Ashes in the snow

Current listening:  Two Steps from Hell – Blackheart

Current reading: Still in between.  Still taking suggestions.

Hello readers!

I hope the holiday season finds you safe and happy.   This may be my last blog post for the season but I will be joining you all once again shortly after the holiday.  What’s your favorite holiday tradition in your family?  In mine,  it’s Christmas breakfast.  Every year we  try something fun and different. We get up, open our stockings and MAYBE a present if Santa’s feeling generous then we have a big breakfast before we settle in to open the rest of our gifts and enjoy the morning.  Last year’s breakfast was a blueberry French toast bake.  This year,  I am not sure what we’re doing.

For Ink and Quill this week, I am attempting to do both prompts at once.  The guided prompt was this:

War and Peace: Write about a recent conflict.

And the vague prompt was the following image:

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Let me know if you think I blended the two together. I was feeling brave.

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The burnt out husk of her childhood home sprawled before her.  Other women would have wept.   Other women would have mourned the loss of a childhood.  “Good riddance.”  The tiny Sorceress muttered.  She did not mourn.  She visited here to make sure that those old ghosts stayed dead.   Tanya understood the price of power better than any royal ever could. She and Sion both did.  No graves marked those that burned to death here.  No one mourned her mother’s madness.   Catriona Jade died as she had lived. The woman was forgotten to history and time.  All that remained were she, Sion and Layla. Each had suffered at the woman’s hands.  Each had devised new and fascinating ways to end the woman’s life as they grew into adulthood.

In a way, Tanya found it sad that for her the war began and ended in the same spot.  She and Sion were born in the castle that once stood here. Until age twelve, she lived under Stephen Starson’s watchful eye.  Their world was shattered when she was nine. Tanya sighed as memory’s echo flickered across her mind.  Her sadness faded in the ebb of her current happiness.  That woman hurt many people yet, they survived. In fact, they thrived. That too she suspected was Fate’s design.

Hope settled easily at her hip. The blade was a part of her as much as her mother’s darkness. As much as that ever-present sadness that seemed to sit in her heart.  Light balanced her. Love of her family balanced her.  Love of her mate kept her even when the sorrows threatened to overwhelm her.   She funneled the sadness of memory into her powers and allowed snowfall to begin to dot the landscape before her. Darkness would always linger her.  Generations would pass before the land could be cleansed of the blood shed here.  The powers behind Madryn’s book lingered here yet the book itself was gone.  Somewhere in Mornesse her mother’s madness remained.  Somewhere in Mornesse, the book written in her father’s blood remained.   Tatiyana pushed the thought away. Fate’s time, not mine. One of Stephen’s mantras eased her concern.

A hand settling on her shoulder startled her. Her response was immediate. She reached for her blade then froze when she felt who touched her.  She met eyes that mirrored her own.  “Brother-mine.” She greeted him on quiet tones as her free hand fell away from Hope’s hilt.  Their first reunion had been a shock to them both.  Both were dressed for Isean in warm coats and hats.

Sion  did not speak. He just drug her into a warm embrace.   His touch was one of few comforts she allowed herself.  Let it be sister-mine.  He murmured in her mind then set her away from his body.  “Come home. Dominic and Layla are waiting for you.”   And with that, the Jade twins vanished from the graveyard of their childhood.   For the last time, at war’s end, their world had burned.  In its ashes they built a new one.

 

For more about Taitiyana, check out the third book in the Maeseloria series, Hope’s Child

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Sadness

Current listening:   Via Purifico – Final Fantasy Piano Collection

Current Reading:  In between.

Hello everyone!

I come to you with a dilemma.  Two prompts, two amazing ideas this week for Ink and Quill.  I am giving you one tonight but you will definitely have to wait until the weekend for the other.  (Who would have thought a guided prompt could produce so many possibilities?)  So this week, our vague prompt is itching to have me introduce a new face to anyone involved in the Maes universe.  To long time readers, tell me if you can figure out who and what she ties into.  Ladies and gents, meet Brona Rae and check out our vague prompt for Ink and Quill.

