An Update on my Writing

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I’m going to give you an update of my writing today.

I have been working on the next historical novel. I’ve completed the first draft, and it is currently undergoing some critiquing from a wonderful site I’ve found called Scribophile. I was hoping to get it out before Christmas, but it might be a bit longer than that.

It is called Jealousy of a Viking and is the story of a descendant of Adelbehrt from Vengeance of a Slave. She, Helgha, is a young Viking girl who falls in love with Erik, the son of a jarl from Jorvik, modern York.

Of course, true love does not run smoothly (no story if it does). They cannot marry because of the difference in their status. She becomes his mistress, but trouble starts when he marries to improve his family’s standing.

Her rival for Erik’s love has the advantage she is his legal wife and a feud begins between them. Which woman will win? Can Helgha find a way to be with Erik after all? Will her knowledge of herbs help her?

I’ve also been working on the next book in The Wolves of Vimar series. I lost a whole chunk of it somehow, and became a bit disheartened, then I found it. At least I thought I had, but a chunk from the middle is still missing and needs rewriting. Hey ho! That’s life. I suppose.

This book has no title as yet. In it, the group known as Wolf travel to Bluehaven and hence Holy Isle for the wedding of one of their number, Randa, to Prince Almoro, brother to the king. Then revolts occur in several cities, and Erian, the land bordering them, marches in and takes over several dukedoms, capturing the Duke of Senndolina.

Several of Wolf travel to try to rescue him, and Rollo, Duke of Hambara, sets off for Erian to try to talk peace with The Master.

That’s the next one to try to finish.

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Horselords. Training

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Davrael was taking his turn at leading Moonbeam while Kimi rode. The usually dour and serious young man was smiling. He had never felt so happy in his life. He had no possessions, just his horse, which he reasoned they would have to sell when they reached Hambara, no family left except for Kimi, and no idea where their next meal was coming from, but he had never been more optimistic in his life. Of course, it was all because of Kimi and his love for her. At last they were together, and that was all that mattered to him. He turned and smiled up at her.
She smiled back. ‘I think it’s your turn to ride now, Davrael,’ she told him, stopping the mare and sliding down from her back.
‘Let’s both walk for a while, Little Mouse,’ smiled Davrael. ‘I want to hold your hand.’
Kimi reached out and took her new husband’s hand in hers, twining her fingers through his. They walked on together, not speaking, but just contented in the company of each other and the contact made through their handclasp.
It was a slightly warmer day than they had known recently. It was always a bit warmer in the lee of the mountains, but they had now left the range they knew as The Barrier far behind. The sun was shining too, adding to the feeling of optimism they shared.

‘Davrael,’ Kimi said suddenly, ‘I feel so happy. It doesn’t make any sense. Here we are, destitute and in a strange land. I should be feeling at least a bit nervous about the future, but somehow I don’t. I know everything will turn out well, somehow. Ever since we were married in that glade, I’ve had a feeling that we’re being looked after. It doesn’t make any sense,’ she repeated.
‘It’s because we’re together at last. Now nothing can separate us,’ Davrael replied, ‘Not even our parents. Somehow, I too know things will be fine. We’ll find work and somewhere to live, don’t you worry.’
Kimi laughed. I’m not worried, I just told you, didn’t I, you silly goose.’
They decided to stop for a break and something to eat as it was almost six hours since dawn and time for the mid-day meal. As they sat on the grass by the side of the dusty road, Davrael thought he heard something moving in the trees behind them. He quickly signed to Kimi to remain quiet and sit still. He stood, drawing his two knives, and crept silently to the trees behind them.

A man rose from the under-brush with a short sword drawn and ready. Davrael yelled a war cry and slashed with his left-hand knife. The man was not expecting this, thinking Davrael would use his right, a fact that Davrael was counting on. Davrael’s left-handedness had often caught unwary opponents in the Games held by the tribes on the plains.

The man parried the blow, but then was surprised by Davrael spinning and then bringing his right-hand knife into play. After a few more parries and attempts to get past Davrael’s guard, he took off into the trees. He had been unnerved by not only Davrael’s skill and the fact that he had never before faced an opponent wielding two weapons, but also by the frightening aspect of the Horselord with the hawk tattoo on his face. Davrael returned to a frightened Kimi.
‘Are you all right?’ she asked him, probing him with her eyes for any blood. ‘Do you think there are any more of them?’
‘Yes, Little Mouse,’ replied Davrael, ‘I’m fine. I think the man was just an opportunist who saw what he thought were two helpless travellers and thought he would try his hand at robbery. Maybe he wanted Moonbeam. She is after all a Horselord horse.’
‘Maybe,’ replied his wife, ‘But I think we should be moving on, just in case he comes back with friends. You know how these Grosmerians covet our horses.’
The pair set off again. After a while, Davrael spoke again to Kimi, who was once again riding.
‘I’ve been thinking, my love,’ he said, ‘That you should learn to fight. There are only we two, and we are vulnerable. If there had been more than one man back there, we would now probably have no horse at the very least, and maybe we would be dead.’
‘I can use my bow, Davrael,’ replied Kimi. ‘I often had contests with my brothers, and also went hunting with them.’
‘Yes, that I know, Mouse,’ replied the other, ‘but sometimes a bow is not enough. Sometimes an enemy can get in close before you can damage or kill him. Then what?’
They decided that each evening, Kimi would learn to fight using a pair of long knives like those Davrael wielded so efficiently. The Horselords did not use swords as did most of the folk of the northern part of the continent of Khalram, preferring to either attack with short bows from horseback, controlling their galloping mounts with their knees. If they were on the ground, they used two knives, longer than daggers, but considerably shorter than short swords.
That evening, Davrael began Kimi’s lessons. He told her to find a stick about the same length as one of the knives, and he did the same. He began to teach her the rudiments of defence with one knife, using a stick in lieu of a wooden practice knife. At first, he managed to ‘kill’ her every time. At the end of their first practice, which he only allowed to go on for about a half-hour, she felt her bruises where Davrael’s stick had got past her somewhat imperfect defence. She complained to him, and thanked the gods that he had not decided to use real knives or she would really have been dead, several times over.
‘Young boys begin their training at six years old,’ Davrael told her. ‘You are eleven years past that age. They would all be expert knife fighters by the time they are seventeen. You must forget how old you are, how good your brothers were at your age. Remember, you are as a six-year-old in this.’
She smiled at this thought, but it did bring her a little comfort. She had, in fact, been thinking that she was nowhere near as good as her brothers, but, as Davrael had pointed out, she was remembering them practising in their teens, not as small boys. Both her brothers were older than she was, four and eight hers her senior, and had always seemed so grown up to her. She could not remember them being as inept as she seemed to be with the knives.
‘You did very well, for a first attempt, Kimi,’ Davrael told her, and he pulled her to him and kissed her soundly. ‘We will practice every evening. Next time it will be for an hour.’
Kimi groaned at the thought of all those extra bruises.
‘You’ll just have to stop me getting through then, won’t you, my love?’ laughed Davrael as he pulled her towards him once more.
Each evening, when they stopped, they practiced with their sticks. Soon Davrael was hardly able to touch Kimi, and he began to teach her to attack as well as defend. He was very proud of the way she had taken to the skill. She was learning much faster than he had hoped, or even considered she could learn. She was a natural, as he told her one night, after they had made love under the light of both Lyndor and Ullin. He hoped that she would be able to handle a real knife by the time they reached Hambara. He would buy her one there, he determined. She would like that.
And so the pair continued on their way towards the second biggest city in Grosmer, unsure of why, or what they were going to do once there, but both as happy as they had ever been.

A visit from author D.H.Nevins

This week I am hosting D.H. Nevnes all week, and so Tuesday’s epistode of Davrael and Kimi’s story will appear later in the month.

For those of you who have been waiting for it, I apologise.

 

Cover Reveal Blog Posts—Angel of Shadow by D.H. Nevins
Welcome to the Cover Reveal event for D.H. Nevins’ upcoming release, Angel of Shadow. I’m so excited to be one of the exclusive host blogs for this reveal and giveaway. Here’s why:
First of all, the book cover is STUNNING. You’ll have to trust us on this for now… you’ll know what I mean when you see it!
Secondly, did I mention there’s a giveaway?!?

