Saturday, December 22, 2018

A late Christmas sale and New Year's sale My E-Books

Hey Four grand adventures are on sale this week and next.

A Late Christmas sale on each of my E-books. Have paper versions too but I can not much about their prices.

Book One: Above my Pay GradeX2.

NA just wants to help people out of trouble with abusive boy friends or with mythical creatures that are real. She has a special ability that that gives her an up with this. But she runs into someone only she can stop from doing an act that will kill hundreds of people which includes her friends. If she can figure out who he is and what he wants. She is has to go beyond her experiences to stop this man and to deal with her own issues at the same time.

Book Two: Learning CurveX2
NA has to relearn her ability when it increases suddenly while she has to figure out how come Boulder is filled with new mythical creatures, such as a hungry bridge troll, a unicorn and strange weather. At the same time she has to learn how to be a friend.

Book Three: Tommy Tuckernocker: Shadow Warrior
A young man in command of a special unit who fights in the shadows against those who want to rule over his country. Set in a alternate steampunk world.

Book Four: The Courier A young woman works for a modern day messengers who came out of the Pony Express. She fights dog packs, storms, teen gangs and an international spy to deliver her special packages.

A set of Fantasy stories and a set of Science Fiction tales also on sale.

At Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kobo, iTunes and more.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Why Christmas 2018

                  As hopefully some of you know I post a Christmas greeting message this time of year. I usually discuss why Christmas: what it is about. It doesn’t matter if you celebrate it on the Dec 25 or one of the later dates of Orthodox churches, decide to celebrate for reasons of beliefs it has pagan symbols or you have a different faith-including atheism. What matters is that Jesus was born. 
      I usually start my message by saying that Christmas-that is the birth of Jesus-means that God is with us. Both all together as a people and as individuals. Some believe and teach that the Creator started everything, put it on automatic and left or sat back to watch. Others that God is just a force-an energy we can touch. But God is personal and one way He showed that was to have Jesus born. He did not abandoned us. He made a plan and He stuck to it. So Yes, Jesus shows us God is with us corporately.
     He is with us individually. Once we are forgiven and once we again have right standing with God, He is with us personally. Whatever we go through, whatever happens to us, whatever we do, God is there experiencing it-good or bad-with us. He will not let the fire of outrageous circumstances touch us or the Flood harm us. He Heals in many ways including baggage and issues. 
     This year I want to add a different point. This may sound like it goes more with Easter or the Resurrection Day we also celebrate but it starts here with Jesus’ birth. First a word of explanation. In what we call the Old Testament or the Hebrew scriptures, in each of Israel’s temples dedicated to God the Creator, there were basically two main rooms. One was pretty much for everyone but one was set aside for God’s presence. Only one man could go in there once a year, after he had symbolically cleansed himself which included his conscience, put on certain clothes God had ordered, and with the blood of a sacrifice. No one else was allowed in the presence of God. A very large and heavy curtain separated the two rooms. Now though after Jesus’ special one time sacrifice and resurrection that curtain or veil was ripped in half, starting at the top. It was very thick and taller than any five men standing on each one’s shoulders. Yet it just ripped-totally in half. That signified that we and God were no longer separated. That we can have our sins totally forgiven and have a right standing and fellowship with God the Creator. 
     That is one reason we celebrate the Birth of Jesus, even though our misdeeds, our rebellion against God separated us from Him He set put to bring us back to Him. That is why JOY is one of  the words for Christmas. Joy is stronger than happiness and we get it by knowing our sins are forgiven-no matter what, how many times and how we have reacted-He forgives us. Totally! For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten-birth-Son so mankind can Believe and not perish. God showed us His Great love in that He sent His son to die for us while we were still enemies of God. God Gave Us a Very Special gift what is called Grace, God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense, or His unmerited favor. We can have right standing with Him because of what He did. For by grace you are saved and that not of yourself lease anyone boosts. 
    So, among other reasons, those are three good reasons to celebrate and to show others, the why of Christmas. It is a worthy holy day. He is with Us corporately and individually and He tore that which separated us from Him, and He gives us The grace or ability to be forgiven and therefore we can know Him and Joy unspeakable and love that goes beyond human understanding and Peace of heart that passes all understanding in all circumstances. 

    If you want this forgiveness, and relationship with God the Creator, Tell Him. Speak as you would to anyone and ask Him for it. Go to a bible teaching church, ask questions of those who know Him, read the Bible yourself. Tell someone, at least one, that you now believe. No matter what they say you are the one who knows yourself and God. 
         You can find more info in these two places online and someone to talk to. There are many others but I don’t have room for them all so I link to just two.   Even though he has passed on his organization still has many fine people who can and desire to help people spiritually.   
Here is a link to my church’s web site. There are many fine churches online but this one I know. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Excerpt Number five and last of my '18 NaNo Novel

Dec 8. Coming closer to the day we celebrate God is with us and how God the Creator showed off His love for us in a very demonstrative way.

This is the last excerpt of my ’18 Nano novel. Next week I will post four or five mini stories. I haven’t done that for a while. The week after will be a Christmas tale or two written by me. After that I will continue with the serial Airship Battle.

This is from chapter ten-there are twelve and starts with in the middle of a battle. They have to get to the house-temple of the wargod off to one side of a city under siege. It is suppose to be deserted but maybe not after all.

This has 3,375 words-a tiny bit long-and has been spell checked and a little bit revised. More complete revising and probably a new chapter when I get it ready for publishing.

