Tag Archives: Call of Sunteri

All the Little Things

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All the Little Things

Getting ready to launch book three, which is set to release this Friday, June 10, I’m spending this week fixing up all of the little things that have been shelved in favor of writing, illustrating, and editing. One of those things was my website, which was in dire need of an update.

Now, without further ado, I’m excited to share the newly updated missysheldrake.com with you! There, you can browse the illustration galleries for Call of Kythshire and Call of Sunteri, read excerpts from all three books, tiptoe through my fairy art doll gallery, download my new Marketing Kit, and even send me a message! I hope you do. I love hearing feedback. So, go on over and take a peek!

www.missysheldrake.com

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Call of Brindelier is Coming!

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Call of Brindelier is Coming!

Okay, I am going to try to keep this short. I’ve been so hard at work getting Book Three ready for all of you that I’ve otherwise been a Very Bad Author and haven’t been updating my blog! I hope you can forgive me.

June is promising to be an exciting start to an even more exciting summer as I delve into a new writing project that I hope to share with you very soon. Don’t fret, though, I’ll still be working on the Keepers of the Wellsprings in the meantime!

Call of Brindelier is the third full book in the series, and I’ve decided there will be at least two more books to round the series out after this one. Azi and Rian have a lot of adventures left to face, along with Tib and a new character who’s introduced in Book Three: Celli! Celli is a scrappy street fighter with a penchant for pick-pocketing, who gets caught with the wrong crowd in a major way. She’s sort of like Tib, but with fewer morals.

Here she is sneering at Dub, an assassin who you might remember from Call of Sunteri. Dub plays a much bigger part in this book. I’ve grown pretty fond of that guy.

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Celli and Dub had a fun first meeting.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter One of Call of Brindelier:

     This room is strange. It’s dark, and the floor is covered with gold tiles in the shape of a sunburst that starts in the center and goes out toward the walls. Each point of the sunburst creeps up to an alcove in the wall, and each alcove holds an empty pedestal. I think about going to look at one closer, but before I can move, Quenson appears in the doorway.
He’s flanked by two guards: a woman and a man both wearing heavy chain mail. They post themselves just inside and eye me with caution while the Sorcerer approaches me. I don’t let them intimidate me. With him standing as close to me now as we were in the alley, they don’t matter, anyway. He’s even more handsome than I remembered.
“Sybel has outdone herself,” he says as he circles around me, looking me over.
His tone makes my cheeks go hot. He’s dangerous, I know, but that excites me. All I want is his approval. I want him to admire me. I want to always be close to him. I want to show him that I can do anything for him. Whatever he needs me to do. I watch him come around to face me again, where he stands and looks at me without a word. He’s not wearing his veil here. His face seems older than it did in the street, wiser and more impressive. With his eyes on me, suddenly I feel like a child about to be scolded.
“I’m sorry,” I blurt out. “I won’t fail you again.”
“I believe you,” he says. “You will begin by never speaking unless spoken to.”
I nod my agreement and he smiles at me. I want him to keep smiling. I want to be his favorite. I never want to make him scowl.
“This is Dub,” he says after a long pause. It takes me a moment to realize there’s someone else here. He’s been lurking against the wall all this time. He steps out of the shadows as Quenson introduces him.
He’s in his twenties, maybe, lean and strong, and dressed all in leathers like me, except they’re black. His face is coarse with whiskers, and one eye is covered with a patch. The most remarkable thing about him, though, are all the knives. I can count at least a dozen strapped to his torso, his belt, his arms, and his legs. I wonder how many others he’s concealing.
His one good eye looks me over like Quenson did. Except when he does it, it makes me uncomfortable. I square my shoulders and cross my arms and raise my chin, trying to seem bigger. Tougher. He smirks, but doesn’t say a word.
“Go.” Quenson says.
Before I have time to think, Dub leaps at me, his knives flashing. He swings and I duck and roll away. He throws a blade, and I somersault and narrowly dodge the attack. His knife clatters and skids across the floor. I tumble to grab it and another one of his blades slices my sleeve as it whizzes past. I don’t know why, but this guy is serious. He means to kill me.
With Dub’s knife tight in my grip, I charge him. He’s nearly twice my size but I don’t care. If he wants to kill me, I’m going to make it difficult. He’s ready for my attack though. As I swing to stab him, he sheaths a knife and grabs my arm, twisting it painfully behind my back. He’s strong, but I’m a fighter. I elbow him hard in the ribs and kick him between the legs until he doubles over. That makes him loosen his grip on my arm, so I spin and punch him hard in the face. His nose cracks and he curses.
Quenson’s laughter somewhere to the side of the room is a musical sound that echoes up to the high-domed ceiling and back down again. It reminds me of how much I want to please him. It makes me fight harder.

