Saturday, June 24, 2017

Preview of Love and Sacrifice: Book Two of the Prophecy Series




Book One

The Middle Continent

  

Prologue 


A
t the center of The Sea of Grass, Tharan-Tul, Great Shaman of the Thrun, sat on a hilltop by the dying flames of his fire. His gnarled hand smoothed an area of fine gray ash.
            He waited, listening, closing his eyes.
            They came – the whispering voices rising from the Sea of Grass. They sighed and sang of past and future.
            Tharan-Tul drew three interconnected circles in the ashes with his forefinger – Ascendance, Balance and Descent.         
           He drew his runes from their small leather pouch and passed them from hand to hand, the worn bone discs clicking together softly. His mind called to the Spirits at The Light At The Top Of The World to help him see clearly. He cast the runes across the drawn circles.
            He frowned.
The rune of the Winter Sun was in the uppermost circle, Ascendance, but the other two had fallen together in the adjacent circle of Balance. The third circle, Descent, was clear.
Not a bad sign, but unexpected.
Could Light Of The Winter Sun ascend so soon? The runes of Reflection of My Friend and Light Brighter Than The Sun had fallen under another influence, when before, all three of the chosen children’s runes had always been unified in one circle.
The whispering voices sang that this was the near future he was seeing, not the present.
Sweeping the fragile discs together into his hand, Tharan-Tul replaced them in their pouch, then erased the circles in the ash. Sitting back on his heels, he looked up at the night sky.
          The prophecy might yet come to pass, despite the division between the chosen children he had just seen. They could be reunified. There was still time.
            In the interim, there was much to be done.


