Monday, December 12, 2016

More Gold than Sunlight Snippets

As promised, I am sharing snippets from More Gold than Sunlight with you guys today! Just know, I wrote this whole monstrous thing in 36 days running on very little sleep, so who even knows what the quality of these are. *shudders*

Also it was very hard finding snippets with no spoilers! This is a FINALE. The whole book is spoilers! So…I may be giving everything away. Who even knows. I just figured everyone will forget any spoilers I reveal today by the time these books are actually readable. *grins*

Thank you all SO much for your enthusiasm for this book and cheering me on. I don’t think I would have had the motivation to finish it without each and every one of you. <3

All right. SNIPPETS. Proceed at your own risk…





“Goodness, it sure feels good to have those off.” Airen stepped up, rubbing his bruised wrists, now free of the manacles. His face brightened at the sight of Nemayn. “Well, hello there, girl, it's been a while.”

Nemayn hummed and flapped her wings in greeting. Prince Airen had been around a lot during dragon rider training, sometimes hanging around in the dragon keep as much as the riders. Iavin had never been quite sure if it was because the Prince's cousins, Naidren and Nyria, were both dragon riders, or if the Prince just really liked dragons. Or maybe it had something to do with Eryth. She and the Prince had always spent an awful lot of time together... That thought got him moving again.

He hauled up Nemayn's saddle from where it lay in the back of her stall. She dropped to her belly so he could shove it atop her back.

“Ah, let me help you with that.” Airen bustled over and pushed it the rest of the way up with ease, then helped with the buckles.

Iavin stepped back, blinking. “Th—thank you, my lord.” Now alone in the keep, without Airen's manacles or the watchful eye of the Father Dragon, he remembered who stood before him.

“Oh no, none of that. You're my rescuer after all.” The Prince turned and gave him the widest of grins.

Iavin attempted a laugh, but it sounded more like a dying goat.


~ ~ ~


Iavin made his way well away from the keep before climbing atop a mound of broken buildings. Or trying. His muscles trembled so violently it took a few tries. Finally, at the top, he looked down upon the city. His heart hammered with such force white spots dotted his vision.

He had witnessed legends come to life, rode upon the Mother Dragon herself, fought in multiple battles. But nothing compared to what he was about to do—address a whole crowd.


~ ~ ~


Images of home flashed in Iavin’s mind—his fellow dragon riders laughing in the dragon keep, his favorite chair in the castle library, his mother's slender hands threading a sewing needle, his father's boisterous laugh. If he didn't do this one thing, all of that may never exist again. His home, his loved ones—gone.

Prince Airen and Nemayn believed he was brave. It was time to prove that he could be. For Aerigethel.

For Sivral.

With memories of home warming his heart, he opened his eyes.


~ ~ ~


Before Naidren could talk himself out of it, he marched straight for the castle steps.

The four guards standing in front of the massive black doors straightened at his approach. Two raised their spears and the other two had swords double the size of his. He tried to ignore this fact and held his chin high.

“I want to see Lord Vithen.”

The guards burst into laughter.

One pointed his spear at Naidren's chest. “Move along, peasant boy, before we make you.”

All right, perhaps he should have rubbed out the clumps of dirt in his hair and straightened his tunic. No doubt he did look like a vagabond, but it was too late now. He stood his ground, forcing himself to maintain eye contact with the man. “I'm here to join the Velnoroth army.”

“You?” Amusement gleamed in the man's dark eyes. “You're nothing but a boy.”

Curse his boyish face. He had traveled the continent, to the darkest corner of Aerigethel, and was still mistaken for being much younger than he really was. Standing there trying to convince four enemy guards he was actually twenty, not twelve, had not been his plan for that morning.


~ ~ ~


Darven slid down as well, nearly knocking his head on the tip of an overarching boulder. He snagged his pack from a hook on the saddle, and frowned. It got lighter by the day. Dangerously light. They'd have to find some game soon.

Leiden stood swishing his nearly empty water flask, seeming to have the same thought. “This sure would be easier if Velnoroth had more streams. Or a lake. Or just some rain sometimes.”

Rem plopped to the ground, slipped off his boot, and poured a hunk of sand out of it. “Honestly, sometimes I can't blame the dark elves for wanting to live in other parts of Aerigethel.”

Darven stared out between two boulders into the wasteland. “If they want more water, they can go jump in the ocean for all I care. But they're not taking my home.”

“Oh, I plan on fighting them to the end,” Rem assured. “I'm just saying they could have asked nicely.”

“A please and thank you can go a long way,” Leiden agreed.

Darven rolled his eyes, but couldn't stop the slight tugging of his lips. It had been a long, long journey, and yet his companions still found the time to make jokes.


~ ~ ~


“Nyria, is that you?” The voice broke her away. She pulled back from Naidren to face the girl before her. She blinked a moment, trying to let reality sink in again.


Smiling, the girl nodded. “It's me.”

Something bubbled inside her. Something she had not felt for a long, long time. But it felt familiar, right. Excitement? No, happiness. Grinning, she threw her arms around the girl. “I can't believe you're here!”

Erra breathed a laugh and patted her back. “I can't either, really.”

This made her jerk back, a sudden rush of questions pouring in. Anxiety slowly ate away at the happiness. “Why are you here? You shouldn't be here!”

Naidren slid a hand over her shoulder. He gave her a warm smile. “My sister is here, so this is exactly where I should be. I...” His smile faded away and he licked his lips. “I should have been here a long time ago.”

