I hope you’re staying cool. (Unless it’s winter where you are, then please stay warm!) Where we are, there’s a heatwave, burning us up. Barnes & Noble is running a 99 cent sale on His Angelic Keeper Books 1-3 this week if you need some humorous fantasy to distract you from the heat.
(This is Ran, by the way, Sarn’s son and soon, I’ll be back as his sidekick when my adventure ends in the soon-to-be published Curse Breaker Revealed.)
First, let me reassure you that Curse Breaker Revealed is done and in the hands of our editor. We’ll get it back sometime next month to make edits, and that will be my last chance to squeeze in some more page time. (I do it for you! I know you love my antics.)
In the meantime, the Scribe (Melinda), moved onto the next book in the queue and left me and the rest of the characters in the Curse Breaker series in a lurch. Curse Breaker Trapped and Curse Breaker Revealed flipped our world upside and changed everything for us. It left us wondering, what to do now?
I can’t talk about the end of either book because this is a spoiler free zone right now, but its so hard! However, I will put my big character pants on and refrain, so you can enjoy the twists. (Some of them are my fault, and I want you to enjoy them!)
I shouldn’t complain about Melinda spending time with other characters since I am in the book she’s writing now. But I’m just a baby in the story! I have so few lines!
Papa (Sarn) has more lines than me, but he’s a quiet man who doesn’t talk much to begin with. over the course of our series, he’s gotten better about saying what’s on his mind, and that’s all due to me. I’m rubbing off on him.
You probably didn’t notice how quiet he is because you’re in his head a lot, so you know what he’s thinking and not saying. But the rest of the cast isn’t so lucky.
But I digress. I’m supposed to tell you what Melinda is writing now. Robin even gave me something to say. If you hadn’t guessed, the next book that will come out after Curse Breaker Revealed is Rogue Ranger.
Melinda wants to get Robin’s series caught up to us in the present, so we can do crossovers and other fun story stuff. But that means I get no lines other than hi and bye-bye for a few books unless I learn a lot more words.
Can babies speak in full sentences? What about magical babies? (I’m very magical, just ask Papa.)
The Scribe says no, but I want more lines! I have things to say!
I guess I’ll have to wait for the next Curse Breaker book to say them unless I can convince the Scribe to change which book she’s working on now.
Would you be mad at me if I did that?
Uncle Miren says Robin would be very mad, so maybe I should leave things alone, and let the Scribe continue as planned. She’s kind of scary when she’s mad.
What should I do? This fictional character needs advice!
Since we always have a story, this week we’ll have an excerpt from Robin’s first book, Hunter’s Night, because Uncle Miren says it’s not fair to ask you for advice about a book series without providing some context.
Yes, my beloved uncle is reading this over my shoulder. He’s supposed to edit all newsletters before they send, but sometimes I hide them from him.
And now, here’s today’s story. Hunter’s Night and its sequel, Rogue Night, published in 2019 and Melinda has wanted to write the sequels, but she and Robin got into an argument in 2020 about them. I had nothing do with it. I swear.
Anyway, Robin walked off in anger, and she only just returned ready to do the sequels. I’ll fill you in when I discover what they argued about.
by Melinda Kucsera
Warrior. Mother. She was both now, but could she continue to be? Robin pondered that as she ignored the snores of her tentmate. Outside, night fell, and snow too, but she was warm enough under three blankets.
Robin turned the broken arrow over and listened to the wind whistling through the nearby mountain pass as she ran her finger along the crack in the arrow’s shaft. Three months ago, she’d given birth to the healthy baby girl asleep in the wicker bassinet to her left. But she still felt like this arrow—broken inside.
End over end, the arrow spun in her hands. Maybe ‘broken’ was the wrong word. ‘Changed’ might be more apt. Giving birth had changed her body, making it curvier and fuller in places than before. It had also forced her to face the grim reality of her future as a new mother with no prospects. Sure, Robin had a bow and could outshoot most Rangers, but that wouldn’t put a roof over her daughter’s head, not when a stupid law controlled the number of Rangers a settlement could hire.
The last rejection she’d received echoed in her mind as Robin twirled the arrow around her index finger. “Sorry, lass, we’ve got no room for anyone else on the roster,” the hatchet-faced lieutenant had told her four days ago.
But he’d let her pitch a tent outside the Ranger’s barracks while she’d tried to figure out where to go next. Can’t have a woman and her baby sleep on a bunk in a house full of men. No, sir, that just wouldn’t be seemly. So, Robin had lit out of that forgotten town the next morning without a thought for the weather.
She aimed for a spot well away from her baby and her still snoring tentmate and threw the broken arrow into the darkness. Strella was out cold from the grueling hike up the mountainside, which had become a desperate scramble over icy rocks as the storm raging outside had closed in on them. Robin was just as exhausted, but her mind refused to quiet down and let her sleep, so she stared into the darkness again consumed by worry.
Would Mount Eredren be any different? It was perhaps another two days’ hike depending on the conditions of the trail, and what mother nature had in store for her tomorrow. Mount Eredren was also the next closest settlement and far larger than the two she’d already tried.
“Will they have a place for me, or will they be just as full-up as the last one?” Robin asked aloud even though only her baby was listening. As she shifted on her pallet, that question hung there in the darkness, tormenting her.
Robin rubbed her aching breasts through her red leather brigandine. Though calling the uncomfortably cold thing she lay on a ‘pallet’ was a misnomer. Handfuls of pine needles and leaves on frozen ground with a couple of blankets thrown over them hardly counted as a fit surface for sleeping. But it was the only accommodation available this deep in the hinterlands.
Rosalie whimpered in her sleep, reminding Robin she wasn’t alone in her discomfort.
“I know, girl. This was a bad idea. I should have toughed it out until spring.” Robin sighed and pushed away that regret. It couldn’t warm her or her baby.
Outside, the wind howled as it buffeted the tent again. The storm must be intensifying. But the tent’s construction was sound enough to withstand its onslaught. Thank all that was holy for that small mercy. In the silence between gusts, snow blanketed the precipice and covered the trail she’d hike tomorrow.
“I really must start thinking instead of reacting. A little forethought could have landed us in a much better position.” But her gut had told Robin to grab her daughter and go, and she hadn’t questioned it. Maybe she should have.
Rosalie grunted seemingly in agreement even though she was too young to understand. She was probably just responding to the tone of her voice. Robin wasn’t sure she’d made the right decision.
At twenty, she was a single mother with no home, no job, and nothing to her name but the baby listening to her rant and the rucksack under her head. A tear squeezed out before she could stop it. She wanted to scream, but Rosalie beat her to it.
Robin snapped out of her funk into full-mother mode. She might have screwed up their lives for the time being, but she would be the best damned mother despite that.
“Don’t cry, sweetheart, Mama’s here. I’ll fix whatever’s wrong. I promise.” Robin swiped another tear from her eyes and levered herself up but stopped halfway when a cold, hard object touched her throat. “What the—”
A knife resolved out of the shadows and above it, two startlingly bright eyes that seemed to glow a soft green. They seemed to float in the darkness above Robin. Watery light crept into the tent, revealing the rest of the intruder, and she was definitely not human.
Robin wanted to kick herself for not hearing the strange creature’s approach. That’s what she got for letting her insecurities out to play when she should have been on guard. Damn it; she was the daughter of a Ranger. This bitch should not have gotten the drop on her or her tentmate, but she had, and Strella was still dead asleep. If Rosalie’s scream hadn’t even woken her, would Robin’s?
Probably not and the idea of screaming for help like she was some waif in need of a rescue galled Robin. Her pride wouldn’t allow it as she matched stares with the intruder, who was not as solidly built as she was. If she could just get her hands on a knife… Robin hid a smile as a plan formed.
“Don’t move,” The green-eyed creature said.
To read more, get Hunter’s Night now. See you next week!
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