My Sundays are normally set aside for music artists to spotlight their music and while I have several waiting in the wings, I wanted to showcase my latest new story, JONAH!
Jonah was a very different story for me to write. It is fantasy, and yet very much set in reality. I got the idea for the story during a guided meditation, through which I traveled to an uninhabited deadly island and my mission was to transform it into something beautiful.
Well, Jonah doesn’t exactly do that.
However, he is forced to take a good hard look at himself. He is told that there is only one way off the godforsaken island. “You must examine yourself, face your truths and make peace with your demons,” the note read.
Here’s a little backstory. Jonah lived on the streets in a large futuristic city. He’s made his way through brute strength and ruthlessness. Everyone who knew him feared the “Wrath of Jonah.” When he’s arrested and convicted of crimes, he is given a choice of punishment – either imprisonment beneath the ground, or exile to a deserted island. He chose the island.
There are dangerous mythical creatures on the island along with thick tangled brush filled with thorns, stinging nettles and poisonous flowers. It is not an easy place to survive. Jonah tried several times unsuccessfully to swim back to the mainland. He’s doomed to spend the rest of his life in this horrible place.
There are some other characters in the story, as it unfolds, and one of them is a young boy, Titus, who says he lives on the other side of the island where everything is lush and beautiful. But when Titus tries to take Jonah there, legions of green slimy snakes block the way. It is not allowed.
The lesson in this story is that Jonah must face the darkest parts of himself and make peace with the demons within. It is the hardest thing he’s ever tried to do.
Here is the BLURB:
Fantasy meets reality when a young man is forced to choose his punishment for crimes committed. Jonah must decide between imprisonment in a concrete box beneath the earth or be exiled to a deserted, barren island. He chooses the island, but nothing can prepare him for the deadly creatures, and poisonous plants at every turn. Then there’s the maddening isolation that drives him to the brink of insanity. There is only one way off this island and it’s more difficult than anything he’s ever imagined. It’s much easier to face mortal danger than the demons within. Will he find redemption, or another unexpected offer?
It has been a long time since I picked up a book that I could not put down. I ignored housework, ate snacks and read until I reached the end. The author’s writing style reminded me of V.C. Andrews. The subject of this book is sexual abuse and I did not know until the end of the book when I read about the author that she is a survivor of abuse. The writing comes from someone who has experienced the pain, the horror, the guilt and trauma that sexual abuse brings. The author did a great job of concealing the true identity of the abuser until the very end of the book. I was shocked. She gets deep into the psyche of the victim. The nightmares, panic attacks and paranoia are depicted in a raw and honest way. This book is not for the squeamish, but it is a well-written compelling story that I hope will encourage victims of sexual abuse to speak up and break the awful silence! And never forget the three rules! I highly recommend this book.
This story was one that I couldn’t put down! I was intrigued by Serang’s character when she was introduced in The Voyage of The Lanternfish and it was great to learn her backstory. To say she faced hardships and trials would be putting it very mildly. At a very young age, after her father died, Serang’s mother left her on the steps of a monastery as she could no longer care for her. But after a few years, the new Emperor hellbent on destroying all of the temples sent soldiers to kill everyone and burn the temple. Rescued by a traveling monk, she came of age under the teachings of Master Yong. She learned to become a fierce warrior and her intuition grew. The way she received her master weapon, the Guandao was fascinating. Her journey to the Temple of the Wind and then through the caves was heart stopping. I also have to say there was humor scattered throughout the book, even though the overall theme was most serious. This book is fantasy at its best! I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good story and fabulous world-building!
I know the holidays are over, but this Christmas Holiday Novella would be a treat anytime of the year! Food For Poe was both entertaining and easy to read but be prepared for unexpected twists and events! I am a huge fan of this author, Mae Clair, and have read most everything she has written!
I absolutely loved this novella! It started out as a sweet romance, but typical of this author, there was soon a ghost, a mystifying myth, and jaw-dropping magic. It is well-written and I read it in one sitting. I loved how the author wove these character’s lives together in a few short pages. But the twist came when a Changeling also appeared and some nail-biting pages followed. I won’t give the story away, I’ll just say how much I enjoyed it with all the twists and surprises. If you are looking for a romance with lots of added side plots, I highly recommend this novella!
