#SixSunday – Circle of the Butterfly #10

I’ve been giving you some of Briar’s very lowest moments, so today, I thought I’d give you a brighter one. This conversation is told in Charles Enwert’s POV. He’s one of the knights assigned to escort Briar on the Ruby String mission, and it takes place shortly before before the prince finds Jiadexin behind the wardrobe. Briar is bored and is trying to goad the knights into gossip. Charles would prefer they not talk about the king and queen, which only encourages the young prince. Briar has the first line below.

“It is rumored that his Excellency, the king, has kept women…”

“…please, don’t…”

“…and mom couldn’t care less, because he isn’t bugging h—”

“Have you no decency?!” Charles snapped at the prince.

Briar laughed heartily and said, “I’m not even into the good stuff yet.”

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Pippa Jay, Kelly Seguin, Steven Montano, and Goran Zidar.

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#SixSunday – Circle of the Butterfly #9

Last week, Briar thought about the turning points of Jiadexin’s life. This six immediately follows.

Briar supposed it mattered little. Dawn was threatening. In hours, he would be married to a woman he despised, for no better reason than the women he’d choose were forbidden to him. Mia was his “cousin,” and Jiade bound by sacred vows and divine law to remain a virgin.

The Oracles’ last hope to close their broken Circle was dead by her own hand.

And it was his fault.

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Pippa Jay, Kelly Seguin, and Steven Montano.

This was Unannounced, Completely Accidental Hildie McQueen Week on my blog. Check out her Evolution Thursday and leave a comment for a shot at winning a free copy of her novella “Desperate Choices” or a $10 Starbucks gift card. 🙂

#SixSunday – Circle of the Butterfly #8

Okay…[cracks knuckles]…last week, Briar found a little girl named Jiade hidden behind a wardrobe closet. For those of you following along with this series, her sister was the one in the box with the butterflies. This scene takes place 25 years later, and Briar is on the beach struggling with his “niece’s” death.

Briar wondered when he lost that little girl? The night before as she begged him to call off his marriage to Vanessa Saung? The summer past, when Jiade put the man who killed her family on his knees, only to toss her sword and walk away in disgust?

Four years ago, as she lay wounded behind enemy lines, a prisoner of the Sand King?

At seventeen, when she was called by the Oracles into their Circle and ordained Virgin Knight?

Fifteen, when she first uttered her warning–I am the angel of death, and I’m coming for [Anyakar]–to a rogue Hand, right before she picked up the teeth he spat to keep for souveniers?

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Pippa Jay, Kelly Seguin, and Steven Montano.

And if you’re interested in character-vs-character interviews, check out the Midsummer Night’s Blog Hop. Eighteen writers tossed their names into a hat. Pairs were drawn. And Thursday, they posted character-vs-character interviews. Interested? Check click the green square on the right margin. All of the posts are linked from there. Happy Summer 🙂

#SixSunday – Circle of the Butterfly #7

Last week, Briar accused a doll of standing by silently while Liasneh’s men killed the blacksmith’s family. In his annoyance at the doll failing to own up her cowardice, he tossed it over his shoulder, which brought all of the other dolls down around him. The child’s mother had stitched a name into the back of each doll’s dress, which Briar had assumed was the doll’s name. But, as many dolls now lay around him, he sees the same two names…Jianshen and Jiadexin…stitched into all of the dresses. When he adds that to other details from the house, he comes to the conclusion that the Mother wasn’t hiding herself and her daughter in the wardrobe. She wanted the men to think they found what they were looking for.

Briar stepped into the wardrobe closet and explored the corners and edges of the interior space. His fingers slipped into a shadowed notch and the back panel popped open. As it swung toward him, it revealed small space in the wall behind the wardrobe, and inside was a young girl, curled up with her hands over her ears and her eyes closed tight.

“It’s over, child,” he said to her. Several long moments passed before she accepted his hand, but when she wrapped her arms around his neck, she clung to him as if to life. Returning the embrace, he whispered in her her ear, “You’re safe now.”

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Pippa Jay, Kelly Seguin, and Steven Montano.

