Reading & Light Editing of The Scout’s Captive & The Rebel’s Bride

Last week I started reading through The Scout’s Captive (Book 1) looking for the information I needed to write the next chapter of The Rebel’s Bride (Book 2). I’d already planned to remove the info dump that I had at the first of Book 1 so it was more a matter of finding what I needed to remove and adding it where it belongs. While I was at it I decided to read over what I had of The Rebel’s Bride. What I found was a few things that needed to be moved to Book 1 as foreshadowing. So it for the last two days I’ve been lightly editing both books.

This is something that I usually don’t do as it breaks the writing flow, but with some problems with my health at the end of this week, the lighter  work of layering over creating from scratch was far more beneficial to me. I should be able to get more work done of The Rebel’s Bride this next week.

Total Words Count over the last few days: 7,361
Total Book Word Count for The Scout’s Captive: 68,805
Total Book Word Count for The Rebel’s Bride: 30,093

Disclaimer: These snippets are unedited and might be entirely different in the final version.

The_Scouts_Captive_1_webimageShe entered, looking everywhere else, except him. She set the jug of fresh water on the low table in the corner. She busied herself in the corner for several seconds before lifting the chipped plates, making him wonder once again why this place was so well-stocked if she lived in the village.

As a child living on the streets, he would have loved to live in such luxury as this cave. It was well hidden from prying eyes and easily defensible. Her home in the village had to be even better than this place.

“Why are you helping me, little kitten?”

She glanced over her shoulder at him and shrugged. “My father would say my kind heart has found another wounded creature to care for.”

“And you?”

She stared at him for several seconds, her brow furrowed. “I guess it’s because you needed my help and the healer in me wants to heal you.”

Cynel snorted at the naiveté of the girl. “How do you know I won’t hurt you?”

She glided toward the fire. “Because you could have killed me the day we met.”

“Did it ever occur to you that I might have needed you then? That now that I’m healed, I don’t need you alive anymore?”

She stared down at him with large black eyes, studying him in a way that made him feel as if she could see into his soul. “Would you kill me as you did the soldiers?”

He frowned. “What?”

“When I first found you, I thought you might be a scout for them, but now I’m not so sure.”

“And why is that?”

She glanced at him and then away. He could see the struggle taking place inside her on her too expressive face, and before he could tell her to save herself and keep whatever she wanted to share with him to herself, she said, “Because Angeloi soldiers don’t work with Nyfeli.” She stared at him, unafraid, which either made her too brave for her own good or stupid. “They kill them.”

WingsDivider


The_Rebels_Bride_2_webimageMina stared down at the encampment below them, shocked by what she was seeing. “You’re one of the Rebels,” she said, turning on Cynel and ignoring the Demonii around them. “I thought you were a raider.”

Cynel’s large hand was warm where it rested on her waist. “Sorry to disappoint you, but no, I’m not a raider seeking a bedmate.”

Mina blushed. She’d made the assumption and he’d never corrected her. “So you were Rebels seeking bedmates? Do not the Demonii have enough women for that?”

The men around her tensed, their anger plain in their faces, but Mina ignored them. She’d had enough of Cynel’s small omissions. The life of a raider was dangerous enough. The life of a Rebel was nearly as deadly as being a Nyfeli. Both had a Council sanctioned death sentence hanging over their heads.

“Yes. But there is one difference between an Angeloi woman and a Demonii woman.”

“And what is that?”

“Demonii women are more dangerous to kidnap.”

Mirth danced in his eyes, the blue darkening several degrees. For a moment she thought he might be playing another part for the men around them. The Demonii were chuckling and more relaxed. However, the tension in Cynel’s body was only increasing. He was lying to her again.

Mina’s jaw tightened. “Do not for a moment think that Angeloi women aren’t as dangerous.”

Finished The Scout’s Captive & Website Update

It’s nice to be able to write The End on The Scout’s Captive. This book took me far longer to finish then usual. Mainly because of health issues in the family and recently my own. Hopefully,  I can return to my daily writing habit soon.

Since I’m still working on getting this website back up, I decided not to start the edits on this book until I’m done writing the entire series, that way I can edit it all at once, add the foreshadowing, and not feel trapped by an event in the timeline because one of the books is already published.

The_Rebels_Bride_2_webimage

Disclaimer: These snippets are unedited and might be entirely different in the final version.

Cynel’s large hands closed around her tiny waist, lifting her with an easy that always surprised her despite his obvious size and strength, and gently set her on the ground. “We can’t join the others until we know it’s safe to do so.”

His hands didn’t move for several, long minutes, and Mina tried to convince herself to not see more into the gesture then there was. Like he probably didn’t want her to fall after so long riding a horse and have to pick her up. He hadn’t shown an ounce of interest in her since that night. Not that he’d had the chance, if she was being honest.

“As long as I’m with you it won’t be safe. My father won’t stop looking for me.”

“He will. Eventually he’ll realize there is no way to save you.”

She blushed and pulled away, embarrassed by her reaction to him. “You don’t know my father.” She leaned against a nearby boulder, wondering if her wobbly legs would embarrass her and give out. “He’s stubborn and has an army at his disposal. You made a mistake when you took the Border Lord’s daughter.”

“But it was the Border Lord’s daughter that I wanted.”

~ Website Update ~

I have half of the book pages up with links to where you can buy them, the excerpts for the books, and most of the vital pages done. I hope to have the rest done before next week so people can at least find them. There is still a lot of work to go on this site, but with some client work coming up I might have to be put the rest on hold until November. Or not. 😀

{Story Sample} One of my Favorite Scenes from Death’s Lover

Now that I’m done writing the story and have it published, I thought it would be fun to post a series of story samples from Death’s Lover.

The Story Sample:

She wanted Than in a way she’d never wanted any man before. It was more than sexual desire. It was something she had no name for and no words to describe.

Straightening, she leaned over him, not quite touching. His eyes snapped open. His hands grabbed her, their bodies twisting. She cried out, shocked and afraid.

His eyes focused. His arms closed tightly around her. His scent filled her senses.

The world blackened a second before she’d have hit the stone floor, and she stumbled, disoriented. She blinked several times. She was standing, her hands holding his shirt tightly.

She glanced toward the bed-like furniture several feet away. She should have hit the floor. The force behind his move should have broken bone. How did they get here?

“I’m sorry,” Than whispered into her neck, his hand stroking her hair much like a man with a skittish foal, although she had a feeling it was more to reassure himself than to calm her. “I didn’t hear you. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

She frowned and pulled back to meet his eyes. “I’m not hurt. I should have known better than to wake a warrior in such a way.”

He grimaced, concern still in his eyes. “I’m not a warrior. I can’t wield a sword, at least not with any skill. Hades tried to teach me once. I was more a danger to myself than others.”

“But. . . I’ve seen the way you move, Than. You move like the best warrior, like a predator.”

He released her, moving several steps back, and she reluctantly let him go. She didn’t like the look on his face. There was such hatred and sorrow in those purple-blue eyes.

“Because I am.”

She grunted. The daemon didn’t make sense. He declared himself not a warrior one moment and changed his mind the next. “Either you are or you’re not a warrior.”

“I’m not a warrior. I’m a predator. One of the few truly dangerous ones.”

She shivered. The statement was matter-of-fact, and he was completely convinced of the truth in his words. Nothing he’d done so far could convince her that he was dangerous to her. “What are you, Than?”

“A daemon, or have you forgotten?”

