Friday, October 10, 2014

In Which War of Loyalties Makes its Snippets Debut





Hello, friends and fellow bibliophiles!
It is my pleasure today to debut the first War of Loyalties snippets post on My Lady Bibliophile! For a long time I've been a writer, but kept this novel fairly locked up as far as plot-line and excerpts go. Editing drafts require a lot of time and privacy to smooth out the rough edges.

But I have longed to be able to share it with you, and feel that it is in good enough state to start dropping hints about. Right now I plan to devote two posts a month to writing--one with snippets and one with character interviews, with a couple of weeks in between. Sometimes they'll be about my War of Loyalties spy novel, and sometimes about other novels that I have in the works. I do hope you all will enjoy this new focus in the coming months!

I wrote an earlier post digging into a lot of questions about the novel plotline, but as a reminder, here is a brief introduction to the plot:

Medical student Ben Dorroll has no interest in the European conflict, until his father writes pleading for him to come to England to train as a spy recruit in home front intelligence. The opportunity to continue his medical work at the same time convinces him to accept the position. Bringing his wife Charlotte and sister Pearl with him, Ben moves to Folkestone, the hub of a crumbling spy ring in need of fresh recruits. There he's placed under the mentorship of Jaeryn Graham, a young Irish doctor, with a ruthless “do-what-it-takes” mentality in his work and a compassionate  generosity in his private life.  

It's a whole new world of espionage with a triple twist of uncertain trust, ambitious agents, and international betrayal.



War of Loyalties October Snippets

 "Going out with your young woman?" The short, balding proprietor opened the icebox and returned with two amber-colored bottles. "I saw the ring when you dropped in last week."
  A warm glow rose in Ben's eyes at the mention of her, but he shook his head. "Not today." He picked up the bottles, which were cold and rather slippery from the warm air hitting them, and examined the root beer inside with satisfaction. Then, wanting someone to share his anticipation, Ben offered more conversation than usual. "My older brother's coming over this evening." The words sounded strange on his tongue. He had never said them before.
 "That's nice." The man dropped the pennies in his cash register. "How long has it been since you've seen him?"
 "Twenty years."
**

  "Hello, little brother. I'm Edmond." The young man standing before him offered a firm handshake, and Ben returned it with one of his own. He had waited for weeks to hear those words, and a thrill ran through him at their sound.

**
  There was a curse in every curve of that black ink.
**

  "We're pleased with your work. Are you quite sure you're recovered from your last escapade?"

  "Completely." The young man addressed as Graham nodded and flexed his fingers at the remembrance of what he had just finished. They were straight and unblemished, except for two--and these two, even though they were crooked, he glanced at with a proud lifting of his chin, as if he would gladly have them over the other eight, whole ones.
**

  Ryson's pale blue eyes glared at him. "You do your ethnicity no favors with such remarks."
**

  The well-stocked wallet in Jaeryn's coat pocket rested at his side with a reassuring solidity, and his hand snaked in to feel it. The knowledge that its ample contents enhanced his value as an agent sent a warm tingle coursing through his fingers--or perhaps that was merely the sting that still lingered from his recent injury.

**
  A flaxen-haired young woman, clad in a linen skirt and coral shirtwaist, peeped around the doorframe, and joined the conversation. "He's going more because his father asked him to. Even if it took him three years to make up his mind." She glanced demurely at Ben, and broke into a light, sweet laugh as his mouth opened involuntarily to defend himself.
**
  "That's sweet of you, lad," the old woman said, and the fine wrinkles around her mouth deepened in a pleased smile.
**
  A radio droned out the latest war news to the left of the front door, and maps and propaganda posters plastered the walls with bloodthirsty red slogans.
**

  "I only knew of one son for years; an army captain, Edmond Dorroll. He's done well for himself in the war. But this other son I had never heard of until three years ago, when Matthew Dorroll requested the position for him. Benjamin Dorroll's coming from America, and I can find no evidence that he's been in England for some time. I find it strange that Matthew Dorroll didn't want the position for the older son instead of the younger."

