Books, Books and More Books!!

Books, Books and More Books!!
Publications from Taki Drake

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

First Badger Hole Bar Story on Wenebojo!

I am very excited that my first BHB story has released on Wenebojo. The storytelling site is ramping up to provide an inclusive platform for people of varying abilities. I love the optional closed captioning, adjustable colors for the visually challenged, and ADORE the fact that one license lets 4 people watch and listen to the stories of their choice at the same time.

More of my stories will be moved up over the next few months, hopefully including my Unfettered Mage and Standard of Honor series. If there is one you really want to have available, please let me know!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday Snippet Time - Next book in the Badger Hole Bar series - Wedding Fashion - Snippet 01

If it is Sunday, then you need to see pieces of what I have been working on! Just in case you think I am being lazy...

This snippet is from the next Badger Hole Bar book, another book about the Clothier with Kris Endicott. The book is titled Wedding Fashion.

Here is a short snippet for you! Hope you enjoy it!
-------------------- BHB WF Snippet 01 --------------------
Genevieve stood in the middle of her studio, surrounded by her assistants. A vibration and hum in the air resonated in her bones and made it impossible for her to stay still for any length of time. The Clothier wasn’t sure if her tension was in response to the ball of swirling colors that hung in the air in front of her or because everyone in the studio shared that sense of tightened nerves and pent-up energy.

Over her bond with Doucet, the woman could feel a level of gleeful excitement that was something new from her typically contained partner. His emotions were so strong that even her assistants could read them.

“Ooh, what is it?” eagerly asked Yoko, the silk pincushion. Her two back folded-fabric petals were tilted up off the cutting table a little. All of her pins stood halfway out. The ends of the pins looked almost like extended eyeballs, arranged in a fan. It was as if Yoko had eager spectators trying to see whatever was going to occur.

“Doucet, come on. You’re killing us with the suspense,” Genevieve said in an affectionate tone. “Tell us what the surprise is.”

The magical building had been hinting all week about an experiment he’d been trying based on an image plucked from Genevieve’s memories. Doucet’s constant teasing had pushed her to the limit, and finally, today, she had threatened him with not allowing further access to her memories if he didn’t share his results.

That restriction was not something that Doucet wanted to occur. In particular, the memories of comic books his Anchor had recently shared were very intriguing. In his long existence, they were a unique art form and offered him a sizeable creative scope to exercise in his chosen media.

Knowing he had pushed Genevieve as far as he could without her retaliating, the BHB Clothier Shop gave into his Anchor. Genevieve felt Doucet chuckled through their mental link, and the ball of magic in the middle of the studio began to rise and expand. Amid the misty swirling colors, a dancing fountain of water rose from the floor, ebbing and flowing as skirling notes emerged.

<< Are you ready? >> Doucet asked in her mind.

Genevieve put her hands on her hips in annoyance and glanced around at her four companions, who were nearly as agitated by anticipation as she. “He asks if we’re ready,” Genevieve told them in disbelief.

Gingher raised up, his blades open menacingly. “Doucet, I swear, if you do not get on with the show, I will cut to shreds that painted velvet image of dogs playing poker that you love so much.”

Yoko and Henri were silent. The pincushion had already made her opinions known. From his position around Genevieve’s neck, the French tape measure patiently waited. He knew there was probably more drama coming, but he saw no reason to add to it right now. Isaac, the old Singer sewing machine, was just as impatient as the Clothier. With a roar of his gears, he added his voice to the demand, “Torturing us does no good! You are acting like a child!”

A flash of apology slipped over the bond to his Anchor while Doucet pushed a strong force through the ball of light and into the floor of the studio.

On the heels of that force, the fountain of water split into two plumes of the pocket universe’s living water dancing and twisting around each other in a joyous display. Faster and faster, they swirled. Colors from the lighted mist around them balanced and shaped the water as the pillars grew in size. The liquid suddenly exploded as if it had hit something of substance, hidden from the spectators’ view.

The water flew everywhere. It could have soaked everything, but the liquid evaporated before impacting any surface or fabric. The suddenness of the explosion had everyone scrambling to get out of the way. The lack of wetness quickly stopped their reactions and made them feel both foolish and furious.

A general outcry happened, and Doucet murmured, << I’m sorry! >> over and over again. When the furor died down, Genevieve demanded, “What were you thinking? That could have been a disaster!”

<< In all your memories, this type of unveiling was accompanied by the teasing for days ahead of time and for something dramatic when you finally saw your gift. I just wanted to give you something that would match those special times. >>

<< What special times? >>

<< Your birthday, of course! This is your present, and according to your memories, everyone is supposed to tease you about what you’re going to get and then stage some dramatic show. >>

Just then, all of the living water vanished, and the last of the brightly colored mist disappeared. Where the whole showy spectacle had been, there now stood a bolt of black fabric laying flat. About a yard of the cloth was unwrapped from the rest and lay draped across the studio floor.

The completion of the extravagant light show was an abrupt shock to the senses. It felt to the Clothier like a boisterous party had just left the room, leaving a profound silence. The dark, somber color of the textile lying on the floor pulled everyone’s eyes. There was no sparkle or shine to the fabric, a deep cavern of shadow made physical.

The Clothier stood motionless, stunned in surprise, and for once wordless. She felt shocked to her core, with waves of hot and cold sliding over her skin and rapid changes. Genevieve could sense the concern from Doucet over their bond, but the stunned woman was incapable of any response.

Henri’s voice was raised, sounding shocked and trembling a little bit. “Madam! Why did we not know that it was your birthday? Are we not your assistants? Never would we have insulted you by forgetting to celebrate a milestone in your life. Please forgive us!”

Isaac immediately started his motor and began to sing a common song of celebration. He was quickly joined by Yoko and Gingher. Genevieve didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The only thing at the top of her mind was pent-up emotion.
-------------------- BHB WF Snippet 01 end --------------------

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

UnFamiliar Pathways Snippet 04

Here is the other Sunday Snippet that I forgot to post! Sorry about that, but was very busy writing. This snippet is from the next book in the Familiar Magic series, UnFamiliar Pathways. I plan on publishing this book sometime in the next few weeks, but I wanted to give you some idea of how it was shaping up!

Remember that this is unedited!
----------------------FAMM UFP Snippet 04 ----------------------------
Numbly, the men wandered around the pitted streets, unable to take in the enormity of the disaster that had occurred. Blackened timbers and crushed walls defaced every building that was even partially standing. The smell of old smoke clogged their nostrils and made them choke on the contaminated air they were forced to breathe.

At one point, a plume of ash had risen in the air, and the entire group of men had charged over in the hope that someone or something was still alive. Smashing their way through the debris that had fallen over the doorway, they arrived wide-eyed and adrenaline-powered only to find that a weakened beam had finally collapsed, raising a small cloud of the fine ash that filled the room.

One of the men had tripped, catching himself against the carcass of what had been a cabinet. Looking down to see what he had stepped on, the man collapsed to his knees sobbing as he tried to gather the bones of the small skeleton that he had disturbed. Two of his teammates helped him to rise, their own faces riven with grief.

The three of them carried their tiny burden out into the shattered square with the contaminated fountain. There the mercenaries laid the remains of another one of their friends and family at the end of the heartbreaking line of corpses and skeletons.

Motioning the men to join him by one of the vehicles they had used to return home, Peotr Tesorov rubbed his face fiercely, as if he could scrub his own tear tracks from not only his skin but his soul. Looking around at the twenty shocked and grieving faces of his men, the Mercenary Witch Commander said, “There is no sign of conventional weapons being used in the destruction of Brasilov. As far as we can tell, the carnage here was done with magic.”

“At least your father, Mayor Nikolai, fought back. The half-melted grenade launcher was fused to his bones. Most of the others were helpless,” growled Boris, Peotr’s second-in-command.

“Rolan and I found this close by the group of skeletons in the desecrated church,” offered Kasimir in an angry, deadened tone. His hand noticeably shaking, the ordinarily phlegmatic mercenary handed Peotr an object wrapped in shielding cloth. The commander raised his eyebrows at the atypical treatment but trusting his men, he laid the bundled item down and carefully unwrapped it, using the tip of his dagger.

As the last layer of concealment slid off the item, Peotr drew back suddenly with a horrified expression on his face and his gasp ripping a biting line through his chest. Staring as if he could not believe what he was seeing, the man cried out, “Blood Mages! No wonder the village had no protection, no way to fight back. My father may have deliberately fought so that they had to kill him. At least, they did not get to torture him to death.”

Boris crowded in and covered the malevolent-looking amulet once again. His eyes met Peotr’s and their gaze clung for a moment as a conversation only possible between old friends occurred. Taking a deep breath, the commander turned to his men and said, “It is possible that moving the amulet has notified the Blood Mages that we are here. We need to do what we can for the remains of our loved ones. Unfortunately, we also need to leave as soon as possible. There is no point in adding to the power that they derived from the pain and suffering the Blood Mages caused here.”
------------------End FAMM UFP Snippet 04 -------------------------

Monday, February 24, 2020

Social Combat Snippet 02!

Here is another snippet from the next book in the Unfettered Mage series, Social Combat. Remember that this is unedited!!

The book is coming along well and we expect to publish next week!

----------------------------TUFM SC Snippet 02 ---------------------------------

Twisting and turning, the stingship attempted to cut through the trough among the buildings of the city, using the civilian infrastructure as a shield as it fled to the North. Undeterred, one of the assault shuttles peeled off in pursuit while the other one slid over on the far side of the two armored vehicles that were preventing forward movement along the street.

The remaining shuttle dropped down to less than a hundred feet above the ground, maintaining a position a hundred yards to the east of the hostile armored cars. The people in the room with Ruth were cheering as long slender ropes or cables slipped down from both sides of the shuttle, and the figures of AMF Marines in full battle armor slid rapidly down to the ground.

Quickly forming up into fire teams, a Marine with a broad portable barricade shield was walking point while behind him came two other Marines. One of each of the pairs held a heavy mobile energy weapon, while the other carried one of the new projectile weapons that Ruth had purchased for her forces.

As soon its mobile units were dropped, the shuttle rose up higher in the air and brought its forward weapons into play.

Someone in the crowd yelled, “Those idiots do not even know that anyone is there! Apparently, their pilot does not know how to use a radio.”

Ruth looked at the display, trying to see what they were talking about and finally realized that the enemies that had been advancing from either side of the street toward her trapped men had no warning of what was about to happen. A vicious snarl appeared on the Mage’s face as she hoped the next few moments would show some payback.

Just then, the AMF assault shuttle fired its forward weapons. To Ruth’s surprise, the shuttle pilot targeted the center of the jointed transport that was blocking the rear Borachland vehicle. Dazzling in intense colors of gold and red, the hungry beams lashed out, carving huge holes in the massive armored conveyance that the hijackers had brought to bear. Fires surged up in reflective fury, as the armor fractured and melted.

The splash of the energy incinerated the closest attackers. These had been repeatedly firing into the rear of the pinned transport. The speed of their disappearance was almost more than Ruth could comprehend. One second there were eight men firing weapons that were chewing through the back of the Borachland vehicle, and the next, there were only ashes blowing in the wind.

------------------------End TUFM SC Snippet 02 ---------------------------------