A chance meeting changed the course of their lives…
Thanatos is no stranger to death. He’s seen every possible way there was to die. He’s lived with it day after day, century upon century, collecting the souls of dead mortals and taking them to the Underworld for judgment. An endless routine of tiresome duty and resounding loneliness that echoed in his heart, until she came into his life…

A second meeting will change their hearts and souls…
Saved by a stranger, Lilith never forgot the mysterious man who gave her the chance to blossom into the strong woman with a spirit of fire and a heart of ice, anymore than she can the lessons of the past. She must hide her secrets deep and never get close to anyone. Sex is merely a means to an end, and pleasure isn’t something to share with a lover, until he came back into her life…

What happens next will change the Underworld….
Lilith’s ability to see a person’s death has attracted the attention of the warlord, Adman, and seals her fate. He will do anything, kill anyone, to possess her talent. And the only one standing between him and Lilith is Death himself. Thanatos will break every ancient law, and even a few newer ones, to save her, and in the end it might cost them both their lives.

You can read more Story Samples from Death’s Lover, visit my Story Notes on Death’s Lover to read about the inspiration behind the book, or buy the eBook at Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Published © August 2014 by Stephannie Beman
Cover and Layout copyright © 2013 by Ruis Publishing
Cover design by Stephannie Beman/Ruis Publishing
Cover art copyright © Veronika Galkina and Zastavkin | Dreamstime.com

{Story Sample} The World of Death’s Lover

Now that I’m done writing the story and have it published, I thought it would be fun to post a series of story samples from Death’s Lover. Welcome to Thanatos’ World.

The Story Sample:

The Hall of Judgment was a massive marble monstrosity of pillars, motifs, and slabs of black, gray, and white rock that was at once a reminder of the torments of Tartarus and the blessed peace of the Elysian Fields. Every soul that came to the Underworld passed through the colossal doors to the room beyond. The long, gloomy room seemed to stretch on and on, until one reached the fire burning near the end and the three thrones that rested just within the ring of light.

Upon the thrones sat the three Judges, tall and thin Minos, short and fat Aeacus, and Rhadamanthys who looked as old as time itself, and before each rested a book of names and deeds. Written within those pages were the accomplishments, both good and bad, of every soul that came before them. These were the actions upon which every man, woman, and child were judged and sentenced.

It was the duty of the guards standing beside the interior pillars to escort the souls to their final resting place. Some were escorted to the Elysian Fields to enjoy their own personal paradise. There were those who were taken to the River of Lethe, to drink the water that would make them forget the evils done to them in life. Others, whose crimes did not condemn them to Tartarus or bless them with paradise, were returned to the Asphodel Fields to wander in the mist, lost and alone, for a time. Then there were those evil souls whose crimes were deemed so heinous that their punishment could only be carried out in the prison cells of Tartarus.

Those souls Thanatos had to deal with, and he did so with the greatest pleasure. Men and women such as these creatures did not deserve the life Persephone had granted them, or the joys found in the Elysian Fields. Such souls deserved the torment that awaited them in Tartarus.

The shade before him cursed and screamed, fighting against the Chains of the Damned that bound him. They only tightened more, holding him. There would be no pardon for him.

“Silence!” Minos commanded.

The man’s mouth snapped shut with enough force to crack his teeth.

“For your crimes against the children of Junos and Hyeria, daughter of Hyperion, you have been sentenced to a thousand years of torment in the Pits of Tartarus. Your cell has been prepared for you, and your punishment is to relive your victim’s pain as if it were your own. May the Lord Hades and the Lady Persephone have mercy on your corrupt soul.”

The book slammed shut, and the judges rose from their thrones of lustrous white, muted gray, and murky black. They turned their backs on the man, a sign of their contempt for a shade that deserved to be destroyed.

Thanatos tugged on the chains, dragging the man from the Hall and down the black path to Tartarus. The shade followed behind, jerking against the chains, fighting every step, not that it did him any good. The enchanted Chains of the Damned would draw him like a moth to a flame. He was the moth and the Pits of Tartarus was flame. There was no escape, not for a murdering bastard like him.

