Saturday, December 24, 2011

How Angels Celebrate Christmas

I thought I'd post a short story I wrote last year in honor of Christmas. It's not really related to Irowasa or my fantasy writing, but I hope you will enjoy it anyway.

Also, please note that I've made some changes to the post: The Great Magic War which is part of the Silver Sword Saga. If you've been following the Silver Sword Saga you will want to read the new version of this episode before continuing the rest of the series.

Have a Merry Christmas!

How Angels Celebrate Christmas

A golden haired angel stood framed by pine trees against a background of dark blue night sky dotted with falling snowflakes. Her pale blue gown billowed around her, soft white feathered wings pointed upward toward the heavens and...

Eleven year old Miranda’s small hand closed around the body of the ceramic angel. She wound the key on the bottom of the stand and listened to the tinkling flute-like notes of “Angels We Have Heard on High”. Her grandmother had given her the music box last Christmas. This year the angel rested on the windowsill of Miranda’s bedroom, lending it Christmas spirit. Miranda put the music box back in its place. Her big brown eyes followed the spinning angel as the song played.

She thought about the Bible story her mom read her earlier, the one where the angel visited the shepherds to tell them about Jesus’ birth. Why did angels never come like that to people nowadays? Was it a waste of time to dream about seeing angels?

A sudden gust of wind sent snowflakes swirling. Miranda’s window burst open, letting in a wave of cold air which bit at her cheeks and chilled her through her red and green striped pajamas. Miranda stepped forward and placed a hand on the window intending to close it. She hesitated when the swirling snow outside formed a shape which looked like a face. Thin tendrils similar to fingers beckoned. Miranda let go of the window and reached out to the figure forming in the snowy night. The frosty fingers closed around her arm and she found herself sucked into the chilly winter air.

She soared over a grove of pine trees with her dark brown hair streaming behind her. The bottoms of her slippers brushed the roof of her neighbor’s house. She glanced upward, squinting against falling snow which brushed her skin like a million tiny kisses. The figure holding her shifted in and out of focus as the soft wind caught the flakes forming it. The snowy person returned Miranda’s gaze and a smile split the swirling ice crystals. Several large flakes curved over the figure’s head like wings. Miranda gasped as she realized what she was seeing. She was flying with an angel, a real angel! The angel changed course, shooting upward through the cold wet mass of clouds. They leveled off to hover against a backdrop of stars with a roiling bank of grey and white below them lit by the silver half moon.

The angel had solidified into a man with friendly brown eyes, close cropped black hair and a goatee. He was wearing blue jeans and a plain white sweatshirt. Only his wings remained insubstantial, swirling like they were still snowflakes in the wind.

“Well, do you still think you’re wasting your time on thoughts of angels?” he asked.

“No way. I just never thought I’d see a real angel,” Miranda admitted. “This is amazing!”

“You haven’t seen amazing yet,” the angel laughed. “I’m just a Guardian Angel. Wait until you see the big guys.”

The world blurred and twisted around them until Miranda was no longer sure which way was up and which down. When at last they stilled there was no solid ground beneath them but only dark sky. Twinkling lights surrounded them on every side and Miranda realized they were standing among the stars. Points of sharp white light flared against the dark background, materializing into people with glowing bodies wearing clothes of all different styles and colors. Some of these angels appeared as solid flesh and bone while others were as insubstantial as mist. Many flickered in and out of focus. To Miranda’s left hovered a group of musicians in colorful choir robes warming up their voices and tuning instruments, sending up notes as crystal clear as the winter air. To the left smaller angels who looked like children of varying ages slid down the Milky Way laughing and sending up puffs of stardust. Miranda stared in wide eyed wonder. There were thousands of angels, millions of angels, too many angels to count.

A hush fell over the heavenly host as seven regal people appeared in the center of the gathering. Miranda’s attention was drawn to three men standing at the front of the group. In the center was a warrior with brown hair and intense blue eyes wearing combat boots and a breastplate over a camouflage suit. He had a pistol and a long knife hanging from his belt. A rifle and a curved sword were strapped across his back. To his right was a man with bright green eyes and blond hair combed to the side in an elegant fashion. He was dressed in a silky white tuxedo. On the other side of the warrior was a dark skinned man with curly black hair, a beard and warm brown eyes. He was wearing worn jeans, hiking boots and a leather jacket.

“Ah, the archangels are here,” said Miranda’s Guardian pointing at them.

The angel in the white suit nodded to the choir who strummed their instruments and burst into song. It was the most beautiful sound Miranda ever heard. She was sure she had never heard the melody before, yet there was something familiar about it which tugged at her heart strings. The angels captured soft delicate sounds which no human musician ever could. Their songs sent shivers of excitement down Miranda’s spine. The movements of all the angels complimented the music. The effect was beautiful to the point of being a taste of perfection. A point of light spread outward from one big bright star, dominating the sky. The voices of the choir reached a crescendo while the other angels cheered.

“This is the best part of the Christmas celebration,” said Miranda’s Guardian Angel, his face shining.

