Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A Sneak Peek at What's Inside: Eena, The Companionship of the Dragon's Soul

       The final book in the Harrowbethian SagaEena, The Companionship of the Dragon's Soulwill be released on April 26th, 2019. The book is up for pre-order right now at Amazon and Smashwords. To wet your whistle while you wait, I'm posting a few excerpts from the book. Don't worry, no spoilers here. Enjoy your reading!




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“Compassion only plagues those with hearts, much like a field of thorns only troubles those who bleed.”
__________________________________________________________

“You will want to stand close by, but don’t touch it. Just allow your hands to hover. Pretend an atmosphere of acidic gas exists between you and the gemstone, and if you get too close, the acid will eat the flesh off your fingers.”

“That won’t actually happen, will it?” 

“No, Amora. I’m just warning you not to touch it.”

“Why? What if I do?”

“The enchantment will fail.”

“From a simple touch?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Because.”

“Because why?”

Edgar groaned a sound of annoyance. “Because if you touch it, the stone will suck out your living essence in the most painful manner possible and consume your flesh before turning your bones to powder.”

Her face twisted up imagining the agony of such a death. The worst part was that being immortal, she would somehow survive it. 

“You’re lying,” she quickly decided.

“Am I?”

“You just said the flesh won't be eaten off my fingers.”

“If you don’t believe me when I tell you not to touch it, feel free to test the outcome of such folly for yourself.”

“I think I’d rather not.”

“A wise choice. Shall we move on?” 

__________________________________________________________


“To offer your life in defense of another is a valiant, honorable way to die.” 

__________________________________________________________


“It doesn’t ever change. Does the sun not set in your dreams?”

Eena grinned at his profile, remembering the first time Ian had noticed the same peculiarity. “No. It never sets.” She watched his brow wrinkle as he wondered at the view.

“What good is a stagnant sunset?”

Eena looked at the auburn lights. The question made her think for a moment. “Well, it’s always exactly what I want it to be, right between day and night.”

“But I thought the beauty of a sunset was watching it change, marveling at the shift in colors as they intensify and then eventually fade.”

“All that leaves you with is darkness,” she muttered.

He turned to look at her. “You’re afraid of the dark?”

She shook her head. “I’m afraid of what happens in the dark.”

A look of concern questioned her meaning.

     “Nightmares,” she explained. “And solitude. And loneliness. The dark is where monsters come to life and people feel the need to leave you. Life is never secure in the dark. You never see things clearly in the dark.”

__________________________________________________________


(You look the same.)

(I’m not using it yet.)

(Don’t you think a test run would be a good idea?)

She nodded. (Probably.)

Her eyelids closed as she concentrated on a mental image of the person she wished to impersonate. Her desire was to appear exactly as the immortal leader, Pallador. Calling on the powers of the dragon’s blood, she willed its enchantment alive. It was Ian’s astounded whisper that told her the charm was working.

“Whoa!”

Opening her eyes she fully expected to see Ian staring at the shining gems on the dragon's blood. Instead, he was staring at her with a look that was more or less disgusted.

(That’s really you?) he asked, looking her up and down as though she had turned into some sort of lizard creature.

(Yes, why? What’s wrong with me?) Her gaze dropped to check for herself. All she observed was her tawny dress pulled in at the waist by Edgar’s hideous, glowing belt. She glanced at one arm and then the other, both sleeved in the same billowed silk. Her fingers flailed, still the same short, slender digits.

(Oh crud,) she breathed. (It’s not working.)

(Oh, it’s working alright,) Ian disagreed. 

Eena glanced up to find him grinning with real amusement.

(You’re a dead ringer for the guy. Ghost robe, bug eyes, bony fingers, in need of a serious haircut. Exactly like him.)

(Really?)

(Really.)

(Cool,) she breathed and then added, (That’s not very nice how you described him.)

(It’s accurate.)


