Missy Sheldrake

Guest Blog by Missy Sheldrake

The Keepers of the Wellsprings Series

I’m excited to announce that the third book in the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, Call of Brindelier, is now available on Amazon! If you haven’t read the previous books yet, read on for a super-quick crash course.

When I started writing this series, I really wanted to tell a story that was rich with fantasy, but not overly dark or mired with war and violence. I wanted to show the light side of fantasy: the cheerful, magical, uplifting side which I always drink up whenever it emerges in a story, and which always seems to be so fleeting in fantasy tales. I wanted to tell a story that would capture the hearts of young and old alike. Don’t get me wrong, my books aren’t void of conflict and evil. They tell of uncomfortable moments. There is violence and wickedness, but it’s those moments in my stories which are the fleeting ones. In the pages of my books, you will find fairies, Mages, Paladins, Elves, Dreamwalkers, Princes and Princesses, and even dragons. You’ll travel through a world rich with magic and wonder.

In Call of Kythshire, you’ll learn all about Cerion, a seaside kingdom which has celebrated peace for over a century. You’ll meet His Majesty’s Elite, a guild that is the right hand adventuring team of King Tirnon Plethore, and you’ll join Azi Hammerfel, a young squire who has grown up within the guild’s halls, through disappointments and triumphs. By her side is Rian, her childhood friend, an Apprentice of the Mage Academy. You’ll meet Flit, a fairy from Kythshire, who is as tricky as any fairy you might imagine, but has a depth of character and a sense of purpose uncommon for a typical fairy. You’ll see her world unfold, and feel the evil threat of Sorcery that looms, waiting to destroy it. You’ll learn a little about the Wellsprings, but not too much, for their existence and workings are a well-protected secret. (Click here to read an excerpt from Call of Kythshire.)

In Call of Sunteri, you’ll meet the strong-willed slave boy, Tib, who makes his first appearance as he escapes from the grips of Sorcery in the desert continent of Sunteri. He has help crossing the vast oceans to reach Cerion, but he doesn’t realize it at first. A mysterious being speaks to his mind, controlling his thoughts and making suggestions to ensure his own survival. In the meantime, Azi has been given the task of escorting the Prince of Cerion and his wife-with-child to the lakeside Kordelya Castle as the prince faces suspicion and ridicule after the events of Call of Kythshire. But a darker force emerges from the Dreaming, whose wicked intent is to use any means necessary to escape its prison and claim the magic of the Wellsprings for his own. In this book, you’ll see the devastating effects of the overuse of magic, and what it does to the Wellsprings and the creatures who thrive around them. (Click here to read an excerpt from Call of Sunteri.)

In Call of Brindelier, a dark force looms, more powerful and destructive than any threat Azi and her guild have yet faced. You’ll follow Celli, a scrappy street fighter, as she is enticed into the grips of a powerful Sorcerer. You’ll watch Tib come into his own as he sneaks through the streets of Cerion, uncovering the darkness while also working on a mysterious project. You’ll follow Azi on a quest set by Princess Margary to find proof of Brindelier, a city in the clouds which is the key to all of the Wellsprings in the Known Lands. But Margy is not the only one interested in Brindelier. A dark force has been gathering, poised to claim it for their own. Control over the Wellsprings hangs in the balance. (Click here to read an excerpt from Call of Brindelier.)

This series is appropriate for all ages, but I recommend 13 and up due to some violent themes. There is no sex, swearing, or excessively graphic violence in the Keepers of the Wellsprings. Throughout the series, you’ll encounter daring sword fights, violent magical moments, and a few quick deaths.

Call of Brindelier, the third book in the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, is now available on Amazon.  This weekend, I’m offering book one of the series, Call of Kythshire, for free, and book two, Call of Sunteri, for just 99 cents. Click here to download your ebooks while they’re on sale!


