Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Guest Post by Stacia Kelly!



Thank you so much for having me as guest on your blog today! You mentioned your readers love seeing excerpts so I thought I’d share a scene from one, yes, one of the WIPs I have right now. Gaian, Goddess of Earth, is book 2 in my Goddess Chronicle series. You can learn more about the crazy sisters at www.staciakelly.com.


*****
As if in slow motion, he saw the fist coming at him. There was no avoiding it. Kiet exhaled sharply tensing his stomach and swallowing a curse as the fist landed for the third time. He clenched his teeth and took a slow, measured breath in. Even as conditioned as he was that one was gonna leave a mark. This was getting old, or he was.

Same thing day after day. Get thrown in the pit or ring, fight, take damage, met out damage, get thrown back in a cell and be left to heal overnight. Maybe get food, if someone remembered to dole it out. Then, repeat.

His days and nights blurred together. He’d lost track of time, which was probably a good thing.

He lifted his forearm wincing at the bone on bone crunch as he blocked another strike. An uppercut punch hooked into his ribs. He gasped, hearing the crack, but then paused, a brief moment that could have cost him his life. This time, there was no pain. He almost stopped completely. He must be adjusting to the hits. He mentally shook himself, get back in the game.

The scar laden warrior trying to kill him snarled when Kiet lifted his arm again to block another strike. This block and move method didn’t seem to be slowing the other man down. He continued to stalk him around the arena and refused to let up whether he pulled his punches or used full force. Kiet was trying not to kill the other man, but the glazed look in his grey eyes gave every indication of drugs or inducement of an alternate nature.

He staggered across the grounds, attempting to get the world to right itself. It wasn’t as if he could go far, the fighting ring wasn’t very large. Large enough to allow movement, a good fight, but not to large as to give either of them the advantage of too much space. His ribs hurt, and he knew there was more than one broken one. Sweat dripped down the side of his face. He shook the feeling off. He’d suffered far worse sparring with his brothers. If he hadn’t spent all these past years in more priestly pursuits, he’d have offered up one of his brother’s favorite, more blatant, curses right then and there. Instead, he inhaled deeply. He didn’t need the curses. He needed pure power. The power of a Warrior Priest.

His sparing skills might be rusty, but he did have them. It wasn’t as if he didn’t practice daily. He usually shadowboxed. This sparring with a partner was both old and new. He stood his ground and summoned what energy he could through the ground and his bare feet. Goosebumps broke out over his forearms, and his muscles tightened in anticipation. Energy flowed over and through him.

He let his attacker come to him. Too many times, they used up all their force in rushing. Thank the Goddess this arena floor was actually the surface of the planet, not fake, not metallic, but pure earth. It gave him some power. Electricity wound up his legs sparking all his nerve endings, earth energy, his energy.

When the other man caught up to him and swung at him again, his large fist aiming for Kiet’s jaw, Kiet’s arm lifted in a strong block, a current overtook him and solidified his arm even more. Pulling as much power as he could, his other arm arched up and his fist caught his attacker firmly under the rib cage. The crack reverberated around the arena. The ferocity left the man as he struggled to catch his breath. Continuing the momentum, Kiet rounded his shoulder and followed with an elbow strike to the jaw. His hand reached and wrapped around his attacker’s neck, pulling him down and forward, allowing him to drive his knee into the man’s face. One continuous moment, no thought on his part, fluidity, motion.

The man fell to the ground, his chest heaving, gasping for air. Kiet dropped down, dust flying up around as he knelt next to him. He pulled his thumb back and forced his index and second finger together aiming a strike at the man’s brachial plexus, where the shoulder meets the neck, and stuck the nerve point to incapacitate him, and then hit one on each leg to keep him from standing. Pressure points were a godsend. Of course, his brother’s always protested them as unfair battle tactics.

He sat back on his heels for a brief moment. Whatever worked, and it hadn’t involved snapping the other man’s neck.

Satisfied, he stood. He dropped a hand to his rib and took a deep breath as the sharp pain reminded him of exactly why he’d finally retaliated. He hadn’t been able to phase in the manner he’d wanted, instead, he’d been stuck in the physical realm, unable to allow things to pass over and through him as much as he'd like. The limited access to his shamanistic nature was taking some getting used to.

The bruises and broken parts would take healing on his part, if they let him have the time.

The body on the ground before him disappeared. He pressed his lips together, no longer surprised by anything happening in this hell hole. Nothing in this place held the power to do so anymore. Instead, he listened and waited for another door to open, allowing him to leave. The door opened, but another being strode in to do battle.

His muscles tightened.

How many bodies were going to have to hit the floor before he could find a quiet space to sit down and heal? He needed to make sure it wasn’t his own. He inhaled deeply.

The new warrior drew a sword from a sheath on his back. A lethal grin crossed his face.

Goddess, this was gonna hurt.

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Stacia D. Kelly, Ph.D., is the author of the fiction works, “Phyxe: Goddess of Fire”, “Ichi”, and the upcoming “Gaian.” Her non-fiction work includes “Reduce You”, “Muse”, and “Nine Months In, Nine Months Out.” Read more at www.staciakelly.com.
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