A lump formed in her throat. “You're here now. Besides,” she forced out a smile, “I'm the one that saved you.

His lips parted in surprise for half a moment, and then he burst into laughter. “And I've been working so hard on being the big hero.”


~ ~ ~


Nyria grabbed her own dagger from the man's back, while Erra collected the second guard's sword. Just as they stepped out the door, voices carried down the stairway.

“I don't see why you want me to touch a bunch of dragon eggs. I've never managed to hatch a dragon before.”

“Shut up and keep moving!”

Nyria froze. She recognized that first voice. Judging by the wide-eyed looks of her companions, they did too. In one accord, they all darted up the stairs.

Heading down the hall to the right, an enormous dark elf shoved a dark haired young man in chains. Nyria and Mayhem ran ahead of Naidren and Erra. Mayhem tackled the dark elf to the ground. Her teeth was in his throat before the man could even scream. The prisoner stared down at his rescuer before locking his wide eyes on Nyria.

“Rem!” She threw her arms around his neck. He staggered, but caught himself and quickly returned her embrace.

“What are you doing here?”

She pulled back, eyeing her good friend up and down. A purple bruise swelled his left cheek, but otherwise he seemed unharmed. “I should ask you the same thing.”

That familiar playful spark she had so missed danced in his blue eyes. “I was here to rescue you.”

“She's just stealing everyone's thunder today.” Naidren stepped up to Nyria. “But, gracious, is it good to see you.”

“Is it ever.” Erra pulled him into a quick squeeze and then just as quickly punched him in the arm. “Except you shouldn't be here, you lout.”

Rem's eyes widened. “You're one to talk. Since when are you two here?”

“Wait, wait, wait.” Nyria looked from one face to the other. “You three didn't come together?”

“I came with Darven and Leiden,” Rem said.

She wrinkled her brow. “You know Darven and Leiden?”

“Certainly. We came here all the way from Sivral together. Iavin and Sayleth started out with us but they—“ He cut himself off, apparently taking note of the confused faces around him. “All right, maybe we should leave explanations for later?”

Naidren nodded. “Probably for the best.”


~ ~ ~


Darven watched, raising an eyebrow at Mayhem as she slowly thawed Barveris's body. “Who's the smaller dragon?”

“She's mine,” Nyria said.

He turned to her and blinked, looking from her to Naidren as if he only just realized the oddity of their presence. Nyria just smiled.

“It's so good to see you, Darven.”

He nodded slowly. “The same to you. In fact, you and Iraila are the main reasons I'm here. But how are you both...?” His confused gaze glanced over at Mayhem again, then he just shook his head and rubbed his fingers against his temple. “Obviously there's a lot a missed. Is there anyone else I know running around here?”

“Let's pray to the Creator there's not.” Naidren stepped over to him. “Are you all right?”

Darven eyed him up and down. “Probably better than you. What kind of trouble has your sister gotten you into this time?”

“Oh, the usual.”

The two stared at each other for a moment, before both of them cracked a smile. Naidren reached out, and they clasped forearms.

“Good to see you, Darven.”

Darven nodded. “It's been a while.”

Nyria grinned. Naidren used to be so intimidated by Darven's strong, quiet presence during dragon rider training. Funny the kind of bonds the end of the world formed.


~ ~ ~


For a brief, horrible moment, nothing but air rushed around Iavin’s body. A second later, he slammed onto rock solid scales. His clothes slid on the sleek surface and for the third time in the past few minutes he slipped down a dragon's back. But this time, multiple hands caught him. They dragged him back up and set him upright. He sat there, trying his very best to settle his roiling stomach. White spots swirled across his vision. He blinked, and as the haze cleared, a familiar face came into view.

Sayleth's silvery blue eyes hovered inches from his face.

He attempted to say her name but his tongue twisted around itself and it came out more like, “Srmlith?”

Her face cracked open into a dazzling grin and she threw her arms around him.


~ ~ ~


They were going to Thruhvinian. He was returning to the broken city he had spent so many weeks in. Weeks watching Cael become more and more corrupt. Weeks watching Aerigethel slowly be plagued by the enemy. He was going back, and this time he'd be fighting. Apparently. Because they had seemed to have forgotten to ask if he wanted to fight or not.

And he was so glad they had forgotten him.

If they had asked him, he would be forced to admit his vote was to fly straight back to the Arctic Lands where the Mother Dragon had come from and hide there until they all froze to death. But, of course, that wasn't the right plan, just the one he leaned in favor of.

Instead they would fight, and maybe start taking back the Aerigethel they all loved. Or die trying.

Well, Iavin, you can't live forever.

But he had sort of, kind of hoped to live at least a little past twenty-one.


~ ~ ~


Should he go back? Airen’s heart screamed at him to race back to his father as quickly as humanly (or dragonly?) possible. His mind—at least that tiny common sense part of his mind—was very firm on escaping, getting reinforcements, and then returning.

He never was an advocate for common sense.

What did Nemayn think of all this? The dragon had proven to be a very brave and fine companion—helping him find game, starting fires for him, and willing to keep out of the skies to stay hidden. Wouldn't it be a rollicking good time to actually be able to communicate with her? Not that he was having a rollicking good time. That would be ridiculous. Selfish even. Definitely.

But having a dragon all too himself wasn't not fun.