#SixSunday – Circle of the Butterfly #6

Last week, Briar found drawings that told him a “Tay Child” lived in the blacksmith’s house. I’m skipping past Briar getting distracted while on his way to tell Shannen and Charles what he found. He follows a trail of blood to the upstairs bedroom, where he finds the blacksmith and his wife dead. Between the bodies, one of their daughter’s dolls lays face down in a creeping puddle of his blood. He sits down below a shelf full of dolls to collect himself.

Holding one of the ragdolls in both hands, Briar laid his head back against the wall below the shelf and stared at the wardrobe’s open doors.

“You saw what happened didn’t you?”

The doll didn’t answer him.

“You watched from your shelf, pretty as maids, while your friend drowned in Father’s blood, and you said nothing, I’d wager…” he flipped the doll around and looked at the hem of her dress “…Jiadexin.”

Annoyed with the doll’s refusal to answer him, he tossed it carelessly over his head. This time when she tumbled down from her shelf, she brought all of the silent witnesses down with her.

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah BallanceKrystal WadeMonica Enderle PierceSiobhan MuirSarah W.Pippa Jay, Kelly Seguin, and Steven Montano.

#SixSunday – Circle of the Butterfly #5

Last week, Briar was spooked off his horse in a burning village. Shannen, one of his guardians, has some special powers like those of the Oracles. The “comet” Briar saw was part of her effort to put the forest fire out. I’m skipping ahead a bit. Briar has found the home of the local blacksmith. It was untouched by the fire, so he enters. Inside, he finds something that chills him more than days of death and destruction.

As Briar compared drawing in his hands to the others littered about the house, each step forward became harder, and each breath mattered less. The weight of the paper grew heavier in his hands. The little girl had scribbled the same mark on each scrap, over and over, as if calling out her curse by name.

It occurred to the prince almost as an afterthought that Sister Iriel’s plea for help had not been a vain demand on his father. All the ash on Briar’s hands, the blood, the memory, the smell…it was all for a Tay Child and–

“Oh Gods, they found her,” Briar barely whispered.

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah BallanceKrystal WadeMonica Enderle PierceSiobhan MuirSarah W.Pippa Jay, Kelly Seguin, and Steven Montano.

#SixSunday – Circle of the Butterfly #4

Last Week, Liasneh’s box opened, releasing butterflies into Erik’s throne room, and revealing a dead child laid to rest with wild flowers. This next six happens roughly at the same time, hundreds of miles away. The point of view belongs to Erik’s son, Prince Briar, who along with two of Colette’s guardians, is following the path of destruction left by Liasneh’s men through a region called “The Ruby String.” The three were sent into the woods simply to punish the prince for embarrassing his father. The rumors weren’t taken seriously by Erik’s court; Briar and the knights weren’t expected to find anything.

Death waited for them beyond the veil of smoke.The wind shifted, Briar dug in his heels, and his horse charged deeper into the burning woods.

It was neither bravery nor desire on his part; he’d never been accused of having much of the former, and the latter he reserved for carnal delights. Anticipation pushed him between the smoldering trees and into the clearing moments before a comet crossed behind him, spooking his horse.

The prince pushed up from the ground just enough to spit out dirt and watched with awe the ring of fire chasing a flurry of leaves along the tree line.

He followed the flame until his eye fell on Shannen standing with her arms outstretched, eyes cast skyward, balanced upon the village well in the eye of the storm.

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah BallanceKrystal WadeMonica Enderle PierceSiobhan MuirSarah W.Pippa Jay, Kelly Seguin, and Steven Montano.

#SixSunday – Circle of the Butterfly #3

In last week’s six, Liasneh outed Sister Colette’s secret to the king and his court. A birthday might seem a little thing, but the Kelmarine have celebrated Colette’s birth on the winter solstice for thousands of years. Combine that with her advanced age, and the “summer baby” fact is more than simply shocking; it’s an explanation of sorts for why a woman who’s supposed to be immortal isn’t.

