Tortoise And Tortoiseshell on #SampleSunday

Sweetie Pie wrote about a tortoise and her own tortoiseshell coloring yesterday, so of course I have to share an excerpt from my fantasy trilogy, SAGE, with tortoise and a tortoiseshell cat in it.

Tortoise And The Tortoiseshell

excerpt from SAGE by Marian Allen

Nerissa dreamed she was struggling to wake. Her mind and spirit felt oppressed, her body paralyzed, though her heart strained with effort. When she did wake she lay, groggy and exhausted, on the floor. It was barely morning. A gray-green light cast dappled shadows-against-shadows all around her.

She sensed movement nearby. Tortoise – a tortoise a yard long, creeping, about to bite!

She cried out and drew herself up. Then the “tortoise” raised its head and miaouwed, and she recognized the tortoiseshell cat from Tartarus’s hut.

“Oh! How did you get here?” Tartarus – here? No, if Tartarus had come after her, it was hardly likely he would have shared his coracle with the cat. Besides that, she felt sure her old Master would have wakened her with a roar, possibly with a shaking.

She looked at the door and saw it was still firmly shut and bolted.

“How did you get in?”

She put out a hand and stroked the head that ducked away too slowly to avoid the touch. “You’re soaked! Poor thing.” Before the cat could run or claw, Nerissa picked him up and wrapped him in her skirt. “Now you’ll get dry and warm.”

The cat growled savagely, all muscles tense as if wound to their most explosive tightness.

“Now, don’t do that. I’m not hurting you. It doesn’t hurt you a bit to be loved. I missed you.”

She rubbed the cat’s head, the only part of him that showed. The cat made a half-hearted snap at her fingers, then seemed to sigh and give up. He relaxed, a silly, careless look on his face, and even ventured a rusty purr.

“The unicorn is gone,” Nerissa told him. “But that doesn’t mean it’s safe. It said it was going to be hurt. It looked so sad. So tired and weak. It said it didn’t matter if it died. But you should have seen it.”

The cat suddenly flipped himself out of Nerissa’s arms. He danced out of range and shook himself, one foot at a time. His hair stood up in spikes all over his head and body.

“What’s the matter?”

The cat looked over his shoulder at her and yowled.

“Are you hurt? Come here and let me see.”

The cat slid into the shadows. Nerissa scrambled after him, then heard his yowl outside.

How did he do that? She opened the door. “How did you do that?”

He quick-footed into the woods and Nerissa ran after him.

~ * ~

Usurper. Lost Heir. Runaway bride. Land on the brink of civil war. All so familiar, until Tortoise — the Divine Creature who ignores the rules of right and wrong — challenges his fellow divinities to meddle.

Suddenly, children targeted for murder are adopted, swordsmen turn into blacksmiths, and none are reliably who or what they seem. The four Divine Animals are afoot: Tortoise, Dragon, Unicorn, and Phoenix. Hold on tight.

Sage 1 180Book 1: The Fall of Onagros
In the first book of the SAGE trilogy, a legacy is lost, a woman vanishes into thin air, wisdom is found in unexpected places, and a man hopes to defeat a tyrant with tall tales and gossip.

Click here to read the Prologue and Chapter 1.

Buy it in print.

Buy for KINDLE.


Sage 2 180Book 2: Bargain With Fate
In the second book of the SAGE trilogy, memories, people, and items of power are recovered. The mighty are helpless, the weak are strong, and a little girl clutches creatures of terror to her ragged heart.

Click here to read the Prologue and Chapter 1.

Buy it in print.

Buy for KINDLE.


tortoiseshellBook 3: Silver and Iron
In the final book of the SAGE trilogy, the contention over the throne of Layounna is fought on strange battlegrounds: an island, a henyard, a scrivenry, a pocket, and the heart of the chief claimant.

Click here to read the Prologue and Chapter 1.

Buy it in print.

Buy for KINDLE.


A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write a scene with a child and a cat. Either or both can be antisocial.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Tortoise And Tortoiseshell on #SampleSunday

  1. Jane

    June 29, 2014 at 9:05am

    Buy this trilogy! Right now!
    Get all three at once! you’ll be glad you did!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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