Today, I would like to introduce you to a new author, Linda M. Crate. I received a lovely email from her saying, “I found your Guest Spotlight through a fellow writer and a friend. I thought it was an interesting angle and not one that I’ve seen before.”
Hello, all! My name is Linda M. Crate, and I am an author, poet, writer who is a native of Pennsylvania, US. My works have been published in various anthologies and magazines both online and in print.
Currently, I have four published novels: Blood & Magic, Dragons & Magic, Centaurs & Magic, and Corvids & Magic. They are all published by Ravenswood Publishing under their Chimera imprint. There are seven books in the total series. It’s my longest series thus far.
I also have four published books of poetry the latest of which was My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017).
The following story Son of the Dark Witch is a canon story that can be attached to the end of my Magic series. It does contain spoilers as well as a few recaps from the novels just to warn you. I hope that you enjoy it!
Author, Linda M. Crate
“Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print.
She has four published chapbooks: A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), and My Wings Were Meant To Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017).
Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. The third of the seven-book series Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016. Her novel Corvids & Magic was published March 2017.”
Son of the Dark Witch
by Linda M. Crate
I knew that I had to do something. Despite me being the Queen of Váshélliöŭ (the land of the fae) I knew that I couldn’t let Atriel fall into ruin. I didn’t even know that Evan had a son. His daughter Gabrielle was a sweetheart and helped us destroy Evan and his vile men in the war of the counsel against the citizens of Atriel. Even the Queen at the time, Amelia, had helped us.
Things had changed since then.
My true love Florian had passed on, our son Morgan and his wife Syn had lives and children of their own, and I had married Priscpe. He had two children of his own before we had our four sons and two daughters: Florian Priscpe, Valderius Allan, Alderton Vaughn, Midarian Lionel, Aurora Skye, and Lindy Autumn.
Unlike my son Morgan who was one-fourth vampire, these six were part-vampires like my love Florian had been. They weren’t pure vampires the way Priscpe’s children Dahlia and Persus were from his previous marriage to the wife he had lost.
The eldest of Priscpe’s brood, Florian, was already seventeen. It was funny how quickly time seemed to pass.
Although I always missed Florian I had found a new love with Priscpe. Which isn’t to say I didn’t think about my one true love more often than I ought to, but I had found a love which was different and it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think without Priscpe I would have fallen off into the deep end and lost myself forever, and I don’t think that would be something that Florian would have wanted for me.
Some would say I should mind my own country and not worry about Atriel, but I remember everyone in Atriel fighting to keep myself and Florian and me alive. I wasn’t going to turn them away in their darkest hour.
I hadn’t always been a royal of Váshélliöŭ, after all, and I was nineteen when I discovered that I was the daughter of a faerie and found my wings both literally and figuratively.
My concern was with this son of Evan named Edarius Flavius. I kept having dreams and visions of him. If left to his own devices, he would rip Atriel apart at the seams. His mother had been a part-elf like Evan’s half-sister Veronique had been, but I knew not all elves were bad. I had met several good ones. However, any that Evan expressed any interest in was something to be leery of.
This boy proved that he was his father’s son in more way than one. He had vowed that he would become king of Atriel.
He also wanted to bring back Evan from the dead and was trying to find a necromancer powerful enough to do just that. Evan had nearly destroyed Atriel once, I wasn’t about to allow him to do that again.
When I expressed my concerns to Priscpe, he understood, insisting that he would be able to govern the kingdom in my absence.
Váshélliöŭ was not far from Atriel which meant I didn’t even have to fly there. I rode on the back of my Pegasus named Fury. I didn’t make him fly because that wasn’t necessary. First I simply wanted to speak to Edarius and talk him out of this nonsense. I wasn’t sure if peace were possible with this young man, but I was going to try.
It wasn’t hard to find him, it was as if he were waiting for me. Where Váshélliöŭ ended, and Atriel began, he stood, looking smug. As if he knew something that I could never hope to know.
