The Book Dragon bookshop now stocking the Sentinal series.

I am so pleased to announce that a brand new bookshop for books published by Independent or self-published authors like myself is opening on July 4th, 2022 and will be stocking all the published books in my epic fantasy Sentinal series.

The Book Dragon book shop is located in Teeside, in the UK, and will have physical paperback copies in store and on their brand new ecommerce platform.

Treat yourself and go and peruse the shelves of books from amazing independent authors, from all genres of fiction, to non fiction, to poetry. And let your kids embrace the wonders of reading in the kids section. Isn’t the dragon mural gorgeous?

FInd out more about the launch activities on July 4th at www.thebookdragon.co.uk

SHOP ADDRESS: 6 West Row, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1BT, United Kingdom


And don’t forget…

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and find out when my next books are published.

Author Interview – ES Fein

Author of A Dream of Waking Life.

Join me as I chat with ES Fein about his psychological thriller which released on May 6, 2022. Interested in lucid dreaming and existential discussions? Then check out his podcast.

Helen: Welcome Eric. I am so happy to be speaking to you today about your new book. It sounds so cool, and definitely a little mind bending!

Eric: A Dream of Waking Life is a philosophical, psychological thriller that tells the story of one man’s journey through space, time, and mind to not only discover his true identity but also the love of his life—a woman who keeps slipping through his fingers and into another reality. A thought-provoking meditation on the thin line between what is real and what is not, A Dream of Waking Life will leave readers questioning how far they would go to understand the nature of their own existence and how much they would sacrifice for love. 

Helen: Oh, that sounds deep and very intriguing. As is your cover. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Eric: The cover represents the three predominant dreams/worlds/realities (part of the grand mystery of the story is the uncertainty of what is real) that the protagonist is stuck in. I wanted the cover to appear as if these realities are blending into one another. The two figures standing and looking at the large tower, called “The Tower of God” in the story, are the main characters. You will also notice a small figure in the sky watching over them. I won’t say who that is. You’ll have to read the story to find out!

Helen: It is an interesting cover, you want to flip it around and inspect the alternate view to see what is different, because it is not a true reflection. What made you write such a complex and thought provoking book?

Eric: I wrote this book as a reflection on my lifelong experiences with lucid dreaming, existential confusion, bipolarism, thousands of psychonautical trips using DMT and other potent psychedelics, and the most important thing in existence: love.

Helen: I’ve never even heard of lucid dreaming, so colour me interested. I’m definitely going to be checking that out, when I find the time lol! I’m knee-deep in editing at the moment and my deadline is looming. You have some great reviews for your book already, and ‘unputdownable’ is the clear message. What genre does this book fit into?

Eric: I predominantly read and write scifi. A Dream of Waking Life isn’t pure scifi, but it definitely fits into the category. I love scifi stories because they are constantly forcing readers to wonder about reality and ask the big questions of existence: Who are we? Why are we here? What’s the purpose of reality? What the heck is going on?

Helen: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, it is such an achievement. What made you first put pen to paper and write a book?

Eric: I’ve been writing and telling stories for as long as I can remember. I remember in preschool, I used to have kids laughing and jumping in excitement as I made up wild and zany stories about what I had gone through on my way to school. The other kids called it “Eric story time,” and it felt as natural as breathing to me.

Helen: When writing do you prefer silence? or do you surround yourself with music?

Eric: Always! I listen to jazzhop or lofi hip hop when I write.

Helen: Is there anything random you would like share about yourself?

Eric: I was born without a right pectoral muscle. It used to cause incredible depression and self-hatred, even leading me to attempt suicide several times when I was young. Now, at 33, I see it as a blessing that has taught me how to accept imperfection and find beauty in all forms.

Helen: I am so sorry to hear you had to deal with such issues, but really happy that you found your way out and have embraced who you are and can appreciate all that is around you, and that you channelled your emotions and creativity into writing. What is the most useful piece of advice you have found about writing?

Eric: The author, Robert Heinlein, said in a book of writing tips something along the lines of: “Throw it all up! The only way to write is to throw up everything until it’s a complete mess. Once it’s all out, then you can go back and sift through the barf to find the actual story you’re looking for.”