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The starlight cold of the capital made Brona Rae shiver.  She watched the city below with calm,  careful green eyes. Her target just left the cathedral. The girl understood that a mission was a mission but she could not bring herself to remove her target.  The woman brought so much good to a world that was once starved of such warmth.  Just watching the woman as she had these last few days had given her cause to doubt the merits of her assignment.

She would never be as calm, cold and collected as the fabled Shadow, or even Lily.  Brona understood that the act went against her nature.  If needed, she could do what must be done but she questioned her superiors in an effort to understand her purpose and the reason behind that assignment.  This was no different.  Her blond to brown hair was tied up in a loose knot to prevent an attacker from using the mass against her in a figh

Unlike many within the Guild, she favored her daggers and the crossbow.  Distance weapons,  close combat was more difficult for her.  Killing from a distance, thievery, spying these things she could do with ease and often requested those assignments.  How she was put on assignment assassinate a royal, she would never know.  At last word, none of the assassins had succeeded. Every single target failed and, at this juncture,  they each had a death warrant over their heads.  Rumor had it the guild had tried to eliminate Lily.

Brona paid a great deal of attention to the inner workings of the Guild. She knew their younger members were disappearing and, in a way,  she was glad for that. No child should have to grow up as she did, as Lily did.  She followed the city rooftops well above her charge.  In truth, she had spent months watching the woman.  She tried to understand why someone would want her dead. Tessa Starson, the people whispered, was a blessing to the realm and the people.  She healed them, she prayed for them.  The cleric brought them peace.  No one within the guild knew Brona’s true last name.  Given the history of the realm, Fate knew she was reluctant to reveal such information.

Late at night, long after the cleric retired from the cathedral, she would wind her way into the building and sit in silence.  This place called her and she could not understand why.  Her father was dumped in an orphanage when he was seven.  Until he died, they lived in the squalor of the capital.  He died just before her eighth birthday.  Before he died he made her promise to seek out the guild. The man understood what life he was sending her to but he wanted to see his daughter protected.  “Never tell them your full name. They will use you.”   He made her promise on his deathbed.

Brona knew that. She had power, she knew she did.   The power was a steady slow beat in her soul.  If she focused hard enough,  rain would tumble from the heavens.  The slumbering giant had gotten stronger the longer the royals remained in power.  She heard voices and, at a young age,  forced herself to lock that part of her mind away for the sake of her sanity.  Her father heard voices too and she suspected that drove him mad in the end.

So lost in thought, she almost lost her target.  Brona followed the woman as far as the castle gates.   Another pulse of the familiar lingered within those walls and Brona found herself reluctant to pursue that.  The Guild sent her all over the realm on recon missions before this one. Lochton and the North called to her like a siren’s song yet, there was that itch of the world she knew here in the capital.  Her charge was in the palace for the evening and that was as far as she wished to pursue the woman.  She wound away through the shadows en route to the cathedral.  Perhaps it was time to think and gain herself some peace.

The prayer book was old, many of the words faded from multiple readings.  Brona thumbed through the pages. Fate bless this place.  She thought as she lowered herself into a pew at the back of the cathedral.   In truth, she could not fulfill a contract against one who brought so much Light to the world. Darkness was all she knew. The city streets sometimes wept of her loneliness.  Her green eyes shadowed a moment as she read the old prayers. The book, her father told her, was her grandmother’s.

Fond fingertips turned  the pages as she murmured those prayers beneath her breath.  She knew from experience if she pushed power into the words, her hands would glow.  Brona tried this once before in a dark alley away from what her life called her to be. At last her fingers found the back cover of the book.  She traced those letters since childhood.  After her name, they were the first two letters she learned to write. R.D.   The second set of initials occupied the bottom corner of the cover,  N.T.,  she had no idea whose they were or what they meant.  That, she suspected, would be the mystery of not just her lifetime but her father’s as well.

In  many respects , the cathedral was the only peace she knew. The rest of her life, she felt was running the rooftops and following the woman her employer asked her to remove.   Her conscience stayed her hand.  Those that came before her, their hands would not be stayed. A mission was a mission.  Still, Brona could not bring herself to eliminate her target so, she watched.  She prayed for Fate to intercede. Fate take this duty from me, please.

