Category Archives: My Books

Priss Starwillow & the Wolf, Enchanting Characters in an Enchanting World, all in 5,000 words.

Free on Smashwords this week to Celebrate Read an eBook Week 📖🫖

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I’m working hard to get this out to the world, and this weekend would be the perfect time to enjoy a FREE short story. It was a winner in a writing …

Priss Starwillow & the Wolf, Enchanting Characters in an Enchanting World, all in 5,000 words.

Happy Read an eBook Week! Free on Smashwords!

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She pelts him with bunchberries the first time they meet. The black wolf would suffer the sticky mess an entire day if it meant listening to her sweet laughter and the soothing sound of her wings, but he has a job to do.

Preview of The Starlight Chronicles, an epic, three-part fantasy novel

Selena Aires is fine with her nine-to-five life in the city, using her spare time to create art instead of making friends or finding love. Her mentor begins to insist she’s on the wrong path. 

When he dies, her grief and faith in his convictions prompts her to move to a small town in the lofty Sierra Nevada Mountains. But more is waiting for her in Quincy than the invigorating pine-scented air, endless trails, and the perfect artist bungalow. What Selena didn’t expect was an encounter with an astonishing man whose barely restrained power calls to something buried in her she had no idea was there.

The alpha of the North Star Pack thought he’d faced every challenge until he laid eyes on the new human in his territory, a beautiful artist with the heart of a warrior. Andras Johns knows instantly his life will never be the same.

The two of them must find a way to merge their opposing worlds while Selena grapples with her feelings for a man with a mystery beneath the surface and faces a destiny that’s expanded beyond her wildest imagination, a destiny fraught with peril in a world that just keeps getting stranger.

Prologue

Zigan – 1988 AD

It was a stormy night when I materialized in my mist on the second-floor landing of the small house that sat hunched within its aged timbers in the middle of blowing alfalfa fields. Thunder shook the floor beneath my feet as I surveyed the hallway. It was uncluttered with a colorful runner, the only object to break up the expanse of walls. It smelled like damp wood, and ozone was sharp in my nostrils from the persistent lightning strikes.

Other than the intermittent flashes, only the light of a half-moon penetrated, showing three doors to choose from. But I could sense the tiny human I was to bind my soul with for the rest of my life. 

Certain now the room at the end was the one to avoid, I moved quietly along the plank floor to stop at the first door, then paused at the threshold to savor the moment. For half the life allotted to me, I had trained with the Order of Hala preparing for this bonding and the challenges it would bring. The time had come to meet up again with the precious soul who’d returned to this world, choosing this infant in this remote county in northern California. 

I put my hand to the brass knob and turned it, relieved the door didn’t creak as it swung open to reveal two children sleeping despite the rolling thunder and lightning flashing close to the house, and the rain pounding against the panes of the only window. The pulsating light illuminated the large space containing the crib, a small bed, an open cabinet stuffed with toys, and a rocking chair in the corner. 

Electricity of my own vibrated over the pulse of my wrist as I drew near the crib, which drew the attention of the infant girl who woke as soon as I leaned over her. The heart-shaped face framed by a halo of dark hair watched me in silent fascination, her arms waving and legs wiggling in reaction to the magic that surrounded us. 

A faint moan had me inspecting the bed in the opposite corner where her four-year old brother dreamed, nestled beneath a Spiderman cover with his own mop of dark hair peeking out, oblivious to the magic and the storm. 

So, I did what I came to do. When I pressed my wrist to her minuscule left shoulder, an obscure image of a half-moon and my wind symbol tucked next to it formed on her delicate skin. Her brilliant eyes sparkled as she watched my smiling face, making no sound as our souls connected. “Grow well, my precious one, and we’ll meet again soon.”

She has been named Selena. I will reveal myself to her when she is grown and finds her mate, and our journey will begin. For now, I gathered my mist to take me far away.

