Skip to content

Category: Excerpts & Info

NaNoWriMo Progress Report Week 3

Happy Friday, friends!

How are your NaNo babies coming along? Aren’t they just growing up so fast? :O

My first two weeks were a little slow, but I’ve caught up this week! *pours a shaky cup of tea* This week, I wrote 11,048 words.

That brings the total to:

25,042

#smashedit

Honestly, though, I’m a little worried that we’re over halfway through NaNo now and I’m only just at the halfway point word count wise. I’m starting to accept that I might not make it this year. I’m trying to build my business alongside writing all the words, so most days it’s a delicate balance struggle. What’s more important? Writing half of a first draft or finding clients so I don’t stay broke? You get why I’m torn.

So, if I don’t write another 25K in the next two weeks, I won’t be too hard on myself.

I know this word count is a big priority for many of us this month, but don’t forget to look after yourselves, too <3

    “It’s time, Sparrows. You all know what we’re walking into, and you all know why we’re doing it. The queen needs our help, and we’re her private army. It’s our duty to keep her safe, no matter the odds. Rachael’s safety is our priority.” He swallowed hard. He wasn’t prepared to lose any more of his family. “But that doesn’t mean you can be reckless. You can’t help Rachael if you’re dead, so I expect you to be smart and stay as safe as the situation allows. If you have to fight, give it everything you’ve got but don’t get killed while you’re at it. These demons aren’t like you and me, and they don’t die like you and me. Hold out your weapons.”

   While all of them had their weapons enchanted, it couldn’t hurt to strengthen the magic that ran through them. If the enchantment wore off—if that was even possible—he didn’t want it to happen while they were fighting for their lives.
   Kaida stepped forward, and made each weapon glow in turn until hungry flames burst from each of them. Their fires burnt hot for a second, then slowly died down to allow the Sparrows to sheathe their weapons.
   “You are my family. Rachael may be our queen, but she has made herself a part of that family, too. Protect her because she is your ruler. Fight beside her because she is your sister. The enemy is fast, but we’ll be faster. The demons are linked through dark mist magic, but we are linked by a connection they will never understand. When we get to Kaethe we will show them what happens when they take our queen from us. When we get to Kaethe, we will make them regret taking our sister. For Rachael!”


Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books (like early cover reveals…) and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

You can find all original images on my Pinterest Board.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

Leave a Comment

NaNoWriMo Progress Report Week 2

Happy Friday, friends!

How are your WIPs coming along? Have you all got through the first full week of NaNo madness okay? <3

My week has been slow, BUT there’s a good reason for that. I wanted to focus on finishing the first monster edit on Darkened Light which is now done and printed (until I ran out of paper anyway) and with my critique partners. Now that’s out of the way, I can give NaNo hell next week! And I still wrote 9193 words this week anyway, so suck on that, NaNo 😀

The total word count now stands at

13,994

Nowhere near what I hoped to have by now, but progress is progress and I’m over 10K into Book 3! Who cares if it’s not as much as I wanted? I’ve done good, and so have you, NaNonites <3

   She lay on a cold stone table, wrists spread to opposite sites and bound to cool hooks above her head, legs tied up in the same way below her.
   She took one deep breath in, let one deep breath out. Repeated the process. Her heart was still hammering.
   She thought of her mother’s arms, the way she’d smelled of roses, and closed her eyes until she could feel her mother’s comforting embrace. Her mind still raced.
   She focused on the spot on her hips where her daggers usually sat, tried so hard to feel them now, but nothing was there. Terror still gripped her.
   Fear threatened to overpower her again. Her stomach constricted, her throat tightened, and her eyes burnt when wave after wave of horror washed over her and made her sob.
   She had never felt so pathetic. When her father had beaten her mother, she had been free to help.
   When her father had beaten her until she couldn’t see through the pain, she had been able to kick out.
   When she had gone back to Grozma years later, daggers comforting by her sides and her step sure, she had been able to repay him for all the times he had made his mother regret marrying him.
   But now she had nothing, and it terrified her more than anything else could.


Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books (like early cover reveals…) and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

You can find all original images on my Pinterest Board.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

Leave a Comment

NaNoWriMo Progress Report Week 1

Can you believe Week 1 of NaNoWriMo is over already? How are you getting on, NaNonites? 🙂 Every week I’ll share my progress on Friday, and I’ll include a character aesthetic and a quote each time, too, so feel free to join in and compare word counts! After we’ve prepared together, I’d love to know how you’re getting on <3

These updates will be short, because it’s NaNo and I don’t want to keep you.

I’ve had a slow start to the challenge. I wasn’t well yesterday which set me back already, and it’s only Day 3! Trust me to get sick during the most inconvenient month of the year #rude

This week, I wrote 5019 words, which brings my current total to…..

5019

*ahem*

It is Week 1, after all 🙂

   Hope bubbled up inside her. She took deep breaths, closed her eyes, and willed her vision to come forth. She could feel it, right there, trapped just like she was, struggling to break through. She reached into herself just like Ailis had taught her, reached out to the source of her gift, found that sliver she’d so desperately needed, and tried to guide it.
   Pressure built up inside her head until it felt ready to burst. It hurt. But she was close. She guided her gift where it needed to go, held onto it as tight as she could, and forced it into her head.
   Light exploded in her mind and filled her prison. Intense pain cracked through her skull and gripped her mind so tight she couldn’t breathe. A thin line of blood ran down her nose, dried on her lips.
   Rachael gasped. And passed out.


Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books (like early cover reveals…) and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

You can find all original images on my Pinterest Board.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

4 Comments

#FictFBFeb17 Days 25-28 & Progress Update (incl. excerpt!)

Can you believe it’s March already? I have so many exciting things to share with you next month, and a lot of prep work to do before then, so I’ll keep this short. Relatively speaking 🙂 I’ve got the final four days of #FictFBFeb17 for you, I’ve got news on how my own edits on Wardens on Archos are progressing, I’ve got news on my newsletter, and I’ve got a short excerpt for you! It’s been a while since I’ve last posted one, so I figured it was about time 🙂

~ #FictFBFeb17 ~

Fictional Flashback February is the hashtag created by my sister in spirit Faith Rivens, who blogs over here – check it out if you’re after great writing tips and even better writing! Using this hashtag to introduce our characters was a really fun thing to do, and I’m looking forward to the next one in May <3 This time I posted on Twitter as well as Instagram, which needed graphics to go with the brief insights. I’m not sure if I’ll use both again since creating the graphics takes time every morning, but I’ll definitely join in again on Twitter!

Thank you, Faith, for a great way of introducing our characters <3

Day 25Fifty

Day 26Fulfil

Day 27Future

Day 28Finish

~ Wardens of Archos ~

Exciting news, everyone! I passed the half-way mark in the first edit! Next week I’m hoping to reach page 90, and then I’ll be asking for beta readers before you know it … But more on that nearer the time 🙂 After how difficult this first edit has been I’m dying to print the whole thing and go over it with my red pen and highlighters, tea on standby. My editor lady will do a developmental edit at the same time, too, which is something I didn’t do with Rise of the Sparrows. By the time it reaches my betas it should be in pretty neat condition!

~ Newsletter – Coming soon! ~

At the beginning of January I went over my plans for this year. Setting up a newsletter was one of them, and it’s now very nearly done! Next week it’ll be ready to go, and I’ll be able to tell you more about what benefits the newsletter would give you exactly. For now, think exclusive early access to cover reveals, giveaways, release dates – but I’m getting carried away. More next week 😉

~ Short Excerpt ~

It’s been a while since I posted an excerpt! As I’m editing I’m marking sections which will hopefully give you an insight into the second book without giving away any spoilers. I’ve got a couple more marked which I’ll post soon, too 🙂

For now, have this brief excerpt:

Rachael raised a weak hand to her cheek, and felt along the smooth cut the assassin had left. Kiana believed it would scar. Did she mind? A scar was proof that she had fought and survived. She wasn’t ashamed of it, and she didn’t want to hide it. She had earned that scar fighting for her life and defending a friend. It was proof that she was stronger now than she had been a year ago. It was proof that she wouldn’t be killed so easily.


For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For all of my musings, click me.

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

6 Comments

Soul of the Heart

A Writer's MusingsFollowing up from last week’s post about the benefits of writing for fun, I thought now was a good moment to share something I’ve been working on 😉

I’ve hinted at it here and there, but today I can confirm that I’ve been working on a new WIP! It’s another fantasy series – how many books it’ll have hasn’t been decided yet – and Soul of the Heart is a temporary title only, so don’t get attached to it 🙂 I thought it’d be easier than calling it Book 2 all the time 😛

Honestly, I don’t know how well I’ll be able to work on three WIPs at the same time. My main focus remains the sequel to Rise of the Sparrows, of course, and I should probably set this aside until the first draft, at least, of Immortals (temp. title) is done, but I’ve already been trying to pretend this wasn’t constantly at the back of my mind for months and it hasn’t worked. Ignoring it clearly isn’t the way forward! I’ll keep working on it whenever I can, and we’ll see what happens ^^

Here’s the very first excerpt – enjoy 🙂

Pinterest Research Gods and Demons3
Inspiration from my Pinterest research board

Naavah Ora stared into the soul of the Heart, and knew instinctively that it was dying. There was a presence there with her – her own presence should have been impossible – and it slowly corrupted the world.

The red grass beneath her feet swayed in the windless breeze as always, and the same breeze caressed her skin, but something wasn’t right. In the distance she saw the city – a haven for all dead – bright and shining as ever, but still something wasn’t right.

It was the missing whisper on the wind. It was the missing laughter in their eyes. It was the slow hiss that carried over the meadow and into the sky, and turned her blood to ice.

And all she could do was watch as it slithered invisibly to the city at the heart of their haven, and turned the dead against them.

——————-

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all other updates on my books, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

11 Comments

Character Insight: Arlo

For this final character insight of pre-release week I asked my betas and advanced readers for help – they have already read the book, so if anyone knows who they want to know more about it’s them! Their decision was pretty unanimous, and I hope this short insight gives you the answers you wanted 🙂

For everyone else – Arlo is a warrior-turned-hermit in my book, who lives on his own in a forest and who helps Cale here and there. Naturally he hasn’t always been a hermit, and my betas and advanced readers were curious to hear why he chose that life for himself.

Thank you so much to all of you who have responded to the previous two posts – you’re too kind <3

———————–

“Let it go, Arlo.” There was enough finality in the commander’s voice to make a lesser man walk the other way with his eyes averted in shame. Arlo stood firmly where he was, meeting his commander’s eyes.

He grit his teeth, and ignored the hot pain in his chest.

Maker’s Breeches, that cut would leave a life-long scar. A constant memory of the day he should have died.

“She’s a danger to everyone. We need to investigate, we need to send men to-”

His commander rose from his seat behind his desk, his eyes hard and unforgiving.

“Enough! You will let this go. You are lucky you escaped her, don’t tempt fate further.”

Aye, he knew when to be quiet. He was a soldier of the White Guard, sworn to protect the King and to uphold the law – and his commander’s word was the law. He would be stupid to do anything but turn around and walk away.

Arlo cleared his throat. “We can’t let her get away. She’ll kill everyone if we-”

His commander brought down his fist hard on his desk. The impact shook the wood. Arlo thought he could feel it ripple through his wound, too.

“I said enough! I will not allow disobedience from my men!”

Arlo swore under his breath. This wasn’t the first time the Commander of the White Guard made him wonder. Protecting the people of Rifarne was his duty, and he wasn’t about to ignore it. He had sworn an oath. His first loyalty was to the country, not to one man.

His commander was right. He was lucky to be alive, but the others were not so fortunate. The witch – Aeron, she called herself – had burnt down an entire village in the Boneanvil mountains. It had only been a small settlement, but she hadn’t allowed anyone to escape. It was by pure luck that he had been in the area and had seen the smoke rise above the trees. It was by even greater luck that he was still breathing.

