Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Grand Sale on Gilded Folly

It's a muggy and rainy day here in Auckland. Phew!

I was scrolling through my emails today, and found some posts from Terry Odell and Sharon Horton, some of my fellow Cerridwen Press authors. Apparently, CP is having a big sale at the moment.

I checked on my books, and sure enough, the paperback copies of Gilded Folly are less than the ebooks (only $3.50!). This is a scary - and funny - fantasy. Very suspenseful at times, too. I've posted 3 excerpts below.

I don't know how long this sale will last, so forgive me if it's run its course before you have a chance to get there.

Regards, and best wishes,



1 - "Fantastic imagery, suspenseful plot, tension to beat all tension, incites the reader to sit on the edge of the seat and read until the last letter, the last dot, until THE END. ND Hansen-Hill weaves a tale of the battle of good versus evil that seems so real the reader will look askance at his/her neighbor and wonder. ND does a great job balancing the story elements and creating a story worth reading. Unexpected statements are written and/or made throughout the whole story instilling humor and a bit of surprised delight. Great for the fantasy lover, the sci-fi lover, or even the romantic one. What can be more romantic than a woman being protected from an
assassin? Loved this story!
" Reviewer: Lucille PRobinson


It was no longer dark, but Dacey was beginning to wish it were. A subsonic hum vibrated her eardrums and her teeth, the resonance rising into audible range, where it shook her body.

Like a microwave. The cooked scenario entered her head, but she wouldn’t let herself think it. It was enough of a prod, though, to get her moving. Her unseen adversaries weren’t entirely stationary. She would like to believe that was more mechanical action, too, like the hum, but the sounds were far too restless—like a multitude of boots grinding and crunching on gravel.

Alive. No inanimate pistons or gears. Claws and teeth, restlessly gnawing away at rock...

Stop it! Dacey swore right then that no matter what, she wouldn’t give up without a fight.

She ran for the steps—for where she hoped they’d be. You fell down them—landed on your knees.

Get it right, Girl...last chance...

The light was so startling she tripped over her feet and went sprawling. It wasn’t coming from the walls or the ceiling. It was coming from her skin.

Her own body was brightening the room, like a white shirt under black light.

The sight was so shocking Dacey froze. All kinds of thoughts were running through her head. She was so caught up in confusion, that she almost missed the movement.

The walls were losing integrity, as man-size pieces detached and dropped limply to the stone floor. Rustle-thud, rustle-thunk. Now, the pieces shivered and shook, then arose, finding their whole within the fallen tangle of limbs. Skeletally thin beings, with a near-human cast...

...arising out of rock.

Dacey backed away, and headed once more for the steps—only to find they’d beat her there.

They’ve been in the dark so long...

It was almost as though she could read their thoughts. Her light was a lure, to draw them in. They wanted light...and heat.

...but mostly, they wanted food.

Dacey opened her mouth and began to scream.


Humans! he thought, with a sigh. It had been a long time since he’d made any distinction between himself and these others he called friend. Today, it seemed, he was destined to call attention to it, if he were to be of any help to Rom...or the woman.

At that moment, in the middle of Wick’s dire reflections, Fitz sat down in a chair, his eyes drooping. Wick held off maybe ten seconds, then slipped one foot out of bed, his toes touching the cold floor.

Fitz didn’t stir. Hopeful now, Wick passed a shaking hand over the top of the monitor, effectively silencing it. He was grinning triumphantly at his own success when he twisted his head, and met Fitz’ eyes.


Humans could be truly intimidating at times...

Fitz was so angry his face was set, in a way Wick had never seen before. It would appear that however determined Wick was to leave, Fitz was equally determined to keep him here.


When Fitz turned his back, to fiddle with the machine in a furious, frustrated, what-the-hell-did-you-do-to-it, I-refuse-to-look-at-you way, Wick decided it was time to make amends. He was undervaluing Fitz’ efforts—something he’d never intended.

I’m destined to cause trouble wherever I go...

Regretful now, Wick reached past Fitz and snapped his fingers. The monitor took up where it had left off.

