Monday, February 9, 2015

Super Secret Excerpt from Dragon's Eye (Sumeria's Sons, 5)

I was going to combine the cover reveal for Dreams of the Forgotten (Sumeria's Sons, #3) with the excerpt from Dragon's Eye but the blog title looked wacked. So they are now officially split up into two separate posts.

I've been terrible at blog posts the last couple of weeks because I've been really pushing to complete Dragon's Eyes. I have to get this bad boy to the publisher SOON. Life threw a couple of curve balls that threw of my well intended writing schedule when Dad was diagnosed with cancer in October and then passed away in November. At the same time edits and galleys for Keeping Faith, The Aurora Conspiracy, Songs of the Earth, and Dreams of the Forgotten were passed back and forth from October 23rd thru mid December. LT3 Press and Fireborn Publishing were sympathetic and accommodating which I was so thankful for. Even then I was editing something or another for weeks on end and didn't get to write new word until  after December 15th. Honestly, some of it I don't remember and I'm thankful again that I didn't screw up too badly.

I'm a linear writer. Skipping around in a story messes with the mojo, but I had actually started Dragon's Eye over a year ago but put things on hold to find new homes for my stories. While working on other things, I'd made a couple of changes to how I wanted Dragon's Eye to be told. The first four Sumeria's Sons books were told from Tristan's POV but to go forward he couldn't possibly be in all the places he needed to be for the story to unfold properly. Several readers had commented how they would like to see Ushna's POV and I thought it would be a great idea but if I gave him a POV then I would have to give another character a POV as well. Could I have that many POV's in my head and keep them to their own separate personalities? Good question.

So in December when I started working on Dragon's Eye again, I realized that it needed to start off with Ushna's POV. I wrote 12k and it was like pulling freakin' teeth and I realized I had to push the timeline back to an earlier, and again, earlier period in order to for Ushna to tell his story. Which meant I scraped another 15k until I found the right spot.

Now for those of you have already read the Sumeria's Sons that was published by Silver Publishing, you know what happened in book four, Surrounded by Crimson. That place where Ushna completely loses his mind. Yes, that was where I started Dragon's Eye.

But there was a problem. Dad had passed only six weeks before. I struggled with that dark place grief took my writing and Ushna was bleeding all over the white pages. The beginning was way too dark, and again I deleted--I didn't know how many thousands of words trying to temper the emotion going into the story. It wasn't until around January 5th that everything fell together and the story took off. The 17k that I had saved from over a year ago, I could only save 7k because the rest just didn't apply anymore.

On Friday, February 6th I finished Dragon's Eye. Whoo-hoo!! Now I have to edit it and hopefully have it in the publisher's mailbox by the weekend (finger's crossed). It came in at 93k but with editing that number will change. I would've started editing on Saturday but I had to write an interlude that happens before Dragon's Eye. I finished A Child's Wish (Sumeria's Sons, #4.5) late Sunday night.

I'm feeling pretty accomplished right now and wanted to share an excerpt but the problem is if you haven't read Surrounded by Crimson then this will give out **SPOILERS**. (The re-release of Surrounded by Crimson is July-ish if you want to bookmark this post for later.)

That is why I called this blog post "Super Secret". So don't read any further if you don't want to be spoiled.

****Warning Spoilers Ahead if you haven't read Surrounded By Crimson (Sumeria's Sons, #4) go back NOW!****

****Not Kidding, Go Back Now****

****This is your last chance. Return to the ship****

****You have been given fair warning. Grab a tissue.****

Chapter One

Ashur followed behind me carrying Tristan whose body was battered and broken. The cry of our new born pups proceeded me. Their birth was supposed to be a wondrous occasion, but through treachery and lies, that was stolen from us. Instead of the happy occasion, I feared Tristan was dying.

There was so much blood. The damage to his body overwhelmed my senses. I was afraid if I didn't keep my eyes on him, if I turned my back for a second too long his Flame would slip away. So we ran through the cursed caverns that wouldn't allow me to touch my wolf or feel the song of the earth. Ashur's harsh commands to hurry purred be on faster but I had to look behind me, I had to see with my own eyes that Tristan was still with us, still fighting.

The scars… I couldn't care less but Tristan might. I vowed I would spend the rest of my life showing him how beautiful he was to me—but first we had to get him out into the open.

I glanced back. "Hurry, Ashur."

