Friday, September 23, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: Beyond Mortal Knowledge

Hello, everyone, and welcome. For those of you who are new to my site, I hope you will like what you find and come back for more. And for those of you who are visiting again, I'm so glad you're back.

Sign-up day for Six Sentence Sunday actually begins on Tuesday at 6 p.m. I am of a certain age and sometimes need memory aids, which is why people at work must wonder why I have “6SS” inked on my wrist every Tuesday. But this week I forgot the ink and life got a little crazy and suddenly it was Thursday and I realized I’d almost forgotten! That would have been a big disappointment, because I look forward to sharing with you every week and having you share your comments back.

I also look forward to reading the other writers’ Sunday contributions. There is such a variety of style and imagination--but I’m sure you know that already, even if you’ve sampled only a few of the 6SS offerings.

This week I’m continuing with an excerpt from my work in progress, The King’s Witch. The book is intended as a short (for me) prequel to my fantasy romance series, The World of Pangaea. The witch is not a main character in the series, but she is pivotal in Book I and a catalyst for the heroine’s actions in Book II. It seemed only fair to tell at least part of her story.

The excerpt I’ve chosen is from the first chapter. The new king wants to purge his kingdom of the evil loosed on it by his father, a man who sought power by turning to the dark arts. The witch’s brother has come forward on her behalf to beseech the king to spare her life. As he begins her story, the first words out of his mouth trigger unpleasant memories for the king. 

The King’s Witch, Excerpt #2

“Our mother died giving birth to her.”

Armander grunted his lack of surprise at this last. Evil usually broke the vessel that bore it. All but one of his siblings died within weeks of birth, most taking their mothers with them. An idiot brother survived until his twelfth year, drooling and shitting himself to the end. Why the dark gods had spared him to become his father’s successor was beyond mortal knowledge.

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As always, I appreciate your comments and your time spent in making them. Here’s the link to continue on with your Six Sentence Sunday reading. Enjoy!

Happy trails,

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: The King's Witch

It’s good to be back after missing last week’s Six Sentence Sunday. For this week, I’ve decided to take a break from A Bed of Thorns and Roses to introduce you to my current work in progress. The King’s Witch is a novella-length prequel to my soon to be released fantasy series, The World of Pangaea. The series is first of all a romance, set in an alternate pre-history, one where the continents never drifted apart. There are many different cultures, and many kingdoms, as in our own world. These are simply separated by land instead of oceans. The time frame is indeterminate, though definitely pre-industrial. People are closer to the land and closer to the spirit world of demons and magic.

King Armander, who is the hero of Book I in the series, has made it his first task on taking the throne to rid his kingdom of the practitioners of the dark arts encouraged under his father’s demonic reign. In this week’s six, his counselor has just announced that the woman who stands trial before him was one of the old king’s consorts, and a favorite.

The King’s Witch: Excerpt #1

One of his favorites. Armander knew what that meant. Nekros killed the merely pretty consorts once he tired of them. No matter how beautiful, a woman could only remain in his favor if she possessed dark gifts. Over the years, the demon hordes the mad king called forth grew increasingly difficult to command. Nekros had either feared this woman or he had found her useful for augmenting his own power.

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Thank you all who take the time to comment. This new series is a complete departure from my historical romance, though I suppose there is a fairy tale element to it. Book I is titled The Beast. I can’t seem to get away from the Beauty and the Beast theme, no matter what subgenre I’m in. <grins, somewhat abashed> This time, however, the tale takes a much darker and more erotic turn.

We have a wonderful independent bookstore here, The Morris Book Shop. They have three words on their shopping bags: Eat. Sleep. Read. That is my idea of a good time, though I would have to add one more word to that:  Write.

And now here’s the link back to the Six Sentence Sunday site and the many many talented writers there. Enjoy.

Have a good week everyone,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later

Today marks the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The phrase has no need of explanation, just as the horrific images of that day have been forever etched into our collective consciousness.

Words feel totally inadequate to express the emotions engendered by this day. Others have written and spoken much more eloquently on the subject than I could ever hope to. All I can say is, I will never forget. Neither will millions of others.

Please take a moment with me to remember those who lost their lives, those who lost family and loved ones, and the first responders and volunteers who even now are dealing with the after-effects of that dreadful day.

Thanks for dropping by. If anyone has any comments or remembrances about that day ten years ago, I’d love to hear them.

I’ll be back next week for Six Sentence Sunday. See you then,

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: The Saddest Eyes

Hello and welcome to my Sunday Six offering. Thank you for stopping by and thanks to all those who leave comments. I appreciate your time, because time is a precious commodity and seems to grow scarcer on the weekends for some reason. I know I never have enough of it to read as many of the other Sunday Six authors as I’d like--and there are so many to choose from!