Mist Women were forces of nature. The oldest ones were impulsive and devastating, and the youngest ones were playful on top of it. He had seen similar behaviour in young wolves, who learned how to hunt. They were impulsive, too, and tore into anything they deemed save enough. The only difference was that Aeron wasn’t threatened by anything.

When Arlo had reached the small village, everyone was already dead. And in the middle of the burning remains of the town she had stood, bathed in blood and grinning like a demon.

He should have run. Why hadn’t he run?

She was a danger beyond all compare. If his commander wanted to ignore the threat so be it, but he wouldn’t be so blind.

He nodded his response, and – careful not to tear open the wound once more – removed his armor. His sword. His helmet, and his steel boots.

“What by the Maker do you think you are doing!” He had never seen his commander so angry. To an outsider his face would have looked calm, but Arlo had known the man for long enough to know that this wasn’t the case. His eyes were dancing with fire, and the small vein over his left eye pulsed threateningly.

“I’m leaving the White Guard. I won’t need these.” His mother had taught him two things above all else – always cook enough food to end world hunger, in case he had unexpected guests or indeed needed to end world hunger, and always – always – save your money, in case of an emergency.

He had done just that, and while his soldier’s pay hadn’t been much he had saved up for a while. He’d have enough to buy a strong horse, and a weapon. An axe, perhaps.

His commander watched, but didn’t say a word. The vein above his eye danced ferociously.

Arlo turned around, and closed the door behind him. He couldn’t stay in the White City, but there was a nice bit of forest near the mountains which had always reminded him of home.

He would build a small hut there, and observe. He could save money on the furniture – he’d build himself everything he needed, and he would hunt his own game. He had never seen the need to spend money where it could be saved, and it reminded him of his childhood with his Ma and Da.

If he ever ran into the witch again he knew he wouldn’t get away with his life – but he would make sure that she would die with him.

—————–

For CookieBreak’s front page, take a look here.

For all other excerpts and snippets, click me.

6 Comments

Character Insight: Reeve

Hi everyone!
It’s Wednesday already! :O The giveaway is progressing very well (THANK YOU to everyone who entered!) and we’re onto the second character insight already!
Today I’m giving you a look into the life of Reeve. If you were a beta reader or an advanced reader you’re probably wondering who the hell he is – that’s because he isn’t a main character but he’s had an important role nonetheless, and I thought it might be interesting to see how exactly he contributed – even if it was behind the scenes 😉
————————
Reeve sank deeper into the shadows as he observed her every movement. His eyes narrowed, and he frowned.

This was supposed to be their Sparrow? The saviour they’d been waiting for? The promised hero?

He watched as she pulled a hole-ridden rag of a blanket around herself, shivering as she nibbled on a small piece of bread. She was no hero. She was no saviour. She was barely more than a sewer rat.

He had arrived in Blackrock three weeks ago, and had observed her since. Cale had given him clear orders: Find the Sparrow, learn what you can, and return after one month. Interfere only if her life is in danger.

He scowled, remembering how serious Cale had been. Not one scratch was to be dealt to the Sparrow on his watch. Not one hair to be missing from her head.

Her feet were blistered and bleeding from the cold. She was dangerously thin, and her hair looked filthy. In fact, all of her looked filthy. Reeve didn’t think he had ever seen anyone as desperately in need of a hot bath and a good meal as her. Cale wanted her save, and without scratches? Reeve knew he was many years too late for that.

Reeve relaxed when she lay down and her breathing turned even. He had stayed inside the shadows since he had arrived in the small mining town, and had done his best to avoid her noticing him. Usually he would have been all too happy to intervene, and take her to their nearest safe house immediately, but Cale’s orders had been clear and he wasn’t one to disobey. He trusted Cale’s lead. It was this Rachael he didn’t trust.

