Tag Archives: fiction

COVER REVEAL – Fierce: Sixteen Authors of Fantasy

Hellooooooooo, everyone! This is an exciting cover reveal for me, because… well, you’ll see. Be sure to read through and sign up for the ThunderClapIt campaign for a chance at a free advance copy!



Very excited to present the cover for the forthcoming multi-author bundle, FIERCE: Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy. Click on the iBooks EXCLUSIVE Pre-Order below to reserve your copy today. On sale on all retailers March 10, 2015. We hope everyone will be looking forward to this!

FIERCE, Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy

For a limited time only!

Join epic fantasy legend Mercedes Lackey and fifteen additional New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors on the adventure of a lifetime!

Over one million words and sixteen realms of fantasy brought together for your reading pleasure. Discover courageous characters fighting for justice and order, journey between kingdoms of dragons and lands of anarchy as tales of magic and mayhem unfold.

Grab it today, before it’s gone!

FIERCE: Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy pre-orders are available exclusively through iBooks.

Hurry and get a copy for $0.99!

Ibooks icon

D Join the ThunderClapIt today and get the bundle FREE. All you have to do is click over to this page, sign up your support and email novelbundle@gmail.com to receive a free copy one week before release.

ThunderClapIt Link – https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/21991-fierce-16-authors-of-fantasy

About the Authors and Titles:

Mercedes Lackey – Moving Targets

Stuck watching over four Herald trainees on circuit, Elyn is at her wits’ end—and that’s before a town asks for help with a ghostly infestation.

Michael G. Manning – The Blacksmith’s Son

A journey to discover the secrets of his past reveals a magical heritage and embroils Mordecai in a deadly battle for the future of mankind.

K.F. Breene – Chosen

Prophecy has foretold that when war threatens the world, the Chosen will appear to help the Shadow Warriors reclaim their stolen freedom and lead them out of the Land of Mist.

Morgan Rice – A Quest of Heroes

Thorgin, an outsider and a dreamer, fights to become a warrior in an epic quest that finds him at the center of a maelstrom of royal plots and counterplots that threaten him and everyone he loves.

Michael James Ploof – Whill of Agora

When Whill learns the truth of his lineage, he sets out to face his father’s murderer, but what he learns along the way will change his life—and the realm—forever.

Daniel Arenson – Requiem’s Song

Weredragons, men call them. Monsters. Cursed ones. People who can turn into beastly reptiles. Together they will forge a nation.

Kate Sparkes – Bound

When a young woman accidentally saves the life of an enemy Sorcerer, she finds herself drawn into a world of magic that’s more beautiful, more seductive, and more dangerous than she ever imagined.

David Adams – The Pariahs

Two sellswords—a half-elf and a half-orc—find their war over before it even begins. But trouble is stirring on the home front, conflict which threatens more than just their lives.

Amy Raby – The Fire Seer
Taya must use her fire visions to investigate a series of murders, but the Coalition of Mages has partnered her with her old nemesis, the man who used to bully her when they were young.

C. Greenwood – Magic of Thieves & Betrayal of Thieves

In a province where magic is forbidden, young Ilan, born with the powerful gift of her ancestors, has only one hope for survival—concealment.

David Dalglish – The Weight of Blood

When half-bloods Harruq and Qurrah Tun pledged their lives to a death prophet, they only sought escape from their squalid beginnings. Instead, they become his greatest disciples, charged with leading his army of undead.

K.J. Colt – Bear Heart

In the savage lands of Ruxdor, young Klawdia must fight the champions of four rival clans to defend her future as the first female chieftain.

Shae Ford – Poison

A bandit girl is taken from her home and thrust into a complex world of lords and ladies, where she learns that she must kill to survive.

Endi Webb – The Maskmaker’s Apprentice

Masks of legend. Masks of power. Those who dare to wear them trifle with the old powers and risk ruin and mayhem. But a young apprentice maskmaker cannot contain his curiosity, and accidentally unleashes a deadly terror upon an unsuspecting world.

Michael Wallace – The Dark Citadel

A slave boy and a young queen lead an alliance of spies, servants, and merchants to stave off the encroaching armies of a dark wizard.

Terah Edun – Blades of Magic

As an unstoppable war breaks out, a young girl enlists in the military to unravel the secrets surrounding her father’s execution.