__________________________________________________________


Shanks snickered with delight. “It’s the end result that matters, doll. Only the victor walks away with his head intact. Every soldier on this ship knows that as well.”

Eena glared hard at the smirking giant. “Oh, and one more thing. Kira really hates you.”

Shanks broke out in such a fit of laughter that even Kode found it contagious. Niki smacked her boyfriend on the back of the head for being insensitive.

(Kira did not say that,) Ian groaned critically.

(So what? It’s true,) Eena grumbled. (I hate him too.)

(I don’t know why you let the guy get under your skin. Who cares what he thinks? You have nothing to prove to him.)

Eena glared harder at the laughing Viidun as she thought about what bothered her most. It was the way Shanks acted, as if he considered himself superior to everyone. The thug was always bossing people around, snubbing their opinions, surpassing others at even the most trivial accomplishments. But the worst thing was that he honestly saw himself as invincible.

(The guy is full of himself, so what? Just let it roll off your back.)

If only simple advice were as simple to carry out.

__________________________________________________________


She covered her mouth while her promised one slipped back into the rock he now considered his eternal tomb. 

Pallador took possession of the scarlet gem and returned it to its dark hiding place. Eena couldn’t move. She stood frozen, facing the wall of mirrors, staring at a pathetic image that mourned in endless repeated reflections. This would be her agonizing eternity if she agreed to stay in Tribanees. This would be her hell—seeing her beloved day after day after day, unable to feel his touch or know his physical affections. This was no blessing in tragedy. Cursed be the immortal that believed time was more precious than love. Her answer to Pallador’s offer was an irrefutable and definitive no.

__________________________________________________________


“What secrets?” Eena blurted out.

Kira answered the question by defensively listing them out on her fingers. “How about the fact that Derian was coming for you in a few short days, or the fact that Gemdorin was forcing you to search for some magic gem we were all unaware existed. How about the knowledge of your unusual powers that you stupidly used to infect the Ghengats, which was also a secret you kept to yourself until it was discovered by Gemdorin, making it too late for us to do anything about preventing you from being beaten half to death! You hide things as if you think your abilities are so superior to what the rest of us can possibly contribute!”

Eena shook her head adamantly. “That’s not what I think…”

“It’s how you behave. It’s how you come across to everyone. Your selfish actions speak a helluva lot louder than your hollow words or your foolish intentions.”

The young queen felt a rise of tears burn her eyes. “My intentions are not foolish. All I ever meant to do was protect those around me.”

“By keeping us in the dark? That’s not protection, girl. That’s neglect.”

Eena sniffled as fresh waterworks ran down her cheeks. Her face twisted up, confused. “People get hurt when they’re involved in my problems.”

“In our problems.”

“No! My problems!” she insisted.

Kira threw up her arms. “There you go being all selfish again!”

Eena sucked in a ragged breath, almost crying out the next question. “How do you figure that’s being selfish? I’m trying to keep everyone safe!”

“And what did I just get through telling you about that idiotic notion?”

Eena looked up at the ceiling. She raised her palms in frustration as she bawled. “I don’t know what else to do! What do you want from me?”

Kira stepped forward and knelt in front of her tortured sister. Her hand rested gently on Eena’s knee as the Mishmorat’s gruff countenance melted. A softer, kinder voice answered the desperate question.

     “We want you to understand that the world doesn’t rest on your shoulders. You’re only responsible for a small portion of what happens daily on Moccobatra. Life isn’t dependent upon you alone, Sha Eena. It’s dependent upon all of us. We’re a team. We work together doing our own part. We need you to be part of our team, not a single entity existing on your own.”

__________________________________________________________


Kira pointed to each surrounding Mishmorat as she went on. “You are part of our sisterhood, girl, which means for life. We rely on you, and we need you to rely on us. We’re sisters, trusting in each other always. If I don’t know what’s happening in your life, there’s no way I can help. And if I can’t help, then I’m of no value. Don’t do that to me.

