The Rolling Writer

Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 117- Sonya

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

Since my WIP is proceeding much too slowly, I’ll give you a bit more of The Forsaken Crown today. Sonya had a somewhat friendly meeting with Andrei Danko, an officer working for Teodora, also in possession of a large, impressive hat. Now the two armies have made camp together and Sonya has a date! Captain Danko just picked her up from her tent and is telling her where they’re going. Edited from the published version.

“My superior officer is hosting a little supper in his tent; he told us all to make a new friend and bring them.”

“I’m glad you thought of me.” Sonya tucked her hands into her pockets and smiled at Captain Danko, matching his stride as they crossed the road to the Olvisyan camp.

“I’ve thought of nothing else since we met,” Danko said, “I’ve never seen anyone appear so striking in military garb.”

“Kind of you to say so.” Sonya grinned. She didn’t believe a word, but it was still nice to hear.

She looked at Captain Danko out of the corner of her eye. He was about her height, though the hat made him seem taller, and he moved with an easy swagger. Nobility most like, and too good for her, but she’d enjoy his company while it lasted.

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 116 – Kendryk

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

I’m sorry I didn’t get around to all of you last week. About halfway through the day, I got sick and was laid up for the next few days. Just your standard flu, but it came just as I was nearly free of a month-long bout of bronchitis. So I had a lazy kind of week, mostly staring at the wall, but I’m better again. Someday I’m sure I’ll stop coughing again.

On to the snippet! Though I’d love to tease you with my WIP, it has been sadly neglected these past weeks, and I really want to get the first chapters past my alpha reader before I start sharing. Hopefully that will happen soon. In the meantime, here’s more from The Forsaken Crown.

Kendryk is determined to show his regent, the overbearing Duke Desmond, that he’s capable of taking on some  responsibility. So he waits for the duke to leave on business, then writes a bunch of letters to various Terragand citizens serving in foreign militaries. He’s hoping to lure them back to help create a more professional army in Terragand. Kendryk is going to some lengths the duke doesn’t find out about this until it’s a done deal. Edited from the published version.

He addressed the last letter to a Count Ruso Faris serving in the Sanovan army on the Briansk border. Since Sanova was next door to Terragand, Kendryk hoped Faris would receive his letter sooner than the rest.

That done, he called for his hired messenger—a girl who usually worked for the blacksmith’s guild, someone Desmond was sure not to know—and gave her the packet of letters. Once he’d seen the way she and her horse tore into the palace courtyard, he said, “If you deliver the one to Count Faris yourself, I’ll pay you twice the full rate.” Her horse was a splendid creature, so she’d no doubt already made considerable coin on special missions like this one.

“Certainly, Your Grace,” the girl said, then tossed a black braid over her shoulder, regarding Kendryk with a bold, flirtatious grin. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“No, that’ll be all,” Kendryk said, feeling a twinge of regret. The girl looked like fun. Unfortunately, he didn’t have time for fun, and even more importantly, he didn’t want the duke thinking he was having any.

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 115- Sonya

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

Hey everyone! It’s great to be back. Hope all of your holidays were wonderful. Ours were … interesting. We spent Christmas day attempting to dig the truck out of a massive Idaho snowdrift, so that wasn’t fun. We finally arrived in Oregon on the 27th and ended up staying until the 5th, when we got stuck again while trying to leave. We did get to spend loads of time with my whole family, which was great. Not so great was the literal snowstorm of the century and needing surgery for one of our kitties. He had to have a toe amputated and serious dental work done. But now kitty is recovering and we’re on our way south, to hopefully warmer climes. All of this has been hard on my writing schedule, but I’m getting back into it slowly.

Today’s snippet is from my latest release, The Forsaken Crown– 99 cents for another week or so. Lieutenant Sonya Vidmar is traveling with a large army and there have been rumors of the Archduchess Teodora putting down rebellions in the area. While Sonya is scouting ahead, she runs into another army’s scouts. Edited from the published version

A man wearing a broad black hat with a feather drew a little nearer. Sonya wondered how he kept it on his head in the wind.

“Are you Orician cavalry?” he called across the gap. It seemed their red coats and black hats were unmistakable.

“We are,” Sonya called back, “who are you?”

“Second Imperial Cuirassiers, serving under the Archduchess Teodora Inferrara herself.”

“We’re with General Count Faris, recently operating in Sanova,” Sonya said, shoving her pistol back in her belt when the man did the same.

“Friendly then.” By now the man had drawn near and was smiling, white teeth flashing in a broad, sun-browned face. “Captain Andrei Danko, at your service,” he said, bowing over his saddle and sweeping the hat off.

