Thursday, May 24, 2018

Excerpt from Cosmic Wars


Excerpt from Cosmic Wars, Grand Masters’ Galaxy, Book 5


Teleport from planet to planet as the Griffins pursue their enemies across the galaxy and beyond.
Violet and Athanor Griffin reunite with their baby son after escaping from the world beyond the fiery Cosmic Rift, but they find no respite from troubles. The Grand Masters have declared Athanor dead, and are squabbling to replace him as Chair of the Council. Hordes of bloodsucking Ixioth slavers threaten galactic civilization, and a new enemy has emerged from the alternate universe, an enemy immune to psychic forces. The dynamic couple is soon swamped with pleas for help. Athanor’s vow to crush the insectoid Ixioths and expel the Nulls hits a major obstacle. The teleportal web enables their allied enemies to make rapid strikes and escape to  unknown hideouts, somewhere in the galaxy. Violet has a different perilous challenge. Her promise to rescue the children captured on Cinerea means she must brave the dreadful Rift and lose her psychic powers. Can the Griffins reconcile their divergent promises, or must they separate for the tasks of rescuing the prisoners and defeating the slavers?

Join psychic superstars, Violet and Athanor Griffin, on this epic adventure, meet aliens of all stripes, and of course, the fabulous dragons of Sythos. 


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In Chapter 2: Violet and Athanor Griffin arrive at the Council meeting. Believing Athanor is dead, two Grand Masters propose to fight for the Chair’s position.

A wall of shielded emotions met them, a wall her senses could penetrate, easily for some and requiring force for others. Auras flared in multiple hues, indicating alarmed fear or pleased surprise at their entrance. Waves of hatred leaked from Nathan, directed mostly at Athanor, although Violet received her share from rejecting his advances when Athanor was missing.  
Giving a mental snort of disgust, Athanor remarked, “Did he try to seduce you? Poor fool. He underestimates your powers. Your mind was strong before ever you achieved the rank of a Grand Master.” 
Violet hid her amusement behind an amiable expression. “That miserable worm could never tempt me. And now he’s raring for a fight.” 
Her petals glowing rosy, Amarylla Threeleaf rustled, “Brightness offers welcome to Griffin Grand Masters, blown into our meeting after long absence.”
His grim features fixed in a stern expression, Athanor’s eyes flashed sapphire. He bowed and said, “We are grateful for your gracious welcome, Brightness Threeleaf.” Swinging his azure gaze over the assembled Grand Masters, he remarked, “The Griffins have survived our adventure beyond the deadly Cosmic Rift, and we are ready to resume our tasks on the Council.” He waved Violet to her seat at the junior end of the semi-circle of thrones, and strode to the central throne reserved for the Chair.
Nathan recovered swiftly. His eyes an emerald blaze, he stepped in front of Athanor, and assuming a authoritative tone, he cried, “Stop! The Council has decided to select a new Chair.”
“Unnecessary,” Athanor grated. “You elected me as Chair, and my power is undiminished.” His curl of cynical amusement reached Violet, and she sharpened her vigilance. He cocked his black brows, and asked, “Do you dare to challenge me, Lord of Lightning?”
His eyes dulled and Nathan was silent.
Amarylla interrupted, exuding the tart scent of lemons, “Conflict is unwarranted. Griffin Chair lofts erect on Council.” 
Rising onto his four hind legs, Baxicki chittered, “Decision made at prior Council meeting. New Chair will be chosen by combat according to tradition.”
Athanor gestured to the oldest Council member. “Grand Master Hanuman, kindly enlighten us on the rules of this engagement. The Chair’s position has not been contended for many years, and some of us were not present at that momentous occasion.”
Hanuman bowed. “You are correct, Grand Master Griffin. The last combat for Chair’s status occurred nearly two hundred years ago when Nathan, Lord of Lightning, defeated Zarthorn and claimed the leadership of our Council.” The ivory beams from his eyes lit on Nathan’s rigid features. Rotating in a slow half-circle, Hanuman indicated each Grand Master in turn. His voice switched from mellow to cold. “Here are the rules. The combat for Chair must be held in the presence of all members of Council. None of you can leave this chamber until the conclusion of the fight or else you will forfeit your membership. The battle between contender and current Chair will continue until one is incapacitated or has admitted defeat.”
Violet quenched a shiver of fear. How could she watch Athanor die in combat?
His reply winged into her mind, “Don’t worry. We’ll be together, and our united powers can outmatch any other Grand Master.” Turning toward Nathan and Baxicki, Athanor growled, “Which of you proposes to battle your Chair?” His thoughts mingled annoyance with cynical amusement at the antics of his peers. 
Emitting yellow flames, Baxicki said, “Lord of Lightning joins Baxicki against Griffin.”
Athanor sent a private comment to Violet, “Pity, Nathan almost cried off.”
He was always a coward,” she replied.
Steeling for the fight, Nathan straightened and snarled, “You must fight alone.” He jabbed an accusatory forefinger at Violet. “Our youngest member must stand aside from the combat.”
“Impossible,” Athanor averred. “Our psychic union cannot be broken. Even when we were separated by the Cosmic Rift, we retained a tenuous connection and Violet knew I was alive.”
Giving vent to a deep sigh, Hanuman rose to his feet and said, “In my perusal of the Council’s long history, a psychic union of two Grand Masters is unprecedented. Since no rules appertain to this unique circumstance, I believe your challenge must encompass both of the Griffins.”
Athanor barked, “We stand ready. Let the combat commence.”
Detecting a psi arrow, Violet raised her shield and flung a warning to Athanor, “Beware, Baxicki.
Leave this one to me,” he replied, his mind sharpening for defense.
Rearing on its four hind legs, the insectoid blasted a beam of fiery yellow at Athanor.
Vibrating to intense blue, Athanor’s shield repeled the attack. Instead of a swift counter strike, he seemed to hesitate. The other Grand Masters, shifting away from the combatants, froze in awful expectation.
Her psi senses vigilant, Violet’s link revealed Athanor’s devious intent. Using his metal warping skill, he was tightening the orange bands around the insectoid’s head and midsection.
The Lord of Lightning shot livid green fire at his hated opponent.
Athanor did not budge. His defensive screen did not waiver. As a precaution, Violet inserted a fraction of her psi energy into his shield, edging the blue haze with ultraviolet. Her adrenaline surged to higher alert.
A sheet of emerald lighting surged toward her. Even partially distracted by Athanor’s combat, she blocked Nathan’s attack without flinching. She thrust a psi dart into his mind, paralyzing his thoughts. He stood immobile, his empty, outstretched hands aimed at her. 
Their opponents stood like statues, frozen in position.
Seconds passed without visible change.
Abruptly, Baxicki twitched in pain. Its psi fire fizzled out, its antenna drooped, and it collapsed onto the floor. “Cease!” it squeaked.
Athanor removed his pressure on the metal bands. The insectoid shivered, raised its body on six shaky legs and backed away.
At the same instant, Violet released her mental grip on Nathan. Cupping his hands over his aching forehead, he staggered to his seat.
Athanor strode around the semicircle of thrones. His sapphire gaze swept from one Grand Master to the next, and he growled, “We have defeated two contenders. Who else dares to fight us?”
After a moment of silence, Hanuman rose from his seat and intoned, “The Griffins have proven their dual potency. I recommend we retain Athanor Griffin as Chair of our Council.” 
Muted sounds of rustles, clicks and sighs marked a general consent.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Coming Soon - Cosmic Wars, Book 6 of the Grand Masters' Galaxy - Epic SciFi Fantasy Adventure