In the shadow

Current Listening:  The Evil Clicking of My Husband Playing Overwatch (Love you babe)

Current Reading:  Still taking recommendations

So,  Nanowrimo is complete for me.  I finished on the 22nd.  It’s official.  Maeseloria: Guardian’s Redemption is done in rough draft form.  I am really happy with the product.  The new book is  tabled until revisions start January/February.  I’m excited by the story I’ve put out.    I hope those of you that are stateside had an amazing Thanksgiving.     What’s your favorite thing about Thanksgiving?

Ink and Quill-ers got two weeks for the prompts this go around due to the holiday.  I have to say,  thank you to those of you that wrote for the group.  I love the work you’ve been putting out.  It’s awesome to have you guys.

On to the prompt!  This week I chose the guided prompt because it amused me and got me thinking on a character that is new in Shadow’s Journey but not new to the blog reading crew.  Her name is  Lily Eisen.  She is rapidly becoming one of my favorites.     I hope you guys like her as much as I do.  Here is the prompt:

Eavesdropper: Create a poem, short story, or journal entry about a conversation you’ve overheard.

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“Rumor has it she did not survive the poisoning…”   Lily heard the guard whisper as she wound her way through the shadows.  A small smile curled her lips as she got closer to the catacomb’s entrance.  She blended with the night.  The Guild’s location was a secret to its members.  Based in the North, they were about an hour’s ride from Lochton.  She remembered being six years old and brought here under cover of darkness and blindfolded.  Lily shook the thought away. Those days were long gone.  She told Christi she needed help for this next mission to Mornesse.  The request was both selfish and not.

Layla was hers, more so than Isabelle had ever been.  The girl was brought to the guild at a young age.  She was old enough to be an adult but had no experience. In that,  Lily protected her as if she were a child.   Whoever had abandoned her did so with the intention of leaving her to die.  Lily would not allow her to.  At first, more nights than not,  Layla woke up screaming if she slept at all. When she could not sleep, Lily was there. In those dark nights,  Lily taught her how to use a dagger. The child learned as quick as any of the little children Lily herself had taken under wing. In those dark hours,  Lily found a kindred spirit she wanted to protect.  Whatever the girl’s history,  Lily had long since claimed her as her own.

Many of the upper echelon of the guild felt Layla would never be of use to them.  Lily understood what it was to be underestimated and discounted due to either your gender or whatever burdens you may carry within you.  After those first few terrifying nights,  Lily adopted the girl and made it her personal mission to prove them wrong.    If Marc knew she was here, the man would have a conniption.  These were the same people that sent her on a suicide mission to kill him.    Suffice to say the man would not be pleased if she chose this moment to disable the gem that currently hid her from his formidable talents.

I have to get her out, no noise, no movement, no witnesses. Fate above, please do not let her be on a mission right now. I need her to be here.  Her thoughts focused on the darkness before her and, as she passed the guard she palmed one of her poisoned needles. The man on the door was one of the more brutish members of the guild. She swept by him in the dark and scraped her needle across the back of his neck.  The strike was subtle and quite intentional.  Lily held her breath and froze in the shadows until the unsuspecting fellow dropped to the ground on unconscious.  The poison would not kill him but would leave him feeling ill for a number of days.  “The shadows are always watching.” She offered on a whispering sing-song to his fallen form before she proceeded into the catacombs below.

Anyone who may have been listening would assume that another member was returning from a mission. The phrase let people know the intruder was not a stranger to them. Such power games were common among the guild.  No one would pay any mind to the unconscious guard. She even took his guild coin for good measure and ditched the item in the shadows of the hallway.  Before they earned their daggers, all initiates were minted a coin specific to them.  Her own coin was minted with the flower that was her namesake.  Their duty was to keep the coin with them at all times.He would awaken with a headache and the impression that one of his bretheren had bested him to gain an advancement within the Guild.

