Cover Reveal #2

I must once again hand it to Jake over at Jcalebdesign for creating another amazing cover for the Blessed of the Dragon series.

Behold, the official cover for The Island of Kvorga:

 

 

Island of Kvorga eCover

The official release date of The Island of Kvorga is: April 21, 2020

Mark your calendars! And I’ll be sure to communicate to you when it is available for pre-order! If you like, click the books tab to read a quick blurb about Kvorga!

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Traction

I have been working on The Blessed of the Dragon series for something like six years. I’ve written a little about the evolution of this project in the past. I got to the point in writing this story that I felt like I didn’t have any traction. What I mean by that is my writing wasn’t moving forward. Writing for me is, admittedly, a hobby, but it’s a hobby with a goal. I wanted to see The Path of the Synthesizer traditionally published, so for the last few years, I’ve tried to attract the attention of the ever-elusive agent. In the meantime, I wasn’t moving forward. I’ve felt sort of like a truck spinning in the mud, not going anywhere.

Last summer, I finally shifted gears and started getting some traction. I made the decision to publish The Path of the Synthesizer myself. Finally, I was moving forward. I got an editor, a cover designer, and a cartographer. The process took longer than I thought it would (don’t get me started on formatting 🤦‍♂️) but at last, The Path of the Synthesizer is published. Good or bad, amazing or mediocre, it is published. It is finished.

The wheels of my proverbial truck have at last grabbed hold and I’ve started moving forward. I can start working on the next project. Well, actually, I already did.

The next project is to publish book two in The Blessed of the Dragon series, The Island of Kvorga. While I was in the midst of the chaos that was getting The Path of the Synthesizer published, I busied myself in getting The Island of Kvorga ready for the editor. It flew off to editing land back in November and I’m expecting it back in the near future. I also worked with the cover designer in November and I’m excited to say that the cover for The Island of Kvorga is finished! Moreover, it turned out amazing!

When I was 100% done with The Path of the Synthesizer (I think I was done about 100 different times, the last donest done occurring sometime mid-December) I started working on revising book three, The Dragon King. My goal is to get through at least one revision before The Island of Kvorga comes back from the editor. But with book three slated to go to the editor in March, I need to go through it a couple more times. At the same time, I’ve been working on The Island of Kvorga’s blurb. You know… that snippet you read on the back of the book. Turns out those are some of the hardest things a writer will ever write. How to condense 100,000 words into a couple hundred words… Oye!

And when Kvorga comes back from the editor I will begin the process of processing the editor’s edits then proofread, proofread, proofread. On a side note, if you find any errors in The Path of the Synthesizer, please let me know. My feelings won’t be hurt. The perfectionist in me would like to right the wrongs for future readers.

So, yeah, my writing finally found some traction.

I’m excited for 2020 and hope you are as well! If all goes according to plan, The Blessed of the Dragon will be finished. Then, I can Shift gears again…

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Looking back on 2019 and Looking Ahead to 2020

I thought I’d take a moment and write a recap on where 2019 has taken me in my writing journey as well as look forward to what is in store for 2020.

2019 began with me sending out yet another batch of queries in the hopes of landing a literary agent, one of the first steps in traditionally publishing a novel. In total, I’ve queried 80 agents. Some would say that you haven’t really queried until you queried over 100 but still, 80 is a lot. And over the last couple of years, the desire to self-publish my novels has been steadily growing. I finally reached the tipping point in June. After some financial negotiations with the wife (which reminds me, I still owe her a new fence), I finally decided that the time had come to get my novels out into the world. And on June 12th, I announced that The Path of the Synthesizer would be “coming soon”. I was hesitant to announce an official release date because I didn’t know how long the process would take. I had to hire an editor, a cover designer, and a cartographer. At the time I thought in my head I was looking at an early September release. Boy was I wrong.

