Hello 2015! With the start of the new year we return to our regular blogging schedule, with one exception – instead of two posts about Scotland per month, I’ll be swapping one out to share with you instead some of the weird and wonderful things I’ve learned during my research for my books.

In other news, the first draft of In the Company of the Dead is almost done, and I’ve just finished polishing a sequel short story to A Magical Melody.

* * *

Ellaeva struggled to open her eyes, but the lids seemed too heavy. Sluggish lassitude wrapped her in soft cotton, drawing her back down into sleep, but the furtive sounds of someone moving penetrated her stupor.

Fingers touched her throat. Fear rose up in her, and she fought to open her eyes, to fight back. Then the touch dropped away, leaving her wrapped in haze and cold, so cold… Sleep fought to reclaim her, but the fear and doubt lingered.

Why was she so cold? Someone had checked her heart. Why? Was she dying?

The thoughts came with the same slow stateliness of the stars wheeling through the sky. She started to slip back into sleep.

She didn’t feel exhausted. Why was she so sleepy? The fading fear resurged, its fingers sharp and prodding, worming their way into her mind, tightening into panic.

I am dying.

* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect – while the bones of the story are there, enough to give you a glimpse into the tale of these characters, I typically do at least eight drafts so you can expect the final version to bear little resemblance to what I post here.

If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site, or subscribe to the newsletter to receive my novella, Confronting the Demon, and short story, A Magical Melody, free.

More about In the Company of the Dead

Mysterious Woman MM

Lyram already crossed a prince – now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.

Son of a duke and second in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after assaulting the crown prince. When a hostile army arrives to besiege the castle, he believes the prince wants him removed – permanently.

As though answering their prayers, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she’s pursuing a priest of the evil god of decay. When misfortune after misfortune befalls the beleaguered defenders, Lyram realises the priest is hidden within the walls, sabotaging the very defence.

Against the backdrop of clashing gods, Lyram must fight to save himself from the political machinations of his prince, and the dread plans of an evil priest. But as the siege lengthens, he realises the greatest threat may come from another quarter — a woman sworn body and soul to a god tempts him to pay a terrible price.

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