Since my birthday is coming up, I have decided to give you a free short story again! What? Shouldn't I be receiving the gift, you say? Well, I kind of look at like this: I give you something for free, and you, in return, read my work and perhaps even post a review. Or, even better, you like it and come back to buy a few more in the series and begin your journey onto the magnificent Realm of Ashenclaw. Whaddaya say?
This is all leading up to my WIP, Secrets of the Ebonite Mines, dropping some time the end of the month, too, if all goes according to plan. I have the masterful William Kenney working on a cover that will knock your socks off and the incomparable Stephanie Dagg trying to make me once more sound as though I know what I am talking about!
In all seriousness, nothing would make me happier than if you all simply read my work. I would love a review if you happen to read the book and post it to Amazon and Goodreads. That would certainly make me happy.That is why I put pen to paper so to speak. My gift to you.
And just for a teaser, I will post another sample here, along with the cover again!
“They seem to be… random in their movements. Like they are not organized. They have no leader, I think.”
Suddenly, a scout on horseback appeared in the distance. As he neared, he clumsily dismounted, stumbling to the ground. Scarr recognized the boy as one of Helzak’s children—Halton. Helzak was a fine bowman in Chansuk, and had the eyes of an eagle. Normally Helzak would be either hunting with Scarr or helping as a scout, but this day had him bedridden with sickness. That was why the boy was in his place. The young man approached with a frightened and disturbed look upon his pale, young face. His eyes were wide and he was pointing to the north as he attempted to gather himself.
“Halton, what is it?” asked Scarr as he tried to steady the boy.
“The… Greymoors,” managed the boy, gasping for air, the heat from his breath seen clearly against the cold of the morning air. “A horde…,” he continued, finally slowing his breathing. “A horde of… something… is coming this way!”
Scarr grabbed the boy by his comparably smaller arms and pulled him closer. “A horde heading where?!” demanded the barbarian chieftain.
“They are heading northwest. Most of them, anyway,” cried the young man. Scarr could feel the boy shaking and fidgeting in his grip, truly frightened by whatever it was that he had witnessed.
“How far are they now, boy?” asked Scarr, plans formulating in his mind.
“Many miles still,” Halton answered, motionless in the iron grip of Scarr’s powerful hands. “I was able to spot them a great distance away, but—“
“But, what?” insisted Scarr, pulling the boy even closer. They were almost nose to nose.
Scarr pushed Halton back and released his vise-like grip, admiring the boy’s obvious talent for perception and observance of details. Just like Helzak, thought Scarr. The boy fell backward, but caught his balance and stood again, staring at the commanding barbarian before him who tugged at his braided beard thoughtfully.
“Alert the village,” Scarr ordered, specifically directing this command to Magreth. He nodded and ran off in a dead sprint. Then he turned to Rothnarr and added, “You’d better alert your people, too, if your father doesn’t know already.”
“Aye,” Rothnarr agreed and strode away with purpose.
Within moments, a crowd began to form around their leader, a wall of muscled barbarians who stood intently awaiting the words of their great chieftain.
“Barbarians of Chansuk,” Scarr began, but then hesitated, seeing his daughter amongst the group, her hair now braided and tied back in a pony tail. “We are facing an enemy unknown to us. But, whoever they are, we will send them running back in the direction from whence they came!”
A chorus of cheers went up with that declaration, a deafening roar from the hundreds of barbarians gathered. That roar slowly turned into a chant of “Chan-suk, Chan-suk!”