Tag Archives: adventure

The Golden Lands, Episode 1

EPISODE 1: BLOOD AND SHADOW

Cover TGL
Image by Clare S

PROTAGONIST: JOHN HEDEKIRA

I am walking through the forest, back towards our house, carrying with me four rabbits in a bag that I use for hunting.  It has been a good day; all that’s left to do is to cook and share my kills with my brother and sister.  I sigh.  My siblings receive what I give them with such indifference.  “Maybe I should leave them,” I think grumpily, “maybe then they’ll understand.”

I shake my head, trying to push away my resentful attitude.  I may not know them, but I do love my siblings.  That’s what I tell myself; it’s what my parents always said.  That was before they disappeared.

I come to a halt as I near the edge of the woods.  I look at our home; small and cold, it is made entirely of oaken planks.  I grew up here.  However, ever since my parents disappeared, my own house has seemed so foreign to me.  Maybe it’s because of them, because of how they act…or don’t act.  My brother and sister are like shadows; they move to and fro as the sun makes its course, yet they do not speak, they do not show expression, they have no depth of character.  And I can’t understand why.

The light is fading.  I shiver, though it is not cold, and prepare to do what I have done every day since our parents disappeared: walk into our home with my gatherings, look into my siblings’ pale, empty faces, and slip into the dull, lonely silence as they cook and devour whatever I brought them.  I always let them eat however much they want, forgetting myself.  But they have never noticed my kindness.  I laugh with a note of hysteria, and the light seems to fade a bit more; they have always ignored my kindness!  In my mind, like a little flame flaring to life, a sense of anger and disgust sets in.

I walk through our back door, stepping into the small sitting room that is merged with our kitchen.  Heavy shadows blanket the entire room, save for certain areas that are touched by the golden beams of the setting sun, which enter through the two open windows set on either side of our front door.  The smell of the oaken boards, the feeling of warmth from the dying fire in one end of the room, is so familiar to me.  My brother, Frater, and my sister, Soror, look up from where they are playing on the floor with toys my parents made them.  Our eyes meet for a moment, and I see their faces.  Their faces, their expressions, are so pale and lifeless, no matter what I give them my siblings always refuse to react.  I feel a twinge of bitterness as they look away, once again disregarding me.  I don’t even get a greeting.  I frown.

They are so useless, I think angrily.  They choose to be the embodiment of depression, not even caring to rise from their own worthlessness.  I have to do everything for them.  But they could care less.  They choose to ignore life.  They are selfish and disgraceful.

For so long I have been convinced that I love them, but now I don’t know.  I am finished with their detached nature.  “Hello,” I say in a cold voice, trying to elicit a reaction from them.

They don’t even look up from their toys.  It’s as if they are deaf.  I clench my fist.  I have done everything an older brother should do.  Why won’t they answer me?

I kneel down next to Soror and shake her shoulders, trying to be gentle, but my anger gets the best of me, and it probably feels more like a shove.  “Soror,” I say, “I told you to have put in more wood for the fire before I got home.  Why didn’t you?”

Soror shrugs, not even looking at me.  She is fitting a doll of hers into a dress.  I grunt with annoyance and throw some wood onto the fire, too hard, for ashes and embers fly out of the hearth.  I see Soror flinch; some of the ashes landed on her arm.  She makes a sound of discomfort and pain and quickly brushes the ashes off.

“Maybe if you did what I said, that wouldn’t have happened,” I sneer.

As I finish speaking, Frater gets up and walks over to my hunting bag.  I think he is eight and Soror is twelve, but I can’t even remember.  He looks so young though.  After inspecting the rabbits, he walks back and begins playing again.

I sigh and begin unpacking my kills.  As I do, I say, “Soror, get a pot from the kitchen.”

She has never ignored a command from me before while I am standing in front of her.  She doesn’t move.

I bite my lip and clench my hands, so hard they turn white.  I am done.  “You know what?” I raise my voice.  They perk their heads up, and for what seems the longest time in a while, our eyes meet.  “If you don’t care, then none of us will eat.  If you want to sit and despair for no reason in the middle of the floor, then fine.  I won’t care for you anymore.”

I walk into my room and slam the door, falling into my bed with a huff of anger.  I lay there, my eyes narrowed with anger, seething with emotions that I have repressed for such a long time.  For fifteen minutes, I remain on my bed.

Then I hear Soror crying.  I roll my eyes; what has she done now?  I step outside my room, only to find that she has tried to begin skinning one of the rabbits I caught, and she is horribly failing—

Wastefully failing.

I briskly walk towards her.  “What are you doing?” I say sternly.

Then I know why she is crying.  She has cut her hand with the knife she is using, and she is crying loudly.

Too loudly.

“Shut up!” I shout at her.  “Look what you’ve done to the meat.  Don’t you care at all that I worked hard to catch those?”

I snatch the rabbits from her.  She cries more, holding up her hurt hand, blood running off her fingers.

I clench my teeth; even after I’ve berated her, she can’t even mumble an apology?  I take the knife too and crouch down in front of her.  “Maybe I should give you another cut!” I hiss.

She shrieks, shying away from the knife.  I stand and point it at her again.  “You are nothing but a worthless, lazy dog!  You do nothing but eat our food, the food I get, and you just get in the way!  You act like you’re not even human; you act like you’re dead.  And I wish you were dead!”

And with that, I walk into my bedroom and shut the door, locking my siblings out of my life.  I’m done with them…forever.

Or so I thought.  I didn’t hear their cries, so high-pitched and unearthly, maybe because I was focusing on my angry thoughts, or Soror’s weeping, which I silently enjoyed.  When I did hear them, a sound so foreign to me, I didn’t react; it could have been a strange bird, an owl, an animal in pain, but it wasn’t.

I notice that Soror has stopped crying, and everything has grown utterly silent.  I perk my head up.

A loud, terrifying scream sounds just outside our house, and an instant later I hear the front door get broken down.  Soror and Frater begin screaming with panic and horror, and immediately I rush for the only decent weapon I own; the sword standing upright in the corner of my room.

With a surge of speed, I burst out of my room.  They already have my siblings.  Without hesitation, I stab one of the intruders in front of me, and I acknowledge what I just killed.  It is a horrifying beast, black as the shadows in the room, standing like a man, but with horrible teeth and eyes, a grotesque face, and a large, muscular body.  The room is filled with them.  I immediately know what they are.  They are Evil.

They begin dragging Soror and Frater out of the house.  I cry out to my siblings, raising my sword, but I am blocked by a horde of the beasts.  The darkness is so thick around me, so dark I’ve never seen anything like it, as though the darkness is a black wall connecting the beasts, emanating from their skin.  The way they move makes my head swim, like they keep multiplying and then vanishing into the darkness.  I charge them, and two of them step out to meet me.  One after another, I cut both of them down.  I hear my siblings scream from outside, and I raise my head to look for them beyond our demolished front door.  I see them with their arms outstretched for me, and then all of a sudden I feel pain erupt in my stomach and I gasp.

Time freezes for a moment, and then I grunt with alarm again, looking down at the blade sticking into my body.  The blade retracts, and I release a quivering breath.  I fall to the ground on my side, watching as my blood pools beneath me, warm against my side.  As I lay there,—sharp, burning pain running through me—I look up, seeing outside in the fading light of day a distinct figure: a beast with long, matted hair, and a red cape.  Every Evil returns to his side, swarming about him.  And I know he is their leader.

Then they leave.  Their cries sound for long, pain-filled moments after, and then they fade into silence.  And all that’s left behind is blood and shadow.


TO BE CONTINUED…

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In case any of y’all forgot…

I’m so thankful for all the support my fellow bloggers/readers have shown.  Check out what they’ve been saying about my first book!

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“This is a well-paced story with compelling main characters and plenty of action.” (Fan, four star review) (Smashwords.com)

“Lots of action and interesting philosophy on good versus evil, with a nice set of mysteries. The battle scenes are well-described., and am looking forward to further stories.” (Author Christy Nicholas, four star review) (Smashwords.com)

“This is a great fast-paced, action-packed adventure story. I kinda wish the fight with the dragon lasted a little longer though.” (Fan, four star review) (Smashwords.com)

“After I read the prologue on the author’s blog, I knew I had to read the rest of the book, so as soon as I heard that it was published, I got it. I was not disappointed.

John Hedekira and Faith Pinck are both realistic characters with depth, and the story is fast-paced and exciting.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a action-packed adventure story. I can’t wait to read the next one!” (Fan, five star review) (Smashwords.com)

This is an intense action/fiction. The book is well written. The characters, landscape, and especially fight scenes are artfully described by the author. The plot is extremely fast-paced. This was hard to get used to at first, but I have a feeling that the length of the whole series will make up for any trace of a rushed plot in each volume. Despite the fast-pace of the story, the author seems very determined to slowly develop his characters, which, coupled with the awesome action really makes for a good story. I would recommend this short novel to anyone, especially people who enjoy fantasy, anime, or manga.” (Fan, four star review) (Amazon.com)

“This book was one of the best books I ever read! Everything was clear and easy to read. I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves action and adventure.” (Fan, five star review) (Amazon.com)

Click here to read a book review of Volume 1 at Thoughts and Theories

Interested in downloading a copy?  Volume 1 is free!  Feel free to click the picture of Volume 1 in the sidebar or just click here.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!


Stay awesome!

Dom

Well Hello :)

I know I haven’t really posted anything in a while.  It’s been a rather busy time, of course.  I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and shopped responsibly on Black Friday.

Things have been pretty busy for me, as far as the book series goes, and my own personal life.  I’m preparing to undergo surgery on Wednesday (I tore my ACL playing football [prayers are not suggested, although they are recommended :P]), and I also have rehab every day.  I actually could work on The Golden Lands while I do my rehab (which is basically just some simple stretching), but the exercises are too distracting, and my writing tends to lack very much emotion.

So I’ve been reading!  If anyone wants a nice, long fantasy novel to read, check out Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson.  A friend recommended it to me…and dang.  I mean dang.  It’s a great series.  And it keeps me in good, fictional company during my periods of rehab.

mistborn

What’s going on now that the first arc of The Golden Lands is finished?   Well, revisions are being made to the presiding book covers, as promised, and I’m looking for literary agents for Volume 1.  I’m also writing Soul Bleeder, a behind-the-scenes novella set in the world of The Golden Lands.  And Volume 5 is also being written (just finished the first chapter yesterday!).

ALSO…although I’m not going to tell you what it is, my sister and I are working on creating something else for The Golden Lands…something very special.  It’s sort of a surprise…but just to get you excited, here’s a little teaser:

coming soon

Yes, that’s John, the main-character.  This is a screen shot from the program I use to color all of our pictures.  I believe this will be the most epic piece of artwork that Clare and I have created…I can’t wait for you to see it!

So that is what’s up with me!

Stay awesome!

Dominic

Last Chance to Get Volume 4 for Free!

Just another reminder that the sale on Volume 4, as well as Volumes 2 and 3, will be ending TOMORROW!

You can download Volume 4 for free here or as a Nook Book, at iBooks, or Kobo.  On Kindle, it’s 99 cents.


What’s Volume 4 about?  Here’s a summary:

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PLOT SUMMARY

The Golden Lands, one of the three worlds of Terra, is supposed to be a place of peace, light, and happiness. But the Golden Lands hasn’t exactly been such a place for John Hedekira, a jaded, hot-headed teenager.
John, Faith, and Bernard have come farther than they ever thought possible. They’ve persevered through every struggle, every personal trial, and every foe that has come their way. Now the final battle has arrived. Allying with the people of Castrum Fortress, John and his friends must storm the city of Howaito Maki and defeat the three Evil captains…or every prisoner of the Evil will die.

GENRE

General Fantasy/Action/Emotional/Anime

EXCERPT

We come to a halt, stopping right beneath the wall which rises high above us.  Thunderousbooms sound in the distance, and we can vaguely hear the clashing of weapons and the screams of pain.  “So the fighting has already started,” says one of the scouts with us.

“That’s our diversion,” states Ashida.  “Let’s make the most of it.”

A long rope dangles from where we fastened it at the summit of the wall.  It’s our only way up and into the city.  I raise my eyes to the top of the rope, and I feel my heart beat faster.  I don’t know why, but the top of this rope…it’s like the threshold—the threshold of destiny.  Once I climb this rope, I’ll be in the city.  I’ll be on the final part of my journey.  I’ll be on the doorstep of rescuing my siblings.

My siblings…

This is the final endeavor.  I feel like I’ve known everything that would happen up until now.  I’ve never been surprised truly.  There hasn’t been as much mystery as I feel there is now.  Nothing about the future is clear anymore.  Nothing is black and white.  Because, from here…

—I look at the sky, the clouds, the dullness and gloom that fills this region—

…everything is gray.

I cast a worried glance at Faith and Bernard, and I can’t help but feel closer to them at this moment.  “Listen,” I say, “whatever happens, I want you both to know that you’ve been great; you’ve been my best friends.  I know we’ve been through a lot, and a big part of that is my fault, but—”

“John,” Bernard cuts me off, “it’s okay.  Stop acting like we’re going to die when we get in there.   We can do this.”  He smiles reassuringly at me, as does Faith.  “Come on,” Bernard says, stepping towards the rope, “let’s go get your brother and sister.”


So, what if you don’t know the original plot of The Golden Lands?

Click here to read the prologue of Volume 1: Shadows in the Sunlight.


Stay awesome!

Dominic

 

 

Sale on All Books Will END WEDNESDAY

Both Volumes 1 and 4 have been free for a long time now, and Volumes 2 and 3 have been discounted during that time as well.  However, I believe it’s time to announce that the sale will be officially ending on Wednesday the 25th.

Thus, now is your LAST CHANCE to download Volume 4 for free.  Volume 4, due to it’s length, will cost $2.99, and Volumes 2 and 3 will go back to being $2.00.  Volume 1, as always, will remain free.

Right now, the series, as a whole, costs $1.98 (0+$0.99+$0.99+0).  You cannot ask for a better deal.

My eBooks are available at barnesandnoble.com as Nook Books, on iBooks, Kobo, and here at Smashwords.com.

The Golden Lands has gotten some great reviews so far.  Why not find out for yourself why people are talking?


For those of you that aren’t familiar with the story, here’s a plot summary for The Golden Lands, Volume 1: Shadows in the Sunlight:

The Golden Lands, one of the three worlds of Terra, is supposed to be a place of peace, light, and happiness. But the Golden Lands hasn’t exactly been such a place for John Hedekira, a jaded, hot-headed teenager. His parents disappear when he is thirteen, and he’s left to look after his younger sister and brother. One evening, John decides that he has had it with the distant, self-pitiful dispositions of his siblings, and resolves to shut them out of his life for good…or so he thinks.

That same evening, a band of warriors of a dark race invade his home, kidnapping John’s siblings…and leaving him to bleed out on the floor of his own house. But John is not undone so easily. Compelled by his own hatred of the warriors that left him to die, and a sense of duty towards his siblings, John sets out on a quest for vengeance. Joining him is Faith Pinck, a caring, innocent girl who doesn’t yet understand the true motives behind John’s desire to track the evil band of warriors.
And in the midst of their adventures as they journey to rescue John’s siblings, they begin to uncover a deeper, darker plot that will endeavor to collide the world of humanity with the world of an unholy, malicious, supernatural being.


 

I hope you love what you read!  Thank you for all of your support.  I couldn’t do this without you.

Aul/Dominic

 

The Golden Lands, Volume 1, is a Novella Acclaimed by Fans

PRAISE FOR THE GOLDEN LANDS, VOLUME 1: SHADOWS IN THE SUNLIGHT

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“This is a well-paced story with compelling main characters and plenty of action.” (Fan, four star review) (Smashwords.com)

“Lots of action and interesting philosophy on good versus evil, with a nice set of mysteries. The battle scenes are well-described., and am looking forward to further stories.” (Author Christy Nicholas, four star review) (Smashwords.com)

“This is a great fast-paced, action-packed adventure story. I kinda wish the fight with the dragon lasted a little longer though.” (Fan, four star review) (Smashwords.com)

“After I read the prologue on the author’s blog, I knew I had to read the rest of the book, so as soon as I heard that it was published, I got it. I was not disappointed.

John Hedekira and Faith Pinck are both realistic characters with depth, and the story is fast-paced and exciting.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a action-packed adventure story. I can’t wait to read the next one!” (Fan, five star review) (Smashwords.com)

This is an intense action/fiction. The book is well written. The characters, landscape, and especially fight scenes are artfully described by the author. The plot is extremely fast-paced. This was hard to get used to at first, but I have a feeling that the length of the whole series will make up for any trace of a rushed plot in each volume. Despite the fast-pace of the story, the author seems very determined to slowly develop his characters, which, coupled with the awesome action really makes for a good story. I would recommend this short novel to anyone, especially people who enjoy fantasy, anime, or manga.” (Fan, four star review) (Amazon.com)

“This book was one of the best books I ever read! Everything was clear and easy to read. I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves action and adventure.” (Fan, five star review) (Amazon.com)

Interested in downloading a copy?  Volume 1 is free!  Feel free to click the picture of Volume 1 in the sidebar or just click here.  Volume 1 is also free on iBooks, Kobo, or as a Nook Book!  I promise you won’t be disappointed!

ALSO: Volume 4 is still free, and the discount for Volumes 2 and 3 continues!  Click here to check them out!


Stay awesome!

Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

The Metamorphosis of Volume 3’s Cover

Well, I said it would be happening.  In light of finishing the first story arc of The Golden Lands, lots of renovations are being made in order to improve my series as a whole!  With Volume 4 having been finished, there is cause for some celebration…and part of that includes making sure that Volume 3 got a cover it deserved.

Here’s what Volume 3 USED to look like:

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A little vague, a little obscure…perhaps a little unprofessional.

And here’s what it looks like now!!!!!!

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For those of you that are die-hard TGL fans, can you guess who that is???

RIGHT!  It’s Bernard!  As of yet, Clare and I haven’t drawn a picture of the third-main-character.  But here he is.  I have to say, Clare did a wonderful job with the outline for Bernard, working him out basically from scratch.  And I think he might even be…unfortunately…more attractive than John!  (Get it?  John is supposed to be me!)

Tell me what you think!!

Stay awesome,

Dominic

(P.S. my mega-sale still continues!  Volume 1 (click here) is free, as is Volume 4 (click here).  Also,  Volumes 2 (click here) and 3 (click here) have been lowered to $0.99 from $2.00).  DON’T MISS OUT!