Tuesday Snippet: Hero of Corsindor- Chapter 5b

Hero of Corsindor 2018-2 Last week I rearranged my living room to make more space. So my blogposts suffered as I vacuumed, dusted, and moved my stuffed rocking chair, bookcases, tables, and sorted through my accumulated stuff. I am definitely a bookworm and even with the kindle, I have some heavy tomes from my English Literature days.

Of course this need to clean and rearrange wandered into other rooms. I’m still going through my coats and sweaters. I’m washing them so they will be ready for the winter. Even though I live on the edges of the Sonora desert in a large paved city, it does get cold in the winter. Thankfully not Chicago cold. It is a dry cold that blows through the layers.

So without further ado, here is the snippet I promised.

Hero of Corsindor – Chapter 5b

In his private tent, the walls shook a little as the breeze slapped against them. The fall wind would be a reminder that the tent walls were too light. Most of the Ahrah would leave to go to their strongholds built of wood and stone in the high mountains.

Malkiah and his mother would retreat with the other high-born and follow the Councilor. The Councilor was not a life-time appointment. Every four years the Ahrah would get together to decide who would be the best leader. This Councilor had managed to hold the position for fifteen years.

Every other year the Ahrah would get together, bringing their families and their animals to the meeting ground in the biggest valley. They would meet, marry, and settle their differences.

When they first escaped from Corsindor, they had been a small group. The gathering was necessary to keep track of their numbers. Now this was the largest gathering Malkiah had seen in his lifetime.

It also meant that the Councilor needed a ceremonial guard, who could actually defend her. Before Shira left, Malkiah had thought that the honor would be given to her. It had been a great source of tension between Malkiah and his mother, Cianne.

Cianne stood holding the mirror, while he adjusted his ceremonial cape and then placed a headscarf on his head held with a white rope. He did look elegant in black trousers and a simple jacket that came to his mid thigh. He was shorter than Shira, but compared to other Ahrah his was tall. He straightened his back.

His mother put the mirror down and adjust his jacket shoulders and fiddled with headscarf. “There,” she said. “You are a credit to me.”

Malkiah tried not to wince. Cianne was more conscious of her position than him. She liked the old ways where the woman hid her face, but was the steel behind the man. He was well aware that she wanted more power.

She had bit her lip when he told her that he would be guarding the Councilor. For a moment he suspected that she was one of the conspirators that wanted to change their system and install a king. But then she smiled and congratulated him.

He knew she was a snake. He had lived with her his entire life. He tried to relax as he strapped his curved scimitar to his waist. It reminded him of his father, who had died long ago.

He took a deep breath and turned away from her. She tried to hug him, but he shrugged her off. It was time for him to leave his mother. She wouldn’t like that.

He left her standing in front of the tent.

The main tent they had used last night for the banquet had been set up as a judgment hall for the Councilor. Today was when the groups who had grievances could air and settle them.

Malkiah reached a wooden table where the main clerk sat, checking in the folks who would see the Councilor today.

The clerk was dressed in a white desert robe that covered him. His headscarf declared that he was of the group that rode the border between Corsindor and Ahrah. He wasn’t of the usual clerk class.

“Name,” barked the clerk.

Malkiah told him his name.

“Weapons?”

Malkiah showed his scimiter. “You must leave that here,” the clerk said.

“I’m the ceremonial guard,” Malkiah said patiently. “I won’t leave it.”

The clerk sent a boy into the tent. The boy came back and nodded his head to the clerk. The frowning clerk waved him in.

A long carpet runner reached from the front to where the Councilor was standing. There were no chairs except on the dais. The petitioners would have to take that long walk to the Councilor so that he could think if he wanted to bring a petty problem to such a high authority.

There would be observers in the tent, who would be unarmed. This was unusual in the Ahrah life. Most everyone carried a long knife or weapon. Councilors had been assassinated before in such surroundings. The guards around this Councilor didn’t want to lose another one.

When Malkiah reached the dais, a priest of the “one God” stood next to her. He was leaning into her and Malkiah hurried toward the Councilor.

He heard the last of the priest words, “but you cannot mean…” his words trailed off when he saw Malkiah.

