Welcome back to another installment of the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop, where a bunch of writers share 8-10 sentences from a current or recent WIP. I’ll be spending today outside, enjoying the spring weather we get for all of about two weeks (two weeks ago it snowed, and yesterday it was almost 85). Ah, life in the Midwest.
This week I’m continuing to share from my upcoming-ish release, book 3 of my Heartsbane Saga: Little Amethyst Abaya, which is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in a world of Vikings. So far I’ve shared from the prologue, and this week I’m pulling from the first chapter. Nyah’s friend Brandulfur suffers from a painful curse, and in book 2 (Sleeping Shaman, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty) they traveled to a desert country to find the cure. Nyah has a history of let’s say interesting ways of solving problems that her friends don’t generally appreciate.
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The hot desert sun beat down on me as I hurried through the dusty streets of Taglayt, the satchel hanging off my shoulder weighed down with several library books. The town boasted a small university with libraries filled with books from all over the world, and I was trying my hardest to read all of them. It also had a lovely bath house, and I’d been sorely tempted to soak away the sweat and dirt clinging to my skin before returning to our host’s compound. But I’d already been gone longer than I’d intended.
Fahim Al Rasheed’s compound was located on a hill just outside of town. I slowly approached the brick walls surrounding the courtyards and central buildings, on the lookout for anyone who might notice my return. Fortunately no one was about, and I was able to sneak in and place my satchel in the bed chamber I shared with my younger sister, Payton. My luck ran out, however, as I crept down the hallway leading to the kitchen.
“Where have you been?” Prince Brandulfur Gudrodarson of Karjaland loomed over me, a scowl visible even through the welts and blisters covering his face.
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And the rest of that scene:
“Here.” I shrugged as I tried to get past him. “Nowhere.”
He folded his arms across his chest. “Where, exactly, would that be?”
I thought about telling him I’d been in Fahim’s study with him, answering his questions about my home country of Llogeria. Or in the kitchens with his wife Radiya, helping her prepare the midday meal. Or in the nursery with my sister, playing with the babies who lived in the compound. Or with Lord Domhnall—I blushed, thinking of what we would’ve been doing.
Before I could respond, however, Brand sighed. “How many times do I have to tell you, it isn’t safe for you to leave here by yourself?”
Now it was my turn to scowl. “I can take care of myself just fine.”
“Like how you almost got us all killed?”
“I seem to remember that I saved us all.”
Another sigh from Brand. Perhaps he’d finally come around to remembering the events the same way I did.
* * * * * * *
About Little Amethyst Abaya:
Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.
With Heartsbane nearly decoded, Nyah finally knows the curse Prince Brandulfur suffers from and how to cure it. But when she and her friends travel to get the needed serum, a powerful caliph takes them prisoner and offers an ultimatum: a suicide mission to rescue a general’s daughter and enough serum to cure Brand’s whole court, or indefinite imprisonment in his castle.
To add to the peril, she soon uncovers a plot by Brand’s archenemy that will pull the known world into a battle between religions and cultures, with Brand at the heart of it. It seems so fantastical, no one will believe her.
But that’s never stopped Nyah before. With no one to trust, she’ll have to cast her lot in with the worst of the worst, and maybe, just maybe, at least some of her friends will make it out alive.
Little Amethyst Abaya is the third book in a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings.
Other books in the Heartsbane Saga:
Book .5: “The Maiden in the Tower” – Carys has resigned herself to a life of servitude, locked away in a tower, until a chance encounter with a stranger leaves her daring to hope for more.
Book 1: Captive and the Cursed – When Nyah’s sister is kidnapped by barbarians, Nyah offers herself in her place. But she soon learns the barbarians aren’t what she expected, especially their cursed leader.
Book 1.5: “The Brave Little Thrall” – Fahim Al Rasheed has spent his life studying foreign cultures, but he never thought he’d actually have the chance to experience them. When his journey of a lifetime leaves him and a young barbarian king marooned in a hostile country, he’ll have to rely on more than book learning to make it back home alive.
Book 2: Sleeping Shaman – Nyah and her friends travel halfway across the world seeking a cure for a barbarian curse, only to discover that the man they’re seeking has gone missing. Nyah must navigate dangerous rivalries and conflicting cultures before time runs out.
Book 2.5: “Ezichi the Beautiful” – Only Banu Sasan, the fabled witch of the desert, can help a young bride complete a task. But what will she require from Ezichi in return?