Tag Archives: excerpt

Monday Morsel: More Human – An Excerpt from ‘In the Company of the Dead’

More Human

Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short excerpts from the first draft of whatever I’m working on – currently my adult epic fantasy, In the Company of the Dead.

It’s not often I write something I actually consider to be funny. Even when readers tell me they found something funny, it was unintentional. But I find this snippet hugely amusing – let me know if you do too!

* * *

‘You!’ Ellaeva stormed over as soon as her gaze alighted on him.

She was tall for a woman, tall enough to reach his chin, which was something he hadn’t ever noticed when she was clad in her robes. Ciotach an Bhais was larger than life. This sword-wielding woman in leather breeches and a black shirt radiated cold anger, but though any wise man would tread carefully in her presence, she was somehow more human.

‘Me,’ he said, grinning.

And she slapped him. The blow didn’t really hurt, but the shock of it shot through him.

‘Ahura save me from idiots who I must protect from themselves,’ she snapped. ‘I see you’ve managed to keep yourself alive, and your wit intact. Try to stay with the soldiers this time, hmmm?’

He stared after her, absently rubbing his smarting cheek and uncertain whether to be angry, amused, or… what? The swing of her hips as she strode away arrested his gaze.

‘Really, sir?’ Everard scuttled past, laden down with all manner of foodstuffs. ‘Really?’

* * *

More Human

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 story of these characters, I typically do at least eight drafts and you can expect the final version to bear little resemblance.

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.

More about In the Company of the Dead

Lyram already crossed a prince, and 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, Ellaeva, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she is in pursuit of a necromancer of the evil god of decay. When misfortune after misfortune befalls the beleaguered defenders, Lyram realises the necromancer 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 a necromancer. 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.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Monday Morsel: Confrontation – An Excerpt from ‘In the Company of the Dead’

In the Company of the Dead The Sundered Oath Book 1

Welcome back! This is my first Monday Morsel in several months, and indeed one of my first blog posts since everything got put on hold for the release of Stalking the Demon. If you don’t know, Monday Morsels is where I share short excerpts from the first draft of my current work in progress – in this case, adult epic fantasy In the Company of the Dead.

* * *

Something combusted inside Lyram’s head, and he back-handed Bradlin, sending the man sprawling.

‘Guards!’ Bradlin’s scream split the night air.

Lyram didn’t slow, kicking Bradlin in the ribs. The viscount choked, and fought to suck in a breath. Lyram kicked him again, so hard he rolled across the rug-strewn ground.

‘My lord! ‘The canvas flap ripped aside as the guards charged through.

Lyram snatched a sword from beside Bradlin’s bed, and cut furiously at the guards. He smashed the mail of the first, down low on his chest. The armour gave with a crunching sound, and the guard collapsed. Ribs broken at least.

Lyram ignored the man down and focussed on the remaining guard. He moved in with more caution than his groaning fellow, but Lyram wasted no time with finesse, hammering at the man with hard blows. The guard retreated, jaw clenched with the effort of parrying or dodging each blow. An opening appeared, and he went for it.

Something seized his ankle, and yanked. Lyram’s foot came out from under him, he crashed face first to the ground.

* * *

In the Company of the Dead

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect. 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 my published short novels.

If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday Morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment.

More about In the Company of the Dead:

Lyram already crossed a prince, and 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, Ellaeva, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she is in pursuit of a necromancer of the evil god of decay. When misfortune after misfortune befalls the beleaguered defenders, Lyram realises the necromancer 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 a necromancer. 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.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to subscribe to the blog, or sign-up to my newsletter.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Monday Morsel: Reality Unravelling – An Excerpt from Stalking the Demon

Reality Unravelling

Alloran led the way into the stairwell and down, summoning a globe of light to illuminate the way. Halfway down, the steps stopped as if they had never been. Alloran cast the light into the depths and peered down. The edges of the break were clean. These stairs had just vanished.

They backtracked to the last level, and wound their way along the halls. An eerie silence blanketed the citadel, and Dek glanced uneasily at each door and corridor they passed. Alloran’s neck prickled. 


The ruin wrought by the planar quake lay at every turn–floors broken and shattered, segments of walls missing or misaligned, smashed stones and collapsed ceilings. Almost it was like walking through the ruins of the square after the first-circle demon, but without the bodies. 



Want a copy of Stalking the Demon before the release date? Sign-up for the ebook advance review copy in the form below (or at this link).

Don’t forget, Monday Morsels come from a draft that is pre-editing and as such won’t be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment. Stalking the Demon is expected to be released 31 October 2014. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site.
 

If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment for Stalking the Demon.