I always try to reciprocate with the comments, though too often time runs out. If I don’t get to you one week, I will try my best to get there the next. I’ve found the Sunday Sixers to be a wonderful, supportive group and want to return that support as well.

I hope you enjoy this week’s excerpt. It pretty much takes up where last week’s left off.

The set-up:  Jonathan leaves his hiding place behind the screen when he hears Isabelle cry out in pain after she cuts herself. When Isabelle finally comes to herself enough to realize he’s beside her, she turns to speak to him and for the first time sees why he keeps himself hidden.

A Bed of Thorns and Roses #9

She thought for a moment she was back in the nightmare. He had no face, this man, just a fabric mask with two dark circles cut out for eyes.

Yet after she recovered from her initial surprise, she was strangely unafraid. Frowning, Isabelle leaned forward and peered into the dark circles, then said the first thing that came to mind. “You have the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen.”

She said this with great wonder, because she had seen her own eyes in the mirror.

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That’s it for now. Here’s the link to send you back to the Six Sunday site.

Have a great week,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: A Voice Behind the Screen

Hello! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my weekly snippet.

Six Sentence Sunday is a great idea. Choosing such a small sample really forces me to hit the highlights. On the other hand, so much has to be left out, I feel like I’m cheating you. People who can write short stories (not to mention flash fiction or haiku) inspire my awe and admiration. This writer has to make an effort to keep it under 150 k words per book.

In the interest of brevity, I’ll get right to the set-up for this week’s excerpt:

Shamed by his doctor, Jonathan finally agrees to provide Isabelle with work. He summons her to the parlor with a cryptic note then, thinking to spare her sensibilities, arranges to sit behind a folding screen so she can’t see him. He has no way of knowing that his disembodied voice coming from behind the screen will trigger Isabelle’s memories of the traumatic event responsible for her recurrent nightmare. When she tells Jonathan she is feeling unwell, he suggests she go to the sideboard and pour herself a drink.

At first the glass of sherry helps, but when Jonathan’s voice emerges again from behind the screen, Isabelle has a full-blown panic attack.

A Bed of Thorns and Roses #8

In a desperate attempt to be rid of her unreasoning panic, she threw the glass to the floor. The delicate crystal shattered.

Its bright sound drew an exclamation from behind the screen, followed by a low question asked with forced calm. “What happened?”

Isabelle ignored the question, instead bending forward to retrieve a triangular remnant of glass from the floor. Holding it with her right hand, she aimed the sharp point at the fleshy pad of her left thumb, stabbed through the skin, and gouged a deep crimson line down to her wrist.

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You may think this sounds like a disastrous first meet, but actually it gets worse!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. I love getting your opinions. Here’s the Six Sunday link to take you back to the site. Happy reading.

Until next time,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: Against His Will

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy my selection this week. I love getting your feedback. The writing life can be an isolated one at times. Your comments keep me from feeling as though I’m talking to myself.

The number of 6 Sentence Sunday participants seems to be growing every week. If you haven’t already done so, check out the 6 Sunday site. There are lots of talented writers for you to choose from.

In my selection this week, Isabelle has grown increasingly uncomfortable as the days go by with no word what job duties are expected of her. She decides to meet with Dr. Garrick, the man who hired her, and offer her resignation. However, the interview does not go as she had planned.

The following excerpt is an abridged version of the conversation between Isabelle and Dr. Garrick. She has just told him she believes Mr. Nashe, her employer, would prefer for her to leave.

A Bed of Thorns and Roses #7

“It doesn’t matter what he prefers. We must do what is best for him.”

Isabelle was certain her employer had reached the age of majority and that, legally, he could not be forced to act against his will.

“I cannot render my service if he doesn’t allow it.”

“I will see that he allows it, Miss Tate. And I have no intention of releasing you from your contract.”

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It may not sound like it from this little snippet, but the doctor is actually one of the good guys. He has a story of his own which is bound up with that of the hero and heroine. Would you like to hear from him next week, or should I give you more of Jonathan and Isabelle?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

6 Sentence Sunday: The Nightmare

Thanks for stopping by to read my Sunday Six and a special thanks to everyone for your comments. Jumping right in, here is the next excerpt from my historical romance.

The set-up:  Isabelle feels increasingly uneasy as the days go by and she fails to receive any word from her new employer as to her duties. Homesickness and worry take their toll. She wakes in the middle of the night, revisited by a dream that has haunted her for years.

I’ve cheated this week and given you seven sentences. I just couldn’t make it work with six. Please don’t be too hard on me for being long-winded :-) 

A Bed of Thorns and Roses #6

The nightmare again.

Or not so much a nightmare as a memory that came to her in her sleep, demanding to be let in, waking her with the sort of terror that sucked the breath from her lungs. How many times had she relived the horror? The eyes behind the screen, watching her. The pain. Always, the pain. And the blood.

Next week:  Isabelle decides to resign.