Slave Elf Part 51: Flash Fiction Friday Post

 

Part 51

Find Part 1 here.

 

When they arrived at the palace, Mage Kaepli took down the protective spell and they all entered.

Delia went to her rooms over the objection of Master Kaepli. “But Majesty, you belong in the King’s rooms.”

“Not until I talk to my mother. That will be the end of it.” She went in and closed the door. Outside she could hear two guards take their positions on either side, and sighed. They were just as tired as she was but there they were, standing guard. All she wanted was a proper bath and a huge dinner. But the few cooks the army had with them wouldn’t have had time to heat water, let alone cook anything. She remembered the state of the kitchen. Totally cleaned out. Someone would have to go hunting or something before anyone had anything other than camp rations to eat. She hoped her mother had supplies.

It was a week before her mother arrived.

Delia was in the courtyard to meet her. She gave her mother a hug and a kiss on the cheek after she’d dismounted. “Mother. I’m so sorry.” Her mother looked pale and thin in her white mourning dress.

Raele patted her daughter on the cheek. “I’m so proud of you. You defeated our enemy. There is much to be happy for.”

Delia walked with her to Raele’s rooms. “Rest, mother. May I get you anything?”

“Later, daughter. We’ll go see your father before the burial.”

Delia nodded. “Let me know when you’re ready. I’ll escort you.”

Raele nodded. “Thank you.”

That evening they went to the throne room together. Now Ucheni was in his finest robes, his crown upon his head. Candles surrounded the body and an honor guard of twelve surrounded him. Raele, put her hand on his. “He loved you. Very much.”

“I know. He showed it in every way.”

Raele sniffed and used a delicate handkerchief to wipe her eyes. “He died too young.”

“Iyuno paid for that.”

Raele turned to her daughter. “I heard stories.”

Delia shrugged. “He treated with orcs, Mother.”

Raele sighed. “True.”

They had a quiet supper in the Queen Mother’s rooms and Delia took her leave early.

Three months later, the coronation was held. Raele was still in her rooms but Delia had moved into her father’s apartment. It seemed weird, to her. She stood in front of a floor length mirror as Alia stood by and servants fussed with the coronation gown. It had been less than a year since Corpet the caravan master had given her that blue gown to wear. Slave to Queen in that short amount of time. It didn’t seem real.

Alia nodded. “You look beautiful.”

Delia studied her reflection. Her hair had been just lightly dressed, so that the crown could go on her head. Her hair mostly flowed down her back. A black river reaching to her waist. She teleported a mug of tea to her hand from a nearby table. It was a trick she’d developed one day by accident when a quill was just out of reach. Alia’s eyebrow rose. “Just in private, Ali. It seems silly to have you fetch it when I can just call it.”

Alia shook her head. “As you will, Majesty.”

Delia rolled her eyes. Alia was a stickler. Fortunately, Kaya still had a sense of humor, as did Couran, Relan and Sisruo. She needed friends and confidantes, not masters. “I’ll not do it in public. I promise.”

The ceremony lasted too long, Delia thought, but her mother looked pleased and that’s all she could hope for.

She thought about Captain Catari and poor little Gallett. Both had died in the sick tent, some poison they’d gotten from orc darts. Her thoughts turned to her mother. One day, her mother would move out of the next door apartments, replaced by a husband. That might be Sisruo. He’d passed his exams after he’d healed and was now a Master Mage himself. They would be a powerful couple, if it all worked out. She was still too young to marry, though. Another hundred years or so to get to know him, and her people, and her culture. It would pass in no time.

Thank You for Reading this Serial

670 Words

I hope you’ve enjoyed this story. It was supposed to be a simple flash fiction of 1000 words or less. It ran long the first day and I thought it’d finish up in four or five parts. Hah! Little did I know. The story took off with me and here we are, over 50,000 words later, finally come to an end.

I don’t like the title, Slave Elf, but it was all right for a working name. Here’s the thing, I’d like a new title. So I’m going to hold a contest. I’m going to get this story edited and put into novel form. Whoever suggests the winning title, will get the story as a signed paperback. Make your suggestions in the comments. I give this contest a month, closing May 18th. Get your suggestions in before then. Yes, you may make multiple suggestions. US residents only for the paperback. Overseas readers, I’ll send you an ebook if you win.

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

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Spring, Poetry, Camp Nano: Monday Blog Post

A Friend protecting his garden from the elk.

Newest News:

Spring has sprung here in central AZ. My Swiss Chard is coming back up and I see I missed some tiny potatoes as little potato leaves are poking their heads above ground. Must be time for me to plant my seed potatoes. My daffodils have finished blooming, as have the peach and nectarine trees. The pear trees are just about finished blooming and the apple tree has just started. I’ll have a lot of fruit again this summer! Must also be time to put in my peas!

