Echinodea--Kindle Publishing Date 3 Months Earlier!

Echinodea (The Second Book of the Atlantis Revolution) will be available via Amazon for Kindle on January 1, 2013.  That's 3 months earlier than it's official release date for all formats (April 2, 2013).  This is exciting news!  And if you don't have a Kindle, remember you can read Kindle books on your computer, ipad, ipod, iphone, etc. 

Stay tuned for more!!

Nychta Epithesi (Echinodea--Chapter One)

     Flashes of yellow light streaked across the black sky.  The explosion rocked the city—ancient marble buildings interspersed with modern day skyscrapers.  Four figures, dark and quick, scrambled out from under a pier along the river and ran towards a house—dimly lit and falling apart.
       Front and center of the group was a girl—in her late teens—dressed in a dark robe, her black hair in a pony tail.  The boy behind her was taller than her but appeared to be younger by a few years.  Dressed in a tunic the color of sand, which matched the color of his layered hair, the boy ran to her side.  He carried a sword and a shield.  Behind them, two men, one considerably older than the other, followed in tunics of ocean blue mixed with seaweed green.  Their upper bodies were covered with metal armor and they carried swords.  The younger of the two soldiers also carried a bow and quiver of arrows on his shoulder.
       "Anoigo," the girl yelled, throwing her hands forward.  Sky-blue light blasted through the door of the house.  She paused, along with the boy, and waited for the two soldiers to enter first.  Metal met metal—while the sky outside flashed to near daylight and opened up with a downpour—as the soldiers faced resistance from members of the Knights of the Abyss.  Another crack of thunder shook the city.
       Purple light illuminated every window in the house as the girl led the boy into the assault.  The oldest soldier fought off sword attacks, sweat glistening on his dark hair--not quite black but darker than brown—as he started giving orders.  "Aerian," he said, trying to meet eyes with the girl, "follow Troy upstairs.  Clear the area.  Oaren, you stay with me."
       Aerian followed the younger soldier, Troy, up the steps.  "Frasso," Aerian threw grey light to the bottom of the stairs behind them—the Knights that followed walked into an invisible block and couldn't follow them anymore.
       The bedrooms were dark as they passed by like shadows.  Purple light erupted through the hallways and Aerian opened her arms—like she was giving the light a hug—absorbing it into her body.  Seconds later, with the clap of her hands, the light exploded out, seeking it's Master.
       "Dark magicians are here," Aerian said.  "Just as I expected."
       "Confirms our theory of the Knights working with them," Troy replied.
       "We knew that when we recaptured the royal grounds a few weeks ago.  However, this does tell us that the Knights are more organized than expected.  Apparently, we didn't dismantle their unity as much as we had thought.  We will have to let Trey know."
       Continuing down the hallway, they stepped over bodies of dark magicians on the floor—obvious victims of the purple light that Aerian sent back at them.  "Is it all clear?" Troy asked.
       Aerian guided her mind waves through the upper floor of the house.  "Zito," she said to herself.  Like sonar, the waves bounced back from three different locations.  "Three of them," she whispered.  "Two in the room straight ahead and one in the room to the right."
       "I will take the two in the room ahead," Troy forged past her.
        Troy kicked in the door, put his sword out in front of him and entered the room.  Purple flashed before Aerian's eyes.  Not light this time, but robes.  An old man trying to sneak up behind Troy.  Throwing her hands forward, she guided white light into the back of the man's head.  She twisted her wrists, captured his yell before it escaped his mouth, and watched him collapse.
       Green light flashed in the room.  Aerian gasped and went straight for where Troy was.   The young soldier, who had captured her attention just by being in her presence, was successfully parrying the attacks of one Knight and one magician.  Aerian watched in awe, a smile creeping across her face.  Perfect, fluid-like movements.  A charge ran through her body.  Desire was the only thing that came to mind when she tried to figure out what led to the feeling.
       A high-pitched gasp broke through the air—Troy’s sword had pierced the Knight's chest.  A woman. 
      The magician lifted his arms but Aerian countered whatever attack he was going to make by sending a gust of lethally hot wind.  The body deflated—the air being sucked out of his lungs by the heat—in a heap of purple cloth.
       "A woman," Troy said as he motioned to the Knight's body on the wooden floor in front of them.
       "I noticed."  Aerian paused.  It was unprecedented for the Knights to accept women into their ranks.  Their group was thousands of years old and was thought to practice the ancient rituals.  Unlike the Atlantean military, which allowed women to join as long as anyone living could remember.
       "Guess they're changing their membership policies," Troy said.  His forehead glistened with sweat.  Aerian tried not to stare at his handsome features and eyes---the color of leaves.  Mixed thoughts created an uneasy feeling.  Confusion.  Guilt.  Grief.  Her boyfriend—Jedrick—was murdered by the Knights just weeks prior.  How could she even think about another guy already?  In addition, there was Trey—who seemed to have an interest in her.
       She thought Trey was attractive, as all royals were, but there was something different about Troy.  A certain ruggedness to him made him more appealing than Trey.  Not that she wasn't interested in Trey—he was nice and cute, not to mention the prince.  In fact, she didn't know what she felt and didn't really want to try to balance her feelings if she didn't have to.  With Trey being gone, that was easier.  Plus, she had no idea how either of the guys felt about her—maybe she was imagining Trey's interest in her. 
       "About time," was all she could say.  She hoped the Troy didn't pick up on the pause.


