The Missing Audiobooks
Hello everyone! I hope 2018 is treating everyone well! This is a post I’ve been wanting to do for a while and hopefully not only will you understand why there are no other audiobooks but maybe, you might want to try to fix that. Read on to see how!
Second only to “When’s the next book?”, the most common question I get via email and social media is questioning additional audio books in my Half-Elf Chronicles series. At least once a week someone messages me asking when will “book(s) X” be on Audible and I really don’t have a great answer.
For those of you that do know, I partnered with Mikael Naramore for Half-Bloods Rising. It was an awesome experience and the finished product was amazing. He was more than willing to narrate the next few books which was awesome there was only one issue. Cost. You pay for quality. I paid in the upper price tiers and while it is absolutely worth it, it hasn’t been something that I’ve been able to justify again. For the cost of one book, I can produce three to four novels WITH custom artwork… and who doesn’t like more books? 😊
Now, the first thought you might have is that perhaps going with a more affordable narrator would be a good idea. That might work but then I feel like I’m selling you all short! While I’m sure there is plenty of talent out there, it is extremely tedious to find the right “voice”. For Half-Bloods Rising I went through 40+ auditions, including at least three very well-known narrators. Ultimately, the best voices were the most expensive. It makes sense.
So, what’s the point of all this? My options. One thing I’m thinking about is potentially crowdfunding to support my audiobook projects. It’s an interesting idea (and something I’m only a little bit familiar with) but in my opinion, it’s on the table but I’m not too sure.
The best thing that could happen would be an email from Tantor Media or Podium Publishing. These are two very large audiobook publishing platforms that have been known to approach authors and offer some form of contract for audiobook rights. Personally, I feel like this is the best route for my entire collection to become available in audio format. But their selection process is random at best and I can not “apply” or “submit” my stuff for consideration.
What do you think? Do you want to know what you can do? Take a moment and TELL these two publishers you want to see my stuff in audio format. Trust me, they care what a potential customer wants and in our modern age, social media is the best way to get their attention. The Twitter and Facebook links to the two appropriate publishers are below. If you want to do this, awesome! If not, that’s perfectly fine. It’s kind of a weird request but I figured what the hell… you know?
I am actively working to sort out exactly how I might go about crowdfunding because frankly, I want to hear Half-Elf Chronicles as audiobooks! Listening to Half-Bloods Rising was like revisiting an old friend and let me experience the book in a way that is impossible to do by reading it as the author!
Here’s the link to my Amazon Author page if you decide to visit the link’s below and let them know that YOU WANT HALF-ELF CHRONICLES AUDIOBOOKS! :D
Podium Publishing’s Social Media
Tantor Audio’s Social Media
So follow the links. Say what you want and maybe drop a link to my stuff. Like I said, if enough people do it who knows what might happen. :)
So also another little update....a new book is coming very soon with the secret title of Wizard Acid... it's a weird but fun adventure with two wizards and a trickster god! Who is ready for some monster killing?
Keep your swords sharp and your magic at hand,
So with the release of my newest book, we come to a point where the series is nearly complete. Though, as most of you know, this is an expanding world and with the completion of this series so much more will be ready to reveal! Kealin's adventure is not done and those that believe they know the ending of "things" because of one of my older books... well, you might not have paid attention. :)
I also want to point out my secret project. This is something not set in the same world as the rest of my stories and is part of what I would deem a "secret anthology" that I and several other authors have come together to write. The tales are all set in separate worlds but will deal with the same similar themes. These will be dark and brutal stories that are not for those looking for feel-good fantasy and in many cases are not appropriate for younger readers. I know most of you are familiar with my work and know that typically this could be said of my own stuff but I daresay it... this might be darker. So are you curious what it is about?
In 2007, I wrote my very first book. I called it The Reckoning and it was an epic fantasy tale of a very different kind. I was trying to capture the "remoteness" I felt playing a game of my childhood called The Legend of Zelda. In this book, I have very few other characters aside from the first person POV main character for a good part of it. This is epic fantasy in a post-apocalyptic world... It's an interesting twist on what you might think of when you say post-apocalyptic. The word itself conjures up images of zombies and ragtag group of survivors moving from one place to another trying to survive but the stories are not like that. It's much more personal and deals with a ranger becoming severely afflicted with a necromancers curse. But this is not exactly THE tale that will be part of the secret project. I have written a prequel story that will be part of the anthology in 2018. So yes, for now I'm offering breadcrumbs with more info to come in the future!
If you haven't picked up Wrath of the Half-Elves, I urge you to do so. It's not a book you want to miss! (The link is in the image below!)
Another author interview! This time I would like to introduce post-apocalyptic author and zombie killing extraordinaire, Joshua C. Chadd!
Can you tell me about yourself and what you write?
Well hello there! My name is Joshua and I’m a professional guide and author. I love the outdoors and am lucky enough that my job takes me to Alaska every fall to enjoy God’s creation in the wilderness. This unique experience to “get away” from everything and be disconnected from the world is not only refreshing but shows up in my writing as well! I am also a Christian, hunter, patriot, heavy rocker, and gamer!
