Slave Elf: Part 42: Flash Fiction Friday Post

green_subatomic_by_milaysvk-dbheqbg

Part 42

Find Part 1 here.

 

At breakfast the next morning, Aduello sent a courier the inn-keeper recommended, off to the castle with a message. After they ate, they walked around the market. Delia told them about the desert caravan markets where there were stalls of exotic spices, silk, and slaves. Here it was different. There were no slaves at all, which she thoroughly approved of. Instead were stalls with displays of ore, money changers, woolen cloth, wood and ceramics. Both markets had grain merchants, she pointed out.

There were food vendors with foods she’d never seen. She pointed one out to Kaya. “What’s that?”

Kaya grinned. “Dwarf cake. I’ve only ever had it once and it was delicious. Honey and nuts, flaky and light. May we get one, father?”

He grinned too. “I believe so. It’s been many years since I’ve tasted any, myself.” He went up to the stall and ordered three from the dwarf woman running it.

She wrapped each in paper. “Three shillings.”

Aduello put the coins on the counter. “Thank you.” He bowed to the proprietress and handed the cakes to the young elves. They unwrapped the cakes and walked along.

“Oh my,” Delia said after the first bite. “This reminds me of the sweet cakes I had once in Encre but better, flakier.”

“Mmmm,” was Kaya’s response.

They washed sticky hands in the central fountain and sat on the edge, enjoying the day. It was cooler here in the mountains, but the sun was warm. Delia entertained herself by looking at the elves, men and dwarves that walked by with her magical sight. “Everyone has an aura!”

Kaya chuckled. “Yes. Every living thing.”

“The human ones don’t sparkle like elven ones. The dwarves,” she studied a pair of stocky ones thumping past in heavy-looking boots, “their auras, um, shimmer, I guess is the best word.”

Aduello nodded. “That’s why it’s a shame when we go to war with each other. He looked at the sun. It’s nearly mid-day. I’ll go back to the inn and see if a message has come from the castle.” He stood up and looked at Kaya. “Stay out of trouble.”

Delia could see he was telling his daughter to look out for her.

“Of course, father. No trouble at all.”

He left, and Delia and Kaya stood up. “Let’s check on the horses,” Delia said.

“Good idea.”

They went to the stable, where they said hello to the livery elf, and went to the horses. With nothing better to do, they curried the horses until their manes and tails were tangle free and their coats glistened. “We should have gotten them apples at the market,” Delia said.

“Oh, that would have been a good idea. Next time.” Kaya cleaned her curry brush and put it back where she found it.

Delia did the same. “I know we just had a snack, but let’s go inside and get some bread and cheese. I’m hungry.”

“Me, too. Days of short rations have made me famished.”

The two went in and were there, finishing a plate of bread, cheese and fruit when Aduello came in. “Glad to see you here. We have permission to see Yarami mid-afternoon.” He looked around the room. There were single elves, sitting far apart in the pub, far enough away that they couldn’t hear what was being said. Their eyes were on their mugs. “There’s a feeling about town that I didn’t notice this morning. I can’t tell what it is. How long have you two been here?

Kaya and Delia traded alarmed looks. “We left the square just after you. We spent an hour grooming the horses, then came in here to eat. We’ve been here since.” Kaya looked at her father. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know.” He glanced at the two other elves and back to his daughter. “But something is wrong.”

Delia stood up. “I’ll go look at the street.”

Aduello started to call her back but stopped and nodded. “See what you can.”

Delia walked casually to the open door of the inn and stepped just out of the door. There was still plenty of foot-traffic. A few elves and men on horseback rode past. What might be different? No one was on the bench outside the door, so she sat down and leaned back against the wall, feet out, at ease to the casual passer-by.

It took a while to spot. She went inside. “We should go to the castle now.”

Kaya and Aduello stood. He dropped some coins on the table. “Let’s go.”

They left the inn and headed to the castle. “What did you see,” Kaya asked.

“Black auras. Not on everyone, but yesterday I didn’t see any.” Delia felt for the knife at her waist.

“Should we have brought our saddle bags?” Kaya asked.

“There’s no time,” Aduello said. “It would have looked suspicious.”

Delia nodded, he was right. She did have a pang of regret for the few coins and jewelry she’d left behind. But better that than a slit throat.

They passed the market, which now seemed gray and ominous to Delia, and were not far from the castle when three elves on horseback, accompanied by four more on foot, appeared in front of them from several streets and alleys.

Aduello stopped. “Get behind me.”

Delia looked behind. “There’s more behind us.”

The three moved to stand back to back. Unbidden, a fireball formed in Delia’s hand. She had no intention of being captured by black elves again. It was no matter that none of them were wearing black, she could see their auras.

Kaya readied herself as well. “I think the sleeping spell, don’t you?”

Delia grinned as she squashed the fireball. “Yes. A much better idea than burning the town down.”

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 42.

