Archive | September, 2014

New first chapter for Book 5

26 Sep The White-Silver House

Time for an update from Book 5, The White-Silver House.

Each book in the series, The Day Magic Died, has included the first chapter of the next book. So when I released Book 4, The Dwarf’s Legacy, it included the first chapter of Book 5, The White-Silver House.

Since releasing Book 4, I’ve done some reworking of the opening of Book 5, and as a result, the first chapter has changed substantially. Now that I’ve been through it again and again and again, I’m pretty satisfied that this is very close to the final version.

So here you go … the new first chapter of Book 5, The White-Silver House.

The White-Silver HouseChapter 1:

The moment the camels stopped, Karia lifted herself in the stirrups. A sound escaped her throat; she didn’t mean to say anything, but out came a combination of a sigh and a groan. It felt good to stretch her legs, and to get her weight off her rear – but it also hurt. She was also surprised she was so tired after sitting all afternoon.

All day, she thought. She mounted a camel before dawn to retrieve the Heart of Shri’inik, now in the box strapped securely in front her right leg. Aside from two brief walks, she had been on a camel all day long.

She leaned forward to reach for the waterskin. She found the increasing proximity of her nose the camel unpleasant, to say the least, and retrieved the water as quickly as possible.

She removed the cork and lifted it to drink. She didn’t care that the water was hot now, or that it dribbled down her chin. She was already hot and wet, wet from sweat. And gritty. Her clothes clung to her, but she knew better than to take off a single layer. Her fair skin would burn very quickly.

Ahead of her, she saw the lead rider turn and walk his camel back along the line of camels in front of her. She blinked; even her eyes felt gritty. She poured a little water into her hand and splashed it on her face. Gosh that feels good. She looked up, and saw the rider stopped and talking with someone. She blinked a few more times.

Hikil, she thought. Jur’atya, she reminded herself. After a short conversation – a talk that to Karia appeared short and clipped – he set off again. Each camel followed in turn, except Jur’atya’s. She led her camel to the left of the wash they had been riding through for hours. Though they were flanked by towering rocky hills that were alternately draped in and smothered by sand, Karia had seen only glimpses of shade.

Quickly, before her camel could start again, Karia recapped the waterskin and hung it over the pommel of the saddle again. She took some small comfort in the fact that the camel smelled horrible to her. That meant she didn’t smell as bad. Yet, she thought, as she gingerly lowered her rear back toward the saddle. The camel came up before she was all the way down; she winced.

Trying to take her mind off the soreness, she glanced around for Generality. She had released the faerie and told him to fly along, but keep out of sight for fear of spooking the soldiers. He was doing well; she hadn’t caught so much as a glimpse of him.

She looked ahead, and saw that she was approaching Jur’atya. Karia thought her camel looked skittish, though she was not sure whether that was the beast’s character, or because it was eager to join the others. Jur’atya constantly pulled lightly on the reins. Her mouth moved slightly.

As soon as Karia came alongside her, she let her camel fall in next to Karia’s.

“We climb through the mountains soon,” Jur’atya said, motioning up and to her right. Karia, looking in that direction, saw a rugged, stubby mountain range beyond the dunes. Truth be told, it looked more like a big pile of rocks. If it had been visible before, she had not noticed it. “Tabunaha Pass.”

Tavunaha means broken in Inamali,” Karia said, thinking aloud.

“I know,” Jur’atya said. “The Prophet’s keeper of secrets told me this. The pass is a break in the mountains, but the mountains are also called broken. There are many passes. This is the one most used.”

Karia saw the lead rider turn right and begin climbing up the slope.

“Jur’atya, where are we going?” she asked. “I mean, not just the pass – but where are we headed?”

Jur’atya looked away and did not speak for a moment. “Khadosh’ta’ayakh,” she said.

Karia thought a moment. The words seemed familiar, yet she could not be certain of their meaning. “Skeleton forest?” she asked.

“Or forest of bones,” Jur’atya replied. She looked pale, and her voice quailed. “It’s not the northern dialect; it’s older, so I can’t be sure. But that’s where we’re headed.”

“Sounds like a wonderful place,” Karia said.

“It’s not,” Jur’atya replied. “It is a place of great evil.”

“What do you mean?” Karia asked.

“I do not know,” she answered. “It is a place so feared that men dare not even write down what they know of it. They speak of it only in whispers.”

“Then why are we going there?”

Jur’atya looked down and for a moment did not answer. When she looked up again, there were tears in her eyes. She smiled weakly and softly said, “The Black pursues you, Karia. The Prophet sees this. So perhaps we surprise the Black by showing up on his doorstep.”

Price Drop: Nascent Payne

23 Sep

Nascent Payne Book 1Have you been waiting for a good time to check out the first Nascent Payne mystery, The sort-of Murder of Fiona Galloway?

Been dying to find out how someone can be sort of murdered? (Or maybe even just sort of dying?)

Wanted to see what a Science Fiction/Western/Paranormal/Romance/Hard-Boiled Detective/Humor novella is like?

Now is your best opportunity!

I’ve cut the Kindle price from $3.99 to $2.99, and the paperback list price from $5.99 to $5.49. (And Amazon sells the paperback for even less.) That’s the lowest price ever for any of my books.

Go get it!

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