Labno & Carter – Episode 4

HOUSE OF HORRORS

Rather than suffer Dan’s bear with a sore head routine, and because it was on the way, I detoured back home. I knew he’d have at least two sets of threads to choose from, so I left him to gear up and went ahead to Sahara’s property.

When I arrived, the narrow street was eerily quiet. On alert, I climbed from the car to survey the area, catching the twitch of curtains to my left. That wasn’t the attention I was worried about, though. Some of the creatures we now share space with can go full-on invisible man. Well, not in the sense of shades and bandages, and the phenomenon isn’t gender-specific, but they can cloak themselves from view. I digress.

When I was satisfied there were no immediate threats, I continued towards my destination. I pride myself on my instincts, but I have to admit, it helps to have cool tech. The RDU has some of the best toys, too. If there had been a presence in my immediate vicinity, my watch would have lit up like a neon sign. The thing is pretty handy, but it’s not infallible. Had it been a god hiding their presence, I would have gotten zilch from the device, and I’d like to say gods have better things to do than follow me around but Eris would probably take pleasure in tormenting me.

Not that I needed a reminder, the tattoo on my wrist was a near constant itch and the closer I got to my deadline, the greater the sting. Just another of Eris’s little amusements.

All thoughts of the tournament vanished when I reached Sahara’s driveway and spotted DC Glynn. Her riotous mane was tamed into a complicated knot, which immediately gave me hair envy, but that wasn’t what I honed in on. No, that would be the steaming cup of java in her hand.

I moved so fast towards the good stuff, the young constable blinked in surprise. “How did you-“

I raised a hand as I took a sip, savouring the first hit. Then, allowing the caffeine to work its way through my system, I met the detective’s gaze. “The very fact you’re my welcoming committee, and you came bearing gifts was a pretty good giveaway.”

She frowned at that, clearly not following my logic, but not disagreeing with my assessment either.

With a grin, I stepped past her and moved into the house.

I didn’t need to be told where to go. I followed the buzz of sound. I’d also inspected the site more than once.

Finding the room – or what was left of it, since Sahara had taken a hammer to her side fo the wall, I didn’t know which unnerved me more; the detritus left over from whatever had been housed in the cavity between, or the pale sickly pallor of the officers attempting to remove the evidence.

“Thanks for the coffee,” I said, honing in on Rahim, who looked surprisingly relaxed considering his wings took up most of the space.

He didn’t question how I knew. We’ve worked together enough to establish our own kind of rhythm. One of his first instincts would have been to protect DC Glynn from the horrors being uncovered, so giving her an important task – and supplying me with caffeine could be described as a vital one – meant she would be spared some of the burden.

“You’re welcome. I spared the team from-“

“Okay, I get the point. I’m a grouch. I’m also working towards hangry, so if you add frazzled to the mix, you’ve pretty much saved the day.”

One of Rahim’s brows shot up, arching above his shades in a comical fashion. “Coffee is not food.” He threw a bar in my direction, so fast I almost fumbled with it, worse, I almost dropped my cup.

Tearing into the wrapper with my teeth, I took a huge bite and washed it down with another hit of caffeine. “Much better,” I said, grinning.

That done, I turned to the techs working on the wall. “Show me what we’re dealing with.” My voice was sober, but not unkind. This kind of processing was new to the job description and they both looked green around the gills.

Working seamlessly, and clearly, they were a familiar team, they set up the imaging unit. It probably has a fancy name I’ve never bothered to learn, but this too is an impressive piece of kit. Basically, it records every detail of a crime scene and projects a series of holographic images to examine.

They knew exactly what I was asking because less than a minute later I was looking at the wall as it had been discovered. The majority of the plasterboard was still intact, but the gruesome image was still enough to turn my stomach.

Stepping forward I focused on the closest cocoon. The person inside, or the image captured of them, certainly appeared human. The man was naked, his frame positioned upright, arms by his side and bent at the elbow with his palms outstretched and touching the membrane as though trying to push his way out.

But it was his eyes that added the macabre factor. They were wide open and held a sheen so close to death it sent a shiver running through my entire body.

If that wasn’t bad enough, an officer stationed next door shoved his head through the gap in the wall, effectively pushing through the hologram right where the man’s stomach was, like a scene from Alien.