Helen: Thank you Eric, for spending time with me today, I’ve loved chatting with you. Just to close out, is there any advice you would like to share with any aspiring writers?

Eric: Don’t expect to succeed in the traditional sense. If you aren’t writing because you enjoy writing, this will almost undeniably be a heart-breaking experience for you.

About the Author:

Reader, author, and purveyor of top-shelf science fiction, speculative fiction, and fantasy. My favorite subjects to read and write about include transhumanism, esotericism, cosmological ontology, existential ontology, Eastern philosophy, hard sci Fi, soft sci Fi, time travel, space exploration, psychological exploration, pansexualism, religion, mythology, space opera, experimentation with entheogens, and more. I like strange characters dealing with strange situations. Check out some free short stories on my site: Officialesfein.com

For all the latest news:

You can preorder A Dream of Waking Life from Amazon:

UK: eBook | Paperback

USA: eBook | Paperback

As an Amazon Associate I may earn commission from purchases made using these links.

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. As a new threat against Remargaren is discovered, only one man can wake the ancient guards who can protect them, only he doesn’t know how. Start the adventure and stay for the journey. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and keep up with progress on my next books are published.

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Author Interview – Edith Pawlicki

Author of Trials of Fire and Rebirth

Today I am chatting with epic fantasy author, Edith Pawlicki, about her new novel Trials of Fire and Rebirth, which is a standalone novel in her Immortal Beings world and released, June 14th, 2022.

Helen: Welcome Edith! Congratulations on the release of your new book! I’m so excited to be chatting to a fellow epic fantasy author. Tell us a little about your latest book.

Edith: Trials of Fire and Rebirth is a standalone in my Immortal Beings world. The whole series is epic fantasy, but this book is much more intimate than the first two – it focuses on the complicated histories of an young immortal who cannot remember her past and a powerful god who is ashamed of his. Of course, their mysteries and regrets are tied together, and both come to the fore as they deal with a very unpleasant mortal cult.

Helen: I love your cover, the imagery is very clever, especially the person within the butterfly. But you have chosen to have two covers haven’t you?

Edith: The Kindle cover reflects book’s magic, which is based on color. Karana, the God of Destruction, has red and white magic, and An Ning, the Peace Bringer has black magic. Butterflies are tied to redemption and rebirth in my mind, and when I saw this premade art with the butterfly and the person inside, I thought it matched the themes of the book and the interior motif. I edited it to be red and black and added the white smoke, hopefully evoking fire!

The physical book cover shows Karana, the God of Destruction, and An Ning, the Peace Bringer, with one of their pet Bulgae (aka a firedog). The series marker is actually a red ink stamp, the material is scanned and color-edited rice paper, and washi origami paper is behind the artwork. This is a character-driven epic fantasy – thus the artwork – and a pan-Asia influenced world, so I tried to echo the style of antique Chinese epics.

Helen: Both covers are lovely! How did you come up with the title?

Edith: All the titles in the Immortal Beings series follow the — of — and —- format, to tie them together. For this book, the God of Destruction is dealing with fire, the Peace Bringer is dealing with rebirth, and both of them go through some really wretched situations – trials! – together.

Helen: What inspired you to write this book?

Edith: Recent world events had led me to ponder objective versus subjective truth, and I realized that since the magic of the Immortal Beings is shaped by belief, it would be a great way to explore the way they interact and influence each other. There’s a temptation to assume everything is either true or false, but the power of the human imagination is such that if enough people deeply believe in something (i.e. that paper printed with faces and numbers is valuable) it becomes so. And yet, it’s also possible for thousands of people to believe something and yet it remains a lie that is dangerous to humanity as a whole. Anyway, I set this story up with a character who was facing her own internal contradiction (gender dysphoria) and a human cult with theirs (burning people alive to reincarnate), and set off to find the lines between truth and lie, denial and acceptance.

Helen: Oh my, what an interesting and deep concept. You would need some resolute characters to shoulder such heavy burdens. Tell us about them.

