All posts filed under: Excerpt

The Road to Alexander – 3rd Excerpt | Jennifer Macaire

~ The Road to Alexander ~ Excerpt Three: Travel by Jennifer Macaire Alexander loved when I sang. He adored rock and roll songs, soft ballads, and opera arias. The music they played in Alexander’s time was heavy on percussion, strings, woodwinds and brass. Choruses were popular, and the music would give me shivers. It could be amazing, especially when all the trumpets blew together. I loved the sweet music of the harps and flutes and there were reed instruments, like oboes, included in every banquet. However, music was also an everyday thing, with the soldiers singing as they marched or worked. People sang as they went about their everyday business. And children were taught with songs, as I found out when Callisthenes came for my first lesson. We had stopped for the night on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The wind was making the tent lean in a way that frightened me, but Alexander assured me there was no danger. I expected to be blown away any second, but the tent held. Callisthenes came …

The Road to Alexander – 2nd Excerpt | Jennifer Macaire

~ The Road to Alexander ~ Excerpt Two: Love by Jennifer Macaire “Ashley.” Alexander took my hand and held it gingerly. “Everyone learns about nymphs and dryads from their parents in our world. Everyone knows about the naiads, sprites, sylphs, oreads, undines, fauns, and fates. Do you know who Lachesis is?” I shook my head. “Clotho? No? Atropos? The Muses? Do you know anything?” He sounded as if he were in real pain. I looked at Plexis. He was staring at me, and on his face was the strangest expression. I tried to laugh but the sound stuck in my throat. “I’m sorry,” I whispered, “I didn’t learn about any of that.” “But you said you went to school. You had teachers, you knew about Plato and Homer, you even spoke to Aristotle about the world being round. And that’s a new idea.” He shook his head. “I just don’t understand.” “I’m sorry.” I blinked. I wasn’t used to anyone paying so much attention to me. It was unnerving. “I don’t know what to say.” “But …

The Road to Alexander – 1st Excerpt | Jennifer Macaire

~ The Road to Alexander ~ Excerpt One: War by Jennifer Macaire I stood in front of the tent and watched the men file by. They were grim, holding their long spears and shields, wearing bronze helmets with white plumes. They had sandals and shin-guards made of stiff leather. Otherwise they were nude. This was the phalanx, their thirty-foot spears forming a nightmare porcupine. Following them were the infantry, armed with short swords and wearing skirts of leather to protect their thighs. Their arms were wrapped with leather thongs. After them trotted the cavalry. Their horses rolled wild eyes and snorted, anxious to gallop. I saw my gray mare and hoped she would be all right. The cavalrymen had long, bronze-tipped spears and short swords. Their legs were sheathed in leather, and they carried small, round shields. Their horses had wide leather bands across their chests and under their stomachs for protection. The Hipparchie, mounted archers with bows slung over their shoulders and clusters of sharp arrows in their quivers, came last. Alexander paused in …

This Year You Write Your Novel

Here’s a bit of writer’s advice by multiple award-winning author Walter Mosley from his 2007 book on writing, This Year You Write Your Novel, published by Little, Brown and Company.  An excerpt from the first chapter follows. The General Disciplines That Every Writer Needs Writing every day The first thing you have to know about writing is that it is something you must do every day-every morning or every night, whatever time it is that you have. Ideally, the time you decide on is also the time when you do your best work. There are two reasons for this rule: getting the work done and connecting with your unconscious mind. If you want to finish this novel of yours within a year, you have to get to work! There’s not a moment to lose. There’s no time to wait for inspiration. Getting your words down on the page takes time. How much? I write three hours every morning. It’s the first thing I do, Monday through Sunday, fifty-two weeks a year. Some days I miss but …

Four Deep | An Excerpt

{ 397-word excerpt } Three-thirty now.  He’s got the four of us waiting with our cocks in our hands, but since I’m responsible for this partnership I’m the one who’s going to get pissed on. At this hour with Mulligan’s now closed we’re lucky we haven’t seen any cops sweeping the parking lot.   I’m sure it’s just a matter time, though.  After another five minutes we finally see the rat bastard’s Monte Carlo pull into the parking lot, then next to my Ninety-Eight where we’re all leaning against it.  I notice he doesn’t switch off his engine. Considering the situation I can’t bother with pleasantries.  “Raleigh, you got our take?” The twitchy bastard hands over a black gym bag from his passenger seat.  “Yeah, it’s all there.” I give the bag to Bert as he hops back into my car so he can do a quick visual.  I bet no more than four seconds go by before he’s humming “mmhm” to himself, which isn’t good news.  “Raleigh, Raleigh, you’re short, man,” He finally says with …

Call of Duty: A Cop’s Tale | An Excerpt

{ 959-word excerpt } Before he made any attempt at action, Officer Bernie Reed sat in his cruiser and waited for Officer Taylor Guerrero to arrive at the scene, which was procedure.  Unlike the police officers seen on most television cop shows, metro patrolmen and patrolwomen rode alone in their department cruisers, yet still partnered up on shared areas of a particular beat.  Also, unlike the cops in those television shows, real cops often do not run sirens blaring with their cherries and blueberries flashing en route to a scene.  The goal was to catch perpetrators, not send the scurrying for safe cover. When Officer Guerrero arrived, she stepped out of her department sedan and met him midway to the sidewalk that led to the urban residence.  Bernie noticed that the morning sunlight had accentuated Guerrero’s half-Latin features—her long, wavy brown hair, caramel skin, and deep brown eyes “As always, perfect timing,” she said. “The art of convenience is a trait that’s inbred in criminals, didn’t you know?” Reed said with more sincerity than sarcasm. …

On Shadowy Ground | An Excerpt

{ 456-word excerpt } Earlier I had thought it was something scurrying around in the foliage like a raccoon or some nocturnal rodent.  But this time it sounded like something bigger.  The movements were quite sluggish for a small animal. I snapped my head around, surveying the scene, but in the gloom of night everything was gray and black, covered in shadows.  Naturally my display of alarm had alerted Jess. “Quinn!  What’s wrong?” “Shhh! Be quite,” I whispered.  “Did you hear that noise?” “What noise?” she whispered back, thankfully. I listened intently. Nothing. Then it came again but this time it was in the trees, up above.  And close by. “That, did you hear that?” Jess wasn’t alarmed.  “Yeah, but it’s probably just some dumb animal.  No biggie, baby.”   I think her hormones were clouding her judgment.  She pulled me in close to her again and started That-Thing-She-Does to my neck. I wondered if I was delusional.  However, the more Jess did her Thing, the more I just wanted her—spooks or no spooks.  After a …

Pieces of Candice | An Excerpt

{ 772-word excerpt } Back at my place you should have seen the poor gal.  She was sopping wet with the sky’s tears and her own.  Candice had come out of her state of shock by the time we had reached my cabin.  I suppose that Franklin’s passing had finally dawned on her.  She had to be quite distraught for the multitude of resident house flies and other flighty, six-legged critters to go largely unnoticed. “It’s my fault he died!  It was my shift to drive when the car must have lost contact with the road.”  She tried to control her sobbing but to no avail.  “We crashed into the trees.  I’m so stupid, it should have been me.  It’s not fair!” However, I could not seem to make logic of her rationale on the subject.  But no one has ever accused me of having a reservoir of sympathy, either.  Actually, I thought her to be foolish and babbling.  Yet being the gracious and very anxious host that I was, I was determined to comfort …