When Cale had asked him to find her he had expected to find, well… Not a dirty street rat. He had read the prophecies surrounding her, had listened to Cale when he had told the Sparrows about her. Had listened in awe and hope when Cale had told them that she would change everything for the better. She was supposed to be their great leader. The one who would finally bring hope to the gifted.

Frustrated with his task, he sighed. Perhaps he was too harsh on her. She wasn’t what he had expected, but she was not defenceless, either. She was weak, and too thin, but she could look after herself. She stayed out of trouble, and never sought it. She only took what she needed to survive. She never begged openly, and she didn’t mingle with the other homeless children. That she was still alive at all was a good sign as well as a miracle. She was someone who was used to struggle, and endured. A survivor.

When he had arrived he had thought it strange that she kept to herself. There was safety in numbers, but he had soon learned that she wasn’t alone by choice. The villagers were scared – no, terrified of her. The other homeless kids stayed as clear of her as if she had the plague, and the other, wealthier villagers walked the other way when they saw her.

Reeve wasn’t that surprised. Blackrock was a tiny village on the border to Tramura. Superstitions were rich all over the country, but in places like these villagers believed in them unchallenged, almost religiously so. And superstitions about the gifted were especially ripe.

But someone gifted who had a talent for predicting who would die next, and how? He wasn’t surprised they avoided her like she was a starving wolf amongst rabbits.

Oddly enough, a little girl had also followed Rachael recently. Neither of them had noticed them, but he had followed her briefly, to find out what she wanted from the Sparrow. That girl was dangerous. With a fire dancing in her eyes as well as her palms he worried that Rachael wasn’t save around her. His month shadowing Rachael was nearly up, but he would contact Cale sooner if things got out of hand.

Rachael could defend herself against men twice her size, but she would burn like dried wood if the girl attacked her. Feeding his worries were whispers he had heard around town. The villagers were on their toes, and nervous. The White Guard was on many lips.

Maybe waiting for his month to be over was foolish. Maybe it would be best to alert Cale immediately.

He took his eyes off her, and disappeared down an alley. If he could find a good, strong horse he could get the news to Cale in under a week.

He couldn’t wait any more. It was time they acted.

—————–

For CookieBreak’s front page, take a look here.

For all other excerpts and snippets, click me.

7 Comments

Character Insight: Kiana

Hi everyone!

As you all know my first novel will be released next week Monday – while I have a full week of excitement laid out for you, the fun starts this week 😉 Yesterday I kicked things of with the givaway, but for the next three days I’ve got some character insights for you! All insights will take place before the beginning of the book, and therefore will show you who the characters used to be and why they are who they are now.

Today I’m offering some insight into Kiana 🙂 She wasn’t in the book at all when I started writing it, but since then she has developed into one of my favourite characters (Not that I have favourites, of course, I love them all equally *ahem*)

So, before I talk around it even more, here’s a small look into Kiana’s old life 🙂

———————–

Ignore the pain.

Kiana watched from her spot high up on the wall as her target moved through the dark alleys. Her teeth were clenched, and her leg throbbed mercilessly. It hurt where the knife had cut her thigh. The area around it was hot and burned, but she couldn’t let a small wound control her life. It was just a scratch. It couldn’t hold her back.

Her target was nervous. His hands were restless, his step was fast, and one hand hovered over the sword on his hip. He didn’t look like much, but he expected trouble. He knows I’m watching. I hope it terrifies him.

Kiana whistled, and grinned when the man stopped and searched the area. His eyes flicked from one corner to the next, but he didn’t think to look up.

Kiana drew her dagger, and jumped.

He tried to scream when she fell into him, but the force of the impact knocked the air out of him. She had waited a long time for this moment. She wouldn’t risk him screaming for help now that she finally had him trapped.

“Oh, Maker!” His lips were trembling, and the hands he held up in surrender were shaking. “Please, I can give you anything you want! Are you after money? I don’t have much, but if you come with me I can-”
Kiana kicked him in the side, and he doubled over. She had heard that excuse too many times to fall for it a second time.

“There’s only one thing I want.”

