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Friday, January 17, 2014

Writing a Sacred Battle Scene ~guest post by fantasy author Juli D. Revezzo

I'm very pleased to have Juli D. Revezzo return and share how she wrote some of the engaging battles in her urban fantasy release, Passion's Sacred Dance. 

Background for a sacred battle
Juli D. Revezzo

Several years ago I read Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and that rekindled my interest in the Arthurian Legends. I’d been in love with them since childhood—probably because of Disney’s The Sword In the Stone. I even studied them in school courtesy of a brush with Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. From there I found my way to The White Goddess by Robert Graves. We’ll just leave aside the conflicting thoughts on that legendary tome, but suffice it to say that led me to pick up a copy of the Mabinogion and other books of Celtic mythology. Those books are filled with tales of heroic deeds, goddesses appearing with mysterious directives for our heroes, and princes.

Sounds a bit like any beloved fantasy novel doesn’t it? I thought so too. So it wasn’t hard to mix it into my own urban fantasy romance novel, PASSION’S SACRED DANCE.

For me, the more exciting story of the battles between the gods of the Tuatha dé Danann and their foe the Formorians took precedence. You don’t know that one? Well, the story goes that one day a bard of the Tuatha dé Danann happened to enter the realm of the Formorians. Bards were well-respected at the time and no leader worth his salt would send one away empty handed.

The Formorian leader, Balor, however, thought he was above such hospitality and treated the visitor with disrespect. Perturbed the bard went home and told his king and kinfolk about the slight. The news appalled the Tuatha dé Danann and they went to war with the Formorie.

That war inspired the thought, ‘What if this battle was only one battle between the gods and their warriors? And what if these battles took place throughout time, and involved one specific family over and over and an ever-moving sacred battleground?’ Thus began what became PASSION’S SACRED DANCE. J Would you like a peek into this ongoing war?

Okay, Here’s an excerpt:

When the hairs on the back of Stacy’s neck prickled, a quick glance over her shoulder confirmed
the woman still watched her. Uncomfortable, Stacy strode to the far side of the café to escape the woman’s scrutiny. Something told her to look back.
The woman with the startling eyes stood right behind her, glaring. Her eyes glowed like quicksilver.
Miss Silver Eyes smelled of patchouli, musk, and some other strange scent she couldn’t identify.
The woman leaned close to Stacy’s ear, and her voice sounded raspy when she spoke, “We will have this ground. This harshad time, Stacy Macken, the ground is ours, and they will never dance again.”
Harshad? How did she know about the harshad wars? Had the time truly come, then, already?
Stacy stared as impossibly long incisors slid down from the woman’s gums like snake fangs. Miss Silver Eyes clamped a hand around her upper arm. Shock pulsed through Stacy’s body, rooting her to the spot, despite her mind’s order to flee. The woman’s steely gaze, the ruby and shark’s tooth earring glittering in her right earlobe, and the dark threat mesmerized Stacy.
“No, you won’t have this ground.” A cool male voice brought the silver-eyed woman up short and the fog lifted from Stacy’s mind.
Aaron Fielding stood before her dressed in casual jeans and a gray, cable knit sweater. He seemed right at home here among the students, and yet somehow he also stood apart.
The air shifted. Stacy could have sworn his leather coat, for just an instant, took on the shape of a golden eagle’s wings.
A high-pitched whine escaped from the silver-eyed woman’s throat. She cocked her head as she took Aaron in, a bemused smile spreading over her face as if she were privy to some private joke.
He retrieved an item from his coat. At first, Stacy thought the object might be a baton, and then it changed shape and substance, wood to steel. The innocuous baton became a sword.
An hysterical laugh bubbled up inside her and Miss Silver Eyes tossed her aside. Stacy landed hard against a table and gasped at the pain. She rolled over, sitting upright, and pulled her knees to her chest.
Miss Silver Eyes threw a punch at Aaron. He sidestepped her fist and flicked the baton-sword-thing at her head.
“Now, wait!” Stacy jumped to her feet and caught the baton before it bashed the woman’s face in.
Aaron grasped her upraised hand, removed it from the baton, and thrust her behind him. “For your own good, don’t interfere.”
Miss Silver Eyes screamed. Steel glinted from her fists as she rushed headlong at Aaron.
He raised the weapon while muttering something in a foreign language.
Stacy squeezed her eyes shut, too frightened to move. Surely, the woman would knock them both to the floor. The impact she anticipated never came. Instead, an explosion of light split the air. Cringing and blinking in the brightness, she saw that the woman, hands outstretched, had gone utterly still.
Stacy frowned as she studied the woman, wondering what happened.
Aaron repositioned the weapon he carried and shoved it into a hidden pocket in his coat. “Stay back.”
He clasped a hand around Stacy’s wrist and pushed her a little further behind him. Or tried. She dug her heels in and didn’t move. Aaron frowned hard.
“For your own good, stay out of the way,” he said.
“Why should I?” Her heart beat a wicked tempo and panic skittered through her.
“If the spell breaks before I’m done you’ll regret it, trust me.”
“Why should I do anything, let alone trust you? This is my gallery.”
“Would you rather have her—” He nodded over his shoulder to Miss Silver Eyes, and his breath hissed through his teeth. “—rip your throat out? No? Then, stand back.”
How dare the man order her around! “Now see here—”
A loud whining growl drew his attention from their budding argument.
Aaron turned back to the silver-eyed woman, grasped her arm, and whispered in her ear. Her feet
began to move, one step and then another, as a zombie might—unseeing and stiff in posture. Aaron kept a hand on her back, leading her to the entrance. He opened the gate and shoved her through, then slammed it shut with an Irish curse. He proceeded to mutter something, tracing a finger along the gate’s edge.
His words reminded Stacy of something out of Chaucer. Azure light danced around the gate’s
Aaron turned to face her. “This should never have happened,” he said. “Forgive me, Stacy.”
Surprised to see his medallion glowing with a soft golden light and his eyes an unearthly shade of green, Stacy gasped. She stepped back only to be jostled aside as the patrons slowly filed into the parking lot.
Wondering why the woman threatened her and why Aaron felt the need to rescue her, Stacy bent to pick up a broken glass—what had once been the discarded dishes before the fight started.
What was going on? Why was Aaron Fielding even here? A second more and she would’ve shoved the woman into her security guards’ hands.
“Thanks, but I didn’t need your help,” she said.
Peering through the crowd pushing through the back door, she could just make out the flutter of Miss Silver Eyes’ skirt. “What was that woman on?”
“Better to ask what she is,” Aaron said. Then he shook his head. “No. You don’t want to know. We were lax in our vigilance, and this intrusion never should’ve
been allowed.”

