Victoria Grefer Official Site

The Home of Herezoth and All Other Things Greferian


Leave a comment

Six Sentence Sunday: Next steps??? (The Crimson League)

thecrimsonleagueI want to bring Six Sentence Sunday back to the blog, because it’s so much fun to do. Just six sentences to get people interested. Can it be done? I’m not sure. But it’s a blast to pick the moment out.

Today’s selection comes from “The Crimson League,” because the ebook is on sale for 99 cents for just one more week.

In this passage, Kora and her best friend, a boy named Sedder, have met up with the Crimson League, who saved them from an assault by a troop of soldiers. (The soldiers had their reasons.) But what should they do next? When Kora decides she has to send her family to safehouse….

So you’ll join them at the safehouse?”

Kora looked away. Sedder directed her gaze back to him. “Kora Porteg, you’re going to that safehouse?”

For the second time that afternoon, Kora took Sedder’s arm to expose the wound across his wrist. “You think you’re the only one they’ve done that to?”

Hope today’s selection piques some interest. This is perhaps one of my favorite scenes in the book.


Leave a comment

High Fantasy, Low Price: The Crimson League

thecrimsonleagueGreat news! If you’re a fan of epic fantasy, sword and sorcery fantasy, urban fantasy (minus the vampires), or if you’ve ever wanted to give fantasy a try: now’s your chance.

For a limited time (in celebration of its new cover), THE CRIMSON LEAGUE is on sale in ebook format from amazon.com for only 99 cents!

Join Kora Porteg as she joins a resistance movement fighting against the sorcerer-noble who slew the royal family and stole Herezoth’s throne. Her story has magic, adventure, and even a bit of romance.

Check it out, and spread the word!


6 Comments

Third time’s the charm! New Ebook Covers (again)

Introducing the third and FINAL ebook covers for my first two Herezoth books. I am in LOVE with them!!! Much, much, and eternal thanks to designer Brad Covey.

thecrimsonleaguethemagiccouncil

Brad’s a graphic designer as well as a fellow writer. I’ve really enjoyed connecting with him over social media and our blogs. I highly recommend him for cover design to anyone.

http://designer.bradcovey.com/
https://twitter.com/bradcovey
https://www.facebook.com/bradcoveyofficial


Leave a comment

How to deal with life in the resistance

cl2Enjoy fantasy? Then enjoy this snippet from the first novel in my Herezoth trilogy, THE CRIMSON LEAGUE. It’s on sale right now in e-book format for just 99 cents. In this selection, Kora helps her fellow resistance member, Kansten Carder, deal with the strain of life constantly threatened. (Fighting a sorcerer-dictator isn’t the most peaceful existence.)

On the way back to the lodging house, Kora and Kansten stopped at eight more fortunetelling shops. They found nothing. Kora saw a chipped china saucer at one place, but the imperfection hardly qualified it to be an enchanted tome. Some stores had rare herbs hanging from the walls; others sold only books, or only cups for reading tea leaves. Some tellers offered to read their cards, much like Markulas, or even pleaded, which made the blood leave Kansten’s face. Kora had to refuse for both of them because Kansten lost her voice at those moments.

Hansrelto’s book evaded them, but Kansten did come across one thing that caught her eye. She bought an amulet from one of the last shops. Its stone was oval in shape, carved from jade. The woman who sold it said it was supposed to absorb basic spells.

“I can’t say it’ll work,” said Kansten, when she and Kora stepped outside. “Even if it does, the spells I come up against won’t be basic ones, not if they come from him. I feel better having it, though.”

Even after eating at a cheap, crowded tavern, they were the first back to the League’s rooms. Kansten collapsed in a chair, her head dropped, while Kora lit a fire. The blonde mumbled, “It can’t be. It can’t. It won’t happen that way.”

The fire began to crackle. Kora turned around. “What won’t happen?”

Kansten’s head did not rise. “I’d die before they capture me, Zalski and his hounds. I’d kill myself if I had to. Publicly hanged, after who knows what torture…. I’d kill myself first. I’ve always said that.”

Kora brought her a glass of water; that was the only kind gesture she could think of that Kansten would not reject. Kansten held the cup steady, a good sign, and Kora hazarded, “Do you ever wonder if the fight’s worth it?”

“How can it be? We’ll be dead in a year, every one of us. Six months if Zalski snags the Librette. I’m almost glad it’s too late to turn back, or I’d be tempted to leave.” Kansten, who had yet to sip the water, spilled some of the glass’s contents as she slammed it on the table. Kora jumped. “Why the hell did you join us? What’s wrong with you? Everything we do, it’s hopeless. Can’t you see that?”

Kora froze for a moment, taken aback by the verbal assault. Then she remembered what Lanokas had told her that first night with the League: that Laskenay had not smiled in weeks before meeting her; that maybe, giving hope was enough by itself.

Kora tapped her fingers on her leg. Finally she asked, “Do you remember my first card?”

