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Indipendent Publishing

I have several friends who are indi publishing their work. I am trying to comprise a list of their sites to help boost the signal.



http://www.starcatcherpub.com/

http://jjwestendarp.blogspot.com/


This is a list I will be updating regularly.

And here is a freebe

Return to Redlin. This is the bit from the site:

Ginger returned to Redlin after her failed marriage and buried herself in a calm life, working for the Senior Center during the day and as a clerk at the Gas and More at night. But when the high school bad boy, Derrick Weston, returns after ten years to attend his grandfather's funeral, things take off in ways she didn't expect.

Old rivalries and new robberies put the two in close contact -- whether they want it or not.


I read this story and couldn't stop till the end, which was satisfactory (everything was wrapped up very nicely, good solid plot) and saddened me. I wanted more of these characters. The characters are well written, I have this urge to ask Zette what happened next. :P Anyways, if you want a lighthearted romance which will leave you smiling I highly recommend this novella.

Good riddence, 2016

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Seriously 2016 can just die already. So much crap has filled this year that I shut down almost completely.

We are in a new home, a new situation, I’m working and hubs health is in decline. I’m preparing something which will be (I hope) big coming this Jan, and a rethinking of life, goals, and writing in general.

 

The Election;  I usually avoid politics over here, but I will not be quiet. What the actual fuck? How can so many people support a fascist, racist, sexist, egotistical, narcissistic bastard like that orange thing? My heart hurts for my beloved America. He does not represent the America I love, the America whose ideals I hold dear. No, America isn’t perfect, but it’s about to get hideous thanks to that lying cretin. There’s so much I want to say and I just can’t seem to put it in words correctly. **breathes deeply**

I almost don’t have the ‘spoons’ to deal with it. I have to, I know, but damn I’m tired.

 

So what is in store for next year?

 

Well now, I’m currently doing some brainstorming and planning. I’m setting up something that *I* think will be cool.

and I feel like I need to apologize. For dropping off the face of the internets. I’m so sorry. I feel like I let people down, and I’m having a hard time shaking that feeling.

Allrighty, time to get some writing done.

 

~ N Phoenix

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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

An Interview with Schrodinger

(Author’s note: I was going to answer the questions myself, but Schrodinger found the email first, and he begged, and, well, I couldn’t say no. So if you were hoping for an interview with Val, I’m sorry. You get a CrossCat instead. – Val)

Interviewer: I’ve never interviewed a CrossCat before, so if you don’t mind, can you tell me a little about your species?

Schrodinger: Well, we’re the most intelligent species of cat out there, although others may disagree. We’re born in litters in Dens, and most of us wander for a bit, then go back home and start families of our own. My sister has nearly twenty kits! She’s older than me, though.

Interviewer: Will you head back to the Den eventually as well?

Schrodinger: No one can tell the future. *eyes the interviewer* Can you?

Interviewer: *laughs a bit nervously* No, not me.

Schrodinger: Then we’ll just have to see!

Interviewer: Okay. How did you come to end up in the Cove, then?

Schrodinger: That’s a long story, and I promised it to someone else. Next question?

Interviewer: What’s your favorite part of living in the Cove?

Schrodinger: All the people! And Molly! And Drew! And Lily and Kaylee and Zoey and Jack! I’m totally a people person. Oh, and Pavel comes in, and there are cupcakes and Molly’s an amazing cook. And there are books! And music! *pauses, cocking his head to one side* Actually, I don’t think I have a favorite part.

Interviewer: I can tell! What do you want to do in the future, Schrodinger?

Schrodinger: How far in the future?

Interviewer: Um, I don’t know. In general?

Schrodinger: Well, I still want to travel. Pavel’s promised to take me on the ship at some point, although we don’t know when. Oh, and I’m going to Baltimore in a few days! And then Concord, North Carolina the week after that! Val’s taking me to Balticon and ConCarolinas, to promote the new book! And Molly is even letting me take some tea with me!

Interviewer: *looks at her notebook* So tell us, Schrodinger, are you a bathroom singer?

Schrodinger: Isn’t everyone? I’m not sure I could trust someone who doesn’t sing in the bathroom. *thinks for a moment* Although I don’t know – I guess it’s a personal preference. Do YOU sing in the bathroom?

Interviewer: Sometimes.

Schrodinger: Who do you think sounds best in the bathroom: Adele, or Billy Joel?

Interviewer: You know, I’m supposed to be the one asking questions here. But honestly, it depends on the song and the mood.

Schrodinger: *nods* I also like Danny Elfman, but Molly says that the Oogie Boogie Song first thing in the morning is a bit creepy for her.

Interviewer: I can see that. So we have some questions from some of your fans here.

Schrodinger: I have FANS???

Interviewer: Of course you do. Didn’t you know that?

Schrodinger: Hang on a second. *runs into the kitchen, shouting, “Molly, did you know I have FANS????” Comes back a few moments later* Sorry about that. You were saying?

Interviewer: Yes. One of your fans wants to know what you do for fun on a rainy day to amuse yourself?

Schrodinger: It depends. If we’re here, I usually help Molly in the kitchen, or I’ll read. Sometimes I like to go out and help DC and Aunt Margie shelve. I’m good at finding things. And I nap a lot. *thinks a bit more* I can always go find some fun too. There are a lot of interesting Roads around here. Sometimes I just go exploring.

Interviewer: If there was one person you could have lunch with, alive or dead, who would it be?

Schrodinger: Captain Carter, the man who discovered Carter’s Cove.

Interviewer: Really? Why?

Schrodinger: So I could thank him. Without him, Carter’s Cove wouldn’t be here, Molly wouldn’t be Molly, and I’d’ve never met her. And then I’d be a very sad CrossCat, although I probably wouldn’t know why.

Interviewer: Is there anything else you’d like your fans to know?

Schrodinger: Come see me at Balticon and ConCarolinas! I’ll have tea! And books! And maybe some prizes…..

Winter’s Secrets, the first book in the Carter’s Cove stories, is out in ebook and trade paperback on May 26th. Follow Schrodinger on Twitter at @MollysSchrodngr, and Val Griswold-Ford at @vg_ford.

vals

~*~

Thank you so much, Schrodinger (and Val 😉 ) for stopping by.

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Yup, it’s a monday

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

My truck won’t start. So the kids and I are tackling the housework and then I am going to write. I scene listed (some people call it outlining) last night and want to write those juicy scenes out. I’m feeling fairly good about things, despite the truck issue.

May Plans;  Writing. I am going to try to focus on The Bastard Prince, but I won’t fight it if my attention drifts to something else. I’m just happy to be writing again, I almost don’t care what I’m working on.

June, July, August: I’m hoping that by getting back into the habit of writing daily, will carry me through the summer. I’m hoping to get Elemental Truth ready to go for September however this is the summer so I’m not going to guarantee anything.

Fall: Next fall I’m going to have one kid starting his senior year and the youngest two starting kindergarten. I’m also hoping to go back to school myself. My goals for the rest of the year is to have both E1 & BP published by the end of year. Lofty? Perhaps. But both are soooo close to being done that I think it’s not impossible. I also have a mostly finished angel apocalypse story that’s been quietly nagging at me to finish it. Like the other books there are a couple fill in spots and thats it. I had a snippet of it up a while ago.

I hope your week goes well. **waves**

 

The Bastard Prince
</p>
62137 / 90000
(69.04%)

 

 

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LJ fail

I just discovered I had a bunch of comments on posts but I don't recall recieving notifications they were there. I apologize if I haven't responded. **hangs head**  now bouncing over to dragonmyst to see how many messages I might have over there.

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Creativity, Mental Illness and Me

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

 

Disclaimer: I do not speak for anyone else. Each person who struggles with mental illness has their own struggles. What works (or doesn’t work) for me, might have the opposite effect on others.
FWIW this is more of a Ramble, a sharing of a part of me I don’t think I’ve shared here before.

 

In 2011 I made a jump into self publishing. The story, The Shiny, was small, just a little concept/flash thing, but I self pubbed it and worked on others to get up. I was excited, I was motivated, and the more I look back at it, the more I’m convinced I was in a manic phase (not a good time to make major decisions such as self pubbing etc, fwiw). You see, I’m Bipolar. It is a condition in which the chemicals in my brain fluctuate wildly, and in cycles, I get really amped up, excited, go go go go, then I drop, I have a drop in mood I end up depressed and fighting to stay afloat.

I’m Bipolar 2, (I think that’s what they call it, I’m still trying to educate myself) which is the ‘milder’ form of the disorder. Most people don’t recognize my manic phases as mania, more ‘motivated, responsible, with it’. But my downswings, those are downright scary. I struggle to get out of bed, I struggle with feelings of self-worth, I fight the urge to just say fuck it and do something drastic, anything at all to feel better.

I was in denial for years until 2012 when I finally worked on getting it managed. Figuring out what worked and what didn’t and I found myself able to focus better and write. But writing when my depression was in full swing was like trying to pull teeth with a spoon. Made of warm jello. I wanted to write, I wanted to tell these stories that haunt me day and night, but I wasn’t enjoying it. Even with meds getting me on a steady mental state, I was still depressed, I was still chipping away at the iceberg with a toothpick and writing, writing became more a struggle than a release.

You see, when you’re severely depressed even the things that bring you pure joy mean nothing. My energy, my motivation, everything just gone. It’s weird, and annoying. I look over my plans and projects and I know I need to be writing, I know I need to finish stuff, to edit stuff to get stuff up and for sale. But then the doubts kick in and add to that the depression that has/had me convinced it was all shit anyways, well it made it harder to touch those projects especially when I was being crushed with guilt for not living up to my own high standards.

In 2014, in an effort to curb those feelings, I decided I was going to take a story I *thought* was ‘done’ and make it a serial. It shouldn’t take very long, I reasoned, to get it scheduled. Elemental Truth debuted and I was feeling good despite the depression. Then the bottom dropped out. In a matter of a few weeks our family’s life was turned upside down, we entered into a legal battle with our old landlord, my hubs started a new job and was suddenly away for weeks at a time, and I was facing legal issues with one of the kids and a major move all by myself. I didn’t pull E1, I was being stubborn. I can do it, I kept telling myself, I’m not going to pull the serial.

The problem is, the serial wasn’t as ‘done’ as I thought and the more I got into it, the more I realized that it needed a massive overhaul. But with everything else going on I just plugged away at it, the only thing I could really count on was getting that damn thing posted. For months, writing wise, I clung to that project, unmotivated but trying to force my way through it. Depression robs you of enjoyment, and though I enjoy that story I couldn’t feel it.

We’d just barely gotten things back to an even keel, into some semblance of normal when, last April, I got an unexpected call from my SIL; my FIL passed away unexpectedly.

Goodbye even keel. Goodbye semblance of normal. We hauled ass out to OK for the funeral, then returned only to discover my hubs company suddenly struggling. The last year has been spent trying to recoup from that. The depression got worse when, in Sept (or Aug) our insurance changed due to job changes and I was unable to get my meds.

Imagine a diabetic unable to get their insulin, imagine a person in chronic pain, unable to get their pain control meds. It is that serious. My depression was crushing, the stories, the writing, the serial in limbo. It was a struggle, fighting my own brain and I think that I noticed it even more this go round because I’d been on the meds, now off the meds and suddenly no management of anything at all. And the longer I go with it managed, the greater the drop when those meds are yanked away.

I’ve now been back on my meds just over a week, and I feel the difference. I’m starting to find focus, things are a bit easier. It’s still a daily battle, an ongoing struggle to keep myself frown drowning in the hopeless feelings.

So how is this going to affect my writing and future publications?

Honestly I’m not too sure. I’m hoping that as I get more settled I’ll be able to stick to my routines and get back to writing regularly. I’m not going to give a timeframe, not yet. Not till I’m sure I’m a bit more stable. Right now, every little paragraph is a triumph, every day I don’t just delete all my writing* it a success.

I do *hope* to have Elemental Truth ready for publication by the fall, and Bastard Prince for sale in time for Christmas. But I also have to be realistic, I have a lot going on in my life outside of my writing, there’s still fallout from last years job issues and money issues, and I don’t want to make promises I end up breaking. I always feel like a flake when that happens, I know logically it’s because I have this stupid chemical imbalance in my brain and that for a long time it was completely unmanaged. But I still feel like I should have done more, tried harder, followed my schedule, guilt, guilt, guilt…

Yeah I’m great with the self-guilt-ting. I once told a friend, I don’t need people to guilt trip me, I do a great job all by myself -.-

There you have it, mental illness and how it affects ME as a writer. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with it. If you, the reader, also struggles with it, just know you’re not alone. And what the depression tries to tell you, well trust me it lies.

 

*I almost deleted everything a couple months ago, I was that low.

Please note I had to make a couple edits after I posted it. Sorry.

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General Announcement

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Regarding the Serial.

Due to life and other issues I haven’t been able to give my all in getting this up in a timely fashion. So This weekend I’ll be pulling down what is posted. This has been an interesting learning experience. Not sure I’ll do a serial ever again.

My apologies. E1 should be released in ebook and print form by September. I’ll keep you guys posted.

 

NP

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Happy Friday!

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I hope those of you reading the serial have been enjoying it starting back up again. Again, I apologize for it taking so long. I’ve signed up for Camp NanoWrimo which kicks off in April. I’ll be writing E2. E1, will continue to be posted once a week (unless it’s a very short chapter, then you’ll get two a week) with a tentative wrap up in late May. I’m hoping to have the final edit done and formatted for both Ebook and Print by then end of Aug. I say HOPE, because this is my household and summers tend to be kinda… busy.

E2 – The tentative plan is to have E2 ready for sale by Nov. But we’ll see how that goes. The problem with me focusing on E2 is I have a few other projects I want done and out of the way before I dive with both feet into E2. Cause Once I do, it’s a roller coaster ride and I won’t want to stop working on the series. It’ll take my full attention.

Other Projects;  I have a ton of em, and a few ‘projects of the heart’ that I want off my ‘plate’.  Namely the Zander Books. There are 5 of them (did you know that) and they need to be finished. I’m feeling very anxious about getting these projects done.

Other plans; I’m going to be going back over the already pubbed shorts and doing some major fixes, possibly compiling and redoing the covers. I have a ton of thoughts on those, but for now let me say, I’m aware there are problems and I need to fix them. It’s on the list of things to do.

Anywho, I hope your month is going well, I hope 2016 is being nice. I haven’t decided if I’m happy with it or ready to fire it LOL.

Have a great weekend!

N

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Author Interview – Jennifer Amriss

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

A long time friend and fellow writer, Jennifer Amriss, has gotten her book,Race Against the Dark published. I’m really excited for her, and look forward to seeing a long list of wonderful books from her in the years to come. She graciously agreed to do an Author Interview.

  1. Introduce yourself, what is your favorite beverage? Chocolate yes or no? What would you like people to know about you?

Hi! Oh, dear. Well, I’m a big fan of chai latte, and who can live without chocolate? Apart from that, I am simple woman. Pennsylvania is where my cat Punks and I live and work. She keeps me honest, you know.

One of the best things to happen to me is my childhood. It wasn’t easy, but as a Navy Brat, I got to travel the world. I lived in Sigonella, Sicily for three years, and in that time I got to visit much of Europe. It really helped to give me a broader sense of the world and helped to fuel my creative mind.

Something some people may not know about me is I am a surgical technologist. I no longer practice, but I must admit, I miss it. The surgeons I worked with were amazing and hilarious during operations. One of my many jobs as a surg tech, other than passing instruments and holding bodies open for surgeries, was keeping a conversation open with the surgeons to help keep them from getting anxious or stressed. Though, standing for an 8 hour open-heart was torture, it was also a really fun, interesting, and rewarding experience.

 

  1. What are your hobbies, what do you do when you’re not writing?

When not writing, I waste spend my time playing World of Warcraft and other online games such as EverQuest II and Guild Wars 2. I can also be found losing myself in single player games like Dragon Age: Origins and the Mass Effect series. Don’t get me wrong, I suck at first person shooters, but I really love the stories in some of them.

Other than gaming, I read as much as I can or zone out to Netflix. I’m currently wading through the nostalgia that is the old X-Files series.

 

  1. Tell us about your new book including what inspired you to write it!

Race Against the Dark is the first book in the Fantasy series Kings of Kal’brath. It features kickass women, elves, and interesting creatures. Everyone’s favorite seems to be Culthar (that’s Man-Eater for those of you who don’t speak Common Elvish). He is a Darksire, which is the male counterpart to the Nightmare, and he is so full of cultured sass he’s one of my favorite characters to write besides the MC, Ka’lei. The two fit well together, if for nothing else than their combined wit.

Race Against the Dark is a sword and sorcery Fantasy Romance that can be categorized for New Adults, as Ka’lei is 20 and struggling to cope with more adult themes. The story starts in the year 2033 on Earth and quickly changes to Adradis, the Elf world.

In order to marry the man she loves, Ka’lei must prove her adulthood while trying to survive attacks from the encroaching Darkness that chases her throughout the continent of Kal’brath, set upon her by her deceased ancient ancestor… who just so happens to look exactly like Ka’lei if she aged about five years.

It’s a really fun story and was an absolute joy to write. I was inspired mostly by Wen Spencer’s Tinker series, and by the Dark Earth series by Raythe Reign. From studying their writing, I finally “got” how to write a story, and Ka’lei took me by the throat and demanded I write her story. I had no choice but to comply.

 

  1. What genres do you write in, and why? And would you like to try your hand at any others?

I write Fantasy in its various forms, from medieval-esque to postmodern sword and sorcery. Coming up with magic systems and trying to get them to make sense is one of my favorite things about the Fantasy genre.

If given the chance, I’d like to expand into the Paranormal genre since it’s so close to Fantasy. I also have some Science Fiction ideas sitting in the back of my brain that I hope to someday get onto paper.

 

  1. When writing, what geeks you out the most?

Hmm. Possibly creating the magic systems. One of my favorite things, as I said, is creating them and getting them to work. Though, beyond that I honestly geek out over creating different races and creatures. In the Kings of Kal’brath world, my two favorite races have to be the Kir, a race of cat shifters who I modeled loosely after Native Americans, and the Vampir colony. The Vampir are my version of vampires—humans who drink blood as a supplement to their normal diet due to physiological changes. They are the world’s best blood magi, and you will be seeing them in all their glory in book 3. (Cue the excited squeal.)

 

  1. Who has influenced your writing?

So many people have influenced my writing over the years, but I would have to say the major players in how I write would be Raythe Reign (X. Aratare if you look her up in Amazon), and my friends at Forward Motion. Without their help and guidance, I wouldn’t have eight books written, and I definitely would not have a published story.

 

  1. What are your favorite books?

Oh, man. I have so many. Let’s see… how to condense the list? I love The Artifacts of Power series by Maggie Furey, anything by Patricia Cornwell, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, Blue Heaven by Paige Jadette, all of Jordan L. Hawk’s stuff. Wen Spencer’s Tinker series is a must read. Katherine Addison has a great story that I am in love with called The Goblin Emperor, and under another pseudonym, Sarah Monette, she has the Doctrine’s Labyrinth series (Mélusine, The Virtu, The Mirador, Corambis) that made me squeal. They’re really fun.

Ugh. I’m packing for a move, and all my books are packed, so I can’t even look at my book shelf to jog my memory! But, I have so many favorites I can’t name them all without this becoming unwieldly. Though, a final mention: I love, love, love Raythe Reign’s work (if you hadn’t noticed from the many times I have mentioned her).

I pretty much love anything that is Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal. Though I also have a small place in my heart for a good murder mystery. If it’s M/M Fantasy or Paranormal, that’s all the better.

 

  1. Do you reread books you’ve already read, or just stick with new ones?

I definitely re-read my favorites until the spines start to crack. Though, something people may find interesting is I have a sensory disorder that makes paper and untreated wood products hard for me to handle. This includes paper books and pencils. Now that eBooks are a thing, I no longer have to worry about the spines, and I can re-read to my little heart’s content.

I may re-read my favorites, but I am always looking for new things to read. I’m currently on book 3 of the Widdershins series by Jordan L. Hawk titled Stormhaven. The series is a wonderful read, and I can definitely see myself re-reading this until I nearly have it memorized.

 

  1. What’s next on your agenda? What upcoming projects do you have coming?

Currently, I’m editing book two, Healing Wounds. Though, I’m unsure if I will be publishing that next. I’m waffling between publishing the books in a linear line, which would make sense, or publishing the series as a whole before starting in with the M/M side stories. If I go with the latter, I will be publishing Climbing Shadetree next (innuendo intended).

There are nine books in the main series, which is Heterosexual Fantasy. The side stories, the Exile’s End Duology, Dragon Highlands Duology, and The Scourge of Narin, are all M/M Fantasy. So, it’s a tough call.

Hmm. May I ask your followers what they think? I’d love to make a poll of this. I plan to publish a book every three months in order to retain my sanity (as if I had any in the first place). As a reader, would you rather a mix of Het and M/M fantasy if they are set in the same world and it keeps within the timeline, or would you rather keep the two genre categories separate?

 

  1. Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me a number of places. The best would be my website, http://jenniferamriss.com, where you can find a wiki that has awesome and interesting little tidbits about my two main worlds. The In the Works page has what I’m working on at any given time. You can find out more about me, see snippets of published work and snippets of books up for pre-orders when the pre-order goes live. Visit the Newsletter tab to keep up to date with my new releases, and if you like a one-stop-shopping experience, I have a list of all my books with the buy buttons for the various retailers I publish with for your convenience.

I am also on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jenniferamriss and Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/jenniferamriss. Though don’t be fooled. I am horrid at keeping up with social media. I’d rather spend my time writing. But! I’m getting better!

 

  1. Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, any last thoughts or comments?

Not a problem at all. Thank you so much for having me! This has been great fun.

As for last thoughts, I’d like to remind your followers that Race Against the Dark is available at most major retailers. You can find the buy buttons on my website at http://jenniferamriss.com/book/race-against-the-dark/, or go direct to Amazon, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and others. It will also be available in print soon for those of you who prefer physical books.

If you want to see my work on another retailer, please feel free to contact me through my website’s contact page and let me know! For right now, however, Google Play is closed to new authors. Once their platform opens up, you can expect to see my work there, as well.

Remember, if you buy a book from any author, please leave a review. Reviews are the greatest way to show an author that you appreciate their work, and good reviews make our entire week, and remind us why we keep writing. Sure, sales are awesome, but reviews hold a special place in a writer’s heart. They also help authors get noticed by more people by making us more visible in retailer searches by boosting our sales rankings and adding us to “also boughts” and giving us a shot at being featured in retailer newsletters. Leave reviews. Receive satisfaction that you made an author squeal.

Also, I’d like to thank your followers for listening to me ramble. You are all awesome. Remember that.

As a last surprise, and a special thanks to everyone, I’d like to announce that we will be keeping track of commenters. We will choose a random commenter for a free ebook copy of Race Against the Dark, delivered to your email in your preferred format of ePub or Mobi. Your names will be put into a Random Name Picker for fairness, around March 31st. Thank you all for your participation!

 

 

~*~

There you have it folks, check out her book and keep your eye on her for more great stuff. Thank you again Jen, for taking the time to answer these questions, and congratulations on the publication of your book!

N

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Prepping for march

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

SO. March.

March 1st is the relaunch of E1. We’re on ch 30 and the next chapter will post on the first. If you want to brush up on the story you can go here or over to wattpad here. There will only be one chapter a week at this point in time, as I’m juggling RL and writing stuff. As I wrap up the edits it may bounce up to two chapters a week, but I’m not sure. NOW. When it’s all done, I’ll leave it up for a month or so before it comes down and will be offered in both Ebook and Print formats. Price will be determined at that point in time.

Thank you, you folks who have stuck with me. I’m sorry it’s been dragging on so long.

The next project;
Editing;  The Bastard Prince It has been lingering for way too long. It just needs a middle…

Writing:  E2, Elemental Flame (working title) the second book in the series.

Time to get back to work. How are you doing?

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Feb update

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I have internet again!

So I should have made the date for E1 restart for march, not feb, mainly because of the internet (or lack of) SO, back on track, taking things one at a time. March, we should be go for launch to get E1 wrapped up. Sometime this summer, E1 will go on sale in both ebook and paperback formats, and the writing of E2 will commence. I am hoping to also finish BP but I’m not setting a date on that just yet. For a number of reasons. Hope you guys had a great feb so far,

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MLK Day

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I have some thoughts about MLK day, but I have some serious brain fog and not feeling well. So I may try something about it another day. in the meantime, 8 degrees and me don’t mix well, lol. Instead I thought I’d just give a quick update on the state of the Phoenix.
Last week was, in short, brutal. We, the Forward Motion community, lost a dear friend. It was wonderful seeing the community pulling together as we all tried to comfort her family as they struggle to readjust to life without her.
On the heels of that, the world lost the talents of two fantastic entertainers; David Bowie (aka The Goblin King from the movie Layrinth), and Alan Rickman whom I knew best for his performance as Severus Snape from the Harry Potter movies. It left me feeling a bit bruised, a bit worn and very, very sad. I could just feel the devastation felt by their families as they, like my dear friend J.A. Marlow, struggle to adjust to life without a huge part of their family. I wish I could pull them into a hug and let them know, we cry & mourn with you. But then again, seeing the response on social media, I have no doubt that they know it.
There’s a lot more I could say, but its been said by others more articulate than I.
Life is a precious thing. One must always appreciate it. And it can change in such a swift moment and leave us wondering what the hell happened.