The light enveloped them, sucking them to a new time and place. When it faded Miranda found herself standing in a rough stone building which smelled of hay and animals. A young dark haired woman wearing a blue dress lay on a pile of straw. Beside her sat a tired looking man with his arms wrapped around her shoulders. In front of them was a small feeding trough in which slept a new born baby wrapped in a tight blanket. It was the baby which created the central point of everything in this stable. Though He did not glow like the half-visible angels, energy emanated from the child filling Miranda with a warm sense of peace and love. The feeling was so strong she wondered if her heart would burst.

The scene shifted again and Miranda found herself hovering over a grassy field lit by the intense glow of the many angels around her. Small white animals lay scattered in the field and she realized they were a flock of sheep. The shepherds stared at the angels in amazement as the choir sang “Glory to God in the Highest”. When the song ended the blurring, twisting sensation came back, carrying Miranda and the angels once again to the spot among the stars. The angels flew around this space greeting each other and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. One by one they vanished, smiling with joy.

“Where are they going?” asked Miranda.

“They go to spread the true message of Christmas on Earth,” her Guardian Angel replied. “Some people need to hear the story for the first time. Many others know it but need to be reminded.”

Miranda thought of all the times she had heard the story of Christ’s birth. She suddenly felt ashamed of the times she had focused on thoughts of the presents she would receive rather than thinking about why Christmas was so important. She remembered the baby and the feeling of love He brought. That love was so much better than all the presents in the world.

“I can help remind other people what Christmas is about too,” she said.

Her Guardian smiled and said, “I hope you will. Now it is time for you to return to your house.”

He took Miranda’s arms and the sky twisted again. When it stopped Miranda was standing in her bedroom as the last notes of the music box faded. Outside her window the snow formed a face before dissipating in a burst of wind which pulled the window pane shut. Miranda turned at the sound of her door opening.

Her mother stepped inside and said, “All right, Miranda, time for bed.” She paused, her green eyes widening before she exclaimed, “Oh! Where did all these feathers come from?”

Miranda glanced at the floor and saw that it was covered with downy white feathers.

“Don’t worry mom, I’ll pick them up,” she said scooping up a handful of soft feathers and grinning.


On Christmas morning Miranda walked up and down her street stuffing homemade Christmas cards into the mailboxes of all her neighbors. Before placing the last card in the last mailbox she looked it over a final time. On the front of the card she had drawn a picture of an angel with wings made from the feathers she had found in her room. Inside the card Miranda had written this message:

Christmas is...

Humble king
Silent Night
True love
Mary, mother of God
Angel choirs
Savior of the world

Don’t forget what makes this holiday special.
The cards were signed:
A friendly angel.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Re-release of The Jericho Effect Paperbacks!

I'm pleased to announce that The Jericho Effect is now available for sale in paperback from Createspace and for the price of $10.00 just in time for Christmas! Click here to view the Createspace e-store and here to view the book on Amazon. You can also visit the Createspace e-store page by clicking The Jericho Effect's cover picture in the sidebar. The book is also still available from Kindle for the price of $5.00 for those of you who have e-readers.

If you like teen fantasy stories or know someone who enjoys it, please consider buying the book. Thanks and happy reading!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Next Year's Plans for the Blog

Hello readers! After my beautiful and wonderfully fun wedding I'm back to writing. I thought I'd drop a quick note to let you know my ideas for new writing projects so you'll know what to expect from me in the coming year.

First of all I am making paperback copies of The Jericho Effect available for $10.00 from and the Createspace e-store just in time for Christmas. This would make a perfect gift for any fantasy loving teen readers in your household. The book is also available from Kindle for $5.00. Consider downloading it if your teens have electronic readers.

I am working on a 2 part ending to the Silver Sword Saga. I will post both these episodes on different weeks in January. I plan to release the full collection of Silver Sword stories for sale in the spring. In the meantime you can catch up on past Silver Sword episodes by going to the post: Forging and following the links through the rest of the series.

This coming year I will be editing Quest 2: Penumbra, sequel to Quest: A Time of Training in hopes of being able to release the 2nd book over the summer. Click here to preview the prologue and opening episode of the new book and watch for more details.

Last, I have some new ideas on the horizon such as a new series of short stories for the blog once the Silver Sword Saga is finished. More on that after New Years. For now take care, happy reading and good luck with preparing for Christmas!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Revamped for Halloween

I really was hoping to post the last chapter of the Silver Sword Saga in time for Halloween since it is a monster story. Since that was not able to happen this year I've decided to do something else instead. I've revamped one of my short stories, Fall of Sardi, which is a darker legend and fits the mood of the month. Fall of Sardi will become available for $0.99 in the Kindle store within the next couple days. Aside from a few minor updates to the text, the changes you can expect to see are this dramatic new cover picture:

And this improved product description:

Emperor Destarus is well on his way to crushing enemy kingdoms and making the corrupt Sardi empire the most powerful in the world of Irowasa until a strange messenger comes from the mighty Lord of Light to place a terrible curse on the land of Sardi.

