Tag Archives: Song and Sword

Sunday Snippet April 23, 2017

Taking a break from The Academy of the Accord, since I’ve been posting from its books for over a year now. (I’ll come back to them when they’re ready to release.  Current goal is 2020.)

So, anyhow, I thought I’d post from Song and Sword, the first novel I published, since I’m working on a sequel and need the motivation.

Following directly from last week. (Some of you may have seen some of this before.)

Involuntarily she jerked away from his touch and clutched at the blanket as it slipped from her torso.  “My clothes!  What have you done?”

“I treated your wounds as best I could,” he said quietly.  “Unfortunately your blouse did not survive.”  His lips twitched with humor as he nodded toward the pile of blood-soaked white silk that lay next to her.

She stared at it for a long moment, trying to regain control of herself.  “I’m sorry,” she said as she calmed. “I – I …”

“I know,” he said softly.   The gentleness and understanding in his voice soothed her.  “I saw what happened,” he went on, “and I expected you to be afraid.  But I give you my word, I did nothing untoward.”  

“You saw what happened?  You just watched?   Why didn’t you help me?”

 

Song and Sword cover

Blurb:
Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for everything else

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

8 Comments

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Sunday Snippet April 16, 2017

Taking a break from The Academy of the Accord, since I’ve been posting from its books for over a year now. (I’ll come back to them when they’re ready to release.  Current goal is 2020.)

So, anyhow, I thought I’d post from Song and Sword, the first novel I published, since I’m working on a sequel and need the motivation.

Following directly from last week. (Some of you may have seen some of this before.)

Marlia woke to find her arms restrained. Panic gripped her and she thrashed wildly as she tried to free herself, her breath coming in ragged gasps as she struggled.

“Easy,” someone said, a tinge of amusement running through his warm soothing voice.  “You might not want to throw off all of the blankets that are covering you.”

She froze at the sound of his voice and slowly turned her head to look at him.  His dark blue eyes held both humor and compassion, and a soft smile played over his full lips.  A silver circlet tried –and failed – to restrain his thick black hair.  He had a slender graceful build and there was an air of gentleness about him that said that he was no threat to her, or anyone else. 

“I…” She looked around, disoriented.  The scents and sounds of the forest filled her senses.  “What…? Where…?”  Her mind was spinning in too many directions at once, all of them filled with fear and confusion.

“It’s all right,” he said softly. “You are safe.  I will not hurt you.”

“Who are you?” she asked, trying to sit up.

“Lie still,” he said, placing a gentle hand on her shoulder.  “You’ve had a rough night and you don’t need to be breaking open any wounds.”  

Song and Sword cover

Blurb:
Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for everything else

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

8 Comments

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Sunday Snippet April 9, 2017

Taking a break from The Academy of the Accord, since I’ve been posting from its books for over a year now. (I’ll come back to them when they’re ready to release.  Current goal is 2020.)

So, anyhow, I thought I’d post from Song and Sword, the first novel I published, since I’m working on a sequel and need the motivation.

 

Skipping a couple paragraphs from last week. (Some of you may have seen some of this before.)

He had no reason to believe that anyone was following her, and he knew that Sonata and the other unicorn would stand guard and let him know if there was danger, but he would stay awake anyhow, watching her. 

 

Somewhere between midnight and dawn her fever broke, and she shivered so violently that he had trouble keeping the blankets around her, finally resorting to cocooning her in them.  Her unicorn came over and lay down next to her, lending her his warmth, and Pashevel smiled.

“You two have quite the bond, don’t you?” he murmured, then frowned. “No. No you don’t.  You were surprised when I knew to touch your horn, knew that you could show me what happened…” His voice trailed off as he forced himself to recall the scene the unicorn had shown him, this time focusing on her interaction with her mount.  “She doesn’t know, does she?” he asked softly, and saw a look of sadness in the unicorn’s eyes.  “Don’t worry, my friend.  When she is better we’ll teach her.”  A note of hope lit the unicorn’s eyes and Pashevel smiled. “Her fever is breaking, that’s a good sign.  I think she’s going to be all right.”  The unicorn touched him briefly with his horn in thanks, then closed his eyes contentedly and drifted off to sleep.

Song and Sword cover

Blurb:
Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for everything else

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

9 Comments

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Sunday Snippet April 2, 2017

Taking a break from The Academy of the Accord, since I’ve been posting from its books for over a year now. (I’ll come back to them when they’re ready to release.  Current goal is 2020.)

