Writing Prompt Wednesday: Birth of Darsha

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Welcome to Writing Prompt Wednesday!!! (Hopefully) Each week, I’ll have a sentence, and from that, I’ll create a scene. Some may be longer than others. Some may be connected to something that I have already out.

This week’s sentence: The blood dripped slowly down the wall. 

This one is connected to a universe that I’m still hammering out. I hope you enjoy the Birth of Darsha.

*****(c) Dawn Ibanez 2017 All right reserved*****

The blood slowly dripped down the wall. The rancid stench of bile and other bodily fluids clogged her nose as she stood at the edge of the area. She had done the impossible.

Their great champion, their ferocious Beast, was dead at her feet.

The rich noblemen and their ladies were all silent as she closed her left hand and backed away from the man that fought for them. His body crumbled into a heap of flesh as she turned to the man watching over the pit.

He was their King. One of the seven that ruled the Valescape. She didn’t care. He stole what her family had, simply because he could. He took her sisters and sold them off like they nothing more than trinkets. But now she stood over his champion. The Prince he cultivated himself from childhood. The frown on his face proved that he was not pleased with the outcome of the match.

Laughter bubbled up from her. She watched as the women around her grew more horrified by the moment. She wrapped her arms around her stomach and doubled over as she laughed at the painted flowers that acted as if they were not part of a twisted food chain. Her weapons clattered to the dirt ground as she tried to calm herself. The humor of her situation was the prominent thought on her mind.

The King knew of her family’s traitorous behavior. He ordered the death and selling of her family because of her father’s actions. He knew that out of her mother and her sisters, she would have been the one to cause a problem. She would have been the one to become a rebel. She would have been the one to demand justice for her father. In order to seem fair, the King put her in a death match with his champion. A werewolf-troll hybrid against a small demon woman.

Now the King had a dilemma on his hands.

Would he allow the new champion of his fighting pits to live, or would he eliminate the possibility of her trying to seek revenge for her family by killing her?

Her grandmother always told her that life was full of choices. And most often, they were choices she wouldn’t like.

The sounds of the gates being lifted echoed in the arena. Her laughter died enough for her to look around and see four guards shuffling in. She straightened and met the gaze of the King that took her father’s head. “I thought I would get a boon,” she said.

Her voice echoed around the arena. It was soon followed by gasps of outrage and shock. She didn’t care. She only stayed focused on the danger surrounding her.

The King of Gluttony raised his hand and the crowd silenced. “You haven’t won the championship yet.” He looked at his men. “Whoever wins this, will get their boons.”

She closed her eyes as she braced herself for the first blow. When it came, she was thrown across the arena. As she rolled across the dirt floor, she grabbed a rusted and discarded short sword. She started to stand when a fist slammed into her face. Four demons descended on her with kicks and punches to her body. One grabbed her hair and lifted her to her feet.

“We’re going to enjoy this Milady.”

She tightened her grip on the short sword she held and raised it. The women in the audience gasped when she cut off the guard’s hand, as well as most of her long black locks of hair. She landed on her feet and turned to the one nearest her. She swung her sword and continued to move, ignoring the fact that he fell to his knees clutching at his neck.

It was like her fight with Beast all over again. Move, swing, parry, strike. The surest target would be the torso, but the efficient ones were the neck and face. Tendons were good for immobilizing. She moved around her attackers using the ebb and flow of their own movements. One guard reached for her, she sidestepped him but raked her clawed free hand across his face as he fell. Another swung his own sword at her. She blocked his blade and jumped to the side, avoiding a different swing from another guard. A smile crossed her face as she backed away from the four guards and found herself standing over Beast’s dead body.

“My King,” she called out. She didn’t take her eyes from the four demons that were nearly foaming at the mouth to kill her. “I will give you what you want. The Domini House is dead. All that would fight for the line are gone and done.”

“You are still breathing, My dear.”

She smiled and looked at the King. He was playing his hand, to not lose face in front of his people. Her father tried to do the same thing, many times.

His head was now on a pike.

She would have to play to the King’s base nature and override the idea that she would be his enemy. She continued to smile as the guards ran at her at once.

Her body underwent the transformation in less than a second. Gone was the shell of flesh and muscle she normally wore. Gone was the ripped and tattered dress her mother made her wear when the King showed up at her family’s manor months ago. Gone was the possible bride sons of the nobility tried to court to gain favor with both her father and their King.

