Saturday, February 27, 2016

Serial Saturday: Flicker Part 8

Here's part eight for you all! I hope you enjoy this one!


Chapter 8

   Asha swallowed hard as she and Rowen walked through the woods. She hadn’t run away, but because a member of the Young Rebellion had found her and Rogen and his sister had offered to take her to Aden, everyone thought that she had. Was she shamed among her friends?

   She shook that feeling off and followed Rowen and Rogen to an old house. So Aden was here? Why had he come here? She took a deep breath and started running as footsteps crunched behind her. Was Seth coming back?

   She bolted at her full speed and ran past Rowen. The archer whirled around and looked back. “Asha, it’s Sale.” She said. Asha didn’t slow down, not until she could see Aden. Actually, that might be sooner than later, there were clashes coming from the side of the house.
   Rowen walked ahead of her and looked around at the noises, nodding. “You’re brother has red hair?” she asked. Asha shrugged.

   “Not my red, but it has some red in it.” She said. The four walked around to the side and Asha stopped at what she saw. Aden swiped at someone with a knife and ducked the returning, incoming swing. His foot shot out and connected with the man’s foot, causing him to drop his knife. Aden straightened, but as he looked around, he caught sight of Asha and took a deep breath.

   “Asha.” He nodded. Asha ran forward and hugged him, crying and choking on her tears.
   “Where were you?” she asked. “You just disappeared!”

   Aden pulled away. “I came here because you were always talking of finding me a better home.” He said. Asha shook her head and hugged him again. This time he let her.

   “You scared me so badly.” She said. “Are you ok here?” she asked, pulling away and looking at him.

   “Yes, I assume you saw my practice round?” he asked. Rowen nodded and stepped forward.

   “You’re pretty good.” She nodded. He shrugged.
   “I’m decent.” He said. “Give it six more weeks and I’ll be ready.” He said. Rowen nodded.
   “I think that this six week program has really helped you guys.” She said. Asha turned around.
   “You mean that you guys are training kids for the rebellion?” she demanded. Rowen turned around.
   “Asha, he’s almost fourteen, he can make his own decisions. You have to let him go sometime.” She said.

   “I am still his sister!” Asha shouted at her. Rowen took a deep breath.

   “Actually Asha, I was going to ask you about being a spy for us in the palace.” she said. Asha stared.

   “Are you joking?” she asked. “The King hasn’t done anything wrong!” Sale cut himself while sharpening.

   “Asha, are you being naive or are you serious?” he asked. Asha looked around.

   “Fine, what has he done?” she asked. Rowen sat on the ground and everyone else followed.
   “Sale, you begin.” She instructed. He nodded and took a deep breath.

   “It all began when I was eleven. I was listening to father’s meeting, I did it all the time, but what I heard this time made me leave.” He looked around at everyone. “The, uh, the taxes were getting heavier, and I couldn’t figure out why. It was almost as if my father was adding to them. That’s when I listened in on the meeting. My father told his men to keep raising the taxes. One of the new people my father had hired asked why, and my father said that he wanted the townspeople to have no power so that he would have it all. The young representative was shocked, but he didn’t say anything, smart, he probably would have gotten killed.

   “I left my hiding place and went to my room, pretty much freaking out. I mean, I loved my dad, but how could I stay here and just go along with all of this? The next day my father chose me as the heir to the throne, and I had pretty much figured out what would happen if I changed those laws. I would be assassinated and then the kingdom would set my psycho brother up and we would be even worse off. I knew the only thing I could do was stir up rebellion. You guys have seen how good Seth is right?” he looked around again and everyone nodded. “Yeah, I’m better. He never listened to our trainer until I literally dominated the competition and won all of the categories. It was pretty fun; the contest went a lot faster than it usually does. I took out half of my competitors in less than five seconds. Occasionally one of them put their swords up at the right time and I had to choose a different strategy.”

   Rowen glanced at Rogen. “Um, which year was this?” she asked. Sale glanced over.

   “Uh, the thirty second I believe.” He answered. Rowen exchanged another look with Rogen and Sale frowned. “What?” he demanded. “Why are you guys doing the twin looking thing?”

   Rowen laughed. “It’s just that we competed in that one.” She said. “You were how old?”

   “I was thirteen.” He said. Rowen raised her eyebrows. “Woah, so you were the kid in first?” Sale nodded.

   “Why? Did you lose to me?” he asked. Rowen shook her head.
   “No, I didn’t lose, I was, um, dishonorably escorted off of the field.” She said.
   “What? What did you do?” he asked.
   Rowen laughed. “I might have beaten a guy too fast.” She said. Sale shook his head.

   “You wouldn’t get escorted off of the field; I beat a guy in two seconds, many of them actually. Why did you get escorted off?”

   “I told you, a guy came at me and I ducked, he hit my shoulder and he got a concussion. Because I was the only girl in the competition, they thought I had cheated. I didn’t get escorted off for beating that guy, I did get disqualified. I got into a fight with one of the other competitors who pretty much rubbed it in my face.”  

   “I see.” Sale said. “Anyways, so I started the original rebellion group, but there were a few people who weren’t accepted, so they created what we call the Young Rebellion. What my rebellion does is we watch the tax collectors and make sure they are only charging what they have to, what is it that you guys do?” he glanced at Rogen.

   “Well, the last thing we did was stop a bunch of soldiers from taking food from a building where the people had hidden it.” Rogen said.
   Rowen stood and looked around. “You still haven’t explained to Asha what we did here.” She prompted. Sale nodded.

   “Right, right, uh, we found someone who worked in the palace, he actually gets paid, but he agreed to train these guys for six weeks. Rogen told me about your brother and I came to see him here. He’s doing really well.”
   Asha jumped up and buried her hand in her hair. “I don’t want him to do well! I want him to come home and get a normal life!” she shouted. Aden jumped up as well.
   “Asha, I want to do this, please calm down!” he pleaded. Asha took a deep breath and nodded.
   “Ok, ok yeah.” She said. “Go ahead, why do I even…you wouldn’t listen.”

