QSFer Brad A. Townsend has a new queer fantasy book out in his Order series:
The Master continues his plans to break The Order, inflicting as much pain and turmoil on the lives of Team as possible. New friends and old become embroiled in the fight and are used as tools to try and attain his goals, while a Message from Heaven reveals the secret of destroying their adversary.
Amidst their confrontations, the guys travel to the Valley of the Tree of Life and discover more of their Nephilim Heritage, and secrets that revolve around the mysterious origins of The Master.
The depth and magnitude of their Purpose become more apparent when another of their friends is torn from their lives. As they grow into their Power, and their Hearts and Minds stretch, their ability to love each other and mankind unconditionally grows as well. What they didn’t count on was their ability to feel pain, loss, and suffering would also grow.
Continue the journey of Ken and Brad and their Brothers in arms as they fight The Enemy despite the losses in their lives. Only together, with their Souls One, can they withstand the Darkness and overcome it with their Light.
Brad is giving away ten sets of the first three eBooks in the series – for a chance to win, comment on the post below.
Liz stood up shakily, trying to shrug off the impact of hitting the dome. Her motherly instincts reacted to Drew’s scream, and her vision cleared. Her heart lurched in her chest when she saw him twitching. Instinctively she rushed to his side, and nearly fell over as she passed through the smaller interior dome covering her son. She was inside the ring of rocks with the sigils, and now the outside world was hazy and unclear.
The Eschphene leader knew as soon as Liz crossed the threshold. Because she was Drew’s mother and her right uncontested, she had the ability to pass through the inner protection of the sigils. Henry or Doug could not because they were involved directly as Intercendents. Liz was the only one who could cross as she was the only one who currently had a Binding tie to the boy.
The Eschphene Leader shouted at Liz, and his rocky voice was even further distorted because of the barrier, “If you touch the Stone or your son, you will die! Your mortal body is too frail, and the Magic will consume you!”
Liz heard his words, but she also heard a hint of desperation. He didn’t want her to stop what was happening.
“Fuck you! I don’t believe you, but even if you are telling the truth I’ll die before I let you hurt my baby anymore!”
Brad watched, pushing as fast as he could. As their strength increased, cracks were beginning to appear in the barrier, allowing Roots of the Tree a foothold to dig their way through.
The Eschphene Leader felt their efforts, and he spun to face them. He pushed back, his insanity fueling his Power far beyond normal, and the cracks in the Dome disappeared
As soon as the Stone made its orbit back around and above Drew’s chest, Liz grabbed it with both hands, and the Stone exploded with red magic. Her scream was indiscernible in the ripping sound that followed.
Liz had never felt anything so agonizing in her entire life. Her body vaporized in a flash, ripped apart by the Blood Magic.
Uriel saw his opportunity and took it. It pained him… it pained all of them because they knew what he did. Before Liz’s Soul was obliterated, he snatched it out of Time.
Before Liz could scream from the pain she appeared in front of the four Archangels. She didn’t know what was happening and was terrified.
Uriel’s deep voice was calming as he said, “Do not be afraid, Elizabeth Hastings.”
He held his hands outstretched to her with his palms up in a sign of peace.
“Where am I!? Where’s Drew!?”
“Your son is where you left him.”
She looked Uriel right in the eye as the thought occurred to her… her voice quivered as she asked, “Am I dead?”
Uriel’s eyes were filled with sympathy and compassion as he said quietly, “Yes, you are.”
Liz didn’t know what else to do and collapse on the ground in tears. She sat down hard and lowered her head, out of her depth and not knowing what to do. Raphael knelt beside her and put an arm around her sobbing shoulders.
“Liz… there is no easy way to tell you this. What is happening to Drew will change him forever, and there is no certainty that it will not break him completely. The Eschphene Leader is insane, and he wishes to use Drew for his own ends to kill The Master.”
“But he’s just a little boy. He’s my baby… how can that man, that thing, expect him to do these things?”
“It is within his means to bring Drew to adulthood prematurely. He has no feelings for your son, and even if Drew should accomplish their goals for them, he will be changed and broken forever.”
Liz had an idea who these beings were. She had heard Ken and Brad and the others talking about their ‘grandfathers.’