Keep an eye open for the revamped version of this short story and Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 3, 2011

End of Jericho Effect's Limited Edition Sale

Just thought I'd let everyone know that the limited edition copies of The Jericho Effect are no longer available. A Kindle version of the book will remain available for $5.00 in the next couple months until the reprint of the paperback which will most likely be sometime in December. You can click here to visit the book's Kindle page.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fall 2011 News

Hello blog readers!

I wanted to write a quick note to explain that my writing projects have been interrupted by this crazy thing called LIFE! That brings me to my first and most important piece of news: on November 12, 2011 I am going to marry my childhood friend, Brien Hartung. Because I will be spending the next two months focusing on wedding preparations, all my writing projects are being put on hold until after November. This includes the conclusion of the Silver Sword Saga which I was originally planning to release around Halloween, the release of the Silver Sword anthology and my work on Quests 2.

In other news I plan to continue using "Rebekah Prudhomme" as my pen-name. If you wish to find updates on my writing projects you can continue to follow this blog, go to my Amazon Author Central page, or if you use Facebook "like" my brand new author fan page.

Also, this is the last month I will be selling the limited edition copies of The Jericho Effect. If you wish to buy a limited edition in either paperback or Kindle THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO DO SO. However, I may also make regular copies of The Jericho Effect available around Christmas time depending on how busy I am.

Lastly, several of my stories are still up for sale online, so please consider buying them and supporting my writing efforts.

Until I return to my writing some time after November I wish you happy reading!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Silver Sword Saga: Coronation of the Second Fairy Queen

This piece of the saga explains what happened to the Silver Sword after the end of the Magic War as well as a change in leadership which took place in Fairy Wood at the same time.

For back links to the rest of the Silver Sword Saga please refer to the post: Great Magic War.

Coronation of the Second Fairy Queen

Let the praise of God be on their lips and a two-edged sword in their hand, to deal out vengeance to the nations and punishment on all the peoples.
Psalm 149: 6-7

Elmonrona leaned against a narrow tree, pressing a hand to the scar on her right side between two of her ribs where the sorcerer, Drazil had wounded her had hunted him down with the last of his followers after the war. She stood panting for a minute as the pale spring sunlight filtered through the budding leaves of Fairy Wood’s canopy. Even the short walk from her hut to the dancing meadow often left her out of breath nowadays. The wound was like an eternal stitch in her side.

A small swarm of colorful, giggling pixies the size of dragonflies buzzed passed Elmonrona’s left ear. As they flew in the direction of the meadow, Elmonrona straightened, adjusted the position of the Silver Sword’s sheath on her sash and proceeded with slow steps.

The edges of the great meadow were crowded with fairies and elves of all shapes and sizes. Fine garments, pointed ears and every kind of fairy wing from feathered to insect-like were visible around the wide circle. Many smaller fairies such as pixies and the butterfly-winged flower fairies perched in the overhanging branches of the trees surrounding the clearing. The whole area buzzed with excited chatter and laughter. Pixie dust clogged the air, glittering in the sunlight and tickling the nose.

A sudden hush fell on the crowd as two tall fairy women in dresses of pale green, one with black hair the other silver, glided on huge gauzy wings over the heads of the gathered people and into the center of the meadow. As they landed and folded their wings, the regal women scanned the crowd with their intense blue eyes.

At last the silver haired woman spoke. “Citizens of Fairy Wood and distinguished guests, I have been honored to guide the fairy people as their queen for several centuries. Yet, with the recent shift in the balance of magic, my reign has come to an end. It is time for me to retire to the Kingdom of Light. I leave my people and this forest in the care of my daughter, Vale, a good and wise woman who will rule with justice in the coming centuries. As she is younger than I, she will be able to adjust to the changing times. Trust her judgment in all things.”

Turning to Vale the queen asked, “Do you swear in the name of the Lord of Light to uphold and enforce the just laws of the fairy people and of Light?”

“I swear it,” Vale answered.

“Will you guide and protect the fairy people as long as your reign shall last?”

“I will.”

“Will you always act as a willing vessel for the magic of Fairy Wood, distributing it according to the will of the Lord of Light?”

“I will,” said Vale.

The fairy queen nodded, removed a wreath of daisies from her own head and placed it on Vale’s. She then kissed Vale once on each cheek and said, “May the Lord of Light bless you with a long and fruitful reign.” Turning to the assembled fairies and elves she added in a louder voice, “Fairy people, I give you your new queen!”

Elmonrona joined in the cheers which rang out all around the meadow, her voice melding with a million others. The crowd surged forward to congratulate Vale and swear their loyalty to her. As the fairies welcomed their new queen, the form of the old one grew transparent. With a last wistful smile, the first queen of fairy wood vanished from Irowasa. Elmonrona watched her passing then sighed and joined a line of fairies and elves waiting their turn to speak with the new queen.

