Resurrecting the Friday Snippet

Raphael Book  Final design

I can’t remember when I posted a Friday snippet last, but it’s about time to start doing it again. Yesterday, I finished writing Raphael, the first title in The Immortal Youth series (which I’ve been posting chapter by chapter on WriteOn), and I feel in a celebratory mood because it was quite the gestation. I also finished working on the cover and I want to show it off along the snippet.

From Raphael:

Prologue

Rome, 2011

Raphael zigzagged in and out of the back alley he entered to lose the enforcer. The sucker had been on Raphael’s tail for a while, and so far, he had managed to escape the long hand of the law. Running at full speed, he glanced right and left looking for a secluded spot he could hide and take a breather. A soft glow illuminated the ancient cobblestones paving the street, and dew covered the ground, which made his frantic jog a loud affair where stealth was required. His trainer soles squeaked and squealed every time he changed direction. The annoying noise reminded him of that one time he played basketball with some mortal kids. Lanky as only tall genes and neglect can assure, and turned fourteen a few weeks earlier, Raphael proved to be a natural. At the recent memory, a smile tugged at his lips, but booted steps echoed from the right and he dove left under a marble arch.

As an architecture enthusiast, he liked the Ghetto neighborhood, but it wasn’t built for midnight cops and robbers games. Too many dead ends, like the brick wall covered in ivy he found himself facing after his last turn. His wolf growled in displeasure.

“I don’t like it either.” He steadied himself against what remained of a Roman column turned pedestal. The fat, black and white cat resting on top of the ruin raised a paw and licked it, as if taunting Raphael’s wolf, who growled louder. “Would you behave?” For once, he hoped it were full moon to be able to turn and run away using his wolf’s speed…

Resurrecting the Friday Snippet

Friday Snippet, Valentine’s Day Edition

 

Love is Love AlwaysHappy Valentine’s Day, everybody.

I am halfway through writing my first paranormal romance novel and in the best spirit I’ve been in a long time. Changing my method, I have outlined the whole story, down to writing what went in every chapter. My productivity has increased tenfold and I have had days where I reached 5k words without having a brain stroke. Soon, I’ll be starting working on the cover and the blurb.

In other news, Marie’s Journey has gathered two 5 stars reviews from two readers who are loyal to The Ginecean Chronicles.

Linda of the Night’s free promo is still on, and several people told me they enjoyed the short read.

Now, for this romantic day, I’ve chosen a small excerpt from The Last Centurion:

“Did I do something wrong, little thing?” He brushed her eyes with his lips, his hands caressing her body in long soothing caresses.

She lowered her head to his chest, too overwhelmed to find the words to answer him.

“Diana?” He raised her chin with a finger, then left a chaste peck on her closed lips. “Are you okay?”

She nodded and he lowered his head to kiss her again. When he gently pushed at her lips to coax them open, a rush of pleasure made her lightheaded, and she anchored herself to him, grabbing his arms circling her.

He misunderstood her gesture and leaned his upper body away from her. “May I kiss you?”

Diana saw the intensity in his stare, and heard the pleading tone in his voice. She knew he thought he would perish if she denied him that kiss and so she had to tell him her secret. “It was my first kiss.”

It took a moment for him to react to her statement, but his eyes became liquid.

She had to lower hers. “I’ve never been kissed before.”

Without letting go of her, Marcus fell on his knees and pressed his face against her belly, his strong back shaking, his arms tightening around her waist. She passed her fingers through his hair and let her tears flow, then kneeled before him and laid her forehead against his. “Kiss me as you’ve never kissed a woman before.”

Friday Snippet, Valentine’s Day Edition

Friday Snippet #?

I can’t remember when it was last time I posted a snippet, so I’ll leave the question mark instead of the number. I’ll come back later to add it. I’ll also come back to add an image as well.

Marie’s Journey’s promo ended with a solid 450 copies downloaded all around the world, and for a book with no reviews it is a great result. It stayed for three days at number 2 of its category, Teen Romance Dystopian, and that gave it a certain visibility. Now, I can only wait for the readers to pick it up, and hopefully like it and leave a review on Amazon.

I am writing again! After brief, but intense, consideration, I decided to change the way I work, and mapped a whole story, chapter by chapter. So far, I have been able to put down a solid 2k words per day. For a slow writer like me, it’s a serious achievement. Also, I am incorporating my research on the Romans in the story, which is an added bonus. Happy Chinese New Year, y’all.

