QSFer M.D. Grimm has a new MM fantasy book out:
Every story has more than one point of view.
As the mate to the dark mage Morgorth, Aishe has learned a lot about magick, love, and himself. He tries to find a home with Morgorth, to be accepted into his world; to survive in a world full of magick, treachery, and deception. But all the while he struggles to keep a secret about his past and their intertwined destinies. Despite all the obstacles thrown at both of them, Aishe is determined to stay by Morgorth’s side, no matter what the future brings—even if that future turns dark with death should Morgorth embrace his grim destiny.
But when Morgorth leaves with his mentor to collect another stone of power, Aishe is left behind. It is then a surprise attack comes and Aishe, determined to protect and defend his new home, decides to take the invaders on by himself. It might prove too much for him to handle…especially when he learns the one who leads the invaders is a mage.
This book allows us a glimpse inside the mind of Lord Morgorth’s better half, a dialen named Aishe: his motivations, his personal sorrows, and his struggle to find a place to call home.
The Stones of Power Book 3 – Revised Second Edition
I realized then it was midday. I’d been watching Morgorth train the entire morning.
“What are we going to do?” Morgorth asked.
“I call it ‘remote shielding,’” Master Ulezander answered. I frowned. I wondered what that meant.
Without warning, Master Ulezander flung a small fireball at me. I was so stunned I only managed to shove myself off the stump to the ground, but my legs didn’t seem to be working. I couldn’t move. I should’ve known I was in no danger from Master Ulezander—it was instinct that moved me, but I dare anyone to stay still when a large ferocious blue fireball comes charging at them. I should’ve remembered, however, I had my own personal guardian. Morgorth now stood in front of me, his shield up once more and his right hand cupped, a glowing green ball floating above his palm.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Morgorth roared. Master Ulezander looked…amused.
My heart pounding, my legs shaking, I managed to stay standing. I gulped in air and touched Morgorth’s shoulder to find it as stiff as stone but quivering with rage and possibly fear. Oddly, though, I could still appreciate his use of the word “fuck.” It was one of my favorite words brought over from Earth. It was so versatile, could be used in almost any occasion. And when Morgorth said it…there was something arousing about that word said in his fierce voice.
“That is exactly what I don’t want you to do, my student,” Master Ulezander said, his eyebrow raised. “In a battle will you really be able to lose your position to save your mate and still hope to win?”
“I’ll do whatever it takes to keep him safe,” Morgorth said immediately, his voice taking on a sharp edge.
While I warmed inside at his words and it made me want to stand tall with pride, I knew Master Ulezander’s point. It was because of Morgorth’s devotion to me that Master Ulezander was using me. While I hated to be used as bait, I also hated I was a liability for my mate in a fight. From experience, I knew just how much Morgorth would risk to keep me safe. He would protect me against anything, anytime, anywhere. He would use his own body as a block against a magickal attack. His focus was always my safety, and that had to change. That was another reason I watched Morgorth train. I needed to know more about what mages could do, and what we might find ourselves up against in a battle. Knowledge was power. I needed to learn everything I could to keep myself safe, which would in turn keep Morgorth safe.
I was a warrior. I hated feeling helpless.
“Good,” Master Ulezander said with a slight smile. “Then you’ll take this lesson to heart. There is a way to shield your mate and keep your position in battle. Would you like to learn?”
Morgorth lowered his shield, and the green ball of light disappeared. My hand still lay on his shoulder, and while it was still stiff, he was no longer shaking. My heart mellowed, and my legs calmed. I could do this. I could cooperate.
“Over there.” Master Ulezander pointed to where Morgorth originally stood.
Morgorth glanced at me, and his expression said it all: Trust us. Forgive me.
I gave him a look I hoped said: Don’t kill me.
Morgorth winked. He walked to the other side of Master Ulezander, and I tried not to run.
“It’s the same process as creating a shield for yourself,” Master Ulezander explained.
Morgorth’s eyes were intent on his mentor, and I admired his dedicated focus. “But instead of protecting yourself, you project it away from you, to the one you wish to protect.”
Morgorth frowned. “I can’t have it freestanding in front of him.”
“It won’t be freestanding. It will still be tethered to you by force. Do you understand?”
I didn’t, but I could see Morgorth nod and widen his stance. I learned early in my own training that good archery and sword craft demanded a solid stance allowing a warrior to handle any blow that came his way. I was glad Master Ulezander focused on that with Morgorth. Despite whatever skill a warrior might have in battle, if he had a weak stance, he would lose.
Once more, without warning, Master Ulezander flung a fireball at me. I nearly ran, I was nearly turning to do just that, but I fought it. I fought the survival instinct ingrained inside me and put my trust in Morgorth. He would never let me come to harm. But my bravery only stretched so far. I closed my eyes and hunched my shoulders, bracing for impact. I felt the heat of the fire as it approached me. Sweat formed and ran down the sides of my face. But that was all I felt. A snap of energy flickered in front of me, and I cracked my eyes open just a little. A translucent shield hovered right in front of me and bent over my head, effectively protecting me. The fire tried to devour it, but had no luck and soon disappeared, since nothing sustained it. I gaped. I looked at Morgorth. He had his left hand flung out to me, and his right was held in a position that threatened force if he was provoked.
Master Ulezander nodded. “Good, good. For a first attempt, that was impressive.”
Suddenly, as if Morgorth held the shield with an invisible pole, he swung it through the air, away from me, and smashed the shield into Master Ulezander. Caught off guard, the powerful mage flew through the air with a cry of shock, and his impact with the earth was hard, spraying up dirt and snow. He rolled a little way before lying still.
My mouth opened wider. Did Morgorth just…to his mentor?
Morgorth was suddenly beside me, and he gripped my arm. “I’m sure he thought that was impressive as well.” He turned toward Vorgoroth and pulled me along behind him. “Come on, I’m hungry.”
M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!).
Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!). After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier.
Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.