It was a chilly October day full of melancholy gray clouds. Yellow leaves fell downward from their trees to blanket the ground with red and orange trees looking on from behind like witnesses to the slow descent of autumn into winter.
I dismounted Fury who looked reprovingly at the lad from behind me.
“Queen Lucille Créqui nee Roddingale, what brings you out of Váshélliöŭ and into Atriel?”
“I think you know what brings me out of my country and back to this place. I cannot allow you to become king of this country.”
“Shouldn’t you mind your own?”
“My husband is more than capable of governing in my absence,” I retorted, eyes flashing. “Your father almost destroyed Atriel once, do you really think I’m going to allow you to obliterate the lands of which I grew up and to whom I owe my very life?”
“I can see why my father liked you. You are very beautiful and spirited, and unlike him, I have no problem with you being a faerie. He doesn’t seem to understand there’s a necessity to magical creatures…some of which deserve to be slaves.”
“What is wrong with you and why would you think that?”
“Ah, righteous fury, it’s cute how you think that you alone can stop me,” Edarius smirked. “Well, elves and faeries are clearly superior to dwarves and centaurs. I could go on and on, but something tells me you clearly aren’t interested. Not to mention we have to eradicate the vampires because they’re much too dangerous to live in a cultivated, civilized society.”
He was the spitting image of his father both in looks (aside from his pointed elven ears) and personality. It angered me. Yet I knew that I couldn’t react. It’s what he wanted, after all. Especially that bit about the vampires. I knew humans more dangerous than vampires. Anyone could be a monster whether or not they had fangs was another story entirely.
“I’m warning you, do not pursue this,” I insisted.
Orpheus was still the King of Atriel along with his wife, Demelza. They were good people as were their children. I wasn’t going to allow them to be destroyed.
“Listen, faerie queen, I will declare war whether or not you like it against all of Atriel, and the peace it has known these many years.” He struck me with that lightning ability his father had once, too.
This only served to provoke my magic, and before I knew it, my sword was in my hands and at his throat. The magic spoke through me as it always did illuminating me in gold, “Don’t disrespect your elders like that. I came here to warn you to desist from what you do. Why is it that you think you’re entitled to the throne? Your father was the same sort of idiot. Do you really think we’d let calamity befall this place again?”
Edarius smirked. “So are you going to kill me then, Queen Lucille?”
“You can desist from this foolishness,” I answered, ignoring his question. “No one is of more worth than anyone else. You cannot just overthrow kingdoms because you lust for power. The greed of some men and women will never cease to disgust me,” I went on. “This is not your country. Desist from your scheme.”
“All these years I’ve lived with the elves, and they’ve hated me because of who I am! They deserve to be taught a lesson!” he snarled.
“Unkindness does hurt,” I agreed. “But it is no reason to annihilate people or try to overtake other people’s kingdoms. No one in Atriel has hurt you. If you must argue with anyone, then let it be the elves that abused you.”
“Be quiet, you know nothing of my pain! I was always an outcast.”
“So was I.”
We glared at one another for a long time without saying a word. I waited for him to move. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but he was swift and the lightning he struck me with hurt much more than it did the first time.
“You mean to kill me?” I asked.
“Anyone who stands in the way of my dream needs to be dealt with accordingly,” he scoffed.
I smiled darkly. “Ah, but you fool, I am the slayer of nightmares and the Queen of Dreamers. I will never let you stand because I am not willing to see Atriel fall.” With that, I severed his head from his body. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but rather something he forced me to do.
I looked up seeing the knights of Atriel, and I smiled to see that Joel, a young boy with red hair and a penchant for drawing ravens, was now a handsome captain. A raven was resting upon his shoulder.
“Queen Lucille,” he smiled, regarding me fondly. “What brings you to Atriel?”
“I heard of your pest. I took care of the problem. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but he gave me no choice.”
