Tag Archive | free online series

Web Serial Writing Month…Who’s ready?

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Everyone knows November is National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO), but do you all know August is known as Web Serial Writing Month (WESEWRIMO)? Well over at EpiGuide they sure do and they’ve been taking part for the last eight years. I don’t know what it is about writing in tight deadlines, but if you don’t give yourself one you might never sit down and get writing. So why not go for the gold.

When I received an email informing me about Web Serial Writing Month I just had to join. My new zombie series, The Dead Can Run, has been gathering quite a bit of dust lately and it needs to be finished and polished. What better way to motivate me to write than pure intense pressure and fear of word count milestones that seem to have no end? But it’s still too early to say that I won’t be trying to find ways to keep myself from writing. 🙂

On the other hand I see many hours of coffee and sugar rush in the future. How about you? If you’re up to the challenge why not end this summer with a great new story or serial in this case. This is also a great way to prep for that dreaded NANOWRIMO.

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The best thing about this event is that YOU get to set your writing goals. 750 words a day, here I come.

Free Writing: The Dead Can Run (Chp 4 Prt1)

Please keep in mind this is a first draft and no revisions or editing should be done as part of the exercise, though I failed miserably and edited for hours on end on this one. Though in no way does that mean you are getting a clean and amazing chapter, most likely the opposite. 🙂

I will be properly revising and editing this story in the next few days. Here is hoping to have the first compilation of the first six chapters before the end of this month. Also, I am sorry for taking so long in continuing this story. This is intended to be a free writing project and I was brainstorming ahead. Needed to take time off to undo those chapters in my mind.

Warning: 1st draft, possible rambling

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The Dead Can Run

Chapter Four Part One

My teeth cut into my lower lip and my mouth filled with the taste of copper. I struggled to my feet to only be shoved back down. A hand pinned me to the floor by my hair followed by a knee to my back. The man was heavier than he looked.

“Let…let me…go,” I pleaded, blood seeped from my busted lip and coated the floor to then cling to the strands of my hair that had fallen loose from his grip. I tried to muffle a cry at the touch of the man’s hand trailing down my bare back. His rough fingertips lapping up the droplets of water that still clung to my flesh.

“What do you say we have a little fun before I turn you over to our Mr. Self-Made Leader huh?” the brute sneered, pressing me harder against the ground and digging his knee further into my back.

“You’re disgusting,” I shouted past his mocking laughter. I recognized his voice. He had been one of the men I had overheard while tied in the closet. His companion must be the other man he had been talking to.

“Just kill me already,” I cried, struggling against his hold as best as I could. My actions earned me another tug of my hair. Tears welt up in my eyes at the pain. I could feel my warm breath against my face and the blood draining from my fingers as I clung to the man’s wrist with both hands in an attempt to loosen his grip on my hair.

“Feisty, I like them feisty,” he laughed, yanking me to my feet, his grip on my hair threatening to scalp me where I stood.

“You know he won’t approve of this,” Cassy cut in, removing her gloves and tossing them aside. She stepped back into the bathroom to emerge with the handcuffs. Her calm and blank demeanor told me there was no salvation there and my fear grew. Just what kind of people were they?

“Come on Cassy, relax. I wasn’t really going to rape her,” the man who held me teased, pressing a blade against my skin. “At least not right now,” he whispered into my ear.

Were the zombies the real monsters here? I thought to myself as the knife nicked my skin.

“On second thought, why wait? I think you deserve a good reminder of how lucky it was that we found you. The zombies would have finished you off if it wasn’t for us. The least you can do is repay the gesture. What do you say?” my tormentor replied, his voice full of malice and of something else I wanted nothing of.

The blade disappeared and I was shoved towards the bed again. I cringed as my hands came in contact with the blood stained sheets. The smell of death engulfed my nostrils and my gag reflexes reminded me that they still worked. I dropped to my knees and threw up again, this time white foam mixed with the blood that had dripped to the floor from the carnage on the bed.

Before I could wipe the vomit clinging to my lips my head was jerked back and the man pressed himself against me, kneeling behind me.

“Should I take your silence as consent?” He ran his fingers across the side of my face. Every touch made my stomach twist with greater disgust, threatening to make me gag for a third time.

“Get off me,” I snapped, elbowing him in the face. I had just walked in on a bunch of lunatics, deadly lunatics, but I wasn’t ready to die yet. I still hadn’t found my son and I wasn’t about to let them have their way with me either.

I bolted to my feet and dashed for freedom. The other man blockading the door leading out of my room grasped my arms and twisted them behind me, turning me around to face my first attacker. My eyes swelled in tears and my throat tightened, I tried to scream but nothing came out. I didn’t want to think about what they had planned for me. Now that I was found not to be infected, would I die or worse would they really rape me?

“Where do you think you’re going?” the biggest of the brutes sneered, taking one broad step towards me. He grasped my neck with both his hands and squeezed. “You really want to die? Then who are we to keep…”

The man behind me yelped in surprise and I was shoved forward into the very man who tried to strangle me. We both tumbled towards the bloodied bed. I rolled off the bed and slammed into the hard floor, slamming my head against the edge of the night stand. I withered on the floor and clung to my head. Silence filled the room and I chanced a glance at the man still sprawled on the bed.

“What were my orders?” a familiar voice bellowed followed by the sound of a gunshot. Warm blood splattered on my face and I screamed.

End of Season One of Rise of the Dragons

Season One has come to an end and you know what that means, excerpt time. 🙂

For those who haven’t caught up yet, Rise of the Dragons is Book Two of The Five Kingdoms of Severi, a fantasy/drama series available to read for free over at BigWorldNetwork. Book One: The Keys of Destiny will be released as en eBook, audio book, and print early March of this year.

So excited. More on that later on.

riseofthedragons_squ_01Excerpt (Season 1, Episode 5)

“Everyone and everything that had to do with my grandfather only brings bad luck and misfortune with it,” Alden stated, avoiding Edwin’s gaze and instead concentrating his sight on the winding path ahead.

“I am not bad luck and misfortune,” Edwin shot, urging his horse to catch up with the prince’s white mare.

“Yes you are. You are all the bad luck and misfortune in the world wrapped into one very annoying package,” Alden teased, washing away the bad taste that had snuck into his mouth. He forced back a smile and tugged at the reigns, urging his horse to a full gallop.

“I am not!” Edwin cried out in his defense, trying to catch up once more.

“First we discover rock golems exist and, must I remind you that they tried to kill us, then dragons, when I ended up more or less dead, and now elves? If they exist, I am willing to bet they will be trying to kill us as well,” Alden commented over his shoulder, grateful for the fact that Edwin hadn’t pushed the subject about his grandfather further. “What’s next, mermaids?” he added, fighting back a rhetorical laugh.

“This can’t be right,” Edwin said, snapping Alden out of his teasing banter.

The serious and surprised tone in his voice brought Alden to a halt. Alden nudged his horse to retrace its steps and rejoined Edwin a few feet down the path. “What is it?” he asked, but the moment the words left his lips he already knew the answer.

Both stared at the smoke in the distance, the peaks of several huts and tents stood out through the tree tops beckoning them.

“It’s a village,” Alden muttered, one hand tightening its hold on the reigns and the other reaching for the hilt of his sword hanging at his side.

“There isn’t supposed to be a village here,” Edwin eyed the prince, catching that the prince had already picked up on that fact. “None of the maps I looked over have a village marked in this area,” he continued, and a frown spread across Alden’s stern expression.

The prince unsheathed his sword and cursed at their rotten luck. It seemed like the last peaceful hours they had wallowed in had come to an end.

“We should go around it,” Edwin suggested, eyeing the surrounding trees and forks in the path, forming a new route in his mind.