I write science fiction and fantasy. I love to write fantasy the most and I’ve spent the last 10+ years creating my own fantasy world that I mainly write in. Right now however, I have only two books out and they are both zombie books. But as soon as I finish this series I’m going to introduce you to my fantasy world of Torrea! Trust me, you’ll love it!
What inspired you start writing? Who do you consider your inspirations?
I’ve always been a huge fan of fantasy and all things imaginary! I grew up in the wilderness of Alaska with my brother and to entertain ourselves we always used our imaginations. This led to a love of creating stories, characters, and worlds. I’ve been heavily influenced by some great video games (WoW, Fallout, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, etc), movies, and of course lots of books. Some of those authors I love and I would like to emulate are Christopher Paolini, R.A. Salvatore, Ted Dekker, and of course, J.R.R. Tolkien.
What is your favorite part about creating fantasy worlds?
That is a very good question and one I’ve not really thought about much before. I love creating the actual world, creatures, magic, and such. But I think I honestly have to say I love to create the characters, their backstory, strengths, weaknesses, and what makes them tick. This makes since as most of my stories are very character driven. I also LOVE creating the magic system! I just love magic and magical battles!
Do you have any really cool or unique creatures in your fiction?
Ooooh, of course! I have the typical (but with my own tweaks) elves, dwarves, orcs, dragons and such. But I also have some pretty sweet ones I’ve created! For example, the Thulak. They are a lizard humanoid race that live in the desert and make their weapons out of the bones of their ancestors! They are probably my favorite. I also have Battrin, which are giant bat humanoids that live in the Dark Forest. Those are a couple of my favorite!
My readers really enjoy darker themed fantasy? Do you have any works that they might especially like?
I think they will. My sci-fi stories are zombie books and as such are of course pretty dark and gory at times. But then my fantasy is also very mature with plenty of killing. In the prequel novella for my first fantasy series, The Hunters Trilogy, the main character faces one hardship after another. Now I don’t know if I would label my fantasy Dark Fantasy, but it definitely is not a feel good lovey-dovey type of fantasy either!
Any free offerings for readers to try out your work either permafree or Instafreebie/bookfunnel?
Sadly, at this moment I don’t have any. BUT within the next few months I’ll be having a story that will be free to everyone who signs up for my mailing list. So if you are interested I will have the link below and you can check it out and know right away when I have it available!
Where can readers catch up with you?
One of the best ways to stay in the loop on what is going on with me is my Facebook page and my email list. Below I will add those along with my Instagram, Twitter, and website.
Newsletter List: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/t6w9k8
But that’s about all for me. If you’d like to know more feel free to head over to my website and check out my books!
Thanks for having my JT!
I hope you enjoyed meeting and learning a bit more about another talented author! (Also, Joshua claims he is a "guide" for hunting "animals" but I'm fairly sure the zombie apocalypse has already started and he's actually out killing zombies. ) :)
Be sure to check out his work and follow the links above to learn more!
Snippet #1 from Chapter 1 Dimming Jewel
Kealin waited in the main hall. The survivors that had suddenly arrived spoke of something that brought the greatest drear he had felt in some time. Eh-Rin, the very city he deemed safe, the place where his and Alri’s baby brother was guarded, faced annihilation.
He had helped to get the host inside. They said very little and the original man he had met, the one from Eh-Rin, had actually taken a blade to his side in their escape but he was not the only one injured. Once Hunda had a salve in place on the man’s ribcage, the man was led to the great hall and poured a large glass of wine. The man slurped the beverage as many of the others took seats around him.
They were all eager to hear more of what had happened.
Kealin’s anger grew the more he thought of his infant brother. He would not let him die. He would not have the same fate as Calak and Taslun.
“They were all dead,” the old man said.
Surk and Lizk leaned in as he spoke. Brethor looked up from across the room as he tied a bandage on one of the other men. He then walked over to the table near the fireplace and poured a cup of tea.
“How close did you get to the River Valley?” Surk asked.
“I stood on the beach just before the ruins of the lighthouse. The stench of death was beyond explainable. I saw no green tree, no unburnt bit of grass or flowers. The ground and the mountains were blackened. The city of Vueric was nothing but smoldering ruins, but I, Dabar of Eh-Rin, had to see it for myself. I could not believe when word came to our gates that our armies had fallen and that our good sultan and his flying machine were lost.
“I had helped him when he began his journey to the secret place in the mountains. He had told me to protect the city if they failed. I laughed at him, saying what could stand against the might of Eh-Rin? He nodded to me but nothing else.”
Brethor brought Dabar a cup of tea to go with his wine, and the man, aged with gray hair and a less-than-fluid motion to his actions, took a sip.
“This is good tea.”
“If you would like to rest, that is fine,” Alri said, now joining them. “The others are lying down. I understand you came under attack before you even made it to the mountains.”
“We did. Our group was double what we have now. We took a secret passage out of the city and came up on the other side of a Grand Protectorate camp. They pursued us, and several of our men stood their ground while we fled.
