#ExcerptWeek – The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella by Marcia Meara

The Archangel Michael (apparently) Throwing Lucifer Out of Heaven

Doing something different, here. Decided to share a rough draft of a scene from my current WIP, The Emissary. I have no cover to show you, and no Buy Links for this, of course, so I’ll share the links for the other three books in the Riverbend series.

To set this excerpt up, you need to know that in Finding Hunter, a trucker named Gabe Angelino brought Hunter Painter home to Willow, after a six-month-long disappearance he nearly didn’t survive. Willow has always thought Gabe Angelino was a real angel. She’s wrong on that, but not TOO wrong. I don’t want to give away too much, but the following scene between Jake (Gabe’s real name) and Azrael, a very old, very powerful angel, demonstrates the kind of thing that can happen when you aren’t careful about saying no to powerful entities.


A Dark, Deserted Truck Stop
Halfway between Here and There 

AZRAEL’S EYES FLAMED a furious blue. In one blink, he disappeared from the cab’s passenger seat, reappeared by the driver’s door, and ripped it right off the truck, flinging it to the pavement. Before Jake could get his mind around that little trick, Azrael snatched him out of his seat, and hurled him across the empty parking lot with so much force, he might well have continued traveling a half mile or more, had it not been for slamming into the trunk of an enormous oak. Hard.

This was a learning experience of the eye-opening kind, except for the fact that his eyes were squeezed tight in response to fear, shock, and excruciating, back-meeting-tree-trunk pain. Perhaps he couldn’t be killed outright—he was a bit cloudy on that issue, in spite of earlier reassurances—but clearly, breathtaking agony was still on the table.

He’d had no idea Azrael possessed that kind of power. Yeah, he knew the angel was very old—possibly an archangel—but they were careful not to reveal too much about themselves, certainly not to those being recruited to help them on a more or less trial basis. The ferocious strength Azrael had just displayed left Jake stunned. Shaken to his core.

Still groaning from the brutal pain in his back, he slumped to the ground at the base of the tree, desperate to catch his breath. He blinked away the red haze clouding his vision, only to wish he hadn’t. Azrael strode toward him, looming larger and more ominous with each long step. Somehow, the angel had acquired a colossal, glowing sword, which he brandished overhead, and his heretofore pale blonde hair floated this way and that around his face, blindingly bright, and looking far too much like flames for comfort.

With a thunderous roar that shook the very ground beneath them, Azrael’s voice shattered the silent darkness. “You quit? You quit? You cannot quit, you ungrateful idiot! You have been accepted into a cadre of potential emissaries. There is no such thing as quitting!”

Apparently, angels of Azrael’s rank came with built-in loudspeakers featuring a volume capacity rock stars would weep to possess. Jake clapped his hands over his ears, praying he wouldn’t feel blood seeping between his fingers.

It was all he could do not to curl into a fetal position with his arms crossed over his head, the better to await the smiting that was surely on the way. Not that he was exactly certain what-all smiting might entail, but it was bound to be a painful way to die. Again.


JAKE’S FIRST DEATH—which he had really hoped would be his last—hadn’t been easy. Maybe no death ever was, but drowning had been a cold, terrifying experience. At least he’d had the satisfaction of knowing the woman he’d jumped in to save had been pulled from his arms and into a boat, even as he slipped below the surface, and drifted down to the silty bottom of the river. The last thought passing through his mind as his world went black around him was his fervent hope she wouldn’t waste a single day he’d bought her.

The next time Jake had opened his eyes, he’d discovered to his utter astonishment that he wasn’t dead anymore. At least, that’s what he’d thought at the time. Instead, he rested on a warm, comfortable, and gloriously dry bed in the hushed stillness of a room painted the soft purple-gray of an early evening sky. Looking back on it afterward, he wondered if perhaps it had really been the sky he’d seen around him, and not walls at all. But at the time, he assumed he was in a hospital room, having been rescued from the ice-cold depths of the murky river just in the nick of time.

If only.


Marcia Meara, Author
(For Those New to The Write Stuff, This is Me,
And My Bio is Below)

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, two big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Three and a half years and six novels later, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go!

Riverbend Series


Marcia has published seven books to date, all of which are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format: 

Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3
Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3
Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

Marcia’s Amazon Author Page

You can reach Marcia via email at marciameara16@gmail.com or on the following social media sites:

The Write Stuff : https://marciamearawrites.com/
Bookin’ It: http://marciameara.wordpress.com
Twitter: @marciameara
Facebook: www.facebook.com/marcia.meara.writer
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marciameara/

To keep up with the latest news and giveaways, sign up for Marcia’s Mail List here:https://marciamearawrites.com/mail-list-win-free-stuff/



63 thoughts on “#ExcerptWeek – The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella by Marcia Meara

  1. Oooh, this is wonderful, Marcia! I love the way you describe Azrael from Jake’s POV. This definitely sounds intriguing. I have all the Riverbend novels on my Kindle and just need to catch up with the last two. The Emissary sounds fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Mae! My betas seem to be loving this one, so far, and I just hope I can wrap it up before it grows into way more than a novella. I’d like to release it no later than November, so I need to be pulling it together. Wordy as I am, that’s difficult. 😀 I can’t wait to hear what you think of the folks in Riverbend! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Darlene. I’m actually thinking the next two chapters should do it. That’s my goal, anyway. Jake and Azrael are SO much fun to write about, as they come to terms with each other, and begin this new venture together. I can’t wait to get this one wrapped up. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad it sounds intriguing to you, Judith. It has been so much fun to write. In addition to some pretty dramatic moments, the evolving relationship between Jake and Azrael has a fair amount of comic relief. My betas, who were a bit skeptical to begin with, seem to be enjoying it greatly, now, so I hope that’s a good sign. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great, Felicia! I hope you enjoy them. Unlike my Wake-Robin Ridge series, the Riverbend series has nothing paranormal in it, because the people who live there are weird enough all by themselves. However, this spinoff novella, which takes place outside of Riverbend (on the road,mostly) certainly does, as you can see from the excerpt. Once I let this guy drive on by, I decided he was fair game for whatever light fantasy or urban fantasy I wanted to visit on him. So I sent him a big, ol’ Old Testament Style angel warrior. The result is turning out to be a really fun story to write as I stretch my wings (no pun intended) in a new direction.

      Let me know what you think, if you do get to read the books. 😀 Hope you’ll enjoy them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I feel that way all the time, Mary. I’m so swamped and my TBR pile is threatening to bury the house!! 😯 When you do have a chance to read the other two Riverbend books, I hope you enjoy them. And this spinoff novella, too! 😀 So glad you liked the excerpt!

      Liked by 1 person

        • I hope you enjoy the Riverbend series. By the time you finish, you might feel like reading the spinoff. Or not. And then, there’s always the spooky stuff on Wake-Robin Ridge, where a little boy has taken over by Book 2, and changed the world for everyone he meets. 😀 In the meantime, Riverbend is filled with eccentric souls, one of whom keeps some very unusual pets. But not chickens. 😀 Thanks for your interest, and in all seriousness, if you do read any of the books, I hope you enjoy them. They cover a wide series of things from a serial killer, to an albino living in the woods, to emotional traumas such as PTSD, agoraphobia, and survivor’s guilt. Such sturm und drang in the little Florida town. 😀 Have fun!


            • Well, when you do, I hope you enjoy WWR. The North Carolina mountains are my favorite place on the planet. (So far.) And I only intended to write the one book, so I threw everything I could into it. It was a blast to write, and I love each and every character (except one) as though they were my next door neighbors. Wait. I don’t even know my next door neighbors. 😯 Well, you get my drift. Hope you enjoy it when you get to it. 😀 Thanks!


    • You make it sound like you are being held down and FORCED to do it! Hahahahaha. Maybe it won’t be so bad. Hey, you might even enjoy it, who knows? Stranger things have happened. 😀 😀
      Seriously, I hope you do decide to give it a try, and that you enjoy it. Glad you liked this excerpt from the Riverbend spinoff. (Oh, and I have TWO series, 3 books each. Hahahahaha.)


      • Omg, that’s not what I meant. LOL. I loved your excerpt. I’m going to have to read it, meaning there is no way I cannot ignore it. The story caught my attention that much. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I was just giving you a hard time! 😀 (Be forewarned. Sometimes I do that! 😀 ) I hope you do read it, but so you know, the Riverbend series isn’t paranormal, even though this spinoff is. (It doesn’t take place in Riverbend, so I thought I could get away with it.)

          Now the Wake-Robin Ridge series definitely IS paranormal, but in a milder sense. Appalachian legends about ghosts, The Sight (ESP), and mostly recently, the legend of the Black Dog, who is a harbinger of death. He’s called Ol’ Shuck in the mountains, and you want to avoid him at all costs.

          So, I think the only thing you can possibly do is buy all six novels AND the novella, and read every word. Yeah, that would work. (For MEEEE.) 😀 😀 😀

          Liked by 1 person

            • The black dog is an ancient Celtic legend that goes back hundreds of years. (The Hound of the Baskervilles was loosely based on it.) Since many who live in the Appalachians are of that heritage, it is alive and well there, too. And it was far too good a legend to resist, in my story where guilt drives a man slowly mad, accompanied by nightmares of the red-eyed demon dog every step of the way. (There. Now that should make you shiver. 😀 )

              Excerpt Week ends Sunday night. You still have 3 more days, and there are already more posts scheduled. This has been a really fun one! 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

    • First, let me warn you. The Wake-Robin Ridge series has paranormal elements, connected to Appalachian legends. Ghosts, ESP, and the legend of Ol’ Shuck, the Black Dog. The Riverbend series does not. The tag line for the series is “Welcome to Riverbend, where the most dangerous animal in the swamp walks on two legs.” Lots of eccentric, weird, and sometimes deadly people, but nothing supernatural. The Emissary is a spinoff, in that it follows a guy who stopped by the town, then headed out on the road to other places. Because he’s not a denizen of Riverbend, I decided to let him be the possible start of another fantasy series. Thus, Azrael enters the picture.

      Hope that makes sense. But I do like to think both series are amazing in two different ways, and now if this novella does well, I’m thinking I’ll start a third, which will be ALL about angels and their emissaries here on earth. 😀 Whew. Now I KNOW I’ve confused you. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Marje. I’m learning more about the craft every day. (Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?) This little spinoff tale has my betas begging me to make it a series, and I’m considering it. But if I do, I either have to bring one of my others to an end in the next book, or make this one a series of novellas. And I think a series of novellas might be the answer. Just enough of an adventure each time to be exciting/interesting/creepy/sad and then, a set up for the next one. That might be doable.
      (OF course, I could fall facedown on my keyboard at any time. Did I mention I’m OOOOLLLLD???) 😀 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Great excerpt! I’m hooked! Love Angels and I thought Gabe in Finding Hunter was an intriguing character. Here’s keeping fingers crossed you are able to publish this on your timeline! Good luck. I’ll be in line to buy that novella for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Marie. I hope you will enjoy it. I just finished the draft of CH 11, and think one more and a very short epilogue will do it, so I’m pretty optimistic it will be out this fall, depending on how long editing takes.

      I’m so excited about this. My FIRST novella, and my first book that I’d really call urban fantasy, or at least light fantasy. But since it’s here on earth, I’m thinking urban would work. If it goes well, I’ll consider a series of novellas featuring this cast and crew. 😀


  3. OMG I’m hooked! I’m SO backlogged on reading that I think, at times, I’ll never catch up. But I want to read the rest of this book right here, right now, despite knowing it’s not yet finished. Marcia, my friend, you are a wordsmith extraordinaire. Happily sharing ♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • OH, man! I need 1,000 more just like you. 10,000 more. How fast can I have you cloned? 😀 Thank you so much for such kind words, Tina. I have to admit, I’ve had a lifelong love affair with words, and in an era where the trend is toward shorter, tighter prose, I’m a bit of an anomaly. I’m learning to try to find a happy medium, though I’d rather write like Daphne du Maurier, drizzling words down the page to create images you can see and feel and smell.

      Thank you so much for sharing! You ROCK! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • OMG, you crack me up! Just call me Dolly 🙂 You’re welcome, Marcia. I understand the pickle barrel you’re in, because I’m a charter member of “Anomaly.” I like to think of it as the “A Club.” So happy to share your barrel! THE A CLUB ROCKS! 🙂 ❤


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