The corridor seemed much longer than when we'd came in. Glancing over my shoulder again to ensure Ashur followed closely, my impatience caused a snarl to rumble in my throat. Tristan's skin was a gray-blue, stark and sickly against Ashur's rich mahogany tone. With every passing moment we were losing him.

"Please." I don't know if I begged Ashur to go faster or if it was a plea to the Gods to spare Tristan's life.

When we entered the darkened corridor carved from the bedrock, I heard Tristan sigh. For months he'd been teaching me how to listen to the Earth and I could practically feel her rush to him. Hurriedly I climbed the stairs, my foot slipping on the wet step in my rush to finally get outside.

The open air had never smelled so good, filling my lungs with the scents of life. My wolf stirred, frantic for our mate. I reached to take Tristan from Ashur, but he dodged my gasp moving off to the side. His low voice had a musical as he chanted in a language I didn't recognize and next to him a hole formed in the ground.

"What are you doing? You said all we had to do was get him outside?" Why was Ashur not singing the song for healing? I reached again to take Tristan from Ashur's arms. Tristan was teaching me the complex chant, but Ashur was Tristan's tutelary, he knew what to ask the Earth for and how. Why was he not begging for the Earth to safe Tristan's life? She wouldn't say no. She'd never say no to Tristan because she adored him.

It took a moment for the haze of my frantic thoughts to subside enough to realize Ashur was talking and then another for me to process the meaning of his words. What did he mean he couldn't restore Tristan's health?

With rising alarm I said, "You've been teaching him how to sing to the Earth. Why can't you do that now?"

Ashur dodged my grasp, laying Tristan in the hole atop the dark loamy soil. Something eased in me seeing Tristan in contact with the ground, although the Earth didn't rush up to him as I'd expected. She never missed an opportunity to touch him… until now. Instead I felt power build until my bones ached and the snakes on my chest writhed in discomfort.

I stared down, searching for the source of the energy, sure that at any moment, whatever it was would show itself. My gaze continued to return to Tristan with his ruined eyed, his torso ravaged and gaping. Never had I seen him so vulnerable, so small, the very sight calling to the caretaker within me.

Tearing my gaze away, I confronted Ashur who was pleading with me. "I teach him the songs but She doesn't respond to me."

An ancient sadness shone in Ashur's visage but I didn't care. I had trusted him to save Tristan. Never had I been so filled with such useless rage. I didn't understand what Ashur was saying. Who was he talking about? The Earth? He was the king's tutelary so why wouldn't the Earth answer his call?

Desperation rose up and I barked, "Why the fuck not?"

"Because I took the wrong side in a war, now I'm forever separated from Her."

What did that have to do with the here and now? I didn't care if he'd lost something or someone. My Tristan was dying and all he could do was talk. Ashurs' dark pleading gaze held mine and I suddenly understood. I glanced back down at Tristan lying in a bed of fresh dark soil.

A grave.

"No! You cannot mean to do this. He's not dead!" I jumped into the hole, Tristan's single eye staring at me with clarity despite the state of his body. His chest rose and fell with each labored breath. There was still time. I could save him.

With the strength of the God he was, Ashur grasped me around the waist and easily hauled me away from Tristan.

I went mad.

I fought and screamed and begged. First Brian and now Tristan. How was I to stay behind? I pleaded with Ashur to allow me to go with Tristan. We'd travelled through the Earth together before, we could do it again. I could sing to the Earth and beg for her help.

It wasn't too late.

Then Ashur chanted and the soil covered Tristan, taking him from my sight. I roared with fury, thrashing and clawing at Ashur's hands. I vowed vengeance for this act of betrayal. Silently Ashur held me as I beat and wailed upon him trying to free myself from his steely grasp. He whisper continuously, "I am sorry but this had to be done," in my ear. Grief stained my cheeks and I hated Ashur all the more because it didn't have to be like this. He had no right to take Tristan from me.

Only when I was utterly spent and left gasping for breath, my muscles weak and trembling did Ashur release me. Collapsing onto my hands and knees, I dug my fingers into the loose dirt and sang, my voice hoarse and broken. I bid the earth to come and help her child in need. Were we not created from her soil? Did we not rest in bosom, waiting for rebirth? Did she not love Tristan above all? I thought she did. Desperately I wanted to believe that her behavior toward Tristan meant he was special to her.

And I raise my voice in song, pushing everything I felt for Tristan into my request. In the end, she rose up to sooth me, but she didn't reply to my plea. She didn't bring Tristan back to me.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

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