“I remember that morning well. I had been meditating after being woken from the shaking of the earth and flashes to the east in the middle of the night. I knew the battle was happening and that there was nothing I could do. With dawn came silence, by evening we spotted a lone ship returning to port. There were only a few men of Vueric and an elf—that was it. The Drean’s sails appeared behind them. We got the men and the elf into the city, and our port defenses spun to life. We took at least twenty of the Drean vessels and tore them to pieces, but they began onslaughts of explosive attacks. We raised the city shields to protect our people. It was a few days later but when the first waves of legionnaires made their way down Amhe’s road and began to form, I knew the truth. All of our loved ones were dead.
“The strangest happening was the arrival of the Sanguine monks. We had not heard a single whisper from them after Amhe departed but then they appeared in the palace and spoke of you.” He pointed to Kealin. “They said to seek the half-elf. They told us that you were our only hope. I did not think any more of it. We gathered our supplies, the best of our men, and the ones who wished to follow us from the battle only a few hours before. Once we took the secret passage and evaded our captors, we went into the mountains. We told those that knew our way out of the city to seal the passageway. If we were caught, we did not want to risk any easy way into Eh-Rin.
“We knew none lived north of the valley. We had to believe that any survivors went south. This place was the first forest we found that seemed of liking to an elf.”
Kealin grinned. “I do not know why the Sanguine sought me. I am just one man.”
“There is power in your bloodline, a younger one, a baby—they have him. The Sanguine. They say he is the most potent of Dwemhar blood they have ever seen.”
Alri looked to Kealin and then back to Dabar. “He is safe, for now?”
“As long as the shield above the city is up.”
“A literal shield of metals or magic?” Lizk asked.
“It is an energy-based device. We have spinning crystals beneath the city powered by the magic of the moon, recharging every night when the lunar light shines down upon the city itself. But we have great fear. The Drean have a sorcerer called Aganim, a practitioner of blood magic. We are afraid he seeks the power of the Itsu gods to pull the light from the moon. Without moonlight, Eh-Rin will fall.”
“This name,” Frinda said, “Aganim, I have heard it but I thought he was dead. The man would have to be a few hundred years old.”
“He is very much alive and resides in one of the massive Drean cities in the far west. The city is called Ridda. It is the place of snakes, a shrine to their snake deity, where ritual sacrifices take place before the great cobras. It is a place devoid of the powers of life. Only death is there.”
Alri sat back in her chair. “We will need an army and the full power of magic behind us if we are to save Eh-Rin. My Mortua Beacon needs adjustments and additional infusions of dark magic, but we will move on to Fadabrin and then determine our next path.”
“I have delivered my message to the half-elf, and I assume from your similarities, you are his sister.”
Alri smiled. “Yes, Dabar.”
“Family is the most fortunate gift. You should do all you can to guard one another.”
Preorder Wrath of the Half-Elves here!
Holy Vampires? Need some eternal darkness in your life? See if you like this more than the "sparkly awkward staring" types of some other books! I think you will!
A new release is here and it has been far too long! My newest story is a mix of my love of vampires and a callback to Elderscroll games like Oblivion and Skyrim!
Who loves a good quest? Especially, when that quest is given by some random stranger in a tavern? The Stranger's Quest (ha! See what I did there?) is available now on Amazon. Give it a read and let me know what you think. If you are a fan of rpg style games and of course Rangers, elves, and dwarves, you'll like this. I can almost promise you!
Author Interview: J.A. Culican
Another author interview! This one is with USA TODAY Bestselling author J.A. Culican! I had the pleasure of working with her back late 2016 and early 2017 and I can personally vouch for her books! Check out what she has for free further down below!
Can you tell me about yourself and what you write? I write YA Fantasy. The books I write are appropriate for all ages!! I am a middle school teacher and it was important to me to write books my students and others could enjoy.
What inspired you start writing? Who do you consider your inspiration (s) My children were my inspiration. I used to tell the story of my Keeper of Dragons series to my kids at night. My oldest asked me for the book, when I told her that I had made the stories up and a book didn't exist, she asked me to write is. I figured why not, not thinking it would ever go live and bam...the Keeper of Dragons was born.
What is your favorite part about creating fantasy worlds? Escaping reality. Even if it's just for a few minutes a day, the idea of magic, dragon's and fantastical worlds is a fun and amazing escape.
Do you have any really cool or unique creatures in your fiction? I am known for my dragons. I love writing about dragons and incorporating them into my stories. There is something so majestic about dragons that I feel they make a fantasy story.
My readers really enjoy darker themed fantasy? Do you have any works that they might especially like? My new release (8/22) Second Sight is my darkest fantasy. The book revolves around Ela who can foresee peoples deaths.
Any free offerings for readers to try out your work?
1. The Golden Dragon (Keeper of Dragons Novella) https://www.instafreebie.com/free/SMIBq
2. Jericho (Keeper of Dragons Novella) https://www.instafreebie.com/free/6YYxg
3. All my books are currently on KU
Where can readers catch up with you?
Instagram: www. instagram.com/jaculican
Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/231352253901799/
Be sure to check out J.A. Culican's titles on Instafreebie! You might just find a new favorite author!