958 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Art, All About the Odds, Joshua Robertson: Monday Blog Post

Rufous Sided Towhee using Filters to Make an Oil Painting

 

Newest News:

I write this blog on Sunday for posting on Monday. So right now, I’m looking forward to going to a painting class in a couple of hours. I haven’t done oil painting for decades and when a friend invited me to come along, I jumped at the chance. I think I’ll enjoy a more physical and colorful method of being creative as a break from my daily writing. If it’s any good at all, or maybe even if it isn’t, I’ll share a picture of the painting next week.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m working on the second story in my All About Bob Series. Over the course of last week, I changed the name of it from All About the Game to All About the Odds. I have to say I’ve written my main character, Bobbie, into quite a pickle. Let’s see if I can get her out of it!

Did you know I have a Pinterest page? It’s here: https://www.pinterest.com/conniecockrell/. I have a board for my books and stories and just Saturday, learned how to link my book pin to the Amazon buy page. I’m so excited about that! I don’t have all of them linked yet, but soon. Anyway, I have lots of other boards on there, including one for Paleo recipes, so I hope you stop by.

Giveaways:

The Lovestruck Authors and Bloggers Valentine’s Day giveaway has 32 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $100 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. This is a great way to find new to you authors, but it doesn’t last long. It’ll be over on Valentine’s Day. Check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the contest. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

Shout Out:

Author Joshua Robertson

Hey, it’s time to shout out to Joshua Robertson. Joshua Robertson is an award-winning author in epic, dark fantasy. You may recognize him as the dude whose dragons were said to destroy George R.R. Martin’s and Christopher Paolini’s dragons in a very biased Twitter poll. His first novel, Melkorka, was released in 2015, and he has been writing fantasy fiction like clockwork ever since. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He currently lives in North Carolina with his better half and his horde of goblins.  You can find out more at: Newsletter

Amazon

Instagram

Facebook Page

Facebook Group

Twitter

Author J.C. Boyd

He’s co-authored his newest book, Heshayol, with JC Boyd. J.C. lives in the Midwest with his wife and two dogs and has an M.A. in English Literature. The first novel in his world, Blood and Bile, was released in 2017. Before completing junior high, J.C. had received his first box set of Dungeons & Dragons and devoured J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Since, he has been heavily influenced by a myriad of fantasy authors, such as Weis and Hickman, Robert Jordan, and Ed Greenwood. You can find out more at: Amazon

Facebook Group

Twitter

Here’s a bit about Heshayol.

Over a millennium ago, at their father’s command, Tyran and Drast sent the Horned God to the Netherworld in hopes of gaining everlasting life. Instead, they sparked a chain of events that led to the near destruction of the Ash Tree and the liberation of the old gods. Now, with the world waning, the two brothers are freed from Anaerfell to travel to the frozen realm of the dead and resurrect their enemy with hopes of restoring balance. Tyran and Drast journey between time and space with limitless magic at their fingertips to face demon legions, forsaken immortals, and the realization that the malevolence of their father is not yet done.

They knew killing a dragon wasn’t going to be easy. Especially not one that was also a god. But they never expected to be punished so brutally, or for so long. Death is no escape when you’ve already slain the Horned God to the Netherworld.

Heshayol releases March 5th so get your Pre order for only $2.99 and for a limited time you can get the first book Anaerfell for only $.99.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements.

The 20th Annual Women’s Wellness Forum
​Saturday, April 28, 2018

I’m excited to say I’m booked for the Payson Women’s Wellness Forum on April 28th, 2018. What’s more healing that getting lost in a novel! I’ll be there all day and you can buy, and I’ll sign, any of my books. SciFi, Fantasy, Cozy Mystery and more. You can find tickets at https://www.mhafoundation.com/upcoming-events.html

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Book Release:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Slave Elf: Part 41: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Snow mountain tops in clouds. Dawn. Mount Mamkhurts. Northwest spurs Greater Caucasus Mountain Range. Caucasus mountains. Karachay-Cherkessia. Russia. from Depositphotos

 

Part 41

Find Chapter 1 here.

 

They left the next morning after an early breakfast. The dew hadn’t dried yet before they were on the road. The plan was to ride hard, to get to the king as fast as possible. On the ride Delia wondered what they would find when they got there. Or, just what it was she could do when they did.

The far south of the kingdom where Sochiro Yarami was a many days ride. In the evening, Delia had Aduello tell her about both Sochiro Yarami and Lady Dedalia.

“Lady Alia Dedalia is an old friend of your mother’s.” Aduello stirred the small campfire. “She’s from an old family, older than your father’s, who have guarded the eastern borders for thousands of years. I believe Queen Ralae spent some time there as a young woman, learning about the area and making friends with Alia and her daughters.” He sighed. “You came here via the eastern border, Princess.”

Delia nodded. “I didn’t see a border or guards, though.”

“No. You were brought by secret elven paths. The king did try to keep your homecoming a secret.”

“It didn’t work.” She remembered that desperate run to the palace gates. “Not his fault, I expect. Nethene’s and Iyuno’s spies must be everywhere.”

