My next book is scheduled for publishing next month. Because this is the end of October, that means there are just a few days to go. I’ve been rushing around like a crazy person trying to get the last little bits of work on this done, but soon it will all be over and the book will be shiny and perfect and ready to go out in the YA world and shock and amaze the masses. (Is that a little too optimistic? Yes, definitely. That’s okay though, you have to be super optimistic to be a writer to balance out hundreds of rejection letters and all of that fun.) The story is pretty kick ass, if I do say so myself, but don’t take my word for it. Just look at the prologue below and I think you’ll be interested too.
“Did you hear,” the whispers began. “He found her, he found her!” Some said the power was too great and they were glad when it had been lost. Others laughed and smiled and mused that it could be a good thing, a magical thing, to have it in their power once more. The chattering echoed through the corridors of the palace and but for the magical wards on the imperial wing their monarch would have long since lashed out to silence the gossips.
A young woman in leathers and scarlet tunic stood before the desk in the private office tucked away behind the minor throne room and neatly shut off all murmurs with the slam of the doors sized for creatures more massive than all the courtesan’s slight appearances belied.
“You are sure of your information,” he asked her coldly. She was sweating. Failure meant punishment. A grievous punishment, as the standard of a swift death would not be severe enough to sate the appetite of their people for such an important reunion the nation had been yearning for these many years. She nodded silently, hands tightly grasped.
“This will work for the best,” he chuckled. He sprawled back in his chair, casual and comfortable like a lounging jungle cat.
“The next step is finally here,” he mused. He moved his rook on the marble board with those slim fingers. “Check,” he grinned. The harpy next to him frowned at the board, then swiftly cut in her queen. He furrowed his brow. “That was a dirty move,” he growled in disgust. She just shrugged and smirked at him. He stroked his beard, pondering his next move.
The woman still standing at attention shuffled on her feet, and wrung her hands behind her back. Both at the desk ignored her but a cloud of smoke in the corner unfolded onto the floor like a giant paper doll and slowly moved upright. A slight breeze moved around her glimpses of a woman constantly shifted and peeked through rips in the paper that quickly healed and popped up elsewhere on the figure.
“Your majesty,” the woman bowed to the apparition.
“It is good that we can rely on the info of the Amaryllis Squad, or should I call you one of the Red Guard Assassins?”
The woman blushed. “Both are accurate statements for all of our members, your majesty.”
The monarch humphed. “You may go tell the girl in charge of finding her,” the queen said calmly. “Make sure no one alerts Him to this development.” She sighed, adding, “I dare say it was time for the next step anyways.” She shooed the girl out, though the assassin looked at the king for confirmation before bowing and leaving in a brilliant flash of light. “Such impertinence to ignore a queen, of all people,” the woman huffed.
He didn’t bother to look up from his game to answer her. “Well, m’dear, I’m afraid that’s because you are queen of a small band of your own people, whereas I am king of the whole of the Mirrorworld. You have to accept that if anyone outside your people chooses to acknowledge you it is a mere courtesy for your position and not because you have any widespread influence.” He smiled at her, though it was a diplomatic smile that never reached his eyes and something about the words were threatening and declared her status as an underling.
She looked up at him, eyes blazing. He looked back calmly. She growled, the sound coming low from her throat even as her ire fed her breeze till she rippled like the fiercest gale. He growled back, sparks and flames whirling around him as he became clawed and furred like a mammoth caricature of a lion with scales wrapping around his core and cut through his ruff like a lady’s diadem. He roared at her. She looked down then, clearly having lost a fight for dominance. These little games were common in the gold dipped walls of the capitol, though few humans had ever lived to view the sight.
“Do you think it was wise to let them play the game,” the harpy woman asked, knocking aside one of his pawns on the board. She had stayed relaxed and focused on the game through the exchange but now she looked up at him. She dismissed the still indignant queen in the corner, and in a huff she finally left so only the two players were left.
“I suppose so,” he returned. He finally moved his knight. She instantly moved her queen across the board to capture it.
“He may have preferred to be informed of the situation. He’s always had a bit of a sensitive constitution,” she added.
The king snorted. “Have you seen his labyrinth? He’s got a hobby of throwing people who annoy him in there and sneaking into the human realm and terrorizing the village folk with views of his full dragon form, he’s not a sweet little hatchling anymore.”
She just shrugged. “Everyone has to go through their pillaging and terrorizing phase, just like they have to learn to walk or to do their first color changing spell. It’s part of the growing up process. The important thing is that he might feel very upset by being kept in the dark by this, and upset princes have led to violence and even sometimes revolutions in the past. That could muck up The Plan.”
“The Plan is set in motion and won’t be so easily ruined,” he smiled.
“We’ve only set her aside for a time and set a few spells. Do you feel confident we’ve done enough so far?”
He squinted at the board. “I think we`ve spent enough time on the preliminary moves,” he added, deep in thought.
“I hope those children don`t make too much of a mess of it,” she replied. Her lips lifted in the smallest of smiles over her move.
“Don`t worry,” he laughed, slapping the table. “They`re going to make a disaster of it, and come out the better for it!” He then moved a pawn that had somehow snuck onto her side of the board. “Checkmate,” he smiled.
“Why don`t we just watch over them and be sure nothing goes to wrong,” she asked.
“A touching sentiment for your future son in law.” She blushed and admitted she was fond of the boy. He slung his arm around her shoulder, creasing the velvet robes. With the other arm he opened a curio cabinet on the wall. There were vials and odds and ends, but the star of it was a shining crystal. It had uneven jagged sides, and stood like a single crystal flame on a gold disk base. He set it on the desk then. Both of them leaned in to look. Then, a burst of light shot out of the pointed end of the crystal, straight into the air. It stopped, then expanded out, a flat plane with the images of several people scrolling across the surface. Then it stopped, focusing in on one point. There was a girl with shining hair sitting on a city bench underneath a single street light.
Soon, everything would change for her.
If you’d like you can buy your copy in advance at the always-discounted-on-my-site price and have the ebook file emailed to you the second it releases.
PS The Dragon Bites
Book one of the YA Shadeworld series featuring dragons and fey and many magical creatures. "Aeron is a troubled dragon prince. His brother is stirring up rebellion and trying to steal his throne, his MIA childhood friend has finally been found after a years long search but doesn't remember him, and being a teenager in a human school just isn't all it's cracked up to be."