Showing posts from July, 2017

Excerpt - Quest of Fools

Warf had never been the type to cry, not really. It wasn't that he though he shouldn't cry, only that he couldn't. Crying had never helped anything, and over the years he'd simply stopped doing it.
Until the night his wife had died, taken by an illness no one survived. He'd smiled and sung lullabies and talked about the children and kept her smiling until she simply wasn't there anymore. Then he'd held her body close and sobbed his eyes out, until they were so red and raw he couldn't keep them open. When he was done he'd cleaned his face and gone to tell his children their mother was dead and kept his eyes dry while they cried.
That was a little more than two years ago. He hadn't cried once since, not even at her funeral. By then, he'd been too wrung out by the grief, and too terrified of the future.
But he definitely cried now as his name rang out across the pavilion and people screamed and cheered and whistled for him. As the crier announ…

Excerpt - The Toymaker's Hoard

Cadmus was putting the finishing touches on a music box when the silence in the shop was broken by the silvery tinkling of the bell above the shop door. That was odd. He had no appointments today. Maybe someone was lost or hadn't noticed the 'by appointment only' sign on the door. Would hardly be the first time. Setting down his tools and jeweler's loupe, he picked up his gloves and pulled them on as he stepped through the curtained off doorway that divided the front of the shop from the backrooms.
A young woman stood staring in rapt fascination at his display pieces, so enthralled with them Cadmus flushed with pleasure. Nothing was more gratifying than seeing his work so openly admired.
She appeared to be alone, which was odd, because by her costly clothes she was nobility and young, wealthy women did not go anywhere without an escort. She was dressed in an elegant green walking dress, the bustle decorated with ribbons and lace enough to resemble a frothy waterfall m…

Excerpt - Silverhands

Once upon a time there was a beautiful young woman, named Annia, who was possessed of flawless dark skin, hair the red-gold of autumn, and eyes the gold of a summer sun. She was admired and envied by all in the village, but none coveted her more than her stepbrother.
She was beautiful of face and form, kind of heart and smile, but it was her hands he most obsessed over. They were strong hands, from keeping house and assisting in their humble mill all day, but soft, the fingers long and elegant, easy when petting animals and deft when sewing, strong when cooking and gentle when stroking a brow at the end of a long day.
He declared he loved her as the sun loves the sky, and wanted her not for a stepsister, but for a wife. Dismayed at his revelation, she begged him to give up such a notion, that though she loved him as any sister loved a brother, she had no desire to be his wife.
The brother begged and pleaded, but still she would not give in. He raged and ranted, screamed and shouted, but …

Excerpt - The Fallen King's Penitent Soldier

Desmond would have liked to say he faced his death with dignity, that when they came for him he was cool and contained, had the grace and poise of a defeated king.
But he didn't. When they broke into the room where he'd managed to hide himself, he was already crying. He screamed and kicked and bit and raised all the ruckus he could. Fuck dying with dignity, he'd be as ugly and noisy as necessary in order to live.
All for nothing, of course. He was a scholar forced to be king, never trained as a soldier. The only knives he could hold were those on the dining table. He'd been raised in a monastery, not an armory.
So he lost the battle swiftly, beaten, bruised, and broken into submission. One felt fast to his arm as they dragged him through the halls, another dug fingers painfully tight into his hair and pulled him along like an angry child with their least favorite toy.
There was too much blood and sweat in his eyes to see where they were going, too much smoke and noise…