If you like what you’ve read, you can click here to preorder Call of Brindelier! Thanks!

 

 

 

Title Reveal and Update on Book 3!

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Title Reveal and Update on Book 3!

I have been busily typing away at the next installment of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series. Book three is well underway, and I’m confident enough to be able to announce the title: Call of Brindelier!

Here’s the current status of my work in progress:
Draft: 1
Words: 140,425
Chapters: 41
Percent complete: 90%

Pending release date: May, 2016

Not only have I broken through my writer’s block, I’m also busy with illustrations. Here’s a taste of some of the images you’ll see gracing Call of Brindelier’s pages:

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And just for fun, here’s an excerpt from Chapter 3: The Satchel (Tib)

A brush of cobwebs against my skin. I step into the unseen. Into the shadows. Mevyn’s gift. Valenor’s lesson. A gift is not a trick. They taught me that. Sometimes, a gift is necessary. Sometimes it’s the last hope for something better. This time, it’s for something nobody else has dreamed up yet. I adjust the blade strapped to my back. It’s longer. It stretches up over my head farther than I can reach. Flatter, too. Twisted. Perfectly worked by Sir Benen.

Zeze walks in front. Gets people to jump away or risk tripping over her. Some of them kick at her. I make a mental note of them for later. We travel this way for a while. Slinking on foot. Sticking to shadows. Out of the tucked-away street where Azi’s guild keeps their hall, past the castle, through the market. Past the lifts to the docks. I pause here. Watch the Mage at the wall as he raises his arms. Bulky muscled men crank the cranks. The lift creaks and squeals and bumps along the cliff face. Crates jostle and threaten to fall, but the Mage keeps them safe. His spell is a powerful one. It makes the load lighter. It keeps it protected. It’s necessary. Even the Princess thinks so.

This goes on all day into the dusk. Mage spells. Crates. Boxes. People. Animals. Up and down, never stopping. Workers working. Ships loaded and unloaded. Cargo in. Cargo out. In the summer, the Mages keep things light and safe. They protect from wind and rain and sea salt. In the winter, they melt the ice. Every spell drains a drop from Kythshire’s Wellspring. A drop, a stream, it doesn’t matter to them. The port gets busier. Their work needs to be done. Nobody thinks of the fairies. Why should they? To them, the fae don’t exist. Legends. Stories. Mention them and they call you a simpleton. A liar. A tall tale-teller.

I slip away from the port. When I’m done, they won’t need magic anymore for that task. My way will be better. My way will preserve the Wellsprings. Kythshire’s and Sunteri’s, too. I’ll sell my machine to them, then I’ll find another need to fill. Rian says we’ll always have a need for magic. He says the arts are getting more popular by the season. It’s harder to get into the school now. The Academy. They’re very careful about who’s allowed to learn its secrets. I’m glad. Magic is selfish and dangerous. It ruins people. It destroys things too easily. They shouldn’t trust just anyone with it.
Zeze knows the way to Redstone. I follow her without thinking past the bright white walls of the Academy. Past the dorms and the stables and the rows of merchants in the main square. Through to the poorer places. The places you don’t really notice when you first come to Cerion. The places you walk by without looking too hard. The places you try to avoid. When I first came to Cerion, I didn’t think anyone here was poor. In Zhaghen, they’re everywhere. Spread out through the city, right in the open. Begging. Coughing. Crying.

It’s different here. They have their place, neatly tucked away. Dark, stinking rows of red-brick houses. Houses so old and ignored that they might crumble to dust with one careless bump of a cart. Redstone Row. It used to be a small part of the city, but now it’s growing. The king is too distracted to pay his people the attention they need right now. Everyone’s talking about it. They say he doesn’t care. He doesn’t see them like he used to. The people aren’t important anymore. He’s too focused on his son. On the trials.

