Tag Archives: monday morsel

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!

Monday Morsel: Clan Blade – an excerpt from IN THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD

Clan Blade
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.

* * *

Relief filled her as she lifted the sword into her lap, and she ran her hands up and down the length of it.

No, wait. She probed the hilt with her fingers, making out the shape of the dragon coiled around the hilt. This wasn’t her holy blade, but Lyram’s clan blade.

The relief died, and not only because she still didn’t have her own sword back. Lyram was fiercely protective of the clan sword, and she’d never seen him without it, saving the time they had fought in the practice yard. Even then it had been within eyeshot and relatively easy reach.

Why would he abandon it now?

* * *

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

Man Leaving castle 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.

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: I Am Dying – An Excerpt from IN THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD

Monday Morsel: I Am Dying

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.

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!