   Aden hugged his sister. “Asha, please, I want to do this because I want to make a difference!”

   His sister shook her head. “But it isn’t. There are dozens of boys your age that would do this. If you left, they would come and everything would be fine.” She insisted. Aden shook his head and glared at his sister.
   “That’s not true, I’m almost finished, just a few more weeks.” He insisted. “Watch.” He jumped up and glanced around. “Rogen, come against me.” He said. Rogen stood up.

   “Alright, but we need to use something other than knives.” He said. “Like wooden ones.”
   Aden rolled his eyes. “I didn’t begin training with knives, are you insane? Here.” He tossed a wooden stick at Rogen and crouched in an attacking position.

   Rogen hesitated and Aden seized that opportunity. Swiping at Rogen, he spun with one knives aimed at his neck and the other knives coming around to slit the back of his neck. Rogen blocked his first move and threw himself forward to miss the second blow. Aden jammed on into his stomach and received a slice in the ribs for it. He grunted as the wood connected with his rib, but he didn’t groan.

   They stepped back and Rogen looked around. “On a scale of one to ten, I would give him a seven.” He said. “And me a seven, that was pitiful. I wasn’t expecting him to be as good as he was, underestimating, and that’s exactly what could get me killed.”
   Rowen stood up. “I’ve got this.” She accepted a longer wooden stick and twirled it in her hand, jumping up and down to ready herself.
   Aden aimed low, for the ribs, and his other knife went for her neck. She swung and blocked the one targeting her throat, and then as she had his knife and hand in her grip, she pulled them to the side, throwing him off balance. He stumbled, but recovered.
   His next move was to throw a knife at her. It hit her arm and she grabbed it, wincing. She swung her sword at him and even though he dodged most of it, the tip hit his back. Rowen swung again and he jumped over this one, but she had been expecting it. She slammed the edge into his side and he hit the ground groaning.
   Asha jumped up. “Rowen!” she cried. Rowen waved her off.
   “He’ll be fine, just a bruise. He did a good job, but Taysin needs to work on his sword training.” She said. “Good job, you’re doing much better.”

  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Writing, writing, writing...

   Seriously guys, this weeks has been my best and worst week. Worst because I have nothing to write in except my co written novel. Best because we are both working hard on it and it's awesome. So today I will run you through my three project that I am currently working on.

   To the Dreamers
    This book is really awesome, I'm writing it with my cousin, and I really like it. I have the character Ember, and she is really interesting, although I have a little development to work on...

   Yeah, she really cool! So the novel is basically about two girls, Brea and Ember, and even though they aren't similar, they are thrown together with two other graduated young agents and form a team for a very special mission. (This could seriously change, Emma and I are radicals, we smash outlines. xD) (Ten points to whoever catches that reference!) Ember is really funny because she makes insults and they are really funny, so that's why she's funny. *nods* That made sense right? Of course!
   My other charrie is TBN(To Be Named), although his names Ben. He's a Nightwing inspired charrie, so I have to find a super cool code name for him. *cough* If anyone wants to help, comments and ideas for it? *cough* sorry, cold season.
  
   Ok, where are we here? Ohh, right, number two!
   Some Super Creative Title (it's not final yet)
   Sierra and I literally write this like an RP, and then on hangouts, all we say is, "Should be ship them?" "They are so cute!" and such and such. We have two pairs of characters, but I shall refer to them when together as their ship names. Thalea(Thomas and Alea) lives on Venus, on a colony there. There was a large terrorist threat on earth, and so the government created a dome with a colony and people now pay for their child to be safe up there.
   Mayner, wow! Uh, Mayner(May and Turner) are just adorable, so cute. I sit and smile at them. With a joker smile. And bug eyes. Because they are just so cute. He gets mad at her for wanting him to sneak onto a supply ship to Venus and then she starts sniffing and he turns into this super nice guy and then he starts complaining about his hair and calling her mean for not being mad at the barber. So basically she calls him a puppy and gushes over him when he complains that no one thinks he's cute and gushes about him so she gushes for him.
   Number three, *waves goodbye to SSCT*
   Flicker
   Ok, enough talking about this, it's a serial story for goodness sake! *scrambles back to SSCT* NO! Flicker, let go! I talk about you every Saturday! *breaks free* Thanks everyone! *sighs* Oh fine.
   So Flicker is very interesting to write, I switch off weeks being interested and stuff.
   OK I'M DONE! *pulls back away* I'm going to hang out and watch SSCT!
   Rachael Steele
   What's your current WIP/S?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Serial Saturday: Flicker Part 7


  Hello all! It is I, me! I have the next part of Flicker for you! Enjoy, because I enjoyed writing it!


Seth walked into the dungeon the next day and over the cell containing the blacksmith’s apprentice. Ezra looked up and glared at him.

   “What do you want?” he asked. Seth ignored him and unlocked the cell door, walking in and pulling him up. “I asked what you wanted?” he repeated.
   “And I didn’t answer, get over it.” Seth snapped. Ezra cast him a glare, but didn’t speak again.

 They walked up the steps and Seth pulled him into a room where a chair sat in the middle. Ezra sat in the chair and Seth tied his legs to the bottoms. His arms were tied to the chair’s arms, and then he wrapped a rope around his middle and the back of the chair.

   “So how do you really know Rowen?” he asked. Ezra glared at him.

   “I told you, we are pre-engaged.” He said. Seth wrinkled his nose at that word.

   “Did she come to you before I did?” he asked. Ezra hesitated, and then shook his head. “So that means yes. What did she tell you?”

   “I…she didn’t tell me anything.” He said. Seth rolled his eyes and pulled his knife from its sheath.
   “Don’t tell me that.” He snapped. “I know she did, you are a terrible liar. Look, all I want to do is question Rowen, I’m not going to-”

   “-hurt her.” Ezra finished. “We both know that’s not true.”
   “Fine, she’s stubborn, so yes, she might get hurt, but nothing serious. The rebellion is literally ripping our economy apart; I need either Rowen or her brother.” Seth said. Ezra sighed.

