Daughter of Alchemy

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Hi all,

I finally finished it! Daughter of Alchemy is live and ready for you to enjoy. This title (like all others) is printed with double spacing for the paper back so that people with reading disabilities can enjoy the expierence of Iseult’s world. I invite you to click on the link Daughter of Alchemy to experience the trauma and drama of Iseult’s world for yourself.

Remember to feed an author with a review. Further down this post is a little clue as to what is contained within the covers.

As always Happy Reading!

“He’s yours to do with as you please,” the cold voice invited to the snarls that began to sound.

“You won’t get away with this Bricius Aeilius! The Council will stop you,” Patrik screamed as an iron door swung open.

“The Council is mine, just as you were for all those years. And in due course the power of this world will be mine, “Bricius icily informed as he pulled the door closed with a heavy clang.

The snarling intensified as the werecats closed in on the cell. Patrik looked around the cell as the animals approached and shook his head. “I had my freedom Aeilius. You just didn’t know it. The rest of my powers are not yours for the taking.

“If anyone on the council breaks this pendant, know that iron will cage the beast for eternity.”

Patrik then clutched the amulet on his neck. When the iron bars of his cell opened to admit the snarling cats Patrik firmly shouted, “Ignis!”

Fire encased the cell and the whining of wounded and dying cats sounded throughout the memory. The memory was so vivid that the stench of burning flesh filled the projection room as the memory went dark and the room returned to its normal luminescence.

Cover Concept

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I’ve started cover concepts for my next book. Which still has only a working title of Isis’ Savior. Playing around with other titles at the moment. At any rate I thought I would share the current concept with you. I am also sharing a snippet of the book with you. Feel free to leave any feedback! As always,

Happy Reading!

 

“When Bricius is in the room, the mark on Iseult’s arm will activate the cuneiform of the chair. The minute that happens they need to bolt from those chairs. The rangers will make sure that Iseult and Grandfather are out of those chairs. Once those who helped in sealing Mother Isis in stone are in those chairs, her stone prison will break.
“Bricius helped put Isis in that stone prison, he is the key to freeing her from it.
“For this to work though you are going to have let Iseult feel the pain you are helping her fight,” Haimi finished quietly. ” Haimi explained tiredly.
“Brady I hate to ask, but do you have the fire opal. I don’t want that stench in the house any more than it has to be,” Wilfrid sharply stated before anyone could object.
“I do. It is the brightest one that I possessed. The crown had requested a pendant be made of it, but in the circumstances I think they’ll understand a different usage,” Brady wryly answered as he opened the black pouch.
Wilfrid took the opal gingerly. As Wilfrid closed his eyes, his hand and the opal began to glow.
Eyes around the room began to widen at the almost magical site of fire growing where there was once no sparks.
Selk looked to Iseult and quietly asked, “Will you be able to handle the pain?”
“I will do whatever it takes to free us all,” Iseult answered confidently as she leaned into the iron chair. Tears beginning to form in the corner of her eyes.
Slowly Iseult and Grandfather closed their eyes allowing the fireplace to go out. Wilfrid grasped the opal tightly allowing flames to surround the room, but not engulf it.
The flickering flames were accompanied by Master Evander chanting the writing on the parchment. Wilfrid kept the flames high as the house began to shake. The fireplace began to crack in two admitting a slim leg into the room.

Isis' Savior Concept Cover 2

 

Imprisoned

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Hey all,

For the moment I am taking a slight break from the world of Arthurian Legend. I hope you have enjoyed what I have put out so far. The following is a rough excerpt of the current novel I am working on. The novel is tentatively titled “Isis’ Savior”.

It is about a young woman who is on the brink of mastery in the world of Alchemy. Unfortunately she has been charged with bringing the love of the Mother Goddess Isis back into the world. Sadly there are people out there who don’t want her to accomplish this task. To impede her progress they have taken the one person in the world that means the most to her – her grandfather.

As always feel free to leave feedback.

Happy Reading!

Iseult tossed and turned in her sleep before waking with a gasp. The thin, cotton night gown she wore did nothing to ward of the chill from her terrifying dream. The morning dawn was just beginning to paint the sky with vibrant hues. As she listened to the birdsong in the early morning, Iseult tried to control her breathing. She lay there with matted hair and wild eyes as a bead of crimson trailed out of her nose. As a tear rolled down her cheek Iseult whispered, “No!”

Swiftly she sat up and threw her embroidered blankets off and made her way to the study in bare feet. Upon entering the candelabra cast a golden glow about the room, illuminating the desk in front of her and the stone floor beneath. Paying no mind to the damp stones Iseult flew to the desk.

The minute Iseult sat down she pulled paper and quills to her and began to furiously write down all she knew. Iseult never noticed the candelabra dim or the blood running down her face as she relentlessly made her way through scrawling pages of notes. As she turned one page and then the next blood from her nose fell onto the pages.

While lost in her thoughts, Iseult never noticed as her blood began to form in runes on the paper. Without warning the papers on the desk began to glow. When the glow caught Iseult’s attention her eyes widened and she let out a faint shriek.

The light grabbed Iseult and pulled her towards the paper. Iseult twisted and turned in her struggle to break free of the light. The slippers on her feet left a fuzzy trail as she was dragged towards her desk. Despite her struggling Iseults hand finally made contact with the glowing paper.

When the light subsided Iseult looked around her only to find that she was in a dingy stone cell with a fire on the wall for light. The walls around her were covered with mold and in the distance Iseult could hear the moans of people in trouble.

Before she could get her bearings a male voice said, “Well, if it isn’t a tainted Kleopatra.”

Iseult whipped her head left and right before settling in on the growing image in front of her.

With an obstinate set to her chin, Iseult rose to her feet and declared, “I am not tainted. My honor is as clear as yours.”

The mysterious voice chuckled darkly from the shadows that surrounded him.

“I’m not tainted. My honor is as clean as yours,” she stated forcefully once more.

“I doubt that, little Kleopatra. My blood is clean,” the man said snidely. His mention of blood had Iseult raising her hand to her face in an attempt to wipe it clean.

After that insinuation the man stepped into the light Iseult saw sallow skin full of angry pockmarks and thick jet-black hair with a silver stripe down the center. His pale lips were set in a disdainful frown. His eyes a frosty blue. All in all the sight of this man caused Iseult to give an involuntary shudder.

With a smug sigh the man continued, “You disappoint me, young Kleopatra.”

Taking a calming breath Iseult replied, “How so?”

With a slight quirk to his thin lips the man replied, “Your reaction to my presence is the same as everyone else’s. Revulsion.

“Sadly that is a response I’m used to receiving from my guests.”

“Are all your guests behind bars,” Iseult asked smartly.

“Touché, young Kleopatra.”

Iseult gave her host a sour smile for the acknowledgement before asking, “Might I have the name of my host?”

The sallow skinned man looked at her intently before answering, “I see the spawn of the Stone Goddess taught you manners. My name, young Kleopatra, is Bricius Aielius. You may call me Bryce.” Throughout his introduction Bryce never raised his voice above a cold whisper.

“You know more than you should, Mr. Aielius. Perhaps you could see your way to returning my grandfather,” Iseult insisted calmly.

“The key to breaking the valued and vaunted Isis Charm,” Bryce insisted in a cold whisper.

“My grandfather,” Iseult demanded, her voice getting ever so slightly harder.

“I wouldn’t worry about him. He’s safe,” a sharp female voice assured from the darkness.

That voice, with its nails-on-chalkboard quality, caused Iseult to become as pallid as a ghostly moon. She knew that voice and there was no way in the nine pits of hell that she could be here. She couldn’t be in bed with this family.

“Gwendolyn,” Iseult shakily muttered as her eyebrows extended to her hair line.

