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 Visit the other links for some interesting reads from unpublished and published alike and if you’d like to join up for next month, take a look at the main site: The Excerpt Monday blog.
I had told myself I’d abstain from Excerpt Monday since it was so close to conference, but old habits die hard! For this month, I’m posting a rough draft of a snippet from a historical paranormal series which I’m calling The Soul Stealers. The Sorcerer’s Daughter is Book 1. This would be part of Book 4: The White Snake Demoness.
I’m not sure if this scene will make the final cut. I’m working on putting the ideas together.
Huo Long only caught a glimpse of the two women as they left the inn that morning. The young girl held a bamboo parasol over her mistress’ face to shield her from the sunlight. Even shielded in that way, it was the mistress that held his attention.
She wore white, pure white as if in mourning. But the silk of her gown flowed about her, wholly unlike the coarse drape of sackcloth. They walked across the courtyard and every eye followed them. Two women, unescorted and alone. That was strange enough.
He was still thinking of the women much later that morning after they left. A group of men gathered in the alley beside the inn to confer in hushed tones. Huo Long leaned close to the wall of the tea room. Their voices drifted through the open patio.
“Who was she?” they asked. And, “Where was she going?”
It was more than curiosity that had these men brewing. The lady traveled with a satchel of riches, they said. Gold and precious jade. She must have been a wealthy widow, relocating after her husband’s death.
His stomach knotted with disgust. It was too easy to find ill-will and foul spirit in this world. He didn’t need to look to demonkind for such evil. Men were too willing to turn their own weaknesses on each other.
He tossed several copper coins onto the table and took to the bustling morning streets of Hangzhou. The gang had scattered throughout the crowd. Huo Long was able to identify one man here, another figure there as he wove through the foot traffic. He tracked the men through the market until they disappeared into the wooded park surrounding the West Lake.
The two woman were likely expecting a peaceful morning, visiting the pagodas and bridges of the lake. Huo Long moved his hand near his sword as he stepped into the shade of the park. The trees pushed back the clamor of the city and the area grew still and quiet. Dense grass muted his footsteps. He listened for voices through the thicket.
To his surprise, there was no sound, no movement as he wandered deeper. He emerged at the shore of the lake and saw the woman in white. She stood serene and graceful, with the sunlight glittering over the water behind her. Her attendant was nowhere to be seen.
He came closer and was about to inquire if she was alright. Then he saw the bodies strewn around them. They lay lifeless in the grass, unmarked A trickle of blood ran from one man’s mouth. Huo Long had been trailing them by less than twenty paces.
A green snake slithered by his foot in the grass and he jumped backward, but the lady in white remained still as the creature undulated toward her. She smiled brightly, the beauty of the smile grotesque given the circumstances. His heart pumped faster with an emotion he couldn’t place.
“Oh, he’s come to rescue us. How heroic!” Her eyes glowed like polished jade. “And handsome too.”
The grass at his feet came alive with snakes, writhing one atop another, moving en masse toward the woman in white.
I haven’t screened all of these myself, so please heed the ratings. These excerpts may contain content not typical of my site.
Joining us this month:
As always, your hostesses Bria Quinlan (PG13) , Alexia Reed (R), Rachel Jameson (PG13) and Kendal Ashby (R) thank you for stopping by!
Joining us this week:
Jaleta Clegg, Science Fiction (PG 13)
Penny Dune, Romantic Suspense (PG 13)
Kaige, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Debbie Mumford, Contemporary YA Fantasy (PG 13)
Jeannie Lin, Historical (PG 13)
Jeanette Murray , Contemporary Romance (PG 13)
Dara Young, Steampunk (PG 13)
Ryan, Mystery (PG 13)
Kendal Ashby, Contemporary Romance (R)
Stephanie Draven, Paranormal Romance (R)
Lauren Fraser, (R)
Cate Hart, Historical Romance (R)
KJ Reed, Erotic Romance (R)
Ali Katz, Contemporary M/M (R)
Cherrie Lynn, Paranormal Romance (R)
Sara Brookes, Urban Fantasy Romance (NC 17)
Carly Carson, Futuristic (NC 17)
Lisa Fox, Paranormal/erotic romance (NC 17)
Bryl R. Tyne, Contemporary M/M/M (NC 17)