   “Fine. I tell you about Rowen, you use that information to get Rogen.” He said. Seth nodded, but in his mind, he knew that he would still get Rowen.

   “Yes, so did she come to you?” he asked. Ezra nodded.

   “Yes, she did, she came the night before you came.” He said.
   “Did she have a boy with her?” Seth asked.

   “Yeah, it worried me at first, but she said that he had helped her and was taking her to the camp.” He said. Seth snorted.

   “Yeah, that’s not true. I’ve never even known of anyone who didn’t fall in love with Sale.” He said. Planting anger in Rowen’s fiancĂ© against her would give him a bigger chance of turning him to the King’s side.

   “Rowen wouldn’t do that.” Ezra snapped. Seth shrugged.

   “I’m just telling you what I think. Now that you are practically giving her brother up, she will be pretty mad. She just doesn’t understand commitment.” He said. Ezra narrowed his eyes and looked up at him.

   “Can I go now?” he asked. Seth nodded and untied all of the ropes. Ezra walked out of the room and Seth stifled a grin. This was working out perfectly. If he could turn Rowen’s fiancĂ© again her, maybe he would join the army and devastate her.

   He walked out of the room and turned down a hallway. The courtyard was busy as always, it was morning. The servants were receiving their jobs and he walked past them.  Everything looked pretty normal, all except for…he stopped and glanced around. Where was the…Asha?

   He walked over to the older woman in charge of the servants and glanced at the eight year old standing beside him. He looked up at Seth and watched him. Seth frowned and looked away. It was so weird being several feet taller than some people.
   “Um, did Asha come in this morning?” he asked. The woman shook her head.

   “We only just began, she could be late, but I doubt it. More likely she ran, Arvin saw someone go over the wall last night.” She said. Seth raised his eyebrows and glanced around.

   “Uh, ok. I’ll alert…I’ll actually go get her.” He said. The woman shrugged and shooed him away with her hand.

   “Doesn’t matter to me what happens, she’s a goner anyways.” She said. Seth turned away, but one thought ran through his head. Shouldn’t you care?

   He walked over to the wall and studied the scuff marks on the wall. It almost looked as if she had been dragged. He looked closer and saw stab marks in the wall. He ran his fingers over the stones and felt a loose one. Ohh, this was a planned thing. She hid knives? I didn’t see that in her characters…I’m not sure she did it. It must have been someone else.
  
He climbed over the wall and dropped to the ground, careful not to disturb any tracks Asha might have left. He stood and watched the ground for any tracks. She was good, very good in fact. She hadn’t even left a squish mark. What did she do, swing from the trees?

   He glanced at the ground again and saw one squished, partial footprint. She had to be around here somewhere. If she wasn’t, then he was tracking someone else who had gone over the fence on the same night.

   He looked around and shielded his eyes as something glinted. Running for it, he saw one knife stuck in the hay bale, but it was at an odd angle. No one could have thrown it like that; she must have stabbed it there. It was pointed in the direction of nowhere really, but if he followed it, he would probably fine at least a trail.

   He took a deep breath and started walked off in that direction.

                                                                         <<<>>>

   Seth walked forward, tripping over a rock. He had been tracking her for hours, and while she was on the right track, he hadn’t found her yet. She had left several things for him to find: a skid mark in the mud, , a piece of her dress, another skid mark…several things, although she usually left it every few miles, the last time she had left it was eight miles ago.

   He stopped and listened, a smile breaking out on his face. He was within hearing distance of them. Or another band that he had mistakenly though was the band he was looking for. A band was the most logical explanation; they kidnapped random people off of the side of the road and sold them in town.

   Of course, Asha had the King’s symbol on her arm, so they must be headed to somewhere the King wasn’t ruling. If Seth tracked a slave all of the way to another land, his dad would probably blow up at him. Although he was already on his last mission, so he didn’t really care.

   He heard a snap and jerked his head in the direction that it came from. He also heard a pant, a feminine pant. It had to be Asha; there was no one else who would have left that stuff.

   He walked into a clearing and looked around. It took him a moment to see it, but he spotted a group in colors that matched the forest. They were almost invisible, but he made them out, two boys and one girl, and then Asha. The girl was dressed in the same clothing as the boys, but her tunic went lower than theirs. The boy’s shirts went normally, but hers dropped to the middle of her upper leg.

   She held a sword in her hand and had a bow on her back. One boy had knives strapped to him, the other carried two katana’s, and no one used katana’s unless they were in the King’s army or unless they were Seth. The only other person who would use them was…Sale.

   “Sale.” He growled. They looked up and the girl almost drew her sword. She fingered the handle, and her brother twirled a knife around in his hand. He was going to die, he was going to get killed and then they would probably not even bury him. He deserved it anyway, with all of the lives he had taken.

   Sale stepped forward and pulled the mask covering the bottom half of his face down. His sword hand gripped the handle of his sword and he rubbed his hand over his leg.

   “Seth.” He nodded. “It’s been a while, my thirteenth birthday wasn’t it?” Seth glared.

   “It was my fifteenth, and I didn’t expect to see you again after that little episode.” He snapped.

   “Aw, you’re not still mad about the sword are you?” Sale stuck out his bottom lip and blinked. Seth glared at him and drew his sword.

   “As a matter of fact, yes, I am.  What do you guys want with Asha?” he demanded. Sale glanced at her.

   “The better question is, what do you want with her?” he asked. Seth shook his head.

   “Only to bring what is the King’s back to the King.” He said. Sale laughed.

   “Why do you call him the King?” he asked. “What, Dad isn’t good enough?”
   “After I track down a certain sibling duo, I’m leaving.” He said. The other boy and girl exchanged glances and he stared at them. “Oh, how cute. You two are joining the real rebellion.” He shrugged. “You know, I’d love to help you guys, but I hate you.” he twirled his sword around in his hand and took a fighters stance. Sale drew his sword as well and               laughed at Seth.
   “You were always all fancy with the stances and such, just stand and then fight.” He said. Seth shook his head.
   “I learned and I was better than you were.” He said. Sale looked back at the twins.
   “Notice how he said ‘was better than you were’.” He said. Rowen laid a hand on Sale’s shoulder.