       Oaren watched a blur of silver, blue, and green as Ries swung his sword, stabbed, and repeated in a dance-like fashion.  Knight after Knight fell to the blade.  Three Knights charged Ries and he fought to maintain control.  Fearing for Ries’ life, Oaren moved in to help.
       He saw the navy cloth before the sword.  A Knight slashed a sword at him.  Instinct taking over, Oaren put his shield up just in enough time to block the attack.  Just that fast, the sword came back at him.  The shield deflected it again and he parried his sword the way Troy had taught him.  The Knight deflected Oaren's attack and then pushed the sword forward, aiming for Oaren's chest.  He couldn't get his shield or sword up in time to block it so instead, used his arms though it would do no good.
       "Periblima!"  The tip of the sword stopped less than an inch from his chest.  The Knight's face was in shock.  Oaren saw Aerian with her hand extended toward him—her spell had protected him.  Troy engaged the Knight in a sword fight while Ries battled the last of his enemies.
       "Zito," Aerian said out loud, a look of concentration on her face.  Waves of sound spread out, none of them bouncing back.  By the time she surveyed the whole house, the last two Knights were dead.  Ries' stance stayed defensive, ready for attack.  Troy searched the room, like an owl, to ensure no enemies remained.
       "It is clear," Aerian told them.  "I searched the entire house."  Both soldiers sheathed their swords.
       Sweating and breathing heavy, Troy and Ries took a moment to regain their bearings.  Oaren put his sword away and said, "That was fun!"  The look on his face said the opposite.
       "A blast," Ries replied.  With no emotion in his voice, it was impossible to tell if he was being sarcastic.
       "Do you want to search the other houses?" Troy asked Ries.
       "I want to inspect this one first," the older man said.
       "I will go outside and use the spell to search the area," Aerian told them.
       "I am going with you," Troy said, removing his sword from the scabbard.  Aerian didn't feel like she needed protection but she didn't want to refuse the opportunity to be alone with Troy.  Besides, her instinct told her that letting Troy protect her would be a good thing.  Being a soldier, he probably felt the need to protect women and that might be the key to signaling that she was interested in him.  By the time she came to from her thought session, Troy was already leaving the house.  She quickly followed.
       Ries and Oaren walked the house, looking on hutches, tables, counters and in cabinets.  Oaren wasn't sure what they were looking for but Ries had said "Anything that looks like it might give us clues into the Knights organization and plans."


       "Nothing," Aerian said.
       "Not even civilians?" Troy asked.
       "I am only targeting Knights and dark magicians with the waves.  They all fled but I know there had to be more of them."
       "Our intelligence said that they were gathering in this part of the city.  Our undercover soldiers said they were told this was the place to sign up for the Knights, for citizens and magicians.”
       His eyes met hers causing her heart to flutter.  She thought that Jedrick's and Trey's eyes were beautiful—like the ocean—but Troy's put theirs to shame, at least in her mind.  That thought caused her guilt again.  Maybe that was just it; maybe Trey reminded her too much of Jedrick.
       She glanced around, only avoiding his eye contact.  "Well either the intelligence was wrong or the Knights had some way of escaping."
       Troy sheathed his sword.  "I am guessing the latter."
       Oaren and Ries joined them.  "We found nothing," Oaren said.
       "The area is clear," Aerian informed them.
       "We are thinking that the Knights had an escape route," Troy added.
       "Probably," Ries said.  "At least I hope that was the case because I do not want to have to explain to the Prince that our intelligence was mistaken."
       "The Prince does not even know about this," Troy said
       Aerian's eyes lit up.  Her mind raced; connected with someone.  Someone very distant.  It could only be one person.  She smiled at Troy and said, "Or does he?"