The Councilor turned away from the priest. It was a moved calculated to infuriate the priest. “Malkiah,” she said almost gratefully.

“You will stand here.” It was a place to the right and behind the Councilor. “Your position is mostly ceremonial,” she continued. Malkiah knew this. Her eyes said otherwise. She was not as comfortable as her demeanor suggested. He would watch carefully. No petitioner would hurt her while she was under his eye.

His loyalty was under question of course. His mother was part of the “loyal opposition.” But he wouldn’t let his mother get between him and his duty.

For the next two hours he stood behind her, listening to much of the same complaints. This one was more interesting.

Two tribal leaders stood in front of the Councilor. They were in dispute of the same summer fields.

“Why is this a problem?” asked the Councilor. “You’ve shared this summer fields before.”

The two men looked at each other, then the older one spoke.

“Councilor,” his voice was deep and the sound filled the tent. “We have both grown, and we can’t share anymore.”

This caught the Councilor’s attention. “Have you adopted stragglers from the border? Or were there new children?”

“Both.”

“Go to the clerk and have your people counted,” she said. “Have you forgotten the compact?”

The two men bowed to her and were escorted out.

Near the end of the supplicants the two came back. The clerk handed her the count. She perused it and then said, “In the next two months you will each send people for a new tribe. The summer fields will still be shared.” She sent a significant look at the two men.

They nodded.

“Remember you are now the mother and father of this new tribe. You will teach and help this tribe for five years. Is that understood?”

Malkiah watched them as they agreed. One of the tribal leaders frowned, but what could he do? The Councilor had stuck to the compact.

The tribal leader who had spoke before said, “Councilor, we have already picked the new leader.” He called up a young man who had been with the observers in the back of the tent.

The young man had that stunned look on his face that said he had no idea. The three leaders walked out of the tent, talking of new plans and alliances.

More petitioners and more problems. Malkiah quit listening and watched each one carefully, looking for any weapons. Many of these problems were petty and could have been fixed in their own groups.

The Councilor was patient, but he could tell that she was getting tired because she leaned against the priest. Her lips were pale.

“Maybe you should sit down,” the priest said.

The Councilor nodded her head no and kept standing.

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Nanowrimo – I am writing again

It has been a hard three months especially after Sept 19th, and I decided that I needed to pick a character and start writing. Since it was Nanowrimo, I picked up a character I had been thinking about for a few days. She is a troll-human hybrid so she doesn’t have connections in either community. Plus her husband dies. Yea– sounds a little like my situation? Well, very different because she is ripped out of her community and in the process she is on a journey to find herself.

Every new beginning is the end of another new beginning– from Closing Time.

Here is an excerpt:

Scrip, scape, scrip, scrape.

I held the shovel in my hands, blisters cracking and bleeding, as I scraped the last of the soil from the bottom of the grave. Wiping my eyes with the back of my hand, I left a swathe of dirt across my face. Sweat trickled down my face into my eyes. I had been digging this grave for several hours. No one had bothered to jump in and dig with me. I knew I was hated in this community, but they had been careful to hide their animosity until the death of my husband, my John. The vultures peering down at me, the ones who wouldn’t help me dig his grave, were ghosts to me.

The dust crept into my mouth and I needed, no yearned, for a drink of water. They just stared at me, pointing to the last of the dirt in the corners as if this grave needed to be perfect. If I had been one of them, I might have been grave goods at John’s feet. Right now, my heart was so dead that I wouldn’t have put up a fight. My hair stuck to the back of my neck. I lifted up from my neck as I leaned on the shovel. No breeze reached me here six feet down.

John had always liked my hair. He had said that it was all the colors of autumn—red, yellow, and brown. It wasn’t a natural color and I didn’t dye my hair. It came from the legacy of being a troll-human hybrid. It wasn’t talked of much, but when the dimensional gates opened, when the scientists had used the Large Hadron Collider, searching for the “god” particle, the collider had put so much stress on the dimensions that it had ripped open the world. Two worlds collided —the trolls’ home, Jorden, with Earth. The clash between the two societies had been brutal. Worlds pillaged and women raped. I was a product of such a troll-human interaction. Just by my existence I was hated by both societies.

