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Confederacy Teaser Excerpt

July 20, 2010

And remember, everybody, The Confederacy of Heaven is due to come out on Smashwords and Podiobooks on September 15.

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Nasan approached Shadowings like he was a horse who’d been allowed to run free all summer and gone half-feral.  She ran the back of her hand down his neck to calm him.  He just turned his head and looked at her.  It was hard to read any expression in those glittering insect eyes of his, but she didn’t think there was any hostility.  At least, he hadn’t bitten her fingers off yet.

She decided to risk it.  Halfway up Shadowings’s back she ran into a problem she hadn’t even thought of before.  This wasn’t like being on her mare Belladonna at all – there were wings to contend with.  Did she sit above or below them?  Then all at once it was the most natural thing in the world.  There was a place right in front of his shoulder blades, a sort of depression between two of his vertebrae, almost like a natural saddle.  She settled herself right in.

Shadowings didn’t buck or turn his head or anything.  He simply took off.

At the first explosion of air from his wings, she closed her eyes and pressed herself close to his back.  Muscles tensed under leathery skin.  His body lurched, then lifted, and her ears popped.

Come on, you can’t ride a horse with your eyes closed. After about a minute she finally talked herself into opening her eyes.

Oh, good Stars in Heaven.

They were high in the air! Higher than treetops – possibly they were higher than the towers of Calgary itself.  The air tasted sweet and cold as it rushed past them like a windstorm.  The barren trees, no bigger than new-sprouted grasses.  And the mountains, from here they looked like wrinkles in a sheet.  And Mother Sol rising in the east – she’d never seen so much horizon all at once.

She caught movement out of the corner of her eye behind her.  Oscar was flapping madly to keep up with them.  With each downstroke of Shadowings’s powerful wings, he lagged a little further behind.  He shouted something to her, but the wind whipped his words away.

“What?” she yelled.

This time she caught a snippet over the wind.

“…fast!…”

“Hitch a ride!”  She pointed to her shoulder.  She didn’t know whether he’d heard her or not, but he understood the gesture.  He put on a burst of speed and dove for her jacket.  His talons dug deep to keep him holding on, pricking her skin.  He folded his wings and hunkered down into the wind.

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