Excerpt Monday

August 10, 2009

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Excerpt from Ilfayne’s Bane

Hilde pushed the door open a crack. It took a moment before her eyes adjusted to the brighter light, and then she saw a windowless octagonal room with abundant flickering torches and a spiral rune in the centre of the floor. On the rune was a heap of grubby red. She opened the door wider and stared at the ceiling, which flickered with colour and half-seen images.

The heap moaned. It was a man. She put her back to the wall and drew her knife.

He sat up and dislodged the large, stained yet still crimson cloak. With an almighty groan, he patted himself all over as if to check he was all there. Jet black hair fell over his face and shoulders. The man with the strange accent? Maybe. A small seed of suspicion wormed its way to her notice. The flaming face of the beast. No, it could not be. She was not about to start believing in tales.

Apparently satisfied all was in order, he got to his feet with a groan. He was flamboyantly dressed, with a red waistcoat over a voluminous white shirt, stained leather breeches, and a belt slung at a rakish angle across his hips. Various ornaments, tassels and bangles quivered and clinked as he moved. Trinkets hung from his waistcoat on coloured threads. They sparkled and glittered in the torchlight, with all manner of gemstones caught in wire mesh and filigree. The bangles were of even finer work. The one that caught her eye, a glimmering gold ivy, curled and climbed his arm, the leaves the deep green of jade. He picked up a battered hat with a round crown, checked the jaunty red feather on it and put it on.

She would not have called him handsome, exactly. He looked nothing like any other man she had seen. Striking in a dishevelled kind of way, with tanned skin and eyes so dark as to be black, now rather unfocussed as he tried to peer around him like a ten-pint drunk. A gash across his forehead dripped blood down one cheek. His face had few lines, and his hair and neatly trimmed little beard held no grey, so she could not tell his age. It could be anywhere between thirty and fifty.

He spotted Hilde, grinned a wolfish sort of grin and held out his hand. “Hello, I seem a bit lost. Do you know where we are?” A soft voice, with a syrupy accent she had not heard before.

She took another step back, but he was the first man she had ever met who did not make the sign of Kyr’s Ward when he saw her eyes, and that decided her.

“No,” she said. He squinted at her and swayed so hard he nearly fell. Anyone that concussed should be no threat. She lowered the knife. “Ten minutes ago I was on the plains of the nomads. So were you, I think. Er, you’re bleeding quite badly.”

He held his hand to his head and raised his eyebrows at the blood on his fingers.

“How did that happen?” He fished in a pocket, drew out a grubby cloth and mopped up the blood. “Are you all right? Is any of that blood yours?”
She looked down. The bruises on her arms had faded to a deep bluish-yellow and her face still felt swollen. Her dress was ripped and covered in blood, though at least her shoulder was no longer bleeding. “Only about half.”

She slid down a wall, her legs unable to hold her. Wherever she was, this man was no threat, at least at the moment. Besides, he and his friend had saved her from the beast. The beast that knew her name.

“I don’t know where I came from.” He frowned, and more blood dripped into his eye. He wiped it away absently. “I appeared about ten feet up in the air. The fall seems to have made me a little groggy. Have you any idea where here is?”
A good question, one she had been about to ask him. She stood up and held out the pendant at arms length. “You used this, there was a big flash, and then we were here. Where’s your friend?” She was quite glad the soldier was not here, the way he had loomed over her in the dark.

The man took the pendant and ran his thumb over it. “Friend?”
“The big soldier. He was with you.”

“No idea.”

He steadied the moonstone with his left arm, before now hidden under his cloak. The arm was there but the hand was missing. A one-handed wizard. Foul-tempered and given to melting eyeballs.


He did not look anything like she had imagined a wizard to be. She had expected him to look older, for a start—he was said to be older than the Kingdom of Ganheim. This befuddled man looked more like a peacock. One of the rich merchant’s sons or idle nobles who occasionally passed through her village and did little other than preen themselves, drink, gamble and try to talk the girls into bed.

Yet he had only one hand, and there had been that flash of fire on the beast’s face. He did not seem too foul-tempered—the soldier had sounded far angrier—but then again he was addled from the blow to his head. With luck, he had forgotten how to melt eyeballs along with everything else.

