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.”
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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.
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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.
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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!

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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!

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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.
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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?”
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Overdue Now Available Post!

Once again, I let myself get behind on the Now Available posts. So here you go, the stuff I published over the last month:

Daring to Love Collection:

Description:
The path to love isn’t always straightforward. Sometimes you have to take a risk to find what you’re looking for.

And sometimes what you need comes from unexpected places bearing gifts.

Meyari McFarland has crafted six stories of girls falling in love for your enjoyment.

Includes:

Tiny Futures
A Delicate Shade of Rust
Orange Thief
Candy-Coated Courtship
Saving Imani
Adventures of Snails.

With an excerpt of the new novella The Shores of Twilight Bay.

Find This Collection:

On Kobo: $4.99 ebook
On Smashwords: $4.99 ebook
On Amazon: $4.99 ebook or $6.99 TPB
On CreateSpace: $6.99 TPB

The Snows of Obsession:

Description:
Snow drifted implacably out of the sky. The clear blue sky.

Keanu frowned, unsure what ancient magic could have created this pocket of snow in the middle of the jungle.

As the others left, Keanu hesitated. And then found himself trapped, his power burning away by the seconds.

God or not, the snow would consume him if he didn’t figure out what was going on.

Keanu was on his own.

Find This Story:

On Kobo: $2.99 ebook
On Smashwords: $2.99 ebook
On Amazon: $2.99 ebook or $5.99 TPB
On CreateSpace: $5.99 TPB

Dark Visions Collection:

Description:
Sometimes life leads you down a dark path. A very dark path.

You can succumb to the darkness or find your way back into the light. If you’re lucky and brave.

Meyari McFarland collects six stories of darkness to entice you away from the light.

Includes:

Bottling the Cold, Hard Heart
Boiling the Ocean Away
Midwife to Divinity
Controlled Edge
Stars Drifting Ever Upwards
A Lone Red Tree

With an excerpt of the novel City of the Dead.

Find This Collection:

On Kobo: $3.99 ebook
On Smashwords: $3.99 ebook
On Amazon: $3.99 ebook or $6.99 TPB
On CreateSpace: $6.99 TPB

The Shadow of Time’s Courage:

Description:
Su Magee’s house was… squalid. Strange from a woman who took such care with her appearance.

The mud-walled hut was something she’d expect from the poorest of Mama Rosario’s people, not someone who worked at court.

Except no, it wasn’t Su Magee. Ancient magic was warping the world around Su Magee’s house and Xun was the only one who could fix this.

If she had the time before the effect was lethal.

Find This Story:

On Kobo: $2.99 ebook
On Smashwords: $2.99 ebook
On Amazon: $2.99 ebook or $5.99 TPB
On CreateSpace: $5.99 TPB

Whoot! Four new things, two short stories and two collections, out for you to read–hope you enjoy!

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Novel Monday: Transplant of War – Chapter 17


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

17. Teaching

“But…”

Adane sighed as Balqis, the oldest of the minor mages, started and stopped. She frowned at the cobblestone with The Spell, as Adane had taken to calling it, her fingers gently tracing the surface of the stone where the spell had settled. They all clustered around, even the twins who sat on either side of Chisa as if they’d adopted him as their older brother.

“You can do it,” Adane said for the fourth time. “Not as strongly as me but that doesn’t matter. Not for this.”

“Must matter,” Balqis insisted, twisting her head so that she could glare into his eyes. “We don’t have the power. We don’t.”

Adane shook his head. Teaching them what to do had been simple enough. He’d already cast the spells, created the framework. Getting them to believe that their spells layered on top of his spells, that their charms passed hand to hand to hand, would make a difference was a completely different thing.

Father and Mother had never had to deal with that in their teaching. Their students had always been bright, smart and as strong as possible. Of course, every mage in existence wanted to have the strongest apprentices. It made them look better, gave them more magic to call up on when they did major spells.

But he knew that all of the minor mages could make a difference, too. It was so obvious. They just had to combine their efforts and they would be able to do what Adane couldn’t by himself. One grain of sand was nothing. A sandstorm could kill.