They swung at each other, with some of the blows non-threatening for they missed. Jar’s managed to impact the man though. The other joined in. Jar had to increase the speed of his blows as he went back and forth to block the incoming blows.
Both men looked for openings and either would find one soon. His arm absorbed the hard blows but soon even he would get warn down. He concentrated on magic, drew in energy, it rushed in and filled his inner self, and just shoot it out in the form of colored lights, an easy sending.
Both men backed up, not to escape the lights but to make sure he couldn’t come in with a cut or stab. But he had figured they would do that. He spun around to one side so that when their sight cleared he was no longer in front of them. By the time they found him he had hit one of them.
He had pulled his dagger out and now charged at the man who first attacked him. He came in from the side and used a full body blow. The man stumbled sideways and knocked the other man’s sword arm. The first man missed his step again when he realized that his chest had been sliced open right above where his cuirass ended. It wasn’t bad for Jar hadn’t had good leverage but it went across his upper chest and hurt.
Both guards recovered very quickly, faster than Jar had hoped, but the one still had to untangle his arm. Jar went in and the second man with his dagger, It went into the side of his arm instead of the side of the man’s chest but it made a hole almost all the way through that arm, damaging the muscle. Jar pulled it out, spun in time to raise his sword to block a blow for he had seen a shadow move and knew what was coming.
Jar managed to recover traded two swings and somehow ended up almost side by side with the guy. He reached out and because he couldn’t get his blade against the man Jar swung back to hit the just under the top of the cuirass with the pommel of his sword. The man grunted and stood there for a moment like he was stunned. Jar reached back of the man grabbed his far shoulder and spun him into the second man who managed to switch hands and came at Jar. Both men fell, Jar kicked one sword away. A bit of sending and the other sword stuck to the ground.
He moved over to where the strong man was having problems. His opponent now had dented armor, which included a streak down the side of his helm. But he was still awake and active. Jar moved slowly behind him, he picked up a helmet that had fallen and put it on. The soldier tried to get by the strong man’s swings which were slowing. Jar tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Its me.”
The man said, “Not now,” through what sounded like gritted teeth.
“I bet you can’t take him in ten heartbeats.”
“I bet you cannot beat him in ten heartbeats.”
“Go away.”
“Sorry can’t do that.”
“Why not, I am busy.”
“Not any more.”
At that he sent and flicked his wrist. The man helmet flew of. He spun around faster than Jar thought he could but Jar still managed to punch him in the chin hard. The soldier stepped backwards and fall. Jar knelt fast and punched him again.
Jar said, “I win the beat, you lost.”
He went through the man’s pockets quickly and found a coin purse. A glance inside showed gold and silver.
“I will take this as my winnings.”
The man cursed and struggled to get up. Jar moved and said, “You lost.”
The strongman brought down his club. The soldier grunt and his eyes closed. Jar didn’t know if he was dead or would wake with a very bad headache and he didn’t care to find out.
He stood. The others had won, Rosa had helped John after she killed her third appoint. He had been afraid someone would die. He waved for them to move on. He could hear clashes of fighting some in the far distance echoing through the city and some near by. Those last might be just guards fighting hoodlums but better not to find out.
Again they stayed to the shadows. Two houses further and they all dropped to the street when a large rock crashed down nearby. Jar heard it roll down a street and wreck another house. They continued on.
They came to the correct house. Jar hadn’t noticed it at the time but this was the largest house in the area. He had seen the other buildings he took to be guest or servant houses but now he wondered if they were actually storehouses for weapons and maybe soldiers who wanted to work for the wargod. They had tricked everyone into thinking there were just a few when it reality it had been thousands more from what Juan had said. How they found the ritual to make a key like they did he didn’t know. It sounded like there had been very few who knew you could make a skeleton key for that much less how to.
The gate was closed and looked to be in better shape than most of the other houses. It had been shined and looked new. Taller than the walls by a man’s height and wide enough for three horses to go through at the same time, without touching their sides. Black and brown, thick wood with a dozen iron bands around it. He new they were thicker than his little finger was long. The pastor door seemed part way open. Nice of them to leave it unlocked for them, but just to be on the save side they would go in another way. Not the same way as before though.
After a search he found a small gate along one side. A tiny thing he must have missed in his searchers, so he corrected himself by looking closer at it. There may be or may not be alarms on it. Jar’s stomach let him know with a loud rumble that sounded like a storm at sea that he had reached a point where he needed food.
No time for that but he needed, they all did, energy and it would embarrassing not to say unhealthy if his stomach sounded like that while trying to sneak into the house. With a movement of his head showing resignation he waved everyone back.
The wife and daughter had searched the bodies back there and had found some food, untouched by blood or inner body parts. That included some squashed bread and cheese, and of all things nuts. They all ate fast, and talked while eating. Jar thought they should go up over the gate. That would be the lease likely to have strong wards and alarm spells. The strong man thought they should just bash through the gate fast, there were broken columns and trees to use to batter it down.
Jar said, “Yes we could, but you are still hurt and are tired, we may need your strength later. The elf might be able to open it with his sendings but that would alert anyone in there too. Best make it as easy and less noisy as possible.”
The daughter said, “They may know you are out here already and it won’t matter what we do or how we get in.”
He nodded, “Yes that is true. I have considered that already but even if they know I am out here, the less time they know that I am inside the better.”
They all nodded with that.
A moment later he thought about adding, and it would be better in there than being caught out here by his troops. He could hear fighting and rocks being thrown about inside the city. They would be here very soon.
They hurried to the small gate and while helping each other up-they were show people after all-he finished his beard and cheese together.
Up on the wall top they soon jumped down the other side. All quiet and fast. He thought about leaving the wife and daughter but not with the troops coming. No where would be safe for them.
Rosa surprised everyone including Jar by jumping the wall. She had hurried down the street than galloped down it fast then sailed over the gate, wall and wards. She landed lightly as Jar expected. They made their way to a side door that servants had used. He thought about climbing up the outside wall like last time but they might be expecting that. Besides more than likely the temple would be in the basement.
The place smelled of bad magic, and old air. He heard nothing but their breathing. The guards and dogs had probably joined the soldiers but he didn’t trust that. There would be someone here to guard this place especially after they realized he would be headed this way with that first paper key.
On the way to the side door though he had a thought. If they went inside and headed for the basement and he tied his pack with the letter in it Rosa’s back, they might not know he was going up the outside. He hated to part with it but if he failed they would still have a chance of closing the gate that allowed the wargod out.
Or better yet they would think he still had it and would follow him and think the troupe were worthless. He nodded and he touched Rosa’s horn. He explained the plan. The unicorn could close the gate or as the case might be, reopen it and let the wargod be pulled back in. She would know what to do. From what she said, unicorns stayed out of opening and closing gates but they could since they worked magic.
