300 x 2 Fantasy Giveaway 02

Thanks tearscover_w_spine-copy.jpgfor checking in! Here’s the conclusion to the prologue and the start of Chapter 1. Hope to see you back on Tuesday!

 

The oak stretched its long limbs toward the mighty warrior and his mount, and it swayed in the wind, cheering their arrival. Both warrior and steed glowed as if a full moon resided within, while streams of blue light fell like shooting stars from his flowing cape, and a long sword was strapped to his side. The warrior’s face was his most captivating feature, ablaze with color like fire in a wintry sky.

The warrior, in turn, gave the regal tree a formal bow, acknowledging that their reunion had been long overdue. He admired the tree’s far-reaching branches and towering height, recalling a distant time—as if in a dream—when the children of Allsbruth climbed it in hope of hearing a whisper.

Defeat in the Dark War with Ebon and the Cauldron changed all of that. Now, villagers of Hetherlinn avoided the oak and even banned their children from it as well.

After all, swirling within the whispers were stories from the nation of Claire. Even though such tales could lead to freedom, the price was more than they were willing to pay. So they accepted the restraints of the Cauldron’s Oracles, bowed beneath Ebon’s military rule, and vowed to never listen to the whisper again.

The enigmatic warrior turned his gaze toward the sleeping village of Hetherlinn. Their tiny cottages sat in the shape of a crescent moon around the town’s communal fire that, at this time of night, was just a faint glow. Despite the hamlet’s small size, it was the epicenter of defeat in the Dark War. Sleeping inside cottages number seventeen and seven were the men whose actions at the battle of Min Brock continued to shadow the nations with despair. The warrior let his gaze wander from their homes, for he was not sent to question their allegiance or even punish their failures.

His was an altogether different mission.

Retrieving his crossbow from his back, he notched one of his bolts. Wrapping a white parchment around the clear crystal shaft, he secured the message with a thin strip of leather. Raising the weapon to his shoulder, he aimed and sent the bolt zipping through the air. Seeing that it struck its mark, he repeated the process again and again. Satisfied that he had accomplished his task, he darted through Hetherlinn, blue-silver beams disappearing into the deepest of shade.

Chapter 1

The Moon King

 THUD!

Elabea awoke abruptly.

“Who’s there?” she gasped as she pulled her covers close.

Although only fourteen summers of age, Elabea had seen her share of Ebonite night raids. Even so, she would never get used to warriors barging in while her family slept. Herded gruffly out into the night, they would be led to the communal fire with the other villagers. While Ebonite commanders took roll call, the warriors harassed them: spittle and curses flew; blades threatened children and women; kicks and punches landed on the men. Elabea quickly learned that the census was merely an excuse for Ebon to flex their military muscle.

She scanned her bedroom’s shadows for any sign of a warrior.


Free 300 x 2 Fantasy Book Giveaway

Tears_of_Min_Brock_Cover_for_KindleThanks for checking out my 300 x 2 Giveaway!

Starting today–Tax Day–I’m going to post 300 words from Tears of Min Brock twice a week: Tuesday and Thursday.

The idea is simple. You invest the time to read my blog and you’ll be rewarded with a free book. Okay, not in that I’ll mail you one, but in the sense that my 300 word snippets will amass into a digital blog book.

At the heart of all of this is my desire to connect with you, the reader, in a manner where sales and stats and ratings and what-have-yous don’t color our conversation. Honest.

Enough blah-blah.

Here’s Book 1 from the War of Whispers…

Tears of Min Brock

Prologue

The winter moon glowed ominously. Unusually large and ghostly blue, its sapphire beams dotted the landscape while long shadows crisscrossed the nations.

Despite midnight’s stillness, despite the frigid night, something wonderful—perhaps even magical—stirred.

A breeze.

Leafless trees swayed to its touch, awakening from a dream, and yet, the breeze did not bring a snowstorm or even clouds for that matter.

It simply carried the subtle scent of a flower.

A tulip.

The great oak took note of the phenomenon from atop its knoll, straining with all its might to turn into the wind. Unlike the other trees that encountered the warm breeze, the oak’s sweeping branches danced in the moonlight, for it had been waiting patiently for this moment for many summers.

The breeze became a zephyr and the oak bowed to its might, all the while searching the midnight sky for his anticipated return.