  "Curious." The word lilted, long and drawn-out, and Jaeryn smiled again to himself.
**
  Need help. Bit of a risk, but I'll make it worth your while. Meet me in Dover. J."
**
  "His name is Jaeryn Graham, and he has long-time connections to the special branch. He's twenty-eight, and Irish to boot, but he's loyal for all their madcap ways."
**
  "No, you don't." Ryson's cold grey eyes never ceased from their appraisal of him. "No one your age understands the responsibility of knowledge."
**
  Samuel Ryson opened a drawer and took out eight sovereigns, which he gave to Ben. They felt cold and hard, and Ben rubbed his finger softly over the insignia, then looked them over until he found the discrepancy in their make. It was there, and a slight smile crossed his face at his success. A tiny hole the size of a pin-prick, which no-one would ever suspect unless they knew what they were looking for. He twisted it, and the sovereign fell apart.
**

  "First of all, we two must place implicit trust in one another in order to work together. You can rely upon my loyalties to the Allied cause, and I'm sure I can rely on yours. For another, I gather, like he did, that you prefer to mind your own business and have others mind theirs. If you want your colleagues and your enemies to trust you, try to give them at least an impression of openness."

**

  Pearl stood near him, gazing out over the Channel and breathing in the salty sea air while Ben paid the cab driver. Her voice, when she spoke, was so low he almost missed it. "Ben?"
  "Hmm?" He looked down at her, and now that the men were gone, a touch of eagerness lit up her face.
  "It feels like home--with you here."
  "Does it?" Ben touched her cheek and brushed back a strand of curls from her face as if she were six instead of twenty. "Then I'm glad." 


All snippets from War of Loyalties, by Schuyler M.


Blessings,
Lady Bibliophile

15 comments:

  1. I think this is one of my favorite posts so far. :D Love it. :D

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    1. Aw. :D I'm so glad you like it, and thank-you for sharing in the prayer and work that has gone into it. <3

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  2. Loved this post! :D That last quote is one of my favorites... ;)
    It'll be fun to see more of these on the blog!
    Love,
    Carrie-Grace

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    1. That's such a sweet one, isn't it. ;) Thank-you for your awesome brainstorming on the first scene--I think it's been a huge help to the focus of the book

      Along with your brainstorming on everything. O.o You are a wonderful encouragement, my dear.

      Love,
      Schuyler

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  3. *comes skidding in* *trips and lands in a chair*

    I'm here! :D

    As you already know, I'm muchly intrigued by this novel of yours (is it a series, mayhap?).

    "My older brother's coming over this evening." The words sounded strange on his tongue. He had never said them before.
    "That's nice." The man dropped the pennies in his cash register. "How long has it been since you've seen him?"
    "Twenty years."

    Snagged my attention even more closely right there. ^_^

    I love #3. #4. (I think I'm going to like Graham.) #9. and #14.

    And if you're anything like me you are going to want to know exactly what I liked and the why's, etc, so feel free to ask. =)

    Also, I'm really going to like Ben and Pearl's relationship, I do believe. ^.^

    I can't wait to read more!!!

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    1. Annie!!! :D Thank-you for stopping by and commenting! You can't imagine how thrilled I was.

      Yes indeed, 'tis a series. This is book one. Book two I'm hoping to start working on next year. In fact, it's rather like LOTR--split into two volumes for convenience, but one big long story with several parts to it. :)

      Ah, yes, I hope you find Graham most likable. He's a favorite of mine. ;) And I'd love to know exactly why you like the quotes--but it its totally up to you, if you have time to comment! :)

      I loved seeing your favorite parts. Thank-you for commenting, and I hope you continue to enjoy the snippets and character interviews! :)

      Love,
      Schuyler

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  4. Dear Schuyler,

    I am so excited that you have decided to do this. This project has been steeped in prayer and love and lots of hard work, I know. ;) I hope you will be able to look back on this first brave post as the beginning of great things....

    Long live Ben Dorroll and Jaeryn of the Crooked Fingers!

    Love,

    the Philologist

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    1. Dear Philologist,

      You can't imagine the happiness (or I'm sure you can) of having sweated it out for years, and waited, and dreamed--and then clicking post. Instead of being afraid this time, I felt like I have just started flying.