A hand reached down into the grave and gave me a boost out. I blinked when the sun hit my eyes. From its slant it was late afternoon. I could smell the sour sweat of fear on many of the townsfolk. The mayor, his face stern, took the shovel from my hand and pushed me toward my house. The mayor’s black hair spiked around his face, his skin was swarthy different from the other townfolk, and his feet ground the dirt like a conqueror. In a small town that didn’t like the new or strange, he was strange. For an instant his countenance wavered and I thought I saw something else behind the mask of his face.

“Xandra,” his voice pulled me back. I felt my body pull to attention, and I faced him. It would be bad. He was the only person since John’s death to talk to me. The townsfolk had dragged me here, put a shovel in my hand, and forced me to dig. “You have lost the name Peel. By morning, if you are still in this town you will be killed as a creature of darkness.”

Billy the Kid – Thursday Promotion

billy the kid dissolveWhen I finished She Called It, Wolf, I should have (shoulda, woulda, coulda) started Dark Moon Rising, but I was a little burned out on the world. So when Billy jumped into my head, he was running through town totally naked with a herd of goats, I had to write his story with Betsy.

Yes, this novella is written in EJ’s world, a small town in Felony Flats, Nevada. Still I had a lot of fun writing this story.

Description: Betsy was the were-wolf pack’s legal representation. Her life was pretty boring and man-free until Billy trotted into her life. He was a shifter and he was ready to join the pack. There is only one problem Billy is a goat.

EJ Hunter and her mate Adam help Billy gain Betsy’s trust and when she is kidnapped, Billy is there to be her hero.

Amazon

Smashwords

This ebook is also on Kobo, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble.

Excerpt:

Betsy gazed out the window of her law office adjacent to the Sheriff’s office when she saw a nude man jogging down the main road towards the small community center and grocery store. The bright desert sun glinted off the highlights in his dark blonde hair; his arms, legs, and chest had well-defined muscles; and when he jogged by, she could see his butt-cheeks flex and bend. Grains of sand puffed under his feet.

“No way,” she said as she started on her paperwork. “I must be dreaming.” She sighed, “It has been too long.” She was the pack’s attorney and the last time she had been out with a man was in college before law school. It was not that she was a feminist. She didn’t hate men or the male body. She just didn’t have time for the care and feeding of a man.

Even so, her eyes drifted back to the window. Yes, she had not imagined it. There was a nude man standing near the door of the country store. It served as a grocery and department store in their small community. Thankfully you could find what you needed on the internet, if it wasn’t at the store.

The man looked uncertainly around him. His body had a light sheen of sweat mixed with the desert dirt. Then she saw what she had missed because her eyes were studying his body.

“Hell, no,” she said aloud as she observed a herd of goats jumping and running around the nude man. The Billy goat nudged the nude man towards the door. “Adam is going to shit his pants.”

 

Thursday promotion: Urban Werewolf #AmazonCart

My appointment went well yesterday. A little uptick with my creatinine levels for the kidneys, but since it is in the abnormal range for me, we aren’t too worried. Since I suspected that I had gout earlier this year, my doctor added a lab for uric acid. So far, so good. Back to your regular programming.

This particular ebook novella (about 10,000 words) was written about one of the characters from She Called It, Wolf. This is the story of Tina who is one of the ladies that helps EJ to adjust to living in Felony Flats and how she meets John.

When I was writing this particular novella, and since Tina and John were devoted in the first novel of the series, I felt that Tina had a secret. In this novella, not only do the two of them meet. John is a mechanic and Tina is a copier repair technician, but Tina’s secret is revealed.

As always, any mistakes in story and grammar are due to trying to think through chemo.

Description: John, a mechanic, meets Tina when she arrives at the shop to fix the copier machine in the office. For the first time in years, John is fascinated with this woman. There is something different about her that appeals to his werewolf heart. But Tina has secrets and when her son is kidnapped, John calls on the pack to rescue her son.

