This month I was busy with the Nebulas, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America conference, and also writing, so not too much to report. I do have a snippet from Clanblades, so be sure to scroll down if you’re into that sort of thing!

The Nebulas are a wonderful conference where the Nebula awards are announced, and there are craft discussions and meetups for authors, as well as fun and educational panels. I moderated one on paths to success as an independent author, and it was a ton of fun. My fellow panelists were graphic novelist and Afrofuturist Tim Fielder, Mark Coker from Smashwords and Draft2Digital, and author and publisher Tracy Cooper-Posey.

Here’s a snapshot (screenshot, really) of our discussion. 🙂 I hope it helped a few people out there.

I’ve also been doing a ton of reading, which is sparking a ton of writing, so here’s a snippet from the next book in the Legends of the Clanblades…

After the third trader rejected her, Lara’s eye caught on a man hot on her heels. He might be following her through the village. 

She ducked into the next trader’s hut. “I hear you sell apples from the city.”

“Aye, I do.”

“I’ll take a bushel.” If he’d give them to her. The last three traders had balked.

His eyes lit up bright, and he reached for a sack, but when she held out her palm, his face darkened.

“What is this gold? This is clan leader’s coin. We can’t take that here. Where did you get this, girl?”

“It’s mine. Is there a problem?”

“I will not be swindled again. Keep your copper-painted trinkets.”

She glared at the coins in her hand. True, it probably wasn’t real gold, they were tokens that indicated the clan would pay. But this was still Bone Clan territory. Why weren’t they any good here? “What do you mean, again?”

“Obsidian riders came through here just yesterday, and their gold washed clean today. Just clay discs. I should have checked it. They hit a dozen of us. No more.”

The patrols Nyalin had spotted. Probably looking for the two of them. They’d come through here too? She was lucky she’d missed them then.

“You are more brazen though, imitating the clan leader,” said a deep voice behind her.

She turned. The man that had been following her had caught up. He’s ducked inside the hut, but he was too tall, barely able to fully stand, and he had a chest like a barrel.

She lifted her chin. “I’m not more brazen, my gold is good. And I’m no Obsidian.”

“Likely story,” the new man replied, his eyes narrowing.

“Don’t you think that’s just what an Obsidian would say?” the trader said.

She glanced around, then at the door. She couldn’t just keep trying trader after trader; none of them wanted her currency. Besides, she didn’t think this new man would let her anyway. 

She and Nyalin needed a source of food closer than the city, though, so she decided to try a different tactic. 

She pushed back her hood, letting her golden hair free and taking her most regal bearing. Which probably wasn’t that regal considering she smelled more like sweat than any noble ought to. But shoulders back couldn’t hurt.

“You don’t understand. These coins are better than gold. And I am no pretender or fraud. I am Lara, daughter of Cerivil, and this is my coin.”

They exchanged uneasy glances over her shoulder. She turned imploring eyes to the trader. 

He shook his head. “I cannot do business with you. Not worth the risk. Off with you.”

“Yes, as a matter of fact, I think you should come with me.” The burly man who’d followed her took her by the bicep and urged her out of the yurt and into the sunlight.

“Where are you taking me?” she demanded. “Who are you?”

“I am Teget. I’m taking you to see the village Elder.”

They didn’t get more than a few steps, though, before a thunderous roar split the air. A wave of wind from behind them swept her hair into her face. She pushed it back and looked up just in time to see Yeska swoop mightily overhead, her pale form bright in the sunlight against the clear blue sky. 

The man holding her staggered back. “What, by the Twins—”

“No, by the dragon,” Lara retorted. My dragon, she thought. But she didn’t go that far to point that out.

Yeska landed at the far end of the village, fanning her wings out as she scowled in their direction, and she roared again. The thatch of the houses seemed to shake with the blast of sound.

I am the Dragon of Bone, Yeska bellowed, and you will respect my chosen Daughter!

The man’s grip didn’t weaken, but based on the way he flinched and ducked, he’d heard Yeska just as well as Lara had. 

In fact, nearly every hut had someone emerging into the sunlight, blinking but eager to see the cause of the commotion, the great and beautiful Dragon of Bone.

Unedited and subject to change excerpt from Book 2 of Legends of the Clanblades

I don’t believe I’ve even shared the title yet but hopefully I’ll be ready to share it more in the coming days… The book is still a huge tangled mess vines and I’m sure I can hear all those but certainly that’s just a myth, there’s no such thing in this Fire Swamp… Right? 😉

Until next time!

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