the beach, playing sports, and eventually attending San Diego State University where I earned my bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in education. When I’m not nerding out at San Diego Comic-Con or watching Star Wars and The Lord of the Ring’s movies for the umpteenth time, I can be seen doing normal people stuff like cooking delicious meals for my family (I attribute all of my culinary skills to the Food Network) and attending my son’s football games. In my spare time, I write new adult fiction, my biggest passion, and love listening to hard rock music and going to concerts. I hope to live long and prosper, and that you will, too.