Author: DragonBeck

The Forest Prince

This one is actually a continuation of the previous writing exercise:

Secret, beer, flimsy, alien,

“What do you want?” she said, the kettle still screaming behind her.

“Are you not afraid of me?” His voice was smooth and warm, and the animal sense of self-preservation in her mind quaked at it.

“No,” she said, and was pleased that her voice did not waver.

She turned and moved the kettle off the stove, and a quiet descended on the kitchen. She poured tea, two cups because to do otherwise would have been impolite, and wondered at the workings of gods and fate. When she decided that something had to be done about this, she didn’t actually mean right this second. She turned around, and found him standing right behind her. He had moved so silently. He looked down at her with large green eyes, his alien features warning her something dangerous lurked behind his pointed face and gleaming hair. A wreath of metal and jewels graced his brow, and he smelled like fresh dirt and beer and an evening breeze on sun-warmed stones.

“Strange,” she murmured to herself.

“What is?” he asked, tilting his head.

“You smell different than I would have thought,” she said, and handed him a cup of tea.

He took it, and took a sip without moving his gaze from her. The drink should have scalded his tongue, but he made no sign that he felt anything.

“Do you want to know why I am here?” he asked.

“Because you are following your brother,” she said, and felt frail and flimsy under his penetrating gaze.

“You are smart, for a mortal,” he said.

“And you are not as dumb as most gods,” she retorted, then her eyes widened in shock. She had not thought that through, but when he smiled, a wide, radiant expression of joy and humor, she relaxed.

“So you know my secret,” he said.

“One of them,” she answered, and he looked at her sharply.

She lowered her eyes. I have to be careful, she thought, or I will have two fey creatures who want something I cannot give them.

 

❤ DragonBeck

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The Visitor

So it’s been a little while since I’ve posted my flash fiction writers’ meeting exercises, but I’m going to start that up again!

The story (or excuse, if you prefer) is that my little baby, my acer netbook, which has stood by me for almost 1,000,000 words (yes, that’s 1 million words) no longer connects to the wifi (for some reason I am not knowledgeable enough to guess at, but it probably has something to do with dark magic). And because I’m terribly lazy, I just haven’t taken the time to get a thumbdrive, and transfer them that way.

Anyway…moving right along…

I do not recall the date of this exercise, nor do I recall which word belonged to whom, but I hope you enjoy!

cramp, chaos, consternation, evergreen

The room was the embodiment of chaos, cupboard doors hanging open, things spilling off the shelves, the covers of the bed over the floor, and clothes falling out of drawers. The widow was smashed in, and the cold scent of ice and evergreen made Cindy shiver. He had been back, but he hadn’t found what he was looking for, and for this small favor from the remaining gods, she was thankful.

Cindy crossed the room, and drew the curtains to shut out some of the chill, then looked around the room. She couldn’t seem to muster the interest in cleaning up, it all seemed so pointless. She kept her eyes firmly away from the false brick in the wall, until it felt like they would cramp up with tension and strain. He could be watching, or one of his spies, the woodland creatures he bespelled.

Cindy went into the kitchen and stoked the fire in the oven, the warmth dispelling some of her consternation. She put the teapot on, and stared into space as she thought. Something had to be done about this. She could not keep returning to a ransacked and ruined home, but how could she defy such a powerful deity as he who haunted these woods?

The piercing shriek of the kettle startled her out of her thoughts, and that was when she noticed the figure standing in the doorway.

❤ DragonBeck

2019 New Years Resolutions

Hello everyone!

Happy New Year! I hope 2019 is treating you well thus far.

I know you’re supposed to do these on New Years (Eve?), but I like a little time to mull over them, ruminate, and make them a little interesting.

So here’s my fine-wine and properly-aged cheese list of 2019 Resolutions:

  1. Be Awesome.
  2. Write a lot.
  3. Protect the writing time (this is very important).
  4. Submit a story somewhere.
  5. Do a public reading.
  6. Have a release party.
  7. Read a lot. Specifically:
    1. Finish Return of the King.
    2. On Writing by Stephen King
    3. The Amazon Ad book.
    4. The Uncle Eric Talks About Series.
  8. Visit the library.
  9. Sell one book per day (on average).
  10. Review something awesome.
  11. Book 6 – first draft
  12. Publish Book 6 (optional: with fanfare).
  13. Book 7 first draft
  14. Let’s be adventurous: Publish Book 7 (optional: with dragon parade).
  15. Run a book giveaway!
  16. Blog (more).
  17. Buy new music.
  18. Draw something.
  19. Play my guitar more than once (I should probably change the strings too).
  20. Dress up for Halloween (as something other than “a famous writer incognito/in disguise”).
  21. Eat at a restaurant I haven’t tried before.
  22. Go to 9th Bar (which I’ve been meaning to do for 2 years).
  23. Be Awesome – I’ve decided this will be the first and last item on every years list of Resolutions.

And I did go ahead and post this list on my wall, so I’m confident about the improved compliance.

Here’s to a year of dreams, dragons, and deadlines (specifically the sound they make as they pass us by)!

I hope you make the best 2019 you can!

Peace and love,

DragonBeck

2018 – A Look Back

Hello, all!

So, the New Year is imminent, and I have to take a moment to look back over how I did this past year.

  1. Be awesome. I’d like to think I achieved this.
  2. Write a lot. Definitely did this – one novel, one short story for the ISG anthology, a little light on the blogging.
  3. Publish book #5.  YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now available on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L2QBLW9
  4. First draft of book #6. Not so much – but I started! And I outlined the rest of the books!
  5. Read. I did read. A bit. I read Redemption by D. M. Kurtz (dragons!), and I re-read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (almost, I still haven’t finished Return of the King).
  6.  (more like 5.5) Read Stephen King’s On Writing. And that’s a nope. But it’s still on my list!
  7. Exercise. Yes. And by exercise, I mean:
  8. Go to Africa. Yes, I did this – for a wonderful 3 week safari family reunion:
  9. Learn to speak better Italian (and I do mean speak, not read or write). Non ho fatto questo. Ma forse l’anno prossimo.
  10. Draw or Paint more. The only thing I drew was a gargoyle on a birthday card for my favorite gargoyle. I’m not sure that counts as “more” though.
  11. Play my guitar. Once. One time. One time I picked up the guitar and played. The rest of the time it stared at me mournfully from its corner of the room.
  12. Write letters. I wrote a few, and sent postcards.
  13. Eat good food, drink coffee, have chocolate. Yes (samosas in Cape Town), Yes (lots of coffee), and Yes (lots of chocolate).
  14. Eat something unusual, that I haven’t tried before. Nothing comes to mind for this, so I’m guessing I didn’t do this (or it wasn’t unusual enough to merit).
  15. Have a Golden Birthday. This I did – for those who don’t know, a golden birthday is the birthday when your age matches up with the day of your birth.
  16. Sell lots of books. I’m going to say yes – I had a stretch where I sold a book a day for a week, which is going in the right direction!
  17. Write some awesome Stories My Friends Started. I did this – you can check them out here: https://storiesmyfriendsstarted.wordpress.com/category/nicole-dragonbeck/
  18. Enter (and win) a contest. I didn’t win anything this year. I suppose I did submit my novella to Tor, so half done?
  19. Buy a mattress. Yes, I did this – it’s wonderful.
  20. Get a better phone. Also did this – I can now post to instagram without bugging my sister: https://www.instagram.com/authordragonbeck/
  21. Focus on the real things: real friends, real communication, real happiness. Previous comment notwithstanding, I think I did alright with this. Next year will be better.
  22. Get a movie/TV series deal. Not yet, but I know it’s coming!
  23. Do something outside my comfort zone. I did a few things like this.
  24. Meet new people. I met some new people in Africa. Also, I went to a book fair and met some cool new people there. And I met one of my brother’s friends from work. Mission accomplished.
  25. Spend time on myself. I took a bath. I love baths (so much more relaxing than showers). I should do that more often.
  26. Spend time on other people. I organized (with my mom) a trip to South Africa for a big family reunion, so that definitely counts.
  27. Find something I’d lost. My mind? 
  28. Give a present that really means something. I gave Court a journal that said “Fucking Awesome” and Lisa a journal that said “Fucking Magical”. This was unbelievably perfect (which you’d know if you knew them.
  29. Do something unthinkable or ridiculous (but not dangerous or illegal). I think I might have been joking when I wrote this. If not……..I think I failed.
  30. Something with dragons (for the English teachers and grammar nazis, yes I know that’s not a complete thought). I got a dragon pendant as a present, so there.
  31. Make a new friend. My new friend this year is Elizabeth, a wonderful woman who read my books and whose love of the Witch V’Ronica gave me a little nudge to actually get book 5 out sometime before I turn one-hundred-and-eleventy.
  32. Be awesome (that merits saying twice). Yep, still pretty sure this counts as done, but as always, improvements can be made.

