Alue, an Elf

The first book of my Unraveling the Veil trilogy is with beta readers. Woot woot. So, if all goes well, I’m on target for… um… August?  Gulp. That date makes my stomach hurt.

I introduced Naj’ar, my goblin, with a little snippet – Here.

Well, here’s a little peek at Alue, my elf.

***

The Devil’s Owl occupied a basement in the Ten’s Thrift District known for its tanneries and crude smelting operations, poisonous reek and lung-killing smoke. She paused in the gloom at the top of the littered stairs leading down below the street. The night had cooled. Stars pricked holes in the obsidian sky, and crickets chirped in a forsaken lot of tumbled walls.

The canteen’s whispered reputation suggested it was a place frequented by goblin smugglers, collared changelings, and elves with nothing to lose. It was a place to purchase stolen crystals.

She chewed on a lip and weighed the risks of entering. Even more so, her chances of getting out. She’d dressed in dark gray dahn, a long black shirt, and open vest, her hair tightly braided and tucked into a scarf. A light smudge of kohl hollowed her cheeks, lending her the starved appearance of an addict, and she’d drawn dull bruises around her eyes.

Teeth gritted, she adjusted the knife at her hip and descended the steps. A rap on the weathered door cracked it open, and a goblin’s charcoal face filled the slit. A lemon-yellow eye appraised her.

“I need to make a purchase,” she said.

“What of?”

“None of your business.”

“We haven’t seen you here before.”

“Because I’ve never been here. I usually don’t patronize dumps.” The goblin reached through the gap. She jerked back, and his sharp claws missed her scarf. “And if you touch me, I’ll cut off your fingers.”

The goblin bared a row of serrated teeth, returning the threat.

“Let her in, Tak,” someone said from the murky cave within. Tak stepped aside, and the dim room beckoned. The dank and ripe stink of unwashed bodies and spilled keva wrinkled her nose, and she sucked in a breath through her mouth.

“You coming in?” The goblin grabbed her arm and yanked her inside, closing the door behind her. She twisted out of his grip with an agility that caught him off guard, her knife tip pointed up under his scarred chin. He loomed over her, one long ear swept back and twitching, the other missing. Muscles bunched in his shoulders.

She growled into his surprised face, “I wasn’t kidding about the fingers.”

“Fast for an addict.”

“Who said I was an addict?” She lowered her knife and her voice. “I’m looking for crystals.”

The goblin’s nocturnal eyes reflected the muted light. He pointed with his chin to a corner. “Over there.” He bent down, his long nose almost pressed to her ear. “You’re not fooling anyone, elf. Get what you need and get out.”

Alue stepped back, nodded, and headed for the threesome. A bearded changeling with a collar delivered mugs of keva to his companions—a pale goblin and dark-haired elf. They leaned over their table while a glowing sphere twirled on the elf’s fingertips. He was photokinetic, like her, but with a trickster’s talent, and handsome compared to the other lowlifes that drank and gambled in the canteen’s alcoves. He rolled the sphere over the back of his hand, into his palm, back up to his fingertips, never losing contact. The movement seemed effortless, without thought, his attention focused on his companions and their conversation. She strolled up to the table and plucked the light from its perch. The orb remained bright in her palm.

The elf’s companions stiffened, but he cupped a hand and formed another sphere that popped to his fingertips. “Beware who you rob.”

135 thoughts on “Alue, an Elf

  1. inese says:

    It is a wonderful cover, Diana. You are amazing. I enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to reading your new book in August. I believe in elves and gnomes ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit, Inese. You really know how to make me smile. I’m glad you enjoyed this, though my elf can be quite trying. Lol. Have a wonderful week, my friend. Happy, healthy, and creative. ❤

      Like

  2. Great cover and enticing excerpt Diana. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. AmyRose🌹 says:

    What a story, Diana. I was riveted!! I can’t wait to read another one of your books. Congratulations. Deep breaths, OK?? xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are amazing! Congratulations! The time is soon to be upon us…or upon you at least! ;-)))

    Liked by 1 person

    • No kidding, Kevin. I was in a bit of a panic mode last week, but feel a lot better now that my blurb is taking shape. Lol. For some reason that was a bear! Thanks for the visit and comment. You started my day with a smile! Happy poeting! 🙂

