Books, Books and More Books!!

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

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Last Snippet for UnFamiliar Pathways! Publishing this week!

It is Sunday and time for another snippet! I am working on several books right now, but the one on the last chapters is the next book in the Familiar Magic series, titled UnFamiliar Pathways.

I hope you enjoy this small preview of the story. I will continue to post snippets up each Sunday as I can. The feedback, suggestions, and other comments I get are much appreciated!

Remember!! This is not edited and may be altered before publication. And luckily that publication is coming soon!

-------------------<<< Snippet 11 FAMM UPW >>>-----------------------

Khan Oktai’s mental voice answered her thought, saying, << Probably for the same reason that very few people have heard of Familiars that are raptors. This world does not have much of a place for our kind any longer. >>

<< I do not understand how that can be true. Everywhere I look right now, the Familiars are helpful. And looking back at my life, I can see where the Witches I know would all have benefited and been thrilled to have someone closer than a friend and intertwined in their Magic, >> Chimeg answered.

<< The situation is made worse by the lack of qualified Russian Witches. Since Familiars will not bond with any Magic user that has slipped over into the darker uses of their Gift, and many Magic-user lines have lost the means or knowledge of maintaining their own honor and ethics. There simply are not many Witches or Mages left in this world that can bond with a Familiar. >> With that one last comment, the massive Black Eagle sprang into the air and headed out on his planned sentry sweep.

Chimeg knew that this was his periodic check to see what lay ahead of them, as well as a double check to detect any long-range pursuit that might have started. The young party leader felt more comfortable knowing that the big Familiar had taken responsibility for this aspect of their safety. However, she believed this subject needed to be reopened again, and soon. An amorphous sense of pressure and dread told her that it was important to continue the discussion, and any delay would be dangerous.

Muttering to herself, the young Journeyman started to think about the force that was driving her, realizing in a flash of insight that they needed to get to their goal quickly. At first unsure of why, Chimeg cast her mind around, trying to perceive the source of the warning. The young woman only had a split second of warning before a vision crashed into her, swamping her senses. A swirl of partially seen images surrounded her as she was pulled down deep inside the River of Time with only enough time to issue one incoherent mental alert as the familiar wrenching feeling of a Timedive overtook her.

Spinning and twisting in the familiar, but still frightening waters of the River of Time that ran through all aspects of time and choice, Chimeg concentrated on maintaining her sense of self. She knew from her training that without a clear boundary, a Seer would quickly be lost in the illness that inevitably killed all of their kind. Dochin had taught her well, so her practiced discipline kept her from fragmenting as the Timedive dipped her into the chaos of the River.

Focusing on sensory input that anchored her to the current reality surrounding her physical body, the young woman replayed the feelings of how her body stretched and moved during her ride, as well as the pungent smell of her horse and the sound of the Eagle Familiar’s takeoff. With these landmarks to help her, Chimeg managed to center herself well enough to take in the images that flashed with importance as they slid in front of her spectral vision.

Scattered among the fragmented glimpses of unconnected events, the young Seer managed to grab many of the fragments that glowed with the unique light she had learned to recognize as indicators of importance. Now bombarded with those pictures that she had saved, the Seer felt bruised and pummeled.

Chimeg dug deep inside of her core, mining her spirit and her strength of will to successfully navigate the minefield that she had ingested. Holding on with determination, and fighting the weakness of her body and doubts in her own ability, the young Journeyman fought the barrage to a standstill. Clutched into her insubstantial hands were a small number of unmoving images that would provide her guidance and clues on what lay ahead.

Her spirit body shook with exhaustion, and Chimeg could feel her heart stuttering and the rasping of breath in distant lungs. Frantically, she pieced the stabilized images together until, with a sudden flash of intense light and a loud snap of sound, the partially-seen images coalesced into a coherent message.

Feeling like she had been stabbed to the heart, Chimeg screamed at the top of her immaterial lungs, “We have to be there in three days! How are we going to make that distance?”

As soon as the tortured words ripped out of her throat and exploded into the strange atmosphere, Chimeg felt two large hands reach up from within the ground and grab her ankles, beginning to pull her down. Twisting and turning, the young Seer fought against an enemy that she had never encountered before. Frightened but unwilling to even divert one erg of energy or sliver of attention from where she was fighting for survival, Chimeg screamed, “Help Me!”

As the massive hands yanked her forcibly into the dirt, the young Seer felt a smashing entry of someone that she knew intuitively was her ally. Large arms swooped around her and brought her to cradle against a massive chest. A rumbling voice in her mind said, << I have you! >> before the exhausted Seer began to slip into the cushioning embrace of exhausted sleep.

Just as she lost consciousness, Chimeg’s body thrummed with the sound of a massive snarl. Comforted, rather than terrified by the reverberation, the young Seer’s fading senses brought her a powerful voice, roaring, “You shall not have her! She is mine, and I am hers!”

