A Costly Crown: A Short Story #AmWriting #Monday’sMuse #Writing

He sat at the ready, bow string drawn tight, pressing against the weight of his fingers. He had them in his sights, all three of them, still he couldn’t bring himself to release the arrows.

They had fled, left the country, abandoned their kingdom in guises worse than poppers. They had transformed themselves into scavengers.

It was the worst of shame.

There was still the evidence of pride among them. The queen wore her antlers as high as she wore her crown, regal, majestic, invoking awe. It seemed she had not changed much even though she had shifted her form.

Merris watched them from his hiding place, his fingers growing numb, even as dread crept up the walls of his belly. He only had one mission, one task. Hunt the vile Queen, remove her from the land of the living and send her children with her.

But they were innocent. They had not done the wicked deeds their mother had done. They did not deserve her fate. Merris remembered her daughter’s pleas, the way the eldest especially begged her mother before the court of peers for mercy for a man and his family.

The Queen had struck the young woman, drawing blood that stained her honey skin. Her heart was not like her mother’s, nor was her sister’s. They were her prisoners in the palace even as they were now her prisoners in flight.

And how little the woman thought of them, even now, even though Merris knew they had been the ones to save her life. And how had she repaid them for their treason? She’d turned them into wild pigs. She hadn’t even given them the dignity to be her caves.

One of the boar heads turned his direction, stopping in her tracks. Her obsidian eyes landed upon him even in the lengthening darkness. Merris lowered his bow.

Because of his gift, he could see the sorrow in her gaze. Misery and hell lay ahead of her and her sister, its current form that of a reindeer. There was no telling what it would become once they found a hole to hide in. The Queen’s wrath would truly take on many forms and the retribution owed it would be paid in her daughter’s tears.

Without another thought his bow regained its position, his fingers loosed a single arrow. The reindeer Queen let out a shriek that was the sound of a woman before bucking into a short-lived run.

The boar did not move.

Merris work was done. His arrow had surely ruined her heart. He’d find the Queen’s body near the stream she’d ran toward. He’d take her crown from upon her then.

Loosening his purse, doing so loudly enough that he knew the sisters could hear, he hung it just in reach of their snouts. The charm their mother had put upon them would fade by dawn. They would be young women again. They would need money. What he was leaving them would hold them over for at least three months if they spent the purse shrewdly.

Three months would be enough for him to make things right in the kingdom, take his place upon his uncle’s throne.

Then, and only then, would he find the young women. Three months would bless him with the wisdom to know what to do with them once he did.

THE BEGINNING?

*I enjoyed writing this. I do hope you enjoyed reading it. These were my results for Monday’s Muse May 22nd, 2017. To see the original prompt, follow the link.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

3 Things You Didn’t Know About These Novels: Battle of the Books Which will be Published First? #indieauthor #writing #Scifi

battle-of-the-books-letter-promo-4

Welcome to the start of the Battle of the Books blog tour! A creative adventure where I, the author, invite you, the readers, to help me decide which of these two novels that I’ve written will be indie published first!

THE RULES FOR THE READER ARE SIMPLE:

  • Read teaser chapters of both books. (NEXUS GATE  and WARDEN)
  • Follow the link at the end of the Chapter Teaser back to the Voting Polls  and cast your vote for which story YOU think should be indie Published first
  • Leave your constructive criticism for both stories
  • Follow the author site of Candice Coates as well as on social media!
  • Stay connected by following the blog tour to learn more about the books as well as about me, the author

BOOK NUMBER 1

NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL 

nexus-gate-4037-the-animal-coverBook Flap: Most important rules of time surveillance; never disrupt your host timeline and never step into the future. Decorated Surveillance Specialist Vivian Leona of 6037 has broken both. Losing her husband, John Joseph Spruce, in the Nexus of time past, Vivian mistakenly pulls the wrong man into the future, a man recorded by history as having died on that very day in 1837. The consequences for keeping him alive in the future could prove far worse than Vivian bargains for, especially in the American South’s New Golden Age, 4037, where any overt emotion or cause of such, like racism, is seen as a deadly contingent—‘conditions’ cured only by euthanasia. Slave foreman and bounty hunter ‘Tucker’ John Josephus Spruce of 1837 is called ‘The Animal’ by those he hunts, and a ‘necessary evil’ by those who enlist his skills, but are his ‘talents’ enough to keep him alive when he steps into a deadly snare set twenty-two hundred years in the future where he is now pawn and prey? Will Tucker John’s instincts lead him towards retribution for his abduction, or will they make Vivian his only ally while setting him on an unexpected hunt for the one not only out for his blood, but the very woman’s he’s purposed to destroy?

