Wednesday, March 28, 2012



and get


Exiled: Autumn's Peril is the first book in Rosalie Skinners's Chronicles of Caleath. 
"So before you start reading this one, be aware that it's highly
addictive and you'll crave the next book in the series. The good news is: the next seven books are supposed to be released in monthly intervals by MuseItUp Publishing.

Autumn's Peril weaves an intriguing tale where sci-fi meets fantasy. A planet still in its middle ages becomes the setting for a vicious real life game transmitted to an entertainment-craving audience spread through the federation of advanced worlds. Former Game Master and champion Caleath fights for his life in an archaic world, while the vengeful organizer tightens the net around him, not to mention an ignorant local mage getting in his way.

Caleath is a nicely ambiguous character, not your foolhardy hero but a man fighting for survival while trying to preserve his humanity. The last thing he needs is an accidental hostage, but even she can't help rooting for him. As their fates become entwined, a troubled Tristan and Isolde romance unfolds.

Fast-paced and vividly written, the story takes unexpected twists that keep you turning the pages. Even though you find yourself on a roller coaster you can always trust never to be thrown off. Lean back and enjoy the ride.

Book one offers a satisfying end while it keeps you longing for more and teases with hints at what else lies in stock for our exiled reluctant hero." Edith Parzefall.Germany. Multi published.


EXILED: Autumn's Peril... FREE

The Deathbringer agrees to serve Azriel to save his friends but the life of Nasith’s baby lies in the balance.
Azriel’s plans of endless domination are coming to fruition. Nasith’s care is her first priority as she persuades the Deathbringer to concede to her wishes. Each day he delays capitulation gives the forces allied against her another chance for victory. They face more than another season of winter warfare. An adversary from history swells the ranks of Azriel’s army. The people of Allorn must defeat a foe whose very touch is deadly as they face a witch who stands supreme.


The resident icterrori daemon drew comfort from the bitter chill as its nebulous body spread across the floor of its prison. The creature drew through tactile senses all essence of life from organic sources in contact with the mountain. The daemon pined. Deprived of the nourishment needed for survival, the entity found itself confined to an area depleted by its rapacious hunger.
The biped life forms wandering through the echoing halls of the Hold were not for consumption. The tiny human with cruel powers gave clear and painful orders. The huge daemon shuddered, remembering her warning. It cowered before her threat of immersion in the hideous salt water of the ocean.
Unable to find suitable nourishment left in the domain where the witch allowed it to feed, a shiver of despair shimmered across its bulk. With a desperate shudder, it searched for life beneath the running water that burned its essence like acid.

The relief of feeding brought sustenance. Enough to assuage the agony contact with the river caused. The life force of plants growing along the sedges of the waterway gave comfort to the daemon. The first stand of trees withered and died when the icterrori daemon absorbed their organic energy.
Satisfied for the moment, finding prolonged contact excruciating, the daemon retracted its life stealing awareness to within its rocky cell. It rested unhappy, unable to return to its own world but for a while without the urgent need to feed.


Corinne woke from a nightmare. She threw open the shutters and took a deep breath. Chill autumn air filled her lungs and brought her fully awake. 
Roiling gray clouds rolled over the mountains in the east adding an aura of dark drama to dawn’s feeble light. 

The vision suited the dream she abandoned on waking.
Her head ached, but didn’t explain the dread making her heart race. With the Deathbringer in the Council’s care and the survivors from Valkerie’s Peak back among friends, Corinne’s frisson of fear seemed out of place. 

Anxiety remained and forced her into action. Once dressed, she entered the corridor. Pale light ventured across aging floorboards and caressed the walls. Years of wear left a patina of smoke and grease on aging woodwork. Despite her wariness the building carried an air of familiarity and seemed to offer a feeling of safety. 

Catching sight of her reflection in a glass Corinne tried to banish the frown that marred her visage. Her Kentorian marshal’s uniform contrasted with her unruly hair. With deliberate care to nurture optimism, she skipped downstairs and swung into the kitchen, where the cook removed baked loaves from a smoke stained oven. 

“Good morrow, marshal.” The baker rubbed floured hands on his apron and greeted Corinne as she located a teapot steaming on the hob. She grabbed the kettle to pour boiling water into the pot, while the cook’s assistant broke a fresh bun from the cooling rack. The assistant supplied a pat of butter and cheese to accompany the simple fare.

“Thank you.” Corinne took the offering without enthusiasm. The cook turned reddened features away from the oven, as if he shared his guest’s disquiet.

“You’ve lost your appetite, my lady?” He took over the task of creating a perfect cup of tea from of the marshal’s forgetful hands. “Did you not sleep well?” He gave his assistant a nod of encouragement when the girl returned to preparing a basket of vegetables for a pot of soup.

“I slept badly. Terrible dreams. Is it obvious?” Corinne ran a brisk hand across her braid doing nothing to repair the damage lack of sleep wrought. She groaned, feeling the disarray of her singularly stubborn curls. 

Accepting her tea and platter of food she forced a smile and made her way outside. Extra tables allowed outdoor dining, to accommodate additional mouths of refugees and Alliance troops.

A reluctant sun showed its face. Birds in full chorus spread their raucous message as the autumn morning developed. With skilled fingers, Corinne re-braided her hair. She settled back to sip her tea and enjoy the crusty bread.

 With deliberate care she planned her day. For now she would take the chance to learn more about Caleath. The presence of the Deathbringer intrigued her. Nasith’s change of attitude to the mercenary only added to the mystery behind Caleath’s character. 

 Despite appreciating the moment of quiet, Corinne’s mind wandered.

 Dark visions from her nightmare lurked in her mind. She tried to relegate her anxiety to memory, but before she succeeded, Travis and Eluart approached. 

Their countenance boded ill and they walked the empty street with a purposeful step. 
The inkling of fear she had tried to expel blossomed into dread. She sprang to her feet, crossing the road to intercept their progress. 

Both man and Vergöttern saluted her with a deferential gesture. The object of their thoughts obviously remained elsewhere. 

“Tell me what troubles you this morning?” Her discomfort linked with their concerns.

“Isadawn has further news from the Nomads, my lady.” Travis didn’t slow his pace. “Eluart and I are about to give your brother the latest information. We have informed the archimage. He is gathering the Council as we speak.”

Matching their strides, Corinne joined them. The lines of worry creasing the beautiful Vergöttern brow confirmed the dread growing in her gut.

* * * *
Corinne entered Mykael’s room with a quick knock. He surprised her by being fully dressed, as if sleep evaded him too. His manner seemed tense but he smiled and greeted her with a warm embrace. 

Corinne guided him to the study where the ranger and the Vergöttern lord waited. With a sigh, Mykael bade them take seats. She read anxiety in his mood when he organized his already tidy desk. When Corinne settled in an armchair, Mykael took a chair for himself.

Sunlight broke through the window to herald the start of the day’s activities outside the king’s room. The atmosphere generated within made normal activity sound like a cacophony of chaos.

“Please, speak freely.” Mykael straightened.

“The Nomad Awain reports from the east bank of the River Arrion. They have found the witch’s stronghold, sire.” Lord Eluart spoke without emotion, but his with words made Corinne’s hair lift and goosebumps rise on her skin.



PHOTOS Courtesy of FOTOLIA.COM and All photos of EXILED are copyright to RACHEL LEWIS PHOTOGRAPHY. Thanks to Matt Bryant for becoming Caleath. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sneak a Peek at ... INVADED: The Darkest Day.

An unedited glimpse into the new, un seen adventures of Caleath...

The minstrel strums a quiet tune. Anticipation ripples across the crowd and her gaze follows the straggler finding a place close to the fire. A mother calms her child as beyond shuttered windows a storm howls. Fingers dance across her lute’s strings drawing all eyes. 

“Peace brings complacency. After five summers the horrors of battle fade into memory. 
Now the threats from Wilden and Tarack no longer plague the south, Caleath, Penwryt, Father Eamon, and Corinne seek anonymity near Aberssley Cross. 
Working as a smith, disguised by spell wrought illusion our hero has enjoyed two summers in relative peace. With him in obscurity is Raul, a native of the southern realm of Ruak, who feels bound to protect the man who saved his life.”

The crowd mutters at the mention of the Ruak barbarian. The yowl of the wind lifts to a frightening level. The minstrel gives her music time to work its magic, waiting for a lull in the gale before continuing. Her fingers skip in tune to the tumultuous conditions outdoors.

“Our story resumes as peace shatters and Caleath is drawn towards his destiny…”



A pulse of wild magic knocked Caleath forward before the backlash exploded along the valley. He reeled in the saddle and watched a wall of wind consume the daylight. Above him, lightning shredded eldritch night, while an unnatural tempest stripped vegetation and rubble from the earth.

Ahead, a cart loaded with children moved onto a bridge across the river. Beside him, Corinne snatched at her horse’s reins. The creature squealed and bucked beneath her.

“Tallowbrand,” Caleath shouted as the storm raced toward him. “We could use a little help! Wizard!”

The hurricane drove a bank of river water high into the air. Corinne screamed and spurred her horse toward the children. Caleath gave his stallion, Enigma, free rein, urging the beast forward. 

Before he reached the children, the wave struck the bridge. The wooden structure shattered. Cart, horse, and humans tumbled into the maelstrom. 

A whiplash of sorcery slashed against the tempest. For a fractured moment, relative calm surrounded the tragic tableau. For respite from the tumult Caleath silently thanked the unseen wizard.

“The children!” Corinne’s voice pitched above the thunder and rumble of tortured rock. He shared the urgent need in her shout, throwing himself from Enigma’s saddle. His wet hands fumbled while he unbuckled the stallion’s reins and lashed them around his own waist. With a shout and a gesture, he urged Corinne to follow suit. He left her to calm Enigma. When the horse stood hock deep in rising water, Caleath used the slippery leather and rope as a lifeline.

He moved deeper into the raging river. Cold tightened bands of steel around his chest and his head ached as air pressure dropped. He waded through waves of debris snagged on the remains of the bridge. Branches, broken timber, and clods of grass struck his head and shoulders as he fought the current.

 Through driving rain, he caught a glimpse of the overturned cart and the sodden woodwork that rose above the melee. The precious cargo of frightened children clung to the framework. As he approached, Caleath heard their whimpered cries and strident shouts. A deeper voice of calm among the shrill pleas offered comfort and courage. 

He caught the dray’s side and dragged three small boys clear of the splintered frame. With one child’s arms around his neck and another boy under each arm, Caleath pushed away from the dray.

“Hang on.” He turned his back on the terrified faces of those children left behind. “Tallowbrand, tell Corinne we are ready,” he told the disembodied dread lord using telepathy to avoid swallowing more river water. Prohibited from working sorcery himself he relied on his companion, the ghostly archimage, for any form of magic.

Rain ran across his face, filled his mouth and blocked his vision while river water sluiced over his head with each successive wave. Without the tug of the lifeline at his waist, he could not make way against the drag of the current. Even with this additional pull, progress seemed slow. The children cried as they clutched him and made progress more difficult. 

He stumbled on slippery boulders, dragged heavy boots from the guttling mud and managed to reach shallower water. To his relief, Corinne took charge of the children, allowing him to step back into the current.

On the second trip, he half carried half dragged two older boys.  A young man grabbed the lifeline, adding his strength against the current, aiding Caleath’s progress toward the river’s edge. While he helped rescue the terrified children the youth kept pointing and shouting toward the dray. Corinne lifted saturated bodies from Caleath’s arms. 

“El’sbeth and her baby.” The youth gasped, taking one child from Corinne’s arms and scrambling to higher ground.

Caleath nodded, dragged air into his lungs and signaled the stallion to step forward again. Intense cold burned every limb. His legs shook and his boots slipped on mud-covered rocks. With teeth chattering he lifted a hand.

“I am going.” The storm snatched his words away. High on the dray’s upturned seat he could see a girl clutching a baby in her arms. When he reached deep water, the wind whipped his hair across his streaming eyes and hid the young woman and the baby from sight.

Caleath, I can do no more. This storm is unnatural. I am spent.” Tallowbrand’s hollow voice echoed through his mind. Caleath cursed, surging forward to touch the splintered dray. 

A little longer, Tallowbrand,” he pleaded, but heard nothing in reply.

He scrambled hand over hand along the dismembered cart until he found a foothold. The girl slid toward him across the dray’s bench seat before she dropped into the turbulent water. Her hand reached through the murk, desperate eyes pleaded for help as she struggled to keep the baby’s head above water. 

His fingers touched hers. In the same heartbeat, the dread lord’s magic dissolved. In an instant, the storm hammered into the void Tallowbrand’s sorcery had created. 

Caleath’s fingers closed on empty air, a hair’s breadth from El’sbeth’s hand.

A wall of water smashed into the broken bridge, lifted the structure skyward and speared fractured woodwork into the turbulence. Forces beyond comprehension twisted the cart, thrust the drowned horse into the air and tossed portions of the mutilated bridge in front of the wave.

Caleath heard El’sbeth’s scream above the din. He struggled to reach her but the lifeline pulled tight around his waist before giving way. The sudden torrent tore him from the dray and dragged him beneath the water. Around him uprooted trees, shattered corbels and water pounded into the muddy riverbed. His throat closed when the cart landed across his chest. A silent scream reverberated through his head as a splintered floorboard speared through his side. Watery darkness engulfed him. The dray pinned him in the river’s depths. 

Again, he cursed immortality.
Coming soon from Museitup Publishing...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Proudly Paranormal Blog hop Introduces TALLOWBRAND...

 Welcome to 
'The Chronicles of Caleath'
Lady Rosalie's paranormal post.

Rosalie is celebrating the release of Book Four in the Chronicles of Caleath! Friday MARCH 16th  2012... 
COME ON AND JOIN THE BOOK LAUNCH PARTY AT WENDY LAHARNAR'S BLOG... These parties are famous... don't miss out on finding out why! Bring your cyber spirit and sense of adventure. Meet other Muse authors and celebrate their book releases!
*** For a Limited Time Only Buy Book Four... get BOOK ONE 
EXILED: Autumn's Peril as a BONUS!!! FREE OFFER!!!***

 My name is Tallowbrand. Many years ago, too many for mortals to count, I inspired dread with my wizardly powers.

These were curtailed by one of my acolytes, Azriel. The she devil tricked me.

Now I am trapped within Dragonslair Island, waiting for the Deathbringer to free me.

Being trapped for a millenia gives me time to chat. So, settle back, what can I tell you about?

Ahh, the Chronicles of Caleath... A mix of science fiction and fantasy, dragons, shapechangers, magic,  swords, tallships, starships, and swashbuckling adventure.

I beg your pardon... you would like to meet a few of the characters?

Very well.. don't say I didn't warn you.

You have already met Caleath, surely. He's on the covers of the books. Don't get me started. He already has enough of a fan club.

Where's mine? I could tell you more interesting tales... I have been around far longer and through darker times... Let me tell you about the time I...

What? Merkaat, greatest of all dragons, what are you implying? Tsk tsk... of course these good people want to hear about my life. Why wouldn't they?

You? What are you suggesting? 
Since you are able to make my life most unpleasant, I will aquiese to your suggestion.

Merkaat, now the magificent creature you see depicted in these feeble sketches, once faced my nemesis Azriel too. The dragon, then only a hatchling, was cruelly blinded by the witch. 

Azriel's lust for power drove her to  betray her mentor.  Me.
Frustrated by my refusal to succumb to her beauty, passion, and talent, when she realised her magic could not  entrap me she turned to a more potent source.

 While humans and mages expended all their energies battling dragons,  the devious sorceress searched for a means to trap me. She discovered a means to use the curse of dragon's blood. Should an unsuspecting human have the vile stuff come into contact with their flesh, the victim is consumed by a lethal lust for dragon's gold. Unless protected by Lathraine's Pledge of course. Sadly the ring wasn't in my posession.

Azriel used the blood shed when Merkaat lost her eyes for the dastardly purpose of ruining me. After battling and defeating the dragon lord Sharyac in those dragon wars, I succumbed to her evil scheme.

 Hence I became the long term resident of Dragonlair Island. I have lived in more comfortable places. Let me assure you. spectral locations could be worse.

Hmm. No.. I can feel my tongue turning black. I yearn for my freedom.

Even the shades of deceased dread lords have pride. 
Being cooped up here among the brimestone, gold and dragon sorcery is torture. 
After a thousand wretched years I made a  plea to the local diety, the One. I swore to serve the Deathbringer, if one would come and free me from this accursed prison.

Too often heroes arrive, only to fall prey to the dragon lord's warped magic, their accursed gold or their displays of power. I cannot give up hope. One day he will arrive and I will enjoy a new lease on freedom.

The Deathbringer can't get here soon enough for me.

 If you share Tallowbrand's impatience, don't despair. You can find out how he fares in the Chronicles of Caleath. 
Book Four is available on March 16th from Museitup Publishing. If you haven't yet enjoyed the previous books, visit

 Now... did you visit Jan Fischer Wade's Blog...   Tues March 13th

Don't forget to follow up with Sky Purington Writes Thurs March 15th

Thanks for dropping in.  
  Leave a comment to discover the magic of dragons' gold... no, I mean to go into the draw for a copy of 
Book One in the Chronicles of Caleath...

Several excerpts are available following this blog. Please feel free to browse.

if you have already read  
Exiled: Autumn's Peril Book One
your choice of the released ebooks in the Chronicles of Caleath.  

Look for Books Five through to Eight.. the new adventures...coming very soon From Museitup Publishing...  
 Here is an unedited extract from Book Eight, ADRIFT: The Fragile Sun...where Caleath faces a few paranormal entities hungry for his blood. Enjoy...

Around him, the cavern pulsed with a steady heartbeat. Ground tremors shook the floor and settled the balance of gold displaced by his footsteps. Caleath rose into a crouch, holding the dark blade before him. Eyes adjusted to fading light but couldn’t focus on the weapon in his hands. He didn’t have time to think about the anomaly. 

From every handbreadth of wall, roof, and floor strange creatures emerged. Caleath lifted the sword as he spun to watch the fiends’ arrival. The light vanished. Only senses tweaked by Lathraine’s Pledge showed his attackers. Fangs dripped with saliva. Claws clattered on stone while collective breathing, yammering, and yowling froze the marrow in his bones.

He stepped to one side. The tapering pillars, he now recognized as the ribs of a giant dragon. The sword he removed would have pierced the creature’s heart, had there been one. Now the ribs formed a cage around him and he needed room to move.

The return of mage power gave him hope. Stepping clear of the ribcage he kept his back to a pillar as the first scurrying daemons attacked.

“Tallowbrand! Merkaat, Dashveer!” His voice echoed in the cavern. For less than a heartbeat, the horde hesitated, before they charged with renewed vigor. Caleath’s blade swung, the dark steel pulsed with life as he severed limbs and battered the smaller creatures. “Tallowbrand!” 

A collection of kobolds, harpies, ogres, and trolls closed in on him. More dead than alive, as individuals they weren’t hard to dispatch, but in the numbers they commanded Caleath failed to swing his blade fast enough to prevent their teeth and claws raking flesh.

“Merkaat, Tallowbrand, anyone…I could do with some help here!”
Before he finished speaking, Caleath regretted his plea. An answer rose from within him.

You could get to meet Nic Brown author of A Grave St Patrick's Day (Horror Fantasy) and perhaps Peter Gigilo, author of Balance (Horror)... Also on the guest list are Kim Baccellia,   YA adventure with 'Earrings of Ixtumea'
and Cheryl B. Dale with the romance suspense "The Man in the Boat". If you dare mingle with zombies, mysterious strangers, ancient cultures, sorcerers and dragons...


Thanks for joining us today.
Drop in to the Museitup Blog on the 27th March for more information regarding The Battle of Enderseer Hold's paranormal entities.

PHOTOS Courtesy of FOTOLIA.COM and all photos from the EXILED photoshoot are copyright to RACHEL LEWIS PHOTOGRAPHY. Thanks to Matt Bryant for becoming Caleath. :)

Monday, March 12, 2012


The price of surviving the dragon’s lair is responsibility as Caleath faces the impossible task of annihilating the Tarack. 
The threat facing the Southern Regions of Allorn spreads north as warm weather awakens the Tarack. An alliance of Vergöttern and human forces now face overwhelming odds as they battle to keep the rich grain belts free from the giant ants. Without Caleath, hope of keeping the Tarack confined fades.

On Dragonslair Island, Caleath’s return heralds a new threat. Releasing the dead Archimage Tallowbrand and surviving as the Deathbringer brings the sorceress Azriel’s plans closer to fruition.

To save Nasith he must face the Tarack queen and her horde. Each survived challenge only brings him closer to confronting the ever powerful Azriel.


No longer a prisoner of the dragon’s lair, he shivered, measuring pain against the euphoria of limited freedom. His body ached in every fiber, familiar yet oddly foreign pain pulsed beneath burned and blistered skin.

Free from contact with the dragon lords, he reeled with information the dragon Merkaat shared during his incarceration. The weight of the gold band seared into the blistered flesh of his index finger. 

The dragon lords insisted he keep the gold ring. It was more than a souvenir of the draconian sorcery he had survived.

He rested weary bones against the cool support of cave walls, and placed both arms across his knees. 

Given time, nanobots should heal his wounds. 
A single point of warm aureate light bounced above his head. The scents of wood smoke and pine forest wafted past jagged senses. He recognized the familiar touch of gravity and the telltale essence of humanity.
“Orwin Tallowbrand?” an enquiring call echoed off the cavern walls to Caleath’s right. Echoes shattered deep silence.
The unfamiliar human voice jolted Caleath’s memory. He returned to the moment he left the cavern, trusting the directions of a dead dread lord.
“Orwin Tallowbrand, Dragon’s bane?” he lifted his voice in reply. “Show yourself! I have returned.”

“Braidon and Tallowbrand have asked you to help them destroy the witch and you’ve refused.” Spider’s raw grief fuelled his accusation. Caleath dropped his arm from the boy’s shoulder and tore his eyes away from Gwilt’s suggestion. 

He needed to face Spider’s condemnation before he worried about anything else. 

Before he could speak, Gwilt exploded.

“Tallowbrand?” Gwilt caught the name and spat it as if the word itself were poison. 

Caleath switched his attention back to Gwilt, confounded by the conversation that seemed to be aimed at him but didn’t seem to include him.

“You don’t know what they ask.” Caleath tried to ease Spider’s anger before he faced Gwilt’s outburst. “Understand, Spider, there are things in life we cannot change. Flea is dead. I am sorry but there is nothing we can do to avenge his murder at this time.”

“Can’t or won’t?” Spider demanded. “Are you afraid of this witch?”

Caleath took a deep breath. Ignoring Gwilt’s piercing gaze, he decided Spider needed consoling in his grief. He took the boy’s shoulders in his hands and turned to face him. 

“If I give you my word, to see your brother avenged, will you…”

“No!” Gwilt stepped between them and knocked Caleath’s arms from the boy’s shoulders. “Don’t even think that. Don’t say another word! By the Blade, you are playing right into her hands. She reads you like an open book! No wonder she is confident of success.”

“What are you doing, Gwilt?” Caleath turned his head to discover Paskin at his shoulder glaring at the newcomer with unspoken threat. “It’s all right, Paskin. Relax.”

“Whatever you do, you must not play into her hands, Caleath. She is waiting for you to release the Archimage Tallowbrand.” Gwilt’s dread announcement sent ice through Caleath’s veins. “Once she heard you had been given the title Deathbringer…”

“Tallowbrand?” Caleath groaned. “I don’t think I want to hear anymore.” Sudden exhaustion leached the last reserves of his energy. He forced knees of warm wax to hold him upright. “Sweet mercy, I could do nothing else.”

Gwilt’s expression of horror shocked Caleath. Gwilt traveled with Penwryt without qualm. Why should he fear a dead dread lord?

Meanwhile, Spider recoiled and fell silent. The specter in question manifested his form in the darkness within Gwilt’s sight.

“Paskin, take care of Spider,” Caleath pleaded when the boy retreated with dark glances into the gloom. “Do not leave him alone.”

“As you wish. He’s a tough young rascal, Caleath, he will be all right.”

Caleath nodded without taking his eyes from Gwilt while the archimage cast a mocking bow toward the youth from Allorn.
“Meet Orwin Tallowbrand, Gwilt.” Caleath’s words tasted bitter. “As you can see he is already free.”

Gwilt stood irresolute. His eyes widened and his whole body trembled. He took a deep breath and turned to face Caleath. “You don’t know what you have done this time, Caleath.”

“This young man has paranoia running through his veins, Deathbringer. Azriel has taken all courage from his backbone. Do not let his ranting cause you concern.” 
Tallowbrand’s transparent grin did not appease Caleath’s anxiety or exhaustion. “Dragon’s breath, smell his fear. You do not need his support. Braidon made an error of judgment. Send him on his way.”

Caleath’s inherent distrust of sorcerers cramped the muscles in his throat. He lowered his shoulders and stretched the kinks out of his neck. At least he understood the archimage. He could do without his interference.

“Be gone!” He found the immediate disappearance of the apparition as unsettling as his mordant comments. He turned to face Gwilt’s doubts and accusations with patience.

“Now tell me what you think I have done.”

 EXILED: The Legacy of Lathraine's Pledge ebook buy link.

PHOTOS Courtesy of FOTOLIA.COM and All photos of EXILED are copyright to RACHEL LEWIS PHOTOGRAPHY. Thanks to Matt Bryant for becoming Caleath. :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Hampered by bandits; burdened with the title of Deathbringer; and rumors of dragons all drive Caleath further from his goals and closer to his destiny.
Alone, Caleath rides south to kill the Tarack queen in her dormant colony, and thus, ensure the safety of the people. His ‘kill or be killed’ mission is not altruistic. Although he justifies his motive, saving the people, gaining his own freedom and acceptance, deep within his soul he battles a yearning for Tarack stim crystal. However, a small child's plea for help dissolves Caleath's simple plan.

His new quest takes him on a desperate path traversed by bandits, dragons, bloody battles, danger, and death. No longer is Caleath alone.
Meanwhile Nasith travels south with Lachlan, Gwilt, and a band of soldiers prepared for the battle with the Tarack. As they travel, Gwilt voices his concern about the malevolence surrounding a newcomer to the group. Convinced his doubts have fallen on deaf ears, he remains alert and wary. His attitude leads to a confrontation from which neither he nor Nasith emerge unscathed.

Winter allows the people of Allorn time to prepare, while other nefarious schemes rise to destroy them.

He withdrew his sword to counter-thrust past a badly executed onslaught. Relentless, desperate attacks, driven by anger and fear, caused lethal misjudgment. 

Another antagonist fell before Caleath’s tireless blade. When the sword snagged under the dying man’s weight Caleath feinted. He snatched the wrist of an unguarded arm flailing toward him.

With a wicked twist, he snapped the arm back. The sound of fracturing bone echoed with the scream while Caleath hefted free his sword and silenced the bandit’s agony.

Two brigands maintained their assault. Caleath caught a fleeting image of a third, somehow lost from sight. His adversaries worked as a team, moving with experience and care to engage him.

From nowhere a silent missile struck Caleath, missing his temple by a hair’s breadth. He tried to turn but black pain exploded in his skull. The young survivor from the village, safely out of reach of Caleath’s sword, smiled and lowered a slingshot.
Caleath staggered against the bole of the fig. Fighting to stay conscious, he watched two brigands step forward to finish the fight.

Unable to raise his sword, Caleath closed his eyes and waited for death. He heard the unforgettable whistle of arrows. He didn’t feel the quarrels strike. Darkness caressed him. The abyss offered sweet oblivion and he sank onto his haunches.  


Caleath curled one gloved hand around the hilt of the Karadorian sword. His finger traced the outline of two missing jewels, used to purchase a pack horse and supplies before leaving Sheldarc. Cold leached through the fabric of the spare blanket draped around his shoulders as he tried to encourage sleep. Deep within the sheltered cowl of his hood, his eyes closed.

Caleath cocked his head to listen. Well beyond the horses resting with their tails to the wind, he heard a wolf’s howl disturb the quiet of the night. The baying stirred a well of loneliness. Gwilt and Nasith traveled elsewhere. They probably spent the cold, dismal night indoors, sleeping on warm beds with full bellies. 