“Can’t you stop him?”
“We cannot. We are not allowed to interfere or we most assuredly would. The act he commits is reprehensible, and he has broken his own sacred Laws in the fight with Ken. His insanity is driving him further down a dark path. His arrogance was his undoing… he thought he was powerful enough to make a deal with the Dark One and come through unscathed.”
Liz’s throat tightened to the point where she could barely talk.
Michael steeled himself for what he was about to say. He never imagined he would feel so much for a mortal. He was the leader of the Infinite Host, and long ago blocked his ability to feel or care for individuals. However, after his encounter with Ken, those parts of his Heart were open again after eons of being locked away. He used to see them as a liability, and there were times, like in that moment, where he wasn’t sure the ache in his heart was worth it.
“You can save your son Liz, but not without a heavy price.”
Gabriel felt he should be the one to deliver the message. It was his Province to be the bearer tidings to mortals, good and bad, and he wished to spare Michael any further pain.
“You have a choice, Liz. Uriel has your Soul in his keeping and is ready to take you Home. You can be with your loved ones and spend eternity in peace and contentment. If you do, Drew’s fate is uncertain at best. At the least, he will become something unrecognizable to you, and that path will surely lead him to the Dark, and he will not be allowed Home….”
Liz choked when she heard his words. Visions of what Drew would become filled her Mind, and she felt a mother’s fear for her child. She looked at him expectantly, waiting for him to continue.
“… or you can sacrifice yourself to save him.”
Raphael intoned the age-old saying, “A Soul, freely given, a willing sacrifice, has a thousandfold power of one taken.”
Gabriel continued, “If you are willing to Gift your Soul to save your Son, Drew will be protected from the Stone, and it will break the barrier that prevents Ken and the others from getting to Henry and Drew.”
“Will it save Drew?”
“It will save him today… and allow Ken and the others a chance to discover a way to defeat The Master without turning Drew into a monster. You will have to trust Henry and the others to love and care for Drew and make the world right again.”
Two thoughts ran through Liz’s mind. The first was how much she was looking forward to life with Henry. He loved her in a way Doug was never able too. He was a good man, and he was hers, and he was so good with Drew. She was amazed at first how scared Henry was about being a father, but he took to it naturally and he was fantastic with Drew. She trusted Henry to look after her son, and she knew the doctor and the guys would be there for her family.
Her second thought was: Will it hurt?
Uriel’s presence surrounded her, wrapping her up in Warmth and Love.
No Child, it will not hurt. I will be with you until the end, and it will be peaceful. You will simply go to sleep and never wake up.
How could this be happening to her? She was a single mom with a convicted felon for a husband. Her life meant so little, and she was insignificant. It was unthinkable to her that such a decision could come to rest on her shoulders.
Michael remembered Ken’s words in his own confrontation earlier in the year and said, “There are no little people Liz. Everyone has a role to play, and everyone has a choice. We will think nothing less of you if you choose to go Home.”
She didn’t say anything, but they knew when she made her decision. It had been nearly two thousand years since Raphael shed a tear, but his cheeks were wet from this heroic act of a mother to save her child.
Raphael sent a thought to Gabriel.
You will lead the choirs of Heaven in Song for this woman. Her sacrifice will be honored, and all will know of her bravery.
I was born in Barstow, CA in 1963. My father was a career Marine and we moved every few years until he retired. Growing up I was a huge comic book fan, and in my early teens, my mother changed my life when she bought me a copy of The Hobbit. I am now a walking Tolkien encyclopedia! The Lord of the Rings started me on my journey of reading any Sci-Fi/Fantasy books I could get my hands on. Even though my first degree was in Drawing and Painting, my entire career revolved around technology, until the company I worked for finally went out of business. I went back to school to become a Cardiovascular Technologist but decided in the middle of my clinical rotations that wasn’t the job for me. In the midst of my last job and going back to school I started writing. I had dabbled in writing in college but never pursued it. Over the last four years, I started writing and the rest is history.
I do love fantasy, but as a gay man, there isn’t much epic gay fantasy in the market today, so my goal is to fill a bit of that gap. I love long stories, and my first series is just shy of a million words broken up over six books. I wrote a story I would want to read myself and I hope others will wish to read as well.