Edith: This book started with Karana; he’s a side character in the first two books, and I became intrigued by his contradictions. He embraces his bad reputation, and he has done terrible things, but he’s genuinely kind and clearly regretful. I wanted to understand him better and also give him a path to redemption. Since he starts as a deeply cynical character who’s running from his mistakes, he had to be balanced by An Ning, an optimistic character with an over-developed sense of personal responsibility. She is strong and compassionate character – a joy to write. Since Karana was in the middle of condemning a mass delusion with the cult, I wanted An Ning to have a “delusion” of her own, something deeply personal that had no effect on others but hurt her when denied. I saw an interesting way to explore gender identity within the magic system, so that just clicked, contrasting and complementing the cult arc.

Helen: They sound amazing and so rich. You’ve created a complex world. What genre do you typically like to write?

Edith: I write speculative fiction with a strong focus on characters and romance. The Immortal Beings fiction is epic fantasy, my YA series is light sci-fi set in a nuclear winter. Characters and relationships (romantic or not) are really what fascinate me, and when I first started writing, I actually leaned into romances. However, I found it really difficult to keep the tension high for a whole novel because I have no patience for angst or miscommunication! I realized that when I start with a speculation, a conflict that is larger than the characters, and then grab an internal conflict that echoes it, I have no problem keeping the tension high for a whole book, and I enjoy it more! Why I do fantasy instead of an adventure or a mystery… well, I don’t know! It’s just the way my brain works!

Helen: Thank you so much for chatting with me today. I wish you all the best with your books. Just to close, if I asked your characters why we should read this book, what would they say?

Edith: If you asked Karana, I think he’d tell you the book was none of your business! He’s pretty standoffish. But if you asked An Ning, she’d say you should read the book because it’s terribly romantic and because it shows that it’s never too late to change – redemption is always there for those who choose it and that we can all be more ourselves.

About the Author:

Edith Pawlicki lives in Connecticut with her husband, twin sons, dog, and two rabbits. She fell in love with words in fourth grade and finds writing necessary to free the worlds and characters in her head. When she isn’t busy being a mom and author, she enjoys cooking and crafts. In addition to the Immortal Beings series, she has also written a YA science fiction novel, Minerva.

You can order Trials of Fire and Rebirth from Amazon:

UK: eBook

USA: eBook

Papaerback preorder -release 16th September 2022.

As an Amazon Associate I may earn commission from purchases made using these links.

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. As a new threat against Remargaren is discovered, only one man can wake the ancient guards who can protect them, only he doesn’t know how. Start the adventure and stay for the journey. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and keep up with progress on my next books are published.

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Author Interview – Laura Quinn

Author of Thicker Than Water.

Today I am chatting with historical fiction author, Laura Quinn, about her debut novel Thicker than Water, which is an investigation into family ties and a sweeping saga of betrayal, lies, and loss on all sides et against the abckdrop of the First World War.

Helen: Welcome Laura! First congratulations on writing a novel and now publishing it. Such an amazing feeling to publish your first book. Tell us a little about it.

Laura: Titanic meets Boardwalk Empire in this historical fiction set against the picturesque shore town of Cape May, NJ, at the onset of World War One. Siblings Danny and Shannon Culligan are trapped under the thumb of their alcoholic father. Danny’s been in love with his childhood sweetheart, Jennie Martin- a wealthy cottager from Philadelphia- for as long as he can remember while her cousin, Hugh, is smitten with his sister.

As the foursome struggles to surmount the class differences between them, the nation is plunged into the Great War, changing all of their lives forever. Danny is drafted into the Army and Hugh enlists in the Navy- defending the home front as a lieutenant at Cape May Section Base Number 9. While Jennie works tirelessly on the Liberty Loans campaign in Philadelphia, Shannon finds herself ensnared in a rum ring operation as the temperance movement ebbs closer to its goal of Prohibition. A sweeping saga of betrayal, lies, and loss on all sides, Thicker Than Water, marries the historically accurate world building of Ellen Marie Wiseman’s The Orphan Collector with the emotional resonance of Renee Rosen’s works.

