Monday, March 16, 2015

St. Patrick's Day 2015!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! Sásta Lá Fhéile Pádraig

Wear your green and listen to Irish music, try some traditional food. I hope everyone has a grand day :-)

Last year, I introduced what was then my new project Blood Ties a novel set in modern Ireland, but with an ancient and mythical twist. I'm expecting to publish it sometime this summer, but until then, I wanted to give you another teaser to wet your taste buds, so here's an excerpt in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

(R to L: Riordan, Keevan, Caitlin, Ciran, Tierney, Deaglan)

“Goblin patrol!”
            I spun around, sliding my sword from over my shoulder and hearing the answering rasps of my companions’ weapons. Keevan had his shield up and was already in a crouch as I watched the goblins racing up the hill toward us. I did a quick count. There were six. They were missing half their men and a couple of the goblins in this group I recognized from the fight before, having fought them myself, so they couldn’t have just left their wounded. I had a bad feeling the others had gone to intercept Riordan and Deaglan. Maybe they had been watching us the whole time. I could have smacked myself for my incompetence, but there was no time for that.
            “Shoulder to shoulder,” I told them. “There’s only two more than us, we can take them.”
            But the terrain was uneven and wet from the waterfall spray, and as I planted my feet I did not feel the reassuring firmness I liked best in a fight. The goblins charged at us, and thankfully we had the high ground. Keevan took out the first one, just by smashing a shield into his chest and sending him skidding down the damp hillside. Another goblin who had been at the first’s shoulder growled and charged the young Finar with his sword raised above his head. Keevan blocked the blow and staggered back and that was all I saw of that fight, before I was occupied with one of my own.
            A goblin charged me and I recognized him as the one who had tried to shoot Caitlin before. However, this time his bow was slung across his back and he was using a kind of long, deadly looking dagger and carried a small shield. I blocked his first blow with my sword but had to reverse my left arm and take the next on the back of my bracer, feeling a bruise already forming from the force of the blow. I kicked out at him and caught him in the chest, forcing him back several paces as I too leapt backwards, trying to distance myself from the goblin. The movement only caused him to charge me again with even more ferocity and smash his shield into my shoulder, rolling me several paces as I fell with a grunt.
            I nearly lost my sword, but gripped it tighter, and flung myself back onto my feet as he raced toward me again, his blade held ready to stab me.
            I hadn’t realized until then how close I was to the waterfall but only had a moment to let the potential danger of my position register before I was engaged in a life or death struggle again.
            “No where left to run, half blood!” the goblin said with a chuckle, jerking his chin toward the drop off behind me. I grinned and tossed my hair out of my eyes.
            “If I fall, I’m taking you with me,” I told him, swinging my sword in a figure-eight before pointing it at him and motioning him forward with a casual flick of my fingers. “Come on then. What are you waiting for?”
            He smiled tolerantly before he clashed his sword against his shield and leapt off a rock, flying at me through the air and bringing me down. I let his momentum carry him over my head with the help of my boot in his gut but he just rolled when he fell and was on his feet in an instant, even though he was winded, and lunged at me with a growl.
            I grabbed his wrist to keep his blade from my throat and he grabbed my sword arm as well and was pushing me back, closer to the drop—how far down it really was I’d had no time to find out.
            There was a moment when I couldn’t quite believe the fact I was grappling on the brink of a waterfall just like in an overblown action movie, but yet there I was and Keevan wasn’t far behind, still facing off with the same goblin he had been before, who was driving him hard. I couldn’t see where Tierney and Caitlin were because I was a bit too busy for that at the moment, but hoped they were not in as precarious a position as I was or worse.
            There was a sudden yell and, forgoing all training I had ever had, I looked over with concern to see Keevan slipping off his rock and falling down with the rushing water, the goblin he had been fighting going with him.
            I would have screamed for him, even knowing it wouldn’t have done anything, but I was suddenly slammed in the face by the hilt of my opponent’s sword. I teetered back on the precipice but gained my balance just before I received another strike that knocked the sword out of my wet hand. I kicked out at the goblin, but he caught my leg and I knew then, with horror, that this was it. He grinned, knowing as well, and I flailed my arms as he pressed me back. The only thing I could do now was take him with me, but I didn’t even get that chance.
            “Have a nice swim, Finar,” the goblin jeered, before he let me go and I fell backwards. 

Hope you enjoyed the teaser :-) Come back to the blog Friday when I will be posting a Spring giveaway for several of my books! 

Let me know if you're doing anything fun for St. Patrick's Day!

May the road rise up to meet you,

Slainte, Hazel


  1. Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day! I think this was the first year that I actually went totally without Irish music! I didn't play anywhere, I didn't go to any concerts. I went swing dancing and wore a green dress, and that was about the extent of my "Irishness" for this year.

    1. I didn't do much this year either because I was shot by that time this month :P I always listen to/play Irish music to it's not that different. Oh well ;)