3 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THIS NOVEL

  1. The concept for this story, like many that I have come up with, was born from a dream that I had nearly fifteen years ago.
  2. This story is Book 1 of a series. There are 3 stand-alone books that follow the lives of the characters you will meet in The Animal, with 2 additional Books that act as spin-offs.
  3. The follow-up novels within the series are inspired by free-flow writing as well as the results of writing prompts that I did, here, on i came for the soup.

BOOK NUMBER 2

WARDEN:

warden-coverBook Flap: Ever since the bizarre death of her grandmother, Maeve Grandie has made it her sole purpose to be reliable, even if that means living a dreadfully predictable life. The only sense of adventure Maeve experiences is in her dreams. The only problem is her peculiar hereditary condition that gives her rashes on her hands and arms, turning the veins of her arms a screaming azurite blue, not only gives her weird dreams but causes her to sleepwalk as well. But what would happen if those dreams that carry her into a bizarre land where people can cause their arms to ignite with blue flames and tear open the sky with their bare hands is not really a dream at all? What if the dream world, Maeve finds herself suddenly trapped in, is actually a true world of wonder but one she is somehow destroying just by being there? Senior Warden Vincent Jasper of Trident finds himself facing that very real and immeasurable danger when a young woman in the ugly pink nightgown interferes with an arrest right before disappearing through an Unzoned Door in the Universe causing the very threads of the Cluster and Realms to ripple and stretch, putting it and the lives of all who live within it in grave danger. Not only is the woman unknown but she keeps opening Doors and is somehow hiding right underneath his nose. Can Jasper and his team along with the rest of Trident, apprehend this villainous threat clad in garish pink flannel and ruffles? Or will they find out that she is not the threat at all but the weapon of someone else, all before their side of the universe collapses?

3 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THIS NOVEL

  1. This novel is my very first, as well as, successful attempt at a summer session of NaNoWriMo, reaching over 56k words within 30 days, and being completed as a first draft in 96 glorious days!
  2. Every woman who has Beta-Read the second draft has had a crush on Senior Warden Vincent Jasper…Myself included.
  3. This story is also part of a series of 3 stand-alone books and a spin-off series that is currently in being crafted in note form.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ME, CANDICE COATES, THE AUTHOR? 

13423990_1727484007506026_7548579966493730799_n

Be sure to follow my AUTHOR SITE for a bio AND spread the word to others about this novel adventure that is taking place!

FOLLOW THE BATTLE TOUR WITH INTERVIEWS ON THESE FANTASTIC BLOGS:

Each of these bloggers are fantastic writers and creatives. Check out the tour on their creative space and be sure to follow them and their projects!

Click the Banner below for blog tour dates as well as links to sample chapters and voting!

Promo Sticker.png

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Battle of the Books is Here!: Which will be Published First? You Decide!

battle-of-the-books-final-promo

Go to www.candicecoates.wordpress.com for more details!

The official kickoff of the Battle of the Books, a competition between two of my novels where you the reader get to vote and decide which book will be indie published first has begun! 
WARDEN vs NEXUS GATE 

Read sample chapters of and cast your vote for the novel you think should be the first published.

Click HERE for more details!

NOVEL 1: WARDEN

 


warden-coverBook Flap: 
Ever since the bizarre death of her grandmother, Maeve Grandie has made it her sole purpose to be reliable, even if that means living a dreadfully predictable life. The only sense of adventure Maeve experiences is in her dreams. The only problem is her peculiar hereditary condition that gives her rashes on her hands and arms, turning the veins of her arms a screaming azurite blue, not only gives her weird dreams but causes her to sleepwalk as well.

But what would happen if those dreams that carry her into a bizarre land where people can cause their arms to ignite with blue flames and tear open the sky with their bare hands is not really a dream at all?

What if the dream world, Maeve finds herself suddenly trapped in, is actually a true world of wonder but one she is somehow destroying just by being there?

Senior Warden Vincent Jasper of Trident finds himself facing that very real and immeasurable danger when a young woman in the ugly pink nightgown interferes with an arrest right before disappearing through an Unzoned Door in the Universe causing the very threads of the Cluster and Realms to ripple and stretch, putting it and the lives of all who live within it in grave danger. Not only is the woman unknown but she keeps opening Doors and is somehow hiding right underneath his nose.

Can Jasper and his team along with the rest of Trident, apprehend this villainous threat clad in garish pink flannel and ruffles? Or will they find out that she is not the threat at all but the weapon of someone else, all before their side of the universe collapses?

nexus-gate-4037-the-animal-coverNOVEL 2: NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL

 

Book Flap: Most important rules of time surveillance; never disrupt your host timeline and never step into the future. Decorated Surveillance Specialist Vivian Leona of 6037 has broken both.

Losing her husband, John Joseph Spruce, in the Nexus of time past, Vivian mistakenly pulls the wrong man into the future, a man recorded by history as having died on that very day in 1837. The consequences for keeping him alive in the future could prove far worse than Vivian bargains for, especially in the American South’s New Golden Age, 4037, where any overt emotion or cause of such, like racism, is seen as a deadly contingent—‘conditions’ cured only by euthanasia.

