This weekend, Scattered Stones, book 2 in the epic fantasy series is free in the eBook form at Amazon. Here’s a glimpse at what you’ll read in Chapter 2, Scene 2.

From his perch in a majestic hemlock, Morrigan Fae of Moonsface watched Tigh na Mare warriors spill into the forest. The explosion that rocked the castle while the elf had discussed slaves with Lady Orenda Nassen was followed by a second blast.

Morrigan came as close to the action as he dared. Warriors passed beneath his position, running about as they collected and relayed information to their leader. Within minutes, Lady Orenda Nassen surveyed the escape route personally, halting below the hemlock as three warriors rushed into the clearing to share their discoveries.

“My Lady.” The first warrior bowed before Orenda. “I have identified the intruders.”

“Who were the thieves foolish enough to cross me?”

Morrigan reduced his rate of breathing, released excess air and enhanced the energy to the Cloaking Spell. Not even his scent could drift on the evening air. He relaxed his muscles and appeared to melt into the evergreen. His body slept save his ears and eyes.

“It was Elspeth’s Mercenaries, My Lady. I recognised Rhys and his mate Morwen. They took two prisoners: a middle-aged dwarf and a young hauflin.”

The low growl in Orenda’s voice reverberated through the forest. “Elspeth.” She clenched her fists. “That dwarf has now crossed the meekest of lines. It’s time to end her escapades.” She scowled at her warriors. “We begin the hunt immediately. Gather the required supplies and mounts for thirty warriors. Meet me at the castle wall in fifteen minutes. Go! Now!”

“Yes, My Lady.” The warrior dashed towards the castle.

Orenda surveyed the area, her eyes settling on the two remaining warriors. “We’ll take no prisoners but one: Elspeth. I have something special in mind for her.”

A hundred thoughts flooded Morrigan’s mind. Was the young hauflin prisoner Isla or the twenty-one-year-old? If Isla had escaped with Elspeth and if Orenda caught the group, she’d be killed. Although a skilled band, The Mercenaries were no match for the number of warriors on the hunt. Fortunately, they had a head-start, Elspeth’s fundamental strategy to a successful escape. Her notorious history for evading capture failed to help Morrigan. It made his task difficult, knowing he might never find The Mercenaries’ trail. His only comfort derived from knowing Elspeth commanded fairly and guarded her followers as if family. If Isla travelled with her, she’d gain her protection.

Shouts and screams echoed throughout the forest, and Orenda swung around to glare in the direction of the castle. In the limited light provided by the slither of moon, Morrigan saw the grimace on the woman’s face as she marched towards Tigh na Mare with the two warriors at her heels.

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February is Fantasy Month

As we continue to celebrate February is Fantasy Month, the eBook Scattered Stones is free for three days, starting today (February 13th, 14th and 15th). The novel stars Bronwyn Darrow, Alaura of Niamh, Tam Mulryan and Kellyn Mulryan.

Description

Honour is nothing without the ones you love.

Five years. That’s how long Bronwyn Darrow has been searching for his daughter who is trapped in that elusive Blackvale Castle dungeon. He’s grown desperate during that time and when he learns she’s being transferred, he’s willing to sacrifice everything, including his honour, to rescue her.

If you love stories of adventure mixed with magic and romance set in archaic landscapes, you’ll love McGyver’s Scattered Stones. Unlike many fantasy novels, family plays a central part in this story, so be prepared for the hero to receive unwanted motherly advice.

Scattered Stones is the second book in the Castle Keepers epic fantasy series. It continues the adventures of the characters introduced in Shadows in the Stone and takes readers on a journey across Ath-o’Lea to find the young girl named Isla.

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When I first saw a picture of the Giant Ficus Tree (Ficus benjamina) many years ago, I knew that tree grew in my fantasy world. I even knew it would entrap someone within its branches. Fast forward to Healing Stones, book 5 of the Castle Keepers epic fantasy series, and we find this tree growing in the first chapter.

Isla of Maura, McGuigan and Lyneth happen upon it on their way to Moonsface. Here’s the start of the scene. You’ll have to wait to see who is trapped in it.

(more…)

In Blade of Truth, 18-year-old Bronwyn Darrow convinces his mum to let him enlist in the Aruam Castle Army. She’s hesitant, but understands he doesn’t want to follow in his brothers’ or granddad’s footsteps.

Here’s a snippet from the short story. Details on where to find the eBook free for your Kindle below.

“Mum.” His voice sounded softer than he anticipated.

“Yes, dear,”

Blade of Truth book coverHis hands warmed and formed a cloud of moisture on the steel near where his fingers touched the fork. “Would you be upset if I didn’t become a wainwright with Joris and Calder?”

Maisie stopped washing the dishes. The skin on her face tightened. “Did you want to join your granddad making waggon wheels?”

“No.” His swallow hurt his throat.

“Do you plan on staying on at the bakery? We need another full-time worker. Our feet walk slower these days.”

“Mum.” Bronwyn left the table and leant on the counter next to her. “Mum, I want to enlist. It’s my only desire.”

“Bronwyn, you are so young.” His mother sighed. “Why don’t you wait until you’re older?”

“Would it make you happy if I waited?” He didn’t want to disappoint her. He loved her and respected her opinion.

