The Dragons of Alsace Farm Blog Tour

So, I decided to sign up for a blog tour the day before my own starts, but hey, that’s how it goes. *smirks* Also, this book does look very interesting.

Dragon Banner

Everyone has their secrets and Tayte, Agnes, and Noah are no exception. In Agnes’s home, though, those secrets—or dragons—might just tear them all apart. Part of the Kindle Scout competition, The Dragons of Alsace Farm, was hot and trending for four weeks before its launch. Find out why during this blog tour!

About the Book

Cover jpeg front onlyIn need of his own redemption, Noah Carter finally confronts his childhood hero, the once-beloved uncle who betrayed him. Instead of vengeance, he offers forgiveness, also granting Uncle John a most curious request—for Noah to work on the ramshackle farm of Agnes Deveraux Keller, a French WWII survivor with dementia.

Despite all Agnes has lost, she still has much to teach Noah. But the pair’s unique friendship is threatened when Tayte, Agnes’s estranged granddaughter, arrives to claim a woman whose circumstances and abilities are far different from those of the grandmother she once knew.

Items hidden in Agnes’s attic raise painful questions about Tayte’s dead parents, steeling Tayte’s determination to save Agnes, even if it requires her to betray the very woman she came to save, and the secret her proud grandmother has guarded for seventy years.

The issue strains the fragile trust between Tayte and Noah, who now realizes Tayte is fighting her own secrets, her own dragons. Weighed down by past guilt and failures, he feels ill-equipped to help either woman, until he remembers Agnes’s lessons about courage and love. In order to save Agnes, the student must now become the teacher, helping Tayte heal—for Agnes’s sake, and for his.

buy-button-amazonAbout the Author

Author Picture

L.C. Lewis (Laurie) was born and raised in rural Maryland, surrounded by history-rich Philadelphia, Washington, and Baltimore. She and her husband Tom reside in Carroll County, Maryland, where they raised their four children.

The Dragons of Alsace Farm, Laurie’s eighth published novel, was inspired by a loved one’s struggle with the dragon of dementia. Her women’s fiction novels include Unspoken (2004) and Awakening Avery (2010), written as Laurie Lewis. Using the pen name L.C. Lewis, she wrote the five volumes of her award-winning FREE MEN and DREAMERS historical fiction series, set against the backdrop of the War of 1812, America’s nearly forgotten second war of independence: Dark Sky at Dawn (2007), Twilight’s Last Gleaming (2008), Dawn’s Early Light (2009), Oh, Say Can You See? (2010), and In God is Our Trust, (2011).

Dark Sky at Dawn and Twilight’s Last Gleaming were finalists in the 2008 USA Best Books competition. Oh, Say Can You See? was a 2010 Whitney Award finalist.

Three new books are in progress. Please watch for her remake of Awakening Avery, a political suspense novel titled The Shell Game, both of which are slated for later in 2016, and a March 2017 novella, Laurie’s contribution to the multi-author “Destination Billionaire Romance” series.

Laurie loves hearing from her readers and may be contacted through her website: www.laurielclewis.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @laurielclewis or on her blog at www.laurielclewis.blogspot.com. She also enjoys interacting with book clubs. Contact her to arrange a video chat with your group.

Book Club

The back of the book contains some thought-provoking book club questions. Laurie would love for you to schedule a video conference with her if their book club chooses The Dragons of Alsace Farm as one of their selections in the next six months. You can email her at: laurielclewis@laurielclewis.com.

Giveaway

Giveaway Picture

First and foremost, The Dragons of Alsace Farm is a love story, about the power of tested love, the promise of new love, and the strength of family love. Here’s a love basket, with a fun date night, Agnes’s favorite breakfast for the morning, and an autographed copy of the book to read on a lazy afternoon. Always remember love.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodreads Giveaway

Enter here for the chance to win a paperback of The Dragons of Alsace Farm.

Excerpt

He leaned forward to study the thick, intricately detailed frame that surrounded the delicate seascape, and then heard a voice beside him.

“Do you think it’s centered?”

