Palladium – Chapter 3

The last few weeks have seemed like “whack a mole.” Every time I get one of the little buggers back in the ground, something else pops up.

I guess that’s the fun and adventures in space and time.

For you Loki fans, I have been getting some done on the 7th novella. Okay, when it snows in Los Angeles, I get the point. *grin* I did have to get words done on the novella so he wouldn’t dump snow on me coming home from Sandy, Utah. It certainly was aiming that way as we headed toward that weekend. Guess who had no snow? Yep! Me. People may think that I’m weird, but that’s okay. I know the reality: Loki loves to pester me with cold, snow, and ice if I do not pay enough attention to him.

I really want to go get my words in for the night so I can get some sleep. I can’t wait until spring and the sun returns for good. I needs it, Precious, I needs it! You can clearly see I’m losing my mind here.

We should get you to the story and away from me. *grin* Happy adventuring!

This story is meant for new adult audiences. It is rather mature in nature, not that there’s anything really detrimental, but it certainly isn’t meant for readers under 17 as there is content of a sensual nature. If you are younger or prefer completely clean content, please go no further with this story.

Previously: The novihomidrak, Cirvel, heads through a festival on his way to meet up with an old “friend” who has a map that Cirvel needs. The friend, Sapere Imor, isn’t happy to see Cirvel and tries to persuade Cirvel with other temptations. Irritated with not getting his answers, Cirvel seals Imor into a genie lamp. A ninja steps from the shadows and steals away the lamp containing Imor, leaving Cirvel holding only air. He returns to the shrine to discuss the situation with the Grand Sapere, who demands to take it to the Dragon Council. Cirvel knows the Council will take far too long to come to a decision. Cirvel decides to act on his own.


Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©
Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

Palladium

Chapter 3

by Dawn Blair

Cirvel made his way back to the festival. The musk scent in the air had deepened as fresh dancers had taken over. This had probably happened a couple times over and the sweat of all the people hung around. Through that odor, Cirvel also smelled meat cooking. A different kind now, and coming from a different vendor. This meat smelled much gamier.

He scanned around for the ninja, even while he chided himself for trying. It wouldn’t be smart for her to return to the festival; she had what she wanted.

Unless she’d been there for another reason and taking the lamp had merely been a crime of opportunity. Let’s see if we can steal from the novihomidrak and get away with it.

He had proved that she could.

He blinked down his dragon lids, the world taking on a yellow hue. A second look at the crowd didn’t reveal any more information than the first time.

Cirvel wanted to head toward the vendor booths and avail himself of the meat which tantalized his senses. In just thinking about sinking his teeth into it nearly made his dragon teeth emerge. He caught himself smiling as he swallowed back the saliva pouring into his mouth. The insides of his cheeks tingled almost painfully.

But eating what not what the Humline called him to do. Not at the moment at least. The time for that would come. Right now, it dragged him to walk away from the festival, stride confidently down the street, letting the music fade behind him. He gave in to the urge and followed where it led him.

His mind chewed over the information he knew: Imor had seen the map, one that glimmered into existence only once every decade. Granted, it had been a decade since Imor had seen the map. If the sapere hadn’t mentioned that he was waiting to view it again, word might not have ever reached Cirvel about its existence. That map would show him the source of an imagination dragon, a special one that hoarded books. Not only would this imagination dragon have the knowledge Cirvel sought, but it would have everything that Cirvel would need to know immediately afterwards in the books that it kept scattered.

But until Cirvel got back the lamp holding Imor, he was no closer to his answers than he had been before he learned of the map’s existence.

“Back again so soon,” a voice called out of the shadows.

Cirvel stopped, turning slowly toward the woman’s voice. His heart raced, but he hoped not to show an ounce of his anticipation. Patience, he mentally commanded himself as if the word were a meditation mantra. He got the pleasure of watching her step out of the darkness into the light. She wore black now, not the skimpy dancer’s outfit he’d seen earlier. A grating tension scraped up his arms and spine, making him fight against the snarl that twitched on his lips. He forced it into a smile instead. He knew that he really should be pleased to see the ninja again; it gave him a chance to recover the lamp.

“Couldn’t stay away from the festivities, or were you coming back to take me up on my offer?” she asked, sashaying easily up to him.

Her eyes were blue, bluer than most skies he’d seen. They trapped and held him.

She stopped before him, her gaze now uneasily on Cirvel. He realized that he still had his novihomidrak lids down. No wonder she looked so vivid to him.

