It’s Excerpt Monday again! Once a month, a bunch of authors get together and post excerpts from published books, contracted work or works in progress, and link to each other. You don’t have to be published to participate–just a writer with an excerpt you’d like to share. For more info on how to participate, head over to the Excerpt Monday site! or click on the banner above.
Today we have another excerpt from my Missing Magic, a scene for one of the antagonists in the novel, Snaithan Unagands. His mission is clear: kill Finn macc Líamór. But nothing is ever straightforward and others have their own agendas in the war.
Damned Court games.
Snaithan kept his smile fixed, aware more than ever he’d no one to watch his back in this place. As he followed Governor Regucan and Commander Hrucon, he took the moment’s interruption to glance around the busy Snow Mount hall. A handsome old hall, all waxed wood and dressed stone, with soaring crossed-beam rafters and bright tapestries. Fires crackled pleasantly in the three hearths and the lamplight gave the whole space a warm mellow glow. Easy to forget it was occupied enemy territory.
An interesting mix of folk cluttered Governor Regucan’s supper table: smug Fomorai officers, Leannai nobles with their anxiety hidden behind a thin veil of politic smiles, and cocky Leannai renegades, all tended by harried Leannai and Formorai slaves.
At the head of the table, a tall, slim Leannai woman with downcast eyes sat waiting alone in a heavy, carved and upholstered chair beside the empty matching chair that must be Regucan’s. She wore fur trimmed velvet and jewels, and her gleaming brown hair was done up in a neat crown of plaits dressed with scattered pearls.
Was this Regucan’s captive mistress, Queen Daíríne?
Um, yes. This is most definitely a kissing book.
I finally wrote Finn and Annie’s love scene this weekend. I thought it would be easy, they’ve been waiting the whole novel to be together without some disaster or another interrupting them, and the story had built up a nice amount of sensual tension. To my surprise, however, with the story conflicts finally over, and nothing to keep them apart, writing their reward love scene was remarkably hard. But it’s done, and I’m happy.
(Annie and Finn were very pleased as well. lol)
Well, the home stretch is coming up. Seven more days to finish this challenge. I should make the 60k. I only have 7k to go.
Finishing the last four chapters of Missing Magic is coming so slowly, but I think the changes are good. I’ve upped the tension between Finn and Marcan and I changed the Blathnat thread. Snaithan keeps morphing. That of course means changing earlier scenes. I finally committed to moving the dragon arena to Book 2. As much I liked having it in Book 1, it needs to move and let me put the ransom into a better place.
Okay, back to work.
This excerpt is from Chapter 2 of Missing Magic, where Finn and Annie meet for the first time. Finn, operating under the alias Alfrid Steinsson, is investigating Annie and her family. The setting is a barbeque in the backyard of her family home.
Annie found Neve holding court from the chaise lounge up on the broad and shady flagstone patio. A glowing Madonna, Neve had dressed for the humid day in a white knit sundress that celebrated her ripely pregnant state. Her husband, Alan, the linebacker turned poetry professor, sat with his chair pulled close at Neve’s side, her right hand enveloped in his. Both busily chatted with the lean stranger lounging in the chair to Neve’s left.
Annie stopped on the patio steps. Her eyes blurred for a second and she blinked. He was Steinsson? Oh. My.
For some reason she had expected him to be Dad’s age, but the man could only be a few years older than herself. His computer-geek sunglasses concealed his eyes. He wore his light brown hair tied back in a sleek long tail. Angular facial bones, an intriguing mix of youthful, dignified and rough-hewn, sent her fingers itching for a pencil, charcoal, something-–
Annie felt the instant his gaze met hers and caught. He straightened with a quick intake of breath and rose to his feet. He was tall, like her brothers. A slow, surprised smile tipped the corners of his mouth.
Oh, he had dimples.
Warmth enfolded her, gently possessive, directionless.
“There she is!” Alan’s rich orator’s voice jolted Annie out of her entranced gaze with Steinsson. Continue reading