Amazon.com

Smashwords.com

Excerpt:

Chapter One

When John Harwood saw the small feet in the black work boots, he slid out from under the old rusty Ford pickup truck. Lying on the mechanic’s dolly, he looked up at long legs encased in work pants, his eyes followed a polo shirt neatly tucked into a trim waistline, and then lingered on her face. Her soft skin was darkened by the summer Reno sun. Her dark hair was layered around her face, showcasing startling violet eyes.

“Sir,” she said, her voice sharpened as she looked at him. “Where is the office? I have been wandering around this bay for fifteen minutes and I haven’t been able to find it.”

He had the sudden urge to lift the pickup and show off his muscles in front of this woman. Instead he stood up, wiped the grease off his hands and answered. “I’ll show you.

He could smell her instant attraction as he walked in front after after picking up her toolbox. She had made a slight sound and then let him carry her tools.

John was not a SNAG (sensitive new age guy), but he was a werewolf. Plus he had a sensitive nose. He grinned at the messages her body was sending him. He was only a few inches taller than she was, but he was built strong like a brick wall. He had a thick neck, large chest, and muscular arms. He worked hard and played hard. It showed in his confidence and power.

If he hadn’t smelled her attraction, he might not have noticed that she glanced at him under her eyelashes. So when he opened the door for her, he smiled at her, a wide-open smile that showed his appreciation. He could see a slight blush in her cheeks.

Erika T. Red – Thursday Promotion

This is a repeated promotion post for Erika T. Red from March 13, 2014. I am adding an excerpt from the book this time.

I decided to promote one of my older ebooks today. This one came to me when I was in the middle of chemo and high prednisone. What sparked this story is when my hubby and I where driving home from breakfast and saw a big dog in the middle of the road.

We stopped and talked to the dog for a while, until it trotted off down the road to go home. The dog had seem scared at first. I am a little fey (knobbed in the head) when I am on prednisone so from that encounter and then watching a strawberry blonde in a bookstore with her friends: young and feckless, I had the first elements of the story.

One of the stories in our family is that my mother’s side of the family is a branch off of Eric the Red. Since at least one of my brothers has red hair when he tries to grow a scraggly beard and he’s a blonde, I do believe that story. Plus the famous temper from that line (Eric left because he killed someone in a rage) runs through my line although I hope that I and others in the family who have the berserker line have better control of the temper.

The other element to this story is Odin and Loki or the supernatural side. I have always been fascinated with the occult and fate. I fight to have freedom and independence of movement and thought, but fate hits me every few years. In Erika T Red, Odin has a fate and he is trying to stop his fate by using a descendent so he can stay physical in the world.

I don’t know how well I pulled off the story. I was slightly off my head from chemo and story at the time.

So here is where you can find Erika T. Red– contemporary fantasy and new adult novel:

Erikatredebook smashwords  Erika T. Red: Erika is a normal girl, trying to save money for college when she walks into her destiny in the form of a wolf, raven, and a dying god. She learns life is not fair, but it can have some benefits along the way.
Amazon.com

Smashwords.com

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

The wind blew the cottonwood’s yellow-orange leaves down the driveway. Sometimes the wind would whirl the leaves up into the air and chase the leaves to the brown lawn. It whirled away to play with other leaves.

Erika T. Red stuck her head out the window to see if she needed a coat this fine Indian summer morning. The temperature was just above 40 degrees. She left the window open as she dried her hair with a blow dryer. Erika’s soft hair turned from brown to a strawberry blonde as the water dried from her hair. She gave her hair a swish. She pulled out her eye-liner and began lining her eyes.

“Ark! Ark!”

Erika turned toward the window fast. “Ouch” she stuck the eyeliner in her eye. Black smeared across her face.

“Ark!” It was a very large, very black bird. A raven to be exact. “Ark!”

The raven flew into the window and landed on the desk near her bed where Erika kept her bling. He grabbed a shiny bracelet and awked with approval.

She dropped her eyeliner and ran to the bird. “That’s my favorite piece of jewelry,” she yelled at the bird. She tried to grab the bracelet, but with one flap the bird was above her head. Erika tried to climb her bookshelves, but she couldn’t get a grip.

Then she fell on the floor, the books fell on top of her.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

“What’s happened,” yelled her mother from the bottom of the stairs. She wasn’t really interested in Erika’s troubles. It usually involved washing something or repairing something. “You need to get ready or you’ll have to find your own way to work.”

