Guest Friday Snippet: The Native Star

We have a special Friday Snippet today! This one is from The Native Star, a newly released book by M.K. Hobson. I received an ARC of this book, and enjoyed it so much I asked permission to share a little snip with you, my blog readers.

(This has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve been gone more than I’ve been home lately, and haven’t done much of my own writing to share. Nothing at all.) (Actually, it does. I wanted to share a snippet of TNS with you anyway… but my current writing slump determined the timing.)

At any rate, I will be doing up a full review of The Native Star next week, and will be having M.K. Hobson to visit the blog the week after that. Also, the author has a giveaway over at The Book Pushers where you can win a signed copy of her book! The contest is open until next Thursday, so get on it! And in the meantime, enjoy the snippet!

“We have to block the entrance!” Emily said as they emerged into icy moonlight. She pointed at the rocks over the mine entrance. “Magic those rocks down!”

Stanton stumbled to a stop, his eyebrows knit mournfully.

“Miss Edwards, I just mortified two dozen rampaging zombies. I am in no position to magic anything right at the moment.”

“If we don’t get this opening blocked, there’ll be dozens more in Lost Pine before dawn!” But even as Emily said it, she knew what to do. Running to the foreman’s cabin, she threw open the door. In an open crate, sticks of dynamite lay buried in wood shavings. She grabbed a stick and reached for the spool of fuse cord.

Running back up the hill, she heard the shrieks of the undead echoing against the black forested hillside; they had reached the mine entrance. Stanton had picked up a heavy mossy branch and was holding them back as best he could, swinging the branch wildly at a clot of zombies that seemed to find this action extremely annoying.

The man could even annoy the undead! Despite herself, Emily found this rather impressive.


Scheduled Snippet

I’m not here today! But I feel sorry for anyone who would expect a Friday Snippet and not get one, so here is a short section (that I just wrote) from my WIP. (Oooh, shiny! Brand new fiction! Probable typos and maybe even grammatical errors! Heh. Be gentle.)

Have a great weekend everyone!

“I am sorry. I wish I remembered more…”

“There is nothing to be sorry about. You did not ask to be Shifted.” Venn’s eyes clouded with anger for a moment before he blinked and shook his head. Smiling, he reached out and took Lindra’s hand, the remains of the black look fading from his face when she didn’t flinch at the contact. “Let me show you some of those places we shared. Perhaps something about them will remind you of your time here before.”

She wasn’t sure she needed the confusion more memories would bring, and opened her mouth without a clear decision what she was going to say. “I’d like that,” she heard herself saying instead of the ambiguous reply she’d been planning.

“Then I shall find you tonight, and we shall see about restoring your memories.” He bowed over her hand and brushed another kiss across her fingers. As he turned to go, he winked at her, causing her breath to catch in her throat.

He can make me feel like this, when I don’t remember him? Should I really be meeting him tonight to see what memories came back?

Lindra opened her mouth to call out to Venn, to change her mind and tell him she wasn’t ready to remember him, but he’d already vanished into the trees. Ready or not, he was going to attempt to awaken her memories. Tonight. With the moonlight and half-remembered stars to assist him.

Something told her he’d be successful.

Copyright 2010 by Nicole Tom, do no re-print or re-post without permission, rough draft so expect errors, etc, etc, etc.

August Snippet the First ~ 8.6.2010

This week’s snippet follows off of one two snippets ago, in which we met the girl. It actually follows on that one in the same scene, without the jump to last week’s snippet in between. This is after Lindra’s been challenged by her archery tutor to prove her skill and has succeeded. Beyond that, there’s nothing else you’d need to know that you can’t pick up from the snip.

Have a happy Friday and a great weekend!

“Well done,” Kalis said, and she dragged her gaze back to his face. He was grinning. Actually grinning. “From here out you shall be counted among the archers, and should you wish to mentor any of the trainees, no one will hinder you.”

“Thank you.” Lindra didn’t trust her voice to say more. Instead she walked back to the target and collected her arrows, including the split one. By the time she’d returned, the crowd had dispersed. She held Kalis’ arrow out to him, but the elf shook his head.

“Keep it. A memento, if you like, or merely for practice.”

“Thank you. Again.” She cleared her throat, fiddling with the pieces of her broken arrow. “So, what’s expected of me now?”

“Should need arise, you shall join the other archers in defense of the city.” He smiled again and patted her shoulder when she paled. “Have no fear. The city has been besieged before, and has not fallen.”

“But its defenders…”

“Are well prepared.” His tone was final, and she swallowed the rest of her protests. “At length you shall be expected to take a trainee or two, though not for some time yet. You must continue to train, of course. But your studies need no longer be confined strictly to archery as they were.”

“Thank you. I’ll need to think about all this…”

“Naturally. Should you have need of me, just ask.”

