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Tag: excerpts

Progress Update – Exciting Days Ahead!

(This is going to be the shortest progress update I’ve ever done…)

We’ve got an exciting month ahead! Next week will resume as usual (although I’ve got some exciting news coming up on Thursday), but the two weeks after that are packed with thrilling things all over the place!

DrWho excited

Next week Friday I’ve got the pre-release week schedule for you. Five copies for my giveaway have been ordered, which will start Monday 16th, and I’ve got something else waiting for you as well 😉 The Friday that week the giveaway will finish, so you’ll have plenty of time to enter and win a copy! I’ll also share the schedule for release week with you, so you know where I’ll be and when (you can even enter another giveaway!)

ParksAndRec8

I’m pretty much on top of things for that week and can start relaxing now. Besides the marketing and promoting, of course. But the hardest part (*cough* OpenOffice! *cough*) is over.

I even managed to do a bit of writing this week, and have made some small progress on Book 2 🙂

And so ends the shortest progress update I’ve ever done!

I’ll leave you with this brief (shortened, to avoid spoilers) excerpt – it’s difficult to share excerpts from Book 2 before the first book is even out, but I don’t think this short section gives away too much 😉 Just bear in mind that it’s basically the draft before the first draft 😛

Rachael grimaced. Kiana’s blade hadn’t cut deep, but the wound stung. Kiana had made her train through the pain, and had only taken her to get the wound treated after another hour of merciless fighting. In a real battle, Kiana said, she wouldn’t have time to take a break. In a real battle she needed to be strong enough to ignore the pain, and fight despite it. Rachael agreed. She had seen first hand what real battle was like when she had fought her way through the White City.

A sharp pain raced up her right leg.

“Don’t let your guard down. Your enemy might try to trick you. You’d be dead if I were a real opponent.”

——————-

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

The gifs came from Giphy

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrow‘s progress, click me!

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

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Progress Update – The (first) changes have been applied!

It’s a short progress update this week-

draftwearandtear

Yesterday I’ve applied the last few changes to the draft from the printed copy, so now it’s time to add chapters and go over everything again! I’ve got so many battle plans and related to-do lists by now that I’m sure I’m ahead of my self-imposed schedule but I don’t want to jinx it. Compared to when I first printed the draft there’s definitely some wear and tear showing, partly because the mascot sat on it and pawed at the pages a lot.

Speaking of which…

mascot 4

She’s tried her hardest this week to stop me, but, well, it got done 🙂 I think she’s earned some cuddles today so whether I’ll start adding chapters today or from Monday has yet to be decided. Probably today because I’m actually quite excited to have a word count again.

Next week I’ll post the first sci-fi *ahem* idea I’ve mentioned before, and then the second one will follow in two weeks time 🙂 There’ll be updates on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so I’m not spamming you with everything at once. I’m reluctant to call this one sci-fi since there are no elements showing yet and I’m undecided where I would take it, if I took it anywhere at all, but we’ll see.

But more on that next week 🙂

Guess what I bought myself?

baby name book

I love reading through possible character names and while websites like behindthename and nameberry are great (check them out if you haven’t already and are struggling to name your characters), I really wanted something where I could use sticky notes and highlighters. So I’ll be going through that today ^^

Now! Time for the excerpt!

As I’ve been editing these past two weeks I’ve copied and pasted potential excerpts into a new document, so rest assured we’re covered for a while 😉 I might have to start giving my characters nicknames though so I can stop worrying about big spoilers.

Anyway, here you go! 🙂 (nickname free, possibly for the last time)

“I don’t understand prophecy fully, Rachael. I only know that we have given up before, and in doing so we fulfilled a prophecy we didn’t believe we’d be able to achieve. Sometimes it’s not how hard we try that matters. Sometimes you just need to accept things as they are, and work with what you’ve got. I don’t care that you can’t find your magic source. If you don’t kill King Aeric with magic maybe you’ll stab him with a dagger instead. Maybe, by the time you face him, he will be so terrified of the predicted outcome that he will take a few steps backwards, and fall out a window breaking his neck. Don’t worry about the how, Rachael. I believe in you, even if you don’t. Prophecy will see itself fulfilled, one way or another.”

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrow‘s progress, click me!

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

 

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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.

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

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

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Progress Update – Bring it on, 2016!!

A Happy New Year, everyone! <3 Time to get stuck in before the year pulls the same trick on me it did last year, and just kind of disappears! As lovely as Christmas was, I’m not ready to do it all again just yet.

You know you’re off to a good start when the first Progress Update of the year falls on the 1st January! Do you think it’s a sign? It’s probably a sign. (or not)

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New Year’s greetings from the mascot and me! She’s winking to let you know she’s got this, and will make a real effort to sit on my drafts this year 😉

Let me say right now, I didn’t do any editing between my last Progress Update and the new year. Even writers should be allowed to take some time off here and there, and Christmas was mine. Now that the break is over and we’re about to go back to our day jobs I’m desperate to get editing, so I’d expect some impressive progress by next week Friday if I were you! 😉 (although I’ve probably jinxed it now)

There are a lot of things happening this year, and I can’t wait to get stuck in. Let me give you a brief overview:

Early next month, the work on Rise of the Sparrows’ book cover will begin and I’m feeling all emotional already.

Around March, I will start looking for beta readers and contact an editor.

Then, Summer this year, my first book will be published and if I felt emotional before I don’t know what this is now! So many emotions!

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I love the plotting phase at the very beginning of the story, it’s the most exciting part when everything can happen <3

On top of that, I’m bursting with ideas for Book 2 and Book 3 and a prequel and have started research already and another fantasy series, and possibly something schi-fi as well. Busy times are up ahead, everyone!

Whatever your plans – and feel free to share! – for this year, I wish you all the best of luck and motivation and mountains of inspiration for it.

To kick off the year in the best possible way, let me throw in an excerpt, too 😉 Here ya go-

‘I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have-‘

‘No, Rachael, please. You were right,’ Ailis’ said, her voice shaking. ‘Cale asked me to teach Cephy, did you know? He asked me shortly after you had arrived together. I wanted to, I really did, but teaching you seemed more important. Cephy already had a good grip on her magic. I could only have taught her so much, but you- We need you. The prophecy named you. I know this doesn’t excuse the way I treated her, but it’s the only reason I can give.’

They looked at each other, Rachael nodding in understanding. Ailis regretted what she had done, that was all Rachael needed to know. There was more she wanted to say but she didn’t know how. There was nothing else that could be said.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a book to finish! (and another two/three to start)

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrow‘s progress, click me!

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

13 Comments

Progress Update – Last Update of the Year!

This week has been an interesting one. There’s been so much to do before I take a break after today (meaning yesterday, meaning Thursday) that I’ve barely gotten any editing done – but more on that in a moment. Besides Christmas Prep (of which there was plenty) I also wanted to schedule all posts on here, so I don’t have to worry about anything while on my Christmas break.

Monday and Tuesday were spent doing just that – wrapping presents, one job application which took up the whole morning, writing more Christmas cards, preparing updates on here, and of course I had my usual Monday 10-Minute posts to do as well – which, by the way, you guys really blew me away this week with your comments and you all made my week <3 If you haven’t read this week’s post already, you can do so here.

On Tuesday I asked for your opinions on what makes a book great and what puts you off, and I’ve had some great, useful feedback. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply yet – some of your comments are very detailed (thank you!!) and I want to be able to respond properly to everything you’ve said. If you haven’t told me yet what makes a book a success or a failure in your opinion, you can do so here if you’d like to.

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The mascot was doing what she does best getting in the way while looking cute

Wednesday was the first only day this week I got any editing done. I’ll do some more today but I got nothing done on Thursday so it’s been a pathetic week for editing. There’ll be no more until January, which makes my fingers twitch already. On the plus side, Cookie Break is all prepped and will continue posting over the Christmas Break, and into January! I’ll pop in here and there as well to reply to comments and see what you guys have been up to 🙂

I’ve had loads of ideas for the two sequels this week, and can tell you this- it’ll be a dark ride. A very dark ride. And then there’s the prequel I’m talking myself into… But it’s far too early to say anything more specific on that 😉 Notes have been taken. Be prepared.

Now, as I’ve mentioned before there’ll be no more Weekly Quotes and 10-Minute shorts come January. While Wednesdays will stay free for whatever else pops up I’ll replace the usual Monday posts with this:

642Prompts

You probably won’t remember but a few months ago I bought this genius little book full of writing prompts, and that’s what I’ll be posting every Monday from January! Due to the space available in the book some posts will be quite short while others will be a fair bit longer, but I thought it’d be a fun way to mix it up a bit 🙂 I’ve scheduled the first two posts already and hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I have so far. I’ll be posting the prompts themselves as well so if you want to borrow any, go right ahead 🙂

 

Now, to the editing part of the week… It was pretty pathetic. I did two chapters in total, but sadly that was all I had time for. Honestly, I’m just glad I got this much done even if it looks like I haven’t touched it at all since last week. I was wondering about including a picture but since it’s changed so little from last week I wasn’t sure it’d be worth it. I’ll throw myself into it in January and would like to have gone over the second printed draft by the beginning of February, but we’ll see.

Onto the excerpt! But before that – Have a great Christmas, everyone! Enjoy all the food and the love, and thank you to everyone who’s made CookieBreak the amazing experience it’s been so far. I’ll see you all next year 🙂 (and what an exciting ride that will be!)

***

‘We need to go. Get up.’

‘What do you-‘

‘Up. Now.’ Her intuition had saved her life many times. If it told her to run now she would run as fast as her split feet could carry her. She knew places in this town most people wouldn’t dream to go. Blackrock held no secrets for her. She had come to know all its shadows, all the tight alleys only children who were on the brink of starvation could fit through. All the small characteristics only someone who had to fend for herself out on the streets would know about.

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrow‘s progress, click me!

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

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Progress Update – Battle Plan

I’ve made a battle plan to get through this edit! Hopefully I’ll stick to it and it’ll all go well and smoothly and I won’t have a nervous breakdown. It’s a busy time of year, you know?

Let’s start again.

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I’m sorry to disappoint, but my cat didn’t get in the way so much this week. Mostly because a present I had ordered arrived and she was rather taken with the box. I know it’s a normal cat thing, but ours has never shown an interest in sitting in them before so this came as a surprise. A really cute surprise.

At the beginning of this week everything that needed to be changed felt a wee bit overwhelming. I didn’t even get that much done on Monday, so Tuesday was my first proper day of editing. Since I love lists and am usually more organised and because there’s so much that needs to be adjusted, I decided to come up with a battle strategy to help me through this mess.

Step 1) Apply all changes made already in the draft – that’s the majority of it, and includes everything I changed clearly on paper rather than spots where I only suggested changes.

Step 2) Rewrite where necessary, add chapters – as you probably know by now I cut a good chunk off the beginning to be rewritten into something less horrible, but there were also several chapters I thought of as I was editing on paper which I’d like to add.

Step 3) Make sure all chapters begin and end with a hook – I love me a good cliffhanger, and I want my book to be oozing with them. Or with suspense, at least.

Step 4) Start again – not completely, it’s not that hopeless, but I’ll print the 2nd draft and I’ll go over it again. Or maybe I’ll just change the layout on screen? I dunno, this step is a little way off yet. We’ll see what happens when I get to it.

Now, I’m making it sound worse than it is. Although, I admit, with Christmas only two weeks away and my boyfriend off work from Friday next week there’s been a lot to prepare. I also want to take the holidays off editing myself (we all deserve a break here and there, right?) and seasonal stresses are starting to set in, so I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped. This is where things are currently at:

editing progress 1

The green marker is where I stopped editing.(I only just noticed that the only thing you can see inside is red criticism – I promise it’s an accurate representation of the rest of the draft). I’ll include a picture like this with every Progress Update, so you can compare for yourself 🙂

Now, just a few smaller things… From January there’ll be no more Weekly Quotes. They stir the least amount of interest and I figured that January was a good time to make some changes. Also, on Mondays, I’ll no longer post 10-Minute speed writing shorts. However, since those have proved to be popular I’ll just replace them with something similar, which will also be improvised writing 😉 I’ve got several ideas right now and haven’t chosen yet, so more on that closer to the time.