Now she stood in her true form. She knew what everyone saw. It was a fear whispered by children. The dreaded monster that could devour your soul and take you off the wheel of life and death. The creatures were ferocious and nearly unstoppable. And if one saw you, you were as good as dead. Now she floated above the ground with black robes around her. She pushed back the hood that covered her face. Someone in the audience screamed as everyone realized what she was.

She opened her skeletal hand and flexed her knife-like claws. The guards looked at her horrified as she rushed them, her arms open wide.

Another flash blinded everyone in the arena. Once the light died down, she stood in front of the King, in her usual form wearing nothing but blood. She raised her hands and dropped the heads of Beast, and the four guards at his feet. “The Domini House is dead,” she said again. “All those in opposition to your throne are gone.”

The frustration on his face was transparent. “You are still here, my dearest Lysette.”

She shook her head. “If it pleases you, report that I am dead. Or we can continue this farce and I can continue to kill your men. Use me as your general, or keep me in the pits. I don’t care. But I want my boon.”

One of the King’s fine eyebrows arched. “What would you want, if not your freedom?”

“My sisters. All three of them.”

The intrigue on his face faded. “Sisters. Are they like you?”

She shook her head. “No. They never learned to use my Grandmother’s powers.”

He looked like he was ready to strangle her himself. “Why?”

“For various reasons.” She kept her eyes locked with his as he stood. She didn’t back down as he towered over her. He was powerful enough to kill her. They all knew that. But she had to put her trust in the knowledge that he would see her more like an asset than a danger.

“The Domini line is dead. If your sisters are returned to you, they will have no family name,” he told her.

“They will be my sisters, nothing more,” she agreed.

He looked at her. “What is the name you hide?” he asked.

She looked at him with a grin. She knew who her grandmother was. She knew her grandmother would approve of doing what she had to in order to save her sisters. “Darsha,” she told him. She saw the King flinch and pressed on. “She died on a Hunt nearly fifteen years ago.”

The King nodded. “I never knew she had children.”

“We all keep secrets.”

He looked at her again. This time his gaze traveled up and down her nude body. “You have done well in keeping yours,” he said quietly. He then turned to the crowd. “I will grant the boons the winner of the match desires. I will have her sisters returned to her. And she will remain at my side as a General.” Murmurs ran through the crowd before he raised his hand again. “From this moment on, Lysette of the House of Domini is dead. The woman before you is now to be referred to as Darsha.”

One person started to slowly clap. It took a moment before the tension in the arena changed. People that were terrified of her transformation were cheering for her. The King waved his hand at her and she was instantly wearing a suit of armor. She bowed her head and covered her heart with her fist.

She would allow him to live. She would even fight for him. She would debase herself for no one except the man in front of her.

And once she gained enough power on her own, they would revisit this arena and she would walk out as King of the House of Gluttony.

**********

Hope you enjoyed it!

See you next week!!!
Dawn

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A Heavy Decision…

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Hi everyone!!!

I haven’t fallen off the Earth or anything. I’m still here. I’m still trying to get a handle on work, home, writing and then trying to market myself, while trying to hold on to some of my own identity.

But I don’t want to get bottom-of-the-ocean deep. I’m writing this to give everyone an update on what’s going on with my writing.

First up, Two for Joy.

I know One for Sorrow hasn’t hit the Kindle yet. A few friends are eagerly waiting this new series from me. So I’m going to give you the really good news that I’ve started on Book 2 and it’s coming along nicely.

Now, about One for Sorrow.

When I started working on this, I had a hair-brained concept. I started writing and it blossomed into something that I never would have thought. I sat on it so I could get a few thoughts on it and then I would self-edit, put it out and be on my merry way.

That’s not what happened.

I started talking with other authors. I started to see where I was going wrong with my writing. While my story was good, there was mistakes that if I shopped it around, agents would have probably laughed as they put it in the shredder (or at least tossed it into the recycle bin of their computer.). So I went back to the beginning to make it a tighter story.

It’s not just tighter, it’s like I’m writing the book all over again. I’m adding things that it simply slipped my mind to put in the first go-round. Things that I don’t really, really need were cut. So I’m working on getting the best novel that I can out to you all.

Now, that being said, I have reached a major decision.

We all know that I started the Maxwell Investigations series because of half-baked out ideas and having fun. Do I regret it?

NEVER.

Would I do things differently if I had the chance?

Definitely. I would have found an editor I could afford. I would have picked more brains to understand what the hell head-hopping was.

Am I going to go back and re-write the first 3 novels?

HELL NO!!!