With a last nod, Kalis walked over to the practice range where the other students still struggled, leaving her alone. There was no one to share her triumph. Not since Alan…

Shaking her head, she looked at the arrows she still held. She would not think of him, not now. Perhaps another round or two would help clear her mind.

Yet she made no move to ready the arrows, or to bring her bow back up to the ready. After she’d stared at the halved arrow long enough to realize that it had split down the exact center of the shaft, she decided her nerves in no condition for any more practice just now. Putting the arrows back in her quiver and unstringing the bow took a matter of moments, and then she was at loose ends again. She couldn’t practice, she had no one to talk to and nowhere to go but back to her solitary room —

“Lindra?” The voice was familiar, but she had no idea why. Turning to look up at the elf it belonged to didn’t help. He was tall, as most of the elves were, with hair so pale it might have been white but for the yellow glow where the sun touched it.

“Hi,” she said, not wanting to be impolite but unable to come up with a name.

“I’m guessing you do not remember me?” He smiled when she shook her head, seeming more amused than offended. “Venn del’Avra, at your service.”

She laughed as he sank into a courtly bow, and extended her hand for him to shake. “Lindra Morint. But I guess you already know that.”

Copyright 2010 by Nicole Tom, do no re-print or re-post without permission, rough draft so expect errors, etc, etc, etc.

Friday Snippet ~ 7.30.10

Here’s another snippet, this one going back to the bit I posted on the 9th. It’s from the beginning of a story that I’m working on at the moment, the one that was the first story I ever really worked on. Of course, this is the current iteration and not the original, over-ten-year-old one. I’m enjoying the story, and it frustrates me no end that I don’t have as much time to work on it as I would like. I know, I know, make the time, right? I wish it were that easy.

Quick background, the main characters have been pulled from Earth into some other world by a group of elves who claim to be rescuing our heroes back from some magical exile. Among the MCs, it is up for debate whether or not the elves are telling the truth.

Anyway, here’s the snip, and happy Friday!

Her eyes searched his, then she took a deep breath. “Al—”

“Oh no.” Cutting her off with a finger to her lips, he shook his head. “Don’t you go calling me ‘Alleon,’ too. That’s not my name.” Under his fingers, her lips were soft and full, their touch distracting him. He had to close his eyes and swallow hard to remember what he was saying that was so important. “Of all the people here, I need you to call me ‘Alan’.”

“It matters that much to you?”

The wistfulness in her voice had his eyes flying open again. There was no anger in her expression, just curiosity and a touch of something he thought might be sadness. Only the fact that he didn’t really know her kept Alan from pulling her to him and holding her close. But he didn’t know her, and she didn’t know him, and she couldn’t really want —


And she’d asked him a question, which he had yet to answer. It took him a moment to remember what she’d asked. “Yes.” He took a deep breath and forced his hand back down to his side. “Yes, it matters that much.”

“Then you shall have it. Though I wonder…” She trailed off, blushing again as she glanced to the side and saw Venn approaching them.

Alan stepped closer and lowered his voice, though he really didn’t know how well the elves could hear. “What do you wonder?”

“Why does it matter what I call you if you don’t remember me?” She spoke to his feet, all the words coming out in a rush. Before he could figure out how to answer her, she’d raised her eyes to his face and continued speaking. “I mean, why me, in particular?”

“I guess it’s because you remind me of someone else.” He thought of Lynn’s green eyes and bleached blond hair. “Someone from Earth who meant a lot to me.”

“Oh. I see.”

“It‘s just —”

“No. It’s fine.” Stepping back, she smiled again, though it didn’t reach her eyes. “You want to go back, and you remember that life better than this one. I understand. I understand perfectly.”

Without waiting for his response, she spun around and headed for the trees. Frowning, he started to follow her, but stopped when he heard Venn‘s low chuckle.

“Still the same charm with the ladies that you ever had, I see,” the elf said as he approached.

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“No, I can see you do not, or you would not be standing here talking to me… You would be chasing after her.”

Copyright 2010 by Nicole Tom, do no re-print or re-post without permission, rough draft so expect errors, etc, etc, etc.

Friday Snippet, and Frustrations

I’ll go with the frustrations first. I’m getting highly annoyed at AOL. I set up an AOL account purely for the purpose of using it for my blog e-mails, and now it’s getting shunted into spam folders when I use that account to comment on other blogs. (Some, anyway.) HIGHLY annoying. So I’m thinking of canning the AOL account and setting up another Yahoo or Google one just for blog mail. Argh. Extra busy-work I shouldn’t have to do.

Another frustration is procrastination. I meant to get you guys a WiP Weds post this week. Or at the least a WiP Thursday. But I couldn’t get pictures that were good representations of the color at the time I was able to take photos and so no photos = no knitting WiP post. Argh. Again.

But at any rate, it is Friday, and Fridays are for snippets, not me whining about (the lack of) WiP posts.

