Another Sunday, another 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-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.
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 snuck out to say goodbye to her beloved as he was leaving, and on her way back was happened upon by one of the bandits currently terrorizing the countryside, who is trying to sweet talk her for information about the citadel’s defenses.
This excerpt skips just a bit from last week’s. They’ve reached the citadel, and the man has alerted his pack. (Note: Sidi is a term for “sir” or “mister.”)
* * * * * * *
Mihrimah shoved her companion inside the citadel, then pushed the door shut behind them. “Bar the door,” she told the frightened woman who’d let them in.
The woman did as she was told, her eyes alternating between the door and the wolf man, who was looking around the citadel.
The main door opened onto a small antechamber, with stairs leading up to the main living quarters and down to the stables, although they didn’t keep many horses and only enough goats and chickens to supply themselves with milk and eggs.
“Go upstairs,” Mihrimah told the serving woman. “Prepare a meal for our guest, and inform Grandmother that he’s here.”
The woman nodded and hurried away.
“What a beautiful home you have,” the man said as he approached Mihrimah.
She backed up, quickly hitting the stone wall behind her. “The better to welcome you, Sidi Wolf.”
* * * * * * *
And the rest of that scene:
He reached out a hand and again stroked her cheek. “What a beautiful smile you have.”
“The better to serve you with, Sidi Wolf.”
Outside, someone began banging on the door, and he was soon joined by many others.
The wolf man grinned at her. “It looks like my pack is ready to join us.”
Mihrimah unsheathed her short sword as the man tried to kiss her neck and brandished it in his face.
He laughed nervously. “What a beautiful little sword you have, my dear.”
“The better to kill you with,” she snarled, and plunged the blade into his stomach.
* * * * * * *
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?