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Announcement: Agate – Then and Now, by MD Grimm

AgateQSFer MD Grimm has a new Fantasy book out:

Time travel. For mages, it violates their number one rule: what the Mother has written, let no one unwrite. The Mother writes the destinies of the creatures on the world of Karishian. If her writings were undone, it is feared that Creation itself could be undone. The Dark Mage Morgorth takes this rule to heart, but there are others who do not.

Morgorth is about to claim a stone of power when it is stolen from him by a female mage he hasn’t seen in decades. As they struggle for the stone, she activates it, and Morgorth is unwillingly plunged into another time and another place. It isn’t long before he realizes what time he’s found himself in and there are a few familiar faces.

Most notable is a much younger version of Aishe. His mate.

Living with a tribe who will be massacred, caring for a young lad who will become his mate, and fighting a battle against a mage who can travel from past to future at a whim; Morgorth’s life has never been easy but now he must contend with the will of the Mother. Unable to change the future and the tragedies of Aishe’s life, he must decide what his role in his mate’s past will be, and ask himself one vital question: how does one defeat time?


Excerpt

I stood in the middle of the field, my arms at my sides, my stance wide. Warriors with swords, spears, bows, and axes, stood around in a circle. I swallowed hard and focused on not harming any of them too severely. I still needed them in good health to use them for bait. A standoff grew between us. Who would make the first move? The tension grew as all eyes rested on us, the anticipation hanging in the air, thick as a cloud. I waited. They waited. Then I saw a flicker of glances around the ones in front. They communicated with glances and movements of the hand. Good. I doubted Drasyln would notice that. She was rather rash in battle.

As one, the warriors in front surged toward me with battle cries. I waited for them to reach a certain distance, then I lifted my hands and drew magick from the air, before channeling it and sending it out to those about to pounce. The wind caught some, sending them tumbling to the ground. I didn’t hold back much, only enough to make sure the strength of my wind didn’t collapse any chests or break any bones. Some warriors managed to turn the fall into a controlled roll and they landed in a crouch. The ones who hit the ground hard still managed to gain their feet again.

I could see I’d surprised them but they never hesitated. The second wave came, along with those who had recovered from the first. I sent out a wall of fire to encircle me but many had quick reflexes and simply leapt over it. They came at me and I crouched, drew the earth magick, and the ground gave a mighty lurch. It trembled and groaned as it jutted up, knocking many on their backs. Some still managed to either flip or climb over the wall. I sent the ground like a wave backward, knocking many more off their feet.

They kept coming. I had to give these soldiers credit; they certainly had a lot of energy and skill. They moved swiftly, nimbly, and I was impressed. But it still wouldn’t help them. I was done taking it easy.

I used more earth magick and with a murmured word, the trees began to move. Their branches tried to attack the dialens, who hacked at them with their blades. Then I cracked the earth once more, sending some down into the crevice. But I didn’t close the earth, I didn’t want to kill any of them. I needn’t have been too worried; none of them was down for long. They climbed up from the cracks just as I sent the earth rumbling again. But this time, I made the ground under my feet jut upward, sending me several feet into the air.
One bold dialen easily ran up the side of the earth structure and then used his momentum to leap into the air, bringing an axe down at my face. I directed a gust of wind with a hissed word to send him flying over me. Then I crouched as a hail of arrows fell upon me. I brought up my force shield, deflecting them easily.

These dialens were good: skilled technique, nice teamwork, but it wouldn’t be good enough. Drasyln would kill them. I had to stop hesitating and aim to kill, to show them. I brought the hill I stood on shooting downward, the impact shaking the ground and many of the spectators fell. Adrenaline pumped through me and I vaguely realized I was barely winded. My magick sang through my veins and the use of elemental magick certainly kept exhaustion at bay, but not for long. Even I had a mortal body with weaknesses just like these creatures. I sent blades of force shooting at the archers. Some ducked, some took slices across their shoulders or legs. I was holding Breyln’s entire army at bay and I knew he’d think twice before ordering them against Drasyln.

Fire was the next element I used. It had always come easily for me. I sent a fireball at several dialens, but I made sure I barely missed them. Even with their skills, they wouldn’t have survived had I actually been aiming at them. And they knew it. I could see the realization in their eyes. Then I turned and used wind again. A large group of dialens flew through the air and actually crashed into a group of spectators: the ones who hadn’t followed my instructions about backing up.

I drew moisture from the air and my own sweat to form small ice spikes. I flicked them at one warrior who tried to dodge to my blind side and come up from behind. The spikes imbedded themselves in his skin and he leapt away with a cry of pain. The battle was becoming more ferocious and I half wondered if Breyln would call a stop to it.
Pure force came next. I used it to shove another large group of dialens off their feet, but to also hold them down, like a net. I pumped enough energy into it to make it last before turning to the last group, who scattered.

Then something completely unexpected happened.

Someone, somehow, got under my guard and leapt onto my back. An arm came around my neck. Cries from the crowd had grown louder as the battle intensified but now the crowd was nearly roaring; with bloodlust, excitement, fear, I wasn’t sure. But the roars deafened me.

I hissed a word and fire erupted over my entire body. Fire that burned. I heard a scream and whoever was on my back fell off. In a battle frenzy, I spun around, ready to teach the bold dialen a lesson. But as my flaming fist shot out, my mind quickly took in my opponent. A gangly youth lay on the ground, his green eyes wide with pain, fear, his hair and clothes slightly singed from my fire. His skin was pink as well where the fire had touched him.

Aishe?


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Author Bio

M.D. Grimm lives in the wet state of Oregon, and when she isn’t reading, writing, or watching movies, she dreams of owning a pet dragon. She wanted to become an author since second grade and feels that dream is finally coming true. She was fortunate to have supporting parents who never said to “get your head out of the clouds.” While she doesn’t like to write in only one set genre, Grimm feels romance is at the core of most of her stories. M.D. earned a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Oregon (go Ducks!) and hopes to put that degree to good use in the literature world as well as the “real” world.

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