“DI Labno, you need to see this,” his head swivelled, making my stomach roll. “Where’s-“

“Right here,” Dan said, striding into the room.

In a smooth motion, he took my cup, handed it to one of the techs and replaced it with an industrial-sized travel mug before I had the chance to protest.

“Great,” the officer said, trying to hide his smirk. “We found something.”

Taking a large gulp from my new mug – more to fortify myself than anything else – I moved forward and prepared to step through the opening. “You heard the man,” I said to Dan. “Let’s go.”

Rahim’s chuckle and my partner’s ‘you’re welcome’ followed close behind me as I stepped inside the house of horrors.

Labno & Carter – Episode 3

BEAR WITH A SORE HEAD!

If I hadn’t wanted to follow his lead and explode out of my skin, I might have stopped to admire the sight. Instead, I closed my eyes and prayed for patience. When I popped my lids again, feeling no calmer, I was presented with Dan’s very large, very angry bear form.

In the beginning, having a changeling for a partner might have phased me. Now with all the interagency working, I’m actually grateful for the extra muscle, so to speak.

I’m happy to have Dan at my back, whatever form he takes; as a human, he looks like he’s capable of pulling a twenty-tonne wagon, and as a bear, he could probably flip it with a twitch of his muzzle. 

He was certainly angry enough, his protests, somewhere between a hoof and a growl made his thoughts clear, though his uncontrolled transformation was plain enough – talk about an emotional response.

“Quit complaining and head out. I’ll meet you on-site,” I told him, meeting his deep brown eyes, a shade or two darker than his human form. 

In response, the foul-tempered oaf tapped the door with his snout so it slammed shut hard enough to shake the car. To be fair, he didn’t put any kind of strength behind it, otherwise, he’d have flipped the Audi, no matter how many modifications I’d fitted.

Perhaps it was childish, but as I shoved the car back into drive, I threw him a one-finger salute and hit the accelerator. The noise he made, which carried over the sound of the roaring engine, sounded suspiciously like a chuckle.

“I take it Danny-boy just went full-on grizzly?”

My gaze shot to the navigation screen, my annoyance overriding my surprise Gibson was still connected.

“You wouldn’t say that to his face because he’d probably eat you for breakfast and I’d pass him a toothpick and a serviette.”

Aside from the fact changeling bears are much larger than their mortal counterparts, the only similarities between Dan’s animal half and a grizzly are the claws, and the slight silver sheen to his coat. Like his hair, Dan’s fur in animal form is a gleaming black.  

“Aw, don’t be like that!” Gibson said, doing a valiant job of holding back his laughter.

“Make it up to me and fill me in on what I missed.” Navigating the long drive which took me off the property, I glanced briefly in the rearview mirror. Dan was nowhere to be seen, but that didn’t bother me. My traps wouldn’t do him serious harm.

“Long story short? I was on duty when Miller called so I went out to see what the fuss was about. Lucky for me I had Drake with me so when he saw what Miller had unearthed he hit up the RDU.” He visibly shuddered. I was concentrating on the road and I still caught it. “I’ve seen some things since the world turned to hell but those bodies, that’s some sick shit. They were in pods inside the wall cavity between Miller’s house and next door.”

“Are we talking dead bodies?” I asked, trying to picture the scene and wondering what had possessed Sahara to take an axe to the dividing wall.

“I almost wish they were. But, no, they’re very much alive. From what we can tell, they’re human, and in some sort of suspended animation. Drake almost crapped himself when he saw them. He’s the one who ordered a protection detail for Miller. I only had time to call in a report to Dan and then we were being whisked away.”

“How did they find you so soon?” I asked, easing my way through the electric gate which was programmed to register the car on approach. It closed the second I cleared the sensor.

Dan’s jeep was parked in the lay-by to the left. As I drove past it, I had a vague recollection of disconnecting the buzzer on the front gate. Not that it discouraged him. He’d scaled the gate and bypassed my security measures. It wasn’t the first time. 

“I have no clue. I swear, Kate, nobody could have predicted any of this. I mean, we all thought Miller was bored or lonely, or something at first, reporting unusual aromas as she did. Even when you and Dan looked into it, we thought you were just humouring her. But this. This is some crazy assed shit. I mean, we hit a wall of nothing, that’s how they got us. The car just stopped as though we’d collided with an invisible barrier. I’m surprised we didn’t implode on impact or something. As it is, we were flipped in the air like a Tonka toy and when we came to a stop to check we were still in one piece, Miller was gone. How the hell is that even possible, I-”

“Take a breath, Gibson, and reel it in,” I said because I could hear the delirium in his voice. He was in shock.

