WIP

Fidelyon: ‘O’ and ‘P’ with Ethaniel

‘O’ with Ethaniel:

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

The letter ‘O’ stand for… for… One! Yes, the number one will work. Don’t look at me like that. I have to think of something. There are a number of things I could use ‘one’ for, but I’ll stick with the first thing to spring to mind.

Two nations, becoming one. Unity. That is the prophecy of the end of the third age, after all. Elentisa, split since Shaquille’s rebellion during the first age, will be united with Voland once more. It was one of those things everyone knows vaguely from stories told by crackling firesides. It was not something anyone would picture happening in their lifetime. Or any lifetime, by the looks of the relations between our lands.

Emphasis on the ‘was’.

Just one little problem for our piece of mind. The prophecy doesn’t tell how such a union will come about. Or rather, it gives two choices. We will unite in glory and peace, or in flames and destruction. Frankly, flames look like they have a better chance right now. Not that I’d tell anyone else that, and don’t you go passing the word around either. Because there is still hope. There is always hope. And prayer.

Such is the prophecy, and such will be the union. Two countries, made one. But will they burn or will they stand? Only time will tell.

‘P’ with Ethaniel:

Instead of a subject, Hope is telling me to post a song for this letter. She says it is ‘my’ song. I’m sure it could fit many others, not just myself, but I… No. I can’t talk about it. Just… you can listen to the song, and maybe you’ll understand.

Posted by Hope Ann in A-Z with Ethaniel, fairy tales, fantasy, Fidelyon, WIP, 2 comments

Fidelyon: ‘M’ and ‘N’ with Ethaniel

‘M’ with Ethaniel:

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

 

So we come to the middle of the alphabet. And there is pretty much one man who stands out to claim the letter ‘M’: Moritz.

Moritz is the Army General under King Kystan. A Volandum by birth, he traveled back from Voland when Kysten returned nearly twenty years ago now. One of the few survivors of the ambush which struck the king, he has served him faithfully and loyally ever since.

Firm with soldiers, Moritz is known for being a strict general with a touch of harshness. He is not a man I particularity care to run up against. Of course, as a messenger, that shouldn’t be a problem since his authority lies elsewhere…

 

‘N’ with Ethaniel:

The Northern Wastes. Hey, it starts with N. And it’s not a place I particularly want to visit either, though Drexin is keen on exploring there. Even the fact that it lies over the Galatea Mountains in Voland isn’t enough to deter him.

Frozen leagues of snow and ice, mixed with ravines and stony hills, present a fairly forbidding aspect. I’ve heard the cold recedes during the summer, revealing sparse grass and beautiful golden flowers. But, for myself, I’d not go there for all the flowers in the world. Not with the wolves which are rumored to live there, trained and ridden by fierce riders…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Basically, if you want to visit the Northern Wastes, take Drexin or Jagger. I will be quite happy to listen to your adventures in the shade of a tree or beside a crackling fire when you get back.

 

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Posted by Hope Ann in A-Z with Ethaniel, Fidelyon, WIP, 3 comments

Fidelyon: ‘K’ and ‘L’ with Ethaniel

thaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

‘K’ with Ethaniel

Keros is the natural choice for ‘K’. A fellow messenger, he has also grown to something like a friend during the times he’s been posted nearby. Generally stationed at the neighboring Messenger Outpost 8, Keros had moved up and down the messenger line more than once, filling in for sick or hurt messengers.

He is quiet and keeps to himself, though Drexin sometimes manages to get him talking and even laughing. Keros is steady, determined, and quick.

His past is a bit of a mystery although, considering he appears to be a mixture of Volandum and Elentisaren blood, it’s little wonder he doesn’t speak of. He doesn’t speak of himself much at all, really, except to occasionally mention his father who he says he will rejoin one of these days. There are some messengers who doubt such a man really exists, but they quickly learned to keep their mouths shut on such a subjected if they valued their further wellbeing.

‘L’ with Ethaniel:

There are two men who sprang to mind when I was given the letter ‘L’.

The first is Lasher. First a ranger, then a jester in King Kysten’s court, he must be in his 50s at least. Short, wiry, with sharply cut graying hair, he carries himself with preoccupied purpose. He has a dry sense of humor, but not enough to make a good jester. How he got the position is beyond me. Though I am told that he is great at juggling. Especially when it comes to knives. No surprise there.

The other is also an older man by the name of Lathen. A Volandum Follower, he lives across the border near the main pass between our two nations. A healer and a leader of the Followers of the Prince in his village in Voland, he also has a wry sense of humor and a commanding presence whenever he enters a room.

Both men are very loyal, though Lathen takes a more relaxed view of duty than Lasher. Still, the two could almost be brothers. (They aren’t. I’ve looked into it.)

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Posted by Hope Ann in A-Z with Ethaniel, fantasy, Fidelyon, WIP, 0 comments

Fidelyon: ‘J’ with Ethaniel…ahem, Jagger

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

 

Hello, everyone. Jagger here. Ethaniel told me he was doing these post thingys and that he planned to write about me. I told him he’d do no such thing, so now I’m stuck writing about myself…which was my original grand plan, of course.

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I am – or I was, a jester’s apprentice. Besides the awful clothes, the job wasn’t half bad. Juggling is cool enough, as is playing with fire. And one can always get a little extra food by entertaining the maids or serving boys. My preferred choice of occupation is swordsmanship though. And my preferred method of swordsmanship is to fight with twin blades. Double the damage and besides it looks cool. Most who see me fighting say I should be a soldier. I think not. A ranger like my father and uncle, maybe, but not a soldier.

Here are two likenesses someone got somehow. Don’t ask me. They aren’t perfect, though the second one is decent. And I love the clothes…

Why am I living in the palace with my uncle, the jester, and where is my family, you may ask? Quite frankly, you don’t need to know. All that need be said is that I’ve sworn vengeance on the Volandums for the suffering they have caused. But…yes. Moving on.

When I first saw Ethaniel stumble into the courtyard, dusty and with no idea where he was going, I’d no clue I’d have to save him from an assassination attempt later that very day or that we’d be off on a wild race into the depths of legend. I’m still not sure I believe all of it, but my eyes keep telling me so, so I suppose it is true.

Ethaniel is a good friend, whatever he may say or claim. Since – well since two years ago, and the burning of my village and the debasing of my family name, I’ve received pity but not much friendship. Who wants to be the friend of the coward’s son anyway? Ethaniel was never like that. Not that he had much of a choice about whether I was with him or not, but…yes. He’s a good friend. And I’m a good friend to him if I say so myself.

 

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Posted by Hope Ann in A-Z with Ethaniel, Fidelyon, WIP, 4 comments

Shadows of the Hersweald

You’ve all heard of it, on and off, but now it’s time for the official unveiling of my third Legends of Light novella, Shadows of the Hersweald, a retelling of Hansel and Gretel. Though it originally gave me much grief, the story has progressed into one of my favorites. Which might mean something except that, so far, the each Legend of Light novella is a favorite as I write it.

They would have to come that afternoon. Haydn glared at the rutted road twisted away from the gate beneath him, slithering into the shadows of the Harsweald. And what was the flaming idea behind leaving him in charge? Tregaron in the hands of a criminal… that would put them all in the good graces of the province governor, no questions asked.

A battered soldier from a defeated army, Haydn knows there is only one end to the arrival of the Prince’s governor. Except he hasn’t counted on the Prince himself. Or the pardon which his recent foe has declared to acquit all those who fought against him.

A pardon Haydn detests.

A pardon that refuses to punish the rebels now threatening his own village. And his sister.

Guilt-ridden from his own actions during the war, Haydn knows there are others who have no conscience at all. Others who are using the freedom of the pardon to forward their own desperate schemes.

With enemies closing in on all sides, a pardon that refuses punishment for the rebellion, and nightmares of murder and fire hovering in the back of Haydn’s every thought, can he save the only ones left he cares about before it is too late?

Shadows of the Hersweald is currently scheduled for publication late March of 2017. I do have a date, but I’m not releasing it yet because it’s possible it may change to early April instead. This will be the first novella I find an editor for, and I’m not sure how long the editing process itself will take…

But I will be accepting beta readers soon! I’ve about a week left of my own corrections, then I’ll send it out. But I’m not going to be having an open form on my blog this time. Instead, I’ve set up a beta reader email list you can sign up to. I only use it to email out beta reading and book review alerts and opportunities. And, just because you are signed up, you will be under no obligation to beta read anything. Anyhow, you can sign up here if you are interested.

I’ve a bunch of fun stuff planned in relation to Shadows of the Hersweald over the next few months, so you can be looking forward to that. And, in the meantime, I must be off because there is writing yet to do, both on Shadows of the Hersweald and Rose of the Oath.

Posted by Hope Ann in fairy tales, fantasy, Legends of Light, My Writing, Shadows of the Hersweald, WIP, 6 comments

Fidelyon: ‘I’ with Ethaniel

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

Isen claims his position as my ‘I’ word. Not that I’d argue with him about that (or anything else, frankly. He can be quite stubborn). A messenger captain at Outpost Eight, he’s been around for as long as I can remember. Always he has a cheerful word or some random historical fact to share. He also so happens to be the father of Drexin, my best friend, and fellow messenger. And yes, I am sure that Isen’s friendship with me has nothing to do with my own reports about his son’s adventures, skills, scrapes, and determination to travel.

Though not allowed to operate directly under family members, Drexin does see his father quite often. Isen’s wife and daughter live several hours further away in Almathea, but they all meet regularly and, as often as not, I join their family parties.

 

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Posted by Hope Ann in A-Z with Ethaniel, fantasy, Fidelyon, WIP, 0 comments

Rose of the Oath and NaNoWriMo

I’m back! Not that it feels like I’ve really been gone since I’ve posted a little on here. But it was relaxing to not have to do the longer posts… Or it would have been if it weren’t for NaNoWriMo.

But I did it! I finished NaNo, with four days to spare!

I actually had my chapters outlined to finish yesterday, but then I got up on Saturday and decided to just get it over with. Nearly 7000 words later, I was done and treated myself to Culver’s onion rings as a reward.

I actually wrote two things for NaNo this year: a novelette and a novella.

The novelette is a prequel to what will be my  new Beauty and the Beast story.

Rose of the Night

Behind every beast, there is a curse. Behind every curse, there is a promise. But hundreds of years before it all, there is a story. A story of a forbidden rose and the smooth voice of a masked stranger. A story of rebellion and sorrow and love. A story of a promise given and of a hope received. This is the story of the Oathkeeper.

The novelette itself is currently in a sad shape. Too wordy in some places (hey, I wasn’t about to work on clipping until after NaNo) and suffering from a lack of emotion and depth. But I’m pleased with the MC’s voice and I can work with the draft… something I’ll be starting to tackle tomorrow.

Then there was my main work, the Beauty and the Beast novella.

Rose of the Oath

With war sweeping Aslaria, Elissa will do anything to save her brother. Being trapped in safety herself was not what she expected the result of her rescue to be. Though, with a mysterious scarred host and the surrounding howls of wolves every night, safe is relative. As one age ends and another begins, Elissa wants nothing more than to return her family. And she is prepared to do almost anything to escape.

I am very happy with how Rose of the Oath turned out. It needs work, mainly because I kept adding things as I wrote, but I’m very excited about it. It will be a bit before even beta readers get to glimpse it though, so here are some rough, unedited clips from the novella to tease *cough* I mean, for you to enjoy. Just forgive any typos, because I’m sure there are some there. My rough drafts can be atrocious.

He stood still, wrapped in the cold shadows before dawn, only the faint twitch of a muscle in his cheek revealing he was more than a statue. A gust of wind tore from the enclosing mountainsides, racing downwards, tearing at his hair and twisting his thick cloak.

He didn’t move.

A wolf howled, the call rising into an eerie pitch before dropping, hurtling downwards. The echo still hovered in the air when another howl replied.

His jaw tensed. His fingers whitened over the hilt of the great sword resting in his hands, the point piercing the turf.

The wind returned, circling around, buffeting him from behind. From the side. Sweeping out before him, then circling around, retreating about a rose which bowed and danced in the center of a sprawling patch of vines.

Roses carpeted the ground, sweeping upward against iron trellises, but his eyes remained focused on the one. No wind brushed its petals, which trembled against the tossing of blossoms and leaves on either side.

His breath slipped between his teeth and he finally lifted his gaze as the wind hurtled off, whistling though the narrow pass which led outwards. Out into the forest. Out into Aslaria.

And he waited.

I choked back a laugh while Eldric fell into a fit of coughs with which he only with difficulty recovered. Moving Helene to his side, he held out both arms, wrapping the around the slim figure. Her arms tightened around his neck as she pressed her cheek against his. After a long moment she pulled back and regarded him with wide eyes as only a seven-year-old can.

“You’ll be home for our birthday?”

“A while nine days? Of course I’ll be back.” Eldric ran one finger down her cheek. “And I can guess what you want for a present. Another of those books, don’t you. Or would you prefer pencils?”

Klara bit her lip, twisting a strand of fair hair about her finger. “I don’t know… They would both be so nice.”

Eldric lifted a helpless gaze to meet my own. “They’ll pauper me, that’s what they’ll do.”

I snorted out a laugh as he rose. “You don’t have to get me anything if that’s a comfort.”

I exhaled shakily, choking back a sudden sob in the back of my throat. “Eldric.” I sprinted for the door the voice had come from. A single light spilled from the torch and bars covered the upper half of a thick door.

“Elissa, what are you doing here?” Eldric demanded, his hands seizing my own as I clutched the bars.

“I came for you, of course.” My eyes roved the door, searching for a lock. There it was. A great big one. “Do you know where the key is?”

“Key?” Eldric stared at me. “You have to get out of here, Elissa. Now!”

I blinked, staring back. “What in all of Alsaria do you mean? I just got here.”

“And now you’re going to leave.” Eldric’s hand tightened over mine. “If you are even able now. You’ve not seen the master of this place. He’s…” his jaw tightened. “I don’t know what he wants, but the girls need you.”

“No, the girls need you.” My eyes fastened on his. “The rebels are advancing.”

Air hissed between Eldric’s teeth. “Still?”

“Yes. And you know I can’t lead them to the safety of the caves by myself.”

“Where are they now?”

“With Mother Karlin. The villagers were leaving this morning. The rebels could be in the village even now…” I closed my eyes, pressing my forehead to the bars. “We need you. And I need a key.” I straightened. “Where is the Master of this place, because I fully intend…” the hair on the back of my neck prickled and Eldric’s jaw tightened as he stared past me.

“Run, Elissa. Run and don’t come back.”

“Never.” My own eyes bore into his, then slowly, my throat tightening until I could barely breath, I turned around.

The figure I’d seen dimly in the vision looked event taller in the confinements of the corridor. A cloak swept about his frame, a hood shading his face. One leg was cocked behind the other as he leaned against the wall, a glinting sword hanging from his fingers. My chest tightened. How long had he been standing there?

My gaze shifted to the door, tracing the smooth grains as they rose upwards, then my breath caught in my throat.

There he was. Staring at me. His arms crossed, his hood veiling his gaze though shards of light reflected off fragments of scars.

“What the blazes?” I stumbled to my knees, snatching up my bow. My fingers fumbled for an arrow, but the smooth wood slipped from my fingers, clattering to the floor.

With a sigh, the man stepped forward, his key twisting in the lock. He yanked the door open and I staggered to my feet, pressing back against the cell wall. The arrow I clutched in my numb fingers.

What did this beast even want? I’d been adamant about Eldric leaving the night before. I still was. He had to get the twins to safety. And he would… assuming the figure standing before me had truly let him go. But what did he want? The danger Eldric was so insistent to protect me from was still present.

I shuddered, my gaze never leaving the man’s face. Where had he got all those scars? And was that blood staining his dark tunic beneath the furs? My throat constricted. But the man stood to the side, inclining his head towards me and held his hand outwards.

I bit my lip, staring at him. “What do you want?”

He straightened, one eyebrow lifting as he watched me. His lips parted, then he grimaced.

“You really can’t talk, can you?”

The man glared at me, but shook his head.

Great. Just my luck. A captor I couldn’t even speak with.

What about you all? How many of you took part in NaNo? What was your final word count?

Posted by Hope Ann in A Writer's Life, Rose of the oath, WIP, 15 comments

Fidelyon: ‘H’ With Ethaniel

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

 

I have two friends whose names start with H.

The first is more of an acquaintance since I’ve yet to get to know him better…something I do hope to do one of these days. His name is Haytham and he is one of Elentisa’s oldest councilmen. Don’t for a moment think that ‘oldest’ signifies decrepit in any way. His grip still makes my arm hurt and he claims to be as strong in battle as any younger man. Do I believe him? Yes, I do.

The name of my other friend is Hilith. Originally a guard in the king’s castle, he was one of the first men Ard recruited while assembling a new Kingsguard. Of course, Hilith grumbles about the hours he’s made to stand in the cold or the late nights on guard, but he enjoys the position and always has a ready quip and flashing smile for every occasion.

 

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Posted by Hope Ann in A-Z with Ethaniel, Fidelyon, WIP, 10 comments

Fidelyon: ‘F’ with Ethaniel

‘F’ with Ethaniel:

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

This is the letter you’ve all been waiting for, isn’t it? Admit it, you want to know what Fidelyon means. And if you don’t, then I’m going to tell you anyway. Well, as much of it as I know anyway, which frankly isn’t as much as I’d like to know.

Fidelyon is the word emblazoned on the Shield of the Prince. Gold letters on green in the ancient language…it looks pretty cool. As for its meaning, as far as I can understand, it stands for ‘a faith that gives all’. That seems clear enough, but I’ve a feeling there’s something more, or that the word ‘fidelyon’ is part of a clue.

You see, in the prophecy about the shield and the spear and the clash, there’s a line that talks about discovering the riddle of the nameless shield. Since it bears the word ‘fidelyon’, I’m assuming that ‘fidelyon’ has something to do with the riddle…whatever the riddle exactly it. I guess that’s why it’s a riddle, because if I knew it then there wouldn’t be much glory in solving it. Still, the shield could give me some help.

For now I’m waiting, hoping that something will happen to reveal the meaning. Until then, let us all keep the faith with fidelyon.

Sign up to my newsletter to get regular updates on my writing and secret stories about the realm-leapers and fantasy time travelers, Kirin and Elena, each month. Join the Legend Seekers here.

Posted by Hope Ann in A-Z with Ethaniel, fantasy, Fidelyon, WIP, 5 comments

Fidelyon: ‘E’ with Ethaniel

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

So, I didn’t want to do this…there are plenty of things in this world which begin with ‘E’, like my home country of Elentisa, divided as it is into twelve provinces, or Erathrane Forest, with its dark legends of an Archeress who guards its depth’s with a silver bow, but no… *sighs* Hope says I should talk about myself, Ethaniel.

So here I am. *bows*

How they get these…photos, they call them, I’m not sure. But I guess it’s a good enough likeness if my friends are to be believed.

Don’t ask about the clothes in these pictures. They are…I’ve never seen them before.

And that…that is a picture that is not only colored but it moving. Hope says you like that sort of thing.

What, pictures aren’t enough? I’m supposed to talk about myself?

If you insist.

My home is Outpost 7, where Ard is Captain. Seeing as he’s the one who rescued me when I was only three from a Volandum raid, and raised me when no one knew who my family was, it was only natural that I should become a messenger. But I enjoy the work, for the most part. Three leagues in two hours; life could be worse. And with no family, this occupation is a good one. Still, I’m 19 now and may one day join a border outpost or even become a ranger. I’ve not spoken to it with Ard yet, but I think he suspects. I suppose we shall see.

And no, Hope, I’m not telling them about the dreams and nightmares; why would they care about that?

Anyway, I guess…Oh yes, there’s this personality typing thing that Hope likes. I don’t understand it, but these pictures she’s found do describe me, so enjoy them, if they interest you at all for some reason.

And…that’s it. I’m done. If you really want to know about me more for some reason, you can read Fidelyon whenever Hope gets that account done.

Sign up to my newsletter to get regular updates on my writing and secret stories about the realm-leapers and fantasy time travelers, Kirin and Elena, each month. Join the Legend Seekers here.

Posted by Hope Ann in A-Z with Ethaniel, Fidelyon, WIP, 8 comments