He nodded quickly, his eyes wide. “Anything! Just name it, and I can-”

“Don’t you recognize me?” Kiana had day-dreamed about this moment for years. His fear, the recognition, his begging. She sighed. A bit of recognition would have been nice – she wanted him to know who killed him, and why – but it wasn’t necessary. His suffering was necessary, and she could ensure that much.

For a moment the terror left his eyes, and he focused on her like he was seeing her for the first time. Kiana spat in his face.

“Oh Maker! It can’t be!” Finally! “Kiana?”

She nodded. “You’ve aged horribly since the last time you hit me. Did you miss me?”

His whole body was shaking. She had dreamed of seeing him so defenceless and entirely at her mercy; the real thing was almost as good as her imagination had promised – no, it was better. It was real.

“Shit, I thought you were dead!”

“Thought or hoped?”

“Please! Let me go!”

In an instant her dagger found his throat, but the blade drew no blood. “You mean, like you let my mother go? Like you let me go?”

“Oh Maker, that was a long time ago! I’ve changed! I’d never-”

“It’s five years today. Five years since you murdered my mother. Five years since you raped me. Did you miss me, or have you found a younger whore?”
His eyes were pressed shut. Seeing him like this almost made up for everything he had done to her and her mother. Almost.

Her elbow rammed into his head, and his arms fell away by his side. With an anger that had build for the past seven years, she brought down her dagger into his right hand. Finally, he screamed. Kiana knew she didn’t have long before the authorities came running.

Better make it worth it.

His eyes were no longer focused on her, but he was conscious. Disoriented from the blow, but awake enough to feel fear.

“That was for my mother.”

Her dagger cut through his left hand, and he screamed. “That’s for every child you’ve raped and abused. And this-” Her free hand grabbed his chin, and forced him to look at her. “This is for everything you’ve done to me.”

She brought down her dagger without another second lost, and pierced his heart. His body convulsed, and the first slivers of red dripped down his face.
She got up, kicked his head one last time, and disappeared into the shadows moments before the guards arrived.

No one deserved to die the way she had killed him, but he wasn’t no one. He was an exception.

Kiana sighed, and leaned into the wall behind her. Her nightmare was over, and her mother could finally find peace at the Maker’s side.

The pain in her leg flared up, and she grit her teeth. She smiled through the angry burn. It had taken years of practice and sleepless nights, but she was no longer defenceless. The days of being toyed with like a cheap rag doll were over and bleeding out in front of her.

She would never be weak again. This she swore.

—————–

For CookieBreak’s front page, take a look here.

For all other excerpts and snippets, click me.

19 Comments

7/7/7 Snippet Challenge

Who’s up for an excerpt? (just kidding, who doesn’t love excerpts?)

I’ve been invited by Beverley and Mollie to do the 7/7/7 Snippet Challenge, and I’ve finally gotten around to do it.

For those of you not familiar with it – Challenge is too big a word for it. All it asks you to do is go to page 7 of your draft, down to paragraph 7, and post the next 7 lines! Pretty simple, right? Right. (I’m posting 9)

I know we all love excerpts, so here’s an additional one on top of the one you’ll get tomorrow 😉

Although, let me add, this won’t stay on page 7 for long. Given that I’ve got a whole prologue and all of chapter 1 (and some of chapter 2) to rewrite this is going to shift pretty soon. Still, an excerpt’s an excerpt, non? 😉

I won’t tag anyone but if you’d like to join in, go right ahead 🙂

***

But Cephy didn’t seem to hear her. The sound of her voice had not had any effect on the girl, so Rachael moved closer.

If Cephy still didn’t react then, Rachael thought, she would go away and leave her to it.

Cephy?” The girl turned away from her, hugging the doll to her chest as if her life depended on it. “Can you hear me?” Cephy was shaking. Whether it was because of the cold or something else, she couldn’t tell.

Rachael began to turn around since Cephy didn’t answer, when she noticed something. A weak ray of light lit up her face just enough for Rachael to see what she had missed before.

