Friday, July 31, 2015

Gathering Clouds--Part 1

Okay, new short story! When I asked the questions for Dark Storm Rising,  there were some people who mentioned that they'd like to get to know Leisel, Daniel (Wilhelm) and Finch a little better. Thus Gathering Clouds came about. This story takes you back before Dark Storm Rising  starts, and you get to know Daniel before he joined the Third Reich. If you remember in chapter nine, Daniel and Max recount the story of how Daniel met the Autenburg family and how Arnold got mixed up in everything. This tells that story. ;) Just so you know, Daniel is referred to as Wilhelm in this story.

Lieutenant Wilhelm opened the door and strode into the small Cafe in Vienna, Austria. Glancing around he noticed the usual variety of customers. Some older women with shopping baskets by their side, some business men who stoped in for the afternoon meal, and the occasional couple sitting together happily chatting over a cup of tea with a scone or puffed pastry in their hands. One such couples caught his eyes. Seated off to the side, a rather pretty young women sat smiling at the gentleman across from her. But is was the man that caught his attention. Rather tall and good looking, the man had a look about him that Wilhelm recognized, but couldn’t seem to place.
Settle down, Daniel. he scolded himself using his Jewish name, Don’t be so suspicious of everyone you meet.
Walking through the room he took a seat at his usual table directly across from the one where the couple sat.
“Can I help you?”
Wilhelm glanced up at the waiter, “Yes, just a cup of tea please.”
“Will that be all?”
Wilhelm nodded, “Yes, ma’m.”
She nodded and hurried off, leaving Wilhelm alone. Sighing, he lowered his head into his hands and rubbed his eyes. Being a part of the Austrian Volkswehr had always been his dream as a boy but now, in light of Germany and Austria’s relations, it was getting to be harrowing. There was something simmering just under the surface. Everyone could feel it. Ever since Hitler had taken over Germany, relations had been strained between him and Austrian prime minister. Something is going to happen soon. Something no one expects. Those were his thoughts at least. For the first time in his life, Wilhelm was thankful to his parents for keeping his Jewish background hidden; there wasn’t a person in Austria who didn’t know how Hitler felt about the Jews.
“Here is your tea, sir.” The waiter set the cup and saucer as well as the sugar and cream and a cloth napkin down in front of him. Daniel smiled and thanked her, then watched absentmindedly as she moved on and set a tea service down in front of the man and women he had been watching earlier.  At that moment, the man reached across the table to take the woman's hand and bumped the tea cup. The cup tipped and spilled its hot liquid down the front of the women’s skirt. She shrieked and hurriedly jumped up, frantically pulling the material away from her body. The man sat there, momentarily stunned. 
Well, he’s not as much of a gentleman as he lets on, is he? Wilhelm thought wryly as he quickly stood and grabbed his napkin.
Hurrying over to her, he pried her hands off her skirt and wrapped the napkin around the fabric where the tea had spilled.
“There, that should help. Are you alright? Are you badly burned?” he asked.
She looked up at him, tears still in her eyes, “Thank you for your help. I don’t believe I suffered very much injury,” she grinned sheepishly, “Apart from that of my pride. I can’t believe I screamed like that.”
“It’s quite all right, ma’m. I don’t believe anyone blamed you for screaming as you did, I know for a fact that the tea is quite hot when it’s first served. It’s a miracle you weren’t hurt any worse.” While talking, he pulled out her chair and she took a seat, “Thank you again for your help.” she glanced up at him gratefully.
He tipped his head, “Don’t mention it.” At that moment, he glanced across the table and his eyes locked with those of the man’s. As the man glimpsed his face, his eyes widened, then a look of anger and hatred filled them. A look that was soon replaced with one of concern as he leaned across the table, “Are you alright, Leisel? I’m truly sorry, I had no intention of spilling your cup.”
Leisel gave a shaky laugh, “I know you didn’t, Arnold. I’m quite alright.” She turned to Wilhelm, “My family is vacationing here in Vienna for the week. Perhaps you can stop in and see us sometime?”
