Pre-Release Excerpt: A Song of Conflict – A Mahaelian Chronicle Tale

Hey everyone, hope you’re all well. 🙂

Tomorrow is the official release day for my second Mahaelian novelette, A Song of Conflict. I decided to release it after Conviction’s Pain has the story in Conflict takes place at the same time as the events unfolding in Conviction’s Pain. And since a bunch of you might be finishing up the second novel this weekend or next week sometime, I thought I’d tempt you with something new – a bit shorter. 😉

Read below for a taste of A Song of Conflict. 🙂

***

This is where it happened,” Daergan said, pointing at the barren stretch of earth. “Do you see?”

Aedral, seven moon-cycles old and tall for his age, stepped forward and peered into the open space. The shadows of the Monument covered the ground in thick, jagged, slats that seemed to reach toward each other. As if the ancient, Wielded Elvayn trapped within those jagged, arching rocks were still straining to move, to break free. Aedral was about to say as much to his father, but decided to remain quiet. It was early morning, the sun’s glow having just crested the horizon, and all around them lay a heavy layer of silence; better to observe the solemnity he was expected to than to wonder aloud about the jagged pillars surrounding them.

Aedral ignored the biggest of the looming rock-pillars. He knew it was his imagination, but he was sure it was staring at him. Regarding him with thousands of years of anger and malice. It knew him, even if his father didn’t.

“Soon,” continued his father, “the First Disciples and the Holy One will be released, and this place will become the site upon which the true destiny of our people shall be built.” He gestured around at the monuments, whose shadows had begun to slowly turn with the sun’s movement. “These pillars will form the center of the Seed House, and it will be Wielded outwards until it covers even the ground that the City of Traitors held, so long ago.” Aedral noticed a fervent light in his father’s eyes, as if they were lit from within with the visions of future grandeur he was trying to share. “The Seed House will be the beacon that stands in the middle of the new city, waiting for us to return from our journey to rae’Fallo.”

Tuning out his father’s words –for he had heard them many times before- the young Elvayn sneaked a glance at the ruins of the first city his people had ever Wielded. Very little remained, since most of the surviving structures had either been razed or removed, but it seemed that the earth remembered that ancient battle.

In places the ground was barren and dusty –where Wielders had stood and drawn upon the energy at their feet until nothing but lifeless soil remained- and great depressions marched off into the distance, some small but many large enough to swallow five or six men, as if massive fists had struck out in unfocused anger. He tried to imagine what that day must have been like, wondered what had truly happened, and failed every time. According to the histories were taught, the succeeding battles to take the remaining cities had been brutal and vicious, too, but every story he had ever heard or read seemed to agree that this first battle of the Traitor-War had been the most brutal.

It was just too … large for his mind to comprehend. The destruction and death, the broken family-cells, the shortages of food and shelter. More and more he was beginning to agree with his mother.

Nothing warranted the doling out of such pain and misery. Nothing.

“And we shall return in glory and triumph,” his father continued. “In our lifetime will this occur, Aedral. Do you understand? You will witness the unveiling of our destiny.”

Aedral looked back just in time to meet his father’s gaze and he fought to maintain the connection, and the illusion that he was his father’s son in more ways than just biologically. He wanted nothing more than to run to his mother and take her far away from this place, to finally join the Circle and to take his place among the men and women who remembered the truth, not the manufactured and carefully maintained lies that had been fed to them over the generations.

“Come here,” Daergan beckoned, undoing the buttons of his black jacket before lowering himself to his knees beside one of the Monument-pillars. Aedral joined him, careful to maintain a ‘reverent’ air and to copy his father’s posture. When his father bent at the waist and lowered his head to the ground, Aedral followed suit, and their foreheads made contact with the earth at the same moment. Aedral expected a shock of contact, the Holy One reaching out with His thought-voice to acknowledge his presence and his genuflection, but once again nothing happened. Perhaps there was some truth to what was said – that the Holy One waited for each new Disciple to reach the correct age before the first Communion took place. He almost wished he had a headband such as his father wore, to somehow buffer the contact with the ground. This place made his skin crawl.

Aedral would rather that the Communion never occurred – he was sure that his thoughts would be laid bare; his motives and the motives of the Circle discovered in that instant. It was difficult to disbelieve the stories of Communion he had heard when almost everyone he came into contact with on a daily basis shared his father’s fervent loyalty, and his father wasn’t the only person who had said that they had heard the Holy One’s thought-voice.

Bent now as he was with his forehead touching the very ground upon which the Binding Chorus had been unleashed, Aedral was suddenly thankful that his ill-advised attempts had failed. He hadn’t told his mother what he’d done, and he hoped the others would keep quiet, too. The threat of Judgement would serve to keep their mouths shut, at least until the night of their Internment, but after that? Who could say? He hoped to be on his way to the Circle long before the ceremony began, because the fact that he had lied to them would be revealed – that he had told them that he had heard the Holy One’s thought-voice when he hadn’t.

Aedral didn’t want to be here with his father, not like this and not now. The Internment ceremony was days away, and as soon as they were done here he would return to his mother and try to convince her that they had to leave as soon as possible, that lingering was courting discovery and that … that he was afraid.

“You must remain prone during the Internment,” his father was saying, his voice muffled against the dirt. “From the moment the ceremony begins until the Holy One releases you, understand? To break contact is an act of terrible disrespect, an act that will taint our family’s honor for generations.”

Aedral almost voiced his frustration aloud at that moment, swallowing back the groan of frustration. He knew that his father wasn’t an evil man; Daergan had never shown anyone disrespect, had never been callous or unthinking, had always been gentle and respectful toward his wife. He wasn’t like some of the others, those who treated the Traitor-born with scorn, insulting them and even assaulting them on occasion. He followed the laws and had never once misused them. But it didn’t change the fact that he was on the wrong side, and that someday Aedral would have to face his father, stand firm as a member of the Circle, and possibly Sing against him.

Better that outcome, he remembered his mother telling him, than the complete destruction of the Circle. We must stand, Aedral. We cannot falter.

“I won’t bring dishonor upon us, Father,” he said, his voice also muffled by the ground inches from his lips. The soil was warm, its musty odor filling his head. The effects of Wielding left an indelible mark on the earth, something that no-one should have been able to dismiss. But it happened; the minds of the loyal focused so intently that such a simple thing as the difference between the scents of live earth and dead earth completely escaped them. Such an obvious thing. He was sad that he was lying to his father by saying those words, but it couldn’t be helped – his choice had just been made anew, and it seemed to him that the price he might one day have to pay to ensure that balance returned was something he could live with.

Aedral sensed the motion of his father rising and lifted his head from the dirt before rising to his feet, secretly happy that he wouldn’t have to genuflect like this again. He felt his father’s hand on his shoulder and turned to face him.

“I am proud of you, Aedral, and so is your mother.” He smiled. “You will become a great Disciple – you are already a worthy son.” He squeezed briefly, as close to showing affection as he ever came, and said, “Return to your mother. I promised her that I would not keep you long.”

Aedral nodded at his father, relief spreading through him in a wave, and when he turned away from the Monument he was walking slightly faster than what he intended. He felt his father’s eyes on him and refused to wonder what was going through the man’s mind.

***

Click here to order your copies from Amazon, and here from other online retailers. 🙂

Until tomorrow,

Be EPIC!

Release Day! Conviction’s Pain – Book Two of The Mahaelian Chronicle

Hey everyone. 🙂 The day has arrived, and my second novel (which is two more than I once thought I’d ever be able to write) is available across Amazon. 🙂

Avidar and its people are reeling in the aftermath of a deadly attack.

Alun Dronald, now Lord General of Avidar’s armies, must contend with a murder investigation, political games, and growing religious fervour, while Del’Ahrid, seemingly the most powerful man in the kingdom, plans his next move.

Elsewhere, Brice Serholm serves an enigmatic, powerful being with direct ties to the growing conflict and its ancient roots, while Khyber, the only free Elvayn, makes a discovery which could put an end to millennia of war and strife.

The Mahaelian Chronicle continues.

And the true enemy will finally be revealed…

Click here to order your copies. 🙂

If you’re one of those readers who hasn’t yet read my work, here’s the low-down:

A Song of Sacrifice is a prequel and takes place approximately three thousand years before the first novel, Betrayal’s Shadow; it’s a quick read, just over half an hour, and can be read either before BS or after it. 🙂 Click here to order your copies.

The beginning of a conflict which will change two worlds…

When Ordaefus, Song Priest of the Elvayn, discovers that his people are capable of a new, incredible ability, his brother, Mahaelal, believes that this new way is wrong – an affront to the very foundations upon which the Elvayn built their civilization.

And when war breaks out, both brothers must make a choice – do they fight to protect what they believe in, or surrender, and exchange freedom for restriction?

What choice do they have left, when all choices lead to destruction and death?

Betrayal’s Shadow is the first book of The Mahaelian Chronicle – where it all began. 🙂 Click here to order your copies – also available in hardcover and paperback.

