I am always reluctant to post excerpts from several books ahead of the current book. But I finally decided to post a little snippet for a couple of reasons. One is that I wanted to let people know that yes, the four books of the serial are already written. I know sometimes when a reader reads the start of series, much less a serial, that they wonder, "If I invest the time to read this first book, will I be left hanging? Can the author actually write the rest?" So I wanted reassure the reader that all four books of the serial have already been written and the manuscripts are final. As the artwork and layout gets completed for each book, it will be published. It's roughly a six month schedule per book. And although the serial story ends in book 4, the "series" does not. If the books are read, there will be a book 5. Secondly, I wanted to show that the personal drama of the characters does rise as the serial progresses. It's probably been about three decades since someone has attempted a serial story consisting of novel sized installments. People who are reading the first novel don't seem to understand the difference between a serial and a series in that a serial story may reach a climactic ending at the installment end but the story is far from being wrapped up. Book two will continue where book one left off. The advantage is that book number two has almost no preliminaries and burns up the road from the beginning. Likewise for books three and four.
So here is an excerpt from book four, "The Saeshell Book of Time Part 4: The Ceremony of Life."
Anashivalia begins sniffling.
“I suppose that indicates they are married, essentially,” comments McPherson.
A floating cushion appears behind Anashivalia; she collapses onto it and begins weeping.
“I suppose it is difficult for you to see true, devoted love after having led your husband to his death. And then to have your son leave you for another woman’s care—wife, mother, tutor—all wrapped into a tidy package called Tova2.”
Anashivalia weeps loudly.
“It’s good you are getting these disgusting tears out of the way where no one can see. What would the subjects think if they saw such a prideful ruler letting their emotions get the better of them?” He grabs her dripping chin and raises her eyes to his icebox stare. “A good ruler has empathy for their subjects and saves the chill for their enemies. And yet, their heart remains warm. They delegate that chill to people like me so that their empathy remains unsullied by the realities of ruling.” He begins to nod. “Those two will become rulers one day. Their subjects will love them and the love they share will radiate onto and illuminate their subjects. And those few who have hearts of stone and remain cold even in their glow—well, they can look forward to a visit from me.” He drops her chin like a rotting banana peel. “You have one child left—you should make good ‘use’ of her while you can. Or perhaps ‘use’—while I am sure you are comfortable with that word—is an inappropriate word in this case.”
Anashivalia’s crying has softened, though her shoulders are still quietly shaking.