Christmas Tree
It’s our first Christmas tree together (I know, you’d think we’d have managed in the past 8 years, but no) so I thought it was worthy of mention 🙂

But I digress, and we all have other things to do, don’t we? Here’s this week’s excerpt, enjoy 🙂

Ignoring the pain in her back and ankle she leapt for the door, opening it with the bit of strength she had left and stumbling into the cool snow and into the street. A crowd had gathered to observe the flames and, seeing her leave the building alone, they put one and two together.

Her hearing wasn’t good enough yet for her to hear the insults and accusations thrown at her by her old neighbours. She didn’t need to hear them, either. She doubted that they could say anything to her that she wasn’t already saying to herself. Her father had been an unmoving heap on the floor last she’d seen him. Her mother was trapped in the attic nursery, trying to save the twins. 

Their accusations weren’t necessary for her to know what fate she had likely left her family to.

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrow‘s progress, click me!

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

 

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ProgressUpdate – Paw Prints and Excerpts, Oh My!

You might remember from last week that I was half-way through editing the first draft. Yesterday, I finished the rest! 😀

editing Day7

So all that’s left to do now *ahem* is actually making the changes in the file. Plus all the other revisions which will follow, but we don’t talk about those just yet. I’ll start making the first set of changes on Monday. Since I’ve cut several chapters which will either need to be rewritten or go completely and I’m also adding several chapters it’s impossible to guess what the word count will be now.

I also have no idea how long it’ll take to make all these changes. I wasn’t as repulsed by the last few chapters as I was by the first few so once I reach the middle it should go a little bit more smoothly. Having said that, I did still change quite a lot so who knows? And I know I’ve said before I was aiming for around May to publish it but I don’t want to rush it just to keep a self-imposed deadline, so I’ll just see what happens and go from there. Once I’ve contacted an editor (if any of you know any great ones please let me know! It’s never too early to start my search!) I’ll set the planned date three months from then.

editing Day8
this is tradition now – her walking over my draft and the picture itself

I’ve started thinking properly about Book 2 this week, as well. I’ve had some rather dark ideas for it so I hope you guys don’t get scared too easily! 😉 You know things turn sinister when you research the human sacrifice rituals of ancient civilisations…

Buuuut, onto something else! Earlier this week it was mentioned to me that my cat has become something of a mascot for this blog and had better be thanked in the book, so I’ll try to include a picture of her messing with my writing every Friday 🙂

She was interfering a lot this week, so here’s another one 😉

editing Day9

Now, time for this week’s excerpt! I’ve started marking potential spots in my draft, so I’ve actually got a few to chose from!

Since yesterday’s Meet&Greet introduced Aeron to you, I thought I’d chose an excerpt to match! Enjoy 🙂

His heart turned cold. Could it be… Had she begun that plan? Out of all the hellish things she had come up with – He could not allow her to leave. She had to be dealt with now, or he would never lay eyes on her again. 

‘Do not move another inch.’ His voice was seething with his rage, and he no longer cared to contain it. ‘Guards! Take that woman hostage and take her to the prison!’ Five guardsmen burst through the doors, crowding around the demon he had let loose on his people. How could he have been so blind? Had he truly been so cornered that he had believed her to be the only way out?

Aeron turned around, offering him a terrible smile. One by one, his guardsmen exploded, dying the cold stone floor and far walls a warm red. Aeron herself was covered in their blood and strings of skin, but made no effort to wipe herself clean. His gut retching with the sight, he thought she finally looked like the hell-spawn she was. 

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrow‘s progress, click me!

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

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Progress Update – Half-Way There! (including a brief excerpt)

Half-way there through editing the first draft, that is. Not including all the changes which need to be applied. Still, it’s going pretty well and I’m hoping to have made the first changes before the end of this year 🙂 So far so good! See?

editing Day5

This is where things were at on Wednesday. The blue marker shows where I left off, and the orange marker shows where I wanted to get to by the end of Friday. I got through quite a lot yesterday and am only a couple of pages off my orange mark, so today I’ll pass the half-way mark! Or thereabout, anyway. I didn’t measure it or anything, I just guessed 🙂

In slightly more boring news I’ve changed all the links on this blog from green to red, so now they all match my red theme and I can sleep at night again 🙂 I also changed the link to my facebook page – should you ever loose the link it’ll be easier to remember now. It’s just www.facebook.com/sarinalangerwriter – so it’s the general facebook link plus my blog’s address! I’ve changed the links for this everywhere earlier this week, but if any of them don’t work let me know.

I’ve also already done three Meet&Greets!! Yesterday I introduced Cale to you, and I’m now wondering how many more I should do. I do still want some surprises to remain by the time the book is out, after all 🙂 So I think I’ll do two more – an insane evil sorceress who loves destruction, and the Commander of the White Guard who loves torturing people. They sound great, don’t they? :3

editing Day6
She’s at it again!

Now, to the excerpt! It’s quite short but I’d like to make it a regular thing, so watch out for more! 🙂

*

‘I always keep my promises, Sparrow. Treat them well, they are very dear to me.’

A dangerous flicker lit the man’s eyes. ‘Cut the lies, witch woman, you’re not fooling anyone. You care as much about these girls as you care for the ground under your feet.’

‘If the ground under my feet was not there, Sparrow, I would fall into the abyss. I care greatly.’ Her voice was as soft as silk, yet dripped enough venom to kill the entire White Guard.

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrow‘s progress, click me!

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

9 Comments

Meet&Greet – Rachael

As promised, from today on every Thursday I’ll introduce a different character from my upcoming book Rise of the Sparrows to you. Since this is the first Meet&Greet I’m starting with my main character, Rachael. So, without any further words on my part, I’ll let her do the talking and show you a day in her rather dark everyday life 🙂

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Rachael

Rachael watched the shadows in the dark alley ahead of her as she carefully picked away at the hard, stale loaf of bread a woman had thrown at her feet. It had been a while since she had this much too eat. If she rationed herself properly it would last her for a couple of weeks, maybe more than that.

She squinted as the Shadows moved slightly. Someone had followed her, but it was too dark for her to see clearly. It wasn’t another orphan or a homeless man. Most of those were about as clumsy and as noisy as a startled rat, and would never be able to hide this well. This was someone else, maybe more than one person. Someone used to preying on the weak. It didn’t matter whether they were after her stale bread or her. Either way, she would be on her guard until the prowling shadows were gone and it was safe to close her eyes again.

With a filthy piece of her hole-riddled shirt she rubbed the blood away, which had dried just under her nose and on her upper lip. She could taste it still, from when her nosebleed had been worse than this. Her insides still hurt, too. The last nightmare had been particularly bad, causing her to thrash around on the hard cobblestone floor and bruising her nose on a small rock which had gotten in the way. At least this one hadn’t involved her. It had just been some rich business man from somewhere around the corner, who had been robbed and murdered along with his wife on his next business trip. The roads were dangerous these days for people like him. If he didn’t want to die he shouldn’t leave the village. It wasn’t like she could have told him or his pretty lady. The last time she had tried that the village had united against her, demanding a public burning. She had only escaped by a piece of cloth from her blanket, which she usually wore as a coat around her shoulders and which a villager had gotten a hold of. It was only half its size now, but it was still better than nothing.

There, more movement up ahead. Finally her followers revealed themselves, stepping out of the dark alley like another one of her nightmares. Two men, probably in their mid-twenties, with sticks and disgusting grins on their faces. There was no doubt about it now. They weren’t after her bread.

They wanted her.

She watched cautiously as they approached, not once taking her eyes of their filthy glares. Many years ago those very same men would have caused her to run, but now she knew better. Running would only cause them to chase after her, as starving wolves and little rabbits did.

Instead she waited, preparing herself.

“Ye’r right, Johnny. She’s a pretty one!”

“What’d I tell ya, eh? Ye grab her, I go first.”

She watched as the first man walked towards her, far too sure of himself. This seemed to be true of all people, she had found. When faced with an orphan who was living on the dirty streets they always thought themselves superior. They never expected her to strike back and defend herself like only a life on the streets could teach someone.

Rachael waited for the man to pull her up by the wrist, then twisted his arm around and kicked him between the legs.

“Bitch! You whore!” Standing awkwardly with his legs bent at painful angles he came after her again, only for her to duck away under him and give him a kick in his back. With a muffled grunt, he crashed head-first into the cobblestones. “What are ye standing there for!”

Called out of his stunned silence, Johnny launched himself at Rachael. He was stronger than his friend, and a good bit taller than her, but she had no trouble taking him out just as easily. A good, hard kick between the legs, another blow to his stomach, and he went down like one of those pretty dolls the girls in town carried around with them.

With both men lying on the floor, cussing and holding their injured pride, Rachael picked up her old blanket and stale load of bread, and left them lying there as she slipped back into the shadows and into another alley. By the time they came to she’d be long gone, and they’d have trouble finding her again.

So what if she was homeless? So what if her parents had died, and she didn’t live in a fancy house like all those other spoiled kids? At least she could look after herself. No one would take what little food she had. No one would take her.

It was a promise she had made to herself years ago, and it was a promise she intended to keep for as long as she lived.

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Watch this space for more character insights! Next week you will meet a little girl named Cephy, who likes to play with fire 😉

Other Meet&Greets: 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.

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Excerpt – Prologue

Below is the prologue from my upcoming book, Rise of the Sparrows. Please remember that this excerpt was taken from the first draft and is therefore not in its final version yet. I hope you’ll enjoy it and if you do, please feel free to leave some feedback – I’d love to hear from you!

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Prologue

Amidst comforting fumes and the soft caress of a warm breeze, Kaida woke from her trance her eyes aching and bleeding. Her heart clenched in sorrow for what was to come she took a moment to ground herself, took in the soft laughter of child’s play outside her home and allowed the summer breeze to comfort her mind. There was no reason to panic just yet. What her vision had revealed lay many years in the future yet, and could easily be stopped if she acted at the right time. The darkness, the intense pain she had witnessed, did not have to come to pass if she would not allow it.

Slowly, like a mantra, she spoke the prophecy her vision had warned her about.

The Night the Blue Blood flows freely,

the Sparrows will rise.

Find the Sparrow who sees ahead

and it will lead you to victory.

Trust the Fox

and it will betray you before the end.

Do not accept the Ar’Zac,

for it will only lead you to ruin.

Over and over again she spoke the words, let their soothing familiarity comfort her until her heart was no longer racing and her hands had stopped trembling. The night prophecy spoke off was many years away yet. The Sparrow, however, was born today far to the north. Out of her reach.

It did not matter. Nothing was truly out of her reach. When the time was right she would use magic to reach the Sparrow, or maybe she would fly there. It had been a while since she had last spread her wings, the exercise and the feel of cold air brushing over her scales would be a freeing experience.

The mention of the Ar’Zac, however, had her hands in cold sweat once more. It was an ancient order, long before her time even when things were different. Very different. How could it be that prophecy warned her about it? Which part was it referring to? None of their old equipment had survived their war. Their opposition had burnt their homes and families to the ground and had destroyed their weapons and armours alike. No part of their civilisation had been seen in centuries.

No, she would not worry about it. The men who had received this prophecy and written it down had lived around the same time as the old order had still ruled. They had been arrogant in their beliefs, and over-confident. Was that not the reason they had been slaughtered to the last soldier? They had either not yet made the decision that would bring about their downfall when this prophecy had been written, or else they had been too arrogant to accept the truth. The old order of Ar’Zac was lost. She had more important things to worry about than some long dead people.

For now, there was nothing she could do. The Fox would be born in a few years time, and she would not interfere even then. To kill an infant was wrong, no matter what prophecy said. Things would play out as they were meant to, and she would not think herself above the laws of time and nature.

When the time was right she would aid the Sparrow. Maybe even protect it.

Standing on the roof of her home, high above the city that had adopted her all these years ago, she longed to feel the gentle caress of an icy breeze on her scales. It had been too long since her last flight, and it would help take her mind of things.

With an ease unimaginable to most, she transformed into a dragon – the form she had been born into – and soared high above the streets and laughter of child’s play to relax.

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