Tag Archives: #ITCOTD

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: What Price A Lie? – an excerpt from IN THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD

What Price A lie

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.

* * *

She thought last time that he was searching her room, and been wrong. What if this time…

Before she completed the thought, she spun on her heel and ran up the steps, the flames of the torches flickering in the breeze of her passing. She ran straight past the ground level exit and kept going to the first floor. At the top, she threw open her door.

An empty, silent room met her gaze.

She hovered on the threshold, caught between entering and turning away. In the end, she crossed to the dresser and checked her journal; still there. For who would have cause to look? And even if anyone found it, would they know what they held? She’d not written in it for years, and it contained mostly the maudlin musings of a teenage girl.

The only thing in there of relevance was the fact she wasn’t here on business; not really. It didn’t matter who knew that.

Did it? She shivered with a sudden chill. What would Lyram think, if he knew she’d lied to him?

* * *

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

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: Everything Dangerous – 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.

* * *

‘Are we safe?’ the priestess asked finally, as they approached the last of the iron doors and the limits of the seal Ellaeva had wrought.

‘So long as you stay within the cloister.’ Ellaeva stepped forward as the squeal of the last door’s hinges fell silent. The dark opening gaped before her. Beyond lay spectres, and Robruth, who may or may not be the Rahmyrrim, and Leinahre, who may or may not have poisoned her. And Lyram. With the crone’s admonition ringing in her ears, she could not forget him. Outside this place lay everything dangerous.

If I had to be a priestess, why couldn’t I be this type, living safe within a temple? Why do I have to be the one who faces all the demons in the night?

She never asked for this life. The decision had been made for her, when she was too young to understand. By the time she really understood the shackles binding her, they were too tight to be undone. A longing filled her, for all the things a young woman might have or hope for, and none of which filled her future. The sweetness of a first kiss. Simple laughter in the company of friends. The adoration of a baby gazing into her mother’s eyes. A man to cherish her. A mother’s embrace, lost so far in the past she had no memory of such an event.

Even just an afternoon carefree enough to pick flowers.

* * *

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: The Wrong Way Around – 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.

* * *

The abbess looked up at her. Age had shrunk the old crone, but eyes still sharp and alert regarded Ellaeva from a network of wrinkles. ‘You be careful with the Aharris boy. I’m not so old that I forget the flutter a smile like that can put in a heart.’

Ellaeva fixed her with a hard stare. ‘According to you, I’m already beyond remembering my vows.’

The abbess shrugged. ‘An ill-thought out insult. I don’t like you, and I don’t have to like you, but that was unfair. This is… by way of apology. A man like that is dangerous in ways you might not yet understand. You’re young, but you’ve also not yet been out in the world long enough to know the true temptations of a man.’

Ellaeva waved a hand, dismissing the matter s she crossed to the altar. She drew the silver sword of Ahura and placed it so it crossed the altar at a perpendicular angle, right through the middle, with the hilt pointing away from her. ‘He is too old. And I swore a vow.’

The knowing eyes of the abbess bore into her. ‘You got those two things the wrong way around, girl.’

* * *

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

Wrong Way Around

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: Locked In – An Excerpt from IN THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD

Wagon Ride

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.

* * *

Gripping the door handle, she braced herself and tugged hard. The door gave a few inches, scraping along the rough ground. Nothing but darkness met her gaze. She hauled on the door again, the hinges protesting with a squeal. It moved an inch and stuck fast.

Ellaeva paused, breathing hard through the pain in her back, and leaning on her own knees.

Something struck the door, though it remained stuck fast. She sucked in a breath, and stumbled back a few steps. Another impact shuddered the door in its frame, this time knocking it free of the jam. She reached for her sword.

A hand slammed into the edge of the door, the fingers curling around the wood, and a face appeared in the gap.

‘Ahura’s blade.’ She let the sword drop back into the scabbard. ‘You scared the life out of me. How did you get yourself locked in there?’

The man turned his head, revealing a bloodless rent down the other side of his face. On eye socket gaped emptily, and teeth grinned at her though the wound.

* * *

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

Wagon Ride

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!