After centuries of corruption and war, the elven Empire of Kryus has conquered and colonized the land of men, oppressing humanity into a false peace and suppressing the truth of who they once were.
Caleb De’Ador – a man haunted by prophecy and his own past – returns to the land of men to raise up an army and teach humanity how to be free once again.
But before this revolution can begin, Caleb must find and reach the ancient and powerful Living Stone.
At the same time, a long forgotten evil is unleashed, threatening to throw all living beings into an even greater darkness.
Targeted Age Group:: 16-45
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wanted to write the type of book that I wanted to read, and there weren’t any out there.
I love science fiction and fantasy. I read everything from C.S. Lewis and Tolkien to George RR Martin and Joe Abercrombie. I enjoy dark stories with violence and gritty scenes and characters, but I also enjoy stories with spiritual and redemptive themes like Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. So I wanted a story, and epic fantasy, that contained the dark, the violent, as well as the spiritual redemptive themes. I worked on the world and the story for five years before writing the first of the series, the Living Stone.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Characters come from a lot of different places. Some are based on different aspects of my own personality. Of course, several are based on friends and family, loosely. I want my characters to feel real, so I take time to come up with their histories and what they want and desire.
The first warning of the horn woke Eshlyn Se’Matan from her sleep. She had a four-month child in a cradle to her right at the side of the bed. She was amazed at how fast she could wake, even from a dead sleep, after the baby had been born. She sat up on the mattress of hay and feathers, pushing the wool blanket off of her. Wearing her nightdress, she rubbed her big green eyes. The baby was asleep in the cradle, a bundled shadow in the moonlight coming through the window. Eshlyn frowned as the watchtower horn sounded again.
She turned to her husband, Kenric, who already sat upright in the bed, his feet over the side, facing south. “Was that the watchtower horn?” Eshlyn asked.
Kenric, a handsome man with shoulder length black hair, intelligent blue eyes, and a close-cut black beard over his square jaw, grunted assent.
Their one room house was sturdy and well furnished, situated at the southern edge of their farm just north of the town of Campton, land that Kenric’s family had owned for generations. A low fire burned in the hearth in the middle of the room. Kenric stood, wearing only short linen breeches, and stretched his wide muscular shoulders. He was the “guardian” of the town, a title that sounded more dramatic than it was. Kenric’s duties consisted of getting neighbors to talk and compromise. Campton never had any serious crime or conflicts that necessitated violence. But she knew her husband better than anyone, and his sense of responsibility gnawed at him.
The alarm sounded again. Eshlyn swore she could discern panic even in that tone, a hysterical desperation. It chilled her even in the warm room.
“Esh,” Kenric said. “Get dressed. Get the baby packed up.” Without even glancing to see if she complied, he pulled clothes from the trunk at the side of his bed and dressed himself in leather pants, a blue wool tunic and his leather boots.
Eshlyn was worried now. “What is it?” she asked as she pulled off her nightdress and began to don a long green wool gown with long sleeves.
“I don’t know, but the town is in danger,” Kenric murmured as he began to gather other items: a half-eaten loaf of bread and a block of yellow cheese from the small wooden table in the corner, the small purse of money for emergencies. He filled the leather water bag with the bucket near the hearth.
The alarm sounded a fourth time.
Eshlyn had on her own short leather boots and began to gather up the baby, who began to wake, whimpering. “What could it be?” she asked, fear in her voice. “What could be out there?”
Kenric shook his head. “Come on, we’re going to the barn,” he said. Eshlyn had the baby wrapped up in gray wool blankets. “Get a cloak,” he told her as he opened the plank wooden door and headed out into the night. She grabbed a long brown cloak and the sling for the baby and followed him.
Noise carried well from the town, especially on a night when the wind blew up from the south. So they both heard the screams from the center of town. Human screams.
Eshlyn stumbled and almost fell, gathering her crying baby closer to her chest. Kenric paused for a split second, staring again to the south, and he ran to the barn. “Come on!” he shouted.
