Sneak Peek Friday

JTA BC 150Every Friday on my author Facebook page I will be featuring a sneak peek from one of my books.  Read it on my blog to get a longer version!  This week’s excerpt is from Ancient Voices: Into the Depths, which was just released in November.

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Morganne took Glak’s invitation as a positive sign. The nervous feeling in her stomach began to fade as she unwrapped the tome and laid it on the table. With growing excitement, she started to tell Glak what was written in it and showed him some of the illuminations. Reading the tome for the second time, in the presence of Minhaven’s greatest protector, was far less frightening than reading it in the empty tavern had been. She noticed more, allowing her eyes to linger on the beautifully detailed illuminations in the margins.

Morganne became so absorbed by the tome itself, she did not notice, as Elowyn did, that Glak was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. He fidgeted. His breaths came shorter, and his cheeks flushed. His eyes darted hungrily across each new page as Morganne revealed it. Perhaps it bothered him that he could not make sense of the written words himself, but Elowyn didn’t think so. She had been carefully observing him for weeks now as he interacted with the men at the granary, trying to figure out who he was beneath what she had come to realize was a carefully practiced exterior. For the first time ever, Elowyn sensed that Glak was afraid. This man who had faced countless horrors, and battles more brutal than Elowyn could ever imagine, was afraid of the tome laid out before him.

Glak seemed to be frantically searching the illuminations for something specific as Morganne carefully translated portions of the text for him. Elowyn could sense anger and frustration welling up within him, and she nudged Morganne to warn her. But Morganne was also lost within the tome’s gripping pages and Elowyn could not seem to draw her focus away from it.

When Morganne came to the page with the drawing of the Chest of Sorrows, Glak stared at it aghast as though he could hardly believe what he was seeing. He instinctively cowered from it, holding up his hands in a protective gesture as though he were a child, weakly attempting to fend off a blow from someone bigger and stronger than himself.  But he quickly recovered his wits, slamming the book shut then shoving it away so forcefully that it teetered on the far edge of the table. The tome’s grip on them was finally broken. Morganne leaped up from her seat to grab the fragile book before it could fall to the floor. She turned toward Glak, waiting indignantly for an explanation. She received none.

“Remove it from my sight or I will cast it into the fire,” Glak said gruffly. With a bewildered look, Morganne wrapped the rejected tome back in its cloth.

“I brought you this book to warn you that the prophecy within it has already come to pass—destroying it changes nothing.”


Sneak Peek Friday

JourneytoAviadEvery Friday on my author Facebook page I will be featuring a sneak peek from one of my books.  Read it on my blog to get a longer version!  This week’s excerpt is from Journey to Aviad, which is now permafree as an ebook. So if you haven’t read it yet, what’s holding you back?

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They traveled the road together in an uncomfortable silence, each focused their own thoughts. Adelin was too young to know what was happening. She bounced contentedly on Morganne’s hip, pointing and babbling to any bright object that caught her attention. Morganne’s expression was solemn and somewhat tense. Elowyn could not guess what her thoughts were, but that was nothing unusual. Morganne usually kept to herself. Elowyn felt a kind of fluttering in the pit of her stomach and was dragging her feet, hoping somehow they would arrive too late. However, the end result was that their mother kept barking at her to hurry up, and each time she said it, she became more irritable.

There were others traveling with them, flooding in from the outskirts of Tyroc. Even laborers from the southern farming villages were given a reprieve by their lords so that they might attend. People flocking in on the smaller roads continued to join together like streams flowing into a river, until they became a massive flood of humanity surging forward. The main road took a sharp curve and sloped upward, running along the colossal eastern wall of the city. Rows of strategically placed guards stared down at them from the battlements, bows in hand. Elowyn could sense the tension in their muscles as they stood ready to shoot at the least sign of trouble. As the procession drew closer to the city gates, the crowds increased to an unbearable level. They were jostled along, pressed closer and closer together until one could only move forward, swept along in an unrelenting current.

Elowyn felt as though she were riding amidst a sickening sea, a swirl of men, women, carts, and livestock. There were other children too. The youngest ones clung to their mother’s skirts as shipwreck victims might cling to floating bits of wood. The whole mass swelled and moved along the wall in a gigantic wave, pushing, pulling, and roaring with an incomprehensible cacophony of shouts, laughter, jumbled conversations, and the groans of overburdened carts. The closer they came to the gates, the hotter and more foul smelling the air became. Elowyn felt as though she were being smothered. Every sound seemed louder than it really was, adding layers to the nervous ball that was beginning to form deep down in her stomach. One of the carts near her had a squeaky wheel. Though it was such a small sound in the midst of all that chaos, it completely unnerved her. She held her ears trying to block it out, but it only seemed louder with the dampening of the other sounds. It was like a tiny, desperate scream for help that went ignored.

Every once in a while a faint whiff of fresh air brushed Elowyn’s face, and she drank it in greedily as though it might very well be her last. She closed her eyes and tried to calm herself, hoping that once they were all squeezed through the gate into the city, there would be more room on the other side. But in that she was greatly disappointed. When they finally approached the gate, and were shoved through by the pressing mob behind, the inner city was just as crowded. She continued to push forward, through narrow streets lined with corbelled buildings that leaned out precariously over them. The doorway of every shop was jammed with buyers haggling over goods. The rest of the crowd attempted to converge in the central square where the execution was to be held.