Monday, June 29, 2015

Final Cover and Update

Well, my friends, we are less than two weeks away from the release of my third book. I hope you are as excited as I am! My editor and I are working busily on getting everything ready for July 10th, and so far it seem that we'll be ready on time. (crossing fingers)

In the meantime, my amazing cover artist has finished her work! Here is the final product, and I expect that you'll love it as much as I do.



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Labyrinth Cover Preview

Here is a preview for the cover of "The Labyrinth of Destiny." My artist is Alyssa Harper, and she is amazing. I've loved working with her for my projects, and I would highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for some awesome art. Here is the link to her blog:

http://alyssaharperart.blogspot.com/




Monday, June 1, 2015

Labyrinth Preview: Chapter Three

Ok, friends, this will be the last preview chapter before the release of "The Labyrinth of Destiny." I hope that you all are excited as I am! As I said before, this is taken from the rough draft, so please don't mind any grammar errors that you come across. I promise, my editor has taken care of them in the copy that she has.

As always, feel free to send me your comments. I love to get feedback (both good and critical) from my readers!

If you haven't read any of the preview chapters, you can start with the prologue here.










Chapter Three: The Northern Threshold


Adesina was eager to leave the hollow where the Council met and begin the next leg of her journey.
“Wait,” called a voice from the crowd.
A small red feline with yellow stripes made its way to the front. “We Children of the Night have bound ourselves to you, and yet you have not offered any of our representatives a place in your party.”
There were a handful of murmurs that indicated approval.
Sitara’s brow furrowed. “There is no need to make a distinction between the Children of the Night and the Children of the Light. Our purposes may be different, but our allegiance is not.”
“But there is a need to make a distinction for the Creatures of Darkness,” asserted Ruon.
“Only if you continue to insist on associating yourselves with the Darkness,” replied Sitara stiffly. “The Children of the Night were not born of evil. It is only by embracing the Darkness that they become so.”
Ruon raised a hairless eyebrow. “I am aware of this.”
Sitara appeared more agitated than Adesina had ever seen her before. She was visibly irritated by the Laithur’s superior manner. She crossed her arms and fixed an icy stare on him. “The magic of the Thresholds remains weak. We do not have the power to transport a large party.”
The small red feline who had spoken originally shook its head. “We are not asking for a large party—only for a representative.”
Adesina waved a hand impatiently. “What does it matter if we are all on the same side?”
Ruon inclined his oval head. “Exactly. Why would it matter if we elected one of our own to be a member of your party?”
The rock-like creature rubbed his head thoughtfully with the grating sound of stone against stone. “Brother Ruon has a point. This is not merely a Serraf matter—it involves all of us. The Serraf alone should not bear the responsibility of stopping Cha-sak and his followers.”
“Adesina needs my guidance,” insisted Sitara. “She is a newborn Serraf and does not know how to use her new abilities.”
“No one doth suggest that thou stayest behind,” assured Toraun, “but a valid point hath been made.”
“Send Brother Ruon,” squawked a creature with the head of a raven and the body of a woman.
Ruon looked extremely smug at this nomination. Adesina silently wished for someone else—anyone else—to be elected to join their party.
Other Council members nodded. Adesina assumed that they were also demons of various kinds, since the Children of Light seemed to be keeping their opinions to themselves.
“Yes, Ruon is a good choice.”
“I agree.”
“We have no quarrel with the Laithur. I suppose he is as good a choice as any.”
Adesina stifled a groan as Toraun raised a hand and said, “The decision hath been made, and all shall abide by it.”
Sitara also seemed less than pleased. “Very well.”
Riel, Sitara’s Rashad companion, spoke in her quiet and musical voice. “We must hurry to the Northern Threshold or we will miss our only opportunity to cross back over into the human world.”
Toraun crossed all four of his hands on his chest in a form of salute. “May the blessings of the Ancients go with thee.”
Adesina wasn’t sure what to say in return. “Thank you,” she said, feeling slightly foolish.
“Do you need anything before we leave, Ruon?” asked Sitara, omitting the title of brother.
