Thank you Manic Readers for inviting me here today. With only twelve days until Christmas eve I thought it would be fun to do a 12 Days of Christmas using “gifts” from my debut novel, Ward Against Death style.
A little about the book first:
CHRONICLES OF A RELUCTANT NECROMANCER – Book One
Twenty‐year‐old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good‐bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.
But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.
However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…
Her eyes narrowed and her hand snaked under the pillow. “It’s not wise to enter a lady’s
bedchamber without her consent.”
Ward plastered on his calmest, gentlest expression. The newly wakened dead often
assumed they had just roused from sleep. “You’ve been unwell.”
Her icy blue eyes examined him, her gaze jumping from his face, to his wig, to his jacket,
and back to his face. “Unwell? Is that what my father told you?”
“In a manner of speaking.” She wasn’t acting the way she was supposed to.
Noblewomen, particularly those around his age, were usually demure or aloof—not suspicious.
“Well, I’m fine, and I’m sorry my father troubled you.” She threw back the covers, sat up,
and stepped onto the thick rug. “Now go, be a good doctor, and tell my family I’m healthy and
sleeping.” She punctuated her last word by pulling her nightdress over her head, revealing a
slim waist, athletic muscles, and pale skin marked with the purple bruises of livor mortis along
her back. And no other clothes.
“But—” He flushed and spun around to face the wall. “What are you doing?” No. Wait.
What was he doing? He’d seen a dead naked woman before. Just never like this.
She chuckled. “I’m going for a walk.”
“A what? No—You can’t.” She really wasn’t acting the way she was supposed to.
“I beg to differ.”
The situation was spiraling out of hand. Damn it, he had to take control. He was the
necromancer, she the newly awakened. She was supposed to listen to him.
He turned to confront her. Thankfully, she was fully dressed—in men’s clothes, but at
least she was dressed. “Listen, I—”
She slipped her hand under her pillow and removed a sheathed dagger.
Great Goddess! She kept a dagger under her pillow? Ward inched toward the
door to block her escape without appearing obvious, although he had no idea what he’d do if
she fought him. Why did he always get stuck with the difficult corpses?
Now to the song:
On the twelve days of Christmas Ward’s true love (although he’s still uncertain about whether there’s any love between them at all. It’s complicated) gave to him…
- One undead assassin’s murder to solve
– Being an assassin is just one of the little things Celia neglects to mention to Ward when he first wakes her from the dead.
- Two (too) many complications
– keep reading and you’ll see.
- Three exhilarating escapes
– over a wall, out a window, through the city streets, in palace… is that more than three?
- A Four-story fall
- Five silver-plated surgical knives
– A part of Ward’s surgical kit… which it turns out he’ll need.
- Six score of flying arrows
– see #3
- Seven years of medical training down the drain
– Looks like the family business of necromancy isn’t treating him any better.
- Eight beams of shimmering light
– beauty found in the strangest places.
- Nine nights in the sewer
– some place Ward thought he’d never be
- Ten days of terror
– why he ended up in the sewer
- Eleven grains of poison
– medical training finally put to practical use.
- Twelve dozen rushing guardsmen.
– see #3
Ward is thrilled the song only has 12 days. Too bad for him the story doesn’t end with just that.
Hope you enjoyed this Ward Against Death rendition of a festive classic. One of my favorite holiday traditions is singing carols. What’s yours?
Get your copy of Ward Against Death at:
Melanie is generously giving away an ecopy of WARD AGAINST DEATH. Just answer Melanie’s question. Please subscribe to Manic Readers blog so you don’t miss any of our wonderful authors or their great giveaways (see right sidebar). Extra entries if you like her on FB or follow on Twitter (please provide verification). Contest open internationally and will end at midnight on 12/19/11.
About Melanie Card:
Melanie has always been drawn to storytelling and can’t remember a time when she wasn’t creating a story in her head. Her early stories were adventures with fairies and dragons and sword swinging princesses.
Today she continues to spin tales of magic in lands near and far, while her cat sits on the edge of her desk and supervises. When she’s not writing, you can find her pretending to be other people with her local community theatre groups.