So. Here is a snippet that follows shortly after the one from last week. This snip can be loosely described as “In Which We Meet The Girl.” (This is a fantasy romance — though I have yet to determine how much romance there will be. But in a (traditional) romance, there is always a girl. And this is she.)

Lindra brushed past the rest of the archery trainees, pulling her bow from its place slung across her back as she went. Her trainer would have her head if he saw her using the weapon instead of a practice bow, but Kalis wasn’t here. Not like it would make a difference if he was.

I should just challenge him, and have done with it. No more practice bows, or shooting with teens who can’t even string a real weapon.

Propriety, however, demanded that she remain under his tutelage until he said she was ready to advance. Knowing the elven standard of perfection, she’d be hunched and wrinkled before she reached that point.

Picking a range set apart from the targets in use by the current class of trainees, Lindra strung her bow, wondering again what kind of wood it was made from. No tree she was familiar with had such a silver sheen. Not that I actually am familiar with this place anymore, no matter what I told Alleon. No. Alan. She had to at least attempt to respect his choices, even if he pushed her away in the process.

The tears shimmering in her eyes didn’t affect her aim.

Three times she drew an arrow from the quiver strapped to her hip; three times she let fly. When she brushed the moisture from her eyes, she saw three arrows in a neat row at the center of the bull’s-eye. Just where she’d intended them to hit.

“Not bad.”

Lindra jumped to hear Kalis behind her, but when she spoke it was with a steady voice. “Thank you. It is a credit to your teaching.”

The elf laughed. “That it is not. Your skill merely needed awakening. You have ever been a better archer than I.” He reached into his own quiver and handed her an arrow. “But can you perform under pressure?”

Copyright 2010 by Nicole Tom, do no re-print or re-post without permission, rough draft so expect errors, etc, etc, etc.

Friday Snippet – 07.09.2010

Here’s a snippet. Just because I can.

This is from a fantasy story I’m working on (E1, if you want to know) and I’m enjoying it. No background is needed, really, or will be provided, because I’m considering starting the novel with this. Haven’t decided yet, but very strongly considering…

Anyway, happy Friday, and enjoy!

Life was good — or it would be, if Alan had chosen this life. The sun was shining, a cool breeze carried the perfume from the blossoming fruit trees, and all he needed to do was be social and play sports. Assuming, of course, that the sports involved hitting people with swords and dodging spears. Hell, I know guys who would kill to actually live this life.

Too bad I’m not one of ‘em.

Staring out across the river didn’t really help matters. Alan wasn’t used to this much green. It felt unreal, so very alien from the red-brown mountains surrounding the town where he’d lived all his life. Nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live here.

Yet here he was. And there was no end to this “visit” in the foreseeable future.

From behind him he heard voices, but he didn’t have to turn to know they weren’t people he knew. They weren’t speaking a language he recognized, so he refused to acknowledge them. The handful of people he’d met here already knew that if they wanted to talk to him, they needed to use his language.

At times, it seemed odd that they’d accepted that. He was on their land, living at their expense. They’d be within their rights to demand he learn their tongue. Just one problem with that… they want me to fight their war. Not gonna happen if they don’t make nice.

Of course, it might not happen anyway.

Copyright 2010 by Nicole Tom, do no re-print or re-post without permission, rough draft so expect errors, etc, etc, etc.

April Snippet

It’s April! Wow! That’s just amazing. I’m curious, how many of you were fooled by any of Google’s antics this past April 1st? I’m not sure what my favorite prank of theirs was this year. Was it the vowel outage? The Translate for Animals app on an Android phone? Or perhaps the new functionality on Google Docs that will allow you to Ctrl+F your keys and store physical objects in the cloud.

I think I would have to go with the third option… unless it’s the Mobile Search app allowing you to search “where am I” on a mobile phone browser… and come up with fun locations such as moon landing sites, Middle Earth, or (my favorite) a square on a chessboard. (I was on e3. I saved a photo, but am having trouble uploading it at the moment.)

At any rate, as in addition to being April it’s also FRIDAY (hooray!), here’s a snippet. I’m not going to give any real background for this, because that would involve spoilers, but enjoy anyway! (Also, names have been removed to also avoid spoilers.)

At the far end of the hall Frederick stopped. Voices were coming from the other side of a door that hadn’t quite been closed. He could pick out two distinct voices, both men. Though neither was a voice he recognized, the softer of the two had the cadence and force of a nobleman’s.

The other man whined, and was certainly not in any position of power. “Did you have to kill that man? There’s been talk that his death was unnatural.”

“I do not know that I like your tone of voice.” The lord raised his voice for a moment, and then lowered it again, and icy edge to it that hadn’t been there before. “That death was an accident. You should make more effort to be courteous to your betters, lest something similar happen to you.”

“But there have been questions —”

The nobleman kept talking as if the other man hadn’t said a word. “If I plan something… unnatural for you, there will be no questions… because there will be no body.”

copyright Nicole Tom, 2009, do not copy, reprint/re-post without permission, etc.