Tuesday, July 26, 2016

13th Sign Ezine and Publishing Collective!

In the last few days I have been smiling ear to ear. Want to know why? We have formed an author collective, that's why! A bunch of writer friends have decided to share our expertise and experiences to benefit all of us. Under the banner of 13th Sign, we will pool knowledge and resources, as well as editing and design tasks.

On top of all this, 13th Sign will release a quarterly E-zine filled with various goodies, which every author in our collective will collaborate in! The first issue will go online in time for Halloween and will have stories, reviews, hobbies, new releases, health tips, gardening ideas and much, much more! More on that as we get closer to release day :)

Pop in and have a look! Our website is still being populated, but is looking good. Our Facebook Page is up, so do come on over and give us a Like. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest too!

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise stated, The Novels listed by our authors are currently self published, published by Tirgearr Publishing, Roadkill Publishing, and Wild Wolf Publishing respectively. 13th Sign in no way claim copyright or ownership to any of the novels you currently see, they are placed on our website to give our authors exposure for their other titles no matter where they are published. All links will take you to Amazon to purchase the novel published by other publishers or directly by the author. 13th Sign is an author collective and all of our authors are currently published elsewhere, and will only be releasing novels with 13th Sign in the future. We’re a team, and we like to promote our authors because we’re proud of them and their accomplishments. If you are a publisher and would like us to remove the author's back-listing and links to your novels, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we shall comply without issue.

128 Words instead of 'VERY'

Thursday, July 21, 2016

120 000+!

Thank you for visiting Writing World!  I appreciate every click and share; you all are awesome!


Review: Echo - Approaching Shatter by Kent Wayne

This is pure sci-fi; technological weapons and craft, and another world after humankind’s time on Earth. Despite taking to the stars, the lessons of peace are not learned, so expect brawls and battles, extreme soldier training, terrible weapons and violence.

While I don’t usually point out gender in a review, I will state here that Echo will definitely appeal to male readers first. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The insight into the mind-set of a soldier and the brilliant use of tech held me captive from beginning to end. While I wish it was longer, I see why the author chose to offer this tale in segments; this is journey, Atriya’s path through his violent life. I will be reading the next book to discover what happens to him.

There is something added, though, to this tale. There is something other on the horizon, something extra to the physical world of being and doing. It offers hope, but the journey to that new state will, I suspect, almost kill Atriya. It will certainly torture him, test him …

A worthy read!



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Soul Keeper Collage and the Challenge END!

We have reached target!! 366 episodes! A Leap Year's challenge of daily episodes has been achieved!! (exclamation marks to celebrate - I don't do doubles in my work, promise!)

Below is Mirlin's collage, but it is true that his contribution to this story isn't yet over. There are loose ends and a few issues still to deal with (such as Lorn Makar and Moravin). I foresee another chapter or two before I am able to call ILFIN OF ARC completely finished, as well as a Prologue and Epilogue.

The big edit starts now! I will update you with the adds-ins as I go along, so do continue to watch this space :)

THANK YOU FOR READING DAILY! and thank you for all the RT's and shares!

The King's Challenge #365 and #366

TKC 365 and 366

The conference space aboard a ship is always premium. Firstly, it is for imperative meetings and tactical sessions and, secondly, there is not much by way of actual space. Six Glonu generals with two aides each have already cramped what is available and when we enter – His Majesty, Commander Gennerin, Iniri Makar and myself, along with Gennerin’s summoned aide, Corporal Allin – there is barely room to move in. There certainly is not sufficient seating.

Leffandir has somehow created a space around her. She strides back and forth on the far side of the rectangular table, her expression thunderous. The Empress is much cleaner than the last time I saw her, having been allowed to bathe. She has donned an ornate gown, split in front to gift freedom of movement, and wears a man’s hose under it. Leffandir certainly appears royal, and she is glorious to behold now that all the grime has been washed away.

No wonder Enris Makar fell to his knees before her in another time and place.

“Linus!” she snaps as the king takes a seat midway at the table with Gennerin and Iniri on either side of him. “What is there to discuss? You have won this round and we acknowledge defeat. Now it is time for the fleet to return home.”

King Linus settles his gaze upon her. “Take a seat, Empress, or we go no further.”

Huffing, she flounces to the chair directly opposite the king, waving the seated general in it aside. He nearly stumbles in his haste to vacate. Smacking her hands flat onto the surface, she glares at Linus. I barely hide my amusement. Clearly the Empress is not impressed.