   “Hey, we have to get Asha out of here, can you take care of him and meet up with us?” she asked. Sale nodded and she removed her hand. Seth raised his eyebrows at Rowen and she frowned. “What Seth?”

   “Nothing, it’s just that I was right.” He said. She cocked her head at him.

   “What?” she asked, her eyebrows narrow.

   “Well, I told Ezra that it wouldn’t be long before you guys got together.” He said. Rowen raised her eyebrows at him.

   “Wait, you have Ezra?” she demanded. Rogen touched his sister’s arm.

   “Row, he’s lying.” He said. Seth shook his head.

   “Out of all of the bad things I do, lying is pretty rare.” He said. Rowen turned back to her brother and released a choked breath. Rogen wrapped an arm around her shoulder and Asha followed them. Sale on the other hand faced Seth, his face dark.

   “What in the world is your problem? What did Rowen and Rogen ever do to you?” he snapped.

   “Well, once upon a time in a faraway land that was really here,  a young assassin was shot for the first time twice by a girl who he later captured and then his brother grabbed her from him and made their father mad. Then his brother stole a slave from his father’s castle, and so the brother went after the brother until they met.” He explained. Sale frowned.

   “Wait, so you have another brother?” he asked. Seth growled at him and swung his sword which his brother easily dodged.
   Seth used every bit of strength he had in him to fight Sale, but it was true, his brother was better than he was. He had paid attention when they were younger, then he started getting better and better at it. By the time his brother started to get serious, he was already great. His brother never caught up.

   “You’ve gotten better.” Sale commented. Seth grimaced and nodded, jumping to the side.

   “You have too, what, do you still practice?” he asked. Sale nodded.

   “Every night. Actually, I’ve been needing an exercise lately, thanks.” He said. Seth glared at him and swiped at his sleeve. It barely grazed Sale, and Sale smashed his hilt into Seth’s head. Spots appeared and he fought against unconsciousness. Stop it! You can beat him, just try! You have to give everything!

   He stabbed at Sale, but his brother dodged it again and Seth stumbled towards the ground. Something smacked his head and he lost his battle against unconsciousness.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cover Reveal: Adela's Curse

Today I am participating in the cover reveal for Adela's Curse by Claire Banschbach! In a few weeks I will be doing three posts for the blog tour!




Synopsis

A witch and her master capture a young faery and command her to kill their enemy. Adela has no choice but to obey. If she does not, they will force the location of her people’s mountain home from her and kill her. To make matters even worse, the person she is to kill is only a man struggling to save his dying land and mend a broken heart.

Count Stefan is a man simply trying to forget the woman he loves and save a land crippled by drought. When a mysterious woman arrives at his castle claiming to be a seamstress, he knows she is more than she seems.

Adela enlists the help of Damian, another faery, to try and delay the inevitable. He insists she has a choice. But with the witch controlling her every move, does she?

Author Bio

Claire Banschbach was born and raised in Midland, TX, the fourth of eight children. She was homeschooled through high school and is now a proud member of the Texas A&M University class of 2014. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. She continues to write in her spare time (and often when she doesn’t have spare time). She hopes her strong foundation in God will help to guide her writing. 



Contact Info







Goodreads link

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

10 Pieces of Advice for New Bloggers Part 2

Here is the part 2 for my advice for new bloggers!

6. Stick with a background.

As you guys might have noticed, I changed my background. I haven't done this in a few months and unless people say things like, "Just take it down", I am going to keep it. People like your blog, and if you change things about it that they liked or you put up something that is hard to read, they are more likely to stop reading your blog.

7. Answer all comments.

As a reader, I absolutely love it when the blogger answers my comments! It's awesome and it makes me come back to your blog because I like connecting with people. Its super fun, trust me.

8. Post about yourself.

   Katie Grace does Monthly Highlight, and those are by far my favorite posts. I did Weekly Writing Updates, but now I will do them monthly because I want to be able to post about other things besides me. People like to know about you once in a while, even if you just run them through your favorite things to do. It's awesome.

9. Have a blog button.

   A text is basically just a little message on the side of your blog, you can make one in the gadget section. One good thing to have is a blog button and you can place that in the text. An amazing blogger made me one, and I am still figuring out how to get the html, but it's still cool! People can grab you button and put it on their favorite blog page.

10. Have links to your social medias.

I don't have one yet, but soon...Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, stuff like that so that bloggers can follow you on their and you can make new buddies!

So I hope these posts helped, thank you so much for reading!
R. J. Steele

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Serial Saturday-Flicker Part 6


  This one was fun to write! Enjoy!


The minute Rowen heard the Nightmare fall; she stiffened and took a step back. She heard footsteps crunch in the snow, then all was silent. Jerking around, she tripped over something, probably the Nightmare, and stumbled. When she caught her balance, she felt someone right beside her and took a deep breath.
  “Don’t be afraid.” she heard. She caught her breath as she felt him lean closer.

  “Stop it.” she snapped, turning around and slammed her foot into the person. They ducked, but it caught his shirt and she was jerked forward by their movement.

  “I said don’t freak out!” they groaned. It was a male, in fact, it almost sounded like the Nightmare.
  “No, you said don’t be afraid, there’s a difference.” she said. He sighed.

  “Who are you?” he asked.

  “I should be asking you that.” she answered.

  “Fine! I’ll leave you in the snow, blindfolded and without a cloak, then when Seth wakes up, he’s going to be mad and probably hold her arm the whole trip to the palace.” he snapped. Rowen hesitated.

  “My name is Rowen.” she said. “Is Seth the...the one on the ground?”

  “Yes. My name is Sale, I’m his brother.” he said. Her blindfold came off and she blinked, shielding her eyes from the large amount of light reflecting off of the snow. When her eyes had adjusted, she saw Sale.

  He had dark hair like Seth, but his eyes were light instead of dark. He looked very similar to Seth in that he had the same build, but his skin was darker. Instead of a full body armored suit, he wore a vest with the sleeves cut off, even in the winter. He carried two swords, but it was a smaller sword than one the townspeople used. In fact, it was the same sword the guards at the supply building carried, long and slender.

  “Why did Seth have you?” he asked, slicing through her ropes. Rowen glanced at him, then back at the tree next to her.

  “Um, we differ on an opinion.” she said, unwilling to reveal the fact that she was a rebel.

  “What opinion?” he asked. She hesitated.

  “Um, I don’t really want to say. Thanks, but I have to go find my brother.” she said. He frowned and glanced at her, scanning her clothes. His gaze caught on the scarlet band wrapped around her arm. She had her sleeve covering it, but it was slipping. He raised his eyebrows.

  “You’re a part of that rebellion?” he asked. She nodded, pushing it back up.

  “My brother tried to join the real rebellion, but they said he was too young at the time. I wouldn’t join without him, so we help lead the smaller one.” she said. He laughed.

  “How old is your brother?” he asked. “I mean, you’re even young!”

  “No, we’re twins.” she said. He stopped laughing and stared at her.

  “You just said you wouldn’t join without him, why would they accept you if you were the same age as your brother?” he asked. Rowen hesitated again. “Stop hesitating.” he said.

  “I look older than he did. We were thirteen at the time, but I looked fifteen. He hadn’t quite reached his...manhood.” she said.

   “But what about now?” he asked. She shrugged.

   “We’re doing great with the smaller rebellion.” She answered. He snorted.

   “The Young Rebellion is a joke; it’s made up of a bunch of kids who weren’t accepted into the real rebellion.”  He told her. Rowen stiffened and reached reflexively for an arrow, only to have her hand grasp at nothing. “Oh, so you’re actually a fighter. I though all of the girls in the Young Rebellion were nurses.” He raised his eyebrows at her and she stepped forward, pulling one of his swords out before he could move. He pulled his remaining one out and took a stance.

   “You just trashed my family, and all of my sisters,” she stated, “take that back.”
   “No way.” He said, twirling his katana. Rowen spun towards him, faking a slice and when he brought his sword up to block it, she spun the other way. His ducked and stepped back.

   “You’re pretty good, you’ve trained with a sword, but not as long as I have.” He commented.

   “Trust me, I’ve practiced enough.” She snapped, slamming her hilt into his hand. He dropped his katana and caught it with his other hand, spinning around. Their swords clashed together and Rowen pulled back immediately.

   “Just stop!” he told her. She slammed her elbow into his stomach and he jerked back. Her foot buried itself into his chest and he hit the ground. Her sword was at his neck in a moment and she watched him lean his head on the ground, his eyes closed.

   “Fine, you win.” He said. Rowen pulled back and watched him jump up from the ground. She handed him her sword.

   “You are really good, but at the end you gave up.” She said. He coughed and shook his head.

   “Uh, yeah.” He glanced away. Rowen shrugged.

   “I know why you did it. You didn’t want to keep fighting me because you were afraid I would get hurt.” She said. He looked up and shrugged, pulling his sword out to clean.



   “I would have sooner or later, by accident.” He said. She shrugged and shivered as a gust of wind blew through the air. “I do apologize for what I said about the Young Rebellion, you are perfectly capable of joining the re-other rebellion.”
   “I know, they actually came a few months ago and tried to get us to join, but we have a family in the camp and in the village by the palace.” She said. He stopped cleaning his sword.
   “You know people in the village?” He asked. She nodded and his eyebrows rose. “I would go around the village and make sure to tell the people who do know you and might be asked to tell them minimal information.” He said. Rowen frowned.

   “Are you saying he’s going to look for me there?” she asked. Sale nodded and she took off in the direction of the village.

                                                                <<<>>>

   Rogen sat on his cot in his tent and glanced at the empty one beside him. Unlike most siblings who slept with another girl or another boy, eh and Rowen shared a tent so that they would never be separated at night. Of course at night they had to do missions, but they wanted to be together as much as possible.

   He sighed and dropped his head, jerking it up as a cry went through the camp. He jumped up and ran out of the tent, looking around for the object of the cry. A group of people crowded around somebody and he saw a face. It was a boy, one who looked very similar to the Nightmare. Then he saw the fluffy curl floating beside him in the wind. Rowen.
   He broke into a run and pushed people aside. Rowen saw him a few seconds before he slammed into her. Instead of falling, Rogen swung to the side, carrying her with him.

   “Rogen!” she coughed. He hugged her tighter and she gave him, squeezing him back. Rogen looked around at the people staring at them and studied the man she had come with.

   He was another Nightmare, his sister had been in the hands of two Nightmares, and the first one was a heartless, brutal, fighting machine who had been subdued momentarily by her, was she hurt? The second, well, she was here instead of the palace, so he guessed that he didn’t work with his brother. He was also wearing the black ribbon around his arm, the mark of a “real” rebel. 

   “Hey, are you ok?” he asked. “Did they hurt you?”

   “No, I’m fine.” She said. “That man smacked Seth on the head with something-”

   “It was an arrow with a rock attached to the bottom.” He called out. Rowen waved a hand in his direction.

   “Yeah, that.” She said. “I was untied, and then he insulted the Young Rebellion and all of the girls in it, so I fought him. He let me win though.”

   “You fought-Rowen!” Rogen sighed. “Why would you do that?”

   “Because!” she shouted back. “If he had insulted the young rebellion, you would have attacked him too!” she sighed.

   “Yeah, but if he hurt me, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.” He told her. “You’re a-”

   “A what?” she snapped. “A girl?” she sighed and glared at him. “I joined this regardless of if I am a girl or boy; I have the skill they needed. I am not going to let someone insult my family and just stand there.”

   “But Rowen, what if he hadn’t let you win?” he asked. “You would have been-”

   “I would have fought him until I literally couldn’t anymore.” She said.

   “That’s what I’m afraid of.” He sighed. Rowen nodded and glanced around.
   “I’m exhausted, it’s nighttime, and I went all the way to the village to warn Ezra.” She said. Rogen raised his eyebrows.

   “Oh, so you guys think he’s going to ask about you in the village?” he asked. Rowen nodded.

   “Yes, we do. You trust me right?” Rowen asked. Rogen nodded and put an arm around her shoulder, sliding his other one under her legs and lifting her up. She laughed. “Rogen, what are you doing?” she asked.
   “I am not letting go until I can confidently say you aren’t in danger.” He said. She laughed again and laid her head on his shoulder.

   “Ok, I trust you.” she said. He grinned at her and ducked into their tent. Laying her on her cot, he sat on his and held her hand. She squeezed it and smiled at him, her eyelids dropping. She was soon asleep and then and only then did Rogen let go. She moved her head and her hand reached for his again. So he held it.

   The man who had come with Rowen ducked into his tent and sat beside him. Rogen glanced at him and raised his eyebrows.

   “Um, you’re the guy who helped her right?” he asked. The man nodded.

   “I’m Sale.” He said. Rogen nodded.

   “I’m Rogen.” He said. “Thank you.” Sale shrugged.

   “It was nothing.” He said. “You guys have a special relationship.” He commented. Rogen nodded.

   “There aren’t many siblings out there who love each other like Rowen and I do. It might be because we are twins, but…” he trailed off and Sale shook his head.

   “No, I have a brother, Seth. I believe most people call him the Nightmare. He’s older, but he was always…untrustworthy, rebellious, roguish if you asked me. My father chose me to inherit the throne, but I never liked the whole royal life thing, it wasn’t what I enjoyed. At parties, I would hide from the girls my dad wanted me to meet. So I left, joined the rebellion.”

   “Wow, you guys sound…interesting.” Rogen commented. “Rowen and I were always close, probably because our older brother was a terror. He was horribly mean to Rowen because she was a girl. One day, I looked around the farm and she wasn’t there. I freaked out and started tracking her. I found broken sticks in the forest, she left me her leather hair tie on a rock, scuffed in the mud, you know stuff like that. I tracked her to a field. My brother was teaching her to use a real bow with real arrows. She enjoyed it, but I regret letting her do it sometimes, she’s harder than she used to be. She hasn’t killed anyone yet, but I have no doubt she will soon, and I’m worried that it won’t bother her.”
   “Where did she learn to use the sword?” Sale asked. “It’s true, I did let her win, but she’s very good, one of the best I’ve seen in a while.” Rogen shrugged.

   “I don’t know. She-she won’t tell me where she learned it. One day, we were out in the field playing, we were like twelve maybe, and a group of bandits came up. They started to attack us, but Rowen managed to grasp one of their swords. The fight was over in less than a minute.” He explained.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Liebster Award

Thank you so much Erudessa for nominating me for the Liebster award! Let's get started...
Now on to the rules...
- Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.
- Nominate up to 11 other bloggers to receive the award.  To be eligible, they need to have 200 followers or less.
- Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
- Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself.
- Give your nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post their nomination.



I nominate...

Now to the Q&A. :D

#1 – If you would live anywhere in the world, where?

Ooh, um, this is a hard one. Um, probably where I live now or in some city with walkable coffee shops. :D


#2 – What did dream occupation did you have as a child?

I actually wanted to be a teacher or a nurse, but I'm barely surviving with a B in school and I want to throw up when I see a lot of blood or X Rays. xD


#3 – If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, which color?

Army green, hands down.



#4 – Favorite new book?


A Time to Die!!! *coughs* I mean, A Time to Die. *nods calmly*

#5 – Do you prefer to watch foreign entertainment with subtitles, dubs, or you don’t like to watch foreign entertainment?

This is actually a funny story, I do watch Korean Dramas with subtitles, although I haven't in a while, but then Erudessa came and commented on my Character Spot: Caleb and asked if I had seen anything with Lee Min Ho in it, he's the guy in the pic, and so we had a comment discussion about them. :D



#6 – Favorite fairytale?


O.O Just one, ok, um, I really like Sleeping Beauty because I did a cool retelling of it, although I didn't get it into the contest in time, so yeah...that and Maleficent was epic!

#7 – If you decided to learn another language, what language would you choose?
French. We have a missionary that we know and I want to spend some time in the Ivory Coast with her in the future, and they speak French.


#8 – Books or E-readers?


Books, but E-Readers mean cheap books and super portable.

#10 – Your favorite real historical lady?

I have this obsession unhealthy interest in Tatiana Romonov, all of the Romonov's actually, but I pinned a few pics of her on my Pinterest board Black Hair.

#11 – If a new planet was discovered and you got to name it, what name would you choose?

Raytopia.

Eleven random facts...
1. I am a coffee addict
2. I have an old typewriter that doesn't work
3. My bro and I have matching necklaces from the beach
4. When I was three, I hit my head on a coffee table and had to get stitches
5. I've won four giveaways
6. My favorite superhero is Night wing followed closely by Super boy(he's real guys)
7. I still have a tanline from the float trip I went on in July and got a super bad sunburn
8. I have this jacket that my bro gave me and it looks really weird on me. :D
9. I hate Wordpress because a lot of my comments don't go through
10. If I could go anywhere, I would take a trip to see some authors and writing friends who live out of state.


Ok, eleven questions...

1. What is your favorite blog?
2. If you could have any kind of computer, what type would you choose?
3. Do you have a critique partner?
4. How often do you blog?
5. Do you watch action movies or romance more?
6. How often do you listen to music?
7. Do you plot out a novel before you write it?
8. Have you ever eaten bison?
9. What is your favorite type of chips?
10. Have you ever done something others deemed crazy?
11. If you had to choose between your favorite drink or your favorite food, what would you choose?

R. J. Steele

Monday, February 8, 2016

10 Pieces of Advise for New Blogger Part 1

   I was hanging out on the Jorum, and one the members said he was going to make a blog in the future, and then I had a brilliant idea to have a post with things that I have learned while blogging. I think my first blog post was May 14, 2015, so in about eight months, this is what I have observed.
Also, I am establishing  a new blogging schedule, I think four times a week is a little overwhelming. So I will post on Wednesday and then every Saturday for the Serial Story. If I am tagged, then I will do that on Tag Thursday.

