Power’s Shadow

A slight pause for a bit of dusting.

Okay, I’m back. I think. I liked doing Story Time, but after a while I realized I was spending too much of my limited time on my back catalog, so to speak, and not enough working out what comes next. Yet despite that, there are a few more issues of old business I need to address. One of which is that the third book in The Laws of Power series, Power’s Shadow, did not yet have a print edition. So for the readers (both of you) asking for that very thing, it’s finally on its way.

Right now I’m in the stage of taking the original manuscript and formatting it for print. This will take a little time yet, because it’s simple enough to do but it’s not quick. I’ve been re-reading each chapter as I work, trying to catch any spelling or grammatical errors that crept into the ebook edition and stop the critters from making their way into this one. And, being a writer, I’m having a hard time leaving the text completely alone. A word choice here. An arrangement of sentences there. A word that I tended to overuse but have now learned better. That kind of thing. We’re talking a few tweaks, not a major rewrite, because, imho, it doesn’t need one. Minor stuff and probably best left alone, only I can’t help myself.

I’m about a quarter of the way through, and then there’s reformatting the cover for the print edition, running it through production, getting proof copies, checking those…you get the idea. Probably why it’s taken me so long to get this done in the first place.  I hope no more than a couple of weeks more. Regardless, I’ll post when the print book is available.

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On Receiving Compliments—Plus an Update

Powers-Shadow-Rough-3I received an actual fan email last week, which is a pretty rare occurrence (You thought we led lives of constant or even regular adulation? Yeah, I know. No one thinks that. Or at least not for long). This was on Yamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate, and came from a nice lady who teaches Japanese, has a grounding in the history and knows the culture, so I was doubly gratified, but even that lovely ego boost had to take second place to the compliment First Reader (Carol) paid me when she finished the first pass edit of Power’s Shadow:

 

 

This is a complete paraphrase, just so you know. My memory’s accuracy is not 100 % guaranteed. But this is the gist:

She: (Looking up from the last page of the manuscript) You know, you’re really evil sometimes.
Me: I’ll take that as a compliment.
She: That’s how I meant it.

That was rather the reaction I was hoping for, so from that standpoint, I think Power’s Shadow (#3 in the Laws of Power series) is a success. I’ve started on the rewrite, so it shouldn’t be too much longer before it’s finally available. I do know it’s taken a while. We have, as I’ve already mentioned, been sprucing up our house to put it on the market, so neither of us has had much time to do much of anything except paint and pack up for the last two months. We can finally see some daylight, and once I’ve got the rewrite finished I’ll turn it into a Kindle and Nook ebook soonest. And then I can finally get back to Yamada Monogatari: The Emperor in Shadow, which is honestly and truly begun, but nowhere near being finished. One thing at a time.

Power’s Shadow: Chapter 14, Part 4 – Conclusion

Powers-Shadow-Rough-3

This is the last section of Chapter 14, and the last of the serial posts. The book’s in first pass editing at the moment and I don’t want to put any more up until it’s in its final form. When editing is done I’ll be looking at the corrections/suggestions and start the rewrite. There are four more chapters and a short epilogue (about 100 more pages) beyond this, and right now the plan is to list the ebook version for as low as they’ll let me for a period of about two weeks before it goes up to its normal price, in case anyone here wants to finish the story. There will be a print edition, but that takes longer to put together.

 

Power’s Shadow: Chapter 14, Part 4 Conclusion

 

“I will break up the stone tomorrow,” Dena said. “After we give them enough time to get out of earshot. They may suspect that we’re here but there’s no point in emphasizing it.”

“I heartily agree,” Kel said. “But I wonder if the gentleman sitting on top of the rock watching us feels the same way?”

The figure was hooded and wearing a black robe, so Dena considered Kel’s assessment of the person as male to be somewhat uncertain. What wasn’t uncertain was the person’s face—what little Dena could see of it—was turned toward them. Dena considered shattering the rock beneath the figure, but thought perhaps such an action might be premature. Yet she kept her concentration on the First Law even as she spoke up.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“Isn’t it customary for the one asking the questions to introduce themselves first?”

