Novel Monday: Transplant of War – Chapter 21


Description:
Adane barely escaped war in his homeland. He wanted nothing more than to hide in this new city with his adopted child Chisa by his side. But every choice he makes risks their quiet lives and every day brings the war that Adane fled closer to their doorstep. Soon Adane will have to choose between running away again or taking a stand against an enemy that can’t be seen and cannot be fought.

Transplant of War
by Meyari McFarland

21. Basic Lesson

The palace walls were grey. Smoke stained and damaged by explosions, they were a far cry from what Adane had seen the first time he came to the palace. It should have reassured him. The king and queen clearly were doing everything they could to protect the country, or at least themselves, but it didn’t. Even being surrounded by Prince Gamali’s crack troops didn’t reassure Adane.

Their march through the city had been quiet, almost peaceful, no barges or trams or carriages flitting by. He’d glimpsed people peeking out doors or looking through windows in the increasingly better parts of town where windows to the street actually existed. But there was too much fear in the soldiers’ auras. Price Gamali stalked down the streets as though he expected soul-riven soldiers to charge at them at any moment.

Frankly, Adane expected it. He could feel more life around them then there was emotion to match with, not that the thought made sense to him. Except for all the ways that it did. The soul-riven were hollow, blank spots that lived but which didn’t feel, didn’t have emotions the way real people did. Adane didn’t know if other mages could feel that difference. Balqis had only raised an eyebrow at him when he’d mentioned it to her. But Adane most certainly felt it and it made him shiver as they circled around the palace walls towards the still unbroken main gates.

Adane looked over his shoulder, scanning rooftops for any glimpse of Chisa’s fluff of curls. He didn’t see anything, thank goodness. None of the others had come along. Balqis hadn’t allowed it. Truthfully, she hadn’t wanted Adane to go either but someone had to teach the mages in the palace how to layer spells.

Faisal had been very clear that none of the mages at the palace knew how they’d done it. Or hidden away in other parts of the city. The sheer improbability of that bothered Adane. What in the world had they been taught that they didn’t know such a basic thing about their own magic?

“Should already know that,” Adane muttered as he followed Prince Gamali through the battered but still functional gate.

“Know what?” Faisal asked.

“Sorry,” Adane apologized. “They should already know how to layer their spells for maximum effect. It’s a basic lesson that I was taught, all of us were taught, when we were young.”

“They, ah, believe that you did something more,” Faisal said, grimacing at the look Adane gave him. “I know, I know. But I think that… they want to believe you’re special so that they have hope.”
Continue reading

Advertisements
Posted in Mages of Tindiere, MDR Publishing, Novel Monday, Self Publishing, Writing Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Fiction Friday: Boiling the Ocean Away

Every Friday I put up a short story for free. It stays up for one week and then I take it down again. So please enjoy this story while it lasts!

Description:
Kinipela fought with her magic, strictly controlling the need to work the weather and waves surrounding her island. The broken heart left behind by Moanna, her ex-wife, made control that much harder.

Then Kinipela’s little brother arrived with news of storm clouds approaching against the wind, pulling Kinipela out of her grief and into a battle against her heart, her magic and everything she thought she was.

Boiling the Ocean Away is a story of magic, loss, life and discovering your true self that is sure to excite.

Boiling the Ocean Away

By Meyari McFarland

Wind flowed around Kinipela, slipping gentle around her cheeks, tangling in her hair like a lover’s fingers drawn slow and gentle to comfort and tease. She could smell pineapple, sharp-sweet, on the wind. Kinipela turned away, shifting in the sand so that she would not have to look up the beach to the other homes, to the one at the far end where Moanna sat.

Moanna was signing, a happy hymn of thanksgiving to the Gods for the bounty of the sea, the fruits of the land. Her long black hair, sleek as the skin of a seal freshly emerged from the ocean, hung at her back. Even at this distance Kinipela could smell the sweat at the nook of Moanna’s neck, feel the silk of her skin, the skin she’d never touch again.