Wilhelm, still confused about the look Arnold had given him, turned back towards Leisel, “That sounds like it would be most pleasant. Thank you for the invitation.”
“Here,” she drew a card from her purse and quickly wrote an address on the back. “This is where we are staying.”
He took the card and thanked her once again, then returned to his table. In truth, he had hardly heard what she had said, his mind had been so focused on the gentleman, Arnold. We must have met before. But where? He tipped his cup and finished the now-cold tea, then placed his hat on his head and headed toward the door. For some reason that man doesn't like me and I intent to find out why.
“Ahh,Wilhelm. It sure is good to see you back.” Sergeant Finch’s eyes twinkled merrily as greeted his long-time friend.
Wilhelm gave a feigned exclamation of surprise, “You missed me when I was only gone for an hour?” he clucked his tongue, “I fear you’re not going to do very well when we get our orders.”
“Enough vith that already! You two aren’t here to play around. Vork!” Both men turned as Captain Ramond entered the room, then stomped out after uttering the last word.
“Well, now that Mr. Crab has left, we can get back to the fun,” Finch grinned.
Wilhelm shook his head, “I don’t know what’s gotten into him lately.”
Finch shrugged, “Don’t ask me. Although there have been rumors he’s planning on joining the Wehrmacht.”
At that, all trace of humor was gone from Wilhelm’s eyes, “Are you serious?”
Finch nodded, “No one knows if it’s true or not, but you know Ubel joined it just after it was created. Didn’t you say there was always some sort of rivalry going on between them? Why would Ramond want to be left behind?”
Wilhelm shook his head in disbelief, “I honestly can’t believe that I used to call them my friends. It incomprehensible how the lies of one man can influence others.”
“And, by that, you mean the lies of Hitler influencing some of the men here.”
“Here, in Germany, everywhere.”
Finch nodded, “I agree, but we need to be careful about how we talk about Hitler. There have also been rumors he’s planning a union with Austria. If that happens, you want to be on his good side.”
“A union with Austria? But that is forbidden in the Treaty of Versailles. It’s be breaking the peace treaty which would mean. . .”
“War,” Finch finished,
“Yes,” Wilhelm’s face was grim, “But how do you hear about all these rumors before I do?”
Finch grinned, “It’s what happens when you leave for lunch everyday.”
“Are you saying all these rumors are presented in the mess hall?”
“No, I’m simply saying that’s where I’ve heard them. While you’re sipping tea, I’m keeping up with the world news.”
“Hey, that’s not all I do.”
“Ahh, of course. While you’re at the Cafe you uncover some long forgotten mystery.”
“Actually, I did.”
Finch chuckled, “I’m only teasing, Wilhelm.”
“I’m not. Does the name Arnold mean anything to you?”
Finch narrowed his eyes, “Arnold? What are you talking about, Wilhelm?”
“There was a man at the cafe today. I noticed him when I first walked in and he seemed familiar, but I thought nothing of it. There was a woman with him and as he reached across the table to take her hand he spilled the hot tea on her skirt--”
Wilhelm didn’t get any further because Finch was laughing, “He actually spilled hot tea on her?”
Wilhelm nodded, “Yes. When she jumped up he seemed momentarily paralyzed. . .or something of that sort. So I went over and helped her. When I glanced up and my eyes met his, it was as though he recognized me, and then. . .and then he gave me the most hateful look I’ve ever seen. Now that I think about it, he never actually spoke to me. Leisel said his name was Arnold.”
“That was the lady’s name.”
Finch’s face took on a thoughtful expression, “I’m not sure. I can’t say that the name sounds familiar. Well, there was that one man a couple years back who we caught trying to rob the bank, but he didn’t seem like the hating kind. Besides, after he got caught I heard tell he went back to Germany. Not much reason he’d come back now. And actually, now that I think of it, his name wasn’t Arnold, it was Archer.”

As Finch had been talking, Wilhelm's eyes suddenly lit up with recognition, “No, no it wasn’t the man who robbed the bank, it was his accomplice! Remember, we took them both. I only remember now because it struck me funny how close their names were. It was Archer and Arnold.”

