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.

Pick up your copy here:

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.

Destiny Governed their LivesIn the short story Destiny Governed their Lives, Catriona Wheatcroft, an apprentice, has snatched a scroll from her teacher’s dwelling and is attempting to cast the Sight Visitation Spell. The recipe might sound easy, but if done incorrectly by an inexperienced hand, it could cause irreparable damage.

The Basic Recipe

  • Water
  • Oil of the green olive
  • Whole seed from yellow rattle grass (gives strength to the eyes and allows the caster to see the image clearly)
  • Eyebright (gives the eyes power to see)
  • Fennel (Aids in opening things)

A Snippet

The following is the passage detailing Catriona mixing the ingredients.

She paused and looked at the many dishes in front of her. If she mixed them correctly, she’d work her first worthy spell. Steadying her hand, she carefully picked up the oil of green olive and poured it into the wooden bowl. As the recipe instructed, she stirred three times with a wooden spurtle. This is like baking a cake.

mortar and pestleNext, she picked up the fennel. “Fennel ground to a rough powder using a white agate pestle in a clay mortar. Huh? What’s so special about crushing it with a stone? I’ll use the back of a spoon. That’ll do.”

She held the small dish in her hand and crushed the fennel root with the utensil. Once prepared, she admired her work. “Looks great.” She added this to the oil in the bowl.

For almost half an hour, she added, stirred and crushed the ingredients together in the proper order. She stared at the finished concoction. I hope this works. If it doesn’t, what a mess to clean up for nothing.

Today and tomorrow, the eBook is free to download at Amazon. Find it here:

Enjoy.

February is Fantasy Month

wizard hatWelcome to the 5th Annual February is Fantasy Month. Over the next 29 days, I will post several book promotions and discuss more fantasy-related topics than the rest of the year. So hold onto to your wizard’s hat, and let’s get things started.

To kick off this fantastical month, the first short story I wrote to introduce the Land of Ath-o’Lea, Destiny Governed their Lives, will be free for three days starting now. The eBook is available at:

Destiny Governed their LivesThis story introduces Catriona Wheatcroft. She’s a young girl, only 17 years old, living with her parents and two little brothers in a small dwelling in Maskil. She and her brother, Rod, age 15, are like most siblings: compatible until they disagree. As a big sister, she’s annoyed by her little brother, who always seems to be in the way.

The events in this story change Catriona’s life and sets her on the path to meet the characters who populate the Castle Keepers series.

Description

When a young woman casts a Sight Visitation Spell, it changes her life forever.

Catriona Wheatcroft is an apprentice who aspires to be an impressive sorceress.

When she discovers a scroll for a powerful spell, she hopes to prove to her teacher she is ready to take advanced lessons.

The spell is cast, and the unexpected brings tragedy to her life.

February is Fantasy Month

Last summer, I hiked the Jodrey Trail, Blomidon Park, Nova Scotia. The entire hike provided breathtaking scenery, but there was one section that stood out above the rest for reasons others in the hiking group wouldn’t understand. While I’d never been on this trail before, I had explored it in my imagination.

Jodrey Hiking Trail Blomidon

Setting the scene

The vegetation was lush. Tall trees provided a thick canopy that trapped cool moisture and reflected the heat from the scorching temperatures of the hot July day. It also provided the perfect micro-environment for ferns and mosses to grow. Inhaling filled me with the wonderful aromas of the forest.

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Origins

 

The name Bannock came from Scottish bread: bannock. There are sessions when I’m writing quickly, and I don’t have much time to search for a name because I want to ride the story wave. In this case, I think I may have been listening to Dean Brody’s Mountain Man and in it, he says he can make bannock.

BAM! The name of a village was born because it was as good as any I could find in that desperate moment.

 

The Land of Ath-o’Lea

 

We first hear of the village in Healing Stones. It lies along the trail between Moonsface and Inglenook. At the entry of the elf settlement is a sign post created from stone and a thick, carved log that reads: Welcome to Bannock, the hubbery of Knollton Mountain Range: Population 2,467.

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