Tag Archives: excerpt

Guinevere or Aphrodite? Excerpt from Children of Yden

ChildrenofYden 453x680Excerpt:

Jon glanced over and was struck by how lovely Brett was under the tiny white lights he’d strung over the patio. She’d done her hair up in a kind of complicated braid thing, with curly strands escaping here and there. Brett is Juliet or Guinevere.

His eyes shifted to the dark‑haired beauty standing with Casey several yards beyond. Kira is Helen of Troy and Aphrodite rolled into one. Jon’s stomach did a peculiar somersault.

Stop staring, you idiot, before someone notices.

When a heavy hand clapped him on the shoulder, Jon flinched. His uncle Charles laughed at his reaction.

“What’s wrong, buddy? If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you had a guilty conscience.”

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The Earth-born children of Yden are returning home, and it’s time to choose sides.

The Fox Clan is building an army, but its motives and goals are unclear. As Jon begins his magical training, a reckless skirmish with Guinn of the Fox Clan has unforeseen repercussions. Not only has Jon placed himself in danger, but nobody around him is safe. When Jon discovers Guinn is looking for a secret weapon, a magical artifact called the Portal Key, he vows to find it first.  Jon does not yet realize the Fox Clan’s most potent weapon in its quest for power will be his heart.


Crowned Heart Award Winner Children of Yden (Sequel to The Last Great Wizard of Yden)

Available now for the Kindle at Amazon, for the Nook at BN.com and in all e-formats at Astraea Press.

Heather’s Disguise – Excerpt from TOURNAMENT OF CHANCE

A loud insistent pounding at the front door startled Heather awake the next morning. A few moments later, she heard Ustin having a row with her father in the kitchen. Heather’s mother, still clad in a dressing gown, stepped into the bedchamber. She held a lantern aloft.

“Get up, Heather.”

“What’s happening, Mother?”

“Ustin and Kitty are here.”

“Kitty, too?”

“Aye. Put on your hunting gear, quickly.”

Aghast, Heather stared at Rose, wide-eyed. “But I’m going to the
tournament today. I’m to wear my best clothes.”

“Don’t argue with me. Ustin says you’re in danger.”

“What?”

“There are men canvassing the town for you right now, so there is
no time to waste. You must travel in disguise.”

Heather grasped a hank of her thick auburn waist-length hair. “How
are we going to hide this?”

Rose produced a pair of shears. “We can’t.”

In Tournament of Chance, a hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.

Now available in all e-formats from Musa Publishing HERE. Also available at Amazon. Coming soon to BN.com and wherever fine e-books are sold.

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Eyes of a Snake – Excerpt from TOURNAMENT OF CHANCE

“Today is a momentous occasion,” said King Chance, after he’d settled himself on a cushion. His booming voice resonated across the field. “Let the finalists for the Tournament of Chance come forward.”

“Your Majesty, I present Lady Felicia of the Valley and Heather of the Jagged Peaks,” announced Sir Fitzelle.

Felicia glided toward the king as if to greet an old friend, but Heather hung back. Now that the moment had arrived to actually meet the king and queen, her feet were frozen to the ground. Suddenly wishing for
invisibility, she forced herself to move toward the king’s canopy. All eyes swiveled in her direction as she stood next to Felicia. Murmurings and titters rippled through the royals at Heather’s appearance. Although Felicia ignored her altogether, the queen openly laughed, as did many of the courtiers. A rosy blush crept toward Heather’s hairline.

The king beamed at Felicia. “How splendid to see you again, dear girl.”

“And you, Your Majesty,” Felicia responded. Her smile showed the lovely dimples in her cheeks.

Queen Chelsea frowned — far less pleased to see Felicia than was her husband. King Chance next focused his attention on Heather. His welcoming expression did not slip one bit, but Heather was taken aback. His eyes resembled those of a cold, poisonous snake.

In Tournament of Chance, a hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.

When a beautiful commoner enters the Tournament of Chance archery competition, her thwarted victory sparks a revolution in the oppressive kingdom of Destiny. Although Heather never believed the legends about the restoration of Ormaria, after three shape-shifting Ormarian wizards awaken from a long magical slumber, she joins their perilous quest to regain the throne. Heather battles vicious predators and angry trolls to free the wizards’ magic, but at a horrendous cost. She is unexpectedly torn from the arms of the man she loves and hurled back in time to fulfill a prophecy not yet written. The ensuing maelstrom tests Heather’s survival skills, wits, and endurance. Will she become an unwritten footnote in history, or can she trust the magic to lead her back to her one true love?

