A New Change of Luck Opening

Did you ever hit “send,” and have that horrible OH-NO moment after it’s too late? Yeah, me too.

In this case, it was the opening of A Change of Luck. A week after releasing it, I actually went back and looked at the opening. What was I thinking!!?? I almost always take a final look at the opening before I upload the file. Ooops.

It wasn’t bad. The writing is mostly clean and it flows. But it was dead and boring. Fortunately with Amazon, it is never too late to correct a mistake. So I have been digging back in and rewrote the first chapter. It is still being worked on, but I wanted to share the stronger and interesting new-beginning:) I should be finishing the re-edits by the end of the week and uploading a new file:)

In the meantime, you can get a sneak peek of Diya’s more adventurous introduction:)

Diya looked over her shoulder, sure she was being watched. The moons were cresting over the trees, casting soft shadows across the yard. Determined to get answers, she turned back to the window and used her hair clip to jiggle the latch. She heard the soft snick of metal moving and eased the window open.

She hoisted herself through, landing with a thud on the inside. She  straightened her skirt and looked around the living room. It didn’t look like anyone had been living there recently.  Just a couch and a daybed with a low table in front of it. Then she noticed some plants. Not dead.

In the kitchen she found several bottles of wine and glasses on the counter as well as a half eaten plate of cheese. Someone was using the place.  She went down the hall into the living quarters. At the end of the hall there was a door on the left, half open. She went in. She stood in the room, just enough light shining through the glass doors for her to see the stripped bed and open wardrobe. This looked like the master bedroom. The wardrobe door was open.  Nothing inside. The bed was stripped down. Over in the corner, she spotted a pile of clothes. Definitely Jay’s.

Despite herself, she picked them up. No sign of blood or damage. Just rumpled dirty clothes left in a pile. So like him. She held them close, wishing he were with her and praying he were safe. She held them to her face, smelling his familiar scent on them, the soap he used with hints of clove and vanilla.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?”

Diya spun around to see a woman standing in the doorway, holding a dagger that glinted in the moonlight. At first she thought this must be the owner or caretaker. But the owner would probably summon the city watch, rather than confront an intruder with a knife.

Diya realized she was clutching Jay’s clothes in front of her. Embarrassed, she put them down on the bed and turned back to the woman. “I was looking for Jay, who is my friend,” she said, her words rushed, “who used to live here. Who are you?” She demanded. Who was this girl in Jay’s house?

“Fern.”  The woman tucked the dagger back into the sheath at her waist, eyeing Diya with a guarded expression.  “And you are?”

“Well, do you know Jay?” Diya  snapped, ignoring the question entirely.

“What?” The woman shook her head, confused. “Oh, Jay. Yes, I know Jay. Well, I’ve met him. Once or twice. I’m here looking for Kirrin. Well, staying here to see if he comes back. You must be Diya. So’har Diya.” She added quickly.

That the woman knew her name was oddly disconcerting, but Diya brushed past it.  “Is Kirrin missing?” she asked, realizing they might have a common gal.

“That’s what I’m trying to find out. I haven’t heard from him and that’s not like him. Especially since word on the street is that So’har Hak’kar is hunting for them. Good money on their heads.”

Diya’s stomach knotted. “But he hasn’t found them?”

“I don’t think so,” said Fern. She came into the room and sat on the end of the bed. “You don’t know anything? Did Jay tell you anything?”

From the tone of her voice, the woman knew nothing and wanted information. What if she were out for the reward? “Who are you again?” Diya asked.

“Fern. I’ve been…friends with Kirrin for several years.”

Diya noticed the slight pause before the word friend. Closer up, the woman was older than Jay. She had sandy blond hair braided neatly but her clothes looked practical, definitely not someone Jay would have been interested in. She could still be one of Hak’kar’s spies.

“And how do you know Kirrin?”

“He showed up at my window, several years ago.”

Diya had no idea what that meant but it sounded like the kind of thing Jay had done. While they talked, Fern kept her hand close to her dagger, and glanced towards the door and windows.

It wasn’t likely that Fern was working for Hak’kar. She looked worried.

“I don’t really understand what’s going on.  Jay vanished last week, without a word. Just a cryptic letter and warning.

“What was in the letter?” Fern asked.

“He told me his life was in danger, he had to leave, and he would send word when it was safe, but it’s been a week and I haven’t heard anything.”

“So you snuck across the city in the middle of the night and broke into a stranger’s house?”

Diya glared at her. “And why are you here, again?”

Fern laughed. “Fair enough. Although, I stay here sometimes. To take care of the cat. Kirrin hates it. The cat. Not me staying here.”

Diya laughed, despite herself. If she had met Fern under different circumstances, she could see them becoming friends.

Fern stifled a yawn. “Well, I had a late night and really need to get back to bed. You probably should also be getting back home before you’re missed.”

Diya nodded, knowing Fern was right.  She felt a little disheartened but at least she didn’t feel quite so alone. “If you hear anything, please let me know right away. Just send it to me at House Shaifen.”

“And you can reach me, here, House Fern.”

Diya refused to respond to Fern’s jibe. “Well, I’ll let you get back to sleep, then,” she said with a smile.

“I’ll let you know if I learn anything,” Fern said, getting up and heading towards the living room. “Don’t go out the front. It’s been watched.”

“How should I leave?” Diya asked. “Was I followed here?”

“I don’t know. I wasn’t watching when you arrived. I just know that the house is generally being watched.”

“Hak’kar’s men?”

“Most likely,” Fern said. “Follow me, I’ll take you through the back.”

It was after breakfast by the time Diya got home, tired and disheartened. She had learned nothing new. She wanted a hot bath, bed, and some breakfast. She wasn’t sure of the order of preference. She slipped into the main house through the servants entrance and past the kitchens. She was halfway down the hallway when Maldi, her personal maid dashed down the wide corridor and grabbed her by the arm.

“Where have you been? You look terrible,” the girl exclaimed.

Diya opened her mouth to answer but the girl cut her off.

“No time for that. We need to get you down to your father immediately!”

Diya opened her mouth to answer but the girl cut her off.

“No time for that. We need to get you down to your father immediately!”

“Let go of me,” Diya said, shaking her arm loose. The girl had been her personal maid for many years. Maybe Diya had been too familiar with her.

“I’ve got orders, miss. From the So’har himself. Find my daughter and bring her to me immediately.

Continue reading A Change of Luck, available on Amazon and KU

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