“Even if that means half a day delay in our travels? You know we can’t afford delays,” Alden stated, nudging his horse forward. “Through it is.”

“If we must, but I still think barging in at full gallop isn’t the best choice!” Edwin shouted at the already retreating figure of the prince.

Who is being stubborn now? he thought to himself. He eyed the peaks again and felt an unsettling feeling start to form in the pit of his stomach. With one final sigh of defeat, he tugged at the reigns. His horse tore down the path through the forest after Alden and the first hint of civilization they had seen in the entire day since they’d left the tavern.

 

This scene is quite special to me because I slipped in something that pertains to book three of this series. 🙂 Did you catch it? Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoyed this excerpt as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Rise of the Dragons: Book Two (Excerpt)

Many of you know my first book/series The Five Kingdoms of Severi has come to an end and is awaiting publication. But instead of waiting I went on and started Book Two in the Trilogy, Rise of the Dragons. This is the novel I finished during NANOWRIMO last November and is currently undergoing editing. You can read Season 1 (first 10 chapters with 11 and 12 the following weeks) for FREE over at BigWorldNetwork. Below is an excerpt, series information, and banner image. Enjoy!

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Synopsis

The battle against Lucius and his horde has been won, but at a heavy price. Edwin’s father is trapped in Terdune with no way back. The only hope in saving him lies in the very same shattered pieces of the mirror Edwin destroyed during his fight with Lucius. The oracles are left with no clues about the mirrors, their hidden secrets lost with Lucius’ death.

Together Edwin and Alden must travel deeper into the neighboring kingdoms of Severi in search of the creators of the magical mirrors. Their quest will require skill and magic for though evil was imprisoned once more in the dark lands of Terdune evil has a way of slipping back in.

 

One line Tag:

The battle was won but the war for their souls is about to begin; the lines between Evil and Good will blur as the quest for what was lost unfolds.

 

Excerpt (Season 1, Episode 2)

The doors of the throne room opened, and Marcus looked up from the scrolls he had been overlooking. He took in the oracle’s riled expression and handed the scrolls to one of his advisors. With a wave of his hand, he dismissed them before addressing his new visitor.

“Tabitha, what brings you back so early? How was your stay at the fort of the Fourth Kingdom?” he asked getting to the point of the matter.

The oracle scooted closer to the throne and bowed. “My apologies, sire, for returning sooner than scheduled.”

She pulled an object from under her cloak and handed it over to her king. “I have made a discovery that is of high importance,” Tabitha stated, almost dropping the object. Her hands shook and she struggled to control her fear. “It was discovered in the hands of the caretaker of the Fourth Kingdom, sire.”

“The caretaker had it in his possession?” Marcus repeated, accepting the object. “Are you certain? You understand the severity of these accusations?”

“Yes, my King. I was awakened during my second night there by a strange feeling,” Tabitha continued. “I rushed to the caretaker’s side fearing the worst, and caught him with this. Once I was finished questioning him, I immediately rode back at full gallop.” She pointed at the object and stepped back to await her king’s orders.

Marcus turned the object over in his hands, noticing the bright gleam in the large white stone. The chain attached to the magical item seemed to turn hotter the longer he held it. “Have you told anyone of this?”

“No, sire. You are the first I came to,” Tabitha replied, her expression hiding nothing.

“Good, have the rest of the oracles meet me at once, but keep this secret from the Queen. She need not know of it just yet,” Marcus ordered, turning the necklace in his hands. It was evident that the old laws were failing them and magical items were once more finding their way into the hands of the caretakers and inhabitants of Severi.

“What must I not know about?” Toren asked, standing in the middle of the doorway. She stepped inside, the double doors shutting behind her with a definite thump.

