The first excerpt is from Arrow, so it comes with a mild spoiler warning for that book and a not-so-mild one for Rebel a.k.a. Wayfarer:
‘May I ask you a personal question?’
Rhosmari managed a nod.
‘Do you love my son?’
She was taken aback. Love? What did that have to do with anything? Certainly she had liked and respected Garan, and his appearance was not unpleasant – though he did have the poured-milk hair and pallid skin common among the Children of Rhys, both of which Rhosmari was glad to have escaped herself. She had seen no reason not to pledge herself to him, knowing that the alliance would benefit both their houses and likely make one or both of them Elders someday.
And yet, though Garan had always been gracious and kind to Rhosmari, he had never touched her, or shared with her the deeper thoughts of his heart. Nor had Rhosmari told him of her own private longings and fears. There had been no reason to believe that their marriage would be any different from the partnerships of most faeries – a practical arrangement that would produce two or three children and bring them respect within the community, but nothing more.
‘Not like that,’ she told Lady Arianllys. ‘I do care for him, but...’
‘Then it was not for his sake that you chose to undertake this journey. But is there not someone in your thoughts that you would like to see again? A certain young human who lives near the Oakenwyld, perhaps?’
Heat flooded Rhosmari’s cheeks. ‘No!’
The Lady Scholar smiled gently. ‘I apologise,’ she said. ‘I was unkind to test you so. Yet on the day when Linden and Timothy came before the Elders...Gwylan may have been watching Garan’s face, but I was watching yours.’
And the second is from Ultraviolet, coming June 2011 in the UK and September 2011 in the US:
I was sitting in the library, gazing out the window at the steel-wool clouds and the pine trees dripping with rain, when Dr. Minta appeared in the doorway and beckoned me over.
"I'd like to introduce you to someone," he said.
My gaze slid past him to a pair of tranquil blue-violet eyes, and my heart did a little somersault in my chest. "Uh... sure," I said.
"This is Dr. Sebastian Faraday, a graduate student in neuropsychology from the University of South Africa. He's here for a couple of months while he works on his thesis."
Dr. Faraday stepped forward, offering me the strong square palm and long fingers of a surgeon. "Hello," he said.
Just one word, yet it resonated through my bones like a cello. My muscles slackened, and my tongue felt thick and heavy. I couldn't speak.
Dr. Minta gave a little cough. He murmured, "Perhaps it isn't the best time...?"
"Sorry," I said, collecting myself and thrusting my hand into Faraday's. "Hello."
He shook it once, in a professional but friendly sort of way, as Dr. Minta continued, "Dr. Faraday is conducting a study, and he's looking for volunteers. I thought you might like to participate."
If it involved listening to Dr. Faraday talk, I thought I might too. "What would I have to do?" I asked.
"Nothing difficult or uncomfortable," said Faraday. "Just a simple visual test, where I show you a few pictures and you tell me what you see."
Dark chocolate, poured over velvet: that was how his voice tasted. I wanted him to follow me around and narrate the rest of my life. "That's all?"
"For now, yes," said Faraday. "At this point I'm just looking for patients who might qualify for further testing. I'm sorry I can't pay you for your time, but at least it would be something different?"
His eyes crinkled as he spoke, as though he'd guessed how tedious I found my daily schedule and how glad I'd be for a chance to escape it. He was right, but still I hesitated. If I passed his test--or failed it--what would that mean? What if it proved there was something wrong with me?
On the other hand, it might also prove that there wasn't. And if I was going to convince Dr. Minta to let me go, I needed all the support I could get.
"Okay," I said. "I'll do it."