So, to kick it off, your hosts:

Mel/Alexia Reed, Urban Fantasy (R)
Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG)

Joining us this week:

AJ O’Donovan, Poetry (PG13)
Stephanie Draven, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)
Heather S.Ingemar, Dark Fantasy/Poetry (PG13)
Babette James, Fantasy Romance (PG 13)
Cynthia Justlin, Romantic Suspense (PG 13)
Kaige, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Julia Knight, Fantasy Romance (PG13)
Ansha Kotyk, Middle Grade Adventure (PG13)
Adelle Laudan, Contemporary Romance (PG 13)
Jeannie Lin, Historical Romance (PG 13)
RF Long, YA Paranormal (PG13)
Caitlynn Lowe, Epic Fantasy (PG13)
Shawntelle Madison, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)
Crista McHugh, Contemporary Erotic Romance (PG 13)
Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG)
Leigh Royals, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Megan S., Paranormal (PG13)
Dara Sorensen, Historical Paranormal (PG 13)
Bethanne Strasser, Historical Romance (PG13)

Melissa Aires, Futuristic Romance (R)
Melissa Blue, Contemporary Romance (R)
Jax Cassidy, Contemporary (R)
Christina DeLorenzo, Furturistic Sci-Fi (R)
Maya Doyle, Parnormal Romance (R)
Ginny Glass, Paranormal (R)
Amber Green, Romantic Suspense (R)
Cate Hart, Paranormal YA (R)
Kinsey W. Holley, Erotic Romance (R)
Ali Katz, Erotic Paranormal Romance (R)
Aislinn Kerry, Fantasy (R)
Inez Kelly, Fantasy Romance (R)
Cherrie Lynn, Contemporary Erotic Romance (R)
Mel/Alexia Reed, Urban Fantasy (R)
Rebecca Savage, Romantic Suspense (R)
Fae Sutherland, Contemporary Erotic Romance (R)

Stephanie Adkins, Paranormal Erotic Romance (NC 17)
Evie Byrne, Erotic Historical Romance (NC17)
Ella Drake, Erotic Contemporary (NC17)
Dawn Montgomery, Erotic Paranormal Romance (NC17)
Lauren Murphy, Erotic Romance (NC 17)
Kim Knox, Erotic Paranormal Romance (NC17)
Emily Ryan-Davis, Historical Western Romance (NC17)
Kirsten Saell, Erotic Fantasy Romance (NC 17)
Jeanne St. James, Contemporary Romance (NC 17)


  1. Mmm I love Ilfayne as a character. 🙂

  2. Great excerpt! Love that title too! 🙂

  3. […] participants: Dara Sorensen, Historical Paranormal (PG 13) Babette James, Fantasy Romance (PG 13) Julia Knight, Fantasy Romance (PG13) AJ O’Donovan, Poetry (PG13) Stephanie Draven, Paranormal Romance (PG […]

  4. Ilfayne seems like an intriguing character, and I’m glad I got to read another excerpt of this.

  5. I’d love to read more of this!

  6. Oooh cool. This story just keeps getting more interesting. I love that the stranger has that Cavalier style to him.

  7. Very interesting! I’ll have to check out the other excerpt(s), since it seems there are more.

  8. Oh this just keeps getting more interesting. Great excerpt!

  9. Love the worldbuilding and the lost wizard. Very promising!

  10. i would like to read more.

  11. […] Julia Knight, Fantasy Romance (PG13) […]

  12. […] Draven, Paranormal Romance (PG 13) Babette James, Fantasy Romance (PG 13) Julia Knight, Fantasy Romance (PG13) RF Long, YA Paranormal (PG13) Caitlynn Lowe, Epic Fantasy (PG13) Shawntelle […]

  13. […] Romance (PG 13) Cynthia Justlin, Romantic Suspense (PG 13) Kaige, Historical Romance (PG 13) Julia Knight, Fantasy Romance (PG13) Ansha Kotyk, Middle Grade Adventure (PG13) Adelle Laudan, Contemporary […]

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