Cosmic Wars, Book 6 of the Grand Masters’ Galaxy

Teleport from planet to planet as the Griffins pursue their enemies across the galaxy and beyond.
Violet and Athanor Griffin reunite with their baby son after escaping from the world beyond the fiery Cosmic Rift, but they find no respite from troubles. The Grand Masters have declared Athanor dead, and are squabblng to replace him as Chair of the Council. Hordes of bloodsucking Ixioth slavers threaten galactic civilization, and a new enemy has emerged from the alternate universe, an enemy immune to psychic forces. The dynamic couple is soon swamped with pleas for help. Athanor’s vow to crush the insectoid Ixioths and expel the Nulls hits a major obstacle. The teleportal web enables their allied enemies to make rapid strikes and escape to an unknown hideout, somewhere in the galaxy. Violet has a different perilous challenge. Her promise to rescue the children captured on Cinerea means she must brave the dreadful Rift and lose her psychic powers. Can the Griffins reconcile their divergent promises, or must they separate for the tasks of rescuing the prisoners and defeating the slavers?

Join psychic superstars, Violet and Athanor Griffin, on this epic adventure, meet aliens of all stripes, and of course, the fabulous dragons of Sythos. 

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Chapter 1

At home in the Griffin’s Eyrie, Violet’s happiness blossomed in lilac sparks of psychic energy. Her precious family was reunited after their tribulations in the lands beyond the Cosmic Rift. She sat on the sofa with the orange cat purring on her lap, and watched Athanor crawl around the rug with their baby son perched on his back. Athanor’s long black locks draped over his face like a horse’s mane. His short hair as jet black as his father’s, little Varan giggled and kicked his legs. Only Athanor’s psi tether prevented him from tumbling onto the ground.
Amused by their antics, she joked, “Your horsie is missing a tail.”
Shaking the hair off his face, Athanor smiled at Violet. His eyes blazing with sapphire light, the potent mark of a Grand Master, he pleaded, “Sweet Violet, relieve me of my enthusiastic rider. We must talk of the future.”

She lifted Varan from his father’s back, and placed him on the floor next to his toys. The cat, Rascal, sauntered over to rub his head against the little boy. The fluffy, Dally, scampered into the room from the patio. Soon, Varan was crawling around the room with his playmates. 
Athanor drew Violet to the sofa and slipped his arm around her. “I had hoped for a respite of three or four days after our ordeal across the Cosmic Rift. However, news of my return has already reached our allies. I have received felicitations from old Hanuman Pashtari, and Amarylla Threeleaf wishes to taste my presence.”
Savoring the clarity of their psychic link, Violet leaned her head on his shoulder, and suggested, “Mother Tingu must have told them of our escape.”
“By Odin’s eye, she might have waited a day,” Athanor grumbled.
“Don’t blame her. You were missing for many weeks, and we were afraid you were dead, or as good as dead.”  
“Brightness Amarylla pleaded her news was urgent, and I’ve invited her to visit us this evening. She can inform us of any significant occurrences during our absence.” His sapphire gaze flicked to Varan. “Assuming our energetic son will go to sleep.”
“Varan’s thrilled to see his father after your absence of seven weeks, and he’s stayed awake all day playing with you.” She snuggled against him. “He’ll sleep soundly after I sing his lullaby.”
Picking up their baby son, Athanor carried him to his nursery, and read a short story. Violet tucked him into his cot, and sang his bedtime lullaby. His fluffy friend, Dally, snuggled in beside Varan, but the orange cat followed the adults into their living room.
Athanor dropped onto the sofa. “Ah, we can relax until Amarylla arrives.” Violet joined him on the sofa. Rascal hopped onto his master’s knees, and curled into a furry ball, purring, “Love you, love you.”
They did not have a long wait. Athanor hadn’t even drained a glass of wine when his com buzzed. Opening the miniportal in his leather bracer, he related the message to Violet, “She’s coming.”
A column of pink mist formed in the middle of the room, and quickly resolved into the flower Grand Master, Amarylla Threeleaf. The Wistralian’s three giant petals were tightly furled in a long bud above her short stalk and tangle of brown rootlets.
She opened her petals, wafting the scent of roses. Their translators rendered her greeting, “Griffin Grand Masters, your brilliant presence sweetens sap of Brightness Amarylla.”
Standing erect, Athanor gave a formal bow, and waved his hand in a courteous gesture. “Welcome to my castle, Grand Master Threeleaf. I am grateful for your generosity in guiding the Council during my absence.”
Her petals paled, and Amarylla’s leaves rustled, “Absence of Griffin Chair sprouted thorns on Council.”  
Sparking blue fire from his eyes, Athanor grunted, “Hades, I guessed as much. Tell us the bad news.” 
“After Grand Master Violet blew into the Cosmic Rift, not fifteen Terran days passed before Council declared Griffin dead.”
“I might well have been killed, but Violet knew better,” he grumbled. “She sensed I was alive.”
“Advice of Grand Master Violet unheard, unheeded, lost in tumult.”
“Tumult? As dismal as that?” He barked a scornful laugh. “Did they fight for my unenviable position?”
“Choice of new Chair debated with violent winds.” Amarylla fluttered the edges of her petals.
More amused than angry, Athanor asked, “Who is my replacement?”
A faint odor of rotting vegetation hinted at the plantoid’s disgust. “Traditional combat offered for Chair. Four Grand Masters deferred to Brightness Threeleaf. Brightness declined to fight. Grand Master and Lord of Lightning, Nathan, will oppose Grand Master Baxicki for topmost branch.”
Athanor scowled and his blue aura flared. “Odin’s eye, I might have guessed those two would stir up trouble.” He paced to the window, spun around and met Violet’s gaze.
Fuming with indignation, she said, “Voids, Nathan ought to be grateful for your mercy. You refused to punish him for conspiring to destroy the portal web.” 
 “Mercy is rarely rewarded. Nathan claimed he repented, and I deemed Morrigu was the chief proponent of their conspiracy.” Gazing at the pink petals of Amarylla, he asked, “When is their combat scheduled?”
Her petals flushed to crimson, releasing the sharp tang of lemons. “Combat is today. Brightness agreed to hold a special meeting of the full Council at twenty hours Terran standard. Griffins must attend.”
Quickly checking the relative planetary times on her com, Violet exclaimed, “Voids, the meeting’s in one hour and forty-five minutes.” She straightened and glared at her mate. “We’ll have to get dressed.”
“What’s the rush? We’ll be ready in a fraction of the time.” Athanor laughed. “By Ragnar’s fires, the fools will tremble when I appear with Violet. They cannot overcome the joint force of the two Griffins.”
The flower Grand Master fluttered her leaves. “Scent of Griffin’s revival wafts slowly. The sweet news might not drift to their senses before the combat.”
“Excellent. Do not enlighten them, Brightness. If they’re eager to command the Council, they’ll have to challenge me.” Satisfied with his decision, Athanor returned to sit beside his wife on the sofa.
Exuding an acrid odor, the flower Grand Master said, “Brightness fears spread of rot. Ixioth slavers and ships of Nulls elude Wistralian fleet. Pleas fly from entities on outer leaves of galaxy. Fears of Ixioths netting their seedlings for food.”