I’m skipping ahead here a bit. After a tense conversation about defiance of the gods, Liasneh plunges her sergeant’s sword into the box. She offers the ominous display as a birthday gift to her dear sister, and leaves the way she came, through a ring of blue smoke.


Colette pulled against the knights that held her back but couldn’t free herself. The top of the box split, then the walls unfolded and fell to the floor with a series of bangs that silenced the room. Thousands of butterflies fluttered up into the air, revealing Liasneh’s gift as they cleared the space.

[A guest of the king’s] young daughter, Princess Vanessa let out a blood curdling scream.

A little girl in a white dress, five years old, perhaps six, lay upon a cloud of wild flowers. It would have been a lovely wake for a soul so young, if not for the massive blade pinning her to the floor.


This is the last six I’m posting from the prologue, so I’ll explain. Twelve Oracles are needed to destroy Liasneh. The little girl would have been the twelfth.

Please check out the other authors at Six Sentence Sunday. Some of my favorites are Sarah BallanceKrystal WadeMonica Enderle PierceSiobhan MuirSarah W.Pippa Jay, Kelly Seguin, and Steven Montano.

Writers! Participation in SSS is straightforward. Submit a link to the host site between 6:00 pm Tuesday and 11:59 pm on Saturday. Post a six sentence excerpt on your blog by 9 am Eastern (US) on Sunday.

#SixSunday – Circle of the Butterfly #2

Last week, Liasneh drew her sergeant’s sword and teased Colette’s guards for assuming she mean to harm the oracles, (which she does…just not at the moment.) This six follows immediately after last week’s.


Liasneh gazed coolly up at the king. She placed the tip of the sword on the box and crossed her arms as if to embrace it. With her hands each grasping the opposite sides of sculpted crossing, she rested her chin on one and tilted her face just slightly in towards the handle.

“What I want, Eric, is to betray Sister Colette’s best kept secret.”

Colette stood up from her chair.

Liasneh shifted on her feet, but continued to lean on the blade as she said, “Her birthday is today.”


Please check out the other authors at Six Sentence Sunday. Some of my favorites are Sarah BallanceKrystal WadeMonica Enderle PierceSiobhan MuirSarah W.Pippa Jay, Kelly Seguin, and Steven Montano.

Writers! Participation in SSS is straightforward. Submit a link to the host site between 6:00 pm Tuesday and 11:59 pm on Saturday. Post a six sentence excerpt on your blog by 9 am Eastern (US) on Sunday.

#SixSunday – Circle of the Butterfly #1

Sadly, I have no more sixes to share from Virgo. I’ll get right on fixing that, but for the meantime, I’ve blown the dust off Circle of the Butterfly. This six part of a lengthy prologue (please don’t shoot me. I wrote this thirteen years ago before I knew when and how to use a prologue.)

Circle is a two-volume, 210k word, fantasy epic with several interwoven stories that are impacted by the destiny/fate of twin girls…one who is murdered at the age of five, the other who spends ten years of her life seeking revenge on the men who killed her sister. One of those men, and the primary object of Jiadexin’s rage, is Anyakar in the scene below. Liasneh, Anyakar’s master, ordered the hit.


Liasneh pulled Anyakar’s sword from his belt as she made her way back around the coffin-like box she had brought. As Colette drew a sharp breath, her dedicated knights entered the throne room, swords drawn, to form a sentry line before her and her oracle sisters. A single sweet clang of metal on stone rang out as all ten points hit the stone floor at once.

Holding her sergeant’s heavy blade carelessly out to the side as if it were a child’s toy, Liasneh grinned and taunted, “This isn’t for them!”

“Sit,” Colette said. Her guardians dropped to their knees and sat upon their heels.


Please check out the other authors at Six Sentence Sunday. Some of my favorites are Sarah BallanceKrystal WadeMonica Enderle PierceSiobhan MuirSarah W.Pippa Jay, Kelly Seguin, and Steven Montano.

Writers! Participation in SSS is straightforward. Submit a link to the host site between 6:00 pm Tuesday and 11:59 pm on Saturday. Post a six sentence excerpt on your blog by 9 am Eastern (US) on Sunday.