Unlicensed Sorceress excerpt

This weekend I took a break from writing after finishing the last edits of Dark Moon Rising. I spent some time with a friend and  we talked about cross-stitching and other crafts. She had just completed a silhouette of Harry Potter characters for one of her nieces. I’ve done cross-stitch patterns that resembled woodcuts and those are much harder to keep the lines straight than doing colored cross-stitch patterns.

File Oct 09, 7 05 03 AM So this weekend I finished cross-stitching an owl. I watched Cleverman again so that I could get into season too. Plus took the dog for a walk.

Today I am onto Unlicensed Sorceress, which is the third book in Hilda’s Inn. Hilda is now in Koenigstadt and finds that Lord Barton and his cohorts are spreading rumors about her magical abilities.

Just a little excerpt to wet your whistle:

Part of Chapter Two in Unlicensed Sorceress

Koenigstadt
Hilda Brant
It had been a long time since Hilda had slept in a soft bed. She stretched and her knee locked. She rolled out of bed and stamped her leg on the floor, swearing under her breath. Sassy looked up out of the dying coals and grinned at her. Michael knocked on the door and whispered, “Are you okay?”

“Damn it,” said Hilda. “I hate getting old.” She heard a click in her knee, and then it loosened up.

She opened the door. Michael leaned against the door jamb with a small smile on his face. “Breakfast is ready,” he said. He turned away and she slammed the door. To hell if it made noise, she felt grouchy.

Her breeches had been laundered and left on a wooden chair. She had a shirt made to go with them. Instead of dressing in her traveling clothes, she looked in the wooden wardrobe. There was a gown and a cloak hanging there. Folded on the bottom was a shift and a simple dress. It only took her moments to get dressed. She could smell eggs and bacon and her stomach began to grumble.

She slipped on a pair of slippers and went to eat.

A young man waited, while they finished their breakfast. He separated Hilda from the rest of the group. “You need to come with me, madam,” he said and put his hand on her arm. She didn’t say a word, but let him take her arm. She didn’t pull away from him or use any self-defense moves. She was proud that she went with him quietly.
The young man was probably a mage. Sassy stayed hidden in the flame. It would be better if the mage didn’t know she had an element.

He walked with her through the gardens and then turned to a small innocuous building. Trees and bushes hid the building. Hilda could think of a hundred ways she could hide in the bushes and ambush anyone working there.

Since she had become a mercenary, she still had that instinct to look at someone and know how to kill them. Though as she looked closely around her, she could feel and smell magical traps. If she had really ambushed this building, she would be either captured or dead within minutes.

The young man must have read her face. He smirked just a little. “Every mage meets the big man,” he said cryptically.

Whoever built these traps was more paranoid than her and more powerful. She didn’t say a word and hoped her face didn’t show her sudden anxiety.

She sniffed, but only could smelled the trees and flowers. There was no smell of burning ash or rotten eggs. So if her nose was right, she wouldn’t have to deal with a dragon or a demon. There wasn’t a hint of corruption in the smell. Usually life has death mixed in it. The smells were too antiseptic. It made her nervous.

The door opened before the young man knocked. An older man with a huge smile showing yellow and broken teeth, invited Hilda into a small room with two chairs and a desk. Then the young man left.

The older man pointed Hilda to a seat. He walked around the desk and slouched in his chair. She waited for him to speak. The silence stretched for a long time. He looked down on a piece of paper and then looked up at her. Hilda would have given much to know what was written there. But she had never learned to read and had only learned basic math skills for running the inn.

She waited. She was not going to break the silence. She was not a young thing who would get nervous if some man looked at her long enough. She recognized this interrogation technique.

Finally the older man cleared his throat. She waited for him to speak.
“My name is Morcant,” he said.

Hilda nodded her head, politely.

“I will be discussing with you the unfortunate incident in the forest south of here. But first,” he handed me a piece of paper. “Sign here.”

“No,” Hilda said. “I will not sign something I cannot read.” She stopped her arms from folding against her chest. She didn’t want to look defensive. She gripped the chair arms firmly. Then said, “I want my brother to read this before I sign.”
Morcant’s eyes flickered back and forth. Hilda knew that the next words out of his mouth would be a lie. “It’s just saying that you are a mage.”

“But I am not,” she said. “I have not gone to the mage university and I have not practiced ritual magic. I am not a mage.”

“If you don’t sign this paper,” Morcant smiled. Hilda shuddered at that smile. Dragons had a nicer smile than this man. Morcant continued. “Then I will send you to the dungeon for dangerous criminals.”

“I have done nothing wrong,” Hilda said, her eyebrow went up. “What are you trying to pull?” She leaned forward. Morcant leaned back just a little, then he leaned toward her. She caught the slight movement that meant Morcant was nervous.

She felt his magical energies ramp up. She wished Sassy was with her because the two of them could overpower this wannabe. She sent a probe towards him on the off chance that she could read something in his mind. He blocked her and the smile wiped off his face.

He sent a probe back. She could barely push it away. She knew he was going to try again, so she reached for her knife. Damn. She was disarmed.
She reached across the desk and grabbed a pen.

A heaviness came over her limbs. She fought it and she could see beads of sweat roll down Morcant’s face.

“Enough,” someone yelled. Both Hilda and Morcant collapsed. Hilda was lying on the floor unable to move. Two legs and feet appeared in her view. Someone, very strong, picked her up.

