Saturday, May 2, 2015

Thunderlord snippet - Unwanted Attentions

Please remember that this is a work in progress and drafts have a habit of changing drastically from inception to finished book.

It's getting more challenging to find snippets that don't give away too much of the plot, but here's one I hope will tantalize.

From Thunderlord Chapter 16

After a few days of giving Shayla knitting lessons, much to her mother’s relief, Alayna began attending the women’s musical gatherings. They were fewer, for winter was fast approaching, and those who had come to Castle Scathfell for the lord’s wedding must hurry to arrive home before snows closed the passes. Much of the time, the gathering consisted of Alayna, Marianna, and Shayla.  Jerana sat in a corner with her eyes closed, one hand over her chest, but did not sing or play. Dimitra played the flute and rryl, although she claimed to have no voice for song.

Shayla begged Alayna to teach them new songs. At first, Alayna had not the heart to sing, or to sing anything but the saddest laments, but after several requests, she made an effort for the sake of her new friend. They sang rounds, and “A Summer’s Lass” and several versions of “Fra’ Domenic’s Pockets,” which had them all laughing uproariously. Alayna wiped her eyes and realized how long it had been since she’d laughed.

“Very good! So charming!” Dom Nevin applauded from where he stood inside the opened door. He strode to Alayna, took up her hand, and brought it to his lips. “My dear, I had no idea you were such a songbird.”

Alayna pulled her hand away in a manner that was, if not outright rude, decidedly unencouraging. What ailed the man, to intrude upon a women’s gathering without invitation. Or had someone asked him? She glanced in Dimitra’s direction and caught the glimmer of a smile.

She told him I was feeling better. She encouraged him!

“Pardon me for speaking frankly, but this is not a public performance. We sing for one another here, for our own amusement, nothing more.” The thought crossed her mind to demand that he offer a song in penance for having eavesdropped, but he might take that as a flirtation. “I beg you to leave us so that we may continue.”

“Oh!” He made a careless gesture. “It was never my intention to embarrass anyone, if that’s what you mean. Although I hardly know why you are so modest about your singing. It was a delight to hear your song.”

It was not meant for you! With an effort, Alayna held her tongue.

“Why, your voice would grace any gathering, even that of Lord Scathfell, if I do say so myself. Whatever man marries you will have no cause to hire a singing-woman when his own wife is far superior.”

Alayna’s cheeks grew hot, for her own kinswoman, Aliciane Rockraven, had first gone to Aldaran as singing-woman and later became that lord’s barrangana, even while his wife was alive.

I will hurl myself over the castle walls before I become
your singing-woman! 

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