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Dragon’s Flame – Chapter 1

The first chapter of Dragon’s Flame, book 1 in the half blood sorceress series.

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Winter descended from the mountains, a cloak of ice wrapped about his shoulders. A living force of nature, his very presences consumed all before him.

A blanket of snow and ice spread out at his feet, the earth crunching beneath his foot falls. A shroud of mist hung with baited breath behind him, waiting for his invitation to slip down into the valley and consume all before it.

Even the sun, once bright and warm in its track, cast a cold glow upon the frozen landscape. Brittle ice caked outstretched tree limbs, weighing them down and snapping off the fragile ends. Dark rich earth and pale green grass gave way to a blanket of cold crystals as he passed.

Silence enshrouded the unnatural winter as birds fell from the sky, and rodents scrambled into dens, never to emerge, their blood frozen. No being could come near to the vision of ice. For miles nothing ventured beyond the grip of winter. No sound. No animal. And no man. Nothing save the wind, and footfalls of the one carrying ice in his very soul.

Word spread of winter’s passage, and villages fled south in terror. But few men lived in the north near the mountains, and fewer in the path of winter’s fury. The great leaders of the cities to the south did not see the danger creeping steadily closer to them. They could not feel the cold of winter, or hear the fury of the winds descending from the mountain.

To the south where men slept peacefully in their beds, ignorant of the danger approaching.

~

C-1 Mother

 

Soft light fell in a dappled pattern across my mother’s bed, like lace made from sunbeams. I hung the lace curtains for her just two summers ago when the sunlight had become too much for her weakening body.
I sat on the edge of her bed, taking her hand in mine. So thin. It was like clutching a skeleton with thin paper wrapped over her birdlike bones.

This was my mother, or what was left of her. Only thirty-eight and she was succumbing to a wasting disease that no cleric could seem to heal. Not that there had been many clerics visiting our small village.
“It won’t be much longer,” she said.

I had to lean forward to hear her words, like crushed leaves on the breeze, cracking and popping as she spoke.

“Don’t say that, mom,” I protested, clutching her hand just a bit tighter. “You can’t go yet. You haven’t even given me away at my wedding. And what will dad do without you? He needs you. We both do.”
She reached up with her other hand and patted me. “You’ll do just fine, Sybel. You’re stronger than you think. You’ll be ruling the world in no time.”

I smiled, I couldn’t help it, even at this stage. Mother always had an odd sense of humor. Ruling the world? From the back of a plow horse? A farmer’s wife didn’t rule much more than her kitchen. I might not have been a wife yet, but I knew it would come soon, and all the stories of mages and dragons mother shared with me would be replaced with babies and laundry.

“And dad?” I asked.

“Don’t be too harsh on him, Sybel. Your dad’s been through a lot more than he’s willing to admit. He’s been there for us, more than I had any right for. He loved me when I couldn’t love myself. Things might get difficult for you after I’m gone, but remember that somewhere inside him there is love.”

I didn’t understand it then, but my mother already knew what would happen when she passed onto the other side. She had been married to my father for twenty years, and knew all too well his temper. I knew it too, and had been on the wrong side of it more often than not. I tried to brush it off, to remind myself that he loved me, but it had gotten harder to do so since mother took ill. He’d been rougher than usual.

I’d done my best to hide the bruise on my arm where he’d gripped it a bit too hard. It wouldn’t do to upset mother on her deathbed.

I didn’t want to admit that it was her deathbed, but there was no denying it anymore. She was dying and there was nothing I could do. No wizard to call. No demon to summon. My mother was going to slip into the next world, and it would be soon.

What would I do afterward?

“I’ll remember, mother,” I said, and leaned down to kiss her on the forehead. Her skin was warm beneath my lips, and smelled of sour elderberries. It was the smell of wine, and sleep, something she’d been imbibing in far more lately. I couldn’t even try to be upset with her, I could see how much pain each movement was causing.

The wasting disease had come on two summers before, slowly creeping inside her. First she couldn’t stand for very long, and took to working the farm from a chair that I carted around for her. Then she couldn’t stay awake for long periods of time and started taking naps throughout the day. At the beginning of the spring when others were out sowing the seeds for the next harvest my mother couldn’t rise from her bed. Her muscles had atrophied, leaving behind a husk of the woman I’d known. The strong jaw, and quick smile had been replaced by a skull covered in thin parchment.

The sicker mother became the angry father seemed.

“The garden just hasn’t been the same without you,” I said. It sounded hollow, even to me, but I had to say something. Didn’t I? Tired platitudes about getting well seemed out of place. There was no getting well, not anymore, and we both knew it.

“I’m tired, Sybel. I think it’s time I rest.”

The finality in her words sent a shiver down my spine. But there was a smaller part of me that was glad. Mother had been in pain for so long, I just wanted her pain to end. If that meant letting her go then I would do it. No matter how much it hurt.

I kissed her forehead again, and let go of her hand.

“Did you want father to come in and kiss you goodnight as well?”

The way I said goodnight, it sounded like the end of a long journey to me. Perhaps mother heard it because she sighed and gave me a wan smile before shaking her head. I couldn’t blame her. The way father had been acting it wouldn’t be a good way for her to go into the long sleep. I think she held on as long as she did because of him, but now the wasting disease was too much. She was ready.

I smiled back, and patted her hand.

Then I slowly stood, and turned my back on her, walking away.

It was the hardest thing I’d ever done. It felt like I was giving her permission to die. After all the years she had held on for me and my father, it felt like the right thing to do. She was hurting, and staying would do nothing for her but cause her more pain.

I could handle myself, and father if need be. But at that moment we didn’t matter any longer, I could only think of her failing strength, and the relief that seemed to emanate from her at that moment.

I left, knowing it would be the last time I would see my mother alive. And I didn’t look back.

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Posted by on June 24, 2017 in On Writing

 

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Fire and Ice

I’ve been working on the new cover for the first book in “The Half Blood Sorceress” series. Book one, Dragon’s Flame, is finished. Well, the first draft is. I have a few things to clean up before sending it off to the editor, but I am hoping to have it out soon (in relitive terms).

The back of the book:

A tragedy. A secret. A journey to find the truth.

Sybel watched as her mother burned on a funeral pyre, but she never expected her father to push her into the flames. When Sybel survives the pyre without a single burn she’s banished from the village for reasons she doesn’t understand.
With more questions than answers, Sybil’s only hope is to make a treacherous journey to find the wise mages of Kemoor. As she ventures out beyond the edges of her village she finds a world filled with dangers; massive creatures, vindictive humans, and an ice cold wind blowing from the north. A wind that is far more sinister than anyone suspects.
Now the girl who would not burn must trust in unlikely allies to save her life, and discover the truth…

And the best part is I’ve already written most of book two. I’m hoping to have books one and two out this year, with the third one next year some time. I have at least a five book arc for this series.

The Half Blood Sorceress is not part of the same world as my Witch’s Trilogy. In the Witch’s Trilogy there are many sentient creatures created by the elements. In The Half Blood Sorceress series there are three races; humans, dragons, and ifrits. The world building of these two series was so completely different. Peyllen (the world of Witch’s Trilogy) took years to flesh out. But because of all that world building the mythos of Peyllen is an entire series of it’s own that I’m still writing.

The Half Blood Sorceress is different in a lot of ways, and so is the experience of creating the world, and writing the stories. I honestly can’t wait to get it out and hear what others have to say about it.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Stories

 

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All the books!

giveaway 3It’s time for a HUGE give away. If you go HERE you can download more than fifty free books from various scifi, fantasy, and horror authors. There are even a few super hero books, and a couple YA books.

My book, Witch’s Sacrifice, is also available for free. Get it now, this is probably one of the few times I will offer it for free.

You can’t go wrong just by checking it out. Plus you can sign up for their roflcopter and try to win a free kindle. More free stuff! I know, it’s amazing!

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2016 in On Writing

 

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Need something to read?

unnamedI finally got the boxed set of the Witch’s Trilogy up. It’s a huge savings over buying the individual books. (9.99 instead of 14.97 individually)

The only thing I have left to do with this series is the two print books. Then I’m done and I can completely focus on the Half Blood Sorceress novels.

Speaking of which, I did get the print book back for Witch’s Curse after adjusting a few things, and I like it. I just have to make two tiny changes, then it will be up to purchase.

If you haven’t joined my authors newsletter you might consider it. I am giving away a free short story, Witch’s Sight, and some other promotions.

I love the world of The Sea of Tears, and I do plan on going back to it, eventually, but for now I’m happy to work on my Half Blood Sorceress series.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2016 in On Writing

 

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Of Pokemon and Life

Yep, I’m still alive.

I’ve been so busy with the training at the new job that I’ve been unable to do much of anything else. I sit down to write and it feels like my brain is just mush from cramming all this information in it. I’m pretty sure I’ll get use to the new job, and all the things I’m suppose to do there eventually, but it takes time. So I come home at night, try to write for a bit, get a few words down, then veg out to let myself recover.

On the weekends I do write a bit more. But it isn’t nearly the same word count I had when I was on unexpected vacation between jobs. I am REALLY happy I got so much out during that month, it makes me feel slightly less guilty about not writing much of anything this week. But only slightly.

WSsmlI did finish the rewrite of “Witch’s Sacrifice.” The couple of chapters that made Artiro look like an idiot had to be redone so that it made more sense. Did that, it works. just rereading it all and then I will upload the new version this weekend. Very little has actually changed, I just adjusted who was where at what time and everything worked out a lot better. He doesn’t seem like an idiot, and the fact that he, as a merman, is effected heavily by the ocean is more apparent.

I am currently 23k into the first novel of the Half Blood Sorceress novels. 6 of 17 chapters are DONE. The others are outlined and I’m going back to finish them. I’m also 7k into book two. I need some titles for these things. So far I’ve got: Awaken the Dragon, Finding the Dragon, and Accepting the Dragon.

I’m not sure if I’m happy with those titles. But they are working titles.

I want to get the first one finished by next month. Now that the Witch’s Trilogy is finished, and out, it’s about time that I start producing something new. I shared the first chapter here if you’d like to read it.

 

Alright… time to get to work.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2016 in On Writing

 

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Day 12 – Full Time author

Another day, another chapter done. Well, another few chapters with a bunch of words in them at least.

2016-06-18 19.22.17Today was date night, so that took up a large portion of the night. Gregg and I went to a glass blowing shop and had a session with a glass blower where we helped him make a few items. I asked for jellyfish paperweight, and he said “sure, why not.” It was awesome. He clamped a piece of the molten glass and had me stretch it out across the workshop, drawing out a long thin filament of white glass. We stretched it a good 20-30 feet and it still didn’t want to snap.

We also made a beer glass, and Gregg made a couple of really beautiful, and creative items. The “paperweight” he came up with even had the instructors mind going with new ideas for glass art. That’s my Gregg though, incredibly talented in designing things. Just look at his armor.

Even with all the excitement I still got a lot done on the new book series, and I sent out the newsletter that I was suppose to send out yesterday with “Immortal Knot” in it.

Now it’s just time to go to sleep. I really need to start going to bed before 1am. But I’m looking forward to tomorrow and finishing another short story. things are really starting to feel right with the writing.

 

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2016 in On Writing

 

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Day 10- Full Time Author

Today has been an eventful day.

flightofgriffinskoboI finished “The Immortal Knot” and will send it out to my newsletter tomorrow.
I wrote an article on medium about the changing nature of the English language.
I redid a cover.
And I sorted out some things in the first book of the “Half Blood Sorceress” novels.

WORKING COVER DRAGONSpeaking of “The Half Blood Sorceress”, I am now incredibly confident in the story. I’m 17k into it, and I can see the end. All of the little pieces are fitting together, and I’ve also got some scenes written in the next book in the series.

I do need a tag line, a cover, and a blurb though. Ug. The cover I have is…okay. It just isn’t what I’m going for, and not the final name of the book either.

It does feel like the books will be short novels though, about 50k or so, which is perfect for the serial I have sketched out.

In this first installment Sybel has everything ripped away from her, and then she must make her way, alone, across a mountain pass and into the wide world beyond. She has to find answers to the mystical things happening to her, and she doesn’t have much time to do it.

All right, it’s almost 3am, and I need to get some sleep. Have a wonderful day everyone.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2016 in On Writing

 

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