Wick, for his part, was exhausted by the small effort. Shivering, he leaned back on the pillows, desperate to retain any dignity he had left.

Fitz was still refusing to look at him. He was watching the monitor angrily, adjusting it with stiff fingers, and ignoring Wick completely. It wasn’t until he noticed something in the readings, though, which alarmed him, that he hastily turned back, and grabbed a glass by the bed. “Drink,” he ordered sternly.

Vinegar water!

Wick was too weak to argue. He drank deeply, unable to control a shudder which started somewhere in his centre. “Th-Thank you, F-Fitz,” he whispered. “F-For everything.”

Fitz continued to watch both him and the monitors. “You’re a damn fool, Wick,” he grumbled, a note of concern in his voice that Wick was certain he must have misheard.

This human friend was more right than he knew. As Wick’s eyes drooped closed, he murmured mockingly, “Both a fool, and damned. There was never such a kavlklakt as I...”


The idea sent a shudder down his spine.

A lone bat strayed through the low branches and Wick jumped. Any movement was suspect. Had something chased the bat from its perch? He squatted down, his back pressed against the coarse bark of a Monterey pine. The solidity of it gave him an illusion of safety. The night remained still, as though holding its breath.

Sucking in the sound and holding it hostage...

It was like a black hole in his surroundings: sucking in sound, and light, and life.

When the night quickened once more, and the insect chorus returned to clicked and chirped mating signals, Wick moved on, nesting his feet in the thick needle beds so he wouldn’t accidentally tread upon a branch.

He never saw It come. It was camouflaged in the nightsound clutter, which took him by surprise. The night suddenly darkened, and the stars were blotted out.

He was slammed back, against a tree. Slammed and pounded to centre the blood beneath the skin. Wick kicked and punched and pounded back, but he was blinded by smoke. It rose around him, while bony fingers raked at his clothes. His eyes ran, his lungs screamed, and a howl was choked off in his throat.

He was falling now, dimly aware of pine needles jabbing his skin. Awareness faded quickly, displaced by the lassitude which was filling him. He knew he should fight the feeling; knew what it signified, but all he wanted to do was sleep.

It was the Hambre Muerte, the Death Gorge.


Tradition demanded he lie here and die now, grateful for the mercy of last-moment oblivion. It was the way these things were done...

No! Not here! Wick’s fingers were already growing numb. He gritted his teeth, forcing the digits to close on a pointed branch. Then he jabbed it, into the bony head. There was a satisfying crunch and thud.

The Mictlampa ripped back, with an audible slurp, its jagged teeth torn away from Wick’s muscle. Its moment was past, and instead of a wily predator, it was confused and disoriented—flailing and blind.

Tastes of a leech, and eating habits to match...

Wick lay there limply, worried about the demon’s reputation for persistence, and worrying more about its companions. Was it alone?

He recalled another sorry fact from his past. Micts never travel alone...

He wriggled his fingers, clenched his fists, bent his toes, and jiggled his limbs—determined to lose the lassitude. The blood scent would bring the others in.

No way! He crunched the bloodsucker with his foot, right in the face. The creature flopped back, writhing in agony, all the while making a low-pitched grunting sound.

Wick pushed himself up to a sitting position, grabbed another branch, and whopped the thing again.

The beast was knocked back, onto the pine needle carpet. Silent now, it did what tradition claimed: melted away, into the undergrowth. At least, Wick was sure that was what it had intended. Its actual disappearance looked a lot more like a wobbling retreat.

Wick sat there, in bloodied triumph, listening to the crunch and thud as it ran into branches, shrubs, trees. He wondered if, ten years ago, he would’ve had the balls to offer a challenge.

Too indoctrinated.

He savoured his victory a few minutes longer. That’s what he told himself, anyway, but himself knew he was actually waiting for his heart to stop that erratic flopping in his chest. He leaned back, impatient, but unwilling to risk his life on a quick escape.

If I pass out here, I’ll never get up again...

When the stars reappeared in the sky, he tugged himself up the rest of the way, using the trunk for support. Cursing and swearing, he staggered back the way he’d come.

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