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Sunday, 22 July 2012

Snippet : Ravens WIP

I've had a few queries on the follow-up to WolfSong (working on it guys, promise!). The bad news is - still working on it. The good news is, it's going well - definitely easier writing this time around. There were a few howls when I mentioned I'd dumped the last version three quarters of the way in, but I have to say it was the right decision. I've learnt a lot since the first book, and hopefully it shows in this one. 

I've pasted a snippet below for you; with the usual caveats - this is still a work in progress, and that means anything posted is subject to change or deletion, especially if my eagle-eyed master beta (hi, Joe) hits it on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. *grin*

In the meantime, hope you enjoy it. This takes place a couple of chapters into the book itself, and once again, Amber is getting herself caught up in all sorts of trouble.


Gates’ legs dissolved at the knees half a street away from the inn. Wills caught his left side and nodded at the artist lad, Farding, to take the other.
Amber and Dort strolled along behind them.
“So why are you really staying with Gates?” Dort asked.
Amber was glancing through Farding’s sketchpad as they walked. There was more than enough ambient light for hawk eyes to see. The lad was good.

She closed the pad and thought for a moment, then dipped lightly over Dort’s mind. There was fear there, true – and a bright, burning anger at whoever had killed Dunning and left his body for Gates to find.
“Because I don’t want to find him sliced apart in his bed tomorrow,” she answered finally, and Wills stopped in his tracks and glanced at her over his shoulder.
She nodded at him.  “So far he’s lost two kin to murder, he has a lovely bruise on his face and he didn’t want anyone to think I’d stick my nose into this mess. I think your Commander has a target on his back, and I want to know why.”

“There aren’t that many folk you’ll be able to trust,” Dort said.  “Being a hawk and all.”
“So far I’ve found four,” she answered, and the men looked at each other before they carried on walking.
Dort smiled gently. “And when your squad arrives, there’ll be a few more.”
“What?” Amber stopped and grabbed his arm.
The medic looked at her then flicked his eyes to a space behind her.
“I’ve never heard a panic call on so many levels,” he said quietly. “It was quite an experience.”
Ahead of them, the two guards dragged Gates through the doorway of a small house.

Amber turned around, hands on hips, and glared at Jadah, who shrugged sheepishly.
Really? ” Amber said. “One little knock on the head and you bring in everyone?”
Jadah winced.
“Oh, stop that,” Amber said irritably. “Call them off, Jadah.”
“I tried,” she answered. “Tarmien reckons he always wanted to travel, Garliaan was as excited as a child on Samhein, and Ariaan told me the whole squad is overdue leave.”
Dort cleared his throat. “My pardon, ladies. But if we don’t get off the street we’ll start drawing a good bit of attention.”
Amber spun away and stamped into the house.

Dort and Jadah followed at a more leisurely pace. “Which squad?” the spirit asked him.
“Black Arrow,” he answered. “We were the first mixed squad on the border.”
“They know about your talent?”
“That’s why they recruited me,” Dort answered.
“So why are you so scared of her?” Jadah asked, as they reached the door.
“I knew her dam,” he whispered, and stepped into the house.

Jadah followed, for once stunned into silence. 

J H Sked is the author of WolfSong , Basement Blues , Die Laughing , and Quarter the Moon  and a contributor to Sweet Dreams, all of which are on Amazon as ebooks.