When at last she came face to face with Vale, Elmonrona bowed as low as her wound would allow and said, “I want to wish you a blessed reign, my old friend. I remain your loyal servant, as I was to your mother.”

“You are far more to me than a servant,” said Vale with a warm smile. “I have never had reason to question your loyalty.”

“I wish to return something that rightfully belongs under your care,” Elmonrona continued.
She undid the knot of her sash, slipped the Silver Sword and its sheath off it and handed it hilt first to Vale. The new queen took it, then met Elmonrona’s eyes with a look of shock.

“Are you resigning?” asked Vale.

“My wound makes me no good to you as a monster hunter,” Elmonrona replied. “Besides, defeating Drazil was the task for which I was entrusted with the sword and I have accomplished that. It is time for you to take guardianship of the Silver Sword. I know that whatever hero you choose to wield it next will be more than deserving of the honor.”
“But what will you do now?” Vale pressed.

“I will lead a quiet life here in Fairy Wood until you find me some task better suited to my more limited skill set.”

“Very well,” the queen agreed. “Enjoy your quiet life. You have more than earned it.”

Elmonrona bowed again and melted into the crowd.

Silver Sword Saga continued in Terrible Gift.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Silver Sword Saga: The Great Magic War

The full deeds of the hero, Elmonrona as she wielded the Silver Sword are related in the chronicles of Irowasa’s magic war. I will here relate only a few tales of the exploits of Elmonrona and the Silver Sword during the war.

For the Silver Sword's background please refer to Forging and the 1st Unworthy.

For the story of the 1st hero refer to Swan Warrior parts 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.

For the second hero's story refer to Fairy Vault.

For the tale of how Elmonrona obtained the sword refer to Riddle of the Stones.

The Great Magic War

Let the praise of God be on their lips and a two-edged sword in their hand, to deal out vengeance to the nations and punishment on all the peoples.
Psalm 149: 6-7

Defense of Windola

Elmonrona marched in time with fairy and human soldiers as they crossed the northern plains of Windola to fight against Drazil’s army of monsters and magicians which even now advanced to meet them. The warm spring sun heated her back through her spell resistant armor. On her hips she wore a thick brown Algamise battle sash. In the traditional style of Algamar, the sash was knotted over her right hip opposite the sheath of the Silver Sword hanging at her left hip.

A winter of searching had led her to discovering thousands of magicians and legions of monsters joining Drazil in causing chaos in the villages of the kingdom, Windola. Elmonrona had formed an alliance with other warriors dedicated to keeping the magicians and monsters in check and with them had rallied the armies of Windola and Fairy Wood to face the Dark army.

A wave of dark spots broke out of the ranks of the Dark army and lifted into the air. Elmonrona squinted passed the edge of her helmet until she made out the individual shapes of harpies, witches on broomsticks, dragons ridden by wizards, and some strange kind of monsters which looked like giant bats. Once they leveled off over their army, this air unit wheeled and made straight for the advancing army of Windola.

“Incoming!” Elmonrona shouted.

The archers sent up a volley of arrows and crossbow bolts. Several monsters dropped from the sky while those remaining dodged the missiles and continued their forward flight. Beating their mighty wings, griffins, dragons and winged horses with elven riders rose from the center of the Windolise army. They were joined over the plains by the airwalker squadron with whom they flew to meet the oncoming threat. The opposing air forces crashed in the sky between the two armies with an explosion of popping spells, ringing weapons, animal screeches and the sickening noise of claws tearing through flesh. Bloody feathers and scales rained onto the grassy fields like confetti. Enemy dragons sent streams of fire at each other turning the air several degrees warmer. Then the first ranks of foot soldiers broke through the goblins and trolls forming the front lines of the Dark army. This forced Elmonrona to focus her full attention on the action taking place around her on the ground.

A bow legged troll with thick wiry black hair covering his body leapt the first couple rows of soldiers. He hurtled toward Elmonrona with an evil gleam in his beady eyes, extending thick claws to rip at her face. Elmonrona lifted the point of the Silver Sword and, unable to turn aside in time to save himself, the monster impaled himself on the blade. As more trolls swarmed over the army she pulled her sword free. Another troll jumped toward her and she dispatched it in the same way as the first. A band of slimy skinned goblins fought their way through the soldiers to join their troll allies. As Elmonrona faced them, the goblins snarled at her with yellowed fags and brandished weapons made of sharp unfinished chips of metal. Accepting the challenge, she swung the Silver Sword over her head then stabbed it into the armored chest of the closest goblin. Another green monster moved forward and raised his piece of scrap metal to block her sword. As soon as the Silver Sword touched it, the jagged metal snapped. The goblin turned and retreated as fast as his legs would carry him.

