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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Monday, March 03, 2008

A Sappy Scene from Choices Meant for Gods

Or...something different for the Word of the Day entries this week

To help us with this week's Word of the Day entries, I'm posting an excerpt from my epic fantasy novel, Choices Meant for Gods. Nigel is thrilled because it's all about him teasing Chariss. In this scene, he's managed to get her away from the Taiman house for a few hours one afternoon before his departure for Bellan. He's eager to extract a promise from her that she'll "wait for him" to return. I'm sure there are other things he'd like to get out of this quiet afternoon alone with her, but I did heavy editing of the scene before it went into print.

We'll just jump right in with the dialogue already under way and Nigel speaking:
"Really? You think I hide something from you, yet you don't care?"

She puzzled over that for a moment. "I think I care, but not enough to get mad and interrogate you over it. If it's something important, you'll tell me what it is."

"I wouldn't be so sure of that."

"What? Now you're going to make me curious. I'm going to start asking questions you're obviously not interested in answering. Let's talk about something else so you can relax again. I can tell by the way you're gripping the reins you're wound up as tight as a clock. Tell me about something you and Henry did yesterday. Surely you did more than win at a game of poker."

"How did you know I won at poker?"

"Oh, I have my own little secrets. How else would you have afforded this bracelet?"

"Hmpf. Henry should watch his tongue. Don't you know not to believe anything he tells you? And what makes you think I can't afford to buy jewelry for my bride?"

"So the story about a barmaid with red bows in her braids was just a silly tale I should have ignored?" she teased.

"What did he tell you?"

"That you were unable to take your eyes off her…well…I won't use the word Henry used…but you were unable to look away from her bosom, which I understand was—"

"He was the one flirting with the barmaids all through the game. I merely told him he should keep his eyes on his cards."

She winked at him now. "I think I dislike this barmaid, too."

"Aye, The Master keep me. Did Henry say I was smitten with some middle-aged harlot selling ale?"

"I thought it a little unbelievable myself."

"A little?"

She was still smiling at the jest. "Yes, just a little."

"You must not have believed it at all or you'd have begun our conversation back at the stable with that nonsense. And you don't strike me as the kind of lady who would put up with a husband with roving eyes."

"Sir, I'm not the kind of lady who would put up with a husband."

"Hmpf. We'll see about that. I'll speak to Hrazon about that subject this evening."

"Nigel," she whined. "You shouldn't do that to the poor man. He'll think there's something serious going on here."

"And there's not? I thought you promised not to run away without me."

"Yes, but that doesn't mean I'm going to marry you before we go."

He chuckled. "We'll see about that, too. Now, you do realize your promise includes the time while I'm off drowning at sea."

"If you drown at sea, Nigel Taiman, all bets are off and I get to pursue…Sergeant Naegling to court me."

"Sergeant Naegling? First of all, he's more afraid of this school and the Geasa'n in it than he is of The Dragon. And just what brought him to mind?"

"I don't know. He's the only marriable fellow I could think of who wouldn't be off sailing with you."

"So he's marriable and I'm not?"

She grinned. "I'm sure there are many more women who would be interested in marrying you than in marrying the sergeant, nice as he is."

"Nice. But I want to ask you this again. Do you think there's nothing serious going on here?"

She sighed. "I have no idea. I've never let any of my 'gentlemen callers,' as Hrazon names them, get past their first flowery little speech with their flowery little poetry before I stop the whole charade. You're the first man I've been attracted to, I think…yes, I'd have to say you're the first one I've been interested in returning any form of affection to. So this is completely new to me. Maybe one of the more experienced ladies from Arcana City could tell what was serious and what wasn't, but I'm really not qualified to judge."

He watched her as they rode down the orchard lane. They were nearing the end of this corner of the trees and would be close to the mountain soon.

"Did you just tell me you've had more than one admirer in the past?"

"What? Are you surprised I've had gentlemen come round with flowers and poems and silly notions for me?"

"No, actually, I'd be surprised if you hadn't." The tone and look he gave her made her blush. "What surprises me is you just nonchalantly state the fact as if it's some annoyance you've learned to put behind you…"

And that should be plenty to get us through this week's Word of the Day entries. You can see why poor Nigel is always frustrated when he stops in to guest-blog here, eh? :) If you're interested in reading more, the first three chapters are available to read (for free) at my publisher's site at You can also download the electronic version of the whole doggone book there for $3.99 and just read it all. We've also got a couple of "bonus" scenes here at this blog that you can find if you do a blog search for "deleted scene." Enjoy!

Tomorrow, I'll have the first of a two-part promotional guide for you guys. I've got an author interview coming up as well that will give some fabulous insite for promotion, too, so stay tuned!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."


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Blogger robynl said...

I've never let any of my 'gentlemen callers,' as Hrazon names them, get past their first flowery little speech with their flowery little poetry before I stop the whole charade.

I love what Chariss had to say in the above; it is rather cute. I can't wait to get to know Nigel and Chariss better.

12:52 AM  
Blogger Sandy Lender said...

Thanks, Robyn!
Chariss drives him nuts with that attitude...

Sandy L.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

8:06 AM  

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