Nets. She needed to fix the nets. The goddess of the sea had been angry with Kinipela the last time she’d gone out fishing. Her nets had half a dozen holes, some tiny, one huge enough for a reef shark to slip right through.

It was her fault. The first thing that Kinipela had learned as a child was that calling the magic of the sea, the wind, while angry was dangerous. Futile. Painful. She’d watched her mother waste away as the magic raged inside of her after Kinipela’s father died.

At least death was final. Kinipela didn’t get that closure. There was no ending for her pain. Moanna had moved out of Kinipela’s home, taking her sarongs and the fine wood comb that Kinipela had carved for her. There were no songs in Kinipela’s home anymore. It was empty, lonely, abandoned by the one that had given it a heart, just as Kinipela had been abandoned, cast aside for a man with a weak jaw and shifty eyes who rarely brought home enough fish for the two of them, much less for the babies that Moanna had always wanted.

Babies. That was the real problem. Kinipela had not been able to give Moanna babies, even though she had been perfectly happy to invite men into their home for that purpose. Moanna hadn’t wanted that. She’d wanted a man of her own, not a woman who fished and fought with the magic inside of her, too stiff and stern to dance and sing with Moanna when joy ran through both their hearts.

“You’ve never had an honest emotion in your life!”

Kinipela winced, barely restraining herself from ripping the net in half. Moanna’s final words still hurt. They would always hurt. She didn’t understand, Moanna didn’t understand that magic demanded control, required strength, punished emotion. No matter how much Kinipela wanted to shout her love and pain and rage to the sky, she couldn’t. It would endanger the whole island, everyone living on it.

Lie, Kinipela whispered in the back of her mind. The mental voice sounded like Grandmother, scolding with her eyes and expecting perfection no matter what Kinipela did, felt, learned. Lie. Kinipela couldn’t possibly be strong enough to threaten them all.

The wind shifted, harsh and hard, carrying now the taste of ocean salt and the dying fish that flopped and struggled in shallow hollows after being swept up and away from their life-giving water, deposited to struggle and die on baking hot volcanic rock, crabs picking at their eyes until they died blind and gasping as salt crystals formed on their quivering bodies, every flop calling more crabs to come and feast.

Kinipela jerked her mind away from the wind, away from the magic that surrounded her as surely as the water surrounded the fish. Angry, she was angry. Too angry. Touching the magic was a foolish idea, such a foolish idea. Grandmother would sniff, would sigh and mention Mother while eyeing Kinipela from the corner of her eye with that expression that said ‘I always knew you’d follow in her footsteps, foolish girl.’

The nets. Her hands trembled as she bent her head to repair holes in her net. The net had to be fixed. She needed to go fishing or there’d be little to eat tonight other than sweet potatoes baked in the coals of her fire. Nalani would have to go eat with Grandmother instead of staying with Kinipela. He always came back subdued, quiet, rubbing his upper arm as if Grandmother had grabbed and squeezed hard enough to bruise though bruises never bloomed.

That was a magic Kinipela didn’t have. Blood and flesh didn’t answer her as they did for Grandmother. No, Kinipela had inherited Grandfather’s magic, the magic of the wind and sea, the magic that moved and shifted, ebbing and flowing like the tides. It curled around Kinipela’s ankles, sucking insistently at her attention despite her efforts to focus on nothing but the nets in her hands.

“Kinipela!” Nalani called.

His shout echoed across the beach, drawing quiet laughter and smiles as he ran towards her, eyes wide and smile broader against the rosy brown of his cheeks.

“Sister!” Nalani shouted again.

“I hear you,” Kinipela said. “The whole island hears you.”
Continue reading

Posted in Free Fiction Friday, LGBT Issues, Mages of Tindiere, MDR Publishing, Self Publishing, Writing Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Now Available this week

Sorry, guys. I’m gearing up to a big writing seminar and just haven’t had the time to gather links to the last two things I published.

