Tag Archives: excerpt

Fall Into Fantasy: The Disciple Series by L. Blankenship

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 16: The Disciple Series by L. Blankenship


War is coming. Kate Carpenter is only a peasant girl, but she’s determined to help defend the kingdom and its bound saints against the invading empire. Her healing magic earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the master healer; now she must prove herself ready to stand in the front lines and save lives.

She’s not ready for the attentions of a ne’er-do-well knight and the kingdom’s only prince, though. This is no time to be distracted by romance — the empire’s monstrous army will tear through anyone standing between them and the kingdom’s magical founts. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.
Disciple is a six-part gritty fantasy romance by L. Blankenship. Part I through Part IV are on sale now at all major retailers!
Download PART I for free! 
FREE at AmazonSmashwordsB&N AllRomance
Disciple, Part V on sale now

 

Look for the final volume, Part VI, in 2015!

EXCERPT:

“You couldn’t sleep either?”

At the whisper, I looked up from struggling to lace my boots with trembling hands. My master stepped into my dormitory room, adding his lamp’s light to my candle.
“Why must I dress as a boy?” I whispered back. Perhaps I was not so buxom, but I doubted I’d fool anyone. “This makes little sense.”
“Patience.” Master Parselev placed his lamp on my writing-table and checked my packed bags. “They’re gathering at the chapel already. None of us got much sleep, it seems.”
The straw mattress creaked when I stood, boots laced and the woolen hose sagging between my thighs. I ran my fingers around my waist, under my layered cotes, to check the drawstring. “Are these right, Master?” I’d strung the hose and braies together as best I could guess and as memory was my Blessing I had no excuse for failing. Men’s underthings weren’t much concern to me — if I saw such, or more, it was while the man lay bleeding on the surgery table.
“If they stay up, it’s right. Good. This too.” He slung a heavy felt cloak across my shoulders and pinned it on. The hood buried my face in shadows; my blonde braid, even wrapped around my head, would give me away.
I asked, “Master, this journey will be long, won’t it?” Parselev had given me more clothes than I’d ever owned to pack in those bags. All heavy winter woolens, too. “Shouldn’t you go, then?”
He looked down at me, mouth quirking to one side. Master was a greybeard, said to be over a hundred years old, but his kir kept his eyes bright and his face lightly creased. I had only been his apprentice two years. Surely I could not be ready for this.
“It must be you, Kate,” was all he said. He carried one of my bags, and I took the other.
Wreathed in breath-clouds, we crossed the Order’s campus. Low on the horizon, the slim, waxing crescent of the Shepherd hung golden, all seven of his Flock scattered in the sky behind him. He gave the only hint that dawn was coming. The cloak kept me marvelously warm, even in the chilly breeze. No frost this morning, not yet, but it was only a few weeks off.
Master un-bolted the side gate and led me to the door of the Grand Chapel. Horses waited on the grass, many horses chewing at their bits and shaking their heads, most of them with knights in the saddles. The knights’ black tabards, worn over suits of mail, had a white horse embroidered on the right shoulder and two gold stars on the left, marking them knights and Prince’s Guard as well. Kite shields and bucket helms hung on their saddles, in easy reach.
Several of the horses stood with empty saddles, collectively held by a couple of pageboys, and that gave me pause. I’d never been on a horse; I was only a peasant girl. But it could not be so awful, I told myself, so I gripped my cloak a little tighter and followed Master Parselev inside.
My new boots rang too loudly in the empty chapel, and when I slowed to lighten my step I fell behind. Only one lamp burned on the high table before the icons, and its light was mostly blocked by those gathered below the two steps. Faces were cast in shadow as they turned toward us — all looming in the dim light, some cloaked like me, others not — and I knew none of them. I kept my head down as I joined my master before them, glad the hood hid my face.
“Not ready, Elect?” one asked, his voice low but strong. “Who’s this?”
“My apprentice will safeguard the travelers,” my master answered. “She has —”
“What?” The man stepped closer, his shoulders blocking out the light.
“Majesty, she’s my finest student.” Parselev put up a hand when the stranger reached for my hood.
My knees trembled as the word echoed in my head. Majesty. I stood before the king of Wodenberg. Wobbling a bit, I dropped to one knee in obeisance, fist pressed to my heart. The king yanked off my hood while I stared at the flagstone floor, pulse pounding.
“This girl?” the king demanded. “You trust a mere disciple with this mission?”


