A glob of spit thwacked
her cheek. Her eyes flashed but she clamped her jaw shut as the guards dragged
her into the Great Hall of the Eel, past the throng of townsmen.
They hacked and snarled
at her, their disgust striking her face like rain. She held her chin high but
with her hands secured behind her back, she couldn’t wipe her face clean.
goat-herders in hessian, callous-handed blacksmiths and even merchants dressed
in silk shoved and jostled her as she struggled through the crowd.
Hands grabbed her hair.
Strange fingers tore at her grubby clothes and groped her breasts. She gasped
through clenched teeth, her heartbeat pounding in her ears.
But she said nothing.
Soon she would speak and
they would be forced to listen.
The guards shoved her
into a chair in the centre of the room beside the others. She grunted as her
elbow struck the hard wood. The Masters of the Shield and the Scion sat in
front of her. Behind them was the low dais where the High Table sat and the
forest green, gold and terracotta tapestry woven with the eel sigil of Ambrovna
covered the wall.
The side door opened,
hushing the mob and the Duke entered, his golden brooch glinting against his terracotta-red
surcoat. The guards thumped their swords against their shields to announce his
arrival, a deafening metallic din rising up to the vaulted ceiling. The pushing
stopped and the townsmen bowed their heads.
Her belly clenched like a
As he sat on the carved
wooden throne, the blank-faced Duke nodded to the Master of the Shield. Lord
Kalin lifted a dark eyebrow and began.
‘Men of Ambrovna.
According to the laws of the Kingdom of the Four Rivers and the Duchy of
Ambrovna, Gerthorn Nyvard, the thirty-fourth Duke of Ambrovna is present in
this Great Hall to hear the accusations made against these women. In this
realm, the Duke’s decision is final and justice will be served today.’
She rolled back her
shoulders and lifted her chin. She was ready.
I’m delighted to reveal the cover for my next novel – Women of Wasps and War – the Sting of Injustice.
Women of Wasps and War is a grim feminist historical fantasy inspired by a true story.
Women of Wasps and War will be released by mid-June 2019. If you’d like to keep up with the latest news, including pre-order links and a chance for a free Advance Reading Copy (ARC), make sure you join my mailing list.
Women of Wasps and War
Agata, the Duchess of Ambrovna, was never meant to take the throne.
In a land where men
rule, her sole purpose was to smile and curtsey.
However, when war
left her land leaderless, the Fatherhood religion begrudgingly allowed a first;
a woman to rule.
Now the war is over and the men have returned more arrogant and cruel than ever, and the Duchess is shoved back into a life of needlework and silence.
But with her new
thirst for justice, Agata is reluctant to allow her country to return to its
Without her position of power, Agata and her circle of women look to the taboo wisdom of the Wasp Women for answers. But this ancient knowledge comes with consequences, and with death and treachery on the horizon, Agata must decide whether it is worth the risk.
Women of Wasps and War is a grim, gripping tale of power and politics, and the heart-breaking struggle between love and honour.
I need your help with the title for an upcoming book.
The novel is a second world historical fantasy with strong feminist themes and no dragons.
The Five Rivers Civil War is over and the men are back triumphant.
The naïve Duchess hopes for a new era of equality and the downtrodden slum wife hopes her husband doesn’t return at all. But both are shoved back in their place as the men return more oppressive and cruel than ever.
With no resources, the women must resort to the old ways, the Wasp women, to fight back and right the wrongs. But who should have the right to decide who lives and who dies?
Which title do you like best?
The Wasp Women of Ambrovna (50%, 2 Votes)
The Sting of Justice (25%, 1 Votes)
None (25%, 1 Votes)
Women of Wasps and War (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 4
If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment.
And for news about the ‘unnamed’ novel in 2019, make sure you’re on the mailing list.
Brisbane has a number of nicknames, I generally call it Brisvegas but this book uses Brisneyland. Whatever you call it, Brisbane has a cliched reputation for warm weather, theme parks and palm trees. But Vigil shows Brisbane in a completely different light.
Verity Fassbinder is a woman who strides between two worlds. The world of the Normals, us everyday types and the Weyrd, the paranormal underworld sitting just below the surface of everyday Brisbane. Verity is the product of a Normal mother and Weyrd father, she inherited some powers, extraordinary strength, but the rest of Verity is very Normal.
Agnieska lives in a village deep in the Wood, where an ageless hermit Wizard called the Dragon lives in a white tower nearby. The Wood is no ordinary forest, twisted and enchanted it takes people, including the Queen who disappeared in the Wood twenty years earlier and over the years, the Wood has gobbled up entire villages.
If you’d like to hear me talk about the books I love, check out my reviews on Art District radio. My show – Madeleine’s Speculative Fiction Review – is all about speculative fiction, where I bang on about science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, dystopia, horror, paranormal etc.
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (published by Gollancz in 2011) is the first book in an urban fantasy series set in, you guessed it, London. But this book is also known as Midnight Riot in the US.
Peter Grant was a probationary constable in the Metropolitan Police Force (otherwise known as the Met). Peter was dreaming of being a detective but he’s not exactly the best policeman in the world and he’s mainly trying to avoid a transfer to the worst department with a lifetime of paper shuffling.
For something different, I’ve started a short book review radio show/podcast on artdistrict-radio.com, a French digital radio station focused on jazz and the arts. Each week I’ll be sharing a book I love from the speculative fiction genre. (And my show is in English, in case you were wondering.)
See details of my first review on Parable of the Sower by Octavia E Butler here. Or you can listen to the podcasts here.
I’m in the midst of Nanowrimo and closing in on 50k. Hoorah! I dip into research as I write and so I thought I’d share a few random links for interesting things I’ve researched during the past few days. My Nanowrimo manuscript is fantasy, so I’m going all medieval on your arse.
The use of birch rods for punishment and birches were always my favourite tree. I now look at them in a different way.
I still don’t have my writing process down pat. This has become bleeding obvious with my two most recent projects.
The Production – a high gothic YA novel – was a constant struggle, getting out 60k words was like passing a kidney stone. Whereas my current Nanowrimo project – The Ravens of Ambrovna: fantasy – is flowing out like maple syrup.
When I read informative information on how “optimise my author platform”, there is always a mention of a consistent blog content strategy. Mmm, well, big fail here. This blog and my blogging is awfully random. I’ve decided to go with my randomness and only blog when I feel inspired, which waxes and wanes.
Today is a little round-up (and not the noxious chemical) on what’s going on with me. Something new, something old and some classroom time.
Today, we’re celebrating the release of THE DEEPEST BLACK by USA Today Bestselling author Rainy Kaye. THE DEEPEST BLACK is 99 cents for a limited time! Check it out, then scroll all the way down to enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card!
Ember has a little problem…fairies want her dead.
Ember spends her Friday nights lurking in the bad parts of town, killing fairies. It’s either that, or become a victim to their flesh-eating hung
Then she meets Remy, a fae who, despite getting on her nerves, isn’t evil. He tells her that a shadow has been consuming his world, changing its inhabitants and letting destructive beasts into his city. He is searching for his brother who went missing during the catastrophe.
When a team of mercenaries come for Ember, she has little choice but to join Remy in his quest. Together, they decide to bait a trap. What they find reveals the destruction of the fae world means the end of the human world, too–and it’s Ember’s fault.
Rainy Kaye writes paranormal novels from her lair somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA, and her Summoned series was acquired by Bastei Lübbe. In 2014, she reached the USA Today Bestseller list. Today, she’s taking care of her small zoo of furry animals and trying to remember where she left her coffee.
Beverley is also the moderator of April 2016’s Monthly Writing Challenge. A great way to form habits in your writing. But let’s hear about Beverley’s exciting new release.
How would you describe The Making of Gabriel Davenport?
It’s a dark fantasy, set in the present but with definite ties to the past.
In a house built on truth something lays hidden.
Beth and Stu Davenport moved to the English hillside town of Meadowford Bridge to give their young son, Gabriel, an idyllic, rural childhood. But in a single evening, the Davenports’ dream is shattered by a hidden, ancient darkness– and their lives are forever changed.
Years later, Gabriel Davenport, now a capable, curious young man, makes the ill-fated decision to go looking for answers about his mysterious past. As soon as he begins his quest, his life becomes a place of shadows. The people he loves and trusts are acting abnormally. The strange woman who lives upstairs is even more haunted than usual. Even his most trusted friend seems to be hiding something.
As one fateful night deepens, and the line blurs between darkness and light, Gabriel must confront the terrible events that destroyed his family all those years ago. He is faced with a choice: continue living the life that was never his to begin with, or give himself over to a terrifying new reality more sinister than anything he’s ever known.