As she passed other members, Lily pitched her voice in a way that no one but those that knew her well would recognize her.  Once through the main guard, she passed down the halls on quick, knowledgeable strides. When she left on her mission against Marc, she made sure Layla had earned her daggers.  She remembered giving the girl a brief hug.  Layla was as picky about physical contact as Marc’s sister, Alex.  “I have a way out for us. I promise.  This is my last mission.”   That was almost a year ago.

She rounded the corner into Layla’s room and backed left from the dagger that was launched at her head.  “Your aim’s gotten better.”  She whispered to the strawberry blonde girl.  Not long after her arrival, Layla had discovered that sneaking up on Lily was not a habit to have.  Layla’s strawberry blond hair and blue eyes drew a great deal of attention.  She was a little beauty that went to great lengths to hide that.  Lily understood why.  Her delicate beauty would be mistaken for weakness among the guild.

“Where the hell have you been?”  Layla growled and went for Lily’s arms without question.  When Lily closed her arms around her,  she relaxed.  Lily soothed the sudden panic in the girl’s face.  “Elders said you were dead.”  The words were hurt and Lily could do nothing but absorb the scent and feel of the girl in her arms. Layla’s normal exuberance was curbed by the shock of Lily’s arrival.  The nightmares still came for Layla and neither one of them understood why or how.  All Lily could gather was that Layla had suffered through hell before she came to the guild.  Without Lily’s intervention, matters could have gotten much worse.

“Away.  Clearly not dead.  Getting you out like I promised. Get your things, we’re going.”  When Lily set the girl back from her, she smiled though there were tears in her eyes.  “We are not coming back here. Not ever.”  Memories of this place and her years here clogged her throat.  For a moment, she felt a pang of guilt for what she had to do to survive.  In the end, though,  having the girl in her arms and the man that awaited her at home, were worth those sacrifices.  Being reunited with the only family she had left and the only father she had ever known were worth those sacrifices.

“You go, I go.”  Layla responded before she left Lily’s arms to gather her few meager possessions. The phrase acted as both a promise and direction.  Layla had to be talked out of accompanying her on that last mission to the capital.  The elders usually looked the other way when Lily took Layla with her.  Her missions never failed so no one complained.  The two of them had saved each other’s lives more times than she could count.  Layla had an uncanny sense of the world around her and, as she grew, Lily saw that the girl matched Lily’s reflexes stride for stride.  At times,  she surprised Lily with her intuition.

“You go, I go.” Lily repeated as Layla shouldered her bag. “Missed you, kid.  Let’s go. Details on the road.”   She kept the speech short and to the point. They could talk at length as soon as they got out of here alive.  If she wanted to make this painless, she’d summon his lordship.  Yet, she was not entirely sure the man had earned his way back into her good graces just yet.  They crept from the room and out into the halls.  The catacombs rarely bustled with life.  The halls of the dead were just that, dead.  Their kind did not often socialize with one another. Anonymity was often the key to their survival.

No one offered any further interference in her plan to remove Layla from the Guild.  Minutes later,  the cold, crisp air of the North hit Lily’s nostrils.  “We are free.  Come on, let’s get moving south.  I need to be in Mornesse in two days.”  Lily instructed as she wound her way through the trees.   Warmth was important.  Isean was not too far from its height.  The nights were cold.  She was prepared with a pack on both their horses. Cloaks, tents for the late hour.  They could survive.

Layla mounted her horse and noted Lily’s well planned approach.  That did not come as a surprise to her.  She wrinkled her pert nose at the errant snowflake settle on it.  “We camp. You tell me what going on. Another guild member boasted about poisoning you.”  Lily leaned over and fastened the cloak around Layla’s shoulders but did not answer. As another flake settled on the end of Layla’s nose,  she muttered.  “I hate the cold. Let’s move.”

 

 

 

Into the fire

Current listening:  My husband’s mouse clicks while he plays Diablo

Current reading: Taking suggestions.

Almost half way through Nanowrimo and here is where I stand:

Word count

To everyone participating in this event, I hope your coffee is strong and your words flow easily. To my readers, Guardian’s Redemption is well underway.   I hope you all enjoy the new story and are currently enjoying Shadow’s Journey.  To those of you that receive the Maeseloria Monthly,  the newsletter is currently on hiatus until January while I re-evaluate what I want to do with the publication.