What do you think so far? Will you be back next week?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Character Spotlight--Anna McGowan

Okay, last character spotlight! Sorry it took me so long to get it up, I was having trouble with the computer this morning. :)

Anna McGowan is Willem and Eira's older sister, though she's younger then Kevin. She is quite and unassuming, not often saying a lot, but thinking a great deal. She is married and lives nearby. She has the same black hair and blue eyes as her younger sister and is very close to her siblings. Anna is not a main character in the book, but she's vital to the plot! There weren't very many dialogue scenes with Anna, and those that there were gave away to much. ;) So here's one where Willem and his father are talking about Anna.

Willem sighed as he stacked the last of the herbs in their proper locations on the shelf. Once they were dried, they would be crushed and ground to powder then given to his father patients as medicine.
“Are you done?” Gavin ducked through the doorway as he entered the room. At six feet five, it wasn’t hard to see where Willem had gotten his height.
“Yes, papa. I’ve just finished.”
“Ahh, good! You’ll make a fine doctor someday, son, a fine doctor! Your mother has the evenin’ meal about ready. Why don’t you go and find your sister.”
“Eira? I thought she and Casimir came back when we did.”
“Aye, so they did, but when Casimir went home Eira left again. Probably went out for one of her afternoon rambles. You know how she is.”
Willem grinned as he leaned over the basin of water, “I do.”
At that, Gavin laughed, “I don’t need to be remindin’ you about your sister. You probably know her better than any of us, Anna and Kevin included!”
At the mention of the two older O'Brien siblings, Willem turned, “How is Anna doing?”
“Oh, she’s doin’ all right I expect. She’s near her time, though, and I know both her and Michel are looking forward to meetin’ their new little one.”
"Has she had any word from Kevin?"
Gavin shook his head, "No, and we can only assume that no news is good news. I wish she could have been spared all this. She needs to be able to live her life without fear of. . .him."
Willem nodded as he dried his hands on a clean cloth, then took the basin and tossed the water outside, “Well, I can smell supper so I’d better go and find Eira. We’ll be back soon.”
At his father's nod, Willem stepped out into the calm, cool night. He stopped for a moment as though trying to figure out where his sister had gone. Then, making up his mind, he started towards the grove of trees

I hope you all have enjoyed the character spotlights!
Now that I've finished, who is your favorite character and why? *smiles* I can't wait to hear!! :D

Thursday, July 23, 2015

It's done!

Yep, that's right, today I finished the last chapter of The Silent Blade! 
Ahh! I'm so super excited right now! :D Yes, there still is all the editing, chapter titles, etc. that will still need to be fixed, but the story itself is finished! Right now it stands at 40,211 words.
I'll get the last character spotlight up tomorrow, then. . .hmm, I'm not sure what I'll post. I really should work on my short story. ;) Once I finish it, I'll start posting chapters. I'll be back tomorrow with the character spotlight! :D

Friday, July 17, 2015

Character Spotlight--Aaron O'Kelly and Trent Kane

Here's two more character spotlights for y'all! ;)

Aaron O'Kelly is what you would call Kevin's right hand man. He has been with Kevin since the beginning  and is very loyal to his friend. When Kevin is gone, the men respect him as the person in command and Aaron doesn't take that lightly. He's about Kevin's height and he has brown, wavy hair and blue eyes. He as, like Kevin, a master with the sword.

“No, Kevin. It what he wants. Can’t you see that?” Aeden, the leader of the three mysterious men pulled him around to face him. “Once Merek knows he has your siblings, he’ll not go looking for you anymore because you’ll come to him. He knows how you feel about your family. The most natural thing would be for you to try and get them back.
Kevin stared at him for a long moment, his eyes flashing, “They are my siblings. Whether you come or not is up to you, but I’m going. We all know where they’re headed, am I right?” he glanced around the circle of men. One by one they all nodded.
“Of course, Kevin. We all know where they’d go and Merek knows that we would know.It’s what he’s counting on.” Aaron said exasperated.
“Don’t you see? It’s a trap, Kevin. And you're just going to walk straight into it?”
It was Kevin’s turn to be exasperated, “What do you take me for? What have we been trying to do for the last four years? Get Merek of course! Now he’s given me a perfect excuse to do it. We’ll get Willem and Eira back and at the same time, we’ll get Merek.”
“How? We don’t have enough men and you know it. Merek has a band of followers that are there to carry out his every wish.”
“We’re three more then we were before.” Kevin stubbornly replied. Aaron shook his head in defeat. When an O’Brien made up his mind, there was no stopping him. It was either go along for the ride or else. He chose to go along for the ride.-Excerpt from The Silent Blade

