Wow! Excerpt Monday time came around very fast.
The links to other Excerpt Monday posts are underneath my excerpt, so click through a few and see what wonderful writing is available for you this month. (If any of them don’t connect right away, don’t panic. It’s international, so come back later)
I thought I’d do something a little different this month and post a snippet from something as yet unpublished.
May Queen is my recently completed YA novel about a young woman who stumbles into the Faerie Realm, the place where all the fairytales were born of blood and sacrifice. The villaness of the piece is the Realm’s Queen, Titania. Or is she?
(please bear in mind that this is still a work in progress and hasn’t been edited professionally as yet.)
Titania’s hands shook as she smoothed back her golden hair from her face. She hid it through sheer force of will and an expertise garnered from centuries of being watched. Five of her courtiers stood behind her, in a group by the door and she knew—knew— they were watching. They were always watching.
And so was her reflection.
She lifted her eyes to meet those opposite her and she had to bite the inside of her gum.
They weren’t her eyes staring back. Mab, dwelling within her like a spider at the centre of a web, could look out from time to time, but it was easiest when she looked in a mirror. Titania drew in a breath and tried to calm herself, to hide her fear. Even after so many centuries, the terror never died.
The old Queen was hungry.
“What do you want?” Titania hissed, attack her only defence.
A smile flickered over the mouth inside the mirror, a movement that did not originate in Titania’s smooth face.
A May Queen has come. I sense her in the forest, in the water, changing things as she journeys towards us.
Mab’s voice echoed around Titania’s mind, like old nails scratching on dry skin. It reeked of malice, of hatred, and bloodlust. Mab was old, older than any of them. She kept to the old ways, forcing Titania to do the same when she willed it. And the old ways cried for blood.
“Then we must get rid of her.”
She’s too precious to kill just like that. We need her. She will make us young and whole again.
“We are young,” she snarled, and ran her hands down her body. “And whole. What more do you want?”
Mab laughed, mocking laughter than rang around Titania’s mind, tormenting her, shaking her to the core. And are we innocent? She’s fresh blood, Titania. And she’s ours. Quickly, before Oberon claims her. His Jack is already with her. Time is short.
“You want to replace me.” Her voice whined. And Mab was not the only one who would hear it. The court hung on her every word, even those she wished they would not. And they loved to hear weakness. Especially in her. Why not, when she had no patience for it in them?
The mirror image of her lifted a casket. It was rosewood inlayed with gold, carved with filigree designs. The catch was a golden heart pierced with a knife. Titania knew it and recoiled, her throat tightening.
But Mab just held it out to her, an offering. Titania stared, bewildered as the casket moved closer to the glass and then, with only the slightest resistance of reality, pushed through. The mirror bulged as it passed between realities, distorting her image. The hag who appeared in her place grinned, revealing needle-like teeth. Her eyes flashed when Titania reached out to take the casket. Nails scraped over her fingers as they pulled back into the far side of the mirror, tearing her skin.
Nothing can replace you, Titania. Not if you make it yours.
And then she was gone. The Queen gazed at her own perfect reflection and the casket weighed heavily in her bleeding hands.
She turned slowly and glared at her courtiers.
“A mortal girl is loose in our forest. Whosoever brings me her heart to place in this casket will be rewarded. Beyond measure. Now leave me.”
They scurried away to send out the word, to call their beasts and their allies, to turn all the Realm against the new May Queen. Titania inhaled deeply and then let it out in a long, low hiss.
The heart wouldn’t stay in the casket of course. She would do as Mab had done with her rivals’ hearts. She would eat it.
She placed it on the table beneath the mirror and tried to quell the trembling in her limbs.
“My Queen?” said a nervous voice.
Warm relief swept through her body and she turned around, smiling on him, her errant lover. And someone else who would soon know of the blood required by the old ways.
“Piper.” Her voice was a purr of satisfaction. “Play for me. Something soothing.”
Excerpt Monday links:
I have not checked all of these sites so please heed the ratings provided and be aware that the excerpts may contain content not typical of this blog.
AJ O’Donovan, Poetry (PG13)
Stephanie Draven, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)
Heather S.Ingemar, Dark Fantasy/Poetry (PG13)
Babette James, Fantasy Romance (PG 13)
Cynthia Justlin, Romantic Suspense (PG 13)
Kaige, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Julia Knight, Fantasy Romance (PG13)
Ansha Kotyk, Middle Grade Adventure (PG13)
Adelle Laudan, Contemporary Romance (PG 13)
Jeannie Lin, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Caitlynn Lowe, Epic Fantasy (PG13)
Shawntelle Madison, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)
Crista McHugh, Contemporary Erotic Romance (PG 13)
Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG)
Leigh Royals, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Megan S., Paranormal (PG13)
Dara Sorensen, Historical Paranormal (PG 13)
Bethanne Strasser, Historical Romance (PG13)
And there’s tons more at the ExcerptMonday site itself. As this is an international event please allow for time zones and if the links don’t all work immediately, try later as they may not yet have gone live. 🙂