So this week I decided to have a little fun with the vague prompt this week on Ink and Quill.  I go into these usually having a good idea where I want to go with any prompt I post. So,  I bugged one of my group members  who is familiar with Maes and said the following:

“Pick a prompt and a character. I’ll see what I can pull together on the fly.”  She did not disappoint. 🙂   Here is this weeks vague prompt:

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The house was quiet this Isean. Marc Jade enjoyed a rare moment of peace.  Jade Manor had few occupants as of late.  Most of the time,  the capital and realm business consumed he and Alexandra’s time.  “A family, beyond us.” He murmured and focused his skill on the hearth before him.  Alexandra had always had a knack for the finer graces of magic.  She could manage many feats that he could not.  He told no on that the torching of Catriona’s keep was more her power than his.  Nicholas said once he felt it wiser that people believed those powers were balanced between them.  “People need to believe.” The old man said. “If they knew all that she could do, they would fear her that much more.”

Marc reflected on that conversation.  He asked not long after the war’s end. Had it really been more than a year?  In that time, he met Lily and proposed.  In Mornesse he became a father.  The thought made him smile with a warmth he was still getting used to.   Layla Eisen was a whirlwind of action and affection that made him laugh.  He could not help but love the girl and her ways.  She trusted him as much as a daughter could trust a parent.

“And then there are your own children.”  A warm, much loved and familiar voice spoke from the door way.  His sister, Alexandra, stood in the doorway watching him manipulate the hearth.  This was often their custom when they were thinking, or brooding depending on the situation.  Lily would give him twins come mid Adryn.  “Fate above Marcus, do we both really have every blessing we talked about?”  With a small smile she strode into the room.  The house, as was usual, seemed to welcome her. The hearth’s brightened, the candelabra’s  blossomed.

“We do, dear sister. We do.” He agreed as she settled in beside him.  Alexandra’s warmth beside him was one they were used to. They spent many a night talking, planning for their future with no indication as to what it may truly hold.   It was before a fire that they decided to come home all those years ago.  That return was the beginning of everything they were now, if he thought about it.  “We have that much more to lose.”

In that moment’s silence,  she agreed. They would spend the night here before returning to the capital.  These moments were rare and Marc Jade valued them.  They sat the long night together,  talking and planning not their future, but their children’s.

Updates and things

Current Listening:  Beyond the Veil – Lindsey Stirling

Current Reading:  Taking recommendations

So as many in the writing community know, November is National Novel Writing Month or Nanowrimo for short. Those that have been following the blog this last year know that I participate in this event every year.   In fact, my last two books have been written during Nanowrimo.   This year is no different.  So far, these are my stats after four days:

Word count

I like to give myself extra padding at the beginning of the month because, let’s be honest, there are dry days. There will be days where the words just won’t come. Days will come where I will look at my character and ask them what the fuck are they thinking. It happens.  I’m tickled pink with where I am thought.

As for the Ink and Quill writing prompt this week.  I chose a song I’ve written to many times in five books and the following guided prompt:

Eye Contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.

So last week we got to meet Dr. Sarina Starson…and a mystery man.  For tonight, and the sake of this prompt, that story continues.

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The quiet power of the man and the humor in his dark eyes set Sarina’s teeth on edge. In all her life, she never felt another power beyond her own.  In these last years,  the world felt as though it had grown somehow.   When their eyes met, she felt a magic beyond her own. Not just holy, not just a healers gift, but that sense of another drifted just beyond the light in his gaze.  “I would give you my name but I fear you may faint in light of the truth.”  He spoke with an easy smile and careless grin.  “I am aware you can sense me but not to the degree I can sense you. I have no intention of revealing more than is necessary for this moment.”

