The Collective

Alphabet Spaghetti – A Word Game

The exercise is based on a version of the 7x7x7 writing game. This time, I tried to incorporate seven words beginning with E, each with seven letters, and selected using a random word generator. I failed to include one of the words this week, but I did keep to the 700 word count.

It is an ongoing fantasy based short story, and connected to one of my series – The Collective.

The incorporated words are; embrace, eyebrow, emotion, explode, escaped, extreme, and example.

Warrior’s Embrace (Part 4)

A crushing weight settled around Amber’s body, pulling her from a deep sleep with a panic born of prolonged captivity. She tried to take stock, tried to remember what the monsters in the dark had done to render her immobile.

If she wasn’t so scared, she would have likened the feeling to being swaddled in a deep comforting embrace. But she couldn’t convince herself of safety when she was scared out of her mind. Why couldn’t she move? And, god, but it was warm in the hellish place they were being held. They. Oh shit. Where was April?

She tried to cry out and came to the sinking realisation she was bound too tightly to make a sound. The pressure was everywhere, it covered her face, her mouth, her entire body, yet she could still breathe.

As her mind thrashed where her body could not, Amber tried to shift inside the hot, smothering restraints. She started with her toes, remembering what April had taught her about meditation, except it had the opposite effect. The journey across her body didn’t relax her, it made her heart thunder harder. She was swamped in emotion. Not only was she unable to move, her limbs felt separate – like they belonged to somebody else.

A spark of hope lit within her chest when she managed to raise her left eyebrow. That spark snuffed out when she couldn’t duplicate the movement. What the hell had they done to her? What kind of extreme torment was this?

April.

Her sister’s name ricocheted through her head as she tried to grasp their connection. Memories began to swamp her…April dragging her through darkened tunnels, a rough, bumpy ride as the bitter cold nipped at her skin. They had escaped. They weren’t alone anymore. April had made it to the safe zone.

More images flickered behind her eyes; a wolf with white fur, and a large bear of a man who liked to torment the doctor…Clayton, she remembered. The doctor’s name was Clayton, and he like to read to her, to them. April was in the bed beside her.

Oh god, why couldn’t she feel her sister? The thread that joined them together was so weak she struggled to hold onto it.

Keep it together. Keep it together.

She willed her mind to calm, releasing the memories so she could concentrate on her strange new environment.

The muffled sound of voices drifted towards her, so she concentrated on that. The wolf’s voice was the strongest, a deep rumbling sound that called to her. He rarely shifted to his human form, at least not during his visits.

“Why isn’t he waking up?”

April?

That was her sister’s voice. She was here, and she was – wait, he? Who was he?

“I may have miscalculated when I shot him up with the good stuff,” an unfamiliar voice drawled, clearly amused.

Amber had no clue what he was talking about, and it sent her pulse tripping.

“Of course, because all you did was give him an injection of angel juice. No big deal. Cody isn’t going to-”

The words blurred, buried beneath Amber’s sudden rage. She had never felt anger like it, a white-hot trail that seemed to explode beneath her skin. Had the monsters somehow found them? Had they hurt Cody?

The young soldier visited almost as often as Clayton. He was happiness and light, and soft teasing conversation. It didn’t matter that she never responded, Cody spoke to her as though she heard every word, which she did. He entertained her with stories of the safe zone, of his team, the big guy he called Bear, but was actually called Griffin.

Every memory of his voice, his scent, his appealing energy fed the flames of her rage until her body was vibrating with it. No, not her body, whatever was holding her down.

No more.

She would not be helpless anymore. She felt every ounce of fiery red anguish. The pain and fear gathered and exploded, the power running through her so overwhelming, it took a moment to realise she was finally free.


Thanks for stopping by

Mel

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Alphabet Spaghetti – A Word Game

The exercise is based on a version of the 7x7x7 writing game. This time, I’ve incorporated seven words beginning with D, each with seven letters, and selected using a random word generator. I tried to keep to the 700 word count, but went over by 14.

This is the third instalment of an ongoing fantasy story. To recap, Cody (a soldier who is part of a joint task force) has been injured during a battle (it sucks to be human). On his way to the medical unit, he hears a cry for help and rushes to the aid of twins, Amber and April. He discovers something cocooning Amber’s body, and the others in the room frozen in place around her bed.