Hitting a button on the navigation console, the map appeared. “I’ll be there in fifteen minutes. Hang tight, okay?”

“Okay, Kit-Kat.”

Given what he’d just been through, I let that go, though the nickname grated along my already frayed nerve endings.

Definitely going to let Dan eat him.

I actually made it to him in ten, my headlights illuminating the wreck still blocking most of the road. 

A response unit had beaten me to the punch. They were in the process of redirecting traffic, not that there was much of it. People still tended to avoid travelling at night, you never knew what lurked in the shadows.

As I parked, I spotted Dan standing beside Gibson and Drake. It didn’t surprise me he’d beaten me to the scene. I was more shocked his animal half had conceded to letting his human take the helm again.

Approaching the small group, I schooled my features so I didn’t set his bear off. Dressed in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt which barely contained his broad chest, he stood out like a, well, a bear in a china shop. Not quite the right idiom, but you get the drift.

It should have been a natural sight. I’ve been around plenty of changelings – unforms are optional when there’s a need to change your threads on the fly. It’s the reason clothes shacks are now a thing, pop-up stores providing an array of attire to protect modesty. But, clearly, provisions were running low.

“Don’t say a word,” he said, by way of a greeting. That’s the trouble with partners, they always know what you’re thinking. I really need to work on my game face. “Those were my favourite jeans. It sucks I have to replace them.”

Clothes burn up during a shift which, admittedly, has to suck. “You bought it for ruining my evening. I need coffee before I can even attempt civilised.” My gaze swept the others. “Do we have any leads?”

“What? Since we spoke ten minutes ago?” Gibson asked, shock gone to be replaced by his usual winning personality.

Apparently, my emotional leakage was showing its ugly head because Drake read my face and stepped in.

“How much do you know about Club Fractured?” he asked, snagging my attention.

“Enough.” In the beginning, the demons who invaded our world, known to most as the Fractured, had established a series of clubs. These weren’t clubs in the traditional sense. Basically, they were training grounds for the sick and twisted. A sort of incentive programme where soldiers of the cause could feast, experiment, and torture to their heart’s content. Some joker had termed them Club Fractured, but from what I understood, these had mostly been disbanded.

“The Fractured learned from their mistakes, so instead of advertising their depravity-”

“Sir, we need to check your vitals,” a medic said, looking directly at Gibson. That was another new addition. Each station has its own medical team. They are highly trained and hold enough authority that Gibson followed without any resistance. He’d probably been dodging the medic for a while.

“So…depravity,” I prompted, reclaiming Drake’s attention.

His smile didn’t reach his eyes. “Yes, members are finding new ways to hide their activities.”

“So, what you’re saying is, they’re still conducting experiments but now they’re being more sneaky about it.” At Drake’s nod, I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. “Is that what’s happening next door to Sahara?”

“Yes, and we’re talking someone powerful enough to swoop in and take Miss Miller without leaving any trace of themselves behind. To find her, we have to find them, and we have to hope we’re not too late.”

“Are the bodies secured?” Dan asked.

Drake nodded again, though he looked grim. “Yes, their removal is likely what tripped the alarm. We found several triggers in the house, as well as evidence they are running the operation remotely. They knew the instant we moved in and targeted Miller to learn what she knows.”

“Then we go to the source and work from there,” I said, turning to Dan. “We need to get to the house.”

Dan inclined his head, then turned to Drake. “Keep us updated on progress at your end, and make sure you get checked out too.”

As we turned to head back to the Audi, I glanced at my partner, trying to gauge whether it was safe enough to poke the bear. The instant I met his gaze I caught the vulnerability so kept my mouth zipped. That was something else about partners, you knew when to push it, and when to give each other a break.

Labno and Carter – Episode 2

PHANTOM GAMES

Bending to snatch up the feather, I felt the subtle shift of air and knew who I would find before I rose.

“Your timing sucks!” I muttered.

Rahim shrugged, drawing attention to his wings. The feather didn’t belong to him. Rahim’s primaries were the colour of autumn leaves. Pretty close to the shade of my own locks, so I make a point never to stand too close.