Or, for that matter, gather links to all the things I’m putting up for preorder.

You see, I have a story a week until the end of the year (short story, novella, novel or collection) and they’re all done. Covers, blurbs, all formatting for ebook and POD. And given that the last quarter of the year is always 110% insane for me, I decided to go ahead and get them all uploaded for preorder.

That way I can work on reformatting the Muirin stories and dealing with the silly season. There’s a new SF novel coming, with a companion short story (short story is next week, novel the week after). I have several more Gods Above and Below short stories. A Muirin novel that I’m super-happy with. A lovely little Christmas novella with a lesbian romance between two mentally ill young women that I kind of fell in love with as I wrote. Plus several collections that I’ve put off publishing for oh, most of the year.

Lots of good stuff coming.

Even better, I’ve got two books done for next year, a couple of short stories, and I’m working on a new Drath romance novel right now that should come out in February.

So yeah, lots of good stuff coming. Just no links to it at the moment.

Once I get back home on the 30th I’ll work on getting the links for everything up.

Have a great week, everyone!

Posted in LGBT Issues, MDR Publishing, Rambling, Self Publishing, Writing Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Novel Monday: Transplant of War – Chapter 20


Description:
Adane barely escaped war in his homeland. He wanted nothing more than to hide in this new city with his adopted child Chisa by his side. But every choice he makes risks their quiet lives and every day brings the war that Adane fled closer to their doorstep. Soon Adane will have to choose between running away again or taking a stand against an enemy that can’t be seen and cannot be fought.

Transplant of War
by Meyari McFarland

20. Highness

Three days. Adane sighed as he peered through the shrubs and pots on their roof garden, looking across the city towards the palace. Three days and nothing had changed. At least nothing that he could see without risking another blood scrying. Balqis and Chisa agreed on that point, though. Neither of them thought it was a good idea.

Frankly, Adane agreed despite his desperate curiosity to see what was happening elsewhere in the city. At this point, after days on end of no attacks and now one sign of life from the palace followed by absolutely nothing, Adane was nearly twitchy enough to go clambering across the rooftops to see if he could get closer.

But if he’d forbidden Chisa from doing it, then Adane was forbidden too. Chisa, at least, knew how to do it properly. Adane would probably fall through someone’s ceiling and hurt himself. Didn’t make the temptation to do something stupid go away, though.

“See anything?” Dawud asked. Zakwan crouched by Dawud’s side, automatically checking the moistness of the soil in the pots instead of looking across the city.

“No,” Adane said. “Nothing. What they do?”

“Die?” Zakwan suggested but his expression made it an unlikely suggestion.

“No, not die,” Adane said. “Wouldn’t have used The Spell if died. Should have acted by now.”
Continue reading

Posted in Mages of Tindiere, MDR Publishing, Novel Monday, Self Publishing, Writing Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Fiction Friday: Threads of Hate

Every Friday I post a short story for free. It stays up for one week and then gets taken down again. Please enjoy this one while it lasts!


Description:
Louisa’s life revolved around her mother, her grandparents and their sewing shop. Her burgeoning magic wasn’t something that concerned her. Mother and Grandmother Anna both handled it well, as did her aunts and cousins. There was no reason to think that her magic might someday be a threat to anyone at all.

But then a man came to the shop before opening. His actions changed how Louisa viewed herself, her magic and the rest of the world.

Threads of Hate is a tale of growing up, the power that even the weakest possess and learning the consequences of one’s actions. Readers troubled by abuse of minors and death should read with caution.

Threads of Hate

By Meyari McFarland

Louisa hummed as she swept up the shop before opening. She knew they’d swept last night but the broom kept finding new little dust bunnies made of lint and bits of thread in the nooks and crannies under the counter in the front part of the shop. Maybe last night she hadn’t done as good of a job as she’d thought but it had been dark and she’d been tired. At least they’d start the day nice and clean today.