The incorporated words are; deprive, dribble, default, deserve, decline, despair, and diagram.

Warrior’s Embrace (Part 3)

Cody stayed vigilant, watching over the group as he waited for help to arrive. That’s what he told himself, at least. If the crazy mollusc thing covering Amber went full Alien on him and something burst forth from the shell, he had no idea how he would defend himself, let alone the others. He had no weapon, apart from a crutch, and his leg was throbbing so hard he felt it in his eyeballs. That had to be why the horror show on the bed was pulsating like a heartbeat.

He shivered because, damn but that thing was ugly, and he didn’t even want to think about what was happening to Amber, whether being inside would deprive her of oxygen or if, like a second skin, she could breathe through it.

A blur of colour flashed in his peripheral vision, too fast to track and trippy enough it meant only one thing. The cavalry had arrived in the form of a big assed cat with too much curiosity and a playful streak that rivalled Cody’s. Yep, Blade was in the house.

The changeling cheetah was one half of a deadly duo. Logan made the set and, as with anything involving his brother, Blade was front and centre when the wolf needed an assist.

Following on his heels, at a much slower pace, was Tamaya and her wing-man – as she referred to him – Joshua. Being that the warrior angel was rocking a kick ass pair of wings, he had to navigate the room with care.

“This is not good,” Joshua said, king of the understatement. But then, that was his default setting, the guy could be a tad morose.

“I take it from that encouraging statement, you know what we’re dealing with?” Tamaya shot back. She had Del in her hand, also known as Delphor, her weapon of choice.

Cody trusted her, he really did, but if she was going to hack away at the husk with an axe, magical or not, he would have to step in. Not literally, he wouldn’t be stepping anywhere for a while, but Amber didn’t deserve to be on Del’s radar.

“The human has been infected by erodion, a substance used by Sentinels to infect other species. She’s going through metamorphosis.”

No. No. No. That couldn’t be right.

Cody felt his pulse skyrocket. At this rate he would need a room of his own with nothing but soft surfaces. He could practically feel the dribble. “Back up a second. Why are we just learning about this? We should have been informed if they pose that much of the threat.”

Joshua shrugged, his silver eyes like heated metal orbs. “It never came up. The infection only works if the immune system is compromised, or if a person is exposed for a prolonged period of time.”

“Has the thing somehow infected my brother?” Blade demanded from Logan’s side. The wolf was still fighting the compulsion he was under, but he wasn’t free yet.

“It’s a by-product of the transformation process, a defence mechanism. Logan and the others will need to be decontaminated, and the sooner the better.” Joshua turned to study Cody. “Are you ready to take care of your little problem?”

Ha! His leg had broken in three places. Next, he’d be getting a lecture about how the angel flew home with only one wing, barely conscious. Arrogant prick. “I think I’ll respectfully decline,” he said, even though a quick fix was sounding better every second.

“Come on, Cody,” Blade piped up. “Let us help you.”

“Do I need to draw you a diagram? I said-”

The scream that started the whole mess switched back on again, drowning out his words. April and the others came unstuck at the same time, along with the tail end of a sister’s horror. “Amber!” she croaked, pitching towards the bed.

In a flash, Blade moved to catch her. It was a surprise to them all that Clayton got there before him, scooping her up and cradling her to his chest. The despair on his face was actually painful to witness. Cody couldn’t tear his eyes away, which was why the sneaky angel caught him unaware. The instant his hand made contact with the top of Cody’s head he was out like a light.


Thanks for stopping by

Mel

Alphabet Spaghetti – A Word Game

The exercise is based on a version of the 7x7x7 writing game. This time, I’ve incorporated seven words beginning with C, each with seven letters, and selected using a random word generator. I tried to keep to the 700 word count, but went over by 86.

The story is a continuation from last week. It includes characters from my fantasy series, The Collective. If it turns into a longer piece of work (and it looks like it’s going that way), in terms of timeline, it comes after book 2. The story takes place during the early stages of a Demonic War and centres around a safe zone known as Grangefield. The characters today are; Cody (a human, who we discovered last week was injured during a mission and broke his leg in three places, Tamaya (a witch), Logan (a changeling wolf), Clayton (a hympe – which is a form of shapeshifter), and twins, Amber and April. The instalment ended with Cody reacting to a scream as he entered the med centre – he dropped his crutches and set off running (injury be damned!)

