Sunday night teaser.

Had great fun at Toronto Comic Con this weekend!

Here is a teaser from my upcoming novel in the Domains of the Chosen series.

Yoka of Jaguar waited on the high bluff with twenty warriors. He could see above the treeline, and knew that one of his fellows was communication with the rest of the clan, using flashes of light from an enchanted stone. Soon it would be dark and the hunt would begin; Yoka would call forth the spirit of the river ripper and kill the outlanders. If he helped kill a Chosen, Gotka would reward him.

“I hear Riritaka is with them,” said one of his fellows.

“She is,” said another. “Gotka wants the traitor alive. She will enjoy the seven sufferings for her trespass.”

“That seems harsh, even for him,” said the first voice. “She acted according to tradition, and nearly bested him.”

“Do not let Gotka hear you say that,” said the second.

Yoka tensed, seeing strange movement in the jungle at the bottom of the bluff. It was unlikely that the outlanders would come here, but not impossible. Perhaps it was just a spider, watching to see if they were unwary, hoping for a meal. The movement was repeated, but nothing appeared. Yoka was about to call on his bound spirit and sound the alarm when a fat canopy spider crawled out of the underbrush along the path. It moved lethargically, but did not appear to be coming up the bluff. Yoka should have ignored it, and would have, but for the warning in the back of his mind.

There was something strange about that spider. He stared at the arachnid as it rested in the sun could not fathom why it bothered him.

He was about to sound the alarm when a figure appeared at his side, jamming a knife through his temple, bringing darkness. Yoka had found his quarry.

Sunday Teaser

Tis late and here is a teaser for my friends, from the first draft of my next Domains book.

With a reputation as a defensive fighter, the crowd did not expect Green Glory to be truly competitive with an offensive virtuoso like King Blade. They cheered as she adopted her risky strategy, trampling her way to the depths of the horde.

Scores of stitched surged into the fighting grounds, trying to overwhelm the Gladiators. They battered Green Glory mercilessly leaving deep gashes in her hide. She shook them off like a seabird drying herself, and kept pushing into them, stomping everyone she overpowered into the sands. Such was her fervour that she threatened to overtake King Blade’s impressive score.

King Blade swung his sword tirelessly. Such was the dance of his blade that none of the stitched got within arm’s reach. The crowd cheered his skill, but he could tell that they were swayed by Green Glory, who put herself in harm’s way in order to seek victory. Thus, the big charger redoubled his effort, paying less mind to his own safety as he cut down stitched after stitched.

Not all of the stitched wore furs and leather, and when Green Glory cut down one of the zombies that was wearing and iron breastplate, she saw her score jump by several points, briefly overtaking King Blade’s. As soon as this registered she started looking for metal-clad stitched and pushed her way toward the closest one. A mace handed stitched smashed her side as she pushed, but she sent it sprawling with a flick of her horn and then brought her axe down onto the armoured figure, cleaving through the helm and spilling its pickled brain.

Sunday Night Teaser

A little teaser from my WIP:

Tugging on his mustache to hide the expression of pride on his face, Hephus watched as Bastion performed a second kata for a crowded room full of Iron Faction.

“He is impressive,” said Publius, standing beside him. “A metal Legionnaire.”

“Aye,” said Hephus. “The men accept him as one of their own. I theorize that shared hardships increase the rate at which bonding between occurs between sentient automatons as it does between the rest of the Legionnaires.”

“Interesting,” said Publius. “Is Bastion as attached to his flesh and blood comrades as they are to him, then?”

“Yes,” said Hephus. “He will not execute orders that will harm his fellows.”

“What criteria do you use when making that judgement? Is it an absolute or do you follow some kind of utilitarian guideline?”

“It is organic, learned behaviour,” said Hephus. “He learns from watching the Legionnaires and analyzing their actions as you have seen, but he also learns their morals and virtues like a flesh and blood child would. Occasionally he has questions, which I help him with, but it is not a programmed response.”

