So you can read my books

Thursday, June 14, 2012



is getting company at 5 A.M. Friday ... ME.

I talk a bit how music plays a part in my END OF DAYS and

how it really plays a part in all of my writing.

Alex was gracious enough to be a good host and patiently listen.

Visit Alex yourselves so my presence won't cause a slump in his comments!

This is another Friday Challenge too:

{A continuation from the last challenge}

Alice Wentworth and the shade of Victor Standish have been grudgingly allowed one last dance before the warriors of High Fae Queen, Oyggia, sweep down upon them.

Sinend turned to her liege. “What harm could granting them a last dance do, Your Majesty?”

Her winter frost eyes grew contemplative. “None. And there actually may be profit for me in it.”

Victor snorted, “Well, we’ll dance anyway.”

“How, Victor?” I husked. “We cannot touch and there is no music.”

He winked. “No music? With me in your head, au contraire.”

A melodic, bitter-sweet waltz sang in my head with the sighing of violins, and I knew it was echoed in Victor’s as well.

“And touching?” I asked. “What shall we do about that?”

He smiled as sad as the tune in our heads.

“What we’ve done since we first met, Alice. We mirror one another, moving in sync one with the other, heart to heart, movement for movement.”

He held out his hand. I placed my hand above his misty one. We began to dance slowly and gracefully. Hot tears blinded me and hid his face from me. And yet, they did not, for I had his eyes ever before me, whether awake or asleep.

Our last dance was much like our whole love affair. We were so close, yet so far apart. Mirroring each other in step and heart, but forever separated by our very natures. Still, we moved as one, fluid and sweeping. The melancholy tune tugged at me soul-deep.

We danced in sweeping steps that took us all along the circle of hilt-clenching warriors. Victor ignored them. He studied me as if trying to memorize each gesture I made, every word I spoke. We whirled and twirled in a dance of love unlike the one of death Skeggjold and I had taken but moments before.

I drew in a breath I did not need as I swung in circles in our last waltz.

“Are you dead? Are you a ghost? Oh, I must know, Victor, what are you?”

“In love with you, Alice. Leave it at that.”

“No, I simply cannot die without knowing.”

His wavering form kept dancing but his face grew grim.

“You will weep bitter tears at the price of knowing, Alice. Do you still want me to tell you?”

“Yes! I will not die without knowing just how you come to be dancing with me, to have helped me these past days though all say you are dead.”

He and I danced as one, our feet seemingly floating above the still smoldering grass. He brushed my lips with his.

They tingled upon mine. There were tears of farewell in his eyes.

“I can see where you would have to know before you died.”

He closed his dark eyes for the briefest of moments, opened them, and then looked so sad into mine. “Remember those painful adjustments Magda gave you?”

I nodded, “Yes, when she mysteriously said they had made me into what I needed to be. But to be what, Victor?’

He sighed, “To be able to see the me that was within you.”

I almost sobbed, “I do not understand.”

He smiled as if the act hurt him. “Remember when to fight Abigail Adams, you became mist within me?”

“Yes, and I took on a part of your memories, your skills ….”

Victor interrupted, “ … took on a part of me, Alice. I’m the part of Victor you took with you that day. I stayed with you all this time.”

Oyggia cried out, “Yes! I can kill a soul echo!”

Victor spun from me in the flow of the music. I saw his intent. He was standing far from me so he alone would be hit by the queen’s savage energy blast.

His eyes. Oh, God, his eyes.

He was not afraid, not a bit. He knew Oyggia would do this. And yet, he told me anyway … because I asked him to.

Victor was calmly looking at me with all the love in his spectral heart. I was blown to the ground by Oyggia’s attack. The world became one enormous explosion.

When I opened my eyes, Victor was gone. Not even a flicker of a wavering image.
He was gone not just from in front of me.

I – I could no longer feel any trace of Victor within me. None at all. My heart felt cold stone. My chest, my soul was empty, alone.

Victor, my love, was truly dead. Dead.

I heard an animal wailing in pain. I went stiff with a sick realization. That was no animal. It was me.


Oyggia crowed in triumph as I wailed on my knees.

She sang the words, “We come to it at last. The End has come!”

I rose slowly to my feet.

“Oyggia, do you have the steel to fight someone who is looking you in the face?”

(Yes, Hell is about to be unleashed ... just not in the way anyone expects.}


  1. Hi Roland! I'll be sure to visit Alex's blog - thanks for letting us know.

    This was an exciting challenge piece to read...the dance scene is totally sigh-worthy! *sigh* My favorite part is when you describe the "melodic, bitter-sweet" music. And I got shivers up my arms when she was wailing toward the end. You do a great job of pacing...I liked this a lot. Oh, and Oyggia is a cool name, by the way. :)

    By the way, I'm hosting an awesome blogfest and critique giveaway at my blog if you're interested! :) Hope you have a great day.

    ~Wendy Lu

    The Roarin' Twenties Poetry Blogfest + Chapter Critique Giveaway (hosted by The Red Angel)

  2. Wendy Lu:
    I'm glad you like "Oyggia." I worked to find a name that sounded alien yet fae at the same time.

    Thanks for the kind words about my writing. The name of the tune which I cut for length from this excerpt is "COWS ON THE HILLS" by Jay Ungar. Look for it on YouTube. I think you will like the sound of it. Listening to it as you read Alice's and Victor's waltz will add a little something to the prose.

    I am going now to the blogfest. It is late at night for me, so I may just read and comment. Thanks, Roland

  3. Sfumato! Poor Alice, she was really missing VS

    1. Yes, indeed. Her heart was broken. But Hell is about to come calling! Did you get my email explaining the origins of Sfumato?

  4. Will definitely check out Alex's blog :)

  5. Trish and Elise, thanks!
    I would hate for Alex's comments to slump today because of me! :-)

  6. And you've already gathered many comments! Think the soundtrack idea is a big hit.

  7. Dear Roland,
    Poor Alice.
    I feel for her.
    Does this mean that Victor is really gone or is it just a small part of him that is gone and that he is somewhere else and can return to Alice?
    Best wishes,
    Anna's RFW #38

  8. Checked out Alex's blog and enjoyed your post.

    Here. Now. I haven't the words to describe the pain I feel for Alice. To finally feel the end. The true end of true love. And to have him blasted away before her very eyes. It is said hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Well, may hell feel shame to call itself a mournful place after Alice puts her smack down.

  9. You have some very imaginative constructs, Roland, the "soul echo," the name Oyggia...

    And despite VS being gone, I have a feeling he will find his way back to the page/screen.

  10. That was an intense and heartbreaking scene. Well done! Now I'm popping over to Alex's!

  11. Hi Roland! Congrats on your latest release, END OF DAYS. I've downloaded.

  12. Alex:
    I was hoping my presence wouldn't cause the number of your comments on your blog to slump. Glad that my idea seems to be popular -- of course, I beleive the true hit was that hilarious video review of PROMETHEUS.

    Never count out Victor Standish ... not when his father, Samuel McCord is in the situation, too!

    Thanks for the kind words about my writing. Yes, the smack was about to be put down ... but someone else is even more enraged than Alice about Victor.

    Oyggia finds out that killing the son of the Angel of Death was not the wisest of moves.

    If you read the epilogue to END OF DAYS, you will find out your hunch was correct!

    Thanks, Christine:
    For yesterday's post, for visiting here, and popping over to Alex's post!

    Yes, Alice and Victor are my urban fantasy Romeo and Juliet ... except I like happy endings.

    Thanks for downloading! I would do a PING soundtrack of END OF DAYS, but I don't have Itunes. I get all my tunes from Amazon. I would hate to have to buy all those songs over again!!

  13. Hi Roland. I've already visited Alex to read your post and it was great to hear you talk about music in scenes, novels...

    I loved reading the follow on from the previous RFWer challenge, i was looking forward to it. The same lyrical prose. I especially liked: 'We mirror one another, moving in sync one with the other, heart to heart, movement for movement.' I know we haven't seen the last of Victor.


  14. Very enticing tale Roland, love may be fleeting but a woman's fury is forever! Let's see where this goes :)

  15. Denise:
    Thanks for reading and liking my part of Alex's post.

    Thanks also for liking my prose waltz. It's hard to write a waltz! But not as hard as me trying to dance one!! LOL.

    No, you haven't seen the last of Victor. He is, after all, the son of the Angel of Death. Cue the spooky music. :-)

    Love is, indeed, fragile and fleeting most times. But when the furious woman in question is the Angel of Death whose son has just been killed ..... Brrr.

  16. Hi Roland,
    And what a harmonious, thoughtful posting you submitted on Alex's sharing, caring and superbly written site.
    You have the writing passion that clearly demonstrates the music, the songs that sing and dance within your words.
    A delight to have met you. You are an 'electric friend' and a marvellous 'electronic tonic'.
    With much respect to you, Gary

  17. Thanks,Gary:
    Isn't Alex's site expertly crafted and fun? Your own site is evocative, thought-provoking, and uplifting. I was glad when I visited at what I found. May this upcoming Sunday be healing and positive for you, Roland

  18. Dear Roland,
    I am sure a woman's fury can burn the very ground a man walks upon (smile). You have a great imagination my friend. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Andy:
    Thanks, my friend. Alice's rage sure could toast some tundra! Your nice comment helped to off-set some troubling news I just got. So especially thanks now, Roland

  20. This is a beautiful piece, almost poetic.
    And what happens next is sure to be awesome despite the seeming tragedy.

  21. Thank you, Rek:
    I am so happy you enjoyed this piece. Writing through the eyes of a Victorian girl was a challenge. I'm glad you liked her "voice."

    And yes, Alice's enemies are just about to find out that nothing is certain in her world! :-)

  22. Okay, so I know I'm not supposed to say Wow, but... wow. What an exiting piece. It's so full of anticipation and I love your imagination. Really good writing.

  23. Thank you, Myrna:
    One of my co-workers in Beaumont, Texas (when I was exiled there due to a hurricane) noticed I worked with a smile on my lips. He said, "Roland, you must live in an enchanted world."

    And I do ... in my head. The real one gets a bit fiesty for me!

    I am so happy you were struck by this piece ... and that it didn't leave mental bruises. Thank you for such a nice compliment, Roland

  24. Hi Roland.

    I was sure I posted a comment to this already. I've been having problems with my netbook clicking off at the most inopportune times and I forget to revisit blogs.

    Knowing Alice's resilience, and Victor's unwillingness to be destroyed, I'm sure they will get out of this. I always know that despite the tragedies your lovers sustain, the remain together. Love truly does conquer all in your worlds Roland.

    Thanks for participating in this weeks RFW prompt. Always a pleasure to read your novel excerpts.


  25. Donna:
    You read so many posts I am sure your eyes are bleary. Denise owes you some Visine!

    Love so seldom conquer all in the real world, I insist that it weathers most storms in mine!

    Alice and Victor united are an unbeatable team. Separate them and they are vulnerable.

    Always a pleasure for you to visit my cyber home and chat. It means a lot, Roland

  26. Ruth:
    Thanks for liking this excerpt. "Bittersweet and Romantic" sums up the love of Alice and Victor.