The False Gods Sample Chapter

Hethera

Urgent pounding shook the door. Hethera jolted up in bed, heart thudding in her chest. It was still dark. Acen stumbled into her room, rubbing his eyes. She rose from the bed and motioned for him to remain in the room as she stepped out into the hall. The door gave a quiet click behind her.

Creeping down the hall, she took in deep breaths, trying to calm her thundering heart. She tiptoed down the stairs, cringing as one of the steps let off a horrendous creak. Ianen was at the door. He motioned for her to remain where she was as he drew his weapon. He motioned to someone off to the side that Hethera couldn’t see.

Hethera watched him open the door. Little sound reached her ears over the pounding in them. Her chest tightened. From where she stood on the wooden steps, prepared to run and grab Acen and flee, she saw a small form in the doorway. She narrowed her eyes at the object pressed up against the woman’s chest. Her breath caught in her throat. By the moon light streaming in through the doorway, she could see the woman held a baby. She raced toward the door and beckoned the woman inside.

Ianen frowned at her but sheathed his sword. Once the door closed behind her, he remained near it with his hand on the hilt of his sword. Every once in a while, he’d peer outside through the small window on the door as if expecting trouble. He met Hethera’s eyes and gave her a slight nod, telling her it was time.

Hethera turned her attention to the woman, hoping he wasn’t right. “Please, sit down.”

The woman shook her head. Graying brown hair fell down around her angular face. “We don’t have time for that. We have to leave before sunrise. If we don’t, we face execution.” Tears glistened in the woman’s kind, gray eyes.

“Execution?” Hethera breathed out, sinking into a nearby chair. She sat there in silence for several moments. A deep frown furrowed her brow. When she closed her eyes, tears slid down her cheeks.

“What’s happened?” Ianen asked. His voice was stern. His eyes didn’t leave the front of the house.

The woman fought back tears by giving a few rapid blinks. “This is King Zavad’s daughter. Her name is Caraya, and she is a wytch.” She sobbed before gaining control again. “She was born with power. More power than I’ve ever witnessed. As she was born, a golden light surrounded her. It’s faded, but her skin remains a golden color, as does her eyes. Her birth killed the queen.

“King Zavad has ordered us to leave Yul. He told me to take you with me as you knew what would happen to his wife and refused to tell him. We are no longer welcome in his kingdom. If anyone should find us while still in Yul, his soldiers have orders to kill us on sight. No questions.” She sucked in a deep breath. “We must leave now, Lady Hethera. If we’re not outside of the city before sunrise, he’ll kill us. Grief has maddened him.”

Hethera thinned her lips. It was curious why she hadn’t seen this coming. For the last two nights, she hadn’t had a vision. It had come as a blessing. These unwanted insights plagued her during waking and sleeping hours. Now, she wanted them back. She needed to know the future to protect everyone.

“Let me speak with King Zavad. He must see reason. I didn’t kill anyone.” She took the woman’s hand into hers and gave it a gentle squeeze. “He’s always seen it before.”

The woman gave a bitter laugh. Ianen’s eyes moved to her for a moment. “You don’t understand, Lady Hethera. You weren’t there. He will kill his own daughter. He views Caraya as a murderer and refused to even touch her. He’s not the same man you knew.”

Hethera knew the woman spoke the truth. The fear in her light gray eyes said it all. Hethera looked toward Ianen who still wore a grim face. His eyes met hers for the briefest of moments before returning to the small window in the door. His hand never left the hilt of his sword. Ianen had known this was coming. He had warned her. She had readied herself to leave, but she had never really thought it would happen.

“It’s in our best interest to leave now, Lady Hethera,” Ianen said, stepping away from the door. “There are no signs of the king’s guards yet, but that can change at any moment. I don’t trust him. You mustn’t let him kill you or his child.”

Hethera didn’t answer. This was her home. This was where Acen was born. This was where Ogden would come looking for her. The war was over and he was on his way. She longed to wrap her arms around him and know that he had survived.

Closing her eyes, she allowed a few tears to stream down her face. She would have to trust in the Gods to tell Ogden where to find her and Acen. It was far too risky to leave a clue. Besides, she had no idea where they would go. She didn’t know much about the other kingdoms.

“I know you planned for this, Ianen,” she said in a soft voice. She turned to meet his serious eyes. “I don’t expect you to come with me. You’re a soldier to Yul. You owe me nothing. Please don’t risk your life for me.”

Ianen shook his head at her. Hethera furrowed her brow. “I’m not going anywhere. You’re an important lady and the king’s not himself. I cannot serve such a man who is willing to kill his own daughter. My loyalties have been sworn to you, for quite some time now. Lady Hethera, you’re a special woman. Although your visions have been quiet for a few nights now, I cannot abandon you. I don’t think the Gods would look upon me with any sort of kindness if I were to abandon you now.”