ABOUT L. BLANKENSHIP

L. Blankenship started writing animal stories as a kid and it’s just gotten completely out of hand since then. Now she’s out publishing her gritty fantasy and hard science fiction adventures. L grew up in New Hampshire but currently lives near Washington, DC.

Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?

  • Don’t forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Advertisements

WIPpet Wednesday: The Not-So-Triumphant Return

So I’m working in Word now. Yaaay.

No, I don’t mind not being able to jump to whatever chapter and scene I want, like I can in Scrivener. Scrolling is fun. *eyelid twitch*

Many thanks to everyone who has helped me figure things out so far (like how to highlight the whole document so I could format– never picked that trick up on my own). I think I have it formatted correctly for editing. Now I just need to finish this read-through, and wait for my editor to say that it’s time.

For WIPpet Wedensday, here’s the last twelve lines (in my WordPress editor, anyway) that I read over. The math? 26th, minus 14 for the year. Because I’m reasonable like that.

Oh, context… mer man (hello!) was just visiting with Aren and Rowan, and he and Aren (POV character in this scene) are trying to figure out how to help Rowan. Kel (mer dude) is getting ready to change forms and go back to the water. Aren is refusing to acknowledge that he has feelings for Rowan, because… well, long story.

We reached the dock, and he stepped out of his clothes and handed them to me. I put everything in one of the wooden crates in case he needed it again.

Kel looked out over the dull gray water. “Try to be honest with yourself about what you’re feeling for her.”

“I don’t—”

He held up one hand to stop me. “I know, you don’t want to. It’s against your family’s religion or something.”

“No, I mean I can’t let anything like that happen. I told her I’d try to help her. You know as well as I do that she’s not safe as long as she’s with me.”

Kel looked back at me and raised an eyebrow. “You think safe is what she wants?” I didn’t answer. I had no idea what she wanted, and I doubted she knew, either. “I’ll see what I can do for her, if you’re sure that’s what’s best. It’ll be up to her, though.”

“Of course. Thank you.” I turned and walked back up the path, and heard Kel splash into the water behind me. I suddenly felt more alone than I had since I was a child, and hurried toward the light of the house.

Yes, there’s quite a bit of casual nudity in this book, what with people changing physical forms and all. I haven’t had any complaints so far.  😉

For more WIPpet Wednesday goodness, stop by and see our host KL Schwengel and click on the link near the top right corner to find everyone else.

ROW80 UPDATE

Like I said, I’m just trying to be ready to send this thing off. After that, I’ll be reading, and going back to that plan of trying to finish Resurrection. I’m feeling a little better about things than I was a few days ago. I just wish I enjoyed challenges more, you know? I’m happiest when things are easy and I can be lazy.

There, I said it. I wish I were different, but that’s me. I haaate challenges. Does that mean I get bonus points for going ahead with one?

I think I need to get back to working in my office. I’ve been upstairs too much lately. Need my own space.

Um… I think that’s it for my update, actually. Oh, but in other news, Krista Walsh’s Evensong is on sale for 99 cents this week for e-books. If you haven’t got it yet and think you might be interested in a fantastic fantasy adventure that involves an author being transported into the world he writes about (and facing the characters lives he’s been ruining), go get it now! Links here. It’s a great read, well worth a buck and a few hours of your time.

 


Oh, the Wednesdayness

SO much Wednesday.

I didn’t link my WIPpet Wednesday offering back to the linkie-poo last week, because I knew I wouldn’t have time to visit everyone, and it seemed unfair to link and run. I’m going to make time this week, though, even if it kills me.

Okay, maybe not if it kills me. But even if it kills my productivity. 😉

ROW80

Hey, speaking of productivity… I worked out a tentative schedule for next year, involving the release of two books, participating in two writing events (NaNoWriMo and JuNoWriMo), and drafting a third novel. I even colour-coded this plan so I could see what I’d be working on each month, and I scheduled in “read over edits, cry, regroup” at the end of February, just to be safe. I AM SO ORGANIZED.

It’s doable. It’s insane, but it’s possible. It’s also subject to change. If my TMJ is caused by stress, the next year won’t help, but what the heck. I said I was going to do this. I’m going to do it.