“True.” He drank the last of his tea. “Sochiro Yarami is like me, not a lord but the guardian of the southern borders anyway.” He shook his head. “That was traditionally Iyuno’s post. But when your father was crowned and Iyuno disappeared, it was given to Yarami. He’s a good elf, loyal and smart. I agreed with the king that he was a good choice.”

“What’s on the southern border?” Delia leaned forward. If nothing else, riding around the entire elven kingdom was giving her a great insight into her land.

“We share that border with the dwarves. That region is mountainous and full of ores. We have a good trade with the dwarves and it goes through the town around Yarami’s castle.”

Delia remembered seeing dwarves in a few of the desert towns her caravan went through, but she’d never had an opportunity to talk to them. “Do we get along?”

Aduello laughed. “As much as dwarves get along with anyone. They live nearly as long as we do and are a little sensitive, taking almost anything said to them as an affront. They’re good fighters, though. We have histories of elves and dwarves fighting together against dragons and orcs.”

“Orcs? I thought they were a legend?”

Kaya smiled. “They may be. The last great war, even men were involved. We believe the orcs were wiped out, but no one knows. None have been seen for over a thousand years.”

“Good to know. The myths made them sound evil.” Delia wrapped her arms around herself and shivered. The evening had turned chill and the stories of orc’s destruction were horrific.

“They were.” Aduella got up and banked the fire. “That’s one fight I’d rather not attend.”

It took ten days to get to Yarami’s town, Verda. As they entered the gates, Delia felt right at home. It was very similar to the caravan towns she’d grown up visiting. As they passed through the streets, she didn’t see any particularly large group of soldiers. None in her father’s colors. They went to an inn where the tired horses were watered, curried and led into roomy box stalls and fed. Aduello instructed the livery elf to clean all the tack and offered coins in advance. The elf gave a quick bow and promised it would all be cleaned by morning.

They went into the inn where Aduello ordered two rooms and baths. They went upstairs and found two nice rooms, both with a view of the street in front. “We’ll meet downstairs after cleaning up and have dinner and make a plan.”

That sounded good to Delia. After ten days of hard riding and sleeping on the ground, a nap in a soft bed sounded grand. They met in the pub, ordering stew, bread and wine, and talked softly while they waited for it to arrive. A trio of dwarves sat in the back corner, while a party of five men sat under the windows. Aduello chose a table in the middle, where he could watch the door to the inn. “In the morning I’ll send word to Yarami that we’re here. If we can get an audience, we’ll know where the king is soon enough.”

Delia nodded. “Should you tell him I’m here?”

“I did think of that but in case there’s a spy, I think I’ll leave that out.”

Both Kaya and Delia agreed.

“I didn’t notice any unusual number of soldiers as we rode in,” Delia said.

But I did notice,” Kaya added, “that they seemed very alert. You’ve spent years in trading towns, Delia. What did you think?”

“A town’s guards are always alert. Trading towns are rife with thieves and cut-purses, kidnappers and scam-artists. I’m sure Verda isn’t any different. But no, I didn’t think so, at least not at the time.”

“Good points, both of you.” Aduello stopped talking as a serving elf brought their wine.

“The food will be out in a minute,” she said, then went back to the kitchen.

“And,” Delia said as she picked up her wine. “Where is Iyuno? If the king is here, shouldn’t he be nearby?”

“This is a mountainous region. He could have three armies in any canyon, hidden, ready to attack at any time.” Aduello sipped his wine. “We’ll just have to see Yarami.”

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 41.

921 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Tested Release, Calendar, Interview and More : Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Tested is released! It should be up everywhere by now so go to your favorite book retailer and get your copy! I did a little fancy formatting on the interior and I’m very pleased with the resulting look in the paperback version. As I put new covers on the other three in the series, I’ll do that with them as well.

I’ve made a calendar for 2018. It’s for sale at http://www.lulu.com/shop/connie-cockrell/my-calendar-2018/calendar/product-23462179.html. The photos were taken by my husband of places around Arizona where we live and hike. If you haven’t gotten your 2018 wall calendar, check it out. I hope you like it.

Last Friday I was interviewed on Mistral Dawn’s blog. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, here’s the link. https://mistralkdawn.blogspot.com/2018/02/interview-with-connie-cockrell.html  Another SciFi author, you may enjoy her books as well as mine.

Did you know I have a Pinterest page? It’s here: https://www.pinterest.com/conniecockrell/. I have a board for my books and stories and just Saturday, learned how to link my book pin to the Amazon buy page. I’m so excited about that! I don’t have all of them linked yet, but soon. Anyway, I have lots of other boards on there, including one for Paleo recipes, so I hope you stop by.

Giveaways:

The Lovestruck Authors and Bloggers Valentine’s Day giveaway has 32 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $100 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. This is a great way to find new to you authors, but it doesn’t last long. The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway will start after Valentine’s Day. Check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the new contest. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

Shout Out:

Be ready to greet Joshua Robertson. I decided to put up his info next week to match his release date. He’s a wonderful author with a new release, Heshayol. If you’re a SciFan lover, you’ll want to see this.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements.

