Release Spotlight–Judgment Call

Judgment Call, a romantic suspense story by E. B. Roshan, releases September 23! This is the fifth book in the series Shards of Sevia, set in the dystopian Slavic country of Sevia.

Blurb:

Kiva is handsome, generous, and very much in love with recently-widowed Preen Enda. But the thought
of becoming his wife fills her with dread—especially when men from her past—men who know too much
—begin appearing in her peaceful town. It’s only a matter of time before her secrets are revealed. If Kiva
learns the truth about what happened to Preen’s first husband, will he still want to become her second?

Author Bio:

E.B. Roshan has enjoyed a nomadic lifestyle for several years, living in the Middle East, Asia and various
places in the U.S. Now she is temporarily settled near Philadelphia with her husband and children. When
she’s not cooking, cleaning, or correcting math homework, she’s writing the latest installment in Shards of
Sevia, her ongoing romantic suspense series set in the war-torn (and fortunately fictional) nation of Sevia.

Connect with her on her website: https://shardsofsevia.wordpress.com/

And here’s an excerpt from the book:

Thursday afternoon, our first winter butchering, I caught Kiva at the door before he
headed into the tub room to wash up. He’d done the work of two all day, and looked it. Flecks of
blood spattered every inch of him the butcher’s apron hadn’t covered. Fresh blisters from the
bone saw swelled between the calluses on his hands. A rip in his jeans showed a matching
scrape down his shinbone.
The freezer truck from Duna Market had driven up half an hour ago, but I hadn’t expected
them to be done with the loading until after dark.
“Three down, three to go,” he said. “But the rain’s coming in, so we decided to call it a
day.”
“Kiva.” I took a deep breath to calm the jitters in my stomach. “I need you to do
something big for me. For me and Sitabi both.”
“Tonight?”
“No. When you have time.”
The mud caked on his boots crumbled to the floor as he jerked the laces open. “Say the
word and consider it done.” He rubbed a sleeve across his weary face and smiled up at me.
“Help me find out where Rama’s buried.”
If I knew for certain Rama had a place to lie—hadn’t just been thrown away like trash—
maybe I’d be able to tell Kiva what he had a right to know before I became his wife.
‘Rayad fighters took your husband’s body,’ Sanjit had told me. ‘They honored him with a
funeral and a grave.’
I hadn’t believed him, but what if he’d been telling the truth for once?
Kiva stared at me.
“I want you take me to Duna tomorrow to see Erkan,” I said.
Kiva’s eyebrows drew together. “Why?”
“He might know where Rama is buried.” Kiva shook his head, puzzled.
“I don’t see what Erkan has to do with it.”
“Didn’t you hear what Dr. Neyrev said? They’ve been working to get the missing fighters
identified. Tracking down relatives and friends. Finding grave-sites.” I swallowed to get the rasp
out of my voice. “I want to see Rama’s—if I can.”
He leaned his broad shoulders back against the wall and blew out his breath so it lifted a
loose twist of hair on his forehead.

I waited, standing still but with my heart galloping. Trying to fit the mismatched pieces of
my life together—past and future—hill farm and ruined city—Kiva and Rama—made me wonder
if even God could fix the mess I’d made.
Kiva groaned. “It’s over. He’s gone. Why do you have to keep going back there?”
“I don’t know.”
“When I look back at our life together, all the way from when we were kids, I don’t see
nothing but years and years of happy days,” Kiva said softly. “New calves in the spring, fresh
meat in the fall. You sneaking away from your loom to follow me and Arjun when we checked
the hill pastures. Weren’t you happy?”
“Mostly.”
“You seemed like a girl who’d hardly have a sorrow her whole life long.”
I shook my head. If that’s how he saw me, no wonder he was confused. He was a man—
he’d never understand what it was like to grow up knowing exactly how many cows you were
worth. He’d never been scared he might end up sold to someone awful.
“But then you ran off with Rama and he brought you nothing but shame and sadness and
almost got you killed.”
“He loved me,” I said. He loved me, but I killed him, I tried to say, but my mouth wouldn’t
form the words.
Kiva set his boots side by side underneath the bench beside the red rubber boots I used
in the mud. He moved mine so the toes would all be even. “I love you more,” he said, very low.
“Not that you care.”
If only I could take the truth that hurt too much to speak aloud and plant it in Kiva’s brain.
“When there was fighting in our neighborhood, I wasn’t hardly ever scared if Rama was
around,” I said. “Having him was like having a wolf to guard me. Didn’t matter who might be in
the street, or outside the door. He was so brave, he made me brave.” Some nights he’d stand
for hours, staring into the dark outside our apartment window. His slender body looked as much
a weapon as the rifle he held.
“Maybe Rama wasn’t a good man,” I said. “But he would have bled every drop for Sitabi
and me. If you can’t honor him for that, then…”
Kiva sat so still a fly landed and crawled around on the back of his hand. He didn’t swat it
away, just stared at me, a long, deep stare that made me wonder if he could see in my face
what I didn’t dare say. His eyes got wet around the corners.
“That’s how I feel, anyway,” I whispered. For a little while, Rama had been my adventure.
My fighter. My taste of freedom.
A long time later—it felt like an hour—Kiva finally moved. Leaning forward, he caught
both my hands and pressed them between his grimy ones. He kissed the tips of my fingers. “I’m
going to take care of you better than Rama ever did.”

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