*hyperventilates*

I got nothing done this past weekend. I think December is going to be a month of rest, once I finish this draft of Torn (one scene to go!). There’s just too much else going on. And that’s okay. January is going to be nuts, what with revising and pre-editorial edits for Bound HOLY CRAP WHAT AM I DOING.

*breathes into paper bag*

I may have gone into the wrong business.

WIPpet Wednesday

Moving on…

Remember the character I (sort of) introduced a few weeks back? This week’s snippet is from her again. Nox has just gone for a sunset walk in the woods with a man she hardly knows, against her better judgement. She got a little weirded out when he said he wanted to go swimming…

…and got quite a surprise when he resurfaced and revealed that he’s not human. In his defense, this is not an easy thing to tell a woman you’re growing fond of.

I know it needs work yet, but I kind of love this moment. Nox is usually such a hard-ass.

11 paragraphs for the 11th, and two bonus paragraphs because… um… I like them?

Suddenly I felt shy. “Can I see it?”

Kel grinned, then pulled himself out of the water and onto the rock. He rested his chin on his crossed arms and flicked his tail. “Go ahead.”

He was unlike anything I had ever imagined when people spoke of the mer-folk. There was no clear place where man ended and mer began. My gaze moved over the greyish skin that stretched over sleek shoulder muscles, then along the valley of his spine to that incredible tail. It was longer than his legs had been, ending in a thick, notched fluke that he moved slowly, rippling the surface of the water where it touched.

“Can I-”

“Mm-hmm,” he said, and closed his eyes. I reached out, hesitant, and placed my hand flat against his hip. His skin was as smooth as it looked, as flawless as his face and the rest of his body, except for a scar that curved diagonally around the side half-way down his tail. I traced the scar with my finger, and found it just barely raised over the rest of the skin.

“That was a net,” he said. “I was young and didn’t know any better. I got tangled, and the rope dug in. It only scarred because I was stuck for so long. We’re quite hardy, usually.”

“That must have been frightening,” I whispered, not wanting to disturb the near perfect silence of the forest. I shifted myself toward the end of Kel’s tail and he lifted it out of the water. I ran my hand over the fluke, then back up the centre of the tail toward his back. I could feel the bones there, just under the skin. He shivered, and I pulled my hand away.

“No, don’t stop,” he said. “It’s nice. Odd to have a human touching me when I’m like this, but good.”

I put my hand back where it had been and continued up. Strange how his body became more human as it got closer to the middle. I’d seen pictures of something called a dolfin, and its tail looked like his, but it didn’t have the narrowing at the waist, above what would have been his-

I jerked my hand away. I just touched his butt.

Kel rolled onto his side, propped himself up on one arm and gave me a lazy grin. “Time to get back? You must be getting cold.”

“Um, yes.” I was actually feeling fairly warm, but he didn’t need to know that. “I’ll wait for you to get dressed.”

I sneaked one more look before I left. His front was more impressive than the back. Stomach muscles strong from swimming drew my gaze toward his tail, which was flat and a lighter grey on the underside.

I wonder how–

I cut that thought off before it could start, and walked back into the woods far enough to give him privacy to change and dress. I’d have to be careful with this one.

I know how. I don’t think that’s appropriate to discuss here and now, though. Jeez, think of the children, guys.

So, WIPpet Wednesday. Swing by to see our host, K.L. Schwengel here, and find the other WIPpeteers here, adding their lovely goodies as the day progresses. Check early, and check often. If you want to join in… well, most of you know the rules. I really need a post to link to every week. Post a snippet of your work in progress on your own blog, make sure it relates to today’s date (somehow… heh), and link back. Make sure you like and/or comment on other WIPpeteers’ posts, too! What goes around comes around and all of that. 🙂

In other news: Snow. Yay.

20131211-084741.jpg


Wednesday Stuff: Sniffly-Snuffles Edition

Yep, I have the sniffly-snuffles. The common cold. My nose is running, better go catch it, ha ha, I KILL ME. It could be a lot worse– I don’t have a fever or a cough. But you know how it is:

(I’m not actually that bad. My older son is, though. “I’m SICK! I’m really SICK!” is a common refrain every winter.)

Anyway, tanker-truck loads of mucus aren’t going to stop WIPpet Wednesday, or even a less-than-stellar ROW80 Update. Because book kittens… or something.

