Good news! SANYARE is off to beta readers and I'm working on my next project, a short story set in the world of SANYARE. It's a mini-prequel, telling the origin story of how the pixies became Rie's friends, and providing a glimpse into Rie's life as a young woman, before she earned her spot in the messenger service.
My beta readers have until November 2nd to get me their feedback, then it's back to editing before sending the manuscript off to a professional editor. There's still a long way to go before it's ready for public consumption. But, while you wait, here's another little taste of SANYARE...my favorite lines from chapters 10 through 15!
Daenor leapt and prowled, slicing high and low, the inferno following his form like a sparkler in the night.
“Anyone who doesn’t want to die, should turn around and walk away,” Daenor announced, his voice carrying over the throng. Not a single redcap twitched.
“Apparently, you’re not scary enough,” Rie quipped, unsheathing her blades.
Daenor cocked one eyebrow. “Maybe you should go first, in your fancy new clothes.”
Rie turned her lips down in a mock frown. “And here I thought you were a gentleman. Chivalry must really be dead if a prince lets his lady lead.”
“My lady’s going to have to be more than a damsel in distress. Think you can keep up?”
Rie grinned. “Watch me.”
After a few steps, Turant’s movement smoothed into a rolling gait and Rie could once again breathe. The scent of woodsmoke and sweet ash — Daenor’s scent — filled her lungs as she pressed the side of her face between his shoulders. With each breath, Rie relaxed a little more, until the sharp edges of pain dulled to insignificance.
A burst of flame lit Braegan’s eyebrows, singing the hair to a crumbling mess. Braegan clasped his hands over his eyes and leaned back until he almost fell out of his chair. “What the hell was that for?”
Rie glanced at Daenor. His own eyebrows were angled low over fiery red eyes. “Say that again, and the rest of your head will catch fire, too. In fact, if you ever even think about treating Rie like a blood slave, you can kiss your pretty little face goodbye.”
After a night spent tossing and turning in the plush confines of the room at the inn, Rie woke with a niggling worm of dread buried in the depths of her belly.
The woman at the front desk, a goblin with three chins and four eyes, greeted them without looking up from her desk. “Incoming or outgoing,” was all she said, her voice filled with broken glass and sandpaper.
The goblins were the most eye-catching of the lot, with their physical deformities displayed for all to see. One woman in particular was only half-clothed, wearing a floor-length yellow skirt and baring her six breasts to the world. When she caught Rie staring, she wiggled her shoulders from side to side, making the sagging nipples wobble.
Secretly nicknamed The Squirrel by the messenger service, Rolimdornoron had the face of the rodent from which he got his nickname. In fact, he was one of the few High Elves Rie would categorize as ugly. Or at least funny-looking. Wide set eyes, a short, up-turned nose, and thin lips would be enough, but add to that big ears and prominent front teeth, and you had a face that was comically unforgettable.
Rie let her mind wander free, taking in everything, filtering nothing, until she could place every rustle of fabric, breath of air, and shift of weight in the room.
What do you think? Which is your favorite?