It looks as if Amazon has taken the Raie’Chaelia off of free for the time being, but for those who wish to download the book for free, you can go to my Raie’Chaelia page and download it for free. It’s available in kindle .mobi, ePub, and PDF formats.
Okay, so back to the teaser. This teaser is from chapter 18 and is called, not surprisingly, The Return — the chapter for which the book is named. I wanted to share this excerpt because it is the scene where Marcus reveals a bit of his character that he keeps hidden from the reader until this point. I debated on whether or not to share it as it is a bit of a spoiler, but since this will be the last teaser for the book, I thought it wouldn’t hurt. The book is just about finished and any more teasers at this point would ruin the ending to the trilogy. I definitely don’t want to do that. So, here it is:
“But you cannot. You cannot marry a Naeon. It is against the law. Your father made that mistake and you’ve seen how well that turned out.”
“It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change the fact that I am not in love with you. I do not return your feelings. I’m sorry.” Her words cut into him deeply, she could tell, as something in eyes and his expression changed.
“So, you would live your life alone?”
“No, I already told you. I don’t expect to survive this war.”
“Maefeline,” he said, rising to tower over her. “You have already proven that you can survive almost anything. And Jeremiah is a Strelzi. He is a soldier in this war and has more chance of dying than …”
“Wait a minute,” she interrupted, narrowing her eyes. Suddenly, she understood the change she had seen in his expression. “That’s what you want, isn’t it?” she asked. Her thoughts strayed back to their battle with the Draaquan fleet and how close Jeremiah had come to the enemy’s arrows. “That’s why you put him on the front lines. You put him in danger on purpose.”
He shook his head in denial. “No, I … I wouldn’t …” he stuttered. “I wouldn’t do that.” But his protests did nothing to convince her. She could see it written plainly on his face.
“But you did. You did!” She looked at him in complete shock. She saw him now in an entirely new light. A light that she did not like. That she hated. She shook her head in disbelief. “You snake.”
“No, Maefeline, that’s not …”
She shot up from her chair, her stone pulsing furiously, and flung her arm toward the door. “GET OUT!” she shouted fiercely. “Get out of my quarters, Marcus! Get out before I do something I’ll regret!”
He drew back from her swiftly, as if afraid she would pass another death sentence, this time on him. Then, he made quickly for the door. Just before he passed through it, he glanced back to find her still glaring at him in fury. He had been going to say something, but thinking better of it, turned and left.
Chapter seventeen has been done for a while now, but I haven’t had a chance to post a teaser because I’ve been super busy writing the end of the book. I’m actually on chapter twenty-one right now and I’m thinking there will be three more after that. I originally had planned to write only a few more chapters, but they became so long, I had to break them down into several more. That happens when I write a book, which is why it is impossible for me to outline a book chapter by chapter. I’m more of a discovery writer, that is, I write whatever comes to my mind and I discover the story as I go along, which is great because when I’m surprised or happy or sad by the turn of events, I know my reader will be as well.
So, without any more babble, here is the teaser for chapter 17 called The Execution:
The condemned were led to the platform, where they stood stoically on the trapdoors, any sign of emotion, regret, or sadness absent from their faces. Then, Rayja stood up on the Council’s stage and began to read their list of crimes.
“Saal and Ghelian Quoiran, you have been found guilty of the following crimes against the Ielierian and the Realm …”
Chalice briefly glanced around for Persia, Saal’s wife and blood member to the Ielierian, when she remembered that Persia had locked herself in her rooms the night she had learned of Saal’s betrayal and wouldn’t accept any visitors. After having tried to contact her several times, Marcus finally had to give up and station guards outside her door to see to her needs. This was why she was not among the people in the crowd, Chalice noted. Although, it wasn’t surprising. After all, who would want to see the execution of one’s own husband? But then again, if it were Jeremiah up on the platform, not only would Chalice be there, she would be on the trapdoors with him. She would never let Jeremiah go to his death alone.
All through the reading, she wanted to avert her eyes. Passing the death sentence in the indifference of a courtroom was one thing. Watching it happen in person was another. She tried to think about all the lives that had been lost because of this man and his sister, but it didn’t help. It was still horrible, as was always the way of war.
After the crimes had been read, the condemned were asked if they had any last words: “Under full penalty of the law, you are sentenced to hang until dead. Do you have any last words?” Both remained silent. After a moment, Rayja continued: “Very well. Proceed.”