The Laithur’s smile indicated that he noticed the omission. “No, Sitara,” he emphasized her name with a sarcastic tone. “I am prepared to leave whenever you are.”
Riel took the initiative and began walking away from the gathering of Council members. Sitara followed closely behind, pointedly ignoring Ruon’s sneering smile. Adesina and Ravi exchanged glances before following, and Ruon brought up the rear at an unhurried pace.
Adesina felt an enormous sense of relief knowing that they were on their way back to the world she knew. There was a driving feeling of urgency to stop Cha-sak before he could cause any lasting harm to humankind.
So intent was the young woman with her inner worries that she almost didn’t notice the landscape around them. She would have been completely unaware had it not been for Ravi.
What a strange world this is.
Adesina looked up in surprise. “Is it?” she responded automatically.
Then she took a moment to look around. She once again took note of the violet moss that covered the ground and the pink sky, but she didn’t observe anything that she hadn’t seen before.
Ravi spoke aloud instead of through their Joining. “It is unnaturally silent here—even that small stream makes no sound. I can sense no life other than the few plants we see and the members of the Council. Are there no animals?”
Sitara shook her head. “We chose this realm because it held no life other than the plants. That way we would not alter the natural order of this world.”
Ruon snorted derisively. “You say that as if we did not affect the plants and rocks of this realm. Our presence changed this place, even if you choose not to notice it.”
“Perhaps I do not have the same affinity to stone as you do,” admitted Sitara.
“Are the…Laithur interested in rocks?” asked Adesina hesitantly. She didn’t feel entirely comfortable around a creature that she knew to be a demon.
Ruon swiveled his oval head on his long and snakelike neck. He fixed his small eyes on Adesina, and she had the unnerving feeling that he could see right through her. “Know you nothing of the Immortals?” he asked with a hint of surprise.
Adesina felt her face redden. “Not very much. Most humans believe that the Immortals are myths.”
Ruon’s flat face took on a thoughtful expression. “The Laithur are creatures that are most comfortable in caves. The Seer dwelt in the Great Cavern, and so the Laithur lived there, too.”
Even Ravi was confused by this explanation. “The Seer?”
“Has all knowledge been lost in your world?” asked Ruon in irritation. He took a deep breath and started again. “Just as you Serraf and Rashad serve the Creator, we Laithur served the Seer.”
“Who is the Seer?” asked Adesina.
“One of the lesser Ancients,” explained Sitara.
“Not lesser in any aspect that matters,” quipped Ruon.
Sitara smiled at the demon as one might to a petulant child. “No Ancient is.”
“And yet you continually make the distinction,” he snapped.
Sitara gave the Laithur a level gaze. “Such loyal defense from one who has forsaken their duty.”
Ruon appeared to have no answer as he turned away in disgust.
Sitara took over the explanation in a low voice. “The Seer was an Ancient who could see all things—past, present, and future. He preferred to live underground because the dark and silence allowed him to see more clearly. The Laithur were the servants of the Seer…until they embraced the Darkness and became demons.”
Adesina’s mind was filled with questions, and she could hardly decide which to ask first. “Who are these Ancients of which you keep referring?”
“Goodness,” smiled Riel, “much knowledge has been lost.”
Adesina and Ravi shared feelings of self-consciousness, but neither said anything.
“The Ancients are the deities that rule the universe,” began Sitara, but she was not able to explain further.
“We are here,” interrupted Ruon.
Sitara had not exaggerated when she had said that the Threshold was not far from where the Council met. The walk had taken them less than a half hour.
The Threshold itself was another low outcropping of rock amid the flat landscape. There was an entrance like the cave that led to the Threshold of Zonne, but this entrance was shallow enough that Adesina could easily see where it came to an end.
She had been expecting something similar to the Threshold of Zonne—a platform or a doorway of some sort. Instead, there was nothing but the slight indentation in the rock.
“Is this it?” asked Adesina in confusion.
Legends say that the Thresholds come in many shapes and sizes. Ravi thought to her with a hint of uncertainty.
“Yes,” affirmed Sitara, “this is it. The Northern Threshold. This is the only other point of connection between this world and your own. This is the only remaining way back…home.”
Adesina looked at Sitara in surprise. She had never considered that the Immortals would view her world as their home, too. It must have been a long and lonesome wait for them during their imprisonment.
