fantasy novel

Excerpt: The Nightward – Farain the Cat

Another snippet from Viyella’s story. In truth, I’m well past these bits, but I don’t let myself post unless I’ve done lots of fresh work. Just keeping myself honest 😉

Hope you like it!

He stood and sent out one more thought.  Yowls filled the courtyard, punctuated by screams.  Seconds later, his cat Farain rounded the corner, his tail lashing the ground, his golden beard dripping blood on the stones.  Farain threw his head back and roared at the night sky, the sound alone enough to unhinge a man’s courage.  Dagen felt the scream building in Viyella, and he clamped a merciless hand over her mouth.          

“Silence,” he hissed, “or you’ll meet your mother’s fate.”     

Tears slicked his fingers, but he felt her shudder once more and then go still.  He removed his hand and called the cat closer.  With one more twist of its red, red tail, the cat obliged, thinking vague bloody thoughts in its indistinct but unique pattern.  Farain had no saddle, but Dagen had done without on many occasions, and at the moment, he had no time to inquire if the Princess was capable of the same.       

Gripping a handful of the coarse long fur that ridged the cat’s spine, he swung himself up on the sinewy back, fur prickling him between the joints of his armor.  He bent down and swept the gasping Princess onto Farain’s back, settling her between his arms.     

“Grip with your legs–tight.  Good.  Now, hold the fur with both hands and don’t let go.”     

She followed his instructions with a silent obedience he had never guessed she could muster.       

“Now,” he said, still in his low voice, half his mind engaged in soothing the cat into accepting this extra and unaccustomed burden, “this would be a good time to use that incantation you’re so fond of to hide us.”     

“I can’t,” she whispered back, fear making her voice tremble.  “I’m not strong enough.  I can only hide myself for a few minutes.”     

He sighed.  My luck runs with distressing consistency this night.  “Then hold on Princess, and pray that Ragat arrows find their target with more difficultly when a Dagen’s speed accompanies it.”     

He spun the cat around and dug his heels in.   

Have a great weekend. Stay thirsty, my friends!

7/7 Blog Challenge

Thanks for this, Marlene!

The 7/7 blog challenge means I open a current WIP, and post 7 lines beginning with the 7th line on page 7. Or page 77. Then I tag 7 other authors who get their turn. Good times for all.
Marlene’s post is here.

*Quick plug* Marlene is a wonderful person who has several great novels for sale, so feel free to check them out if you’re interested in things like alternate history involving the Titanic, the fey and urban fantasy. Someday, she might even combine them all!*End of Quick plug*

I have decided to go with the beginning of page 77 of my current work-in-progress, ‘The Nightward’. It’s a science fantasy, set in a matriarchal world modeled on a mixture of African, Indian and Caribbean society. Women possess ‘real’ magic, while men have only ‘illusion’ and this has led to women being the more powerful sex. However, there are things in the past of this world (no, it’s not Earth, but there are links), that will not stay dead. And the door to them has been opened in order to dethrone the rightful Queen of the High Court and the Hand of the Goddess Gaia herself.

Viyella is the heir to the High Throne. Today was hers and her twin brother’s sixth birthday. At the celebratory party to introduce the heirs to the other Queens of Gailand, Viyella’s mother is murdered in front of her. She manages to escape the ambush with the help of her new bodyguard, Dagen, a soldier or Daguard, whose future is now irrevocably tangled with hers. They seek shelter at the Seat of an ally, Lady Gretchen. There, they realise for the first time that they face more than betrayal…

“It is the Nightward.” The hand lifted away from Viyella’s forehead and a sudden draft chilled the skin there. “And it comes for her.”

“Comes for her?”

Viyella opened her eyes as the Lady rose to her feet, the wind snapping blue silk around her ankles. She knows.

“Daguard, the Queen must not stay here. In a matter of an hour, the darkness you see will reach Fairye. Once it arrives, it will seek out the Queen–and we will not be able to stop it.”

Hope you liked that peek :-). Below are the seven writers I’ve tagged. Feel free to go visit them and read their snippets too.

And to my friends…Tag! You’re it!

Elizabeth Hull
Drea
K.N.Lee
Anna Kashina
Cindy Lynn Speer
Walter Williams
Susan Curnow

Guardian – New Short Story

So, I have a new story up. This one arose from a writing exercise, although the idea had been in my head for years.

I won a prize of a year of short story writing mentorship from an established editor in a contest on my writing forum and the editor’s first challenge to me was to write a story with the word sacrifice.

Sometimes I need triggers to do things. I’m the worst procrastinator ever. Took me months to get around to those two stories. Thank God the editor was also a dear friend and willing to wait.

*Shameless Plug* That editor is CN Lesley, and her debut fantasy novel ‘Darkspire Reaches’ will be released shortly from Kristell Ink. I’ve had the pleasure of reading the beta manuscript and it was AMAZING! You can find out more and pre-order from her website, http://www.cnlesley.com.*End of Shameless Plug*

Back to your regularly scheduled programme.

I had been kicking around the idea of two star-crossed lovers meeting again after a long time, but they’re on opposite sides of the same war. This is what resulted. Not quite what I expected and I’m not sure I’ll ever publish it. It’s definitely in need of more polish.

But tell me what you think. Go read it and if you decide to vote or like it, thanks very much. It’s really appreciated.

Click right here to read Guardian  

or

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  check out the Trunk and read my other short stories too!