Monday, 11 January 2016

#Monday Moments with Charia from Assassins' Lair

Monday Moments with Assassins' Lair!

One of my fellow Writing Wranglers & Warriors bloggers, Mike Staton, has spent the last four years writing and editing the last fantasy-genre novel in his epic Larenia’s Shadow trilogy. Assassins’ Lair debuted just a few days ago. Mike and his newest novel were featured a week ago on Welcome Wednesday. Now he’s back on Monday Moments, offering us an extract from Assassins’ Lair.

The snippet comes from chapter 1. Setting the stage, Mike says: “The second book of the trilogy ends with a wounded, amnesic woman wandering the waterfront warrens of a provincial city, scared, in desperate need of help. At wit’s end, she wanders into a sleazy tavern and pleads for a job. Assassins’ Lair picks up the memoryless woman’s story. Pale, weak, wobbly legs barely able to support her, the woman who goes by the name Charia waits on tables in that grungy tavern, stoically enduring the pinches of drunken sailors, stevedores and mercenaries. What these drunken men don’t know is that the tattered soul of a fearsome sorceress dwells inside Charia’s mind.

# # #

“Hush!” Aishe snapped as Charia sensed another gentle wave of warmth swell through her.

Charia could imagine the look of annoyance scrawled across the healer’s face... the woman’s jade eyes brimming with irritation, her mouth tucked into a frown.

Suddenly, Aishe’s olive-skinned features melted and were replaced by another woman, a pale-skinned blonde with glacier-blue eyes and parting lips that portended a dimpling smile. Instead of Charia’s alcove room, the blonde ice-skated on a frozen lake framed by snowy twin peaks. Swaddled in an ermine-trimmed winter dress of quilted silk, she appeared no older than sixteen summerturns as she rearranged a fur scarf. An entourage of young women flocked around her, giggling like schoolgirls checking out an adorable boy. And that’s what they were doing, Charia realized.

Inside a bandstand along the shore, a peasant boy of perhaps fourteen summerturns entertained his own entourage of admirers, youngsters who watched him conjure a purplish floating ball that discharged sparkling silver lights. A wool cap smothered his head, hiding his hair. His nose and cheeks were red and his smile sweet as he made the ball dance.

“Princess, he’s nearly as good as you,” one attendant enthused.

“I’ll have Father invite him to the castle so we can practice together.”

Her gloved hands wove a pattern, spinning a ball into existence, one larger and more luminous than the boy’s.

As the ball brightened, something bloomed inside Charia, simmering Aishe’s healing warmth until it boiled inside her body. Frightened, Charia screamed and bolted upright.

A thunderclap rattled the alcove.

Charia flicked open her eyes.

The alcove had been plunged into darkness. Charia heard Sharona muttering prayers to Larenia, and then the candle flame burned anew, its candleholder gripped tightly by the woman. Sharona’s red hair had become disheveled. She swept a hand through the strands, flicking dust from them. Her eyes were bulbous, aglow with wonder and fear. “Sweet praise! You’re alive. I thought the healin’ killed you.”

Just past Sharona the healer lay propped against the wall, her skirt ridden up around her hips, skinny legs sprawled outward.

Aishe raised jittery hands to pale cheeks. Open mouthed, she stared at Charia. “You be full of magic.”

# # #

Considering buying Assassins’ Lair… or even the entire trilogy? Order paperbacks from Amazon. Order ebooks from Barnes and Noble, Smashwords or Amazon. For convenience, here’s a link to my Amazon Author’s Page:

To read a variety of my short stories, including my recent Christmas stories, follow this link to my Facebook author's page:

Thanks for visiting today, Mike. Best wishes with Assassins' Lair. 

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