I’ve backburnered Season of Death, because by the time I got its first draft done, I realized I really needed to complete and publish the prequel first, which is a novel, which means–squirrel!
Yup, that’s an ADD/dog/Up call out.
Yup, that means, although I finished the first draft of Season of Death, instead of working on the New World series, I’ve been spending my time on a completely different, unrelated series nicknamed Archer (real name is probably Guardian Spirit).
Here’s a somewhat-edited snippet from nicknamed Archer 1 (whose true title is probably Tower or Tower of Trials), from Chapter 1, by me, Jodi Ralston:
The ghost seated opposite Guard stopped talking mid-sentence and slipped through a crack in the broken white courtyard. Guard, pushing back the hood of his grey duster, saw that she did not act alone. Everywhere white aetheric smoke curled into hiding places; not one ghost lingered to explain.
So he guessed. “Something’s coming to Holm,” he whispered and grabbed his bone-wood bow. His grey-gloved hand tightened. “Or has already come.”
Guard refastened his six-arrow quiver as he rose, thinking, West Arcade, West Entry. Last year a pack of ghouls had attacked from that direction. At that memory, his quiver shivered and merged with his duster, becoming just another part of the armor of magicked grey cloth.
On a nearby building, something white fluttered in the moonlight, resembling a tattered curtain on the white wall. That building had no curtains because it, like his home, had no window, only a doorless entrance. As Guard approached, the smoke retreated. Eyes whiter than the ancient bone-white of Holm stared from a fissure in the brick. Then the black pupils slid toward the covered western road.
“Thanks,” Guard whispered even as his chest tightened. He dashed through shadows, heading for that broad passage. Pressing his back against the crumbling, open archway of the arcade, he held his breath, listening, finger playing with his bowstring. Ghouls were swift of foot and fast of wing. They liked to leap from heights, like wildcats, down upon prey. They might be snuffling after a shrinking ghost, or they might be perched in a break in the roof, lying in wait. They had done so before.
That was how Guard’s adoptive father, the Guardian Spirit of Holm of Kaskey, had fallen three years ago when Guard was eighteen.
A moment passed. Then another. Guard heard no scuttling claws. No gnashing teeth. No rock dislodged to bounce against stone walls or stone floor. Guard heard . . .
Anyway, don’t fear the rascally furry-tailed rodents with this work. I completed the first edit last night. Now all that remains is the lighter edit, hitting the fix list notes and nitpicky grammar concerns. Then it’s ready to move on to publishing prep stages, which include formatting and proofing. Phew! I’ll be glad when it’s done.