Great, now I’m making redhead jokes!

The feather was a baton of sorts. It was my turn to enter the gauntlet.

“How long?” I asked, squinting up at him. Rahim was wearing his signature wraparound shades. He wore them day or night, and he didn’t apologise for it. Not that anyone would challenge him. Warrior angles were highly skilled in combat; they were natural-born soldiers, created to protect the heavens. They were also the only angels with wings.

“Twenty-four hours,” he said, the deep timbre of his voice holding a hint of amusement like he knew I was running on empty with no break on the horizon.

“Shit!”

“Your timing sucks, my man,” Dan pretty much repeated my own words as he stepped out, pulling the door closed.

“You need your own material,” Rahim said, the humour now pulling at his mouth in his version of a smile. “None of us have time for Eris’s games, but here we are.”

Ignoring the jibe, Dan passed me a travel mug. I knew better than to hope he’d filled it with the remnants of my glass. He simply knew I needed to fuel up on the way across town. A little shake confirmed the mug was empty. For now.

When I felt the burn in my other hand, the one holding the feather, I looked down. The stark white was already beginning to fade as the thing morphed into an inky substance that ran down across my palm to my wrist. It settled like a brand into my skin, the feather now a temporary tattoo to remind me of my obligation.

“I hate that part.” Talk about an understatement. The first time Eris’s baton of choice had burned itself into my wrist I’d scrubbed off a layer of skin trying to free myself of the mark. But that’s what happens when you cut a deal with a god who enjoys wreaking havoc. 

I mean, everyone knows you should never make a pact with the devil, but in my experience, gods are the ones you need to steer clear of. To stop a killer, I’d agreed to participate in seven tournaments within the Phantom Games.

On the plus side, I managed to bag myself some cool gadgets, most of which I’ve used on security. People have a tendency to underestimate me, and my bullshit meter is fine-tuned.

“I take it since you’re passing the baton, you won your latest round?” When his brows winged up above the shades, I had my answer. Rahim probably cursed the day he’d joined my team. The delights of interagency working. Had he lost the tournament, he’d owe Eris a marker. Not exactly the deadliest of consequences, unless you accounted for the fact you owed a favour to a god.

“If you’d been in the crowd, you would have witnessed my victory.” There was arrogance in his tone, definitely, but there was also disappointment. We had an informal agreement to attend each other’s games, and I had let him down.

“I’m sorry, Sunny-G, but we’re juggling some pretty big cases right now. I’ll be at the next one, I promise. I’ll even bring pom-poms.”

Rahim looked perplexed, even with shades covering his eyes I knew they would be swimming in confusion.

“She’s saying she’ll be there to cheer you on.” Dan said, losing patience. “And as much as I’d like to stand around celebrating your victory, the clock is ticking and we have somewhere to be.”

“I know. I’ve been assigned to clean up crew, given what was discovered!”

I turned to glare at Dan. “You said she found bodies!”

“Now look what you’ve done, you’ve ruined the surprise!” Dan said to Rahim, who just grinned as he spread his large, beautiful wings, the orange tone shimmering like a flame as he rose into the air. Then Dan turned to me with a cajoling look “I never said what kind of bodies, and I knew you’d want in on the action.”

“Don’t take too long,” Rahim said. “Or I might just steal all the fun. I deserve it after the last five hours.”

In response I turned my back and felt the powerful draft caused by his retreat, the laugh carried close on its heels.

“Change of plans,” I told Dan, slapping my palm on the biometric pad so I could duck inside for the keys. “We’re talking my car.” 

Dan looked towards the lean-to attached to the house and groaned.

My car was like everything else on the property, it had been fitted with security features and didn’t much resemble its original shape. It was an Audi – on steroids.

I didn’t pause for discussion when I stepped back outside. I simply pinned him with a glare. “Start talking.”

“Admit it, if I’d told you the RDU were invited to the party you wouldn’t have been so quick to jump in and it’s our case.”

The Realm Defense Network or RDU were brought in at the beginning of the war, now they were a specialist team.

“It is our case and they’re duty-bound to keep us informed, but you might have let me have a little shut-eye first.”

“No time for that, we have twenty-four hours!”

“Oh, we have twenty-four hours. I didn’t realise you were taking part in the tournament with me.”

