Last week passed in a sort of blur. With helping a granddaughter get her education on track again and doing the read-through of the galleys for the upcoming The Henge Betrayed -- Refuge I didn't get as much done as I wanted.
Galleys for me are intensive. I print the book out and then go through line by line using a ruler to isolate each line. I don't read the story but look at the words. But I finished and got rid of typos, wrong words, and print errors. Sent it off but still haven't seen the cover or have an exact release date. One of these days I'm going to sit down and see how many books I've published. I don't consider novellas to be books or short stories either. One can't explain the way you feel when you see the galley and you know the book will be real. I won't even try.
One day I'll make a list. Should be fun.
Here is the opening page of The Henge Betrayed -- Refuge
Alizand prowled about his bed chamber. He paused beside
the window and pushed the heavy draperies aside. Another day
of confinement. Since the day his step-brothers had invaded the
suite, forcing Alizand to reveal his affinity for Fire, he’d been a
At least the guards at the door believed he couldn’t leave.
They didn’t know about the hidden sections and the secret rooms
and passages to be found beyond the walls. Though Alizand could
slip away, he should wait until night lest his room be checked.
Dom Senet often made random visits during the day. Only when
Alizand’s personal guard appeared could he escape these chambers.
The corridors and places he could go had to be kept secret.
He was bored. He even missed the tedious lessons he’d
been given by the clan elders during the short time he’d been
acknowledged as his father’s heir. Having his affinity exposed
had ended the dream of being deemed fi t to become a prince.
No one who could use one or all of the elements could rule the
princedom of Wesren.
He stared at the tray on the table. A maidservant had delivered
the food a short time before. Though he had eaten nothing
since yesterday’s midday meal, he had no desire to break his fast.
The back of Alizand’s neck prickled. Trouble approached.
Which of the many enemies he’d collected in his fourteen years
of life came to upset his day?
The door opened. Before the guard could announce the visitor,
a tall man entered. His ash blond hair hung in a single braid.
Black leather riding clothes gleamed in the light from candles set
in glass-shielded sconces on the wall. His dark green eyes sought
and held Alizand’s gaze.
A smile appeared on Dom Senet’s face. Alizand felt like a
tabby surrounded by a pack of ratis. He forced himself to breathe.
How could one man raise such a high degree of terror? Though
Alizand’s legs felt unsteady, he forced himself to remain on his
“Dom Senet.” A sense of pride filled Alizand’s thoughts. His
voice hadn’t cracked or risen to a high pitch to reveal his inner
The dom stroked the multi-colored gem he wore about his
neck. The gold chain glinted. “I have questions for you to answer.”
Questions, Alizand thought. What kind of trick was this?
He couldn’t relax his barriers or forget his suspicions of the dom.
Was this a new way to fool him into becoming the dom’s puppet?
Alizand needed to respond. To remain silent would expose his
fear. “What do you want to know?”
“About your kin, the children of your father’s step-brother.
I have a great need to fi nd them. Poor lost children who need a
home and a guardian.”
Alizand’s hands clenched. His friends had saved his life when
he’d been injured in the aftermath of the destruction of the henge.
With them, he’d been Zand, a person and not a creature to be
used. “I don’t know where they are. I told my father I didn’t and
I say the same to you.”
"I think otherwise.” The dom moved closer.
Alizand clung to his determination to resist. He felt icy
touches trying to push beneath his surface thoughts and invade
his memories. He pressed his hand against the gem beneath his
tunic and strained to hold firm against Dom Senet’s invasion.
“How could I know where they’ve been or where they’re going?
I’ve been a prisoner here for weeks.”
Dom Senet ran a finger along Alizand’s cheek. “And I imagine
you have no idea how the child escaped the circle room.”
“What child?” Though he had released Ky, he didn’t consider
her a child. The pressure in his head built until his vision
and balance wavered. “Is there a circular room in your suite?”
The pressure vanished so suddenly Alizand’s knees folded and
he fell into the chair.