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New cover for an old story!

Tim and Sara” was the first story I published, and even now, 8 years later, it’s still one of my favorites. Every few years I try to breathe life into it with a new cover. Here’s the latest.

Tim and Sara cover

The victim of debilitating flashbacks, Tim is content to spend the rest of his life at Kirkbride, a state mental hospital. But his friend and fellow resident Sara is concerned that she has to save her soul before it’s too late, and so she devises a plan to break them out of the hospital.

Can Tim help his friend while holding onto what’s left of his sanity?

This story is just $.99 and available on Amazon and Smashwords. And if you’re a Medium member, you can read it there too.

Media Monday: Urban fantasy trilogy Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Media MondayThe books: Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, and Dreams of Gods and Monsters

The music: “Who You Say You Are” by Eels

Book 1 in this series was recommended to me at a writing conference I was at lat month. I don’t remember why, other than it had something to do with my new series of fairy tales maybe? Some aspect of storytelling or craft I was supposed to use as an example. Regardless, I’m always looking for something new to read, so I picked this up.

The first book definitely falls into urban fantasy. The main character, Karou, is a teenage girl living in Prague, with a vague backstory that’s slowly revealed to readers in little drips. We find out that she was raised by a family of chimeras, and she does tasks for the head guy, Brimstone. Then everything falls apart when some angels appear and destroy everything.

Book 1 is great. Great characters, great pacing, great job of giving us bits and pieces of backstory that fit with how Karou finds out things. It ends with this heartwrenching cliffhanger that propels us straight into book 2.

Book 2 is not really urban fantasy. It’s more dark fantasy that’s still clinging to being urban fantasy. And at this point, the little drips of backstory are getting annoying, as is the foreshadowing comments the author has started throwing in. “Karou wanted this to be the best night ever. It wouldn’t be.” “Akiva wanted this moment to last forever. Little did he know, all hell was about to break loose.”

Book 2 blurs into book 3, which was a bit better in that it wrapped things up, but it introduced a whole new subplot that wasn’t necessary. And again, there’s all this stuff thrown at us that the characters know, yet we the readers don’t. It reminds me of the movie Oceans 11. Remember the ending? The audience thinks they know what’s happening with the heist, but then we’re shown the sleights of hand that allowed them to pull it all off. Well, that works in a movie, but not in a book where we have a close 3rd person POV. We should know all the characters thoughts and memories and actions, but I felt like we were left in the dark just for big reveal moments.

There’s also a standalone novella, Night of Cake and Puppets, about how one of the side characters met her boyfriend, but I only read the first few pages because it’s written in first person present tense POV and is tonally much different than the rest of the series, and I just couldn’t get into it.

Overall, it’s not a bad series. I love the characters, especially Akiva, who’s that perfect broken hero who just needs a hug to help him through his redemption arc. Karou is great too, as a spunky female heroine in way over her head. The plot goes off the rails, but I still recommend the series.

The music for this series is “Who You Say You Are” by Eels. Not only do the lyrics fit with the series, especially the relationship between Akiva and Karou, but Eels are a great band that more people should listen to.

If you’ve read this series, what are your thoughts on it? Share in the comments below!

Weekend Writing Warrior 9/13/20 #8Sunday

Captive and the Cursed CoverMy new book, Captive and the Cursed (Heartsbane Saga book 1), just launched last week, so I’m going to continue posting from it.

So far we’ve been introduced to Storm Llanfaell, a “merchant” who managed to rob another country’s treasury before being caught and brought before the king, who ordered him put to death, but someone at the court intervened and his life was spared, although he was cursed and went a bit mad as a result.

This week we’re skipping ahead to his daughter’s POV. She definitely has her father’s spirit. (I think I maybe posted this years ago, in a slightly different form, in case it seems familiar to anyone.)

* * * * * * *

I stomped across the village green, a chicken tucked under my arm and my long blonde braid swinging down my back, not caring who witnessed my ire.