I hope that if you haven’t read these books, you’ll pick them up if they appeal to you! Click on the book title to purchase!
Words and numbers are my life. As an accountant and author of numerous fantasy novels, I am realizing my life’s purpose. Storytelling is a big part of my life, whether novels or business cases. My tales are always action-packed and full of surprises. I write from my laptop in sunny Southern California. I invite you to join the adventure.
The Carl Prescott series is young adult fantasy, and the tale is just beginning. These books tell the story of four friends who discover their amazing talents and begin incredible adventures together. The books so far are: The Sleeping One and The Demon Queen.
The four-part Revolution series is a dystopian fiction story, which follows young Jack Kennedy, his family, and friends as they flee a corrupt government which has almost destroyed the United States of America. The tales are both raw and violent. Our hero must somehow change the course of history to restore the nation. The books are: 2121, 2122, 2123, and 2125.
The Modern Prophet series tells the story of four different protagonists. Three of the stories involve the battle between ultimate good and evil. The Reluctant Prophet is different, and brings back a connection to some key players from the Dave Brewster series. The series includes: Two Doors, The Reluctant Prophet, Hand of God, and Demonic.
The Heartstone series was my first fantasy series. The hero discovers a magic stone buried under the Earth that connects our planet to others throughout the universe. Unfortunately, that stone has also led terrible dangers to our planet. Let us hope Henry Marshall can learn to control the power of the Heartstone before all is lost. The two books in this series are: Sentinels of Far Sun, and The Time Walker.
These books were not written as part of a series. Each stands on its own. Whistlestop and The Old House are fantasies. Remembrances is a spiritual self-help tome. These stories are: Remembrances, Whistlestop, and The Old House.
Now, isn’t that quite the catalog? Wow!! Please share this everywhere on social media today and let’s lift and support Karl J. Morgan!
It is my pleasure to host author, C.S. Boyack on my blog today. I’m going to let him tell you about his neswest book, Serang!
Thanks for having me over today, Jan. I’m here to promote my newest book, Serang. This is supporting story to the Lanternfish trilogy, but it will stand on its own for those who haven’t read Voyage of the Lanternfish.
trying to let the hosts have some input about what I present, and Jan asked for
an excerpt. Excerpts are a great way to tease the story, so I’m happy to comply.
In this scene, Master Yong left Serang alone at their shack while
he went to a village for supplies. A heavy fog rolled in, and it’s stayed for days. He’s about to return, so we’ll pick up
the excerpt here:
Yong strode confidently onto the porch. Serang wiped her brow,
then flicked her wrist to get the heavy moisture off.
“Where are you?” Yong asked in a soft voice.
“Here, Master.” She walked to the patio area.
“Have you done your chores and exercises?” He sat an
overloaded basket on the ground.
“Yes, but something’s wrong.”
“The fog is unnatural. The animals have gone silent.”
“What do your meditations tell you?”
“To be cautious.”
“Have you been meditating? Tell me the truth.”
“I don’t need to. Something is wrong.”
“Do them now. Clear your mind.” He smirked at her. “I’ll protect
you from the forest.”
She sat and crossed her legs but kept the wall to her back.
“What do you hear?”
“Nothing, Master. Not even insects.”
She took several deep breaths. “A
light wind in the high leaves.”
“Shouldn’t wind blow this fog away?”
“Yes, that’s what I mean. Something is wrong–”
“Stop. Try again. What do you smell?”
“Brine… And charcoal.”
“More brine. Master the fog is cursed or something–”
Serang tried to focus.
“What do you feel?”
She remained silent for a long time. “Concern.
Worry even. Apprehension.”
“Is that you, or the natural world?”
“At least you’re honest about it. Your feelings are correct. We are
witnessing something that has not been seen in fifteen hundred years. Breathe
it deep inside. Let it surround you.”
She opened her mouth for deeper breaths.
“Do you feel danger? Fear?”
She kept breathing. “No, Master.”
He knelt before her. “We are in the presence of lóng de hái ze.”
“The child of the dragon? I don’t understand.”
“Something is wrong with our world. Lóng de hái ze, lives between the worlds and heaven. This one is here because it is concerned. Try again. What else do you feel?”
“Yang, but also a female presence.”
“Very good. This dragon’s child is female. She is trying to
decide whether to return to her world or go on to the sea. There she will
evolve into a dragon, then try to set things right. To restore balance.”
“Will she… eat us?”
Yong sat before her and crossed his legs. “Someone
has needed to tell you this for a long time. Dragons have been known to kill
people but do not make a habit of it. They are more concerned with the natural
world, and equity among all things.”
“But my father–”
Monastic life is all about duty, service, harmony. For Serang, a young girl abandoned at the temple by her mother after the death of her father, that life becomes all she knows. The monks give her purpose, and become her new family.
When political upheaval causes chaos throughout the land, Serang
again loses everything and everyone she loves. Alone, she struggles to survive.
She convinces a wandering monk to take her under his wing and complete her
training. Thus begin her adventures through strange lands and her trials to
become a confident, capable, independent adult.
This is a coming of age story set in a fantasy world. It’s filled
with monsters and martial arts, difficulties and dangers. The serious
situations preclude the story from the levity of its predecessor, Voyage of the
Lanternfish, but it provides a compelling look at the origin of one of the saga’s most
I am happy to showcase the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB’S July 2019 Spotlight Author, Karl Morgan!
Carl Prescott and the Demon Queen
Excerpt from Chapter 20
stood on a beach where gentle waves rolled up toward their feet. Both wore
shorts and pullover shirts. Sylvia led Carl off the beach toward a small house
that sat behind a picket fence. They went up onto the porch and stopped. Sylvia
stared at the door. “This was a bad idea. I don’t think I’m ready for this.”
don’t have to stay,” Carl replied. “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.”
turned, put her arms around him, and hugged him tightly. “Now, that’s the Carl
that I know. Don’t ever change, okay?” He nodded. She released him and walked
over to the rail at the edge of the porch. “This place reminds you of
something, doesn’t it?”
joined her at the railing and looked around the area. “This is a lot like my
nodded. “I figure when we were on the Rope Bridge, you must have seen this
place in my memories.” She put her hand on his upper arm. “And that’s why your
island is similar to mine.” She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “You
put a piece of me into your place, just like I did.”
will. I’m okay now, and I really want you to come inside.” She walked over to
the door, took a deep breath, pushed the door open, and stepped inside.
walked inside and gasped. The main room was identical to his island home, even
down to the placement of identical furniture and the doilies on the back of the
couch. “This is amazing.” He put his arm around her shoulders. “We must have an
sighed, walked over to a closed door, and turned to face him. After a few deep
breaths, she said, “My bedroom is behind this door. Whenever I’m feeling the
most vulnerable, I come here to cry myself to sleep.” She turned and ran her
hand over the door. “If you come inside, you’ll know everything. I’m terrified
that you will be shocked, horrified, or hate me forever.”
don’t have to go in there. This is your choice.”
turned back to him and wiped tears from her face. “Is it?” She turned to the door
and pushed the door slightly ajar. “I think you deserve to know everything
about me, Carl Sandberg Prescott.” She sighed, pushed open the door, and
could hear her crying, so he followed her into the room. Sylvia was sitting on
the bed with her hands over her face. Tears dripped down her arms and fell onto
the coverlet. Carl looked around the room. There were dozens of portraits of
men filling most of the open wall space. Carl’s picture hung near the bed. He
walked over and sat next to her. “Are you okay? I really like that picture of
dropped her hands and chuckled. “Which one?”
pointed. “This is the only one, Sylvia.”
groaned, stood up, and faced him. “Carl, these are the pictures of every man
I’ve ever loved. All of them are you! Don’t you get it?”
don’t know what to say.”
every one of these lives, I have lived like a normal person, yet we always
ended up together. I didn’t even realize all had the same soul until you were
about to step off the Rope Bridge. In that instant, I saw all of these men in
you. When you left me behind, I thought I’d lost you forever.” She began to cry
stood and held her. At first, she resisted, but eventually held him back. “I am
so happy to have had so many lives with you, Sylvia. I had no idea.”
moved back and wiped her eyes. “Neither did I until the Rope Bridge. Now, I
look around at these pictures and don’t know what to think. You said before
there is a chance we could be together in this life, right?”
smiled. “Yes, that is true, but as you’ve said, I’m still a teenager, and like
everyone will have different relationships before I’m ready for marriage or
do you want me to do, Carl?”