Helen: I love writing Fantasy novels because I can make it all up, but you have written a historical novel about real places and real events. This must be so much more challenging. I have been really fortunate to read an early copy, and I loved it – (you can read my book review here) – Your attention to detail is phenomenal. How much research did you have to do for your book?

Laura: I spent two years in research and development before putting pen to paper. With regard to historical events in narrative, I tried to stay as close to source material as possible throughout. A NJ resident myself, making sure the details were accurate was a matter of utmost importance to me from the beginning. Writing about a pandemic while living through one was particularly difficult. My research and outline for TTW was completed prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns. There were times in the last two years where I strongly considered changing these chapters (or eliminating them completely from a reader-sensitivity standpoint). My only hope is that I did justice to those lives impacted in both outbreaks.

Helen: You have chosen quite a dramatic cover, with the monotone colours and the stormy seas. Is there a story behind how you came up with your cover?

Laura: The cover and paperback interior design were done by Elite Authors. As a debut author, I  had many questions and the staff were wonderful to work with. I had some very clear ideas when it came to the cover, and shared samples of photography I’d found on iStock and Unsplash that I felt conveyed the tone of my novel. Without getting into spoilers, I can tell you that a crucial scene occurs in the midst of a nor’easter storm coming ashore. The event goes on to impact all four main characters in different ways, some of which are explored in Thicker Than Water, the others in the two sequels planned.

Helen: It’s great news that there is more to come! Let’s talk a little about how you write. Do you have a specific writing space where you like to work?

Laura: Oddly enough, at my dining room table. I like to spread out, so my “workspace” has plenty of room for me to lay out reference materials on one side of me and notes on the other. The room also has large windows and gets a lot of natural sunlight, so it’s a cozy environment. The back window faces my kids’ play area in our yard, so I can keep eyes and ears on them, too, from where I am. You can usually find our tabby, Tigger, snuggled somewhere close by.

Helen: Writing companions are the best! My cat Alfie is usually the same, curled up nearby. When not writing what do you like to do?

Laura: I enjoy many hobbies outside the bookish variety. Spending time with my family is my favorite, even if it’s just shuffling the kids to-and-from one of their activities. I love watching them perform, be it on the ballet stage or the soccer field. I also love gardening, and just planted my annuals for this season. We can learn so much from nature. It always inspires me.

Helen: Most writers are great readers, do you have a favourite book?

Laura: Little Women. I read a junior edition when I was in third grade for my first book report and fell in love with the story. My late grandmother gifted me a beautiful hardcover to commemorate the event. I’ve read it several times over and it holds an honored place on the coffee table in my living room.

Helen: How lovely! I love it when a book has a story to go woth it, evoking special memories. Thank you so much for spending time with me today. Good luck with your launch and congratulations again on the launch of your debut novel. Just to finish, do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

Laura: Get it down. Whether handwritten in a notebook, typed up on a laptop, or texted from your phone when you can’t sleep. Tell your story. Be authentic and don’t hold back.

About the Author:

Laura Quinn currently resides in southern New Jersey with her husband, two children, and spoiled tabby cat. When not writing or consuming copious amounts of coffee, she enjoys hiking, the beach, and spending time with her family. Thicker Than Water is her debut novel, with two additional books planned to round out the Culligans’ saga.

You can order Thicker Than Water from Amazon:

UK: eBook | Paperback

USA: eBook | Paperback

Papaerback preorder -release 16th September 2022.

As an Amazon Associate I may earn commission from purchases made using these links.

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my books which are available in eBook, paperback or hardcover: Book One: Sentinals Awaken. Book Two: Sentinals Rising. Book Three: Sentinals Justice. Book 3.5: Sentinals Recovery. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next book releases.

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My Author Patreon is live!

I have been writing fantasy books since 2016, published my first book in 2020 and have now published five books in the Sentinal series. I have come to the realisation that I cannot sustain the finances to self-publish and create the audiobook versions without selling a lot more books, or subsidising the costs though an activity like patreon.

So I have created a patreon. Are you Team Arifel, Team Darian, or Team Sentinal? I hope you choose a team and join my writing journey. I have so many books already written, they just need polishing and publishing. I could easily continue publishing two books a year, if not more, it is the cost that is prohibitive.

