Saturday, December 31, 2016

Star Trader Update - Academy Brats .020.1

As promised, today we start a New Serial Story.
For those of you who are new to the site,
I post a new chapter each Saturday. 

For this edition I will be shifting gears from fantasy to science fiction. We are going back to rejoin 3su, Star Trader to the known Verse, on one of her missions. 

It seemed like an easy and lucrative job when she accepted it. But, as we all know often what we expect is not what we get. Things can turn ugly very quickly in space. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays to Everyone!

I wish you all a delightful holiday full of love and surprises!


Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Christmas Celebration!

“Hold your paw right there,” Anna said to her father.

Farloft placed one large green paw on the paper to hold it in place while Anna wrapped the ribbon around the package. It was handy having a shape-shifting-dragon for a daughter. Her human hands were made for this type of work, unlike his huge paws.

The two of them were quickly wrapping presents while everyone else was off picking up the company. Clearair’s first stop was to pick up Theresa, the healer and Farloft’s best friend. Then they would continue to the castle to pick up Sarah, Theresa’s niece and the sorcerous in the kingdom.

James had left to pick up Adrian, the bard.

They were all going to celebrate Christmas in the dragon family’s lair where there was enough room for all.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Tale of Pirates and Sea Dragons

This in one of Farloft's tales during the time of his friendship with Thomas. Farloft details his life with Thomas in Book 6 of his Farloft Chronicles "Dragon Memories, Dreams & Reflection."


A Tale of Pirates and Sea Dragons


“My leigh, if you could but consider loaning me the services of your dragon, I can prove to you that my trading vessel will work,” Captain Matt pleaded.

King Alfred shook his head. “I do not doubt that you can do as you say, Captain. I saw your impressive machine pull into the dock belching smoke like Farloft himself. But you see, he is not my dragon, as you put it. Farloft is very much his own commander. You would have to approach him directly.”

Hanging his head slightly and working his hat between his hands, the Captain confessed, “I must admit, though I have sailed the wildest seas, the idea of confronting a dragon seems a bit daunting, Sire.”

“I will send someone with you to make your ordeal a bit smoother.” The King smiled and waved the Captain aside in order for the next of his subjects to come forward with their appeal.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Pack Rat Mage

In this story you will be surprised to find out who has the courage to pilfer from Farloft's hoard.

*****


The Pack Rat Mage



“Have you seen that pearl necklace I received from Queen Sophia?” Farloft asked, as he came into the main part of the cave.

Clearair waded out of the thermal pool in their lair. “It was in the top of the silver caldron with the other jewels in your hoard last time I saw it.”

Farloft sat down on his haunches and gazed lovingly at his beautiful blue dragoness. “You always shine so when you are wet from the pool.” He shook his head. He needed to keep his mind on the task at hand, not his lovely mate. “Have the younglings been playing in the hoard again?”

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Storm Warning!

In this short story will meet an old friend of Farloft's, the King's scout and spy, Storm. A gryphon with a quick wit and some incredible power.

*****

Storm Warning



Farloft lay on the rock shelf above the entrance to his cave. His belly was turned up toward the sky and his eyes were mere slits as he basked in the mid-day sun.

“Ah…hum…” someone said, disturbing the dragon’s peaceful snooze.

Farloft didn’t have to look to know who had flown in on silent wings and landed below at the entrance to his cave. It would be Storm Gryphon. He was the only one who could get past Farloft’s exceptional hearing. His silent and stealthy ways were the reason the king employed him as scout and sometimes spy for the kingdom.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

An Encounter - A Farloft the Dragon Tale

As promised here is a short story you can read in one setting. 
We will do this every Saturday through the holidays. 
In January I will start a new serialized story.
Haristaan - Art by Kitsooki of Deviant Art



Farloft and Haristaan had been traveling together for several weeks. The old dragon enjoyed the company of the younger black. Haristaan was quick witted, charming and best of all he was a good listener. The younger dragon seemed to absorb Farloft’s stories like a sponge. He never tired of the old one’s tales of times long gone by.

Farloft swooped to the right, did a flip, and looked quickly up into the puffy clouds above. This morning Haristaan has started a game of tag and currently he was ‘it.’ Farloft was not near as fast as the young dragon, but he did have years of cunning on his side. He knew Haristaan was just waiting for that perfect moment to dive from the clouds and tag him.

“Ha!” he laughed, “I see you.”

Haristaan’s black was hard to hide in those white fluffy clouds. The black dipped back out of sight, his exposed wing tip disappeared.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 17 - The Conclusion

It felt to Farloft as though every member of his clan were gathered around him and desperate to hear where he had been and what had happened the six and a half months he had been ‘lost.’

His father and mother had not left his side since they spotted him approaching the lair from his jump point. His sister was snuggled so tightly up against him she was like moss on a tree trunk.

Personally, Farloft couldn’t stop grinning. It was so good to be home, even if he couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

“Give him some room to breathe,” his Father said to the collective group. “Let’s all give him some time to get his paws under him and then we can all sit down and listen to his story.”

Sunday, November 6, 2016

#1 Amazon Bestseller - Shifting in The Realms


"Shifting in The Realms" is 99 cents November 7th - 21st.
Go for an adventure in a new paranormal/fantasy world
with a shape-shifter whose girlfriend prefers him in his wolf form.
The first in a series you won't be able to put down.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 16

“He’s so happy with his family home.” Farloft watched Rugarth with Ralgarth playing on the ledge outside their cave. He heaved a big sigh.

“You miss your family,” Mesanth said. “It’s only natural.” She draped a wing over Farloft’s shoulders. She knew that their visitor had become very attached to the clan leader. “Will you be going home soon?”

“There is no need for him to hurry off,” Trisk spoke up from her perch over their head in the apple tree. “We’ve only just returned home. You should rest up.” She addressed Farloft craning her neck to see him below in the grass.

“I do miss my family. Most likely they have given up looking for me by now.” He shook his head when he imagined what his parents must have gone through over the last few months. Many times he had wished he could send them a message, but there was no way. “I should leave soon.”

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Difference a Cover Can Make!

A New Chapter of "In2MInds" will be available soon, but I just couldn't wait to show you the cover of "In2Minds2" and the NEW cover for the previous chapter "In2Minds." These were done by the talented Sherry D. Ramsey. I can hardly wait for the release later this month! Compare it to the old cover. You will see why I am so excited *jumping for joy*






Saturday, October 29, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 15

The next day, Rugarth led his party in a wide sweep of the volcanic island below them as he roared a greeting at the top of his lungs. Farloft wondered what was in store for them. Perhaps he was going to be introduced to another clan of dragons on this mysterious island.

The volcano at its center puffed plumes of smoke and ash. Farloft could see a river of lava trailing down its side and bisecting the island in its rush toward the shelf where it fell off into the sea creating giant clouds of steam. On either side of the lava the island was lush and green with huge palms and oasis’ of little valleys with glittering pools of fresh water. It was in one of these valleys that the party landed, in a meadow, beside a pool.

“Should we go up?” Daldrath asked excitedly.

“They saw and heard us. They will come down.” Tempith tucked her wings and lowered her head to the pool for a drink.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 14

It was three days later and the dragon party sat behind a long table with the remainder of their gems spread before them. There had been no further contact with pirates on their journey through the last of the swamp to the Isles of Ryland.

The people of Ryland welcomed them with open arms. They prepared a feast and brought them presents of jeweled collars and gilded arm cuffs. The human children wove garlands of flowers to drape over the dragon’s heads and ringed their horns with bands of silver and gold.

“Is the dragon steel for trade,” one merchant asked, as he approached the table. “It would make some truly amazing crowns and pendants with the addition of a few of these fine stones.” He waved his hand at the gems scattered across the long table.

“I would like to make you a gift of mine,” Tempith said with a nod. “If I might commission a piece in return to be picked up by Rugarth on his return journey.”

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 13

“Colith!” Tempith roared.

The female dragon had been set upon by three of the flying contraptions of the swamp pirates. Their weapons cut into her flesh as they strafed across her. The sharp metal of their wings kept her from grabbing them by paw or teeth and throwing them into a spin. Every time she reached for one, it tucked its wings and dove in to rip another line across her vulnerable stomach or wing.

As the others tried to run toward the outcrop that jutted up out of the swamp to their right, Rugarth and Tempith did their best to fend off the pirates, but Colith’s wing had been injured in the first few minutes of battle and she had fallen behind. Her baskets of precious gems kept the pirates on her tail trying to drive her to ground.

“Go!” Colith roared, as she did her best to fend them off. “Take the rest and fly!”

Sunday, October 9, 2016

BOOK OF THE DAY! "Shifting in The Realms"

Shifting in The Realms is OnlineBookClub Book of the Day 
Sunday, October 9th. 
Why not pick up a copy for you or a friend for Halloween reading?
Vampires... Fire Demons... Shape-shifters... 
Everything you could want in a great 90 minute escape!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I5AST5U/



Saturday, October 8, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 12

Gord was unlike anything Farloft had ever seen in his world, or in this one. The colony was huge and the buildings were tall spires made up of steel and glass that reflected the sky and clouds around them. The dragons sailed in among them tilting their wings and catching the thermals and wind tunnels created by their height and close proximity. Rugarth lead them to the largest, and tallest, of all the towers, where he landed and tucked his wings in order to sit.

They all followed his example and lined up in a group behind him to wait.

It wasn’t long before a committee of Gord emerged from a door on the roof to join them. They were all dressed the same, male and female, in pantsuits of varying shades of gray with only a band around their upper left arm as a symbol of their rank within the community – red being the highest official, down through blue, to green, and finally to yellow. All colors were represented in the reception committee.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 11

After almost an hour of walking they finally approached the main settlement of Tilmor. All the teams of working animals had been brought in and put in their corrals. There was no one visible except for a single female human standing in the middle of the town square with her hoe in hand.

“It is Dresda,” Tempith said with a sigh of relief over her shoulder to the younglings. “She is wife to the leader we dealt with last time we were here.”

Rugarth pulled up at the edge of the settlement, the rest of the dragons came to a stop behind him. He churred to Tempith and she advanced to his side.

“I think you should take the lead,” he said to Tempith and nodded in the direction of the human.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 10

It was another five day’s trek before they saw the smoke billowing up from the forges of Lanis. Rugarth led the way, making sure he presented a powerful presence to the strong Lanis.

Paalsar was the leader of his people. He came out to meet them in his leather apron, his hammer still in one hand and the blade he was working on in the other. The man was built like a dragon without wings. His arms and legs were huge and muscular, and his chest a barrel which made his voice low and powerful. The muscles of his arms rippled as he placed the hammer and blade down on his anvil. A woman, Farloft later found out was Paalsar’s wife, Medeev, came to stand by his side. She rivaled her husband with her muscular arms as she folded them across her chest to listen in silence as Rugarth and Paalsar greeted each other.

Rugarth was the first to speak. “It is good to see you, my old friend.”

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 9

“We’ll buy new ones when we get to Gildon.” Tempith tossed the broken basket to the side of the trail. She and Pier finished redistributing her load. She was one of ten females on the trading mission. “We have to have new strong ones. They will hold precious cargo on the way home.”

Farloft handed Pier the last of the stones that spilled out when the bottom of the basket gave out. “Even more precious than these?” he asked, as he handed her a large emerald and what looked like a rough cut diamond.

“Far more,” Tempith said in a laughing voice. She was a large blue dragon with a lovely pattern of rose splashed like wet paint across the breadth of her wings.

