Writing Wednesday: Riwenne & the Airship Gambit

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This week we saw the release of Divine Warriors #3: Riwenne & the Airship Gambit! I am so excited that this book is finally out in the wild, and it’s been great hearing that readers are already loving it. I wanted to share another excerpt from the book, a cool bit about how they get all of those airships.

Spoilers Follow

Riwenne and her new team of rebels are fighting with a lot fewer resources than the empire they’re up against. They managed to scrape together half a dozen ships at the end of book two, but one of them was destroyed in the fight, and six is nothing compared to the empire’s enormous fleets. Riwenne knows that they’ll need more airships to fight back. They don’t have the factories or expertise to make airships, but after an attack, they’re left with a lot of scrap and raw materials… so she finds a way to get enough magic to shape a whole fleet.

How does she do it? Riwenne can borrow magic from others, even ordinary people who can’t use magic on their own. If they pray with her, her powers grow stronger. But another way to get people amped up and sharing their energy is through music. So she gets Amena, the pop singer-turned-divine warrior, to throw a benefit concert. The energy from the audience gets directly channeled into Riwenne’s magic, and then her friends help her create new ships. Read on to see how it goes!

The Benefit Concert

A drum beat echoed from the speakers. I looked back at the stage. Amena was skipping out in a frilly dress. She planned to start with her faster, up-beat pop tunes that launched her career to get the crowd going. Pink lights flashed in heart-shapes around the square.

“Okay, get ready for the next one,” I said. I’d have to hold back some extra energy, so I didn’t overwhelm the two of them. Was there such a thing as a battery to store unused magic for later?

My moonstone pulsed as if in answer to my thought. Of course! The crystals were made to hold power.

“Hello, everyone!” Amena said on stage. “Are you ready to dance?”

The crowd cheered, and the opening notes to “The Goddess’s Guide to Love” played. Amena sang the first lines in a low, whispering voice:

If you don’t listen to the goddess of love,
You’ll only get part of the way, that’s no good…

But after the intro, the song picked up speed, and the crowd’s energy rose even higher. Nexita took the energy I channeled to her and shaped the envelope for the next airship, and Deryt followed her lead, crafting the frame. Now that they had a rhythm down, the second ship came together a little faster. I spotted a few pink hearts decorating the outside. Had they meant to add those, or were they being influenced by the concert?

After “Guide to Love,” Amena sang “Road to Freedom,” her anthem for the rebellion with its uncensored lyrics about tearing down the empire. The lights switched to orange stars. I had to keep a close eye on Deryt and Nexita’s work, but I could glance down every so often to watch the concert. As always, Amena put on a great show, and the crowd loved every minute.

I’m watching the empire crumble around us
We each walk on our own road
What if destiny isn’t written in the stars?
This is what I chose
The road to freedom
Fighting for a better future
Don’t lose your way

Orange stars appeared on the next airship. I smiled but didn’t say anything to distract the other from their work. Maybe it would make the imperial murderers that much angrier if they were being attacked by cutesy ships.

Another fast song, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang!” reminded me of when Amena was in Star Search. I’d only heard the competition on the radio, but I remembered how the judges used to tease Amena and Rinari for their closeness. The tabloids had printed photos of the two of them holding hands, with headlines claiming they were in a relationship. Amena had only said the other girl was a good singer, but she’d also lied about her involvement in the bombing to protect her memory. Was there something between them? That would explain more about the sadness lurking behind Amena’s eyes.


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