Today, Sunday February 16th, is the last day to download a copy of Scattered Stones to your Kindle. This is the 2nd book in the Castle Keepers Series.

It takes place five years after Shadows in the Stone. Bronwyn Darrow has been searching for his adopted daughter, Isla of Maura, all this time and tonight, he plans to rescue her from the Tigh na Mare dungeon.

Pick up your copy here:

Enjoy

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.

Pick up your copy here:

Enjoy

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.

Pick up your copy here:

Enjoy

Tomatoes and chamomile from my garden.

I’ve read a lot about world building in fantasy lands. Of course, there’s systems to figure out: government, social classes, transportation, money…the list goes on. But for me, one of the most vital components in creating the Land of Ath-o’Lea was where its population got its food.

There’s the usual places: shops and markets in cities, towns and villages. Like in the old west, supply shops on the trail, where travellers stopped, picked up the necessities, usually food, and carried on, are also found in my stories. I call them keeps. Depending on location and how busy it is, there may be an inn, tavern or a place to camp on site.

Given the Land of Ath-o’Lea is in an archaic setting, it’s easy to surmise many inhabitants grow their food. Those in the city may be dependent on the supply chain, but all other areas possess some form of gardening. Not only does it fit into the world, I love gardening, so it gives me a chance to talk about it.

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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.

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Scattered Stones

The Castle Keepers: Book 2

Released May 6, 2016

Prologue

The ancient dwarf could find no mate to match her. The Elderkin say she searched all of Ath-o’Lea without finding him. A fierce storm struck, and she took refuge behind a rugged stone. For three days and nights, the storm raged on, ripping trees from the ground and hurling large branches into the air. The ancient dwarf kept dry, warm and safe in the crevice of the stone.

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Jack Somerled

Human, explorer, first appeared in chapter 09 of Scattered Stones

“Knavesmire!” The rough voice hacked the name as if it were phlegm.

Jack Somerled’s ears twitched, but his body remained relaxed as his fork poked a potato and lifted it to his mouth. From his corner seat in the tavern, he had a clear view of the scraggly group of mixed-raced men hoarded around a table slinging ale and feasting on plates of meat.

“If he avers to have journeyed there, he’s peddling featherless fletching.” The heavily bearded human chuckled.

“I stated not that he’d journeyed,” said a hauflin, “only that he’d seen it.”

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