November 2019 Archives

Catharin slept through the night, so when I awoke, I carefully disentangled myself from Petra while making certain the blankets still covered her. She drowsily stirred enough for a quick kiss, then I dressed hurriedly and strode quickly through the Tower down the two levels to where Neekel awaited in his assigned room.

"How does my lord Alexan intend to travel?"

"You have heard the story of the seven leagued boots?" The story seemed to be one that went wherever humans did. He nodded. "I can do slightly better." I took him by the hand and teleported us about two paces into the air above the King's camp.

He cried out at the sudden fall, but my sympathy for him was limited. I let him fall about my own height in the light of dawn - being east of Treemount, the day was a few minutes more advanced here at Avande. Had he been seriously injured, I would have healed him, but the odds were against it.

I admit I could have spotted us on the ground. My survey of the previous evening was precise enough, but ultsi learned at an early age always to build in a margin for error when we could. Being too low would have violated one of the Exclusion Principles on a macrocosmic level. In other words, BOOM! - with fatal consequences for everyone around, possibly even myself. By comparison, the density and fluidity of air meant things were much more controllable, and a few feet high was no challenge to survive unscathed. I lit with legs bent slightly to absorb the fall.

I looked around, ascertained the location of the King's tent, and strode off in that direction. Neekel would find his way back to whichever superior he reported to on his own. I was challenged by one guard who'd seen our abrupt arrival, but his partner stayed him, saying, "It's Jarl Alexan, fool! If you challenge him and he doesn't know the pass, you'll get both of us killed to no good purpose!"

"Actually, I try to avoid killing King Edvard's men for doing their jobs," I responded, "But I doubt you'd enjoy the experience anyway. The pass is Queen Veronia." I'd read it out of their surface thoughts.

"Thank you, Lord Alexan!" and they both saluted.

The King's tent was not far. "Alexan! I'd hoped to see you yesterday!" King Edvard was already armored for the day.

"My apologies, Your Majesty, but I was on an errand of my own when your messenger arrived. Since it was too late in the day to begin an assault when I returned to Kiltig's Tower, I decided to wait until this morning."

"If I'd known you were coming, I'd have the men in better order for an assault already. Do you have a plan?"

"Nothing solid. I brought along a few mana bombs like I used on the diligar cohorts last year, but a quick survey didn't suggest anything masterful. I decided to consult with Your Majesty, as your engineers have had a week to prepare the field."

"Not nearly enough time. They tell me the soil is too moisture-laden to be easily tunneled. Pity you can't simply knock the walls down."

"Who says I can't? It would require loosing enough energy to destroy most of the rest of the town, though, and I presume you'd prefer to have the townsfolk alive and paying you taxes. Would it be sufficient to simply remove it?"

1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.

Zebulon Kyle. Most folks call me Ol' Zeb.

2.Tell us where and when were you born.

I was born in South Carolina, on an Indigo plantation near Charleston. I couldn' tell ya what year but I 'member people talking about Old Hick'ry Jackson when I was a young-un.

3. How would you describe yourself?

In pretty good shape for someone of my years! It could have somethin' ta do with the elves teaching me hell - healing!

4. Tell us about where you grew up.

I's a slave on a plantation. Massa worked us all day.

5. How old are you?

Not sure eggsakly. What year is it? Really? I don't reckin I'm two hunnert yet, then!

6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?

My mammy did the best she could after Massa sold Daddy away down south, but there were four of us young-uns and she didn't get much from Massa. Thin's got a little easier when my sisters left, but we still had to work hard.

7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?

The women they love me!

8. What do you value above all else in life?

Bein' my own man.

9. What are you obsessed with?

Obsessed? What's that? Right now I want the elven mages to teach me a little more life magic. I think there's a way to make m'self young again! They promised if'n I help this young feller Mark Jackson, they'll help me.

10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?

Since Mammy died, haven't really cared about no one. I believe in Jesus and life everlastin' for humans, but the elves have their own deal goin' with the Mother in the Summerlands.

11. Biggest fear?

I ain't afeered o' much. Maybe drawing the eye o' one o' the big powers... Nah, pissing off the elves so they don't help me learn no more!

12. What line will you never cross?

Never thought about that one. Don't want to tangle with ennythin' I cain't handle.

13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?

Bein' born a slave was the worst. Escaping was the best - until I went back and bought Mammy's freedom from Massa with fairy gold!

14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

There was this woman one time, I thought she liked me! And she not only threw me out, she took two dollers ta go off with someone else!

15. Biggest secret?

Wouldn't do you no good to hear it - you're not a mage!

16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?

Slick. Ah'm slick!

17. What is your current goal?

Ah want to learn to make m'self young agin!

Zebulon Kyle is a supporting character in The Gates of Faerie available through Amazon and also all of the Books2Read retailers such as Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and their library services as well. He's looking forward to a bigger role in the second book, tentatively titled "Gifts Of The Mother".

Rediscovery Medium.jpg

Releasing the four novel Rediscovery series as a set today.

The e-book is available from Amazon or the Books2Read retailers (Apple, B&N, Kobo, etcetera) for $9.99 US. Essentially buy the first two, get the third for a buck and the final novel is free.

For paperback fans, Amazon couldn't handle the file as it was. The only way we could get the paperback through Amazon was to make it 8.5 x 11, and in 10 point type. The paper size is fine, but 10 point type is less readable than I'd like. The advantage is the set is $22.99 on Amazon, less than half the price of the four paperbacks individually.

The Books2Read retailers are selling a more readable 12 point type. It's more expensive at $32.99 - still $15 less than the price of the four individual novels - but much more readable.

If you're a fan of library checkouts, Books2Read includes several library services such as Overdrive and Biblioteca. Find out which your favorite library uses and ask them to order a copy!

Amazon here

Your favorite Books2Read retailer here


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October 2019 is the previous archive.

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