Free Fiction: Strength 101

Hey, guys! I know I shared this when it was a guest post on A.M. Leibowitz’s blog back in October, but for anyone who missed it, I’ve added Strength 101 to the Free Fiction tab at the top of the page (with her permission, of course).

See it there? Top right? In the drop down menu… there you go! Or click here.

I don’t even know how to describe this one. I set out to write a blog post about how screwed up the definition of “strong female characters” is. But… well, I was on migraine medication, and it turned into a short story about a stereotypical “strong” female character trying to teach a remedial class for characters who just weren’t making the cut. Hilarity ensued, and I met a few characters who were only supposed to be there to play a small part in this story, but who might get their own some day.

Pain meds aside, I like this story, and it still makes me smile. I stand by the conclusion, too.

In the comments on the original blog post, Emily Witt shared this link to an article on overthinkingit.com that sums the situation up pretty well. I hadn’t seen it before, and am SO glad she shared.




Strength 101 (Or How to Be a Strong Female Character)

Hey, guys! A.M. Liebowitz invited me to do a guest post on her blog, and this morning she posted my short story “Strength 101”

It’s a fun look at what happens when a bunch of fictional characters attend a class on how to be “Strong Female Characters,” and how things don’t go exactly as planned.

Seriously. Good times for your Friday.

And while you’re there, check out the sidebar links to A.M. Liebowitz’s upcoming release “Lower Education.” I got all spendy and pre-ordered this one. We’ve met the main characters on WIPpet Wednesdays, and they’re amazing. 🙂

Here’s the link to the story.


Taste of Fantasy: KL Schwengel’s “First of Her Kind” on Wattpad

The WIPpeteer mistress is feeling generous.

KL Schwengel has decided to post a chapter a week from First of Her Kind on Wattpad. If you’ve been meaning to check out the Darkness and Light series but haven’t had a chance yet, now would be a great time to do it.

You know, what with Wattpad being free and all.

Just don’t blame me if a a chapter a week isn’t enough, and you decide to just buy the book instead of waiting. 

Click here

WIPpet Wednesday: Gempunk Edition

Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenge this week is to come up with a “something-punk” subgenre and write a story in it. Not steampunk, not cyberpunk. Something different. It just so happens that I’ve had the beginnings of a story banging around in my head since the summer that fits nicely into that idea. This seemed like a perfect excuse to at least get this character out and let her strut her stuff a little and explore the idea of gempunk.

So in lieu of my regular WIPpet thingermahoojie, I’m using the WW rule that states we can start a new project, and posting a scene here.

Two birds with one stone and all of that. *pelts a robin and a bluejay with a flying chunk of sapphire*

I’m posting that here, just because it’s going to take up a bit more space than I usually use on WIPpet Wednesday. CLICK, CLICK!

This is very rough– I only started last night. It’s a scene, though. More than the 1000 words we were assigned, so anyone who’s here from the WendigBlog, you can stop at 1000 words. Oh, and yes, the guy’s name is Surely Morebrand. I don’t know where that came from, but I’m not going to argue with Cat on this one. She’s already being difficult.

The good news is that after months of this idea fluttering about and distracting me, I actually have a plot idea rather than the concept-and-characters-but-no-plot I usually get stuck with. So this could actually be a thing some day. Maybe. Or maybe I’m crazy for liking this one.

For more (shorter) WIPpety goodness, click on over here. Say hello to KL Schwengel, click on the linkie, and be transported to a world of unfinished masterpieces.


I have a cover design finalized. It feels good. I’m still freaking out, because it’s so different from what I expected, but I love it. Going from “no characters” to “hey, that’s totally what Rowan looks like!” in a week was a bit overwhelming, but I’m really happy with it. Thank you to everyone who helped with ideas, opinions, etc.! No reveal plans as of yet (waiting for something within a month of release, at least), but holler if you’re interested in hosting.

Still waiting on my editor. He said end of the month. We’re good.

Um… well, I wrote that thing up there, which was really fun. It’ll go in the “to be continued” file for now.

My Scrivener online course is going well, even if I’m about 4 classes behind. I’m learning SO MUCH STUFF! Best program ever, really.

*twiddles thumbs*

Guess I’ll go edit, now.