Slave foreman and bounty hunter ‘Tucker’ John Josephus Spruce of 1837 is called ‘The Animal’ by those he hunts, and a ‘necessary evil’ by those who enlist his skills, but are his ‘talents’ enough to keep him alive when he steps into a deadly snare set twenty-two hundred years in the future where he is now pawn and prey?

Will Tucker John’s instincts lead him towards retribution for his abduction, or will they make Vivian his only ally while setting him on an unexpected hunt for the one not only out for his blood, but the very woman’s he’s purposed to destroy?

RULES FOR THE READER:

  • Read teaser chapters of both books. (NEXUS GATE  and WARDEN)
  • Follow the link at the end of the Chapter Teaser back to the Voting Polls here and cast your vote for which story YOU think should be indie Published first
  • Leave your constructive criticism for both stories
  • Follow www.candicecoates.wordpress.com!

See you at the battle!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Weaver’s Threads: A Short Story

This was originally published March 12th, 2014

“Don’t press too hard or you’ll break them.  Remember, Illa, the threads are fragile. You must,”

“Handle them with care.” Illa finished the rebuke as it slid like honey from her mentor’s lips.

Vero gently pinched the young girl’s cheeks and winked at her. “If you know this, Illa than why must I always remind you?” She sighed, her query more rhetorical than anything. She sighed because she knew Illa would answer her anyway.

Illa’s head rolled on her shoulder’s. Her expression full of drama and dissatisfaction. “I don’t want to do this,” she said. “I am not meant to be a weaver.”

Vero did not respond. Instead, she kept her back to Illa and continued pulling the threads of her own work. Illa spoke on. “I should be out there, doing something else, something more meaningful. This is useless.” She plucked one of the threads with her finger. The taught line made a twanging sound that caused Vero’s shoulders to kiss her ears.

As if gliding on air, Vero was back at Illa’s side, her hands spread as if trying to calm the workings of Illa’s weaving. When the resonating finally died down completely, she took Illa’s hands in hers and squeezed with a terrible force. Her obsidian eyes suddenly seemed darker than usual.

“Never do that again! Am I understood?”  Illa nodded, her mouth suddenly agape. She had never seen Vero so wroth.

Vero turned her loose and sighed again, this time from absolute exhaustion.  Illa had been her apprentice for months now and still, she failed to understand.  Fate was not a web easily woven. Paths of life were dictated long before birth, and Illa toyed with them as if they were nothing more than threads from a seamstress’ spool.

No, what they were weaving was far more important than perishable silks. Illa was called to weave threads of life, she was the only one chosen in her generation. Why didn’t she understand how important it was, how important she was. If she got one thread wrong if she muddled the pattern even a little…

Vero’s head began to pound. Her eyes danced around her weaver’s room, gently skirting around the crystalline threads of lives she had woven. She had taken such great care with each and when she was finished the breath and essence of each web was blown upon the child who would live out that path with words of blessing and purpose. The sureness of her fingers meant fortune or misfortune for each person who received from her calling.

Illa was to take her place but Illa did not understand.

“I am sorry,” Illa’s voice, shaken and low, pulled Vero from the depths of her thoughts.

Vero made herself to look upon the young girl with tenderness in her eyes. She couldn’t allow her to see neither anger or fear. Both would derail what little balance for the task that Illa possessed. She said, “Be sorry not for me. May fate has already been blessed upon me and here I stand. But you,  be sorry for those whose fates rest in your hands if you dare to toy with them as if they are guitar strings and not matters of life and death.” Vero turned away from her and sat down at her loom again.

Illa turned back toward the web. Her brow had drawn together and it was as if Vero could sense it for when Illa went to strum the threads again as if they were chords, Vero’s voice rang about her once more. “And lest I forget to tell you, the very web you toy with today is your very own. It is with that that you shall be blessed.”

Illa stayed back her hand for only a moment before responding. “You have said this before as well, Vero, and none of the webs have been mine before. They have all gone to chattel, dogs and the like.” Her voice was laden with bitterness.

Vero continued to weave. “We never know which web is actually ours, Illa, until the time for blessing comes. For that reason, you must respect each web and treat it as if it were your very own, for the tangles you weave today may very well be the snares that catch you tomorrow.”

She said nothing more. Illa stared at her once more before turning around and this time touching the threads with the care she needed to.

She finally understood.

THE END

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

What are you up to Today?: Why not attend a Party!

author-page-launch

WHAT: The Official Author page of your’s truly, goes live TODAY! Stop by, browse around, find out what’s happening in my indie publishing world, bring your favorite quote, and sign my guestbook blog post!

WHEN: Today and every day!

