Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Nothing to Hide

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in short excerpts of ten sentences, and maybe a few more.

I’m sharing from my current project, a romantic gay fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White. In this scene, Prince Gabriel is meeting the mysterious Lady Baltan for the first time. Last week’s snippet ended with the Lady claiming that she’d rather be alone with a book than mingle with the lords and ladies at the great feast. Gabriel speaks first:

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“I understand all too well. Why do you think I’m hiding in here instead of hurrying down to the feast?”

“You’re just saying that to make me feel better,” Lady Baltan said and reached out with the book.  He thought of telling her to keep it, but something stopped him. Something petty and jealous, no doubt, but he wasn’t ready to let go of any bit of his mother, no matter how small or insignificant.  So he accepted the book, feeling a bit of a cad.  He was surprised to feel a resisting tug.

With both of their hands still on the book, Lady Baltan raised her gaze to look straight in his eyes.

“I am so glad you’ve finally returned. King Tristan needs his brother by his side, now more than ever.”

That’s the official ten. Here’s a bit more:

“I only hope I can be of service to him,” Gabriel said, and waited for her to release her grip.  She was sizing him up, peering into his soul, and he let her.  He had nothing to hide, although why she should care—

I’m engaged.

Tristan’s voice rang loud as a bell in his head. Gabriel was suddenly certain this Lady Baltan must be his brother’s future wife.  She released the book and he nearly dropped it, startled by the weight of it.

If this is your future sister-in-law, you really should let her take the damn book.

Instead he held it at his side and watched in silence as she stepped back, bowed again, and left the room, closing the door behind her.

***

***

Blurb in progress for Snow:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel returns home for the first time in three years, hoping for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, the new king, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

Don’t forget to visit all the other great writers at www.wewriwa.blogspot.com!

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ My Brother’s Guest

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in short excerpts of ten, or maybe a few more lines.

I’m sharing from my current WIP, tentatively titled Snow, a romantic gay fantasy inspired by the classic tale of Snow White. In this scene, our hero, Prince Gabriel, is meeting the mysterious Lady Baltan for the first time. As many of you have picked up on, there’s more to the Lady than meets the eye. You can read last weeks’s snippet here, if you like.

***

“I’m afraid I have nowhere else to go.  My husband’s brother—” Lady Baltan broke off and looked over her shoulder toward the window.  Her pale cheeks turned rosy. Gabriel couldn’t tell if it was the blush of anger or embarrassment, for her features remained placid.

“No need to explain yourself to me. You’re my brother’s guest and therefore mine as well.”

“Thank you, Prince Gabriel. I have no desire to burden you with my petty woes on the very day of your return.  Clearly, you’ve come to your mother’s rooms for a moment of privacy, so I will leave you to it.” She curtsied again and moved to the door, book still clutched tightly to her body.  

That’s the official ten. Here’s a bit more of the scene:

Gabriel couldn’t help himself.

“Do you enjoy poetry, Lady Baltan?” he asked.

“Why, yes. I….oh, I see.” She laughed, a pleasant trill that did not reach her eyes. She looked down at the book in her arms as if she’d forgotten she held it. “I hadn’t meant to take it, just to read a few passages to calm my nerves.” She held out the book in both hands as she walked toward him. “I’d much rather spend my time in a book than surrounded by so many important lords and ladies. That must strike you as very silly.”  She glanced up at him from beneath dark lashes, and Gabriel was struck by how youthful her face appeared, with a smattering of faint freckles across her nose, and how old her eyes. Dark eyes, heavy with knowledge.

***

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Blurb in progress for Snow:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel returns home for the first time in three years, hoping for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, the new king, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

Don’t forget to visit all the other great writers at www.wewriwa.blogspot.com!

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Lady Baltan

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. Good to be back after missing a week. I’m not quite sure why that happened; probably because everyday is still Blursday around here and I forgot until the signup deadline had passed. But life is shaping up and so is the plot, so …

Onward! Today I get to introduce a favorite-to-write character of mine, the mysterious lady in red from Snow, my current work-in-progress.

***

The woman bowed her head again. She had a regal bearing, and Gabriel guessed she must be a relative of one of the visiting lords. Her black hair was swept up in elaborate braids, knotted at the base of a long and elegant neck. Her nearly perfect white skin set off her dark eyes. She wore a scarlet gown with bell sleeves and a sweeping skirt that must have made traversing the many narrow stairways of Rosenthal difficult. But she was dressed for the feast, obviously. Dark jewels glittered on her fingers.

“Begging your pardon,” she said.  “I had hoped we would be introduced properly, by King Tristan.  I am Gwyneth, widow of Lord Baltan.”

That’s the official ten. Here’s a bit more:

Gabriel rummaged through his memory for the name Baltan and came up with nothing.

“Well met, Lady Baltan. You must have travelled a long way.”

“I did, your lordship. I came to request the aid of the queen but alas, she died before I could reach Rosenthal.  Your brother, King Tristan, kindly took me in.”

Gabriel moved farther into the room and glanced at the large leather bound tome in Lady Baltan’s arms. He recognized it as a book of poetry, one of his mother’s favorites.  An unreasonable irritation pricked at him, but he stifled it. It was wrong to expect his mother’s rooms to be preserved as a shrine. She never would have wanted that.

“You’ve been here since the queen’s death?” he asked.  He walked to the hearth, which was cold.  He couldn’t remember ever seeing it unlit, even in the depths of summer.

***

***

Blurb in progress for Snow:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel returns home for the first time in three years, hoping for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, the new king, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

Don’t forget to visit all the other great writers at www.wewriwa.blogspot.com!

