Month: February 2015

What is Needed Pt. 4

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Author’s Note: This is the conclusion of Part 2 of the prequel blog serial entitled “What is Needed”. Click on these links to read Part 1, Part 2 (first section)Part 2 (Conclusion) and Part 3This series is a companion to The Bow of Destiny (Part 1 of The Bow of Hart Saga). The events of the blog series pre-date those of The Bow of Destiny by several hundred years but include several long-lived characters who appear in the forthcoming novel. This material is copyrighted and not intended for reproduction except at the author’s consent.

 

What is Needed (Part 4)

by P. H. Solomon

The hobgoblin’s tongue flicked between needle-like fangs that flashed yellow in torchlight. The blade-point pressed against Hastra’s throat and she raised her chin. Kregen ran out of the darkness and flame the night of her visions. He was revealed out of darkness in the Hidden Dragon’s flame this night. Her face twitched and she clenched her teeth.

Kregen snapped gutteral words. The trolls snatched their captives’ hands and bound them with leather straps.

Zelma wept. “Kregen how could you?”

Hastra whirled toward the Rokan Withling. “You can stop this even now, Kregen.”

The Rokan’s grin flashed as torchlight danced across his face. He flicked his wrist and spoke more trollish commands. Trolls cuffed the sisters. Hastra grunted as she fell on her backside. Zelma screamed her pain.

Hastra blinked and shook her head.

“No! Leave them alone!” Howart shouldered the trolls away even with bound hands.

A tusked bugbear roared spittle into the gaunt Withling’s face and snatched his shirt. The troll punched Howart on the jaw with a fist like a mallet. Blood and a tooth flew flew out of Howart’s mouth. The troll bared short tusks and gut-punched the Withling. He grunted, doubled over and crumpled into a groaning heap. The other Withlings cowered.

“Enough of this.” Kregen rasied a hand and the beatings stopped. “Now you’ll follow along without a word. Time is short.” Their betrayer strode out the door. The trolls pushed and dragged their ten captives in Kregen’s path.

Hastra’s mouth pulsed pain as blood dribbled to her chin. She her teeth with her tongue. She still had them all. She wiped her mouth with her sleeve but grimaced all the more with the pain. Her hand trembled with prickling pain. Theyd lashed her so tight she lost feeling. She wiggled her fingers and groaned.

The trolls herded the captives out of the cellar complex. They shoved or snarled Hastra and her fellow Withlings if they dawdled. Vile creatures. If only Eloch revealed his wishes. No unction bloomed in Hastra. The lack of direction was disquieting.

They entered the great hall where the remaining Withlings milled with more trolls on guard who brandished a variety of weapons. Kregen’s escort shoved Hastra and her band among the crowd. She dabbed her lip on her sleeve. Too many of these weapons are blood-covered. Tears distorted Hastra’s eyes. More of us are bruised and wounded. Where is Eloch? She wiped her cheeks on her sleeves.

Kregen strolled in front of the crowd. Zeld stood back with the three sisters from North Grendon.

Hastra’s eyes narrowed. Zeld I see aiding his brother but those three? She nudged Zelma. “Who are those sisters?”

Zelma shifted her gaze from Hastra’s pointed finger to the three women and then gasped. “Not the Beleesh sisters too!”

A hobgoblin snarled and prodded at Zelma with a spear. She and several other Withlings backed away in silence.

Kregen whipped a curved dagger from his side and brandished it over his head. Murmurs and even weeping fell silent.

“He has a Rokan blood-knife.” Howart’s voice echoed in the hushed hall.

“Yes, it is a blood-knife, cursed to scald the very soul, they say.” Kregen gazed at the blade as a sneer broadened under his hooked nose. “Now listen, Magdronu is magnanimous and has not sent me to kill you all.”

Whispers wove through the crowd of mystics as their fellow Withling spoke the name of the Hidden Dragon.

Kregen lifted his voice. “My master would have followers as he ascends the heavens as he should. He is merciful and will spare you. Only follow. Or…” Kregen brandished the knife.

Silence lingered among the Withlings. Feet shifted and mystics muttered their fear.

Hastra gaped. So many actually considered this offer. She closed her mouth. Something must be done.

Elder Tokla stepped before Kregen and stood silent. The dwarf’swoven beard bore crusted blood from a smashed nose.

Kregen’s lip curled on one side as his brows rose. “Well, Chokkran devil, I never expected you to turn but I’ll take your oath and you can spread the Holy Dragon’s word among your puny kin and nations.”

“Who has succored you, traitor?” The dwarf’s voice rumbled like falling rocks.

A sweet fragrance filled Hastra’s nose and tension eased from her throat. The rustle of exhaled breath whispered through the crowd. He spoke prophecy. Let’s see what happens now. Hastra edged forward through the mystics while her sister and Howart shuffled behind her.