It’s also time for the monthly multi-author promo. Click on the banner below to take your pick of over 100 99-cent books

 

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 114- Kendryk

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

The Forsaken Crown came out last Tuesday, and has been doing pretty well! Check out the great review by #8Sunday’s very own Amy Braun. This is such a wonderful group. *squishyhugs*

Today’s snippet gives you a glimpse of Kendryk’s backstory. He’s reminiscing while gearing himself up to take on his shifty regent. Edited from the published version.

Thinking about his teacher still put a lump in Kendryk’s throat. He was certain he’d never been as miserable as the day he’d left Galladium behind, along with the two people who’d become closer to him than family.

The great cleric Acon Benet had been more than a teacher; he became a mentor and father figure to eight-year-old Kendryk, who’d missed his family terribly when he first arrived in Allaux, Galladium’s magnificent capital. As a second son, Kendryk was destined for a theological education. He was bright, and of noble birth, so he might in time become a Maximus, head of all the temples in the kingdom. His parents were practical people, and jumped at the chance to have their youngest child study with such a prominent scholar. That Kendryk wasn’t ready to leave his home didn’t seem to matter at all.

Young Prince Gauvain, heir to the throne of Galladium, had become Kendryk’s best friend. They studied together, practiced at swordplay together, hunted together, and had been inseparable. Kendryk had never quite gotten over the shock of being torn away from those two when he was required to suddenly return to Terragand four years later.

Merry Christmas, everyone! If all goes well, I’ll be celebrating with my family next weekend.

 

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The Forsaken Crown Ebook is Here!

Actually, it’s been here for a few days, but those few days have been a bit crazy on my end, so I forgot to post. This has been my best launch yet; the book actually spent an hour or two at number one in its category, which is a first for me, and very exciting! It’s 99 cents for a limited time, so click here to get a copy at the retailer of your choice.

Sonya, an ambitious mercenary intent on commanding her own army, vowed nothing would stand in her way. But then she ran afoul of the most powerful woman in the empire. Humiliated and condemned, she must now struggle to survive.

Kendryk has a vast kingdom to rule, though he isn’t old enough to do it on his own. But when he learns his regent,  Duke Desmond, wants to seize the throne, the stakes turn deadly.  With no one he can turn to, young Kendryk is forced to rely on an outsider.

Now their destinies have intertwined and the fate of the kingdom is at stake. Can Sonya and Kendryk overcome their pasts and mistrust to find a path to victory? Or will the forces arrayed against them triumph?

In this prequel to The Desolate Empire Series, Christina Ochs delivers thrilling battles, devious political intrigue and compelling characters. The Forsaken Crown combines the excitement of the Three Musketeers with the sweeping imagery of fantasy. Readers are calling this powerful series “an all-ages Game of Thrones.”

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 113- Sonya

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

The Forsaken Crown comes out in just a few days, so I’ll share another snippet from it. While Kendryk is fighting it out in the council chamber, the other main character, Sonya, is having a run-in with a group of raiders on the eastern frontier. Zeki is Sonya’s horse. Edited from the published version.

Sonya drove straight for the nearest raider, a woman with a dark leathery face under a shaggy hat.

The woman held two curved blades, guiding her pony like she knew her business.

Sonya grinned. She knew her business just as well, and met the woman’s steel with her own as they crashed together.

The pony backed up, then danced sideways.

Zeki turned straight into them, and Sonya’s sword came down onto the woman’s shoulder. These sorts seldom wore armor of any kind, and this woman was no exception. Sonya’s blade bit into her, and the woman screamed.

Sonya drove her sword straight down, dragging the woman to the ground, and the pony ran off without a second glance.

Sonya pulled her blade free of the body and looked for her next target.

 

Sonya, an ambitious mercenary intent on commanding her own army, vowed nothing would stand in her way. But then she ran afoul of the most powerful woman in the empire. Humiliated and condemned, she must now struggle to survive.

Kendryk has a vast kingdom to rule, though he isn’t old enough to do it on his own. But when he learns his regent,  Duke Desmond, wants to seize the throne, the stakes turn deadly.  With no one he can turn to, young Kendryk is forced to rely on an outsider.

Now their destinies have intertwined and the fate of the kingdom is at stake. Can Sonya and Kendryk overcome their pasts and mistrust to find a path to victory? Or will the forces arrayed against them triumph?

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Book Review: Smoke Sky by Amy Braun

It seems like it was just last week that I reviewed another prequel novella of Amy’s: Amber Sky. It was actually a month ago, and now there’s Smoke Sky, which takes place after Amber, but before Crimson Sky, first in the Dark Skies trilogy.

To survive in a horrific world overseen by bloodthirsty monsters, young thief Gemma will do whatever she must to see another day. Even though that means working for a damaged man convinced to make her a permanent member of this thuggish family. 

So when her employer tells her that he’ll release her from his clutches, Gemma is obviously skeptical. Especially since the job is easy enough– recruit the two marauders that the gang has been spying on to take her place. 

