NOVELS IN PROGRESS
SAVING EDALYA (tentative)
This is my thesis novel for Seton Hill University, and it’s epic fantasy with military elements. The story takes place in the kingdom of Edalya and is headed up by Jayleen Rothwell (daughter of Edalya’s royal guard captain). Shall I try the blurb thing? Sure.
After rescuing the princess of a neighboring nation, Jayleen finds herself back in Arendale on palace patrol. Finally, she’s been recognized and she can begin climbing the ranks to help her father.
Promotion isn’t her main concern for long, though. She’s only home a few hours when her father informs her that some strange disease has been running over the grounds, the only symptom white clouds in the affecteds’ eyes. Of course she agrees to aid in the search for answers, and of course answers are the one thing that evade her. But as the clouds make more and more appearances in the eyes of key people, evasion is the one thing Jayleen cannot afford.
Seek and find was a fun enough game, just not against her brother.
Jayleen slumped onto the fourth-floor stairs of her family’s home. One minute, and then she’d keep going. She buried her face in her lap to muffle her panting. Sprinting across the yard and up three flights of stairs hadn’t been fun, but it was the only way to stay ahead of Julian.
“Jay!” Her brother’s lilting tease echoed through the house. “Where are you?”
And even that hadn’t bought her much time. She stood, flipping her sable braid over her shoulder, and climbed the stairs. There was no rule against using the fourth floor. They just never did. But if Julian was going to start his search before finishing the two-hundred count, again, it was time she taught him a lesson.
She hopped the creaking second-to-last step and straightened. Ahead, the double doors to her parents’ bedroom stood closed, the only room off-limits. The rest of the hall mimicked the floor below—light walls interrupted by dark wood doors. Two led to tiny closets and a third to a reading room with absolutely nowhere to hide. That left her father’s study. No wonder they never played up here.
She grasped the knob and paused. Her father said she wasn’t to go inside without him. If she was lucky, he wasn’t there. But what if he was and he didn’t let her stay?
“Jay, where are you?” Her brother was close. “Fine, I’m going down for lunch.”
Sure he was. He’d used that line before. It wouldn’t work this time. With a deep breath, she opened the door.
Thank Hekulai. Now to find a hiding place. If it came to it, she could squeeze behind the velvet settee, but there had to be something better. A bookshelf ran the length of the right-hand wall, crammed to overflowing with volumes on military history, tactics, and theory. Useful for her father’s career, but no good for hiding. A shorter stand of personal journals hunkered at the other end, too close to the larger shelf for her to fit between them. Maybe this hadn’t been a good idea, but there was nowhere else to go.
She tiptoed farther into the room. A warm spring breeze blew through the open window, mixing the smell of sunflowers with the study’s perpetual scents of old book and sage herb. Her father’s desk sat beneath the window, the loose sheets of parchment only distinguishable from the light wood by their slight fluttering.
Maybe she could wedge behind the desk chair. She finished crossing the room and paused. Her father’s sword belt hung from the chair’s back, and he’d left the weapon. Markings engraved the hilt’s leather—a feather in a flame, Edalya’s insignia.
Jayleen sucked in a breath. It was the spellblade, the weapon of the Royal Guard. Her father was initiated into the king’s elite protectors just over a month ago. He’d looked so tall and strong at his new pegasi’s side. The strength in his voice when he took the guard’s pledge had brought tears to her mother’s eyes, and the sword’s white magic had lit even the daytime sky. The blaze filled Jayleen’s dreams every night since. It was amazing and only made by the sword. Unbidden, her hand reached for the hilt.
Never touch it. Her father’s voice echoed in her mind. Wielding the spellblade if you are not in the Guard is forbidden.
Forbidden, but her father wouldn’t know. Besides, there was a difference between wielding and holding. Seeing the light would only take a second. She stretched the last few inches and grasped the sword.
Nothing happened. Jayleen sighed and uncurled her fingers. It was worth a try.
The spellblade tingled.
She went still. Maybe it would glow after all. The tingle grew to a hum and entered her hand, crawling down her arm and settling like dry cement in her shoulder. White light glittered at the edges of her vision. It was happening! The sword was glowing for her.
The hum spread to her chest, inching toward her heart. The warmth intensified, becoming hot and then almost burning.
“What—” Searing fire ripped through her body. She gasped. The hilt. Let go of the hilt. But her hand wouldn’t budge.
“Daddy?” Her voice came out as a squeak. Her arm shook so hard. What if it fell off? What if the sword tore her apart? The glow moved farther into her vision. It wasn’t the sword. It was her. Daddy! Did she even scream? The white overtook her, and she fell.
MIA MYSTERIES - urban fantasyAnd now for something completely different. This one follows half-dryad—tree spirit—Vern Sumac (formerly bonded to a poison sumac tree) in her life and job as office assistant to her best friend, Inspector Warren Gazeban of MIA (The Magical Investigation Agency). Making the initial adjustment from the woods of Southern California to the urban jungle of New York City was quite the leap, but she’s living the pretty good life now with her roommate (Ellie), an office full of nuts (not literally), and a metrosexual cactus (who shares her desk). We won’t talk about the bitchy fairy who works in the lab down the hall.
Other miscellaneous fantasy and sf works. More to come.
Some Shorter Works
Historical romance—written as an out-of-my-comfort-zone challenge.
-Messed-up Flash Fiction
Just for kicks.