“The triangle,” said Kansten. “Secrets. That sounds about right. I would have asked you about it, but all I’ve thought about all day is that damned cage. Look, there’s something odd about you. I’ve known it from the first. Your family’s in hiding, but you won’t say what for. Laskenay trusts you over me on practically no basis….”

Kora pulled off her bandana. Kansten toppled her seat. “You? The Marked One? You, of all people?”

“You can think that if you want to.”

“How many people…? Who knows about this?”

“Laskenay. And Lanokas and Bennie, they found me on their scouting expedition. Sedder too, of course. He was with me. To be fair, I guess I shouldn’t leave Zalski out either.”

Kansten’s face darkened. “Zalski knows?”

“It was all so sudden. I met the League by chance, completely by chance, you have to understand that, and we were set on right after by Zalski’s elite guard. Some of them got away. That’s all it takes, isn’t it? They’d lagged behind, or they were a second patrol. We think they saw me. At least, they ran from us. I’m not sure why.”

For some reason, Kansten’s demeanor changed. Her negative air dissolved. “The League could’ve killed them, that’s why. They had news to get to Zalski, and they thought that was most important. Listen, it doesn’t matter. You found the League first. You could have found the guard. They got away, but they didn’t drag you with them. I’m almost glad Zalski knows of you. I hope it disturbs his sleep!

“Kora, you really must be the Marked One. The terror, the forced allegiance, the taxes that’re causing ruin: you’ll end it all, every bit of it. Zalski won’t let the word get out, of course. Not to the people. They’ve been praying for the rise of the Marked One for years. Can you imagine the uprising? He’s frightened, Kora, frightened of you, and when people are frightened they do stupid things. He’ll trip himself up. We just have to wait our chance…. You have to tell the others what you are.”

“I will,” said Kora. “Or I, I’ll let them see the ruby. I’d appreciate it, though, if what happened with Markulas stays with you.”

“The same goes for me,” said Kansten. “We shouldn’t say a thing, not a thing. There’s no way to know there’s any truth to it.”

“No way at all,” agreed Kora. After having her fortune told, Kansten distrusted the art to some extent, and her loss of respect made perfect sense to her companion. In fact, her refusal to deem the cards accurate made Kora, who was tempted to believe, feel better about that tombstone.

Kansten righted her chair, then noticed one of the stools across the room. “Someone left some parchment on their seat,” she said. Kora picked it up. It was untitled, a list of some twenty-odd names.

“That’s the hit list Menikas found. I saw Laskenay reading it this morning.” Kora held out the parchment to Kansten. “She thinks they’re all from Hogarane. Take it. I might recognize someone, and I don’t want to.”

Kansten scanned the list, struggling to read, focusing so intently that Kora’s last words passed over her. “Fo…. Foden, would that be? I like that. They had a nice name, poor devils.”

Kora’s heart skipped a beat. “What did you say?”

“Foden,” Kansten repeated. “Sounds familiar somehow. Two of them.”

“Let me see that.” Kora almost ripped the parchment. She let her eyes skim the list until she found what she was looking for near the bottom, beneath Mr. Gared’s brother’s name. Her stiff arm dropped the sheet.


Leave a comment

Six Sentence Sunday

cl2Today’s Six Sentence Sunday post comes from The Crimson League, currently on sale for just 99 cents. When Sedder Foden returns from moving Kora’s family to a safehouse, Kora naturally is worried about how they’re faring. When she asks about her mother:

“She sent her blessing: that the Giver shower you with everything you need. That you never forget a mother’s love, and take it in account in all you do.”

“That’s just as much a guilt trip as a blessing.”

“I told her you were joining the Crimson League,” he admitted. “She needed some explanation for why you aren’t with her. I couldn’t let her imagination run wild.”


Leave a comment

Of Boats, Brothers, and One Major Decision

cl2What would you do if you were seventeen, a woodworker’s daughter, and your kingdom’s sorcerer dictator was determined to see you dead?

That’s Kora Porteg’s problem in The Crimson League. This 4.5 star fantasy novel–suitable for young adults–is on sale in ebook form for just 99 cents through January 11, 2013! (The sequel, The Magic Council, is FREE January 7-11).

In the following snippet, Kora has just discovered that the sorcerer who’s taken over the kingdom has a reason to grudge her living. With her best friend Sedder, she just survived a confrontation with soldiers thanks to the interference of the Crimson League, who then took her to a cave. What’s next? Should Kora try to save herself, or stay and fight? Read on:

The group of five took seats, huddling by the flames. The dark-haired man removed his hat, and Kora had to stop herself from gawking. He was not a man at all. She was a woman, possessed of a classic elegance, as tall as Auntie Mader with ice blue eyes and jet-black hair that tumbled down her back. Though she wore a tunic, Kora wondered how she could ever have mistaken her for a male.

“It’s time we introduced ourselves. My name is Laskenay. This is Bendelof,” she indicated the red-haired girl, “and Lanokas.”

