Tag Archives: Excerpt

Preview: Balance’s commander tries to learn the Sergeant’s fate.

Every Wednesday, I offer a free preview of a current project. The excerpt below is taken from Music of the Spheres.

“Sergeant, are you en route to ship?” The question was routine, but as the seconds crawled and no answer came, Captain Eckard began to worry. “Sergeant, please respond.” Silence.

It had been fifteen minutes since Balance’s report that the target had been destroyed. Maybe his communications signal was jammed. Maybe an explosion had damaged his equipment. Maybe, maybe, maybe. It was too coincidental for a technical malfunction to happen this very moment. Too convenient for the enemy. Too dangerous for Eckard’s men, and for the Dominion. Read More →

Scene preview: Would you have kept the baby?

Every Wednesday, I offer a free preview of a current project. The excerpt below is taken from Music of the Spheres.

Joan had never been troubled on her country strolls before today. She preferred walking to class because the time alone allowed her to think, though her friends thought it was dangerous. Though the trip would have taken five minutes by car, it was the solitude she liked, getting lost in her thoughts. Wind flowed over the grass like invisible surf, ghostly hands caressing the land, tugging gently at her hair. A humble road cut through the plains, lightly graveled. Joan liked the way the pebbles crunched beneath her feet, keeping rhythm as she trudged along.

She was both startled and disturbed to see a vagrant loitering ahead. He was a large man, unshaven, in what appeared to be the tattered remnants of some uniform. It was so dirty and faded that she couldn’t make out any patches or insignia. Against the pristine landscape, he was as out of place as a weapons rack in a library. And this was her special place. Seeing another person here almost felt like an invasion of privacy. Read More →

Early excerpt

A rider approached Mekli’s camp, kicking up clouds of dust in its wake, the thundering violence of its passage muted by distance. Children paused to watch, while most of the adults feigned disinterest. Dozens of tents huddled like tiny mountains against the desert floor, dying campfires serving as loci for three or four families apiece, casting large shadows in the failing light. Pots and clothes hung from lines stretched across the open spaces.

Mekli walked beyond the boundary of his camp, self-conscious of his duty to receive the rider first, and anxious to keep his conversation private. Good news was rarely delivered with urgency. This rider’s haste was an ill omen.

The rider arrived and dismounted smoothly. If his multilayered garments had once held color, it had faded in the sand and sun. He approached Mekli with a sure step despite his long ride. Mekli envied his youth.

“Honored Father,” the rider said with a bow, which Mekli returned.

“Tell me your name, messenger,” Mekli invited.

“I am called Viktin, of the Tektimti tribe.”

“You are welcomed here, Viktin. May our fires be home to you. But my hospitality borders on rudeness; you did not come here to exchange formalities with an old man.”

“No,” Viktin admitted. “The Asoki prepare for war.”

“The Asoki always war,” Mekli said dismissively.

“No, Honored Father. Their tribes are largely united now. They prepare for war with us.”

Mekli chewed the inside of his lip, considering. It was hard to imagine Asoko unified.

“Tell me everything,” he said.