The craggy black fortress loomed before them, growing ever nearer and larger. Tartarus was carved from the very stone around it and reeked of the evil housed inside. The ground became barren and blackened, unable to support the life Persephone had given to the Underworld.

The heavy gates swung soundlessly open, and the man fought harder. Thanatos ignored him, they always struggled. This one was no different than the others he’d brought here.

But there was a difference in the air around him. The pain and desperation, the hopelessness and sorrow that was almost a living creature around Tartarus, was tainted by a hint of anticipation and conviction.

He scanned the area around him, picking out the minute details. The sword lying on the ground beside the boulder. The lack of guards who usually came to greet him and inquire about the prisoner. The archers who did not appear on the wall.

He reached out with his other senses, seeking out the daemons, monsters, and shades. Few were where they were supposed to be. He found daemon guards in the cells and the shades walking free.

The prisoners, some of the worst monsters ever to walk the Earth, had been liberated, and it was up to him to get more information on the situation. He needed to know who they were up against if he was to keep his daughters and Lilith safe. He just prayed Adman wasn’t one of the freed. That was a disaster he could do without.

He kept moving, tracking the movements around him. If they thought him trapped just because they had him surrounded, they were more foolish then he suspected. But then they were human shades, unknowing in the ways of daemons and gods.

“Welcome to my prison, Thanatos.”

A chance meeting changed the course of their lives…
Thanatos is no stranger to death. He’s seen every possible way there was to die. He’s lived with it day after day, century upon century, collecting the souls of dead mortals and taking them to the Underworld for judgment. An endless routine of tiresome duty and resounding loneliness that echoed in his heart, until she came into his life…

A second meeting will change their hearts and souls…
Saved by a stranger, Lilith never forgot the mysterious man who gave her the chance to blossom into the strong woman with a spirit of fire and a heart of ice, anymore than she can the lessons of the past. She must hide her secrets deep and never get close to anyone. Sex is merely a means to an end, and pleasure isn’t something to share with a lover, until he came back into her life…

What happens next will change the Underworld….
Lilith’s ability to see a person’s death has attracted the attention of the warlord, Adman, and seals her fate. He will do anything, kill anyone, to possess her talent. And the only one standing between him and Lilith is Death himself. Thanatos will break every ancient law, and even a few newer ones, to save her, and in the end it might cost them both their lives.

Buy the eBook at Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Published © August 2014 by Stephannie Beman
Cover and Layout copyright © 2013 by Ruis Publishing
Cover design by Stephannie Beman/Ruis Publishing
Cover art copyright © Veronika Galkina and Zastavkin | Dreamstime.com

{Story Sample} The Villains of Death’s Lover

Now that I’m done writing the story and have it published, I thought it would be fun to post a series of story samples from Death’s Lover. Today I thought I’d introduce you to the villains of the book, yes there are two.

One has made a previous appearance in My Lord Hades. His name was Adman, an evil warlord. The second is Nadral, the man who owns her during his life and haunts her through his death.

The Story Sample:

She heard the raised voices before she reached the building that had been her home for the last five years.

“Don’t insult me!” Nadral shouted. “I could easily get twice as much for her!”

She reached for the latch.

“It’s all you’ll get from me,” a man growled, and the voice chilled her to her soul.

She snatched her hand back, ready to run. She needed to hide before they saw her. But already it was too late.

The door swung open, and a large man stood in the doorway, staring down at her. He hadn’t changed in five years. He was still a handsome man. His frame was fit and lean, clothed in supple leathers. His body was strong and taller than most men. Her fingers itched to release his long, sandy blond hair from its tie and run her hands through the silky length. It was his only outward show of vanity. Many of the warriors in the ranks of his army cut their hair short. But he refused after she’d once admired the color and mentioned loving longer hair on her men.

Her body warmed at the memory of long nights in his bed. Sex with Adman had been adventurous and beyond pleasant.