The Blurb

Onward to Brindelier…
A selfish prince on trial for treason. A beloved princess hiding a talent for forbidden magic. The race between Dawn and Dusk to claim Brindelier, a hidden city in the clouds with a promise of ultimate control over the source of power in the Known Lands: The Wellsprings. Azi and Rian are back! The newly-betrothed couple once again find themselves drawn into the plots of fairy-kind, bestowed with gifts of new titles and strange, powerful abilities. A threat is revealed; one which Flitt insists is worse than anything they have yet faced. Is she referring to the gathering of Sorcerers who call themselves the Circle of Spires, or is a darker, more sinister force at play? Tib knows. He’s seen the might of the Dusk firsthand. The fates of Cerion, Kythshire, and all the Known Lands hang in the balance in the third installment of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series: Call of Brindelier.


Call of Brindelier Excerpts

EXCERPT ONE - AZI

“What is it exactly,” I pause and think hard, making every word count, “you really need me to do in regards to this rare purpose, which is so important you’d whisk me here against my will in the midst of a battle that could very well mean the end of peace in my kingdom and possibly the deaths of people I’m sworn to protect?”

“Whoa,” her eyes go wide as I come to a stop right in front of her. “That was brilliant. Really brilliant. Excellent question. See, you just had to focus, that’s all.”

“Flitt.” I press my hand to my brow. My head is starting to ache from frustration.

“Don’t hate me. I can’t answer it,” she says with a cute little shrug and an impish smile.

“What?” I can’t help it. I lunge at her. She’s too fast, though. She pushes off from the grass and flies up out of my reach. “So help me!” I shout up at her. “You’d better stay up there, I swear!” I glare up at her and then realize her mistake in putting distance between us. Instantly I think of Rian. I start to feel the shimmer around me and then she dives into me, pinning me to the ground.

“Don’t,” she pleads as she straddles my chest. She’s surprisingly heavy for a fairy. “I was just playing. Don’t go. I can’t answer it, but I can show you something else.”

“Get,” I shove at her, “off!”

“Uh uh,” she shakes her head. “You have to promise to stay. It’s important, Azi. Really important. World changing important. Things are happening that never should happen. Bad things. Wicked things. Worse than Sorcerers. Worse than Jacek. Really bad.” She leans over me with her hands on my shoulders and her rainbow-colored ponytails spill forward, tickling my face. “Really, really bad. Please. Do you promise?”

“Worse than Jacek?” I look up at her.

“You can’t answer a question with a—” she stops herself at my death glare. “Worse than Jacek,” she whispers. Her eyes sparkle with tears and change from blue to red to silver. This close I can see she has no pupils, just orbs of ever-changing light that shimmers softly and unpredictably. I’ve never seen them so clearly, never been so drawn to them.

“I promise,” I say, tempted by the familiar tingle of magic rising inside me. I want to see what she’s seen; I want to know what’s in a fairy’s mind. 

EXCERPT TWO – TIB

I want to be annoyed by the magic. I want to hate the excess of it. There’s no reason for it except to show off. I can’t help but admit it, though. It’s kind of impressive. 

When we reach the tower, the stone wall shifts and opens magically. Of course there aren’t any doors. Why would there be? Rian brushes his fingers along the stone as we go in. He’s really impressed. I bet he’s going to write it all down when this is over. Make a book of it for their ridiculous libraries.

Inside the tower, it’s dry and warm. The walls are adorned with colorful silks and tapestries. The circular entry is larger than I expected. It’s a little confusing. The energy is bright and overwhelming. It’s embedded in the stone. It pulses in the air. Power. Might. Majesty. Protection. Knowledge.

Otherwise, the place is dusty and full of cobwebs. Shelves and shelves of moldy books line the walls behind the coverings. Books and tubes and glass vials and stacked clay pots teeter and lean against each other. I sniff. Sea air. Must. Incense. Behind Rian, Shush blows out a wisp of fresh air that sends the white smoke swirling away.

“Master’s downstairs,” Loren says. His voice echoes up into the rafters and a passage opens up across the entryway. It glows with a merry orange light to welcome us. 