And as Kristen Lamb reminded us today (go read it!), in every complaint there is something to be thankful for. I am thankful for these sniffly-snuffles, because they mean I am breathing, and I’m thankful that my health is good enough that I’m not worried about my illness being something much worse.

WIPpet Wednesday

Let’s see… math. The 27th, minus eleven for the month, and… minus sixteen for the chapter number.

That leaves us with one paragraph, the first one to come from a new character.

Because I did that. I can handle three POV characters, but I think that’s my limit for this trilogy. Or possibly ever.

I’ve never liked surprises. I don’t remember much about my first home or my first family. But I remember leaving, being wakened from sweet dreams and taken from my warm bedroom out into the cold night. My mother held me in her lap as we rode in the back of a wagon. I remember the smell of hay, and horses, and the driver’s pipe. My mother cried every day of our journey, until I thought she’d never stop. That was the first surprise I remember, and I haven’t had many pleasant ones since.

Hmm. That last sentence should maybe be its own paragraph, for impact. Maybe the first sentence, too. Well, that’s how early drafts go, right? More for you this way, anyway.

So there you go. There was another scene I just finished that I REALLY wanted to share from, but it would make even less sense out of context than this did. Boo.

Want to see who else is WIPpin’ it good this week? Head on over to the linkie, and be sure to share some comment love! And thanks to K.L. Schwengel for hosting. Speaking of whom…

ROW80

I’m going to stick this down here. On Monday it was my turn in the hot seat for K.L. Schwengel’s WIPpeteer interview series. You can see that here. She was nice, didn’t release her flying monkeys on me, didn’t let them fling poop. I was nervous about that. I DID get turned into an evil, sock-stealing supervillain in the comments, but what can you do? I should have costume designs finalized by next week.

In other news, I’ve hit a post-win slowdown in my word count. Instead of riding the wave of NaNo glee, I’ve kind of not written anything since Thursday. Why? Because weekend, because children, because we had people coming Tuesday to do a walk-through of the house, see what needs repairing, and I assume to spy on us, make sure we’re not screwing the place up too badly. This meant I had to clean the place up AND (more importantly) get the kids to clean up the basement.

It was a DISASTER. There were threats, there were garbage bags, there were angry faces. I’m not proud of that, but there you go.

And after that was done, the kids wanted to do some Christmas decorating. The cats approve of the blanket I put out:

20131126-214310.jpg

The big guy there, Charlie, is terrified of Lucy, the smallest cat in the house. He looks uncomfortable because he wants blanket, but he fears her wrath.
Her adorable, fuzzy wrath.

Then on Monday I was going to get back to my regular schedule, only to find that Ike didn’t have school that morning… a fact I discovered only after dropping him off at school.

Oops.

So we had a morning together, and I got nothing else done.

Tuesday was house inspection morning, and I had a short nap in the afternoon, and then kids all evening when AJ was at work, and then I had no mental energy left. And that was that.

Also, the dog ate my homework, and now I’m all out of excuses.

20131126-214832.jpg

“Did not.”

I need to get round to more ROW80 blogs this week. I’ve been slacking off since I’ve had NaNoWriMo goals taking up my time, but that’s not an excuse any more. If anyone would like to join me in making the rounds, you’ll find the links here. 🙂


WIPpet Wednesday? Don’t Mind If I Do!

Yeah, I’m subjecting you all to my blathering twice in one day. Again. But a blog I just started following posted her WIPpet wednesday excerpt, and I went to have a look at other people’s… it’s just way too much fun! Parties all over the place today- works in progress AND it’s Jae at Lit and Scribbles’ blogiversary. Aww!

So here’s how it goes: you post a short bit from a current work in progress that somehow relates to the day’s date. So today being the 13th, you get an itty bitty sample of chapter 13… which hasn’t been hit by final revisions yet, but this part probably won’t change much.

Background: This chapter is told by Aren, who is… well, to know him is to be confused by him. He and Rowan just escaped from a hairy situation that might have helped her trust him a little more, but the fact that he’s manipulating people’s minds is probably still too much for her, the poor lamb. 😉

(not the beginning or end of the scene, not even the beginning of that first paragraph… because of all the reasons. Just trust me.)