You can get a copy of the first book in the series, Wormwood, for free right now. I suggest you grab one! Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2hOcWbq
Each host blog has its own tidbit of unique information, which changes every day. My fun facts will be posted just under the cover fragment, along with the links to the other host blogs. Everyone has a different fact, and each day, ONE of these facts includes a chance to instantly win an ebook Advance Reader Copy (eARC) of Angel of Shadow. Remember to check them out!
Angel of Shadow’s Blurb:
D.H. Nevins hurtles you into a world of half-angels, demons and tormented love in this driving, dystopian sequel to Wormwood.

Half-angels, known as Nephilim, have all but destroyed the surface of the Earth. Yet for Kali Michaels, her life is now much more complicated than simply surviving. Grappling with her own powerful identity, she worries her connection to the world of Shadows could destroy those around her.
And what if she hurts Tiamat Wormwood, the Nephilim outcast who has given everything to save her? Tiamat and Kali know they have no future—not when outside forces and Kali’s own power push both the humans and the Nephilim to the brink of extinction.
As she fights to stop the inevitable, she is led to question who her real enemies are, and whether the ultimate threat may actually be herself.
The Cover Fragment:

Monday

Fun Fact:
The first book in the series, Wormwood, has had two different covers. The first edition had a cover which really didn’t resonate with readers, but because I like the look of old etchings, I didn’t realize this and kept it on there for years. Today, one of the other blogs has more background on this first cover, as well as a picture of it. Check it out! 
Anyway, one day, a highly sought-after cover artist (waiting list, only) picked up a copy of Wormwood and read it. He loved the story so much, he contacted me to tell me that he spontaneously created 3 separate covers for it. For free. Wormwood’s current cover is one of his creations. I use the other two images he created for promotional purposes (such as the close-up of a girl’s face with feathers covering her mouth). Isn’t that awesome? ~D.H.

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Remember to have a peek at some other unique facts about the cover, the series, D.H. or her writing process at these blogs. I bet you’re curious, right?
Bookworm Brandee: https://bookwormbrandee.blogspot.com/
FUONLYKNEW: http://fuonlyknew.com/
*Electively Paige: http://electivelypaige.com/
Book Hooked Nook: https://bookhookednook.wordpress.com/
The Perfect Honeybee: https://theperfecthoneybee.wordpress.com/
*Dragons Rule OK: https://aspholessaria.wordpress.com/
*Carlyle Labuschagne: http://www.carlylelabuschagne.com/

And don’t forget about the giveaway!!! D.H. Nevins will be giving away:
– 2 prizes of a physical copy of Wormwood combined with an Angel of Shadow eARC (Advance Reader Copy), as well as- another 10 Angel of Shadow eARCs. Enter the giveaway here! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/55157da22/
Thanks for stopping by! Full reveal will be this Saturday, but don’t forget there will be a brand new cover fragment and a new fun fact tomorrow. See you soon!

Horselords 5

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They rode into the camp to be greeted by Chief Andrid, Davrael’s father.
‘You were gone a long time, son,’ he said.

Davrael slid from his horse and embraced his father.

‘We had some problems,’ he replied. ‘We found some of the Prowling Lynx on our territory. We followd them for a while, then approached. They attacked us, so we had to retaliate.’

‘Were any of our men hurt?’

Davrael shook his head.

‘Those Lynx are no match for the Swooping Hawks. We easily defeated them. But they had stolen some horses from the settlers at the far side of our territory. What’s more, when the settlers tried to regain their horses, the Lynx took a young woman captive. We rescued her.’

‘Well done, son,’ Andrid said. ‘That’s typical of the Lynx. What were they going to do with the girl? Ask for ransom?’

‘No. The chief was going to make her marry his son.’

Andrid’s face grew red and he clenched his fists at his side.

‘What!’ he exclaimed. ‘That is against all our laws and customs. The Tribes do not force marriage on anyone.’

Davrael then brought Kimi forward and introduced her to his father.

He smiled at her and said, ‘We will make sure you are returned to your family, but we need you as a witness to what these men have done. We will begin the trial tomorrow.’

Davrael gave Kimi into the hands of his mother. She smiled warmly at the girl and told her to call her Mimola. Kimi smiled back and soon found herself telling Mimola all about her ordeal with the Prowling Lynx. That night she slept in Mimola’s tent. the best night’s sleep she had since her capture.

The following morning, true to his word, Andrid sat on the only chair in the camp, on a raised dais made of wooden planks laid across tree trunks.

‘Bring the prisoners forward,’ he commanded, and half a dozen of the Swooping Hawks led the Prowling Lynx warriors to the space before the chief.

Around this space stood the rest of the Swooping Hawk tribe, all agog to see what was happening. All kind of rumours had been circulating during the previous evening and night, and the people wanted to know what was going on.

Kimi stood to one side, with Davrael. His presence reassured her as she did not know what was going to happen.

As soon as the Prowing Lynx arrived, they stood, hands tied, before Andrid.

‘You have been accused of trespass and stealing horses,’ he said, ‘but what is worse, of kidnapping a young woman with the intention of making a forced marriage. This is against our laws, as you know, and so you must face this court.’

The chief of the Prowling Lynx stepped forward.

‘I do not recognise this court,’ he said, and stepped back.

Andrid laughed. ‘You may not recognise it, but it is perfectly legal. You are a chief and are being tried by a chief, as the law insists. Your men should be tried by your own chief, by rights, but as you are on trial, too, for the same crime, then that is not possible. I will try them also.

‘What do you have to say?’

The Prowling Lynx Chief said nothing.

‘Then I will ask a witness to come forward. Davrael, what have you to say?’

Davrael stepped forward and gave an account of how he and his men had been patrolling their territory when they came across the Prowling Lynx men. They challenged them, but were met with an attack. When they finally beat the Lynx, they found Kimi in one of the tents.’

The young man who Kimi understood to be the Prowling Lynx chief’s son shouted out.

‘We were not trespassing. We were just on our way back to our own lands. We had to cross yours. We had no intention of doing any harm, notr interfering in any way with your horses.’

His father gave him a stony stare, but he continued.

‘We only took horses from the settlers. Everyone knows they’re not proper Horselords. and ;the girl asked to be taken. She came after us and attacked. What were we supposed to do?’

Davrael stepped forward.

‘You should not have stolen their horses in the first place. Then she and her family would not have followed.’

‘They’re settlers for the gods’ sake. They aren’t proper horselords.’

Andrid scowled at the young man.

‘Settlers or not, true horselords or not, although on that point I agree, we do not steal.’

Andrid then turned to Kimi.

‘Kimi, come forward and tell me what happened.’

Then it was Kimi’s turn. She told how she had been captured and how the chief had told her she would be taken to their camp and married to his son. She told of the abuse she had received at the hands of that son, and how frightened she was. then, with a smile at Davrael, she told how he and his men had rescued her.’

The trial continued and lasted all day. Each of Davrael’s men gave evidence, as did the Prowling Lynx men, and eventually, their chief.

As the sun began to set over the plans, Andrid gave his verdict and sentence.
‘You are all guilty because not one of you stood up to say what happened is wrong. However, I accept it is difficult for warriors to go against their chief. Therefore, you warriors I am going to allow to return to your territory. However, if any of my men see you within five miles of our territory, then you will be recaptured.’

He turned to the chief and his son.

‘As chief and probable next chief, you have more responsibility for what happened. I cannot allow you both to go in the same way I did your men.’ He turned to the chief. ‘You hold great responsibility as chief of your people. You uphold the law and are responsible fora keeping it. Therefore it is doubly worse for you to have taken part in this theft and kidnapping. I sentence you to be beaten and kept in custody for two full years. Every day you will receive four lashes.’

There was an intake of breath from the crowd at the severity of this sentence. Andrid then turned to the chief’s son.

 

‘You were fully complicit in this. You could have had some influence over your father. but instead, you used the situation to frighten and abuse a young girl. You I sentence to be kept in custody for only one year, but because of the way you treated a young and frightened girl, each day you will receive six lashes.’