~ ~ ~


“Airen, I'm scared. I'm more scared then I've ever been. But I want to help. I'm tired of being a coward.”

“A coward?” His hands ached to hold hers, but would that be too bold? He crumpled the end of his tunic between his fingers, forcing them to stay put, and instead tried to pour as much meaning as he could into his words. “Eryth Glithinthinil, dragon rider of Sivral, you are anything but a coward. Neriin knew exactly what she was doing when she chose you. Do you remember what I told you when we danced after your initiation?”

She swallowed. “You said you believed I would make the best dragon out of all the riders from the past to now combined.”

He blinked. She had remembered. A lump formed in his throat, and he nodded. “And I meant every word."

She stared at him for a long time. He thought he caught a gleam of tears form in her eyes, but she dropped her head, blocking his view. “I couldn't save Iraila, Airen. I couldn't be a strong enough friend for Bryth. I left Ritholv to suffer alone. And now all of Aerigethel is falling into enemy hands, and I'm hiding.”

This time, he couldn't stop himself. His hand slid onto her shoulder. She pulled in a shaky breath and turned back to him with red-rimmed eyes.

He squeezed her shoulder and leaned in close, assuring she heard every word. “None of that was your fault. None of us could stop the dark elves from taking Iraila, none of us have been able to stop Velnoroth's takeover. You were right in fleeing from Thurhivnian. If you had stayed, you would be a prisoner.” His heart twisted at his memories there, at the thought of Eryth suffering like he had. “You have done right, Eryth.”

Her eyes widened, not even blinking, as if she soaked in the words. “What about Bryth?”

“You have been the best friend and greatest influence Bryth has ever had. Bryth would have fallen far if not for you, and she will not forget that. Your influence will never leave her, no matter what. I know that for a fact, because you have been the same to me. You make me a better person, Eryth.”

Her eyes lit up like the sun itself. She let out both a laugh and sob as she threw her arms around his neck.

Unable to hold back his smile, he pulled her close. “So I said the right thing?”

Her cheek pressed against his chest vibrated all the way down to his heart as she giggled. “You always do.”

“Well, I do have a way with words.”


~ ~ ~


Eldoren nodded and took Caesel's hand, then offered the other to Riana. This time she took it without any misgivings. Hand-in-hand, they walked up the castle steps.

A nudge of encouragement passed through Eldoren's mind. He glanced over his shoulder down at his purple dragon and grinned. “Thanks. I think we'll be fine. Just behave yourself out here.”

Irevik sat and raised his head, acting like a proper gentlemen.

Eldoren wrinkled his brow, then shook his head. A dragon a proper gentleman? That was definitely Irevik's thought, not his.


~ ~ ~


Airen tapped his finger on the wall, stood up, paced a few steps, sat back down. His foot joined his fingers in an erratic tap.

Why had he let Eryth go? The castle was probably crawling with the enemy. What if she was found? Caught? Killed?

His stomach flipped.

No, Airen, stop.

He took a few breaths, forcing his nerves to settle themselves down.

Eryth was a dragon rider. She had been trained for this. She knew how to fight, had been through many a battle since she left their little region. In fact, judging from her stories, she had faced far more enemies than he had. She didn't need him protecting her all the time. He knew that.

But he still wanted to.


~ ~ ~


“Get him!” Azrot roared.

The two men charged. Airen swerved around and darted down the street. Pounding feet echoed behind him.

He weaved around the broken buildings and cracked streets. Good, he had succeeded in keeping Eryth safe. Except if he was caught, he'd probably be dead in seconds.

Just keep running. Keep them occupied.

His own advice failed when another set of guards appeared around the corner ahead of him. He skidded to a stop and glanced behind him. The two brutish men were only a couple of yards away. He sprinted through a side street. Shouts resounded all around him, and more pounding feet joined his first pursuers.

His plans for causing a distraction were working a little too well. What he needed was a dragon.

“Nemayn!” he cried, jumping atop a fallen wall and racing across it to the other end. “Nemayn!”

Movement caught his eye to the right. Yet more people came, one of which was a dark fae. He swerved toward the left.

I'm going to die, I'm going to die, I'm going to...

He jerked to a halt. “Die,” he muttered.

A wall of archers stood before him, with half a dozen arrows pointed straight at his heart. Behind him, the many, many people he had alerted neared.

He raised his sword. If he had to die, he may as well do it fighting.

A roar split the sky, and then fire. The arches screamed as a ball of fire consumed them. Airen yelped when a large claw grasped him around the waist and jerked him to the sky. The torched archers and army became smaller and smaller.

Trying to keep his sword in one hand, Airen clung to the white claw holding him up with the other. “Am I glad to see you!”


~ ~ ~


Mayhem hurtled right into a pile of dark elves, clawing at one and snapping her teeth into the neck of another. Nyria leaped off the dragon's back right on top of the third dark elf and drove her sword into his neck. She jumped down to her feet just as he collapsed. Next to her, Rem clashed swords with another man.


She swerved around and caught sight of a flash of dark hair before being lifted off the ground in a crushing hug.

A knot formed in her chest and she didn't know if it was because he was squeezing her lungs too tight or tears were coming. “Airen?” she choked out.

He loosened his hold, dropping her back to her feet, and stepped back to stare at her. Tears gleamed in his eyes, but then they widened and he cried out. “Duck!”

Instinctively, she did as he said and his sword swiped over her head. A dark fae dropped down next to her, his pale neck stained with blood.