“Lilith?” he breathed, stepping closer to her. His brown eyes warmed, and the backs of his fingers brushed lightly against her cheek. A gesture that was both tender and possessive. “Kar’ela par’ja.

Lover of my heart.

Her heart flipped in her chest at his words and for one moment she deluded herself into thinking that he meant it. This was the man who’d come to take her from this life of slavery. She could be his again. She could be free of Nadral. All she had to do was betray everything she believed and held dear. She’d have to go with a murderer of innocent people.

“She’s mine,” Nadral snarled, grabbing her arm.

His punishing grip twisted her arm, and tears sprang to her eyes. He jerked her to his side, and she stumbled, nearly falling to her knees before regaining her feet. She dared a glance at Adman beneath her lowered eyelashes, and fear rose to swallow her whole.

His youthful face, innocent in appearance, could not hide the coldness of his soul. His look said it all. He would have her. He would destroy everything to possess her. And he would kill anyone standing between him and what he wanted.

She laid a calming hand on his arm. “Nadral, please—”

His hand struck her cheek, silencing her warning. “This is between men!” He shoved her through the doorway and she fell to her knees.

Adman, her warlord lover, the true father of her child, knew everything about her. He knew what she was capable of and what she had done to survive on the streets she’d found herself on to protect Eva. So when she didn’t retaliate for Nadral’s treatment of her by killing him, Adman’s eyes narrowed. His hand flexed at his side, reaching for the weapon that wasn’t there. Not that he needed it to take her. The villagers would not protest, and one hit would kill Nadral.

She didn’t pretend that Adman loved her; no more than he loved his horse or his sword. He loved no one besides himself. He was angry because, in his eyes, she was his property, and Nadral had marked her. While she cared nothing for Nadral or his miserable life, she knew beyond a doubt that Adman would come for her and everyone would die. It wouldn’t be the first time.

She bowed her head and let the tears fall. Her sorrow was short-lived. Nadral joined her in the house and she could feel his anger like a living breathing dragon.

“He was willing to pay a lot for you. Why?”

She shook her head. “I don’t know.” The lie stung her throat.

She didn’t know why Adman wanted her, but she could guess. She was his. She knew his secrets. He knew who she was and what she was capable of doing to survive. He knew the truth about her, and that knowledge might save the village, but it would condemn her to death.

Wrenching pain shot through her scalp as she was lifted off her knees. She scrambled to her feet, relieving most of the pressure, and met Nadral’s angry eyes. “He knows you, Lilith. He knows more about you than I do.”

A chance meeting changed the course of their lives…
Thanatos is no stranger to death. He’s seen every possible way there was to die. He’s lived with it day after day, century upon century, collecting the souls of dead mortals and taking them to the Underworld for judgment. An endless routine of tiresome duty and resounding loneliness that echoed in his heart, until she came into his life…

A second meeting will change their hearts and souls…
Saved by a stranger, Lilith never forgot the mysterious man who gave her the chance to blossom into the strong woman with a spirit of fire and a heart of ice, anymore than she can the lessons of the past. She must hide her secrets deep and never get close to anyone. Sex is merely a means to an end, and pleasure isn’t something to share with a lover, until he came back into her life…

What happens next will change the Underworld….
Lilith’s ability to see a person’s death has attracted the attention of the warlord, Adman, and seals her fate. He will do anything, kill anyone, to possess her talent. And the only one standing between him and Lilith is Death himself. Thanatos will break every ancient law, and even a few newer ones, to save her, and in the end it might cost them both their lives.

You can read more Story Samples from Death’s Lover, visit my Story Notes on Death’s Lover to read about the inspiration behind the book, or buy the eBook at Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Published © August 2014 by Stephannie Beman
Cover and Layout copyright © 2013 by Ruis Publishing
Cover design by Stephannie Beman/Ruis Publishing
Cover art copyright © Veronika Galkina and Zastavkin | Dreamstime.com