Book Cover for High Blademaster

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Ragnar is the name of the Baby Dragon shown here on the cover.

An excerpt from Book Three:  High Blademaster

When we got back to our home, Ragnar came skittering along the polished floor, his talons making no purchase, he came to a crashing halt against our legs, nearly bowling us over in the process. All red, he looked much like a giant salamander, with dark red bat wings attached.  The force of his crash upon our legs caused the young dragon to belch flames from his muzzle. I had to hop away or risk burning my flesh and clothes in flames.  Dragon flame is the hottest flame on all of Sol.

 

A Little About Me

 

I am an avid Science Fiction and Fantasy reader.

A computer consultant and a veteran British army soldier, I have worked in many countries including Germany, Ireland, England, South Africa, Denmark and the United States.

The inspiration for my first book Trolls Don’t Do Kung Fu came when I worked in Denmark for an Oil Company.  While visiting Vejen and the museum there.  In the courtyard before the museum entrance is a copy of a famous sculpture by Niels Hansen-Jacobsen (1861-1941) called Trold, der vejrer kristenblod (Troll that smells Christian blood) it stands before the white pillared doors of the museum building

My wife Linda and I spent a few hours there visiting the fascinating museum.  We stood before the statue admiring the talent of Neils Hansen-Jacobsen when  Linda said “That troll looks like it’s doing Kung Fu” to which he replied “Trolls don’t do Kung Fu.” Linda thought for a moment then added “That’s a good title for a book.” From her offhanded comment came the series the Chronicles of Sol of which Trolls Don’t Do Kung Fu is the first book.

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When I am not writing, I love to travel the desert landscapes of Utah and Nevada looking for Nisse, Trolls, Faeries and gateways to Sol.  I know I will never find them but I love to try.

A preview from my next book. High Blademaster.

Book three of the Chronicles of Sol:

