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.

Pick up your copy here:

Enjoy.

February is Fantasy Month

My Castle Keepers series has grown immensely since I published the first book in the series on May 6, 2012. Shadows in the Stone introduced readers to several main characters and a host of supporting characters. Although most of them are ingrained in my brain, it might be difficult for readers to keep up with who’s who.

There are two reasons for this:

  1. There are dozens of characters.
  2. I’m a distracted writer who doesn’t release a book every year (that’s going to change right now).

To refresh the minds of readers and to give new readers a place to refer to, I’ve decided to show case one character a week. In addition to explaining their role in the series, I’ll add additional information, such as where I found their name.

Bronwyn Darrow

In short: Dwarf, male, born and living in Maskil, swordsman, at the start of Shadows in the Stone, he was a corporal with the Aruam Castle guard.

(more…)

Isla of Maura

Hauflin, prisoner at Blackvale Castle, first appeared in chapter 01 of Shadows in the Stone

Isla outlined the military vest, pressing lightly so if the line had to be erased, it wouldn’t leave an indent in the paper. The curve of the shoulder was a difficult part. It took five attempts to get the other shoulder perfect. The black lead moved slowly as she imagined the sun shining on the top of the blue material. In the sunshine is where they had spent their happiest times, and here is where the lightest of touches would accent the glow. She shaded lightly, then used a finger to smudge the colour just right.

A short time later, Isla sat back to admire her efforts. The eyes of her das stared at her as if he would walk across the tower roof and tell her to get ready for bed; they had a busy day tomorrow. Perhaps they’d ride along the Shulie or take a hike to Moon Meadow. She’d ask if Liam could come.

(more…)

Rhiannon Darrow

Dwarf, herbalist, dress maker, first appeared in chapter 11 of Shadows in the Stone

Rhiannon Darrow untied a bundle of chamomile from the drying rack and placed it in a cloth sack. She carried it downstairs to the small room behind the counter of the Forest Herb and Bakery shop and set it on the table. From the time she was young, she had spent many hours preparing herbs for sale. She could now identify dozens of plants by smell alone.

A bell rang, and Rhiannon looked up to see a familiar young dwarf enter the shop. Through her narrow path of sight, she watched Carbrey. He was handsome and charming, and he often came when she tended the counter.

Leaving the table, she emerged from hiding. “Carbrey, can I help you?”

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Bronwyn Darrow

Dwarf, sergeant with the Aruam Castle guard, on leave, first appeared in chapter 01 of Shadows in the Stone

Bronwyn Darrow laid the map flat on the large stone. His calloused finger traced the road from Wirksworth to Little Ram, stopping midway between the towns. In his mind, he thought of the distance from this point to his current location on Blue Mountain. If he continued south west, he’d intercept the trail to Glengarry Keep. Considering the rough terrain ahead, he estimated it would take five days. He’d know he was on the right path when he reached River Blue.

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