NovelSisters

watching, reading, and writing stories

Sneak Peek #3

I haven’t posted any sneak peeks for my new novel “Finding Home: The Lost Brother” in quite awhile, so I thought I’d share one of my favorite moments from the new book. If you haven’t already read them, there are two other sneak peeks: https://lydiamhill.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/another-sneak-peek/  and  https://lydiamhill.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/a-sneak-peek/
You should probably read them first, so this scene will make more sense. And if you haven’t read the first book in the series yet “Finding Home: The Orphan’s Journey,” check it out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Home-Orphans-Lydia-Hill/dp/1490556427/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430152065&sr=8-1&keywords=finding+home+the+orphan%27s+journey

And now without further ado, a sneak peek:

Finding Home
Caleb sighed audibly. “I hope this doesn’t take too long.”

Adrian shrugged and turned towards the house.

Caleb reluctantly followed Adrian inside the worn structure. “You know we can’t wait on that kid too long, only a few minutes.”

Adrian sighed, “I know.” He began to study the home’s interior quietly. He touched an old wooden-framed bed and the stones of the soot-filled fireplace.

Caleb looked at the poorly furnished home and wondered what was so special about it. He looked at Adrian for some kind of clue. After seeing Adrian smile at odd objects, like spoons and a wooden sword, Caleb spoke up. “This is where you grew up, isn’t it?”

Adrian nodded as he held a worn bowl in his hand. He glanced around the small room. “It hasn’t changed much.” He set down the bowl.

Caleb nodded but didn’t say anything for several minutes. Finally he broke the silence, “I’m sorry Adrian.”

Adrian turned to look at Caleb. “What for?” he asked, confused.

“I didn’t realize this was your home…. I shouldn’t have pushed you to leave. I know it can be hard… to say goodbye.”

“That’s alright Caleb, you didn’t know.”

Caleb studied Adrian’s face. “So are you alright?”

Adrian nodded. “Yes, I just…” he trailed off.

Caleb waited.

“I just don’t want to forget them…. With all the running around, getting ready for the coronation, and clearing the land of any remaining Unguls, I’ve felt like I’m losing them again… it’s like I don’t have a family.”

Caleb waited for a minute, then hesitantly said, “But you do have a family; King Richard.”

Adrian smiled. “Yes, I know. And I’m thankful for that… but it’s different. I don’t know. Does this make sense at all?”

Caleb shrugged his shoulders. “Makes sense to me. When you were growing up you had a father, a mother, several brothers… wait did you have a sister?”

Adrian laughed, “No, I did not. Serina says that’s why I have horrible table manners.”

Caleb nodded, then continued, “So you had this big family, and now you just have Richard. And I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with Richard, but he is just one man. I think it’s understandable for you to feel like you’ve lost your family.”

Adrian nodded. “Thank you Doctor Caleb. Now what do I do about it?”

Caleb shrugged. “Not a clue. But I’m sure you’ll figure something out.”

Adrian shook his head and laughed. “Thanks Caleb.”

Caleb stepped back outside, “You know everyone’s waiting on us.”

Adrian sighed as he followed his friend, “Yeah I know. I just don’t want to break a promise.”

Caleb nodded. “I understand… but it is my job to get you to the coronation and… well we are running out of time.” He climbed onto his mount and looked expectantly at Adrian.

Adrian nodded, “You’re probably right. He walked over to Midnight and prepared to hop on.

“Wait!” Alex’s voice called from down the hill.

Adrian stopped and smiled up at Caleb, “Right on time.”

Caleb rolled his eyes, “I guess we can wait a few more minutes.”

Alex soon crested the top of the hill with another boy right beside him.

Josiah suddenly stopped in his tracks.

Adrian too froze in place.

Alex glanced from one to the other with a huge smile plastered on his face. “Surprise!” he yelled.

Caleb looked on confused. “Adrian?” he said quietly.

Adrian paid no attention to Caleb’s words, “Josiah?” he said so quietly, it might have been only to himself.

Josiah blinked and rubbed his eyes, making sure what he was seeing wasn’t one of his imaginations. But when he looked again, Ben was still standing there, staring back at him. Suddenly the world melted away, and Josiah was running.

Adrian could hardly believe what he was seeing, but once Josiah began running towards him, his hesitation disappeared and he ran too.

The two collided in a massive hug, with Adrian lifting Josiah off the ground. They both held onto each other tightly, too overcome with emotion to say a word.

Caleb cleared his throat and turned to Alex, “Who is that?”

Alex giggled, “Isn’t it obvious? They’re brothers.”

Caleb looked back at the two with wonder, “But that’s impossible.”

2 Comments »

A Busy Author

So, I’m looking back over the past couple weeks and wondering where has the time gone? I think with Mother’s Day, and two birthdays in my family all rolled into one week, I just never got to post. So I apologize for the wait. I toyed with doing a few posts with poems in honor of my family. But I’ve decided to do something else. I still might do the poems some time soon, just not today.

Today I had my second Visiting Author presentation at an Elementary School. The kids were great and asked a lot of good questions and listened very well. At this school I was given about 45 minutes to speak to the kids, so I ended each session with reading a section from my book.

So I’ve decided that in honor of the kids I talked to today, I would like to share that same section with you. I hope you enjoy it, and check out “Finding Home: The Orphan’s Journey.”

Here’s a link to it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Home-The-Orphans-Journey/dp/1490556427/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400540643&sr=8-1&keywords=finding+home+the+orphans+journey

Enjoy!

Cover

“This one’s still alive” an unfamiliar voice said.

Ben opened his eyes only to squeeze them shut again to keep from being blinded by the sun’s piercing rays. “Ow” he moaned as he turned his head to the side and it began throbbing.

Ben tried to relax and the headache died down. He opened his eyes again, and blinked hard, trying to focus. All he could see were pebbles and grass blades with a few little ants crawling around. Ben turned his head back to facing forward and tried to sit up but a hand pushed him back down.

“Take it easy now” the voice said.

Ben blinked and tried to focus on the man in front of him. He saw the bright metal of the man’s helmet reflecting the sun and the scratched and faded paint of a guard emblem on the breastplate.

The man gingerly touched Ben’s head where the throbbing was coming from.

Ben winced.

“You’ve got a nasty bump there, but there’s no blood. I think you’ll be alright.”

Ben tried to sit up again and the man helped him slowly get to his feet. Ben looked around the gorge. He noticed several horses and other guards walking toward the bend in the road but he didn’t see the cart, or any of his family. He focused back at the guard “Where is everyone? Where’s my family?”

The man’s young face looked pained. “Now don’t work yourself up, there was nothing we could do….”

Ben’s heart started racing, he walked unsteadily toward the bend in the road where the barricade had been. Then he gasped, all his family was lying in a heap next to a hole that two guards were digging. Ben screamed and tried to run.

The guard caught him and held him tight. “Calm down, it’s alright.”

Ben struggled with the guard and started crying. “No, let me go! Father, father….” He pushed and twisted and screamed but the guard wouldn’t let go. The strong arms held him and turned him away from the scene. Tears stung in his eyes and he suddenly felt very weak. His head throbbed again and spots started to dance in front of his face. Ben fought for breath through the sobs. This can’t be real, this can’t be happening. The darkness closed in again.

* * * * *

Ben felt something cool and wet on his forehead. He opened his eyes and saw the same guard leaning over him.

“Feel better?” he asked.

Ben nodded, sat up and pulled the wet cloth from his head. “So they’re all…?”

The man nodded. “I’m afraid so.”

Ben’s eyes fell to the ground.

“Do you want to say goodbye?”

Ben nodded. He walked to where the soldiers had dug the grave and piled rocks on top. He stared at the white stones and tears started to fill his eyes. You were the best family anyone could ask for. Thanks for everything….

The guard stepped up behind him. “You ready?”

Ben didn’t respond. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from the grave.

“Here, I think this belongs to you.” The man pushed a sword into Ben’s hand.

Ben looked down at the beautifully ornamented sword that had belonged to his father. He nodded and tried to hold back the tears.

“Come on, it’s time.” The guard turned Ben away from the grave and led him to a heavyset dappled gray mare. He easily lifted Ben onto the horse and climbed up to sit behind him.

As the guard steered the horse to follow the other soldiers out of the valley, Ben looked back once more at the rocky piles that covered his family. One last tear streamed down his dirt strewn face. Slowly, he turned his head to face the line of soldiers leading the way through the gorge. Ben felt numb as he silently watched the horses move rhythmically and listened to the guard’s small talk. It was like he was living in a dream world; aware of what was happening but not able to interact with it.

As the day wore on, the tall cliffs melted into gently sloping hills. The fading sunlight danced over the landscape, lighting the bright green grass atop the hills’ crests and leaving deep shadows in the valleys.

* * * * *

The band of soldiers reached a small town by nightfall and decided to stay at an inn. They ate heartily as the innkeeper brought them tray after tray of sweet-smelling food.

Ben sat by the fire, refusing to eat. He stared into the flames, listening absently to pieces of the guards’ conversation. There were lots of comments praising the food, and a few questions about what was to be done with ‘the orphan’ but Ben found his thoughts kept drifting back to his family. He closed his eyes and tried to focus on the heat from the fire instead.

“You have to eat something,” a voice broke into his concentration. Ben looked up at the same guard that he had ridden with; the man was holding a small loaf of bread. Ben stared at him for a few seconds then turned back to the fire.

“I’ll just leave it here, in case you change your mind.” The guard set the loaf on the bench next to where Ben was sitting and turned to leave.

Ben studied the loaf’s browned crust. The tantalizing smell of fresh bread wafted into his nostrils. He wanted to eat it, but every time he thought of his family, his stomach formed a tight knot.

Finally Ben stood up and left the dining area, hoping that getting away from the enticingly sweet smells would make the tightness in his stomach less noticeable. He found the room the guards had paid for and curled up in the corner. He tried to sleep, but couldn’t. Even when the rest of the guards had come in and found places for themselves he couldn’t sleep. He just sat in the corner and waited for the dawn.

* * * * *

When morning did finally come, the soldiers all ate and prepared to continue their journey. Ben didn’t know where they were going, but it seemed obvious that he wasn’t going to be accompanying them.

The man that had been taking care of him came over to say goodbye. He pressed a gold coin into Ben’s hand. “Go on home now.” He smiled at Ben and walked back to his horse.

Ben frowned as he watched the man mount his horse and follow the other soldiers out of town. What home? He stood in the inn’s doorway and silently waited until the riders disappeared from view.

The innkeeper also stood silently on the inn’s porch, but he was staring at Ben, not the riders. A deep scowl crawled over his face as he approached Ben. He poked a fat finger into Ben’s stomach. “If you want to stay, you’ve got to pay! I’ll have no leeches in my inn.”

Ben felt a rush of anger overwhelm him. He threw the gold coin at the innkeeper’s feet and ran. He sprinted past people, past shops, past houses and animals. A few people yelled at him to slow down or watch where he was going, but he paid no attention to their words. The tears were streaming again. He ran and ran, barely seeing where he was going as his legs pumped and his lungs heaved. He tore out of the village and didn’t stop, couldn’t stop. The need to get away was overwhelming and forced him to keep going. Faster and faster he ran as his heart pounded and legs began to shake.

Leave a comment »

The Rest of the Story

Cover

A while back I posted a section from my novel Finding Home: The Orphan’s Journey. I wanted to post another section from the book, so people could see what happened.

As always, if you like what you read, check out the full book at: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Home-The-Orphans-Journey/dp/1490556427/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394553842&sr=8-1&keywords=finding+home+Lydia+Hill

Enjoy!

      “So the young lad awakens” one of the men said with a laugh. “All alone tonight are we?”

      Yeah, sure feels like it. “Who are you?” Ben managed to say as he sat up.

      “That’s not important,” the biggest of the three said in a gruff voice.

      “What do you want?”

      “Oh it’s not what I want, it’s what you want.” The big man smiled, revealing his crooked teeth. “See, if you want to live, you’ll give me anything you have, and if you don’t… well….” The man put his hand gingerly on his sword hilt.

      Ben gulped. I don’t have anything to give them. Oh I hope the captain acts soon.

      “What are you numbskulls doing?” a voice said from behind the three men.

      “Sorry sir. We were just trying to find out if he was worth taking captive.”

      Ben watched in horror as the big man stepped aside to reveal another man. This man was definitely in command. Although he was smaller than the others, his body was sleek with muscle and his steal gray eyes had the silent stare of one in authority. This doesn’t sound good. Oh hurry up captain.

      The commander stepped forward and glanced over Ben. “He’s of no importance,” he said indifferently. “Kill him.”

      Ben grabbed his sword and stood up in one motion.

      The other men soon had drawn their swords as well.

      “Why didn’t you check him for weapons?” the commander asked angrily.

      “Don’t worry sir, this won’t take long,” the big man said arrogantly as he stepped forward.

      Ben saw his opportunity. He ducked the man’s blow and thrust his sword forward catching the man in a break in his armor.

      The massive man screamed in pain and fell to his knees.

      Ben pulled back and noticed more men beyond the group coming closer to see what was going on. Where are you captain? I can’t keep this up for long.

      “Why you little…” one of the other men said as he stepped towards Ben.

      Ben swung at the man, but this Ungul was quicker than the last one and deflected the blow easily. Out of the corner of his eye, Ben noticed more men starting to gather in a circle around him as he continued to fight. Come on captain, your bait’s about to get eaten.

      Ben stepped backwards as another man joined in the fight. Ben blocked again and again, barely deflecting one swing before the next came. The swords got close enough to tear part of Ben’s shirt and scratch his arm, but Ben was able to avoid any major injuries. He was so focused on staying alive that he didn’t notice that the taunts of the men around him were slowly turning into gasps of horror.

      It wasn’t until one very loud scream broke through the noise of the fight that Ben and the now three men he was fighting stopped to see what was going on. As soon as Ben realized that the surprise attack was finally happening, he took advantage of his opponents’ confusion and attacked.

      Soon there were other soldiers around Ben, fighting the Unguls. “About time you got here,” Ben called to the captain as he jumped into the fight.

      The captain took on one of the Unguls fighting Ben. “Sorry about that, but your distraction was too perfect. Thanks to your little sword fight, we were able to take out half the troop before they even noticed we were here.”

      Ben pulled back towards a big bolder as the lone Ungul he was fighting took another swing at him. “You’re welcome.”

      The captain, noticing that Ben was pinned against the bolder, deftly spun away from the Ungul he was fighting to help Ben. After a few quick moves both of the Unguls’ swords were on the ground. The captain smiled as he watched the two Unguls turn and run for their lives. “You’re welcome.”

      “Thanks.” Ben sat down exhausted.

      The captain removed his helmet and watched silently as his troops finished off the few Unguls left in the camp.

      One of the soldiers yelled after a fleeing Ungul. “Yeah get out of here ya yellabelly! Stay in your own country!”

      “You think they’ll just leave?” Ben asked the captain.

      The captain ran his hand through his matted dark hair speckled with gray hairs, “Sure hope so.” He smiled down at Ben then held out his hand. “Need some help?”

      Ben took the captain’s hand and stood up. “You know, I still don’t know your name.”

      “Yes, well I suppose I’ve gotten used to just ‘Captain,’” he said with a chuckle.

      “Alright Captain.”