In writing news.
I’ve been working on E1. I’ve managed to knock out several chapters edit wise, hoping to wrap it all up by this next weekend and then start back with posting the first week of February. I like how this is going though there are a few scenes I’m a touch nervous about sharing. **shrugs** oh well. We’ll see how it goes.
Once E1 is done I may tackle writing E2. At least a rough first draft.
Or I may dive into Zander’s story and try to finish it over the rest of the year.
So many possibilities.

Hope you all have a great week.

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Sunday

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

This post is hours late. Sorry about that. It’s been a very difficult day. Today while running some errands, I received word that a dear friend of mine, whom you may remember me mentioning in the past, finally lost her battle with cancer. The past week has been kinda caught up with sitting vigil, virtually lending support to her family.

R.I.P. Mother Hen. Thank you for enriching our lives.

 

 

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Sunday Serenity

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Moon and trees

This was back in october.

Have a peaceful Sunday!

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Cleaning up the website and other things

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I’m going to be going through the website over the next couple of weeks and cleaning up bad links, broken links, and may possibly redo the theme completely. I’m also working on a schedule for the website, not too much cause, hey, I have a busy life. I’ll also be trying to fix tags (my last few posts I didn’t tag at all) and other stuff.

Elemental Truth.  Ok so the serial is still ongoing. I am currently working on the next couple chapters which have had to be completely rewritten. I do love this story, and since life seems to be slowing to a managable rush, I’m trying to refocus energy in that direction.

 

NANOWRIMO  I have always loved NaNo, some years it’s been an impossibility. This year might be one of those years. The biggest reason is that, if things work out right, I’ll be returning to school in nov. I’m not sure school and nano will work. We’ll see. Either way, I’ve been so exhausted for so long, I may just stand on the sidelines and cheer everyone on.

 

Have a great week, and hopefully things will be back on a schedule next week.

 

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Serenity Sunday

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

One day a week we should take a day to just let ourselves be us. To unwind and rejuvinate your soul. I love music, often I find it calms and soothes me more than anything else. A friend on facebook shared this group a while back and I just love their sound. Post Modern Jukebox. Here are a couple songs they’ve covered and it wows me every time. I found out they’ll be in Pittsburgh in November and I want to go see em.

 

Hope your Sunday is a day you can relax, throw on some music that soothes your soul, and have time for you!

 

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14 years ago today…

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 14 years. How the world has changed.

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Sunday Serenity

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

One of my fav things to do, outside of writing and hanging with the kids, is video games. These two are on my OMGIMUSTGETTHESE list!


I cried. I won’t lie. I effing cried when I saw that vid. Then I squealed and woke up the whole damn house XD

~*~

 Kid got me into the Fallout games. I saw this vid and just…. between these two games, I feel like I’ve been suckerpunched. I.can’t.wait!

Now for you, my ghostly readers, what do YOU like to do, aside from reading? What are you looking forward to in the coming months?

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Happy September

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

The kids are in school, ALL of them! Hubs is on a new job, and I’m trying to regain my balance. So here’s an update, and some thoughts and hopefully the roughest stuff is behind me. For this year. Hopefully. I really need an effing break! LOL

The State of ME:

Kid who was in so much trouble is coming home for good in about two weeks. Hopefully things will be smoother. He’s changed, grown and I’m hopefully that this is for real this time. There is nothing more heartbreaking than a child making a set of decisions that will only lead him to an early and violent grave.

After my father-in-law’s death in April, everything in the household just seemed to go to shit. It’s taken me months to get moving again. I’ve gained weight (bleh) and let things slide that I don’t usually let slide. So I’m up and moving again.

Writing;

It seems to be inching back. The ideas never went away, the motivation to write while dealing with the other crap just *poofed**. I’m working on an Anthology story for the FM Anthology, but I’m not sure it’ll be done in time. And I may have just re-plotted the last half of E1. Again. I think this makes the fifth or sixth time. **rollseyes**

So where does this leave the serial?

Now that’s a tough one. OCD me wants to take it down because… shit it’s been months since I was consistant with it. But other me wants to plug away, finish the damn thing, so I can say I did.

Take note; before you start a serial make DAMN sure it’s ready to go. I thought this was, I was wrong. Obviously.

This year was supposed to be the year of the serials. It’s turned out to the year of procrastination. But the year isn’t over and I have time to yank this back the way it needs to go.

I was thinking, considering, pondering putting together a newsletter of sorts. Maybe every other month or something like that. But that may be one bit too much.

Another thought, for anyone actually reading this, is the website loading all right for you? Please let me know if you have problems. *I’ve* been having trouble with it, but it could just be my computer. Anyways, hope you all have a great weekend!

 

 

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back

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Summer has flown by, I’ve been offline and out of touch. I’ve been planning out some changes with the site and writing and the damn serial that stalled. Keep an eye on the blog…

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Sunday Serenity

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you
edit brilliantly.
– C. J. Cherryh

Have a great day!

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Sunday Serenity

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

048

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.
– Somerset Maugham

Have a wonderful day!

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State of the Phoenix

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Happy June.

So life has a habit of kicking our asses when we’re not expecting it. At this rate, I feel like it’s all that has been happening on our home front. Some things; first, I’ve noticed the website is being a brat when I try to load it, is this universal, or is it just my computer? If you have problems, please drop me a note so I can fix the site.

Life in general, well it’s been frustrating. My father in law passed away in April, we went back to Oklahoma for the funeral, and on returning my husband’s job slowed to a crawl. I’ve got a job interview tomorrow **crosses fingers** and we’re kindof struggling to figure out how we’re going to pay the bills. I usually try to keep this pretty neutral and keep as much of my personal life off of this site, but this stuff has severely and negatively affected my writing and editing.

I keep saying I need to write up a post on time management. Once I figure it out, lol.

Depression’s a bitch, and she’s been parked on my shoulders for the past year or two. It’s far beyond just being sad. This has been apathy, some very negative feelings about myself, my goals and my writing. Yes I’m working on myself. Yes I’ve got meds and yes I’ve got therapy. It’s one step at a time. One challenge at a time.

Right now my writing & pubbing goals are fairly simple;

  • Get E1 finished. I have some major rewriting to do at the end (I seem to have misplaced/lost edits I’d done of the last part of the book)
  • Get back on a schedule of some sort. I had a schedule for the site, I’d like to get that going again.
  • Get myself back to writing regularly. Once upon a time 3k a day was my norm. If I don’t hit that I feel guilty/angry and frustrated. I need to ease up on myself. My new goal is 400 words. The past couple of days I’ve been playing with a new shiny and that seems to be helping out a lot.
  • Stop being hard on myself. If I saw someone talking to/treating another writer the way I mentally treat me, I would blow up at them. I need to ease up out of my own face. (try to visualize that one!)
  • Play with digi art more. I’d been working really hard on new covers, getting some real progress done on my digi art stuff when it ground to a halt. I want to get back to that. I truly love it and I’ve got some pictures I’d love to tackle.

I want to have E1 finished and up for sale by the end of the summer. I want to get it put up in print. Right now that’s really all I plan on working on. Once that’s done, I’ll re-evaluate things and go from there.

I’d had a request a while back to put some of the digi art on things like mousepads, bookmarks, etc. I can’t find the email, and I didn’t write down who (I apologize) but I did go ahead and put together a zazzle store. Right now it’s a bit empty, but I’ll be adding more stuff the next couple of weeks. You can go check it out over here.

So Wednesday there should be a new chapter posted, here and wattpad, and hopefully new digi stuff by this weekend.

I hope you all have a great week.

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Elemental Truth ~ Chapter 29

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

This entry is part 1 of 31 in the series Elemental Truth

Disclaimer;  Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing.  I’m sorry this bit took so long to get to you. Hope you all enjoy it.

 

Tier kept the borrowed hood over his head as he made his way through the crowded streets of Lorn. The largest of the coastal cities in Nekar, it was a center of trade and sported freedoms other cities’ no longer had. In his youth, Tier had loathed it and the influence of the visiting cultures. Now, he wasn’t so sure it deserved his disdain.

It was a bustling city, and at any moment he feared he’d see someone who would recognize him. It had taken close to three seven days to get to Lorn, through the mountains, and now that he was here, he feared he’d made a mistake. The docks were a bustle of activity, Tier leaned against a building trying to gather his thoughts. He had to get north, out of the country. His best bet would be to take a ship to Tyrsleth and then passage on a river barge to Sandau, to warn Xin and Geb to get out.

He didn’t want to think about the logistics, not yet. He wasn’t sure how he was going to manage it all. He pushed from the wall, glancing towards the podium where the Harbor Master observed the comings and goings of the ships and their crews. If anyone knew who was going north, he would. Tier hoped the man wouldn’t recognize him.

“I need a ship.” He spoke in a low voice.

“Aye? What?” He barely looked in Tier’s direction, he was fiddling with a coin on the podium.

“I need a ship to Tyrsleth.” Tier said. The Harbor Master’s hand stilled and he turned. His cataract hazed eyes widened and he swallowed.

“Yer sposed to be dead,” His voice was rough.

Tier swallowed, wondering if he should turn and run. A single word raised would alert the ever present guards that patrolled the harbor. “I need to get to Tyrsleth, as quickly as possible.”

The Harbor Master nodded slowly, and glanced around, fingers drumming on the podium. “Come on lad,” he motioned Tier to follow him. “The whole empire is shaking from your, err, death.”

“No one can know I’m not dead.” Tier gripped the man’s shoulder. The Harbor Master bobbed his head several times.

“No one will know. Yer secret is safe with me.” He pointed to a ship at the end of a long dock. “The Prancing Dragon. Captain Kerga runs a tight ship, don’t usually deal with passengers,”

“Then why,”

“Because she’s got no ties here, yer highness.” The Harbor Master hissed, half turning. He gave a gap-toothed grin. “Because you deserve better than a pole.”

The Harbor Master led him on the deck, and Tier felt his stomach do an uneasy flop. He could feel the motion of the ship on the water, and he didn’t care for it in the least.

“Aye! Cor, where’s Kerga?” The Harbor Master yelled.

A short, slim woman strode over. She glanced Tier’s way and dismissed him, focusing on the Harbor Master.

“She’s in her cabin, restin. Why?” The woman’s voice was a soft, an oddly familiar burr. Tier frowned, staring at her hard. Were her dark hair longer, her eyes a lighter gray, she could be Xin’s twin or older sister. He swallowed, glancing back at the Harbor Master.

“Just to Tyrsleth, Cor. I’ll pay,”

“Wait,” Tier started, the man shook his head.

“Yer not gonna argue me out of it, Tier. I owe ye, lad.”

Tier hissed a curse, shaking his head. The woman was staring at him, her eyes narrow.

“Tier?” Her voice hard.

“Cor, take us to the captain lass. I’ll explain below deck.” He waggled a finger at Tier. “No arguments, either.”

 

Captain Kerga was a tall woman with a cap of bright red curls and vivid blue eyes. She listened to what the Harbor Master was proposing while eying Tier. There was something about the way she watched him that made him uneasy. The silence stretched as she drummed her fingers on the surface of her desk.

“That’s a hefty cut you’re takin, Vourum.”

The man shrugged, hand clamped on Tier’s shoulder. “You know, as do I, why this is important.” He looked at Tier. “In some circles yer a martyr.”

Tier shook his head. “Crazy.”

“In others a hero.” Kerga leaned back, propping her booted feet on the desk. “Officially yer a traitor.”

“I am no traitor.” Tier snarled. Kerga smiled.

“That remains to be seen.” She stretched, hands behind her head, staring up at the ornately carved beams overhead. “Lets say I agree, the ships patrolling the coast,”

“As far as everyone is concerned, he’s dead.” Cor spoke up. She’d been leaning against one wall, fiddling with a rope. “If there were any whispers that he might have escaped, it would spread like wildfire in the dry grass.”

“True. Depending on who knows.” Kerga leaned forward, the legs of her chair hitting the floor with a loud thump. “I’ll not put my crew, nor my ship at risk, understand? First sign that you’re bringing trouble, yer overboard I dunna care how far from land we are.”

