We’re back with an apology. Why are we apologizing?
First, we just want to take a moment to remember those who have died serving their country. We didn’t honor them last week because that might have gotten lost in the long-awaited, much-anticipated, preview of Curse Breaker Trapped. Before you scroll down to read the next installment of our preview, let’s all take a moment to remember the fallen and their families.
Wait! Don’t scroll down yet. We, characters, still need to apologize. Why are we apologizing?
Because our Scribe, Melinda’s, name is very small on our books, and her name isn’t the same on all our books since we’ve had bad luck with cover designers. But Melinda is working with us on them now, so we can fix that.
Since Melinda’s name is so small and not treated the same on every book, this may have made our books hard to find. And we apologize for that.
We’ll do better now that we know this is an issue. Melinda’s name will be bigger and more recognizable and treated the same on all her books, so you can find us. It just might take a few months to make that change.
Have you ever missed our books because of this issue?
If you did, don’t worry! We have 5 boxed sets/omnibuses for that reason. You can grab an entire trilogy (3 books in 1) or a whole story arc (6 books in 1) or our whole 10-book crossover in one book. Or just get each individual book. Catch up however you want. We’re waiting for you.
This is Ran, as always, Sarn’s son, and I am not the antagonist in Curse Breaker Trapped even if it looks that way.
Hopefully, in Curse Breaker Jousts, I’ll be Papa’s sidekick again because I wasn’t in Curse Breaker Trapped or Curse Breaker Revealed. But I’m not the villain either. I’m too cute for that.
Just keep that in mind when you’re reading. Ran is not the antagonist. (But I might be the catalyst.)
Say it with me! Ran is not the antagonist! I’m just not!
Repeat that a few times, so the idea gets nice and cozy in your mind.
All I wanted was a small fun adventure and some dragons. It’s not my fault everything went wrong. I wasn’t even alone on my little quest. Furball came with me.
I only went without Papa because, well, maybe you should read that for yourself. Then you’ll see it was Papa’s fault. All this could have been avoided if he’d just said yes.
Curse Breaker Trapped
by Melinda Kucsera
Troubling Thoughts (Chapter 1, part 2)
“What do I owe you for this boon?” he whispered into the dark room, and her last words echoed in Sarn’s head.
“Keep doing what you’re doing. Help those you can. Shield the vulnerable. Learn to use your magic. Defend the innocent. Raise your son and your brother to be good men who treat women with respect and kindness.” Queen Shayari had unsheathed her sword and touched its flat side to her forehead, then lowered her blade and stepped onto the silver branch the Queen of All Trees had extended to her.
The two queens had vanished, and he couldn’t stop thinking about one of them, even though she’d fought her own battles for a lot longer than he’d been alive. But he still worried that Rider might have hurt her. I’d be your mage if you asked me. Especially now that he’d dropped all reluctance to using his magic.
“I’d be your mage,” he whispered into the darkness. Sarn clenched his fists, but he couldn’t fight her battles. I’d shield her if I could find her. And that ate at him. He had nothing to do while lighting the lumir crystals except think about Queen Shayari and his sister. Sarn hadn’t seen either for a week now. Were they all right?
Ahead, a mage strode down the shadowy hallway, and his green glowing eyes lit his way. Straymos held a many-times patched cloak closed as he ghosted after him. Hopefully, his cloak helped him blend into the shadows hugging the ground. But the mage wasn’t his prey, just the means to reach her. Sovvan. Straymos imagined her as he’d last seen her at the party she’d crashed.
Sovvan had wide gray eyes, long dark hair in a messy braid, and an ankle-length white robe with bell sleeves that had once been white, but it was dingy with soot stains and ripped in places. How had that girl gotten so dirty?
Straymos gnashed his teeth and wished she’d appear, so he didn’t have to chase her long-legged twin through this underground maze of corridors. Unfortunately, she was dead and difficult to find, and her brother didn’t slow down either. Sarn strode toward his goal like a man on a mission. But Straymos couldn’t run after him, or the mage would hear him because this place didn’t believe in carpets.
No, he had to creep from shadow to statue and hide like a rat as he fell further behind because the floor was solid stone, and there wasn’t a drape anywhere in sight to absorb his footfalls. I hate this place. It would be so much easier to track him in a more civilized environment. But Straymos slunk after him anyway because he had no choice.
Be patient. Good things come to those who wait, Mosel said in their shared mind. The old man sounded tired, and not just from the late hour or the days of searching which had finally borne fruit tonight.
I hate waiting. You know that. Straymos hobbled as quietly as he could on his stocking-clad feet. He’d wrapped the butt of his cane in fabric to muffle its thuds, but even the smallest sound echoed in these corridors.
The man he chased didn’t make any sound either, and that didn’t help. Sarn must be using magic to muffle his boots. Straymos clenched his fist around his cane. He wanted Sovvan, and he wanted her now, not tomorrow.
I wish you’d leave her alone, Mosel said. But the old man who’d given Straymos a body after his friends had summoned a child demon instead of an adult had grown weaker.
I can’t. I must have her. Straymos hobbled after her brother. Finding him had been tough until a week ago when Sarn had glowed like the sun to his other sight.
You should never let a mage see you coming, Mosel said, and he was right. A prepared mage was hard to beat.
Straymos fell back another thousand feet in case Sarn’s power had increased. I thought you wanted me to leave him alone. Straymos skulked around the bend and stopped when his quarry stopped.
Sarn disappeared through a door a moment later. Is that your lair? Have I found it at last? Straymos hurried to the spot, but there were other doors, and two were close together. Which door had Sarn entered?
Why don’t you find a spot to sit and wait? He’ll leave again at some point, Mosel said, but why wait?
Straymos picked a door and threw himself at it, but the door didn’t budge. It didn’t even rattle in its frame. The door just stood between him and that mage like an immovable object. This must be it.
Straymos ran into the door, but other than sending pain shooting through his shoulder, the door didn’t move. Nor did the impact make a sound. A cone of silence had enveloped the space in front of the door. Sarn must be in there. But how could he get inside when Sarn’s magic held the door closed?
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