The editing process, designing of the cover, and the making of a map all went rather smoothly. I really enjoyed working with Elayne, my editor. I especially enjoyed reading some of her non-editing comments (such as reactions to particular moments in the story). She did a wonderful job overall and seriously helped me out understanding what titles should and shouldn’t be capitalized. I take full responsibility for any and all mistakes that might still be lurking in the story. Admittedly, I did a fair amount of tweaking after the editing process, both as a result of things I noticed and things the wife noticed. I had the option of sending the book back to the editor for a second round but in the interest of $$$ I ultimately opted against it.

Jake, my cover designer did a phenomenal job, I think you can agree. I’m still amazed by the fact that all I had to do was present him with some words and he took those words and brought them to life. You can see my cover on display over at his website. I was so impressed, in fact, that we’ve already completed the cover for book two in the series. 😁 But I’m not going to show it to you just yet. 😜 But I can say it turned out just as amazing as the first one.

Initially, I tried my hand at making a map of Dradonia. I had a hand-drawn one I’d been referencing during the writing process but I needed something professional. I downloaded a program and tried making a professional-looking map but I always ended up with something hokey. It didn’t take long for me to realize that, as I needed a professional editor and cover designer, I also needed a professional cartographer. Zach came to me as a referral (actually, all three entities were referrals). I was almost embarrassed to send him my cartoonish hand-drawn map, but he took my scrawlings and turned them into an incredible map. There are two maps actually, but the second one won’t be featured until the fourth–and final–book.

Those three steps were completed in early September. It took me a bit to process all the edits, then came the proofreading. 🤦‍♂️ The perfectionist in me just wouldn’t let me quit. I’m still half-tempted to pull the plug on the whole thing, but I won’t. The wife volunteered to proof it for me as well and ended up being rather helpful. She has a keen literary eye.

Fast forward a couple more months and after more than one proofread, I finally decided it was time to establish a publication date. Turns out what I thought was going to take just a few months took half a year. And if you haven’t already heard, New Year’s Eve is the big day!

The Path of the Synthesizer, book one of The Blessed of the Dragon is now available to pre-order in both print and ebook formats. It’s an adult fantasy novel (sorry, not actually about musical keyboards) and can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore, B&N, or on your favorite ereader.

So what about 2020?

I have a picture in mind of what I’d like to accomplish in 2020. The Blessed of the Dragon series is a four-book series. My goal is to have the complete series published by the end of 2020. Books two and three are for all intents and purposes complete. Book two went to the editor in early November and as of about a week ago has a cover (which I’m very excited about)! I’ve been doing some self-editing and revisions on book three while I wait for book two to return from the editor. Book four is written but needs the most work. I foresee a bit of work ahead but nothing that’s not doable.

I’m hesitant to write this but here is my tentative publishing plan:

April 2020: The Island of Kvorga

September 2020: The Dragon King

December 2020: book four, title yet finalized.

As I said, I’m hesitant to publish those dates but they are my tentative goals. However, they are obviously subject to change as my goal for publishing The Path of the Synthesizer took about four months longer than I thought it would. My hope, though, is that with the experience I’ve gained in going through the publishing process with Path publishing the subsequent books will go a little smoother and quicker.

So there you have it. My dream of publishing a book (yes, my original intent was to publish book) is coming to fruition. It may not be happening as I had originally envisioned it, but I think this might just be better. For better or worse, I’ve had complete control over the whole publishing process, which is something you forfeit if you traditionally publish.

I am at the same time excited and terrified to finally be sharing my story with the world. I’m excited because it is something I’ve been working on for far too long and to see it finally exist brings me a modicum of satisfaction. I can say that I created something. It might be great or it might suck (probably the later rather than the former) but in the end, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I did it to the best of my abilities. It’s not perfect, I know, but it’s not horrible (at least I don’t think it is…). I am at the same time terrified because people will be reading my writing–at least a few of you anyways. The introvert in me wonders how I could have let this happen… I’m mentally berating myself as I type. So don’t mind me if I disappear on New Year’s Eve, never to be seen in public ever again. All kidding aside, I truly hope that those of you kind enough to support this outlandish hobby of mine truly enjoy the world and characters I’ve created.