“Nyah, wait!”

Against my better judgment, I stopped with a huff and waited for Wynne Maddox to catch up. Maybe he wanted to apologize.

“You’re being ridiculous,” he said as he reached me.

Or maybe he dinnae.

I glared at him and said, “You stole my chicken; I took my chicken back. What’s so ridiculous about that?”

He glared back. “I dinnae steal anything.”

* * * * * * *

And here’s the rest of that scene:

“Oh, really?”

“Really. First, my chickens went missing, and Father must have eggs for breakfast. It’s only right, for him as toísech. And second, we’re betrothed, which means what’s yours is mine. So if I take something of yours, it’s like taking something of mine. Right?”

“Then give me your cow.”

His jaw dropped. “What? Why?”

“If we’re betrothed and what’s yours is mine, then it’s my cow. And my father must have milk with his breakfast porridge.”

“Your father dinnae even know when it’s time for his breakfast,” Wynne muttered.

* * * * * * *

Captive and the Cursed is available now at Amazon, or you can read more of Storm’s exploits in the prequel short story, “The Maiden in the Tower,” for just $.99. Then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

* * * * * * *

About Captive and the Cursed:

She must choose: follow her head or follow her heart?

Nyah’s merchant father raised her and her younger sister Payton on tales of treasure and excitement, but after he returns home from his latest trip addle-minded, Nyah must put aside her dreams of adventure and focus on more practical matters, like her betrothal to the illiterate son of the village chief. But when a roving band of barbarians kidnap Payton and the village leaders do nothing to rescue her, Nyah has no choice but to take matters into her own hands. She offers herself in her sister’s place, doomed to travel with the barbarian army until their price is paid.

The army is led by Brandulfur, a man who suffers from a hideous, painful curse. Although he’s officially in her country to aid his childhood friend in raising an army to support the king, he’s on a personal quest for the book that holds the cure for his curse – a book that Nyah soon realizes her father stole from him.

Determined to return to her family, she’ll need all the allies she can get. But no one is who they seem, including the people closest to her. She’ll have to make hard choices if she wants her life to be the same as before – but is that even what she wants anymore?

Captive and the Cursed is the first book in a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. If you like sassy heroines, adventures spanning the medieval world, and a touch of romance, you’ll love The Heartsbane Saga, E.D. Martin’s new historical fantasy series.

Weekend Writing Warrior 9/6/20 #8Sunday

Captive and the Cursed CoverMy new book, Captive and the Cursed (Heartsbane Saga book 1) launched this week, and the response has been great! I’m so excited to be able to share the beginnings of this world with everyone.

Today’s excerpt is from Book 1: Captive and the Cursed, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. So far we’ve been introduced to Storm Llanfaell, a merchant so confident in his latest exploit that he’s thrown caution to the wind, and of course was promptly caught by the king’s guards. His crime? Stealing the entire contents of their treasury. We’re skipping ahead just a bit to where he’s been taken before the king, Gudrodar.

* * * * * * *

“The gold and jewels you’ve stolen from me mean nothing,” the king said. “They are but objects and can be easily replaced. If it were just those things, I would cut off your hand as if you were a common criminal before hanging you.”

The king nodded, and two of his huskarlar moved to Storm’s side. The one on his right grabbed him, one hand at his wrist and the other at his forearm.

Storm gritted his teeth against the agony in his shoulders. His mind was still too clouded with alcohol to devise a plan, so he did what he always did in situations like this: stall. “You aren’t the first to try to hang me, and you won’t be the last.”

“Enough, thief. I have no further use for you if you refuse to cooperate.”

* * * * * * *

And here’s the rest of that scene:

Gudrodar stood, moving into the light, and Storm gasped. Angry weeping rashes bulged across the king’s face and hands, interspersed with deep scars. His left eye was swollen shut and his lips so disfigured they could barely move. This must be the curse Storm had heard rumors of. The king gripped the chair’s arms tightly, swaying slightly, and the young man moved closer to his side. Gudrodar waved him away. “Illfuss, what say you about his fate?”

The man who’d helped capture Storm stepped forward. “The god of the Llogerians demands an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. I think he would also find it fair to demand a life for a life. He has taken from you any hope of a cure for your curse. Let him be marked as a thief, and then let him share in your curse as well, before he hangs in the morning.”

“So be it,” the king said.

The second huskarl raised his axe, and Storm struggled to free himself from the first’s iron grip, still not ready to admit defeat.

“Father.” The voice of the young man to the right of the king echoed through the hall, and the huskarl paused, axe in midair. “Might I suggest otherwise?”

* * * * * * *

Captive and the Cursed is available now at Amazon, or you can read more of Storm’s exploits in the prequel short story, “The Maiden in the Tower,” for just $.99. Then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

* * * * * * *

About Captive and the Cursed:

She must choose: follow her head or follow her heart?

Nyah’s merchant father raised her and her younger sister Payton on tales of treasure and excitement, but after he returns home from his latest trip addle-minded, Nyah must put aside her dreams of adventure and focus on more practical matters, like her betrothal to the illiterate son of the village chief. But when a roving band of barbarians kidnap Payton and the village leaders do nothing to rescue her, Nyah has no choice but to take matters into her own hands. She offers herself in her sister’s place, doomed to travel with the barbarian army until their price is paid.

The army is led by Brandulfur, a man who suffers from a hideous, painful curse. Although he’s officially in her country to aid his childhood friend in raising an army to support the king, he’s on a personal quest for the book that holds the cure for his curse – a book that Nyah soon realizes her father stole from him.

Determined to return to her family, she’ll need all the allies she can get. But no one is who they seem, including the people closest to her. She’ll have to make hard choices if she wants her life to be the same as before – but is that even what she wants anymore?

Captive and the Cursed is the first book in a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. If you like sassy heroines, adventures spanning the medieval world, and a touch of romance, you’ll love The Heartsbane Saga, E.D. Martin’s new historical fantasy series.

New release!! Heartsbane Saga book 1: Captive and the Cursed

After years of working on these books, I’m super excited that Captive and the Cursed, book 1 of my Heartsbane Saga series, is finally released today! These books have been so much fun to write. I love all the characters, and I’m glad I finally get to share them with the world!

Captive and the Cursed CoverShe has to choose: follow her head or follow her heart?

Nyah’s merchant father raised her and her younger sister Payton on tales of treasure and excitement, but after he returns home from his latest trip addle-minded, Nyah must put aside her dreams of adventure and focus on more practical matters, like her betrothal to the illiterate son of the village chief. But when a roving band of barbarians kidnap Payton and the village leaders do nothing to rescue her, Nyah has no choice but to take matters into her own hands. She offers herself in her sister’s place, doomed to travel with the barbarian army until their price is paid.

The army is led by warrior Brandulfur, a man who suffers from a hideous, painful curse that’s been put upon him and his court. Although he’s officially in her country to aid his childhood friend in raising an army to support the king, he’s on a personal quest for the book that holds the cure for his curse – a book that Nyah soon realizes her father stole from him.

Determined to return to her family, she’ll need all the allies she can get. But she soon realizes no one is who they seem, including the people closest to her. She’ll have to make hard choices if she wants her life to be the same as before – but is that even what she wants anymore?

Captive and the Cursed is the first book in a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. If you like sassy heroines, adventures spanning the medieval world, and a touch of romance, you’ll love The Heartsbane Saga, E.D. Martin’s new historical fantasy series. Get your copy and start your adventure today!

*****

Plus, as an added bonus, if you subscribe to my mailing list you can get the standalone short stories, like “The Maiden in the Tower,” about how Nyah’s parents met, for free! The next short story will be out next month, so subscribe now. Please.

And if you have gotten these books, please make sure to leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, your blog, and anywhere else you like to review.

Thanks for your support!

 

Weekend Writing Warrior 8/30/20 #8Sunday

Captive and the Cursed CoverOnly 3 days until the release of the first book in my Heartsbane fantasy series! I’ve been working on this series off and on for about 8 years, and I’m super excited that it’s finally getting out into the world.

Today’s excerpt is from Book 1: Captive and the Cursed, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Last week introduced us to Storm Llanfaell, a merchant so confident in his latest exploit that he’s thrown caution to the wind. As many of you predicted, that wasn’t a smart decision.

* * * * * * *

Drunk on success and alcohol, he stumbled out into the wintry night. The street was deserted despite the early hour, and the frigid wind howled mournfully off the harbor. He shivered and pulled his fur-lined cloak tighter around him. He’d never been fond of the northern lands, especially in the dead of winter, and if it weren’t for the lucrative trade deals he could make here, and Brita warming his bed, he wouldn’t venture here if he could help it.

Perhaps she would accompany him back to Llogeria? She’d turned him down so many times that he’d stopped asking, but this time was different. This time he was rich, with the whole world to offer her. She couldn’t possibly say no.

He turned back towards the Iron Lance, and a fist caught him in the gut.

* * * * * * *

And here’s the rest of that scene:

He swung his arm at his attacker, a large blur of a man with the king’s bright red insignia on his tunic, but someone pinned his arms behind his back.

“Think you can steal from King Gudrodar and get away with it?” the huskarl who’d first hit him asked while he delivered another punch to Storm’s stomach.

Imbued with courage only Brita’s mead could give him, Storm grunted, “Yes,” as he struggled to break free. He’d expected the king to find his treasury empty eventually, but he’d planned to be on his way back to Llogeria before then.

The huskarl behind him laughed and pulled up on Storm’s arms, causing his shoulders to explode in pain.

“Enough,” a third man said as Storm gasped, his eyes watering. “You can have your fun with him later. The king wants him alive and unharmed.”

* * * * * * *

Captive and the Cursed is available now for preorder at Amazon, or you can read more of Storm’s exploits in the prequel short story, “The Maiden in the Tower,” for just $.99. Then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

* * * * * * *

About Captive and the Cursed:

She must choose: follow her head or follow her heart?

Nyah’s merchant father raised her and her younger sister Payton on tales of treasure and excitement, but after he returns home from his latest trip addle-minded, Nyah must put aside her dreams of adventure and focus on more practical matters, like her betrothal to the illiterate son of the village chief. But when a roving band of barbarians kidnap Payton and the village leaders do nothing to rescue her, Nyah has no choice but to take matters into her own hands. She offers herself in her sister’s place, doomed to travel with the barbarian army until their price is paid.

The army is led by Brandulfur, a man who suffers from a hideous, painful curse. Although he’s officially in her country to aid his childhood friend in raising an army to support the king, he’s on a personal quest for the book that holds the cure for his curse – a book that Nyah soon realizes her father stole from him.

Determined to return to her family, she’ll need all the allies she can get. But no one is who they seem, including the people closest to her. She’ll have to make hard choices if she wants her life to be the same as before – but is that even what she wants anymore?

Captive and the Cursed is the first book in a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. If you like sassy heroines, adventures spanning the medieval world, and a touch of romance, you’ll love The Heartsbane Saga, E.D. Martin’s new historical fantasy series.

Weekend Writing Warrior 8/23/20 #8Sunday

Captive and the Cursed CoverJust 9 days until my newest release, so I’m switching from my prequel short story – “The Maiden in the Tower,” a retelling of Rapunzel – to Book 1: Captive and the Cursed, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

The story opens with our buddy Storm, about 15 years after he rescued his true love from a tower.

* * * * * * *

It took all Storm Llanfaell’s willpower to keep from singing and dancing across the cobblestones as he made his way alongside the icy docks of Karjaland’s capital city, Alrikstad. He’d learned long ago that the best way to blend in was to pretend to belong; looking furtive or overly jubilant only drew attention. Tonight, however, when he needed to fit in more than ever, he wasn’t fearful of being recognized. Tonight, he was untouchable.

He tried to avoid patterns unless he wanted to be noticed, never frequenting the same establishments, but tonight called for an exception. He entered his favorite tavern, the Iron Lance Inn, a small nondescript building shouldering the other taverns, and dropped a handful of coins on the bar counter.

“Drinks, Brita!” he called to the proprietress.

“Storm!” A middle-aged woman, her face still youthful despite streaks of gray in her dark hair, set down the tankard she’d been drying and hurried over to plant a kiss on his cheek. “I didn’t know you were in Alrikstad.”

* * * * * * *

And here’s the rest of that scene:

“Only a short time, on business. I leave in the morning, but I couldn’t go without stopping by to see my favorite barmaid.”

She shot him a smile that stopped before it reached her eyes. “Be careful, Storm,” she said in a low voice. “Word is that the king’s curse is spreading beyond his court, and the whole city is on edge.”

“I’m always careful, my dear.”

* * * * * * *

Captive and the Cursed is available now for preorder at Amazon, or you can read the rest of “The Maiden in the Tower” for just $.99. Then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

* * * * * * *

About Captive and the Cursed:

She must choose: follow her head or follow her heart?

Nyah’s merchant father raised her and her younger sister Payton on tales of treasure and excitement, but after he returns home from his latest trip addle-minded, Nyah must put aside her dreams of adventure and focus on more practical matters, like her betrothal to the illiterate son of the village chief. But when a roving band of barbarians kidnap Payton and the village leaders do nothing to rescue her, Nyah has no choice but to take matters into her own hands. She offers herself in her sister’s place, doomed to travel with the barbarian army until their price is paid.

The army is led by Brandulfur, a man who suffers from a hideous, painful curse. Although he’s officially in her country to aid his childhood friend in raising an army to support the king, he’s on a personal quest for the book that holds the cure for his curse – a book that Nyah soon realizes her father stole from him.

Determined to return to her family, she’ll need all the allies she can get. But no one is who they seem, including the people closest to her. She’ll have to make hard choices if she wants her life to be the same as before – but is that even what she wants anymore?

Captive and the Cursed is the first book in a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. If you like sassy heroines, adventures spanning the medieval world, and a touch of romance, you’ll love The Heartsbane Saga, E.D. Martin’s new historical fantasy series.

Friday Five: women’s fiction author Jeanne Felfe

friday fiveToday’s Friday Five focus is Jeanne Felfe, author of women’s fiction short stories and novels.

Jeanne Felfe grew up in hurricane country and often writes as if a storm is at her back. A South Texas beach bunny—and still very much a Texan—she long ago transplanted to the Midwest, where she insists on growing tropical plants to feel at home. She’s going for a record for the longest engagement—she’s been perpetually engaged to her sweetie since 2008—with no plans to tie that knot. She writes stories from the heart, finding inspiration in songs and everyday life.

Bridge to Us is a cross between a women’s fiction life journey and a second chances romance. Julianne’s husband walked out; Jokob’s wife died. Together they must find a way to mend their broken hearts, bridge their differences and find love again.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Jeanne Felfe head shot1. Where do your inspiration and ideas for your stories come from?

Quite often it’s a flash of inspiration out of the blue. Other times it might be a line in a song or a news story. My current work in progress is a cross between women’s fiction, coming of age, and suspense. That one came to me one morning while I was cooking breakfast. I had an image float through my head of the pastor’s son gone missing. When I asked what happened, this 14 year old Somali refugee began to tell me her story.

2. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

The gift of helping others through their darkest moments. I grew up with mental illness surrounding me, so it seems to be a knack of mine.

3. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? How do you deal with this?

Not really. I generally start with dialogue and build the scene around that. I know some authors have trouble writing deeply emotional scenes, but those seem to be my forte.

4. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why? What was the best thing about that job and why?

One week waiting tables at a newly opened Mexican food restaurant – because people can be mean and rude to waitstaff. I can’t think of anything good about it except that it helped me be extremely nice to waitstaff.

5. What’s your current writing project and what are your writing plans for the near future?

I’ve completed The Things We Do Not Speak Of up to the point of beta readers, and will be starting revisions based on that feedback. Once complete, I will be shopping for an agent. I’m currently researching to start writing suspense/thrillers and have begun book 1 in a series.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Bridge to Us is currently available at Amazon. Connect with Jeanne on Twitter or Facebook.

Become a Friday Five author or read previous author interviews.

Weekend Writing Warrior 8/16/20 #8Sunday

The Maiden in the Tower coverIt’s been a crazy week! We started off getting one of those things that can only happen in 2020, like murder hornets and Tiger King – a hurricane in the Midwest. My power was knocked out for about 50 hours due to the 90mph derecho winds that swept through, and while my house was okay, there’s a ton of damage in the area that’s still getting cleaned up. The widespread power outage (about 125,000 people, or roughly half in my city) affected businesses and services too, leaving me to conclude that there just is no new normal anymore and never will be again.

On a happier note, the first book in my Viking fairy tales series launches in just a couple weeks! This week will be the last excerpt from the standalone prequel short story, “The Maiden in the Tower,” my retelling of Rapunzel set in the Viking-infused world of The Heartsbane Saga, before I switch to book 1.

Last week left off with Storm falling in love with Carys and vowing to rescue her from her servitude in a tower. They’ve been talking to each other for a couple days, and now we’re skipping just a little ahead this week to the part you’re all probably waiting for – how does he get up to see her??

* * * * * * *

“There’s no way for you to come down to the street?” he asked her as dusk fell on the second day.

“No,” Carys said, her tone frustrated, “my mistress locks the door and only she has the key.”

“Then I suppose I’ll have to find a way up.” He paused, considering possible options. “Do you have thread in your chamber, and a basket?”

She laughed. “Aye, but nothing strong enough or big enough to haul you up.”

He returned the next night at dusk; Carys was waiting for him at the window.

“Lower down your basket,” he instructed her.

“Did you find a magic potion to make yourself smaller?”

* * * * * * *

And here’s the rest of that scene:

“No, but I did find a rope.”

When the basket reached him, he tied the rope to the handle. “Now pull the basket back up.”

She did as he said, and when it reached the top she untied the rope and disappeared into her room for a moment before reappearing at the window. “I tied my end to the bed post.”

“Perfect.” Storm tugged on his end. “Here’s hoping the knot is secure!”

Night had fully descended but still Storm climbed the wall as quickly as he could. The street outside the window was barely more than an alley, but he didn’t want to take any chances of being found out.

Once at the top, he pulled himself into the chamber. The room was larger than he’d expected, filled with luxurious furnishings, but he only had eyes for Carys.

She watched him closely, seeming unsure of herself. He reminded himself that she’d been locked up here for years, with only a bitter old woman for company. And then suddenly he was unsure of himself too. What was he even doing up here? He barely knew this girl.

But then she smiled at him, giving herself a dazzling confidence. Storm smiled back, and Carys laughed.

“What are you laughing about?” he asked.

“I dinnae even know,” she answered, still laughing. “Maybe the absurdity of you scaling the wall to be here with me in my mistress’s chamber.”

“It’ll be a funny story to tell our children some day.”

Carys raised an eyebrow, and Storm’s face grew uncharacteristically warm.

“I mean, my children and your children. Not necessarily the same children.”

His stammering response only made her laugh more.

* * * * * * *

Read the rest of “The Maiden in the Tower,” just $.99 at Amazon, then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website. Also, book 1, Captive and the Cursed (which is Beauty and the Beast – with Vikings!) releases September 1st and is available for pre-order now.

* * * * * * *

About “The Maiden in the Tower:”

Rapunzel – with Vikings!

Carys barely remembers her life before her father sold her to pay his debts. Locked away in her mistress’s chamber, she doesn’t dare to dream of anything better for herself, until a chance encounter with a traveling merchant changes her life forever.

Storm has traveled the lengths of the known world, yet when he sees a servant girl locked in a tower, he knows he’ll do anything to rescue her.

Can Storm and Carys overcome the obstacles in their path and reach the happily ever after they both want?

The Maiden in the Tower is a standalone short story that accompanies a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. If you like sassy heroines, adventures spanning the medieval world, and a touch of romance, you’ll love The Heartsbane Saga, E.D. Martin’s new historical fantasy series.

Weekend Writing Warrior 8/9/20 #8Sunday

The Maiden in the Tower coverHappy Sunday and happy Weekend Writing Warrior blog hop!

This week’s excerpt is from “The Maiden in the Tower,” my retelling of Rapunzel set in the Viking-infused world of The Heartsbane Saga. I’m continuing on from last week, when our heroine Carys dropped her cleaning supplies out her tower window and onto a dude’s head. Her mistress then showed up and Carys ducked back inside.

* * * * * * *

Storm Llanfaell stood beneath the window, waiting for it to reopen. He’d traveled half the known world, and yet the woman he’d just met had just captured his heart.

The rain continued and still he stood there in the street, waiting. Finally, as night fell and his stomach rumbled in protest, he made a note of where he was and went searching for dinner.

He entered the first tavern his path crossed. As he waited for his drink and meal, he asked the barkeep, “Tell me, sir, who lives in that large stone house three streets over from here?”

“There are a lot of large stone houses in this part of the city.”

“The one with the shuttered windows on the fourth floor of a tower.”

“That be Llyswa,” the man beside him at the bar said. “A witch of a woman if ever there was one.”

* * * * * * *

And here’s the rest of that scene:

“Oh?”

“Aye,” the barkeep said. “She’ll help ya out of a pinch, but only in exchange for your soul.”

“Or your children’s souls,” added the customer. “She trades the wee ones all over the country, although the prettier girls tend to end up working the whorehouses here in town.”

“She’s a slaver,” Storm said flatly. Slavery was outlawed in Llogeria, but that didn’t stop the trade.

“She’s a cousin of the king, is what she is,” the customer said with a laugh. “That makes her a debt collector.”

Storm thought about what he’d learned as he lay awake in bed that night. A merchant by trade, he well knew that there were different rules for the rich and the nobility. Still, it hardly seemed fair that this woman could sell children with the king’s blessing.

The woman he’d talked to today wasn’t a child, though. Even four stories above him he could tell she was beautiful: long golden hair he wanted to run his fingers through, full red lips he longed to kiss….

He would find a way to rescue her. Even if she didn’t return his feelings, he wouldn’t rest until she was free.

* * * * * * *

Read the rest of “The Maiden in the Tower,” just $.99 at Amazon, then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website. Also, book 1, Captive and the Cursed (which is Beauty and the Beast – with Vikings!) releases September 1st and is available for pre-order now.

* * * * * * *

About “The Maiden in the Tower:”

Rapunzel – with Vikings!

Carys barely remembers her life before her father sold her to pay his debts. Locked away in her mistress’s chamber, she doesn’t dare to dream of anything better for herself, until a chance encounter with a traveling merchant changes her life forever.

Storm has traveled the lengths of the known world, yet when he sees a servant girl locked in a tower, he knows he’ll do anything to rescue her.

Can Storm and Carys overcome the obstacles in their path and reach the happily ever after they both want?

The Maiden in the Tower is a standalone short story that accompanies a series of fairy tales retold in a world of Vikings. If you like sassy heroines, adventures spanning the medieval world, and a touch of romance, you’ll love The Heartsbane Saga, E.D. Martin’s new historical fantasy series.

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