Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Wait is Over





We are divided...
Magic is lost to a world beyond...
Scarlet Hopewell is just a normal, imaginative teenager...

All of that, is about to change...

The Scarlet Hopewell series returns.  Fully edited by the incomparable Miranda Ottewell, with interior design by Krister Stewart and original artwork by Miranda, the new release of Scarlet and the Keepers of Light is the first in the four book series that will captivate your imagination, and take you on the adventure of a lifetime.  All four books are now set to be professionally published and released with Ms. Ottewell and Mr. Stewart at the helm; Keepers of the Light is just the beginning.

I can not thank Miranda and Krister enough for their work, guidance, and support.  They have turned what began as an independent publishing adventure into a series that fills me with pride.  It takes a lot more than imagination to write a good book.  To my family, friends, and loyal fans, who have supported me over the years, thank you for keeping my imagination alive and my pen to paper.  To all my new fans and readers—get ready for Satorium...


Unfolding his glimmering wings, the little man flew cautiously toward the cave, the faint luminescence that clung to his body dimly lighting the dirt and roots around the entrance. It was a dismal place, the moonlight barely penetrating a foot inside. Its inhabitant had to squeeze into it by crouching and crawling, but it seemed immense to the little man, since he measured only six inches from head to foot.
Ten feet in, the den opened into a much larger space. With a wave of his hand the man projected a powerful beam in front of him and then played it over the stone walls of the cavern, which glistened as if damp but were dry to the touch. Two deep blue orbs glowed from a dark recess. The little man turned the light toward them, finally illuminating the creature he’d come to see.
“It’s been a long time.” The little man’s voice was surprisingly resonant, given his size, and rich with the timbre of wisdom.
“Yes, it has,” the creature answered in a deep rumble.
The little man alit near the creature and sat down on a stone, stretching out his wings the way an old man might stretch a stiff leg or back, taking his time. “Would you mind a little more light? It’s difficult for me to think in this darkness.”
The creature nodded.
The man held his hands in front of him, palms facing, and moved them in horizontal opposing circles as if he were rolling clay into a ball. A tiny point of light formed between them, steadily growing to the size of an apple. With a flick of his wrist, he sent the ball of light floating up toward the roof of the cavern, filling the space with a warm, comfortable glow.
“Now, that’s much better.” He took his first proper look at his host. “You’re showing your age.”
“As are you, Xavier. And you take a great risk, leaving the protection of your forest.”
“I doubt I’ll find an enemy who’d follow me into the home of the Lord of Wolves, Udd Lyall.”
The creature reflexively snarled at the mention of this name and title, which had not been spoken for some time. The little man smiled and reached into his pocket, drawing out what looked like an emerald in the shape of a child’s top.
“I had hoped that the signs were only my imagination,” said Udd Lyall.
“No, old friend. I’m afraid not.”
Xavier held the top tightly in his palm, head bowed, searching for the right words.
“Are you absolutely sure?” Udd Lyall asked, before Xavier could begin.
“Yes, I’m sure.” Xavier’s voice was distant.
“I’d come to think that it would not take place in my lifetime.”
“That it did is one of the few things that gives me any real hope.”
After a long silence, Xavier opened his palm, and the top began to spin, sending flecks of intense green light whirling out across the cavern. Slowly the flecks converged on the farthest wall, and an image came into focus: a child, sleeping in a woman’s arms.
“She’s human?”
“Yes, and more vulnerable than I ever imagined.” Xavier closed his hand over the glowing top, and the image vanished. “She must be protected until she can begin her training.”
“How long do we have before he is powerful enough to challenge us?”
“Not long enough.”
“You have a plan?”
“I do.” Xavier smiled sadly. “Someone must watch over her until we can bring her to Illuminora.”
“Many have tried to cross over through the years, and failed. How do you plan to get someone to her?”
“It’s . . . complicated. It will require all my knowledge—and a very powerful friend. One as dedicated as I am, and willing to sacrifice much.”
Udd Lyall looked down at Xavier, studying his good friend for a long time. He trusted Xavier absolutely, though the winged man’s ways might be mysterious. “I know enough of the human world to know I would not fit in. There I’m the stuff of nightmares, not dreams.”
“That,” Xavier said solemnly, “is a crucial part of the plan.”
“Who is it? . . . The dark one.”
Xavier looked pained. “The prince of the Dorans.”
“The boy? Thanerbos? Surely not . . .” Udd Lyall trailed off, distressed. “He can’t be more than two years old.”
“I’m afraid so. His father, the king, has already banished him, much as it tore at his heart to do so.”
A long, quiet moment passed. “I saw the boy once, at the celebration of his birth,” Udd Lyall said finally.
“As did I.”
An unspoken grief passed between them, both for a life lost and for the trials to come. There was little else to be said.
Xavier stood, and began making his way back to the opening.
“When do I leave?” Udd Lyall called out.
Xavier looked back with a somber smile.
“Soon, my friend. Soon.”


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