Changeling: The Faerie Escape

Changeling
Part 5: The Faerie Escape
a free fantasy serial by Erin Zarro

Links: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4

I turned to face the woman who claimed she was my mother, but didn’t feel like my mother at all. My twin was with her, looking terrified.

Mother was pale, and her hands were clenched into fists. “Aisling, what do you have to say for yourself?”

Ronan stepped forward, putting his hand on my shoulder, but I shrugged him away. “Mother, I am leaving here. I belong out there with my family.”

Mother sighed. “Are we going to do this yet again? Your place is here, with me, with your people. I can’t understand why you persist in thinking about these people who aren’t even your real family. Maria will be joining them soon.” She smiled an evil kind of smile, and it made me sick to my stomach.

“I am Maria,” I said. “I’m human with a human family. I’m leaving.”

Ronan took hold of my shoulder again, and this time I allowed it. “Why would the tree want you to heal it if you weren’t one of us?”

Damn that tree. And damn if I didn’t feel guilty now. I glanced at Ronan, wishing he hadn’t said that. “I don’t know.”

“I know,” Mother said. “Because you are one of us. And you are the one to …

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Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate VI

Once wild magic shattered human civilization. Mage-built cities collapsed, spell-sped galleons sank, airships fell from the skies. Magic-born chimerae turned on their creators, and then their neighbors. The peoples of Awrhee fell into barbarism.

But that was generations ago. Humanity has scraped together kingdoms again, and learned to live without magic. Those who practice spellcraft are eyed with suspicion, as are the old ways, and the old places.

Some, however, seek treasure in the ruins of what was. Knowledge, gold, power—it’s out there. Treasure untold for anyone clever enough to find it, bold enough to take it, fast enough to get away with it.

It’s out there, in the Spell-Wracked Lands.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

 

Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate VI
A Serial Story by KD Sarge

 

“You said you would come alone,” the boy blurted when Flame stepped out of the shadows in the correct alley. Flame rolled her eyes.

“My chaperone. He annoys me, but I’ll vouch that he’ll treat everyone else well.”

“The mistress is ready for surprises,” the boy warned, eyeing the ranger. “And she is never questioned when bodies turn up in the lake.”

Ryahled rested a hand on his sword. Flame shot him a glare. “I will vouch for him,” she repeated. “And further vow that if he starts anything I will kill him myself.”

The boy snorted and turned away. “Come, then. Mistress Pwyllydwen …

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Introducing City of Hope and Ruin by Kit Campbell and Siri Paulson

Our apologies for yesterday. We saw the date and couldn’t resist. Here’s the real teaser excerpt, but first, a little intro…

Every night the monsters hunt.

A city that is the whole world: Theosophy and her companions in the City militia do their best to protect the civilians from the monsters, but they keep crawling from the Rift and there’s nowhere to run. Theosophy knows she’ll die fighting. It’s the best kind of death she’s seen, and at least she can save lives in the meantime.

They say the Scarred carve you up while you’re still alive.

A village in the shadow of a forest: Refugees from the border whisper about the oncoming Scarred, but Briony can’t convince her brother to relocate his children to safety. Briony will do anything to protect them. She owes them that much, even if it means turning to forbidden magic.

When Theosophy and Briony accidentally make contact across the boundaries of their worlds, they realize that solutions might finally be within reach. A world beyond the City would give Theosophy’s people an escape, and the City’s warriors could help Briony protect her family from the Scarred. Each woman sees in the other a strength she lacks—and maybe something more.

All they need to do is find a way across the dimensions to each other before their enemies close in.

 

Briony paused mid-step, realizing the forest was too quiet. Her heart jumped into her throat and she turned, expecting to …

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Sneak Peek of City of Hope and Ruin

Here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…the unveiling of our next novel, City of Hope and Ruin by Kit Campbell and Siri Paulson! It’s a very serious novel and we’ve worked hard on it, so we hope you like this teaser. Enjoy.

 

Hello, traveler. My name is Edvarda, and I once saved this village using only a broom. You might not believe it, but it’s true.

Evidence? Hah. It was just a common household broom, well used over the years and long gone now. My hands were burned in the doing, but they have mostly healed long ago. I live a quiet life, tucked away in this little village by the fjord, grandmother to all. But what I do have are stories. Talking is thirsty work, though….

Why, thank you, kind master. A cup of mead is most appreciated by an old lady such as myself, and loosens the tongue most wonderfully. Settle in, settle in. I hope you have nowhere to be, for a tale will not be rushed.

I had a husband then, but he was off at war, like our half-grown son and all the other men of the village. So I spent my days fishing in the fjord, tending the garden, and trying not to think about the fighting. It almost worked, too – until the day I have in mind.

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Changeling: The Faerie Portal

Changeling
Part 4: The Faerie Portal
a free fantasy serial by Erin Zarro
Links: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3

I have to go home.

Memories crashed through my mind: my sister Jane laughing as I pushed her swing, her head falling back to gaze at the blue sky; our little camping trailer, old and worn but imprinted with the essence of us; my mom’s perfect hugs that I swore cured everything from hurt feelings to life-altering things; Dad’s garden filled with vegetables and flowers and bees in summer; the little house where I’d lived my whole life, from baby to now; ballet class, learning to ride a bike, school…

I did not belong here.

I never did.

“Aisling?”

The voice startled me, and I spun around to face the source of it. I’d managed to get away from Mother and my twin, but I was sure they weren’t far behind. It was Ronan, not them, and he was watching me closely, almost as if he knew what I’d been thinking about. “My name is Maria, and I’m going home.”

Ronan arched a brow. “You are home, and you are Aisling, the Faerie princess and heir to the throne. We’ve been over this.” He reached out to touch me, but I moved out of his reach. “Aisling, please. You know I am telling the truth.”

I looked into his eyes, and I felt the truth of his words. But the memories were real, …

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Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate V

Once wild magic shattered human civilization. Mage-built cities collapsed, spell-sped galleons sank, airships fell from the skies. Magic-born chimerae turned on their creators, and then their neighbors. The peoples of Awrhee fell into barbarism.

But that was generations ago. Humanity has scraped together kingdoms again, and learned to live without magic. Those who practice spellcraft are eyed with suspicion, as are the old ways, and the old places.

Some, however, seek treasure in the ruins of what was. Knowledge, gold, power—it’s out there. Treasure untold for anyone clever enough to find it, bold enough to take it, fast enough to get away with it.

It’s out there, in the Spell-Wracked Lands.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

 

Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate V
A Serial Story by KD Sarge

 

A chill rain fell as the group walked within a growing stream of traffic, all headed for the tall white walls smudged with murk. At the sound of thudding hoofbeats from behind, Flame jumped out of the way of a galloping horseman and while she was in the ditch stooped for a mudball to fling at his back. She thought the smear improved his blue cloak. Ryahled didn’t; he scowled at her. She grinned back, wiped her glove on a passing wagon. Kessa looked from him to her and didn’t speak. Again. Flame poked her.

“What is gnawing on you, little one?” Though Flame was smaller in …

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Changeling: The Faerie Shadow

Changeling
Part 3: The Faerie Shadow
a free fantasy serial by Erin Zarro

Links to: Part 1 and  Part 2

Morning came, sunlight streaming through the windows of the palace. As I made my way to a formal breaking of the fast in the banquet room, I saw her in the shadows.

She was insubstantial, never in the light, and moved too quickly for me to track.

But she was there. I knew it.

I was barely awake yet, and Sorcha and some courtiers were discussing Faerie politics as I sat down in my place at her right side.

Ronan was already there.

“So, are there anyone new to Court?” I asked Ronan quietly as I lifted my spoon. It was filled with some sort of honey concoction and I realized the sleeve of my dress was practically trailing into my food. Oops.

“I’m not sure. Why do you ask?” Ronan chuckled and gently moved my long silken sleeve away.

The honey-thing went down smoothly. Almost too smoothly. Wasn’t there a legend that said if you ate Faerie food you’d never be satisfied with human food ever again?

Why was I thinking that? I was a Faerie princess; I wasn’t human.

“Aisling?” Ronan asked.

I blinked at him, startled. “Oh. Uh…well, I keep seeing someone in the shadows.”

Ronan’s eyes narrowed. “Probably just your imagination.”

“But I’m sure…”

“Aisling, did you sleep well, dear?” Sorcha broke in, giving me a bright smile. She …

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Introducing Burning Bright

 

The demons come, devouring life and light. Armed with sword and spell, Keepers meet the scourge. Above nations, beyond the law, to be a Keeper is to hold power–but power always comes with a price.

Introducing Burning Bright, the first book of the Seize the Fire trilogy.

 

Burning Bright, Chapter One

by KD Sarge

“Keeper-Apprentice Kunihiro Takai,” Ume said, “well done. Harmony herself, Lady of Harvests, would be pleased to call this place home. She might even bring the twins, Binder and Unwinder, which holy children—”

“Little thanks to you.” Hiro pushed a book on the shelf nearest him more in line with its fellows. There. The little library was perfect. The kitchen behind him sparkled. The porch was neat, the garden weeded, Eshan’s bedroom freshened…he never should have let it get so bad. But now Eshan would never know.

“I did my part,” Ume said, flopping into the big chair Eshan curled up in on winter evenings. “I trotted up here and warned you the healers were letting him go today.” She flung long brown legs over the arm as she sprawled. “And when you asked for help, I told you. Demons to be defeated? Drunkery to be debauched? I’m in. Cooking, cleaning, sewing, minding? Not this wench. Especially if I’m not allowed to use magic.”

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When the World Was Young

When the World Was Young
by Kit Campbell

 

In the early days, when the sky was clear and we were still part of nature, there were no mountains and no valleys. The world was flat and unmarked, unscathed by the passage of time. The first people spent their days next to quiet rivers and hunted across verdant plains, and life was peaceful and meaningful.

I know what you are expecting, child. You are expecting a classic creation myth, full of gods and the forces of nature, pulling at the land and mankind until what we know now comes into existence. This is not that sort of story. Oh, I wish it were, but alas, our past cannot be explained away so easily.

In those days, we had few cares. We hunted and scavenged when hungry. We slept when tired. We admired the scenery around us and, at night, watched the streaking of the stars across the sky. In the winter we gathered together for warmth, and in the summer we lay out in the flowers.

Who can say when things began to change? Who can say when exactly it was that they came?

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Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate IV

Once wild magic shattered human civilization. Mage-built cities collapsed, spell-sped galleons sank, airships fell from the skies. Magic-born chimerae turned on their creators, and then their neighbors. The peoples of Awrhee fell into barbarism.

But that was generations ago. Humanity has scraped together kingdoms again, and learned to live without magic. Those who practice spellcraft are eyed with suspicion, as are the old ways, and the old places.

Some, however, seek treasure in the ruins of what was. Knowledge, gold, power—it’s out there. Treasure untold for anyone clever enough to find it, bold enough to take it, fast enough to get away with it.

It’s out there, in the Spell-Wracked Lands.

Part I

Part II

Part III

 

Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate IV

A Serial Story by KD Sarge

 

In the daytime a fire was just more light, but at night it could draw things from unguessable distances, so the group had slept cold. By the time Flame helped Ryahled into the camp, though, a tiny fire blazed fiercely. A small kettle of water sat in the middle of it, sweet herbs drifting in it. Tolor came from the fire to take Ryahled’s arm.

“I’m beginning to wonder,” he said with a soft …

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