Pieces of Me – with Love to You!

I realised this morning that since I entered the world of Social Media I haven’t really written a blog about my work and shared where it all came from and where I want it to go. Also, I’d like to – if you don’t mind – share some excerpts from The Sword Bearers and The Sword Bearer’s Journey with you.

I am an encourager, an inspirer by nature who believes that anyone can do anything they put their mind (and heart) to, and this past week I’ve truly come across inspiring writers and artists who make this world so much more colourful and exciting and pleasurable simply by sharing what they have been given by Divine touch (if that’s the way you think) or if you prefer, by that inexplicable gifting of the Universe. I’ve seen photographs of nature and our galaxy, and artist’s renditions of both, that have left me breathless and overcome with wonder and amazement! And I’m sure the Divine looks at us with just as much wonder when He sees what we are capable of doing with what He has given us.

Now since I started writing, and since I’ve met the hundreds of writers out there who have so much power and ability and creativity and magic inside them to create masterpieces – every single one of them unique – I can’t help but wonder where I fit into this wonderful, colourful life? That there’s room for everyone is absolutely true, but who am I in the grand scheme of things and where am I going? Well, I have envisioned it and therefore I am sure to obtain it – with hard work and absolute belief in myself and my talents (and many great friends and advisors such as yourselves along the way).

I began writing and telling stories again because it has always been a passion, and over the years of filling my life with dance (what I always believed was my first passion) I forgot how important and vital it is to my spirit. Story telling fills me with wonder and stirs my soul to singing; I simply must do it or lose out on the magic of life and creation. Dancing did the same for me, therefore when I stopped doing it, it felt like death! Nothing made me happier than moving to beautiful music, keeping my audiences enthralled, and striving to perform as close to perfection as possible. So when it came to an end I might as well have curled up and died (almost did!). I felt dreadful, and it took me about three years to be able to watch any kind of dancing without feeling like I would burst into tears.

Little did I know what incredible things lay in store for me.

When I met my hubby and things started getting serious we soon spilled our guts to each other about our disappointments and losses in life’s hard journey and then what we really wanted out of the future – together and as individuals. Now, my hubby is a complicated man, not frustratingly so it’s just that he thinks deeply, being a very successful Master Life Coach and a man who constantly searches for deep truths and listens to God/the Universe very closely. As a result, he has incredible intuition and knows the truth about what lies deep inside someone’s heart.  He was the one who led me to the door of remembrance where I rediscovered my First-Love: Story Telling! I’d forgotten, you see, that before television came to our country in ’78 I lived inside books and comics, devouring them with relish, and saw every movie my parents’ budget would allow. “Of course!” I declared, hitting my forehead with a loud smack when my heart/my unconscious mind revealed what I had forgotten, and the eyes of my soul reopened the instant it sensed renewed hope and expectation of a kind it had been missing since I stopped dancing.

I am also by nature a very creative person, and unless I create I stagnate, grow bored, depressed, and then eventually just give up (or DIE!!! If you want to be more dramatic! He-he! That’s what is always feels like anyway). But it took a wonderful, loving, and wise man to guide me back to the light and, yes, he alone deserves the acknowledgement for getting me to start writing. (I can already feel him preening and cooing as he congratulates himself while patting his own back and saying, “Damn right!” because it took giving me a kick up the butt to get started! And, oh boy, you have no idea how grateful I am for it! Mwah, thanks honey! You deserve the right to preen!!)

So with no further adieu I’d like to share my passion with you. Here are two excerpts, one from each book, for your reading pleasure:

The Sword Bearers: Book 1

Part One: Destruction and Flight

Chapter One: The Transfer

. . . The throne room was situated in the heart of the palace and could easily hold over a thousand people. It was the most secure room in the palace, so when it began to shake and the ceiling began to crack sending debris and dust falling down from above, she knew her time was growing short. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and prayed to Kurrn that He would give her courage and also forgiveness for what she was about to do.

When she opened her eyes her breath caught in her throat. A very tall and slim man stood alone in the middle of the room. His skin was the colour of ink, and he had eyes that burned blood-red like the embers in a dying fire. Silky black hair was cut short and his long, narrow face was chiselled to perfection. As he regarded her his mouth curled in contempt. Gathering every last bit of courage she could she slowly lowered herself onto the throne, placed her arms casually on the arm rests, straightened her back and raised her chin. She hardened her features and gave him a look of cold serenity and authority, looking every bit the regal queen she was. She almost faltered when he smirked at her with such mockery that in other circumstances she would have had him thrown into a dungeon for his insolence.

“Cai’rin dei Theras,” the man hissed in perfect Old Tongue, and bowed mockingly, never taking his eyes off hers. “We finally meet.” He made to walk closer.

“Do not move,” said Ahloren softly, a clear warning in her tone, and was surprised when he stopped his advance. “I have not given you permission to approach me.”

The man snorted derisively, and said, “Permission, Ahloren, really?” His eyes narrowed. “Your authority means nothing to me, little Cai. Before this day is over you will either be kneeling at my feet begging for your life, or you’ll be dead. The choice is yours.”

The malevolence radiating from him was beginning to make her feel ill, and it took every scrap of will power she had not to reveal what she was thinking and feeling. She had an idea this was not a u’man man standing before her but something much worse. So, this was the creature that had finally seduced her son, and this was most probably the immortal Namic had told her about that appeared to be the leader of her enemy. She studied him carefully and he bore it with a contemptuous smile playing around his mouth. She refused to be baited and kept quiet, waiting with a pounding heart to hear what he’d say next. Movement at the throne room’s huge double door where guests usually entered caught her eye, and she looked past Malis to see who it was.

“I have brought someone with me that I’m sure you will want to see,” he said with great amusement.

Raising a hand without taking his burning eyes off her the throne room doors flung open and at least fifty armed u’mans and aliens came flowing into the room. Between two of the men they half-dragged, half-carried Jaryth, and Ahloren finally dropped her mask and reacted as any mae would at seeing her son so hurt.

Malis smiled wickedly. “Ah yes, it is he, Ahloren. A little worse for wear, but still alive.”

Ahloren remained seated and narrowed her eyes to study her son. He seemed to be drugged; his eyes were half closed and he was unaware of his surroundings. He looked older, and he was very pale and gaunt. His eyes were sunken and he was much too thin. Bruises covered his face and arms, and she had to fight the intense motherly urge to run to him and bring him comfort. But she kept her bearing in place, and burning with rage her eyes moved back to the red-eyed man. “Who are you?” she demanded, fury making her voice harsh and low. “Theras is a peaceful Territory. What right do you have to kill my people and harm my son?”

“Right?” he asked, with raised eyebrows as if surprised at the question. Then his face contorted grotesquely, and he sneered. “This has everything to do with rights!” His voice boomed making everyone jump. His red eyes flared, and Ahloren swallowed hard against rising fear. “I want what’s mine by right, u’man.” His face contorted again, and Ahloren caught a glimpse of something evil crawling beneath his skin, and shivered violently. He saw it and his smirk became an evil, toothy grin. “No u’man has the right to possess something not of this world! The Sword of Shadows and the Sword of Heaven should never have ended up in the hands of weak, pathetic mortals!” He took a step closer to her again, and she tensed.

“So, you are not mortal.” It was a statement not a question, and he nodded once. “Then what are you?”

“Ah, finally, an intelligent question.” He indicated that Jaryth be brought to him, and when the young man drew near the creature grabbed his hair and viciously yanked back his head. Without looking at Ahloren he spoke again, his voice sounding more and more like a snake hissing and spitting. “Your son found the Sword of Shadows for me, Ahloren, but he didn’t listen when I told him to contact me when he did. Instead he went off on his own and the Sword took possession of him when it was supposed to transfer to me!” The hall reverberated with his last words as everyone but Ahloren cringed at the raw fury they heard in his voice. “Are all Vindor’hiens so disobedient?” he asked, and turned his head to look at her.

She gave a start when she saw his face again. It seemed like it was melting, revealing a disgusting black writhing wet something where his left cheek used to be. She forced a deep calming breath, and felt a sudden surge of pride for what her son had done, however foolish. She never wanted him to experience such pain, and have such a heavy burden. He was not made for it. Khyri was. “We are strong-willed and stubborn, and if my son disobeyed you, well then I am naturally very pleased and proud of him for doing so. Preventing you from getting the Sword seems to be high on Kurrn’s agenda, it seems, may His name be praised!” She shouted her last words of praise to deliberately bait him so that he would take his focus off Jaryth for fear he might kill him.

But then a strange thought struck her and she actually smiled. The creature’s blazing red eyes widened in surprise and he let Jaryth’s head drop forward as he stared at Ahloren who was, annoyingly, showing no signs of fear. “You feel cheated, don’t you?” she asked him in a confident, clear voice. “You have failed in your plans to take possession of the Sword of Shadows and now you have come to try to kill me and get the Sword of Heaven, is that right?”

The creature sneered and more of his face began to slip as his eyes glowed brighter. He took another menacing step towards her. His sibilant voice was low and dangerous. “No more games, Ahloren. You will give me the Sword or your son will die,” he hissed.

Tears filled her eyes as a wave of sorrow so intense hit her she nearly cried out. But she kept her control, and said with scathing hatred in her voice, “My son is already dead, you bastard! If he has possession of the Sword of Shadows then he is no longer u’man but a creature of darkness. Why do you think my ancestors never searched for the Sword? They knew no u’man could handle its power and not be corrupted by it.”

“Give me the Sword of Heaven,” he hissed ignoring her, “or I will break his neck while you watch.”

In an emotionless voice she said, “Here, let me help you with that,” and before anyone could react Ahloren flung out her arm, and with the Sword’s power wrenched her beloved son away from the two men holding him. With a strength tapered only by the intense sorrow and horror she was feeling at what she was doing, she threw her youngest son across the room and against one of the pillars, and they all heard a loud crack as his back and neck broke. His body crumbled soundlessly to the floor as Ahloren screamed in agony and fell off the throne onto her knees.

At the very moment Jaryth’s body flew across the room Khyri came into the throne room from the door where her mae had entered, and saw her brother hit the pillar and fall lifelessly to the ground. She then saw her mae lower her arm and scream in agony. It took only a second for Khyri to take everything in and then her own scream of horror and disbelief joined with her mae’s as Khyri realised what she had done . . .

The Sword Bearer’s Journey: Book 2

Part Two: The Prince of Abronis

Chapter One: The Winter Ball

. . . Yanec slowly turned towards the woman who appeared to be keeping one of his most skilled warriors and brutal commanders at bay without so much as breaking a sweat. His right hand and arm were tingling slightly but he shook it off without giving it much thought, and studied the almost comical scene before him. His black eyes shifted to Kola-rek who flinched under his hot gaze, and then back to the young woman who effortlessly held Kola under her control. Her beauty struck him immediately as did her amazing eyes which were staring fearlessly and challengingly back at him. Her chin was held high and her contempt for him was obvious. Who is she? he wondered.

“My lady, it seems you have me at a severe disadvantage. Whom do I have the pleasure of addressing?” he asked in a polite, friendly voice.

“It matters not,” she said calmly, her eyes cold. “All that matters is that your men stepped over a line and insulted the king and his guests.” She saw Sesar step forward and whisper into Yanec’s ear, and his black eyes widened.

“My First tells me you are the king’s cousin,” he said. “I am glad we finally meet, my lady. It’s just a pity it had to be under such . . . awkward circumstances.” He gave her a tight smile and a small, mocking bow. The smile never reached his eyes.

KC didn’t move or speak and kept merciless pressure on the nerves of Kola-rek’s hand. She increased the pressure just enough to make him grunt in pain and watched the smile on Yanec’s face slip a fraction. It was most satisfying.

“It does seem that my men have misbehaved, my lady, if the retreating distressed young ladies I just saw were anything to go by, and for that I apologise most sincerely. But now, please, let go of Kola’s hand. He appears most uncomfortable.” In truth, Yanec didn’t care about Kola-rek at all. The beautiful woman could slice off his wrist and it wouldn’t faze him. Kola was an arrogant, belligerent man who constantly challenged Yanec’s decisions, and if he lost his hand to this beauty then it was no major loss and at least something would have entertained him at this boring affair tonight.

KC looked behind Yanec and studied his fanned out entourage, not as practiced in their facial expressions as their master. Sesar was standing just behind Yanec’s right shoulder and he alone appeared concerned. He was looking directly at KC with focused intensity, but his intensity didn’t have the cruelty that Yanec’s had, and she could detect no animosity in his half-face. He didn’t even spare a glance for Kola-rek. Curious. She returned the stare coldly nonetheless. Without taking his eyes off her, Yanec handed her knife to Sesar who in turn began studying it closely. She was wondering what he found so fascinating about it when Yanec spoke again.

“My lady?” He indicated to Kola-rek in a gesture that asked her to release the commander, but she ignored him. He couldn’t take his eyes off her. She fascinated him! Here was a stunning young woman in a striking gown effortlessly keeping down a reputable and feared warrior, and he found himself highly amused and greatly intrigued. He wanted to know more about her, for this was obviously no ordinary woman!

KC stared at Yanec for a moment longer as if to spitefully test his patience, and then with a sigh of regret decided, for the sake of her uncle and mate, to let go of Kola-rek’s hand, but she gave him a good shove at the same time that sent him sprawling onto the grass.

Kola-rek gasped with relief and cradled his damaged hand to his chest, glaring at KC and the mocking smile she was giving him. He was astounded that he had been bested by a mere girl – him, a highly regarded commander under Drakoor s’et! He forced himself to his feet and hobbled over to stand with his comrades behind Yanec and Sesar, both of which gave him cold, angry glares that promised more pain later. He tried not to show his fear. Being disciplined was never a pleasant experience. And he should know; he’d dealt out enough punishments to his own men for worse conduct.

A small crowd had started to gather, steadily arriving through the trees. The news had obviously spread quickly that there had been an incident, and in true upper class curiosity they had come to see for themselves. But the scene had not played itself out just yet, the entertainment far from over. KC had to work hard not to roll her eyes at their eagerness to witness more.

“Is this the way you treat your host, Yanec, by allowing your thugs to run amuck?” she asked, and slowly took a few steps towards him.

Yanec clenched his jaw, and replied bitingly, “It seems the young ladies were looking for some fun, and found it.” His lips twitched and her glorious eyes became dangerous. She suddenly flipped the knife in her hand and threw it so quickly he didn’t have time to step back, and the small crowd gasped at the aggressive act. The knife struck the ground directly in front of his feet, but he forced himself not to flinch. When he lifted his gaze to meet her eyes he saw the open challenge there . . . and he saw something else: this woman knew how to handle herself and how to handle a weapon. He immediately knew he was not dealing with another lazy, pampered noble woman. His senses sharpened immediately and he began to pay closer attention.

He recognised the form and bearing of a warrior, not some fat lord’s mate. But she was pure bred: he noted her proud, elegant features and her perfectly slim body, and very toned bare arms, a sign of intense training. Strangely, there was a familiarity about her that he could not identify, and he was suddenly fascinated anew, and at the same time wondered just what it was exactly that fascinated him so much. He used women to satisfy his basest needs on occasion but it never went beyond that, for love to him was a weakness. It dulled the senses and invoked too much unwanted emotion. But what was it about this woman that drew him so strongly? He needed to know more about her. Finally, a challenge! He was getting rather bored in Catala and she was something fresh and new. Who knew what she would reveal once he’d had a chance to tame her.

KC recognised that look – a mixture of curiosity and lust, and she shivered. He most probably thought of her as an interesting piece of flesh waiting to be conquered. But he was in for a nasty surprise, and she smiled, bearing her teeth like a she-wolf.

Stepping closer to him, she said, “I guess your men learned how to treat women so atrociously from their master.” A few in the crowd drew in sharp breaths at the insult, but she ignored them and then turned her back on him to leave the way she had come, missing Yanec’s dark look. Her anger was growing now, and although she was in perfect control she felt she needed to remove herself from the situation before she did or said anything stupid and embarrassed Korin and Ren. And, also, drawing too much attention to herself was not a good idea right now. She had promised her family to stay away from Yanec. It wouldn’t do if he recognised her from Theras. So far she had not seen any recognition in his eyes which was good. Perhaps Ren was right and he would not be able to place her in these vastly different circumstances. She certainly hoped so. She feared, though, that she had already made things difficult for Korin by having this little confrontation. Shisa! But she couldn’t resist throwing the knife to make her point (her lips twitched at the unintended pun). It had felt so good! She just wished it could have been in his black heart!

But then Yanec spoke, and her attempt at leaving quietly disappeared.

“Are you not a bit young to be such a cynical, sarcastic hussy?” Yanec drawled, loud enough for everyone to hear.

The crowd drew in another sharp breath, almost in unison, and KC froze in her tracks. She knew he was trying to bait her but he didn’t know her very well, and with hardly a pause she looked at him over her shoulder and responded with: “And are you not a bit young to be a sad excuse for a mass murderer?” She turned slowly to face him, a small smile of derision playing on her lips. There was deathly silence as the ball guests stood riveted, feeling the climax of the play about to take place, eager for blood. Kurrn, she hated nobles! Yanec’s face twisted into a sneer, and KC slowly walked towards him. Every warning bell in her head went off as she drew nearer! What are you doing? He’ll recognise you! she warned herself, but she steadily continued forward . . .

I’d LOVE to hear what you think! Please leave a comment below, and please forgive me if this time I took up more of your time than usual. I just love sharing what gifts I have been given!

Find out more about me and my works here:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Goodreads

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Related Posts by Monique Rockliffe:

Don’t Despise the Day of Small Beginnings – A Bio with a Difference

The Profundity of Me . . . and You, dear Talented Writer

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About SwordBearer

I am a fantasy and science fiction author. I have published three epic fantasy novels in a tetralogy with Xlibris Publishing, and a sci-fi short story, The Door. All are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other major online retailers. The Door is also available on Smashwords. I love reading everything from King to Koontz, Cussler to Brooks and Feist, to name but a few. Before writing became my life I was a professional ballet, jazz/contemporary dancer in South Africa. Writing and storytelling have always been passions since childhood, and I want to share them with the world!!

Posted on June 20, 2012, in Believe in Your Writing Abilities, Just Begin!, Passion versus Knowledge, You are a Creator! Believe it! and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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