Thanks in advance and happy reading!

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Sneak Peek #2

CHAPTER 1

 

410 United Era

An arc of light inched over the Mindon Mountains and pushed back the darkness. It climbed higher, forcing the starlit sky to cede its ground. As the arc advanced above, the sleeping valley awoke below. The shadowy silhouette of a large oak, its thick arms stretching into the sky and reaching down to the ground, gained definition. Its leaves became visible, transitioning from grays to greens, and began shining as the sun crested the distant mountains to the east.

By the time the transition from night to day was complete, the town square surrounding the oak bustled with activity. Proprietors opened the shuttered windows of their shops and unlocked their doors. Merchants opened the sides of their wagons lined up along the waist-high fence surrounding the tree and set out their wares. Locals moved from shop to shop, running their daily errands, and gave a wide berth to the armored horses tethered to the fence.

On the opposite end of the growing town, across a creek flowing low from another winter of poor mountain snow, Yolken Thornhill filled a mug with ale. He set it before one of a dozen men hunched over the bar in the tavern he ran with his aunt and younger brother. Patrons occupied every table sandwiched between the bar and hearth on the opposite side of the quaint room. He had barely finished breaking his own fast and taking the chairs down before people had begun streaming in. He looked over at the stairs with a furrowed brow and then gathered an empty plate and mug from the bar top.

“Hey! I wanted another!” complained a scruffy man with dirty hands and clothes.

“Sorry,” Yolken said. “I thought you were finished. Another mild, then?”

“Yah.”

Yolken set the empty plate on the bar and refilled the mug. He set the mug down before the man and then looked over at the stairs again.

The wooden kitchen door swung open and his Aunt Selena, a slender, middle-aged woman, walked out holding two plates of steaming hot food in her hands. “Where’s your brother?” she asked as she passed the bar. She deposited the plates at one of the tables and returned to the kitchen.

“Still sleeping,” Yolken said as she walked back by. He snatched the dirty plate from the counter, his annoyance at Javen rising to the surface, and followed his aunt into the kitchen.

He set the plate in the sink, then stepped out through the back door for a breath of fresh air. He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, reveling in the tingly feeling that accompanied the warmth of the sun on his skin. The Little Mindon bubbled forlornly as it flowed past the tavern. He let his breath out slowly and visualized himself breathing away his annoyance at Javen. He didn’t mind his brother enjoying himself now and then, but Javen was growing increasingly irresponsible.

“It’s too early to be angry, Yolken,” Selena called through the doorway.

Yolken ignored her and breathed in again.

“It’s dying, you know,” a raspy voice said.

Yolken opened his eyes and saw Relan, one of the tavern’s regulars, stop in front of him. His clothes, as usual, looked as though he’d been sleeping in them for half a season. “What is?” he said.

Relan gestured over his shoulder with his thumb. “The sun. Just a matter of time. He knew it, too.”

Yolken was mystified. “What? Who knew?”

Relan shook his head and walked away. Before he disappeared around the side of the tavern Yolken barely heard him mumble, “No cursed scales gonna be sniffing ’round my place.”

When Relan was out of sight, Yolken went back inside. “Relan’s here,” he said. “And I’m not angry at Javen. Just annoyed.”

“Angry. Annoyed. What’s the difference?” Selena said, turning from the stove to look at Yolken.

“I’m tired of him shirking his responsibilities all the time.”

“He just needs a little more time to mat—”

“He’s twenty-two years old!” Yolken exclaimed. Feeling oddly warm, he reached up and wiped his brow with the sleeve of his shirt. “If he doesn’t want to do his part around here maybe it’s time he finds his own way.”

“Yelling at me won’t help,” Selena said. “And neither will threatening him.”