So, anyhow, I thought I’d post from Song and Sword, the first novel I published, since I’m working on a sequel and need the motivation.

Following directly from last week. (Some of you may have seen some of this before.)

Pashevel retrieved his first aid kit from his gear, wondering if he had enough skills to tend her wounds.  There was so much blood… He dipped a clean rag into the water and hesitated.  The scene of the man trying to rape her was fresh in his mind and he didn’t want to frighten her, but he needed to remove her clothing to treat her wounds.   He gently lifted her again, easing her jacket down over her arms as she struggled, sobbing in fear and helplessness as he removed it.

“Easy,” Pashevel soothed.  “I’m not going to hurt you, my lady.  I just need to see your wounds so I can treat them.”   He knew that his words wouldn’t register, but the tone of his voice would. 

Tone.  He laid her down again, folding her jacket as a pillow for her, and pulled out his flute.  

Music filled the air, and brought with it magic, as Pashevel focused on the sound and shaped it to his will.  An air of serenity filled the area.   A few more notes and her breathing deepened into sleep; it would be easier for both of them if she was unconscious.  A few more notes and some of the pain washed from her face, and Pashevel sighed as he put his flute away.  Music and magic could only do so much:  the rest would have to be up to her.  Hesitantly he reached for her torn and blood-soaked blouse. “Forgive me, Lady,” he murmured and pulled it off. 

 

Song and Sword cover

Blurb:
Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for everything else

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

12 Comments

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Families

Like them or not, we all have them.

And so do our characters.  After all, they don’t exist in a vacuum.  They had a life before the story (and hopefully they’ll have a life afterward too.) They have families of some sort, just like we do. And friends and rivals and…

And let’s just stick to families, okay?  They can have enough drama for multiple books.

Like it or not, our families helped form us into who we are.  We might break from them and their beliefs, but they are still there in the background.  Why should our characters be any different?

Answer: They shouldn’t.

Even if your characters’ families are never shown or mentioned or named in your book they’ve still had an impact on who your character is and why s/he is the way s/he is.

Some people are great at writing families and family relationships.  I’m… not one of them. Most of my characters seem to come from families that are dysfunctional at best and downright toxic at worst.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

In Onyx Sun (which I will finish the revision of sooner or later), Taliya’s mother tried to cheat her out of her rightful place as head of household, and sold Taliya’s lover to a slaver.  Growing up, Taliya always felt closer to her grandmother than to her mother – and to the father that she barely knew.

Sanguine is something of an exception, in that Gregor has a large, warm, loving, and closely knit, extended family (with one exception).

In Song and Sword:

Marlia’s family is dead but the manner of their deaths did a lot to shape who she was at the start of the story.

Dakkas’ father and half-brother want to kill him, so he grew up not really expecting to grow up.  It made him cautious and hesitant to trust.

Pashevel and his father don’t see eye to eye, but at least he’s not plotting his son’s death.  Pashevel’s mother is dead, and it was her banishment from the kingdom – along with his father’s somewhat cold attitude – that had the greatest effect on who he turned out to be.

Kashrya never knew her birth parents, but was raised by a shaman, who, while respected by the tribe, was never really a part of it, so she was also always an outsider.

And lastly, in The Academy of the Accord series:

Marsden is the oldest of a large family, and when their mother died after the birth of the youngest he pretty much took charge of raising the others.  He loves his family, but we only meet two of them. He still fills a “father” role much of the time.

Vinadi is the only child of wealthy parents, both of whom were wizards, and was never really close with his family. (We only meet an aunt and a couple uncles.)  He grew up isolated and lonely. His early wanderlust came from an unconscious desire to find “home” – which is also what led to his dream for the school.

Kordelm’s mother was a whore who kicked him out to fend for himself when he was just a child. He is resilient, street-smart, and independent.  Something of a loner growing up, now that he has friends he will give his life to protect them.

Wellhym’s father threw him out when he was ten years old and it was discovered that he didn’t like girls. Wel’s mother never said a word, but his older brothers did.  One of them later comes around and accepts him. The other… not so much.  His friends become his surrogate family, but he never really stops wishing things could have been different with his birth family.

Torlew’s father was more interested in money than in his children. As the youngest son, Tor grows up seeing how unhappy his older siblings are, and resolves to not fall into that same trap. We meet his family and it’s about as awkward as you’d expect. He has one free-spirited aunt, who we never meet, and a little sister that is following in her footsteps.

