Magic

They said there was no such thing as magic. They said it couldn’t be possible. They mocked and teased and flung so-called scientific facts in your face until you could no long bear it, then they laughed and pointed when the tears leaked free and you ran away to safety.

Physics, they said. Math. Universal constants. Gravity.

There was no such thing as magic!

After so long hiding in bathrooms, sobbing until your lungs hurt from their cruel jests and open stares, you knew it was time. They would see. You would make them.

No such thing as magic.

Ha!

Soon they would see. You would harness the power of the dark forces beyond their ken, and they would all see!

Of course, hindsight being 20/20, blowing up the competitors’ washrooms at the Olympics was probably not the best place to start. Handcuffs are tight, and nobody believes you when you claim it wasn’t a cherry bomb, it was the dark forces beyond their ken!

… no such thing as magic. Hrmph.

The Fall: Changeling teaser

My spirit suddenly trembled, and for just a moment I thought my hold on the owl body would break. Nearby, the harpy eagle body that was Eleri let out a mournful wail that even the wind could not swallow. Though the dragon below me did not falter, I knew Mama had felt it as well; her sprit shivered loud enough for me to hear it, to feel it within myself.

I recovered, head spinning. What was that?

The dragon screamed, and Mama answered, I don’t know. Stay close to Eleri, just in—

Then it came again, before she had a chance to finish.

The pain struck first.

It was pain that I could never have imagined—pain that stabbed my heart and burned my bones. My vision blackened; I no longer felt the glacial wind ruffling through my feathers.

And then it happened.

With as much warning as a hiccup in time, I was thrown from my false body.

For just a moment, we were suspended in time, and I could see everything with such perfect clarity.

Eleri had been pushed back into her body; her long hair streamed behind her as she fell like the licking tendrils of a fire’s shadow. Mama still wore her dragon skin, but her wings had gone limp; Morwenna was little more than a blotch of polished copper amidst bronze scales and a flat grey sky.

In the moment before time resumed, the whole world was quiet, and realization slowly crushed me—

I was trying to fly on clipped wings. Continue reading

The Spirit Thief: a book review

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Eli Monpress is talented. He’s charming. And he’s a thief.

But not just any thief. He’s the greatest thief of the age – and he’s also a wizard. And with the help of his partners – a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch through walls – he’s going to put his plan into effect.

The first step is to increase the size of his bounty on his head, so he’ll need to steal some big things. But he’ll start small. He’ll just steal something that no one will miss – at least for a while.

Something like a king.

I work at a bookstore, which means every day I am able to see just what books are coming out, popular, etc. One of the many perks of working in said bookstore is the discount – and the free books. I encountered the Spirit Thief, and subsequent novels, this way, when I saw the Spirit Thief on the new release mass market wall and decided to give it a go. It was one of my best decisions to date.

The Spirit Thief follows the story of Eli Monpress, a legendary thief with the power to speak with the spirits of nature. Though all wizards are able to communicate with spirits, Eli’s gift is unique, and his charm in the spirit world keeps him one step ahead of bounty hunters after his growing prize. When he goes to the kingdom of Mellinor to, well, steal the king, he is pursued by Miranda Lyonette, a Spiritualist wizard, and her ghosthound Gin, as well as a mysterious, scarred bounty hunter and a wronged prince. Continue reading

Time to buckle down

Changeling necklace

A friend of mine started reading Changeling under some pressure, I’ll admit and was thrilled when she finished and found out there was more to the story. After reading the short stories that come before the sequel, Abomination, and after telling me about how furious reading one short story made her because of how an otherwise endearing character was behaving, she was bugging me to print off what I have of Abomination for her to read. I did, and the look of joy on her face when I gave it to her was just too much. It warmed my cold author heart to see.

In Changeling, Aisling, the main character, has a necklace whose origins are unknown even to her parents. It is a leather leaf pendant on a leather string, with a blue jay feather attached. This necklace was inspired in part by a necklace of my own. It was one I bought at Creative Chaos, an artisan show in my hometown, from the Earth Nynja booth (they make leather and metal designs). It was, as you see above, a leather leaf pendant. I recently had the urge to truly make it into Aisling’s necklace, so I hunted down blue jay feathers on an Etsy shop online (six for good measure, even though I only needed one). It only took some crazy glue and black thread to make this.

I also recently got into an “extra” kick, thanks largely in part to my friend Elisa Nuckle. We had talked about how neat it is when authors include, for free or for cheap, extra information and facts about their fictional worlds. If anyone has spied the new Legends of the World page under Changeling’s header, you’ll have noticed that it’s one such thing. In preparing that page, I finished up a map of Althaea and got excited to write more about the nonfiction of the Changeling world.

Also, note that my domain name has been officially registered. That is also a huge factor in this decision!

All of this has come together to inspire me to get my procrastinating rear in gear and finally finish the thorough editing of Changeling. She has been edited through once, and gone through two beta readers, so it won’t be long before she’s ready for the public eye.  I’m so excited to release Changeling to the world. I already know that this series will be my magnum opus, and just the idea of someone else, a stranger, reading it and feeling something for the story I’ve created… it makes me so excited I can’t find words.

If everything goes to plan, I would like Changeling released in the wintertime, before Christmas. It seems suiting, as so much of the story seems to take place in the snow.

This is my pride and joy, and I am so excited to share it with the world.

Sparring: Of the Arbour teaser

He was exhausted.

His muscles trembled when he moved, hopping back and scraping his feet on sharp rock. Lifting his arms was a challenge, but he had no choice—he had to keep going. When it came, and steel crashed against steel, he felt the vibration in his very bones. They seemed to grind together in his hands where he gripped the smooth leather hilt; but he felt no pain in his flesh, where the skin had grown thick and tough with practice. He knew his soles bled—he had seen the smears of brownish red on the stone floor—but he felt nothing. Aside from hot streaks of salt where the sweat slid down his temples and his chest, his flesh was numb; the pain he felt was etched into his bones, coursed through his muscles with each movement.

But he had to continue. What small part of his mind that wasn’t overwhelmed by his exhaustion knew that he had no choice but to keep going.

The crash came again and again. His breath was loud in his ears, and sweat stung his eyes; he blinked it away and pushed back, giving himself even a fraction of a second to catch his breath.

Cain’s cheeks were flushed mottled scarlet, and his curls were plastered to his skull with sweat. Sage could have smiled, if he had more energy. It came as something of a small relief to know that Cain was just as worn out as he.

The reprieve was brief. Eyes narrowed, sword hilt clenched in both hands, Cain let out a guttural roar and pushed forward off the rocky floor. Sage only had a moment to react, and then their swords were once more locked together. One more step back; another swing and block; and the screech of metallic song that made his ears ring.

As he danced around Cain’s attacks, blocking almost mindlessly, he wondered how long they had been at this. Sunshine streamed in dusty beams through the open mouth of the cave. Sage’s sword met Cain’s once more, and when he shoved it away he hopped backwards several steps, both in an effort to dodge Cain’s relentless blows and to better see the sun.

An hour at least since they began the fight. An hour of the most brutal training of his life.

By the gods, how he wanted it to end.

But there was no end. There would be no end until blood stained one of their blades, and Sage had sense enough to know that it couldn’t be his.

Sparks: Changeling teaser

I dragged my fingers in the dirt before the fire. Just sitting with him like this, chatting by the fire, seemed too mundane to be real. I hadn’t been gone terribly long—a few weeks wasn’t a lifetime—but how long would it take to get back into the rhythm of the real world?

My fingers paused and I frowned at the mud and blood speckling the backs of my hands. “Do you know what happened at the garden?” I asked.

“Sure. I was there.”

“You were? I didn’t see you.”

“I followed,” he said, just a little sheepishly. “They told me to stay behind. Father said he would know if I followed, because we did that queer connection thing you Gabal Mages do—”

“I am not a Gabal Mage.” Continue reading

Songs of the Earth: a book review

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Gair is under a death sentence. He can hear the music of the earth – music with power – and in the Holy City that means only one thing: he’s a witch, and he’s going to be burned t the stake. Even if he could escape, the Church Knights and their witchfinder would be hot on his heels, while his burgeoning power threatens to tear him apart from within…

Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper is an epic fantasy of, according to a Library Journal review, A Song of Ice and Fire proportions. It was an extensive story with a unique setting, and a very interesting and intricate magical system. It was a good read altogether, but it was one of the most confusing books I’ve read in a very long time. Let me explain why: Continue reading