“Yes, child. Now what is the key,” Gwendolyn demanded as she stepped into the light. Her red hair glittered like a thousand rubies on fire. Her lips were painted a garish shade of red that they looked as though they were bleeding. Those tainted lips were set to a cruel parody of a smile that no one could mistake for warmth. Her lilac colored eyes were as cold and dead as Iseult had ever seen.

“How could you? He’s your father,” Iseult cried.

“The old man means about as much to me as you do. Now how do I break the charm,” Gwendolyn almost shrieked at the child she had given birth to.

“I don’t know. I didn’t design or brew it,” Iseult stated boldly.

“The key for your grandfather,” Bryce taunted.

“Give me my grandfather,” Iseult demanded.

“The key,” Gwendolyn demanded harshly.

Iseult stuck her chin out and stared straight ahead as she intoned, “I cannot give you what I do not have. Now give me my grandfather,” Iseult forcefully demanded.

“Perhaps you should think about it,” Bryce coolly informed. With that he motioned for Gwendolyn to follow him.

When Iseult could no longer hear the breathing of another soul she tumbled to the floor in exhaustion. As the cell she was in cooled off Iseult began to shiver. Drawing her thing gown closer Iseult began to mutter to herself as she surveyed the damp cell she had ended up in.

The stone beneath her bare feet was cold and sharp; the bars of the cell were made of hard iron. There was no window to provide air in the little cell. Wall sconces surrounded the outside of the cell. The fires that glowed from within them provided no warmth.

Seeing no way out of her cell, Iseult began to think on her predicament. There had to be a way out, this much she was certain of. The shrieking creak of a rusty hinge bought Iseult out of her thoughts.

Wildly she began to look around the room. Unfortunately the darkness outside of the torch light was impenetrable. The scent however was not. Cinnamon and saffron wafted heavily through the air.

Iseult knew better than to start a conversation with her newest visitor while they were in a room by themselves. That was fine to do on a crowded street, not in a prison cell where other alchemists had ways of listening in that science could only dream of.

With her back to the cell bars Iseult looked to the ceiling of the stone prison. As it she concentrated on it Iseult found it to be exceedingly odd. It looked as though it were the night sky and yet there was no moon.

Taking a shaky breath, Iseult uttered, “Where in the name of all that is holy am I?” She was not expecting an answer.

“They can’t hear or see me. You, on the other hand, are fair game. Listen and listen well. This place is like nowhere you’ve ever been. It is as old as the ancient world. Unfortunately, it is extremely hostile to any that consider religion a safe haven. This place is basically Primordial Chaos embodied.

“The only ones that are safe here are those that relish chaotic darkness. An exceedingly pale man rules this place and his heart is as black as they come. The old man isn’t worth it, save yourself. Everything is here,” Aldman finished in a hoarse whisper.

Within seconds the smell of cinnamon and saffron dissipated leaving Iseult alone once more. Taking heart at the strange warning, Iseult began to pace her cell. Scrutinizing the floor and bars of her cell Iseult saw nothing but a bare room. This cell made Selk’s sitting room look lavishly furnished!

Before she could pace another length in her cell, Iseult heard creaking hinges. “I don’t have what you want,” Iseult declared to the shadows.

“Are you sure about that,” Bryce asked as he stood just outside the light of the cell.

“Positive,” Iseult firmly declared.

“Such a pity,” Bryce murmured as he dropped a heavy package just out of Iseult’s reach.

When the package hit the ground it rolled into the light. One end of the package was dripping a bright red color. The other end had a wrinkled hand with a very familiar ring on it.

Iseult shook as tears leaked from her violet eyes. “What have you done,” she asked in trembling tones.

A New Library…

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Here’s a rough draft section of Isis’ Savior for you to read. Methinks that something isn’t quite right for our intrepid heroine. Happy Reading!

“Selk, how fast can you get me to the Library?”

With a heavy sigh Selk frowned. Her delicate brows drooped low as she sorrowfully replied, “Regrettably that is a place no longer accessible to you sister.”

The stars had more color in them than Iseult’s skin upon hearing this. Before darkness could claim her once more Iseult faintly demanded, “What?”