Two dragons dipped out of the sky and opened their giant jaws to send out jets of flame which set a section of the Windolise and fairy army on fire. Screams of agony and the smell of burning hair soon filled the plains. The archers shot a volley at the dragons who turned and flew a crooked path back to their masters, landing behind magician lines. As frost fairies worked to extinguish the fires, the Windolise and fairy archers shot until the witches and other air monsters were also forced to retreat. Feeling this shift in the tides, Elmonrona pushed back against the magicians and monsters, forcing them to yield the ground they had recently gained. At the sight of the Dark army falling back, the members of the army of Windola and Fairy Wood rallied to fight with all a last resort of strength they hadn’t known they still possessed. Monsters were hacked down by their blades and the spells the magicians shot in their direction were useless to stop them. The beasts and magic users who survived the new advance of their enemies scattered into a mass of confused chaos. Elmonrona saw the sun glint off the spike capping Drazil’s quarterstaff as he signaled a full retreat.

“Do not back down now!” she shouted to her fellow troops. “This is the chance we have been waiting for. Let us drive the Dark army out of Windola.”

While the healers moved to tend to the wounded, Elmonrona raised the Silver Sword and led the chase of the retreating magicians’ army.


Elmonrona rolled off a shelf of rock, landed in a crouch and drew the Silver Sword. She readied herself to fight her way through the sorcerer, Drazil’s mercenary soldiers who surrounded the commanders of the army of Light.

Following their defeat in Windola, the Dark Magicians had attacked the plains of the kingdom, Rovinien. Elmonrona and the army of Light had marched through the kingdom freeing villages from the Dark Magicians’ control. Just as the victory of the army of Light seemed assured, Drazil lured the leaders of the army of Light into this ambush in a quarry near the Holman Forest.

Four soldiers stepped toward Elmonrona but Drazil waved them back. He lifted his quarterstaff, holding it in a ready position in front of himself and waited. Elmonrona charged. Drazil brought up the edge of his staff and caught the Silver Sword on one of the spikes. Knocking the blade aside he jabbed at her but Elmonrona sliced downward, successfully blocking him. They circled the edge of the quarry trading blows for several minutes. Elmonrona knocked aside one end of Drazil’s stick and slid the Silver Sword under his guard, nicking his right arm with the tip of her blade. Drazil brought up the other side of the staff and succeeded in slamming her against the cliff before she could block the blow. She gasped and flinched at the pain which shot up her spine from the force of the blow. Drazil pulled back his staff and she fell at his feet. He kicked the Silver Sword out of her hand and nodded to two of the soldiers who pulled her to her feet, tied her hands in front of her and shoved her to the center of the quarry. There they pushed her to her knees beside the other Warriors of Light who already knelt there.

“I’m afraid this is where our fight comes to an end,” said Drazil. “Swear an oath never to oppose the use of magical powers by humans I will let you live.”

Elmonrona felt cold with sweat and could now hear the fast drumbeat of her own heart. She balled her clammy palms into fists to keep her hands from shaking and forced herself to appear calm.

She raised her eyes to meet Drazil and said in a steady voice, “I’ve already made vows to others in power. Such a promise would force me to break my other oaths and that is something I cannot do. I will remain your enemy to my last breath.”

Drazil sighed and turned to the soldiers saying, “You have your orders.”

Then he turned and made his way up a thin trail leading out of the great stone pit. The soldiers produced several chains which they locked around the warriors’ legs. Once this task was finished, the soldiers hurried up the path out of the quarry.

A minute after the soldiers reached the top, Drazil appeared directly above Elmonrona and her companions where he raised his staff and brought it down with a mighty spell which split the rocks. They slid downward with and earsplitting booming, cracking noise. Elmonrona watched with horror as the rockslide tumbled toward her, sealing victory for Drazil and the Dark Magicians.

The Treaty of Algamar

Cool, fresh mountain air bathed Elmonrona’s face as she made her way passed a large collection of canvas tents now dotting the Algamise plains. The half-wild country, Algamar had become a safe haven for all who still resisted the Dark Magicians’ rule. After surviving the rock slide by cramming inside a crack in the quarry wall, Elmonrona had reached Algamar through the help of a fairy warrior secretly helping the cause of Light from a position near Drazil’s new headquarters. This warrior also succeeded in rescuing the Silver Sword from the magicians’ treasuries and restoring it to Elmonrona.

Drazil himself had marched on Algamar shortly after Elmonrona’s arrival in hope of crushing the resistance. Elmonrona had been kept busy for weeks hunting down a new monster Drazil created called the werewolf when for it was discovered that these beasts were allergic to silver.

The tide had turned when a number of magicians met with the leaders of the army of Light to negotiate the terms of a treaty to end the war. Today the leaders would read the treaty they had recently finished writing.

Elmonrona could feel the heightened excitement of soldiers crowded around small fires as she passed them. She stopped near the center of the camp which was dominated by a huge pavilion one side of which was rolled up. A thick wooden table holding a quill pen and bottle of ink sat in the open space. A wizard stood in front of the table holding a long scroll of parchment. All eyes turned toward him as he unrolled his scroll and read it aloud in a voice amplified with magic so the entire camp could hear him.

“Understanding that the use of magic is a blessing and magic used simply for selfish gain is a misuse of power, the magicians of Irowasa swear to uphold the promises here made: Magic shall be used for the purposes of enhancing the world and assisting those less powerful. Magic shall not be used to intentionally harm or kill another person, especially someone without magic.