Nicholas stepped forward towards the girl.  “Emma passed her legacy on well. I do hope you are a better woman than your namesake,  Doctor Jacobs.”  Like Kaylen, he watched this girl for years to see if she would come into her power.   Medical school, he supposed, suited a Starson to the letter in this modern world.  He knew she went to school in Lochton and that Emma had long ago settled there.   “Forgive me for startling you.” He repeated as he offered a hand. “Nicholas.”

“Clearly you already know me Nicholas.”  She took his hand and shook it. When they touched magic flared between them.  Her eyes widened.  The man itched of a time far older than herself.  “Who are you?” Sarina’s voice filled with curious wonder.  Peace radiated from him.   For the first time in her life, she was not alone.  Gold sparked in her hazel eyes as he pushed Holy against her talents.

“A man, an old sorcerer some might say, an old bastard others might say.” He responded, his tones ambiguous.  When she pushed back with her latent skills, his features spread in a grin.  “I have not felt the touch of another holy user in more than fifty years.”  Nicholas chuckled and absorbed the warmth of the familiar.  The grin faded and his expression became focused.  “You feel that darkness too, don’t you Sarina? You feel the path ahead crumbling.”

“I do. Violence in the city has risen in the last year. I see more cases of violent crime in the hospital this year than I have in years past and…I feel it when I’m  here away from the city–like a cancer beneath the skin.”  Sarina shuddered and drew away from him.  “I do not understand it or what it means.”  The woman was confused and yet, a voice deep within her was more resolute.  “I need to stand against it and do not know how.”

His patient smile ease her. “I do. Your time will come.  My word upon it.”  Nicholas knew.   Kaylen would need his help. Hell, they all would.  With a thought and no further explanation, Nicholas vanished.  Be at peace, child of Light. Be patient. The path ahead will challenge you and haunt you.  Go to the Cathedral.  Speak your faith. You will know.

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So, eye contact….what’s your favorite story about eye contact? Personal story, or about two fictional characters. Feel free to share!

Dusting off and starting over.

Current Reading:  Edge of Eternity – Ken Follet

Current Listening: World of Final Fantasy OST – The Sending/Hymn of Fayth [Extended]

Hello, my friends.  Forgive my absence. Going forward, I will not be going so long between posts.  Life has been well, life–a hot mess of crazy sandwiched between work and family life. I have barely had time to create and I’ve been feeling the lack.

To address this, I have started a writer’s group called Ink &Quill that will feature daily writing prompts,  encouragement and humor.  In that vein, it is my hope to get myself back into some measure of regularity.  I also hope to help other writers further their craft.  Whether their end goal is publication or not, or if they just want to enjoy some good creative fun.  I look forward to hearing from you if you’re interested. Feel free to drop me a message if you would like an invitation.

With that being said, Ink & Quill’s writing prompts can be a variety of things from words to music to images.  I do a vague, fun post and a more guided post for those that need a little direction. The purpose is for all types of writers to get their feet wet,  have a little fun and create something that was not there before.  With that being said, here is our vague prompt for the week:

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So, with this image, I was struck by the starlight and the way it flowed around the woman standing in the dark.  With that, came a new character idea not for the book series but merely for my own amusement. I have touched on the idea of a modern day realm before….Ladies and gents, please meet Sarina Jacobs.  🙂

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Starlight glittered across her skin as she took this moment to rekindle her strength.  Dr. Sarina Jacobs was one of the precious few left who understood Fate and her gifts. In a world of modern miracles, the miracle of magic stood forgotten. The lifeblood of their realm begun to fade. Here, among the land,  Sarina could feel the pulse of their world.  Beyond the city’s constant buzz,  constant noise, she could feel that heartbeat struggling to breathe.  Ages ago, Duty fulfilled its song.    Emma Jacobs was a woman of legend among her family.  She began the family tradition of never marrying.  The reasons,  Sarina understood, were unclear.  Not a whisper of scandal surrounded the woman’s name.   Clearly the family line continued through her or she would not be standing here beneath the night sky.

