The Ranger of Severum – Episode 11

As they docked, Trillian immediately noticed the warm hues of various colored wood.  The buildings were designed in a pattern of wood and stone Trillian had never seen before.  The scent of wood surrounded them in a pleasing way the ranger found comforting, but something else had caught his attention.  In the sky there were several contraptions floating about in the air.  Remembering Yulissa’s warning to not stare, he tried to divert his eyes from the phenomenal sight, certainly noting to ask the woman about it later.

Yulissa directed them through the winding docks and into the city.

The people wore strange clothing Trillian was unfamiliar with.  There were laces on every piece of outer clothing.  The women wearing constricting contraptions that laced over top of their ruffles, and the men wearing lacing vests and various hats.  Even their shoes laced, which was not uncommon for some boots, but all shoes?

A few of the passers-by wore strange goggles, and every last motorized contraption had a series of metallic spokes all working in unison, causing them to move.

Such miraculous and odd things Trillian had never seen before, and he tried exceptionally hard to keep from staring as they passed one after the other.

His black outfit seemed to blend in, though he was without laces and vests.  Yulissa had changed into one of these strange outfits the other women were wearing, though Trillian hadn’t noticed until now.  Her skirt was shortened in the front, and dipped to the ground in the back, fluffed in ruffles.

“Fluffed seems an appropriate word.” Trillian thought to himself as they rounded a street corner and walked into a building.  The glass doors were also new and strange to Trillian, being able to see into most of the buildings through large storefront windows, and their similarly designed glass doors, all framed in wood.

“Hello!”  Yulissa called out, walking to the front desk.

“Just a moment,” a muffled cry came from somewhere behind the curtain spanning the doorway behind the counter.

Trillian wondered if this were a good moment to speak, and looked to Yulissa.  “Where are we?”

The woman held her hand up, shaking her head briefly.

A comical sort of man emerged from the back, his vest in brightly colored patches, while his unkempt white hair splayed about his shoulders, circling round his balded head.  He had a pair of strange large goggles on his head, with smaller circles of glass stacked on one another on one side.

“Yulissa, my dear,” he exclaimed.  “I wasn’t expecting to see you for another two weeks, what brings you back so early?”

“I could use some funds for these, Maxus.”  Yulissa pulled out her velvet bag of treasures, dumping the contents gently on the countertop.  Pieces she hadn’t been able to sell in Severum knowing she’d get a better price somewhere else.  “I haven’t much time, what are these worth?”

The shopkeeper picked them up one at a time, gemstones in various shades and sizes, pendants on golden chains, and a chain of pearls and gold.

Trillian didn’t see any reason to watch as she sold them and began wandering through the shop.  He was fascinated by the amazing things surrounding them.  Various decorative pieces, candelabras and smaller candle stick holders, unique sculptures crafted from metal and those strange spoked circles, what seemed houses for birds with numbers on small circular faces and tiny arrows that pointed to the numbers, hung staggered along a wall behind a counter.  More wooden and glass boxes containing the same circle and number pattern sat on the glass counter top, with even more various styles of them down inside the glass counter.

He’d never seen so many knick-knacks and decorations all in one place.  He knew smiths who could create such pieces, and Severum had oil lamps, but nothing quite like the lamps he saw here.  They had a glowing orb inside of them that seemed to shine by itself.

A few moments later, Yulissa was ready to leave and they were back out into the busy street.  Trillian had also never seen so many people moving about, the people of the city appeared to be free, untouched by darkness.  Trillian wondered what that kind of a life must be like, never worrying for your life or if the dark overlord was going to summon you to punish you for some deed or other.

“When we get to the next place, you can ask all the questions you like, thank you for being so patient.  You’re both doing quite well, I’m impressed, though worry what life at the Severum must have prepared you for.”  Yulissa turned briefly to Trillian, still guiding them on their way.

His lips drew to the side in a brief smile, “It doesn’t differ beyond what you have already seen, in your short visit, I assure you.  However, once in a while Lord Sideon hosts a public execution.”

A sullen shadow visibly passed the woman’s face.  With a gentle, sympathetic smile, “We’re not far. ”  Yulissa continued walking with more purpose to her step.

Trillian knew the concept had made her uncomfortable, himself beginning to wonder what kind of a life this woman must lead to be unaccustomed to the darkness.

 

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A Millers Daughter

Spinning wheels crumbling

Baskets of gold go tumbling

The Millers Daughter goes back to rags

Not even a glimmering strain

 No chainlinks of hope remain

Cast out she goes among the hags

Rumplestiltskin is a liar

She is marched to a pyre

Poor Millers Daughter, taking the blame

Who could blame her hoping

To be more than blindly groping

Desiring to come out above her Fated lot

And now it seems Fate betrayed her

Rumplestiltskin was no savior

Cackling bystander mock what she is not

Broken lady, enslaved in grief

May your painful fate be brief

May there be mourning when you are found

Abandon hope Millers Daughter

Your kind has litte hope of Honor

A Sinners grave the final empty mocking ground

The Ranger Of Severum – Episode 10

Gentle rocking interrupted by a sudden bob woke Trillian from his sleep.  He opened his eyes to find the stateroom empty.  Sunlight peaked through the curtains, falling in strips of gold on the floor.  The sound of water lapping and splashing soothed his mind as he lay on the bed a few moments.  Despite the calm, Trillian felt his chest constrict.  He was anxious wondering when Sideon would catch up with them.

Gathering himself, Trillian braced against the rocking to sit up as he shifted his legs over the side of the bed.  After grounding his feet on the floor, Trillian nodded in rhythym to the sway of the boat before standing up.  The first few times he’d tried to stand from sitting, he’d lost his balance.  Once in front of Yulissa, who laughed at him.  The motion to stand was swift.  He put on his shirt, aware of his need to eat and drink.

First he would find his mother and Yulissa, considering neither had woken him when they’d gotten up that morning.

Holding the handrail to balance himself, Trillian ascended to the deck, blinking against the fierce sunlight, shining freely in a clear blue sky.  Trillian couldn’t recall the last time he’d seen the sky so open.  There wasn’t much sunshine in the Severum.

Glancing about he easily found the women.  Yulissa stood beside his mother.  She smiled warmly at Trillian as they met eyes.  This strange woman who’d entered his life a few weeks ago consumed his thoughts.  He hadn’t decided yet whether it was because she was the first woman he’d encountered.

“And here is the devil himself.”  Yulissa stretched a hand in his direction as mother and son smiled at each other.

Their eyes locked intensely and Trillian stepped forward eagerly enveloping his mother in a long embrace.  She’d been waiting for them when they arrived at the docks two nights before. Trillian learned Yulissa had arranged the entire escape down to taking his mother with them.  He’d been alert, spurned by nervous anticipation in each step that took them further from the Severum. Trillian sensed Sideon would be pursuing in flight, riding with his fleet of Morfin –  hawk-like birds the size of lions.  Each one naturally fitted with enormous talons, shaved to sharp points, able to pierce right through an enemy.

Thankfully they had still not seen Sideon or his henchmen on the horizon behind of them.  Yulissa insisted it was because they passed through a portal to another realm, but Trillian was leery nonetheless.

Trillian let his mother go, taking in a deep breath of fresh air.  Traveling by sea brought him joy.  Perhaps it was the salty, fishy scent of the ocean, or the constant warmth of sunshine so foreign to him in the Severum.  Maybe it was getting to see his mother every hour of the day, or the chance to breathe without Sideon’s ever-present gaze hovering in his mind.

“We have much to discuss.”  Yulissa wasted no time.  “We will be to the Gate in a few hours.  When we get there, the ship will immediately dock in a large city.  One greater than either of you could imagine.  It is very important that you refrain from gawking.  My mission depends on your absolute solemn behaviors, even down to the tiniest flash of light in your eyes.”

The ranger thought the order more than possible, though in his heart he wasn’t entirely sure he could agree to it.  “Why is this so strongly required?”

Yulissa’s expression tightened, “Realm Jumping is forbidden, without permission from the High Ones.  The tyrant overlord uses his repulsive minions to guard the gates, in order to keep them secret.  They are trained to see everything, even the slightest flash of awe and wonder.”

“Who are these High Ones?”  Trillian’s mother asked.

Gorthnek, from the lands of fire.  One of them, Urgo, decided he was greater than all the races of the Universe, and warred against the Realms, capturing the Gates as he went.  After conquering the realms, he opened the Gates to hell and foul beasts flooded into the Realms.”  She looked to Trillian, “It is my job to smuggle the beings of Light into Giordan and collect valuable items along the way.”

“But,” Trillian began, slightly confused, “is this Urgo not already aware of a gathering?  If he is watching the Gates, and we passed through one, does he not already know?”

“Urgo does not fear Langoria, he knows Sideon rules with iron will.”  Yulissa replied, her eyes flashing to Trillian’s mother briefly.  “The people are subjugated to him, unaware of freedom and liberties.  It is unlikely Urgo will notice the inhabitants of Langoria passing through the Gates until Sideon has been defeated.”

“Defeated?”  Trillian exclaimed in disbelief, knowing such a thing was nearly impossible.  “Who are you expecting to overthrow Sideon?”  His eyes twitched between his mother and Yulissa.

“You.”  His mother smiled.

A sensation of fear filled Trillian’s chest as he considered what that meant for him.  “I am not–”

Yulissa smiled, “We have been discussing several options, Sosha and I decided you are the only one capable.”  Sosha, being his mother.  “I have seen what you are capable of, Trillian.”  She stepped forward slowly, “You have amazing powers.  If you could learn how to use those powers to your greatest ability, I guarantee you will defeat Sideon.  And in turn, Urgo.”

The weight in his chest became heavier, “Mother, I…”

Gulls squawked over head as the Lookout called, “Gate ahead!  All hands on deck.”

The crew came alive, preparing the ship for docking.

Trillian stood at the rail staring beyond the horizon into the uncertainty of his future, trying to imagine what it might be like to stand up against Sideon.  He was absolutely certain he would be able to stay solemn as they entered this new realm he’d never seen before.

Authors You Must Read In 2016

Welcome to the year 2016!
With all of the bright new things happening in 2016, we definitely should start the year off RIGHT!

What does that mean for you? Books! New books are such a wonderful gift to yourself to help accomplish your goals of being more focused and fulfilled in the coming year.

This coming year I’ve already done half of your job for you and compiled a list of authors and their books which you simply must read this year.

We all have that reading list of books that we intend to read. I know. I do too. However your reading list just isn’t complete without these lovely people to pepper into your list.

If you’re part of a book club, a reader’s circle, or you simply read for your own pleasure, these authors are definitely worth checking out!

 

Christopher Taylor

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Christopher Taylor is the author of three novels — Snowberry’s Veil, Old Habits, and Life Unworthy — along with many other works for role playing games. He lives in Oregon and is always at work on another novel.
A life long dreamer, Christopher encountered fantasy in The Hobbit at a young age and for him it was like coming home. He learned to play AD&D in 1979 and his gaming experiences as player and GM have shaped his storytelling and world building skills to a razor sharp edge.
Both Old Habits and Snowberry’s Veil are set in his game world Jolrhos and reflect his love of both the wilds of Oregon and the gaming worlds he’s been a part of.
Christopher checks the back of closets for Narnia and feels odd writing about himself in the third person.

Personal Website: http://alphawolf10.wix.com/kestrelarts2
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KestrelArts
Twitter: @KestrelArts
Amazon store: http://www.amazon.com/Christopher-R-Taylor/e/B00OM67WB8/
Smashwords store: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/KestrelArts
Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8240885.Christopher_Taylor
Lulu store: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/kestrelarts

 

 

Angel Blackwood

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Angel Blackwood is primarily a fantasy author, but she does dabble in other genres when the mood strikes.  She likes going on adventures with her family, rainy days, and all sorts of strange music from symphonic metal to steampunk.
She’s always got somthing in the works, usually several things at once.  You can check out her facebook author page for updates on her latest projects, interesting articles, and all sorts of other things.

Angel is currently featured in several anthology works
Shadows of the Mind: An Anthology of Horror — http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Mind-Anthology-J-Feldman/dp/1518789315/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Forgotten Places — http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Places-Josh-Walker-ebook/dp/B01A4O40XY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Curse Of the Heroines — http://www.amazon.com/Curse-Heroines-Fantasy-Writers-Anthology-ebook/dp/B015CVIQD4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Den Of Thieves — http://www.amazon.com/Den-Thieves-Angel-Blackwood/dp/1936099853/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
The Road Taken Anyway — http://www.amazon.com/Curse-Heroines-Fantasy-Writers-Anthology-ebook/dp/B015CVIQD4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

All of my published works can be found at
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00SARZLFY

 

 

Rosa Arcade

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Rosa is an author of both fiction and non-fiction. Her books include the high fantasy novel, Half-Elf: Touch of Insanity (out of print), a self-help book called, Notes to My Younger Self, The Job Hunter’s Guide which is a great resource tool, and its free companion book, Samples and References: A Companion Book to The Job Hunter’s Guide. She has also co-authored 4 publications and her poetry has appeared in several anthologies.

Rosa has studied acting, music, as well as writing for non-fiction, fantasy, and film. Over a dozen of her scripts have been produced to date, including short educational and promotional videos.

Rosa is the creator of the animated series, Zomb-Eh? She is also the artist and writer for Eeyayho’s Adventure, a family-friendly video game created by her daughter. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and children.

Author Site:  www.RosaArcade.com
Blog:  www.iamrosa.com
FB Page:  www.facebook.com/iamrosa.fanpage

Notes to My Younger Self: A Personal Guide to Happiness
Kindle – http://tinyurl.com/mbswo32
Print – http://tinyurl.com/lfbkclm

Job Hunter’s Guide [Revised]
Kindle – http://goo.gl/0RgI41
Print: http://goo.gl/f7GZcW

Eeyayho’s Adventure
Official Site: www.eeyayho.com
FB Page: www.facebook.com/eeyayho

Zomb-Eh?
Official Site:www.zomb-eh.com
FB Page: www.facebook.com/ZombEh.Fanpage

 

Stephanie Ayers

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Stephanie Ayers is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Our Write Side and graphic designer, editor, and proofreader for Mother Spider Publishing. She is also a full-time world-building ninja, six-time published author, and part-time freelancer from central Virginia, crafting her own story and avoiding growing up at all costs. She mothers her children, loves her husband, attends church, and avoids all things zombies.

