Happy Sunday and happy Weekend Writing Warrior blog hop!
This week’s excerpt is from “The Maiden in the Tower,” my retelling of Rapunzel set in the Viking-infused world of The Heartsbane Saga. I’m continuing on from last week, when our heroine Carys dropped her cleaning supplies out her tower window and onto a dude’s head. Her mistress then showed up and Carys ducked back inside.
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Storm Llanfaell stood beneath the window, waiting for it to reopen. He’d traveled half the known world, and yet the woman he’d just met had just captured his heart.
The rain continued and still he stood there in the street, waiting. Finally, as night fell and his stomach rumbled in protest, he made a note of where he was and went searching for dinner.
He entered the first tavern his path crossed. As he waited for his drink and meal, he asked the barkeep, “Tell me, sir, who lives in that large stone house three streets over from here?”
“There are a lot of large stone houses in this part of the city.”
“The one with the shuttered windows on the fourth floor of a tower.”
“That be Llyswa,” the man beside him at the bar said. “A witch of a woman if ever there was one.”
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And here’s the rest of that scene:
“Aye,” the barkeep said. “She’ll help ya out of a pinch, but only in exchange for your soul.”
“Or your children’s souls,” added the customer. “She trades the wee ones all over the country, although the prettier girls tend to end up working the whorehouses here in town.”
“She’s a slaver,” Storm said flatly. Slavery was outlawed in Llogeria, but that didn’t stop the trade.
“She’s a cousin of the king, is what she is,” the customer said with a laugh. “That makes her a debt collector.”
Storm thought about what he’d learned as he lay awake in bed that night. A merchant by trade, he well knew that there were different rules for the rich and the nobility. Still, it hardly seemed fair that this woman could sell children with the king’s blessing.
The woman he’d talked to today wasn’t a child, though. Even four stories above him he could tell she was beautiful: long golden hair he wanted to run his fingers through, full red lips he longed to kiss….
He would find a way to rescue her. Even if she didn’t return his feelings, he wouldn’t rest until she was free.
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Read the rest of “The Maiden in the Tower,” just $.99 at Amazon, then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website. Also, book 1, Captive and the Cursed (which is Beauty and the Beast – with Vikings!) releases September 1st and is available for pre-order now.
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About “The Maiden in the Tower:”
Rapunzel – with Vikings!
Carys barely remembers her life before her father sold her to pay his debts. Locked away in her mistress’s chamber, she doesn’t dare to dream of anything better for herself, until a chance encounter with a traveling merchant changes her life forever.
Storm has traveled the lengths of the known world, yet when he sees a servant girl locked in a tower, he knows he’ll do anything to rescue her.
Can Storm and Carys overcome the obstacles in their path and reach the happily ever after they both want?
The Maiden in the Tower is a standalone short story that accompanies a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. If you like sassy heroines, adventures spanning the medieval world, and a touch of romance, you’ll love The Heartsbane Saga, E.D. Martin’s new historical fantasy series.
I love how he stands there in the rain for so long, hoping to catch another glimpse of her. Hopefully, he can think of a way to save her! :)
Debt collector. Nice euphemism, and it explains Carys’s situation.
He’s a brave and kind man, planning to free her.
He’s definitely enamored to be determined to set her free even though he barely knows her. Nice snippet!
Enjoyed the snippet…your hero is very admirable in the way he thinks. Akways interesting to read a fairy tale re-telling – this is a good one for sure!
You’ve mad this fairy tale come nicely to life!
Great balance of exposition and introducing the character’s motive! Also I’m enjoying the gritty undertones in this retelling of a classic fairy tale.
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