Ledia Runnels' "World of Fantasy Fiction"











Chapter One

Sleight of Hand

Thaddeus was missing. The only certain thing Benjamin could put a finger on. Everything else was a web of confusion left for him to untangle as best he could.

He opened the front door of the family mansion to find swirling darkness. Squinting, he adjusted his eyes to the room lit only by vague moonlight that shifted through the cloud-filled sky. His breathing and the steady drip, drip, drip from his raincoat hem were the only sounds that filled the otherwise empty silence that pressed against him while the musty scent of death sifted down with the dust particles that floated on the air. He was not surprised still it bothered him that there was no sign of a servant, not even the vermin that most definitely had taken up residence since the humans vacated the premises.

Fists clenched, determined that nothing would deter him, he forced away the willy-nilly shiver that raced up his spine. He covered his nose with a monogrammed handkerchief and pushed past cobwebs hanging from the ornate door frame. As he did so, soft webbing brushed against his face giving the sensation that spiders crawled through his hair and over his clothes.

Frantic, he yanked the rain-filled bowler from his head, slapping it against his exposed head, drenched-wet coat and gray flannel trousers. His startled gaze darted here and there, unable to see anything distinctly in the darkness. A flash of light, perhaps it was a will-o-the-wisp, snapped his brain. Still, he found nothing but air and an overactive imagination crawling through the crevices of his clothes and hair, though his scalp continued to tingle with the phantom touch of a thousand tiny arachnids.

Holding his breath, like a child afraid of the darkness, he stepped farther inside the octagon-shaped foyer, his back toward the rain outside. A slug of revulsion shivered through him as he pulled off his raincoat. He felt exposed as he draped the dripping coat and water-filled hat on to a brass stand that stood near the front door. Tarnished from lack of good housekeeping, the stand reminded him of a wooden skeleton with too many arms and no head.

The steady drip from the coat’s hem echoed dully against the dusty wood floor matching the rhythm of the wind that whistled against the windows and roof making an eerie tick, tick that resounded throughout the murky space beyond. A wet dog, Benjamin shook water droplets from his hair splattering them in every direction. This place, this house, no longer felt like his childhood home. It reminded him instead of a mausoleum that only dead things or the insane would skulk through. Not eager to have prying eyes peer into his private business, he closed the double front doors, shutting out the beam of moonlight that had shown the way. As the latch clicked into place darkness enveloped the room so thick it seemed to twist and coil around him. He yanked the door back open. Damn the rain, damn the floor, he needed the light.

“Thaddeus-s-s,” Benjamin hissed.

It had been months since he received the message that no one in Breton had seen or heard the whereabouts of his younger brother and new bride. Angrier than he had ever been at Thaddeus, and that was saying a lot, his gaze shot toward the three-story cathedral ceiling that lifted away into darkness.

“Where in hell are you, Thaddeus?”

The answer came like mice skittering from buried corners of the mansion. Benjamin pivoted toward the sound. His boot heels clicked on the parquet floor echoing eerily against the unseen walls of the hidden rooms beyond.

At the threshold of the library, he would swear he felt warm breath blew against his ear as if someone stood just above his right shoulder, whispering words he could not understand. He twisted around to face demons cavorting in the murky shadows. For one terrible moment, his senses blurred, his throat constricted. He could not breathe. Oh, God, he could not breathe.

“Who’s there?” He gasped the words, hating the way his voice trembled with dread, while forcing puffs of air out of his closed throat incapable of drawing in a fresh breath.

Everything, what little that he could see of the room, began to blur. He was going to pass out. Oh, God there was no one here to help him and he was going to choke. He was going to die—

He forced the knot out, once, twice from his throat clenched in a spasm before he gasped in the saving air he needed. Breathing in and out, he waited. His face hot from exertion, fists clenched at his side. Yet, only silence and gloom answered back adding to the creeping terror that had almost taken over his mind.

Drawing his courage, he turned back toward the book-lined room and pushed through the encroaching shadows. A tree limb scrapped and tapped at the library’s bay window sending a shiver of dread through him. Bustling about to keep the cold and fear at bay, he knelt before the hearth. Sweeping aside scattered ashes on the stone bed, he pulled wood, kindling and matches from the tarnished, copper magazine. Soon a blazing fire lit and warmed one section of the room. Eagerly, he stretched his hands toward the soothing heat and flickering flame.