“Aaron, we can’t just stand here and let this happen!” Patrick, one of the men who had come with Kevin sputtered in frustration.
Aaron, his hand on the hilt of his sword, glanced back the way Kevin had left. Everything that was in him agreed with Patrick. How could they stand there and let their leader be taken by the enemy?
He glanced over at Diarmuid and caught his eye. Diarmuid shook his head slightly and Aaron sighed. Why should Diarmuid be the one who told them what to do? He hadn't been with Kevin those four years. Yet, if he was honest with himself , he knew Diarmuid was right. If they stormed into Merek’s camp now, they wouldn’t have a chance of winning. God, please be with Kevin, and be with us. Guide our steps. He silently prayed before turning to Patrick.
“We’ll wait until Cian gets back with Aeden and Casimir. If we try to attack now, we’ll be slaughtered and that wouldn’t be of any help to Kevin.”
At that moment the sentry turned, “Cian is back.”
Aaron turned as both he and Diarmuid hurried toward the edge of the forest where Cian could be seen returning with the other four.
Aaron started when he saw Willem, Why he looks more like he could be Kevin’s twin! The brothers had the same reddish-blond hair, green eyes and muscular build as well as a height that well exceeded six feet. He smiled slightly as he realized the fact that is was Willem and Eira that were twins; the two looked nothing alike.--Excerpt from The Silent Blade

Trent is one of Kevin's men. He was trained in swordsmanship by Kevin and is one of the most trusted among the men. He has a quick and ready sense of humor, yet within a moments notice can be turn serious and focused. He is tall with broad shoulders and dark hair. Though he is one of the younger men, he has proven himself to be worthy of the trust Kevin has placed in him.

“So, how long have you known Eira?” Trent asked as they neared Merek’s camp. Casimir sighed. The whole trip he had desperately tried to avoid the subject, but it seemed Trent would not let it go.
“I’ve known Willem my whole life, we were best friends when we were younger. Eira is his twin sister and she was always tagging along. So I’ve pretty much known her my whole life as well.”
“You must be pretty good friends?” There was no doubt to what Trent was suggesting.
“Yes, we’re friends. And that’s all.” There was also no doubt to what Casimir’s voice was trying to get across. Trent ignored the warning tone and continued.
“She seems like a nice girl. I mean, I really don’t know her to well, but I think she's nice. It’s too bad you’re going to have to let her down, I mean, I don’t know about you, but I think our chances of getting to the cave in once piece are pretty slim.”
“I think your chances of getting to the cave alive dropped drastically  the moment you opened your mouth.”
Trent grinned, “Sorry, I can tell you're not to fond of teasing. It’s just there’s not really much else to do and you’re the only person around to tease. I usually try to find someone who is a little more agreeable if you know what I mean.”
Casimir clenched his teeth. Who did this guy think he was? And how in the world did Kevin put up with him? Whirling around, he stopped, “If you cannot be positive then at least be quiet! We are attempting to rescue Kevin who is being held by a madman who is out for revenge. Can we please stop all this idle talk and focus on the task in front of us?”
Trent took a step back, “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it was bothering you so much. Of course, I’ll be quite.”--Excerpt from The Silent Blade