Stop by tomorrow (I think?) for a SUPER AWESOME SURPRISE INTERVIEW that was really fun and also awkward for me.

And for more info on ROW80 (almost time for round 2!), head on over here. JOIN US.

WIPpet Wednesday, Backstory Edition

WIPpet, WIPpet Wednesday, it’s the greatest day in his-tor-REEEEE…

Or at least in the week, because I get to hang out with amazing people and read their STUFF. Yeeeeeeeaaaaaah.

My offering today is something a little different. Sometimes I need to fill in a character’s back-story in my own mind, so I’ll write a little flash fiction piece or two, just to flesh things out for myself. It’s nothing that will ever make it into the book, but it’s part of the story, nonetheless.

Could make for interesting bonus materials some day, no?

In any case, here’s the first (3+12-2-0+1+4=) 18 paragraphs from a young lady named Nox who’s rather near and dear to my heart these days. Things haven’t been going so well for her since… well, since she was quite young, as she discussed many Wednesdays ago.

Sorry for the lengthiness… I’ll try for nineteen words next time.

A gust of wind followed me into the house, scattering a thin layer of snow over the bare floor. I forced the door closed behind me, careful to not let the latch click too loudly, and set my old black bag gently on the table. I tried not to let the glass bottles rattle about as I put my potions and medicines away, but couldn’t help the creaking of the floor.

My concern was for nothing. In spite of the late hour, the bed was empty when I looked into the back room.

I sighed, as much from relief as from frustration at my husband’s continued wanderings. Let him take it out on someone else tonight. Tending to the ill always exhausted me, and mid-winter had brought with it a vicious sickness that had swept through the population of every village in our province. Though my presence had saved more people in our town than had survived in others, I still felt guilt over every death. Tonight’s had been no exception.

I set the kettle on the stove to boil. I’d need something to help me sleep, however temporary it might be.

The little girl who died was hardly more than a baby. Dirty and thin, I suspected that she wasn’t well looked-after at the best of times. Still, her parents had cared enough to call me. Too late, as it turned out, but a Potioner’s services don’t come cheap, and people in Cressia are too proud to take charity. Even after the child passed on, the parents insisted on sending me away with a bag of potatoes and onions.

Not a payment my husband would appreciate, but it was more than they could afford.

I hung my threadbare coat on the hook next to the door and poured steaming water over elinberry roots and dried berries, then added a splash from the flask I kept hidden under the sink. Warmth spread through my body as I sipped, and the tension flowed out of my muscles as I sank into bed. I didn’t bother undressing. Someone would be banging at the door soon enough, needing me.

The door slammed open, then shut. I lay with my eyes closed, listening to him muttering as he stumbled about the house, his ox-strong body banging into furniture as he went. Something shattered, almost certainly the bottle of bitterleaf I’d just distilled that morning. It would take me a week to do it again, and I was running low.


I rolled over and pulled my knees up to my chest, making myself small.

He eventually staggered into the bedroom and made his way to the washbasin to splash water on his face. The straw mattress shifted under his weight as he sat to remove his boots, and he exhaled the stench of ale over me as he leaned over to study my face. I shifted slightly, as I thought I might if I were asleep. He sighed, and finished undressing.

He rolled toward me, pressing his body against my back. “Why’re you dressed?” he mumbled, as he tugged at the buttons on my shirt.

“Just got home. Need sleep.”

He abandoned the buttons and reached for the hem of my skirt. “You get paid?”

“Enough.” I pushed his hand away and pulled the skirt tight around my legs. “I’ll probably have to go out again soon.”

“Good thing this won’t take long, then.”

“I mean it, Harold. Stop.” Tight as I gripped the fabric, his hands were stronger than mine. He pried my fingers open and rolled on top of me. “Harold, no.”

He laughed and bit my ear. “Who the hell you think you are, missus?”


He’s a keeper, that one. -_-

I kind of want to share the rest, what with my girl being a giant badass with questionable morals and all, but you know. Spoilers.


As always, thanks to K.L. Schwengel for hosting WIPpet Wednesday! Swing on by (and witness Driev being amazing, as per usual), click the linkie, and see what everyone else has to share today. You just never know what you’ll find.

ROW80 Update

My editor is still behind schedule thanks to illness (where’s a Potioner when you need one, AMIRITE?), and won’t be able to work on my stuff until the end of the month. This may or may not throw my entire schedule out of whack, depending on how much I need to do once he’s finished with it. It is, however, a self-imposed schedule, so there’s still some flexibility there. Whew.

The good news is that my cover designer is totally NOT behind schedule, and is working with me now. She’s fantastic, and (thank goodness) patient. The design she’s working on wasn’t what I initially pictured, but faced with a choice between what would be OMG PERFECT in my mind* and what will actually sell to my target audience… well, I had to make the best business decision. It’s going to be fantastic when it’s done. I’ll keep you posted.

So that’s the business update. As far as writing goes, I’m working on getting book 2 read through and plotted out on index cards. There are issues, but so far I at least have ideas of how to fix them. There’s a romance subplot that’s going to be SUPER DUPER AMAZING when I get it filled out more. Because, y’know. I enjoy that stuff.

Annnnd… that’s about it.

So what have you been up to?

*Not that I had a single clear idea to offer her. This is why I’m so thankful for her patience.

The Fox

Have I ever told you about the magic that comes with the fog around here? It’s not something you notice right off.  In fact, I’d say most people just curse and fiddle with the high beams, or use it as a topic for small talk at the grocery store. But for those who pay attention, whose eyes are open to magic, the strangest things happen around here when the fog rolls in.

Take last week, for example. It was a cloudy day, but the roads were clear as I took the highway in to town. It’s a simple enough drive to do on auto-pilot, if you’re so inclined, but it’s a bad idea. In Newfoundland, you have to keep your eyes open for moose. Bunnies and weasels are tiny tragedies when you hit them, but a moose will total your car.

So sure, I was paying attention, but I was enjoying the drive, too– music cranked up, temperature controls set the way I like them, and enjoying the fact that the back seat, though as messy as ever, was free from any small people who might interrupt my passionate caterwauling. It’s not often that I get out without the kids, and I was making the most of my alone time.

The October leaves had captured my attention as I came around a wide bend in the road, and at first I didn’t notice the small, dark shape trotting down the shoulder of the highway through the thin fog that had settled in the low places. A fox, but not red. Come to think of it, I don’t remember ever seeing a red fox here. They’always got darker, black-tipped fur. Still, certainly a fox, bushy tail and all. I tapped the brakes and slowed in case he decided to dart in front of me, but I shouldn’t have worried. In fact, the fox stopped, parked his fluffy butt on the gravel shoulder, and raised a forepaw in the air.

I slowed again as I approached. The fox twisted his paw, holding it out like a human offering a handshake, and jerked it upward.

He’s hitchhiking, I thought, and pulled over. I’d never picked up a hitchhiker before, never trusting them not to be serial killers, but it seemed like a good time to make an exception. I leaned over and popped the passenger side door open, and the fox leapt up onto the seat. I excused myself as I pulled the door shut, and started down the road again.

“Thanks,” the fox said, and reached up one back foot to scratch at an ear. “I wasn’t sure that would work.”

“No problem,” I said. A car honked at me as it passed, and I checked my speed. Ten under the limit. I pressed harder on the gas pedal and tried to pay attention to my driving. “Where are you headed?”

“Just down a ways. You know the entrance to the dump?”

“I do.”

“That’ll be fine.”

I reached out to turn the music off. “You know, this is quite unusual. I can’t say I’ve ever met a talking fox before. Or given one a ride.”

“Yeah, well. What can you do?”

He didn’t seem inclined to say more, and we traveled for a few minutes in silence, save for the sound of his frequent scratching.

I turned in to the dump road. “You can just let me out here,” the fox said.

“Oh. Sure.” I hesitated, then asked, “Is that it, then?”

“I’m a little short on payment options.”

I drummed my fingers on the steering wheel. “No, that’s okay. It’s just that in stories, talking animals always appear to offer advice, or a warning, or to share something at a turning point in a person’s life. I thought maybe…”

The fox sighed and closed his eyes, then stretched his neck and stood. “Open the door,” he said, and I did.

He turned and sniffed the air, then raised a leg and pissed all over the back of the seat. He bounced out and trotted a few paces away before turning back and holding out a forepaw again, this time in a gesture that brought to mind a human flipping the bird.

“You want advice?” he asked. “Don’t pick up hitchhikers. It never ends well.”

And with that he was gone, bounding away into the mist.

I’m telling you guys. Things get weird around here when the fog rolls in.

Carry On: WIPpet Wednesday and ROW80 Update

Nothing new from any other WIP to share yet, so I wrote a bit more of last week’s story for you, since people responded so positively. If you don’t have time for a longer snippet and have to go, that’s OK. For anyone who wants to see what happened with that dragon, here you go. It’s 28 (mostly short) paragraphs for the 28th.

I’m thinking about making the protagonist a little older (because I can do that with my god-like powers), but we’ll wait and see on that. Rough draft again, sorry. I’l try to be more on the ball next time. 🙂

I fought to control the shaking in my hands as I held out my basket. “Y-you can have them back,” I stammered. “I didn’t know they were yours.” 

The dragon— and there was no doubt as to what it was, impossible though it seemed— lifted its head to sniff at the breeze, then moved toward me, serpentine body emerging slowly from the underbrush, curving around the clearing until the tip of its tail appeared. It wasn’t as large as the dragons in drawings and movies I’d seen, but was more than big enough to make a meal of me if it wanted to. “How generous of you,” it said. “But what of the ones you’ve eaten? However shall I retrieve those?” It raised its emerald head until we stood face to face, and the nostril slits widened as it sniffed at my mouth.

A hissing noise ripped through the forest’s silence, and the dragon let out a long, death-scented groan. Its eyes widened and rolled to the side as claws reached to grasp the wooden shaft that had appeared in its armpit. Another hiss, and a second arrow was embedded in the creature’s golden eye. The dragon slumped in a graceful wave of scaled body, then lay twitching at my feet.

I gagged at the smell and backed into the woods as quickly as I could, not wanting to wait around to see what other fairy tales were about to come to life. But which way to run? I didn’t know where the stream was, or even how far I’d come. Calm down. Think.

I needed to get higher, but most of the trees around me were spruces with branches that weretoo dense for climbing. That strange pink tree, though, had looked sturdy, and the branches started low. I crept back toward the clearing, but paused when I saw the hunter.

A girl dressed in brown pants and a stained, cream-coloured shirt stood beside the still form of the dragon. She braced a foot against the skull and pulled at her arrow, which came out with a wet squishing sound. The other arrow broke when she tried to remove it. She snarled and tossed the shaft into the woods, then pulled out a knife and sawed into the flesh at the bottom of the dragon’s ear.

She looked up as I stepped into the clearing, taking in my clothing and the now-empty basket I still held onto so tightly that splinters dug into my fingers. She held up one finger, indicating that I should wait, and went back to the ear. I suddenly felt dizzy, and sat down before my legs had a chance to fail me.

The girl, who looked to be about sixteen years old, tucked the dragon’s ear safely at the bottom of the canvas shoulder bag she carried, then offered me a blood-stained hand to help me up. “Are you hurt?”

“No, I don’t think so. Thank you.”

She shrugged. “I should thank you. My family needs the reward money.” She pulled a cloth out of her bag and cleaned her knife. “You’re new?”

“Sorry? I mean, I’m visiting my grandmother in Brightdale, if that’s what you mean.”

The girl narrowed her eyes and looked me over from my braided hair to my steel-toed hiking boots. “Not exactly, but that will do. Where did you cross?”

“Cross what, the stream?”

“Come on.”

Without any further explanation the girl led the way back into the berry patch, confidently retracing my path. When I followed her gaze, I saw signs of my earlier passage that I’d missed before in my panic: twisted branches, a patch of moss scraped off of a rock by my boot. Soon we were back at the stream.

“Thank you,” I said. I wanted to rush across the water and back home, but I had to ask. “About that dragon…”

She smiled. She was pretty, if somewhat rough-looking. A faint scar crossed her left cheek from nose to jaw, and her blond hair looked like it hadn’t been brushed in a month. “Don’t see those too often where you come from?”

“Not exactly. What—” I hesitated. I didn’t even know what to ask. There were too many questions.

She crouched to rinse her hands in the water. “You probably won’t get back,” she said, and looked back at me over her shoulder. “You can try. I’ll wait. You can come home with me.”

“I should be able to find my way back from here.”

“Good luck.”

I hopped across the stones, just as I had before, and turned confidently to go back down the hill to where I hoped Gran wasn’t still waiting for me.