Whispers that Cerion’s age of peace is coming to an end echo from the shadows here. As I trudge through the filth of these forgotten streets I understand why. I slip from the shadows. Stop in the usual places. Unload my pockets slowly into outstretched hands. Coins. Rolls. Fruit. Trade them for smiles, for thanks. For information. Dreiya talks to me with a baby on each hip. Her husband is at a meeting. A secret rally. He’s a master stone carver. Worked for the Royal builders. They stopped working last year. Nothing left to build, they said. No orders from His Majesty for new construction.
Lots on this row are in the same boat. No work because Cerion is fading. It’s happening slowly, just like it did in Zhaghen. Just like there, the poor are the first to see it. Just like there, powerful men sit in their towers, too caught up in their own problems to care. While things are getting worse in Cerion, in Sunteri things are getting better. The new princess is helping her prince. They’re working to rebuild the kingdom. Their first step was to make strong rules against magic. Guiding the royal treasury away from the Mage scholars and into the hands of the poor.

Maybe Princess Sarabel should come back. Maybe she’d see what’s happening. Tell her father. Snap him out of his selfish misery. Show him how skinny everyone’s getting down here.

I turn the corner, straight into a gang of boys. Their backs are turned to me. Some older than I am, some younger. All dirty. Scrappy. Grouped around something. Their arms are linked together to keep whatever’s inside from getting out. I step closer and peer in. A fray. A fistfight. A girl dressed in tatters fighting a dark-skinned boy in fine clothes. He doesn’t know how to fight. He’s grabbing at her hair. Kicking. Thrashing a lot and missing. She’s better at it. She lands a punch to his gut. A kick to his hip.

“Give it back!” The rich boy huffs, grabbing at a bag slung across the girl’s chest. It doesn’t match the rest of her. It’s finer. Cleaner. Something’s inside that I can feel, but not see. Something magical. Powerful. Dangerous. Definitely not hers. The boy lunges at her and she swings up with bloodied knuckles. Uppercut to his jaw. He’s thrown back. She laughs. The circle of boys cheers. To them it’s a game. To the boy, that bag is important. He wipes blood from his lip onto his yellow silk sleeve. Pushes himself up. The rest of the boys charge him. Push him down. Kick. The girl joins in.

He doesn’t give in. He keeps trying to get up, even when the flash of a blade catches the sun. That’s when I step in. Zeze goes first. Saunters up to them. The boys in the back of the pack freeze when they see her. They tug at the others. Point. The fight dies down as nudges travel through them into the center. One of the boys tugs the girl’s arm. She shoves him away but Zeze catches her eye. She turns. Lowers the knife.

Cowered against the wall, the rich boy peeks around his upraised arms. Glances at all of them, standing with their backs to him. Staring at me. Waiting.

“What’s the word, Celli?” I ask. Casual. Like I didn’t just interrupt her almost murdering someone. She shrugs. Rolls her eyes a little. She’s my age. Fourteen, maybe fifteen. Cold eyes. Thin mouth. Broad shoulders. The look of someone who’s been fighting for a long time. The other boys step back a little. Watch between us.

“What’s that?” she points to the iron slung to my back.

“Later,” I say. “What’s that?” I point to the bag. She shrugs again.

“It’s my lord’s bag, and she stole it right out of his hands!” the rich boy cries. His accent is thick. He starts to get up, but Celli turns a fist to him and he cowers away.

“That true?” I ask her.

“Nope. This stupid clod left it lying on a stool,” Celli sneers. “So it walked. What’s in here that’s so important?” she asks. Folds open the flap. Reaches a hand inside. The rich boy jumps up. Grabs at it. She shoves him away.

“Give it back!” he shouts. “Don’t touch it!”

“Celli, no!” I try to warn her.

She doesn’t listen. She touches whatever is in there. When she does, she screams. Pulls her hand out. It’s red. Bright red, like the petals of the flowers I used to pick. The color creeps up along her arm, swirling and curling like Mage Mark. She scrambles with the bag. Yanks it from her shoulder. Throws it at the rich boy. The curls don’t stop. They stretch over the skin of her chest, sizzling. She screams. Claws at it.

Get ready for release day by reading the Keepers of the Wellsprings Book One: Call of Kythshire and Keepers of the Wellsprings Book Two: Call of Sunteri!

Azaeli Hammerfel

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Azaeli Hammerfel

imageAzaeli, or Azi, is the main character of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series.  She is the only main character in Call of Kythshire, but she shares the role with Tib in Call of Sunteri and the upcoming third book in the series: Call of Brindelier.

