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Numinous World Anthology

The Numinous World mini-anthology is coming along well. I've selected ten stories out of the hundred or so Numinous World short stories I have, and I'm making some final revisions and putting them all together to hopefully have this out as an ebook in May. I'm working with the talented veteran artist Wanda Lybarger on cover art for it, and I'm sure it will be gorgeous!

Meanwhile, to whet your appetites, a little preview of one of the stories in it -- To the Victors, set in 1810. This story is a little different in that our main character is Dion, though there is also Emrys later in the story, and Charmian and Sigismund as well. Dion, now a sixteen year old debutante....



The ballroom of the Tuileries was hot and stuffy, even this early in the evening. The candles and the press of bodies made that inevitable. Victory carefully lifted her skirts as she climbed the stairs, trying not to trip. She had told her stepmother it was too long at the dressmaker's, but she'd insisted it was fine. Now Victory would spend all night trying not to fall on her face. If she ever got a dance, which wasn't terribly likely. This was only the second time she'd attended an Imperial ball, and the first time she hadn't danced at all, only stood around with Marianne, looking more and more stupid as the evening went on.

Victory knew she wasn't pretty. Golden girls with pink and white complexions were pretty, girls with large breasts and curving shoulders and décolletage that invited a second look. She was short and sallow, at barely sixteen still boyish and too thin, with lank brown hair that wouldn't take a curl no matter how much time she spent on it. She could singe her hair off with irons and it still wouldn't curl. The only feature she liked were her eyes, dark and smoky brown, fringed with long lashes, deep and (she hoped) mysterious. Unfortunately, anyone would have trouble seeing them, as the curls had already fallen out of her bangs and lay in a sodden mass across her forehead that she had to peep out under.

They were announced at the top of the stairs. Fortunately, no one would see her anyway, behind her father and stepmother and her older sister. At the bottom of the stairs her sister was claimed by her fiancé, and her stepmother was already making a beeline for Madame la Marechale Lannes, who had recently come out of mourning and could always be counted on to know everything.

Her father turned to her, one eyebrow raised.

"Don't you dare," Victory whispered urgently.

"All right then," he said, and gave her a wink as he headed off to join Marechal Berthier, who no doubt had something stronger than punch to drink.

There could be no fate worse than to be the kind of girl who doesn't get anyone to dance with her but her own father! It was better to sit it out, fanning oneself, looking like the kind of girl who was too exhausted from all her previous dances to dance this one.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
tyches_echo
Apr. 5th, 2011 01:46 pm (UTC)
I am really looking forward to this! Thanks for the teaser - though now I want more! ;)
jo_graham
Apr. 5th, 2011 02:08 pm (UTC)
Dion as a debutante is...different! And then there is Emrys! :)
cypherindigo
Apr. 5th, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
I can't wait for this to be on my kindle.
jo_graham
Apr. 5th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I hope you enjoy it!
ashabardon
Apr. 5th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
Awesome!!! I can't wait :D Have we met Victory before? This except seems spookily familiar.
jo_graham
Apr. 6th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
I may have put part of this up at some point.... Hummm..
ashabardon
Apr. 7th, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC)
I'm sure you mentioned Victory before. The name stuck in my head because I had to double check that it was VictorY and not VictorIA.
_illumina_
Apr. 5th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
Can't wait!
jo_graham
Apr. 6th, 2011 04:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
m_nivalis
Apr. 7th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
Oh I just love her so much! It must have been awful being so dependent on your looks when you didn't have them. Or didn't have them yet. She's quite young here and I don't know if she'll grow pretty later in life.

(If I'm not mis-remembering, she was called Victoire in a previous version - have you made her and her familiy English, or is it just a translation for an audience that may not be familiar with French?)
jo_graham
Apr. 8th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
Just a translation to point up the meaning of her name!

I'm glad you like it! She is rather pretty, though not stunning, later on. But at sixteen she's gawky. Not that it will matter for a moment to Emrys....
pjthompson
Apr. 10th, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)
Looks like I bought a Nook just in time. :-)
jo_graham
Apr. 10th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
It will definitely be available for Nook! And I'm so glad you think it sounds interesting!
pjthompson
Apr. 10th, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC)
Definitely. Black Ships was one of the highlights of 2010 for me.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )