Untitled

A whisper in the sullen air
The wing brush of a thought
Given birth and taught to care
A fractured life and fraught
A seeking stranger, eyeless blind
Among the frail and maimed
May feel the sharp stab of a mind
Focused on the game
Who and what and why they ask
And search a golden eye
Confused by each and every task
Still reaching as they die
Oh cold compassion, heartless love
As cleansing as the fire
May in the end prove truth above
The madness of desire
A whisper in the conscious mind
A wing that lifts the lone
When their last strength is left behind
Cruel truth may guide them home

© jane jago 2017

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The Dragonheart Stories

Grownups love fairy tales too and this is a collection of tales about dragons which has a very adult theme The Dragonheart Stories by Jane Jago is out today.

Meeting a Dragonheart dragon…

The dragon spiralled down out of the sunset, with the orange light setting his skin aflame so that he looked as if he was made of oil and steel. Tia stood and watched, wryly noting the Diamond Throne banner, whilst being careful not to move or speak until the shining one’s feet touched the ground and he furled his wings.

She bowed her head in a formal gesture of welcome.
“Greetings lady,” the voice inside her head was deeper than she expected. This must be a full male, which meant he would be a shifter as well. He would bear watching. Carefully.
“Greetings, bright one.”
The dragon regarded her out of whirling multi-faceted eyes before bowing his head. The silence lengthened, and seemed to Tia that her uninvited guest was trying to make her nervous with his lack of comment. She broke the silence in a deliberately small voice.
“What does my lady mother want of me?”
“Naught. She would merely ascertain that you are well.”
Tia cast down her eyes so he could not see her contempt.
“Perhaps my lord dragon would care to assume his human form and venture inside, to where we can speak in more comfort.”
If it was possible for a dragon to look puzzled, he did so.
“May one ask what makes you think this dragon has a human form?”
For a moment Tia dropped her shield of humility.
“Who am I?” she raised a narrow dark eyebrow.
He thought about that one for a moment before dipping his head.
“One is ashamed.”
Tia was at great pains not to show her contempt for that remark.
“I apologise. It was not my intention to cause you disquiet.”
She felt the dragonish laughter as a vibration that ran right through her skeleton.
“My name is M’a’tsu, and I would be honoured to visit with you.”
Tia curtseyed.
“I will leave you to make the change in privacy.”
She turned and made her way across the flower strewn meadow to the grey stone buildings that clustered at the base of the cliffs and the stone stairway to the temple.

M’a’tsu watched her go, enjoying her long-legged stride and the way her body moved under the simple linen robe she wore. He found himself fantasising about tying her up with the rope of her own black hair, which hung in a braid almost to her knees. Giving himself a sharp inward reminder that he wasn’t there for pleasure, he took the necessary time to compose his mind before making the change.

Once he was in his human form, he stretched for a moment enjoying the different sensations afforded by thinner skin. He looked down at his muscular perfection and briefly considered remaining unclothed but the pleasure of the rapidly cooling air against his human flesh had to be balanced against the possibility of giving offence. Accordingly he shifted himself leather trews and a waistcoat, electing to remain barefoot for the sheer delight of the feel of grass beneath him.

This is an extract from 'Dragonheart' one of the adult fairy tales in The Dragonheart Stories by Jane Jago.

 

The Thinking Quill

Dear Reader Who Writes,

As you will doubtless now be aware you are being addressed here by none other that the most highly esteemed author of that now classic masterpiece of the speculative fiction genre “Fatswhistle and Buchtooth”, Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV. To friends, one is known as ‘IVy’ (a hangover from one’s days at at exclusive boarding school when puns on names were all the rage). To the maternal parent, it is ‘Moons’ (her idea of an affectionate abbreviation – or so she has oft times declared). But you, dear Reader who Writes, can use ‘Sir’ as befits our relationship status as pupil and pedagogue and I will refer to you as ‘RWW’.

There, formalities concluded let me explain a little in advance of today’s lesson, not too much, of course as your eager, if limited, spongesque cranial contents must not be over-challenged. Today’s lesson took form in my mind after I shared lunch with Mummy in the area of the kitchen we refer to as ‘the dining room’. It is a table squeezed into the bijou space left where the Aga used to live, before Mumsie declaimed one morning: “Stuff that sodding status symbol – I’m getting a proper cooker!” And in the same sweeping change, reverted our previous refectory to become her personal boudoir – or as she calls it her ‘withdrawing room’ – whilst establishing our current dining arrangements.

But I digress. We had just partaken of the midday meal, when Mummy burped gently and leaned across the table towards me. I was about to comment on the interesting new cologne she was sporting, when I noticed the gin bottle beside her place setting.

“Moons,” she slurred, “Do you ever feel like you are a walk-on extra in someone else’s life and not a proper person at all?”

It was, of course, a trick question as the moisture in her eyes – no doubt from suppressed laughter – betrayed. I can’t recall my exact witty and dismissive response but I do remember Mumsie rapidly withdrawing from the room right after and locking herself in her withdrawing room, not to emerge for two days.

So yes, today’s lesson:

How To Write A Book – Lesson 17: The Write Supporting Cast.

We have, you will recall, already considered the best way to create the main characters in your stories, but now it is time to contemplate the little people. Those characters who appear for a paragraph or maybe a chapter, or step onto the stage now and then but are most often to be found off-stage, in the green room flipping coins with their fellows.

Such characters, you are thinking are you not my predictable pupil, are hardly worth investing the time in. They are a face in the crowd, a name on a list, a mere mention in passing. Wrong, I respond in this hypothetical conversation. Wrong and wrong again! These are not the non-entities you assume. No, each is an individual striving for their own aims and deserves to be treated as such!

So do not stint on your duty to these characters, give them as much attention to detail as you do to your precious protagonist. Let each have a history and a place in your world. When a new supporting star or starlet walks into your prose, meet them and greet them, sit down and have a cup of tea with them, listen to their dreams and pay heed to their nightmares. Be as their recording angel and capture their souls with the written word. Let them live!

And with that thought, à bientôt mes élèves!

Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV

Adoring Fans can join my Facebook Group.

Friday Friends – from ‘Webley and the World Machine’ by Zachary Chopchinski

Webley and the World Machine by Zachary Chopchinski has just released!

“We aren’t going anywhere with your creepy smiling ass. Thanks for the offer, but we have better things to do. Like fight these crazy mantis things. So, if you don’t mind, step off, or I’ll throw you another beating,” Adal offered as he took a half step ahead of Arija who yanked at his sleeve.
“What the hell are you doing? If I couldn’t take him, you sure as hell can’t! Not in your condition anyway.” Arija slid her hand down Adal’s side to where his empty holster sat on his hip. “Where’s your gun?” she mumbled out of the side of her mouth.
“I don’t know. It went flying when I did. I’m going to make my move. You make yours!”
Adal mumbled back, keeping his eyes trained on his opponent. With his little finger, Adal motioned to the two knives on the platform.
“So, what’s the plan, shiny? We gonna do this, or are you going to just stand there and look at me? I mean, I know I’m pretty, but damn,” Adal said, the humor gone from his voice.
The Dweller’s grin faded and his mouth thinned. He closed his robotic hands into fists and lowered his head to his shoulders.
“If you think it’s in your best interest, Topsider, please feel free to try your odds. I will greatly enjoy peeling back your skin and seeing what your wet insides look like. When I’m done with you, your mate is next!” he said, flicking his gaze toward Arija.
Arija flinched at the word “mate.” She wasn’t even Adal’s girlfriend, for reasons she didn’t exactly understand, and the word brought a sudden embarrassment to her cheeks.
Adal’s upper lip twitched as he watched him eye Arija like she was a prize at the fair. His face burned, and his palms got sweaty at the thought of this man with Arija, torturing her or. . .  whatever else he had in mind. Adal was ready to put his fist down this asshole’s throat.
Without another word, Adal lunged. He swung his right arm at the Cog look-a- like, his fist colliding with his face. A loud, metallic clang was followed by a searing pain rushing through Adal’s hand and up into his arm. He could swear that under the ringing of the collision, he heard the small bones in his hand break.
Adal looked from his throbbing hand back to the metal man who stood before him with a bored look on his face. Adal froze as that same, familiar grin returned.
“Thank you for going first. I wouldn’t want this to be over too quickly. My turn?”
Before Adal could react, he was grabbed by the collar and hoisted into the air. Adal gripped at the hands around his neck, doing his best to support his own weight. He flailed his legs, trying and failing to kick hard enough to be released.
Using this as a distraction, Arija slid across the floor to the knives. Grabbing the weapons, she pushed herself to her feet. The glint of the blades caught the light and Adal’s attacker shot a furious look in her direction. He threw Adal, and the two collided just as she was preparing herself for the attack, causing her to drop the weapons as she slid across the copper platform.
“Clever, Topsider!” he said, walking over to his knives. “I guess taking you alive won’t be a possibility. It isn’t that I cannot, rather I’m tired of dealing with you and do not wish to face the hassle.” The dark Dweller collected his daggers and rolled them around in his hands. He admired the sleek blades of his knives like an artist admiring a finished canvas. Adal tried to stand, but the pain in his ribs was unbearable.

Zachary Paul Chopchinski is a bow tie wearing, formal vest rocking, pocket watch using, sarcastic monster of a writer. Currently residing in Orlando, Florida, he spends his days working, writing and procrastinating. 

Coupled with being an award winning author of young adult fiction, Zach spends his days trying not to kill himself with lethal levels of caffeine.
 
Zach is the author of the Gabrielle series, a young adult fantasy with a paranormal-historical-time traveling twist (try saying that five times fast) and Webley and The World Machine, a steampunk adventure with snarky yet lovable characters.

You can find Zach on GoodreadsBookbub, Facebook and Twitter or his own website.

 

A Bite of… Adal and Arija from ‘Webley and the World Machine’ by Zachary Chopchinski

1. What is the best thing about the world you live in?

Adal: I mean to be completely honest what’s not to like about it? This place is rad! It’s
like some kind of sci-fi movie…but real life. I’ve got this sweet ass bionic arm now and I
can pretty much punch through anything…so…that’s cool.
Arija: Yeah, Adal maybe if you paid more attention in wrestling instead of staring at
yourself in the mirror maybe you wouldn’t need that arm.
Adal: You’re just mad because you didn’t get this sweet upgrade. Don’t be hatin!
Anyway, the Machine is a pretty dope place. I’ve got a bunch of kick ass toys so I can
basically just destroy shit all day. OH, and I get to fly these sweet ass machines…these
flying sacs or whatever the hell their called.
Arija: HA! Right! As long as you’re not peeing yourself and crying for your mommy as
you plummet 50 stories! Listen, the Machine is awesome! The Dwellers there, well they
aren’t really human. They’re mechanical, but sentient. I could just sit on the docs or in
the city of Aparat all day and just draw! In fact you can see some of my art in the book!
Oh and let me tell you about all the scientific discoveries they’ve made! If I could bring
back some of this knowledge to the Topside, we could really solve a lot of humanities
problems!

2. There are two of you, so who is the leader?

Adal: Me.
Arija: I am.
*Both stare at each other neither backing down*
Arija: I’m definitely the leader. I’ve got the brains and the shotgun.
Adal: No, I’m the leader. Who saved your ass when that Geartha was about to slice your
head off?
Arija: Oh, you’re bringing that up again? Listen, you got one lucky shot. How many times
a day do I save your ass?
Adal: And what a sweet ass it is.
Arija: *rolls eyes* we can maybe discuss that “sweet ass” at another time…if you admit
I’m the—
Adal: *eyes wide* you’re the leader!
Arija: See? What’d I tell you. I’m the leader.

3. If you could do something else other than saving the world, what would it be?

Adal: Rockstar, no actor, no rockstar. No but seriously, I haven’t thought about it too
much because my old man has always been up my ass about education and a career. To
be honest, if I wasn’t saving the Machine, I’d still want to be here. What would I be
doing? What wouldn’t I be doing? *nudges Arija*
Arija: *rolls eyes* If I wasn’t saving the world, I’d probably be an artist. Maybe
somewhere like Paris or Rome. Maybe I would go back to Israel and draw the places mymother grew up. As long as I could come down to the Machine every now and then to
keep this one in line *points thumb at Adal* I don’t even want to think about the havoc
he’d wreck if it weren’t for me.

You can meet Adal and Arija in a fantabulous steampunk odyssey which has just been released - Webley and the World Machine by Zachary Chopchinski.

Winter Giveaway!

There really is something for everyone here. Four fabulous books from two great authors Jane Jago and E.M. Swift-Hook. Four different genres, FREE for five whole days!.

Space Opera: Trust a Few 

You’ve been gone a long time Jaz, and word is you’ve come back – changed.”

After five years of brutal convict military service, Jaz just wants to rebuild his shattered life. But the past is hard to escape. The ‘City has always been a dangerous place to live: now it’s lethal. Not only are the crime lords exploiting its lawless streets, it is also the unwitting test bed for a sinister corporate technology. As Jaz tries to find an old friend who needs him, can a new ally help? Can he even be trusted?

‘Trust A Few’ won gold and bronze awards in two science fiction categories at the Virtual Fantasy Con Awards 2017. It is the first book in ‘Haruspex’, a tense new, sci-fi trilogy from Fortune’s Fools.

‘…a gripping tale of friendship and loyalty set against a backdrop of gritty violence and interstellar intrigue.’

5 Stars – Amazon Review

Alternative History: Dying to be Roman

In the run-up to The Games, elite athletes are being murdered. But when a Roman dies the authorities take notice and it falls to our heroes to discover why and by whom, before the killer strikes again…

Imagine a Britain where Rome never left and a reformed Empire has ruled for two millennia. Technology is a bit more advanced in the present day – and a bit different – but people are the much the same.

 ‘..a cleverly-written, mash-up whodunnit with plenty to think about, laughs a minute, gore galore, two engaging lovers and a permanent sense of déjà vu all over again will adore this book.’

5 Stars – Amazon Review

 

Epic Fantasy: The Long Game

In a world where politics and violence are almost synonymous, some people will stop at nothing to remain at the top of the food chain. When the Emperor decides to take a hand, it results in the murder of the entire Imperial family, which, in turn, sets off a chain reaction which will imperil the whole of humanity…

‘Gripping good read,well written and different.’

5 Stars – Amazon UK Review

Dystopian: The Barefoot Runners

The world’s women are being rendered infertile in the name of profit. When two young female slaves escape from the clutches of the baby farmers they begin a series of events that has repercussions across civilisation. It will take all their courage to save themselves and the people they come to love.

‘Very good read, right to the last page.’

5 Stars – Amazon UK Review

And BONUS – if you enjoy humorous sci-fi, check out the books of Zachry Wheeler  –  Max and the Multiverse, Max and the Snoodlecock and which are also available free for the weekend!

Take your pick or grab them all - 11 - 16 January. Oh, and tell your friends too!

 

Smile

I am old and it needs to be said
There are no monsters under my bed
That I’ve learned how to play
To be happy each day
Coz my friend you’re a darned long time dead

© jane jago 2017

From ‘The Dragon Lady’ by Angelique Anderson

I am not the Siapheg! The realization was like a drink of the finest wine, and she blinked away a tear, so overtly thankful that she did not possess such evil inside of her. The only problem, she now realized, was that she must now discover who the dark one is so she can put a halt to the suffering it may bring. The tingling eased off, and she sat on the edge of her father’s bed completely transformed.

“Why, I’m no larger than a house cat. How strange.”

“Not so strange, young Teselym.”

“Huh?” Wylie jumped up, alarmed by the sound of another’s voice. She promptly lost her balance, and tumbled off the bed. She hit the floor with a solid thunk.

“Don’t worry Teselym; your body is capable of many beautiful and magnificent things. Your size will adapt to your circumstances once you leave this room. You can also make yourself smaller if you wish. Anything you desire, you need only state it. The magic that lies within you will do the rest. Consider it compensation from the gods.”

Her white scaled head turned this way and that, as she searched for the owner of the voice, but there was no one to be seen. “Who is that?”

“Must I answer that, if you can’t even find me?” Wylie huffed in response, “I need to be larger.” Instantly she began to grow, and shortly she was roughly the size of a large dog. The mattress was now at eye level, and she looked around for the Dracosinum, wondering where it had gone.

“You may call it you know.”

“Call what?” Wylie asked, agitated that she had not found the source of the voice.

“The Dracosinum, it is yours… all you have to do is call it, and it will come to you. Do you think you found its hiding place by yourself? Not hardly m’dear.”

“Dracosinum, come to me,” Wylie commanded firmly. The circular device lifted itself from her human form, which lay still on the bed, and hovered in midair before her. Wylie reached for it, agitated that it was so much harder to grab with dragon claws than human fingers. The seemingly simple action, now required much more effort.

The moment she held it, the blasted thing opened of its own accord and the clear crystal that protected the tiny beast inside flipped open, revealing its tiny tenant sitting happily in the center, with an impudent grin on his face.

“There, now… was that so hard?” The tiny dragon spoke.

She almost dropped the Dracosinum, but quickly gathered her senses. “Oops, sorry about that?” she said by way of apology.

“Another little trick, so you don’t have to go through that again, every time you become the Teselym, your Dracosinum will be attached to you. Without it, you don’t have me, and without me, you are vulnerable and naïve.”

“I beg your pardon? Just who are you?” She lifted the Dracosinum closer to her face, to see the vexatious little bugger better.

“Well, it’s all a bit tricky to understand. I mean, I don’t presume the human part of you would be able comprehend. “He said matter-of-factly.

“Why you insolent, insulting little beastie!””

“I guarantee you my dear Wylie that is not my intention at all. To answer your question, and quell any further questions you may have, I am a god, or at least, the essence of a god. My sole purpose is to help you reach your full potential as the Earth’s one and only Teselym. You are the only thing standing between mankind and complete and utter evil,” he nodded his head knowingly, sitting back on his haunches, short scaly arms crossed over his chest like an indignant child.

“Most curious,” Wylie said.

“Indeed,” he replied.

“The name Dracosinum, what does it stand for?”

“Well, it’s Latin… Draco… meaning dragon, of course. Sinum meaning pocket.”

Wylie giggled,

“So you’re literally a pocket dragon?” The idea hit her in the funny bone and she guffawed loudly, while he stared back at her, unamused.

The Dragon Lady is the first book in the steampunk series The Dracosinum Tales by Angelique Anderson.

A Bite of… Angelique Anderson

A bonus feature with Angelique Anderson author of the wonderful steampunk series Dracosinum Tales amongst other gripping titles.

Q1: Who is your favourite fictional dragon and why?

Well, that’s easy. Quincy from The Dracosinum series, and the reason why is because he was such a fun character to write. He is wise and cares about Wylie deeply, but he has so much attitude and smart mouth you can’t help but laugh at his antics and interactions with Wylie throughout the books.

Q2: Corseted dress or jeans and T-shirt and why?

If I had it my way? Corseted dress every day. I love the elegance and the shape they give to my chunky body! LOL. Plus, Every woman looks classy in a corset! 😀

Q3: If you had to choose a pen name what would it be and why?

would probably go with something extravagant because I love things that sparkle and bling, and my pen name would have to be nothing short of that. Like, Evangeline Marqui De’lacroix. Is that blingy enough? Ha ha ha.

Angelique S. Anderson is an award-winning author of sci-fi and fantasy, an avid adventurer and chaser of dreams. Singer and songwriter in hobby, she is the mother to four precocious little ones and lover of all animals. She hopes to encourage others with her journey and passion for life. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and her website.

 

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