      Now there's a certain character interview that strikes me very differently, but he must be brave and I shall help him.

      I think I love Jaeryn like the great elf warriors--with his glory and his destruction ever on a knife-edge balance in his heart. He has the fierce song of his people pulsing through his blood, even though he is a son of the twentieth century.

      Some days I miss the Jaeryn I used to know. But this one I love just as dearly, and he is finer and more mature, and I would never go back to the old one.

      And Ben, of course, I love too much to talk about.

      Thank-you for sharing in the excitement and the prayers and the love! <3

      Love,
      Schuyler

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  5. Hooray for the snippets debut of War of Loyalties! Well done in your wordcrafting, Schuyler! I look forward to reading more anon!

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    1. Thank-you very much! More next month, and I can't wait to show you the whole thing anon. ;D

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  6. Oh, Schuyler, I don't know quite what to say; I am so excited that you've finally shared snippets from your wonderful novel "War of Loyalties" on My Lady Bibliophile blog, finally gotten to that stage where you should like to slowly introduce it to readers (that makes me so happy), but also, I am totally delighted by how splendid your writing is, and intrigued too, I must say, but the story of "War of Loyalties" more than ever! The first thought I had upon reading these snippets is in the way you bring life through the wordcrafting and play of your pen and in the vibrant intense colours of your characters. Even through these tiny snippets I see gleams of fascinating, deep characters who I can hardly wait to read about! It is hard to choose a favourite among them, because they are all so good. I did especially like, though the first three snippets - the description and the way you wrote in those little details i.e. the slippery beer bottles from the warm air hitting them, that moment when Edmond greets Ben and it sending a strange thrill in him made me all smile delightedly. YES! These are just so excellent. :D

    I am wondering, from that first chapter that you sent me last year, I have a feeling you might have updated it? I would be curious to see how that whole chapter developed, as it definitely was full of great potential, and I enjoyed it greatly back then ;).

    I think I will really enjoy Graham's character in particular. He looks like just the sort of chap to become a special favourite with me ;). Also Pearl! I like her a lot, from what I see. That last snippet :') <3

    You write really beautifully, Schuyler, and I am very much thrilled for how things are going with your story. "War of Loyalties" sounds like a truly wonderful, enriching and exciting novel, brimming with delightful characters and lots of suspense too. Keep up the wonderful writing, and persevere with all the edits and craziness of agent proposals. I know the Lord will be your guide and strength through this stage of your writing and "War of Loyalties"!

    Lots of love and prayers, dear friend <3

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    1. Dear Joy,
      I am glad you enjoyed the snippets, and thank-you very much for your kind, enthusiastic words! :) As you know well, there is nothing quite so thrilling as having something you've worked hard at touch other people, too. Over time the characters have grown and deepened, until they all could almost have books of their own written about them, and when you meet them, I hope you will find some lovely new literary friends.

      Oh yes, the first chapter is quite changed from the one I sent you, and much better, I think, though I'm glad you enjoyed that one. Would you like to see the updated version? I'd be happy to show it to you. :)

      I'm learning so much through this editing and querying process, and wherever the Lord takes it, this feels like that time in Pilgrim's Progress when Christian and Hopeful rest for a bit in that peaceful green meadow before continuing on their journey. No doubt further times of perseverance and difficulty will come, but progress is sweet, and I want to thank the Lord and celebrate it.

      Thank-you for your love and prayers. They are much appreciated. :) <3

      Love,
      Schuyler

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  7. Oh sure, I would love to read the updated chapter, please!! :)

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  8. It was so exciting to look at your post and see the title!!
    I loved the snippets (well most of them, though it isn't your writing's fault) and most especially my beloved crooked fingers....
    Excellently done, Schuyler, and I look forward to this being but the first of many splendid posts. :)
    -E.H ;)

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    1. Ryson did get a lot of face-time, didn't he. Have to fix that next month...

      Thank-you very much, my dear. I am glad you enjoyed the book, and can't wait to post some of the character interviews--actually, that will be fresh material for you guys, I think. :)

      Have a lovely day!

      Love,
      Schuyler

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