Most of my teasers have been more focused on one of my main characters (De’vii) over the other (Caliebb) and there are a couple of reasons for this.
For starters, there are a few reveals surrounding Caliebb that I don’t want to give away. I do have a couple of posts that focus on him rather than De’vii’s world, but I had to be super careful. I would love to delve further into a few things from Caliebb’s past, but doing so is definitely spoiler territory.
Secondly, De’vii’s world and beliefs feature more in the duology, making him slightly more of the main character than Caliebb though both are POV characters.
And thirdly, quite frankly, the only things I want to write about when it comes to Caliebb, I can’t, which only leaves boring, unfun things. Okay, that’s probably not entirely the truth–I actually came up with a couple of neat things I could have done, but they would have required me to go massively on tangents and I didn’t want to do that. I wanted all my teasers to relate directly back to the story in some fashion. But I can’t do that with Caliebb because then I’ll give things away. Argh. It was frustrating.
It just means you get a lot more teasers slanted more toward De’vii, which is probably not a problem because my beta readers said he was their favorite character out of the two anyway.
And that, of course, in nonsensical logic, brings me to a scene that features neither character.
During the novels, De’vii sometimes curses/prays to the ancestral bitch, who is sort of a dogmother/goddess figure for houndmasters and their packs, and that is where the idea for Mother of Dogs stemmed from.
The scene below actually takes place during Haunt of the Wilds (The Wilds Duology: Book 1), but isn’t actually IN the novel in any form. It’s just a side piece I wrote when I was contemplating writing a novel featuring Wes.
The POV character is Wes, a black widow (a race of people who murder their sexual partners in order to steal abilities/attributes) and the woman, Nissah, he speaks to is his sister. Mi’saa, De’vii’s best friend, makes an appearance and while I don’t say De’vii’s name, he’s also there when I mention houndmasters in the plural. Enjoy :)
MOTHER OF DOGS
“I’m never going to be able to get the smell out, you know. The stench of wet, dirty dog feels as if it has permeated into my skin. I’ll be scrubbing until I bleed.”
Nissah didn’t respond, though I knew she heard.
“They’re handy, I’ll give them that, but houndmasters, they need a few more lessons in civility. And hypocriticalness, come to think of it. They’re always smirking whenever someone mentions religion in any capacity, but then they’re always going on about that ancestral bitch of theirs.”
I’d kept my voice soft and I knew our language tended to be thought of as smooth and lacking harshness so when one of the houndmasters, Mi’saa, glanced my way, I smiled gently and winked. She narrowed her gaze and bared her teeth slightly before turning away. So I laughed gently to myself.
“Every race has their own peculiars,” said Nissah in a monotone voice.
She didn’t look at me. Didn’t even seem to be speaking to me. She’d always been like that though. Other races would consider her aloof and cold, but I knew well enough she needed to keep herself away from emotionally connecting. Father had instilled that in her. Had attempted to instill the attitude in me.
“And part of theirs is that they believe they’re all descended from the same dog, some mother figure who gave birth to both houndmasters and dogs alike.” I chuckled to myself. “I wonder if they actually consider her a dog or whether she’s some sort of hybrid crossbreed in their stories.”
Nissah slowly turned her head to look at me.
“Of course, they probably don’t have a lot of written work. Can’t imagine them bothering with it. I was surprised to discover they’re actually literate.”
“You underestimate people far too often,” said Nissah softly.
The smile froze on my face.
There hadn’t been any condemnation in her voice. Hell planes, there never was anything in her voice unless she had a victim in her sights. She was the perfect specimen of black widow. And I…
I was my Father’s failed experiment.
I turned away from Nissah and watched the houndmasters converse, my gaze dragging over the way they comfortably leaned closer to their packs, their hounds a constant overbearing presence. They, at least, never felt alone.
Cold now, I reached inward and summoned one of the few powers I’d stolen. As warmth suffused my body, heating my limbs, but unable to unwrap the icy claw curled tightly around my heart, I sighed.
“Maybe,” I admitted finally, though I didn’t divulge the more convoluted reason I had for “underestimating” people, as she put it.
“And that is why you fail to grow stronger,” she continued.
“You are sure picking a fine time to suddenly become talkative.” I wore my resentment with a wry smile and a flirty glance, though I knew it would do nothing to endear me to her.
Nissah stood in a rustle of fabric. Long black hair, so similar to mine, hung in a long braid against her back. She looked down at me, somehow managing to seem disappointed without changing her expression. Then, without a word, she strode away.
I stared after her for a moment, my cheeks starting to ache from holding the softness in my smile. My fingers, though, they clenched into the dirt, a dry twig cutting into the side of my palm.
Mi’saa came over a moment later. “We’re setting up a watch, widow.”
I leaned backward so I wouldn’t have to crane my neck. “Don’t trust us?” I asked sweetly, already knowing the answer.
“I get the feeling that if I did, I would soon find myself running with the ancestral bitch herself.”
“Maybe you won’t get that lucky. Isn’t there a hell plane you might end up in after you die if you’ve been an bad dog?” I said mockingly.
Mi’saa snorted and shook her head, her hair short enough it barely moved. “The ancestral bitch takes all kinds. Was just letting you know so you don’t scream if you see movement if you have to get up in the middle of the night.” Then she went and got comfortable on the ground, her dogs immediately gathering around, piling atop of one another and draping themselves partially on her.
“All kinds,” I murmured, switching back to my own language again. “Your ancestral bitch takes all kinds. She must have been one busy bitch to give birth to such a violent race.”
Nissah must have heard something she didn’t like in my tone because she turned toward me, her eyes blank. I smiled and shrugged, knowing it was the longing in my tone she took offense to. I couldn’t help it though.
Not that I wanted to be a dog. I shuddered at the thought.
But the transparency, the lack of subterfuge, the murderous intent right there out in the open rather than hidden behind sex and pseudo-love. And most of all, the knowledge one would never be alone. Not now. Nor later, because, according to houndmasters, every one of them and every dog born of darkness would one day run with the ancestral bitch in a pack so large there likely wasn’t enough stars to compare.
Maybe they were on to something.
Haunt of the Wilds
The Wilds Duology: Book I
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