The King and Tabitha remained still, unsure what to say. Toren moved to join Tabitha and her eyes fell on the object in her husband’s hands. She rushed toward him, snatching the object from his grasp. She shifted her gaze from the King, to Tabitha, and back to the magical necklace.  She had seen this necklace before.  It had been haunting her visions as of late.  She swallowed hard, and settled her eyes on the oracle.

“This…this is used to tame a dragon. How did you come upon it?”

 

Season Two Promo Launch Day Two

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Today’s promo launch is very special. We have an interview with Meagan Hedin who is the editor of the series. Enjoy!

First off, I would like to say that I read your book Accidental Passion: Seduction. Big fan. And I’ve enjoyed every moment working on A Prince From Another World with you. Your feedback is a treasure trove all on its own. Now that we have my fan girl moment out of the way, let’s get down to what you do. You’re both a writer and an editor. How do you pull that off?

Very carefully! Since I have so many things I juggle even aside from all the BWN stuff, I have kept my sanity mostly intact by keeping a weekly “To-Do” list. It helps me keep track of audio and edits that are due and helps me stay on top of my school work. Though, sadly, housework has been sorely neglected since I went back to school and had my first child. Priorities, right? 😉

Why did you decide to dive into the editing world?

Well, a very good friend of mine (Amanda Meuwissen) started telling me about this brand new online publishing company that she found that specialized in serialized works back in 2011. As she became more involved with the startup of the company, my interest was piqued and I offered my services in any capacity she saw fit. It just so happened that she needed the most help with editing as she had very few editors who were comfortable with written works that were of a more graphic or violent nature. While she does read every single piece of written for BWN, she asked for a second pair of eyes to go over submissions that had been selected for publication. As a self-proclaimed Grammar Nazi and a life-long avid reader, I jumped at the chance to help out.

What interested you the most about this particular area of the writing process?

I am truly fascinated with the editing process as a whole. I really enjoy seeing the progression of each episode from its initial submission to finished product.

15983_wpm_lowresHow long have you been in the editing business?

I’ve been with BWN since their startup in fall 2011, so about that long. I do also have experience as a tutor in the Writing Center of a local community college.

What is your work schedule like when you’re editing? Are you currently only working on A Prince From Another World or balancing a few other series on top of that one?

As far as editing is concerned, I currently only have A Prince from Another World and Incubus on my plate. I also do the audio for your lovely book, as well. 😉

How do you start your process in editing a book (or an episode like it is in this case with BigWorldNetwork)?

As an editor for BWN, I am typically the first person to read through it once an author has submitted their episode (or chapter, if you will). During my initial read-through, I like to just give it a go and see what happens. That first time through, I’m only really looking at the larger picture. I attempt to ensure that there are no inconsistencies of fallacies within the work without smothering or changing the author’s voice; I want to make sure that the author hasn’t changed an important detail without explanation, that the laws of nature are obeyed unless the theme or style of the story allows them to be bent, and I also try to ensure that future readers are able to easily comprehend. I then go through the episode a second time, looking more closely at spelling and grammar and organization. Then, I usually go through it all at least once more to see if any changes I’ve made help or hurt the story.

How many books have you edited? Which has been your favorite so far if I may be so bold to ask? Don’t feel pressured that you have to say it is mine, we all know it’s mine. Right? Right…?

Wow, um, I’m gonna have to go count all the ones I have archived…

Including the two books I edit now, I have edited a total of 18 works from BWN. As far as a favorite goes, I think I would have to say The Collector. I’m sorry! o_O

Do you have a preference of genre when it comes to editing?

I have always been a fan of works of fiction, but that’s about the only true restriction or preference. I enjoy reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, Thriller, Horror, Mystery, Romance, you name it!

How do you go about selecting what works you edit?

I have to admit I don’t really have a “selection process”. One of the perks of being really good friends with the managing editor is that she typically just sends me stuff that she knows is right up my alley.

Who is your favorite character from A Prince From Another World and why? Couldn’t resist another self-plug here.

There should be no shame in self-plugs. 😉 My favorite character from Prince would have to be Grayson. His description makes him sound really hot, he’s got magic, and he’s so very self-assured and capable. I can’t wait until we find out more about his backstory…

Give us an interesting fun fact about the current series or series you are editing.

I find it interesting that both A Prince from Another World and Incubus are Fantasy/Supernatural Gay Romance.

Can you share some interesting incidents you’ve befallen while editing a series? What writing hysterias have you stumbled upon?

Without naming names, there was one story I once edited that had absolutely abysmal grammar, spelling, and punctuation. And to top it off, each episode was ten pages or more! I used to get very frustrated with this particular series because I found it so difficult to try and find the author’s voice amidst the chaos. This was one story that typically required a few exchanges back and forth between editor and author, as the suggestions I made were apparently not what the author wanted.

What is the most common mistake you see an author make that drives you insane? Ok, maybe not insane. I’m probably the only one that does that to you.

I guess that biggest thing that drives me insane is when people (not just authors) make assumptions. I truly believe that each story, no matter how far-fetched or off-the-wall, requires research. Without research, without discovering true facts that readers can recognize and relate to, I have found that authors can lose their audience. And since I’m usually one of the first ones to read an episode, I try to make sure that doesn’t happen. Though I sadly don’t know everything, so doing your research on an unfamiliar topic or talking to someone with first-hand experience is a definite plus! 😉

writingDo you have any suggestions or tips to help an aspiring author become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Write every day. It doesn’t matter if what you write is the next chapter of your soon-to-be bestseller or a poem or a grocery list, if you don’t get it out, the ideas and thoughts may dissipate. Just like with muscles, if you don’t use it, you lose it!

What is the hardest part of editing a book? 

Hmmm, I guess I don’t really find it hard, to be honest. Aside from my one horrible experience that I mentioned earlier, I truly enjoy the experience. I’m reading – I’m doing something that I love and I get to help other people achieve their dreams.

What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about the editing process, that isn’t so?

It’s more than just checking for spelling and grammar! Like I said before, we’re also looking for plot-holes and story inconsistencies. We make sure the story is solid and encourage the writer to make changes and revisions to reflect the vision that we see reflected on paper (or computer screen, as it were…)

What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about the editing process, which they need to know?

It takes more than one read-through and we will still not catch all the mistakes. We’re human, not spell-checkers. Especially in the world of Fiction, where rules are made to be broken and words can be made up, we are wholly and completely fallible. For example, do you really expect us to catch each misspell of the dragon name Gvort, or Gavon, or whatever you call him when we’re busy falling in love with your story?

What projects are you working on at the moment?

Sadly, most of my projects are on hiatus at the moment. I have three works for BWN that are still in the early planning and organizing stage and they will have to stay there until after the New Year. I am in my final semester of Nursing School and most of my leftover energy and focus is directed towards completing my studies with minimal damage to my psyche.

What social locales do you frequent? Not that I want to know where to stalk you or anything of the sort, it’s just so people know where to go if they want to find out more about your works.

You can find me on Facebook just about every day. I also have an author profile on Goodreads and you can find my book on either the BWN website or on Amazon.

And last but not least, what are your plans for the future? Will we have the chance to read more of your own works in the months to come?

Oh don’t you fret, I have more on the horizon. I just ask that you be patient. I have more stories I need to share!

Thanks Meagan for taking the time to join us for this interview and for sharing a glimpse into the editing world. Once again it was a pleasure to have you stop by and a delight to read your book Accidental Passion: Seduction. For those who haven’t read it yet the book is currently available in paperback, eBook, and audio. Links on where to buy it are posted below.

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Buy paperback and e-Book on Amazon

Buy Audio Book on BigWorldNetwork

About the Editor

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Meagan Hedin is the author and narrator of Accidental Passion: Seduction. She is also an editor for BigWorldNetwork. She has edited various stories for BWN and is currently editing A Prince From Another World and the Incubus Saga.

Goodreads Author Page

Season Two Promo Launch Day One

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This month is really turning into quite a busy one. Season two of my gay romance/fantasy/modern fantasy series, A Prince From Another World, is set to start this week with new episodes being released every Monday. Like last season I will be doing a promo launch where I reveal some nifty stuff about the series. This time around the launch will only be five days, but I have tons of neat stuff that we didn’t do last launch. And for those following my NANOWRIMO entries those will still continue along side the launch.

So without further ado here is our first promo launch.

Synopsis

Eli has always felt like he didn’t belong. One day, he discovers that the lake in the new city park is far from ordinary. An image of a prince and a medieval world reflects back at him, and it seems like he is the only one who can see it. Eli soon finds himself stuck with the demanding heir of Linshaster.

Prince Brayden has been trained since birth to fight the evils of magic, now swept into a world he does not understand, a world so different from his own, where magic only lasts for a moment. Together, they must find a way to get Brayden home, face the evil hunting them, and acknowledge the unexpected bond that forms between them.

Excerpt

Eli stared at the sight in front of him unsure of what to make of it all; the unfamiliar words the older man had spoken still rung in his ears. The words brought a sense of calm and familiarity over him and he chanced a glance at the prince. The moment of brief repose vanished. Brayden’s bleeding increased, the bed was practically covered in the black liquid and it oozed to the floor near Eli’s feet.

Eli tore his gaze from the gunk on the floor and grabbed a handful of towels from the cabinets, pressing them against Brayden’s wound. The liquid seeped through the soft material and stung his fingers. He winced at the surge that ran up his wrists and snapped his hands back. Eli stared at the fading black marks on his fingertips.

He ignored the strange shift in the air and reached for more clean towels, and repeated the process, pressing them against Brayden’s wound, this time ensuring none of the black gunk touched his flesh.

“Don’t!” Grayson shouted. He knocked the blackened towels out of Eli’s hands. “I told you to stay away from it. It will try to enter you if you touch it. There is nothing you can do for him right now.”

Eli stepped back, the meaning of Grayson’s words lost to him among the worry and fear he felt for Brayden. His eyes scanned the prince’s pale face. Was there really nothing he could do? Was the prince going to die? He fought against the horrible thoughts filling his mind and stepped closer to Brayden’s bed only to have Grayson nudge him back.

“Come on, Brayden, snap out of it. Don’t let it win!” Grayson yelled at the unconscious prince, pressing his hand harder against the young man’s chest.

There was still no change in the prince. Grayson cursed under his breath and repeated the spell, the gold in his eyes flashing brighter than before. This time the spell seemed to work. Brayden’s body turned still, the sheets and gown completely black. Grayson yanked Brayden’s soiled gown off and picked him up in one smooth motion then quickly carried the naked prince to the other side of the room, setting him on a small couch. He grabbed a clean gown and spread it over the prince.

He turned to face the blackness and his eyes turned gold for the third time. “Forbærne.”

Everything the black liquid had touched suddenly caught on fire. The room filled with a shrill, ear-splitting scream. Eli and Grayson covered their ears as the sound rose in pitch. Small trails of blood ran down their fingers, their eardrums rupturing from the noise. The screaming increased still and Eli dropped to his knees, the pain in his ears unbearable.

Read more over at BigWorldNetwork.

 

 

A Prince from Another World Excerpt

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Monday marks the twelfth episode and the conclusion of Season One. Season Two is scheduled to start in November and available through BigWorldNetwork. For those who are just stopping by A Prince from Another World is a gay/fantasy/modern fantasy series.

Here is the synopsis:

Eli has always felt like he didn’t belong. One day, he discovers that the lake in the new city park is far from ordinary. An image of a prince and a medieval world reflects back at him, and it seems like he is the only one who can see it. Eli soon finds himself stuck with the demanding heir of Linshaster.

Prince Brayden has been trained since birth to fight the evils of magic, now swept into a world he does not understand, a world so different from his own, where magic only lasts for a moment. Together, they must find a way to get Brayden home, face the evil hunting them, and acknowledge the unexpected bond that forms between them.

 

And here is an excerpt from episode three:

A few minutes later, Eli was walking back to the bench Ryan was sitting on. It wasn’t until he was almost upon his friend that he noticed Ryan was not alone. Eli regarded the strange man, who looked around his late thirties, early forties, sitting next to his friend. This stranger held Eli’s drawing pad in his broad hands, causing Eli to freeze.

Ryan and the elder man looked to be in a deep conversation. Eli decided to keep moving, pushing the feeling in his gut that the man was the beginning of something he would rather not be a part of.

“Hey, Eli, this guy is Grayson, and he was admiring your artwork. He thought it was mine, but I told him you were the talented one,” Ryan said with a proud smile on his face; he had always admired Eli’s ability to draw.

“Yeah, you were always more the speak-what’s-on-your-mind type of guy,” Eli teased as he looked skeptically at the man.

The man’s long hair and beard made him seem older than Eli initially thought, but added a sense of calmness to his features. Eli traded a drink for a hotdog and took a seat next to his friend, his stomach once more reminding him of how hungry he was.

“Nice to meet you, Grayson,” Eli addressed the man awkwardly, unsure how to make small talk and then decided on concentrating on finishing his food and drink.

“I have to get going. It was nice to finally get to meet you up close, Eli. That is some lovely work you have there,” Grayson replied after a while, getting to his feet and bowing at both Ryan and Eli. He set the drawing pad down, glanced once more at the portrait of a young man, and left, quickly disappearing into the crowd, not waiting to see if the meaning behind his words was understood.

“That was weird,” Eli told Ryan as Grayson’s words stirred a familiar sense of having heard his voice before, somewhere long ago.

“What was weird? You in khaki pants?” Ryan mocked as he shoved the last piece of his hotdog into his mouth, ketchup and mustard oozing out to stain his chin.

Eli gently shoved his friend and handed him a napkin, though the desire to let him walk around with mustard and ketchup on his face was more enticing by the second. He shoved the nagging questions the man’s words had stirred and decided to enjoy the short amount of time left of their outing.

“I was in the middle of job hunting when you dragged me here,” Eli reminded his friend. Done eating, he rested his back on the bench and gazed once more around the park.

The park really was quite beautiful in a simple yet practical way. The lake was the biggest attraction, with its deep greens and blue waters floating calmly under an elegant red oak walkway bridge. People crowded the wooden construction on all sides and peppered the waters with rented rowboats. His eyes lingered on the lake, its calm waters reminding him of his dream. How he wished it was the same lake.

“Come on, I have to be getting back,” Eli said with a hint of sadness in his voice. He stuffed his drawing pad and pencil back into his bag and flipped it over his shoulder.

“But we haven’t even seen the lake up close or walked the plank,” Ryan complained. He tossed the dirty napkin into a wastebasket and pointed at the lake, but Eli had already turned away.

Eli was ready to leave, with Ryan or without him. His mother was be expecting him home soon and Ryan’s pirate jokes would not be a viable excuse for tardiness this time around. He waved dismissively at Ryan and continued walking.

He was halfway to the bike rack when he felt, rather than heard, voices creep into his mind. He couldn’t quite make them out and he turned his head slightly to the side. Was he losing his mind? He closed his eyes in an attempt to focus on the words then quickly opened them again as one word became very vivid and clear.

“Eli…”

Hope you enjoyed this excerpt. Eli and Ryan’s banter is one of my favorite, reminds me of my old friends from high school. 🙂 Don’t forget to check back, we have lots more reviews and excerpts to share along with the series cover for book two of The Five Kingdoms of Severi series.