So in honor of The Mountain Baron going back to the publisher yesterday for edits to begin (excuse me while I become permanently stressed until next summer…), here’s a look at something not even related! 🙂
I’ve been wanting to share about my current WIP which I teased a little while ago – The Dragon of Durmuth! It’s the urban/modern fantasy/sea dragon/brother/fairy agent one. And I love it. My goal for December is to finish it off! *fingers crossed that actually happens because December is looking very busy right now…*
I thought it was going to be a relatively simple curse story with fairies and humans. But now there are mermaids, selkies, mentions of elves that run the organically sourced grocery store, more curses, all the alt history. And did I mention that I’m having a ton of fun writing this?
I’m juggling two narrators and attempting another serious project in 1st person POV (after swearing long ago that I’d never write that POV…). So be gentle on the excerpts.
Renee – fairy agent who is not afraid to sass a certain cursed young man when she’s not trying to figure out a complicated curse. And who doesn’t find the younger brother infinitely more interesting. Nope.
Gavin – younger brother of said cursed young man who will do anything for his brother. And definitely doesn’t like the new fairy agent. Not at all.
And the non-POV character Christian who is the snarky, cursed brother who is slowly but surely turning into a sea dragon and has a little bit of a temper and a potty mouth. But, guess I can’t really blame him?
“Volha always says curses are fickle things.”
Christian scoffed. “I haven’t seen any of her solutions work, have you?”
“That vile mix changes you back, doesn’t it?”
“It’s not that bad.”
“I know what’s in it.” I nudged him gently.
“Don’t tell me.” A bit of humor crept through the tiredness. He sighed. “I made a mess again.”
I patted his shoulder. “We’ll get it cleaned up tomorrow.”
“So, Christian’s admitted to being a history nerd, what do you read?”
Christian lifted one hand with a mildly exasperated look liked I’d revealed his deepest secret. I smirked. Gavin’s thoughtful smile came back until I brought my attention to him. He rubbed at his chin with a thumb, casting a quick look at Christian.
“Some of my first books were on magic and curses.”
“Kid was reading at a high school level by the time he was ten.” Christian snorted.
“Really?” I leaned forward onto the table. “Did you find anything?”
Gavin shook his head. “I must have gone through every book there is. Know how lucky we are for this to be the rarest curse ever?”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed you boys have it really easy over here.”
I crossed my arms, shivering a little. Gavin, on the other hand, didn’t seem affected, just standing there like a statue in the water.
He stared out over the horizon, past the rocks that formed a scattered ring around the bay. Seagulls swooped over the rocks, their plaintive wails disturbing the endless crash of the sea. A stillness settled over me.
The world seemed to pause for a moment, water droplets suspended in the air, the thrum of individual feathers audible, and an echoing call lurking in the waves that pulled around Gavin. Then the sun’s light broke through the slender slice of horizon line not covered with clouds, and the world resumed its rhythm.
I lifted a conch shell out. “Will I really hear the ocean in this?”
She lifted her chin with an affectation of mysteriousness. “Maybe you’ll hear mermaids singing instead.”
“Catching up on your soap operas?” I jerked my chin at the computer with a smirk.
Christian tilted his head in a gesture of minor annoyance and folded his arms on the table, scaled hands hidden from view. “I’m about to not say what you came down here for.”
“What’s that?” I widened my eyes in innocence.
He shook his head. “I do realize that I owe you an apology for yesterday. I didn’t entirely mean what I said.”
I snorted a laugh. “I think someone needs to define apology for you.”
The scales around his mouth shifted with his smirk.
“I may or may not have been out of line as well.” I scuffed my toes against the cool stone.
“I deserved it though.” He paused long enough to flick the laptop shut. “I’d like to say that it’s the curse that makes me that way. Gavin excuses it more than he should because I get that way after a rough night. Unfortunately I think it’s just a part of my natural charm.”
I met his eyes, comparing the brighter shade of sea-green to the scales encroaching on his face. He didn’t hold my gaze very long. I rubbed my thumb across the rapidly cooling surface, the colors dulling and fading as I watched.
I tilted my head and studied it again.
“I figure it does that since I’m not a full dragon yet.” He looked at the scale again. “When they first started falling off, they were that grey before they even hit the ground. The color’s started lasting longer over time. Real dragon scales don’t fade, right? So, something to look forward to.” He flashed a wan smile.
I placed the scale on the counter. “Okay, I’m going to need you to do some yoga or something to revive your chi or whatever.” I waved my hands, bringing a genuine, if small, smile from him.
Yes, Christian apparently does yoga to keep in shape/stay calm and relax. 😛
“We can walk around first if you want,” I offered, suddenly eager for her to see the town in all its small town-touristy glory. Which was weird, since I’d never really cared too much about the town on a good day. “Most everything will be open by now and there won’t be many people. Tourist season is about over.”
“I’d kind of love that,” she admitted with a sheepish smile.
That sold me on the idea. I stepped up beside her and directed her back down towards the majority of the shops.
“To be fair, unless you’re super in to tiny replica lighthouses, there’s not going to be much to see.”
Her head tipped back with a laugh. “Hey, who knows, maybe I’m an insane knick-knack collector.”
“Then you’ve definitely come to the right place. Allow me to direct you to the best shop for all your knick-knack needs.” I pointed across the street to “Miss Mable’s Bayside Knick Knacks”.
“Seriously, you sure you don’t want to be nominated for brother of the century?” she asked.
I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. She’d take it all back if she really knew. Really saw the anger gnawing away, pushing me to give into the curse that seemed intent on only one Castellan brother surviving. “Anyone else would have done it.”
“Uh, no one else would willingly go on history tours strictly to entertain their sibling with interesting facts.”
“Just skip to the curse before she bursts in impatience,” Gavin cut in again. I shot him a grin.
Christian gave an exaggerated sigh. “But I was just going to describe in excruciating detail the plan that launched the Castellans to the forefront of all shipping and oceanic exploration.”
“It’s so boring it will give you nightmares.” Christian rubbed a scale loose and flicked it neatly into the trashcan on the other side of the table.
“I’ll pass on that, thanks. I have a personal rule not to date women that have been trapped in a house for a couple hundred years.” (Gavin)
I tried not to ask what kind of women he would actually date. Not that I was curious. Or that it really mattered, since I was supposed to be playing Princess Charming to the half-dragon standing beside me.
Sorry, I apparently wanted to share ALL of the excerpts. And I struggle to find some good ones. So for all of you that were wanting more on this one – here you go! Hope I didn’t disappoint!
Also, it’s officially up on the WIP’s page, but since I’ve written the beginning, the ending (mostly) and am filling in the middle, (whoops) I don’t have a definitive synopsis for this one yet.
Also, can you believe that today is the last day of November? How did your month go? What exciting things are planned for December?