“I can’t wait to get to the meadows beyond Gildon,” Pier said, changing the subject. “I have never seen dragons hunt.”

“We’re going to hunt?” Farloft said with enthusiasm.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 8

Farloft scratched at the side of Rugarth’s cave entrance to announce himself. There was a worn patch in the rock where many before him had requested admittance to an audience with the ruler of the Moreth Clan.

“Come in,” Rugarth’s deep baritone rumbled. “Sit. I will be with you in a moment,” he said without turning to see who had entered.

The old dragon was sitting before a wall filled with chalk symbols almost from floor-to-ceiling. The runes were in long columns as if they were lists. Rugarth made one last mark with a large piece of chalk, then turned to face his company. The chalk dust had mixed with the silver of the scales on his paw. He had been at this for over an hour now.

“Ah, Farloft… I was just making a list for Kennoith of the issues which need attention while we are away trading.”

“He isn’t going with us?” Farloft has thought the senior human would accompany them.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 7

Farloft awoke still surrounded by Rugarth’s large frame. The dragon continued to sleep, his head close to the young dragon’s. Farloft studied the old ruler. Up close he could see Rugarth’s silver scales and a scar he had not noticed under his left eye where the scales parted and the black skin beneath bulged upward.

The old dragon could feel the youngling studying him. He continued to feign sleep so the little one could finish his inspection. He sensed the young male would feel more comfortable afterward.

Farloft slowly wiggled his way out from between Rugarth’s paws. The dragon was as large as his father, but much heavier. Where Mandrake was lean and long, the ruler of the Moreth was bulky and muscular. Farloft sat on his haunches and studied the pattern of silver scales that ran down the old dragons back and spilled off his spine in tendrils like ivy running down a wall. When Rugarth moved in his sleep the scales caught the light filtering in through the opening of the cave and they reflected sun dots throughout the cave. It was magical and Farloft sighed thinking that of all the places he might have been flung during an ill thought out jump, he was lucky to have ended up among friends.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 6

Farloft stood with the others at the side of Laroth’s body on the Northern peak of the mountain range. He had walked up with the Nal of the blended community. It was slow, but with Trisk on his back his wing did not hurt any more then when he started the trek.

Mesanth carried his stone balanced on her back between her slightly raised wings. He was told that each member of the colony, both dragon and Nal would place a stone to help finish covering Laroth’s body.

Mesanth and Trisk introduced him to both humans and dragon as they took to the trail. Some Nal flew with their partners to the top, but many of them were farmers from the community walking up to pay their respects. There were even dragons that chose to walk. One voiced the opinion that they were doing it with respect to Laroth’s broken wings, and the fact that had she been there among them, she would have been walking.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 5

Farloft opened his eyes from his nap to find Trisk had been joined by two other dragons of her clan. The three sat above him on the branch of the tree, one was a deep burgundy color with a feathered mane of the palest pink, the other was a bright gold with a pale green mane. The three made the tree appear to have blossomed as they held their wings outstretched to catch the filtered sun bleeding though the leaves of the tree.

Mesanth was laying by his side breathing softly as she snoozed in the dappled sunshine. Farloft studied her as she slept. She was really a lovely dragon. Around her eyes and the bridge of her muzzle her golden scales took on a slightly lime green tint. When she opened her eyes, he realized that the coloring made her green eyes stand out even more.

Farloft’s pink tongue curled out in a huge yawn. “Afternoon,” he gulped out as he closed his huge maw.

“Did you have a nice nap?” Mesanth pulled herself up into a sitting position.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 4

“Really, it is quite safe,” Farloft assured the dragons and human gathered around him.

The old dragon frowned, his brow gathering in furrows. Kennoith snuffed in derision, sending the bell at the end of his beard swinging. Mesanth who was allowed to stay after bringing his food and drink, rolled her lovely green eyes as she pinned them on Farloft's broken wing, and Trisk merely sat silently fanning her wings up and down like a resting butterfly.

“No, really, ‘jumping’ is very safe if done correctly.” Farloft nodded toward his wing. “This was my fault. I have had time to think about what happened. You have to keep the place you want to arrive at fixed in your mind. A gust of wind caught my wing at the crucial point in the jump and I let my mind wander. I thought of a storm and that jumped me here in the middle of the horrible wind.”

“The tunnel twister.” Trisk offered helpfully. She had spoken with the Nal who rescued Farloft and they told her about the twister which had plowed a furrow in the land the day before. Being familiar with the devastation those storms caused, they had avoided its path.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 3

Farloft woke up comfortably swathed in blankets laying in a stone depression filled with layer upon layer of soft furs. He raised his head slowly and found that he could focus for the first time in days. He was in a shallow cave and presently unattended, or at least he thought he was. When he tried to rise Trisk swooped down from her perch above his head to land in front of him on the floor.

“Don’t try to move just yet.” She cocked her small wedged head and pinned him with her bright blue eyes. “How are you feeling?”

“Better,” Farloft had to admit. “Much better. Where are we?”

“You are among the Moreth now. Rugarth and Kennioth will take care of you.”

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 2

The unrelenting sun beat down on Farloft as he dragged himself slowly forward. He was searching for water and shade on this wasteland his ‘jump’ had delivered him to. There was nothing on this barren land except short dried up grass and lichen the color of a fire’s day old ashes. And, there was no sign of relief. The view stretched from horizon to horizon bare and lifeless with hardly more than slight swells in the earth to give it texture.

Farloft was heading toward the only outcrop of rock he had seen in hours. It would afford him a bit of shade and allow for him to rest. He had dragged his wing so long over the rocks of this land that it was leaving a bloody trail behind him where he literally scrapped off the scales and then the skin below.

An hour later, he finally made it to the rock. He flopped down with his bad wing stretched out in as comfortable a position as he could while still keeping it in the shade. For once he was pleased he was a youngling and no bigger than a very large horse. If he had been his father’s size the outcrop would not have afforded any discernable shade for the huge dragon.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Isle of Mystery - A Farloft Youngling Tale - Chapter 1

“Are you listening to me?” Farloft’s father asked.

The youngling dragon snapped back from his thoughts of fun in the snow with his friends, to his father’s slightly irritated tone. “Yes, Dad,” he said, as he came to his feet and ruffled his wings in order to wake up and get his mind back on the lesson.

“You need to pay attention,” Mandrake lectured. “You have to concentrate.” His father shook his wedged head and started to turn away. “Maybe it’s too soon.”

“No!” Farloft shouted. He bound around his father to stop him. “I really want to learn how to ‘jump,’ it’s just that Nillit found an abandon human’s sleigh and the rest of the gang helped fly it up to the glacier and they are going to sled today and I was thinking about that and…” his voice trailed off as his father looked down his muzzle at him in total disapproval.

“What kind of dangerous folly is that?” his father growled. “Careening down a glacier in a beat up human sleigh. You could break a wing, or worst, your neck. How many times do I have to tell you…” His lecture stopped abruptly. The youngling really was not ready to learn how to ‘jump’ through time and space. He was too irresponsible.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

New Serial Story - Isle of Mystery

Next Saturday, July 23, 2016, I will be starting a new Serialized Story based on one of the tales of Farloft the Dragon's youngling years. I will retell how he was taught to fold time and space in order to save a dragon clan from extinction, in "Isle of Mystery."


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 33 - The Conclusion

The first snow of the season fell late last night and left the farm looking clean and fresh.

Charles and Saul were dressed as though they were preparing for a hunt. Charles has on his cloak with his bow and quiver slung over his back. Saul had his dragon tooth dagger and spent the morning sharpening his claws. Azur joined them holding Simone in her arms.

“You be a good girl for Brela and mommy will bring you home a surprise,” she said, as she kissed the child and handed her off to the satyr.

Charles leaned over and kissed Simone on the top of the head. “We’ll be back soon.” He handed Azur her staff.

Saul patted Brela’s shoulder and bent down to rub noses with Simone before turning his back toward the door.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

SALE! All Books 50% Off

Have you been waiting for just the right time
to pick up copies of my books? 

NOW IS THAT TIME!


ALL of my books are 50% off during the Smashwords Summer Sale 2016 July 1-31st. This is exclusive to Smashwords and there are thousands of authors participating. Hop over and grab some great Summer Reading at a discounted price. Use Promo code: SSW50


Click here for my Smashwords page and a listing of all the great reads:

THE TWIN CITIES SERIES "Paranormal like a breath of fresh air in a genre gone stale."

THE STAR TRAVELER SERIES "Scifi reminiscent of Isaac Asimov & Robert Heinlein."

THE FARLOFT CHRONICLES "Fantasy beautifully written that children to adults can appreciate."

WE 3 "Memoirs that are heartwarming, funny & soothing to the spirit."


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Star Traveler - Book Trailer


Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 32

Charles paced the living room in agitation. He paused on occasion to look out the front window, across the yard, toward the road. Night had fallen in The Realms over an hour ago and Saul was still not home.

Brela sat at the dining room table, her hand wrapped around a mug of tea that had long since grown cold.

“I should go after him,” Charles mumbled.

“He’s clever. He’s probably decided to stay with someone for the night.”

Charles let the curtain he had pulled aside fall and turned back toward Brelar. “Probably.” He really didn’t want to leave the house. He wasn’t afraid of the vamps. They would be fools to try an assault on his home, but left unprotected, his family could be overrun by some thugs Raven hired to do his dirty work for him.

The satyr put Simone to bed hours ago and Charles closed Azur up safely for the night. It was just the two of them left to worry if Saul was holdup somewhere or lying dead in a ditch.

“Let me make you a cup of tea,” Brela offered. “I’m going to make me another. Mine’s gone cold.”

She jumped up from the table as Charles came to sit down. The water was already simmering at the back of the stove. She spooned out some lose tea into a teapot, added the water and brought it to the table. As an afterthought she turned back toward the cupboard and placed cookies on a plate. She sighed silently before she turned. These were Saul’s favorites. He had a sweet tooth and always loved her chocolate chip cookies. She hoped nothing had happened to him. He was clever, but he wasn’t as agile or strong as he was prior to the mauling.

She put the plate on the table and before she sat, she leaned over to pour the tea for Charles. Her ears pricked when she heard the latch on the door lifted.

“Saul!”

Charles jumped to his feet.

Saul was overwhelmed by his greeting upon arriving home. Brela spilled tea and knocked over a chair to run to him and throw her arms around his waist. Charles’ look of relief made Saul feel guilt. He hadn’t meant to worry his friends so. He wanted to make sure Jarid and Justin got home safely. He secretly trailed them back to their house which had made him horribly late getting home.

“I’m sorry I worried you both,” he apologized. “I have a lot to tell you.”

“Sit,” Charles said, as he sunk back onto his own chair, the tension draining from him.

Brela hurried to get another mug and sat down across from Saul with Charles at the head of the table.

Saul grabbed up a couple of cookies and shoved them in his mouth in rapid succession. “You made my favorite.”

“You want me to warm up some dinner?” she asked, eyeing the quickly diminishing stack of cookies.

“That would be nice,” he answered, as he stuffed another cookie in his mouth.

Saul hadn’t realized how hungry he was. He really hadn’t had time. He was too scared after what happened at the gate.

Charles sipped at his tea. It warmed him and the sight of his friend, safely back under his roof did even more for him. “I saw the flyers on the way home. I thought you were ahead of me and you would be waiting when I got here. The meeting with Raven did not go well. The potion isn’t working for the vamps as it does for the humans. He lost some more of his coven members.”

“And the vamps are getting desperate for untainted blood,” Saul said around a mouth full of cookie. “I got to thinking that we should warn folks coming in from the mundane world, so I bypassed the house earlier this evening and went to see if I could get Remy to hand out the flyers as humans came back in.” Saul washed down the cookie with a swig of hot tea. “I was there when two teenagers came through.” He paused and took another gulp out of his mug. Just the thought of what Remy did, and how fast he did it, made his hackles rise.

Charles and Brela watched as Saul’s green eyes narrowed and his fur lifted turning him into a fluff ball.

“What happened,” Brela tentatively asked. If the mere thought of it instilled this reaction in Saul, it must have been bad.

“Four vamps were waiting. They were hungry.”

Brela threw a hand over her mouth. “Oh, no!”

“They didn’t get to them,” Saul quickly assured them. “Remy got to the vamps first.”

“He scared them off?” Charles said in disbelief. The vampire was older and bigger than most, but four vampires, no matter their age was a lot to contend with.

Saul chuckled, releasing the pent up anxiety he was holding. His coat flattened back in place. “Scared them? Nah…he ashed them.”

“Remy?” Charles had a hard time believing the slow, gentle creature he knew as the Willow Gatekeeper had turned killer, and…of his own kind.

“Yep,” Saul confirmed. “I don’t ever what to be on that guy’s bad side.” Saul lowered his voice an octave. “He said, ‘no innocent dies at my gate.’ He shooed the boys home. I followed to make sure they made it alright. That’s what made me late.”

Brela brought the warmed meal to the table. They all sat quietly for a time in thought as Saul ate.

It was Brela who broke the silence. “What are we going to do? Do we just hide until all the vamps die off?”

“I wish it were that simple.” Charles rolled his mug between his hands. “Raven will find another way to rid his land of the infected humans. He has other minions at his disposal. In the meantime, he is liable to send his coven members to other areas of The Realms to hunt. They all know the gates. This could spread and totally upset the balance of power in The Realms. We have to find a way to cure the vamps and permanently, so there will be no need for the wholesale slaughter of the humans in the area.”

Saul pushed is empty plate to one side and propped his elbows on the table. “And have you thought of how to go about that?”

Charles slid his chair back and stood up. “I need to talk to Azur.”

*****

“I have to see them,” Azur repeated once again.

She and Charles had been arguing about her insisting she had to see the sick vampires. In order to determine what she needed to adjust in the potion she had to see their symptoms.

Charles was continuing his pacing downstairs. He didn’t even break stride. “I have told you, going in among the vamps is not an option.”

“Then bring one of them here,” Azur suggested.

“Not in my house.” Charles stopped and turned on his wife. “Isn’t my description enough?”

Azur stood with her arms crossed, fire licking higher on her horns. “Did you touch them? Did they have a fever? In addition to the open sours, did they have lumps or swollen glands?”

Charles shook his head. “No… and I don’t know.”

Azur walked up to him and placed a hand on his chest. His aura flared to protect him from her fire. “I need to see them or we will never put a stop to all this.”

Charles let out a deep sigh of defeat. “We’ll go during the day so there will be less of them to deal with.”

Next week, the conclusion of "Threat of the Fire Demon"


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 31

Charles trudged up to Raven’s mansion pushing the wheel barrel full of blood and the red eye potion. It was late afternoon, so there was no guard at the door. Charles used the large brass knocker with gusto. He was hot and tired and wanted to be done with this business.

A female vampire answered the door. She kept well back in the shadows out of the overcast afternoon light spilling in the door. Charles had never seen this one before.

“I’ve come to see Raven,” he announced.

“He is not accepting visitors at this time,” she sneered, making her rather charming face totally unattractive.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 30

The dungeon was dark except for the pools of light cast by the torches in the scones along the wall. There was a dreadful stench of rotting flesh. But it was the eerie, wailing sounds that careened out of the cells and bounced off the walls of the hall that pierced the soul of the Light-bearer. It was the agonizing cries from the undead and damned of this region of The Realms.

“Here.” Raven motioned toward an open cell door.

He was not about to let Charles leave without seeing what his new spouse had done to the vampire clan. Bouchard might be able to threaten him with the memory of Adele and what he lost, but he wouldn’t get away with making him feel guilty about killing Azur. She deserved it for the pain and suffering she had caused his people. He still wasn’t sure if he would spare her.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 29

Charles’ heart was full of doubt, and his head full of questions, when he returned to the house with the firewood. He unceremoniously dropped it in the box to the side of the hearth with a loud bang.

“Charles,” Brela admonished, “you’ll wake Simone.”

He turned a sheepish look toward the satyr, but it immediately left his face when he saw Azur standing next to her drying the dishes. He strode up to her, took the plate and cup towel from her hand and laid them on the counter.

“We’re going to bed,” he said to anyone who was listening. He took her by the hand and practically dragged her to the trapdoor of the basement. He gestured downstairs. “After you.” He followed Azur down and grabbed the door to close it behind them. As his head was just about to disappear he looked to Saul. “Lock the door and don’t come down no matter what you hear.” Then he dropped the door down in place.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 28

Saul looked up at the sky. Even though it was still drizzling and dark anyway, he felt in his bones that it was close to dusk.

“We need to go home.”

Azur stood in the mud of the road. They had made four house-calls in the last three hours and found all the occupants ill. “What about the rest?”

“We’ll, have to see them tomorrow. I have to get you home.”

Saul shifted from foot to foot. It was going to be a long walk home and he had to admit he was the one who would be slowing them down. His left hip had begun to ache since his stand against Howard during the full hour at their home. They had to start for home or they wouldn’t make it before dark.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 27

Dear Readers: Thank you so much for being patient with me last week. I am now set up with a new computer and as promised this post is twice as long to make up for lost time. I hope you enjoy the continuing story of "Threat of the Fire Demon."