I’m excited to say I’m booked for the Payson Women’s Wellness Forum on April 28th, 2018. What’s more healing that getting lost in a novel! I’ll be there all day and you can buy, and I’ll sign, any of my books. SciFi, Fantasy, Cozy Mystery and more. You can find tickets at https://www.mhafoundation.com/upcoming-events.html

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Book Release:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Slave Elf: Part 40: Flash Fiction Friday Post

scrying_bowl_by_vasilisamanuese-d3b5o7b on DeviantArt.com

 

Part 40

Find Part 1 here.

 

Delia froze. “Bad news?”

Phara shrugged. “A little of both. Let’s let you clean up and eat then we’ll talk.”

Delia and Kara exchanged glances. To Delia, Phara sounded like the news was too bad to talk about. “As you wish.” She and Kara grabbed their saddlebags and went inside and took turns at the bath, then, dressed and ready, went to the kitchen.

Phara was standing at the fireplace, stirring a pot. Aduella was at the table, a mug of tea steaming in front of him.

“The horses are taken care of.” Aduella sipped his tea.

“I’ve made stew.” Phara tapped the spoon on the side of the hanging pot and put it on the spoon rest. “It’ll be ready soon if you’d like to set the table.”

Delia went for the silverware while Kaya got the bowls. Phara cut slices out of a loaf of bread as Aduella got a crock of butter from the cool box. Table set, the two young elves and Aduella sat down. Phara scooped stew into a tureen and brought it to the table. “There. Let’s get you all fed. That was a hard ride if you only took a day and a half.”

Delia’s stomach growled in answer. Despite her fear of Phara’s news, she laughed with everyone else. It didn’t take long to eat, or to clean up, either. They met in the library and settled in, goblets of wine in each hand. Delia sat on the edge of her chair, expecting the worse.

“We had all but two pigeons return. Most of the answers were that they didn’t know where Iyuno was. Some offered rumors.” She looked at all of them. “One, from Lord Rado, said he’d helped King Ucheni with warriors and supplies two weeks ago.”

Delia looked around at the surprised faces. She knew so little about the elven kingdom. “Who’s Lord Rado?”

Aduello had fallen back into his chair. “Lord Rado holds a castle on the far western border.” He shook his head. “Why was the king so far west?”

“No word of the queen?” Delia twisted the goblet around and around in her hands.

“None so far. The two missing pigeons were to Sochiro Yarami, who lives to the far south, and Lady Aila Dedalia.” Phara looked at Delia with concern. “She lives east, near the desert. It’s possible the pigeons never made it to either place. Or they made it and were sent back but didn’t make it here. Or,” Phara paused, “they’re still there and haven’t been sent with a message, for whatever reasons.”

Delia sipped her wine. It was a dark red, the full-bodied smoky, fruity flavor filling her mouth. “Perhaps Mother is at one of those places, hiding. That’s why no one has news.”

“It’s possible,” Aduello said. “How can we find out where they all are?”

Kaya spoke up. “Let me try scrying.”

“Don’t you need a special bowl or something,” Delia asked.

Kaya shook her head. “It helps to have a bowl that’s been used for scrying before, but it can be done in anything that can hold water, or a still pool.” She licked her lips. “I cannot guarantee anything. Scrying isn’t my strong suit. I have to be able to do it to pass my Master’s exam, but it’s not my strongest skill.”

That brought the memory of Sisruo to Delia’s mind. He was supposed to take the Master’s exam soon. Was he still alive to do so? “You won’t get hurt, will you?”

“No.” Kaya shook her head. “But I may not see anything.”

Phara looked relieved. “What do you need?”

Kaya thought a moment. “A large, wide silver bowl would be best. Failing that, a wooden bowl.”

Phara looked disappointed. “I don’t have a silver bowl of any sort.” She thought a moment. “I have a large wooden bowl I use for salad. Will that work?”

Kaya nodded. “I can make that work, I think.” She blew out a deep breath. “I’ll have to prepare the bowl and myself. I’ll try at dusk. The beginning and ending of a day are when the ether is thinnest.” She stood up. “Let’s get the bowl, mother.”

The two walked back to the kitchen. Delia sat back in the chair, Aduello doing the same. All she could think about was where her parents were. Where was Mage Kaepli and Sisruo? She sipped her wine and wondered how Kaya would fare. She hoped Kaya was telling the truth about not getting hurt scrying. In her limited experience, magic had a habit of blowing back on the user if they were doing things wrong.

It was getting dark when Kaya came back with her mother. Her hair was unbound and combed through. She wore a robe with no belts or bindings. “You all may come and watch, but don’t talk or move. I need to concentrate.”

They all left and went out and down from the tree. She went to a small glade and put the bowl on the ground. She took the bucket of water from her father and poured it into the bowl. Kaya knelt beside the bowl and took a breath before beginning to chant.

Delia made herself comfortable and waited beside Phara and Aduello. The chanting was low, slow, soothing, actually. The evening birdsong decreased with the light. A soft breeze wafted by, rustling the leaves. The quiet chanting with the dying light and sound was making her sleepy.

She woke, standing, with Kaya’s hand on her shoulder. “Delia?”

