Friday, September 27, 2013

Aresia Darksong Tales - Ambush

Three weeks of travel had passed, with another two to go. Fall seemed to be winding down quicker this year and already twice on this annual trip, there had been a dusting of snow overnight. Aresia couldn’t wait to get home. She didn’t want to be stuck in a snow storm any more than her servants did. It could create for a dangerous situation, for humanoids and animals alike.

Supplies had been gotten to each location that had needed them, adding a delay to her trip, but in her mind it was necessary. If your employees respected you, there was less of a chance of them turning on you. And as far as she could tell thus far, all of her employees at the mines and vineyards found her to be a good employer, generous when it came to their salaries and good to them when it was time for winter, instead of letting them suffer as other owners did. In some cases, even the housing where the vineyard maintainers lived were repaired while she travelled. It was a necessity, as far as she was concerned. She wanted to build an empire eventually and empires needed money.

Aresia had been half-asleep when the carriage lurched and came to an abrupt stop. Shouts from her servants outside woke her up and against her lady-in-waiting’s words she opened the curtain to see what was going on.

“Don’t worry m’lady, we have it under control, just some brigands. Please stay inside where it’s safe,” said one of the guards.

She waited for several minutes, her ears twitching as she listened to the fighting and her frown grew as it seemed to get closer, and worse, not better. With a frustrated sigh she pushed the door to the carriage open, momentarily blinded by the bright light before she assessed the situation. They were effectively surrounded and slightly outnumbered. She reached out with her mind, and faltered for a moment. Her shout was loud and clear to her fighters. “They have a wizard with them,” followed by a location before she focused her own arcane energies. She could feel the energy building in her as she worked the spell, pulling what she could consider her max limit before channeling the spell. 

Lightning came from the sky, five, six, seven strikes before her chanting was abruptly cut off, the wind knocked out of her, six to seven inches of an arrow protruding from just below her ribs. She stumbled backwards, falling back against the wall of the carriage before falling to her knees, the magic backfiring around her and within her. For once in her life, she knew no control, couldn’t control what was happening around her and to her. She had to focus, had to expell the energy before it consumed her. The power of the arcane energies she had summoned into her were released in a small focused explosion near a grove of trees just as a second arrow slammed into her right shoulder.

She crumpled to the ground, unable to move, unable to talk, the last thing she saw was a group of fighters moving to defend her prone form before darkness consumed her vision.

Seeing Aresia go down had driven them to fight harder to protect her. They weren’t certain if she was dead or alive. If she was alive and they lost, they could only imagine what would be done to her till she died. The battle lasted an hour before the brigands were slain, as well as six of their own were dead, numerous fighters injured. The only fighter that could do healing was among the dead.

Aresia was one of the more serious injured, unconscious, unresponsive. Her clothes, volumous pale blue dress and petticoats were soaked red with her blood. The arrow that had hit her shoulder was easily removed and she was haphazardly bandaged to stop the bleeding. The one below her ribs was the difficult one. No one wanted to remove it, so instead it was cut off a couple inches above her clothing, left inside till they got to a location where she could be cared for. She was carefully put into a wagon, supplies moved from there to the carriage and they attempted to make her comfortable before taking off. They would look for a house or a farm, something where it would be cleaner where she could be taken care of.

It was slow going. She came to consciousness several times over the next two days. She couldn’t remember ever hurting this bad before in her life. Everytime she woke up, they shifted her, made her drink tea, water, anything they could get her to consume, sweetened with honey. The third day she started throwing up anything they forced her to drink, her body wracked in pain from a fever.

“Send riders out to see if there are homes off the beaten path. She’s running a fever,” she heard someone say, “If we don’t get her care soon, she will die.”

Aresia shivered, tossing her head slowly. She wasn’t going to die, she wasn’t ready to die. But she was too weak to do more than shake her head before darkness claimed her. The caravan stopped that day to set up a temporary camp while the riders sought assistance. They just hoped they found it soon enough.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Two Free Books this Weekend

Yesterday Oliver teased this image to his friends and tagged me.  Of course it made me LOL then I said "Okay this can work for another blog post."