When he turned, he found an attractive, dark-haired woman wearing a blue dress. She was tall, maybe only six inches shorter than he was, and she leaned away from him as she also scrutinized the piece. Feeling instantly awkward, he dropped his gaze to the concrete before replying. “Its position isn’t the problem.”

The woman put a hand to her hip and raised one eyebrow in evident incredulity. “Really? And do you mind if I ask what is?”

The first word’s drawn-out delivery underscored the woman’s displeasure. He regretted having answered her at all. “Never mind. It’s just my opinion.”

She huffed and took a long-legged step back away from him, as if assessing him. “Are you an artist?”

He responded to the accusation in her voice by shifting his feet and moving his helmet to the crook of the other arm. “I’m just saying that the frame is too dark and heavy. It’s beautiful, but it doesn’t complement the piece. I’d prefer to see a gentle seascape surrounded by something lighter and more natural.”

She didn’t respond, but a quick glance revealed wrinkles in her brow line, as if she were considering his words.

He shifted again. “Anyway, I’m not an artist, it’s just my opinion.”

She folded her arms across her body. “So, if you’re not an artist, what are you?

Twitter Banner

Tour Schedule

July 31
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction
Laurie L.C. Lewis: A View From the Other Side of the Hill-Excerpt
Writing in the Light-Excerpt
Charity’s Writing Journey-Excerpt

August 1
Ruth’s Real Life-Excerpt
The Overactive Imagination-Author Interview
Author Franky A Brown-Excerpt

August 2
Rachel Rossano’s Words-Excerpt
Rebekah Lyn Books-Excerpt

August 3
Frances Hoelsema-Excerpt
Kandi J Wyatt, author: Where Fantasy and Reality Meet-Interview with Noah
Zerina Blossom’s Books-Excerpt

August 4
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima-Excerpt
Laurel’s Leaves-Author Interview

August 5
Perpetual Gardener, Writer, and Mormon-Excerpt
Good & Clean Reviews-Excerpt
Phrey Press-Author Interview

August 6
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Conclusion and Giveaway Announcement

Change is Coming

Exciting Blog Changes

(also, randomness and political humor)

Oh, and I have a store now!

So I’m changing my blog posts. Kind of. A little more structure. More information. Originally I’d hoped it would take less time too, but it appears I’ll be writing more. Not less. Why am I not surprised?

humor

Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with forthcoming blog changes. I did say something about randomness, didn’t I?

Basically here’s what you have to look forward to.

  • Mondays: Caption Challenges
  • First Wednesday: Occasional posts about self-publishing.
  • Second and fourth Wednesdays: A-Z about my current work in progress, dealing with one letter a day and words starting with that letter in my work. It will be fun. It will also take about a year to go through the alphabet. (Brace yourselves!)
  • Third Wednesday: Occasional writing humor or a seasonal book review.
  • First Friday: A serial story selection
  • Second Friday: Christians and Writing: controversial topics ideas in writing, from magic to lying to assassination.
  • Third Friday: New Fantasy Times (Yeah!!!)
  • Fourth Friday: (Me, me, me…all about me *smirks*)

And…that’s that. Fun, right?

In a completely unrelated topic…politics. Sometimes one just has to find something to laugh at to make certain situations bearable.

3a3c003cf46618d90c2197e5aa1d399e

This might be valid…

 

13151898_10209337000002553_2824652413727172162_n

IMG_0799

Princess Bride always has a word of advice

Oh, and then there’s this gem I found awhile back. This is so going to be me come November.

Yep, that about sums it up.

Also, my good friend, Kate, made up a logo for my Legends of Light novella series. Isn’t it cool?

fierylogo copy

Anyway, I’ve set up a Society6 store this past week (you know, those random things one does when they’ve nothing else to do). You can now buy mugs, cards, shirts, covers, prints…all kinds of cool stuff with Legends of Light emblazoned on them. You can check it out here. Cool, no? *smirks*

Let’s chat! So what do you think of my proposed blog changes? Any you are looking forward to? And how about those lines which you can use in any situation…are you going to test any? (I’d love to know the results if you do. *grins expectantly* )

New Fantasy Times: Heroic Grievances

Inspired by Elena’s discovery of Villainous Complains last month, Kirin has stepped in to write his own take on the grievances he believes heroes are forced to suffer due to stereotyping.

