Weekend Writing Warriors ~ A Commanding Presence

Hello there, and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. WWW is a blog hop where a bunch of writers share excerpts of ten sentences or less from a wide variety of genres. It’s like the sampler option at your local brew pub; you get to try a little taste of everything.

I’ve been sharing from my current work-in-progress, which is a reimagined fairy tale. In the first chapter, Prince Gabriel and his manservant Webster are returning to Gabriel’s home along a forest road. Webster, castle born and bred, is having some trouble with his mount. You can read last week’s snippet here.

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“You there,” Gabriel pointed at Webster’s horse in his most princely manner, “You must always stay three yards behind Tempest here, who is your superior. Do you understand?”

The horse, a rather skittish young chestnut, tossed its head, snorted, and took three steps back.

Webster shook his head. “I swear they do understand you, my lord.”

“They understand a commanding presence,” Gabriel said, and looked at man and horse sternly. “You must not be so polite to your mount.”

“I’ve actually been quite short with him on occasion, but it makes no difference. I’m not cut out to be a horseman, your lordship.”

“That much is clear.”

***

Well, this is much fancier than anything Gabriel would be caught dead in, but I love the artist. Ivan Bilibin. Image in public domain.

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Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book!

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Weekend Writing Warriors ~ No Sense of Propriety

Hello and Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.  It’s good to be back after a two week break. I attended two weekend conferences; one for writing and one for screwing my head on straight. Both were helpful, though the head still feels a bit off kilter.

Our hero, Prince Gabriel, also feels off kilter. In the last snippet, he’s on the road returning to a home he hasn’t seen in almost three years. He’s torn between nostalgia and fear at what he might find there. These snippets are from my current WIP, a reimagined fairy tale.

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Gabriel spent a few quiet moments brooding, sinking deeper into a state of anticipatory dread, until his manservant Webster rode around the bend in the lane behind him. Being less than skilled with a horse, Webster and horse charged past Gabriel without slowing.

“I must insist you halt!” Webster shouted at his horse.  He tilted alarmingly in the saddle as the horse’s back end caught up with its front. Man and beast came to a stop ten yards down the road.

“Begging your pardon, my liege! This horse has no sense of propriety.”

Webster steered his mount back to Gabriel’s side, elbows stuck out wide, reins too long and loose in his hands. There was no point in correcting his technique, a fact Gabriel had learned on the long ride from Craigmoor.

“The horse only knows what you tell it,” he said, not bothering to hide a smile.

***

How Webster sees himself. Illustration by Ivan Bilibin (1876-1942) Image in Public Domain.

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Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book!

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ First Sight

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.  This week I’m sharing from a new work-in-progress. This story is a fairy tale mash-up along the lines of Gryffon Hall, set in the same world and infested with the same monsters, gremlins and shadowy goings-on, but with different main characters. I’m not going to mention the title yet, because I have this crazy idea that leaving the fairy tale it’s based on a mystery might be kind of fun, in an evil author sort of way. This snippet is the beginning of Chapter One.

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At the first sight of the red-tiled roof of Castle Rosenthal’s tallest tower, Prince Gabriel reined in his horse Tempest, and brought him to a halt.  The castle was still nearly half a day’s ride away, at the far end of a long valley, but because it perched on a lone hill, Gabriel could see it from the sunny top of the distant rise where he’d stopped. Today the north watchtower rose up alone out of a foggy soup that clung to the castle like ghostly tentacles. To reach it, he would have to ride into the fog blanketing the valley, and be enshrouded in its dank shadows.

Gabriel shivered. He hadn’t been home in almost three years, and now that his mother the Queen was dead, he had less desire than ever to visit. But his brother, now the king, had summoned him.

Gabriel peered into the fog, attempting to see what awaited him in that cold, shambling pile of ancient stones. Memories, some pleasant, mostly not, crept out of long buried places. Visions of his father, dead so long ago, and now his mother, came and went along with pangs of grief.

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Home Sweet Home

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Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book!

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Blood is Back

 

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share excerpts from their work in ten snippets or less.