“Magicians shall find a gathering place in every country where they shall hold council to discuss all important matters of magic. They shall choose for themselves council leaders based on the strength of their power and their wisdom in leading others. They must defer to the decisions of their council leaders in matters of magic. In all other matters they must abide by the laws of the countries in which they reside. Magicians shall be responsible for training future generations of magic users in the proper uses of magic.

“The councils shall teach control of the elements but shall not promote the use of demon control magic. Magicians practicing darker forms of magic shall be left to their own devises and not condemned for their powers unless these powers cause them to break the terms of this treaty or violate the laws of the countries in which they live as citizens. All other magicians will be considered members of the council representing the country in which they reside. By these regulations and those of our future councils we promise to practice a healthy form of magic.”

Once he finished reading, the wizard placed the scroll on the table, picked up the quill and signed his name as one of the charter’s writers. Next he held the pen out to Elmonrona. She took it, gave him a small nod and added her name. Sixteen magicians chosen as representatives extracted themselves from the crowd.

Before they reached the table, Drazil stepped forward to block their path and cried, “Are you all deaf? This charter is very friendly to wizards but to those of us who use demon control magic such as witches, warlocks and sorcerers, not so much. Also, why should we have to answer to the laws of the rulers of Irowasa? Isn’t it enough that we be ruled by our own council leaders? At least they would be magicians like us. You never know when there may be a king with a prejudice against magicians. Such a king might make laws limiting the uses of magic and according to this charter you would be forced to obey such laws.”

“This is the best opportunity magicians have ever had,” said one of the representatives. “I believe this is the future of magic and so I will sign the charter.”

The others agreed.

Drazil replied in a low threatening voice, “Sign away, it will do you no good. I promise you this treaty will never reach the other kingdoms. In fact it will never make it over the mountains. It will remain in the wilds of Algamar where it will soon be forgotten. Meanwhile the loyal members of the real magicians’ army will regain their control of the kingdoms of Rovinien, Caramyth and Windola.”

Elmonrona stepped forward to lean her hands against the edge of the table catching Drazil’s attention with the action.

“No matter how many times you attack them,” she said matching his low threatening tone, “I swear I will always be there to stop you.”

Drazil shook his head with a half smile. He then turned to the crowd of magicians and yelled, “If you are displeased with the terms of this charter come away from here with me.”

A handful of other magicians joined him.

“The treaty will be delivered to the other kingdoms,” said Elmonrona once Drazil’s followers were out of earshot. “I will go after Drazil and the last of his followers with a spell of banishment from the fairy queen. They stand no chance against it. Drazil has lost.”

The Silver Sword Saga is continued in Coronation of the Second Fairy Queen.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quests 2 Preview!

I'm pleased to announce the release of an online preview for Penumbra book 2 in my Quests series. You can view the preview by clicking on the book's name above. The preview contains the book's prologue and opening episode. Please note that the episode numbers are continued from book 1, therefore Episode 20 is the opening of book 2. Please feel free to leave me some feedback and enjoy the preview!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Limited Edition Release!

To quote a song from a Disney cartoon, "It's here, the moment you've been waiting for!" That's right, the limited edition copies of The Jericho Effect are now for sale in paperback from Createspace and e-book from the Kindle store. Clearly some of you really have been waiting for this as several copies sold in the first day the book was available. At the end of September I will evaluate how the book did to decide if I will have a second print-run over the Christmas holidays and possibly make the book available for good. Still, this is your chance to get one of those limited edition copies to show off to your friends and keep as a collector's item, so please help me to keep my sales up over the summer. You can visit The Jericho Effect's Createspace e-store any time from now until September by clicking the picture of its cover in the sidebar of the blog. If you need any additional information don't hesitate to let me know in the comments or by dropping me an e-mail.

Other News

As an exciting development in my personal life and some family events will be keeping me busy over the summer, I have decided to delay the release of my new series of stories involving the sorcerer king of Rovinien until sometime next year.

I plan to release an anthology of the Silver Sword Saga Stories some time next year after the final Silver Sword story is featured here on the blog. If you are interested in this series or would like more information please let me know.

I have been revising a draft of Quests 2: Penumbra and plan to put up a preview of that book sometime this summer. Please continue to watch for details.

If you are interested in buying any of my other stories, please refer to the links in the post, "Stories For Sale!" or drop me an e-mail.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stories For Sale!

This month I have some exciting news which I hope will interest you. I have decided to sell a number of my stories online for affordable prices. Those of you who have Kindle devices can download my stories from the Amazon Kindle Store. Below you will find the titles accompanied by a brief description of each story.

A couple quick notes: I have changed the name of Norin’s story to “Swan Warrior”. The full collection of “Silver Sword Saga” stories will be released some time next year (2012) after one last Silver Sword wielder’s story appears here. Also, I am planning a new series of stories, the details of which you will also find below. Also please check out my new author page on Amazon and let me know what you think of it.