      Like

  5. acflory says:

    Oh man…am I ever looking forward to this! Already love this new world, Diana. Publish quickly. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Widdershins says:

    That elf reminded me of David Bowie in Labyrinth. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Enticing cover and snippet, Diana. It’s great when all the elements come together.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A.S. Akkalon says:

    This is captivating. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. dgkaye says:

    Diana, your prose is always a joy to read. Some beautiful metaphors! Another smash success coming right up! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Diana, you are at your finest! And “Stars pricked holes in the obsidian sky…” is the most beautiful description I’ve heard in a long time. Marvelous work, my friend. I can’t wait for this one. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Teagan. I’m so glad you enjoyed this. I’ve got 50 pages of final edits to go on the 3rd book and then I go through the beta reader suggestions. If all goes well, I’m looking at then end of August for book 1. I can’t wait to unload this! Lol. Have a lovely day, my friend. Hugs ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. An elf with an attitude. I like her. I enjoyed reading this excerpt, Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ann Coleman says:

    What a great story! I also loved the cover art…congratulations!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congratulations, Diana and what a fantastic cover. I loved your story it was so captivating. Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jan Sikes says:

    Congrats, Diana! This is a great excerpt. I was drawn in and didn’t want it to end! Best wishes with this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit and sweet comment, Jan. I’m busily finishing the trilogy up and have a few more snippets to share over August. Then… hopefully, I’ll be going live. Then I’m going to nap until Christmas. Lol. Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Val Boyko says:

    So intriguing❣️

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Steven Baird says:

    Great looking cover and a wonderful excerpt, Diana. I love it when you perform this kind of writing magic.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Congratulations and good luck

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This is a very vivid and engaging scene; I was drawn righ in. I loved this line: “The canteen’s whispered reputation suggested it was a place frequented by goblin smugglers, collared changelings, and elves with nothing to lose.”

    Liked by 1 person

  19. CarolCooks2 says:

    A wonderful cover and a spunky little elf, Diana …a great intro to Alue…Good luck with the book launch 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Staci Troilo says:

    I love the cover! Fabulous excerpt. Can’t wait to cheer you on in August!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Staci. I’m excited, but also anxious and exhausted. Still a lot to do between now and then! I’m glad you like the cover too. I think it’s done now… at least, until tomorrow. Lol. Have a great day and be well.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Gosh I love the image – represents Alue so perfectly 🙂
    The cover is pretty awesome as well, D – did you make it yourself?? I’m impressed.
    Love this passage – poor naive Alue just got herself in the wrong place at the very wrong time!!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. memadtwo says:

    As usual your writing invites the reader in. Congratulations! (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Intriguing intro… Lovely cover and August is almost here! KUDOS!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Congratulations, Diana. This extract is great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Robbie. I’m looking forward to having this one done. It’s been a long haul. I’m glad you enjoyed the little extract too. Alue is getting herself into a big mess. Lol. Thanks for stopping by and take good care of yourself and the family. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  25. balroop2013 says:

    Wow! Congrats Diana. August is just a few days away! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t make me throw up with anxiety, Balroop. Lol. I’m talking the END of August. That’s a month away! And it’s going to fly by. Yikes. Thanks for the visit and the encouragement. Have a wonderful day, and be well, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I haven’t read anything by you since Soul Swallowers. I can wait till August but not much longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Your writing is so visual I have to stop and reread just for the sheer pleasure some lines give me. Can’t wait for this one- congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Jacquie. As long as you don’t have to reread because you’re confused! Lol. You gave me a giant smile and the energy to plow ahead! I have so much to do and time is flying by. Have a wonderful afternoon and be well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Silent Hour says:

    From what I just read, this is going to be great. Elves with nothing to lose? I loved that!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    Great excerpt, Diana! I will be picking this up when it releases. Let me know if you want any help with release.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Denise. What a kind offer and of course, I’m all smiles. I would love some help with the launch. I’m so bad at these things that I can use all the help I can get! Lol. I’ll be pulling together some materials in the next couple of weeks. Thank you! ❤ You're the best!

