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The Dragon Dagger and the Ritual of Strength #SciFi #MFRWhooks

The Dragon Dagger and the Ritual of Strength #SciFi #MFRWhooks

 

With his sister's help, Pietas uses his dragon dagger to perform the Ritual of Strength. The ritual affirms his own prowess, and is far from religious in nature, but he never declares war without undergoing it.

The Dragon Dagger

Dessy picked up the dragon dagger and twirled it. "You should let our people know you still do this ceremony. They'd be impressed by your devotion."

"I don't do it to impress anyone. I do it to ready myself for-- Stop!" His sister had been sliding one fingertip along the edge of the blade. He removed the dagger from her grasp, and examined the edge.

"Honestly, Pietas! I was just testing the sharpness."

"I didn't want you to cut yourself."

"I'm as adept with blades as you. More so, if you ask me."

So like Dessy to miss the point. "If you'd cut yourself, I'd have to consecrate it again. It can only have my blood or my enemy's."

"You think I'm witless? As if I haven't performed this ceremony with you a hundred times. And here I thought you were concerned for my well-being."

"Stop playing, Dess. I told you, I'm busy."

She let out a harsh sigh. "Fine. Let's complete the ritual."

Dagger in hand, Pietas unfastened the clip in his hair, and let it fall. The wet tail slapped the middle of his back. He tossed the clip aside, placed the dagger on his palms, and offered it.

She poised her hand above it. "Who offers this weapon?"

"First Conqueror, War Leader of the Ultras."

She took it from him. "For whom are you willing to suffer?"

"I suffer for my people." Pietas turned his cheek.

Dessy slid the dagger tip along his face, from cheekbone to chin, drawing a thin trail of blood. "For whom do you bleed?"

"I bleed for my people." By the time the first drop of blood had risen, the cut had healed, leaving no scar.

Watch Pietas perform the Ritual

Origin of Pietas

 

To save his people, a genetically enhanced warrior must do the one thing he detests... trust a human.
Origin of Pietas
https://books2read.com/u/4DovO7

 

An exiled, immortal king and his not-quite human friend join a ginormous panther "kitty" and the most dysfunctional family since forever.
Forged in Fire
https://books2read.com/u/bpW7Kg

Forged in Fire


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

Bellicose: (adj) Ready to fight. Said of Pietas #AmWriting #PietasFans #MFRWhooks

Bellicose: (adj) Ready to fight. Said of Pietas #AmWriting #PietasFans #MFRWhooks

Bellicose

Bellicose...

Pietas, the immortal king, is a fighter, born and bred. In a word, bellicose. His class is bellator-techne, meaning he is a warrior first, and then a scientist.

He's also somewhat snarky and condescending and his fighting skills, like his mouth, tend to get him in trouble...

His first position was within a group called Soomus Bellum, which means "We are war". You can see their symbol on his armor in the banner for this post.

The best way to describe Pietas as a fighter is to let you "see" him in action. Bellicose also means assertive, aggressive, pugnacious, militant, scrappy and in-your-face. The scene below from The Origin of Pietas: Bringer of Chaos, shows him at his fighting best. Come to think of it, bellicose could use a picture of Pietas next to it in the dictionary.

The scene below begins with him trapped in a room with multiple cryogenic pods (life pods) and no air whatsoever. He can hold his breath ten times longer than a human, and they have sent in unarmed fighters because the humans know he will commandeer their weapons in a heartbeat. Pietas is on his side at the back of the room. The "ghosts" are members of Ghost Corps, special ops soldiers who have been resurrected using the blood of Pietas's people.

Listen while you read


On YouTube, the music video Queen's Breach by Critical Mass is listed as "epic action aggressive driving rock powerful". One listen and you'll agree. If that song isn't the bellicose Pietas in action as a fighter, I don't know what is. Read the excerpt below while you listen, and you'll see him in action. I listened to it repeatedly while I choreographed and wrote the fight of his immortal life.

Queen's Breach - The Critical Mass

Song: Queen's Breach
Artist: The Critical Mass
Album: Out of the Ashes: The Critical Mass Collection
Copyright: 2014 Josh Mobley

Bellicose

Remaining on his side, Pietas let them get all the way inside the room.

Crowded as the space was between his pod and the wall, two ghosts crept into it. Six spots of light showed on the other side. Eight ghosts then. That would be a much better fight. One nudged him with a foot.

Suppressing a smile, he continued to play dead.

Ghost One bent down, turned him onto his back.

Pietas let his body flop.

The guy came in closer, checked for a pulse.

He opened his eyes.

The ghost's alarm fed Pietas energy.