WHERE: http://www.candicecoates.wordpress.com

WHAT ELSE: Take a read of the full First 3 Chapters of my 365-WIP also read the BOOK FLAP teasers to the novels competing to be published first in 2017.

warden

VS

nexus-gate-4037-use-banner-picture-image

 

Be sure to spread the love by spreading the word! Follow my Author page and get connected. You will be in the know for all things that I’ve got planned for my literary future.

WWW.CANDICECOATES.WORDPRESS.COM

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Are You Listening?: Why You Should Listen to your Creative Voice

“Are you listening?” It’s a simple question that requires a single word answer, yes or no.

As writers, as creative beings, as people, listening is paramount in our quest for honesty and authenticity. (If you have been following along with this blog, you will know that “Authenticity” is an element that often shows up in posts like this one.)

What ends up happening when being heard is not an option, is walls begin to show up and communication is utterly broken down and destroyed.”

1349825677w51fa

If you want to see the results of failed listening, then just take a peek at how your parents raised you or how you are raising your children. How often do you feel like they listened when you spoke, really listened?

Now, before you jump the gun and think that I am condemning anyone, I AM NOT! I am just making a point. Parent’s (many authority figures) are notorious for not taking the time to listen to those who are under their authority. They, in their attempt to show their power, shut down the voice that is seeking to express a necessary emotion or thought.

They, in their attempt to show their power, or in their own innocent over-occupation, shut down the voice that is seeking to express a necessary emotion or thought.

What ends up happening when being heard is not an option, is walls begin to show up and communication is utterly broken down and destroyed.

In writing, when we are creating our characters, when we are building the worlds they live in, it is extremely important that we listen to what our characters are saying. It is imperative that we listen to the flow of our creativity.

Should we choose to ignore the ‘voice’ that is speaking to us, asking to be heard, sooner rather than later, that voice will cease to speak and our work will come to a screeching halt, with thousands of typed words being led to the slaughter.

Sure, you’ve made an outline and it is great! but you have to be flexible. Many times your story will lead you in a direction you hadn’t planned to go but it is usually for the better. Trust that voice.

Every one of us, when we begin to write a story, have an idea of where we want that story to go, BUT the characters know better than we do. We have got to trust them enough to let them guide our process.

I am not saying with your living children that you should let them guide you because, let’s be honest, kids can be whacky. But we should at least know they are heard no matter what direction we lead and or drag them in :P.

With NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) burning on the horizons, I hope this blog entry helps you in your prepping endeavors.

Listen to your characters, listen to your flow, and you will be one step closer to making that 50,000 word goal in 30 days or even less!

Writer's Table

*This was originally posted in October 2014.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Another Step: Flash Fiction Results for Monday’s Muse October 17th 2016

mountains-1660789_960_720

Another Step: Flash Fiction

The clouds seemed to open up right at the point of his desperation, casting a brilliant glow on the path that had seemed elusive and hidden for so long. Swallowing down the nerves that had cinched his throat, he convinced himself that all he had to do was take another step.

Another step. The thought of it appeared to be more easily said than done especially in light of the fact he’d twisted his ankle so badly nearly a mile back. The swelling pain was tolerable enough even though it had altered his gait and left him walking with a hitching step on tip-toes.

But the swelling, the thirst, the pain was all seen as sufficient exchanges for what he was gaining.

Throne’s Path, the fabled road that was said to only appear when the moons aligned once ever twenty years with the planet  Hidmal lay bright and open upon the dark terrain, right before his hungry eyes.

Legend told that King Hidmal, before his bitterness had grown beyond the size of the earth and had become as stone, a stone so large it erupted into its own planet, that he’d sworn none of his kin would rule from his throne that his kingdom would wane in darkness, hidden from the light of life.

But his youngest son, the one turned priest, had amended his father’s oath  pledging that upon each eclipse of his father’s stony heart, when the light dispelled the darkness, that the path to the throne would become visible to the eyes of the next noble king.

Illian had no desire to be anyone’s king. Nor did he believe himself to be king material, but he could not deny that he was ambitious. More so than that, he owed his debtors a king’s ransom one he’d either pay with his blood and bones or actual gold.

He’d chosen to pay in gold and took up the path of a fool’s errand chasing after Throne’s Path, a legend, a fable, but story clearly born from truth.

Afterall, Hidmal had no need for gold.

Pulling himself over another hurdle of large rock, Illian took another step.

THE BEGINNING…

I do hope you enjoyed the unraveling of the opening of this tale. These are my results for MONDAY’S MUSE OCTOBER 17th, 2016. To see original post and rules you can do so by clicking HERE. I have to confess that Illian has got my curiosity peaked. Will he find gold or will he find a winding path that continues to cost him more than he bargained for? Only time will tell, but I will give it much thought! 

**Image taken from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/en/mountains-panorama-landscape-massif-1660789/

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!