Saturday, October 18, 2014


My novel is titled, "The Shepherdess".

Here's my synopsis:

The rape of a shepherdess threatens to tear apart more than the young girl's life.  The delicate balance of relations between the nations of Mars is thrown into chaos when she refuses to take "steel retribution" as demanded by law.  With the help of Altan, her philosopher-in-training little brother, Lady Jewel of the wealthy and learned nation of The Bowl, and Anma, the deadliest warrior on the world, can the young shepherdess heal herself and find a solution to save peace on Mars?

Here's my sample:

Bayan's mothsilk robes were alarmingly light compared to the heavy wool garments she wore at home; she still felt a bit undressed going about in the halls of the palace, even though the layers of softness danced over each other when she walked.  She plodded up the wide, carpeted steps behind Anma to the great tower, where shimmering windows in deep casements lined the armory.  They shimmer from enforcement fields, she remembered.  Yurts had no windows.  Everything in the palace was luxurious, grand and overwhelming.

Anma stopped, waiting for Bayan to catch up to her.  Anma's silver eyes pinned her.  "You are walking better every day, little one. Your hip is healing. When do you plan to take your retribution?"

Bayan's heart dropped in her belly.  All the late night talks with Altan came back, about compassion and karma and the natural righteousness of human beings.  She took a breath.

"How could anyone kill even a rapist?"  she answered, although she knew how.  Even the words, now spoken, burned deep in her gut, her bones.

Anma laughed.

"You're asking in earnest? Many women through history have killed their rapists. Men have killed their rapists as well. Many,"

Bayan looked up at the cases of gleaming weapons, swallowing past a pounding in her throat.

"But what is gained by answering violence with violence?"

Anma grinned, pointing to a gold plaque that read, "The golden rule must be enforced by steel,"

"That is what The Lady calls the 'paradox of human justice',"

Anma opened a case and took out a sword nearly as long as she was tall, running a finger down the blade as if she were caressing the cheek of a baby. She flipped the sword with a lightening arc of her wrist, then returned it to its mount. She looked back at Bayan.

"When you leave an injury unanswered, the victim then carries the burden of that injury. This is wrong. The burden belongs with the offender. Offenders must be held accountable and victims must be cleansed of blame, recover from the injuries and go free to live fully.  Recovered victims," she added, "Are very valuable citizens,"

"You are the steel that enforces the gold," said Bayan.

Anma shrugged. "I am only one blade," She took an axe from the case in a two-handed grip, weighing it and swaying as if she were about to dance with it. She twirled the handle in her palms, watching the light flash on the razor edge.

Bayan stood back.

"You are the deadliest blade,"  It was not a compliment.

"I am," She returned the axe to its place. Then she turned and frowned at Bayan, her mercurial eyes glinting. "You should never fear me. You are under our protection. Even I cannot kill children,"

Bayan said nothing as the words spun in her head.  

But you think me old enough to kill.

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