The Novel Approach welcomes author Rebecca Cohen today on the Idolatry (Reagalos: Book Two) Blog Tour. Enjoy the exclusive excerpt from the book, then click on the Rafflecopter image below to enter for a chance to win an e-copy of both books in the series, Servitude and Idolatry.
Blurb: Upon taking the throne as High Lord of Katraman and Liege of Scura, Lornyc Reagalos’s focus on rebuilding one city and reassuring another leaves little time for his husband, Methian. Added to that, he must contend with the unexpected revelation that his grandfather, Romanus, set up his own religion and named an enigmatic figure called The One as its deity. Through some twisted interpretation of the signs left by Romanus, the Cerulean Cult comes to believe Lornyc is their god and invites him to sanctify the Cult as part of its five-hundred-year anniversary.
During the Sanctification Ceremony, the Cult’s holy relic, an orb given to it by Romanus, is split, releasing an entity that tears a hole in the dimensions. The species that guards the dimensions, the Valen, force Lornyc to fix the breach, or they will have him extinguished.
Now as Lornyc faces a race through the different planes of existence to capture the escaped entity, he must rely on his own Valen guardians to help him. With Methian and his family by his side, Lornyc must fight to repair the damage or lose his life.
Excerpt: Lornyc looked under the bed where Methian was pointing. The snide comment about Methian’s mental faculties, or lack thereof, disappeared as he stared at a version of himself crouched, clearly terrified, under the bed. Flabbergasted, Lornyc didn’t know what to say, but it was evident that the other Lornyc was equally confused. The stress of seeing himself must have been too much, as the other Lornyc slumped forward and passed out.
“Help me get him out from under there,” said Lornyc, sliding onto his belly.
Together they dragged the unconscious man out from beneath the bed. Methian scooped the other Lornyc into his arms and laid him gently on the mattress.
Lornyc stared down at him. “Go get Vella. He’ll need a doctor.”
Methian didn’t move. “What’s going on?”
“I’ve no idea.”
Lornyc couldn’t take his eyes off his doppelganger as Methian left to get Vella. He was thinner, and Lornyc himself could hardly be accused of carrying extra weight. The other Lornyc’s face was gaunt, and he had a smattering of dark marks across his skin, disappearing under the collar of the simple tunic he wore.
Vella charged into the bedroom. “I think your husband has gone mad,” she said, but stopped in midstride on seeing the man on the bed.
Lornyc watched as Vella performed a series of rudimentary medical tests and proclaimed the doppelganger fit but a little undernourished. He had a number of nasty bruises and scars littering his body. She ran her finger down a particularly angry-looking scar. “This was probably caused by a belt or whip. Whoever this young man is, he doesn’t have an easy life.”
The other Lornyc groaned, and his eyelids flickered and opened. He took one look at Lornyc and promptly passed out again.
“It might be better if he is kept sedated for a little while,” said Vella, checking his pulse.
“We’ll need to do something with him,” said Lornyc.
“I’ll go and arrange one of the spare rooms for him and prepare the sedative.”
The door closed behind her, and a crackle of static electricity disturbed the air. A white parallel line appeared from nowhere, widening in size to the height of a doorway. Diam stepped through.
“What have you done?” she demanded.
Lornyc didn’t have the chance to answer before she saw the other Lornyc lying on the bed. “Oh, for fuck’s sake. Tell me what happened.”
Lornyc didn’t know where to start, so he was very glad when Methian answered.
“I came into the room and thought I saw Lornyc dart under the bed. But then he came out of the bathroom, which left this man under the bed.”
Diam hummed softly to herself. “Even given the strange things you Reagalos can do, copies of people don’t just appear in thin air. Something else must’ve happened.”
Lornyc shook his head. “Not that I saw.”
“Maybe not immediately before,” said Diam. “Perhaps something out of the ordinary has happened recently.”
“There was the orb splitting at the Sanctification Ceremony,” said Lornyc doubtfully. “It released something, a sort of gaseous entity.”
Diam frowned. “So the orb split, releasing some sort of semicorporeal entity. What happened to it?”
“It passed through me and Methian and a few others before disappearing,” said Lornyc, the words sounding strange even to him, and he’d been there. “I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was as if it was a thread and I was the eye of a needle.”
Diam grunted and turned her attention to her wrist strap. Lornyc watched with interest as she appeared to rotate the clock face twice. A green beam of light shot out from it, and Lornyc stepped back cautiously.
“It won’t hurt you,” she said, irritated.
With a swoop of her arm she ran the beam first over his body and then over the other Lornyc. The device ticked for a couple of seconds, then projected a series of symbols in front of Diam, which she scanned, occasionally tapping at one.
“He is definitely a Lornyc Reagalos, but I can’t track what dimension he’s from.” She didn’t sound very happy. “When you say the entity disappeared, can you explain how?”
“A sort of black hole opened up and it disappeared through it.”
“That must be the reason.” She switched off the beam. “The entity released from that orb has caused some sort of tear in the dimensions and has pulled this poor soul through into this dimension.”
“So…?” said Lornyc, prompting Diam to continue.
Diam cut him off. “So you’ll have to fix it. It was a Reagalos orb, so the Reagalos will have to put things right.”
About the Author: Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and baby son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.