The incorporated words are; crusade, chapter, certain, costume, ceiling, capital and concert.

Warrior’s Embrace (Part 2)

The instant Cody entered the medical room he stopped dead, right before he fell on his ass. He didn’t have the option of dropping to his knees, what with the giant pot on his leg, and it wasn’t the pain that levelled him. It was the shock of what he saw.

On the bed directly in front of him, right where one of the Dillon twins should be, was what looked to be a cross between a giant chrysalis and a set of mummified remains.

Please don’t let that costume of horror be what I think it is.

Behind him, Tamaya stopped just short of ploughing into him. “Holy shit! What is that?”

He looked to the other occupants of the room, all frozen in place around the bed like they were trapped in some form of suspended animation.

“I’m not certain, but I have a feeling it’s Amber Dillon,” Cody said, fighting a wave of nausea.

The Dillon twins had been rescued just outside the perimeter of Grangefield. After being held captive by a group of rogues, April had somehow escaped with her sister. Barely able to walk, she had dragged Amber on a makeshift slay eight miles through the capital to the closest safe zone. It wasn’t until they were both safe that April had succumbed to the exhaustion. The twins had been in a coma ever since. Until now.

Now, April’s mouth was hanging open in a silent scream, her blue eyes wide with a horror they all felt.

Cody watched as Tamaya walked over to Logan and waved a hand in front of his face, or as close as she could get being that he towered above her. Logan didn’t react, not with his body. His pale blue eyes were a different matter, they followed her hand, slower than normal, but the movement was there. He was fighting whatever compulsion was holding him, and it had to be powerful considering the strength of his mind. It was difficult to control a changeling wolf.

Whatever was going on, Logan had managed to execute a shift before it happened. By some miracle, he wasn’t naked either, which was what usually happened until someone threw clothes in his direction. The closest thread shack, as they were known on the base, was outside the med centre, so it explained the ill-fitting scrub pants. His shock of white hair contrasted against the dark skin of his naked chest. He’d definitely been caught unaware, because Logan rarely changed out of wolf form when he visited. His animal soothed the twins, even as they slept.

“What’s wrong with them?” he asked, glancing at Clayton. The hympe was their resident medic. He was obsessed with healing the twins, a personal crusade since he was the one who found them.

“This has Orion’s signature stamped all over it,” Tamaya said, turning in a slow circle. “But since he’s not here, and I don’t feel his energy in the room, I have no frigging clue.”

She would know, she had the whole chapter and verse going on when it came to the man with the plan. “That’s a shame. We could use a god’s help right now, either that or a Hail Mary.” He tried to get up, his mind racing right along with his heart. Which was when the pain from his flight down the hallway decided to make itself known. It was like a wave of nasty spreading throughout his body. He swore he could hear his pain receptors buzzing like a concert of angry bees in his head.

This time he found himself flat on his back staring at the ceiling as he held in the scream of agony working up his throat.

“What can I do?” Tamaya asked, dropping down beside him.

He took in a slow breath. “Grab my crutches and then help me up. We need to find out what the hell is going on.”

“It’s going to take more than crutches to hold you up.” She pulled the bandanna from her head, setting her curls free. “Here, you might want to bite on this.” It was the only warning she gave him before she shoved the material between his lips and he felt the touch of her magic grab hold of him.

It was one way to get him on his feet, though even with the powerful buffer to coax him upright, he still saw stars.

When the agony finally released him from its painful jaws, he was sitting in a chair, his injured leg stretched in front of him.

“Hang tight, you stubborn mule,” Tamaya said from the doorway, and then she was gone, leaving Cody with his misery and a roomful of crazy.


Thanks for stopping by

Mel

Alphabetti Spaghetti – Word Game

This time, the story (based on a version of the 7x7x7 exercise) incorporates seven words beginning with B. They each have seven letters, but I broke the rules a little this week. I went over my 700 word limit by 27. It’s also based on a character from the Collective series, and I will be continuing the story, so my apologies for how it ends. You can find out what happens next week.