“Don't you dare touch my cousin.” Airen snagged her shoulder and stared at her, unblinking, as if he couldn't even tell she was real. “ were captured.”

She blinked back the sting of coming tears. “I escaped.”

He let out a sobbing laugh and crushed her against him again. “Of course you did!”

She wrapped her arms around his abdomen. “I've missed you, Airen.”

“Ha! I've missed you more.”

“Want to bet?”

They parted, and mischief sparked in his eyes. “All right. Whoever kills the most enemies has done the most missing.”


~ ~ ~


“Naidren Savriella, you're not dead!”

Naidren jerked away from Eryth at the cry, eyes wide. He glanced around until he locked onto something, and his eyes became all the larger. Nyria followed his line of vision to find Airen joining their ranks.

“I am not dead,” Naidren agreed, his face cracking open into a grin. “You're not either.”

“Now don't sound so disappointed. You know it'll take way more then a few thousand dark elves, a cave in, and the entire world going to war to keep me down. Come here, you crazy cousin.” Airen snagged Naidren into a hug.


~ ~ ~


“Erra!” Airen caught the girl up into a hug as well.

She stiffened under the embrace, but a slight smile touched her lips. “I'm glad you're all right, Airen.”

He pulled back, grinning all the wider. “Have you been keeping Naidren out of trouble?”

“Not very well.”

“It's a tough job, I know.”

A rush of wind brought everyone's eyes up as Barveris landed in their midst. Darven jumped down, eyeing everyone with a raised brow. “Are we having a party in the middle of battle?”

“I want to join!” Leiden called as Gaelasil settled into their midst.


~ ~ ~


The door creaked behind Riana.

She snagged one of her knives and whipped around in a single motion.

Eldoren jumped back with a yelp. “Whoa! It's just me.”

“Troll's blood, Eldoren! What are you doing here?”

He scratched the back of his head and flashed that infuriatingly charming smile at her. “Coming to see you? Are you going to...put that away?” He gestured forward with his head.

She glanced down to find her knife still clutched tightly in her hand. Glaring at him, she slid it back in its sheath. “How did you find me?”

“Well, Razel woke up, sensing you were gone, so she woke up Irevik so he could tell me. She suspected she knew where you had disappeared to and brought me here.”

Riana peeked out the door to find her dragon standing there in the midst of the trees, her dark purple scales camouflaged in the night. How had she not sensed the dragon nearing, or even heard them? She cursed herself for letting her guard down, and then scowled at her dragon. “Snitch.”


~ ~ ~


Iavin stared out into the broken city from his perch in one of the castle's upper halls. He liked this spot. The big hole in the wall provided a good view of the city, and it was quiet. The hall didn't lead to anywhere useful in the castle. Most of the rooms connected to it were destroyed beyond repair, so no one ever came by and disturbed him. He just hoped the floor didn't collapse out from under him, which was entirely possible. But his need for seclusion overpowered his fear of being crushed to death. At least a little.


~ ~ ~


Cael raised both eyebrows and flashed an innocent grin. “Someone who, maybe, possibly, perhaps, can find it in his heart to forgive his foolish friend...?”

Iavin fidgeted with the hem of his shirt, staring at the boy across from him who looked like a puppy begging for a morsel of food. “You are foolish.”


“And you have a lot to learn.”

“A mountain-sized pile worth.”

Iavin groaned. There was never any resisting Cael for long. “I forgive you.” When the words came out, it was like a weight being lifted. He felt as light as when he was soaring in the skies atop Nemayn.

Cael's eyes brightened, and his whole face opened into an enormous grin. Iavin's own lips tugged up a smidgen.

“You know what we've got to do now.” Cael held out both arms.

Iavin's smile dropped immediately. He took a step back. “I'd rather not.”

“Oh, come on, Iavin, I can't come to you.” He rattled his chains stuck to the wall.

“I'm fine right here, thank you.”

“Now you know we can't have a heartwarming forgiveness without a hug.”

Iavin found himself groaning yet again, even as his feet shuffled forward. The second he was within reaching distance, Cael seized his shoulder and snatched him into a crushing hug.

“See? Isn't this nice?”

“I can't breathe.”


~ ~ ~


They both turned to find Airen striding into the room. Bryth got yet another shock when Naidren appeared beside his cousin. His face lit up at the sight of her. He stepped forward and reached out his arms like he was about to hug her, but then pulled them back, fingers fidgeting as if he didn't know what to do with them.

“It''s good to see you, Bryth.”

She couldn't help but laugh. Same ol' awkward Naidren. “You too, Naidren.” She stepped over and initiated the hug herself, realizing this was probably their first time to actually embrace, but it didn't seem right not to. How long had it been since she last saw him?

“Now I'm feeling left out,” Airen said.

She rolled her eyes as she pulled away from Naidren. “You already gave me a hug, and I probably have the bruises to prove it.”

“I give the best hugs, thank you. Right, Eryth?”

Eryth ducked her head, cheeks reddening and lips turned up slightly, just like she always did when Airen said such things to her. Bryth and Iraila shared an amused, knowing look.


~ ~ ~


“Ugh. I'm getting so tired of being bed ridden. I feel fine.”

Naidren leaned up from his chair at the side of Iraila's bed and patted her arm. “The physician said he wants your resting for only a few more days.”