“I’ll get Acen and our things.” Hethera rose, looking about her home again. Tears sat in her eyes. She and her husband had discussed leaving, but she had never imagined it like this. Her hand brushed the banister of the stairs with regret.

“Do you have any idea where we’ll go, my lady?” the woman asked.

Hethera turned toward her, watching the woman hold Caraya close. Though the child slept, the midwife rocked back and forth. Hethera guessed it was more of a comfort to her than for the baby.

“No.” She met Ianen’s steady eyes.

“Let’s worry about getting out of the city first,” he answered.

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Moved and Ready to Write

We made the journey from Savannah, GA to Roanoke VA on the 24th. The last few days have been hectic. We loaded and unloaded the moving van in less than 20 hours separating the loading and unloading, which included the eight and a half hours it took to get up here, since driving a uhaul while towing your car is kind of a slow drive. We were exhausted at this point. We did manage to unpack a few boxes that night, but it took almost everything out of us to unload the uhaul after driving. Now, you would think we would have just crashed that night with how tired we were. Nope. New apartment, new city, new sounds, and of course, a neighbor blaring his television until about 2 a.m. in the morning made it difficult to sleep. We knocked on his door that night and the next night to ask, politely, if he could turn his television down so we could sleep. He ignored the knocks. Not a great start to our new home, but we’re still hopeful.

The next day we decided to go grocery shopping, hoping we could get our kitchen together in working order that day to attempt to cook something. Sadly, that didn’t happen. Washing all the dishes, even with the help of a dishwasher, takes quite a bit of time. Also, we were exhausted still and took a nap.

During this, we were washing what we call “the swamp” out of our clothes and finding places for it, as our apartment is a bit smaller than our other apartment. We’ve had to get creative with where things are going. Within three days, we now have everything unpacked and ready to go. The apartment looks and feels like home, in exception to the so far really rude neighbor.

Now that this is all over, we’re ready to start writing again. I have discovered that it is a bit irritating that I haven’t written in three days. I have been writing every single day since January but moving always, ALWAYS, disrupts everything around you. We’re hoping that our next move will be our last move and that is into a house when we can buy one. Hopefully, it will be soon. My husband wants to buy one by the end of our lease here, sometime next May, but I am a bit skeptical we’ll be able to. It’s a good goal to try to accomplish and we’ll give it our all, but I will probably remain a bit doubtful we’ll be able to do it. You know, unless of course, a bunch of people suddenly discover our books and buy them.

I am just excited to be out of the swamp. A place my husband and I did not like. It isn’t all that surprising after having lived in Casper, WY for most of my life and a good portion of his. It’s a mountainous region that is also semi-arid. So, going from that, a place with big open fields and hills where you can see miles around you to flat, lots of trees, and standing water, that does not seem to move in the slightest way, was quite the shock. We gave it a year and nine months down there, but we never did grow to like it. The dense humidity down there was killing me, too. It was making my back issues worse. And, yes, we are aware that Roanoke is humid as well but after being up here for 3 days, it is a different kind of humidity. You don’t have to force yourself to walk through the thick air. We’re hoping it’s different enough that I won’t be bothered by it. Also, the fact that it is absolutely gorgeous up here (there are mountains in every direction you look) and the air smells clean, is a great bonus. Time will only tell how I do. We have a year on our lease. We’ll just have to see. Until then, I hope we get lots and lots of writing done.

I want to leave you with never give up. If there is something you don’t like in your life, change it. Life is far too short to not go for something. Sometimes, you have to take the risk to see change. And sometimes, like it was for us with moving to Savannah, the risk isn’t going to feel worth it. Even if it doesn’t feel like that at the time, trust me, it is. By moving to Savannah, we learned a lot about ourselves. We learned a lot about what we wanted out of life and what we didn’t want out of life. Without moving there, we would have never learned these things. We wouldn’t be the people we are today. Change isn’t always good but I think it is essential in life to be able to grow.

Rules

 

New Beginnings (Hartland Book 5) Covers

 

Book 5 in the Hartland series, the last one, is going through one more edit, and then it will be released. I know we didn’t give anyone much notice on this one. We apologize for that in advance. This book has been a bit of a struggle to complete. Not because of the story but because of some personal trials that made writing difficult. And now, we’re moving at the end of the month. It’s been a crazy time for us, so we’re trying to wrap up some projects before we move. This being one of them. We hope to have this released before the 24th, which is the day we’re moving.

Time To Toot My Own Horn

The Ordinary series, an 8 book series, is complete. At least, the first drafts are. The reason I am tooting my own horn today is because I managed to write 8 books in a span of 118 days. That’s right, a little less than 4 months which makes it 2 books a month. Six of the first drafts are around 70k, the other 2 are near the 90k mark. That’s 600,000 words, roughly, which boils down to hammering out around 5,000 words a day.

The reason this is such an achievement for me is because after moving to Savannah and losing a loved one, I found it difficult to write. It was almost impossible to finish the 5th book in the Hartland series. It’s finished, but I am still in the process of reformatting it. It’s a difficult book for me as it’s linked to those memories but it’s a book that I am the most proud of. In a time, where I didn’t want to write, where I seriously considered giving up, I continued writing. Even if I could only manage to write 3 measly words in a day, I did. Today, I am thankful for that perseverance.

Only regret giving up Meme

It helps reaching these goals when you love to write, are blessed to have an amazing husband that insists you don’t work because your back is screwed up, and the fact I just absolutely love the story of the Ordinary series. Now, the fun part begins of the rewriting and fine tuning of the story. I am one of those people that typically loves the editing part because you can really see your story take to life during this process. The first drafts, for me, are to get the story out. The other multitude of drafts is to get it to as close to perfection as you can.

But first, maybe a break? I am thinking about reading a few books in between having finished this series and starting the rewrite. We’ll see how that goes. I might get too excited about polishing the story that I jump right to it. I know that the next few days, I will finish getting New Beginnings, the 5th and last book of the Hartland series, ready for publishing.

I wish you all to have a fantastic weekend.

 

 

Writing/Life Update

Okay, so I know it’s been a while since we posted anything. But it’s because we’ve been busy, writing, writing, writing, and writing. We’ve also been busy doing other things such as getting ready to move. We only have 23 more days before we’re leaving Savannah, GA behind and will be starting a new chapter in Roanoke, VA. We’re leaving the swampy land behind that we didn’t really care for and are going back to mountains. Granted, they are not the mountains we are used to and the Appalachians cannot really compare to the Rocky Mountains, but they are still mountains and the area is beyond gorgeous. I can only imagine what it looks like in the Fall.

Even with the excitement and dread of the move ahead of us, because let’s be honest, no one likes the physical act of moving, we have been busy writing. I finished book 7 of the Ordinary series and realized that there had to be an 8th book to wrap things up and because of something that happened in the supposed final book. So, the 7 book series is now an 8 book series. Funny how things like that happen. Also, book 8 is 54k so far and still going strong. With this series, I haven’t gotten bogged down in any place for too long. I am more than grateful for that, but I think part of it stems from the fact that I absolutely love this story. Right now, because they are first drafts only, the story is a bit on the hushed side as we still have a lot of kinks and some plot to work out. Nothing too serious though.

As for my husband, he’s been working on book 2 of the Magna Luctus series still. When he gets stuck on this one, he goes to another series we came up with a few years ago. It’s the Just Plain Lost series. These books are a bit lighter than what we normally write and from what I’ve read of what he’s done from our combined ideas, I think you’ll enjoy it. I certainly have. He’s not very far into the first book yet, but progress is still progress. I’ll help where I can. Right now, it’s just getting everything out of both of our heads into the story.

Since we found out, for certain, last Tuesday that the hubby’s transfer was officially accepted, it’s been difficult not to run around the apartment and pack everything. I have to sternly remind myself that we still have to live here for 23 days and since we cook our own meals, it’s kind of important to keep the kitchen intact until the day of moving. Everything else that we don’t really use that much has been packed and is ready to go. I don’t like waiting for the last minute to do things, especially since we’ll have to clean the apartment after packing up the loading van. I have been doing some deep cleaning, too. But this weekend and today, I was forced to take a break as my back decided to act up, yet again. Hopefully, I’ll be up on my feet by tomorrow, ready to tackle some more things. Until then, I’m enjoying taking some more time to write. It’s what I love to do. It’s one of the things that drew us together.

Have a wonderful week!

Book Review: On Unfaithful Wings

On Unfaithful Wings (Icarus Fell #1) (An Icarus Fell Novel) by [Blake, Bruce]

4 out of 5

This was an interesting read to say the least. The story was a bit darker than I was expecting but it wasn’t what I was expecting in the first place. That, I cannot express enough, is a good thing. I love when a book can surprise me and that’s what this one did.

The main character, Icarus Fell, is a man with many, many flaws. While you’re disgusted at some of his habits and the way he has led his life, you can feel a bit sorry for him at the same time. When he is murdered, he is given the chance at a second life by becoming a soul harvester. It’s more difficult than he thought it would be as someone is working against him, trying to make certain he fails. And then, there are souls he’s supposed to harvest of people who he thought were his friends and one in particular from his past that he doesn’t want to harvest to send to Heaven. During all of this, he discovers he isn’t alone on this unexpected journey. He has the help of his guardian angel, Poe, and a few of the archangels.

The people in Icarus’s life are all different from one another, which is refreshing, and for some authors is difficult to maintain but Bruce Blake achieved this, seemingly easily. I love the dimensions of the characters. The world that was created here was rich and enjoyable, if not a bit dark, as mentioned before. It had the feeling of real life to it. Not that’s a bad thing.

I would recommend this book to anyone needing an action-packed book. It delivers.