He glanced toward the gaslights hanging unlit from the wood-paneled library walls, but thought better of turning them up, wishing to conduct his search in as much secrecy as possible. Instead, he retrieved a tallow candle from a desk drawer.

The wick blazed to life casting meager light and flickering shadows. Benjamin walked toward a mahogany desk where stacks of books and wads of paper covered thick dust. He picked up a crumpled note that lay among the books and smoothed it out. Uneven handwriting lay scrawled across the sheet. It read:

My Dearest Mary, I find myself in dire straits with only you as a possible savior…

The last word ended in a streaked blob of ink that trailed off the edge of the onion skin paper.

Benjamin bit back a curse. He scrunched the stationery into a ball and tossed it into a trash hamper that sat at the base of the desk. One by one, he flattened out the other sheets. Much to his frustration, none of the other sheets of crumpled paper revealed any more than the first had. Benjamin whisked the palm of his hand toward the desktop, scattering the paper wad on to the floor. He then brushed the grime from the palms of his hands, drew in a deep, calming breath and turned away from the desk with its piles of filth-encrusted clutter.

Why was he forever cleaning up Thaddeus’ messes? His anger welled up overpowering the creeping terror he fought at every turn since entering the house. Taking the candle with him, he strode toward to the entrance hall where the peculiar sounds now seemed to emanate.

Since his sojourn in the library, moonlight had broken free of the gathering clouds sending a kaleidoscopic beam of pink, blue and green light cascading down through stained glass cut into the third-floor ceiling. It shimmered like fairy dust against twin staircases that seemed to float as they curved toward opposite sides of the second story.

Near the bottom, right step of the east wing stairs there stood an upright “Saratoga” traveling chest. The bigger case hovered over a prone steamer trunk where a padlock bolted the lid shut.

Benjamin set down the candle and threw open the Saratoga. He searched, rummaging through frilly women’s clothing and shoes hastily thrown into the case, but he found nothing save inconsequential rubbish! He wanted to shout as he flung fists full of the feminine dainties on to the dusty floor. The only thing that prevented him was again, not wanting to draw attention this way.

His mind whirled with speculation. Why the hurriedly packed clothes, stuffed into travel cases left to gather dust in the foyer? Benjamin jumped to his feet and hurried toward the back of the mansion. In moments, he returned carrying a small pix axe and a blunt-nosed hammer. Using the ax tip as a wedge, he slammed the butt of the hammer against the ax’s blunt metal edge. One well-placed blow and the lock shattered. He tossed the tools aside and shoved open the steamer’s lid.

Silk shirts, hand-tailored woolen slacks and broad, colorful cravats, he scooped into a heap on the floor. At the bottom of the trunk, next to a half full bottle of rye whiskey, lay a slim, leather-bound, black book. When he held it up to the candlelight, a shudder of horror tracked down his spine. Pressed into the binding and along the front and back covers of the bleak volume were reddish-brownish stains.

Whose blood is this? His stomach churned.

He could feel the bile rise in his throat. His hands shook, His mind was unable to shut out all the gruesome possibilities. Dreading what new revulsion would present its self, he opened the front cover of the slender tome to find a penned signature occupying the upper left corner. It read, Personal Journal of Thaddeus Ulysses Theibes, Esq…

Continued…

Related articles


Set in Victorian EraWashington State,

Theibes House

is a

Fantasy Horror

from the author of

Legends of the Hengeyokai,

Book One,

Tengu Prince



Chapter One

PROPHETIC DREAMER

He cried, it is both

a blessing and a curse to

know the awful truth…

–Tsuru no Megumi

The bird man flew low beneath stars that crackled like ice chips in the moonless sky. Expanding his wings, he glided on the jet stream, directing his flight a kilometer short of where the sandy embankment stretched on either side of the “Sea of Japan“. Dreading what he would find there, he closed his eyes and drew in a ragged breath while a single wish filled his thoughts.

Tonight, things will be different from all the nights before. Back the way they should be.

His greatest hope sprang from his greatest horror that the terrible revelations he remembered from previous journeys would turn out to be mere dreams dredged up from nightmares. Not a horrific foretelling of the future, as all of his most vivid visions always turned out to be.