As she was being carried out of the room, she saw a healer leaning over Morcant. His face was white and he was breathing shallowly.

“What the hell did you do to him?” said a familiar voice. “Hilda… Hilda.”

She looked up into the face of Rooso. She wanted to say “What are you doing here?” but her lips wouldn’t move.

He carried her all the way back to the house.

Dragon Boy excerpt

I had an epiphany yesterday. I am happiest after I have been writing. While I am writing, I try to get in the “zone” another word for the ecstatic trance, I suspect, or the runner’s high. Afterwards, I am tired like I have expended an enormous amount of energy. So to prove I have been writing on the sequel to Hilda’s Inn, I have a treat– an excerpt of Dragon Boy. 

I apologize in advance for a first rough draft. Here is the scene I wrote today:

 

Dragon Boy

The White Road
Davi Dracson

It was full day. Once again Davi noticed that there were no sounds around the road, no mice and rabbits stirred in the grass, and no bugs scurried away from their feet as they tramped towards the road, breaking a path through the grass.

When Varia stood before the road, he noticed that the light and swirling had diminished. The road was shrinking away from the she-dragon. It sent feelings of I’m just a road, just a road. Nothing to see here.

To his normal sight, the cobblestone road was ordinary, except it was in the middle of nowhere. That in itself was a curious thing.
Varia bent over to touch the road, Davi’s thoughts wandered towards how graceful she looked, how regal, and he wanted to touch her.

“Dragonling, control your thoughts,” he heard in his head. He blushed a little, and concentrated on the road.

When he looked with his inner sight, centered in his forehead, he saw that the wraiths were hiding and clinging in the center of the stones. He saw her touch one stone and the occupant was flung into the air. A white light opened and the wraith raced towards the white tunnel as if its life depended on it.

At that moment a black net snared the wraith as it almost reached its escape.

Hilda threw a fireball at the net. The net turned crimson for a moment and then turned to ash. Like feathers the ash fell to the earth. The wraith sped away. For a moment Davi thought he felt gratitude coming from the wraith.

“That was exhausting,” Varia said to the both of them. “And it was only one wraith.” She sighed. Hilda looked tired from just the one fireball. She had already been caught on the road once.

“We need to find the source of the spell.” Davi looked at the two women. “This can’t go on… It can’t.” For a moment, Davi felt pity for the wraiths.

“You saw how much energy we expended for one wraith,” said Hilda. She looked at the road. It went on and on into the far horizon.

“The three of us do not have the energy to free every wraith here. Not in our lifetime.”

Hilda frowned, then said. “How has this magic been overlooked?”
There were no wards around the road. It was as if it wanted to be noticed. Still it had to have been here a long time to have eaten all the souls in the area. It must have run out of souls before it could come to a city. Davi shuddered at the thought of all the damage it could do in the kingdom. Nothing left except this road. It would feed until it filled the entire world.

Spooky Halloween Reads

As the sun dips over the horizon and the moon waits for its debut, there are ghosts, goblins, and creepy creatures getting ready for their nocturnal adventures. We glimpse them from our peripheral vision, shake our heads, and look directly for that movement. We are not quick enough to see, but we feel them pass us, by the chills on our arms and neck.

Here are two collections of short stories by the hand of Cyn Bagley–

smoke & mirrorsSmoke & Mirrors
Kindle: 1.99

Don’t forget your nightlight.

ghostly glimmer2015ebookcoverGhostly Glimmers
Kindle 2.99

We die. Sometimes we see ghosts
in the glimmers.

Enjoy the reads.

*****

For more of my books, look here.

My most recent release is Hilda’s Inn. Hildaebookcover2015finished

Sword and Sorcery

Hilda isn’t prepared for the damage and chaos caused by a dragon, black mage, and elementals. And a very angry Lord Barton.

Finally, fruits of my labor

Hildaebookcover2015finishedSo it’s done and now ready for preorder on Amazon. Release date is October 16, 2015. I am trying to arrange it so the paperback will coincide with the digital release–

Description: In Delhaven, there is an Inn run by a retired mercenary. If you are a down-on-your-luck mercenary or men-at-arms, come to the public rooms and Hilda Brant, the owner, will give you a bowl of stew. If you want ale, hand over the coins. Hilda may give you floor space, but she expects you to pay in favors or coins.

Hilda is also an untrained mage with an elemental, which is another reason she is retired. Most mercenary companies are wary of mages for good reason.

When Lord Barton decides he wants the magic on Hilda’s property, Hilda pulls together her resources, including her brother a mage and her sister a brothel Madame, to save her Inn.

Hilda isn’t prepared for the damage and chaos caused by a dragon, black mage, and elementals. And a very angry Lord Barton.

***

On the other hand, I will be back to writing on “Dark Moon Rising” the long awaited second novel of the EJ Hunter series. It’s been harder for me to write the next book than I expected.

Also a couple of shorts will be back on my writing schedule. For those of you who wonder about my little dog, Foxy, she has more energy than I have seen in a while. It is good to see.

Finished Hilda’s Inn

Hildaebookcover2015finishedSo today I finished the edits on Hilda’s Inn. I may have to go back and look at the last chapter. I think it is a little weak.

This means that I will have this book ready for publishing near the end of October. I want to get this book to a beta reader in the next week or so.

Anyway, it has taken me too long to get this written.

I am planning on a couple of short stories and to work on the second novel in the EJ Hunter’s world.

So good intentions and all that–