Kregen laughed. “Magdronu has taken care of me for years, Elder. But I’m no traitor. Here’s what was promised though.” The Rokan bent, stabbed Tokla in the heart and yanked the dagger free.

Gasps shuddered through the throng. The dwarf stood a moment, then twisted as his knees buckled and he dropped to the marble floor.

Hastra’s feet stopped and tears welled in her eyes.

Elder Soren of the trading fleets strode to Tokla’s corpse and stood in the pool of blood. Kregen opened his mouth but the wrinkled old man spoke first. “The false one begets betrayers but he shall not have his way.”

Hastra took a step forward again. He continued the prophecy. Her eyebrows arched.

Kregen stabbed the elder in the heart and Soren collapsed beside his old friend. His blood spread on the floor.

Peace stilled Hastra’s racing heart. It wasn’t her turn yet. She pushed through the frozen mystics. Zelma and Howart shouldered past. Not you as well, sister.

Elder Margen strolled from the crowd.

Kregen’s blood-drenched grip tightened on the dagger.

The white-haired Shildran’s voice never faltered. “The Hidden Dragon may usurp kingdoms with deceits but his ways shall not last and he will not ascend.”

Kregen bared his teeth and shouted. The knife smashed into Margen and she fell beside her fellow elders as more blood puddled the floor. “Any other-.”

Howart exited the crowd and stood close to Kregen with his hands still bound. “A bow shall be made in defense.”

The blade plunged into Howart. The Rokan betrayer ripped the daggar free.

The gaunt Withling folded onto his side.

Zelma squirmed from the crowd.

Tears trailed along Hastra’s cheeks.

Zelma’s voice rang high with a note of defiance. “To break the binding curses.”

Hastra closed her eyes as Kregen stabbed her sister. Calm slowed her racing heart. Mine is not the last words of this. If only others will finish it. Tears streaked her face. She opened her eyes to Kregen’s grimace. Zelma’s body lay piled at the edge of her sight. “His prey shall be snatched from his fangs.”

The knife smashed into her chest. It seared Hastra’s flesh. Kregen’s glaring face faded to darkness.

She hovered near her body in a gray blur. Pain slid away and colors swirled around her. Calm and joy sustained Hastra as brighter light opened amid the ceiling.

“Any others want to finish that prophecy of Eloch?” Kregen’s voice echoed from her previous existence.

“Will you stay?” A voice whispered loudly.

Movement attracted her attention. Howart twitched, pushed himself into a seated position and climbed to his feet. The risen Withling pressed closer to Kregen but he shouted when he spoke. “The bow shall be hidden from heart.”

Kregen stabbed the gaunt Withling.

Howart never flinched and did not fall again.

Kregen stabbed again. When nothing happened he stepped back and gaped.

“Will you finish what is started?” The voice thundered gently through Hastra’s essence.

Zelma stirred.

“I will stay with Zelma.” Gray blur enveloped Hastra.

Her sister rose and took Kregen’s knife-hand and pulled the blade into her wound. “The eagle will guide the heir.”

As Zelma stepped back, darkness wrapped around Hastra. Her eyes fluttered and she inhaled. She stood and straightened her skirt. Hastra arched her eyebrows and craned her neck toward the gaping traitor. “The bow will be found at need.”

Silence hovered amid the hall. Even the trolls stood frozen where they stood.

Hastra took a breath with Zelma and Howart. The three of them spoke together. “And the arrow shall Eloch prepare.”

Kregen’s gaze shifted between the risen Withlings. His jaw worked and his voice whispered. “I killed you.”

Zeld snarled troll words. Hobgoblins grasped Hastra’s arms and dragged her away with Howart and Zelma.

As the trolls led them back to the cellar complex Hastra wobbled. None of this was real. She was dead. But they ended the prophecy. She touched her chest, found the rent in her flesh and her hand recoiled from it. Not even pain.

The troll thrust them into the empty storeroom. Their guards brought shackles , cut away their straps and locked their hands and feet. Their captors exited the room and barred the door.

Trolls growled beyond the door in their crude tongue that faded with the torchlight from under the door.

Darkness enshrouded them and silence followed with a cold embrace.

End of Part 4 (Part 5 will be re-posted on 12/13/14)

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

How You Can Find Balance With Your Blog Schedule

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Having trouble with your blogging? Are you struggling with getting posts written? Have you found that your struggling with keeping up with your blog schedule? Here are some tips to try getting the most out of your site and gaining consistency.

1. Get organized. I know that’s anathema to some writers but being organized helps eradicate confusion so you can focus.

2. Write your ideas down in some format so you can at least come back to them. I have so many ideas that I’m backlogged. But that’s what I need – something to turn to when I just don’t know what else to write about. I’ve just got ideas waiting to be written and I plug into them regularly and knock them out.