They will not have to wait much longer, Ravi promised.
Adesina smiled in agreement. No, they will not.
“What do I need to do?” she asked aloud.
“All Thresholds share the same power,” explained Sitara. “You were reborn upon a Threshold, so your vyala is tied to theirs. You alone have the ability to open a Threshold at your will.”
Adesina stared at the outcropping, hoping to gain some sort of inspiration. “How?” she asked after a moment.
“Connect to your vyala, little sister,” Sitara said kindly. “It will guide you.”
Adesina closed her eyes and let her magic flow from the center of her being. It warmed her as it spread, filling her with life and light.
This was her first time connecting with her vyala since becoming a Serraf, and Adesina immediately sensed a difference. It wasn’t just that her powers were stronger—which they were—but they seemed deeper and more profound. Her connection to the world around her was more than just a greater awareness. She had become one with the world. The rocks and the plants were a part of her.
With this change in the forefront of her mind, Adesina turned her attention to the Northern Threshold.
The rock itself was nothing extraordinary. It had nothing that set it apart from any other rock in any other world. When Adesina looked beyond its physical form, she saw something that caught her breath.
There was a tunnel of swirling magical light that led to worlds without measure. Adesina could not see the other end of the tunnel, but she could feel that the possibilities were infinite. All of space in every dimension—and even all of time—whirled within that vortex of power, and Adesina finally understood what it meant to stand on the threshold of eternity.
“The Serraf did not create the Thresholds,” Adesina said softly.
“No,” answered Sitara. “They were created by the Traveler, one of the Ancients.”
Adesina didn’t need to be told that the Thresholds had been brought into existence by a much greater power. She could feel the pure vyala surging through the small opening that connected the Threshold to this world.
The young woman turned her attention to that tenuous connection, and she saw that the small outcropping of rock served as a sort of anchor to the power behind the Threshold. All she had to do was to part the invisible curtains that stood before the tunnel, and…
A doorway of light appeared.
Sitara gasped softly. “It took a full circle of Serraf sisters to pry the Zonne Threshold open, even for a brief period of time. Yet you open this one with a simple gesture of your hand.”
“You did say that Ma’eve was linked to the Thresholds,” reminded Ravi. “Did you not believe that she could do it?”
Sitara gave a small smile. “Knowing something in your mind is not the same as witnessing it happen.”
Even Ruon seemed grudgingly impressed. “This half-blood may be the one we have been waiting for after all.”
Adesina felt her temper flare. “I have a name, you know.”
Ruon chose to ignore her statement. He turned his full attention to the Threshold. “It is called the Northern Threshold because it is connected to the northernmost Threshold in the human world. We may not be far from the Zonne Threshold here, but we shall reappear in your world many leagues from Zonne.”
Adesina could feel through their Joining that Ravi was very uneasy with this information. “Where is the Northern Threshold, exactly?” he asked.
“Tsan,” Sitara answered shortly.
Ravi’s uneasiness grew to alarm. “Tsan sank beneath the ocean centuries ago.”
“Do not worry,” said Ruon in a strangely detached voice. “Help is on the way.”
Adesina frowned. “How do you know that?”
“I can See,” was his enigmatic reply.
Sitara seemed to understand, but she gave no explanation. “Take a deep breath,” she instructed, “and swim for the surface as soon as you cross over.”
“Why not use vyala to create a bubble of air around us?” inquired Adesina.
“Can you maintain that level of concentration while hurtling between worlds?” challenged Ruon in a sharp tone.
She felt a wave of doubt. “I…am not sure.”
The Laithur’s strangely flat face twisted in irritation. “I said that help is on the way. But we have to cross within the next thirty seconds.”
“I will go first,” volunteered Sitara. She took a couple of slow, deep breaths before walking into the Threshold and disappearing.
Riel followed immediately after her, and Ruon was close behind.
Adesina’s heart raced with apprehension, and Ravi sent soothing thoughts through their Joining.
She took one breath to slow her heart rate, and another to prepare her mind. Then, taking a breath that was deeper than the others, she walked into the light.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Update on Book 3 of Threshold

