I have to admit, I’ve got a bit of an obsession with swords. I mean, who doesn’t love swords? (Especially those of us who read fantasy novels – everybody’s got a sword). And I can geek out a little when talking about them.
Of course, medieval swords are my favorite. We’re talking longswords, shortswords, falchions, sabers, rapiers and so on. But honestly, as long as it has a long blade and a handle, I’m happy.
That adoration created quite a challenge for me as I wrote this book. I wanted to go into detail – a lot of detail. And even though I initially loved the words I put down, I had to be honest with myself: even I don’t want that much detail when I’m reading a novel. I want just enough detail and narration to give me an idea, let my imagination fill in the rest, and get right back to the dialogue and character interaction.
So this is what I came up with. Oh, and this is the first scene in Immolation where my heroine Ramona interacts with Caleb – the two characters I couldn’t wait to throw together.
Immolation: Chapter two snippet
Going to the wall, she picked up the cordless handset, took a deep breath, then answered, “Hello?”
A male voice responded from the other end of the line. “Hello. Is this Ramona Caen?”
“Ms. Caen, I own the collection of Medieval weapons recently shipped to the museum.”
“Oh, yes, Mr. Medici! What can I do for you?”
“First, you may call me Caleb. May I call you Ramona? It is such a lovely name.”
“Um, of course.” The level of formality seemed odd, as did his voice. It was deep and friendly, his accent strange. Silently, she carried the phone back to her stool and sat down.
“Ramona, I was calling to check up. I understand the contract with the museum has placed us on a tight timeline. Have you inspected my artifacts?”
“Yes, I have. They arrived safely and in perfect condition.” Her eyes fell to the longsword. “Actually, I’m glad you called because I’ve got a question for you.”
“Please, go ahead.”
“I found some sharpening marks on the longsword; they appear to be recent. I don’t mean to be indelicate, but are you sure these weapons are as old as we think they are?”
“Ah. I can understand how those marks would seem suspicious. Let me assure you, those weapons have been in my family for many, many years. Keeping the blades sharp is an old custom — a superstition, actually. Being unprepared for battle is a bad omen.”
“Hmm.” She let the silence stretch.
A soft chuckle came from the other end of the line. “You are skeptical, I appreciate that. I do have documentation proving authenticity. You should have received a copy with the other paperwork. In addition, I possess a painting that has been dated several times. It hangs in my mansion. It shows a warrior of the sixteenth century wielding the same longsword. It is very detailed.”
Despite herself, his warmth eased her uncertainty and she felt herself smiling. “I’m sure it is. I know you sent over the proper documentation, it is…” …currently splayed frantically all over the bench… “…right in front of me.”
“It’s no trouble. Since collections like this are so rare, I’m used to these kinds of questions. Perhaps I shall have you over for dinner sometime, so I can show you the painting. It is rather spectacular.”
A warm blush crept up her neck and she was very grateful he was not in the room with her. She cleared her throat softly. “Well, thank you for your candor. As you said, we’re on a tight timeline and I really should get back to work. Before I do, can I help you with anything else?”
“No, no, I’m quite satisfied. It was a pleasure to speak to you, Ramona. I hope we will not be separated for long.”
After a friendly goodbye, Ramona pulled the phone away from her ear and stared at it. What a strange man…
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*Featured photo credit Ryan Cruse. Used with permission. All rights reserved.