The Lost Centurion:

Marcus whistled, two fingers in his mouth as his father had taught him, and the two men—no more than boys—raised their faces toward him. “Get it over with and leave.” He didn’t move from where he was sitting, his hand caressing the growth on his jaw back and forth until it rested under his chin.

Two heads peeped out of the passengers’ windows of both cars at the same time, Marcus heard young, feminine voices calling the boys’ names, and a minute later the two cars had left the scene. He had barely raised his voice to carry his words to the two hotheads. It worked every time. His voice was a gift. He had been told countless times how with a voice like his he was destined to become a centurion. “You have a commanding voice, but you never command me,” Aurelia had used to say to him, purred more than said, that brilliant light of hers shining only for him when she was in his arms. Fighting the sadness that usually accompanied those memories, Marcus decided a night out would be what he needed.

Friday Snippet #?

Friday Snippet #51

autunno in Umbria banner resized

Right in the middle of Off the Beaten Path Giveaway, I’ve taken a break from the guest posts to enjoy a beautiful autumnal afternoon. Around the ridge, trees are reddening and orange leaves are falling. The air is crisp and the sky is terse.

Gaia is in the hands of the second and final proofreader. Elios and Marie’s Journey are both being edited. Gaia’s cover is almost done as well. For the first time after months, I don’t even remember how long it has passed since last time it happened, I am writing something new. Well, Notturno it’s one of those projects I started one year ago, but I never finished it, therefore it counts as new to me.

From Notturno, a NA fanstasy novel:

Dalia found the three of them more and more revolting as minutes passed. She shrank to the farthest corner of the cage, hoping they would leave her inside and never come close enough to touch her.

The woman who was now staring at her with unblinking black eyes, held a malevolent expression on her wrinkled face. She shook her head in mock disappointment. “By the end of your staying here with us, you’ll wish the mercs kept you.”

Dalia would have told her she was already of the same opinion, but she closed her mouth tight. Her new captors didn’t seem sound of mind, and she was already of the impression that anything she’d say or do would trigger their bad tempers. She shivered under the woman’s scrutiny.

“What are we going to do with you?” The woman stepped back and tilted her head one side and then the other.

“Let her work for us.” Dant joined her, and they stood side by side, looking at Dalia.

Lars walked close by and then passed them, heading straight to the cage. “That’s a great idea, methink.”

Dant seemed to think about it for a moment, and then smashed his open palm with a fisted hand. “She could work in my bedchamber.”

Dalia was now uncontrollably shaking.

“Yes! Can she work in my bedchamber too, Catal?” Lars took the woman’s hands in his and jumped up and down, like an overgrown child.

The woman, Catal, slowly shook her head, the beads at the end of her tresses noisily clinking against each other. “You never take care of things. What if you break this one? She looks too scrawny.”

“We’ll take good care of her. We’ll even walk her outside—” Dant’s hands slid up to the woman’s elbows.

Catal forcefully loosened his hold on her arms. “She is a nocturnal. Remember?”

Friday Snippet #51

Friday Snippet #30

Here we are again. The fog is finally gone. It rained. In the attempt of keeping the headaches under control, I started a new exercise regime and I’m checking the daily calories intake. Still alive. My productivity isn’t back to normal, but I’m working on that.

From X:

Her nose caught a scent she didn’t like. “We can’t stay here.”

“Where to?”

“Out.” She pulled him out of the bed and a moment later they were already downstairs, having mindlessly run through the bedroom where they had slept, Clarissa’s bedroom, the hallway, and the stairs.

They were at the main door, when Julius stopped her. He brought one finger to his mouth and then pointed it at the shadows dancing behind the opaque glass composing the door panels.

At the same time, the smell she had barely perceived a few minutes earlier became too strong to ignore and Allegra gagged. She stepped back, her lungs burning and her heart racing. She looked right and left, but when he shook his head, she turned toward the large window overlooking the gardens.

“Yes.” Julius squeezed her hand and they ran to the back of the room.

Allegra was lowering the handle of the back door, when she heard the sound of the main door being forced.

“There must be a treasure inside.” A muffled voice. A crack.

Julius propelled her outside and then tore through the garden, only to stop a few minutes later behind a tall bush. “Looters.”