(Tournament of Chance coming September 28, 2012 from Musa Publishing)

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Preditors and Prey — Excerpt from TOURNAMENT OF CHANCE

Over the next week, Heather spent most of her waking hours with her bow and arrows. She practiced in a pasture outside of town. The field was surrounded by trees, which made it quite private—and isolated. The morning before the competition, Heather was working on accuracy. When her arrows were spent, she set off for the target to retrieve them.

Three strangers emerged from the forest. They fanned out, as if encircling their prey. Heather was schooled enough in hunting to recognize predators on sight. A ripple of fear traveled down her spine. Dropping her bow, she pulled her knife from her boot and searched for a means of escape.

“Oi, now, no need for that. Yer Heather, aren’t ye?  Such pretty red hair ye got,” the first man said. His lips pulled back over his teeth, blackened by poor hygiene and tobacco.

“Yer father done broke his leg. We come to fetch ye home,” the second said.

The third man said nothing, but he unfastened the bullwhip hanging from his belt and gave it an experimental crack.

“My friend don’t like yer little stickpin. Put it down, there’s a good girl,” the first man said.

Heather kept her eyes trained on the bullwhip. When the man pulled back his arm, poised to strike, she hurled her knife at his chest. Even before he’d hit the ground, she was sprinting past him toward the forest. Her only hope of evading capture would be to lose the other two men in the woods. Although she was fleet-footed, her assailants closed the distance in the open field rapidly. Several yards away from the tree line, the twang of arrows being loosed reached her ears…

A hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.

When a beautiful commoner enters the Tournament of Chance archery competition, her thwarted victory sparks a revolution in the oppressive kingdom of Destiny. Although Heather never believed the legends about the restoration of Ormaria, after three shape-shifting Ormarian wizards awaken from a long magical slumber, she joins their perilous quest to regain the throne. Heather battles vicious predators and angry trolls to free the wizards’ magic, but at a horrendous cost. She is unexpectedly torn from the arms of the man she loves and hurled back in time to fulfill a prophecy not yet written.  The ensuing maelstrom tests Heather’s survival skills, wits, and endurance. Will she become an unwritten footnote in history, or can she trust the magic to lead her back to her one true love?

Tournament of Chance will be released on Friday, Sept. 28th, in all e-formats, from Musa Publishing.  Shortly thereafter, it will be available through Amazon, BN.com and wherever online books are sold.

To see the book trailer, go HERE

S.G. Rogers’ Tournament of Chance Excerpt

From the unappetizing quantity of fur and gore on the turtle rock, it appeared the trolls had gutted and skinned the tiger there, and cooked some of the meat over the still-glowing firepit nearby. Although Heather longed to rest, the smell of the place turned her stomach. Leaving the campsite, she continued to climb up the trail. The rank odor of the slaughtered animal followed her.

A few minutes later, a blue dragon appeared from the north. With her heart in her throat, she yelled as loud as she could, waving her arms to get Dane’s attention. When he veered in her direction she was overjoyed. After six other dragons joined him during his descent, however, Heather’s ebullience turned to horror. A flock of wild dragons was headed straight for her, and on the open trail there was nowhere to hide.

Gritting her teeth against the pain in her side, she hurtled down the trail, past the turtle rock. At random, she picked one of the lava tunnels and darted inside. Heather hoped the dragons would leave once they lost their prey. Unfortunately, the smell of blood at the campsite sent the animals into a frenzy. The dragons’ piercing, trumpeting cries echoed down the tunnel, forcing Heather to cover her ears. The creatures attacked the rock face with their claws, chipping off bits and pieces of granite. Heather backed further into the darkness, but when she heard one of the dragons inhale, she ran. A fireball followed her…

In Tournament of Chance, a hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.