He yanked him down, hard, while jamming the heel of his hand up. The ghost's head snapped back, and Pietas felt his bones crack. He shoved him aside and went after Ghost Two.

Pietas gripped his leg and tripped him. He jammed an elbow down onto the man's neck. Bones broke. The ghost's stab of dying fear spiked the energy from the first, and Pietas mixed it with his gift of chaos. He flung the vortex of emotions outward, broadcasting confusion and terror.

He activated his ability called zip. The pseudo speed meant he could move at a regular pace, but humans perceived him as a blur. They could not focus on him long enough to get close. To him, everyone moved in slow motion.

He flipped onto his feet, braced both hands on his pod, and kicked Three and Four square in the chest.

He pushed off the pod, and the momentum carried him straight into the arms of Five and Six. They stumbled backward, tumbling Seven and Eight onto the floor.

Pietas rolled, grabbing Seven. One quick twist of the neck, and another down. Five to go.

Six and Eight flipped themselves to their feet. Three and Four struggled to rise.

Pietas took a running leap and crushed Three's neck. Four raised his hands to shield his face. A swift kick to the head--gone.

Pietas dropped, rolled, came up behind Eight. Broke his neck.

The burning need for air hurt, but there were two to go.

He turned, and a fist caught him in the mouth. Thrown off balance, he danced sideways. Pietas touched his lip, and frowned at the spot of blood. He met the gaze of Ghost Six, who'd punched him.

No human had ever hit him before. Pietas gave a nod.

Five and Six rushed him.

Turning into Five's momentum, Pietas hurled him into the wall, jamming the ghost's head down onto his spine.

He whirled back to find Six standing beside the pod holding Pietas's mother, working the code on a control panel. The ghost held up a warning hand, and poised his other over a bar with flashing red letters: Immolate.

He could kill the ghost without killing his mother. Pietas darted toward him.

Pick up the first story in the Bringer of Chaos series, Lights Out, free by joining a reader group!
https://kayelleallen.com/reader-groups

Origin of Pietas

Forged in Fire

Lights Out

What the Corps provides, the Corps can take away #SpaceOpera #MFRWhooks #MFRWorg


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

Condescending? But of course. Writing a patronizing character. Pietas Insults #AmWriting #PietasFans #MFRWhooks

Condescending? But of course. Writing a patronizing character. Pietas Insults #AmWriting #PietasFans #MFRWhooks

Pietas, the immortal king, has a good bit of snark. You can read that post here. He also tends to be patronizing and condescending and is not above outright insult.

Writing a character with snark and a tendency to be imperious is a delightful experience. But when does that attitude go too far?

How do you know when to dial back a haughty character's arrogance?

Patronizing

A patronizing attitude reveals a character flaw, but it can be entertaining as well. How do you keep from going overboard? Here are 3 ways I found to temper my temperamental immortal king.

1 Do not use a patronizing attitude for no reason. Nothing alienates a reader faster than a character who is nasty to others just for the sake of being nasty. Make insults in the scene spring from an obvious need or cause. In the opening of Origin of Pietas: Bringer of Chaos, Pietas offers a direct insult to his father, but it's in response to his father's callous treatment.

2 Do not substitute a patronizing attitude when a scene calls for action. An action scene such as a fight or physical action can do much to advance the story. If you have your character just be snarky instead of dealing with danger, it comes off as negativity, or worse, as cowardice. Nothing says that you can't have your character mouth off during a fight. The fact that they can deal with physical action and still be able to think of something snarky to say says a lot about a person.

3 Do not allow the character to be verbally vicious unless the scene demands it. There is a big difference between disdain and cruelty. If your character insults someone viciously, ask yourself how that will move the story forward. Will it fuel the plot? Or do you intend the scene to show a major character flaw? If so, show the consequences as early as possible. Your character gets fired, or loses a friend, or someone takes it out on a person they love.

10 patronizing quips by Pietas

  • Oh, how exciting. (delivered deadpan) One can scarcely articulate the excitement.
  • I trust people, except for two types: those I know, and those I don't.
  • You don't wrestle your demons, do you? You cuddle them.
  • My father does indeed have a heart. It's shaped like a fist.
  • Am I going to be arrogant my entire life? I think we both know the answer to that question.
  • I see you're spoiling for a fight. Don't let me stop you. I'm ready to defeat you anytime.
  • He states the obvious with such an astonishing sense of discovery.
  • It's not that she's insane. It's that she's a high-functioning basket case.
  • I won't be there. I don't attend irredeemably boring events.
  • His life is a pedestrian and lamentable melodrama.

Just as in real life, actions and words have consequences. It's great to show the flaw, but remember to show the result as well.

Pietas inhabits many books in my story universe, including the Bringer of Chaos series, the Antonello Brothers, and Tales of the Chosen. Download a printable PDF list of my books: Booklist

Pick up the first story in the Bringer of Chaos series, Lights Out, free by joining a reader group!
https://kayelleallen.com/reader-groups

Origin of Pietas

Forged in Fire

Lights Out

What the Corps provides, the Corps can take away #SpaceOpera #MFRWhooks #MFRWorg


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

10 Snarky Ways to Say No: Pietas #SpaceOpera #PietasFans #MFRWhooks

10 Snarky Ways to say no: Pietas #SpaceOpera #PietasFans

When I started writing about Pietas, he'd been a villain in other books, or at least a bad guy with serious issues. But after writing a couple of stories where he's the actual hero, I know him so much better. One thing I was surprised by is how snarky he is. I thought the immortal king would be much more dignified, but it turns out that around those he trusts, he can more than snarky.

Snarky is as Snarky Does

In fact, I started writing the Bringer of Chaos series so I could understand him. I was working on a book in the Antonello Brothers series and could not get Pietas to do what I wanted him to do. He wouldn't be the villain, no matter how much I tried to write him that way.

In exasperation, I told a friend about my problem and she suggested interviewing him. She'd call me on Skype and I would answer as Pietas. I would role play the character and free associate his answers. It opened my eyes to an entirely new aspect of my immortal king.

The Bringer of Chaos series was born from that interview.

An anti-hero is a protagonist but one who doesn't have the usual characteristics that would make them heroes (or heroines). Batman is a perfect example. He's a vigilante. He works outside the law. But we all root for him.

Here's what I've learned about writing anti-heroes in a nutshell. They have:

  • Character flaws
  • Complex motives
  • Internal conflicts
  • Issues with intimacy
  • Generally a realist

Character Flaws

With Pietas, I started listing his flaws and decided which two or three would be the ones I'd focus on. What are they? His are many, but I'll start with one that I showed on the first page of Origin of Pietas: Bringer of Chaos.

Perfectionism

He hates it when people mispronounce his name. I could have written "He hated it when people mispronounced his name." But where's the fun in that? It tells. I prefer to show. So I wrote a scene where he sees a video in which the media accuses him of a misdeed. I wrote:

At her mispronunciation of his name, he gritted his teeth. "My name is pronounced Pee-ah-toss, thank you. Not Pie-ah-toss. Pee-ah-toss. It's six letters. How hard is that to get right?" He stormed away from the podium.

By having him react strongly to the error, it reveals one of his flaws and a bit of his character.

Snarky

Pietas often chooses insults over tact. One way that shows best is when he's asked to do something he'd rather not do. Here are ten snarky ways Pietas might tell someone "no."

  • No, but do you know who would love doing that? Someone with less intelligence.
  • Try asking someone else. I'm too smart.
  • I would love to, but I'm planning a much more interesting nap.
  • Has the netherworld frozen solid? If so, then by all means, yes.
  • That sounds like a job for someone incapable of thinking past point A.
  • I'm sure there are worse ways to do that, but I can't think of any.
  • I was going to suggest you stop acting stupid, but I realized you weren't acting.
  • My original misconceptions of your idea have proven true.
  • If you don't want a sarcastic answer, then don't ask a stupid question.
  • Would you like me to spell the word NO for you?

Lovable

Pietas is lovable despite his mistakes, and he forgives mistakes in others. Here's a quick excerpt from Forged in Fire: Bringer of Chaos for example. In this scene, Joss, one of the warriors with whom Pietas has had a long relationship, keeps taking them in circles on the way back to camp. His usual snarky attitude gives way to tenderness.

"Joss, you've been saying 'not far' for hours. Did I not teach you to mark trails?"

"I'm sorry, Pietas. It won't happen again."

Oh, but it would. She wouldn't mean for it to happen, but it would. He'd tried for centuries to teach her how to find her way, to no avail. He kissed her cheek and drew her into his arms, savoring her warmth.

"Joss." He placed his mouth near her ear. "You couldn't find your way out of a round room with one door."

She jerked up her head and looked at him, eyes wide.

"And I adore you for it."

Pick up the first story in the Bringer of Chaos series, Lights Out, free by joining a reader group!
https://kayelleallen.com/reader-groups

Origin of Pietas

Forged in Fire

Lights Out

What the Corps provides, the Corps can take away #SpaceOpera #MFRWhooks #MFRWorg


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

Senth likes who? No way #Excerpt #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Senth likes who? No way #Excerpt #SciFi #MFRWhooks

From At the Mercy of Her Pleasure

In this scene from At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, NarrAy and Encie, one of her aides, have just observed a quick interchange between Senth and NarrAy's other aide, Broxus, and mistakes what and who Senth likes.

The reality is, Broxus had thought Senth was attracted to Encie when Senth had actually meant he likes NarrAy. Because the women had showed up while they were talking, Senth and Broxus had resorted to a kind of code.

The result? NarrAy has completely misread the situation.

He likes who?

NarrAy bit out a curse and folded her arms.

"What?" Encie sidled closer.

"He likes Brox."

"Senth? No."

"Why else would he look so embarrassed? And come on, helping Brox with his tie? Since when did Brox ever care about that? It's obvious Senth likes him and they wanted to be alone."

"No way." Encie shook her head. "Brox is not interested in his own gender."Senth likes who? No way #Excerpt #SciFi #MFRWhooks

"How would you know?"

Encie wiggled her eyebrows.

"You and... No." Brox's door remained shut. NarrAy squinted. "When?"

"Before we came to work for you. We're long since over each other."

"So..." NarrAy turned back to her. "You don't think..."

"I know for a fact that Brox isn't."

NarrAy tapped a finger against her lips. "Good."

Encie leaned closer. "There's one way to find out. Touch him."

"No. Besides, Senth is on Shackle."

"Think of it as a challenge. Can your pheromones beat the drug?"

"No." Folding her arms, NarrAy turned away. "That wouldn't be right."

"You've been flirting with Senth since he got in the car back in town. Don't even try to tell me you don't like him." A hand on her hip, Encie strutted into view. "He and his brother are the hottest things I've seen in weeks. Did you see the abs on him? I almost swallowed my tongue."

NarrAy paced the room, her pulse heightening.

Senth's door opened, and he came out dressed in immaculate black-and-white evening attire. Black tie against his throat, loose curls brushing his shoulders. The suit accented his wide shoulders and narrow waist. He looked every bit as rich as he was supposed to look. Those diamond studs were no doubt real, and stolen.

His big, pale blue cat-eyed gaze focused on her, causing NarrAy to tingle all over. He looked away and adjusted a diamond cufflink.

Senth's untutored vulnerability and restrained sensuality lashed at her senses. Sweet, charming, intelligent. All the man needed now was the right woman to awaken his passion.

NarrAy strolled toward him.


To free his enslaved brother from a cruel master, Senth, an all-party-fun-and-games thief, must take on the hardest assignment of his life: stealing from the Empress. To make matters worse, he has no choice but to work with NarrAy, a by-the-book rebel female captain whose addictive pheromones could jeopardize the mission and destroy Senth's will.
When the unthinkable happens and NarrAy professes her love for him, Senth must decide if what he feels is real. Can he trust this woman? If he loves her back, can he still save his brother? Or will Senth end up at the mercy of her pleasure forever...
Read At the Mercy of Her Pleasure for free on Kindle Unlimited https://books2read.com/u/m2o9P1

The Antonello Brothers Series

~ visit the series page ~


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

Tell yourself it is only fable, if that will help you sleep #SciFi #MFRWhooks #SpaceOpera

Tell yourself it is only fable, if that will help you sleep #SciFi #MFRWhooks #SpaceOperaFable: A deliberately false or improbable account, a story about mythical or supernatural beings or events.

When the Chancellor of the Ultras, an immortal race, says he is coming for you, that’s a promise you can write in stone. In this foreward from the book, Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas, he lays out that promise. The twist of these words won’t become apparent until the end of book 3, Watch Your Six, but it has its beginnings here.

Fable, that’s all it is (from Pietas)

This book you hold is being presented as fiction, but it did happen. It is as real as the air you breathe. While this is not a first-person story, it follows my point of view.

I would never have allowed a human to know these things, but a friend persuaded me there can be no vengeance unless those in the wrong know what they did. When one has wronged another, one must face the consequences.

Having been persuaded to tell the story, I now allow it to be placed into your hands. I want you to know the truth. Why? Because other Ultras have hidden the truth. Buried it beneath fables and false retellings, as if you were a child unable to bear harsh reality. Unwilling to face the consequences of what your kind has done.

Above all, because I will not lie to you.

When I come for you, I want the satisfaction of seeing your regret for what your ancestors did to my kind. I want to see your fear, and taste your terror.

This is no horror story. It’s merely science fiction. Tell yourself it is only fable, if that will help you sleep. By all means, human, do sleep.

Read this, if you dare to know the truth.

Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas

A captive of the people he loathes, the immortal Pietas is left for dead on the planet Sempervia. Six, a human soldier who is abandoned with him, offers food and water. Is this man worthy of friendship? Or is this another trap?

Either way, Pietas must do the one thing he detests. Trust a human…

Universal book link https://books2read.com/u/4DovO7


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It’s a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

 
 
 
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