Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Excerpt!

Rose Thorne by William Kenney
As my novel, Covenant of the Faceless Knights, makes its way through the causeways toward the nearest stores and on its way into your hands, onto your kindles and other reading devices, I feel that I want to share a bit more of the story with you. I have excerpts on my website which you may read at any point in time right here on my blog!

but I have one more I would like to share with my blog community.

Here is a small bit on Rose Thorne, a pick-pocket, rogue archetype and dagger-wielding wonder! Enjoy!

Rose swallowed hard, understanding that they would not leave. She also understood that she could simply walk through the shadows and they would never be able to follow her. She could escape right now and they would be none the wiser.
Perhaps it was the anticipation of a fight that she’d missed, or a personal test she must overcome. Maybe it was because they were not in league with the Thieves’ Guild, who at least had a code of ethics. Or maybe it was because she believed that they would also be doing this to countless others if left unchecked.
Something compelled her to stay.
Once more she let herself fall into that predatory state that allowed her to survive the horrors of her youth…the survival mode that kept her alive on the streets in her adolescence.
Yes, she thought as she approached her enemy. It was all coming back to her.
 “You were warned—remember that,” Rose stated angrily as she emerged from a shadow that engulfed her only a second ago. Otis’s surprise was evident and his blue eyes filled with dread as he felt the blades. He weakly moaned in pain as he felt the sharp edge of a pair of daggers slash across his throat. The lifeblood drained from his body quickly and he slumped to the ground in a lifeless heap.
The three men all spun as they heard the body of their now-fallen companion hit the cobblestones. One of them gasped in horror at seeing the lifeless body.
“Bah! I’ll kill you for what you did! That was my brother!” the scruffy one claimed as he shook with rage, wiping sweat from his unshaven, dirty face.
“That’s it,” Rose egged them on from the far end of the alley. “Come and get it.”
The shaggy haired one with the beard withdrew his dagger and club, one in either hand, and charged at her. The other two followed, although the chubby one was several paces behind. Rose took note of this fact.
She traversed the shadow realm again and stepped out just to the right of the plump one’s heavy frame. With unusual speed and agility for one his size, the mercenary saw her and scored a quick jab with the brass knuckles on his right fist, grazing her, but also hitting her hard enough to draw blood.
I underestimated this one, Rose chastised herself silently, recovering from the blow and concentrating once more through the pain.
He thrust his dagger and stabbed at where she had been only a heartbeat ago to find that she had vanished again. Appearing behind him, she put him between herself and the other two assailants. She reached her left hand around and grabbed the man’s chin, pulling it to her left while plunging the dagger in her right hand through the base of his throat, killing him instantly. She winced at the ferocity of her own attack. She was well-versed in the art of killing, but took no pleasure in it.
“Leave now or suffer the same fate,” Rose cautioned the remaining two, as she stepped once more into the shadow plane, disappearing from sight.
Rose reappeared and struck the back of the shaggy one’s thigh with a thrust of her dagger, causing him to stumble forward in pain, clutching his hamstring. The bald one, who was now behind Rose, kicked out solidly, connecting with the small of her back. Her head jerked back violently from the force of the blow and the kick knocked the wind out of her. She clutched her stomach and throat and needed time to recover.
Once more, she traversed the plane of shadow, disappearing and reappearing behind that one, who stood within the shadows.
He spun as soon as she stepped from the darkness, as if anticipating her move, and grabbed her firmly by the neck. He smacked her once with his free right hand and then wrapped both hands around her throat, depriving her of oxygen and quickly choking her.  After several seconds, he managed to get Rose to the ground and sat atop her, maintaining his death grip on her neck. He’d dropped his dagger somewhere in the dark alleyway and could not find it. He did, however, have a pair of brass knuckles.
He swung a wild punch at Rose’s face, but she managed to block his arm and the brass knuckles with the hilt of Zaedra. She was barely conscious now and was working on instinct as the breath escaped her lungs and would not return.
She removed her hands from his and stopped trying to prevent the choke, realizing his grip was too tight. Instead, she desperately changed tactics, handling the daggers in a reverse-grip. She launched her attack with a pair of symmetrical inward strikes, using the pommels of the weapons to strike the bald man’s ears. He released his chokehold on her throat, reflexively covering his ears with his palms as his eardrums registered a thundering cacophony of unbridled pain. With that, Rose finally gasped for air.
Still on her back and with the bald one atop her clutching his injured ears, Rose began a second inward motion with her daggers, still held in the reverse-grip, continuing until her wrists crossed over one another. As she did so, the edges of the daggers slashed the front of his neck, directly under the jaw, severing major arteries. He fell backward, clutching his wounds in a futile attempt to halt his quickly approaching demise.

He was dead before he hit the ground.

Please join me and the other amazingly talented authors over @ Skulldust Circle where we have formed a Writer's Circle that must be seen--a collection of brilliant, up & coming independently published speculative fiction authors with much to give both now and in the future!

All Artwork and covers by William J. Kenney

See you in Wothlondia! Cheers!

Also, please visit MY HOME PAGE to enjoy an extended reading experience and to see what else Ashenclaw Studios, LLC has in store in the future!

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2012 unless otherwise noted.


  1. Well done, Gary. I found I cared about all the characters. I'm looking forward to the next book. I smiled at the name Rose Thorne. I didn't read the exerpt because I'm waiting for the whole book. The epilogue in Beginnings is great.
    Becky (Beulah)

  2. Thanks a ton, Becky! This is an excerpt from Covenant of the Faceless Knights, not the new one. I will not be sharing anything from that one until I am closer to completion!

    I am really glad that you enjoyed the book, though! I am still trying to find my writing style and the more I write, the easier it comes to me.

    Again ,thank you for the kind words and yes, I very much thought that the Epilogue was going to grab people's attention! :)

  3. its fantastic very happy come here..succes for you..