I’m taking a break from Jacqui’s adventures today to celebrate the re-release of Blood of Salar: Masters and Mages 2 and share the shiny new cover which I love, love, love.  The contract for Blood ran out about a month ago, and I’ve been remiss in getting it repackaged and up for sale again. The entire series will be “refreshed” on May 9, so stay tuned for that.

Blood of Salar is the second book in the Masters and Mages series, and in it we get to know more about Jamil, the royal assassin whose world was rocked by an encounter with a monk at the healing  temple of Ka’alar (serpent god of death and renewal) in book 1.  In this scene, Jamil is stalking a important target, but finds himself lured into a situation he wants no part of.  *I confess to fiddling with punctuation in order to fit the ten sentence limit*

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Jamil wasn’t sure what the snake god wanted, but he knew what he himself desired: justice.

Another prisoner took advantage of the distraction to break free—a young girl, also in monk’s habit, running not away but toward the violence.

Salar help me, Jamil thought.

The bow and arrow slid into place with hardly any thought on his part. He drew his arm back and lowered the tip of the arrow, eye on the lout currently bending over the monk on the ground. Even with this tempting target, Jamil hesitated to kill.

This so-called soldier was a waste of an assassin’s arrow, to say nothing of an assassin’s soul. The soldier was of no importance, and the monk, being of no threat to anyone, was even less so. To act would be to endanger Jamil’s mission and defy his king.

Ka’alar decides who will die–so decide, serpent!

***

Cover design by Rubin Ludwig Design, Inc.

 

lrc2015runnerup

“Intense fight scenes and action packed. This story grabs hold and doesn’t let go til the end. The descriptions of the powers of the two gods were awe inspiring.”

“Spirited, Enchanting…Wicked good!” – Rainbow Book Reviews

“Fantastic read. Highly recommended.”  – Five Heart Review at MM Good Book Reviews

“Blood of Salar is a cut above” – 5 Star Review at Inked Rainbow Reads

“Alexis Duran’s elegant yet earthy prose drew me hard and fast into the first book,Touch of Salar” – 5 Heart Review by Velvet Panic

Now available on Amazon. Other vendors coming soon.

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This post is part of an ongoing blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Every Sunday, participating authors post eight to ten sentences from a published work or perhaps their current work in progress. Then we hop to our fellow warriors’ blogs and check out all the fabulous fiction that’s happening! I heartily invite you to participate as a reader, writer, or both. It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book. Click here or use the address: http://www.wewriwa.com

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Afraid of the Sea

Greetings and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. As I write this, smoke has devoured the sun again, so I guess it’s going to be another good weekend for hunkering down and reading everyone’s snippets! (Always look on the bright side, I say, even if it is feeling a little end-of-the-world-ish around here).

At last! I have arrived at the end of the chapter. I’ve been sharing from Death by Starlight, specifically a scene where Zeke the dark elf and Alistair the incompetent shaman go out on the Salish Sea in search of Mellosa the mermaid. They find her, but all is not wine and roses for the besotted Alistair, and things aren’t looking too good for Zeke, either. I must beg your forgiveness for some creative editing in order to fit the last few lines of the chapter into this snippet.

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“Let go of me!” Alistair shouted, jerking to free himself.

“You’ll drown, you idiot!”

“It’s a test! How can I be afraid of the sea if I hope to be with her?”

“You’re mad!” Zeke held Alistair tighter and hoped a quickly devised buoyancy spell would be strong enough to hold both of them.

Mellosa breached again—this time, she brought her tail down square in the middle of what now seemed like a tiny craft. Fiberglass shattered, wood splintered, and water quickly flooded the boat.

Alistair slipped out of Zeke’s grasp as they both tumbled into the sea and Mellosa’s infernal tail smacked Zeke in the chest, knocking what was left of the air out of his lungs. He took a big choking swallow of saltwater before he bobbed to the surface alone, thinking Ian will never forgive me, as another waved crashed over his head and webbed fingers tugged at his ankles, testing the buoyancy spell to its limits.

