Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sneak Peek: Exclusive look at "Dreamless."

Technically, this isn't my newest book that's going to be published - that's "Beast Charming," which is due out next fall. This is my third book, my take on the "Sleeping Beauty" myth that's currently being called "Dreamless." I'm in the long, slow process of editing it as we speak, but I thought I'd let you guys get a peek at this first page.

Chapter 1: Mindfulness
“So, how are we feeling today?”
            Elena was fairly certain that Dr. Flyte knew exactly how annoying the question was, and kept asking it in the hopes that one day when she would snap and hurl something at him instead of answering. He’d nearly admitted as much one day – they both knew she was intelligent enough to know what the word “catharsis” meant – despite the fact that it wasn’t the most sensible therapeutic technique for a centuries-old magic mirror to use. 
            It was for the sake of Dr. Flyte’s continued health, then, that she would continue to disappoint him.  “Actually, I’m a little tired. A spellbook I’d been waiting for finally arrived yesterday, and I’m afraid I stayed up later reading it than I should have.” Her smile was an old defensive reflex, well-used and entirely meaningless. “I assure you, Alan gave me a suitably firm talking-to.”
            Had her personal bodyguard been close enough to hear them, rather than standing at attention on the other side of the door, he would have given her that look that made it clear he could see right through her. Dr. Flyte, however, carefully had no expression at all. “Shall I talk to Commander Merrick? Given the damage he did to his leg during that incident with Prince Nigel, it would comfortably fall within the range of post-trauma employee evaluations.”
            Elena would have sworn she kept her expression blank, but one of the doctor’s eyebrows still twitched upward. It was, she knew from experience, his version of a smirk. “Of course, questions about his job duties would naturally come up, particularly about the mental state of the princess he spends his days guarding.”
            That was the problem with verbally fencing with a true magic mirror, the sentient entities that were so much more than the mass-produced communication devices they’d inspired. Though some continued their traditional work with particularly lucky sorcerers or sorceresses, many of the original mirrors had gone on to have second careers in a variety of fields where information and perceptiveness were more important than arms and legs.
            Elena lifted her chin slightly, abandoning evasion for simple stubbornness. “What makes you think Alan could tell you any more about how I feel than these sessions we’ve been having for so long? After poking and prodding me all these years, surely you’ve figured me out by now.”
            Dr. Flyte sighed, his ghostly face sagging gently into something she refused to acknowledge as sadness. “Elena.” The disappointment in his voice was worse than chiding would have been. “I’m only trying to help.”
            She pressed the palms of her hands flat against her legs, refusing to let them betray her emotions. “Curses are supposed to help you attract a royal spouse, or temporarily punish a business rival when a lawsuit doesn’t quite get the message across. The worst ones are supposed to simply kill people.” Elena couldn’t keep the edge out of the words. “And then there’s me.”
            Dr. Flyte had known her family long enough that she didn’t have to go into detail. Her mother, a sorceress who had decided to take the “evil” track after grad school simply because her beloved older sister had. She decided to leave the family business when she fell in love, a common enough story. This time, though, that older sister hadn’t taken it well.
            “Elena, you know perfectly well how unusual your situation is. The ‘evil’ part of an evil sorceress’s title is often nothing more than a marketing tool, and there are a vast and ferociously defended set of rules in place to keep what your aunt did from happening. Though there are any number of scholarly papers out there debating the merits of this, curses are generally seen as instructional at their worst and helpful at their best. Not….” The word hovered alone for a moment, the doctor’s normal verbal acuity apparently having failed him for a moment.
            “Cruel?” Elena finished, feeling the old anger stir and forcing it back down. It never helped anything, and Dr. Flyte didn’t deserve to get caught in the backlash. “Appallingly vindictive to both her supposedly beloved younger sister and her only niece?”
            The doctor opened his mouth, then closed it again. “Yes.”
            Elena took a deep breath, smoothing the non-existent wrinkles out of her dress as she ordered her emotions to steady. “I’m exactly like I was yesterday, Dr. Flyte.”

1 comment:

  1. I cant believe there are no comments!!