The incorporated words are; bargain, brother, battery, banquet, breathe, barrier and bathtub.

Warrior’s Embrace

Cody looked down at the pot on his leg, then the bannister, and shrugged. What the hell?  Planting his butt on the wooden rail, he handed his crutches to the first person he saw, leaned back and began his ride.

“Holy shit!” he shouted, less than halfway down the stairs. He was beginning to pick up some serious speed.

“What the-?”

The rest of the comment faded away as he shot past the gaping resident, towards the floor below. Okay, so he hadn’t really thought things through but, damn it, he was bored. There was nothing fun to do when you were grounded in a safe zone, except annoy his buddies, and that shit got old fast.

Breathe. You’ve got this.

As he approached the lower level, which held the cafeteria and communal zone, he spotted Tamaya stuffing her face. Perhaps it was his blurry vision, but she appeared to be sitting down to a banquet.

She was on her feet at the sound of his whistle, which would have made him smile if he hadn’t been shitting a brick at the thought of face planting at her feet. Luckily, their resident witch intervened a lot. It helped they were friends.

Cody hit a cushion of air and came to an abrupt stop. It tweaked his leg a little, but he couldn’t complain since Tamaya’s magical barrier was like colliding with a cloud.

“Please tell me you tripped and fell onto the bannister,” she said, her green eyes narrowing. “I swear, if I didn’t think of you as a brother, I’d drop you on your ass. On second thoughts, maybe I will.”

He looked down and realised he was hovering above the floor, caught it a witch’s grip. “Oh, come on, short-stuff. I’m going out of my mind here.”

Tamaya lowered her hands and his body followed suit, not as slowly as he would have liked, but he landed on his good leg gently enough. “You can’t pull that crap, Cody. For gods sake, you broke your leg in three places.”

“Yeah, and you say that like I had a skiing accident.” He’d been thrown against a wall. Again.

When you were in the middle of a war, and your enemies were of the supernatural variety, that kind of thing happened a lot. Though it could have been worse, the demon could have petrified his insides.

“Are you telling me you never broke a bone skiing?”

He grinned at that, because she had a point. He was accident prone. Earlier, he’d almost drowned himself in a makeshift bathtub trying to keep his leg dry. “Well, there was this one time-”

“Ahem.”

Cody barely had time to turn before his crutches were being thrust at him. The young man he’d caught unawares at the top of the stairs walked away without a word.

“Let me make you a deal before you upset anybody else,” Tamaya said, drawing his attention. “If you stay out of trouble for the next few days, I’ll find a workable solution to get you healed up and ready to roll.”

By workable she meant by non-magical means. He was being stubborn, he knew that. The elves had offered to do him a solid and speed up his recovery. But he couldn’t bring himself to go down that route. Not yet.

“Maybe I’ll make a bargain with the great and mighty Oz,” he joked, because seriously, what was a supernatural war without a god or two? He liked to joke Orion Reece was the god behind the curtain.

His wrist communicator bleeped, reminding him to take his medication. The thing ran on body heat or some shit, like he was a giant battery. If that were the case, he needed a little extra juice. “Listen, I need to hit the med centre, so I’ll let you get back to feeding your face.”

“That’s okay. I was just about done.” She bumped her shoulder against his arm. “Come on. I’ll walk with you.”

Cody didn’t argue. Things were never dull with Tamaya around, and he could use the distraction.

They had just reached the medical unit when a piercing scream echoed through the halls. Every cell in Cody’s body resonated with dread, and he shot towards the sound like a rocket. He didn’t even feel the pain when he dropped his crutches and began to run.


Don’t forget to let me know how you get on if you decide to take part, or if you would like me to incorporate words in the next installment.

Thanks for stopping by

Mel

Writing a Serial – The Saga Continues

In August I wrote a post about the trials of beginning my journey into serialised fiction. I learned a lot from the process, and the result of those lessons meant I had a few decisions to make about the future of the Collective.

In short, I had to rethink my whole plan. I still believe it will make a good serial, it just needs a stronger foundation before the group can come together and share their adventures. I’m sure readers will appreciate the time to familiarise themselves with the characters – all thirteen of them.

It’s for that reason I’ve decided to give each character their own novel. Yes, that’s thirteen books (at least) before the collective can be formed. By that time, readers will know the history, will be familiar with the world itself, and regular episodes will complement the series as a whole.

So, since the first novel won’t be ready until February 2017, and I promised a release this month, I wrote a novella – Badge of Honour – featuring Maddison Wood from the Fractured series. I will be releasing that Christmas week, and I’m excited about it.

I’m also excited about the fact that I have a new image of Maddy to share with you. I’ve been working with Magical Designs to create covers for The Collective, and The Fractured. Bekah Reece sketched Maddy for me, and I’ll be using her for future covers because she looks fantastic.

Yes, I messed up my timing when it comes to the serial and the planners among you are probably shaking your head, but there’s a silver lining. So, here she is, my feisty witch with hair that will tie you up in knots…I give you Maddy…

maddy-comission-2

I will be providing a sneak peak of Badge of Honour, and of course there will be a cover reveal coming soon.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

 

An announcement or two

collective-headerI got a little impatient, as I am want to be, and released the first episode of The Collective today. I originally said the end of April, but I couldn’t wait, so there you are! There are a number of options for people wanting to access the episode. If you wish, you can go straight to the site and find out more here. I will be releasing the episodes chapter by chapter on a weekly basis, on the (Collective) site, and via other mediums. I’ve also added a pdf version of the full episode, should readers want to access the episode in one go, or download it. If you’re interested in that option, here is a link to the pdf.

On the site I’ve also added character profiles, and a glossary, so readers can familiarise themselves with the main cast and the world itself. Subsequent episodes will be released in a similar way, so episode two will be released at the beginning of May 2016.

saturday book clubNow for my second announcement. I started a Saturday Book Club and though I’m really enjoying this new feature, I’ve realised a weekly post is a little ambitious, given how slow I am at reading this year! So the Saturday Book Club will be once a month from now on – the last Saturday of the month. The remaining Saturdays I’m going to be taking part in the Weekend Coffee Share again, because I miss it, and it’s a great way for me to catch up now that I’m so busy.

I hope you’re having a great week, and I look forward to catching up with you soon.

Thanks for stopping by

Mel

Saturday Book Club – 26 March 2016

I got a little side tracked with my reading this week. I’m still reading Rogue Lawyer, but a friend told me about a book called ‘Why Does E=mc²?’ by Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw and, like I said…side tracked. It’s heavy, but written in an engaging tone, which is often amusing, so when you have to reread a paragraph to let it sink in, you have fun doing it! The theories relating to space and time are fascinating, so I got completely caught up.

I’m reading them simultaneously, which is a nice balance, but means I haven’t romped through Grisham’s book as I would normally do. So, rain check on my thoughts about that particular adventure. I have a few days off work, so I’m sure I’ll catch up.

Moving on from reading, a blogging friend, Jacqui Murray, shared photographs of her work space this week, and you can check that out by clicking here. I thought I would share my own space with you, as I do most of my writing, and reading, sitting at my desk. Here is what my office looks like – it’s suprising what you can do with a box room!

PicMonkey Collage

In terms of writing, I’ve been trying to create character profiles for The Collective to display on the website. I thought it might be good for readers to follow along with the series and get to know the main players a little better. I’ve had a few formatting issues, so I’m still working on that. I also want to create a glossary, and that is next on my agenda. It’s almost time to release the first episode, so that’s exciting. With that in mind, I thought I would share a sneak peak with you – the introduction to Esha Tomas.

“Damn, vampires,” Esha muttered, pacing the courtyard. “Why do we continue to put up with Isaac’s crap?”

Leela tried, but failed, to cover her amusement. “I’m not sure where to start with that. First, your best friend is a vampire, and second, Isaac is his brother, and, do I need to remind you, a Noble Shield.”

“Yes, and I ask myself the why of that last one every day.”

Esha was a Noble Shield, as was Leela, their best friend Aaron, and his idiot brother, Isaac. There were thirteen Shields in total, all in service to Constance, the Siren Queen.

“Let Aaron deal with it,” Leela said in a placating tone. “Constance respects him.”