Trent glanced at the heavy green foliage around them ,”I think we should get closer. We need to be able to keep an eye on what’s happening.”
Casimir cautiously agreed, “Alright, but we can’t get too close. Merek may have guards out, in fact, unless he’s crazy, he will have guards out.”
They slowly crept closer to the camp, being careful to stay hidden behind the trees and bushes. Presently they came to a place where they could clearly see that fire, but still stay hidden. Casimir put a finger to his lips as the sounds of voices drifted across the night air.
“I’m heading in,” Rowen set the cup down on the hot stones, “You planning on staying up?”
Merek noded, “I told the men they didn't have to stay up and watch. Henry and I can do it tonight.”
“But shouldn't you have someone watching the woods?”
“I can see them from here,” Merek snapped.
Rowen shrugged, “Alright. I’ll see you two tomorrow morning.”
He stood up, then disappeared into one of the huts.
Casimir and Trent exchanged a glance. There are no other guards! Casimir could hardly believe it. He glanced back towards the fire. Kevin still sat on the ground tied to one of the smaller trees.
“I hope you’re mighty good with your sword,” Casimir whispered to Trent.
“I am, what is your plan?”
“I’m estimating that by the time they realize we’re there, we’ll have about thirty seconds before anyone else is alerted. I’ll rush in there and try to distract them; you cut Kevin’s rope and get him out of there. Don’t look back, just go. I’ll catch up as soon as I can.”
“Casimir, are you sure?”
“It’s the only way. Now, lets do it.”
Trent nodded.
Casimir stood and advanced toward the fire, coming in behind Henry and Merek. He was about five feet away when he stepped on a dry twig. It snapped beneath his weight and both Merek and Henry turned. Stay in the shadows where they couldn't see him, Casimir stayed hidden as they both stood and unsheathed their swords, walking slowly toward him. Casimir glanced beyond them and saw Trent silently slip behind Kevin’s tree. Now If only I can keep their attention.
He reached out the tip of his sword and expertly knocked the sword out of Henry’s hand, it landed with a clang on the rocks.
Merek turned, seeing Casimir for the first time and lunged toward him. Casimir ducked from the blow and brought his own sword up, catching Merek by surprise and causing him to take a step backwards. In between dodging Merek’s blade and wielding his own, he saw Trent disappear into the woods, Kevin draped over his shoulder. Perfect! Now if only I can get away before anyone else comes!
Henry had retrieved his sword and Casimir was trying to dodge one blade at the same time he raised his to detract the second blow . Alone, neither of them would have been to difficult, but together they were almost unbeatable. Casimir glanced toward the huts. The other men had been awakened; it was time to get out of here.  With a mighty thrust he brought his sword up and hit both blades, then dropped to the ground and rolled out of the way as Merek’s sword came crashing down. Hastily he sheathed it, then began to run. At that moment he felt a searing pain tear through his side. The edge of Henry’s blade had caught him below his right shoulder. Tucking a hand around himself in an effort to staunch the flow of blood, Casimir continued to run, Merek close behind him. The blood was trickling through his fingers and he felt himself beginning to weaken. A short burst of speed caused him to gain ground, but then he began to feel faint. He slowed, searching for a place to hide. He slipped to ground at the same time he heard a voice call his name. Looking up, he saw Trent running toward him.
Casimir shook his head, “No--Kevin. Stay--with--Kevin.”

Trent paid no mind and reached an arm underneath his shoulders. The last thing Casimir was aware of, was being picked up and carried as a searing pain shot through him and he slipped off into unconsciousness. --Excerpt from The Silent Blade

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sisterhood award!

Hi everyone! I was nominated by Shantelle from A Writers Heart  for the Sisterhood of world bloggers award. Thanks, Shantelle! :)
Okay here are the rules:
-Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
-Put the award logo on your blog.
-Answer the ten questions sent to you
-Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
-Nominate ten blogs.

Okay, now to answer the questions! :D

What genre have you read the most this year?
Historical fiction, but it's closely seconded by christian fantasy. I love both genres, but historical fiction is probably my favorite!

Do you enjoy fairytales? Which ones do you like the most?
I do enjoy an occasional fairytale, but I don't read them often! My favorite would probably have to be Cinderella. :D

Favorite Dessert?
Chocolate cake with Chocolate frosting and Chocolate or Rocky Road ice cream. With a cup of coffee of course. Can you tell I love chocolate??? Don't worry, it's not a dessert I have very often. ;)

Which Disney princes are you most like and why?
I have to say I honestly haven't watched a lot of the Disney princess movies. Out of alllll the movies, I've only see Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Tangled and Frozen. Out of those, probably Rapunzel from Tangled. She wants to more about the world around here and can't stand staying on one place for to long. And she can be. . .feisty. :) Although, I'm not near as outgoing as her!

Which Disney Prince do you consider the most dashing?
Probably Cinderella's prince. He's so nice and dashing and he searches the whole kingdom for his true love. Which is pretty sweet!

