Saturday, September 17, 2016

Not more than half were still alive in Ch 14/sc 1d of RAGING SEA by @KimHeadlee #amwriting

Graphic overlay c2016 by Kim Headlee.
It's official.  I now have an embarrassment of riches. :)

On Monday I received input from my primary editor regarding my forthcoming nonfiction book, The Business of Writing: Practical Insights for Independent, Hybrid, and Traditionally Published Authors.

Two days later my proofreader returned her annotated version of Raging Sea: Enemies & Allies.

Yep, you guessed it. I am wading through a truckload of editorial comments.

Since I need to publish The Business of Writing first so I can have copies in hand for my upcoming workshop presentations, I haven't yet looked at Robin's notes for RS:EA. Soon, however, I will assess how much work I need to apply so I can establish a publication date and associated preorder period.

Stay tuned for more announcements about both books!

Meantime, enjoy today's excerpt from Raging Sea—if indeed "enjoy" is a word that can apply to this particular, gut-wrenching situation

Previous excerpts of Raging Sea 
Chapters 1–6 in PERMAFREE Raging Sea: Reckonings
 Chapter 7: Sc 1 | Sc 2 | Sc 3 | Sc 4 | Sc 5a | Sc 5b |
Chapter 8: Sc 1a | Sc 1b | Sc 2 | Sc 3a | Sc 3b |
Chapter 9: Sc 1a | Sc 1b | Sc 1c | Sc 1d | Sc 1e |
Chapter 10: Sc 1a | Sc 1b | Sc 2a | Sc 2b | Sc 3a | Sc 3b | Sc 3c |
Chapter 11: Sc 1aSc 1b | Sc 1c | Sc 2 | Sc 3a | Sc 3b |
Chapter 12: Sc 1a | Sc 1b | Sc 1c | Sc 2 | Sc 3 | Sc 4a | Sc 4b | Sc 5a | Sc 5b |
Chapter 13: Sc 1a | Sc 1b | Sc 2a | Sc 2b | Sc 2c | Sc 2d | Sc 2e | Sc 2f |
Chapter 14: Sc 1a | Sc 1b | Sc 1c |

Raging Sea Chapter 14, Scene 1d
©2016 by Kim Headlee
All rights reserved.

Sgeir heaved a sigh but didn’t get a chance to begin. A stone-muffled commotion seeped into the chamber. Eileann took it to mean the clan was welcoming the war-band home. Of a sudden, she had never wanted to see her father and sister and husband so acutely in all her life.

Over the women’s protests, Eileann rushed from the chamber. When Fioruisge gripped her wrist to pull her back, she yanked free and surged out the door.

In the corridor, the shouts grew louder… and transformed into lamentations.

Eileann burst out of the broch and into the worst hell she could imagine.

The war-band had indeed returned, to the last man.

Not more than half were still alive.

Horses not being ridden were bearing their fallen riders lashed to their backs, led by the survivors.

Fist to mouth, Eileann hitched her skirts in her other hand and sprinted toward the wave of mothers and wives and sisters searching for their menfolk. Some reunions were punctuated by relieved if weak whoops. Others ended in a flood of tears.

Eileann found her father in the midst of the bedraggled troop, sitting as tall in the saddle as his wounds would allow. They did not appear life threatening, thanks be to Nemetona. Her sister Rionnag rode beside him, her armor bloody but not breached, as near as Eileann could tell.

Rionnach was leading Iomar’s horse. Iomar’s throat had been slashed.

Pain twisted Eileann’s gut.

Her father halted the band, and he ordered the warriors to dismount. Dynann appeared from somewhere to throw herself into Rionnach’s arms.

While Rionnag held the reins, Eileann dropped to her knees beside Iomar’s horse, her face on level with her husband’s. With trembling fingers she reached for his face, trying to summon thankfulness that the enemy had left her this small mercy. Pain knifed her gut again. Willing it away, she forced herself to trace the eyelids that would never open, the lips that would never again kiss hers…

The pain would not be denied. It ripped through her like the sword wielded by a ro h’uamhasach, that most terrible of battle-frenzied warriors who stabs and slashes and hacks at his foes until nothing remains but a mass of bloody flesh.


Who had spoken? Her mother? Her sister? One of the wisewomen? Eileann couldn’t tell through the merciless pain.

She threw back her head and uttered a great keening howl, powerless to stop it, even to inhale, until at last she collapsed, sobbing, in the dirt.


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