Works in Progress

The Glass Spiral (Book Two of Lost Shards)

I'm about 15,000 words into this novel. It picks up where I left off in The Crystal Bridge. It should be about as long as the first book and includes many of your favorite characters. Penny, James, Aren, and Kaden will play huge roles. Lyle, Taggers, Dveldor, and Hasla will show up too. Rho will be around, but he isn't the main villain. I'll, of course, be adding a few new characters. Teris, Gathin, and Entropos will be exciting along with a couple others. I'll also deepen and develop Kaden and Aren's gifts. Let's see what they can do at the next level

Phase 3 (A Zombie Novel with touches of Fantasy)

I don't want to give much away about this one yet. It won't be funny like Zombies at the Door, but everything I write has moments of my humor in it. I'm hoping this turns into more than one book and I may write it with the help of a good friend, Adam (yes, the Adam I dedicated the first one to). Right now it is in its infancy at 2,500 words.

The Blue Door (Book One of a Fantasy Trilogy)

I'm over 10,800 words into this YA novel. It is about the orphaned children of magical exiles. It will be a trilogy. The names of the next two books are The Red Chandelier and The Yellow Shoe. They will have an interesting magic system that I've worked hard on, involving elemental magic in an different way. The magic users weave threads of the initial pure elemental magic into complex patterns that can do much more than the original components. Here is a little excerpt of the very rough initial writing:

Nick traced a blue line on a tree, willing it to stick and not dissolve into water. To his surprise, it remained fixed, a soft blue arrow pointing back toward his way back home. That should work.

He waded his way through underbrush. Luckily there weren’t many thorns, but it was slow progress. Frequently he stopped to mark the way he’d come. Where’s the welcoming committee? Do they make it difficult on return criminals or something?
 The sun continued to fall lower and lower, fading to a dim orange as it dipped below the upper trees. “I’m going to lose my light soon. Maybe I should have waited for Cindy.” He thought about turning back.

Something heard him thinking out loud and a wailing came from his right, high and sorrowful. The hair on his arms stood up as goose bumps formed and chills races down his spine. “I should go back.” But, he didn’t.

Nick found himself drawn to the mournful wails. He staggered through the forest toward the sound in a daze until he found himself walking a stone path. The sun had set at some point. Nick couldn’t remember when, didn’t care when. He’d also stopped marking his path.

The stones of the path started to glow a pale yellow. He was sure they’d been gray to begin with. They also didn’t feel like stones under his feet. They had a bounce to them, like cork. The path curved around a lake, black in the darkness, reflecting bits of yellow from the glowing road and the stars above.

The wails came from the water. Nick wanted to go to them, crash into the water and swim out to the pained voices. He wanted to give them all his hope, love, and joy to help the stop their wails. As he came to the water’s edge, lights sprang up all around the lake, bobbing up from the glowing road to hang above it like street lamps.

Nick glanced up at the lamps, seeing the weaves that had gone into their creation, intricate patterns of yellow with a touch of purple and orange at their center. He blinked, blinded as the smell of mountain air mingled with steam and the scent of dusty sunlight. The onslaught of senses cleared his mind. What am I doing? He looked down at his feet, just inches from the water. The light revealed that the lake was not beautiful at all. It looked filthy and stagnant, black and green, oozing with decay.

The wails reacted to his hesitation. They grew more desperate, insistent. Nick’s legs moved and he shuffled into the water. No! This is bad! Stop! His legs refused to respond to his pleading. He waded deeper. The oily water rippled with his movement and soon other ripples formed further out.

These ripples swam closer and dark forms occasionally broke the filthy water’s surface, blue-green eyes reflecting the yellow light. The wails continued, growing closer and closer. Nick looked around, trying to find anyone or anything that would help him.

His eyes locked on an outcropping of rocks, not too far from him. He tried to will his body to head that direction. It refused and he stepped off an invisible ledge below into water up to his waist. Something touched his leg, cold and scaly. The scent of rot rose from the water and Nick fought the urge to vomit his mostly digested dinner into the drink. Only a fish, only a fish. Yeah right! You know it’s not a fish!

He looked longingly at the outcropping of rocks as all hope died inside him. He swallowed and prepared for the worst. Then his eye caught on a weave he’d been staring at, but not seeing. It was more intricate than any he’d seen and black as midnight. It wove around the outcropping of rocks and into the water around it.

In his desperate state, filled with adrenaline and regret, Nick saw deep into this weave as he never had. He could see it choking the oxygen and life out of the lake and how it shut off a natural spring that should have poured over the rocks into a pristine body of water. He saw a weakness in the weave, a thread that had frayed and been knotted.

Nick didn’t know if it would help him or seal his doom, but he raised a hand. They, at least were still under his control. He stepped into the nasty water up to his chest as he let a thread of light erupt from his fingertips, the palest brightest blue, like the color of sky just around the sun. It wrapped around the knot and pulled.

At first nothing happened. Water splashed into his mouth as he stepped off another invisible ledge. He coughed the vile liquid out, along with what was in his stomach as he lost his battle not to vomit. He kept his eyes glued to the black weave. Something gave and the whole thing unraveled, sliding away and disintegrating into smoke that the breeze carried away into nothing.

The change was immediate. Water shot from the outcropping, rolled down the rocks and into the water, carrying blue weaves hidden under the black. The black and green ooze shrunk in on themselves and the water cleared, revealing glowing blue lights that speckled the bottom of the lake. Nick could now see the silhouettes of twenty or more large creatures swimming around him.

The wails stopped and Nick gained control of himself. He splashed noisily and frantically to the edge, and pulled himself onto dry land, coughing and sputtering. His legs felt weak and numb, but he dragged himself up the bank toward the road.

“Do not be afraid, Blue. We will not hurt you now.”

Nick looked back and into the deep blue eyes of the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. She had light blue skin, dotted with scales. Her ears were finned with dark gray spines sticking out of the delicate translucent cartilage. But, her perfect face would have fit on any supermodel. She smiled, revealing sharp teeth. “You have saved us and our home.”

Nick shook his head to clear it. Her voice, no longer wailing, was still compelling and made him want to get up and join her in the water. She kept most of her body hidden under the surface, but the blue backlighting lit her hourglass figure. Nick blinked and then looked back up at the creature’s eyes.

“We have been trapped for many years, forced to entice food to our shores as we slowly suffocated and starved. Who are you, Blue?”

“Nix Sturmryden.” Nick coughed it out, shivering in the night air. He thought he should use his real name here.

“With a name like that, a friend to kelpies indeed. I am glad we did not eat you.”

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