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From The Hordes of Chanakra (Price just dropped to $2.99):


Kreg, having been torn from the world he knew and dropped in a strange land he does not comprehend accompanies his newfound friends the Swordmistress Kaila, and her wizardly father Shillond to the common room of their inn, seeking dinner.

Smoke hung heavily in the crowded room.  In one corner, men threw knives at a target stuffed with straw.  A shout rose in another corner as a rotund man won an arm wrestling match against a somewhat slighter opponent.  The loser groaned and money changed hands as the winners of bets collected.  Beside the large fireplace a minstrel wailed a ballad, badly off-key.  About half the patrons of the tavern wore rain-soaked clothes and water ran in tiny rivulets down their faces.  The sound of the rain was more muted here than in the rooms above.

Kaila led Kreg and Shillond to the only unoccupied table in the room.  The crowd swirled around them but always left a gap before them, more, Kreg suspected, in deference to the way Kreg and Kaila towered over them than from any notion of courtesy.

“These places always like this?” Kreg sidestepped a stumbling drunk and sat.

“Aye.” Kaila said then looked over her shoulder. “‘Twould please me mightily an’ yon bard be silent.  I am near of a mind to clout him aside the head an’ he continue.”

Shillond sighed as he sat. “The people carouse, I think, to forget that their city is dying.”

A barmaid dodged a groping hand and arrived at their table. “May I help you, Lords and Lady?”

“Roast venison and a tankard of ale!” Kaila slapped her palm on the table, causing its legs to bounce off the floor.

“Whatever is by the board and a flask of wine,” Shillond said.

“Aye, Lord.” She turned to Kreg. “And you, my lord?”

“Uh.” Kreg hesitated for a moment, uncertain what to say, and then decided to follow Kaila’s lead in choice of food. He did not know what Shillond’s “by the board” meant. “Roast venison, I guess.  Uh, what do you have to drink?”

He looked at his companions for assistance.  Kaila bit back a laugh.  Shillond raised his eyebrows, the twinkle in his eyes brightening, but he offered no advice.

“Why, sir.” The barmaid sounded as confused as Kreg felt. “We are as well stocked as any tavern in the city.”

Kreg groaned.  He sighed and tried again. “I am a stranger here.  Could you be more specific?”

The barmaid’s face lit with understanding. “Oh?  Does the Lord wish companionship?  For three rabeni, and one for the innkeep, I could….”

Kreg raised his hands in warding. “No, no.  That’s fine.”

Kaila could no longer restrain her laughter although she tried.  Tears rolled down her cheeks as she half-choked with the effort.

“Well, my Lord.” The barmaid frowned for a moment. “I am sure you would find me more pleasant than this boy thing.” A flip of her hand dismissed Kaila. “Send her, it, on its way and let me be your companion instead.”

Kaila’s laughter vanished.

Shillond broke in. “My friend will have wine.”

A fresh look of understanding crossed the barmaid’s face. “Oh?  Is that the way of it?  My pardon, Lord, if I intruded.  I shall see to your food and drinks.”


$2.99 in Kindle Store, Free to read in Kindle Unlimited, $14.99 in Paperback

Pulled into an alternate world mired in the Middle Ages, Kreg finds allies in Kaila, a rough swordmistress, and her wizardly father. He’s also found their foes – an unending horde pouring forth from the small nation next door.

Now, he’s in a race against time to find the true source of these seemingly numberless forces, before everything he cares about ends in fire and death!

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