Caristen’s family is loud and boisterous, and except for one temper tantrum from his father, they are totally accepting and supportive of him and his friends. (Cair’s mother is a force to be reckoned with and his father should be glad she wasn’t holding a cast iron skillet when he was throwing his tantrum.)

Yhonshel never knew his birth parents. He saw his first foster family killed for no reason other than that the man wanted to.  It was eight years after that before he could form attachments to other people. (And then it was mostly because they didn’t give him a choice.)  It was because of his helplessness as a child that Yhonshel became very good at protecting people.

(No, I’m not going to go through the families of the other characters from later books. If I do this post will turn into a novel and there are enough of those in this series.)

Maybe on Friday I’ll talk more about families – the kind you find or create vs the kind you’re born into.

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Sunday Snippet March 26, 2017

Taking a break from The Academy of the Accord, since I’ve been posting from its books for over a year now. (I’ll come back to them when they’re ready to release.  Current goal is 2020.)

So, anyhow, I thought I’d post from Song and Sword, the first novel I published, since I’m working on a sequel and need the motivation.

Following directly from last week. (Some of you may have seen some of this before.)

 

Pashevel caught his breath as he knelt and laid the figure next to the fire.  Slender fingers felt for a pulse and she moaned slightly in protest at his touch and he sighed with relief — at least the unicorn hadn’t brought him a corpse.

He lifted her enough to remove the white leather jacket that she wore, wincing as she struggled feebly. “No,” she moaned. “Don’t.”  The fear and pleading in her voice made him pause and he eased her down again with her jacket only half off. 

“What happened?” he asked softly looking up at her mount.  He turned and raised a hand, palm up, and the unicorn hesitated for a moment, and then rested his horn in it, showing him…

The scene was vivid:  the barn, the fight, the flames…  Pashevel broke contact, shaken. “No wonder you were afraid to trust me,” he murmured.  The white unicorn nuzzled him, an apology and an attempt to comfort him. “Go and rest, friend,” he murmured. “You deserve it.”

Song and Sword cover

Blurb:
Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for everything else

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

17 Comments

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Sunday Snippet March 19, 2017

Taking a break from The Academy of the Accord, since I’ve been posting from its books for over a year now. (I’ll come back to them when they’re ready to release.  Current goal is 2020.)

So, anyhow, I thought I’d post from Song and Sword, the first novel I published, since I’m working on a sequel and need the motivation.  (Man oh man, do I need the motivation!)

Picking up from last week.  (Some of you may have seen some of this before.)

 

The unicorn studied him for a long moment, and Pashevel stood still, letting him think it over. Slowly the unicorn approached, nostrils wide, taking in his scent. Pashevel watched his muscles relax as his wariness started to fade.  The unicorn lowered his head and pressed the tip of his horn against the center of Pashevel’s chest, and the Elf laughed.  “You and I both know that you aren’t going to hurt me,” he said, “so don’t even pretend to threaten.”  He laid a slender hand against the golden horn.  “Now, are you going to let me help your rider or not?”

The last of the tension faded from the unicorn and Pashevel smiled, reaching up to remove the bridle.  “Come,” he said, slinging it over his shoulder and turning back toward his campfire.  “Let’s see what you’ve brought me.”

The unicorn walked quietly, careful not to dislodge his rider, and Pashevel could feel his relief at having found help.  Sonata fell into formation on Pashevel’s other side and he chuckled, reaching over and putting a hand against her dark neck. She nuzzled him softly in return. 

“I’m just going to get your rider down,” Pashevel said as he reached up to the motionless figure.  “Then I’ll get your saddle off.”   He froze for a moment as he noticed the blood that stained the white neck and mane, and then pulled the rider into his arms.  The unicorn turned his head, watching, anxious and protective.

 

 

Song and Sword cover

Blurb:
Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for everything else

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

12 Comments

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Sunday Snippet March 12, 2017

Taking a break from The Academy of the Accord, since I’ve been posting from its books for over a year now. (I’ll come back to them when they’re ready to release.  Current goal is 2020.)

So, anyhow, I thought I’d post from Song and Sword, the first novel I published, since I’m working on a sequel and need the motivation.  (Man oh man, do I need the motivation!)

Some of you may have seen some of this before.  I’m skipping ahead from last week, to introduce Pashevel.