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ A Sacred Realm

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and last night, I listened to live music outdoors and even did a little dancing, for the first time in over a year. Here’s to signs of life returning to your world, wherever you are.

I’m sharing from my work-in-progress, a gay fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White. In this scene, Prince Gabriel is visiting his mother’s old chambers before heading down to the grand feast hall, looking for a little peace and comfort. Instead he discovers…

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He slowed his pace as he approached his mother’s door. His heart ached as he thought of opening it to an empty room.  How many times had he raced there, eager to throw himself into the arms of his indulgent mother? How many times had he approached with trepidation due to some trouble he’d fallen into, only to be laughed at and congratulated for being adventurous? How many fairy tales and ancient wisdoms had he collected at his mother’s feet, curled up in front of the hearth as she embroidered and rambled on, almost as if he wasn’t there at all as she became lost in memories of her own childhood?

He touched the door with his fingertips, gently and took a deep breath.

“I miss you terribly,” he whispered, and pushed the door open.

The large wood-paneled sitting room was exactly as he remembered it, except for one thing. A strange young woman in red stood in the center of it, a book in her hands.  She startled at the sound of the door creaking open.

That’s the official ten. Here’s a bit more:

“Oh, I’m sorry! Pardon me!” Gabriel exclaimed. “I had not expected these rooms to be occupied.”

The woman gave him a sharp look, and then as she took in the crown and the scarlet crest, quickly rearranged her features into a soft smile and downcast eyes, closing the book and pressing it to her ribcage, arms folded across it.

“No, it is I who should apologize, Prince Gabriel.” She performed a perfect curtsey.  “These are not my rooms. I come here on occasion to draw comfort from the memory of the queen.  Please forgive my intrusion into what must be, for you, a sacred realm.”

“That’s quite all right,” Gabriel said, although he felt the opposite. It was not all right to have a stranger rummaging through the queen’s personal items.  “You have me at a disadvantage.”

***

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Blurb in progress for Snow:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel returns home for the first time in three years, hoping for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, the new king, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

Don’t forget to visit all the other great writers at www.wewriwa.blogspot.com!

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Acceptable

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. Thank you for joining me as I continue to share from my WIP, a romantic gay fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White. In this scene, Prince Gabriel is getting ready to attend the grand feast, where he’s expected to make a speech in support of his brother Tristan, who recently became king after the death of their mother. You can read last week’s snippet here if you like.

***

Gabriel gave himself one last glance in a mirror against the wall. Acceptable.

He headed for the door.

“Are you headed down already, sir?” Webster asked, eyes wide.

Gabriel looked at the arrangement of cloaks, scarves, gloves and other fancies that Webster had pulled out of the cupboards. No doubt he’d spent the afternoon spinning fantasies of how he’d dress his prince up like a proper gentleman for the first time.

“Yes.  I’m not a doll here for your amusement, Webster.”

“Of course not, sire! It’s just that you look, you look absolutely wonderful, sire, in proper clothing.”

“Thank you,” Gabriel said, and pulled the heavy door shut behind him, effectively blocking a phalanx of servants ready to chase after him.  He wondered what they’d do. Count to ten and then race after him?

That’s the official ten. Here’s a bit more:

He grinned and stalked off, not down to the hall but round the corner to the next flight of stairs, to his mother’s suite. 

That would confound them for a few minutes at least. He shook his head. Less than an hour back and he was already sick of the pomp and annoyance of being treated like a prince.  Tristan’s accusation that Gabriel might have his eye on the throne came back, and he laughed out loud.  It was the last thing he wanted. He’d rather be a pauper living in a hut in the Black Forest than endure the miseries of being a king.

***

Watch out, Gabriel, this might fall under the category of “be careful what you wish for.” Insert>evil author laugh<

***

© Jakub Krechowicz | Dreamstime.com

Blurb in progress for Snow:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel returns home for the first time in three years, hoping for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, the new king, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

***

Don’t forget to check out all the awesome snippets at Weekend Writing Warriors!

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Bad Form

Greetings and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences. I’m sorry I missed last week, and even sorrier it wasn’t for a fun reason, like a writers’ retreat, but because of the multiple day jobs encroaching on my weekend. I’m always scheming to work less, but somehow, I keep adding jobs instead of shedding them.

Enough whining! On to the snippet. I’m sharing from my work-in-progress, a romantic gay fantasy inspired by the classic tale of Snow White. Last week, as Prince Gabriel is made presentable for the big feast, he decides he’d like to wear his mother’s brooch, but alas, it is not to be found.

***

“I did not see such an item.” Webster whirled around. “You there! Finley? Farley? Search the cabinet for the prince’s silver brooch! If it’s gone missing, someone will answer for it!”

The tray of baubles disappeared and a ruckus ensued as every drawer, trunk and cabinet in the room was opened and searched.  By the slant of moonlight hitting his floor, Gabriel knew he was pushing his luck. He couldn’t afford to arrive at the great hall after Tristan. It was bad form.  

That’s the official Ten. Here’s a bit more:

He forced down his sudden nervousness.  He needed the weight of his mother’s history to bolster him. The silver stag had been crafted over two hundred years earlier. Although crude by current artistic standards, it would help remind Tristan that Gabriel had not just pulled a fairy tale out of thin air and that he’d been right not to kill the stag.

***

But will Tristan appreciate the reminder? I’m thinking not, but then what do I know? I’m just the transcriber of events here 😉

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Blurb in progress for Snow:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel returns home for the first time in three years. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, the new king, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

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Don’t forget to check out all the awesome snippets at Weekend Writing Warriors!