I mentioned in the WWW Wednesday article that two of his books, Rabbit in the Road and The Dusk Harbringer will be free this weekend.

But if that doesnt' convince you to click on their links and click on them, perhaps the comic linked here will help.

Check it out.  Download the books.  Enjoy reading the books.  And when you're done, leave them reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WWW Wednesdays: Sept. 25, 2013 Edition

Here's the answers to this week meme's from Should Be Reading's blog. Feel free to leave your comments with the answers to these questions and be sure to check out their blog as well for other's answers.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions in the comment section or in your own blog then link it from the comments.

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I look forward to seeing your answers below!

What are you currently reading?

The Dresden Files: Ghost Stories (#13) by Jim Butcher.  I'm about 100 pages from completing this book and like every other book, things aren't quite as they seem and Dresden realizes it just before its too late.  In this book though, Dresden considers things - including how things would have been different if he hadn't taken the course of actions he had taken in the previous books and if he had to do it all over again would he?  And in most cases he decided he would.

I'm really interested in seeing where this book is going to go.  There have been drastic changes to the characters you've grown to love in the books, especially with Murphy and Molly, and you get to know some characters, such as Daniel Carpenter and Waldo Butters - that were in some of the previous books but not all of them - better.

Only 100 pages to go.  I expect I will be finished later tonight or tomorrow depending on my work load.

What did you recently finish reading?

The Dresden Files: Changes (#13) by Jim Butcher.

The past month and a half, I have been voraciously reading through the Jim Butcher novels and found, like everyone told me I would, that I thoroughly enjoyed them.  Like most of the paranormal fiction I've been reading, the world of magic, vampires and werewolves are still new and relatively unknown to most of the mortals in the world today.  Harry Dresden, the protagonist and the person who's point of view the books are written from, is a wizard - and a declared wizard at that.  Harry has his name in the yellow pages as a "Wizard".

In this book, though, a lot of unexpected things happen to Dresden which startle you, the reader, almost as much as it startles the protagonist.  And the ending of the book ends in a cliff hanger.  I can't express how much that upset me when I, for some reason, thought this was the last book published so far - thankfully it's not and there are two more so far.

If you like paranormal books with a very tiny touch of romance and no sex scenes in the books with a touch of mystery and a lot of action, you might check these books out.

What do you think you'll read next?

The Dusk Harbringer by Oliver Campbell and Danika Potts.  I'll be honest, I'm a really bad friend. I  was given a review copy of the book and I haven't had a chance to read it because I had just gotten into the Dresden File series when their book came out and was too hooked on reading those books (And now I find out they're not done yet and I'm on book 13, moving on to book 14).  So I decided after I finish Ghost Stories I'd switch to The Dusk Harbringer and read that and review it.

If you haven't picked up The Dusk Harbringer or Rabbit in the Road yet, both will be free on Amazon this upcoming weekend, Sept. 28 and 29, 2013.  I strongly suggest you click on the links to the books and grab them.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Spohn Challenge

A week or so ago, Steven Spohn, whom I know through the AbleGamers Foundation, wrote up a challenge he called the Spohn Challenge.  Then he had the audacity to tag me on Facebook for it (I kid I kid).  Of course after reading it I went "I can do that," then I look at this blog and realize just how bad I am at doing things I'm supposed to be doing because I have so many other things going on in my life.

The Spohn challenge is relatively simple.  Write one new short story per week for a whole year.  It can be serialized or it can be anything you want it to be.  Check out the details of the challenge here.

That being said, I'm not sure if I will make it a post a week - I'd like to, but hard to say, but I will definitely give this a try.  When I get the first one done, I'll add a writing challenge tab to my navigation.

If you plan on joining the challenge, be sure to leave a reply here or on Steven's page.