“Some might say that you are simply relying on second-hand programming, then. If much of our behaviour is determined by heredity and instinct, and he learns from us, then isn’t he inheriting our programming?”

Sunday Night Teaser

Watched the latest episode of Sherlock tonight, so instead of a dissertation on some topic, I will leave you with a teaser from my upcoming book.

Still, Shagra was a master ranked Gladiatrix and a Grand Champion, and Chloe had to admire that the woman still fought here, risking death instead of retiring to a comfortable life as a trainer or joining the Masters League in the Capital. Shagra was set for life, as easy as a Gladiatrix could have it, and yet she continued to perfect her craft on what was the harshest fighting grounds in the Domains.

Chloe allowed a moment for the members to admire Shagra. The Gladiatrix remained motionless, stoic really, showing no sign of emotion other than a sense of predatory readiness.

When she judged the time was right, Chloe stepped forward.

“Members, for your pleasure, this Gladiatrix will face a beast that has killed a dozen Gladiators in the Supplicants Arena, a notorious beast that was once a murderous criminal, I give you Vespus the Living Hive!”

Vespus rose into the arena unchained. The beast knew the rituals of the arena well enough to sit still. It was large, easily twice Shagra’s height. Its mottled flesh was green, brown, and yellow all pooling into each other. It moved like a great gorilla, with massive forelimbs and shorter legs, but was hairless and with a wide mouth full of hooked teeth.

Of course Vespus the Living Hive’s most impressive feature was on its back, where a huge hump of tissue spread out like a howdah, punctured by innumerable finger sized holes. That hump was home to a unique species of wasp that Vespus controlled. In the beasts previous fights the Gladiators that it fought were either swarmed by wasps or were so busy destroying them that they lost track of the beast and were pummelled to death by its crushing fists.

Chloe hoped that Shagra had it in her to overcome the beast, but Vespus was one of the best monsters that they’d had in the Killer’s Circle in ages. It was best not to become attached to a Gladiatrix in the Death Leagues.

The trumpets sounded.

Shagra stood her ground, casting a series of spells to enhance her physical prowess. Vespus growled and thumped its chest. A hum came from the arena then, one that Chloe could feel to her very bones, and then finger sized insects began to shoot forth from the hive.

Some familiar faces there… but in what context is the question 😉

Teaser

It is late, late Sunday night, and I am a little too tired to push out a full post, so instead I will share a little bit from my newest Bloodlust title, which should be out at the usual time this summer. Not sure on the title yet.

Obviously this is raw, unedited, and needs a lot of shaping.

Towering over Chosen Silvius, The Gorehound seemed out of place on the perfectly coifed fighting grounds in Silvius’s palace. He was too large, too square, and far too ugly for an arena usually reserved for the Chosen’s personal amusements.

The Gorehound peered at him with eyes mostly hidden under a thick brow, a dog-faced mask hiding his nose and lower jaw. Silvius had seen him without the mask, but it was hardly an improvement. The man was just ugly.

The Gorehound’s reputation for brutality was well deserved, having spawned numerous imitators after his career faded. He still fought in pit-arena Deathmatches in the Trapholds, killing criminals and heretics, ending innumerable lives over a decades-spanning career as a master that went most unnoticed in larger, more popular arenas.

In one thick hand the Gorehound carried a crude looking club, too heavy for most men to carry, covered in cruel spikes. His other arm ended in a gauntlet with spike and a bladed buckler attached to it. The fist spike itself looked more like some mad butcher’s tool than a traditional weapon, with a hooked point and jagged edges.

Even his armour spoke of single-minded dedication to relentless destruction on the fighting grounds. A heavy harness with thick metal plates protecting his vitals, the Gorehounds protective gear also covered striking surfaces such as knees and elbows with reinforced metal and short, jagged blades that could shred any opponent unfortunate enough to be caught in his grip.