I missed his comeback, no doubt a good one, when I climbed into the driver’s seat and contemplated setting off one of my booby traps. Then I watched Dan trying to squeeze his large frame into my passenger seat and decided it was punishment enough.

While I waited, I looked out across the land and tried to find the calm it usually instilled in me. The place had been a steal, a two-storey bungalow sitting squarely in the middle of three acres. People tended to stick to cities, especially after the war, but the small village of Friendly suited me just fine, and I’ve created some pretty inventive ways to keep out the vermin.

A call came through a second after I started the engine so the navigation console lit up to display Gibson, another member of the team, and he didn’t look happy. 

“We’ve lost Mrs Miller,” he said, without preamble.

“How the hell can you lose her?” Dan growled beside me, so pissed the energy in the car turned dangerous.

“We were escorting her to a safe house, and we were ambushed.” As he spoke, his camera panned out so we could see the wreckage behind him. He was lucky to be alive.

“Send me you current location,” I said, shoving the car into drive before turning to Dan. “Do you think you might have missed a few things out. like what the fuck is going on?”

“Stop the car,” Dan ordered, still growling.

I knew what that meant. My partner was done with being confined inside a box, and because I could literally feel his energy pushing against me, I hit the brake.

“Can this day get any worse?” I said, stupidly tempting fate, and watched Dan explode from the car.

__________

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time,

Mel

Labno and Carter – Episode 1

The idea for this series formed as I was dining with my fellow students on a supervision course I started earlier in the year. One student, Kate, mentioned her childhood dream of working for the police force and I could picture her character instantly. Of course, detective Kate Labno is in my world, and things are a little different here! Enjoy episode 1!

NO REST FOR THE WICKED!

After taking a moment to admire the deep red liquid filling my glass, I quit messing around and took a swig. Okay, so I took a few, but I had plenty, it was more fishbowl than wine glass. 

The buzz it gave me drowned out the annoying sound of my phone, which was currently dancing across the kitchen counter since I’d clearly switched it to vibrate instead of silent. 

“Kate?” 

I ignored that too, and the knock preceding it. It took all my energy, depleted though it was after a twenty-four hour shift, but I succeeded in finding my zone. If I’d had a goddamn second to myself, I would have added a do not disturb sign to the door, though it could be argued if someone made it through all the deterrents they deserved my attention. 

“I know you’re in there. Let me in, Kate, it’s important.” 

Taking another swig, my swallows the starting count of finding my calm, I walked towards the front door. It didn’t help. By the time I reached it I was seeing red, and it had nothing to do with wine. 

“Do you know the last time I had any sleep?” I snapped by way of greeting. “Sunday. Do you know what day it is today? Wednesday. I deserve a break, Danny, so unless-” 

“Cool it, Labno and take a deep breath. Aren’t you supposed to know how to meditate or something,” my partner, Dan Carter muttered, pushing into the house without waiting for an invitation. “And pour me one of those,” he said, indicating the glass. “I deserve it after navigating the minefield to your door.” 

I couldn’t stop the smirk at the thought of Dan trying to figure out where the new booby traps were. I hadn’t planted a literal minefield, but the path to my door was dangerous to certain trespassers. The kind who’d stepped right out of a nightmare and declared war. 

“I’m not the one who needs to share. Tell me why you’re here.” I said this on the move, still amused I’d put my partner through his paces. He was right. He deserved a little fortification for the return trip. A small glass, at least. 

“It’s about the Miller case, and you may want to sit down.” 

More like lie in a cool, dark room. 

To give myself time to prepare for whatever crap my partner wanted to fill my brain with, I poured him a glass of wine. 

It’s not that I dislike my job, becoming a detective was a childhood dream, but the landscape looks a hell of a lot different since the world turned to hell, or more accurately, hell tried to take over the world. 

I remember watching horror movies as a kid, comforted, even though my fear, that the monsters on the screen were merely a figment of somebody’s imagination. Bringing those monsters to life was a matter of effects and creative genius. They weren’t real. They didn’t live next door, hiding out until it was time to show their true face. 

Yet now I work within a police force with a culture so diverse it includes officers, not only from different species but different worlds. 

Handing the glass to Dan, I shrugged my shoulders and squared my stance, like a boxer waiting to kick ass. “Hit me with it!” 

He didn’t delay. “Mrs. Miller took matters into her own hands and she found more than she bargained for.” 