 

Pashevel leaned back against the trunk of an old oak tree and gazed up at the night sky, raising his flute to his lips and relaxing as the music surrounded him. He closed his eyes and just played, no particular song, just music. It flowed from him and he smiled:  music was his greatest joy, his truest passion, his deepest love.  There was magic in music – and music was magic.  At least, in the hands and voice of a skilled Bard, it was. Especially an Elven Bard.

A soft sound caught his attention and he stopped playing and sat up, returning his awareness to his surroundings.  Sonata stood, her head up, ears pricked forward, her attention focused on something in the brush at the far edge of the clearing.  She was alert, but not tense – whatever it was, there was no danger.   

“What is it, girl?” he asked softly.  She tossed her head and there was a gleam of silver where the moonlight struck her horn.

Pashevel stood beside her, following her gaze.  Something white stood just inside the edge of the forest, watching them.  It moved, taking a few cautious steps toward them, and Pashevel got a clearer look at it – a unicorn.  “Friend of yours?” he asked.  Sonata flicked an ear dismissively, and he chuckled, then quickly grew serious as he saw the figure slumped over the unicorn’s back.  He started forward and stopped as the unicorn tossed his head and half shied away.

“Easy,” Pashevel soothed.  “I’m not going to hurt you or your rider.  I just want to help.  That’s why you came, isn’t it?”

 

Song and Sword cover

Blurb:
Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for everything else

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

10 Comments

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Sunday Snippet March 5, 2017

Taking a break from The Academy of the Accord, since I’ve been posting from its books for over a year now. (I’ll come back to them when they’re ready to release.  Current goal is 2020.)

So, anyhow, I thought I’d post from Song and Sword, the first novel I published, since I’m working on a sequel and need the motivation.

Some of you may have seen some of this before.

 

Marlia didn’t know if she had killed him:  she only knew that she had to get away. 

Away from the man who had attacked her, the man now lying, bloody and motionless, on the floor of the barn. 

Away from the flames engulfing the home of the people who had offered her a bed for the night.

Away from this place.

Away…

Song and Sword cover

Blurb:
Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for everything else

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

10 Comments

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Mid-December Status

We’re halfway through December and I would like to announce that I am conquering my writing goals for the month.  (Apparently I had set some – or else I just renamed the file of October’s goals.)

But first, a funny story unrelated to writing.

On Wednesday, my Boxer, Riley, got his stitches out from his tumor removal. We took Jazzy along for the ride and on the way back we stopped at my mom’s for a bit, then came home and went to the nursing home for a visit.  Both dogs were pretty worn out when we got home so the three of us dozed on the couch while my roommate went to get a new cell phone.

They were snoring and I got up and went to the bathroom (yes, writers do that too) and then threw a load of laundry in the washer. (Yes, we also do laundry.)

I came back up from the basement and was heading upstairs to get online when I heard three short sharp barks from the front room so I detoured to see what was wrong, thinking maybe Sue was coming home.

Nope.

Apparently Riley woke up and I wasn’t where he had left me.

He’s been my shadow pretty much since we brought the two of them home last month, but he’s now become velcro-dog. This morning he managed to open the bathroom door while I was in the tub, and, after some petting, he took up a position on the bathmat and dozed until I got out.

Anyhow.

As I said, I’d like to announce that I am conquering my writing goals for the month.

I’d like to announce that, but I can’t.

In fact, I’m announcing that we’re halfway through December and I haven’t even looked at the file that contains my writing goals for the month until last night when I happened to notice it on my desktop.

I have been thinking about them. I was going to work on Onyx Sun revisions last night at work but ended up not really having any downtime.

The goals were (are – I still might get to some of them):

Academy of the Accord:
enter changes to Book 5

Maybe:
edit Book 6 (first round paper edits)
try to get books 1 through 4 (maybe 5) in the concordance

Onyx Sun:
finish going through current print out
list additional scenes needed
write additional scenes
insert additional scenes
print it again

maybe:
third round paper edits
find a cover artist
write a blurb
format the novel
release it

Misc:
rough draft outlines for sequels to Song and Sword (and a prequel)
write at least 1000 words a week in an existing WiP
spend at least one hour a week on some other hobby/craft

So far I have, um… well… *sigh*

I do have outlines at least started for the Song and Sword sequels and prequel.  And one of the sequels was started last month.

On a brighter note I’ve so far managed not to add any more “important papers” to my computer hutch.

At any rate, I think I’m going to just agree to let December be a wash and work on setting goals for next month (and next year). (Although I am still going to try to work on Onyx Sun if I get a break at work.

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