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to—”

“He’s your brother, Yolken. And there’s nothing more important in life than family.” Selena turned back toward the stove. “I know your brother’s not as hard a worker as you,” she said over her shoulder, “but the Great Dragon makes each of us different. Forcing him to do something he doesn’t want won’t help matters. And besides, if anything, you could stand to work less. How are you ever going to court Kaylan if all you do is work?”

“How did you…” Yolken started, feeling the warmth inside him move to his face.

“I watched you grow up together, and I see how you look at her whenever the two of you are around each other,” Selena said. She turned and placed a plate piled with eggs and pan-fried ham on the table. “It’s obvious you’ve been in love with that girl since you were a boy.”

“I…I didn’t think you knew.”

“Yolken, dear, I might be your aunt, but I’m also a woman.”

Yolken picked up a towel to wipe the sweat beading on his forehead. “How am I supposed to work less if Javen won’t do his share?”

“Talk to him.”

“I have.”

“Talk to him again. Gently. And not in anger. Keep trying until he comes around.”

“Can’t you talk to him?”

“He’s a grown man, same as you. I could talk to him, but it’d be better coming from you. He needs to know you need him. Maybe you show him that by giving him more responsibility.”

“I’m not giving him more responsibility until he learns to manage what he already has.”

“That’s for you to decide. Now, take this to Relan,” Selena said, adding a thick slice of buttered bread to the plate. “He’ll be cross if his food gets cold.”

She turned back to the stove, and Yolken knew she was done with the conversation. He picked up the plate then dropped it back onto the table with a yelp when it became scorching hot.

Selena turned around at the sound of the ham and eggs beginning to sizzle. “What happened?”

“I don’t know,” Yolken said. “The plate got really hot when I picked it up.”

“Did it burn you?”

“I don’t think so,” Yolken said, looking at his hand. When he looked up, he locked eyes with his aunt and sensed her displeasure. With a shake of her head, Selena turned back to the stove. Yolken used the towel to pick up the plate and hurried out of the kitchen. He set the plate in front of Relan and said, “What would you like to wash that down with?”

“Mild,” Relan said. “My head’s pounding this morning, lad. You weren’t kidding about your strong being strong.”

“I warned you, didn’t I?” Yolken grabbed a clean mug and asked, “You sure you don’t want water instead?”

“Nah. Once I get this fine cookin’ of Selena’s in me, I’ll be good.”

Yolken turned around and pulled the stopper on one of the six barrels lining the wall until the mug was full. He never understood how Relan could wake so early each morning, considering that he spent every evening sitting at the bar—and never with an empty mug—until Yolken closed the tavern for the night.

The moment Yolken set the mug down, Relan picked it up and drank deeply from it. “Where’s Javen?”

The stairs creaked before Yolken had a chance to respond, and he looked up. Javen was slowly descending, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his hands. He still wore the clothes he’d had on the day before; his damp shirt clung to his body, and his light brown hair stuck out haphazardly.

“Late night?” Yolken said when Javen plopped onto the last open bar stool. The question was rhetorical. He knew Javen hadn’t come home until it was getting light out; Yolken had already been awake, thinking about the coming day, when Javen had stumbled down the hallway and not so quietly shut his bedroom door.

Javen grunted.

Using a metal hand pump, Yolken filled a mug with water and set it in front of Javen. He watched Javen pick it up and take a sip, then said, “Norin came by last night and told me our shipment came in, so I need you to pick it up.”

Javen looked up at him with bloodshot eyes. “Do I have to?”

“Yes, you have to,” Yolken said. He turned and called into the kitchen through the window, “Javen’s awake!” and then began attending to the other patrons sitting at the bar. Selena emerged with a plate of food. He watched intently, hoping she would say something, but she just set the plate in front of Javen and went back into the kitchen. He could still sense her displeasure.