Delia blinked. “What happened? Did I miss your scrying?”

Kaya chuckled. “You didn’t miss much. I didn’t see anything. But you!”

Delia looked at Aduello and Phara, standing on each side of her. “What?”

Phara reached out a comforting hand. “You spoke. You gave us both your mother’s and your father’s locations.”

Delia found that hard to believe. “How?”

Kaya nodded. “I’ve read that it can happen. You were tired. My chanting and the evenfall relaxed you. You are part of prophecy. So, prophecy is helping, apparently.”

A little panic-stricken, Delia shook her head. “I don’t remember.”

“That’s fine. We do. You told us your mother is with Lady Dedalia and the king with Sochiro Yarami.”

“Did I say where Iyuno is?”

“No.” Aduello shook his head. “But we can assume he’s near your father. Iyuno has to kill him before he can be king.”

Delia swallowed. Full night had fallen. She felt light-headed and confused. “What do we do?”

“Your mother is safe. I think, Princess, we need to go help the king.” Aduello waited.

“I feel sick, Kaya.” Delia put a hand over her stomach.

“I had that reaction after my first scrying. It’s normal.” She turned to her mother. “We should go in. Let Delia sit down with a goblet of wine to restore her.”

So, they all went in. They put Delia in front of the fire with some wine and Phara went to get her a snack. After she ate the fruit and cheese, she felt better. “Thank you. I was a little disoriented.”

“That’s fine.” Phara gave her a smile. “It’s hard to remember that you’re new to all of this. You’re taking it rather well.”

Delia sighed. “Yes. I feel like I’m always running to catch up.”

Aduello nodded. “Have you give thought to your decision?”

“I have.” Delia drank the last of her wine. “We go to the king.”

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 41.

1235 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

A.F. Stewart, Author Inteviews, Tested: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

My forth book of the Brown Rain series, Tested, is final formatting. It’s a neverending learning process as the actual publishing players, (CreateSpace, KDP, Smashwords, and so many others), change their rules on how we can publish through them. However, I’m getting the nitty-gritty out of the way and am close to putting Tested out there for you all to read. As always: Where ever you choose to purchase, I’d appreciate a review. You have no idea how important that is to making the book available to those looking for a similar read.

If you remember from last week, my mom was released from the hospital. She’s doing better and thank you for your kind thoughts.

I have an author interview for Wednesday. Be ready to greet Joshua Robertson. He’s a wonderful author with a new release, Heshayol. If you’re a SciFan lover, you’ll want to see this.

I’ve made a calendar for 2018. It’s for sale at http://www.lulu.com/shop/connie-cockrell/my-calendar-2018/calendar/product-23462179.html. The photos were taken by my husband of places around Arizona where we live and hike. If you haven’t gotten your 2018 wall calendar, check it out. I hope you like it.

 

Giveaways:

The Lovestruck Authors and Bloggers Valentine’s Day giveaway has 32 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $100 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. This is a great way to find new to you authors, but it doesn’t last long. The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway will start after Valentine’s Day. Check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the new contest. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

Shout Out:

If you haven’t heard of A.F. Stewart, you’re in for a treat. She’s releasing her new book, Ghosts of the Sea Moon and for a short time, it’s available at .99.

Book Info:

Title: Ghosts of the Sea Moon (Saga of the Outer Islands Book 1)

Author: A. F. Stewart

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Publication Date: January 13th, 2018

Paperback Price: $12.99

Digital Price: Pre-order and Release Price $0.99. Will go up to $2.99 on February 14th

Book Page: https://afallonblog.wordpress.com/saga-of-the-outer-islands/

Pinterest Book Series Board: https://www.pinterest.ca/scribe77/saga-of-the-outer-islands/

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/8cr7tSCeI0A

 

Free companion prequel story, Sea Bound: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/Ge8gj

 

Ghosts of the Sea Moon Blurb

In the Outer Islands, gods and magic rule the ocean.

Under the command of Captain Rafe Morrow, the crew of the Celestial Jewel ferry souls to the After World and defend the seas from monsters. Rafe has dedicated his life to protecting the lost, but the tides have shifted and times have changed.

His sister, the Goddess of the Moon, is on a rampage and her creatures are terrorizing the islands. The survival of the living and dead hinge on the courage and cunning of a beleaguered captain and his motley crew of men and ghosts.

What he doesn’t know is that her threat is part of a larger game. That an ancient, black-winged malevolence is using them all as pawns…

 

Come set sail with ghosts, gods and sea monsters.

 

Buy Links:

 

Books2Read link (all non-Amazon retailers): https://www.books2read.com/u/ml5GvM

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078MS397S

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37648721-ghosts-of-the-sea-moon

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Ghosts-Moon-Saga-Outer-Islands/dp/1981802223/

 

Author Links:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/afstewartauthor/

Facebook Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/348788975590362/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/scribe77

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/afstewartauthor/

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/1175681.A_F_Stewart

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/a-f-stewart

Website: https://afallonblog.wordpress.com/

Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/OGrTT

 

Author Bio:

A steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada and still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author she’s published novels, novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry.

 

Excerpt:

Chapter One

The Captain

 

Captain Rafe Morrow paced the quarterdeck of his ship, Celestial Jewel, the signs of an oncoming squall setting him on edge. Blustering wind rattled the sails and the crew’s nerves, their usual jaunty hubbub reduced to grumbling and snipes. Trouble travelled on that wind. Rafe could smell it woven in the air, and his blood prickled with a sense of worry. The ship trembled as if with warning. He glared at the sky and its darkening clouds painted amber and crimson from the setting sun. A storm sky coming ahead of a full moon meant dark magic and sea monsters would prowl the waves this night.

The Moon Goddess will hold sway tonight.

A trickle of blue energy raced across the back of his hand at the thought.

Damn her…and her beasts.

On the breath of a sigh, he whirled to face his crew. “Storm’s coming, boys. Doesn’t bode well, not with the moonrise tonight.”

“How long, Captain? Will we be in the thick of the weather or just what comes after?” A rough-edged sailor, Pinky Jasper, spoke up, but all ears of the deck crew listened for an answer.

“It’s coming within an hour or two, out from Raven Rock, by my reckoning. After nightfall by certain. We’re heading in, boys, but we’ll likely hit the edge of it.” He heaved a breath, exhaling. “It’ll be a bad one even for this crew so expect trouble.”

A shiver of tension settled over the deck. Some of the crew cast worried glances at the sea and each other. Others shivered, and a few more whispered prayers. Storms brought bad memories and nervous anticipation to the sailors of this ship.

“Which port then, Captain?” The mariner at the ship’s wheel chimed in. “Might make Abersythe if we head north.”

“We might, Anders. But we head east. We’ll race the edge of the tempest, but it’s closer and the ship will find better shelter anchored at Crickwell Island.”

“Aye, sir. Laying in course to Crickwell Island.” One-Eyed Anders turned the wheel and the ship’s bones groaned. Others of the crew adjusted the sails, and the Celestial Jewel leaned into her new bearing headed east.

 

Instafreebie preview (download the first four chapters free): https://www.instafreebie.com/free/cu9nx

 

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements.

I’m excited to say I’m booked for the Payson Women’s Wellness Forum on April 28th, 2018. What’s more healing that getting lost in a novel! I’ll be there all day and you can buy and I’ll sign, any of my books. SciFi, Fantasy, Cozy Mystery and more. You can find tickets at https://www.mhafoundation.com/upcoming-events.html

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Book Release:

Mystery at the Book Festival released June 1st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Slave Elf Part 39: Flash Fiction Friday

Read Part 1 here.

Part 39

Inside the gate Delia saw the empty courtyard. Normally this space would be bustling, even with the army gone. Now, there was no activity except a couple of leaves drifting across the paved yard in the slight breeze. They put the horses in the empty stable, in itself a troubling sign, and proceeded to the palace.

No one was inside. Delia checked the kitchen, the great hall and both of her parent’s rooms. She stood in front of her mother’s dressing table and surveyed the room. “I don’t understand. Everything is in its place. There’s no sign of any struggle anywhere in the palace. But no one is here.”

Kaya put an arm around Delia’s shoulders. “Should we check the Mage’s rooms?”

Delia sighed. “I don’t expect to find anything different there. But we should check.”

The three went outside and stopped outside the workshop door. Kaya drew a deep breath and opened the door. The three went in. It was the same as in the palace. Everything in it’s place. “I’ve been using my magical sight,” Delia said as she brushed her hand across the table where she’d studied. “There’s nothing. No spells lingering around. Nothing to indicate where everyone went.” She looked at Aduella. “That’s not usual, is it? For every single elf in the palace to just leave?”

Aduello shook his head. “Not that I’ve ever heard. Ever. Even if the king and queen were travelling to another castle, there’d still be caretakers left behind. Spare horses. Guards.” He rubbed his chin and looked around the workshop. “I have no idea.”

“Let’s go back to the kitchen. We didn’t check for food. If there’s something here, let’s eat and think about this.”

They left, Kaya pulling the door shut gently, and went to the kitchen. The kitchen cupboards held some dry sausage and cheese. The fireplace had been swept clean. Rodent droppings were on the counters and table. Kaya cleaned the table while Delia sliced sausage and cheese for each of them. Aduello pulled plates from the cupboard and drew water for them to drink. They sat at the table and ate, saying nothing. Delia felt as though her heart had been squeezed. She’d only just reunited with her parents. Now they were gone. She was surprised when a tear fell on her hand.

Kaya reached out and patted it. “I’m sorry, Delia.”

Delia nodded and sniffed, reaching up with her other hand to dash away the tears. “This is unbelievable. Where could everyone have gone? Did Iyuno do this?”

Aduello shook his head. “Over a hundred people live and work here. Someone must know something about where they went. Perhaps the queen sent everyone away because Iyuno was going to attack.”

“There’s no sign of damage, though,” Delia said, sniffing again. “If he attacked, wouldn’t there be some damage? Bodies? Broken equipment?”

“There is that,” Aduello said. “You’re right.”

“Maybe he came. Saw the palace was empty and put the protection spell up out of spite.” Kaya patted Delia’s hand. “He’s mean enough to do that.”

“Yes. But he wants to be king.” Delia squeezed Kaya’s hand, then reached for her water. “Wouldn’t he move in right away?” She drank and put the mug down.

Aduello tucked a strand of hair behind his ear. “A good point, unless he was still chasing your father. If the king wasn’t here, then he’d have to chase after him. He wouldn’t want your father to gather another force and return.”

Delia leaned forward, elbows on the table, and rubbed her face with both hands. “We don’t have enough information. We should close up the palace and go back to your home. Perhaps the pigeons will have returned with clues.”

Kaya nodded. “I think that’s a good idea. Would you like to get some of your own things before we go?”

Delia pushed away from the table. “Good idea.”

“We’ll clean up while you go,” Aduello said, standing up.

Delia went to her rooms, a little spooked at the lack of people in the halls. She selected another travelling outfit, a comb and other essentials and stuffed them into a spare saddlebag. She went to her dresser and opened her jewelry box. There wasn’t much in there. Just a few coins and a couple of necklaces and bracelets she’d brought with her and her mother gave her. She scooped it all up and dropped them into a pouch. She needed someway to pay others. She couldn’t keep depending entirely on the generosity of others. Delia put the lid down and stuffed the pouch into a pocket. Perhaps there was a strong room in the palace where there was more coin, but she’d never asked about it and no one had thought to talk to her about it. What she had would have to do.

Back in the kitchen, the others were ready to go. “I packed the rest of the sausage and cheese,” Kaya told her. “It seemed wasteful to leave it for the rodents.”

They walked out to the stables and saddled up their horses. Aduello cleaned up after the horses and shut the doors after Delia led the horses out. Delia closed the gates to the palace and looked up at them. “I’m going to set a protection spell,” she said after a moment. “To keep others out.”

She set the spell and mounted her horse. “Maybe that’s what happened.” She studied her work with her magical sight. “Perhaps Mage Kaepli set the spell, so the palace would stay safe when they left.”

“A hopeful thought, Princess.” Aduello turned his horse. “Let’s hurry home and see what news has arrived.”

The three rode off at a fast pace. By riding long into the night, they were back at the treehouse in a day and a half.

Phara hugged them all. “There’s news.”

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 40.

974 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

 

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

3-Ingredient Coconut Cookies: A Chicklets in the Kitchen Blog Post

Finished Product

I should be posting a dinner or lunch recipe this month but I’ve been on my paleo diet all month, and some of you on the Whole 30 program. Aren’t you ready for something a little decadent? These cookies are totally paleo but very tasty! A nice treat for an after dinner dessert, as I did the day I made them.

1 cookie per person, Serves 8.

Hardware

Bowl

Knife

Cutting Board

1 cup glass measuring cup

Measuring spoons

1/3 cup measure

Cookie Sheet Lined with Parchment Paper

 

Ingredients

1 large over ripe banana

2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

4 oz dark chocolate (Optional)

1/4 cup rough chopped walnuts (optional)

1/4 tsp vanilla

Directions:

I have to tell you, I doubled this recipe right off the bat before I’d even tried it. I was glad I did!

See the rest of the recipe here.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Winter Weather, Tested, Giveaways: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

While the rest of the U.S. has been struggling through a very cold spell, Central Arizona has remained sunny and warmer than normal. That is, until Saturday. On Saturday, I attended our local Women’s March. I’ve never been to a march or demonstration, so I decided I had to come. Anyway, for the first time in months, it was cold and rainy. Of course! Over 50 people came to stand along the sidewalk on the primary street running through town with signs. We had lots of honks for us and a few who decided the middle finger salute was more appropriate. Oh well. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Anyway, it rained on and off all afternoon and in the evening, when the temperature dropped, it snowed. We woke to about an inch on Sunday morning, covering everything in the area. Very pretty. See the above picture.

My second All About Bob story, It’s All About the Game, is in full swing. I have several chapters written already. My main character Roberta Hixon, or Bobbie to her friends, is in trouble up to her neck. She has just days to figure it out! This is a YA contemporary, novelette series that I think everyone will like. The plan, as I discussed last year, is to write all five and release them one right after the other, probably in 2019.

Had a bit of a slump last week as my mom went into the hospital again. She’s doing better now, and my brain has come out of it’s fog and I can get some things accomplished.

I’m finalizing the formatting of Tested, then I’ll put it up for pre-sale. I’m thinking of putting it into my St. Patrick’s Day giveaway, so stay tuned for that.

I’ve made a calendar for 2018. It’s for sale at http://www.lulu.com/shop/connie-cockrell/my-calendar-2018/calendar/product-23462179.html. The photos were taken by my husband of places around Arizona where we live and hike. If you haven’t gotten your 2018 wall calendar, check it out. I hope you like it.

