Working Notes – ROMANI ARMADA

romani-armada-print-copyAs I write this, I’m sagging under the impact of horrific jet lag, having just returned from Australia.

I’m so behind, now, that I’m scaring myself.  Blog posts are growing thin on the ground and then there’s the book deadlines…

I’m currently working on getting Romani Armada finished before the early September deadline.  It’s going to be tight!

Here’s a snippet from the manuscript to whet your appetite.

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“You don’t like Demyan much, do you?” Gawain asked, leaning forward between the seats.  Gawain was antsy as hell and verbally fidgeting again as Rhydder sped through the two a.m. streets like a slick bullet.

“Gawain, really, not now,” Marley said earnestly.

“I like Romanov a bit more than I like you right now,” Rhydder answered.

“But not much more.  Yet something keeps you together and it’s not Pritti.  You have no feelings about her at all.  Demyan does.”

Marley saw Rhydder’ chest rise and fall sharply.  A sore point then.  The depth of Demyan’s feeling for Pritti must have caught him by surprise tonight.  Clearly, he hadn’t enjoyed the revelation.

“You who have no friends but Marley wouldn’t even begin to understand loyalty to a higher order, boy,” Rhydder growled to Gawain.  “Leave it alone.”

Gawain grinned.  “Did he just call me boy?”  He pushed through the seats a little further.  “What higher order would that be?”

Gawain!” Marley warned.  “Shut up!”

“Listen to your only friend, Gawain,” Rhydder rumbled.

Gawain backed off a little.  “Not Freemasons.  Too boring.  You’re not wearing the ring and I tried the signs on you earlier, and you didn’t acknowledge them.  Some sort of order of knights?  Nah, Demyan’s from Russia, with a name like Romanov.  You’re a Celt of some sort and the knight orders are generally run along racial lines, so scratch that…”  Gawain drummed on the surface of his reading board, murmuring to himself.

Rhydder rolled his gaze to Marley.  “Is he always like this?”

“No, but you’re intimidating him,” she murmured.  “It’s how he copes with being scared.”

“I scare him?”  Rhydder sounded startled.  “He stepped between me and you today.  That’s not something someone does if they’re scared of you.”

“They do if you’re threatening their only friend.”

He took a right hand turn in low gear, working through the gears with expert ease, using torque to corner, then settled back to straight driving, one hand on the wheel.  “Do I scare you?” he asked.

Her first instinct was to be polite.  Then she mentally shrugged.  She was safe for as long as they needed her help with Pritti.  “Yes, you scare me,” she said flatly.  “And you do it deliberately, I think, to keep people like me away from people like you.  Whatever people like you really are.”

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