I know the kind of writer I am. It’s one of the reasons why I hate doing edits so much in the first place. I don’t go in and change a word here and a word there. I open a new file, see where the scene is supposed to go, and write. There is nothing saying that where I end up in a re-write of Tangled Temptations will be where it needs to be for the beginning of Precarious Possessions. Precarious Possessions could throw Dangerous Dalliances into a tailspin and there would be no survivors! So no. As much as it pains me, for my own sanity, I can’t go back and re-do any of them.

Where does that leave Maxwell Investigations?

When I finished Dangerous Dalliances, I looked at it as AN ending of sorts. The first Arc is done, but there are still more adventures in store for the Maxwells, Solomons, and Davenports. There were too many new characters and unanswered questions. I won’t leave it unfinished.

I’ll keep everyone posted on what’s what. I’m hunting for images to make my own little blurbs, so if you see them on Twitter or FB please feel free to share.

Till next time!!!
Dawn

The Day After The Day After Tomorrow….

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Hey everyone!!!

I hope everyone is staying warm and cozy this wonderful winter morning. I, personally, couldn’t be happier. IT’S SNOWING!!!!!

I’m one of the few people in my circle of friends that like the snow. And since my mother is always watching the movie The Day After Tomorrow, I just wanted to play around with what I think the title for the sequel would have been.

Otherwise, I’ve been going through some motions. If you follow me on Facebook, you would know that a dear friend of mine passed away. I don’t really want to get into that right now. I only mentioned it so you all know why I’ve been off my game for the past week or so. Well, no more.

This week promises to be busy for me. As you all know, I help TB out with her novels. When she finishes one, I read through it for content edits. She just finished the third book in her Love, Sex and Magic series, so I’m going to go through that for her.

And I refuse to give up on One for Sorrow. I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. But there may be a few things that I have to go back and add. Otherwise it will seem very disjointed, which is something that I never want.

And for all of those that are waiting for Auspicious Affairs I will say this : IT IS COMING. I won’t leave Maxwell Investigations off at just 3 novels. But Victor and Leigh will go through their trials. The series is going to return to the humorous side while dealing with this next arc. There are going to be a lot of politics involved, so it’s bound to be interesting.

And that’s all from me for now. I’ll leave you with a picture of my deck in all of this wonderful snow… (Just between us, I think the Weatherwoman down here miscalculated the amount of snow we’re gonna get)

100_1984Yeah, this was what I woke up to… there’s more now…

I’ll check in with everyone in a few days!!!
Dawn 🙂

Deadlines and Regrets…

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Hey everyone!!!

Today’s supposed to be the first day to qualify as a Winner in the NaNoWriMo. From now until the 30th, everyone is trying to validate their novels to see if they won or not. I seriously doubt that I will. I got about halfway. Right now I’m just over 23k in my work.

But I can’t say that this month has been a total bust. I’m going to try to reach 30k by Saturday, which is something to celebrate. It’s around that point I’ll figure out exactly how long my stories are going to be. This one is looking like it may linger around the 70k mark.

I’ve also done some searching and I found my cover. I’ll reveal all of that when I send the first draft to out to be edited. And there was some last-minute research and science things that I also wanted to work out. But that’s all well and fine. The new series, which will be called “A Murder of Crows” is coming along nicely. I’m sure you’ll all enjoy it. At least I hope you’ll all enjoy it.

But anyway, I’m giving myself the deadline of 12-31-13 for the first draft. For a moment, I thought about entering it in the upcoming ANBA, but since then, I’ve changed my mind. I’m going to keep self-publishing and hopefully this series will pull you in just like Maxwell Investigations did.

That’s all for now. Talk to you all soon!!!
Dawn 🙂

Self-Publishing Is NOT A Bad Thing

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Hi everyone!!! 

I read another blog post recently and I have to say, it got to me. Not because it was moving and emotional, but it was a profanity laced rant about how all Indie Authors and Self-Pubs suck. 

You all know that I’m self-published. I never attempted to hide it. But I refuse to think that my work is garbage simply because some publishing house like Random or Penguin have snatched up my work. 

When I was at a book festival talking with other Indies, I told them simply, I’m not the type of person that can hear rejection over and over again. I’m also not the type of writer that can change the way a story is flowing just because one person says so. That’s something that happens a lot with big publishers (I’ve heard), and that’s something that I can not and will not deal with.