Megumi Tsuru landed soft as a leaf blown by the wind. The current blew strong near the ground so it pulled his outstretched wings, snowy white with jet-black tips. The next instant, the fetid stench of dead fish, matted with decayed seaweed, assaulted his senses.

So it remains the same. He shook my head while anxiety washed over him like a dull film.

The voice of the sea thrummed in his ears. The gulls that chattered overhead seemed too loud. Still, he swallowed his sorrow, letting the crash of the waves soothe instead of annoy him while a different, yet familiar sensation burned deep inside his bones. It quickly blazed over and through him to the deepest regions beneath his feathers to the very tips of his claws and beak.

Moments later when he opened his eyes, he peered out from the smooth face–of a man. The warmth of a summer‘s night caressed his human body while an inner chill made him shiver.

He dug his toes into the sand, dry where it should be wet, next to a notched branch shoved into the sand when snow had covered the ground–over six months ago. He had put it there himself to mark the place where high tide used to hit the shoreline.

Now dried seaweed stuck cracked and black to the upper nodes of the branch severed from the sacred Sakai, the same tree that once hung with brightly colored cloth and a mirror to lure Sun from her cave hiding place millennia before.

From the defiled branch, Megumi made his way on foot toward the edge of the sea, his gaze focused on the sand near his feet. He could have flown, but he wanted to feel the tremors when they rumbled beneath him, shooting like a spear up his spine. The terrible sensation reminded him that this was more than a dream.

Megumi shook his head. The quakes grew in intensity each time he ventured to the devastated shore. Nothing could deny that.

He had read about a time, lost in the distant past, when the moon came so close to the Earth that it seemed the two colossal spheres would collide. From the account he had heard, the terrible phenomena caused cascading tons of ocean to eat away the shorelines, drowning everything that stood in the towering water’s path.

Most saw this event as pure mythology. But not Megumi.

The visions he saw now told of a time in the near future when the moon would take an opposite sojourn and slowly pull away from the Earth causing low tides to yank the oceans farther and farther away from the present shoreline. If this happened, the creatures of the sea would lie gasping for breath, helpless on dry land.

A grim smile tugged at Megumi’s lips. The meat eaters would find themselves stalking the shorelines for a mere glimpse of fresh food.

He shook his head in dismay. If things did not change for the better and soon, all of creation would face a slow agonizing death of starvation and worse. The Tribe of Crane included. But that was not the worst to come.

Pressure. Pressure.

His chest ached with frustration. The weight of what he knew, of what he must do squeezed like an invisible hand trying to crush out his existence–before the coming atrocities ever could.

He stopped at the edge of the sea, staring into the endless darkness beyond while cool salted water lapped around his ankles. Like a cold slap in his face, he could not get the image of the dried branch he had stuck in the ground or the heaps of dead fish piled up on the sand, reminding him that he must never give up his search for a way to stop it any of it from happening.

Megumi spun toward a mound of sand littered with decayed seaweed and fish carcasses. For one night, this bird had seen enough to make him miserable for eternity.

Head ducked low in determination; he trudged to the top of one rotten heap. Lifting his arms a wingspan apart the wind beat against his back, whipping his white hair, with jet black tips, into stiff, damp swirls. Nose tilted eastward toward the Brother Mountains, he took a running start. By the time he reached the edge of the dune his arms became wings spread open in flight…

***

In the Northern Province of Yamagata JapanMount Haguro stood the smallest of the three Brother Mountains. Nestled atop the summit the monastery slept. Tsuru no Megumi woke drenched in sweat. He felt the chill in the room as he slipped from beneath the covered sleeping mat.

Soft snoring drifted toward him. He paused, watching the sleeper beneath the colorful quilt. He wanted to wake his friend and tell him about the latest, terrible dream. Shojika would know how to ease the ache in Megumi’s heart even in the dark, cold hours before dawn. But courtesy would not allow him to disturb his friend’s precious sleep.

Head bowed in deep concentration, he turned and made his way through the darkened corridor of the living quarters. In his human form, man‘s feet pattered softly against the rice rush floors.