“We thank you, Queen, of the Faeries.”
I smiled. “Do be sure to tell King Orpheus and Queen Demelza good morrow for me. It was a pleasure to help Atriel.” With that I turned on my heel, mounting Fury.
Fury took flight into the gauzy shawl of fog and mists that had fallen around us beneath a sky swimming in a mixture of blue and pink where it was impossible to tell where one began and one ended. I had set off to do what I had to do. The son of the dark witch was dead, and he could no longer threaten the land I loved, and the place I had grown up. Atriel was free.
I knew crisis may not always be so easily averted in the future, but if there was some way I could repay back Atriel for all they had done for me, then I would always do it. “Let’s delay going home for a moment or three,” I told Fury. “I like the feeling of freedom and the wind dancing through my hair.”
“Yes, let’s,” he agreed.
I smiled. All was well, and I hoped it would remain that way for a time.
©2017 Linda M. Crate
Linda’s most recently published book is Corvids & Magic. I’ve listed her other books below with a link to Amazon.
Paige is the daughter of an elven man driven mad and a star child that took the form of a woman. When her father nearly kills her, she seeks asylum and refuge with the king and queen of Atriel.
Her friend, Lezienne, knows more than she’s letting on but refuses to speak of who brought the shadow dancers into Atriel even after she is confronted by Paige. Despite the fact that Lezienne nearly died, she refuses to tell anyone who brought this plague to Atriel.
Queen Orchid and King Creon are baffled by shadow dancers an ancient evil that has never been seen before in Atriel brought about by a wicked man who seeks to take Atriel’s throne by force.
Miasha (Matilda’s evil sister) comes to cause havoc with this all going on, and a displaced people led by their King and Queen try to find their home.
Evan Arwen Rabastan Louis Artinfallinger the III, son of Yvonigsar Artinfallinger, has a secret. One he wouldn’t want anyone in Atriel to know. One that he’s killed over and for because if anyone should find out the truth, he knows they’d only use it against him.
In this prequel to Blood & Magic and Dragons & Magic one learns the bloody, secretive past of one of Atriel’s worst counsel leaders and his fearless and shameless pursuit to become king. Yet there is a prophecy made of a child who will foil his plans. Will he be able to rid Atriel of the said child before the curse made in the prophecy comes true or is he doomed to fail one day in the future?
Syn Seifer has never been one for confrontation or problems despite the faerie’s capacity to turn into a dragon, she would much rather fly away from her problems until they go away. Yet this time it isn’t an option. Syn must learn to deal with her problems and face reality and its ugly truths or risk losing the friendship of her dear friends Morgan and Byrant.
A monster slayer is in for the adventure of her life. Does she decide to follow her heart or does she kill the monster she loves to stay in favor with the counsel she serves? Not to mention all these broken memories are confusing – are they things that really happened or is it all just in her head? Lucille Roddingale is in pursuit of the truth and she’s not going to like everything that she finds on her journey.
My blog: https://bloodandmagic.blogspot.com/
Thanks for stopping by to meet Linda. ❤
Category: author interviewsTags: Author Interviews, Author Spotlight Guest Posts, Blood & Magic, Centaurs & Magic, Corvids & Magic, Dragons & Magic, fantasy author, Linda M. Crate, Son of the Dark Witch
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Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Poet who loves crafting paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre flash fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, tanka prose, renga, solo-renga, haibun, cinquain, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry. Colleen's syllabic poetry has appeared in the Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal, and in “Hedgerow, a journal of small poems.” She’s won numerous awards from participating in the Carrot Ranch Rodeo, a yearly flash fiction contest sponsored by carrotranch.com. In 2020, she won first place in the Carrot Ranch Folk Tale or Fable category, with her story called “Why Wolf Howls at the Moon.” Colleen is a Sister of the Fey, where she pursues a pagan path through her writing. When she is not writing, she is reading. She also loves gardening and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.