“Understood.” Tier’s heart was pounding in his ears.

“Discretion, Kerga.” The Harbor Master said quickly.

“I’m not a dunce, Vourum.” Her eyes flickered towards Cor. Tier didn’t dare look towards the slim woman.

“My apologies, I never meant to imply you were.” The Harbor Master tossed her a small bag and turned to Tier. “I’ve a friend up in Tyrsleth, Moya. She’ll put you up while you figure what yer gonna do next.”

“Why?” Tier asked, ignoring the two women.

“Why what?”

“Why, this?”

“I said I owed ya, more than you’ll ever realize.” He gave a gap-toothed grin and held out his hand for a handshake. Tier hesitated before taking his hand. On the back of his hand was a pale blue filigree tattoo that reminded Tier of glyph drawings. “Yer very existence is a slap in the face of that dead-eyed bitch. I like being a part of that.” The Harbor Master bowed low. “Good luck.”

Tier watched him leave before turning to the women catching the amused look they exchanged.

“Find him a space Cor.” Kerga said, pulling over some papers. “I’ve got some paperwork to catch up on.”

Cor nodded, glanced at Tier, and motioned him to follow her.

“We don’t usually take passengers, don’t have any special quarters for em. There’s a bit of a small space you can use.” She glanced at him.

“How long does it usually take to reach Tyrsleth?” Tier asked as they went down the steep steps into the belly of the ship.

“Few weeks, if weather is good, but we have a couple stops between here and there.” She half turned to him. “While we’re in Port, here or further north, stay below deck. It’d be safer that way.”

Tier inclined his head. What else could he do? His life was in their hands.

~*~

If you’re enjoying it, please share, spread the word, I’d appreciate it.

Chapter 28                                Table of Contents                  Chapter 30

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Tags:

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Happy Early Ostara to those who celebrate it! (Or Mabon[I think] if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere)

So there are some things I’m having to change. Plans schedules and whatnot. First of all, because of some things one of my kids is going through, I’ve had to prioritize him and his needs over everything else. Now that he’s where he’s getting the help he needs, I’m able to readjust my schedule and reorganize my plan for 2015.

Elemental Truth.

I sat down a few days ago and did a full read through of E1, from the front to back. And I discovered something sorta distressing about the back end, which I’m working on right now. It is nowhere near where I thought it was completion wise. There are several things I need to rewrite/fix to make it a rounded tale. So where does that put the serial? I thought I’d get it done and have it up for sale by the first. And tbh if I didn’t have other things going on in my life, I would have. But it wouldn’t have been what I want it to be. It wouldn’t have done justice to the story I’m trying to tell. It wouldn’t have been the best I can do with it. I don’t want that. My readers don’t deserve a half assed attempt. I went with self-pubbing so I could control my schedule. I need to remind myself of this.

I’m going to cut the serial postings to once a week. I know, I know, it’s been sporadic as it is, and for that I apologize. Reducing my stress level is a big thing for me right now. So I think I’ll be posting chapters around Tuesday or Wednesday.

When it is done, it will be offered up for sale on the usual sites and I’m planning on going through Createspace to do a print version also.

Blog

It has suffered from neglect. I admit that. I’m working on putting together some more posts to get back on a schedule. I would love any suggestions for topics.

Other Projects & this year’s writing/pubbing plan.

I decided that this year is the year of the series. What that means, to put it simply, is that my focus is going to be on getting my series written and up for sale. The Avaria series, the Elemental series to start with. I have a lot planned. It’s time to get them done.

Flash Friday. I haven’t done that in so long, and I want to get back to doing that too. ATM it would be sporadic though, E1 is my main focus with the Zander tales on it’s heels ready to be finished. I’m not sure I can spread my attention that far.

ATM I don’t have dates down for when stuff will be out. I am going to be trying to guesstimate that this week, and put up the announcement or somesuch next week.

Real Life

To give you a rundown, and I feel I owe explanations to my readers. My 14 year old got caught up in a very bad situation last summer. What followed was lots of court stuff, him being in juvie, and then at home monitoring, and trying to get to the bottom of what seems like a 180 degree change in attitude. Currently he is in a special inpatient program which is helping him address his issues (drug & alcohol and mental illness such as depression & PTSD) and we are doing our best to cope with the fact that the kid we knew is not who he is now. It’s a tough thing to accept but we are doing our best.

Thoughts, prayers, candles lit, Buddha’s belly being rubbed are all appreciated. I worry that his bright star will be forever dimmed by this. Then again I am a worry wort, so I may be over-stressing.

Hug your families. Hug your friends. Let people you care about KNOW that you care about them. You never know what might happen tomorrow. Don’t put it off.

NPhoenix

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Elemental Truth ~ Chapter 28

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

This entry is part 30 of 31 in the series Elemental Truth

Disclaimer;  Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing.  Hope you all enjoy it.

 

“In times of desperation, our abilities can do amazing things.” Water Master Euka lifted his hands. A large bubble of water lifted slowly out of the river, the sunlight shining through it, casting rainbows on the grass. “From what you’ve told me, every time you’ve used your powers on your travel, it was in response to danger.”

Xin nodded. He was a thin, small man with a roughly cut bowl of thick black hair. He motioned her over. “Like your mother, you haven’t been able to practice, to experiment, have you? She’d barely learned how to lift water from the river.”

“I only practiced in hiding. And late at night.” She said.

She too would hide at night and in storms to play. She was a fast learner though.” Water Master Euka chuckled. “And a bit of a trickster.”

“I have only faint memories of my mother.” Xin said slowly. It was strange hearing someone talk about her mother. And in a favorable light no less.

“There is a lifetime of catching up to do. There is no rush though, Xin. No rush at all. She regretted her inability to retrieve you.” He patted her arm and then made a sweeping motion with his hand. The water blob dropped back into the river and the water in the river rose in a huge crest, hovering before crashing back down into its bank and settling.

“I want you to practice, get used to the feel of the water, you’ve had to hide it to survive. Now to survive you must master it, control it.” Another blob of water lifted and shaped into a plate shape and froze. “Practice with the different aspects of water, you do know what those are, right?”

“Liquid, solid, steam.”

The little man sniffed and nodded, the ice melted and then dissolved into a small cloud. “I want you to practice that.” It became a big blob of water again and splashed back into the river. “Now.”

Xin nodded and lifted a blob of water. This was more than just playing. She focused on the water willing it to freeze. A shell appeared on the outer layer, slowly. She frowned trying to focus harder, the blob stayed half frozen. A blob of slush.

“Not bad.”

“It won’t freeze.” She said. “I’ve frozen things before.”

“How often have you tried to do this particular exercise?”

She frowned.

“Exactly. There is no desperation, no danger. This is all focus and conscious effort.” She felt him wrest the ice blob out of her grip and tossed it into the river. “You have to build up the skill and the stamina to use your gifts fully.”

“I’ll try to remember that.”

“It is a lot to remember. It is a lot of change. Walk with me.” The old man led her along the walkway beside the river. “Your mother has no affinity for healing, do you?”

“I’ve never tried.”

He sighed. “One can always hope, we’ll test you later, though with the traveling you’ve done, I would think you would have unlocked that ability.” He pointed towards the Spirit Elemental dome. “Each element has areas of specialty. Water is usually ice, steam, or healing. Earth used to have crystal shapers and metal manipulators, if the legends are true. Proficiency is rare these days. Kera,”

“The Seeress?”

He spat to the side. “She is no Seeress, she is a charlatan, a trickster. A manipulator. She killed the strongest of us. Wiped out a generation of healers, crystal shapers, metal workers. The elementals will never fully recover. Did you know the Air Dancers had floaters? Before I met Aitelle, I thought all of them had been wiped out. The greatest of the Fire Elementals, the Fire Lords, used to have the ability to do what is called a Holy Flame.” Water Master Euka turned to her. “Legends tell of spectacular deeds done by the Holy Flame.”

“What is it, exactly?”

“No one knows. There hasn’t been a Fire lord who can do it in, well if legends are correct, since before the Seer War.” He chuckled. “There are those who whisper that Nesh is powerful enough to use it, but I’ve never seen it personally.”

Xin shook her head. “We were told the elementals were all extinct. My own grandfather tried to stone me.”

The Water Master patted her arm. “You are safe now. Come, let’s go over to the training field. Nesh teaches the young fire elementals. It is an interesting process, if a bit dangerous.”

“Dangerous?”

“Fire, Xin. If you aren’t careful, you’ll get your eyebrows singed off.”

 

They found Lord Nesh crouched in the training field, surrounded by a group of children whispering and laughing. Nesh’s hands were outstretched and in his hand was a man-shaped flame walking across his palms. The children giggled and laughed as the little flame danced and then did cartwheels across his hands. The Water Master nodded in his direction, speaking in a low voice.

“The last true Fire Lord. His family has been in power in Sandau since before the war of the Seers. He’s far more powerful than his sire, or his grandsire for that matter. Some whisper he is like the great Fire Lords of old.”

Xin watched the Fire Lord, silently comparing him to Tier and shook herself. There was no comparison and it was stupid. Tier was never coming back. She had to move on. Lord Nesh stepped back nodding at the children who lined up in front of him, hands out. Some were able to conjure up little fire-men of their own, some were having trouble getting much more than flaring sparks.

“He’s been teaching the young ones since he mastered his own abilities.” The Water Master murmured.

“He seems good with children.” Xin observed.

“Aye.”

Lord Nesh noticed them, eyebrows arching, he said something to the children and then headed over.

“I see your eyebrows have grown back.” The Water Healer called, chuckling.

“Thanks to you.” Lord Nesh grinned and glanced at Xin. “Training children to use fire can be dangerous at times.”

“I can imagine.” Xin watched the little ones struggling to keep the little flames in their hands from going out. “Aren’t they a bit young?”

“That’s why they must be trained.” Lord Nesh nodded towards a little girl closest to them, no more than six possibly seven years old. “She’ll be a master if she can get the basics down. But fire is dangerous. We must keep control at all times, lest it gets away from us.”

“I can see how that could be a problem.”

“It is a serious matter.” Lord Nesh looked down at her. “And how are you settling in?”

Xin looked away and shrugged. “It’s busier here than Dhaul.”

“It is. If there’s anything I can do, just let me know.”

Before she could respond a man called for him from the crest of the low hill overlooking the river. Nesh waved once and glanced towards Euka and Xin.

“Excuse me, Euka, can you make sure they don’t singe each other?” He didn’t wait, turning and making his way at a half run to meet the messenger.

Xin watched him as he spoke with the messenger and the two disappeared over the hill. Euka had made his way over to the children speaking gently. The flames went out and they bowed, turned and filed away.

 

“We found this in the house you were assigned to when you first arrived.” The young man set the small bag on the table. Xin felt her mouth go dry, barely acknowledging Aitelle coming over. It was Tier’s bag, the smaller one. She opened it with nerveless fingers, frowning as she pulled out some of his papers.

“Why would he have left this?” She asked no one in particular. The papers were notes, some in Nekarian, some in other language, all in a similar script. At the bottom was the book and the small box he’d found in Dhaul. Xin held the box, staring at the top of it. Important enough to take with him only to leave it behind?

“Xin, what is it?” Aitelle’s voice broke through her daze.

“These are important papers.” She lifted the book, “He called this a treasure of the royal family.” She looked at Aitelle. “Why would he leave it behind?”

Aitelle took the book, carefully flipping through the pages. “I don’t know, it doesn’t seem to be all that important, does it?”

Xin put the papers back, carefully replacing everything.

“He didn’t want her to get her hands on it.” Geb whispered.

Xin stared at Geb, heart pounding in her ears. “Of course.” She closed the bag, glanced at Aitelle. “Please, don’t mention this.”

“Xin, what is it?”

“I’m not sure.” She took the bag up to her room, setting at the foot of her bed, then went to the window staring towards the horizon. Fear for him, for what she’d do to him brought tears to her eyes.

~*~

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Chapter 27                                   Table of Contents                          Chapter 29

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Elemental Truth ~ Chapter 28

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Disclaimer;  Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing.  Hope you all enjoy it.

 

“In times of desperation, our abilities can do amazing things.” Water Master Euka lifted his hands. A large bubble of water lifted slowly out of the river, the sunlight shining through it, casting rainbows on the grass. “From what you’ve told me, every time you’ve used your powers on your travel, it was in response to danger.”

