Ahh, November. When the autumn sets in for real (or the spring, if you’re in the southern hemisphere) and the weather’s firmly set on the next brutal season and the last vestiges of the previous one are fading. And writers everywhere hunker down in front of their keyboards and “go dark” in varying degrees on Social Media because November is National Novel Writing Month.

I’m no stranger to the NaNo craze – I’ve been “NaNo-ing” since 2002. I haven’t “won” every year, but I have learned tons about my writing process and about the creative process in general. This year, my goal is to Have Fun Writing.

So the headfirst slide into November via a thirty-day binge on making words? I’m there for it. I’ve got coffee, a half-formed idea, and a heavy-duty keyboard, and I’m ready to go!

Tithed to the Dread Lord actually started its life as a NaNoWriMo novel. I wrote it in what I still describe as an orgy of words. Sounds kinky, I know, but I had this idea one day, and it felt so complete and so much fun to do that I ended up writing the whole draft in a month (it was an October, but who’s counting). Ask any writer, and they’ll tell you that books like this one–that feel like they’ve sprung fully-formed from your head–don’t come around that often. When they do, ride that lightning and thank the writing gods for the gift. In the meantime, below is an excerpt. Clicking on the excerpt will take you to the book’s page where you can read the blurb and see where to pick up a copy.

Tithed Excerpt

Excerpt from "Tithed to the Dread Lord" by Athena Grayson. 

"Pure"

“This marks you as a Pure One, then. Untouchable by all but your goddess?”

She licked her lips again and nodded. She tried to catch his eye, but the shock of hair over his face hung down, obscuring his gaze and any thoughts she might read there. “I’m to wear it until I pass my trials of purification.”

His lips stretched in a cynical smile. “You will fail.”

She stepped back. “What?” Her lips folded together. I’ve had enough of being frightened witless, and enough of being left ignorant. “I’ll have that back, please. I’m sorry you didn’t like your tithe or the person who delivered it. I told them it was a bad idea to send an acolyte, but nobody ever listens to acolytes, and now you’ve gone and insulted me, too, so my day is complete and this task is done.”

“You misunderstand, my lady,” he said. “I offer no insult. I’m merely stating fact. Your Councilmen have taken a gamble with my good nature. And they have lost. Or more precisely, they have gambled with and lost you.”

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