Tag Archives: on the edge of death

Monday Morsel: And Yet You Still Asked – an excerpt from ON THE EDGE OF DEATH

Today I am sharing with you one of my favourite moments from On the Edge of Death.

* * *

“Will you marry Narrawen?” Ellaeva broke eye contact. Why had she asked that? She hadn’t meant to, and the words came out stiffer than she liked.

“No. I don’t know. No.”

She flickered her gaze back up to Lyram for a moment, a tiny smile tugging the corners of her mouth despite herself. “Which is it?”

But he didn’t smile, instead frowning deeply. “I need to marry and have heirs. And politically, she is a good match. But…”

“But?”

“But.” He looked at her frankly.

A hot flush spread up her cheeks, but she found herself unable to drop her eyes. “We…we cannot be.” Her tongue tripped over itself, betraying her.

“And yet,” he said, his voice very quiet in the near silence of the room. “You still asked.”

* * *
On the Edge of Death

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a fourth 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 a lot of polishing to occur between now and release date.

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 a free short story and discounts on some of my books.

On the Edge of Death

All the Left Hand of Death wants is something to call her own, but is the price too high?

Ellaeva, the fated avatar of the death goddess, is desperate to track down her missing family but the trail is decades old. Instead, she discovers her battered and bloodied sister priestesses driven across the Jerreki border on pain of death. Ellaeva must turn aside from her personal quest to investigate the murders, only to find her parents have been taken into the heart of the conflict.

Lyram Aharris, favoured son of the royal line of Ahlleyn, is the only living person she trusts to help her infiltrate the enemy stronghold and uproot the horror they find there, but their chequered past threatens the mission. Accompanying him is his crown prince, the one man Lyram wants dead above all others.

Now Ellaeva must face down the darkness in her soul before a dark god is brought into the world.

At the boundary of life and death, all oaths will be tested.

Monday Morsel: He Saw Only Ellaeva – an excerpt from ON THE EDGE OF DEATH

Though women were accepted as equals in Ahlleyn, a woman heading a large warrior clan could experience certain… troublesome elements, and Narrawen carried a bow slung over her shoulder. A woman who would lead warriors must be a warrior, and she had the temperament to match the flaming red hair tumbling down her shoulders in unruly curls. “You’ve been too long a widower—”

“Eighteen months!” Lyram said. “It’s hardly too long.”

“—and I’ve never married. We both need heirs.”

“You would merge two of the kingdom’s most powerful and influential duchies into one. The aristocracy will never stand for it.”

She snorted in a most unladylike fashion and tossed her hair, like a wild horse tossing its mane. “You pay too little attention, Lyram. You’d be surprised what they’d allow right now, after the fall of Traeburhn. Everyone’s been made nervous by charges of treason. Besides, we need not merge them. We could agree on a division of heirs.”

“The risk of civil war—” He broke off as she stepped up close. The heady aroma of eastern tuberose assaulted his nostrils, rich and sensual.

She was tall, her eyes on a level with his nose, and her breath tickled his clean-shaven chin. Her blue eyes held the resolute intensity of a woman accustomed to getting her way, sooner or later. She was beautiful, and in a way that went beyond her face and figure; she was fierce, determined, and intelligent.

But when he looked at her, he saw only Ellaeva.

* * *
On the Edge of Death

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a fourth 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 a lot of polishing to occur between now and release date.

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 a free short story and discounts on some of my books.

On the Edge of Death

All the Left Hand of Death wants is something to call her own, but is the price too high?

Ellaeva, the fated avatar of the death goddess, is desperate to track down her missing family but the trail is decades old. Instead, she discovers her battered and bloodied sister priestesses driven across the Jerreki border on pain of death. Ellaeva must turn aside from her personal quest to investigate the murders, only to find her parents have been taken into the heart of the conflict.

Lyram Aharris, favoured son of the royal line of Ahlleyn, is the only living person she trusts to help her infiltrate the enemy stronghold and uproot the horror they find there, but their chequered past threatens the mission. Accompanying him is his crown prince, the one man Lyram wants dead above all others.

Now Ellaeva must face down the darkness in her soul before a dark god is brought into the world.

At the boundary of life and death, all oaths will be tested.

Monday Morsel: Nowhere She Wanted To Go – An Excerpt from ON THE EDGE OF DEATH

edge-of-death-2

The draft of On the Edge of Death is now with my editor. To keep you amused while it’s going through edits, here’s another snippet from the end of Chapter 1.

Monday Morsel

Almost involuntarily, her eyes turned to the west, following the invisible line connecting her to Ahlleyn. A king’s diplomatic delegation might still gain admittance, though Jerrek’s borders were closed to Ahura’s devotees.

She curled her fingers closed around the hilt of her sword, clenching so tight her knuckles ached until she released her grip finger by finger. Ahlleyn was nowhere she wanted to go, but some things were more important than personal pain.

She would find out what was happening in Jerrek. She would find her parents.

And she would have justice.

* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a fourth 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 a lot of polishing to occur between now and release date.

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 a free short story and discounts on some of my books.

On the Edge of Death

All the Left Hand of Death wants is something to call her own, but is the price too high?

Ellaeva, the fated avatar of the death goddess, is desperate to track down her missing family but the trail is decades old. Instead, she discovers her battered and bloodied sister priestesses driven across the Jerreki border on pain of death. Ellaeva must turn aside from her personal quest to investigate the murders, only to find her parents have been taken into the heart of the conflict.

Lyram Aharris, favoured son of the royal line of Ahlleyn, is the only living person she trusts to help her infiltrate the enemy stronghold and uproot the horror they find there, but their chequered past threatens the mission. Accompanying him is his crown prince, the one man Lyram wants dead above all others.

Now Ellaeva must face down the darkness in her soul before a dark god is brought into the world.

At the boundary of life and death, all oaths will be tested.

Cover Reveal ON THE EDGE OF DEATH #fantasy

I am pleased to present the cover art for On the Edge of Death, Book 2 in The Sundered Oath, by very talented artist Sam Keiser.

Ebook Art

edge-of-death-2

Full Wrap

edge-of-death-1

I love it! What do you think?

About On the Edge of Death

All the Left Hand of Death wants is something to call her own, but is the price too high?

Ellaeva, the fated avatar of the death goddess, is desperate to track down her missing family but the trail is decades old. Instead, she discovers her battered and bloodied sister priestesses driven across the Jerreki border on pain of death. Ellaeva must turn aside from her personal quest to investigate the murders, only to find her parents have been taken into the heart of the conflict.

Lyram Aharris, favoured son of the royal line of Ahlleyn, is the only living person she trusts to help her infiltrate the enemy stronghold and uproot the horror they find there, but their chequered past threatens the mission. Accompanying him is his crown prince, the one man Lyram wants dead above all others.

Now Ellaeva must face down the darkness in her soul before a dark god is brought into the world.

At the boundary of life and death, all oaths will be tested.

If you haven’t yet read Book 1, In the Company of the Dead, what are you waiting for?

Here’s what some people are saying:

“Some of the most notable fantasy authors create powerful reads with slower beginnings that lead up to a crescendo of gripping action – such as this story… Much like the acclaimed fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss’s productions, In the Company of the Dead evolves slowly for the first few chapters… perfect for the fantasy fan seeking depth, who appreciates a slow build-up before the fiery action begins. Such an audience will find this perfectly fits the definition of an epic saga: sweeping, complex, and ultimately engrossing.” ~ D.Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“In the grand old tradition of High Fantasy, this dark and doleful tale cannot fail to please lovers of Tolkien, Jordan and Mallory. It harks back to the Good Old Days of fantasy, when heroes were heroes and were concerned more with honour and the eternal than with sex and witty one-liners. Caught in a tragic juxtaposition, a hero and heroine tread out their doom, although at the end of the book, a slight ray of hope pierces the gloom. I could hardly put it down.” ~ Tabitha Ormiston-Smith

“If you’re a fan of epic fantasy with a romantic twist along the lines of Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings, I think you’ll enjoy this book quite a lot. Loaded with characters, action, magic, deception, murder, and (my personal favorite fantasy component) an evil Necromancer, this book is quite the thick read, filled with characters that make the book seem real…I definitely see this as a book that the more you read it, the more you’ll glean from it. Ballintyne does a great job at creating quite the epic world and I know things are going to get deeper and more action-packed once this series is complete. If you’re looking for a hefty, deep, complex fantasy novel, definitely check this book out.” ~ Nebula of Books

On the Edge of Death releases in April, 2017, so you’ve got until then to catch up! In the Company of the Dead is available from all major retailers. Get your copy here.

Monday Morsel: A Battle Priestess Can Have No Friends – an excerpt from ON THE EDGE OF DEATH

In the Company of the Dead Book 1 of The Sundered Oath
InTheCompanyOfTheDead_300dpi_1842x2763 FINAL

Welcome back to my Monday Morsels feature! We’ve been on hiatus for some time, while I’ve been working on the first draft of On the Edge of Death. Now it’s in revisions and soon to go to the editor, so I’ll be sharing some snippets with you every Monday from now until release day. To start with, here is the opening paragraph.

Monday Morsel

A Battle Priestess of the death goddess wasn’t supposed to have friends, family or lovers, and Ellaeva was learning first-hand why not.

Blood ran over the stones of the ravine’s floor, flooding the tiny stream and distorting the dark reflection of the forest canopy. Ellaeva skidded down the rocky slope, shale slipping beneath her feet and almost sending her tumbling head over heels, then followed the bloody stream into the dark heart of a grove of trees. There a woman lay face down alongside the watercourse, her hand trailing in the water with three arrows jutting from her back.

* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a second 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 a lot of polishing to occur between now and release date.

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 a free short story and discounts on some of my books.

On the Edge of Death

Desperate to track down her missing family, Ellaeva, the Left Hand of Death follows a rumour of their trail straight into the heart of a new mystery—her battered and bloodied sister priestesses are stumbling across the border, carrying tales of the dead and the dying. Ellaeva is forced to turn aside from her personal quest to investigate, only to learn that her parents are at the heart of this new conflict.

When she is denied entry into the kingdom, Ellaeva must appeal to the one living person she can trust—Lyram Aharris, favoured son of the royal line of Ahlleyn—to help her infiltrate the enemy palace. As if their chequered past is not threat enough to the mission, they are joined by Lyram’s crown prince, the one man he hates above all others, and a duchess intent on marrying the recently widowed Lyram.

To save all those she loves from the evil holding sway over the kingdom, Ellaeva must face the realisation that the same darkness is in her soul—but the cost of resisting that darkness might be her sanity.

At the boundary of life and death, all oaths will be tested.