Although I am still on vacation, an interview I had done is being posted today and I wanted all my fans to know about it. Check it out at http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/2016/07/interview-with-fantasy-author-rival.html
I know I said I'd be away but Linda Book Reviews was kind enough to do a book spotlight on Mandrean Revenge. Here is the link. http://wp.me/p7tCdr-4j Enjoy!
Vacation Time @Solsticepublish
Bander and Rander took a few moments to reach him. “How did you hear us talking from so far off? We were whispering.”
“It’s so quiet in here that I could hear every word you said. What a silly thing to argue over. You know,” Linvin paused in mid-sentence and looked around them. His face showed great concern. “That is what has been bothering me!” he cried in astonishment.
“That we’ve been arguing?” Bander asked.
“No,” answered Linvin. “It is too quiet. When have you ever been in a forest this quiet? You normally hear animals of some sort moving about or calling to one another. Even birds fly about. Here, there is no sound. There are no animals, no noise at all. In such a grand forest, you should hear something. You were right, Anvar. I was looking for something that did not exist. I found it.”
At first, the others appeared to discount the notion. Then they thought about their journey through the day. None of them could remember hearing or seeing a single animal.
“So what does this mean?” Rander asked.
“It means someone or something has chased all the animals from this area,” Linvin asserted.
“It appears to be a well-traveled road,” Rander noted. “Such traffic may have driven the animals from here.”
“Even the birds?” Linvin asked. “You lived in forests your entire life. Did the birds stay away from Varns?”
Rander looked at his brother and then turned back to Linvin. The twins shook their heads in unison.~
“So what do you propose we do, Linvin?” Rander asked. “Turn around and go back the way we came because we don’t hear any animals?”
Linvin was mildly annoyed. “No,” he responded. “We continue on our course, but be especially alert.”
Anvar was ordered to the rear of the party as Linvin returned to the column formation he had used in the grassland. All eyes shifted from side to side in search of Linvin’s phantom enemy. Rander became increasingly bothered by the heightened state of alert. Every time he went to speak, Linvin silenced him.
“You are letting your paranoia get the better of you, cousin,” Rander chided. “I was the greatest opponent to traveling this course, and yet you are the one obsessed with fear. Nothing has happened and still you cling to your delusions of danger.”
“Be silent,” Linvin barked while attempting to keep his voice low. “If you speak again, I will gag you and tie you to your horse with your belly in the saddle.”
Rander considered how sincere Linvin’s tone had become and chose to heed the warning. Angered by the rebuke, he urged his horse to take the lead in the formation. His brother soon followed suit and the two created an increasing amount of space between themselves and Linvin. Anvar was slowed by his custody of the mules. He could barely see Linvin along the twisting path. The twins were not visible at all.
Linvin’s alignment had been ruined by his cousins’ actions. He galloped forward to halt them and wait for Anvar. As he reached the twins he heard what sounded like a bird, calling from the trees. From another direction, came an answer.
Rander smiled as Linvin approached. “You see Linvin, there are animals here.”
Linvin was highly distraught by the sounds and called, “To arms!”
Linvin looked down at the pathetic form on the ground before him. His first impulse was to kill him right then but found the execution of such a defenseless adversary dishonorable. He did need to act quickly, as his human shield was gone. “Coward,” he branded Mandrean and kicked him in the jaw with great force. Before the guards could react, Linvin ran through the doors and yelled to Anvar, “Close them now.” Anvar stretched forth his hands and the doors glowed with orange magic. In an instant they slammed closed. “Wedge the spears between the door-handles,” Linvin ordered.
After doing so they huddled for a moment to catch their breath. “That won’t hold Necromancer for long,” Anvar commented. “I hope you have a plan.”
Before Linvin could say a word, one of the Imperial Guards on the main floor spotted them and screamed, “The prisoners have escaped. To arms.” He blew a horn by his side.
“How about that plan?” Rander asked impatiently. “Is there one?”
Linvin surveyed the grand area and answered, “No time to explain. Just do as I do.” He led his uncle and cousins along the hall toward the tapestry. Soon they took shelter behind its massive width.
Clanking of armor was heard in great numbers coming from the far hallway. On the ground floor the guards from the outside stairs entered the room and were joined by a host of others. They ran with haste toward the great staircase. Moments later the great double doors to the throne-room blasted open from the Colorful Magic of Necromancer. Though Linvin’s party was safely distant, the situation became that much direr.
“This is your plan?” asked Rander. “Hide behind a rug? They already know we are here and are coming. Can’t you do anything else with that gem at all? Where’s all the great power we heard about? We are trapped in this hallway. You have no way out. We are all doomed.”
Linvin paid little attention to the complaints. He concentrated instead on the progress of the guards coming up the stairs, the ones emerging from the far hallway and the rapidly growing group from the throne-room. His gaze shifted around the three approaching enemies as he gauged their rate of closure. Without breaking his concentration Linvin spoke firmly to his uncle. “When this is over and we are free, reminded me to beat the life out of Rander.” Anvar simply nodded in an effort not to affect Linvin’s thought process.
The guards from below reached the landing on the second level and were ascending the two side stairways. Guards took up positions at the two ends of the hall and were slowly advancing from equal distances.
Anvar finally spoke. “I can take out a few but I cannot channel enough magic for this fight.”
“Save your magic. We will need it soon. Now everyone climb onto the railing. Use the tapestry to brace yourselves.” His bewildered family did as they were told and were soon balancing on the rail. “Alright, then. Follow my lead.” Linvin placed the Red Sapphire in his pocket and stabbed his short sword through the tapestry. Then he jumped off the railing. The sword slowed his descent as it sliced through the very fiber of Mandrean bravado. Following suit, Anvar and the twins dove in a similar manor and slid down the backside of the wall hanging.
The soldiers on the stairs were in such a hurry to climb the steps that steel blades sliding down the tapestry went unnoticed. In the hallway the guards were awestruck by the spectacle and did little more than watch as their adversary escaped.
Once Linvin and the others reached the ground he led them in a race for the grand entrance. After they cleared the front of the staircase all the men could see what became of their foe. Though only moments passed, the guards on the top took an inordinate amount of time to cry out the location of Linvin’s band. All eyes turned to see them crossing the center of the room and nearing the exit. Immediately the soldiers on the stairs turned and stumbled back down the way they’d come.
It was time for Linvin’s masterstroke. He held up his fist and the party stopped. Then he turned and regarded the majestic work of art, which had been formed into a staircase. “Anvar,” he said calmly. “That needs to be gone…now.” Anvar nodded and stretched forth his hands. Concentrating longer than they had ever seen him do before, Anvar built up such an aura of orange magic that a sphere glowed around his body. All at once he released the energy just as the first guards returned to the second floor landing. The wave of magic struck the stairs with a thunderclap as they exploded sending stone and men alike hurtling through the air. Those on the top level were cut off from their main access to the first floor and Linvin.
With debris still falling to the ground, Rander resumed his path for the doors. Linvin grabbed his arm and stopped his progress. “No. Not that way. We just woke every Mandrean soldier in the city. That is the direction from which they will come. So we shall go this way.”
“And you are avoiding my question!” stormed Linvin, who jumped from his chair and leaned over his uncle. “Answer me! Answer me! Is this what my father wanted?”
Anvar recalled the promise he made to Jelena. He rocked slowly while biting the end if his pipe. Linvin sat down in the chair next to him and placed his head in his hands.
The rhythmic sound of Anvar’s rocking came to an abrupt halt. Anvar stroked his nephew’s hair and whispered a word in his ear, “No.”
Linvin’s head popped up and stared at his uncle. “Then what is this all about?”
Anvar returned to his rocking and puffing. After a few moments he formulated his words and spoke, “Your mother was absolutely set against your leaving. What you have been experiencing tonight is the life your mother has envisioned for you since you were born.”
“And my father’s plan?”
“I can only hope his plan died with him. It was reckless and dangerous. With any luck at all, it would never bear fruit.”
“Tell me, Anvar, what was his plan?”
“It is not for me to say,” Anvar answered slowly. “It was not my plan.”
“So what am I supposed to do?” Linvin demanded.
Anvar looked up at the sky. Only a few clouds obscured the view. At that moment, one of the clouds had hidden the moon from sight. “Look at the sky, Linvin. Tell me, is the moon out tonight?”
Linvin leaned back and took in the sky. “Yes,” he answered simply.
“How do you know?” asked Anvar. “I do not see the moon anywhere.”
“It is right there,” pointed Linvin. “There are just some clouds blocking it from view.”
“But are you sure it is there?” asked Anvar. “Prove it to me. How can you prove that the moon is there?”
“Well,” Linvin said, rubbing his chin, “We can just wait here until it comes out from behind that cloud. Then you will see it.”
“So even though the answer may be there all along, I will not be able to see it until the time is right?” Anvar asked.
“Well, of course,” Linvin stated. “Unless you believe it is there all the time, then your only choice is to wait for it to reveal itself.”
“So you are telling me that I must just believe the moon is there until it appears and proves it? You seem quite confident in the outcome. How do you know that the moon will appear again?”
“I do not know,” said Linvin. “I guess it just always comes out sooner or later.”
Anvar smiled and remarked, “And so will the answer to your question, my boy. The answer is out there. What you must do is wait for it to present itself, just like your moon. Until then, you must believe the answer will appear.”
Fantasy fiction is my passion. This series embodies my love for a good story and action. You will find it to be many things, but not boring! Read what you love and love what you read...