It's a great honor for me to be opening the blog hop for Michelle Franklin's "Reporter From Marridon"!
Michelle and I met on Twitter - where so many serendipitous meetings happen - and somehow, we clicked right from the start. Michelle is probably the most diligent author I know. She works all the time! And now she's reaping the reward with this publishing deal. I'm awfully proud of her.
To celebrate this launch, Michelle is giving us an excerpt from her new book.
Here is a synopsis:
Synopsis: A reporter from Marridon, the advanced and allied nation to the north of Frewyn, is dispatched to Diras to meet with the famous Commander and Den Asaan, heroes and saviors of the Two Continents. It would seem to be a simple task, to ask a few questions of the strange woman and giant, but when the reporter slights the king's personal guard, he finds that getting a story to print may be harder than previously conceived.
And here is the excerpt:
From Chapter 2
The reporter came to the iron gate of the castle to find a rather unbecoming guard standing in his way: a man of long face, curly and tied back hair, immense stature and stern conviction. He seemed to be proud of his profession as a Royal Guard, marked so by the ornamental shield in his left hand, the immense sword in his right, and by the lion-head pauldron adorning his shoulder. He assumed that such a devoted creature to be brutish and uninformed young man, but when he demanded, “I’m here on a matter of business. You would do well to let me pass,” he was treated with unexpected alacrity of mind.
“And you are, sir?” said the guard in a bemused and chary tone.
“I am a scribe from Marridon, merely here to have a consultation to edify the people of the Triumvirate.” A nod and a friendly smile would persuade the guard to open the gate, but the reporter soon found himself under a mistake to think that such behaviour would be his admittance.
The guard widened his stance and held his enormous shield in front of his chest as though preparing to strike. “Did Her Grace the Duchess of Marridon send you?” said the guard in a firm tone.
“In a manner of speaking.” The reporter was still smiling.
“Then I will need to see your documentation, including your Triumvirate travel documents, Marridon identification, and Her Grace’s summons to His Majesty King Alasdair.”
All the graciousness in the reporter’s countenance was brooked by the guard’s obdurate adherence to the law. He sighed in contempt, handed over all his certifications, and tapped his foot with impatience as each document was carefully scoured.
The guard observed the reporter’s profession marked on his identification and instantly returned all the credentials to its owner. “None of these documents bear Her Grace’s seal. Does Her Grace know that you’re here?”
“She does, but I am not here to see the king.”
“You are not here to see the king, sir,” the guard heatedly corrected him.
The reporter fleered at such arrogance, turned aside and placed his hands on his hips. “And who might you be?” he sneered.
“I am Sir Mureadh Farhayden, Captain of the Royal Guard and appointed protector of the Brennin line, and whether you are here to appeal to His Majesty or to one of his commanders, you need the king’s permission or proof of a personal commons from someone within the keep to enter. Otherwise, you may leave.”
The reporter made a drawn out sigh, placing his hand over his eyes. “I’m only here to see the giant and the woman,” he groaned.
Mureadh had done with this insolence. He did not care for the reporter’s impropriety or his discomposed complacence. His sense of honour and duty to his commanders would not allow him to relent in his instruction, and he felt it advisable to enlighten him to the position of both the persons he sought. “And why exactly do you need to see Commander MacDaede and the Den Asaan?”
“I’m here to carry out an interview with them-“
“Has either commander or the Den Asaan previously agreed to this interview?”
The reporter averted his eyes. “Not in so many words, but-“
Mureadh interposed with a strident laugh. “The Den Asaan would never agree to an interview or even agree to speak to someone he doesn’t know.”
“And how would you know that, Sir?”
“Because he is my superior officer,” said Mureadh with resolution. “He trained me for the armed forces, and if there is one thing I’ve learned about him it is that he does not trust anyone he hasn’t investigated first. He won’t talk to you even if you sent him a summons.”
“And the woman?”
“The commander,” Mureadh said in a meaningful accent, “would probably laugh at you for coming all this way for nothing.”
The reporter swore to himself and devised a small note to be conveyed inside the keep. “Would you take this to the commander?”
The reporter made a sly grin. “I don’t believe you’ve read its contents.” He winked and opened the note to reveal that it had been filled with more than a simple message.
Mureadh did not flinch. “Not only is bribery illegal,” he said, now forgoing the formalities of title, “but those are Marridon bills. Frewyn does not accept those as currency and neither do I.” He pointed the reporter back to the docks. “Leave before I carry you to the peristyle and throw you into the river.”
The reporter owned himself defeated at present; he had chosen the wrong man to underestimate, and now he could only lament and be miserable. He chided himself for being precipitant in his assumptions and was forced to walk back toward the square with diminished hopes and a slighted heart. He would contrive to find another means of speaking to the woman and the giant, but for now he must find one of Frewyn’s wretched taverns and search for lodgings for the coming evening.
Mureadh, rather pleased with his performance, smiled to himself and looked up to find the Den Asaan at his usual perch for this time in early evening. He had little doubt of the giant seeing the entire affair from the crenels of the castle battlements, and he was not surprised at the commander coming to his side a few moments later to watch the reporter scurry away from the castle entrance.
“Shall I ask about that shabby fellow?” the commander smirked.
“A reporter from Marridon, commander,” Mureadh said with a salute.
The commander beamed. “A reporter, indeed. You should have allowed my mate to see him.” She looked up and regarded Rautu’s austere watch of the capital, his trappings whipping in the gentle breeze of coming evening. “I daresay he would have gloried in his brilliant company,” she laughed. “I’m certain Alasdair would have seen him and sent all the necessary notification to the Duchess.”
“He came to see you and the Den Asaan.”
The commander gave Mureadh an incredulous look. “Me? Why me? A farmer can be interesting only those of her kind. A commander might be interesting to those in need of her assistance, but a woman can be interesting to no one at all when clothed, I assure you.”
Mureadh simpered and shook his head, and he wondered whether he should have allow the reporter to meet the commander and Den Asaan if only to have the former attack him with her cleverness and the latter scowl at him accordingly.
Michelle's Bio: Michelle Franklin is a small woman of moderate consequence who writes many, many books about giants, romance, and chocolate.
Links: Michelle's Blog(http://thehaanta.blogspot.ca/
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Publisher: Paper Crane Books
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