Manuscript in the works…

An End at Barfleur – A Short Story

This 1,650-word story is a journal entry in Book One, Ursus Borealis, in The Starlight Chronicles series. I found it rather fun to write a story …

An End at Barfleur – A Short Story

An End at Barfleur – A Short Story

This story is a single journal entry in Book One, Ursus Borealis, in The Starlight Chronicles series. I found it rather fun to write a story within a story within a story. It nestles in a chapter featuring Kuliana Hada, a character that appears throughout the series, who is an Anurashin Captain of the Guard. Cynthia is her ancestress.

Cynthia’s story is incorporated into an actual historical account about the White Ship that sailed in 1120 as described. Its sinking changed history.

An End at Barfleur

I am Cynthia, a marked maiden, a human born with a destiny entwined with a race from another world. I was trained to fight alongside my mate Aldric and his pack with the guidance of my magus Zigan Meshara of the Order of Hala against three rebellious princes who were banished from the planet Anurash.

This sounds impossible, I know. But you will just have to take my word. That is, if you are from the realms apart from this hidden place beneath a volcano, and this missive makes its way to you as I hope.

My life started on a farm in the county of Anjou. Then it changed forever when I met a bear from Normandy.

After immersing myself in the astonishing world of my mate and the kingdoms of the shifters, learning there was life beyond this Earth and before reaching the heavens took only a few extra pints to swallow it down. That, and meeting Zigan. It turns out Zigan and I are old souls and have done this dance before.

How my soul was chosen for this repeated Earth-bound destiny is a mystery, but my magus spent much time over wine in our chateau sharing what he knew of our history or rather, the history of the prophecy of the marked maidens.

As for Zigan, up till we met… in this time, he had spent his life training with the Order, which included studying the records in the extensive archives and all forms of alchemy, in addition to being honed into a warrior. Even more astonishing, he could transform into a stunning feline I learned was called a tiger.

For eight years I experienced what it was to be part of the Pack, to be soulmates with its alpha, to be one piece of a wondrous whole, and we were successful in our purpose, keeping the machinations of the princes from the human population, and mitigating the damages.

This is the part at the end of our story and writing it down is agony because it chronicles the event that halted our purpose violently, tore me from those I loved, and marked the beginning of my slow and lonely death. Still, it must be told.

