Saturday, June 21, 2014

Weekend Writing Warriors June 22

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post up to eight sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image below.

Shayla is studying her rendezvous point for signs of danger. She knows someone else is watching the clearing. She decides to move...

Slightly creative punctuation


She hurried to the centre of the clearing and found what she was looking for. On a worn section of paving that had not yet succumbed to creeping vegetation, four sticks were laid out in a square. Shayla stooped and picked up two of them; she rearranged them in a cross between the two remaining sticks. The pattern formed a crude hourglass shape.

She stepped back to face the side of the clearing where someone lay hidden. She waited once more, all senses straining.

So exposed! Shayla bit back irritation at the recognition protocol chosen by the local Insurrection cell; it required her to show herself out in the open while her contacts stayed safely hidden.


Master assassin Shayla Carver has killed many times. That's what assassins do, nothing to lose sleep over, but this mission is different.

She's never killed a whole planet before.

In a time when Earth is little more than a legend, life is dangerous for wayward colonies. Everyone fears the Emperor’s power to order a Cleansing, the burning of all traces of civilization from the face of a planet. Shayla's own home world was Cleansed, and now, years later, she's ready to exact payment in kind.

But her meticulous planning didn't prepare her for living undercover amongst some of the two billion people she's about to slaughter. Ordinary people. Not the strutting Imperials readily dismissed as legitimate targets or collateral damage. Then there's the Emperor himself. An ordinary man with troubles and dreams of his own.

Did this man really order the slaughter of innocents?

Can she?

Now she's starting to lose sleep.

Ghosts of Innocence is available on Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble for $3.99. See links in sidebar...


  1. I like this! Very visual and suspenseful. It definitely makes me want to know more :) Great 8!

  2. Definitely perks up my interest. I like you use of description, really helps to draw the reader in.

  3. I finally got it. Huzzah!!!!!

  4. An awesome excerpt, Ian. Just enough detail to make us worry about her but not so much that you lose focus on what's important. This story's definitely on my "must read" list for this summer!

  5. Great visual. I am very intrigued to discover why she is taking this risk. Great 8.

  6. Victoria, glad the suspense is coming through.

    Chelle, Steven, thanks.

    Delores, sorry the Smashwords site was giving you trouble. Glad you got there in the end and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed the writing!

    Marcia, that balance is tricky, isn't it?

    Tina, there's a lot at stake here - a whole planet in fact.

  7. Oh man, I'm on the edge of my seat...excellent tension!

  8. Makes sense from their point of view, I'm sure, to let her take all the risk.

    I can feel that creeping sensation on the back of the neck from this snippet. Well done!

  9. You've got the hair at the back of my neck crawling. YIKES. Call the cops. Super writing.

  10. Scary and well done. Love the blurb too.

  11. Yeah, collateral damage is all too often people's lives.

  12. Wonderful visual and the suspense rings through. I'm intrigued to know more. Well done.

  13. This is certainly a very precarious situation she's in, tough as she may be. Quite the tense excerpt, can't wait for more!

  14. Millie, Shayla's tension is heightened by the presence of an aerial search - a detail which these snippets skimmed over.

    Caitlin, that is exactly right. Shayla muses on that fact while she waits - another bit which I'll likely fast-forward over.

    Charmaine, crawling scalp is a good thing from a writer's perspective :)

    Cara, thanks.

    Sue Ann, "collateral damage" is most definitely a sanitized euphemism :)

    Karen, good that suspense is coming through.

    Veronica, she's going to get a whole lot more precarious soon...right into the lion's den!

  15. That was a tense scene. But she's tough as nails. Instead of worry, her emotion was irritation. Wonderful story, Ian! :-)

  16. Tough as that description, Teresa. Yes, she's irritated more than worried but she does see the other side of the argument in the lines that follow. Sadly I had to stop the snippet at that point.

  17. I love the moral quandary here. Great tension, Ian!

  18. Ruh roh! Excellent tension. Curious to know what will happen next!


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I also try to respond to comments. I usually do so during the early evening (Pacific time) which may be many hours away from now!

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