WIPpet Banner

Hey there, hi there, ho there, I’m happy as can be! Because you’re here reading my WIPpet. 🙂 Yay! As always, my thanks to K.L. Schwengel for hosting.

For the last three weeks or so, I’ve been deliberating over keeping my WIPpets up on the mountain, or moving off of it. The thing is, Queen of Bears is not a romance. The other thing is, at this point in the story, everything is spoilers except Arvid’s relationship with Tai. :-/ Even then, a lot of people would consider what I’ve been sharing to be spoilers. I don’t. The way I see it, the moment they’re stuck alone together, everyone sees what’s coming. It’s just one of those things.

As long as you stay on the mountain, that’s what you get. Squishy wishy mushy romance. Blech. I had a few more scenes I could share from that, but I decided to go ahead and bring you guys down the mountain, where I cut some new facets into the relationship. Now, there are a few serious spoilers coming, but nothing that will touch on the main part of the book. It’s all subplot. However, if you are hoping for the actual book someday (you’ll be waiting a long time) and cannot stand spoilers, you’ll want to skip from here on out.

Before we go down the mountain, I’m going to bring you up the mountain. This week’s WIPpet provides some context for next week’s.

Math: month + last two digits of year = 10 + 15 = 25 paragraphs (under 400 words)

Character descriptions:

Arvid 5’6″, dark copper skin, long brown hair, brown eyes, gymnast’s build

Sava 10’9″; mottled moss green and stone gray, scaly skin; elongated, triangular snout; pointy teeth arranged in a permanent smile; fringe from top of head to tip of tail and along back of forearms, which hardens into spikes when he’s agitated; ridges brow cartilage; five-fingered fore-claws with opposable thumbs; three-toed hind-claws; stands upright, muscled similarly to a man; orange loincloth; riverstone belt, necklace, bracelets, and anklets

Necessary Context

  • Takes place the spring BEFORE Arvid meets Tai.
  • Arvid is on her way up the mountain.
  • Sava is Arvid’s guide. He is not human (see description).
  • Provides context for next week’s WIPpet.

The problem with traveling with a nocturnal creature, Arvid decided, was not the weird sleep hours. It was Sava’s utter lack of sympathy for her daylight accustomed eyes. Her knees, hands, and elbows sported more bruises and cuts than she cared to count.

She had just halted to transfer the waning fire of her second makeshift torch to a third when Sava asked, “How many boars have died for you so far, Arvid?”

Startled by the question, she burnt her hand and dropped both branches, dousing the fire. She frowned at the gaping blackness where the ground was visible a moment ago. “What?”

“This quest you’ve been given, could it have been given to just anyone?”

“No. And it shouldn’t have come to me, for that matter. It should have gone to my friend, Oya.”

“Why is that?”

“Because she is the better fighter.”

“Then why were you chosen?”

Arvid squinted hard, hoping to make out trees. “Something about being humbler.”

“And your friend, was she angry?”

Maybe I can sort of feel around to clear a space to start a fire in. “No.”

“Why not?”

Bad idea. I might miss something and start the whole mountainside burning. “She wanted to stay with my brother.”

“Are they mates?”

Arvid took a few experimental steps to test her vision. “They will be soon.”

“Still, if you were the one sent on this quest, doesn’t that make you the alpha female?”

Thwack! She groaned and rubbed the lump forming on her forehead. “Sort of, I guess.”

“But the king didn’t claim you?”

She sat down, cradling her aching head. “No. The closest thing we have to a king is the High Elder. He has a, er, mate.”

“Come. I will carry you.”

Before she could reply, he scooped her up and threw her onto his back. She scrambled to catch hold of his shoulders. Just before she fell off, he hooked his arms under her legs. Bewildered, she hung on.

As soon as she found a comfortable grip, her conscience pricked her. No Nairi warrior hindered another by consenting to be carried unless wounded and unable to walk. “Sava, will you put me down, please?”


“It’s not proper for a warrior to be a burden.”

He rumbled and wagged. “The king made me your guide. You’re a burden walking or riding.”


Sobek, Egyptian god of fertility and military prowess, and inspiration for Sava. Sort of. Actually, it’s more likely I was pining for sneeze-free pets at the time I originally wrote the Petsuchos (Sava’s people), but Sobek is pretty close to the way I picture them. This drawing is courtesy of Logan Ridenbaugh. You can visit his Deviantart page by clicking on the picture.

To join WIPpet Wednesday…

  1. Post a snippet of your WIP that relates to the date
  2. Thank K.L. Schwengel
  3. Link up here
  4. Enjoy good writing