“It’s the only reason Isaac is still alive.” Esha glanced across at the enormous stone pillars that sat astride the steps leading to the palace. She didn’t see the noble architecture, the glistening stone that formed part of the land, her thoughts were on Aaron. It stung that he felt it was his duty to face Constance alone. They had his back in all things, but his brother had brought shame to the family, to their queen, and Aaron took the responsibility for Isaac’s actions. He always did.

Esha’s wings twitched. She longed to take flight. As a siren, she was part bird and, warrior or not, she was at her best in the sky. She often chose her half-form, like now, because she liked the feel of her wings. Her head dropped back and she looked up, following the path of one of her comrades as she flew out to scout the area.

“You’ll be able to stretch your wings soon enough,” Leela said beside her, the desire to shift as powerful as Esha’s.

Esha nodded. Their region was vast. Marsacre was one of the largest in Nearyon. It sat beside Valcrest, home of the Enraptured; Aaron’s true home. But their friend had chosen to serve Constance, and in doing so, his loyalty was to her. Esha and Leela shared that loyalty, but they also swore to protect one another. When Aaron began his journey, they would accompany him, whether he liked it or not.

Her body froze the moment she caught the scent of their friend’s arrogance. By the gods, but there was no denying Aaron had balls the size of cantaloupe.

She watched him, friend and fellow descendent of the Clanderians and, as she did, Esha considered their differences. They were both part of the same fucked-up gene pool, but in many ways – they were kin. His steps were sure, his posture deceptively relaxed. He had skin the colour of burnt treacle, with eyes so dark they stole some of the light. Yes, he was a magnificent creature. She gave him credit for holding his powers in check. He didn’t even try to buffer her annoyance. He never did.

That’s it from me this week and, as always, I want to know what you’re reading, what projects, if any, you have on the go – anything you want to share.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Squeaky Goodness – Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge

This is kind of a long introduction, so if you are pushed for time, and you know what the Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge is, you can jump to the good stuff below – the quote and short story!

I mentioned on Saturday that I miss my friends, and it is the absolute truth. I try my best to keep up with posts, and check in. I particularly enjoy Colleen and Ronovan’s challenges, and wish I could take part more often. When I saw that they have an awesome new format (you should check it out), and the theme this week is Romance, it got me thinking about a scene I started earlier but couldn’t quite finish.

I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about The Collective, a serialised fiction project. I begin releasing episodes in April, and you would think, at this point, I have things nailed on. You would be right – sort of. Although the first episode is ready, and just needs checking over by my editor, I still feel there is something missing. One of the main characters, a god, who is a great deal of fun to write; sardonic, egotistical, and somewhat complex, opens the episode. At the beginning, his mood is, shall we say, dark, and though readers will discover why, I can’t help wondering if I should show a snippet of the events that led to his current mood.

So, if I may, I’d like you to be my sounding board. This is the scene I wrote as an alternative beginning to the chapter, and though the romance is dark, the love shines through (I hope), so it fits the theme (I also hope!)

First, one of my favourite quotes about love –

 cactus

Here is the scene, which I finished, and titled ‘Squeaky Goodness’ – it needs work, but let me know what you think.

Power shot across the lush, green-carpeted forest, scorching the grass. Orion was oblivious to the discharge of energy, or to the tears, which soaked into the earth and reformed the damaged ground. His Mohana was gone, cut down in her prime and why? Betrayal. The worst kind of injustice, because this betrayal came from a loved one – Mohana’s twin.

Orion could have saved her, had he reached her in time. Now he was impotent, unable to move for fear he would shatter into a thousand pieces. When Adara had struck the killing blow, the impact tore through his own heart and left it numb; a shrivelled, hollow organ he wanted to rip from his chest, if only so he could join Mohana.

They should never have been, and yet their pairing made more sense than his whole sorry existence. She made his immortal life bearable. Now he faced eternity alone. Even with all the power he possessed, Orion didn’t know if he had the strength for that. Mohana understood him. She had been his equal, and it mattered little he was a god. Not when they were together.

