Blood Shackles



Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Date Published:  November 2016
Publisher: Fantasy Rebel Limited
Blood Shackles is on sale March 13th – March 17th for $.99 – Normal Price is $2.99
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What happens when SPARTACUS meets VAMPIRES?
In a divided paranormal London, Light is the bad boy vampire of the Blood Lifer world. Since Victorian times he’s hidden in the shadows. But not now. When he’s bought by his alluring Mistress, Light fights to escape. Even if he can’t escape their love. But if he doesn’t, he’ll never solve the conspiracy behind the Blood Club…
WELCOME TO THE BLOOD CLUB
Who are these ruthless humans? Who’s their brutal leader? And who betrayed the secret of the Blood Lifer world?
WHERE THE PREDATORS
London, Primrose Hill. Grayse is the commanding slaver’s daughter. She buys Light, like he’s a pair of designer shoes. So why does Light feel so drawn to her? Especially when his family is still in chains. Will he risk everything – even his new love – to save them?
BECOME THE PREY
Does a chilling conspiracy lie behind it all? A stunning revelation leads Light to an inconceivable truth. To the dark heart of the Blood Club. If he can face his worst terrors, he can save his family and his whole species from slavery.
Maybe he can even save himself.
Other Books in the Rebel Vampires Series:
Rebel Vampires, Book 1
Publisher: Fantasy Rebel Limited
Published: August  2016
Escape into a supernatural world of love, revenge and redemption, where vampires are both predator and prey.
There are three people in this affair…and two of them aren’t human. In a divided paranormal London, Light is the rebel bad boy vampire of the Blood Lifer world, with a photographic memory. And a Triton motorbike. Since Victorian times he’s hidden in the shadows with Ruby – a savage Elizabethan Blood Lifer. She burns with destructive love for Light. But he’s keeping a secret from her, which breaks every rule in Blood Life. When she discovers the truth, things take a terrifying turn.
1960s London. Kathy is a seductive singer. But she’s also human. Light knows his passion for her is reckless but he’s enchanted. Yet such a romance is forbidden. When the two worlds collide, it could mean the end. For both species.
When Light discovers his ruthless family’s horrifying experiments, he questions whether he should be slaying or saving the humans he’s always feared. What dark revelations will Light reveal at the heart of the experiments? Will he be able to stop them in time? The consequences of failure are unimaginable. Unless Light plays the part of hero, he risks losing everything. Including the two women he loves.
A rebel, a red-haired devil and a Moon Girl battle to save the world – or tear it apart.
Blood Dragons is the explosive first installment of the new fantasy series Rebel Vampires from the critically acclaimed author Rosemary A Johns. Experience a thrilling new adventure with vampires, Rockers and dark romance.
Excerpts
Excerpt One

You grabbed my hand, dragging me after you down the warren of side streets behind the shops.

It was pelting down now. Even though I was soaked, I was still buzzing from the barney.

At last you stopped, shoving me up against a brick wall at the back entrance to a butcher’s.

 ‘Look,’ I said hurriedly, ‘I’m sorry about–’

‘Thanks.’

Questioningly, I tilted my nut. Your lips were close to mine. All I’d need to do was…

You pulled back (of course you bloody did), even if you were still clutching onto me, as if my body was yours.

Because no matter what other nasties you might do with it, you’d never kiss your slave, would you?

Then you suddenly hauled me closer, and we were snogging.

At that moment, none of it meant anything.

Slave or Mistress. First Lifer or Blood.

It never does when skin meets skin. It was just Light and Grayse. 

So it was a good kiss. To me, it changed everything. But to you..?

‘If you would be so kind, some of us are trying to feed in peace.’ A nasal but polite Turkish Blood Lifer popped his nut up from further down the alley.

He licked down the neck of a twitching First Lifer bird, who was propped up against a skip.

When you shrieked and tried to jerk away, I held you still by the wrist.

I shrugged. ‘Yeah, my mistake.’

Your peepers were now flint.

I started edging you backwards out of the shadows. Now wasn’t the time to give you a crash course on Blood Lifer dinner etiquette.

It seems, however, that our Turkish friend was determined to educate me. ‘You know, young one, it is most inconsiderate to interrupt a fellow’s kill. I had no intention to do so with yours.’

EXCERPT TWO
‘London’s not yours.’

I stiffened. ‘The Lost have walked these streets as long as you humans,’ I whispered, low and intense, ‘which makes them ours, as much as yours.’

I might as well have clouted you. You drew back, with a shiver. ‘You hunt here – parasitically. But England? The world? It belongs to us. You’re just…’
‘Parasites?’ I offered. You didn’t even have the decency to look away.

‘These are my streets,’ you tapped the sticky table for emphasis, in a boozer, street, postcode you’d never have ventured into, if it hadn’t been for me.

I took a drag of my e-cig. ‘Over hundred and fifty years says different, sweetheart.’

You wore that narked expression, which I’d hoped we’d left behind for the night. ‘My home. Not yours.’

‘Any reason it can’t be both?’

‘On account of you’re…’ You stopped yourself, pushing your Guinness away with a jerky shove. Your shoulders slumped. You finished softly, ‘…not human.’

‘Right. Because I’d missed that.’ I took a mouthful of nuts, munching thoughtfully. You’d withdrawn hermit-crab like, your hair falling in two curtains over your mug. ‘There were humans once, who thought like you, the last time a Blood Lifer had the courage to reveal himself to a First Lifer. It was one of my ancestors. A man of reason, in an age of superstition. He reckoned our two species could live out in the open – side by side – so I was told. These First Lifers? They thought he was the devil.’ You’d raised your nut. I could see your peepers – dark grey now – through the veil of your hair.

‘What..?’

‘They burnt him.’
About the Author


ROSEMARY A JOHNS is author of the bestselling Blood Dragons and Blood Shackles – the compelling Rebel Vampires series. Blood Renegades is released June 2017.
ROSEMARY A JOHNS is a music fanatic and a lover of the anti-hero. She wrote her first fantasy novel at the age of ten, when she discovered the weird worlds inside her head were more exciting than double swimming. Since then she’s studied history at Oxford University, run a theatre company (her critically acclaimed plays have been described as “uncomfortable, unsettling and uneasily true to life”), and worked with disability charities.
When Rosemary’s not falling in love with the rebels fighting their way onto the page, she heads the Oxford writing group Dreaming Spires.
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Blood Shackles is on sale March 13th – March 17th for $.99 – Normal Price is $2.99
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The Mad King


The Mad King

By JoVee Winters

A new world in chaos, and a legendary love that never was…

the-mad-kingHatter and Alice. Alice and Hatter. Two parts making up one whole. Their love was legend, until a curse came and ripped them apart forever. Rewriting their past, present, and future. But a couple of powerful fairy godmothers and one taciturn god are determined that curse or no, the lives of two of Kingdom’s most famous inhabitants will be set to rights. Only problem is, one of them has just died and time is now running out for the other. Can Kingdom ever be restored again?

Only time will tell…

$4.99

The Mad King is live at Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and BN.This book will remain vendor wide for approximately 2 weeks before making it exclusive to Amazon. Also, for those who’ve been wondering, The Dark Queen will be going wide again in just a few more days. The Fairy Queen will, likewise, follow in about a month’s time. Links below.

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2hQTZaJ

iBooks: http://apple.co/2hQc1VE

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2hQecZy

BN: http://bit.ly/2iDnJFj

Wizardry Goes Wild – Sunayna Prasad


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Wizardry Goes Wild

Middle-Grade Fantasy

Date Published: February 20th, 2016

Publisher: Trafford

 After months of living a normal life, thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy faces magic again. Only this time, though, she is cursed with it, thanks to an old depressed skeleton named Errol. Alyssa’s time with her godfather, Alex, will never be the same again, as she can perform sorcery, but never control it. From letting out enchantments at school to creating outdoor disasters, Alyssa is bound to face consequences. She can only get rid of her powers if she can boost her confidence levels and improve her bravery. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. She must measure those abilities with a special device called a skillometer. Will she be able to get rid of her unwanted wizardry?

About the Author

Sunayna Prasad is a college student studying art. In her free time, she likes to write fiction. She is also the author of From Frights to Flaws, which is the first installment of the series, Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions. Sunayna lives in New York with her family.

 

Contact Information

Website: www.sunaynaprasadbooks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SunaynaPrasadBooks/?ref=bookmarks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5002639.Sunayna_Prasad

Purchase Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alyssa-McCarthys-Magical-Missions-Wizardry/dp/1490770216/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476295071&sr=1-3&keywords=sunayna+prasad
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alyssa-mccarthys-magical-missions-sunayna-prasad/1123459398?ean=9781490770215

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Indomitus Est – Robert W. Brady, Jr


Fantasy, Historical Fantasy

Free Until the End of 2016
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Imagine yourself, born into the suburbs, your parents working class people, your school nothing special.
Imagine that, for some reason far beyond your understanding as a very young child, a god that you didn’t even know existed ear-marked you as his bargaining chip in a trade across realities.
Imagine that, from the time of that first first meeting and for your next eighteen years, that god – Anubis – threw everything he could think of at you, to break you, to torment you, to forge you into this thing to be traded.
And imagine that, at the end of it all, you passed all of the tests, leaving your life in a shambles, never knowing that you were being tested at all and, when the time came, Anubis appeared and tricked you into giving up your soul to him, only to make the trade and give you over to another god, named War, who by comparison made Anubis seem like a pretty nice guy.
I’m Randy Morden – welcome to my world. A world named ‘Fovea,’ where magic is real, technology the stuff of fantasy, and warriors with swords ride horses into battle, trying to stay one step ahead of their gods’ will. I didn’t ask for this life, but I promise you: before anyone ever knocks me down again, I’m going to have their blood on my knuckles, because a man can only be pushed so far!
Other books in the The Fovean Chronicles Series:
King Glennen of Eldador gave me a job to do – avenge his wife’s death – and hey, you know me, I am to please!
So maybe he didn’t say, “Attack the invincible city, sack it and pretty much slap the faces of every important person on Fovea,” but then again I never went to charm school. I kind of do what I do.
But you know what I wish he had said? I wish he’d said, “Lupus, if you do plan to go sack the invincible city, you better make darn sure you have a way out of there, because the Uman-Chi are the most powerful Wizards on the planet, and every other nation is a friend to them.
Yeah, that would have been pretty good advice.
These are the continuing adventures of Randy Morden, a man from our world thrust into another where magic is real and technology sounds pretty far-fetched. As the chosen of a god named ‘War,’ Randy has a mission to fulfill a destiny that he doesn’t understand and, incidentally, to keep himself and his family alive while doing it.
In Indomitus Vivat, the stakes are raised
 as War drives Randy to greater stakes and greater consequences, and pathway that could lead to empire, or straight to hell!
To say that Randy Morden had an effect on Fovea is an understatement. More than ten years after his arrival, the Fovean High Council is in a shambles, the supremacy of the Uman-Chi is a memory, and Eldador is an Empire, not a kingdom.
An Uman-Chi girl finds herself with a song to sing, a song which is a gift from the goddess Eveave. When she sings it, another call will come to Earth, a new call for two new champions, a young girl and an old man, for the world where magic is used like technology, and technology is just starting to appear.
Now War is about to rage across Fovea, and the greedy Eldadorian government is at the center of it. These two champions from Earth have a decision to make – one not so easy as they might think:
Which side are they on?
Travel with Bill and Melissa in the footsteps of the Conqueror and the shadow of the Wolf, and ask yourself: how do you fight the invincible warrior, especially considering that your failure is already foretold?
The battle for Fovea is on, and a girl named Raven and a man named Jack aren’t even sure of which side they should be on. On one front is the Emperor, Rancor Mordetur, from their home planet of Earth. He seems to have a lot on this side – a massive army of highly trained warriors, the most feared witch on Fovea as his wife and superior technology born of another world. On the other is every Fovean Nation; savage Men and wild Uman, long-lived Uman-Chi and merciless Swamp Devils and Slee; all of them unwilling to be subjects of the Empire. But is the Empire evil, or do Raven and Jack not yet have the whole picture? And what of the song that so few people can hear, sung to them by an Uman-Chi girl barely 167 years old? If they can find the weapons mentioned in the song, can they win the day? Or, as the song says, are they doomed to fail?
Indomitus Sum is the conclusion to Indomitus Oriens. Now you can finally learn the fate of those who have no faith, but who instead know the will of their gods.

About the Author
Robert W. Brady, Jr. is the author of ‘The Fovean Chronicles.’
Born in Connecticut in 1964, he graduated from University of Connecticut in 1986.
He worked his way through college as a construction worker, an infant swimming instructor, a bartender, a waiter, a secretary, the manager of a dry cleaning store and a security guard.
While in college, he began the first version of the ‘The Fovean Chronicles.’
After college, he lasted exactly three months in the insurance industry as an Assistant Annuities Analyst, and then enlisted in the Naval Nuclear Power Program.
He served in the Navy from 1987 – 1994, receiving the Navy Achievement Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Southeast Asia Service Medal, and Good Conduct Medal during the Gulf War. He was certified as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist, a Reactor Operator, a Radiological Controls Shift Supervisor and achieved a rank of Petty Officer First Class while serving onboard the USS Truxtun, CGN-35 and the USS Cape Cod, AD-43.
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The Dragon in the Garden – Erika Gardner


Contemporary Fantasy
Date Published:  Eformats- 2/19/16, Print 10/21/16
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
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There is magic beneath the mundane and in The Dragon in the Garden, Siobhan Orsini witnesses it all. No lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her Sight. She sees through them all and wishes she could close her eyes. Returning to face her past, Siobhan inherits her grandparents’ house in California’s wine country. She encounters a talking dragon, a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. And that is just in the first twenty-four hours. 
It’s time to find out why she has this power. 
Siobhan seeks out the Oracle and learns that only her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Our world is the prize in a battle between the dragons, who would defend us, and Lucifer’s fallen angels, who seek to take the Earth for themselves. Using her gift, she will have to make a choice that will decide humanity’s future.
Excerpt


The memory has haunted me for years.
In the middle of a bright California summer, dark days came. My mother and grandparents spoke in hushed, serious voice, arguing about my absent father. Was it my fault he left? A soft whimper escaped my throat and my eyes burned. I needed a hug, but no one paid any attention to me that day.  So I ran away to the refuge of my grandparents’ garden where I could hide among its statues and flowers.
My eyes lingered over the familiar garden ornaments. I passed the old birdbath, the statues of gnomes, and a cheerful squirrel. I ran one hand over the stone deer. Its brown paint had faded from years under the sun. Walking with quick steps down the gravel path, I made my way to the center of the garden, my special spot where my favorite statue waited.
       A gnarled apricot tree grew there.  Right now it was covered with tiny green apricots. Later in the summer the sweet fruit I loved would ripen. I would get to pick them with my parents, no, just with my mother. My lip trembled. My father wouldn’t be here.
The bright-green dragon lay curled at the foot of the apricot tree, partially covered by vines. My mother called the color jade green—the same shade as my eyes. As a child she talked to all the statues, but I only spoke to the dragon. I named her Daisy. Sitting down next to her now, the tears welled up at last, spilling over my cheeks. I wrapped my arms around my legs, making myself into a little ball of five year old misery.
“Child, why are you sad?” said a woman’s voice.
“Who said that?” I asked, wiping my cheek.
 “I did.”
“Where are you?” I stood and peered at the plants and statues around me.
“Right here.”
“Are not,” I retorted.
A soft laugh filled the air and the woman spoke again. “Perhaps you are right. Easy enough to fix, I suppose.”
The breeze picked up. The space beneath the apricot tree shimmered. Ripples warped the air like the heat over the barbecue when my father cooked. The sweet notes of wind chimes filled the yard. Grandma and Grandpa didn’t have any wind chimes. I whirled around to find the noise.
Under the branches appeared an enormous green dragon’s head.
About the Author
Erika is a sixth generation San Franciscan of Irish descent. She attended the University of California at Davis and completed degrees in Medieval History and Biological Sciences. A lifelong lover of books and a scribbler of many tales from a young age (her first story was completed at age five) she turned to writing full-time in 2011.
Erika resides in Northern California with her incredibly hot husband, their three amazing kids, and their chocolate Labrador named Selkie. To reach Erika regarding her books, wine recommendations, or to debate which Iron Maiden album is the best (clearly, it’s Brave New World), you can find her online at www.erikagardner.com.
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Twitter: @Erika_Gardner
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Wilder -Lena North


YA Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Date Published: 12/14/2016

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Wilder’s wonderful grandfather is dead, and so is her mother, but Grandpa Willy gives her one final gift in his will – the knowledge that her father is only her step-father.

Once she meets Hawker, the scary man who turns out to be her real dad, her life takes an unexpected turn. She finds out about a heritage she never knew she had, and secrets from the past are uncovered as she fights to save her part of the world from destruction.

And then there’s Mac, with his green eyes and a soft voice that flows through her like sweet honey. He’s there to help Wilder when she needs it the most, and as she struggles with how to fit into the group of people around her dad – having Mac in her life becomes more important with every bad thing that happens.

“Wilder” is the first in the Birds of a Feather series and a spin-off from the Dreughan trilogy. It’s set in modern time and can be read stand-alone.