With a flick of her will, she brushed the thought away.  Medical school stood a blur among her teenage years. She was considered  a pioneer in her field.    The youngest woman in Maeselorian history to graduate from medical school,  she puzzled her peers.  Her record was impeccable.   These communes with the night sky served to ground her.  The starlight glittered white on her skin as she stood staring at the heavens around her.  “Fate bless thee.” She whispered a prayer older than her body, perhaps older than her spirit.  She never lost a patient and many assumed that was simply her gift. So many of them refused to see how her hands glowed white in the operating room. Her manipulation of magic was so finite that no one would have seen the blessing for what it was.

More than fifty years ago, a government was born that stripped the power of the royals and shared it with the people. The ruling body, the Siteni,  cautioned those royals that still remained to be wary of using their talents. By this time, so few of her kind remained that no one could know who carried a royal bloodline and who did not.  The world had changed,  or moved on if one preferred. Many argued, what use did the modern world have for stories of ages past?  The only lines that seemed to ring true anymore were hers and Queen Adrianna herself. The Morningstars, the consummate politicians, remained.   The monarchy remained like a comforting old blanket.   Their protectors, the Redwynds remained but of the clan, only one remained by the Queen’s side. Of the Jades, the fabled protectors of the realm, no one lingered.

Still, she drew on the blessing of the land and sky around her. Fate beat beneath her as she stood drew.   Her dark hair tumbled to her bottom in a careless disarray of curls.  The wind tousled and toyed with the mess.  Her hazel eyes flecked gold as she focused the skills that were so discouraged by the Siteni.  How could such beauty, such life be wrong? How could those in power not see these gifts as they were?  Her thoughts meddled with her focus. Beyond her wards a darkness throbbed.   In the city, that constant felt like an open artery.  The night air was crisp this Adryn.  Isean would be upon them soon, as would the snow and rush of winter.   Sarina stretched her magical wings.  No one would sense her.  No one existed that would care. In that, she felt utterly alone.  Magic tides within her bloodline had risen and fallen over the years.  Even her mother said she had not seen a talent like Sarina’s in many years.

“So,  the Starson line does live on.”  A voice startled her from her thoughts.  The scream died in her throat as a man stepped out of the shadows.  Knowledge and power echoed in his sapphire eyes.   He was a stranger to her.  Or was he?  He knew her. She could see it in his gaze. “At ease, I bring no harm.”  At least, he supposed,  she could not blast him from here to kingdom come.

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Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. Those of you familiar with the realm at large MIGHT know who our mystery man is.  Stay tuned for more and whatever else may suite my fancy in the weeks ahead. Nanowrimo is right around the corner and so is book six of the Maeseloria series.

No sleep…til GenCon…

If you sung along to that in your head, bravo.  Anyone in my immediate family who reads this is completely aware that I will actually be sleeping the next  day or so.  I’m kind of a pita with no sleep.  (Just ask my husband.)

No current listening/reading today because this is just a quick note to you lovely folks that I will be on hiatus from tomorrow morning through August 24th. No blog updates, photos when I get back. I am going to leave you with the latest teaser from book 5, Shadow’s Journey.  Let me know what you think. Until then later, gang. Take care. 🙂

Kymber's design (1)

My December

Current reading:  The Godfather Returns

Inspired by:  Heavy,  My December   Pick a Linkin Park song tonight

So,  I wish I could find the right words to describe such a loss.  The music industry lost a great creator today.  I love this band.   I have followed their evolution since Hybrid Theory.  That album has so many songs that talk to me.  I remember hearing Closer on the radio for the first time and I was like “okay guys,  I’m listening.”    The next song that hooked me was Crawling.   The song that made me go out in the album was In The End.   Once I listened to the album as a whole,  the song Papercut stuck with me.

I thought, at the time and quite mistakenly, that they were a one genre, one style kind of band and then someone played My December for me.  So much heartache lingered in that song.   I remember crying the first time I heard it because I was fighting my own demons at the time. I remember the chord it struck.  I still have a hard time with this song.  It’s so…achingly lonely.  I can listen to it now without tears but it still makes my heart hurt.