Something wasn’t right. There was another one of those strange trees, and I was sure I hadn’t passed that on the way up. A bird trilled overhead, then flitted closer to investigate. Iridescent sapphire feathers glistened on its back, and bright red flashed as it spread its wings to fly away. I wasn’t much of a birdwatcher, but I was fairly certain that this wasn’t any species native to Newfoundland. Still, I pushed on down the hill.

I gasped as I emerged from the forest onto a stone outcropping that looked just like the one that had shaded me and Gran while we ate our lunch. The view had changed completely. Instead of low hills, a winding road and the village of Brightdale nestled in the valley, I was faced with a range of round-topped mountains that I had never seen before. I sank to my knees, shaking, finally understanding what the girl had meant when she asked where I crossed.

A hand settled on my shoulder. “I’m sorry,” the girl said as she sat beside me. “I had to let you try. You never know, right?” She pulled a clean cloth from her bag and offered it to me, then turned away as I wiped my eyes and blew my nose.

When I’d calmed down enough to speak, there was only one question on my mind.

“Where am I?”

Hmm… A couple of you might know the answer to that one.

Care to join in the fun? Read the other WIPpeteers’ entries at this link, and join in if you’d like! Post a snippet of a work in progress that relates in some way to today’s date (page number, chapter, etc) and add your link. Thanks to KL Schwengel for hosting this hootenanny every week!


I did. True story.

All right, Wednesday also means I owe an update for ROW80.


And the big news is… Nothing has changed. I might as well say “see Sunday’s post.” Are you all impressed? I hope so.

No, seriously, that’s it. That’s all I have to say. You’re welcome. 🙂

If you’d like to see what everyone else is up to, though, try clicking here.



Know what sucks? Yes, besides a Hoover. Very funny. What I was going to say was that re-naming characters sucks. Hard. And not in a good way.

I knew this was coming. I’ve even mentioned it here, trying to mentally prepare myself. But it really has to be done now, both in revisions for my first book and for the character re-appearing in the second. And it’s not the character I thought it would be.

I was going to change Cassia’s name, and let Kai keep his. His name means “ocean,” he’s a watery sort of guy, and then name seemed to me to have the sort of fun-yet-laid-back vibe that he gives off. I was attached to Cassia’s name, too (I adore it, and it means “cinnamon,” which is pretty much the colour of her skin), but I thought she could survive the change. I couldn’t leave them both, not with love interests in a very popular YA series being named Cassia and Ky. My brother and sister pair would not stand for it.

So Kai’s name was going to stay. And then a friend named her dog Kai, and told me that her kids had named him after a Lego Ninjago character. Lovely. And reviews of another book that I need to read say that there’s a female character named Kai. And the name has come up a few times in reviews of other books I’ve seen recently, all male characters. Point is, it’s popular, and I don’t like that. Didn’t want to give my kids popular names, don’t want to do it for my characters. I don’t need them to be speshul-snowflake unique (or Uneeq, for that matter), but I really don’t like name trends.

But there’s also no other perfect name with a similar meaning. All evidence to the contrary, I don’t usually choose names based on what they mean; I’ve almost rejected names that gave away too much. But most of my mer folk do have water-related names. Nguh. I’ve narrowed it down a bit… I just hope this doesn’t take up as much of my day as blog renovations did yesterday. O.o

EDIT: Ugh. I liked the name Caius (it’s similar!), but I just found out that there’s one in the Twilight saga. So that’s probably a “no.”

WIPpet Wednesday: Consequences

Last week’s WIPpet snippet was short. Of COURSE I’m going to give you something massive this week. I won’t be offended if you skip it. 🙂

This is from chapter… probably three. I’m not too clear on chapter divisions yet. This is extremely rough, please excuse the everything. Set up: things haven’t been going well since the end of Bound (so much for happily ever after, right?). So SPOILER ALERT I guess, if you don’t want to know whether people survive that one.

Still with me? Good. Rowan has convinced Aren to take a walk with her on the beach, saying she wanted to search for treasure. He doubted they’d find any, but went along anyway. He doesn’t get to spend much time alone with her these days. :/

12 + 6 paragraphs for 12/6  (plus one line so it makes sense)

Rowan seemed to be trying to get her bearings on the beach, running back and forth, looking down, when she suddenly dropped to her knees to rake her fingers through the pebbles. I jogged toward her, holding tightly to the cloth-wrapped item in my pocket. She stood and held her hand out to me. “Told you there was treasure.”

