It’s Excerpt Monday again for a group of us over at Romance Divas. We all post a snippet of our work and read everyone else’s.
Here is an excerpt (PG) from Chapter 1 of my work in progress Rebel Magic, which the second story in my Enchanted Legacy series:
You’re none of mine. You’re none of mine.
That was damn near the last straw. Angus Doran crushed out his cigarette. You’re none of mine. Grandfather’s enraged words pounded in his head to the tempo of the buffeting sea wind.
“Excuse me? I am most sure you should not be out there. The sign states there is danger,” the young German woman called to him yet again from the warning sign down at the cliff trail.
Angus ignored her once more and added the butt to the neat pile of its mates tucked under his boot.
You’re none of mine.
He sat on patch of grass at the cliff edge, leaning elbows on knees, looking out from this lonely fog-bound bit of the west Irish coast across the misty miles of the Atlantic Ocean to where he should be. Home. New Jersey. Far below him the tide churned and surged against the rocky foot of the precipitous cliffs, the rhythm tempting and mesmerizing. One gust of wind, and a misstep along the crumbling headland would be a long last step.
You’re none of mine.
He weighed such a step. Simple enough to stand and let wind, gravity and fate test their forces against his lack of will.
He hunched his shoulders in his new jacket against the fitful damp wind and settled his cap against his close clipped hair. The small shop’s coat selection had been limited, and though the young salesgirl had warned him he’d find the heavy jacket left over from their winter stock far too warm for their usual weather, the coat had been the only one to fit his long, large frame. He was now glad of the water-resistant insulated warmth on the extraordinarily chilly grey July day.
“You should not be out there. The signs are clear,” a man’s voice instructed this time.
Angus glanced back at the young blond couple who persisted in disturbing his gloom and quiet. Tourists, properly togged out for a day hike, the woman curvy and pert and the man earnest with the lean polished look of a tennis pro. They were staying at the same hotel as he. Newlyweds, old Mr. Boyd had said.
He clenched his jaw against the deep dull-knife pain in his heart. He’d brought Mara here, too, years ago on their honeymoon, held her safe in his arms so she could peek over the cliff edge. She had laughed with delight at the view despite her fear of heights, her brown eyes shining, her trust in him absolute.
You’re none of mine.
He stared down at the distant surging tide. Oh, shit, Mara.
He shuddered, his breath seized under the crushing pain in his chest . . . headlights blazed on the pale horse and its armored rider on the road in their path. Mara shrieked, and hit the brakes. He grabbed for the wheel, with hand and with airáil, with prayer. Already too late. The tires hit ice. The car spun. Mara’s eyes widened in terror. Her hand went to her belly, instinctively, futilely. The tires caught on the snow-crusted shoulder. Too late, too fast, too hard. Tree–- Darkness. Pain. He pried open his eyes in the moonlit hush of the cooling crumpled car. Mara and the baby were gone, beyond any recall by his love or his magic.
A shadow leaned in through the smashed window over Mara’s body. Pinned and broken, hurting beyond pain, Angus could fix on only three details: moonlight glinting on a circular enameled shoulder brooch in the shape of a dragon biting its tail, glowing cat-green eyes, and a fang-baring grin of satisfaction. . .
Angus came gasping back into the present, shaking like a palsied old man, his heart pounding in his chest.
“. . . Are you ill? Do you hear me, Sir? You should not be out there. The sign warns for your safety.” The woman’s sincere concern and sturdy sweet voice scraped along his raw nerves like fingernails on chalkboard.
He raised his head with dragging breath and gave her a slow black glare over his shoulder that could put the most obstinate recruit in his place. A push of airáil could drive them off, but for him, airáil risked opening his mind’s currently shaky defenses. He did not want to see, hear or feel anything from anyone.
The woman proved immune. “There is danger of falling rocks. You must remain on the trail,” she said firmly, hands on her hips, as if she were addressing his five year-old son Daithi.
Angus flushed. “Look, lady, will you ever just piss off and leave me alone?” His voice barked out loud and harsh.
The woman flinched a step closer to her husband.
“If the Garda wants to come and chase me off, that is their business, well enough, but none of yours.” Bad enough when family nagged. Shit. Now even strangers were getting on his case.
The man tugged on his wife’s arm, talking impatiently. Angus understood German well enough for the gist, “If the crazy Irishman wants to kill himself on the cliffs, let him.” He tugged on his wife’s arm again and hurried her off up the proper trail.
Angus selected another cigarette from the dwindling pack and scowled at the remains at his foot. “You smoke too much, Doran.” A stiff gust blew out his match. Irritated, he snapped his fingers to light the cigarette. Though a bit of foolishness, he actually favored the mundane snap and flare of a struck match over the expedient magic gift. He was tired of magic, tired of secrets, tired of burdens.
He leaned on his elbows and took a settling drag. He was ashamed to say, but he enjoyed thwarting Grandmother Brighid’s attempts to compel him to quit. Petty victories, but right now, his smoking was the least of all their worries.
Angus pondered the German’s comment. He was not precisely Irish, though his people had long been found on this island. As to being crazy, well, it could be fair to say he was perhaps further around the bend than might be healthy. If no memory of the drive from Shannon airport wasn’t proof enough, getting in Grandfather’s face Friday certainly was.
You’re none of mine.
He flexed his right hand, grimacing at the bruised knuckles. Yes, all signs were certainly clear.
He was so fucked.
More Monday Excerpts!
(Please note: Some excerpts and/or sites may be more along the lines of spicy, steamy, or sexy. Read at your own risk.)
Amber Gilchrist’s Excerpt Monday
Mel’s Excerpt Monday
Jeannie Lin – Butterfly Swords
Kate Willoughby – Asking For It (Rating: PG-13)
Christa McHugh – A Soul For Trouble
Vivienne Westlake – A Halloween Novella(17 and above)
Kinsey Holley – Rocky Mountain Howl
Bria Quinlan – Cami’s First Kiss
Stephanie Adkins – Resisting Kane(Excerpt: PG-13, Site: NC-17)
RF Long -The Scroll Thief
Lynne Chandler -Inheritance
A Run for the Money by Gina Ardito
Eden Bradley -21st Century Courtesan (Adult)
Dying Embers by B.E. Sanderson
The Chancellor’s Bride by Kirsten Saell (Excerpt Rating: PG, Site Rating: NC-17)
Scenting Cinnamon by Ella Drake (Rating: NC-17)
Excerpt Monday by Evie Byrne (Excerpt Rating: PG, Site Rating: NC-17)
Del Fantasma by Becca Sheridan-Furrow
Excerpt Monday by Kaige
Surfacing by Isabelle Santiago
19 thoughts on “Excerpt Monday”
I love the quiet sense of danger and the rich setting details.
Very interesting. It doesn’t seem like the type of story I’d usually pick up, but after reading the excerpt, I’d be kicking myself all day if I didn’t pick up the whole thing. =o)
Love it! You’ve drawn such a lyrical, magical scene. *sigh* Such talent!
My goodness, this is intense and lovely. I’m very impressed.
There’s nothing like a wounded hero in a romance. Love it. 🙂
Love the way you drew on his angst and the pain in his past.
A tragic hero and magic–great beginning. I’m interested in reading more about this character.
Great excerpt, Babette! I can’t wait to read more! 🙂
Intense and vivid scene. I really feel for Angus.
Fascinating. You totally caught me there. And not only because I love all things Irish. 🙂