When Erika turned back to the raven, it flew out the window with the bracelet.

“Ark!” it seemed to be laughing. She jumped, and reached, and missed. A black feather drifted down to her head.

“I’ll be down in a minute,” she yelled back to her mother. “A minute.”

Erika knew that her mother would be grumbling as she walked to the kitchen. One of the things she would be saying was “that girl.” It was always the same just a new day.

Now you might ask why a smart adult girl like Erika was still living at home. You might ask why she put up with being treated like a teenager. Well, you might remember that we live in a really really hard economic modern life where it is easier and less expensive to pay rent to the parents. Plus you might remember that at 100 dollars a barrel that gas is becoming so expensive that it is better to have a bike than a car.

Erika was a smart girl and she had added up the math. And Erika was not going to live here much longer. She was working on a small nest egg so that in a few months she could have her own apartment where she could have visitors like her new boyfriend. Yea, baby.

But, at the moment Erika had her head out the window trying to reach for that bracelet. The raven was sitting on a tree-limb of a fir, happily arking at her.

She might have stayed that way, if she hadn’t seen her mother get into her car.

“Wait, wait,” she yelled. Her mother waved and then drove away.

Erika pulled herself back through the window. She closed the window. She sighed. At least the raven hadn’t grabbed her cell.

She flipped it open, “Bessie? Bessie? Can you pick me up? What?” Erika tapped her finger on the desk. She tapped again. “OK.”

Well that was it. She would have to take the bike. She finished up her make-up, put her things into a small purse and ran down the stairs.

Her father was drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. It was useless to ask him for a ride. He was on his vacation and had told the whole family that part of his vacation was that he would only go where he wanted, when he wanted. She could respect that attitude.

“I thought you were gone,” he said.

“Dad I gotta go or I’ll be late.”

He went back to reading his newspaper. Erika did love her father, but he was so old-fashioned. For instance, why did he read a newspaper when he could get his news (fast and expressed) on the internet. They had all his favorite news outlets. But, he insisted on reading paper. She shook her head.

Yes, there was the bike where she left it from the last use. Not in very good shape either. It had at least one flat tire. Arg! That was the final straw. Should she go back to Dad or should she start walking?

The universe seemed to be against her today. She opened the garage door and walked out. It was a beautiful day and not too cold. Her dad would close the door.

She needed to get to work.

Erika worked at the “old folk’s home.” Well, they had a prettier name for it like senior community center. But, it was full of older folks in various stages of disrepair. She would shudder if she really believed that she would look like them when she hit her 60s and 70s. But, she knew deep in her heart that by the time she reached that age they would have a young pill or surgery… anyway something that would let her keep her youthful looks.

Even though she had freckles over her nose and arms, she took care that she didn’t sun too much. You know how hard it is to deal with white skin and sun? Ever been burned so badly that it hurt for days? Well, after that first time, she was very very careful.

Erika trotted down the street. She would be late. It was foregone. It would be at least a 30 minute walk and she needed to be there in fifteen. Well, get walking.
She tried to ignore the raven. It flew from tree to tree and every once in awhile it would ark. It had finally put the bracelet over its head and around its neck like a necklace. It would preen. A gleam in its eye. Erika tried to ignore it.
Erika bounced down the sidewalk.

The raven spread its wings and leaped. It floated down until it landed on Erika’s shoulder. She could feel its sharp claws dig into her. “Ouch.”

It nuzzled her throat with its large beak. One eye looked into hers. My name is

Hark, she heard in her head.

She jumped. The raven leaped from her. Erika knew that she had a little spots of blood on her shirt where the ravens claws and broken her skin. She looked. Nope no blood.

The raven floated back down and landed on her shoulder again. Why did you do that?

“You talk?” she said aloud. Erika hoped that no one was watching her. It was crazy enough that she was walking down the street with a raven on her shoulder. She would look even worse talking to herself. It was going to be one of those days.

Of course, I don’t talk. I don’t need to. If a raven could look smug, this one did.