“Being a soldier is dangerous work. As I’ve said before, I’d prefer it if you left the job to men more experienced.”

“I can’t become experienced unless I complete the training. No one can. I’m good with the sword, Mum. You know that. I practise every day. I’m strong and fast.”

“Bronwyn, I’m not certain how I would cope if you…”

“Mum, I’ve grown up. You can’t protect me forever.” He wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his head on her shoulder. “You taught me to always do what I believed in. I believe I can do this. It’s what I’ve always wanted.”

Maisie hugged him. “I know you are wise and strong. I know you would be the best soldier the castle ever had.”

A wave of relief consumed him. She’d finally agree to his trade choice.

“But you’re my baby.”

He rolled his eyes and endeavoured to defend his maturity, but she stopped him and continued her speech.

“Promise me one thing.” She gazed into his eyes as if to gather courage to grant his heart’s desire. “Promise me you will wait until the next waning moon to enlist. During this time, I want you to learn more about what is expected of a full-time soldier. I want you to think about the benefits and the drawbacks. Once this time passes,”—she paused, and he heard her swallow hard—, “if you still feel this is your calling, I will give you my blessing.”

He lifted her into the air and spun her around. “Thank you, Mum!” He set her down and hugged her tightly. “Thank you. I will not let you down. I gladly make the promise.”

This is the last day of the sale. Get your free copy of Blade of Truth for you Kindle here:

February is Fantasy Month

Blade of Truth book coverBronwyn’s 18 years old. He wants to be seen as an adult, but as the baby of the family, his family still treats him like a child. Here’s a snippet from Blade of Truth, the short story that exposes Bronwyn’s back story.

Bronwyn’s older sisters, Rhiannon and Loran, sat at the table eating. They worked as apprentices at the nearby dress shop and often talked about opening their own shop one day.

“After today, you won’t have time to play with your silly sword.” Rhiannon winked at Loran.

“You’ll have to work like the rest of us,” said Loran.

“My sword is mighty, not silly.” He frowned. “And I already work. Don’t I, Mum?” Every day, he stocked shelves and ran orders for the family’s shop.

Maisie guided the bacon and eggs from the pan to his plate. “Of course. He is my best helper.”

His sisters giggled.

Worker,” he corrected.

“That’s right, dear.” Maisie eyed her daughters. “He does more work around the shop than you two did. You were too busy ogling boys. You better hurry or you’ll be late. Ole Miss Purdy frowns on tardiness.”

Get your free copy of Blade of Truth for your Kindle here:

Sale runs for February 4th, 5th and 6th.

February is Fantasy Month

Blade of Truth book coverAs we continue to celebrate February is Fantasy Month, the eBook Blade of Truth is free for three days, starting today. The short story stars Bronwyn Darrow, who is an 18-year-old student who’s planning his final days in Study Class.

In it, we learn of Bronwyn’s obsession with the sword.

Bronwyn drew a soft brown rag along the blade of his short sword, wiping it one more time before sliding it into the leather scabbard. He savoured the weariness in his muscles after the vigorous workout. If permitted to do so, he would continue to practice in the backyard all day. The sensation created when the sword reached its apex, then whipped around as if a thousand horses pulled it, exhilarated him.

Description

Innocence is shattered when a young man falls victim to a horrible prank.

Youth and innocence still reside in Bronwyn Darrow.

When he attends a celebration with the girl he admires most, he’s elated but extremely nervous.

He hopes the night will be one they’ll never forget. Instead, he should have hoped for one easily forgotten.

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Enjoy.

February is Fantasy Month

Destiny Governed their Lives is the story in which we learn a little Maskil history. I’ll let 17-year-old Catriona tell it from her perspective:

Destiny Governed their LivesThe founders had established the small town more than two hundred years beforehand, but the population was small compared to towns in the south. Catriona believed the war against the horrid wizard Lindrum had reduced the number of inhabitants and discouraged others from settling. Although the Lords of Maskil had won the battle, they hadn’t won the war. The constant threat of random attacks by Lindrum and his henchmen kept everyone on alert.

“That happened long before I was born,” mumbled Catriona as she made her way along Tintally Street. No one could honestly say Lindrum continued to threaten Maskil and its Aruam Castle. Though the man hadn’t been seen for more than sixty years, it didn’t matter. If a horse vanished, a building burnt or an inhabitant went missing, the citizens accused Lindrum.

When more severe crimes occurred, people spoke of the prophecy. The prophecy. Catriona chuckled. What a fantasy. A half-crazed man who claimed he’d been lost in Caverns of Confusion for fourteen years had delivered the dozen or so lines describing Maskil’s destiny. When he arrived in Maskil, he appeared as an old man though he declared himself to be only thirty-one.

A company of Aruam Castle soldiers had set out to find and explore the mysterious Caverns of Confusion, but no one found them. They didn’t appear on any map in the castle archives and no official records existed of travellers visiting them. Her father had viewed hundreds of maps and knew thousands of places, and he hadn’t heard of the caverns. Still, stories from long ago passed through the years by word of mouth told of explorers finding them.

They were also fantasy, made up to entertain and scare small children, thought Catriona.

Today is the LAST DAY the eBook will be free to download at Amazon. Find it here:

Enjoy.