Andrid then dismissed the court and the Prowling Lynx warriors mounted their horses and rode off.

As he as taken away, the chief of the Lynx shouted, ‘What is going to happen to my tribe? They will be without a chief for two years.’
Andrid turned and said, ‘Your problem. With any luck, they’ll decide to reject you and choose a better leader.’

That evening, Kimi and Davrael talked long into the night. The next morning, his father had told him he was to accompany Kimi to her home. He chose a few warriors to accompany them in order to drive the horses, and his mother to act as chaperone.

How will Kimi’s family respond to her return?

Find out on the first Tuesday of December.

Please add a comment to this episode. I like hearing what you think.

You can find out more about Kimi and Davrael in their adventures with The Wolf Pack;

Follow this link to buy, or click on the book image at the side of the page.

http://myBook.to/thewolfpack

http://myBook.to/NeverDying.

Horselords Part 4

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Kimi mounted the horse the young warrior brought her. He held its head as she vaulted onto its back. She recognised it as one of the ones the Prowling Lynx had stolen from her parents’ ranch. A chestnut with a blaze down his face and four white socks. She had been particularly fond of this animal, and she delighted to be riding him on her way home, if by a roundabout way.

‘I thought you would prefer to ride one of your own horses,’ he told her.

She nodded and took the reins from him, gripped the horse with her knees and squeezed. The horse responded and trotted off after the others, who had rounded up the spare horses and had begun to herd them westwards.

Kimi became aware of the young warrior riding up beside her. They rode in silence for some time. Kimi looked sideways at him. She still felt that he looked frightening and became uncomfortable when he looked at her. True, he had promised to take her home as soon as he had delivered the thieves to his father, but could she trust him? Her experiences with the previous tribesmen made her anxious.

The young warrior, after riding alongside her for around an hour, suddenly broke his silence.

‘My name’s Davrael,’ he said. ‘What’s your’s?’

Kimi jumped, then told him her name. He smiled at her and she noticed his eyes for the first time. They were a soft brown and had a spark of humour in them, as well as a kindness. Perhaps he had a fearsome appearance, but somehow she knew that he had a soft side.

Little more was said during the rest of the day, then the band stopped by the side of a stream. They put the captives in one tent, still tied up, and erected a separate tent for Kimi. Davrael smiled at her as he held the tent flap back for her to enter.

‘I’ll bring you some food in a few minutes,’ he said, and disappeared. Kimi unrolled the blankets left for her and sat down cross-legged on them to think about her situation.

Shortly, Davrael returned. He carried two bowls and wooden spoons. He sat down opposite her and handed her one of the bowls and a spoon.

‘Sorry it’s not better food,’ he said, looking at his bowl, ‘but we have only trail rations. We cooked dried meat to soften it, but it’s not good.’

Kimi shrugged, looking at her own bowl. ‘It’s better than going hungry. I’ve eaten worse.’ She began to scoop the food into her mouth and chew. The meat was tough, but it was nourishment and so she ate every last bit.

Neither of them spoke while they ate, then, after finishing, Davrael called to one of his men and handed him the bowls. He came back and sat down again. Kimi frowned. Why did he not go? He was not going to be like he other one, was he? Was he going to try to take advantage of her? At that thought, she shrank back a little.

Davrael noticed. ‘Don’t worry,’ he said. ‘I’m not a Lynx. The Swooping Hawks don’t take advantage of vulnerable women. We have honour. Neither do we steal from others.’

Kimi sighed and resumed her position.

‘Tell me about yourself and the Swooping Hawks, Davrael. I am from the Settled Tribes. We have forgotten much of the lives of the Wandering Tribes.’

‘We have our own territories,’ Davrael replied, ‘and we stick to them. At least, the Swooping Hawks do. Other tribes don’t always. When there is an infringement, the chiefs will usually try to settle it peacefully, but occasionally there is war.’

‘I’ve heard that the Wandering Tribes are always fighting each other,’ said Kimi.

Davrael shrugged. ‘If war is needed to settle a matter, then we fight. Some tribes steal, horses or land, like those Lynx.’ He spat in the direction of the tent where the Lynx were being held. He stood, and drew himself up to his full height, looking every inch the proud son of a Tribal Chief. ‘The Swooping Hawks do not steal, but we will defend what is ours.’

He strode out of the tent, leaving Kimi alone.

Each day for the next sixday, Davrael rode at Kimi’s side, and each evening he came to her tent to talk. He did not say much more than he needed to in order to answer Kimi’s questions. She decided he was a man of few words. Then, he asked her about her own life. Kimi found herself beginning to like this young man more and more, She became used to the tattoo on his face, and it no longer frightened her. She smiled at the thought.

‘What are ;you smiling at,’ he asked her.

‘Just that I wonder, now, why I was so frightened of you when we first met. I feel as if I’ve known you for ever, and we’ve always been friends.’

Davrael’s eyes lit up when she said this. ‘I’m glad you said that, Kimi. I feel that way too. We’ve always known each other.’

The ride continued over the plains. Grassland stretched away into the distance. They passed the occasional copse, and many streams. Once they had to cross a wide river at a ford. Davrael stuck to her side all the way until a camp appeared in the distance.

‘My father’s camp,’ Davrael told her. ‘Soon we’ll be rid of these Lynx dogs and get them tried and condemned then I can take you home.’

What will happen at the camp of Davrael’s father? How long will the trial take? And what are the feelings Kimi is beginning to feel for Davrael?

Find out on the first Tuesday of next month.

Please leave a comment in the comments box, and I’ll get back to you.

Time on the World of Vimar

The time of Vimar, the planet on which the continent of Khalram stands, is calculated differently from that of Earth. Here is a little about it.

From early times, it was known that the planet Vimar took almost exactly three hundred and sixty days to travel around its sun, the people divided this into twelve months of thirty days each. This number, and the three hundred and sixty days in the year meant that the number six took on a significance, and so they further divided each month into five ‘weeks’ of six days each. This was called a ‘sixday’.

The months were unrelated to moon phases as the planet has two moons, Lyndor and Ullin, each with a different cycle, but the study of the moon phases became important as they were believed to indicate something of the future, both for individuals and the world as a whole.

The year was deemed to begin at the Vernal Equinox when life was beginning to spring anew, and each of the twelve months was named after one of the gods of Vimar. (See Appendix 2)  the first month of Grilldar was called after the god Grillon, god of nature.

The months are as follows:

Spring                            Remit of God               Ruling God

Grilldar                              Nature                           Grillon

Kassidar                             All                                 Kassilla

Zoldar                                Knowledge                      Zol

Summer

Candar                               Weather and Sea          Candello

Sylissdar                            Life and Healing           Sylissa

Allendrindar                 Persuasion and deceit        Allandrina

Autumn

Pardar                               Agriculture                    Parador

Rothdar                             Mining and                     Roth

metalworking

Bardar                                   War                           Barnat

Winter

Bramadar                     Marriage and the family    Bramara

Majordar                            Magic                          Majora

Khaldar                      Death and the underworld    Khalhera

Days used to begin at dawn whatever the season or place in the world, but eventually it was seen fit to begin them at the time of dawn at the Vernal Equinox in all parts of the world, which was the equivalent of 6 am on Earth. Each day was about the same length as that of Earth, and because of the importance of the number six and its multiples, each day was divided, as on Earth, into twenty four hours and hours into sixty minutes. Seconds not usually considered on the planet as timing to that accuracy was neither needed nor for most people possible. Thus the second hour of the day would be equivalent to 8 am on Earth. Noon on Earth corresponds to the sixth hour on Vimar etc.

You can buy books 1 and 2, The Wolf Pack and The Never Dying Man by following the links below.

http://myBook.to/thewolfpack

http://myBook.to/NeverDying

A freebie

From today, The Stones of Earth and Air will be free on Amazon until 18th September.

Don’t miss this chance to get your free copy of book 1 of Elemental Worlds.

http://www.mybook.to/EarthAndAir

Horselords 3

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The raiding party moved ever westwards. the mountains the Horselords called The Barrier, retreated ever further away until they were just a blue haze on the horizon. Kimi looked longingly at them as she rode surrounded by Prowling Lynx warriors. Her home was at the foot of those mountains. Would she ever see it again? She prayed for a miracle, but the days passed and none arrived.

One evening, just as the men began to set up the camp, Kimi heard the sound of galloping hooves. She was inside her tent with a guard as they had put her tent up first. Not for any chivalrous reasons. Just that they thought she would be less likely to escape if she were safely in her tent with a guard.

Sounds of shouting came through the thin walls of the tent, followed by the noise of fighting. Horses whinneyed in fear, men shouted and the sound of metal on metal rang through the air. Kimi’s guard was in the process of tying her up, but when he heard the sounds, he rushed out to help his friends, leaving her alone and free. She thought of trying to make a break, but the sounds of fighting were all around. She thought she might be safer in here than out there.

Then suddenly, all was silent. Kimi crept to the tent door and peeped out. Her captors were now the captives. They stood in a huddle, surrounded by other men. A few bodies lay on the ground, and several of the captives had sustained wounds.

I hope the chief’s son is hurt, she thought, surprising herself at this thought. She had never been vindictive. But then, she had never been kidnapped and threatened with marriage to a violent man before.

One man walked round the group of captives. she listened to what he said.

‘You dare to cross the lands of the Swooping Hawks? You will come with us to our chief. There you will be tried.’

Kimi tried to slip back into the tent, but the man saw her and came over.

Kimi shrank back. This man was fairly tall, around five foot eleven, with a proud bearing. He wore his dark hair long and tied with a bandana to keep it from his eyes.

It was not his height or bearing that made Kimi afraid, though. On his face was a tattoo. This tattoo was in the shape of a hawk with its wings spread over his forehead, head down his straight nose and talons on his cheeks.

‘Who are you?’ he asked her. ‘I’m surprised they brought a woman on their raid. Even if they are Prowling Lynx ‘

‘I…I’m not with them,’ she stuttered.

He raised his eyebrows, making the hawk’s wings seem to flutter.

‘Then what are you doing here?’

Kimi swallowed. They raided my family’s ranch and took our best horses. When we went to try to get them back, they captured me.’ She took a deep breath to try to stop tears. ‘They were going to make me marry their chief’s son. He was cruel. He taunted and hit me.’

Now Kimi could no longer be brave, and tears began to fall. The young warrior strode out of the tent without looking back.

She heard the sounds of his feet striding towards the group of prisoners. Then she heard the young warrior’s voice calling to them. He called a name, but no one replied. There was silence for a while, then she heard quiet voices before the sounds of someone being beaten.

Shortly, the young warrior returned.

‘I taught him a lesson,’ he said. ‘Now we go to my father for him to judge them for trespassing and theft. Come.’

He left the tent before Kimi could reply, leaving her to follow.

When she caught up, he turned and said, ‘You ride one of your horses. We go back to my people.’

‘Why can’t you take me to my people?’ Kimi replied.

‘We need to take these men back first. See my father then see what he says.’

Has Kimi fallen into the hands of another tribe? What will they do with her?

Find out on the first Tuesday of next month.

Book Release

The Stones of Earth and Air will be released next week. It’s book 1 in Elemental Worlds. Here’s a bit about it.

earth-and-air

Pettic is the best friend of Torren, the Crown Prince of Ponderia. When Torric starts behaving out of character, Pettic sets about trying to find out why. He discovers that Torren has been kidnapped and a doppleganger put in his place.

He decides he cannot let his friend remain a prisoner, nor allow the cruel impostor to remain as Crown Prince and ultimately King as he would no doubt become a tyrant. Pettic therefore sets about rescuing his friend.
He discovers that Torren is imprisoned in a mini-plane created by a magician. The only way in is using four gems associated with the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

There is a problem, though. Each gem has been hidden on one of the four Elemental Worlds. Pettic resolves to enter each of these worlds and find the gem. How can he find a single gem in a whole world, though? And he can’t return without the gem.

On each world, he has to perform a task to help the inhabitants.

Can he discover the gems, or will he remain trapped on one of the worlds? What are the tasks he has to perform, and can he get back and then enter the mini-plane and rescue Torren before the false prince becomes king?