Excerpt

“Let him go, Wilder,” a deep, gravelly voice rumbled.
Slowly, I turned my head to the side and realized immediately that I had been so very wrong. My father was not a fat loser of a drunk sitting in a corner drinking cheap whiskey.
My father was a tall, scary man with long, pitch black hair and tattoos slithering down his arms from under a tight t-shirt that showed off a lean muscular body. I realized another mistake I’d made. I’d thought that he wouldn’t know who I was since I didn’t look at all like my mother, but the man in front of me would recognize me anywhere because, except for the color of our hair, I looked just like him. It was like looking at a weird mirror where my face stared back at me from a man much older than me. He seemed calm, unnervingly so, but the two men at his sides were scowling angrily. At me? Or at the drunken man on the floor?
“I’ll deal with Doug. Let him go now,” he ordered calmly.
“Shit,” the man beneath me whispered. “You’re Wilder?”
“Shut up, Doug,” one of the two men flanking my father said quietly.
Slowly, I let go of the man, and he scrambled to his feet quickly, cowering as he approached the three men standing side by side, hands on their hips.
“I’m sorry, had no clue, wouldn’t have -”
My father’s eyes flicked to the side, one eyebrow went up slightly, but then he looked back at me. This was clearly an order because one of the men immediately moved over, grabbed Doug’s arm and led him away.
“Willy’s gone then?”
At first, I was surprised by the question, but then I understood. Willy had known this man. And he’d known him well enough to share the contents of his will, had told him that I’d know the truth once he was gone.
“Yeah,” I whispered hoarsely.
“Do you know who I am?”
I stared at him. Did he think I was stupid? Slowly, I pulled off my sunglasses and stretched them out in the general direction of where I thought Mickey would be. He took them, and when he did, he squeezed my hand a little. This calmed me down, and I raised my chin, holding my father’s eyes. Eyes that were the same freakishly yellow color as my own.
“I buried my grandfather and my mother this morning. Then I went to the attorney’s office and heard how Paolo Fratinelli became the owner of everything except our ranch and a small house in this village. Next thing, Paolo told me that he isn’t my father and that I should go to this place to find the man who was. So yeah… It’s been one of the worst days of my life. But I know who you are,” I said, slowly and succinctly.


About the Author
The proper way to put it here would probably be to describe how I love to play with our two big dogs, adore my fantastic daughters and how much I love to read.
Another way would be to use my imagination and then I would be a super powerful warrior woman, think Xena the warrior princess (though with less tacky clothes). Or when I think of it, maybe I’m actually more of a Hercule Poirot (sans the suit and moustache). Or maybe I’m like Aragorn, strong and cool and then I might get to meet Gandalf! Or I could be Bella’s pretty cousin and snap Jacob up in a second (yeah, I’m so not team Edward), or wait, maybe I could be like one of them heroines in historical novels who swoon all the time. I’ve always wanted to swoon…
Well, I guess you get how my mind is working (or not working, some say). Anyways, I like to write. Stories, adventures, romantic and happy stuff mixed up with sorrow and hardship, and bit of laughter here and there because the way I see it – life is way too short to go around feeling grumpy.

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Legend of the DragonWand


Legend of the DragonWand  – Book 1

Daniel Peyton

Fantasy

Date Published: February 16, 2016

 

He Who Seeks Power, Seeks Destruction.

Over 1000 years ago, nearly all the ancient wizards were destroyed after the Wizard Wars. However, the one who started the War still remains, having worked his will in secret. If he can find the last Dragonwand, he will regain his powers as the dark dragon. Unaware of the Dragonwand or the betrayer, sixteen-year-old Markus is looking for a wizard who will give him a letter of recommendation for the College of Wizardry. During his journey, he stumbles upon Tolen the Wise, who sends Markus on a quest to end the darkness and find the Dragonwand before it gets into the wrong hands. As Markus discovers growing powers and makes allies, will he find what he needs to complete Tolen’s task, or will the ancient, dark wizard uncover the Dragonwand and forever change the fate of the land of Gallenor?danielpeyton

 Excerpt

The Rakki representative decided he might address the King in person, in private. His people had been asking him for almost a year now to negotiate the return of their wizards from the Pale Labyrinth. He would be returning home soon, and he wanted to at least go back with the knowledge that he had tried everything he could.

Norl approached the throne and asked the Chief of the Palace Guard for an audience with the King, as procedure dictated that the Chief must escort any who ask for an audience. Chief Alex quickly agreed and walked Norl back toward the King’s personal chambers. Few courtiers were more respected or well known as Norl of the Rakki. He was wise, calm, humble, and, above all, intelligent. The Palace Guards held him in high regard and would often give him allowances not granted to others. In fact, Norl was escorted to the King’s chambers. It was not customary for anyone to stand there to wait. If the King was speaking with anyone else, the person waiting was usually asked to wait by the throne until called upon. Not even the Guards stood so near the King’s chamber doors, but Norl posed no threat to security, and surely the King wouldn’t mind.

The dog man stood there quietly. Being a courtier meant a lot of waiting and patience, which Norl demonstrated often. As a Rakki, he had superior hearing over most humans or any of the other races. Right then, this keen hearing picked up on the conversation within the King’s chambers all too well. The King was speaking with Wizard Hallond. Norl attempted to ignore the conversation for their benefit, but their words drew his attention.

“Do you think we can keep them at bay for much longer?” the King asked Hallond.

The wizard responded coolly, “Yes. By the time they finally realize what is truly happening, it will be far too late.”

“The Shlan ambassador was in to see me a day ago about freeing her people, and I’m sure the others will not be far behind. Keeping up the pretense about the wizards is not easy,” the King lamented.

Hallond calmly replied, “History supports our story. Wizards did dark deeds during the War. If it had not been for the dragons, the dark wizards could have taken control of everything.”

“Are you sure this will work?” the King asked the question as though he had asked it many times before.

“As sure as I am a wizard. Once we have the Dragonwand and can finally destroy that horrible statue, my real students will be able to put to rest all the pathetic leaders of the people and make you supreme lord of all. Then, with the combined magic of all the prisoners, I can finalize the spell that will grant you and all my followers immortality.”

“What of Tolen’s plans?”

Hallond’s response was quick and sharp. “Tolen is dead, and with him died any possible resistance. I have waited for over a thousand years for that old fool to die. I cannot say I did not try to help him along a few times. How amazing that time itself finally did him in.”

“The dragon statue still stands and keeps your powers at bay. Tolen’s statue should be dead if he is dead!” The King was angry.

“Rest assured, My Lord, the statue’s seal over me and my followers is waning quickly. Once we have the Dragonwand in our possession, the statue will be rubble and a new age of Gallenor will rise.”

The King let out a tired sigh. “I don’t know, Hallond. I’m still having second thoughts about all of this.”

Hallond put on the convincing tone that politicians attain for such situations as the present. “Sire, you must not let those foolish ideas enter your head. We are too far along with this to have second thoughts. Besides, we are doing this for the good of the kingdom.”

“I know. But, it is just so many lies. We have told the people of Gallenor nothing but lies for years now.”

Hallond comforted the King. “Is it not the duty of every citizen of Gallenor to work for a better tomorrow?”

“Well, yes,” the King answered.

“You have no heir, and, pardon me, but at your age, you are unlikely to produce an heir. So, my plan is the best thing for our future. You will be granted immortality, along with a few others with real power. Gallenor will have a leadership that will not age or die, and a brighter future will be ahead. All it will cost are the lives of a few loyal citizens of Gallenor.”

“Do we have to kill all of the wizards for this?” When the King said this, Norl whimpered a little outside the door, but it did not draw attention to him. The Rakki quickly covered his mouth and though his tail was between his legs, he stayed to keep listening. He had to hear this.

“I am afraid that it has to be.” Realizing the King was in need of more convincing, Hallond asked a leading question. “Would you not ask your soldiers to die for Gallenor?”

“Of course. But, this is different.”

“I don’t see how. Do not worry. In time, the brilliance of this will truly sink in. Once you are granted immortality, all the answers will be made perfectly clear. Trust me.”

The King asked the question that was on Norl’s mind. “Won’t the people resist this once they find out the truth?”

Hallond calmly answered, “Have faith in me, Sire. All will work out according to my plans.” He paused and then said, “I think I hear someone.”

Norl’s ears perked up and he started to step back. When he realized Hallond was approaching the door, he bolted. Hallond opened the door to find exactly what he hoped: nothing. So, he returned to the King, after making sure the door was securely closed.

Standing on the other side of a square column, Norl’s heart was pounding and his breath was trembling. In all his years of service to Gallenor and his people, he had never expected to hear such hideous things. A deep part of him begged for it to be a dream—a terrible, horrible dream. But, the reality was that it was no dream and he had to tell someone. But who could he trust? He had to go home. He had to bring this to his own leaders. The head of the Rakki people was a wise and honorable man. He would know what to do next.