Tag Archives: in the company of the dead

STALKING THE DEMON on Story Cartel FREE – Available Now! Plus Monday Morsel

Stalking the Demon is now live on Story Cartel! Want your free copy? You can have your choice of ebook formats in exchange for an honest review. Drop by Story Cartel now to download your free copy.

Now for our regularly scheduled Monday Morsel feature….

* * *

Lyram sat in an armchair, his face slack beneath a beard grown unkempt from neglect. His hands lay open in his lap, and his blue eyes, normally so piercing, stared into the distance. The clan sword, rarely out of his reach, was nowhere to be seen. It was almost as though a vacant body occupied the space where once the energetic commander of Caisteal Aingeal had sat.

The sight shot a hot barb into Ellaeva’s heart, where it lodged with exquisite anguish. Without volition, she brought her hands to her open mouth at the sight. ‘Ahura curse me… Lyram, oh Lyram…’

* * *

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

Knight and castle MM (1)

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

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!

How To Carry A Claymore: Crazy Things I Learned Researching Books

Claymore

So in last week’s post I talked about the basket-hilted Scottish broadsword. I noted that this sword became popular after armour was obsolete, which meant it was more likely my hero would carry a weapon he could use effectively against an armoured foe.http://dekor-okno.ru

So Lyram now carries a basket-hilted broadsword as a clan relic and a claymore for battle.

This all led to another question – how do you carry a claymore? The things are huge. Taller than me, even. OK, I’m not that tall, but I’m not that short either.

Presumably it needed to be carried on the back, but I didn’t know the answer, so I looked it up.

And I learned a few things.

It is exceedingly difficult to draw a claymore from a back sheath without removing or severely damaging one’s own head. Uh, maybe not a good idea.

It is arguably even more difficult to put it back in the sheath without being able to see what one was doing.

This meant claymores were carried one of two ways. Either in a back sheath where the shoulder harness could be easily dropped off to allow the sword to be drawn without decapitating oneself, or more simply in the hand.

But wait, it gets more complicated.

Apparently it wasn’t unknown for the sheath to ‘grip’ these swords. I haven’t found a good reason why, but I suspect this was a problem common to many swords. It presented a particular difficulty with the claymore because the thing was so damn big that holding the sheath in one hand and levering the blade clear with the other wasn’t easy.

So many swordsmen who carried these beasts of war also had a man filling a squire-type function, who would carry the claymore for the warrior, and/or assist him to unsheathe it as needed.

So what I thought was a relatively simple question turned out to be quite complex.

And the moral of the story: don’t cut your own head off drawing your sword.

Monday Morsel: Sappers in the Walls – an excerpt from IN THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD

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, which is undergoing its first round of revisions.

* * *

Galdron gestured to the earthen wall of the tunnel. A chill swept through Ellaeva, and she switched her gaze from the wall, to the captain and back.

‘Put your ear to the wall,’ he said.

With deep foreboding, she stepped closer and pressed her ear to the earth.

Silence.

‘I hear nothing,’ she said.

Galdron made a curt gesture. Wait.

Silence.

In the distance, a thud, and another. She jerked away from the wall at the suddenness of the sound. Galdron quirked an eyebrow. She nodded, and placed her ear back to the wall. More thudding.

‘Sappers,’ Galdron said.

* * *

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

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

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: Secrets and Lies – An Excerpt from ‘In the Company of the Dead ‘


Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short excerpts from the first draft of my adult epic fantasy/fantasy romance, In the Company of the Dead.  

* * *

Ellaeva stared down at the corpse. A knife had sliced open both the windpipe and the carotid. Blood smeared everything.

There was no sign of Lyram.

She bit her lip. What to do? The stubborn man gave the signal before he ran off on whatever errand he had in mind, and the men would already be making their way through the enemy camp towards the wagons. Securing food was vitally important, and he must be counting on that to keep her from interfering.

Ordinarily, such a ploy would be a waste of his time and her patience.
 

Except that circumstances weren’t quite as she’d led him to believe. 

* * *

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, and In the Company of the Dead will be available in the future. I’ve temporarily had to shelve it while I work on Stalking the Demon, the sequel to Confronting the Demon. 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.

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 join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my May 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: Who Killed Her – An Excerpt from In the Company of the Dead

Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short excerpts from the first draft of my adult epic fantasy/fantasy romance, In the Company of the Dead

* * *

Lyram strode up to the tent boldly. ‘Report from Holbrook.’

‘His lordship’s sleeping.’ The speech of the guard on the left was more polished than that of the mercenary from the previous night.

Lyram shrugged and turned to go. ‘I’ll report to Luie, then.’

‘No, wait.’ The guard on the right stopped him with hand to the arm and ducked inside the tent.

Lyram waited, arms folded. Bradlin likely had tenuous control of the mercenaries, and his greatest need would be information. If reports came to him only via Luie, he must know the mercenary captain would withhold critical details. He’d wagered on that supposition to gain entry.

The guard reappeared. ‘You can go in. Leave your belt here.’

Lyram unbuckled his sword-belt and dropped it on the ground next to the tent canvas without comment. He ducked his head to enter.

The only light came from a brazier. A shadowed figure sat on a camp stool, rubbing at his eyes, and his mouth opening wide in a jaw-breaking yawn. Lyram clenched his teeth together at the sight. The man stretched.

‘Report, man.’ Bradlin’s voice, without a doubt, and he would know Lyram’s just as well.

Lyram stooped and drew a knife from his boot, and lunged cross the tent in the same fluid movement. Bradlin’s eyes widened as Lyram stepped into the circle of light. He seized the viscount by his hair, stretching his neck back until the tendons stood out. The knife point pricked the hollow of the other man’s throat.

‘Who killed her?’ Lyram kept his voice low. The guards might hear the hum of conversation, but it was imperative they did not hear the words.

‘What are you doing here?’ Bradin’s eyes rolled like a horse’s, trying to see Lyram crouched behind him. ‘How are you here? The gate is guarded, sentries along the wall – ’

Lyram jerked on his hair, and Bradlin cut off with a muffled grunt. ‘Who killed her? 



* * * 

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, and In the Company of the Dead will be available in the future. I’ve temporarily had to shelve it while I work on Stalking the Demon, the sequel to Confronting the Demon. 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


More about In the Company of the Dead:


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, 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 join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my May 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!