Cephy was bleeding. And even though Rachael couldn’t see any obvious injuries, she could see bruises all over the small body.

————————

For all other Excerpts from my book or other related information, take a look here.

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

13 Comments

Meet&Greet – Commander Videl

Can you believe it’s time for the final (final!) Meet&Greet already? My, where has the time gone! Like every week there’ll be a complete list of all previous introductions at the bottom, just in case you missed any or want to revisit someone.

Before we continue, let me just say THANK YOU to everyone who’s read these every week and left feedback. I’ve gotten some great comments and have gained a better understanding of my characters as well in the process. Closer to the publishing date there’ll be some more character snippets, but that’s a little way off yet 🙂

Now, let’s not waste more time! The man I’m introducing today isn’t known for his patience or his mercy, as you’ll see if you read on 😉

—————————

“Bring him in.” Commander Videl rose from his chair in the torture room, eyeing the many tools he had laid out an hour before. He had sat and waited afterwards, planning the many things he could do to his prisoner. His suspect. They needed answers, and there was no better way to tickle them out of someone than by torturing them.

The hot iron sat ready in the fire, the pincers still had skin flakes and blood dried on them from the last man whose fingers he had broken.

A smile slithered across his face. King Aeric would have answers before long. He might even hear them screamed all the way to his throne room.

The Commander cursed under his breath, frustrated by his restrictions. He couldn’t allow this man to scream loud enough for King Aeric to hear him begging for mercy. Their King, his King, was soft and too lenient. He would never allow the means which were necessary to run his country as he wanted.

No, he would need to be careful. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy himself.

The door creaked open as two White Guards dragged the prisoner into his chamber. Accused of murder, ruining crops across Rifarne, and directing bad luck to people who didn’t deserve it. The people had accused him of being a vile sorcerer, a servant of evil, yet he looked like nothing as much as a filthy peasent to him.

Commander Videl spat in his face.

“Let me go, m’Lord! I’ve done nothin’!”

Ignoring his pleas he walked over to his tools, gesturing at the still empty chair. “In here.”

His men dragged the prisoner over to the chair. He tried to resist – they always did, it was part of the appeal – but he was no match for his well-trained soldiers.

“Please! M’Lord! I got children at home, a pregnant wife!”

An excited grin reached his eyes as he picked up the first tool. The man was terrified, knowing fully well that he wouldn’t leave this room again.

“Tell me why you did the things you did.” A long time ago he had tried to keep his voice calm and be professional, but those days were long gone. He was excited and let it show. There was no point giving people like this dirty street rat hope. They didn’t deserve any.

“I didn’t! I’d never hurt anyone!” The sound of the first finger bone snapping sent shivers down his spine. He had tortured his first prisoner like this, many years ago when he had been a new soldier to the White Guard. It had remained his preferred method ever since. Sentimental reasons, perhaps.

He watched and waited for the man to stop writhing in his chair, screaming loud enough for every other prisoner to hear their own inescapable fate echoing off the walls.

Teasing, Commander Videl brought his tools up close to the man’s face.

“Tell me what I want to know, or I will have to pay your family a visit. Who can scream louder, I wonder? Your youngest child or your wife?”

The man went pale when he realised that the threads weren’t empty.

“Please. I don’t know anything! I’m loyal to King Aeric, I-”

The snapping of the second finger was too good to stop. He broke the third for good measure.

It seemed the prisoner really wasn’t an evil sorcerer after all.

“I believe you.” The man cried with relief until he saw the hot iron smouldering in front of his eyes.

Whether he had been accused correctly or not didn’t matter. They always knew something, and he would squeeze every last bit of information out of him.

———————————

Again, thank you for taking the time to read these every week <3 Your support means the world to me and it’s been amazing to see some of you feeling for my characters already. There are more main characters, of course, but I wanted to keep some surprises for the actual book at least 🙂

Previous Meet&Greets: Rachael, Cephy, Cale, Aeron

For all other Excerpts from my book or other related information, take a look here.

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

9 Comments