“We will reach for a long-term truce between our nations, Leffandir,” Linus remarks. “This cycle of war has to end and no one leaves orbit until we have agreement.”

“I cannot sell peace.”

“Can you sell love?” Linus murmurs.

She blinks, glancing swiftly at Iniri before focusing on the king again. “I do not understand.”

“I am talking about my son, Leffandir.”

She rears back and blinks repeatedly. “Meaning?”

“If you love him, marry him, and gift our worlds a new future.”

Every general and aide snaps heads sideways to stare at her, mouths agape. “Empress?” a large man sporting a goatee growls. “Glonu do not wed Ilfin!”

Leffandir ignores him. She leans onto the table, her hands in her hair. From that lowered position, she asks, “Where is Enris?”

“Missing,” Iniri responds.

The Empress looks up. “He does not wish to be at this meeting? He has absconded as the coward he is?”

I step in. I move around the table to the Glonu side and peremptorily gesture another general from his seat. He swears under his breath, but leaves when his ruler nods at him to comply. Swinging the chair to face Leffandir rather than the Ilfin complement, I sit.

“What are you doing, lap dog?” she snarls. “Why do they not answer? Where is Enris?”

“I am a Soul Keeper,” I state.

Again she rears back. “Where is Enris?”

“We do not know and even this Soul Keeper cannot find him.” Using one finger, I tap the table, a slow rhythm. “By your reaction, Empress, I believe you do care for Enris Makar …”

Pandemonium ensues as the Glonu give voice to their fury.

“SILENCE!” Leffandir screams, hurtling to her feet. Silence is given instantly, and she stares down at me. “How did he vanish?”

“There is another soul inside him, one he called to for aid. I suspect she removed him from this reality.”

This time the chaos is on the Ilfin side. King Linus roars, “And you only reveal this now?”

Iniri, placing a hand on her father’s arm, murmurs, “Mirlin told me, but it changed nothing. We still could not find him.” The catch in her tone tells me that Iniri thinks of Coltern also, caught in this trap of nowhere.

Leffandir sits, and stills my tapping hand. “Do not try those tricks on me; I need no calming. A female soul, you say?”

“You seem unsurprised,” Iniri accuses.

“Glonu play with souls, Lady Makar. There is precedent for what happened to Enris. Now allow me to concentrate on your Soul Keeper.” After glancing once at Iniri, she asks, “Does he know the female?” When I nod, she continues with, “Blood or water?”

“Blood.” I have no proof that Iliri is a Makar, but my instincts tell me it is so.

“How close?”

“My twin,” Iniri murmurs.

Well, her admission creates panic … for her father. Linus pales and doubles over, causing Gennerin to shout for a medic and Glonu to press against the walls in the event they are accused of something.

Ignoring everything and everyone, Leffandir leans across the expanse and grips Iniri’s hand. “Do NOT let go. Do you understand?” Inhaling raggedly, Iniri jerks a nod. “Gift me your talent, Keeper,” Leffandir says next, holding out her free hand. I grip it. “I will now find Enris. Do not move.”

We becomes as statues, Iniri and I. King Linus has straightened and watches us, as unmoving, as silent. In fact, all time seems to grind to halt inside the conference cabin, as if we are cast into stone for eternity, all of us, down to the smallest microbe.

For the life of me, I cannot say how long we remain in stasis, but I do see how Leffandir begins to shake. At first it is a light tremor as if she is slightly feverish and then it is full-blown undulations. She keens and wails, and suddenly collapses, releasing her holds on our hands. I catch her before she hits the deck, realising as I do so that animation has returned.

Someone roughly settles into the space beside me to take the Empress. “Give her to me, Mirlin.”

Enris. “She did it. My prince!”

Touchy Feely Words

Monday, July 18, 2016

The King's Challenge (ILFIN OF ARC) #364

TKC 364

While shuttles ferry Massinians back to their various regions, and Ilfin soldiers back to the orbiting craft, returning repeatedly to gather more, we search for Enris and Coltern. Braving the icy conditions, we range far. Commander Gennerin has seconded an entire unit to help, but we find no sign of them.

Meanwhile the issue of returned Glonu causes heavy discussion, mostly between King Linus and Gennerin. At the end of it, the decision is to let them go in peace. They must be aware that they have been defeated and will thus behave and go on with their lives. We hope all Massinians of whatever genesis choose to pick up the threads of their old lives, to continue as they were before the fireball in the sky changed everything.

A day later our king grimly states we will return to orbit. There are still the issues of the Glonu fleet, and Empress Leffandir. The generals at the meeting need to speak up and we need to hear them. After the final ferry is accomplished, we take to the heavens.