Author Interview: Mike Shelton
Today, I have an interview with Mike Shelton, a YA Fantasy author of both the Cremilino Prophecy and the Alaris Chronicles! ! Enjoy!
Can you tell me about yourself and what you write? I have been interested in writing almost my entire life. I remember writing my first book in third grade and loved it ever since. I read many different genre's, but have always loved fantasy. When I really got serious about publishing a few years ago I really wanted to write clean fantasy - an exciting adventure with magic and wizards, but without sexual situations, bad language, or gory violence. When I am not reading or writing I enjoy spending time with my family, playing disc golf, watching movies with my wife, or going on hikes and walks.
What inspired you start writing? Who do you consider your inspiration (s). I was inspired to start writing t an early age. Probably the first book that I really remember reading was The Phantom Tollbooth. That really got my own imagination going. I grew up reading Robert Jordan, Terry Books, and Terry Goodkind. I have also really enjoyed the world building of Brandon Sanderson and Jeff Wheeler.
What is your favorite part about creating fantasy worlds? I love that I can create anything I want to in fantasy. Its fun designing a landscape and kingdoms, systems of government, and of course the system of magic. I think it is important to create a system of magic that abides by rules, but those rules are defined by me. i don't have to worry about changing technology, but can focus on characters.
Do you have any really cool or unique creatures in your fiction? I my first series, The Cremelino Prophecy I created my own magic creature. The Cremelino is a horse with magic abilities (runs fast, and can bond/communicate with its riders). It is a purely made up name by taking parts of other real horses and putting them together. It was really fun to create my own magical creature!
My readers really enjoy darker themed fantasy? Do you have any works that they might especially like? My fantasy books are light reading and appropriate for all ages. They are met to be clean entertainment with fun characters and adventurous story lines.
Any free offerings for readers to try out your work? I have two prequel novella's that are free. One is The Blade And The Bow, a prequel to my first series, The Cremelino Prophecy. The second is Prophecy Of The Dragon, a prequel novella to my second series, The Alaris Chronicles. It just came out last week.
Thank you for taking time to answer my questions, Michael! If you're wanting to find out more about Michael and his work, I encourage you to follow the links below. Don't forget to check out his free books, too!
A few weeks ago I decided to offer one of my titles free. Ranger's Folly, the short tale following Fadis the Ranger and the start of his dark life and path to redemption, is the best way to try my work out.
A dark fantasy plot, gritty fight scenes, and an adventure that will strike at the core of most in the world, I think if you haven't checked this out that it is the perfect story to escape from reality into a new (or familiar) world.
So grab it if you haven't or share it with someone who likes a good fantasy adventure!
It was fun ride but the novella trilogy is complete!
I had a ton on fun writing the Stormborn Saga. Considering this was something YOU (My awesome readers) asked for, I could not be more happy that it has been so well received!
Moving into the early fall, the next Half-Elf Chronicles book is about to go to my editor! Book five is the longest and bloodiest book that I've ever written. The struggle that the half-elves and their companions face in the next one has stakes that could not be more real!
Look for further updates soon!
After many requests for a timeline to make sense of the many books within the world, I have finally done it! This is rather light on spoilers and is a very good road map as you navigate the different series! I hope you find this helpful!
I just released book two in the Stormborn Saga and another addition to Lost Tales of the Realms! Check them out below!
With these two books I now have 11 titles encompassing Saints of Wura, Half-Elf Chronicles, Stormborn Saga, and Lost Tales of the Realms! If you're looking for a new fantasy world to jump into, you can rest assured that this is one is here to stay!
As of this moment, I'm working on book three of the Stormborn Saga before I finish up Half-Elf Chronicles!
The best part? I have you as a reader to go along on the crazy ride! Thank you for reading!
Hello! It's been a few weeks since I made a post but I wanted to shed a bit of light on my new series of random stories known affectionately as LOST TALES OF THE REALMS!
First, these stories can be read in ANY order! They may be listed as #1, #2, etc. but they are standalone stories involving characters, places, and events from the same world as my primary series'.
Right now there is only one available and it actually is set before ANY of my other books. It it literally the earliest story (for now) in my world and leads in to my new novella series Stormborn Saga.
The next entry will be revealed very soon but it is actually set after Half-Elf Chronicles and BEFORE Saints of Wura. I am working on a nice timeline for all of this that I will put on my Facebook page, website, and anywhere else I can. I can say if you've read all of my books and your looking for something else to read to jump further into my world then these stories are perfect.
I also want to point out that I have a new group JUST for readers called The Ascended Realm. If you're interested, check it out! I hope to see you there!
FREE FOR TODAY!
Hello everyone! I have a cool deal for you today! Several other authors and I have came together to offer fantasy and sci-fi books for free! Most of these may ONLY be available today so pick them up while you can
C.C. Ekeke Star Brigade: Resurgent (Star Brigade Book 1)
JN Chaney The Amber Project
Michael-Scott Earle The Destroyer
Heather Hildenbrand Alpha Undercover
Norma Hinkens Embattlement
Jay Allan Marines
Justin Sloan Blades of Gresva
J.T. Williams Ranger's Folly
My free short story for today!
