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Posts Tagged ‘princess’

When The Hero’s Away, The Dragon Will Play

November 15, 2013 Leave a comment

It was about this time in 2012 when I decided to take a chance and write a traditional fantasy book called Child of Fate. I assembled a cast of characters that were part imagination and part remnants of time spent playing Dungeons and Dragons as a kid. The real D&D, with paper, pencils, and dice. It also required lots and lots of soda and pizza so our character sheets could end up spotted with grease stains.

Child of Fate climbed slowly but steadily up the charts until in early 2013 it exploded and was selling like crazy. I was quick to use this as a springboard and wrote the sequel, Victim of Fate, early in 2013. Silver Dragon followed and the trilogy continued to perform very well. Unfortunately, a trilogy ends at three books but I still had more stories to tell.

That meant I had to start a new series about those characters. The new series was longer and dealt with established characters coming to terms with their rise to fame and power, as well as the repercussions of what happened to them in the Blades of Leander trilogy already. The new series was called Order of the Dragon, and it began with Isle of the Ape and then continued with Chasing the Dragon and Sands of Betrayal. And now, as of today, I’m excited to announce that it’s completed with the release of Dragonlady.

But does that mean that this foray into medieval fun and games is over? Well, read the book and find out! Order of the Dragon is completed, but there’s always opportunities for more adventures to spring up at any time.

With the Order of the Dragon in retreat Alto’s thoughts turn to home and his future with his betrothed, Lady Patrina of Kelgryn. But the future, once a shining light guiding him through a dark tunnel, has grown cloudy with indecision and confusion.

One last torch in the darkness remains, directing him to revisit some of his darkest times and put to rest the ghosts of his past. The ghosts he finds are more than memories, they’ve been given flesh and blood and are reaching out from beyond for him.

Defeated but not destroyed, the silver dragon has been watching and waiting. Her plans, years in the making, are coming to fruition. Only one man dares to defeat her, but Alto is the man she waits for so that she may spring her trap and rule from her mountain throne forever.

Dragonlady, book 4 in the Order of the Dragon series, by Jason Halstead

Amazon

Amazon UK

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble (coming soon)

iTunes (coming soon)

Kobo (coming soon)

Sony (coming soon)

 

To learn more about Jason Halstead visit his website to read about him, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

 

It’s Time for Some Payback!

February 16, 2013 Leave a comment

No tricks and no fancy play on words today. This post is about the release of my latest novel, Silver Dragon. I’ve blogged about it a few times but now it’s finally here. Silver Dragon is the third book in my Blades of Leander Series (Child of Fate and Victim of Fate preceded it). It picks up the story immediately after Alto has buried his fallen loved ones and follows him on his path of revenge.

Rather than waste time trying to drop teasers without spoiling the story, here’s the blurb, cover, and links. If you enjoy an epic fantasy that has a little bit of everything in it, head on over and pick it up.

Alto’s hands are stained with the blood of the fallen. The only justice he can find must be had by the blade, but the path of vengeance shows him that he is but a pawn in a far more dangerous game. Sarya’s plans reach far beyond anything the young warrior could imagine and require a sacrifice from him greater than he can give.

Alto must make fear his ally if he is to lead his companions into the dragon’s lair with any hope of saving the woman he loves and the two nations he calls home.

Silver Dragon, book 3 in the Blades of Leander fantasy series by Jason Halstead

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble (coming soon)

iTunes (coming soon)

Kobo

Smashwords

Sony (coming soon)

Print (coming soon)

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to read about him, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

The Price of Success

January 18, 2013 Leave a comment

This unusual blog title isn’t nearly as insidious as it may seem. Far from it, in fact! I’m announcing the release of Victim of Fate, book two in my Blades of Leander fantasy series. Victim of Fate follows Child of Fate and continues to tell the story of Alto and his companions. I want to avoid giving any spoilers but I will say that it follows in the tradition of many sequels in that it’s a darker book with some very low points for the main characters. Rather than babble on about it, I’ll offer up the blurb, cover, and the links that I have for it. Look for it and the first book in the series, Child of Fate, at your favorite ebook retailer or Amazon / Createspace, for the print version. I’m hoping to finish book three in the series, The Broken Path, soon! I’m almost 25,000 words into it after only five days of writing.