Everyone likes to throw the word hero around. Saving the world. Heroic. Saving a nation. Heroic. Saving a city. Heroic. Saving a king. Heroic. Saving a tiny lamb from drowning in a flash flood. Heroic. Saving chocolate. Not one mention, thank you very much. Didn’t even get a free sample.

5

I mean, come on everyone. What do you really think makes a hero?

In this realm, a hero is a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds, noble qualities, who has performed a heroic act, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. You get the idea. A heroine, of course, is a girl or woman who has the same qualities, but because I’m not about to write hero/heroine throughout this whole complaint, I’m just grouping everyone together as a hero. So replace man with person in that first definition and if anyone with this land’s tender sensitives gets offended, well, umm, I frankly don’t care.

Anyhow, it’s not that I don’t agree that someone saving a nation is heroic. Though I do claim there is a difference between doing something heroic and being a hero. Anyone with power can doing something heroic, and the weakest person can be a hero. But for some reason, people always expect the hero to win. Sure, they tend to in books, because who wants to read about a hero who fails? But in reality – all right, Elena is telling me to get on with it and stop being so discouraging. I’ll pick up the topic again in a moment.

You’ve probably all heard the common quote about how some heroes are born, some achieve the position, and some have events thrust upon them…or something like that. Greatness? Or was it about greatness in the first place instead of heroes? Never mind. It works for heroes pretty well, besides missing the most important part of the role.

Frankly, the heroes that are born (to the greatness part; all heroes are born) tend to be a bit smug in my experience. They’re born to a prophecy. They are the long awaited one. They’ve been raised and pampered and trained and beefed up and then go on their quest…etcetera, etcetera.

The heroes who become heroes consciously, vary. Why anyone would want the position is beyond me. Apparently they didn’t do their research on the work involved. Or maybe they really, really, cared about people and had no one close they had to protect. All the more power to them.

Then, of course, there is the most common hero who’s normal until events come tumbling down on his head, burying him and demanding he shoulder the weight to survive…and save the nation, king, lamb, and chocolate besides.

But it’s really the spirit of a man or woman which makes the hero. The circumstances and events will bring their character to light so everyone recognizes them as a hero, but their wills and determinations and strengths are already there. That is what makes one a true hero. Their character, not what they do.

Of course, what they do is effected by their character. And there a number of common misconceptions here which ought to be rectified.

Like death having to start their story. We, I mean, heroes, don’t lose a father or child or family or village, and then decided to change the course of their life and become a hero. They really can start acting heroically before they lose something they love dearly.

And as for their poor mentors…they’re smart. They’re strong. They’re generally wise. That’s why they’re mentors, after all. And they don’t die all that easily, despite what this realm’s stories try to make it sound like. More often they stick around long after they are needed.

And as far as training is involved, heroes don’t get a pill which gives them accelerated learning speeds or abilities to train so they can take down a fighter who’s been practicing for years after only a week’s work of training on their own. A pity, really. I could do with a handful of those pills. But real skill takes months. Years, even. And heroes have to learn the long hard way like anyone else. Or else they die. Or they learn trickery, which I recommend as the better option if they’re short on time. Why do you think I became a stealthmaster?

All heroes don’t have broken families either. Some do, of course, but many have normal lives until somehow they are dragged into the light and effort of being a hero. I’ve known transcribers who have edited a perfectly good supportive, or not supportive but still pretty good, families out of their records because it was too much work to write about everyone.

Oh yes, and as far as getting wounded goes, we bleed and hurt and take just as long to recover as any other person. Whippings, getting shot in the shoulder, getting stabbed in the leg, generally getting beaten within an inch of life and yet not dying ISN’T PLEASANT. And we will lie abed recovering like a decent human being. You can’t throw us through physical and emotional mills and expect us to continue operating as if everything is still find.

