Trait of Honor Excerpt

Kreyg was silent for a moment, then he said harshly, “I can’t do it. Dammit, this isn’t right… the master would do just as well with a single vial of her blood. He doesn’t need the whole body.”

What??!” the other cried. He raised his arms imploringly only to let them flop to his sides. “You idiot, we have to do it. You know we have to. Or would you rather face what the master has for us back home?”

“I know. I know…” Kreyg appeared to be looking at the ground like some scolded little boy. “But, Lleff… she’s just a child.”

Lleff snorted something incomprehensible and stepped away for a moment. Saraph turned back to Kreyg, who was fiddling with the light. It was a strange-looking device; round with knobs and a large handle. Saraph had never seen anything like it before. The conversation around her seemed too surreal to pay much attention to. Kreyg’s lantern was the only reality worth noticing.

“I’ll do it without you,” Lleff snapped. “And when the master finds out, he’ll make sure you’re next!”

Kreyg stopped playing with the light. He seemed about to say something but changed his mind. “Princess, let’s get you back to camp,” Kreyg said, reaching out to take the girl’s hand. “She’s obviously in shock, Lleff. We can discuss this later.”

“You bastard!” Lleff shouted. “There will be no later!”

“I don’t mind,” Saraph said suddenly, forgetting the lantern. The two men turned their attention to her as if they had never noticed she could speak before. “Maybe if you do kill me, it’ll be better. Maybe I’m better off dead.”


Trait of Honor is actually only a working title as I write this story little by little. It began when I was in high school – 1988- and is going under a complete rewrite. Characters change, situations are made into better sense, and the ending is even going to be different. So it’s not even the same book all anymore but I’m good with that.

I’ve been working on the rewrite for a long loooong time now. I’d like to see it finished. I’m probably about halfway there and climbing.

Only the Innocent

Story review? Sure: why not!

If you didn’t know it, I finished a rare short story the other week I titled “Only the Innocent” – it’s a slightly erotic tale about unicorns. I rarely have time to write just for the sake of it, and really should take such times to work on my my 2nd novel, Trait of Honor, but I was inspired and inspiration leaves me no room for common sense. So the story was born and is now available in various e-book stores. Yay!

This accomplishment earned me a letter from someone about their own story, Only the Innocent, that they wanted to put out. They were worried about a clash of titles.

Now I personally see nothing wrong with two stories having the same name. There’s more than one person named Mary, and I’m sure there’s more than one story named “Taken” (another idea of mine I’d like to write someday). Okay, so there’s at least two stories named “Only the Innocent”.

It looks interesting, this other tale, so I thought I would share it with you. Go here to see the pretty pretty cover picture:

The description reads: Women are rarely cold blooded killers. But when a famous philanthropist is found dead, there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that the killer is a woman. And it is clear from the precision of the planning that this was no crime of passion. It was an execution. A web of complex relationships is gradually revealed and as each horrific secret is exposed, it becomes clear why the victim had to die.

In Apocalypse News,
if I haven’t gotten artwork ready ahead of time by now then things are probably going to be at a standstill through most of December. One reason is I’m going out of town, you see, and won’t be in a place where I can keep things going. Sorry about that.

The second reason, which happened just yesterday at 1000 hours, is Charlie (the main computer) finally bit the bucket for real. This isn’t the usual ‘oh crap he’s down again’ I’ve been through. This time I held my peace and waited, thinking maybe it would be like the other times. I even let my husband (gasp) open his case and look inside!

The prognosis is his motherboard finally bit the dust completely. His heart has stopped. I’d been saying he needed work for a while, and through this time pups have stood up with help in need. And each time Charlie was given a band-aid or a pill in an attempt to stretch things along further.  Recently there was a slew of brownouts that made me suspect his RAM chips had been damaged, and they were. It’s just that the motherboard apparently also suffered in the electrical attack.

The solution, of course, is to get a bare bones system and turn him into the Six Million Dollar Computer. This is not an option for us, though. Buying a new motherboard and hoping the processors work is also not an option. $50 is out of our price range much less what the charges really would be. We’re just too far behind from the paycheck errors, lack of getting paid on my part, having to move, and other emergencies we’ve weathered in the past year and a half. So, for now Charlie is gone and there’s nothing anybody can do about it.

I can carry on with what I do on Pestilence’s laptop to a small degree. Things like prose and my real money maker, ebook formatting, are out the window for now. So are things like Akashik and Heavenly Bride – the laptop has spurned attempts to connect to the printer/scanner in a way that pleases me. I’m sure it will work in a way. I’m also sure working on this laptop for extended periods of time on something other than flatting hurts my hands.

Well, perhaps something will happen in a miracle capacity the way it tends to do… but I gotta tell you things look bleaker than usual for Charlie.  For those pups who would still hang around and hope something gets updated here and in other places through this, I’m grateful to you that you would do this. You’re the valuable kind of reader who keeps checking on a webcomic when it hasn’t update for three months. You’re the kind of reader that deserves roses on your birthday. I promise I’m not giving up. I’m just delayed by a mountain and am having to wait for the next delivery of dynamite.

Finally, things were going to continue to lag between Akashik and Heavenly Bride until I could get things in order even without this Charlie business. It’s more than that it’s Christmas. It has everything to do with printings and the ability to keep things up here at home. I’m doing my best here, and I am sad to see things crumble the way they have been doing – especially now that both stories are getting to good phases – but this is life and how it works. Perhaps with the New Year things will get better.

Good phases, you pups ask? Well, yes. If we make it to the end of Chapter 9 in Akashik, we shall see the return of a fun and missed character. Briefly. Maybe cameo-like, even. And as for Heavenly Bride, well: you can see things have gotten a bit more interesting already if you’re a reader. We’re hitting parts that require me to actually think while writing. Fun stuff.

Well, if I want to get something done I should stop chattering here and get back to it! Until next time.