And, to Silvius at least, he was so very, very ugly. While the Gorehounds huge frame was covered in muscle, he was thick and almost looked fat with little definition in some places. The beast’s head was shaved clean, but his chest, where unarmoured, was covered in coarse black hair like fur. His gear was functional at best, with little embellishment or even an attempt to match materials.

“Yet another reason why you don’t want to fight by Skin League rules Silvius,” said Chosen Noxaia from the announcer’s box in the viewing area above the fighting grounds.

Chosen Brand beside her, smiled thinly.

Teaser Tuesday

This week’s teaser is from Bloodlust: Will to Power (Domains of the Chosen #2)

bloodlust_wtp_cover2

An intense rivalry over the greatest prize imaginable.

“Why are you doing this Karmal?” said Sadira. Her body was battered, but she too was full of power. She saw now that Gavin and Giselle and Vintia and Cleothera had all been right; Karmal was no longer her fiery rival and fierce friend. She had become a monster, inside and out, a woman who had given up her friends, principles, and humanity to be the next Chosen.

“Because I am better than you,” replied Karmal.

They circled. This time, when Sadira’s eyes met Karmal’s there was no give in them, only hurt and defiance. Karmal saw this as a weakness.

“Why prove it in a Deathmatch?” asked Sadira.

“It’s all about power, you dumb bitch,” sneered Karmal. “You are the only one standing between me and my rightful place. Valaran is old news. He got soft and I took his place. You should have backed out when I declared Ut Nex. I’m the strongest now. I might even have saved a place for you and Gavin in my Hearthbound harem. But you stayed in my way, hogging the spotlight as always, all flash and no substance, and now I am going to FUCKING KILL YOU AND CARVE YOUR SKULL INTO A CROTCHPIECE…, and just so you know, I wasn’t exactly rooting for you, even back in Dreadwood.”

 

Teaser Tuesday

This week’s teaser is from Bloodlust: A Gladiator’s Tale (Domains of the Chosen #1), my first book.

Bloodlust-AGT-Front-cover

Cover for Bloodlust: A Gladiator’s Tale.

Ever wonder what Gladiators do on the first date? I have you covered.

This scene, and the Chapter where Gavin and Sadira meets, is admittedly somewhat cheesy. Yet… it still rings true for me. I could re-write it, but I worry that in smoothing the rough edges something would be lost.

The Gladiatrix leapt, shouting in joy, bringing her black blades down toward her soon to be lover’s head. Gavin braced himself for impact, his grip on his spear tightening. As he thrust his shield upwards to meet her swords, Sadira nimbly contorted to avoid his spear’s jagged tip. Her twin blades slammed into Gavin’s shield with the force of a runaway stallion, sending sparks into the air as metal screeched off metal, driving him to his knees in front of her.

“Just where I want you!” she taunted him, exulting in the fight, while unleashing a flurry of swift attacks that rained on Gavin’s bright, lion-headed shield like pounding sledgehammers. Such was the ferocity of her attack that he was nearly undone before he could regain his feet. His shield met her blades as he gave ground. His barbed spear darted out from underneath the shield in answer to her assault, sudden and deadly, and Sadira was forced to dance backwards out of reach.

“Come on, you can do better than that. What use is a man’s spear if he can’t–” She was forced to roll backwards before she could finish her taunt, as Gavin surged forward unexpectedly, swinging his broad-bladed spear in a wide slashing arc that passed within a finger’s width of hitting her.

Gavin smiled as his swift-footed opponent came nimbly to her feet; she answered his smile with a fiendish grin, crimson lips shining through her black veil, and then charged toward him again, her feet kicking up sand as her magically enhanced body pushed her forward well beyond the speeds attainable by the ungifted.

She attacked at a more measured pace this time, her twin swords testing his defences, seeking to find a way past his shield and armour to taste her love’s flesh. He matched her movements with his own, bright shield and barbed spear dancing with her blood-hungry blades. They whirled and clashed, probing and testing each other, looking for weakness.