Gravely Selk explained, “Once they cursed Mother to that statue the Children of Mars developed a blood elixir that denies Her children the privilege the Great Library. The blood in out veins will literally boil us alive. I don’t know about you but that is not my mug of beer,” Selk finished ironically.

Iseult shook as she shrunk back in the bed. As her violet eyes filled with tears Iseult muttered, “I need to get there. The Library is the only place I know of with access to notes from times past. Those notes are the only thing that could possibly save Master Evander and the detective. Not to mention my grandfather. With luck they might have something to help Mother Isis.

“I need all the notes they have,” Iseult finished shrilly.

Selk cocked her head and reached a hand out to comfort Iseult. “There may be another option.

“What do you mean? There is no other Library available to alchemists,” Iseult desperately chittered.

“Not exactly,” Selk began, “If Seshat is amenable to your quest, she might be let you into her Library.

“As a child of Mother Isis, Thoth’s Wisdom is available to you,” Selk assured.

The thought of such august revered writings caused Iseult’s eyes to widen and her jaw to drop. “That’s real? We only thought it a myth,” she gasped.

“What are you talking about,” the detective impatiently interjected.

The look of outrage on Selk’s face caused the ghost of a smile to appear on Iseult’s thin lips.

Purple eyes glittering once more, Iseult explained, “Every culture in history – from the ancient Assyrians to Timbuktu and Rome – had both physical and mythical libraries for alchemists.

“Thoth’s Wisdom is rumored to be where the God Thoth recorded all his thoughts and wisdom.

“It is said that one of his wives, Seshat, is the guardian of those papyri. Seshat is also the goddess of writing,” Iseult finished knowledgably.

With a frown Detective Otokar snidely asked, “Do you people follow the scientific world at all?”

Selk flared her cold green eyes as she snapped, “For you information detective, alchemy is the precursor to your modern chemistry. Just because you can’t read the language or understand the concepts, doesn’t make Alchemy illogical.

“To practiced alchemists such as myself and Iseult, an alchemical formula is as easy as reading a newspaper,” Selk finished tartly.

For a single moment clarity seemed to shine through the detective’s eyes. It was that moment that Selk saw what Iseult knew. “Our aunt Seshat may help,” Selk quietly informed Iseult.

“How do I get there,” Iseult demanded.

“That’s the tricky part,” Selk gravely replied.

“Tricky,” Iseult whispered as her heart turned her stomach into a pit of butterflies.

A Stone Twist

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For your enjoyment I have something slightly different for you. This is from further along in Isis’ Savior. Mind you I didn’t see this twist in the making but what are you supposed to do when the charachters have their own ideas. When these people decide to tell me what makes their world tick I will, of course, inform you. Just know that when a goddess trapped in stone decides to adopt you, things probably aren’t going to go your way. As always keep in mind this is just the rough draft and several revisions are probably in the works. At any rate,  Happy Reading!

Iseult woke to the feeling of coolness. She opened her eyes and found herself to be lying on white linen sheets in a room that seemed to glow. The breeze from the open window explained the temperature, and the shining moon with its pitted craters was behind the glow. Looking around the room Iseult saw Selk sleeping in the bamboo chair next to her. At the doorframe across the room the detective stood watching protectively.

Iseult tried to slowly push herself up only to tumble back down. With a frown on her face Iseult raised first one hand and then another. When Iseult saw her right hand she let out a gasp. No longer did she have the dreaded mark of Mars on her arm. Instead there was something almost worse.

From the elbow of her right arm to her fingertips were imbedded the darkest of amethysts. Before she could raise a fuss Selk woke from her sleeping position and urgently whispered, “Easy now Sister. You are seeing only the protection of our Mother,” her normally cold voice was soft and empathetic.

“What did you do to me,” Iseult fearfully demanded.

“The elixir that I gave you was a variant of an ancient adoption charm. It involved my own blood, and was meant to allow me to help in keeping your grandfather from pain.

“Sadly I didn’t take into account that my own blood isn’t completely mortal. It appears that Mother has chosen to protect you from the pain of Mars and adopt you as her own child. Mother has seemingly taken your word to help and has decided to aid you in the only way she currently can. She has chosen to give me a sister after all these long years.

“While I did not foresee this consequence it is not one I am displeased with,” Selk calmly explained.

“Adoption,” Iseult hoarsely croaked.

And So It Begins

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Here is a sneek peek at something new I am working on. So far the working title for this is ISIS’ SAVIOR. This is the second draft, I have posted a rougher version of this before so you may have seen it once but remember, it will go through a few revisions before publication. As Always, Happy Reading and feel free to leave feedback!

Sunlight filtered through the stained glass image of Isis in the window causing a colorful rainbow to splay across the vapors rising from an iron cauldron. The deep look of love in the kohl lined eyes of Isis caused the yellows and oranges in the window to provide a warm glow in the dimly lit room. In the shadow of the stained glass goddess stood a fiery haired woman examining the amber colored contents of the cauldron. The rising condensation from the cauldron clung to the ornate red and gold, star shaped pendant at her neck. As she muttered to herself tiny, fiery curls bobbed in the breeze created by the boiling liquid.

A knock on the doorframe caused the flame haired woman to jump as she looked up revealing vivid violet eyes.

“Sorry to disturb you Miss Iseult, but your grandfather wants to see you.”

Iseult smiled brightly and warmly replied, “No problems Penny. I was just working on an experiment. Why don’t you come on in while I take this off the fire?”

Penny shook her head and replied, “No thanks Miss Iseult. I try to stay out of yours and your grandfather’s labs when elixirs are being brewed. Isis only knows what will happen when elixirs are mixed,” Penny finished warily.

Iseult chuckled lightly before replying, “Technically it’s not experimental. This elixir hasn’t been attempted in a hundred and twenty years, it’s only out of practice.”

Penny rolled her eyes and exclaimed, “If it’s that old, Isis knows it’s experimental. Why has no one brewed it?”

Iseult shifted her feet before answering, “Because the last time it was attempted the brewer couldn’t handle the results.” Iseult finished with her violet eyes staring intently at the amber elixir before her.

Penny let out a breath before asking, “Who and Why?”

Without looking up Iseult answered, “I am attempting the Elixir of Youth. References say it allows a person to see through the eyes of a future descendant. If brewed incorrectly it becomes a slow acting poison that drives the drinker insane.

“The Elixir doesn’t always show you something positive either. If a person can’t handle what they see the consequences can be catastrophic. Such was the case with Jacinda Feldson.

“She never told anyone what she saw, but in the end she committed a horrific string of grisly murders across London,” Iseult explained.

Penny looked quizzical for a moment before saying, “I don’t remember that one in history class.”

Iseult raised an eyebrow and stated, “Jack the Ripper.”

Penny’s dark eyebrows rose to meet her hairline before dryly commenting, “You alchemists get all the good bits of history. Isis knows all we were ever taught were dry, boring facts that I still haven’t used.

“Why would you brew that and is it safe for you to stamp out the fire? I don’t want any noxious fumes in this lab.”

Iseult quirked her thin lips and nodded as she answered, “Simply to see if I can. As it stands I’m at the cooling point now. According to the research I should be able to let it stabilize in the cauldron for twenty hours before the next step.” As she finished Iseult slowly reached down to extinguish her fire. Quickly walking over to the counter Iseult picked up a heavy iron lid and covered her elixir so she could see what her grandfather wanted.

Iseult and Penny made their way from the third story of the old house to the ground floor and out to the greenhouse. Neither noticed the glowing eyes of Isis follow them out the door.

It took the pair ten minutes to reach the greenhouse and when they did Penny bid Iseult a fair day. Iseult smiled at Penny before turning and opening the door to the glass encased room.

