I was out of town for the past couple weekends, wandering the country for some #vanlife self-care, and although I posted I forgot to link on the WeWriWa site! If you feel so inclined, check out that post too!
Now I’m skipping ahead a bit. MC Nyah had a bit of a disagreement with her younger sister Payton regarding love – Payton, being a typical teenager, of course knows everything and is guided by her hormones. Nyah reluctantly agreed to let her go out walking with her beau, and Payton never came home. After a couple days, Nyah learned that her sister is being held captive by a nearby barbarian army. In this scene, she’s stormed into the village council meeting, demanding they get her sister back.
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Earc, the village toísech, waved a piece of parchment I was sure none of the council members could read. “But I have a plan.”
“What about Payton?” I asked.
“What about her?”
“When will they release her?”
“The lord says they intend to keep her, until we pay a sum for her release.”
“And you’ll pay it, aye?”
Earc just looked at me.
My mouth fell open as angry tears pricked at my eyes. “You have to pay it!”
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And here’s the rest of that scene:
“And where would we get the coin they demand? Maybe your father could pay it?”
Several men laughed, fueling my rage.
“So we just let him keep my sister?”
“Nyah.” Wynne came around the table and laid his hand on my shoulder. I angrily shrugged it off. “We’ll get her back. Have patience.”
“You’ve known Payton all her life. You know how frail she is. Yet none of you would spare coin for her release?” I stared around the room at each man in turn. No one would meet my gaze. “Fine. If you won’t rescue my sister, I will.”
I stood so forcibly my chair toppled over, before I stormed from the room.
I didn’t slow for Wynne.
“What are you going to do? Walk into their camp and demand her back?”
I dinnae have a plan, but that was as good as any. “Yes.”
Wynne grabbed my arm and swung me around to face him. “Dinnae be so rash. The barbarians will kill you.”
“She’s my sister. I have to do something.”
“Let the council get her back. Give Father time. He’ll—”
Gillian burst out of the inn. “Nyah!”
Wynne turned towards the barmaid’s voice. Seizing my chance, I broke free of his grasp, gathered up my skirts, and sprinted out of the village towards the barbarian camp.
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Captive and the Cursed is available now at Amazon, or you can read more of the characters’ exploits in the prequel short story, “The Maiden in the Tower,” for just $.99. Then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.
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About Captive and the Cursed:
She must choose: follow her head or follow her heart?
Nyah’s merchant father raised her and her younger sister Payton on tales of treasure and excitement, but after he returns home from his latest trip addle-minded, Nyah must put aside her dreams of adventure and focus on more practical matters, like her betrothal to the illiterate son of the village chief. But when a roving band of barbarians kidnap Payton and the village leaders do nothing to rescue her, Nyah has no choice but to take matters into her own hands. She offers herself in her sister’s place, doomed to travel with the barbarian army until their price is paid.
The army is led by Brandulfur, a man who suffers from a hideous, painful curse. Although he’s officially in her country to aid his childhood friend in raising an army to support the king, he’s on a personal quest for the book that holds the cure for his curse – a book that Nyah soon realizes her father stole from him.
Determined to return to her family, she’ll need all the allies she can get. But no one is who they seem, including the people closest to her. She’ll have to make hard choices if she wants her life to be the same as before – but is that even what she wants anymore?
Captive and the Cursed is the first book in 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.