As time went on, more of their songs hooked me but I don’t think I really started listening to them closely until I heard the song  “What I’ve Done.”  That song is about atonement.   It’s my interpretation, if you disagree, well  good for you.  =P   Then I started going back and catching up.  Now,  I write to their music.  There something in the tenor and lyrics that inspire me.  It’s with that in mind that I started the writing below.   This has no bearing on future or past plotlines,  just kind of a what if in my writer’s mind.

Thank you for the impact your music had, and still has on my life.  You will be missed.

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Another moment more, Alexandra.   Please. Nicholas snapped awake with a gasp.  In dreams,  she haunted him.    In his dreams, she laughed, she breathed, she teased him without mercy.  Fate took her first and left him to rot,  he felt.  Sea-shaded eyes and platinum curls danced just beyond his field of vision.  Fate above he missed her.  In a sudden rage Nicholas swatted the alarm clock from the bedside stand.

He cursed.  What he wanted most in this world he could not have.  To Nicholas, this was Fate’s path for him—suffer and wait.   Just thinking about the fact exhausted him.  Why hadn’t the cup passed to another?  Nicholas watched his children; his grandchildren pass on but the burden of Johl’s book remained with him.    The thought annoyed him more than he could give voice to.   The temptation to just let the world burn was strong.  Yet, in his mind, his duty was a yoke that he continued to pull.  Like a faithful jackass.  He thought with a scowl.

Fate’s tides were swirling around Kaylen Burke;  he could see the path ahead clearer than the woman herself.  He knew soon enough an adversary would present themselves.

Yet he could not find it in his heart to care about this conflict.  All that he loved and knew was gone.   You said once that duty’s halls were cold, beloved.  How could you have known I would walk them without you?  If she had, his beloved Sorceress never said a word.  He knew she never would have.   What would be would be,  she would have said. If she were here.   If this, if that,  if solved nothing.  If did not return her to his arms!

In frustration,  Nicholas plowed his fingers through his graying hair and rose from bed.    Again,  he was alone in his prayers.  The small altar in his bedchamber was a relic by today’s standards.  Tess Starson and Emma Jacobs blessed the small marble stone  for them the day they were wed.  Engraved in the stone were their names, the date they were wed.  This stone would go for a fortune in the modern world. Historians would have a field day with the names and dates engraved.  In the modern world, it would be the only proof of their lives together.

For him, their life lived on within.   Fate grant me the strength to carry this burden alone but,  forgive me my wish to be with her, with them… these trials are too much this time.  Light grant me the peace to see it through.  In a whisper of movement, Nicholas would have sworn he felt her gentle, familiar touch.  “Fate let me come home.”  He whispered.  For the first time in his long, long life Nicholas Taltos lost hope in the world surrounding him.


Just a snippet that twirled out of my fingertips, dear readers.  I promise you.  It was just an idea that came through while listening to that song.   I do not know that  I could do that to the poor man.  He’s suffered enough,  I think.

In random bits of news,  head over to my Facebook page to check out teasers for the Maeselorian series and the new book Shadow’s Journey.  My editor,  the amazing and talented,  Kymber Nations,  has been gracious enough to help me design some absolutely gorgeous images that I get to share with you as the release date for the new book approaches.   Please, check them out.  Comment, like the page and hang out.  I have a lot more in store as the days get closer.

Stay tuned to Facebook Live on October 1, 2017 at 7:30 PM EST for the cover reveal of Shadow’s Journey.  Here are the teasers I have posted so far. The first is from the upcoming novel,  Shadow’s Journey.   The second is from book two,  Duty’s Song. 

 

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As always, let me know what you guys think.

Take care!

 

Why Introverts Make Good Writers

I thought this was fascinating and very apt. Let me know what you guys think. 🙂

A Writer's Path


by J.U. Scribe

I return to blogging because I like to write. Never did it cross my mind that my keen interest in writing had anything to do with who I am on a fundamental level until recently. After you read this you’ll understand the connection I started to make with introversion to writing.

It is estimated that at least 1/3  of the population are introverted. For a significant portion of the population, including myself we felt largely misunderstood. We felt something was wrong with us. I may not have been able to articulate it during childhood, but I learned early on that being outgoing, sociable, and assertive were more socially acceptable than being reserved, quiet, and passive.

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