As soon as Estrid uttered the demons name, his head snapped around and his terrible handsome gaze fell upon us, pale blue eyes burned into our souls.
‘BEGONE!’ A voice boomed like thunder in our minds. We shot back as if autumn leaves in a hurricane and carried away in that raging torrent of magical power.
I tumbled head over feet spinning out of control like a rag doll. No purchase I could not control myself as this maelstrom carried us away with it. Estrid with hundreds of years of flight experience managed to bring herself under controlled flight. She began to tumble with me as a shuttlecraft turns to synchronize with a space station before docking. Matching the rotation of my flailing chaos, she engaged with me to pull me out of the angry torrent that swept us along. Back in controlled flight, we came to a stop in the space between things, a place where spirits wander and dreams exist.
‘Quickly, my love, we must shelter.’ Estrid sent an urgent request.
‘Why?’ I asked casting my gaze around. ‘I see no danger.’ .
‘This is the place of Neverwas-Neverwillbe. It is the realm of disembodied souls. The realm of dreams. Look yonder Jon!’ Estrid pointed into the blackness.
I peered hard into that blackness. One moment my eyes tried to focus on the immenseness of forever the next, it was as if my face was right up against a massive black wall. I fought my way through the confusion of distance and focused to see dark against dark, the movement of shadows. It was the steady progression of shades moving towards us. The torrent of magic passing through them. Their hooded cloaks not even a flutter yet they moved with the bodies of the shades. I could not comprehend the numbers that moved our way. It looked like millions. The feeling of anger, fear and desperation from them penetrated our souls and threatened to overwhelm us.
‘They will overcome us and we will be lost to them forever.’ Estrid sent; the fear in her thoughts as strong as my own.
‘Come Lord Raine we will flee to Tir Na Nog where we will find safety. Come my love, this way.’ Estrid grabbed my hand and we shot away at blinding speed from the approaching march of the shades.
The sense of unbelievable speed stopped as suddenly as it started, and we glided down to a familiar garden.
‘Wow we are in Tir Na Nog aren’t we?’ I said. I realized I had a voice box and I uttered words I heard in my ears.
‘Yes my love we are in the Keep and the gardens thereof.’ Estrid confirmed. I heard her voice through my ears and not in my mind. I turned to look at her and she stood before me, not as the cute little asrais but as the young slender nisse maiden, she was hundreds of years ago.
She was dressed in a tunic of brown, cinched at the waist with a wide black belt under which she wore a white undergarment laced at the hemline, arms and neck. The image of a delectable forest Landnisse.
‘Do you like it?’ She asked.
I had no answer. I pulled her close and kissed her.
‘I will take that as a yes.’ She smiled, pulling back from the kiss after a long, comfortable moment.
‘That was quite a rush.’ I said. ‘What happened?’
‘We went to a memory of an Asrais that watched what we saw’ Estrid explained.
‘How did the demon see us? Or was that just a trick of the memory?’
‘I fear that when I spoke the demon’s name it sensed me through time and in the realm of the ‘Neverwas-Neverwillbe’. I know that because I spoke its name it attacked the Asrais that watched them. My Asrais sister winked out of existence when the blast hit us. Without an anchor there, the demon magic cast us away with the force of the spell like fanellion seeds in the wind. The force would have pushed us into those shades if I had not gained control and pulled you out of the maelstrom. My poor Asrais sister is no more, six thousand years of life snuffed out like a candle in an open window.’
Tears filled Estrid’s eyes and I watched her cry for the first time.
I held her close and comforted her. Standing in the middle of this beautiful garden full of love and well-being was a great comforter to her soul.
Estrid settled enough for us to break our embrace, which I did with great reluctance. However, releasing her meant I could gaze upon her devastating beauty, even enough to rival princess Erika, my princess bride.
I looked around the garden full of colours and smells of new life. Walls surrounded us but the enclosed garden was large enough feel open, with a wide azure sky above us. Six football pitches would easily have fitted into the area contained by the walls.
We stood on a stone path that wound through flowerbeds and manicured shrubs and lawns. The path was certainly of Elvin or Nisse design and was not the arrow straight roads of the Dwarfen engineers. The path led to a large fountain in the middle of the garden and we began to make our way there.
‘Estrid, my love. I don’t know how this demon reacted to your voice.’ I began.
‘Powerful demon magic, powerful enough to change the past.’ Estrid explained. This comment reminded of what Uffe the troll prince told me several months ago. It seemed so long ago it was almost another lifetime, and I realized I was not that soldier of the UFE anymore. I would never again be that man and I wondered if I would ever see my frail, ailing father or my brothers.
‘Even so my love. You cannot hold yourself to blame for the death of our sister Asrais. It already happened before you uttered the name. You must not dwell in guilt and sorrow. There is too much to do and millions of faerie to save. We have much work to do and little time to do it in.’ I explained, even though I understood her and felt a little sorrow and guilt myself. Perhaps my own feelings or a reflection of the feelings within Estrid.
The garden was a familiar place to me, Erika and I shared many dreams in our elvin bed when we visited this resting place, the fae place of waiting. Time moved differently here and we would spend many weeks or even months here only to return to Sol almost at the same moment we left. It could never be the same moment but a short time later as time had to be spent in Sol, even if just one second. It was a Titan rule as Erika once explained.
As we approached the fountain, my mind recalled the first time I visited this place. I met with my dear, departed mother and my, as yet, unborn children; then there was the first time I saw Estrid as a Nisse maiden, and a very attractive one she was as well. I smiled to myself.
I sent an image of my first sight of Estrid to her to share. Estrid did not respond or react.
‘Estrid, can you hear me?’ I sent. Nothing.
‘Estrid?’ I sent again. No reaction. It was as if she were telepathically deaf. I touched her arm to turn her to me and stopped on the winding pathway.
‘Estrid, you cannot hear my mind speak.’ I said.
‘No, Jon. I cannot. I am Nisse, not Asrais. I do not have that ability in this form.’ She said and I could hear the sadness in her voice.