She ran with him, across the gravel path between the small house and the barn that held Silly the ox, a few chickens, the plow, various farm supplies and feed, and Blackie the mare. Kenric threw open the double doors and began to saddle the horse. A good strong horse for riding and traveling, Blackie’s eyes bulged and darted, and she stepped nervously as Kenric pulled the bridle over her head.
Kenric turned to Eshlyn, holding out his hands to the side of the horse. “Give me the baby and get on,” he said. She hurried to do as he said and soon sat in the worn leather saddle with her son. Javyn was in her lap in the next breath, and Eshlyn fumbled with the sling. Setting it, she placed the baby within.
Looking up, her husband had raced to the far corner of the barn, digging beneath the hay, and stood again with a long gleaming sword in his hand.
“Ken!” she shrieked. “Where did you get a sword?”
Looking up at her with a steady gaze, Kenric walked back to the horse, grabbed the reins, placed the scrip of items gathered from the house onto her lap, led her out of the barn. “Listen carefully to me,” he said. “My ancestor was the last king of Manahem, King Judai.”
“What?” Had the most pragmatic and grounded man she ever knew gone full maddy?
“Just listen!” Kenric took a deep breath. “He gave his grandson this sword and commanded him to move far to the south and continue the line. That grandson dressed as a pauper with nothing to his name and moved here to Campton almost four hundred years ago. He passed it on to his son, and his son to his son, and so on. Our son, Javyn, is the rightful king and heir to Manahem.”
He led the horse out to the Manahem road, a short distance from their house. “I want you to ride as hard and as fast as you can and warn people. Get to the city of Ketan. Get people behind the walls of Ketan.”
Eshlyn twisted violently in the saddle. “No!” she screamed. Why was he talking like this? What was he saying? “You’re coming with us!”
“I can’t,” Kenric said. “I have to see what is going on in the town, if I can help.”
“Then I’m staying with you!” She began to weep and tried to slide off the horse.
Kenric’s strong arms kept her where she sat.
“I can’t leave you here. I can’t go without you!”
More screams met their ears, and they both turned south. The cries of horror were mixed with snarls and growls of something inhuman and violent.
“I love you,” Kenric said. “And I love Javyn.” Kenric placed his right hand on the child. “He is more important now. I need to know that you both are safe. Please. Go.”
She shook her head. “No, no.”
“If this is what I think it is,” he said, “then tell them all to run to Ketan. And when you get there, try to find the Key.”
She still shook her head, her heart denying his words.
“The Key, Eshlyn,” he said, firm and deep. “That’s what they’re after, I think. That’s all my father told me.” He smiled at her one last time, his eyes brimming with water. “And keep singing my lullaby to him for me, please.”
Gaping at her husband, she knew she should speak to him, argue with him, but for once in her life she was speechless. Torn between wanting to stay with the man she loved and her child, and overcome by fear, all she could produce was a weak whimper. Ken pulled her down and kissed her full on the lips. She closed her mouth and clutched the baby to keep him from spilling from the sling. Pushing her back up, Ken whispered, “I love you.”
Eshlyn groaned as he slapped Blackie’s back, and the horse galloped off to the north. After a few minutes, only the noise of the wind filled her ears, and she kicked the mare to her top speed.
Then she realized as she wept and raced into the night: she’d never told her husband goodbye.
About the Author:
MB Mooney has traveled the world, teaching in the Republic of Korea and visiting places like Fiji, China, and the Philippines. He loves to write books, stories, and songs. His books are fantasy/sci-fi related, and his first published novel is The Living Stone: The Eres Chronicles Book 1.
Mooney lives in Lawrenceville, GA with his amazing wife and three energetic kids.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Link to Buy The Living Stone – the Chronicles of Eres Book 1 Print Edition at Amazon
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy The Living Stone – the Chronicles of Eres Book 1 On Amazon
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