She agreed for the warlord meant to either control unicorns or kill them. Any of the rest of the team could place the letter on the correct lock. He figured it could be any type of box, or plate or flat surface which might hold the key by magic, long enough to unlock and wake the wargod. Of course that had already been done but the altar, or whatever one called it, should still be handy.
He would help them open the front door but then he would just jump up and climb up the front of the building. They could react like they didn’t know what he was up to. They could go inside and just sit a spell, if nothing happened or was there to stop them, but after a few minutes take off for the basement.
Not much of a plan but it was the least complicated which might help the other side fall for it.
Jar looked around the door and he could smell old blood mostly human but also something else he wasn’t sure about. Maybe they had used blood deaths to enhance the wards on the door, or maybe it was the blood of one of the adherents of the god that he had pretended to be at the beginning of this. The two of them may not have taken no for an answer and so were shut up. Maybe a traitor to them they had made an example of. It didn’t matter that much, even though some.
The wards on the door were not as powerful or as hard a he figured they would be. After a long moment he found one ward and joined it. He found the basic spell under all of the extras, reshaped and twisted his sending energy until it fit even with that basic ingredient. He held out his hand palm out and concentrated. His sending eased itself in and hitched onto the basic one that Jar had found.
The unicorn let him use some of her magic so that he had what he needed. The door’s wards let him move closer and he used a tiny branch-harden by a sending fire. In no time he had the main lock undone. He pulled out as easy as if he had used the right key. Next he eased into the ward that notified someone that the door had opened. This time he stayed in long enough to tie two sections of that ward together so that when the door opened it would seem to be fine to the ward because the two parts would still be touching.
His legs started to complain and he knew that last bit had taken too long. Sweat rolled down his back and even though no one voiced any thoughts he suspect all of them wanted him to get a move on. With the possible except of the daughter.
Jar pulled his essence back toward his body. It stopped at one point. He blinked and pulled. Nothing: he didn’t move back to his body. Sweat formed on his forehead and threatened to get in his eyes while he checked out what held him.
There two sharp points made of magical energy. Not everyone would be able to see them. He concentrated more. Then he sent out two bits of energy. One hook pulled back but the other one stayed. He shook his head, He just wanted to go in a corner and stare at a wall. Memories came up from his childhood, his first failures at sending and more. He missed his mother even though he had barely met her. He remembered discovering his ears were like hers. But she went away anyway.
Even when he blocked those thoughts he wanted to give up and cry. He tried to back off then to slide sideways through it but this wasn’t a physical hook grabbing his clothes or even skin. It had a hold of his psychic. It had to be made to let go.
He moved closer and studied it. It should let go.
Oh, there a tiny part had gone in deeper. That could be why his thoughts and emotions had taken the turn they had. He traced the near invisible, even to him, line and saw where it ended. Once there however he found it easy to unhook it. Maybe because he knew these thoughts mind pictures that made his emotions so heavy. He had fought with them for a lot of his life even when things went well.
The hook fought him but he managed to send it back to the larger hook and to unhook it. Once free he spent to more time there, but was back where he belonged in less time than took to think it. His muscles relaxed, by that he knew they all had tensed, and he breathed a sigh of relief. Even though somewhat easy that was the hardest those heavy emotions had hit in years.
He opened the door just wide enough to allow everyone in. He didn’t want to take any chances. Once each member of the troupe was in he closed it and made sure it would stay closed.
John said, “Hey, you’re not in here.”
“Sorry,” at that he flexed his knees and leapt up to grab hold on the shelf like ornamentation above the door. The only way he could make it was because he had elven like strength.
He pulled his body up all the way, stood on that shelf that was only half of one of his feet wide. He found a copy of that head again-he assumed it was the original head the wargod had. He may still have it but Jar hadn’t seen the base of that dark cloud to be able to tell.
The stone was rough, and warmed by the sun. The troupe had spoken longer but now had given up since they could not shout.
Up higher and he smelled fresh bird poop. With no one living there birds could perch here, or they had a, probably, large bird guard. He better keep an eye out for one.
The third story had more dust and accumulated bird droppings and bat guano. Evidently the staff didn’t get this far with their cleaning. He really should tell the mansion’s owners about their sloven ways. Except they may know about it and not care. This was further up than most people would be able to see or smell after all.
What they left behind, even the dried very old crap, made the stones more slippery then they would normally be. Not to mention he wanted to say yecch every time he reached for the next hand hold. He had his hands in worse messes a time or two, but not recently.
The rough stones up here were hard on his hands but at least it helped to negate the slippery surfaces. His feet were another matter, however. They tended to slip on any surface. Maybe he should take off his boots and socks.
He shook his head, for when he licked his upper lip, he got sweat on his tongue. He continued anyway: there was no other option. He couldn’t let the average citizen down, not even the rich deserved the wargod-well, most of them didn’t.
When he reached the fifth floor, the one he wanted, he reached for the next ledge, grabbed it and tested it to make sure it would not come apart when he pulled on it. The builders could have used more stronger stones instead of porous ones. Too many of course and the house would fall down not too long ago. Out here though no one know what had been used. Someone hired to fix and maintain things here would probably notice if they came up here. The staff didn’t but a repair man might. But they may not care what someone on the economic level thought of their house. Might not care how the staff thought of them either, as long as they did their jobs.
His thoughts continued, and distracted him from exactly how dangerous this was. One slip and he would fall four stories. He might hit the hard marble walkway or the little softer grass on dirt or a taller bush that might break his fall in a good way depending on how strong their branches were. He had a better chance here in the front though than he had when he climbed the side of the house.
He reached for the next level’s decoration pocket and pulled up. Just as his head cleared the level a huge black shape came at him and a heavy guano stink filled his sinuses. Some auto defense?
Jar reared back and one arm jerked.
His fingers on that hand slipped. He reached forward with the other even as the shape came at him. That hand slipped on fresh dung as he realized the shape belonged to a bat, twice as large as his head. It had fangs and probably sharp, pointed teeth.
Even while the fingers of both hands slipped, he thought this could be the reason the staff were lazy out here. He reached out with each hand but both set of fingers slipped again. His head went back in the beginning of a fall.
Wind went by his head, the weight of his body pulled his hands from even the slippery hold they had caught.
He felt his fingers leave the stone, now air lay beneath them. His body dropped at the same time the bat flew over him. Its out wings touched his face and the wind of its passage seem to send him down even faster.
Jar tasted bile but couldn’t spit it out,
Out of instinct, for his mind had gone blank, he reached out again; any port of safety would do. His hands grabbed stone, his body jerked. Almost hard to enough to pull him loose again, but he had fallen only about a foot.
He still heard a crack of stone.