As to the point of having an editor, that’s true. The only way an author can learn from their mistakes is to have someone read through and point out where there are things that are overused. I fall victim of too many commas, the word HAD, and people doing things easily/slowly/carelessly. But I’m working on that. To me, writing is a learning process that with each book my writing style gets more and more polished. If you never learn, what’s really the point?

Anyway, if you come across that post please understand, he was spouting a hate-filled attack with pretty much no merit. He or she may feel that with the rise of Indies and Self-Pubs that his/her job may be in danger (he/she said they worked for a real publishing house… didn’t say which one and was very adamant about it). Maybe they wrote a self-pub, thought they would achieve “Twilight” type fame (yes, they took digs at this book and 50 Shades.) and got nothing but 1 star reviews. I don’t know the motivation behind the attack, but I can tell you, it really was uncalled for. 

But I will say this, I have 3 books under my belt and a 4th on the way. I knew I would never be on the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. If it happens, great! If it doesn’t, I don’t really mind. My books sell all over the world. Writing keeps me happy, and it keeps my mind busy. 

The book market is large enough for everyone. You can’t be any type of author and not try to pay it forward. 3 friends of mine have entered the self-pub arena after I have, and we don’t hesitate to help each other, or anyone else for that matter. There really is no need for one person to rant about how horrible a person’s writing style is, or say that simply because I haven’t pounded the pavement and been rejected by agents and publishers for years I don’t deserve to breathe in the same air as these others that have, it just evil and vindictive. 

If you want to write a book and publish it yourself, put your fingers to the keyboard, pen to paper, chalk to pavement, however you want to do it… and DO IT!!!!! You don’t suck and your story deserves to be told. And NEVER let anyone tell you different. 

And to that person that wrote the blog that I refuse to name, if you’re reading this, just know that I’m Self-Published. I’m Indie, and I’m Proud as Hell.

Later folks!!!
Dawn.

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A Tale As Old As Time…

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Hey everyone!!!

I am just realizing now that it’s almost the end of July and I haven’t popped in to let you all know what I’m up to!! I feel so ashamed of myself. Don’t think that I’ve forgotten about you!!! I’ve been dealing with a few personal things, and there’s also an update with my writing that I’m happy to share.

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On the Maxwell Investigations Front: Dangerous Dalliances is still on the way. A few kinks are being worked out, but hold on tight, it’s still coming. As for Auspicious Affairs, Victor is being stubborn again. He and his heroine are going to drive me batty if they keep this up. So for now I’ve put them on pause.

The last time I posted about my writing, I mentioned a few other projects that had been floating around in my head. Well… I’m not working on any of them. Instead, a friend of mine posted a picture of a really hot guy that had a tattoo on his chest of some roses vines and thorns, and it spoke to me (That, plus my daughter had me watching Beauty and the Beast the day before…). So I’ve been trying to put together a fairy tale series. So far, I know the first, second and last tales I’m going to feature. I think I’m going to add on more if I have the inspiration (which I just may). Right now I’m just over 4k words in and it’s a rolling good time. The main characters Izzy and Adam are going to be cute together. I’m just hoping that everyone will see it as epic as I do in my mind 🙂

And with another tidbit of exciting news, I’m looking forward to my first public event as an author… even though it’s in 2014. I’m making preparations to appear (at least have a table) at the Frederick Book Festival. Nothing’s really official yet, and I’ll be screaming in joy when it is. But I’m going to purchase my table, get my swag, and make a happy go at it (with my daughter as my photographer). It’ll be fun and I can’t wait to have more news for you!!!

So that’s what’s going on with me. When I get closer with Dangerous Dalliances, I’ll make sure I let you all know.

Stay cool in all this heat!!!!
Dawn 🙂

 

Finished!!!!

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Good morning everyone!!!

I am in a really good mood this morning… if you liked me on Facebook, you’ll know that as late (or early) as 2am, I finished writing Dangerous Dalliances!!!!

Go me!!

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I’m about to enter the review and edit process, but really, this first hurdle is one of the biggest to get over! Barry and Lily are going to have their happy ending. As for what’s next, Victor is next. He and his heroine are going to have a way to go in order to make things work. Especially in a world that’s changing.

But until then, I’m finished with Book 3… MORE HAPPY DANCING PLEASE!!!!!!

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He’s got moves like Jagger…

I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it… I am just that thrilled for this to be ready to go to step 2.

AND while I was typing this I got a delivery of my very first bookmarks!!!

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I have so much to be excited for!!! But an author’s work is never done 🙂

I’m off to start the editing process. I’ll let you all know how that works out!!!

See Ya!!!
Dawn 🙂