Saturday 30 April 2022

#AtoZChallenge: Z for Zen

It has been awfully difficult to figure out a post for Z. I was thinking of going for ZZZ (sleep) but that was just weird. I’ve got nothing to do with animals (zoo) or even chaos and disorder. So I figured I’d go with zen, in the “peaceful and calm” meaning of the word, and give you a little excerpt of how and where Yosua finds some peace in the midst of the storm. 

Chapter 7 excerpt

The next few days pass in a blur. In the early mornings, before the castle wakes, I find myself sneaking out to the market, Relka trailing behind me. Relka has taken to sleeping outside my bedroom, no matter how many times I tell him I’m fine, I just need to be alone. I do need to be alone. I need to light the censers, to let the incense rise to heaven, to scream out my anger and fear and weariness to Kudus. I need to pray over their souls, releasing them to Kudus. 

O Kudus, please. Grant me strength. Grant me peace.

The Tawanan are a form of peace, if only because of their familiarity. They congregate in the northwest corner of the market, where several have set up their own stalls. I’ve visited them often enough during ‘market inspections’, just to see how they’re doing. 

The first morning I appear after my parents’ deaths, Uncle Dan stares at me wordlessly. He’s thin and grizzled, looking like he hasn’t slept in days. We’re not related by blood, though I call him Uncle. He was one of Ayah’s closest friends in Maha, always coming in and out of our quarters. I lift my hands, shrug. He nods and puts me to work. Relka gawks for a moment before he too gets ordered about. It takes Azman half an hour to blaze in, two Royal Guards on his tail, in a panic. Uncle Dan shakes his head but ignores their presence, as does everyone else, eventually.


And that's a wrap for the A to Z Challenge! Thank you for surviving this whole month with me! 

Every year, I say this is too much, I'm never going to do it again, but...I obviously can't keep myself from it for too long. I hope you've enjoyed this little peek into the Absolution series. If you'd like a look at an earlier form of this series, you can check out my 2018 challenge posts. hahaha. I believe Yosua had yet to exist, Mikal was still called Adam, and this book was supposed to be about Rahsia. *snort*

Head back to my theme reveal and master list.

Go check out the other A to Z Bloggers!


The Tale of the Hostage Prince (Absolution 1.5)

Yosua wears an uneasy crown. Although he is now Raja of Bayangan, he still longs for the land of his birth where everything was much simpler…and less deadly.

But peace doesn’t come easily, not for a twenty-year-old servant playacting at being king.

With his parents brutally murdered and his uncle bent on revenge, Yosua must decide where his loyalties truly lie. With his only remaining relative and the kingdom he has claimed? Or with his best friend Mikal and the sultanate that raised him as a hostage?


International purchases


  1. Good excerpt. Excellent way to use Z. I like that the Uncle isn't related by blood-- "found family" doesn't get enough page time in fiction.

    Great post! Hopefully you enjoyed the A to Z Challenge as much as we did!
    ~ The Operation Awesome Team

  2. Congratulations on completing the challenge!