A few minutes later, Selena reemerged and set a list on the bar next to Javen’s plate. “Finish your breakfast and then see to your errands,” she said. “You’ve slept half the morning away, and there are things that need doing.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Javen said.

Yolken gave his aunt a nod of approval.

“You and I need to talk about what happened in the kitchen,” she said. She made her way through the tavern, gathered a few plates and mugs, and then shouldered the kitchen door open.

When the door swung closed behind her, Javen said, “What happened in the kitchen?”

“Nothing,” Yolken said. “I also need to brew today, so when you get back, I’ll need you to tend the bar.”

“Again?” Javen exclaimed.

“Yes, again,” Yolken replied. “It’s been busier than normal with all these southerners passing through. And for once I wish you’d be willing to help around here.”

“I help.”

“Barely.”

“If it’s so busy then maybe you should hire someone.”

“The lad’s right,” Relan said. “Your father was the same.”

“What do you mean?” Yolken said.

“He kept himself so busy here he never got around to building that house of his.”

“I have help,” Yolken retorted. He knew Relan was right, though. Their father had bought a plot of land by a maple grove east of town, situated on the Little Mindon, where he’d intended to build a home for their family. “If Javen put as much effort into helping me as he does chasing girls, we wouldn’t have a problem.”

Javen shoveled food into his mouth and mumbled, “I help.”

“Just finish your breakfast.”

Yolken tended the bar while Selena moved between the kitchen and the tavern, filling orders and taking empty plates and mugs back. When Javen finished his food, he snatched the list from the bar and shuffled back to the stairs. He came back down several minutes later with clean clothes and washed hair.

“Hurry back, Javen!” Yolken called before Javen disappeared through the door. When the door closed behind him, Yolken watched Relan mumble into his mug. He typically ignored Relan’s half-crazed remarks about the Regency, but his curiosity got the better of him. “What were you talking about earlier, Relan?” he asked.

“Huh?”

“Why would the Regency sniff around your place?”

“Not gonna let them.”

“But why would they?”

“Dunno, but I saw them scales sniffing round the backside of Brall’s place on my way here.”

“What for?”

Relan shrugged.

“Huh,” Yolken said. Whenever Dalia, the regent of the Croff province, came down from Croff, Brall hosted her at his inn, so Yolken wondered what interest the Regency would have in him. He’d heard the stories whispered by ale-loosened tongues about people going missing, but they were always stories from faraway places. Relan claimed to have known people who went missing, but Yolken had long ago learned to ignore the tales he spun. “And what about the sun?”

“What about it?”

“You said—”

“Haven’t you learned yet not to pay any mind to what Relan says?” Relan said.

He had a point. Relan talked a lot of nonsense once he filled himself with ale. How could the sun possibly be dying? The Great Dragon sustained the sun by breathing its power into it. It was probably the most nonsensical thing Relan had ever said.

The front door swung inward and slammed against the wall. Brall, a rotund, bald, and sweaty man, barged into the tavern. “Yolken!” he shouted, swabbing his glistening forehead with a soiled handkerchief. “I need your help! The chancellor of the south is coming to the Oak!”

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Cover Reveal!

Many thanks to Jake over at Jcalebdesign for the absolutely amazing cover he created for The Path of the Synthesizer! Ever since I first came across his work I knew that if I eventually decided to self-publish my writing that I wanted him to be the one to design my covers.

One can argue the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional publishing a novel, but one pro of self-publishing is that I am the publisher and, therefore, I get to call the shots. The decision as to what the cover is to look like is entirely mine. And I’ve had a mental picture of what I wanted for a long time. Jake expressed that vision perfectly. He took my words, a piece of the story, a defining moment for Yolken, and turned that moment, those words, into a work of art.

And today, I want to share that art with you.