On which note, I’ll go back to what Elena shut me up about earlier. Heroes don’t always survive. And they don’t always win. But when they don’t win, they get back up and keep fighting. When they don’t survive, their memory keeps others going. I would also like to point out here that I really don’t care for the records where heroes die. Yes, it’s true. It happens. I know. I just told you so. But I’ve seen enough of that. I don’t read to see failure. I read to see success. To see what I could do. Theoretically, of course.

And please, please, please, don’t expect heroes to dodge bullets, break into unbreakable compounds, rescue everyone, save the dog’s life, go days without sleep, and still have the brain-power and strength to save both their girlfriend and a busload of kids – who happen to be hanging off opposite ends of a bridge. Try it yourself sometime and tell me what you think.

Really, in the end – oh, right. I almost forgot. I mentioned personality, the will, the spirit…all that stuff which makes a hero. I stand by that. But at the same time, remember that a hero is a human. Well, most of the time. I’ve known a good number of…never mind. My point is, we make mistakes.

Also, we have, umm, *coughs* flaws *coughs*

So yes, there are qualities most heroes have, like courage and never giving up and loyalty and all those noble things. But we do get angry. Or sometimes we don’t want to get out of the bed in the morning. Or we want to give up. Unless chocolate is on the line, of course.

And self-sacrifice is all very good. But just because we’re willing to give our lives, or maybe aren’t terrified of dying, doesn’t me we want to die. I mean, come on. Life isn’t that bad. Even with villains on every side who refuse to tell you their evil plans. If we treat death carelessly, that’s only because that’s how we deal with it. Please don’t think we don’t care and just send us into more danger. Seriously, it’s like ‘oh, he survived, well here’s an even more dangerous mission. Let’s see if he makes that one.’

But, yes. I think that covers it. We’re human. Amazing humans, yes. But the anticipations place upon us are…staggering.

Like expecting us to do all kinds of random things.

While our love ones lives are on the line.

Normally with a sorrow of some kind in our background.

But we have to stay strong.

And be kind to everyone.

And rescue everyone.

And have witty comebacks.

And have a quality romance on top of all that without actually talking about any of the important problems with the girl. What’s with the not talking? And the romance? Not that I’m completely opposed to the romance part, I suppose. But who has the time?

We do try, all right. But we get thrown overwhelming odds, sleepless nights, awful food, pitiful pay (fame doesn’t feed anyone, though it might give your best friend or mentor a nice grave-site. All right, Elena, I’ll shut up about the depressing stuff now). But the true heroes will never give up…even when they aren’t given chocolate.

Have any questions, legends, or trending cliches you’d like Stealthmaster Kirin Quillblade to address? Please comment below; he promises to at least read what you have to say between his realm leaper missions, even if he holds the rights to choose what to write about and what to ignore.

Join the Legend Seekers for monthly stories about the realm leapers and fantasy time-travelers, Kirin and Elena. Click here to sign up

Caption Challenge – July 2016 #4

Caption challenge time. Winners first:

story prompt

Caption Challenge: Fereleth, Carrier of Light

‘In a world where traitors thrive, show me what you’d die for, and I’ll tell you.’

Six-Word-Story Winner: lady aerin

Six word story: “At last light, time to fight.”

Here’s this week’s collage:

fantasy prompt the assassins

Pictures from Pinterest

You’ve two entries. One for a caption, one for a six word story. On Saturday I’ll pick a winning caption and I’ll post it next Monday along with the name of the winner and the next caption challenge.

Why I Love Hamilton (and would I recommend it?)

So, I mentioned this Broadway musical called Hamilton last week…was it only last week? It’s only be a few weeks since I first started listening to it, but already it seems forever. Anyway, I absolutely love this musical. The characters. The emotion. The music…

Overview:

Hamilton is a rap/hip-hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton. I know, how on earth does rap/hip-hop go with the story of a founding father? My mother looked at me really weird when I told her that. Then she stay up until 2:00 a.m., listening to the whole thing in one sitting once my sister and I got her started on it.

Not that I normally listen to this kind of music anyway. But really, this musical is a mix of about every kind of music I can think of: instrumental, electronic, rap…which I never thought I cared for, but it’s not rock music and it’s not weird and whispery. It’s more like a chant with rhythm than anything else.

However, I will say that Hamilton is not for everyone. I would consider it a PG-13 type of musical. There’s some crudeness and inferences, and there is some language…though if one listens to the ‘clean version’ (I know, that makes sound as if the original is awful) most of it is cut out.

Pros:

1. The music. The songs are very catchy and I enjoy them.

2. The characters and emotion and theme and story. The way the story is told… The way the characters are shown as flawed and yet the songs make you care for them… The way the themes run through the whole musical, from Hamilton’s non-stop action to Burr’s ‘wait for it’.

3. You learn quite a bit of history. For example, I now know that John Jay wrote 5 of the Federalist Papers, James Madison wrote 29, and Alexander Hamilton wrote the other 51!

4. Hamilton was a writer, so writing is mentioned in some of the songs, ‘how do you write like you’re running out of time…’ Love those parts!

Cons:

1. Some insinuation and crudeness

2. Some language

3. The lyrics will run through your head all night

Recommendation

I’m not excusing (or apologizing) for the cons of this musical. I don’t like them, but it’s like watching some movies. Each family has their own standard of how much they will allow in a movie or music or book for it to be acceptable. I will leave it to you to decide if you want plunge into this musical or not. For myself, I would recommend it if your standards accept it. Again, that sounds horrible, as if only someone with loose standards would listen to it. That is not what I’m saying…this isn’t coming out right. Do you get what I’m saying?

Pictures because I can and love them

These photos are all from Pinterest

hamilton funnyhamilton humorhamilton in a nutshell

hamilton musical edit

My Edit

Well, what about you? Have you listened to Hamilton? If you have, what do you think? If you haven’t, do you think this is something you will listen to?

Developing Your Characters: Part 2 – The Fear

As I mentioned last month, developing fictional characters can stray into great detail. Writing pages of likes, dislikes, hobbies, and backstory can be helpful, but it can also swamp you with information that doesn’t really have a place in the story, and still leaving you wondering about how to distinctly portray the character in question.

There are three main questions, powerful, yet short, which an author should answer for each of their characters. The first question is, what does your character want? What does he desire more than anything? What will he give anything for and what is he striving for? Coupled with this question (if the character is a major one) is what does he really need, and is it what he wants?

writing -2

Today, we’ll move to the second major question which can be asked of all characters:

What does your character fear?

Except in rare cases, your character is bound to fear something. If he doesn’t fear anything, then you can probably glean quite a bit of information about him by figuring out why they don’t fear anything. But generally your character will have some fears.

There are two type of fear. The first one is situational fear. As your character is hiding in a dark closet or running from wolves or in the middle of battle, his or her fear is natural. And, while some characters will be afraid to different degrees, in different situations, and of different things, if they aren’t afraid sometimes then they’re probably not human.

You can learn a lot from situational fear, but other kind of fear, the fears you want to find for this question, are the ‘great fears’ of a character’s life. Unlike ‘what does your character want’ the question about ‘what a character fears’ may have more than one answer and will likely have several layers of answers. A man may fear breaking under torture, but he fears for the safety of his family even more, while the topmost rung consists of his fear of failing his nation or his God.

Still, there will probably be one culminating fear, coupled with several others, which may or may not be related, but which also shape the character. These fears will tell you quite a bit about your character: what or who he cares for most and where his deepest loyalties lie. It also gives you another weapon to torment your poor character with, by making them choose between two fears or prodding them to see what will make them face their fear, if anything will force them to allow the fear to come to pass, or what they will give to keep a fear from coming true.

So, discover what your character wants, what he fears, and be on the watch next month for the last main question to ask of your characters.