-------------------<<< End Snippet 11 FAMM UPW >>>-----------------------

Monday, June 22, 2020

Another Snippet for the Familiar Magic Series - Book is Almost Done!

It is Sunday and time for another snippet! I am working on several books right now, one of which is the next book in the Familiar Magic series, titled UnFamiliar Pathways.

I hope you enjoy this small preview of the story. I will continue to post snippets up each Sunday as I can. The feedback, suggestions, and other comments I get are much appreciated!

This book is almost finished with only a few chapters to go. Hopefully, in the next week, it will be published and I can turn my focus to finishing the next Vorcian book! Wish me luck!!

Remember!! This is not edited and may be altered before publication. And luckily that publication is coming soon!

-------------------<<< Snippet 10 FAMM UPW >>>-----------------------

Conveying the information to those that had no mindspeak, Chimeg and Gan Gerel turned back to the Eagle as Ganhsuk asked urgently, “What are they trying to protect from? Is it Blood Mages?”

The big avian huge beak one more time, and said, << Blood Mages would be easier. I could see some of the Tibetan Temple dogs in the back of the wagons, guarding the children, while a whole group of Tibetan mastiffs prowled around the perimeter. All of these I have seen at the Familiar Trials, so I am going to assume that they are also Familiar lines that have decided to emigrate. >>

Exchanging glances, Geriel and Chimeg both looked stunned. Almost whispering, the Healer asked her companion, “What are we going to do with them?”

The Seer shrugged her shoulders and said, “Dochin set out a call to Familiars. I would expect that is who responded. If they are Familiars, we can have a reasonable discussion and figure things out as a group.”

Geriel raised her voice, panic underlying it, and screeching, “How can you be so calm? It sounds like removing a whole horse herd and almost a zoo!”

First Chimeg and then Batsorig started to laugh. Pretty soon, all of the humans were laughing until tears ran down their faces. Struggling to stop, the Seer said, “I realize that is not what we planned, but that is what we have. I am sure that Dochin did not make a mistake when she called.”

The great Black Eagle ruffled his feathers and remarked, << I hope that viewpoint will survive the fact that there is a whole group of Bankhar dogs, and that is one of the things that the horses are trying to guard against! >>

Almost afraid to ask the question, Chimeg queried their scout << What else did you see? >>

<< I saw movement in the woods and brush, but could not get a clear view of the animals that skulked there. All I know is that most of them are larger than the typical cat Familiar. >> stated Kahn Oktai.

Murmuring aloud, Chimeg looked over at the warrior woman and stated, “I think this is very interesting. I cannot think of a large cat that has the capability of being a Familiar. Can you?”

A totally unknown voice pounced into the conversation, << Yes, we are all Familiar lines. The Blood Mages have been preying on our kittens, and the call from the old Seer fell on receptive ears. Three lines decided to come with you. Will you honor Dochin’s promise? >>

Immediately, Chimeg responded, << Of course. As my mistress promised, you are welcome to come with us. >>

Appearing as if they had sprung out of the ground were three different large cats. One looked like an extremely large house cat with a dense fur. Chimeg recognized it as the so-called Steppe cat, a tough ring-tailed cat that she knew did equally well in the desert and the cold mountains.

The other cat was approximately the same size but was more delicately formed. Moving with sinuous grace, it approached Chimeg and sat with its tail curled around its feet in front of her. The young Seer nodded her head in greeting, but her attention was pulled to the Healer, who uttered a strangled sound of fear.

Following her gaze, Chimeg saw something that she never could have predicted. Standing in a majestic pose, as if it wanted someone to paint its picture, was a huge snow leopard. The sun glinted off its light fur and accented the dark spots. Against the dramatic coat, the animal’s silvery-gray eyes appeared almost to glow. Moving closer to the humans, it stalked instead of walking.

The young Seer could hear the abortive movements of the warriors around her after their weapons. Only the Eagle Hunter stood still.

When the large cat was only a few feet away from Chimeg, it tilted its head to the side and scrutinized the young woman. There was a movement in the gaze, and the Journeyman Seer was conscious of a wave of approval.

Switching his focus to the other members of the party, the big leopard examined each of them before turning its attention to Geriel. Tilting his head further to one side, the big cat opened its mouth, displaying its huge fangs. Suddenly, a sound erupted from his throat, “Mew!”

There was a thump beside Chimeg as the Healer fainted, crashing onto the ground. Instantly, Ganhsuk swept the woman up in his arms and moved her away from the cat.

Trying with difficulty to keep a straight face, Chimeg looked at the leopard and said, << That was really cruel! >>

Making a purring sound, the leopard responded, << But you have to admit it was pretty funny! >>

-------------------<<< End Snippet 10 FAMM UPW >>>-----------------------

Monday, June 15, 2020

I won the writing contest! Cycle 5 in Inanna's Game on Wenebojo!!

I am stoked! The game people give us prompts and we have to pick on from each of three categories and incorporate them into a story. It was a blast! And I got the most votes!!

I am already looking forward to the next one!

Another Snippet in the Unfamiliar Pathways book!

It is time for another snippet! I am working on several books right now, one of which is the next book in the Familiar Magic series, titled UnFamiliar Pathways.

I hope you enjoy this small preview of the story. I will continue to post snippets up each Sunday as I can. The feedback, suggestions, and other comments I get are much appreciated!

Remember!! This is not edited and may be altered before publication. And luckily that publication is coming soon!

-------------------<<< Snippet 09 FAMM UPW >>>-----------------------
Take a deep breath, Chimeg turned determinedly back toward her mount, finally ready for their trip to start. Before she could take more than two steps toward her horse, the pounding of horse hooves announced another entry into their drama.

There was a groan from one of the guards, and a curse from the other one. Grabbing her bow and one of the arrows that lay in a convenient quiver strapped to her saddle, Chimeg turned toward the sound of the threat.

The young woman had her arrow knocked and her bow ready to fire by the time her body had spun around, but she immediately lowered the bow as she saw two women pulling to a coordinated and controlled stop amid the milling horses. Glancing over at Geriel, Chimeg was not surprised to see the Healer openmouthed with astonishment.

The two unknown women that sat comfortably on their sturdy horses were very different but equally composed. One was obviously a warrior, dressed in the distinctive metal topped hat, chained protective shirt over a padded undercoat, and bloused trousers tucked into fur-edged boots. A sturdy pack animal stood patiently behind her, with no visible leading rein.

The other woman was much younger, not much older than a girl. Her hair caught in braids and head topped with a circular fur hat, she wore a horsehide jacket with a broad leather and metal belt. A prominent bag lay against her thigh.

However, the way the younger girl was dressed was not what drew the eye and made the watchers gape in surprise. It was the huge black Eagle that sat in upright splendor on the young woman’s right forearm. It had its enormous talons closed around her padded and protected limb, and the colossal predator turned bright and knowing eyes to examine each person in the area.

One of the guards was the first to find his voice. Yanking his mount around to confront the woman warrior, he demanded, “What are you doing here, woman? I do not remember inviting you!”

She replied in a resonant contralto, keeping her voice even although the spark in her eyes warned Chimeg that this was a true warrior and would not tolerate disrespect. “I am here, Temujin because this party has two women as leaders. Men cannot guard women as well as we can. If you are going into danger, you need all the help you and Ganhsuk can get.

The guard protested again, “You have no right to be here! Return to your family and the village where you belong!”

“That is enough!” The words ripped through the air, freezing everyone in place, including the young Journeyman Seer that had uttered the words without thinking. Carried by a rush of anger that felt like fire along her nerves, Chimeg stalked over to the suddenly pale-faced guard and demanded, “Who are you to give orders for this party? The Healer asked you to accompany us. She did not tell you to try to boss everyone around, did she?”

When the man opened and closed his mouth several times without uttering any words, Chimeg reached up and grabbed his belt, yanking him off his horse to clatter onto the ground. Leaning over him to demand an answer, she ground out, “Did she?”

“No, no.”

“No, what?” snapped Chimeg, letting the fury she felt show in her face. The other male guard had dismounted and walked over to Chimeg with a rolling gait of a born horseman. “What Temujin would say if you had not just scared him out of ten years growth is that we understand that you and the Healer are in charge of this journey. I am positive that he will not make this mistake again.”

Chimeg asked, “And what about you, Ganhsuk? Will you willingly obey a female leader?”

Offering her a formal salute of a warrior to the khan, the ax bearing fighter said with a contented smile, “I am very pleased to serve you.”

Turning her back on the two men to stalk over to where the two women waited warily, Chimeg looked at the female warrior and demanded, “Are you here just to provoke Temujin, or are you sincere in your desire to come with us? Do you realize what it is we are going to do, and the dangers that are associated with it, or are you so anxious to prove yourself in a battle that you will take any opportunity without considering the risk?”

The warrior clad woman broke into a broad smile, cheerfully saying, “I have considered the risks, and I had a long talk with Ganbold yesterday about what it entailed. Although he is more than a little frightened of what you have to do, I would like to be part of the effort to save at least a portion of our heritage. It matters not to me where we go or who we fight. Instead, I look for someone to take my allegiance, a person who is worthy of my honor. Someone who will lead and understands the responsibility of that leadership.”

Tilting her head to the side, Chimeg stared at her and asked, “What makes you think that I am such a person?”

Smiling so broadly that it looks like her face was going to split in two, Batsorig answered, saying, “You came back and stopped Temujin in his unthinking male attempt to take over. Then you were equally willing to kick my butt if necessary. There was no condescending behavior from you directed toward either one of us. Your questions were strong, and I can tell that you have fire in your soul, Yes, I believe you are that person.”

Very clearly from behind her, Chimeg heard Geriel mutter, “Crazy people! I am surrounded by crazy people!”

-------------------<<< End Snippet 09 FAMM UPW >>>-----------------------