Saturday, August 27, 2022

Under the monsoon mud - Excerpt from Stung by the 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.

Sorry, I missed posting last week due to a mild case of covid and other stuff. Since my current wip is word-skimpy, I’ll keep posting from my latest novel, Stung by the Cobra. It’s a scifi/fantasy adventure and romance with sprinkle of Hindu mythology.

Zennia is attending a reception to honor Domina Allia, the new ruler of the planet. Events at this reception give background and foreshadow the rest of the story.

You can read my previous excerpt here:

Released from his duty at Allia's dais, Nagari has come to talk to Zennia.

The final line of last week's excerpt was: "He winced, unmistakably distressed by the mention of his military title." 

After a minute, he recovered enough to ask, “Do you like living in this grubby city?”

She retorted, “If you peer under the monsoon mud, Mattapurna is a vibrant and cheerful place. I’m looking forward to the celebration of Vashali.”

He gave a contemptuous snort. “The festival where men jump into the river?”

“It is the festival of renewal, of change and new beginnings.” She followed her explanation with a challenge, “Do you not desire a change in your life?”

He gasped, “Shan Zennia, you can read my mind.”

“It’s not difficult to guess,” she said drily.

He looked over her shoulder toward the dais.

Ten lines and a few more:

She twisted around to follow his gaze. Allia had risen from her throne. Still entangled with her devoted attendants, she ambled to a side door.  

A servant bowed deeply and opened the door. Smoky haze puffed from the interior as the Domina and her adoring slaves entered the inner sanctum.

Nagari said, “I need a drink. Can I fetch you something?”

“No. I have a glass already.”

He headed toward the long table with refreshments. Two women in matching azure gowns waylaid him, each grasping one of his arms. Sisters, she guessed, with identical fake smiles on their painted faces.

Zennia gave herself a mental shake. Considering his wife’s neglect, she ought not to judge Nagari too harshly if he sought amusement elsewhere. 


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 intelligent animals and 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 discounted by 50c at PayHip

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I’ll be happy to reply to your comments. 

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The first book in this new series is free for the next month. 

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

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The Lady is Blue, Book 1 of Atrapako on Eden, is also free. 

Scaly aliens crash on the remote planet of Eden. They mean to dominate the humans. Can Dr. Lucy Stannis save the colony and reignite her dubious friendship with the alien captain?

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  1. Oh, all sorts of things going on in this snippet. Very interesting!

    1. Too true! A lot of emotional undercurrents in a short passage.

  2. Interesting developments! Enjoyed the snippet.

  3. She seems tolerant of infidelity. I wonder if that is a norm in their world. But I wouldn't count on his wife being tolerant of it at all! Great snippet! Tweeted.

    1. Zennia's job as Curator is to observe people, not to judge them. She has a plan to expose Allia's cruelty.

  4. Mind reader. Hmm. That could prove very problematic.

    1. She can't read minds, but he is evidently unhappy with his life as consort.

  5. No wonder the poor man is in such a terrible state. His life has spiraled out of control and just gets worse over time.

    1. You've got it! He was trapped into this marriage. Also, as he says later, he had no choice. You can't reject the Emperor's niece.

  6. Wow, the scene you're painting! One minute I like Nagari, the next he seems haughty. It's a weird world. I admit to a willingness to join the rebellion if there's one forming. I do not like the Domina. :-)

    1. Right - Poor Nagari is convinced that he and the Emperor's people are superior to the Harappians. He will learn humility before the end of the story.