High above in the northern hemisphere, a thread of silver coursed the blackness, and the oak knew this was not a comet or even a falling star. It watched the argent light fly southward before falling from the sky, knowing it had disappeared for a reason. It was on a mission of secrecy, and none of the nations, especially Ebon, could know of its arrival.

Nevertheless, the oak knew the course it would take, and imagined it zipping over the Gilden Sea whose cresting waves were but a blur of sapphire. Next, the tree pictured the silver beam zooming inland and racing across the vast Gilden Plains.

Nearing the border of Allsbruth, the nation the oak called home, it descended to the treetops. Swooping around mountains, darting over the River Arrgient, and twisting along winding roads, the silvery beam flew for the rendezvous with the oak. Approaching the hamlet of Hetherlinn, it slowed to a stop and hovered above the knoll.


How About A Discounted Book?

My publisher is running a 75% off special on e-books until March 8th. I’m posting here to get the word out.

“All your customers have to do is go to the Smashwords website, search for your book’s title, click on the title (to take them to the book’s check out page), click the “Buy” button, and use the coupon code REW75.

Thanks and happy reading!

JL

 


Calling The Curious

Good morning! Today is a shameless plug so I’ll make it short & sweet.

March 21 at 10 PM CST, yours truly will be interviewed for his FIRST blog talk radio show. (Cue raucous applause sfx.)

I’m flattered and humbled anyone would be interested in interviewing me or listen to what I have to say, so it should prove interesting on many fronts. And since I’m an old fart and I’m usually asleep at this time, the interview will be an exercise in willpower & caffeine consumption. :)

So…

If you’re wondering what I sound like (here’s a flashback post on the topic) or curious about my War of Whispers series or waging bets in Vegas on whether I can stay awake and attentive for that long, then I hope you’ll tune in.

If nothing else, wish me luck!


Books, Writing & Promo

Today’s post is my grocery list of what I’m taking on these days as an author. Maybe you’ll find it interesting or maybe you’ll be able to relate, but if nothing else, I wanted to share the misery, um, I mean the joy of working this thing called promotion. So here we go…

Book III is at my publisher. I’m excited to get his feedback! More on this later…

Working on bookmarks to use as business cards. I’m not but others with graphic design skills are.

Reaching out to bloggers/fans for interviews and reviews. If you’re interested, drop me a line. If you’re really serious, I’ll toss you a free e-book. Okay, not literally toss like a baseball since it’s digital media but I think you get what I mean.

Getting my map created by my uber talented son. The fact that he will take my chicken scratchings and turn them into something visually appealing will be a miracle in and of itself. The new map will be inserted into Tears and Moon as well as Book III.

Considering posting a short story in my blog but doing so a chapter at a time. Kind of like “tune in next week” sorta thing. Why? Well, because I’d rather write a story than blab into your conscience about this or that. I’ll let my characters do that :)

Well, time to go; the list is long and the day is short. Wishing you well in all your endeavors.

JL

 


“Hey-I’m Back!”

I love the last scene in “The Color of Money.”

Vincent (Tom Cruise), the up-and-coming pool shark, asks Eddie (Paul Newman) why he thinks he can beat him. Eddie looks up from his pool cue, eyes Vincent, and says: “Hey-I’m back.” And then breaks.

I’m there. I can relate. I want back in the game. Not billiards, but in moving forward as an author.

I just handed Book III of my War of Whispers series to my publisher. Yeah, good feeling! LOVE the whole writing/editing stuff.

But now I’m faced with traversing the Himalayas of marketing, and I’ll be honest–“Hate it!”

Please don’t be offended; I’m just rethinking the “Ya’ Gotta Do THIS!” mumbo-jumbo that’s being sold like snake oil all over the place. If I really hate it, should I do it? After all, won’t you pick up on the fact that I’m not into it, that I’m pitching something that’s not genuine, that’s not me?

So instead, I’m looking for ways to meet people, whether online or at a cafe, that’s more in line with “me.” Organic is a buzz word, so maybe it’s that. I prefer authentic, real & meaningful to organic, which reminds me of a compost heap :) But I digress…

So I’m rolling up my sleeves, grabbing my cue stick, and racking up the balls ala Eddie. And just like that last scene, if I get knocked down, beaten, and taken, I’m going to get back up, brush myself off and try again.

Only hopefully a wee bit smarter!


My Blog: 2013 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog. Kinda interestin’. Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL 2014!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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