But as Gemma lies to Nash and Sawyer, she commits the greatest mistake a spy can make–– she begins to see them as friends, and perhaps more. Soon, she will have to choose: Sacrifice two strangers to ensure freedom from a brutal future, or risk her life to save them… 

Set two years before the events of CRIMSON SKY, this prequel novella tells the story of how Gemma met Nash and Sawyer, and what prompted her to chose their safety over her own. While best enjoyed before reading CRIMSON SKY, this bonus story can be read at any time or enjoyed as a standalone.

 

While I enjoyed Amber Sky, I might like Smoke Sky just a bit better. Gemma is a wonderful protagonist; Braun specializes in writing these badass, yet intensely human female characters. As always the action scenes are amazing, and I found myself holding my breath more than once.

The Hellions- particularly unlikable monsters who feed on humans- are super scary, but the human bad guys are worse. At least to me, the element of psychologically toying with their victims is especially unpleasant. Which makes Fletcher, the main bad guy, bad in a super-creepy sort of way. Fun!

Though I’m not a big fan of romance, I adored Gemma and Nash’s burgeoning relationship. They seem extremely well-suited to each other, and his sweetness was the perfect way to meet her cautious vulnerability. I also enjoyed the verbal sparring between Gemma and Sawyer. These guys will make a great crew!

The story pulled me along so effectively, I read this in almost one sitting. Always a sign of a great read!

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Get The Forsaken Crown Paperback Now!

Even though the ebook won’t be live until the 13th, you can already get the paperback version of The Forsaken Crown. It’s only $9.99, which is around half of what my other books cost. Just as pretty, though a bit skinnier. Click on the cover below to get yours.

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 112- Kendryk

wewriwa2It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

I missed you guys last week! I was having a lovely long weekend off in Eugene, Oregon, during which time I did as little as possible. It was nice, but now it’s back to work. The Forsaken Crown releases December 13! You can check out the cover and blurb below.

This book takes place about 7 years (please don’t look at my timeline too closely!) before Rise of the Storm. Kendryk is fifteen, and already Prince of Terragand, although a regent is in charge until he turns seventeen.The regent-Duke Desmond-constantly sidelines Kendryk, but in this snippet our little prince barges in on a council meeting uninvited. Edited from the published version.

“Your Grace,” Duke Desmond said, his tone smooth, his eyes unpleasant, “There’s no need for you to be here; we can take care of everything.” The duke was tall, blond, and nearly handsome but for the reptilian cast to his blue eyes. Kendryk never looked into them for long.

“I know.” Kendryk resolved to stay calm. Gaining a reputation for throwing childish tantrums was not helpful. Though he hadn’t ever thrown a tantrum—just raised his voice a little—someone had started a rumor to that effect. Kendryk suspected Desmond, though he couldn’t prove it. “But it’s time I became involved in Terragand’s everyday affairs.”

Kendryk slid into a chair at the foot of the table; he’d see he got his rightful place at the head at the next meeting.

 

the-forsaken-crown-med

 

Sonya, an ambitious mercenary intent on commanding her own army, vowed nothing would stand in her way. But then she ran afoul of the most powerful woman in the empire. Humiliated and condemned, 

 Kendryk has a vast kingdom to rule, though he isn’t old enough to do it on his own. But when he learns his regent,  Duke Desmond, wants to seize the throne, the stakes turn deadly.  With no one he can turn to, young Kendryk is forced to rely on an outsider.

Now their destinies have intertwined and the fate of the kingdom is at stake. Can Sonya and Kendryk overcome their pasts and mistrust to find a path to victory? Or will the forces arrayed against them triumph?

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The Forsaken Crown Cover Reveal!

Because I’m releasing two books close together, this one has mostly lurked quietly in the background. #8Sunday participants got a tiny sneak peek, but aside from that, I haven’t said much about it. But since it comes out December 13, I thought I’d better get to it!

The Forsaken Crown takes place about 7 years before Rise of the Storm, and concerns Kendryk’s early adventures in politics and dealing with mean people. Sonya is another main character, created just for this story. I hope you love her as much as I do. You’ll also catch more than just a glimpse of our favorite villains. So here you go; cover and blurb below.

the-forsaken-crown-med

Sonya, an ambitious mercenary intent on commanding her own army, vowed nothing would stand in her way. But then she ran afoul of the most powerful woman in the empire. Humiliated and condemned, she now must struggle to survive.

 Kendryk has a vast kingdom to rule, though he isn’t old enough to do it on his own. But when he learns his regent,  Duke Desmond, wants to seize the throne, the stakes turn deadly.  With no one he can turn to, young Kendryk is forced to rely on an outsider.

Now their destinies have intertwined and the fate of the kingdom is at stake. Can Sonya and Kendryk overcome their pasts and mistrust to find a path to victory? Or will the forces arrayed against them triumph?

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