“Don’t blink them away.” She held up her hand, not quite touching his chest as she pulled closer to him.

He let her command him even though it forced him to go against the instincts rising through his chest, including the apprehension pouring down his arms. He found himself trembling. Yet he couldn’t look away from her blue eyes. They held him lost.

His mind tumbled.

Confusion frolicked across her face. The sight of it nearly made Cirvel laugh. He felt the threat of it bubble in his throat. One did not mock a ninja. Yet, her eyebrows furrowed as she studied him like she didn’t know what to make of him either. Random happenchance let them explore each other.

“Shall we find a bed now, or do we pretend we both were seeking each other for the lamp?” The words out of his mouth astonished him equally as much as they appeared to shock her.

“Presumptive, aren’t you?”

He could barely understand what she said to him.

With a hiss, he drew back. “You’re doing that, aren’t you? Manipulating my energy?”

“This may come as a surprise to you, but I’m not doing it. Check?” She stepped closer to him.

It took a moment for him to realize what she wanted him to check. Then he realized she meant he should check the Humline. His mouth opened in amazement.

“My name is Treshauna. I am a Black Night.”

“What do you want with the lamp?”

She grabbed onto him and yanked herself against him. “I thought you were going to take me to bed first.” She reached up on her toes and pressed her mouth against his.

“To business then.”

***

If you have enjoyed my work, please tell a friend about my stories. Thank you!

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Feeling a little romance in the air? Love deserves a second shot. 


Palladium – copyright © 2019 Dawn Blair Published by Morning Sky Studios

Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios

Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios

Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©

Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

This excerpt is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

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Palladium – Chapter 2

I hope you enjoyed chapter 1 last week.

It’s been interesting working on Cirvel’s story, especially since so many auxiliary stories feed off of the either the character or aspects of the story. Truly, Cirvel is a central character to so much of my work right now.

There was a point when I was working on Quest for the Three Books that I could see the past, present, and future of the story’s timeline. To have such clear thoughts about what was behind, how it brought about the events going on in the story, and what repercussions would come about was an amazing vantage point.

I feel that way about Cirvel’s story. I’m still missing huge chunks of it, but I do love the discovery. Every day that goes by, more of these holes get filled in. It’s an exciting journey.

Let’s get to the story!

This story is meant for new adult audiences. It is rather mature in nature, not that there’s anything really detrimental, but it certainly isn’t meant for readers under 17 as there is content of a sensual nature. If you are younger or prefer completely clean content, please go no further with this story.

Previously: The novihomidrak, Cirvel, heads through a festival on his way to meet up with an old “friend” who has a map that Cirvel needs. The friend, Sapere Imor, isn’t happy to see Cirvel and tries to persuade Cirvel with other temptations. Irritated with not getting his answers, Cirvel seals Imor into a genie lamp. A ninja steps from the shadows and steals away the lamp containing Imor, leaving Cirvel holding only air.


Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©
Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

Palladium

Chapter 2

by Dawn Blair

Cirvel stepped into the temple with a low growl. He still couldn’t believe he’d lost Imor.

A sapere came running out from the back hallway and skid to a stop before him. He bowed respectfully. “May I be of assistance?”

“No, Sapere Kinto, you may not.” Then he thought again about what needed to be done. “Actually, you may. I need an audience with the Grand Sapere.”

“I’m sorry, but he is booked with appointments today.”

“I didn’t ask if you’d check his schedule, now did I? I need to speak to him now.”

The sapere bowed again. “Yes, Cirvel. I will see what I can do.”

As the sapere spun around to dash away, Cirvel snatched him by the arm and pressed extended claws against Kinto’s skin through his robes. “Interrupt what he is doing and inform him I need immediately.”

Cirvel could tell the sapere didn’t like interrupting his superior at the mere request of a novihomidrak, but his fear of Cirvel also made it impossible for him to not go. Cirvel couldn’t deny that he liked the sensation of power, but he knew he’d need that extra push to make sure the sapere obeyed him. He could use his dragon magic, which almost felt like cheating, but he’d rather use sheer persuasion instead. Words over magic, he told himself, were the way to get people to comply to his will. “A ninja awaited me at the festival. She got away with Imor.”

Kinto’s eyes grew wide. “Ninja?”

“Now, go get the Grand Sapere.”

Before Cirvel had even released Kinto, the sapere was heading for the Grand Sapere’s office.

Words made others completely surrender to Cirvel’s will.