It takes place starting mid-morning of the 25th day of the month of November in the year 1120. We arrived at Barfleur near the coast of Normandy, after confirming the location of the current scheme of Aviel Enair, the oldest and most formidable of the three sibling princes. We lacked the details, but we knew his scheme would involve the sailing vessel known as the White Ship, renowned for its speed and beauty, and now carrying the only legitimate heir to King Henry I across to England.

~~~

Frustration gripped me, and I wrapped my arm around myself, trying to catch my breath after having run the length of the docks. I called out to my mate behind me, “It is just as we feared, Aldric. The ship has almost reached the Quilleboeuf!”

There were three hundred souls sailing away as I spoke, other nobles as well as the heir, and the loss would be catastrophic to the burgeoning English monarchy. When we learned the king’s seventeen-year-old son, William Adelin, desired to sail on this elegant vessel while his father sailed ahead of him, and that Aviel had set his sights on it, we considered the hazards the Anurashin prince might exploit.

The ship had a good reputation and so did its captain, Thomas FitzStephen, whose father had taken the prince’s grandfather, William the Conqueror, across the same sea. The only evident risk was sailing past Gatteville, where hidden rocks like the Quilleboeuf lay waiting for careless sailors. But FitzStephen was surely used to navigating such hazards.

I breathed in the salty air to sharpen my mind while I considered our options. The raucous calls of seagulls ebbed overhead as they congregated, fought, then flew off with morsels of fish as their prize. Despite the size and piercing eyes of the warrior next to me, we stood unnoticed among the throng of bodies rushing towards their duties on the bustling docks.

“You must call Zigan, my love,” Aldric said, drawing me to his side and offering his warmth as I shivered from the urgency of our task and the breeze cooling the sweat of my exertion.

Though we were French, our purpose as part of this prophetic trio was to protect the balance of power fated for this world. When the princes interfered, it fared badly for the indigenous populations, according to Zigan’s archives.

That meant we trained to take risks, and we discovered this scheme by becoming captives of the princes while each enjoyed inflicting painful retribution on us for our past successes. But Aviel allowed his brothers’ torment to go only so far, which we’d learned to count on, though we didn’t understand it, and our plan included an escape.

It went perfectly, until we ran into a trap and had to leave our pack behind to fight, which also delayed our arrival, and a worry was taking hold in me that the last eight years of joy and strife might culminate on these docks. Still, I pushed on.

After placing the insides of my wrists together, my tiger appeared, first as an image on my skin, then as a man stepping out of a gray mist, calmly taking us in with fathomless dark eyes. His markings glowed bright gold against his bronzed arms, and his silky black hair waved in the breeze.

“We need to get aboard that ship, Zigan.” I pointed to the sails disappearing north along the coast to Gatteville. “Can you haze us there?”

“I can, but I may not have enough energy to get you back.”

Aldric said, “Let me go with him. If the ship were to sink and Zigan cannot return us both…” He let that thought trail off as he looked at me in that fierce way that melted my heart. The powerful love I had for this man, this larger-than-life Norman-born warrior who shared the spirit of a mighty brown bear, still overwhelmed me after all these years. We had not taken one moment of our time for granted, knowing the dangers inherent in my destiny.

Clutching his hand, I said, “But I must be the one on that ship, Aldric. We have no idea what is planned, and we need my instincts as a marked maiden.”

“You will be noticed. I can blend in and discern the situation. We must go now, as they approach the rocks.”

I stood on my toes and brought his face to mine, peering into his brown eyes to see his bear gleaming at me, a magnificent beast he could transform into at will. Our lips came together for a precious moment before I stepped back.

Zigan gripped my mate, nodded to me reassuringly, then they disappeared. I took shelter and waited. In less than thirty minutes they were back.

Aldric and I stepped towards each other as he gave his report. “Nearly everyone on board was drunk on wine and betting on a race to beat the king to England. The ship sailed fast, pushing its limits. Not more than ten minutes after we arrived, it hit the rocks and foundered.” I gasped in dismay, but he assured me the king’s son made it to a lifeboat.

Suddenly, warriors in the garb of another time appeared in a heavy mist that seemed to have blown in from the sea. They surrounded us. Zigan and Aldric drew their swords, and I followed with mine.

The sound of steel rang out, and we held our own against a dozen, until my sword was knocked from my hand. Strong arms grabbed me from behind. Aldric’s roar shook the planks beneath our feet. But the Anurashin warrior held me fast and kept me from my mate’s reach, letting the others leap in between us, forcing Aldric to slice his way to me.

The warrior said in my ear, “The prince has his sights on you, maiden. Did you not think he would find you?”

“He may have found me, but he’ll not have me!”

Springing my knife from my sleeve, I lunged back, shoving it between his ribs, and twisting it. The warrior grunted in pain, but his grip did not loosen. Aldric dodged blades, slammed his fist into faces, and rammed bodies, while I tried to pull free.

Zigan moved so fast; arcs of blood hovered in the air where he last appeared. But when he hazed close and tried to free me, the warrior jerked us back and two others lunged for him. To my utter horror, they took his head.