Short Stories
Available from the Kindle for the prices listed here.

Legend of Nomenie - $0.99
Curiosity about the world causes a fire spirit named Nomenie to leave her volcanic home. When she accidentally begins burning everything in her path, Nomenie struggles to find a purpose besides destruction for her talents.

Swan Warrior (a 5 part story) – $0.99
After his clan is wiped out by a raiding party of Rovinien soldiers, a young warrior named Norin takes up the magical Silver Sword of Irowasa to defend the clans of the midlands from the warriors of Rovinien and slavers of Sardi as the two kingdoms battle for control of the land.

Fall of Sardi – $0.99
Emperor Destarus is well on his way to crushing enemy kingdoms and making the corrupt Sardi empire the most powerful in the world of Irowasa until a strange messenger comes from the mighty Lord of Light to place a terrible curse on the land of Sardi.

Quests Series

Book 1: A Time of Training

When a lost monster and an unusual gift lead to poisoned water in Fairy Wood, servants of Light and Darkness cut their training short to accomplish quests, some for revenge; others to protect the forest.

Book 2: Penumbra (coming soon!)

As the fairies and elves to struggle to drive the goblins and trolls out of the forest, their goals are threatened by Princess Beritta’s struggle with an inner darkness.

Watch for a preview of Quests 2: Penumbra in the next few months.

Check out the stories and happy reading!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Limited Time Offer: Summer 2011

Coming to you as a limited special edition in Kindle and paperback this summer...

Everyone who asked to read The Jericho Effect, this is your chance! Offer lasts from May - September 2011. Spread the word and don't miss out on this oportunity.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

ABNA 2011 Round 1

The lists are now up announcing the authors and novels which made the cut and will advance to the 2nd round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Sadly, my novel, The Jericho Effect, did not make the cut this year. I'm not too disappointed since I know I was up against some really great fellow aspiring authors. I intend to continue to follow the contest and support these other writers and I encourage my readers to do the same.

What does not making the cut mean for The Jericho Effect? Simple, it means it is time to look into other plans for moving this novel forward in the future. I was considering getting a few copies out to friends and family via print-on-demand and e-book over the summer. If you might be interested in obtaining a copy in this way please let me know and I'll be sure to keep you updated.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Fall of Sardi

Since the cruel Sardi Empire featured so prominently in a few previous posts such as Swan Warrior part 4 and Fairy Vault I felt I should explain what became of this country. So I present this retelling of an old "wrath of God" sort of legend.

The Fall of Sardi

Emperor Destarus, the man chosen by the gods to rule the mighty people of Sardi, stood in the palace gardens among the rare and exotic plants. Beyond the garden walls was Carmac, capital city and heart of the Sardi Empire. Destarus drank in the smells of spices, the cries of merchants from the market and the sight of the domes and spires rising from the rainforest. The jewels on his tunic glittered in the light of the setting sun. He ran a finger over the hilt of a long scimitar which hung at his side. It was made of a rare black metal only found in Sardi. For that reason it was the symbol of the empire. Closing his eyes for a moment Destarus ran the reports of his generals through his mind.

The king of the enemy country, Windola, had sent more soldiers to meet the warriors of Sardi in battle. Soon Sardi would destroy Windola and its poisonous religion of Light. Windola had made an alliance with Rovinien, which worried Destarus at first for the warriors of Rovinien were just as fierce as those of Sardi and probably the only army in the world who stood a chance against the nearly invincible forces of his empire. Still, the gods favored Sardi, for Destarus’ army was crushing those of Rovinien and Windola. This thought brought a smile to his lips.

His smile faded as he recalled the recent sea battle in which the coastal country, Caramyth had crippled his fleet and forced him to relinquish land along the eastern coast. Caramyth never had approved of Sardi’s slave trade. They had taken things too far by blockading the coast so that no Sardi ships could reach the islands where they usually rounded up slaves. Why the gods didn’t punish the people of Caramyth for their arrogance was beyond Destarus. When he had stormed into the temple and demanded this answer of the high priest, the priest had said, “I do not understand why we have suffered this terrible defeat but we must not blame it on the gods lest they become angry with us.”

Perhaps I should have him executed for his stupidity, Destarus thought.

A soft rustle of fabric cut through his thoughts. He frowned. How many times did he have to tell the palace slaves not to enter the garden when he was thinking? He opened his eyes ready to order the disrespectful slave beaten. The words died on his lips at the sight of a beautiful dark skinned woman clothed in a white dress with long silky black hair spilling down her back. A sword hung from a gold colored belt at her waist and there was more intensity in her rich brown eyes than Destarus had seen in any other person.

After a moment of staring Destarus composed himself and demanded, “Who are you? How did you get passed my guards? You are not supposed to be here!”

“I have been sent by the Lord of Light because the entire world cries out against the evil deeds of your empire,” she said. “The Lord of Light has looked into your heart and found it lacking. I have been sent to punish you for your wrongs and your arrogance.”

