Edgelanders Excerpt

edgelanders cover

Her own enemy rammed its body harder into her, crushing her with its weight until she couldn’t breathe. If the beast couldn’t tear her to pieces, its weight bearing down on her lungs would suffocate her. Her head swam, panic rushing through her as she kicked and jerked her legs in an effort to throw it off, or at least shift its position so should could draw proper breath.

Its weight was crushing her and she couldn’t breathe. Turning her head into her shoulder, she gasped and wheezed, but it was no use. She could barely even hear the sounds of battle outside the din of its angry claws pounding and pummeling the only thing standing between her and death. Her whole world in that moment consisted of thumping metal, gnashing, snarling, growling, rattling bones and the blood in her mouth. The taste mingled with the scent of brutal cold and wind and the copper-tinge of bloodshed in the air. It roused something feral inside her, waking a feverish brutality and lust for vengeance that tightened like a fist in her gut. She could feel it growing, teeming inside her until it reached her racing heart.

No! She wasn’t ready, she didn’t want to.

A ragged scream of rage erupted, and she shoved hard against the shield atop her, pushing the beast off long enough for her to notice how silent the world seemed even amid the fighting. Clarity, crisp and new, her sharp mind refused to battle with the fear in her heart because she was not going to die. Her friends were not going to die. And then just as quickly as the clarity came, the roaring snarls of battle resumed all around her. Continue reading

Edgelanders Excerpt

Excerpt week is such a great idea! Thank you, Marcia, for nudging me out of my winter cave to join in the fun.

Here’s a snippet from the first book in my Serpent of Time series, Edgelanders, classified within the high fantasy/romance category.

edgelanders cover

“What are you?” he whispered.

“Looks like a dead girl to me.” Rue’s shadow blocked the light of the moons, fell over the girl and darkened the bright perfection of her face.

“No.” He shook his head, a sweaty wisp of black hair falling into his face. “Not dead.” He’d almost said not a girl, but how could he possibly know that for sure? She smelled human, but there was something else in her blood, something familiar, something savage that whispered words to his soul he couldn’t understand.

Why couldn’t Rue smell it? She was a master huntress, could track a rabbit to its warren from five miles away, but she seemed completely unaffected by the power he could feel in that girl. Rue had known others like that girl, before he was even born. Surely the familiarity of her scent was not lost on his sister’s keen senses.

“Well, she will be soon enough. I can smell death on her. Leave her,” she said. “We need to secure the perimeter. Drive whoever owns that pack of hounds you just tore apart from our lands before they come looking for their dead girl and lay her murder on our doorstep. The last thing we need right now is an inquiry.”

“I won’t leave her here to die,” he refused.

And that was exactly what would happen to her if they just walked away. That beautiful little flower would breathe her last and her pale face would haunt his every moment until the day he died. He couldn’t let that happen. He had to take her home.

“I… I just can’t.”

His hand fell away from her cheek and he tucked it gently behind her neck before sliding it further in to lift her upper body from the mud. He shoved his other arm beneath the backs of her thighs and then heaved her weight against his chest as he rose.

“I’m taking her to Rhiorna. She can heal her.”

“Are you stupid? Wait, don’t answer that,” Rue smirked down at him. “Leave her, Finn. You know the laws. She is an outsider. She has no place here, and if she dies on our land, that is her own fault. Besides, what is that old witch going to do? Nothing. She hasn’t done anything useful since…” Her words faded into the low whisper of the wind, but Finn didn’t wait for her to finish.

“I don’t care about the laws!” he roared. “I’m not leaving her to die.”

“Finn, I can’t let you take her. I’m sorry.”

“I’d like to see you try to stop me.” Shifting her weight against his chest, she felt light as a feather in his arms; her body nestled perfectly against his as if she’d been made to fit in his arms, made to be carried that way by him and only him.


He was already walking, northwest toward Drekne. He’d gone several paces before his sister’s frantic footsteps quickly fell in behind him. Rue may have been his elder, but she was half his size, and when her hand came down on his shoulder to try and spin him around, he jerked it off and rounded to face her with fire in his eyes.

“Don’t, Rue. Don’t make me do something I’ll regret.”

“What? You’re going to challenge me over some… some stranger? Some half-dead girl? I can’t let you take her into the village. It is forbidden. The council…”

“Damn the council.”

“Damn the council? Damn the council?” She brought her hand down again, gently this time, silent pleading in her bright silver eyes as she tried to sympathize with his plight. “I know you like to rile them up, to get under their skin and show them you’re not a pup to be pushed around anymore, but this… Finn, this is madness. They will put you in silver chains and drag you into exile. Not even Viln will be able to save you this time.”

“I don’t care.”

“You don’t care?” she shrieked. “How can you not care? About your own brother, about me? There will be consequences for this.”

“You wouldn’t understand.” No one would understand; they never did.

“You’re right, I wouldn’t understand. This girl, who is she to you? No one, Finn. A human, a stranger.”

“She’s not human,” he muttered, but Rue hadn’t heard him.

“I will not let you throw away your life here with the pack for some stranger.”

“You can’t stop me,” he shrugged her hand away again. “I’d advise you not to try.”

Edgelanders is available digitally on Amazon: AmazonAmazon AustraliaAmazon UKAmazon Brazil, Amazon FranceAmazon GermanyAmazon IndiaAmazon ItalyAmazon SpainAmazon JapanAmazon Mexico. Members of the Kindle Unlimited program can borrow this book and the sequel, Sorrow’s Peak from the Lending Library with their membership.


Why I Do NaNoWriMo Every Year

Hey everybody! I’m Jennifer Melzer. This is my first blog here at The Write Stuff, and since we’re about 1/3 of the way through the month of November, I want to talk about a topic near and dear to my heart: National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo.

nanowrimo 2014I have a non-writer friend who rolls his eyes at me every October and asks, “Why do you do this ridiculous NaNoBlahBlah thing? It drives you crazy, stresses you out and makes you super grouchy. I think you should stop doing it, and just do the same thing you do every other month… Write.”

Maybe he has a really good point. I spend the other eleven months of the year writing until my keyboard smokes like it’s no big thing. Then November starts to draw near. I get a little itchy under the skin and start plotting mayhem because despite my ability to write like mad every other month, for some reason November is pure madness. I don’t know if it’s because of the impending holidays, maybe Daylight Savings Time, or some other rare cosmic alignment I’m completely unaware of, but it is really difficult to finish a short novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

edgelanders coverI know this, but every year I open up the site, start filling in the details about the novel I’m going to write and boom! It’s on like Donkey Kong. There’s hair pulling, tons of whining, flailing and even a few tantrums that are downright childish, but I almost always manage to push through it ahead of the game. In 2013, I changed novels midway through the month, throwing my entire word count out the window and starting from scratch. It was absolute madness, but in the last two weeks of November, I wrote just over 50,000 words. In 2012 I wrote the first 60,ooo words on my epic fantasy novel, Edgelanders, and shared it chapter by chapter while I was writing it. It was chaos, pure insanity every single day, but there was something about it that sang to my soul.

siren email promoI love writing under pressure. I love the weight of a deadline pressing down upon my shoulders while the muse yaps incessantly in my ear. This year it’s extra chaotic. I have editing clients I’m working with, I’m in the middle of promoting my upcoming novel, Siren (which is now available for pre-order on Amazon!),  there’s a game I’m really looking forward to playing coming out next week, I am in serious need of a haircut and it’s darn near time to cook a turkey, but I’m ahead of schedule on my NaNoWriMo novel. I’m moving right along, and I know I’m going to finish the requirements, and the first draft of my urban fantasy novel, Promises, Promises.

And THAT is why I do NaNoWriMo every year. Because I love, love, love the pressure and the chaos.

I blog about NaNoWriMo every single day in November! Drop by my site, subscribe to the feed and feel free to join in the conversation! I’d love to have you there.