Black sacks were placed over their heads and nooses secured around their throats. The two hangmen stepped back as the third laid his hand on the lever and waited. Then, the drumbeat began. The end of the last beat would signal the release of the trapdoors. When it did, the hangman pulled and the doors fell open.
Before the condemned began to fall blindly to their death, Chalice glanced down at her hands and heard the sharp whipping sound of ropes tauten and the crack of two necks breaking under the strain. It unnerved her completely, which was odd, she thought. She had seen battle. She had seen men die, spilling their life’s blood or worse, and yet this hanging, which spilled no gore whatsoever in front of its witnesses, had her magnificently unsettled.
She knew why. It was because she knew deep down that it could just as easily be her at the end of that rope. In fact, it should be her. If they find out what you did, you will hang for it, Jeremiah had said. At no other time did she feel the severity of the truth behind his words as acutely as she did at this moment.
Coming November 2013.
Another chapter is done! I’m getting super excited because the third book is getting very close to being finished. I have about four more chapters to go and much of the end is already written. The only problem is that I have scenes written in different places that are completely out of chronological order. So I have to piece them together. It’s like a puzzle.
Anyhow, this post’s teaser is from chapter sixteen when Chalice and her gang return to Portalis. When they do, they meet up with something quite unexpected. Hence, the teaser.
As they slowly trekked up the gentle slope, afternoon gradually shifted into early evening and the purple shadows of dusk began to lengthen. All was quiet except for the creak of the wagon wheels and the slow march of hooves and human feet. Their return to the gate appeared to be proceeding peacefully, when suddenly, Marcus spun his mount around and held up his hand.
“Halt!” he shouted and the small train of people, horses, and wagons ceased their forward movement. “Strelzi, be on your guard!” he yelled down the line and watched the soldiers immediately move into position around the group, unlacing their bows and nocking arrows.
Chalice heeled Nipha forward. “What’s going on, Marcus?”
“Something is wrong, Maefeline. This close to the entrance, we would have already been met by Portalis scouts. They are stationed in critical locations hidden in the forest and monitor the terrain around the gate. The fact that there is a distinct lack of them has me worried.”
“Maybe they’re not scouting today?”
“No.” He shook his head. “They should always be here. If they are not, then something is wrong.”
Chalice glanced around as a million thoughts ran through her mind. Was Dar’Maalda here? Had his men already taken over? But, no, of course not. They couldn’t have. There would be sign of a battle. Then, what is going on? she wondered, but before she could think of any other possibilities, she saw them …
Coming November 2013.
This is totally random, but I wanted to share this. Rémi Gaillard is French guy who goes around with his camera-carrying buddies and plays jokes on people. He’s hilarious! Watch these.
Tour de France:
I did it again! Yay! I finished another chapter! Chapter 15 was a tough chapter to tackle. It’s a very powerful one where Chalice has to tell her friend, Sieren, to do something that she knows Sieren will not want to do. The situation really puts Chalice is a hard spot, where not even her friends are sure that what she is doing is wise and so they start to question her. The moral dilemma Chalice finds herself in really comes out in this chapter of the book and of course, Chalice always does what she has to do. She does what she sees as being right, even if it hurts her or puts her in a bad light.
The following excerpt is the last bit of the chapter, where Chalice has an upsetting dream:
Chalice found herself in a dark, stifling hot room, the fireplace roaring next to a man clad in black whose facial features she knew well. It wasn’t the face that paralyzed her, however. It was the eyes. The two glowing red eyes that meant he was in a rage. He held a paper in his hands that he brandished at a short, chubby man with a pockmarked face and that man was dead silent.
“We suffered severe losses in the gulf and yet you said they went to Durambourg?”
“Yes, my Lord. It was in the message.”
“You lied, Ivan! There was no message. This message in my hand. This message tells the truth. My spies have not heard a word of them in Durambourg. Instead, they’ve spotted them sailing along the north river to Cedarwood.”
“But … my Lord, I did not …”
“You lied!” he yelled again as the ground shook beneath their feet. The man held up his palm toward Ivan, who seemed to know exactly what was coming.
He threw his hands over his head and begged: “No, my Lord! Please!”
In an instant, a bar of black light shot out from the man’s palm and Chalice felt herself being yanked backwards into pure darkness. She sat bolt upright in bed, barely able to catch her breath, her heart beating frantically inside her chest. The commotion woke Jeremiah, who placed his hand reassuringly on her back.
“Chalice, what is it?”
“He knows!” her voice trembled. “He knows where we are. Ivan is dead. We have to go, Jeremiah. We have to go now.”