When used wisely, words trapped people and made masters of mere servants. Better yet, very few people knew the power hidden in words spoken correctly, but Cirvel understood.

Clipped, hasty speech between two men came to Cirvel’s ears. He nearly laughed to himself when his novihomidrak hearing let him hear how the Grand Sapere coughed when the other said, “He said there’s a ninja here.”

Grand Sapere Howro practically came stumbling out of his office with Kinto in tow. “Ninja?” Howro asked.

“That is correct, Grand Sapere.” At that moment, something snapped inside Cirvel, feeling like it blended failure and realization into him at once. He didn’t like the taste of either of those ingredients.

Howro waved Cirvel to walk down the hall with him. “Tell me what happened?”

Cirvel still reeled from his own new understanding too much and he wanted a moment to retreat and think this over. But he remembered that he’d summoned the Grand Sapere and that he needed a way to get the lamp containing Imor back from the ninja, so he followed. “He was at the festival. He refused to give me the map. I couldn’t have proper negotiations with him there, so I stashed him. One of the dancers was really a ninja in disguise. She shadowwalked right up to me and I didn’t sense her until she came out and grabbed the lamp.”

“So now she has Imor?”

Ah, his failure. “Only in that she has the genie lamp. She cannot free him because she doesn’t have proper possession of it; she stole it.”

Grand Sapere Howro nodded. “So she has leverage only, no location either.”

“Yes.”

“What do you think she’ll do next.”

Cirvel let his focus drift for a moment, his steps slowing slightly. He knew what he’d be doing and he suspected about the ninja, but he had to find the moment of convergence to see if he was right. Then, returning to his full awareness, he told Howro, “She knows I’ll want the lamp back and when she realizes that she can’t get Imor out, she’ll come looking for me. I just can’t be caught unaware of more ninjas. We have no idea how many Black Nights are here, or why.”

It was a subtle way of Cirvel prying for information. If the Grand Sapere knew anything further, Cirvel hoped this would lead to Howro talking about it.

Howro drew in a deep breath, rolling his shoulders back as he tucked his hands behind his back. “It is my decision that we hand this over to the Dragon Council and let them handle things with the Black Nights.”

Cirvel’s jaw clenched tightly together. He should have expected this.

“It is too dangerous to let the novihomidraks be involved with ninjas. It’s like oil and flame, mix too strongly and everything goes up in smoke.” Howro refrained from looking at Cirvel as he spoke, but the words were definitely directed toward him. “That is my decision. Will you abide?”

Cirvel snarled as he spat his reply, “Yes.” He couldn’t quite pull the sneer off his lips.

“Very well. With your agreeance then, I will take this to the Council right now and inform them of the situation. It’ll probably take a couple months to get this settled, but what’s a few weeks to a novihomidrak.”

Cirvel knew the Grand Sapere was mocking him now and he had to fight against saying so. Finding his calm, he made his face absolutely placid. He even gave a crack of a smile. “What, indeed, is a few weeks to a novihomidrak?”

Howro turned and began a pompous stride down the hall, his hands still holding each other behind his back. Cirvel watched until Howro turned the corner to head back to his chambers. Then Cirvel turned and left the Temple. He had plans of his own.

 

***

If you have enjoyed my work, please tell a friend about my stories. Thank you!


The Doorway Prince


Palladium – copyright © 2019 Dawn Blair Published by Morning Sky Studios

Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios

Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios

Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©

Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

This excerpt is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

 




Palladium – Chapter 1

New story – same rules.

This is pretty much first draft as it is written so far. When I went in and looked at the story to get the first chapter, I realized that I’ve written less than 50,000 words for it and there’s not a whole lot of “chapters.” I have it broken into chunks really. I know some of these run very long and some are short. I’ll try to get everything evened out, but that might not always be possible. I very nearly chickened out on this story because it is in such a sad state, but I figured what the heck. I might as well put it out there and see what happens.

Palladium. The word is pronounced PUH-LEY-DEE-UM. (Okay, phonics was the worst thing that ever happened to me in school. It never made sense to me and ever since then if I can’t break a word down like this, I’m hopeless. I hate pronouncing words that I don’t know and haven’t heard before because phonics just ruined me.)

Palladium is defined as anything that is believed to protect or offer safety; safeguard (as I learned thanks to dictionary.com’s word of the day). For now, that makes a good title.

I really wanted to have a cover reveal, but I didn’t have the time. In fact, I’m not certain this is even the final cover, but it will work for now. I had to rush it in order to get it done.

For those of you who have read at least through To Birth a Destiny, book 3 of the Sacred Knight series, or who followed through Onesong (now Tangled Magic and Walk the Path) when I put it out here on my blog about a year ago, you’ll be familiar with Lord Cirvel of Gohaldinest. Palladium comes before Steigan’s and Rivic’s story, This is basically the story of how Cirvel comes to Gohaldinest (well, more or less, but let’s not split hairs here when I don’t even know how the story will yet end). This takes place when Cirvel is a novihomidrak (new human born of the dragon) and a champion for the forces of good. (Yeah, I saw that grin — I know what you’re thinking: Cirvel, good? No possible way! This is what happens when readers love your villians — they want to know how they got that way. Cirvel, by tantalizing my artist-child along, is oh so willing to oblige).

This story is meant for new adult audiences. It is rather mature in nature, not that there’s anything really detrimental, but it certainly isn’t meant for readers under 17 as there is content of a sensual nature. If you are younger or prefer completely clean content, please go no further with this story.

Let’s begin, shall we?


Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©
Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com



Palladium

Chapter 1

by Dawn Blair

Cirvel walked through the marketplace, listening as the swirl of music got closer to him. The cries of “Opa!” made him smile though he tried not to. It seemed as if the three small, golden teapots hanging from his belt enjoyed the rhythm too, banging against his hips as he walked.

Continue reading

Dragons of Wellsdeep – Chapter 26

This comes with a warning. This chapter is exactly as my artist-child gave it to me. Remember, she was ornery when she gave this to me.

It’s not terrible, but it decidedly feels like telling a story rather than showing a story. I love Stargate when they do the episode with Murray who is trying to put together a screenplay for the Wormhole Xtreme show he wants to film. “Hang the lantern” is a common phrase in our house because of that episode. That’s exactly what this chapter feels like — hanging the lantern in order to end the story.

Yes, my artist-child is a brat.

But this is it. This is the last chapter. Next week we will start something else.

Let’s get into the finish!

Dragons of Wellsdeep cover small
Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com

Dragons of Wellsdeep

Chapter 26

by Dawn Blair

Continue reading

Dragons of Wellsdeep – Chapter 25

This is the second to the last chapter. Next week will finish it up.

I know we’re all excited to see how the battle with the Grekish is progressing, so let’s get to it, shall we?

 

Dragons of Wellsdeep cover small
Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com

Dragons of Wellsdeep

Chapter 25

by Dawn Blair

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Thoughts on Secret Thoughts

Let me begin by saying that I don’t suffer from impostor syndrome. Absolutely not. No way.

At least not until the moment I step up to the canvas and begin painting. Then, all bets are off.

For the last couple of years I have been asking myself just what is wrong with me. I have all the confidence in the world when I’m writing, and heck, even when I’m narrating. But I would just turn myself inside out when I thought about drawing or painting. It use to not be that way. Call it “beginner’s luck” or whatever, but I started off feeling successful with my newly discovered art skill, but as the years went by, I felt more and more like a fake, a fraud, and a hack — a full-blown impostor. It ground me to a halt. No matter how many times people told me that my art was beautiful (and I only believe about 50% of the people that tell me that), I didn’t believe anyone. This reaction made no sense to me.

I, like everyone else, don’t like to be judged or criticized. I know this is part of it, but I realize that there’s a certain amount of exposure that comes with creativity. I’m all right with it in my writing. But my art… it just feels different. I don’t even think I can explain it.

I have no schooling in art, writing, audio engineering, or acting. Oh, I’ve taken a class here or there, gone to a few conferences, read lots of books, and bloody well jumped in and started doing the work figuring out what I need to know as I go along. I have no fear; I know I can learn anything I need to know. I’ve even taken painting classes with Jerry Yarnell. But for some unknown reason, not being school in art, art history, color theory, etc., really bugs me. I have taught myself about artists I’m interested in and can identify their work on sight. I may not know everything about them or their work, or even their creation process, but I can say that about many writers too. Why do I not feel worthy of being an artist? If it’s just a matter that I haven’t put in as many hours as I have for my writing, why can’t I drag myself to do more, to practice?

I realized toward the end of last year that I really needed to work on this, especially if I was going to get back to painting this year. So, I focused on some articles and books for writers about overcoming self-doubt.

There’s still a part of me that venomously hates that word, especially in reference to me: self-doubt.