When a beautiful commoner enters the Tournament of Chance archery competition, her thwarted victory sparks a revolution in the oppressive kingdom of Destiny. Although Heather never believed the legends about the restoration of Ormaria, after three shape-shifting Ormarian wizards awaken from a long magical slumber, she joins their perilous quest to regain the throne. Heather battles vicious predators and angry trolls to free the wizards’ magic, but at a horrendous cost. She is unexpectedly torn from the arms of the man she loves and hurled back in time to fulfill a prophecy not yet written. The ensuing maelstrom tests Heather’s survival skills, wits, and endurance. Will she become an unwritten footnote in history, or can she trust the magic to lead her back to her one true love?

Release date: September 28th, 2012

Fair Lady of the Waterfall

“How can we break the Guardian’s spell?” Jon asked Dorsit.

“I’m not certain,” Dorsit replied. “But—”

“Terrific,” Fred interrupted. “So we’re stuck.” He waved to get Lialia’s attention. “Look, honey, what’ll it take to get the door open? Money? Jewelry? I’m sure JonBoy here will be happy to conjure you up a Porsche if you want.”

Lialia examined her manicure, bored.

“A poem may be the key,” Dorsit said. “It’s called Fair Lady of the Waterfall, and I think it must refer to Lialia.”

“Oh, no,” Fred moaned. “If you start with the poetry I’m gonna throw myself down that hole, guaranteed.”

“Hush,” Brett said as she smacked Fred on the arm. “How does it go, Dorsit?”

Dorsit recited the poem:

“Fair Lady of the Waterfall,

 Was stole away by Blackest Knight,

 Her heart this Knave he did Enthrall,

 Forever Cloistered far from Light.”

“The Rosebud may return to Flower,

 Young Champion of Fire and Claw,

 With Truest Love and Hell-born Power,

 From Driest Rock her Essence Draw.”

As Dorsit finished speaking, Lialia burst into tears.

“Okay,” Fred groaned. “I’m jumping into the pit now.”

(Excerpt, The Last Great Wizard of Yden)

~ S.G. Rogers

For his sixteenth birthday, all Jon wanted were the keys to the family car. Instead, he got a lousy magic ring…

Now available in paperback and e-book at Amazon, BN.com, Astraea Press

The Last Great Wizard of Yden – Excerpt

© Sanderclaes | Dreamstime.com

A bucket of water thrown in Jon’s face brought him back to consciousness with a gasp. A cygard unlocked his manacles and hauled him upright.

“On your feet,” the cygard barked. “I’m not lugging your sorry carcass up those stairs.”

As the cygard dragged Jon from the paddy wagon and onto a loading dock, he caught a glimpse of the castle exterior. The fortress had been designed to intimidate, and a shiver went down Jon’s spine at the sight of the cold and desolate citadel.

The loading dock jutted out from an alcove cut into the side of the structure. Several ragged children with bare heads and dirty feet were working frantically to unload a delivery cart parked nearby, filled with fresh produce and bushels of grain. The overseeing cygard made a sport of cracking his whip at their backsides, chuckling every time a kid cowered. None of the children would meet Jon’s gaze. They were around his sister’s age or younger, and it curdled his blood to see them being abused.

“Stop it,” Jon yelled at the whip-wielding cygard. “Can’t you see they’re moving as fast as they can?”

Although the kids didn’t stop working, they flicked Jon a terrified glance. The overseer brandished his whip at Jon.

“If ye can’t hold yer tongue, you’ll get a taste of leather,” he threatened. “Get the lad out of here, Stig, before I flay him to ribbons.”

The cygard named Stig looped a rope around Jon’s neck and led him up some stairs and into the castle. Jon tried to tell himself his situation was less dire than it appeared. On the plus side, his knapsack was still safely slung on his back and he had the use of his limbs. On the downside, he’d been captured by bad guys and for some reason he couldn’t transport to safety. In addition, if he didn’t manage to escape, he might shortly be separated from one or more of his appendages. He was forced to conclude his predicament was probably just as bad as it seemed, if not more so.

As he was yanked down a large passageway, Jon stumbled past cygards and other castle workers. An uncomfortably familiar cygard suddenly veered in his direction. Jon recognized him right off by his towering height—not to mention the size of the ax hanging from his belt. The supersized cygard blocked Jon’s path, and Stig sighed.

“C’mon, Lyesh,” he said. “I gotta get ’im up to the hearing.”

But Lyesh didn’t move.

