Excerpt of CLARA!

My brain is absolute pudding as I write this.  Stress, mixed in with erratic bouts of insomnia, have led me to my current state.  So, in place of an actual blog post today, have an excerpt of CLARA.

This excerpt is the first scene where we meet Marduk, the enemy of Emmerich and the usurper of the throne.

 Marduk signed the document with a flourish and handed it to the courtier. “Anything else?” he asked, looking around. The other courtiers and statesmen nodded and muttered negatives.

“Then I think we’ll call it a day,” he said. “You all may go.”

The men and women bowed and left until only a man robed in red, wearing the emerald belt of the Brethren, remained.

“You have a report, I hope?” Marduk asked, standing.

“Brellin is dead, your Majesty.”

He sighed. “What a pity.” He sat in silence for a moment, staring into nothing. “He was the only man who could beat me at chess, you know. Well, I’m sure others could, too, but he was the only one with the guts to do it. And what a sense of humor and honor. He’ll be greatly missed. Have you informed his wife?”

“I have, your Majesty. She’s arranging a memorial service. She wishes for you to attend.”

“Of course.” He poured himself a goblet of wine. “Care for a drink?”

“Thank you, your Majesty.”

Marduk gestured for him to help himself and he turned to admire the cityscape. The wizard joined him presently, goblet in hand.

Marduk raised his cup. “To fallen comrades, Erin.”

“To fallen comrades.”

They drank in silence for a moment. Erin said, “Do you know if he completed the spell, your Majesty?”

“I have every confidence he did, but I will be testing it tonight.”

“And…if he didn’t?”

“Our spy has proved to be most helpful, so it won’t be the end of the world if it doesn’t.” Marduk took a deep breath. “We live in exhilarating times.”

“Yes, your Majesty.”

As we draw closer to the blog tour, I’ll be posting more excerpts.  If anyone has read my novel, and liked it, feel free to leave a comment about why.  I may feature it in a blog post.

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