This early in the morning no one was at the shop but her. Mama was back home making breakfast for Grandma Anna and Grandpa Thomas. It was gruel so Louisa had volunteered to go sweep up with the promise of getting a sweet bun as a reward for doing it without being told to. As far as Louisa was concerned the sweet bun was unnecessary as long as she didn’t have to eat the nasty gruel. Even thick brown sugar and raisons couldn’t make gruel tasty as far as she was concerned.

“Girl!”

The harsh bark from the front door made Louisa start with surprise. A group of men in nice clothes with fine embroidery looked back at her. The one in front sneered at Louisa. His clothes were the nicest of the lot, worked with gold thread and what looked like fine silk fabric. He looked around their little shop and his lip curled up even higher, exposing his teeth on one side.
Continue reading

Posted in Free Fiction Friday, Mages of Tindiere, MDR Publishing, Self Publishing, Writing Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Novel Monday: Transplant of War – Ch 19


Description:
Adane barely escaped war in his homeland. He wanted nothing more than to hide in this new city with his adopted child Chisa by his side. But every choice he makes risks their quiet lives and every day brings the war that Adane fled closer to their doorstep. Soon Adane will have to choose between running away again or taking a stand against an enemy that can’t be seen and cannot be fought.

Transplant of War
by Meyari McFarland

19. Breakout

The building rocked. Adane gasped and rolled off the bed, grabbing for weapons that weren’t there, pants that were exactly where they should be. Chisa shouted and flailed against the blankets. He stared at the window while Adane scrambled into his clothes.

“What happen?” Chisa asked.

“Don’t know,” Adane said. “Clothes, weapons, hurry!”

Chisa threw the blankets off and scrambled into his clothes, throwing his shirt on over his sleep pants and then running for the stairs. Adane took the time to remove his sleep shirt, put on a regular shirt, but that was it. He stomped into his boots and then ran after Chisa who stumbled out onto the street that quickly filled with residents of the poor quarter.

“Inside!” Balqis screamed, harsh and fierce. “Now!”

Only the mages remained to face Balqis’ glare. She nodded to Adane, shook her head at Chisa who glowered back at her, and then hobbled towards the main barricade. Adane shook his head and then scooped Balqis up in his arms, carrying her at a run.

“Can walk,” Balqis snapped. Her cane smacked against Adane’s back with each step.
Continue reading

Posted in Mages of Tindiere, MDR Publishing, Novel Monday, Self Publishing, Writing Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Fiction Friday: Threads of Hope

Every Friday I post a short story for people to read for free. It stays up one week and then I take it down. Enjoy the story while it lasts!

Description:

Gran Anna was careful about using her sewing for magic. There were those who felt her family’s gifts should be wiped out. But helping a young boy who’d lost his family keep his hopes up as he searches for a job in their little town was worth the risk. Anna’s magic might not control the threads of fate but at least she could work a little hope into the shirt she made for David.

Meyari McFarland returns to the Mages of Tindiere with a tale of hope, magic and the struggle to overcome life’s struggles.

Threads of Hope

By Meyari McFarland

“Gran Anna?”

Anna looked up from her cutting board in the back room of the shop, frowning at the wash of emotion coming from the front room. She recognized the boy’s voice but the despair coming from him made her take off her glasses and polish them as she shouldered aside the curtain dividing the workroom from the area the clients got to see. Young David smiled to see her but it was a weak smile that drooped as soon as it formed.

“David,” Anna said, putting her glasses back on. “What can I do for you today?”

“I ah, wanted to tell you not to bother to finish the shirt, Gran Anna,” David said. He stared at his hands, clenched in tight fists on the plain wood counter. “I’m afraid I can’t afford it.”

“Didn’t get the job, I take it?” Anna sighed.

“No ma’am,” David said, his shoulder joining his mouth in drooping. “I don’t, don’t know what I’ll do now. There aren’t that many jobs in town. I might have to go to the city.”