 

I think I need to make a list and post these for 2019 – that might help with compliance. I’ll put some thought into 2019 resolutions, and most likely steal some of these for next year.

I hope you did some awesome things in 2018!

❤ DragonBeck

Merry Christmas!

Seasons Greetings!

I hope every one of you has a wonderful day.

I hope you’re with people that you love, and who love you. I hope you have good food and drink, cheer and merriment. I hope you give gifts that make others happy, and receive gifts that make you smile. I hope you get a chance to have a perfect moment in this imperfect world, and I hope the spirit of that moment lives on even when the skies become gloomy and the horizon darkens.

And if for any reason any of these things are outside your reach this year, I hope the memory of Christmas past and the hope of Christmas future touches your heart and reminds you that tomorrow is another day to live, to try, and to make this world a better place.

Merry Christmas!

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck

New Release – Guardians of the Path book V: Wasteland

Hello all!

I am very excited to announce that the fifth book in the Guardians of the Path series is now available for purchase:

Wasteland (Guardians of the Path Book 5) Kindle Edition

Nyica, the home of the Coven of White and Black: The appearance of Cedar Rün throws V’Ronica’s world into turmoil and challenges everything she knows. How will she find the conviction to follow him down a path from which she can never turn back?

The Wasteland, a place scared by a terrible past: The Guardians and Aethsiths find themselves forced to trust a stranger to lead them home to Demona, while Ria struggles to come to terms with the power she has accepted yet not fully embraced.

Demona, a land overrun by demons and dark deeds: the Maker continues to recruit his army, Witches make alliances with priests and rangers in the name of the Way of Things, and all those who stand with the Guardians do everything they can to avert the impending darkness.

❤ DragonBeck

 

P.S. The Print on Demand version will follow soon!

Guardians of the Path: Wasteland – UPDATE

Hi there wonderful people!

As you can probably already tell from the picture and title of this post………book 5 is not a bit late, it will be published precisely when it means to be.

In this case, a few more days.

And in the meantime, please enjoy this little sneak peek/preview/teaser of the Guardians of the Path: Wasteland, coming soon to a screen or page near you:

 

Cedar Jal sat with his back against the tree, his hands under his armpits to keep his fingers from freezing. The tiny flame Ria had conjured flickered bravely in the wind. It didn’t seem to realize it was outnumbered and doomed. Cedar empathized with it.
Jæyd sat next to Timo, their heads close in conversation. The Daleman now had a frown permanently imprinted on his face. The elf stood, placing her hand on Timo’s shoulder for a moment, then came to sit beside Cedar.
“Did you scare Timo with your reaction to this place?” Cedar asked.
“Why would you ask that?”
“His folk don’t like magyc, but invisible magyc that you can’t see was even worse. I can’t say that I disagree,” Cedar stated.
“I told him it would be alright,” Jæyd said. “How are you faring?”
“As well as can be expected,” Cedar said.
Jæyd laughed. “And with our new Ria? How are you faring with that?”
“It’s so odd,” Cedar said. “She was just a little girl a week ago, and now she’s a grown woman.” He looked down at his toes for a long time before he moved his eyes back to Jæyd. “She even looks like Her.”
“I know,” the elf said.
“So that means the Prophecy is coming to pass,” Cedar said.
“Possibly.”
“She doesn’t know anything,” Cedar said. “I don’t want to tell her, but someone should. She should know.”
“I believe she does, at least part of her,” Jæyd said. “When she-”
She stopped, grabbed Cedar’s arm and hauled him to his feet.
“What is it?” he asked, calling for his bow and only finding his guitar.
“Eyes.”
Cedar looked, and saw the pair of glowing points just outside the firelight. He tried to call his bow, but the guitar refused to change. Another pair of lights joined the first, then a third, and then they were surrounded. The snuffling breaths and cracking twigs multiplied the number of the creatures, but when Cedar counted the points, he only counted thirteen pairs. Not terrible odds. Though we don’t know what those eyes belong to.
That thought was not a comforting one, and he tried again to call his bow, but the guitar remained as it was. Demonfire.
Timo, Luca, and Ria joined them close to the fire, staring out at the blackness. A series of chattering yips came from behind them, and then answered from in front. The eyes came closer. A gust of wind drove the flames higher, and the eyes retreated.
“They do not like the fire,” Jæyd noted.
“We should make torches,” Timo said.
“Out of what?” Luca snapped.
At the edge of the light, lithe shapes on four legs darted between the shadows, eyes blinking. Suddenly they all went still, eyes wide and fixed. Not a sound was heard. Cedar steeled himself. The shape at the front crouched, light shining off bared teeth.
A far-off roar reverberated through the air, and all eyes snapped to the dark sky overhead. Cedar searched the blackness, and the stars blinking out and back to life, and he thought a shape moved overhead but it was hard to tell with the shifting stars. The roar repeated, closer this time, and the eyes scattered.
The Guardians waited, but they did not return. The roar did not sound a third time.
“We have a guardian angel,” Timo commented.
“An angel with teeth, who probably wants to eat us,” Luca said, and huddled closer to the fire.
“At least we are still alive,” Timo said.
“For now,” Luca muttered in return, refusing to be comforted. Or comforting, Jæyd thought.
“We should get some rest,” the elf said. “We have a long journey tomorrow.”
“I’ll take first watch,” Cedar stated, knowing he wouldn’t be able to sleep.
He took up his position on the log, and watched as the other Guardians found places to lie down. Luca was asleep in an instant. Timo lay down, his hands clasped on his chest, his drums beside his head. Jæyd sat on the ground and used the end of the log as a pillow, her long auburn braid hanging over her shoulder.
The stillness of the night took over, and kept Cedar company as he kept watch. His golden eyes never left Ria, who slept curled up next to the smoking ashes, her head on her arm. Her hair was darker than when she was a child, her face still round but thinner.
Death’s words came back to haunt him. We are at a very special turning point in the confluence of the worlds. Events which are beyond you, and even beyond Me, are upon us. Death had also hinted at impending Chaos. Cedar thought it was very unfair that he was to be the one to prevent or cause it, and yet not know what action or choice would bring about either end.
“Death and His Mandate can go burn in demonfire,” Cedar muttered. “I’m sure He must know, but His lips are sealed.”
Cedar frowned, trying to see where he had gone wrong with the girl, aside from the still tender point that he had killed her using First Magyc. She was too young, at least she had been when she was twelve. The Maker of Marks had been ambiguous about what the girl was or was not, as had Death. How was Cedar to know she would return as Aethsiths?
She stirred in her sleep, and Cedar started forward, then settled back. He didn’t want to smother her. His frown deepened. He was happier than he could express that she was alive, well, and here under his watch, but her presence also stirred up unpleasant memories and feelings. She was more of a mystery now than before, and she didn’t know any more than they did.
He looked skyward, at the strange stars in patterns he didn’t know. Some people believed the stars could answer questions and prophesy. Cedar only knew the stories people wove into the points of light in the sky. He wondered if the people here had stories for the patterns like those in Demona, stories they told their children around hearth-fires.
She is going to die and there is nothing I can do about it.
A wetness stung his eyes, and he blinked. Emotions writhed in his stomach, balling into an unrecognizable mass of agony. He knew there was anger and fear and regret mixed in with the joy and hope. Each heightened the others, and left him wishing he could banish them all.
“Demonfire,” he whispered. “Demonfire demonfire demonfire!”
“Are you trying to bring them down upon us?” Jæyd asked, settling beside Cedar. “Or did you leave something behind in the Other World?”
“It’s not time for your watch,” Cedar said, startled then alarmed he had been so absorbed that he hadn’t noticed her move.
“I cannot sleep,” the elf said, and she leaned back, gazing at the sky. “It is so odd where the currents of the world take us.”
“Odd is one word for it, but not the one I would choose,” Cedar replied.
“Did you ever imagine as a child you would be caught up in such a story as ours?” Jæyd asked.
“Does anyone?” Cedar asked, and his eyes fixed once more on Ria. “Do you think she did?”
“Perhaps,” Jæyd said.
“Do you think I should have kept her with us?” Cedar asked, dreading the answer.
“I cannot say. She was an extraordinary girl, but perhaps it is the woman we need. If she had remained in Demona, she would be the same little girl,” Jæyd said. “And perhaps that would have been enough. Or perhaps she would have died. It was her choice and action to go back, remember? Who can say that was not the best thing to do? Perhaps it was what she needed to do to grow into the woman she needed to be.”
“Now that is odd,” Cedar muttered. “I still cannot wrap my mind around it. How could she have been twelve years old a few weeks ago, and now-” He gestured at the sleeping woman.
“The Worlds are not connected,” Jæyd said. “They float independent of one another through the Voide, like bubbles of golden light in a mist. At least according to the stories of my people.”
“That sounds so simple and innocent,” Cedar said. “Alas for us it didn’t remain so.”
“Good fortune, bad fortune, who is to say but Time?” Jæyd told him.

 

❤ DragonBeck

ANNOUNCEMENT

 

Hello world!

 

I’ve been rather quiet here of late, working on epic things in my hobbit hole, and I am very pleased to poke my head up for a brief moment to let you know that Book 5 of the Guardians of the Path series Wasteland now has an official release date:

 

* * *

* * * *    29th November 2018    * * * *

* * *

 

If this is the first you are hearing of this epic fantasy series, set in a world where music is magyc, and magyc is under attack by Sorcerers and Demons, check out the first books here.

 

People say very good things about it, like:

 

 

In the meantime, I have to go back to my little hobbit hole and keep my nose to the grindstone – books don’t write and publish themselves.

 

Keep an eye out for some sneak peeks, giveaways, and other cool stuff, and may the Path keep you and yours!

 

❤ DragonBeck

 

Book 5 Cover Reveal

Hello there, good people of Earth!

I come in peace.

And I bring exciting news!

In honor of completing the first draft of Guardians of the Path Book: 5 Wasteland (and getting it to my wonderful editor),

I present to you the cover:

Isn’t it beautiful?

I think so. A bit darker than the previous, but it’s darkest before the dawn (right?).

I’ll be sharing the official release date, as soon as I know it (no one tells me anything around here).

And in the not too distant future, look out for cool sneak peeks, awesome giveaways, and more!!!

❤ DragonBeck

P.S. You can get the first books in the series here.