*****

“I’ve come to meet your lovely wife,” Raven said.

He had once more ambushed Charles outside his home - this time as he gathered wood for the stove. Raven was just so silent and with the vamp being so old, he could stand the light of dusk and be out before many of his clan were awake.

“I have told you before, Raven, you are not welcome here.” Charles picked up another log and added it to the load in his arms.

“Well, that is interesting because I don’t think I want her here. Your little Fire Demon bride.”

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Apologies to My Readers

My computer crashed on Thursday. I am stuck with just my iPad. So there will not be a post this week, but I promise to do a post of double length next week provided my new computer arrives in time. Until then I hope you all have a lovely week.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 26

Saul picked at his teeth with one long claw. “I swear between you two women you make the best meals in The Realms. I didn’t think I could eat anymore after all the bounty of the circus.”

Charles noticed the outing had also improved Saul’s mood. He was smiling again. He’d been a bit down the last few days.

Brela leaned over the table to clear the plates. She swatted at Saul to stop him from picking. The cat looked properly chastised and put his paw back on the table.

“We can’t take all the credit, we couldn’t possibly do it without Charles, our huntsman,” Azur complimented, showing her love for the man.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 25

If you have this site bookmarked at TheresaSnyder.Blogspot.com
You have arrived!
I have just changed the look of the page a bit.


However, if you have this site bookmarked as TheresaSnyderAuthor.com
You might have had a bit of a time 
getting here this week.
I apologize.

My IT Guru and I have been working on 
a new author site for me.
We had to do the migration today.
Both of the sites listed above will work in the future.
However, if you have the 'Author' site bookmarked,
You will have to click the link in the right hand corner for the 'blogs' and choose "Serial Story Blog" to get here.

Hope you enjoy the new author site. 
If you get here from the Blogspot link,
Click "My Main Website" and hop on over for a look.

Now for the next chapter in "Threat of the Fire Demon."

Charles, Saul and Sam Hyatt stood at the edge of the manure pit at the lower end of the meadow behind the house. Bard and Clyde, Sam’s teenage sons were working at filling the barrel in the back of the wagon with the fertilizer, one on the ground, the other in the wagon, as they passed the two buckets they had back and forth.

“I swear I never saw such huge tomatoes,” Sam exclaimed. “One is as big as a softball and it ain’t even ripe yet. Your new woman is a wizard.”

Even though he wasn’t doing the work of filling the barrel he took off his hat and wiped his brow with his sleeve. Today was actually a warm August day for The Realms.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 24

If you have this site bookmarked at TheresaSnyder.Blogspot.com
You have arrived!
I have just changed the look of the page a bit.

However, if you have this site bookmarked as TheresaSnyderAuthor.com
You might have had a bit of a time
getting here this week.
I apologize.
My IT Guru and I have been working on
a new author site for me.
We had to do the migration today.
Both of the sites listed above will work in the future.
However, if you have the 'Author' site bookmarked,
You will have to click the link in the right hand corner for the 'blogs' and choose "Serial Story Blog" to get here.

Hope you enjoy the new author site. 
If you get here from the Blogspot link,
Click "My Main Website" and hop on over for a look.

Now for the next chapter in "Threat of the Fire Demon."



"Come on,” he coaxed. “What’s in the bucket?”

“Don’t press, Charles.”

She leaned back against him as he stood behind her enveloping her in his arms. They were admiring the garden and its bounty. It had never, ever grown as well. He turned her around.

“I want to share with the neighbors. At the rate the plants grow they could all have enough to store up for the winter.” He put his hands on either side of her face and raised it up to look into his eyes. “It was a horrible winter last year, Azur. I don’t look forward to repeating it and because of you, we won’t, but I want to pass the bounty on to my neighbors. I want them to be safe and well fed too.”

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 23

They put Simone to bed still clutching her fire opal. They came back to sit down around the table for another cup of tea and a biscuit. Saul was reclining on the couch where he was in much less pain then he had been since the mauling. Charles was pleased he caught several good sized trout earlier in the morning and Brela had worked her wonders with the last of the potatoes and dandelion greens she picked in the meadow. But it was a poor showing compared to the feasts Azur had set before them in her home. The biscuits with jam were a welcome addition and Azur, with her usual gusto, was putting them away one by one.

She was telling them about her journey. It had been a long one and grueling at times. Her people seldom left their land, so mapped routes were not available. It was a matter of finding someone in each world to director her to the next gate.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 22

Spring finally arrived. The snow began to melt and soon there was sunshine and green grass sprouting up in the meadow.

“There you go,” Charles said, as he helped Brela lower Saul onto the bench at the edge of the meadow behind the house. “A little sun will do you good.”

Saul settled himself on the bench which Brela had padded with cushions from the couch inside. The cat was no longer comfortable sitting like a man. His hip ached constantly so he preferred to recline like his cat ancestors with most of his weight on his uninjured right side and belly. He sprawled across the bench.

Brela hurried back inside and came out with a small table and set it within reach of Saul. Then she and Charles made another trip inside and brought back a blanket, a cup of tea and some biscuits. They fussed around Saul so much that eventually he hissed at them. He felt lousy afterward. They were just trying to help, but there wasn’t any help for it. He’d been mauled by a bear. He was hopeful he would one day walk again, but never, ever upright. He would be looking at everyone’s waist for the rest of his life and it angered him no end. He’d done a stupid thing charging after the bear without Charles close at hand for backup. It was his own damn fault and he didn’t want to impose on anyone because of his stupidity. Charles had a garden to prepare and plant. Brela needed to tend to Simone when she woke up from her nap. They both just needed to leave him alone to sulk on his own.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 21

It can’t be said that the rest of the winter passed without incident. A tree fell from the weight of the snow at the arrival of a later storm. It clipped the corner of the upstairs apartment where Brela lived in Charles’ house. They closed off the apartment and Brela had to move downstairs for a couple of weeks until Charles and Saul could make the needed repairs.

Brela was capable of making a dishrag taste good, so she made the produce from the goblin delivery stretch further than any of them thought possible.

However, in that sweet week in February when all the citizens of The Realms were teased by nature into thinking it was going to be an early spring, even the meat had run critically low. Charles and Saul decided to go for a day hunt. It was too much of a risk to stay out overnight. For the last couple of weeks they had heard the werewolves howling and Saul told Charles privately that he saw a vampire lurking at the edge of the woods. The natives were restless and they were the nasty sort you didn’t want to meet up with in the dark even if you were the last Light Bearer and a Baretii. Just because they had not heard of an incident between their kin and the vamps, it did not mean there wasn’t a chance if the later were hungry enough. As for the werewolves they would be willing to take down anything. They were just generally a nasty tempered bunch.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 20

Brela stood at the stove doctoring up her pot of beef broth with the last of her spices. By the end of the week she would be out of everything and hope of spring was still at least two months, maybe fourteen weeks away.

Saul arrived a week ago with what he had left of his supplies and a toboggan loaded with firewood. He moved in thinking he could help the family with what little he had and go hunting more often with Charles. He took up residence on the couch in the front room and assigned himself the tending of the fire in the fireplace which kept the house warm.

Brela found relief in the cat-man’s presence. Simone was just a child and a cooped up child was a bored and unhappy one. Saul was the child’s favorite playmate. He played with her so hard during this past afternoon that Simone was curled up against Saul’s furry belly on the rug in front of the fire fast asleep. Charles was napping on the couch. The cold outside and the continually piling up snow had made them all lazy.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 19

Charles found Brela at the dining room table the next morning. She tried to hide the jumper she was removing the ward-totem from before Charles could see.

“It’s okay, Brela,” Charles said. Saul told him about the satyr’s misgivings.

He walked to the kettle she kept boiling on the stove for tea. He dumped a spoon full of tea in the pot, poured in some water and grabbed a mug and the tiny sieve off the shelf. Brela pulled the jumper back from under the table into her lap and continued to remove the small stitches that held the totem in place. Charles came around and sat down across the table from her.

“You would have liked her, Brela,” Charles said.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 18

Azur cried into Charles’ shoulder as she sat in his lap by the fire in her home. He cradled her and held her tight, trying to banish her heartbreak with his presence. He did not want to see her exiled from her family. That had never been his intention.

“I am so sorry,” he murmured in her ear. “I never thought it would come to this.”

She wiped at her face with the kitchen towel she brought with her when she collapsed in his lap. Lunch would not be edible by the time she got back to it.

“I would bring Simone here if I could,” Charles said.

Azur held her finger up to Charles lips to silence him. “We have talked about this. You know it is too much to subject a child to. I would not want her to hate me because I pulled her away from her home and friends. She considers Brela her mother and there is no guarantee the satyr would agree to move too.”

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 17

Charles and Azur lay in each other’s arms on a blanket of ferns at the edge of the forest. Charles toyed with a strand of Azur’s silken hair, coiling her curly locks around his index finger. She snuggled in tighter to his side, her head on his chest.

“I love you, Charles,” she whispered.

She stroked the inside of his pant leg with the bottom of her barefoot. She couldn’t get close enough to him. Her soul was at peace when she was in his arms. No vengeful thoughts, no desire to go anywhere other than closer to him.

Charles kissed the top of her head. “As I do you, my love.”

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 16

Saul didn’t return for breakfast or lunch. He just couldn’t bring himself to sit watching Charles fawn over Azur. His head already hurt from both the anxiety of his friend’s actions and the lump he was still sporting from the collision with the wall. When he got hungry he grazed the back area of someone’s orchard, taking a couple of apples and some grapes he thought wouldn’t be missed. When that didn’t satisfy his hunger he went hunting in the forest and killed a rabbit type of animal he cleaned and cooked over a fire made from the flint starter in his pouch.

As the afternoon dragged on, his mind toyed with a plan to kidnap Charles during the night, secret him to the gate, leaving the Land of the Fire Demons behind. Perhaps distance would cure his friend’s mood. But, he worried the bond would be so strong Azur might pursue them. Then the very thing they came here to stop would follow them home. The cat’s mind continued to run in circles like a mouse in a cage until by mid-afternoon he decided to wander back to Azur’s.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 15

Saul watched the two of them at lunch from under hooded eyes. They took every opportunity to touch one another. Azur came up behind Charles and laid her hand on his shoulder in order to place the dishes of food on the table. Each time Charles passed a plate to her, their fingers caressed each other’s. It was like they were magnetized. When Azur reluctantly left after lunch to tend to her garden, Charles asked Saul to help him to the bench at the side of the house. He sat with his gaze riveted on her.

Azur located an appropriate branch to fashion a crutch and Saul sat down next to his friend. Using his dagger he carved the top into a more comfortable ‘U.’ Azur took a break, wrapped and secured a cushion of material on the arm rest. Charles was now mobile. He hobbled around behind Azur until she ordered him to sit down and rest or she would send him back to bed. It was a long afternoon for Saul, worrying about his longtime friend’s unusual actions.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 14

Saul slowly worked his way through the village. Even though he must have been a creature few of these people had ever seen before, he was welcomed. If the human or demon (he could not tell one from the other during these daylight hours) was tending their garden, they stopped to chat. Many offered him something to eat from their bounty.

As he wandered, silently looking for Azur’s two keepers within the community, he tried to envision what happened when Thaldrake arrived here. It must have been dark, or he couldn’t have survived. The sun was strong here during the day. If it was night he had to evade the roaming demons and find the homes of their unprotected, sleeping human companions. Azur’s home was at the far end of the village. Why had he passed up all the other human occupants in order to get to Azur’s family?

“Saul, right?” Someone asked, as they came up behind him and patted him on the back.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 13

AUTHOR's NOTE: (Fun insight into how an author's mind works.)
You will see I have added an element into this passage as though it were here all the time. Charles now has a journal. When 'free writing,' as I do on the blog, I sometimes have 'after-thoughts' of something I would have, or should have, written if I had it all to do over again. I wanted a journal and so added it. You will find, if you chose to backtrack, that I inserted it in the chapter where they first start off on their journey and again in the 'swamp' chapter. This will be an element I will use to move the story forward or for reflection, as the case may be. 
Happy reading, Theresa

For such a petite young lady, Charles and Saul were amazed at the amount of food Azur ate. They both assumed it was because she burnt off so much energy when she was in demon form.

Charles insisted on joining them at the table for lunch even though Azur suggested he take it in bed on a tray. They filled their plates and bowls with a hearty stew, hunks of homemade bread with butter, and a salad made from every conceivable vegetable the pair knew, plus some odd things they had never seen before. There was a plate of cheeses and sausage, a plate of sweetbreads and cookies, a bowl of mixed fruit, and mugs of cider, ale or water. The pair had not eaten this well in years.

The conversation was confined mostly to how the two travelers came to be in Azur’s land.

“The swamp was the worst,” Saul declared in a disgusted tone.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 12

Saul told Charles everything. He detailed the attack by the beasts in the jungle and Thaldrake’s timely intervention. He told Charles about how Thaldrake was turned, about the dungeon no one knew existed below Raven’s mansion and the atrocities that took place there. He told Charles what Thaldrake said about Remy and his mind.

Charles cursed under his breath at the injustice.

And Saul told the man about Thaldrake’s intention to become a doctor. By the time he got to the night Thaldrake lanced Charles’ leg, Charles was shaking his head.

“We can’t tell anyone where he is,” Charles said.

“My thoughts exactly, in fact, I felt so strongly about it that I promised for both of us that we wouldn’t tell,” Saul confirmed.

The cat handed Charles a slice of fruit he picked up in the jungle. The elf ate it and held out his hand for more. The cat saw that as a good sign.

“What are you going to do about Azur,” Saul asked. “She was frantic to get at him last night when we arrived.”

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 11



When Saul stepped through the gate, he had just enough time to register in his mind that everything was scorched to a black wasteland, before he was shoved to one side sending him and Charles sprawling to the ground. Saul sprang to all fours with a snarling growl of protest. What he saw made the growl choke in his throat.

A fire demon was standing with her back to him frantically striking the boulder where they had just stepped through the gate. Each time her hand struck the stone, sparks flew. She was a petite little creature, only a little over five feet tall, but no less menacing looking. Her forked tail flicked in agitation from beneath a short leather skirt. On occasion it stuck out at the boulder as if on its own violent mission. The fiery tattoos which snaked their way up her legs and arms blazed and flared with each impact of the stone. She knew it was a gate and she wanted in, but the gates only ran one way…lucky for Thaldrake.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 10

Saul slept soundly for the first time in three days. He knew the vampire was incapable of harming Charles and he had never heard of their kind attacking one of his kin. And to add to his sense of security, the vamp looked well fed. The game in the jungle must be easy pickings for a flying blood-sucker.

When Saul woke up five hours later, he noted several changes. Thaldrake had obviously gone back to their makeshift camp and retrieved their packs along with their meager supplied. The pot he had been using to warm water for tea over the fire was hanging over the vamp’s with stream flowing off its surface. Charles’ injured leg was stripped of its bandages and in their place was a moist, hot rag lying over his wound – another piece of Charles’ ever shorting cloak. The vamp had applied a poultice, and by the looks of things – another rag in the pot – it appeared as though he had been doing it all night.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 9

It was difficult to follow the swift moving vampire. He had the advantage of being able to float over obstacles, whereas Saul was carrying Charles and struggling along with the load on two legs.

The vamp stopped at a small pool and told Saul to wash the beast’s blood off so they were less likely to follow the scent of their own. While the cat quickly obliged, the vampire pulled a pair of gloves from his pocket and slipped them on. He started to pick Charles up. Saul came to his feet at the edge of the pool and growled menacingly.

“We’ll never outrun them if you continue to carry him,” the vampire pointed out the obvious. “You can keep up with me if I take him.” He frowned at the cat-man. “If I had wanted you dead, I would have killed you the day you arrived.”

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 8

Saul was frantic. It was not a state of mind the usually calm cat was accustomed to. When they came out in this jungle on the other side of the gate he immediately administered first aid to Charles. He cleansed the wound and used the supplies in Charles’ pack to stitch it. He cut more strips of material from the cloak to bandage it again. Then he tended to his own foot. His wound was not so deep and seemed to be healing, but his friend’s was infected and growing worse by the hour.

They both expected to see people here or ‘demon people’ at least, but none appeared. Over the last three days Saul had run in increasingly wider circles hunting for someone to help. He had not encountered anyone.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Threat of the Fire Demon - Chapter 7

“Come on,” Charles coaxed. “You need to clean up anyway.”

Charles stood waist deep in the pool at the mouth of the cave. They made it to the mountain ridge by late afternoon. Remy’s map indicated this gate would take them to the Crystal Cave. In the cave they would find the last gate, the one that would deliver them into the Land of the Fire Demons.

Only problem was, this gate was a pool of water and required the traveler to dunk their full body under the surface in order to pass through to the Crystal Cave. Saul was more than reluctant to go for a swim.

Charles stepped back further in the pool. “Come on,” he said again. “It’s warm, and look at you,” he waved his hand at the cat, “you’re filthy. This will clean you up in no time.”

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