What was your favorite blog post this year?
Ahhhh!!! There have been so many amazing posts I've loved! My top favorites would probably have to be the Hijacked! post on The Imaginary world of Emily McConnell  and the Oh, America post on A Writers Heart.  I also LOVED the Movie Review: When Calls the Heart: Season 2  on A Writers Heart. ;) There are so many more I want to mention, but I'm pretty sure I can't list more then a couple! :)

A few books I hope to read soon?
Uhh, you want a list? :-)
Heartbreak Trail by Susan K. Marlow
A Dream not Imagined by Shantelle Mary Hannu
Trust and Deception by Melissa Troutman
Dare by Tricia Mingerink
Red Crisis (once it's published!) by Emily McConnell
Okay, that's more then a few. ;)

Favorite book of the year?
Augh!! This is so hard to choose!! Right now it's be The Knights of Arrethrae series by Chuck Black, but that will probably change in a week or two. ;)

Summer or Winter?
Summer!! Besides the fact that my birthday is in summer, I love the hot weather and the surprises summer always seems to bring!!! :)

One goal you have?
Finish The Silent Blade before August! We're planning on going on vacation and I'd dearly love to have it finished before we go!!

Those we're fun to answer!! :D
I nominate: /Emily McConnell/  /Rebekah Eddy/  /Faith P./  /Bethany R./  /Rishona/  /Lauren/ /Jordan L./

And here are your questions! :D
What are you most looking forward to this summer?
What is your favorite movie this year?
Favorite instrument?
Favorite genre of books to read?
Favorite Bible verse?
Favorite historical era?
Favorite short story?
Favorite food?
Favorite hymn?
Favorite movie soundtrack?

Yeah. .  .I want to know all your favorites! I can't wait to read y'all's answers! Oh, and if I tagged you but you'd rather not do a post, that's fine! ;)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Character spotlight--Stace Nolan

Okay, here's another spotlight! Oh, and an update on Dark Storm Rising.  I'm about ready to order the proof copy! So, yeah, I'm super excited! :) Anyway, here's this week's character spotlight. I'll post another excerpt of The Silent Blade tomorrow!

As you can tell from the last name, Stace and Rowen are brothers. Rowen is the older of the two and Stace is quite a bit younger. Stace has a kind heart hidden beneath his outward appearance as one of Merek's men. Stace and Henry are Merek's messengers and are often sent out to do whatever various jobs and assignments Merek thinks are necessary. Though, unlike Henry, Stace doesn't particularly enjoy the assignments. Henry looks down on Stace, seeing his kindness as a weakness. Though, there is one more sore spot for Henry. . .Stace can always beat him with the sword.
Stace is tall and muscular with brown hair and grayish-blue eyes. There are two excerpts today because I need them both to help show Stace's character.  Both have to do with Eira's rather unfortunate cooking. ;)
Eira was startled by Merek’s voice as he walked over to her, “You girl, go and make us some soup. My men have fish and I want to have a warm, home cooked meal for once in my life.”
Eira looked at him blankly, “Uh, sir. I can’t walk. My ankle. . .” her voice trailed off and Merek’s gaze traveled down to her ankle which  had already swollen to twice its normal size.
Merek swore under his breath and Eira looked at him, startled. “Haven’t you been taught not to say such things?” the words were out before she could stop them.
Merek simply stared at her and she squirmed under his gaze. She liked the yelling Merek better, when he was quiet it seemed to signal that he was extremely angry with you. . .and his eyes further confirmed the fact.
“I--don’t like--to be questioned.” his words were carefully measured and controlled, “is that clear?”
Eira nodded.
“Now, I will help you over to the fire, and I want that soup. Have I made myself clear?”
Once again Eira nodded, not bringing her eyes up to meet his. She felt his arm go around her as he helped her over to the fire. The fish had been cleaned, and when she glanced around to see who had done it, she caught Willem’s grin from across the fire.. Of course, Willem! I certainly hope he can help me with the soup. The last time I made anything mother proclaimed it not fit to be eaten!
As Merek left her alone, she tried to catch his eye without making it obvious. When softly calling his name didn’t make a difference, she picked up a pebble from the ground and tossed it at him. She missed and was just about to try again when a soft chuckle made her look up. Stace stood behind her eying her in amusement.
“Would you like me to get your brother for you?” his eyes twinkled merrily down at her.
Eira’s face flushed red, “You saw all that?”
He laughed, “I did.”
“Yes, I would greatly appreciate it if you could get Willems attention for me!” she said as Willem walked into one of the huts.
He winked at her, “Wait here, I’d be happy to.” He walked over and entered the hut, reappearing a moment later with Willem.
“Do you need something, Eira?” Willem asked as he hurried over to her, Stace leaned against the side of the hut and watched them with, Eira noticed, the same twinkle in his eye. She tried to block him out as she turned to Willem. “I’m supposed to make soup and--”
“You'd rather not have Merek’s fish become ‘unfit to eat’?”
Eira nodded.
Willem grinned, “All right, I’ll help you and then I’ll take a look at your ankle. Merek told me you fell and needed help.”