**

I didn’t like hiding, especially in a spot that would have been so difficult to escape from, but it hadn’t been all bad. It was cramped and uncomfortable, and being there left us too vulnerable, but that hadn’t kept me from enjoying having her body pressed against mine for a few minutes.

“Did you really give those people memories that weren’t real?” she whispered after the groom left to collect our things, pulling me out of thoughts that I shouldn’t have been having.

“In a way.”

“And you made that other guy kill his brother?” She looked like she was afraid to hear my answer, but I wasn’t going to lie to her about it.

“Yes.”

“What were you just doing to that man who just left?”

“What I had to. Nothing that will hurt him, so don’t worry about it.”

She stepped away from me and rubbed the horse’s nose. “It seems wrong, though.”

“I didn’t see you jumping in to distract him,” I whispered back as the groom returned with food and clean bedrolls. “You’re benefiting from this at least as much as I am. If you don’t like it, find your own cure.” She held my gaze for a moment, then looked away and turned to saddle her horse. I knew I wasn’t being nice; she was probably confused about everything that was happening, but I was exhausted and in no mood to feel like a villain for trying to help her.

She was silent as we rode away from the inn, through the still-quiet village and past a faded sign that advised us to “Come again soon!” Not bloody likely, I thought. I’d be lucky to survive the next week if I couldn’t stop being distracted or falling into deep sleep. Keeping us safe was turning out to more challenging than I’d anticipated.

Rowan seemed to be turning things over in her mind for the next while, which was fine with me. It was well into the morning before she spoke again. She didn’t turn toward me, but watched out of the corner of her eye. “Have you done that to me at all?”

I’d wondered how long it would take her to ask. “No. Not once.”

“How can I be sure of that? You could be making me think that I was making my own decisions but really you’ve been doing it for me, and making me not notice that what I was doing was strange, or-”

Even though I was feeling frustrated and nearly too tired to think, it was hard not to laugh at her. “Rowan?”

“What?”

“You’re not worth that much trouble.”

**

So there you go, my lovely readers. Out of context, short, probably confusing, but that’s a bit of chapter 13 for you. If you would like to see what others have posted today, the links are here, all conveniently conglomerated for your convenient consumption*. Thank you to K.L. Schwengel for hosting the whole shebang. Enjoy!

*No, I have not been watching “V for Vendetta.” But now I want to.


Anastasia Writes

politics, engineering, parenting, relevant things over coffee.

The Writer Within

Inside the world of author AnnMarie Wyncoll

Beth Camp

Writer of historical fiction and teller of tales . . .

rogerbloomsfield

An Aspiring Author's Adventure

Are You Finished Yet?

Life, writing, books, dragons- not necessarily in that order. Home of best-selling Fantasy author Kate Sparkes.

Life, love, writing

Sara Beth Williams, Author of Christian Romance

Allie Potts Writes

Author, Blogger, Designer - Inventor of Worlds

Ultimately Useless Stories

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

The Wordy Rose

"Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

Shan Jeniah's Lovely Chaos

Finding Yessings and Blessings in Lifes Messings!

Little Rittwolf's Book Blog

I thought having my own blog would help me....Squirrel!....stay more focused. I could be wrong.

The Sword of Air

Stunning new multitouch iBook by breakthrough author R.J Madigan

Doorway Between Worlds

Communication tips with a creative twist

CHOUETT

Read it! 📖 Spark it! ✨

Benjamin Wallace Books

Books written by Benjamin Wallace

Denise D. Young

Author & Magical Creative

chestnut book blog

Read. Recommend. Revel.

💚life is never fair☕

🌼i gather strength from life’s storms -Jonathan L Huie🌼

inkedrainbowreads.wordpress.com/

LGBT Book Reviews, Cover Reveals & More! We are a group designed to help promote and review LGBT et al books. We were created out of seeing a need and wanted to have that need filled. We pride ourseles of having opinionated reviews that are unique and helpful to the author. Welcome to a world of the best LGBT et al books out there!

Dionne Lister - Author

I love sharing my stories but I wish they wouldn't keep me awake at night

Avid Reviews

Fantasy and Sci-Fi Reviews For Both Self-Published and Traditionally Published Books

Author Jen Wylie's Blog

Welcome to my mind... Blog for fantasty author Jen Wylie

J.R. RASMUSSEN

fantasy author