Anna reached out and patted his hands gently. It truly wasn’t the boy’s fault. After losing his father and older brother to the meat grinder that was the army the boy had tried so hard. She’d watched him take every odd job in town, all but beg for work from anyone who would give him a few pennies. Several years of trying had worn the poor boy down to the point that she was surprised he hadn’t given up entirely. Blessed Inina knew that the child had given it his all but no one was giving him a chance.

“Don’t you fuss about that, child,” Anna said. “The shirt’s already cut out. I’ll stitch it up for you and you can have it for free. You’ll need a new shirt if you go off to the city, anyway.”

“Oh, I couldn’t,” David protested, his eyes wide with mingled relief and shame for that relief. “At least let me sweep up the shop for you.”

She laughed and nodded, not that her shop needed it. Her daughters and granddaughters helped with that, along with Thomas, her husband. If it made him feel better about the gift, so be it. Anna was old enough not to care what anyone thought. One shirt was a simple matter for her to make, though this one would be a bit more than just a shirt. What was the point of her gifts if she didn’t use them to help people who needed them from time to time? A little hope for a boy who had none was not a problem at all.

Find The Rest of This book:

On Amazon: ebook for $2.99
On Smashwords: ebook for $2.99
On CreateSpace: 5″ x 8″ TPB for $5.99

If you can’t afford to buy the story, please consider leaving a donation. All money received goes toward keeping me writing and posting these stories. Thank you very much!

Posted in Free Fiction Friday, Mages of Tindiere, MDR Publishing, Self Publishing, Writing Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now Available: Found Family Collection


Description:
Families come in all sorts and sizes. From brutal lovers to tender lovers, strong parents to the dead we’ve left behind, family defines us all in many ways.

Meyari McFarland has collected six stories of families in all their varied glory for your reading enjoyment.

Includes:

An Unrepentant Bastard
Stolen Away
Stardust In Your Veins
Electric Time
Ghosts of the Dead
Tea and Knives

With an excerpt of the new novella Crumbling of the Soul.

Find this Collection:

On Kobo $3.99 ebook
On Smashwords $3.99 ebook
On Amazon $3.99 ebook or $9.99 TPB
On CreateSpace $9.99 TPB

What do you know? A Now Available as scheduled! :D

This collection has some of my favorite stories that focus on families, dark, light, good, bad, all sorts of families. Hope you enjoy if you choose to read!

Posted in LGBT Issues, MDR Publishing, Rambling, Self Publishing, Writing Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Novel Monday: Transplant of War – Chapter 18


Description:
Adane barely escaped war in his homeland. He wanted nothing more than to hide in this new city with his adopted child Chisa by his side. But every choice he makes risks their quiet lives and every day brings the war that Adane fled closer to their doorstep. Soon Adane will have to choose between running away again or taking a stand against an enemy that can’t be seen and cannot be fought.

Transplant of War
by Meyari McFarland

18. Brother

Silence echoed. It was strange to think of silence echoing but Adane firmly believed that this was a silence that echoed as loud as an explosion, as an avalanche, as a volcano going off. The poor quarter was still, dozing in the mid-afternoon muggy heat. Rain still fell over the few of them who manned the barricades but absolutely no one had come close to the poor quarter in six days.

Six very long, very damp, very nerve-wracking days. Dawud rubbed his hands over his arms, brushing away the rain only to have more take its place. His beard wilted under the onslaught of the rain even as his hair curled in ways more reminiscent of Chisa’s fluff than Dawud’s normally controlled mane.

Adane licked his lips, unsure if he tasted sweat or the leftovers of lunch. It was hard to tell how much of the moisture soaking Adane’s clothes was rain and how much was perspiration. He stank enough that it was probably sweat.

“Too quiet,” Adane murmured.

“Much,” Dawud agreed. “Where they at?”

“Don’t know,” Adane said. He craned his neck, peering down the one street they’d left clear of The Spell but there was nothing there.

Just as there’d been not one soldier reported along the city walls since this all began. Adane wasn’t sure where the soldiers were. He’d have thought that Lieutenant General Musnah would have had her people patrol along the wall if only to keep an eye on what they were doing. But no, none of her troops, none of General Zaid’s people, no soldiers at all had walked along the city walls since the riots began.

Adane’s attempts to scry where their opponents were had been a complete failure. Little Sami had watched while Adane tried it last night, frowning. They had cocked their head, thumb still in their mouth, and then done the spell on top of Adane’s. Then Rafi had copied them, followed by Basilah and Nur and Nasir.
Continue reading

Posted in Mages of Tindiere, MDR Publishing, Novel Monday, Self Publishing, Writing Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Fiction Friday: Fairy Dragon Blues

Every Friday I post a short story here in its entirety. It stays up for one week and then I post something new. When I do, the old one is taken down. So please enjoy the story of the week while it lasts.

POD Fairy Dragon Blues Ebook Cover 03

Description:

Soggy leaves squished under Janie’s boots.

Fixing the back fence wasn’t a fun job but it would go quick with the whole pack. At least until they reached the unnaturally flooded stream.

Crossing a swollen stream shouldn’t be deadly but Janie found a way to risk her life doing it.

The question wasn’t whether she’d survive–it was whether her pack would survive what she found on the other side.

Fairy Dragon Blues

By Meyari McFarland

Soggy leaves squished under Janie’s boots. They were slippery enough that Janie set her feet carefully so that she wouldn’t land on her ass. Her little sisters, Mimi and Cece, had no such restraint. Mimi giggled as she slipped and slid through the forest towards the back fence. Cece’s feet went out from under her and she ended up on her back, feet in the air, eyes wide and bottom lip already starting to pout out.

“Oopsies,” Janie said, grinning down at her instead of fussing so that Cece wouldn’t immediately decide she was dying and wail. “Slippery.”

Cece started giggling instead of crying. “Slippery!”

She waved her arms and then scrambled back to her feet, backside muddy and wet, not that Cece cared all that much. Neither she nor Mimi really minded when their clothes got wet. They just stripped them off and then shifted to wolf form even though Mom had said that they needed to stay clothed for this little expedition.

The back fence was a perpetual work in progress. No surprise given that the pack owned a hundred acres of northwest forest full of ferns, cedar and maple covered with moss. They had a little salmon river that cut through the property and deer moved freely through the property, more or less managed by the pack.

As far as Janie was concerned the best part of their land was that it was well away from town and they really only had one subdivision on the other side of the land from them. It really felt like they had the whole world to themselves when they were out in the forest.

Up ahead, Mom caught both Cece and Mimi by the waists, hoisting them up for kisses that made the girls laugh and hug her with wet muddy hands. Mom laughed and passed Cece over to Dad who used his magic to dry Cece out. She cooed and curled up in his arms just the way Janie always had when she was little. Nothing was nicer than feeling the heat that always roiled off Dad.

The rest of the pack, or at least the majority of the adults and teens, carried boards and posts, hammers and saws. It shouldn’t take too long to fix the fence with all of them working together, unless something had come through and torn down bigger sections than they thought. Always possible if not especially likely.

“It really is slippery,” Roger said. “Not used to this sort of wetness at this time of year.”

His voice was starting to get deeper as he transitioned. There was fuzz on his chin now and his shoulders were broader. Janie was pretty sure that he’d put on a few more inches soon and then he’d look even more like he should. The witches the next town over had promised that by the time he was done with his transition no one would be able to tell he’d been assigned female at birth.

“We have had way more rain than normal,” Janie agreed. “Kind of odd since the cloudbursts haven’t hit most of the surrounding area.”

Roger looked up, squinting at the sky between the branches overhead. “Think there might be something more going on?”
Continue reading

Posted in Free Fiction Friday, MDR Publishing, Self Publishing, Tales of Unification, Writing Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment