Tag Archives: epic fantasy

Monday Morsel: No Stopping Him – An Excerpt from IN THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD

What Price A lie

Ellaeva’s boot caught on the edge of a rug, and she almost fell. Lyram didn’t falter, only swung the blade again, the air humming with its passage. Ellaeva threw herself to the ground. Her hair fluttered as the sword whistled over her head.

She hit the ground hard enough to drive the breath from her lungs. Gasping, she rolled, and scrambled to her feet, sword still clutched in one hand. She held back, not wanting to hurt Lyram, and almost gotten herself killed. If she threw all her skill into the fight, she might survive; Lyram probably wouldn’t.

She took one last look at him bearing down on her. There was no stopping him.

* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect – while the bones of the story are there, enough to give you a glimpse into the tale of these characters, I typically do at least eight drafts so you can expect the final version to bear little resemblance to what I post here.

If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site, or subscribe to the newsletter to receive my novella, Confronting the Demon, and short story, A Magical Melody, free.

More about In the Company of the Dead

What Price A lie

Lyram already crossed a prince – now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.

Son of a duke and third in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after striking his prince – but when the castle is besieged, he fears the prince means to remove him more permanently.

Hope arrives in the form of the Left Hand of Death, the woman bound to serve the goddess Ahura in battle. But the priestess has not come for the siege – instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the god of decay.

Within his stone prison, Lyram must fight to save himself from both political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, his greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

STALKING THE DEMON on Story Cartel FREE – Available Now! Plus Monday Morsel

Stalking the Demon is now live on Story Cartel! Want your free copy? You can have your choice of ebook formats in exchange for an honest review. Drop by Story Cartel now to download your free copy.

Now for our regularly scheduled Monday Morsel feature….

* * *

Lyram sat in an armchair, his face slack beneath a beard grown unkempt from neglect. His hands lay open in his lap, and his blue eyes, normally so piercing, stared into the distance. The clan sword, rarely out of his reach, was nowhere to be seen. It was almost as though a vacant body occupied the space where once the energetic commander of Caisteal Aingeal had sat.

The sight shot a hot barb into Ellaeva’s heart, where it lodged with exquisite anguish. Without volition, she brought her hands to her open mouth at the sight. ‘Ahura curse me… Lyram, oh Lyram…’

* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect – while the bones of the story are there, enough to give you a glimpse into the tale of these characters, I typically do at least eight drafts so you can expect the final version to bear little resemblance to what I post here.

If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site, or subscribe to the newsletter to receive my novella, Confronting the Demon, and short story, A Magical Melody, free.

More about In the Company of the Dead

Knight and castle MM (1)

Lyram already crossed a prince – now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.

Son of a duke and third in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after striking his prince – but when the castle is besieged, he fears the prince means to remove him more permanently.

Hope arrives in the form of the Left Hand of Death, the woman bound to serve the goddess Ahura in battle. But the priestess has not come for the siege – instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the god of decay.

Within his stone prison, Lyram must fight to save himself from both political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, his greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Stalking the Demon Free on Story Cartel

Stalking the Demon Free on Story Cartel

For a limited time, I’m making Stalking the Demon free on Story Cartel in return for nothing except an honest review.

The offer goes live Monday 9 March and will continue until Easter Monday.

If you’re looking for a fast, gripping fantasy read in the sword and sorcery style, look no further. At 42,000 words, this is only a short novel. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t read the first book – but if you haven’t, subscribe to the newsletter and you’ll get Confronting the Demon free too! This one is so short you can read it in an hour. The books have been variously compared to well-known fantasy authors Brent Weeks, Jacqueline Carey and Robert E Howard.

About Stalking the Demon

Stalking the Demon

Six months ago, the disgraced wizard, Alloran, sacrificed his hand and risked his life and soul to rescue the woman he loves from his traitorous friend. Despite saving the city from a demon, the council of wizards punished him severely for practicing banned magic.

Now he learns his desperate attempt to banish the demon threatens to send the whole world to hell. To unravel the damage, Alloran is forced dabble in taboo hell magic, and must choose between saving himself and everything he holds dear.

What Readers Are Saying

“The descent into the hell realm is exciting, better even than the climax of the first book, when hell makes an appearance in Alloran’s world. I love the tentacled first-realm demons, very kraken meets Lovecraftian Old Ones.” ~ Samantha Sabovitch

“Awesome conflict on every page. Tons of surprises too. Great ending! This is a fast read, but the setting and characterization is rich and deep and I fell into the story in a way I didn’t expect.” ~ J.

“Stalking the Demon was quick and intricate, but slow and methodical at the same time. I found myself constantly trying to figure out what would happen next, and was usually wrong. There was a great amount of action and suspense that really grabbed me and kept me reading until the end.” ~ Joe Slonaker

Monday Morsel: Sappers in the Walls – an excerpt from IN THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD

Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short excerpts from the first draft of whatever I’m working on – currently my adult epic fantasy, In the Company of the Dead, which is undergoing its first round of revisions.

* * *

Galdron gestured to the earthen wall of the tunnel. A chill swept through Ellaeva, and she switched her gaze from the wall, to the captain and back.

‘Put your ear to the wall,’ he said.

With deep foreboding, she stepped closer and pressed her ear to the earth.

Silence.

‘I hear nothing,’ she said.

Galdron made a curt gesture. Wait.

Silence.

In the distance, a thud, and another. She jerked away from the wall at the suddenness of the sound. Galdron quirked an eyebrow. She nodded, and placed her ear back to the wall. More thudding.

‘Sappers,’ Galdron said.

* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect – while the bones of the story are there, enough to give you a glimpse into the tale of these characters, I typically do at least eight drafts so you can expect the final version to bear little resemblance to what I post here.

If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site, or subscribe to the newsletter to receive my novella, Confronting the Demon, and short story, A Magical Melody, free.

More about In the Company of the Dead

Everything Dangerous

Lyram already crossed a prince – now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.

Son of a duke and third in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after striking his prince – but when the castle is besieged, he fears the prince means to remove him more permanently.

Hope arrives in the form of the Left Hand of Death, the woman bound to serve the goddess Ahura in battle. But the priestess has not come for the siege – instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the god of decay.

Within his stone prison, Lyram must fight to save himself from both political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, his greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Ken Hughes Interviews Ciara Ballintyne: Epic Fantasy Gives Me Hope

Ken Hughes

This week author Ken Hughes interviewed me on his blog. Ken is an insightful writer in his own right who provides many a stimulating conversation about the finer points of writing, and we sat down to talk about what epic fantasy means to me and the dark deeds people are capable of when put under pressure. Check out the full interview.