The stairway down is lined with glass walls as thick as my arm. Loren takes this for granted. He jogs off down the steps without a glance, but Rian and I can’t help but stop and stare. Through the glass, a world stretches out before us. The depths of the ocean. The surf plunges above, bubbling and churning. 

Waves scoop up the sandy seaweed bottom and push it down again. It’s like a field. A drifting, rhythmic meadow. Colorful fish swim past in schools of red, orange, and yellow. Creatures like I’ve never seen cling to bright pink and green stones. They wave long tendrils with the motion of the sea. Shells of every color catch the light of the spiral staircase which shines through the glass.
I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s simple. Pure. Beautiful. I had no idea there was a world like this under the ocean. I can’t tear my eyes away. I press my hand to the glass as a dolphin races past us, chasing a group of purple fish with long, flowing fins. It’s not just the sight of it that interests me. It’s the simplicity of it. There’s no magic out there. Not in the sense I’ve known it. It’s perfect all on its own.

EXCERPT THREE - CELLI

I nod my agreement and he smiles at me. I want him to keep smiling. I want to be his favorite. I never want to make him scowl.

“This is Dub,” he says after a long pause. It takes me a moment to realize there’s someone else here. He’s been lurking against the wall all this time. He steps out of the shadows as Quenson introduces him.

He’s in his twenties, maybe, lean and strong, and dressed all in leathers like me, except they’re black. His face is coarse with whiskers, and one eye is covered with a patch. The most remarkable thing about him, though, are all the knives. I can count at least a dozen strapped to his torso, his belt, his arms, and his legs. I wonder how many others he’s concealing.

His one good eye looks me over like Quenson did. Except when he does it, it makes me uncomfortable. I square my shoulders and cross my arms and raise my chin, trying to seem bigger. Tougher. He smirks, but doesn’t say a word.

“Go.” Quenson says.

Before I have time to think, Dub leaps at me, his knives flashing. He swings and I duck and roll away. He throws a blade, and I somersault and narrowly dodge the attack. His knife clatters and skids across the floor. I tumble to grab it and another one of his blades slices my sleeve as it whizzes past. I don’t know why, but this guy is serious. He means to kill me.

With Dub’s knife tight in my grip, I charge him. He’s nearly twice my size but I don’t care. If he wants to kill me, I’m going to make it difficult. He’s ready for my attack though. As I swing to stab him, he sheaths a knife and grabs my arm, twisting it painfully behind my back. He’s strong, but I’m a fighter. I elbow him hard in the ribs and kick him between the legs until he doubles over. That makes him loosen his grip on my arm, so I spin and punch him hard in the face. His nose cracks and he curses.

Quenson’s laughter somewhere to the side of the room is a musical sound that echoes up to the high-domed ceiling and back down again. It reminds me of how much I want to please him. It makes me fight harder.

Dub is furious. I punch his jaw and he growls and grabs my wrist again. With his free hand, he draws another knife from his endless supply. He overpowers me and shoves me against the wall, pressing my hand against the stone. His good eye is dark with madness. He raises the knife. He’s going to drive it through my hand, pin me to the stone with it.

I struggle to break free. I kick and swing and squirm, but he’s too strong. He thrusts the blade forward. I can’t escape him. He’s won. I brace myself for the strike and gasp as his empty fist smashes into my hand.

“Enough,” Quenson says. 

Dub growls in frustration and throws my hand down. I open my eyes in disbelief to see the Sorcerer standing several paces away, holding Dub’s knife between his thumb and forefinger with a look of disgust.

“Such rudimentary, primitive things,” Quenson scoffs as Dub retrieves the weapon and shoves it into a sheath at his thigh. He wipes at the blood that trickles from his lip and sneers at me.


About the Author

Missy Sheldrake is an author/illustrator who has been conjuring images of fairies in one form or another since she was very young.

The wind in the trees and the rich scent of forest earth are her most treasured sources of inspiration, and on most mornings you will find her wandering the wooded paths, dreaming of the next adventure she hopes to put to the page.

Missy was born in Connecticut and attended Western Connecticut State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Art with a concentration in painting and illustration. Even then, in her free time, she was writing. She moved to Northern Virginia several years ago and lives there now, on the outskirts of Washington D.C., with her true love and their son. She published her first novel, Call of Kythshire, in March of 2015 and intends to keep writing as long as the fairies allow it.


Did Someone Say Free and $.99 Books?

SIAFBB Event

It is once again time for a Support Indie Authors Free & Bargain Book event, previously known as the Book Blast. After a fantastic 2015, we’re looking forward to an even better 2016. Our first event of the year will be this Friday, April 1st and no, we are not fooling. We are offering more than 65 free and 99 cent books by forty plus talented authors. This year, you can find the books at events.supportindieauthors.com  so mark your calendars and save the pranks for later!
 
As is our tradition, we have asked each of the authors to participate in a short interview so you can better get to know them. Below are just some of the featured authors as well as links to read the rest of the interviews. As always, thank you for continuing to #SupportIndieAuthors!


Christina McMullen

What is your name?

Christina McMullen 

Are you typically the class clown or the butt of jokes?

Class clown

Tell us a little about the book(s) you are offering in three sentences or less.

In a word: Vampires. The Eyes of The Sun and Dissonant put a scientifically plausible spin on the (oft romanticized) bloodsucking scourge of New Orleans while offering a huge dose of action. Past Life Strife puts the vamps squarely back into the supernatural/paranormal category, but in the unglamorous setting of an economically defunct Midwestern town.

Since we're holding the Free & Bargain Book event on April Fools day, tell us about the best prank you ever played or the best prank played on you.

"My best prank isn't even that clever, but I've gotten away with it 99% of the time that I've pulled it. On April first, when one of my poor coworkers got up to leave their desk, I would flip the screen using the control+alt+arrow down shortcut. Only once did anyone come back, see what happened, and correct it themselves. For the rest, what happened next depended on whether I was in good with the IT department or not. I would act just as baffled as my coworker and then go to look it up on my own computer. After a few minutes of making them squirm, I would tell them that they have the apres fille virus. It's French, obviously. Usually after letting them stress a bit, I would affect the worst accent and tell them 'Happy apre fille's day' and fix it. However, sometimes I would have them call IT and tell the tech that they had the apres fille virus. The hardest part was keeping a straight face."

Pick one of your characters to play a prank on. Who are they? What is the prank? And how do they react?

This is tough because the cast of the Discordant series is full of prankable folks. I'd love to see Bogie finally get one over on Desmond, but I'm not sure if the retaliation would be worth it. But assuming Des doesn't figure out who did it, I can see Bogie swapping out the Pixie Glitter repellant with Pixie pheromones. So instead of being immune to glitter bombing by supernatural ravers, the muscle-bound giant Warrior would have dozens of these demonic Rainbow Brite wannabes trying to hump his leg.

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: http://mcmullenwrites.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/mcmullenwrites
Facebook: http://facebook.com/mcmullenwrites


Melissa Jensen

What is your name?

Melissa 

Are you typically the class clown or the butt of jokes?

Class clown

Tell us a little about the book(s) you are offering in three sentences or less.

Well, The Toymaker is a fantasy adventure with just a touch of science fiction, about a girl's determination to find her family, and a man's unique ability to bring life to the inanimate.

Since we're holding the Free & Bargain Book event on April Fools day, tell us about the best prank you ever played or the best prank played on you.

I've never really played a prank on anyone or had a prank played on me, but I come from a family of jokers with a dry wit and a wry sense of humor. In fact, we're so good at holding a straight face while kidding that most of our chuckles comes from the fact the the recipient of our kidding actually believed us, even if what was just said was completely unbelievable.

Pick one of your characters to play a prank on. Who are they? What is the prank? And how do they react?

Probably Stevie, since he'd be more gullible but he has more of a sense of humor than his creator. If I played a prank on Ren he'd just have a heart attack.

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: https://majmedia.wordpress.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MAJPublishing/677362675634870


T.R. Briar

What is your name?

T.R. Briar

Are you typically the class clown or the butt of jokes?

Class clown

Tell us a little about the book(s) you are offering in three sentences or less.

My book, Seven Origins, is book two in the Realm Wraith series, but it is more of a prequel to the first book, going into the past lives of the protagonist throughout history.

Since we're holding the Free & Bargain Book event on April Fools day, tell us about the best prank you ever played or the best prank played on you.

Most of my pranks involved putting rubber replicas of things you don't want to find in your briefcase/purse into briefcases/purses. Spiders, frogs, snakes, etc.

Pick one of your characters to play a prank on. Who are they? What is the prank? And how do they react?

Well, if I did the snakes in the briefcase thing on Levi Mercer (the son of the protagonist in Realm Wraith) he would probably have a complete nuclear meltdown. Never a good idea to prank somebody with a crippling phobia.

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: http://www.invertedworlds.com/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Briarsan


Neven Carr

What is your name?

Neven Carr

Are you typically the class clown or the butt of jokes?

Ha-ha! You said butt!

Tell us a little about the book(s) you are offering in three sentences or less.

FORGOTTEN is a mystery/thriller involving a young woman, Claudia Cabriati. Fear and the bitter stench of death have haunted Claudia for much of her life, along with odd dreams, puzzling cards and the bone-chilling sensation of being watched. When a vaguely familiar woman possessing secret knowledge about Claudia’s family is murdered, it sets off a string of horrifying events including the brutal murder of a mysterious man and the shocking revelations of family skeletons better left buried. 

Since we're holding the Free & Bargain Book event on April Fools day, tell us about the best prank you ever played or the best prank played on you.

"When I first moved to the city, I unfortunately was involved in a series of traffic accidents; nothing serious and none of which were my fault. However, the teachers where I worked saw it as a great opportunity to play pranks on me. One morning the phone rang. The caller was a female Constable from one of the city’s police stations. She told me I was being charged for the latest accident and I needed to come to the station to be fingerprinted etc. I was sick with fear, apologising, saying it wasn't my fault. Until I heard the giggles exploding from the other end of the phone. Yes, it was April Fool’s and old gullible me got sucked in again. "

Pick one of your characters to play a prank on. Who are they? What is the prank? And how do they react?

"I would have Claudia play a prank on her best friend, Mel. Mel is always trying to hook Claudia up with a hot guy and Claudia gets quite annoyed about it. So while they are at a bar or hotel, Claudia pretends that she was just talking to a guy who has shown unbelievable interest in Mel, thinks she’s sexy and can’t wait to meet her. The flattered Mel approaches him, all fluttery eyes and coy smiles. Of course, the man doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Mel is as fiery as her mass of red curls. She wouldn't handle the prank at all well. Claudia should run… and run fast! "

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: https://nevencarr.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nevencarr
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nevencarr
Other: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NevenCarr


CB Archer

What is your name?

CB Archer 

Are you typically the class clown or the butt of jokes?

Ha-ha! You said butt!

Tell us a little about the book(s) you are offering in three sentences or less.

Vambrace is a little different: It is a story about Keaton Clarke, who is playing a video game, and the story is set almost completely inside that video game. This is a tale of the greatest revenge, the utmost personal growth, the biggest of mysteries, and... butts, lots and lots of butts!

Since we're holding the Free & Bargain Book event on April Fools day, tell us about the best prank you ever played or the best prank played on you.

"This one time I went into a 711. The first people I ran into were a couple picking out chips. When the man suggested a flavour the woman yanked on his leash, and the man fell to the ground. The woman said ""Not Salt and Vinegar worm! They make me gassy!"" The man was then whipped with the woman's riding crop. I hurried past them and ended up in candy. A group of three teens came into the store. One ran to candy and grabbed every package of Skittles and screamed ""Oh my God! Skittles! You can't find these anywhere!"" He then went to buy the entire armful. The other teenage boy bought $100 worth of phone cards, all in $1 increments to different phone companies. The girl filled up three extra large slurpees (without lids), bought a newspaper, and then threw everything into her backpack, and left, as the slurpee oozed out the back. I went to buy my regulation purchase and a white man walked in and stood behind me in line, dressed as a Native American Chief - feather headdress, moccasins, a open leather vest, the whole lot. He asked me a question, but was talking like John Wayne. I asked the woman at the counter if I was on Candid Camera. She said I was not. I am pretty sure she was playing a prank on me and that I was in fact on Candid Camera."

Pick one of your characters to play a prank on. Who are they? What is the prank? And how do they react?

I think I would pick on Anders, my protagonist from Breakers of the Code. I would change his keyboard to automatically change his modest baked good curse words to become actual naughty curse words. He would change all the way up to Blush Shade #6 (the highest of the shades!)

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: www.annalsofgentalia.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cb_archer
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/CB-Archer/100006197627949


GG Atcheson

What is your name?

GG Atcheson

Are you typically the class clown or the butt of jokes?

Ha-ha! You said butt!

Tell us a little about the book(s) you are offering in three sentences or less.

"The Legacy: Fate: An alien crashes on Earth, discovers a new breed of humans, and enlists their help to save the planet. The Legacy: Destiny: Something ancient and evil lurks under the beautiful city of Los Angeles, and it is waiting for the right opportunity to take over the world."

Since we're holding the Free & Bargain Book event on April Fools day, tell us about the best prank you ever played or the best prank played on you.

"When I was a young newly wed, I would often take the public transport to go to my hubby's work and meet him there. Then we would both go home together. One sunny day, after arriving in the parking lot, I felt the urge to hide in the trunk of our car. We had a mini Honda back then so think a very tiny micro version of a Honda CR-V. When my husband came out of work and sat in the car, he didn't see me as I stayed well hidden. On the way home, I was wondering if I should tell him I was there or just wait until we arrived when he hit the breaks hard and swore calling the other driver, the 'C' word and going on and on about how all women should stay away from the steering wheel. I sprang up like a jack-in-the-box and said, ""Didn't you promise me you wouldn't call women drivers that name anymore?"" His head turned towards the rear view mirror. All I saw was a pair of huge eyes looking back at me. The car shook a little from let to right then it stopped at a red light. ""Caught you, didn't I?"" I said. It seems I traumatized the poor man though. He told me that after that day, he took on a new routine and checked the trunk and the back seats before sitting in the car. He also told me that he thought twice before saying anything anymore to any drivers because he always feared I would magically appear in his mirror. "

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GGAtcheson
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GGAtcheson/ 


Andrew Neff

What is your name?

Andrew Neff

Are you typically the class clown or the butt of jokes?

Ha-ha! You said butt!

Tell us a little about the book(s) you are offering in three sentences or less.

"What would life be like if your mind was hijacked by a company of clairvoyant stalkers? Danny is ensnared in a telepathic world, where mind games run incessantly, ranging from playful bantering to invasive insidious programs. Could Danny fall in love with an adversary in such an aberrant relationship or has he been hoodwinked?"

Since we're holding the Free & Bargain Book event on April Fools day, tell us about the best prank you ever played or the best prank played on you.

"Odd that I wrote a novel filled with pranks, but I can’t recall being on either side in the real world. However, I could tell one of my favorites: Someone I know well, fried some corned beef hash for his step kids. After they left the room with their plates, he swapped the label from a can of dog food and placed it over the corn beef hash can and set it in visible sight next to the frying pan. When the kids returned to the kitchen they almost barfed."

Pick one of your characters to play a prank on. Who are they? What is the prank? And how do they react?

This is rather complicated, how can you prank a mind reader? Danny has a very long list of grievances against the Mind Game Company - fuel for reciprocation, but most of all, he’d go after Jack. First, he’d have to find a chink in their system


Need some more April Fools' Author Foolishness? 

Check out these Blog Links!

Riley A. Westbrook

Ellison Blackburn

Missy Sheldrake

Christina McMullen