***

Edge of Night 2: Death by Starlight

In Betwixt and Between, Ian and Zeke fought a battle against the queen of the dark realm in order to be together. Now, when they think they might settle into as normal a life as elves living among humans might be able to expect, a new enemy threatens to tear them apart. While Zeke helps the shaman Alistair in his hunt for an elusive mermaid, Ian is called to confront a wicked nymph preying on tourists along Seattle’s waterfront. Zeke and Ian soon discover that the defeated Queen Ysolde has spread her evil into the sea realms, and danger lurks beneath every wave, but it is too late to stop an escalating series of confrontations that lead to disappearances, death and the possible end of light in this world.

As Ysolde plots revenge and a mysterious prince seeks to win Ian for himself, the ancient war between light and dark sweeps Ian and Zeke into its maelstrom of hate, testing their trust of each other to the utmost.

***

Currently on sale for $3.74 at  Loose ID

Books2Read (nifty link that will show you all the places you can purchase the ebook)

Betwixt and Between: Edge of Night Book 1 is available at these retailers:  Amazon   Kobo   Barnes & Noble  Books2Read

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This post is part of an ongoing blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Every Sunday, participating authors post eight to ten sentences from a published work or perhaps their current work in progress. Then we hop to our fellow warriors’ blogs and check out all the fabulous fiction that’s happening! I heartily invite you to participate as a reader, writer, or both. It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book. Click here or use the address: http://www.wewriwa.com

 

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Don’t You Remember Me?

Wow, is it really Sunday again? I guess it must be because we’re both here in cyberland, waiting to read fabulous fiction.  So, Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!  I’ve been sharing from my latest release, Death by Starlight, an m/m urban fantasy set in Seattle.  Zeke the dark elf and Alistair the disreputable shaman have been searching for Mellosa the not-so-friendly mermaid out on the Salish Sea.  They  find her, and Zeke notices she’s not quite the charming little mermaid type one might expect.

***

Mellosa’s eyes were huge, mouth wide and full of sharp teeth, including incisors that would put any vampire to shame. Her hair wasn’t really hair but a living, breathing part of her, more akin to fronds or feathery tentacles then the dead strands that covered a human’s head.

Her fingers were webbed, and fins sprouted from her shoulders and biceps. Still, as she drummed her fingers against the gunwale, it was easy to see how a lonely man or woman might become entranced by her.

“Why have you called me from my hunting?” she asked, speaking directly to Zeke in a high, almost screechy voice. Gills on her long neck fluttered softly.

Alistair sank slowly to the bench. “Mellosa, my love, don’t you remember me?”

“Of course I remember you, smelly old man.” The way she emphasized man made it clear she considered the word an insult.

***

 

Edge of Night 2: Death by Starlight

In Betwixt and Between, Ian and Zeke fought a battle against the queen of the dark realm in order to be together. Now, when they think they might settle into as normal a life as elves living among humans might be able to expect, a new enemy threatens to tear them apart. While Zeke helps the shaman Alistair in his hunt for an elusive mermaid, Ian is called to confront a wicked nymph preying on tourists along Seattle’s waterfront. Zeke and Ian soon discover that the defeated Queen Ysolde has spread her evil into the sea realms, and danger lurks beneath every wave, but it is too late to stop an escalating series of confrontations that lead to disappearances, death and the possible end of light in this world.

As Ysolde plots revenge and a mysterious prince seeks to win Ian for himself, the ancient war between light and dark sweeps Ian and Zeke into its maelstrom of hate, testing their trust of each other to the utmost.

***

“I love this author’s imagination and skill, from the magical, emotional, and erotic nuances of the romantic pair, the details of the underground world of the svarta, the remote and glacial world of the liosa, and the characters that support or thwart them. Highly recommended!” ~ Velvet Panic

Amazon

Currently on sale for $3.74 at  Loose ID

Books2Read (nifty link that will show you all the places you can purchase the ebook)

Betwixt and Between: Edge of Night Book 1 is available at these retailers:  Amazon   Kobo   Barnes & Noble  Books2Read

***

This post is part of an ongoing blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Every Sunday, participating authors post eight to ten sentences from a published work or perhaps their current work in progress. Then we hop to our fellow warriors’ blogs and check out all the fabulous fiction that’s happening! I heartily invite you to participate as a reader, writer, or both. It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book. Click here or use the address: http://www.wewriwa.com