I am, however, at the same time reminded of the old adage: don’t judge a book by its cover. I think it is at least partially true that a cover says a lot about a book, especially in today’s day of digital media. I ask, however, in sharing this cover with you, that you not develop an opinion about my book. An awesome cover in and of itself will not make the words contained therein also awesome. The words, when revealed, will define themselves. Instead, I invite you to enjoy this cover for what it is: Jake’s awesome work of art.

So, without further ado, the cover for my forthcoming novel, The Path of the Synthesizer:

The Path of the Synthesizer eCover

Watching the various pieces come together (the maps are done too 😁) is getting me excited about the book’s release! If you’re interested in helping build that excitement please like and share my Facebook page!

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Igniting the Flame

A while back I happened across a contest for a 101-word microstory. Unfortunately, I didn’t happen across it until the contest was already over. I wrote the story anyways. The following is Igniting the Flame, a 101-word story set in Dradonia, the world where The Path of the Synthesizer takes place.

The hatchling huddled underneath her mother’s protective wing with her siblings. She peered out at the regal dragon. Its yellow scales shimmered in Solarian’s light.

The hatchling’s mother stood and folded her wings. Her mother and father moved away, leaving them exposed to the ring of dragons—yellow, red, blue, violet, orange, green, black, and white. The hatchling scampered after her mother and father, but the dragons blocked her path.

A great warmth, flowing from the eight, filled the hatching. A fire ignited within her and began to burn. Unable to contain it, she opened her mouth and breathed it out.

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Sneak Peek # 1

BEFORE

 

389 United Era

Drenan did not see the Overseer approaching until he was nearly upon him. The black armor the Overseer wore, which matched his own, veiled his presence on the moonless night.

“Everyone is in place,” the Overseer said.

“The tavern’s secure?”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

“You’re sure?” Drenan said, even though he already knew the answer. The tavern stood alone, away from the village, surrounded by four Overseers and four dozen soldiers. He had planned this mission carefully and was taking no chances. He would not squander this opportunity to rid the empire of its last real threat.

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

Drenan nodded. “Get into position.”

The Overseer turned toward the tavern and faded into a shadow after a dozen feet.

Drenan allowed the Overseer time to take up his position with the soldiers under his command, then signaled to the two assassins, wearing close-fitting black clothes, standing next to him.

They both nodded and silently moved toward the tavern.

Drenan placed his hand on the hilt of the black dagger tucked into his belt and reached out with two threads of Energy until he felt the heartbeats of the two assassins. Their pulses reflected the calm with which they moved.

The minutes passed while he waited alone in the sea of wild grass, away from the solitary building. He thought about his previous failures to kill Danavin. His fingers drummed lightly on the bone dagger. Not tonight, he thought, forcing his fingers to stop. Tonight, he would finally avenge Therese and Cara.

Unable to see anything but the tavern’s dimly lit windows, he listened. The only sounds disrupting the peaceful night were the babbling of flowing water to his left and chirping insects in the distance.

The assassins’ pulses quickened.

Drenan gripped the dagger tightly, and his other hand formed a tight fist. The scars on the backs of his hands stretched uncomfortably.

One of the heartbeats stopped.

He took a step toward the tavern.

The other heartbeat stopped.

The thought of failure forced its way back into Drenan’s mind. His hatred for Danavin compelled him to go and finish the man himself, but he clenched his jaw and ignored the urge. The plan was already set. The Overseers and soldiers were in place. He’d prepared for this possibility.

Drenan took one quick look toward the sleeping village down the road, then siphoned more Energy from the dagger. Using the heat pooling inside him, he sent Energy to the front wall of the two-story wooden structure and set it ablaze.

He continued feeding Energy to the fire and waited tensely as it grew. He forced himself to remain where he was, trusting his unit to stop Danavin from another escape. However, as the fire spread, memories of countless missed opportunities overwhelmed him and compelled him to move. He drew the dagger from his belt and strode through the grass toward the tavern.

