Sunday, March 4, 2012

Excerpt - The Granite Rose - G

Emperor Trajan, Hadrian (the emperor's ward/great-nephew). Trajan and Hadrian are actual historical figures.  General Marcus and Sianna (fictional) are the two hearts caught in the crossfire of two nations struggling for power and dominance. In this scene, Trajan believes her father has killed his general that was sent on a diplomatic mission to Dacia.

They entered the villa, finding Trajan and Hadrian engaged in a heated argument, ending with Trajan throwing a goblet across the room.
Marcus entered first, keeping Sianna behind him.
"You," Trajan yelled, pointing as he walked toward her. "Dacian, I want to talk to you now." 
"What has happened Trajan?" Marcus asked, keeping himself between the raging emperor and Sianna.
"That barbarian Decebalus killed Longius." He grabbed her arm, jerking her out from behind Marcus. "Why Dacian?"
With Hadrian's help, Marcus wrenched Trajan's hand off her arm. The small struggle seemed to relax Trajan's temper. He stomped across the room. Sianna shuddered. Gods, could her father have betrayed her again? Could he have forfeited her life by killing the Roman?
"She was here, she had nothing to do with his murder," Hadrian pleaded.
"When did you receive word?" Marcus asked, helping Sianna to a chair. "Stay quiet, say nothing, understand?" he whispered to her.
"Tonight." Hadrian handed a rolled parchment to him. "Decebalus states he had him executed seven days ago when negotiations broke down."
"May I read it?" Sianna meekly asked.
"You have no right to read it, Dacian," Trajan yelled across the room.
Sianna stood up, scared and angry. "If my father is being accused of murder, I have every right to find out why." Her temper soared. If her life was already forfeit, she had no reason to hold her tongue.
She took the parchment from Marcus and read it carefully. "This was written by a Roman," she quietly announced.
"It was written by your father," Hadrian corrected her.
"No, a Roman wrote this. The name of our capitol city, Sarmizegetusae, is spelled the way it would appear in Latin, not Dacian." She laid the parchment on a table, pointing out the Latin word to Trajan
"It excuses nothing. Your father is a murderer." Trajan pointed a finger at her, inches from her face. The man who had kissed her hand and thanked her for saving his wife only just weeks ago was gone. In his place was a Roman warrior, a general, an emperor that was about to decimate her country.
"Why would he tell you he killed him? Don't you think he would let you believe he was still alive to get me back? He had no reason to murder this man. Someone is trying to slander his name by falsely accusing him." She was not willing to believe her father would actually jeopardize her life, not this way, not this easily. "Someone with much to gain by a war between our nations is responsible for this." The Dacian traitor, she thought.
"No, Dacian, for this Decebalus and Dacia will pay and will pay dearly." Trajan slammed a fist against a table.
Sianna pulled the dagger from Hadrian's sheath and charged across the room. "Here," she stabbed it into the wooden table, almost piercing Trajan's hand. "If you need a Dacian life to make things equal, take mine." She fell to her knees offering her life.
In an instant, Trajan ripped the dagger from the table, grabbing her hair at the nape of the neck, bending her head backwards, and held the blade tight against her throat.
"Trajan, no." Marcus unsheathed his dagger. Hadrian grabbed his arm. Marcus slung him against the wall. "Trajan."
"Are you scared to die, Dacian?" Trajan was cold, cruel.
Sianna was more terrified than she'd ever been in her life. This was where she would die. Nineteen years was all the gods had given her. She was not meant to die in her beloved Dacian mountains. She prayed the emperor would be mercifully quick.
 "Yes, very afraid," she whispered.

You can read the first chapter on my website at I am giving away an eBook copy of The Granite Rose to one lucky commenter! 

You can purchase The Granite Rose at:


Debby said...

Wow what a spot to leave off. Enjoyed it but want more.
debby236 at gmail dot com

MomJane said...

Love the excerpt! I really enjoy historical novels, and this one looks like it's different than most. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Historicals have always been my favorite. This excerpt left me wanting more....


Shadow said...

Great excerpt! Thanks for sharing!