Just a reminder, Mystery at the Fair is in a book bundle called Cozy Winter Reads and has five other authors in it with me. The Bundle Rabbit link is:   https://bundlerabbit.com/b/cozy-winter-reads and you can get the bundle in whatever format you’d like. I can hardly wait to read all of these new to me other authors. Hope you enjoy it. Just $7.99 for six books!

April is both National Poetry month and Camp Nano. I’ve been working on my third, All About Bob story. I’m calling it “It’s all about the Music”. It’s slow going as I’ve missed several writing days but I’m nearly to 10k words. So, if I can get the butt in the chair, I should have no trouble completing the 20k I have left in the challenge. In celebration of poetry month, I’ve been writing a poem a day. An acquaintance of mine is a poet and on her site and facebook page she’s been giving us a different poetry form every day to play with. It’s fun using these different forms and I’ve been having fun with it. Here’s one, just something silly. It’s called a nonet poem.

Last

It’s a bright, warm, day, without a cloud.

I went to the store, saw a crowd

All trying to check out now.

It took some time, it did.

When my turn came then

I checked out fast.

No one wants

To be

Last!

Have you ever written a poem? Share if you like, in the comments.

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ has started. My St. Patrick’s giveaway winners were Jodi Hunter and Amy Walczyk. Thank so much for participating!

Shout Out:

To my brother, Don. Don is revamping his lifestyle for healthier eating. He’s already lost a lot of weight and is pressing on to lose even more. Big hugs, Don, for jumping into that with both feet!

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 the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery 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.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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Slave Elf Part 50: Flash Fiction Friday Post

campfire_by_kiaraz via DeviantArt.com

 

Part 50

Find Part 1 here.

 

Alia called for help and two elves Delia didn’t know took her back to the king’s tent. “No.” She pushed away from the tent. “My tent.”

“But Your Majesty,” Alia began.

“No!” Delia shook her head. “My tent.”

Alia directed them to Delia’s tent. “Get the mage,” Alia directed one of them. To the other she said, “Get hot water and cloths.”

Alia got Delia’s breastplate off and her boots. By then water arrived in a basin with cloths. She washed Delia and put her clean shirt and trousers on her then let her lie down and sleep.

When Delia woke the table had a single candle and Alia was dozing, head propped on her fist at the table. She sat up. The small noise waking Alia.

“Princess.” She leapt from the chair. What do you need?

“I need to know what’s happening.”

Alia ducked her head. Everyone is at Master Kaepli’s tent.”

Delia put on socks and boots, having to shoo Alia away. “I’ve been dressing my own feet for years, Alia. Leave me be.”

Alia complied but fidgeted in the corner of the tent while she waited.

“Is there anything to eat?” Delia asked.

“I’ll bring it to the mage’s tent.”

“Good.”

Alia insisted on walking her there before going to get the food. When she entered, everyone, including Master Kaepli, stood. Delia sighed to herself. So this is what is was going to be like from now on? “Reports?”

“We’re glad to see you recovered, Prin, excuse me, Majesty.” Kaepli bowed.

“Thank you. How are our forces from the passes?”

He motioned for her to come to the map table. Juner stepped aside. Kaya nodded her greeting and Delia gave her a smile. Mystesto and Neoni weren’t in the tent but Lord Enaur was. “Tell me.”

Kaepli took a deep breath. “Orcs, Majesty. We had no idea any were left.”

“There are fewer now,” Delia said. The very thought of the ugly creatures she’d had to fight made her skin crawl. “My uncle apparently made a pact with them.” She shook her head. “I’ll never understand it.”

“Agreed.”

“And Captain Catari? Neoni? Mystesto?”

“Catari took heavy losses at the south pass, Majesty. He was severely injured and lost all but one of his men and many of ours.”

A quick thought of Gallett flashed through her mind. She’d find out later. “And the north pass?”

Neoni took a wound, but not too bad.” He sighed. “Mystesto was killed. They had orcs there as well.”

She hadn’t known either of them long but still a pang of grief, sharp as a blade went through her heart. Delia swallowed back tears. She was a queen now, tears were for private times. Still, it took a moment for her to find her voice. “My uncle’s forces were stopped, though?”

“Yes, Majesty.”

“And Sisruo?”

“He took the brunt of the orc attack at the field, Majesty.”

Delia stared at him. “And?”

“He, Couran and Palen were all injured. They’re in the sick tent.”

Alive, she thought. Still alive. “I’ll have to go visit them.”

“Yes, Majesty.”

Alia came in with a plate of roast meat and vegetables. “Majesty. Your dinner.”

