Vlanders could definitely put on a light show with those horns!
Covers usually take the longest to do, especially if it’s a commission. Every author wants their baby to look good, and my own projects are no exception. I’m very pleased how this turned out and excited to start some of the inside illustrations soon!
Progress – Concept Art. I was curious to see what Vlanders would look like with a little more realism to him.
Nearly complete! Just a little bit more to do.
The Mierna series gets capped at book 5 after Vlanders realizes the Fae’s protective barrier is growing thin because of his growing powers. It’s a bittersweet finale but I find it quite pleasing in a sense. The summary is a work in progress because it sounds too busy. There’s so many directions to take a fantasy story and mingle magic with modern life. So far, we have this:
Mierna & the Broken Veil
Book V – Finale
Now that Mierna and Troy have settled, with a potential new Dreamer on the way, Vlanders faces the most difficult decision yet. The Veil that protects the Fae from outside chaotic energy is growing thin due to his continuous visits through the barrier. Not heeding the warnings, Vlanders runs the risk of exposing his own world to non-believers and those who want its power.The warping fabric also draws attention to those of the Faerie Wilds, who want to claim its dreams and better take control of humans.
Realizing that his very existence has grown too strong for the Veil to handle, the púca must make a decision that every creature of the Fae dreads most. He must convince Mierna to not believe….
Book IV Snippet “The Dungeon’s Keeper”
Mierna crouched next to Troy. The vacant stone walkway above provided the perfect location to peer down at a tall figure bending over a worktable. Four arms, two of which with an extended reach, allowed him to better grab a pair of scissors across a second table while continuing to work on a clearly deceased specimen. Both Mierna and Troy crinkled their noses in disgust. Not the most pleasant of places to be in, the smell was soon replaced with a hint of rose petals. A few were sprinkled into a liquid after a rat-like creature was submerged in a tub of lavender goo. Whatever it was for, rose scent was a welcome change.
The room was cluttered with work benches and cold looking tables, their surfaces metallic and smooth for clean experimentation. Colorful trays contained a series of condensing liquids, all flowing through multiple tubes until they ended in a single drip within separate containers. Newly polished – and quite sharp looking – surgical tools had been meticulously arranged next to the main workbench in a fan formation. Finally, the tall figure lifted a dark hand. Smoke-like fingers curled in a motion someone to enter.
“Fancy dental joint.” Troy grit his teeth. “Or else a meat packaging plant. The heck they do here?”
Mierna could feel her palms sweating at the very thought.
“We’ve another, Sir,” someone said from the doorway.
“The norm, I presume?” the Keeper cleared his station as if expecting something large.
“A púca. Attacked his Dreamer.”
“Really?” There was intrigue in that smooth voice. “Bring him in, please.”
Mierna nearly cried when two Keepers dressed in their usual white attire carried in a large bundle. A thin netting had been wrapped securely around the púca , keeping his struggles under control. They disappeared beneath the arched walkway, then reappeared on the other side. The closer they came to the worktable, the more he struggled.
“Well, well Vlanders. I see you’ve gone and knotted your fur. What memories have you bottled up inside, I wonder? I always did say those horns would hang on the queen’s wall one day. What say you now, hmmm?”
The púca’s response was a garbled mash of tongues to Mierna, though his vicious attempts to break free continued. The Keeper, however, seemed to understand it fully.
“Pride has stained you, Púca. No matter. Let’s get you calmed down.” The Keeper briefly consulted his helper a moment before one of his long arms reached for a glass syringe. “Lucky you. The queen
denied your immediate death, but the matter still remains. Dried flecks weep for your sins. I pity you.”
The two Keepers held the ends of the netting firmly against the table. At the sight of the long needle filling with amber liquid, Vlanders cringed in terror. His whimpers filled Mierna with worry, but Troy stopped her from getting up too quickly.
“Wait!” he warned. “He’s little more than a frightened animal. He’ll tear us both to shreds to get out at this point. Wait for them to calm him first, then we’ll make a move.”
Reluctantly, Mierna nodded. “Okay.”
“Like he said, they’re not going to kill him. That means we’ve got time.”
A sharp gasp suggested Vlanders had been pricked. Mierna averted her gaze, but Troy put an arm around her for comfort until the syringe was removed. He could see those blue-green eyes roll back as the liquid took effect almost immediately. For a moment, they seemed to focus on the two above before closing completely. The struggles ceased, and his chest rose and fell in the rhythm of sleep.
“Now then.” The Keeper waited until the netting was removed, allowing him to handle his subject without restraints. Gloved hands gently lifted each hoof to brush out any grime caught between the cloven points. He inspected the claws, which he dipped into a liquid to clear away remnants of blood – Mierna’s blood.
Still watching from above, Mierna felt lost until a tap to her shoulder turned her attention to Troy motioning for her to move across the archway. Carefully, the two crept over to a winding stairwell that connected down to the main level.
From the latest writing in No’va.. They got jokes..
The new layout of the city was going strong. As Jenario stood back to examine their progress, he was pleased to see more members gaining housing opportunities, especially those with larger families than his own. Part of the wall was now in place, eliminating the need for enchanted stones. At present, the mage could seen collecting up what was not needed and discarding them in a large basket. He had to, for no one but himself could physically move them.
“Imagine the strength of having an enchanted wall instead of a single stone!” Shafari said when his companion approached. He picked up a smooth, brown rock and tossed it in his basket. It settled with a clink on top of the others. “Better protection.”
“Sure, if you want a funeral every day,” Jenario teased.
“Oh, posh!” Shafari grumbled. “It’s merely a prick, a bug bite, a slap on the hand!”
“Times how many other stones in the wall?” Jenario dodged a throw. He was all grins until the stone rolled next to another worker and tapped his shoe. It was just enough to get a yelp of pain when it zapped through the material.
“What is wrong with you?!” came a shout.
“Oh, for the love of…” Shafari brushed past his friend in a huff to retrieve it.
Jenario just shook his head just as the doctor came beside him. He nodded in greeting.
“What’s the issue now?” Nickademis asked.
“He got excited about an enchanted wall.”
“We’d kill him,” was the doctor’s unemotional reply.
“What was that?” Shafari returned to collecting the rest.
“Nick was just wondering what you wanted on your gravestone,” Jenario replied, receiving a chuckle from some of the workers nearby.
“I was thinking we could just dig a deep pit.” Nickademis tugged on his beard in thought. “Dump everything in it.”