Take that, Grindstone!

From At Faith’s End:

“ Fever made a crossroads of the flesh. Iron bound it down. Iron, after all, was the ages old remedy for witches’ magic. Or so the old wives claimed.

Sweat made a sheen of her olive skin, sun and stone her only companions. And the woman, hovering at the edge of it all. Charlotte could see it through her eyes, yet she had the prescience of her own sight as well. Abandonment. This was all that remained to her. Even the keep would not hold the witch now.

Clouds bled the horizon of its precious light. She sat among the rocks, watching as the distant sky lit with nature’s solemn trill.

She did not remain to listen to Usuri’s own tears fall. ”

~Charlotte, Chapter 16

 

Happy Valentine’s, everyone!

Question mark

Insert Fantasy visual of a Book Cover here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The above, my friends, is what people where I come from call a tease. It also happens to be an excerpt out of the second novel in The Haunted Shadows series, At Faith’s End, specifically from one of the Charlotte-centric chapters. I offer it as a means of announcement: I can now proudly say the first stage editing of the beast is nigh finished. What of it remains should be completed over the course of a very long car ride in the wee hours of the morning to come (to be explained later).

What does that mean? Editors, check your in-boxes this weekend, as I’ll be sending copies your way. You too, beta readers. Presumably, the pestering, somewhat addle-brained (but hopefully loveable?) act of a nervous writer will shortly follow. My condolences.

Final word count: 178K-ish. Another beefy entry into the fantasy genre, but it also means it’s a good deal shorter than the first, curiously enough. As in, about 20K words shorter. Let’s see if I can resist adding another scene or two into the mix once all the peer reviews or over, shall we?

(For those that need to catch up, take a look at the first book in the series: The Hollow March)

I would also like to send congratulations (they’re not really belated, because I already congratulated her on more personal notes!) over to Mrs. Emmie Mears—a fellow writer—for recently wrangling herself an agent. They can be wily and slippery devils. If you get the chance, swing by her blog and give her a round of applause yourself—and keep an eye on her. She’s going far, I tell you.

Sadly, not all the news today is good news, though. For those of you that didn’t catch my tweet on the matter, my sister-in-law’s mother passed away suddenly yesterday, after a long struggle with cancer. I’ll be driving down south in the early hours of the morning tomorrow to pay my respects and support to both my brother and sister-in-law. As such, my presence over the weekend shall likely be the barest flicker of a candle’s light, at best.

Please keep their family in your thoughts. For more information on this broad and terrible group of diseases, as well as the struggle against cancer, I encourage you to visit the website of Cancer Centers of America.

Lovely Quotes of the Week

Welcome, one and all, to that heart-shaped dose of holiday action the world seems to have taken to calling “St. Valentine’s Day.” In honor of that special little holiday, for lovers and romantics and couples and (insert rant about corporate interests here) that sponsor them, I leave you this week with a handful of quotes that cover the more romantic side of life. Enjoy!

“Love is life. All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love.”
~Leo Tolstoy

“At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.
~Plato

“Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands, and crystal brooks,
With silken lines, and silver hooks.
~John Donne

“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.
~John Lennon

And one, (excuse the more melancholy portion of this segment) I think sums up well enough my own place among this holiday, though I say that still wishing all of you that do have that special someone well, and a wonderful day:

“I don’t wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone.”
~Javan (Steven Javan Jones)