Thoughts of Nasith warmed Caleath’s blood, but he quelled them before they ruined his hope for sleep. He cherished the memory of moments spent in her company. They had been desperate moments. Survival dominated his thoughts then, preventing him from savoring her presence. Now assassins no longer hunted him, nor did ghosts haunt his nights. Nor did Nasith ride with him. He rode alone, south toward the growing threat, in a desperate quest to prove his worth to the old mage Penwryt. 

With his chance of returning home destroyed, Caleath fought the despair of homesickness. Cold made his inner arm scar tissue ache. Anger warmed him, banishing thoughts of Nasith. 

Instead, rage focused on Ephraim, the man who manipulated Caleath’s exile. Although Ephraim managed to delay Caleath’s plans for revenge, they fermented even now. Left without galactic citizenship, or a means to get off the planet, Caleath cursed his enemy with every breath. 

Outrageous plans and fading memories blurred as slumber edged past dreams of vengeance. Drifting into an uneasy sleep, Caleath’s guard lowered.

A taint of corruption carried on the cold night air. 

Adrenaline pumped, boosting barriers within his mind. Caleath flinched. Sleep dulled the alarm, but instinct reacted to the touch of sorcery. Dragged from a dreamlike state, Caleath braced, rousing to repel the probing of another mind against the defenses inside his head. 

His fingers clasped the Karadorian blade, already drawn beneath Caleath’s heavy cloak. Caution saw the sword bared against the threat of ice forming in the sheath and preventing the weapon’s release. Despite his precautions, the sword could not protect him from magic. The effort needed to prevent the persistent intrusion caused his heart to pound and his head to ache. 

The barriers in his mind loomed as intangible walls, protecting the detritus of dark magic left by dire conjurations. The threat of incursion into the morass of unfathomed magic terrified Caleath. He recognized his feeble efforts, compared to the power ranged against him. 

A trickle of dampness spreading along his spine became a river of cold sweat. Fully awake, Caleath trembled as he fought a silent battle against an invasive and invisible foe.

 The horses shuffled, as if they too sensed the desperate conflict. Caleath didn’t open his eyes, his focus turned inward. Neither cold, nor the scent of corruption, nor the sudden quiet in the forest seemed important as he fought to keep his mind free from manipulation. He called upon all the ways and means of constructing and maintaining barriers, learnt during three years as the source for Karadorian dread lords.  

Even so, his efforts seemed futile. Nothing he offered prevented the aggressive sorcery from broaching his wards. 

He dragged cold air into his lungs, clamped his jaws shut, and clenched white-knuckled fists around the hilt of the sword. His sense of futility spread, though he refused to capitulate. He tasted blood, smelt bitter corruption and heard Death’s dark humor in the cascade of a nearby creek. 

Between one heartbeat and the next, an explosion of burning flame rampaged behind Caleath’s eyelids. He gasped, opening his eyes when the image of a dragon rampart burned into his vision. He sensed a presence; human, insubstantial, but carrying dread potential. Before he could react to the awe-inspiring presence of the dragon, all three apparent threats; dragon, human, and the touch of sorcery dispersed. No longer under attack, Caleath shuddered. 

Both horses snorted, shying as Caleath staggered to his feet. Blinded by the sudden light, it took another heartbeat before vision adjusted to the darkness before dawn. Caleath stumbled against Enigma’s flank, his sword flailing toward two unseen foes. 

The forest remained quiet. A white owl winged silently into the gloom. No dragon or sorcerer disturbed the peaceful tableau. 

“Balls of a hairy goat.” Caleath rammed the sword into its scabbard and tried to shake off the feeling of impending doom. He took time to settle his racing heart, fill his lungs with sweet air and relish his continued freedom. 

In the distance the wolf yowled as the morning light crept across the forest floor. Shrugging off the cloak, Caleath adjusted his shirt where damp fabric chilled warm flesh.  The cheerful chatter of crickets, birds greeting the dawn, and the innocent babbling brook mocked Caleath’s rank fear. Again thoughts of Gwilt and his wolf rose to provoke his loneliness. Cursing his penchant to dwell on their plight, Caleath savored a moment wondering how Nasith greeted the dawn.


PHOTOS Courtesy of FOTOLIA.COM and All photos of EXILED are copyright to RACHEL LEWIS PHOTOGRAPHY. Thanks to Matt Bryant for becoming Caleath. :)