The Shadows, Mordania

 1

Gladdas Dalmanthea

Visits The Shadows


I
for Trantz, former Mordanian spy, was riding home from a day of hunting when he saw a woman burdened with a particularly large portmanteau trudging along the road from The Shadows’ railroad halt. He frowned. No visitors were expected today. This was a serious breach of security.
            Ifor urged his large black gelding forward and rapidly overtook the figure toiling along in the dust of the midsummer road. As he got within earshot, it was obvious that not only was the woman toiling along, she was swearing expertly as she did so.
            “Gladdas, you old biddy,” Ifor grinned as he drew even with her.
            Piercing eyes as dark as his own glared up under heavy, shapely eyebrows.
          "Retribution for those tight shoes you sold me will begin,” Gladdas Dalmanthea, the only female freelance spy and assassin on Eirdon, snapped.
            “Gladdy, that was twelve years ago,” Ifor chuckled, sliding from his horse’s back and taking the portmanteau from her without a by-your-leave. “My back was so bad that day, it’s a wonder I didn’t sell you hobnail boots.”
            “They would have pinched less,” she retorted as he began securing the portmanteau to the front of his saddle. “Don’t think I’m going to flop around behind you on that grundar you call a horse,” she continued.
            Ifor smiled to himself and tied the portmanteau behind his saddle instead.
            “Should we leave her to cope with the dust and heat, Blackie?” he asked his very large saddle mount.
            “You call your horse Blackie?” Gladdas Dalmanthea asked sarcastically.
            “Makes sense. He’s black,” Ifor responded laconically. He remounted and crooked a booted foot for her to step onto, pulling her upward to sit sidesaddle before him. He pretended not to hear her involuntary sigh of relief. She had walked almost halfway to The Shadows from the halt on an unpaved road – a difficult journey on a hot day, particularly for a woman wearing very citified shoes.
            They were silent until they rounded a bend in the road and the great estate house called The Shadows came into view.
            “Good gods!” Gladdas Dalmanthea burst out. “Is that Menders’ little hut in the woods?”
            Ifor grinned to himself. The Shadows was as striking as it was imposing, four stories of elaborate Old Mordanian architecture. It soared against the sky, its onion-domed turrets frosted with decorative painted woodwork. Sixteen years of loving restoration and maintenance had made what was once a neglected, near-ruin into a gracious home for nearly seventy people – including Princess Katrin Morghenna, second Heiress to the Throne of Mordania
            “That’s it,” was all Ifor said.
            “It’s incredible – but not worth Menders staying out here in this wilderness,” Gladdas sniped.
            “He didn’t have any choice about it, if you’ll remember,” Ifor rebuked gently. “These days it’s far from a wilderness. You’re just grumpy because you were shuffling along in the dust. What brings you out, Glad?”
            “I thought I would take a look at the place I’m exiling some of my best operatives to for the next three years,” she responded, still staring at the house and grounds as Blackie strutted along.
            The grounds of The Shadows were at their summer best, green lawns sweeping up a gentle slope to the house. A lake on the right side of the curving oval drive shimmered in the sunlight, ringed with purple flag flowers and lilies. An extravagant rose garden nestled against the south side of the house – a dense forest of old growth trees guarded the sunlit gardens adjacent to the massive house. The display of light and shade was dazzling.
            A small, blond man sauntered out onto the massive front steps of The Shadows, shaded his eyes and stared in their direction. Ifor waved before the man darted back inside, to emerge a few seconds later with a pair of binoculars. He surveyed them and dashed indoors again.
            “Gone to tell Papa?” Gladdas sniped.
            Ifor smiled, but he pinched her waist just hard enough to get her attention.
            “Now then, Glad – we’re happy to have you, but if you’d let us know you were coming, we would have met you at The Halt,” he chided gently. “What’s more, I could have come and brought you over from Erdahn on the boat. That would have saved you the two day delay the trains have been having outside of Rondheim.”
            She groaned and he could hear the weariness in the sound. She leaned back against him. He wrapped a big arm around her waist affectionately. They had known each other for more than twenty-five years and nothing she threw could rattle or offend him.
            “You may take me back on your boat,” she finally said as they started up the drive to the house.
            The blond man reappeared with a companion who wore dark spectacles and thigh length black hair held back with a decorative clip. He peered through the binoculars held out to him by the blond fellow and laughed before he waved.
            “That is Sir Slippery Eel?” Gladdas Dalmanthea asked in astonishment. “Last time I saw him, he looked like a naughty schoolboy!”
            “It’s been a very long time,” Ifor observed. “Since before he went to deal with the Surelian Problem nineteen years ago? You haven’t run into him since then?”
            Gladdas shook her head, staring at the men she knew were Aylam Josirus, Lord Stettan, who went by the name Menders and Kaymar Shvalz, his second in command – first cousins to each other and second cousins to the Queen of Mordania.
            “No, it never came up. I spend a lot of time in Artreya now,” she answered distractedly. “And that’s Kaymar. The last time I saw him he was a child – albeit a frightening one.”
            “He still is at times.” Ifor smiled at her description of the mercurial man he had been bonded with for eight years. “I believe you’ll find that he’s quite grown up – for the most part.”
            Gladdas laughed outright and Ifor smiled. Now her visit would go well and she wouldn’t appear on the doorstep at her worst.
            Two heads popped out of a second story window – those of a golden-haired young woman and a striking young Thrun man. Gladdas glimpsed startling blue eyes on the woman and dark spectacles, like Menders’, on the man before the heads popped back out of sight and excited conversation could be heard.
            “The Princess, I presume?” she said. “I hope she doesn’t expect curtseying.”
            It was Ifor’s turn to laugh.
            “Glad, you have no idea – absolutely no idea,” he said, swinging off the horse and lifting her down to the steps, where Menders came forward and to her utter amazement, embraced her like a long-lost sister.




Love and Sacrifice: Book Two of the Prophecy Series is available on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072WPSP65

Free reading for Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited members!

Those Teasing Questions Left Unanswered...



I hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday, be it morning, afternoon or night wherever you may be!