Glass. Two pieces, one green and one brown, the edges smoothed and the surface dulled by the rocks and water. “That’s it? This is what you were looking for?”

“Mm-hmm. I didn’t think you’d come with me if I told you.”

“What, that we were looking for old garbage?” She looked at me expectantly, and I sighed. “No, I still would have come along.” I fell in beside her as she walked closer to the water.

“It’s not old garbage.”

“It’s broken glass that somebody threw away, or that floated off of a shipwreck. It is the very definition of garbage.”

She stopped to pick up a few more pieces, and motioned for me to hold out my hand. “No,” she said. “This is garbage.” Clear glass this time, and new, probably tossed over the cliff recently. I closed my fingers around it, and the point of the triangle bit into my skin. When I opened my hand, blood welled up from a tiny puncture. Rowan frowned. “I wish you wouldn’t do that. I can’t heal it, you know.”

“It’ll go away on its own soon enough.”

She shook her head, and a sudden breeze off of the ocean blew her hair around her head until she caught it and tied it back with the ribbon she kept in her coat. “This, however,” she continued, “is treasure.” Clear glass again, but turned white by its pitted surface. It was perfectly smooth, and aside from its colour was indistinguishable from the round pebbles that littered the shore. “I suppose it was garbage once, but after a while it becomes beautiful. Don’t you see it?”

As she added to her collection, I started to see. No one would ever mistake the glass for gemstones, but they were beautiful in the same way that someone like Rowan thought beach rocks were beautiful, or a mossy forest, or the swirling patterns in driftwood. I didn’t notice those things the way she did, but I was learning. It reminded me of her; if the women I’d known in Luid were diamonds and sapphires, she was the amethyst-coloured glass she handed to me, which seemed to glow in the fading sunlight and became more interesting the longer I looked at it. She was a strange person, but in ways that I liked very much. I thought again of leaving, and felt ill. I didn’t know how to bring it up.

A dull flash of green caught my eye. “What about this one?” I asked.

She turned the glass over in her hands. “Almost there. See how this edge is clear? It probably broke off of something not too long ago, and the ocean has to work on it a bit more. It’s a shame; the colour’s good.”

I sat on a weathered log that had landed above the tide line, and Rowan followed. “You’re leaving, aren’t you?” she asked.

“It’s time,” I said. She was silent for a few moments, then smiled, sadly.

“What, just when things are going so well here?”

I took her hand. It was so small in mine. “I would stay if I thought it would help you, but I think I’m just in the way right now. I’m not doing any good here. I’m tired of being unwanted and useless. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing now, but it’s not this.”

Rowan squeezed my fingers. “It’s not getting any better, is it?”

“Did I ever tell you what Mariana and Arnav said to me at the Grotto?” She shook her head and sat beside me. “They said that it was admirable that I wanted to renounce my past, but that I needed to learn what I was living for. Right now I have nothing but you. I think I could spend the rest of my life living for you, but-”

“…but that’s not fair to either of us. I know.”

Life is hard, kids, stay in school and don’t fall in love too quickly. Quality advice from Auntie Kate, right there. I have a big problem with stories where people fall in love too quickly and then that’s it.  I will NOT have codependent characters. *end rant*

And yeah, I know, it’s wordy and needs editing. I’ll get back to it. 😉

Want to join in the WIPpet Wedesday fun? Head on over to our host’s blog (KL Schwengel at My Random Muse), click on the linkie and share the love with the other WIPpeteers, and add your own link to a bit of your work in progress that relates to today’s date in some way (12 lines, 12 words… 12+6 letters, something from chapter or page 12… whatever).


Treasure ahoy!

I guess I owe a #ROW80 update, too, especially since I missed Sunday’s check-in. JuNoWriMo is putting the pressure on, but I’m behind. I need a few good days with no distractions to get caught up. 2,000 words a day is just not happening right now. I’ve given up on reading Fallen (see here if you really want to know why) and have started Matched, which I thought sounded very not me, but I’ve enjoyed the first few chapters. Housework is going well, too, even if I refuse to acknowledge that as an official goal.

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