An image of Sahara Miller popped into my brain, a tall willowy woman with white hair she wore long and loose. The moment I saw her I knew she was important. Just a glance, that’s all it had taken. On the heels of interest came irritation. This time it was aimed at the baffoon, also known as my co-worker Lundy. I saw clearly he had missed the significance of Sahara’s presence. He was interviewing her, but he wasn’t taking the report seriously. 

It took a second to work it out. Lundy was too focused on the surface. Perhaps it began with her appearance; the long black dress, the stark fascinator with black lace that covered part of her left eye and made her appear like a woman in mourning. It could have been the velvet glove she had clutched in her hand like a transitional object. Whatever had triggered his unconscious bias, it meant he missed the important stuff. The details that really mattered. 

I hadn’t missed it. I’d followed my gut and taken Sahara Miller’s story seriously. Luckily, Dan had too. We had opened a case, investigated her concerns about her neighbour’s activities, and were in the process of getting a search warrant.  

Of course, the system has changed a great deal. It tends to do that after war, and even though the bad guys lost – thanks to some pretty hefty players on our side – the judiciary system took a hit. Obviously, Sahara was tired of waiting. 

“Please tell me we won’t be visiting the morgue.” If Sahara’s neighbour was as rotten as she suspected, the danger was real. 

“Don’t underestimate her. She might be a gargoyle and genetically opposed to violence but she can protect herself,” Dan said, swirling the wine in his glass. “Besides, she didn’t confront her neighbours, she knocked a giant hole in her bedroom wall and she didn’t find cannabis.” 

This time, the image of a gargoyle, sitting atop a gothic-looking structure with short stubby wings and a spliff hanging from thin, grey lips popped into my brain. Okay, fine, so now my unconscious bias was showing, but I’d had a day. 

The jibe about cannabis was directed at me. Sahara’s concerns began with a suspicious aroma which began in her hallway and ended in the bedroom. All the hot spots had one thing in common, they were part of the adjoining wall. It permeated the air, such a distinct odour I’d mistaken it for weed.  

“She found bodies.” 

I turned back in at those words, my feet moving before my mouth engaged. I reached for the glass Dan was tipping towards his mouth and snatched it from his hand. “You can drive. Let’s hit the road.” 

He scowled. “What happened to needing a break?” 

“I’ll catch some sleep on the way,” I said, grabbing my jacket and keys. 

Dan tried to hide his knowing smile. He wasn’t fooling anybody. He’d planned this, and it meant only one thing – he was destined to set off at least one of my traps on the way to his car.  

This cheered me up so much, I was grinning as I opened the door. The smile died on my lips when I spotted the white feather on my doorstep. “Goddamn it!” 

I knew I should have ignored the door. So close. I’d been so close.  

Wishing I’d filled a travel mug with the remainder of the wine, I stepped forward and prepared to face the music.

_______________________

Special thanks to Theresa and Rosanna for the objects I was able to incorporate.

Until next time

Mel  

New Release: Charms of the Feykin by Charles Yallowitz

I’m delighted to share details about Charles Yallowitz’ new release – Charms of the Feykin. More exciting Windemere adventures…bring it on!

Return to Windemere in Charms of the Feykin!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

To make a champion fall, one must wound their very soul.

Nyx is leading the charge to rescue Delvin and Sari, who have gone missing in the southern jungles of Windemere. Battling through the local predators, the champions are surprised when they reunite in the Feykin city of Rhundar. Instead of captives, the missing heroes have become the city’s rulers and are on the verge of starting a war with those that want to exterminate their new followers. Even with such a noble cause, Delvin and Sari have changed into brutal warlords that may kill each other and their friends long before they step onto the battlefield.

Have Delvin and Sari really changed for the worst or is there a greater threat pulling the champions’ strings?

Grab it on Amazon!

Add it to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ List!