      The captain smiled. “But you aren’t one of my soldiers. The name’s Martin.”

      “Martin then.”

      “Just don’t use it around the troops, might throw them off a bit.”

      Ben nodded.

Leave a comment »

A Sneak Peek

This past year, I published my first novel “Finding Home: The Orphan’s Journey.”

Cover

It is a youth adventure story revolving around Ben and his search for his lost family. He meets many people along his journey, some are kind and helpful, others are not. Anyway, I wanted to give my blog followers a bit of a sneak peak into the book. I’ve found other authors’ blogs that also feature sections of their books, and I would like to do the same. So, occasionally, I’ll post a little section of my book. If it interests you, feel free to buy the whole story on Amazon. You can follow this link: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Home-The-Orphans-Journey/dp/1490556427/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391725148&sr=8-1&keywords=Finding+Home+the+orphan%27s+journey

And without further ado, here’s a sneak peak at Ben’s adventure.

      “Ben, wake up.”

      Ben felt a poke in his chest. He opened his eyes to see the captain leaning over him. Ben rubbed his eyes. “Hmm what’s going on?”

      “We seem to have a bit of a problem.”

      “Oh?”

      “Yes, well our lookout has spotted a band of Unguls coming our way.”

      Ben sat straight up. “What!?!”

      “Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but the rumors are true. So get up, we’re going to need your help.”

      Ben stood up quickly and grabbed his sword. “Where do you want me?” he tried to ask bravely but there was a slight squeak to his voice that betrayed his true feelings.

      “Actually, I have something special planned for you. Come with me.” The captain led Ben away from where he had bedded down for the night and towards the campfire.

      Ben looked at the solitary campfire sitting next to a rocky hill. “Where is everybody?”

      “Hiding.”

      Ben gulped. “So why aren’t we?”

      The captain turned toward Ben and looked him square in the eye. “Ben, I need you to do something for me.” He took a deep breath. “The Unguls have us outnumbered. The only way we stand a chance is if we take them by surprise…. They know someone is here because of the fire, but if they think it’s only a lonely traveler, they’ll let their guard down.”

      “So I’m the bait?” Ben said quietly, his voice beginning to shake.

      “Afraid so. But you can keep your sword, and once the Unguls get close enough, we’ll close in and surround them. You won’t be alone long.”

      Ben nodded slowly as his heart began to beat faster.

      “Alright, well they’re getting close, so just lay down here and pretend you’re asleep.” The captain turned to go find a hiding place.

      “Wait!” Ben said in a higher pitch than he had intended. “I don’t think I can do this.”

      The captain put his hand on Ben’s shoulder. “It’ll be alright. I promise. Just wait until they get close and keep them distracted as long as you can.”

      “How?”

      “Just go with your instincts. If they’re looking for information, keep them talking, if they’re out for blood, well use that.” The captain pointed to Ben’s sword. “Although… I would keep that hidden until the opportune moment if I were you.”

      Ben nodded and tried his best to put on a brave face.

      “Thank you Ben.” The captain gave Ben’s shoulder a squeeze then hurried up the hill and disappeared from view.

      Ben took a deep breath then sat down on the hard ground. He carefully hid his sword behind his back and then lay down trying to make his body relax. Ben forced his eyes shut. He strained to detect any noise but his heart was pounding so hard he could barely hear. Alright, just calm down. It needs to look like I just woke up. Ben forced himself to take a few long, deep breaths. His heart began to slow. Ben could now hear the wind in the trees.

      A few minutes passed then a twig broke. Ben immediately tensed up. What should I do? What should I do? Ben tried to make himself relax again. I’m supposed to keep them distracted for as long as possible. He waited.

       Soft footsteps approached slowly until Ben was sure they were right next to him. What if they’re going to kill me in my sleep? Ben could hardly breathe. He couldn’t stand it any longer and opened his eyes. Three enormous men with strange armor were staring down at him. Ben gasped.


Leave a comment »