Iseult took in a deep breath as she strode past shrubs and vines that gave the air an almost sweet quality. The air in the greenhouse was enough to give Iseult a lightheaded feeling – the amount of fresh oxygen in this room was staggering.  Iseult smiled at the purity and diversity of life in this greenhouse.

Purity was the first tenet of Alchemy that the Goddess Isis set forth. Purity was followed by life. Life begat matter and matter begat life. In this way the circle continued. Iseult carefully made her way around the mosaic stepping stones until she could see her grandfather’s white hair at the bistro table. This had always been a special place for the two of them. Ever since Iseult was little they had come here for peace and celebration. When life became too complicated this was their sanctuary.

As Iseult moved closer to the little table she noticed that there was another person present. From this vantage point Iseult could tell that it was a man with hair that seemed to match hers. The closer she got, the more Iseult could pick out features of the man, such as his broad shoulders and deep baritone. Iseult also noted that he was dressed in a vibrant blue top that matched his black slacks. Slacks that were barely visible from underneath the table.

When she was barely a foot away from the table Iseult asked, “You wanted to see me, Grandfather?” Iseult’s melodic voice caused the seated man to jump.

The wrinkles in the old man’s face broke out into a wide grin and his vivid blue eyes sparkled like the sun. “Yes, my child, I did. It seems that your mother has been up to her usual nasty games again,” Grandfather finished sagely.  All the while the broad smile never left his face.

Iseult groaned as she walked around and plopped down into the other chair. “Now what has Gwendolyn done?”

The red haired man chuckled at the amount of sarcasm in Iseult’s voice. Grandfather just rolled his twinkling blue eyes as he responded, “She contacted your father. He is the man sitting across from you.

“Brady Dara meet your daughter, Iseult. Iseult this is your father, Brady Dara, jeweler to the crown,” Grandfather finished whimsically.

At the mention of father, Iseult’s dark violet eyes widened to cover the top half of her face. “Really,” Iseult softly exclaimed.

“Have I ever lied to you before child,” Grandfather as wryly.

Iseult shook her head as Brady smiled at her. After letting the news sink in for a moment Brady explained, “She never told me about you, but with that hair it’s plain as day that you are mine. I realize that you are old enough not to need me, but if you and your grandfather allow, I would like to be a part of your life,” he finished calmly.

“Just her hair? Isis! You ought to see the colors she tends to wear,” Grandfather interjected causing Brady and Iseult to chuckle lightly. It was true that Iseult tended to wear the deepest tones she could find. For instance today she was wearing an emerald green blouse and a pair of blue jeans.

Worry flashed through Iseult’s purple eyes as she glanced at her grandfather who merely nodded at her. Calmly Iseult asked, “My studies don’t concern you?”

Brady looked at his newly discovered daughter and explained, “When your mother and I were together she introduced me to your Grandfather and his beliefs. While I don’t pretend to understand those beliefs and practices I do find them fascinating. Just don’t go blowing anything up on me,” Brady finished wryly.

With an indignant look on her pretty face Iseult insisted, “I haven’t blown anything up in ages.” Hearty laughter followed this statement.

As the trio settled down Penny brought them soup and sandwiches for lunch. “Thank you Penny,” Iseult intoned politely as Penny walked away silently.

Brady looked curiously at Iseult as he asked, “Why do you call your mother by her given name?”

Sadness haunted Iseults violet eyes as she explained, “Isis knows that you have asked the most difficult question first but, Gwendolyn absolutely hates me. The minute she had me, Gwendolyn abandoned me. She left me in the hospital where Grandfather found me.

“The last time I saw her I was five and Gwendolyn fussed about how I was nothing and she never wanted to see me again. Three days after that Grandfather received court papers telling him that Gwendolyn signed off all parental rights to me. Those papers also granted him full legal custody.

“Isis teaches us that a mother isn’t supposed to be cold, callous, and spiteful. The title of mother should be honored and respected. One thing I don’t have for that woman is respect so why should I call her by a title that, by rights, should be respected,” Iseult finished woefully.

Brady nodded his head in understanding as they continued with their lunch.