“You’re the whelp who gave me a hard time the other day,” he said, jamming a hostile finger into Jon’s chest for emphasis. “I dunno how you gave me the slip, but your luck finally ran out, didn’t it?”

Jon knew a bully when he saw one, and he kept his mouth shut. Unfortunately, his silence seemed to antagonize the cygard even more. When Lyesh snatched his helmet off, Jon discovered why cygards always kept their faces covered. The giant had only one eye set in the middle of his forehead, and his hideous features were covered with lumpy knots of oozing flesh.

Lyesh sneered at Jon’s expression. “What’s the matter, you got a problem with cygards?”

“No, I got a problem with ugly,” Jon retorted before he could stop himself.

All the cygards within earshot howled with laughter.

“Mouthy little brat,” Lyesh said.

“Don’t worry,” Stig said. “He’ll be screaming a different tune after the warlord gets through with him.”

Stig’s sudden jerk of Jon’s rope nearly took him off his feet. With the noose burning his skin, he wasn’t enjoying the tour so far. A few more passageways and a couple of staircases later, he was dragged into a large, open chamber the size and shape of a small church. A floating ball of light at the top of the cathedral ceiling provided steady illumination. Medieval-style weapons, artfully woven tapestries, and large oil paintings covered the walls. Jon couldn’t help but notice several of the paintings were actually quite masterful. Under different circumstances he would have liked to have a closer look.

Various men and women congregated around the chamber in groups, mingling with one another. By their fancy clothes and head coverings, Jon guessed they had plenty of tile. Their conversations, already respectfully low, ceased altogether when he appeared. Several of them swished their robes aside as if he’d soiled them by his presence. Admittedly, he wasn’t at his best.

The focal point of the chamber was an oversized wooden chair, set on a raised platform. Centered in front of a curtained backdrop, the chair was draped in silken fabrics and soft cushions as would suit a throne. The occupant of the chair, however, was an austere and cruelly handsome man. His powerful build and piercing obsidian eyes heightened the aura of danger surrounding him. The simple metal circlet resting on his head designated the man as Warlord Mandral. Jon blanched at the sight of him.

A thin, oily fellow undulated at the warlord’s elbow, eager to be of service. He carried a scroll of parchment and a quill. A skullcap completely covered his hair, if indeed he had any. Jon wouldn’t have been surprised to learn the cap was made from snakeskin.

The crowd parted as Jon was brought forward and lashed to a metal ring permanently set in the stone floor in front of the throne. The ring was one of many, although Jon was the only occupant. Must be a slow day for hearings, he thought.

Mandral rose from his chair and descended the steps. His observant eyes focused on Ophelia right away. “Where did you get that Dragon Clan ring, boy?” he demanded.

“None of your business.”

The congregants gasped, and Jon’s reply earned him a smack on the head from the nearest cygard. Mandral, however, acted as if he hadn’t heard him. He beckoned to the man with the scroll. “Minister Tyrg, what is the charge against this prisoner?”

“Theft,” Tyrg said. His voice sounded almost like the hiss of a snake. “Merchant Moala has filed a claim for the cuff.”

Stig pulled up Jon’s sleeve to reveal the transporter cuff.

“Moala is an accomplished liar. His claim is denied,” Mandral said.

Jon sighed with relief, but his deliverance was short-lived.

“Take the ring and the cuff,” the warlord said. “Then whip the boy for his insolence.”

Ophelia’s eyes remained dull, and Jon was beginning to panic.

Stig caressed his ax. “The ring and cuff cannot be removed.”

Mandral exchanged a sharp glance with Tyrg. “Is this the ancient magic of inseparability?”

Tyrg shook his head in confusion. “A wizard becomes one with his clan ring and transporter cuff, yes. But there are few wizards left, and none of them have apprentices.”

The warlord studied Jon’s features. He tugged Ophelia to confirm the ring would not leave Jon’s finger. “Who are you?”

“No one in particular. I’m not from around here,” Jon replied.

With practiced speed and agility, Mandral unsheathed a thin dagger strapped to his thigh and pointed it at the hollow of Jon’s throat. “That’s not what I asked.”

Jon felt the razor-sharp tip pierce his skin. He had no doubt the blade had meted out its share of death. He gulped. “Jon. Jon Hansen.”

– S.G. Rogers