She had already reached that conclusion. Julius’s house was going to be violated as hers had been. She couldn’t help two tears to escape her control, but was fast in drying her eyes. The sound of broken glasses reached them and Julius startled. She resisted the urge of looking back at the house to see what was happening and looked straight ahead instead. The Royal Palace dominated the view on top of the hill. “Not sure where else to go.” So many questions unanswered and no time to think about anything.

He nodded and she moved forward.

Friday Snippet #30

Friday Snippet #28

Days fly by. Lots accomplished, but nothing to show apart from a variegated production of didls. In other and exciting—for me—news, I have a brand new workstation! Also, outside it’s frigid but sunny.

From X. Allegra interacts some more with Julius and his family:

“Why didn’t you leave?” Allegra asked Julius’s father.

“I can’t leave the King alone, and Caterina and the kids didn’t want to listen to reason. I gave the staff permission to leave, but Chef insisted she wouldn’t abandon us. So, here we are.” Carolus’s eyes went back to the mansion.

Only then, Allegra noticed how far into the gardens they had walked. The lights spilling out from the majestic windows illuminated the immediate surroundings, but ahead of her it was barely possible to make out the silhouettes of the topiary. She shivered.

“Let’s go back inside.” Carolus took off his jacket and draped it on her shoulders.

She accepted with a thanks without explaining she wasn’t cold. The darkness swallowing the night had frightened her. Not for the first time, the thought that Julius could only see a black canvas if left alone made her feel hollow.

They walked back to the house in silence. Not a sound interrupting their thoughts.

“Is it cold outside?” Clarissa was at her side as soon as they entered, one hand on hers to steer her away from the glass door and her father. “Come to the fireplace.”

Julius, who was still talking to his mother, excused himself and without faltering reached for Clarissa still looking at her. “You look pale.”

His sister immediately lowered her eyes and Allegra repressed a gasp. Julius had breached one of the unspoken rules among unseers. The act of looking at someone to talk to someone else was considered one of the worst faux passes. He had never done that. He wasn’t the type to forget about social dictates.

And he didn’t seem to realize what he had done. “You look distressed.”

“It was cold outside,” Allegra lied.

Julius left Clarissa and took Allegra’s hand in his. She couldn’t help to glance at the girl and see she was trying to disappear into the background.

His fingers circled her wrist in response to her pulling away.

Friday Snippet #28

Friday Snippet #27

After Nanowrimo, the trip to Italy, publishing my fairytale, and the Christmas holidays, I’m slowly getting my routine back. Journey to the City of Men is under revision and I should be done with it shortly. Then it will be placed in the capable hands of my trusted beta readers. Then, re-writing, editing, proofreading, formatting, copyrighting, publishing, marketing… head spinning, hiding under a rock, etc. Rinse and repeat.

Anyway, Allegra and Julius are still at his parents’ and she has a tête-à-tête with his father. From X:

“Care for a stroll outside?” Carolus took her arm under his in a paternal gesture. “In all of this… we’ve forgotten to enjoy the little things, haven’t we?”

Allegra didn’t answer since she didn’t know what ‘all of this’ meant and looked back at Julius who was several steps behind and engaged in conversation with his mother.

“Shall we?” Carolus gently tugged her and she followed his lead.

Nobody else did and she found herself with the Right Hand of the king all alone, without knowing what was the protocol with a person of his station.

“Allegra, may I call you Allegra?” He looked at her from his considerable height.

She nodded, taken by surprise.

“Good. Allegra, I heard you didn’t find your family…”

She nodded again.

“I wish I could tell you what happened to them, but the truth is I know little.”

There was only one thing Allegra wanted to know. “Are they alive?”

Carolus didn’t answer right away. “If they escaped soon enough, they might be.”

“What do you know, sir?” Little knowledge was preferable to not knowing at all.

“The Malady is something that affects our brains—” Carolus caressed his chin with his free hand. “It makes people see things.”

“What kind of things?” The image of the terrorized boy they had met outside her house came back to her.

“Haunting things. Worse than nightmares.” Carolus’s voice wavered. “People commit suicides to stop seeing those things.”

“What is it?” The boy’s eyes were vacant, but Julius had seen through him and she had felt the horror he had experienced. “How are people infected?”

“We don’t know. That’s why cities are walled and exed. We’re trying everything in our power to stop the Malady from spreading.”

“Why wasn’t Cartaghena walled?”

Friday Snippet #27