Sneak Peek Wednesday: Shadow of Death by Diane E. Samson (Giveaway)

Shadow of Death
(Gems of Fire Book 4)
by Diane E. Samson
Publisher: Self-Pubilshed
Publication date: Oct. 27, 2022
Genre: Fantasy

A homeless prince, a grueling mission, an unlikely hope

When unspeakable tragedy strikes Prince Jack’s family, he’s left with one desire: vengeance. Now living in exile and serving a foreign king, Jack perfects his talent with the sword. He’s sent to the desert for spy and assassin training, dreaming of the day he’ll use these skills to drive a dagger into Ingvar’s heart.

Jack plunges into his training and finds a new family of sorts, whose morally gray members rid the city of vile criminals. But as the desert Lord Anwar readies for battle, allegiances shatter, blood runs in the streets, and the shadow of death looms near. During a last effort to complete his seemingly impossible mission, Jack chances upon a slave girl with a Northern accent and eyes so familiar that he makes a hasty vow.

He always thought he’d defeat his nightmares by becoming one. Could that nightmare fade into a new dream? And could that strange slave girl be at the heart of it all?




Lennart pulled his powerful bay warhorse up to a walk as they approached the steep path to the castle. His horse snorted. He, too, was ready for breakfast. His brother’s lowered brows and tight jaw relaxed as he turned to John. “You training today?” Lennart made a good effort to brush off his worry, but his shoulders remained tight.

“Laris starts early. I might have missed it.” John hated skipping training, but he’d wanted to catch a glimpse of Ingvar’s entourage. He’d make it up tomorrow.

“That’s his way. What do you think of the new recruits?”

“They’re working hard. Coming along, I suppose.” They were all older than John. Most were second or third-born noblemen’s sons who weren’t set to inherit much, so they needed to join the army as an officer or work for the king. Though he was a prince, he had that much in common with them. “One’s built like a tree trunk.” He couldn’t understand how the young man could have that much muscle at his age, although sparring with him had taught John that quickness sometimes trumped strength.

“Laris said you’ve beaten every one of them. Said he’s never seen anyone wield a blade so well at your age.” Lennart gave him an appreciative glance. He didn’t seem to be mocking. “Keep at it and you’ll be the greatest warrior prince Oclen has ever known.”

Something stirred deep in John’s gut. Warrior prince. He liked the sound of that, but the weapons master had never indulged him in such flattery. “I suspect some of them let me win because I’m a prince.”

“Not what Laris says.” They passed through the first wooden gate, reinforced with metal spikes at the top. His home loomed high on the hill, with spires reaching to the heavens and blue flags embroidered with a white wolf flapping in the breeze.

John lifted his chin as he approached his home.

“Come to the council meeting tomorrow,” Lennart said.

“Will Father allow it?”

Lennart shrugged. “You’ll be fourteen. It’s time.”

John pulled his shoulders back. With all the preparations for Ingvar’s arrival, he’d thought everyone had forgotten about his birthday.

“Thank you.”

His brother’s lips hinted at a grin. “Just because you’re the youngest doesn’t mean you’re not one of us.”



Meet Diane E. Samson

Diane E. Samson grew up on acreage just north of Kansas City, Missouri, with horses and dogs in the backyard. She later pursued her love of words and earned a degree in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After graduation she worked as a reporter, managing editor, freelance writer and in public relations. After moving around the country, she’s recently returned to the Kansas City area where she lives with her husband, children and golden retriever.

She’s written fiction off and on her whole life. Gems of Fire is her first series about a girl traveling a journey of self-discovery in a world of powerful gems, supernatural forces, epic battles and of course, handsome heroes.

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One Thought on “Sneak Peek Wednesday: Shadow of Death by Diane E. Samson (Giveaway)

  1. I like the cover for this one.

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