Well, my friends, I have recently returned from an awesome vacation. My husband and I went to Japan for an early celebration of our anniversary. I am mostly recovered from my jet lag now, and I'm ready to jump back into work.

I just wanted to post a quick update for those of you who are waiting for the last installment of the Threshold Trilogy. My cover artist and my editor are both hard at work, and it looks like everything is coming together. I did have to go back through the manuscript and make some changes due to an error on my part. But at least we caught it early, and hopefully it won't be an issue anymore.

We're still on schedule for the July 10th release date, so mark your calendars! Next week I'll be posting one more preview chapter, and then I'll also post previews of the cover art as they become available.

Thanks for your patience and support!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Labyrinth Preview: Chapter Two

As I have said before, this is a rough draft chapter. I hope you will overlook any errors that you find, as my editor hasn't gone over this yet. I hope that you've been enjoying the chapters I've been posting, though. I'll post one more at the beginning of June, and then the book will be released on July 10th! I hope you're looking forward to that. Until then, enjoy this preview.

If you haven't read the previous chapters, click here to begin with the prologue or here to read Chapter One.












Chapter Two: Alliances




Adesina felt distinctly uncomfortable.

Thirty-seven sets of eyes were fixed on her, as if expecting some sort of speech or ceremonial gesture.

Instead, the young woman stood still, doing her best to appear calm.

The memory of the prophecy of the Threshold Child rose up in her mind. When she had first heard it, she had only been told a portion—the only part known to the L’avan people. Then, through her visions of the past, she had finally heard the prophecy in its entirety.

Every word was clear to her, as if seared on her mind.



Thus speaks the Creator—listen well:



Tragic days lie ahead, born from the pride of my children.

The conflict between Light and Darkness is far from resolution,

 in spite of what may seem to be a reprieve.

The Blood of my heirs shall be wantonly spilt.

The earth shall cry out in pain and sorrow.

The benighted years of silence shall only be broken

when the Child of the Threshold stands on the brink of eternity—

when a life is freely given in the purity of love.

 Only then will the path leading to the Light appear.



The Sacrifice will stand as a bridge between Light and Darkness,

spanning the worlds and cleansing each of ancient hatreds.

The Sacrifice will bring both destruction and salvation,

like the purifying flames of a forest fire.

In the moment of truth, the Sacrifice shall become the Child of the Threshold,

ushering in the Era of The Return.



Look, therefore, to the advent of the Threshold Child.

One who is of this people yet not of this people.

One who bears all gifts, Dreams as friends,

sees as the enemy and shall be called the bird of prey.

This is the one who stands on the Threshold of a New World.

This is the one who will save my children from the slow destruction of their atrophy

and lead them back to the light of their purpose.



Adesina didn’t know what all of the prophecy meant, but she felt the weight of it on her shoulders. The sense of responsibility pressed down on her and her mind whirled with feelings of inadequacy. She was the Threshold Child, and she was meant to do all that was stated in those divine words.

Sitara broke the uncomfortable silence. “Adesina, do you know the prophecy of the Threshold Child?”

Adesina nodded.

“Do you understand what it means?”

She shook her head.

Sitara’s tone was solemn. “It means that we Immortals have lost our way, and the Creator has provided a beacon to guide us back to our path.”

Adesina frowned. “You mean that I am the beacon?”

A derisive snort could be heard from behind Adesina. “Perhaps,” rasped a sibilant voice.

All attention turned to the speaker, and Adesina turned to see who the dissenter was among the Council.

The owner of the voice was very tall—Adesina estimated that the top of her head would only reach his lower chest—and his form was narrow and lithe. His hairless head was slightly oblong and it was set on the end of a long, snake-like neck. His grey skin shimmered slightly, like granite, and he wore a flowing robe of dark blue.

