Really happy to report I finally finished the fifth and final book in the Realm of Honor series. I’m in the process of proofing it and then I’ll be turning it into my editor within the next two weeks.
In that final push to finish the book, I made myself write 5000 words that day. I knocked out about 1500 during my lunch hour and then parked my ass in my office chair and finished the damn book. I’m all about finishing he damn book. 🙂
So I’m excited to get it done and turned in so I can move on to the next book. Hm. What should I write next?
I thought I’d give you readers a treat. Here are the first 500 words from the book. Enjoy!
Princess Laerwen emer’Aranhil Bloodfire stood on the dormant volcano and looked down into the ruin that was once her kingdom. Her gut clenched into a tight knot. The charred black earth still smoked from the recent fires. It still smelled of death. Homes had been burned to the ground. Homes that had stood centuries including that of the royal palace.
She had climbed this mountain numerous times as a child. She knew every handhold. Every foothold. Every nook and cranny. When things had gone to hell, the safest place for her—she knew—was here on the edge of the mountain. She’d paused halfway up to turn and watch the horror play out in front of her. All she could do was wait for the sun to come up.
Now it had. The burning dawn revealed the loss of life and devastation.
Looking at the destruction below, one would expect such a result from a volcanic eruption. But the Hin’Dar Rhule had not exploded in thousands of years. This destruction was not from the lava that had once flowed. This was from the bloody Fomorians, a race they thought long imprisoned in the Sorrow Lands.
She still wore the voluminous skirt and blouse, both bejeweled with shimmering stones against the red and green silken material. The matching sari was still tossed over her shoulder, though she’d lost her veil somewhere in the fray. Glancing down at her attire, she seemed rather out of place in the aftermath of the attack.
Hiram, her father’s advisor, trudged up the hill with a slow careful pace. He wasn’t as agile as he used to be and she was surprised he’d found her. His long cobalt tunic was smeared with a black streak of blood. The knees of his trousers had a mixture of blood and mud, as though he had knelt by someone’s side who might have been dying. His black hair stood in tufts about his dirt-smudged face. It was clear he had been running his long fingers through the thick locks over and over. Worry lines wrinkled his brow and around his mouth. Seeing it etched on his face so prominently did nothing for her nerves.
He paused next to her, his chest heaving as he tried to catch her breath. They stood together to survey their ruined realm. He emitted a little gasp of horror and she knew it was the first he’d seen it from this vantage point. It looked far worse from this distance than on the ground in the midst of it. Tension emanated off him in waves. Tension and distress and sorrow.
“So many lost.” He whispered it but she still heard.
“Aye.” It was the only response she could force past the lump in her throat. She swallowed it hard, regaining her composure. “How did you find me?”
“Every Fire Elf knows this is your favorite place when you want solitude.”
And here she thought it to be her secret place.