Stephanie has been a regular contributor and leader for Bloggy Moms and Just Be Enough, and writes content for Blogmutt in her spare time.

She published her debut novella, Til Death Do Us Part, in 2013, and her work appears in several anthologies and collections, notably Precipice 2 and Endless Darkness. Her poetry has been featured in magazines and as podcasts on Eat Sleep Write.

You can find a full listing of her works on her Amazon author page.  She shares her writings and life musings on her personal blog, Written. Additionally, she hosts the exclusive Master Class and Fractured Friday writing prompts and hosts a writing wisdom column every Wednesday.

CONNECT:

https://www.facebook.com/theauthorSAM
https://twitter.com/theauthorSAM
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanieayersauthor
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SAMAWriter/posts
https://www.pintrest.com/stephanie_ayers/
https://www.instagram.com/geniegirlgraphics/

 

 

 

Beth Hammond

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Beth Hammond is an author/illustrator who writes anything from YA fantasy to children’s picture books. She is a wife, mother, and lover of life. Her early years were spent serving in the military, middle years spent raising babies, and figuring out her place in the world.
Her later years are yet to come, and filled with hopes and
endless dreams. She spends her days creating worlds through words and illustration.
“Don’t write what you think will sell. Write what you want to read.” – Beth Hammond
If you want perfection, I’m not your girl. If you want a sappy love story, move along and I wish you well. But if you’re looking for a fantasy that tells a tale reminiscent of classics like “The Never Ending Story” then we might be twins. Wait, what color shirt are you wearing?  Oh, and one more thing, if ridiculous humor thrown in at the most awkward moments makes you roll your eyes, don’t read this book. You’re welcome.
The Sound of the Stones on Amazon:
 The Sound of the Stones on Barnes & Noble:

 

Kyra Dune

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Kyra Dune was born in Oklahoma, but spent most of her life travelling with her family.
She is the author of more than two dozen fantasy novels, including:
Shadow of the Dragon, Elfblood, and Firebrand. As a child, her favorite stories were those that told of ordinary children being whisked away to magical lands. She has yet to find her own secret wardrobe or rabbit hole, but she hasn’t given up the search. You never know what might be waiting over the next rainbow.
With NUMEROUS books available, Kyra Dune is well worth checking into.

 

E.H. Demeter

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E. H. Demeter is the mother of two wacky kiddos, and she’s married to the love of her life. She lives in South Carolina, where she loves to hate the heat and miss the rain. She can almost always be found with her nose in a book and a notebook on her person. She writes in every free moment she has, and she’s been writing for as long as she can remember. It’s truly her passion, and she fuels it to the best of her ability.

Secrets, Book One of the Rune Trilogy, is her first book!  Also featured in three anthologies, with promise of more coming, E.H. Demeter is certainly a worthy addition to your bookshelves.

Instagram: @TheDarlingWordsmith
twitter: @EH_Demeter
Alizabeth Lynn

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First of all, Alizabeth Lynn is a cat. No, really—everyone who’s ever met her agrees she must be. She prefers sleeping in sunlight, hogging the keyboard, and refilling her plate before it’s anywhere near empty. When she’s pretending to be human, however, she writes paranormal romance, fantasy, and a bit of horror. Her style of romance is a bit on the light side, but some of the violence is almost as bad as trying to tame a wild pride of lions—bloody, disfiguring, and out-of-control.

She’s been writing for as long as she can remember, and even still has the very first poem she ever wrote, around the age of six. She’s been included in two anthologies, Nightmares: In Writer’s Retreat, and Cancer Sucks!, both of which came out in October, 2015, and her first novel, Crimson Bayou, is due for release on March 09, 2016 through Burning Willow Press.

A Northwest Louisiana native, Alizabeth currently resides in West Texas with her loving fiancé. The wonderful man in question works his tush off so that she can stay home with their two children and follow her dream of authorship. However, when she’s not following her dreams, or reverting to her natural feline form, she can be found with her nose buried in a book, or up to her neck in dirty diapers. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Until Crimson Bayou comes out on march 9th, I’ve only been included in two anthologies. They are Cancer Sucks! and Nightmares: In Writer’s Retreat.

Cancer Sucks! : http://www.amazon.com/Cancer-Sucks-E-H-Demeter/dp/1518702252/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1452555972&sr=8-2&keywords=Alizabeth+Lynn

Nightmares: In Writer’s Retreat: http://www.amazon.com/Nightmares-Writers-Retreat-E-H-Demeter/dp/1518813771/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452555972&sr=8-1&keywords=Alizabeth+Lynn

And I can be found across the internet in these places:

 Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlizabethLynnAuthor
Website: http://alizabethlynnauthor.weebly.com/
Instagram: @authoralizabethlynn https://www.instagram.com/authoralizabethlynn/
Twitter: @Red_Tempest13 https://twitter.com/Red_Tempest13
Tumblr: http://redtempest13.tumblr.com/
Email: alizabethlynnauthor.com

 

Lorraine Johnston

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Lorraine Johnston is from Glasgow, Scotland. She was a children’s nanny for thirteen years and spent many hours making up stories for them using her vivid imagination. This was always met with giggles and laughter. She worked for a New Orleans family, and through them, was introduced to The Crescent City. After many years and many visits, she considers New Orleans to be her home away from home. Lorraine started writing in October 2011 and quickly discovered how much she enjoyed creating children’s stories. She was passionate about writing a book set in New Orleans, while adding a little Scottish flavor to her story. Later Tartan Gator is her first children’s book, but it certainly won’t be her last!

http://www.latertartangator.com

Barnes And Noble — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/later-tartan-gator-lorraine-johnston/1115305127?ean=9781620861967
TV Interview — https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zWmIzfR7qPM
Podcast Interview — http://www.underthetartansky.scot/podcast-episodes/2015/7/27/utts-006-later-tartan-gator-a-new-orleans-tale

 

 

Paul R Davis

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With the experiences of mission trips to Guatemala, international travel, a Tough Mudder, teaching in Kentucky and Wisconsin, and a few forced experiences out in mother nature, Paul R Davis seeks to put the excitement of life in his books, inspiring others to seek adventure.

Inspired by Arabian mythology, Drowning the Sands of G’desh brings readers into an epic holy war filled with conspiracy and self-discovery.

His first book has previously been featured here on my blog.
He is also featured in two anthologies.  Den of Thieves, and Heroes.

http://www.amazon.com/Drowning-Sands-Gdesh-Scrolls-Chaos/dp/1458219615/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448396855&sr=8-1&keywords=G%27desh

Paul also runs a website hosting his world lore!
http://www.landsofvolden.com

Amazon Profile: http://www.amazon.com/Paul-R.-Davis/e/B00WXHL32W/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Paul-R-Davis-341392279311292/?fref=ts

 

 

Angie Grigaliunas

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Angie Grigaliunas (grig-ah-LOO-nahs) is a fantasy writer and blogger.
She’s a country girl at heart, in the sense that she wants to be in nature and away from civilization. She loves Jesus, the woods, and the stars, and has always wanted to be a superhero with a secret identity. Seriously.
She has completed three books: one about elves that needs a massive revision before it ever sees the light of day, one that is part of her current story but also needs a massive revision to fit a new storyline, and the actual first book (Sowing) in her dystopian/medieval/grimdark/semi-romance series (The Purification Era). When she’s not writing, she’s usually Facebooking – ack! – or thinking about story stuff. Despite several of her writing friends claiming she’s Canadian, she is not; she lives in Ohio with her dear husband and their crazy cats.

She, too, is currently only published in anthologies, and each of them can be found under her amazon profile.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Angie-Grigaliunas/e/B00SADA9NM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_2
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/angiegrigaliunaszewriter
Blog: http://www.angiegrigaliunas.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter/Angie_ZeWriter
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/angiegrigaliunas
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13436876.Angie_Grigaliunas

 

 

Laurie Wetzel

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Laurie Wetzel has always had a passion for writing, but it wasn’t until a New Year’s resolution in 2011 that she finally shared with her husband her lifelong dream of being an author. He read the very first draft of Unclaimed and gave her the words she needed to hear: “This is what you need to be doing.” Three years later, her dream became reality when the first book in the Unclaimed Series was published.

Laurie lives in Mankato, Minnesota, with her husband and two young sons. She became a thyroid cancer survivor in 2014 and has since helped raise awareness and donations for research through events held in person and online. When she’s not writing, working, or spending time with her family, she’s reading, working out, or catching up on her favorite shows.

For updates on Unclaimed and Ignited as well as other works in progress, feel free to check her out online.

Facebook: /LaurieRWetzel
Twitter: @Laurie_Wetzel
Website: lauriewetzel.com

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1luhvqu
Itasca: http://bit.ly/1oNzNlQ
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1qkAcZB
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/enUS/ebook/unclaimed6
Copia: http://www.thecopia.com/catalog/details.html?catId=16411029
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/unclaimed/id909062319?mt=11
Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/book/236768070/Unclaimed
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1ldQHdW

 

M.A. Rey

M.A. Ray keeps her meat shell in Wisconsin, where it lives with a husband, two kids, and a cat. Her heart is housed in a lump of stone, the location of which will not be disclosed here. She writes things. Her latest novel was Steel for the Prince: The High King’s Will.