Situated at the backside of the monastery, Megumi stepped into the library where he spent long hours poring over ancient manuscripts of Nippon history and what others would call folklore. A place of profound peace, Megumi knew the library as a refuge from the insanity and chaos that the visions brought. Today, he went to there, desperate to find answers.

Tsuru no Megumi, “Crane of Mercy”, was the meaning of his name. And for the most part, he lived up to the title. With the abilities of a powerful seer since a very young age, he had grown accustom to knowing the future before it happened.

The outside world held in great demand one with such a “talent” as he possessed. But the over stimulation of attention he received in the past had almost driven him mad. It was the reason he now hid in the Mountains of Dewa where he had lived a quiet life—until the recent visions came to bombard his peace of mind.

He made his way toward cubbyholes that covered every wall, filled with rice paper scrolls. He stopped at a familiar niche.

A gentle slick gave way as he pulled a paper scroll loose from its slot and then made his way to a low-standing tea table. He knelt on a floor pillow tucked beside a tea table that sat beneath a round skylight, like a perfect full moon, that hung near the top of the high-beamed ceiling. Outside the window, the branches of a towering cryptomeria spruce scritch-scratched against the glass pane where the sun’s light had yet to rise.

Continued…

Enjoy!



Is it possible to fall in love at first sight even if your crush is… a ghost?

Andean Hillstar cannot forget Hinata Jintori after she meets him through the magic of a dragon orb.

In Japan a secret society of magic exists. Hidden behind the world of humans. Populated with shape-shifters and immortals  Where the son of a feudal warlord, with a heartbreaking past; a young woman, searching for the father she never knew; and the loss of an ancient talisman holds the secret to saving the creatures of the earth from a terrible fate.

Cherry Jewel is the exciting second volume in the epic fantasy adventure, Legends of the Hengoyokai that will leave you spellbound and yearning for more!



{September 6, 2012}   UPDATE!

HI EVERYONE!

I’ve been out of the loop for a bit now, busy with the business of writing etc. For those following my book’s progress, it is pretty much decided that the local middle school is using my novel, LEGENDS OF THE HENGEYOKAI, BOOK ONE  TENGU PRINCE as curriculum next April. I’ve been doing fine tune editing to make sure the book is ready for a teacher to read and teach to a class full of sixth graders. This is so exciting!

TENGU PRINCE has a new cover that I hope projects the theme of the story a bit better than the first one did. Also, I am fine-tune-editing book two in the series: CHERRY JEWEL. I hope to have it ready by this October, but a lot is happening now withTENGU PRINCE so not sure if I will find the needed time to spend on CHERRY JEWEL just now. It will be ready by April of next year at the very latest.

English: James Franco at the Austin Film Festi...

English: James Franco at the Austin Film Festival in October 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Johnny Depp at the Austin Film Festiv...

English: Johnny Depp at the Austin Film Festival in October 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am looking for an agent and plan to attend the Austin Film Festival next month. I have gone twice before and find it an exciting place to meet other writers as well as movers and shakers in the film industry.

Hope all of you are having a fantastic September! I wish all the best for you.



Ivan Bilibin 102

Ivan Bilibin 102 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tsar Saltan, hearing, was silent, thinking of his dead wife and of her promise to bear him such hero-sons. He dismissed the merchants with rich gifts and they bought goods to fill their ships and sailed away again on the wide sea-ocean.

In time they touched at the island of Tsaritsa Marfa, and being entertained, recounted to her their visit to Tsar Saltan’s court and told how, for a third time, he had purposed to voyage thither, until his wife had told of the underground room, and of the six Tsarevitches with legs golden, arms of silver, and with stars in their hair.

When the shipmen had departed on their way, Tsaritsa Marfa told Tsarevitch Guidon the story of her life with Tsar Saltan and what she had suffered at the hands of her wicked sisters. “These six Tsarevitches,” she said, “whom the witch hides in the forest, are surely none other than my own dear sons and thy little brothers. Let us depart to search for them.”

So the Tsarevitch struck together his flint and steel and bade the ax and hammer build a ship which would fly either on land or sea and which should take them to the witch’s forest. Next morning all was ready, and they straightway embarked and sailed over the sea-ocean, and over the open steppe to the edge of the forest, where the Baba Yaga had hidden the stolen Princes.

Whether the journey was long or short, whether it took a twelvemonth or a day, they found the crooked oak tree and the Tsarevitch lifted the great flat stone and they entered the underground room. They looked here and there and presently saw six little soiled shirts lying on chairs. The Tsaritsa took them, washed them clean, rinsed, wrung and hung them to dry. Six little plates sat on a table unwashed. She washed them all and dried them and swept the floor. Hearing a noise outside, she said: “Someone is coming. Let us hide behind the stove.”

They hid themselves, and the six Tsarevitches entered, all with legs golden to the knee, arms silver to the elbow, and with little stars in their hair. They saw how the room had been swept and the plates and shirts made clean, and were glad. “Show thyself,” they cried, “thou who hast washed and tidied our house. If thou art a beautiful girl, thou shalt be our little sister, and if thou art a Tsaritsa, thou shalt be our little mother!”

Then Tsaritsa Marfa showed herself, and the six Tsarevitches ran to her, and she took them in her arms and kissed and caressed them and told them who they were-that she was indeed their mother and Tsarevitch Guidon their little brother. She brought them from the forest to the magic ship and it sailed with them like a white swan, over the open steppe and the blue sea-ocean to the Tsaritsa’s island, to her Palace of white stone, and there they began to live happily together.

Now when its voyage was finished, the ship of the merchants came back from the ends of the world and put in at the island. The Tsaritsa welcomed them and she and her seven Sons gave them such feasts and amusements that for delight they would have remained there forever. “O merchant-travelers,” she asked them, “in what cargoes do ye traffic, and whither go ye from here?”

“We have sailed about the whole world,” they answered, “with goods of every sort that tradesmen carry, and from here our course lies eastward to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan the Splendid.”

“Fair weather to you,” she said, “and take a greeting to Tsar Saltan from me and from these my seven sons.”

The ship departed, and when it was come to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan, he made the merchants yet again his guests. And as they ate and drank and made merry, he said to them: “O tradesmen and far-journeying adventurers, ye have sailed to the uttermost lands. What strange thing have ye seen, and is there any new wonder in the white world?”

“O great Tsar Saltan!” they replied, “thou didst hear from us before of the island in the blue sea-ocean, of its Tsaritsa and her Tsarevitch, and their Palace of white stone, with the marvels there to be seen. On our way hither we again stopped there, and now the lady hath with her not one Tsarevitch but seven, so handsome that we know no words o tell thee of them, and each has legs golden to the knee, and arms silver to the elbow, and in their hair are little stars set close together. And when we departed the Tsaritsa sent to thee greeting from herself and these seven sons.”

When the merchants spoke thus the wicked wife of Tsar Saltan opened her mouth to speak, but the Tsar rose up and silenced her.

“Tell me no more of thy marvels,” he said to her. “What am I, a Tsar or a child?” And having dismissed the merchants with presents, he sent for his Ministers and Boyars and bade a fleet to be prepared, and that same day set sail for the island.

Tsarevitch Guidon, sitting with his brothers at the window, saw the ships of Tsar Saltan coming over the blue sea- ocean, and called to his mother, “See, our little father is coming!” He went to meet him and brought him into the Palace to the Tsaritsa.

Seeing her, Tsar Saltan recognized her, and his breath stopped and his face flowed with tears. He kissed her and embraced his seven sons and all began to weep and rejoice together.

When they had spent some days in such happiness, they went aboard the ships and sailed back to Tsar Saltan’s realm. He summoned his Ministers and Boyars, his Princes and Judges, and they condemned his evil wife, and she and her sister were put into a chest barred and bound with iron, and the chest was thrown into the sea-ocean. But God did not protect them as He had protected the Tsaritsa and her son, for they sank at once into the lowest abyss and were drowned.

But Tsar Saltan and Tsaritsa Marfa, with the seven Tsarevitches, lived always together in bright-faced joy, and increased in all good things. And Tsaritsa Marfa was as beautiful in her old age as she had been in her youth.

Continued…

Enjoy!

Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales: Russian Wonder Tales”

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/tsarsaltan.html

Images

Ivan Bilibin’s art:

https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

EXTRA

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Finally Available on Amazon.com!

http://creativemusingsoflediar.com/2012/04/15/legend-of-the-tengu-prince-finally-available-on-amazon-com/

Synopsis:

Fantasy Action Adventure set in feudal Japan.

