It’s that time of year to give thanks, and also keep up the annual tradition, dating back to the early TFN fanfic days, where I offered a treat to my faithful readers on Thanksgiving. First, many thanks to the people who take time to read and comment on FANgirl. Second, thanks to everyone who has contributed this year, especially B.J., Linda, Skye, Kay, Mary, Megan, and Priya. I also have had a blast on the many podcasts I had a chance to visit and the opportunity to work with Teresa on Fangirls Going Rogue and Fangirl Chat. She is teaching me a lot about podcasting!
This year we have two treats: a sneak peek at part of the cover to go with the excerpt. I have the printed proof copy of Wynde in my hands, which means a release date is imminent. Check out the cover below and then an excerpt with one of my favorite characters, the actress Lyssa Shrine, who shows one of my heroines a thing or two about fighting the bad guys. For more information on Wynde jump on over to TriciaBarr.com.
Upperslice. Clang. Crosswise swipe. Clang. Two quick jabs. Clang-clang. The diva, Gemini decided, was decent enough. Yet always defensive. She spun away, sighing in mock-frustration as she sliced the rugi in a downward arc. She would make the other woman lead.
Squaring her shoulders, Lyssa attacked. Broad, elegant strokes. Slashing down diagonally, right then left. Instead of a blunt block, Gemini let the blows slide down her blade, fooling Lyssa into over-rotating her shoulders. The diva finally pivoted a bit too far. Gemini lunged, driving her rugi through the air within millimeters of Lyssa’s waist.
The two women held that pose. Lyssa’s violet gaze drifted down. “You win.”
Gemini stepped back and lowered her blade. “Not bad.”
“Where’d I go wrong?” Lyssa broke her pose, dropping the rugi’s tip so it thunked on the mat. “In case I get a shot at another swashbuckling role.”
“It’s the swashbuckling that got you in trouble, actually. Your style is too choreographed. Only brigands with a director waiting to yell ‘end scene’ ever open themselves up that much.”
“Okay.” Lyssa flipped the blade around once. “Let me try it again, then. With less drama.”
Lyssa answered with a powerful downward slash that caught Gemini off guard. She jumped back to avoid the blade, which hit the mat so hard it left a dent. Her blade was up in time to parry the forward jab, but the diva had added her left hand to the swing. The power behind the blow forced Gemini to spin, exposing her back. While she didn’t fear Lyssa would harm her, it just wasn’t good practice to face away from an opponent for too long. She continued through the rotation, leading with her rugi and spotting with her peripheral vision.
She lost sight of the diva, and for a second Gemini feared she might mistakenly injure the woman, disadvantaged by much less training. Slowing her weapon while she searched for Lyssa, she gasped in surprise as two lines of peristeel raced at her from opposite directions. Gemini barely caught the hilt of her own rugi with her other hand in time to brace her entire being for the collision that blocked the pair of rugis Lyssa now wielded.
“Whoa!” Gemini shouted as she sprang back.
“Do you yield?”
“I don’t want to get killed!”
“By a silly actress.”
Gemini wiped her forearm across her brow. “There was nothing silly about what you just did.”
“Oh that.” Lyssa twirled both blades. “Just something I picked up in choreography.”
Back to proofing for me. Have a great holiday. May the Force Be With You and the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor. We’ll see you after the holiday break!
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.
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