An explosion boomed, freezing him in mid-step. “Danavin,” he said through clenched teeth. He broke into a run, the small scales of his armor permitting fluid and unrestricted movement. When he arrived at the road, the Overseer and leather-clad soldiers guarding the front of the tavern were moving around the sides of the building. “Hold your position!” he yelled, and the soldiers returned to their formation in the middle of the road. There was a stone annex attached to the side of the wooden building, and he moved quickly down the cart path between the annex and the creek.

At the back, corpses littered the ground around a gaping hole in the annex. Rubble was scattered into the distance as far as Drenan could see by the light of the fire.

The village alarm bell rang in the distance.

Drenan picked his way through the rubble and fallen soldiers. He entered the remains of the kitchen and stepped over the body of a woman lying in a pool of her own blood.

“He’s dead,” an Overseer said.

“Where’s his body?” Drenan said.

The black-armored man gestured at the door that divided the kitchen from the common room. It was engulfed in flames.

Drenan drew Energy from the dagger in his hand and, using Synthesis, shattered the door. He stepped closer to the doorjamb and peered into the burning tavern.

His eyes locked on a blackened body slumped by the stone hearth, clothes burning.

Danavin.

A long object lay on the floor next to Danavin, untouched by the fire.

His sword.

Drenan reached out with a thread of Energy and lifted the sword, drawing it through the flames toward himself. He grabbed it by the black bone blade, avoiding the decorative steel threads woven around the hilt to form a decorative cross-guard. He gasped at the deep beckoning force in the bone.

The bone blade felt cool in the surrounding heat. He held it up and inspected it. Light from the flames reflected from ribbons woven throughout the black bone. He knew that in sunlight those ribbons would be yellow.

Prize in hand, Drenan tucked his dagger into his belt and surveyed the damaged wall. It was imperative that no one suspect their involvement here. Time was short. “Get rid of the bodies outside,” he said. “Quickly.”

The Overseer stepped through the hole in the wall and called for the others. With help from the other soldiers, they gathered the corpses into a pile, and the Overseers used Energy to burn the bodies, reducing them to ash.

While the Overseers worked outside, Drenan picked up the woman and tossed her into the tavern. He scanned the room and found a body protruding from underneath a burning table. Nearby were two thin swords. One of the failed assassins. He retrieved the swords in the same manner as he’d retrieved Danavin’s, then searched the room for their throwing knives. He found them embedded in the wall near the stairs. After he’d collected them, he siphoned more Energy from Danavin’s sword and burned away the table and body hidden underneath. Where’s the other one? He didn’t want there to be more than two sets of remains found in the building on the morrow. Maybe upstairs? But searching up there was impossible.

“Draego’s Fire,” he swore through clenched teeth.

He was running out of time. With one more quick scan of the tavern, he decided it didn’t matter. It’ll be unrecognizable by time the fire’s out; an unlucky patron.

Drenan turned from the room and burned away the blood pooled on the stone floor where the woman had died. He frowned when he looked up at the hole in the stone wall. He hated the idea of leaving evidence behind, but the locals were on their way. He walked through the rubble, cursing Danavin for the mess, and signaled to the others that it was time to leave.

Drenan gave the assassins’ weapons to an Overseer, then led the group back to the sea of grass. At the top of a small rise, he stopped and turned around. Several torches floated down the road from the village toward the burning tavern.

A smile crept onto Drenan’s face. Finally, his wife and daughter were avenged.

He turned, sword in hand, and followed the others into the night.

 


 

Thanks for taking the time to read the prologue to The Path of the Synthesizer! If you enjoyed it or know someone who you think might, please consider sharing it!

I haven’t set a publication date yet, mainly because I don’t know for sure how long it will take for the many pieces to fall into place, but as soon as I know I will proclaim it. My goal is sometime this fall.

In the meantime, check out some of my other posts where I’ve talked about different aspects of my writing adventure. You can also keep up to date by liking my Facebook page as well as clicking the follow button on this website.

Stay tuned for sneak peek # 2…

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