During a time of civil war, Karasu Hinata is born the son of a powerful warlord. When he is still a child, his family castle is taken by a rival clan. His father and mother are murdered right before his eyes.

Barely escaping with his life, he is spirited away by the king of the tengu. The shape-shifting raven leads him to the hidden mountain retreat of a sect of mystic warriors. Mountain priests who practice the magic of Shugendo.

Ten years have passed. The time has come for Karasu to leave the mystic’s protective lair and face his demons in the world beyond. But the fiend that haunts his nightmares is also the one that shattered his life. More than a bad dream, it wants him dead.

In Legend of the Tengu Prince, nothing is as it seems. Shape-shifting creatures, both good and evil, populate the magical world of feudal Japan. And a young man will pay the ultima

te price for a deadly rival spawned in the mists time. This riveting first volume of a epic fantasy adventure will leave you stunned and begging for more.



File:Bilibin - Chernomor and 33 heroes.jpgIt befell at length that the merchants‘ ship returned from its voyage and cast anchor at the island. The Tsaritsa met and welcomed them, giving them to eat and drink till for rich feasting they scarce remembered their names. “O shipmen and merchants,” she said, “what merchandise do ye bear and whither fare ye from here?”

They answered: “We are laden with steel swords and with precious armor which we have traded through the whole world, and our way is eastward, to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan the Magnificent.”

“A fair wind to you,” said the Tsaritsa. “Carry my greeting, and that of my son Guidon, to Tsar Saltan.”

So they sailed on to the Tsar’s dominions and a third time were summoned to his presence and feasted; and before they left him he said: “O merchants and travelers, in all your wayfaring what new sights have ye seen? And is there any fresh marvel in the white world?”

“O Tsar’s Majesty!” they replied. “We told thee before of the island with its Palace, its self-grinding mill, its golden column and its learned cat. On this voyage also we visited it and were entertained right royally. And now, in addition to the other wonders we recounted, there is there a fir tree, on which sits a squirrel, cracking with its teeth nuts, whose shells are gold and whose kernels are emerald. The squirrel lives in a crystal summer-house and the gold and emeralds are piled in the Palace treasury till it overflows with such riches that the like is surely not to be seen in the whole world. The noble Tsarevitch Guidon showed us these things, and we bear to thee a greeting from him and from the Tsaritsa, his mother.”

The Tsar was astonished to hear of this and said to his wife: “In truth, the wonders of which thou hast told me are all to be found in this surpassing island. Canst thou recall any marvel to match this?”

She answered spitefully: “That is not so hard. There is in a dense forest, under a crooked oak tree, a great flat stone which covers an underground room, and in the room are six Tsarevitches, more beautiful than can be told. Each has legs golden to the knee, arms silver to the elbow, and in his hair are little stars. A witch keeps them hidden, and there lives in the white world no man clever enough to find them out or to learn who they are.”

Continued…

Enjoy!

Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales: Russian Wonder Tales”

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/tsarsaltan.html

Images

Ivan Bilibin’s art: “Chernomor and the thirty-three bogatīrs”

https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

EXTRA

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Finally Available on Amazon.com!

http://creativemusingsoflediar.com/2012/04/15/legend-of-the-tengu-prince-finally-available-on-amazon-com/

Synopsis:

Fantasy Action Adventure set in feudal Japan.

During a time of civil war, Karasu Hinata is born the son of a powerful warlord. When he is still a child, his family castle is taken by a rival clan. His father and mother are murdered right before his eyes.

Barely escaping with his life, he is spirited away by the king of the tengu. The shape-shifting raven leads him to the hidden mountain retreat of a sect of mystic warriors. Mountain priests who practice the magic of Shugendo.

Ten years have passed. The time has come for Karasu to leave the mystic’s protective lair and face his demons in the world beyond. But the fiend that haunts his nightmares is also the one that shattered his life. More than a bad dream, it wants him dead.

In Legend of the Tengu Prince, nothing is as it seems. Shape-shifting creatures, both good and evil, populate the magical world of feudal Japan. And a young man will pay the ultima

te price for a deadly rival spawned in the mists time. This riveting first volume of a epic fantasy adventure will leave you stunned and begging for more.



