rainstardragon: (Default)
2012-03-04 01:30 pm

[sticky entry] Sticky: The Ubiquitous Sticky Note on the Monitor!

This will be the location for various serialized stories I am working on, as I have decided to experiment with this style again, due to the success rate that I used to have while writing fanfictions. Please use the tags if you have a particular story that you wish to navigate to, and feel free to bring your friends. I also will occasionally post news here related to my own manuscripts intended for regular publication and their availability.

For reference, the THG StarDragon Publishing Blog, though sometimes it goes long times without updates, is the place to watch for news regarding not only my own books, but those of the authors that have chosen to work with me in getting their own works ready for publication. My personal journal is located at livejournal (same name as here) and will be the place to look for random stuff (though if you want super random, I do admit the "sin" of having a Facebook). Artwork can be viewed on my DeviantArt account, or you can visit the THG StarDragon Publishing website or the Lulu Storefront. Also, some titles are going to be found at my Smashwords page. Don't forget to check Amazon and Barnes and Noble for print and ebook versions. Please note that the author is a full time mother and also takes university courses, so she unfortunately does not get to write or paint all day.
 
Comments are welcome, as I would like to experiment with how reader questions can help shape stories. Also, if you would like to donate to help fund my time (and help buy coffee to think and do neat things for the kids) I do accept Paypal. Just use the button at the bottom of the post.

You can find the table of contents for my serials below.

Contents Selkies' Skins )
Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well (book one) manuscript wordcount: Currently 131,693 for chapters 1 through 39, front matter, the glossary, and author bio. It will be followed by a second book covering the second half of Kirsty's testing, and likely a third book or fourth book to deal with other important bits that are not focused on in Kirsty's Skinquesting. There is also an audiobook version currently being recorded, narrated by Illya Leonov. He is also expected to narrate the books of the Dragon Shaman series.
You can also read it on a dedicated site for the stories.

Selkies' Skins 2
Selkies' Skins 2 )

The manuscript for Selkies' Skins (book two): Temple and Skinquest is currently sitting at 41,338 words in the full file as of April 20, 2016 and is in progress.

The manuscript for Dragon Shaman (book three): The Forge and the Well is in progress at roughly 20,000 words

Contents Shen's Tale )

~~~~*~~~~


 
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rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-10-18 12:08 pm

(no subject)

 Not Selkies' skins, but it is being worked on. There is also a very large story-poem being worked on for this month. What I have to post isn't happy and should have been put here much earlier. I am... scattered. Not having internet of my own currently does not help either. In better news though, I do have a wedding to preside over. I promised long ago that I would do it for them, and with so many coming I am not backing out.
----

My daughter's service cat is in a bad way. Whether he lives or dies we will have a very large vet bill. If you could spread the following link around or maybe donate, it would help greatly. In order to treat him from now through the weekend (as we leave today and can't come home until late Sunday) the current estimate is around $2500. As of last night his bill was sitting at $800 used. I only had to start with $1300 available on my Care Credit Card for the vet bills, to give flex pay time.

https://www.deviantart.com/users/outgoing?https://www.gofundme.com/lightning-the-cats-hospital-stay

Lightning is a roughly 10 year old (he was born in August, he just turned 10 not long ago) service and companion cat for my daughter Athena, working with her anxiety, depression, and other issues. It is largely due to his influence that she was able to make it through some dark times that are inappropriate to share about without her consent due to the personal nature thereof. We live in a little house out in the country chosen as much for affordability as it was for providing a safe place for my son's service companion dog and in the event of my daughter's cat sneaking out, as he likes to do when daughter is not home.

Friday the 13th of 2017 Lightning got outside, most likely slipping out under the dog when letting him out in the yard for nature's call. Friday night Lightning had come back and my son and I were in the living area when Lightning decided to empty his guts rather unexpectedly beside my feet after coming over. It was very unpleasant to clean, and at 11 PM on a Friday night I was not going to be able to get him to a clinic to be seen and with no gas to go to any that might be open down in Redding.

I did what I could for him, but he retreated under my daughter's bed. Daughter was at her boyfriend's for the weekend to make carpooling to work easier. It was my hope that it was merely stomach upset and that he would be better by the time she returned home to be with her cat.

The next day (Saturday) I couldn't find him anywhere in the house. I even called outside wondering if he managed to sneak out with dog during times I'd lost my balance at the door, since my back was also acting up very badly making it difficult to move around.

Sunday he turned up in the morning by the water bowl staring at it when I rose to get my morning coffee and let the dog out. He'd never been out after all on Saturday and I wondered WHERE he could have hidden in the house as he was not in any of his usual spots or even the less usual ones.

Sunday night daugher returned home. Lightning stayed out where he could get affection, and seemed to be doing better. He was at least showing interest in food and water even though he wasn't taking them. Monday was coming and I planned to take him in to be seen anyway, concerned as by this time he had lost two pounds and was rather obviously dehydrated.

Monday came and he was seen in Mt Shasta Animal Hospital at 11:40 AM. The vet said it looked like intoxication and that his kidney function was impaired. She mentioned that it was normally something like day lillies or antifreeze. We have none of the flowers that could produce such effects around the property, as we have cats. That left antifreeze and my blood running cold.

Lightning was given an estimate of a 20 to 30 percent chance of making it unless something changed, and was admitted to the animal hospital as an inpatient in an attempt to provide what was needed to make that turnaround happen for him. A day after being in the hospital his kidneys are now about half functioning,  so his chances of of living are getting higher; but we still have to take this day by day.

Lightning, my daughter, and I need help with his hospital stay. I work as a website tester, a publisher, an editor, an illustrator, author, and narrator. These are all on demand and as work projects are available jobs.  I do not make enough to provide for my family without assistance, as much of this work is not stable. Sometimes it is even difficult to pay out royalties to the authors that have published with me without having to tighten my belt in areas relating to my own care. My son is autistic and on Social Security. My daughter is only 16, works as a housekeeper on weekends for one of the local inns, and is concurrently enrolled in a high school level charter school and the local college with current intent to become a Forensic Analyst in the future. Even with all this I still need the help of cash aid and foodstamps to keep the children fed and the bills paid. Using the Care Credit Card for the vet bill gives us a little flex room, but I will still need whatever help can be garnered in getting that balance paid.

The estimate is at $543 a night and treatment will be on a day by day basis. We are hoping to pull him through and not to have to consider euthansia as he is a family member and an important keystone to my daughter's mental health, as her battle with her inner demons is still ongoing. Lightning is more than a pet. The estimate that I have put is is for about 5 days of treatment, but I do not know for certain what his bill will be. Any help is welcome. I hate asking for help, but Lighting and my daughter need this help, so I swallow my pride.

Thank you for reading this far.

Not feeling comfortable going through Gofundme? That's ok. You can go direct. For those wanting to contribute directly to the hospital on Lightning's behalf:

Animal: Lightning Garcia
Owner: Teresa Garcia

Hospital address
Mt. Shasta Animal Hospital
1130 N Mt Shasta Blvd
Mt Shasta, CA 96067

Admitting Vet was Harmony McPherson, DVM

Phone: 1-530-926-5266
rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-09-18 02:05 pm

Selkies' Skins 2: chapt 17a (Untangling the Web, Shifting the Veil)

This is several installments together's worth to catch up on missed time.  This chapter is also not finished. Currently it stands at 3,024 words including the reference title. We will consider this installment one of the chapter numbered 17 (or 8 within section two of the book). This was first pushed to my Patreon feed where it was visible to Patrons 6 days early.

Quick Glossary
Samebito- Shark person, from Japan

Hir- NOT a typo. Used here for inbetween or genderfluid, non gender binary. The other option currently in use that I have seen among those writing or living such states is Xir. They and we are not suitable for this instance as most people see gender not as a continuum but two conflicting states, and do not separate gender from physical sex. I chose to make sure that one deity had several states because of conflicting reports on gender/sex of deities that do exist in mythology.

I believe that I remembered to make note of everything that required a glossary notation for this installment. If I did not please feel free to let me know.




Welcome back to the story! If you don't wish to use the Selkies' Skin tag to find the entries, check the ToC on the Sticky Note at Dreamwidth. Story is mirrored to myLiveJournal, from my Dreamwidth, as well as on a dedicated site. For story news and more, subscribe to my Twitter (@AmehanaArashi) or go on Facebook and like either THG StarDragon Publishing or Selkies' Skins. As always, the main tag for the full story is selkies' skins and the tag for "Temple and Skinquest" is selkies' skins 2.

Book one (Castle and Well) of Selkies' Skins is available in entirety in ebook format as of March 16th, beginning at Smashwords. The print edition is now available on Amazon and Lulu with Samantha Buckley's stunning cover depicting Kirsty and the storm. An audio edition of the first book in the series narrated by Illya Leonov and now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible, with other venues pending. He has finished "Book of Seals: Pearls of Sea and Stone" which accompanies and precedes Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well which will be available in full audiobook format soon, when I can get to uploading it finally. (click to hear what he sounds like in past recordings of other projects)


Interested in helping support the free version of this book and other projects? Visit http://www.patreon.com/Amehana



Selkies' Skins 2
Section 2: Temple's Light
Installment 42
Chapter 17 (part 1)
Untangling the Web, Shifting the Veil
Untangling the Web, Shifting the Veil


Ven’thrith’s footfalls echoed in the halls despite the water cloaking all about them. He reveled in the bend of the physics his presence wrought and the confusion in his wake as they followed. Selkie lights and crystal lamps floated or thrust from the walls of the halls of the Outer Paths where the normal activities of the Temple occurred. White, grey, blue, green, brown, black, and subtle hues without names swirled and lurked in these worked barriers shot through with gold, silver. Occasionally some jewel would be set to relay some vital impulse to another point in the Net and then out into the surrounding city.

The door to one of the innermost sanctums rose before the group accompanying him. Flanking these were a samebito and a selkie, one male, one female. Both wore the silver and pearl armor of the guard. These were felt before they were seen visually and Ven’thrith allowed the mists of illusion to fall so that they too would be seen.

The vast sweeps of solid shell swung open for Ven’thrith and his party on his approach, startling the guards waiting outside them as much as those accompanying him. The doors knew him, remembered him, greeted him as an old friend. How many times had he passed through these doors when seeking out Mara when she mourned, or come to these chambers when the moon was just so and she needed that bit of insanity to get her through to the next cycle? He’d been with Mara when she had admired them at Seiryuu’s Palace o long ago when they had paused to take in the wonders of that Sea King’s city and tradesmen. The doors even still bore the slight purple blush that was only obtainable by the crafters when Seiryuu’s distant granddaughter kissed them to give the shade so prized. The color was rare as it was rare for Amehana of the Arashiryuu to make the trek to see that side of her kinship in those days. The door deepened the hue the nearer Justin came. Ven’thrith raised a brow and made a note to explore how this reaction might come about and what it might mean that they warmed to him.

All of these things flashed past in less than a breath, even as the honor guard laid sight on him.

“I’m sorry La- Lord Ven’thrith. They work—” The samebito guard that spoke seemed not to have had the post long. His voice squeaked. Or perhaps that was a result of Ven’thrith hirself. Most never did seem to know what to do or how to react to hir being seen sometimes male, sometimes female, and sometimes someplace in between. Perhaps it was even Justin’s presence as the spear pointed so quickly. He kept the male form firm. He was needed this way for now, he would not give in to the comfortable and be shi.

“I know. But their focus must now change. Leave this lad alone as well. He belongs to me. There will be no trouble.” Ven’thrith looked sternly at the pair of honor guards. The looked away, paling as they avoided locking gaze with him to avoid his gifts.

“My lord.”

Kirsty whimpered in Justin’s arms, twitching, hands hooking like claws as she grasped whatever nightmare she now rode between the weft of the Tapestry.

He led his small party through those doors. A net swept over them as they each passed through, and he nodded imperceptibly as the fabric of Mara’s skirts brushed and searched. He kept his heart and mind open, or as open as he ever kept it to anyone including the Sea. Pearl, coral, and smoothed stone greeted them and twisted away as the atmosphere thickened and the incense curled in thick wisps from impossible containers. Seasilk and bead curtains for decoration and for covering the doorways into the innermost rooms swayed in the current. The one for Mara’s Throne, which led further through yet another passage to the Bed and Stone Box of Souls, beckoned and opened. Ven’thrith did not follow yet. The group around the silver seashell held his attention. As he expected Mara’s servants were gathered around the gazing bowl before the Middle Dias. If he was right then they were busy watching where the conscious piece of Kirsty was questing. Whites and blues swirled around the various merfolk representing the various aquatic races in their clergy garb. His lip curled.

Though they usually could not help it they certainly seemed like a pack of voyeurs to him. Perhaps they had discovered the treachery of one of their own and were working to find and detain her. He doubted it though. Each had their own agenda, and the jockeying for position within the ranks was an ages old problem. The High Priestess and her mate were the ones he felt the most trustworthy, and it was her scowl that was the deepest.

His eyelid throbbed and twitched. He would look soon enough, and then likely want to lock himself away from the child races for awhile.

Mara’s Presence began to coalesce upon her Dias. Her servants hadn’t felt her yet, so occupied were they with the visions of the bowl. He addressed the gathering swirl of essence and gestured at Justin bearing Kirsty, speaking gently, as if waking her. “Leannán, we have a problem.” Ven’thrith paused a moment before continuing. “Some good is coming of this mess that can help us part the Veil a moment though.” His Voice, now unfettered, rolled through the chamber with the same undeniable force of the moon’s pull.

It was Mara’s Voice that truly sent the Clergy fully into their bodies once more. “I am glad of that. I’ve found the shard of me that I sent to find her, but I see no way home yet. Justin has done well returning to me.”

Justin shuffled before the light and water that was taking her time forming into a body that he could relate to. Several of the men and women in robes shot him looks and curled their lips in disgust. Other glared at him as if their gaze could force him to fire. He certainly felt like jumping in a fire right now, or hanging himself from a tree to dry out and blow away in a passing breeze.

“You will cease.” Mara’s voice addressed her servants as she finally took form. Her features shifted and darted so that at any moment you gained an impression of all creatures of the sea. “Some of you have forgotten that those under his curse were once all mine, and that any of you are as vulnerable as a stolen child or an Avowed.

“He said to bring her. So I did.” Justin offered awkwardly at the introduction to his side of Ven’thrith’s elbow.

“You’ve done well.” She stepped to the side and gestured to where she landed on her Dais. “Lay her here please. There is so much Interference that you may need to give your blood, more if some has already been taken.” Her eyes swept over Justin, then she pulled a smirk to the Moon. “You move fast.”

“The effect of her purifications on his was still fresh. I thought it better to take him instead of taking the risk.” Ven’thrith answered her implication.

“I give no quarrel so long as he is shared.” A strange energy flared between the pair of deities, bristling fur or scale of everyone gathered and drawing bumps on the flesh of the octopids. Mostly placid, the energy coiled around each and the young Finman, visible as the smoke of arcane incenses. Even with the placidity there still existed a dangerous current with the tang of blood and steel.

Justin stuffed down his uneasiness just as he did when before the Ealdormen when they quarreled. He did as she bid, laying Kirsty down on the dias. He couldn’t quite bring himself to separate from her so he stayed kneeling with a hand on her shoulder. The scent of crushed seaweed and muffled fear flavored the water around her. Kirsty’s eyes darted and jumped under their thin lids and he wondered what she saw in whatever sort of swoon this was. “What is so special about her that I was sent to capture her? She’s just a girl.”

“We have similar goals and games for where these two must be. I can share. We already share.” Ven’thrith reminded, a small smile flitting like a silver fish across his lips.

The atmosphere broke. Mara nodded. Her feet padded softly to stand by Kirsty’s other shoulder and she looked down. Skirt hems lapped at her like waves on the shore, washing gently. Justin looked up at the deity when a slim hand descended on his shoulder. His breath caught at how young she looked. Mara’s eyes were still on Ven’thrith.

“Something will need done about Raechel. I believe her to be part of this. It was her name she cried before we brought her here.” Ven’thrith laid the morsel out carefully. Sharks bit, and Mara was, after all, the mother of them all.

“Do what you need. Nullify it. I will do what I must.” To the guards she spoke, her voice iron and steel. “I need Bethrise and Raechel. Bring them.”

Her guards hastened to obey, dipping obeisance before leaving. Justin noted that some of the robed figures still in the room seemed displeased that none were directed their way as well before the withdraw.

Ven’thrith nodded in reply to Mara and knelt down. “Marvelous, Justin. Keep contact with her.”

His hands passed over the small form as his eyes refocused. Either the room took on the glow of the moon or her own light reacted to the signs he made and the strands he pulled and straightened. Some snapped when he touched them. He listened to the tones as the sphere moved in this world, and some of the other worlds, the gentle trickling chimes and the great screeling wheels. Discordant tones pulled his attention back to the room itself. His eyes, now open to the cosmos and bearing them just as much as those of Mara or Hearne, fell on the stiff interplay between the guards, Justin, and Mara’s Bloodbearers.

He suppressed a sneer. Jealousy had wrought too much damage already. Yet, the child races never learned. Not that his kind did either.

The noises grew in volume again and the threads came back into focus. Behind all of this the heard the sounds of a loom, a spinning wheel, the carding of wool, the sharpening of shears. “Are you listening, Ladies? This will be touchy work.” Ven’thrith sighed and went back to reaching out for Kirsty and following the threads that branched off of her. The hands of the Weavers worked around him, unseen to the others, or at least he assumed them unseen. Whether they saw through the Bending that always swathed him and into that place beyond where they currently existed was not his concern. There were too many threads to slip through without leaving damage.

They could fend for themselves.

If a few more joined him in realizing that there were things even beyond his generation of Deities and beyond this particular creation was not his concern. His concern was the girl, her mother. For Mara. For her sister. The more strongly he wanted to do something for them, the more strongly his gender swung toward the male, for now.

The Weavers whispered to each other and to him. Hurry, it has to be done before they come back in here. You know how they are.

Defending their cosmic weaving had to have driven The Weavers more insane than the original moon deity was reputed to be. Theirs was not a job nor a fate that he wanted.

Finally Ven’thrith found that piece of consciousness and soul that he sought in time. She had been several people over several incarnations, sometimes even parts of people. Sifting through all of the various glowing mini stars and moons of those carrying hir DNA took up more time than he would have liked. Sometimes he felt the pull of the sea or the call of a still lake and he had to tear himself away from the lonely reaching arms as he sought through time for this single light. That would not be such a loud call if Hearn would spend more time with them instead of engaging in those hunts, he growled to the ancients. Or take them along. He held himself to one form, one self, painfully.

The ever changing hands patted and brushed him as they worked the loom, wove the pattern with the unknowing aid of each person and each thread. His hands closed around the version of Kirsty that he sought. Raw, unpolished. Her light flashed and slashed at the dark, not yet rounded and polished by lessons and life into a smoother orb for her current life.

Rough little pearl.

He inhaled, secured his grip on the time and phase he needed to keep his self within. Another set of eyes opened to look within the time her mind occupied. His world became less twining yarn, shadowy forms, dancing fingers, and more staccato flashes of intention. He pushed harder, slipped enough in that his opened eyes focused. The film-effect cleared and smoothed into something more normal as he increased the energy he used.

Ven’thrith watched her travails with a smile. Spunk and determination carried her through. His eyes narrowed jealously when the Cailleach’s Hound came in answer to the formerly lost Black Gate, but this he suppressed already knowing the role Taranis would play and had played in what was more recent for him. His head shook, remembering Taranis’ concurrent incarnation. This was fitting, and not an intrusion. It had been and thus would be, and he giggled internally as the Hound’s confusion over the connection he felt mounted. One day he would get to play with these threads more.

For now, he watched, detached. Patient. He had to watch for the Time, the Space, the Hole Between. At each of these internal proper capitalizations he sat and allowed the Power Ripples to spread and set the Web, the Tapestry to dance. He would not interfere with what was happening until he saw the perfect moment for the trick. She was still in the test even if something had influenced it beyond bounds that it logically should have taken.

Kirsty gave herself, flared into a blazing star to his eyes as she leapt with the intent to protect those that had been with her. The blood of his Ladies he could smell and feel activated, and for those in the room around her body the water twisted at it reacted to the blood just as that around her body in the time projection did. The rewriting was strong, demanding, insistent.

If only they could get enough of ones like her bred at once and deploy them on the map. Seeing the oceans forcibly reset and confusing the humans while undoing all of their damage to Mara and the seas would be a thing of beauty and likely the most massive confusion in centuries yet.

She leapt again after her attempt at knocking the falling debris into Raechel failed. The light flailed against the dark glow that came from the Tainted priestess riding the kraken. Not for the first time he wondered what would happen if this Taint finally found a way into Mara’s heart itself.

Here was the moment. His hands shot for the twisting and yowling ball of fur. Blue blazes met his eyes as she hissed, spit, and clawed in his hands in panic. Ven’thrith spoke a few words and pulled her through the hole, pulling Raechel through as well by the connected cords and slammed each into their own bodies as the Weavers finished with that part of their design. He was gratified when Kirsty jolted up and shook off Justin’s hand, her eyes starting wilding about the room while Mara sighed in relief. He sent her into real sleep quickly after a swift reassurance.

Better that she not hurt herself yet. There was plenty of time for that later on. Justin’s hand went back for Kirsty, and he nodded at the question in the boy’s eyes before locking eyes with Mara and sharing all that he had Seen, not only from this Viewing but from others as well. He held onto her essence with hir own, sliding physically and unable to hold the rough male form fully now that the immediate need had passed. In return Mara passed to him all the knowledge she was willing to share.

Ven’thrith had the impression that so far she was pleased with Kirsty’s performance, even if her testing was full of interference.

 

While the deities silently conferred, keeping the mortals out of whatever they were Speaking to each other, the High Priestess and Lore Keeper carefully inspected the Finman under Mara’s Hand. The gesture was not lost on her. This same gesture had been used with each of them at times, and she could remember the first time of feeling that hand on her own shoulder. How had he been able to penetrate so far though? He had been quite far in before Ven’thrith had collected the lad. Certain lines evoked the girl currently beneath the Moon’s spell, others reminded her of Etain, or the less often seen but always working for them Finnol. Was he of the Blood? Was that how he won into the Labyrinth?

Could he be the beginning of a cure for one of the plagues they fought?

Too many questions, and several other eyes that glared with distrust and envy. Was the Taint spreading?

The eyes of both Deities fell on her, captured her own eyes. She fought not to look Ven’thrith in the eye and failed. Galaxies spun and shook her core. The shifting waves of Mara’s were far less alien to her. What would they want when they spoke?


Thank you for reading along with the webnovel version of this book. This has gone up on the Web Fiction Guide, so reviews of the current story developing are welcome, as are votes.

Please do consider making a donation, or buying the complete book (or even the whole series, as it becomes available). The donations help pay costs such as editing, but also help put food on the table. Rather make an offline tip? Write me for a mailing address.
Donate Here via Paypal

Or you can become a monthly patron through Patreon!

As always, if you see any typos, please let me know so I can fix those, they don't always save when applied. I repeat that this is the webnovel version of the book and may differ somewhat from the print and ebook versions when the text is completed and through processing. Thank you for being part of the story behind the story.


rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-08-26 11:52 pm

Children's book art project progress

*best Count Count voice* Seven line arts in one day. Ah, ah, ah!

One left to do, the most difficult of all.

Twelve panels left of the project to color, counting the line art left to draw.
rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-07-26 07:57 pm

Selkies' Skins 2: chapt 16b (Opening the Way)

I thought that I was going to get this done in one installment. It did not happen. This went to Patreon first! This chapter finishes out at 2,834 words between both parts. It got delayed for here a bit due to my son's trip and a few unexpected things.
... Now I get to cover what went on with Ven'thrith and Justin, and how he found where in time to yank her from. I both look forward to writing how the deities use their powers and dread it.




Welcome back to the story! If you don't wish to use the Selkies' Skin tag to find the entries, check the ToC on the Sticky Note at Dreamwidth. Story is mirrored to myLiveJournal, from my Dreamwidth, as well as on a dedicated site. For story news and more, subscribe to my Twitter (@AmehanaArashi) or go on Facebook and like either THG StarDragon Publishing or Selkies' Skins. As always, the main tag for the full story is selkies' skins and the tag for "Temple and Skinquest" is selkies' skins 2.

Book one (Castle and Well) of Selkies' Skins is available in entirety in ebook format as of March 16th, beginning at Smashwords. The print edition is now available on Amazon and Lulu with Samantha Buckley's stunning cover depicting Kirsty and the storm. An audio edition of the first book in the series narrated by Illya Leonov and now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible, with other venues pending. He has finished "Book of Seals: Pearls of Sea and Stone" which accompanies and precedes Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well which will be available in full audiobook format soon, when I can get to uploading it finally. (click to hear what he sounds like in past recordings of other projects)


Interested in helping support the free version of this book and other projects? Visit http://www.patreon.com/Amehana



Selkies' Skins 2
Section 2: Temple's Light
Installment 41
Chapter 16 (part 2)
Opening the Way


His paws tattooed over stone and through the winding passages, seeking always the higher path in the labyrinthine twists which seemed to have come alive around them. The Temple was certainly awake, and changing now, reacting to the two warring priestesses within. Land battled with sea once more through them and Taranis dodged falling stone while Ciarán and Kirsty blocked or tried to deflect undodgeable debris out of his path. The pelt that was wrapped around and clinging to Ciarán did not bother trying to hide her head, the eyes glowing green and pupils wide, staring behind since the front was covered and keening whenever something threatened his flank in the rockfall.
As fast as he ran, as far as he ran, the great black dog never seemed to get beyond a certain point no matter how the scenery around them changed. All the while the water continued to rise behind them, and Salena’s skin roared a warning, the body the skin belonged to most likely collapsing unconscious wherever she was at the time with a cry if he remembered how some skins worked. Their heads all swiveled to look behind to see what she warned of.
The halls they had run through were no more. Behind was only a wide ragged cavern gaping as hungrily as if Cthulhu himself had awoken and risen from his dreaming slumber to claim their reality. Within this abyss swam the Kraken called Leviathan, phosphorescent green and reaching for them, screeing unearthly calls from his beak as he attempted to sing the song of all sea hags. Riding this creature was Raechel, Mara’s Spear strapped to her back since it would do nothing against Kirsten no matter how she bade it to. Taranis could only be glad it was not the actual Leviathan called Leviathan, as it would have probably found a way to batter the ground into breaking until it reached them. Sea creatures were not his forte. Especially ones that had green fire in their eyes like the Dark Priestess.
Why wasn’t the little priestess’s prior purifications taking hold as long as they should?

Raechel smirked, well seated on the kraken and tethered firmly within the energetic throne of the temple. Did every temple feel this way once the secret was activated and accessed? It laid itself more bare and trembling to her touch than Bethrise once had, eager to give her anything. She reveled in this feeling and the sensation of the Taint seeping from within her and into it. The girl clung to the back of the black beast, her human protector behind and attempting to shield her from view.
Playtime with the filthy land creatures was over.
Raechel envisioned the path they trod becoming steeper, rising beneath them. It became so. The granite and basalt gave way and smoothed to obsidian. Dark, cool, smooth as the mirrors that she could feel one by one turning their views toward her as she controlled this piece of reality. She ignored all of the eyes whether of deity or mortal. Let them witness her new birth. Crystal would have been another excellent choice, but too pure and far too open in both time and number of magical implements linked to it. It wouldn’t do to have too many openings to divert the force she wielded, not yet. Ice would have given the little child too much room to possibly worm out of her grasp. No, she herself was the most like Mara and it would be she, Raechel of the Tolltachonn lineage that claimed this place. Not some human-blooded filth. Especially from a branch of the Marainion that would have been in her own family tree had Marsali’s marriage to her ancestor happened. The idea of being a cousin to the brat twisted her lips, pointed her teeth.
The ripples completely melted, and it was smooth as artificial glass now. The erstwhile companions slid closer to her new pet’s reach. To facilitate this she steadily continued to tilt the path. Her pet would feed, even if he refused to eat his former master. There were other things she could do with him for interfering.

Kirsty clung and watched as they continued to slide, trembling. She wracked her brain for something that would save them. Striking at the kraken would only enrage it. This was so unlike the fears that Aunt Belara had trained her to face back in school, and this certainly was no ship. If only there was some way to stop their sliding and possibly buy a little time to come up with a plan.
David’s firesnake would be fabulous right now, though she was also glad she wasn’t having to protect his body while sliding down obsidian. That thought triggered other thoughts in her brain, and unearthed the memory of a prank someone had pulled in her common room that had been connected with a snake and sent a few students quite literally up a wall. Kirsty grasped for the charm out of the hazy memory, hoping that she remembered the word right and focusing more intently on the intent itself to make sure it was more likely to work.
“Triptogradore,” she growled, pressing her hands more firmly against the giant black dog between her legs. Her trembling increased. What if she got it wrong and merely rooted them to the spot? She herself had never done this spell before.
Her stomach twisted. The steady slide ceased. Her stomach tried to heave and she swallowed it down. The Hound’s ears flicked forward as his mouth dropped open. Half a heartbeat passed and the Hound’s feet began stepping up the near vertical incline as quickly as their combined weight would allow soon huffing deep in his chest. It wasn’t fast as they all would have liked, but it was progress.

Raechel roared, a call more fitting coming from the vocal cords of an enraged bull selkie than of a cow like herself, but she didn’t care. The kraken picked up a large rock then flung it toward them in the same moment. Raechel’s call should have knocked them off of the wall, but whatever spell the brat had used kept them stuck fast and they continued upward.

Kirsty saw the rock coming. Larger than others they had deflected before she did not think that even combined she and Lilitu would have enough strength left to deflect it far enough. If she estimated her maths correctly though, perhaps she could have a chance to let the others get away if she landed and sent a bolt downward? What would happen if she failed though? Yet, if she didn’t they were all going to get flattened.
Her eyes narrowed. She’d think about what came after if she had an after to think from. She shoved the Black Gate into Lilitu’s hands. If she ended up in the water instead this was an item she did NOT want Raechel to have access to. “Keep this safe. I need it later.” Kirsty was only aware of the first sentence she said, flinging herself out to the rock and willing herself to fly that shortening distance to the rock without the help of a broom. “I’m sorry. I love you,” she inwardly apologized to her parents, to David, Thomas, and Ally. Vibrations shook the invisible tethers between them all, she either a fly caught in life’s web or a spider scurrying along the threads.
Her spine flailed as she snaked through the air. Fur sprouted and stood on end, some of it projectile shedding and miraculously ending up in the kraken’s eyes and inhaled by the crazed fallen priestess. Legs sprawled and tried to swim, claws extended in her terror. Kirsty yowled her challenge and her fear-fueled battle cry right back at Raechel, even though the tiny cat form did not hold the same magic that she knew her selkie form did and would.

Unknown by the participants in the tapestry, hands beyond their layer of reality worked warp and weft. Intent on setting this pattern before their mirrors returned to unravel it they followed the warring destinies and zoomed shuttles after the lines of silver they saw. Pleasure thrilled through the owners of the hands as the monotony was broken for them by this little play of mortal life. Other eyes watched through time and space, and other hands began to reach out. The Weavers took into account the reaching of their old friend. They hand an Understanding with hir. Shi too had hir entertainments, and they always made the pattern more interesting, even if a bit more chaotic than first Seen.

Kirsty did not feel as her determination bore her further than it ordinarily would have. Her paws contacted the rock and she channeled every bit of energy she had left in her to send the rock downward, to fall short of the target. The rock rolled and her world rolled with it. She yowled again and cast her gaze about, looking for some ledge to attempt. Not for the first time she wished her land transformation could have been an owl.
“There!” and she leapt as best as she could for the spotted ledge. It was narrow, but the closest thing she could see. Maybe should would be able to find another ledge before it got smoothed out, unless she could manage to pull in enough to work the sticking spell on herself too.
Her feet landed and she immediately crouched, looking for another ledge. The ledge moved faster than she was ready for, sending her head into the wall as something struck her from behind. Her world reeled as something else grabbed her, and she found herself falling through the wall. What little was in her stomach still emptied itself as she transited, getting lost in Between.
A large hand. Being slammed roughly onto her back and forced back to her other form. Galaxies blazing into her eyes and taking her to the edge of madness, but only teetering at the edge, as if it was time to dance beneath the moon and shi would no longer be escaped to keep watch over a ball of fur. Screeches and bellows that were not her own and a sickening crack in another part of the in Between. The voices of the sea and moon. Then silence.
With a jolt she sat up, caught sight of several people and a chamber. Her eyes locked with those of Ven’thrith and she felt the squeeze of his hand on her shoulder lessen. The galaxies stopped their insane whirl and gentled into full moons.
Kirsty heaved a sigh of relief. She wasn’t dead. Guilt immediately consumed her. “Raechel? Where is she? Lilitu? That black Hound?”
“She will be dealt with.” A cool voice touched her ears.
Ven’thrith swelled like a storm over Mara’s waters. Kirsty could only nod as he sent her back under a cloud of real sleep.


Thank you for reading along with the webnovel version of this book. This has gone up on the Web Fiction Guide, so reviews of the current story developing are welcome, as are votes.

Please do consider making a donation, or buying the complete book (or even the whole series, as it becomes available). The donations help pay costs such as editing, but also help put food on the table. Rather make an offline tip? Write me for a mailing address.
Donate Here via Paypal

Or you can become a monthly patron through Patreon!

As always, if you see any typos, please let me know so I can fix those, they don't always save when applied. I repeat that this is the webnovel version of the book and may differ somewhat from the print and ebook versions when the text is completed and through processing. Thank you for being part of the story behind the story.


rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-07-15 06:08 pm

Patreon updated

 Part two of chapter 16 in Selkies' Skins: Temple and Skinquest has just been pushed to Patreon for the patron preview. Patrons through other avenues will be getting their peeks soon. As I was a little delayed in getting it up it will be a few more days before I send the installment public.
rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-07-12 09:33 pm

Book Review: The Man Who Could Be King

 Book Review

Title: The Man Who Could Be King

Author: John Ripin Miller

Where to get: https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Could-Be-King-ebook/dp/B01N9KHCUF

Star Rating: 5

Age Rating (IMO): All ages

 

In school we heard about what George Washington did. Every year US History covered him and the other Founding Fathers, in more detail as our years went by. However we were never told about Newburgh and what he didn’t do, which is a real shame as after reading this book I think it should be covered in school. It would give more depth to the class. I can remember sometimes my classmates and I wondered why he didn’t just take over.

 

This is a book everyone should read. I find it to be a very well done historical novel.

 

Written from the perspective of Josiah, who is an amalgamation of the 32 aides that he had during the Revolutionary War, we go through the war with the pair. We experience the highs and the lows, the soldiers with no shoes or adequate clothing, and the shipments of spoiled meat. And yet, when the touchiest possible mutiny in the military ranks threatens the war effort General Washington does not answer the temptation to pursue a military takeover of Congress to install himself as head of the nation. He calms and turns aside the mutiny.

 

I also really appreciated the appendices and notes after the main body of the book. The level of research was extremely deep and I am enthralled by the supporting information.

 

 

rainstardragon: (selkies skins)
2017-07-08 04:04 pm

Selkies' Skins 2, Section 2, Chapter 16a

I thought that I was going to get this done in one installment. It did not happen. This is late, and hopefully the next part of the chapter will be ready before Sunday to get somewhat back on schedule.




Welcome back to the story! If you don't wish to use the Selkies' Skin tag to find the entries, check the ToC on the Sticky Note at Dreamwidth. Story is mirrored to myLiveJournal, from my Dreamwidth, as well as on a dedicated site. For story news and more, subscribe to my Twitter (@AmehanaArashi) or go on Facebook and like either THG StarDragon Publishing or Selkies' Skins. As always, the main tag for the full story is selkies' skins and the tag for "Temple and Skinquest" is selkies' skins 2.

Book one (Castle and Well) of Selkies' Skins is available in entirety in ebook format as of March 16th, beginning at Smashwords. The print edition is now available on Amazon and Lulu with Samantha Buckley's stunning cover depicting Kirsty and the storm. An audio edition of the first book in the series narrated by Illya Leonov and now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible, with other venues pending. He has finished "Book of Seals: Pearls of Sea and Stone" which accompanies and precedes Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well which will be available in full audiobook format soon, when I can get to uploading it finally. (click to hear what he sounds like in past recordings of other projects)


Interested in helping support the free version of this book and other projects? Visit http://www.patreon.com/Amehana



Selkies' Skins 2
Section 2: Temple's Light
Installment 40
Chapter 16 (part 1)
Opening the Way


The boom was followed by another and Kirsty could feel things moving below her feet. Ancient mechanisms impossibly worked into rock sibilantly hissed even more ancient chants in a language that Kirsty did not recognize, yet felt as somehow familiar. Whether Salena’s husband or the Hound heard these she could not be certain, but if they had heard more than the booms would not they be looking for the sources of the voice as she was?
The ice rose slowly, pushed up from below, far more sluggish than the lightning lancing through her brain as she processed everything and fought off magical overload and drainage. She could feel whatever things were turning in their beds feeding from her, tearing demandingly, sucking from stores she hadn’t even known she had. What grounding she had was weakening, and she knew that somehow aspects of her training were still missing. She tried to visualize herself as rooted to rock like a mussel to combat this force pulling from her, but never seemed to be able to connect well enough for more than a thread or two. Some force strained to raise her arms, but she herself strained not to, and to hold onto her body.
Something large moved below, coming for her, and she could almost feel a current of dark laughter riding toward her in this tide. It certainly seemed to know what it was doing and was not having the same problem staying rooted, controlling the machine instead of being controlled or some sacrifice.
Threads somewhere snapped. Dimly she had visions of Mrs Kitsch’s old Lightkeeper lantern lighting up, and probably the one in the nearest Lighthouse as well. If she could just understand what these voices were chanting, maybe she could add a layer and control what was happening, or at least free herself from the machine that was this abandoned Temple of Mara.
Ciarán grabbed her elbow, tried to pull her out of the box. “He’s found the switch somehow. We need to go, get away from the water.”
The cloaked creature stood and left the water alone. “I agree. The enemy is moving fast, or I’m no true Hound of the Cailleach.” He took Kirsty’s other elbow, helped Ciarán pull the girl out before he had even finished his sentence. Neither had been still as they spoke, but moving in tandem as if some cosmic weaver pulled twinned strands.
Neither even let Kirsty’s feet touch the ice. Some unspoken agreement had passed through the pair that allowing the water priestess, fully fledged or not, to touch the water would make the bad situation worse. Instead they held her above the water by her forearms, as if touching her any other place would cause some other mechanism to awaken. Kirsty, unused to being manhandled so, instinctively tried to kick out at them to force herself back to the ground. At the same time she attempted to pull in what energy she could to ready another attack, further fighting against the force that was trying to claim her.
“We aren’t who you should be kicking.” Ciarán grumbled as they arrived to the cavern floor properly, the pair lowering her to her feet once more.
Neither stopped their forward momentum, pulling her along as the ice cap cleared the top and the waters below began to flow into the room behind them. With the rising of the waters magic in the cavern walls, not just those halls and rooms below, activated. A dim green glow spread along everything, securing treasures in place. The chanting now was louder, more demanding.
Kirsty found herself thirsty for something salty and coppery, and it wasn’t a simple need to go out and catch a live fish with her teeth. She wanted to bite and claw.
“I can walk on my own!”
“Not going fast enough.” The Hound let her go, continuing his run forward as Ciarán dragged her forward. The hood he pulled forward more, as tattered and hole webbed as it seemed to be, and wrapped the once waving nightmare around himself. The whiteness of his spectral fur, if she could have seen it, was replaced by black. The change was swift, bones reshaping and jolting into new forms more fully his own, four paws now pounding the stone. Gone was the cloak that gave him the two legged form, spread instead in the matted black fur twisted and knotted from too many errands and too few willing hands to wield a brush and remove those cares.
Taranis eyed the churning legs ahead of him, then bowled into them to sweep the girl onto his back. He swung his head to the side to help toss Ciarán onto his back. As each landed and grasped his fur, in his proper form information about them entered his awareness in short bursts with the open circuit. At some point in the past, though he wasn’t certain how, the girl had been in his touch before. The scent of fire and hissing of serpents briefly assaulted his nose and ears, and the sense of a young male human-Hound willing to give his life and essence to protect her, and the answering of a basilisk wand to that need. Somehow, the Black Gate was involved. Yet, here with her was the Black Gate, and he was positive he’d never met this Kirsty in his long hungry life. He stuffed that odd knowledge and paradox to the back of his mind to ask his mistress about later. For the male the information made much more sense; Ciarán was bound to a selkie turned merchant-pirate, and the progeny was likely to come under his mistress’ care because of some injustice still on the horizon.
Taranis would be a good Hound and deal with all that later. For now the way forward was out, since the girl did not seem to have the sense to just open the gate and take them all to the Cailleach’s hall and cauldron for a nice drink.

Thank you for reading along with the webnovel version of this book. This has gone up on the Web Fiction Guide, so reviews of the current story developing are welcome, as are votes.

Please do consider making a donation, or buying the complete book (or even the whole series, as it becomes available). The donations help pay costs such as editing, but also help put food on the table. Rather make an offline tip? Write me for a mailing address.
Donate Here via Paypal

Or you can become a monthly patron through Patreon!

As always, if you see any typos, please let me know so I can fix those, they don't always save when applied. I repeat that this is the webnovel version of the book and may differ somewhat from the print and ebook versions when the text is completed and through processing. Thank you for being part of the story behind the story.


rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-07-08 12:12 pm

News! Big News!

I'm almost ready to release the next installment of Selkies' Skins: Temple and Skinquest. That's not today though.

---

I have some big news that I've been quiet about other than with a very tiny handful until the contract was signed. An author that I met in one of my author and book club books alerted me that Pen It! Publications was looking for an illustrator. I immediately turned around and sent an application as I had some free slots in my client space. Each client, long or short term, makes it that much easier to make ends meet. I was very certain I'd have time to do work for them as well.
A bit of back and forth conversation ensued. The result: I signed the contract when it came in and sent it back. I found word today that it's been received, logged, and accepted.
I'm now on staff for Pen It! Publications as well.

---

This should not impact my writing or personal projects. I won't be posting work for Pen It! on my Patreon, as projects received through them will be for books, though I retain rights to my work. I will be posting though when books I've illustrated through them go to print and are available (and where to get them), and probably include a sample or something similar.

I am still available for editing, freelance illustration, services through THG StarDragon Publishing (starting prenegotiation rates are posted on the Facebook page, but are not on the site yet due to life events), and narration.
rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-06-28 10:12 pm

Reciprocal Author Interviews!

 I have been interviewed for author Jen Selinsky's blog. Feel free to read here. I advise opening in a new tab.

Likewise, she answered the same questions for me for my publishing blog. Please enjoy. Again, I advise opening in a new tab.
rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-06-19 02:01 pm

World Building: Hounds essay on Patreon for Patrons

I recently finished gathering together all of my thoughts on the Hounds of Hearne, werewolves in general, and the other Hounds in the shared world of Selkies' Skins, Dragon Shaman, and The Shadow Chronicles. Some of this will later be made public, but not all of it. I do want to keep some things as insider bits for patrons, at least until all of the series are complete to my satisfaction.

This essay HAS been submitted to Astral Sector Alpha's multi discipline Art Expo as an example of world building behind the scenes work. It may be read live by myself or a volunteer at the reading portion, but I need to find out again what day and time that will be. Astral Sector Alpha currently resides in Calm Ocean, in a plot with looks rather similar in my opinion to how Seal Point looked at one point in it's history. I have absolutely no idea if that was the intent, as everyone was in a rather piratey mood when the move from Computer was made.

The Hounds of Herne/Hearne and other Fae Hounds

World Building Essay & Notes for Selkies’ Skins, Dragon Shaman, and The Shadow Chronicles

rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-06-19 01:49 pm

McCloud Fire Muster Parade

 For those of you not in the McCloudians that did not get to make it to the Muster, here is the Parade footage. It will take me several days to get the rest of the games footage up on my Youtube channel that did no go direct to Facebook the day of.
rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-06-10 02:32 pm

Selkies' Skins 2, Section 2, Chapter 15bd Leviathan

"Leviathan" is a tentative name for this chapter now that I am in the part of my outline dealing with the Leviathan self-prompt. I still need to also work on Etain and Finnol's part in this book more. For me with this project a tricky part is dealing with the concurrent parts that all depend on each other and how the fabric of their realities shift due to events in the lives of others and the butterfly effects of things happening out of the scope of these books but within the other two series.

This is part four of the chapter.




Welcome back to the story! If you don't wish to use the Selkies' Skin tag to find the entries, check the ToC on the Sticky Note at Dreamwidth. Story is mirrored to myLiveJournal, from my Dreamwidth, as well as on a dedicated site. For story news and more, subscribe to my Twitter (@AmehanaArashi) or go on Facebook and like either THG StarDragon Publishing or Selkies' Skins. As always, the main tag for the full story is selkies' skins and the tag for "Temple and Skinquest" is selkies' skins 2.

Book one (Castle and Well) of Selkies' Skins is available in entirety in ebook format as of March 16th, beginning at Smashwords. The print edition is now available on Amazon and Lulu with Samantha Buckley's stunning cover depicting Kirsty and the storm. An audio edition of the first book in the series narrated by Illya Leonov and now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible, with other venues pending. He has finished "Book of Seals: Pearls of Sea and Stone" which accompanies and precedes Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well which will be available in full audiobook format soon, when I can get to uploading it finally. (click to hear what he sounds like in past recordings of other projects)


Interested in helping support the free version of this book and other projects? Visit http://www.patreon.com/Amehana



Selkies' Skins 2
Section 2: Temple's Light
Installment 39
Chapter 15 (part 4)
Leviathan


Raechel gathered herself after she awoke and glared toward the surface. By the changing quality of the light she could assume that the human born whelp still refused to roll over and just die. There was more than one way to skin a seal or a human though, and she smiled at the comparison, not noticing the fish-like barbed frills beginning to break through the skin of her arm as she slipped further from selkie and closer to her enemies, the Finmen. For her there was no irony that one could become the things they hated, or once hated. She could now understand their desire to eat the flesh of both humans and her kind.

She was not weak, nor was she stupid.

Green wyrdfire played around her fangs as she grinned hungrily and turned tail. If the passages here corresponded with the way all of Mara’s temples were normally built she would be able to find the underwater door to the chamber where the large creature was kept. Perhaps she would even find the switches to flood the aboveground chambers if this had been made during the eras of the changing seas.

Raechel used light orb after light orb as she swam, unconcerned that they lasted in shorter intervals than they once did. She was tired after all, it stood to reason. Perhaps the color had only changed because of that as well, not the Taint that she knew still fought to counter the previous purification attacks she had been subjected to. She clung to it now partly because the improperly trained upstart had dared make the attempt. At last she arrived at a slick sludge coated door which seemed to have been raised fairly recently. She could see vague tracks still through the slime. It was not too recently though, but the door at least was opened periodically. The dark selkie hoped it was for feedings. It would make it more interesting, so long as whatever the creature as did not take her for food and instead recognized her as a fully fledged priestess and therefor its proper mistress.

Suspending a sickly green flickering orb in the water she searched for a lever, latch, or lock, anything that would open the chamber beyond. She heard the creature stirring, listening, and she cooed to it. Her whiskers shivered in anticipation. After a bit she suspended herself, hands on hips and tail moving just enough to keep herself upright as she thought, chewing her lip. No latch, thus the opening was a spell. She ran through the ones that she knew from her own people, the secrets that they guarded in the inner Temples that she had been granted access to, those secrets that supposedly helped spark the humans’ own magical heritage. Spell after spell she tried, yet none worked. The large being behind the door grew more restless.

She too was restless. She wanted this creature more and more, coveting it for her own. Together they could do great and terrible things. Perhaps if it proved strong enough once she had dealt with this trifling mess she could turn her sites to the primary temple, overthrow the High Priestess and the Lore Keeper. Raechel would prove to Mother Mara just how strong she truly was.

The darkness moved heavier in her heart, whispering further glorious promises. She smiled. First there was this little door.

She patted it lightly. “You will yield your secrets.”

Something turned. Her eyes widened as the mechanism raised the door and two hungry eyes peered back at her. Tentacles slipped out before the door was even very high and what had been hidden away squished through, impatient. A tentacle reached for her and tried to wrap around her. The great beak clacked as those balefire eyes brightened.

Raechel allowed it, staring the kraken down. She opened herself to Mara, a living vessel just like all of her sisters and brothers. The sea filled her and she it.

The kraken continued to bring her to its mouth, unaffected and severely unimpressed by the tiny furry thing puffing at it. This was a nice morsel though and it stayed still unlike the creatures on the ships it normally was sent on. If it wasn’t so blasted hungry it might even wonder what on earth the tiny creature thought it was doing.

The beak grew closer, opened. Raechel flicked her eyes from those of the creature to the gaping aperture. Death peered back, waiting to greet her and heal the broken and poisoned heart. She sneered and looked back into its eyes. Words from the old tongue fell from her lips, the first waves of the coming storm. Her eyes grew harder as the binding took hold, but far, far less effectively than such things once were. Mara withdrew slightly. In her minds eye the deity took on her more shark-like guise and turned the striped shoulder to her, averting her gaze and blessing.

If it hadn’t been such a dire situation the gesture would have stunned Raechel. To allow her attentoin to waver long would have allowed the kraken room to squeeze out of the binding just as it emerged from the gate before it was fully open. The wills battled, but at last the dark priestess won.

“What is your name, kraken?”

“Leviathan, Destruction, Death.”

Raechel smiled.

“Good names. Destruction, there is someone I wish you to meet.” She gave her commands.

Soon she knew where the switch was. Reaching fearlessly into the groove with the door above her she found the pull. A second boom went through the water and stone. She could feel the waters begin to rise.

Thank you for reading along with the webnovel version of this book. This has gone up on the Web Fiction Guide, so reviews of the current story developing are welcome, as are votes.

Please do consider making a donation, or buying the complete book (or even the whole series, as it becomes available). The donations help pay costs such as editing, but also help put food on the table. Rather make an offline tip? Write me for a mailing address.
Donate Here via Paypal

Or you can become a monthly patron through Patreon!

As always, if you see any typos, please let me know so I can fix those, they don't always save when applied. I repeat that this is the webnovel version of the book and may differ somewhat from the print and ebook versions when the text is completed and through processing. Thank you for being part of the story behind the story.


rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-05-29 04:15 pm

update

 I know it has been a bit since my last installment. I am about halfway through what I plan to post for the next installment. I have temporarily shifted focus to beading bookmarks for the upcoming flea market since I'm running a booth. There will also be bath products that my daughter made and some papercrafts my son made (we are fundraising for his trip we are taking him on, he does not know where we plan to take him). I have also been doing things like assisting my mother when she comes over with construction work (woodshed, roofing) in ways that I am physically able to do.

Writing also isn't easy when you think you'll have time, and then in comes son with his laptop and games. *shakes head*

I need to head outside again. Hopefully soon I will finish the next installment. Also hopefully soon I will get the new website copy to my web admin for the publisher site. I need to proof it and check links one more time before transferring the new pages into the folder for syncing.
rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-05-24 10:10 pm

I have stuff

 So this box of candles came in the other day. Candles go so well with books. I also look like a massive dork and did not realize the shirt was quite so.. formfitting...

rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-05-07 03:20 pm

Selkies' Skins 2, Section 2, Chapter 15bc Leviathan

"Leviathan" is a tentative name for this chapter now that I am in the part of my outline dealing with the Leviathan self-prompt. I still need to also work on Etain and Finnol's part in this book more. For me with this project a tricky part is dealing with the concurrent parts that all depend on each other and how the fabric of their realities shift due to events in the lives of others and the butterfly effects of things happening out of the scope of these books but within the other two series.

This is part three of the chapter. I am unsure how large this chapter will clock out at.




Welcome back to the story! If you don't wish to use the Selkies' Skin tag to find the entries, check the ToC on the Sticky Note at Dreamwidth. Story is mirrored to myLiveJournal, from my Dreamwidth, as well as on a dedicated site. For story news and more, subscribe to my Twitter (@AmehanaArashi) or go on Facebook and like either THG StarDragon Publishing or Selkies' Skins. As always, the main tag for the full story is selkies' skins and the tag for "Temple and Skinquest" is selkies' skins 2.

Book one (Castle and Well) of Selkies' Skins is available in entirety in ebook format as of March 16th, beginning at Smashwords. The print edition is now available on Amazon and Lulu with Samantha Buckley's stunning cover depicting Kirsty and the storm. An audio edition of the first book in the series narrated by Illya Leonov and now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible, with other venues pending. He has finished "Book of Seals: Pearls of Sea and Stone" which accompanies and precedes Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well which will be available in full audiobook format soon, when I can get to uploading it finally. (click to hear what he sounds like in past recordings of other projects)


Interested in helping support the free version of this book and other projects? Visit http://www.patreon.com/Amehana



Selkies' Skins 2
Section 2: Temple's Light
Installment 38
Chapter 15 (part 3)
Leviathan


Kirsty frowned, puzzling over the words, her eyes drawn once again to the spirit fire still flickering weakly about the sundered box and throne. “How though?”

Belial shifted about, trying surreptitiously to appease the softly grumbling skin that was unwrapping from his waist and attempting to wriggle her way up his back. The skin, however, made no such attempts at remaining hidden and managed to pop its head out of the back of his collar. Launching itself, the dark skin arched and dove for the box, slipping quickly before frantically questing fingers. “Salena! What are you doing?”

The skin landed in the box, her tail touching his foot as if seeking an anchor, but lolling itself open and flat within with satisfied rumbling purrs. Kirsty glared at Belial. Before she could confront him about having a selkie skin, nevermind that she could not remember hearing about one moving on its own, the spirit fires intensified. No longer contained to flickering over the throne and stone box they now covered the entire dais and island they stood on.

“You are not dead yet Salena, though if you don’t listen more often to the man that loves you it might come sooner than we all expect.” The voice rose every hair on Kirsty’s body. This was the voice she heard at home so often. The faint form that materialized in the water that trickled up from a hitherto unseen source to run into the pool again was also familiar, yet was as ancient looking at some of the ways the Wissefrau had presented herself. At her waist was the sword she knew of the Lady having, yet there was something broken about it, despite being unable to see the blade.

Salena’s skin, with a series of barks, grunts, and other sounds of seal speech, let them know precisely what was bothering her about her husband and the entire situation. Kirsty didn’t understand it, but he Belial’s lips pressed together and color rose.

He shook his head at Salena, then spoke to Kirsty. “The Black Gate has been in my family since The Lady and Astereth had their fateful falling out. He sired children before he lost, and one of his men ensured that we received it as birthright. The gate not only calls the Hounds of various Clans, but also can take pieces of the soul.”

Kirsty sighed, letting the issue of the skin go for now. “So, I might be able to use it to regain that piece of her.”

“In theory.”

The remnant of the Lady by now had crouched down to stroke the sealskin. “I would like to return to myself. I’ve been locked away here for so long. I have no idea how many other severed pieces have been sealed as I have. You should also look for this, it is here too. It’s how a piece of my power locked away.” She drew Meidh from the scabbard she wore. Though she held the hilt, there was a piece of the first third that was the only part that was seen.

They nodded, and Kirsty inspected the talisman, trying to figure out how to use it for that. No incantation leapt out at her in the filigree, nor in her mind. The neither the stories that she had from her Makay lineage nor the Marainion lineage ever gave any clues as to exactly how The Lady had been sundered. Nor had Mara been present, since that battle had been inland. Instead she tried for something less informed.

She focused her heart, where she would pull energy to for any intentional spell. She focused on the long need and drive of the generations before her to heal the deity that watched over them. Every ounce of longing and intention that she could pull from her line she called on and tried to channel through the gate. She linked it mentally with the vial of The Lady’s water that she carried with her in her pouch, and with what was from that deity that flowed in her own veins. She mentally tried to fold space and time, and felt the drain of it, reached out through the gate and tried to open it to give The Lady a path back to herself.

Once more the stone opened. Instead of being the black of night it turned to a lake blue, then to a sparkling deep blue as of a crystal lit underground spring. The Lady smiled wistfully, nodded at Kirsty, and then walked through. There was a whirling, Kirsty disoriented as if she’d ridden a broom into a waterspout, a rushing feel. Then the stone closed again.

With it, there was a boom that echoed the hallways and rippled through the waterways.

Belial paled. “Leviathan.”

Thank you for reading along with the webnovel version of this book. This has gone up on the Web Fiction Guide, so reviews of the current story developing are welcome, as are votes.

Please do consider making a donation, or buying the complete book (or even the whole series, as it becomes available). The donations help pay costs such as editing, but also help put food on the table. Rather make an offline tip? Write me for a mailing address.
Donate Here via Paypal

Or you can become a monthly patron through Patreon!

As always, if you see any typos, please let me know so I can fix those, they don't always save when applied. I repeat that this is the webnovel version of the book and may differ somewhat from the print and ebook versions when the text is completed and through processing. Thank you for being part of the story behind the story.


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2017-04-25 01:09 am

Book Review: Into the Hexagon (The Prime Insurgency #6)

 Book Review

Title: Into the Hexagon

Author: J. D. Stonebridge

Page count: 63 pages

Where to get: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ERRNJY0

Author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/J.D.-Stonebridge/e/B00OPZ1YQU

 

When this series was pointed out to me I did not expect how addicting it was to become. With this particular episode the plot of the series is advanced even further. We uncover a corporation conducting illegal and questionable experiments to go along with the Primes. The boys do not find Lauren, but rather she finds them. We meet three new Primes. The usual destruction occurs. Poor Tony and Lance seem to encounter violent explosions wherever they go. So much for being out of the military and any ideas of a peaceful life that Lance might have had. I quite sympathize with his momentary desire to go back to the desert! It would all be so much to take and I think that by this time the progressive forward movement they have to make simply to stay alive is what is preventing mental breakdowns. If you want action, this is a good place to get it. As usual detail is detailed, but fleeting. You do not have a great opportunity to luxuriate or bask. You get to rest now and then, but those are brief. As usual, this is a good read if you are looking for something light but engaging, and I do not mean light as in not requiring thought.

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2017-04-23 03:00 pm

The Prime Insurgency #2-5 (catching up) Reviews

 I have fallen a little behind on posting these reviews. They have gone up on Amazon, and the video versions on Youtube, but I forgot to link them here. So have a few videos. The author was kind enough to send me 6 through 11 as well.



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2017-04-23 02:30 pm

Selkies' Skins 2, Section 2, Chapter 15b: Leviathan

"Leviathan" is a tentative name for this chapter now that I am in the part of my outline dealing with the Leviathan self-prompt. I still need to also work on Etain and Finnol's part in this book more. For me with this project a tricky part is dealing with the concurrent parts that all depend on each other and how the fabric of their realities shift due to events in the lives of others and the butterfly effects of things happening out of the scope of these books but within the other two series.

This is part two of the chapter. I am unsure how large this chapter will clock out at.




Welcome back to the story! If you don't wish to use the Selkies' Skin tag to find the entries, check the ToC on the Sticky Note at Dreamwidth. Story is mirrored to myLiveJournal, from my Dreamwidth, as well as on a dedicated site. For story news and more, subscribe to my Twitter (@AmehanaArashi) or go on Facebook and like either THG StarDragon Publishing or Selkies' Skins. As always, the main tag for the full story is selkies' skins and the tag for "Temple and Skinquest" is selkies' skins 2.

Book one (Castle and Well) of Selkies' Skins is available in entirety in ebook format as of March 16th, beginning at Smashwords. The print edition is now available on Amazon and Lulu with Samantha Buckley's stunning cover depicting Kirsty and the storm. An audio edition of the first book in the series narrated by Illya Leonov and now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible, with other venues pending. He has finished "Book of Seals: Pearls of Sea and Stone" which accompanies and precedes Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well which will be available in full audiobook format soon, when I can get to uploading it finally. (click to hear what he sounds like in past recordings of other projects)


Interested in helping support the free version of this book and other projects? Visit http://www.patreon.com/Amehana



Selkies' Skins 2
Section 2: Temple's Light
Installment 37
Chapter 15 (part 2)
Leviathan


Kirsty blinked and narrowed her eyes. Belial’s brow furrowed. Both pressed their lips together but kept their eyes on the man of flame. The remnant gathered strength and a bit more solidity from some source, pressing nearer step by step. A dull thrum came from one of the vials in the pouch at her hip, pounding through her veins as the being came nearer. Subsonic, more felt than heard, several items in the cavern resonated with the note. Far above in the dim study with the agitated spirit entrapped in the crystal orb glazed and clouded selkie eyes cleared and focused, waking up and extending their senses.

In the middle of the spring a flickering of purple, green, and blue dimly ran along the stone dais rising from the saltwater and crackled along the sundered box. The box toned low, the subsonic hum echoing and concentrating there until reaching the range that Belial’s ears could hear.

His wife’s pelt shifted against him, a claw timidly scratching and poking. He ached to pat it, but dared not betray the pelt.

“No. I am not.”

He raked his brain for anything. The stone box kept attracting him. Perhaps, if they could get over the water and into the box, then he’d have the shielding for what he needed to do. The Black Gate rattled in its coffer, reacting to all of the energies, probably even beginning to open already. If he could use that, then that might solve the problem.


As Belial was processing, so too was Kirsty. Something weak and tired inside herself was half contemplating giving this being whatever was in the blasted box. However, she also knew that if he wanted it that it was a powerful object. A another part wondered, “Why give it something that it wanted? What if it was an item that might be useful to her. Raechel had wanted it it too, apparently, since that was how we met again.” This also was something this dark curling thing was rejecting as it tried to spread through her mind and heart. That part of her wanted it for itself. Other shards of her mind each sounded their own opinions, previous lives bubbling up from deep recesses, some in fear of what they felt in the boxes, others excited that they were so near.

The pulses, now echoing to her sensitive ears, both sent her off center and yet emboldened her. Shards and facets came together again in agreement. Who they had been and seen, what she could become after this moment, all that mattered was not giving in, tired or not. What felt as if an age of debate having flashed in the space of perhaps a breath. If she hadn’t apparently been skinned under her borrowed clothes her short hairs would be on end. Drums sounded within the box that Belial-Ciarán had taken from her after he rescued her. Steady, marching, dancing, raising in ferocity, a howl answered inside her. Racial and ancestral memories stirred, whether human or selkie she might not ever know should she live long enough to look back from this moment.

Words, male and female, sounded inside her head in a language even older than those she spoke. Though she did not know what they said she could feel the intensity, understand somewhat what had happened. Whatever was in that box held some key to the Lady’s loss of self, so too did this desecrated shrine portal.

The sisters had been driven out of what was once a home for them.

The light continued growing brighter, as if calling out. An idea glimmered, and as it gained strength so too did the light.

Kirsty pushed up, reached out. The chest passed back into her keeping before Belial-Ciarán could put up an adequate defense of it. Astereth stood between herself and the dais. Her other hand moved her sporran to where a male would traditionally wear it and the little selkie balled herself to have the Vials she carried and the chest together and hopefully shielded as she hurted at and then through him on her way. If she could get to the ancient seat, and the box hopefully whatever was inside would take care of the remnant and give her the piece of the Lady that was hidden here. Perhaps she could even find her way to her own time and place. She hated portals now, but if she could make a portal and make it work, she would be happy.


Belial reached for her as she burst out of his touch and protection. He saw where she was intending to go even as Astereth tried to pull more augmentation and tried to catch her. With a cursed call he followed.

Others answered him as he sent out the energy he had pulled from himself and out of his soul, the temperature dropping. The fear fed them, though it was not their normal fare and they vied for it with the guardian spirit here, but in return of his call some fed back what they could to the necromancer. Others tried to leap on Astereth, even if they only had the strength to distract for a moment, allowing the living to pass through their forms.

Salena’s sealskin shifted where he had it hidden, completing a circuit around his chest. He knew that if he saw her again he might lose an ear, she was still angry with him, but for now they worked together despite the literal and metaphoric distance between them.


Kirsty expected to be caught against something, to knock him aside or to be knocked aside. Unlike the living fire from David’s wand snake she felt no heat when passing through. There was only cold, bitter, bone deep, heart deadening cold, like spoiled disappointment and the odor of rotten cottage cheese, envious of something kept beyond reach. Then she was through, the odor and its taste clinging to her tongue like fur on a black skirt. Water beneath her feet and placing a water shield beneath them, her feet touching and then dashing over the surface like a skipped stone. Whirling around to face him again, kicking herself for exposing her back, she could hardly believe that had worked to get through or get her across. If she lived, if this continued to work, maybe she could experiment with that technique more later.


Furred figures swirled around Astereth when her eye found him, whirling spectral seal skins and human forms. Keens, barks, and bellows assaulted her ears, mostly female with the odd male here and there. Belial-Ciarán burst through Astereth, into the water. The water pulsed, sending a shock through the cavern, shaking the ground around them. Astereth laughed again at the sound of the splash, turning to pin Kirsty with a leer.

Astereth came to the very edge, rising on his toes. The wraiths continued to swirl around him, preventing him from trying to do anything to her from across the water. Somehow, Kirsty knew that for the Lilitu, falling into the water must be a bad thing. Why was Astereth not crossing?

Then Belial broke the water and flopped his gasping way onto the dais with her, water streaming everywhere and an odd moon pale glow outlining him, the same color as the selkie wraiths. “Open the box!” He coughed, then coughed more as water shot out of his mouth, some landing on her feet.

Kirsty grimaced; she opened the box as the drumming inside grew louder.

The temperature dropped even lower. Their breath steamed, the water smoked. Belial lurched up, still coughing a bit as if something squeezed his chest, not fully convinced all the water was out. She took out the amulet that lay inside, the drums stilling at her touch. A fossilized globule of the darkest, most hopeless night took the form of a cabochon set in a filigree triskele winding widdershins. Kirsty felt a great weight press on her shoulders, as if taking on the sifting of the entire world, older than she ever imagined in less than a heartbeat.

“We’ll have to open the Black Gate. Let me.” Belial wrapped around her, his wet seeping through and chilling her more than she already was. He hissed in her ear at the contact, laid his hands over and around hers.

The wraiths retreated, fleeing through the door and down into the waters around them as if fleeing something far more dreadful than their adversary.

Sweat ran down her brow, into her eyes, and down her lip as the stone opened and pulled on her increasingly waning personal reserves. This sweat threatened soon to freeze as what was kept within and beyond it poured out.

Dark forms flowed from the night and the salty water about them froze over. A grey mist enveloped the pair, and this too was darkening. One of the forms unfolded and circled around them, hooded eyes meeting Kirsty’s as it passed, pinning her and stealing her breath. The chill, the despair, the sobs and screams in her mind she knew. This before her was what she knew as a Defector. Yet, it was not ragged like the ones she had seen before, nor like the ones she knew roamed the country in her time. This one seemed healthy, and somehow pure. It wrapped around Belial and Kirsty, pulling them into a chill embrace but leaving them faced forward as others continued to pour out and drove for Astereth.

Astereth, or more accurately the remnant, screamed and backpedaled, releasing the strikes originally meant for Kirsty into these. They absorbed the blows into their nothingness and pressed forward, eventually engulfing and extinguishing his flame. All that remained was the wraith of a man in ancient garb Kirsty still could not quite place. Then they pulled him within the Black Gate, leaving the one holding Kirsty and Belial in place.

Slowly it released them. Bowed.

His voice hissed and raked low, popped like coal in the grate, growled softly like a dog still on guard. “The Cwn Annwfn and Gwyllgi recognize the current guardians of the Cailleach’s Black Gate. We welcome helping the possible Cauldron of the Sisters of Lake and Sea and,” he paused, sniffing, “someone that participates in the Wild Hunt? You smell rather like we do.” He glanced to Belial, “Also I suppose it is good someone of your blood makes up for it and protects one of the selkies, after what that Thing did to this one’s Ladies.”

Kirsty shivered, the air still and chill as if a Thing were in the room. There were no flashbacks to a younger time, nor memories of the times she had encountered them though, and this being before her felt Untainted, Pure. “Thank you?”

The being before her nodded, stood. Below the cowl a black snout briefly flashed fangs. He bent down and pulled the cowl back from his face enough to lap at the water, seeming to drink easily despite the thick ice blocking access. “You should reclaim the fragment of your Lady before you leave this place, Mistress. I do not know what other adversary to you is near, but my fur is still on end.” He rose, having washed the taste of Taint from his mouth.

 

Thank you for reading along with the webnovel version of this book. This has gone up on the Web Fiction Guide, so reviews of the current story developing are welcome, as are votes.

Please do consider making a donation, or buying the complete book (or even the whole series, as it becomes available). The donations help pay costs such as editing, but also help put food on the table. Rather make an offline tip? Write me for a mailing address.
Donate Here via Paypal

Or you can become a monthly patron through Patreon!

As always, if you see any typos, please let me know so I can fix those, they don't always save when applied. I repeat that this is the webnovel version of the book and may differ somewhat from the print and ebook versions when the text is completed and through processing. Thank you for being part of the story behind the story.


rainstardragon: (Default)
2017-04-19 12:34 am

Book Review: The One In Light

Book Review

Title: The One In Light

Author: J. D. Stonebridge

Where to get: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E6RHBEK

 

The writing took me a little to settle into since it felt a little stilted. However the slightly stilted language also worked for the setting and the character’s mindset. It would not have been as convincing if the writing in the first chapter were smoother given the history of the character. One would expect things to seem a little fractured also given how we come into this story with a missing woman. The initial difficulty could also have been the result of a sick child in the household interrupting my immersion. Either way, certainly no points lost in my mental reckoning. This also smoothes out later

 

Then we find the connections to the unexplainable things that most of society would rather avoid thinking about too deeply. Aliens, supernatural? And yet it seems to have some sort of scientific weight behind this mysterious discovery. We then follow the missing girl’s boyfriend and brother to discover a young woman that has lost a sibling of her own.

 

The pacing of this story seemed about right to me, and the level of detail was brief but not in a detracting manner. It moves you along, following the frustration that a worried brother or boyfriend would feel. This is not the story you want if you want to be leisurely steeped in description. This is an unapologetic thriller. If you have some uninterrupted time then you will get through this quickly. I wish it had been longer. Even with all of the unexpected interruptions I managed to finish in less than a day. I normally read longer works, and this left off at a rather harsh (to me) cliffhanger so I am very glad that this is the first in a series. It reminds me of the serial novels that were released around the same time when I was young by Steven King (Green Mile) and John Saul (Blackstone Chronicles if memory serves). Short, fast reads for those with time constraints. I hesitate to call this a novel, and it even seems a little short to call a novella. I would call it more of an installment of a novel, which is not a bad thing at all. Just different and not a format I often read in other than a few for internet authors that I follow. I plan to read the next of this series as soon as possible. Certainly an enjoyable way to pass the time, and cliffhangers drive me nuts.

 

I am curious about the mysterious stone and what role it will have in the future parts of the story. I am expecting it to be an artifact that has heavy influence on all parts of the tale.

 

Regarding technical details of the book itself I found very few typos to trip me. What I did find I believe to be mere stylistic matters. Plot progression so far I cannot say much about, I believe I will have to read a few books in before I can start to form any idea on whether there are any unexpected twists or anything like that, which Amazon sometimes asks about.

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2017-04-14 01:14 pm

Dragon Hearts RPG URL Change



Dragon Hearts’ url is changing! Please make sure to update your bookmarks. The new one is www.dragonheartsrpg.com
 

Dragon Hearts is a browser based text roleplaying game based in the realm of Rhian. You play as a dragon, although in interpersonal role play you may decide to become a shapeshifter dragon. Play co-op or play alone, discover mini games and find your home. Go questing as your level grows, maybe discover things no dragon still knows.

Dragon Hearts (DH) logo done by none other than Salaiek.