Mohana was born nine minutes before Adara, and as the first-born child, this made her the rightful heir to Clan Ignatius. She had been a powerful sorcerer, a gifted leader, and she had somehow found it in her to love Orion. Him, with an ego the size of a dominion, and too many flaws to count. He amused her, genuinely amused her. Mohana had laughed at his antics, told stories of his accomplishments and shown him how it truly felt to be a god. All his life Orion had been feared, envied and worshipped at one ridiculous alter after another. Until he met Mohana, he actually believed it was his duty to put on a show. To become the pompous jerk his followers expected, those who knew of his existence. Mohana’s strength of spirit, her goodness, humbled him and, without her, his world had no meaning.

Orion felt it building in his chest; the bitterness, the self-hatred, and he did nothing to stop it. He was weak. He hadn’t even had the courage to say his final goodbyes, to look upon her face one last time and let her go. No, he had left the veil that covered her body in place, turned away from the water and walked away. He had fallen as the first arrow whizzed through the air, knowing the archer’s aim would be true and he could not watch Mohana burn. All the atrocities he had seen, the wars he had fought – he did not have it in him to witness his love go up in flames.

Orion had no idea how long he lay sprawled in the grass, masked from sight because Adara had tried to keep the ceremony from him. In another life, he would have made her pay for the insult, she deserved to feel his wrath, and she would. Just not today. Not today.

When his tears dried up, Orion became aware of the heat he was channelling. His energy was still leaking out, poisoning the earth, and killing everything around him. He couldn’t stop it. It had built too quickly, accelerated by his turbulent thoughts.

“Forgive me,” he whispered to the ground. Orion knew, immortal or not, he could not survive the impact if his power reached critical and he lost control.

“Orion. No!”

A heavy weight landed on top of him, and a familiar energy closed in tight. Lucas pushed his arms beneath Orion and the ground, attempting to contain the anger, and grief, and despair. The angel was powerful, but he was not powerful enough.

“Work with me, you son of a bitch. Pull it back. Do it now.” Lucas’ voice came out clipped. He was fighting against the pain of their connection.

“Try…ing.” Orion clenched his teeth. “Get off me.” The energy burned him, but he held tight to it, even as the angel ignored his demand and held tight to him. That was friendship for you, and Lucas seemed about ready to follow him into the abyss. Orion suspected, should Lucas have an actual halo, the thing would shine with squeaky goodness.

He could feel the Guardian’s love bearing down on him, and though he wanted to deny the reminder he was still alive, instead he embraced it. He would be no kind of god if he allowed his friend to perish. Mohana would never forgive such weakness, and besides, he kind of loved the angel too.

As Orion sucked back the power, he felt a final tear roll down his cheek and drop to the ground. Mohana had loved the earth, she would not wish for him to harm her forest. He could give her that. If he couldn’t say goodbye, he could mend what he had broken.

His last thought, as he concentrated on Lucas and the arms clamped tight around him, was that it would be a lonely eternity without her.


 

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

 

Saturday Book Club

I’m finding it difficult to maintain a regular schedule for the blog, and I miss you all, so I came up with a solution that will force me to set aside time at least once per week dedicated to a post. That way I can catch up with all my friends, so it’s a win win.

Each Saturday I will talk about what I’m currently reading, what I’m working on personally, and offer you the chance to do the same.

Sounds easy enough, right? Well, then, here goes!

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

I’m currently reading Crossing Bedlam by Charles E. Yallowitz. I haven’t been able to devote the time I wanted to, so I’m picking it up when I can – like a little treat to myself in my downtime. I’m really enjoying it, as I knew I would. Charles published teasers on his site, and one of the main characters, Lloyd (a serial killer) is just delightful – in a laugh out loud kind of way. It is an apocalyptic action comedy adventure, and so far, it has been quite a ride!

collective slide

As far as writing, I’m working on a serialised fiction project – The Collective. I will be releasing the first episode in April 2016, and I’m excited to get started. The Collective came into existence due to my love for the characters in my fantasy series, the Fractured. The series is based several years after the Demonic War, so I decided to write about the war itself, and try my hand at a serial. The first season will have six episodes. I’ve already created a site for The Collective, which I will work on over the next few months, adding character profiles and uploading previews.

Now it’s over to you. I have my coffee at the ready, so we can chat about books, and your current projects. What are you reading at the moment? What are you working on?

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

 

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