“So what do you want?” Erika was beginning to feel churlish. This raven, this it, had stolen her bracelet. And her bracelet was still on his neck. She wondered what the raven would do if she tried to take it back. No better not. The raven’s beak looked a little too big and sharp.

Now this raven, wanted to talk to her. It was enough.

The raven squawked. Probably laughing at her.

I’m here to help you. She could hear him giggling through the words. She quit talking and marched down the street. She didn’t need this crap. Unfortunately she could hear the raven laughing even more. Hopefully the dang beast (aren’t ravens supposed to be tortured souls?) would be gone before she walked into work. They didn’t let animals into the kitchen.

She could only hope.

An Alien Encounter from Living in the Desert

Here is one of the short stories from Living in the Desert. As I was going back through this short story collection, I remembered that I was going to write mores shorts about Jude, the desert rat. Jude is a compilation of men I have known and met who love the desert the same way certain sailors love the ocean. They are explorers and in another time would have been the trappers and gold miners.

The story I am sharing today is another aspect of living in Nevada near Area 51. Aliens. And the people who love them.

An Alien Encounter

The reporters surged around Bud Henderson as he chewed his tobacco and then spit it out on the ground. The reporters scuttled backwards. But each one of them had a gleam in his and her eyes. This report would be the one of the century. This one would make their careers.

Bud pulled his straw cowboy hat down over his eyes and watched them. They looked like vultures flying around a dead animal. He had told his friends that they wouldn’t want to make their entrance so public especially when there were so many nuts out there. He spit again just to watch the reporters scuttle. But his friends insisted.

He finally decided to at least say something to the folks even though he knew he didn’t like any of them. “Folks,” he said. “Folks, I have lived near Area 51 my entire life.” He paused. “And I have been friends with a lot of strange folks from strange places. Now these folks want to meet you.” The cameras went off with a click, click, click.

“Thisa way,” he pointed to a hill. The reporters looked at him as if he were crazy. He wanted them to walk through the dirt, cactus, and weeds to see aliens?

“I can see aliens on my own time,” muttered one reporter. Soon one then two of the reporters left. They reported that it was another hoax by another crazy.

But the rest who remained followed Bud through the desert about a mile until they reached a tin saucer about 6 inches in diameter. Out popped green aliens less than an inch tall.

“Them’s the aliens.” Bud pointed and walked away as the reporters asked question after question from the tiny green aliens. Finally the aliens jumped into the saucer and FLASH. The reporters wandered around asking each other why they were in this desert patch. Soon the small saucer hovered over Bud’s head. It blinked a couple of times.

“I told you, they’s crazy,” he said. “What do you expect. Them’s big city folks.”

Erika T. Red – Norse New Adult Fantasy

I decided to promote one of my older ebooks today. This one came to me when I was in the middle of chemo and high prednisone. What sparked this story is when my hubby and I where driving home from breakfast and saw a big dog in the middle of the road.

We stopped and talked to the dog for a while, until it trotted off down the road to go home. The dog had seem scared at first. I am a little fey (knobbed in the head) when I am on prednisone so from that encounter and then watching a strawberry blonde in a bookstore with her friends: young and feckless, I had the first elements of the story.

One of the stories in our family is that my mother’s side of the family is a branch off of Eric the Red. Since at least one of my brothers has red hair when he tries to grow a scraggly beard and he’s a blonde, I do believe that story. Plus the famous temper from that line (Eric left because he killed someone in a rage) runs through my line although I hope that I and others in the family who have the berserker line have better control of the temper.

The other element to this story is Odin and Loki or the supernatural side. I have always been fascinated with the occult and fate. I fight to have freedom and independence of movement and thought, but fate hits me every few years. In Erika T Red, Odin has a fate and he is trying to stop his fate by using a descendent so he can stay physical in the world.

I don’t know how well I pulled off the story. I was slightly off my head from chemo and story at the time.

So here is where you can find Erika T. Red– contemporary fantasy and new adult novel:

Erikatredebook smashwords  Erika T. Red: Erika is a normal girl, trying to save money for college when she walks into her destiny in the form of a wolf, raven, and a dying god. She learns life is not fair, but it can have some benefits along the way.
Amazon.com

Smashwords.com