Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Nigel Taiman Posts a Deleted Scene From Choices Meant for Gods
Or...here's another opportunity to win a fantasy for Valentine's Day

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, has given me the floor, as it were, again today. This is my second guest post here at Today the Dragon Wins where I'm offering visitors the opportunity to learn about the incredible fantasy heroine, Amanda Chariss. For today's post, though, I've gotten permission from Sandy to share with you a deleted scene from the novel. Now, she's assured me the trilogy is not going to digress into merely a romance between Chariss and myself, although I'll be doing my best to see that is exactly what happens, but the fact that it is an epic fantasy with a new world, a new society, new gods, new laws from a new government, new villains that form new alliances to threaten a new heroine with a new wizard...well...you get the idea. It's an epic fantasy novel that just so happens to have a new romantic twist on the side. And that twist is making this Valentine's Day contest special.

Enjoy the deleted scene with my potential bride, and I'll remind Sandy to police the comments for contest entries.
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A deleted scene from Choices Meant for Gods:
Nigel hadn’t expected to find anyone in the stables this early in the morning. But here Chariss was, grooming the grey mare that Kaylin had named Shadow. His heart stopped before his feet did in the doorway, and Chariss glanced over her shoulder with one of her disarming smiles.

“Good morning,” she called out. “You’re up early. How’s your chest feeling?”

A hundred responses shot through his brain, including something about how much his chest hurt when he heard that song in her voice. What came out of his mouth surprised him with its lucidity. “Much better, thank you. Between you and my grandfather, I think you got me healed quite well.”

He even surprised himself by walking upright.

She grinned up at him as he approached, but he could swear the horse gave him a more sanguine glance. He turned his back on the mare’s glare, more content to focus on the fair creature now before him.

“Good to hear,” Chariss said. “Kora was distraught, poor thing.”

“Yes, Mother tends to fret when she sees a son bleeding to death.”

He hadn’t intended to make her laugh, but her light giggle almost sent him to his knees. He actually reached out to grab the mare’s mane to steady himself. This was insane. As if she agreed, Shadow reared her head around and knocked him on the back side, effectively bumping him forward. Chariss put an arm out to catch him as he put an arm out to catch himself, and he experienced that momentary shock of lightning when he got to touch her, when he got to hold her.

She still had hold of him when she furrowed her brow and bopped the horse on the rump with the brush. “Shadow! Be nice.”

Do I have to let go? he wondered. “Sorry about that,” he said. “Seems someone wants me to move.”

By the gods, she smelled like lilac and lavender and all the flowers of his mother’s garden wrapped into one. And there was that smile again.

“Someone needs her breakfast, I think,” Chariss was saying. “She’s turned fussy. What? You’re looking at me strangely.”

“You’ve got…straw…”

Now, I’ve known her for the better part of a week, he thought. I should be able to get away with this. He lifted his hand from her arm to pluck a piece of straw from the auburn locks that shone like silk before him. He would have given his inheritance in the estate behind them to run his hands through her hair, but, pretending to merely brush it as he took this offending item away was enough for now. Surely he could do that without alarming her.

She laughed again—that light, cascading sound that threatened to do him in. “I guess now I have to admit that Shadow’s been acting up since before you arrived?”

He tossed the straw away and decided this was ideal. “So I should look for more before I let you go out into public?”

“You think I’m going to embarrass myself?” she teased.

“We can’t have one of the Taimans’ guests running around with straw sticking out of her head, now can we?” he asked. He hoped it sounded innocent and not rife with intent. “Hold still.”

He put both hands to her hair to either side of her face, literally running his fingers down the soft waves. “Okay, turn.”

“Turn?” she laughed. “Are you serious?”

“No disobedience. Turn.”

She rolled her eyes, those beautiful seductive lavender eyes, but turned around so he could put his hands to her hair again. “Now, see, it’s good that I did this,” he said, lying unabashedly. He stroked his fingers down her tresses, all the way through to the ends where the curves and waves ended in little rolls that mimicked the wavecaps rushing to Arcana’s shore. By the gods, he wanted to feel those ends tickling along his chest, like last night, when she’d leaned over him to heal the wound that should have killed him. He moved one hand back up to the top of her head, fully aware that she’d just shivered at this unfamiliar touch. Oh, that’s got to be a good sign, he thought.

And then someone interrupted his reverie.

“Child, are you coming in to breakfast or standing out here all morning?”

Nigel glanced over at her guardian in the doorway and wondered briefly if he was about to get a wizard’s sword pressed up against his neck. But, to his amazement, the old man seemed to dismiss the scene. Now isn’t that odd? Nigel thought.

“Good morning, Hrazon!” Chariss said, and, just like that, she was no longer standing before him. The auburn locks were no longer there. She rushed over to her wizard’s embrace, and Nigel had to witness a much different reception than the one he’d received—a reception he would have preferred—as she wrapped her arms around her guardian’s neck and placed a kiss on his cheek.

“Mister Taiman and I have had enough of Shadow’s naughty antics for one morning, I believe.”

“Is she acting up?” Hrazon asked as he led her away.

Nigel watched them go, realizing, with remorse, that she didn’t even cast a glance back his way. He turned to the mare and folded his arms up on the beast’s back, resting his forehead in the pillow they formed. “Oh, Shadow, what am I to do?” he groaned.

The mare merely swished her tail at him.
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If you're interested in ordering a copy of CMFG instead of taking your chances with the contest, you can go immediately to the publisher's site to get a discount at www.archebooks.com (Sandy's under "fantasy" authors) or go immediately to Amazon to get free shipping at www.amazon.com (you can find Choices Meant for Gods under "books"; it's the first one that comes up). Happy ordering and good luck in the contest if you're trying to win!

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4 Comments:

Blogger Kimberly B. said...

Aloha from Author Island! That was a great scene; I especially liked the horse!

4:50 PM  
OpenID puddy2475 said...

Aloha from AuthorIsland!

If this is a deleted scene, can't wait to read the whole book - it sounds good!

(sorry! I originally posted this to the comments link above the post instead of below!!!)

3:03 PM  
Blogger Caitlin Hoy said...

Aloha From Author Island! Great Scene, it just grabs you and makes you want to read the rest of the book to find out what really happens.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Candy G said...

Aloha from Author Island!

Very interesting scene, makes me wonder what's actually in the book, it that was deleted.

10:23 AM  

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