end excerpt

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Excerpt number four of my '18 NaNo Novel

Winter is here for many and Christmas is coming-as I said last time, a sign that God loves us but also a sign that He is with us. God the Creator Loves you.

This is the fourth and second to last excerpt of my Nano Novel. This one takes place very soon after last week’s. I choose it because there are two short term characters I want to see if anyone can figure out. I doubt anyone will know the first one even though she shows up twice. The second one is more obvious. Because of that I will probably delete at least her when I revise the novel. Usually when I do this no one says anything so I don’t know if anyone had figured out the character(s) I put in. But I still think it is fun.
If you missed the previous excerpts you can scroll down for they are all under this one. 

This excerpt is 3827 words long.

The lock clicked and Jar glanced around just in case some hidden person, or the image, had heard it. Sweat started to drip again. He opened his senses to magic. The room had an abundant supply of it, including a large source in the drawer. But he could tell that none had become active or alert.
Noises were probably normal in this office so it would be hard to set an alarm for certain sounds when everything was considered normal to the wards.
His mouth became dry, as it sometimes did. Jar hadn’t brought anything to drink but that was probably for the good. Still cool water or even wine would be useful right now.
The drawer came open and he found the paper. It lay under two other magicked papers. Hmm, he wondered what they were about, but he came for one only. He ran his hand around it and felt nothing. Even laying his hand on top only produced the effects of the paper itself. Nothing under it either.
He reached for the paper but stopped himself. Something he had missed. Jar closed his eyes and energized his hand even more. Next he reached for the paper again with an open hand. When the magic of the paper reached for his senses he stopped and sent in his mind. He checked, searched around in overlaying circles to see if anything had been mixed in with the paper’s magic. That would be something Juan would do.
Nothing outside of what should be there. Maybe he didn’t have time to place an extra protection on it or decided that since it would be moved soon and the paper messed with that it would be better not to. Either way or another one it was good for Jar.
Jar placed the paper in his backpack again, as secure as last time. In a moment he reversed his steps and waited by the door. He listened but heard nothing. No snares wrapped themselves around him. Neither did any beacons. So far so good.
He opened the door and almost stepped back. A man in a black uniform: tunic and wide pants, walked up to him. Jar almost stepped back or bolted past the man-who turned out to be a woman. She walked past him almost without seeing him. She wore two swords and blue feathered arrows. The woman had short brown hair almost ready for a wide hat or a helm of some type and she looked young for this work, but sometimes that could be deceiving but then again he was young.
He swallowed his first impulse to run and instead he turned back to the room and said, “Good idea, I will see about it tomorrow.”
If she glanced in through the open door she would see the image standing there. She looked preoccupied so would probably not notice anything strange about the image-probably. As far as he could tell she didn’t even glance at him but more than likely his presence and what he said had registered on her mind. It might come to the forefront of her mind later.
The longer that took the better.
He closed the door and walked down the hallway toward the entrance as if he belonged there. He passed another person: a cleaning lady by her looks, even though she looked wiser and more alert to the world than most. Plus she carried three books in a knapsack. He could make out the outlines. They had a library down here that only certain people had excess to. It had books of power and some with strange tales and others that seemed almost alive. He knew that they found some of those books in caves, among ruins and in a couple of cases strange men and women gave them to the Organization. Those were suppose to be from other dimensions. He shrugged on that idea.
She went down a side corridor kinda of fast. He turned to look after her-was she an agent who realized something was wrong? He thought he heard a woman’s voice mumble something. A burst of a strange magic washed over him for a moment. He hurried to the corner and looked down. He sensed magic vanishing around the door jam two doors down.The room it led to contained a bunch of books anyone could read, even though not as many as that other library was said to have. Three men hurried up the hallway he still stood in and turned the corner. They ran past the door.
He turned back thinking he better hurry, but that was down right strange. And that magic he had never felt anything like it. And probably won’t again, he thought.
At the right door he went in and pressed the hand print on the wall. It would activate the steam mechanism that would push the room up to street level. Something the great artist da. Vinci was reported to have designed.
Once the door opened again he went out. Since it was night out, he walked to the back door-there were just enough candles and lanterns still glowing to see where to step, and unlocked the door to the outside. It would let him out in an alley where he could walk out of, go down a dark street and then to a busier street. Carriages and people walking might still be about on that street, but he wouldn’t attract any undo attention if someone did see him. Any guards for the Organization would know him and not think it strange that he would be out this late.
He went the long way about so he could leave the protected area on the same street that he came in on. If he acted like he came out of one of the block houses on that street anyone sent by those chasing him would not think it strange.
Once near the street he slipped into some shadows and eased his way around the corner. The ground was soft under his feet so it must have rained. He could smell wet bushes and air. Two carriages rolled by on the next street and he heard a couple of men talking on the street he was on. They most probably had not noticed him for they sounded no alarm or asked questions of him.
He licked his upper lip and got sweat on it. This time of night the air of the shadows felt the same as the air in the open. Once around the corner he stayed in the shadows of the houses and bushes as he made his way to the right house. The house didn’t matter but he wanted one in the middle of the street. Under cover of all the anti-magic and spells being cast here. He moved on. Twice he had to leave the thicker darkness because of obstacles like a field full of debris from a burnt building. Somehow it had been kept from burning the houses on either side.
Jar climbed over some of the remains of the structure but he went slow and kept as close to the deeper shadows as possible. Once over them and back to where he was master he wiped his lower face, then spat out the ash he had gotten in his mouth. He shook his head when he wiped his hands on the grass. Now he could smell the burnt wood. This fire must have been within a couple of months ago.
When he made it the house he wanted, he waited. Jar listened for carriages, footsteps and any other noises people would make. Nothing for a count to sixty, so he left the darkness and dashed to the street. People either walked on the hard surface of the street or along the edges where it would be a tad safer. He choose the edge of the side he had been on. It was a bit darker there and less chance any spy would noticed he wasn’t on the street a moment ago.
Jar wasn’t sure all of this was necessary but this time he had to do as much as possible to keep them in the dark-so to speak.
He walked out of the covering and along a busier street. If they still watched for the key, he would have seemed to be coming from a safe house. Or an apartment the magic and sword school ran.
He kept an eye out for anyone following him, like a shadow would, but that wasn’t easy while trying to look like someone in a hurry to go home. The air grew chilly and he sensed magic as well as something else in the air. He looked to the sky. Was the war god closer than he thought, like outside the city? No, the population would be running the other way. Could he or it, be watching him like some giant eye in the sky? Probably possible. He didn’t know the capabilities of this wargod. Maybe he should find out. Maybe he should have found out before he left. Too late for that. The more time he would have taken for that increased chance of it being caught or stopped for any other reason though.
Jar continued on. He found a boy he knew would take a message to any citizen. He wrote a note out to John explaining that the best chance they had to escape, at least for a couple of years, from the wargod was to go over the hight mountain. There were passes so they could get over and the third city along a river was huge and had many warriors plus wizards of great power they might stop the wargod or distract him long enough so that someone might be able to find a weapon against him. Jar said he was headed back to where this all started with what would stop him now. If he succeeded then they could come back if not they would be safe at least for some time. If not they might be able to get on a ship overseas. And be save a few more years. Of course they could spend time in a church to pray for his success. And to give the boy a copper and silver coin.
After the boy took off with the letter-Jar had given him a copper and silver coin and said he would get the same when he delivered the letter-Jar turned around and headed toward a side gate. He might be able to buy or if need be steal a horse from a rich man.
When he arrived at the gate he looked around. This gate was small, only two horses could get through at the same time if they touched each other, for few people used it. It had three iron bound doors, two outside and a thicker one closed from the inside. Plus hot oil pots up top of it and an inside moat with sharp stakes at the bottom. Now covered by thick boards which could be used for arrow shields. It smelled of rotten food and unwashed bodies. On the way he had bought two packs full of food and saddlebags with hay and oats in them. Then he bought a horse. It wasn’t as fast as he wanted but it looked healthy and like it could run for miles.
Once outside he turned one direction, east where he rode until that evening. He found an area where new wizards liked to practice their magic. The place was full of wards, traps and spent spells. Even illusions and such. It could be dangerous of any wizards were there now but he risked that. He manage to find grass for the horse and water for both. He ate bread and cheese then bedded down off to one side.
The next morning he changed directions and followed a small caravan that had four wizards in it. They might cover him enough to keep those priests from being able to catch sight of him. The wargod himself was unknown.
They traveled for three days then turned to go around that dry area. Jar shook his head: they shouldn’t be so concerned about their comfort.
He continued on through the edges of the small desert. There were some small watering holes along this edge, just enough for a horse and rider. Still hot with dry air but this way would be much faster. The way he jumped in and out of magic fields might confuse the priests and they would not know where he was for a while, or they would know immediately. Either chance however, still he had to go this way.
His horse didn’t seem to mind a diet of grass with a few oats mixed in at times. He ate what he had. At one stop though he found that his horse was having problems. Too hot for the faster traveling maybe or something wrong with it the owner had failed to tell him about? He didn’t know so sold the horse for half of what it should have been good for. On the way out of town he managed to cut off a small coin purse from a man dressed in rich clothes. Only a few coppers, more sliver and three small gold coins. He probably had more than one purse. This one might be for thieves or he was a con man who was trying to sell a bridge. The coins were real.
On the outskirts of that town he managed to join a caravan as a guard. He wouldn’t get paid as much as the others but he got to eat with them and had a place for sleeping. And he would not have to stay long here. The town stunk. It smelled like the public privies just let it drop on the ground under them. It didn’t take long for this trip but he spent a day in the shadow of the local city hall, until he was chased off by a magistrate. Jar managed to get close to the man and steal his purse in the process though. Jar disliked the man’s attitude and he might be able to get a replacement from the civil authorities since he lost the purse while on city business.
This purse contained just a little more than the one he got from the rich man. Still the coins went well with what he had still hidden in his clothes. The trip turned out to be short and boring. Except for toward the end, they were attacked by a new band of robbers. These looked like survivors and deserters from various militaries. All of the uniforms were dirty and had blood stains on them and the men stunk. Jar had been asleep before his night duties when the alarm horn sounded. He jerked awake grabbed his sword and knife, headed out of the wagon-he and the others slept in. Three of the attackers were down with crossbow bolts in them. Another one came his way. Jar though shook his head at the guy just before he changed directions and headed for the man who looked like the leader. The man, dressed in a newer uniform with no rips but had the image of a man’s head on his breast. Jar thought it was the same head that had adorned the house he had snuck into.
The attacker looked cleaner too. Jar titled his head, so they sent some out further to cause trouble so the populace and probably military could be worn down even before the wargod’s main force reached them.
The man saw Jar headed his way and turned toward Jar. He brought his weapon up in a ready position. He didn’t attack though, he just defended himself while he let Jar do the attack. Jar saw that and pulled back but only a bit.
Jar and the other went back and forth: swords clashed, both spun, slid and bounced backwards when needed. After many swings they rested a moment. The other had hit Jar’s chain mail over leather. But like him the light armor half elven: stronger than most human armor but not nearly as tough as full elf armor.
The attacker over reached but instead of going in, Jar pulled back. No, he would fall for something like that.
Metal clashed in Jar’s ear, he heard groans from a distance away. It warmed for Jar, sweat formed but he could see the attacker sweated also.
Jar spun away from one incoming swing but swung all the way around and stepped in further. He swung and hit the man’s arm. The blow hadn’t the strength behind it as Jar wanted but still enough to jar the man badly.
Somehow the man managed to bring his sword around to block a second blow, which inspired Jar to slide back. They each had armor that had new dents but that still blocked and deadened blows.
Jar licked his lips and came back with something like sweat. He seemed to be in worse shape than the attacker though.
They traded more blows. Jar panted but he could see that so did the other. He swung and swung and swung but couldn’t get his blade through the man’s defenses. The opposite was true also which was good for Jar.
After three harder than usual blows Jar pulled back a little but the attacker lounged. His blade’s edge impacted Jar’s chain mail on his right breast. The impact knocked Jar backwards five steps. It also cracked three links and busted one.
Jar groaned but then snarled and went in hard and fast he drove the attacker backwards, but a cunning blow knocked Jar’s blade from his hand: that blow had bruised his chest muscle which weakened his arm. More sweat dripped down Jar’s back, this time he didn’t care that when he used his tongue to lick his upper lip he got sweat.
He jumped back, without a glance to where his sword went. The man smiled and went in for blurry of blows which would end up with the blade in Jar’s throat or stomach or side. However Jar dived in under the attacker’s arms, he reached out with both hands as if he wanted to throttle the attacker. The man leaned back, Jar stepped in, but as his left hand touched the man’s throat he lowered his right and drew his knife in one move. Before the man even noticed that action Jar stabbed him in the side of his chest. Jar had noticed a weak spot there and had hit it twice. This time the point of the knife cut through the armor and into the man.
Blood poured out, however a heartbeat later Jar flew backwards. He landed on his tail, but raised up immediately. His knife had cut the attacker but the man had backhanded Jar before it could cut in too deeply. It still bled: Jar smelled the blood and the man’s sweat. He spat when he realized some of the man’s blood most have sprayed on and in his mouth.
The man dropped his sword, probably had become too heavy with that wound, but he drew a knife much like Jar’s with his left. They circled each other and panted. Jar considered faking a fall so he could hamstring the man. But he wore a type of greave.
Jar knew that the man had to finish this now, before he bled enough to weaken him too much. He might still die but at least he would finish off Jar first. Which come to think of it might be his job today.
The attacker charged and Jar went under him and up fast. The back of his head hit the man’s stomach hard enough to lift him up. Jar straightened and punch the man very hard in the face. He stumbled back with blood flowing from his nose. He had to shake his head. Before he could recover though Jar lounged, rolled his body to one side so that his arm touched the man’s side and then off of the man.
He spun around after Jar but then stopped. By the look in his eyes he had realized something worse was wrong. Jar had managed to bring up his knife and slice it over the man’s throat. Not as deep as such would usually go but still enough. The man’s legs buckled, he tried to say something, probably a curse for him Jar thought, and he collapsed. Jar turned back to the fight.
Another man in the same type of armor came toward Jar. Jar shook his head. He hurt, was tired and now this. But before the new attacker came close he jerked, looked down at the long arrow that had just blossomed from his chest. The expression on his face said he couldn’t believe it, then his face went blank and he fell backwards.
Jar’s muscles relaxed in relief. He spun around though. That arrow must have been shot by a strong arm to penetrate that armor like that. He saw a figure in black run down the line. When he looked back he saw that the arrow had blue feathers.
He titled his head when he looked after the archer. He or she may have brown hair. Jar moved on after another attacker but hoping none were near him. The battle ended soon after. The survivors took off. Three looked injured. After he made sure all of them had left he thought that they would not last long. Not only were their two leaders dead but their numbers had just shrunk significantly. He went back to where he battled the one leader. He went through the man’s pockets, picked up a well made small dagger and five gold coins with four large silver ones. He must have been paid well.
After a moment he recalled the man hit by the arrow. He went to him but the arrow was gone and it looked like his pockets had been gone through already. He shrugged and went back to the wagon. He needed a little something for his pain and to rest.
Later that night though he still had to go make his rounds. On his way out to the further wagons he saw a figure in a black outfit. He chased her down. The young woman turned on him and Jar noticed that she wore a small brooch on her collar. It seemed to show a rose.
Jar said, “I apologize for startling you. I just wanted to say thanks and to get your name if I could?”
The woman stared at him and said, “You’re welcome, but I won’t be here long enough to give you my name. I am just looking for my father.”
Then she turned and walked off.

end excerpt

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Excerpt three from my '18 NaNoWriMo novel

Happy Beginning of the Christmas season-Proof that God does love you and wants to know you.

This is the third excerpt of my current Nano Novel, from chapter five and is 2781 words long.
He has the letter he was suppose to get and is now back at headquarters of the secret organization he works for. You might recognize the entrance, if you read old comics and maybe watched a newer TV show. Jar learns some disturbing News and figures it is his fault.

I forgot to mention. I named a couple of cities in this one but not all. I may just change all of the names of places. The description of the very long valley most of the cities here are in makes this another world so I will have to change what names I do have.

A word though before we get into the story.
Books do make good presents and gifts. And in most cases and esprecially Indie writers like me, you would be gifting two people at once, even if you don’t know one of them.


Later he turned left and continued on a street that looked like had few people walking on. He went by two magic schools, one had only one student, or it seemed by the active spells he felt. The other had maybe three and neither of them were that powerful. Children of rich parents who wanted something else for their spoiled kids? Someone trying to find a defense against a person or persons chasing them? The second school also was known for sword and dagger training. That would be some place he would want to go.
A block later he went down a side street and stopped before a few houses, as if he wanted to find a certain safe house or someone who could help him. He knew when he entered the field around the headquarters. Even his eyesight seemed to be effected by this field. But he had been here before so knew the feeling and where to go. He found the right building and the right storefront. There were store on either side of this one, who were all authentic businesses. This one catered to the hair of the very rich and royalty. They had been in business for over a hundred years about the same time the clandestine organization started. Back then it wasn’t as secret but it never was well known. On purpose.
He entered and found a maitre-d who knew who he was. The place smelled of cucumbers, a mixture they made to rejuvenate skin and hair. The man took him back to small room in the back. He let him in and said that his attendant would be along. Jar, nodded once said thank you in a posh tone and sat down in a chair. Once the man closed the door Jar spoke one word. A word that translated as care.
The chair started down through a cunningly canceled hole under the chair. It stopped when it reached a lower level. He got up and walked through a door. A hallway presented itself. Very classy with blacks, bare metal and browns. He walked down the hallway and found an office set to one side. He knocked on the closed door and soon was let in. He found a plush room with a desk and three padded chairs. A little bit comfortable but not too much. That was so guests would not feel like staying for long.
The man seated behind the desk wore an all brown suit made for someone to serve the king. Its vest buttoned all the way up and it had a part that could flip over to hide the buttons. The trousers looked neat and tidy and out of silk yet tough enough for a hoodlum’s life. This one had a Spanish flare to it. The one he had on last time Jar met with him looked like one made by a German clothes maker.
He said, “You have the letter we sent you to get?”
Jar nodded once and said, “Yes, I do. It’s been a hard trip back here with it, they found me out somehow, but…”
He reached behind him and took off the pack. He unzipped it and took out five pieces of paper. By feel alone he found the right one and handed it to the man, who took it and carefully examined it.
When finished he said, “Yes, I can see and sense it is what we wanted. But it came too late. They were able to raise their wargod out of his forced sleep.”
 “What? What wargod?”
“The group you were told to steal from is a batch of worshippers of Kurell, a very old god of war, at the time one of the smaller ones. Ten millenniums ago he was forced into a confinement to sleep. The only way to wake him was to release him from that confinement. No one knew where he was imprisoned nor where the key to open it was. The last of his worshippers went into hiding before they were killed. Some were searched out and killed but others hide too well. Over the centuries they became adept at hiding who they worship. In the last twenty-five years they have partially come out. They do not make a big deal about it and some do not mention he is a wargod. Hardly anyone looks twice at them.”
“But the Organization did?”
He nodded, “Yes, those at the top were surprise to learn which god their worship. So we sent a couple of agents to infiltrate them. One almost was killed in the process and the other made it in. Through his services and other means we learned, and it was conformed, that they had found some ancient knowledge that would allow them to do a ritual that could make a key that would work every time.”
Jar thought, so a skeleton key to magical locks.
The man continued, “They wrote a letter to a high priest to explain that. To hide the key and make it easier to transport they turned that letter into the key. Few people would think of something that important made out of paper. We caught a bit of a conversation and our person inside was able to look the site of the ritual over afterwards. Some bad things were done there but he also found drafts to the letter, not yet disposed of. We put two and two together to get the answer of where the key was.”
“And you sent me, without telling me what I was really getting.”
“We didn’t want them to realize that we knew.”
“Looks like they found out.”
He nodded once.
He shook his head, “They have already conquered a fifty league track of the Multi kingdoms. And they will get the next fifty easy enough. An army is being formed out of six of the kingdoms. They are headed straight down the main track through the valley. They probably will mop up the smaller kingdoms and city-states on the sides after they hit the major ones. It is possible that the huge army might stop the wargod. They will have some powerful wizards but so far he had beaten everyone that has tried to stop him. That includes ten who joined together. He is too powerful, angry and cruel to lose. And he is gathering strength with his victories. His forces are growing too. Either his worshippers fooled us and had many more followers than we thought, which included training schools, or he has somehow persuaded people to join him. Maybe because he is winning, maybe to keep themselves and loved ones from being tortured,” he shrugged/
Jar frowned, none of his precautions had done any good. Maybe for a day or two, what he had done mislead them but they found him in less than a week. They must have a way to trace that letter. He hadn’t kept anything else he had stolen that night. Now though they didn’t need him, for they must have made another key.
H had put innocent people at risk for nothing. In the cities and towns he had stayed at, and in the caravans-a couple had been killed there and wounded. Most of all he had placed the troupe in real danger. That was not good.
He and his boss talked some more than he was dismissed. The man took the letter and placed it in a drawer until they could decide what to do.
Jar went to a room he usually used after a mission. Just a small one with a comfortable cot and small desk for writing. It looked like a monk’s home at one time. Maybe this had been a monastery when it was made. The age smell showed it was ages old and sometimes he almost thought he could smell incense in the main room. That would have been the chapel. That would explain some of the feelings he got while here and some of the core protections this place had.
He stripped off his dirty clothes, he could get them cleaned here, and laid down. The plain wool blanket would be enough down here.
No sleep came his way though. Maybe he should get dressed and head for the kitchen for some caffe. By the time he got there, drank the caffe and got back he might be ready for sleep. He had done that before after a hard mission. 
 He shook his head. That would not work this time. His guilt kept him from falling asleep. He had placed people in danger, even new friends, for no good reason. If it had all worked as he planned he might be able to fight or ignore his guilt. Not now though.
What could he do to calm his guilt? Ask the Organization to send them more money? No.
Warn them to head through one of the passes that lead over the next set of even higher mountains? They might be safe for quite a few years there.The man had sounded like he didn’t think that army being formed would win. He probably hadn’t realized his feelings came through his tone. But if he thought the wargod would win there was a very good probability that he would.
For a second he thought of their daughter growing up and doing something to save the day-years late. Maybe she could and this was a warning to get the letter to her. Or a hint that even if he failed someone would take his place eventually.
Failed at what though?
As soon as he asked the question he knew. He knew how to get into the house even though the temple would be in a basement and he knew where the letter or key now lay. His office would be protected but he knew many tricks on how to bypass those protections. And the office knew him already.
Jar frowned. Even if she was able to win the day at sometime in the future he needed to do it now. During those years many people would die and many more be tortured. Heroes would come up and heroes would die. Some like him might become users of the night and shadows who would take people to safety and rob the wargod’s people to give to those in need and such but no. Over all it would be better to stop before it went much further.
That meant he had to steal from his boss, and the Organization. They had made something of him, even with his background. Yes they were using him, but for good things and they rewarded him not only with money and such but with a peace of mind and knowledge that he was doing something good.
He fell asleep sometime after he made that choice. Early in the morning though his bladder woke him up. There was a watercloset down the hall. A very old one that went along with the building but it had been updated. Somehow they had made a water trough under it and the other water closets in this underground complex, so that the water kept moving, shoving out everything that went down the holes in the broad seat.

Once back in his room he decided that the time had come. Late, but not too early in the day yet. There would be people still now here, agents finished their missions, or got into town, at odd times. But they would be few and since he belonged here no one would think it strange that he was up now.
He gathered what items he had taken out of his backpack and headed out. He knew the man usually slept here. He had a nice set of rooms in a side area. As far as Jar could tell there were as many as a dozen such apartments on that side. Possibly a dozen on the other side.
Jar closed his door as silently as possible and walked down the hallway. A few voices came from both directions but none should concern him.
Not much in the way of shadows here, probably planned that way, he thought.
After the odors in the water closet he realized the hallway smelled clear-that is not clean but not much of anything. Again most probably on purpose, he surmised.
He turned the right corridor and walked with purpose to where the office was. There were a lot of offices here, some with lights under the doorway and a couple with doors open, for this was the main entrance. Guests sometimes came this far. Jar nodded to or waved a hello to three people who worked here. One was an elf which always surprised him, for generally they stayed out of the affairs of humans. But what the Organization did might concern them too. And some elves didn’t go along with what is usual behavior for elves.
When he arrived at the correct door no one was about. Jar went down the hallway in both directions but found no one close. He listened but the only voices sounded way down the hallway. He went back to the door, pulled out a certain lock pick he had already pocketed, Sweat slide down his back even the hallway was cool. He sniffed the door and the air but outside of scents that lingered he could detect no cigar, sweat or performa odors that showed anyone waited in the room. No light shone under the door.
A bad taste formed in his mouth, for he was about to break into Juan’s office. True the only thing he wanted was the letter, but still. They may think they could figure out something to use against the wargod, maybe they could and possibly that is what John’s daughter would use if his idea was true, but he knew how to use it now. Before a lot of destruction and deaths. Right now people were being tortured into joining them.
No one had thought of the possibility that they could make a second key, but still if he had done better, grabbed a fast horse or gone to Spain where a secondary headquarters was, the key could have been back here before they made that second one and awoken and set free this awful wargod.
He listened for anyone coming and when he heard nothing, he bent over to look at the lock. The keyhole had been placed in the middle of the black frame set under the knob. Right in the center of that piece of thin metal. He touched it with just the palm of his hand, a very light touch. He could sense the wards and what was on the lock. Not all that powerful yet they still might somehow make the man know someone was messing with the lock. Not if he bypassed them, though.
He concentrated on making the pick feel like a key to the wards. He insetted it while he watched the wards. The pick was much smaller than a key would be but it also had a weight on the end along with a bent point. It weighted the same as a big, black metal key. He sent in his own magic and got a picture of the tumblers. He eased that image onto the pick. It went in okay. He knew the type of lock that had been used for this door and knew where to place the end of the pick. It hit an obstacle he took to be a tumbler. More sweat down his back and his sides from his armpits. Now he caught a scent of ozone, which wasn’t unusual and some oil used to protect the lock from grime and dust.
It clicked, good one down. He moved his pick over and repeated the procedure. He was probably taking too long and a ward would send an alarm but he had to do it.
Again he felt the tumbler move. He twisted his waist as if he turned a real key. The final click sounded. He looked around but even though that was louder than usual no one was near enough to hear it.
The door should be unlocked now. He kept the key in and pushed open the door. Once it had opened enough for him to walk in, he took the key out. And stepped in.
He halted at once.
There next to the desk, the man stood watching Jar.
After a long moment Jar gasped. Juan had been there the whole time even though he hadn’t sensed Juan. Now Jar had been caught breaking into the man’s office.

end excerpt