Now that I’ve spat the awful taste off my tongue, my search took me down some very strange places, places I really didn’t feel I belonged. At least not when I took it from a writer’s point of view. I got into things about intelligence and creativity, multiple talents, creative anxiety, etc. I’m still working my way through some of it. But, in my search and while I was looking for my next audiobook to listen to while I walked, I came across The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Valerie Young.

While this book is geared toward women, it also addresses men and the impostor syndrome. It is not slanted to creative types — Valerie Young works more with students, professors, and professionals. I have many people in my life who I really think would benefit from listening to this book.

It was very hard for me to listen too. I kept thinking, “This does not apply to me!” I suspect this is what many women I know would say if I suggested it to them. I kept having to round myself back and remember that I was not needing this for where I was confident, but where I was weak, where I did feel like an impostor in my own life. In trying to stay focused on this and knowing that I was seeing where I felt other people needed to know about this book, I realized that deep inside, many women felt small and insignificant. I kept thinking about all the quotes that speak to the fact that if you feel fear about something, that is the direction you should be heading in.

I have long known exactly where my own feelings of inadequacy came from. So when Valerie describes coming to understand your Crusher, the thing that gave root to the impostor syndrome in your life, I already knew mine. I could feel it.

Now for me, because of how my life has gone, I could see oh so clearly how I overcame this Crusher, which could have stopped me from telling stories, and gave me the confidence that my writing has today. It was sheer, dogged persistence that I could reject my Crusher in regards to writing. But art was always so different. It was clear to see how that became my impostor path.

I didn’t agree with the whole book or the exercises to help, but how much of that was coming from the extreme self-directed part of me I don’t know. I did bookmark a few questions and places that I thought would be helpful if I started feeling like a fraud again. I really do want to conquer this irrational side of myself. It’s holding me back from achieving my goals.

Are you being held back because you feel unworthy or because you feel like an impostor who is waiting for someone to find you out? If so, this book might be worth your read.

Dragons of Wellsdeep – Chapter 22

Unless I write very fast and miraculously discover how this story is to end, we’re down the last couple of chapters. The world may just have to wait to figure out how this ends (including me). 

Yeah, I know — it would be so cool if I’d focus on one project at a time. Sorry, I just can’t write like that. My artist child is a 2 year old who wants to play with everything at once. And a new story is like a new toy — it gets the attention.

Aw, you know me too well! Yes, I have a new story. 

For some time, I’ve wanted to write the story of when Steigan and Martias ran away to go join the Palin Wars. For Steigan, it was all pretty cut and dry. He got in serious trouble afterwards. I kept telling myself that there was no story there. A series of events do not a story make. 

But on Monday, the story started “downloading” to me from Martias’ point of view. At first, I started thinking that there was no way that I could make it work from Martias. That’s not going to stop my 2-year-old artist child from whining and crying to get her way. So, I figured what the heck could it hurt to at least start writing it down and see how far it went. After the first session, I kept thinking that there was no way I could write it without giving away parts of Quest for the Three Books

Yeah, that’s definitely not making the artist child happy. She’s stomping and demanding that she can do, that she is a big girl and doesn’t need to listen to me. 

So far, she’s been right. 

She’s so giving me a raspberry, big and wet, full of thththtp sounds. 

We’ll see how far she gets. She just can’t tell this story without diving in deeply into Martias’ deep, dark secrets. 

On the other hand, I’m getting to know Martias pretty well. I know how this adventure changes him. I’m also seeing a character arc that I didn’t know was there. 

When I stop to think about my theory to “trust the process,” I realize that I’m probably needing to write this story now so that I can get back to work on The Missing Thread

Yeah, my artist child might be very right about this. So sorry that she doesn’t want to play with Moonhunter and Balthier at the moment. Who knows though. Sometimes she surprises me. Well, let’s get you to the story. 

 

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Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com

Dragons of Wellsdeep

Chapter 22

by Dawn Blair

Chapter 22 was available for one week and has now turned back into a pumpkin. If you missed it, click on the links below to find it or another great story to read. There’s also another free story or story excerpt somewhere around my blog – I try to post something new every Wednesday. Hunt the story down, read, and enjoy!

 

***

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Start reading now. 

Find on Audible and start listening.

***

If you have enjoyed my work, please tell a friend about my stories. Thank you!


Dragons of Wellsdeep – copyright © 2018 Dawn Blair Published by Morning Sky Studios Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com

This excerpt is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.