Excerpt Monday: The Sorcerer’s Daughter pt.3

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Welcome to another Excerpt Monday!

Excerpt Monday was started by two lovely writers: Bria Quinlan and Alexia Reed. Visit the other links for some interesting reads from unpublished and published alike and if you’d like to join up for next month, take a look at the main site: The Excerpt Monday blog.

The Sorcerer’s Daughter is a historical fantasy centered around five swordsmen in the Emperor’s secret service who’ve been tasked with fighting demons and evil spirits. This is Book One in what I’m currently calling The Soul Stealers.

I had to admit some similarities to Tsui Hark’s Age of Vampires…but only on the surface. 🙂

Excerpt 1: The Sorcerer’s Daughter

Excerpt 2: The Sorcerer’s Daughter


Tai Shen sensed the sudden emptiness in the clearing. The gui were gone. He sheathed his sword to silence the lost souls that whirled around him. They fell away with a mournful sigh.

Song Yi lowered the ritual sword. Her hand trembled. “It was worse tonight.”

Her lips were pale. The mourning veil had fallen away to reveal a cascade of black hair tied back with a single ribbon. A moment ago she had been like a warrior goddess, but now Tai Shen only saw the girl, grieving and frightened. How had she faced these demons alone?

“Was that the leader?” she asked.

“Demons don’t have a leader.”

The stillness was unsettled. Once again, too quiet. As if the insects and birds and natural creatures of the night knew to stay away. Tai Shen swept his gaze over the woods. Something was wrong.

Jin approached, frowning. Like every expression from Jin, is spoke of a thousand thoughts behind it. “The guiguai all disappeared.”

“They never went away until dawn…” Song Yi’s voice trailed away. She rushed back to the cabin.

They reached the door to find her standing beside the bamboo mat. The talismans smoldered upon the walls. The mat lay empty.

She bowed her head. “I should never have left.”

A thin layer of sand had been laid over the floor. Taoist symbols were traced into the dirt, radiating outward like a spider’s web. A trail of footprints disrupted the markings.

One set led away from the mat. None led to it.


Song Yi grabbed the lantern, ignoring the swordsmen as the called after her. She would search the entire mountainside for Father if she had to. She would lay him to rest.

The smell of rotting meat tainted the air and her stomach lurched. The previous nights, she’d hidden away inside the cabin, praying that the talismans, the chanting, the mirror wards would hold the gui back. She’d considered that these beings were only waking nightmares, coming at night, living only in her mind. But they were real. She had seen how them swarm and attack. Had seen how the swords cut through them. Demon flesh melted into black sludge in the grass at her feet. She held her breath and pushed forward, but someone grabbed hold of her arm.

It was the one called Tai Shen. Up close, he seemed massive, foreboding. She tensed beneath the force of his grip. No one ever touched her like that.

“We need to get back inside,” he said. He appeared almost apologetic as she shook her arm free.

“Father is out there.”

“They’re coming again.”

The air churned like dark water around them and the unnatural hum in her ears grew louder until her head throbbed. A chill crept over her skin. He was right.

They escaped to the cabin, behind the talismans and mirror wards. Behind the screen of fragrant incense, meant to attract benevolent spirits. Tai Shen dragged the door shut and stood guard by the window.

He drew back the curtain with two fingers, sword still in hand. “I can see them.”

She and Father had lived in one room where all the humble necessities of life had been packed; furnace, bed mats, small, tight shelves that held their few belongings. The intrustion of the two strangers shrunk the space even smaller. A curtain could be drawn to separate the altar from the rest of the cabin. She wanted to do so now and block out the sight of the barren mat where her father had lain cold and still.

“I must go after him.” Her heart pounded and her palms grew damp around the wooden sword. Yet she forced herself to continue. “They’ll tear him apart.”


More excerpts:

As always, your hostesses Bria Quinlan (PG13), , Alexia Reed (R), Rachel Jameson (PG13) and Kendal Corbitt (R)  thank you for stopping by!

Joining us this week:

Babette James, Contemporary Romance (PG 13)
Danie Ford, Contemporary YA (PG 13)
Jeannie Lin, Historical Paranormal (PG 13)
Kaige, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Shawntelle Madison, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)
Debbie  Mumford, Fantasy (PG 13)
Ryan, Mystery (PG13)
Madison Woods, Fantasy (PG 13)
Stephanie Draven, Dark Fantasy (PG 13)

Ali Katz, Historical (R)
Vivien Jackson, Paranormal erotic romance (R)
Rhiannon Leith, Fantasy (R)

Elizabeth Black, gay m/m erotica (NC 17)
Sara Brookes, Urban Fantasy (NC 17)
Angeleque Ford, Contemporary erotic romance (NC17)
Lisa Fox, Paranormal erotic romance (NC 17)
Christa Paige, Regency romance (NC 17)
Gail Roarke, Paranormal erotic romance (NC 17)

I haven’t screened all of these myself, so please heed the ratings. These excerpts may contain content not typical of my site.

Excerpts are posted at 9am EST at The Excerpt Monday blog.

Excerpt Monday: The Sorcerer’s Daughter part 2

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Is it that time again? Time flies when you’re on deadline! Well, um, self-imposed deadline that is.

Excerpt Monday was started by two lovely writers: Bria Quinlan and Alexia Reed. Visit the other links for some interesting reads from unpublished and published alike and if you’d like to join up for next month, take a look at the main site: The Excerpt Monday blog.

Excerpt Monday is back! The contemporary romantic elements, Shinjuku, was coming along nicely, but after a while, I realized I might want to submit it. I think the rule is no more than 10% can be excerpted, right? Hmmm…that’s probably a made up rule someone told me. Must research.

I’m falling back to the historical fantasy I’m working on for this month’s Excerpt Monday. It’s a full length novel, so I have some more leeway, right? At least until it’s picked up by someone. 😉

The first draft is halfway done and I am going to fight tooth and nail to finish it, despite a minor melancholy I’m currently suffering after finishing GGK’s Under Heaven. I posted the opening to Sorcerer’s Daughter a while back, before it had been titled. It’s about a mysterious branch of the Emperor’s guard tasked with fighting demons and evil spirits. Kind of like an imperial X-files, I suppose.

Part 1: The Sorcerer’s Daughter


Tai Shen swung around to face the clearing behind them. The air around him thickened as his hand closed around his sword. Shadows twisted and danced. His senses became honed, focused as he drew from the spirit energy around him.

“Tai Shen–”

Jin’s warning wasn’t necessary. He could see the mass of demons now. They formed into a slithering horde around the altar house, rising from the earth and spinning out from the air.

So many. Memories of his village came to him in a flood. The demons had been invisible to him then. He’d only seen the deaths they’d caused.

A furnace raged at his back. The burning talismans would send the cabin up in flames.

“Get her out of there.” He shouted the command over his shoulder, then strode forward to face the gui.

The spirit realm surged around him as he unsheathed the blade. Wandering souls tugged at his mind, screaming into his ears like a deafening wind. They sensed his life-ridden body opening to their energy. Tai Shen wanted their power. He needed it to fight the demons before him, but the ghosts wanted his warmth in return. His breath and his pulse.

The demon horde took shape. They moved with wrenched bodies and claws that sprouted from what should have been hands. No two gui were ever alike. Symmetry was a law of nature.

Tai Shen drew the energy, the qi, through his sword and let it flow into his muscles as he focused only on the enemies in front of him. When the hunters fought together, they moved as if of one mind. That was the training. Jin would take care of the girl. The demons were his.

Tightening his grip, Tai Shen swung hard, blade set. The steel ripped through the front line. Putrid jelly fell to corrupt the ground where they landed.

The monsters solidified into bone and muscle and jagged teeth. A leathery creature leapt at him. Its eyes gleamed bone white through the darkness. The eyes were the worst to look upon. The eyes gave the semblance of something living, but they never closed. Not even when he cut off the head.

Tai Shen swiveled and cut down another one, his blade slicing clean. His heart pumped steadily. He controlled it with circular breath and will, slowed it even more as he moved faster. Qi flowed through him. He leapt above the thick of the oncoming horde and hovered suspended. Chose his targets. The wide arc of sweep of his blade cut through them like a scythe through the harvest. Yet more grew from the shadows.

“Where are they coming from?” he shouted.

“I don’t know.” Jin stood outside the cabin, keeping Song Yi close.

Tai Shen speared another creature through its torso. The next gui that approached from the darkness of the night was nothing like the monsters that littered the ground. It was a red-skinned demon, twice a man’s height. The body was nearly human. Arms and legs and a head, at least. A tongue of flame flickered from its wide mouth. It held a rusted broadsword in the grip of its claws.

He fell back a step. “Jin, go now.”

“Tai Shen–”


The red demon stared at Tai Shen with its tireless eyes. Its grin seemed to widen. That was another temptation — to believe that demonkind had human thoughts and emotions.

His hand tightened on his weapon. The lost souls around him wailed to be let in. They sensed what he was. A conduit, a vessel. The opposing forces of light and dark twined within him. Shifu had warned them to only take what they needed. The power would always tempt.

He launched himself upward. His feet lifted from the earth, higher than mortally possible. One well-placed strike at the thing’s neck was all it would take. Tai Shen drew his sword arm back to deliver the killing blow, but the red demon raised its broadsword. The two blades clashed with a shriek of metal. Tai Shen landed and dug his heels in to regain balance. His arms shook from the impact.

This was no mindless monster. Tai Shen had defeated worse, but he’d had help then. First Brother had fought by his side.

No time to think. The red demon was upon him again. Tai Shen deflected the first strike. This wasn’t like fighting another swordsman. There was no heart to pierce, no blood to spill. He dodged the second attack and somersaulted over the demon to land behind it.

A flash of white cloth caught his eye. Brilliant in the nighttime. He bit back a curse. Jin was supposed to get Song Yi out of there.

He needed to end this. The demon advanced on him, but as he raised his sword, a halo grew around the hulking beast. Brighter. Brighter still, before the demon melted away with nothing more than a whisper on the breeze.

Song Yi stood where the gui had been. She held a sword carved out of wood, arm stretched out from delivering the final blow. It was more a dancer’s pose than a warrior stance, elongated and graceful. Her white robe gleamed like new, soft snow.

Next –  Part 3: The Sorcerer’s Daughter


More excerpts:

I haven’t screened all of these myself, so please heed the ratings. These excerpts may contain content not typical of my site.

WELCOME to those coming back and those who are new! We hope you find some fun and fabulous free reads.

Don’t forget to come back on the first Monday of June for New Release Monday. See what’s coming out and enter to win a free basket of New Releases.

So, to kick it off, your hosts:

Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG13)
Alexia Reed, Urban Fantasy (R)

Joining us this week:

Bonnie Dee, Fantasy Romance (PG 13)
Jeannie Lin, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Debbie Mumford, Memoir (PG 13)
VK Sykes, Contemporary Romance (PG 13)

Kendal Corbitt, Erotic Romance (R)
Mary Quast, Contemporary Romance (R)

Sara Brookes, Science Fiction Romance (NC 17)
Emily Ryan-Davis, contemporary paranormal (NC 17)
Kim Knox, Science Fiction Romance (NC 17)