I am hard at work writing and editing Warriors of Apasas. I’m getting excited as I get to the halfway point and how events are playing out for Myrine and Kynna. Apasas has changed so much in ten years and the turmoil is thick as a dark brew. I have ventured more into the fantasy part of the Historical Fantasy genre by bringing in the mythical lore of these ancient times; and as the story moves on ritual magic and goddesses will intrigue and interfere with the lives of the people of Apasas. I would love to say this book will be out in December as planned but it would take a small miracle to have that happen. Goddess knows I want to but it looks like it won’t be published until next year. I am also working on the third book, “Queens of Azar Kali” and hope to publish that at the same time next year. So, the long wait will produce two books instead of one and publishing date will be in May 2022.
A question I’ve been pondering lately is why did I ever want to write about these women? What has been my fascination with warrior women and especially the Amazons. When I first met my character Myrine I asked her, “Why did women have to pick up weapons and start defending themselves?” I’ve been thinking about this a lot as I write and its leading in places I would have never gone with these characters. They pretty much take the lead. I have an outline but the direction the writing goes is surprising as I am sure it is with a lot of writers when they are deep in their story. A lot of the stories told about warrior women were conjured hundreds of years later and told by men with no ounce of feminine energy or sympathy about who they were. I feel there’s so much more to tell, stories that only women can tell of the lives of women who may have had to make choices like Myrine and Kynna.
Another reason I’m writing this series is because I devoured all the other books written with Amazon main characters and watched the Xena, Warrior Princess series way too many times. I wanted more about the Amazons and where they might have originated. So, my love for these women is really at the crux of this book series.
Below is a short excerpt from Warriors of Apasas. It’s actually the Prologue and after another revision will open book 2.
Warriors of Apasas - Prologue
“Shhh, someone will hear us Emani,” Lykke scolded. She held Emani’s hand, almost dragging her down the path between the dunes. The moon hung in a sliver sliver over the water, their whispers were lost in the hiss of the surf.
“Come here, I want to show you something.” Lykke leaned in to speak in her ear.
“What is it? Oh my! Look at the stars, Lykke. They are so bright…it’s,,,it's gorgeous,” Emani’s words trailed off as Lykke urged her through the dry grass into the forest.
“We’re almost there, come on.”
The young girls were no more than eight summers when they decided to explore the beach at night. Lykke dared Emani to come. Emani was always afraid to go on one of Lykke’s adventures but when she held her hand, she felt safe.
“Almost there Emani, I found a place where you can see the stars through the trees and when the moon is full, it feels like you can almost walk on it.”
“Lykke, you are always dreaming. If you keep it up, you will be too starry eyed to be a warrior. General Ikippe demands attention and concentration. Myrine tells me this all the time.”
“I know but we have another year before we train. We can dream until then.”
Lykke pulled on Emani’s hand then stopped and braced her arm, elbow bent to cushion her against the abrupt stop. Their eyes met.
Lykke pointed to the sky. “Look.”
Emani moved her eyes to Lykke’s finger and followed it upwards to the tops of the pines. Wide eyed, lips parted, she gasped at the view. The stars seemed to touch the branches lighting little fires at the tips. The moon was so close it lit a path on the ground below.
They tilted back, pointing at the twinkling pulses between the limbs and the midnight sky, the weight of light drawing them to one another.
Lykke turned to watch Emani marvel at the stars. Her brown eyes reflected specks of gold. She tried not to stare but, Lykke’s beauty captivated her each time she saw her. She rolled out the blanket she carried over her shoulder and tugged on Emani’s arm, urging her to sit beneath one of the tall pines.
“Let’s watch for a while. You can tell me your dreams. I won’t tell them to anyone.”
Emani relaxed beside Lykke spreading her hands over the blanket. It was rough and smelled of pine and hay.
“You washed your horse blanket.”
“Yes, so you and I can sit and smell sage and the fresh night air instead of horse dung.’
They laughed and breathed in the salty breeze then sat silent watching the glow of the shrinking moon through the trees. Lykke’s mind was full of words, words he struggled to put together. Words he willed himself to find courage to say.
Emani, I have to tell you something and I hope you don’t think I am silly.”
“Tell me, I don’t think anything you say is silly.”
Her courage waning, Lykke looked to Emani’s raven hair, the night breeze lifting it gently from her shoulders. Her eyes pulsed like the stars, her lips opened slightly, waiting. Lykke’s courage shifted from spoken to unspoken words and needs. She leaned in and whispered.
“Emani, I think…”
Emani moved in and kissed Lykke softly on her lips. Her eyes fluttered then closed. Lykke closed her eyes and drifted into her until their small kiss suspended the motion of the earth around them.
But a cold chill drew them back to her blanket. Lykke felt Emani pull away abruptly. She opened her eyes to see Emani scrambling backwards away from her, her eyes wide with fear.
Lykke watched her lips move, mouthing her name but all was silent and then dark.
Her head jerked back and a thick cloth was tied around her head tearing away strands of her hair. Huge arms pulled her up from the ground. She kicked and catapulted her legs, trying to break free of the grip around her. Emani’s screams echoed from somewhere behind her. She struggled harder against the huge arms until a greasy fat hand covered her mouth. Emani’s screams stopped and something slammed against the ground.
Lykke heard a deep gruff voice behind her.
“Easy,” he said. “We must get a good price for these two. We don’t need them bruised up and bleeding.”
“Amazzi meat is spoiled anyway,” another male voice groaned.
“Get that one to quit her kicking and let’s go. Tomorrow the ships leave for Limnos and this Amazzi trash will be on them.”
Ropes twisted and chewed into Lykke’s ankles and wrists. She bit at the fat hand that covered her mouth but was smacked in the face by another massive fist. Lykke saw the stars twinkle and then fall from the black sky.