The crowd of creatures parted as he walked forward to stand before Adesina. Some of the members of the Council seemed to stand up straighter as he passed, as if he lent them greater strength. Others unconsciously turned their bodies away from him, as if he carried some loathsome disease.

Adesina noted that the speaker’s eyes were very small and that his nostrils and ears were no more than slits on his head.

He spoke again in a voice that bore the undertones of a hiss, but was quite unlike the sound of any serpent. “You may give your trust blindly, Serraf, but we Laithur do not. Your desire for the Threshold Child is so strong that you would grant that name to any newcomer to this realm.”

Sitara’s expression became frosty. “And your reluctance for the coming of the Threshold Child would blind you to any evidence of the truth. Look at her, Brother Ruon. She is a child of humanity, and yet she has transformed into a Serraf. What more proof do you need?”

Ruon sneered at Adesina, as though she were unworthy of standing in his presence. “Much proof is needed before the Laithur pledge to follow this…being.”

Toraun shifted his weight uneasily and plucked at his golden beard with two of his four hands. “Brother Ruon, the days of our trials doth come to an ending. Our numbers dwindle, and it needs be that all Immortals join hands in friendship. We hath not the luxury of standing divided at this crucial time.”

Ruon made a sweeping gesture with one of his long, thin arms. “Well, you will certainly get no cooperation from the Shimat or those that follow them,” he snapped in irritation. “You are fortunate that any of the Dark Brethren have attended this meeting today.”

There were several mutters of approval at his words. Adesina began to notice a division among the Council. Not one that was purposeful or organized, but the separation between races that had become natural over countless years. Uneasy or even hostile glances were exchanged between groups, and they almost stood with their backs to one another.

Adesina’s eyes darted back to Sitara, looking for her reaction to this turn of events. The leader of the Serraf wore an expression on her face that spoke volumes of her reluctance to have anything to do with the so-called Dark Brethren.

“The followers of Darkness are not the only ones who have given in to their doubts,” piped up a tree-like creature. “I do not see the Kiorssan or the Melyd here today. I am certain there are others missing as well.”

Ruon, who was looking defiant and confrontational, appeared mollified by that statement. “There are Immortals of both Light and Dark that have not given heed to the instructions of the Ancients. I suppose we that remain will have to suffice for what is to come.”

“What isssss to come?” asked an enormous serpent with feathered wings. Adesina recognized it as a member of the Qetza race.

Sitara’s voice took on a timbre that was heavy with meaning. “The arrival of the Threshold Child signals the end of one era and the beginning of another. She will show us the path that will lead us back to our true purpose—the one given to us by our creators.”

“And those who have chosen not to join us here today?” asked a creature that looked like a horse made of flames.

All eyes turned to Toraun, the apparent Council leader. “They who choose to stay on the lower plane shalt have no place in the New World. All must ascend to a higher state of being in order to move forward.”

His statement brought even more tension to the gathering until it was palpable in the air. Adesina was impressed that the Council members could come together to form this alliance, in spite of what was clearly a long-time animosity.

 Adesina silently pondered what had been said. She could safely surmise that Ruon was a demon, and it surprised her to see a demon at this council. Her eyes turned to the other strange faces that surrounded her, and she wondered how many of them were also demons.

She couldn’t guess based on appearances. Cha-sak and the demon Adesina had fought in Zonne had looked evil in every aspect. She had formed the assumption that demons must look like monsters. Ruon, however, did not look evil at all—strange, but not evil. There was a graceful sorrow that surrounded Ruon’s lithe figure, and his small black eyes glittered with the bitterness of being deeply wronged.

Several of the unusual faces in the crowd around Adesina appeared to be less interested in the accomplishment of the tentative alliance and more concerned with what Toraun had just said.

“Are you saying that some of our brothers and sisters will be left behind?” rasped the rock-like creature.

Toraun spread all four of his hands in a beseeching gesture. “All hath been extended the invitation to join us on this day—even our Shimat brethren. The division that wilt take place as the dawn of the New World ascends will not be of our doing, but of theirs.”

Adesina frowned thoughtfully. How many will be left behind?