 

Giveaways:

The Christmas Giveaway is over. My prize winners were Sparrow Chaser, Richard Brandt, and Christina Tatt. They all have their prizes. Now, for the Lovestruck Authors and Bloggers Valentine’s Day giveaway there are 32 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $100 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. This is a great way to find new to you authors, but it doesn’t last long. The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway will start after Valentine’s Day. Check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the new contest. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

My January giveaway, Ring in the New Year with Killer Mysteries, hosted by author Anne R. Tan on BookFunnel.com ran from January 5th to the 21st. Lots of new to you authors were also in the giveaway. For the over 1100 readers who downloaded my book, Mystery at the Fair, thank you. A welcome email will be coming to you shortly.

Shout Out:

I’m reading Connie Willis’s short story collection, The Best of Connie Willis. These are all award-winning science fiction, science fiction/horror stories. I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two of these appear on the hit show, Black Mirror. They are that good. I attended the 2017 Westercon with her and served on a few panels with her. She has an encyclopedic memory of everything science fiction. I was honored to be sitting next to her.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements.

I’m already scheduled to go to the Phoenix Comicon May24th – 28th. I’m putting together at least 2 costumes. Hope to see you there in your costume. I’ll be in Artist’s Alley!

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Book Release:

Mystery at the Book Festival released June 1st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Slave Elf Part 38: Flash Fiction Friday

Energy Ball 001 by ISOStock, www.DeviantArt.com

Part 1 here.

Part 38

They took the rest of the day to prepare and send out the pigeons. The next morning, Delia put on her own clothes, washed and repaired by Phara. Phara had made them a big breakfast and then went out with them to saddle up the horses.

“Be careful,” Phara told them as they settled into the saddles. “Come home to me.”

“We will,” Aduello told her.

Kaya blew her a kiss. “Stay well, Mother.”

Phara blew one back. “You as well. And you, Delia.”

“Thank you.”

Aduello kicked his horse forward. Kaya and Delia did the same. Delia waved to Phara. Then settled into the ride. The trip took just two days. Much better, Delia thought, than the five-day slog had been to Aduello’s.

They made camp in front of the gate. After they had supper, Aduello stood, staring at the gate. “It’s very complicated.”

Delia stood beside him. “Yes. And strong. It took both Kaya and I to break the one at Iyunno’s.”

“Before you knew about fire.”

She nodded. “Yes. Tomorrow will be interesting.”

In the morning they packed everything onto the horses and Kaya led them up the road a little way and hobbled them, so they could graze. When she returned, her father and Delia were building up the campfire. They all brought wood from the forest and threw it on until it was taller than Aduello.

“That should be enough,” Delia told them as she brushed her hands off. She took a sip of water and stared at the gate then sighed. “Time to do this. Kaya, build a shield please.”

Kaya nodded and began to mutter under her breath.

“What shall I do?” Aduello asked.

“Keep watch. We’re going to be focused on the protection spell. I don’t want anyone sneaking up on us.”

He nodded.

Delia took a breath and looked at the fire. She urged the fire to come to her, just like she did in Iyuno’s. The warm glow reached her, and she began to feel stronger. More, more, she thought. The fire filled her. She felt invincible. Maintaining the connection with the fire, she turned to face the gate. Kaya had the shield up, large enough to cover all three of them. “I’m starting.”

She raised her hands and using a spell slightly different that the one the Mage taught her, began to try and take down the protection spell. It was hard, and a trickle of sweat rolled down her temple and another down her spine.

“You’re doing it, Delia! Keep it up,” Kaya said.

The yellow tendrils were unravelling but there was a long way to go. She wondered if she’d have to take out every single tendril. The gate was nearly clear, but she wanted the whole spell removed.

“The fire is going out,” Aduello told her.

“I don’t know how long this is going to take. Can you find more wood?”

“I’ll go now.” He hurried off.

Delia kept working. More and more of the yellow tendrils disappeared.

Aduello came back and threw more branches on the fire. He stood beside his daughter. “Shouldn’t it break soon?”

“We don’t know, Father. The last one blew back on us.

“I can feel it weakening,” Delia said. “But it’s putting up a fight, just like last time.”

“Shield is ready,” Kaya said.

Delia pulled as much power as she could from the fire. Sweat dripped from her chin as she took more and more of the yellow tendrils out. She could feel the protection spell tremble. “Get ready!”

Just as she yelled the words, the protection spell snapped. The shield Kaya made protected them from most of the blast but still they were all knocked down. Kaya lost the shield spell. Delia lay on the dirt of the road, eyes closed.

“Are you alright?” Kaya hurried to Delia.

“Yes. Just resting.” She opened her eyes and rolled to her feet. “Aduello? Are you alright?”

“Yes. Fine.” He got up. “That’s quite the blast.”

Delia dusted off the back of her trousers and shirt. “Well. Let’s take a look, shall we?”

Aduello and Delia, kicked dirt over the remains of the fire while Kaya went for the horses. By the time she got back, the fire was out and the rocks of the fire ring were kicked back to the side of the road.

They mounted up and rode inside.

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 39.

731 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr