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Heretrua One-Shots: Crystal

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on April 17, 2017 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

It was hot in the training area, humid, and smelled of sweat. Prince Ty stood in the middle of a circle formed by the soldiers gathered around him and a young man who had been bragging of his skills all morning. Naturally, Ty had to put him to the test.


Ty pulled out his sword. “How old are you?” The boy seemed far too young to be half as good as what they all claimed he was.


“Does it matter?” The blond youth shoved thick, wavy locks of hair back from his forehead.


“Not particularly. But I won't pretend I'm not curious.”


“If you win I'll tell you.”


Ty cocked an eyebrow. “Deal.”


The boy lunged at him. Ty blocked the first blow easily but the second came almost before he had recovered from the first. In a matter of seconds, the boy had a strong upper hand and was keeping Ty firmly on the defensive.


Ty waited, biding his time as he learned the boy's habits and watched for weaknesses. Eventually his opponent took a risky step. Ready, Ty took the opportunity to doge the blow and move in on the boy.


The blond hadn't been expecting it, and staggered back, struggling to defend himself from Ty's fast-paced strokes. He made a move so fast and surprising that Ty didn't have time to think. He blocked the blade in the only way that came to his mind and in doing so shoved his blade into the boy's side.


Dropping his sword, the boy backed away, stumbling on the dirt floor and falling on his rear. “Augh. Ow!” He clamped a hand over the wound, but not before Ty spotted the red seeping into his shirt.


“I'm so sorry.” He dropped to his knee next to the boy. “How bad is it?”


“I'm fine,” he muttered through clenched teeth.


“Are you sure?” Ty moved to check. “It felt like I got you pretty good.”


“No.” the boy pushed him away. “I'm fine.”


“Stop trying to act tough and let me look at it.”


“Don't touch me!” The boy's voice cracked and Ty could see fear in his eyes. He helped him to his feet, not letting go of his arm once he had him up. “Come with me,” he said firmly, helping the boy walk to a small room off to the side.


Ty made the boy sit down on a bench. “Now, behave yourself. Sometimes even what seems to be minor injuries in practice can become a big deal if you don't tend to them.”


“I can take care of myself.”


“I'm well aware. But since you're not, I'm going to do it for you.”


The boy protested and fought but couldn't overpower Ty. The prince removed the boy's hand from his side through use of some force to reveal a shirt that was blood soaked at the side. “See? This isn't fine.” He turned to a small cupboard against the wall and pulled out white rags. “Would someone get me a pitcher of water?” He called out the door.


He turned back to the boy and lifted the boy's shirt. The boy sucked in a breath as Ty pushed a rag against the wound. “There's extra fabric in the way,” Ty muttered, mostly to himself. He gripped the white binding material blocking him from properly treating the wound and ripped it. A man came in and handed Ty the water. “Thank you.”


The man's eyes grew wide. “Your highness...”


“I know.” Ty soaked a rag in the water and started cleaning around the boy's wound.


“What are you going to do about it?”


“He'll be fine. Just needs cleaned up so it doesn't get infected.”


“He?”


“Yeah?” Ty finished cleaning and started wrapping rags tightly around the wound.


“I can finish it,” The boy demanded, grabbing Ty's hand forcefully to stop him and taking the bandage away.


Ty put his hands in the air in surrender, letting the boy's shirt fall back down and standing up. “That ought to do the trick.” He finally looked up from his work at the youth in front of him, still dejectedly wrapping the bandage, and in a quick, silent moment realization struck him like a boulder. “You are not a boy.”


The young soldier... now revealed to, in fact, be a female, crossed her arms and glared at him. “No, I'm not.”


Ty looked to the other soldier standing beside him, and back to the girl. “I won. So tell me. How old are you?”


“Sixteen.”


“Your name? Your real name.”


“Crystal.”


“How long have you been here?”


She shrugged. “Couple of months.”



“Where'd you learn to fight like that?”


She peered at him, halfway between a snarl and confusion. “Anyone can do it if they work hard enough at it.”


“True. But not like you just did.”


She flounced back against the wall. “My father's a blacksmith. Makes weapons for the army. I've been around them my whole life, so naturally, I learned my way around a sword pretty quick.”


“What are you going to do?” The other soldier asked Ty.


“What do you mean?”


“It's illegal for a woman to join the army.”


Ty studied the girl before him. “I know. But she's good. And she's already been doing it for months.”


“You're not going to tell the king?”


Ty looked back to the girl, who was still watching him with arms crossed and an altogether disgusted look on her face, and groaned. “I guess I'm going to have to.”



$20 Amazon Gift Certificate Giveaway

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on May 5, 2016 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)



Author Matt Abraham is running a giveaway for an $20 Amazon Gift Certificate! Click on the link below to enter. 


https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d23c7ade3/


 

     "Awarded Pulp Detective's Best Newcomer of 2015, Matt Abraham spits hot PI palaver mixing Mickey Spillane with the classic super heroes from the golden age. In his series Black Cape Case Files we follow Dane Curse, a former black cape turned PI, as he navigates the powered underbelly of Gold Coast City. While not writing, Matt's engaged in juggling his newborn baby boy Kal, and supportive wife Jenny, all in the People's Paradise of China."

 


     Be sure to check out Matt's work on Amazon! If you win, you may want to use the gift card to buy his book. ;)


     The best of luck to you all!

2015-16 LoH New Year's Special

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on January 1, 2016 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (0)

     Hello everybody! To celebrate the new year of 2016, I am releasing a special diary entry from Ren, Jacquelyn, and Ty's mother, which takes place a few years before the events in my book, Legend of Heretrua: Rulers of Light. I must warn you, it will mean a lot more and you will catch a few extra small details if you've already read the book, but whether you've read any fiction of mine before or not, I hope you enjoy this, along with the new year ahead of us!


     Raising Heretrua's next generation of rulers is not always the serious task people may take it to be. More often than not, it's chaotic and insane in the castle trying to raise three children to be wise and responsible while managing not to quench their spirits or rob them of their childhood. It's also the most exhilarating and fulfilling thing I can imagine doing.

     Already they each bring such unique things to the table. Two of my children are so very like myself in that they are generally more reserved and quiet. Then there's my little fireball.

     Even though he's only three, Ty is already our monster slayer. He never tires of playing knight and dragon with his grandfather. Sometimes he drags his sister along to play the princess.

     It's funny how even though they're already royalty they still play at it. Children imagining the great adventures they will have as adults, imitating their parents. Father fills their heads with stories he insists to be true, stories of his daring stunts and events from his own past, himself as the main character. When a person is as full of winks, jokes, and mirth as my father is it is hard to decipher which tales to believe. Even so, the time he takes off from his duties as king for his grandchildren is time with him they desperately need, an example and future for them to look forward to as it will some day be their own.

     Ty especially relishes this time. Those two have a special bond. Ty admires the boldness and charisma of his grandfather and imitates him constantly, whether in the faces he makes, the phrases he uses, or anything else. They share a thirst for adventure, even danger. My husband jokes that “Virgo will knight the boy before he's five.”

     Jacquelyn and Ren are starting to discover how to use their magic. Jacquelyn sometimes tugs on Ren's sleeve and he'll follow her to their hiding place to practice making beautiful spirals and images in the air. They know as well as I do that as soon as their younger brother learns to use magic, it will be war and chaos among the three. Ty will likely skip straight to weaponizing his magic to play tricks on his siblings, and play time will gain a new intensity of the best kind.

     On the topic of children imitating their parents (or grandparents) Ren has become his father's shadow. It warms my heart to watch my son follow his father everywhere he goes, and I know my husband loves that Ren wants to be with him and learn what he does.

     After mother passed, father felt overwhelmed by life. My husband takes the place of second in command and father trusts him enough to let him share an equal load. It makes life easier for us all by easing pressure and allowing more time for family. It's healing for father to be away from his duties with people he loves.

     Ren knows he's next in line for the throne after his father, and takes it very seriously. He has the quiet courage of a true ruler already. It's so funny to watch his little brow furrow as he tries to understand the problems brought to his father and tries even harder to understand the answer. Sometimes he doesn't understand, doesn't even agree, and he's not afraid to talk about it. He's changed my husband's mind on several occasions. You'd think he was an old soul trapped in the body of a child, but sometimes the innocent perspective of a child is simply more accurate than the wisdom of experienced men.

     Besides that, when Ren is with Ty, he is absolutely a child. Ty brings out all the mischief and energy his brother possesses. It's always a wild guess during games as to if the teams will be Ren and his father against Ty and his grandfather or if the boys will face the men. The funniest part is that it's also impossible to tell which pairing is more likely to win.

     Ren thinks his father is the greatest ruler there ever was. He's in awe of him. Of course, I've often felt the same. After all, he is my husband. But when he comes and tells me about Ren's questions, about how mature he is in conversation, I see a glow of excitement in his eyes that rarely appears for anything else. He tells me our son will be the greatest king of all three in our family. He couldn't be more proud.

     It's sad to think we'll never get to see Ren as king. If he wears the crown, it will mean we're already gone. It's a joy to imagine it now anyways, and we will get to watch him grow into manhood. To know that we are investing in our realm's future king is an amazing thing. I can't wait to watch him begin to take his place in life.

     It's amazing that father has energy to keep up with Ty long after his siblings have given up. For Ty, life is an adventure. For the other two, it is sometimes sober. Jacquelyn came to me in tears today after accidentally stepping on a grasshopper during their game in the meadow. She carried the insect all the way back to me because she felt so guilty for taking its life and felt like it deserved a proper funeral.

     Ty was upset at his game being interrupted, but Ren helped with preparations and even wrote a little speech. Ty did attend, with a tiny sword he'd made from a twig. He stuck it in the dirt at the head of the grasshopper's grave and assured Jacquelyn that it had died with honor as a soldier in battle. The children did all of this with utmost seriousness, which only made it harder for me not to laugh.

     They're our future, my children. I see in their day to day lives and activities, the seemingly pointless things, what they will become. I am so excited for the future of our realm, so happy for the people who will live in the time of their reign. My children are already the rulers of my world; my little rulers of light.

Why I Write

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on October 22, 2015 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I started writing for fun. It was a pleasant pastime for an avid reader with a broad imagination. Now that I am older, striving to make a career for myself out of my passion and abilities, I realize that writing is exhilarating, draining, emotionally fired work—but it is not simply “fun.”

When I stopped being able to walk into the library and find something profitable to read, I decided to get serious about writing. There seemed to be few modern books worth picking up off the shelves. I knew there should be more to fiction than what I could find. Humans, even and especially younger humans, were designed to have a more sophisticated imagination than that. We were designed to appreciate truth, goodness, and beauty.

Readers deserve better than what they are getting in our current culture. I write for adults and youth alike to enjoy. I also want parents to feel safe handing my books to their children. I chose to write fantasy because it is timeless and transcends the barriers of age and class. It can unify people because, truly, it's beyond anyone's grasp.

The books I wanted to read didn't exist... so I wrote them.