Ravi’s mind answered hers. There are thirty-seven races represented here, and legends tell of one hundred Immortal races being born. There are some races that are no more, such as the Gaiana. Others, such as the Shimat, have given themselves completely to Darkness.

The young woman’s frown deepened. And others will simply be left in this realm, abandoned?

Ravi didn’t appear to have an answer for her.

Adesina’s attention was caught once more by the lively discussion of the Council.

“We cannot force anyone to join us, Brother Syss. Individual choice is a gift of the Light, and to take it away is an act of Darkness.”

Syss, the Qetza representative, twitched his feathered wings in agitation. “That issss not what I wasssss sssaying, Ssssissster Chaholand.”

Toraun raised his arms high above his head and called for silence.

“Please, my brethren and sisters, let us not quarrel. Our efforts in convincing those absent here shalt double during what time we have left. For now, there is something of greater import.”

An expectant hush fell over the Council, and Adesina looked around in confusion. All eyes were once again on her, riveted on her young face.

Toraun approached her, his willowy form swaying with a slow grace. Sunlight reflected off of his golden hair and beard, and the robe he wore was stirred by the breeze. Adesina was surprised as he drew closer. She expected him to be taller, but his head was even with hers. Perhaps it was simply magnitude of his presence that made him seem larger.

“All Immortals wert created on the same day,” said Toraun in a soft voice that was meant only for Adesina’s ears. “The Blessed Ancients lent their powers to the Creator, and there was a great celebration of Life when all was completed. On that day, the Creator told of one final child of the Ancients that wouldst be born—one last Immortal created. The Creator decreed that this last born Immortal shalt be our leader in our time of greatest need.”

Toraun’s piercing gaze bore down heavily on Adesina.

“Thou art that child, Sister Adesina. Thou shalt be our leader.”

He placed two of his hands on her head and the other two on her shoulders. He raised his voice as he continued, so all could hear his words.

“I pledge to thee my life and my loyalty, so that my strength shall be thine. Thy fate shalt be my own—thy triumphs my triumphs, and thy failures my failures.”

Adesina felt a rush of warmth surge from Toraun’s hands and through her body. She felt strangely lighter, as if a burden had been lifted from her shoulders.

One by one, each of the other Immortals came forward and recited the same oath while either touching her head or her shoulders, or both. Each time, Adesina felt the flash of warmth and lightening of her entire being.

The early ones to follow Toraun were eager to pledge themselves to Adesina. However, as the faces passed before the young L’avan woman, they seemed less and less certain in what they were doing.

When Ruon stood before her, his small eyes were narrowed with skepticism and he waited long moments before placing his cold hands on her shoulders.

“I pledge to you my life and my loyalty, so that my strength will be yours. Your fate will be my own—your triumphs my triumphs, and your failures my failures.” He removed his hands and added, “I suppose there are worse things than failing on the side of Light. I just pray you show more promise in the future than what I see now.”

Adesina’s temper flared and her fists clenched into balls at her side.

Ravi sent soothing emotions through their connection. Do not let him bait you, Ma’eve. He wishes to start a fight.

I would be happy to grant him his wish, she thought back angrily.

Sitara was the last to stand before Adesina. Not a trace of doubt darkened her lovely face as she gently laid her hands on Adesina’s head. All of the negative emotions that swirled inside of the L’avan woman’s head dissipated with the light of Sitara’s smile.

The Serraf leader spoke the oath slowly and with purpose. The words somehow took on a new and deeper meaning, and Adesina felt her vyala swell from the core of her being.

What just happened?

Ravi’s mind was just as uncertain as Adesina’s.

I…think you have become the leader of the Serraf.

Sitara smiled as if she understood their thoughts and gave the briefest of nods. Adesina stared at her in bewilderment.

“And now, little sister, we must make haste,” said Sitara calmly.

The heads of the Council members standing around them nodded in agreement.

Adesina frowned slightly. “Where are we going?”

Sitara’s smile was both sad and determined. “We are going to win your world back from the Darkness.”





**To read the next preview chapter, click here.