Below are a few paragraphs from different chapters in my book. This is just to give you a taste of my writing. You'll want more. My book Heart: A Story of the Broken Realms is available on Amazon as a print and ebook.
Night lingered as day teased the horizon. Sleep smothered most sounds save for a restless sea and a few happy crickets. Soon a chorus of roosters would crow across the castle grounds and beyond, beckoning the world to wake. A whisper of a breeze twirled through white clouds, bringing with it the first signs of cooler temperatures and the beginning of a meager harvest.
A solitary candle flickered dimly, creating a wispy silhouette of Terren as he sat cross-legged on the open-air balcony attached to his rooms.
One breath in. You make a way where there is no way.
One breath out.
Fog swirled in response to his deep, steady breaths. Droplets clung to his bare torso like a second skin..
Kiira scanned the crowd for Leo, wanting to be near him. It took nearly a half hour, but she found him sitting with several of the archers enjoying the cinnamon spiced ale; a well-loved staple at the festival each year. Kiira grinned as she looked at the mixture of men and women in various stages of inebriation. Everyone in the kingdom’s military took advantage of the festival’s relaxed schedule and allowed themselves to be a little more reckless with their alcohol consumption.
Stepping up to the group she plucked a mug from Hayla’s hand.
“Well, this is the sorriest, laziest, most worthless group of slugs I’ve ever seen! I’m going to have to double your routine just to make up for it. Cheers!” Kiira downed the rest of the drink before slamming the empty vessel cheerfully on the table.
Coran raised his mug. “I’ll drink to that, Commander!” His words were so slurred that it was difficult to understand him, but the group still cheered to his reply and each took a long drink before giving the table a hard rap with their knuckles.
Kiira laughed. She was not serious and they all knew it. She snagged a couple of full mugs from a passing Drinkier, tossing the young lad a gold coin. He smiled at her and stuffed the coin in his pocket, the weight of the gold adding a skip to his step. Keeping one, Kiira handed the second mug to Hayla, who smiled shyly at her; the young archer was new and had yet to warm up to the boisterous group.
When she was comfortably seated, Larkin was the next to raise his drink.
“To an irreplaceable Commander!”
Leo gave a mock frown. “Hey now! I am just as capable as our lovely princess.”
“That’s true, Newly Appointed Commander Leo, but you’re not a pretty one to look at while taking orders,” Larkin said, giving him a wicked grin.
“Well, I was hoping that part of the reason you brought me here was to kiss me. I mean our first true kiss.” She bit her lower lip and he could feel the stiffness of nerves flowing through her muscles. “I suppose that’s not possible since—”
Terren guided her lips to his, cutting off her doubts. His heart felt as if it stopped and pounded at the same time, leaping in joy. Kiira smiled beneath his lips and eagerly leaned into his embrace as he deepened the already fervent kiss. Terren memorized every second of this moment, lingering on the taste and feel of her mouth on his. This was not like the kiss at the wedding, a short burst of a touch that tingled with excitement. This kiss was foundational. Knowing Kiira deeply loved him made this kiss better than he had dreamed.
Terren pulled away briefly to drown in the joy electrifying her eyes. Her smile melted him into nothing and he devoured her lips again.
They stayed upon Klaron Point late into the night and he kissed Kiira for as long as she allowed. Time really meant nothing and it was only after Kiira shivered sharply in the icy wind that Terren. Picking her up, he moved them into the shelter of the cave system.
She laughed. “You didn’t need to carry me!”
“No, but admit it, this was more fun.”
Grinning, she said, “Yes, it was.”
Resting his forehead against hers, he said, “I have to admit, this is not at all how I imagined our first kiss, but it was absolutely perfect.”
Running her fingers through his hair, Kiira added, “I couldn’t agree more.” Then she kissed him again.
After some time, Terren pulled just enough away to whisper against her lips. “It’s late, we should start back.”
She nodded and reluctantly he turned to guide her to the exit. Kiira stopped and held him in place with their grasped hands. “Terren, I’m ready to leave.”
There was an odd light in her eyes and a cautious smile. He stared for a moment, then cleared his throat as realization set in. “Okay, give me a few days to make sure everything is in order and then we’ll go.”
She smiled and they moved forward together down the dark tunnel.
The smell of fresh bread and the days’ roasted meats filled her senses as Kiira stepped onto the main thoroughfare of the marketplace. Breathing deeply of the enticing aromas, she decided convincing Terren to stay one more day was infinitely better than missing out on seeing such a different culture from her own. There was only so much she could experience from atop a saddle. The people of Forchid were an uneven mixture of gruff to mildly happy, and everyone seemed to be so industrious. Loreans were much more relaxed, focusing on friendship while still completing their work on time. Staying longer was definitely worth Terren’s sour mood and lengthy lecture to not leave his side before escaping the confines of their miniature room.
Following her nose, she wandered into the open door of a bakery right as an errand boy darted past carrying trays nearly toppling with well-wrapped loaves, likely taking his fare to the nearest taverns. The warm air inside welcomed her with the tangy aroma of yeast, the scent reminding her of the kitchens back home. It was a smell to always be counted as reliable wherever she traveled. Kiira pulled in a deep breath, savoring the air as she languidly worked her way around the shelves of bread, examining each roughly written label and trying to decide what would delight her tongue.
As she was browsing, a shadow darkened the door, catching her attention. A starved beggar entered the shop with a hopeful look upon his face. Terren tensed beside her as the baker, a plump man with red-orange hair and beard, stepped from behind the counter to gently lead the man from the shop. The small shoulders and despairing pale blue eyes of the piteous man as he walked across the street wrenched at her heart. There were few beggars in Lorea’s capital, thanks to her father’s efforts, and she couldn’t stand to see such hurt painting the withered old man’s face. Kiira watched him sit heavily against the wall before turning around and immediately requesting two loaves of the seeded honey bread. Walking over to the old man she handed him a full loaf.
“Make this last as long as you can.” Kiira smiled at him gently so as not to frighten him. This close she could see he was rather old and he had a similar eye color to Terren’s though his eyes were milkier, as if they had been bleached by the sun.
The beggar’s distant eyes stared at her in disbelief and uncertainty for several long seconds before warily taking the loaf from her hand. She smiled as he ripped off a piece, devouring it in seconds.
He gave her a half-toothless, grin making her giggle. Holding the smile she said, “Mag jou tafii ke ya nagligte gaan.” The old man gaped at her as she stood to leave. Kiira gave him a final wave before turning away.
Terren brushed the small of her back. “May your journeys go by the lights of night. How did know he was Isokanii?”
Tearing off a section of her honey loaf, Kiira handed the piece to Terren. “I didn’t know for sure, but I guessed based on his eye color, and he seemed to understand me.” She ripped a small piece and took a bite of the still warm bread.