3. Express one idea in a short post. Try not to make your posts too long. If what you’re writing is long then consider breaking it into pieces. Give yourself space to express the ideas well. Also, writing complex ideas in several posts gives you the opportunity to write several articles ahead which helps keep your schedule on a sane pace.

4. Write daily for your blog and journal. You’ll find that ideas pop out of the most unlikely places when you write often. You’ve got plenty of seeds for ideas to grow, just take time to scatter them. I get ideas for posts even when I’m writing fiction. I just stop and make sure I put them into a new document in my blog project.

5. Write often enough to be as many posts ahead of your schedule as possible. Once you get ahead, stay ahead. By being ahead you’re never worried about meeting a deadline for the next day – or today – since the stress can vapor-lock your creativity. If you write posts as often as you can you’ll develop a backlog. I’m scheduling my posts as far ahead as I can but if something happens to change my scheduled posts I can re-arrange easily enough.

So don’t wait, go write something! Be productive! And don’t worry, if you have something to say and do it well then people will read it.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyHow do you keep your blogging schedule? Do you have trouble with balancing your blog with other writing? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Clip art licensed via Microsoft Office

 

Fantasy Authors Unplugged: Loren Weaver

This is continuing feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule.

Today I’m interviewing Loren Weaver who has a new book out today. So let’s jump right into the interview and find out more about this new release being launched today!

Interview

Q. Please tell us about your latest book.

4 Tigers Peace frontA. My latest book releases today! I’m so excited! The book is called Tiger’s Peace and is the fourth book in the Victoria Novak: Paranormal Division series. Victoria works for the Federal Paranormal Division of the FBI to solve paranormal crime. So if a vampire or wereanimal did it, Tori will investigate. In this latest book, she’s been kidnapped and must organize her own escape!

Q. How many other books do you have published?

A. I have three others in the Victoria series. They are (1) Havoc’s Cry, (2) Archangel’s Salvation, and (3) Shadow’s Lament.

Q. How did you choose urban fantasy?

A. I’ve always been an urban fantasy reader. I love the idea of magic and strange creatures in an ordinary, everyday setting. It mixes what we know of life with the supernatural that we imagine about life. So when I started writing, it just kind of happened that all the ideas in my head were urban fantasy stories.

Q. What inspired your latest book?

A. In this book, Tori makes friends with a young weretiger with a severely abusive background. When she escapes, she takes the tiger with her. The two become super close. This idea was actually inspired by my sister, who’s my best friend. Tori needed someone outside of work to be friends with, and so Lucian was born.

Q. Do you work from an outline?

A. I do, mostly. Since I have a bad guy in the shadows, I have to know who it is and drop hints Tori’s team can follow. So I always have a basic outline, and sometime quite an extensive one. I note particular scenes I want to be sure and include when I think of them so I know where the story is going. Then, I just write!

Q. What’s the most fun part of launching a new book?

A. When you get home and there’s a box on your front door, you open it up, and hold that brand new, brightly colored, real live copy of the book in your hands. Nothing makes me feel more accomplished as an author than that first moment I hold a brand new book in my hand, feel it, smell it, and run down the halls screaming in excitement. Yes, that happens every time.

Q. What’s the hardest part of launching a new book?

A. Getting people to know it exists. The hardest part as a writer in general, but especially around a new launch, is marketing. I’m so excited about the new book, so I want everyone else to be excited too!

Q. Have you started writing another book yet?

A. Yes! I actually have two more in editing stages and I’m already writing the next Tori book. The two in editing stages aren’t from the Victoria Novak series, so I’m pretty excited to branch out from this series, although I’ll come back to Tori’s adventures soon.

LorenLinks!!

My site: http://www.lorenweaver.com

Twitter: twitter.com/readlorenweaver

Facebook: facebook.com/authorlorenweaver

Get my books: http://www.lorenweaver.com/victorianovak

Loren’s Bio

Loren Weaver is an engineer for an oil company as her day job. A long history of math and science craze coupled with a love of problem solving led her to Georgia Tech and a degree in Engineering. Currently, she lives abroad in ever-warm Ecuador drilling for oil out in the jungle and learning Spanish.

She loves crazy sports and has her black belt in Tae Kwon Do, master SCUBA diver certificate, and motorcycle license. Her dream is to one day set foot on all seven continents, dive the Great Barrier Reef, and jump out of airplane just to say she did.

Loren writes because she loves to hear and to tell a good story. She put finger to keyboard and wrote her first story at the age of eleven about a little girl and a dragon. Since then, she’s grown in her writing skills and even started on a Masters in Creative Writing.

Great job, Loren. Thanks for stopping by today and sharing your new book with us and letting us get to know you as well. Best wishes on sales!

If you’re a fantasy author and would like to be interviewed for “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” just contact me via email or one of my social media channels and we’ll set one up.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.