Minstrel’s Call Snippets

It has been awhile since I did a snippet post. I thought maybe, since I am spending all my time editing lately, I’d let you in on a few little tastes of what is to come in this final chapter of the Minstrel’s Song series… so, without further ado, a few glimpses into what I’ve been working on. A “back-page pass” if you will! As an added challenge, I shall attempt to share snippets that do not spoil anything, either in this story or in any of the previous books!

Snippet 1:

The man stood straighter. “What sort of help, exactly, do you require from me?”

“I… I need a place to hide,” the girl stammered out the words. “I… I thought perhaps your people could take me in, or give me a place to stay.” 

“Why do you need a place to hide?”

The girl’s shoulders slumped. She looked up mournfully.

“My parents died when I was young. My guardians consider me a drain on their resources. They want to marry me off to a man much older than me. I’ve heard that in other lands a girl can make her own decisions about such matters. I want to travel to those places. Please, please help me. I would rather die than marry the man they have picked for me.”

“Is that so?”

“It is,” she whispered. She was like a caged animal ready to attack, but also frightened to walk through the door should it open.

Snippet 2:

“This is nice,” Dylanna commented.

“Almost like old times,” Kamarie said.

“Almost,” Oraeyn chuckled, “except we’re not outside in that rain. We’re not hungry, wet, cold, or lost, and there are no enemies chasing us. Except for that, it’s exactly like old times!”

Kamarie chuckled. “You left out being terrified out of our minds.”

The room filled with laughter and the stories began, spilling out one at a time as the friends reminisced over the many adventures they had shared. 

Snippet 3:

The entrance of Blackwing Cavern was truly impressive. The building was fashioned from hewn stonework supported by massive tree trunks. Instead of simple thatch, the roof was comprised of slate tiles, and as Oraeyn looked up, he did indeed see a medium-sized dragon curled around one of the large stone chimneys that soared into the air. The door to the Cavern was large enough to allow easy passage to even the largest of dragons. He stood in the street, feeling a bit at a loss. There was no knocker or bell-pull that he could see, and there was no way for him to open the door. He could bang on it for seasons and never be heard inside. For a moment, all the trappings of kingship melted away and he was merely a man before dragons.

“If you want to go inside, you can use the ward’s door,” a quiet voice sounded next to him.

Oraeyn glanced down at the speaker, a young girl. Before he could ask what she meant, she pointed shyly to one side of the building. Looking where she was pointing he saw what he had missed before: a human-sized door on the side of the building. He looked back at the child and grinned ruefully.

“How did I miss that?” he chuckled.

She giggled and clasped her hands behind her back. “First time seeing the Cavern?”

“Yes,” he admitted.

“It’s big,” she did a little dancing step, her feet unable to remain still. “We’ve mostly gotten used to it. You here for the trial?”

Snippet 4:

Pain drifted through Brant’s awareness in a red haze. He struggled to gather his memories. He remembered giving council to his older brother. Yes, Ky often discussed matters with him and seemed to value his advice. It had been Brant’s idea to ride out to the Border Patrol two days past. The men had needed a symbol of strength, and he had persuaded Ky to let him go. 

The seheowks had attacked without warning, and in far greater numbers than anyone had expected. Fighting with a ferocity that the aethalons had never seen them exhibit before, they swarmed over the Border Patrol in an unstoppable and overwhelming flood of destruction. Brant looked around the scene of the battle again. The entire Border Patrol had been killed. 

Blood seeped from the wound in his side and even as he put his hand up to cover it, he knew it was fatal. Blackness surrounded him and as he fell to the ground he wondered what would happen to Llycaelon now. Oddly, a stray thought crossed through his mind that this could all have been avoided. His conscience pricked him, telling him that this was not the way it was supposed to be. It was too late now, he thought, as darkness crept up, obscuring his vision. Time had run out, and he was so tired.

“Ky,” he whispered regretfully, “I’m sorry…”

Snippet 5:

“You should know by now that history can be changed and lies can be told to keep secret what must be protected.” Kiernan Kane’s voice was deadly serious. “Many of the histories you know do not tell the whole story.”

“I don’t understand.”

Kiernan Kane leapt to his feet. “And there is not time to explain. There is not enough time for anything these days. I have delayed longer than I ought.”

Oraeyn blinked. “But why now? How can you be sure that the staff even exists after all this time? What if I fail?”

“You will succeed.” Kiernan popped the last bite of apple between his teeth and grinned around it.

“Even if you said I wouldn’t succeed, I’d try anyway.”

“I know. Fare thee well, King Oraeyn. We shall meet again on the field of battle.” Kiernan lifted an arm and disappeared.

Whew! That was harder than I thought it would be! Finding nice little passages that don’t give away too much took some hunting.

So, what do you think?

~ jenelle

Fairy Tale Retellings


Just wanted to hop over here to let you know that I was out guest-posting today. Alicia Gaile generously lent me space on her blog this afternoon. The topic is “Fairy Tale Retellings” and while there is no “perfect formula” for writing anything, I do share a few of my thoughts on what makes the more successful retellings stand out.

You can find the post HERE.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the post! Feel free to leave comments either on the post itself or you can come back over here and we can discuss them. I’ll be checking comments in both places!


~ jenelle


Favorite Family Films Header Graphic

“The angel wing clam…. Underwater, they glow in the dark. Now the amazing thing about that is this: modern science cannot explain why…. Tell you my theory: is that they do it because they can. World would be a lot cooler place if more of us were like that, huh?” — Dirk Pitt

Following the trend of genre-hopping all over the place… this week’s movie recommendation comes in the form of an action/adventure/mystery/comedy. Sahara. Another movie that has a little bit of everything… which is apparently a recipe for a movie that I am guaranteed to love to pieces.

This is one of those movies the critics initially hated, but I loved. It tends to work out that way the vast majority of the time. It is also the kind of movie where there is a lot going on, and at first glance, none of it seems to be related.

Meet Dirk Pitt: a sort of modern-day Indiana Jones searching for a lost Civil War era ship that has aboard it a box of legendary gold coins minted by the Confederacy. Though finding this legend is his main goal, he also has a real job with the National Underwater Marine Agency as a salvager of wrecked ships, which he uses “to pay the bills” as Inigo Montoya would say. At the other end of this story, you have Eva, a doctor with W.H.O. who is investigating the source of a strange outbreak in Africa. When their paths and stories collide, the discoveries that Dirk and Eva make are bigger than either of them expected.

This movie is an all-out adventure. The plot twists and turns like a snake in the desert. All while Dirk’s best friend, Al Giordino (played by the ever marvelous Steve Zahn) provides quippy comic relief… but don’t worry he isn’t just a humorous side-kick, this guy knows his stuff and is very good at what he does. Possibly one of my favorite roles for Matthew McConaughey ever… except for one other… which I will talk about next week.

If you skipped this movie back when it came out in 2005… you should definitely remedy that and give it a look now. It is so much fun, and has some of the best quotable lines since The Princess Bride. (And THAT is saying quite a lot).

If you love movies like Indiana Jones or National Treasure, you will not want to miss out on Sahara!

Looks like this one is available to rent online at all the usual places.

~ jenelle