Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Snippet: Man Up

Holy jeezits. Arrow blew my mind this week. My twitter feed was full of a bunch of not so great comments, but I loved, loved, loved everything about fourteen. And episode fifteen is supposed to be filled with even more bad-assery. And Bitten just keeps getting better and better. I seriously can't wait each week for the next episode. My fingers, and all other appendages, are crossed for a second season. Also read about the Flash pilot being filmed. Currently, that's the show I'm most looking forward to for next season.

I've also been enjoying seeing Jamie Bamber on my screen in The Smoke. He's so good at roles he can sink his teeth into, and playing Kev definitely gives him room to flex his acting chops. J

Tonight's post is from Man Up, a fantasy novella where my main characters are tied for the top honors at the Academy of Light and aren't happy about it.

Here's the tagline:

Hattie Hale and Nero Palmer, instructors at the Academy of Light, are supposed to set the example, but can't quite get past their competitive natures. A drunken game of one-ups-manship goes all the way to the sleeping chamber because neither will admit to being outdone.

And a preview snippet…

Hattie made a mad dash for the Preceptor's office. She had to get to the grade sheets for finals before Nero. Her class would be at the top of the list this term. They had to be.
She'd worked her cadets hard and they'd really come through for her.
Hattie's lips curved upward in a smile. Nothing like a little one-upsmanship to light a fire under a student's ass. Competing with Nero made being an instructor at the Academy of Light way more fun than it should be.
She stopped outside the door of Amblewood's office and blew out a calming breath. She knocked twice then entered when no response came forth. Ambly wouldn't care if she took a quick glance at the scores.
Rifling around on the desk, she found the folder containing the compilation of each class. She dug out hers and Nero's and dropped the folder on the desk. Holding the two charts side by side, her face fell.
She made a low growling sound. "No effing way."
"Did my class beat yours?"
Startled, Hattie's head whipped around. Nero stood with one shoulder propped against the door jamb, a sly smile on his face.
At least she'd get to remove the smug look. "Nope." She shoved the papers in his direction. "We tied."
His mouth dropped open. "What?" He snatched the pages and gave them a quick glance. "The AoL hasn't had two classes with the same score for finals in over a decade." He strode across the small office and slapped the grade sheets on top of the folder. "A draw. That's just… stupid."
Hattie couldn't agree more. "I know, right? Look at the breakdown. We go practically every other spot." She straightened the notes and pointed to the first line item. "See, my group kicked your ass in levitation." Her extra attention with several students paid off there. "But you top honors in conjuring."
He leaned over her shoulder. "And casting. My cadets were all over those spells." His finger traced the next score. "But your students did the best in combined applications. Double score for that one."
She nodded. "And yours took the top spot in elementals." She shot him a sideways glance. "I need to figure out how you get them to deftly control the wind. That's always the hardest to manage."
He grinned. "That's one trade secret I'll never share." He backed away, giving her a little breathing room.
She took advantage. "Don't be so certain. I'm going to keep a very sharp eye on your next term. I will discover your secret."
Nero smirked. "You're welcome to try." He gathered their sheets and stuffed them back inside the folder. "As for me, I'm gonna focus on the combined." He flipped the file closed and frowned. "But right now, I'm heading to the Scholar. I need to wash the bitter taste of sharing top score with you away."
Hattie snorted. "I think I'll join you." She lifted a brow. "Unless you're afraid I'll drink you under the table."
Nero cocked his head to one side. "Is that a challenge, Hattie?" He didn't wait for an answer. "You're on. Let's go."

I love writing characters that compete with each other, usually in the name of good fun. J

That's it for this week.



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