My apologies for not having blogged much around here lately. We're in potty-training-mode at the Cole Casa, so my mind has been a bit preoccupied.
Still, I've managed to get a handle on the revisions for SUMMON and they are underway! I'm very excited for this book. It's going to be a tough one to get right, and I hope I can do the story justice.
Today, I'd like to share with you the first scene as it currently stands. It may change as revisions go on, but I really like this opening. I hope you do too! Feel free to let me know what you think below.
And hopefully I'll have more content for you guys coming next week. Thanks for stopping by!
Carina kicked hard at her horse’s flanks. Hoof beats pounded around her but she couldn’t stop. She’d never survive against ten full-grown men. Then her horse tripped. She launched into the air and slid through a muck of wet leaves until her back hit solid stone. A cliff rose behind her. She shook her head as she was surrounded by thieves.
“Why would a lady be traveling alone?”
“What do you think? She’s tiny, but just big enough to share?”
“Stay away from me,” she growled.
Carina planted her feet and prepared to fight. She did not escape her father’s abuse to be thrown into another horror. From the corner of her eye, something glimmered.
She gripped the hilt that followed, and cursed. A sword embedded in the cliff? As the men argued about who would take her first, she gritted her teeth and pulled with no result. She anchored her feet and pulled harder. She would give them a fight to remember. Then the sword budged.
A moment later it came free. Shining and sharp, it felt perfect in her hand, like the extension of her arm a sword was supposed to be. She had never seen a blade so bright. Etching at the base of the blade caught her eye, just near the crossbar. Tiny lettering spelled out one word:
The men around her stared for a moment, then one of them drew his own blade and came at her. He was easily twice her size, but as she raised her new blade — Excalibur — to block his attack, the sword warmed in her grip, flooding her with the sensation of standing by a huge fire after a snowstorm. Comfort and power, all at once. As Excalibur met her enemy’s sword, Carina suddenly felt invincible. She easily blocked the man’s attack, spinning his blade around and causing him to lose his grip. His sword dropped to the leaves and he backed away, but another three took his place.
Without a second thought, Carina brought Excalibur up to engage them. They didn’t fly forward as their comrade did, and Carina smiled. She knew strategy when she saw it. The one directly ahead of her came forward, and she blocked his blow. At the same moment, the one to her right dove for her feet. She jumped and spun, avoiding the dive while also landing a kick at the one to her left, who had approached while thinking her distracted.
Carina landed a step away from them, and saw the first man come at her again. She stood and advanced on him. As their swords rang in the still forest, she noticed the rest of the men — who did not possess swords — hurrying to mount their horses. She stepped on the back of the man who had tried to dive at her, and slammed her heel into his head. He collapsed next to the one she’d kicked earlier.
The man she fought now had wide eyes and was beginning to sweat. Good. Carina could use that. She imagined they weren’t fighting, but dancing. Latching onto the thought, she spun in to him, so close she felt his chest at her back. Then rammed Excalibur’s hilt into his stomach.
He doubled over with a gasp, and Carina stepped away. In the distance, she heard the rest of the men riding off. The last one conscious looked up at her and said, “Who are you?”
She met his frightened eyes with pity in her own. “I am my own person, and not to be trifled with.”
Taking Excalibur, she went to one of the horses that remained and mounted, suddenly feeling weak and tired. The sword, lying across her legs because she had no scabbard, was now cold unfeeling steel.