Tag Archives: epic fantasy

Monday Morsel: High Treason – an excerpt from IN THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD

When he put his eye back to the tent, Traeburhn lounged in a camp chair in the tent’s centre, and Bradlin stood before him, his head bowed. Lyram’s already scalding anger surged higher, and he clenched his fists in the dirt and gravel beneath his feet. Tiny pebbles dug hard into the flesh of his palms, distracting from the almost irresistible urge to put a blade in Traeburhn’s chest. His breath whistled through clenched teeth. If he started with Traeburhn, then where would it end? With a knife in Drault’s chest, and it was high treason to attack the heir apparent.

He tightened his hand on the knife. Carefully, he inserted the blade back into the canvas and began widening the cut. If he worked too quickly to enlarge the slit enough for him to climb through, the noise would surely alert the occupants, if not any nearby guards.

A hand seized his wrist.

* * *

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. Subscribe to the newsletter to receive my novella, Confronting the Demon, free.

More about In the Company of the Dead

Wrong Way Around

Son of a duke and third in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after striking his prince – but when the castle is besieged, he fears the prince means to remove him more permanently.

Hope arrives in the form of the Left Hand of Death, the woman bound to serve the goddess Ahura in battle. But the priestess has not come for the siege – instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the god of decay.

Within his stone prison, Lyram must fight to save himself from both political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, his greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.

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: Alharne Was Dead – an excerpt from IN THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD

Alharne Was Dead

A ballroom. A king’s court. No, a gala. And a woman, an ambassador from Tembra, smiling archly at him over a goblet of red wine. Night black hair and eyes as deep and mysterious as a cave pool. Alabaster skin. No name came to him, but he ached for her, ached for the memory of her. The whirl of remembrance lifted him up and spun him forward like a leaf.

Now the woman clasped his hands in hers, staring at him solemnly across the red marriage ribbon twining their entangled fingers. He drank in her gaze, lost himself in her eyes. The swell of sudden emotion left him weak, and his chest choked and constricted almost painfully, robbing him of speech. He clung to her hands, no to her flesh and blood hands here and now in his, like a shipwrecked sailor clinging to his last hope of salvation. The fog lifted from his eyes, allowing him to see the untidiness of his suite before him, and the woman on her knees, at the same time as he saw the memory within his mind.

‘Alharne.’ He squeezed the word from breathless lungs. The memory shattered, and he saw the woman, the woman with the wine, the woman from the wedding, the woman who now knelt before him with tears streaming down her face, sprawled awkwardly in the snow. Sightless eyes stared at a winter sky. Blood slashed crimson against the snow. The tightness in his chest squeezed hard, almost as though the emotion might shatter his ribcage.

Alharne was dead.

* * *

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, read A Magical Melody for free (please vote if you like it) or check out the free short stories available on this site. Subscribe to the newsletter to receive my novella, Confronting the Demon, free.

More about In the Company of the Dead

Alharne Was Dead

Son of a duke and third in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after striking his prince – but when the castle is besieged, he fears the prince means to remove him more permanently.

Hope arrives in the form of the Left Hand of Death, the woman bound to serve the goddess Ahura in battle. But the priestess has not come for the siege – instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the god of decay.

Within his stone prison, Lyram must fight to save himself from both political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, his greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.

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: The Gown – an excerpt from IN THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD

I haven’t posted anything since early April, for which I apologise. It’s been a rather hectic time, with lots of travel for my day job, and not much sleep on the homefront, and it’s been difficult to get to the blog. I can promise though that I have still been writing, and In the Company of the Dead is out with beta readers – I’ve just started getting feedback and so far so good! For now, enjoy this Monday Morsel.

* * *

The maid stepped over to touch Ellaeva’s arm as the door clicked shut behind Everard. ‘Your holiness will require my assistance with the buttons of the gown.’

Unable to avoid it anymore, Ellaeva’s eyes darted to the gown hanging in the lady’s wardrobe. With nothing else to hand, Lady Dulanica generously agreed to loan something appropriate. Everard made the selection, choosing something he said Alharne would have favoured, in black and wine red velvet with silver embroidery. The neckline scooped worryingly low.

‘Yes.’ When the word emerged as a thin whisper, Ellaeva cleared her throat. ‘Yes.’

With numb fingers, she began pulling her robes off.

* * *

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

Everything Dangerous

Son of a duke and third in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after striking his prince – but when the castle is besieged, he fears the prince means to remove him more permanently.

Hope arrives in the form of the Left Hand of Death, the woman bound to serve the goddess Ahura in battle. But the priestess has not come for the siege – instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the god of decay.

Within his stone prison, Lyram must fight to save himself from both political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, his greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.

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: Must Be Another Way – an excerpt from IN THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD

What Price A lie

‘Are you sure about this?’ Everard hovered behind the castellan’s wife’s maid, anxiety warring with dignity in his stiff posture.

The maid shot him an annoyed look as he bumped the table, jostling the collection of pots of paints and rouges. When Everard retreated, she put the brush in her hand delicately to Ellaeva’s cheekbones.

‘No.’ Ellaeva worked her jaw to moisten her dry mouth. ‘No, not at all.’

‘Could your holiness close your eyes?’ The maid’s soft voice was deferential as she laid down the brush. Examining the portrait propped on the table, she selected another, smaller brush.

Ellaeva closed her eyes, and a moment later the rabbit’s fur brush flickered over her eyelids.

‘There must be another way.’ Anxiety threaded through Everard’s voice.

Ellaeva’s heart fluttered in response, but she held herself steady under the ministrations of the maid. ‘We’re out of time.’

* * *

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

What Price A lie

Son of a duke and third in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after striking his prince – but when the castle is besieged, he fears the prince means to remove him more permanently.

Hope arrives in the form of the Left Hand of Death, the woman bound to serve the goddess Ahura in battle. But the priestess has not come for the siege – instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the god of decay.

Within his stone prison, Lyram must fight to save himself from both political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, his greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.

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: Her Betrayed Goddess – an excerpt from IN THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD

Ellaeva sat in the withdrawing room, contemplating a decanter of wine weighing down one corner of the map. The thud of Galdron’s receding boots still echoed around the small room. The room’s shadows deepened as the sun sank toward the west, and the chair held her close, like a nest cradling a baby bird, or a man comforting his lover.

The wine reflected a deep ruby red in the dying light. The colour captivated her, called to her, like a siren on the rocks beckoning a sailor, with a forked tongue promising impermanent oblivion.

For tomorrow she would arise and remember; deep below the castle, the enemy sappers still tunnelled.

The sally had failed, the explosives planted in the wrong place, or not deep enough. Men had died for no gain.

If she succumbed to the lure of the wine, tonight would be painless, but tomorrow held no change, except she would be an oathbreaker to boot, and one who might need to call on the forbearance of her betrayed goddess.

* * *

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

Stalking the Demon on Story Cartel

Son of a duke and third in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after striking his prince – but when the castle is besieged, he fears the prince means to remove him more permanently.

Hope arrives in the form of the Left Hand of Death, the woman bound to serve the goddess Ahura in battle. But the priestess has not come for the siege – instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the god of decay.

Within his stone prison, Lyram must fight to save himself from both political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, his greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.

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!