Saturday, July 2, 2022

A wild look - excerpt from Stung by the Cobra for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday


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

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Over the past two weeks, I’ve introduced the unfortunate ‘hero’ of my latest story. Curator Shan Zennia, an undercover spy for the Solarians, met a stranger on the top of the castle tower. His soldierly stance, cropped blond hair and black clothes indicate he is one of the enemy invaders of the planet. Zennia suspects he is about to jump to his death and succeeds in diverting his thoughts. But a gong sounds and he rushes away. Note: Pittiprati is one of Zennia’s hosts.

You can read last week’s excerpt at

The final lines were: Muttering, “Forgive me. I am summoned,” he strode to the stairs.

This excerpt continues directly, although it’s slightly edited form the published version.

Pittiprati quickly hopped aside to avoid him. When he disappeared down the stairwell, she joined her guest by the parapet.

“Who was that man?” Zennia asked.

“Oh, didn’t you recognize him? He is Commander Nagari, the consort of Domina Allia.”

“He said something strange about jumping off the tower. Is he mad?”

“Mad?” Pittiprati shook her head. “There’s nothing amiss with his sanity, or not that I’ve heard; though, he is rumored to be estranged from the princess.”

Ten lines and a few more:

“He had a wild look. Like a beast snared in a trap. I suspect Allia treats him badly.” Zennia frowned thoughtfully. “The Commander is an intriguing man. I might learn more about him at the reception. He said he wants to talk with me.”

Seizing her arm in alarm, Pittiprati said, “Take care, Shan Zennia. We hear bad things about the Domina’s court.”

“Do you know somebody in the palace? A servant perhaps?”

“Our niece Meera works in the palace kitchens. She tells us everything she learns. Meera says it’s not safe for a servant to be alone with the invaders. Young women are often harassed by the courtiers.” Her voice dropped to a secretive whisper, “They say the Domina favors pretty boys.”

Giving a skeptical laugh, Zennia protested, “Surely, I need not worry about such harassment. I’m neither young nor pretty.”

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?

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Captured by the Hawk Spaceships crash across the galaxy when thief Grey Kay tangles with notorious pirate Black Hawk.

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  1. Oh, is she short selling herself. Enjoying the snippets so far.

  2. Intrigue is building. Loving this!

  3. Intriguing hints of trouble to come! Great snippet...

  4. Sounds like the Commander is a dangerous man to know. He's in a bad situation!

    1. You are correct. His wife is a vicious and degenerate person.

  5. I think she may be surprised by someone else's impression of her looks.

  6. I imagine she's wrong about her looks and the danger she might face.

  7. A compelling scenario. I have always found that the kind of men who harass women aren't particularly choosy about looks. I've never been any raving beauty, but have endured my fair share of harassment. Now that I'm over 50 (closing in on 60) and therefore invisible, such harassment is, fortunately, rare, but it still happens on occasion. As a resident at the retirement community where I used to work once asked, can't these damn men leave an old woman alone?

  8. I find this story fascinating. Looking forward to reading more.

  9. I am enjoying these excerpts! Cannot wait for more!

  10. I love court intrigue--especially infused into scifi! :-) Nice job setting up the key players. :-)