A month from today I hope to release the digital version Warbound: The Shield Maiden (and sell lots of copies!). I am nervously setting about preparations, editing, minor re-writes, creating glossaries, and writing appendices. The cover is coming along nicely — see the above mockup — and I think the book is nearly up to standard. I just hope that fans are willing to follow me as I transition from the fighting grounds to the battlefield.
That said, here is another teaser
All around them chaos swirled, the disciplined ranks of the First and the Eighth having broken apart as the two Warbound crashed and thrashed. Vintia barely noticed now, her eyes were on Bosh.
“You’re done now, girly,” said Bosh. “Ain’t nothing for you to hide behind.”
“Come finish me then, scum,” said Vintia, squaring her shoulders and drawing her long shock stick into a classical fighting stance, grip held out from her body at waist height, tip of the blade angled up to point at Bosh’s throat.
A white liveried medic dragged at a moaning body near them. Vintia kept her eyes on Bosh. He met her gaze, gathering himself like some great cat, and sprang. Her sword flicked out, lunging. Bosh twisted, even in the air. Vintia never saw if her blade connected. Bosh’s fist hit her in the midsection. She felt her feet leave the ground. Her armour absorbed most of the force but she lost her breath for a heartbeat. That was all Bosh needed. His arms coiled around her and he bore her to the ground. By the time Vintia could react it was too late. The back of her head slammed into the dirt with a crunch. Bosh’s fist smashed into her mouth. Once. Twice. She tasted blood. Tried to struggle. Vintia blocked his third punch but his other hand was now around her throat. The law of strength was in full force. She tried to hit his joints, to loosen his hold, but Bosh punched her again. She felt one of her teeth hit the back of her throat. The world went steadily darker, but she kept struggling. Bosh kept grinning. Vintia reached for her magic. Maybe she could break the restraints…
“ARMS GROUNDED,” The First Shield’s voice boomed out.
Bosh’s Fist slammed into Vintia’s face one last time. She clung to consciousness as the massive Warbound stood up, laughing. He raised his arms and laughed, walking back to his own lines. Cheers were erupting from all over the field.
Bosh is an interesting character to me. I added him partly to act as a counterpoint to Vintia, and partly because I was watching HBO’s Rome (yes, very late) and enjoyed the idea of a Titus Pullo character — a brash, crude, bullying, but ultimately effective soldier. I think he adds some personality to the Ninth Legion. I hope you do as well.