I'm posting the first two chapters of Scribe in Shadows, in two posts. You can also go to smashwords.com and download up to 20% before deciding whether you want to buy a copy.
Sunlight hit Alcina’s face and she hissed as she covered her eyes. “Do you have to?”
“Yes, ma’am,” the maid said as she tied back the curtains. “Your rules.”
Yes, yes, on the days she was going to work, the curtains had to be opened. It was sensible, it took the edge off the sluggishness she felt every morning, but there were times when she hated sunlight. It could be so oppressive. “Then I can change them.”
“Only between the twelfth and the sixteenth hours of the day.” Karali returned to the small table beside Alcina’s bed, where a tea tray was waiting. She picked up the small pot and poured hot dark green liquid into a delicate cup. “That’s your rule, too.”
Alcina closed her eyes and let her hand fall back to the mattress, feeling the dread flow through her, pressing against her chest. It was going to be one of those
days. She thought of excuses to avoid getting out of bed. Headache? Stomach cramps? The utter lack of desire to speak to or look at anyone?
No. She felt awful, but she didn’t think the day was going to be quite bad enough to justify hiding in her room.
“You don’t want your tea getting cold, ma’am,” said Karali. As though Alcina hadn’t been drinking that same tea every morning for years. As though she didn’t know ris tea tasted eleven times worse when it was cold.
Alcina pinched the bridge of her nose. She was in a vicious mood already. She opened her eyes and rolled up to her elbow, faking a smile. “Thank you, Karali.” She picked up the fragile teacup and downed the contents in a few swallows.
Karali, a plump woman in her late forties with beautiful white hair, pale skin, and kind blue eyes, smiled back. She had worked for Alcina for nearly five years and seemed to accept her quirks with equanimity.
On the table beside the tea tray were copies of two news circulars. The Daily Challenger
was the circular Alcina favoured, as it was the only one in the city that would dare criticise Principal Councillor Danoso and his band of thugs. “Should I look at that?” she asked.
Sometimes the news, especially bad news, overwhelmed her.
“You might enjoy it, ma’am. The Council has officially reversed their decision to expropriate the Catori estate.”
“Really?” It had been a year-long scandal and a twelve-month nightmare for the farmer who owned the estate. “Are they admitting they lied about wanting the land for the military base?”
“The official statement is that the sketches for Principal Councillor Danoso’s new home were misfiled by the attendants of the land registry office and should have never been attached to the deed for the Catori estate.”
“Of course,” Alcina said drily. “And the excuse for changing their minds about needing the land?”
“They have decided the land isn’t suitable to their needs.”
Alcina snorted.( Read more )
Chapter Two is here: http://moiraj.livejournal.com/391300.html