Battling mounting debt, Stacy Macken is determined not to lose her historic art gallery. When Aaron Fielding appears and offers to help, she fights to keep the attraction sizzling between them from clouding her judgment. He may be her savior in disguise--but can she trust him?

Aaron intrigues her with tales of the Tuatha dé Danann, sworn warriors who protect humanity from the monsters seeking their destruction. If Aaron can prove what he claims, she would give up anything to help--even the gallery he claims is sacred ground. But with her property set to stage the next epic battle, she needs answers. An old family diary will confirm the ancient legend is true, if only they can find it in time.

If the battle is lost, the enemy will take control of Earth for the next five hundred years. Stacy and Aaron's budding love might only complicate things.

If you’d like to check it out, the book is available at:

I hope you will enjoy their story. Thanks, Marsha, for hosting my Magic Tour stop today!!

About the Author:

Juli D. Revezzo is a Florida girl, with a love of fantasy, science fiction, and Arthurian legend, so much so she gained a B.A. in English and American Literature. She loves writing stories with fantastical elements whether it be a full-on fantasy, or a story set in this world–slightly askew. She has been published in short form in Eternal Haunted SummerCrossing the River, An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, Dark Things II: Cat Crimes (a charity anthology for cat related charities), Luna Station Quarterly, The Scribing Ibis: An Anthology of Pagan Fiction in Honor of Thoth, and Twisted Dreams Magazine. She is author of The Artist’s Inheritance, Caitlin’s Book of Shadows (of  the Antique Magic series) and has recently released her debut paranormal romance novel, Passion’s Sacred Dance.

She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

You can find out more about her at her homepage:
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.


Juli D. Revezzo said...

Thanks for hosting me today, Marsha. I have enjoyed visiting you on my "Magic Tour"! Thanks, also, to your visitors for reading. I hope they enjoy my little story! :)

Marsha A. Moore said...

Hi Juli! It's great to have you spend a day with my readers.

Katherine said...

Hi Juli,
Enjoyed your excerpt. I'm also a fan of the Arthurian legends thanks to my nephew. We went to see a production of Camelot and I was hooked.

Juli D. Revezzo said...

Hi Katherine. I've never seen Camelot live myself, but I'd love to. I can't count how many times I've seen Excalibur. ;) Thanks for stopping by. And thank you, again, Marsha. It's always a pleasure to visit with you.