Heroika I: Dragon Eaters is finger lickin’ good!

A little over a year ago I was contacted by Janet Morris, grand dame of heroic fantasy fiction, to participate in an anthology she was putting together. I usually don’t contribute to other anthologies because 1). I contribute to my own anthologies and, 2). I’ve been very lazy about submitting stories to publications since I am a publisher. But the fact that Janet Morris was asking me had me a third of the way there. The next impetus to submit was that a few of my writing friends were submitting as well, such as Joe Bonadonna and Seth Lindberg. The last bit of information sealed the deal. We were to write about dragon eating. What? I said. Janet repeated her statement. Each story had to contain dragon eating. We were essentially turning the tables. Instead of dragons eating heroes, our heroes would eat the dragons!

I was in. The project was kept secret during development which drove me crazy. I’m terrible at keeping story ideas secret, but since it wasn’t my project I had to abide by the rules. The process was exciting and enjoyable with the writers sharing dragon recipes and snippets of their stories. I immediately came up with an idea that I felt would be unique. I placed my story in my world of Ki Khanga and created a new character per the requirements of the anthology. My story ‘Wawindaji Joka (The Dragon Hunters), tells the tale of the unique dragons of Ki Khanga and the people who hunt and eat them. For more details, you’ll have to read the book. 🙂

Heroika I Dragon Eaters was released in May; I was finally able to read it this month. I must say that it was well worth the wait. Every story in this anthology is great with each taking a unique perspective on dragon hunting, fighting and eating. The stories cover all forms of heroic fantasy, ancient, medevial, modern, alternate, and future history. My favorite story (besides my own) is Red Rain by William Hiles. It takes place during the Civil War, and it’s a dark, emotional and riveting story that I could easily see on the movie screen. There’s something for everyone in this collection, and it’s a must have for anyone even remotely interested in heroic fiction. I’m proud to be among the writers in this book, one that I feel will become a heroic fantasy classic collection.

To get your copy of Dragon Eaters, just click or copy and post the link. You’re welcome. 🙂

http://www.amazon.com/HEROIKA-DRAGON-EATERS-Janet-Morris-ebook/dp/B00VFVCQRS

The Full Circle: Part Eight (Nandi of the nKu)

Nandi soared from the interior, quickly reaching the jagged mountains that formed the islands steep perimeter. To her relief the beaches and docks were clear of ships, which meant there was still time. Her relief was quickly tempered by the sight before her only a few miles from the shore. A massive fleet sailed toward the island, the likes of which she’d never seen. They flew no sails to catch the wind. Instead large columns rose from the decks belching gray smoke that trailed behind them for miles. They moved with great speed, their sharp bows slicing the waves like swords. She was about to swoop down for a closer look where a booming sound from ahead caught her attention. She looked up, a large metal ball hurdled toward her, a lit fuse spinning with the ball’s rotation. Nandi barely avoided the metal ball, but what happened next was totally unexpected. The metal ball exploded, peppering her with hot metal pieces. Her staff fell from her hands and she fell after it, barely conscious. He plummet slowed just before she crashed into the waves, but not enough to spare her. She blacked out, floating atop the waves with Aisha’s grace,
“Wake up, Nandi,” Aisha urged. “Wake up!”
It wasn’t until a strong calloused hands gripped her did she stir.
“Look what we have here,” she heard one man say.
“A fallen angel.”
“She’s a lovely one, too.” Another man said.
“Watch your words and your hands,” the other man said. “Olagun Tade said bring her to him unharmed other than the damage already done. I don’t know about you, but I don’t relish being skinned alive and fed to sharks.”
Nandi was fully conscious by the time the men lifted her into the boat but decided to act otherwise. She would play this out and see where it would lead. She needed one more item to help her.
Her staff floated to the boat on her command.
“What’s this?” one of the men said.
“A piece of wood,” the other replied. “I think she was holding it before she was shot.”
“Let’s bring it with us. There may be a reward in this as well.”
The men rowed their boat to the lead ship. They carried Nandi up the ropes then lay her on the deck. A crowd gathered around her. They were just men, but she felt the presence of one who had some nyama about him.
“You can stop your act,” the man said. “I am not the fool my men are.”
Nandi opened her eyes then stood. The men stepped away, all except a broad, muscular man with a bearded brown face and brooding eyes. He smiled then bowed slightly.
“Olagun Tade,” she said.
“Nandi of the Chiuku,” he replied.
Nandi was startled he knew here, but she did well hiding it.
“I hope you have seen what you wish to see,” he said.
“I have,” she replied.
“I think this is yours.” Olagun Tade picked up her staff then offered it to her.
Nandi took it the grinned.
“No, I’m not fool,” he said. “I’m well aware of what you can do with your amulet. I know you think it connects you with the spirits and your gods. I don’t believe in such things.”
“Then you are a fool,” Nandi said.
Olagun laughed. “I could kill you now, but there would be no honor in it. Go back to your people. Prepare yourselves the best you can. We will reach shore in two days. With our vehicles we should make the journey through the mountain tunnels in two weeks. Savor the moments. They will be your last.”
Nandi didn’t reply. There was something in his voice that unnerved her. He believed what he said because he was capable of it.
She scanned the deck once more then rose into the sky.
“Farewell, Nandi of the Chiuku,” Tade called out. “I hope you and your people die bravely.”
Nandi flew back to the nKu. Her journey was to strengthen her resolve but it did just the opposite. As much as she didn’t want to believe it, her people might not survive this fight.

Nandi soared from the interior, quickly reaching the jagged mountains that formed the islands steep perimeter. To her relief the beaches and docks were clear of ships, which meant there was still time. Her relief was quickly tempered by the sight before her only a few miles from the shore. A massive fleet sailed toward the island, the likes of which she’d never seen. They flew no sails to catch the wind. Instead large columns rose from the decks belching gray smoke that trailed behind them for miles. They moved with great speed, their sharp bows slicing the waves like swords. She was about to swoop down for a closer look where a booming sound from ahead caught her attention. She looked up, a large metal ball hurdled toward her, a lit fuse spinning with the ball’s rotation. Nandi barely avoided the metal ball, but what happened next was totally unexpected. The metal ball exploded, peppering her with hot metal pieces. Her staff fell from her hands and she fell after it, barely conscious. He plummet slowed just before she crashed into the waves, but not enough to spare her. She blacked out, floating atop the waves with Aisha’s grace,”Wake up, Nandi,” Aisha urged. “Wake up!”It wasn’t until a strong calloused hands gripped her did she stir.”Look what we have here,” she heard one man say.”A fallen angel.””She’s a lovely one, too.” Another man said.”Watch your words and your hands,” the other man said. “Olagun Tade said bring her to him unharmed other than the damage already done. I don’t know about you, but I don’t relish being skinned alive and fed to sharks.”Nandi was fully conscious by the time the men lifted her into the boat but decided to act otherwise. She would play this out and see where it would lead. She needed one more item to help her.Her staff floated to the boat on her command.”What’s this?” one of the men said.”A piece of wood,” the other replied. “I think she was holding it before she was shot.””Let’s bring it with us. There may be a reward in this as well.”The men rowed their boat to the lead ship. They carried Nandi up the ropes then lay her on the deck. A crowd gathered around her. They were just men, but she felt the presence of one who had some nyama about him.”You can stop your act,” the man said. “I am not the fool my men are.”Nandi opened her eyes then stood. The men stepped away, all except a broad, muscular man with a bearded brown face and brooding eyes. He smiled then bowed slightly.”Olagun Tade,” she said.”Nandi of the Chiuku,” he replied.Nandi was startled he knew here, but she did well hiding it.”I hope you have seen what you wish to see,” he said.”I have,” she replied. “I think this is yours.” Olagun Tade picked up her staff then offered it to her.Nandi took it the grinned.”No, I’m not fool,” he said. “I’m well aware of what you can do with your amulet. I know you think it connects you with the spirits and your gods. I don’t believe in such things.””Then you are a fool,” Nandi said. Olagun laughed. “I could kill you now, but there would be no honor in it. Go back to your people. Prepare yourselves the best you can. We will reach shore in two days. With our vehicles we should make the journey through the mountain tunnels in two weeks. Savor the moments. They will be your last.”Nandi didn’t reply. There was something in his voice that unnerved her. He believed what he said because he was capable of it.She scanned the deck once more then rose into the sky.”Farewell, Nandi of the Chiuku,” Tade called out. “I hope you and your people die bravely.”Nandi flew back to the nKu. Her journey was to strengthen her resolve but it did just the opposite. As much as she didn’t want to believe it, her people might not survive this fight.