Excerpt: Broken Bonds

Sari draws two daggers and sprints at Luke, slashing at his sabers in an attempt to cut his hands as he unsheathes his weapons. Instead, the forest tracker unclips the scabbards from his belt and spreads his arms to avoid the gypsy’s attack. The swords still sheathed, he does his best to deflect his former friend’s strikes while harmlessly smacking her in the sides. When a dagger slices his arm, Luke kicks out to knock Sari back. A hint of a grin on her face causes him to slow his attack, his foot aching as it bounces off her immovable body. Knowing he has to trick her, the half-elf runs backwards to get the gypsy to charge. Before she falls behind, the warrior lets her gradually catch up while remaining out of slashing range. Once Luke reaches the riverbank, he lunges forward and aims a swing at the sprinting woman’s knee. Forced to decide between taking a blow that would surely break bone or risk a similar injury by turning her power on while running, Sari tries to twist out of the way. She lands on her back at the forest tracker’s feet and curses when he pins her arms by jamming his sabers against her wrists.

Before Luke can tell the gypsy to stop struggling, an arm of water bursts from the river and bats him away. Phelan leaps out of the rapids and sprints at the prone warrior, his daggers lengthened by keenly edged liquid. The weapons sink into the muddy earth when their target rolls away, the ringing of drawn steel revealing that the champion is no longer restraining himself. With a flurry of stabs and slashes, the half-elf drives his new opponent back and whittles away at the watery daggers. Trying not to kill the Feykin, Luke delivers an echoing hilt punch to Phelan’s head every time the other warrior attempts a counterattack. Faced with the full speed and skill of the agile forest tracker, the outclassed hunter has various watery weapons fly out of the river. None of them hit the champion, who remains close enough to continue his barrage of muscle-rattling strikes.

Ducking to the side, Luke slashes at the other man’s exposed flank in what he hopes will be a crippling, but non-lethal, blow. The saber clangs off a patch of icy armor and a freezing tremor makes the half-elf’s arm go numb. A searing pain erupts from his lower back and he whirls around, the motion preventing Sari’s dagger from doing more than a long cut across his side. His first saber swings an inch over her head, but his second weapon leaves a gash up the middle of her chin. Enraged by the pain, the gypsy moves out of Luke’s reach and summons a massive hammer of water. She freezes the forest tracker’s feet to the ground before he can move, which allows the large weapon to connect. It repeatedly comes down on the warrior, breaking several ribs and one of his arms. Sheathing his sabers and remaining on the ground, the half-elf draws the stiletto and hurls it into Sari’s thigh. A look of shock is on her face and she stares at Luke’s battered form as if seeing such injuries for the first time.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the covers below!

You can start for FREE . . .

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or grab the $4.99 ‘3 in 1’ bundles!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

.

.

.

.

.

.

Also Available in Single eBooks:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen
Cover art by Jason Pedersen

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Interested in a new adventure? Then grab your Kindle & dive back into the world of Windemere! Don’t forget an apple for Fizzle.

Author Photo

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

New Year, New Books, New Adventures

Happy new year, everyone. For those who know me, you’re probably aware I run another blog – Writing Room 101. At the moment, the site is predominantly for spotlighting indie authors. Today, I am shining the light on blogging friend, Charles Yallowitz, who has some crazy, mad skills when it comes to the world of fantasy.

Here’s a sneak peak. Click on the fabulous cover to be redirected to WR101, where you will find a preview of The Mercenary Prince.

 

Now on Amazon for $2.99!
LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE:
THE MERCENARY PRINCE

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Delvin Cunningham has left the champions.

Lost to his tribe in the Yagervan Plains, fear and shame have kept the former Mercenary Prince away from his homeland. With his confidence crumbling, he has decided to return and bring closure to his past. Reuniting with his old friends, Delvin’s timing could not be worse as a deadly campaign is brewing within Yagervan’s borders. Dawn Fangs are on the march and these powerful vampires are determined to turn the entire region into a graveyard.

To protect his family, friends, and two homelands, Delvin will have to push his doubt away and become the cunning Mercenary Prince once again.

Art by Jason Pedersen
Art by Jason Pedersen

Please feel free to put this on your ‘To Read’ list on Goodreads by clicking below:

The Mercenary Prince on Goodreads!

Want to Dive into the Adventure from the Beginning?

Collage by Chris the Storyreading Ape Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Collage by Chris the Storyreading Ape

Find all of these exciting adventures by visiting the Amazon Author Page of Charles E. Yallowitz

So charge up your Kindle and end 2015 with an adventure full of action, humor, old friends, new enemies, grudge matches, tears, ale, and vampires.

author-photoAbout the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: Legends of Windemere
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com


 

I’ll be back on Monday with my contribution to Ronovan’s weekly writing prompt. Have a great weekend.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel