Sunday, October 25, 2015



Although Yelena’s been learning how to fight, she hasn’t learned anything about magic.  Mogkan is about to kill her when Valek arrives and saves her life.  Mogkan quickly discovers that Valek cares for her and Mogkan can use that knowledge to his advantage.

In this scene the reader learns that Mogkan “rescued” Yelena and brought her to General Brazell’s orphanage.  More clues that all is not right with the Commander are shown in this chapter – the fact that the Commander is unconcerned with Mogkan’s actions are telling.

Yelena takes advantage of having Ari and Janco be her bodyguards, learning as much as possible.  She also is smart enough to take advantage of Valek spending all his time with the Commander and she sneaks into his office to search for any information about the antidote to Butterfly’s Dust. At this point she feels as if time is running out and she needs answers before the southern magician returns.

Of course Valek is going to show up while she’s searching his office.  It wouldn’t be any fun if I let her explore and then leave. ;) Valek arrives, but he also has a meeting with the next condemned prisoner and this is when the reader discovers that Valek isn’t a cold-hearted killing machine. He’s the balance to the Commander’s black and white views on killing and thinks poor Tentil should be given another chance. I suspect the Commander knows what Valek’s up to, but chooses to ignore it.

Of course Valek knows Yelena is hiding – he wouldn’t be alive if a rookie like her can sneak into his office and hide there without him knowing. The interesting part about that is that even though he knows  she’s there, he doesn’t kick her  out before Tentil arrives.  He wants her to overhear his conversation with the man.  Why?  To show he’s not a killing machine and also to show that he cares what she thinks about him.  He doesn’t want her to think he’s a killing machine.  For everyone else except the Commander he likes his reputation and encourages the exaggerations about how many people he killed, but, for Yelena, it’s different.

She asks him, “What have I earned from you, Valek? Loyalty? Respect? Trust.”
And he answers,  “You have my attention. But give me what I want, and you can have everything.”

The tension dissipates when the Generals leave, however, I’m not one to let anyone catch a break so the Commander announces a Sitian Delegation is arriving in a day.  And when they arrive, Yelena sees that Irys, a powerful southern magician is leading the delegation.

When my editor sent me the first round of revisions notes, she liked the way I ended these chapters with a mini cliff hanger, but I hadn’t done that as much in the beginning ones, so she wanted to find ways to make ALL of them like that.  So you can blame her for your lack of sleep!

Question 25 - How many editions of Poison Study have been published in total?

Don't answer this question in the comments!! This is another chance to win! There will be 31 questions for each chapter note published. Collect the answers to ALL the questions (or your best guess) and then enter to win a T-shirt at the end of the month (I'll post the Rafflecopter on the 31st).

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