Saturday, October 26, 2013

Quick Update

Hello, friends! This is just a quick update to let all of you know how things are going. I haven't been very good about posting on this blog, but that's because I've been so busy with writing (and chasing after a toddler)!

Right now I am working with my editor and making revisions to the manuscript. That's pretty much all that I'll be doing from now until the end of November. I've also been in contact with my cover artist, and we are discussing ideas for what we'd like this cover to look like. She has an art show at the end of October, so she hasn't started on sketches yet, but I'll post a preview when she does.

Other than that, my life continues pretty much as expected. Lewis is an adorable handful, and he is definitely asserting his toddler independence. Baby #2 is healthy, and will be making her appearance in December.

On that note, I feel I should warn all of you that I plan on taking a long break after this baby is born. I won't be writing for at least 6 months, which will push back the release of Book #3. I plan on the Threshold series to be a trilogy, so Book #3 will be the last. Sorry in advance to make you all wait for the last installment!

I have a fun idea to get my readers involved with the book release, and I'll be posting about that at the beginning of next month. If I don't post anything before then, have a Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Chapter Preview

I'm trying to build my following on a variety of social media websites, as well as writing websites such as Wattpad. Therefore, I have posted the newest excerpt from "Legacy of the Blood" on my Wattpad page. I will post it here on my blog in a couple of weeks, but by following me on Wattpad you can read it early! It's free, and it's easy to sign up. Take a few minutes to do it!

Monday, October 7, 2013


I have officially joined the Wattpad community! For those of you who aren't familiar with it is a free website for writers and readers to connect, and there are thousands of free books available for download.

One of the authors at Comic Con mentioned it, and she said that it played a big part in helping to build her fan base. So, I've joined and I hope that you all join and "follow" me there! I've posted an excerpt of "The Threshold Child" as well as the chapters of "Legacy of the Blood" that I've posted here on my blog.

HOWEVER: Since I would like to encourage people to follow me on Wattpad, I will be posting an extra chapter from "Legacy of the Blood" on that website alone!

So, sign up! It's free! And then you can read as I post and comment and write reviews and make suggestions and all that good stuff.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Legacy of the Blood: Chapter Three

If you have not read the beginning, click here to go to the prologue.
If you would like to go to the previous chapter, click here.

Otherwise, enjoy!

Chapter Three: The Tracker

Adesina paced the length of her tent, her eyes fixed on her boots. Her mind swarmed with a dozen different emotions, and she didn’t know which one was the strongest.

She felt anger at the audacity of this man to walk back into her life as if he had a right to be there. She was vividly reminded of the pain of Kendan’s betrayal. She felt sorrow for all that had been stolen by the Shimat and by those loyal to the organization. Also, she was confused by the strength of all of her emotions. After all, she had believed that she had put her past behind her.

Kendan and the other cloaked figure remained by the entrance, and Ravi sat to the side. All of the queen’s counselors had exited the tent moments before at their monarch’s command.

Kendan looked as though he wanted to say something, but he knew it would be best to wait until Adesina was ready. He felt it best not to rush his former pupil.

Several minutes passed before Adesina felt calm enough speak. “What are you doing here, Kendan?”

He cleared his throat quietly and spoke in a reasonable tone. “I told you, I want to help you find your king.”

“Why would you want to do that?” she shot back acidly.

There was a brief pause before he replied, and his eyes were full of meaning. “Not everything you know about me is a lie, Adesina.”

She stiffened. “The Shimat perception of truth is always convenient to their purposes.”

He flinched at her hate-filled words, but he said nothing in return.

Adesina stopped pacing and faced the man before her. “So, how would rescuing my husband benefit you?” She emphasized the word, gauging his response.

Kendan didn’t even flicker an eyelid. He had heard reports of her marriage less than a week after it had taken place. “From a very young age I have known more about the Shimat organization than most of its members. My aunt has trained me with the intention that I will someday—far in the future, of course—take her place as Sharifal. I have not always felt easy with the knowledge I have been given, and my misgivings have grown significantly over the past several years.”