File:Ivan Bilibin 125.gif

They answered: “O mighty Tsar Saltan! we have truly visited many countries and seen many strange things, but the most wonderful is this. When we were thy guests before, we told thee of an island on which, bare and uninhabited of old, we found a splendid Palace with a beautiful Tsaritsa and a brave Tsarevitch. On this sailing we passed again that way and put in at the island, and now beside the Palace of white stone there is a green garden with a mill that grinds and winnows of itself and casts the chaff a hundred versts away. Beside it is a golden column on which a cat climbs continually up and down, singing songs and telling tales. And there is a summer-house of crystal in which the cat lives. The Tsaritsa showed us these wonders and her son the Tsarevitch Guidon sends a greeting to thee.”

When Tsar Saltan heard this, again was he seized with a desire to see the island, but, as before, his evil wife and her sister sneered and the wife said:

“A rare thing in truth! Thinkest thou the mill and cat are so wonderful? What, indeed, are they beside a marvel of which I know?”

“What is that?” asked the Tsar.

She answered: “Across three times nine lands, in the thirtieth Tsardom, there is a wood and in the wood a fir tree. On the tree lives a squirrel, cracking nuts with his teeth. These are not ordinary nuts, for their shells are of gold and the kernels of emerald. He who owns this wonder is the richest Tsar in all the world, for his wealth never ceases to increase until it cannot be reckoned.”

And, deeming this an even greater marvel, Tsar Saltan again laid by his purpose to visit the island.

The merchants filled their ship with new merchandise and set sail for distant lands and, passing the island again, were welcomed by Tsaritsa Marfa and Tsarevitch Guidon, to whom they recounted their visit to Tsar Saltan. Nor did they fail to tell how he had purposed to sail thither until he had heard of the fir tree, the squirrel and the nuts of gold and emerald.

When they had departed, Tsarevitch Guidon struck together his flint and steel, and the ax and hammer, appearing, said: “Master, we are here! By God’s blessing, by the Order of the Pike, what wilt thou that we accomplish?”

“Plant me here,” said the Tsarevitch, “a fir tree. On it let there be a squirrel which cracks with its teeth nuts whose shells are of gold and their kernels of emerald.”

The ax and hammer disappeared and next day, when he arose, the Tsarevitch found all done as he had commanded. He bade them build a summer-house of crystal for the squirrel to live in, and the golden shells and emeralds he put into the Palace treasury till the wealth could not be reckoned.

Continued…

Enjoy!

Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales: Russian Wonder Tales”

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/tsarsaltan.html

Images

Ivan Bilibin’s art:

https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

EXTRA

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Finally Available on Amazon.com!

http://creativemusingsoflediar.com/2012/04/15/legend-of-the-tengu-prince-finally-available-on-amazon-com/

Synopsis:

Fantasy Action Adventure set in feudal Japan.

During a time of civil war, Karasu Hinata is born the son of a powerful warlord. When he is still a child, his family castle is taken by a rival clan. His father and mother are murdered right before his eyes.

Barely escaping with his life, he is spirited away by the king of the tengu. The shape-shifting raven leads him to the hidden mountain retreat of a sect of mystic warriors. Mountain priests who practice the magic of Shugendo.

Ten years have passed. The time has come for Karasu to leave the mystic’s protective lair and face his demons in the world beyond. But the fiend that haunts his nightmares is also the one that shattered his life. More than a bad dream, it wants him dead.

In Legend of the Tengu Prince, nothing is as it seems. Shape-shifting creatures, both good and evil, populate the magical world of feudal Japan. And a young man will pay the ultima

te price for a deadly rival spawned in the mists time. This riveting first volume of a epic fantasy adventure will leave you stunned and begging for more.



The Merchants visit Tsar Saltan (Act 3)

The Merchants visit Tsar Saltan (Act 3) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hearing of this new wonder, the Tsar gave up his purpose to visit the island.

The merchants, having loaded their ship with other goods, sailed on a second voyage, and, passing the Tsaritsa‘s island, cast anchor, and were again entertained; and they recounted there how Tsar Saltan had desired to sail thither till his wife had told him of the mill, the golden column, and the story-telling cat.