“I have the blessing of the gods,” Destarus laughed. “You and your Lord can never harm me.”

“Let us see what your gods’ protection really amounts to,” said the messenger and there was a sudden hardness in her eyes.

She drew her sword revealing that it was made of flames. Raising it above her head she brought it down with a powerful thrust to stab the ground before the emperor’s feet. Destarus staggered backward in shock as all the plants touched by the sword’s flames withered and died leaving a patch of empty dirt. The messenger pulled her sword out of the earth and stepped toward the garden gate. Destarus stood still for a moment staring in wonder at the dry spot front of him.

At last he recovered and called to the guards, “Stop that woman!”

Several guards moved to block her path but she slipped passed them all and out the gate.

“After her!” Destarus yelled drawing his black scimitar. “She must not be allowed to escape.”

The guards moved to surround him and together they followed the messenger into the city. She was easy to spot in her pale dress as she wandered the streets. The flaming sword she held high shone like a torch in the gathering darkness. Yet no matter how fast Destarus and his guards moved, she was always a few steps ahead of them.

At last she reached the wide market square where she paused. When the emperor signaled his guards to rush forward to grab her, the sword flared up until it was hot enough to crack a few paving stones. They halted and raised their arms to shield their faces from the dry heat wave. Unhindered by her enemies, the messenger called out in a terrible commanding voice that cut straight through Destarus’ heart.

“All you who are enslaved come to me. Your masters can no longer harm you, so fear them no more. Follow me and I will lead you to the freedom you have been praying for.”

The first group of slaves appeared between the buildings at the edge of the square. As they passed the woman their eyes glowed with hope. She waved them to continue walking and soon what seemed like an endless stream of people walked away from Carmac.

“Get back to your work!” Destarus screamed. “Your masters will have you all beaten.”

None of them paid him any attention. He took a step forward to block their path but again the sword flared up, forcing him back. All the plants growing at the edges of the market dissolved into piles of sand but the slaves were not harmed.

As the procession continued the messenger cried out again, “People of Sardi, do not follow the example of your emperor for he has doomed your country. Come with me and be spared of the evil which is coming upon all who stay behind.”

Destarus felt a twinge of guilt at her words but he suppressed it before it could become remorse. Citizens of Sardi came out of their houses and joined the procession.

“Don’t listen to her, she is a deceiver,” called the emperor. When again no one listened to him he added, “You will bring the curse of the gods upon yourself!”

Still, none of the people stopped. Three of Destarus’ guards dropped their weapons and joined those walking out of the city. Destarus cursed at them but they too ignored him.

At last the procession moved out of sight. The Messenger of Light made one last mighty sweep at Destarus and his remaining guards before following the slaves and people of Sardi into the night. Destarus ground his teeth and sheathed his scimitar as he considered what to do next. There was a sudden rush of wind which gave a mighty whooshing sound and filled with him foreboding. A moment later the guards cried out in alarm and the few people remaining in the city screamed. A giant wave of sand swept over Carmac burying the city and those in it even as they ran in a vain attempt to escape.


It was daylight by the time Emperor Destarus dug his way out of a pile of sand and lay gasping on the dune. After catching his breath he got to his feet to better take in his surroundings. There was not another living being in sight, only miles of sand in every direction. Here and there the remains of towers poked out of the desert landscape. To his left rose the Emerald Mountains, as green as their name implied. In a daze Destarus staggered across the shifting sands without a clear destination.

He continued walking for the rest of the day as the sun beat down on his back and the dry winds parched his skin. When he was so hot and tired he could walk no more he sank to his knees and stared at the mirages shimmering in the desert air. An image of the Messenger of Light appeared in the haze. She pointed at something. When Destarus looked where she indicated more images appeared. The mirage showed him the slaves and refugees from Sardi. He saw them making homes in the wilderness. The wind whispered the name of the new country they would form: Algamar. Somehow he understood that this word meant freedom in the new dialect made of Sardi’s language combined with that of the islanders who had been enslaved.

Destarus glared at the messenger, enraged at the thought of Sardi’s proud bloodline being mixed with that of lowly slaves. He drew his black scimitar, raised it and stabbed at her. The blade passed through her image and smashed against a rock, shattering as if to show him that Sardi was truly no more. This show of passion drained the last of his strength. He fell to the ground, all the life leaving his body. The wind blew and sand covered him.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 2011 News

The New Year's here and with it new writing ideas. Yet what do I find myself doing? Editing an old project! Amazon has announced this year's breakthrough novel award and as I've never been one to pass up a good writing opportunity, I'm back to editing The Jericho Effect which made it to the quarterfinals last year. I've decided to give this novel one last shot at this contest before sending it out to agents. If you'd like to follow The Jericho Effect's progress in this year's contest please check out its new Facebook page.

Also, if any of you would like copies of my Irowasan novels, Quests: A Time of Training, or the Jericho Effect, please let me know. I still have Quests for sale online. Contact me for more details and stay tuned for news on future projects.