SFFSat, Feb 16th: Introductions can be awkward

And we’re back! I’m giving you more snippets from The Jade Star of Athering now, as I’m working on it again. (I may even finish it soon!) Last time, you’ll remember, we had Bellica Agate completely failing at diplomacy in her meeting with the Ixile’an queen who has taken over an Atherian town with her army. Now the Queen has insisted on introductions….

Agate stared in confusion, then realized the woman was asking for her name. Hastily she replied, placing her hand in the same position on her chest, then pointed to Damien and said his name.

Rain-Looking repeated the syllables of each name slowly, then nodded, as she committed them to memory.

“Good name. Ah-gah-tay,” she said, pointing to Agate, “mean She-Who-Guards. Brave name. Strong.” She nodded once, decisively, and then frowned. “How Atherian bell-eh-kah get Ixil name?”

Well. That’s interesting.

That’s also all we have for this week! Go check out the rest of the amazing snippets here, and I’ll see you next week with another snippet from The Jade Star of Athering!

SFFSat, November 3rd: Communication Problems

Welcome to another week of SFFSat! In this snippet, Agate and Damien have been lead to the Ixile’an sovereign who has taken her army to occupy the town of Southland.

There was a silence as the two women stared at each other, assessing one another like enemies on the battlefield. Normally Agate would have held out, but she was supposed to be on a diplomatic mission.

She bowed low again. “Your Majesty, I have been sent by Athering’s Queen to discuss a truce. She has no wish for any violence.”

The other woman raised her eyebrows, and gave a small sigh. “I do not want violence either,” she said, stumbling over the words. “That is why I come here.”

Agate knit her eyebrows together in a frown as she puzzled that out. “You didn’t want violence so you attacked and occupied a small town?”

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SFFSat October 27th: A Diplomatic Mission

Welcome to another SFFSat snippet! We continue on from the last two weeks’ snippets (here and here, in chronological order) from The Jade Star of Athering.

The leader sized her up, recognized her as another leader, and made a small bow indicating wary respect. Agate affected a look of confusion and did a clumsy imitation of the bow, though she could have done it perfectly in her sleep.

“We are on a diplomatic mission from the Queen of Athering. She wishes to discuss a truce.” Agate spoke slowly and deliberately, enunciating the Atheē words perfectly. She wanted no misunderstandings if she could help it.

The man who had bowed earlier frowned, as if digesting her words, then nodded. “Rain-Looking want to see you. Come now; only two.” He pointed to Agate and Damien, reinforcing his statement.

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SFFSat: oh the times, they are a-changing…

Here is the continuation to the last three weeks’ snippets (1, 2, 3) and the end of this chapter!

They didn’t, this time. He merely nodded and put his arm around her shoulders, and they walked in silence. Normally she wouldn’t allow such a display of affection in front of her women, but since leaving Atherton she felt as if some weight had been lifted from her, and that she was a different Agate. It was as if the very act of leaving, of heading back towards home, had instigated some change in her that was still working at all the small corners of her mind.

The very thought of it made her stomach clench in fear. For some reason, she felt this change would not stop working until she was destroyed completely.

Oh, Ixchel. What’s happening to me? she prayed fervently, but the Goddess gave her no answer.

Be sure to check out the other great SFFSat authors HERE!

And if you like the snippets from The Jade Star of Athering, consider checking out the first book in the series, Bellica, available for the Kindle. Soon to be available on CreateSpace, too.


SFFSat March 24th: a conversation between Agate and her major

Continuing on in the same scene as the last two weeks’ snippets (1, 2), here we see a small conversation between Bellica Agate and her major, Damien. This is from The Jade Star of Athering, the sequel to Bellica.

“You didn’t mention why you were chosen for the mission,” he said gently when they were out of earshot. It was neither a reprimand nor a question.

“Need to know basis, Damien. I’m assuming this ‘Gypsy Queen,’ whoever she is, speaks Athee, or at least enough of it for us to be able to communicate. She gave a message to Melena, after all, and that girl does not know a word of Ixil.”

He raised his eyebrows and looked down at her. “Ixil? Is that the language you barely remember?”

Agate mentally kicked herself for letting it slip. “Yes,” she said, and waited for the flood of questions to come.

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SFFSat, March 10th, 2012: a snippet from The Jade Star of Athering

During a break on the march to Southland, Agate takes an opportunity to tell her women about their mission — and encounters some resistance.

While her women sat, scattered across the road in a rough semi-circle, chewing on their rations, she spoke clearly and quietly. No one said anything, for her women were loyal, and always showed the respect they knew she deserved.

“As the Queen said, this is a delicate situation. If there are any of you who feel you are not up to the task, tell me now.”

There was a small pause while the women looked around at each other, an assessing gaze on each face, and then – Agate had been expecting it – Bethany stood. “Ma’am,” she started, but didn’t get a chance to say “I feel I would jeopardize the mission” because Agate cut her off.

“Shut up, Bethany. You’re coming and that’s final.”

Bethany gaped like a fish out of water, then shut her mouth with clunk sound. “Ma’am,” she said tightly, through her teeth, “with all due respect I think that’s an uninformed decision.”

The Jade Star of Athering is the sequel to Bellica.

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SFFSat January 28th: Bellica Agate prays at the temple

This is an excerpt from The Jade Star of Athering, a sequel to Dead Transgressions set 10,000 years later and right after the events in Bellica.

Bellica Agate has been ordered to travel to Southland to negotiate with the army of Gypsies and their Queen that have laid siege to the province.  She decides to pray at the temple before leaving.

Ixchel had no temples, no buildings of stone or wood; She did not even have a place in the services offered at the Temple. Agate doubted any of the priestesses even knew of Her.

In fact, no one in Athering knew of the Rainbow-Moon Goddess. Agate had learned that well as a child. So she’d kept her worship hidden, a secret – even let her wedding ceremony be a Paixemortienne one, as Damien had wished. It was best no one thought her crazy, or worse – a traitor.

At the end of her prayer she felt the faint flutter of butterfly wings against her forehead, and she looked up to see the insect that had greeted her. There was nothing but empty air. She smiled, knowing her Goddess spoke to her once again after many years of silence, and felt her spirits lifted slightly at the thought of going home.

Home, after all, was closer to Ixchel than Atherton or Harbourtown had ever been.

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