“Actually, I go by Bennie,” said the carrot top.

Kora and Sedder introduced themselves in turn, and Laskenay asked, “Do you have any family, Kora?”

Kora’s heart rose to her throat. “A mother,” she said, “and a brother. They’re not in danger?”

“They will be. The men that got away, they were Zalski’s, and they saw you. One of them must have. They saw that jewel, saw the shield you conjured. Zalski won’t rest until he knows who you are. We’ve got to get your family to a safehouse.”

“A safehouse?” Sedder repeated.

Laskenay asked her companions, “Who’s closest?”

“Mader Zaygro,” said Lanokas at once. Kora’s heart dropped an inch or two closer to its proper place, while Sedder, in contrast, jumped up.

“Kora’s mother knows me. I’ll explain what’s going on.”

“Not alone you won’t,” said Lanokas.

“I’ll go with him,” offered Bennie. “Just give me a moment. I should probably change.” She went to the piles of clothing, grabbed a dress and a wig, and disappeared with a candle through an opening in the left wall.

The girl looked completely different when she emerged with blonde hair. She passed Sedder her candle, and he chose a brown wig. Kora thought he looked much the same, but then, she was used to his face. Laskenay gave Sedder her crossbow. “Take horses from the stables,” she directed.

Before leaving, Sedder wanted to speak to Kora. Bennie told him not to dawdle, and he and his childhood friend separated themselves, not quite entering another chamber of the cave. He launched into a story about an acquaintance, a seaman on the eastern coast.

“He told me he would sneak me on his ship, get me to Traigland, for forty gold pieces. I’ve saved eight. I wasn’t….” He stammered at the hurt expression on Kora’s face. “I hadn’t made up my mind to go. I would have told you before I went, if I went. I just wanted to have it as an option. With Zalski’s control of the ports, stowing away’s the only way out. Listen, with my eight pieces, if we sold a jeweler the other half of that ruby we might have enough to get you, just you, away from here.”

“I couldn’t,” said Kora. “I couldn’t take your money. Eight gold pieces…. Sedder, that must be all you have left of your life savings. I know what they pay you at that bakery, it’s a pittance. A pittance.”

“The money doesn’t matter. Listen, keeping you alive matters.”

“I couldn’t leave my family in the straits they’re in. I’d never forgive myself. I’d never see them again!”

“So you’ll join them at the safehouse?”

Kora looked away. Sedder directed her gaze back to him. “Kora Porteg, you’re going to that safehouse?”

For the second time that afternoon, Kora took Sedder’s arm to expose the wound across his wrist. “You think you’re the only one they’ve done that to? That you’ll be the last? Look, I don’t know what I’ll do, I really don’t,” she insisted. Sedder inclined his head in marked skepticism. “I just feel that sitting on my ass in a safehouse won’t be any use to anyone. We can sell the ruby, like you said, and you can go. Like you’ve been planning.”

“What good would my going to Traigland do? What the hell is in Traigland?”

“What’s here, Sedder?” He left the answer unspoken: she was here, and in trouble. He would not leave her in trouble, no more than she would abandon her family. “Are you getting on that boat?” she asked, knowing what the answer was, no matter his response.

“I’m getting your mother and that kid brother you have to safety.”

Kora wrung her hands. “Zac listens to you,” she said. “You’re the only one he listens to now. You have to make him see he can’t sneak off from Auntie Mader’s.”

“Kora, he wouldn’t….”

“He’s been leaving home at night and going places after school. He’ll want to sneak off, I’m telling you. If he leaves Auntie Mader’s and he’s recognized….”

“Is he what’s been on your mind all day? All those escapades? Kora, I’ll talk to Zac, don’t worry. He’ll see reason. He’ll understand that no matter how tempting Hogarane is, he needs to stay put.”

“Hug them both for me. Tightly, all right? And tell them I’m sorry.”

With a squeeze of her hand he told her, “You’re not responsible for this.”

Sedder left with the blonde-haired Bendelof, leaving Kora, her knees tucked to her chest, at the fire with Lanokas and Laskenay. Less than two days ago, no time at all, she and Zacry had argued about the Crimson League. To think she was with them now, that hundreds of miles and not six or seven might as well separate her from home….

“Bennie shouldn’t be long,” said Laskenay, to break the silence. “We have horses. The owners of this land let us share their stable. Our mounts might be noticed if we tied them in the woods.”

Kora hardly heard the woman. She was thinking of the two slain soldiers, of that awful moment she had realized they would kill her, and likely Sedder too.

“Where did those men come from? The ones who shot at us?”

Lanokas told her, “Zalski has a base here, a small one he’s using to plan something secretive. We need to discover what. We were on our way back from searching it out. They must have followed us.”

“Did you find it?”

“We didn’t. But we weren’t the only ones looking.”

“There’s more of you,” said Kora.

Laskenay said, “They should be here soon, I think.”

“You mean you hope.”