More about Stalking the Demon:


Alloran lost his hand to thwart his renegade friend–but the world is still going to hell.

Six months after Ladanyon’s defeat, Gisayne is fading away from a baffling illness. Alloran is desperate for a cure, but he has a secret–the seven circles of hell are unstable. His worst fear is that the terrible mirror spell cast upon Gisayne has wrought some connection between her and the demon dimensions.

As everything Alloran loves races toward destruction, he does the unthinkable and refuses to obey the council of wizards. The only people who can help him are the two research assistants assigned by the council–but he knows he can’t trust them.

All the answers are locked away in the last place anyone wants to go: hell.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my July Newsletter if you missed it.
 

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this. 

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

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Monday Morsel: Prison of Onyx – An Excerpt from Stalking the Demon


Release date is now set firm at 22 September! Barring some dreadful disaster (like being eaten by a dragon) I’m committed to that date. 


* * * 

Frowning, Dek struck a spark from the flint and steel and lit the candle wick from a small clump of tinder. He released the burnt-out tinder a fraction of a moment before it scorched his fingers. The burning mote fell and went out. Dek passed the candle through the bars.

The flame wavered then steadied. Alloran tipped the candle slightly, to allow the fire to lick over the nearest streak of onyx. The tides of the inter-dimensional energies became apparent to him, but they washed over his skin like a soap bubble on water. He drank in the energy, but it was hard, slow work. Perspiration beaded on his brow, while hot wax dripped on his fingers.

His breath hissed through his teeth. Don’t think about the pain. Instead, he drew in more energy, dragging at the thin stream like an addict at the dying fumes of his last piece of opium. 



Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this draft is pre-edits and as such won’t be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment. Stalking the Demon is eto be released on 22 September 2014. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site.

If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment for Stalking the Demon.

More about Stalking the Demon:


Alloran lost his hand to thwart his renegade friend–but the world is still going to hell.

Six months after Ladanyon’s defeat, Gisayne is fading away from a baffling illness. Alloran is desperate for a cure, but he has a secret–the seven circles of hell are unstable. His worst fear is that the terrible mirror spell cast upon Gisayne has wrought some connection between her and the demon dimensions.

As everything Alloran loves races toward destruction, he does the unthinkable and refuses to obey the council of wizards. The only people who can help him are the two research assistants assigned by the council–but he knows he can’t trust them.

All the answers are locked away in the last place anyone wants to go: hell.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my July Newsletter if you missed it.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Monday Morsel: A Wizard’s Folly – An Excerpt from Stalking the Demon


 Above, visible through the glass set in the dome, the sky lit with sudden purple thunder. Could a sound be purple? And yet the entire sky flashed a deep violet as a soundless impact rocked the citadel. The floor tilted beneath their feet, spilling the councillors to the floor in a smattering of indignant shouts and yells.

Alloran grabbed at the council table for support. Another jolt of the earth beneath his feet instead smacked his head hard against the carved timber. Dazed and clutching at his forehead, another huge shaking of the ground sent him staggering across the floor towards a row of seats. He crashed into them and collapsed, clinging to the timber with his one hand. As his fingers closed around the polished length, parts of it simply ceased to exist, and his momentum carried him backwards into the marble tier. His head cracked against stone.

The room swam before his eyes, dividing into two sets of images in which sword wizards and sorceresses whirled and danced in a desperate attempt to stay on their feet. Harlden screamed somewhere in the background, the words incomprehensible through the ringing in Alloran’s ears. The constant shaking of the citadel vibrated him across the floor, and Harlden crawled on all fours.


Behind the lord wizard, a lean black shape sprang from the hell-gate. A sword wizard knelt nearby, his hands braced with flat palms against the marble floor. Before he even had time to reach for a weapon, the demon tore his throat out. Blood sprayed across the white marble.



Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this draft is pre-edits and as such won’t be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment. Stalking the Demon is expected to be released late August. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site.


If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment for Stalking the Demon.

More about Stalking the Demon:


Alloran lost his hand to thwart his renegade friend–but the world is still going to hell.


Six months after Ladanyon’s defeat, Gisayne is fading away from a baffling illness. Alloran is desperate for a cure, but he has a secret–the seven circles of hell are unstable. His worst fear is that the terrible mirror spell cast upon Gisayne has wrought some connection between her and the demon dimensions.


As everything Alloran loves races toward destruction, he does the unthinkable and refuses to obey the council of wizards. The only people who can help him are the two research assistants assigned by the council–but he knows he can’t trust them.


All the answers are locked away in the last place anyone wants to go: hell.


If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my July Newsletter if you missed it.



Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.


Thanks for stopping by and visiting!