In all this, I have avoided Iniri. I have no answers for her and she expects them. I see her watching me with suspicion and understand that, in her mind, I have again proven untrustworthy. I gather she has not mentioned Enris calling to someone known as Iliri; she has not even approached her father about it.

Of course I wonder why. I suspect Iniri knows more than she is willing to share. I am therefore as suspicious of her, and thus I avoid her more.

When we descend the ramp inside the transport in space, loud acclaim greets us. Every Ilfin soldier celebrates our victory. The Makar name resounds, causing King Linus to grin widely. There is, however, no time for long speeches; the Glonu delegation awaits.

Apparently Leffandir is with them, and in a rage such as only a thwarted woman is able to sustain.

This will be interesting.

2 Episodes Left!!

Mataeology and Jocular

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The King's Challenge (ILFIN OF ARC) #362 and #363

TKC 362 and 363

I awaken to find Iniri Makar bending over me touching my neck as if to feel for a pulse. When she sees my eyes opened, she retreats to stare at me, a frown marring her smooth forehead.

“What happened here?” she asks.

That is the question, is it not? What did happen here? I struggle to sit up, accepting her helping hand. “Where are we?”

Her eyebrows hike up, but she answers calmly enough. “On a cold rock shelf on the side of a mountain.”

Ah, good. At least I did not vanish into some alternate realm. Also, this means not too much time has passed while I was unconscious; someone would be carrying me down the mountain had much time gone by, or I would be in the shuttle already.

“Is Enris all right?” I attempt to look behind her, but all I see is swirling snow. In fact – I glance upward – the storm we hoped would not happen seems to be reaching for us. “We must leave or we will be trapped here.”

She nods. “Most are at the shuttle already and my father has summoned more craft to ferry them to safety.”

“I did not imagine it?” I blurt. Suddenly what went before feels utterly unreal.

“If you are talking about the lost returned, then it is real.”

Blinking, I stare at her. “What is it, my lady?”

Iniri glances upward briefly to check on conditions. “We saw folk climbing down the mountain and then a platform of ice descended from on high with many thousands upon it. They landed without a sound on the ice below and did not move, yet they were clearly alive. Shell-shocked maybe, who knows? But there was no sign of you, Enris or Coltern …”

“Where are they?” I interrupt.

“You tell me, Soul Keeper.”

By the sands! I hurtle up and nearly tumble over the edge, I am that unsteady. Glancing skittishly around me, I see only Kay and Ross. The two men stare at me as if waiting for something.

“Enris was kneeling here,” I gesture wildly at the area beside me, “and Coltern was behind him to stop him falling …” I bend swiftly to retrieve a section of frayed rope. “He tethered them to …” I point at the sharp rock where a loop of rope is still in place. “I was …”

Silence takes me. What the hell happened?

“They were tethered together?” Kay demands, his eyes narrowing.

I nod repeatedly.

Closing her eyes, Iniri stands. “That is why both vanished.”

“Vanished?” I screech. “To where?”

Kay shifts to stand before me, impaling me with suspicion. “You were here, Mirlin.”

“I blacked out! By the bloody sands, the ritual was done! They should be here, even I died in the doing!”

Placing his hands firmly on my shoulders, Kay murmurs, “Calm yourself, brother. I believe you. Now I believe you. But something happened. Do you have any thoughts about it?”

I am close to hyperventilating; I feel how panic grows inside me. I shake my head emphatically … and freeze. “Oh. It wasn’t the ritual. It was …” I jerk my head to the side to stare at Iniri Makar. Iniri. Iliri. Enris called the soul inside him ‘Iliri’.

“What, man?” Kay asks, shaking me slightly.

“Are you a single soul, my lady?”

Iniri frowns. “Of course.”

“Enris has someone inside him and I thought maybe you joined him from afar, but if it wasn’t you …if it isn’t you …”

“Speak plain,” Kay states.

“He called to someone and I think this someone took him away and along with him, Coltern.” As the flakes of snow become denser and ever swifter, I add, “Enris called her Iliri.”

Iniri Makar pales markedly. “Why do I recognise that and not only from how close to my name it is?” Suddenly she throws her head back. “ENRIS!” she screams.

Agoraphobia and Arachnophobia :)

Friday, July 15, 2016

The King's Challenge (ILFIN OF ARC) #360 and #361

TKC 360 and 361

With my hands flat on the cold, exposed rock, I initiate the first words of chant. It is not about volume and thus I murmur on the edge of hearing, not that anyone can hear with the tumult we are at the centre of. Ethereal beings have no voice, but they are loud in other ways.

It is not about tone either, although tone is an aid. Keeping all emotion at bay, I choose a slow and serene intonation. It calms me; hopefully it will calm the host also. They may not hear me, but they will feel the effects.

The words are all-important. The words are not, however, for them; they are to focus my intention. Seeking the words that will bolster me, I utter them one by one. Strength. Courage. Will. Life. Innocence. Massin. Ilfin. Restore. Strength … courage … will … life …

The words are all-important, but not in the manner a novice believes. The words are important to me; the words are not the magic. Instead, by focusing on what I seek to achieve, using my words, I focus my mind. I prepare myself to unleash my gift.

This is how I am rooted.

Ignoring Coltern when he grunts in his effort to stop Enris plummeting to the faraway ice field, and setting aside the scream I sense building inside Enris, I repeat my words. Calm invades my mind; serenity overcomes my body and tranquillity grows in my soul. A Soul Keeper deals in life and therefore is all life precious. To give it is a blessing and all blessings require a state of calm.

I am ready.

Whatever happens next, it cannot undo my state of calm and preparation.

Inhaling, I look up. Enris’ entire being is overtaken by another. A female form hovers over him, in his space, an outward projection of the soul inside, using his limbs to build upon. It is akin to seeing a man wearing the ghostly skin of a woman. Almost the sight undoes my resolve, for it is freakish and eerily otherworldly. No wonder Enris desires to unleash the horror escalating inside him. I swiftly shove my own horror into a dark recess and restore my serenity.

The host swirls around us, arms flailing, legs jerking, mouths moving, eyes huge and accusing. All stare at the ‘woman’ Enris is; she gestures in a circular motion repeatedly and every time she does so more ethereal beings appear. By the sands, how many Massinians did the damn orb collect? It did not merely snuff Massinians, though, did it? Every Ilfin and every Glonu on this continent was gathered also.

Mirlin!” Coltern screeches. “What are you waiting for?”

What am I waiting for, he asks? There are Glonu in this mix! What am I supposed to do about them?

Enris screams then.

It is a wail of sadness and horror, rage and fear. Sustained. Shattering. A soul crying out for release, for succour, for hope.

The Glonu too will now arise, for I have not the time to separate the deserving from the undeserving. To do so will result in Enris’ mind flying into an otherworld from where there is no return, ever.

Lifting my hands from the rock, I throw them up, palms on display, at the swirling, begging host. “COME!” I roar at the spaces.

The tiny orb erupts from Enris’ clothes, scattering threads in the violence of its escape from wherever he shoved it earlier, and hurtles at me. Smacking into my chest, it flattens to a disc. I do not see this; I feel it. The device then absorbs into my flesh. “NOW!”

Emerald light explodes from my palms, great beams akin to multiple searchlights. The green flood of light explodes again, this time into a million tiny glows. Every emerald firefly then activates and becomes independent, and each seeks out a target. One ‘firefly’ for every ethereal being; I hope my calculations are correct.

Still screaming, Enris falls to his knees. Swearing his fear, Coltern nonetheless grabs the man and hauls him from the edge. I see that peripherally only, for my attention is riveted to the bizarre event enacting in the air.

The ethereal beings light up from within to become green ghosts. The instant it happens, all wild gyrations cease. One after the other, men, women and children then proceed to drop to the rocky outcrop and the instant they touch the realness of Massin’s cold mountain, the green evaporates to leave them shivering and moaning … and real.

“There isn’t enough space for all of them!” Coltern shouts.

No, there is no space at all. While I now understand why Enris insisted on following my advice about height for a summons, this result does not suit his foresight, if he even thought this through. Men, women and children will soon be falling to their deaths, and for those deaths I have no cure.

“Iliri!” Enris Makar screams then, causing me to doubt my sanity. Iliri?

The woman surrounding him stands, leaving his body kneeling upon the pitted rock. She screams, but there is no sound. All there is, is a wide gaping mouth in a face that is no face.

Men, women and children continue to fall; they land upon a platform of transparent ice. Gaping, I see how the ice from below lifts in sheets, hurtles upward to gather and knit together off the edge of the outcrop, and safely accepts the tangible host. The woman has power; frightening power.

When the last man has landed, I whisper, “Done.”

Thousands of points of glowing green light dance into the air, to swirl, to dance, to gather, until a mighty beam curls towards me. Throwing my arms wide and my chest out, I summon it to me.

Agony takes me then. And darkness.

More Writers' Mugs :)