My first novel, and the first in a trilogy.

Betrayal casts long shadows – none know this better than Brice Serholm.

As a decorated general in the kingdom’s elite Blade Knights, Brice had to overcome the taint of treason and betrayal to attain his rank. When Brice and a force of Knights are sent on a mission to investigate claims of rebellion in one of Avidar’s provinces, their ship is magically attacked, and the resulting investigation tests every oath Brice swore before his king.

Meanwhile, an inhuman infant escapes the capital’s Slave-Hold, the king’s mistress comes into possession of a unique dagger, and Del’Ahrid, the king’s most trusted First Advisor, begins to question everything he built his honour and life upon.

Events are in motion that will test every man, woman and child – and a conflict is coming that will shake the kingdom to its very foundations.

So begins the Mahaelian Chronicle.

A Song of Conflict is the second Mahaelian Chronicle Tale, and takes place concurrently with Conviction’s Pain – so spoilers abound for those who haven’t read Betrayal’s Shadow or Conviction’s Pain! Click here to order your copies.

Three thousand years have passed since the Seeds fled the Elvayn homeworld.

Elvayn society is strictly controlled by Mahaelal’s Disciples, and any dissent is punished with Judgement and death. But there is hope, in the form of a secret society called The Circle, and in the choices of Aedral, the son of a Disciple.

Ancient secrets will be revealed, and far-reaching choices must be made, even as two worlds teeter on the edge of total chaos.

And the Mahaelian Chronicle continues…

There we go, folks; everything you need to know. 🙂 If you do decide to give this South African writer a chance, I can only hope that you enjoy what you read. 🙂

Happy Book Birthday to me! 😀

Be EPIC!

A Song of Conflict: Pre-Order Link and Goodreads

Hey everyone, hope you’re all well. 🙂

A Song of Conflict

Just wanted to let you know that the second Mahaelian Chronicle Tale is up for pre-order across Amazon – A Song of Conflict will be released on the 14th of December, one week after the sequel to Betrayal’s Shadow – look out for an announcement regarding that, soon. 🙂

I’ve chosen to release it after Conviction’s Pain because the events in Conflict take place concurrently with Conviction’s Pain – albeit on a different world. 😉

You can pre-order Conflict across Amazon, but here’s the US link and here’s the UK link. I’ve also added Conflict to Goodreads, so you can add it to your shelves. 🙂

Want a hint of what Conflict is about? Check out the blurb below:

Three thousand years have passed since the Seeds fled the Elvayn homeworld.

Elvayn society is strictly controlled by Mahaelal’s Disciples, and any dissent is punished with Judgement and death. But there is hope, in the form of a secret society called The Circle, and in the choices of Aedral, the son of a Disciple.

Ancient secrets will be revealed, and far-reaching choices must be made, even as two worlds teeter on the edge of total chaos.

And the Mahaelian Chronicle continues…

Until next time,

Be EPIC!

Excerpt: A Song of Sacrifice – A Mahaelian Chronicle Tale

Hey everyone, hope you’re all well. 🙂

Thanks for the great response regarding the announcement of the prequel’s pre-order going live – one thing that always puts a smile on my face is the amount of support we get (‘we’ meaning fellow writers) when we announce new work, and this was no exception. 🙂

For all you readers out there, I thought I’d post an excerpt for the novelette – as I’ve said before, this tale takes place on the Elvayn home world, thousands of years before the events of Betrayal’s Shadow. It’s a little something I wrote about two years ago because I wanted readers to know who the Elvayn were. I won’t spoil Betrayal’s Shadow for anyone, but suffice it to say that the Elvayn are drastically different in the novel. 😉

Okay, I’ll shut up now; here’s the excerpt:

Song of Sac Master

“What did you hope to gain?” Sorhael asked, settling herself onto the floor, limbs folding with a grace he had never ceased to admire. All Elvayn were beautiful to look upon, even those under the yoke of Mahaelal and his Wielders, but Sorhael seemed more deeply so.

He knew intimately the emotions that had sculpted her brows and the lines around her mouth, knew the light in her eyes as the empathy and resolve that had made her the best candidate for Conflict Singer. But more than that were aspects that Ordaefus knew only he could see — the way in which her form-accentuating seemed to brighten the inner radiance of her spirit; how she moved consciously and with simplistic beauty, placing her feet just so, moving her hands just so; her voice and the flavors of emotion in it; her smile. At that moment he wanted nothing more than to enfold her once again in his arms, but he was wise enough to realize that she might just expel him forcefully into one of the adjoining rooms.

A man had to know when not to do what he felt he had to do.

Ordaefus poured himself a measure of nectar. He brought the container to his lips, sipped, and held it so as not to spill as he lowered himself onto the floor before Sorhael.

“Truthfully, I hoped to draw him out,” he answered, setting down the container. He wielded a depression into the floor which firmly cradled the container without upsetting the energy-balance of the room. Meeting her eyes, he offered a shrug. “I took a chance.”

“Ordaefus…”

“I understand, Sorhael. I do. I placed myself in a dangerous situation, without protection.”

“And you didn’t inform me.” Her voice didn’t rise in volume, but emotion filled it. “If I had been informed of your destination, I would have been able to act if something happened. Why would you disallow me that?”

“To give him the chance to make a new choice,” he answered simply. “Or to hear again his opinion, his beliefs, and to try and understand them.” He broke eye contact and took up the container again, brought it up to his lips and paused. “And to stop him, if I could.” Voicing that intention sent a stab of pain through him. His hand trembled, nectar wetting his fingers. He sipped, set the container down once more. “I knew that he would have tried to hurt me by focusing on you, if you were there.”

“You know that,” she nodded, “yet you think he will treat you differently?”

Ordaefus didn’t have an answer for her, even though he wanted to be able to give her one. He didn’t know what his brother would do — too much time had passed since they had last seen each other, and Ordaefus knew Mahaelal now only through the tales that had spread since the Schism and reports from the cities as they had fallen.

He met Sorhael’s eyes again. “Perhaps it would be more honest of me to say that I hope to understand him. That I hope to be able to… reach him, somehow.”

A softness appeared on her face, her eyes crinkling at the corners. None of the Conflict Wielders under her command had ever seen that smile; she reserved it only for him. “That you are hopeful, Ordaefus, says much of who you are, and why I chose you for my mate.” She sighed. “But sometimes there comes a time when hope is dangerous, when it can no longer be allowed.” Sorhael reached out and laid a soft hand on shoulder. “Do you understand?”

He sighed. “I do.” He shook his head. “If this had been someone else, someone who had come to me for advice, I would be explaining to them just what you have been explaining to me.” He took up the container again, sipped the last of the nectar, set it back down. “I do know one thing for certain, though. We have to bring this conflict to an end. Before it engulfs us all.”

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A Song of Sacrifice is now available to pre-order at Amazon, and also at iBooks, Kobo and Nook, so I hope you’ll check it out, as well as add the tale to your To-Be-Read Shelves on Goodreads! 🙂 The tale will be releasing on the 30th of September. 🙂

Feel free to share this post far and wide! 😉

Until next time,

Be EPIC!

 

Cover Reveal and Pre-Order Link: A Song of Sacrifice – A Mahaelian Chronicle Tale

Song of Sac Master

I’m proud to reveal the cover for the second edition of ‘A Song of Sacrifice’! 🙂

The beginning of a conflict which will change two worlds…

When Ordaefus, Song Priest of the Elvayn, discovers that his people are capable of a new, incredible ability, his brother, Mahaelal, believes that this new way is wrong – an affront to the very foundations upon which the Elvayn built their civilization.

And when war breaks out, both brothers must make a choice – do they fight to protect what they believe in, or surrender, and exchange freedom for restriction?

What choice do they have left, when all choices lead to destruction and death?

As some of you may know, the first edition was released by Fox and Raven Publishing a couple of years ago, but when they closed down, the rights for the tale reverted back to me, and now I’ve finally self-published the tale. 🙂

It’s a prequel to ‘Betrayal’s Shadow’, taking place thousands of years before the events of the novel, but the cool thing is that you can read this either before or after reading the novel; either way, some cool things will be illuminated for you. 😉

Massive thanks to Johnnie Aucamp, who designed the cover for me – I’ve told him that he will very probably be getting a lot of attention after this! 😉

‘A Song of Sacrifice’ will publish on the 30th of September, so that gives you enough time to read it and Betrayal’s Shadow before book 2, Conviction’s Pain, is released. 🙂

Here are some of the important pre-order links:

US, UK, Canada, Australia

I’m really looking forward to releasing this tale into the wild- not least because I’ve got another Mahaelian Chronicle Tale on the way, too! 😉 Seriously, though, Song will give readers insight into the Elvayn, their world and their culture, and will also reveal a lot more of Mahaelal… 🙂

Thanks in advance for pre-ordering and sharing the news, you all rock! 🙂

Until next time,

Be EPIC!