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The 777 Challenge and WIPs

July 18, 2018

My dear friend and fellow author, Cherise Taylor, tagged me last Friday in the 777 Challenge. Never one to turn down the opportunity to share a bit of what I am working on, I am eager to participate. However, scheduling didn't permit me to do anything until tonight.

 

Here is how it works: 

  1. Open WIP to the 7th page.

  2. Scroll past the 7th line.

  3. Copy the next 7 paragraphs, and… paste them on your blog for the world to see!

Since I have multiple works in process (WIPs) on my metaphorical desk and I am behind on my plans to talk about them with you all here, I am going to feature a few. I would love to hear what you think of them.

 

Up first is Grace by Contract, the first of my newest series.

 

“You are reading too much into her actions. Many have stared at this.” I indicated my ruined face with my whole right hand.

 

“Ah, but she didn’t turn away in disgust.”

 

He had a point, but I had no intention of giving it to him. “Do you ride with me or the box?”

 

“The box, of course. As much as I value your company, I don’t value it more than my position. There is far too much of value in there to leave it to a lackey’s care. A ride in the wagon is to be my fate.” He flinched dramatically at the prospect.

 

I laughed. “I will see you there, then.” A signal to the livery boy across the square set my mount’s preparations in motion.

 

Rambler lugged his strong box over to the pavilion edge and handed it off to the closest guard. He pulled his cowl up around his ears and tugged a matching hood over his dark hair. “Don’t linger on the road, my lord. We don’t wish to have to delay the evening meal by too long.”

 

I peered out at the rain. “Clearly this is not the weather for riding.” I was already regretting my choice of transport, but I wasn’t about to join Rambler in the unsprung wagon. The ride home would be long and wet. At least mine would be shorter than his.

 

My second selection is from Diaspora, the first novel of a science fiction trilogy inspired by my short story Exchange:

 

The Planet Scyilica

 

Myah Andersen

 

“Enter last, Andersen,” Admiral Kilfrey instructed me for the fifth time since boarding the anti-grav lift.

 

I managed my best imitation of a naval acknowledgement. I would have given a verbal, but he had already ordered me to silence.

 

“Your post is purely as consultant.”

 

He straightened his uniform jacket’s lines and checked the medals once more in the chrome paneled lift doors. Dignity held his age-sloped shoulders square while a quart of hair gloss guaranteed not one iron gray strand on his head budged a millimeter. He grimaced at me in the reflection. “We will ask for your help when we need it.”

 

How he expected me to consult while remaining silent, I could not determine.

 

Doctor Overan, the third member and spokesman of our diplomatic party, wore a casual jacket from decades before over a standard military issue tunic. The combination of orange over maroon set my stomach off. “Gives me a distracted air,” he claimed. I found it painful to look at and told him so. It was probably the statement that earned me the gag order.

 

The lift opened with a swoop and we stepped out into a room full of light. The doors clicked closed behind us before my eyes adjusted to the shine from outside the towering windows and focused on the room.

 

The third selection is from Mercy, the next novel in the Rhynan series:

 

“Thank you!” I called after her.

 

I wove through the gathered villagers as they exchanged their final goodbyes and loaded the last of their luggage. As a resident of the village for the past handful of years, I recognized many of the faces in the crowd, but none of them were my son.

 

Finally reaching the far side of the square, I spotted my boy at the center of a gathering of children around the baker’s makeshift table of goods for sale. Thanks to the noises around me, I couldn’t hear what the baker said, but the intensity of his expression boded ill for my timetable.

 

“Owen!” I burst through the crowd and caught a hold of my son’s shoulder. He was wiry and lean, but strong for his years. “I told you to stay with Grandfather.”

 

“He ordered me to leave off and entertain myself.”

 

I closed my eyes for a moment to plead with the Kurios for patience. “Son, I asked you to stay with him so you could help him load the wagon. You know we are running late.”

 

“Madam, your son destroyed three silver flans worth of sweetmeats.”

 

All of the excerpts are unedited and may change between now and publishing. I hope you enjoyed your sneak peeks.

 

I would love to hear which most interests you.

 

- Rachel

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