Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Binge with Books

Christmas over on Novel Works! The next two weeks will be filled with books and more books. Don't you love a picture of a Christmas tree made of books!

I wanted to do blogs with my characters in Whispers, but I decided to wait until after the holidays. Need have more time than I have at the moment.

Today's song is Little Drummer Boy by Bing Crosby and Davie Bowie.
Christmas Story-  The Snow Drop by Hans Christian Andersen. Another story by Hans Christian Andersen.

Jane Eyre
Free read of the day. Changing things up a tad. How about a romance? One of my all time favorites. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Don't forget that Whispers of a Legend, Part One- Shadows of the Past is Free also. I've included a small excerpt below since I said I was going to do a character blog I wanted to do something to make up for delaying the character blogs.

Also, I was interviews over on Ashley Barron's blog today. Stop by if you get the chance.

Just a tid bit of information. At the present time, I'm in the middle of a protest with Amazon. I feel kinda like a child stomping his feet and it will probably get me as much as a child throwing a fit, but sometimes you just have to make a stand. Until Whispers of a Legend, Part One- Shadows of the Past is free on Amazon, I won't be linking any of the books I mention to Amazon even on Novel Works. A little semblance of a small boycott...
The Path Now Turned

Enjoying the reviews I'm getting back on Shadows of the Past and The Path Now Turned. Don't forget the contest here on Castles in the Air.

Shadows of the Past
So the excerpt I promised you from Shadows of the Past... Enjoy!

Chapter One


The bitter scene of my earliest memory has been etched forever in my mind. I have dreamed about it often. Oh, how I remembered the bitter chill in the air and my beautiful mother gazing up into the darkness of the night, Princess Eufamia Calledwdele. Unbeknownst to her, I was in the shadows. Not understanding within myself that I had been called to her side. Her head stretched heaven bound while she stood upon the balcony of her chambers; her eyes searched desperately for some sign or sound of life in the sky, but none would be found this night. In her gaze grave and thoughtful, I sensed she was afraid, terribly afraid. Her long dark hair flowed in the mighty wind while a storm brewed over the ocean's horizon. Longs clouds, fleeting on a chill wind, covered the heavens like a gray menacing shadow encompassing all around her. Ominous and disquieting, the night stilled.
Waves crashed along the cliffs on which the indomitable castle sat as a barrier between her world and the world of my father’s. I had watched her awaken from a dream. I knew it had been a dream for she called out for Mithelk, my father. A disturbing feeling swept through me while I watched her. Rain began to descend from the heavens, but she made no attempt to seek cover. Moreover it came with a realization that there would be no haven for her this night.
"My Lady, pray come in and take shelter. We have just received word the winds are playing havoc with the gates. Malward says they need to be reinforced before damage is done." A tired, cracked voice called from behind me.
My mother turned quickly. I could tell the news had not taken her by surprise. She walked in swiftly.
"It is true."
She bemoaned the fact for only a moment for she had not time for more. She brushed aside her maid's movements toward her. Drenched from the downpour, she wiped back the water dripping down her face. Her eyes caught sight of me, though not surprised by my appearance that I knew. Extending her hands toward me, I rushed to her side. She hugged me tightly.
"We need to send the children through," she said.
The distinguished elderly statesman stared at her in disbelief. Lord Robart Dyer had served as my father's minister since he had come to Nottesdone. Long before he served by the side of my grandfather, King Edulf of Scarladin, ruler of the Sordarins, the mightiest of all warriors, commanders of the sky. The lines in the old man’s face tensed.
"My Lady, what do you speak? It is the weather. Why would we do such?"
My mother met his eyes with an intense glare. "You dare question me, Lord Dyer! Do you know who I am? What I once was and now am again? It would not be so unless...."
His body openly shook. Trepidation overcame him. His worn wings drooped. His hand rubbed his forehead while he grasped at her words. “Your powers are back? No!”
Tears that had welled up in my mother’s eyes flowed freely. Straightening herself up with all her dignity, she wiped back the tears. She had not time to mourn her loss.
"I could not see what I see now if he lived. He has been betrayed. My Mithelk lays slain upon the hillside of Scarladin. I can't see by whom for he stands in the shadows, but they are descending down upon us as we speak. They are searching for the portal. It has to be closed immediately."
"We can't do that," Lord Dyer declared. He walked briskly over to the balcony, closing the doors firmly behind him. "You have to be wrong. We have had no warning. We would have had a warning!"
"You are wasting precious time, old man," she said with firm determination. She nodded to her maid. "Send for Gunilda and my other children. Wake them without delay. Prepare them for a journey and bring them down to the red room."
Her chest heaved heavily. She released me, but took my hand. She began to walk out of the room. An arm reached out and grabbed her. In a frantic move, Lord Dyer pulled her back in.
"I'm afraid I can't allow you to do that, my Lady," Lord Dyer stated without emotion. "It is with much regret, I can assure you, but you have given me no other options. All our well laid plans…we didn’t consider you getting your powers back. I'm afraid we have need of the portal, my Lady."
My mother eyed him with contempt, but her lips edged upward to where a small smile formed.
"Then Lord Dyer you will be solely disappointed." She closed her eyes and uttered. "Sareta! Falco!"
No sooner had the words been uttered, my siblings appeared. Sareta no more than an infant. Holding my tiny sister, our nurse, Gunilda, stepped toward my mother. My mother trusted no other. Gunilda had been her loyal companion since she herself was a child. Immediately, my mother's arms outstretched, encircling us. Then we faded from Lord Dyer's view.
Within moments, we materialized within a wide vaulted chamber, deep within the castle. Shadows illuminated against its shrouded walls from a fire from which the embers burned a crimson red. Within the far corner swirled a wind elucidated encircling the greater part of the stone wall. My mother stared at the portal for a time as if rapidly trying to decipher a course of action. The thought occurred to me that I should be afraid, but my thoughts lay only on my mother and the words she had uttered. To my small mind the only ones echoing within held to the ones concerning my father. My father was gone? Gone where I questioned. Why was my mother so upset?
Her hands shook. She looked down upon us, her beloved children. Her eldest, my brother, Falco, had only turned six. He stood without fear.
She bent down to us. I heard her utter under her breath that he looked so much like his father it broke her heart.
She turned to me. I wanted nothing more than to throw my arms about her and cling to her, but even at my young age of four I realized an urgency of the situation. Her hand caressed my cheek.
“Kela, my protector, my darling,” she whispered to me and kissed the top of my head. Falco, reading my thoughts, reached over and squeezed my hand.
She stood back up to my sister who was less than a week old. She took her in her arms. I could see the tears flowing freely down her cheeks. She kissed her and handed her back to Gunilda. She breathed in deeply.
"Listen carefully to me, my children. There is no time. Gunilda is going to take you, care for you. If I do not follow, remember it is only because I can not. Do not forget all I have told you. Hold true to yourselves."
"Mother, I will help," young Falco said. "I'll fight off all."
Her hand went to his cheek. "No, Falco, your day is not yet," she said gently. "You need to depart to have that day," she looked up at Gunilda. “Take them though, my dear friend. Take them to my father until all can be assessed.”
“My Lady, come with us,” Gunilda cried. She reached over to my mother’s hand, but I saw. Within my mother was a daughter of a king, dutiful and strong, understanding the need to protect her land, her people above all else. My mother spoke no words, but said all within her eyes.
Gunilda fought back the tears, holding tight to us. She nodded with reluctance acceptance.
Mother began to chant in her native language. “Oto avoiyouau ropia rapaoexoai eyw eioodio!”
The wind within the portal swirled harder until a view became clearer. Once, the portal had opened to a peaceful, serene meadow of abundance of blooming flowers, a winding stream which flowed freely through the grasslands, soothing sounds of birds singing and the sight of butterflies fluttering around. All was gone.
My mother’s shock could not be hidden. The sun had set and the land lay in gloomy, gray skies. Gone were the luscious green pastures, displaced with a barren land. Dust blew over the desolate terrain, but lying beside the open portal lay a form covered by ash and dirt.
“Mother, close the portal!” Falco cried. In the distance a cloud arose quickly descending down toward where we stood.
“Asmeodai!” she spoke. She pressed us back away from the portal and uttered words closing the portal. The floor shook sending all sprawling against the floor. The walls trembled, echoing cries from within the portal and now from outside the chamber.
To our horror the comprehension we were surrounded encompassed us. Deep-throated calls emerged from outside the door. A great horn blew in desperation to shatter the door. Within me instincts emerged. I reacted throwing my hand up. A light blasted from behind my mother toward the door, portal, and all around our small frightened group. My small hand held firm. I had no choice. Falco demanded it from me.
“Kela, do not let go,” Falco said emphatically. “You can do all. Mother?”
Falco turned toward Mother, who crawled to her feet. I could feel her eyes fixed upon me. Was she afraid I would drop my shield?
“I will not fail you, Mother,” I said.
I could see from the corner of my eye that she glanced over to Gunilda, who held tightly to my infant sister. She stood up.
“Watch! I need to bring back all who have survived the assault,” my mother commanded. Once more she uttered her native language. From a fog that emerged, a form appeared. Tall, broad of shoulders, lean of muscle, he swung hard his sword in hand.
"Take care!" Lady Eufamia cried. "You are back within Nottesdone! Where are the others?"
The warrior slowly lowered his sword, adjusting to his new surroundings. His broad wing damaged and hung awkwardly. His side bled, his hands, also. A wound above his eye gusted forth blood that flowed down his cheek. Silent, he looked around. "My Lady Calledwdele,” he bowed. "I'm sorry. I was the last to stand. There are no others."
My mother gripped tight her stomach. "It is Turstan, is it not?"
"Yes, my Lady," he said. He stood tall and clutched his sword tightly. "What is your command? Do you want me to defend the door while you escape out...."
"No," she said. "I want you to give your oath that you will defend my children with your life."
"I will, my Lady," Turstan uttered loudly and without hesitation.
"Then I'm ready to send you all along upon your journey," she turned to Gunilda. She reached upon the mantle above the fire and brought down a box. She withdrew a bag. "Take this. Find a place of peace to raise my children. Teach them the ways. In time they will need all. Protect them until that time. They will search for them. They can't find them."
“You aren’t coming?” Gunilda asked in a faltering voice of despair.
“We have not time to discuss all Gunilda. We all have our purposes in this life. It is not to be questioned. Promise me you will care…"
"I don't understand, my Lady," Turstan interrupted, hearing a commotion arise from outside. "Am I not to defend you....?"
"You are to go with my children. Protect them without question," she said. A wave of emotions flooded over me when I heard her words. We all could hear the echoes of all descending down upon us. "I need to send you now or it will be too late. Go with my love, my children. My hope."
My arm ached and began to waver. I cried out to my mother. With everything in me, I didn’t want to leave her. “I’ll stay with you, Mother.”
Her eyes misted over. "You have to go, Kela. You have to live. Turstan..."
The large warrior bent over and picked me up in silence. Words again she uttered in her language. A moment later our small group began to disappear, I reached forth once more and illuminated another light from my hand to surround my beloved mother.
I saw no more except in my dream. And in my dream, I saw my brave Mother watching us fade from sight, hoping against all hope she had sent us far enough away and that all was not lost, that the gifts we had been given would allow us to fulfill our destiny that we were born to follow.
I saw the door demolished. I heard their swords and weapons try to permeate the shield I had given her and with such the time she needed to accomplish her objective. Her intention held firm upon the words she uttered.
Kovia ropia repqouq ewo, iade xpovoc kabapa kapoia eriotpateuw ueto!”
The room began to shake. The walls crumbled as fear enveloped the invaders. They had no time to escape. The room erupted, collapsing around them. My mother’s last word uttered. The shield could not protect even her from the eruption, "Mithelk."
In this I have dreamed and have known I will not falter in my quest to fulfill my destiny. For this I was born to do.

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