I don’t want you to join with the others. It won’t work, and countless lives
could be lost, including yours.”
nodded. “I’ll think about it, okay?” He smiled. “Now, take my hand.”
reappeared outside of Death’s bungalow, which was now surrounded by hundreds of
thousands of supplicants headed to pledge allegiance to the demon queen. Carl
walked up on the porch and sat on a rocking chair. “I can’t believe this is all
stepped out of the door and offered a mug of coffee. “Busy day, huh?”
took the mug and sipped his drink. “This isn’t regular coffee, Mort.”
know what you witnessed, Carl. I thought a little fortified drink might help
you cope with what you saw. Full disclosure, I have been to that place before.”
I really the only man she’s ever loved?”
sat on the other rocking chair. “Yes, but that isn’t the point.”
sighed and looked at his feet. “I am so confused right now and why isn’t that
are a mortal human, and she is an immortal demon. What Sylvia did is not
unusual. Many immortals choose to live regular lives in order to experience the
unimaginable power of life, love, and desire. The only thing they are incapable
of knowing that it always ends too soon. That is what makes life so perfect. It
is temporary, and every moment could be the last, which makes every experience,
emotion, and feeling real and important.”
never thought of it that way, Mort.”
“Of course, you didn’t. As a human, life is a journey. It is impossible for you to imagine eternity, even though the spirit within you is eternal. Sylvia is different and more like me. In my job, I experience death constantly, not my own, but those of my children. Even I do not comprehend their emotional state and those they have left behind.” He sighed. “Oh, how I wish I could sometimes.”
Author Bio: Karl Morgan has a lifelong fascination with stories in the science fiction and fantasy genres, whether it was the Tom Swift novels by Victor Appleton he read as a young boy, or television like Lost in Space and Star Trek, and especially films like Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. All of those tales put the protagonist in terrible situations where the odds are against them and, yet, somehow they prevail. The reader/viewer is always left with a sense that something greater than ourselves is watching over us. In his new Carl Prescott young adult fantasy series, the journey continues as our hero faces terrible danger and odds to help his friends and family. At the end, he will learn new things that will change his perspective on life. Karl lives in the San Diego area with his best, four-legged friend, his toy poodle Chachis. Follow Karl online: Twitter Facebook Website
Please follow along on Karl’s tour as he shares writing advice as well as excerpts from his new book!
Excerpts are a time honored tool for
blog tours, and that’s what I’m bringing you today.
Lanternfish is a pirate fantasy. It’s
filled with monsters, magic, and fantastic creatures. It also has gunpowder, so
cannon, muskets, and pistols are included.
To set the scene, the characters are forced into starting a war with a neighboring country. They came to this city to do some historical and political research. It isn’t coming together very fast, and James is on the verge of a new plan.
James strolled up and down each dock,
occasionally checking the mooring of a ship. Putting a finger to his hat
whenever a crewman spotted him.
The end of the third dock was empty.
Even the lamps weren’t lit. The only light came from quarters on a ship tied to
the second dock.
“Hello, mate,” a rough
James cleared his coat away from his
pistol before turning.
“No need for that. I mean you no
harm. Seen you down here walking the nights away. Been watching you.”
“What for? And come forward so I
can see you.”
“You’re a cautious man, I see
that. Well armed too.” The man stepped forward. Long grey stubble covered
his face. He wore a small tricorn, and carried a cutlass. “I seen your
“And what type is that?”
“Long stares out at the water.
Touching the ships as you pass. Hand on your face while you’re thinking of
something. Probably a big loss of some kind. Family farm? Lost love? Maybe a
title? Something along that route.”
“Pretty close, mate.”
“A few of my mates and I been
lookin for a fellow like you. You’re a man of the sea, and can’t wait to get
back to it.”
“I’m sure there are plenty like
me around. Good luck in finding someone.”
“Hold up, mate. We’re just talking.
Names Johnny Jump Up. There’s men around like you and I, but not too many with
money to invest.”