Here is the new cover for the first book in the Stormborn Saga. This is the origin story for Valrin, the slightly-crazed sea captain in Half-Bloods Rising. This book will be released very soon!
Join my mailing list to get access to my new release discount!
This is just a short post to let you know that the audiobook for Half-Bloods Rising! If you've never listened to an audiobook, of if you are already a veteran listener, you will be amazed by Mikael Naramore's voice! I went through over 40 auditions and his stood out above the rest!
The tale is a dark one with many races, accents, and creatures that Naramore brings to life in an epic way!
Pick up your copy at the links below! (or if you're curious, just check out the sample!)
RELEASE DAY TODAY!!!
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Murmurs around campfires, gossip in smoky taverns, discussions in towns and villagesâ¦
Everyone whispers of DARK LEGENDS, of supernatural creatures that walk the nightâ¦vampires and shifters, faeries and angels, dragons and sorcerers.
They whisper of danger. They whisper of adventure. They whisper of long-lasting love.
Preorder your copy of DARK LEGENDS today for 99c.
This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length
Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from
New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!
This First Edition is EXTREMELY limited - you can only
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ORIGINAL RELEASE COLLECTION
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Donât miss this collection of more than twenty unique twists in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, providing over one million words of supernatural suspense that will transport you to new worlds with smoking hot action and heart-throttling adventure!
The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes:
Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires, Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics, Ghosts, Mythology, Folk Tales, Legends, Dark Magic, Time Travel, and More!
T.F. Walsh with Demon's Mark
Monica Corwin with Soulless
J.L. Weil with White Raven
Laxmi Hariharan with Redemption
JA Culican with The Keeper of Dragons,The Prince Returns
Muffy Wilson and The Para-Portage of Emily
GK DeRosa with Wilder: The Guardian Series
Marilyn Peake with Shade
Kevin McLaughlin with By Darkness Revealed
Carissa Ann Lynch with Midnight Moss
Vivienne Savage with Making Waves
Anna Hub with Beyond the Shadows
HJ Lawson with New Order
Emma Nichols with Blood Moon
Shelley Munro with Claimed & Seduced
J.A.Armitage with Two of Clubs
Leilani Love with Violca's Dragon
Demelza Carlton with Ocean's Gift
Xyla Turner with Broken Treaty
D.S. Murphy with Scarlet Thread
J.T. Williams with Winemaker of the North
MEET THE AUTHORS TODAY!!
*W*I*N* EPIC PRIZES!
January 17, 2017
9am - 12pm PST
An excerpt from book 4 in the Half-Elf Chronicles series! We join the characters aboard the Rat Raft upon the high seas with a great danger closing in!
Yurl let go of the wheel and turned toward them. “It is all clear sea back to port. Whatever magic or curses so many believe in, we must’ve escaped. Or maybe the good ole’ Rat Raft is too fast for your sea monster!”
There was a sudden ear-splitting sound that caused everyone to drop low on the deck. Brethor looked over to the skeletal-ridden monstrosity of a wall and noticed massive tentacles cresting over the top. At first, there was just two and then came three and then six and then eight.
“Make ready the crossbows, men. Port side crew, to the starboard with spears. We’ve fought a tentacled beast before. Let’s turn this one to meat too!
Jesia now stood with the others, staring at the large tentacles snaking their way over the wall. A massive mass of flesh appeared just over the top. It was like a mix of a large crab and a red mushroom of sorts. From its head crawled the small tentacled creatures they had fought in the temple. It had no eyes they could see. Another piercing sound, this time louder, caused them to all cover their ears.
Brethor’s ears rang. He went to Yurl.
“You have fought creatures like this?” He pointed.
“A tentacled beast is a tentacled beast.”
“That is a leviathan like the ancient stories, that is no mere tentacled beast!”
The ship was now parallel with the creature. Veora walked along the deck near the crossbows. She raised her staff, and a green flame grew brightly. At the moment of its pinnacle, she fired it, and a barrage of crossbow bolts followed with it. There were multiple strikes along its form, but the creature seemed to care little. The few bolts that stuck seemed to slip off as the creature dropped into the water and slid under the surface.
Yurl turned the ship.
“Winds of the sea, quickly!”
Several men ran to the back of the ship. Brethor assisted them in assuring the flow out the back was good. Yurl got in place at the helm just as it seemed they had run aground.
Multiple tentacles shot up around them and slapped at the deck. The creature’s body itself was visible on their port side, but the tentacles were the main enemy the crew was worried of. The ship was tossed from one side to the other. It was difficult to walk. As the creature seemed to pull the ship to one side, those manning the crossbows fired into its form. There was a loud roar under the surface, and the entire ship vibrated.
Jesia unleashed several explosive fiery spells at tentacles attempting to wrap around the ship’s center masts. She wasn’t sure how much damage was done, but they at least released. Brethor slashed at one of the tentacles, and another few of the crew managed to pin one down and cut it in two, but from any area the tentacles were sliced, more tentacles grew.
Veora summoned shadowlings to attack the creature itself. The little black creatures ran along the deck of the ship and leaped to the tentacles, following them back to the actual Leviathan and stabbing it over and over. She lifted her staff above her head and made a large green orb around herself. As it expanded out in a wind-shifting blast, she yelled, “Arise!”
At first, none could tell what she had done, but soon, the water brimmed with dead men clawing at the Leviathan and distracting its many tentacles. The ship was released for the moment, but the ropes were damaged. It couldn’t move away.
“My spell will not last long. I do not have the moon to give me more power and not the time to cast a longer enchantment.”
As Veora’s summonings attacked the creature, the crew worked to replace the ropes as quickly as they could. They had little time to escape the Leviathan.
Kealin reached the surface and coughed over and over as the tentacles of the plant reached air and immediately retracted out of his nose. He was expelled from the caves onto a rocky beach and had a sight of the gateway where they had come through aboard the Rat Raft. The air was still bleak, and the island he had ended up on was very small. It made sense why he didn’t see it coming in.
He looked into the hole he had emerged from and noticed it had vanished. Stone now covered what was before a passage. He stumbled about on the beach and then felt a deep rumble. He listened and could hear shouting. He looked around, confused at the moment at what he could do and wondered if Yurl and the others had gotten into trouble. He then remembered his hammer he had gotten from Ruak, and his Glacial Sea friend.
He took out the hammer and struck the rocky beach water. In the waters behind him, he saw a flash of light that quivered. At first it seemed it wasn’t working but then, just as before, Tulasiro emerged.
My friend, thank you for coming.
Good fish. Tulasiro worried for many. Death. The journey here…rough.
Kealin patted the narwhal on its head. I know. After our parting at the battle, I wasn’t able to get back to you. I hope you have kept well. These waters are not of the normal seas we have been in before.
His boat floated over to him, and he boarded.
We must get to a ship just around the corner. Go toward the gate in the water.
This place . . . Dark . . . There is something underneath.
I know. Keep moving, my friend.
As they passed the area where the ship had been, he saw no sign of the ship. He pointed toward the gate.
“Something must have happened,” he said out loud.
Tulasiro pulled them with great haste straight out of the gateway, and Kealin looked to their right to see the horror unfolding ahead. The ship was again under direct attack. The creature had pulled it up out of the water, and he saw blasts of green fire and electricity going into the creature. He drew his blades.
I am coming for you, he said toward the creature ahead.
The voice he had heard in the temple spoke again. I am eternal. I am ethereal. I devour.
At once, the creature itself switched its position, holding the actual ship and lifting its own monstrous body out of the water. Near its bottom was a massive eye that was black with a glowing silver ring. The creature shrieked, and waves of energy pulsated from its eye in a wave of white, sending massive waves toward Tulasiro. The narwhal was untouched and continued swimming even though Kealin struggled to hold steady on his boat.
Make a pass, Tulasiro.
The narwhal towed him around the right side of the ship as he drew his blades in preparation. It was obvious that some on-board saw them coming, for before long, he heard Jesia’s voice.
He looked up at her as she held on to Brethor, who held on to a rope dangling from one of the masts. He turned his focus to the tentacles and made rapid and deep slashes, one after another, as they rushed down the side of the ship. Though he made multiple slashes it was no good as more tentacles grew in the severed one’s place.
“I am eternal. I am ethereal. You must all die.” The creature spoke so that all could hear.
Kealin lifted his hand up. “I have the ring of the archwizard. You must let us pass!”
“You may pass, but the ones who defiled my ocean cannot.”
Kealin’s weapons did nothing to the creature. But he had something new. He had Vrikralok. He drew the god-blade.
Tulasiro, take us by it again.
The narwhal pulled them around, pounding her tail, sending shocks of thrust underneath Kealin’s boat. The Rat Raft was still in limbo, and now he could see both Jesia and Veora casting spells at the flailing tentacles smacking the ship and knocking many of the captain’s crew overboard.
Tulasiro began firing blasts from her crown, striking the tentacles as they came toward her attempting to slow her pace. Kealin took the blade known as Vrikralok in hand and slashed the nearest tentacles. The ends he cut off burst into white flames and fell into the sea. The creature became enraged and released the Rat Raft.
It began to drift away as the creature came upon the water with its body. Tulasiro dove down, attempting to avoid the tentacles, and Kealin jumped upon the body of the beast, stabbing his blade deep into its tissue. He twisted, and with a ripping tug, he pulled the blade back out. Black blood bubbled forth, and the creature flailed, throwing him into the sea.
Tentacles swarmed his body, and he felt a blast of water strike his back, knocking him out of their reach. Tulasiro had left the boat and now circled around Kealin as the tentacles swarmed around him. She bit one and sent a blast of magic at another. Kealin then saw his actual boat; a tentacle had grabbed it. He grabbed hold of one of the tentacles, twisting his body up onto a meatier part of it. Hundreds of suctioning mouths attempted to grab hold of him, but he managed to run up far enough that with a leap, he drove his blade into the creature again. This time the tentacles grabbing him recoiled back and began to shake.
The Rat Raft was at the wrong angle to use its crossbows. Jesia sent several blasts of ice, striking the creature, but they seemed to do nothing.
The Leviathan began to roll. Kealin felt suddenly wrapped up in the creature’s grasp. He kept hold of his blade as he was plunged into the sea. He opened his eyes to see thousands of the tentacled creatures from before. They slapped at him, made hissing sounds, but did not dare approach their master without its call. The creature had taken this attack by Kealin personally, for now. He was ripped out of the water and held by multiple tentacles suspended above the ocean.
He stared down at the Leviathan’s form. He still held his blade, but there was a small tentacle trying to pull at it.
You betray me, ringbearer. I of the eternal sea of dread will destroy you. He could feel his arms stretching and his body aching. He looked down to see Tulasiro swimming away.
You have no friends. You have none that are pure. You will go to the one called Vankou.
This is one of the many exciting battles in the Half-Elf Chronicles! You can check out book 4 below!
I hope everyone is having a great New Year's Eve! To finish out the year, I give you the forth book in the Half-ELf Chronicles series! Necromancer's Curse at last answers the question of what happened to Alri after the attack on the temple of the god Dimn and reveals the High Sanctum of magic, the school of wizards.
I hope you enjoy the next book in the Half-Elf Chronicles!
The problem with the North Sea is that it’s so damn cold. Well, that’s one problem. You would think to move from the Carolinas in the good old U.S. of A. that it wouldn’t be too bad to do some technical work for 6 months in the dead of a Norwegian winter. You’d also be wrong.
I'm used to working around other men for months on end but when you struggle to speak a single Norse word about the only thing you might can find is a good Norwegian woman. Except, on an oil rig there are no women. Just me and some guys. In case you were wondering, that’s not my thing.
Luckily, due to a severe mechanical malfunction we’d been moved back to Oslo. I took a cab to the outskirts of town near a large woods. Something called Helvetehor.
There’s a nice bar here. Seemed like a good, laid-back place, plus I’d heard it was frequented by what I do want -- women. Attractive women. Something I needed... like right then.
I went up to the bar and ordered a beer. It was a bit more sour than I preferred but it would get me started. There were plenty of women -- and one old man. I sat down at the bar and scanned for those that might notice me.
I turned to take another sip from my beer and someone sat down beside me.
I turned and, to my disgust, found the old man.
“You’re an American aren’t you?”
“You assume that pretty quickly.”
“You sound like an American. I didn’t assume shit. You shouldn’t either. I see you looking at these women. Don’t bother. You don’t want them.”
This old man is funny.
“Really? I take it you’ve had personal experience in that?”
He glared at me and snorted.
“No? Then buzz off, grandpa. I don’t need your dating advice.”
“Aye, take care but the hands of the Huldra take the willing.”
The man stumbled out and I was left alone.
What the hell was he spouting off about anyway? What in the hell is a huldra? Damn, I need another beer. And a shot.
At least the bartender seemed attentive.
The hours passed and I was getting drunk. The sun was down, now that it had been up for very long to start with. I heard the door open and an attractive blond came in. I say, I guess another attractive blond, but unfortunately the others weren’t too keen to talk to me. There was one but she only stared -- and not in a good way. She was now glaring at me from the corner of the room.
What the hell did I do?
I turned my attention to the girl next to me.
“Can I just have some vodka?” she asked.
The bartender served her up a shot and she slammed it.
Her accent was familiar. She was American too, I’d say from the Northeast. Boston maybe.
“Hey,” I said. I knew it was cheesy but it was something.
She smiled. You’re American”
“Working in the north, ya know, oil.”
She gave me a coy smirk “Cool, I’m here on a story for a magazine. I’m alone other than my camera guy but I was trying to find something a bit more fun to do.”
I have something fun for you.
That blond pushed her way between myself and my fellow American.
“Sorry,” she said in a seductive way. “I’ve been watching and when foreign you should try foreign delights. Not cheap, sad things like her.”
I love this accent, wow. Maybe it’s like Russian, I don’t know.
The American girl turned and stomped off.
Ha! I think she’s crying. What can I say, I guess I am an asshole.
It was love -- or maybe it was a mix of the alcohol and her sweet scent that drew me away from the bar as she led me out the door.
“Let’s get away from here.”
I laughed as she laughed and tried to hide her smile. Her eyes moved up and down me. I grinned almost foolishly and with a jaunt through the snow she took me into the woods. I thought at first maybe her car was parked at the nearby recreation area but we went deeper. I stopped.
“Where are we going?”
She stood straight, her legs together. Her tight skirt formed around her body and her cleavage poked through a short coat. I looked at her as she scanned the area. There was something on her back that I hadn’t noticed before. It looked strange.
Had she been running backward or was I just that drunk?
She pushed herself against me.
“I know what you want. I know what all men like you want and I give it to you.”
“Oh yeah?” I breathed heavily.
Her fingertips glide down my stomach. Something slippery moved up my leg but she kissed me before I could look down. I threw my arms around her back to feel her body but… her skin was coarse. It felt oddly familiar but even in my drunken state knew I shouldn’t be feeling. I glanced around at the trees.
That’s what it is. Am I pushing her against a tree?
Her hands gripped my waist and I gasped.
A tearing pain shot through my stomach and I coughed as a roughness pushed straight up through my throat. She let out a shrill sound and her eyes turn red.
“Filth of a man,” she said in a ragged voice, “I give you your release!”
I tasted blood and the world spun as I fell to the ground.
She withdrew something from my body.
Have I been stabbed? Shot?
I’d never felt this kind of pain. She turned. Her back was tree bark and a bloody tail whipped behind her as she disappeared into the approaching storm, my blood melting into the snow.
Footsteps crunched nearby and the old man from the bar came into view, laughing, a shovel in his hands.
“I told you the Huldra take the willing!” He dumped snow on me and the light faded, the coolness oddly comforting.
What the hell is a Huldra?
The old man snorted. “Stupid boy. He wanted something local but didn’t study his lore. Third one in two days. These woods are getting full and my old back is sore. She doesn’t pay me enough for this.”
A FATHER'S MERCY
Saints of Wura Flash Fiction
“Tell me, daddy. Tell me about before it came.”
The father had led the young girl to a trickling stream. She had always loved the river. It was on the edge of their land and a spot where they could see the stars. He started a small fire and laid her down to where she could just touch the water rolling over the rocks.
“Before? How long before, dear child?”
She smiled and looked up at the starry sky. “At the beginning, before we went to the trees!”
Her father began to light a fire with the small amount of kindling he had brought with them. He stacked wood and after the flames caught, tossed other sticks on top of it.
“It was a grand time. The gods were within the world. We were new to it as well. Magic was alive and strong, flowing through the air like fairies do near our home.”
The little girl smiled as her father paused. “Keep going!” she begged.
He set a pot of water with several herbs on the burning wood. The fire was not large, but they did not have much time. He had to be sure the fire was hot enough to infuse the water. He had picked a lovely bouquet of chamomile earlier in the evening. His daughter loved chamomile. She twiddled a flower near the edge of the stream and wasn’t watching him. Before the left, he had ginger from the woods near the old city and a small bag fairy dust that remained behind as the last fairies disappeared.
He also had some extra herbs, he hid those from his daughter. He was careful to add them in between her glances toward him. She laughed as she tried to take a peak at what he was putting in.They liked to play a game where she guessed what kind of tea and he would make tonight no different.
As the water began to slowly steam, she twirled and danced before him.
“Daddy! What other stories can you tell me about then?”
He pondered for a moment, staring into the slowly bubbling pot. He had many fond memories and he fought back tears as he thought of his love, the girls mother, already taken from them.
“Before it came, your mother use to take you to the fields near the glowing trees. It was nights just liked this, where the summer wind blew through her hair and your giggles filled the air, we would spend time beneath the heavens.”
“I remember that! I remember the moon being so bright!”
The world had become less of a place since then. It was dangerous to be out at night, especially, on nights with moons like this. They were always looking for their kind of people. They were always hunting for elves.
“Daddy, daddy, what else can you tell me?”
The tea was done. He had two wooden cups that he poured the herbal tea into before sweetening with a dab of honey.
“I will tell you, but first I wish you to drink my tea and for us to play our favorite game.”
“I know what you want and I saw you sneak in ingredients! I can still guess it!”
He smiled at her as she sipped it. She took one sip and grinned. “Chamomile! My favorite!”
He laughed, “Very good, my child.”
She took another sip and he forced a smile, holding back his own tears. Her back was to the fires that had begun in the distance.
He laughed and then gulped, “Very good.”
The fires spread quickly. The elven homes built into the great woods were burning. They would soon come towards them. His daughter began to sit up but he placed his fingers to her lips and shook his head.
“Drink more and tell me what you taste.”
She took another large sip. “Honey and… daddy?”
She had laid back flat and turned towards the river. She reached out to the stream.
“Yes, my child?” I ask, but I already know.
“I can feel something, something inside me. I will never grow as others. I feel... do… do I… go to… mommy… now?”
He placed his hands on hers. It had taken hold in her some time ago. The sickness, the plaque of their people that had already claimed so many. But it was not what took her now. He feared those that hunted them. They were coming. They had come for so many of them already. The two elves could not escape the horrid genocide against their kind.
“Yes, we both go to mommy.”
He took a large gulp of his tea as he watched his daughter’s hand fall into the water as her other released her cup, spilling her tainted tea on the ground. She had always loved the river. He made sure she was near it when they were both to see their last. He laid his head on her chest as he saw them staring at them.
His vision faded.
A stout legionnaire stood above the father and daughter. He sheathed his sword.
“These elves are already dead. Move to the next village and for the glory of men, we will destroy all of them before their sickness spreads. The gods be with us. We kill them to protect our own.”
The legionnaires left the two elves. Heading further into the lands to seek out the last of those they deemed evil. The magic in the world was fading and would soon be gone.
The race of men had used the perfect poison and many more would die before the end.
Thank you for reading this week's entry! Join me next week for another flash fiction story!
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