I've been thinking a bit about fantasy writing - after all, that's what the Eirdon books are. A couple of people have contacted me after reading Love and Sacrifice - which is great! I love to hear from people who care enough about the books to ask questions or make comments.

It's great to know that people so accept the world a fantasy author has created that they almost see it as a real place - and when something seems jarring and out of place, it unsettles them. When I have someone ask me about a certain device in Love and Sacrifice (no spoilers policy in effect!), I know that reader cares about and accepts the world of Eirdon. For me, there is no greater compliment.

It's very important to remember a couple of things:

  • Eirdon is not Earth. 
  • The Eirdon Books are a series. 

Time to reveal some of the plan:

The Prophecy Series will ultimately consist of four main books, with a few possible ancillary books as well. The main books are:

  • Weaving Man - How Menders ended up at The Shadows with Princess Katrin and how he and the family he gathers around them lives out the next sixteen years.
  • Love and Sacrifice - Covers the next sixteen years in the lives of Menders, Eiren, Katrin, Hemmett, Borsen and all the other characters. The focus is on all types of love (for people, country, places) and sacrifices that all the characters make.
  • Eirdon - Covers the next ten to twelve years of all characters' lives - there is a great danger to the entire planet of Eirdon and it falls to Katrin and the rest of her family to struggle with the balance between light and dark.
  • The Light At The Top Of The World - the fourth and final book of the main series - all is revealed and all questions that might be left hanging in the other books are wrapped up here, as the young genius, Dahrien (yep, you haven't met him yet!) unravels the great mystery of Eirdon.

So if something seems out of place or even impossible - it will be explained and revealed! Tove really hasn't snapped her cap and written something goofy!

Keep comments and questions coming! I truly appreciate each and every one of you and thank you so much for enjoying and caring about my stories.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sequel! Love and Sacrifice: Book Two of the Prophecy Series, available as e-book on Amazon.com!

Good Morning!

Love and Sacrifice, anyone?


Yes! Live and in person on Amazon.com! Free for Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime.

Time to find out what happens next! 

What am I up to? I took a three minute vacation and got started on Book Three - Eirdon. Fingers crossed that there will be no bad health or other complications - coming later in the year!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hi folks,
Just wanted to let everyone know that your kind words, glowing reviews and support truly touch me - as well as your eagerness to find out "what happens next?" I am on vacation now and putting in about twelve hours a day on Love and Sacrifice, which is in the final editing process.
Unfortunately, the whole project got knocked back when I got sick and was pretty worthless to write for about six weeks. One of those sinus infections that involved the fifth cranial nerve, which is a whole new world of pain. Something I've never had before and gawdelpme, hope I never have again. The sawbones finally found an antibiotic that would work. Took three go-rounds. Antibiotic resistant bacteria IS a reality.
So I'm not going to give a particular date, as I already feel that I've let the team down with the delay, but I've got until the end of this week to devote a LOT of time to the book. I also need to get a cover lined up, but right now, that manuscript is paramount.
I could rush it along, but I don't want to fling out a sequel that isn't equal to Weaving Man. I've lived some ten years with these characters and I would hate to sell them - and you - short!
So here we go. If only I could figure out a way to do this full time! Day jobs do get in the way.
As someone dear to me used to say, "Further reports as events warrant!" I'll have a book to you soon.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

An Update and an Answer to a Question

Hello! I realized that it's been quite a while since I posted here and didn't want to let things fall completely by the wayside. Unfortunately, I'm in Week 4 of a terrible sinus infection - the third I've had in my lifetime. Anyone who suffers from chronic sinus problems - I take my hat off to you and empathize so much with your grief. The recent medical trend for not prescribing antibiotics backfired in my case - I started out with a viral infection, but it segued to a bacterial one which has called for the heavy artillery. I've been one sick chick. Never taken so much sick time from my day job since I had an emergency gall bladder removal.