“And eating,” Nyria said from her perch at the foot of the bed. She nodded at Iraila's only half empty bowl of soup.

Iraila groaned even as she lifted her spoon and stuffed a bite into her mouth. “I'm also tired of eating all the time.” Her words slurred around her full mouth.

Airen stopped his pacing to cast her a grin. “Ah, but the more you eat, the healthier you'll look, and the quicker you're allowed out of bed.”

She frowned at him and shoved another spoonful in her mouth. “Why do you always have to make sense?”

“Because I'm your perfectly knowledgeable big brother.”

“More like perfectly irritating,” Nyria said under her breath.

Iraila snorted, and they both bubbled with giggles.


~ ~ ~


No one should have to carry around the burdens of their past. At least, Leiden had been trying to tell him that.

Trolls blood. The elf's absurd amount of hopefulness was actually getting to him, to the point that he was thinking like him.

Darven groaned internally. With the elf's words filling his ears practically all waking hours of the day, it was bound to happen eventually.


~ ~ ~


“Aha! Found our entrance!” Practically on his knees now, Leiden pointed to the ground.

Darven leaned forward, squinting. “Oh great.” Their ‘entrance’ was nothing more than a tiny space opening up between the wall and ground, maybe two feet wide and hardly a foot high. He didn't take into account that he practically doubled Nyria's size.

Leiden looked from him to the hole, his smile slowly drooping. “Huh.” He scratched his head. “Well, it'll be tight, but I think you can do it.”

“Forever the optimist.”

“I try.” He dropped to his stomach and squirmed down into the hole, his absurdly scrawny body slipping right through.

“Show off,” Darven grumbled as he lowered to his knees.

A hand appeared from the other side of the hole. “Want me to hold your candle for you?”

Darven handed it over and then settled down to his stomach. Leiden grinned at him through the hole.

“It's not too bad.”

Taking a breath, he shoved his head through. His shoulders scraped into the sides, already proving to be a problem. He backed out, slid his arms in first this time, and scooted forward. Dirt scraped across his arms and shoulders, his whole body felt like it was being squeezed by a dragon's claw.

“This is ridiculous,” he grunted.

“You're doing fine.” Leiden, on hands and knees, set down one of the candles and grabbed his arm. Darven pushed with his feet while Leiden pulled. He only budged one uncomfortable inch at a time.

“The war is going to be over by the time I fit through this blasted hole.”

“You're practically halfway there.”

“Very encouraging.” He dug the tip of his boots into the earth behind him and pushed. Finally, his middle broke through. Leiden backed out of the way as he pulled his legs in, coughing out a wheezing breath.

Leiden grinned. “See? Not too bad.”

Darven scowled, and his scowl deepened as he realized the tunnel he laid in wasn't much wider than the hole itself. Even Leiden had to scrunch tight to turn around. On hands and knees, he led the way. Darven pushed up to his knees, but his back scraped the top. Frowning, he ducked lower and shuffled after the elf.


~ ~ ~


“Nyria, will you stop running off?” Naidren called out.

Nyria just flashed a grin at her brother. “You don't have to watch over me every second.”

“Yes I do, I'm your big brother.”

“We're the same age!”

“Four minutes difference.”



~ ~ ~


A sudden thump made Eryth jump back. Right at her feet lay a bird, steam hissing from its slender body. Then, more birds dropped. Everyone looked up to find a gwacier shooting into the group of phoenixes that the dragons battled above. The ice bird dissipated their fire and the dragons tore into them. One by one, they dropped from the sky. Just as the last one fell, the gwacier swooped down and landed on the shoulder of Cael who stood atop the rubble heap. He had his hands on his hips and gazed at the group below, eyes sparking with mischief.

“Sii and I felt like we were missing a party.”

Nyria giggled. “You seem to be the one always bringing us parties.” Amused sarcasm clipped the last word.

His grin revealed both rows of white teeth. “I do try. Oh, Eryth.” He slipped a bow off his shoulders and tossed it down to her. “That's yours, isn't it? I found it buried up here.”

She caught it and squeezed the familiar wood. “It is! Thank you, Cael!”

In three nimble leaps, he joined their huddle. With the phoenixes taken care of, the dragons also landed around them.

Cael opened his mouth, looking ready to say something else, but then the trembling came.

The bone-rattling rhythmic thumps twisted Eryth's stomach. She turned and, as she feared, more trolls came marching down a side street, straight into the square. Five total. A group of dark elves and dark fae led them.

“Well, Cael, Nyria was right,” Ritholv said, pulling his sword down from his shoulder, “you do bring parties.”

Cael shrugged, whipping out his own weapon. “What can I say? People just love following me around.”


~ ~ ~


Cael, his long knife covered in blood, looked for his next opponent, but any Velnoroth forces to be found already lay lifeless on the street. Around him, the Sivral people and their dragons and friends caught their breaths and examined each other for any wounds.

“Huh.” He wiped his blade across his pants leg and slid it into its sheath. To come from such a humble region, the Sivral riders sure knew how to take down a bad guy.

They had huddled near the middle of the square, and he strode toward them. Sii landed on his shoulder, squawking. She didn't like this whole fighting business. He stroked her cold feathers. A nap would be nice right about then.

“That was fun,” he said as he joined the others.



Wow. That was a…lot. I may have went overboard. Oops. If you read all that you deserve cookies! *passes them around*

So tell me what you think! Which was your favorite snippet? And which character did you like best? Thanks for reading, guys! <3


  1. FANTASTIQUE! I don't know how you do it, Christine... *is baffled by your awesome prowess*


    Like seriously, I want to read mooooorre. Just askdfl'a ajfaok;l EPIC OKAY.


    2. YOU DESERVE IT GIRL. THESE WERE AMAZING. *confetti explosions*

  3. Wow! Just reading these snippets makes me want to read all of your previous books. Well done!!

    1. D'awww! That makes me so happy to hear! Thank you!!!

  4. It sounds as if you had a lot of fun with this story- what with all the hugging, battling, and nearly dying!

    I think the Iavin snippets were my favourites of the batch.

    1. Oh goodness, I had a BLAST. Bwahaha! Hugging, battling, and nearly dying. That literally describes the whole book! XD (Although the "nearly" in "nearly dying" can sometimes be removed so it's just "dying". *cough, cough, cough*)

      *whispers*theywereminetoo*whispers* (Which is probably why Iavin seemed to appear most in these snippets. XD)

  5. Cael sounds a little bit like Larke. . . but only a little bit. Which is good. We don't really need Larke shapeshifting into a completely different story.

    Anyway. The snippets are so much fun! Did you purposely pick only from places where things were going mostly-okay, or since this is the last book is that just the general tone?

    1. So it's not just me?? They remind me a lot of each other! Though there are definitely some very distinct differences. For one, Cael's "trouble making" is for a good cause...sort of. Larke just caused trouble because he's mischievous, basically. >.> Cael is a whole lot nicer than Larke. Lol. But yes, one Larke is enough. Two would be terrifying. o.o

      Thank you!!! I did actually purposely choose the more lighthearted, fun dialogue ones. I tend to like to share funny snippets. XD But no, this book was...intense and made me tear up in multiple occasions. It was an emotional rollercoaster! These are like...the only happy parts. Eheheheh. And, actually, some of them aren't all that happy, they just seem it out of context. *cough*

    2. Oh, and Iavin --- he's basically me. I can handle a lot of things, but addressing a crowd is not one of them. And I need a lot of seclusion (especially when I'm writing).
      And I relate to Naidren so much when he's trying to get past the guards. People are always mistaking me for being the younger sister, and now that I'm a legal adult, it can be inconvenient! Fortunately I've never had to be in his situation, though. . . that's just all around nervewracking.

    3. I totally get that! I LOVE people and absolutely love talking to them, but standing in front of a whole crowd and doing a speech? Nope, nope, nope! And yes, I must write alone! People distract me too much.

      ME TOO. I'm mistaken for a teen SO MUCH here in my 20s. It's crazy! But hey, when we're older we'll still look young and appreciate it then. ;D

  6. You are such a good writer, even without tons of edits!

    I think Iavin, Sayleth and Cael are still my favorites. :D

    1. Okay, that just...absolutely and completely made my day. EEP. Thank you!!!

      I'm gonna be honest, that trio is kind of my favorite, too. Eheh. Okay, I adore ALL my charries, but I so loved the Iavin/Sayleth/Cael trio!



    Cael and Iavin are so precious oh my. What beans.

    AIRYTH YES. And Airen and Nyria are great. And Airen and his dragon. And just Airen.

    Congratulations again on completing this series!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. ACK. ELLIE. <333

      Cael and Iavin are the beaniest of beans. Like I can't even.

      AIRYTH IS HAPPENING. *grins* "Just Airen." The describes it all, doesn't it. XD


    But that would be dangerous and take aaages so I'll TRYYY to restrain myself. XD


    Seriously. This book. O_O What even. I need it in my life SO BAD. These characters who I love so much just from SNIPPETS... I just can't even fathom how much more I'll probably love them when I get their entire SERIES. Just. Oh my word they're my preciouses already!! ^__^ I LOVETH THEM AAALL. Particularly Darven and Airen and Cael and Bryth... and of course Iavin is precious and Naidren and Nyria are CLASSIC and just ALL OF THE CHARRIIIIES.

    Okay, I have to say SOME things about the individual snippets, at least some of them; I can't help myself. *dives in quickly*

    Iavin though. XD "dying goat" -- niiiice. XDDD "address a whole crowd" -- THIS IS TERRIFYING I RELATE TO YOU SO MUCH IAVIN. O_O And twenty, not twelve, poor darling. *pats him*

    THE ONE WITH DARVEN AND LEIDEN AND REM AND THE SAND AND WATER. I CAN'T. IT'S LIKE MY FAVORITE. (So many are, but this one I was just dying and I love it so muuuch. Also, I think it totally sums up the series and these characters PERFECTLY.) Rem though... I don't think I know about him, but he soooo intrigues me from the couple of glimpses we've had!! :D I also love Darven in aaall of these snippets--he's simply GOLD, the intimidating fellow. XD

    The glimpses we get of the story make me sooooo intriiiiigued!!! OH MY GOODNESS. Just. I need this novel (and consequently series) yesterday. IT SOUNDS SO COOL. *flailing* And dragons and dark elves and ice bird things and AAAALLL THE AMAZING. I also love the reunions and hugs and aaaall the adorable, and people meeting and getting back together. I just love it all!


    I have no words for Iavin and Sayleth's adorableness. <3 And really, AAAALL THE COUPLES. JUST. ALKDFJSDKJFL. OH MY GOODNESS I LOVE THEM ALL. Airen and Eryth. >:D *squeaking and flailing because they're so adorbz and asdkfjsldkfl I can't even* *sees in another comment them being called Airyth* I SHIP AIRYTH SOOOO HARD. <3 And hints of other couples which are making me grin so hard. ^_^

    (part 1)

  9. (part 2)

    "live at least a little past twenty-one." THIS IS MY OTHER FAVORITE. XDDDDDD The huuuuumor in this thing! Seriously, the humor and writing and banter THEY JUST MAKE MY DAY. ...And the one where Airen says he's going to die. TOTAL FAVORITE ASDKFJLDSKJ <3 That one was pure gold. Just. Ughhhh how are you such an amazing writer???

    And I love all the parts Airen's reunited with people! (A contest to see who missed who more, and Naidren with not being dead and don't sound so disapointed. XD)

    "Darven jumped down, eyeing everyone with a raised brow. “Are we having a party in the middle of battle?”
    “I want to join!” Leiden called" <------------- THIIIIIS. That right there. Nope, I'm done. Another fave. I just. This book makes me so happy. XDDDD

    Eldoren! He's... fun. :D He and Riana together are PRICELESS, gosh. o.o They're so sparky and I LOVE it!




    No that wasn't me fangirling about this dubiously allied person. Nope. Not at all.
    Oh, nevermind.
    *fangirls unashamedly because CAEL!!!!! :D :D :D*
    “What can I say? People just love following me around.”
    “That was fun,”
    I just can't with him!!! XD

    ...Okay, so I didn't talk about ALL of them, but near enough. I told you this was dangerous, setting me loose on these... *coughcough* Ahem.

    Aaaaall that to say, I really really really enjoyed these snippets! Thank you so much for sharing!! ^_^ I just have to say that you're an AMAZING writer, and I'm not just saying that. I can tell from these snippets that you've just grown SO much as a writer and that if your books are this good in snippets written during NaNo... that I just am floored at the thought of how how amazing this series will be all finished. o.o Which... I am needing increasingly more, the more you tell/show about these books. So thanks for that. XD But the CHARRIES and the dialog and HUMOR and excitement and fantasyness and THE CHARRIES and the writing which is awesome and DID I MENTION THE CHARRIES YET?? Just. Ugh. This series. I love it so much and I haven't even read it. HOW AMAZING IS THAT, I ASK YOU.

    Thank you for sharing and I need to go to bed now because I should NOT be writing ridiculously long comments at midnight buuuut it happens. Please do not feel obliged to write a reply to every thing I said. XD (*Hopes your blog will not object to my posting an 800 word comment... >.>* *sees that it doesn't* *sighs and chops in half*)

    (JUST. THIS STORY. <3)

    1. *clutches heart* Celti. CELTI. CELTIIIIII!!!!! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH YOU???? Oh my goodness gracious, YOUR COMMENTS. I could just read and flail over these forever. AWK. CELTI!!!! WHAT DO I EVEN SAAAAY????

      *takes deep breath*
      *tries to find coherent words*

      I torture my poor Iavin, I really do. Although anything short of sitting by himself reading a book is torture to him, so it can't be helped... Heh.

      Darven, Leiden, and Rem were such a fun trio! And it's true, I shamefully haven't talked about Rem much! He was introduced in the 2nd book, Naidren and Nyria's story, and became fast friends with my twinsies. I think you'd like him. He's so funloving and carefree and just nice. I do love my Rem. ^_^ But yes, Darven. XD Definitely one of my top favorites. *cough, cough*

      "MY PRECIOUS BBYS ARE ALL GROWING SO MUUUCH." <--- This was literally me writing the entire book!!! *sniffles*

      YESH, AIRYTH. My most favoritest ship of my charries. And SO many new couples cropped up or grew in this book. Hazard of a finale. Lol. But I kinda loved it. Some...interesting, unexpected pairs showed up and it was great. XD

      I am so happy you liked the humor! It was also a very intense book...heh. So I wanted to make sure and lighten it with some fun humor and things. YOU ARE JUST MAKING MY DAY LEFT AND RIGHT.

      Lolzy! Airen being reunited with people is the most fun thing. He's such a hugger. XD

      I literally just had to stop reading because I laughed so hard at this!!!!!! Nobody died. Except me. Because this comment made me laugh so hard I stopped breathing. I CAN'T. XDDDD It IS true that Bryth initiating a hug is a momentous occasion. LOL.

      "Because Cael!" <-- My life... Literally don't even know what to do with that boy.

      Okay, I'm just sitting here staring at my blinking cursor trying so desperately hard to figure out how on earth to say thank you and what your comments meant to me, but I CAN'T. THERE ARE NO PROPER WORDS OR ENOUGH CAPS OR EXCLAMATION MARKS IN THE WORLD. It's comments like this that push me to keep writing when I'm feeling so discouraged. That motivate me when I really, really, reeeeally don't feel like it. I just...I can't thank you enough. I can't PERIOD. All of my can is gone after this. I'm just floating in a happy daze. "Thank you" seems weak, but I'm going to say it anyway. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm probably going to be reading these comments over and over and over for the next few YEARS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR ENTHUSIASM FOR COADS AND ENCOURAGEMENT AND JUST EVERYTHIIIIIING. <333333333333333333

      *frolics happily away*

  10. *stares at Deborah's comment* o.o Now... now everything I was going to say sounds so small and tiny compared to her flailing. BUT I LOVED THEM. I LOVED YOUR SNIPPETS SO MUCH. You seem to have such a good grasp of your characters and asdjfkl; I wish I knew more about them. I am so excited for you, and so incredibly impressed. I mean... you stayed focused that on that series for so long. YOUR DETERMINATION IS ASTOUNDING. You are so inspiring. <3 <3 <3

    katie grace
    a writer's faith

    1. BUT KATIE. YOUR COMMENT MAKES ME SO HAPPEH. You are the nicest thiiing. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! <333

  11. SNIPPEEEETTTSSSS! *promptly devours them all*

    *pauses because of the sudden thought of how absolutely gorgeous this series will look lined up on a shelf one day--all those vibrant colors...*

    Iavin's dying goat laugh, oh my word... XDDD He's a precious bby. And more afraid of public speaking than all the other things he's done! *huggles* OH AND THAT THIRD SNIPPET. ACK, RIGHT TO THE HEART. :')

    This crew is just precious, I have to say. (And I had to smirk at the remarks about the enemy wanting to live in nicer areas of the kingdom. Why DO the villains always choose the worst places to live?)

    "But he had sort of, kind of hoped to live at least a little past twenty-one." I can see why Iavin's POV is your favorite! XD

    OH CHRISTINE. I don't even know Airen and Eryth all that well, but DAT SNIPPET. I was close to tearing up and I'm not even reading that snippet in context, with the whole series of awesomeness behind it. o.o LKASDJFKLASKLASFJ I HAVE NO WORDS.

    "Whoever kills the most enemies has done the most missing." Literally the best battle dialogue EVER.


    So basically I need these books immediately. I can just imagine getting a whole boxed set of all seven books one day, and just spending all of Christmas break curled up on the couch, reading the entire thing. ^_^ IT'S SO EPIC AND HUGGY AND STABBY AND SNARKY AND EMOTIONAL, GAHHH! <333

    1. TRACEY. YOUR WHOLE COMMENT. I just want to hug it!

      Iavin is my precious bby boy, he really is. And his and Cael's friendship amuses me probably far too much. Their hug maaaay have been my favorite scene to write in the entire book. *grins*

      GAH. You like the Airen-Eryth snippet that much?? *FLAILS* THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPEH. They're also my precious bbys. Okay, they're ALL my precious children! <3

      I declare half the battles are them just spouting out ridiculous things like that. Airen and Nyria are the worst about it, too. I don't even know what happens during my battle scenes. XD

      TRACEY. What do I even say???? You just absolutely 100% made my day! (And I love how you said huggy and stabby together. That literally describes this book! XDD) THANK YOU SO MUCH. <33333333333

  12. SNIPPETS! *squeals and twirls in all the Christine words* *hugs all the little bits of wonderfulness*

    OH MY GOODNESS. These were pure EPICNESS. Like ... I can't even *is speechless*.

    "Whoever kills the most enemies has done the most missing." I LOVE IT. I CAN'T EVEN. *dies and hugs the snippet* I WANT TO READ THESE BOOKS *snatches them all*.

    Also Cael. I NEED MORE CAEL. He sounds like one of the most epic characters of ever. *needs more snippets badly*. AND THE CAEL-IAVIN HUGGING SNIPPET. You basically have the most amazing characters ever xD.

    And (like Tracey said) YOUR SERIES IS GOING TO BE BEAUTIFUL ON A BOOKSHELF SOME DAY. *intends to beta read for you at some point so that this will happen* xD

    Loved these so much! (... like you couldn't tell by all the fangirling I did ... xD) I CAN'T WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON A PUBLISHED CHRISTINE BOOK SO I CAN PET IT ALL DAY AND SQUEAL xD. You did amazing with this series! *all the hugs and candy*

    ~ Savannah


      Lolzy. They're so ridiculous during battle scenes, I don't even know. *shakes head*

      MEEP. I AM HAPPY YOU LIKE CAEL. He' favorite character I've ever made. Period. It's a problem... And his and Iavin's friendship--I literally cannot with them. XD

      YOU. <333333 I'm speechless now. Like, how am I supposed to respond to this??? THANK YOU!!! And I will be so happy to have you as a beta-reader! *glomps*

      I feel like I should be giving YOU all the hugs and candy for this comment and all the encouragement and enthusiasm you've given me through writing this whole book. Love you, girl! <3

  13. Oh my goodness, these were so great, Christine!

    Airen was a delight to read about, as always. I LOVE that snippet of him and Eryth and the hugs and just... I haven't even read these books and I'm having feels.

    Aww, Iavin! I really enjoyed the snippets with him. He sounds like such a fun character to write, and I love his POV. :)

    CAEL. I just. THE HUG SCENE. I don't even know what's going on there but I couldn't help laughing and I think that might be my favorite!

    Wonderful snippets, Christine, and congratulations again on finishing your series!

    1. *flails happily* Thank you, sweet girl!

      D'awwww! That makes me happy. Those two DO give me all the feels. ^_^

      My Iavin bby. He's actually my top, top favorite POV to write, so I'm really glad you like his POV, too! But I do torture the poor dear...

      LOLZY. *whispers*the hug scene was my favorite to write*whispers* Their friendship kills me. XD

      Thank you, Jameson!! Your whole comment just made me smile. <3

  14. As always your snippets are delightful.

    1. YOU are delightful, you precious human bean. Thank you, Skye! <3


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