You may find her at http://menyoral.com; the things she writes are available for viewing or purchase here. http://www.amazon.com/M.A.-Ray/e/B00IREBFUU

 

 

Kim Fry

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Kim Fry is a wife, mother and fiction writer who makes her life in Casper, Wyoming. She has a dark sense of humor and an enormous obsession with Edgar Allan Poe. Some of her work is currently posted on Wattpad under user name KimFry. Her horror/thriller, Scream for Me, won the 2012 Watty Awards for ‘On the Rise’ in horror. She writes many genres, including fantasy, horror, thriller and paranormal. 

The Ranger Of Severum: Episode 9

While Trillian was on his way through the city, Yulissa found him first, “Trillian!” he heard her call. Looking around for her, he tried to swallow the lump of nervousness building in his throat. His eyes lighted on her coming across the square.  She was dressed in riding clothes which accentuated her willowy figure. He couldn’t help but admire the way she looked in them as her cloak swirled with her quick steps.  Her boots rode up to her knees, hiding whatever was left of her burgundy leggings which dove into them.  Her traveling tunic was grey, she wore a dark leather vest, and matching belts about her waist.  Her cloak swagged over to one shoulder, clasping in a large golden brooch, and her hair was braided hanging over one shoulder.  Trillian wished he could stop looking, but with women off limits, he’d never had the chance to really admire them before.

Her brow drew together in confusion as she approached, “Aren’t your wings healed?”

Watching her eyes flick back and forth caused his heart to skip a beat, “Um, yes.” He stuttered, “I haven’t tried to hide them away yet.”

“Could you try?” She prodded with a hint of alarm.

He smiled playfully, “Do they bother you?”

Her expression did not relax as she laughed, “No, not at all. It is rather important, though, that you do.”

“Why?” Trillian asked with a laugh, though the way she asked cause an alarm to sound in his head.

Yulissa’s actions gave him the impression she was in a hurry. Visibly she tried to relax and smile, “I haven’t had the opportunity to see you without them.”

Raising his brow, he tried to figure her out. He didn’t care for the way she nervously looked about, or how she seemed to fidget impatiently. After all, in his mind, she could have left the city at any point if it bothered her so much. And why was she so interested in him all of a sudden?

Trillian had to admit after six weeks of this cumbersome wear of his wings, he was ready to hide them away again. Standing his full height – which was difficult enough with the kink in his spine – Trillian dropped his head back, bracing in case of lingering pain, and folded his wings. He didn’t know what it looked like to hide them away, only what it felt like, but considering the woman’s reaction, Trillian could only guess it was certainly an unusual sight.

Yulissa’s eyes had widened, whether it was out of fear of disbelief Trillian did not have time to ask. As soon as his wings disappeared, she took hold of his arm, “Alright. Come with me. We haven’t any time to lose. Quick, this way.”

Bewildered with confusion, Trillian found himself following. “Where are we going?”

“No time to talk.” Yulissa stated, dashing to the northern side of the village.

Darting between row houses and narrow alleys, Trillian tried to make sense of the situation. Considering it had been his home for the last twelve years, it felt strange to be sneaking through the town. A few villagers watched curiously as they fled through the back streets. Trillian did his best to not make eye contact, feeling his cheeks redden with embarrassment.

When Yulissa finally did stop they were in the forest, safely out of sight from Severum.

“Would you mind telling me what this is about?” Trillian panted. Having physically exerted himself for the first time in six weeks he felt as though he might fall to his knees. Not to mention his aching back from sagging to one side for so long.

Taking three exaggerated steps toward a large oak tree, then five more to the right towards a pile of bramble, Yulissa crouched and began digging with her hands, “There isn’t much time to explain, my ship leaves tomorrow morning, and we need time to travel.”

Trillian reeled back, “What do you mean time to travel? I can’t leave Severum, you’re out of your mind. We don’t even know you.”

“The name is Yulissa, I’m a Realm Jumper, your life is in great danger.” Brushing off a small pouch, she opened it checking it’s contents. Seeming satisfied, she closed it up again, sticking it under her belt, then took six exaggerated steps to a grouping of bushes.

“My life? How would you know?”

Bending down into the bushes, she pulled out two large packs, “Listen Trillian, I’ll have plenty of time to tell you later, but right now you need to move.”

Irritation growing, Trillian put his hands to his hips, “If you don’t start talking right now I am going to—”

“Here.” She tossed him one of the packs carelessly, clearly not paying any attention. “And here is a cannister of water. You might want to drink some now before we get going, you sound rather thirsty.” She was referring to his pant.

He looked down at the cannister, then back at her. Yulissa pulled the strap of her bag over her shoulder, tapping her foot as though impatiently waiting for him to drink.

Trillian again found himself complying to the request. After a long drink of water, he did feel a bit refreshed. He capped the cannister off, putting the strap around his neck.

They stood staring at each other, both expecting the other to do something.

“You good?” She threw her hands out, “We need to go.”

“First, I need to know where you’re taking me.”

Yulissa shook her head, “Even if I told you, you’d never believe me.”

Trillian grit his teeth. His curiosity had kicked in, which created a great deal of conflict in his head. His duty to Severum and the likelihood of being murdered by Sideon for running off being the highest of confliction.  “I’m not going to go with you unless you give me some kind of reasonable response. My life could very well be in danger if I left the Severum.”

“You mean Sideon?” She laughed, “Your step-father is a coward. Especially since he thinks primitive distractions like women need sent off and away from his boys so they can fight mindlessly for him.”

“This coward you reference took the city over and killed my father.” Trillian defended angrily, “Who do you think you are anyway?”

Yulissa huffed, “Trillian, I guarantee I am your friend. Mark my words, Sideon is a coward. Everyone in all the Realms knows it, except for you blind fools in Langoria. Why nobody has tried to overturn your ridiculous leader is beyond me. Clearly your realm fantasizes your dark ages too strongly to have any form of common sense!”

“You’re unbelievable.” He exclaimed, “Are you listening to a wor—”

“No, you listen to me,” she started with vehemence, “you are wasting valuable time. Either you come with me willingly, or I will tie you up and drag you along behind me, do you understand?”

Taken aback, the ranger was at a loss for a reply. His mouth dropped open, but nothing came out as they met eyes.

“Good.” She whirled around, “now follow me. We haven’t much time.”

The ranger found himself complying yet again, put his pack over his good shoulder, and followed silently behind her into the forest.

The Ranger of Severum: Episode 8

After breakfast and seeing the surgeon for a weekly evaluation, Trillian was summoned by Sideon. Disappointed, the ranger would just have to wait to find Yulissa.

Slowly, Trillian approached the door to the library. A red sort of glow washed the floor outside of the open doors. After his nightmare, the appearance felt dark. His heart quickened as he walked up to the open doors. Stretching out his hand, he hesitated a moment before he knocked. He could see Sideon bent over his desk, examining papers and writing things down.

The library was warm and colorful compared to the stone hallway Trillian stood in. The desk Sideon sat at was toward the back, centered in front of the rows of bookcases surrounding the walls. Plush red seats were fixed about the room, next to tables with oil lamps on them so one might be able to read, despite the lack of windows in the room.

“Ah, Trillian, do come in.” Sideon looked up, and motioned with his quill, to a chair in front of his desk.

Trillian hesitantly walked to the chair, and sat down as best he could. His back ached a touch from the constant wear of his wings and he looked forward to the day he would be able to hide them away again.

Sideon began right away as Trillian sat down, “I understand you have been recovering these last few weeks, but I grow weary of constantly looking out for you and your well being. As soon as you are cleared, your duties will be returned to you. Our general grows restless covering for you at training, and wishes you back to care for your own men and apprentices.”

Trillian did not need his master to tell him all of this, as he was already quite aware. Twice, he had visited the training grounds to check in on his recruits. They seemed to be getting along well, but the annoyances the other trainers expressed were many. In Severum, each captain and Master Trainer had enough responsibility without taking up for someone else.

“Yes sir.” Trillian replied.

“And if you could do us all the favor of not battling the druids by yourself, I’m sure your peers would appreciate it.”

The ranger felt insulted by the jab. The insinuation was clear enough to Trillian, and while it was the ranger’s fault he had been injured, it had not been because Trillian was incapable of fighting.

“Is that all?” He asked hiding his irritation.

“No, it is not.” Sideon stacked his hands on the desk, making direct eye contact. “This woman that came back with you, Yulissa? Have you had the opportunity to see her again?”

“I have not.” Trillian felt his heart begin to race, disconcerted that Sideon would bring her up.

“I am sending you to find out what she wants with the Severum.”

Nodding slowly, the ranger took a light breath in relief.

Sideon continued without pause, “The fact that a woman has stayed so long in a city with virtually no other women disconcerts me. She obviously is in need of something, you brought her here, and frankly you are the only one I trust with an outsider. Discretion- as opposed to temptation -will guide your interaction with her.”

Trillian swallowed back the heat trying to concentrate in his cheeks. He would use discretion, but his mind was already engaged in attraction to the woman. “It will be as you ask, Master.” He nodded his head, “Was there anything else, sir?”

“Yes.” Sideon leaned forward, propping his elbows on the desk. “Your mother has been nothing but a basket case since your injury. Please write to her and inform her you are well. She doesn’t believe me.”

Trillians mother was on a heavily guarded retreat to the shores for some fresh air and rejuvenation. Sideon loved his stolen wife deeply, hating to see her pale and forlorn. She went to a castle at the shores every summer for a few weeks to perk up and taste the sun on her delicate skin. She always came home happier and healthier. Trillian was grateful Sideon went to such lengths to care for her, but it did not quell the anger over the loss of his father.

“You may go.” Sideon abruptly went back to his work, “report back to me when you find out what she needs and why she stayed so long before asking for it.”

Again trillian nodded once, “As you request, Master.” He stood, and left the library aware of a fluttering in his chest. Yulissa was the first woman to have aroused him. He hoped the nervousness in his flesh would not interfere with his ability to inquire of her with “discretion”.

The Ranger Of Severum: Episode 7

“These are rare artifacts.” The man squinted deeper, scrunching his nose as he pinched the manacle between his brow and cheek, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shinier gem.” He spun a large, blue gemstone slowly in the light of a candle.

“How much would you say it’s worth?” Yulissa asked with a smooth, nonchalant tone, sweeping her hand through her hair. She already knew how much it was worth. She casually leaned one hip against the counter, supporting her weight on her elbow.

Frowning deeply the shop keeper took the manacle from his eye, “Much more than I can afford to give you, but, we might settle on a fair price?” His comical appearance was enhanced as he twitched his white mustache under his large pointed nose, blinking once at her. He had a tuft of white hair brushed to one side crowning the top of his head, while the rest encircled the middle from ear to ear.

She heard him tapping his foot, and wondered briefly if it was a habit, or to hurry her decision along. Cupping her chin, she tapped at her jawline with her forefinger, “That sounds nice, but I’m almost certain I can get a better price at the docks.” She ran her fingers lightly over a golden pocket watch, beside of which was a pendant made from a dragon’s scale, a black pearl necklace, an elegant tea cup made from what appeared to be silver. Other things that had dropped out of her bag were shining golden pyramid-like dice, red, green and lavender gemstones, and finally a kerchief made of the finest silk.

His eyes went wide, under large white eyebrows, “The docks!” He exclaimed, “Now see here, little lady, I’m just as good as any merchant, and I can guarantee a good price.” He put a finger up, “I just can’t buy all of it right now, see?”

Nodding thoughtfully, Yulissa scanned over the items on the counter. Money wasn’t an issue, this last job she completed lined her pockets enough for the next five years. And if she was able to convince Trillian, a unique specimen indeed, to accompany her across the Realms, there would be enough money to live comfortably for the rest of her life. The task was simple really, all her clients wanted was the half-breed, alive and unscathed. This did come with a few complications since, after all, Trillian had been injured. She had it on good report, though, that Trillian was healing quickly.

Taking another sweeping gaze at the items sprawled on the counter, she finally spoke, “When would a buyer come though town to relieve you of these trinkets?”

“Let’s see, we’re half-way into the month,” he began calculating with his fingers, “In.. three weeks?” He looked quizzically at her, and then softened his expression, “If you would consider, I could give you half of the payment now, and the other half when they’re bought.”

That was too much time to linger in the Severum. She picked a few things bag up, securing them into her leather bag, “How about the cup, the watch, the silk piece, and the black pearls?”

The man calculated again with his fingers, and then scribbled a few things down on a piece of paper. After scratching at the top of his head, and then his chin a few times, he finally looked back at her, “Yes. That is acceptable.”

Yulissa could tell that he was some what distraught. Slowly, he counted the money out on the counter to her, first in notes, and then in coins.

Soon, the transaction was complete and Yulissa was finally free of the little shop, and the funny little man.

Clutching her leather pack tighter, the woman started back across the town to the inn she was staying at.

The village was gray and dismal. All of the buildings were made of gray stone, their roofs were shingled in dark slate, and the streets were nothing but black and gray mud.

In the past three weeks, Yulissa had learned more about Severum than she had ever wished. Sideon was an evil tyrant who had the nerve to call himself “Master Of The Severum”. He had rounded up the women and locked them up to serve as chambermaids. Next, he banished the children to the monasteries of Fargorath.

Things had not always been this way. Once, children roamed the streets, women were free to come and go at will, couples lived happily. The Severum was known for Peace and Protection, and it’s Rangers aided the people, always lending assistance as it was needed.

Quickening her step, Yulissa noticed the men eying her suspiciously, she hurried back to the safe quarters of her room.

There wasn’t a great deal of time left, she needed to talk to Trillian and convince him to leave with her as quickly as possible. The Realm Gate would be closing soon, and if she didn’t make it, she’d be trapped in Langoria for a year. Of all the realms, this was most certainly the last she’d consider for touring.

After making sure her treasures were safely secured, she decided it was time to go to the Severum and find Trillian.