Thursday, August 26, 2010

DINNER WITH CHARLI TUNA

Tis a different kind of Thursday. No JAWS, breathe easy lassies. Tis Charli Tuna, a calmer fish from the Atlantic. And what I am serving up you'll just love. You will salivate at the delectable dish I have for you all.

I am serving JAWS herself.

That's right lassies. You get to JAWS, JAWS.

How many of you are ready to rip her a new one? Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Looks like tonight, the main course is SUSHI lassies.

KEY TO THE KINGDOM



Prologue
The Border, England 1455


“One crown to rule them all.” William moved his pawn forward two spaces and glanced up at the duke.

“Tis a powerful notion.” Hugh replied, a hand lingering over his knight “Especially where a throne is used as a tool of persuasion. What of Richard?”

“His bouts of madness are the same as Henry’s. He will not long be king.” William eyed the duke’s queen. “I have the blood of all the royal houses, Scotland included, pulsing through my veins.”

“Where are you going with this, William?” Hugh lifted a hand in the air as a servant stood poised to enter the room. With a flick of his wrist, the man retreated, closing the door in his wake.

“Richard was on campaign in Pontoise, several days from Rouen, where his lovely wife Cecily had taken up residence. ‘Tis where young Edward was conceived.”

Save for the crackle of tinder and pop of realization silence settled between the men.

Hugh sat back, dropped his bishop and opened his mouth. No sound flowed forth. “You were …” he shook his head and glanced away. “You were in Rouen with Cecily,” the duke whispered, eyes rent with dawning.

William said nothing.

His head snapped back. “The archer, Blaybourne … Cecily’s lover, was he not?”

“Edward’s father? A figment of my imagination.” Running fingers through raven haired whiskers, he eyed his next move. Pawn takes rook. Line up your pieces, stalk your enemy, it will all fall into place.

“One crown?”

“To rule them all.” With his daughter as bait, he’d have it all. “Checkmate.”

Chapter 1

The knife slid through Helena's fingers as she stumbled back against the window. A breeze fluttered past her face, forcing air into her lungs. Blood tainted hands covered quivering lips.

Claire’s soft swords reached her ears.

“Run,” she wheezed, eyes all but swollen shut. “Go, milady, before he kills you too. My fate is sealed.” Acceptance and determination blazed in her azure gaze. “Please.”

“I will not leave you here.” Helena returned, shaking away fright.

A harsh cough shook Claire’s body. “Flee. Do … not look … back.”

“I will see you away from this place.” Helena tried desperately to lift the maid.

Life faded from Claire’s eyes. “There…. isn’t time. He will … return.”

Heart thrumming wildly in her chest, her gaze darted to the open door and skittered over the motionless bodies, chests still, never to rise with breath. Claire’s lips parted and one word slipped past pale lips. “Isolde –”

The heavy thud of footfalls reached her ears. She started, turned and leaned out the window. The fall was great. More than a yard or two. Her options were limited.

She had to run.

Run for her life.

To save her sister from the same fate as she.

With unsteady hands, Helena yanked the hem of her gown over her knees and climbed onto the ledge. Cold air whipped against her face as she stared at the stone path below. Jump, Helena, flee! She inhaled the frigid spring wind as the footsteps drew closer.

She leapt.

Well, tis appetizing. I was hungry. Doonae worry, I left some for ye. Read below how I tweaked this fine tale into shape.


Prologue~The Border, England 1455

“One crown to rule them all.” William moved his pawn forward two spaces and glanced up at the duke.

“Tis a powerful notion. Especially where with a the throne is used as a tool of persuasion.” Hugh replied, a hand lingering over his knight “What of King Richard?” (I am thinking here you should mention he is the King, for those not as versed in History. I also switched the action tag. Felt the pause more natural this way. I know WHERE may be the language of the period but it reads more awkward so I switched things up a bit here too.)

“His bouts of madness are the same as Henry’s. He will not long be king.” William eyed the duke’s queen. “I have t The blood of all the royal houses pulse ing through my veins, Scotland included.”

Where are you going with this Does this diatribe have an end in sight, William?” Hugh lifted a hand in the air as a servant stood poised to enter the room. With a flick of his wrist, the man retreated. , closing the door in his wake. (The opening sentence sounded to contemporary for me. The phrase where the servant closes the door slowed the action.)

“Richard was on campaign in Pontoise, several days from Rouen, where his lovely wife Cecily had taken up residence. ‘Tis where young Edward was conceived.” (Now, I had the fortunate pleasure of going through the family timeline previous to this, but re-reading again let AJ know if all this makes sense to you.)

Save for the crackle of tinder and pop of realization silence settled between the men.

Hugh sat back, dropped his bishop and opened his mouth. No sound flowed forth. “You were …” he shook his head and glanced away. “You were in Rouen with Cecily,” the duke whispered, eyes rent with dawning.

William said nothing.

His head snapped back. “The archer, Blaybourne … Cecily’s lover, was he not you said he was-”

“Edward’s father? A figment of my imagination.” Running fingers through raven haired whiskers, he eyed his next move. Pawn takes rook. Line up your pieces, stalk your enemy, it will all falls into place.

“One crown?”

“To rule them all.” With his daughter as bait, he’d have it all. “Checkmate.”

Chapter 1

The knife slid through Helena's fingers as she stumbled back against the window. A breeze fluttered past her face, forcing air into her lungs. Blood tainted hands covered quivering lips.

Her servant Claire’s soft swords reached her ears. (I need to know who this person is and its obvious she is somewhere else in the room, tell us where.)

“Run,” she wheezed, eyes all but swollen shut. “Go, milady, before he kills you too. My fate is sealed.” Acceptance and determination blazed in her azure gaze. “Please.”

“I will not leave you here.” Helena returned, shaking away fright a deep breath quelled her fright. (Shaking away her fright, all I see is her convulsing or dancing, LOL, and its all tell.)

A harsh cough shook Claire’s body. “Flee. Do … not look … back.”

“I will see you away from this place.” Helena tried desperately in vain to lift the maid.

Life faded from Claire’s eyes. “There…. isn’t time. He will … return.”

Claire’s lips parted and one word slipped past pale lips. “Isolde –” (I moved this here because below you say they are dead, to me it felt more natural to hear this, then look around.)

My sister? (Can’t just name drop with all this going on.)

Heart thrumming wildly in her chest, her gaze darted to the open door and skittered over the motionless bodies, chests still, never to rise with breath.

The heavy thud of footfalls reached her ears. She started, turned and leaned out the window. The fall was great. More than a yard or two. Her options were limited.

She had to run.

Run for her life.

To save her sister from the same fate as she.

With unsteady hands, Helena yanked the hem of her gown over her knees and climbed onto the ledge. Cold air whipped against her face as she stared at the stone path below. Jump, Helena, flee! She inhaled the frigid spring wind as the footsteps drew closer. (Mentioning the season take me totally out of the action. And I don;t think she'd refer to herself in the third person. )

She leapt.

8 comments:

  1. Especially WHEN a throne sounds better to me - but it might be too mod.

    “Where are you going with this, William?” Had to agree - that sentence struck me as too modern too.

    I was lost at Edward's conception.

    His head snapped back. - Maybe it's just me - but I rarely can read body parts operating without a character's input. I'd say he spun around - or looked at him in disbelief - anything but let his body parts run amok.

    I'm not sure a fluttering breeze is very forceful.

    Blood tainted hands are running amok. (this could be typical of historical - I don't read many of them - so disregard if that's the case)

    "Run" which she wheezed this?

    I wasn't bothered at all by the frigid 'spring' air.

    Lots of questions to answer - would definitely read on. I did get a little lost between which woman was doing what. I'm not sure who they were or what they were doing there or what had just happened - should I know any of this? Or is the mystery part of the plan.

    Dinner was yummy, thanks for sharing.

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  2. Charli and P.J. pretty much covered it. Can't wait to see the finished version...

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  3. Thanks so much ladies! You've touched on the parts that felt awkward to me. Especially, the confusion of all the characters. Penny, this is a completed MS I've decided to toy with, so I'm still feeling these new additions. Initially, the story began with Helena - William and Hugh are the newbies.

    As for the mystery, hells yes, 'tis intentional! It comes together, slowly, right after the next chapter! :-)

    Thanks so much!

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  4. Tammy, THERE has to be something???

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  5. Tammy is too nice. We should string her up again. Muah ha ha ha!

    Okay, to set up Helena's scene maybe have her panning the room, thinking about her options, where she is, what happened. When she is over Claire maybe she can whisper that she was more than just a maid, like a sister. She will not leave her. Maybe she can hint that while they were left here, that she has means for them to survive. I am rambling but small things like that may ground the reader more to who, what , where, and why.

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  6. Good one, the historical feel was there. Now I must admit I'm nill at chess, so your moves made no sense to me (and wouldn't to a chess layman either, I'm afraid). Cahrli mentioned the history grounding too.

    Also, you mention Claire's eyes are all but swollen shut but a minute later Helena is staring into her azure gaze.

    Very intriguing though! :)

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  7. I like a good historical, and I like this one. I agree with Zee on the swollen eyes gaze thing. I didn't get the significance of William & Cecily being in Rouen together until I read it the 2nd time. Probably my slow wit :) I like the rewrite of Ch. 1, it was easier to understand. Thanks for sharing your insights!

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  8. Thanks for the insight ladies. :-) The feedback was great!

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