Here's my excerpt:
Anastasia Phoenix, Book 2 (There will be a subtitle here but I'm not sure what it will be yet. The first book is Captured.)
Anastasia lives in our past. So I research the times and try to incorporate what was actually happening in some way.
The fire licked the air and sent forth sparks to light the darkness that surrounded us. Isaac knelt near the flames and warmed his hands. He had removed his cap revealing a bald spot on his head. His brother, Benjamin, stirred our meal while Joseph, Isaac’s son, straightened his blanket. The day had passed like many others as we traveled the road to Aachen, capital city of King Charles the Great, Charlemagne.
I kept the hood of my brown robe up as was the custom of Hebrew women.
“Come Anastasia, you must tell us the secret of your youth.” Benjamin peered at me through the soup’s steam.
“There is no secret,” I said and joined the men by the fire.
“Whatever it is, women would pay a great deal to obtain it.” Isaac pulled out the money bag he kept hidden in his robes.
“You will have to make a profit from the goods we have obtained,” I said.
Their questions about my youth came more frequently of late. It was time for me to part ways with this Hebrew family and join up with another one or stop the merchant lifestyle altogether. Perhaps I would settle down. The new Carolingian Empire held the promise of peace. Charlemagne had been crowned at Christmas by the Pope as the Holy Roman Emperor. Whatever that meant, I didn’t know.
Benjamin ladled the soup into bowls and passed them between us. Isaac spoke a prayer aloud in the Hebrew language to bless their food before we ate. Their faith was consistent no matter what nationality or religion we encountered on our travels. I understood it better than the Druids simply because they believed Jehovah was the one true God and creator. Something I could agree with. One god, not a handful of misbehaved deities as in other customs.
“Tell us again, Papa, how God saved our people from Pharaoh.” Jacob lifted the spoon of soup to his mouth.
“Moses went before Pharaoh and said, ‘Let my people go.’ But Pharaoh refused. So God sent forth the plague of locus.”
I stood and left the fire. I’d heard these stories a hundred times or more. I had attached myself to one Hebrew merchant after another for more than two hundred years. This life served me well. I wasn’t comfortable living in a city. Farming had its benefits but also its disadvantages, especially for a single woman. It was a solitary life. As a phoenix I hadn’t understood the word ‘lonely.’ As a human I felt it creep up on me like sand on a windy night.
I heard the men laughing and glanced back at them. Changes were ripe for the men I knew. There was a new God. A Christian God. I’d heard rumors. Charlemagne had embraced this faith and was sending out emissaries to convert the Germanic tribes to worship this new order. The people resisted with war for many years. War, it cascaded over the human race like a tsunami after the ground moved. Now, it seemed that war had passed.
In our travels I had met those who worshiped Buddha, and those who worshiped the old Roman, Greek and Norse gods. In every case, some form of ritual was required of the believers. I couldn’t understand the rituals. Isaac and his predecessors had tried to convert me to believe in the Hebrew religion. I don’t know why I didn’t agree to worship with them. My life would have been simpler, but also, I would know that I lied to them. A phoenix doesn’t lie. As a woman, lying had become a requirement.
Copyright 2013, unedited.
Just a taste. What do you think?
In book one she was transformed from a phoenix into a woman.
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