“Let me explain again,” Adane said. “You make a charm. You spell it with this spell, The Spell. Then you give it to Nasir who spells it and then gives it to Nur who spells it, who gives it to Basilah who spells it, too. All of you use the same spell, reinforcing it over and over. None of you have to be strong. It’s the combination of your spells that makes the charm effective.”

“But your walls are all your work,” Basilah protested. She tugged at the shawl draped over her hair, embarrassed that everyone had looked at her.

“No, it’s not,” Adane said, surprised. “The top layer is, certainly, but the wall had spells before I ever got here. The Shiraida didn’t eat through the stone specifically because of the spells worked into the wall. I think every single brick in the walls had spells when it was made. It felt to me as though all the bricks in all the buildings in the old quarter were spelled originally. There are hundreds of years’ worth of spells wrapped up in my spell that united them all. Any one of my murals has at least half a dozen spells in it that work together to create the full effect.”

Both Basilah and Balqis frowned. Nur was the one who got up and went to the sun symbol beside the oven. He traced the rays, shoulders going tighter and tighter as he slowly felt out the actual spells cast on it. After a couple very silent minutes Nur turned around and stared at Adane.
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Free Fiction Friday: Maintenance

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 Maintenance Ebook Cover 02

Description:

Deidre frowned at the porch. Damn the pixies she had allowed to move into the floorboards.

They’d eaten through the joists and now she had to repair the deck without destroying their nest.

Unfortunately baby Mori had already fallen through and been bitten mercilessly.

Now Deidre had to find a way to balance her family against the pixies’ to keep both of their families safe, healthy and growing.

Maintenance

By Meyari McFarland

Deidre frowned at the porch. Damn the pixies she had allowed to move into the floorboards during the spring. As loathe as Deidre was to throw people out, the pixies weren’t exactly kind on other people’s structures. They’d gnawed most of the way through one support post, weakened a whole series of beams and just this morning little Mori had fallen straight through into a nest of very irate pixies.

She could hear him inside crying as Tyson smoothed spackle over his wounds. Not much else would work as a bandage for a baby dragon. Mori’s scales just weren’t strong enough yet for them to protect him against pixie bite. In a couple of years it would be different but for now he was as vulnerable as Deidre. Thankfully none of the other kids had gotten caught in the swarm. Pixie bites on the twins would have been nasty, worthy of a trip to the emergency room.

And a call to the exterminator, as sickening as that thought was to Deidre.

A plume of purple sparkles showered up from the hole in the deck. Tiny chattering voices echoed under the deck like there was an entire city living down there. Might be, honestly. Deidre had left the situation alone far too long.

“Hey,” Deidre called as she cautiously tapped a foot near the edge of the hole in the deck. “Need to talk to you.”

“Stay out!” a dozen or so of the pixies shouted up at her.

Three tiny heads, each as big as Deidre’s big toe, poked out. They had gossamer purple, pink and white hair, eyes as big as a button and mouths filled with teeth that could rip flesh from bone in seconds when they wanted to. Deidre rather liked having pixies around. They were happy to scavenge corpses so the pack could have real hunts instead of hunt and rescue games. It was good for the family, good for the overpopulated deer herds around town, and good for the pixies.

“Not coming in,” Deidre said. She crouched down, hands draped over her knees so that she could jump back if the pixies decided to attack. “Worried about the deck. Roof’s gonna fall if the deck goes, you know.”

The three pixies’ eyes went wide as their heads snapped up to stare at the porch overhead. They crooned and then ducked back into the cloud of purple dust drifting up. Must be upset for that steady of a flow of pixie dust. Most of the time they didn’t let that much go loose. It was their major source of money. Pixie dust worked as a perfect amplifier for most magical and combustion engines. A few fools even smoked the stuff though Deidre wouldn’t if her life depended on it. The hallucinations weren’t worth it.

“Fix the deck!” a dozen voices said as an even nine pixies flew up from the hole.

“Can’t do that with you living in there,” Deidre said. “Gotta tear the boards out, replace the beams. Put in all new posts. It’ll ruin your nest.”

The nine pixies, almost enough for a true full-mind, gnashed their teeth. Three more flew up to hover like hummingbirds with the others. Deidre let out a long breath, both relieved and worried. She’d only dealt with a full-mind pixie group once before and that’d ended up with a colony living under her deck.
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