Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Featured Author: Miriam Newman



Born to a dying queen and an ambitious king, Tia should inherit the throne of her island nation.  Instead, her country is invaded, her parents are murdered and she is sent in chains to the land of an enemy.

Consecrated to her Goddess, sworn to the service of her country, still Tia finds love in the arms of the enemy.

In a time of war, what will she surrender in the name of love?


There was only one direction I could look and that was down the road where we had just come.  Now someone else was coming straight up the middle so that people scattered like chickens.  A young, unhelmeted Omani trooper was riding down that road on a fine long-legged gray horse, bawling in a voice which did not doubt its own authority.  Though I couldn’t hear the words, I knew what he was saying—troops were coming and he wanted the way cleared NOW.

I couldn’t clear the road.  I was chained in it and knew my peril.  There was a curve in that road and by the time they saw me, it would be too late.  My only hope was that Frado would unfasten the manacles and push me off the road and for a fraction of a second I actually thought he might do it, if only to avoid trouble with the Army.  He got free of a woman who had been throwing melons at his head when she ran for her life and came back beside me, but he was still in a fury and it was only to punch me in the face.

I heard the gray horse score the cobblestones, launching into a full charge. Sparks flew where his metal shoes beat on the stones as he came like evil incarnate, ears pinned and teeth bared, head snaking as he went straight for Frado.  Fat as he was, Frado could by no means get over the wall on my side of the street and started to trundle to the other side and, with that, the horse was on him.  He was obviously a well-trained cavalry mount and I thought the rider meant to let him savage his target.    

But at the last moment the trooper swung his horse just enough to clear Frado, jerked his foot from the stirrup and kicked the slaver squarely in the back at a speed just under that of a battle charge.  The force was so great that it picked up that mountain of a man like a doll and deposited him face down near the opposite side of the street. My vision had taken on the preternatural sharpness that precedes seeing nothing and I saw in heart-stopping detail the first of what seemed like a hundred horses coming around the curve at a fast canter.  If I had been in better condition, I would have wondered why a number like that was coming at such speed through a country at peace, but just then I was in no condition to care.  I lay there like something thrown on the midden heap.

That point man didn’t have the job, though, because he was slow or stupid.  I heard the noise of his horse coming back and saw a boy no older than myself with a shining mane of chestnut hair already dropping from his trotting mount and running towards me with the horse close behind.  With no time to spare, he clucked his horse over me in the position a war horse takes to shield a fallen rider, dropped the reins and threw himself on top of me.  He was protecting me with his body, arms curled over my head, pulling my face into his chest, so I saw little of what followed, but I heard it:  the tremendous din of all those horseshoes, riders cursing, horses snorting in surprise, and the squealing and kicking of the horse over top of us.  That boy was holding me like a lover and I could feel from his involuntary shudders that he was inches from death, but he never moved and neither did his horse.  The troopers didn’t want to kill their own man and horses listen to each other better than they do to us, so between the efforts of riders and the violence of the gray horse trying to save his rider the line shifted and passed and I was still alive.
View the Video:  http://youtu.be/JOLyEv1eHow



BJ Scott said...

Sounds like a great book!

Miriam Newman said...

Hi, B.J., and thanks as always.

Miriam Newman said...

Thanks, Eliza, for a place on your beautiful blog. You know I always love coming here even when I don't have a book out, but having this one released in print just yesterday was the icing on the cake. Readers can find it and the sequel at my web site www.miriamnewman.com

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Great excerpt!

Kitchen Witch of the West said...

WOW...That just thundered right to the top of my Must Read pile.
Thank you!!

Miriam Newman said...

Thanks to Rosemary and Witch. I'm not sure what happened to my previous comment, but I appreciate your stopping by!