Friday, June 17, 2022

A Troubled Stranger - Excerpt from Cobra for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

I’m continuing with my new SciFi story. It is coming up for pre-order and release at the end of this month.

You can read last week’s excerpt at

I suspect you would like to meet the ‘hero’. This week, I’m skipping ahead to introduce Nagari. He doesn’t appear very attractive at first. Zennia and her host have climbed to the top of a castle tower. (I have removed a couple of sentences about the view.)  

Opposite the stairwell, a man was leaning his hands on the stone parapet and staring down. His black uniform, straight-backed stance, and cropped corn-yellow hair marked him as one of the imperial invaders, a military officer or a royal guard.

Her brows lowered in a frown, Pittiprati stopped by the stairwell. She turned aside to stare over the parapet at the river as if she were loath to approach the enemy stranger.

Curious about the man, Zennia resolved to investigate. She ambled in a circuit inside the parapet, admiring the vista across the city to the great river and the forested slopes rising into the hazy mountains.

Drawing parallel to her target, she examined the yellow-haired man surreptitiously. He gave no sign of noticing her approach. His rugged profile was marred by tightly compressed lips, suggesting the anguish of a strong unpleasant emotion. And the way his fists were clenched tightly on the top of the parapet increased her uneasiness about his mental state.

Ten lines and a few more:

Halting a pace away from the stranger, she made a casual remark, “Isn’t it a lovely view?”

He turned slowly toward her. His face was as ghost-pale and haggard as if he had not slept for many days. Hollow cheeks, pinched eyebrows, and bloodshot eyes with stormy gray irises accentuated his miserable appearance.

He spoke in a dreamlike tone, “It’s a long way down from this height. A man might jump over the parapet and dive to his death.” His accent was strange, although not as peculiar as his words.

SciFi mystery. Interstellar spy befriends enemy commander in a tragic tale with a happy ending.

Shan Zennia, Senior Curator of the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos, plays a dangerous double role as a researcher and a spy for Solarian Intelligence. She embarks on a new mission to observe the spring festival on Harappi, a planet recently conquered by the ambitious Emperor and now governed by his niece, Domina Allia.

Zennia finds unexpected mysteries on the planet, including the enigmatic Nagari. Once a victorious commander in the Emperor’s space fleet and nicknamed the Cobra, he was forced to abandon his military career when Allia claimed him as her consort. Her abusive treatment has driven him to the brink of madness.

Intrigued by the ex-commander and aware of his value as a source of information on the enemy, Zennia agrees to meet him during the festival of rebirth. Opposing forces clash at the height of the celebrations, catalyzing deadly violence. Can Nagari and Zennia survive the chaos and win a new and happier life?

The ebook is available NOW for $2.49 at PayHip

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I’ll be happy to reply to your comments.

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  1. Great description of his physical and emotional state. Really grabs the reader.

  2. Ooh, sounds great! Loved the snippet, fraught with emotion.

  3. Your description of him is so visual. Great job. Tweeted.

    1. Thanks. Often I can visualize the scene in my mind.

  4. You did a great job helping us visualize the scene.

  5. I sure didn't expect his comment to her. It sounds as if he might have thought about jumping.

  6. you did well stirring interest as in who or what he might be and what his story is.

  7. Foreboding... I wonder if he's considering taking the plunge? I got an excellent mental image of him. Nice writing!

    Trying from a different computer. Hope it goes through. :-)

  8. He's intriguing. I'm curious about what he said and if it applies to anyone specific.

    1. Thanks. He is a little self-centered at the beginning.