Azi grew up in the guild hall of his Majesty’s Elite. Her parents are Knights. Her caretaker is the guild’s cook, Mouli. Her best friend is Rian, the son of the guild leader, who is also her next door neighbor. Because she’s a girl and most of those she trained with were boys, Azi never had many friends growing up. Her parents and her guild have provided her with a sense of purpose she has never doubted.

She is loyal to King and country, and her dream is to become a Knight like her parents so she can one day stand beside them to protect the peace that Cerion is so well known for.

In Book 3, Call of Brindelier, Azaeli has come into her own.  She’s now a celebrated Knight and a full-fledged member of the Elite, but her allegiance is torn between her beloved country and that of Kythshire.  Her alliance with the fairies there has placed her in a precarious position, and the magic she has earned by helping them is a source of suspicion in Cerion.

Read all about Azi and her adventures in Call of Kythshire, Book One of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, available on Amazon.com

Alternatives to “Say”

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Alternatives to “Say”

I’ve had a few of these charts floating around in my bookmarks for a while, but none of them were organized in a way I would have liked, and all of them listed the words in past tense.

In an effort to maintain my sanity, I decided to compile them into one big list and categorize them according to the mood they set.

I’m offering this reference to my fellow writers who are looking for a different way to say “says” or “said.” You can download it in either .jpg form or a printable .pdf that you can print. Use it and share it freely, but please don’t offer it for sale.

Enjoy!

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Alternatives to ‘Says’ – Sheet1 (4)

The Hammerfel Residence

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The Hammerfel Residence

I had so much fun creating Azi’s guild hall that I decided to do a close up view of her house, too. This house is where Azi grew up, and it’s a small part of the larger guild complex.  She spends much of her time here in the first book of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series: Call of Kythshire.

Many scenes have played out within these walls.  I even added Flit’s pitcher to the drawing. Do you see it?

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Read all about Azi, her house, and her adventures in Call of Kythshire, available for free on Kindle Unlimited at Amazon.com.

 

Call of Sunteri is Free Today!

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Call of Sunteri is Free Today!

From time to time, I offer free promos for my ebooks.  Call of Sunteri is free today only for Kindle!  Click here to download your free copy.

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Call of Sunteri is the second book in the Keepers of the Wellsprings series. It follows Azi and Rian and the rest of His Majesty’s Elite on a journey through Cerion as they escort Prince Eron and Pricess Amei to Kordelya Keep, where she’ll give birth to the new heir. Their journey is clouded by a mysterious darkness which makes tensions run high and threatens Azi’s place in the guild.

This second installment in the series  introduces a new point of view character, Tib, who is a slave boy from the desert lands of Sunteri. Sunteri has been overrun by Sorcerers, and its Wellspring all but drained. Tib finds a way to flee to Cerion,  but as he journeys to freedom, he begins to wonder whether his thoughts and motives are his own.

Call of Sunteri features several color illustrations depicting scenes from this fantastic, adventurous journey. It’s not necessary to read the first book first, but if you’d like to, you can download Call of Kythshire here.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0187IG3HK

 

His Majesty’s Elite Guild Hall

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His Majesty’s Elite Guild Hall

A lot of the first book of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, Call of Kythshire, happens in one setting: the guild hall of His Majesty’s Elite. This setting is one of my favorites in the books, because it’s a place that I feel like I’ve actually been to. I can picture the splintered wood benches in the sparring square, hear the ring of Benen’s hammer from the forge, and smell the wood smoke from the great hearth in the meeting hall.

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Snowberry Blossom

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Snowberry Blossom

For Christmas, I’ve decided to treat my readers to a holiday story featuring Azi, Rian, and their friends in Cerion. Follow them as they quest through a treacherous snowstorm to retrieve the perfect gift for Midwinter’s Eve.  Read the rest of this entry

A Call of Sunteri Excerpt!

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A Call of Sunteri Excerpt!

Just because I’m feeling a little blue today, I’ve decided to share an excerpt from Book 2 of my Keepers of the Wellsprings series.  In this scene, Tib has been taken in by the kind graces of Lady Nessa Ganvent.  Nessa is a merchant’s daughter who is married to the Admiral of Cerion’s royal fleet. To keep from getting too lonely while her husband is away, Nessa has a habit of taking in stray children and helping them to make better loves for themselves. Here, they’re getting to know Tib, a stray Sunteri boy, a little better.

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