“I don’t have any money,
“Your mates bought a chest.
Carried it back to the Ghost yesterday. Looked real heavy. They spent
some too. Nice kit the lady bought. Kind of pricy. Seems like you own a slave
“How long have you been watching
“Longer than that fella all
dressed in black. He only showed up the other day. Asks a lot of questions
about who’s new in town. Asked if anyone’s been flashing a lot of gold
“Speaking of him, maybe you
wouldn’t mind continuing this conversation back at the tavern.”
“Naw. Too many ears at the
Ghost. There’s another tavern, just down the way. It has ears too, but nobody
cares. Called the Dead Man’s Rest. Heard of it?”
“Saw it from a distance last
“Don’t want you to think I’m
leading you into a trap. You go there. Order a bucket of beer. I’ll be along in
about half an hour. It’s a safe neighborhood, but you might want to tuck your
purse in your boot. If you know what I mean.” Johnny held out a lantern.
“Use me lamp if you’re worried.” He struck a match and lit the flame,
before placing the lantern on the dock and stepping back.
James picked up the lantern and
Johnny stepped aside. “I’ll make sure your shadow ain’t around. Then I’ll
join ye inside.”
“Any particular draft?”
“Get the yellow one. The dark
one’s gone off, give ye the shits now.”
“Good to know.”
honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a
political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms.
James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes
through with the plan.
soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those
who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of
cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the
ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually,
they’re going to have to engage the enemy.
goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to
collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue
of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of
monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.
I was born in a
town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in
the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the
times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of
getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho
right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career
was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in
with both feet.
I like to write
about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science
fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours.
I hope you enjoy the ride.
What I enjoyed most about this new book from C.S. Boyack is the fantastic job of world-building he accomplishes through creative writing. I had no difficulty visualizing the cities, the boats, the monsters, or the people that make up this story. The root monsters are a surprise and it’s fun to see them take on personalities and start to become somewhat human. The goal of James Cuttler is often different from that of his makeshift crew, but he manages to keep everyone happy with enough looting to satisfy any good pirate. His goal is to start a war between two countries and rescue his fiance. The adventures along the way, the battles, the exploration and discoveries kept me turning the pages. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite character. I love Mal for his devotion to James (aka Captain Bloodshot) and for his incredible ability to grow monster creatures in dirt, using his special magic. I love Serang for her fierce loyalty and amazing physical abilities. Plus, she has her own surprising brand of magic. The romance that blooms between Fala and James’ best friend, Dan, is believable and adds a touch of sweetness to the story. But I think my favorite character is the half-goblin half-human woman, Halfrid, who ultimately gives James the magical tool he needs to accomplish his goal and rescue his fiance. The action and battles are intense. The ending is satisfying. Anyone who loves adventure on the high sea mixed with fantasy and magic will enjoy this story as much as I did.
It’s best if you read the first book first. So, for the launch of “Bloom,” Atonement, Tennessee is on sale for 99¢ (e-book). Click Atonement book covers for purchase links.
Residents of my fictional town might be of any race and from any ancestry. So author and translator Olga Núñez Miret translated the debut novel to Spanish! For that language, I changed the title to Expiación y Magia!
Speaking of the otherworldly pigs, I should mention the order of the Atonement stories. Your first visit to the town is Atonement, Tennessee. It’s an urban fantasy — set in our present-day, real-world but with magical elements. Aside from the heroine and her neighbor-friends (or as Diana Peach likes to call them, the gall palls (Diana’s review here), you’ll meet the grumpy sheriff, Robin Warden.
The first “snort” in The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee is about a very young Deputy Robin. (Review by Dr. Phuong Callaway here.) That particular story is tied to the novel I’m launching today, Atonement in Bloom.
Here’s the blurb!
The quaint town was stranger than Ralda Lawton could have imagined. The local population included supernatural beings of the fae variety. Although only she and a few others knew about that.
In a past life, Ralda ― Esmeralda had been involved in something with those supernaturals and it had carried into her present life. In Atonement, Tennessee, that almost got her killed. Now she has new problems, and new supes to complicate matters.
Atonement in Bloom continues the misadventures of Ralda, her friends, and neighbors in the small (but far from peaceful) town of Atonement, Tennessee. Her old house and cemetery are still there, along with Lilith the cat, quirky townsfolk, and assorted supernaturals.
Now Lilith the calico sniffs out a strange beast.
Fae foolery backfires. A friend is abducted.
On a cold December day, Atonement, Tennessee comes into bloom.
I don’t know why the party bus is stopping. Oh! It’s a delivery of flowers in honor of the book launch from Kirt Tisdale of The Wall Gallery! Wow… beautiful blue roses. Thank you, Kirt. The blue rose of the impossible is an important element of Atonement in Bloom.
Hang on to your seat-belt. Lilith just took a sharp curve and we are magically in Kentucky. Deme wanted to check out Teri Polen’s October horror and suspense book fest, Bad Moon Rising! You’ll find 31 authors and their books there!
Welcome to Atonement, TN! Everybody in town is taking part in the fun. Annie’s Antiques is hosting an exhibit of Art by Rob Goldstein.
What’s that on the next table? It looks like an Aladin’s lamp. And a puff of colorful smoke! Oh, it’s the Lamp Magician. Welcome, Magician. I’m glad you could join the party bus!
My stomach is growling. Thank goodness Carol Taylor and Gerlinde de Broekert have catered the book fair. There are delicious foods at every booth! However, Deme and Honeybell love to read, so they ran straight to the Atonement, TN Book Fair. They’re in hog heaven with so many great books!
Heartfelt thanks to everyone for supporting this Bloomin’ Party Bus. Click the author names for more info.
Resawill help you find the right thing to wear. She’s a costume designer. She would have enjoyed helping Ralda, Bethany, and Lacey search through the antique clothes in Sunhold’s closets (scene in “Bloom”).
When we left Jonah last week, his father, Drake, had given him a key that allowed passage through the portal to a paradise on the other side of the island. The enormity of the sacrifice Tidus had made to try and help him overwhelmed Jonah. He’s taking in this new world but still doesn’t know what his assignment will be. Let’s join Jonah, Tidus, Drake, and Jade for the conclusion of this story.
Jonah turned in a full circle taking in the beauty surrounding him. Palm trees swayed, turquoise water lapped at the shore, birds chirped, and brilliant flowers filled the air with their sweet fragrance.
The beauty made his head spin. A large house with stone dragons guarding the entrance sat approximately one hundred yards away.
Drake stood beside Jonah. “You’re home, my son. I have dreamed and hoped for this day when I could claim you. You are strong and brave. You’re everything my son should be.”
Jonah mumbled. “Thank you, sir.”
“I will teach you our ways, and your magic will grow, just as it did with your mother. But, you will have to work hard.”
“You mean like chores?” Jonah asked.
A deep rumbling laugh erupted from Drake’s chest. “I guess you could put it that way.”
Jade reached for Tidus’ hand. “Come, my love. We have some catching up to do.”
Tidus wrapped an arm around his mother’s waist and they walked toward the house, heads together, speaking in low voices. The obvious love between them brought a lump to Jonah’s throat. How he wished for the love of a mother, but his mother was dead and not coming back. He was happy for Tidus, though. The kid deserved to have his family again. He faced Drake.
“I’m ready. What do you have to show me?”
Drake pulled a spyglass from his coat and passed it to Jonah. “Turn around and look through this glass in the direction we came.”
Jonah put the spyglass up to his eye and let out a shocked gasp. It was as if none of the rocks or brush existed and he had a clear view of the place he’d just left less than half an hour ago.
A smaller boat than the one he had refused to leave on, pulled up to the dock and dropped off a passenger. The memory of himself in that exact situation flooded Jonah. But, wait! It wasn’t a male. It was a female with long flaming red hair!
He turned in confusion. “I don’t understand.”
“She, like you, has been banished to the island for her crimes. You will be allowed to help her, but only when she is seeking and ready. You can observe her from time-to-time but, cannot go to her until she does her part of the work.”
Jonah asked. “So, I will be for her like Tidus was for me? Is she my sister? Is she one of us?”
Drake chuckled. “No, my son. She is a mere mortal trying to find her way. And, yes, you will help her. As a half-mortal, you are more able to understand and communicate. She is your first assignment.”
Jonah turned back toward the girl. That moment of helplessness, fear and vulnerability he’d first felt, when he’d been in her shoes, washed over him. It was almost as if he could read her thoughts and emotions.
Drake laid a hand on his shoulder. “Remember what you’ve learned. She must seek inside herself for redemption and answers. In the meantime, you will become my student. And, when you are ready, you will meet the others.”
“Others?” Jonah found words jumbled with thoughts and hard to form.
“Yes, Jonah. Others. We are not alone. But, all in good time. For now, let’s go to the house and get you a proper bath, and clothes.
Jonah nodded and fell into step beside Drake, the powerful Wizard ― his father.
In losing everything, Jonah had found all that he sought. And so it is for us mere mortals from time to time.
I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed Jonah’s story. It’s been a pleasure to share it with you. My intent was that maybe you’d find bits and pieces of inspiration along the way. To those of you who followed it from the beginning, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
When we left Jonah last week, not only had he chosen to stay on the island when the boat finally came for him, but he met Drake and Jade and learned a huge secret. Drake is his father. Jonah is half Wizard and half mortal. And now, Drake has told him he has work to do. To say the least, Jonah is overwhelmed with all the developments. I thought I would end Jonah’s story with this segment, but there will be one more. 🙂
“Work to do?” Jonah asked.
“Yes. While you are learning of our ways and practicing the magic, you will be given assignments.” Drake paused. “You see, our original mission on earth was to help mortals find their true selves and lead them into the light and knowledge that lies within each of them.”
“How am I going to do that trapped on this island?” Asked Jonah.
“I will show you. We will work together.” Drake handed Jonah a small staff with a pulsating blue Crystal attached to the end.
Jonah accepted the staff and was surprised to feel it vibrating in his hand. “What is this?”
“It is your key to passage through the portal.” Drake stood and pointed to the North.
Again, Jonah’s head swam. “Portal? I don’t understand, sir.”
“You remember how you tried to follow Tidus the first day you met him, and how the snakes blocked your way while he disappeared through a crevice in a stone?”
“This Crystal allows you passage through that portal into our world.”
Jonah stared at the glowing gem. “I still don’t understand.”
“It will all become clear,” Drake put a hand on Jonah’s shoulder. “Gather your things. Let’s go.”
It only took Jonah a few short minutes to gather his meager possessions. He stuffed everything into a small bag and threw it over his shoulder. With a quick backward glance, Jonah bid farewell to the place where only a short time ago, he’d thought he was doomed to spend the rest of his life. When he stepped away, he watched mesmerized as the hut, the beginnings of the garden, and everything surrounding it dissipated into a dark vapor. Nothing but stinging nettles and tangled brush covered the area.
The four of them, Drake, Jade, Tidus, and Jonah followed a clear and unobstructed path toward the North.
When they reached the crevice in the rock, Drake stood aside. “Go ahead, Jonah.”
Jonah hesitated. He held the staff in front of him and cautiously approached the rock. With a swoosh of air, he found himself in the most beautiful tropical paradise imaginable.
He turned around in time to see Drake, Jade, and Tidus appear in a mist. This was where Tidus lived. The enormity of the sacrifice Tidus had made to help him overwhelmed and took his breath away. And, to do it without knowing Jonah was his half-brother.
He approached Tidus with tear-filled eyes. “You gave up all of this to hang out with me in hell?” He made a flourish with his right hand.
Tidus grinned. “It was better than being here completely alone.”
“Thanks, kid,” Jonah choked. “I never imagined your world was this.”
“And, now it’s your world too, Jonah.”
Drake and Jade stood arm-in-arm and observed the two. Jade looked up at her mate. “We did well, my Lord.”
Drake lowered his head and claimed her lips. “That we did, my Lady.”
“I have one regret,” Jade said. “I wish I had been Jonah’s mother.”
Drake sighed. “Ah, my love. I could but wish I had only one regret.”
**Please join me next week for the conclusion to Jonah’s story**
When we left Tidus and Jonah last week, Jonah had missed the boat. He couldn’t find it in himself to leave Tidus behind, so chose not to go. Now, he’s having serious doubts about whether he did the right thing. And, they have company. Let’s see who it is.
Tidus looked up and let out a cry.
A man dressed in black leather boots, a long black brocade vest adorned with shining gold trim, a red and black silk cape slung across his shoulders and golden sword stood over them.
Weilderwolves stood like docile pets, on either side of the man. Gone were the blood red fangs and they looked up at him with adoring eyes.
“Father!” Tidus ran to him. “I thought you’d forgotten me.”
Drake embraced his son, then turned his gaze on Jonah.
“You did a righteous thing here today, Jonah. You cared more for Tidus than you did your freedom.”
Jonah swallowed hard unable to find his tongue.
Tidus knelt at his father’s feet and kissed his boots.
Jonah wondered. Was he expected to do the same? He certainly didn’t want to be skinned alive. He joined Tidus.
“Up, the both of you,” Drake ordered.
In an instant, a woman appeared beside Drake. With her long flowing blonde hair, purple, gold and green regality, she resembled a mythical goddess.
Tidus flew into her arms. “Mother!” Tears streaked down his face and he choked on his words. “I thought you died.”
Jade crooned, “Oh, my son. It was necessary for you to believe you were all alone so that you and Jonah could complete your lessons.” She stroked the boy’s hair. “I didn’t want to leave you but I knew you were ready for the task. You did well, Tidus, son of Drake and Jade.”
Jonah stared with an open mouth. If his life depended on him finding words to say, he’d surely die this minute.
His gaze returned to Drake. An electrifying aura floated around the warlock; something that resembled pictures he’d seen in books of the Aurora Borealis. Jonah sensed the strength of Drake’s magic. It ignited a flame inside him. Oh, how he wanted this gift. But, he was a mere mortal. Mere mortals could never possess magic this strong.
His eyes locked with Drake’s. Light shot out of them into Jonah’s and he blinked hard and struggled to stay on his feet.
Tidus touched Drake’s arm. “Father, Jonah is trapped here. The boat just left.”
“I know, son. It was the final test.”
Jonah found his voice. “Test for what, sir?”
“Come. Sit.” Red velvet chairs appeared out of nowhere.
Jonah stumbled forward and found a seat. His head swam with confused thoughts. Was it possible that he was asleep and dreaming? Had the stress of missing the boat cost him what was left of his sanity?
But, he sat and listened.
The Warlock, Drake, spoke with a deep rumble, “You see, Jonah, I knew your mother many years ago. She was a student, learning our ways when the leaders discovered what we were doing and killed her.” He cleared his throat. “But, she was more than just a student. She was my lover.”
Jonah scooted to the edge of his chair. “You knew my mother?”
Drake nodded. “I have watched and waited to see if you would have the same gift. You’ve kept it well hidden but, nevertheless the spark is there.”
Jonah waited for him to continue, his gaze darting from Drake to Jade and Tidus. This had to be a dream. Nothing about it could be real. And yet the plush red velvet chair beneath him felt real.
“The gift?” Jonah asked.
“Like I said, your mother, Elizabeth, was my student,” Drake said. “She was learning how to use the magic, and her powers were growing daily. It broke my heart into a million pieces when they killed her.” His voice hardened. “I wasn’t there to protect her, but let me assure you, young Jonah, that the man responsible for her death paid dearly.”
“Wait,” Jonah interrupted. “Let’s go back. You said my mother was your lover. Does that mean…?” His words trailed off, and he glanced at Jade too embarrassed to continue.
Drake nodded. “Yes, Jonah. You are my son.” Drake reached for Jade’s hand. “It was before I found Jade. I loved Elizabeth and you were born out of that love.”
Again, his head swam. The son of a powerful Warlock? How could that be? And yet it all made sense except for one part.
He faced Drake. “If you are my father, why did you let them put me in the orphanage after they killed my mother?”
Drake sighed. “It was a hard choice, but at that time, we were fighting to survive. The leaders were determined to extinguish all of us and our kind. Many times, I counseled with the elders. I begged them to let me go for you. But, they refused. After all, you were half mortal.”
Jonah ran a hand through his dark hair. “And what happens now? Am I destined to exist in this godforsaken place forever?”
“No. But if you want to learn and grow your magic, you have work to do.”
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