      Like

  30. Vivienne says:

    I liked you goblin, and the elf seems to be just as interesting. Now I’m looking forward to August.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Vivienne. The pressure is on for the end of August… the end of the end of August. Lol. I’m glad you enjoyed this. When it’s done I’m going to sleep until Christmas. Have a wonderful day and take good care of yourself. ❤

      Like

  31. You’ve created a very good atmosphere here, and quite a nice twist to the old “beware of pocket thiefs” 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Mae Clair says:

    Excellent snippet, Diana. As always, your words are beautiful magic. Alue seems quite intriguing. I’m looking forward to getting to know her and all your characters when the book releases. When you’re ready, my blog is open should you like any promo spots 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Mae, for the visit, the comment, and the offer. I’ll prepare something and take you up on it. I’m terrible at launches, but really want to try pull one together this time. Lol. I’m glad you enjoyed this. It’s hard to find snippets that don’t need backstory. Alue is a bit on the reckless side and this isn’t going to end well. Poor thing. Have a wonderful day and Happy Writing. ❤ Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Wow. What an entrance by you and Alue. She’s a cheeky elf, probably headed for lots of trouble, but I’m game and ready to go on adventures with her. Well done Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Alue intrigues and from this scene you just know she’s going to push her luck a time or few! I enjoyed this and found myself getting into the story, What is it with August, Diana? I’ve a deadline to meet too – I will because I have to, but wish I’d said September when I had the chance to!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so right that Alue is going to push her luck, Eric. She thinks she’s a lot tougher than she is. 🙂 And yes, August. It’s arbitrary for me, but I’ve been working on this thing for 2+ years. If it ends up being September… that will be okay too. Then I’m going to sleep until Christmas! Thanks for the visit and have a fabulous day.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. trentpmcd says:

    Nice little sample. Looking forward to your, uhm, I think you once said that the muse turned you towards a more traditional fantasy? Maybe, but obviously with your own spin on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha. I’m so tickled that you remember. Yes, it’s my muse’s fault that there’s an elf in this story, but not the typical trope. She’s about to make a mess of things. Thanks for stopping by to read, Trent. Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Alue is a feisty gal…I like her! Thanks for sharing the snippet, Diana. I enjoyed it. Great cover, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Jina Bazzar says:

    OOooh, loved it. I like the photokinetic term too.
    And it’s coming soon too!
    Good luck !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jina, I’m a little nervous about getting the blurb and the launch stuff together, but the book will be polished up by the end of next week. It’s been a couple of years since the last one, so I feel like I’m relearning everything! Thanks for the visit and the encouragement. You made me smile. Have a wonderful day and be well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jina Bazzar says:

        I’m sure it’ll be a great book, or two, wasn’t it? You’ve been teasing us for a long time now. I wonder how you fixed the shapeshifting with clothes problem….
        And if you want to do a bang for the release, you can count me in.

        Liked by 1 person

  38. I can’t wait to meet him Diana. Looking forward to reading the book 🤗💕🌸🌹❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Tessa Pulyer says:

    Exciting and what a gorgeous cover! Alue is very intriguing ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • She’s about to get into a bit of trouble – so reckless! Lol. Thanks for reading, Tessa, and thanks for the note on the cover. I think it’s done. 🙂 Now… the blurb (shivers). Have a great day and Happy Reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Another great book coming up!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. I like this character.
    Best of luck with the anticipated launch in August.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. You have an interesting character, Diana. I love your descriptions. A dangerous place to be sure. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Good luck for the launch!!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. amreade says:

    Alue’s got spunk! I like her. And the cover is breathtaking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Amy. My elf is spunky and she pays for it. Lol. And I’m glad you like the cover. I think it’s about done. Now to work on the blurb. UGH! Have a great day and be well. ❤

      Like

  45. J.D. Riso says:

    What a beautiful creature she is. I’m always so captivated by your rich, but not overdone, prose.💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the kind comment, JD. I have a wonderful beta reader who takes a red pen to my prose and slashes away, trying to get rid of the “overdone” parts. Lol. I just love words. Have a lovely day, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  46. Teri Polen says:

    That’s a beautiful cover, Diana! I’m looking forward to learning more about Alue – she seems to handle herself pretty well.

    Liked by 1 person

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