Eira grimaced, she’d make sure Willem got the whole story about what exactly had happened.--Excerpt from The Silent Blade

Eira looked around in dismay. Fresh fish had been caught just that morning and they were tossed haphazardly in a bucket, still whole.  A knife nearby told what she was expected to do. Her eyes scanned the men who were talking quietly among themselves. Willem was nowhere to be seen.
She picked up a knife and gingerly picked up a fish. She had seen her mother clean fish lots of times. It couldn’t be that hard. . .could it? The knife slipped easily through the scales and cut the fish’s body in two. She turned the halves over and laid them on the ground.
“Want any help?”
She turned toward the voice, Stace stood there, his eyes silently laughing at her. Why is he always around when I make a fool of my self? she wondered.
“Yes, please,” she glanced sheepishly down at the bucket of fish.
Stace sat down on the ground next to her and, taking a dagger from his pocket, began to slit the fish and remove their insides.
“I’m assuming you didn’t cook much at home?”
She shook her head, “Not at all. Mother’s tried to teach me, but I just can’t seem to get it!’”
“Well, when Merek hurried your brother back to Arden I figured you might need some help. Especially after last night.”
“You, um, won’t say anything to Merek, will you?”
He shook his head, “Merek doesn't care much what the rest of us do as long as he doesn’t need us for something. So when your brother’s not here, I’ll be happy to help.”
She gave him a small smile, “Thank you. But what is Merek after anyway? And what does it have to do with Kevin?”
At this, the smile left Stace’s eyes.
“If your brother hasn’t said anything to you all these years, then I figure he doesn’t want you to know. Here, you’d better watch how this is done just in case there is a time neither Willem or I am here to help you.” He abruptly changed the subject as he chose another fish in the bucket and began to cut it open.
Eira sighed silently as she watched him clean the fish. What could Kevin have done to deserve this sort of anger and hatred? she wondered.
In what seemed no time at all, Stace had finished cleaning the fish and they were sizzling over the open fire.--Excerpt from The Silent Blade

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day!!

I hope you all have an amazing Independence day as we celebrate our freedom! Just remember, as Christians, we have the freedom that comes from knowing Christ and that is the true freedom! I wrote a short story on Freedom, you can read it on my other blog A Kansas Wind.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Character Spotlight--Rowen Nolan and Henry Walsh

Okay, two bad guy spotlights today! :) Since neither of them would have been very long, I decided to put these two together.Plus, that means you also get more excerpts from The Silent Blade ;)

Rowen is Merek's second-in-command. When Merek isn't around, what Rowen says is what goes. He isn't cunning like Merek and he prefers to say what he means instead of putting on a show. He is the same height as Merek, but has sandy brown hair and brown eyes.
“Willem, ride with Arden.” Rowen commanded, “I’m sure the bumps of the wagon will be uncomfortable and perhaps you can help make the ride smoother for him.” he said changing his tone until it seemed almost a request and not a command.
Willem gave Eira’s hand a squeeze, then hopped up into the wagon.
“Eira you can ride double with me,” Rowen began as he unsheathed his sword and cut the rope between her ankles. Then he mounted, pulling her up behind him as the small group began to move away from the anchored ship and toward the grove of trees.~~Excerpt from The Silent Blade

Henry can handle a sword quite well and is often chosen to carry out whatever assignments Merek and Rowen decide need done. He has dark brown nearly black hair and brown eyes. He is ruthless and can be quite mean and cruel, especially when he feels someone has cheated him.
Don’t ask. Just drop your sword and come with us.” Eira tried to turn toward the unexpected voice, but the point of a sword brushing across her cloak stopped her.
Eira glanced back at the first man who now had his sword raised as well. Knowing she didn’t have a chance, she threw it down, then took a step backwards and turned to face the man who stood behind her.
“Those swords are sharp, gentleman. Be careful with how you use them.”
‘Don’t you be tellin’ us how to use our swords. You're just a slip of a girl. I’ll bet you carry that sword around just for show.” The first man sneered, his sword still raised. The second man had put his sword back into its sheath, and then picked up Eira’s.
“Don’t tease her, Henry. Lets just get going.”
“No, Stace. First I want to see if she can use that sword.”
“One little round won’t hurt anything.”
“Merek said to do exactly what he told us. He didn't tell us to test her swordsmanship.”
Eira gasped, “Merek? He sent you? I knew something wasn’t right! Why does he want me? I don’t know anything that can help him.”
“Oh, just be quiet!” Henry snapped in an irritated voice. “Stace, give her the sword. No one will tell Merek and he’ll never know.”
Stace grinned as he handed Eira the sword, “This’ll be fun to see.”
Eira took the sword, then turned to Henry, “I don’t want to.”
Henry chuckled, “I suggest you do it or your brother will be dealt with harshly.”
“WIllem? What have you done to him?”
“Settle down. We haven’t done anything yet.” Stace replied. “Now, do as Henry tells you. I want to see if you're as good as your friend says you are.”
“My friend?”
“Yes, the boy in the blacksmiths shop. He said you were better with the sword then most.”
“And how would you know? You weren’t there.”
“Rowen happened to mention it.” Henry impatiently replied. “Now draw your sword and lets get on with it. Don’t worry, this won’t take long.” he added with a glance directed at Stace.
He raised his sword as Eira drew hers, then with a metallic clang they joined together. Stace looked in wonder at the rapid pace of the swords. Her friend had not been wrong. She handled a sword better than most men he knew. The swords went faster and faster; Stace noted that Henry was beginning to tire. Serves him right. he  thought. Henry won’t be so eager to go against Merek’s orders again.
Then, in one smooth arc, EIra bought the tip of her sword up and knocked Henry’s sword out of his hands and it landed with a clatter on the rocks.
Henry took a step back, breathing heavily then picked up his sword.
Eira sheathed her own sword and then glanced at Henry but before she could speak, Stace reached over. “You’d better hand me that sword.”
Eira unclasped the belt that held it around her waist and handed it to him. Henry, who had caught his breath turned to her with a growl, “Why you little--”
“No, Henry. You’re the one who wanted it and she beat you fair and square.” He fastened Eira’s sword around his waist next to his own, then turned, “We’d better get going. Rowen and Merek want to leave tonight and we still have one more errand to complete.”~~Excerpt from The Silent Blade

And here's a clip that has them both in it!
Eira was exhausted from the long ride and it wasn’t over yet. She had resisted the urge to lean her head on Rowen’s back this long, but she knew she couldn't keep it up much longer. Her eyes grew heavy and the plodding of the horse made her want to do nothing more then drift off to sleep. Then, without even realizing it, she drifted off to sleep.
A sudden jerk startled her and woke her. She nearly fell into Henry's arms as he roughly pulled her off the horse. She winced as a sharp pain shot through her ankle at the same moment her feet hit the ground.
“Henry, I said to be careful!” Rowen dismounted and helped her to her feet, casting a withering glance at Henry when he realized she couldn't put any weight on her right ankle. 
Henry only grinned at her, the ice in his eyes as cold as ever. Eira knew it hadn’t been an accident, and she also knew Henry would try his best to make these small “accidents” as frequent as possible. Better try and make sure I always stay close to Willem,Stace or Rowen. . .even Merek. Anyone’s got to be better than Henry!
Rowen helped her as she limped over to a tree stump and sat down, “Now you just stay here and I’ll send your brother over to take a look at your ankle.”