__________________________________________________________


“Brazen it out! Throw away the scabbard! Grit your teeth, buckle down, and die with your boots on! Or in other words, be determined and resolved until you accomplish the thing you set out to accomplish.” 

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Friday, February 22, 2019

Pre-Order The Final Book in the Harrowbethian Saga

I did it!
With an ample amount of sweat and tears and precious muse-moments, I created an entire epic saga, taking it from those first few written words typed out during the days before a Christmas long past to a six-book adventure that was only twelve years in the making. That is a LOT of invested time and energy. But oh, how I have fallen in love with the completed work! I am well-pleased with the solid ending. One perk of writing your own stories is getting to create the endings of your choice. 

Eena, The Companionship of the Dragon's Soul is book number six in the Harrowbethian Saga. It is the culminating chapters of Queen Eena's fantastical, heroic, and romantic adventure. It might surprise you how things wrap up. I won't give away too much of what happens, though A LOT happens. It will make you smile and cry and roll your eyes and hopefully laugh in the right spots. I dare you not to daydream about the story when responsibilities force you to put the book down. 

Where can you get a copy? Right now it is available for pre-order on Amazon or Smashwords. The ebook and paperback versions will be released on April 26th, 2019--a fitting date because the very first book in the Harrowbethian Saga was published on April 26th, 2012. And, to make it more special, that is my sister's birthday. 

This adventure has been a joy for me to write. It is a tremendous accomplishment to finally, after twelve years, bring the Harrowbethian Saga to an end. I hope you will love this crazy story as much as I have loved writing my daydream to life. As always, happy reading!



The sixth and last book in the Harrowbethian Saga. The grand finale of Sha Eena's story.

The young queen of Harrowbeth is determined to set things right, but doing so means breaking a few big rules. Joined by a select group of Harrowbethian militiamen, as well as a handful of Viidun warriors and a few spunky Mishmorat sisters, Queen Eena sets off for Laradine—the home world of the immortals.

There in the land of Tribanees, with the support of her traveling companionship, she intends to confront the immortal governing body and convince them to undo a terrible wrong. But persuading immortals to concern themselves with the troubles of temporary beings may prove to be a futile waste of time. Things get carried away, plans are drastically altered, and before long Eena starts to wonder how many wrongs it will take to finally set things right.
 




Thursday, February 7, 2019

The True Story of a U.S. Soldier

Have you ever wondered what it was really like being drafted to fight in a war? Do you fully comprehend the sacrifices made by those who served as soldiers in wars past? Would you like to hear the true story of one of those soldiers?

Vietnam Diary: A Memoir for my Posterity by Lanny H. Starr is an autobiographical account told by the author. He was drafted into the Vietnam War and served a two-year tour of duty as an Army Sergeant. Following are a few reviews of the book:
  
   "A very human and insightful tour of duty of a true patriot. Thank you Mr. Starr for serving our great country honorably in Vietnam, and sharing your story with us. I highly recommend this memoir, and sincerely hope that you, your family and fellow veterans are proud of their service."

   "One of the most interesting books that I read...A must read. I felt like I was there. Thank you for your service."

  "Great read really puts things about this time in our history in perspective. Glad to hear he got home OK."

   "Very intense reading and you can feel how much this Nov cares about his men.glade you made it back home."

  "This book was hard to put down because my mind kept coming back to the same staggering understanding: This isn't fiction; these things actually happened!"

Available in e-book or paperback at Amazon.com







Monday, February 4, 2019

Author Podcast Interview

       I'm excited to announce I was interviewed by the lovely Vikki J. Carter on her author podcast. It was a pleasure to visit with her and talk about the different aspects of writing, editing, and publishing. Listen to Authors of the Pacific Northwest this month and catch the interviews of many interesting authors. Listen for mine on February 25th! I'll be reading from my written works at the end of the interview. Hopefully, I don't sound as nervous on the air as I felt.