It’s the end of summer and time seems to have taken wing and flown off… again. Life has a way of piling on, flowing on top of your head like a landslide. Most of the time I try to ride that wave, but the rocks seem a little bigger these days as they crash down the slope past me. With schoolwork for the kids and migraines and life stresses, it’s been hard to find time to write–certainly not as much time as I want–and when I do have time, that doesn’t necessarily mean I have my brain’s cooperation or attention.
Brains, I tell you.
And then there are these two, who are convinced there should be less writing, more hiking:
I don’t have the Palon and Windward prequel ready to share with you all yet but I am working on it. The story is in there, but it’s hard to get the words to flow. Nevertheless, I am making progress, even if it’s slower than I’d like!
I wanted to share some more of it with you while you wait.
Ducking her head and trying to look properly abashed, she took off to the east. The sun was only a little way above the horizon, and she imagined for a moment that she could snatch it and eat it. What would it taste like, if the sun were a berry?
Palon left the trees behind and broke out into the prairie, crashing through spring grasses far taller than her head. She listened for the sound of someone to scold her for how dangerous this was. ‘Palon, you could startle an alanshorn and cause a stampede. Just one alanshor is far larger than you. A herd of them would trample you.’ Or maybe it would be ‘Running like that with no way to see where you’re going is foolish. You could fall into a stream or down a bank or into a hole. Take more care.’
Well, she would rather see where she was going, but she was planning to fix all that, after all.
She jumped, straining to see over the heads of the grasses. Where was that lone tree? She’d been coming out here the last few moons, ever since her best friend died in a raid and there was nothing left for her here. That was when the dragon found her. That was where the dragon would find her again.
The pale crooked branches of the tree stretched out above the grasses, and once Palon finally caught sight of them, she corrected her course to head for them. Kaemada had said there used to be a stream running past, long ago, and the tree was a remnant of that time, but the course had changed and left the tree behind. Palon wondered how that felt, or if the tree had relished the chance to be free of competition.
She climbed up the trunk to one of the lower branches and froze. Her brother stood on the branch, leaning against the trunk with a casual air, one ankle hooked around the other.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“I was going to ask you that,” he said.
“The dragon.” She swallowed. Her hands closed into fists. Why wouldn’t her voice work, now when she needed it?
“Are you going with him?” he asked.
She scowled. “You can’t stop me.”
“Palon, you’ll have twelve summers after the next Feast. You’re almost ready for your yah, but you’re not ready yet.”
“I’m plenty ready, but I don’t want to go on my yah,” she said. “I want to go with the dragon.”
“Are you sure?”
She stopped, blinking. She’d been expecting him to argue with her. “Don’t you care?”
“Of course I care!” Her brother shoved a hand through his hair and looked up through the sparse canopy of spring leaves. “I want you safe though, most of all. I don’t want to lose anyone else, but…”
“The dragon can protect me better than you can.”
He winced. “Yes.”
Palon watched him, searching his face for the trap. Everyone was always trying to force her into being something she wasn’t, but she couldn’t find that here. Her brow furrowed, and she bit her lip. “I’m sorry.”
He swept her into a fierce embrace, crushing her against his chest. “I’ll miss you, Palon, but I want you safe. And happy. Can you do that with the dragon?”
She nodded. “I think so.”
He nodded. “Then that’s good enough for me.”
She tried for a smile. “I thought you’d stop me.”
Taunos laughed. “Oh, don’t worry. As far as Talaera and Teros and the others will know, I tried to stop you, but what could I do against a dragon?”
Palon snorted. “You’re the hero of Torkae.”
“Yeah, but you’re going to be dragonbonded.”
Palon’s story’s still (obviously) in the works, and Book Three is still with my alpha reader, though I’m putting together an editing plan for it and it doesn’t look like it’ll be too drastic. I might get away without having to re-write it from scratch!
But until I have more to share with you, check out some other awesomeness below, and watch out for Self-Published Fantasy Month challenges on Twitter during September.
I’m doing another promo, this time focused on characters fighting for a better world. The stories may not focus on physical battle, but there’s fighting of some sort in each of these sci-fi or fantasy freebies.
I found this book by Paul Mouchet that goes along with his novel Call of Titan, the first book in his Priest of Titan series. The story takes place halfway through the first book, looking at events from the point of view of a dire wolf pack, which is an interesting perspective. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet but it looks intriguing!
Sword-and-planet fantasy with heat for you romance lovers, written by the amazing KJ Harrowick. If you’re looking for magic plus spaceships plus human and non-human cultures plus reincarnation with romance, definitely check out Bloodflower.
Born into a world of futuristic technology, ecologist Jàden Ravenscraft wields starship fuel like magic but she’s losing control of her power. Marked as a dangerous weapon, she’s trapped in hypersleep for 4000 years and wakes in the backwoods of a terraformed moon. Now she’s determined to find her reincarnated lover and escape back to the stars before her captor discovers she’s no longer asleep.
Because one life is not the end.
The man she loves has lived more than twenty lives without her, and Jàden’s alone in a world of swords and sorcery. When exiled prison guard Captain Jon Ayers shields her from an attack, Jàden seizes the chance for safety and human connection. Using her magic, she ties her energy to Jon, forging a bond to keep him close to her side.
But Jon is hunted by mercenaries for the pendant he carries, a key to the gateway between worlds, and their bond stirs a desire neither can ignore. When the jackass who trapped her in the future ambushes them at sea, Jàden will be faced with the hardest choice of her life between Jon and her reincarnated ex. Saving one lover will destroy the other, and the wrong choice will land her in chains she can never escape.