Sneak Peek Friday

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

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As the day began to wane, the Kinship finally returned from the mining road. But their return was slow and full of sorrow rather than triumph. Three of the men were walking, with large bundles draped over the backs of their horses. Elowyn could not tell what they were at first, as the men had used their cloaks to cover the bundles. Cailean and his father instantly knew. They abandoned their cart, racing over to meet the men. Elowyn remained frozen in place while they talked. Her mind and heart were racing too much for her to focus on what they were saying, but she could feel the dread welling up inside of her. Something had gone terribly wrong. As the horses came closer and continued on past her, toward the monastic community, she came to the full realization of what she was seeing. The bundles were bodies.

A pale, listless hand hung below the hem of a cloak, which was not quite large enough to conceal its grisly secret. A few curled wisps of hair peeked out, ruffled gently by the wind, but otherwise motionless. Two more bundles passed by. She averted her eyes, unable to look. The horror of that lifeless hand had already burned itself into her mind, and she doubted that she would ever be able to rid herself of the memory. She lowered herself onto the ground—her legs seemed unable to hold her weight any longer. Who was under those cloaks? She had come to know so many of the miners who frequented the tavern. Her immediate concern was for Bane. She prayed with all her heart that the cold, limp hand had not belonged to him.

Elowyn thought for a moment that she heard Cailean calling her name, but the voices around her seemed nothing more than distant echoes in the midst of her shock. The warmth of his hand grasping hers brought her back to the present.

MEET ANCIENT VOICES: INTO THE DEPTHS’ CHARACTERS

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.

Amazon     BN     Smashwords     Createspace


For two days Elowyn barely moved, and ate only when Morganne forced her to. Morganne, and even little Adelin, tried their best to comfort her, but no consolation ran deep enough to reach her pain. Morganne finally made her dress and brought her out into the tavern for dinner, hoping that the change would begin to bring her back into the living world.

Elowyn watched the few lonely souls sitting at scattered tables around the tavern. Their mood was somber and pensive like her own. She was not the only one in mourning. She picked at the food placed before her, despite Morganne’s pleading that she eat something. She usually enjoyed Idna’s cooking, but all of its flavor was missing. She watched slow curls of steam rise from a bowl of stew, shifting and swirling until they dissipated into the air. She pursed her lips, blowing ripples across the surface of the broth that caught flashes of firelight. The steam gradually stopped rising, and the stew grew cold and thick. Just looking at it began to turn Elowyn’s stomach. She pushed it away to the far side of the table and sighed.

Bane abandoned his favorite table to come sit beside her. He said nothing at all, but there was pain in his eyes. Elowyn sensed in him sorrow for these fresh wounds they were bearing together, but also old, scarred-over pain that he must have carried with him for a long time. She did not know why, but his silent presence beside her was the first bit of comfort she had felt since that horrible day in the garden.  He slid his untouched mug of ale in front of her and raised an eyebrow. Elowyn declined with a shake of her head, but appreciated the gesture all the same.

He picked up the mug, raising it high and looking upward into the rafters for a moment. He took a long swig, then slammed the mug down onto the table so hard that ale splashed onto the table and everyone in the room jumped. Giving Elowyn’s hand a strong squeeze, he suddenly stood to his full height, wiped his beard clean with his sleeve, and charged out of the tavern like a gathering storm. Elowyn did not know where he was going, but with the slam of his cup, he had changed the mood of the room. A couple of the men peeked out of the tavern door after him, and all began to whisper amongst themselves, wondering what Bane intended to do.

Elowyn tore off a bite from the hunk of bread still sitting in front of her. She dabbed at the butter and put the whole thing in her mouth, letting the soft bread and the butter melt together on her tongue. Not so terrible, she thought.  She was hungrier than she had realized. A little more bread, and a sip of almond milk. She suddenly craved the simple strength they would bring back to her young body. But her stomach quickly filled, and as the fire’s heat warmed her skin, she grew tired again.

“I want to go back now,” she said softly. The brief hope flickering in Morganne’s eyes faded away as she took her sister’s arm. She looked on Elowyn’s uneaten food with frustration, not realizing what a victory that little bit of bread and almond milk had been.

MEET ANCIENT VOICES: INTO THE DEPTHS’ CHARACTERS

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.

Amazon     BN     Smashwords     Createspace


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.”

MEET ANCIENT VOICES: INTO THE DEPTHS’ CHARACTERS