Louise West, a writer/member of Goodreads, recruited me for this blog challenge. I agreed—well, frankly, because it sounded like fun. The rules are simple. Post seven lines from p. 7 (or 77) of my work in progress; thank Louise for nominating me, with a link back to her blog; and talk seven other writers into participating by posting seven lines from the appropriate pages of their works in progress, thanking/linking to me, posting the challenge rules, and finding seven other authors to carry on the chain. A pyramid scheme, yes, but one involving words, not money. If nothing else, readers of our blogs may find other blogs they would like to follow. Some of you may even discover new books to read—or new authors to keep up with.
So here goes. First, the seven lines from p. 7 of The Winged Horse (Legends of the Five Directions 2: East). The “he” is Bahadur, leader of a nomadic Tatar horde. Firuza is his daughter (heroine of the novel), and Roxelana his favorite concubine. Although he does not know it, Bahadur is deathly ill. Through the smoke hole of his tent, he watches dawn break.
Good. He welcomed the light. In the flickering lamps, he could barely see.
But he could hear. The closest voice belonged to Firuza, who clasped his hand and crouched beside his bed. Beyond her knelt the ring of keening women, led by Roxelana. His indulgence of the night before had left him with a head that throbbed in rhythm with their sobbing breaths.
He frowned at the smoke hole. Keening. For whom? He was not dying. What demon possessed these women, that they should inflict their woes on him?
|Tatar khan holding court|
Clipart.com no. 77252
The seven writers who have agreed to keep the ball rolling are:
Diane V. Mulligan
Hazel West (Hazel has a second blog devoted to Scottish history)
Most of them write historical fiction, like me, but specializing in very different times and places.
And many thanks and a shout out to Louise West, who tagged me in the first place!
Also, had a fabulous interview today with Tasha Alexander, author of the Lady Emily mysteries, of which the latest is Death in the Floating City, for New Books in Historical Fiction. I'll have more about that next week, after the podcast goes live.