1. Make your background light.

   I get it, especially for guys, you want a dark background, but for me personally, it has to have light or I am less willing to read on it. Alea Harper's blog has dark and light, a great combination. Just put a little light on your blog, just a suggestion.

2. Have a blogging schedule. 


   I didn't have a blogging schedule for a while and it wasn't that great. You can do two days a week, every day, one day a week, just make them synchronized. It helps your readers fall into a routine so that they know when to expect your post.

3. Join in blog tours and/or cover reveals.


Especially if you are a writer who wants to be published some day, helping another author is great to do, plus you get free books with blog tours. Then, sometime these authors will join your blog tour and help you out. It's a great way to get people to read your blog as well.

4. Make blogging friends

Just like with writing, if you are all alone, it's really hard to do that. You don't have people to encourage. And by blogging friends, I mean CONNECT! Don't just follow their posts, actually get to know them through their About Page, which leads me to my next tip...

5. Have pages.

It's pretty simple, you can find an easy tutorial about them here. An about page lets the bloggers get to know you, which, trust me, if you are super mysterious and never tell them about yourself, it makes your readers feel like they are reading a ghosts writing. A work in progress page is cool too, as is a page with your favorite blogs. The post I linked tell you all about them.


I hope that helped, next week I will post part 2!
Oh, and also, I've started posting my novelette The New World on Wattpad! Check it out here!





  

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Serial Saturday: Flicker Part 5

So this post was not really hard to write, I just didn't want to. I really started to connect with Aden in this one, so right now I am trying to make Asha lovable. Enjoy peoples! Oh, and a special announcement at the bottom. :D


Chapter 5
  Asha hurried down the steps of the castle and up to Kale. He glanced at her and frowned.
  “Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked.
  “I can’t find Aden.” she panted. He looked to the side and pulled her towards the wall.
  “Don’t look at the person passing.” he said. Asha focused on him, but out of the corner of her eyes, she saw the man in the kitchen. Why was Kale so nervous? Well, to be fair, she had been terrified of him when she had first seen him.
  “Kale, look at me, I’m worried.” she said. Kale put his hand on her shoulders and looked her in the eyes.
  “Asha, I will ask around about him, he couldn’t have just disappeared. Wait, why did you just now notice him gone?” he asked.
  “Well, he goes out during the day even though I don’t want him too, but he always comes back for dinner, he didn’t!” she told him. Kale opened his mouth to speak, but he looked up and whispered, “Go inside.”
  Asha looked back and saw the man from the kitchen walking towards them. She ran into the palace without looking at him, but when she stopped just inside, she turned around and watched them.
  The man talked with Seth for a minute, and she heard, “..name..” “..know..” and then she saw him pull his knife out of his pocket. Asha put a hand to her mouth and ran towards them.
  “Don’t!” she shouted. “What did you ask him?”
  “I asked him how you knew each other.” he answered.
  “Kale and I are going to get married.” she breathed. He frowned.
  “You can’t do that, you’re a slave.” he said.
  “We have a year left of saving before we can buy Asha’s freedom.” Kale said. The man slid his knife into his sheath and turned.
  “Excuse me, I have more pressing matters to attend to.” he said, walking away.
  “Sure you do.” Kale grumbled under his breath. Asha shook her head at him.
  “Stop that.” she said. “I have to go, when you get off of your shift, please look around for Aden.” she said. He nodded and Asha walked into the palace.
  He never disappeared like that, where could he have gone?
  “Hey, you Aden’s sister?” a male voice asked. Asha whirled around.
  “Yes, do you know where he is?” she asked. The man nodded.
  “Yeah, I took him to a house outside of town.” he answered. Asha breathed out a sigh of relief.
  “Ok, why would you do that without asking me?” she demanded.
  “Because Aden’s thirteen years, he’s old enough to go off on his own. Hey, be glad he’s out of here, do you know how many boys his age would want to be out of here?” he asked. Asha nodded.
  “How did you know I was his sister?” she asked.
  “He described you to me. I believe his...somewhat changed words were, “She’s pretty, the redhead.” he answered.
  “So you picked me out because I’m the only redhead here?” she asked.
  “No, I picked you out because you’re pretty.” he said, a small smile on his face. Asha sighed and walked past him. “Hey, where are you going?” he asked.
  “None of your business, but if you must know, I’m going to work.” she said.
  “Ok, are you offended?” he asked, running in front of her. She stopped and sighed.
  “Yes, because I’m engaged.” she said. He laughed.
  “You’re kidding right?” he asked. “Do you know how hard it is to get permission from the King to marry as a slave?” he asked. Asha nodded.
  “I won’t be marrying as a slave.” she assured, walking away.
  
  Laying on her bed, Asha rolled over and sighed, staring at the wall. Aden was gone. Where was he? What was he doing right now?
  She sat up and sighed, looking to the side. Why in the world had he done that? He was just another slave boy, literally they were almost all like that. Aden was one of a kind, as was Asha. The reason they were different was because their parents had actually taken the time to teach them how to be...decent.
  She stood up and jumped out the window. It had been years since she had last done this, she needed to practice.
  Creeping across the courtyard, she made it to the gate without being detected and put her hand on a loose brick. Removing it, she pulled a bag out and returned the brick. She opened the bag and removed two knives, jamming the blade of one into the wall. She had read a book about doing this and had immediately tried it. It was hard, but she could do it.
  Dropping to the other side, Asha ran through the woods until she got to the big field with the hay bale in it. It was a reasonably far distance, but she would never go out there without a knife or two, rebels liked to hang out near there.
  Each knife had an orange ribbon on it to avoid getting lost. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, hurling one of the knives at the bale. She spun the next one and reached for another as it slammed into it’s target.
  One after one, the knives lodged themselves in the bale of hay. She stared at them in the middle and sighed with contentment. Every one of them had made it to the middle. She hadn’t practiced for two years, but maybe the skill stayed with you.
  As she bent over to retrieve the knives, a she heard a crunch behind her. Jerking one of the knives out, she stabbed at the person behind her.  He caught her hand before it buried in his chest and reached for her sleeve with his other hand. Pulling it back slightly, he revealed her slave’s mark and looked at her.
  “What would the King say if he saw you now?” he asked.
                                                           <<<>>>
  Aden awoke and glanced around the room. He shared it with four other boys, all of which were twelve years old up to fourteen years old. He still didn’t know why they were here at the house, he didn’t know why he was in the house. All he knew was Taysin had brought him here to live.
  He stood up and looked behind him. The other’s had come in late, so he had already been asleep. He didn’t know any of them, not yet anyway.
  Creeping downstairs, he walked down a hallway and into the kitchen. A girl sat at the table and looked up as he came in. She was probably Asha’s age with blond hair and a nice smile. Patting the seat next to her, she allowed him to sit before introducing herself.
  “Hi, I’m Rayna.” she said, holding out her hand. Aden shook it.
  “HI, I’m Aden.” he said. “What are you doing?” he asked, gesturing to the book.
  “I’m reading my Bible.” she answered. He raised his eyebrows.
  “Are you a Christian then?” he asked. She nodded.
  “Yes, are you?” she asked. He shook his head.
  “My sister Asha is, but I’m not.” he said. “I have a question, why are you here?” she laughed.
  “You mean why am I the only girl here?” she asked. He nodded.
  “Yes, and why are there other boys my age here?”
  “Well, my brother Taysin takes in young boys who don’t have parents, or have a bad home. He teaches them...stuff, and the reason I’m here is because I’m Taysin’s sister.” she explained.
  “Oh, what kind of stuff?” he asked.
  “Stuff I don’t approve of, but that’s just me.” she said. “I don’t actually get to choose what you guys do.”
  “No, she really doesn’t.” Taysin said. Aden didn’t even notice him leaning against the wall. He walked over to his sister. “I told you to stop reading that.” he said, snatching the book. Rayna jumped up and punched her brother in the stomach, grabbing the Bible back while he doubled over.
  Aden watched in shock as Taysin tackled Rayna. The Bible skidded to the corner and Aden hurried to pick it up, watching the two wrestle. Rayna held his arms down and then used her body to keep him from flipping over. With two quick punches, she caused him to let go of her and relax.
  “Ha! I win!” she laughed at him as he stared at the ceiling, groaning.
  “Cheater.” was all he could muster. Rayna snatched her Bible from Aden and walked outside.
  “Um, Taysin, she crushed you.” Aden began. Taysin closed his eyes and then gave Aden a look.
  “I let her win.” he assured. Aden snorted and then jumped as Taysin flipped himself to get up.
  “You let her destroy you then, oohh…” he trailed off as he saw the other side of Taysin’s face.
  “I really didn’t. She’s actually younger.” he said. Aden stumbled back.
  “Woah, how old are you?” he asked. Taysin glanced at him.
  “Nineteen.” he said. Aden burst out laughing.
  “No, seriously.” he wheezed. Taysin took a step forward and Aden jumped. “Yeah, because I was thinking twenty two maybe, you have that mature...who am I kidding, you’re like five feet tall.”
  “You’re five foot two or three!” Taysin said, gesturing to Aden.
  “I’m thirteen, you’re nineteen!” he answered. Taysin rolled his eyes.
  “Whatever, yes, she’s two years younger.” he said.
  “Ok, she said that you teach boys how to do things.” he said. Taysin nodded.
  “Yeah, she was my first pupil.” he answered.
  “Was not!” Rayna protested as she walked in. He dropped his head.
  “For the last time, Mai was not my student, he just dropped in.” Taysin answered.
  “Whatever, I’m going to start on food, beating you makes me hungry.” she said.
  “I let you win!” he shouted at her. Rayna laughed harshly.
  “Then let’s do it for real!” she shot back. He hesitated.
  “I can’t, I have things to do.” he covered up. She nodded and pulled a loaf of bread from the cabinets. “Um, Aden, you can help me this morning.” he said. Aden followed him out the door and to the barn.
  “Oh, you mean like chores?” he asked. Taysin shrugged.
  “I prefer to call them “The Hated”. He said. Aden shrugged.
  “Call them what you will, if you just do it, you can’t hate them.” he said. Taysin laughed.
  “Ok, keep on believing that.” he said. “So, I talked to Asha, she doesn’t like me already.”
  “What do you mean?” Aden asked. “Did you insult her?”
  “Kind of, why didn’t you tell me she was engaged?” Taysin asked.
  “Because I didn’t think it necessary to give you a complete background on my sister.” he answered, grabbing a bucket.
  “Well, yeah, she was pretty insulted.” Taysin said. “I give up, I’m never going to get married.”
  “Uh, you’re nineteen.” Aden pointed out. “Some guys wait until...twenty two sometimes.”
  “Yeah, but most people get married young. Everyone’s getting married, your sister, my friend who shall not be talked about for his safety.” he said.
  “It’s ok to remain single.” Aden assured. “I mean, look at your sister!” Taysin glared at him.
  “Her fiance is great, but she had some issues with his work.” he said.
  “Oh, ok.” Aden, set the full bucket of feed on the ground and dragged it across the floor to the cows feeding trough. Dumping it in, he twisted his back to pop it.
  “Yeah, if you ask me, all rebels are bad.” he said. “Sometimes farmers give them things, food, animals, clothes, maybe shelter for the wounded, but if they came here, I’d refuse.”
  “Then they would just take it from you.” Aden said. “So wait, do you know of The Nightmare?” he asked.
  “That’s just a story.” Taysin answered. Aden shook his head.
  “No it isn’t, he lives in the palace.” he said. “He’s terrifying.”
  “Great, do you want to know what else is terrifying?” Taysin asked. “A cow full of milk.”
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   Yup, that's my story. Anywho, so I am thinking about posting the first chapter of my novel, but I don't know if that's just me wanting people to read it, or if people actually want to. Let me know in the comments!