My knees gave out at the unbearable agony ripping through my heart, then my entire being, as Zigan’s soul was wrenched from mine with brutal force. Never had I imagined our bond could be so viciously severed, or that the warrior magus was anything but invincible. A sickening realization plummeted like a stone in my belly. This was Aviel’s plan. Why he let us escape before. He’d orchestrated the entire thing for this purpose. To kill my magus. To take me. To destroy the Pack de Normande. The chaos wrought on the monarchy was only a bonus.

What was left of my heart was crushed to pulp when Aldric stepped into the path of a blade not bothering with the pain, to reach for me, desperate to save me as he felt the agony of my loss, and our loss to come. The mist I dreaded grew thick, and I sensed I was breaking into tiny pieces. None of this could be happening!

The devastated face of my mate told me he had come to the same incomprehensible conclusion while he watched me fade into bits, so close to him our fingers nearly touched.

I poured my heart and soul into my words. “I will love you forever!” The sound that followed was the mighty roar of a broken and wounded bear.

The sound that followed was the mighty roar of a wounded bear.

Isa Loves my Pod People…

Sam and Priss are super loveable Pod People… more stories for them in the works. Don’t you love Isa’s fairy wings?!! Find it on Amazon with bonus …

Isa Loves my Pod People…

D.L. Lewellyn Author interview

Before the month is out- I wanted to say again what a pleasure it was to join this community. And to participate in an author interview. – D. L. Lewellyn

A little introduction: Hi, I’m so glad to meet you all. My pen name is D. L. Lewellyn, but you can call me Darci. I started writing fiction in my 50s…

D.L. Lewellyn Author interview

Now tell me…Whose Husbands Give Them a Badass Knife for Story Inspiration? Mine Does…

First off, I live in a state where these are legal to own. My husband is a blade expert. And he’s the best story collaborator any writer could have. That said, this was my present today after a hard day’s work. Something to keep at my desk as I write my urban fantasy story involving Japanese brothers who are animal shifters (which animal is completely unique in shifter lore and will remain a secret until release time), and they come from a long line of shinobi warriors, otherwise known as the ninja. And okay, so this is a pink monarch butterfly design. But it’s still badass. I love it. Thank you honey.

The Nakamura brothers are teaming up with a homeless teenage girl and her dog Harley to find their missing parents. Raelyn has a knack for throwing blades, at least she thinks so… until she comes under the scrutiny of Mrs. Nakamura. My husband likes this story. When I got home today, he told me he had a present for Raelyn.

MTech Knives made this beautiful linerlock it dubbed Onna-Musha, female warrior, because it’s perfectly sized for a female, well-made, and feels great in the hand.

Naturally as a writer, I had to research. Scroll down for photos and a link to the fascinating story of the female samurai, namely the valiant Nakano Takeko.

1880 PAINTING BY TSUKIOKA YOSHITOSHI OF EMPRESS JINGU INVADING KOREA. VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

Feudal Japan’s Women Samurai, Were Erased From History

While most Japanese women were subject to rigid social expectations of domesticity, onna-bugeisha women warriors who were known to be to be every bit as strong, capable, and courageous as their male counterparts… Click Here for Ms. Hastings account.

By Christobel Hastings

Mr. Hartman wanted to tell the tale inspired by Nakano Takeko. Click for an Amazon Kindle sample of his short story.

More Pod People Seeded in my Brain by Aliens – Being Taken Over is Exciting!

So long as they’re giving me something and not taking… Hmmm. Or are they? Well, what I don’t know won’t hurt me.

Meanwhile, characters, aka my Pod People, are bursting out of me and burgeoning all over the pages, and I now have two amazing Works in Progress, which I’m having a hard time putting down and seem to want to work on simultaneously. Anyone else getting some great new ideas for stories this summer? Let me know in the comments. Meanwhile, enjoy some quirky and intriguing alien artwork by William Louis McDonald

Art by William Louis McDonald

Bursting! Or Consuming?…

Just too many cool things going on here…

This is a special week for so many reasons – to celebrate, enjoy a huge discount on my books 😊

Ursus Borealis and Drago Incendium

One of my pod people is a…wait for it… conflicted alien prince…

In The Starlight Chronicles, my protagonist has a destiny, like all marked maidens before her. But in this 300-year cycle, things are different. The moon goddesses of Anurash are using their influence to bring about a change that has been a long time coming. Selena Aires is their vehicle. But because free will plays a part in destiny, they must allow her choices. Will she answer their hope or follow her own path?

One of those intriguing paths is aligning with the destiny of a conflicted alien prince, Aviel Enair, the most powerful of three alien princes banished to Earth thousands of years ago. Everything with Selena happens in threes, good, bad, or somewhere in between.

You will meet Aviel, a prince you’re never quite sure you’re supposed to hate, in Books One and Two. He’s one of my many characters I affectionately refer to as pod people in my blogs about character development.

Meanwhile, enjoy this teaser from Book Three, Tigris Vetus, coming soon. And thanks for letting me experiment with sharing my TikTok videos.

3D Rendering by Massimo Righi

Book Three coming soon, Tigris Vetus, in The Starlight Chronicles…