MASTERSOFTHESOUND.COM

Caption Challenge – July 2016 #3

Caption challenge time. Winners first:

fantasy dragon prompt

Caption Challenge Fereleth, Carrier of Light

‘If experience taught me anything, it’s that dragons should never be trusted with international secrets. I never should have made that mistake again.’

Six-Word-Story Winner: Anne of Lothlorien

Six word story: That doesn’t stop it from trying

Here’s this week’s collage:

story prompt

Pictures from Pinterest

You’ve two entries. One for a caption, one for a six word story. On Saturday I’ll pick a winning caption and I’ll post it next Monday along with the name of the winner and the next caption challenge.

Daggers and Children

Greetings on this fine morning, my fellow Pilgrims. Guess what I’ve been doing this week (besides not keeping up on NaNo?). I discovered Canva this week! Or was it last week? It might have been last week. Anyhow, I spent a few hours making promos for Rose of Prophecy and Song of the Sword. Here’s a quick sample of my evenings.

Song of the Sword Facebook Promo - coming

Also, I might have got slightly obsessed with a Broadway musical about a certain founding father… *bites lip while waiting to see if anyone else knows what I’m talking about* But hey, one has to listen to something while making promos. Though if the the lyrics would stop running through my head while I try to sleep, that would be wonderful. (Note, I’m not officially recommending this musical. I’ll write out my thoughts about the pros and cons of it sometime in the next few weeks.)

The Best Lines Come From Children:

When one has eight younger siblings, there is no shortage of humorous lines to write down. I’ve been collecting some of my favorites and thought you might enjoy them too. Names have been withheld for the protection of the living…namely, myself.

Four-year-old sister:
“The doughnuts have sprinkles on them so they are sparkly.”

Seven-year-old sister to self in mirror…in whisper:
“You look just like your mother…Thanks.”

Seven-year-old sister while eating onion rings:
“I don’t like the onion, but I like the ring.”

Four-year-old sister, when I told her to bring her butterfly-net downstairs:
“But it lives up here.”

Dad: “Have you taken any of my stuff [out of the shed]?”
Unnamed brother: “I put some of it back!”

A sister while eating smarties. “These taste stupid.”

And finally, this gem from one of my youngest sisters to the other: “Should we pretend we’re sisters?”

There you have it. Do you have any favorite ‘sibling lines’ to share?

Daggers:

The part of the post I know you all have been waiting for. Daggers! And my leather journal. I’m hoping to go get better pictures sometime, but a storm was approaching. Also, someone notified the mosquitoes I was coming and they were waiting. In droves. I think I got more bites from that ten minutes than I have this whole year so far. Not that I’m complaining. Well, not really. *smirks*

Now, pictures:

Let’s chat! Do you have any fantasy weapons? What are some of your favorite ‘sibling quotes’? And…have you heard any songs from Hamilton?

The Old River Road Blog Tour!

I don’t generally read historical fiction, even though I normally enjoy the historical fiction I do read. I prefer fantasy, futuristic stories or straight history. But The Old River Road was a treat to read.

A sweet story, this book is full of family interactions and humor, along with the real struggles of 19th century life…especially when moving out to the frontier is involved. Suspense keeps the reader engaged with Clara as she struggles through new experiences, some painful, some laughable. And, in it all, it is Clara’s faith which keeps her strong. This is a perfect story for anyone who loves historical fiction, coupled with Christian romance and a strong (but not preachy) faith.

And…well basically because I’m awful at writing reviews. But if you like historical fiction, or think you’d enjoy a ‘Little House’ series with older characters, GO READ THE OLD RIVER ROAD.

the old river road 1

 

Meet Ivy Rose and her debut novel, The Old River Road. This book is the first in a series of a yet-to-be-determined number of books based on the lives of the author’s ancestors. Written in a style similar to that of Janette Oke and Laura Ingalls Wilder, this is a story you won’t want to miss.