The voice was definitely male, if not especially deep. Yet it carried easily down to them. “My name is Dena. This is Kel. Who are you?” she repeated.

“You may call me Domar. I seem to remember having a friend with that name once, long ago…I think. The memory does play tricks as one gets older. Regardless, I’ve always like that name.”

Dena frowned. “What name do you call yourself?”

She still couldn’t see his face, but Dena had the distinct impression that he was smiling at her.

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. ‘Domar’ will do, for the time being. So. What do you plan to do now?” Continue reading

Power’s Shadow: Chapter 14, Part 3

Powers-Shadow-Rough-3Some loose ends are harder to tie than others.

 

 

Chapter 14, Part 3

“Oh, I never said I didn’t know who collapsed the overhang. I just said it didn’t matter. And it doesn’t…yet. I did, however, destroy the exit, yes.”

They found Prince Dolan and the other men resting from their efforts at the pit. He gave Marta an odd look.

“We heard what sounded like a rock slide. I’m glad to see you’re both all right.”

“We are. We found where the bandits were getting in, but the crevice has collapsed. A skilled mountaineer could still reach it from that direction, but no one else.”

Prince Dolan looked thoughtful. “Perhaps that is for the best.”

“I thought so too,” Marta said. “Are we ready to leave?”

“Almost.”

The three men kneeled by the pit and Dolan began to sing. Marta recognized the song as a hymn to Amatok. When he was finished the three of them went down to the stream to wash some of the dirt off. Marta and Sela waited by mouth of the cave until they returned. Their clothing was a bit worse for wear, but they appeared refreshed, if weary. After they had all climbed back down and rejoined the rest of their party there was still an hour or so of daylight left. Marta suggested they move on and no one objected, there being little interest in sleeping on the blood of the murdered pilgrims. They were not quite out of sight of the cliff cave when there was another rumbling, and a cloud of dust billowed out of the opening before it sank in on itself, leaving just the barest crevice to suggest where it had been.

First Law, Marta thought.

“Also likely for the best,” Marta said, as Prince Dolan looked back.

Dolan looked as if he was going to say something, thought better of it, and said something else. “No doubt you are right. Still, it’s a pity. It was a lovely spot.”

“Yes. Now it can remain that way. And perhaps those unfortunate pilgrims will find peace.” Continue reading

Power’s Shadow: Chapter 14, Part 2

Powers-Shadow-Rough-3Since the schedule is being disrupted slightly I’ll go ahead and post the installment for Monday now. For the installment on the 25th I should be back on track.

Chapter 14, Part 2

 

Sela’s scowl could have curdled milk. “Now, if only we could say the same about you.”

Marta just shook her head. “Longfeather, I am going to do you one last favor—I am going to change you back into a goshawk until tomorrow morning. Use the time to travel to Goandel, and meet us there in about three days’ time. If you are not there I will assume that you have disobeyed me again and I will turn you into something that can’t cause trouble for anyone. Ever. Do I make myself clear?”

“Very clear,” Longfeather said. “But I thought you were already done with me.”

“I have thought of a use for you. It won’t change my decision, mind, but you are going to do something to repay at least a small amount of the harm you’ve caused, and what you would have caused by throwing your lot in with the people who put you in that cage.” Marta leaned close to the cage amd told Lonfeather what else was expected of him. He clearly was not happy about it, but Marta took no heed of that. “Now go.”

In a moment it was done. Longfeather hopped through the bars of the cage but instead of flying away immediately, he fluttered up to land on the top of the cage and turned to face Marta again.

“Before I go, I was entrusted with a message for you.”

“From whom?” Marta asked.

The goshawk that was Longfeather shrugged his wings. “I think ‘from what’ might be more accurate. She called herself Amaet, but I don’t think she was human. It was the way she appeared, glowing like a star, and then vanished that made me suspect.”

Marta held very still. “Oh? And what did Amaet say?”

“She said to tell you ‘I’m waiting.’ Those words exactly.”

“That was all?” Marta asked.

“Yes, mistress,” he said.

“Then away with you. And remember what I said.” Continue reading