There was a hesitant pause and Adesina stared at him, hardly believing her ears.

The Shimat organization taught its members unquestioning loyalty from childhood. It was almost unheard of for there to be dissenters—Adesina herself being the only example that readily came to mind.

The young queen urged Kendan on. “What are you saying?”

He took a deep breath before continuing. “I am saying that I can no longer be a part of the Shimat.”

Adesina was speechless. She stood frozen in place, unable to decide how to react.

Kendan passed a hand over his eyes and his other fist clenched in growing agitation. “My aunt kept telling me that changes were about to be made, and that I would help shape the future of the Shimat. I thought that I could turn it into the kind of organization that we tell the students it is.” He shook his head. “I know now that such changes will never take place. My aunt was using me, just as she uses everyone else.”

The tent was silent. No one knew what to say after such a momentous declaration.

Ravi was the first to recover. “Does the Sharifal know that you have broken with them?”

Adesina’s former teacher gave a small smile. “No. The members of that organization do not treat traitors kindly, and I have no desire to lose my life.”

The queen’s eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Then how do we know we can trust what you say?”

“My aunt will know soon enough that I am not returning to her service.” He gestured to the figure standing next to him, “I have taken their Tracker without permission. Once that is discovered, they will know.”

Adesina and Ravi looked at the person with questioning expressions, and Kendan gave a short command in a language that the queen didn’t understand.

The Tracker reached up and pulled back her cowl, exposing an exotic face. Her light tan skin had golden undertones, and she had almond-shaped eyes. Her shining black hair was in a long braid that rested on her slender shoulder. Her face was delicate, but her expression was stony and cold. Her brown eyes were fixed on the ground, and she refused to acknowledge the existence of the others in the tent.

“This is Maizah,” introduced Kendan. “She is the Tracker for the Shimat.”

“What does that mean?” asked Adesina.

“She can track down magic-users,” he replied simply.

Surprisingly, Ravi was the one to give a detailed explanation. “She has a very rudimentary ability to connect to her vyala, and she senses a sympathy in those who can do the same. Someone with your abilities would shine like a beacon to her, Ma’eve.”

Kendan studied the Rashad with a curious expression on his face. He had only met Ravi briefly five years ago—during the rescue mission at the Shimat fortress—and he was very interested in learning more about Adesina’s guardian. “How do you know about her?”

Ravi gave him a level, measuring stare. “The eyes of my people see more than what is immediately apparent.”

Adesina smothered the urge to smile as Kendan began to shift uncomfortably. She kept her voice brisk and cool. “Tell me, Maizah, why do you wish to aid me in my search?”

The young woman was silent.

“She cannot answer you,” said Kendan quietly.

The queen repeated the question in the Shimat language, but there was still no response.

“I did not mean that she does not understand the common tongue. She cannot answer you because she cannot speak. She is mute.”

“How convenient that she cannot corroborate your story.” Her words dripped with sarcasm.

His expression darkened. “Why not use your magic to read her mind?” he quipped.

Adesina knew he wasn’t serious, but it brought an idea into her thoughts. “Very well.”

She connected to her vyala and focused on the part of her mind that turned her vision a light green. Adesina was unique among her people in that she could use every type of gift—which outsiders called magic—instead of just one or two. Her usually purple eyes swirled with a light metallic green, indicating that she was now able to sense the intentions and emotions of those around her.

She purposefully avoided Kendan—something deep within her warned that she was not prepared to face what she would find there—and turned all of her attention to the young woman standing next to him. Maizah didn’t move, but she stiffened as she sensed a surge of magical ability.

Adesina spoke gently. “Do not be afraid, Maizah. I mean you no harm.”

The haze of orange that surrounded the Tracker’s core flared with anxiety. She didn’t believe her.