So this is where you wonderful people come in. Supporting me and my writing, means you get them quicker! And access to early sneak peeks, deleted chapters, extra stories, character interviews and more.

Thank you once again for your interest in my books, and for joining me on this journey. Welcome to the wonderful world of Remargaren and many others I can’t wait to introduce you to.  I hope you stay for all the exciting adventures that are surely coming your way.

And don’t forget…

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

Check out my Author Interview on the Scribbled Notes Podcast

I had such fun chatting with Jahmil Effend on his podcast Scribbled Notes.

We chat about my writing journey, my books, world building and the sheer joy of writing.

You can find it on:

Spotify

Youtube

or iTunes

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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How Old Did You Say?

One of the sparks of inspiration behind my writing my epic fantasy Sentinal series occurred while I was strolling through an ancient woodland near where I live. I wondered how old are these trees? Some of them are centuries old. What history they must have seen, and what tales they could tell if they were to wake up and speak.

That led me to thinking what if a man slept in the tree, and what if he woke thousands of years into his future? And so was born the Sentinals series.

The Druid’s Oak , 2013 in Burnham Beeches, UK. Picture by Wim Brinkerwink

One of the oldest trees in Burnham Beeches in England, is the ‘The Druid’s Oak’ which is approx. 800 years old, about 9m tall and nearly 9m wide (girth). The Druid’s Oak is a Pollard. The crown used to be cut just above headheight for firewood, and then allowed to regrow and was recut many times. The practice of pollarding died out in the early twentieth century, as coal replaced firewood.

The oldest trees in the world are thought to be the Bristlecone pines which thrive in really cold conditions in places like Atlanta in the USA. The cold conditions mean that the trees grow really slowly. It can take two years for a pine cone to mature. The slow growth and adverse conditions mean the wood is really dense which helps them resist insect and fungi attacks.

Prometheus, Image credit: Mother Nature Network

The Bristlecone pines are known to have lived for over five thousand years, (five thousand years!!!) and grow to heights of fifty feet. An amazing feat for a tree. Some are older than the neighbouring glaciers!

I love how some of these trees are even named. These monumental trees grow to have fame all of their own and are mourned when they die.

My Sentinal trees are not so far-fetched after all. Reality is stranger than fiction most of the time. The Sentinal trees are tall silver-trunked trees, with a crown of emerald-green, pointy leaves. Each one houses a Lady’s Guard, one of Lady Leyandrii’s Sentinals, who she encased in the tree when she sundered the bloodstone and banished all magic, including herself from the land of Remargaren. Unable to follow the Lady, her guards have slept for three thousand years, or so the legends say.

Find out more in Book One of the Sentinals series, Sentinals Awaken. Now also available as an audiobook via Audible, Apple iBooks and Amazon.

Sources:

Awards galore! Sentinals Awaken and Sentinals Rising Win Global Book Awards

I’m excited to announce that both Sentinals Awaken and Sentinals Rising , the first two books in the epic fantasy Sentinal series have been awarded the silver medal in the Global Book Awards.

Sentinals Awaken in the Self-Published Fantasy Action and Adventure category!

Sentinals Awaken is the first book in the saga of Remargaren, a vibrant, ancient world of high fantasy suffused with magic and adventure.

As a three thousand-year-old threat reemerges, only one man has the power to awaken the world’s greatest protectors and restore order to the realm. He just doesn’t know it yet. When Jerrol Haven, a captain in the King’s Rangers, discovers treason at the highest level, he knows immediately that the knowledge puts his life at risk. And indeed, though he expected the ailing King to shield him, the ambitious Crown Prince sentences Jerrol to death.

What hold does the Prince have over his weakened father, and who or what is he protecting?

With signs that the veil is weakening and the Ascendants are creeping back into power, Lady Leyandrii has returned and is in dire need of Jerrol’s help. For though he doesn’t know it, Jerrol possesses a rare gift: By chance, he touches a revered Sentinal tree and awakens Birlerion, one of the Lady’s personal guard who have been sleeping in the strange, tall trees since they were last called to battle. Aided by Birlerion, Jerrol flees and begins his journey to help Lady Leyandrii save Remargaren once more.

But time is running out: Jerrol must unravel the mystery of the Ascendants’ return, stop the sinister force that is dividing good families through bloodshed and betrayal, and rescue the King—and his troubles are only just beginning.

And Sentinals Rising in the Self-Published Sword and Sorcery catgeory

Sentinals Rising is the second book in the saga of Remargaren, a vibrant, ancient world of high fantasy suffused with magic and adventure.

Jerrol Haven, having rescued the king from the clutches of the malevolent Ascendants, knows they haven’t stopped their scheming. While trying to learn more about the mysterious Sentinals he woke from a three-thousand-year sleep, he has to defend his king and country from further magical attacks.

Should he trust the Sentinals in such vital positions? Can he trust them to protect the king and Vespiri? As Jerrol learns more of their capabilities, he realises there are more secrets yet to be revealed. Maybe those questioning their sudden rise in power have a point.

Before he can delve further, a call for help comes from the neighbouring country of Terolia. The nomadic Families are disintegrating into chaotic infighting. The king sends Jerrol to investigate, instructing him to do whatever is needed to protect the Families from the Ascendants.

The Global Book Awards

In this modern age of publishing, books need to be appraised not only by their content and writing style, but also by the way they present and market themselves to the prospective buyer. Whether that is in its creative book cover design, its captivating book description, its strong ratings on important bookstores like Amazon, or even the number of reviews it has collected from its readers – they all count on how a book should be judged.

So, unlike most book award sites that depend on the views of a small panel of judges, we use much of the above criteria to decide on which books deserve to be award winners.

We run mainly two competitions each year: 

  • the first focusing just on self-publishers, 
  • and the other more broadly on both traditional and self-published authors who have written books with global appeal. Whether you are a veteran author or a first time novelist, we welcome you to join. 

The awards we give out are grouped by category or genre, and divided into Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Award Finalists. In providing such awards, our aim to help readers discover new and often undiscovered talent. As such, we hope these awards will give authors the recognition they deserve, whether that is in their writing creativity, or in the way they have marketed their books to attract new readers.

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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Writing Challenge- Day Seven #TurvyTruthOrDare

Join the Sentinals as they navigate their way through a new writing challenge! Back to the dares!!

Last day is the Wildcard- so let’s see what the result of the prank was!! Ari is having so much fun!!

It’s another Turvy-inspired #WritingChallenge! This time the stakes are raised: #TurvyTruthOrDare! AND this time it’s an easy-peasy 7-day mini challenge. So they say!!

Follow all the participants on Instagram.

You can find me at: https://www.instagram.com/helengarrawayauthor follow us and join in the fun!

The #TurvyTruthOrDare runs April 1–7 and is hosted by:
❄ @nimmisheikhauthor –Writing a New Adult, sci-fi murder mystery trilogy planned for 2023 release: #Frostieverse
👻@saffron.amatti –Writes the spooky, ghosty, and oh-so-twisty #LucasRathboneMysteries
🐾@sharitmitchell –Writes the thrilling #MarnieReillyMysteries with canine companions and haunting spirits
🎩@writertracybrown –Writes the quirky #DoorToDoorMysteries + 🔥#BelleroseWitchline fantasy series

#Writers, whether your characters are in a published book or percolating in your WIP, this challenge is for YOU!

Day Seven

Time for the Arifels to joins in!! Make a prank call, or in this case, send an Arifel with a prank message!!

The Sentinal series

At dawn the next morning, Tagerill arrived at the Lady’s temple decked out in his dress uniform. Not quite what it should be, but he was sure Leyandrii wouldn’t mind the discrepancies on such short notice. He frowned as he waited outside the locked temple door as he wondered why Leyandrii was being so secretive.

His weapons gleamed; the leather straps were polished to a brilliant gleam and the lacy ruffles agitated his neck.

He huffed as he paced, feeling ridiculous in his fancy clothes. Why anyone wanted to wear ruffles was beyond him. Even the tailor had been insistent they were out fashion, but dress clothes demanded these silly frilly layers.

Maybe he would suggest to Leyandrii that she should update their wardrobe, after all they lived in a different time now. He suddenly wondered how she was even able to appear in Vespers. They hadn’t seen her once since they had awoken. He knew Birlerion would have told him if she had.

A low snicker behind him had him spinning, and he peered into the bushes. “Who’s there?” he demanded. The bushes rustled but no one appeared. He was distracted as the father walked up the path, eyed him in surprise and then unlocked the temple door.

Tagerill entered the temple behind the father and walked up to the altar. He hovered unsure what to do next. Running a finger around his collar he blew the ruffles away from his face. Where was Leyandrii?

Time passed and he knelt before the altar. “Leyandrii?” he whispered. There was no answer, and he was beginning to feel a bit foolish.

When Birlerion and Serillion entered the temple, broad grins on their faces, which morphed into peals of laughter, he flushed.

“What are you doing here?” he asked.

“I’d ask the same question of you. Tage, by the lady, you’re wearing ruffles!” Birlerion said, a chuckle not far away.

When Ari landed on Birlerion’s shoulder and chittered, Tagerill’s eyes grew wide. “You didn’t,” he said.

Serillion folded over, unable to stay upright, he grabbed Birlerion’s arm as tears streamed down his face. “Y-your expression,” he stuttered.

“You sent the message? You made me wear this?”

“You look so pretty, Tage!” Birlerion choked.

“I’ll kill you.”

“Not in the Lady’s temple, Tage.” Birlerion wagged his finger.

“She won’t mind.”

“Of course she will.”

“And that fleabag is in on it?” Tagerill growled, glaring at the Arifel.

“Don’t offend him again,” Serillion said in a strangled voice. “He might do worse next time.”

Tagerill glared at them, until a sheepish expression stole over his face. “It wasn’t real? Leyandrii isn’t coming?”

“I wish she was, but even if she could, do you really think she would expect you to be in dress uniform?” Birlerion asked.

Tagerill exhaled, and then laughed as he looked down at himself. “I suppose not, though she did like the dress balls.” He ripped off the ruffles at his throat. “Thank goodness I can get out of this stupid outfit. But you just wait, I’ll get you back. Both of you.”

Serillion held up his hands. “Nothing to do with me, I found out accidentally. It was Birlerion and Ari.”

Ari flapped his wings, chittered at Tagerill and settled on Birlerion’s shoulder with a definite smirk on his face.

Tagerill glared at him.

“Be careful,” Birlerion warned with a grin. “You represent the pride of the Sentinals. Don’t let us down.”

“Pride, be damned. When I get my hands on you …”

Birlerion ran, his laugh echoed around the temple mixing with Ari’s chitters as he flew out behind him.

Start the award winning epic fantasy Sentinals series now with Book One, Sentinals Awaken.

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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Writing Challenge- Day Six #TurvyTruthOrDare

Join the Sentinals as they navigate their way through a new writing challenge! Back to the dares!!

Admit kissing someone not your partner OR make a prank phone call

It’s another Turvy-inspired #WritingChallenge! This time the stakes are raised: #TurvyTruthOrDare! AND this time it’s an easy-peasy 7-day mini challenge. So they say!!

Follow all the participants on Instagram.

You can find me at: https://www.instagram.com/helengarrawayauthor follow us and join in the fun!

The #TurvyTruthOrDare runs April 1–7 and is hosted by:
❄ @nimmisheikhauthor –Writing a New Adult, sci-fi murder mystery trilogy planned for 2023 release: #Frostieverse
👻@saffron.amatti –Writes the spooky, ghosty, and oh-so-twisty #LucasRathboneMysteries
🐾@sharitmitchell –Writes the thrilling #MarnieReillyMysteries with canine companions and haunting spirits
🎩@writertracybrown –Writes the quirky #DoorToDoorMysteries + 🔥#BelleroseWitchline fantasy series

#Writers, whether your characters are in a published book or percolating in your WIP, this challenge is for YOU!

Day Six

Time for the Arifels to joins in!! Make a prank call, or in this case, send an Arifel with a prank message!!

The Sentinal series

Birlerion peered around the door, and finding the room empty, he slipped inside and silently shut it behind him. Calling the little Arifel, he moved over to the window and stared out over the formal palace gardens.

They were nothing like Leyandrii’s. Her rose arbors had been beautiful; a riot of colour no matter the season.

He smiled as Ari, the little Arifel, arrived and perched on his open hand, wrapping his scaly tail around Birlerion’s wrist to balance.

“I need your help,” Birlerion murmured to the kitten like creature.

Ari cocked his head and cheeped. His green eyes grew larger as he stared at Birlerion.

“I know, but Tagerill has it coming after the scaring me like that. How he got the king to agree …” Birlerion closed his eyes. He had jabbed the king in the ribs. Lady kill him now! He stiffened. “It’s his turn to be on the receiving end.”

Ari sent a suggestion, and Birlerion chuckled as it materialised in his mind. An image of Tagerill working in the kitchens.

“No, he’d enjoy that too much! We need something that will make him uncomfortable, that he’ll take seriously.”

Ari sighed.

“I thought you could tell him Leyandrii will be arriving in Old Vespers at the temple, and she is expecting him to be her escort. He needs to be on duty at dawn, in full ceremonial uniform.” Birlerion swore that Ari smiled. He rose, flapping his wings and then settled again. “Yes, very formal. Leyandrii is expecting him, but it is very hush, hush. He’s not to tell anyone.” Birlerion grinned. None of them had worn full ceremonial uniform since they had awoken. He could just see Tagerill trying to polish and prepare everything without anyone seeing him. With a wicked grin he sent Ari on his errand.

***

Tagerill was surprised when Ari dropped onto the table in front of him. Surprised because he was seated in the dining hall, surrounded by off duty palace guards. The little Arifel bombarded him with images and he stiffened. “Leyandrii? When?” he gasped out loud and the guards eyed him a little suspiciously.

Ari scolded him and he clapped his hand over his mouth. The guards edged away from him and continued with their conversation.

“Why me?” he whispered. Ari chittered and Tagerill preened. He was one of her first Sentinals. Ari shared a few more images and Tagerill spluttered. “Full ceremonial dress?” He didn’t have a full ceremonial dress. He ignored the side glances he was receiving, another rumour about Sentinals talking to themselves no doubt beginning. From their reactions he had no doubt Ari was only visible to him.

Abandoning his lunch, he hurried out of the hall, racking his brain for where he would find a white shirt with ruffles, velvet jacket and pantaloons, and buckled shoes on such short notice.

***

At every opportunity Birlerion sent a Sentinal or a ranger, or a palace servant to interrupt Tagerill. They returned with wide grins and reports of Tagerill trying to conceal whatever he was working on and getting more and more frustrated by the interruptions. Ari reported Tagerill had a tailor hidden in his rooms, with pins and patterns and swathes of material and Birlerion couldn’t stop laughing. Tagerill hated all forms of dress clothes.

Serillion, discovering Birlerion in paroxysms of laughter, demanded to know what was going, and Birlerion gave up the attempt, leaving Ari to tell him.

“How did you get Ari agree?’ Serillion asked, his eyebrows nearly in his hairline. “I’ll never believe a word he says to me again.”

Birlerion choked down his laughter. “Tagerill had it coming. He called Ari a flaky, fluff ball. Ari took offence.”

Serillion grinned. “Do not offend the Arifels. Noted.” He stroked Ari’s white chest, and then scratched his ears as he nudged Serillion’s hand. “You really think Tagerill is going present himself at the temple at dawn?”

“Of course. Why wouldn’t he?”

“Well, the fact that Leyandrii is unable to cross the Veil for one.”

“Tage won’t think of that,” Birlerion replied, unable to keep the smile off his face.

Serillion shook his head. “I hope you know what you’re doing. He is going to be so mad at you. And disappointed.”

Birlerion’s smile faded and then he shrugged. “Teach him to keep secrets from us, won’t it? If he’d told you, you would have set him straight.”

“Well, I would have tried to, but I can’t now, can I? You’ve made me an accomplice.”

To be continued…

Start the award winning epic fantasy Sentinals series now with Book One, Sentinals Awaken.

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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