The aroma made Delia’s stomach growl. Apparently power from fire didn’t satisfy that need. She sat down, the plate on top of the maps and ate as though she’d not eaten in days. “Go on.”

“We’ve lost nearly a thousand elves, Majesty.”

“And where are Nethene and Ceinno?”

“Dead, Majesty.”

Delia nodded. Painfully, she thought but kept that to herself. “Has word been sent to my mother?”

“Not yet, Majesty.” Kaepli licked his lips. “We await your order.”

Of course, she thought as she ate the last bite of the roast. “Send word that father has died but that I have survived.”

“Where is father’s body?” She stood up.

“In his tent, Majesty.”

“I’ll go see him.”

Kaepli bowed.

Delia left the tent, Alia behind her. After her trailed two elven guards. I’ll have to get used to that, too, I suppose.

There were two guards outside of the king’s tent door, one on each side. They saluted as she passed and she saluted back. Alia stayed outside.

Inside she found her father, washed and dressed in the best robes he had with him, lying in state on a makeshift table, draped in long, cotton cloth. His cloak was wrapped around him and four large candles stood at the corners of the makeshift byre. Gold coins weighted his eyes and a makeshift crown of flowers was on his head.

Delia rested her fingertips on the cloth, not touching the body. It’s too soon. I didn’t get to know you. Why? Why? Tears fell as the pain in her chest grew. So much time, wasted. Damn Iyuno. Damn Nethene and Ceinno. Why? The tears fell and fell but quietly, so the elves outside couldn’t hear. She didn’t know how long she’d stood there but finally the tears stopped and she wiped her eyes with her sleeve. Delia sniffed and left.

“Sick tent,” she said when she got outside. Alia raced ahead as her two guards followed.

Once there she made the round of cots, greeting each one in turn. Finally, she reached Sisruo, Couran and Relan. “I see you survived.”

“And you, Princess.” Couran said.

Relan reached over and smacked his brother. “Majesty, you dolt.” He looked at Delia. “Exuse my brother, Majesty. He’s had the sense knocked out of him.”

“I understand. I had the sense knocked out of me today too. “I’m glad you three are all right,” she said, looking at Sisruo. “May you all heal quickly.”

She spoke to Kaya. “I’m glad you are here to help them.”

“Rest, Majesty. You’ve had a bit of a day as well.”

All of a sudden, Delia felt like an old, used up rag. “Perhaps you’re right.” She took Kaya’s hand and kissed her on the cheek. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

Delia went back to her tent. “Alia. I need to sleep. Unless we’re under attack, let me rest.”

“Yes, Majesty.” She bowed and backed out of the tent.

Delia sat down and pulled off her boots. That didn’t mean she was alone. There’d be someone outside the tent all the time, listening for her least command. She pulled the blanket over herself and turned on her side, asleep in a moment.

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 51.

1061 Words

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

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Slave Elf Part 49: Flash Fiction Friday Post

young_mage_by_hokunin-d36f1tv

 

Part 49

Find Part 1 here.

 

Her father, Delia could see, was a formidable fighter but Iyuno, even without a fire to draw power from, was better. She found herself making tiny movements, fighting Iyuno with her father. Twice she found a fireball in her hand, ready to throw, but had to extinquish it in frustration. Ucheni was missing multiple chances to deal Iyuno a blow. In return, he was falling back, step by step. She gripped and re-gripped her sword pommel until her hand hurt.

Alia approached. “The fire is ready, Princess.”

Delia nodded, never taking her eyes from her father. “Can you tell what Iyuno is going to do, Alia?”

Alia focused on the fight in front of her. She shook her head. “No, Princess.”

Delia sighed. “What if you pretend you are the king? What then.”

Alia blinked at the Princess. “Let me try.” She took a breath and took a fighting stance.

Delia watched at Alia did what she’d been doing. The shield maiden shifted minutely, hands and arms twitching. Alia stood up. “No Princess. It doesn’t seem to work that way.”

“Thank you for trying.”

Delia took a breath and blew it out. Her hopes to use Alia’s magic sight for strikes were dashed. Besides, even if she could see a blow not meant for her, they’d never talked about whether Alia could send her thoughts to her. She didn’t even know if she could herself. Her fingers drummed against the sword’s pommel. Both Ucheni and Iyuno were using swords. Magical, Delia supposed. Iyuno was driving her father back. It was if he were getting stronger. She looked again at his soldiers. There was no smoke from a fire. Where was he getting his strength?

Suddenly, her father’s foot caught on something as he was stepping back he went to one knee. Iyuno raised his sword and before Delia could scream, he brought the sword down. Her father paused, sword half-raised. The army went silent. A gash appeared at the base of his neck. The sword, dropped, in seeming slow motion, in one direction as her father followed.

Then, she did scream. “FAAATHERRRRR!”

She ran out onto the field. Fireballs in both hands. She had flung them at Iyuno before her father had finished falling.

Iyuno swung his sword around and slid it into its scabbard as he held up a hand. Delia was knocked back, falling into the long grass. She turned on her magical sight. Now was not the time to be emotional, she thought as she rolled to her feet. She used her invisible heat force but the force bounced from Iyuno’s magical shield.

Delia made a shield for herself and glanced back at her army’s line. Her army, came the flash of thought. Alia had lit the fire. Delia pulled its strength to her then faced Iyuno.

“So, pup. You think you’re ready to face me?”

“Face you I will, evil one.” She moved into a fighting stance. “You killed my father.”

“Not much of a father, handing you over to slavers,” he said as he circled.

She watched as he moved. Where was he getting his power? She flung the sleeping spell at him. It splashed against his shield.

He threw another fireball while swinging his sword at her. She stepped outside the swing as his fireball hit her shield.

This could go on forever, she thought. Each of us is getting power from fire. How long can I pull on that and survive? His constant barrage of fireballs, force balls and other tricks she’d never seen were keeping her busy but she did her best, now that she was closer, to see where his power was coming from while still putting up some resistance.

A flash at his feet drew her attention. What sort of magic was that? She looked closer as she chanted the sleeping spell and threw a fireball. The ground? He was getting power from the earth? How could that be?

Where was Sisruo? Shouldn’t Iyuno’s hundred elves be asleep by now?

She scrambled as Iyuno pressed his attack. He was powerful, and her magical shield was taking a beating. Delia drew more heavily from the fire. He had to know what she was doing. Why didn’t he try to stop her?

She tried everything she knew, including throwing up a protection spell around him but she didn’t have the skills and training he had. He was going to kill her too if she didn’t do something.

He taunted her again. “You’ve developed some small skill, niece. Congratulations.” He delivered an invisible blow as he used his other hand to try and force her off of her feet.

Delia didn’t answer. At his feet were flashes of light. What was he drawing from?

“Die, traitor.”

He laughed and somehow, clapped his hands together, creating a gong sound.

She took a step back. Now what?

Screams from her army sounded behind her, as in front of her, behind Iyuno, the ground opened up and orcs came streaming from the holes. She stared. Orcs? Weren’t they all dead?

“You’ve broken the protocol, Uncle.”

He laughed. “Winning is winning, niece.”

She struck out, anger washing through her as orcs came racing across the field. Delia doubled her efforts as she used the anger to fuel her magic. She wasn’t sure just what she was doing, fire and lightning burst from her finger tips. Delia swatted at her uncle, a force ball like none other she’d ever done flew from her left hand, making him stagger. She pulled power from the fire. Ah, his fire was underground. That was it. Delia pulled power from that as well.

She charged as the first of the orcs reached her. They swirled around her as though she were not there. That wasn’t what she’d expected. Her army, though, were in the fight of their lives. Iyuno was not so lucky. Her charge took her right up to him. She held him, magically, with one hand as she drew her sword. “You killed my father!” She ran him through, twice, three times. Again, as he lay on the ground. She pulled her sword and began chanting the sleeping spell and swinging at orcs.

She was half way back to her own lines when she realized Alia was beside her, taking out orc after orc. The field was littered with bodies, orcs mostly but elves as well. Delia’s anger exploded and she seemed to swell, larger and larger as she charged after the orcs. When she’d finally killed the last one she found, Alia was calling to her.

“Princess! Princess! Stop! It’s over.”

Delia drew a breath and blinked. “Over?” She felt shrunken and old.

“Over, Princess. You’ve won.”

Delia removed her helmet and pushed loose sweat-soaked hair back from her face and looked around. “Over.” She sank to the ground, exhausted.

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 50.

1141 Words

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

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Brain 2 Books CyCon Post

Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo 2018This post appears as part of the “Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo Fantasy Book Tour”…

Running from April 6th through April 8th 2018 this online book event brings readers and authors together for a weekend of books, and book related events.

Learn more here

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes
B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters

It’s Happening!:

The Brain 2 Books Cycon, http://b2bcycon.com/, starts April 6th and runs all weekend for #readers, #authors, and just anyone who loves books. If you’ve been to this totally on-line event, you already know how much fun it is. If you haven’t been, you’re in for a treat. Things are going on all over the place and all day and night. So, if you’re in Australia, no worries! There’s something for you, too! I’m part of several things, including SciFi, Fantasy, and Mystery events.

Fantasy Events:

One thing I’m part of is a blog hop about why I write Fantasy.

That’s pretty easy. I’ve loved fantasy my whole life. Not just the epic George R.R. Martin or Tolkein works but anything with fairies, elves, witches, mages, sword and sorcery, or anything else.

I love getting into a good story or book and entering that world. Forgetting all the stuff in my own world, I can be the heroine, fighting dragons or the evil queen. I can root for the hero and empathize with him when things go horribly wrong.

When I finish the book, I come out sort of dazed. Slightly confused about just where I am—I totally live that story and am sad when I have to leave. But those stories stay with me. They become part of who I am and like all good myths, frame my state of mind about the nature of good and evil, heroes and bad guys.

And what’s wrong with that!

Other B2BCyCon Events:

Over on GoodReads, we have a book expo running. #B2BCyCon2018 If you’re looking for the kind of Fantasy (or SciFi, Western, Mystery or other genre) that takes you off into another place and time, check out the expo. All of our authors have their work up for sale. Pick up a little of everything at: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/154267-brain-to-books-cyber-convention-fairgrounds. You can find all of my works under the 2018 SciFi Showcase (https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/19253368-connie-cockrell-scifi-author)  but by all means, check out all of the other showcases as well. Who knows what wonderful things you will find.

Another event I’m in is the Cover Wars, http://b2bcycon.com/cover-wars-2/. I’d love it if you would scroll down through the covers and vote for mine. One I’m especially happy with is the Tested cover. (It’s toward the bottom.). My good friend J.A. Marlow designed that one, replacing an earlier cover. I just love the colors and the design elements she came up with.

Then there are all of the other events for the other genres. I have to say, on the website, click the Events tab, then the other tabs, to find something that’s just for you!

Video:

Lots about the con is fun. One thing is this video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id-l7f0i9LU. I love videos don’t you? They make the whole thing come to life.

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 the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery 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.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters
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Happy Easter, B2BCyCon, Cozy Winter Reads: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Happy Easter to all. I hope you had a wonderful day. I went to my brother-in-law’s house with my husband. We had a nice meal, played some games. A good evening out.

Coming April 6th, I’m in an on-line Brains to Books Cyber-Con. There are all sorts of authors in just about every genre participating. The link is www.b2bcycon.com for contests, author panels, and yes, areas for shopping for books. There is also a GoodReads component at  https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/154267-brain-to-books-cyber-convention-fairgrounds.   I have a showcase at (https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/19253368-connie-cockrell-scifi-author) if you’d like to take a look. The con runs from Friday through Sunday and I know it’ll be fun because I participated last year. See you there!

Just a reminder, Mystery at the Fair is in a book bundle called Cozy Winter Reads and has five other authors in it with me. The Bundle Rabbit link is:   https://bundlerabbit.com/b/cozy-winter-reads and you can get the bundle in whatever format you’d like. I can hardly wait to read all of these new to me other authors. Hope you enjoy it. Just $7.99 for six books!

If you’d like an Advance Reader Copy of Tested and to write a review for me, go to https://booksprout.co/arc/1639/tested. There are only 18 copies left so hurry. You’ll have to join but it’s free. You can follow me there, so you get updated on every new release!

Giveaways:

The March Fantasy and Mystery giveaways are now closed. I hope you had a chance to get some new to you authors’ books.

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ has started. I’ll announce winners from the St. Patrick’s giveaway as soon as they’re drawn.

Shout Out:

To Phoenix Comic Fest. They have an incredible line up of artists, actors, vendors and more. https://phoenixcomicfest.com/ Tickets are on sale now.  I’ll be there the entire weekend. I’m going to be in Artist’s Alley booths 928 and 930. Hope to see you there.

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 the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery 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.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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Slave Elf Part 48: Flash Fiction Friday Post

warrior_empress_by_shirogane90

 

Part 48

Find Part 1 here.

 

Sisruo had to leave but she gave him a hug before he did. She choked down the rest of her mush and taking the bowl to the cooks, thanked them for the food.

She went back to her tent. There, laid out across her bed, was armor and a cloak in her father’s house colors. The wool of the cloak was heavy, but soft and fine. An embroidered sigil was on the right shoulder, a blue butterfly on a rose. The same sigil on the pin to close the cloak and on her helmet on the breastplate of the armor.

A knock on the tent pole made her turn. “Come.”

Her father walked into the tent, a young female elf with him. He was dressed in armor very similar to hers, but his sigil was a bluebird on a holly branch. “Ah, you found it.” He smiled. “This is Alia.” The elf bowed. “She’ll help you with the armor.”

“I’ve never worn armor, father.”

“True, but this armor is enchanted. It will help protect you.” He walked over and gave her a hug. “Masters Kaepli and Juner told me they’d talked to you.”

She nodded, looking up into his eyes. “They told me.”

He drew a deep breath. “Alia is a good shield maiden. She’ll be your right hand today. Whatever you need, tell her. She will make it happen.”

Delia smiled and nodded to the elf. “Thank you.” She looked back to her father. “What else can I do?”

Ucheni smiled. “Your mother will be proud of us today. Do your best. That’s all anyone can ask.” He leaned over and kissed her on the forehead. “Fight well.” With that he turned and was out of the tent before she could say anything. She was left standing, staring after him.

“Princess. Let’s get you dressed.”

Ali picked up a leg piece.

Delia shook her head. “I cannot wear all of that. I’ve never worn armor. I’ll move too slow.”

Alia nodded and touched the tip of her tongue to her upper lip. “The breastplate then. That’s where most of the protection is anyway. And the helmet and cloak. They both have magical properties as well.”

Delia sighed. “Very well. As I dress, tell me what each piece is capable of.”

Half an hour later, a horn sounded. Delia shrugged her shoulders. The armor was lighter on than she had supposed. The blue cloak, the color of her eyes, she realized, floated behind her, never in the way as she practiced her fighting moves. “I think this will work.” She smiled at Alia. “Thank you. Now.” Delia reset the sword at her hip though she didn’t think she’d use it. “I’ll need a huge bonfire at the dueling field. The biggest fire you can build. But it cannot be lit until I signal. I don’t want Iyuno to have any advantage.”

“Fire, Princess?”

“Yes. Part of my magic.” Delia blinked. “And your magic?”

“I have skill with the sword, Princess. Magical skill, though I’m very good without it. And I know where my opponent will strike before it happens.”

“Good skills. Can you tell for me?”

Alia cocked her head. “No one has ever asked, Princess. I do not know.”

“Is it just physical weapons or can you tell when a magical strike is coming?”

“I,” Alia thought. “I have no idea.” Her face was crestfallen. “I’m sorry, Princess. I’ve never thought of it.”

Delia sighed. “Well today, as I fight, see if you can tell. If I have to get into the field with Iyuno, a notice of what he intends would be helpful.”

Alia nodded. Alia’s freckles, unusual in an elf, stood out against a now pale face.

Delia patted her on the shoulder. “It’s new to all of us Alia. We’ll do what we can.” She spun around slowly. “Am I ready?”

“Yes, Princess.” Alia went to the tent flap and held it open. “We’re to assemble on the field.”

Delia nodded. “Let’s go, then.”

They worked their way through the ranks, the elves parting to let her through. When she got to the front line, her father stood about thirty feet ahead. Iyuno’s forces were on the other side. Rank after rank of black. Nothing like the bright colors of her father’s forces. She was surprised to see Lord Enaur next to her.

“Lord Enaur. I didn’t know you were here.”

He smiled. “My king and princess are in need, my lady.” He gave a small bow. “Where else would I be?”

“We are grateful, Lord.” She gave him a small bow then pointed with her chin to Iyuno’s side of the field. “An evil sight.”

Enaur chuckled. “An intimidation tactic. His army is no more powerful magically than ours. But the solid black mass makes it seem so. Iyuno and his two nephews are the power. We stop them, the rest will disappear back into the elven population.”

She hoped so. Horns sounded. Iyuno and Ucheni began their march forward. Her father’s cape was the same color as hers, and looked like a piece of sky had fallen and attached itself to him.

Ten feet in front of the line, Delia saw Alia instructing the soldiers in the building of a wooden pyre. She nodded her approval. Father was correct. She was a wonderful shield maiden.

Lord Enaur noticed. “What is she doing?”

“What I asked,” Delia said, then turned her attention back to her father. On the far side of the field, Delia searched for a pyre similar to hers. Her eyebrows drew together. She didn’t see one. Was it behind or in the middle of his force? Was he so confident in his powers that he didn’t feel the need for a fire? She shifted foot to foot, her hand tapping on her thigh. What tricks did her uncle have that she was not prepared for?

The walk to the middle seemed to take forever but finally, the two elves stopped in the middle, perhaps twenty feet apart. Too close, she thought. Way too close. Did her father know the sleeping spell? Damn for such a late arrival last night. She knew next to nothing about his skills. She found herself breathing too fast. Delia focused on taking deep, slow breaths. It wouldn’t do to hyperventilate and pass out at the front of the army.

At a signal from Kaepli, the two began with fireballs. As the fire splashed harmlessly against magical shields, Delia wondered if that was the signal for Sisruo as well. She had no time to think about it. Her father and Iyuno were circling each other. Delia held her breath.

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 49.

1111 Words

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

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Spring, Cozy Winter Reads, Mystery Giveaway: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

It’s spring! My daffodils are up and looking wonderful by my front walk. I also planted daffodils and woodland hyacinth in a large pot next to the sidewalk for everyone who walks by to enjoy. I’ll have to dig the bulbs up once they’re finished for the year so I can add more dirt to the pot. Then I’ll replant them this fall.

It’s the last week of March and Easter is on Sunday. I wish everyone a very happy Easter holiday.

Coming soon, April 6th, to be exact, I’m in an on-line Brains to Books Cyber-Con. There are all sorts of authors in just about every genre participating. Links to contests, author panels, and yes, areas for shopping for books, are being built right now. Next week I’ll have those links, ready to share with you. The con runs from Friday through Sunday and I know it’ll be fun because I participated last year. Stay tuned!

Just a reminder, Mystery at the Fair is in a book bundle called Cozy Winter Reads and has five other authors in it with me. The Bundle Rabbit link is:   https://bundlerabbit.com/b/cozy-winter-reads and you can get the bundle in whatever format you’d like. I can hardly wait to read all of these new to me other authors. Hope you enjoy it. Just $7.99 for six books!

If you’d like an Advance Reader Copy of Tested and to write a review for me, go to https://booksprout.co/arc/1639/tested. There are only 18 copies left so hurry. You’ll have to join but it’s free. You can follow me there, so you get updated on every new release!

Giveaways:

Speaking of just a week to go until April, Book Funnel Mystery Giveaway is on its last week. I’m in that with Mystery at the Fair, if you haven’t read it yet. But there are 35 other mystery authors in the promo as well. The link is:  https://books.bookfunnel.com/free_mystery/sfaebm0djq. This won’t last long so get your books today!

Also ending this month is a March Fantasy Madness giveaway. That started on March 1st over on Book Funnel. Tons of fantasy stories up for grabs for just signing up for author newsletters. If you love Fantasy, this is the giveaway for you. Here’s the link: http://www.autumnwriting.com/march-fantasy-madness/. Click on the book you are interested in and it takes you right to the purchase page.

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ is over. But a new one will be starting up shortly. I’ll announce winners as soon as they’re drawn.

Shout Out:

Today’s shout out is to my niece, Nancey and her husband, Ben. They had a daughter on the 24th, Lilly. Congratulations Nancey and Ben!

 

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 the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery 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.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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Slave Elf Part 47: Flash Fiction Friday Post

green_subatomic_by_milaysvk-dbheqbg

 

Part 47

Find Part 1 here.

 

Delia took a stool, folding her hands in her lap. More prophesy? What now?

Kaepli cleared his throat. “We haven’t told the others, though the king knows the whole prophecy. He was much encouraged when you arrived last night. We were sure Iyuno had you.”

Master Juner took over. “We encouraged the king to make that challenge. The prophecy is quite clear. You will be the one to win against Iyuno.”

They let that sink in.

Delia blinked. “But, the duel is between the two of them. How will that work?”

Kaepli shook his head. That is still to be revealed. The prophesy says what happens, not how.”

“That seems less than helpful. It could be today or in a hundred years.” She was disgusted with the whole prophecy thing. Just because she had black hair instead of everyone else’s blonde, she was the most powerful? It was just ridiculous. Delia stood up. “I’m not going to base my life on some mystical pronouncements. Father is a strong elf and can fight his own battles.”

“Wait, Princess.” Juner held up his hand. “The line of succession falls to you. If, and I do mean if, your father falls, you must be there to take over the duel. Otherwise Iyuno’s forces will keep attacking until he’s killed you or you kill him. The line is not free for him until you are dead.”

The bluntness of his words gave Delia a shiver. Chased across the world by Iyuno because she was Ucheni’s heir? The thought was horrifying. She sat back down. “So, I must stand by while father duels?”

Both mages nodded. “The fight must end today.”

“What about Nethene and Ceinno? They’re nearly as powerful as Iyuno.”

Kaepli sighed. “It is unfortunate, but they’ve made their stance clear. They must perish as well.”

Delia rubbed an eye. More killing. More death. Wasn’t there enough already? “You have a plan?”

“We think they’ll each be leading an arm of Iyuno’s army. We mentioned last night that we have traps in all of the approaches. Iyuno’s force will be allowed into the valley with him but then all the passes will be blocked. We have men along all of the routes, ready to attack.”

Delia licked her lips. The carnage would be terrifying. Her stomach rolled, making her glad she hadn’t eaten anything yet. “This has to be done?”

Kaepli looked at her with a mix of kindness and sorrow. “Yes.”

That seemed so final a word. Yes. We must kill hundreds of elves. This is not what she imagined as a slave in the caravan. Delia stood up again. “I must eat.”

The mages rose and bowed. “Thank you, Princess.”

She bowed and left. The sunshine outside the tent belied the dark words she’d just heard. The sky was an amethyst blue. Puffy clouds drifted across the sky in a soft, warm breeze. Birds were singing in the trees and a butterfly crossed her path, searching for an untrampled flower. She walked to where the cook tent should be. There she found Sisruo, sitting at a table with a mug in front of him.

He leapt up when he saw her. Sisuro stopped as he looked into her face. “What’s wrong, Princess?”

He doesn’t know, she thought, then schooled her face into a happier one. “The mages have been telling me the plan. It seems desperate.”

“It is. But come, let me get you some food.” He walked with her to the cooks, finishing up the service. “A bowl for the Princess, please.”

The elf at the long board table nodded to the Princess and brought a bowl of mush, honey on top and a sprinkling of nuts, along with a mug of tea. He bowed as he handed it to her.

“Thank you. Very kind of you.”

“Anything we can do, Princess,” he said.

She nodded and walked to Sisruo’s table. “We haven’t had time to talk.”

He nodded and waited for her to sit before he did. “True. I wasn’t with the mage last night. I had my own preparations to complete.”

She stirred the mush around, mixing in the nuts and honey, then scooped a small spoonful and ate it. It tasted like so much sawdust in her mouth, but she knew she needed the strength, so swallowed. “Much has happened since the battle at Iyuno’s castle.”

Sisruo shrugged. “You’ve grown thinner, Princess. Great hardships have befallen you.”

Delia appreciated the look of sympathy on his face. “I have. There were some long, hungry days on the road. Kaya was a wonderful companion.”

“She’s a good elf.” Sisruo took a sip of his tea. “She says the same of you, by the way.”

Delia had to smile. “A bonding experience, you might say.” She ate more of the mush, feeling better for the kind words Kaya had said. She took a deep breath. “And your role today?”

“I am to block Iyuno’s escape. I have a small force and we’ll come in behind Iyuno. At a signal from Mage Kaepli, I’ll attack.”

Her spoon stopped just above the bowl. “Just a small force?”

Sisruo shrugged. “He is only allowed a hundred elves. We should be fine. The sleeping spell will be the primary weapon.” He tapped the sword at his hip. “But we have these as well.”

“Don’t forget the fireballs.”

He smiled. “I won’t. But I am not as good with them as you are. We’ll be fine. Couran and Pelan will be with me.” He brightened. “Your Captain Catari was a welcome guest. He’ll be leading a group at the south pass. They left very early this morning.”

Again, Delia spared a thought for young Gallett. She hoped he’d be spared today.

“Eat, Princess. We must go soon.”

She nodded and spooned more into her mouth. Too soon.

 

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 48.

972 Words

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

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Cozy Winter Reads, Mystery Giveaway is Live, Looking for Reviews: Monday Blog Post

Yellow squash hiding from the sun

Newest News:

Mystery at the Fair is in a book bundle called Cozy Winter Reads and has five other authors in it with me. The Bundle Rabbit link is:   https://bundlerabbit.com/b/cozy-winter-reads and you can get the bundle in whatever format you’d like. I can hardly wait to read all of these new to me other authors. Hope you enjoy it. Just $7.99 for six books!

If you’d like an Advance Reader Copy of Tested and to write a review for me, go to https://booksprout.co/arc/1639/tested. There are only 18 copies left so hurry. You’ll have to join but it’s free. You can follow me there, so you get updated on every new release!

Gardening. It’s time, here in central Arizona to trim my roses back and prep for the gardening season. We’re still getting hard frosts, here, so still a tiny bit early to plant but it’s coming!

Giveaways:

As of Friday, March 16th, our Book Funnel Mystery Giveaway is live. I’m in that with Mystery at the Fair, if you haven’t read it yet. But there are 35 other mystery authors in the promo as well. The link is:  https://books.bookfunnel.com/free_mystery/sfaebm0djq. This won’t last long so get your books today!

Then check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the 2018 Authors/Bloggers St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

Also happening this month is a March Fantasy Madness giveaway. That started on March 1st over on Book Funnel. Tons of fantasy stories up for grab for just signing up for author newsletters. If you love Fantasy, this is the giveaway for you. Here’s the link: http://www.autumnwriting.com/march-fantasy-madness/. Click on the book you are interested in and it takes you right to the purchase page.

Shout Out:

A shout out today to my mom who has just been released from the hospital. Hi, Mom! Glad you’re back home!

 

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 the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery 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.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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