Many of you know, in one form of another, that I am an author. Many of you also know that I am in the process of soliciting an agent for my children’s story at the moment, and hope to be under contract by the end of the year.
Well, today I decided I would do something I’ve never done before. I’m going to cave and share a book excerpt, via fan demand. Now, while my fans already know what it is I’m going to be sharing, I should probably fill the rest of you in on what exactly I’m talking about.
For the last six years I have been writing a trilogy (approx 120,000 words per book) which is very dear to my heart. It is a fantasy story which follows the life of a young man named Tierin and his sister, Airianna. Throughout the series we see the sibling pair undergo many trials and experiences of loss- emotions which I was able to pull from my own personal experiences. But, in spite of having to stay one step ahead of a usurping King bent on winning Tierin to his side or killing him, we see the siblings continue to grow closer together as they become adults strengthened through adversity.
What many of you may not know is that I am working on the first draft of the third and final book in the trilogy. The first and second installments are about ninety (1st) and eighty(2nd) percent finished. By the beginning of next year I intend to send off the first book for agent representation.The excerpt I will be sharing with you all is the beginning of the third book. I chose to share an excerpt from the third book primarily because my Beta Readers (six amazing individuals) have all read the first and second book, but will not receive the third book until the third draft, so an excerpt from the first or second book would be a letdown for them.
I hope you all enjoy a small section of this story, and I appologise to those of you who will have no clue what a Diegose is or who all of the characters in the excerpts are. Hopefully you can enjoy the excerpt without all of the background info. I know the Betas have been dying for a sneak peek, so if nothing else I know they will be grateful I caved.
Tierin pushed the heavy door to The Crossbow open. He hated the ale stench that wafted over him, and the billowing smoke that clung to the rafters, but a tavern always afford him one thing; a place to talk. The riotous merry-making made it hard to hear your own thoughts, let alone what the people at the table across from you were saying. If someone did happen to overhear you, chances were they’d be too drunk to care.A quick glance around the room told Tierin his companions hadn’t arrived yet. His stomach growled, encouraging him to walk towards the long bar that stretched across one section of the room. The bartender bustled about behind the counter, the chandelier flames shining off his bald head.
Tierin pulled a stool out from under the bar and perched on the seat’s edge.“What’ll it be, stranger?” The bartender used his apron to dry a glass. Tierin tried not to dwell on the unsanitary dirt under the man’s fingernails.
“Fresh cider and whatever food you happen to have on hand.”
“Hot or chilled?”“Hot,”Tierin replied, hoping to steal warmth for his hands from the cup of cider.
The beverage was produced, along with a chunky lukewarm stew. In spite of its less than appealing presentation, Tierin ate it. It wasn’t actually that bad and Tierin knew the large chunks of meat would help fuel his body. When he was finished, Tierin paid the man behind the counter and went to occupy a booth in the corner of the room, carrying his drink with him. He liked having walls at his back. They allowed him to monitor the people who came and went.
The four-sided stone hearth in the middle of the room helped warm Tierin’s body. Winter still didn’t want to give up her hold, even though the land’s flora bore testament that spring was well on its way. Warm weather would make travel easier on him. The aches and pains in his body always grew worse when it was cold.
The Crossbow’s oak door creaked open, its chime ringing, admitting a man dressed in a woodsman’s garb. The man’s eyes didn’t search the room. He knew all too well where to find Tierin.
“I figured I’d find you tucked in some corner,” Tark said, sliding into the seat across from Tierin. “What’er you drinking?”“My typical.”
“Why am I not shocked?” Tark raised his hand, motioning for service. “I’m gonna want something a little stronger than that.”
Tierin smiled at his friend while the attendant approached; a large wooden plate housing mugs and pitchers was balanced on his arm. “What’ll you have?”
“Bring me some aged cider. Hot,” Tark replied.
The man took one of the cups off the platter he was carrying and set it down. Without checking the temperature of the aged cider he had been carrying around, he poured Tark’s glass.
Tark looked into the cup. “Isn’t hot cider supposed to have steam rising off of it?”
The attendant grunted, turning away from their table and going to clean up another.
“Talk about fresh, friendly service,” the general groused, taking a swig of his drink. He seemed content enough with the lukewarm beverage.
“At least he gave you a clean cup.”
Tark scoffed, settling back into his seat comfortably. “So… how did it go?”
“We managed to smuggle the families out of Jordain without detection.”
“I sent him back to the fortress with them. Brogan sent a message saying my presence was required.”
“Your sister will regret the dely.”
“As long as Mikhail shows up she won’t be too upset,” Tierin teased, ignoring the fact that he wanted to return home as well.
Tark chuckled good-naturedly.
“How are things going on your end?”
The general sighed. “Sometimes I think it is going well. Then I get to a town where the men have absolutely no experience with any type of arms and I feel like it is just another setback.”
“The more people we train, the stronger our forces become. It takes time, yes, but ensuring people have the ability to defend themselves is not a setback.”
“I suppose you are right…” Tark swirled his mug. “It’s still an inconvenience.”
“How’s Brogan been doing?”
“Not bad. Although, if I have to listen to one more of his jokes I might end up court-martialed for strangulation.”
Tierin tried not to spew his drink as laughter rose from his chest. Tark and Brogan’s personalities were like water and oil, yet somehow they managed to work well together. “You’ll make a battle strategist out of him yet.”
“He’s a quick study. I was skeptical of this whole mentoring process at first, you know.”
“You didn’t agree with Fledgrin?”
“Oh I understood the idea. He wanted Brogan to be able to be your right arm. That was going to require him to learn and master some of his weaknesses. I just didn’t agree with his pairing.”“You are one of the best military strategists we have, not to mention you have a disciplined mind. Fledgrin felt Brogan could learn a lot from you. Plus, you can help sober him. I think the pairing has worked to both of your advantages.”
Tark nodded thoughtfully. “Perhaps it has…”
“Do you know why he called me here?”
“No idea. We split paths about a week ago so we could cover more ground. He sent for me, too.”
The men grew silent again, each drinking from their mugs.“Where is the Lady Chalice?” Tark’s eyes searched for the Diegose’s pack.
“Hunting,”Tierin said simply. “Her stores were running low and she was losing energy.”
“About how long does hunting take her, on average?”
“A day or two. Depending on how available game is.”
“Don’t you every worry about her when she is gone?”
“We’ve been through a lot over the years, Tark. Eventually I had to learn to stop fretting or my hair was going to turn grey before my twenty-fifth year.”
Tark smiled, swirling his mug again. “Will your hair actually turn grey, or just dull?”
Tierin shrugged. “Your guess is as good as mine.”
The chime above the door rang.
“He’s here,” Tierin said, noticing his redheaded brother enter the tavern.
Brogan quickly slid onto the bench that Tark was occupying. “You’re both here, good.”
“What’s going on?” Tark took another sip of his fermented drink before offering it to Brogan.“We have trouble.”