I have finally finished the rough draft of The Elven Healer's Apprentice!
It is a whole month behind schedule (thank you nasty virus that gave me brain fog for a month), but we made it!
So, what is next? Editing, beta readers, and formatting, there are quite a few steps left before I can present to you all the best version of Merlon's book. I want you to enjoy my prickly healer's journey without typos, inconsistencies, and all the other unintended flaws it currently has. This leads to my next announcement.
I moved the release date. As of this morning, The Elven Healer's Apprentice will be available on February 9th, 2023.
This change will allow me to wrangle the book through all the polishing it needs and present it all shiny and lovely to all of you.
In the meantime, I will also be figuring out the plan for the rest of the series, and what to write next. I only have one more Elves of Eldarlan novella planned, which means it is time to start a new series in the same world.
Gargoyles, Seelie and Unseelie, Dragon shifters, or more Elves, which is your preference for the next series?
Let me know here.
As a special treat to hold you over, here is a sneak peek at a bit of unedited The Elven Healer's Apprentice to hold you over:
“Tyrant,” Merlon muttered as he burst through the door of the animal barn, eyes blazing brighter than his silvery-white hair. Robes whipping about him in a squall of expensive fabrics and latent magic, he stormed down the aisle between the creature pens. The salamanders responded by flooding their enclosure with heat. They scuffled about sending off small flares of fire that popped and spit. Thankful I had already fed them, I tried to focus on my current task, feeding a great creature with the head of a lioness and the body of a goat called a chimera.
Three days had passed since the incident with Ethe and her son, Hughion. The frequency of the messages traveling back and forth between the compound and the castle indicated something was brewing. With each, Merlon’s level of irritation had only grown.
His current mood appeared to match that of the creature in the cage beneath me. The chimera’s enclosure floor had been dug out so that a ten-foot drop separated me from the hissing beast below. Her malevolent serpent eyes glared up from above a snarling muzzle as she paced, tail lashing in anticipation of food.
Propping the metal-lined slot open with one length of iron, I threw the last slab of meat into the chimera’s pen through the safety door. She leaped up and scrambled for the meat as it hit the stone floor of her cage. The food disappeared down her gullet with a snap and a gulp. Then, the creature turned and eyed me, drool dripping from her snarling lips. With a hiss that produced a cloud of steam, she demanded more. There was no mistaking the menacing glint in her eye. She intended that her next bite would come from me.
“No more,” I informed her as I closed the safety hatch keeping the two of us far apart. A fireproof spell fell over the bars, blanketing the iron in a glimmering, tingling curtain of silver haze.
Only then did I turn away to collect the feed bucket for the sphinx cats. At least they wouldn’t threaten me when I offered them their meal. I turned toward the door to the outside and my next task only to bump into an irate elf.
He steadied me as I stumbled about for balance. The familiar tingle of encountering something magic lit the air and for a moment, I couldn’t breathe. To my surprise, Merlon didn’t let me go immediately. It might’ve been my imagination, but his fingers seemed to tighten slightly around my upper arms. When I finally lifted my head to reassure him I was steady now, his gaze flared from silver to a deep azure before he suddenly released me.