Friday, November 22, 2013

Sharing, Write Edit Publish Blog Hop, Anastasia Phoenix

Greetings everyone. I'll give a little excerpt of what I'm working on for Denise Covey's Write...Edit...Publish Blog Hop entitled, Sharing. What are you working on this November? Are you doing NaNoWrMonth or something else? I'm in the something else catagory. My personal goal is to have three short stories finished before Christmas this year and put them up as e-books with a two week delay. I'm not sure I'll make it but I will have two finished. So I may put them up with a month between. We will see. My goal is to attract readers. Something I have failed to do up until now.


Here's my  excerpt:

Working title:

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.

Book 2

 Chapter 1

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.

Please head over an read the other excellent post in this blog hop.



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like the spiritual aspect.
On a side note, I don't think that was Noah. Unless this is an alternate dimension.

N. R. Williams said...

Hey Alex, thanks for catching that.

Chrys Fey said...

I was wondering what was so secret about her past then you mentioned she was transformed from a Phoenix into a woman. Now that is interesting! I love Phoenixes, and I'm interested in reading book one. :)

Jenny Brigalow said...

I love the historic, spiritual and mythical content of this story.It is a very rich tapestry. Thank you for sharing and good luck with your writing endeavors.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Chrys...keep in touch and I will post when book one is available. Thanks so much for your interest.

Hi Jenny
Thanks for your generous comment.


Lexa Cain said...

I definitely got caught up in the story right away. You created an interesting atmosphere and believable characters just in that little bit. Great job! :-)

N. R. Williams said...

thanks Lexa.

The Armchair Squid said...

Very strong opening. We learn a lot very quickly.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Nancy, well done. As a short story should, you capture your audience right away. I wish you every good wish for your e-publishing adventure. Hopefully you get them up before Christmas and get some of that market.
And I have to say again, I love your new cover for Treasures, Perhaps you should promote it after your posts. It would be wonderful to have more readers for your excellent book.

Thank you for sharing with us for Sharing!


N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Armchair.

Good idea Denise. Thanks for your thoughts.


Sally said...

What an interesting story line. the last line is quite enigmatic - 'A phoenix doesn’t lie. As a woman, lying had become a requirement.' I look forward to the e-books.

The Armchair Squid said...

No problem. Thanks for stopping by today.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Sally
I will keep you posted. Thanks for the interest.

You're welcome Armchair.


Southpaw said...

Very interesting. I love the last couple of lines.

Vesper said...

I loved this fragment, Nancy. All the details are giving it a great sense of authenticity. Now I'm definitely very curious about Anastasia Phoenix...

Nilanjana Bose said...

Enjoyed the excerpt. The mythical and spiritual aspects are very interesting. Women have to lie to get by - sad. But true.

All the best for your Christmad project.

Jen Chandler said...

Nancy, this is awesome. I love the idea of a phoenix being transformed into a human. A beautiful start to your story. I want to know more :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Michelle Wallace said...

This is so refreshingly different. A great blend of spiritual and mythical elements.
Great storyline too.
Good luck with the Christmas project.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Holly, Vesper, Nil., Jen and Michelle. I appreciate everyone's comment.

Lisa said...

I liked this and felt right in the scene. I can't imagine being two hundred years old, but would like to, so maybe I'll have to read the first novel in the series!'
Lisa Buie-Collard

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Lisa