As soon as they had made their farewells and sailed away, Tsarevitch Guidon took from the purse the flint and steel, and struck them sharply together, and immediately the ax and the hammer appeared, saying: “Here we are, thy servants! By God’s blessing, by the Order of the Pike, what dost thou bid us do?”

“I will have, near this Palace,” said the Tsarevitch, “a mill which grinds and winnows of itself and throws the chaff a hundred versts away. By it must be a column of gold on which climbs a cat, telling tales and singing songs.”

At once the ax and hammer disappeared, and, next morning, when he went to his balcony, the Tsarevitch saw that the gardens the mill, the golden column, and the clever cat bad all been brought as he had commanded.

He caused his servants, the ax and hammer, to build by the column a crystal summer-house, in which the cat should live, and each day the Tsaritsa and Tsarevitch Guidon amused themselves by listening to its songs and stories.

Time passed, and again the ship returned from her voyage, and the merchants wondered to see the new marvels. They landed, and the Tsaritsa, meeting them, bade them enter and taste of her hospitality. She gave them honey to eat and milk to drink, and treated them so handsomely that they scarce knew themselves for pleasure. “O tradesmen,” she asked them, “what do ye barter, and whither sail ye from here?”

“We have bartered carpets and stallions from the Don around the whole world,” they answered. “Now we sail to the eastward, to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan the Mighty.”

“A good journey to you,” said the Tsaritsa. “Bear to Tsar Saltan greeting from my son, Tsarevitch Guidon.”

The merchants spread sail and voyaged to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan, and a second time he summoned them to bear him company. And as they ate and drank in his sumptuous hail, he asked them: “O tradesmen and mariners, doubtless ye have traversed the whole earth. What have ye seen, and what news do ye bear? And is there any new marvel in the white world?”

Continued…

Enjoy!

Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales: Russian Wonder Tales”

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/tsarsaltan.html

Images

Ivan Bilibin’s art:

https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

EXTRA

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Finally Available on Amazon.com!

http://creativemusingsoflediar.com/2012/04/15/legend-of-the-tengu-prince-finally-available-on-amazon-com/

Synopsis:

Fantasy Action Adventure set in feudal Japan.

During a time of civil war, Karasu Hinata is born the son of a powerful warlord. When he is still a child, his family castle is taken by a rival clan. His father and mother are murdered right before his eyes.

Barely escaping with his life, he is spirited away by the king of the tengu. The shape-shifting raven leads him to the hidden mountain retreat of a sect of mystic warriors. Mountain priests who practice the magic of Shugendo.

Ten years have passed. The time has come for Karasu to leave the mystic’s protective lair and face his demons in the world beyond. But the fiend that haunts his nightmares is also the one that shattered his life. More than a bad dream, it wants him dead.

In Legend of the Tengu Prince, nothing is as it seems. Shape-shifting creatures, both good and evil, populate the magical world of feudal Japan. And a young man will pay the ultima

te price for a deadly rival spawned in the mists time. This riveting first volume of a epic fantasy adventure will leave you stunned and begging for more.



{April 30, 2012}   Limited Time Offer!

Legend of the Tengu Prince e-book is available for 0.99 at Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/54992) until May 15, 2012! (Regular price is $4.99.) Use this coupon code UT96N to obtain the special price.

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Also Available in paperback at Amazon.com!

http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Tengu-Prince-Volume-1/dp/1453853308/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335789431&sr=8-1

Synopsis:

Fantasy Action Adventure set in feudal Japan.

During a time of civil war, Karasu Hinata is born the son of a powerful warlord. When he is still a child, his family castle is taken by a rival clan. His father and mother are murdered right before his eyes.

Barely escaping with his life, he is spirited away by the king of the tengu. The shape-shifting raven leads him to the hidden mountain retreat of a sect of mystic warriors. Mountain priests who practice the magic of Shugendo.

Ten years have passed. The time has come for Karasu to leave the mystic’s protective lair and face his demons in the world beyond. But the fiend that haunts his nightmares is also the one that shattered his life. More than a bad dream, it wants him dead.

In Legend of the Tengu Prince, nothing is as it seems. Shape-shifting creatures, both good and evil, populate the magical world of feudal Japan. And a young man will pay the ultimate price for a deadly rival spawned in the mists time. This riveting first volume of a epic fantasy adventure will leave you stunned and begging for more.



et cetera