NaNoWriMo Project Snippet: Introducing Jehanne Dark!

So, for those readers who are interested in what I have been doing during this year’s NaNoWriMo, here are the first few pages of the manuscript currently entitled Through A Spyglass Darkly. Enjoy!

Jehanne knew she was near the king when she heard the army crumbling about him.

“…should have your spurs for this, Durayne. We’re in the middle of planning a battle, and you thought it was fitting to interrupt us for some addled nun’s mumblings?” said a man’s voice.

“Isn’t it, General?” grunted another man. “Prayer could hardly make our disposition worse than it is now. Don’t be too hard on the man.”

“If our positioning is inadequate, Marquis,” said the General, “you have not improved it. Nor marched near the field of battle, though we outnumber the Usurper five to one!”

“I’ll give battle when there’s a battle to be given,” answered the Marquis. “But I’m not volunteering my men as statuary. No need to give the Usurper and Nygurd even better odds.”

“Courtesy, my lords,” said a third man’s voice. “Holy words would be better than fighting words. Show her in.”

At these words the page guiding Jehanne stepped forward too quickly. The woman deliberately stumbled, catching herself with her long staff. He muttered an apology, and slowed, giving her the time to see what she could through her thick veil.

“The holy sister Lenore, my lords. Sire.”

The tremble in the page’s voice as he announced her alias was matched by the nervous jump in the muscles of his elbow that she held in a firm grip.

“Ye gods,” muttered the thin blur that was General Desrai, folding his arms. “Are the holy sisters covering their faces entire, now?”

“For most of them, that’s doing men a favor,” said Marquis Dubech, his thick form shaking its head.

“Courtesy, my lords,” King Michael repeated. He raised his voice and a blurred hand in welcome. “Holy sister, Captain Durayne tells us that he believes you might give us a blessing to help defend our kingdom.”

“I can give you no blessing, Sire,” she husked. “The Marquis of Nygurd and Prince Ecferth the Usurper march ever southward behind their totem, which turns men to stone if they dare to glance upon it.”

“You bring intelligence, then, of Ecferth’s army?” said Dubech. She could hear the hope in his voice. The clergy favored King Michael, and helped where they could.

“What good is intelligence going to do us?” snorted Desrai.

“It’s always preferable to stupidity, General.” she croaked.

“Indeed? Every day the Usurper advances another fifteen miles, and we retreat fifteen. We can’t even scout his rabble’s progress without leaving behind a half-dozen new statues. How would a blind old woman get such intelligence?” He hesitated. “Blind?” he asked. “But then, what could you know?”

“Far from blind, General, although that would, of course, allow you to approach the Usurper’s army. But before I speak further, good page, could you verify to the assembled nobles that my veil is firmly fastened down, and not easily lifted?”

“Yes, sister,” he said, giving a gentle tug at the woven cords that kept the dark sackcloth from flapping upwards. “It is tied fast.”

“And the knot is quite firm?”

“Quite firm, sister.”

“You need have no fear, sister,” said the King. “No man among us feels the need to impugn your vows of chastity in the slightest.” The words were delivered courteously, but chuckles responded to it anyway.

 “It’s not my fear that I speak to allay,” she said, straightening, and stretching out her hands. Her staff clattered to the floor and she threw back her cloak, revealing a lithe torso clad in leather armor and girt with a swordbelt. “Please note that my hands are empty and unmoving,” she said, clearly.

“What is this?” asked Desrai, his hand moving to his sword. “Who are you?”

“I am Jehanne Dark.”

The men in the room were very still.

“And do you have some proof of this…” Marquis Dubech’s mouth worked as he searched for the right word. “…audacious claim?”

“You might consider that I walked right past any number of guards and in the company of Captain Durayne without anyone penetrating my disguise as ‘Sister Lenore,’” she said. “But I do have other proof. I just have to ask you not to shoot me while I provide it. And remember. My hood is secure.” She concentrated.

And as slowly as she could contrive it, the heads of four of her vipers emerged from under the hood, tongues flickering languidly in their red-and-black heads.

It was difficult to tell which men gasped first and drew steel second, and which did the opposite. But all of them had backed up a step.

“Get out, Sire, and don’t look! We’ll cover your retreat!” shouted Desrai.

“I mean the king no harm!” cried Jehanne. “In fact,” she said. “I have come to pledge fealty and offer my services, to King Michael.” Slowly, she sank onto her knees.

“Don’t believe her, Sire! It’s a trap!” snarled Desrai. “And arrest that traitor!” He pointed his sword at Durayne, who raised his hands in protest.

“Yes, by all means waste your time arresting the poor man for being no wiser the rest of you,” Jehanne said.

“Sire, this diabolical monstrosity is the most infamous assassin on the continent! What answer do you make to that, villain?”

“Thank you?” Jehanne said.

New Snippets! And a New Blog Post! And New Links!

Hoo-boy, what a month it has been.

Folks, starting a school year with elementary-school age kids, AND a new job, AT a new school, when it’s the first time both your wife and you have ever worked full time?

It’s no joke.

I am incredibly blessed to have all these opportunities, but I do not deny that it has been frantic and hectic. Good, but not relaxing. And some things have suffered.

This blog is definitely one of them. But I’m starting to be able to bring it back.

Over the past week, I have been fixing and improving book links. My new books are available over on the right sidebar: $3.99 for ALL THINGS HUGE AND HIDEOUS and $2.99 for THE GIRL WHO WASN’T THERE. In addition, if you want a taste of each, I have brand NEW SNIPPETS UP FOR EACH ONE in the SAMPLE SNIPPETS link above.

I hope to have new snippets up soon. Also, I have confirmation that I have sold a new short story: no shit it’s a CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE LOVECRAFTIAN NIGHTMARE. Never thought I’d sell it, but Stupendous Stories has picked it up!

Thanks for reading, friends.

Dragon Con Schedule!

Greetings, loyal readers! A week from now, I’ll be in Atlanta! Please stop by and say hello at my panel:

Title: Bringing More Seats To The Round Table: Diversity In Medieval Stories
Description: Arthurian legend was great for slaying dragons and creating Damsels In Distress. But we want the damsel picks up a sword and save everyone else. Join our panel of authors as they discuss the White Knight trope, fix Arthur’s round table and share their favorite non-traditional medieval era tales.
Time: Fri 01:00 pm Location: Augusta – Sheraton (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Milton J Davis, E.K. Johnston, Tony A Ballard-Smoot, Esther Friesner, G. Scott Huggins)

Unfortunately, I have just learned that my second panel, ALL THE SUBS, is scheduled to begin 25 minutes before my flight leaves on Monday, and I will NOT be able to attend unless it is rescheduled.

Title: All the Subs
Description: Fantasy is filled with all kinds of stories, but sometimes a trend pops up that turns into a sub-genre. Supervise? Gamelit? LitRPG? Cozy? Noir? There are so many, & a few that don’t really fit in any…yet.
Time: Mon 01:00 pm Location: Embassy EF – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: L. Jagi Lamplighter, James A. Hunter, Aaron Crash, G. Scott Huggins, Cat Rambo, K. M. Herkes)

Finally, I will be at Bard’s Tower in the Dealer Room, helping to sell many fine books including, of course, ALL THINGS HUGE AND HIDEOUS. Please stop by and say hi!

All-Things-Huge-and-Hideous-Kindle

ALL THINGS HUGE AND HIDEOUS BONUS GIVEAWAY WINNER!

So, two weeks ago I announced that there would be a drawing amongst people who shared the news of the ALL THINGS HUGE AND HIDEOUS release within 24 hours online for a FREE Kindle copy of the eBook. And now that I am back from vacation I am able to announce that the winner is…

ANDREW WOODS! You’ve won a free copy! Get in touch with me on social media, that I may reward you!

All-Things-Huge-and-Hideous-Kindle

Blog On Hiatus

Hello, loyal readers. Time for a little bit of news.

I have been kicking out this blog on a more-or-less 3x weekly schedule for the summer. Due to the impending start of school and a family vacation, I am going dark on this blog until at least August 12. And I think I’m going to have to cut back to 2 blogs a week. Enjoy the rest of the summer, fam. And please spread the word about ALL THINGS HUGE AND HIDEOUS, now out in paperback.

BOOK RELEASE: ALL THINGS HUGE AND HIDEOUS! WITH BONUS GIVEAWAY!

“Hilarious! Veterinary horror like Terry Pratchett would write!”
— D.J. Butler, author of WITCHY EYE

“A rollicking adventure that hits all the right notes.”

–Christopher Ruocchio, Award-Winning Author of The Sun Eater Series

 

Yesterday, a dream of mine came true. I became a published novelist for the first time. All Things Huge and Hideous has been released in Kindle format. Sometime before September, it will be released in print format as well.

I’d like to thank all the readers who have made this possible, as well as Jason Rennie, my publisher and Superversive Press. Special thanks also go to D.J. Butler and Chris Ruocchio whose blurbs are above.

Now, I’d also really love it if folks would spread the word, so for the people who share this on Facebook, or Twitter, or even better, reblog it TODAY, I am going to put your name in a drawing to win a signed copy of the book! Make sure to tag me if you post it on Facebook or Twitter. If you do it somewhere else where I’m not a member (like Instagram or Twitter) then please shoot me a note on my Contact form with a link so I can see it. This offer is only good for the next 24 hours, starting at 7:00 am CDT July 27, 2019!

ALL THINGS HUGE AND HIDEOUS: NOVEL RELEASE IMMINENT!

Well, this is a post I’ve been working toward for a long time. Just got word that Superversive Press is ready to release ALL THINGS HUGE AND HIDEOUS in the next 24 hours. Links will appear when I have confirmation of their code transmission. It is my first full-length novel, a dark fantasy comedy chronicling the misadventures of Dr. James DeGrande and his assistant, Harriet Templin, pressed into the service of the Evil Dark Lord of the World.

I made myself a promise a couple of years ago, that whatever else happened, I would not let my 45th year go by without publishing a novel, one way or another. Today (or perhaps tomorrow) by the grace of Christ, that promise is fulfilled.
There are so many people I have to thank for this moment, I’m going to screw up and forget some of them, so if it’s you, you have my deepest apologies. First, I’d like to thank Jason Rennie, my editor, for doing the hard work of getting this ready to launch before Dragon Con in a month. If you’re there, please stop by. I’d like to thank many beta readers, especially Ralph M. Seibel and Jon Miles for their time reading the manuscript, and valuable tips. Cedar Sanderson and Jim C. Hines for encouragement and time on their blogs when the first part of this book was out as DOCTOR TO DRAGONS. I also thank Christopher Ruocchio and Dave Butler, a couple of much more established writers, who took the time to blurb this book. Great thanks go to my wife, Katie Huggins, who endured — as most writers’ spouses endure — endless moping over quality and the tapping of keys in the background. UNlike most writers’ spouses, however, she also endured being relentlessly questioned about the ailments and habits of various animals so that I knew my veterinary medicine wasn’t completely laughable. And finally, special thanks and honor go to George and Linda Huggins, who made this series possible by introducing me at a young age to both contemporary fantasy, AND the books of James Herriot, MRCVS, without whom the eponymous tales of James and Harriet would never have come to be.

#SFFPIT Today! Retweets Urgently Requested!

#SFFPit is an annual contest in which unagented authors, like myself attempt to attract the attention of agents and publishers for their novel manuscripts. It’s going on today. So if any of my followers have a manuscript they want attention for, this is a great time to get out there and start pitching. On that note…

If any of you are on Twitter and can today, I could really use your help. I am participating in #SFFPit today. It’s a Twitterpitch contest for novels to attract the attention of agents and publishers. I’m pitching two books today, and the more retweets I get, the more likely I am to be seen. Please do NOT like the Tweets (unless you are an agent or publisher and want to see the manuscripts! Then, PLEASE like them!) because that’s how publishers and agents signal they are interested! Starts at 8am CDT and goes on until 6pm. I’m @GScottHuggins Thanks very much!

All Things Huge And Hideous: Edits Done

Short blog post today. I am happy to announce that All Things Huge And Hideous has been returned to the publisher for edits.

I less pleased to announce that my laptop is limping along sadly due to the catastrophic failure of its battery, and it is now effectively a desktop until such time as the new battery arrives. Oh well.

Who Wants A FREE eBOOK? Doctor To Dragons!

Well, it’s been awhile since I mentioned this, partly because there was a bit of a learning curve in how to do it, but I now have a fully-functional mailing list, and I want to welcome everyone with a FREE copy of Doctor To Dragons, which is effectively the first three chapters of the full-length novel All Things Huge And Hideous, which will be coming out from Superversive Press this fall.

Honestly, I really love being able to do this, because this gives my readers a chance to preview the book at no risk. If you don’t like Doctor, you probably won’t like All Things Huge and Hideous, and I really don’t want anyone to spend money on something that disappoints them. But if you do like it, then I think you’ll be confident that the money for the full novel is well spent.

To get your free copy, all I ask is that you sign up for my mailing list, which you can do right here! It will come out on the first of the month and on very special occasions (like, I’m appearing at a con or I’ve sold a book), so I won’t be spamming you. Hope you enjoy the ride.

Scott Huggins