Welcome back to the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop, where a bunch of writers share 8-10 sentences from a current or recent WIP. This week I’m continuing to share from my upcoming 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.
This snippet is from the opening prologue. Mihrimah is the daughter of the general in charge of a remote citadel. Her father and all the men garrisoned at the citadel were called back to the capital. She was supposed to stay put but snuck out to say goodbye to her beloved. And of course her father caught them. I’m skipping ahead just a bit, to after her father sent her back but cautioned her to be careful.
* * * * * * *
The journey back was as uneventful as the one to meet the men. Dusk was falling and the top of the stone citadel was just in sight when Mihrimah caught movement in the scrub ahead of her.
She froze, remembering all the training her father had given her, all her practice alongside and against the citadel soldiers.
Whoever it was, he was between her and the citadel, and Messenger knew how many others were with him. She could sneak past him, perhaps, but what of the others? She bit her lip, then stepped onto the road.
She’d covered only a short distance when footsteps crunched behind her.
“Hello, my dear,” a male voice called out. “Do you live near here? I’m afraid I’m lost.”
* * * * * * *
And the rest of that scene:
She turned around and nearly gasped. A man wearing a matted wolfskin hide over his tunic leered at her.
“I do live near here, Sidi Wolf,” she said, dropping her eyes demurely.
“I’m glad I found you, lalla. It’s getting dark, and I have nowhere to sleep and nothing to eat. Would they give me a meal at your home, do you think?”
“Oh yes, Sidi Wolf. All our men have been called back to Haksuk, and it is only the women who are left in the citadel. We have plenty of hot meals that will go to waste.” She coyly looked up at him. “And warm beds that will be empty.”
The man grinned at her, revealing a mouth of yellowed, broken teeth. “It’s been a long while since I’ve had a warm bed.”
“Are you alone?” she asked.
“Nah, there’s a whole pack of us out here. But maybe I’d like those meals and warm beds for myself, at least tonight.
* * * * * * *
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?