Life has gotten boring for the heroes of Highpeak. The monsters in the mountains have disappeared and even the bandits harassing caravans are looking to easier pickings. Relegated to finding work rescuing lost maidens from enchanted forests, Alto becomes separated from his friends and is soon lost in a darkness of sorcery and corruption.

The young warrior’s old foes return and this time they’ve come looking for him. For every action, good or bad, there is a consequence. Alto will discover the cost of his actions and then he must find a way to pay for them.

Victim of Fate, a fantasy novel by Jason Halstead

Book 2 in the Blades of Leander series, by Jason Halstead

Victim of Fate on Amazon

Victim of Fate on Amazon UK

Victim of Fate on Barnes and Noble

Victim of Fate on Kobo

Victim of Fate on Smashwords

Victim of Fate in print

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to read about him, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

Betrayal Among Thieves

Chapter 7 of Betrayal’s Hands continues below! This time exploring the concept of honor among thieves, or lack thereof.

Chapter 7

“We’re being followed, boss,” one of the bandits said.

They’d broken camp early the next morning and moved out. Teri’s feet were blistered from walking barefoot. The man that served as a tail scout glanced at Teri, accusation in his eyes. She pretended not to see him, and wondered if her father had followed her.

“How many?” Krev, the half-ogre leader, asked.

“More than I could count, boss!” The scout told him, trying to sound impressive.

Krev barked out a harsh laugh. “You can’t count higher than 10, Bernerd!”

Bernerd shrugged and said, “There’s more than that. It’s her they’s after, boss. Cut her up and leave her behind, lets us get away!”

“Get back there, fool,” Krev snarled at him. “She’s our hostage if we can’t fight them off.”

Bernerd retreated, shooting another angry glare at her. Krev yanked on the rope around Teri’s hands and pulled her stumbling up next to him. “Who are you, my pretty? No tutor brings armed guards in pursuit.”

“I was well liked by the children,” Teri lied. She was miserable but she didn’t dared cry out and let them know where she was. Doing so would earn her punishment from her father, plus a return her to a life she dreaded. Not doing so didn’t fill her with much hope though, upon looking at the giant that walked beside her.

Krev harrumphed and kept walking. The bandits made good time, knowing the land well, but still the soldiers pursued. It became apparent after most of the day had been spent on the march that they wouldn’t lose them. The Kingdom trackers were too good.

“Boys, we fight,” Krev said, calling them to a halt for a short rest.

“Let’s split up, boss,” big-nose said. “Go our own ways, then we meet up at the caves again when we can. They can’t go after us all. They want the girl anyhow!”

“You think they’ll be happy to get her back? They’ll be after us all then, killing us one at a time. We stand a better chance together than apart. They’re no better off than merchant guards.”

A few of the men grumbled, but most remained silent. Krev nodded. “Good, it’s settled then. Here’s what we’ll do…”

The big half-ogre outlined a plan of attack for them to use, setting up an easy ambush. He retired to the rear and tied Teri to another tree. “Cry out and someone will be here to cut you down before rescue can be dreamt of,” he promised her.

Teri’s eyes were wide with fear, but she nodded. “I don’t want to go back,” she said truthfully.

“You’d rather stay with us?” Krev’s eyes were wide. “Among rapists, killers, thugs, and thieves?”

It took a moment, but Teri nodded again, tears spilling down her cheeks. Krev’s brow furrowed as he tried to figure her out. Then he shook his head and said, “Remember what I said!”