Sadly, my writing schedule has fallen way behind and this, my first weekend in a month where I've felt relatively human, is being devoted to moving forward with Love and Sacrifice and clearing some of the wreckage that occurs when you don't pick up the house for God knows how long!

I'm still hoping for a late April release of Love and Sacrifice. It was largely finished, but I go through an exhaustive editing process that sometimes requires rewriting of entire portions of the book. To be honest, I never want to read Weaving Man again! I must have read it over a hundred times during the final editing - and believe it or not, after I did so, I found a screamer on the third page as soon as I punched the "publish" button - a terrible grammatical error that made me turn red in embarrassment. Part of the editing process involves reading the material aloud - you can find really cringeworthy phrases and errors that you would never notice by reading it silently.

It's a good thing I live alone (well, I do share the house with a big red pitbull named Waldo), particularly when the reading aloud begins. Especially when I start doing the voices, including any who speak with an accent (Borsen.)

A question I've been asked a few times might need an answer, so here goes.

Question: Why did you leave sex scenes out of Weaving Man?

Answer: This was a deliberate decision. When my ex-husband and I were collaborating on the original storyline, we discussed this and decided that, as the novel was written in something of a Victorian/Edwardian style and would also reflect the morals and outlook of of the characters, that leaving actual sex acts up to the imagination of the reader would be most appropriate.

We aren't prudes - but our society is so inundated with sexual imagery that we didn't feel that we needed to add to the array. My intent with the Eirdon books was to explore the minds and relationships of the characters, who are in an unusual and often dangerous and heartbreaking situation. They are bound by duty, honor, morals and many of them sacrifice a great deal of themselves for a higher cause. Of course they fall in love and express that love with one another - but do we really need to peer into their bedrooms? Do we need to know who did what, how, how long and in what positions?

You can find graphic descriptions of sex acts in so many books, to say nothing of on millions of sites online, in movies, in all forms of media. Weaving Man didn't need it to tell the story. So we didn't put it in. The imagination can far surpass any description I could write of people having sex!

So that's the thought for the day, for what it's worth. And just to give you a little glimpse at my very attractive housemate, I'm going to put in a picture of the Wonderful Waldo, my adorable and slightly insane rescued pitbull. He's a seven year old red-fella with a gammy leg and a very highly attuned sense of humor, who tolerates my reading chapters of the book aloud while he's trying to sleep!

Waldo, aka Walderino, Waldingus, The Wonderful Waldoni, etc.



Friday, March 17, 2017

Special on Weaving Man - $0.99 for the Kindle Edition on Amazon.com

I am running a special on the Kindle Edition of Weaving Man, available on Amazon.com - it is available for $0.99 until midnight, March 18, 2017.

 If you borrowed it through Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Online Lending Library, this is a great chance to pick up a copy to keep! Know someone who would love it? Why not surprise them with a gift?

Click here to go to Amazon.com's Weaving Man page.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Sequel News!

Love the book and can't wait for the next one 
- Kathryn L. Gauny, February 3, 2017

really enjoyed this book and am anticipating the sequel
The writing is excellent, and the story is well crafted. It held my attention throughout. I recommend this.
 - Lauren G, January 10, 2017

Loved this book!
Can't wait for the next in series!
- Robin Smith-DeBrayon, January 26, 2017

I just wanted to dedicate a post to the next book in the series, as these reviews and quite a few more focus on readers’ anticipation of the sequel to Weaving Man.

Weaving Man is the first book in a four volume series that focuses on the lives of Menders, Katrin, Hemmett, Borsen and the other characters who have caught readers' imaginations. 

The next book is titled Love and Sacrifice, and picks up where Weaving Man ends. It will be followed by the third book, Eirdon and the final book in the story arc, The Light At The Top Of The World.

I am on a schedule to release Love and Sacrifice during April, 2017. So far, things are going well. I'm coming out of a very busy time at my day job, and can afford a little time off, so I don’t anticipate delays.


And now, back to the keyboard!