“I was once a Shimat, but I left that way of life years ago. Now I strive to live a life of peace.”

Tendrils of yellowish green crept through the orange. She was cautious, but curious to learn more.

“Six years ago I met a man who taught me the truth about my history. He showed me the value of kindness and honesty and trust. I learned that I could be so much more than a weapon or a tool of fear.”

The orange aura around Maizah’s core faded to a sorrowful grey. She knew all too much about being used for the purposes of others.

“That man saved my life. Or, rather, he gave me back my life.” Adesina paused to study the exotic face before her. There was no hint of emotion, but she could see past the habitual mask of indifference. “That man has been taken by my enemies. If I cannot find a way to rescue him, he will meet a fate worse than death.”

The grey turned to a firm brown, showing determination.

The young queen smiled. “Will you help me find him?”

Maizah gave a single nod, and Kendan looked amazed.

“I have never seen her respond beyond obeying a command.”

“Have you ever even tried to truly communicate with her?” asked Ravi.

Kendan did not answer, but he looked distinctly uncomfortable. Adesina turned to face her former teacher, and her purple and gold eyes took on a determined gleam.

“Very well. You may come with us to rescue my husband, but listen to me carefully. I do not trust you, nor do my people. If there is even the slightest sign that you are betraying us, I will personally see to it that you never have another opportunity.”

He saw the dangerous expression on her face, and he knew that she was not exaggerating. Still, he gave a sardonic smile. “I do not doubt it.”

Her head dipped a fraction of an inch towards her guardian, and Ravi nodded in return. “I will show you to your quarters for the night, and I will stay with you until we leave in the morning.”

The Shimat looked uneasy. “I do not feel that is necessary.”

“But we do,” was the short reply.

Maizah followed without question, and the three of them left the young queen on her own. However, she didn’t remain in her solitude for long.

News of her imminent departure had spread throughout the camp, and there were many people who had requests or concerns to bring to her before she left. She sent a message for K’eb and E’nes to join her, and the three of them spent the next several hours going over rations and military support and assignments for the construction of the settlement.

There were many L’avan that came to her tent to wish her well on her journey and give her a parting gift. Most of the gifts were of food or other useful supplies, since there was so little in the camp that could be spared. Every single well-wisher insisted that their offering was insignificant and that they could easily spare it. Adesina knew better, and her heart swelled with gratitude for their sacrifice.

She spent the last few hours before dawn preparing for the journey. She was glad that Ravi wasn’t there to scold her about pressing herself too hard. She wouldn’t have been able to sleep even if she had tried.

Cor’a appeared before first light with a hearty breakfast and news that her horse was ready. Adesina ate what she could, but her worry made everything taste like sand. Her maid started to pull out a travelling gown for her to wear, but Adesina raised a hand to stop the young woman.

The queen had been putting off changing her clothes because she knew what she had to do, and she dreaded it.

She walked over to her trunk and opened it slowly. Wrapped in a cloth at the very bottom were the black garments of her Shimat uniform. Her chest constricted at the sight of them, as if they embodied everything that tainted her former life.

Adesina chided herself silently.

They were only clothes, and they were the most practical choice for the task that was before her.

She did not allow Cor’a to help her dress, feeling as though it was a burden that she had to take of her own accord.

The black leather vest—which served as a light armor—fit more snugly than she remembered, but everything else felt the same. The knee-high boots were still supple and soundless; the black gloves still seemed like part of her skin rather than a hindrance to her dexterity. Instead of donning the black blouse that was worn underneath the vest, though, she substituted a white one. It made her feel better about wearing the uniform that represented her enemies.

Adesina held the soft tube of cloth that served as a hood and the long scarf that was usually wrapped around it. She had no intention of wearing the Shimat mask, but she wondered if she should take it with her anyway. The white blouse she wore would make stealth extremely difficult—if not impossible—so why bother hiding her face?

She tossed the scarf and hood back into the trunk, and pulled out her dark riding cloak. She trusted Cor’a to be discreet, but she didn’t want anyone else seeing her wear the clothing of the Shimat. Adesina had made this choice because she knew she couldn’t do all that would be necessary on this mission while wearing a dress, and she didn’t own any other suitable trousers. The L’avan all knew of her past, though, and it wouldn’t do for them to assume she was reverting to her former self.

Adesina gave her young maid’s hand a squeeze in thanks and farewell, and then she stepped out into the chill morning air. Summer was approaching, but the pre-dawn still felt very much like spring. The early rays of light were appearing on the horizon, and it looked like the day would be warm and fair.

Most of the L’avan were standing silently by the entrances to their tents, watching their young queen depart from the settlement. There was no fanfare, no ceremony, but they all wanted to see her off as she went to restore their hopes for the future.

Her companions were waiting for her at the edge of the settlement. Mar’sal and Than’os were speaking quietly to E’nes, and Ravi kept his place at Kendan’s side. Maizah was already sitting on her horse, waiting patiently to depart.

Adesina noted with a glance that her own grey mare was nowhere to be seen. She paused in shock when she recognized the glossy black stallion with a white star on his forehead.


It was the horse that L’iam had given her after her first visit to Yavar, the capital city of Pevothem. Adesina had been forced to leave him behind during the escape from the Shimat fortress five years ago.

She moved forward to touch his face, and he nuzzled her hand in greeting. Adesina was pleased that he remembered her after such a short time together. “How did you get here?” she asked the horse with a smile.

“I brought him with me,” answered Kendan. “The Shimat who were guarding the gate when you were last at the fortress told me that you had ridden up on him, and I could see that he was no ordinary stallion. I claimed him as my own after things quieted down, and I promised him that I would return him to you.”

The smile faded from her face as she turned to her former teacher. “Thank you.”

“That is not all,” Kendan continued. “There is one more thing that I claimed that night, and I promised myself to return it to you.”

He unbuckled the sword that was strapped to his back, and he offered it to her with a hesitant expression on his face.

Adesina knew what it was immediately. She stared at the sword for several moments, uncertain if she wanted it or not. Finally, she accepted it and held it gently. It was still as perfectly balanced as she remembered, and it still felt like it belonged in her hands. The simple sheath bore the image of a diving falcon—the codename by which she had been known as a Shimat. The young queen drew the blade and studied the exquisite workmanship and the intricate designs that had been etched along its slender length.

It was her Blood Sword. The weapon that had been infused with a few drops of her own blood, and given to her upon her graduation from Shimat training.

Kendan could see the conflict on her face. “Zadok learned to be a blacksmith in a land across the sea. He said that it was common practice to make Blood Weapons, and that it was believed that it created a bond of loyalty between a warrior and his weapon. The Shimat may have forged your sword, but it only belongs to you.”

Adesina nodded slowly and replaced it in its sheath. “Again, thank you.”

He shook his head and turned away, as if denying his worthiness of her gratitude.

E’nes approached his younger sister with tears in his eyes. He embraced her gently and whispered into her hair, “I almost cannot bear to see you go. Who will protect you and keep you out of trouble?”

She smiled as she hugged him back. There had been a time when she could not imagine having a brother, but now she could not imagine being without him. E’nes had become a steadying and strengthening force in her life, and she already missed him fiercely.

“Ravi will keep an extra eye on me on your behalf.”

He gave a small laugh. “I suppose he will.”

Adesina looked up at her brother’s loving face and her heart was filled with warmth. “Thank you for taking care of me, E’nes. I would have been lost without you.”

“That sounds too much like a final goodbye,” he said with a frown.

“Is that not what one says when leaving?”

“No. We shall say farewell until we meet again.”

She chuckled at his insistence. “Very well. Farewell until we meet again.”

E’nes nodded in satisfaction. “Do not do anything foolish, little sister.”

“I never do,” she claimed as she mounted Torith.


For the next chapter, click here.