He was gone then, disappearing into the woods faster than Teri thought someone of his size could. She waited, alone with only her tree for company, for several long minutes. Distantly through the trees she heard the sounds of battle. A horse whinnied. A man screamed. There were the sounds of bowstrings being loosed and metal striking against metal. She twitched and jumped at each, wondering desperately what was happening and wondering who she hoped would win.

The sounds of battle raged for some time, and then began to die down. Or instead of dying down, they became more scattered. Some crashing through a nearby thicket made her breath freeze in her throat. She clung to the tree as though it could protect her when the man emerged from the thorns, scratched, bleeding, and cursing. He caught sight of her immediately. It was Sven.

“There you are,” he said, spitting with his vehemence. “I’m going to take what’s mine from you, bitch!”

He stomped over to her and grabbed her when she tried to slide around the tree she’d been lashed to. He pulled her out and she bit at him, frantically trying to escape. He cursed and backhanded her across the face, splitting her lip and sending blood and spittle flying.

He grabbed her again now that she was stunned and tore at her dress, trying to yank it off. He’d just caught sight of her pearly breasts when he was suddenly lifted off the ground and slammed sidelong into the tree. He hit the ground and looked about, trying to register what had happened to him. He spit out something hard out of his mouth, drooling blood as he did so. It was a tooth.

“I told you she was mine!” Krev said, grabbing hold of one foot in both hands and swinging him around. He crashed into a different tree, doubling over and falling to the ground. There were audible snaps as several of his ribs were shattered.

“Come, we have to go,” Krev said to Teri. He produced a dagger that might have served as a sword for her and sliced through her rope.

“What of your men?” Teri asked, staring at where Sven lay and wondering if he was dead.

“They’re either dead or running. We killed most of the soldiers, but they were too many,” He answered her shortly, not in the mood for explanations.

Teri limped and nearly buckled trying to walk upon her tortured feet. Krev frowned and picked her up, tossing her over his shoulder and then setting off in a rapid stride. She looked up behind her and saw Sven’s hand clawing at the tree, trying to gain a grip so he could use it to help pick himself up.

* * * *

“My Lord, one of them lives, for the moment.”

Darleth looked up, seeing a man being brought on a makeshift stretcher. He strode over to the bandit and stared down at him. Blood streaked his face and bubbled at his lips. “Where was he found? He has no wounds upon him,” Darleth demanded.

Makan also made his way over and stared down at the wounded man. His face was a mask of anger.

“We found him in the woods, My Lord. Whatever did this to him, it wasn’t one of us,” one of the guardsmen said.

“It must have been the giant in charge of them,” Darleth said.

“Where did they go?” Makan demanded. “And why do you have this in your hand?”

Sven held a scrap of Teri’s dress in her hand that he had torn off. He opened his mouth to speak but only a rattle of congestion came out of it. Make leaned closer and gripped his filthy tunic, pulling the bandit closer to him.

“He is dying, My Lord, his lungs are filling with blood,” the soldier said.

“Bring a priest then!” Makan snapped. He turned his head1 back to Sven and stared into his eyes. “Do you want to live?”

Sven’s nodded, tears of pain and fear running from the corners of his eyes.

Darleth stepped up, a feverish light in his eyes. “Will you tell me what I want to know? Everything? And do as I tell you?”

Again Sven nodded. Makan nodded in turn. “Very well, heal him. But know this, if you prove false to me at any time, you owe me your life and I can take it from you with a thought and a gesture!”

Sven’s mouth worked and he coughed up some blood. “Caves… go to the caves,” he whispered, working hard for each word.

A priest was there then and Makan signaled for him to go to work. The priest called upon the divine power granted to him, focusing the energy and channeling it into Sven’s tortured body. In moment’s Sven’s eyes closed and he rested. His breathing was scarcely any easier, but the longer the priest concentrated the less labored it became. Makan watched for a few minutes, then turned to follow Darleth who had already left in search of news about the defeat of the bandits.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.