Xin nodded. He was a thin, small man with a roughly cut bowl of thick black hair. He motioned her over. “Like your mother, you haven’t been able to practice, to experiment, have you? She’d barely learned how to lift water from the river.”

“I only practiced in hiding. And late at night.” She said.

She too would hide at night and in storms to play. She was a fast learner though.” Water Master Euka chuckled. “And a bit of a trickster.”

“I have only faint memories of my mother.” Xin said slowly. It was strange hearing someone talk about her mother. And in a favorable light no less.

“There is a lifetime of catching up to do. There is no rush though, Xin. No rush at all. She regretted her inability to retrieve you.” He patted her arm and then made a sweeping motion with his hand. The water blob dropped back into the river and the water in the river rose in a huge crest, hovering before crashing back down into its bank and settling.

“I want you to practice, get used to the feel of the water, you’ve had to hide it to survive. Now to survive you must master it, control it.” Another blob of water lifted and shaped into a plate shape and froze. “Practice with the different aspects of water, you do know what those are, right?”

“Liquid, solid, steam.”

The little man sniffed and nodded, the ice melted and then dissolved into a small cloud. “I want you to practice that.” It became a big blob of water again and splashed back into the river. “Now.”

Xin nodded and lifted a blob of water. This was more than just playing. She focused on the water willing it to freeze. A shell appeared on the outer layer, slowly. She frowned trying to focus harder, the blob stayed half frozen. A blob of slush.

“Not bad.”

“It won’t freeze.” She said. “I’ve frozen things before.”

“How often have you tried to do this particular exercise?”

She frowned.

“Exactly. There is no desperation, no danger. This is all focus and conscious effort.” She felt him wrest the ice blob out of her grip and tossed it into the river. “You have to build up the skill and the stamina to use your gifts fully.”

“I’ll try to remember that.”

“It is a lot to remember. It is a lot of change. Walk with me.” The old man led her along the walkway beside the river. “Your mother has no affinity for healing, do you?”

“I’ve never tried.”

He sighed. “One can always hope, we’ll test you later, though with the traveling you’ve done, I would think you would have unlocked that ability.” He pointed towards the Spirit Elemental dome. “Each element has areas of specialty. Water is usually ice, steam, or healing. Earth used to have crystal shapers and metal manipulators, if the legends are true. Proficiency is rare these days. Kera,”

“The Seeress?”

He spat to the side. “She is no Seeress, she is a charlatan, a trickster. A manipulator. She killed the strongest of us. Wiped out a generation of healers, crystal shapers, metal workers. The elementals will never fully recover. Did you know the Air Dancers had floaters? Before I met Aitelle, I thought all of them had been wiped out. The greatest of the Fire Elementals, the Fire Lords, used to have the ability to do what is called a Holy Flame.” Water Master Euka turned to her. “Legends tell of spectacular deeds done by the Holy Flame.”

“What is it, exactly?”

“No one knows. There hasn’t been a Fire lord who can do it in, well if legends are correct, since before the Seer War.” He chuckled. “There are those who whisper that Nesh is powerful enough to use it, but I’ve never seen it personally.”

Xin shook her head. “We were told the elementals were all extinct. My own grandfather tried to stone me.”

The Water Master patted her arm. “You are safe now. Come, let’s go over to the training field. Nesh teaches the young fire elementals. It is an interesting process, if a bit dangerous.”

“Dangerous?”

“Fire, Xin. If you aren’t careful, you’ll get your eyebrows singed off.”

 

They found Lord Nesh crouched in the training field, surrounded by a group of children whispering and laughing. Nesh’s hands were outstretched and in his hand was a man-shaped flame walking across his palms. The children giggled and laughed as the little flame danced and then did cartwheels across his hands. The Water Master nodded in his direction, speaking in a low voice.

“The last true Fire Lord. His family has been in power in Sandau since before the war of the Seers. He’s far more powerful than his sire, or his grandsire for that matter. Some whisper he is like the great Fire Lords of old.”

Xin watched the Fire Lord, silently comparing him to Tier and shook herself. There was no comparison and it was stupid. Tier was never coming back. She had to move on. Lord Nesh stepped back nodding at the children who lined up in front of him, hands out. Some were able to conjure up little fire-men of their own, some were having trouble getting much more than flaring sparks.

“He’s been teaching the young ones since he mastered his own abilities.” The Water Master murmured.

“He seems good with children.” Xin observed.

“Aye.”

Lord Nesh noticed them, eyebrows arching, he said something to the children and then headed over.

“I see your eyebrows have grown back.” The Water Healer called, chuckling.

“Thanks to you.” Lord Nesh grinned and glanced at Xin. “Training children to use fire can be dangerous at times.”

“I can imagine.” Xin watched the little ones struggling to keep the little flames in their hands from going out. “Aren’t they a bit young?”

“That’s why they must be trained.” Lord Nesh nodded towards a little girl closest to them, no more than six possibly seven years old. “She’ll be a master if she can get the basics down. But fire is dangerous. We must keep control at all times, lest it gets away from us.”

“I can see how that could be a problem.”

“It is a serious matter.” Lord Nesh looked down at her. “And how are you settling in?”

Xin looked away and shrugged. “It’s busier here than Dhaul.”

“It is. If there’s anything I can do, just let me know.”

Before she could respond a man called for him from the crest of the low hill overlooking the river. Nesh waved once and glanced towards Euka and Xin.

“Excuse me, Euka, can you make sure they don’t singe each other?” He didn’t wait, turning and making his way at a half run to meet the messenger.

Xin watched him as he spoke with the messenger and the two disappeared over the hill. Euka had made his way over to the children speaking gently. The flames went out and they bowed, turned and filed away.

 

“We found this in the house you were assigned to when you first arrived.” The young man set the small bag on the table. Xin felt her mouth go dry, barely acknowledging Aitelle coming over. It was Tier’s bag, the smaller one. She opened it with nerveless fingers, frowning as she pulled out some of his papers.

“Why would he have left this?” She asked no one in particular. The papers were notes, some in Nekarian, some in other language, all in a similar script. At the bottom was the book and the small box he’d found in Dhaul. Xin held the box, staring at the top of it. Important enough to take with him only to leave it behind?

“Xin, what is it?” Aitelle’s voice broke through her daze.

“These are important papers.” She lifted the book, “He called this a treasure of the royal family.” She looked at Aitelle. “Why would he leave it behind?”

Aitelle took the book, carefully flipping through the pages. “I don’t know, it doesn’t seem to be all that important, does it?”

Xin put the papers back, carefully replacing everything.

“He didn’t want her to get her hands on it.” Geb whispered.

Xin stared at Geb, heart pounding in her ears. “Of course.” She closed the bag, glanced at Aitelle. “Please, don’t mention this.”

“Xin, what is it?”

“I’m not sure.” She took the bag up to her room, setting at the foot of her bed, then went to the window staring towards the horizon. Fear for him, for what she’d do to him brought tears to her eyes.

~*~

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Chapter 27                                   Table of Contents

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Elemental Truth ~ Chapter 27

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

This entry is part 28 of 28 in the series Elemental Truth

Disclaimer;  Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing.  Hope you all enjoy it.

 

Estate of the Hassof Family

 

 

Rale felt as though he were swimming through a murky pool of water, trying to reach the surface, and failing miserably. He heard a whisper, the sounds of metal clinking and the loud creak of rusty hinges. His head was too heavy to turn, his eyes felt sealed shut. He couldn’t control his body. Fear raged inside him. Someone was there, was it her? He hoped it wasn’t, prayed she wouldn’t notice him. If he was quiet enough, maybe she’d go away. His mind was raw and sore. A wound gouged into his thoughts.

“Rale?” The voice echoed from a long dark passage. Female. Not her! Something cool, smelling like mint, was pressed against his forehead. A gentle palm pressed against his cheek. He smelled the perfume, light and floral. Her name swam up from the depths of his mind; Aryanda. His elder sister. He struggled to open his eyes, to say something. He heard a low groan and realized it was from him.

“There isn’t much time, Arya, hurry up.” A male voice, clipped and cultured, spoke. It was oddly familiar, though the name of the man elluded him.

“Rale, you have to get up.” Arya whispered. How could she sound so musical when she was whispering?

“Arya?” was that his voice? That cracked sound?

“It’s me. Open your eyes, we don’t have much time.” This time she shook him and pain shot through his body, from his back to his head. He groaned opened his eyes, staring up at her. Dark hair framing dark, concerned eyes.

“Where are we?” The words didn’t sound right. He tried again. “What happened?” He pushed himself up, glad for her help. He cringed when her hand touched his stinging back.

“Home. For now at least. She had me collect you.” Arya “She is expecting to come get you to finish her inquiries.”

Rale stared at her, memories rushing back. He’d hit the floor before Tier had. Rale swallowed. “Where’s Tier?”

Arya looked down, her voice a bare whisper. “She had him executed four days ago.” She looked back up, tears on her cheeks. “There are whispers purging the entire noble line. We have to get you out.”

“Out? We?” He blinked looking past her. Leaning against the wall near the door, arms crossed in front of him was a pale man in dark clothing.

“Xeresel has arranged for you to return to Sandau.” Arya handed him a tunic. He blinked realizing he wore only his underthings. Xeresel? Ambassador Xeresel? He stared at man, ignoring Arya’s attempts to get him out of the cot.

“What is a Bavanan sorcerer doing involving himself in Nekarian politics?” He demanded. Starting to get to his feet. A wave of dizzy swept over him and he plopped back to the cot.

“Saving your ass at the moment. Or trying to. Get dressed, Lord Rale. You are running on borrowed time.”

Rale numbly took his pants, pulling them on, and leaned against Arya as he fumbled with the belt. Lord Xeresel was said to be a powerful sorcerer related to the Queen of Bavanan herself. It was also rumored that he was a spy. Rale swallowed, staring at the man, wondering how much of the rumor might actually be true. He blinked, noticing a pale blue line of pulsing light running along the lines around the room. Next to Xeresel, on the wall, the light formed a circular pattern. Magic Glyph. He’d only heard of those in stories. Rale stared up at the man.

“Why?”

Xeresel gave a faint smile, leaning forward. “Because Arya asked so nicely. Hurry up my lord, we are running out of time.”

Rale took the boots Arya handed him and struggled to get them on his feet as she spoke.

“After we leave, go down to the stables. In the last stall is your horse, all ready to go. In the saddlebags are travel papers and money and a message for the Lady Launi.” Arya gave him a tight hug. “If I can, I’ll send messages through Moya in Tyrsleth.”

Rale got to his feet, fighting his churning stomach. “Arya, you are putting yourselves at risk, you can’t stay also,”

“I can’t leave. Not yet.” She gave a forced smile. “Too much going on.”

“Trust me, Rale, we have done far more than this to garner the Seeress’s wrath.” Xeresel said looking down at his fingernails.

Rale looked back and forth between them. “Like what?”

“There’s no time, Rale.” Arya embraced him quickly. “Someday, we’ll talk and I’ll explain.” She went to the door, resting hand on the doorknob.

“Good luck, my lord.” Xeresel extended a hand towards Rale.

Rale took the man’s hand, trying not to wince when Xeresel squeezed. The Bavanan man stepped back as the light receded, crawling back along the wall towards the round glyph which Xeresel covered with his palm. When he followed Arya out the door, the glyph vanished. Rale glanced at his hand and almost yelled, biting his lip at the last minute. Pulsing on his palm was a blue glyph. He touched it with his finger but he felt nothing but his skin.

“The spell will last long enough to get you out of Nekar unrecognized, but you must hurry. She can see right through it.” Xeresel’s voice was somber.

Rale looked up and felt chills working up his spine. Xeresel was no where to be seen. Neither was Arya. He stumbled to the door glancing at the two huddled forms beside it. Guards, sleeping, at least he hoped they were sleeping. He took a deep breath, and half ran, half stumbled down the hall like a drunken man. Sandau, Lady Launi, Xin, and Geb, the only things going through his mind. And the knowledge that he would have to tell Xin that Tier was dead. He swallowed. He couldn’t think about that now. He had to get out of Nekar.

~*~

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Chapter 26                                   Table of Contents

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Elemental Truth ~ Chapter 25

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

This entry is part 1 of 28 in the series Elemental Truth

Disclaimer;  Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing.  Hope you all enjoy it.

 

The air was cool and held a hint of autumn. Mist blanketed the valley and from the center of it rose the Oracle. He gritted his teeth and nodded a silent greeting to Rale. They stood before the closed gates, staring up at the insignia. The only sound was the haunting melody that was so familiar.

“Where are the priests?” Rale asked. He was unshaven and had a pallor to his skin that made him look ill.

“I don’t know.” Tier glanced up at the wall. No movement, nothing. He stepped over, raising his hand to knock on the gate when it swung silently inward.

In the center of the courtyard stood a small robed figure, not much taller than the Seeress. Thin hands reached up, pushing the hood of the robe back revealing a very pale, blue eyed woman with a crown of white gold hair. Her robes once fine silks that might have been blue, were tattered and worn, moving about her in a wind he couldn’t feel. Tier swallowed, desperately wishing for a drink.

“Prince Tier.” The woman tipped her head to one side. Tier felt a brush against his mind, like butterfly wings, and pushed back at it. Her eyebrows arched and an odd smile crossed her lips before she peered at Rale. “Lord Rale. You are both late.”

“Where are the Priests?” Rale’s voice had a high pitched edge to it. She chuckled, the sound did nothing to ease Tier’s discomfort.

“The Festival of Hope draws them south to the coast this time of year.” Her voice was so low that Tier had to strain just to hear her.

“And you are?” Rale was frowning at her.

“Kit.” Tier answered for her, chills running up his spine as her remembered the old stories whispered in taverns and round campfires. The mind-breaker. The Voice of the Seeress. Rale went paler and swayed on his feet. She inclined her head slowly not looking away from Tier.

“That is what they call me, yes.” She made a slow circle around them, her hands pressed together in front of her. “You were sent for Elementals.”

“We were unable to bring them with us.” Tier said as she stepped in front of him and looked up at him. Her eyes were familiar, but he couldn’t remember from when.

“She will not be pleased.” Kit said after a moment. She shook her head and motioned towards the corridor leading to the Seeress’s room. “It is time.”

“I did as she asked.” Tier crossed his arms. She turned back to look up at him, her expression impossible to read.

“Yes, you did. Hopefully, for your sakes, she’ll remember her part.” She looked at Rale for a long moment before motioning them again to go down the corridor. Rale sighed and went, Tier stayed rooted, staring at the her.

“She waits for you, your highness.” The soft voice was hypnotic.

“Will she honor her part?”

Kit looked up at him and again he felt the butterfly wings brushing his mind. He pushed back, scowling and she smiled.

“I can’t answer that, your highness. She is not in a good mood.” Her voice never rose, yet it chilled him further. She knew what he could do. He nodded and followed Rale into the silent Oracle.

Each step echoed against the walls and the pressure he’d felt since returning to Nekar grew stronger. When they reached the inner sanctum, Tier could barely see. Pain shot through his head as the Seeress entered the room. His eyes locked on her, struck again by how young she looked. This creature was over a thousand years old? Two thousand? She stared at him, her blank eyes boring into his. He felt the pressure increase and could almost feel her fingers clawing at his mind.

He shuddered, unable to stop himself. He was certain she was trying to get into his mind.

“You failed.” Her voice, harsh and brittle compared to Kit’s soft tones, crawled over his skin. Her movements were less fluid than before, far more agitated.

“You said if we couldn’t bring them back,” Rale began. The Seeress turned her head and Rale gripped the sides of his head with a hoarse cry. Tier took a half step towards his cousin and then glared at the Seeress.

“We were hindered by another like you.” Tier said, somehow his shakes faded as she looked back at him, eyes wide. His fear faded, anger beginning to boil. This little creature had held Nekar in the palm of her hand for centuries. Even now his father was acting not on his own but in response to her. The pressure he’d felt since arriving back home was the Seeress, he was certain of it.

“There are no others like me.” She whispered. Tier was aware of the tattered robed Kit kneeling beside Rale.

“She called herself Launi.” Tier continued. Kit looked towards him but his kept his gaze on the Seeress. Kera, he reminded himself, her name was Kera. “She seemed to feel you were not entirely truthful with me when you asked me to look for elementals.”

“Did she?”

On the ground Rale groaned.

“Father informed me that you told him I was looking for a General’s daughter. That is not what you asked us to do.”

“Are you questioning me?” Her voice cold. On the ground Rale groaned.

“Yes I am.” He gripped his sword belt, his palms sweaty. He was a dead man already, he could see it on her face, he might as well give her a piece of his mind. “I was sent away from my duties under false pretenses. I have a war I am fighting, my men need me there. Not traipsing around the world looking for elementals who are not as extinct as we have been led to believe they were. How many other lies have you told our people?” Pressure upon pressure on his skull dropped him gasping to his knees. He glared up at her. She knelt, her fingernail scraping his cheek.

“You presume much, your highness.” She whispered hoarsely.

“Do I?” He narrowed his eyes. “Grandmother?”

For a brief moment the pressure stopped, he heard a gasp, the white faded from her eyes revealing a pale blue, like the woman from the mural. The pressure and the white returned and his cheek felt hot along where her fingernail had traced. Pain, white hot shot through his cheek.

“You have outlived your usefulness, your highness. Open your mind to me and I might see fit to spare your life.”

“And let you control my every movement? No thank you.” He whispered. Pain blazed again, but this time on his back. He jerked forward arching his back blindly attempting to ease the pain. The Seeress cupped his face in her hands, her fingernails biting into his skin.

“Let. Me. In.”

Tier closed his eyes, feeling the claws in his head. “No.” Anger welled up, flaring around him and for a moment, when he opened his eyes and met hers, he saw. A thousand years of lies, experiences, births, deaths, the building of an empire and behind it all were the shadowed images of people he didn’t recognize.

Time rolled beneath him, the war of the Seers, a conflict which had stretched for thousands of years had come to a head. It had been they, the spirit elementals, the sisters, not the elementals, that nearly tore their world apart. Darkness clouded his vision and he felt himself falling.

“Traitor.” Her voice echoed in his mind even as the darkness crowded around him. “Take him to the desert.”

 

 

Water dripped in the distance. Kit stared at the place the two men had lain, her mind whirring. Unexpected. Very unexpected. Kera paced behind her, hands clenched at her sides.

“How could he have found out?” Kera rasped. “It’s impossible, no one could have figured it out!”

Kit didn’t answer. She kept her secrets tightly behind a public wall of nonsensical thoughts. Kera had long grown weary trying to batter through it, the centuries had left the Seeress a touch lazy.

“Kit!”

Kit looked at her, pulling her robes tightly around her. “What?”

“Go with the army to Sandau. I want Launi brought here in chains.”

Kit inclined her head and watched Kera make her way back into the private area. Behind her heavy footfalls and the jingling of armor announced the arrival of the Oracle Guards. They went out of their way to avoid Kera if they could. Kit listened to them shuffling uncomfortably.

“My lady?” The Captain’s voice was hesitant.

“I’ve told you not to call me that, Captain.” Kit met the man’s eyes. He swallowed and inclined his head.

“Forgive me. The prisoner is ready to be taken to the desert, we’re having trouble locating some shackles though. We may have to send to the capital for some.”

“Use rope.” Kit, moved past him.

“But, Kit, rope…”

“He won’t be waking up again, Captain.” She pulled her hood over her head and met his eyes. “I made sure of that. All you need is to keep him propped up on the pole. Right?”

The Captain stared at her for a long time before nodding. “Of course. What do you want us to do with their horses?”

“I’ll take care of the prince’s horse. Send Lord Rale’s back to his family with him.”

“Yes, of course.”

“Good day, Captain.” Kit turned, making her way back to the courtyard.

The two travel weary horses stood patiently, waiting for their masters. She stepped up to the large warhorse, rubbing his nose. “You’ll do very well, won’t you?”

~*~

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Chapter 24                                      Table of Contents                   Chapter 26

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Plans and things

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Some things;

The year of the Series.

Elemental Truth

I’m going to be posting the rest of the chapters of E1 as they are ready, at least one a day until they’re all up.

Once it’s done, I’ll be offering it at the usual outlets, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords. I’ll also be preparing it to go to print through Createspace, hopefully no later than March 1st.

Book 2, Elemental Flame is outlined and ready to be written. Once I get the Avaria series out of the way. Or some of it.

Avaria Series

Bastard Prince, The Sarukai Lord, and The Dragon Gates are all slated to be finished this year. This series has lingered for too long.

I’m also going to be trying to get back on a posting schedule and the flash friday stuff.

 

Personally, life is still racing and I’m trying to figure out a balance. Thank you for sticking with me.

 

NPhoenix.

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Quick update.

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Ok, so last year was not the easiest year I’ve ever had. This year is going to be better. I refuse to believe otherwise. So here are a few things I’ve got on the plate.

2015 Writing/pubbing lineup

Elemental Truth;

I am not going to dwell on it. I’m working on it daily. I’ll post chapters as they’re ready. I’m hoping that by the end of this month it will be ready to be pubbed. I’m also going to be releasing it in print, though I’m not sure when it will be ready.

The Bastard Prince, The Sarukai Lord, The Dragon Gates & Crossroads

I love this story. and I hate it. Which makes me sad to say. Once I’m done with the E1 edit/publishing, I’m diving into the Zandercrack and it’s going to be published. This year. Even if it kills me XD.

Those projects could easily swamp me this year. But here are other things I’d like to try to check off the list;

The Fallen. Two maybe three scenes and it’s DONE. >.<
Zombiestuff  –  I have more storires set in this world I want to tell.
Crown of Bones – Fantasy Adventure series, with female protags.
Space Opera
PHFR (prehistoric-fantasy romance)

 

There are other things but right now I have to focus on E1 & Zander. Those have been sitting for way too long. It’s the year to dare to be bad I have to. My sanity depends on it.

I’m also hoping to take one of Dean Wesley Smith’s workshops (you can find them over here) because I want to improve in many areas. Anyways, there’s more on my mind, but I’ve been catwaxing all day. Time to finish the typo sweep and post the next chapter of E1.

NPhoenix

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Coming up for air

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

In short, we’ve been struggling as a family. My son has been fighting addiction and it has dragged our whole family & routine down the drain. I’m working to find a balance between family, writing and other endeavors. I’ve found a stress easement with some new pets (ball pythons) which have helped with the general out of it I’ve been fighting.

I am sorry. I failed getting E1 up and posted on time. I probably lost what readers I have. If any of you are still around, light a candle, rub buddah’s belly, pray, whatever that y son can get a handle on his issues and that I can help him.

I’m working on the next couple chapters. The edits needed are minor, just a few tweaks and it should be done. I’ll try to get them scheduled this week. Again, I’m sorry. Life derailed me horribly and sometimes you just have to refocus.

NPhoenix

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Boosting the signal

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

On oct 15, the daughter of a dear friend got a call no parent ever wants to receive. Her precious daughter had fallen down the stairs at her auntie’s house and was in emergency surgery for a ruptured spleen. Little Naomi passed away, and her mother, grandmother and the rest of their family and friends are in shock. I’ve known the family over ten years and *I* am having a hard time wrapping my head around it.

If you, dear readers, could share the link I’m going to post, to help their family cover the funeral costs and maybe light a candle/say a prayer for Courtney (Naomi’s mother). She was trying to get herself on her feet to take care of her darlings. My heart is breaking for her. And when you have, please, if you have children of your own, hug them close and let them know you love them. You never know what tomorrow may bring.

 

 

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Elemental Truth ~ Chapter 16

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Disclaimer;  Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing.  Hope you all enjoy it.

 

 

“There are chains on top of this building.” Tier stared up through the opening in the ceiling of the ancient building. Pale clouds skittered across a pale blue sky and marring it were huge metal links. He couldn’t see what they were connected to, the ceiling blocked his view.

“They’re huge.” Rale whispered. Tier nodded.

“What at they doing there?” Geb asked.

“Why didn’t we see them at the crossroads?” Tier mused aloud. He saw Rale shrug in the corner of his eye. “How would we get up there to get a better look?”

“Why would you want a closer look?” Rale asked incredulous. He gestured up towards the ceiling. “Can you fly?”

Tier snorted and glanced over at Geb. The young man was poking at the vines covering the far wall. “I want to see what they are.” He gave a half grin. “I’m curious.”

“There’s an old stairway behind these vines.” Geb called. He moved some of the vines revealing an archway and a dark, shadowed passage.

Tier glanced towards the blanket covering Xin’s small ‘room’. She hadn’t stirred since the day before. He considered checking on her, but decided against it. Letting her rest seemed a better idea. He turned his attention back to the gaping hole and Geb’s stairs. They were set deep in the rock, and he felt the skin on the back of his neck tingle the closer he got to them. Tier looked down at Geb.

“How safe are these?”

Geb placed his hand on the bottom step and closed his eyes, Tier felt a solid ‘pulse’ of the boy’s powers. “They’re solid.” Geb opened his eyes, grinning. “A shaper made them a long time ago.”

Tier nodded, and cautiously placed his foot on the first step.

“Those are far too steep for me. They look more like a ladder. You fall and you’ll break your neck.” Rale grumped. “I’ll wait down here.”

Tier nodded and carefully ascended the steps, Geb at his heels. The stairs curved to his right, ascending towards the top of the cliff. Around the first bend it was nearly pitch black. He felt his way up the steps around the next bend and realized he could see. Dim, though with each step it got brighter. Then he was stepping out onto a flat area. He stared, trying to grasp what he was seeing. A plateau. Not the roof of a building.

On either side of the doorway stretched huge chains, tethering a wide slab of floating rock to the plateau. Tier resisted the urge to rub his eyes. How did the ancients do it? He shook his head. Sky City Hyrfett.

“Look at how high it goes.” Geb whispered.

“Stay by the stairs. Just to be safe.” Tier instructed.

“How did they do it?” Geb asked.

Tier shrugged, touching the chain. The metal that made up the links, were as big around as his arms. The links were as tall as he was. Slung between them on some sort of cable were steps. He swallowed, glancing down at the skyhole and swore. The steps to the top of the building he could handle. This?

“Are you going to climb them?” Geb peered with wide eyes.

“Hell no.” He motioned the stairs. “Go back down, I’ll be right behind you.”

Geb nodded, carefully making his way back down the stairs.

Tier was about to follow when he felt the flutter use of power. He halted, turning slowly, scanning the horizon, looking for the source of the power. It came again, brushing against his mind. In the distance he saw a smudge of dark gray clouds. Smoke? He looked up at the slab of rock that floated in the air. If he were on that thing, he’d get a better view of the smoke. He felt the fluttering power again and gritted his teeth. He had to find out where it was coming from. He tested the bottom step. The step itself wiggled a bit, but the chains didn’t budge. He stared up at the floating rock.

“I’m insane.” He murmured. The power fluttered again against his mind. He took a deep breath. Step by precarious step, he ascended the sky stairs to reach what he hoped was a sort of stable ground. He snorted. Stable? Floating in the air? This trip was making him crazy. He reached the slab of rock and placed his foot on the dark reddish brown rock. It didn’t budge, didn’t move. He peered around. What looked like rock underneath was covered in tall grasses on top. He stepped toward the middle of it. A breeze rippled the grasses, bending them wave-like.

He stared around, slow, his mind refusing to accept what his eyes saw. In the distance, dotting the air above the canyons, were other floating rocks, also held by the immense chains anchoring them to the ground.

“How was this made?” Xin’s voice broke his thoughts. He turned, in time to see her step onto the rock, her eyes wide as she peered around. He motioned her over.

“I can’t tell exactly where the edge of the rock is.” He said quickly. The last thing he wanted was for a fall. “Thought you were sleeping.” He said as she stopped beside him. She looked up at him and grinned.

“I woke up to Rale swearing at you. He said you lost your mind.” Xin turned slowly. “This is unbelievable. What do you think they were put here for?”

“Fields of grain, perhaps. For the floating city.” Tier frowned. The fluttering against his mind was back. He looked north, peering at the gray cloud. “What does that look like to you?”

“Smoke.” Xin said, touching his arm. “Though I’ve never seen smoke acting like that.”

“I felt,” he hesitated. “Power use.”

“Fire elemental perhaps?”

Xin gasped. “Did you see that?”

Tier nodded. The smoke had cleared, just for a brief moment, and he saw a city against a low mountain. He took half a step, trying to see through the clouds swirling back over the city. Xin gripped his arm.

“That is a really long drop.” She said when he glanced down at her in surprise. She looked a bit flustered, releasing his arm and crossing hers.

“I’ll be care.” He looked back towards the cloud. “If that was smoke, the city could be on fire.”

“Do you think a fire elemental might have done it?” Xin asked. A strong breeze kicked up. She leaned closer, staring towards the smoke. “How would we get over there?”

Tier looked down towards the canyons. “That looks like it might be a road right to the city.” He pointed at a canyon that curved toward it. “We could make for that city, see if we can find who was using power.”

“And hope they’re friendly?”

Tier snorted and glanced at her. “You were.”

“Geb wasn’t.” She pointed out.

“He was protecting himself.” Tier touched her arm and pointed to the distant tree. “Is that what I think it is?”

“A tree?” She grinned. “This is amazing. It’s so peaceful.”

“It is.” Tier stepped around her, moving closer to the chains. “It’s very high up though.”

Xin laughed. “Are you going to have a problem getting down?”

“Of course not!” He motioned her ahead of him. “Lets go tell them what we saw. We’ll head out in the morning.”

“You’re insane.” Rale scowled.

“I survived.” Tier pulled out the map, staring down at it. “This is the crossroads.” He frowned.

“That city isn’t on the map.” Xin said.

“We’ll work our way north.” Tier glanced at Geb. “Any idea what that city is.”

The boy shrugged. “I’m just an ignorant tribesman.”

Xin lightly swatted his shoulder. “Geb, you are a font of lore we’ve never heard. I wouldn’t call that ignorant.”

Tier was in the process of tucking the map back into his travel packs when Rale touched his shoulder, jerking his head to one side.

Tier followed, frowning.

“Is this a wise move, cousin? I’ve never heard of much exploration in this area.”

“Is any of this wise?” Tier crossed his arms and glanced back at Xin.

“We turn her and Geb over to the Seeress, and she’s going to kill them both.” Rale hissed.

Tier looked at him. “We don’t know that for sure.”

“Tier, I’ve seen the looks between the two of you,”

“Rale,” Tier began.

“I’d have to be blind to not see it. Are you willing to risk her life on the chance that the Seeress won’t kill them?” Rale shook his head.

“What’s your interest?” Tier crossed his arms.

Rale looked toward Xin and Geb, and then back at Tier. “All my life I’ve been taught elementals are monsters. But those two are anything but monstrous. And I’m certain they’re not the only elementals left, not like we’ve been led to believe. The Seeress did gave us an out.”

Tier frowned. “Rale, if we tried anything, aside from what she’s expressly ordered, she’ll know. She’ll read our minds.”

“And she’d kill us.” Rale’s shoulders sagged. “What do we do?”

“For now? We go north.” Tier looked back at Xin. “From there,” he shrugged. “We’ll see.”

 

~*~

The next chapter will be posted Thurs, Oct th.

If you’re enjoying it, please share, spread the word, I’d appreciate it.

Want more to read? Check out J.A. Marlow’s Summer Crash serial & A.J. Devial’s Distant Sun

Thanks for reading. :)

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An Update

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

So this past summer we went through a lot of crap. The two biggest things were issues with one of my kids and the housing. This past week I spent most my time dealing with court stuff to get my son home (runaway, got in trouble with law stuff thanks to a few really BAD kids). He came home last night and we’ve been figuring out handling things (very complicated) such as school, dr appointments and things like that.

 

This has taken precedence over my writing and the serial. I do apologize, and I felt you, my readers, deserved a better explanation than ‘I’ve been busy.’

I am working on getting this back on schedule. Please be patient.

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I’m still alive

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Hello!

We have moved, and are getting settled, and I should be on track here in a couple days. Sorry about this delay. Hope you are all having a good September so far.

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Announcement

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

OK, so the house we’re in has a ceiling caving in, multiple bathroom leaks and a landlord who is unwilling to fix it. While I’ve gone to court to try to force him to fix it, that has done nothing to help the situation (but given us LOTS of headaches) and we’re just DONE.

IMG_1278 the master bathroom started losing tiles about a month after we moved in.

IMG_1284Due to leaks from the UPSTAIRS bathroom, my ONE cupboard is falling off the wall.

IMG_1286My upstairs bathroom’s access panel which the landlord refuses to send a contractor to fix. We now have a leak (again) from this same pipe and everytime the kids take a shower I end up with 2 inches of water on my kitchen floor.

IMG_1290This is the kitchen ceiling. That panel fell down Summer 2013. They STILL haven’t fixed it

IMG_1281The other part of my kitchen ceiling. Mind you, my oldest is 6’5, that ceiling brushes his hair when he walks under it. And it has sagged even further since this picture was taken one month ago.

 

SO.  We just landed another house. We’re packing our things, and getting ready to move this next weekend. I’ve got to gather kid stuffs for transfering schools etc etc…

I’m trying to nail down the next couple chapters of the serial so I can schedule them before the move. I don’t know how long I’ll be internet silent, though I’ll be on twitter.

I apologize for the hiccups with the serial. This summer has been one of the most challenging I’ve had.

NPhoenix.

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No chapter today

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

My son is in the hospital, awaiting surgery to remove his appendix. Barring any other emergencies, the next chapter should go live thursday.

 

NPhoenix

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Sunday Serenity ~ August

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

This has been a really not good few months. So I’m struggling to stay positive. Have a peaceful day!

 

outside

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Elemental Truth Cover

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

So a dear friend, J.A. Marlow, does some really awesomesauce covers. Since my life has recently exploded in my face, she was kind enough to whip up a cover for Elemental Truth.

Elemental Truth Cover

**squees**

**cough**

SO, fellow writers, if you need a cover, her rates and other examples of her artwork are over here. I highly recommend her.

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An apology

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Real life pounced me pretty hard last week, and this week is no better. However, next Tuesday the Serial will be back on schedule. I hope I didn’t lose you, and I deeply apologize for my silence regarding it.

N. Phoenix

 

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Sunday Serenity

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Happy Father’s Day!

To both those who are fathers and those who have been there for kids who have needed a positive male influence in their lives;

Thank you.

Fatherhood/Guidance-hood, isn’t just about biology.

There have been, throughout my life, men who have inspired and encouraged me, My dad, my grandfather, a couple youth leaders at various churches I attended, teachers, neighbors, guys who are just decent guys trying to do their best. Some of them have NO idea how positively they influenced my life, some of them do know, because I told them.

So go tell an inspiring dude (whether he’s a father or not), how inspiring they’ve been to you and have a great day!

This song reminds me of both my dad and my husband (who is an awesome father)!

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Elemental Truth – Chapter 4

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Elemental Truth

 

Disclaimer;  Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing.  Hope you all enjoy it.*

Chapter 4

The old fortress road snaked back and forth up the side of the mountain, doubling back on itself several times. It was overgrown with pines, conifers, and an assortment of underbrush Tier was unfamiliar with. The road leveled out for about a quarter of a league before coming to a large pillar with carvings in a language he’d never seen before. The road they were on continued, disappearing over a rise. A smaller road, little more than a game trail shot off from the main one, twisting up the steep rise.

“What do those markings mean?” Rale asked Xin. She glanced toward the pillar and shrugged.
“I have no idea.” She pointed towards the game trail. “We go that way.”

Rale groaned. The trees were so close together and the branches so low they’d have to dismount and lead their horses through.

“Why?” He asked. Tier shook his head.

Xin half turned. “You want to get to the fortress, correct?” She pointed. “It’s at the top of the mountain. This is the only road to it.”

“The other road…”

“Takes you to Delebeg, past the path of the bandits.” The old man said, his voice impatient. “Xin, Slow down.”

Tier choked back a chuckle when the woman increased her pace.

“What was that Matau? I can’t hear you.” She paused by a tree and leaned against it. She inclined her head as Tier got closer.

“Enjoying yourself?” he asked. She shrugged.

“When he starts complaining, you’ll want to put as much distance between your ears and his mouth as you can.” she said, glancing towards Rale and Matau.

“You might want to give them a hand. That horse isn’t going to cooperate.”

Tier sighed, looking back. The old man and Rale were unsuccessfully trying to move the horse past a tree leaning over the trail. The beast was having none of it, jerking his head and pulling back. Tier handed the reins of his horse to Xin and picked his way back down the trail, removing his cloak as he went. When he reached the horse, he gently slid it over the frightened beast’s eyes from behind. The horse stiffened, body trembling and Tier spoke to it, taking the reins from Rale and urging the beast forward. It took a hesitant step forward, then another. Once they were past the tree stump he removed the cloak and handed the reins back to Rale.

“Show off.” Rale grumbled. Tier barely cast a glance his way, climbing back up the path. Xin was staring, wide eyed at his horse who was nuzzling at her.

“Is it going to bite me?” she whispered hoarsely.

Tier took the reins and shook his head. “No. He’s just being friendly.” He took a couple steps up the trail, glancing down at her. Her eyes were still wide. “Are you coming?”

Her eyes narrowed, jaw clenched. She pushed from the tree, moving past him and his horse, shooting him a dark look. He waited till she passed him to smile.

She wasn’t joking about Matau’s complaining. Everything was subject to being bitched about. From the weather, to the village to Nekar, and even the Seeress, the man was both a drain on the ears and well of information. Though most of it was twenty years old and the subjects were long dead and buried. His voice echoed off the trees and rocks as they neared the sheer cliffs at the base of the mountain, the shadows growing long and the sky turning a pale orange.

Against the base of the cliff was a small cabin facing the narrow stream. Tall pines blocked out much of the sky on the sharp slope, far too thick to see through. Tier took over taking care of the horses as his guides prepared the dinner. Rale hovered by the food, as if unsure of what to do next. Tier paused in his ministrations of the horses to watch Xin hand Rale a deep pan and told him to get some water. The silence was telling.

Rale stared at her, glancing down at the pan in his hands and looked back up at her.

“What?” She rested her hands on her knees, crouched and balancing on the balls of her feet. “The stream is right over there, go fill that.”
“Me?” His voice spoke volumes.

Xin narrowed her eyes, shooting a look at Tier. “Is he kidding?”

Tier shook his head, pulling the saddle and sweat soaked saddle blanket from Rale’s mount. “You should have seen the look on his face the first night we had to sleep on the ground.”

She looked back at Rale. “You walk over to the stream, dip the pan in it then bring it back here, full of water.”

Rale turned stiffly, shooting some very ugly looks Tier’s way, and did so. Tier finished with Rale’s horse, moved on to his, only half listening to the endless complaining of the old man. Out of the corner of his eye he could see a pale mist, drifting between the trees just beyond the treeline. His horse and Rale’s stilled, nickering softly, ears flicking back and forth. Tier ignored it, focusing on his horse, a fine war-bred beast that had taken him through many a battle.

He couldn’t avoid seeing it when he returned to the cabin with the saddles. Up the path they were to take in the morning, tendrils of mist crept down, towards the clearing. He hesitated on the porch. On either side of the path were old stones, carved in a similar fashion to the crossroads pillar. The mist kept distance from the stones. Deeper in the forest, as the shadows grew even longer, he saw the silvery shapes forming, and more mist crept down the path. He forced himself to look towards the stream, to ignore the tendrils of mist creeping into the clearing.

“Tier can I have a word with you?” Rale asked, he looked a touch disgruntled.

“Having fun?”

Rale snorted. “Why do we need guides?” he hissed. “You’re more than capable of getting us to the Fortress.”

Tier glanced towards the fire where Matau crouched, setting the tri-legged spider over the crackling flames. Xin handed him things to put into the pot. Her braided hair hung over one shoulder the end just above the dirt and she fiddled with it absently, staring back the way they’d come.

“The Seeress wanted us to start our search here, for a reason.” Tier said slowly. He looked back at Rale. “I think she knew something.” Rale shook his head.

“You think she’s an elemental?”  He hissed. “You do, don’t you?”

Tier hesitated. “I think there’s a chance she is. You heard what the old man said, her mother was a water elemental.”

Rale nodded, glancing back at their guides. “How do we…” he trailed off and looked at Tier. “What do we do next?”

“I don’t know. Wait and see.” Tier shrugged and pushed into the cabin, setting the saddles on the floor just inside the door. “What else can we do?”

 

 

 ~*~

The next chapter will be posted Tues, June 17th.

If you’re enjoying it, please share, spread the word, I’d appreciate it. Thanks for reading.  :)

(c) 2014 Necia Phoenix

 

 

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Thoughts on Death, Dying, and Grief

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

There are many lines of thinking when it comes to what happens after our bodies give up and what is us, our soul, drifts away into the who knows. The topic is a hot one, wars have been waged, many have been killed over whose idea of the afterlife is the ‘right’ one. But this really isn’t about what happens to us after WE go, rather the emotional distress on those who have to move on without us.

It is all right to cry and grieve. It’s normal. It really is.

Yesterday we lost a great. Author Jay Lake passed away after a long fight with cancer. You can read about his battle at his blog, follow the Cancer tag and settle in for some deep reading.

I had this whole long thing planned out and it just sorta piddled away. He inspired me and though I never got an opportunity to meet him; he taught me. He made me very aware of health issues and of not brushing off things.

I’ll miss reading his blog, I’ll miss seeing the pictures of him from Cons. I hadn’t been online much yesterday, at least not at social media sites,  and when I went to my fb early early this morning I saw my feed blowing up with pictures, RIP posts.

I hurt for his partner and his daughter and the rest of his family and network of dear friends, coworkers and colleagues. I’m sitting here weepy because I can just imagine how hard it must be for them to suddenly NOT have him there. And that’s the thing, I think, about dying. He’s out of pain, finally, the people who go, they’re gone, on to the next great adventure or whatever it is they believe, but for those who are left behind, they have to continue on and try to work around the sudden huge hole that appeared in their life. I don’t think, even though we knew it was coming, that one can ever really be prepared for someone passing on.

So R.I.P. Jay, and thank you for sharing your journey with the world.

jaylake

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It’s time

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

So I’ve been waffling on this for a while now, but I’m taking a jump here. Starting next Tuesday here and, possibly Wattpad, Elemental Truth will be posted as a serial. Two chapters a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays until it’s done. Once it’s wrapped up, I’ll do a final edit pass then it’ll be available as an ebook & a POD through either Createspace or Lulu (I’m still looking into the details on that). This is an experiment, I’m not sure if I’ll serialize the other Elemental books,we’ll see how things go. One step at a time, right?

 

Ok, off to do a final edit sweep and try not to dissolve into a pile of twitching nerves.

 

 

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Zander snip

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

So in an effort to beat back a case of melancholy I wrote this for Z1, enjoy;

 

“More patrols. You know, when the horn sounded I thought we’d be under siege. The Zarconis haven’t even peeked out of the forest yet!” Kerul complained.

Zander glanced towards the smoking ruin of the forest. There were places that still smoldered, the smell permeated everything. They moved along the road that led beside the river, watching the other side. The silence was heavy, like something was waiting.

Zander shivered, tightening his cloak and stumbled over something stuck in the ground. He swore under his breath, gripping the oblong stick and yanked hard.

A loud crackling sound filled the air and across the river something flickered, then faded. Zander ducked behind one of the scraggly bushes and stared. Flickering in and out of sight was what appeared to be zarconis, constructing a rough wooden bridge.

“What in the hell?” Kerul hissed.

“Where did they come from?” Nadja hissed in Zander’s ear. She took the oblong stick from Zander’s hand turning it this way and that. The zarconis and the bridge they were building flashed in and out of view. Hayner reached over and grabbed the stick from her hand.

“You found this?” He asked, looking down at Zander.

“Tripped over it. What is it?”

Hayner turned it one way. The bridge and zarconis appeared. The zarconis seemed unaware of being seen. Hayner turned it the other way and they vanished. They looked at each other.

“A shield stick?” Bastien asked.

“There’s another one on the other side of the river I’d bet.” Valen said, frowning.

“They don’t seem to realize we can see them.” Bastien grinned.

“We should send a report back,” Hayner began.

“Now wait one damn minuet.” Nadja said, gripping his hand. “How long would it take? A couple of days? Then the city would dispatch a team and it would take time. The bridge might be done by the time another better equipped team showed up.” She took the stick and wiggled it back and forth.

“Nadja, last time we did something without orders,” Hayner pointed to the smoldering east bank. “They say there could be patches that will burn for years!”

“What would it take to bring that thing down? A well placed charge or two? Boom and it’s gone.” Kerul said quickly. “There’s really no more forest to burn down.”

“On that side.” Bastien quipped.

“And it’ll send a signal back to the city that there’s something going on, and we could continue upriver to see if there are any other hidden surprises.”

Hayner rubbed his face. “I shouldn’t be agreeing to this.”

 

 

Have a good Wednesday.

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Some not so good news

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I was just informed that because we didn’t get Connie’s payment in, her place was given away. **sigh** Now connie does have the People to People opportunity next year, but the STEM opportunity (for this summer at least) is not happening. Thank you all for your donations and assistance, your refunds will be applied here in the next few min.

Thanks anyways guys, I appreciate the thoughts and the help.

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Need a bit of help.

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

My daughter got this great opportunity to attend National Youth Leadership Forum: Explore STEM;

About NYLF Explore STEM

The National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): Explore STEM is a six-day Envision program that introduces high-achieving middle school students to innovative and rewarding academic experiences and careers in science, engineering, medicine and technology.

Cutting-edge STEM fields – based on science, technology, engineering and mathematics – are the fastest growing areas of study and STEM professionals are in high demand in the United States and throughout the world.

When you attend NYLF Explore STEM, you will discover your passions through hands-on experiences that will put you on the path to success in high school, in college and in life. You will learn how to apply your science and math skills to join the next generation of leading doctors, scientists, software developers and other analytically minded professionals.

We’re immensely proud of her and I’ve enrolled her in it. However, due to unforseen events, we’re still struggling to scrape the funds together and the deadline is fast approaching. We need about $1000 more to get her there.

Please, if you can help her out. this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you can’t give, could you please boost the signal? I don’t know what else to do.


 </p>
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Another Dmitri Scene

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

So I haven’t been very creative lately, so last night I scribbled up some back history scenes with Dmitri, so here, have a dragon snip!

~*~

Lothos sat, in his human form, on the large throne, watching the goings on. His people. He sneered. They cast uneasy glimpses his way, aware that he was watching. The sound of the storm intensified and he frowned, leaning forward. Something had entered the long entry tunnel. Other dragons near the entry tunnel scooted away, a hush fell over the hall and those near the entry tunnel scooted away, creating a path to the dais.

Lothos felt the growl boiling up as the large gray dragon moved into the hall. He stood swallowing a sudden surge of fear. The gray shifted to a tall human in blue who stopped a few feet away, eyes locked with his. Scars, some Lothos had given him, some others had, crossed his cheeks. Lothos narrowed his eyes.

“You have a lot of nerve coming into my hall, Dmitri.” Lothos growled. Dmitri, his son, regarded him. Cool, expressionless. A mask that locked whatever the man was thinking, behind it. Once it had driven Lothos to the point of mindless rage, enough to try anything, everything he could think of, to try to break that exterior, to crack the mask. Now, as he studied his son, he felt a bit of pride, and a lot of fear. You can’t read a man with no expression, and a man you couldn’t read could kill you when you least expect it. He had no doubt that someday, Dmitri would try to kill him.

“We need to talk.” Dmitri’s voice was low, but the hush in the hall made it carry.

Lothos eyed him and glanced towards Otto. His second shrugged. Lothos motioned the office doors. He rarely used it, he hated planning. Dmitri turned and strode towards them, not looking at the silent dragons who scrambled to get out of his way. Did he have any idea how many of Lothos own people feared him? Lothos shook his head, nodded at Otto and followed his estranged son into the dusty office.
He hesitated before closing the doors, but did. Dmitri wouldn’t attack him, he was certain of that.

“You’ve muscled back into the lower packs. Impressive.” Lothos said, as soon as the doors closed. He turned and met Dmitri’s cold gaze. “Why you’re here, though…”

“You have a gap in your south east region.” Dmitri said, he moved towards the map, looking up at the sprawling lines. Lothos frowned.

“There’s little there.” He shrugged.

“There’s the Northern boundaries.” Dmitri turned to him, his eyes piercing. “There is nothing to stop the Dragonmaster’s people from moving north.”

Lothos rumbled looking up at the map. He nodded slowly. “Your flight is small, think you can handle it?”

Dmitri looked at him. Lothos swallowed, felt tingles moving up his spine. “We’d need a base of operation.” He said after a long silence. He pointed. “Give me the Keep. And your South Eastern borders will be secured.”

Lothos stared at him, sensing a power play, not sure what it was. “You want the Keep.”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

Dmitri smiled coldly but said nothing. Lothos narrowed his eyes.

“Kepplings took it over years ago.”

“I know.”

“You clear it, it’s yours.”

 

~*~

:D

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Fundraiser [edited to add donation button]

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I don’t usually go over family stuffs here but this is important. My daughter got recommended by one of her teachers to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum; S.T.E.M. From the website;

The National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): Explore STEM is a six-day Envision program that introduces high-achieving middle school students to innovative and rewarding academic experiences and careers in science, engineering, medicine and technology.

She has attended several Science and Math geared day courses and this has just blown us away. I do have a bit of a dilemma, the cost involved. It’s not cheap.

I put together a fundraiser over here to put together the $$ to cover her tuition. If you could spread the word, I’d appreciate it.

 

Edited to add;

For those who would rather just donate straight to the cause and bypass buying anything here’s a donate button;



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