Trading Knives

Fantasy Friday! His Nagging Secrets

Hi, everyone! Today, I share another excerpt from The Bow of Destiny. Some of this was added in much later stages of the book. It’s all about Athson’s nagging, inconvenient secrets…


Athson“Careful of trolls on the trail.” The old man smacked his lips and fidgeted.

Athson whirled and glared at the old man. “We’ve done well.” He turned away.

A wheezy chuckle erupted behind him before Athson took two steps. “You should ignore neither warnings, dreams, nor visions – nor gifts.”

Athson froze mid-step. Moments passed like a day as he turned. Shock filled him anew when he saw no sign of the trapper on the porch.

He leapt back up the steps, landing with a clatter on the boards. He yanked open the door and took a hurried look inside the post. Lukaus and Gweld shot him startled expressions but Athson didn’t see the trapper. As Athson slammed the door, Lukaus said, “Back so soon?”

Three quick steps along the porch and Athson jumped the rail at the corner of the building. He glanced under the porch and circled the post, searching both the forest and the ground for sign of the trapper. Nothing. The trapper’s absence and his words set Athson’s heart racing. That comment hit too close to what had happened. And what no one else knew but him. Was the trapper nearby when he first discarded the inheritance? Athson rubbed his hands together but the scrapes had healed days earlier.

Athson’s jaw flexed. Something – or someone – had followed him from Eagle’s Aerie. Lukaus indicated no one had passed through for a long time. The comments from the missing trapper and the post-keep left Athson dizzy. “Can’t tell what’s real yet. I’m still making things up, no matter…” But they were real, he knew it.

The room and cot weren’t so inviting anymore.

Athson shrugged his pack to a comfortable position on his shoulders and made for the trail at his fastest walk. His best course now lay south for the road and away from Withlings, odd trappers, and mouthy station-keeps. The more distance travelled, the easier to avoid entanglements with Corgren, Withlings, eagles, dreams, Spark, and whatever haunted his steps – both imagined or not. He waved a cloud of gnats out of his face.

Gweld leaned over the porch rail. “Hey, Athson. What about the room?”

Athson whirled. “Let’s just go.” He waved Sarneth’s order.

Gweld shrugged, hollered apology through the door and then leapt the rail. Athson grumbled his disappointment under his breath at missing sleep on a cot. Hiding his secrets was more important than comfort. He swatted the insects out of his eyes and quick-stepped away from Afratta as Gweld trotted to his side.


That’s all for today! Later this week, I’ll share more about how I wrote The Bow of Destiny and how I’m doing on the next one.

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

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IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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Fantasy Friday! Why I Like Fantasy

I’ve read fantasy for a long time. I’ve been known to take a break and read other genres but I always seem to come back to fantasy. I guess it’s the kid in me and the love of a good yarn that keeps me reading these stories. But there are other reasons the genre interests me as both a reader and a writer.

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Fantasy 2I got into a conversation after completing my interview the other night about speculative fiction and why it’s useful for story-telling. One of the main points noted about fantasy and science fiction is how flexible these genres can be. A writer can explore all kinds of topics through setting and situation. This is done in science fiction by using technology and in fantasy through magic systems.

As a reader, fantasy attracts me for several other reasons, one of which revolves around courage. So often, fantasy characters – main, secondary or otherwise – are faced with dire circumstances regardless of their magical assets (spells, weapons, etc.). It’s at this point that courage becomes the factor in the story with outcomes that can be either victorious or disastrous. I like to see how a character of any kind might react courageously in the face of these extreme situations.

For instance, in The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf refuses to budge in the presence of both the balrog and the Lord of the Nazgul. Likewise, Eowyn stands up to the Lord of the Nazgul just to defend King Theoden. That’s gripping as well as courageous.

Additionally, I like to read about characters who take on leadership and just do what’s necessary. In such stories, a character might make decisions because they have nothing to lose and nobody else is willing to make that call.

Morguefile.com free photo for Maintaining Wind in Your Writing Sails

Morguefile.com free photo for Maintaining Wind in Your Writing Sails

And then there’s the pure adventure of a fantasy tale. One recent book that captured adventure well was Michael J. Sullivan’s The Emerald Storm which is a tale that largely takes place on a sea voyage. It captures elements of Treasure Island in a fantasy setting. And who doesn’t like adventure on the high seas.

So for me, fantasy is a way of examining people in extraordinary circumstances all with in fantasy settings that add to the wonder and excitement of the story. Sure, I could watch Saving Private Ryan to see the defense of the bridge and the courage it takes – and love it. But put that in a fantasy setting and you can come up with some really good stories. I could read or view ocean voyages like Moby Dick or Master and Commander but add magic and some monstrous critters and it gets doubly interesting.

Why do you read fantasy? What book or movie would you like to see converted into a gripping fantasy novel?

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

The Bow of Hart Saga Release Notes:

BOD Final

The Bow of Destiny is now out on Audible (available in Whispersync for those who like reading and listening) and available on Amazon (and yes, it’s free in Kindle Unlimited).

An Arrow Against the Wind is due out on audio 10/22 and is also free on Kindle Unlimited.

The White Arrow will be released on audio on 11/27 but it’s currently available on Amazon and free on Kindle Unlimited


Fantasy Friday! A Dream & The Forge Pt. 2

Hello everyone! Today’s, post is the second of two shared from The Bow of Destiny. This part involves the excerpt at a forge. Enjoy!


TBOD Pinterest Board ThumbThe blacksmith’s hammer rang distantly through the clamor of conversation.

Ralda touched his arm.

Athson stirred and realized the giant had spoken to him. “What?”

“We go Auguron morning?” The giant crooked two fingers and motioned them over his fist.

Athson recognized the signal as meaning tomorrow. The following gestures stumped him. “Yeah.”

“Eat. We go food.”

“Get food for our trip? Yes.”

The giant waited until Athson finished his meal. Then the two of them gathered supplies and put the cost on Safforn’s supply tab. A gracious offer for Ralda. They returned to the barracks and stowed their goods.

They planned an early start, so they readied themselves for sleep soon after packing. Sleep eluded Athson, but he soon heard Ralda’s steady breathing. They had to find Gweld. A lump rose from his chest into his throat.

More than Gweld’s safety nagged Athson. He rolled over and examined his pack in the darkness again. Why did the inheritance follow him? It was worse than Spark. The unanswered question sat in his pack, unknown to anyone else but him. Could it be real? He doubted it. He had burned it, and it appeared again.

Athson rummaged in his pack. He pulled out the inheritance and stared at it. His life had lurched out of control since the Withling pushed this package on him. Discarding it did him no good.

Ralda stirred and rolled in his sleep.

Athson slipped out of the barracks, the inheritance in his hand. He crossed the yard to the smithy. Heat lingered from the coals along with the smells of ash and worked metal. Athson stared at the remaining glow.

He squeezed the inheritance.

Burying the inheritance had failed – so had fire. If only this heat could sear it and other memories from his mind.

Clang! The hammer rang from his earlier dream. Athson glimpses his father’s sword, the stag’s ten-tined rack etched on the guards flashed red in flames. He groaned. Depenburgh’s fires flamed like a forge. The weapon gleams with angry crimson on one edge and soft blue on the other but silver along the length of the blade.

Athson’s arm shook and he squeezed the package. The inheritance and his past were linked. This truth tracked him like a troll. The day his father taught him to use a bow proved it.

They finish and collect their gear. His father stops and takes a knee, staring intently at Athson. “There’s something you must know, son.”

“What, father?”

“I can’t tell you everything but you are old enough to know some of it.”

Athson stands attentive, waiting.

“Our family comes from far away, the land of Hart. We were one of the great houses that fell into evil under Rok’s sway, under Magdronu. Withlings helped an ancestor break this hold. Since then we’ve been hiding ourselves and an item the old dragon and his wizard, Corgren, want.”

Athson swallows and nods.

His father ruffles his hair. “I’m telling you since you’re old enough to learn the bow. But you must swear not to reveal any of this to anyone – ever. Trust no one beyond our family with this.”

Athson’s voice is hoarse in answer. “I swear, father. I won’t tell anyone.”

“I swear I haven’t told anyone – and I won’t.” Athson’s jaw clenched and he squeezed the inheritance. It opened old wounds and left new ones, but it also answered old questions. The bow was what his father guarded.

Athson gazed at winking stars. “I need my father’s – my sword so I can keep these secrets safe, or they will kill me. I need – no, not that…” He whirled and walked away from the smithy but stopped. “If only I could pry that sword away from Sarneth.”


bow of destinyThanks for stopping by to read today.

I’ve got an ongoing sale for The Bow of Destiny for the next several days. You can find it at one of the buy links below.

Also, I’ll get the following tidbits posted soon on the News page but I’ll make an appearance on 8/13 in RRBC’s Back to School Blog Tour. Then I’ll be on The Lost Bow Blog Tour from 8/14-20. I’ll post more news about these as it becomes available.

And one final tidbit – for those who might have seen it on my Twitter feed, I’ve been contacted by a teacher about including The Bow of Destiny in her curriculum. I don’t know much at this time other than it’s being considered. If it is, I’ll share more information ASAP. It’s interesting news at this point and another great reason to write!

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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