 

the old river roadlr

 

1885

 

When seventeen-year-old Clara Boutwell married her dashing coworker, William McDonald, she was convinced her life was near perfect. The journey before them as newlyweds in the great city of Chicago was promising and exciting. But a frightening disease soon takes William in its grip, forcing them to the clean air of the western frontier in a desperate attempt to save his life. But pioneering doesn’t prove to be easy, with miles between neighbors instead of fences. On the eastern Washington prairies, the McDonalds face hardships and trials in a new world where everything is tested, from physical endurance to emotional strength—down to their relationship and faith in the Lord.

This novel tells the incredible true story of Clara and William, the great-great grandparents of the author, in a sweet narrative full of laughter, tears, and the struggles of an early pioneering family. Prepare yourself to share in their experience as you read this account of a pioneer family in Washington state, and see their lasting legacy that has endured into the fifth generation.

 

Available now in paperback and ebook on Amazon

Add on Goodreads

 

 

About the Author

 

Ivy Rose

Ivy Rose is an 18 year old history lover and literary enthusiast. Aside from writing, she enjoys being outdoors, chocolate, travelling, reading, and ATVing (preferably if there is mud involved). She resides with her family of 9 on the banks of the Long Lake in eastern Washington.

You can connect with Ivy via her blog, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

 And Don’t Forget the Giveaway:

Because who doesn’t live giveaways? And I’ve two cool ones for you…well, there are two giveaways, but you can only enter one depending on if you live in the USA or…elsewhere. *winks* Click on the Links below to enter!

image1
The Old River Road Prize Pack
International Prize

Captive Bride

Fantasy prompt (2)

The Volandums had absurd ideas about how to treat a captive princess. I mean, golden chains? Really? Were they showing me off to the people, or were they showing off their own wealth to me? I honestly wasn’t sure anymore.

My mount’s hooves clopped against the flower-strewn pavement of Dezmond’s central street and I briefly let my gaze wander, taking in the towering stone buildings, mapping out routes, exits, dead ends. They were crowded now, with cheering citizens greeting their returning king. Oh yes, and the Elentisaren princess who’d been the price of peace and would become their queen.

I gazed steadily at the faces passing by. Returning each insolent stare with defiance. Each slur with a smirk. Each fragment of pity with determination. But many of the gazes were ones of wonder. Or perhaps they were just staring at my ridiculous white fluttery dress. Loose bits of gauze flew about my waist and a heavy necklace hung about my bare neck while taches of gold fastened my sleeves. All in all, it wasn’t a dress I’d be able to slip away in without being recognized.

But, mostly, my gaze rested on the guards surrounding my mount. An especially grim soldier led my horse, but others closed in on all sides. Two before. Three on each side of me. Four more behind. Not as if they thought I could escape, but I couldn’t help relishing in their worry over the almost mystical legends surrounding the Elentisaren Phoenix, otherwise known as the most deadly woman assassin in history. They seemed to think she’d not stand for her princess being taken by Volandums. And that she’d be coming after me.

Ahead of me, the Volandum king shifted in his saddle. His gaze swept over me for the dozeneth time. And, for the dozeneth time I met his stare with a glare of my own and the slightest curl of my lips.

His own smile creased his beard as he turned away.

The Volandums respected strength. Already the king was well pleased with the spirit of his bride-to-be.

Except all the Volandums lacked one small detail.

And, as the castle of Dezmond loomed over us, I permitted my smirk to deepen. The Volandums thought they were welcoming a bride. Instead they were providing the Phoenix of Elentisa safe passage into their most guarded fortress.

They’d been right about one thing. I wasn’t about to let my cousin, the princess, surrender her freedom for peace.

I was the Phoenix. And I was here to bring Voland to her knees.

 

Kind of related note: So I’ve been thinking it might be fun to write a serial story. Not on this prompt. And probably not on the realm leapers since I already have monthly stories about them for anyone who gets my newsletter. (You can sign up here to receive access to the secret page of stories if you so desire *winks slyly*) But I think a serial story instead of random scenes could be fun. Especially stories where  you guys help me figure out what happens next. So, what do you think? And are there any stories, based off any New Fantasy Times Reports *cough* unnamed villain *cough* or off past flash fiction pieces which you’d love to see a serial story off of?